If you were surprised at all by Jared Leto’s performance in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club, then you both shouldn’t have been and are not alone. The film, which is set in the mid-1980s, tells the real-life story of Ron Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey), a hard-living, rodeo-riding, hetero- and hyper-sexual electrician who contracts HIV. After being abandoned by his friends and given a 30-day death sentence by his doctors, Woodruff embarks on a mission to procure drugs and other alternative treatments from Mexico for himself and a group of other patients. Among them, is Rayon, a waxed and plucked transsexual fellow AIDS patient played by Leto, who becomes Woodroof’s unlikely confidante and business partner. Leto’s work in the film—funny, sensitive, heartbreaking—has drawn not just praise, but gasps and whispers and all manner of suddenly awakening ticks and noises. The shock and awe has been amplified by the fact that Rayon is his first role in a film in nearly five years, an extended period of self-imposed sabbatical, precipitated by what Leto felt was his growing disenchantment with acting, Hollywood-style-which, if you’re Jared Leto, you’d have had good reason to find embittering.
Up until recently, Leto—who is, amazingly, now 42—was probably best known, to greater and lesser extents, for three things: playing Angela Chase’s grungily mopey and quasi-illiterate love interest/obsession Jordan Catalano on the short-lived but forever-beloved mid-’90s TV series My So-Called Life, a subject that he no longer likes to broach; his dark, shuttering performance in Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr.’s addiction epic Requiem for a Dream (2000), which he will happily speak about freely; and fronting the spacey, emotive, Los Angeles rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, in which he plays alongside his older brother Shannon.
Leto, though, should probably be known for three other things: his tenacity, his sticktoitiveness, and his grit. After My So-Called Life ended, he was already in his twenties, and understandably blanched at the idea of falling into a teen-hearthrob-y groove. Instead, he decided to patiently and diligently work to prove that he had more to offer—which he did, forgoing adolescent schlock in favor of starring inPrefontaine (1997), a biopic about Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine, and taking smaller parts in projects by filmmmakers like Terrence Malick (The Thin Red Line, 1998), James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, 1999), David Fincher (Fight Club, 1999, and later, Panic Room, 2002), and Mary Harron (American Psycho, 2000), all of which led up toRequiem for a Dream. Around the same period, he also started Thirty Seconds to Mars at a moment when actors having bands was beginning to become a thing—and not necessarily one that was viewed charitably (if you want to get a sense of the environment back then, Google “Keanu” and “Dogstar”). It drew the wrong kind of focus—an actor with rock star dreams, in a field that was increasingly filling up with them (also Google “Crowe” and “Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts”). Leto, though, didn’t buckle—or even bend—under the cultural pressure. He just kept writing songs and playing shows and, almost surreptitiously, became a kind of rock star—to the extent that Thirty Seconds to Mars has now released four albums that have collectively sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, and the group plays to packed stadiums around the globe. And when other opportunities to do the kind of work that he wanted to do as an actor proved scarce (mostly, because they are in general), Leto made do with the best available options, working with Oliver Stone onAlexander (2004), gaining a substantial amount of weight to play Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27 (2007), and taking on the role of a 118-year-old man in Jaco Van Dormael’s sci-fi drama Mr. Nobody (2009), and then simply, quietly, quickly decided to walk away until the right thing came along—which turned out to take nearly half a decade, when the script forDallas Buyers Club floated into his orbit.
Does evil love itself?
Does it crave to stare at its own image and perhaps even one day sext?
This might seem possible after witnessing a selfie posted to the new “Star Wars” Instagram account.
For here is Darthness itself, in the person of the Lord Vader, behaving like a 13-year-old high school student.
He chooses his best side and he shoots.
Of course, this is all publicity for “Star Wars: Episode VII,” whose premiere is a full two years away.
Will Disney be able to maintain Instagram interest for those two years? And look at Darth’s phone. Doesn’t that look very slightly like an iPhone?
Darth doesn’t have a Droid?
Personally, I hope the whole of this Instagram account is taken up by the Life of Darth.
I want to see what he has for dinner, where he goes on vacation and, most importantly, how many sunsets he photographs.
I want to see him with his girlfriend (or boyfriend) and I want to see some family pics. Most of all, I want to know whether he shops at Prada or Gucci.
If this Instagram account is going to be used merely for publicity shots, it will be a painful disappointment.
