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Barnes & Noble to stop building Nook tablets, seeks hardware partners

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Barnes & Noble has announced that it will stop manufacturing Nook tablets, but the company is not getting out of the tablet market completely. Instead of building its own, Barnes & Noble will attempt to create a co-branded line of tablets with third-party manufacturers. The announcement does not affect the Nook e-reader line, which Barnes & Noble will continue to make itself.

Barnes & Noble made the announcement today in its fourth quarter earnings report:

The company plans to significantly reduce losses in the NOOK segment by limiting risks associated with manufacturing. Going forward, the company intends to continue to design eReading devices and reading platforms, while creating a partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive color tablet market. Thus, the widely popular lines of Simple Touch and Glowlight products will continue to be developed in house, and the company’s tablet line will be co-branded with yet to be announced third-party manufacturers of consumer electronics products.

Barnes & Noble will continue to sell its existing inventory of Nook tablets (namely the Nook HD and Nook HD+) through the holiday season and will continue to offer "software upgrades and improvements to the digital bookstore service."

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plblark
2642 days ago
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smadin
2642 days ago
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this is a shame, the nooks were very good devices.
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Phyllis Richman addresses Harvard’s concerns about her home life

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In 1961, Harvard University sent a letter to Mrs. Alvin Richman noting that while she seemed like an excellent candidate for their Department of City and Regional Planning, they did have some concerns about her personal circumstances.

[O]ur experience, even with brilliant students, has been that married women find it difficult to carry out worthwhile careers in planning, and hence tend to have some feeling of waste about the time and effort spent in professional education. (This is, of course, true of almost all graduate professional studies.)

Therefore, for your own benefit, and to aid us in coming to a final decision, could you kindly write us a page or two at your earliest convenience indicating specifically how you might plan to combine a professional life in city planning with your responsibilities to your husband and a possible future family?

Busy woman that she was, the missus never actually got a chance in 1961 to sit down and jot a couple of pages to Assistant Professor William Doebele justifying her decision to wear pants, go outside without a hat on, and study urban planning whilst married. But 52 years later, award-winning writer and restaurant critic Phyllis Richman has finally taken the time to write Doebele’s requested essay, which you should read in its entirety.

In 1961 your letter left me down but not out. While women of my era had significant careers, many of them had to break through barriers to do so. Before your letter, it hadn’t occurred to me that marriage could hinder my acceptance at Harvard or my career. I was so discouraged by it that I don’t think I ever completed the application, yet I was too intimidated to contradict you when we met face to face.

At the time, I didn’t know how to begin writing the essay you requested. But now, two marriages, three children and a successful writing career allow me to, as you put it, “speak directly” to the concerns in your letter.

I haven’t encountered any women with “some feeling of waste about the time and effort spent in professional education.” I’ve never regretted a single course. In all, I attended graduate school for a dozen years, though only part-time, since my “responsibilities to [my] husband,” as you so perceptively put it, included supporting him financially through his own graduate studies, a 10-year project.

This might seem to reinforce your belief that marriage and a family would stunt my career, but I think being admitted to Harvard would have propelled my career path to the level of my husband’s. While I ended up with a rewarding and varied professional life, your letter shows just how much Harvard — not to mention my husband, our families and even myself — didn’t give my career the respect it deserved when I was just starting out.

As you predicted, a “possible future family” became a reality five years after my husband Alvin and I married. When my first child was born, I took a break from employment and raised him — just as your first wife was doing full time when we spoke in 1961. You may not remember, but she was the example you used to explain how wives’ education tends to be wasted. The problem, I suspect, was the narrowness of your time frame. Google tells me that your wife earned two master’s degrees and a doctorate, and built an impressive resume in research, conference planning and social action. Do you still think of her graduate studies as a waste of time?

In 1970 we moved to Washington, so I continued working on my master’s degree long-distance, dropping it when my thesis hit a last-minute snag. During those child-rearing years of my life, I specialized in multitasking. When I had one child, I could strap him on my back and take him along on errands. With two, I could still manage them as I researched doctors’ influence on breast-feeding or studied my assignments at the playground. With three, and research for a master’s thesis on children’s perceptions of race, I was outnumbered. I needed some babysitting, but hiring felt like an extravagance since I was earning barely any money. So I furnished the attic in our Chevy Chase home, cobbled together a kitchen in the basement and offered rent-free accommodations to college students in exchange for babysitting.

Freelance writing, I discovered, was remarkably well-suited to raising children. I could write anywhere — in Rock Creek Park while the kids hunted frogs and lizards, at home late at night when they slept. If I concentrated on topics such as comparative ice cream shopping and home testing of microwave ovens, I could feed and entertain the kids while I gathered material.

Fortunately, in writing my gender mattered less than in most other jobs. Freelancers were increasingly judged by what was on the page more than anything else. Even when my career had momentum, though, my encounters with sexism weren’t over. Two of my children started private school in their teens. Soon afterward I got an assignment to spend two weeks writing about restaurants in China. In 1980, this was a rare opportunity. My husband decided to come along. The school summoned us and badgered me about abandoning our kids, despite my having arranged for three college students as live-in babysitters, plus my parents and siblings as backups. The faculty urged me to cancel the trip. Nobody said a word about my husband going.

We both went to China. Our children thrived anyway and grew up to be everything I could hope — as professionals, as citizens, as parents. They have enjoyed my career and probably miss it more than I do since I retired. I’ve been preoccupied with a chronic illness, a new role as a sometime-writer and occasional community activist, a new (and enlightened) husband and a new generation of grandchildren.

