I have a real smorgasbord of links for you today. I'm not even going to try to find a theme. Just pick and choose what looks interesting!
First up, if you follow any tech-type people on social media, you may have seen some whining and gnashing of teeth about something called NPM. Here's a story explaining what that was all about. The websites we rely on are so fragile, in so many ways. It is frustrating to me that no one seems to care. We'd rather push the limits of what we automate (see Microsoft's embarassment with its AI-bot Tay, for an example) than make the stuff we do now work better and more reliably. There's no glamour in that, I guess.
For instance, I refill my prescriptions through a website. For awhile now, it has been failing in what looked to me to be a random way. It would accept all my information, including the day and time I wanted to pick up, show it back to me (again with the day and time for pickup), and then fail when I clicked the final confirm and tell me the date field couldn't be null. I finally figured out when it fails: it fails if I try to schedule a pick up for the following day. I see now place on the website where I could report this issue. So fine. I will just always schedule to pick up on the same day, even when I know I won't pick up until the following day.
Anyhow, Mr. Snarky sent me this chart about the best places to be a working woman. The story is more complicated than those metrics show, of course, but it is still interesting. You can play with how the various indicators are weighted, and the rankings change. Thinking about my own career path, the metric I think is missing is some sort of measure of how thick your skin has to be to random BS to make it to positions of leadership. I have no idea how you measure that, but I'd call it the BS factor.
There's a study showing that negative rumors take longer to debunk on Twitter than positive rumors take to resolve. This isn't surprising, I guess.
The PBS News Hour is hosting a quiz to find out how much of a bubble you live in with respect to "average Americans." If you are willing to get past the fact that it is based on Charles Murray's work, you can take it. I did, and it pegged me exactly: an upper middle class person who grew up middle class.
As I said on Twitter, I find it a bit ridiculous that I get to be considered middle class, even with the "upper" as a qualifier. My family income puts us in the top 5%. (Here's a calculator if you're curious about where you fall.) I don't see why that should be called middle. I wonder if we started calling families like ours "rich" or something like that if we'd be more open to sharing our wealth a bit more via taxes.
Of course, if you call me rich, you need a new term for people like the Zuckerbergs or the Gates. Super rich? Ultra rich? Mind-blowingly wealthy? I don't know.
Moving on again. Here's a story about how someone found out that their product name was offensive and just... fixed it. I know! You wouldn't think it was possible, but it is.
Did you catch the Twitter truth-telling from the San Francisco BART account? If not, here is a summary and some more explanation from the person who was running the account that day.
I did not know this, and it is super cool:
(UPDATE: My readers did the checking I should have done, and this is not actually true. I'll leave it here as an example of why false internet rumors are so hard to resolve...)
She wrote pilot Leave it to Beaver, was forced to change Beezus & Ramona to boys. Beaver Cleaver = Beverly Cleary. https://t.co/pX41qZmcHp— Katharine Weber (@katharine_weber) March 25, 2016
I guess too many people are donating Fifty Shades of Grey to charity shops in the UK:
One Oxfam shop has received so many donations of 50 Shades of Grey that they've managed to build a fort pic.twitter.com/lFtZ7Ow3aK— The QI Elves (@qikipedia) March 23, 2016
That's all for this week. I have a couple other really interesting-looking things bookmarked as "to read," but I need to get dinner started... so those will have to wait.
Happy weekend all, and Happy Easter to those who celebrate!