There’s a certain protocol on Instagram. It’s there to help you prove your life is more beautiful than everyone else’s.
For that, you need to be sprightly with filters. I’m not sure Darth’s got the hang of that yet.
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Computer Planet Nvidia Battlebox Review
Earlier last month, Nvidia announced its GeForce GTX Battlebox programme – a scheme designed to bring 4K to the forefront of gaming and allow a select group of PC manufacturers go all-out in creating Nvidia Battlebox-approved PCs. Sporting a minimum of two of Nvidia’s high-end graphics cards in two-way SLI plus Intel Core i7 CPUs, the systems are designed to do one thing – batter the latest games into submission at 3840×2160 – also known as Ultra-HD or 4K.
We’ve been testing systems and graphics cards at 4K for a few months now and one thing is certain – it’s the most daunting task graphics cards have faced since Crysis. No single graphics card we’ve tested can cope with the likes of Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4 at maximum settings so for the time being, SLI/CrossFireX with two high-end graphics cards is the only way to be sure you have plenty of headroom.
To coin a phrase ‘Can it play Crysis?’ – in 2014, the question will be can it play 4K? While 4K PC monitors are still extremely expensive, the prices will fall and we also hope that the increased pixel density will filter down to smaller, cheaper displays too – 24in 2,560 x 1,600 monitors anyone? Back to the task at hand, though, and Computer Planet has been kind enough to send us its take on an Nvidia Battlebox.
If you’re a regular in our massive modding community or perhaps seen a Mod of the Month article, you’ll know all about Parvum systems – the Essex-based acrylic case manufacturer who’s micro-ATX case, the S1.0, has resulted in some stunning builds that have been the envy of plenty a LAN party this year.
The Battlebox is based on the S1.0, but retailing for close to £3K, you’d be right in expecting a fair amount of customisation as well as top-end hardware too. Thankfully, the Battlebox doesn’t disappoint on either account. Spec-wise, it has a Core i7-4770K CPU overclocked to 4.4GHz plus two Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB’s. These can of course be upgraded to the latest ‘Ti’ models via Computer Planet’s configurator. The motherboard is a tasty inclusion too – Asus’ Maximus VI Gene sits at the heart of the PC along with 16GB of Corsair Vengeance 1,600MHz memory and a 240GB Corsair LS SSD and 2TB Seagate Barracuda hard disk.
A Corsair HX1000 PSU should provide plenty of headroom, even with two GeForce GTX 780 3GB’s. For cooling, Computer Planet has opted for BeQuiet Silent wings fans for the case, while a custom water-cooling loop includes an XSPC Raystorm CPU waterblock, dual 120mm-fan radiator, Mayhems coolant and an EK-DCP 4.0 X-RES pump and reservoir.
The specification is of course customisable so you could opt for entirely different hardware or choose to have the graphics cards water-cooled too, and while there’s no optical drive as standard, Computer Planet will offer potential buyers a slot-loading Blu-ray drive along with a modified front panel with a disc loading slot cut into it. There are two front USB 3.0 ports but something that’s amiss are audio minijacks.
As Parvum Systems are able to create its cases from scratch using acrylic, there’s also the option to have the case made in different colours if green and black aren’t your thing, although we think it looks pretty awesome as it is. Despite being made of acrylic, the case is remarkably sturdy and solid-feeling with no hint of wobble, and the finishing is excellent.
- CPU Intel Core i7-4770K, overclocked to 4.4GHz
- Motherboard Asus Maximus VI Gene
- RAM 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1,600MHz
- Graphics card 2 x Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB in SLI with custom limited edition SLI bridge.
- Case Parvum Systems custom micro-ATX case
- Cooling XSPC Raystorm CPU waterblock, EK Fittings, dual 120mm-fan radiator and EK-DCP 4.0 X-RES pump, Mayhems coolant, BeQuiet Silent Wings fans
- Storage 240GB Corsair LS SSD, Seagate Barracuda 7200rpm 2TB
- PSU Corsair HX1000
- Extras Pexon PC braided cables
- Operating system Windows 7 64-bit
- WarrantyTwo-year collect and return
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamingRipplesWeb/~3/N2GPQBQdefU/
Originally Posted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Now, in many respects, information has never been so free. There are more ways to spread more ideas to more people than at any moment in history. And even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.
