Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/12/letters/
Naked Natalie Portman fights for equal pay
The inverted pyramid paradox syndrome
Letters It's official: women in IT get paid less. That's according to a survey  by Intellect, which says "this is just one of the reasons the IT sector is still struggling to recruit women to work in the industry". Another gem from the department of the fairly bleedin' obvious?:
It is well known in HR circles (I've had extensive education in the subject from my partner) that woman in *all* sectors are paid less than their male counterparts. The perception and reality of women being paid less than men doing the same job is not unique to the IT sector so Intellect wasted their time researching this one. Especially since the 'research' was just a survey on a percieved pay gap by professionals rather than any hard numbers which might have actually been more use in highlighting, documenting and quantifying the problem.
The general perception is understood that today women earn 18% less than their male counterparts doing the same job. Although this sounds a lot it is a vast improvement on the pay gap 20 or 30 years ago.
Although often amusing (not in this case) I do sometimes wonder why people are happy to waste so much of their time telling us what we already know or is inherantly useless without something more substantial to quantify the 'research'.
I get sick and tired of reading articles like this one. You get paid what you expect, not what you deserve. The IT industry has been a model, almost from the start, of an industry that would employ women, men, blacks, whites and calathumpians provided that they could do the work. If women are not getting paid enough, they should change jobs. Thats what a bloke does. But, no, women want to talk about things rather than do anything about it.
We suspect that if your missus reads this, young man, she'll be moved to instant and decisive action...
...as will Charles's other half:
Well if women keep leaving the workforce to have children and raise families then it is only natural that men would average a higher pay. I think many women become aware that many men that work in IT work really long hours and weekends and that leaves little time for the kids.
Not sure we agree with the maths there: if you work longers hours you get paid more and since women are away dropping sprogs they earn less...
We don't know whether vegetarians also earn less, but some are clearly lacking deposits in the humour bank, as this story  proves. The recap, some poor bloke got his IT 'nads chopped off for posting an essay entitled "Why vegetarians should be force fed with lard" on Newcastle University's website. The veggies didn't like that, oh no:
I read the whole piece and although some of the comments may not be well-received by some it's not wildly inflammatory.
The fact that this was censored and someone's IT privileges were revoked over something this mild is very worrisome. It seems we are approaching a time where free speech will become non-existant. And I say this in the light of massive NSA phone database, DRM in computers and software, politically correct thinking and this kind of article.
I don't care what anyone eats or refuses to eat for whatever reason. Expressing a view should always, ALWAYS be allowed, no matter how much one may disagree with it. Obviously this means that someoneone will be held accountable for what s/he wrote, that comes with the territory. They should always be allowed to voice an opinion though.
It seems as if there is more and more censoring and a greater acceptance of it "You just can't go around offending people". If that ever becomes the norm, rest assured that I will write many politely worded, neatly balanced and well-documented letters to authorities telling them why a certain voice offended me and can they please put a stop to it. There is no limit to the things I take offense at. Prepare to be censored wholesale.
Stories like these make it very hard to enjoy being a member of the species.
... seeing as how what an animal eats affects what it tastes like... what would a vegetarian taste like?
Like chicken, apparently, according to cannibalscookbook.com/recipes/spit_roast_vegetarian.html.
How very embarrassing! As a veggie of over 15 years, I'd like to remind your readers that not all of us threw our sense of humour out with the meat.
Lunchtime's ammost here and I'm contemplating a bacon sarnie in protest at these joyless arses!
What a complete bunch of morons. I am deeply ashamed to be connected, even via something as trivial as dietary habit, to these spineless idiots, so uncertain of their own beliefs they can't deal with a bit of satire.
No wonder they're single ;)
Rich H. (Veggie since 1985)
I once was dragged into a dispute between veggies and meat-eaters. Things were getting quite heated, then one veggie said "vegetarians are nicer people". To which I replied "Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian". Totally killed the conversation......
Yes, we've seen the "Adolf Hitler didn't smoke" warning sticker. Highly effective.
Time to grab a quick bacon sarnie and move into ideologically-neutral territory with a couple of responses to our MS Live Messenger  paradox exposé:
And don't forget that the signup page for the beta doesn't work properly in Firefox (no surprises there).
And if you've got multiple sign-in accounts (I have one for business and one for friends) then you need to go through the download on each account (or at least get to the download link) before it will authorise the account to sign into the beta.
See you in a couple of years, then.
Adobe has also been struck by installer paradox syndrome, notes Kyle:
i had just read your article on the msn installer wanting to close itself, well only a matter of seconds later i was updating adobe bridge, and their installer did the same... just thought it might be quite funny to link this to that msn article?
attached is a screeny of the installer:
...and we wonder if the MS Live Messenger feedback loop of despair will feature in the Swarm of Angels  film project, aka "Cinema 2.0"?
There are a few questions unanswered on the Swarm of Angels site. Key amongst them are:
1) Will the detailed accounts be made public? (Rather important for a project of this nature, I'd imagine.)
2) What financial benefits will the announced team members (http://www.aswarmofangels.com/team/) receive?
3) If the project folds, or if there is a funds excess at end of production (writer chokes for a moment), what happens to the remaining cash?
