25 February 2010

colleges and kindles - drumroll, please . . .

annnnnnnnnnnnnd, cymbal crash.

college and kindle. if this were a blind date, not sure they'd go back for a second malted at the ole' malt shop.

inside higher ed's steve kolowich reports several schools have finished up their amazon-sponsored kindle trials. the bottom line - students like taking notes. who knew? if they can't take notes, fuhgeddaboudit. and, as we all know, you can't take notes on a kindle dx (okay, maybe not all of us know, but a lot of us). the other bugaboos - no page numbers, no highlighting, no multiple open documents, and inadequate navigation. whine, whine, whine. just kidding.

although the article refers to princeton, case western reserve and uva's darden school of business having completed their trials, this intrepid reporter could only find the actual report from princeton. and those princetonians are on the ball, publishing a long version and a short version.

luckily for you, no location numbers here, and really, no need for annotating or note taking. just enjoy.

princeton final report

in other news:

federal agents raid gun shop - find weapons.

happy reading (in whatever format you choose).

18 February 2010

mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be e-readers

with apologies to waylon jennings and willie nelson.

mommy's got her iPad, dad's reading on his kindle, what's a technologically savvy pre-schooler to do?

this just in . . . fisher-price's iXL. (get it? i excel??)

yes that's right, now your 3-6 year old (who's amazingly above average hailing from lake wobegone) can e-read just like mommy and daddy. introducing the iXL, review courtesy of engadget.

see? this is a brilliant strategy on the part of fisher-price. if you never introduce your child to printed books in the first place . . . ahhhh, now you're getting it.

here are some other reviews of the iXL:

being nice and not naughty along with batteries required.

16 February 2010

bipartisanship? not in my backyard!

okay, here's the thing. (wait, do i always start my posts with okay?) anyway (do i use anyway too much? don't answer that!)

at my house, the only thing that is on the television from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm is msnbc and its one-hour opinion shows (at least that's what i call them). msnbc has a left-leaning (okay, they fell over) bent. i hear there is this other channel called foxnews and that they have a right-leaning (again, more than the tower of pisa lean) lineup (politically speaking).

in listening to this every weekday (thank you vince) i noticed that one topic can produce veerrrrrrrry different opinions. one topic - multiple views.

and so it is, it seems with e-readers and e-books. or books. or reading. one topic - multiple views, veerrrrrrrrrry different opinions. and some opinions, just like politics, can be downright insulting.

i pondered this (as i tend to do) and asked myself why people feel so strongly about e-reading and e-books. is it because our reading choices and experiences are so personal that we dare not mess with them? is it that we fear change and are resistant to it? maybe we just think it's a bunch of hooey. hey, i only ask the questions, i don't claim to have the answers. i was just thinkin'

here are some recent articles worth reading (however and on whatever you like):

e-readers creating new buzz in the college market
e-library economics
let's e-liminate digital books
a lindie?

and my favorite:
camel mobile library

11 February 2010

do school libraries need books?

i don't know. but that's okay. because i don't need to know. the new york times brings together five people who think THEY know. in an op-ed piece in the february 10, 2010 online new york times (sorry, i didn't read the paper paper today), five people (two authors, a library director, a professor of english and the headmaster at cushing academy) discuss this very topic in the appropriately titled, do school libraries need books?.

i have to say in skimming over the essays, i notice some assumptons made on the part of the authors, but i suppose it is an opinion, hence the 'op' in op-ed. but, imho (get it? in my humble OPINION?) it is not a zero-sum game and i don't know why the conversation seems to always move in that direction. if we can have hardback and paperback editions, why can't we add an electronic edition to the mix? we acknowledge that people have different learning styles. i'm just sayin' . . .

03 February 2010

a confession . . . of sorts

nooooo, i've not been hiking the appalachian trail. i have not fathered a child out of wedlock (that i recall) and i am not client #9. but . . .

i like e-readers and e-reading . . . dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun.

so, dear reader, if you have followed this blog, you may notice a slant toward technology and innovation. i do not apologize (okay, i'm sorry - that was a little blunt).

i'm a gadget person. even tho i may not use them to their utmost capacity, i like having gadgets (a cell phone is still a gadget). a laptop, mp3 player, karaoke machines. what? but, most of us are gadget people. we like automatic windows in our cars, cd players in our car radios, alarms on our homes, traffic lights. all technological improvements and innovations. freakin' lasers (for you dr. evil fans) GPS . . .get outta here, literally.

yet, when it comes to books, somehow, we then wish to regress. the smell, the feel, the taste, oh, wait, not taste, the print, paper, deckled edges, the cover (not judging).

e-books . . . pshaw! how will i read to my kids? what will i put on my bookshelves? how will the person across the bus aisle know i'm reading that fabulous brand new book that EVERYONE who's ANYONE is reading?

all i'm asking is to think about why you read? because for smell and feel and print and paper, you can carry the yellow pages around. and have yellow pages!! but do you share a love of reading by what you read or how the book feels. the story, the characters, the plot, the humor, the excitement, the despair. the way you're whisked away to another city, country, world, dimension, thought, opinion. what is music? the paper it's printed on? hardly. television = plastic box? movies are only as good as the screen it's projected on? reading is about being on the receiving end of a story someone wants to tell and you want to hear. audiobooks? i'm just sayin'

okay, putting soapbox back in closet. here are a few interesting articles i recently came across. if you're still on this screen, you probably dozed off. it's okay, it happens.

kindle review - publishing and books in 10 years
the gadgeteer - aluratek libre ebook reader pro (i think it's kinda ugly)
teleread - your library and the ebook format wars

02 February 2010

the final frontier . . . college textbook e-reader?

could it be? is it really? possibly? finally? here? for real and for true?

i don't know how i missed this gem from the CES held recently in Vega$. EnTourage systems has created a textbook e-reader. well, that's what fast company's website is calling it. EnTourage calls it the enTourage eDGe (i didn't make that up for those who question my lower case model). yes, the enTourage eDGe. try typing that three times fast. okay, don't.

01 February 2010

bill gates stars as . . . kreskin???

okay, if you're younger than me (no, i'm not saying), then you may not recognize the name kreskin (the amazing kreskin, that is). but if you do, congratulations!

so with that little bit of psychic trivia (i'm also available as a lifeline on who wants to be a millionaire for a small percentage), we may now move on to bill gates, multi-gazillionaire, former ceo of microsoft and current ceo of the bill & melinda gates foundation which gives gobs of money to worthy charitable endeavors.

but, never let it be said that his finger wasn't on the pulse of the future. maybe it still is. refer to exhibit A, this article in the seattle post intelligencer from 2007 with his predictions regarding 5 years hence (approx. 2012).

equally as interesting are the comments below the article. one topic addressed by the commenters is the environmental impact of e-reader device disposal. sometimes the average joe is more interested that the expert. where's al gore when you need him?