During his visit to China in November, for example, President Obama held a town hall meeting with an online component to highlight the importance of the internet. In response to a question that was sent in over the internet, he defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens hold their own governments accountable, generates new ideas, encourages creativity and entrepreneurship. The United States belief in that ground truth is what brings me here today.
Because amid this unprecedented surge in connectivity, we must also recognize that these technologies are not an unmitigated blessing. These tools are also being exploited to undermine human progress and political rights. Just as steel can be used to build hospitals or machine guns, or nuclear power can either energize a city or destroy it, modern information networks and the technologies they support can be harnessed for good or for ill. The same networks that help organize movements for freedom also enable al-Qaida to spew hatred and incite violence against the innocent. And technologies with the potential to open up access to government and promote transparency can also be hijacked by governments to crush dissent and deny human rights.
In the last year, we’ve seen a spike in threats to the free flow of information. China, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan have stepped up their censorship of the internet. In Vietnam, access to popular social networking sites has suddenly disappeared. And last Friday in Egypt, 30 bloggers and activists were detained. One member of this group, Bassem Samir, who is thankfully no longer in prison, is with us today. So while it is clear that the spread of these technologies is transforming our world, it is still unclear how that transformation will affect the human rights and the human welfare of the world’s population.
On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to our Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone.
Franklin Roosevelt built on these ideas when he delivered his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. Now, at the time, Americans faced a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence. But the vision of a world in which all people enjoyed freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear transcended the troubles of his day. And years later, one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, worked to have these principles adopted as a cornerstone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They have provided a lodestar to every succeeding generation, guiding us, galvanizing us, and enabling us to move forward in the face of uncertainty.
So as technology hurtles forward, we must think back to that legacy. We need to synchronize our technological progress with our principles. In accepting the Nobel Prize, President Obama spoke about the need to build a world in which peace rests on the inherent rights and dignities of every individual. And in my speech on human rights at Georgetown a few days later, I talked about how we must find ways to make human rights a reality. Today, we find an urgent need to protect these freedoms on the digital frontiers of the 21st century.
There are many other networks in the world. Some aid in the movement of people or resources, and some facilitate exchanges between individuals with the same work or interests. But the internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms. Freedom of expression is first among them. This freedom is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Blogs, emails, social networks, and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas, and created new targets for censorship.
As I speak to you today, government censors somewhere are working furiously to erase my words from the records of history. But history itself has already condemned these tactics. Two months ago, I was in Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The leaders gathered at that ceremony paid tribute to the courageous men and women on the far side of that barrier who made the case against oppression by circulating small pamphlets called samizdat. Now, these leaflets questioned the claims and intentions of dictatorships in the Eastern Bloc and many people paid dearly for distributing them. But their words helped pierce the concrete and concertina wire of the Iron Curtain.
The Berlin Wall symbolized a world divided and it defined an entire era. Today, remnants of that wall sit inside this museum where they belong, and the new iconic infrastructure of our age is the internet. Instead of division, it stands for connection. But even as networks spread to nations around the globe, virtual walls are cropping up in place of visible walls.
Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks. They’ve expunged words, names, and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” With the spread of these restrictive practices, a new information curtain is descending across much of the world. And beyond this partition, viral videos and blog posts are becoming the samizdat of our day.
As in the dictatorships of the past, governments are targeting independent thinkers who use these tools. In the demonstrations that followed Iran’s presidential elections, grainy cell phone footage of a young woman’s bloody murder provided a digital indictment of the government’s brutality. We’ve seen reports that when Iranians living overseas posted online criticism of their nation’s leaders, their family members in Iran were singled out for retribution. And despite an intense campaign of government intimidation, brave citizen journalists in Iran continue using technology to show the world and their fellow citizens what is happening inside their country. In speaking out on behalf of their own human rights, the Iranian people have inspired the world. And their courage is redefining how technology is used to spread truth and expose injustice.
Now, all societies recognize that free expression has its limits. We do not tolerate those who incite others to violence, such as the agents of al-Qaida who are, at this moment, using the internet to promote the mass murder of innocent people across the world. And hate speech that targets individuals on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation is reprehensible. It is an unfortunate fact that these issues are both growing challenges that the international community must confront together. And we must also grapple with the issue of anonymous speech. Those who use the internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities. But these challenges must not become an excuse for governments to systematically violate the rights and privacy of those who use the internet for peaceful political purposes.
