Logo Low-Blows

Jul. 24th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

I know it can be scary asking a bakery to do something custom, like, say, a school or brand's logo.
But DON'T PANIC; I'm here to walk you through it.

First, print out a nice, clear image to bring in as a reference:

 

With something as simple as this Chanel logo, you can be sure there is simply NO WAY...

...that the results won't be hysterical.

 

When ordering a Saints logo...

 

...it helps to have the patience of one.

 

Oh, and when you give the baker your reference image, be sure to mention how closely you want your cake to match; some bakers take it more as a "guideline" than an actual rule.

"Why'd you use the S?!"
"Because I don't know what the F is going on!"

 

Still, the most important thing, my friends... is to be glad you aren't ordering a Texas Longhorns cake.

Because seriously, that thing is the Kobayashi Maru of cake orders:

...you can't win.

(But hey, at least this one's got heart!)

 

Thanks to Amy B., Ashley B., Candace F., Amy B., Allison, & Chris L. for getting that last one off his chest.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Queer intersectionality reading list

Jul. 24th, 2014 04:38 am
[syndicated profile] infotropism_feed

Posted by Skud

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely.

For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named and popularised the concept of intersectionality — I think it’s important that we remember and give credit to Professor Crenshaw and the black movements whose ideas we’re using, which is why I’m including this link first.

Intersectionality draws attention to invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, in class politics, so obviously it takes a lot of work to consistently challenge ourselves to be attentive to aspects of power that we don’t ourselves experience.” But, she stresses, this has been the project of black feminism since its very inception: drawing attention to the erasures, to the ways that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

“Within any power system,” she continues, “there is always a moment – and sometimes it lasts a century – of resistance to the implications of that. So we shouldn’t really be surprised about it.”

An excellent article about the New York group Queers for Economic Justice:

“You would never know that poverty or class is a queer issue,” said Amber Hollibaugh, QEJ Executive Director and founding member. She continued: “Founding QEJ was, for many of us that were part of it, a statement of …wanting to try to build something that assumed a different set of priorities [than the mainstream gay equality movement]: that talked about homelessness, that talked about poverty, that talked about race and sexuality and didn’t divide those things as if they were separate identities. And most of us that were founding members couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

An interesting personal reflection on intersectionality by a queer Asian woman in NZ:

On the other side, if I’m having issues in my queer relationship with my white partner the discourse my mum uses is that same-gender relationships just don’t work and aren’t supposed to work. Find a (Chinese) man, get married and have babies like she did. You don’t have to love him to begin with but you will grow to love him. Like my mum did, apparently. It’s like if you’re queer and there’s problems in your relationship it’s because you’re queer and the solution is to be heterosexual. If you’re Chinese and there’s problems with your family it’s because Chinese culture is just more conservative or backward and the solution is to distance yourself away from it or try to assimilate into Pakeha culture. It shouldn’t have to be like this.

An article about intersectionality and climate justice (not very queer-oriented but some interesting stuff to think about):

On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face. During this process, it’s important that we commit to the slow time of genuine relationship-building, especially as we learn to walk into communities that we’re not a part of in respectful ways. From there, we create space to truly hear each other’s stories and bring people together in ways that, as Dayaneni says, “we can see ourselves in each other.”

A speech about queerness and disability:

This gathering has been very white and for the most part has neglected issues of race and racism. All of us here in this room today need to listen to queer disabled people of color and their experiences. We need to fit race and racism into the matrix of queerness and disability. I need to ask myself, not only “What does it mean to be a pansexual tranny with a long butch dyke history, a walkie with a disability that I acquired at birth,” but also, “What does it mean to be a white queer crip?”

We haven’t asked enough questions about class, about the experiences of being poor and disabled, of struggling with hunger, homelessness, and a lack of the most basic healthcare. I want to hear from working class folks who learned about disability from bone-breaking work in the factory or mine or sweatshop.

We need more exploration of gender identity and disability. How do the two inform each other? I can feel the sparks fly as disabled trans people are just beginning to find each other. We need to listen more to Deaf culture, to people with psych disabilities, cognitive disability, to young people and old people. We need not to re-create here in this space, in this budding community, the hierarchies that exist in other disability communities, other queer communities.

And finally, Beyond the Queer Alphabet (ebook) — an entire book on the subject of queer intersectionality.

If you’ve got any other recommended reading, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Queer intersectionality reading list

Jul. 24th, 2014 02:38 pm
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

I recently put together this reading list on queer intersectionality for a local LGBTIQ group, as part of thinking about how we can serve a wider community of same-sex attracted and gender diverse folks. I thought it might be useful to share it more widely.

For context, this is a 101 level reading list for people with a bare understanding of the concept of intersectionality. If you’re not familiar with that you might want to read Wikipedia’s article on intersectionality.

Interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw, who named and popularised the concept of intersectionality — I think it’s important that we remember and give credit to Professor Crenshaw and the black movements whose ideas we’re using, which is why I’m including this link first.

Intersectionality draws attention to invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, in class politics, so obviously it takes a lot of work to consistently challenge ourselves to be attentive to aspects of power that we don’t ourselves experience.” But, she stresses, this has been the project of black feminism since its very inception: drawing attention to the erasures, to the ways that “women of colour are invisible in plain sight”.

