The reports of the demise of the web economy must be greatly exagerated. I recently found my browser pointed at the Web Economy Bullshit Generator. As these things go, this one is pretty good. I had thought I had heard (and perhaps spoken) every bullshit internet term there was, but “vortal” was unknown to me.

Dictionary.com pointed me to the Acronym Finder. Once I learned the definition of the term (vertical portal), I was surprised that Amazon listed no books on the topic. (I just had to check since AF auto-generated this convenient link.) I was hoping that the great Internet Bust of the new millenium had actually killed the abundant buzzword production of the late 20th century — perhaps it’s just the nature of “high” tech. I found an Ohio company that attributes its revenue growth to the creation of the company’s first vortal (eek).

…integrate synergistic niches, evolve e-business experiences, transition dynamic initiatives, target viral markets, enhance magnetic infrastructures, deliver transparent applications…

I have long heard my Java-geek-colleagues rave about IntelliJ. So, when I recently came across a reason to write some Java code, I thought to download an eval version of the acclaimed IDE.

I went through their QuickStart guide and was impressed. It does syntax coloring, code hinting, and auto-indenting — all that I’ve come to expect from an IDE. It also gives warnings — in real-time — of problems that I expect to see only at compile time. It integrates Java Docs nicely and has piles of features that promise not to get in the way, but rather, unobtrusively increase productivity. IntelliJ is super-cool for Java, but that

Anita Borg influenced my life in an unexpected way. She organized a conference, “The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women and Computing,” which I attended in 1997.

I thought I had overcome the feeling of being an alien in the workplace. Perhaps you know what it is like, to look around the room at a meeting and feel alone in a roomful of people. Or to talk seriously to someone and then realize that they were only talking to your haircut.

This conference was unique. It wasn’t just a women’s conference. It was a technical conference. Over a few days, I listened to more women speak publicly about gory technical details than I had in my lifetime.

I caught myself thinking… I could do that. And I thought that it had never occurred to me that I couldn’t.

Anita Borg died last week. You can read more about her on the pages of the Institute for Women and Technology.