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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
I tried this on a seven year old and it didn't work. I think there might be a sweet spot, taking into account trustworthiness and writing ability. Alternatively, you could spend seven years being kind an honest to a nephew or niece, just so you can pull this off.

New comic!
Today's News:

Hey geeks! We've sold 1/3 of all Seattle BAHFest tickets in just a few days. This one's definitely selling out, so buy soon if you want to lock in a spot!

We're also having a pre-show chat with me about Soonish. The tickets are just $1.

The Blood is the Life for 21-09-2017

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

mini-crisis time

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:54 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
So, I signed the TA contract, uploaded it, and waited for my student account balance to change... and it didn't. So it turns out, after asking around, that 6th year international students pay tuition AND non-resident tuition regardless of financial aid, and filing fee status is the only way to be exempt.

I emailed Grad Div about whether I'd have to re-petition to be on filing fee status should it come down to that, and also texted the prof about it. She called me, and we talked it over, and she seems keen to keep me as her TA. She's emailed the department chair, the dean of Grad Div, and some other admin people, and I guess going to look for a way to get my tuition waivered regardless because it's just not a well-known thing. I don't have a lot of hope for that but I'm holding out SOME optimism because I would love to TA for this class. But if it comes down to it, I can't justifying paying $10,000 to TA for a 10-week class, when I'm defending in Week 2. And that includes health insurance too, which was another solid reason to accept the TAship and get the fee waiver.

=/ Very unhappy with how this is shaking out. Fingers crossed that it works out.
[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by andres

With the new Safari 11 update, Apple takes an important step to protect your privacy, specifically how your browsing habits are tracked and shared with parties other than the sites you visit. In response, Apple is getting criticized by the advertising industry for "destroying the Internet's economic model." While the advertising industry is trying to shift the conversation to what they call the economic model of the Internet, the conversation must instead focus on the indiscriminate tracking of users and the violation of their privacy.

When you browse the web, you might think that your information only lives in the service you choose to visit. However, many sites load elements that share your data with third parties. First-party cookies are set by the domain you are visiting, allowing sites to recognize you from your previous visits but not to track you across other sites. For example, if you visit first examplemedia.com and then socialmedia.com, your visit would only be known to each site. In contrast, third-party cookies are those set by any other domains than the one you are visiting, and were created to circumvent the original design of cookies. In this case, when you would visit examplemedia.com and loads tracker.socialmedia.com as well, socialmedia.com would be able to track you an all sites that you visit where it’s tracker is loaded.

Websites commonly use third-party tracking to allow analytics services, data brokerages, and advertising companies to set unique cookies. This data is aggregated into individual profiles and fed into a real-time auction process where companies get to bid for the right to serve an ad to a user when they visit a page. This mechanism can be used for general behavioral advertising but also for “retargeting.” In the latter case,  the vendor of a product viewed on one site buys the chance to target the user later with ads for the same product on other sites around the web. As a user, you should be able to expect you will be treated with respect and that your personal browsing habits will be protected. When websites share your behavior without your knowledge, that trust is broken.

Safari has been blocking third-party cookies by default since Safari 5.1, released in 2010, and has been key to Apple’s emerging identity as a defender of user privacy. Safari distinguished between these seedy cookies from those placed on our machines by first parties - sites we visit intentionally. From 2011 onwards, advertising companies have been devising ways to circumvent these protections. One of the biggest retargeters, Criteo, even acquired a patent on a technique to subvert this protection 1. Criteo, however, was not the first company to circumvent Safari's user protection. In 2012, Google paid 22.5 million dollars to settle an action by the FTC after they used another workaround to track Safari users with cookies from the DoubleClick Ad Network. Safari had an exception to the third-party ban for submission forms where the user entered data deliberately (e.g. to sign up). Google exploited this loophole when Safari users visited sites participating in Google's advertising network to set a unique cookie.

The new Safari update, with Intelligent Tracking Protection, closes loopholes around third-party cookie-blocking by using machine learning to distinguish the sites a user has a relationship with from those they don’t, and treating the cookies differently based on that. When you visit a site, any cookies that are set can be used in a third-party context for twenty-four hours. During the first twenty-four hours the third-party cookies can be used to track the user, but afterward can only be used to login and not to track. This means that sites that you visit regularly are not significantly affected. The companies this will hit hardest are ad companies unconnected with any major publisher.

At EFF we understand the need for sites to build a successful business model, but this should not come at the expense of people's privacy. This is why we launched initiatives like the EFF DNT Policy and tools like Privacy Badger. These initiatives and tools target tracking, not advertising. Rather than attacking Apple for serving their users, the advertising industry should treat this as an opportunity to change direction and develop advertising models that respect (and not exploit) users.

