will come they day they bring out "Dustman Barbie".
Unless you subscribe to the feminist theory that women are only entitled to all the good jobs.
The people have spoken: Barbie will become a computer engineer. And a news reporter. Results of the 2009 Barbie Global Career Survey – called the ‘Girls’ Vote’ on the results announcement page – swung in favor of ‘News Anchor.’ But the ‘Popular Vote’ conducted online during the last month and promoted here has delivered geek …
Down here in Spain, you can often see women 'mucking in' with the lads, doing the rounds on the back of the bin lorry and hosing out the big street bins. Not sure Mattel have such a doll planned yet though.
I've yet to see any disproportionate computer engineers, although my search continues...
My local municipal refuse and recycling facility, a.k.a. 'the dump', has a woman working there who climbs into the skips and levels the loads, picks out stuff that has been put in the wrong skip etc. I don't know if she rides the bin wagons but after seeing her moving around like lightning in those skips, I'm sure she could do it.
My guess is that since the majority of Barbie recipients (and buyers, i.e., parents, guardians, grandparents) would not know a real- deal computer engineer from a coffee- shop- resident "creative developer" (since "they all work with computers"), Mattel(R) went lowest common denominator to indicate "computeriness" with an obvious t-shirt, laptop, and cellphone/ crackberry (the specific Bluetooth addition is probably for "marketing synergy"). On the other side, if Mattel can make CE Barbie somewhat stylish [start_optimism] that might push more young women (and trans youth) to pursue math and science [/end-optimism] ... which bespeaks a horrifically sad state of affairs, but given the yoof I see and hear 'round these parts such a strategy stands as much chance as any.
Surely the only people who actually use those are men in the grip of an age-related crisis, causing them to believe that they look either too busy/important to actually hold a phone, or like someone out of star trek?
Last one I saw was yesterday, accompanied by the words "That'll be two pound please luv; want any of this curly kale too? Picked fresh this morning..."
I have to throw my hat in with this bit about the Bluetooth earpiece. Except that I do not find it limited to age-related crisis, but an even mix of attention whores, those who think it is just "neat," those who forget it is there (perhaps because no one ever calls them,) and those who do not have anything better to do with the bloody thing.
I would almost fall into that later category were it not for SonyEricsson including a handy lanyard which allows me to dangle the otherwise obnoxious accessory from my neck when not in use.
That, and look how big some of these things are! Good God, is it really necessary to cover up your entire ear and/or half your face? I really like my little HBH-610 which is about two inches long and about a half-inch at its widest, and weighs about a feather-fart. Not to mention I think the Barbie version probably represents a choking hazard.
My biggest gripe about these things is, again, most people who wear them inconsiderately: hanging out with their mates, on a date (in some cases both sexes on the date have them in place,) and, the best yet, USING THE BATHROOM! Have we become too wired when you cannot use a public john without experiencing the necessity to call someone back when you are done shaking your tally whacker -- or managing whatever other parts you have? Next biggest is how people feel the need to speak loudly, even though the things easily pick up a whisper while still tuning out background noise (well, unless you buy cheap ones or the Chinese knock-offs.) In these cases, I guess the real thing also represents a choking hazard.
But, then again, I suppose we should not be so quick to judge. There are these hearing boosters made to look like Bluetooth earpieces for the hard-of-hearing to wear. Then you just have to make sure the user is not on a phone when you begin speaking to them.
Paris, another choking hazard.
Or ... people who need to use both hands for a job while still communicating? Like, y'know, technicians? Or engineers?
Then again, what do I know. I'm just a geek who much prefer the SAR value of the VMX 100 to the one of the cellphone it talks to, and who find the lack of cables such a benefit when talking to people AND writing code at the same time. Who knew tools could sprout such emotional responses ...
PS: No, I have no scientific proof one way or the other on the topic of SAR values and cellphones, but frankly less is more when it comes to radiation up by my head.
I presume neither the Society of Women Engineers nor the National Academy of Engineering have actually seen a real female Computer Engineer - except in a press release.
Judging by the ones we have at our hollowed-out volcano...
She should be wearing: a Reg "Don't mess with the Moderatrix" T shirt, multi-pocketed work trousers, Doc Martins and a look of utter contempt for her colleagues.
For her lair you need: a pile of miscellaneous cards, cables and hard drives, an overflowing shelf stuffed with of manuals and odd bits of paper, several part-used boxes of cat 5, a state-of-the-art coffee machine, a stolen ash tray full of screws, a traffic cone, a cattle-prod, a voodoo doll...
Anyway WTF is "geek chic"?
"Anyway WTF is "geek chic"?"
