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Loose change

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 21, 2002

STRAIGHT TO THE BANK: Some 50-million employees at more than 500,000 private-sector employers nationwide are paid by direct deposit, according to National Payment Corp. of Tampa. That's more than 50 percent of corporate wage earners. Government employee participation is higher: 92 percent.

CLICK ON WEBSTER'S: In asking a judge to reconsider a ruling that questions the validity of its Windows trademark, Microsoft may have coined a new word. Lindows.com makes an operating system that runs Windows-based programs. Microsoft sued Lindows for trademark infringement, but a judge found that Windows is generic. Microsoft says the findings were based on "a fundamental misapprehension of the test for "genericness.' "

READING, 'RITING AND MONEY SKILLS: Most parents would like schools to teach Junior how to handle money. In a national survey of 1,000 people by Visa USA, 92 percent of parents say kids should be taught money skills, including responsible use of credit. When asked which skills are most important to a student's future, 82 percent rated practical money skills very important. History and algebra scored 58 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

OTHER LESSONS: The Visa USA survey also found that most adults learned financial skills the hard way: through mistakes and missteps. Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, 64 percent said they learned about money management in the "school of hard knocks."

6.6 PERCENT: That's how many American families had at least one unemployed family member last year, according to the Labor Department. The figure is up from 5.7 percent the year before.

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