Barnes and Noble attempts a Leapfrog

On November 19th, Barnes and Noble is slated to release an answer to a question that Amazon and other haven’t asked yet. The NOOKcolor is their new attempt to breach the e-reader market with something new, a tablet computer running Google’s Android operating system. The system will run for $249 and will be marketed beside the original Barnes and Noble NOOK line.

When the first NOOK was announced a year ago, it differentiated itself from its competition with a two-screen design, complete with the usual eInk display and a navigation screen, powered by Google’s Android operating system. That model will be sticking around a little while longer, as a lower cost option, starting at $149 with a Wifi-only option, beside a $199 3G+Wifi model. The original NOOK is also slated to gain additions in November, with a firmware update that the company calls major” with updates to page-turn speeds and many other extras to bring it inline with the Kindle line, as it stands today.

The NOOKcolor, on the other hand, is a tablet computer and e-reader. Announced today, Barnes and Noble believes that they have created a new product category with this Wifi-only tablet, since Amazon has yet to come out with a version of the Kindle with touch, let alone a color screen. As with the Kindle, original NOOK, and other e-readers to date, the NOOKcolor will be expected to fulfill reading, something that will have to be tested when functional units are available in store. However, while the other mentioned e-readers measure their battery life in weeks or more, the NOOKcolor will only be able to measure it in hours (eight to be exact). While this battery rating is expected of computers, it has not be the case with e-readers to date, which may cause some apprehension among the target e-reader audience.

Meanwhile, the NOOKcolor might be a good option for those looking for a low cost tablet. If Barnes and Noble believes that they are not going up against other Android tablets and the iPad, they are sorely mistaken. As such, the price they have chosen is aggressive enough that this detail might not matter in the long term for them. While they have made it abundantly clear that they are not marketing the NOOKcolor as an Android Tablet, the technology community will think nothing different. Barnes and Noble is even differentiating itself from other tablets by not buying into Android’s App Market, but instead creating its own store and developer network with NOOKdeveloper.

At this point, the NOOK has been able to give Barnes and Noble a foothold into the e-reader market, in particular because the NOOK, aside from the Amazon Kindle, is one of the more noteworthy readers in the mind of the general consumer. The NOOKcolor will only work to solidify that foothold, but the question remains will it be enough to pull Barnes and Noble out of the economic troubles it has been sinking into of late. Only time will tell how much the NOOK and NOOKcolor mean to Barnes and Noble’s endgame.


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.