|Photo by Rick Day|
Last month I came out as transgender, beginning my transition to female. My mom has repeatedly tried to get me to move back home and see a therapist to "fix" me. My oldest sister called me a "sexual deviant" and forbid me to talk to my nieces and nephew, all of whom I was very close to. It's now been a month since this has happened. My question is, how can I reach out to my mom and my sister to help them understand better?
Rejected Trans Woman
Dear Rejected Trans Woman,
First and foremost, I commend you for moving forward with an incredibly intense yet deeply important choice: the choice to be yourself. Choosing to be true to one's self — despite physical, emotional, and social challenges that may come with the journey — is an integral part of realizing not just one's own potential, but of realizing the true nature of our collective human spirit. This spirit is what makes us who we are, and by following that spirit as it manifests outwardly, and inwardly, you are benefiting us all. This is what defines and furthers our shared journey of discovery and individuality.
You are you, and as you progress on this adventure, you are striving to release more of that "you-ness" from deep within and out into the world. And this "you-ness" is truth, truth as expressed through your life as a unique person. It's your song, your melody.
Each of us has a melody that is meant to be heard loud and clear. Our purpose in life is to transcend all the aspects of ourselves and our surroundings that seek to block out or interfere with the pure and uninhibited singing of this music inside us. The degree to which we are truly successful as humans is the degree to which we have mastered the art of being one and the same with our own song, so that it's not even a separate melody we're singing, but rather we are the melody itself.
Some of us struggle with our greatest enemy — fear — and often do not get far in our efforts to release our true self out into the world. You should feel proud that you have already conquered the hardest challenge, of conquering and freeing your self from yourself. The remaining challenges may be painful, but they are really only disguised opportunities for you to expand your heart and spirit to even larger and truer dimensions. Trust in the ordeals.
There are many things that can stand in the way of our efforts to release our true self, but most of these things don't have much power over us in the end, despite their apparent material or psychological impacts. Ultimately, there is no single outside person, circumstance, or force that can crush our human spirit once it has found the strength to embrace itself.
You have done this. And now it's time to use this power for even more good.
I would tell your mom that you love her. Then tell her you love her again. And then again. Don't even get into her absurdity about being "fixed," or talking to a therapist. Look at this obstacle with your mom as another opportunity to set yourself and your spirit free. It's a test to see how high you can rise, how big you can be, how much compassion you can summon, how much unconditional love you can develop.
Tell your mom that no matter what she says or thinks, you know that deep down inside she loves you. She brought you into the world, and started you on this journey to realize yourself and release your spirit from her care. Remind her that it is your journey and your spirit and your life — not hers. Far too often, parents truly think of their children as "their" kids, rather than seeing the truth that they're simply custodians with the privilege of helping bring another sacred spirit into being, to give it love and the nurturing support it needs to thrive and develop the strength to become itself — your self — and not your mom's or anyone else's.
Tell your sister that no matter how upsetting this may be for her, and no matter how cruel and drastic and hurtful she may try to be, you still love her. Then tell her you love her again. And then again. And tell her that no matter what she says, you know she still loves you, even if at times she herself doesn't realize it.
You can tell her that you are still yourself. In fact, you are even more yourself than ever before. And you can add that you don't need her to say what she thinks about your choice or even need her to understand it, because you love her beyond all understanding. The love you have for your family transcends all logic and norms of behavior and rules and ideas that she or anyone has about you and your spirit. All you have is love, and all you care about is letting that love shine out from within you.
Your love is big enough to compensate for the shortcomings and challenges others are facing. Your love is big enough to love your family even when it doesn't feel returned. Your love is big enough to envelop all the hurt and confusion and pain of life in one enormous, warm embrace.
Your love is the ultimate love that empowers all your efforts, a true love for what is indestructibly and perpetually you. This is more than self-love; this is a pure and blinding love of all existence and the glory of this amazing and perplexing adventure called "life."
Focus on this love, and more love, and even more love. More love than necessary. More love than possible.
You are this love. And this love is what you are releasing from within you as part of this journey. I'm proud of you. And I love you.
