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Dennis Baron's go-to site for language and technology in the news
Results for "January, 2010"

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  • Is 2010 the new 1984? Amazon can cut off your access to books any time it wants

    Over the weekend the internet was abuzz with news that Amazon had stopped selling books published by Macmillan. By Sunday evening Macmillan titles were back on Amazon's virtual shelves, but the dispute between the world's largest bookseller and a major publisher was another reminder that Amazon can cut off your access to books any time it wants.

  • Will the iPad change your life?

    Launching Apple's long-awaited iPad, Steve Jobs promised that his "magical" device will not just let us surf the web, play games, videos, and tunes, and check our email, it will also do for reading what the iPod did for listening to music. Like writing, and the printing press, and the personal computer, it will change our lives.

  • Webster's banned for too much sex

    Why ban a word when you can ban the whole dictionary? That's the attitude of one southern California school district, which pulled Merriam-Webster's "Collegiate Dictionary" from school shelves after a parent complained that its definition of "oral sex" was too explicit.

  • Too old to multitask? The author texting while writing on a laptop and listening to tunes

    Multitasking: learning to teach and text at the same time

    Most of my students belong to the digital generation, so they consider themselves proficient multitaskers. They take notes in class, participate in discussion, text on their cell phones, and surf on their laptops, not sequentially but all at once. True, they're not listening to their iPods in class, and they may find that inconvenient, since they like a soundtrack accompanying them as they go through life. But they're taking advantage of every other technology they can cram into their backpacks. They claim it helps them learn, even if their parents and teachers are not convinced.

  • Britain's "Communication Champion": Parents don't have time, so kids don't talk

    Jean Gross, Britain's first Communication Champion, has warned that a significant number of British children don't learn to talk because their parents are so busy working that they don't have time to talk to them.