Links For October 22, 2014

Researcher reveals how “Computer Geeks” replaced “Computer Girls”

The idea that the development of software was less important (and less masculine), than the development of hardware persisted for many years and women continued to work as computer programmers. Employers, says Ensmenger, were in for a surprise when they discovered a truth that we now take for granted: “Programming,” he says with a smile, “is hard.” The women involved in the ENIAC project distinguished themselves by engaging in complex problem-solving tasks and by advising their male colleagues on hardware improvements.

When Women Stopped Coding

In the 1990s, researcher Jane Margolis interviewed hundreds of computer science students at Carnegie Mellon University, which had one of the top programs in the country. She found that families were much more likely to buy computers for boys than for girls — even when their girls were really interested in computers. This was a big deal when those kids got to college. As personal computers became more common, computer science professors increasingly assumed that their students had grown up playing with computers at home.

The Artist Is Present and Also a Robot

While algo-writing technology may seem brand new, Narrative Science and infoSentience already have plenty of competition. Automated Insights provides a program that is, according to their site, “like an expert talking with each user in plain English.” … Unlike other producers of robo-content, who sheepishly suggest human creativity can’t be disrupted, the Dallas-based Yseop bills itself as “disruptive technology”—that is, technology which will displace an existing market. Yseop provides executive summaries, product descriptions, fact sheets, and even biographies based on a person’s LinkedIn account, all written in milliseconds, and in languages other than English, if you’d like.

Dynamite With a Laser Beam

The creators of the game, Joshua DeBonis, 35, and Nikita Mikros, 47, both from Brooklyn, met in 2006. Both made a living designing small Internet games. But it was their shared love of competitive outdoor games that brought them together.... Their first project together, Pigeon Piñata Pummel, required table tennis balls, blindfolds and, of course, piñatas. It was first demonstrated in 2008 for the Come Out and Play Festival. The festival, which is now held on Governors Island, has become an annual New York event; Mr. DeBonis and Mr. Mikros eventually won an award for a field game called Killer Queen at the 2011 festival.... The field game’s popularity inspired the pair to turn it into a video game.

The Desert

Desert Golfing holes 0-10000 without the holes. This is not the end, the desert is infinite. Enjoy the ride.