Business Diary: Google is just so female-friendly

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The Independent Online

It's all about (how not to treat) the ladies for the tech giants this week.

Yesterday, we revealed Microsoft's ill-judged hiring of Australia's bikini-clad meter maids for a conference discussing how to attract women to the IT industry. This week, Google also celebrated women in IT, saying its "Summer of Code programme" had – rather patronisingly – some "serious geek girl muscle".

Google boasted that the event attracted six times the estimated proportion of women in the open-source software community. So how many of the 1,000 students were women, then? Erm, 6.5 per cent.

Recession songs are real Hazard

Music fans will be delighted to hear that Merle Hazard has released another finger-picking good country tune about the recession. No doubt many will be tuning in to hear the self-styled "only country singer to write about mortgage-backed securities, derivatives and physics" sing about the prospect of a double-dip recession after yesterday's US GDP figures were revised down. As he points out in "Double Dippin'": "our wallets [will] take a whipping". Smokin'.

Bolland's Northern soul

Congratulations to ExecDigital for securing one of the first interviews with M&S boss Marc Bolland following his transfer down South from Northern grocer Morrison's. And what does he talk about? The very M&S subjects of, er, football and beer. It seems that while you might be able to take the man out of Morrison's, it's much harder to take Morrison's out of the man.

Hank and the Incredible Hulk

It seems that HBO has cast William Hurt to play the former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in Too Big to Fail, a dissection of the 2008 financial crisis focusing on the power brokers who were charged with overseeing the fate of the world's economy as it teetered on the brink of collapse. No word on what the great Mr Paulson feels about this, given that one of the actor's previous roles was playing, ahem, General "Thunderbolt" Ross, best known as the chief adversary of the Incredible Hulk.