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“Kindle”

This could have been your Stan Katz reading, but no.

This could have been your Stan Katz reading, but no.

Remember when Princeton gave us Kindles, and we were like, Frick, that’s awesome! But after a while we were like, Frick, these suck. And then we were like, Frick, told you guys.

Well Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania is one-upping us and giving all of their students iPads. You know, those kind of useless big iPhones. But who cares because they’re free, man.

Via Techflash:

About 2,100 students attend Seton Hill, so at the lowest retail price point of $499 (and not factoring in any possible bulk discounts) it would amount to just over a $1 million initial investment.

Come on Princeton. I bet you spend that money on toilet paper, or something.

At any rate, just a little jealous of these kids. Because, as you might remember, apparently the Kindle job sucked. Thanks Princeton.

(image source: setonhill.edu)

Okay, we’re all getting pretty sick of the same old Kindle story: it sucks! But here’s one more anyway. Sorry!

Over the summer, I received an unexpected e-mail from the University about my upcoming “Civil Society” seminar with Professor Stanley Katz.

Would I like to receive a $489 Kindle DX e-reader at no cost — and keep it after the course ends? Would I like to have my course books downloaded onto the device for free? It was like Christmas in July…

Read more over at the PAW.

Machines: Winning the War on Paper

Machines: Winning the War on Paper

Course offerings came out last week, and something felt different.

Fall break at home has roughly the same effect on my brain as high-caliber Novocaine, so the course guide had my full attention as soon as the website was up. I had never gone on the website first – it was always the place I went after I had my initial list of courses, gleaned from flipping through the thin, pulpy sheets of the paper course booklet. But how different could it really be?

Really, really different. I was completely overwhelmed. I tried looking at only one department at a time, but even then I was just staring at a list of numbers and course titles. Sure, more information was only a click away. But something about the process seemed too active – I was not browsing, I was power searching.

Why I care (and you should too!) after the jump.

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The future is now!

Are you one of the 50 or so Princeton students who received a $489 Kindle DX free-of-charge this semester?

I am.

You might have seen me around campus, catching up on my Tocqueville reading for class. I tend to hold it gingerly—it’s pretty, and I’m afraid of dropping it. I’m also kind of nervous around writing utensils and highlighters when reading my Kindle, lest I temporarily forget I’m not reading an actual book and accidentally start underlining the screen.

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During summer, when there are no parties to break, or drunk students to catch urinating, what exactly does PSafe do? Catch criminals, that’s what. In this week’s edition: Water guns? Public lewdness? Princeton quickly becomes the next possible locale of a CSI spin-off. Meanwhile, The New Yorker is all like, “You guys were so right about the Kindle thing,” and coincidentally “the Kindle ate my homework” becomes a viable excuse. Also, oh my God!, the Princeton Review made lists of colleges and people  freak out about them.

Public enemies.

Public enemies.

  • Remember that call you got Monday morning from the automated robot woman who cried wolf? About a possible gunman on campus and staying indoors and all that? That was because Public Safety heard from an employee that spotted a young man with what looked like a gun (prompting the flurry of emails and calls to students and faculty). Well, couple minutes later, turns out the guy was a camp counselor carrying around a water gun. Again, those sick sons of bitches at Nerf spark a Princeton lockdown . While we certainly appreciate the attention to campus safety (really! we do!), we’re sure that everyone would prefer a little more discretion at PSafe Headquarters before pressing the big red panic button.
  • Moving on down the police blotter… Guess who decided to make an appearance on campus this weekend? Yes, that’s right, our very own Professor of Public Lewdness, the Princeton Masturbator. Not to be outdone by watergun-toting teenagers, the wanker struck again, this time between Clio and West College. Sporting a hip but conservative white button-down and jeans, the young man asked a visiting lady for some directions Saturday night, while, you know, exposing his genitals. But folks!, this might be the end of an era. Shortly after receiving the call about the man, PSafe sprang into action and actually caught the perp, took him into custody, and charged him. Could this have been the wanker’s last strike? Is there more than one of them? Just why does he always hang around Clio Hall and East Pyne? Why does he always ask for directions? Is he lost and looking for a way home? So many unanswered questions – we’ll keep you updated with any answers.

