The same piece went on, "But the next time you see someone sitting on a train smugly using theirs, take comfort from the fact they are probably not a nice person." Hmm. If I find myself making that kind of snap judgment about someone who has the temerity to use an iPad in public, I shall be seriously questioning whether I am, in fact, a nice person.
But this wasn't the end of the bad press for iPad users. A couple of weeks earlier, the usually serious Financial Times printed columnist Tyler Brûlé's hilarious observations of holidaying iPad users, straining to see their (touch screens) in bright sunlight. Our fearless investigative reporter saw one couple almost come to blows after the woman accidentally squirted sunscreen over the screen. I'm sure there's a risqué joke just itching to be made here, but I can't be bothered.
Actually, when I said "hilarious", I was striving for what might be termed a Brûlian level of irony. This was a stupid piece that took far too long to make its not-very-insightful point, which was that only "twits" would persist with trying to read from an iPad by the pool when they could make do with a book, a magazine, or perhaps some of Mr Brûlé's deathless prose.
The common denominator here is that "iEnvy", helpfully defined as "the envy of another person's Apple product, such as an iPod, iPhone, or laptop" appears to be on the increase. I attribute this to the recent launch of seductive new devices like the iPad and the iPhone 4G, and also to the post-recession trend for attacking anyone who appears to be better off than you. I wouldn't mind if this phenomenon was providing us with thought-provoking or humorous material. Sadly, it isn't. This amusing report sums up the sound of barrels being scraped: