lunabee34: (got: mayor littlefinger by paperdreams)
[personal profile] lunabee34
I love this show. As a nerd heretic, I love it better than the books, and I especially love this latest season (I think because the pacing has improved and because we've finally moved beyond what the books have to tell us and are getting new information, including the confirmation of long-held fan theories).

The finale did not disappoint.


Love to hear what you thought!
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Posted by Sam Machkovech

Enlarge (credit: Epic Games)

It's inevitable: every time a wildly successful video game comes along, imitators quickly follow in its footsteps. The tradition began with Pong and Pac-Man clones, and that practice has continued on PCs, consoles, and smartphones ever since. "Homages" at best and "blatant ripoffs" at worst have always been a part of the game industry.

I couldn't help but think of this after my first thrilling time playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in May of this year. You may have heard about this PC game: it's a somewhat familiar-looking military shooter, albeit with clever rules that gradually force dozens of players to a giant island's random "center" point. The result feels like a video game version of the Japanese film Battle Royale. The "early access" game is also setting records for concurrent player counts on Steam—which is particularly wild considering it costs $39.99, as opposed to popular free-to-play games like Dota 2.

Before the player counts climbed sky-high, however, I had already predicted a very PUBG future. "How long until other games rip this off?" I said to my online team via voice chat, shortly after I was sniped while foolishly running across one of PUBG's open fields.

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Posted by Timothy B. Lee

Enlarge (credit: Facebook)

Mark Zuckerberg is giving up on an audacious plan to sell most of his Facebook shares without diminishing his total control over the company. The plan, which Facebook announced last year, would have given shareholders two new non-voting shares for each voting share they owned. Zuckerberg hoped to sell these shares to finance his charitable ambitions.

But shareholders sued, arguing that the plan would further consolidate power in Zuckerberg's hands with no benefits to other shareholders. Zuckerberg was scheduled to testify in court in the case on Tuesday. Abandoning the plan saves Zuckerberg from having to do that.

Most companies operate according to a one-share-one-vote principle. But several high-profile technology companies, including Google, Facebook, and Snap, give extra per-share voting rights to founders and early investors. These extra votes give Larry Page and Sergey Brin a majority of Google's voting power even though they own much less than half of Google's shares. The same is true at Snap, where co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy together exercise a majority of the company's votes, giving them total control over the company's management.

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(no subject)

23 Sep 2017 06:46
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Thursday was family games night, with pizza. [personal profile] sithjawa joined, as well as the partner's large array of siblings and their spouses/etc.

After games were done, my partner showed me Who Framed Roger Rabbit? out of the "You haven't seen that yet?" queue. And we watched more of The Orville, and I tested out my stand mixer by making some cookies.

Friday, in honor of the equinox, I baked a sweet cardamom loaf. Then we did a shopping run, and my partner made dinner.

These past two days have involved a lot of small gas-powered motors around. Partner has summoned a yard maintenance company to take care of some of the tree, bush, weed, and tenacious invasive morning glory things that the ex neglected in the interminable six months leading up to departure. It's been loud, but is so much better looking now. Though there are still some more things left for today, like the stack of lichen-covered branches in the driveway.
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Posted by Scott K. Johnson

Enlarge (credit: Takver / Flickr)

In The Guardian, the headline was “Ambitious 1.5C Paris climate target is still possible, new analysis shows.” But over at Breitbart, readers were told that “Climate Alarmists Finally Admit ‘We Were Wrong About Global Warming.’” Other headlines spanned pretty much the entire range between these two. The grist for the mill was a new study published in Nature Geoscience by a group of well-known climate scientists, but different news outlets baked very different breads with it.

That happens pretty frequently these days, but, in this case, the new study was especially complex and more easily misunderstood—even by those without a Breitbartian aggressive ideological bias against climate science.

The story in Nature Geoscience starts with a widely used figure from the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The figure was meant to provide an easier way to represent the consequences of future greenhouse gas emissions. It turns out that the relationship between global warming and the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions since the Industrial Revolution is roughly a straight line (at least for the near future). So rather than trying to match accounting of greenhouse gas emissions with one of myriad scenarios of future gas concentrations, you have a much simpler way to describe our situation: to limit warming to less than x degrees, you can emit no more than y CO2. This is the so-called “carbon budget.”

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Posted by Jonathan M. Gitlin


I was alerted to this rather awesome-looking Volkswagen California XXL camper van by our policy editor and chief Ars van aficionado David Kravets. Based on the VW Crafter, this is a 21st-century descendent of the iconic VW bus (aka the Bulli/Camper/Kombi/Transporter/Type 2). It's also perhaps the ultimate expression of car camping, short of one of those Russian things that are a spinoff of the armored personnel carrier.

