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posted by janrinok on Saturday June 07 2014, @05:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the food-for-thought dept.

A huge nationwide push is underway, funded by the nonprofit Code.org's corporate and billionaire donors, from Amazon and Google to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to introduce American schoolchildren to coding and to redefine it as a basic skill to be learned alongside the three R's.

Code.org's curriculum has been adopted by 20,000 teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade. But if coding is the new lingua franca, literacy rates for girls are dropping: Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science [PDF]. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates down from 36 percent in 1984. The imbalance persists in the tech industry. Just this week, Google released data showing that women account for just 17 percent of its tech employees.

The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there.

See also girlswhocode.com.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Eino on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:15PM

    by Eino (4290) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:15PM (#52680)

    If "The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there" then clearly they're just not interested in computers and programming. Men and woman have different interests and trying to force men's interests on women in the name of equality is both moronic and immoral.

    Equality does not mean that everyone must be the same - that's fascism. What equality means is that everyone has the same opportunities. If girls and boys have the equal opportunities to try programming, but most girls find they aren't interested in it, then that's not a problem.

    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by jasassin on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:32PM

      by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:32PM (#52686) Homepage Journal

      Please mod parent up and let this die once and for all.

      --
      jasassin@gmail.com GPG Key ID: 0xE6462C68A9A3DB5A
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:37PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:37PM (#52691)

      It IS a problem, for various reasons. Remember, programming used to be considered a woman's job. The problem with all this, however, is that they aren't looking at the roots of the problem in our very culture, so they're not going to be successful in fixing it with these initiatives. Why do girls lose interest in it? They think that by pushing them into it in school they'll stay interested, and that simply isn't the case; there's deeper issues there.

      • (Score: 2) by Oligonicella on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:02PM

        by Oligonicella (4169) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:02PM (#52713)

        When exactly was it considered a woman's job? I've been involved in the field for quite a while and I don't recall that.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Grishnakh on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:28PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:28PM (#52730)

          You're probably not old enough to remember it. It was before the 60s.

          • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:47PM

            by jimshatt (978) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:47PM (#52738) Journal
            You mean when all the men were out fighting wars?
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by VLM on Sunday June 08 2014, @11:38AM

              by VLM (445) on Sunday June 08 2014, @11:38AM (#52920)

              A computer at one point was a human female who basically split off from the linear fixed point accounting disciplines to run nonlinear floating point numerical integrations and the like by hand. So you have a team of 10 women running a disk method integration or each calculating a portion of a ballistics table for artillery or crypto grunt work or whatever. At a microscopically higher level you have the (mostly women) who coordinated and Q/A that work. You'd put the "programmers" at a microscopically higher level.

              At a level slightly above bear furs and baling wire you had the same women shuffling punch cards into unit record equipment, much like their counterparts in accounting.

              Its interesting from a tech perspective just how little tech the world required very recently. My mom made some beer money in the '60s hand calculating and hand typing paychecks for a major national railroad. As recently as the very early 90s as a starving student I worked for a very small business where my paychecks (and the other three guys) were calculated and generated by hand, ink pen on paper. I'm sure this sounds unimaginable to modern ears, like the days before indoor plumbing. But yeah, as recently as just a couple decades ago, being able to add and subtract fixed point numbers by hand was a real vocational skill people were paid to do.

              • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Sunday June 08 2014, @10:11PM

                by jimshatt (978) on Sunday June 08 2014, @10:11PM (#53046) Journal
                That's really interesting, thanks. I remember, as a kid (maybe 6 or 7), hearing a radio broadcast of some calculation that was done both by hand and by computer and comparing the speed and accuracy of the result. We had a ZX-81 at home which I was sometimes playing with (typing over simple programs from books or stuff my dad wrote (on stacks of grid paper)), and I was really struck by a feeling of "yes of course the computer is better! even I know that!"
                Funny.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:57PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:57PM (#52742)

            Before the 60s? Do you mean the 50s when there were only a handful of mainframes world?

            Back when mainframes were custom-built monsters with tube logic, they didn't even have operating systems and were programmed by the scientists who used them, mostly men.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @06:53AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @06:53AM (#52887)

              and were programmed by the scientists who used them, mostly men.

              Those were the analysts. They drew flowcharts.

              The programmers (a fair mixture of men and women) read the flowcharts and wrote programs (in assembly) to implement them.

              Then coders (almost all women) read the programs and translated them symbolic opcodes and their operands / addressing modes into a raw stream of numbers (in hex). Finally, keypunch operators (also almost all women) imprinted those streams of numbers onto paper tape or punch cards (or later on, keyed them into incremental magtape writers).

              The nomeclature of computing jobs has changed a lot in the last half century...

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:09PM

        by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:09PM (#52719) Journal

        Such as WHAT deeper issues?

        Its easy to make pronouncements, its a little bit harder to start actual enrollment drives. And its harder still to find out why women prefer nursing, teaching, law careers, accountancies and running small businesses, over programming.

        The hardest part of all is to come up with a convincing reason that anyone should take any interest in changing this situation and luring women into careers they don't want.

        What deeper issues?

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:13PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:13PM (#52721)

          Hey, I don't have all the answers. I just know that what they're doing is superficial. I think there's probably many deeper issues.

          One of them was described by another poster here: that IT workers are not valued, work too many hours for too little pay, and have no job security. If you're really smart, there's better careers out there, such as law, accounting, running small businesses, and of course medicine. This isn't something that can be fixed, since it's entirely under the control of industry, and they can't be forced to change how they treat white-collar workers.

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:22AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:22AM (#52803)

            I'll help you out a bit here, a certain former board-member of SAP referred to a study (sorry, gotta look for yourself) of children's interest in STEM subjects during one of his lectures.
             

            Until the age of 6-7, both genders were equally interested and until 15 the divide turned to what we usually are expecting.
            He suggested that school-teachers are to blame along the lines of: "Oh no, that's not a 'girly' thing to do," and "But boys are expected to XYZ;" which makes a lot of sense (e.g. composition of teachers backgrounds suggests that they're usually more "traditional").
             

            TL;DR: It's difficult to weed out chauvinistic tendencies (also in the education system).

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:47AM

              by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:47AM (#52861) Journal

              We've been pounding on this gender imbalance issue for decades, and we still don't really know why it exists. Attempting to fix the problem when we don't know what it is, or even if it is a problem, is folly. If being homosexual is such a problem, why hasn't evolution weeded out all such tendencies? Maybe because there's an optimum level of homosexuality for a population of animals? Maybe the population as a whole is more fit for survival if a few members are homosexual, because that's more diversity? A virulent STD won't wipe out everyone if a few members behave differently?

              A complication is that it's not Politically Correct to consider whether there is an innate difference in brains that make boys more likely to become interested in programming. Note I don't say that this in any way makes girls inferior. Different is not inferior, though of course different does mean better at some things and worse at other things. Why are more women into teaching, nursing, and dancing? Most men aren't as good at those jobs? Maybe, and that's okay. But somehow it's not okay for women to be worse at programming, so we spend time looking at social factors. If it turns out that the imbalance is a result of fundamental differences in brain wiring, and we continue to refuse to consider that, we're wasting our time.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by Grishnakh on Monday June 09 2014, @04:26PM

                by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday June 09 2014, @04:26PM (#53286)

                Why are more women into teaching, nursing, and dancing? Most men aren't as good at those jobs?

                Dancing is not a job, except in a very few rare cases, and also for strip clubs. The number of women (or men) employed as non-strip-club dancers is ridiculously tiny, probably even less than the number of people employed as full-time actors. The number of strip-club dancers inflates it a lot, but women don't go into that job because they like dancing; they go into that job because they're desperate for cash and the job pays a lot better than McDonald's.

