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Tech Replaces Diamonds As Girl's Best Friend 313

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the dog-still-man's-best-friend dept.
Ant writes to tell us that 'diamonds are no longer a girls best friend', at least according to a recent study commissioned by the Oxygen Network. From the article: "The survey, commissioned by U.S. cable television's Oxygen Network that is owned and operated by women, found the technology gender gap has virtually closed with the majority of women snapping up new technology and using it easily. Women were found on average to own 6.6 technology devices while men own 6.9, and four out of every five women felt comfortable using technology with 46 percent doing their own computer trouble-shooting."
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Tech Replaces Diamonds As Girl's Best Friend

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  • by allanj (151784) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:39AM (#15830095)
    with 46 percent doing their own computer trouble-shooting
    In my book, this means that 46 percent of the women we'll never have a chance of doing a favorable impression on. Not much of a chance to begin with, but now - no chance!
  • by Umbral Blot (737704) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:40AM (#15830100) Homepage
    I don't even think 46% of men do their own computer trouble shooting.
  • The only troubleshooting women in my life do with their computers is spamming me for help, and I'm not sure that counts.
  • Warning (Score:5, Funny)

    by Atario (673917) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:43AM (#15830110) Homepage
    First joker to ask if one of those women's "technology devices" is waterproof and vibratory gets...um...well, modded heavily, probably.
    • First joker to ask if one of those women's "technology devices" is waterproof and vibratory gets...um...well, modded heavily, probably.

      In what direction?

      Also, does it play MP3's?

      • Re:Warning (Score:5, Funny)

        by RsG (809189) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:32AM (#15830250)
        Also, does it play MP3's?
        The Apple brand ones do. However, the "nano" varient hasn't been a huge success.

        The Microsoft version is larger, but there have been complaints about the power adapter and USB port getting in the way, and not being adequatly waterproofed. The Sony ones seem to have problems with DRM screwing the user (and not in the good way)... :-)
        • So, you're saying that Sony has managed to get root to my girlfriend's box? Damn! I knew we should have been using condoms!
          • Just pray they don't start spawning any new processes. You wouldn't beleive how much resources they use, and they're notoriously difficult to get rid of - some take 18 years or more!

            Plus, the box they get rooted on loses some of its performance...
          • Root [urbandictionary.com] kit takes on a different meaning in this context.

            Root: Kiwi/Australian slang that is used in place of the more commonly used term "fuck."
      • Re:Warning (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        "First joker to ask if one of those women's "technology devices" is waterproof and vibratory gets...um...well, modded heavily, probably...

        "In what direction? Also, does it play MP3's?"

        Well, if you wanted it to, I supposed you could get her an iBuzz [ibuzz.co.uk] and have the best of both worlds!!

    • Actually, I've seen one of these that could actually qualify as a "technology device" (in the sense that the article meant.) It's a small bluetooth-enabled vibrator--I shit you not--and it actually vibrates whenever your cell phone receives a call. I came THIS close to buying it for my girlfriend for our aniversary but I think it was like 250 pounds sterling (isn't released in the USA, apparently), which was a tad out of my price range at the time. Oh well, maybe next year...
  • by dark_requiem (806308) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:44AM (#15830113)
    with 46 percent doing their own computer trouble-shooting.

    Based on personal experience, I can't imagine this is accurate. I seriously doubt that 46 percent of women or men do their own computer troubleshooting and repair. I can honestly say that most of the people I know own computers, and far less than 46 percent are anywhere near capable or knowledgable of even basic troubleshooting and repair tasks. I expect many /.ers have had a similar experience. The average computer user doesn't even know how to update their drivers. Hell, the average user doesn't even know what a driver is.

    Besides, who conducts a survey comparing the preferences of men and women with a sample set of one group (men, in this case) half the size of the other. While I am by no means a statistician, it seems to me that you would use equaly sized data samples, or at least weight the sample sizes based on the percentage of the population as a whole. Based on my luck recently, I'm quite certain there are not twice as many women as men in this country.
    • Why are equally sized samples relevant? It seems to me that they were interested in the habits of women, but wanted some additional baseline for men. This way, they can create specific slices of women demographics while retaining some significance, but look at the group of men as a whole.
    • by kfg (145172) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:00AM (#15830165)
      Besides, who conducts a survey comparing the preferences of men and women with a sample set of one group (men, in this case) half the size of the other.

      Someone who thinks that instant messaging is a "tech area"?

