back to article IBM kills Hack A Hair Dryer women-in-tech vid after backlash

IBM is killing a controversial web video that employed hairdryers to supposedly promote women in STEM following an online roasting. The video was part of a campaign to: “Reengineer misperceptions about women in tech”, in which hair dryers – performing functions not normally associated with the handheld hot air device – feature …

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Unhappy

Nice video?

This video is private.

Sorry about that.

What's all the hubbub bub?

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Re: Nice video?

Video now says it's been removed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice video?

https://twitter.com/i/videos/672809095213113344?embed_source=facebook

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Anonymous Coward

I'm more shocked at use of ping pong balls in the video.

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Thanks to a previous AC for the alternate link!

@AC

I'm appalled at the joke you tried to use, I almost fell for it ;-}

Like I said... What's all the hubbub bub?

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I'm more shocked at use of ping pong balls in the video.

Aren't ping pongs an endangered species?

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Shocking

Oh dear, the poor, feeble darlings (sic) are being practically assaulted by someone somewhere implying that they use hair dryers more than men do.

What disgusting, evil, patriarchy - how DARE they ?!

Meanwhile, Sir Tim Hunt still hasn't got this job back. Now that IS insulting.

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Re: Shocking

It's not the fault of the people who objected to Sir Tim's clueless remarks that UCL fired him, seriously. I saw a lot of eye-rolling, but not one person calling for his resignation. If UCL's a bunch of chickensh!ts about social media, that's their problem.

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Meh

Oh no

People being professionally offended on others' behalf again?

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Re: Oh no

I'm not in the slightest bit offended. I do think it's f#cking stupid, though.

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Coat

So....

...are they saying that only men should be allowed to hack hair dryers?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So....

Maybe they're saying we need more ideas...

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Anonymous Coward

I just wouldn't try.

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Go

It's Lamarr.

Two 'r's, in homage to Barbara La Marr.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr#/media/File:Hedy_Lamarr_in_a_1940_MGM_publicity_still.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's Lamarr.

that's Hedley

:)

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Thumb Up

Re: It's Lamarr.

" What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You'll be able to sue _her_."

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Re: It's Lamarr.

I hate that cliche...

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Facepalm

Shocking!

"Less than three in ten science and engineering job are held by women."

FEWER than three in ten blah blah blah.

Looks like the female dominated education system needs a kick up the arse too!

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Re: Shocking!

That's actually a disguised fraction. It's probably not exactly zero, one or two in ten. Does it really still use 'fewer'?

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Re: Shocking!

Does it really still use 'fewer'?

Yes, it does.

In "Fewer than three in ten science and engineering jobs", "fewer than" is essentially qualifying "three jobs". Jobs come in unit quanta (are countable things) so you use "fewer" instead of "less". To show this, and that it's not qualifying the fraction, you can rephrase as: "fewer than three science and engineering jobs in ten". The meaning of the re-ordered sentence is exactly the same.

If we were qualifying an actual fraction or percentage (or weight, volume and so on) like "three tenths" or "30%", you would use less than: "Of all science and engineering jobs, less than 30% are filled ..." or "less than 30% of all jobs ..."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shocking!

It's actually pretty simple. Less for singular, fewer for plural. Fewer cars, because there are lots of them, less traffic, because there's only one traffic, even if it contains many cars. Fewer sugar cubes, because there are many of them, less sugar, because there's only one sugar, even if it contains many sugar cubes, or many grains of sugar.

In this case, there are ten jobs being talked about. This makes it plural, so you use fewer. If the sentence were rewritten to use the term "employment" rather than "jobs" then you would use "less", as "employment" is singular.

And while we're on singular and plural, completely unrelated, but someone might be reading and give a shit: "panini" is already plural. It's the plural of "panino", which is the Italian for "sandwich". If you write "paninis" you are saying sandwicheses. And if you write "panini's" then you didn't pay attention in school.

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Re: Shocking!