Under the hood is a Euro 6-compliant TDI engine, pneumatic suspension, and a Haldex all-wheel drive system, but that's pretty boring compared to the rest of this tricked-out ride. For one thing, the rear section has been stretched to provide room for a proper-sized bed, big enough for two adults to sleep comfortably.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Pursuant to the last entry

23 Sep 2017 13:20
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hope Not Hate have an excellent blog post explaining who they are and why they're going international.

We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.

Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.

One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.

From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:

The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?

In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.

Their undercover reporter [ profile] patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:

Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis

”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”

The Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK

Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.
[syndicated profile] attitude_magazine_feed

Posted by Attitude Magazine

Tori Amos says she doesn’t understand Christians who are opposed to same-sex marriage.

Discussing her support for the LGBT community in the October issue of Attitude – available to download and in shops now – the US singer-songwriter explains that debates about same-sex marriage in the States have left her nonplussed.

“It makes no sense to me to oppose it, especially if you’re a Christian,” the 54-year-old says.

“I don’t understand people who call themselves Christians but don’t follow biblical messages such as ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ and ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.

“I don’t believe that if you’re following the Christ path that you would judge anybody so hatefully. It makes no sense.”

She adds: “I grew up with a loving mother who believed in a loving Jesus. I never saw her not open her arms to hug somebody because of the colour of their skin or their beliefs or their sexuality.”

Amos, who released her fifteenth studio album Native Invader earlier this month, made her professional debut at a Washington gay bar when she was just 13 – a moment she says is “very significant” to her.

Crediting the LGBT community with launching her career, she says: “No one would give me a chance. My father and I went around what seemed like every bar in Georgetown and it was only a gay bar, and, in fact, a gay man, that gave me a shot.”

“He was the manager and he said: ‘OK, let’s see what you can do kid.’ I felt embraced – and guided – from that moment.”

Read the full interview with Tori in the October issue of Attitude. Buy in printsubscribe or download.

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Posted by Joshua Haigh

Advice columns are mostly a thing of the past thanks to the internet, but now and then there’s still a question of interest.

A concerned woman wrote into Dear Deidre earlier this week with a burning question about her boyfriend.

After going through his phone – not exactly a healthy practice in the first place – she discovered that to her surprise, he had downloaded gay dating app, Grindr.

She wrote: “I found the Grindr app on my boyfriend’s phone and now I’m wondering if he’s gay or bisexual I am a woman of 26 and he’s 34. We have been together for six months. He has a drink problem and sex has been rubbish for a while.

“One day I came home early from work. He was furious and went to bed drunk. Something made me look at his phone and I found the Grindr app. I confronted him and he said he had just been looking for weed to help him quit the booze.

“He admitted he had experimented with guys in the past. I know he’s had several hundred women but only a handful of guys. My head is telling me to leave but my heart says stay.”


Advice columnist Deidre was having none of it, and told the woman that clearly she can no longer trust her partner.

“Listen to your head. If you take off your rose-tinted glasses, you will see far more reasons to be unhappy than happy in this relationship.

“Your heart wants to believe he is what you saw in him at the start. But just a few months down the line the reality is you are with a man with drink issues and who knows what else. He is someone you can’t really believe or trust.”

Let us know what you think on social media.

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Posted by Attitude Magazine

He might behind one of the most progressive novel series of the 20th century, but Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin still deals with small-minded opinions within his own direct family.

In a new interview in the Autumn issue of Winq magazine, the 73-year-old writer, opens up about his strained relationship with his late parents and brother Tony, Donald Trump supporter who voted against equal marriage in North Carolina and refused to attend a ceremony awarding Armistead a Doctor of Letters degree.

Armistead, who releases new tell-all memoir Logical Family on October 5, says he is “beyond being hurt” by his sibling, who he describes as a “high-bound conservative”.

“I look at it as a failure of intelligence, not a deliberate act of cruelty on his part,” Armistead says. “My brother has inherited my father’s mantle in his own mind. And part of that is to carry those attitudes along with him.

“I’m sort of really beyond being hurt… I wrote books that offered the first sympathetic transgender character in literature forty years ago and my brother’s family is on Facebook talking about protecting their little girls from the men who want to go into the public toilets.

Armistead Maupin appears on the cover of the autumn issue of Winq.

“They’re that far removed from any kind of rational understanding of transgender life, not to mention pure compassion.”