                Women traditionally went into teaching and nursing because those were the only "respectable" jobs allowed for them. (There were a few more too, such as telephone operators.) They were not allowed to go into most other jobs. No one would see a woman doctor. No one would hire a woman manager or engineer. That's changed a lot these days; lots of smart women, who in the past would have gone into nursing, skip that and become doctors now, and the nursing industry is hurting as a result (the fact that hospitals refuse to increase pay for nurses doesn't help). Why does anyone go into nursing these days in fact? Mainly because the educational requirements are much less (you can just go to community college, which is dirt cheap; can't do that if you want to be an MD), and the working hours are less, since it's an hourly job. So women who are already single mothers or don't want to or can't invest the necessary time and money to go through med school instead and then spend lots of hours in residency and then as a staff doctor can go into nursing instead, which is regular 9-5 job.

                As for teaching, I've met a couple of teachers within the last year (both female), and neither of them chose the profession, they were pushed into it by happenstance. With one, I can't remember what she was doing before, but she started as a substitute teacher because she needed a job, and from there took some classes, got a certificate, and became a kindergarten teacher. The other one had a liberal-arts degree of some kind, and her career in journalism (I think, something like that) wasn't doing that great because that profession isn't so hot these days, the public school system was strongly recruiting, and recruited her to be a high school math teacher, even though she had no degree in math at all. She told me some horror stories about one of her older male coworkers (another math teacher) who was really quite incompetent at basic math. Her knowledge wasn't that great either; with my EE background and the math that entails (which admittedly, is about 15 years in the past now) I could tell she was competent with the trig she taught, but probably wouldn't be able to handle much higher without retraining, but it sounded like she was far more competent than the other math teachers she worked with. So basically, it all boiled down to: positions for these jobs were open, they paid decently, the barriers to entry were very low (don't need to know any math to be a math teacher!!), the schools were recruiting, and these women needed jobs.

                Finally, I really question the whole "teaching is dominated by women" assumption. I don't think it's necessarily true any more. Even 20 years ago when I was in public school, there seemed to be a pretty equal ratio of female and male teachers. It's not like nursing, which is still dominated by women (but there are a lot more men in it these days, just not an equal ratio).

            • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Sunday June 08 2014, @07:34PM

              by BasilBrush (3994) on Sunday June 08 2014, @07:34PM (#53010)

              The theory that gender differences come from gender stereotypes in education is just plain false, and the experimental data proves it. Give human toys to monkeys, and the male monkeys go for the tonka toys and the females go for the cuddly dolls.

              http://animalwise.org/2012/01/26/born-this-way-gender-based-toy-preferences-in-primates/ [animalwise.org]

              --
              Hurrah! Quoting works now!
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:41PM

      by edIII (791) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:41PM (#52692)

      I don't think it's a gender based interest.

      Read an article once and it brought up a very damn good point. Men will take and put up with 9 tons of shit and stress themselves into an early grave as if it's manly to do so. There is an element of machismo working against us when I take it as a personal challenge to do two 50-hour shifts in a row on a job where I ended up making less than minimum wage doing it. I might as well have taken it as a challenge, since it was a requirement anyways. Unless I wanted to start looking for a new job.

      Women tend to be smarter about that sort of thing. Especially, any woman that is even moderately attractive. I think women intuitively assess from our culture that IT sucks beyond all that sucketh.

      They're not wrong. From computer programmers, to sysadmins, and all the spectrums in between with coffee shop webdevs, and social media experts, IT is the worst industry on the planet in terms of compensation and treatment. IT is always seen as an expense, and never a revenue generator. Despite the fact, that in today's age IT is bringing about innovation and creating entirely new markets and customer retention tools.

      If I have one piece of advice to any young women, it's stay out of IT, forget about programming, and go find a real life where there is a chance you will be appreciated. I didn't really have a chance or choice myself. I gravitated towards computing at age five and was fixing the VCR clock at 3. It was all but assumed when I was having fun building my own computers at 9 that this was going to be my life, and it would be a nice profitable one.

      Perhaps, when the current dregs of IT all start falling over and having heart attacks, the compensation packages will go up. When IT starts getting paid and less abused, then maybe women should become interested.

      Until then, I consider them the smarter gender for staying out of it. Go become a family practice doctor, or a lawyer, or anything else.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:56PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:56PM (#52706)

        IT is not "the worst industry on the planet" by a long shot. Working in a Chinese factory is much worse. So is working at McDonald's.

        However, for the education and intelligence required, there's far better opportunities in the US. Law and medicine come to mind right away. Medicine has higher educational requirements, but it also has far better job security and compensation later on. IT becomes a dead-end career after you pass 40 or so, but older doctors are highly valued for their experience.

        I absolutely agree about women being smarter for avoiding this trap. I disagree about compensation packages, though. There's no shortage of foreigners willing to jump into this field, ready to be abused. That isn't going to change until the US crumbles and loses its hegemony.

        • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:16PM

          by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:16PM (#52724) Journal

          That isn't going to change until the US crumbles and loses its hegemony.

          Really? That's what it will take?
          So that must mean all the women are moving into IT jobs in other countries then?

          Lets see, we can't come up with any real reasons the women avoid IT, so... Oh, lets heap hate on the US. That always works. We look hip, and informative without having to think just a little bit.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:30PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:30PM (#52732)

            So that must mean all the women are moving into IT jobs in other countries then?

            No, the problem is there's a couple billion people in China and India alone, and a tiny, tiny fraction of them will easily dwarf our IT industry.-

            Oh, lets heap hate on the US. That always works.

            Yeah, that's a great way to respond to criticism. Stick your fingers and your ears and ignore the problems.

            It's not just the US either, it's all of western society. There aren't tons of women going into IT in western Europe, Canada, or Australia either.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:48PM

              by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:48PM (#52739) Journal

              It's not just the US either, it's all of western society. There aren't tons of women going into IT in western Europe, Canada, or Australia either.

              You were the one that said it was a US hegemony problem. Now you seem to want it both ways.

              There is no problem here other than someone gave women a choice, then decided that when they exercised their choice there was something wrong somewhere because they made different choices than men made.

              Why do you seem to have such a problem with women exercising control over their own lives?
              Is this some latent Islamic influence in your thinking or something?

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 1, Troll) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:16PM

                by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:16PM (#52748)

                The problem is that the equations for men and women are different. If it were as simple as "I want to do X for a living" you would see closer to a 50/50 split or something more along the lines of the gender split in the population.

                Sure, an old white guy can apply to be the president of the Young Black Woman's Society organization. Would he do it and just think "we are equal and I'm qualified"?

                • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by frojack on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:53PM

                  by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:53PM (#52759) Journal

                  "If it were as simple as "I want to do X for a living" you would see closer to a 50/50 split or something more along the lines of the gender split in the population.

                  Even if it were "that simple", there would be a difference in the choices made by the sexes. There isn't any evidence that, if a snap of the fingers would get you any career you wanted, that each career would fill evenly between the genders. None what so ever.

                  I have no idea what "the equations are different" really means.

                  --
                  No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @09:10PM

                    by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @09:10PM (#52763)

                    Your mistake is in assuming that biological gender manifests in career choice. We are dealing with large numbers here and this isn't even a close split like 55% men, 45% women, or 65 / 35. It is a huge gap.

                    Equations, in the form seen in calculus. You compute the area under a curve, f(x) = ax + C, where C is a constant. If you take x out to infinity, C can be ignored so you generally do ignore it unless your professor is a dick and want's you to write " + C" after every solution. What you are saying is that "for all men and women, C is negligible and can be ignored", meaning that men and women inherently choose a career over another based on their gender. What I am saying is that C is still quite significant and that if you removed it you would see a man/woman slit more inline with the general population. We don't, so woman's equations when deciding on which career to enter are different and until you can remove C altogether (remove the social factors of gender roles) you can't say that women inherently prefer one career over another.

                    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:40PM

                      by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:40PM (#52796) Journal

                      yeah, yeah, but where is your evidence?

                      You keep tossing up this 50/50 nonsense like there is a shred of truth to it.
                      Its simply not true, and never has been.

                      The professions that are actually are populated 50/50 are anomalies, outliers, unusual. The world over.

