My movie agent, Justin Manask, also represents Weird Al Yankovic. I grew up with Allan Sherman albums and MAD Magazine flexidiscs, so when I first heard Weird Al, I knew I'd found my kind of guy. Justin wrote to me last night: "You're going to love this. Lady Gaga denied Weird Al the right to release his parody of BORN THIS WAY, only the second time in his career that he's been denied [ed: the other refusal came from Prince]. But he recorded the track at her request as a part of the approval process... the first time any artists has made that request. She summarily passed without comment. So instead of selling a couple hundred thousand or a million copies... he gave PERFORM THIS WAY away for free to his 2 million followers on Twitter."
The ensuing hoo-hah seems to have swayed Ms Gaga, who has authorised the inclusion of PERFORM THIS WAY on Weird Al's album.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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