Microsoft adds “Big Boobs” to Linux; apologizes

There are a number of relatively new phenomena in the server world that Microsoft has been rather slow to catch up on. Server virtualization is one of them. Where companies like VMWare and Sun (now Oracle) had pretty much already built the defining server virtualization software, with a robust hypervisor (software that lets you run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server) in ESXi, and a great general-purpose software-based virtual machine in VirtualBox, Microsoft made their own hypervisor.

And in traditional Microsoft style, their server virtualization implementation required modifying the Linux kernel to get it to play nice. Rather than emulating the system hardware in such a way that the Hypervisor does all the heavy lifting, they chose to use OS-level drivers to “get the most out of” the hypervisor’s features.

This isn’t generally a bad decision, honestly. VMWare requires guest OS tools to be installed in order to do some stuff too. Microsoft’s actual failing, in this case, was in employing juvenile dudebro programmers who submitted kernel code that included a constant for the upper limit for virtual server guest IDs defined as 0xB16B00B5.
[Read more…]

The Horsewomen of the Feminist Apocalypse

Commenter Pteryxx observed on the guest post by Jacqueline S. Homan a few days ago that there were a total of four identified targets of misogynist sentiment in the original guest post and my in-line observation, and that they could therefore be the four horsewomen of the feminist skeptical apocalypse. Of course, there are much more than four women on the forefront of this fourth-wave feminism, even if you restrict yourself to the secular/atheist movements — there were at least eight identified in those comments at last count, and I could probably rattle off a half dozen more.

The comment thread did what comment threads do, and it eventually became a list of feminist women in the secular movement, and which My Little Pony character they’d be riding into battle astride.

Then embertine decided to draw them.
[Read more…]

The DJ Grothe quote that sticks in my craw.

At the end of this comment, DJ Grothe said the following about the “rumors” of harassment at skeptical conferences:

So much of that feels to me more like rumor and distasteful locker room banter, often pretty mean-spirited, especially when it is from just one or a few women recounting sexual exploits they’ve had with speakers who are eventually deemed as “skeezy,” and whom they feel should be not allowed to speak at such conferences going forward.

Emphasis mine.

I know everyone else has taken him to task over this quote already. I just want to present a hypothetical in case DJ reads this. It’s entirely fictional, and as far as I know has never actually happened to anyone at any conference.

Let’s say, DJ, that someone — a stranger with whom you’ve had no previous interactions, but perhaps someone you know from the community in a vague and distant sort of way, perhaps because they were a speaker at some other convention or a member of a forum you frequent or are ostensibly responsible for — approached you at a convention. So you have a pretty good idea they have some idea who YOU are, even if you’re not really familiar with them.
[Read more…]

Tropes vs Women in Video Games kickstarter

A worthy cause if you’ve got a few bucks and you’d like Feminist Frequency to make this series of videos exploring the hundreds of instances of problematic video game characterizations of women. Go see the Kickstarter project and, if you can, donate.

Update: Looks like they’ve met their goal, but the series as a whole needs donations to keep the lights on anyway, so I don’t see any reason to stop now!

S E Cupp is wrong about so many things… this time, equality

You folks might remember S. E. Cupp as FOX News’ token atheist, who claims to be godless but “doesn’t hate God”. You might remember her as Sarah Cupp, who I’m guessing doesn’t like to be called Sarah because she bears more than a passing resemblance to Sarah Palin both in politics and in appearance.

Now, you have a new reason to remember her: she thinks achieving gender or racial equality in places like the Secret Service is “quota mongering” and therefore wrong. Considering the nature of the current Secret Service scandal, stemming as it does from a monoculture of men evidently steeped in their gender roles, this strikes me as amazingly tone-deaf. But if there’s anything S E Cupp excels at, it’s ignoring all situational nuance. She IS a Conservative after all.

Seriously, were these guys the “best for the job”, if they’re incapable of doing the job because they’re too busy employing then not paying prostitutes their fair wages? I’d bet having a woman in that security detail might have precluded that kind of nonsense. Or made the woman the target of their toxic masculinity, I suppose. But at least then that woman would have recourse from her abuse! (And yes, obtaining consent under false pretenses is abuse — more specifically, rape.)

Besides all this, where’s she getting the idea that women trying to eke out a living in Colombia by trading sex for money are somehow morally wrong, ignoring even the very real possibility that they’re not doing it voluntarily? That kind of anti-sex rhetoric is the stuff we feminists get routinely accused of, and it sure as hell shouldn’t fly when that rhetoric comes from anti-feminists either.

Hat tip to Mediaite.