It was only a year ago that SanDisk unveiled the first ever 128GB microSD card. Now, at Mobile World Congress, the company has upped the stakes once again, announcing a microSD card with an incredible 200GB of storage. This is more memory than many modern laptops equipped with solid state drives, and can turn any Android device into a portable hard drive for music and photos. This is certainly where SanDisk is hoping the card will be useful (the company notes that seven out of 10 images are now captured on smartphones and tablets, a ratio they predict will rise to nine out of 10 by the year 2019) but the future of SD cards on mobiles is far from certain.
Samsung's new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge both break with tradition by dropping the option for expandable storage (just as the iPhone has ever since its inception) and although HTC's new One M9 does give customers the option, HTC is far from leading the market at this point. SanDisk's new card does have impressive transfer speeds of 90MB/s, but that's nothing compared to recent SSDs and there's even some evidence that additional storage can slow down Android smartphones in general. Still, there are millions of existing Android devices that the new microSD card will work on, although with a $400 price tag, not everyone will want to upgrade.
Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has launched a new action cam to rival the GoPro Hero — at least, in China anyway. The Yi Action Camera won't be available outside of Xiaomi's home country, but is selling for the impressively low price of 399 CNY (just $64) and offers some eye-catching specs to match. The new device shows the company's ambition to move beyond the smartphone market, and offer consumers the chance to buy in to a larger ecosystem of Xiaomi products.
On paper, the Yi Action Camera easily beats the GoPro Hero
The Yi itself features a 16-megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video at 60 frames per second — better on paper than the $130 GoPro Hero, which can only shoot 1080p footage at 30 frames per second, or 720p film at 60 frames. Unexpectedly for such a cheap device, the Yi also uses a high-quality image sensor from Sony (an Exmor R CMOS) and offers 64GB of built-in storage — twice what's available on the Hero. Like GoPro's offering, the Yi can be used up to 40 meters underwater and comes with a smartphone app that can remotely control the camera as well as edit and share newly-captured footage.
The Yi doesn't ship with any basic cases or rigging, although Xiaomi is offering a "travel edition" for an extra 100 CNY that comes bundled with a selfie stick. The company also promises a "rich variety of accessories" will be available for the device to let users attach the Yi to objects including helmets, bikes, and even pets (check out the image above to see how happy this makes cat).
Although there's no word on whether the Yi will ever come to the US, it's impossible not to notice that it handily beats the GoPro Hero in both price and specs (real-life performance may be a different matter). This is a result of the company's strategy of offering high-end devices at razor-thin margins, but the device's very existence shows that we're wrong to think of Xiaomi as just a phone company. Xiaomi has previously launched a smart TV, an air purifier, and a blood pressure monitor, and when its first online shop opens for US customers it won't sell mobiles at all but wearables, headphones, and other accessories. The Yi could easily find a place in this line-up if Xiaomi wanted.
Google has announced that it's working on a new mobile payments framework named Android Pay. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google exec Sundar Pichai confirmed that this would not be a new product for users, but an "API layer" that allows other companies to support secure payments on Android in both physical stores and via apps.
"We are doing it in a way in which anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android," said Pichai. "So, in places like China and Africa we hope that people will use Android Pay to build innovative services."
Android Pay will support NFC and biometrics
Although Pichai did not explain the details of Android Pay to any great degree, he claimed it would "start with NFC" and eventually accommodate biometric sensors as well. Presumably, this would mean working with fingerprint scanners such as those built into Samsung's Galaxy flagship smartphones — a security measure familiar to users of Apple Pay.
Google and Samsung are on "different timelines," says Pichai
Pichai also confirmed that Google Wallet would continue as a separate service to Android Pay, albeit one reliant on Android Pay's framework. Pichai also side-stepped a question about whether Android Pay was a rival to mobile payments systems such as Samsung's, saying that the two companies were on "slightly different timelines" and that they would "work closely [together] to see how we can align [with them]."
Plenty of questions remain as to how exactly Android Pay will work for both developers and users, but it seems clear that Google is hoping to streamline the whole process of mobile payments both online and offline. This is likely to lead to single-tap transactions within Android apps, as well as fingerprint-authenticated purchases in stores for users carrying the right hardware.
