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Toy company Mattel apologized on Facebook this week for a controversial book portraying Barbie's failed attempt at becoming a computer engineer. The book received intense criticism on the web after comedian Pamela Ribbon stumbled upon the title at a friend's house and wrote a scathing review of it on her blog. At issue is the depiction of the iconic doll as being incompetent and needing to rely on men to save the day after she screws things up.
In the book, Barbie has aspirations of making a game that teaches kids how computers work. So far, so good -- time to break down gender stereotypes. However, Barbie quickly clarifies to her sister Skipper that she's "only creating the design ideas...I'll need Steven and Brian's help to turn it into a real game!"
From there, things go downhill like Clark Griswold on a sled in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. She fails at trying to email her design to Steven and, with the help of Skipper, manages to reboot her laptop before determining it has a virus. Turns out the virus was on her heart-shaped USB drive that she wears as a necklace, and Skipper subsequently loses all of her homework assignments and music files, which weren't backed up. Instead of being overly upset by this, Skipper "playfully" hits Barbie with a pillow.
"Skipper has just lost her homework, all her music files and her laptop, but all she’s moved to is STATUS: PILLOW FIGHT," Ribbon writes on her blog.
There's quite a bit of reading between the lines and extrapolation that goes into the criticism, though the main issue people have with the book is Barbie's overall incompetence. Rather than promote Barbie as a woman capable of being a computer engineer, she screws things up -- badly -- and turns to a couple of males to save the day.
"The Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer book was published in 2010. Since that time we have reworked our Barbie books. The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story doesn’t reflect the Brand’s vision for what Barbie stands for," Mattel explained in a Facebook post. "We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits. We apologize that this book didn’t reflect that belief. All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girl's imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character."
That's all well and fine, but it didn't stop the Internet from doing what it does best. Trending on Twitter is #FeministHackerBarbie, in which you'll find hilariously rewritten entries like the one above. Some of the better ones have been collected by Gizmodo, if you're need of a good laugh.
Following up on its funky square-shaped monitor announcement earlier this week, Eizo has introduced a self-calibrating DCI 4K (4096x2160) display for media and entertainment fields like cinema and broadcasting. The ColorEdge CG318-4K is a 31.1-inch monitor featuring a built-in sensor to enable self-calibration if you'd rather not muck around with settings. Should you need or want to manually fine tune the settings, it comes with ColorNavigator 6 calibration software.
Eizo also offers ColorNavigator Network, a secure, cloud-based web hosting solution for administrators to perform quality control tasks on client ColorEdge monitors with ColorNavigator NX (a free color calibration download) installed.
"Used together, ColorNavigator Network and ColorNavigator NX allow an administrator to take advantage of the self-calibration capabilities of the ColorEdge monitors by automating calibration and other QC tasks on ColorEdge monitors located in a single or multiple locations," Eizo says. "This potentially saves hundreds or thousands of hours annually in maintenance downtime while ensuring the color accuracy of all ColorEdge monitors."
The ColorEdge CG318-4K is a 10-bit display with a 16-bit lookup tablet (LUT). It sports an IPS panel that reproduces 98 percent of the DCI-P3 and 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color spaces. Other ratings include 178-degree viewing angles, 350 cd/m2 brightness, 1,500:1 contrast ratio, and 9ms response time.
It has a three-port USB 3.0 hub, ergonomic stand with height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, two HDMI ports, and two DisplayPort connectors.
The ColorEdge CG318-RK will begin shipping in April of next year. No word yet on price.
New and used games retailer GameStop reported its third quarter financial results this week, which fell below what analysts were expecting. GameStop's total global sales for Q3 came to $2.09 billion, a drop of 0.7 percent compared to the $2.11 billion in the same quarter a year ago and below the $2.2 billion analysts on average were predicting. As a result, GameStop's stock went into free-fall mode.
Shares of GameStop are down more than 14 percent today with several hours still to go in the trading day. With today's plunge, GameStop's stock is down by around 25 percent since the beginning of the year when it was valued just shy of $50 per share.
GameStop pointed the finger at the delayed release of Assassin's Creed Unity as the reason why topline and comparable store sales were negatively impacted.
"Overall, most of our major product categories performed very well, but our third quarter results were impacted by Assassin’s Creed Unity moving out of October," stated Paul Raines, chief executive officer. "As we look at the holiday quarter, we are focused on relentlessly applying our competitive advantages: convenience, strong CRM, knowledgeable associates and value through our unique forms of currency, which include buy-sell-trade and the new PowerUp Rewards credit card, to deliver a successful quarter."
In a post-earnings call with analysts and media, GameStop president Tony Bartel added that he'd like to see Microsoft and Sony issue price cuts for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, respectively.
Sometimes we like to sit around and reminisce about the early days of computing. You know, back in the era of single-core computing. And then the nightmares begin. That's when we snap out of it and thank the computer gods for multi-core processors, such as today's top deal for an AMD FX-8350 Black Edition Vishera 8-Core Socket AM3+ CPU for $150 with free shipping. It's clocked at 4GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) and has 8MB of L3 cache. Slap a sufficient cooler on this puppy and you might be able to make it bark at 5GHz (no promises, of course).
AMD FX-8320 Vishera 8-Core 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Desktop Processor for $120 with free shipping
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Black Steel SECC / Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case for $170 with free shipping
WD Black Series WD1003FZEX 1TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive for $70 with free shipping
Intel 530 Series 2.5-inch 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive for $70 with free shipping
There's something to be said for building a quiet computer. It takes a bit of research to build a truly silent (or near silent) system, and of course it starts with your choice of case -- an open air chassis is probably not the best option. There are several quiet cases available, and beginning today, you can add Corsair's new Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition to the list of quiet computing enclosures.
Corsair says the 330R makes it easy to build an "extremely quiet" PC, part of which is due to the noise damping material found on the top panel, side panels, and front door. It also boasts a 3-speed fan controller and a Direct Airflow Path layout that provides an unobstructed path between the included 140mm fan and the CPU and GPU.
The other included fan is a 120mm exhaust unit, though there's room for two more 120mm or 140mm fans up top and another 120mm or 140mm fan up front. If you prefer liquid cooling, the 330R can accommodate a 240mm or 280mm radiator up top and is specifically compatible with Corsair's H55, H60, H75, H80i, and H100i liquid coolers.
Other amenities include four hard drive trays supporting both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch installs, tool-free 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch drive installation, built-in cable routing coutouts, and a USB 3.0 port on the front panel.
Corsair's Carbide Series 330R Titanium Edition PC case is available now for $100 MSRP.