He continues: “Part of the reason I coined the term ‘logical family is you can really beat yourself up thinking that you should be of one heart with members of your biological family.

“Many people aren’t, many people look around them and think, ‘Who the hell are these people? Why am I supposed to go spend Christmas with them?’

“So why not create that family yourself?”

The 212-page Autumn 2017 issue of Winq, which also features interviews with comedian Simon Amstell, Battle of the Sexes star Adrew Risborough, and Booker-Prize winning author Alan Hollinghurst is out now. Buy in print, subscribe or download.

More stories:
Sam Smith reveals how personal heartbreak almost made him quit music
Daily Mail calls National Trust’s memorial for hanged gay men a ‘politically correct stunt’

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Posted by Joshua Haigh

RuPaul’s Drag Race has become one of the biggest shows in the world, and it’s opened drag up to an entirely new audience.

Never have so many young people looked up to Drag Queens and idolised them – but what about the older generation?

With those over 50 more likely to be against same-sex marriage and equality, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a drag queen reality series wouldn’t go down particularly well.

But thankfully, you’d be wrong.

The popular YouTube series “React,” which shows a group of people watching something on a laptop and reacting, invited a group of elderly people to come down and check out Drag Race for the first time.

There was a questionable remark at the star from one viewer, who said:

“That’s as outrageous as I’ve ever seen, so I try to stay away from watching it, he said.

But then when the action got going, just about every single one of them ended up loving it. Basically, Tatianna and Alyssa’s lip-sync really is the answer to everything.

“I think they’re having fun doing their thing,” one of the other men said. “I see nothin’ wrong with it.”

With Flames In My Hands.

23 Sep 2017 11:50
rionaleonhart: red dead redemption: john marston reloads sexily (debatable). (just gonna reload while talkin' to you)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy really brought home to me how tired I am of open-world games. I love the Assassin's Creed series, I love Red Dead Redemption, but I think I'm suffering a sort of open-world fatigue; I'm not really getting anywhere with Horizon Zero Dawn, even though it's staggeringly beautiful, because I'm just exhausted by how much there is to do. It felt so good to pick up Lost Legacy and play through a fast-moving game where you're constantly driving things forward.

One of the many reasons I am looking forward intensely to Danganronpa V3's release at the end of the month. Dangan Ronpa games are ALL PLOT, ALL THE TIME and it's great.

I'm feeling more generous towards Final Fantasy XV than I am towards most open-world games at the moment, because that game isn't really about the plot; it's a game about arsing around with your friends. Of course you should waste time on stupid sidequests; wasting time with people you care about is important!

Wait, maybe the problem isn't open-world games; maybe the problem is games where the protagonist is alone. In Lost Legacy, you spend most of the time hanging out with Nadine; in Final Fantasy XV, you've got three pals with you. I just want constant dialogue! And that's just not something you get in, for example, the Assassin's Creed games. (As much as I love Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, I'm sad that it went, 'Twin protagonists! You can choose which one to play! But the other twin doesn't tag along with you, sorry.' I want Evie and Jacob to snipe at each other while I'm running around London!)

...okay, I wrote the above in part because I was dithering on whether to play Infamous: Second Son, as a means of passing the time before Danganronpa V3's release. On the one hand, it had good reviews and my housemate had it, so it would cost me nothing to try it out. On the other, I was so tired of open-world games, and I'd tried the original Infamous once and hated it instantly.

I needn't have worried. I came to love Infamous: Second Son just as instantly as I'd come to hate Infamous. Turns out that this game is all about siblings who don't really get along but love each other nonetheless, i.e. my ultimate weakness. Almost at the very start of the game (twelve minutes into this walkthrough video), there was the perfect cutscene, cramming about six things I love into fifty seconds, after the protagonist Delsin got extremely stigmatised superpowers.

And it's so fun to play! Delsin can run so fast and can jump so high and has assorted zooming-and-hovering skills, so you can fly from building to building! He sometimes gives a little giddy laugh as he shoots up into the sky, and it's really endearing. It does suffer a little from Videogame Morality, where it's morally fine to kill the occasional civilian so long as you make up for it by stopping some drug dealers later, but I'm not taking it too seriously. I'm pretty used to suspending my moral disbelief in videogames.

This game further supports my 'maybe the issue is a lack of company in open worlds rather than open worlds in themselves' theory, because Delsin and his brother occasionally have little sarcastic phone conversations while you're running around the city, and it's great.

