27 June 2009

A bit of trivia about women and technology.

According to Genevieve Bell, anthropologist and Director of User Experience within Intel’s Digital Home Group:

  • In India, 80% of cyber-cafes in rural India are run by women.
  • In Singapore and Indonesia, maids who can clean and provide IT supportare highly sought after.
  • In Korea, 70% of gamers are female, in the U.S. that number drops to 40%, and in the U.K., it drops to 25%.
  • 64% of Facebook users are female.

  • reports ChipCick. Also, a recent Study Proves Women Know More About Megabytes Than Men Do.

    Ten little zen things that I do

    This post is totally inspired by 10 Odd Little Minimalist Things I Do from , it's my take on the same subject.

    1. No watch.
    It started with a watch with a broken bracelet - I learned to check time on my mobile phone.

    2. No alarm-clock.
    Cell phone again. That's not really creative, as Lifehacker recently asked: "What's Replaced Your Alarm Clock?" and over 7000 people said "cell phone".

    3. No "real" phone.
    Primarly because of all the marketing calls you can get - haven't had one since I moved in! Also, only one number to give, one bill... But I really need a better cell phone plan.

    4. No TV.
    It's just a screen for the PC, the Wii and the X-Box. I might start watching it while doing housework, however, I don't promise I'll keep away, but it doesn't suck my time (the web, however, hmm...)

    5. No iPod.
    I used to prefer my cheap normal Zen Creative mp3 player, but It's getting more and more...

    6. No mp3 player.
    Cell phone taking over again.

    7. No hairdresser.
    Though maybe I should visit one once and again. But I wear long blone hair, which is a simple, but great look, cut my bangs myself and wear them slightly to the side so no one can see if they're cut unevenly.

    8. No hairstyling products.
    I never decided to sacrifice any time to first, learn some advanced hairstyling, and then just do it. I believe you can't go wrong with long hair.

    9. No make-up.
    Actually, I don't do this that often. You rather won't see me without make-up at work. But sometimes, I don't wear any and feel good about it. My mind is free (if I don't have time for make-up it's absolutely okay) and that's what counts.

    10. No gym membership.
    That's mainly for financial reasons. This may not work for everyone for various reasons, primarly motivation. Health is priceless and if you can't get motivated without attending a class, do it. You might also take bigger pleasure in that class, meet friends there, use equipement you don't want to store home, etc etc. But I like yoga, pilates and kick boxing and manage pretty well to make good use of my floor, big ball and Wii.

    22 June 2009

    7 weeks with Windows 7

    I've been trying Windows 7 RC for over 7 weeks now. It's high time to open my big mouth about the new shiny features and the stuff that sucks. (Please note that I haven't touched Vista with a pole and hope things stay that way, which means I don't know what waslready introduced in Vista.)

    Let's start positively. Windows 7 is really shiny. I does have a professional look and feel. Well, not the wallpapers, but overall.

    More importantly, it's fast. Rumors say it will work just fine on netbooks!

    The usability is enhanced. That goes both ways, unfortunately. On one side, I love the new taskbar with huge icons that you can pin, hover,... do try this at home. I love the merging of the folders instead of the "replace or resign" that used to be.

    But... it's the little things. And the frustration they bring.

    Windows Media Player is now twelve - that's like two per Windows. It manages my music library well, but doesn't understand that in the universal language of humanity, that loooong key you could find even in the dark in a fraction of a second means "pause". "Pause" is Ctrl + P. "Pause" is Ctrl + P. "Pause" is "I don't care the water is boiling, the phone ringing and the best scene coming, find Ctrl+P if you want to pause". That alone makes me want to go back to the best ever VPlayer (or AllPlayer).

    Paint got redesigned. I'm still using PSP7. 7 - oh the irony.

    Microsoft is one for those software companies that don't really see the huge difference between "user friendly" and "looser friendly", which leads to odd situtations. See what that is?

    That's Windows 7 vs. me. I'm on an admin account. Any software installation makes that question pop out:

    Do you wany to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?

    Yeah, admin acount. And it warns me that installing a program will make changes on my hard drive! So I clicked "change when these notifications appear" to see less of that and got the window above, politely asking wether Mr UserAccountControlSettings could make changes to my computer.

    One last thing hard to forgive. It won't get to sleep when Windows Media Center is running, but it will while Firefox is downloading a big file. Boo.

    Okay, enough complaining. It's just a release candidate, and Microsoft deeply values my opinion about the improvement opportunities and usability challenges.

    If you want something more constructive to read, I recommend Lifehackers's "Get Windows 7's Best Features Right Now".

    21 June 2009

    Summer is here!

    Yeah, Summer is here!

    I had my last exam yesterday. Yep, on a Saturday, at 9 a.m. Finally, it's over!!!

    Now, I know I just came back from a two-week vacation in Tunisia, but believe me, I'm tired like crazy again. Honeymoons are absolutely well-deserved vacations for the whole emotional weight of getting married, no matter how wonderful marrying one's loved one is. By going to school at the same time, you totally earn the right to another trip. And we're totally planning one. Kinda. Someday.

    For now, my plans are:

    • getting my butt back to the office Monday morning
    • pushing my master thesis (I wonder if my advisor remembers me and that's not good)
    • learning some python and cooking
    • erm, blogging more, doing some Silverlight stuff again would be really cool...
    • taking advantage of the fact that I now live next to the forest!

    I hope you're excited for Summer as well. If you need, here are some activities suggestions, and here's some advice about how to put things off and stop caring to realize your dreams. Have a great Summer everyone!

    [Picture credit]

    06 June 2009

    The secret of the Coca-Cola formula

    The Coca-Cola formula is super secret, so it's not copyrighted or protected otherwise. (Honestly, I don't know what the big deal is, other "Colas" taste as sweet and as unhealthy to me, but anyway.)

    An interesting altervative (but I think just as unhealthy) is OpenCola - a drink with a formula on a GPL liscence.

    Just as with software, "anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe as long as they, too, license their recipe under the GNU General Public License." [Wikipedia]

    But now, the secret is partially out - Failblog published a picture of Coca-Cola employees getting one crucial ingredient:

    Did I say unhealthy?

    I got to level one at Project Euler (and would like to thank my boss and everyone...)

    I go to level one at Project Euler! I got this pretty picture as a reward:

    Now what does this have to do with my boss...

    First, let's precise that the term "my boss" means "those guys who make the decisions and I don't know which one decides what" - no sucking up! So, "the boss" transferred me to a Python project and with a bunch of guys, we're learning Python.

    Remember how I wrote I started learnig Python by solving Project Euler problems? Well, that's what we're told to do at work! There's a contest going on, in which many problems are from there, so when I solved one, I submitted it both to work and Project Euler and it was the last one I needed to get to level one, so here I am.

    Can something be more motiviating than a contest at work? I have to code...