Washington (CNN)Memorial Day isn’t just the gateway to summer this year — it heralds a sizzling season of politics that threatens to boil over into the ugliest election in decades this fall.
6 Ways On Making Money Online Without Divesting in Cryptocurrency
Most people are asking us bloggers, how do you make money from that 'blogging'? Well, there are so many methods embedded on this topic alone, some are included on the subsequent points down below such as Affiliate Marketing and Content Creating …
Online Lives: Nicola Naessens – blogger and mother of five
Nicola has seen the blogging world change over the past seven years, but she stays focused on writing and interacting with her readers. âBlogging has changed so much since I started, the community was a lot smaller. I've seen a myriad of changes that …
In 1978 a young woman named Maria Klawe arrived at the University of Toronto to pursue a doctorate in computer science. She had never used a computer—much less written a line of code—but she had a PhD in math and a drive to succeed in a male-dominated field. She was so good that, nine months later, the university asked her to be a professor.
Today, however, computer science is one of the few STEM fields in which the number of women has been steadily decreasing since the ’80s. In the tech industry, women hold only around one-fifth of technical roles. In light of these stats, the prevailing view in Silicon Valley these days is “This is terrible, let’s fix it.”
In Southern California, Klawe has done what tech has not. For the past 11 years, she has served as the president of Harvey Mudd College—a small liberal arts school in Claremont, California, known for its intensive STEM focus—where the number of women in its computer science program has grown from 10 percent to 40 percent. On the subject, she’s optimistic: Change is possible. Now it’s the industry’s turn—and it could take a lesson from Klawe.
When you meet with men in the tech industry, can you tell that some of them doubt women can succeed in technical work?
That they don’t think women are suited for this? Oh, yeah.
People say that?
I was yelled at by one CEO who said his company was bringing women into technical roles but that if he saw it get to 30 percent, he’d know their hiring process was really screwed up. So I asked if he knew that we’re graduating women in computer science at more than 40 percent. He just blew me off. And when I asked him why there are so few women on his leadership team, he just said, “Gender isn’t an issue for us.”
So what about those screwed-up hiring practices? How do they work?
Look at the interview process. If I’m interviewing somebody, I would probably say, “Oh, it’s so nice to see you, welcome to Harvey Mudd, we’re really delighted to have you here with us.” But it would be quite common for a tech company to start an interview without even saying good morning or good afternoon, just: “I want to know what you know about pointers in C++, so show me how to do that.” Very adversarial, bragging, trying to show how much smarter they are. There are some women who feel perfectly comfortable in those environments, but I would say for the most part they don’t. Also, that kind of environment is just obnoxious.
But that’s how so many companies conduct interviews. Google comes to mind.
Google has studied their interview process, and I’ve heard that it overpredicts success for men and underpredicts success for women. [Google disputes this.] They just haven’t changed much.
Should they change? Judging from how well these companies are doing, it seems like those methods work. I mean, Steve Jobs was apparently an asshole—
He was an asshole. I met him.
—and Amazon reportedly has a terrible work environment, yet these are successful companies.
So why change just to be friendlier to women?
Google, Facebook, Microsoft—all these companies were successful because they figured out a new way to make money. Google monetized search through advertising, Facebook became an advertising platform, Microsoft created a dominant software platform. But it’s probably an error to associate their success with their managerial style or their culture.
Some would say those managerial styles and cultures are crucial, not coincidental.
Let’s go back to the first big tech companies, like IBM and HP. Both were highly inclusive, really worked on hiring and promoting women and people of color. In fact, virtually every woman or person of color who’s a leader in the tech industry today—who’s roughly my age, 66—came up through IBM or HP. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and all the people in that generation came along in the ’80s or late ’70s. This happened to be a time when girls and young women were being turned away from computers. Computers became a boys’ domain almost overnight.
Women were once about a third, maybe 35 percent, of the computer science majors in this country. Part of that was—I mean, this sounds so ridiculous—but part of that was because women had better typing skills and were thought of as being more careful. In the ’70s women were majoring in computer science because it was something they were expected to be good at. Then we had personal computers entering homes and schools. There are two kinds of things you can do on a PC as a child. One is word processing. Bo-ring! The other is playing games like Pong and Space Invaders—computational power at that time couldn’t do graphics more sophisticated than that. And who likes to play those kinds of games? Boys. So it’s not particularly surprising that very quickly boys took over.
Is there a business reason for getting back to a culture in which computers aren’t seen as a boy thing?
The reality is, if tech companies can’t persuade more women and people of color to major in computer science, they are not going to be able to fill the positions that they have. Everybody’s looking at the same talent. They absolutely know what it costs to recruit a single person, and they know that if their churn for employees is, say, every 13 months, that’s not a good business case for them.