Apple has been a powerful force in user privacy on a mass scale in recent years, as reflected by their support for encryption, the intelligent processing of user data on device rather than in the cloud, and limitations on ad tracking on mobile and desktop. By some estimates, Apple handles 30% of all pages on mobile. Safari's innovations are not the silver bullet that will stop all tracking, but by stepping up to protect their users’ privacy Apple has set a challenge for other browser developers. When the user's privacy interests conflict with the business models of the advertising technology complex, is it possible to be neutral? We hope that Mozilla, Microsoft and Google will follow Apple, Brave and Opera's lead.

  • 1. In order to present themselves as a first party, Criteo had their host website include code on the internal links in their website to redirect when clicked. So if you click on a link to jackets in a clothes store, your click brings you for an instant to Criteo before forwarding you on to your intended destination. This trick makes them appear as a first party to your browser and they pop up a notification informing you and stating that by clicking on the page you consent to them storing a cookie. Once Safari accepted a first party cookie once, that site was allowed to set cookies also when it was a third party. So now they can retarget you elsewhere. Other companies (AdRoll, for example) used the same trick.

9/20/2017 Diablo Foothills State Park

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:02 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
Went out with U, DW, and one other for the first time since early July, starting at 8:30 am. It was overcast with no wind so I went out in a t-shirt, a canvas shirt, and my trusty neckwarmer and was fine. No goddamned warblers nor any migrants save a Pacific-slope flycatcher or possibly two, and here it's the goddamned equinox. Very frustrating. A nice list of residents: )

Experiments in carrying bins )

Why I Had a Good Tuesday This Week

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:50 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Because yesterday I got to hang out a bit with Alison Moyet, who if you didn’t know is one of my absolute favorite singers, both in Yaz, and with her solo work. We’d become Twitter buddies in the last couple of years and when I mentioned to her Krissy and I would be at her Chicago show she suggested we have a real-life meet. And we did! And it was lovely! And brief, as she had to prepare to entertain a sold-out show (and she did; the concert was excellent), but long enough to confirm that she’s as fabulous in the flesh as she is in her music. Which was not surprising to me, but nice regardless.

(Alison has also blogged about our meet-up as part of her tour journal, which you can find here. Read the entire tour journal, as she’s funny as hell.)

I noted to some friends that I was likely to meet Alison this week and some of them wondered how it would go, on the principle that meeting one’s idols rarely goes as one expects (more bluntly, the saying is “never meet your idols.”) I certainly understand the concept, but I have to say I’ve had pretty good luck meeting people whom I have admired (or whose work I admired). I chalk a lot of that up to the fact that while I was working as a film critic, I met and interviewed literally hundreds of famous people, some of whose work was very important to me. In the experience I got to have the first-hand realization that famous and/or wonderfully creative people are also just people, and have the same range of personalities and quirks as anyone else.

If you remember that when you meet the people whose work or actions you admire, you give them space just to be themselves. And themselves are often lovely. And when they’re not, well, that’s fine too. Alison Moyet, it turns out, is fabulous, and I’m glad we got to meet.

(Which is not to say I didn’t geek out. Oh, my, I did. But I also kept that mostly inside. Krissy found it all amusing.)

Anyway: Great Tuesday. A+++, would Tuesday again.


Norwich Science Fiction Group

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Went to the Ribs of Beef again for first and third Wednesday science fiction group.
We actually talked science fiction for the whole evening, helped along by an argument about AI and self driving cars and the ethics of trolley problems and so forth.

Also I complained about the shows I've been watching. ... I should find something to yaay about.

Also also I had not watched what the others said was just on TV. But neither had two out of three of them. Electric dreams? Googling says it's on channel 4 and I can probably get it on the catch up. But it's PKD and I'm not sure that's a promising start.

There's so much to watch and read and listen that we seldom have much overlap. Makes conversation interesting but difficult.

I'm always like a year behind because of waiting for DVDs. I'm getting ever more tempted to subscribe to one of the paid ways to get things quicker. Don't know though, it's not like I watch all my DVDs fast enough to get through the To Watch pile as is, having stuff to watch every week seems unlikely to very work.

But the talking worked good, so, yaays.

This Week in Nazi-Punching

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:15 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

A video of a Nazi in Seattle getting punched and knocked out has been making the rounds. Responses range from satisfaction and celebration to the predictable cries of “So much for the tolerant left” and the related “Violence makes us as bad as them and plays right into their hands.”

A few things to consider…

1. According to one witness, the punch happened after the Nazi called a man an “ape” and threw a banana at him. With the disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer, that sounds like assault to me. I’m guessing Assault in the Fourth Degree. In other words, the punching was a response to an assault by the Nazi.

The witness who talks about the banana-throwing also says he was high on THC. I haven’t seen anyone disputing his account, but I haven’t seen corroboration, either.