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Video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)
If this whole social-media thing continues like it’s been going for the past decade, we could be transformed into sexless robots in the next 50 years.
At least, that’s the very non-scientific prediction I arrive at after cherry-picking one particularly disturbing data point from the most recent National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. The survey, which is conducted in the UK just once a decade, is led by the University College London in partnership with researchers from the National Centre for Social Research and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The results of the third such survey were published Tuesday and found that of the 15,000 Britons surveyed those between the ages of 16 and 44 are having sex fewer than five times a month on average. That figure is down from more than six times a month in the first two surveys, which were conducted in the totally Web-less days of 1990-91 and the jumbled online mess era of 1999-2001 — when AOL or AmIHotorNot.com were probably the closest things to social networks available.
The main culprit for the drop in dirty deeds (speaking from the puritanical pilgrim perspective, this being Thanksgiving week and me being an American talking about randy Brits) seems to be modern life itself. In particular, the stresses associated with both underemployment and overemployment, as well as a drop in marriage and cohabitation, appear to be reducing the overall opportunities to get down.
But the researchers also point fingers at another lifestyle choice as a potential cause of the relative dearth of snogging and smashing:
“We also think modern technologies are behind the trend too,” Dr. Cath Mercer, from University College London, told the BBC. “People have
tablets and smartphones and they are taking them into the bedroom, using Twitter and Facebook, answering emails.”
Mercer also suggests that the rise of online pornography could play a role in the decline. I, for one, have no idea what she’s talking about there.
All I know is something needs to be done about this trend before we forget how to sustain our species. So remember this holiday season, that in bed it’s often more fun to grab hold of the headboard…than Flipboard.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/vkIuYKM6K2U/
George Takei, famous for his role as Sulu on “Star Trek”, as well as his more recent role as an Internet-conquering social-media star, has joined the ranks of Bruce Willis and One Direction by offering his own branded perfume. The spray-on cologne is dubbed “Eau My,” a punny reference to his catchphrase, “Oh myyyyy.”
Takei teased fans, asking them to guess the name of the new fragrance. His Facebook followers offered up some real gems, including “Old Space,” “Takei Me Now,” and “Red Shirt.”
The cologne is described as having the following laundry list of smells: mandarin zest, Italian bergamot, fresh ozone, night-blooming jasmine, white freesia petals, sensual woods, crystallized amber, soft skin musk, and vetiver. This should help freshen up your tribbles.
Naturally, Eau My is available for preorder through Amazon, the site Takei often frequents to leave funny reviews of products ranging from yodeling pickles to the “Best of David Hasselhoff” CD.
Though the actual cologne isn’t available quite yet, reviewers are already leaving their opinions of the product. Amazon reviewer Dimestone writes, “Finally we can all smell the way a respectable Starfleet Officer should, whether it be fighting against the Romulans, negotiating a peace-treaty with the Klingon Empire or meeting the fate of your red shirted counterparts. Just remember to set your phasers to stunning and…….Make it so!
The cologne comes in a surprisingly subtle package, so it won’t automatically tip people off to your extreme geekiness if they see it on your bathroom counter.
Eau My: $39.99. Smelling like George Takei? Priceless.
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“Betas,” Amazon’s second original series, may stretch the truth when it comes to Silicon Valley, but it was dead serious about the wardrobe.
“The hoodie work on this show is spot on,” said Joe Dinicol, who plays the leader of a band of tech-star wannabes in “Betas.”
The show, which debuted Friday on Amazon Instant Video, turns to another industry town after Amazon’s first series, “Alpha House,” dove into Washington D.C. With “Betas,” Amazon put the spotlight on a city closer to home. Seattle-based Amazon was always mindful of getting Silicon Valley and the tech world right, said Evan Endicott, one of the creators and writers of the show.
Read: How Amazon Studios went from grassroots idealist to Hollywood threat
Unfortunately for Amazon, the characters aren’t members of Prime, the $79-a-year two-day shipping service that includes premium streaming video — which “Betas” watchers will need to pay if they want to see more than the the first three episodes. When one of the main characters, Hobbes, makes an impulse purchase online, he has to to wait a full four to five business days to receive his robotic vagina.
