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technology

Naughty nurses at CeBIT. Urgh.

Naughty nurses draw fire at CeBIT Australia. I'm taking time out from the Twitter for n00bs series to laugh at a particular event exhibitor at the IT industry trade show CeBIT which I know many of my Twitter mates attended, journalist Ben Grubb included.

So it appears that promotional models at the event caused a stir, particularly among the marginalised female IT crowd, after they wore novelty doctor and nurses uniforms, plugging into a stereotypical porn fantasy. They were part of a marketing ploy by web hosting company NetRegistry playing on those cheesy sexual impotence ads and accompanied by posters baring the slogan "Want longer lasting server up-time?"

Not only deemed demeaning to female geeks, the outfits were sort of innappropriate for a professional trade show. Playing on sexual fantasies? Um.. nice way to show that you couldn't go above the cliched 'sex sells.' At least it wasn't as bad as Nando's latest though, I'll give NetRegistry that credit.

NetRegistry said the gag was directed by "women and a gay guy," but what on earth does this have to do with anything? Does this for some unknown reason make it okay? I don't think so. They offended people and it shouldn't make it any different who gave the all-clear.

Grubb writes something which amuses me:

Mr Bloch [NetRegistry cheif] admitted the IT industry was challenging for women, but offered no apology for his marketing department's strategy.

"I think IT is a challenging industry for women... clearly that is a problem," he said.

But the executive was hesitant to draw conclusions when asked if his company's actions would deter women from joining the industry.

I'm not hesitant at all to make to those conclusions, Mr Bloch. I am offended, not only by the blantant sexism in yet another marketing campaign, but your serious lack of imagination when marketing at an event. It might have been a bit of lighthearted fun to many, but you might have just kicked a lot of intelligent "chicks" out of the IT industry and back into the kitchen. And no, I am not collecting your latte!

Liveblogging Etiquette

Just a quick one:

  • I suggest sitting to the back of the room if you are using a notebook computer. This means others will not be distracted by what's happening on your screen.
  • Like everyone else, make sure your laptop bag or case is not blocking any pathways. Feel free to use the seat next to you to spread out, but pay attention if it looks like someone needs that seat.
  • Type quietly and only when necessary. Others may not be able to hear the presenters if they are sitting nearby you.
  • If you cannot say something nice, don't say it at all. No one on the Internet really cares if the presenter needs to stop for a glass of water, puts up the wrong slideshow or trips over a cord. You're covering content, not the tiny incidentals of a presentation.
  • Regarding the event itself, offter only constructive criticism, and take preference to in-person, rather than blogged if it can be helped. Feedback should always be welcomed by organisers and so if the food is cold, let them know now, rather than tomorrow on your website.
  • No solitaire or WoW! If you don't want to listen to the presenter then get out of the theatre and go home. Seriously.

Do you have any pointers for event bloggers?

Brisbane Girl Geek Guitar Hero

Ahoy! The fifth Brisbane Girl Geek Dinner is upon us!

definitely does compute!

Hosted at the fabulous Microsoft Office there will be a games and consoles to ravage while you simultaneously catch up with the coolest females in IT around! I mean, you don't expect us to lounge around with martinis all the time, now do you?

Tracy Whitelaw, Chief Knowledge Engineer at artificial intelligence company MyCyberTwin will speak about women in games and the gaming industry. Her profile is on the event page I linked to above if you'd like a snapshot. I'm definitely keen to hear about the world of online worlds, character development and pop culture.

So if "you are a geek and a girl or know of one who is willing to escort you then you are welcome and encouraged to come along." Don't be too afraid to join in if you're a gentleman, just tell me or the organisers that you'd like to come along. I'm expecting a comment or two on this post joking we'll require someone to set up the Xbox 360 anyway!

Last thing, as I type, the event website states that food is BYO, however the latest news is that food will be provided. Make sure you inform the organisers if you have any particular dietry requirements for smiles all 'round.

Microsoft Office Brisbane 1 Waterfront Place Level 9 Brisbane, Queensland 4000 Australia

Internet Censorship is Totally Unsexy

After waking up today to blog posts flying backwards and forwards about Internet censorship movements by the federal government, I must venture into political territory. Just check out the Twitter stream! Sources tell us that the Australian government is blacklisting websites for the most mundane content ever. A QLD dentist? Poker? It blows my mind that the leaders of our country believe they can get away with blocking even somewhat boring content under the banner of protecting the vulnerable of the nation. And you can kiss goodbye various GMBill websites. The popular Victorian-run soft-core pornography company already warns parents to protect children on their ACMA-blacklisted adult sites AbbyWinters.com and Ishotmyself.com. I'm fairly sure that seems responsible, Mister Prime Minister.

from www.somebodythinkofthechildren.com

Having also more recent evidence that a seemingly scary sex life isn't so at all, I doubt that anyone could subscribe to the backward idea* that a vanilla sex life is the only moral one to take. It's just not cricket anymore to accept this ideology. Given this, what basis does the government have to block these "not damaged or dangerous" adults from being happy? Not a whole lot. The SMH continues:

In fact, men who take part may be happier, with results showing they score significantly lower on a scale of psychological distress than other men. The researchers did not study why this was, but suspect it might simply be that they're more in harmony with themselves because they're into something unusual and are comfortable with that.

I do not understand that when Australia spends so much money on phyciatric treatment and care for the anxious, stressed and depressed they are up in arms removing our ability to access resources which very often keep married couples together and single people satisfied. And I'm just talking about sexuality.

What can you do? A comment left here sums up a suggestion for more localised action:

Queensland Voters: You have a say coming up to voice your displeasure against Conroy's Censorship regime. Please use your vote wisely. I understand it is a "State Election", but ask yourself, who your local Labor member really represent? Do your Labor MP represent yourself, your interest and your electorate? Or do your local Labor MP just simply represent Labor Party itself? How many Labor MPs have you know to publicly oppose or discuss the actual Pros and Cons of this Censorship? (Joe of Camberwell)

Readers, please pay attention to the world that is happening around you. Your personal and private leisure time online is apparently a threat to the very fabric of society and the government doesn't like that one bit.

*and don't get me started on Pope Benedict XVI!

WoW Launch, Jobseeking and More

Just recently I attended the Brisbane CBD launch of the new World of Warcraft extension, Wrath of the Lich King. It was a pretty good event for the first gaming launch I'd experienced, and I've blogged about it for Tech Wired AU which I am collaborating on. Great stuff! In the more academic of my events life at the moment, I am putting together the final paperwork for the COTAH Events Conference Series and graduating in December. Hurrah!

Looking for full-time work for 2009 is proving standard as jobseeking goes, but I'd still love to hear of any openings you may know of. Plenty of great opportunities in Brisbane, I'm afraid I'll actually end up taking on more than I can chew next year! Oh, but that's always a thrilling prospect in itself, no