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back to article Computer Engineer Barbie coming soon to a toy store near you

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 …

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Equality

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.

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Already equal?

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...

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IT Angle

Equality?

Nah. There can't be equality until Lapdancer Barbie and Crack-whore Barbie are available in the shops.

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re. the good jobs

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.

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Coat

Re: Equality

You must mean "Refuse Operative Barbie" there surely?

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WTF?

Equality?

You mean we'll have equality the day women start cleaning up after others? D'oh.

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IT Angle

Sorry, but

if she's not wearing a pizza-stained FSF t-shirt and carrying a major source of caffeine, my cash is staying in my re-purposed 8-inch floppy-drive moneybox.

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Not sure that "reality" is entirely the point.

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.

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WTF?

It's a bit early...

..... for an Aprils fool joke isn't it??

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Stop

A bluetooth earpiece? SERIOUSLY?

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..."

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Alien

Re: A bluetooth earpiece? SERIOUSLY?

I was at a trade counter the other day when somebody brought an item back with missing parts.

The assistant asked who had served him and the customer pointed at a young lad with a bluetooth earpiece.

"The cyberman", he said.

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I have one

But that's mainly because - for only one month longer - I still use one of these:

http://www.digitaltechnews.com/news/images/t_mobile_ameo.jpg

Try holding that sucker up to your ear to take a phone call. Oh, and I also use it for driving, natch.

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Paris Hilton

And a huge one, at that!

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.

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Tool hatin'

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.

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Occasionally useful

Apart from the car, the last time I used mine was when I phoned my mum for instructions whilst cooking (and no not beans on toast)!

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Paris Hilton

But where are her gadgets?

Ah, I can foresee a new range of Barbie accessories coming....

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WTF?

"Don't be fooled by these - I know what I'm doing."

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"?

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Anyway WTF is "geek chic"?

An oxymoron?

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Just guessing

"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?

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Coat

To be honest, it IS Mattel.

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.

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Go

They stole our revolution

Time for our very own Techie Sindy and her NTK Elite teeshirt methinks.

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FAIL

Real Engineers

Real engineers need an engineering degree, without one your not actually an engineer.

This is actually recognised in most developed countries of the world. Without a degree your a technician or repairman.

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Real engineers?

WTF? We're talking about a toy not a "real engineer". Anyway give me a technician with years of experience over a "real engineer" with a freshly minted degree any day.

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Headmaster

Real engineers build engines?

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.

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Wot he said

Heartily concur,

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.

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Anonymous Coward

Real plumbers

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.

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Boffin

Or an "Officer"

Apparently I joined the armed forces without knowing it! I still insist on calling myself a "field technician". I'm good enough at my job I don't need a fancy-sounding-but-meaningless title!

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Real engineers ... don't bother

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.

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Headmaster

Real Engineer

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.

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FAIL

Double fail

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")

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Grenade

And as "Helpdesk Ken" minces into the office

with his pastel-coloured shirt open to the navel.

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Grenade

So whiny

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.

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Paris Hilton

Photo here

http://lifewise.canoe.ca/Living/2010/02/12/12857316-reuters.html

looks like it matches the description in the Reg story :-)

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Coat

Photo's wrong somehow

Photo's wrong somehow. She does not look Indian or Eastern European.

Me coat, the one with the Red Book of Endangered Species hanging out of the right pocket.

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Paris Hilton

So what does it do then?

Presumably, you can't get out of ts box before 11am in the morning, the laptop is permanently attached to its hand and you can only order it by submitting a piece of Perl code less than 103 bytes long that prints out the order form in ASCII?

Paris, real life Barbie!

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Happy

Very subtle geek prank

I'm sure the suits at Mattel are unaware of what phrases are actually spelt out on Barbie's clothes and screen (Hint: convert every 7-bit word to its ASCII equivalent).

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Megaphone

OLYMPICS in SPACE.

hi-Ever thought about Oylimpic Games. IN SPACE.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35370181/ns/technology_and_science-space/

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FAIL

So...

Barbie's manufacturers have proven the existence of sample bias?

"But the ‘Popular Vote’ conducted online during the last month..."

Wow. An online poll shows a bias towards IT. Stop the presses!

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Grenade

<BZZZRT> Tee-hee-hee!

Fear the BOFH Barbie, with her "laptop" whose insides are just a bunch of ni-cads and an inverter wired to all its ports.

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Alert

addendum(b)

Dang-- I forgot about the matching cattle prod, portable bulk eraser, and etherkiller.

Also-- no comment as to what the "B" in "BOFH Barbie" might stand for.

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Joke

Blondes in charge of the server room!

Be afraid...

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Im buying one.

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.

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FAIL

BMW?

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.

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Hmm.. Shows willing but must try harder.

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."

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after seeing a few threads about this

on a certain imageboard, I can't help but wonder if certain anonymous elements might not have had a hand in this.

Oh well, I think we can still chalk this up as a win for IT.

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Where's Ken?

I'm waiting for the followup Ken the computer geek doll with a plastic pocket protector and an XKCD cartoon on his T.

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Anonymous Coward

It is just a toy

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.

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xyz
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WTF?

I just had this vision of Dilbert with t*ts

nuff said...where's the psycho johnny I need help.

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Happy

What about the most expensive Barbie available:

What about the most expensive Barbie available: The Divorcee Barbie. Costs $2000 but comes with Ken's house, his boat, his car and half his money......

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Pink and frilly

From a real female computer person - 'Looks a bit pink and frilly to me'.

'Nuff said.

P.

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