Now, I'm not going to reinforce the stereotype that there are NO women at Macworld. Because there are. Just not a lot. But the biggest issues of being a lady at one of the biggest tech conferences of the year have nothing to do with being outnumbered. Check out my slideshow for my experiences of being the fairer sex at this year's Macworld.
2008 was a great year for movies, especially for me since tech is becoming more and more prominently featured. A number of the leading ladies in my favorite flicks from this year embraced their cell phone as the chic accessory that it is — or can be, when you pick the one that matches you. Check out my top cell phone addicted female characters of the year.
Well, it started with chat rooms, then online dating, then destigmatized online dating, then further legitimized Facebook hookups so can we really be surprised that Japanese girls are all over the latest web love trend: The Virtual Boyfriend?
The just-launched Webkare is a social networking site in Japan — aimed solely at young women — that encourages its members to flirt with and capture the hearts of the virtual boyfriends available. Five days after it was announced, over 10,000 users joined up to try their hand at virtual dating.
I think it's great. You get to practice your smooth moves and then, with a virtual BF, you tell them what to do, they don't complain, and they do exactly what you want. Sounds pretty awesome.
Still, I know some people will be into this Amidala costume.
It wouldn't quite be Halloween if every girl's costume wasn't as tarted-up as it could possibly be, but in the spirit of not being a spoil-sport and getting the "why do girls want to dress like sluts on Halloween" arguments started a month early, I say, OK geek girls. Be sexy if you want.
Just remember, Princess Leia in the gold bikini is the way to go.
One of the main reasons that green power hasn't taken off is its high price tag, but Australian PhD candidate Nicole Kuepper may be changing that. This green-thinking student has discovered a way to produce solar cells using a pizza oven, nail polish, and ink jet printers.
According to the The Sydney Morning Herald:
Ms Kuepper realised a new approach would be needed if affordable cells were to be made on site in poorer countries: "What started off as a brainstorming session has resulted in the iJET cell concept that uses low-cost and low-temperature processes, such as ink-jet printing and pizza ovens, to manufacture solar cells."
While it could take five years to commercialise the patented technology, providing renewable energy to homes in some of the least developed countries would enable people to "read at night, keep informed about the world through radio and television and refrigerate life-saving vaccines". And it would also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The inspiring Kuepper was awarded the British Council Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change for her solar power development, as well as a $10,000 study tour to Britain. I'm always proud of girl geeks, and since women are underrepresented in the sciences, I am doubly impressed by this young inventor. Congratulations, Nicole!
Thought The Bachelor was silly? At least the guy from The Bachelor doesn't tell you that he'd rather hang out with his HDTV.
That's basically the premise of a new reality show, called Gadget or the Girl? where contestants choose between a mystery gadget and spending a weekend with a hot lady. I don't know what I feel the worst about — comparing a woman to a piece of electronic equipment or the self-esteem of the participating females ("objectified" doesn't even begin to cover it).
I mean, don't we already deal with boyfriends who pay more attention to their video games, computers, and cell phones (although I know I dish that out too sometimes)? The show is on Playboy TV, so I don't know about you, but I probably won't click past it in my regular rotation.
What do you think? Is Gadget or the Girl where our all-encompassing gadget love has gotten us, or is it just a misogynistic display of boys and their toys?
As the Gadgettes pointed out in their NPR interview this week, manufacturers market to ladies one way, by giving their products flashy and recognizable (therefore, girly?) names like "Chocolate" or "enV" instead of something like VX12345.
I feel like this has gotten a little out of control, and now there exist some phones whose names sound more like a cologne you would spritz on your wrist, rather than put up to your ear. Take my quiz and tell me which is the name of a cell phone model, and which is the name of a perfume!Take the Quiz
When I read this article on a study that said guys are more into video games than women (it's infuriatingly titled "Games Are a Guy Thing"), I thought I'd do a poll about it — and then I realized what a big Duh that was. Of course video games aren't "a guy thing" — but do our reasons for playing them differ based on our genders?
The study says that video games appeal to a man's need to conquer, which I can't argue with, because I think I play video games out of my need for fun, not because I want to be the dictator of Sims land. Games, they say, activate the mesocorticolimbic (I dare you to pronounce that correctly) center, or the place where addiction and reward are based. There's more activity here in men's brains than women's, which is interesting, to say the least. Sometimes I feel very addicted to a certain game (I can quit anytime, I swear!), but I have always felt my boyfriend needs to play a little more than I do.
I would really like to see a video game/brain study on what causes video game burnout, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts on the video-game-as-guy-thing?
I've been a little bit hesitant to write about the Wii Fit Stripper Pole game because I'm a little conflicted. But since it appears that it's going to happen, here we go! A Stripper Pole game disturbs me a little, but since it's part of Wii Fit, I think of it as the same level as those stripping exercise classes that popped up a few years ago and seemed cheeky and fun. It's also a fun, hopefully private (close those shades) way to work out and explore a fantasy, so what's the harm, right?
On the other hand, with the release of GTA IV and its supply of hookers once again, I'm leery of the intent here and I can get in that place of worrying about where the video game industry is placing their female fans. How do you feel about a stripper pole game?
Last week's article in the NY Times about women posting their grievances online about their exes made me wonder where people are drawing the line at privacy anymore. One woman made a YouTube video divulging way too much information about her soon-to-be ex, and others are blogging about their breakups as they happen.
I'm all for catharsis, and these women may get some needed support, but I think they're revealing too much and putting themselves up for close scrutiny. I've always been cautious about even changing my relationship status on MySpace or Facebook, and not because I'm a commitment-phobe, but because it encourages an outpouring of messages and posts asking me about it, and you know what? It's exhausting and I don't feel like sharing these kinds of details with people I haven't seen in years — aside from their changing profile pictures.
But have you? Fess up — have you ever over-shared on your blog, social networking profile page, or gasp! YouTube?!