Afternoon Coffee: “Your Digital Afterlife,” Helium Shortages, IBM Buys Kenexa, Ford’s Supply Chain

Where does your digital library go?
Who inherits your iTunes library? -- Many of us will accumulate vast libraries of digital books and music over the course of our lifetimes. But when we die, our collections of words and music may expire with us. Someone who owned 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could bequeath them to descendants, but legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated. And one's heirs stand to lose huge sums of money. "I find it hard to imagine a situation where a family would be OK with losing a collection of 10,000 books and songs," says Evan Carroll, co-author of "Your Digital Afterlife." "Legally dividing one account among several heirs would also be extremely difficult."

IBM buys Kenexa.
IBM to Buy HR Software Provider for $1.3 Billion -- Kenexa's shares jumped 41% to $45.70 in recent premarket trading, just below IBM's per-share offer price of $46, which represents a 42% premium over Friday's closing price. Kenexa shares, which have never traded above the offer price, are up 71% in the past 12 months. Kenexa is a provider of on-demand human-resources software. IBM said the purchase will help the technology company bring data and expertise into the hands of business leaders within departments like sales and marketing, product development and human resources.

No more helium party voice...?
What Great Helium Shortage? -- It is absolutely true that prices are currently tight. That parts of the current production system are closed down and thus supplies are lower than usual. However, this is not the same as stating that we're actually running out of the stuff. The source for the real numbers is, for an element, always the US Geological Survey. Their helium note tells us that current global consumption is around 180 million cubic metres a year. There's something like 50 billion cubic metres lying around out there. That's a near 300 year supply at current usage rates.

"Things are coming back faster than anyone thought."
Supply chain humming along -- There are always crises when managing a supply chain with thousands of parts makers, said Tony Brown, head of global purchasing for Ford. But it is a good problem to have as Ford is increasing production by 400,000 vehicles this year to meet demand for its vehicles and Brown has a large team working with the supply chain to help suppliers ramp up accordingly. "Things are coming back faster than anyone thought," he said of the auto industry. So far, efforts to meet the increased production schedule are successful, Brown said.

- Sheena Moore

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