ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and Anna Libertas. It also fills the "WILD CARD: Food" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
When an award is announced, the person doing the announcing opens the envelope, reads the card, greets the winner and backs up, out of the way, still holding the card. Someone gives the winner the statue, but not the card.

Personally, if it were me, I'd want the card to frame, but maybe that happens later, if it happens. It doesn't happen onstage, at least.

And while the winnner is making the speech, the presenter goes offstage, still holding the card, which is probably back in its envelope.

Somewhere backstage is the representative of Price Waterhouse who is responsible for the security of the awards -- for making sure that the announcements are guarded until they are given out. Someone, somewhere, must have handed this person the old announcement -- that Emma Stone was to win Best Actress for La-La Land -- and it must have gotten into the stack somehow with the ones that weren't given out yet.

Warren Beatty, who opened the envelope for Best Picture, would have been backstage when Emma won; he would not have known the contents of that envelope had been read less than 15 minutes earlier.

And nobody in the La-La Land group apparently looked at the names engraved on the Oscars -- which would be for the people from Moonlight.

All that aside, that was the most stunning public clusterfuck I have seen in decades. The Oscars show is probably the most over-choreographed and over-rehearsed production other than the coronation of British royalty; this is unprecedented.

It's going to be very interesting to see what gets changed for next year. I hope the person from Price Waterhouse keeps his job; I don't think whatever accidental sleight of hand produced thsi was entirely his fault.

But it does justify my effort to stay awake to the bitter end of the Oscars, year after year. Nobody could have predicted this. The look on the audience's face was a textbook illustration of 'flabbergasted' and 'gobsmacked'. As they say, that's entertainment.

D-Day

Feb. 27th, 2017 12:34 am[personal profile] elanya
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
Diablotin was today! I didn't get to do my scene because of some timing things - one of the players has been super sick, and it was his only chance to go to urgent care, so we told him to go go go! We did do a big group scene, which was good, which, after we got though all the plot relevant stuff, ended with one of the guy characters asking her if the reason she was getting married because she was pregnant (no - and she has some issues about people asking/assuming that she is, basically because it is a very classist assumption, though she doesn't really have the context to see it/explain it that way), and everyone else telling him he was being a rude dick. :V

We had duck soup for lunch, which was delicious, and then ordered from a local Hungarian place, which we'd never had before. We have Gats visiting for the week (he goes back to Montreal tomorrow, and he's part Hungarian, and he found the place and really wanted to try the chicken paprikash. It was delicious! We got two platters that had a bunch of stuff on them - cabbage rolls and sausage and stroganof and that pasta/dumpling things? And some other things I'm forgetting I'm sure. Oh right - wiener schnitzel. Super tasty! I am now curious as to how exactly Hungary became so paprika obsessed though!

Other than that - watched some of Dirk Gently and now some Top Chef Masters. Probably I should go to bed :V

play, work, plan

Feb. 26th, 2017 08:39 pm[personal profile] sistawendy
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Dinner at Cafe Ibex with the Tickler: not-bad Ethiopian food with some dishes I'd never had before, but I think I like Meskel better. Also, the service isn't great. We were the only non-Ethiopians in the joint, which didn't start to get at all busy until about 2100.

Then dancing with the Tickler last night at a big, crowded, super hippy night thrown by the Ents in Tents crew. This show had some of the best decor and other visuals I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. There were quite a few vendors selling some really nice things, too. The DJs, though? Distinctly meh, even if the Tickler liked them more than I did. Eye candy? Quite good. Happiness is having someone you can be a dirty old woman with. Not that dirty, though: when we got back to her place, her tummy started to rebel. Aw.

Bus happiness: when you get on a bus that takes you all the way from West Seattle through downtown to the north end, changing route numbers along the way, so you don't have to change buses. Aw, yeah.

Shortly after I got home, I had a work situation that lasted about three hours. Moral: automated provisioning is a good thing, so do it early in your project's history.

Met with Grenade. We have... plans for each other. Artistic plans. More or less.

I've been so all over the place this weekend that I haven't worked out, not even a walk around the lake. Time to get back on the horse tomorrow.
umadoshi: (WotH: Seiji reading (iconchacha))
Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"Gerard Butler, Neal Moritz Team to Adapt Fantasy Novel 'A Darker Shade of Magic'".

