The week that was: Everything old is new again

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Everything old is new again

The former Mellon Bank on Smithfield Street was renowned for its grandeur, much of which disappeared when the building was converted into a Lord & Taylor department store. Now some of the splendor is being restored by the new owner, PNC Financial Services Group. The windows, which were covered over, will once again allow natural light inside. Bronze and brass fixtures, discarded marble and chandeliers all will be repurposed. We are going to venture a guess that this could be the grandest call center in the world.

It's PC not to like Windows 8

When Microsoft released Windows 8, the company thought the software could revive sales of personal computers. But research firm IDC said the radical makeover of the operating system actually slowed down the market with worldwide shipments of personal computers dropping 14 percent in the first three months of this year. On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 meant to address consumer dissatisfaction. PCs could soon be a thing of the past.

Quote of the Week

"In all of my years working with startups, I have never once seen a young company list an SAT score or GPA among the qualifications for new hires."

-- Gary Gardiner, of Downtown-based startup accelerator Idea Foundry, on why first-class academics aren't a guaranteed path to success in the technology sector.

Taking care of business

Highmark Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University have formed a two-year, $11 million pact to look for ways to make health care simpler, less expensive and more accessible. The partnership creates the Disruptive Health Technology Institute at CMU under the direction of Alan Russell, who was founding director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh before leaving in 2011.

If wishes were horses ...

If you beg them, they might come. Quaker Steak & Lube held a Facebook contest to find out which city had the fire in its belly for a new restaurant. Turns out they really love their wings in Toledo, Ohio. But not all companies turn business decisions into popularity contests. Wegmans grocery chain receives thousands of requests from people who want one in their neighborhoods but, "It is typically not a reason why we would build a store in a community," said Jo Natale, director of media relations for the Rochester, N.Y., company.

Watch what you eat

Hungry travelers stopping at a plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike won't find it easy to use the state's online database to research food safety inspection reports. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's website isn't very user-friendly when it comes to searching, so maybe packing a lunch is the way to go.

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Brian Hyslop: or 412-263-1936.


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