“Within any power system,” she continues, “there is always a moment – and sometimes it lasts a century – of resistance to the implications of that. So we shouldn’t really be surprised about it.”

An excellent article about the New York group Queers for Economic Justice:

“You would never know that poverty or class is a queer issue,” said Amber Hollibaugh, QEJ Executive Director and founding member. She continued: “Founding QEJ was, for many of us that were part of it, a statement of …wanting to try to build something that assumed a different set of priorities [than the mainstream gay equality movement]: that talked about homelessness, that talked about poverty, that talked about race and sexuality and didn’t divide those things as if they were separate identities. And most of us that were founding members couldn’t find that anywhere else.”

An interesting personal reflection on intersectionality by a queer Asian woman in NZ:

On the other side, if I’m having issues in my queer relationship with my white partner the discourse my mum uses is that same-gender relationships just don’t work and aren’t supposed to work. Find a (Chinese) man, get married and have babies like she did. You don’t have to love him to begin with but you will grow to love him. Like my mum did, apparently. It’s like if you’re queer and there’s problems in your relationship it’s because you’re queer and the solution is to be heterosexual. If you’re Chinese and there’s problems with your family it’s because Chinese culture is just more conservative or backward and the solution is to distance yourself away from it or try to assimilate into Pakeha culture. It shouldn’t have to be like this.

An article about intersectionality and climate justice (not very queer-oriented but some interesting stuff to think about):

On a personal level, we have to slow down and educate ourselves so that we can name the toxic systems within which we exist. We have to relearn the real histories of the land, of resistance movements and what it has taken for communities survive. We must also take the time to talk through all of the connections so that we can build a deeper analysis of the crises we face. During this process, it’s important that we commit to the slow time of genuine relationship-building, especially as we learn to walk into communities that we’re not a part of in respectful ways. From there, we create space to truly hear each other’s stories and bring people together in ways that, as Dayaneni says, “we can see ourselves in each other.”

A speech about queerness and disability:

This gathering has been very white and for the most part has neglected issues of race and racism. All of us here in this room today need to listen to queer disabled people of color and their experiences. We need to fit race and racism into the matrix of queerness and disability. I need to ask myself, not only “What does it mean to be a pansexual tranny with a long butch dyke history, a walkie with a disability that I acquired at birth,” but also, “What does it mean to be a white queer crip?”

We haven’t asked enough questions about class, about the experiences of being poor and disabled, of struggling with hunger, homelessness, and a lack of the most basic healthcare. I want to hear from working class folks who learned about disability from bone-breaking work in the factory or mine or sweatshop.

We need more exploration of gender identity and disability. How do the two inform each other? I can feel the sparks fly as disabled trans people are just beginning to find each other. We need to listen more to Deaf culture, to people with psych disabilities, cognitive disability, to young people and old people. We need not to re-create here in this space, in this budding community, the hierarchies that exist in other disability communities, other queer communities.

And finally, Beyond the Queer Alphabet (ebook) — an entire book on the subject of queer intersectionality.

If you’ve got any other recommended reading, I’d appreciate hearing about it.

Quick Mailbox Makeover

Jul. 24th, 2014 12:30 am
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

You ever have something in or around your house that is just SO embarrassing that, even after a major makeover, it still looks like someone else's "before" picture?

This is going to be like that.

So... this was my mailbox a few weeks ago:




[cringe] They say sharing your pain is cathartic. For the record: not feelin' it.

Aaand after a couple of evenings sweating it out in the blistering sauna of our fair state (it was 98 degrees at 6:30PM today. WHY.) I managed to paint, sand, and stain our sad little lizard condo into relative submission:

I dub thee, "almost respectable again."


I know I should plant some flowers or something at the base, but did I mention it was 98 degrees out tonight? DID I? Plus John won't let me just stick some fake silk plants out there, so... harrumph. (Be glad I'm not the one in charge of plant life. I'm still lobbying for astro-turf.)

The good news is this was a no-cost makeover, since we already had all the spray paints and stains in the garage. I was able to sand all the rust off the numbers before painting & clear-coating them, and the box has at least six layers of copper paint and clear-coat on it now, so take THAT, sun! [shaking fist at sky]

And now I think I'll use my freshly freshened mailbox to send one of you that resin dragonfly necklace! Eh? (How's THAT for a segue?)

So, the randomly selected winner from my last post is... bmuir322! Congrats, bmuir (Can I call you bmuir?), and please e-mail me your mailing address!


miko: Photo of me by the river (Default)
[personal profile] miko
Okay, no pictures again. Maybe later?

This month had a pink pseudo suede bag with scalloped edges. Although I kinda like it, it doesn't feel durable at all... I'm pretty sure I'm going to punch a hole it in by accident if I use it for anything.

Here's what I got:

bareMineral - READY 2.0 Eyeshadow in "The Inspiration" (1 g, $6)

This is a tiny but really cute double eyeshadow. One shade is a light pink colour that goes on really nicely - a tiny bit of shine, but not much at all, and it truly brightens my eyelid without seeming like clown makeup. I was really quite impressed with it.

