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Breaking up is hard to do. But for AT&T and Apple, parting ways may be a prospect daunting enough to keep them together.

That may be the cold reality behind negotiations with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) over the future of AT&T’s (NYSE: T) position as the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. According to a report in the The Wall Street Journal, the carrier is aiming to lock up exclusive rights to the iconic smartphone through 2011.

But ultimately, neither party has many alternatives, industry observer say.

The two companies have worked together since the first iPhone debuted in 2007, and their agreement had been set to expire in 2008. In August, the two firms agreed to extend the exclusivity deal to the end of this year.

Any further extension on AT&T’s exclusive with Apple for the iPhone hinges on a variety of factors. But one analyst says it may come down to the type of networks each carrier uses.

“Where else would Apple go? I don’t think they’d go to Sprint or Verizon, because they’re CDMA versus GSM, which is what AT&T uses,” IDC analyst William Stofega, program manager for mobile device technology and trends, told chúng tôi “The obstacles to switching aren’t insurmountable, but it takes time, it’s a difficult proposition to just switch in a snap.”

“On the other hand, Apple can say, “If we don’t get what we want, we’ll walk away,’ and that’s never good,” he added.

Profits from the iPhone

It makes sense that AT&T would want to keep capitalizing on the money-making iPhone — the iPhone 3G launched in July 2008 and has since netted big gains for the carrier.

AT&T’s fourth-quarter iPhone 3G activations totaled 1.9 million — 40 percent of which were new customers, AT&T said — and the company’s total iPhone activations over the last half of 2008 topped 4.3 million. The company also said in its most recent earnings statement that iPhone users are higher-value — delivering 1.6 times the average revenue per user — and less likely to leave than AT&T’s average wireless customer.

And with Apple rumored to be releasing a new iPhone, which could happen as early as June, it makes sense AT&T would want to lock in its contract until 2011.

But while it may appear Apple is holding all the cards, it may not be prudent for them to switch from AT&T to a carrier using a different network technology, Stofega said.

“I don’t think they [Apple] want to go down that rat hole, especially if they have a new phone coming out this summer,” he said.

Meanwhile, reports circulate based on a China Times story that indicated multiple new versions of the iPhone may be forthcoming — all GSM-compatible.

Beyond the network

In addition to the underlying network, Stofega said other factors to consider on AT&T’s part include how big of a draw the secondary iPhone market will be when compared to other new smartphones rolling out this year, especially the Palm Pre expected out by June.

“There is a cost to taking an iconic device and putting it on the market and supporting it,” Stofega said. “AT&T needs to know, ‘What will the next iteration do for me? Do we have pretty much all the people we’re going to get?’”

“Can they deliver on a new device that’s going to increase market share more than the Palm Pre or a new RIM device?” Stofega added. “From my vantage point, there’s a lot of interest in the Pre — people are saying it’s gong to be an iPhone killer. If Palm gets it right, they may have a serious answer to the iPhone moving forward.”

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75 Years Later, Why Is Goodnight Moon Still Lulling So Many Children To Sleep?

75 Years Later, Why Is Goodnight Moon Still Lulling So Many Children to Sleep? Margaret Wise Brown’s book, as heartwarming and beloved as it is, should be joined by a more diverse collection of children’s books, say BU faculty

Image from Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd; courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books.

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 75 Years Later, Why Is Goodnight Moon Still Lulling So Many Children to Sleep? Margaret Wise Brown’s book, as heartwarming and beloved as it is, should be joined by a more diverse collection of children’s books, say BU faculty

I’m not sure how Goodnight Moon ends. Not because it’s been 30-some-odd years since I’ve read the children’s book (although that doesn’t help), but because almost every time my parents read it to me before bed, I fell asleep before they finished. 

This is not a knock on Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s book, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. If anything, it’s a testament to its power. Goodnight Moon did its job—for millions of parents and children. The bedtime book is still wildly popular. It’s sold more than 40 million copies in the last seven decades. 

“The book is designed to lull children to sleep,” says Laura M. Jiménez, a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development senior lecturer and associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “It’s got that repetition, it has that quietude of language that kids thirst for. It is very unique in the sense that it wasn’t a plot-and-character piece of literature; it was never meant to be that.” 

