Women look to shape the future

Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK
Women look to shape the future

Few women attracted to work in technology jobs

Emma Smith, founder of the Wired Woman Society and co-author of Technology With Curves, explains why women need to be more involved in the world of technology.

Women are using technology more than ever before. They do more online shopping than their male counterparts and are making up an increasing percentage of internet users around the world.
But while the number of women who use computers is increasing, fewer and fewer are studying computer science at university.

It seems that women are shying away from the very careers that would give them their best shot at gaining influence and making a difference in the 21st Century.

One of the most commonly cited reasons for not pursuing careers in technology is its image. Many women, particularly young women, think that technology careers are geeky, anti-social and even boring.

The truth is somewhat different. Some of the most influential people are web developers, engineers, video game programmers, 3D effects creators and industrial designers, who are using technology to revolutionise the tools and content that shape our world.

The technologies they create are shaping our homes, workplaces, media and worldview.

Going digital

For women to take their place as equal partners in the future, women who study psychology should also study human computer interaction.

Technology jobs seen as geeky

Women who study law should take their place among the policy-makers who, every day, are making immense decisions about privacy, the digital divide, free speech and child protection.

Women who love history should learn how knowledge management, archiving, and content storage are setting the stage for a complete overhaul of the museum experience.

And women who want to teach should also play a role in building e-learning systems that people actually use.

Being able to design computer interfaces, influence privacy policy, build interactive museums and create teaching tools is what women throughout history have fought for.

Even when societal norms and the legal system made it nearly impossible for women to work in information technology, they stood their ground so that today, women who want to shape technology can do just that.

History of invention

Looking at the history books shows that women have been creating new technologies for centuries.

There are probably even more women inventors than most people are aware of, given that until the passage of the Married Women’s Property Act, everything owned or invented by a woman was legally her husband’s possession.

Still, the patent records show how much women have contributed to the world of technology:

In 1903 Mary Anderson came up with windscreen wipers which became standard equipment on all American cars by 1916.
In 1938, Katherine Blodgett was awarded the patent for non-reflecting glass, a discovery that has since been used to de-ice aircraft wings and increase the effectiveness of smoke screens.
During the mid-1900s, Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper invented the first computer compiler which helped computers understand simple commands.
In the 1950s Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, the synthetic fibre used to make bullet-proof-vests.
New Yorker Marion Donovan invented the disposable nappy in 1950.
These women shaped technology against the odds. Today the odds are more in women’s favour.
Yet many women shy away from the careers that will give them a chance to make the biggest difference, in part just because they do not understand them.

Shaping technology

Women still think that shaping technology means sitting alone at a desk, staring at a screen and writing code.

Carly Fiorina: One of the few role models in technology

In fact shaping technology means thinking creatively, understanding people’s needs and inventing new ways of communicating and working together.

Tomorrow’s leading artists, politicians, managers and interior designers will all use and shape technology in order to succeed.

If women were shaping technology perhaps the next windscreen wiper would emerge alongside an entirely new web browser and cars that suit a woman’s way of life.

Anita Borg of Xerox PARC in California holds workshops that bring women from all walks of life together to brainstorm new technologies.

“If women were more involved in creating new technologies,” says Ms Borg, “cars would have a place for you to put your handbag.”

Emma Smith runs At Large Media, a London-based new media consulting company. She also works with e-skills UK to improve the image of technology careers in the UK.
(c) BBC

So in the US, they can crap on you, but we’ll have zero investigatory powers into consummer products and services? It’ll be illegal to question what’s on the tin.

WASHINGTON, July 15 — The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Monday to create a new punishment of life imprisonment for malicious computer hackers. By a 385-3 vote, the House approved a computer crime bill that also expands police ability to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping without first obtaining a court order.

THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION had asked Congress to approve the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) as a way of responding to electronic intrusions, denial of service attacks and the threat of “cyber-terrorism.” The CSEA had been written before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks last year, but the events spurred legislators toward Monday evening’s near-unanimous vote.

CSEA, the most wide-ranging computer crime bill to make its way through Congress in years, now heads to the Senate. It’s not expected to encounter any serious opposition, although there’s not much time for senators to consider the measure because they take August off and are expected to head home for the year around Oct. 1.

“Until we secure our cyber infrastructure, a few keystrokes and an Internet connection is all one needs to disable the economy and endanger lives,” sponsor Lamar Smith, R-Tex., said earlier this year. “A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb.”

Smith heads a subcommittee on crime, which held hearings that drew endorsements of CSEA from a top Justice Department official and executives from Microsoft and WorldCom. Citing privacy concerns, civil liberties groups have objected to portions of CSEA.

A committee report accompanying the legislation predicts:

“A terrorist or criminal cyber attack could further harm our economy and critical infrastructure. It is imperative that the penalties and law enforcement capabilities are adequate to prevent and deter such attacks.


By rewriting wiretap laws, CSEA would allow limited surveillance without a court order when there is an ongoing attack” on an Internet-connected computer or “an immediate threat to a national security interest.” That kind of surveillance would, however, be limited to obtaining a suspect’s telephone number, IP address, URLs or e-mail header information not the contents of online communications or telephone calls.

Under federal law, such taps can take place when there’s a threat of “serious bodily injury to any person” or activity involving organized crime.

Another section of CSEA would permit Internet providers to disclose the contents of e-mail messages and other electronic records to police in cases involving serious crimes.

Currently it’s illegal for an Internet provider to “knowingly divulge” what users do except in some specific circumstances, such as when it’s troubleshooting glitches, receiving a court order or tipping off police that a crime is in progress. CSEA expands that list to include when “an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure of the information without delay.”

