Shared posts

30 Jun 20:35

The World's Ugliest Dog Contest

by Ari Spool
Dogcontest

Gnarled, bug-eyed pups have competed annually for this vaunted American crown since the 1970s. We’ve generated a useful, hilarious, and weirdly cute photo-annotated timeline of all the winners from the last 15 years.

30 Jun 17:42

Meanwhile in Washington D.C.

by Brad
C8c
29 Jun 13:16

All the Colors of the Sun

It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors.


29 Jun 20:13

Priceless Ending to a Confederate Flag Parade

by Ari Spool
919

This parade of Confederate flag-adorned SUVs and pickup trucks was sanctioned by the local police, but offensive to the people making this video. Fortunately for the latter, they happened to have the camera turned on for a perfectly vindicating moment.

28 Jun 14:31

Ranger Ron's Wilderness survival guide

http://oglaf.com/rangerron/

25 Jun 17:52

Fueled by Snowden and Apple, private search engine DuckDuckGo rapidly grows

by Cyrus Farivar

The privacy-minded search engine DuckDuckGo announced this week that it has reached a milestone. The Google alternative now serves over 10 million searches per day. (By comparison, Google serves about 4.3 billion per day.)

Back in May 2012 when Ars profiled the startup, we reported that DuckDuckGo hit an all-time record of 1.5 million searches per day. At that time, its daily search traffic had grown by 227 percent in three months. In the three years since, DuckDuckGo has continued to grow as more Internet users have become increasingly privacy-conscious online. DuckDuckGo's traffic jumped noticeably after the Snowden revelations in June 2013, and it continued to rise after being included in the OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 versions of Safari nearly a year later. Mozilla also added it as an option to Firefox late last year.

DuckDuckGo works by using both its own Web crawler and data from other search engines, including Yahoo, Bing, and Blekko—not Google. The company claims that it does not log IP addresses or user agents, and it says that “no cookies are used by default." It also uses default encryption modeled after HTTPS Everywhere.

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26 Jun 18:59

Hillary Clinton ca. 1993 on Presidents Fighting Rich Corporations: “Tell Me Something Real”

by Jon Schwarz

A recent article in Politico includes a fantastic anecdote about Hillary Clinton’s worldview as of 1993. It describes how she believed that universal Medicare-for-all health coverage like Canada’s made rational sense, but that insurance company money would stop it from ever happening — and that it was hilariously naive to think a U.S. president could do anything about that.

From the article by Ben Schreckinger:

One of Bill Clinton’s first acts in office in January of 1993 was to appoint his wife to chair the administration’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform. [then-Rep. Bernie] Sanders had convened his own, much-smaller task force pushing single-payer health care for Vermont, and he began trying to pull Hillary Clinton in that direction.

In February, Sanders requested a meeting with Hillary, “to bring in two Harvard Medical School physicians who have written on the Canadian system,” according to the records of the administration’s task force. Those physicians were Stephanie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, leading advocates for single-payer health care.

They got their meeting at the White House that month, and the two doctors laid out the case for single-payer to the first lady. “She said, ‘You make a convincing case, but is there any force on the face of the earth that could counter the hundreds of millions of the dollars the insurance industry would spend fighting that?’” recalled Himmelstein. “And I said, “How about the president of the United States actually leading the American people?’ and she said, ‘Tell me something real.’”

This is important information for people to know about Clinton, especially now that she’s running for president claiming to want to engage in “Four Fights.” It suggests what she really has planned is Four Thrown Fights. (Himmelstein and Stephanie Woolhandler don’t remember anything more about this part of their meeting, and Sanders hasn’t responded to my questions about it.)

(This post is from our blog: Unofficial Sources.)

Photo: Jon Chase/AP

The post Hillary Clinton ca. 1993 on Presidents Fighting Rich Corporations: “Tell Me Something Real” appeared first on The Intercept.

