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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…

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Sesame Street Is Moving to HBO, and the Symbolism Is Crushing

I’ve been fascinated by the rhetoric of headlines surrounding the “Sesame Street moves to HBO” story. * HBO gentrifies ‘Sesame Street’ –VentureBeat * Sesame Street Episodes Will Shrink to Half an Hour –Time * Sesame Street Is Heading to HBO, and Getting Even Bigger –Esquire * This episode of Sesame Street brought to you by the letters HBO –Financial Times In short, Sesame Street was founded to help low-income kids keep up…

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No girl wins: three ways women unlearn their love of video games – Offworld

Several times I assigned Brenda Laurel’s Utopian Entrepreneur, which described the rise and heartbreaking fall of her girl-centered, girl-positive gaming company, Purple Moon during the 1990s. My own daughter (who is 13) has enjoyed man more opportunities to be both girly and nerdy — something that seems to have been a lot harder 20 years ago. Offworld recently published a thoughtful article about the current landscape for girl gamers. My…

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Sports writing: Once a passion, now merely a job

Once, working for an online sports section, it was immediately stressed that the rule of thumb was to churn out six articles over an eight-hour shift for studies showed quantity resulted in more hits than quality. And beyond that, there is even a growing model in some newspaper titles where a league table exists for journalists based on who gets the most clicks and, by extension, they are deemed to…

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How America fell in love with crazy amounts of air conditioning

By the 1950s, as air conditioners became common in the home, family life in the summer moved back inside, and increasingly centered on a new consumer technology called the television. Amusement parks and playgrounds emptied out, and people retreated from their stoops and the streets to their living rooms. Even attendance at baseball games dropped in the 1960s. —The Washington Post

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Filmmakers fighting “Happy Birthday” copyright find their “smoking gun”

Who owns the copyright to the “Happy Birthday” song? According to Snopes: Summy-Birchard, a subsidiary of Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., the publishing arm of Warner Music Group, now claims to be the sole owner of copyright to the song “Happy Birthday to You” and collects an estimated $2 million per year in licensing fees (a portion of which are paid to Association for Childhood Education International) on that basis, and they…

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Misleading Publisher Email Promises Paid Stipend, Delivers Lottery

An email from a reputable higher education publisher just landed in my inbox. “Paid Invitation to Review Digital, Print Products.” But the actually messages says “If you complete the survey by July 21st, 2015, your name will be entered into a drawing to receive one of three $50 Visa Gift Cards.” Hm… how would Reputable Academic Publisher like it if I “paid” for their products by taking dozens of titles from their…