Meet game developer Barbie

Mattel Has Released a Game Developer Barbie, and It’s Fantastic

Game Developer Barbie is wearing jeans, sensible shoes (!), and a T-shirt that is both nerdy and kind of cute. (I think it could be translated as “control-alt-ponytail.”) She has a laptop that is laptop-colored, because women can actually use tech products that aren’t pink. There are no pictures of Ken or fashion magazines around her workspace, just coffee, headphones, flowcharts—not to mention actual programming books (C++ and C#) and action figures (He-Man!). She still likes some pink, of course; this is Barbie, and there’s nothing wrong with pink.

Perhaps most striking, Barbie can actually code. With some help from my colleagues as well as the Twitter hive mind, we were able to just barely make out the code on Barbie’s laptop. The interface appears to be Alice, an educational programming environment, and the code it’s outputting is ActionScript (or maybe Haxe). Basically, she seems to be making a Bejeweled clone in Flash.

[Casey Fiesler/Slate]

9-year-old reporter breaks crime news, posts videos, fires back at critics

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9-year-old Hilde Kate Lysiak got a tip early Saturday afternoon about heavy police activity on Ninth Street in her town of Selinsgrove, Pa. She got over there with her pen and camera and posted something short online, beating the competition. Then she worked the neighbors and cops and nailed down her scoop with a full-length story, headlined, “EXCLUSIVE: MURDER ON NINTH STREET!”

But her reporting did not impress some of the good people of Selinsgrove, and they let Hilde have it on Facebook Saturday night.  “I think this is appalling that u would do a story like this when all the facts are not in yet,” wrote one commenter. Her parents were attacked too: “does no one realize that this is a 9 year old reporting this type of graphic information!” wrote a Facebook poster. “I mean, what parents are encouraging this type of behavior!”

Hilde was unfazed. Sunday morning, she gathered many of the comments she’d received online, summoned her older sister and her video camera, and read the comments aloud. Then she took on her critics directly: “If you want me to stop covering news, then you get off your computers and do something about the news. There, is that cute enough for you?”

She got the bug from her father, a former Daily News reporter.

9-year-old reporter breaks crime news, posts videos, fires back at critics [Tom Jackman – The Washington Post]

Minnie and I are rejected from participating in a highly scientific and prestigious study

While taking our afternoon walk in the park yesterday, Minnie and I were approached by a girl who looked to be about 9 years old and an older man, presumably her father. 

I took my earbuds out of my ears to be able to hear them speak. Here in the 21st Century, living in a city, I’ve become dubious about being approached by strangers. When a stranger approaches me – even a sweet-looking little girl – I start from a position of wariness. I assume they want me to buy something, generally something of questionable value or else why would they be selling it on the street? Or they’re panhandling. Or they want to convert me to something. 

But this little girl said, all in a burst by rote without leaving space between words, that she was doing a school science project in whether dogs are left handed or right handed and did my dog sit and give paw on command?

Well, Minnie sits on command most of the time. Sometimes she sits when she wants something from us, because she’s figured that sometimes sitting is how to get what she wants. Other times she ignores us. And we’ve never tried give-paw on command because we’ve never had to. Minnie was an early and enthusiastic paw-giver and she’s just stayed with it. We’ve never been able to figure out why she seems to enjoy giving paw so much. If giving paw ever becomes an event in the Westminster Dog Show, bet on Minnie. You’ll clean up.  

While I attempted to stammer out this complex explanation the little girl said, no, dogs participating in the study have to be able to give paw on command. 

B-b-b-b-ut, I said. 

No. On command. 

And she hardened her face and she and the man turned away. 

Rejected!