Will we like Newsweek’s digital makeover?

The digitalization of Newsweek is another demonstration of the change and, for some, the demise of print publication. Although I shouldn’t be, I’m always a little surprised when another newspaper or magazine either closes its doors, or goes digital. I guess it’s because I grew up with all the print publications, and had them delivered to my door, as did my parents.

Although I wasn’t a frequent Newsweek reader, I would purchase it on occasion particularly if it was an interesting issue. From the cover to the photos inside, Newsweek was a beautifully produced magazine. The change in the way they do business is just another example of the evolving face of print publishing. All publishing for that matter.

I remember when the Newark Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, downsized its operations because of declining circulation, and decreased their newsroom staff by 40 percent by offering the employees a buyout.

Many of the large papers such as the New York Times and Wall St. Journal have undergone the same scenario. Both publications, now offer electronic subscriptions, for the reader who prefers their news electronically. However, I don’t think they’ll see the numbers they once did in their heyday. After all, as the article “Decline of an industry” states, “the news is free.”

Since I look for story ideas everywhere–especially the news–I subscribe to USA Today, but electronically. It’s convenient getting the issues on my Nook or iPad, and I’ll always have it in my story library.

I admit, it’s changed the way I read the paper.  How about you? Has the change in print publications changed the way you get your news?

The Decline of an industry is definitely worth reading. I hope you find it interesting.

Happy Monday!


Microsoft “Surfaces” with a new tablet and I’m just looking


We made it to another Friday, just in time for the mounting technology frenzy. I admit I’m a technophile and usually have to have the latest and greatest, especially if it makes my writing life easier. Yet for some reason, I’m not feeling the pressure to buy.
(Woo Hoo! I’m cured!)

(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)
Microsoft’s Surface tablet is hitting the scene on Oct. 26, and while it looks really slick, I’m not clamoring to buy one. I STILL love my IPad.

HOWEVER …I am checking out the features!

The Surface will run on two different platforms, Windows RT and Windows Pro. It seems light enough to carry around, just like the iPad. I’m going to assume it has all the apps for standard Microsoft features such as Word etc. What’s the point if you can’t write on the go?

The pricing is about the same: the $499 32GB version without a Touch Cover. But the $599 32GB and $699 64GB models, both have the Touch Cover included. You if buy the $499 edition, it doesn’t come with the Touch Cover so you have to spend an extra $120 for one.
(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)
The Type Cover keyboard (which is nice protection for sticky fingers and dust) that Microsoft offers would cost an extra $130. In the long run, it’s probably worth it to buy at least the 32GB, so you can get the Touch Cover. You’re doing to spend extra for the Cover anyway.

CNET reports on its functionality and some of the highlights they’ve tested. Here’s a rundown of the official specs that they provide:

Surface (Windows RT) tablet key specs
• Windows RT operating system
• Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU
• 9.3mm thick
• 676 grams/23.85 ounces
• 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display
• 31.5 watt hour battery
• Ports: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro-HD video, 2×2 MIMO antennas
• Storage options: 32GB and 64GB for Windows RT
• Front- and rear-facing “HD” cameras

Surface (Windows Pro) tablet key specs
• Windows 8 operating system
• Intel third-generation Core i CPU
• 13.5mm thick
• 903 grams/31.85 ounces
• 10.6-inch ClearType “Full HD” Display
• 42 watt hour battery
• Ports: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort video
• Storage options: 64GB and 128GB
• Front- and rear-facing “HD” cameras

Microsoft is allowing people to reserve before the Oct. 26 release, which is cool. Building momentum always helps make money. From what I can see, it’s a thin tablet with a quite a bit to offer. I like the kickstand. Very slick.

(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

If you’re in the market for a tablet, but don’t know where to start, CNET offers a comparison of prices and specs to get you going, in addition to their favorite picks. Although I’m not buying, I will go take a look in person, probably over the weekend with my grandson. You know …just because.

Today’s my grandson birthday. He’s four. And what kid wouldn’t like to go scope out the new Microsoft toy with his grandmother on their birthday weekend? 🙂 (Fun, fun!)

Hey, he loves me. Therefore, he puts up with me!

Have a great weekend! See you Monday.

Why do adults like Angry Birds?

I’m not sure, but since I recently started playing I had to stop and ponder my growing addiction.