                      I'm asking for a shred of proof, and you keep propping up your 50/50 notion with a silly formula pulled out of your ass.
                      You keep complaining that we haven't removed enough barriers. But no matter how many such barriers we remove you will always find another one and insist the discrepancy is due to THAT new barrier. Like the poor, who will always be with us, there will always be gender based choices, which you will always insist as a sign of something seriously wrong. Since you won't supply anything but your own assertion in support of your own assertion I see little reason to continue the discussion.

                      Because for you, the mere fact that women prefer different choices IS THE PROBLEM.

                      --
                      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:07AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:07AM (#52811)

                        > The professions that are actually are populated 50/50 are anomalies, outliers, unusual. The world over.

                        Yeah, yeah, but where is your evidence? Any time your faith is questioned you demand evidence that meets an impossibly high standard but you are never able to provide the same. For your own faith the existence of the status quo is all the proof you need -- you are content with the most shallow analysis possible as long as you don't disagree with it. Its the ultimate form of intellectual dishonesty.

                      • (Score: 2) by skullz on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:14AM

                        by skullz (2532) on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:14AM (#52827)

                        Note: not really fair to mod parent a troll, he raises valid points. This is a serious discussion and he is discussing!

                        Here is the US labor department numbers: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.htm [bls.gov]

                        Women make up roughly 50% of the workforce. In "Computer and mathematical occupations" they are only about 25% but have a good showing in analysis, statistics, web dev, and as DBAs, ranging from 35% to 50%. At the same time there few to none network admins or comp sec women in the sample and only 23% code monkeys (despite there being over 300k code monkey jobs in the US (same website)).

                        There are over 3 million in the computer and mathematical occupations and only 1 in 4 women actually have a job in it. This is where my silly ass formula comes in. With this large of a number either women, inherently by their nature, don't want to get into tech or there is another factor. I assert that it is the environment from birth to adulthood. So, if we go back to the entire point of this article which is to get more girls into coding then identifying (or even acknowledging) what element in the environment is causing this skew would be a good starting point. Its over 3 million slots.

                        My point is that there is a big difference between saying "that's just what this woman wanted" and "that's just what women want". By generalizing and saying "woman prefer" you run the risk of glossing over a problem.

                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:06PM

                      by VLM (445) on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:06PM (#52923)

                      I love to bring up chemistry

                      Generic lab techs are darn near 50:50 ratio.

                      Then you hop to Chemist and its almost 50:50 although there is a legacy etc such that there are slightly more men. Still darn near 50:50.

                      Then you hop to ChemEng and its roughly 10% women.

                      Then you hop to management and there are more women but its probably just a hiring quota situation.

                      So you wanna do R+D or run an existing plant, women are allowed. On the other hand if you want to design or manage a plant that is a total sausagefest.

                      There are obvious analogies with computers. You want to do R+D, I guess that is "math" and that is in fact darn near 50:50. Running an existing plant is analogous with "using facebook" or playing spreadsheet and powerpoint dominance games all day at work, which is also unsurprisingly roughly 50:50. Yet again, if you want to design something new or "manage" a database or server farm or whatever, its again sausagefest time with only 10% or so women.

                      The point being there's nothing "special" about IT or computers. Its more a lifestyle thing. Across the professions, women don't get involved in engineering or management. And this is crucial because if you fix that, the specific IT results will take care of themselves, and if you think a pink hello kitty theme in Eclipse will solve the entire cultural wide "problem" across all professions then you're wasting everyone's time because obviously thats not going to fix chemistry or any of a zillion other non-IT/CS fields.

                      • (Score: 2) by skullz on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:04PM

                        by skullz (2532) on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:04PM (#52932)

                        and if you think a pink hello kitty theme in Eclipse will solve the entire cultural wide "problem" across all professions then you're wasting everyone's time

                        You are right but the point is to raise awareness, maybe not with you or with the people who are saying that there is no solution / problem but with the few hundred other people who have read this conversation and not commented. The pink hello kitty theme is part of the "death of 10,000 cuts" that girls and women are talking about. Its easy to do and easy to stop if we are mindful and we care.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday June 08 2014, @11:51AM

          by VLM (445) on Sunday June 08 2014, @11:51AM (#52921)

          "So is working at McDonald's."

          Not my experience. Well, I never worked at McD, although I worked very small company retail as a starving student and it was awesome. I was a single teenage boy and the hiring manager was a dirty old man with the same taste in women as myself, so about half my coworkers were amazing beautiful women my age (I dated several, which now a days is probably illegal). The work was physically way easier than going to the gym or helping out at my uncles farm or helping my parents do house maintenance. The camaraderie was excellent (with the guys, not just the women). The 50:50 male female ratio was awesome. Management was uniformly excellent; obviously this was not a "family run" small business, but a real small business.

          If I could get paid the same to stock shelves and occasionally help the cashiers, there's no way I'd be slinging code.

          Also BTW law is dead. That bubble popped a couple years ago, maybe five years ago? Not everyone has heard about it yet, but the numbers were/are pretty stunning. I never went into medicine because as a kid I could see it was likely to be "reorganized" because nothing this dumb can go on forever. Yet decades later, here we are. I would imagine when the medical bubble pops it'll sound just like the popping of the law bubble. "What do you mean, pharmacists are being replaced by vending machines?" and radiologists aren't paid any more than car brake shop repair guys.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by meisterister on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:42PM

      by meisterister (949) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:42PM (#52693) Journal

      The problem I see here is that there was a significant decrease over time. People need to consider what, exactly, has changed between 1984 and now to cause such a decrease. Is it because there are now far more males, or it because some factor is driving the women out. I agree that if people don't care, then they shouldn't be pushed into programming. The thing that should be pushed rather than programming should be logical, algorithmic thinking. Just the thought processes involved in programming can prove to be very useful in other subjects.

      --
      (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kevinl on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:44PM

      by kevinl (3951) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:44PM (#52697)

      You obviously missed the bit where there were more women entering the field in 1984 than now. Since evolution doesn't work that quickly, this cannot be reduced to gender essentialism.

      Something has changed in the last 35 years such that fewer women are entering the field. That IS a problem for the field, losing 50%+ of a major demographic indicates a serious institutional issue at work. There are several potential reasons for this, perhaps a combination of reasons. Maybe we (the collection of computing professionals and educators) have developed a woman-repelling (or man-attracting) feature in the technology itself; or possibly we've developed a woman-repelling work and study culture; or maybe the tech sector is actually a dead-end career and women have somehow disproportionately noticed. Can you come up with any others?

      • (Score: 1) by frojack on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:42PM

        by frojack (1554) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:42PM (#52736) Journal

        Losing 50% of the demographic is NOT a serious institutional issue.
        It is the free exercise of choice.

        As long as you persist in this unspoken, but clearly implied assumption that all careers are equally attractive to all types of people, you will continue to make such faulty pronouncements that women preferring other lines of work is some how a problem that has to be fixed.

        Women don't like plumbing jobs, (1.8%) or diesel mechanics (.8%) work either. What DEEPER issues do you think prevail there, and don't you think those should be addressed first? Its far "worse" than the IT industry.

        Dept of Labor [dol.gov] has a listing of these non-traditional or jobs and the percent of women employed.

        There is no problem here. Stop trying to make one up. People are free to make their choices.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:27AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:27AM (#52815)

          Your ability to remain steadfastly ignorant in the face of your own evidence is stunning.

          For example, that list shows women only make up 17.2% of the clergy. By your own proclamation, women are simply freely choosing not to be priests. The fact that at least a third of the jobs in the clergy are simply not an option for women because of the rules of the catholic church does not have anything to do with it. No, they are just exercising their freedom to choose.

          If you can't figure that one out you don't have a chance in hell of ever groking the more subtle ways society pressures different classes of people to conform. You are like a Marie Antoinette of social science, "let them just take the jobs!"

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:37AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:37AM (#52856)

            Because IT and clergy are synonyms. Idiot.

        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 09 2014, @11:10PM

          by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:10PM (#53452) Journal

          Did you miss the point where he's not comparing different careers, but a single career over only thirty years? If losing 50% of the demographic was merely them exercising choice, why are they exercising that choice now when they apparently didn't in the 80s?

