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Comment: *sigh* and here they come... (Score 0) 673

by Kiyyik (#46714141) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Okay, kiddies, gather round. Auntie is going to explain to you little soandsos why this is a good thing and not TEH EVUL REVARSE DISCIRMINASHUNZ like about 85 people have already cried. And I think I do mean cried.

Let me lay you down some truths about being a woman in IT: I love programming, me. Been programming since I got my hands on a TRS-80 during a summer gifted program. I've moved from BASIC to Pascal to C / C++ to .net and java and javascript and lately Python, with god alone knows how many steps in between. I hope to be able to spend the rest of my life doing this. And in all that time, I have *never* worked in a place where the women weren't outnumbered 2 to 1. Every dang time. Now, why is that? Is it because girls aren't interested in this stuff? Well, more like girls are *told* we aren't interested in this stuff, and we have to find out to the contrary ourselves. The same old 19th century B.S. about how our brains would overheat if exposed to math and such is still in there today, vestigially steering us away from STEM in general and computers in particular. And that sucks.

See, the thing is, sexism is like racism--you get the big ugly obvious kind, everyone can see that, but then as well you get much more the subtle kind, where the person doing it doesn't even realize it. Like that friend of yours in college who went and did blackface for Halloween that one year (and yet swore up and down that he, like, totally wasn't a racist, dude) vs the hiring manager who is more likely to hire someone their own color, not out of malice or anything, just because human beings tend to take a shine to people that resemble them. It's built in to us. And it goes out into the culture we live in, and we soak it up like radiation. And the cycle just keeps on going.

So. Enter things like Affirmative Action, and this here bounty thingie. The idea behind these things is not to discriminate, rather it is to *compensate for the discrimination that is already there*. We already know the bias rolls in favor of men over women, or whites over blacks. We know this. We don't like it. We wish it would go away. But it's there. No matter how nice it feels to pretend we are above that sort of thing, if we are honest we know it's in there. Lurking. Lurrrrrrrking. And so we throw these things into the mix to try to tilt the needle back toward the middle.

Look: I would love to live in a world where these things were not necessary. That would be great. But this ain't that world. If it makes you feel any better, know that no amount of things like this will ever push you from your top slot in computer classes. You'll *always* be the teacher's pets. You got it made. Seriously. We ain't looking to displace you: we're just trying to give our sisters a boost-up. That first rung on the IT ladder is rather higher up there when you're a girl (and they're spaced farther apart as you go up, I might add). There's a lot of potential tech talent lurking on the distaff side, and it takes a hell of an initial push to get it moving against the flow of how we've been raised.

And I'll just leave you with one more thing: to those who say that girls who come through a system like this--be it teacher bounties, be it special scholarships, whatever--don't have what it takes to be a coder, or are just in it for the money or whatever, I want you to understand that we go to work every day outnumbered. We're in a field--and have been since the beginning--where no matter what we do, how much we build or accomplish, some people still can't quite believe we're here. We have to fight like mama bears for every bit of respect we got. And any woman who plows through all of this B.S. and is still there, doing it every day, kicking code and stomping bugs, you better BELIEVE they love what they're doing. And that's why we get up and go every single damn day, putting up with all of it. And if you know what that is say amen, and if you don't well you never well. And I wish you success in management.

Comment: Modularity (Score 1) 591

by Kiyyik (#43351769) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...
Seriously, I don't care if it's cheaper or more efficient to put everything on one board, give me exandability durnit. At least my old MBP can take new hard drives and extra RAM. But wouldn't it be great if I could boost 'em up just like upgrading a tower? Swap out a new graphics chip, better network card, CPU, alla that jazz. Or even--dare to dream--if I could put my own laptop together, piece by piece, like I used to do with PCs? Yeah, I know it's not feasible for blah blah and yak yak, but we're blue-skying here, and that is my big wish.

Comment: Startup thing? (Score 1) 375

by Kiyyik (#42117557) Attached to: Silicon Valley's Dirty Little Secret: Age Bias
I've never worked in a startup type company, but I've been in IT my entire professional life and have never seen ageism in any of the places I've worked. Mind you, they've mostly been medium-to-large corporations that have been around for a while. But there's always been a good spread from 20s up to 60s in terms of who you had running around in the shop. At 40, I have yet to have a boss younger than me. It's been weighing on my mind, though--I've seen the same news items as everyone else--and I'm trying to get a realistic assessment of how bad it is outside the west coast/startup kinda zones. Anyone got any experience to share?
GUI

KDE Plasma Active: the Mobile Interface That Works 70

Posted by timothy
from the hold-it-in-your-hand dept.
jrepin writes "Bruce Byfield is not a fan of interfaces for mobile devices. At best, he finds them clumsy makeshifts, tolerable only because nothing better is available. The only exception is KDE's Plasma Active, which not only works well on tablets, but, with its recently released version 3.0, remains the only mobile-inspired interface he can tolerate on a workstation."

Comment: Oh, for pity's sake... (Score 2) 403

I don't know how many times it has to be said, people neither want nor need a tablet that can double as a desktop. That is not what tablets are for. That is why all the tablets that came before were niche products at best, landfill at worst.

Apple grasped it was not a desktop replacement, but a specialized appliance. You can't use a tablet like a PC, nor should you. It's a different feature set, a different interface, different everything. I thought perhaps MS had got the message but apparently this is not the case, esp. with the keyboard-case thingy they've got. They're still trying to shoehorn two disparate user experiences together into one, and this neither can nor should be done.

Frankly, as long as Ballmer is in charge, I fear MS is going to keep going down this primrose path, and before it gets better it's going to get a lot worse.

Comment: Gorilla Arms (Score 1) 377

by Kiyyik (#41777111) Attached to: Apple CEO Likens Surface To Car That Flies, Floats
Actually, Mr Cook makes a valid point about vertical touchscreen interfaces. Back in the 80's when they first came out, you got a lot of them in, e.g., kiosks and whathaveyou. And while they work for short periods (e.g., look something up real quick), for any extended period of time over a few minutes the arms get very tired, very fast. They're not meant to be held out like that for any long time, so you wind up with arms sore and fatigued, and feel like, yes, gorilla arms when you're through.

Usually an ideal angle for touchscreens is at an angle, preferably one which has a sweet spot for viewing, and some sort of support for the touching arm.

(Fun fact: the 'gorilla arms' problem is considred one of the main examples of what happens when you don't take real-world user experience into account. It's why companies that do extensive end user testing put out products that work better, and companies that just follow along with the trappings fall by the wayside.)

Comment: So, am I the only one who liked it? (Score 4, Interesting) 168

by Kiyyik (#41610535) Attached to: Once Valued at $1.8B, OnLive Was Sold For Only $5M
I am primarily a mac user, and this was the way I was able to play certain games that didn't get ported over, like Arkham Asylum and such. And they looked a heck of a lot ebtter than if I'd just run them in a VM or something like that. I had occasional bandwidth issues, but that was generally down to my ISP in any case. Frankly, I thought they were the bee's knees, and I'm sorry to see they seem to be going the way of the dodo. It's still a good idea, to my mind. Maybe just needs a little tweaking to make it a viable proposition.

Comment: So, am I the only one... (Score 1) 255

by Kiyyik (#41558177) Attached to: Stolen Maple Syrup Found and Returned To Strategic Reserve
...getting a huge "Road Warrior" vibe offa this whole thing?

"To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time. When the world was powered by the dark syrup. And the forest sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without syrup, they were nothing. Man began to feed on man, because who wants dry pancakes? The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a barrel of sap. And in this maelstrom of decay, came the warrior we called Mad Makenzie..."

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau

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