When Virginia Eubanks visited Montreal a couple weeks ago, she stayed at my place. Before she left, I asked her to sing her book for me. At the end, she said: "And thanks for teaching me what hacktivism is."
If I were to sign a book for Virginia, I would say: "and thanks for teaching me what popular technology is". I'd rather explain.
Among the proposed sessions can be found many interesting ideas: from technical skills, to management and transfer of knowledge, networking and philosophy around women and technology, children and computers, and the future.
Here are my favourites mixes:
Linux, command-line, GIMP, programming, public speaking
Ruby programming, Rails, ways to get more women into programming, teaching programming to kids
The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology has announced the release of a new study related to Women in Technology professions: Obstacles and Solutions for Underrepresented Minorities in Technology. It is a study about the barriers and obstacles of women's advancement in high-technology professions. Author: Caroline Simard, Ph.D., is Director of Research and Executive Programs at the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.
The xkcd comics has provided a great way to understand the (simple) mind of the sys-admins, which we all seem to rely on at times in order to "fix" our computer and networking problems. When you look closely what they do, and the time they take to fix the smallest problem, you understand where they get this wisedom sometimes. The answer surely is Google.
What does Google have to do with abortion rights around the world? Why should search engine change with respect to the country you search from? These and many other questions come out by reading Mosum Momaya`s Is Google Violating Women's Rights?
At the time of this writing, when searching for the relevant translation of “abortion” in each of the fifteen localized Google search engines, no sponsored links appeared in any of the countries – for abortion-related services or otherwise. Incidentally, no AdWords come up either in China - a country that heavily restricts search results for many topics – Greece or South Korea. Meanwhile, AdWords featuring abortion service providers do appear in localized searches in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
For about an year now Google has in its policy a clause that states that will no longer "accept ads that promote abortion services in fifteen countries", among which Germany, France, Spain, China. Why should some countries differ from others by Google standards, in terms so far away from what search engine companies should be worrying about like abortion rights? And why does it seem to me that the Pope is paying the salaries of some Google Inc. decision-makers? This selective policy sounds very much like the Catholic religious freaks who decide to limit women's rights (such as abortion rights) for no sensible (nor religious) reason.
With this policy revision, it appears that Google Inc. has chosen to steer clear of controversy, avoiding any kind of related ads altogether in the fifteen specified countries. The shift in and specificity of the company’s policy indicates it is taking a stronger role in verifying and deciding what ads are placed – a move that has policy and ethical implications.
Interestingly, decisions are taken on a selective basis, by a corporation that is big and influential enough not to take childish decisions. At the same time, the AdWords freak me enough in thinking how much lack of privacy exist in gmail.com for example - by tracking each keyword of my e-mail and flooding me with ads which I haven't even asked for.
Yet another proof there is no privacy over internet, neither there is net justice, or net neutrality. Internet is everywhere, but there is a lot of controversy, one of which is the access to information, and the right to this information, as a human right.
I found an interesting example of stereotyping technology between genders in Judy Wajcman ’s book "Technofeminism". In her explanation, the typewriter keyboard remains the primary interface for connection to cyberspace. In historical context, typewriter keyboards and all the relative words were associated with the feminine:
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."
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.
Following the next Debian-Women sexist discussion, related to the importance of women in computer science, Michael Norwick pasted a list of remarkable women in computer science. I knew many of them, but I liked to have them together. Thanks Michael!
Drupal Camp approaching. This is just the right time, since I am migrating my website to Drupal. Also, I will be celebrating my birthday party on Friday evening... what a nice coincidence!
Internationalisation, documentation, Drupal 7, show and tells, and much more... Whether you are a user or a developer, accomplished or beginner, there will be something to satisfy your curiosity — because you decide on the program.