Tag Archives: online

An open letter to Anita Sarkeesian #gamergate

"Anita Sarkeesian + Research Materials" by Anita Sarkesian is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Sarkessian with some of the video games used to research Tropes vs Women in Video Games. “Anita Sarkeesian + Research Materials” by Anita Sarkesian is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Note: I have chosen to include the “gamergate” hashtag with this post. Am I using it correctly? I don’t really know. I don’t have a friggin’ clue. I am not a gamegate scholar. I don’t have the time or inclination. I don’t really care if I’m using it improperly. That’s not what this post is about. IMHO a lot of people are trying to control, define and co-opt the term based on their own bias, point of view and/or agendas. I’m not taking sides in any gamergate wars. Any offense you perceive as you read the following is your own. –Ed.

Dear Ms. Sarkeesian,

May I call you Anita? I hope so. If not, that’s okay, too. Either way, no offense is intended.

I’ll be honest. I look up to you. I think you are a true modern day hero. When I say “hero” I mean that in the grandest sense of the word. You rock.

Wikipedia says that “[a] hero (masculine) or heroine (feminine) refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity.” Two different words for “hero” based on gender? Isn’t that part of the problem? Whatever. Either way, I believe a “hero” is you.
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Amazonian Space–Time Continuum

minority-reportWho likes to wait? Not me! That’s why I went back in time to write this post. Ah, here it is! What took so long?

Once upon a time I was in a serious quandary. I wanted some cheap, plastic, materialistic consumer shit made in China and I wanted it now. What to do, what to do?

As I saw it, there were two choices.

I could haul my fat ass up and out of my chair, somehow make it to the car, drive to a big-box store, somehow make it inside and navigate the maze to (hopefully) the right section where the object of my desire might be found. All the while being blasted by a tasty mix of songs scientifically designed to make me spend more money. (The mix is a rotation of two songs. Happy, by Pharrell Williams and anything by Mumford & Sons.)

I say “might” because I’ve tried this in the past and it didn’t quite work out. Ever go to the store to buy one specific thing? After expending incredible effort (see previous paragraph) you learn it isn’t even there. Out of stock. I do not believe there is a worse feeling in the entire universe.

And that other choice I mentioned earlier? Amazon. Duh.
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Hack Online Dating

I thought I’d share this entertaining TED video. It’s from a highly intelligent woman who “hacked” social media to find true love. She didn’t like the framework provided by dating sites and went her own way. Bonus: In the video she makes use of data and graphs. She describes the techniques she used to take her online dating profile from 0 to a whopping 1,217 responses. (Unfortunately she fails to disclose how many of those were weinered.)

Fascinating stuff.

Taking Stock – We Have Your Money

have-your-money

Right after I placed my order online I received this emailed order confirmation. Ho ho ho.

Verily we just had a veritable festive holiday season. All across this great nation currency (and credit) was exchanged for consumer goods, primarily cheaply made shit from China. It was truly a touching and traditional way to honor the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. (Even though historians tell us he was more likely born on July 22nd.)

How well did we honor Him?

  • Web visits to online retailers were up for the second year in a row.
  • Thanksgiving saw a 6% increase.
  • Black Friday was up 7%.
  • Cyber Monday was up 11%.
  • Christmas was up a whopping 27%.
  • The day after Christmas was only up 1% but it still counts.

Halleluja! He is risen along with the economy!

That’s a lot of online orders. But, alas, no stats released yet on how many of those last-minute shoppers were told their coveted items were “out of stock.” That’s the internet’s dirty little secret. Discussion about that peculiar aspect of online shopping would be a real bummer, wouldn’t it?

My research shows that 87% of online retailers make no effort to show real-time inventory status.
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#Awarkward front page caginess at #WSJ

There was something a skosh awkward with the print edition of the Wall Street Journal today (Friday, August 31st). And I’m speaking as a reader of news, not as a forward observer in the partisan wars.

You just know the WSJ wanted to be in on Romney’s big night. It was finally time for the big acceptance speech. No doubt the WSJ wanted it so bad they could taste it.

There was just one wee problem. The event would occur after their print deadline. I’ve seen newspapers in local markets push back deadlines for things like important sporting events in the evening and such. Editorial closes late, which pushed back pre-production, press deadlines and cascades all the way to distribution. The trucks run late. In my experience it takes an edict from the CEO to push back reliability benchmarks on home delivery. It’s a rather big deal.

Apparently the wait time was too long or WSJ doesn’t have such an option. Under the headline “Romney Vows to ‘Restore’ U.S.’ came news “coverage” (air quotes) consisting of several predictions. I guess we could call it a case of “pre-reporting” (air quotes) the news. In that vein the WSJ became the equivalent of a bulletin board system or newsletter.

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Mozy on over to the haunted house

Mozy is an service that provides online data backup. This Wednesday I received an email from them regarding a writing contest. There is a 200-word limit so I thought this might be perfect for some of you mini-writing specialists out there. Are any of you up for a double-drabble?

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

Few scenes set the stage for scary happenings like a dark and stormy night, as was the case in Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Paul Clifford. We’re in a frightfully spooky mood here at Mozy and would love to hear your scary computer tales as part of our Halloween contest. Join the fun for a chance to win one of four $50 gift cards!

To participate, write your best (fiction or non-fiction) conclusion to one of the following opening sentences, then send your entry to contest@mozy.com by Thursday, October 27, 2011:

  • All was quiet as I finished my term paper, but my blood chilled when a pop-up message appeared on my screen…
  • It was dark, despite the full moon, as he made his way to the library with laptop in hand…
  • She was in the middle of reading her friend’s blog when she heard a sound…
  • The laptop sat open on the table…

Stories must be 200 words or less and will be judged on creativity, originality, scariness, and Mozy-ness. Winners will be announced on the Mozy blog on Halloween—October 31, 2011. One entry per person, please.

Be safe,

The Mozy Team

Source: Mozy Newsletter email

Personally I’ll only be scared if I win.

PlaNet of Women

Anonymity; multiplied..I’ve often said that I’m on the “wrong planet,” right? Well, I’m convinced that’s true. But what if I found a “planet of women?” Would I want to leave?

To start, let’s take a look at sex ratio. And no, that is decidedly not a euphemism for my love life. “Sex ratio” is the ratio of males to females in a population. For the entire world that ratio is 101 males to 100 females.

Some examples, by country:

The United States has a sex ratio of 0.97. (More women than men.)
China has a sex ratio of 1.06. (More men than women.)
India has a sex ratio of 1.08. (More men that women.)
–Source: Wikipedia

“Gender imbalance is a demographic effect that may arise as a consequence of various factors ranging from natural reasons, war casualties to intentional gender control.” Source: Wikipedia.

There’s another sort of phenomenon for this sort of thing, though. I’m calling it the “Net of Women.”
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