M1cr0s0ft 1s n0t t3h p4wn 4dn t3h h4x :-(

In their endless quest to be offended by everything, Puritans will not stop for any reason, and will go as far as peering through hexadecimal code and declaring the number 2976579765 illegal.

Huh-uh, huh-uh, he said 2976579765.

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Gez said:

Huh-uh, huh-uh, he said 2976579765.


Now, a T-shirt saying "I like your 2976579765" would be the ultimate in 1337/geek pick-up artistry.

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Oh loawdy someone said Big Boobies obviously a sexist and probably a sex offender and shit oh lawd stop the presses stop tha presses!

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They should just change it to 0xB16BA115.

There was a good post about this on Slashdot yesterday enumerating various codes like that one. 0xDEADBEEF, 0xDEADBABE, etc. it reminds me of my habit of using -1337 every time I need a non-valid number to initialize things to in languages that don't support null values.

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Clonehunter said:

Oh loawdy someone said Big Boobies obviously a sexist and probably a sex offender and shit oh lawd stop the presses stop tha presses!

This could be a direct quote from many fringe tumblr users.

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

Just... UGHHH. The stupid. It burns! FSGFHADSFGSFKSL;L;

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LOL. I guess as a large company that makes software for a broad audience, there's no point to release silly jokes. Maybe they're trying to be different from the programmer crowd too. Microsoft have never struck me as humorous, even when they tried. Even if those "magic" numbers are not accessible to the user, they will surely find their way into developer documentations, becoming visible to all people to interpret.

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Then what, vegan interest groups lobbying against the use of DEADBEEF which is offensive to them?

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We have to scan all internet traffic for this number! And save it for 10 years! Please, think of the children!

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Shouldn't we also stop using all irrational numbers now? After all they contain EVERYTHING. Just imagine what offensive words can be found in them!

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I actually agree with Matthew Garrett - if this was only one isolated incident it wouldn't be a big deal. The thing is that it's an example of a larger problem where behavior like this is treated as acceptable. One female open source programmer describes it as "a thousand single papercuts":

No matter how many times women involved in the open source community (such as myself) try to point out that we are made to feel unwelcome by a thousand single papercuts such as this one, and ask 'would you please cut it out guys...' we're told we're too sensitive, too easily offended, and any of the many men who would also like the community to be more gender balanced are boy scouts when they try to back us up. Sure, any single one of these is not overly upsetting or offensive in itself, and defending the behavior by insisting any single incident is not a big deal and not all that offensive is really missing the point.


I'm glad we're actually in the position now where this has made news, and people are actually talking about the problem of sexism in open source. It's a shame so many people (as seen in this very thread) seem to be completely missing the point though.

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fraggle said:

I'm glad we're actually in the position now where this has made news, and people are actually talking about the problem of sexism in open source.


Dunno if the "problem" as such exist only in the open source community, but it's well known that programming is one of those jobs traditionally associated with males who place social skills on a second -or a third- level. Of course any female in any IT field will be looked upon like a white fly among thousands and thousands of horny black flies. I'd like to see what those same women would say if they were to be put in an all-male soldiers' dorm, or in a construction site, working as a stevedore or in most blue-collar jobs -those left, anyway-, WITHOUT any sex segregation or even task differentiation.

The very least they would get quite a few whistles and salty comments from coworkers, even in places where there are several women workers already, so what makes them think that IT would be more "civilized" in that sense?

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Maes said:

Dunno if the "problem" as such exist only in the open source community

It doesn't - it's a wider problem within computer science and IT as a whole. But I understand that it's a larger problem within open source in particular: there are far fewer female open source contributors compared to the percentage of female programmers in the wider industry, for example.

it's well known that programming is one of those jobs traditionally associated with males who place social skills on a second -or a third- level. Of course any female in any IT field will be looked upon like a white fly among thousands and thousands of horny black flies.

Just like Garrett said, then: "the continuing impression that software development is a boys' club where girls aren't welcome". No matter what the current gender bias is, I think that it's wrong that women should be made to feel excluded, which is why, as I said, I'm glad that people are talking about these issues.

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fraggle said:

It doesn't - it's a wider problem within computer science and IT as a whole. But I understand that it's a larger problem within open source in particular: there are far fewer female open source contributors compared to the percentage of female programmers in the wider industry, for example.



IMO, it's highly related with how you see predominantly males in other hobbies such as collections, audiophiles, RC vehicles, modeling, etc. All these hobbies have in common the factor that you place a material and technical pursuit in high priority for your free time (the "geek" component), something that is unusual for women to do in general. Really, check out the percentage of women in those hobbies. See anything familiar?