The second colour I had a bit more trouble with. In the pan, it looks pretty neat: a dark purple with gold flecks. But the fallout of gold flecks was pretty bad. The colour of the purple worked fine, but I didn't find it as easy to use as the lighter one.

Quite glad I got this set.

Alternate:
bareMineral - 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in "Divine Wine" or "Barely Nude"


Hang Ten - Dark Tanning Oil (1 fl oz., $1.50)

Uh. SPF 8 tanning oil... I don't think I understand the concept. Wouldn't I tan more without it, in that case? Anyway, I don't see myself putting oil on my body. People posting about it have commented that it might work as a hair oil or cuticle oil. I did rub a tester patch onto the top of my foot and it was indeed a lightly scented oil with no notable features to me.

In this case, the alternate would probably have had more use (although I don't need moisturizer in the summer either).

Alternate:
Pur-lisse - Essential Daily Moisturizer


Elizabeth Mott - Tints & Sass Lip Tint in "Cherry" (10g, $23)

Okay, here's the thing. I put this product on and thought it was pretty good - the colour was appropriate to my tone (a somewhat sheer red), the scent wasn't oppressively bad, it was easy to apply neatly before allowing it to dry, and it dried down okay. My one complaint was going to be that it stained the inner part of my mouth a little more strongly, so if I sneered (totally what you do to check makeup, right?), it looked like I'd bit someone. But otherwise I thought it was okay.

Then I thought "hey, I'll clean it off some and see if the stain part is really true", so I put some water on my lips and wiped it off... and got some in my mouth.

Holy mother of god, does that taste horrible. Like, "here class, put these strips of paper in your mouth" supertaster horrible. I was spitting and rinsing my mouth with water and it still felt like the bitter taste was crawling backwards along my tongue and sticking in my throat. Disgusting.

This was seriously why I wrote this post. To tell you to avoid tasting this product at all cost. I'm afraid to try it again now.

Alternates:
Pixi - Tinted Brilliance Balm in "Pretty Pink" or "Unique Pink"
benefit - They're Real! beyond mascara deluxe sample
Pürminerals - Big Look Waterproof Mascara
Lord & Berry - Kajal Stick
POP Beauty - Sunkissed Bronzer
Model Own - Nail polish in "Red Sea"
Nailtini - Nail polish in "Mango Rita"


wHet Nails - Nail polish in "Facetious" (10mL, $10)

I'm going to admit, I haven't given this nailpolish a real chance. All I did was apply it to one finger and then take it off, because I didn't feel like spending the time to do my nails today but I wanted to review it on Ipsy's website before next month's bags start being packed.

It went on super streaky - I wasn't impressed with the formulation at all. I think I'll probably use it (and I like dark blue just fine, and who doesn't like something called "Facetious"?), but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy this brand. Maybe if it turned out to have amazing wear time... though perhaps I don't even want that from a streaky polish.

Same alternate list as the last one, this was a "two of the following" deal.

Alternates:
Pixi - Tinted Brilliance Balm in "Pretty Pink" or "Unique Pink"
benefit - They're Real! beyond mascara deluxe sample
Pürminerals - Big Look Waterproof Mascara
Lord & Berry - Kajal Stick
POP Beauty - Sunkissed Bronzer
Model Own - Nail polish in "Red Sea"
Nailtini - Nail polish in "Mango Rita"


Marrakesh Hair Care - Marrakesh Endz Split End Mender & Preventer (1 oz, $6)

This made my dry ends somewhat more pleasant with little effort. M says it smells like a 13 year old girl's locker.

Alternates:
Derma-e - BB Cream with SPF 25
Befine - Food Skin Care Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
Faith Aromatherapy - Citrus Ginger lotion
Sexy Hair - Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
Sexy Hair - Get Layered Flash Dry Thickening Hairspray
Lavilin - Jojoba Gel Cream
Clear Clinic Laboratories - Vanished Clear Spot Treatment


Summary:

- Received: 2014-07-14
- Cost: $14.95 + conversion
- Value $46

Not the worst, but it's a pity that lip stain tastes so horrible.

Book reviews

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:46 pm
miko: Photo of me by the river (Default)
[personal profile] miko
Another quick post, before I forget everything.

Inferno by Dan Brown

I haven't read any other Dan Brown novels. His use of ellipses and italics is hilarious - M and I read this out loud to each other for a while and it was awesome and probably entirely inappropriate for the book. Although I enjoyed it well enough, the oddity of this book was that the main character was utterly unimportant to me: if he'd been replaced with an art history textbook or an internet connection for the secondary character to figure out the "mystery", I'd have been just as pleased.

Also, I was utterly pleased with the twist / resolution of the book, except that it kinda messed up everything that happened before. Spoiler: it really screws up your narrative if it turns out that the crazy guy who was releasing a plague to reduce human population is actually a pretty sane guy with a really reasonable solution considering his ideals and talents. I got to the end and was like "huh, that's the best way he could have handled this" and then went "wait, so why did he make this crazy art treasure map thing and commit suicide? Dude had a legit solution and could even have just lived on as normal."