          There are only two possible explanations I can think of:
          One is that the techology changed and women don't like it anymore. Perhaps now that we program systems instead of individual machines, that's the reason. But women are supposedly better at multi-tasking, so you'd think that would make them better at parallel or system programming. Maybe not; perhaps that makes it harder to just focus on your own part of the spec.

          The second possibility is that when we realized how important programmers were becoming, it stopped being thought of as essentially a form of secretarial work and existing prejudices took over. Perhaps the growing demand for a college education? My grandfather never allowed my mother to attend college because to him that wasn't something women were supposed to do. That would have only been about 40 years ago.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by deimtee on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:10AM

        by deimtee (3272) on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:10AM (#52825) Journal

        Rather than IT repelling women more now than in 1984, it may be that women now have much more opportunity in other fields.
        It's possible that IT was ahead on equality, but now technically inclined women have more choice, and choose to go elsewhere.

        --
        If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by evilviper on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:28PM

        by evilviper (1760) on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:28PM (#52928) Homepage Journal

        Something has changed in the last 35 years such that fewer women are entering the field.

        I wouldn't be surprised if hours, vacation, and stress are what has changed. 30 years ago, IT was vastly more of a 9-5 job. Expanding operating hours, the internet, and more, has made it far more of a round-the-clock job, where the vast majority of people are required to accept on-call rotations.

        The job has also gotten vastly more expansive and complex than it was 30 years ago. More men might be willing to invest the increasingly greater time and effort, before getting a payoff.

        --
        Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:49PM

      by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:49PM (#52700)

      If all things were equal I would agree with you and you could say that there was a correlation between gender and coding. But it's not.

      Thought experiment time: imagine you are going to be a safe-place / refuge for domestic valance victims and you are a straight man. You say "I will take this abused people, mostly women, into my house! I will shelter them, provide them comfort and support! Trust me, I'm a good man!" All things being equal, no problem. Your trustworthiness is based on your history and ability. But would that happen? Nope. You would be branded a manipulative creep who takes advantage of vulnerable women in their time of need just by merit of your gender.

      The environment that boys and girls (let alone women and men) grow up and operate in is not the same. Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical so there must be another factor. The environment is the most obvious difference: blue vs pink, aggressive toys vs nurturing toys, boys good at math, girls bad. Etc. It goes on and on. There is no such thing as "boys interests" or "girls interests" except by those engineered by the social environment that the individuals are immersed in.

      For example: my wife is a tom boy who doesn't like pink. My daughter, at age 2, was able to identify pink as a "girl's color" without any prompting by us. I blame the Disney channel and the toy isle at Target. It surrounds us every day but if you are in your niche you don't notice it.

      The same thing can be applied to coding. All signs (stock photos, job postings, TV shows, conventions, after school coding groups) point to coding and tech in general as a boys club, with nerds and power suits. We know that that is absolute bull shit and the individual contributions of a person regardless of gender is the single most important thing.

      Men and women don't have different interests, people have different interests. Ability is up to the individual, not the gender. That is the point that these types of articles are trying to make, sometimes with great difficulty. Coding is genderless. Tech is genderless. Why the great discrepancy amount the genders?

      My bet is on environment. And that comes from you and I.

      • (Score: 2) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:55PM

        by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:55PM (#52704)

        *violence
        *amount
        *whatever else I missed

        This is what happens when you drink before noon, kids. Stay in school.

        • (Score: 1, Redundant) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:58PM

          by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:58PM (#52707)

          *amongst

          F you, spell-checker.

        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:19PM

          by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:19PM (#52791)
          Ah, so you registerred your nickname this afternoon, too?
          --
          🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Oligonicella on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:10PM

        by Oligonicella (4169) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:10PM (#52720)

        "Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical so there must be another factor."

        You lost your argument right there. One is not better than the other, but they are not at all functionally identical. If for no other reason than the hormonal bath is different. Males and females have slightly different brain structures and show distinct differences in testing. There is broad overlap, but they are different.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:35PM

          by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:35PM (#52734)

          The problem there is that you don't know if you are testing the upbringing or testing the brain. We are talking about girls and women in coding. The brain's ability to perform some function. Do you really think that in the context of writing some software or solving a puzzle there is a statistically significant difference in a woman's brain vs a man's?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:35AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:35AM (#52817)

          > One is not better than the other, but they are not at all functionally identical. If for no other reason than the hormonal bath is different.

          That's like saying that people who are taller have functionally different brains than people who are shorter. Probably technically true but says nothing about how that difference matters with respect to anything other than coping with their height.

          There is no conclusive evidence that differences in the "hormonal bath" have an effect that would manifest in consistently different levels of cognitive ability. Every time someone does test for that sort of thing, the result is either inconclusive or conclusively no difference. When they do find a difference, invariably it falls apart due to bad experiment design.

          • (Score: 2) by Kell on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:57AM

            by Kell (292) on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:57AM (#52823)

            Unfortunately, you are not correct. FMRI, CT and autopsies have all identified distinct (albeit minor) structural differences in the brains of each gender, and bloodtests readily differentiate the hormonal balance in which the neurons are operating. There is strong evidence that brains of different genders (and even orientations) have variability; we have no problem accepting that men are hairier, or stockier than women, so why would we expect their brains to be absolutely identical?

            --
            Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
            • (Score: 2) by skullz on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:23AM

              by skullz (2532) on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:23AM (#52830)

              Absolutely. But I'm talking about big movements like language, coding, or how kids play. While boy and girl brains may have structural or hormonal differences there is no statistical difference in how they function in daily tasks.

              • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 09 2014, @11:16PM

                by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:16PM (#53455) Journal

                Absolutely. But I'm talking about big movements like language, coding, or how kids play. While boy and girl brains may have structural or hormonal differences there is no statistical difference in how they function in daily tasks.

                Actually, there is. [columbiaconsult.com] Granted, most of the actual tests were on babies and infants so they're hardly complex skills to us...but how else are you going to eliminate possible cultural differences?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:41AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:41AM (#52876)

              Brains are plastic. All of these analyses are after the fact - after the brain has been subject to the developmental pressures of social stereotyping. When that is accounted for, the differences recede to the trivial. [time.com]

          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:40AM

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:40AM (#52859)
            "There is no conclusive evidence that differences in the "hormonal bath" have an effect that would manifest in consistently different levels of cognitive ability."

            Actually there was a study done that found that men process spatial acuity better than women do. I actually work in an industry where this could potentially make a difference. (If the number of men and women where I work was closer to 50/50 I'd share my anecdotal evidence of if that actually makes a difference.)
            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:33AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:33AM (#52873)

              > Actually there was a study done that found that men process spatial acuity better than women do.

              And there was also a study [economist.com] that found it had nothing to do with the "hormonal bath" and everything to do with experience. That's the way these things always turn out, naive and poorly designed experiments confirm stereotypes, more thoughtful analysis shows otherwise.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @04:10AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @04:10AM (#53127)

                In your opinion. FTFY.

      • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:15PM

        by bradley13 (3053) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:15PM (#52722) Homepage Journal

        Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical... There is no such thing as "boys interests" or "girls interests"

        That's certainly the PC line. Unfortunately for you, it's not true. Both men and women have a very broad spectrum of possible development, with lots of overlap. However, on average, there are differences. Give a small boy a set of dolls - on average, he's more likely to see if their heads come off, rather than to have a tea party with them.

        Please google "brain development gender" (three words, not a single phrase), and start browsing. Boys and girls do, in fact, develop differently; the brain is part of the person and subject to the same hormonal and genetic difference as the rest of the body. It would be rather amazing if boys and girls didn't have difference in (average) brain development.

        Men and women don't have different interests, people have different interests. Ability is up to the individual, not the gender.

        Here, we can agree. If gender differences lead to different tendencies - more men in some professions, more women in others - why should this be a problem? Just treat each person as an individual, allow people to do what they like and are good at.

        Personal example: I have a son who chose a career in child care. This is hardly a traditional male profession, but it's what he likes and is good at. If a woman wants to work on an oil rig - hardly a traditional female profession - fine for her.