2.Remember when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, and people like Geraldo Rivera said it was because Martin was wearing a hoodie, and that made Martin a potentially dangerous “suspicious character”? Utter bullshit, I know. But if our legal system let Zimmerman plead self-defense, saying he was afraid because Martin was wearing a hoodie, doesn’t that same argument apply against someone wearing a fucking swastika?

We’re talking about a symbol that announces, “I support genocide of those who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied…”

3. Buzzfeed presents this as anti-fascists tracking a Neo-Nazi to beat him up. While antifa Twitter appears to have been talking about this guy, there’s no evidence that the punch was thrown by someone who’s part of that movement. And even if he was, the guy didn’t throw a punch until after the Nazi committed assault (see point #1).

Those Tweets quoted on Buzzfeed also suggest the Nazi was armed, which could add to the self-defense argument in point #2.

Is Nazi-punching right? Is it legal? As any role-player will tell you, there’s a difference between whether something is lawful and whether it’s good.

The “victim” has every right to press charges. But for some reason, he didn’t want to talk to police about the incident.

Was punching this guy a good thing? I mean, there’s a difference between comic books and real life. The Nazi was standing in front of some sort of tile wall. He could have struck his head on the corner after being punched, or when he fell to the ground. In other words, there’s a chance–albeit probably a slim one–that this could have killed him.

My country and culture glorify violence. I’d much rather avoid violence when possible. I think most rational people would. But there are times it’s necessary to fight, to choose to defend yourself and others. I think it’s important to understand the potential consequences of that choice.

Multiple accounts agree this man was harassing people on the bus, and later on the street. He was a self-proclaimed Nazi. Police say they received calls that he was instigating fights, and it sounds like he escalated from verbal harassment to physical assault … at which point another man put him down, halting any further escalation.

I don’t know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I see nothing to make me condemn or second-guess this man’s choice in the face of a dangerous Nazi.

Wednesday went underground*

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:19 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful [personal profile] oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).

Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)

Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.

Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.

On the go

Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.

Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.

Up Next

Dunno.

*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate, a UK group who've been working tirelessly and effectively against fascist, racist and far-right groups over here have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

I love HnH; I've supported them for years and have friends who've volunteered for them. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" itself has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat).

So I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line like this, holy fuck) is going to be a hugely valuable resource for people fighting this shit in the US too.

The Flash season 3

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:58 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Watched the musical episode.
That was bad.
The songs were just plunked in there. Running home to you was cute but sounded weird. Everything else was only there because it was designated musical episode.
If the songs donot show you things the characters couldn't speak, don't bother.
And if the elseworld is supposed to be generated by their brain then the characters alternate selves should tell you something about how the dreamers see them, or what's the point?
So, no point.
Very boring.

... to be fair I watched it mostly on fast forward and am not a fan of sound so you could guess I'm not the target audience here
but I loved the Buffy musical and have the soundtrack
so it's not like I always hate things like this.

I just don't think they bothered using their conceit, let alone for the things it does uniquely well.
Boring.

The Flash season 3

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:37 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Barry goes into the speed force to get Wally out.
Aka yet another not-Snart, why do they do this to us?

Read more... )



Lots of interesting story parts. I'm annoyed at Barry, not the writers.

... though Barry doing hero stuff again would be quite nice too.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:16 am
baranduin: (pink heart by shalowater)
[personal profile] baranduin
Birthday greetings going out to [personal profile] lbilover! I hope you're having a great day.

[syndicated profile] smbc_comics_feed


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
How am I the only person who's considered this consequence?

New comic!
Today's News:

We're now in our final month promoting Soonish. As ever, we really thank all of you who've preordered. I can't say everything, but those good early sales numbers have really opened some doors for us. So, thank you all!

as good as

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:58 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I was reading a couple news items about a survey that reckoned it revealed depression in a quarter of teenagers
and one thing that stuck in my mind to bother me
was they took a statement something like "I will never be as good as other kids"
to be a sign of depression.
Actually I double checked and it's “I thought I could never be as good as other kids.”

Thing is, when you're in school, everyone being graded all the time, you get a pretty good idea of if you're getting top grades or not, and what your range is, and how well your best is going to be received. And you know if you are actually as good as other kids. Because half of people are below average, and not as good... at things they're asked to do and be assessed on.

So, like, the phrasing is so broad it doesn't invite a nuanced answer, and it's trying to pick up on low self worth, but it's got nothing they mentioned to check how realistic they're being if they're interpreting it in grades A-C or other quantifiables.

And it shouldn't be that you hate yourself as a person for low grades, but if acknowledging you have low grades is taken as a sign of mental illness, that is a whole different problem. Like, realism isn't illness.

