A new approach to fighting for gender equality in tech

Sandi MacPherson’s 50/50 Pledge is indicative of a movement that’s aiming for a fair proportion of men and women at tech events – and eventually in the top jobs

Women are woefully under-represented in the tech industry. A study last year found that of 6,517 companies that had raised venture funding in the US only 183 had a female chief executive. Now one of those is setting out a simple, practical idea that might actually move the dial.

Launched this week by Sandi MacPherson, founder of the San Francisco-based social networking startup Quibb, the 50/50 Pledge aims to get an equal proportion of men and women on stage at tech events by connecting organisers with a directory of relevant female experts. Since the directory was tweeted out by MacPherson “with no expectations” in May it has already accrued over 1,100 names, with candidates ranging from software engineers to chief marketing officers at companies such as Google, Facebook and BuzzFeed.

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Let them eat cake: women hit back at fat-shaming troll

Sewing blogger Jenny Rushmore was told she should ‘eat less cake’ – so her followers posted pictures of them eating cake in solidarity

Sometimes, when it comes to internet trolls, the best thing to do is grab a slice of cake.

At least that’s what one sewing blogger’s followers decided after an internet troll came out of nowhere to tell her she should “eat less cake”.

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IT failure blocks Queensland schools’ reports of suspected child sex abuse

Police unaware of 644 reports from principals because of coding error made during upgrade to Education Department system

An IT failure in the Queensland Education Department meant 644 suspected cases of child sexual abuse were not relayed to police.

School principals attempted to report the cases, which took place from 22 January and involved students whose parents or guardians were deemed to be acting in their interests over the abuse, via the department’s One School online portal.

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Facebook finishes Aquila solar-powered internet drone with span of a Boeing 737

Social media giant plans within months to start testing the craft which is intended to provide internet access to remote areas

Facebook has announced the completion of its first full-scale drone, which it says has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 and will provide internet access in remote parts of the world.

The company said it would test the aircraft in the US later in 2015.

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Telecoms lobbyists rail against ‘arbitrary and capricious’ net neutrality rules

Brief filed as part of lawsuit demands court vacate Federal Communications Commision’s decision to regulate internet carriers as public utilities

Telecoms lobbyists have filed a brief in a lawsuit that includes nearly every major industry player demanding that the Washington DC court of appeals vacate net neutrality rules ordered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in February.

Chief among the objections of the United Telecom Association (UTA) is that their members won’t invest as heavily in broadband infrastructure if they’re forced to abide by the new regulations, contravening the FCC’s mandate to encourage investment.

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Time watching videos online will rise to an hour a day – report

More than half of viewing is done on mobile devices, says ZenithOptimedia, which also predicts a fall in television viewing next year

People around the world will be spending an average of almost an hour a day watching online video by the end of next year, and more than half of that will be spent on a mobile device, according to a report from ZenithOptimedia.

Mobile devices will become the dominant source of online video within the next 12 months, and television will peak this year, before starting to fall for the first time, predicts the firm, part of advertising group Publicis.

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