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What If There Was a Microsoft Appreciation Day? 362

theodp writes "In 2005, Microsoft came under fire after withdrawing support for an anti-gay-discrimination bill. 'I don't want the company to be in the position of appearing to dismiss the deeply-held beliefs of any employee, by picking sides on social policy issues,' explained CEO Steve Ballmer. That was then. Microsoft — like Google and Amazon — has since very publicly declared its support for gay-marriage legislation, which means it — unlike Chick-fil-A — needn't worry about the 'deeply-held beliefs of any employee' causing it to be blocked from doing business by the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. I guess we'll never know what Microsoft versions of 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day' or 'National Same-Sex Kiss Day' would have looked like."

The Petition to Classify Wikipedia a "World Wonder" 311

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that a global petition drive has started to add Wikipedia to one of UNESCO's world heritage lists joining such historic monuments and natural sites as the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Wall of China, and the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur. 'The basic idea is to recognize that Wikipedia is this amazing global cultural phenomena that has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,' says Jimmy Wales. 'Too often, people think about us purely in terms of technology, when this is about culture, high tech and learning.' Getting Wikipedia listed will be an uphill battle although a petition drive has already started. It will have to negotiate a complicated approval process and overcome the skeptical regard of Unesco and heritage consultants to be considered for recognition. Susan Williams, the head of external media relations at Unesco in Paris, said a bid by a digital entity like Wikipedia would be unprecedented. 'Anyone can apply,' says Williams, who added that she was not aware of Wikipedia's plans. 'But it may have difficulty fulfilling the criteria.' The problem is that to be included on the World Heritage List alongside the Great Wall of China, Wikipedia must be found 'to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius,' which it's not says Adam Chen. 'We like dorking around on Wikipedia as much as the next person,' writes Chen. 'But Wikipedia resembles less the masterpiece of a genius than the fixation of an idiot savant.'"

Improving Productivity (With Science) 208

An anonymous reader writes "It's common knowledge that multiple monitors increase productivity, but there isn't actually any research to support that assertion. However, studies have shown that there are a few simple tweaks to the work environment that do increase productivity. Among them: use high temperature light sources and keep office plants."

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