LA Bans Use Of Master/Slave Terminology For Computing Suppliers

from the no,-seriously... dept

Okay, this one is showing up just about everywhere, so you've probably seen it already, but I'm posting it just to get everyone to stop sending it to me (John was the first, but thanks to everyone else also). According to the folks at Snopes, they've confirmed that some less-than-tech-savvy (consider them one of the 69%) took offense to the very common designation of "Master/Slave" to describe computing process where one device controls another. LA County has actually sent out a memo to all their suppliers asking them to "remove or change any identification or labeling of equipment or components thereof" that contain the phrase. Considering the number of systems out there that use this terminology, this is quite a request. Now who wants to complain to LA County about how offensive the phrase "client/server" is? I mean, just think of the connotations... And just think of the problems that will arise over the use of "male" and "female" connectors.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Beck, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 11:21am

    Any Ideas?

    So what are they supposed to change it to?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ed Halley, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 11:24am

    Photographers beware...


    Slave flash units have been around a bit longer than ATA hard drives. They are triggered when another flash (a master, if you will) sends a pre-signal, or just flashes on its own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    TAD, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 11:39am

    Some Suggestions:

    Instead of Master/Slave, how about:

    Capitalist/Wage-Serf
    Commisar/Peasant
    Germany/France
    Congressman/Voter
    USA/World
    Pimp/Ho
    Mo/LarryCur ly(Shep)
    Sheik/Concubine

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Mark Polino, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 1:12pm

    Master/Slave

    Perhaps we should take this one step further. Since just about every hard drive made has this terminology either labeled or engraved on it, I think we should insist that every hard drive belonging to any LA County goverment agency be replaced. For that matter, so should every other device with this issue. We get to be politically correct and jump start the economy at the same time!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 2:16pm

    What about "male"/"female" connectors?

    I know someone who had a woman look at him like he was some kind of perv when he referred to a cable connector as "male" or "female". Common terminology, but to the non-tech savvy, I guess it could sound obscene. "See, the male connector sticks out, and the female one has a hole..."

    Getting uptight about Master/Slave, though, is just nutty. Get a life, LA County.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    LittleW0lf, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 2:45pm

    Re: What about

    See, the male connector sticks out, and the female one has a hole...

    Not necessarily, think of SMA connectors or RF connectors (and other Coax connectors too), the females have poles within holes and the males have holes within poles... ok, so most examples of this are true, but not all of them.

    Then again, most RF/Wireless devices tend to follow the beat of a different drummer, so maybe this explains why the gender-bending is normal in RF.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Brenden, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 2:54pm

    Male / Female

    I work at a small engineering company. We once hired someone who had never heard connectors referred to as male or female. He giggled whenever he saw it and tried to replace it with some other terminology in our documentation. We eventually replaced him. We laugh about this an other quirks he had when we talk about him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 5:37pm

    No Subject Given

    It's even worse than that. Note the county wording:
    • ...ensure that any equipment, supplies or services that are provided to County departments do not possess or portray an image that may be construed as offensive or defamatory in nature.

    Even though the wording says "image", it's obvious that it's the words, not the picture, that the county objects to. That means that any word that could be "offensive" is prohibited. So if, say, some group finds the word "bus" offensive because it might be linked to the school bus issue, then that word has to be replaced also.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Steve, Nov 25th, 2003 @ 6:45pm

    No Subject Given

    Doesn't California have, like a bazillion dollar deficit? Why are they wasting time/money on stupid stuff like this? Maybe we should just refuse to send the city beauracracy any more electronic equipment because their clearly too stupid to operate it. I take offense at anyone who would go looking for a reason to take offense and those who would be niggardly with my right to use legitimate words.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 5:59am

    Just another reason to go SCSI...

    Seriously though, I did catch myself using primary/secondary instead of master/slave the otherday.

    Then I realized that there is no sane reasone why I should moderate my speach because of the politics of yester-years gone past. I think everything has pretty much been normalized during the 80s/early 90s. I still occassionally run into the baltenly racist white person, but more often than not these days I'm running into blatently racist non-white people. As population demographics shift, I think things are going to get very interesting. I'm not sure if we'll see a complete "what comes around goes around", but it wouldn't supprise me in the least and if this does happen, it's going to really suck to be old.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 6:52am

    Re: What about

    the females have poles within holes and the males have holes within poles...

    Just like in real life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 6:54am

    Re: What about

    The older I get, the more puzzled I am about "obscenity". Most people will have sex. Most people will have sex weekly, or probably more.
    We're animals-- that's what we're designed to do.
    Is eating obscene?
    Is shitting? People say so-- but if you don't do it every day, *you* are abnormal, and you need to go talk to a doctor, so don't get all high and mighty with me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 7:03am

    Re: Master/Slave

    Yes, i think only those who are bring this up should pay the companies to recall all those drives and have them fixed to there saying. They should also pay to reprint the the ads and all the computer catalogs and to fix all the websites that sales computer parts.
    People like this is sick and need to get a job or find a life on Venus.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    AMetamorphosis, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 8:19am

    Arnolds weenie

    Let me get this correct ... This is The SAME state that elected an official who's weenie can be found by typing his name into Google right ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 9:36am

    Re: Arnolds weenie

    Well it might be IN the same state, but it is really only LA county. OTOH, parts of the city and county of San Francisco are considering a REQUIREMENT for all devices to be labeled either Master or Slave.

    Smack!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Some Suggestions:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Rick Colosimo, Nov 26th, 2003 @ 7:06pm

    Legal terminology might help

    The area of law that deals with this sort of thing refers to "master" and "servant." I have some measure of comfort in believing that the SoCal residents, however lefty they might be, probably don't object to servants, even if they do treat them like slaves occasionally.

    R.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    anon, Nov 27th, 2003 @ 8:51am

    Re: Some Suggestions:

    How about:

    Israel/Palestine
    Cheney/Bush
    Michael/boy
    J.A.Muhammad/J.L.Malvo
    Defense Dept./State Dept.
    Neocon/Neolib
    Perle/Wolfowitz
    Republican/Democrat
    Delay/Hastert
    Gates/Industry
    Microsoft/Industry
    Ora cle/Peoplesoft
    Lobbyist/Congressman
    Shit/Piss
    HaX0r/1os3r
    Me/You

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Bob Jonkman (profile), Nov 29th, 2003 @ 9:37pm

    Re: What about Male/Female

    The plumbing industry has it even worse -- not only do they have Male and Female connectors, plumbing parts also abound with nipples and cocks. Perhaps LA County should be targeting the plumbing instead...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This