Google has been working on mobile payments since Google Wallet was first unveiled in 2011, but the launch of Apple Pay has obviously inspired the company to redouble its efforts. However, while Apple Pay looks like it will become a successful service for mobile payments, Google wants Android Pay to become a successful platform. Will that give it a bigger slice of the mobile payments pie? We'll have to wait and see.
…an open source platform for working with collections of texts. It enables students, researchers and teachers to share and collaborate around texts using a simple and intuitive interface.
TEXTUS currently enables users to:
- Collaboratively annotate texts and view the annotations of others
- Reliably cite electronic versions of texts
- Create bibliographies with stable URLs to online versions of those texts
all carriers suck forever
Google Senior VP Sundar Pichai today discussed a possible wireless service that Google could launch in the next few months.
"We don't intend to be a carrier at scale, and we're working with existing partners," Pichai said in a public Q&A session at Mobile World Congress, according to The Verge. "You'll see some of our ideas come to fruit in the next few months." Pichai oversees Android, Chrome, and Google Apps.
The Information reported last month that Google plans to become an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), reselling Sprint and T-Mobile network capacity to consumers rather than building out its own cell towers. "Google is preparing to sell mobile phone plans directly to customers and manage their calls and mobile data over a cellular network, according to three people with knowledge of the plans," the site reported at the time.
for $299 unlocked
Today at Mobile World Congress, Cyanogen and Alcatel announced the Hero 2+, a 6-inch smartphone that will come with CyanogenMod preinstalled. The Hero 2+ is a variation of the Hero 2 Alcatel released globally last year, and features a 6-inch, 1080p display, a 2GHz octacore Mediatek processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, support for LTE on AT&T and T-Mobile, and a stylus. It will be available in North America this spring for $299 unlocked.
CyanogenMod is already available on a handful of smartphones across the world, including the Oppo N1, OnePlus One, and devices in India. The Hero 2+ will run CyanogenMod 11, which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat, though it will likely be upgraded to newer version of the software as it is released. Alcatel says that the Hero 2's unique features, including the snap on LED covers and stylus will be supported in the Hero 2+ with CyanogenMod.
All of the Hero 2's unique accessories and features will work in CyanogenMod
Cyanogen has grown as a company since it was just a modification for Android phones designed to make the devices perform better and be easier to use than with their original software. The company's mission is to spread an "open Android" that is less reliant on Google's services. "We want to eliminate the problem of bloatware by enabling more powerful apps that hook deeper into the system," said cofounder Steve Kondik in a recent interview.
Not everyone shares Cyanogen's vision however. In a talk earlier today, Google's head of product (which includes Android) Sundar Pichai noted that he doesn't yet know the value propoisition in CyanogenMod, or versions of Android that bypass Google's services, such as the Play Store, Maps, and Gmail, in general. "I’d question the premise of building something without Google’s services ... these are services users ask for on their devices," said Pichai.
For its part, CyanogenMod does offer Google services in all of the countries where they are supported, and Kondik says the whole platform is Google compliant. Earlier today, Cyanogen announced a new partnership with Qualcomm that puts its software on reference devices Qualcomm provides to handset makers. The reference devices with Cyanogen's software will be low-end to mid-range devices, and should benefit from the performance enhancements CyanogenMod generally brings to underspecced phones.
Alcatel and Cyanogen say that the Hero 2+ is just the first fruits of a partnership that will result in multiple devices this year and next. Perhaps one of those will be a new Idol 3 running CyanogenMod?
This electronic instrument allows you to sequence and loop audio and MIDI data. Most of the time I use it to sequence drum samples so I can play around with different beats and rhythms. The really great thing about this instrument is that it is very portable, it fits in your hands easily, runs off a single 9 volt battery, and has a headphone jack that you can plug into. If you connect it to your computer via usb you can also use it to send MIDI data, this way you can communicate with other electronic instruments or software environments that understand MIDI.
NextBus is a free internet service using GPS and cellular networks to provide realtime arrival data for many transit agencies in the United States and Canada.
For transit-bound people, the NextBus service is a tremendous convenience. Knowing when a bus is due means less standing out in the rain…one can use that time inside to get a little extra work done, or finish that cup of coffee.