And maybe some people are good at some things and not others, and maybe some people are good at some socially or financially valuable things and not others, and it's a whole stack of assumptions to say some people are below average at everything they've tried, but, I suspect, some people are below average at everything they've tried, and noticing that isn't ill.

Though it's probably depressing.

I feel like society has lost the balance between striving to be your best and acknowledging that only one person is the best. Like, all this best rhetoric doesn't leave many places for the rest of us to stand, even though we're the vast majority.

And that's what that one survey question made me think of, even though it only had meaning in context added together with questions about miserable crying and hating themselves.



In related thoughts, thinking that the future is not going to get better may be a symptom, but it may also be a consequence of just reading the headlines...

Hands across the ocean

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:00 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

As you will have noticed, I love HnH. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat). I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line, holy fuck) will be a formidable addition to the US scene.

Also they will allow you to give them money to help sue Nigel Farage, and honestly I would love them for that alone. PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY, PLEASE.

The Big Idea: Fran Wilde

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:42 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Today, award-winning author Fran Wilde has a shocking confession to make! About something she said! Here! And yes, it involves her new novel, Horizon. What will this confession be? Will there be regret involved? Are you prepared for what happens next?!?

FRAN WILDE:

Dear readers of John Scalzi’s blog, for the past three years, I’ve been keeping secrets.

I’m not sorry.

Trilogies are a delicate thing. They are a community of books unto themselves. They inform and support one another; their themes and actions ripple and impact one another. They have their own set of rules. Among them: Write down the main character’s eye color or favorite food so you don’t forget it. You’ll regret using that hard-to-spell naming convention by the middle of your second book. Destroy something in book one, you’re not going to magically have it to rely on in book three — at least not without some major effort. Everything gathers — each choice, each voice.

Trilogies are, by intent, more than the sum of their parts.

And, when brought together, a trilogy’s largest ideas sometimes appear in the gathered shadows of what seemed like big ideas at the time.

In Updraft, book one of the Bone Universe trilogy, what began to crumble was the system that upheld the community of the bone towers. It didn’t look like it then. So I didn’t tell you when I wrote my first Big Idea.

Instead, the first time I visited this blog, I wrote: “At its heart, Updraft is about speaking and being heard and — in turn — about hearing others…”

That was true – especially in the ways Updraft explored song as memory and singing and voice. But it was also kind of a fib. I knew where the series was headed, and voice was only the tip of the spear.

I planned to return here a year later to write about leadership, and I did — and, I wrote about demagoguery too, and abut having a book come out during a charged political season. That was September 2016, Cloudbound, the second book in the series was just out, and wow, that post seems somewhat innocent and naive now. But not any less important.

Again, saying the big idea in Cloudbound was leadership was true on its face, but it was also a an act of omission. And again, singing came into play — in that songs in Cloudbound were being adjusted and changed, as were messages between leaders.

With Horizon, I’m going to lay it all out there for you. Horizon is about community.

Structurally, Horizon is narrated by several different first person voices — including Kirit, Nat, and Macal, a magister and the brother of a missing Singer. These three voices come from different places in the Bone Universe’s geography, and they weave together to form a greater picture of the world, and its threats. A fourth voice appears only through a song — a new song — that is written during the course of Horizon, primarily by one character but with the help of their community. That song is the thread that ties the voices together, and, one hopes, the new community as well.

And, like Horizon, for me, the big idea for the Bone Universe series is also community. How to defend one, how to lead one, how to salvage as much as you can of one and move forward towards rebuilding it.

In my defense, I did leave some clues along the way. I shifted narrators between Updraft and Cloudbound in order to broaden the point of view and reveal more about the lead characters and the world, both between the books (how Nat and Kirit are seen each by the other vs. how they see themselves), and within them. I shared with readers the history of the bone towers and how that community, and the towers themselves, formed. I showed you the community’s [something] – that their means of keeping records and remembering was based on systems that could be used to both control messages and redefine them. I made the names of older laws and towers much more complicated to pronounce (and, yes, spell SIGH), versus the simpler names for newer things. This community had come together, then grown into something new.

The evolution of singing in the Bone Universe is, much like the idea of community, something that can be seen in pieces, but that resolves more when looked at from the perspective of all three books together.

Remember that solo voice — Kirit’s — singing quite badly that first book? In the second book, Nat’s voice joins Kirit’s — a solo, again, but because we can still hear Kirit, and because we know her, it becomes a kind of duet. In the third book, three voices present separate parts of the story, and when they all come together, that forms a connected whole.

When you listen to a group of people sing, sometimes one voice stands out, then another. Then, when multiple voices join in for the chorus, the sound becomes a different kind of voice. One with additional depth and resonance.

That’s the voice of a community. That drawing together of a group into something that is more than the sum of its parts. It is an opportunity, a way forward, out of a crumbling system and into something new and better.  

That’s the big idea.

—-

Horizon: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.


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