October 21st, 2014
otw_staff: Claudia, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Claudia)
posted by [personal profile] otw_staff at 11:16am on 2014-10-21
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Posted by Jason Weisberger

Somehow, Salon is representing Hachette as the defenders of art and freedom. Hugh Howey is both an incredible author, a great voice representing independent publishing, and a very good friend. This silly Amazon vs Hachette fight is nothing more than Hachette trying to dictate price to a shop owner.

Posted by Cory Doctorow


Michael I Jordan is an extremely accomplished computer scientist who is also deeply skeptical of claims made by Big Data advocates as well as people who believe that machine intelligence, AI and machine vision are solved, or nearly so.

In a spectacular interview conducted by Lee Gomes (whose work I've admired since he was at the WSJ -- he makes a brief cameo in Makers), Jordan excoriates trendy ideas from the computer science world, offering cogent critiques that are as smart as they are necessary:

Michael Jordan: In a classical database, you have maybe a few thousand people in them. You can think of those as the rows of the database. And the columns would be the features of those people: their age, height, weight, income, et cetera.

Now, the number of combinations of these columns grows exponentially with the number of columns. So if you have many, many columns—and we do in modern databases—you’ll get up into millions and millions of attributes for each person.

Now, if I start allowing myself to look at all of the combinations of these features—if you live in Beijing, and you ride bike to work, and you work in a certain job, and are a certain age—what’s the probability you will have a certain disease or you will like my advertisement? Now I’m getting combinations of millions of attributes, and the number of such combinations is exponential; it gets to be the size of the number of atoms in the universe.

Those are the hypotheses that I’m willing to consider. And for any particular database, I will find some combination of columns that will predict perfectly any outcome, just by chance alone. If I just look at all the people who have a heart attack and compare them to all the people that don’t have a heart attack, and I’m looking for combinations of the columns that predict heart attacks, I will find all kinds of spurious combinations of columns, because there are huge numbers of them.

So it’s like having billions of monkeys typing. One of them will write Shakespeare.

Machine-Learning Maestro Michael Jordan on the Delusions of Big Data and Other Huge Engineering Efforts [Lee Gomes/IEEE Spectrum]

(via O'Reilly Radar)

(Image: Needle in a Haystack, James Lumb, CC-BY)

Posted by Jason Weisberger

Experience of Magic by Eugene Burger

This weekend I was introduced to Eugene Burger's Experience of Magic. More a philosophical discussion about the performance of close-up magic than an instruction book, this is a new favorite.

I had never visited Misdirections, San Francisco's only magic shop, but a random brunch brought me close by. I asked for a book that'd help me with the specific style of magic I like to perform, close-up card magic. I explained that I really enjoy long and involved stories, as well as leaving folks with something more than "Jason knows sleights of hand." He suggested Eugene Burger's Experience of Magic.

Burger's book, admittedly, draws heavily on the entertaining style and lack of bias shown to us by my favorite westerner-turned-eastern-philosopher, Alan Watts. I think the first routine Berger shares is 4-5 chapters in, but the discussion that comes before the routines is what has so enthralled me. Berger loves close-up magic for its ability to create real, personal connections between the magician and the audience. Berger shares a lot of thought around what makes the experience of magic special and how to best share it with people.

Asking and attempting to demonstrate how the experience of magic differs from the experience of being misled, of being fooled, of being amazed, of wonder, Berger shares decades of experience turning simple effects into wonderfully involved experiences for the audience.

While not every chapter was prose and not every routine perfect for me, I am getting a lot out of this book. It will help improve my delivery, focus me on the elements of magic I enjoy and teach me a few new tricks.

Experience of Magic by Eugene Burger

Posted by Heather Hogan

Every time I read a new interview with Jillian Michaels, I want to give her a hug and a scholarship to A-Camp. Last week, for example, Health magazine published a profile with the personal trainer/reality star. In between talk of diet, exercise and the effects of ironing your ass with a laser, Michaels confessed it’s her “dream to be […]
telophase: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] telophase at 11:00am on 2014-10-21 under
I think today may be one of those days: I sat down on the edge of the bed and put my socks on, then put one shoe on, and then spent some time looking for my other sock before realizing it was on my foot.
meowdate: (Default)
Change has to come. But it does not have to be bloody. Yes, local elections, won in large numbers, can change things if the Federal government allows the change. But at the same time, I am convinced, we must have cultural change in order for the practical changes to take hold. Otherwise there will be no understanding of the importance of the changes, and no will to make the sacrifices needed for the changes to come about.
1. Get people thinking in terms of cooperation -I am my Brother's (and Sister's) Keeper
2. Get people thinking in terms of humanity rather than indivuals:
1.) start using the Human Era (Holocene Calendar) (2014 AD = 12014 HE)
2.) start encouraging workers cooperatives, food coops, consumer coops, and babysitting coops
3.) teach everyone why Voluntary Simplicity is important, and walk together.
4.) share the facts that water can make you healthier, and share brown rice together at meals -Oh, yes: Share Meals together with neighbors and friends!

3. Petitions, letters and walking, of course. Walking to the library, coop, or work, and walking in peaceful demonstrations as well as walking to the offices of lawmakers.

