Mattel has angered a large segment of the Girl Geek world with a book with a decidedly sexist slant that portrays Barbie as needing help from boys to successfully complete a coding project. While Mattel has apologized and “pulled” the publication and has promised a better attitude going forward, the important concept that girls can be what they dream to be and should reach for the stars is what really matters. Women in tech have been successful for years. I’m not just talking about the Marissa Mayer’s of this world. There are thousand’s (and hopefully tens of thousands) of us who have built successful tech careers, many of them, like myself, going back 20 or 30 years.

There’s been lots of activity on Barbie’s Facebook page where posts are being deleted by Barbie’s social media staff (see Posts to Page) and some still are up at https://www.facebook.com/BarbieNAD/posts/362944293876701

One of my peers has started a #realgirlgeek campaign to highlight the fact that women and girls CAN be anything they want to be, including computer programmers and IT professionals.

The White House also has recently stepped up a campaign to highlight and help and equalize the pay gap in ALL professions.

 

white house equality

Let’s encourage our girls to pursue and excel in technical careers.

Oh yeah, for what it’s worth, here’s my remix of the horrendous Barbie, I can be a Computer Engineer.

 

Some good news, Microsoft has announced upcoming updates to the Surface Pro 3 on TechNet. In particular, there are some WiFi updates that hopefully will fix some of the horrific issues that have plagued some customers since launch.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/surface/archive/2014/11/17/information-on-the-upcoming-updates-for-surface-pro-3.aspx

 

sp3upcoming

 

Note in particular:

Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update (v15.68.3066.135)

  • Enables better throughput after waking from sleep and connecting to an 802.11AC network.
  • Ensures Infra scan list is not empty while connected to a wireless display adapter.
  • Resolves an issue connecting to Cisco 1242 access points.
  • Ensures device reconnects properly to a hidden SSID using a 5Ghz DFS channel after waking from sleep.
  • Adds customer-requested functionality to prefer 5Ghz connections when both a 2.4ghz and 5ghz connection are present with the same SSID.

Too bad Microsoft didn’t have the common sense to post this information in the Answers Community Forums where users are begging for relief.

 

I as luck enough to receive an invite to “preview” this really new and cool application called Sway. You can read about it at http://www.sway.com. Sway is basically a jquery driven web tool to quickly build out high quality presentations from data and content sourced from a variety of sources (with more coming soon) like .docx, .html, .pptx, images, and video files from YouTube. Sway creates a folder on OneDrive and stores much of the content there (good thing storage is now unlimited for Office 365 users). Here’s my first attempt at building a “Sway”. Just scroll to view and be sure to click on the stacks to view more images.

 

I built this out in about half an hour.

 

A while back I wrote about experiments to try to take usable document photos with the Surface Pro 3 camera.

 

I’ve got a somewhat better solution now, thanks to Hydrotac +3.00 diopter stick on lenses from Amazon (I had a credit there burning a hole in my pocket) and some non abrasive clear sticky tape.

 

Check out this crystal clear image (click to open and see original size)

 

output

 

Here’s my “modded” Surface Pro 3:

 

fasten with clear tape

 

This low tech solution is usable. I still wish Microsoft would have used a variable focus camera so that clear and crisp document capture was a usable scenario.

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