Published in 1947, Goodnight Moon was a radical departure from other children’s books at the time, says Jiménez, who teaches courses on children’s literature. Rather than retell classic fables that hammered home lessons on morality, Brown focused on the experience of children themselves. She wrote for them, rather than about them. 

“The audience isn’t the adult reading it, it’s literally the child as listener or reader, which is a lot different than a lot of other books,” she says.

Goodnight Moon takes its readers through the bedtime routine of its protagonist, a young rabbit, who says goodnight to the things in its room. An older rabbit, knitting in a rocking chair, is described only as a “quiet old lady,” who remains in the background except to whisper, “Hush.” 

Although it’s written for children, part of what makes Goodnight Moon so enduring is its appeal to parents, says Sheila Cordner (GRS’13), a College of General Studies senior lecturer. To this day, she says, the book is such a popular gift at baby showers and early birthdays because “it does this one deep-dive for kids before bedtime and it does do that so well. 

“It’s soothing and still imaginative,” says Cordner, who studies children’s literature and has written one of her own: Who’s Hiding in This Book? Meet Ten Authors (Pierce Press, 2023). 

Still, the popularity of Goodnight Moon close to a century after it was published gives Jiménez pause. There are other books, she argues, that should sit beside it within a child’s library. 

“As a children’s literature scholar—and I specialize in the representation of marginalized identities—I look at this and see that 75 years later, we’re still in a moment where more picture books represent anthropomorphized animals than racial minorities,” she says. 

In 2023, the most recent year for which complete data were available, 29 percent of children’s books published in the United States featured primary characters who were animals, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library within the University of Wisconsin–Madison that publishes diversity and demographic statistics about children’s books in the United States. The same year, almost 42 percent of books featured a white primary character. Only 12 percent of children’s books published that year featured a Black or African primary character; 9 percent featured Asian or Asian American characters; and 5 percent featured Latinx characters. 

Reading books over and over to children teaches them more than just what’s contained on the pages, she says—it teaches them what to expect in media and what’s worthy of belonging in picture books. These lessons can remain well into adulthood.

Cordner agrees, and says that in her classes about childhood and children’s literature, every student remembers at least one book from their childhood. 

“It’s not about a single book, it’s about a menu,” Jiménez says. “If a kid has a varied menu of literature, it serves them well.”

So, in addition to picking up Goodnight Moon for the children in your life, or as a gift to a new parent, here are a few bedtime stories Jiménez and Cordner recommend. Happy reading, everyone, and “Goodnight noises everywhere.”

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine

Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by Nikki Grimes

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter

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Google Still Doesn’T Want To Sell Smartphones: Here’S Why

Google cannot be this bad at selling phones

They are expensive, especially considering that Google doesn’t need a big profit margin to sustain itself like most Android OEMs. Also, the Pixels’ pricing runs against Google’s mission statement to bring Android to billions of new users in developing countries,

at least philosophically

.

Domestic availability is limited. Looking at the Google Store, many versions are out of stock or shipping with delays of 3-5 weeks. Availability may be better than last year, but that’s a very low bar. Additionally, the Pixel are still only available at Verizon. Surely, Google had the clout to make deals with more carriers if it wanted to?

International availability is very limited. This is a perennial problem with Google products and services. The company seems to think most markets are simply not worth the hassle.

Their hardware barely stands out. There’s no headphone jack (don’t even bring up microSD). There’s no striking hardware feature and the design of the Pixel 2 is dated. Is this the best product Google could come up with?

All of these issues are the result of calculated decisions by Google. You could come up with reasonable explanations for each of them, but it’s hard to believe that Google couldn’t do a better job selling phones.

This is no hobby

If we accept that Google is not grossly incompetent at selling smartphones, the only reasonable explanation remaining is that Google doesn’t want to sell smartphones in high volumes. But why?

Is hardware just a “hobby” for Google? That’s hard to believe. Both Google CEO Sundar Pichai and head of hardware Rick Osterloh have stated the company is serious about hardware, which they hope to turn into a meaningful revenue source within five years. Google made close to $90 billion in revenue in 2024, so when we say meaningful we’re talking about tens of millions of units sold.

Is hardware just a “hobby” for Google? That’s hard to believe.