It didn't sit right in retrospect, 'cause I'm pretty sure the guy had to be sane. I need an explanation for why he did this nutty thing, and I can't resolve it in my brain. If you have one, I would like to hear it and stop thinking about it myself - all I've got is "ego", but ego doesn't usually commit suicide.

Promise of Blood by Ian McClellan

This is an industrial age fantasy series, which was pleasantly unusual: although there are traditional mages in it, the main characters are powder mages - mages who use gunpowder and guns. It's the first in the series (and only, at the moment), and I liked it surprisingly. You know I'm not much for series where I don't like the characters as people, but this one didn't bother me. They seemed like legitimate people doing what seemed reasonable in their situations, and the setting and writing were quite good.

The plot started strong as a political drama - the cover of the book itself will tell you that it starts with a coup - and stayed well paced despite having to introduce me to new magic concepts. It honestly gets a bit weird, with gods and big magic... but the characters also think it's weird, so I stayed in the zone while reading it. Looking forward to another in the series.

Hexed [short story anthology] by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James and Jeanne C. Stein

This book was a set of four tie-in novellas for urban fantasy (/romance) series. Two of the series I have read (highly recommend Ilona Andrews series, would not generally recommend Yasmine Galenorn's because I'm uncomfortable recommending heavily romance series to people, but it's there if you want it). Here's my thoughts on the stories:

Magic dreams / Ilona Andrews

I really thought I'd read this one before, but it turned out I hadn't! It follows a weretiger (who I didn't remember, but was probably there in passing in the main series) and also the werecat Alpha (who has been a prominent, if still secondary character). I didn't love it the way I do the main series. It felt too much like it was just a tossed off story because the authors wanted to hook up the Alpha and I didn't really feel like the relationship was genuine since I had no impression of them having previous interactions. This was not a story from that universe that I cared about.

Ice shards / Yasmine Galenorn

This was why I actually picked up the anthology: this novella went before the last book I read in this series, and it was seriously annoying not having its back story. It resolves the story of Iris, who has always been a secondary but interesting character in the main series. Predictable (maybe because I'd read the book after it... but I think regardless), but pleasant.

Double hexed / Allyson James

Oh my god. This was a tragic look into what appears to be a terrible series. Half mystic indian / half goddess (literally) main character! Sexy weredragon boyfriend! Reformed vampire! Sexy Coyote (yes, the trickster god) who hits on her as well! Magic mirror who also hits on her / is a super perv! Big magic curse making them all lose control at the same time!

Yeah, it was bad. I can only imagine the series is the same, but probably with more sex scenes.

Blood debt / Jeanne C. Stein.

Vampire bounty hunter, who has human partner bounty hunters (who she is not sleeping with and who also don't know she's a vampire). Still some gratuitous moments, but overall pretty enjoyable. I'm going to try one of the books in the series and see if it's any good - seems like there's some potential, at least.
miko: Photo of me by the river (Default)
[personal profile] miko
[Note: Okay, this is super late and without pictures - I took some, but I've just been busy / unmotivated with regard to posting anything. But I want to write something about July's products, and the text of this was already written, so here goes.]

This month's Ipsy brought me my first damaged/contaminated product! A few months ago, this happened with a lip gloss, but I received one that was fine... this time, though, I definitely got one of the bad ones. Ipsy responded to my email and told me they'd send out another product in its place - but then they sent me the same product again, and I couldn't bring myself to trust it, so that was a bit of a stupid resolution.

Other than that, things continue about as usual. The bag this month is from some designer (well, the pattern on it), and it's actually not bad. I expected to hate it, but the material doesn't feel awful and I'm actually using it to corral some things in my purse. If you're getting these and wondering what to do with them, I highly recommend it as a way to tuck away spare pads, bandaids, hair things, etc... I was always losing, crushing or just dirtying these things in my purse before, so this is way better and also make it easy to switch bags.

Here's what I got this month:

NYX - Butter gloss in "Crème Brulee" ($5, 6.5 g)

Everyone received this lip gloss in one of three colours - the one I got is very neutral. It's got a doe foot applicator and smells like vanilla. The smell isn't as noticeable once it's on. The description of butter gloss disturbs me as I feel it on my lips... who in the world would want to smear butter on their lips? Now I can't un-feel it. It's quite a sticky lip gloss when you put it on - despite the claim that it's "never sticky" from NYX.

Either the colour is very sheer or it's too close to my lip colour to be notable. It slightly lightens them, but anywhere that the product gathers looks like... you know when your lips have a raised bit of dead skin - not dry, just raised, like when your lips were stuck together too long? Yeah, kinda like that. Ick. It's glossy, but really not what I'd look for in a lip product.

The company also suggests layering it, but I can't imagine why I would want to make one of my lipsticks less attractive or pleasant feeling.

OFRA - Universal Eyebrow Pencil (0.4 g, $13)

I realize I am not the target audience of this product, since the only reason I would want to make my eyebrows more solid would be for a groucho Marx costume.