"Hayao Miyazaki is officially moving forward with a new Studio Ghibli movie".

"Nebula nominations with free reads!" "Every year I have trouble finding a hyperlinked list of all the free Hugo and Nebula reading, so this time I’m going to take the initiative and make one myself right away instead of waiting."


Miscellaneous

"How to Draw an Exoplanet: A pair of illustrators turned tiny blips in data into vivid views from the TRAPPIST-1 star system".

"10+ Animals That Look Like They’re About To Drop The Hottest Albums Of The Year".

"Scientists Used a Little Bee Puppet to Teach Real Bees How to Play Bee ‘Soccer’". (And about 40 seconds of footage here on YouTube.)

"Cards Against Humanity co-creator sends newest board game, Secret Hitler, to all 100 U.S. senators".

"Readers' prize winning pictures of cats". [The Guardian]

"Terrorists are building drones. France is destroying them with eagles". [Washington Post] "The eagles — named d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis — grew up with their nemeses. They chased drones through green grass that summer, pecking futilely at composite shells as seen in Sky News footage. They were rewarded with meat, which they ate off the backs of the drones."

"It's very hard to maintain an anonymous Twitter account that can withstand government-level attempts to de-anonymize it". [Boing Boing]

"Google and Mozilla's message to AV and security firms: Stop trashing HTTPS: Researchers call out antivirus and security appliance vendors for dangerous SSL inspection practises".

"The Trash Heap Has Spoken: The power and danger of women who take up space". "Every day, I look for myself in other women’s bodies. This is what happens when you never see yourself in television shows or catalogues or movies—you get hungry. In passersby, I seek out a faithful replica of my own full chest: my plastic-bag stomach pooched over jeans, my milk-carton hips, and my face with its peach-pit cheekbones set in coffee grounds. In this way, I see myself in pieces, mostly, and have to assemble my body in my mind." [Content notes: discusses weight/weight loss attempts etc., but doesn't dwell on them terribly, IMO.]

"27 Bookish Goods For Cat Lovers". [Book Riot]

"When Things Go Missing: Reflections on two seasons of loss". [The New Yorker]

"12 Powerful Posters Of Female Scientists That Every Classroom Needs".

"Ikea Lab Releases Free Designs For A Garden Sphere That Feeds A Neighborhood".

"REFUGE Restrooms" is "a web application that seeks to provide safe restroom access for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals. When the Safe2Pee website passed out of functionality it left a hole in our hearts. REFUGE picks up the torch where Safe2Pee left off and makes the valuable resource available to those who find themselves in need of a place to pee safely once again. Users can search for restrooms by proximity to a search location, add new restroom listings, as well as comment and rate existing listings. We seek to create a community focused not only on finding existing safe restroom access but also looking forward and participating in restroom advocacy for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming folk."
galacticjourney: (Default)

by Gideon Marcus



You've almost assuredly heard of Radio Corporation of America (RCA). They make radios (naturally), but also record players, televisions, computers. They have produced the foundations of modern consumer electronics, including the color television standard and the 45 rpm record. And now, they've really outdone themselves: they've created cassettes for tape recording.

Until now, if you wanted to listen to music or a radio show, you had to either buy it as a pre-recorded album or record it yourself. The only good medium for this was the Reel to Reel tape recorder – great quality, but rather a bother. I've never gotten good at threading those reels, and storing them can be a hassle (tape gets crinkled, the reels unspool easily, etc.). With these new cassettes, recording becomes a snap. If the price goes down, I'll have to get me one.

What brought up this technological tidbit? Read on about the March 1962 Analog, and the motivation for this introduction will be immediately apparent.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

[tech] Host in which country?

Feb. 26th, 2017 08:22 pm[personal profile] siderea
siderea: (Default)
In which country should one host a website, for maximal privacy and free-speech rights?

Obviously, there are different pros and cons – one country may have very free speech but the government reads everything, another country may have no government censorship but a civil law that makes it trivial for randos to intimidate your hosting company into dropping your site – so it would be interesting to hear in more detail what precise social/legal advantages different countries have for website owners. (I'm ignoring for the moment, "Great sociolegal environment, but the whole country's internet connection is a T1 with a kink in it.")

