• FeaturedTractors for Africa

    Tractors for Africa: Will a Rental Model Transform Reality for Farmers in Tanzania?

    Crowdfunding campaigns for various charitable initiatives (as well as even more dubious religious ones) are a dime a dozen these days. Many of them come nowhere near their goals, quite often raising no money at all (why not at least contribute to your own campaign, we wonder?). But I recently talked with someone who’s trying to use his professional expertise,…

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  • FeminismCoke balloon animal

    Why Trolling Brands Is Different from Threatening People

    Like most things, this shouldn’t need explanation, but there are people on the internet and people are the worst, so it needs explaining. I actually wrote this out a few days ago and thought it too obvious to post, then ran across this comment that needed dissecting. So here we go. Media darling, or shall I say the darling (not-so-)nü…

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  • SkepticismGuy on a bike by a train

    To Uber or Not to Uber?

    To Uber, or not to Uber – is that the question? Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The stench and delays of public transit, Or to put one’s feet against bicycle pedals, And by pedaling, get there? To Uber, to Lyft – No more, but by not Ubering do we end Our complicity in the thousand unnatural shocks…

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  • SkepticismBan Bossy

    Does Ban Bossy Really Help Women in Tech?

    Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed your social media contacts affirming that they plan to “Ban Bossy.” This campaign, launched by Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.Org initiative and the Girl Scouts, calls for us to ban the word “bossy” because assertive girls are labeled bossy and assertive boys are called leaders. It’s certainly a positive, well intentioned initiative that…

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  • SkepticismBitcoin logo

    Bitcoin 101 with Brett Scott

    Bitcoin, an alternative currency protected by cryptography, has been popping up all over the news for a while. First, Bitcoin-driven marketplace Silk Road shut down. Then the Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox crashed (and is now bankrupt). You can make real-world Bitcoin transactions at a Bitcoin ATM in Texas. And then of course there’s Dogecoin (much coin, very currency). As skeptics,…

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  • SkepticismCoC Pledge

    #CoCPledge – A Way Forward?

    The #CoCpledge is a simple idea – pledge not to speak at conferences that don’t have a code of conduct established – that seems like a great step toward more fair and responsive treatment of all kinds of people at conferences. The pledge is perhaps more powerful when it comes from higher profile speakers (many of whom, like our own…

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  • Feminism

    The Power of a Position

    Bryan Cantrill is Senior Vice President of Engineering at Joyent, a cloud infrastructure company. Like many tech companies, Joyent has a management team made up of mostly white males. Unlike some tech companies, Joyent (via Cantrill) recently came out with a strong statement in favor of the power of a pronoun – a gender-neutral one, to be specific. Joyent is…

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  • Skepticism

    PBJs, Nail Polish, Barrels of Crabs: The Week(s) in Startup Sexism

    There’s so much to say about startups and sexism! In the past few weeks, several items have surfaced that continue to reveal not just the deep-seated sexism in tech, but also the deep-seated denial and ignorance surrounding sexism in the industry. Don’t believe? Let’s review! First, some guy raised $6.5 million dollars to tell women what they want to read…

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