So when you actually start to increase the enrollment of women in computer science programs, what happens?
Well, at pretty much every place—not just Mudd but Carnegie Mellon, MIT, University of Washington, UBC, Princeton—that has made a significant effort to recruit women into engineering and computer science, not only do the female students do as well, they also take on most of the leadership roles.
With that in mind, have you noticed a change on campus?
Huge. It’s more social, people are happier—it’s just a different vibe. Before, there was a very particular culture, which is fairly common, where computer science is the central focus in the lives of most of the students. They read Reddit and GitHub, they play a lot of videogames, they do hacking projects. There are still students like that, but there are also people who care more about ballroom dancing.
What’s so important about having ballroom dancers be computer scientists?
If computer science is going to affect every aspect of society—and it is—you really would like to have some dancers, and some artists, and some doctors able to work at the interface of computer science in their field. That’s where the demand will be. Having that breadth of knowledge means you have better teams working on projects.
Sure, but is teamwork as important as your ability to write good code?
These days, agile software development often relies on pair programming, where you have two people—a driver and a navigator. The driver codes, the navigator looks over their shoulder and asks questions, and they flip roles about once every half hour. The result is much higher quality software. There are fewer faults.
Yet women still feel unwelcome. What changes at Mudd addressed that?
One was to make the introductory computer science course less intimidating. If you emphasize needing a special kind of brain, students who are underrepresented will do much worse. But if you say this is a discipline that rewards hard work and persistence, everyone does better.
We also started emphasizing more practical applications in introductory classes. In the past we presented computer science as interesting just for its own structure. That was very effective at attracting white and Asian men to the discipline, but only a subset of them, and it was generally not effective for women or people of color. When you start to make the argument that computer science is worth studying because of the things you can do with it, you attract not only more women but also a lot of men who wouldn’t have been interested in the usual approaches.
It's an error to associate Big Tech's success with managerial style or company culture.
If everyone knows it’s a good idea to be more inclusive, and everyone wants to support their female employees, why aren’t more companies doing it?
Because changing culture is hard. Every company has somewhat different attributes that make recruiting people and keeping people difficult. Apple is one company that I don’t think is particularly trying. They hired their first VP of diversity and inclusion, and that person stayed for less than a year.
Are some companies succeeding?
Etsy convinced people who weren’t in software development jobs to be trained for technical roles, and they managed to get to almost 30 percent female in their engineering population relatively quickly. Accenture is doing extremely well and came in at roughly 40 percent female in their hires last year.
How did they do that?
The executive in charge of hiring came to me for help. I said, first of all, change your job descriptions. Don’t just list the technical skills you’re looking for. List communication skills, creativity, and people skills, so women will know it’s a workplace that values those things and because those are traits women tend to have more confidence about.
Gender isn’t the only concern, of course. If the percentage of female technical employees is in the teens at many companies, black and brown employees are—
In the single digits! Like, one-handed digits.
What is Harvey Mudd doing about that?
The truth is we made very little progress on race until about five years ago.
We had been running a program where we would bring in 35 to 40 high school students for a weekend, and it was primarily aimed at students of color and women. Five years ago, we doubled the program and did two cohorts instead of one. And I started reaching out to African American leaders across the country. We also did research on how to recruit more Hispanic students, and we learned Hispanic families want their kids to stay close to home. So we needed to focus on admitting students from schools in Southern California.
What would you say to schools that are not making these changes?
What’s facing us is a very, very different future. The haves will be the people who have the skills that are needed, and the have-nots will be the people whose skills are no longer needed—because of automation, because of AI, because of robotics. We don’t know how fast certain kinds of routine jobs will go away, but we do know it will put a further income gap between people who have that kind of education and knowledge and people who don’t. If there are not many women, or people of color, or older people, or low-income people getting that technical education and those technical jobs, it’s going to further polarize the situation in the country. It’s a question of transforming our society so a large enough fraction of people have opportunities for productive work.
So the stakes are high.
We want the Earth to survive. It’s pretty straightforward.
This article appears in the February issue. Subscribe now.
It’s no secret that the internet is an amazing place to indulge your inner sociopath. You don’t even need a reason most of the time. But what if you did have a reason? Like acquiring riches? Could being a sociopath help with that? Yes, it can very much, as we demonstrated last year. And would you believe that in the time since, things haven’t miraculously gotten better? Consider these fresh new examples …
Masturbation, much like the sea, can be tumultuous and difficult to predict. Although the basic technique (It’s friction, folks. Use friction) generally stays the same, for many of its most experienced practitioners, the visual aids they’ll find most appealing during the act can vary considerably, and can often be quite particular. Which is where camgirls come in.