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If a tree falls in Princeton during the summer, and no students are there to hear it, yes, still, nothing ever happens in Princeton. In this week’s edition: Sotomayor yada yada yada, Jeff Peek won’t be attending reunions anytime soon, moving walkways are a moving farce, the Wall Street Journal backs us up on the Kindle thing(!), a lax coach cries, and Stan Katz would love to have you for dinner tonight.

Peek-a-boo-hoo

Peek-a-boo-hoo

  • Meanwhile, theStreet.com updates us on another alum who’s not doing as hot as ol’ Sonia. Jeff Peek ’69 is CEO of CIT, a company providing small and midsized commercial loans. CIT’s not doing too hot these days, and on Thursday, federal regulators denied CIT a bail out. The company’s stock crashed nearly 75%. The article suggests some fingers are pointing at Peek. And a little digging found that Peek’s wife penned an anonymous article in Portfolio recently, in which she complained about how because of the recession she couldn’t throw moneybags around, or something. Princeton alums: Win some, lose some.
  • This week in “studies that contribute little to our understanding of the world”: The Telegraph reports that “Researchers have found that using [moving walkways] at airports, especially at busy times, can actually slow you down because people reduce their walking pace on the human conveyor belts and cause blockages.” Travelers everywhere slowly are realizing they have been living a lie. Princeton locomotion researcher Manoj Srinivasan contributed mathematical models to the study to show “that people slow down on walkways to reduce energy consumption.” Well, yeah, I’m sure tons of lazy people would ride around in motorized scooters to “reduce energy consumption.”
  • This week in “I told you so”: The Wall Street Journal writes on the latest  trend of using “e-books” instead of hard copy texts in higher education. They report that in a “Student PIRG study, 75% of college students said they would prefer print to digital texts.” The organization running the study “slammed existing e-textbook efforts such as CourseSmart for “being on the wrong track.” The article states also that students in pilot courses testing the Kindle have been bailing out of using the thing, preferring hard copies to e-books. They don’t see the use, it seems. Wait, that sounds familiar… Oh, yes, right, we said that.

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(source: techblog.dallasnews.com)

(source: techblog.dallasnews.com)

TechRadar reported today on Princeton’s pilot project for cutting down on paper usage by using Kindle e-books for course readings. Looks like we were right in our predictions earlier this week, but mistaken about one thing: the hardware. The project plans to use the new Kindle DX, released by Amazon today.

The awkwardly-titled “Toward Print-Less and Paper-Less Courses: Pilot Amazon Kindle Program” aims “to encourage students to work with documents online rather than rely on printing.” The University News reports that the initiative is funded under the auspices of the University’s Sustainability Plan.

The project basically looks like this:

Under the pilot, the reading materials for three courses due to start in the autumn will be loaded on Kindle DX devices. Participating students and faculty members in the selected courses will receive a free DX that they will be allowed to keep.

It’s a noble and ambitious move, sure, and apparently not all that expensive (at an actually reasonable $30,000 price tag for the University and no fee for participating students), but come on, this thing is going to fall flat on its face.

Reasons why after the jump.

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(image source: blogs.law.harvard.edu)

(image source: blogs.law.harvard.edu)

You might not have to make your way to Labyrinth to pick up your 30 pounds of textbooks next semester.

Princeton is joining the likes of Yale, Oxford and Berkeley in publishing its textbooks on Kindle, which weighs a hefty… 10.2 ounces.

Meanwhile, Engadget has acquired leaks of the new Kindle, which has a larger page display and an annotation feature. The new Kindle, which may be Amazon’s attempt to make its product more attractive to a younger generation (70 percent of Kindle users are over 40), launches tomorrow.

Wired thinks the new Kindle is  going to “clean up in the textbook market.”

Textbook sized pages? Check. Note-adding capabilities? Check. Support for standard e-documents (PDF)? Check, check, check.

But how can we get them FOR FREE?

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