In Loco Parentis
For schools, replacing books with tablets always sounds like a great idea in the planning stages. They probably think that they’re going to save so much and having kids carry less books is going to be less of a burden to their health. But there’s only one problem that could tarnish a school’s plan: tablets that don’t work.
There’s nothing like the soothing glow of a digital screen to shut your kid up for a few minutes. Parents have known this since the dawn of television.
But now, there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to getting your kid to sit still for longer than three seconds, and it’s called the tablet. Tablet ownership among families has risen at an insane rate–40 percent of families own the devices now, while two years ago, only 8 percent did, according to the New York Times. So if you wondered who was buying all those Kindle Fires, there you go.
the ratings game
The Microsoft Surface 2, we can safely assume, probably won’t dominate America’s Christmas lists. There’s good news, though! Someone wants them. The bad news is, it’s an airline.
Nielsen, the leader in collecting television ratings data, is going to start measuring peoples’ viewing on smartphones and tablets. The Wall Street Journal scoops that the company is finally adapting to the times by rolling out the ratings metric long desired by media companies, who rely on the service to measure ad rates
The announcement is slated for Read More
If you were hoping to use your new Samjiyon tablet, manufactured in North Korea, to do typical tablety things like stream video or read the news, then you’re out of luck. Geekosystem reports that the new device, which runs on Android, doesn’t actually include the Internet–strange, since when Google’s Eric Schmidt visited the country it went to such great pains to make its citizens look soooo tech-savvy.
Amazon is planning a big biodome at the foot of its new HQ, because Jeff Bezos. [Gizmodo]
More people are using their tablets on planes. Someone actually paid to conduct this study. [USA Today]
Square has expanded to Japan. [The Next Web]
Kim Dotcom says he invented two-factor authentication and Google, Twitter and others are engaging in “massive IP infringement.” [The Verge]
Foursquare now offers more specific search and filter capabilities. [TechCrunch]
News from our neighbors to the north! BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins recently sat down with Bloomberg News for a chat and did a spot of prognosticating:
The Future of the Ebook
Trading in your twin bed for a sleepover-friendly double bed in a childhood rite of passage–one that allows you to stretch out among your pile of big girl CDs, magazines and clothes.
But tweens today may not ever know this meaningful transition, because sales for twin beds are dropping. Instead, kids are demanding double size beds early on so that they can comfortably sprawl out in bed next to their computers.
Let’s hope the various e-reader makers gathered their rosebuds while they could, because it seems the heyday of the e-reader is already passing. The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to one market researcher, e-reader shipments dropped 28 percent this year, to 19.9 million from 27.7 million in 2011.
On an anecdotal level, can you think of a single person who requested an e-reader as a holiday gift? Compare that to the number of people who got new phones or tablets.
Between the Windows 8 sales that hit “well below” expectations, empty retail stores and the numerous YouTube videos featuring a sweaty Steve Ballmer trying to amp up a bored crowd at a product launch, it appears that any person or thing that touches Microsoft is destined for a mortifying moment or two. Even Oprah Winfrey, Queen of All Things Ever, is not immune to the challenges inherent to hawking a Microsoft product.