Author Archives: terriko

About terriko

Terri has a PhD in horribleness, assuming we can all agree that web security is kind of horrible. She stopped working on skynet (err, automated program repair and AI) before robots from the future came to kill her and got a job in open source, which at least sounds safer. Now, she gets paid to break things and tell people they're wrong, and maybe help fix things so that people won't agree so readily with the first sentence of this bio in the future. Terri writes/tweets under the name terriko, enjoys making things and mentoring others and has a plain ol' home page at http://terri.toybox.ca.

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing - Baltimore 2012 poster

Last day for Early Bird registration for the Grace Hopper Celebration

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing - Baltimore 2012 poster

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing – Baltimore 2012 poster

Today is the last day for early bird pricing for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing! It’s not the last day to sign up, but since tickets often sell out, it’s a good idea to get them ASAP anyhow!

This is a large conference filled with technical women, great science, and great fun. It’s a really different experience, going to a technical conference where the vast majority of attendees and speakers are female, and I’ve found that the quality of the talks is often a cut above the other conferences I attend because so many people here really care about communicating their research and their ideas to others. There’s lots of technical tracks, student and educator tracks, as well as career building opportunities and a great job fair where you just know the employers you meet are serious about hiring technical women!

I reminisced here about how I first decided to attend GHC, and this year I’ll be attending for my 4th straight year!

One of the cool things I’m doing this year is that I’ve joined the committee for our Open Source Day Hackathon. I’m going to be mentoring people working on infrastructure for Systers, a large online community for technical women, but there are a whole lot of really fascinating projects running that day. All of them are related to doing social good in the world, and we’re looking for technical help. There will be lots of knowledgeable helpers on hand, so it’s a great day to come out and try your hand at a new project or do your first hackathon! You can get more information about the organizations and sign up for open source day here. We had a lot of fun last year, and I’m looking forwards to this year!

So register for Grace Hopper then register for open source day and I’ll see you there!

Time Ladies: All 11 Doctors from Dr. Who, represented as women. Picture by Gladys @ http://rocketssurgery.tumblr.com

Time Ladies: Adorable Gender-swapped Doctor Who

So. Darned. Cute.

Time Ladies: first 6 Doctors from Doctor who, represented as women by Gladys @ http://rocketssurgery.tumblr.com

Time Ladies: Last 5 Doctors from Dr. Who, represented as women.  Picture by Gladys @ http://rocketssurgery.tumblr.com

Time Ladies: Doctors from Dr. Who, represented as women. Picture by Gladys @ http://rocketssurgery.tumblr.com

Picture via Gladys, whose artwork just took up some of my afternoon and I don’t mind a bit!

I should probably compile a post with some of the excellent gender swaps I’ve seen lately, but I know if I wait I might forget, and this is too cute risk forgetting.

So in preparation for a potential future post full of pictures… what’s the cutest gender swap you’ve seen lately?

mask

Open thread: A video for the sexist gamer dudes

The line around 3:14 made me laugh, so I’m embedding this video right here:

The Border House blog has a transcript, if you are so inclined.

This is intended as an open thread, where you can talk not only about sexist gamer dudes “who still think that sandwich joke is funny” but also any older stories for which the comments are now closed, or you can bring up new stuff you think we should know about.

hot-as-hell

Two feminist comics: fighting for rights is awesome, throwing a fit over feminist frequency’s videos is not

For your viewing pleasure, here’s snippets of a couple of comics that were making the rounds:

Kate or Die! distills an argument that we’ve had a thousand times:

That’s just a single panel of a longer piece. View the rest here.

And Catiemonster summarizes what’s been going on over at Feminist Frequency:

And there’s more! With chainsaws! View the rest here.

Grace Hopper: Sorry I missed that. I was busy inventing the compiler.

Quick hit: WHO invented the internet?

I’m betting there’s some of you who’ll want to discuss this awful article that starts by claiming that MEN invented the internet. But rather than quote the irritating original article in this post, I’m going to quote part of this rebuttal from Xeni Jardin:

You guys, ladies suck at technology and the New York Times is ON IT.

Radia “Mother of the Internet” Perlman and the ghosts of RADM Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace and every woman who worked in technology for the past 150 years frown upon you, sir. Women may have been invisible, but the work we did laid the groundwork for more visible advancements now credited to more famous men.

“Men are credited with inventing the internet.” There. Fixed it for you.


I ragequit this article like, 10 times, and couldn’t get past that awful opening line.

Read the rest of the rebuttal on BoingBoing, or read the original article.

So, uh, yeah. Here’s a post so you can have a comment thread on the topic that is moderated by feminists.

I AM FEMALE. Fe=Iron, Male=Man. Therefore, I AM IRONMAN.

Open Thread: I AM IRONMAN

I AM FEMALE.  Fe=Iron, Male=Man.  Therefore, I AM IRONMAN.

Text reads: I AM FEMALE. Fe=Iron, Male=Man. Therefore, I AM IRONMAN.

In honour of the superhero movie season starting up, I give you this image that’s been making the rounds.

This is an open thread, where you can feel free to talk about superheroes, hollywood interpretations thereof, older stories, share extra links, or anything else that’s on your mind.

Quick hit: Top Girl, Rock Bottom

I’ve played some pretty terrible video games, but this sounds like it may be a candidate for the worst game ever:

And that’s when it hits me, the one brilliant thing about this game: there is something in it for everyone. Everyone who plays it would find something in it that they hate.