26 Jun 22:53

2.5 million data points show: America's ISPs suck, and AT&T sucks worst

by Cory Doctorow

Josh from the Open Tech Institute writes, "Last week, researchers published the first results from the Internet Health Test, a public tool for consumers to measure their Internet speeds and gather data on broadband providers in the wake of the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

The pro-net neutrality coalition Battle for the Net launched the test in May, and it has already produced an unprecedented amount of data: 2.5 million data points generated by more than 300,000 Internet users. This data trove gives researchers and the public valuable insight into whether broadband providers are complying with net neutrality rules.

Researchers from Measurement Lab analyzed this rich dataset and announced their initial findings last week. What they found should raise eyebrows: customers of AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon — the nation’s five largest ISPs — experienced significantly degraded Internet performance during the first half of 2015. In effect, millions of Americans aren’t getting the broadband service they paid for.

A key problem appears to be the gateways into the Internet’s so-called “last mile” — the networks that ISPs operate to reach their customers. These gateways, commonly referred to as interconnections, are how most online content reaches Internet users. Despite the importance of this critical component of the Internet’s architecture, there are few publicly available tools that measure interconnection activity. In such an opaque environment, anti-consumer behavior can occur without detection.

The Internet Health Test found evidence of significant congestion at interconnection points across the country. While congestion was observed on all of the nation’s five biggest ISPs, AT&T was the worst performer.

In Chicago and Los Angeles, AT&T customers experienced speeds as low as 0.1 Mbps — basically unusable speeds, well below those advertised and the FCC’s standard of 25 Mbps. AT&T customers in Atlanta didn’t fair much better, with speeds dropping to 2 Mbps during peak use hours. The degraded speeds occurred when customers tried to access content across AT&T’s interconnections with the transit provider GTT. Customers of CenturyLink, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon also suffered prolonged degradation in Seattle, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

The market for interconnection services has historically been competitive and healthy. These findings call into question whether that market is failing, and suggest that consumers are the collateral damage. Interconnection congestion is occurring on a national scale, even months after net neutrality rules were approved. Moreover, this data comes just as AT&T seeks government approval of its proposed merger with DirecTV, a transaction that would significantly expand AT&T's market power. The FCC should act to protect consumers from further harm.

New Opportunities for Test Deployment and Continued Analysis of Interconnection Performance [Measurement Lab]

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26 Jun 04:43

Lucas Attacks with the Wess Dance!

by Mato

The other day I posted about MOTHER 3 and EarthBound stuff mods for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Now a new fan creation now allows Lucas to do the Wess dance from MOTHER 3 as a taunt!

The taunt seems to have offensive capabilities too, although the dance is so long that I wonder if it’s actually useful for normal battle situations.

Here’s a better look at Lucas doing the dance, too:

I seriously have no idea how fans are able to pull this stuff off. Amazing work!

26 Jun 18:15

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

by Patricia Hernandez

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

Yesterday, Apple pulled a number of games that contained the U.S. Confederate flag from the app store without warning. Today, one of those games is highlighted on Steam’s front page—and players are rallying around it.

If you visit Steam store right now, you should be able to see this:

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

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Fun fact: Ultimate General: Gettysburg, a Civil War tactical battle simulator, is not a new game. It was released in October 16th, 2014. The game’s last update hit on June 11th—a couple of weeks ago. It couldn’t really be considered a ‘hot game’ right now. There is, as far as I can tell, no particular reason for it to suddenly be featured so visibly on the Steam store out of the blue. Unless of course you take into account that Ultimate General Gettysburg was also one of the games that Apple pulled from the App Store yesterday:

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

Then it kiiiiind of comes across as Valve taking a shot at Apple for pulling down a game for arguably poor reasons. Whatever may have prompted this sudden visibility, Gettysburg is certainly enjoying the limelight. Currently, you can find it on the top 50 games on Steam. But, more importantly, players are populating the reviews page with evaluations that either support the game, or the idea that it might offend people for having the Confederate flag:

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

Civil War Game Pulled From Apple Store Now Doing Great On Steam

While there are certainly some reviews that are misguided in their support of the game, the result is still that Gettysburg is getting more attention and support right now from Steam players in light of its unfortunate removal from the App Store. Which is great and all, but hopefully civil war games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg can be reinstated in the App Store itself, too.