Is there some handy reference for concerned prospective site owners, shopping jurisdictions to plant their servers in?
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anonymous on Dreamwdith. It also fills the "sudden threat" square in my 8-1-17 card for the Survival Bingo fest, and the "chocolates" square in my 2-1-17 Romantic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense material. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features parents stalking a survivor of child abuse, trespassing, emotional shock, confusion, attempted tampering with someone else's property, emotional manipulation, gaslighting, calling for help and getting it, justifiable threats of force including superpowers, intense negative emotions and mixed feelings, reconsideration of legal action, can't adult right now, reference to intrusive fear, and other angst. This may cause stress for survivors of abusive parents and/or stalking. However, Cassandra has awesome friends who are not putting up with any shit from her parents, and who provide excellent backup to solve the problems. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Unlocked.

I haven't actually been trained for the job but I am somewhat better qualified than the other choice, because it was her first day.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Long month this week. Colleen started feeling ill Monday, and didn't eat anything to speak of; she spent most of the day dozing in her chair, and decided to sleep there at night. About midnight she called -- she'd fallen out of the chair; no telling whether she'd slipped when getting up, or accidentally hit the lift button. Called 911 for help. In retrospect, we should have had her taken to the ER at that point.

I decided to work from home Tuesday, which was a Good Thing. About 3:30 when I went up to check on her she was incoherent -- "out of it". Called 911; she was too weak to walk to the lift, so they had to carry her down in a stair chair. She had about three different bladder infections and was severely dehydrated; it was the low blood pressure from the latter that accounted for the weakness and incoherence.

Harborview's cafeteria is actually pretty decent.

She was discharged Friday; was good to have her home.

Meanwhile, since being with a sleeping person in a hospital leaves one with lots of time, I'd managed to get in about 2.5 days worth of work, and finally got the CR I'd been working on shipped Friday. I went in to work Thursday afternoon after establishing that C wasn't going to be discharged that day, and had my annual review conversation with $BOSS.

I'd been very skeptical about the new annual review process, which is absolutely freaking weird. Peer reviews have two questions, with a 60-word limit for each:

  1. What is this person's superpower? (required)
  2. Do you have any growth ideas for them? (optional)

The manager's part of it is the same two questions, only I think without the 60-character limit. The self-evaluation part has four questions.

As I said, skeptical. But it actually seemed to go very well: it's designed to highlight your strengths, and completely ignore past performance. The feedback I got from my peers (my manager could see who wrote which one, but one gets them unedited) was basically dead on. The fact that $PROJECT was in "friends and family" testing and stalled due to something that wasn't my fault (fixed by Friday) helped a lot.

My favorite superpower was "CraftWeaver". Others mentioned my willingness to mentor and answer questions from newer devs. Someone specifically mentioned the fact that when someone sends out a question in email to a wide audience, I'm usually the one who jumps on it with an answer. The most common growth idea was that I should speak up more in meetings.

Of course, the other thing going on in the household is moving. I got the tools sorted on Sunday, and with several peoples' help got the art sorted, mostly Sunday and yesterday. N's criterion for keeping art is pretty loose, based on the fact that it stores flat and can be rotated. Chaos and the Dwarves also took quite a lot of it; there are comparatively few pictures left in the discard pile. Most of the furniture is gone from the Great Room; the only things left are the klic-klacs (which we're keeping), the blue sectional (which we're keeping through next week), and the piano. Want a free piano?

Notes & links, as usual )

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
So far the half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics is doing well. I just got a donation for "Even If You Stumble a Little," which I'll have to post after lunch.

[personal profile] ng_moonmoth is running a pool if you want to get in on that.

[livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug just came up with a new idea of letting the general fund earn the quarter-price rate if it reaches $100 during the sale. Currently the general fund contains $28.50. Here is a ticker to track the general fund for this sale:




Useful Ideas

Feb. 26th, 2017 02:12 pm[personal profile] yourlibrarian
yourlibrarian: MERL-ArthurSideCut-kathyh (MERL-ArthurSideCut-kathyh)
1) Buying mega packs of strong toilet paper has never been so useful. We have a fair amount of it thanks to some recent sales and I was up on a ladder to rearrange the space on the top of our bathroom cabinet so I could store the new purchases. However, I missed a step on the ladder on my way down and fell. Read more... )

2) While out shopping last week I heard Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" and after ducking in and out of a store, heard them playing Abba's "Something's Going On." The "paranoia playlist" is an odd choice for a shopping center. Maybe they're trying to discourage shoplifters?

3) Thought this story about the success of an anti-Brexit newspaper in the UK was interesting, as was this comment: "If I were a U.S. journalist, I would be looking to launch The Trump Watch." Read more... )

4) As if the religious and racial targeting wasn't offensive enough, I find it even more offensive that the people in charge of enforcing these ridiculous directives are so clearly stupid. Read more... )

5) HT to elisi, a super interesting article about the way charity efforts are so often ineffective, and also eye opening to how affordable it could be to raise a single person out of poverty elsewhere in the world. I find it unsurprising that people in great poverty have useful ideas about what they'd do to improve their conditions if they only had the opportunity.

[ SECRET POST #3607 ]

Feb. 26th, 2017 03:44 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3707 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 35 secrets from Secret Submission Post #530.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
numb3r_5ev3n: (BITCHIN.)

So, this is the most awesome fucking thing that I've seen in a while:

Based on the reaction to the video, they're making a film. Depending on how much they end up getting from the Kickstarter, it could be a 30-minute short film, or a full-length feature film. I'm hoping for the latter.


dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Planning Connections
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 3 (complete)
word count (story only): 1071


:: This story takes place immediately after Robert Cort leaves the conversation with Drew Finn in “Connecting Favors.” :;

back to part one
to the Danger and Discovery index




“Do you have a priest?” Siema wondered. “If I want to work with someone, I ask for their imam.”

“Their, not his?” Robert clarified. “We're definitely Westerners in that regard.”

“Their,” the teen repeated.

Robert passed the cup to him. “Hold that, please? And do have more if you want.” He flipped through screens of contacts before turning the screen to face the young man. “Father Carlisle. Catholic, uh, we're Catholic.” He checked the time, then hit the call button.

Someone picked up. “Hello? Robert, is Diane all right?” The voice was slightly reedy with age, and roughened, but had probably once been a breathtaking singing voice.
Read more... )

Fuuuuuuuck I had no idea

Feb. 26th, 2017 03:35 pm[personal profile] rydra_wong
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
YouCaring: Help Heather Corinna Recover From Serious Spinal Damage

Heather (who founded and runs Scarleteen) is a heroine and a national fucking treasure. Please signal-boost and let's help look after her.

Dream: tattoos

Feb. 26th, 2017 09:50 am[personal profile] elanya
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
Apparently LJ is blocking crossposts - sorry if you don't see this LJ people! I am waaaaay too lazy to crosspost the old fashioned way.

Anyway, last night I dreamed about tattoos... )

At least I can see why this would be in my mind - there were people with some really impressive tattoos and piercings at game yesterday, plus both my sister and Nary are going to be getting wrk done next week.
rydra_wong: "dreamwidth" on red/pink clouds (dreamwidth -- clouds)
I would just like to mention that a hand-cranked rotary whisk is a lovely stimmy thing to use, almost as intrinsically satisfying as a hand-cranked or foot-pedalled sewing machine (which, since I find hand-sewing so soothing, I do not own).
andrewducker: (Default)
posted by Neil Gaiman
I'm typing this on a plane to Australia where I will hunker down and go back to being a man writing a novel, and life will turn into a long-running battle between man and blank page, between man and what happens next, between man and the people in his book who have other ideas about what they ought to be doing now.

I had a fascinating time on the road, though. I was never not exhausted: Initially I knew that all I had to do was keep going until the second weekend, and then by the time I got to that weekend plans had changed and now I was in Iceland for 36 hours, filming a mini-documentary extra for American Gods. It was wonderful: I love Iceland. But I was tired, and didn't really get to see much Iceland.

(My favourite moment was one where the director asked if I would mind being filmed in an alleyway reading American Gods. I suggested we wander into a bookshop instead, if they didn't mind, and have me look at books in there. So I did, and took the opportunity to sign as many books as I could, in the time we had, racing before the last of the February light went.)



