Briefly Noted for October 29, 2009

Prep School Library Drops Books in Favor of KindlesCushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts (not far from where I grew up) is in the process of deaccessioning the books in its library in favor of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. According to USA Today (hat tip @BryanAlexander), instead of checking out books, from now on Cushing’s students will check out Kindles, pre-loaded with the books they require. Interesting, but I can’t help thinking it’d make more sense to give each kid a Sony Reader or Barnes & Noble Nook and have them download the books they need themselves. Many—if not most—of the book high schoolers need are in the public domain and available on the Sony and B&N devices as free EPUBs from Google Books.

Ubuntu 9.10 — The latest release of the Ubuntu Linux distribution (Version 9.10 “Karmic Koala”) is now available for download. Among the new goodies: 2 GB of free online file storage for syncing through Ubuntu One. I know what I’m doing this weekend.

Verizon Droid, Android 2.0, and Why Early Adopters May Get Burned — Anyone who has read this blog or listened to the Digital Campus podcast knows that I’m an Android fan and optimist. I know I should be cheering the release of the Motorola Droid for Verizon, which—with the help of Android 2.0—looks like it’ll give the iPhone a run for its money. Unfortunately, it looks like the original Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, of which I am a proud (if not always 100% satisfied) owner, may not be able to run the 2.0 version of Android. I understand the importance of improving the Android experience to attract converts, but early adopters should see those improvements as well as the newcomers. Burning your loyal user base doesn’t seem good business. Then again, maybe the Android folks know that many of us will just suck up the extra couple hundred bucks to break our contracts to get our hands on the slick new hardware.

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