Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MediaWeek (V7, N45): End of Music Compilations? How Students Perform, Intel buys Kno, 60mins Debacle + more

Now that's what I call pure proft.  There's still life in compliations: in a word curation.  (NewStatesman)
The brand has also taken the digital landscape head on and embraced the new realms of digital music platforms with a Now Spotify Channel, Now You Tube Channel and a Now iPhone app. In a new era where people have switched from CD to MP3 and digital downloads, where purchasing single tunes from albums is commonplace and economically sensible, you would think that there is no place for a compilation CD anymore? But no!  Just when you thought that this wounded animal was in its death throes it just plain refuses to die! It turns out that sales of compilation albums are on the increase as they’re cheaper than buying tracks individually. According to Jeff Moskow, Head of A&R for Now, only 15 per cent of Now’ssales are digital which means 85 per cent still come from traditional CD sales. Soundscan, which is one of the most widely used music sales tracking systems, show that digital sales in 2011 were larger than physical sales for the first time, however CDs still sell well in large chain stores and supermarkets – perhaps where Now’s target audiences regularly congregate. In its early days Now’s target audience was predominantly female until hip-hop started entering the compilations mix and now the gender split is pretty equal. What the Now brand has done is recognise the popularity of particular genres or trends in popular music (culture) amongst audiences and featured those songs and artists on their compilations. As Moskow says “electronic dance music is one of the biggest genres, and it’s growing, so that sound is reflected in our brand and songs.” “We’re not critiquing music, just curating it,” says Moskow, who has personally selected the songs on every album since Now 3. “We really don’t care what it sounds like.”
Using actual student performance data to learn what represents effective education.  What a concept (IHed):
The Science of Learning Center, known as LearnLab, has already collected more than 500,000 hours’ worth of student data since it initially received funding from the National Science Foundation about nine years ago, its director Ken Koedinger said. That number translates to about 200 million times when students of a variety of age groups and subject areas have clicked on a graph, typed an equation or solved a puzzle.  The center collects studies conducted on data gathered from technology-enhanced courses in algebra, chemistry, Chinese, English as a second language, French, geometry and physics in an open wiki.  One such study showed that students performed better in algebra if asked to explain what they learned in their own words, for example. In another study, physics students who took time answering reflection questions performed better on tests than their peers.
Intel has purchased software and (once, for a while) hardware manufacturer Kno (Intel) and Techcrunch:
Today, I’m excited to announce the newest resource in the Intel Education offering. Intel has acquired Kno, a leading education-software company whose guiding mission is to change the way students learn. Much like Intel, Kno believes engagement is key to student success.  The acquisition of Kno boosts Intel’s global digital content library to more than 225,000 higher education and K-12 titles through existing partnerships with 75 educational publishers. Even more, the Kno platform provides administrators and teachers with the tools they need to easily assign, manage and monitor their digital learning content and assessments.  We’re looking forward to combining our expertise with Kno’s rich content so that together, we can help teachers create classroom environments and personalized learning experiences that lead to student success. Check out the Intel Education newsroom for ongoing updates from Intel.
In a deal that puts that one in context, Intel announced the release of an education market focused tablet computer (History repeating itself?):
Intel introduced an education-focused tablet reference design, featuring an Intel® Atom™ processor and the Android* operating system code-named Ice Cream Sandwich*. The Intel Education tablet is specifically for education, featuring student-friendly designs that empower students to create compelling content. Features including front- and rear-facing cameras, a stylus, integrated speakers and microphones bring interactive, multimedia content into learning.

The tablet is fully equipped with Intel Education Software, a comprehensive suite of applications including an e-Reader, science exploration and data analysis  application and painting tools. It also has management software that provides teachers and administrators with tools to protect students and manage technology.

The [10inch] tablets are designed to enable interactive, collaborative learning to prepare students for success in school and beyond. These reference designs align with the Intel Education platform, which assists teachers and students in technology-enhanced learning.
Two weeks ago 60mins broadcast a riveting story on the Benghazi terror attack that resulted in the death of a US Ambassador.  Turns out it was untrue and the apology as a flacid and their fact checking. (NewYorker)
“Correction,” the word “60 Minutes” used, is a tricky one in this context. The program did not correct its report, in the sense of putting out an accurate version. The entire segment was pulled from its Web site. If the mistake was putting Davies on air, one might, in theory, imagine a correct version in which his interview is simply excised; that’s impossible here, though. There is no report without Davies. He is either speaking or providing the point of view for more than eight of its fifteen and a half minutes; we rely on him not only for the sight of Ambassador Chris Stevens’s body but for a phone conversation the two supposedly had a few hours before Stevens died—a particularly low form of fabrication, if that’s what it is—as well as calls he says he had with Sean Smith, another diplomat who was killed; Libyan guards; and another unnamed American at the compound. (“I said, ‘Well, just keep fighting. I’m on my way.’ ”) And he provides Logan with her guiding logic: “The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion, and intense partisanship,” Logan says.
And as others have noted, 60mins never mentioned in the initial broadcast that the fantasist's book was being published by CBS's Simon & Schuster.  The book is being pulped.  (Politico)

From twitter this week:
David Suchet: Poirot and me
BBC's loss-making Lonely Planet deal under fire  
Number of publishers forced out of business shows sharp increase - 

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