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All the ‘Happy Birthday’ song copyright claims are invalid, federal judge rules

In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the “Happy Birthday To You” song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright. —LA Times

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Male Microsoft Leaders Ignored Women Who Really Hated Clippy

I hated Clippy, not because it looked like it was leering at me, but because it was so intrusive. [T]he engineers in the room were willing to throw out the focus-group-provided data—data which they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for—because it didn’t cohere to their expectations. The software shipped with 10 male assistants and two female assistants, she adds.It turned out to be one of the most unpopular features…

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Why You Hate Google’s New Logo

The new logo retains the rainbow of colors but sheds the grownup curlicues: it now evokes children’s refrigerator magnets, McDonald’s French fries, Comic Sans. Google took something we trusted and filed off its dignity. Now, in its place, we have an insipid “G,” an owl-eyed “oo,” a schoolroom “g,” a ho-hum “l,” and a demented, showboating “e.” I don’t want to think about that “e” ever again. But what choice…


How The Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive

In Death of a Salesman, Biff impulsively steals Bill Oliver’s fountain pen. That would be roughly culturally equivalent to a modern Biff swiping a businessman’s custom iPhone case, rather than a modern pen. This history of the ballpoint argues that the new pens cut down on leaks, but in the process made handwriting more physically demanding. The ballpoint’s universal success has changed how most people experience ink. Its thicker ink…


Employers Will Hire You For: 1) Leadership; 2) Teamwork; 3) Writing; 4) Problem-solving 5) Work Ethic (NACE 2014)

What do employers say they are looking for in new hires? Do they want drones who are good at following instructions and memorizing the “right answers,” who like working by themselves so their perfect grades aren’t threatened by the unpredictability of group work? No. Here’s what employers do look for: Leadership experience Ability to work in a team Communication skills (written) Problem-solving skills Strong work ethic A GPA above 3.0,…


Facebook Should Pay All of Us

The trick is that most people think they are getting a good deal out of Facebook; we think of Facebook to be “free,” and, as marketing professors explain, “consumers overreact to free.” Most people don’t feel like they are actually paying when the payment is personal data and when there is no specific sensation of having handed anything over. If you give each of your friends a hundred dollars, you…