It's actually pretty simple. Less for singular, fewer for plural.

AC, I'm in complete agreement with you, but do notice that contemporary English appears to use plural for most things. For example, it is common to say "Microsoft are these days - even in the press. I foresee that people will be saying "I are" in a few years.

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Re: Shocking!

Actually, it's even easier. If it's a question of "how many?" then the correct qualifier is "fewer" (eg, "how many out of ten?" -> "fewer than 1 in ten"), while if it's a question of "how much?", then use "less" (eg, "less than 5l", "less than 5%", "less than ideal", "less than full employment", etc.).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shocking!

so if it has sandwicheses in it's pocketses, what is it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shocking!

"AC, I'm in complete agreement with you, but do notice that contemporary English appears to use plural for most things. For example, it is common to say "Microsoft are these days - even in the press. I foresee that people will be saying "I are" in a few years."

You're right. I don't think it's even that contemporary. As far as I know we've always thought of the police as plural, unlike everyone else.

Mind you, English is one of the most stupid languages out there, especially when it comes to spelling and pronunciation. At least we don't have genders for inanimate objects.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shocking!

[pedantic]

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Re: Shocking!

A hobbit?

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Re: Shocking!

Personally I couldn't care fewer.

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Re: Shocking!

Gollum!

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Mushroom

Fucking typical.

In a minute it's going to impossible to say anything about anything at all, as someone, somewhere will invent a reason to be offended by it.

Screw the PC brigade, screw 'em all and screw 'em hard. The alternative is the fall of civilisation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fucking typical.

They should have made it about periods.

When my daughter was a few months old, I gave my wife a morning off and went to meet all the mums at one of the various activities they did for the kids. And what was the subject of discussion? Periods. Yes, they were actually talking about periods and I felt the need to point this out to them. I thought it was just something men said to wind them up.

OK, so it's probably a relevant subject for a bunch of new mothers, but my point still stands.

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Re: Fucking typical.

What IS your point? So women, who have just had babies and whose hormones are all over the wazoo, and who are undoubtedly experiencing all kinds of fun with their periods at that time aren't supposed to discuss it EVER to for others (or maybe some of those same women!) to find the IBM campaign patronising at best? Please. Talk about false equivalence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fucking typical.

His point is the double standard you just proved, where you can find a video someone somewhere made to be 'f#cking stupid' as you claimed a few posts above and demand it be taken down, and yet, you berate him for voicing his opinion of a conversation he thinks is also 'f#cking stupid'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fucking typical.

@Trixr, oh dear. Sorry I've wound you up. I'll refrain from making another joke even though your comments are crying out for one.

The point is that we men tend to make jokes about women talking about periods, just as my wife and her pals like to take the piss out of men being infatuated with breasts and masturbating. It's tongue in cheek.

In the anecdote I mentioned, I was surprised to find a bunch of women actually having a conversation about periods. There was a degree of irony to the situation, which it looks like you've missed. Now, as indicated by your response, you might be surprised to find that men don't actually think that women talk about periods all the time. We're simply taking the piss.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been hanging around with the women. Maybe this is the false equivalence you're talking about. However, I've been enjoying playing a full role in bringing up my daughter. There are some points where the roles can't cross however; I'm never going to have my nipples chewed to pieces by a baby.

Incidentally, my wife uses a hair dryer and I don't. I didn't force her to have long hair, and she didn't force mine to start falling out (although I'm pretty sure she contributed).

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Re: Fucking typical.

"you might be surprised to find that men don't actually think that women talk about periods all the time"

Well, actually most men DO think that, and most women DO do that.

Personally I think women chatting about periods is a bloody waste of time, they should do something more constructive, like home-brewing beer for instance. That'd keep the waggling tongues quiet.

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Hair dryers are too stereotypical

I get that they're trying to combine hacking with "stuff women use", but they really should have foreseen this not going over well. I suggest something like this, as a more relevant topic for their next campaign.