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23 Jun 10:00

All Is Full Of Dad: Live-Action Dad By The Sword Trailer

by Alice O'Connor

Does the latest Dad By The Sword [official site] trailer tell us much new about the first-person dad-action-RPG? Nnnooot really (you get a nice look at your dad’s bejorted leg as he kicks a monster, mind). The trailer does, however, have the best live-action sequences since Roundabout. I never knew dad was such a versatile – and prevalent – element.

… [visit site to read more]

26 Jun 01:43

GOP's Finest Contenders: The Choice Is Yours

by Brad
Bewarethewumpus

John Bolton? Like the singer?

D6a
25 Jun 14:48

French Newspaper Cites U.S. “Contempt” as Reason to Offer Snowden Asylum

by Jenna McLaughlin

France should respond to the U.S.’s “contempt” for its allies by giving Edward Snowden asylum, the leftist French daily newspaper Libération declared on Thursday.

France would send “a clear and useful message to Washington, by granting this bold whistleblower the asylum to which he is entitled,” editor Laurent Joffrin wrote (translated from the French) in an angry editorial titled “Un seul geste” — or “A single gesture.”

The editorial came just two days after Libération co-published a trove of documents obtained by WikiLeaks that recounted how the National Security Agency spied for years on the last three French presidents. (President Barack Obama spoke to French President Francois Hollande Wednesday and told him that — as of late 2013 — “we are not targeting and will not target the communications of the French President.”)

“Contempt” is the only word to describe the U.S.’s behavior to its allies, Joffrin wrote.

France could even the count by offering asylum to the “single, courageous man, who has been chased without respite for three years: Edward Snowden, stalked and threatened with life in prison for having told the truth.”

The WikiLeaks documents showing NSA spying of French leaders have not been sourced to Snowden. But by turning over top-secrets documents to journalists in 2013, Snowden exposed a wide range of invasive U.S. and British surveillance around the globe, and this latest revelation created a new flashpoint for the already considerable outrage.

Libération was co-founded by existentialist French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, and has remained a significant left-wing voice ever since.

If Paris offers Snowden asylum, it will be joining several other nations who have done so in the past, including Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. However, Snowden is still waiting in Moscow to hear from almost two dozen other countries where he has requested asylum.

(This post is from our blog: Unofficial Sources.)

Photo: French President Francois Hollande on the phone. Stefan Rousseau/AFP/Getty Images

The post French Newspaper Cites U.S. “Contempt” as Reason to Offer Snowden Asylum appeared first on The Intercept.

26 Jun 11:52

Boo at the Confederate flag til it burns. It’ll probably make you feel better

by Leigh Alexander
booflag1

In BooFlag, just switch on your computer mic and boo at the Confederate flag. As you do, it will slowly be lowered, and eventually it will catch on fire and burn to a little pile of ash. Is it all happening too slowly? Boo harder.

It’s satisfying, of course, but as the game reminds you, chiding an emblem doesn’t solve structural problems. It’s an “unofficial sequel” to BulchyC’s Americlap, a game where you earn money by clapping your hands at the American flag til you feel embarrassed. Sometimes very simple mechanics can create such fertile territory, and they make often complicated ideas and thought spaces simple to experience and share.

The game is by Carnegie Mellon professor Paolo Pedercini, whose imprint Molleindustria has done some of the most provocative critiques of systems and issues in the game space for years, on topics from church sex abuse cover-ups, the human cost of smartphone manufacturing, and drones, among many others.