With friends like these…

Samsung – A hugely resourceful and rich company. It has ample control over the way people experience Android and seems to desire ridding itself of Google’s control.

HUAWEI – Samsung 2.0 in the making.

OPPO and vivo – They’re owned by the same corporation (BBK Electronics) and focused on China and developing markets; these two players care about high volumes only. That means a focus on iPhone-like designs and increasingly extreme beautification modes, rather than AI and tight integration with Google.

Together, Samsung, HUAWEI, and BBK account for almost half of all Android smartphones sold right now. Google can’t count on any of them in the long term.

Now is not the moment

Put yourself in Sundar Pichai’s shoes for a moment. You know that smartphones have reached a plateau and all the big improvements will come from AI going forward. You need to find ways to put AI at the heart of every smartphone. Here’s the problem: you can’t trust your most successful partners, and the small ones are barely making ends meet.

So, what do you do? You start making your own smartphones and try not to destroy everything that you’ve built so far.

Speak softly and carry a big stick, says the old adage. The Pixel line is the stick that Google will use when all else fails, at the risk of damaging a platform that was built over a decade of soft speaking.

The beauty of the stick is you don’t need to use it, you just need to be seen carrying it around. Google doesn’t need to sell a bunch of Pixels in order to make a point. But that doesn’t mean it won’t, if it comes down to it.

Why Employees Should Surf The Web At Work

A small business owner might frown on the idea that employees are surfing the Web on work time to read about the state of the NBA lockout. But, when done in moderation, giving employees the freedom to roam the Internet can actually help them work better.

Surfing the Web at work is not only harmless but it can even boost productivity, according to a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore. Web surfing offers workers “immediate gratification” and helps them “restore resources that are drained as a result of work,” the researchers reported at last week’s meeting of the Academy of Management in San Antonio, Texas.

The findings were based on a study with 98 participants with an average age of 21, who were divided into three control groups. Each group either surfed the Web for 10 minutes, did whatever they wanted during the time period except look at Web pages, or performed the task of bundling sticks into groups of five.

After the 10-minute time period, each group was given another 10 minutes to highlight with a marker the letter “A” where it appeared in a 2000-word text. After the tests, the participants answered a questionnaire to help determine their levels of boredom, mental exhaustion, and psychological engagement.

The results showed that the group that had surfed the Web for 10 minutes scored the best results in the test that involved finding the letter “A” in the text. They performed the task more efficiently than the other two groups of participants who had either worked by bundling sticks or were allowed to do whatever they wanted during the time period except look at Web pages. The Web-surfing group also reported in the questionnaire that they felt less bored and mentally exhausted and felt more psychologically engaged.

Surfing Is Better Than Email

If surfing the Web is good, where does that leave checking email? After all, leisurely Web browsing usually goes hand in hand with checking personal emails. But according to the study, checking email, in fact, does not offer the benefits that Web surfing does. This is because checking email demands more attention and is more “cognitively taxing,” the researchers said. Also, since workers have no control over the content of the messages they receive, reading and responding to the messages is more mentally taxing than surfing the Web is.

Security Risks Can Be Mitigated

Some small and midsize business (SMB) owners prohibit non-work-related Web surfing because of security concerns. They may worry about employees accessing sites that might offend fellow co-workers or being lured to download malware. However, you shouldn’t prevent employees from surfing for these reasons, because you can take steps to make surfing secure.

Employees Need Their Freedom

So, employees should be allowed to surf the Web at work, but within reason, of course. Someone who spends most of the day perusing chúng tôi or chúng tôi is obviously going to have trouble getting their work done. In fact, the Singapore researchers say employers should allow time for “limited amount of personal Web use,” implying that spending too much time on the Net for non-work-related reasons is not a good thing.

But over-aggressively using monitoring software to prevent users from spending too much time on the Net is not the solution, either, and is arguably unethical. Workplaces in the United States reserve the right to monitor Web use, but that does not necessarily mean that employers should routinely monitor users’ Web surfing, either, even if it is legal. Especially in workplaces where professionals are paid for results, many employees will think that the amount of time spent surfing is none of management’s business.

The best practice is to allow employees to surf the Web while making users aware of policy, and then give them the freedom to get their work done.