I assume, it's some sort of commercialization of the geek look. You know, it takes years for a black t-shirt to fade to an unnamed shade of gray. That is the geek thing. You can also buy an anthracite colored t-shirt, and that (I think) is geek chick. So from a distance, you look geekish, but up close your shirt looks clean, new, no wrinkles, no holes. Stylish even.
When you are a geek and you want a bag, you buy a second hand army bag in a surplus store. When you are a chic geek, you buy an olive green bag from a well known and respected (in certain circles) fashion design house.
But I dunno, I'm just guessing. Am I right?
I doubt SWE had much say in the matter after the Barbie people stepped in and decided to pink everything up. It's the same plastic doll wearing the same plastic smile and the same 50s-era eyeshadow with the same unrealistic body proportions.
At first, I thought, given the sort of shirts that Think Geek and the like have, you could do some actual tie-ins. You know, maybe have a shirt that has a big Autobot or Decepticon logo. But no, those are Hasbro. Maybe 'Sorry, but your princess is in another castle', but that's Nintendo. Me wife suggested "Natural 20", but that's TSR. So I look to see what things Mattel DOES make. Barbie, Hot Wheels, that's pretty much it.
Actually, Mattel also owns He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. She could have had a tattered shirt that said 'She-Ra' but given Barbie's shape, maybe Skeletor would be more appropriate.
Mine's the one with Man-At-Arms in the pocket.
So, um, why do you say she doesn't have said engineering degree? Or is Dentist barbie practicing without a license as well?
I will note, despite having said magic slip of paper myself, an engineering degree is a poor judge of someone's programming ability. And pointing out that the term engineer has been diluted only reminds us of nascent and immature computing, as a whole, is.
With an Engineering Degree an employer can at least be assured you have a "Proper" Degree and not one of the Mickey Mouse ones churned out by the rebranded polytechnics, though to be fair, when they were Polytechnics they excelled at their remit of teaching Technology. Sadly the rush to growth by the new "Universities" has resulted in a lowering of academic standards ( UEA is a particularly bitter example ) and a substantial number of disillusioned and indebted graduates who now realise that their degrees are worthless and that they are tens of thousands of pounds in debt.
Real plumbers need certification, registration and license, without them you're not actually a plumber.
This is actually recognised in most developed countries of the world. Without a license your an apprentice, journeyman or Mr. fixit.
Then again you could say the same for doctors, electricians, lawyers, masons. Every group has their way of restricting access to professions in order to keep rates up. Depending on how good their group is at influencing pols, you can't even fix your own sink legally. Heck, I've even seen states where flower arranging required testing and licensure. About the only thing that I've never seen that didn't require at least some brains is politician.
So without a degree you're a 'technician or repairman'? What a load of male bovine excrement - and sounds suspiciously like the usual tired line that the BCS (or whatever they're called this month) have been trotting out.
Personally I'd prefer to work alongside a colleague who had demonstrated some professional achievement. Note that a degree is _not_ the only way to do this - which means that the talented individuals who've spent their time in the trenches to good effect would also qualify. Otherwise you're in HR La-la Land where they'd prefer to take a snot-nosed uni escapee to that grizzled campaigner with a good history of achieved projects.
Back onto the subject - when I went to the Mattel shop, no sign of the new Comp Eng Barbie - just curious you understand... Such disappointment! Mind you, I've been lucky enough to be able to work alongside some real great female engineer colleagues.
Though I have an engineering degree, I realize that any job title like "Engineer" is based on a job description in a purely competitive manner. If someone has an engineering degree yet works at the local grocery store ringing people up, are they still an engineer? Schools stopped preparing people for a career a long time ago. If someone has proved themselves through merit they should be given the proper title.
And I thought that most people with a degree might know the difference between your & you're - clearly not.
BTW, IK Brunel didn't have a degree - and he was a REAL engineer.
(For those that live in the West Country "Oh what an engineer, he used to live 'round here, Isambard Kingdom Brunel")
Come on, at least this is a step in the right direction. I see there's a 'Dentist Barbie' on sale already - do you think that's accurate too? The whole point of Barbie is that kids don't want to play with realistic toys, they want to make believe.
Having said that, I kind of agree about the bluetooth headset. But at least she has a vaguely geeky T-shirt and a laptop.
No, its not perfect, but its at least a good step in the right direction, though I could have skipped the pink laptop.
As to Bluetooth, I'd rather wear one then be one off those pinheads who drives with a phone in their ear.
Not all of us get to drive a BMW with Bluetooth in dash connectivity.
Given BMW's legendarily god-awful integrated phone/bluetooth functions, if you did drive one you'd probably still need an earpiece if you wanted it to do anything useful. Like make a phone call.
If you really want something that actually works reliably, get any car without and fit an aftermarket Parrott system. Cheaper too.