        --
        Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:30PM

          by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:30PM (#52731)

          Here is a good summary [nytimes.com]

          That men and women differ in certain respects is unassailable. Unfortunately, the continuing belief in "categorical differences" - men are aggressive, women are caring — reinforces traditional stereotypes by treating certain behaviors as immutable. And, it turns out, this belief is based on a scientifically indefensible model of human behavior.

          As the psychologist Cordelia Fine explains in her book "Delusions of Gender," the influence of one kind of categorical thinking, neurosexism — justifying differential treatment by citing differences in neural anatomy or function - spills over to educational and employment disparities, family relations and arguments about same-sex institutions.

          So of course there are differences but not enough to say "girls are good at X, boys are good at Y"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:41AM (#52819)

          > Please google "brain development gender"

          Any time you find yourself telling the person on the other side of the argument to go research and prove your point for you, the likelihood of you simply being wrong nears 100%

          > Personal example:

          Anecdotes are not data, especially when it comes to the social sciences which are always invariably about trends.

        • (Score: 2) by BasilBrush on Sunday June 08 2014, @07:42PM

          by BasilBrush (3994) on Sunday June 08 2014, @07:42PM (#53012)

          "Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical... There is no such thing as "boys interests" or "girls interests""
          That's certainly the PC line.

          It's not the "PC" line. It's not even the line of mainstream feminists. The line is that women they should have equal opportunities and rewards to men. Not that they are the same.

           

          --
          Hurrah! Quoting works now!
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:34AM

        by kaszz (4211) on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:34AM (#52816) Journal

        > Boy's and girl's brains are functionally identical

        WRONG!

        Have look at some high definition fiber tracking [wikipedia.org] and you will have a revelation. You most likely also get the insight that there are way more variations than boys and girls.

        Being able to do the same task does not equate to being inclined to do the same task.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @06:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @06:32AM (#52884)

          > Have look at some high definition fiber tracking and you will have a revelation.

          Ugh, yet another "go google it" defense that is really an admission of being wrong. You even made the effort to link to something, but you couldn't actually link to something that supported your point. As if typing "high definition fiber tracking" into google didn't bring up that wikipedia link as the 2nd hit.

          Furthermore your whole premise is a fallacy- that the existence of a specific difference in the brain for a specific purpose results in a significant difference in an unrelated area. It is exactly the same thinking that says having blonde hair makes people dumber.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @04:13AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @04:13AM (#53129)

            Funny how you beat on the "go Google it" yet you offer no evidence or backing of your own probably-false opinions.

    • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:54PM

      by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:54PM (#52702) Journal

      This is frankly sexist as hell, since it all boils down to the middle ages notion of "women are just men with inverted penises" bullshit. Ignoring the fact that there are some things men like, like programming, versus subjects that women tend to like more, like languages, is trying to treat us like we are all clones with interchangeable genitals and time and time again has shown this not to be the case. As long as there is nothing stopping a woman from choosing this path if they want to that should be the end of that.

      --
      ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:04PM

        by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:04PM (#52714)

        middle ages notion of "women are just men with inverted penises" bullshit

        As far as tech and brain function is concerned there is no real difference between men and women. The studies that showed brain differences have not been able to be reproduced (the scientific gold standard) so we are left with man = woman = human. Men don't like coding more than women. Women don't like languages more than men. Woman are not better multitaskers than men. That's all bunk.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:24PM (#52927)

          If the studies couldn't find differences then the authors suck at designing studies. Maybe they should have got female researchers to design them.
          That all humans share equal mental abilities on average regardless of genetic background, goes against everything we know about genetics.
          A theory that preposterous requires demonstrating beyond a doubt that the opposite is false rather than relying on the absence of evidence against it.
          If you want to believe that a Jew called Jesus, whose mother was impregnated by an all-powerful being, died, resurrected, and then went on to write a book containing all his best moments a few centuries after his death, you are free to do so, but I am going to need some pretty good evidence.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @10:20PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @10:20PM (#53049)

            If you want to believe that a Jew called Jesus, whose mother was impregnated by an all-powerful being, died, resurrected, and then went on to write a book containing all his best moments a few centuries after his death, you are free to do so, but I am going to need some pretty good evidence.

            For the believer, no evidence is necessary. For the skeptic, no amount of evidence is sufficient.
            -- 'Three Proofs: That God Exists' by Walt Runkis
            http://booklocker.com/books/3881.html [booklocker.com] (Paywall to full eBook)
            http://assets.booklocker.com/pdfs/3881s.pdf [booklocker.com] (Excerpt -- ELECTRIFYING!!!)

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:33AM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:33AM (#52854)
      "Men and woman have different interests and trying to force men's interests on women in the name of equality is both moronic and immoral."

      I wish I lived in this non-fascist world you're talking about. I hated taking Latin classes!
      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @08:10AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @08:10AM (#52898)

      "trying to force men's interests on women"

      You come to this discussion already biased that "programming is for men." This inherent sexism you bring builds the barriers that keep women out. Unfortunately, women do not leave programming because it is "man's work" as you would believe, they leave because they have to deal with men like you who create a hostile environment that forces us out with your narrow, uninformed world views. What's worse you have the audacity to hide behind "they aren't interested" rather than own your shit and realize you're one of the clueless privileged mass of insecure dudebros who violently defend their turf.

  • (Score: 2) by rts008 on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:28PM

    by rts008 (3001) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:28PM (#52684)

    I have to wonder how many people learn to code on their own, instead of in school, and how that would effect this subject?

    I personally know more 'coders' that learned on their own, than 'coders' who learned in school.(defining 'coders' as those that are employed as 'coders', not as a hobby)

    Note: this is not a gender specific question

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday June 09 2014, @11:51PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:51PM (#53471) Journal

      I personally know more 'coders' that learned on their own, than 'coders' who learned in school.(defining 'coders' as those that are employed as 'coders', not as a hobby)

      Really? What industry are you in? I'm with a consulting company, doing big corporate stuff I'm not really supposed to talk about (nothing exciting; retail pharmacy crap) and so far I'm the *only one* I've run into here that actually codes as a hobby. Everyone else seems to be here to just get a paycheck to go buy a big TV to watch the football game or something. Although to be fair, I'm only here to get a paycheck to buy lumber and solder and such :)

      When you talk to newer people here about what the big differences are between what we do here and what they've done in the past, one of the big ones you always get is that *they've never used a command-line interface before*! There mere fact that I've run Linux on my home systems for a while seems to make me one of the top Unix coders at this site...

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:32PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:32PM (#52687)

    How about calling them Women instead of Girls for a start?

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:44PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:44PM (#52695)

      Females under the age of 18 are not "women"; "girls" is the proper term.

      With college-age females, it's a little more fuzzy, but "girls" is still generally considered acceptable.

      These days, it's not until they get over the age of 30 where most people stop calling them "girls".

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:44PM (#52696)

      The military calls them "females" (and "males") to avoid all other loaded terms.

  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by zim on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:33PM

    by zim (1251) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:33PM (#52689)
    Imagining sexisim where none exists.

    It's rampant across everything related to computers.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:42PM (#52694)

    We could lock girls in the basement and tell them to learn to code Fizz Buzz in one hour or be put in an old freezer with flesh-eating cockroaches. They'd learn really, really fast!

    But why not treat females as rational actors capable of making their own choices about what they're interested in?

    I don't have much firsthand experience, but I think females aren't stupid and can figure out there's no future in coding in the first place. (At least those smart enough to learn coding to begin with.) Who would get into a field that's purging workers as fast as the technology industry? You'd have to basically have no other career prospects and live a sad, pathetic life to put up with the abuse and pain of developing software for a living with no hope of a career or even personal dignity. (I do have firsthand experience with that.)

    Besides, I can't think of one single interest I have which someone else forced me into or coerced me into doing. Usually that's the stuff I never want to touch again. Usually, when people have an avocation for something, you can't get them to stop doing it.

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday June 10 2014, @12:00AM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday June 10 2014, @12:00AM (#53475) Journal

      My mother was told by her father that she wasn't allowed to go to college, because that wasn't something women were supposed to do. That would have been in the late 70s or early 80s.