BooFlag comes just after news that Apple would remove a swath of Civil War-themed games from the App Store because they feature the Confederate flag. Attention has been renewed on the fraught Southern emblem since the tragic Charleston church massacre earlier this month—many on social media abroad were surprised to learn the basically racist flag still flies on government buildings in certain parts of America, and remains well-beloved by people who don’t like to think about racism.

booflagBooFlag calls attention to how anger at the symbol, however righteous, might be for some people a much easier method of taking action against structural inequity in America than, you know, actual action. Confederate flag sales have since soared on Amazon.

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26 Jun 05:48

Deathflag

by jon

2015-06-26-Deathflag

Flags! They’re so crazy.

Hey! I revamped the rewards for Patreon patrons this week. The rewards are full of all sorts of recurring goodies, including a patron-exclusive bonus SFAM comic every month!

Check out these rewards:

  • Access to the patron-only feed, including early access to all my comics as soon as they are finished.
  • A free monthly haiku, written by me, Jon Rosenberg.
  • An exclusive patron-only SFAM once a month. Bonus comics!
  • Monthly SFAM or Goats computer wallpaper.
  • One free ebook each year for Christmas!
  • The original art for one Goats strip, each year for Christmas!
  • And more!

Consider becoming a SFAM patron today! Your support makes this whole comics thing possible. I can’t do it without you.

kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message[1]

The post Deathflag appeared first on Scenes From A Multiverse.

24 Jun 20:00

Pandora For Pennies: Humble Borderlands Bundle

by Alec Meer

‘Humble’ is not a word I would rush to associate with Borderlands, given the chest-thumping, max-volume mania of 2 and the recent Pre-Sequel, but in this instance it means you can lay hands on the bulk of Gearbox’s FPS/RPG series for few-pennies.
… [visit site to read more]

24 Jun 21:00

Walking With Dinosaurs: Is Ark: Survival Evolved Good?

by Steven Messner

On my third night in Ark: Survival Evolved [official site], when the sun had finally set and I was left alone in the seething blackness of the jungle, I saw a glimpse of my possible future. I was chopping trees in the dark, too scared to even light a fire for fear of what the warmth might draw toward me, but as another tree toppled with a groan I spied lights in the valley below. I crept closer. Silhouetted in flickering torchlight towered a tyrannosaurus rex, around which a group of hunters darted back and forth, attacking with spears and arrows. Eventually, they hunters prevailed, and, as they set upon the fallen dinosaur with tools to harvest its meat and hides, I faded back into the jungle and began chopping with renewed purpose.

Ark: Survival Evolved is an early access survival game full of these moments – the kind that fill you with trepidation and excitement in equal measure. But for every moment that adds to the enchantment of surviving on an island teeming with prehistoric life, there are just as many capable of frustrating you. Building on a firm foundation well tread by online survival games, Ark certainly has potential, much of it unrealized, but I can’t help but wonder if the claim of Survival Evolved is just too hyperbolic of a statement to make.

… [visit site to read more]

24 Jun 20:00

Popular Steam Game Offers $100 To Anyone Who Finds An Exploit

by Patricia Hernandez

Popular Steam Game Offers $100 To Anyone Who Finds An Exploit

Have you encountered a bug, glitch, or hack while playing Steam’s hottest new dinosaur game? You might be sitting on $100.

ARK: Survival Evolved, a dinosaur survival game that’s been tearing up the top-selling charts for almost a month now, is trying something pretty unique for an Early Access game. One of the developers took to the Steam forums yesterday to announce a new scheme where players will be rewarded for finding exploits:

We offer $100 bounties for anyone who can provide us with hacks of any kind (which are NOT aimbots/esp/speedhacks) that can have an impact on gameplay or server stability on our official, online servers. Feel free to reach out to info@studiowildcard.com with details.

Already, one player has received cash through PayPal—the developers say the entire reporting process took about two hours before the player was compensated. I’m guessing that once reports start flooding in, the process might take a little longer.

