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ICYMI: April 12, 2016

Hello! Thirty-five years ago today, the first ever launch of a space shuttle took place. The Columbia embarked on the STS-1 mission.

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The biggest story of yesterday: Microsoft and Facebook say they've eliminated any gender-based wage disparities in their employees' compensation. The news follows Intel's, Apple's and Google's announcements that their employee compensation no longer reflects any gender-based disparities. Salesforce and SpaceX are also conducting company audits to see if there are any compensation imbalances that can be traced to employee gender.

Tech companies' emphasis on equal pay coincides with a report that shows how younger women in the workforce often leave positions because they're frustrated by earning less than their male counterparts, and it's part of a larger movement across the Valley to examine workplace diversity, improve company culture and retain a competitive hiring and retention advantage. The rise of paid parental leave in tech companies is part of the same effort to make companies attractive to a wide talent base -- even if those companies are currently staffed predominantly by younger men.

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The most useful news:

If you really want something like Siri on your Android smartphone, here are your options.

Find out how a Microsoft engineer's desire for better communication with his small children led to developing the same kind of holographic communication Princess Leia busts out in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Become a Chrome power user with these nine tips.

Seven things to know about buying a decent external drive for data backups.

Worldwide PC shipments dropped by nearly 10% in the first three months of 2016.

How to rename a bookmark in Microsoft Word using a free add-in.

You can prevent certain users from shutting down Windows.

You can make custom Start Menu tiles in Windows 10.

And did you know you can use the Task Manager's Processes to troubleshoot which one you need to kill.

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And here's what we've been publishing:

Windows 10 Roadmap Reveals Upcoming Features — Late last week a webpage surfaced from Microsoft that provided a detailed roadmap of Windows 10 features and unexpectedly revealed several updates that have not been announced publicly.

First Look - Surface Book SleeveCase Bag from Waterfield Designs aka SF Bags — I was recently given an opportunity to take a closer look at one of their Surface Book SleeveCase bags.

Five predictions for what will and won’t make the cut in Android N — Some of the new features are essentially auditioning for a role in the final build. Some will make it, and others won’t.

Windows 10 Mobile Remains a Ghost for Eligible AT&T Handsets — These carriers need to release Windows 10 Mobile to their eligible handsets so that users have access to it immediately without any workarounds.

Reasons Why the Microsoft Band GPS Might Take Longer to Connect — Here’s some reasons why your Band might not connect right away or could lose signal. And, keep in mind, these same issues (except for the first one) will affect any GPS-capable device.

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