Let me start from the beginning. My precious 3-year old grandson, (yes, he’s three) was too busy to come to the phone and say hello to me. Since I don’t see him every day, I look forward to our daily chats.

“How’s my boy?”
“Ah right …”
“Are you going to school today?”
“Yes, Mommy …tyteydhq …htyouya … dhttye …the train.”
“Oh, the train? That’s nice! Well, Nana wants you to have fun at school today, okay?”
“Okay … Here Mommy: phone.”

I know, what you’re thinking. Deep. That’s why I hate to miss a conversation!

Anyway, one day he didn’t want to take the phone. My daughter said he was too busy. What could a 3-year old possibly do that was too busy to talk to his grandmother? Did he suddenly get a job? If that’s the case, I’ll retire.

Then my daughter told me he was playing Angry Birds. A what??

I love my grandson beyond reason, but there was NO way I was going to be bested by a video game and not know what it is. (I consider myself an intermediate gamer. I love The Sims, any game by Rockstar—Red, Dead Redemption is my favorite) So, I went online (Google, of course) and I found everything I wanted to know about Angry Birds.

Since I had my NOOK, (My iPad hadn’t come home just then) I downloaded the app and began playing like a fiend. Seeing the blue birds burst into three and attack the pigs who stole their eggs, is my big move. I also enjoy seeing the black bird explode, like a time bomb. Exciting. The yellow bird’s speed when you tap his little furry body is also quite exhilarating to watch.

So, after a week of practice, I tell my grandson, “Guess what? Nana, was playing Angry Birds, like you.”
“Angry Birds,” he asked. The excitement in his voice warmed my heart. I was so overjoyed to be sharing this moment with him.

That was the end of the conversation.

About two hours later, my doorbell rings. It’s my daughter and yes, my grandson! I’m so happy to see him. It’s rare that they visit on a weeknight. But my daughter had to run an errand and they stopped by on the way back home. I didn’t care. They were there!

“How’s my big boy?”
“Nana Angry Birds. Play Angry Birds.”

No, that was not an invitation for me to play with him, or to show him how much I’ve learned. But for him to have my NOOK so HE could play.

Anyway, thanks to my grandson, I’m now addicted. Oh, and I just downloaded Angry Birds Seasons on my iPad! You know, just in case.

I’m in love …with my iPad.

Curse or blessing, but one thing I know about myself is that once I get something in my head, I have to it.

A few months ago, I made up my mind to purchase an iPad. After doing my research and comparison shopping, (calling every Apple store and Best Buy in my area,) I waited impatiently for someone to get the iPad I wanted, in stock. Best Buy won out.

The next day, I strolled in knowing exactly what I wanted, and told the salesperson, “I’d like to buy an iPad. But I’m virgin, so be gentle with me.”

After a big grin and a nervous laugh, (I like when that happens) he proceeded to tell me all the good things about the iPad. (I listened, totally interested. But inwardly, I screamed for him to hurry up and get my iPad from the stock room.)

As we talked, he realized that he had little problem reeling me into the sale, (I told you, I KNEW I wanted the iPad), and said, “Once you get an iPad, you’ll never want to go back to a PC.” That must be the standard line from Apple because I heard it on several occasions.

In addition to my now confident Best Buy salesperson, who by this time is pumping his fist in the air because he snagged his first sale of the day, there was even an “Apple” guy on hand to show me quick tips, the camera feature and of course, inform me that Apple holds regular classes for all their products.

By this time, I’m totally excited. And after paying for my new toy, I strolled back out the store, grinning like a high school girl who was just kissed by the guy every other girl wanted.

I quickly set up my password, download all the apps possible and take pictures of my dog from every possible angle. (He wasn’t as excited about the iPad.)

Now, after the novelty of having my new gadget, I’m still in love with it. I have to admit, having a Nook tablet prior to getting the iPad really helped me navigate. But the biggest thing I love is the “Office” application. I can write anywhere! It’s so nice to have, when you’re waiting in the doctor’s office or doing some other mundane thing. After all, our WIPs shouldn’t have to wait until we get home!

So, as my love affair with my iPad deepens, I’m seriously thinking about biting off another piece of the apple with the phone. This stuff can be addictive if I’m not careful. 😉