One of the kids’ android tablets mysteriously developed a vexing problem that turned out to be ridiculously hard to fix. The problem: suddenly the tablet has no touchpad keyboard (also the tablet decided to display everything in German). The missing keyboard problem took me over an hour to figure out how to fix, and it seems to be the subject of considerable flailing and gnashing of teeth on the message boards. This episode definitely served to reinforce my growing perception of Android as an abortion on the scale of Windows Vista. You’d think the Google folks would have cleaned up this kind of glitch by now. I’m pretty sure if the iPad OS had a problem that basically bricks the machine in a way that even a factory reset won’t fix, Apple would have fixed it long before version 4.1. More »