Unlock An At&T Iphone From The Web With At&T

If you own an iPhone that is not part of a contract with AT&T, you can now officially unlock the device for use on other networks. We’ve discussed this before and our previous guide on unlocking the iPhone through AT&T focused on calling a special direct line, but now we’ll show you how to unlock an iPhone entirely through the web with the help of AT&T’s online technical support chat. This method is extremely quick, there are no wait times, and it’s easier for international users or for those without access to an active phone line.

Requirements for Unlocking an iPhone with AT&T

Any out of contract iPhone

AT&T Login – if you’re not a current AT&T customer we’ve heard reports that you can create a new AT&T login but YMMV

A valid email address to receive updates from AT&T

About 5 minutes of your time

Assuming you meet all the requirements, jump ahead and start the simple unlock process.

Unlock an iPhone with AT&T via the ATT Website

Updated with an all new easier method! AT&T has provided a new simpler method to start the unlock process for iPhones:

Go here and fill out the Support Request through AT&T, get to that page and scroll to the bottom to find the checkbox and then choose “Agree” to begin the form process

Wait for the unlock to process by AT&T

Unlocks through the web request form are quick and you should hear back within a few days.

Sometimes the process is even faster though. Regardless, you will hear back as to whether the iPhone is eligible for an unlock (if the requirements are met, it usually is), or if its not eligible and then AT&T will tell you why. Often iPhones are rejected because they are not out of the contract period yet, so sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting a bit longer to be able to unlock the device.

When the unlock has been approved, it’s just a matter of restoring the iPhone through iTunes to get the unlock to complete. It’s a very simple process, though as always you should backup the device before doing any kind of iOS system restore.

Alternate Method: Request an Unlock through AT&T Support

The old method through AT&T support is still listed below and may work if you have problems with the request form, or if there is some technical issue that would prevent the aforementioned technique from working.

State that you would like to unlock an off contract iPhone and provide the iPhone IMEI number

Let the AT&T representative check if the iPhone is indeed without a contract and give them an email address when asked

If everything checks out, the AT&T rep will provide you with a case number and an estimated date of completion for resolution. The date they provide is a rough estimate and by no means represents the date you will get an email from AT&T. Sometimes AT&T sends the unlock emails out within an hour but it can take up to 10 days as well, the time varies widely based on the volume of unlock requests. I have completed this process several times with multiple different iPhone models and it has worked every time, though the time between request and completion has varied.

There are a few potential situations that could complicate the otherwise simple unlocking process:

Did you buy an iPhone used, or through a service other than AT&T or Apple? You may need to provide a receipt of purchase

Is the iPhone still on a contract with another AT&T customer? You may need to wait until that customers iPhone contract period is up

Do you have a past-due balance on an AT&T account? You will need to pay that before AT&T will unlock the iPhone

Once you do receive the unlock instructions from AT&T , they are basically telling you to restore the iPhone to activate the unlock. Backup before doing this so you can get back to where you were, and you’ll know the unlock worked because after restoring you get a “Congratulations, your iPhone is unlocked” message in iTunes.

Related

Twitter Is Still Verifying Users Despite Pausing The Application Process

Twitter has reportedly verified over 10,000 accounts since suspending the application process in 2023.

According to Mashable, only those with connections to the company are able to get their accounts verified. Previously, anyone could apply to become verified.

As it stands, ordinary Twitter users are not even able to have their accounts considered for verification.

Twitter made the decision to suspend public applications following outrage over the verification of a prolific white supremacist.

As the company stated in its original announcement, it doesn’t want to mislead people into thinking a verification is an endorsement.

Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it. We have paused all general verifications while we work and will report back soon

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 9, 2023

A week after pausing the verification program, Twitter said it was working on a new solution.

It has been over a year since that announcement was made and Twitter has not said anything publicly about what its next plans are.

Twitter has also not revealed why it’s choosing to verify select accounts even though the application process is on hold.

Verification is important for distinguishing real accounts from impersonators, but it also allows people to prove they are representing themselves truthfully.

For example, a person could be using their real name and picture, but make outrageous claims about who they are and what they do.

A verification checkmark is a symbol of trust. It lets others know that steps were taken to confirm someone’s identity.

Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a blue checkmark anytime soon, it doesn’t seem as though that’s likely to happen.

What was once a relatively fair program is now shrouded in more mystery than ever.

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