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Considering that ARK is in Early Access, and therefore is not done, it comes across as a bold move—surely, there are a number of things floating around, waiting to be reported. Cynically, one could view this as crowdsourcing quality assurance...but considering people are getting paid for their efforts, it’s hard for me to side-eye this. It reminds me of Google’s “Chrome Reward Program,” where they offer up to $50,000 to anyone that can find vulnerability in Chrome.

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24 Jun 06:29

Just A Theory

by jon

2015-06-24-Just-A-Theory

I love axolotls!

Hey! I revamped the rewards for Patreon patrons this week. The rewards are full of all sorts of recurring goodies, including a patron-exclusive bonus SFAM comic every month!

Check out these rewards:

  • Access to the patron-only feed, including early access to all my comics as soon as they are finished.
  • A free monthly haiku, written by me, Jon Rosenberg.
  • An exclusive patron-only SFAM once a month. Bonus comics!
  • Monthly SFAM or Goats computer wallpaper.
  • One free ebook each year for Christmas!
  • The original art for one Goats strip, each year for Christmas!
  • And more!

Consider becoming a SFAM patron today! Your support makes this whole comics thing possible. I can’t do it without you.

kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message[1]

The post Just A Theory appeared first on Scenes From A Multiverse.

23 Jun 20:40

Merlin's Amazing Deep Sea Magical Adventure

by Don
Bewarethewumpus

I can't wait for episode 2!

8fd

The FilmCow YouTube channel presents the first episode in a two-part series about a misanthropic fish-wizard named Merlin, who presents a mysterious magical door in the depths of the ocean.

23 Jun 23:26

Peak Bill O'Reilly: “Confederate flag represents bravery,” not racist hate

by Xeni Jardin
Screen-Shot-2015-06-23-at-9.14.56-AM-620x412

Bill O'Reilly: “You say the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate, and you believe that. For some other people who see it in a historical context, it represents bravery...You know as well as I do that it represents to some bravery in the Civil War, because the Confederates fought hard—”

“That wasn’t the confederate flag!”

“I mean you’re right historically, but in their minds, that’s what it represents. And in your mind it represents hate. And everybody should know what the two sides are believing.”

[MediaMatters via Salon]

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23 Jun 05:12

Jean-Luc Picard that you can dance to

by David Pescovitz

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Star Trek: TNG's Jean-Luc Picard drops knowledge over Eclectic Method. (more…)

21 Jun 23:49

Houston oil business president charged with punching gay man unconscious

by Mark Frauenfelder

Anthony Fera (above), president of Houston’s MidStar Energy LP, was charged with assault for allegedly hitting Andy Smith, executive director of the Texas Instruments Foundation, so hard that he was knocked unconscious. In Smith's police statement he alleges that he was walking with his husband in Austin when Fera nearly hit the couple with his car.

"I hollered out, 'you nearly hit us.'" Fera reportedly replied, 'Fuck you faggot.'" Smith and Fera exchanged a few more words before Fera exited his car, punched Smith in the head, ran back, and resumed driving.

Paul Von Wupperfeld, Smith's husband, writes in his statement that Smith’s face “was swollen and bloody from where he had been punched, with cuts on his nose, right cheek, and chin. He was unconscious for around 30-45 seconds. When he came around he was groggy and disoriented.”

Fera is back on the streets after paying $5,000 bail.

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22 Jun 11:54

John Oliver on Internet misogyny

by Rob Beschizza
It's a nice place, if you have a white penis: "It doesn't just affect women in gaming."

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22 Jun 13:59

GCHQ hacking squad worried about getting sued for copyright violation

by Cory Doctorow


The British spy-agency targeted anti-virus software and other common applications in reverse-engineering projects aimed at discovering and weaponizing defects in the code.

A newly published memo from the Snowden trove details the way that the agency discovered bugs in software that is widely used by UK businesses, individuals and government agencies, but did not take steps to get these defects fixed. Rather, they squirreled them away in secret, turning them into weapons that could be used to attack their adversaries -- and leaving everyone else (including Britons) at risk of being hacked via the same bugs by foreign spies, criminals and stalkers.