      The generation currently entering the workforce may very well be the first that hasn't had many explicit sexist regulations about what careers and education they could or could not have. There's still plenty of implicit and explicit messaging along those lines, if for no other reason than inertia. We've never really had an opportunity to study if there are gender differences in career choice beyond what is pushed by existing social norms. The difference is there, but we have no idea why. Hormones? Brain structure? Societal pressure? Physical attributes? Seems like something worth studying to me.

      But yes, even though there's never before been an opportunity to do a rigorous scientific study on this, even though the entire concept is pretty damn novel in the course of human history, you've apparently gotten it all figured out in only five minutes. Guess you just must be the next goddamn Einstein!

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bradley13 on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:54PM

    by bradley13 (3053) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:54PM (#52701) Homepage Journal

    How to get girls into coding

    I've been teaching computer science, off and on, for more than 30 years now. I have women in my classes, sometimes more and sometimes less. I have never - and I do mean *never* - seen any evidence of discrimination against women by the schools, by teachers or by other students.

    I have, however, seen good women discouraged by one specific thing: efforts to get more women into computer science by any means possible. Take a woman who is genuinely talented, put her in a class where incompetent women have been admitted by a quota system and the school doesn't dare fail them. You know what the competent woman worries about? She worries that future employers will see her as a token woman, lacking skills, passed only because of her gender. The very existence of these programs calls her competence into question.

    Just stop. Gender (or, for that matter, race) specific programs are detrimental to their supposed goals. Simply treat everyone as an individual. If they're interested in programming, and good at it, that's great. Externalities are completely irrelevant, and should simply be ignored.

    I know, I know, I am naive...

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:58PM

      by bradley13 (3053) on Saturday June 07 2014, @06:58PM (#52709) Homepage Journal

      I missed this lovely line: "And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates down from 36 percent in 1984."

      I assert that this is precisely because of all the attention given to getting women into computer science. This first became a big issue in the 1980s, with the advent of the PC - before that there just weren't enough programmers for anyone to care. As stated in my earlier post, programs aimed at specific genders or races are simply counterproductive.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 1) by migz on Saturday June 07 2014, @10:35PM

        by migz (1807) on Saturday June 07 2014, @10:35PM (#52780)

        1. When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.
        2. Woman are too smart to put up with the abuse in IT. We are abused by management, out clients, and our peers. Men don't know when to run from an abusive relationship. Yes, 80 hour weeks, 36 hour days, and then getting shat on for not clocking in at 08:00 the next day (a freaking disciplinary hearing - that I LOST!!!???) is abuse. And that was just my first job ...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @12:17AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @12:17AM (#53485)

          2. Woman are too smart to put up with the abuse in IT. We are abused by management, out clients, and our peers. Men don't know when to run from an abusive relationship. Yes, 80 hour weeks, 36 hour days, and then getting shat on for not clocking in at 08:00 the next day (a freaking disciplinary hearing - that I LOST!!!???) is abuse. And that was just my first job ...

          Here's my first job as a software consultant:
            - Overtime is strictly prohibited without prior approval. Worked an extra two hours yesterday? You better go home early today.
            - Working the normal 9-5 shift? You'd better be in the office somewhere between 7am and noon. Or at least give your manager a call before then.
            - Weekend shifts occasionally required. You'll get your day off during the week instead, and feel free to watch TV or maybe even play some Call of Duty if you're not too busy.
            - Boss catches you shopping on Amazon.com during the work day? Prepare for a five minute discussion about what you're buying and whether or not the boss likes that particular style.
            - And my salary? I'm putting a third of my take-home pay into savings, but my checking account just keeps on growing too...plus medical, dental, vision, and a 401(k).

          The worst part of my job is when I run out of articles to read here and get bored!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @01:49AM (#52822)

        You should realize that your argument is the functional equivalent of saying that black people were happier being slaves, that the problem isn't the system, its all the rabble-rousing getting people worked up. I think the reason you've never seen any discriminatory behavior on all your time teaching comp sci is because you aren't an unbiased observer. Its like how none of the people working on wall street think anything that might be wrong with modern finance is solely the fault of government regulation.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:25AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:25AM (#52850)

          What the fuck are you smoking? Your equivocation of women making a choice to not be in I.T. positions to forcing people into slavery is batshit crazy. Get the fuck out of here.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @06:23AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @06:23AM (#52883)

            That's not the equivalence here, but I can see how it might serve a sexist to frame it that way. It lets you avoid facing the point that blaming the people who try to correct a wrong for the wrong has been standard operating procedure by those who defend inequality no matter who it involves.

            FYI: Equivocation [merriam-webster.com] does not mean what you think it means.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:59PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @02:59PM (#52953)

              You haven't proven that there is a wrong.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:06PM (#52716)

    Giant Spider's Blood

    ###

    Microsoft Kinect Spy System

    THIS ARTICLE IS BEING SCRUBBED FROM THE NET. THE SITE IT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED TO YANKED THE PLUG ON THEIR WHOLE SITE!!! COPY/PASTE THIS ARTICLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO DISCUSSION FORUMS, BLOGS, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND ARCHIVE AND MIRROR THIS DOCUMENT SO IT DOES NOT VANISH FOREVER!

    "So you just got the Kinect/Xbox360 gaming system and you're having fun, hanging out in your underwear, plopped down in your favorite lounge chair, and playing games with your buddies. Yeah, it's great to have a microphone and camera in your game system so you can "Kinect" to your pals while you play, but did you read that Terms of Service Agreement that came with your Kinect thingy? No? Here, let me point out an important part of that service agreement.

            If you accept the agreement, you "expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft, our partners, or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the Service; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

    Did you catch that? Here, let me print the important part in really big letters.

    "If you accept the agreement, you expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications… on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

    OK, is that clear enough for ya? When you use the Kinect system, you agree to allow Microsoft (and any branch of law enforcement or government they care to share information with) to use your Kinect system to spy on you. Maybe run that facial recognition software to check you out, listen to your conversations, and keep track of who you are communicating with.

    I know this is probably old news to some, but I thought I would mention it because it pertains to almost all of these home game systems that are interactive. You have to remember, the camera and microphone contained in your game system have the ability to be hacked by anyone the game company gives that ability to, and that includes government snoops and law enforcement agents.

    Hey, it's MICROSOFT. What did you expect?

    And the same concerns apply to all interactive game systems. Just something to think about if you're having a "Naked Wii party" or doing something illegal while you're gaming with your buddies. Or maybe you say something suspicious and it triggers the DHS software to start tracking your every word. Hey, this is not paranoia. It's spelled out for you, right there in that Service Agreement. Read it! Here's one more part of the agreement you should be aware of.

            "You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Service."

    Did you catch it that time? YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY LEVEL OF PRIVACY concerning your voice chat and video features on your Kinect box."

    ###

    "Listen up, you ignorant sheep. Your government is spending more money than ever to spy on its own citizens. That's YOU, my friend. And if you're one of these people who say, "Well I ain't ever done nothing wrong so why should I worry about it?' - you are dead wrong. Our civil liberties are being taken away faster than you can spit. The NSA is working away on its new "First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center' to keep track of every last one of us. This thing will be the size of 17 football stadiums. One million square feet, all to be filled with more technology and data storage than you could imagine. And 30,000 spy drones are set to be launched over America which can each stay aloft for about 28 hours, traveling 300 miles per hour. WHY? Why do we want these things in our skies?

    The military is now taking a keen interest in the Microsoft Kinect Spy System, the fastest selling electronic device in history. Conveniently self-installed in over 18 million homes, this seemingly innocent game system, armed with facial recognition programming and real-time recording of both sound and video, will be used by our own government to spy on and record us in our own homes.

    And it doesn't stop there. Other game systems such as Nintendo's WWII are also being turned into government-controlled spy systems. WHY?

    That's the real question. WHY?!!! Why is our own government spending billions and billions of dollars to spy on its own people? To keep us safe? Do you really believe that?"