Many more suggesions have obviously been made at the policy level by many people, such as stregthening the Public Library system and a single payer Universal Health Care System with housing reform that ensures we all have housing. This is all local level or State level implementation that winning local elections would help with, but education and cultural change cements. Even just starting to talk and think in different ways is a possible start.
Be well, everyone,
ShiraDestinie,
UN Date: Saturday, October 21. 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era)
location: A World where all are Safe and Encouraged to Contribute Fully
Music:: Imagine -John Lenon
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

Posted by Arturo

By Arturo R. García

DC Entertainment scored a rare PR victory over archrival Marvel over the weekend when it announced its upcoming slate of films. At first glance, this latest take on the DC movie universe instantly puts Marvel’s to shame when it comes to inclusion.

But besides the far-flung timetable involved, it very much remains to be seen whether the company is willing to put in the work to elevate its non-white heroes to a position befitting their upcoming roles on the big screen.

Here’s how the schedule looks, courtesy of Slate:

Not only does this signal the long-awaited arrival of Wonder Woman in her own solo feature, but the Flash movie will be led by a queer actor in Ezra Miller. And that’s before getting to the two POC leads in Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and, perhaps more surprisingly, Ray Fisher starring as Cyborg.

Ray Fisher (right) will play Cyborg for DC Entertainment. image via wn.com

If you’ve never heard of Fisher, don’t be surprised; according to IMDB, his appearance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will constitute his first major on-screen role. No pressure, right?

But look at the timeline again. Throw in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appearing in Shazam, and it’s likely that POC will not be prominent in a DCE film for at least three years. The X-factor here is Suicide Squad, which appears to be on the fast track and should by all rights include Amanda Waller. Even if it means the “sexy” version unveiled three years ago as part of the company’s comics relaunch.

A cynical observer might point out that waiting until 2018 for an Aquaman film starring Momoa and Fisher’s starring role two years(!) later gives DC enough time to scuttle their plans if Dawn of Justice is as much of a disappointment as Man of Steel. Or that Aquaman and Cyborg’s position in the movie pipeline reflects their standing within the Justice League. They’re such valued members that the Suicide Squad got the nod first, and Cyborg has to wait for two Justice League movies before getting his shot. A cynic might argue that the only reason Cyborg isn’t dead last is because Ryan Reynolds’ turn as Hal Jordan was enough of a flop that the Green Lantern movie brand still hasn’t recovered.

Cyborg in the “Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians” cartoon. Image via DC Wikia.

On the bright side, DC now has no excuse to decisively elevate Cyborg into the top tier of its roster, even if most sensible fans wish John Stewart were getting that same treatment. It’s important to remember, first of all, that Victor Stone’s inclusion in the Justice League’s “New 52″ comics roster isn’t without precedent; in 1985, the character was featured on the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians animated series, the final incarnation of the venerable SuperFriends franchise.

Cyborg on the cover of “Tales of the New Teen Titans” #1, as published in June 1982. Image via Wikipedia.

Then, as now, Cyborg was the junior member of the team — the POV character for the audience and the team’s designated IT person. Which probably seemed fine to casual viewers, but was in fact a reduction of his much larger role in DC’s hottest property of that time, the Teen Titans comic. As conceived by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, the Victor Stone of the ’80s had the benefit of a full journey from being horrified at his condition to eventually leading the team and forging a new family relationship with them.

But just as John Stewart went from a stalwart hero to one with a higher profile thanks to the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series, another version of the Titans brand put Cyborg in the public eye:

Cyborg in the “Teen Titans Go!” animated series. Image via Fanpop.com.

It’s very possible that, to non-comics fans, their image of Cyborg is of the high-appetite, high-energy version from Teen Titans Go!. A funny guy, sure, but maybe not the kind of hero that’s going to fill up a multiplex. If DC is serious about making the character the next great POC movie superhero, we’d like to argue that the company needs to split the difference: show his traumatic origin, sure, but take him beyond the JLA’s sidekick and let his film reach for the afrofuturistic heights he’s perfectly positioned to reach. A movie-going public living in an increasingly tech-reliant world could really get behind a hero who can plumb the depths of the grid from anywhere in the physical world. If DC wants to end its “phase one” with a bang, it needs to stop treating Cyborg like the last one in line, and understand that for this position in pop culture, he’s the first of his kind.

The post On DC Entertainment, Cyborg, And Going Back To The Afrofuture appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

posted by [syndicated profile] boingboing_newfeed_feed at 02:30pm on 2014-10-21
alexandraerin: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] alexandraerin at 10:06am on 2014-10-21
The Daily Report

Yesterday was a very good day, in no small part because I happened to wake up with energy levels that matched my resolve for the week. Today I'm feeling a good deal less peppy.

In addition to having accomplished many practical things yesterday, I also thought a lot about my goals. I've never written as much general short fiction as I want to, and I think this is all wrapped up in the issues I described yesterday regarding short stories in the MUniverse. Feeling guilty/conflicted about any part of my creative output is going to impact the rest.

I've been doing pretty good on that front lately, though. There will be more news on that in the near future, but for now I'm just going to say that I'm doing well.

