Would anyone care you join me
in flicking a few pebbles in the direction
of teachers who are fond of asking the question:
"what is the poet trying to say?"
as if Thomas Hardy and Emily Dickinson
had struggled but ultimately failed in their efforts -
inarticulate wretches that they were,
biting their pens and staring out of the windows for a clue.
Yes, it seems that Whitman, Amy Lowell
and the rest could only try and fail,
but we in Mrs. Parker's third-period English class
here at Springfield High will succeed
with the help of these study questions
in saying what the poor poet could not,
and we will get all this done before
that orgy of egg salad and tuna fish known as lunch.
-- from Billy Collins "The Effort"
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Would anyone care you join me
For example - I'm a female, and I would say I am a gamer, although I play one game primarily - three guesses what that might be (not the sims) - and sometimes I play little puzzle/flash games, but it's rare that I would go out and pick up a new game 'cause I just don't care about most of them. I'm not opposed to the IDEA of buying games, so it's not a social barrier that needs to be overcome. If there is a signficant population like that then that might be considered as an untapped market.
It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and you'd be hard pressed to get an old-school academic to switch from Latex, but the development in this area is certainly not stagnant.
The requirements are listed here: http://ece.uwaterloo.ca/Graduate/PhD/
On the other hand, it's also possible to create a workplace where it's OK to check slashdot if you're running tests or compiling code or something, and sending an email to a friend isn't a fireable offense. Those sort of workplaces also tend to be the types of workplaces where people don't mind staying a little late to get extra work done or help out a client. They're also the type of workplaces where people don't wake up every morning loathing their existance and hating their jobs. Call me crazy, but I think that counts for something too.
Not only that, but many digital aids also include noise reduction, because background noise is a big problem - it's amplified directly into your ear. Plus, there's feedback. A hearing aid can be designed to be open, so you need to repress the feedback, or closed, which has it's own problems - ie, it's forming basically an echo chamber in your ear. For example, stick your finger in your ear. Sound strange? Same thing with a closed aid, only now imagine your finger is talking. So there's that, and the sofware development costs that go along with it.
Not only that, but you have to pay a trained audiologist to fit the device physically, and do the appropriate band gain settings and whatever else the hearing aid needs.
Anyway, to sum up, they're expensive because:
- hardware costs - very small size, low power, low heat
- software costs - banding, noise reduction, feedback comp
- audiologist costs
- possible licencing costs (wasn't too involved in that end, so I'm not sure)
It's the feminists who are making excuses
I'm not sure I agree with your whole post, but I have to give you props for this quote here. I'm a women in computer engineering and honestly, the place I feel the most uncomfortable is around so-called feminists. In university I avoided the women's center like the plague because every time I went in there with my eng books or wearing an engineering sweater or anything I always got the LOOK and a lecture about how I was just as bad as all the rest of those engineers and why are our songs so disgusting and blah blah blah.
There's sort of a delicious irony about someone claiming they are this huge feminist and then going into women's studies, the MOST un-evenly gender balanced and stereotypically female subject available and then having the gall to give me shit for singing stupid songs and drinking too much beer. You want to fix the gender balance in computer engineering? Well, the computer is right over there, stop doing stupid sociology studies and learn to code.