NextBus provides web and mobile phone access, and there are some nice smartphone apps. As a “heavy user,” I wanted to take it one step further, creating a wall clock of sorts…a continuous feed of the stops relevant to my needs…no need to even pull out a phone or click a bookmark, the information’s always there at a glance.
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand the conviction of a rapist whose prosecution rested on DNA swiped from the armrests of an interrogation-room chair.
Without comment, the justices refused to review a 4-3 decision from Maryland's top court that upheld the life sentence and conviction of Glenn Raynor. The dissent on the Maryland Court of Appeals said a probable-cause warrant was needed and painted a grim picture of the future:
The Majority’s approval of such police procedure means, in essence, that a person desiring to keep her DNA profile private, must conduct her public affairs in a hermetically sealed hazmat suit.... The Majority's holding means that a person can no longer vote, participate in a jury, or obtain a driver's license, without opening up his genetic material for state collection and codification.
In urging the high court to review the case, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote that "allowing police the limitless ability to collect and search genetic material will usher in a future where DNA may be collected from any person at any time, entered into and checked against DNA databases, and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."
Last year, Google made headlines when it revealed that its next version of Android would require full-disk encryption on all new phones. Older versions of Android had supported optional disk encryption, but Android 5.0 Lollipop would make it a standard feature.
But we're starting to see new Lollipop phones from Google's partners, and they aren't encrypted by default, contradicting Google's previous statements. At some point between the original announcement in September of 2014 and the publication of the Android 5.0 hardware requirements in January of 2015, Google apparently decided to relax the requirement, pushing it off to some future version of Android. Here's the timeline of events.
Google's decision to encrypt new Lollipop devices by default was reported widely, in both tech-focused and mainstream publications.
On Monday, Epic Games announced that its Unreal Engine 4 solution for game and graphic creation, which had previously launched with a $19 per month subscription fee, would be free to download and use. Now, if you want to dabble in game creation with Epic's engine, you no longer need to pony up for a solo subscription, latch onto a company's subscription plan, or even fake that you're a student.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed the details in a blog post in which he said that anyone can now freely access the engine's entire toolset—along with the Unreal Engine Marketplace, which allows users to buy and sell custom-made art and programming assets. "This is the complete technology we use at Epic when building our own games," Sweeney added. He confirmed that current subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund effective immediately and that anyone who has ever paid for the engine will receive a $30 credit at the Unreal Engine Marketplace. Yes, that's $30 for everyone, regardless of how many hundreds of dollars you may have pumped into subscription fees already.
What hasn't changed is the other, potentially more expensive aspect of building a game in Unreal—namely, that the creators of a finished UE4 game owe Epic five percent of a game's revenue after the first $3,000 they make each quarter. Those fees were in effect while Epic was also insisting on a monthly subscription fee that added up to $240 a year. For comparison, the industry's current leader in cross-platform development tools, Unity Pro, costs game makers $75 per month to use, but it has no follow-up payment requirements. (The lesser toolset, simply named Unity, is free to use with no strings attached.)
finally got to play The Resistance
one of the kids kept saying "I'm Morpheus!" (it was true) but all I could think of was "MORPHEUS DRINKIN A 40 IN A DEATH BASKET. AAAGH"
every time I hear “I’m Morpheus!” during Resistance
'With all the talk about learning to code, and the digital native generation, it's kind of appalling that they can't do something as basic as create their own blog, to navigate around any blockage from their management.
Silverstein says, as others have, that there was no prohibition on publishing, they just didn't have a way to do it. To me, that's like saying in 1992 that you couldn't print a document on a laser printer because your boss wouldn't come and chose the New command from the File menu.'
Watching them stay silent for so long, I suspected they lacked basic publishing ability. It made no sense to me. You can set up a blog on wordpress.com or Tumblr, with a custom domain, in at most a couple of hours. Anyone with basic tech knowledge could do this.
With all the talk about learning to code, and the digital native generation, it's kind of appalling that they can't do something as basic as create their own blog, to navigate around any blockage from their management.
Silverstein says, as others have, that there was no prohibition on publishing, they just didn't have a way to do it. To me, that's like saying in 1992 that you couldn't print a document on a laser printer because your boss wouldn't come and choose the New command from the File menu.
There's a basic failure of technological literacy here.
Or so it seems to this outside observer.
