Saturday, August 25, 2007

Surprise? Surprise! No Surprise...

Interesting, but not all that surprising: Move over geeks, women are top web users.

Women aged between 25 and 49 are now spending more time on the internet than men as they become hooked on keeping in touch with friends online, according to figures published yesterday by the communications regulator Ofcom.

The figures are particularly pronounced in the 25 to 34 age group, in which women now account for 55 per cent of time spent online – demon-strating that the medium once thought of as dominated by solitary, glass-wearing male nerds is rapidly being feminised.

James Thickett, director of research with Ofcom, said: “Young women are finally finding content relevant to them on the internet. Social networking is what is driving a lot of usage; websites like Facebook and Bebo have a much higher female profile”.


Internet usage shows marked gender divides. Forrester Research, the technology specialist, describes the net as “just another channel for women to do what they enjoy: shopping, talking, and caring”. Its data, based on research of young people across Europe, shows that 55 per cent of women aged 18 to 34 – or 4.13 million – use the medium regularly compared with 45 per cent – or 3.49 million – of men. Women are also likely to spend more time on networking sites when they are there.

The article appears to be Euro-centric — no surprise there — considering it was published in Britain. But what did surprise me, though, was the rather patronizing comment about women and what they “enjoy:” “shopping, talking, and caring.” Hunh?

Also from the UK and I’m not making this up:

A wealthy Russian tried to buy a US B-52 bomber from American pilots at the Maks airshow, a Russian newspaper reported yesterday.

The unidentified Russian, wearing sunglasses and surrounded by bodyguards, approached the US delegation and asked to buy the bomber, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper said. A member of the US delegation said the bomber would cost at least $500m (£250m) if it were for sale.

That’s pretty funny, but this isn’t:

And yet defence experts were yesterday dismissive of Russian strength, branding its air force a "Potemkin village". Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been forced to slash defence spending, leaving an ill-equipped conscript army to fight in Chechnya. The army's tanks are old; Russia's ships and submarines have seen better days; the navy's much-vaunted sea-launched Bulava missile still doesn't seem to work, despite a decade of development.

"In terms of military threat they are a joke," Robert Hewson, the editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, said, assessing the array of Sukhoi and MiG fighters on display at the airshow, held at the former Soviet Zhukovsky air base. "Everything is a relic from the Soviet era. The level of technology you see in the UK, Sweden and the US is much higher.

Dismiss or underestimate the Russians at your peril. (Which The Guardian has a long history of doing, apropos of nothing.) All the Russians need to upgrade their forces is money, and given Russia’s vast oil reserves and the current price of oil, that money wouldn’t be too hard to come by in the near term. Or as long as the oil and natural gas hold out, anyway.

Fisking Fisk: Isn't Robert Fisk A Journalist? I was gonna post a link to Britain’s leading village idiot and his latest (insert vile disparaging adjectives here) “column,” but Mr. Morrisey’s piece is oh-so-much better. The lede grafs, with links intact:

Allahpundit piqued my curiosity with his link to Robert Fisk's latest screed at the Independent, wherein he claims to be unable to find answers to many questions about the 9/11 attacks. Don't call me a conspiracy theorist, he says, and "spare me the plots", but he implores Karl Rove to tell him about how the Bush administration created the reality of 9/11. But spare him the plots, of course.

This puzzles me, because Robert Fisk claims to be a journalist, and one would expect a journalist to understand how to conduct research. Let's see if we can help Mr. Fisk with his questions, which unfortunately get spread throughout a paranoid harangue.

And a systematic dismantling follows.

Eating their own… Michael van der Galien at The Moderate Voice has an interesting and thought-provoking piece about the Progressive Putsch currently in progress. Excerpts, with links intact:

There is something strange going on in the progressive blogosphere these days: instead of uniting against Republicans, progressive bloggers like Matt Stoller have decided to declare war on every Democrat who they consider not to be progressive (read anti-war) enough. Seemingly frustrated that there are actually Democratic Congressmen that do not necessarily always vote along party lines - but make up their own minds - they have decided to ask their readers to make profiles of so-called “Bush Dogs” (Blue Dogs and New Democrats) as to be able to target them in the coming years, and to replace them with progressive, left-wing Republicans.


Those who dare support non-Democratic candidates for president - like Independents - have to be put away as well well. As a result of all their actions, Chris Bower believes that “progressives are moving closer to Democratic Party control.”