The State of the Me

Today's a slower, lower energy day, though I'm feeling less hit by a truck after breakfast, pills, and a modicum of caffeine.

Plans For Today

I'm going to keep things modest compared to yesterday. I'm going to focus pretty much exclusively on writing. I have a random story idea bouncing around in my head that I'm trying to sketch out this morning, and a chapter to write this afternoon, and another chapter to give a final coat of polish before posting. (It's nice being ahead again.)

Posted by Cory Doctorow


Thinkgeek's Pi Fleece keeps you warm and irrational with the first 413 digits of Pi in machine-washable fleece, measuring 45"x64".

Posted by Caroline Siede

Greg Henderson knows a thing or two about skepticism. The co-founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley think tank Arx Pax approached six different patent firms before finding one willing to get onboard with his unusual idea. He later flew to the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia just to prove his application wasn’t a practical joke. As Henderson explains, “When you call up a supplier or a machine shop and you tell them you’re working on a hoverboard, they just laugh and hang up on you.”

But Henderson’s futuristic technology isn’t an elaborate prank like the one Funny Or Die pulled last year. In fact: Meet Hendo, the world’s first hoverboard.

As the video above proves, Arx Pax’s Hendo is a working hoverboard prototype. The company’s newly launched Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise $250,000 to turn it into a fully realized product. For those who grew up mesmerized by Back To The Future II, the chance to try out hover technology is reason enough to contribute.

250 backers will take a five-minute ride on the hoverboard in exchange for a $100 pledge. 25 backers willing to contribute $1,000 will earn an hour-long riding lesson from Hendo’s team. And 10 backers will own one of the world’s first hoverboards in exchange for $10,000. The prototypes will be handed out at Hendo’s Hover Event on October 21, 2015—the date Marty McFly travels to in Back To The Future II. And Arx Pax is hoping to get star Michael J. Fox involved by auctioning off the first hoverboard and donating the proceeds to his Parkinson’s Research Foundation.

Hendo Hoverboard 2 copy

Hendo hoverboard prototype

But just how did a small Silicon Valley company create a working hoverboard? According to Henderson, it took a combination of “intuition and Wikipedia.” An architect by trade, Henderson first began thinking about hover technology while brainstorming better ways to protect homes from earthquakes and floods. One option is to use liquid or gas as a “buffer medium” to protect buildings from seismic shifts. But Henderson realized there might be an even better buffer: an electromagnetic field.

“If you can hover a 15,000 kilogram train, why not a house?” Henderson asks. He set about assembling a 19-person team of physicists, engineers, and graphic designers to figure out a way to hover stationary objects with dynamic payloads. The key to making something hover is to have a force pushing up equal to the downward pull of gravity. Using Lenz’s Law, Arx Pax figured out how to use magnetic field architecture (MFA) to transmit electromagnetic energy incredibly efficiently. The Hendo hoverboard combines magnetic fields to arrange magnetic flux in a certain direction. As of now, the board needs to be placed over a conductive, non-ferrous surface (i.e. copper or aluminum) in order to hover. But part of the goal of the Kickstarter campaign is to encourage co-creation that can improve upon the limitations of this new technology.

For $299, Kickstarter backers will receive a White Box Developer Kit that includes a hover engine and a conductive surface. The kit—which Henderson calls his favorite Kickstarter perk—allows backers to experiment with hover technology in their own homes. It will also encourage innovators to learn about and improve upon Hendo's design. Henderson hopes to one day be able to reduce or eliminate the need for a conductive surface on which to operate.

Hendo Developer Kit 3

Hendo's White Box Developer Kit

In addition to recreational uses or amusement park rides (“Hoverland!” Henderson suggests gleefully), the technology has plenty of practical applications—from protecting hospitals in areas with earthquakes to streamlining factory automation. Hover technology could also drastically increase the efficiency and sustainability of mass transportation. By treating carpool lanes with conductive surfaces, hover vehicles could offer “the freedom of a car and the efficiency of a train.” The whimsical pop culture appeal of the hoverboard is just a starting place for future hover innovations.

 “We’re calling all inventors,” Henderson emphasizes. “We’re hoping for folks to start daring to wonder.”

Posted by Nicole Dieker

I didn’t feel safe going into Geek Girl Con. Hours earlier, Game developer Brianna Wu had tweeted about the threats she'd received, about calling the police, about sleeping somewhere else.

Just thinking about it made it hard to sleep. The next day, I was almost late to game critic Anita Sarkeesian’s opening panel, and was one of the last to be let in. There had been a bomb threat, of course, though we wouldn’t know about it until afterwards. They searched our bags.

Some might say I'm too close to be impartial. Last year, I was a panelist, played a ninja gig in the lobby, and ended up, singing and playing a ukulele, on the cover of the program guide. But this is what I have to tell you: for one weekend this October, Geek Girl Con created an oasis.

The night before it began, Wu left her home. Two days after it ended, staff members at Utah State University received a threat stating that if Sarkeesian were allowed to speak on campus, “she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is.”

In between, though, we had these two days at the Washington State Conference Center.