Open source is not very different from those hobbies as it also has the "geek" component cranked up to eleven, meaning that a professional male programmer, just like hobbyists in those other fields, is far more likely to dedicate his free time to the programmer's equivalent of good old fashioned tinkering or collecting: making free software, and even more so with the relatively more stringent rules of open source (as opposed to one-time freeware).

Women who have chosen the IT path on the converse are much more likely to see it as strictly business and less likely to pursue it as an off-time hobby, as well.

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Why are you making excuses for the behavior, Maes?

I'm with Fraggle on this.

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exp(x) said:

Why are you offering explanations for the behavior, Maes?


Because it's nothing unusual. It's just that IT is "top" ATM while stuff like electronics, modeling, A/V etc. are relatively more obscure. But it you understand what's "wrong" with those, you can also understand what's going on in IT. And it's not going to change until society as a whole is totally egalitarian and gender roles are completely flattened and neutered. Then MAYBE you'll have perfectly bi-sex geeky hobbies. Maybe.

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Just because a field or hobby is primarily comprised of men does not give those men a right to be sexist. I understand that it is going to happen, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be questioned.

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I just think that the fight against sexism and misogyny has a lot of bigger and more worthwhile targets that need to be addressed than a puerile hexspeak signature that except for a few developers in a tiny niche subset of applications, nobody will ever encounter.

Is 0xCAFEBABE and 0xDEADBABE sexist too?

I'd rather see some progress in the treatment of female protagonists in video games, for example. For every Beyond Good and Evil or Syberia, there are a thousand Tomb Raiders (now with more implied rape!).

And outside of computer nerdery, I'd really like to see female politicians be treated by newsmedia like male politicians are. Focus more on what they say and the agenda they push, focus less on what they are wearing or how they styled their hair.

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Certainly.

"Excuse me, oh you so macho, virile, hormone laden horndog stevedores/dock workers/construction workers/soldiers/otakus/basement dwellers/neckbeards, could you drool and whistle a little less every time a female is in sight?"









Speaking of which, I'd like to know the true origin of that last photo. Looks more like the "IT department" of an 80s small company than an actual nerd. I love the way he smokes at the PC, too ;-)

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Good to see that the world is concentrating on the big issues instead of getting side-tracked by irrelevances.

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boris said:

We have to scan all internet traffic for this number! And save it for 10 years! Please, think of the children!


Think of the world we'd be leaving to our children, our children's children-- Oh the Humanity!

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Enjay said:

Good to see that the world is concentrating on the big issues instead of getting side-tracked by irrelevances.

Right, because you are only allowed to support one cause at a time. If too many people think that eliminating sexism in the workplace is a worthy cause, what will happen to the poor, forgotten children?

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All this "issue" seems hugely overblown, unless gender role and opportunity inequality is still big in America that they need to cling on every minor offense to bring it into attention.

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Heh I only wish adequacy.org was still active. They would've probably made an article to the effects of "Is your son speaking in Hexadecimal? Watch out, he could become a chauvinist computer geek and not respect gender equality!" or "1337 Speak: the language of chauvinist users of the communist OS known as linux".

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Maes said:

Because it's nothing unusual.




Bravo! This *IS* the problem. Precisely because it is not unusual in this industry. The bad thing is that this gives the impression that most programmers/developers are a bunch of socially immature and sexist geeks (which many probably are.)

And you seem to fit well right within this club of idiots. Congratulations!

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I'm pretty sure some IT guys only work on a punch-clock basis, and once they clock off they transform into handsome Clack Gable-like seductors or pursue more traditional manly pursuits...yeah, like 1% of them.

You can almost never tell "that woman X there works in IT", because they mostly keep a detached relationship with it. You'll almost never see this fully-immersive nerdiness that characterizes the majority of male IT workers. When it does occur, it's awkward even by the geekiest of standards.

At least from my acquaintances, the ones who pursued studies in IT related fields did it just because they found it lucrative or a good career opener, and not because they had spent their teen years tinkering, unlike many of their male counterparts.

Also explains why most choose theoretical CS (closer to mathematics) or business-related IT, not hardcore development or software engineering. The same thing can be said of other disciplines like engineering, but that's way too OT to debate here. Let's just say that certain branches get a lot of women, others do not.

I'd say the thin red line that separates women from total equality in IT is the point where the technical/dungeon-dwelling aspects takes over the most "hip" aspects (like e.g. website design, localization, content creation). You can't handle the former without at least some of the "geekiness" associated with the trade, and most women into IT don't come from such a background, period.

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A wise man once said: "Suck it down, bitches!" (and didn't even bother using the secret hexadecimal tongue). Many a female heard this, but lo and behold they held no contempt for he was rich, famous and maybe handsome too. Well, except the feminist cultists - but they were powerless against him.
- the book of id

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