Real computer engineers do not look like this. She has a HAPPY SMILE for Eris' sake! You want the expression that says "How am I going to explain to these morons that you can't have a hundred people all video-conferencing over a fucking 512Kb/sec ADSL line."
that is being used to cynically shape little growing minds.
Where is the harm in that, sure I am in the middle of Helmand's Province under sniper fire in fear of losing my life, with a cord coming out of my back which if you pull it gives me the compulsion to say some random phrase such as 'Volunteer Needed for Special Mission'. But I don't think playing with Action Men has had any bearing on my future choice of vocation.
Shirley a real geekete should have unwashed hair, scrunched up with a velcro cable tidy, a spotty face from too much pizza, and full-length jeans gone at the knee? And the laptop should be in one of those fabric shoulderbags you get at trade fairs, advertising Greenspring or Keele or something?
Nothing like the picture on the left.
I like the shirt. Could do with some pizza stains though.
A Hello Kitty laptop? I guess I could cope with that, so long as you understand that the OS it is running is irrelevant. What matters is that it is stuffed with PDF datasheets, compilers for esoteric hardware, and a creaky old ported version of Wolfenstein (because that had the attitude, all this Doom/Quake nonsense lost the plot).
I totally absolutely unequivocably agree with the bluetooth. The only people I've seen around here (rural France) with such nonsense are men dressed like sales bods who probably think they are important, and forty year old women dressed like teenagers who probably didn't think at all... If she needs comms, she should have a little radio-headset because we all know distance matters and bluetooth just hasn't got the range.
Paint those glasses brown, you'd (almost) have geek chic in the form of Lisa Loeb. :-)
Or bin the glasses, dye the hair black, cut it short - Alex Krotoski.
@ Blofeld's Cat - how can you post to El Reg without knowing what Geek Chic is? Come on! StephTheGeek? Any cute female who has a map of Akiba to hand (double points if they've actually been there) Extra extra extra if she is wearing the ThinkGeek T-shirt that says "There's no place like 127.0.0.1" (think about it...).
She is missing an Alice band plus scrunchie because she really doesn't want hair like that flapping around the next time she whacks the laser printer with its own toner cartridge. In fact, printers of any type and hair like that is asking for trouble.
And where's the bum-bag containing assorted little screwdrivers, multimeter, and pocket 'scope? The scope, incidentally, would have to be a Vellemann kit that she put together one rainy weekend. Maybe even a logic analyser in a grey ABS box with banana plugs on the side. Inside? A PP3 battery and hand-etched board containing some PICs and an FPGA...
Come on Barbie, do it right!
About 20 years ago HP ran a job ad with a pictures of a female computer engineer. This caused a storm of protest from the female media saying it was disgusting that HP could stoop to running an advert like this with a picture of a model, when in fact the lady in question was a computer support engineer complete with a degree to prove it.
Sadly since those days the numbers of women in real technical positions in the IT industry seems to have dwindled. I spend my life teaching "in depth" technical training and every year the percentage of women in the classes seems to go down to the extent that the women trainers now remark when they get a single one. This not just an issue in the UK at one time there used to be a lot more women in the US working in technical roles, but there too it has declined. Spain still seems to be holding up.
A little over 20 years ago, she came home from a slumber-party with her Barbie dressed in Ken's jeans and T-shirt. Other accessories included paddock boots and a riding helmet.
Her mother asked her why the clothes change ... She replied "She's a programmer." I kinda laughed, and asked her about the boots & hard-hat. She gave me a look like I was a complete idiot and said "Daddy, her horses aren't going to ride themselves!" She wasn't quite five years old.
Today, my daughter is a programmer, has six horses, and is competitive in the hunter/jumper world, and dressage ... and that old Barbie is sitting on top of one of my bookcases here in the office. After my wedding ring, it's probably my most prized piece of hardware :-)
Am I the only one who, seeing the binary code in question on her laptop screen, did a quick bin-hex calc in my head and was not at all shocked to see what it came out to?????
Not so much a case of ROTFL, but rather ROTF-DoingSomethingElseEntirely...
I, for one, welcome the idea of having more Computer Engineers like this. :)
I'd expected her laptop to say something subversive - like, 'Sex for sale' at the least - and it was boring.
(Now I wonder how many other commentards are compelled to dust off their hex editors and ASCII tables and decode it...)
Incidentally, if she was a IT geek, wouldn't that tee shirt she's wearing count as a huge wank?
I expected much more from the El Reg crowd, what a disappointment.
Of course she doesn't have a workplace. ...yet. If sales work out that will obviously come as a future accessory. Obviously you poor lot either never had a sister or girlfriend, or simply didn't pay any attention to either one of them. Or I guess you simply can't imagine the works of the commercial business.