Female students are honing their social action skills on your campus. Two Harvard Graduate School of Design students have gotten more than 10,000 signatures for a petition on behalf of architect-planner Denise Scott Brown, who was already an inspired teacher when I attended her lectures at Penn. She later married architect Robert Venturi, and together they were running an influential architecture practice by 1967.

In 1991, Venturi won architecture’s top award, the Pritzker Prize. Scott Brown did not, then or since. Yet according to Arielle Assouline-Lichten, one of the students who started the petition with Caroline James: “Almost all architecture students have studied her in school. Everyone grew up with her as the female professional who’s always been around and never really gets the recognition.”

Dr. Doebele, have you signed the petition yet?

Sincerely,
Ms. Phyllis Richman

In response to your as-yet-unasked questions: Yes, she did continue her graduate education; yes, she did use that education working with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission; and yes, Doebele did present his own (first) wife as an example of a waste of education.

Richman discussed her essay with NPR’s Michel Martin, all talky-talky like two married women.

RICHMOND: I have a daughter and I have a niece, two nieces, who look to me as a model for their behavior. I felt very proud, humbled by that. So when I saw this letter [in a box of mementos], I thought, this is the kind of thing that she’s talking about, that she’s proud that I’m a model for her in standing up for my rights. So I thought, now it’s time to respond to this. I showed this letter to my daughter, my niece.

They were appalled, they were horrified. And I was relieved that they were appalled. I didn’t know whether women today took it for granted that they had a rightful place that was given to them when it was appropriate.

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plblark
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RedSonja
2642 days ago
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Wow.

This Could Be a Sign

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This Could Be a Sign

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Tagged: gifs , fences , deer , running , horde , jumping
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plblark
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Don't Pick on Nerds Who Have +2 Melee

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Don't Pick on Nerds Who Have +2 Melee

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Tagged: nerds , gifs , bullies , fights , punchings , funny
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plblark
2643 days ago
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Wolfram asks- why teach multiplication?

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If you have not listened to the TED talk by Conrad Wolfram, I highly recommend you do. If you have any interest in math education, the odds are great that his talk is far more important than anything else you could possibly doing in the next 20 minutes.

If you think the name sounds familiar, it’s because he is one of the masterminds behind Mathematica. He’s also the kind of guy I would have dated in college, except for the fact that when I started college he was five years old.

What is so fascinating about his ideas? In a nutshell, he says that we teach calculation – addition, multiplication, exponentiation, logarithms – as math. That takes up 80% or more of our curriculum because it is not easy for most people to learn, it requires memorization and they don’t want to learn it (so it probably requires more badgering).

We spend a few years in childhood learning “math facts” – subtraction, division, multiplication, addition. We spend a few more in adolescence, if we are “good at math” – learning how to compute sines, tangents, logarithms, derivatives. Then, for the rest of our lives, we almost never do that by hand again.

This change occurred during my lifetime and it was one occasion where it actually benefited me to be poor. I could not afford a calculator in high school, so while all the more affluent kids whipped through their homework using calculators, I had to work it all out. When we took the SATs, unlike now, you were not allowed to use a calculator, so I did much better then they did.

Back then, it made sense. Calculators cost hundreds of dollars and you could not just assume you would always have one handy. As I sit here, there is calculator and several types of statistical and mathematical software on my desktop, laptop and iPad. There are even a couple mathematical apps, and, of course, the ubiquitous calculator, on my cell phone. When there are four devices capable of computation I can reach from where I am sitting it really doesn’t make sense to spend years of teacher and student time insuring that every child knows that 13 x 13 = 169. memorizing squares, cubes and natural logarithms.

wolf2

One use Wolfram sees for computation is estimation. I wholeheartedly agree with him there. In writing our math education games, the next major update is going to have better analysis of student errors.

You are being attacked by rabid wolves. You’re just a kid, you can only hit a wolf about once every 5 times and 7 wolves are coming at you. How many arrows do you need?

There is an important difference between the student who answers this question with 33 and with 5 or 187. If they repeatedly make that type of error, it is clear that in the first case, they are good at estimation but not so good at computation. That is one reason we give two tries for most answers, and we almost never have multiple choice. We want to distinguish among the student who knows the answer but was in a hurry and didn’t read the problem completely, the student who understood the problem and did not get the calculation exactly right and the student who is completely confused.

I just watched this video for the first time a few days ago, and Spirit Lake: The Game was already out to our testers and ready to be uploaded. However, you’ll see some changes based on these ideas in the update in October, and even more in the new game we are making now.

Seriously, what is the point of learning new ways of thinking about math if you don’t do anything about them?

Your turn.

+++++++++++++++++++++

artwork from game7 GENERATION GAMES

HOW YOU WISH MATH CLASS HAD BEEN

THREE GAMES FOR $35

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A good group

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I’ve always been proud to be a member of Florida Carry and last night’s board meeting reminded me why we’re a good organization. First and foremost, the group is more concerned about Floridian’s rights to keep and bear arms than it is about making money. The money is absolutely necessary to be able to file the lawsuits we do as well as fund activities necessary to push for the right kinds of legislation, but it’s not out primary driver.

There were opportunities to simply take cash settlements rather than continue with suits which, while being nice to pad our coffers, was actually counterproductive in what we are trying to accomplish. There were also discussions about how “breaking even” was more than adequate for us and how as long as rights were furthered, we’re satisfied with the outcome regardless of who got the credit.

We’re a good group, and if you’re in Florida and haven’t joined, please do so. We’re not squandering your membership fees on ridiculous junkets and superfluous items that have nothing to do with pushing for your rights. I joke that we’re on a shoestring budget with Velcro laces, but we do a lot for Floridians and are really becoming well known amongst the state entities as “a thorn in their side”.

That’s a great place to be.

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