Iceland really is beautiful. And if it wasn't for Iceland, there wouldn't be an American Gods...

I had some really fun times. The BBC radio interviews were all so different and all so much fun. My Royal Festival Hall event was a delight to do, and that lunchtime I showed up as Children's Laureate Chris Riddell's secret guest on the same stage, and I got to meet Posy Simmonds and turned immediately into a starstruck teen.

Chris stayed and drew while I spoke and was interviewed that night:

\




...

Now I'm in Melbourne, Australia and it's two days later and I'm not really sure where the last 48 hours went. I caught up on my sleep (Amanda and Ash are in Adelaide, where she's performing), started to clamber up the email mountain that was waiting for me, spent time with a sick friend, and, today, actually started to write some more of the novel.

Norse Mythology came out on February the 7th and went straight in at Number One on the US, UK and Canadian bestseller lists; in its second week it dropped to Number Two in the US, and has somehow stayed at #1 in the UK and Canada, despite a lot of bookshops running out of copies. The phenomenon of it becoming an incendiary sell-out hit has left me delighted and a bit baffled -- my books always sell, but they usually sell sanely and normally and I'm a bestselling author because they keep on selling in healthy numbers for ever.  It's not usual to see people online talking about visiting five bookshops and getting the last copy (or failing to find any) in whatever town or city they are in. People (friends, family, journalists, even Amanda) tell me that I and the publishers and the bookshops must have expected this sort of response, and I reply that if we'd expected this level of enthusiasm and sales, the publishers would have printed a lot more copies to begin with and the booksellers would all have ordered a lot more copies, and for that matter I wouldn't have taken over four years to write the book...

But then, I think it may be that this book happens to be ridiculously popular partly because it is now and this is the right time for it to have been published.

There have been lots of terrific articles about the book and a slew of amazing reviews.  I really enjoyed this article in the Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/02/the-politics-of-retelling-norse-mythology/517422/ and this blog review, which I felt articulately explains what I was trying to do, https://andrewfindlaywrites.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/gaiman-norse-mythology/.

I liked this James Lovegrove review from the Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/42fad176-ec96-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6

Sarah Lyall interviewed me and came to the New York event for the New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/12/books/neil-gaiman-norse-mythology.html

Here's me talking to the New York Times Book Review Podcast: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/17/books/review/neil-gaimans-myths.html

Michael Dirda starts  his review of Norse Mythology in a way that sent my stomach lurching, and the review itself was something of a roller-coaster ride (but the kind you are glad you have taken):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/neil-gaimans-suspenseful-and-surprising-norse-mythology/2017/02/13/986c0ffe-eef2-11e6-9973-c5efb7ccfb0d_story.html?utm_term=.5b6e58d98428

And I'm now realising that if I keep linking to reviews, interviews and such on either side of the Atlantic this blog will never end...

So here is the cover of a recent Australian Sunday supplement: do not let its 1977 cover date fool you.



....

On public events: If you go and look at Where's Neil  you will see the public appearances I'm doing this year.  Of the events in Spring, Seattle is sold out and so is Santa Rosa and Boston, Costa Mesa is almost sold out,  Mesa AZ is going fast, and there are... still lots and lots of tickets in San Diego.

I don't know why this is. However, if you fancy coming to see me talk and read and answer questions and such, and you can't get in to any of the other evenings, San Diego is a two hour train ride from LA and they even have wifi on the train,  andit's less than three hour's flying time from Seattle. And right now, there are seats. ("San Diego. It's not just for ComicCon.")

I have news on the only New York area event, too: it's on April 15th, at Bard College, where I am a professor. It's going to be all about American Gods, and I'm going to be interviewed by my special guest, American Gods' Executive Producer and co-showrunner Bryan Fuller. We are hoping to show you things on the big screen that night, too. After all, it will only be two weeks before the first episode of American Gods goes out.

It's free to the Bard community, $25 a ticket for the rest of the world. Info here: http://fishercenter.bard.edu/calendar/event.php?eid=132108

...

