Future geek chicks?

From the BBC on Microsoft’s survival strategy (innovation and research):

Boku is a video game which is basically aimed at creating the computer programmers of tomorrow.
Principal programme manager Matt MacLaurin, a father of a three and three-quarter year-old daughter, designed Boku “as a tool so that kids can make their own games and its secretly a tool to teach kids what programming is like without getting too bogged down in the detail”.

Mr MacLaurin says Boku’s marriage of creativity and education is a clever way to hook children into this world.
He noted that girls took just two hours to become completely conversant with Boku while he fudged on how long the boys took.

Other interesting ideas include ‘E-Science in the cloud’:

In the carbon project known as Fluxdata, a group of 400 scientists from across the world are looking at how vegetation is being affected by carbon emissions.
In the past they might well have worked in isolation and only exchanged information via email assuming they would know who else was conducting complementary research.

In other news, yay Eurovision!

Andalucia goes OS

Biggest ever Spanish open source agreement signed

The Spanish government received praise for its continuing commitment to business innovation based on open standards.
Last week, Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth told the BBC that the public was now turning to open source to improve their computing experiences.
Mr Shuttleworth said he had seen a real shift over the last six months, from people seeing open source as either a super-specialist tool for people who run data centres or something only an enthusiast would be interested in, to something which is increasingly popular with the commercial PC industry.

Zoe Williams on Boris, the blond buffoon

I guess at least I don’t have Howard in Australia and Boris in London – that would be too much to deal with. But look what we have now as the Mayor of London. Zoe Williams writes in the Guardian:

Two mistakes we make about Boris: the first is that, because he says “unacceptable” things, then he must be honest; he must be outside the airless bubble of PC. This is bilge. He is no more honest than any other philanderer before him. He has lied flagrantly, flamboyantly, to save his marriage, and given how little else he’s prepared to do for it, one must conclude that he doesn’t put a very great premium on telling the truth. So if he gives out these apparently harsh truths about gay people or Liverpudlians or the people of Congo, it is not because the fire of truth burns so brightly within him that he can’t snuff it out. It is because he genuinely despises these people. He despises gays and he despises provincials (you are all right with Boris if you come from Liverpool but don’t sound like a Liverpudlian. Once you’ve been to public school, then you are from postcode POSH), and he despises Africans. He despises them, and he despises those of us who would hold
such judgments to be bigoted and inhuman.

It ought to beggar belief, oughtn’t it? Not that this self-satisfied creature of privilege should hold such views, but that he should be able to spout them and then have us all instantly forget about it. What are we, idiots?

Sadly enough people in London are idiots. I guess (John Howard’s own) Lynton Crosby’s dog whistle worked on the poor neglected fools in the outer suburbs of London.