“No matter what you love, what you geek out about, who you are or what you look like, you are welcome," says Amanda Powter, Geek Girl Con's executive director. “Because so many spaces haven't felt or been safe and inclusive for everyone—safe from harassment, open to thoughtful criticism, and encouraging diverse representations—our goal is to create one where people can come, have fun, have meaningful conversations, be themselves, and share their love of whatever it is they geek out about.”

But how does Geek Girl Con put this mission into practice? How is language used to create a safe space?

Take an everyday slip of the tweet such as Joss Whedon’s statement that strong female leads must "not have peeny/balls.” Although transgender women are welcome in the Whedonverse—Whedon supports LGBTQ rights—it's a subtle reminder they aren’t actively considered. Geek Girl Con's first measure is to speak truth to copy.

“Language is one of the ways to convey your values," said Powter. "... we use language to signal inclusiveness and to reinforce our core values, as well as have fun with geeky references and interesting topics. This is also an ongoing challenge and an area of constant learning."

For example, the con considers carefully its use of gendered pronouns, whether it acknowledges and uses a proper pronoun or opts for the epicene "they" when speaking generically.

One of the tricky parts of creating an inclusive space is respecting preferences. There are communities that prefer African-American and communities that prefer Black. Some prefer “person with autism” and others that prefer to be identified as Autistic. Some transgender individuals want to be identified as trans, others prefer to be identified simply as women or men. Others choose their identifier depending on the situation. Details are important.

“I don’t want to assume how people want to be addressed,” said Kristine Hassell, Geek Girl Con’s social media manager. “I wait for the person to direct me.”

Hasswell, responsible for sharing information and interesting stories with Geek Girl Con’s numerous followers and fans—as of this writing, 22,400 Twitter followers and 11,729 Facebook likes—sets out to include voices that don’t always get heard.

“It would be really easy for me to just quote from Jezebel and The Mary Sue,” Kristine said. “So I quote Black Girl Nerds, Reappropriate, Indian Country, and other sites that aren’t the usual voices.”

Kristine also listens to the voices that come back in her direction. “I do a lunchtime poll every day. When people answer, I do research on what they say. ... It’s about building a bridge. Each piece of information I get from someone else is another piece across that channel.”

Adds Powter: "you have to be able to live in the discomfort of never feeling like the work is done, or that you are successful.”

During the Feminist Community Building 101 panel, other participants acknowledged the mistakes they had made while working towards a feminist and intersectional community. Angela Webber, a friend of mine, spoke about her band, The Doubleclicks. Their music video, Nothing to Prove, has received over 1 million YouTube views. But they noted that the majority of the women who contributed crowdsourced footage to the music video (Disclosure: I was among them) were white.

"That means I didn’t try hard enough,” Webber said.

Panelists cited a Media Evolution blog post that ran the numbers on its convention panelists and attendees and discovered that there was a near 1:1 correlation between the diversity of a panel and the diversity of its audience: “When we went through the participants list we found that 42% of the participants were women. Which is almost the same proportion as the speakers. Last year 39% of the attendees were female, and 38% of the speakers.”

“There are voices out there—black women in particular—who need places where they can be supported,” said panelist Jamie Broadnax, who founded Black Girl Nerds in February 2012 and knows a lot about creating inclusive spaces.

“I didn’t know it would become an online community. But once the first contributor added content, it started to build. Now, diverse viewpoints come to my site.”

Powter describes this diversity as more than just racial or gender diversity; she’s also looking for diversity in “bodies and fandoms and abilities.” Geek Girl Con panels include “Disability in Education and Beyond,” “Cosplaying While Fat,” “From Geek Girl to Geek Mom,” and “Gaylaxy Quest: Exploring Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fiction,” among other topics.

What’s different about this community is that mistakes are acknowledged, apologies are made when necessary and without qualification, and that "the strongest emotion present at the convention is love and acceptance."

Within a broader community that seems to want to shout at and divide itself, Geek Girl Con provides a venue in which people can listen to and learn from each other. Or, as Sheena McNeil of comic zine Sequential Tart explained during the panel: “It feels like family. You may not agree with everyone, but you feel comfortable around these people.”

You also feel like, within this oasis, you are visible.

“I love being at Geek Girl Con,” Anita Sarkeesian said as she concluded her panel discussion. “It’s the most supportive place I speak at all year.”

One of the of the loudest arguments shouted in this recent volley of hate—besides the relentless assertion that women are cunts and whores, which is not technically an argument—is that gaming culture is unethical because it is too insular; that the same voices make the games and review the games and talk about the games.

Geek Girl Con is ready to prove them wrong.

gredya: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] gredya at 09:34am on 2014-10-21 under
((Warning for (non-gory) dead animals!))

Busy day today for Gredya.

First she's in the kitchen, putting up one more freezer bag of meat. That's enough for now, she thinks: she's filled one shelf, a cache for the hardest times of winter. She has another bag, marked again with a note like last time: Ganibal Leckter. You see this before? Gredya. It'll wait for him at one end of the bar if he doesn't happen to show up. Inside--if anyone cares to snoop on Lecter's mail!--is a smallish dog-like creature (deceased) with a forked tail-tip and oddly squared-off ears.