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Re: Hair dryers are too stereotypical

Isn't that kind of the major point? Using something stereotypical. What if they'd used firemen with puppies instead?

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Facepalm

frequency-hopping spread-spectrum Hedy Lamarr

It's a MYTH.

There ARE brilliant women.

Hedy Lamarr's name was added to a US patent for frequency hopping as a joke. It wasn't even a real US invention but a "stolen" idea.

Possibly the only slight change was using a piano roll type card to program the frequencies at a very low chip rate

The idea was from a German demo. It's not much related to the first commercially viable spread spectrum systems (military in around 1970s) or any since.

The US Navy was uninterested as it wasn't practical and at most Hedy Lamarr's input was telling the real writer of the US patent about the German demo.

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Re: frequency-hopping spread-spectrum Hedy Lamarr

[citation needed]

Not sarcastically, actually. Just genuinely needed, if true.

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PC

If this was the only STEM push that IBM made, I might agree with the PC Police. But it's not. Besides, it illustrates the value of lateral thinking which doesn't need a PhD or a science lab. Great people, of all sexes and colors, can be role models but they can also be intimidating. Sometimes MacGyver can inspire better than Einstein. Lighten up people.

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Anonymous Coward

It's a heating coil and a fan in a plastic case designed to dry hair, what exactly can you invent or is the ping pong balls some kind of Dyson reference, look I put a ping pong ball in the end and the air moves differently causing it to dry faster. Can I get a job at IBM?

Now without resorting to any vulgarities they should have been suggesting women put their collective brilliance into sanitary towels because all I see on the TV are adverts telling me different one's are better so there's obviously some design flaw with them. (Maybe except the one's that allow you to rollerskate while listening to early 90's eurodance).

And maybe if every advert for cleaning products/cooking/shopping/washing and general fuckwittery didn't just have women in them then maybe the world would start to be a better place.

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Anonymous Coward

Are you calling 'Mr Muscle' a woman?

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Anonymous Coward

I like your sarcasm

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And maybe if every advert for cleaning products/cooking/shopping/washing and general fuckwittery didn't just have women in them them accompanied by a man who is portrayed as a moron, lech, or incompetent maybe the world would start to be a better place.

FTFY

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And who makes the ads about "idiot men"? Hint: ad agencies are still dominated by men, especially in senior roles.

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"It's a heating coil and a fan in a plastic case designed to dry hair, what exactly can you invent or is the ping pong balls some kind of Dyson reference, look I put a ping pong ball in the end and the air moves differently causing it to dry faster. Can I get a job at IBM?"

Here are some wires through which a current is passing (A heating element?). Here is a fan to move the hot air produced along a particular path (Oh, a hair dryer?).

Now go think of a way to keep electronic circuitry from over heating.

Would that be by using a fan to move the heated air along a particular path?

It might seem stupid, but try thinking outside of the box for a moment: What can you learn from a hair dryer and how can you apply such a simple mechanism to something else, like cooling a server. Or, perhaps, take what you know of cooling servers and design a better hair dryer...

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It would be better if the criticism was constructive. After seeing the response here anyone else who's thinking of running a campaign to get women into STEM subjects and careers might decide it's not worth the bother. What campaign should be run in it's place?

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What campaign should be run in it's place?

------

Women into road laying, mining, offshore rig labour ... ?

Men into teaching, nursing, clerical jobs, doctors (check the figures), biology (doesn't this count as stem?)

What is very rarely stated is why it is important for women to achieve parity in particular subjects. The assumption is that parity is a good thing, but is this assumption correct? I'm not sure.

Systemic oppression because of who you are perceived to be as apart of a group isn't nice, but neither is the ugly rise of identity politics that is demanding treatment of an individual based on their self declared identity.

Equality of opportunity does not mean equality of result. If there is inequality of opportunity, then that should be addressed, measuring equality of result is an extremely poor proxy

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What is very rarely stated is why it is important for women to achieve parity in particular subjects...

Why is important for people of different races not to be

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