Which reminds me:


AMERICAN GODS now has a broadcast date: the first episode of the first season will be broadcast on Starz on April 30th in the US, and be watchable digitally too, via Starz on Amazon Prime.




Outside of the US, you can watch American Gods on Amazon Prime Video, from May 1st.

...

And my biggest news of all, even bigger and more exciting than a Number One International Bestseller, or a glorious TV series adapted from my novel launching, is this:

I've been appointed a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees. I even have a certificate. (It is blue and the same size as a passport.) I'm not sure what this means in real terms: I'm going to keep doing the work I've been doing since 2013 to draw attention to refugees, to raise awareness and knowledge, and to help them.

I was disappointed to learn I won't get diplomatic immunity from parking tickets*.

Here's the Facebook Live interview announcement, in which I am interviewed by Jonathan Ross and answer questions from the people watching. The interview begins about 4 minutes and 30 seconds in.

https://www.facebook.com/UNHCR/videos/10156047439338438/





*Joke. Weak joke.  UN Goodwill Ambassadors pay their own parking tickets, air tickets, hotel bills etc.



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Ghost

Feb. 26th, 2017 02:47 am[personal profile] darkoshi
darkoshi: (Default)
Ghost in the Shell (1995 version).

Cool opening sound effects/music.

The opening sequence of the naked female body seemed to go on way too long. I suppose they made the anime movie for teenage boys?

I started out watching it with the English dialogue. But that was hard to follow. So I switched to Japanese with English subtitles, and started it back from the beginning.

In the English dialogue, her answer to "What's with all the noise in your brain today?" was "Must be a loose wire".
In the English subtitles, her answer was "It's that time of the month." I wonder if that matches the Japanese version, even though it makes less sense.

The sequence of her disrobing and letting herself fall backwards over the edge of the building... I've seen that before, haven't I? Ah... right, there is a live-action version of this movie coming out, the one with that cool trailer. I wonder how long I've had this item in my Netflix queue.

"The Puppet Master. That phantom hacker, right?" .. "Internationally wanted on dozens of charges of stock manipulation, spying, political engineering, terrorism, and violation of cyber-brain privacy. "

Hmm. "Political engineering". That reference sure doesn't sound like the Wikipedia definition of political engineering. It sounds more like this: The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine. That's not the first article I've read about Cambridge Analytica. I already posted a link to another article about them back in November. This one is even more disturbing than the last one though.

When I searched Google on "political engineering", the ad shown at the top of the page was "How Liberal Are You? - theadvocates.org‎. Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz and find out in minutes." Mmm, no. I don't need to take a quiz to know how liberal I am. Someone *else* wants to know how liberal I am. So that they can build their profile on me, and feed me personalized ads as mentioned in the above article.

The Google results also had 3 other ads, at the *bottom* of the page. Having ads at the bottom seems new. Or maybe not? Maybe they've been there before.

..

"Hope? In the darkness of the sea?"

..

Oh well. It's too late now to watch the whole movie tonight.

..

Two Saturdays in a row that I've worked from home, after working extra hours on Friday too. At least it is enjoyable work, debugging and researching issues. That's why I did it... nobody specifically requested me to, but I have the feeling that I should, as we are near the planned release date and still having all these problems.

Nyriad, Hobbiton, and Cricket

Feb. 26th, 2017 06:32 pm[personal profile] tcpip
tcpip: (Default)
One of the most common errors in computer science is an off-by-one error, and I did just that on my journey from Wellington to Cambridge, having everything booked (flight, shuttle, departure) one day out-of-sync. All was resolved quite quickly, and I was absolutely astounded by the Nyrid staff who caught my email at 6am and managed to collect me at the Hamilton airport. Thus began the beginning of four days in the company of this extraordinay company led by Matthew Simmons and Alex St. John. In my considered option they are following very good start-up logic and are developing some rather impressive disruptive technologies, and I have found need to comment on length on both of these features. It is a constant and powerful working environment there, dedicated on their goal, and the mostly young staff are very sharp. It must be immediately noted that the company really looks after its staff, with two evenings in succession at The Good George, and a recruiting BBQ today which is all worthy of note.

