Gendered office supplies
Hewlett Packard have just launched two new fashion mice designed with women’s technology preferences and tastes in mind. The HP Wireless Comfort Mouse – Women’s Special Edition in metallic pearl paint finish is engineered to account for the reduced finger mass and strength of women’s fingers. The symmetrical design is smaller than your average mouse and features a smooth feel scroll wheel and pre-programmed side buttons. A Vivienne Tam edition optical mouse has a “gleaming red finish bursting with peony flowers mirrors Tam’s Spring 2009 runway collection… a must-have accessory for fashionistas and the perfect complement to any computer.”
Meanwhile designer Monica Forster’s Lei chair for women goes into production later this year. Women are shaped differently from men and sit differently as well. The chair design is adapted to these differences and features armrests sprouting from the backrest, more pronounced lumbar support and a more forward-leaning seat pan. But if there’s a shortage of chairs in the office, will male office workers be happy to sit on girly office chairs?
Scientists have for some time been trying to increase unemployment by replacing office workers with robots. Automatons are already a feature of some (though still very few) reception areas around the globe. Now a robot teacher has just debuted in Japan.
Although still only remote controlled, “Saya” is multilingual and can set tasks for pupils, call the roll and tell kids to “behave”. “She” has a range of human expressions though not, presumably, that of existential horror at being replaced by a robot.
In a recent open letter, Pope Benedict XVI noted that had the Vatican consulted the Internet, it might have been aware of additional information that could have prevented a recent controversy involving a Church bishop having his excommunication overturned. The British bishop in question, Richard “Love thy neighbour” Williamson, had courted scorn for downplaying the Holocaust.
The Vatican recently approved iBreviary, a daily prayer book for Roman Catholics for the iPhone as well as a channel on YouTube. The Pope himself has suggested the use of social networks to reach out to “forge worldwide understanding.”
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