Once she's taken care of that, she heads outside with a stack of books. It's not just her adult-literacy text now. She's expanding her reading material.

(And she's botherable in either location!)
theferrett: (Meazel)
posted by [personal profile] theferrett at 09:32am on 2014-10-21

So if you’ve been paying attention to Gamergate, it’s been death threats a-plenty for the women in the gaming industry.  But don’t worry, women!  Men are getting death threats, too!

Yesterday, the developer of a game death-threatened Gabe Newell, the founder of the Steam game delivery platform, after the game was released marked as “Early Access” instead as a finalized game.  Steam found out about the Tweets, terminated his account, and the game he’s worked on for a year has currently sold only 12 copies.

And I think this is an example of Guy Culture at work.  Where when a guy gets mad, it’s seen very much as “boys will be boys” and he can scream at whoever he wants because heck, we all know he doesn’t mean it.  You see that kind of repellent work in Scorcese movies – the guy-heaviest of guy films – where men routinely humiliate other men.  (I’m thinking in particular of The Wolf of Wall Street, wherein the salesmen were routinely abused by the charming and competent leads, and the salesmen loved it because these men were rich and smart and hey, you just expect a little creative abuse, amiright?)

So you have these hothouse cultures where competency matters for everything, and tact matters for nothing – well, actually a lack of tact is frequently seen as proof of competency, because who could possibly dress down someone that harshly unless they were really certain?  So you wind up with an atmosphere where intellectual issues are hashed out in screaming matches, and incompetency is met with streams of over-the-top swearing.

What we’re starting to see is that clash of cultures – where programmer dudebros, conditioned by years of condoned hothouse-flower environments where losing your shit is just Part Of The Process, are running into other cultures where threatening to cut someone’s balls off is seen as the cheap intimidation tactic it is.

And what you’ve got is this weird mess.  Because afterwards, you’re going to get some weird mix of “Okay, I probably shouldn’t have done that” followed by “But he should know I wasn’t really going to kill him!”  Yet what you never get to is the truth of “I wasn’t actually going to kill him, but I just wanted to express all my murderous rage without any filters, because a lot of the time threatening people actually works for me.”

We have this idea that women are the crazy emotional ones in this society, led around by their soft estrogen-producing wombs, just crying at the drop of a hat.  And frankly, I’d prefer we didn’t stereotype any gender with the label of “They’re the ones who can’t control themselves,” because frankly I think any sort of lack of control comes down to culture and mental health, not gender.

But what we’ve seen lately are a lot of men who are used to getting their way, and they lose their shit if anything goes wrong.  That’s a culture that’s trained them to be that way.  And so you have a bunch of very machismo men who have translated their bad-boy private outbursts into embarrassing online outbursts, and it does not go over nearly as well online.

They will see this as proof that Men Can’t Be Men!  Whereas I – a man – see that as proof that Some Men Can’t Be Men.  They can only be modified toddlers, screaming the worst things they can think of whenever they don’t get their way.  Worse, there’s whole cultures where that behavior is rewarded, and encouraged, and respected – and seen, internally, as the only real place where smart men can thrive, these constant Darwinistic showdowns where tearing each other apart is the only true way to find optimal solutions.

Nah.  There are other ways of doing things that get you results just as good.  But you don’t get the catharsis of yelling at people.

Maybe it’s time you admitted you value the catharsis over actual results.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Posted by David Pescovitz

breaking_3078922b

A mother in Fort Myers, Florida is leading a petition against Toys R Us selling Breaking Bad action figures, to which Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston responded perfectly:

(Time)

posted by [syndicated profile] boingboing_newfeed_feed at 01:00pm on 2014-10-21

Posted by David Pescovitz

Artist Jesse England modified a typewriter to use a Comic Sans typeface. "If I'd made it in Helvetica people would've just observed it as a little design experiment," he says of his device, called the Sincerity Machine.

Posted by David Pescovitz

Dave Fothergill's hypnotic demonstration of the Miarmy digital crowd simulation plugin for Maya 3D animation software. (Thanks, Keith Axline!)

ghoti: fish jumping out of bowl (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ghoti at 08:00am on 2014-10-21 under
Ah, irony. Wearing a rather...butch outfit on the day I have an appointment with the gyn to place an IUD. I'm amused, anyway.

Posted by Cory Doctorow


As the tour with my graphic novel In Real Life draws to a close, my next tour, with my nonfiction book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free kicks off with stops down the west coast.

I've also got stops coming up in Warsaw, London, Stockholm, Ann Arbor, Baltimore, DC, and Denver -- here's the whole list. Here's some of what Kirkus Review had to say about the new book:

In his best-selling novel Ready Player One, Ernest Cline predicted that decades from now, Doctorow (Homeland, 2013, etc.) should share the presidency of the Internet with actor Wil Wheaton. Consider this manifesto to be Doctorow’s qualifications for the job.

