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August 20th, 2008


It's all Apple's fault.

Its slick packaging and the care (and flare) the One Infinite Loop designers put into that real first experience with any piece of hardware has turned opening a box into a ritual on a par with a Japanese tea ceremony. HP hands you a remote on a sprung hand, HTC uses magnets to turn cardboard boxes into ceremonial caskets for its phones, and even Logitech has made getting at a mouse as intricate as unfolding an origami wrapper.

It's turned into an art form, something that people video and share with the rest of the world.

They even call it "unboxing". It's not opening the box, it's not unpacking the hardware.

Now it's gone too far. Look at this YouTube video of a Samsung phone being unboxed...

Too far, I say, far too far.


A winner is me!

It's always good to donate money to the annual Strange Horizons fund drive, and there's the added bonus of a fair chance of winning a prize in their donors' raffle.

This year I was one of the lucky ones, and managed to score a copy of the upcoming Neal Stephenson novel. The list of prizes was more than impressive, and there was plenty there I'd have been happy to have on my shelves.

So next year, donate, and you too could be a winner - and you'll be keeping one of the best sources for online speculative fiction alive.