    Microsoft's Kinect System is Watching You
    Published on Apr 5, 2012 by TheAlexJonesChannel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYgC-AvPGM [youtube.com]

    ###

    Big Brother alert: Microsoft wants to know how many friends you've got in your living room

    - http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/micwright/100008237/big-brother-alert-microsoft-wants-to-know-how-many-friends-youve-got-in-your-living-room/ [telegraph.co.uk]

    By Mic Wright Gadgets Last updated: November 9th, 2012

    - http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/author/micwright/ [telegraph.co.uk]

    "One of Microsoft's latest patent applications[1] is a humdinger. It proposes to turn the Kinect camera into a snitch for movie studios, reporting back just how many friends you've got in your living room and what they're watching. Think that sounds alarmist? Here's what it actually says: "The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken." It's that blatant – a system to spy on private viewing habits.

    If put into practice, Microsoft's plan could mean that the film you're watching suddenly stops playing if it detects that you've got more people squashed on to the sofa than the licence allows. You'd then be prompted to buy a more expensive licence to keep watching. It's as if Big Brother had built 1984's Telescreen not to monitor the population but to ensure no one was pirating the Two Minutes Hate.

    In all likelihood, Microsoft will struggle to actually apply this patent in the real world. While copyright holders would be delighted, customers would be turned off by such a draconian system. But that's what's interesting about this application and patent applications in general: they often reveal what companies would do if they could get away with it. The black and white drawings and blandly technical language can cover immoral, scary and downright evil ideas.

    There was an even more striking example from Apple earlier this year[2]. In September, it was granted a patent for "Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device", i.e. a system allowing companies or governments to remotely disable mobile phones and tablets in a particular area.

    While Apple mentions benign examples such as preventing phone calls from disturbing concerts or ensuring devices are switched off on planes, it also states: "Covert police or government operations may require complete "blackout" conditions." That's exactly the kind of feature certain governments would love to use to suppress pictures and videos. The patent Apple put its stamp on is a handy form of censorship regardless of whether it will ever apply it.

    Last year, Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, said that the company would hold off from creating a facial recognition service because it would be "crossing the creepy line". Still, Google has filed for and been granted extensive patents in the area and, as its Project Glass augmented reality goggles move forward, who knows when the "creepy line" will shift?"

    [1] http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220120278904%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20120278904&RS=DN/20120278904 [uspto.gov]

    [2] http://www.zdnet.com/apple-patent-could-remotely-disable-protesters-phone-cameras-7000003640/ [zdnet.com]

    (C) Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012

    ###

    "People are aware that Windows has bad security but they are underestimating the problem because they are thinking about third parties. What about security against Microsoft? Every non-free program is a 'just trust me program'. 'Trust me, we're a big corporation. Big corporations would never mistreat anybody, would we?' Of course they would! They do all the time, that's what they are known for. So basically you mustn't trust a non free programme."

    "There are three kinds: those that spy on the user, those that restrict the user, and back doors. Windows has all three. Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission. Flash Player has malicious features, as do most mobile phones."

    "Digital handcuffs are the most common malicious features. They restrict what you can do with the data in your own computer. Apple certainly has the digital handcuffs that are the tightest in history. The i-things, well, people found two spy features and Apple says it removed them and there might be more""

    From:

    Richard Stallman: 'Apple has tightest digital handcuffs in history'
    www.newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2012/12/05/richard-stallman-interview/

    ###

    Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

    In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

    How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

    How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

    Which software would that be?

    Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

    How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

    If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

    I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

    APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

    Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

    The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

    Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

    Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

    Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

    If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

    The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

    But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

    Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

    I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

    Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

    [1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

    [2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

    [3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

    Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

    So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

    I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

    (Remotely Attacking Network Cards)
    http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com/2010/04/remotely-attacking-network-cards-or-why.html [blogspot.com]

    (Persistent BIOS Infection)
    http://www.phrack.org/issues.html?issue=66&id=7#article [phrack.org]

    (BIOS --> Vbootkit code(from CD,PXE etc.) --> MBR --> NT Boot sector --> Windows Boot manager --> Windows Loader --> Vista Kernel)
    http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/442/2 [securityfocus.com]

    (The ROMOS project)
    http://web.archive.org/web/20100111040625/http://rayer.ic.cz/romos/romose.htm [archive.org]

    Secure boot is Microsoft's attempt to maintain computer OS market share as their influences is being stripped away by the likes of Google (Android) and Apple (iOS). With HTML5 on the way, we will have WEB based applications that rival desktop versions, and run on ANY device. The OS is just a layer to get to where the real work gets done, information exchange.

    AND the worst part is, secure boot doesn't actually fix the problem it pretends it solves. It can't. This is the whole DRM of DVD's and BluRay all over again. Look at how well that is working out.

    DRM is broken by design."
    - linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2985953&cid=40681007

    "Richard Stallman has finally spoken out on this subject. He notes that 'if the user doesn't control the keys, then it's a kind of shackle, and that would be true no matter what system it is.' He says, 'Microsoft demands that ARM computers sold for Windows 8 be set up so that the user cannot change the keys; in other words, turn it into restricted boot.' Stallman adds that 'this is not a security feature. This is abuse of the users. I think it ought to be illegal.'""
    - linux.slashdot.org/story/12/07/17/2326253/richard-stallman-speaks-about-uefi

    I'm concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

    When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

    Some have begun with BIOS security:

    http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

    Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

    ###

    CIA Head: We Will Spy On Americans Through Electrical Appliances
    Global information surveillance grid being constructed; willing Americans embrace gadgets used to spy on them
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/cia-head-we-will-spy-on-americans-through-electrical-appliances.html [prisonplanet.com]

    ###

    Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording.
    Philip Harrison, from JP French Associates, another forensic audio laboratory that has been logging the hum for several years, says: "Even if [the hum] is picked up at a very low level that you cannot hear, we can extract this information." It is a technique known as Electric Network Frequency (ENF) analysis, and it is helping forensic scientists to separate genuine, unedited recordings from those that have been tampered with."
    - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20629671 [bbc.co.uk]
    - http://cryptogon.com/?p=32789 [cryptogon.com]

    ###

    "I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
    CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

    * Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
    electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

    * Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
    large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

    * Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
    CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
    that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
    Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"

    http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/19.60.html#subj9 [ncl.ac.uk]

    ###

    "I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer' personal computer' CD-ROM drive"

    Yes and the hard drive and in some PC's the cooling fans as well are under CPU control.

    You can also do it with PC's where the CPU does not control the fan, but the hardware has a simple thermal sensor to control it's speed. You do this by simply having a process that uses power expensive instructions in tight loops, thus raising the CPU temprature (it's one of the side channels I was considering a long time ago when thinking about how the temp inside the case changed various things including the CPU clock XTAL frequency).

    The change in sound side channel is one of the first identified problems with Quantum Key Distribution. Basicaly the bod who came up with the idea whilst first testing the idea could tell the state of "Alice's polarizer" simply by the amount of noise it made...

    The CD-ROM motor idea I'd heard befor but could not remember where till I followed your link.

    Dr Lloyd Wood has worked with the UK's Surrey Uni, the European Space Agency and Americas NASA and one or two other places as part of his work for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. He has been involved with CLEO (Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit) and other work on what's being called "The Space Internet".

    Of interest is his work on Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTN). It's not been said "publicaly" as far as I'm aware but the work has aspects that are important to anonymity networks such as TOR.

    You can read more on Dr Wood's DTN work etc at,

    Lloyd Wood - Delay-Tolerant Networking work
    http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/dtn/ [surrey.ac.uk]

    The UK occupies an odd position in the "Space Race" it is the only nation who having put a satellite into space then stopped further space rocket development (the Black Knight launch platform was considerably safer and more economic than the then US and CCCP systems). The UK has however continued in the Space Game and is perhaps the leading designers of payloads for scientific and industrial satellites (it probably is on military sats as well but nobody who knows for sure is telling ;-)

    Clive Robinson
    Schneier on Security: Information-Age Law Enforcement Techniques
    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/12/interesting_win.html#c1049823 [schneier.com]

    ###

    Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

    There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

    ENF (google it)

    A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

    sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

    No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

    If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

    The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

    When is the last time you:

    Audited your sound card for malware?
    Audited your graphics card for malware?
    Audited your network card for malware?