Unfortunately, the only way they provide of asking these questions is to pay your 25 quid first, _then_ ask in the forums. The forums aren't accessible, even read-only, until you've paid. A pig in a poke, in other words.
Please understand, I'm absolutely not saying that Swarm of Angels is a scam - but there is a long and dishonourable tradition of gulling a large number of people for a small amount of cash each, leaving them little comeback when it turns out to be a diddle. And SoA doesn't give us the information, or the means to get it, to assure its prospective contributors (I won't say investors) that it's not. I want to believe in SoA, maybe even to join, but...
The whole thing is, in any case, a misnomer. Angels invest (note the word) money into a creative project in the hope, not necessarily the expectation, that they will turn a profit. All these "Angels" get is the right to a greater exposure to the production.
I guess Swarm of Patrons doesn't quite sound as good.
Swarm of Copycats, more like. This idea was already come up with by South African film maker Tim Green for a movie called "A Boy Called Twist", a contemporary reinterpretation of the Oliver Twist fable, about two or three years ago. The only difference is that Green didn't come up with a bunch of wanky Internet psuedo-speak to try punt it.
He got 1000 people to each stump up R1000 (about 100 squids) each as "investors", they also went on the list of "associate producers" (bit of an in-joke, to break the record for the most producers of a movie).
Good movie, if not as good as Tsotsi that just scooped an Oscar. More at http://www.twistmovie.co.za/. Twist won a couple of awards at festivals.
"50,000 potential screenplay writers and editors"
So it's less "Cinema 2.0™", more "Many Cooks 2.0™".
A load of bollocks 1.0
an essentially unscripted film with loose sci-fi elements and thriller overtones that's inexplicably associated with angels.
Sounds just like every porn I've ever seen! :)
"Natalie Portman and Carrie Anne Moss, either clad entirely in black leather or entirely unclad, battling virtual Empire Stormtroopers and Gigeresque dribbling aliens"
Never mind the direction, plot, effects, soundtrack and wiki-wotsit scripting malarky ... Just get the damn thing filmed ...
Hang-on ... I bet a bent copy is on e-Bay already? (I bet the top bid is already out of my reach too ... ... ... bugger!)
OMG!! That would be the best friggin movie ever!!
Yes it would. Put us down for twenty front-row tickets.
eBay, eh? One chancer is punting  (was, actually, since the auction has now been pulled) a place in the Big Brother house. Sort of, because it was dependent on the vendor finding one of the 100 gold tickets secreted in KitKat bars around the UK:
This is getting crazy. Seller gets paid in any event and Buyer gets place if but only if Seller finds ticket. I note there is no obligation on the Seller to buy any Kit Kats. One could try this with the National Lottery - I'll give the Buyer X% of my lottery winnings. However I am not obliged to buy any specified number of lottery tickets. So I either buy none and keep all the loot or buy tickets to the value of less than the value of the bid and have a free go on the Lottery.
Yes, it works for us.
Next up, some light Wiki-bashing, in response to a smart arse comment we made in our story revealing that Multimap had opened  a space bank:
"...the Earth is roughly 24-25,000 miles round (the equivalent of 3.3bn Wikipedians laid head-to toe), which means if the above is the shortest ..."
Would it be just too cheesy to point out the likelihood of 3.3 billion Wikipedians getting laid in ANY manner is so vanishingly small that...
...Yes, it probably is.
Too late now, you've already said it.
Internationally-reknowned Wiki champion Andrew Orlowski, meanwhile, has been taking some flak for this headline: Microsoft man's shadow over bankrupt SGI .
How is it that you figure out a way to put Microsoft in the headline of a story that has two sentences about the "Microsoft Man' buried near the end of the story. Never heard of the inverted pyramid? I guess they didn't teach that in your "journalism" school. You really are pathetic. Get a life and get a real job instead of being a tabloid story teller.
Is the inverted pyramid one of the side-effects of installer paradox syndrome, or where a naked Natalie Portman confronts the alien hive mother for the final combat sequence of Swarm of Angels: Resurrection II (The Wiki Contributors' Cut)?
As is the local custom, we'll blow these letters out of the airlock now with some discussion on Reg style and content:
From the letters  page, I quote: "How about, every time El Reg uses an acronym, the acronym is presented as a hyperlink to a explanation (or at least expansion) of the acronym?" Or even better, what about the correct use of the ABBR tag, creating a much more pleasing NSFW - not only helpful but fully ACCESSIBLE! as well? Now there's a buzzword for you.
Or, use the damn HTML <abbr> tag. DO NOT use <acronym> for crying out loud, else the Just And Sound Anti-MS crowd will tower over you citing all sorts of EU mark-up legislation which is yet to come into effect (is anything EU-ish actually in effect?)
Secondly, please, please, please attempt to publish at least a half-mast letters page on a Friday afternoon. Some people may not survive 'til the other side if you do not. Bust ma' fro'.
We experimented with the <abbr> tag on a "NSFW" tagline, but the damned dotted line underneath looked absolutely 'orrible on the Reg front page. We did, however, give it a go in the body of this piece  - purely for the benefit of those not up to speed on 19th-century UK criminal slang. Enjoy, and have a griddling glock-free weekend. ®