I've been hosted at the remarkable Earthstead villa, which appropriately includes Ian McKellen's name (aka Gandalf) in the guestbook. Yesterday was a day off from my usual schedule and Nyriad took me and Andreas Wicenec to Hobbiton. It was, of course, a wonderful location and great to have the set kept in place and obviously enough I took a few photos. The Green Dragon Inn was a particularly nice touch. The tour, however, is guided and is all over within a couple of hours - we were fortunate to arrive early as the queues later on were quite substantial. I am somewhat conflicted between the obvious need to explain the filming and set and how the very same destroys the magic of the film, and downright mocking of the apparent need to slap a trademark on everything ("Hobbit Holes (TM)", really?). I couldn't help but be a little disappointed by the sheer indifference of the tour guide when I pointed out that Bilbo's door lacked Gandalf's rune.

Later in the afternoon wandered around the small town of Cambridge which continued its very English style (town name, nearby Hobbiton) by distracting me with a regional game of cricket. Seriously, I can imagine hobbits playing cricket. The local team was quite successful bowling out the opposition with a lead over one hundred runs. I must confess a conflicted relationship with sport. I love the pace and skill involved in Australian Rules Football, and enjoyed playing in my youth as a defensive half-back line player and occasional ruck-rover. With cricket I enjoy the narrative, the gradual unfolding over summer's day to five. It was another game of my youth, and played the role of an unorthodox opening bowler who would bowl spin as well as the typical pace (opening batsmen were often very confused as a result). In both cases however, as much as I could enjoy watching and playing such sports it was aggressive competitiveness and boorishness common in both players and especially fans that put me off. I suspect I am not alone in this assessment.

that moment when...

Feb. 25th, 2017 11:56 pm[personal profile] darkoshi
darkoshi: (Default)
you had inserted a DVD into the DVD player, but still had the TV source set to a TV channel which you were momentarily watching.

And then you hear a strange noise like muffled music... where did that come from? Must be a car driving by outside with their radio on very loud? Then a moment later you hear a roaring noise like a gigantic aircraft, so you run to the window and look outside, somewhat nervous... until finally realizing that the sound isn't coming from that direction after all.

LARP day

Feb. 25th, 2017 11:55 pm[personal profile] elanya
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
I LARPed!

It was fun! I mostly didn't feel like socially awkward penguin out of game! It was frickin' cold! It snowed a bunch - just flurries, but pretty intense ones at times. Now I am totally wrecked and will sleep forever @_@
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] stardreamer is posting the story "Birthday Surprise," of which the first three (of planned four) chapters are up.  Stan takes Lawrence out for a very special  day.  And night.  :D  As far as I know, this is canon, although it's a bit later in the timeline than what I've been writing so far.
umadoshi: (winter - snow in boat (shadow_images))
Concrete things done today: I slept until I woke up without an alarm (in practice, I slept badly and not all that late), took an accidental three-hour nap in the afternoon (with weird dreams and some discomfort), watched two episodes of The Good Place (three left), and watched the two episodes it took me to catch up on The 100. Technically those things were all on last night's modest to-do list for the weekend, plus while it's too soon to know if I'll catch what [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose has, at least today it seems clear that he's got another cold, not flu or something. Now if it'll just be (MUCH) easier on him than the one he had recently. >.> And I still hope to not come down with it, but at least I'm not mildly freaked out by the prospect like I am by the thought of flu.

Additional small accomplishments: we cut both cats' claws (hey, I said "small accomplishments") and I put a good dent in my email inbox.

Things I did not do at all: Work. Write. Read fiction. I would've liked to read, but I suspect I would've just fallen asleep again. It's the failure to get any work done that stings, though; I probably needed the day off, but ugh.

I feel like some of the day is unaccounted for, but really I think that's just the amount of time that vanished into clearing out a bunch of links I'd favorited on Twitter, which is in keeping with the sense that my brain never quite engaged today. :/

We have a rainfall warning for tonight, and sometime in the last hour the rain started in earnest; I can hear it on the window, which is pleasant but not as lovely as hearing it on a rooftop (which our place doesn't allow for).

