Links 8/7/15

SourceForge (a website that lets you host software for download) moved from giving people the option to bundle adware with their software to forcing people to include adware.  Internet erupts exactly the way you would expect, except on Slashdot, where despite many submissions the story didn’t get traction until a week later.  Slashdot is owned by the same company as SourceForge but explains they weren’t burying it, it’s just that that seven day period contained a weekend and it slowed them down.

A good round up of the research on discrimination against women in the tech industry, including the fact that women are often punished for doing the things that lead to career advancement in men.  The suggested solutions strike me as good, but I wish the framing were different.  It’s not a problem if some companies are hypercompetitive, it’s a problem that all the low-competition jobs are dead ends.  That ends up hurting more women because women are on average less competitive (in part because they’re punished for being competitive where men would be rewarded)- but in some ways it hurts non-competitive men more than similar women, because it’s more culturally acceptable for a woman to leave a job for being too cutthroat.  Ditto for work/life balance- everyone should have the option to trade money for time and predictability, not just women with young children.

[I spent a whole paragraph explaining why a gawker media article was wrong and mean but ultimately this sentence seemed just as valuable]

Dogs appear to have separate spaces in their brain for humans and other dogs, and human smells are rewarding in a way nothing else is.  Huey concurs.

Scientists grow miniature organs by accident.

Video games for physical therapy:

Beautiful theory killed by ugly gang of facts: socially anxious people become less so when they can attribute their nerves to caffeine (PDF), even if they have not had caffeine.  This is simultaneously counter-intuitive and unthreatening to my world view and suggests that a major problem can be removed with some framing.  Unfortunately, while the results are technically statistically significant, the sample size, sample population (100% college students), and small effect size (hidden by a misleading graph) all scream “this will never be replicated”.

2 thoughts on “Links 8/7/15”

  1. Re: Gawker, have a Virtue of Silence point!

    Re: Slashdot…huh. As the link points out, what’s offered sounds like an unconvincing excuse, but I’d really want a pattern of behavior demonstrated before I condemn them for an organized cover-up rather than an isolated decision-making fragment. Aside from the tie to SourceForge (which is fairly damning, I admit), has Slashdot been shown to have been particularly evil lately?

    1. This is the first time I’ve heard about slashdot in years, everything I know was in the source article. I agree more data would be necessary before burning them down with pitchforks and torches, but a little visible pitchfork sharpening might inspire better behavior.

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