Platforms prepare for iOS 7 release; pushing tablets (and profits) in education; Tories push to privatize UK mail delivery
Next Wednesday Apple releases its latest version of its mobile operating system, but most of the major digital publishing platforms have already made the necessary tweaks to their systems to make sure their client’s apps remain functional following the upgrade. But several platform owners told me that they plan new releases of their platform, changing their user interfaces in order to stay current.
For the past month or so many media properties have updated their Newsstand apps to fix bugs and work out other issues. Yesterday The New York Times issued updates to their iPhone and iPad app, and Nxtbook issued is second update to its digital newsstand app in the past three days.
The NYT has an article in its Sunday magazine that will probably gain quite a bit of attention. No Child Left Untableted by Carlo Rotella tells of the efforts of Amplify, the News Corp. owned education unit that is attempting to monetize tablets in education.
Joel Klein, the divisions CEO, has been making the rounds and recently spoke with TabTimes which wrote an uncritical, fluff story giving Amplify’s spiel.
The NYT reveals more and has readers more than a bit upset at the blatant attempt to profit from education by pushing its products. But school administrators will tell you that public education has seen this kind of pressure before as tech and publishing firms push their wares – the most controversial of the companies being, of course, Channel One.
Of course, what is driving these moves in education is the desire for profits – the philosophy that every runs better when it is part of the free enterprise system. It is this motivation that is driving the UK government to sell of the Royal Mail, the UK’s postal service.
Vince Cable, the business secretary, filed a formal intention to float – the signal that the government intends to offer the service up to investors.
“This isn’t about what’s best for Royal Mail, it’s about the vested interests of government ministers’ mates in the City,” The Guardian quoted Billy Hayes, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union . “It would be bad for customers, bad for staff and bad for the industry. Privatisation would put jobs and services at risk and lead to higher prices for customers.”
The last Tory government to have a run at privatization, the Thatcher government, privatized the British Gas, British Airways and other state owned enterprises.
The move could prove to be a major milestone in the UK’s magazine industry as most expect that a privatized mail service would mean higher postal rates for both businesses and the public.