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Sexual division of labour

A while ago I was asked to write an article on why there are so few female open source hackers, and I came across the argument that women don't have the necessary level of concentration that men do. So, while men are prepared to stay up for 14 hours to fix a bug, say, or immerse themselves in writing a new KDE application on top of their full-time jobs, women lack that same level of dedication and become distracted by other things (we're better at multi-tasking, apparently - woo hoo!).

Word up

Oxford University Press has revealed that the ten most commonly used nouns are: time, person, year, way, day, thing, man, world, life and hand.

How boring are they? Not a 'gobstopper' or 'pulchritude' among them. But it is nice to read that most of the words in the top 100 have Old English roots. We are using the same words as our Anglic friends, which is nice! If only we could go back further in time. Luckily, my years of intensive archaeological and IndoEuropean study allow me to confidently predict the ten most commonly used nouns in the Palaeolithic:


GUIs? Pffft!

So anyway, some clever chap has set up a text-based 'video' stream of World Cup matches, accessible by telnetting to on port 2006. Yes, you don't even need a GUI to watch the games, and it uses negligible bandwith. Unfortunately, it has been mentioned on the major geek news sites, so you're lucky to get connected at all -- I managed to connect for a few seconds at the end of play this afternoon, before it kicked me off. Still, here's a screengrab showing some pundit offering his analysis of the match (probably):

The beautiful game

World Cup fever has infected Bath, and in the absence of the Norwegian national team to cheer on, I started thinking about a free and open source software team instead (geek? moi?).

In goal I'd play the Peter Shilton of Linux, Slackware founder Patrick Volkerding: more of a loner than a team player, but solid, dependable and has been around for years (and years, and years…).

My exciting morning in the photostudio

The Windows OneCare Scam

Windows users, now is the time to kick away the Microsoft soap rather than stooping to pick it up. MS has released its new Live OneCare system that provides anti-virus, anti-spyware, backup and a firewall. You might think this is a cause for celebration, but wait: Microsoft is charging for it. Worse, they are charging for it on a yearly subscription basis.

Windows Live OneCare is a rip-off - install Linux instead!

The gloves are off

I read the PC Plus blog semi-regularly, mostly because Richard Cobbett's frothing rage is quite funny. However, ace reporter Alex Cox recently wrote a blog entry on MS Windows Server 200x and virtualisation, saying:

By virtualising the IO systems of these machines, Microsoft has developed a system of hot-adding hardware. For example, if one of the virtual machines on the server needs more RAM, it can be instantly allocated and the VM 'upgraded' without any fuss whatsoever.

Raindrops keep falling on their breasts

After a fine meal of salad, burgers and pasta washed down with a bottle of £2.99 château de Co-op, the ladies I was dining with started to talk about their breasts. Fair enough, thought I, and allowed the conversation to wash over me, not having breasts of my own on which to discourse.
Imagine my surprise when the ladies agreed that breasts are rubbish! It turns out that when it rains and you're wearing a v-neck top, the exposed area gets cold; and, what's more, stays cold! How awful!

Raindrops keep falling on their heads

Walking to walk in the rain today, I saw a bus stop in the road in front of me and offload four passengers: two women and two men. The women promptly put up umbrellas (they adopted the advanced 'type 3 installation' technique favoured by the elder female of opening the umbrella AS THEY DISEMBARKED, even though they seemed quite young – the Burberry print of one of the umbrellas appears to bear this out), while the two men just put up their collars and hunched into the rain.

Macs, movies, magazines and dodgy PR

I own an iMac now. It spends its days idling in the front room, which is a bit of a shame because it's a dual-core 2.0GHz beastie with a 20" screen. Having now used it for just about three weeks, I have thoroughly mixed feelings about it.

The hardware is lovely. I've said this for a long time: Apple makes some fine computers. It's almost silent, has eye-blinding brightness levels, boots in a few seconds and the remote control is neat. So far, so good.

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