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Leo Tolstoy Gets a Google Doodle For His Birthday

Tolstoy Doodle
Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Leo Tolstoy’s 186th birthday. The image pays homage to three works by the famed Russian novelist: War & Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Artist Roman Muradov designed the piece. Google has posted an essay Muradov wrote explaining his creative process: ”The language of cartooning, likewise, is the language of reduction; it’s less descriptive than realistic artwork or film, and is less likely to replace the reader’s vision. It seemed fitting to focus on Tolstoy’s central theme of dualism and to highlight his stylistic nuances through the rhythm of the sequences – the almost full moon against the almost starless night, the red of Anna’s handbag, Ivan’s fatal curtains that stand between him and the light of his spiritual awakening.”

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Rachel Louise Carson Gets Google Doodle for Her 107th Birthday

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A new Google Doodle has been unleashed to celebrate the 107th birthday of National Book Award-winning author and marine biologist Rachel Louise Carson.

According to The Washington Post, Carson became well known for her bestselling nonfiction titles: Under the Sea Wind, The Sea Around Us, The Edge of the Sea, and Silent Spring. In fact, Silent Spring has been credited as the work that “ignited the modern environmental movement.”

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John Steinbeck Gets Google Doodle For His Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday. Throughout his writing career, Steinbeck penned many beloved works including East of Eden, Of Mice & Men, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning title, The Grapes of Wrath.

To this day, Steinbeck is a widely respected and read author. According to SFGate, the organizers behind the Steinbeck Festival plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath at this year’s event. In April, the Of Mice & Men play starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd will open on Broadway.

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Google Doodle Celebrates Dian Fossey’s 82nd Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Dian Fossey’s 82nd birthday. Fossey became well-known as a zoologist who specialized in studying mountain gorillas.

Time reports that Fossey’s 1983 memoir, Gorillas in the Mist, is a book that shares her research and life story for the purpose of raising “awareness about conservation efforts.” Last year, Macmillan’s First Second imprint published a graphic novel entitled Primates. This book stars Fossey along with chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and orangutan researcher Biruté Galdikas.

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Zora Neale Hurston Gets a Google Doodle for Her Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Zora Neale Hurston’s birthday. According to the official Zora Neale Hurston website, she was born on January 7, 1891.

Through her writing, Hurston became an important figure during the Harlem Renaissance. Time reports that Hurston had written “four novels, dozens of short stories, plays and essays, and two books of folklore based on her anthropological research that captured some of the oral history of African Americans.”

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Author’s Guild Appeals Google Books Copyright Decision

authors_guildThe Author’s Guild is appealing the decision that allows Google to scan the books of copyrighted materials without getting permission from the copyright holders under the terms of fair use.

The organization told Publisher’s Weekly:

Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken told PW that Chin’s decision represented “a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court.” Aiken claims that Google’s unauthorized mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense.”

In November, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled in favor of Google after an eight year court battle. According to the decision, Google’s massive book scanning project, in which the online giant scanned millions of books and made them available through search without obtaining the permission of the copyright holders, is legal.

Google Wins 8-Year Book Scanning Battle

googlebooksGoogle has won its controversial book scanning fight with the Author’s Guild. US Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled in favor of Google on Thursday claiming that Google’s massive book scanning project, in which the online giant scanned millions of books and made them available through search without obtaining the permission of the copyright holders, to be legal.

According to Chin’s ruling, Google’s project makes life easier for research, makes it easier for libraries to obtain digital copies of books, brings old books to light and gives people who would not have access to books access. Here is an excerpt from the ruling

The sole issue now before the Court is whether Google’suse of the copyrighted works is “fair use” under the copyrightlaws. For the reasons set forth below, I conclude that it is.

 

We’ve embedded the entire document after the jump. Read more

Shakuntala Devi Gets a Google Doodle for Her 84th Birthday

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Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Shakuntala Devi’s 84th birthday.

Devi became well-known for her ability to generate complicated mental calculations which earned her the nickname, “the Human Computer.” Through her lifetime, she wrote and published novels, cookbooks, and nonfiction titles. Here’s more from the Times of India:

Shakuntala Devi figured in the Guiness Book of World Record for her outstanding ability and wrote numerous books like Fun with Numbers, Astrology for You, Puzzles to Puzzle You, and Mathablit. At the age of six, she demonstrated her calculation skills in her first major public performance at the University of Mysore and two years later, she again proved herself successful as a child prodigy at Annamalai University.”

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Google Search Can Now Answer Cultural Questions

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The search engine can now answer questions like “Tell me about magical realism” or “Tell me about abstract art.”

AppNewser has more details about the search engine update:

Google has turned 15 today and to celebrate the company has reformulated its search engine. The updated version is called Hummingbird and it is designed to deliver better search results for questions … Google has also marked the occasion by creating a Google Doodle of the Google logo which turns into a video game piñata. You can hit it to knock candy out and earn points. Follow this link to work on your high score.

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Google To Boost Starbucks Wi-Fi

Do you use Starbucks as your writing base? You are about to get a Wi-Fi boost as Google brings new Wi-Fi infrastructure to 7,000 Starbucks outlets.

AppNewser has all the details:

The internet is getting faster at Starbucks now that Google is replacing AT&T at the nation’s largest coffee chain and home away from home workstation. Google is promising a 10x boost in speed with up to 100x boost in speed in Google Fiber cities like Austin. The transition will start in August and take about eighteen months to complete. Just look for the “Google Starbucks” SSID.

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