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ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science 329

Posted by timothy
from the how-you-slice-and-dice-the-factors dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Over at the Communications of the ACM, a new article — Computing's Narrow Focus May Hinder Women's Participation — suggests that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs should shoulder some of the blame for the dearth of women at Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and other tech companies. From the article: "Valerie Barr, chair of ACM's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), believes the retreat [of women from CS programs] was caused partly by the growth of personal computers. 'The students who graduated in 1984 were the last group to start college before there was personal computing. So if you were interested in bioinformatics, or computational economics, or quantitative anthropology, you really needed to be part of the computer science world. After personal computers, that wasn't true any more.'" So, does TIME's 1982 Machine of the Year deserve the bad rap? By the way, the ACM's Annual Report discusses its participation in an alliance which has helped convince Congress that there ought to be a federal law making CS a "core subject" for girls and boys: "Under the guidance of the Education Policy Committee, ACM continued its efforts to reshape the U.S. education system to see real computer science exist and count as a core graduation credit in U.S. high schools. Working with the CSTA, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, NSF, Microsoft, and Google, ACM helped launch a new public/private partnership under the leadership of to strengthen high school level computing courses, improve teacher training, engage states in bringing computer science into their core curriculum guidelines, and encourage more explicit federal recognition of computer science as a key discipline in STEM discussions.""

+ - What came first, black holes or galaxies?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "It was one of the most hotly contested questions for decades: we first expected and then found supermassive black holes at the centers of practically all large galaxies. But how did they get there? In particular, you could imagine it happening either way: either there was this top-down scenario, where large-scale structures formed first and fragmented into galaxies, forming black holes at their centers afterwards, or a bottom-up scenario, where small-scale structures dominate at the beginning, and larger ones only form later from the merger of these earlier, little ones. As it turns out, both of these play a role in our Universe, but as far as the question of what came first, black holes or galaxies, only one answer is right."

+ - Hacking Internet Connected Light Bulbs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've been calling it for years — connect everything in your house to the internet, and people will find a way to attack it. This post provides a technical walkthrough of how internet-connected lighting systems are vulnerable to outside attacks. Quoting: "With the Contiki installed Raven network interface we were in a position to monitor and inject network traffic into the LIFX mesh network. The protocol observed appeared to be, in the most part, unencrypted. This allowed us to easily dissect the protocol, craft messages to control the light bulbs and replay arbitrary packet payloads. ... Monitoring packets captured from the mesh network whilst adding new bulbs, we were able to identify the specific packets in which the WiFi network credentials were shared among the bulbs. The on-boarding process consists of the master bulb broadcasting for new bulbs on the network. A new bulb responds to the master and then requests the WiFi details to be transferred. The master bulb then broadcasts the WiFi details, encrypted, across the mesh network. The new bulb is then added to the list of available bulbs in the LIFX smart phone application.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Lie Like a Lady: The Profoundly Weird, Gender-Specific Roots of the Turing Test->

Submitted by malachiorion
malachiorion (1205130) writes "Alan Turing never wrote about the Turing Test, that legendary measure of machine intelligence that was supposedly passed last weekend. He proposed something much stranger—a contest between men and machines, to see who was better at pretending to be a woman. The details of the Imitation Game aren't secret, or even hard to find, and yet no one seems to reference it. Here's my analysis for Popular Science about why they should, in part because it's so odd, but also because it might be a better test for "machines that think" than the chatbot-infested, seemingly useless Turing Test."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why does light stretch as the Universe expands?

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "On the one hand, galaxies are definitely redshifted, and they're redshifted more severely the farther they are; that's been indisputable since Hubble's data from the 1920s. But spacetime's expansion — the idea that photons get redshfited because expanding space stretches their wavelength — is just one possibility. Sure, it's the possibility predicted by General Relativity, but a fast-moving, receding galaxy could cause a redshift, too. How do we know what the cause is? Here's how."

+ - Radioactivity Cleanup at Hanford, 25 Years On

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington was supposed to be entering its final stages by now. The reality is far from that. The cleanup was to be managed under the 'Tri-Party Agreement', signed on May 15, 1989, which was supposed to facilitate cooperation between the agencies involved. Today, underfunded and overwhelmed by technical problems, the effort is decades behind schedule. Adding to the frustrations for stakeholders and watchdogs is a bureaucratic slipperiness on the part of the Federal Department of Energy. As one watchdog put it, 'We are constantly frustrated by how easily the Department of Energy slips out of agreements in the Tri-Party Agreement.'"

Comment: Re:Where's the data stored? (Score 1) 208

by darrylo (#46517821) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Since others have said the free version requires the use of storage on Microsoft's computers, I suspect Microsoft will be scanning the OneNote data for monetizing purposes. Why else would they prevent the free OneNote users from storing data on non-Microsoft servers?

lol, you haven't looked at the free version, right? They're preventing you from storing data locally, because you have to pay money and subscribe to their online office offering to get local notebooks.

Now, they might still be scanning your notebooks, but the main reason is money.

Comment: Re:I, for one, do welcome that test (Score 1) 86

by polymath69 (#46442829) Attached to: New Blood Test Offers Early Warning for Alzheimer's Onset

You see the ethical dilemma? I don't see one in either TFA, only a question of whether a person would wish to have this information. So long as the person in question is the patient or his doctor, there's no ethical question at hand, merely a personal decision. Could you kindly explain the dilemma to my obviously symptomatic brain? And type slowly.

Damn beta? Damn this version, I hit "options" and my comment was wiped out. Bastages.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.