Readings and Novelties

What I’m Reading. A fascinating, in depth article about my favorite music download site, eMusic.com:

The Holy Grail of online music sales is the ability to offer iPod-compatible tracks. Like the quest for the mythical cup itself, the search for iPod compatibility has been largely fruitless for Apple’s competitors, whose DRM schemes are incompatible with the iconic music player. For a music store that wants to succeed, reaching the iPod audience is all but a necessity in the US market, where Apple products account for 78 percent of the total players sold. Perhaps that’s why eMusic CEO David Pakman sounds downright gleeful when he points out that “there’s only two companies in the world that can sell to them-Apple and eMusic.”

Read on ……Read the full article

What I’m Reading. Some interesting thoughts on American education (or the decline and fall of same) by blogger Bob Kronish [link]

This opening anecdote/joke on the evolution of teaching math since 1950 will give you a sense of his point of view:

Here is how it progresses: Teaching math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5th of the price. What is his profit? Teaching math in 1960: a logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. What is his profit? Teaching math in 1970: a logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? Teaching math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment-underline the number 20. Teaching math in 1990: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation or our woodlands.

Read the full article