Web

Advocate seeks better gender equity in the Lego universe with formal proposal

gender equality legos nasa
LEGO.com
Minus the penguin and the dog, there appear to be 17 Lego characters in the above image, featured on the toy company’s mini-figures landing page.

But take a closer look, and you’ll find that only three of the lot are easily identifiable as women (including one named the “Ice Queen“). That’s a whopping 18 percent, and reflects the unfortunate state of gender equality in the Lego world.

While the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey found that women make up 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, they comprise only 24 percent of workers in STEM fields — that is, fields involving science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Maia Weinstock, MIT News deputy editor and advocate for women in STEM, has decided to take the fight to the Lego world.

Weinstock has proposed the creation of a Lego “Women of NASA” mini-figure set to both improve the gender breakdown of Lego characters and increase the representation of female characters in STEM fields. The set would include Margaret Hamilton, Katherine Johnson, Sally Ride, Nancy Grace Roman, and Mae Jemison, all of whom have held critical positions at NASA.

While of course the creation of such a set wouldn’t immediately improve the state of gender equality, normalizing women in Lego STEM jobs may broaden the outlook of young girls for when they make their career choices later.

As Lego’s “Ideas” policies dictate, after a proposal is submitted, it needs 10,000 supporters to move on to a review process at Lego HQ. The proposal had 8,623 signatures at time of publication with 715 days left to hit the 10,000 goal.

As the description on the mini-figure proposal reads, “Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, also know as NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of [STEM].”

Web

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Web

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Mobile

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.
Computing

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.