This feels like rubbing a soft pastel (my brain said "greasepaint") into my eyebrow. Perhaps I don't know how to apply it, but it gummed up my eyebrows something fierce and felt really weird. The colour seemed fine (lighter than my eyebrow, but coherent underneath it), and the pencil itself draws on my hand pleasantly and is soft and pigmented, but...



In this case, I would have preferred one of the alternates.

Alternatives:
Nicka K New York - Shimmer Eyeliner in "Blue" or "Green"
Jesse's Girl - Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner


Be a Bombshell - Lash Out Mascara ($15, 9 g)

Oh dear, here's the disaster product. I popped this open and immediately recoiled from the smell - acrid, like burning rubber, and strong enough to make your eyes sting even at a reasonable arm's length. I obviously did not try applying this to myself.
It's clear in retrospect that I would have preferred something I could use, but, looking at the list of alternates, the mascara really was the best choice for me. None of the rest are nearly as interesting - if the product hadn't had this problem, I would have been happy to try it.

Alternatives:
Ole Henriksen - Truth To Go Cleansing Wipes
Skinn - Olive & Enzyme Cleanser
Dermadoctor - DD Cream
Laneige - BB Cushion
clarisea - sea salt solutions face rapid detox charcoal exfoliant
MDSOLARSCIENCES - Mineral Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA-UVB Sunscreen
Essence of Beauty - Wind Kissed perfume spray


Realtree - for Her [perfume] ($7, 0.34 oz)

Hey, do you know what the Realtree brand is? I didn't, but man... nothing says "try this perfume" like a website filled with dead animals (http://www.realtree.com/). It's a camouflage brand that apparently also wants to sell you perfume.

But hey - if your sample can't be useful, it should at least be amusing, right? So props for being the weirdest brand/product combination I've seen yet.

I don't like the smell of this perfume at all. It brings nothing to mind except that it smells like a children's perfume - it flashed me back to storing smelly toys in plastic milk bags to keep them from driving us all nuts. Good on Realtree for sending these out in tiny sealed ziploc bags, given that!

Same alternates list as above - these were "two of" options.

Alternatives:
Ole Henriksen - Truth To Go Cleansing Wipes
Skinn - Olive & Enzyme Cleanser
Dermadoctor - DD Cream
Laneige - BB Cushion
clarisea - sea salt solutions face rapid detox charcoal exfoliant
MDSOLARSCIENCES - Mineral Tinted Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA-UVB Sunscreen
Essence of Beauty - Wind Kissed perfume spray


Marc Anthony - Dream Waves Beach Spray, ($3, 45 mL)

First things first, I looked up the video of what I was supposed to do with this product... and it is creepy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhEZat-xVQY

Stop... saying... sexy. Also, the look at the end of it is largely just disheveled to my eye, so I didn't have great expectations for it.

So, basic application, spray it on hair and then heat and scrunch to get waves. After attempting to use this product, I think it's not really useful for someone with long, unlayered hair. It does actually curl up the ends rather amusingly, but only the bottom 10 inches or so, which looks weirdly inconsistent on me. Sorry I didn't take pictures, but I found the texture unpleasantly like having horribly messy hair and had to brush it out. It gummed up my brush with white residue too, bleah.

It will give you volume by way of having slightly sticky product and it will make your hair smell somewhat of coconut. If you're more effective with a hairdryer and have shorter, layered hair, you may get some amusing curls... or you may get a scruffy mess, per the video.

I'm may give it another shot with curlers or something, but mostly it's a novelty for me.

Alternatives:
Dove - Pure Care Dry Oil Shampoo
Carol’s Daughter - Sacred Tiare Styling Cream


Summary:

- Date received: 2014-06-12
- Cost: $14.95 + conversion
- Value: $43 - except without the mascara, really only $28.

Well, the horrible Be a Bombshell mascara sort of crushed my enthusiasm to do anything about this bag. When I finally did try the rest, they were all pretty mediocre for me... nothing in there that I see getting a lot (or in some cases, any) use.

Ascension

Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:24 pm
ponyville_trot: Six cartoon ponies in a huddle (Default)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
ascension_small_by_here_for_the_ponies
Source: http://here-for-the-ponies.deviantart.com/art/Ascension-469791680

The good news is that Twilight has traded in her balloon for an awesome airship! The bad news is that somepony got sent to the moon.
[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

A Russian man detained in Spain is facing extradition to the United States on charges of running an international cyber crime ring that allegedly stole more than $10 million in electronic tickets from e-tickets vendor StubHub.

stubhubVadim Polyakov, 30, was detained while vacationing in Spain. Polyakov is wanted on conspiracy charges to be unsealed today in New York, where investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the U.S. Secret Service are expected to announce coordinated raids of at least 20 people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom accused of running an elaborate scam to resell stolen e-tickets and launder the profits.

Sources familiar with the matter describe Polyakov, from St. Petersburg, Russia, as the ringleader of the gang, which allegedly used thousands of compromised StubHub user accounts to purchase huge volumes of electronic, downloadable tickets that were fed to a global network of resellers.

Robert Capps, senior director of customer success for RedSeal Networks and formerly head of StubHub’s global trust and safety organization, said the fraud against StubHub — which is owned by eBay — largely was perpetrated with usernames and passwords stolen from legitimate StubHub customers. Capps noted that while banks have long been the target of online account takeovers, many online retailers are unprepared for the wave of fraud that account takeovers can bring.

