While the Oekonux conference in Manchester (27-29 March 2009), I was interviewed by Dan Lynch, for their podcast Linux Outlaws. I was nicely surprised the other day, when he wrote to me and told me he added the edited version of it in the 90th podcast, dating from May 6, 2009.
Leningrad and Moscow. As a raised in a Russian language primary school, I have a lot from the Russian culture with me. I've learnt a lot from my teachers, mostly Russian descendants, skills for life. We were starting our classes with fiz-zariadka (физзарядка), exercising our bodies, before exercising our brains. We did a lot of hand-writing (a beautiful one), we had to organise our titles and sub-titles with different colours, to always write the date in the left field of the notebook.
Last night, leaving baby to her grandparents, we passed taking the computer of a friend's kids. Our task is to install Ubuntu. Thinking about the new generation, who have access to computer and GNU/Linux from such very young age... I wish I have had this possibility when I was young.
A message on Slashdot brought my attention this morning. Spam uses 33 billion kilowatt hours of energy per year, which is to suit 2.4 million families or 3.1 cars. This comes from the 60 trillion "dumped" spam messages in 2008. So, not only it pollutes your mail box, but also environment. "Interestingly, the majority of energy usage (around 80%) comes from users viewing and deleting spam, and searching for legitimate emails within spam filters."
I am about to complete my second chapter of my master's thesis, which covers the context of women's participation in Free and Open Source Software development projects. It is an introduction chapter, which will collect viewpoints from authors who have already written on this topic. My suggestions on how to approach the issue will come at the very end of this part, and also from then on, all the rest of the thesis.
So, for this time, I have made a considerable bibliographic list of articles of researchers and activists under FOSS and Women keywords. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
The Fourth Oekonux Conference has just passed (27-29 March). My lecture was my first actual academic presentation of findings, which I have made in public. There were two feelings at the beginning: enthusiasm and disappointment.
Enthusiasm, because I really wanted to share my work and ideas, and I felt I had moved far from previous popular presentations done at Open Source conferences. I did not like to stick to the "one million dollar question" on WHY there are so few women in Open Source, I actually bypass this issue, and go deeper to see actually WHERE are the women in the FOSS movement, and what specific contributions they provide. Some answers to these questions might actually better motivate FOSS community groups to make efforts and encourage women's participation.
Disappointment, because all the male participants had left for another session (I heard a bit later that I have had a fierce competition with a famous lecturer), and all the female ones have stayed. Few minutes later, it was not so bad, when some late comers joined the conference, and we were actually almost as many women as men in the room.
So, in brief, my 1,5 hours lecture was not recorded, except on my small voice recorder, therefore with very bad quality. I listened to it again, in order to note the questions and the comments made by the participants (the worst part of the recording). So, here they are, in a summarized form, with some of the answers, also in résumé.
Women do valuable work in FOSS development, which is often informal, therefore invisible
Majority of women do the “boring job” in FOSS projects, such as usability, training, documentation...
Women have low confidence in their work, coming mainly from the fact they are not developers by education
Need for minimization of the importance of programming, in order to value the work of “other contributors” and of users, for producing a better and widely spread code.
March 24th was the international day for blogging about women in technology. Thousands of people have posted a story about one woman in computing who they admire. Here we go! I thought about posting, but never thought that someone will post about me!
My friend and colleague Anne has thought about me, when thinking of her Ada. So amazing and encouraging, indeed! I did not think that I could inspire someone in this. I do not even consider myself as a woman in computing...
Today is the day. I signed a pledge, together with almost 2000 other people, that on the 24th of March (today), will post a story about a woman geek I admire. I have a big choice of women to post about, which makes my task rather difficult, but tonight I will do it.
Celebrating the achivements of women in computing is a great initiative, and creates more visibility on the web and within communities about women who have contributed to innovation in computer science.
It is mid-March and it is the first time when I dared to take out my new bike and go to the university with it. I feel my lungs cleaned again. I arrive in the morning, full of energy, and ready to work.
Belfast Telegraph has announced a few days ago, that a shocking "rape simulator" called RapeLay is being offered for sale on Amazon.com. Created by the Japanese company Illusion, the game involves the player stalking victims and then raping them in a virtual world. One website review describes "tears glistening in the young girl's eyes" as she is attacked in graphic detail.
Yesterday was the deadline for admission to UQAM. I don't know what illusions I make. Will I really be happy to do research for another 5+ years?.. Thinking about this, here is one of the latest Phd Comics which confirms my occasional feelings about staying in university for longer time...