We're caught in the same trap tech was caught in when I started programming in the mid-70s. There was a priesthood that had no incentive to make things easier, and a built-in belief that things couldn't be easier. My generation had a different vision, we worked on ease-of-use.
WordPress, which is the choice most professional organizations make these days for publishing, never was that easy to begin with. They missed some obvious ideas that were available to be stolen from the previous generation of blogging software. And over the years, a priesthood has developed, and the software has become even more intimidating to the newbie non-technical user.
It's time to loop back the other way. Yes, some reporters should already be able to climb over the hurdles. They just aren't that high, and the current generation of journalists have had computers in their lives, all their lives.
But ease of use, and ease of getting started is something the tech industry should be working on. Yes, it might put you out of a job, but if you don't do it, someone else will. And further, you're supposed to do that -- in the name of progress, and in this case, since it's about publishing, freedom.
ThOR hates sports
Months of investigation by the Department of Justice into the Ferguson police department is expected to end as early as this week with the release of a report finding the department discriminates against African-American residents. Described by The New York Times as "highly critical," the report concludes that the city of Ferguson disproportionately tickets, arrests and fines African-Americans, which in turn, balances the city budget. Ferguson is about 70 percent African-American; its police department is about 95 percent white, as is city leadership. If released this week, the DOJ's "pattern or practice" investigation findings will echo those of a 2013 report by Missouri's attorney general as well as a 2014 one by local indigent defense group, ArchCity Defenders. Perhaps this third report, and the threat of settling or being sued on federal civil rights charges, will be the charm that brings reform to Ferguson.
Also expected to be released this week is the DOJ's separate investigation into police officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed Michael Brown last August and set off months of local and national protests. Early coverage of the report back in January reported that no federal civil rights charges would be brought.
via Toaster Strudel
Ancient Roman helmet worn by the elite Roman cavalry (equites Romani). 1st century AD
True Fact: My username on the college network was BigFatBabyEatingOBrien because of this movie.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
I love that from version to version of Sailor Moon, all kinds of things change. And the Black Moon Clan arc is one that people take the most liberties with. But no matter what version they’re like
"Look, Mamoru having a small doll of himself is really important okay. We can’t cut that. It’s a vital part of the skeleton of the story. It’d be like Usagi not being the Moon Princess to take this out okay. The doll is essential to Sailor Moon canon we have to do this.”
SpaceX Falcon 9
Police in downtown Los Angeles were caught on video fatally shooting a homeless man on Sunday during his scuffle with several officers. The man, who neighborhood witnesses said was knows as “Africa,” was in a tent on the sidewalk when police arrived, and tasered when he refused to comply with police orders to come out, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In the video, five shots are fired after the officers tackle the man and try to subdue him, at one point yelling at him, “Drop the gun!” One witness told the Los Angeles Times that the man tried to grab for one of policemen’s handguns. More than 1.8 million people have watched the video in the six hours since it was uploaded to Facebook by an man named Anthony Blackburn.
the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun
Chris Johnson, a former Florida player who most recently played for Duquesne, died on Friday.
Per the Allegheny County medical examiner's office, Johnson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 22.
He was found in a car in Churchill at 10:59 a.m. Friday. He is from Ocala, Fla. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.
“Everyone associated with the Duquesne football program is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris," Duquesne football coach Jerry Schmitt said in a statement. "Chris was a passionate football player who was also a great teammate, who was loved by many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time.”
Johnson's final game at Florida was the 2013 Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville. He was ejected in the second half for throwing a punch after an onside kick. He was a senior in 2014 at Duquesne and had 55 tackles playing defensive back.
"I'm trying to peel it back as best I can," Justin Wentworth, Johnson's defensive coordinator while at Trinity Catholic, told the Ocala Star-Banner. "Nobody will ever know. When I texted with him on Wednesday, it was all good. You wouldn't have known anything. You ask how everything's going. How's life? How are classes going?
"He said everything was going good – typical upbeat, Juice stuff. Getting this news hurts deep. It's a knife to the heart."
According to Wentworth, Johnson was nicknamed "Juice" because his running style in high school resembled O.J. Simpson's. He played both defensive back and running back at Florida and had five carries for 35 yards in 2012.
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