To save your blushes, we’re going to explain this to you as if you don’t know.
Here’s how camgirls work. Whilst browsing the internet for porn, a customer sees an ad pop-up offering a private and personal show by an attractive person. Let’s say a girl. The customer — a man in this hypothetical situation we’re constructing — agrees, and after shelling out some money, he’s connected to a video chat room with the girl. Then, via a system of typed messages and grunts, the customer requests the camgirl do various things, which she happily agrees to.
“NOW HOLD YOUR HAIR UP AS IF IT WERE A MUSTACHE. DO IT SEXY.”
But in some cases, this camgirl isn’t real at all, and is nothing more than a customized porn video — an archive of prerecorded ass slaps skillfully woven together by some dude sitting at a computer. Any hitches or blending problems get blamed on lag, and everyone walks away happy … except possibly the dude making it, who probably thought he’d be doing more with that cinematography diploma.
“So long as you ask no follow-up questions, my job’s going fine, Dad.”
This isn’t a well-hidden industry, either. If you know where to go, you can buy a collection of these video clips for as little as $10. We’re not going to tell you where, though, because this isn’t really a career we recommend, for a few reasons. One: These video packs are often stolen from real camgirls who went through all these motions, had them recorded without their permission, and aren’t making any money from their resale. Second: This is exactly the kind of career which could end with you becoming the sex puppeteer for one of your relatives.
“So long as you don’t ask how they got there, could you clean some viruses off my computer, son?”
The Hollywood Sign has long been a must-see attraction for tourists visiting Los Angeles. Perched in the Hollywood Hills, it looms over the city’s skyline, serving as a metaphor for how important this one place is to television, film, and popular culture in general.
It also does a pretty good job of looming over the people who live in the hills below it, drawing in hordes of tourists who jam their streets, litter, and trespass. More troublingly, these tourists can get in the way of fire trucks which need to access these highly combustible hills. In short, the proximity of the sign can be a bit of a nuisance — the kind of thing people who own knee-shakingly expensive homes don’t like dealing with.
“This place is incredible. Let’s close the fucking door.”
So the residents fought back in the most devious way possible. Most tourists were finding their way into the neighborhood by using Google Maps, and then kind of blundering their way through the streets to get as close to the sign as possible. So the local residents got Google to change the GPS co-ordinates of the sign, directing any tourists to a lookout at Griffith Observatory, miles away. Even the “walking” directions on Google Maps ignored the public hiking trails people could use to legally access the sign. You could be standing underneath the thing, and Google would still direct you on a two-hour death march to the distant observatory.
Any closer, and they would still smell the putrid stench of the poor.
On the one hand, this is slightly defensible. There were real public safety concerns which needed to be addressed, and neighborhoods around the world have implemented all sorts of measures to calm and control traffic. On the other hand, fuck these rich guys. This was clearly done mostly for selfish reasons. One of them has even threatened to sue a blogger for directing tourists along these same public roads and trails. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck them.
If you set your coordinates for Mt. Lee Drive and arrive between midnight and a minute past, they might not release the hounds.
More generally, dealing with public safety concerns is kind of the job of the government, isn’t it? Like, we’re having all these fucking elections for a reason, right? For public roads to be hidden thanks to the actions of private individuals and companies is a little bit spooky.
Although Wikipedia can nominally be edited by anyone, it has a core group of editors and writers who wield an unusual amount of authority over the site. This is slightly cliquish, but a core group like this does serve as an effective guard against anonymous edits from people with usernames such as *WeEdDoNg420*8====D~~~~.
“This botany article needs a section about how Hitler had some good points.”
But having a small group of people with such wide-ranging powers can lead to abuse. In an investigation code named “Orangemoody” (all of the good names were apparently taken), Wikipedia unearthed a scam wherein one of its editors would write an article about a company or band or whatever, and then hold it hostage until the target paid a small fee for its safe publication. The targets couldn’t fight back by writing or editing their own article, because the scammer could use their eldritch Wiki powers to block them. It was essentially a slightly boring combination of cyber-squatting and blackmail.
It does get worse, though. After paying the initial “fee,” these targets were presented a second offer: For the ass-clenchingly large sum of $30 a month, the scammer would then “protect” the article from vandals and deletion and things of that nature. That’s right; some underpants-wearing would-be gangster invented a fucking Wikipedia protection racket.
“Got a real nice brand here. Would be a real shame if a citation was needed for that.”
