February 28th, 2007 §
You know how there’s some band or musician that you hear about a lot and you know a lot of people who really like him or her or them? But you never get around to actually listening to the music for whatever reason? Neko Case was on that list for me until yesterday.
I got ahold of a couple of CDs — her most recent, [Fox Confessor Brings The Flood](http://www.amazon.com/Confessor-Brings-Flood-Neko-Case/dp/B000CS4L1E/) and an older one called [Blacklisted](http://www.amazon.com/Blacklisted-Neko-Case/dp/B00006BTC6/). Holy cow. What a voice. What a songwriter. What was I thinking waiting so long? Wow.
Here’s the lead track from Blacklisted, “Things That Scare Me”.
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* [Neko Case at the iTunes Music Store](http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist?id=3647403)
* [Neko Case at Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_d/102-2784009-0918502?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Neko+Case&Go.x=17&Go.y=12&Go=Go)
February 28th, 2007 §
Not a new concept, and in fact one of the legitimate uses frequently touted for a protocol that is admittedly usually used for distributing content of questionable origin. But I bring it up today because [Parallels Desktop for Mac](http://www.parallels.com/en/products/desktop/) is now out of beta, and after three attempts to download the ~58MB disk image from the Parallels web site that each timed out after fifteen or so minutes, I found a [torrent](http://btjunkie.org/torrent?do=stat&id=2908d10a28e915379a784a69d12099c9a72ff9df51d9) for it. Using the torrent, the disk image downloaded in 11 minutes.
There are still some significant hurdles to getting BitTorrent into use by non-nerds: Configuring your router and your client to actually achieve that kind of speed requires some fiddling, the nomenclature is awkward (”torrent”, “seed”, “leach”, “peer”, and “tracker” all make some kind of sense, but don’t relate to anything in the Internet experience of most casual users), its reputation is that of a “pirate-ware”. But distributing something like Parallels, which so squarely aimed at nerds, should be a no-brainer.
February 23rd, 2007 §
Hey, it’s time to start marking your calendar for the year’s conferences. Once again it’s been pointed out that the conferences’ speakers lists look like fraternity roll calls. Jason Kottke [published some actual numbers](http://www.kottke.org/07/02/gender-diversity-at-web-conferences). It’s enlightening. (Since Jason doesn’t usually open comments on his
site, head over to [http://kottkekomments.com](http://kottkekomments.com), where Ben Brown of [Consumating](http://consumating.com) set up a handy way to talk about Jason’s posts.)
Mike at Mule Design [posted about it as well](http://weblog.muledesign.com/2007/02/the_web_still_hates_women.php) (disclosure: Mule is my current employer) , and Ryan Carson responded in the comments, apparently with an e-mail that he originally sent to Jason, which it turns out is nearly identical to an e-mail that he sent to [Jen Bekman](http://www.personism.com/), who maintains an [amazing list of women available for speaking](http://www.personism.com/2006/10/11/list-of-women-speakers-for-your-conference/).
Micki Krimmel [picked it up](http://www.mickipedia.com/?p=744), too, and in interesting point came up in the comments. [Lane Becker](http://www.monstro.com) (a founder at Adaptive Path, now with
Ruby Red Labs [Satisfaction](http://blog.getsatisfaction.com/)) commented that the calling out the conference organizers is a place to start, but that we need to do more to balance the gender disparity in the technology realm in general. And I think he’s right, to a large degree. It’s easy for me to forget about that sometimes because I’m lucky enough to work with four incredibly talented, intelligent women at [Mule](http://www.muledesign.com/about/).
This morning Eric Meyer, one of our industry’s best and brightest, and one of the organizers of [An Event Apart](http://aneventapart.com/), [addressed some of these issues on his personal site](http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2007/02/23/diverse-it-gets/), basically saying his primary concern as an organizer is finding the best speakers for his event’s topics, and a secondary concern is not repeating speakers from one event to the next, and that he’s not going to consider race, color, creed or gender when he’s looking at potential speakers. It’s good to see Eric be so open about it, and I understand his reasoning, but at the same time, it’s kind of disappointing.
Because the issue is most emphatically not “There aren’t enough women CSS gurus.” The issue is that the conferences and workshops in our industry are sorely lacking in women speakers.
Eric and Ryan both say that they support diverse speaker panels, but there aren’t enough women speakers out there that can sell tickets and fill chairs; the speakers whose names are well-known are all men.
Then, Eric and Ryan here’s a chance to step up and make a difference. Use *your* names and high-profile sites to promote those women. Ask them to contribute. Help them build their names.
The web business skews heavily toward males, but it is *not* a boy’s club. Our ranks are filled with women, and they contribute insights and perspective that the boys don’t have. Let’s figure out how to get that perspective in front of more people.
In the meantime point some fingers and keep asking why there aren’t women speakers at the conferences you’re attending.
February 19th, 2007 Comments Off
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For [Micki](http://www.mickipedia.com/?p=717), and by proxy, [Violet Blue](http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2007/02/01/violetblue.DTL).
I guess I could have used Beavis and Butthead, too.