As for the doll itself.. Guess I met other consultants. Granted; females are rare in the business, but I don't see anything wrong with an engineer who has both a cellphone and a laptop neatly in a separate case. That does cover the standard in the business; she could even easily match your average free-lance consultant.
Dudes, you're so obsessed with the girly side that you allow your brains to stop functioning. IMO ofcourse. Or this is just me showing his age :)
"Dudes, you're so obsessed with the girly side that you allow your brains to stop functioning. IMO of course. Or this is just me showing his age :)"
They don't do rational when being faced with wimmin, only knee-(or other part)jerk reactions.
This is, of course, the Reg comments where the suitability of any actress for Dr Who's assistant is only based on whether the geeks would shag her or not (not that any of them would actually know what to do but they have seen the pictures)
Computer Engineer Barbie was winner of the popular vote on Barbie's next career.
Alongside girls' vote winner 'News Anchor Barbie' who actually looks more like a roving reporter than a news anchor. Or is it Tricia 'Barbie' Takanawa...? Next, Ken grows a big chin, changes his name to 'Glen' and is available with either an airline pilot's uniform or a thong
You must all be posting from the UK if you think no one uses them. Here in the USA I see those things all the time. People walk round Walmart (men, women, teens, you name it) chattering away quite happily. I thought they were all talking to themselves until I spotted the little ear pieces.
Personally I don't mind them one bit. I think the Brit's cynicism about this (I AM British) is just insecurity and fear of being laughed at. I have noticed since I left Blighty that the rest of the world is considerably less stuffy about many things than I, and all my fellow natives, with their clenched buttocks, gritted teeth, and sneering laughter, are. Talk about repressed.
boy you lot most live under rocks, Geek Chic was about turn of the millennium, it was the look of casual clothing, well cut, shirt out, little bit prepy with edge, pair of trainers, perhaps some cheap glasses.
Truth is most computer folk, wear nothing, a dressing gown or in company; combats generally black or grey, perhaps a shirt or t-shirt: dark, and clumping boots normally CAT.
For most tech folk it is about functionality, so a G-Shock is the watch normally with RadioTime. Combats because less chance of rip, and enough pockets. Most will keep a jacket on even inside, something to hide in, the M68 jacket is becoming a bit of a symbol, the regiment faded cut is quite cool.
Suits are a no no really, shame as they can be fun, and hell some wear them because it rebels against their fold and, well, we all like a rebel, but then you have to prove you can code, because as we all know most suits cannot code.
The Barbie Doll here, is a bit like Legally Blonde where she dresses as she thinks a lawyer would dress, but of course we all fancy Reese in her knickers or when she tones it down a bit.
Angelina Jolie in Hackers is the sexier dresser, and you believe she can code, she nailed that roll, but it was the look of disdain that really sold it - and that is the look of the developer, it just says 'You are a lower life form, I want a refund on that oxygen you stole.'
Linux Barbie: She's eats lentils and goes to furry conventions (dressed as a penguin)
Windows Barbie: She's crap at her job and wears a lot of blue
Mac Barbie: She's always banging on about how she's better than everyone else.
Amiga Barbie: Always talking about how she kicked ass 20 years ago but she's well past it it now (dried up has been)
See, I do take the mick out of all platforms, bloody mac fanbois always saying I only pick on them!!!!!
Well, that was a pointless excercise. As usual, Mattel twist the image of something to fit their range of shite. When the generation of girls who buy/are given this (if they make it that far) actually make it into engineering jobs (with or without degrees) they are going to be very disappointed....she doesn't even have pockets ffs! Where do you put the screwdrivers? How do you crawl under tables in trousers that tight? Not enough black or stripes or pockets IMOH.
Whatever next "Imagine Engineer"?
...perhaps can't see the forest for the trees, when it comes to the female side of what keeps our internets, corporate networks, and stand-alone computer systems working.
So, big surprise. The preppie-doll-company wound up making a preppie-looking "computer geektette". I expect that some creative girls, out there, shall wind up making their own modifications to GeekBarbie's ensemble, to make it more honest looking (as any amount of honesty would do, at this point) - to which prospect, I say, hear hear.
She'd fit in perfectly with the female IT staff around here (on dress-down Fridays, anyway). Being a female engineer doesn't mean you have to wear black, or combats, or Doc Marten boots. This doll should demonstrate to girls who love fashion dolls that working with computers doesn't mean you have to give up on nice clothes.
I agree she could use more pockets though.
My sister wrote:
> Possibility of many fun accessories. Barbie workstation with three monitors. Barbie rackmount server. Barbie Aeron chair. Barbie flatbed scanner, network printer, UPS, etc.
And don't forget Barbie Stock Options, Barbie Dotcom Bubble Bath,Barbie V.C. Washout, and the Barbie's Parent's Basement Bedroom Set.
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