I am trying something a little different this week with bookmarks post. Instead of my normal, and somewhat painstaking (ahem…I mean labor of love), method of copying links, one-by-one, over from Pocket (a great tool) to my blog to create this post, I am letting Springpad do the heavy lifting. I am a huge fan of Springpad, and it has become my default site and app for note-taking, web-clipping, idea collaboration with family and friends, and overall means to “remember” everything. Let me know what you think of this format. Is it more appealing and easier, or do you prefer the “old” way of bulleted articles, and clearly marked sections for articles, videos and the jazz spotlight?
Well…that didn’t go as planned. Ugh! Unless there is a configuration code somewhere that I don’t see, it appears that the display limit for embedded Springpad folders is five rows or 20 items. Ugh. I’ll keep the folder public on Springpad in case you want to go there and see what the whole folder looks like. (click here) Until I can figure a way to display the entire contents of a folder in a single post on my blog, it’s back to the old format.
What is the most interesting thing that you read, saw, or viewed recently? Please share your links in the comments.
I was listening to the weekly Vergecast last Friday. During the broadcast, the panel started to discuss a story and a familar name popped up. Adria Richards. My attention was immediately, and intensely, piqued. (I had breezed by a couple of story headlines toward the end of the week, but I was behind on some tech news.) As the situation was discussed in more detail, my heart sank. After listening to the Vergecast, I started to comb through the stories.
I will leave it to you to read through the stories.
This is Adria’s blog post about the whole thing.
I know Adria, and consider her a friend. This whole thing troubles me deeply. I feel for my friend. Even with that, I know that that she has some culpability in this mess — namely by tweeting the picture of the guys at the conference. The guys making the lewd jokes also bear responsibility for their actions, though. There is blame to go around.
Here is the rub for me. I am bewildered, and even sickened, by the reaction of so many men, and some women, to this dust up. There is absolutely no place for the abusive, vitriolic language, not to mention rape and death threats, directed at Adria. Could she have handled this differently? Probably so, but it is always easy, after-the-fact, to see things more clearly and offer a calm assessment of how you would have handled being in the same place.
What really gets me is the repeated statement by many guys that what Adria overheard at the conference were “just dick jokes.” She should just “get over it (and herself).” This is utter, and complete, nonsense. Who am I, or anyone else, to tell Adria or any other woman, what is, or is not, offensive? It’s analogous to men saying to a woman “you are overreacting!” I’ve learned that each person has a reaction, and he/she is entitled to it. I find, too often, that men are quick to put a woman’s reactions and sensibilities in a box. If find it just as offensive that people are telling, or suggesting, that Adria what should, or should not, be offensive.
Why should have Adria hunkered down and dealt with dick jokes? People seem to be getting hung up on semantics. “The guys weren’t talking to her.” “The jokes weren’t sexual in nature.” “The jokes weren’t directed to her.” If someone was behind me telling nigger, Jew, gay, or (fill in the blank) jokes, I would be hot! I can’t say how I would deal with it. My first thought is that I would address the people directly. However, if I didn’t feel comfortable, because of the environment or disproportionate number of people involved, I may have taken another avenue to voice my outrage. The bottom line is that I am not, nor should I, have to sit somewhere — particularly a conference — and accept offensive words or sentiments. From where I sit, a lot of true feelings seem to be coming out. Adria is being attacked for being a woman, black, Jewish. For all of the people scouring twitter and the blogosphere for statements by Adria — painting her as a hypocrite — one need look no further than the hundreds of comments under just about every article about this mess. Most of the comments attack Adria, calling her a bitch, a cunt, a “diversity hire,” or much…much…worse, and suggesting that she should kill herself. All the while these same people are shedding tears for the guy with three kids who got fired from his job.
Actions have consequences. Irrespective of one’s opinion about who’s right and who’s wrong, it appears that both Adria and the guy at the conference paid the price for their actions. What seems to be getting lost in this whole thing is the real issue of women in tech. It’s unfortunately that this scenario played out the way it did, because I fear that the underlying issue of how women, and people of color, fare in the technology industry won’t be adequately addressed. People love controversy, to most people’s attention will stay on dick jokes and people getting fired. I’ll steer clear of using the word victim because it too much of a powder cake. It muddies the water. Whether you side with Adria, or not, on how this situation at the conference was handled, I would hope that the discourse could get beyond the who lit the match and focus on the fuel that feeds this raging fire.
For the longest time, I was almost contrarian when it came to Apple. I never had an issue with the products, but I didn’t (and still don’t) like how a number of Apple users become members a cult-like tribe. It’s a turn off. My closest like-my-brother friend, Dotch, has been using Apple computers since we were in college. His house could very well be an Apple store. (Love ya Dotch!) At the end of 2010, I put aside those concerns, vowing that I would never become a fanboy, and took the plunge with two Apple computers — a MacBook Pro and an iMac. I sold the MacBook Pro to a friend and picked up another one. A couple of months ago, I gave my son that 13″ MacBook Pro.
I have been using the time without a laptop to see how I would function. In that time, I picked up the Google Nexus 7 tablet. After a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that the Nexus 7 was just too small for me. It’s a great device, but I guess that I have grown accustomed to a larger screen. I’ve used my wife’s iPad2 from time-to-time. The screen is larger on the iPad (Interestingly, all the rumors these days point to the release of a mini iPad this fall.) I probably could get by with an iPad in lieu of a laptop, but I don’t like typing on the screen of the iPad and I have yet to come across an accessory keyboard for the iPad that I like. What became clear is that I like a laptop. However, one thing that bothered me about the 13″ MacBook Pro was it’s weight. Don’t like the sleek design fool you, MacBook Pros are hefty. So, with weight being an issue…I was really only left with one choice, in the Apple family that is.
It’s hard to believe, given my history, that I am becoming such an Apple person. So far, the I have been holding off on getting a new smartphone, because I’m interested to see what Apple does with the next iPhone. I’ve seen several “spy shots” of the new iPhone, and I must admit that I’m not overwhelmed. Maybe a ho-hum iPhone5 will keep me from becoming completely sucked into the Apple ecosystem. We’ll see. It could become a full-blown family affair. My son’s in (he has an iPhone now, too.). Carla was using the iMac quite a bit this weekend and I caught her eye-balling my new MacBook Air. I may have to drop a line on her from a classic (read: cheesy) 80s commercial.