Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Post for 'Ada Lovelace Day'

So apparently today is Ada Lovelace Day, when we should "publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom we admire".

This is, of course, something I'm happy to do - many women have driven the advancement of technology over the years. So, in the spirit of the event, I'd like to dedicate this post to a woman who, I feel, contributed significantly to the development of technology:

Linda Lovelace.

Think about it. Though it may seem hard to swallow, her contribution to the advancement of the technology we use and enjoy today is incalculable.

Linda made pornography mainstream - her seminal work 'Deep Throat' did a great deal to drive the growth in consumer demand for the VCR.

Had there not been such huge demand for devices such as this - allowing the distribution of movies outside the cinema, and giving consumers the freedom to record and time-shift their viewing - we would not have seen such technological developments as the DVD and the PVR. All thanks to Linda and the other doyennes of technological progress such as Marylin Chambers, Traci Lords and the ineffable (actually, very effable) Nina Hartley.

Which leads me to the Internet - and as everyone knows, the Internet is for porn. It was memorably said, by one of my role models, that if you took all the porn off the Web there'd only be one site left and it would be called It's thanks to Linda and the depth of her . . . her profundity that means pornography proliferates so profligately.

Streaming Video? Porn used it first [1], so it could be argued that pornography drove the demand for high-speed Net connections. We have Linda and her ilk to thank for Broadband!

Linda is, of course, immortalised in certain online communities [2] for her contribution to technological development:

The ASR standard unit of suckiness is the Lovelace (Ll).
This is defined as: One Lovelace is the amount of force (measured in dynes)it takes to draw a round ball weighing e Troy Ounces down a tube it fits exactly (in air) at a speed of pi attoparsecs/microfortnight.

Like Farads, this is a rather large measurement. Thus, Plan 9 sucks a few mLl, for instance, while your average Microsoft product achieves many Ll.

So therefore, dear Reader, I give you the woman I admire in technology - whose impact on the development of software (and frequently also hardware[3]) was as deep as her throat. Let's hear it for technology's other, unsung and unremembered Lovelace - Linda.

Ma'am, I salute and thank you.

[1] Probably. I can't be bothered to do the research.
[2] No, not the ones you're thinking of, pervert.
[3] *snigger*

* ALD09post


Jon said...

Hmm. Most people are unlikely to swallow that argument. Not only would they choke on it, but it would make them gag.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on -- I'm blown away by the sheer potency of Dungeekin's oral arguments here. Any objections have no teeth to them -- Linda was the cream of the crop!