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Foci for Analysis (5)
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girls and technology!

WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course to make it more welcoming to female university students, celebrating women in computing history (and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated, and making children's books and toys (even dollhouses!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US. If you want to join Mindy Kaling in supporting young girls entering computer science, tech, and coding, there's a lot [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 16, 2014 - 70 comments

The First Goal Of Its Kind In History

Footballing History was made last night when France striker Karim Benzema scored against Honduras. Due to the position of the Honduran Goalkeeper, it was impossible to tell if the ball had crossed the line, and the goal line technology was called into action and controversially gave a goal.
posted by marienbad on Jun 16, 2014 - 113 comments

Showin' how funky 'n strong is your fight

As Michael Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 27, 2014 - 44 comments

Why your favourite thing sucks

The Verge examine the reasons IT fanboys fight their eternal war. [Plain text version] [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Jan 22, 2014 - 122 comments

The Great Columbia J-School Email Mishap of 2014

What it says on the tin.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch on Jan 10, 2014 - 66 comments

Airing the Immigration Bill's Dirty Laundry

Undercover of helping immigrant agricultural workers who have long needed a break in America, the American technology sector - lead by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg - has seen fit to heavily lobby Congress to increase H1-B and other worker visa permits, vastly increasing H1-B visas at a time when very good research shows that there is no shortage of tech workers in America. Zuckerberg has so far succeeded, in the Senate. What is motivating the claim for more H1-B visas and what's at stake? [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae on Dec 12, 2013 - 131 comments

"No, I've never seen a movie."

A Man Has Trouble With His Security Questions - a sketch from The UCB show 'Small Men'
posted by The Whelk on Nov 13, 2013 - 36 comments

Visual Basic? Seriously.

To my daughter's high school programming teacher: "I spent 16 years raising a daughter who had all the tools and encouragement she needed to explore computer programming as a career. In one short semester, you and her classmates undid all of my years of encouragement."
posted by Mezentian on Sep 10, 2013 - 303 comments

4. A robot must not scalp restaurant reservations

If you find it impossible to make restaurant reservations online it might be because you're competing against bots. A developer explains how it works and just how common it might be in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jul 25, 2013 - 65 comments

The Life of an Admin in the IT World

Nine Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin, Network Admin (from InfoWorld via /.)
posted by JoeXIII007 on Jul 18, 2013 - 90 comments

Get well soon, Dr. Frank-N-Furter

Whether you love him for his role as the Sweet Transvestite in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Lord of Darkness in Ridley Scott's Legend, Pennywise the clown in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's It, Wadsworth the butler in Clue, Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island, his voice work for scads of cartoons, his countless theater performances, his many unforgettable, wonderfully strange guest spots on various TV shows, his absolutely amazing voice, or for (quite possibly) all of these things at once, the fact is, you love Tim Curry. Spare a thought tonight for this acclaimed, ubiquitous character actor, singer, dancer, and odd-looking, sexy little man. Tim Curry, 67, has had a major stroke at his home in Los Angeles. Early reports said that he was left unable to speak, but his agent now tells the Daily Mail that he's "doing great (...) He absolutely can speak and is recovering at this time and in great humor."
posted by Ursula Hitler on May 24, 2013 - 88 comments

Real world touchscreen interface for interactive documents and books

Touchscreen interface for seamless data transfer between the real and virtual worlds - Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a next generation user interface which can accurately detect the users finger and what it is touching, creating an interactive touchscreen-like system, using objects in the real world.
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 17, 2013 - 18 comments

And now someone is using my name

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver gave an interview this week stating, among other remarks, that "we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do." Although he has since apologized for the remarks, the backlash continued yesterday 49ers' linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, both of whom participated in the team's widely-praised "It Gets Better" video last summer, have denied ever producing the clip. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 1, 2013 - 231 comments

Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

The threat won't be understood until a Cyberdisaster

The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference. (Previously-ish).
posted by MattMangels on Nov 23, 2012 - 49 comments

Romney's Technical Foul

You've heard from quite a few sources as to why and how Romney lost, including Romney himself. But technology played a role in the loss, too. According to Sean Gallagher in Ars Technica, Romney's campaign was badly outgunned when it came to its technology infrastructure, relying heavily on outsourced IT and consultants. The disastrous Project ORCA, an attempted streamlining of the age old "strike list" process for contacting those who haven't voted yet, likely did not help. [more inside]
posted by Lieber Frau on Nov 19, 2012 - 130 comments

