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Short Takes: January 15, 2009



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January 15, 2009 —  (Page 1 of 2)
It's a new record!
iPod, schmiPod. An audiophile friend of mine came over to the house last week with a new stylus in hand for my stereo system's turntable, and I gotta tell ya, nothing digital sounds as rich as recordings coming off of vinyl. Maybe it's the old Jensen 200-watt amplifier powering the system or the graphic equalizer bringing up some sounds the original mix had undervalued.

Apparently, Axl Rose agrees with me. Right there on the shelves at Best Buy, along with all the CDs and concert DVDs, was the new Guns N' Roses release, "Chinese Democracy," in vinyl. It appears that everything old IS new again. — David Rubinstein

We're no lawyers
My head nearly exploded when Microsoft's Sam Ramji compared lawyers to angels. Angels? Surely he must have been jesting.

Ramji rightfully recognizes the need for attorneys to help product teams and software engineers navigate the waters of intellectual property and software licensing. Microsoft does need its lawyers to become more collaborative—I hear complaints. Some advocates of open source at Microsoft have been at odds with its legal department for some time now, not to mention its PR agency. They want to do more with open source, and with the right legal guardians, they will. Lawyers are an important part of the puzzle, like it or not. — David Worthington

Don't just e-mail it in
When most of us think back to our days in school, we remember having to handwrite assignments or type them out, and then hand it in directly to the teacher or professor.

This is still the main practice for the most part, but now one additional method to homework handing-in madness is e-mail. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since nowadays everyone and their mother has an e-mail account; mine does, but she still can’t figure out how to open or send attachments.

But sending in e-mail is a lot more dubious than a direct handoff, since e-mail can work wonders when it comes to frustration. A hungry junk mailbox doesn’t discriminate and can swiftly eat up that 10-page paper you wrote. So when e-mailing an assignment, students should always make sure to take the extra step of checking to make sure the professor got it. — Jeff Feinman



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