“I kept trying to get Jeff Bezos in an episode,” Endicott said. Spoiler: He did not succeed. Other Silicon Valley cameos are scarce, though the series gets a few other big names. Moby shows up talking about sexual congress with an octopus, and Sandra Oh is in the wings to play the mom of one of the main female characters.
Josh Stoddard, who created “Betas” with Endicott, said replicating Silicon Valley and entertaining the masses was a tricky tightrope. “We wanted to get it right but we also wanted to entertain without alienating anyone,” he said. “I like shows that drop you in the middle of a world you don’t fully understand but have a certain amount of universals you can relate to.”
On the whole, “Betas” recreates the aura of Silicon Valley, while taking liberties to crack a joke or smooth over a plot device that, to anybody outside the Bay Area, won’t evoke any groans.
Hoodies are indeed ubiquitous, for example. That’s true. And lines like “I’m 35, that’s like 95 in Valley years” harken back to comments made by a then-22-year-old Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg stressing the “importance of being young and technical…Young people are just smarter.”
But some details may test insiders’ suspension of disbelief:
- The idea you could get into a big venture capitalist’s party by telling the man with the guest list that you’re this guy:
- One of your friends might make a bet with you in Bitcoins, but would she pull out an actual, physical Bitcoin? (Physcial versions of the digital currency Bitcoin do exist. They sell for $9,999 on eBay.)
- Could Bi-Rite Creamery conceivably ever not have a line stretched around the block?
Even if you look like this guy:
Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET)
Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET)
Ann Larie Valentine/Flickr Creative Commons)
To be fair to the “Betas” crew, the scene at Bi-rite at the start of the third episode visually alludes to a teeming mass trying to get into the ice-cream shop. A drug bust interrupts before we can see the full picture.
And some of the tech jokes land well: “It’s like Uber for weed. Doober.”
It’s unfortunate that the creators didn’t come up with a better name for their own start-up, a match-making social network that aims to connect people so perfectly they get off their devices and interact in real life. IRL would have been the perfect name. Instead, it’s called BRB. (And BRB? Terrible SEO, if you can’t get enough of jargony abbreviations.)
Given the Valley’s storied past of terrible start-up names, though, BRB may actually give the show another point of cred.
Ultimately, “Betas” success or failure won’t hinge on Silicon Valley details. The setting is simply that: the stage the creators chose to set their characters loose and tell jokes. The characters and the jokes are what will make the show succeed or fail.
I’d bet a Bitcoin on it, if I hadn’t left them all at home.
Notice any glaring inaccuracies? Leave them in the comments.
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Though women’s battle for equal pay rages on (thanks Batgirl; see the video below), a new government study suggests tech companies are seeing past gender bias and hiring more women than men.
“Companies have been focusing on getting more women into technology for a long time,” Shravan Goli, president of Dice, said. “This year those efforts appear to be paying off — with 60 percent of new tech jobs created in 2013 filled by women, according to government statistics. To have the best tech organization, companies want to pull from the entire talent pool and we need to do more to get young girls thinking about technology careers early and often. That’s why Dice is supporting efforts like Code.org and Donors Choose to reach the next Marissa Mayer and may there be many of them.”
But do these new statistics give false hope?
According to CNBC, the data Dice.com used comes from a category called “Computer Systems Design and Related Services,” which is not an actual job category.
“What the data is really saying is that a certain type of business that falls under the category ‘Computer Systems Design and Related Services’ happened to hire more women than men this year,” reports CNBC’s Jon Fortt. “That doesn’t mean the women hired by these companies were in tech. They could have been in sales, in public relations, in customer service. A Bureau of Labor statistics spokesman confirmed that there is no way to determine whether women are making gains in tech employment by looking at the Computer Systems Design and Related Services industry category.”
So while more women may have been hired under “Computer Systems Design and Related Services” that doesn’t mean tech companies have been making significant strides in changing the balance of power between genders in their offices and boardrooms. In fact, in March of this year, Catalyst.com released an Overview of Women in the Workplace that revealed that representation of women in Fortune 500 leadership positions has stagnated in recent years.
With Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg being the very visible exceptions to the rule, according to the Los Angeles Times, even one of the most popular social-media networks — Twitter — doesn’t have a single woman on its board of directors.
