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New England Prep School Library Goes Entirely Digital 168

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the hope-they-have-kindles-for-checkout dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention that Cushing Academy has decided to leap into the future by getting rid of all the books in their library and going completely digital. Instead of dusty stacks, the library is spending close to half a million dollars to install all the hallmarks of a digital learning center. Flat screen TVs, "laptop friendly carrels," and a coffee shop are just the first step in building an area that allows students access to millions of books as opposed to several thousand. Of course, not everyone is completely sold on this move: "[Keith Michael Fiels, executive director of the American Library Association] said the move raises at least two concerns: Many of the books on electronic readers and the Internet aren't free and it may become more difficult for students to happen on books with the serendipity made possible by physical browsing. There's also the question of the durability of electronic readers. 'Unless every student has a Kindle and an unlimited budget, I don't see how that need is going to be met,' Fiels said. 'Books are not a waste of space, and they won't be until a digital book can tolerate as much sand, survive a coffee spill, and have unlimited power. When that happens, there will be next to no difference between that and a book.'"

Comment: Re:Sold to MTV (Score 1) 177

by TenBrothers (#29315947) Attached to: The Design Failures That Led To <em>Rock Band</em>
That's odd. I remember an MTV with not enough stuff to show, so they had to throw ANYTHING up there. Like Grateful Dead concerts from the early 70s on Saturday nights, and the usual "smash or trash" with the VJ asking people to vote, just like on a commercial radio station! Groundbreaking! And let's not forget the various bits of weird animation they had to show in between the videos because they just didn't have anything to show. Sound familiar? 95% stuff you didn't want to see, and at best some music. People's memories of the "early days" of MTV is so much rosier than it really was.

Comment: Re:How do you define evil? (Score 1) 527

by TenBrothers (#29070625) Attached to: Team Aims To Create Pure Evil AI
It's not "all" they have to be. It is merely one moral position they have to maintain. The problem is in the intelligent position maintaining that state while making other separate moral decisions. For something to be pure evil, they must be able to differentiate all forms of good and evil and prefer to choose those which are evil. So while you can claim "blah blah muslim terrorist" you have to realize that all muslim terrorists in your limp-wristed example will necessarily make at least one choice in a certain situation which you will define as good. A truly evil AI must, by definition, make a choice which would be ALWAYS considered evil.

Comment: Former Student (Score 3, Interesting) 527

by TenBrothers (#29070569) Attached to: Team Aims To Create Pure Evil AI
I was a student of Dr. Bringsjord's as he developed this program. Dr Bringsjord has two working definitions differentiating good and evil. He has his academic definitions, and then he has what I called his "cocktail party" definitions, which are supposed to be used to describe what he's doing without prompting further inquiry, or at least inquiry that is not in-depth. The definition he's offering here is much closer to his usual "cocktail party" definition differentiating "good" and "evil" (as you can see from the use of the phrase "good thing" to define the relativistic definition of "evil." I only mention this because since nobody here is getting the honest academic "full-definition" insight into what the decision making process is between state A.good and state B.evil, then conjecture on just what the hell is going on is going to be fruitless. ...he says, writing that as if he's never read slashdot threads.

Comment: Re:They are not "Comics" they are "Graphic Novels" (Score 1) 387

by TenBrothers (#28128591) Attached to: How Comic Fans & Shops Are Stereotyped
The problem with labeling such as "graphic novels" is that you force all objects with that structure to be novels, and all objects with the former structure (i.e. story-arc over multiple works) to be books. Compare works of literature: With this consideration, Harry Potter is no longer 7 works, it's one series of "word books." The Lord of the Rings Series is a series of "word books." And "Goodnight moon" becomes a "childrens' novel." Claiming "graphic novel" as a difference you are necessarily taking umbrage at "comic book" as somehow being a lesser work. Personally, I say they are all comic books. More than one person works on them. Novels are done by one person.

Comment: Re:Wait...what? (Score 1) 437

by TenBrothers (#27507769) Attached to: Star Trek Premiere Gets Standing Ovation, Surprise Showing In Austin
So there's sci-fi, and then there's REAL sci-fi. Your descriptions necessarily entails any science fiction becoming popular makes it lose its REAL sci-fi status. Whatever that is. This is akin to saying a band "sells out" when they actually get popular, or the fans who don't want a particular band to be popular because they knew about them first. Science fiction is a genre. That's all it is. There is no membership. The so-called fans do not determine what is "real" sci-fi and what isn't anymore than hipster indie-cred band followers determine what "real" music is or is not.

Comment: Re:Apple = Gap, Microsoft = WalMart (Score 1) 535

by TenBrothers (#26846369) Attached to: Microsoft To Open Retail Stores
Not only did they just get a guy from Wal-Mart, they got THE guy who changed Wal-Mart from the way it was when Sam Walton ran it. Sam ran a "Sell it cheap, yes, but let's source American as much as possible / Loyal customers are worth more than bargain hunters" model. I remember a few instances where Sam bought into factories so that they could keep buying from American production (even if some were foreign-based companies, the production was still in the USA). David Porter is responsible for everything negative you think of when you think of Wal-Mart. Low price first, customer service costs money, fuck loyalty, stockholders not customers, etc.

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