      KFG
    • Statistical inference is not dependent on the "size" of the sample space - it is equally valid to infer things from data that may get values from an infinite, uncountable set as it is to do similar inferences from a population that only has 3 possible values, thanks to the central limit theorem. Furthermore, sample size and the "size" of the sample space have no connection. For the purposes of inference, a sample is either large enough or not, but it doesn't matter in the least if the population from which
    • Besides, who conducts a survey comparing the preferences of men and women with a sample set of one group (men, in this case) half the size of the other. While I am by no means a statistician, it seems to me that you would use equally sized data samples, or at least weight the sample sizes based on the percentage of the population as a whole.

      I'm not a statistician, but I have taken enough statistics classes to know that this kind of sampling still works. The rough idea is that, while there might be differen

    • Just though we should expand on the point estimates...

      With a 99% confidence interval, 42.5 to 49.4% of women prefer doing their own computer trouble-shooting.

      Additionally, With a 99% confidence interval, women prefer a new:
      plasma TV to a diamond necklace, 74.1 to 79.9%

      plasma TV over a weekend vacation in Florida, 52.6 to 59.4%

      digital video camera to a pair of designer shoes, 83.6 to 88.4%

      This is great! So much better than buying the S.O. a bowling ball for Christmas.
  • NICE!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by brunokummel (664267) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:46AM (#15830120) Journal
    Does that mean then that I should buy a palmtop instead of a diamond ring to my girlfriend when we decide to get married?
    I'm pretty sure that I'll enjoy the present as well! Not to mention that it's way more useful than a ring unless, of course we're talking about this ring [thinkgeek.com]
    • Well, according to the article:

      The study found 77 percent of women surveyed would prefer a new plasma television to a diamond solitaire necklace...

      looks like you wouldn't be far off. However, you might want to do a study of your own since you might be one of the unfortunate few to be stuck with that leftover 23% ;)

  • by Redwin (805980) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:46AM (#15830121)
    "Women were found on average to own 6.6 technology devices while men own 6.9"

    The men assured the women that it will be 7 technology devices soon, but they just need to tinker with a couple of parts in the last device and that they are certain they are supposed to come apart its just that the device is being a bit stubborn...
    • I'm sure I've had some gadgets that only count as 0.9 of a device, the most recent being a 3g mobile phone. It was a heap of doggy doodoos - crap interface, crap features, half of which didn't work and the rest of which you had to pay to use.
  • hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fusione (980444) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:47AM (#15830124)
    I wonder how many slashdotters are gonna show this to their girlfriends the next time they ask fo- oh wait.. nevermind. I forgot where I was for a moment. :P
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:49AM (#15830131)
    Hmm... 6.6 devices on average. In other words: cellphone, cellphone, ladyshaver, vaccuum cleaner, can opener, erhm... personal vibratory relaxation helper and a car that spends 40% of its time in the garage for repairs 'cause she can't figure out how to drive stick without ruining the transmission.
  • Women were found on average to own 6.6 technology devices while men own 6.9, and four out of every five women felt comfortable using technology with 46 percent doing their own computer trouble-shooting."

    Exactly what does this trouble-shooting mean? Downlaod patch, double-click, install, Say your prayers and Reboot?

    Back in the Unix days, it used take Real Men (TM) to troubleshoot a computer!
  • Troubleshooting? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crull (221987) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:51AM (#15830136) Homepage
    What kind of troubleshooting? Troubleshooting can be a pretty much anything from, "I can't seem to find the zoom button" to "Why doesn't this daemon function properly".

    Of all the women I know exactly one do their own troubleshooting. And don't say things like, "You're a geek, maybe you know two women, your mom and sister, and the latter does her own troubleshooting".

    46% just sounds a lot if it's not very basic troubleshooting. I don't even think 46% of the men is doing his own troubleshooting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:51AM (#15830138)
    Okay, so how do I get my boyfriend to buy me that big shiny engagement beowulf cluster I've always dreamed of?
  • Well, of course (Score:5, Informative)

    by 9x320 (987156) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:52AM (#15830139)
    If you had watched that special on The History Channel's Modern Marvels about the history of diamond mining, you'd know that diamonds are valuable because of the De Beers mining company obtaining a monopoly on diamond mining by gradually buying out and merging with all the other diamond companies in South Africa, and gradually the world. They then instituted a propaganda campaign in order to get couples to buy the diamonds, while releasing only a set number of diamonds every year, thus keeping demand artificially high.

    Their monopoly was threatened by the Soviet Union finding diamonds in modern Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, De Beers bought out nearly all the diamonds that had fallen into the hands of former Soviet countries. In the 21st century they are threatened by a Canadian diamond company founded by a Canadian geologist once thought to be crazy for suspecting the presence of diamonds in Northwest Canada.

    They were finally fined $5 million by the Department of Justice with their monopolistic tactics, but obviously that's like the EU fining Microsoft. I think people are finally waking up and smelling the coffee, realizing that these gems are merely worthless shiny rocks, though the advent of artificial diamonds doesn't hurt.