I'm only two hours into the game, so it's possible my opinion will change, but they have been a thoroughly enjoyable two hours.
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Posted by Joshua Haigh

It’s actor Skylar Astin’s birthday.

The Hollywood star, who’s best known for belting out hits in the Pitch Perfect franchise alongside Anna Kendrick, is turning 30-years-old.

While he manages to keep his kit on in the musical films, Astin stripped off previously for his role in 21 & Over alongside Miles Teller.

The pair wore nothing but socks in the flick, and even shared a kiss – take a look below:


Miles Teller Skylar Astin nude 21 & over

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Posted by Joshua Haigh

Aaron Carter has checked himself into rehab.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that neighbours had called the police after Carter’s behaviour appeared erratic. A woman told emergency services that the star looked “very ill” and “close to death”.

Authorities evaluated him under the Baker Act, which allows someone to be involuntarily institutionalized if police deem they are a danger to themselves or others.  However, police determined that Carter’s condition wasn’t serve enough for him to be hospitalised.

After the incident, it’s now emerged that Carter has decided to try and get his life back on the mend by entering a rehab facility.

In a statement, Carter’s representative said: “Aaron has decided to enter a facility to improve his health and work on his overall wellness. He is going to do this privately and focus all his attention on being the best person and performer possible.

“He is grateful for the support and love from his fans and looks forward to coming back stronger than ever before.”

The star later tweeted: “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”

Last month, spoke openly for the first time about his attraction to men in a heartfelt message to fans.

The US singer and former teen heartthrob, who split with girlfriend Madison Parker just days before speaking publicly about his attraction, also admitted that despite his past experiences he’s only looking to settle down with a member of the opposite sex.

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Posted by Dan Goodin

The recent CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it initially appeared, according to newly unearthed evidence. That evidence shows that the CCleaner malware infected at least 20 computers from a carefully selected list of high-profile technology companies with a mysterious payload.

(credit: Talos)

Previously, researchers found no evidence that any of the computers infected by the booby-trapped version of the widely used CCleaner utility had received a second-stage payload the backdoor was capable of delivering. The new evidence—culled from data left on a command-and-control server during the last four days attackers operated it—shows otherwise. Of 700,000 infected PCs, 20 of them, belonging to highly targeted companies, received the second stage, according to an analysis published Wednesday by Cisco Systems' Talos Group.

Because the CCleaner backdoor was active for 31 days, the total number of infected computers is "likely at least in the order of hundreds," researchers from Avast, the antivirus company that acquired CCleaner in July, said in their own analysis published Thursday.

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Posted by Sean Gallagher


Having some transparency about security problems with software is great, but Adobe's Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) took that transparency a little too far today when a member of the team posted the PGP keys for PSIRT's e-mail account—both the public and the private keys. The keys have since been taken down, and a new public key has been posted in its stead.

The faux pas was spotted at 1:49pm ET by security researcher Juho Nurminen:

Nurminen was able to confirm that the key was associated with the e-mail account.

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Posted by Zoe O'Connell

Last Saturday, The Times published an opinion piece by Janice Turner in which she tells a version of events that took place at Speakers’ Corner last week during a protest by trans activists. By the time of publication, Janice’s narrative of an elderly woman being beaten up had already been proven false by video circulating on YouTube. This is my letter to the editor in response to that piece, sent on Saturday afternoon – The Times have chosen not to publish it.

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Janice Turner’s article “The battle over gender has turned bloody”.

Janice seems to be unaware that the incident which occurred during a protest last week was videoed and that it was posted on YouTube. The video tells a very different story to the one she presents, in which she claims a trans activist committed an unprovoked assault on a 60 year old woman. Or perhaps she has taken a leaf out of Donald Trump’s campaign playbook, and wants to try to establish her view as the pure and unadulterated truth regardless of the evidence to the contrary.

What the video shows is Janice’s “60-year-old in specs and sensible shoes called Maria”, who she clearly want to portray as someone defenceless, holding a trans activist in a headlock and trying to kick them repeatedly. I understand the police were called, viewed the video and concluded no action was needed because Maria’s injuries had been sustained as a result of her being pulled off by one of the activist’s friends.

Although stills are available, the video has since been taken offline. Presumably because the person who posted it realised that crying foul when you sustain injuries in the process of assaulting someone else is not a good PR tactic.

I condemn all violence. If Janice wants to condemn violence, she too should condemn all violence. Not just those incidents that help prop up her narrative of hate.


Councillor Zoe O’Connell

The post In response to Janice Turner: An unpublished letter to The Times appeared first on Complicity.

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