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Comment Re:well... (Score 1) 147

The problem isn't that improving password checkers is hard

It actually is kind of hard. There is no way to "calculate entropy" when you don't know how the password was generated in the first place. I could be using completely random ASCII generator and there is some chance that I will get the password "password", which regardless is not a good password. There were some papers at USENIX this year about password strength meters where they use machine learning to judge the strength of a password but, no, it is not exactly easy.

Comment Re:Can't hit what isn't there (Score 1) 414

This is a good article on the topic. It talks about STEM overall but has some parts about computer science. http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/facult...

A case in point is computer science in Malaysia and the U.S. While American computer scientists are depicted as male hackers and geeks, computer science in Malaysia is deemed well-suited for women because it’s seen as theoretical (not physical) and it takes place almost exclusively in offices (thought to be woman-friendly spaces). In interviews with sociologist Vivian Lagesen, female computer science students in Malaysia reported taking up computing because they like computers and because they and their parents think the field has good job prospects. The students also referenced government efforts to promote economic development by training workers, both male and female, for the expanding information technology field. About half of Malaysian computer science degrees go to women.

Comment Re:More proof (Score 1) 414

How do you know what the engineering interest level of hispanics is in New Mexico? Did you find any sources for that? The only thing I can find states that at New Mexico State University they have about the same number of hispanic students seeking PhDs as white students, which is definitely not the case is other parts of the country. So maybe New Mexico does prove the point but I don't know.

Comment Re:Nice though, but wrong approach (Score 1) 414

I think you are confused about the meaning of the word most. Also about what year it is and how to do math. To your actual point though, there are very few Jewish people left in Germany. If they made up a substantial portion of the population, and were statistically underrepresented in important job sectors, you can bet there would be similar affirmative action programs like in the US.

Comment Re:No racism, just statistics (Score 1) 414

I think the question of women in technology and minorities in technology are two different things. For women, it is a result of longstanding cultural bias that women are not meant for IT jobs, which causes lower interest because people will pick the path of least resistance. That is very difficult to even get an understanding of let alone solve since it is wrapped up in unconscious feelings, expressions in popular media, etc.

For minorities it is much simpler. As a black student in the US, you are much less likely to have a computer or access to a computer growing up. Since CS is one of the only majors in college where the average student has substantial experience in the subject before they even start, and that experience is not available to many minority students, it is incredibly difficult to catch up and, again, they will pick a path of less resistance by choosing a different major.

Comment Re:Can't hit what isn't there (Score 1) 414

But that can't be true, because that would be admitting that there are innate differences between the sexes and that's just not PC to talk about.

This is easily disproven by looking at countries like China, Iran and others where women make up close to 50% of computer science graduates. Whatever the problem is, it is not "innate".

Comment Re:Nice though, but wrong approach (Score 1) 414

That's a bit of a different situation considering that most European countries did not have government sanctioned segregation and racism as recent as 50 years ago, and slavery just over 100. The effects of those policies don't just disappear after you say they are done. "So sorry we did that to you but now we're square? We will judge everyone equally! Oh don't mind that white people have generations of accumulated advantage, that will sort itself out I am sure."

Comment Re:More proof (Score 1) 414

It is less about racism in hiring than it is about structural racism that leads to lower opportunity for black and hispanic students earlier in the pipeline. If you are a black or hispanic child, you are much less likely to have a computer growing up than a white child. By the time you get to college you will be miles behind other students that have been tinkering with computers for their whole lives. Computer Science is one of the only subjects in college where the average student has substantial experience before they even start the major. It makes for a somewhat hostile environment for underprivileged students, so they go with a path of less resistance like one of the subjects you listed.

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