The author provides a guide to the operation of the Internet that not only makes sense, but is also written for general readers. Using straightforward language and clear analogies, Doctorow breaks down the complex issues and tangled arguments surrounding technology, commerce, copyright, intellectual property, crowd funding, privacy and value—not to mention the tricky situation of becoming “Internet Famous.” Following a characteristically thoughtful introduction by novelist Neil Gaiman, rock star Amanda Palmer offers a blunt summary of today’s world: “We are a new generation of artists, makers, supporters, and consumers who believe that the old system through which we exchanged content and money is dead. Not dying: dead.” So the primary thesis of the book becomes a question of, where do we go from here? Identifying the Web’s constituents as creators, investors, intermediaries and audiences is just the first smart move. Doctorow also files his forthright, tactically savvy arguments under three “laws,” the most important of which has been well-broadcast: “Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won’t give you the key, that lock isn’t there for your benefit.”

andrewducker: (Default)
sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
posted by [personal profile] sraun at 05:37am on 2014-10-21 under
Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] nancymcc
cimorene: (Default)
I want to find some kind of outside-of-the-house source of exercising to help make it into a routine that I would be more likely to stick to.

The main reason is that if knitting is the only real workout my shoulders get, the right one hates it and responds with cramps and agony. I can do something about this by limiting the amount of time spent knitting, adopting a good posture and relaxing the rest of the arm etc., and a lot of arm- and shoulder-stretching, but I think this would work better. Also everyone I talk to from [personal profile] perhael to my 10-year-old niece to my mom & sister is joining gyms and/or Zumba and/or yoga classes and talking them up.

I don't really want to invest the kind of money upfront that gyms and yoga classes cost, though, especially not right now when I'm in Bureaucratic Run-Around Limbo in my job-seeking plans. So that's gone on the Think About Soonish Once Two Incomes Are Again Achieved list.

However, my psychologist says he has the power to write a prescription for exercise for me that would require the public, city-supported gyms and swimming pools and things to give me a discount... I'm not sure if that would help me or not. The locals I know seem to use private ones, except my Amazonian Estonian ex-classmate who does weight training (lol, no). (Now I think about it, wouldn't The Amazonian Estonian be a good name for an album?)
laughing_tree: (Default)


Interviewer: In our initial interview you talked about Javier Pulido's sense of design and page layouts. How has that manifested in some of the pages you've seen so far? Are there some sequences from the first couple issues that you were especially impressed by?

Charles Soule: Literally every sequence, and that isn't puffery. Javier is brilliant -- he's a pure storyteller, and he takes every one of my ideas and makes them more interesting. He's told me repeatedly that all he needs is a good story. Give him that, and he can work miracles, and it's certainly been the case on "She-Hulk." Honestly, my scripts are pretty tight -- or at least I think so until Javier gets his hands on them. He tends to break them apart a little and reconfigure the paneling in large and small ways to make something new that's a killer synthesis of both of our takes. Just a true collaboration.

(http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=50811)

Read more... )
versaphile: (Busy Busy Writing Writing)
posted by [personal profile] versaphile at 02:15am on 2014-10-21 under
Chapter 28 is done: 8k / 25pp. As you can see, it ran rather long. I even had to cut one last scene that I was going to include because it worked better without it. It shall now be sent on to the betas to poke over.

Shall post the next ABOP chapter tomorrow. Right now I am off to bed. *thumps*
waywren: (Shinran)
Saadi held his Muse in awe,
She was his mistress and his law;
A twelvemonth he could silence hold,
Nor ran to speak till she him told;
He felt the flame, the fanning wings,
Nor offered words till they were things,
Glad when the solid mountain swims
In music and uplifting hymns.
annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

I meant to get this posted a few days ago, for which I apologize–this is what happens when I’m flattened by dental surgery! But that said, this is another book with a crowdfunding campaign to which I’d like to draw your all’s attention, especially as the Indiegogo campaign is down to its final hours.

Shawna Reppert is a fellow Carina author, and like me, she’s got some self-pubbed work as well. She’s gotten some high praise for her first solo effort, Ravensblood. Now she’s looking to publish the sequel, and is calling on potential supporters to back her up right over here. Hours are counting down, so go give her a look, won’t you?

And in the meantime, here’s a Boosting the Signal piece that Shawna sent me! Of this piece, Shawna says: “Since Raven’s Wing is written with three POV characters—Raven, Cass and the villain (not gonna tell you who it is, you have to read the book) I thought it would be interesting to let one of the secondary characters have a say. Mick MacLean volunteered.”

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Raven's Wing

Raven’s Wing

Mick sat at the kitchen table, nursing a cup of rewarmed coffee, listening to Raven’s soulful piano-playing in the next room. The boy was good, not quite concert-pianist quality, but only an educated ear could hear the difference. If Raven had devoted himself to music instead of the Art…but may as well say that if a sheep had gills, it’d be a fish. The Three Communities, and likely the rest of the world as well, had reason to be glad that Raven had devoted himself to the study of magic, whether they chose to acknowledge it or not.

Even in his younger days, Mick would have been no match for him, and he’d been formidable in time. Back in the day when he’d left his outback home and traveled to another continent to help the Three Communities bring down William’s father. Much as his boy had helped to bring down William himself.

Only Zack had never come back.