Last year, CNN Money probed 20 U.S. tech companies to uncover workforce diversity data and received government reports for five of them — Dell, Cisco, eBay, Ingram Micro, and Intel — to discover how diverse (or not) Silicon Valley is. Ironically, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft successfully petitioned for their data to be excluded from the report. The interactive chart shows that women in tech dominated the “Administrative” category (which combined clerical workers, as well as skilled and unskilled laborers), but were significantly less represented as officers or managers.
This lack of diversity in leadership positions within the tech sector also makes one wonder if ongoing sexism in the workplace could factor in. Just last year, CNET’s Molly Wood wrote about Dell’s employee summit in Denmark, where the emcee told an audience of 80 employees, partners, and journalists: “All the great inventions are from men; we can thank women for the rolling pin.” Interesting words to happen at an official Dell summit considering that in 2009 the company was forced to pay $9.1 million to settle gender discrimination suit.
Discord at Defcon
And then, of course, there’s the sexism that still runs rampant at tech and gaming conventions, even today. Recently, female hackers and security professionals have publicly complained about sexual harassment at Defcon — the world’s largest hacker conference — calling for a bigger discussion about why women are continually treated like outsiders in a community they helped build.
At this year’s
E3 — arguably the largest gaming convention in the United States with about 50,000 attendees — there were unsettling reports of female tech journalists, PR representatives, and gaming developers being sexually harassed by other gaming employees, attendees, and even a security guard.
Even though 45 percent of the entire gaming population are women who are frequent game buyers, according to the Entertainment Software Association, trade conventions like E3 market mostly to a male demographic, notes the Associated Press. Gaming companies continue to hire scantily clad models to attract men to their booths. International
CES in Las Vegas also employs “booth babes” for the same effect.
Sexual harassment and discrimination in tech and gaming companies are far from over, especially in Silicon Valley. Last year, for example, the well-known venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins was accused of sexual discrimination in a lawsuit by partner Ellen Pao.
Women who led the way
It’s remarkable to think we still need to grapple with sexual discrimination and harassment in the tech world considering we might not even be where we are now without such female innovators as Ada Lovelace, thought to be the world’s first computer programmer, and Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler for a computer programming language.
While the latest reports of tech companies hiring more women may be misinterpreted, that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to strive for equality.
“Overall, it’s a surprise to see there’s a sudden increase, and obviously, it’s too soon to know if a few months is a trend,” Goli told CNN Money. “There’s been so much awareness building and activity from companies to pursue diversity, plus you’ve got the Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Mayers of the world — I think all of that is starting to result in increased awareness and an attraction toward technology roles for women more than ever before.”
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There are so many people in Apple stores these days that it’s hard to hear conversations or even think straight.
That, perhaps, is one of the small reasons that the company is reported to be implementing its iBeacon system, which is designed to make your shopping experience even more experiential.
iBeacon was slipped onto
iOS 7 as a surprise, something that portended the future.
And, as my colleague Roger Cheng experienced, it’s already being experimented with by Major League Baseball at the New York Mets’ Citi Field. There’s certainly the need for a better experience there.
Now, as 9to5Mac reports, Apple stores are to be graced with iBeacon transmitters on the tables that normally only house well spaced-out products.
If this was the case, how might people’s shopping experience be improved? And how much might this make customers a touch uncomfortable?
The transmitters would connect to your iPhone and be able, at the very least, to send you interesting messages as you peer at, say, an
These messages might merely offer more product information or invitations to workshops.
Those with a darker side mentality might conceive, however, that they might be able to identify you and offer, say: “Hey, you’ve had your iPad for two years now. How does that look when you’re out and about? Time for the new, sexy
iPad Air, no?”
Stores such as Nordstrom have already enjoyed quite some controversy when customers discovered they were being tracked as they wandered through. In Nordstrom’s case, it discontinued the experiment.
But retailers such as Old Navy are using all sorts of technology to learn more about you.
I have contacted Apple to ask whether the technology is, indeed, being implemented and whether self-imposed limits will be placed on its operation.
Such technologies always walk the line between intrusion and flattery. For every message that appears to be personalized, there is the accompanying thought that these people know more and more about you.
In any case, if iBeacon will be telling you all you need to know about particular products, what are all the nice men and women in blue polo shirts going to be doing?
Will they all be turned into Geniuses?
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Leaked from today’s 404 episode:
– Inside Coin’s techie vision for the all-in-one credit card.
– Denver’s smell-o-scope targets marijuana’s skunky scent.
– Millenials are starting to crowdfund their moves to NYC.
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