The agency circulated an internal memo warning that reverse-engineering was illegal under UK and foreign laws (for example the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act), suggesting that they could face copyright liability if their activities came to light.

Section 1201 of the DMCA prohibits breaking digital locks that restrict access to copyrighted works. Since the bill's passage in 1998, security researchers have warned that it created a chilling effect on legit research, because researchers who discovered vulnerabilities and went public with them -- warning users that the tools they relied on weren't fit for purpose -- could face fines and even jail for weakening the lock's efficacy.

Every three years, the US Copyright Office entertains petitions for exemptions to 1201, and this year, there were many proposals related to security research in which researchers attested that their work was slowed, suppressed or stopped because of 1201 jeopardy. From voting machines to cars to medical implants to general software to categories so fraught the petitioners didn't even want to hint at them, some of the world's top security experts told the Copyright Office that 1201 gets in the way of security research.

It's darkly ironic to learn that GCHQ's top researchers could have easily signed their names to any of the filings in the docket.

“In 2008, there was no real authority on this issue in the EU or the U.K.,” says Indra Bhattacharya, a U.K. solicitor with the firm Jones Day who specializes in intellectual property law. A 2012 EU court ruling and a related 2013 U.K. court ruling allow greater latitude toward specific reverse engineering practices as long as there is no copying of code, he explains, but case law is “very fact-specific” and “deals mostly with commercial situations,” making it difficult to determine how it might apply to a government agency and whether it would obviate the need for GCHQ’s warrant.

But at the time of the warrant renewal application, GCHQ was clear on its legal position. “Reverse engineering of commercial products needs to be warranted in order to be lawful,” one agency memo states. “There is a risk that in the unlikely event of a challenge by the copyright owner or licensor, the courts would, in the absence of a legal authorisation, hold that such activity was unlawful.” Even if warrants shielded GCHQ from domestic law, the agency believed the warrant would not protect it under international law, noting that such warrant-based immunity would be “limited,” given that “it only covers us under U.K. law.”

GCHQ obtained its warrant under section 5 of the 1994 Intelligence Services Act, which covers interference with property and “wireless telegraphy” by the Security Service (MI5), Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and GCHQ. Section 5 of the ISA does not mention interference in intellectual property, which the intelligence agency believed was necessary to reverse engineer software, but a top-secret memo states that the intelligence services commissioner approved such use in 2005.

Spies Hacked Computers Thanks to Sweeping Secret Warrants, Aggressively Stretching U.K. Law [Andrew Fishman and Glenn Greenwald/The Intercept]

(Icon: GCHQ / Always listening, George Rex, CC-BY-SA)

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22 Jun 16:00

We Are Not Free

by Evan Narcisse on TMI, shared by Evan Narcisse to Kotaku

We Are Not Free

It’s been a terrible few weeks for the black body.

We’ve just been through a stretch of days that unambiguously demonstrate that black people in this country—and one other—can’t move, think or exist as freely as their non-black counterparts. A white woman claims that she’s always felt black on the inside, to the extent that she calls her own parentage into question. Black people of Haitian heritage in the Dominican Republic face mass deportation and disenfranchisement, despite the fact that many have never known life in any other circumstance than the one being ripped away from them. And nine black congregants were murdered inside a church that’s hallowed ground for the African-American freedom struggle, killed by a young, racist gunman who said that blacks were taking over the world.

Black people aren’t taking over any damn thing. If anything, it’s felt like the existential footing essential to living our lives gets eroded in big crashing waves after events like these. We’re not free to be our fullest selves. Not when the basic psychological agency needed to publically protest or grieve gets shouted down and undercut. The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Renisha McBride and too many others at the hands of police—and the activist responses to those killings—have been followed by rabid efforts to re-frame their last moments and entire lives in the worst possible way. On paper, the freedom to air out our grief exists, sure. But it’s met by responses that seek to limit it. Say what you want, black folk; the Constitution allows for that. But don’t you dare invoke the insidious subtext of institutional oppression that drives you to speak in the first place.