Raven still looked at him as though he expected to be blamed for Zack’s death, or maybe just for surviving when Zack had not.

Life had taught Raven to expect unfairness. Mick was determined to teach him to trust in kindness, as well. Ana had started the lesson. Cass, he knew, tried, but it was different with lovers, more complicated.

He liked the man. At first, for the sake of Zack, who had befriended him, and for Ana, who had mentored him and worried over him. Later, on his own merits.

Oh, there were bigger-scale reasons to offer the man sanctuary. Whoever had stolen the Ravensblood was powerful, cunning, and surely up to no good. Mick would do anything in his power to head off another William.

Or William himself, returning. They never had found the body.

But if the last Mage Wars had taught Mick anything, it taught him that if you lost sight of the small stuff, the human stuff, while focusing on the big picture, then you risked becoming the thing you fought.

He still wondered if Giles would be alive today if he hadn’t pressured him harder to get out. If he’d made more of an effort to be a friend to the man instead of a handler, maybe Giles would have taken his pleas more seriously. He asked himself if his failure to do so came from holding the life of a dark mage more lightly than he would have another source’s.

In all these years, he hadn’t been able to answer that question.

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Support the Book on Indiegogo at: Indiegogo Campaign | Sample Chapters

Follow the Author At: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

herr_bookman: (glasses)
posted by [personal profile] herr_bookman at 09:00pm on 2014-10-20 under
Autor's sitting on the hearth of the fireplace today, trimming barbs off of long, white feathers. He's wearing his gray sweater again, and he's rolled the sleeves back over his wrists to work. His foot is propped up on a chair and wrapped in an Ace bandage; clearly he's not moving much today.

After eying the feathers, he shoves the pointed ends into a metal bucket of fine sand, and adjusts the temperature of the hotplate it rests on to 140 degrees.

Then he sets his watch and waits.
alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I posted this on Body Impolitic. It's the final chapter on my amazing visit to Battle Creek and Detroit.
"Sojourner Truth and Underground Railroad Sculptures" I think people will find is interesting.

A sculpture below is the joyous one when the slaves have arrived across the river from Detroit to Canada and freedom.


pegkerr: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pegkerr at 10:35pm on 2014-10-20 under , ,
and the clinical trial is a GO. Details (and requests for help) are posted on our CaringBridge site here.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

When asked Monday morning by CBC News if the person had been fired, Glenn-Graham initially replied, "Yes." He also confirmed the firing took place on Saturday.

However, subsequent media reports on Monday quoted Glenn-Graham as saying the individual responsible had resigned. When asked to clarify what exactly happened, Glenn-Graham replied by email, saying "the volunteer resigned on their own Friday night."
pegkerr: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pegkerr at 09:52pm on 2014-10-20 under ,
We got some beautiful ones this year! )

This is the one that made me cry:

Family 2014
compilerbitch: That's me, that is! (Default)

Hi Folks,


I’m desperately asking for help here on behalf of Rev. Lee Whittaker and particularly on behalf of his kitty, Kobe.


This orange guy in the picture is Kobe, Lee Whittaker’s cat. The less-orange guy is Lee. :-) Gina and I have been looking after Kobe for a couple of years now, but we can’t continue to do so after our house move (that’s coming up this weekend — eek!). The new place allows two cats, not three, so we have to prioritize our two (Pi and Bitta). Lee is currently in student accommodation at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley that does not allow cats — he’s working on moving to a different hall that will let him take Kobe back, but it is not going to be possible to make that happen by this weekend.


Kobe with Lee WhittakerLee has arranged a longer term foster for Kobe starting 2 or 3 weeks from now that will last until he is able to move rooms at PSR, but we desperately need someone to look after Kobe until that happens. We need someone to help by looking after Kobe for 2 to 3 weeks to bridge the gap.


Kobe is affectionate with humans, but ideally needs to be an only cat. He has some special needs — he needs a grain-free diet, and he is epileptic.


Please help if you possibly can — we are moving on Sunday, and really need to move Kobe by Saturday 25th October at the absolute latest. If you can’t help directly, reposting this to your kitty-loving network would be next best thing and very gratefully appreciated. We can supply enough of his grain free kibble to last for a good while.


Thank you in advance,


Sarah (on behalf of the fuzzy orange guy and his cat-daddy)




Please note: this was cross-posted from my main blog at http://www.mageofmachines.com/main/2014/10/20/urgent-foster-needed-asap-for-about-2-3-weeks-for-kobe-lee-whittakers-cat/ -- If you want me to definitely see your replies, please reply there rather than here.

#Kitties
compilerbitch: That's me, that is! (Default)

Hi Folks,


I’m desperately asking for help here on behalf of Rev. Lee Whittaker and particularly on behalf of his kitty, Kobe.


This orange guy in the picture is Kobe, Lee Whittaker’s cat. The less-orange guy is Lee. :-) Gina and I have been looking after Kobe for a couple of years now, but we can’t continue to do so after our house move (that’s coming up this weekend — eek!). The new place allows two cats, not three, so we have to prioritize our two (Pi and Bitta). Lee is currently in student accommodation at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley that does not allow cats — he’s working on moving to a different hall that will let him take Kobe back, but it is not going to be possible to make that happen by this weekend.