Feminists would hate it. “Men’s Rights Activists” would hate it. Parents already hate it. Left-wingers would hate the consumerism and the objectification of women; right-wingers would hate the sexualization of young girls. Economists, as I’ve said above, would be baffled. Grammar enthusiasts would be appalled at its many punctuation and spelling errors. Models would hate that it makes modeling look easier and less cutthroat than it is. Fashion designers and artists would hate it for all the mismatched, misguided styling choices. My father would hate this game and Caryl Churchill would hate this game. Israelis and Palestinians would hate this game. We would all be united by our hatred of this, the most useless, uninteresting, universally offensive game known to humanity.

Read the rest of Mara Wilson’s detailed and funny review here: Top Girl: The Game for Everyone!

Tag reading "NOT OK" lies on wet ground

Ways for men to respond to harassment of women

This isn’t exactly geek feminist, but we often get asked questions about how to be a better ally, so I thought this was worth sharing. It’s a video of a bunch of men demonstrating ways to respond to street harassment. Within geeky circles, stuff that’s not unlike street harassment does happen at conferences and other gatherings, and it’s worth being prepared.

Not only is this a good collection of lines to have in your head, but their delivery and expressions also help get the message across:

So if you see bad behaviour happening, these are some non-violent ways you can step in and tell someone to cut it out. Sometimes, a clear expression of disgust from other men will make a really big impression, and once one person says something others will chime in and make the offender really look and feel like he’s in the minority. It’s good to have a bunch of lines prepared and practiced so you aren’t left with your mouth gaping open thinking, “did he really just say that? here?” and instead you can launch right into responses like, “I can’t take you anywhere,” “That’s not ok,” “Are you serious?” or “It’s not a compliment.” This video is obviously targeted at male allies, but some of these lines may be useful to others who want to be able to step in.

Remember, the wiki has an article on allies that can always use more links and tips. If you’ve seen any great resources, please mention them in the comments or add them directly to the wiki!

Google Summer of Code 2012

GF Classifieds: Google Summer of Code 2012 edition

Google Summer of Code applications are open for students starting today (March 26) and closing April 6th which means now is a great time for students and mentoring organizations to find each other!

Picking an open source project is a daunting task at the best of times, and may be extra scary for students in the GF community because we’ve heard the stories about various geek groups. But there are lots of great projects out there with excellent mentors, and many mentors are also part of the GF community. So this thread is to help you get in touch with each other. If you’re a mentor, post about who you’re looking for and why your project is awesome. If you’re a student, feel free to ask questions or ask if anyone knows a project that would perfectly suit you!

Google Summer of Code 2012

Google Summer of Code 2012 logo


I’m mentoring for two projects this year, so I’ll get the ball rolling by describing them here. The rest of you, please feel free to pitch your projects or ask questions in the comments below.

Systers

Systers is a international email community for technical women; many geek feminism readers and writers are already members. The core of Systers is the reasonably high-signal low-noise mailing list, which relies on some customizations of GNU Mailman (see below), and we’re looking for students to help us maintain and extend those customizations, as well as prepare new ones. We have suggested projects requiring a range of experience levels, from beginner-friendly to those for students with some years of experience already, from backend work to front-end usability. Our mentors are drawn from the Systers community, so it’s a great chance for students to work with other technical women! You can get in touch with us via the systers-dev(at)syster.org mailing list and we can be found at #systers-dev on irc.freenode.net.

GNU Mailman

GNU Mailman is free software for managing email discussion lists. It’s incredibly popular among open source projects as a way to build communities and allow developers to communicate, and I like to feel that I’m contributing to more than one project by making Mailman better! We’re looking for students to help with a variety of projects, including work on the archives and new web ui (Postorius), so if you know python or django you’ve already got a head start! And if you’d like to really own your own little feature, from start to finish, there’s some intriguing project ideas there too. Our previous GSoC students really pushed the project forwards and you can see their work in the new web UI. I’ll probably be mentoring Postorius-related projects if you’d like to work with me, and I can personally vouch for my fellow mentors being awesome people. You can get in touch with us via the mailman-developers(at)python.org mailing list or find us on #mailman on irc.freenode.net.

And you are, of course, welcome to ask me any questions you’d like about these projects in the comments below or by email at terri(at)zone12.com.

usbkeynecklace

Are all female programmers also knitters?

Like many geeks, I’m a big fan of making things or hacking them to suit my needs. A friend recently asked if all female programmers are also knitters, and while I think that’s unlikely (I only learned to knit two weeks ago, and I’ve been a programmer for getting close to two decades), it does make a lot of sense that people who are good at writing code might be drawn to other types of patterns such as the algorithms used to generate knitted and crocheted items. What do you think?

And while I’ve got the maker spirit, here’s two three geeky things I made this week:

16g necklace

This hardly counts as something I made, as all I did was make a little circle of wire to attach this very shiny USB key to a necklace, but the end result is a reasonably cheap and totally functional piece of geeky jewelry. Bonus: the USB key is waterproof, so I don’t have to worry about it getting wet if I get caught in a downpour or sprint all the way to work.

Kindle Fire Case

I’m not usually an early adopter for hardware since it’s so easy to get burned, but I snagged a Kindle Fire before Christmas and haven’t regretted it. What I *do* regret is that cases can be so darned expensive! I learned to knit less than a week before making this, so it’s clearly a project suitable for a beginner. Instructions here for those who like patterns (or just want to know what yarn that is).

Edit: I forgot another geeky thing I made last week on the plane:
Penguin Ball

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve crocheted a lot of Angry Birds as an excuse to play games with strangers and friends alike. The round penguin pattern I made as an extension of that for when I was playing “real life Angry Birds” around open source folk, as a reference to the Linux penguin. This is one of a bunch I made for the Pycon sprints, where I gave them out to my fellow GNU Mailman developers. If you want to make your own, it’s a very quick project: I wrote the pattern up here.


So… while all female programmers probably aren’t also knitters, I know there’s a lot of makers of various stripes within the Geek Feminism community. Please tell us about the cool things you’ve been making in the comments below!