Overcoming student debt by working in war zone

"If I had felt any unease that I was potentially exploiting a horrible situation for personal gain, it was short-lived. The next four months were the most stressful, difficult, and dangerous of my life until that point, and probably—hopefully—ever. ... On December 31, 2004, I achieved a couple of significant milestones: I made my final student loan payment, and I had a positive net worth for the first time in my adult life. Mortars, rockets, and car bombs aside, that was pretty satisfying."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 15, 2012 - 34 comments

The Slow Web Movement

Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information. These are a few of the many characteristics of The Slow Web.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Sep 6, 2012 - 36 comments

Computer says No

For the past 4 days, up to 12 million NatWest / Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been unable to pay bills, move money or get paid due to a technical problem. Customers have been unable to complete on house purchases and some are stuck because they can't pay hotel bills abroad. The new mobile banking service has also been affected. The bank has called in 7,000 staff to open all weekend as problems persist.
Just three months ago, the State-controlled bank outsourced nearly 300 back-office roles to Hyderabad in India.
posted by Lanark on Jun 23, 2012 - 71 comments

List of future TLDs

Here's a list of new top-level domains that will soon compete with .com and other TLDs (previously).
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jun 13, 2012 - 110 comments

The Stephen King Universe Flow Chart

Gillian James charts the connections in the Stephen King universe* Meanwhile The Guardian is rereading King begining with Carrie and Salems Lot, CNN has discovered The Gospel of Stephen King, and in further Castle Rock news a new movie version of It is being made.
* Not including The Dark Tower
posted by Artw on Jun 11, 2012 - 70 comments

SoftPanorama, a vast resource with a Russian edge

SoftPanorama / SoftPanorama Switchboard, created by Nikolai Bezroukov, is one of those vast, practical resources with a fun side too. There is the excellent and very useful Classification of Corporate Psychopaths | Coping with the toxic stress in IT environment | Surviving a Bad Performance Review | Information Overload: How Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime | Science, PseudoScience and Society. But then there is the fun side of the site too: Russian Music Oldies on YouTube | economic crisis humor | Songs from Famous Russian Cartoons on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 5, 2012 - 5 comments

That's no booth babe

Technology/sex columnist Violet Blue (previously) has been reporting from this year's Macworld trade fair for ZDNet; among her reportage was a photograph of a woman sitting in a booth, labelled as "The Saddest Booth Babe In The World". Later it emerged that the woman in question was not, in fact, a booth babe (i.e., a model hired to smile, hand out flyers and appeal to the heterosexual male gaze) but rather an iOS developer presenting her products, hence her less-than-effervescent demeanour. Blue's response was somewhat evasive, suggesting that her (and, in her opinion, the average attendee's) expectation upon seeing a woman at a booth at a technology event would be that she would be there for decorative purposes.
posted by acb on Feb 2, 2012 - 160 comments

They Did it for Science

Experiment: To determine the efficacy and adaptability of pop-culture hook-up guides. Can a woman use the rules of "the game" on other women? And how will dudes respond to pick-up techniques that were designed to hustle ladies into bed? Kate Ray investigates what happens when a woman plays "the game" for Nerve, and she does it for Science (All links potentially NSFW, I mean come on its nerve, but most are either OK to OK-ish or obvious from context) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 11, 2011 - 29 comments

Killing techies, the Malaysian way

Malaysia is proposing a Computing Professionals Bill, based on the Registration of Engineers Act [.PDF] which makes it mandatory for all practicing "computing professionals" to be registered with a government body. Dealing in the IT industry, including sending “proposals, plans, designs, drawings, schemes, reports, studies or others to be determined by the Board to any person or authority in Malaysia” without being registered will incur a fine not exceeding RM20,000 (~US$6380) or 6 months in jail. Malaysian IT professionals and geeks are up in arms, and similarities have been drawn to Nigeria's law on computing professionals.
posted by divabat on Dec 8, 2011 - 26 comments

Posh kids only

The BBC Micro is 30 years old today. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 1, 2011 - 27 comments

Outsource yourself!