Blogging The Boys (blog)
NFL Draft prospect to know: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
Blogging The Boys (blog)
Blogging The Boys will begin taking a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys' expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some …
Winter Olympics launch day: curling, figure skating and more â as it happened
… we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our …
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Social Media Isn't The Shiny New Toy Anymore
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I started out in the blogging world 11 years ago now which also saw me take my first steps on to social media. Right at the beginning. It was all very novel and pretty much nobody I knew had a clue what I was doing. Tell someone now that you're a …
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ESPN âboldlyâ predicts that Dez Bryant will be released this offseason
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Google already maps the world, but the internet giant has bigger plans for its next location-based technology.
The Alphabet Inc. unit wants to digitally map the interiors of buildings in 3-D down to a resolution of a few inches, and make money in virtual reality along the way, through a project named Tango.
The company plans a big expansion of the technology this year and ultimately wants to make it ubiquitous, according to a person familiar with the situation. Job postings and recent updates to Tangos developer software show steps toward this ambitious goal. Google will showcase progress at its I/O developer conference near its Silicon Valley headquarters May 18 to 20.
Tango packs cameras and depth sensors along with other software into Android smartphones and tablets. Fire up the application and point the device at a space and it sucks in images and depth information to re-create the environment on the screen and locates itself within that new digital realm.
Google hopes Tango will support a system for independent developers to create new virtual reality applications and services. Video games could have characters that hide behind real-life furniture. A museum app could show 3-D animations when you walk past an exhibit. A grocery store could highlight sale items and guide shoppers to the right shelf.
Unlike most emerging virtual reality systems, Tango doesnt need external equipment to re-create the world digitally. And unlike Google Maps it can figure out the details of a space without additional data sources.
“Tango is the indoor extension of their outdoor mapping platform,” said Lex Dreitser, a virtual reality developer who builds Tango applications.
Tango started in a Google research lab more than two years ago, but the company is trying to take it mainstream this year. Its going into new smartphones from Intel Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. and the software has been updated to let it easily run on more devices. And there are signs Google is working on the most important challenge: Making Tango 3-D maps shareable so the company can someday patch them together into a single, detailed digital representation of many of the worlds buildings, rooms and the stuff inside them.
Google Maps is one of Googles most successful services, used by more than a billion people every month. Its stitched into other popular Google services, like Gmail, Calendar and Photos. With more detailed maps, Google could build new advertising and location-based services into its products. It could also offer these capabilities to outside developers, letting them create more powerful applications for its Android operating system.
“If Tango could digitize every single physical commerce place, then all of a sudden Google has an exponential opportunity to place very relevant contextual physical advertising in every space,” said Nathan Pettyjohn, Chief Executive Officer of Aisle411, a mobile commerce and location company that has built applications for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Toys R Us Inc. “It literally gives me goose bumps talking about it.”
Tango could also make Google a potent virtual reality rival to Facebook Inc.s Oculus and HTC Corp.s Vive. The Vive and the Oculus need separate sensors along with their headsets to map a room, while Tango does it with components in the phone or tablet. The closest competitor may be Microsoft Corp.s HoloLens, a headset that integrates the technology. Occipital, a startup, makes a device that can be attached to standard Apple Inc. iOS and Android devices to give them 3-D sensing capabilities. Apple may be working on VR and 3-D sensing too through PrimeSense, a company it acquired in 2013.
Gina Scigliano, a spokeswoman for Google, declined to comment.
In January, Google software engineer Eitan Marder-Eppstein said the technology had “a lot of potential for indoor navigation.” And back in 2014, another Google engineer, Simon Lynen, said the company was researching how to use multiple Tango devices to build large, detailed maps that could be combined and downloaded to devices giving them “a human-scale understanding of space and motion.”
The company is hosting four I/O sessions on Tango this year, up from one in 2015.
“With I/O it feels like theyre really doubling down on it,” said Andrew Nakas, who has been building Tango applications for two years. “I can do things now I had no expectation I could do back then in 2014.”
Kris Kitchen, an inventor, built an application for the blind using Tango and a backpack-sized speaker called a SubPac. Tango maps a space and passes that data to the SubPac, which vibrates differently according to the proximity of objects. That gives blind people an additional sense — touch — alongside hearing to get around.
For Tango applications like this to reach the most people, 3-D data will need to be easily shareable among devices. That would mean one person could map a museum, and another person could build an application based on the original map, or extend it, saving effort.
Google is working on this by building a system that allows Tango devices to share maps with other devices. It may also weave all these maps together and store the information in its data centers so it can be accessed by even more devices.
Tango will “rely on cloud infrastructure to store, merge, and serve location data to specific Project Tango devices,” Google wrote in a job posting in February for a mobile software engineer to work on the project. The company asked for “experience with Google Maps and other related location products.”
A cloud service would make life easier for developers, according to Pettyjohn. “Right now you have to save these mapping files on the device,” he said. A cloud service would make it so “anytime you need it, you pull down a file on the spot.”