    Google for:

    * AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
    * Network card rootkit(s)
    * BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

    Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

    Do you:

            Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
            Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
            Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
            Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
            Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
            Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
            Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
            Sarch out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
            Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

    Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

    The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

    With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

    Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

    ###

    'Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible'

    The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

    Google:

    network card rootkits and trojans
    pci rootkits
    packet radio
    xmit 'fm fingerprinting' software
    'specific emitter identification'
    forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

    how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

    Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

    Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

    You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

    Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

    Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:26PM (#52729)

      If you are worried about a national intelligence agency (CIA, FSB, mossad), then maybe you should question your actions to warrant their attention (I am helping send aid to the People's Republic of Dontesk, I have a Persian friend whom is interested in old American rocket engines and I help him search in New Mexico, I spend several months exercising in Afghanistan).

      As for the Police, most policemen are quite stupid when it comes to technology. And if they weren't, they probably won't bring out the big guns, unless there is a murder/attempted murder investigation.

    • (Score: 1) by Zinho on Saturday June 07 2014, @09:49PM

      by Zinho (759) on Saturday June 07 2014, @09:49PM (#52773)

      Instead of spamming this as an offtopic post, how about writing it up as an article? I'm sure there are people willing to discuss this.

      Spam it repeatedly to unrelated threads, though, and it'll get modded down (as it should be).

      --
      "Space Exploration is not endless circles in low earth orbit." -Buzz Aldrin
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by cafebabe on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:07PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Saturday June 07 2014, @07:07PM (#52717) Journal

    I take strong issue with "In three states, no girls took the test at all." In three states, no-one took the test. No blacks. No Hispanics. No boys. No girls. No-one.

    --
    1702845791×2
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:14PM (#52747)

    Start building community by accepting community involvement.

    Open source projects in particular are maintained by total pricks who reject contributions for arbitrary and spiteful reasons. This comic about sums up the state of "the community" on GitHub:

    http://rachelnabors.com/2012/04/of-github-and-pull-requests-and-comics/ [rachelnabors.com]

    tldr: if (not_invented_here) GTFO();

    How about being more "social" about "social coding" instead of just waving your coder dicks around, bros.

    • (Score: 2) by skullz on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:59PM

      by skullz (2532) on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:59PM (#52760)

      How about being more "social" about "social coding"

      I'm an introvert, you insensitive clod!

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:36PM

      by VLM (445) on Sunday June 08 2014, @12:36PM (#52929)

      None of that has anything to do with male/female although the comic author certainly pushed it into the situation.

      The problem is your code is your child. You're proud when it doesn't F up (too much) and when it grows up and does stuff in the real world thats pretty awesome, but you're also the one person in the entire world up at 2am when its puking all over the place and everyone looks at you kinda funny if (when) it crashes and burns. For better or worse its yours for rest of your life. Not the worlds, not some volunteers... its your code.

      And suddenly one random day a stranger shows up and hands you a free puppy, of course you'll love it, who wouldn't want a gift of puppy? Well, um, ah, err, well thanks for the puppy, and sorry to disappoint you but little did you know, I just got new carpet put in the house, and one of my friends is actually allergic to dog fur and honestly I like him more than I like some random stranger, and that's a really nice pit bull puppy but when I daydream about puppies its always shelties and collies and hounds. And puppies are not cheap and my household budget which you know nothing about does not have space for a puppy right now. And the family was talking about how much fun it would be in the distant future for US to pick out a new puppy together as a family bonding activity, not daydreaming about a random puppy being selected and catapulted by someone else into our house as a surprise. Someone walks up to me with a puppy and tries to hand me the leash, I'm nice enough not going to shoot them on sight as a standing order, but you can understand why sometimes the recipient doesn't exactly jump up and down with joy.

      Then the stranger who was trying to give away a free puppy goes away all butthurt and draws a drowning in angst comic about the situation and then tries to twist sexism into the story such that they're sure if a "brogrammer" tried to give me a free puppy I'd surely accept and give him a nice bro-hug and we'd each smash beer cans against our foreheads and slap each other's butts just like "manly" pro football players, but I wouldn't accept her free puppy solely because shes a GamerGirl and likes pink and Hello Kitty. Because, yeah, thats the only possible reason, yeah.

      There are much funnier dating analogies which I can't be bothered to relate in equal detail but it all revolves around comparing github to a dating website, and swaps the genders such that its illogical that women wouldn't want an infinite supply of free dick pixs from random guys so any women that doesn't reciprocate interest back to every random guy who sends her a picture of mr happy is obviously doin it wrong.

  • (Score: 2, Troll) by evilviper on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:40PM

    by evilviper (1760) on Saturday June 07 2014, @08:40PM (#52755) Homepage Journal

    No cover charge and $1 "skinny" cocktails should do it. If you want more, throw in a complimentary spa treatment.

    --
    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Saturday June 07 2014, @10:46PM

      by evilviper (1760) on Saturday June 07 2014, @10:46PM (#52784) Homepage Journal

      That moderation is a sad, sad display of political correctness gone haywire.

      The old "white man's burden" has become the IT man's burden... It's now IT men's responsibility to nurture the fragile flower that is women, so that their delicate sensibilities can survive the hot house that is IT. All for the sake of some interest group, with about. the same interest in women as the afore mentioned nightclubs and bars.

      Where are the write-ups and research about the low numbers of women in construction and welding? Where are the government subsidies to encourage them to do those jobs?

      --
      Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by CRCulver on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:20PM

        by CRCulver (4390) on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:20PM (#52792) Homepage

        Where are the write-ups and research about the low numbers of women in construction and welding?

        If you can read Russian, you can read a lot of them. While the Soviet system was flawed, it did a very good job of bringing women into the fields of engineering and construction. A female bulldozer operator or welder was not at all an unusual thing in the USSR. However, once the economy tanked for once and for all in the 1980s, the plentiful supply of jobs in construction dried up, both men and women moved on to whatever other work they could get. Once construction started booming again, it often became relegated to Gastarbeiter from Central Asia (who are usually male since their culture has the men go abroad while the women stay home). So, now longer is it common for a female to work in a wide variety of jobs in Russia, and this is often noted as a sad development.

  • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @09:49PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @09:49PM (#52774)

    still trying to figure out how to get my coding into girls

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:05PM (#52786)

      Hey yeah I remember that episode of The Outer Limits. The dude ended up in a zoo where women gawked at him.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @10:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 07 2014, @10:36PM (#52782)

    Get more 'girls' into coding
    Because women's salaries are less.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @04:33AM (#52853)

    If you're going to run these "how to shove women where they don't want to be in the first place" or "here's why radical feminists are right and sane people are fucking morons" articles, you are no better than Slashdot and I'm going to stop visiting this site. You are already becoming Slashdot. Don't keep going down this road.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @03:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08 2014, @03:12PM (#52956)

      "I'm going to stop visiting this site."

      Bye.

  • (Score: 2) by Techwolf on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:11AM

    by Techwolf (87) on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:11AM (#52865)

    When I saw this, there was this button "read more, 69 comments"

  • (Score: 1) by darkfeline on Sunday June 08 2014, @08:36AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Sunday June 08 2014, @08:36AM (#52902) Homepage

    Which three Rs are we talking about again? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle?

    I'd also like to point out, the plural of "R" is "Rs". "R's" is possesive.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:05PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Sunday June 08 2014, @05:05PM (#52980) Journal

    There are fewer cases of autism in females than males... this may be one reason.

    Also, women tend to be more social minded, whereas programming is more solitary.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 1) by Noldir on Monday June 09 2014, @10:36PM

      by Noldir (1216) on Monday June 09 2014, @10:36PM (#53429)

      According to my girlfriend who is a special education teacher there are probably just as many girls with autism as boys (she has a few in her class). But girls, on average, are better at mimicking the expected social interactions then boys and are usually just considered "shy".