Hacks, Viruses & Scams

–Con artists use ‘suckers list’ database
–Hacker mailing list goes corporate
–Stiff sentence for Net auction fraud
–Student charged with hacking university system to boost grades
–Government to the cyber rescue?
–Virus tempts with peek at passwords
–Bug of the Day
–Step inside the world of hacking

Clint Smith, the president of the U.S. Internet Service Providers Association, endorsed the concept idea earlier this year. Smith testified that CSEA builds on the controversial USA Patriot act, which Congress enacted last fall. He said that this portion of CSEA “will reduce impediments to ISP cooperation with law enforcement.” The Free Congress Foundation, which opposes CSEA, criticized Monday evening’s vote.

“Congress should stop chipping away at our civil liberties,” said Brad Jansen, an analyst at the conservative group. “A good place to start would be to substantially revise (CSEA) to increase, not diminish, oversight and accountability by the government.”

If the Senate also approves CSEA, the new law would also:

–Require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to revise sentencing guidelines for computer crimes. The commission would consider whether the offense involved a government computer, the “level of sophistication” shown and whether the person acted maliciously.

Formalize the existence of the National Infrastructure Protection Center. The center, which investigates and Advertisement responds to both physical and virtual threats and attacks on America’s critical infrastructure, was created in 1998 by the Department of Justice, but has not been authorized by an act of Congress. The original version of CSEA set aside $57.5 million for the NIPC; the final version increases the NIPC’s funding to $125 million for the 2003 fiscal year.

Specify that an existing ban on the “advertisement” of any device that is used primarily for surreptitious electronic surveillance applies to online ads. The prohibition now covers only a “newspaper, magazine, handbill or other publication.”

Most industry associations, including the Business Software Alliance, the Association for Competitive Technology, the Information Technology Association of America, and the Information Technology Industry Council, have endorsed most portions of CSEA.

Copyright © 1995-2002 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved


Count me in

Wonder if I’ll have to upgrade my PC? 🙁

This is funny 🙂

About Project Entropia!
Project Entropia will be the next generation of interactive entertainment. In Project Entropia you will able to enter a whole world with amazing three-dimensional environments using a computer and the internet. It will be a massive virtual world where millions of users can interact with each other at the same time. Project Entropia will have a real economy system that allows you as a user to exchange real life money into PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and then back into a real currency again. Project Entropia will be free of charge with no monthly costs, which means that aside from the fees for your own local access to the internet while you are connected, the client software will be available with no payment to MindArk. All you need to do is get hold of the software that will be distributed in various ways, for example through the internet or on free CD’s in computer magazines.

When you decide to enter the world of Project Entropia as a citizen you will be able to create your very own visual three-dimensional persona. This is easy because you will be using a character generation system that defines the freedom we intend to offer you. Project Entropia gives you the possibility to experience a life inside a vast virtual reality as it suits you. It will present you with social interaction with people all over the world as well as real online services inside an incredible virtual environment. Project Entropia is also meant to help you to fulfill your dreams and fantasies with adventures inside an expanding science-fiction universe. For all of you who are familiar with the term “massive multiplayer online role-playing games” or MMORPG, Project Entropia will be that and much more. If you don’t know what a MMORPG means just read on!

As a MMORPG the world of Project Entropia is set to take you on an epic journey into the future, to a place far away from Earth, beyond the boarders and frontiers of known space. The central point in the human universe is now focused on one single colony on a distant planet named Calypso. The world on Calypso will be under constant development and will initially include three vast continents with large expanding cities where you begin your life. The cities will offer you an immense virtual playground for social interaction with other players in a thriving social community. It will contain various forms of in-game institutions, real online services and a variety of virtual entertainment.

Together with all other online users you will have the possibility to take an active role in the creation of a whole new civilization, to explore entire continents in an evolving world and claim land where you can establish new communities. Should you choose to leave the peaceful and secure cities you may be forced to struggle against the wild untamed nature, against hostile mutants and invading robots. You must learn to use all available resources and a growing multitude of skills, wit, guts, teamwork and equipment to reclaim a lost paradise. Take on quests and pull the strings of the past to discover more of the story behind Project Entropia as the future unfolds before you in a growing web of intrigues that will take on epic proportions. Whatever you may find it’s only the beginning, and whatever you do may alter the future of an entire world!

don’t worry about blinking – ‘cus you’ll always be able to watch the playback


You see, in this case, those tips that are forming and reading the
depressions are very, very small. Atomically small. They’re actually
the tips of Atomic Force Microscopes, and they can form and read
depressions so small (10 nanometers in diameter), and so close together,
that this thermomechanical storage technique can store hundreds of
gigabits/square inch — perhaps as much as one terabit/square inch!
Which is well beyond the (currently) anticipated magnetic recording
limit of perhaps 150 gigabits/square inch (see below). Another way to
look at this is that “about three billion of [these depressions”> fit in
a punch card hole.” (http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=

According to an AP article brought to our attention by reader R. Gautier
(http://apnews1.iwon.com/article/20020611/D7K2NC281.html), this
prototype can already store the text of 25 million pages on the surface
of a postage stamp! That’s 20-times the density of today’s common disk
drives. And this is just the prototype…

This isn’t the death knell for traditional magnetic disk drives — the
read/write speed of Millipede appears (at this time) to be far slower,
and so its initial implementation may be to vastly increase the amount
of memory in portable devices. Imagine, if you will, that if this
technology increases its storage capacity at anything like the “Moore’s
Law-plus” rate of current storage increases, we could have portable
digital devices that might NEVER run out of room for storing pictures,
audio, video, and more.

Which would change a lot of rules.

Copyright (c) 2001-2002, Jeffrey R. Harrow. All rights reserved.