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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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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

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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Google Can Translate Your Handwriting

The next time you are reading a book or a sign with foreign words, you can let Google Translate help you.

Someday, Google hopes to have a device that can translate your speech as well. AppNewser has all the details:

Have you ever struggled to read a sign written in a foreign script? Now you can draw the characters and let Google Translate help you read the sign. Google Translate recently rolled out handwriting support, allowing readers to input handwriting in 45 languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can even download a Google Chrome app to help with the process.

Google Glass Gets an RSS Reader

How will we read ten years from now?

A developer has just created the first RSS reader for Google Glass, perhaps pointing towards the kind of interface readers will need on wearable computing devices.  AppNewser has all the details:

Google Reader may be shutting down, but now you can get RSS news feeds directly to your  Google Glass, thanks to a new app from developer Applied Analog. The app is called GlassFeeds and it is an RSS feed for Google Glass. It lets users choose push news feeds from multiple news sources directly to them on Google Glass or store them to read later. Users can can send the stories to Pocket or email them to themselves to be read later.

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