iPad vs Kindle

January 31, 2012

One steaming hot July 4th I ended up waiting for a transfer at Dallas Airport.

That day in 2007 I saw a Kindle for the first time. I was in the transfers section of the airport for six long hours.

There were ads for the device on the transfer side, but the shop selling it was in the regular departures side. I looked longingly through the glass at the Kindle.

I flew out of Dallas that day, with fireworks exploding in the rouge Texas twilight sky. But with no Kindle in my hand.

I have to admit, I still do not own a Kindle. By the time they arrived in the UK the economy had bombed and I was less keen on buying gadgets.

Now tablet computers have really come into their own. The iPad does so much more than display books – it costs a lot more than the Kindle too. But the Kindle only shows text.

I am thinking it is now time I put right the injustice of Independence Day in Dallas* and got my hands on a digital reader (I do have a Kindle app on my android phone, but the screen can only display about three paragraphs at a time). But the BIG question is:

Kindle or iPad ?????

Advice please…

(*I have been in the USA for Independence Day twice and may describe the other time at some point…)

This news feature discusses the movement towards digital text books and learning in the developing world and the United States.

Cost could be a major driver here – when it is cheaper to give a child a tablet /laptop (whatever) than it is to provide them with text books, exercise books, pens, then the move willl become widespread and the days of paper’s dominance in schools will go the way of the blackboard and chalk…

Apparently in America innovative changes in ICT are happening in local government enabling cost reductions.

Cloud computing and other changes in the ICT world are bringing benefits to US organisations.

Details to be found in this insightful article.

 

More about those robots

November 16, 2010

The world is changing and what we have seen in sci-fi movies will become reality soon enough.

How many times have we seen on-screen cars which drive themselves?

Well our friends at Google have been experimenting with one on the roads of California.

I have mentioned robots before and how they are set to change our lives for the better – in ways beyond which cars / phones / PCs and the internet have already.

When my solar-powered car will drive me about and I can read or sleep en route I will be a happy man.

Right Google, what about a teleport?

Censorship or protection?

October 14, 2010

I am not good at accepting censorship. I wrote my university dissertation on American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis (researched while studying briefly at an American higher education establishment). The book uses murder and mutilation as a metaphor for the damage unchecked capitalism does to the poor. The main character is a Wall Street banker who by day manipulates money markets to his own advantage and by night stalks the streets of New York on a killing spree.

My book, The Joy of Ex, contains swear words (even the C word), sexual content, adult themes (altho their is an advisory warning printed on theĀ  back cover) – so I am ok with edgie and adult content.

Right now in the USA, where almost 20 years ago, American Psycho caused proper uproar, there is an ongoing debate about children’s access to books.

Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mocking Bird and the Twilight saga are all being battled over at schools in the land of the free.

(This is a serious issue, the other day an episode of Private Practice (spin off from Grey’s Anatomy showing what the character of Addison Montgomery did next) on Living had a storyline about a young girl who got Hep B (or something similar) from a boy who had bitten her neck and had done it to other girls, even though he said he only loved her… or some such – the upshot of which was don’t bite your friends just cos you like Twilight.)

The main message I took from Catcher in the Rye when I read it as a teenager nearly 20 years ago, was don’t be a faker. (definitely not kill a rock star). While from Mockingbird (again, about 20 years since I opened it up), which is about lots of things, I particularly got the message we should not judge people (which always makes me wonder if Harper Lee meant the irony of having a court room drama with that message).

As for Twilight, I am way out of the target demographic and havent read any of it, altho the movie trailers seem to be about love and relationships. Maybe when my son is old enough to read it, I’ll dip in so I can discuss with him, but I think my vampire / human love story of choice is still Buffy / Spike. (apologies to Sookie and Bill and probably Cordy and Angel too)

I am sure the parents who are raising these issues about what books their children have access to in school libraries have genuine concerns, but I am not sure censorship is ever the answer.

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