This prospect should - as far as I am concerned - scare the hell out of everybody who thinks that some independence of thought is actually a good thing. We have seen some of this being done by conservative bloggers and activists, but never on the scale as we currently see (it being done by progressives). The intention is clearly to stifle all dissent, and all debate. Whether one is a Democrat or not, and whether one is more progressive than conservative, and left-of-center is irrelevant to these people. Nor do they seem to care that the voters voted these people into office in the first place. They have decided that they are enemies of the Democratic Party (even though they are Democrats themselves) and therefore enemies of the people.

The most important issue according to the progressives? Iraq. it is all that matters. In this instance they decide not to go after someone for not being progressive enough on certain issues, because this person opposes the surge. In other words, one might argue that it is not so much about progressive vs. less progressive, but about anti-war vs. open-minded. Make no mistake about it however: once these people get their way regarding Iraq, they will target politicians who they deem not progressive enough on other issues.

Word. Read the whole thing while nodding your head slowly up and down. I, for one, am not all that afraid of the Progressives. They are SO far to the left, bordering on the radical, that their one-note message will be firmly rejected by the American Mainstream, which is much more conservative than any of the Blue-Enclave Progressives can possibly imagine. And, perhaps more interestingly, I believe most mainstream Democrats will ultimately reject the Progressives, as personified by Kos, Stoller, Move-On, et al, because of their sheer intolerance. Those guys simply cannot stand dissent from their dogma/theology (choose one), from anyone…inside or outside of their little circles. And that will be their undoing.

Today’s Pic: This past Thursday’s sunrise, Take Two. The first photo was better; I’m only posting this one to show the dramatic difference a simple change in shutter speed makes. In this case, the colors are washed out even though one sees much more detail (e.g., the fifth wheels, pickups, wall, etc.) than in the under-exposed shot I originally posted. It’s all about “creative control.”


  1. Money is the key. Their tech doesn't necessarily suck, it's just that their force structure as a whole is a joke. For now. However, like SJS said yesterday, I wouldn't worry about learning Russian...I'd focus on Mandarin. The Russians like to sell their goodies. Maybe Farsi too.

  2. Those Russians can be darned smart and determined when they put their minds to it:
    Russia Plants Flag: Claims Arctic Seafloor

    International quibbles aside, ocean explorers are excited about the science the Russian mini-subs may have accomplished on the deep-ocean floor.

    Reminds me of the teacher's common complaint, "Johnny is so bright. If only he would focus his energies on doing the right things."
    Throughout history, the major complaint by Russians is that don't get the respect they deserve. However, I'm not positively sure what they mean by "respect"...

  3. Mike said: I wouldn't worry about learning Russian...I'd focus on Mandarin.

    Strange you should mention that, Mike. I've heard through the grapevine (but cannot/will not confirm) that The Second Mrs. Pennington has been studying Chinese for at least two years now. Which I find interesting, as her undergrad degree is in Japanese. She abandoned her Japanese endeavors while we were still together; God Only Knows what she plans to do with the Chinese, if anything. But maybe she knows something you and I only suspect (at this point)...

    Bec: What the Russians mean by the "respect" thing certainly IS a mystery. Surely they realize they were FEARED mightily over the course of their history, and a portion of that fear is being reborn as we speak. Much the same thing, if you ask me.

  4. I think the passage on women "shopping, talking, and caring" is alot of what I do online. Shop: yes, I shop online. Ebay, Amazon, parts from Sears (because Clovis repair center has NOTHING in stock!), a few other stores. Stuff we can't find around here in p-ville anyway. Talking and caring. Again, guilty. A website/forum board I have been a part of for almost 8 years is my main stop for the day (a couple times a day). Some of the women I have met on there I have become "friends" with. We bitch and moan, ask for advice, give words of encouragement. We exchange Christmas cards and send baby gifts. Out here where there are no neighbors for at least a mile, I suppose that is my neighborhood. I spend too much time in that neighborhood, but sometimes it is the only adult conversation I get for days.

    But I do catch up on news, read a little Rush Limbaugh, research something I'm interested in.

  5. The good news is that at 49 maybe my obsession with the internet may slow down next year. The bad news is that I got a late start and may need to make up for lost time.

  6. Jenny: Your points are well-taken about what women do on-line. Thanks for that.

    As for shopping...quite a lot of what I buy is bought on-line, too, including 100% of my Christmas shopping. I first did all my XMas shopping on-line in 1998 and I've NEVER looked back. Beats the Hell out of fighting the crowds at the mall and other places.

    Lou: I'm not so sure a "late start" has much to do with it! I've been around the 'net since its beginnings (thanks to my techie second career) and find myself spending more and more time on it than ever before. There's good and bad in that statement/behavior...


Just be polite... that's all I ask.