Citrix pulls out of Rush Limbaugh advertisements

After a metric assload of complaints regarding their advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show, Citrix has pulled their advertisements. They posted on their Facebook wall:

Over the past day, we’ve heard from many great Citrix customers about our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show. These customers have expressed their growing concern that some of his recent comments seem inconsistent with the core values Citrix has always stood for – humility, integrity and respect.

While Citrix obviously does not control any show’s content or endorse opinions of their hosts, we do take the concerns of our customers seriously. When they are upset about something, we listen. After careful consideration, we have decided to discontinue our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Brett Caine
SVP and GM, Online Services Division

Considering Rush publicly called a law school student a “slut”, you basically made the only choice you could, Citrix. A true shame you chose to advertise with his show to begin with, and a true shame you took so damn long to finally cave to the pressure, but at least you made that choice rather than stubbornly doubling down and doing more damage to your brand than you need right at the moment. You know, by supporting the systematic destruction of women’s rights.

Update: More advertisers are pulling out over Rush saying the law student — who began petitioning her university insurance to cover contraception because her friend had ovarian cysts, by the way — was just looking to have her sex life subsidized.

Are universal statements always a problem?

Or just sometimes?

It occurs to me that many (“ALL!” “Shh.”) of our problems around these parts viz every new conflagration, from our recent conversation with Mallorie Nasrallah, to the statement by DJ Grothe that we only blog about controversial topics for hits, to the pushback against a Rebecca Watson blog title as though it meant she hates all atheists, is the fact that we as skeptics seem to have a problem with blanket universals even when they are not intended as universals. They are the quickest single thing you can do to engender hatred amongst your commentariat.
[Read more…]

Agitation And The Long Game

I don’t have a good post queued up for today, and not a lot of time to write one, but here’s a few links you’ll probably enjoy (if you haven’t already).

My post from June about Rick Santorm’s wife’s abortion, proving him a total hypocrite with his anti-abortion stance, suddenly exploded overnight. People are passing it about on Facebook like crazy and there are a bunch of people joining in on the comments. By all means, keep the momentum rolling!

Stephanie Zvan is taking one of the skeptic community’s leaders to task for their cognitive biases. Guess which one, why, and what the evidence is!

And Christina over at WWJTD takes on Mallorie Nasrallah’s post declaring that men shouldn’t listen to women who decry sexist comments in our community. And she does it without raising Mallorie’s “you’re strawmanning me!” defense, which she’s offered in every single rebuttal to her own huge strawman argument.

PZ has blow-by-blow in-depth coverage of the Iowa caucus as well if you’re interested in seeing who surged ahead, who was merely turgid, and who flagged at the poles. I mean polls.

The blog-fights we engage in are part of a long game. That’s a lesson I just learned with having an old post go viral so long after it was written. This image, posted by a commenter in an earlier post, is therefore appropriate.

Keep fighting, noble Keyboard Warriors.

Mallorie Nasrallah’s misguided defense of serial harassers and misogyny in the skeptical community

Please note that at Mallorie’s request, as Google indexes are returning potential business contacts to this page when searching for her name, I have retitled the post. The URL can’t change for indexing purposes, but the title itself has been changed from ‘Mallorie Nasrallah says “I like it when #mencallmethings”‘ — playing off a Twitter hashtag that was popular when the post was written.

That’s the only takeaway message I can get from this open letter to the skeptic community, which apparently came as a direct response to her active participation in this discussion at Greta’s.

In the comments on my ill-received but well-intentioned (but as Classical Cipher is fond of saying, intent is not magical) post regarding whether we should differentiate between a person being “a misogynist” and “exhibiting misogynist behaviour” yesterday, Mallorie Nasrallah chimed in. She claimed that the people involved in dissenting from the idea that there is a patriarchy, or that certain actions are misogynistic or enforcing of that patriarchy, might not dissent out of privilege, or out of misogyny in the sense of hating women, but just because they came to different logical conclusions.

She then went on to pen this open letter, which she sent to me via Twitter apparently hoping that I would amplify it. I didn’t. She is apparently friendly with some far bigger movers and shakers in the skeptic community though — Penn Jilette tweeted a link to it a few hours later, lending a very large audience to her letter in a hurry, most probably because he likes the idea she expresses.
[Read more…]

Maddow: The Cain allegations expose systemic dismissing of sexual harassment

Rachel Maddow summarizes the case against Herman Cain in his having settled with two women for sexual harassment. Talking Points Memo put up a list of things that don’t affect the allegations that have been thrown chaff-like into the discourse to throw off the media. The summary contains choice responses from the right-wing, trying to smokescreen the allegations.
[Read more…]