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Rachel Dolezal is free, to a wildly unfettered degree that lets her say she’s black. She at least gets the courtesy of debate. She’s gotten think-piece articles and televised interviews dedicated to investigating the peculiarity of her individual race problem. I’ve had lot of conversations with black friends over the last few days where we acknowledge that black identity is lived in an infinite number of ways and skin tones. And even as folks bat around the idea that race is a bullshit social construct invented centuries ago to stratify human beings into castes, the mechanism of that contraption still holds some people fastly in place. Not Rachel Dolezal, though. She gets to decide what she is.

The hundreds of thousands of Haitian-descended people in the Dominican Republic staring down the possibility of being deported aren’t free. Many of these people were born in the country trying to throw them out—children of immigrants looking for a better life. They’re in the grip of a centuries-long blood feud between two countries on the same island, one where a sugar colony threw off the yoke of slave oppression. Yet, these at-risk black people in the DR are back where their ancestors started, unable to steer their own lives and plant down roots where they find themselves.

Clementa Pinckney, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Susie Jackson, Daniel L. Simmons and Depayne Middleton Doctor were not free in their last moments of life. They died like chattel, pawns in Dylann Roof’s attempt to start a race war. Their freedom to assemble and worship got overridden by the same hoary old myths about white superiority that have driven public policy and private discrimination in America since its birth.

I started writing this in the air over Denver on the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, a day observed as a holiday memorializing the Emancipation Proclamation. Concerned as it is with the presidential order that said black people weren’t just property anymore, June 19th is a grassroots holiday that looks back at the bleak racial legacy of the American past. It’s a date meant to celebrate the collective strength that carried black folks through slavery.

This Juneteenth didn’t feel celebratory. It felt mournful. The pains of the past are reincarnated and upgraded, parading down black folks’ collective psyche in military-grade police gear and proudly carrying the banners of Jim Crow and apartheid. Right now, what I live inside feels like a sort of shadow freedom. A trap of weariness, doubt, fear and anger that I need to mask or suppress to get through the day. It’s a decaying simulacrum of the way I see other people living—seemingly carefree and unburdened—but hollowed out by the creeping fear of the exact moment I’ll have to explain to my daughter why someone brown got killed by a cop or a racist. Lately, it’s all I can think about. And that’s not very free at all.

Image by Jim Cooke, photos via AP.

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22 Jun 02:16

There Is A Sale On Video Games

by Mark Serrels

There Is A Sale On Video Games

You won’t believe this, because they’re so subtle, but every so often EB Games—the Australian outpost of GameStop— has a sale.

Like the store in the image above. They’re having a sale believe it or not, the biggest sale ever apparently. But you’d never know unless you actually walked into the store.

7/10

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There Is A Sale On Video Games

Clearly it wasn’t the biggest sale ever though, surely this one is. It has to be. It has more red. The more red it has the bigger the sale. Obviously. By that reasoning this is the biggest sale ever.

9/10.


There Is A Sale On Video Games

Via Alex Burgess

I mean seriously, this store has to step its game up. Not even close to enough banners in this one. Bonus point, however, for the frills. A nice touch.

6/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

This store isn’t even trying. Come on man? Clearly scrimping on its ‘SALE’ banner budget. I am, however, truly enjoying the relaxed way the banners are strewn around everywhere.

Via Dorkly

5/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

Via Reddit
This picture is just too damn yellow.

6/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

Blurry pic, but I’d this is a well crafted EB Games storefront. I am definitely aware that a sale is going on. There is a lot of red here.

9/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

Tastefully lit. Beautiful contrasts between the red of the banners and the store inside.

8/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

Uninspired. Flat. Featureless. These sales banners have too much white. This store front has datedterribly.

4/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

Actually, this one is quite tasteful. But how am I supposed to tell if there really is a sale in here? Honestly. No commitment here at all.