Looking for work? Come to India!
posted by Tom-B on Nov 12, 2011 - 26 comments

Iconoclast, Fashion Symbol, Bookbinder, Legend

"There has never, ever been a period in the history of mankind where you have as much conformity as you have now, and yet every person is under the delusion that they are an individual. I'm not. I'm trying to fit in. " So says Michael O'Brien, victorian bookbinder, sage of Oamaru, snappy jacobian dresser and all around good guy. Working in the historic district in the pacific's last remaining Victorian harbour he has inspired a whole traditional craft community around him.
posted by fordiebianco on Oct 26, 2011 - 15 comments

Exploiting Fear

How Two Scammers Built an Empire Hawking Sketchy Software
posted by vidur on Oct 4, 2011 - 23 comments

Porcelain Unicorn

Entrants in the Philips-sponsored constrained cinema competition Tell It Your Way were restricted to three minutes and just six lines of dialogue: “What is that?,” “It’s a unicorn,” “Never seen one up close before,” “Beautiful,” “Get away, get away,” and “I’m sorry.” In spite of these limitations, the winner was surprisingly profound.
posted by ambulocetus on Aug 8, 2011 - 43 comments

Cracking voyeurism

Using honeypots and logging tools, some server admins have logged actual server break-in attempts by nincompoop crackers. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 11, 2011 - 50 comments

One Laptop Per Bike

Armed with a netbook, medical supplies and a bicycle, Bangladesh's InfoLadies are giving millions of poor people access to crucial information on their doorsteps that will improve their chances in life
posted by Artw on May 22, 2010 - 13 comments

It doesn't matter who's wrong or right. Just beat it.

Beatin' it in Seattle
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 1, 2009 - 37 comments

Loosening up locked-down corporate IT

Over on Slate, Farhad Manjoo writes that corporate IT ought to allow users more freedom in web browser selection and installation rights on their work computers. John C. Welch responds.
posted by porn in the woods on Sep 1, 2009 - 172 comments

Drew Caricature

Can't get enough Whose Line is it Anyway? 71 Scenes From a Hat, 16 Party Quirks, 52 Props, 5 Film Dubs, 84 Hoedowns, 37 Sound Effects, 45 Questions Only, 11 Hats/Dating Service Videos, 52 World's Worst, 13 News Flashes, 35 Let's Make a Date, 9 Press Conferences, 60 Superheroes, 6 Foreign Film Dubs, 29 Irish Drinking Songs, 4 Animals, 9 If You Know What I Mean, 2 Backwards Scene, 54 Greatest Hits, 58 Song Styles, 2 All in One Voice, 21 Scenes to Rap, 3 90-Second Alphabets, 11 Questionable Impressions, 4 Two-Line Vocabulary, 3 Number of Words, 17 Weird Newscasters and (probably the most telling of how much they had to hold back due to censorship standards) 6 Blooper Reels. Prefer the UK version? Every episode of Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 3, 2009 - 70 comments

Harry Kalas, 1936-2009

Hall of Fame member, Phillies broadcaster, and NFL Films announcer Harry Kalas passed away today. At least he got to make his World Series victory call.
posted by SansPoint on Apr 13, 2009 - 26 comments

Wanted: Go-getter with inquisitive nature and a high tolerance for gore, sleaze, and the baser instincts of humanity.

Last year, Infoworld published their list of the 7 dirtiest jobs in IT. This year, they're back with 7 even dirtier jobs. [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Apr 6, 2009 - 38 comments

Leave It to Beaver

It's Friday, what better time to relish in the carefree world that was Leave It to Beaver. Even though it was "just" a TV show, how many of us, back in our youth, could relate to anxiety of being given the dreaded note from a teacher? Of course, as with any syndicated sitcom, there are stories behind the various actors. And other stories as well... [more inside]
posted by Oriole Adams on Mar 20, 2009 - 19 comments

Two Google searches use as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches - "Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea."
posted by nthdegx on Jan 11, 2009 - 74 comments

What, you know him too?

Where Is Bob? We have a manager — Bob. Bob is incompetent, overweight, unattractive, uncouth, socially awkward, and generally, not a very nice person at all. For a while, we were convinced that Bob had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. But then, something happened — Bob stopped showing up for work on a regular basis. Sometimes he wouldn’t even bother explaining his absence, acting as if spontaneous five-day weekends were simply the norm. And that is how everyone came to wonder — where is Bob?
posted by nakedcodemonkey on Aug 15, 2008 - 117 comments

Have You Got It Yet?

