Slate of the union

The spotlight is expected to shine brightly on opposite coasts Jan. 27, as the Internet’s most rumored product will be sharing airtime, print space and home page placement with the president.

It’s the Apple Tablet (or iSlate, or is it?) and the State of the Union address. Steve and Barack. Jobs and Obama. They do share a similar haircut and both like to wear jeans. Maybe the events can be combined? Naaah. Wouldn’t be fair to Apple.

I can hear Carly Simon cranking up "Anticipation" in the background right now.

Do a Google search for "Apple tablet" and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. Do the same search in the "images" category of your favorite search engine and you’ll get plenty of best guesses of what this oversized iPod or keyless laptop will look like. One rumor today mashes up the announcement of the pending Apple gizmo of the decade with The New York Times and its latest attempt at charging for content. Is the iTunes Store newsstand just around the corner?

See this PCWorld story for more:

Another story today suggests that Steve Jobs and company may announce several things next week — the tablet, an upgraded iPhone and upgraded iLife software.
See this Los Angeles Times story for more:,0,1999465.story

The actual invitation for the invitation-only Apple event is generating tons of speculation about possible names for the device and what it may be used for. Paint splatters, and what they might suggest haven’t gotten this much press since Jackson Pollock went to work.

See this item at Engadget for more on the Apple event:

Obama’s address will certainly generate front-page headlines and photos showing the president looking presidential and the vice president and speaker of the house swooning over his shoulders at Barack’s banter. Parts of the speech are awaiting the outcome of today’s U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, but either way, there will be struggles, partisanship, challenges and foes lying in the way of whatever path the country is heading down.

The good news is the news events happen hours apart, as the Apple event kicks off at 10 a.m. PST and the State of the Union address is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. PST. Some fans of ABC’s "Lost" feared the president would schedule his annual report to the people on Feb. 2, which may have bumped the three-hour season premiere. Others were afraid he’d choose Jan. 26, and bump "American Idol." The schedulers worked it out, and viewers don’t need to worry about which program they need to record.

What I really want to know, though, is what this Apple gizmo looks like, how it performs, how much it costs and when can I get one.

I like to think I’ll be watching the next State of the Union address on my Apple tablet. Whatever they call it.

The art on the Jan. 27 Apple event invitation. It’s got a buzz of its own.

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