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3 Ways Women Are Changing Silicon Valley Culture (Slideshow)

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Your general code for MS XP writes

2. Microsoft Removes “Big Boobs” Coding Gaffe

The BBC reports that the hexadecimal string 0xB16B00B5 — which can apparently be read as “big boobs” — was found “lurking in code that helps a Microsoft program work with Linux open source software.”

Observing that someone “was trying to be funny, I guess,” developers who oversee the core, or kernal, of the Linux operating system detected the code. Microsoft responded swiftly and says that it has created a patch to replace the spelling of the string in an update:

Commenting on the gaffe, developer Dr Matthew Garrett noted that the first version of the Microsoft code used a similar string of 0x0B00B135 – a form of letters that roughly translates to “boobies”.

“Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys’ club where girls aren’t welcome,” Dr Garrett wrote.

A “huge debate” has ensued about “whether use of the string was sexist and how male developers should conduct themselves.”

CNET‘s James Farrar says that the code is one reason for “dismally low minority and gender representation” in the tech industry. The detection of the code follows another embarrassing incident for Microsoft in June when ”inappropriate and offensive elements and vulgar language” was used at a song and dance routine at the Azure Norwegian developer conference.

Women in top positions in the tech industry — not only Mayer but Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman and IBM’s Virginia Rometty — may “represent the exception rather than the rule for women in tech.”

Yes, we need to encourage more girls to study in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. But we also need to keep on the pressure on those (mostly white males) in those fields to say, yes, great about Mayer. But real changes in tech culture and in conditions for women — and in attitudes towards women — are vital for Silicon Valley to “maintain its position as the global innovation engine, against competition with dozens of fast growing innovation centers around the world.”

Photo from Markusram via flickr

Next: Ellen Pao and Sexual Harassment in the Valley

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34 comments

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9:25AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

ty

6:56AM PDT on Mar 11, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:36PM PST on Nov 8, 2012

and explanatory text has been narrated was a great wide thanks to everyone who contributed

consistency Elbise Modelleri has been fully explained in the article is quite descriptive writing and sharing parts of your post I want to share all liked it very much thanks

Thank you, that your site is very nice touch topics that up until a date and I congratulate you for the labor of a successful site

9:25AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Grazie.

9:25AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Grazie.

3:56PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Dear author, thanks for the article, also - nice find with that line in VM source code.
One small note: while part of C source code can definitely be called a string (i.e. several letters in a row), as far as C sources go those two are sequences of hex values. Specifically, in this case, those are something like constants. Constant is a value that is associated with some easy to use handle (like MAX_RETRY_ATTEMPTS = 10;). So the "humor" in this case probably is that some MS developer used this integer constant as ID for Linux guest (virtual machine). Why would it matter at all? This "big boobs string" is almost impossible to notice in a binary, contrary to viewing source code. Which means even a hacker reverse-engineering this executable file would most probably miss the hex sequence.

Mit W., if you follow the link in the article on BBC site there is a link to the source: https://lkml.org/lkml/2012/7/13/154. As you can see there it's good old ANSI C, i.e. it's not just a bunch of bytes taken from PE.

12:50AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

I think if we look hard enough we can find derogatory evidence against women AND men ANYWHERE. I have an idea, LET'S STOP LOOKING and try to get along together. I'm fed up being classed as a trash male just because of a handful of idiot men and a certain class of women that look into everything as being sexist.

Give it up.

6:40PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

noted

2:37PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Oh, Derek, Derek, Derek--you just don't understand...

1:12PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Thanx.

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