“In the last year online retailers have come under significant attack by cyber criminals using techniques such as account takeover to commit fraud,” Capps said. “Unfortunately, the transactional risk systems employed by most online retailers are not tuned to detect and defend against malicious use of existing customer accounts.  Retooling these systems to detect account takeovers can take some time, leaving retailers exposed to significant financial losses in the intervening time.”

Polyakov is the latest in a recent series of accused Russian hackers detained while traveling abroad and currently facing extradition to the United States. Dmitry Belorossov, a Russian citizen wanted in connection with a federal investigation into a cyberheist gang that leveraged the Gozi Trojan, also is facing extradition to the United States from Spain. He was arrested in Spain in August 2013 while attempting to board a flight back to Russia.

Last month, federal authorities announced they had arrested Russian citizen Roman Seleznev as he was vacationing in the Maldives. Seleznev, the son of a prominent Russian lawyer, is currently being held in Guam and is awaiting extradition to the United States.

Arkady Bukh, a New York criminal lawyer who frequently represents Russian and Eastern European hackers who wind up extradited to the United States, said the Polyakov case will be interesting to watch because his extradition is being handled by New York authorities, not the U.S. government.

“I’m not saying they won’t get some help from the feds, but extradition by state prosecutors is often a failure,” Bukh said. “In fact, I don’t remember the last time we saw a successful extradition of cybercrime suspects by U.S. state prosecutors. You have to have a lot of political juice to pull off that kind of thing, and normally state prosecutors don’t have that kind of juice.”

Nevertheless, Bukh said, U.S. authorities have made it crystal clear that there are few countries outside of Russia and Ukraine which can be considered safe havens for wanted cybercriminals.

“The U.S. government has delivered the message that these guys can get arrested anywhere, that there are very few places they can go and go safely,” Bukh said.

Graduate! Celebrate! "Decorate!"

Jul. 23rd, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

If you're still planning a party for the graduate in your life, then these bakeries would like you to know that they are ready and willing to provide a whole host of graduation-appropriate cake designs...

On Styrofoam.

Sure, it tends to stick in the molars a bit, but it's extremely low in fat.

NOTE TO BAKERS: Icing tends to slide off of Styrofoam when displayed at an angle.

NOTE TO CUSTOMERS: Regard all cakes stored flat with extreme suspicion from now on.

 

If for some reason you feel compelled to have a photo of your grad on the cake, then this bakery obliges with either a traditional, "boring," photo, or the hip new "green-out silhouette" option:

Also great for grads in the Witness Protection Program!

 

And for those customers who may become confused, thinking they have to purchase a cake with someone else's photo on it, this bakery provides a helpful clarification:

Congrats! You spelled "your" wrong!

 

But suppose your grad is spiritually inclined? How do you tastefully incorporate his or her religious views into a graduation cake? Well, this bakery shows us how...

...not to do it.

 

And lastly, this bakery wants you to send your graduate a really heartfelt message.

Specifically: "Your face looks like a butt."

Oh, and "your cap is ridiculous, with its teensy little robot arm."

 

Victoria W., Maya J., Denise R., Leanna P., and Patricia B., "you're thanks here."

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

lego men

Credit: Flickr / GabeB

The Faux Feminist

This guy will tell you that he thinks there should be more women in tech, but balks at the idea of actually… doing anything about that, and any conversation on the topic somehow goes in the direction of what is fair for the men.

He doesn’t think there should be “special” scholarships for women, for example. He’ll often support the “pipeline” argument, in so far as he never needs to take a critical look at his own environment.

He might complain about a misogynist comment a guy made near him, but he’ll never actually call them out on it. If asked, he may say that women can fight their own battles, after all they don’t want doors opened for them anymore.

The Misogynist

This guy will call women obscene words, rate them on the desirability rather than their professional skills. He’s the kind of guy who will hit on the intern. Almost every woman he works with will be deemed incompetent, maybe one will have the dubious honour of his grudging approval. Because she’s not like all those other stupid b*tches.

His friends will say, oh that guy. They’ll tell you, don’t take it so personally. Maybe they will diminish it because no-one likes that guy or rationalise that he is only joking.

He’s not really joking.

The Insecure

He’s paranoid that he shouldn’t be where he is, and could well be right. Looks for every opportunity to demonstrate his brilliance, but lack of ability and/or social awareness means his strategies is often to undermine those around him who he perceives to be weaker. If they succeed, they are seen to be taking something from him.

The already marginalised are a good target – presumed competence and rationality is on his side, after all.

It’s not an -ism, really. It’s survival of the fittest.

The Arrogant

This guy will be obnoxious kind enough to bore you with share with you his incredible mansplaining wisdom that you are unfortunate lucky enough to be near.

If you don’t listen to him, you’ve been ungrateful and he will be offended. It won’t occur to him that you might disagree; you must not understand.

If you don’t seek out his advice, you’re being unfriendly and disrespectful.