Syd Barrett, the iconic, ephemeral, sadly recently-deceased founder and original frontman of Pink Floyd, recorded several singles and an LP (plus at least one song on their second LP) with the band before his genius was amputated by mental illness and they became an arena rock dinosaur. He also recorded two solo albums, the making of which was almost as interesting as the gentle, crystalline, almost fractal-like music contained on them. However, as Barrett aficionados have long known, the solo sessions produced many more recordings than were eventually released. Now, though, all known Barrett material that wasn't commercially released has been assembled in a fan-made collection: Have You Got It Yet?, version 2.0 of which has just been released to the world. More download links inside. [more inside]
posted by DecemberBoy on Mar 1, 2008 - 39 comments

Wubi: Ubuntu the easy way

Ubuntu has quickly become the number one Linux distro for the desktop. Not only is it free, but it has also made Linux easier to use than ever. Now, Wubi enables Windows users to install Ubuntu just like any other application, so you no longer have to mess around with partitions, burning CDs, etc. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 21, 2008 - 82 comments

ARTISTdirect MediaDefender

Anti-Piracy agents MediaDefender have 700MiB of juicy internal emails leaked on BitTorrent; are in trouble.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 16, 2007 - 83 comments

For the public good, or just out of a job?

25 y.o. whistle-blower. Last Fall, a 24 y.o. by the name of Justen Deal, blew the whistle on what he perceived to be profligate waste by his employers. As an IT guy at Kaiser-Permanente, he'd seen a $442 million database project scrapped by the new CEO and replaced by a sweetheart deal for one of the CEO's former contractors. Internal estimates placed Kaiser's losses on this new contract at $1.2 billion dollars per quarter [more inside]
posted by vhsiv on Apr 25, 2007 - 74 comments

0118 999 881 999 119 7253

The IT Crowd is a sitcom produced for Channel 4. Although it follows the traditional laugh-track sitcom format, it manages to have some really funny moments. Season one was only six episodes, but season 2 is due to start this January. Chris Morris is particularly good as the CEO, Denholm. Full episodes can be found on YouTube and Google Video.
posted by cmicali on Dec 18, 2006 - 62 comments

India's Outsourcing Problems

India's Outsourcing Problems One of the most controversial aspects of the global economy has been the newfound freedom of companies from physical location and the subsequent spread of outsourcing jobs. No country had embraced tech outsourcing with the passion of India. Of late, problems there are beginning to rise: engineers start a project, get a few months' experience, and then bolt for greener pastures, bringing a level of attrition that replaces entire staffs within the course of a year. Combine that with salaries in Bangalore that are rising at 12% to 14% per year and it is no surprise that companies are leaving India for a slew of emerging hot spots for IT outsourcing such as the old Soviet Bloc, China, and Vietnam. This comes as companies such as Microsoft continue to laud outsourcing and proudly proclaim that it is here to stay, and it looks as if Ho Chi Minh City will be the next Bangalore.
posted by PreacherTom on Dec 11, 2006 - 19 comments

IT vs User... FIGHT!

Half of IT managers admit to hating their users... a lot. - But it's ok, because the users hate IT too. No, they really hate IT. Perhaps IT isn't meeting customer demands. And it isn't like either side's attitudes have changed much over time (July 2001).
In the long term, it simply may never work out between IT and the users. After all, IT support is just like any other customer service job. And we all know customers suck enough for people to start web pages about it... again and again.
posted by smallerdemon on Aug 28, 2006 - 60 comments

Etherkiller

How to make friends with your IT department
posted by cbrody on Jun 21, 2005 - 20 comments

Bastard Operator From Hell, compleat archives

The latest BOFH, or Bastard Operator From Hell. If you read The Register you're familiar with him... It's the story of an abusive IT guy basically doing whatever he wants to users and getting away with it. It's been going on for about 10 years, all of which is archived, so if that one doesn't tease your fancy, maybe some of those will. If you're not familiar with basic IT stuff some of it may be foreign to you, but once I started reading I couldn't stop. Try a couple years back, 2002 is a good vintage. >clickety<
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Mar 21, 2005 - 48 comments

Long Live Freedom....

CEO of eBay's Indian company arrested for an item offered up for sale on his site. Avnish Bajaj, the CEO of baazee.com, an Indian auction site purchased by eBay in June 2004, was arrested on Friday while assisting in the investigation into the attempted sale of pornography by a user on the auction site, and charged with violating the 2000 India IT Act. Bajaj was arrested even though he was not involved in the sale, had it cancelled as soon as it was found, and the people involved had already been arrested.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Dec 20, 2004 - 25 comments

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