Though she’ll continue to work on the foundation, she’s building up a personal office to dedicate resources and attention to an issue of central personal importance: getting more women into tech — and helping them stay there.
It’s personal. Gates got her start in tech. After graduating from Duke with a computer science degree (and an MBA), she spent a decade working at Microsoft. That was back in 1987, when just over a third of undergraduate computer science degrees went to women. Nearly 30 years later, fewer than one in five CS degrees are earned by women. That, according to Gates, constitutes a crisis. “This has got to change,” she told me when we met to discuss her efforts last week.
If any of this sounds like a repeat of feats already accomplished decades ago by others (U.S. and Soviet Union), that glib observation falls to pieces when you consider technologies like China’s QUESS satellite—which will likely be orbiting overhead by the time you read this. Short for Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, QUESS marks a first-of-its-kind attempt to beam quantum-encrypted information between an orbiting satellite and ground stations below. By encoding that information into the quantum states of particles like photons, such security schemes ensure that any attempt to intercept or tamper with the transmission alerts both sender and receiver, making quantum encryption theoretically unbreakable.
In an era of global electronic surveillance, a quantum-communications network could sidestep even the best cyberintelligence operations, allowing Chinese military and intelligence assets to swap information while keeping potential adversaries or spies in the dark. As long as China is the only nation bouncing quantum communications around the atmosphere, it will enjoy scientific and strategic security advantages, as well as a boost to economic security: QUESS researchers say that a long-term goal is the protection of financial communications.
I have seen NBC videos from every angle of Usain Bolt’s 9.81 second 100 meter dash at the Rio Olympics. So, not surprising there are equally fascinating photos including the one where Bolt smiles at the camera on his way and this New York Times panoramic photo – click on that to expand and explore just about every second of the race.
From hundreds of riders on horseback dramatically galloping into the stadium to the thunderous beats performed meticulously by 2,008 tightly ranked drummers, host cities pull out all the stops to set the right tone for the Olympic Games.
The opening ceremony provides host cities the opportunity to put their culture and history on the world stage and these ceremonies have only grown more exorbitant over the years. This is Quartz’s guide to the top five ceremonies in modern Olympic history.
It’s Rio’s turn tonight…one of the five was the one in Sydney in 2000
He began an annual tradition of science fairs, arguing that if he celebrates the nation’s top athletes at the White House, he should do the same for the best young scientific talent. He often mentions the students he has met at the fairs, including Elana Simon, who at age 12 survived a rare form of liver cancer and before graduating high school helped discover its genetic cause.
Mr. Obama’s presidential science advisory committee has been the most active in history, starting 34 studies of subjects as varied as advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity. Scientists on the committee said they worked so hard because Mr. Obama was deeply engaged in their work.
San Quentin has 3,000 volunteers for an incarcerated population of about 4,000. The men can sign up to perform Shakespeare, learn anger management, get addiction therapy, do yoga and meditation, learn an instrument, work on the prison newspaper and radio program and take college courses. Research on the effects is spotty, but studies suggest that participants in such programs are far less likely to end up back in prison.
Notable among these offerings is the Last Mile, the first program to teach inmates software-engineering skills. The idea is to earn inmates a little money doing contract code writing for nearby Silicon Valley while they are still incarcerated and, more important, to prepare them for a hungry tech-job market when released.
A nice thing about Infor events is they allow me time in Manhattan and even better with two superb guides in Bill Kutik of Human Resource Executive and Rob Kugel of Ventana Research. Both spent decades in NYC and are full of trivia about the gardens, squares and skyscrapers.
I was reminded of something Rob said about the city always being in flux as I walked around town. So much has changed since my first visit here in early 80s, and yet so much is the same.
The Yellow Cab is still too cramped but now it does take credit cards and has digital displays which remind you there is no Uber like surge pricing. And yes, now Uber is here and as efficient as in other cities.
Public phones still persist! Most of them, however, mostly work off phone or credit cards. The coin slots are not sealed off so presume you can still use those.
The city is much more tourist friendly with maps like this
What the maps don't show is the ubiquitous newsstands. No Digital Transformation there!
The phones and maps will gradually be replaced by Link towers. Each Link will provide superfast, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for Internet browsing, access to city services, maps and directions.
The parking meter has evolved. But even better, bike sharing has taken off.
The subway now has elevators and even wireless!
I think the town has always been a great place and I hope they never finish building it!