The Decent Bloke

This guy is focused on his own success, and his own life and isn’t caught up in other people’s opinion on him. He’s getting stuff done and is generally liked.

He’s sympathetic, but doesn’t really understand what you’re complaining about.

well, that was unexpected

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:22 pm
[personal profile] bokunenjin
So I did the Day 2 workout from Couch-to-5K this evening. And it went so much better than Day 1, which is an identical workout. I mean, it wasn't enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination, but I never felt on the verge of collapsing or unable to speak. When the app told me it was time for the cool-down, I said, "Wait—what? Really?" Who knows what it was that made the difference. Given that the conditions I'll usually be jogging in will be these rather than my Day 1 conditions, this gives me some hope.
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  •  how to recruit a diverse team | the evolving ultrasaurus: “There is no quick fix to diversity hiring. The easiest way to hire for diversity is to start with diversity — to start when you add the second person on your team — but if you reading this post, you likely have an imbalanced or homogeneous team. I’ve primarily written this for all-white or all-male teams in tech.”
  • The Problem With Science| Shakesville: “This doesn’t speak well of one of the industry’s leading publications. It also doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence (which, as I’ve already explained, I’m short on) that the folks making or breaking careers by deciding which papers are “sexy” enough to publish are going to have the professionalism to ground their decisions in something other than a creepy desire to excite their presumed readership of straight white cis guys.”
  • A handy template for online trolls: “It has come to my attention that you are [a person of color/woman/ LGBTQ/differently abled/immigrant] and you have posted an online essay suggesting that your situation in life is somehow challenging because of a circumstance relating to people who are not in your condition. As an Internet commenter, it is my mouse-driven duty to anonymously respond to your post. I’m not sure what would happen if I failed to do so, but I saw what happened when they stopped pushing the button in LOST so I will not take any chances.”
  • No More “Put A Skirt On It” | molly.is/saying: “Good news: the next time you draw a person or create a user avatar, you have an opportunity to fight the sexist patriarchal bullshit! Like many instances of patriarchy-smashing, it’s not actually that hard once you get the principles down. Here are 2 simple rules to keep you on track.”
  • Ninja Pizza Girl and The Thorny Tangle of Girlhood | Apple Cider Mage: “The crux of it is Jason Stark, the head of Disparity Games, relating precisely how and why Ninja Pizza Girl came to be. He talks about how the concept came straight from his childrens’ mouths but more importantly he  also describes the stumbles in his own assumptions about not only game design but also about his daughters’ growing vulnerability as they move into teen-hood and beyond. It was a bit of insight that I found intriguing, not so much as a gamer, but rather as a woman.”
  • Opinion: Selena Deckelmann on Portland tech’s gender divide | Portland Business Journal: “I was surprised and horrified to discover every woman in tech I knew had similar, and, disturbingly, far worse stories than mine. Many of these women, successful in tech and making good money, supported families and could not just quit and find another job in the small job market in Portland. Sure, they could move to another city — but with kids, spouses with jobs or in school, these decisions are rarely simple.”
  • Feminism and (Un)Hacking | Journal of Peer Production: CFP for articles on feminism and hacker/makerspaces: “With this special issue of the Journal of Peer Production, we hope to delve more deeply into these critiques to imagine new forms of feminist technical praxis that redefine these practices and/or open up new ones. How can we problematize hacking, tinkering, geeking and making through feminist theories and epistemologies? How do these practices, in fact, change when we begin to consider them through a feminist prism? Can we envision new horizons of practice and possibility through a feminist critique?”
  • San Fran tech types: what you need to know to move to Oakland | Live Work Oakland: “I’d like these young dudes coming to my town to actually see ALL the people coming up in tech in Oakland around me–the many Black, Latino, queer, female, and trans folks who, like all of us, show up in so many different ages, styles, and sizes, but who have a place, just like the white bros do. And  if these new folks coming into Oakland can’t see the folks who are already here, can’t change, I’d like them to just get the F* out of the way and take one of those corporate buses right back to where they came from .”
  • Meanwhile, in an alternate universe… | Infotropism: Read Skud’s take on what google+’s announcement re: pseudonyms SHOULD have been.
  • Canceling TRUCEConf | TRUCEConf: Trust, Respect, Unity, Compassion, and Equality: “I would say that it’s with a heavy heart that I am canceling this conference, if it weren’t for the sense of relief that comes with this announcement. I have struggled with this for long enough. The time has come to let it go.” (We covered TRUCEConf back in November 2013.)
  • “Pay a heavy price for it” | rosefox: “That’s the Frenkel story. He’s supposed to pay a price for getting what he wanted–the opportunity to harass a couple of women–but all he loses is four years of Wiscon. However, anyone who doesn’t want to be around harassers loses Wiscon forever.” (See also: the Chair of the Harassment Policy Committee responds to feedback about this decision, and more general thoughts on harassment at conferences from Publishers Weekly’s Genreville: What Conventions Are and Aren’t.)
  • Free Online Game Simulates Coming Out Experience | GLBT News: “The game is based on Case’s own coming out process, and it allows the player to choose a variety of conversational choices throughout the storyline. Characters remember what you have said, and they constantly refer back to choices that were made previously in the game. The games tagline is “a half-true game about half-truths.” The game has three endings, but like it promises at the very beginning, there are no easy or clean results. Everything is messy…just like the coming out process itself.”
  • Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens | Bitch Media: “What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That’s exactly what happens in the conversation below, where  Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi. “

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

[This is a continuation of my first rose petal resin post, in case you missed it.]