6/10


There Is A Sale On Video Games

via Stealingyourpixels
“Amazeballs sale.”

“YOLO Swag Sale.”

You have to know the rules to break the rules. Pure genius.

10/10


This post originally appeared on Kotaku Australia, where Mark Serrels is the Editor. You can follow him on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing.

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21 Jun 22:53

Some Things Just Never Change

by Brad
Bewarethewumpus

Until there's a Jurassic Park digital watch tie in from Burger King, it won't be the same. It just won't!

832
22 Jun 01:19

Gemini Gunstock Carver3D printing might be quicker with less of...

Bewarethewumpus

Via David Pelaez













Gemini Gunstock Carver

3D printing might be quicker with less of a mess but for those who like to work with their hands, this is an interesting tool. It’s not solely for gun stocks. With the different attachments you can replicate anything in wood; from guitar bodies to airplane propellers to human skulls. (GRH)

Source

17 Jun 18:09

Hulu Playing Nice With Broadcasters In Battle To Beat Netflix

by Chris Morran
Bewarethewumpus

The appeal of Netflix for me is twofold; first, it's more convenient than pirating shows, and second because I don't get commercials. If one of those two things stops being true, and there's no replacement that has both going, I will feel no moral qualms about pirating shows.

When Bob's Burgers runs on Hulu, it includes a pre-show bumper telling viewers when to watch the show live on TV. When you watch Bob's on Netflix, the network is not referenced at all.

When Bob’s Burgers runs on Hulu, it includes a pre-show bumper telling viewers when to watch the show live on TV. When you watch Bob’s on Netflix, the network is not referenced at all.

For years, Hulu has lingered in the shadow of Netflix, and has had some trouble convincing consumers to pay $8/month for access to shows that still have commercials in them, when neither Netflix nor Amazon Prime insert ad breaks into their videos. But the service has recently begun playing nice with the very networks that have an ownership stake in the company in order to win access to better content.

First, have you ever noticed how most broadcast networks don’t make the full current season of a show available for on-demand customers or for streaming through their own sites? It’s usually just a few of the most recent episodes.

This is a practice called “stacking,” and it’s one that Netflix and Amazon approve of because it means that a TV viewer can’t just go and watch a whole season online — at least until it’s on one of their services.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that when FOX decided to put its entire first season of the hit show Empire on cable companies’ on-demand platforms, Netflix wasn’t too thrilled. The streaming service said that this free availability of the show made it less valuable for a subscription service and sought a discount on the streaming license.

Hulu — which is jointly owned by Comcast (NBC), Disney (ABC), and 21st Century Fox, the News Corp spinoff that includes the FOX TV network — not only didn’t have a problem with stacking the show, it also agreed to pay more than Netflix for Empire, notes the Journal.

But the service isn’t just winning new content by paying more or being broadcaster-friendly about on-demand access, it’s doing something else that Netflix refuses to do: Give credit to the network a show originally airs on.

For example, if you watch episodes of popular FOX animated show Bob’s Burger on Netflix, the only time you’ll see the “Fox” named mentioned is at the end of the credits, only because the company’s studio produces the show. But if you watch Bob’s on Hulu, you’ll not only get a pre-show bumper advertising FOX, but then a reminder telling you when you can watch the show on FOX.

Even though Netflix has helped shows heavily serialized shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Lost gain audiences by allowing new viewers to play catch-up, the service has repeatedly stated that it is not in the business of promoting TV networks, many of whom don’t directly produce the shows they air.

But Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins tells the Journal that “We look at network brands as a benefit to us.”

And the co-chair of the Fox Television Group says that Hulu has “accepted the notion that the bigger we can build the show, the better it is likely to do on Hulu, not the opposite.”

Hulu’s biggest obstacle to getting subscribers appears to be its insistence on running ads. Unless Netflix, which has been steadfastly against the idea of interrupting its content for ad breaks, changes its tune, we have a hard time imagining Hulu gaining the same size audience.