Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, August 22, 2021

school's in
At the risk of enabling in-classroom distraction, colleges and universities are supplying incoming students with iPod Touches and/or iPhones for use as wi-fi learning tools.

This isn’t too surprising, as the higher-ed institutions have been enamored with Apple’s shiny pods for years: The pre-wireless iteration of the iPod was doled out at Duke University and elsewhere to provide audio instruction.

I do question why iPhones are even in the picture, though:

At each college, the students who choose to get an iPhone must pay for mobile phone service. Those service contracts include unlimited data use. Both the iPhones and the iPod Touch devices can connect to the Internet through campus wireless networks. With the iPhone, those networks may provide faster connections and longer battery life than AT&T’s data network. Many cellphones allow users to surf the Web, but only some newer ones have Wi-Fi capability.

Why saddle students who assuredly already have a cellphone with another phone plan, just to get a mobile device that can access the campus’ already-present wi-fi cloud? This is a situation where the iTouch is an ideal device: It’ll always have a strong connection to the Web — particularly in a classroom — and therefore no need for a built-in 3G or Edge signal. The only other thing missing would be a camera, which would be unnecessary in this setting. It makes no sense at all for the school to invest in iPhones when the iPod Touch will do the job.

On Apple’s part, while there’s probably more money to be make in snagging college iPhone customers, they can really position the iTouch as a learning tool. It is indeed a more preferable alternative, for both students and professors, to lugging a full-sized notebook computer around.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/22/2008 03:11:31 PM
Category: College Years, Wi-Fi, iPod
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I really hate to invoke the over-used phrase “only in New York”, but, well, where else could you make a living from being a professional line-sitter?

[William] Conklin, 32, has stood in line for free movie passes, a Gene Simmons book signing, and the first and second comings of the iPhone. Lately, he’s made a tidy sum off people too impatient or too busy to wait in line for free tickets to “Hair” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

For $150, Mr. Conklin’s ad on Craig’s List promises, he will deliver two tickets at about 1:30 p.m. on the day of the show (the first 650 or so people in line outside the theater get up to two tickets each at 1 p.m.) Some days, Mr. Conklin gets so many requests that he has to turn people away, even though he subcontracts to other line-sitters. “The weekends are insane,” he said…

His business has not slowed down too much, since he also hires others to stand in line for him, splitting the $150 fee. He can handle perhaps a half-dozen clients a day.

Lots of hustle, obviously, and no guarantee of a steady income. Still, if your situation cleaves to it, there are worse occupations.

I was supposed to get in on a ticket for Public Theater’s production of “Hair” one of these weekends, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Maybe we should have engaged Conklin’s squat-a-spot services.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/22/2008 12:42:05 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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NYT’s Stephen Holden presents his list of the ten best artsy-yet-fartsy flicks vying for market- and mindshare with this summer’s blockbusters.

And yes, I mark myself as an arthouse goon (again) by confirming that I’ve seen four of them already: Frozen River, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (about which I’m so in accord with Holden’s dislike of the “pompous male narrator” that I went off on it at length), Days and Clouds, and just yesterday, Elegy. Furthermore, I’ve been meaning to catch a fifth one, A Girl Cut in Two, and probably will do so next week.

The rest of the list? I had the opportunity and took a pass on all of them, for various reasons (mainly lack of time). No need to OD on the avant-garde.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/22/2008 12:04:05 PM
Category: Movies, New Yorkin'
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