Kobe with Lee WhittakerLee has arranged a longer term foster for Kobe starting 2 or 3 weeks from now that will last until he is able to move rooms at PSR, but we desperately need someone to look after Kobe until that happens. We need someone to help by looking after Kobe for 2 to 3 weeks to bridge the gap.


Kobe is affectionate with humans, but ideally needs to be an only cat. He has some special needs — he needs a grain-free diet, and he is epileptic.


Please help if you possibly can — we are moving on Sunday, and really need to move Kobe by Saturday 25th October at the absolute latest. If you can’t help directly, reposting this to your kitty-loving network would be next best thing and very gratefully appreciated. We can supply enough of his grain free kibble to last for a good while.


Thank you in advance,


Sarah (on behalf of the fuzzy orange guy and his cat-daddy)




Please note: this was cross-posted from my main blog at http://www.mageofmachines.com/main/2014/10/20/urgent-foster-needed-asap-for-about-2-3-weeks-for-kobe-lee-whittakers-cat/ -- If you want me to definitely see your replies, please reply there rather than here.

#Kitties
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)




In 1972, Archie Comics made its first major venture, since the MLJ days, into horror, with the series Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina. (This is not to be confused with the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina title launched earlier this very month in the wake of Afterlife with Archie's success.) Loosely patterned after the EC and other horror comics of the fifties, it was an anthology title hosted--for its first two issues--by everyone's favourite Teenage Witch, written and drawn by regulars from Archie's creative team: writer Frank Doyle and, in the stories excerpted here, Dan DeCarlo and Rudy Lapick on art.

If nothing else, this horror host is easier on the eyes than EC's GhouLunatics )

Posted by Cory Doctorow


They're licensed CC-BY-SA and designed for use in mobile apps and other interactive stuff -- there's 750 in all! It's part of Google's Material Design project.

Material Design Icons

(via Kottke)

Posted by Cory Doctorow

The video sorely lacks for detail (UPDATE: See below), but features three alleged Scientology "top managers" showering abuse on a former Scientologist at LAX. Why were they there? Why was he there? Why did he leave the church? We may never know. (Thanks, Melted_Crayons!)

More detail, from Tony Ortega:

Rathbun tells us that what we can’t see is the terminal gate behind him, with about a hundred and fifty people waiting for a flight, and all of them gawking at what was unfolding in front of them. “It’s totally the Squirrel Busters,” Rathbun says, and we have to agree it has the same bizarre quality as the intimidation squad of church members who called themselves Squirrel Busters and patrolled the Rathbun home, day after day, in the spring and summer of 2011. “The setup was for me to shove or hit Yager, who was giving me this leering grin,” Marty points out. As with the Squirrel Busters in Texas, the point is to get the person being harassed upset enough to take a punch — and then call in cops or file a legal complaint. “The thinking is, we’re going to make you go off or make you cave into yourself. It was insane.”

Unlike the Squirrel Busters, who were made up of little-known church members, Rathbun was confronted Sunday morning by some of the highest-ranking, well known figures in the Church of Scientology.

Marc Yager is a Watchdog Committee member and the “highest ecclesiastical officer” of the Church of Scientology International, Rathbun points out. And Jenny DeVocht — known for an infamous appearance on Anderson Cooper in 2010 — is close to Scientology leader David Miscavige.

“Jenny is closer to Miscavige than anybody,” Rathbun says. “I’m willing to bet she doesn’t even have a post title because she’s literally his right arm.”

But here’s what really stuns us about this encounter — its timing. Right now, the Texas Third Court of Appeals is deliberating on whether to reverse the denial of the Church of Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion in Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit for harassment — the same kind of harassment that her husband just experienced.

Posted by Andrea James

sothebys-pocket-globe
Sotheby's currently has auctions for several beautiful pocket globes from the 1790s and early 1800s. If you have a few grand lying around, one of these 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch beauties could be yours.

Globemaking required the precise printing and placing of each gore, or strip of printed material shaped like the rind surface of a lemon wedge. In the miniature globe above, each gore represented thirty degrees of longitude and were hand-colored. The outer case was notched to hold a metal pin running through each pole for easier spinning. The inner surface of the cover typically had an astronomical map, though some like the one below gave other information, like "a table of latitudes and longitudes of places not given on this globe."

sothebys-pocket-globe-2

The art form has declined with the advent of digital options, but specialists like Peter Bellerby continue the globemaking tradition, as seen in this lovely film by Charles Arran Busk and Jamie McGregor Smith.

October 20th, 2014
princessofgeeks: (Default)
superfangirl1: (pic#366267)
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
posted by [personal profile] snarp at 09:24pm on 2014-10-20 under ,
Still pretty much just on Tumblr.

I'm just posting because I've spent much of the past couple days yelling about my Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle reread, and that's kind of the only thing I've written lately that I think likely to interest anyone following me here and not there.
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)
posted by [personal profile] petra at 05:17pm on 2014-10-20 under
Music:: You'll become more ready to confront the dark before the dawn
Mood:: mostly 'armless

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