    Here, Wikipedia has an entry. [wikipedia.org]
  • by Moridin42 (219670) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:52AM (#15830141)
    The article also reports:

    The study found over the next five years women see themselves increasing their activities in six tech areas: digital cameras, cell phones, e-mail, camera phones, text messaging and instant messaging.


    I'll grant you that not everybody is proficient with these devices/apps. But pushing shutter releases and send buttons does not make one tech savvy. Man or woman.

    I also wonder where they draw the line for 'technology devices'. Since everything from forks to keys to credit cards to laptops is technology. Just not all of it is recent.

    And lastly.. does the thought "well, I rebooted Windows and everything worked fine" count as "computer trouble-shooting" ?
  • by Aphrika (756248) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:54AM (#15830146)
    'diamonds are no longer a girls best friend', at least according to a recent study commissioned by the Oxygen Network.
    I wonder how the results would have panned out if the survey was done by Tiffany and Co. [tiffany.com]...
  • The respondents seem to be taken from viewers of the show "Girls Gone Wired", which gives you a hint as to what sort of demographics the show has. Perhaps "Girl geeks are just about as geeky as guy geeks" might have been a closer to the truth, but less catchy, headline.

    I can't find a more detailed breakdown than the linked article to be sure, but it smells fishy.

    I'd also love to know what the "technology devices" they counted were - an iPod, mobile phone, console, digi camera or even laptop are commonplace
  • by Lissajous (989738) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:58AM (#15830158)
    [rant]
    They obviously didn't ask *my* SOH. Here I sit in front of 5 TFT monitors, 3 computers, hi-def projector, a plethora of consoles, and is she content with that? No! She still wants the diamonds! I mean - seriously! Where did they get these mythical women from? Shoes?! Don't even get me started on shoes! Have you seen our shoe closet? It's applying for its own post code next month. You can see it from Google Earth. And TFA wants me to believe that women would choose to have tech *instead* of holidays, shoes, gems? I call foul, I tell you - FOUL! They want the lot! Tech and shoes. Shoes and tech. Techy shoes would have my grrl in a shopping frenzy. Ohgodohgodohgodohgod can you imagine? The horror! THE HORROR!!!!! (5 exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind)
    *ahem*
    [/rant]
    • by cruachan (113813) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:44AM (#15830426)
      Yeah love to know where the shoe thing comes from. Starts young though, when the whole family went on holiday this year - travelling around europe and carrying stuff in backpacks - my 12 year old daughter was told to she could only take two pairs of shoes in addition to the ones she was wearing. Also as the youngest she had a smaller pack and the rest of us would each carry some of her stuff.

      It was only after a several days out we figured that she'd managed to pring 9 pairs, having individually talked the me, my wife and my son into carrying her 'extra two pairs'.
    • Techy shoes would have my grrl in a shopping frenzy. Ohgodohgodohgodohgod can you imagine? The horror! THE HORROR!!!!!


      Too late. [wikipedia.org]
  • Early Adopters.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tktk (540564) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @03:59AM (#15830161)
    In my mind, that .3 difference is probably due to males being early adopters. My 2 sisters and I have basically the same gadgets but they lag behind a bit. We've all gotten iPods, laptops, bluetooth headsets, Tivos, & etc.

    I got a Tivo 5 years ago, one sister bought it 2 years ago, and the youngest is probably going to buy one before she heads off to college this fall.

    Once in a while, I'll catch my youngest sister talking on her phone to her boyfriend about WOW and be embarrassed for them. A nice change for once.

  • My Observations (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miyako (632510) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <okayim>> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:12AM (#15830194) Homepage Journal
    I have a few observations on the subject. I think that the first thing that immediately lept to mind has also been the prevailing comment so far, and that is that 46% seems awfully high for men or women for doing troubleshooting, unless you count troubleshooting as saying "hmm, something's wrong.".
    That aside, it seems to me that women have a higher average technological competency than men, speaking in general terms, however there also seems to be a smaller standard deviation. Of the men I know, most seem to be either geeks or luddites. Most of the men I know have only very recently started considering using cell phones (many men I know don't own one), and very rarely, if every, use a computer. On the other hand, I know very few female geeks, but I also can't think of any female luddites. Most women I know were early adopters of cell phones, and most women I know use the computer more than men, and for more versatile tasks (e.g. I know a lot of men who literally never use the computer for anything except ebay, most women I know use the computer for the web as well as email, IM, iTunes, photos, etc.).
    Of course the survey contradicts my own observations, but I also think terms like "technology gadgets" are extemely vauge. In my experience, women are generally early adopters of technologies that enable creativity and communication (cell phones, IM, scanners, photo editing software, etc.) whereas men tend to be early adopters of technology that is primarily entertainment (dvd players, video games, etc.).
  • eh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rooked_One (591287) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:20AM (#15830219) Journal
    the age group seems a little biased.... there are just as many (if not more) women that are over the age of 49 than under - probably..... But I bet the curve of this is really scewed to the 15 year old side... My mother falls right in the eldest of the group, and while she is comfortable with computers, she can bearly troubleshoot and would take a diamond ring over a TV anyday - but then again she is a teacher that doesn't watch much TV.
  • Social Commentary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Niet3sche (534663) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:35AM (#15830260)

