There will be a stunning partial solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20th. The moon will begin shrouding the sun at 5:27 p.m. (PST) and will cover 83 percent of the sun’s surface at 6:40 p.m. The eclipse will take place while the sun is sinking toward the horizon, out over the ocean. It’ll be easy to see, if skies are clear.
Do not — repeat, do not — look at the eclipse with your naked eye or with materials that don’t protect your vision from UV and infrared radiation. You risk permanent and serious damage to your vision if you don’t use the proper safety equipment to view a solar eclipse, and the damage can occur within seconds.
via Gary Robbins
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble have teamed up to compete against Apple and Amazon in the eBooks business. The new partnership sees Microsoft investing $300 million in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary.
The $300 million investment in the Nook subsidiary of Barnes & Noble gives Microsoft about 17.6 percent ownership of this business unit. That values this part of the business at about $1.7 billion. Before the markets opened this morning, the Nook business was valued about $900 million more than Barnes & Noble itself.
In addition, Microsoft is paying another $305 million to get Nook on Windows 8 with some content:
Microsoft will be paying the Barnes & Noble subsidiary $180 million for revenue sharing on the Nook app that B&N will make for the Windows 8 platform. This is nonrefundable, the filing notes. Microsoft is also paying $125 million (equal to $25 million over five years) “for purposes of assisting NewCo in acquiring local digital reading content and technology development.” This, too, looks to be nonrefundable.
To put that in perspective, in the last quarter Barnes and Noble made $52 million in profit (on $2.4 billion in sales), and Amazon pulled in $130 million in profit (on $13 billion in sales). Clearly, Amazon has a big edge over B&N.
But, when you look at Microsoft’s earnings for the last quarter, $5.1 billion in profit (on $17 billion in sales), it looks like the big dog just entered the game. But, don’t forget that Apple is on the scene as well.
Clearly, the e-reader battle is just heating up and everyone wants a piece.
On a side note, Target just announced they are pulling all Kindle’s from their stores due to ‘showrooming.’ The practice of visiting Target to physically touch a product, so you can then buy it on Amazon.
28% of Americans age 18 and older own at least one specialized device for e-book reading – either a tablet or an e-book reader.
The holiday season saw a huge boost in ownership for both e-readers and tablets. Both jumped 9%, meaning that nearly one in ten Americans received a device over the holidays.
The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.
78% of those ages 16 and older say they read a book in the past 12 months.
Overall, those who reported reading the most books in the past year include: women compared with men; whites compared with minorities; well-educated Americans compared with less-educated Americans; and those age 65 and older compared with younger age groups.
30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now.
The longer people have owned an e-book reader or tablet, the more likely they are to say they are reading more.
The prevalence of e-book reading is markedly growing, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers.
In our December 2011 survey, we found that 72% of American adults had read a printed book and 11% listened to an audiobook in the previous year, compared with the 17% of adults who had read an e-book.
There are four times more people reading e-books on a typical day now than was the case less than two years ago.
10x more stats at – The rise of e-reading, Pew Internet
And, a fun ending:
Why people like to read.
From a report by the FCC that included the technology companies and textbook publishers. More details at AllThingsD
After one year, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has 31,000 apps:
March 15, 2012 – Amazon Appstore for Android, which helped lay the foundation for a big Kindle Fire launch, is celebrating its one-year anniversary and has now eclipsed 31,000 apps, up from 4,000 at launch. That’s a strong first year for an app store that began as an alternative to the Android Market and then became the primary channel for Kindle Fire users to get their apps.
via Giga Om
And, after one year, Apple’s iPad had 75,000 apps:
April 3, 2011 – One year exactly after its 2010 release, the iPad app store held 75,000 apps. Three months later, another 25,000 have been added for a total surpassing 100,000, according to MacStories. Can that pace continue? It’s hard to believe that it will, but the number of apps added to the App Store for the iPhone hasn’t slowed at all, recently surpassing the 500,000 mark.
via Information Week
To fire a teacher you need documentation. This is a teaching phrase that refers to a specific process that explains why a teacher is bad.
To create your own documentation you need a notebook of paper or something similar (3-ring binder). Give it a title and all that, then record the first incident of bad teaching.
Include the date and a description of the incident, include all those involved. It doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences.
Continue recording these incidents over a few months, maybe even ask others to help you.
If this seems like a lot of work you can ask a principal or school administrator to do it for you. They should already have a file on every teacher and be able to follow the district policy for documentation.
You may run into some difficulty here if you sound more like a bad parent than a good one. Remember that principal and administrators time is overwhelmingly spent on problem students. These are often nasty situations involving divorce, social services, and, of course, bad grades, bad behavior, and detention.
You have to stand apart from that and saying something like “last year we never had a problem” doesn’t work. New skills are required in each grade level and, all too often, students struggle in a higher grade and parents blame teachers. As if fractions weren’t hard enough, students have parents who don’t help them with fractions and instead blame teachers.