All entries for Thursday 22 June 2006

June 22, 2006

Norwegian Woodiness

Title:
Rating:
2 out of 5 stars

Having read a couple of other Murakamis I felt I knew what to expect here – morose quasi–philosophical musings on love, loss, death and loneliness – and it doesn't fail to deliver. The setting is different – Watanabe is a student in late 60s Tokyo and there are student riots and dorm–based craziness in the background – but the feel of the novel is pretty similar to the Murakami norm.

Having said that it is a not uninteresting and reasonably entertaining read but, as one critic has put it (OK, my hyper–critical friend, Steve) absolutely nothing of any consequence happens. To some (including Steve) this is something of a minus but I can't say I was that disappointed by the lack of real action.

However, I do have to say it is not a patch on 'Kafka on the Shore'.


Our own campus mobile network?

Writing about web page http://education.guardian.co.uk/elearning/story/0,,1801298,00.html

This seems like a terribly exciting idea – I just cannot work out whether or not it is really at all viable or whether it would work here.

"What you see every company doing now is taking what they do well and porting it on to a cell phone or PDA. We have put out a number of tenders and we hope to give first–year freshers a free cell phone or a more expensive smartphone each." Siff sees it as a roadmap to the future: the university provides free phones and funds a third party to supply the network for which the students pay a monthly rate. "And if we get over 3,000 students signed up within six months, we'll break even."
There's one big problem. Almost every student has their own cell phone and provider, so why change? Siff replies that, if you use just one provider, it cannot guarantee you coverage everywhere. But his Cincinnati service is guaranteeing a high 90% coverage.

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