    I'm curious. I seriously wonder if this, too, will be used as evidence to support that men and women are more different than alike (philosophically speaking, note).

    Here's my prediction: The current status quo tends towards women not being adopters, purveyors, or masters of technology. While there are certainly pockets of discourse and space that argue against this, I would suggest this story is more widespread than its alternative (e.g. "women are technologically-savvy"). I have to wonder at what point the evidence for the realization that there is more intra-group variability than extra-group variability between the sexes will become wholly overwhelming and force a change in the commonplace "line" on women in/and technology.

    I promised a prediction - here it is.

    When the above assertion becomes commonly accepted, so too will the notion that women are fully able and capable of using, enjoying, and mastering technology. However, we will supplant the current story with a new one - "Women are using technology as wholly a surrogate for that which they do best - that 'social stuff'."

    I should blog on this, but it's late. Thoughts? Am I way off-topic here?

  • Oh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @04:41AM (#15830273) Homepage Journal
    Ever since mobile phones started to vibrate, the gender gap has been more filled.
  • My wife is a cellular tech, and she's just as comfotable with technology as I am, if not more so. She uses our iPod more than I do, carries a Motorola SLVR, and can't wait to get a MacBook.
  • Survey Problems (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xdxfp (992259)
    I wouldn't despute that women use technology, but don't confuse that with an interest in technology. Most women I know use computers for e-mail, myspace, ordering flowers, etc.

    Second, the fine print says women ages 15-49. Why not 15-99? Perhaps they wanted to distort the numbers to make it newsworthy.

    Lastly, the study cannot imply anything about whether women actually like technology more than clothes. Perhaps they would prefer a digital camera to a pair of shoes because they have 200 shoes, and
  • by AriaStar (964558) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:46AM (#15830427) Journal
    What the hell is it with this assumption to all women love shoes? Shoe-shopping gives me hives. I am a 25-year-old analytical engineer specializing in e-mail security, and eyes bug out when that's said. Why? Why assume women are technologically inferior? Why assume that tech is a man's field? Sure, there's this smug sense of doing something that sounds cool that a lot of women aren't doing, but it would sure be nice if it weren't greeted with a sense of disbelief, if more women weren't so intimidated.

    This articles makes women out to be a bunch of fashion whores who are shocking people by wanting tech items. A weekend vacation in Florida is over in a weekend. That diamond necklace will only be worn on special occassionas (unless given by someone special, in which case I'd never take it off, as I never take off my pearl necklace except to shower). Why take the designer shoes over a pricey camera when knock-offs of those shoes can be had for $20? That plasma TV would be great for picking up the details in every outfit on Sex and the City. *sense the sarcasm*

    Yet a plasma TV hardly counts for tech in my book. Why is an LCD TV not considered tech? Because they are hardly more than appliances. You want to fix a TV, you take it to an appliance repair person. Would this TV be considered a technological item if this study were done with men? Or would it be done with an item that requires more knowledge than how to press some buttons on a remote to change the channel?

    Do this study with a MacBook and give women a little more credit than as mindless whores only concerned about where they shoes are Jimmy Choo or whatever. Then maybe more of us wouldn't be afraid of entering the domain of men.

    Who am I kidding? I love being a woman in a man's world.
  • hot and bothered (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Glog (303500) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:45AM (#15832476)
    46% of women doing their own PC-troubleshooting, eh? I guess that is equivalent to me doing my own car maintenance by glancing at the odometer and then at the oil change sticker to figure out if it's time for another oil change.
  • So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThousandStars (556222) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @11:54AM (#15832568) Homepage
    Who gives a shit whether you own a "tech" device -- and what the hell does that mean anyway? Does a cell phone count? Does a mortar and pestle? How about an iPod?

    What's more interesting is whether a) you can explain how a "tech" device works on a deep level and b) Whether you can alter it to make it more useful to you, whether through prgoramming or hardware mods. That's what they should be thinking about, not whether you have sufficient extra income to buy such devices.

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