Hopefully it'll wash a ton of snow away. We live on a loop, and the stretch of road linking the loop to the main street beyond is still over a third full of snow, although the drain and fire hydrant are plowed out (and the path carved to them through the snow encroaching on the street is somehow more imposing to me than the snow itself). So walking to and from the bus stop involves basically walking down the middle of the road and hoping no drivers turn off the main street too fast to look and see if anyone's walking there. -_-
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ng_moonmoth plans to sponsor some poetry in the half-price sale. Here's the setup:

Thanks for the clarification. I was actually interested in "The Ocean From Above", and will send $84+31.25 to cover that. Also thinking about "Insha'Allah" for another $31.25. If anyone wants to jump in and help with those, or any portion of "Everything That You Are Chasing", please comment back or PM me, so I can share the PayPal account that should get your contribution. I'll send the sponsorship money Sunday evening.

So get in touch if that appeals to you. The original post is here if you want to comment under it with a reply.
sistawendy: (antler mouse)
Instead of working out this morning as usual, I did my taxes. Yup, Uncle Sam owes me big time. Time to grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.

I went to the rally at UW Tacoma against I-1552, the so-called "bathroom bill" that puts a bounty on trans kids and tries to get yours truly beaten up or arrested. Lots of signs - I have one in my front window now - local dignitaries, trans people, and their families got up to the mike, polished or not. My favorite was a man of about forty with his nine-year-old trans daughter. He recounted how two years ago, she'd told him she was a girl. His reply was, "Let's do this." Yeah, that's a quote.

A few minutes later I worked my way over to him. I had to fight back the tears as I told him, "Thank you. There was no one like you back in the eighties."
He hugged me and said, "I can't imagine any other way."

I missed a turn going home so I took a little extra time driving up state road 509. In my 27 years of living around here I'd never driven that way. The northern end of this road is a straight shot between Seattle and its main airport, but the southern stretch where I was (eventually, after the industrial area) yields spectacular views from the bluffs overlooking Puget Sound. And of course, there are some seriously big and expensive houses on that road, but that wasn't what I was stealing glances at most of the time. It was one of those moments when I think to myself, 'Why do people live elsewhere?'

The antler mouse user pic is in honor of those whose party I missed because sleep overtook me. That's one Goth clothing sale and a queer women's clothing swap that I slept through, so you know the situation was serious. The vodka is strong but the meat is rotten.
conuly: (Default)
But I rarely have a chance to give a good example of what that looks like to me and how I cope, and a perfect example cropped up earlier this week.

See, if this happened all the time, that'd be one thing, but it doesn't. Some places never get hit by this lack of recognition. Some always do. Mostly, whether or not I'm going to not recognize a place has to do with time of day and year, direction I'm coming from, the weather, my general state of mind, things like that. If the situation is different, the place will look different.

Which is what happened Tuesday. I went to the doctor with my mother, and we took a cab up, as we are wont to do. After we left the FDR drive, everything was going just fine - I saw and identified a large number of landmarks, and had a reasonably good idea of where I was. But the street we usually take was closed off, so we took a minor detour.

This meant that instead of being dropped off directly in front of the entrance, we were dropped off just around the corner. That was enough to turn a place I ought to have recognized immediately into one I had to work out by individual features and reasoning: This is the only hospital branch with a wooden bench outside. This hospital branch has a raised garden with a wall around it that has the most ineffective hostile architecture I've ever seen, and the aforementioned bench has nothing at all to keep you lying down on it in the first place. This is the only hospital branch with a covered passage from one side street to the next, with the entrance proper in the middle of it.

With those few facts in mind, I was able to confidently walk to the entrance and go in, rather than gazing around and hesitantly crossing the street. But it looked like a new place right up until I was actually inside the building. My guess is my mother doesn't even realize I had no idea where I was for a few seconds, or that it never clicked even when I did reason it out. And she certainly knows about that time I got lost in front of my house, and she definitely jokes that I'll get lost if I turn around (this is funny because it is literally true), but if I told her right now, my guess is she'd be shocked. I'm not entirely certain she realizes exactly how pervasive this is, or how serious it can be. (She did, in fact, act shocked afterwards when she asked if I wanted to go to the diner and I turned in the wrong direction. "You've been there before!" Yes, and? You've known me my whole life! Why are you surprised that I'd walk the wrong way to get to a place I've been several times before from here?)

***************


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