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Kindles and Nooks

Does anybody actually use Kindles or Nooks any longer?

There was a brief period, a while back, when a device dedicated to the storage and reading of eBooks seemed a coming thing. Amazon sold Kindles and Barnes & Noble stepped up to the same plate with Nooks. (And, true confession, I bought a Nook, which is stored away somewhere because I don't like throwing things away.)

But laptops and tablets are cheap and small. One can use them for reading eBooks and for a lot more as well. There doesn't seem to be a market niche for dedicated eReader devices.

My impression is that the market for such things has faded away. I have done no research on the subject at all, though. Readers should feel free to set me straight on this.
Recent posts

Quantum Entanglement and Communication

There has been a fair amount of speculation about how the phenomenon of quantum entanglement could produce faster-than-light communication. This means, within the context of the physics of relativity, that a message recipient an appropriate distance away (say, on earth's moon base) could learn of events on earth before they happen.

One common example of quantum entanglement involves socks. A physicist named Reinhold Bertlmann (who retired in 2010) was notorious among his colleagues at the University of Vienna for always wearing different colored socks. So if you observed only his left ankle, you could say something with certainty about the sock on the right ankle. If the left sock was pink, the right sock was NOT pink.

In 1981, J.S. Bell actually wrote an article for a serious peer-reviewed journal of physics with that phenomenon in the title, "Bertlmann's Socks and the Nature of Reality."

If we imagine that the pair of socks becomes separated, and the right sock en…

Four Sons, One Daughter

The James household of the 1850s consisted of a patriarch and matriarch, four sons, and one daughter.  Let's run through the scorecard this morning.

The patriarch was Henry James Sr., a graduate from Union College, a drop-out from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a participant at what seemed an earth-shaking movement at the time, but what has been nearly forgotten since -- Swedenborgian mysticism.

The matriarch was Mary Robertson James, nee Walsh, Irish on her father's side, Scottish on her mother's, introduced to her future husband by her brother, when both of the young men were students together at Princeton. In long talks Henry persuaded her first that the Bible doesn't require the office of Minister (he was talking himself into leaving the seminary), and then that she should marry him -- in a civil ceremony, of course. (The officiant at the wedding was the Mayor of NYC himself, Isaac Varian.) Their oldest child was William James, who of course is the inspiratio…

The Twin Paradox Again

It has been more than five years since I posted here about the "twin paradox," an issue raised by relativity physics.

I'll link you to that discussion:

If you follow that URL, you will find that I have only in recent days received my first comment on that post. I find this in itself fascinating. It speaks to the whole internet-postings-are-forever thing. Once you put something out, you never know when somebody who might comment interestingly about the subject will happen across it.

Anyway, my correspondent gives no name for himself beyond "The Physics Guy." He is apparently using my humble observations to plug his own new blog, Physics Talk. The first three entries of "Physics Talk" are now up, and the third of them (posted December 30, 2018) deals with the twins.

I'm not overly impressed. His discussion of this paradox doesn't say anything my own discussion in 2013 didn't say b…

Bilateral Trade Deficits

Here’s a key point about trade. A bilateral trade deficit is NEVER by itself a policy issue. Consider a microeconomic parallel. I have a severe bilateral trade deficit with my barber. I’m a content provider for websites and my barber doesn’t even HAVE a website. He has no need for my services at all. But I regularly need my hair cut. So the trade between us is one way. I pay him cash, he provides a service to me. Is this alarming? No. Why not? First, because I do need the hair cuts and my barber does a good job of providing them. Second, because the price he charges is fair. If it weren’t fair, there would be other barbers in the world to whom I could turn. Third, because trying to cut my own hair would be an unproductive waste of my time — time better spent preparing content for websites. Likewise, there is nothing alarming if the US sells little to the People's Republic of China, and China sells a lot of stuff to us.  In that case, China is the barber.  Now, if I have a trade d…