I couldn't resist making just a few more necklaces with those resin rose petal gems, and this time, I experimented with linking two or more together:



I used larger chain links (harvested off an old necklace) glued directly to the backs of the resin as hefty hanging loops, and smaller O-rings for the connections everywhere else.



For this teal-and-coral set I also made another adjustable ring, since the teals matched.


The pink petal is curled at the bottom, but honestly, that imperfection makes me like it even more!

Renee (my amazing friend who made all the resin pieces) happened to send me enough matching pink gems to pull of my most complex design: 



It was incredibly easy to put together, though, since the E-6000 I used gives you plenty of open time to adjust the rings and make sure they're even on all sides.

I did learn one thing the hard way: if you put your hanging loops on the side of a gem, make sure they're at the top of each side, not the middle. Otherwise your pendant will be top-heavy and flop over while you're wearing it.

Ask me how I know. ;)

 Oopsie. 

(That's basically what the backside of all the gems look like, though; again, the links don't stick out much at all, so it's quite comfy to wear.)



The good news is you can peel the E-6000 off your resin even after it dries, so re-setting the loops wasn't a problem. Then again, that could also be BAD news, since obviously you don't want your glue peeling off in the future! Still, it took enough effort that I'm not too worried; you'd have to really yank to risk breaking off a gem.

And finally, the dragonfly necklace!


Mega thanks to all of you who weighed in on the placement; the decision was almost unanimous, so that made it extra easy on me!


You like? If so, comment below, because I'm going to send this rose petal dragonfly necklace to one of you! That's right: iiiiit's give-away time.  I'll announce the randomly selected winner in my very next post, so get to commenting! (And as always, I'll ship anywhere, so international comments are welcome!)

pleia2: (Default)
[personal profile] pleia2

This year has been super packed with conferences and travel. I’ve done 13 talks across 3 continents and have several more coming up in the next few months. I’ve also been squeezing in the hosting of Ubuntu Hours each month.


Buttercup at his first Utopic Unicorn cycle Ubuntu Hour

Aside from all this, life-wise things have been pretty mellow due to my abdominal pain (sick of hearing about it yet?). I’ve been watching a lot of TV because of how exhausted the pain is making me. Exercise has totally taken a back seat, this compounds the tiredness and means I’ve put on some weight that I’m not at all happy about. Once I’m better I plan on starting Couch to 5K again and may also join a new gym to get back into shape.

The gallbladder removal surgery itself is on Thursday and I’m terribly nervous about it. Jet lag combined with surgery nervousness means I haven’t been sleeping exceptionally well either. I’m not looking forward to the recovery, it should be relatively fast (a couple of weeks), but I’m a terrible patient and get bored easily when I’m not doing things. It will take a lot of effort to not put too much stress on my system too quickly. I’ll be so happy when this is all over.

I did take some time to do a few things though. On June 29th our friend Danita was still in town and we got to check out the Pride parade, which is always a lot of fun, even if I did get a bit too much sun.

Lots more photos from the parade here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157645439712155/

MJ and I also took a Sunday to drive north a couple weeks ago to visit Tiburon for some brunch. It was a beautiful day for it, and always nice to further explore the beautiful places around where we live, I hope we can make more time for it.


Sunny day in Tiburon!

Finally, I’m happy to report that after a couple months, I’ve gotten a painting back from Chandler Fine Art who was working with a restoration artist to clean it up and to have it framed. Not much can be done about the cracks without a significant amount of work (the nature of oil paintings!) but they were able to fix a dent in the canvas and clean up some stains, I can’t even tell where the defects were now.

It may not strictly match the decor of our home, but it was a favorite of my father’s growing up and it’s nice to have such a nice memory from my childhood hanging here now.

Originally published at pleia2's blog. You can comment here or there.

What The L?

Jul. 22nd, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Sharyn

From the proud inventors of the Dewy Follicle System:

 Shhhhhh! I hear the librarians there can be a bit crotchety.

 

Jessica H., I have a feeling they're going to rip up your library card over this. Oh, and do only "past" Christians get to go to the Pubic Library? Discuss.


[Note from Jen: I couldn't take the mystery, so I looked it up. Apparently it was supposed to read "Pass Christian," not "Past."  So... THAT clears things up. o.0]

[Note from john (thoJ): I think I found the library's mascot!]



*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

Does anyone have a recommendation for an opt-in Creative Commons licencing plugin for WordPress. That is, one where the default state is not to CC licence something, but when some action is taken, an individual post or page can be so licenced.

As background: I have no desire to write, maintain, or even debug a WordPress plugin. I want to know if there is something for this use case that Just Works.

I want opt-in, because it is too hard to remember, or to train others, to find an opt-out box when posting, and thus end up CC licensing things that weren’t intended to be, or can’t be, released under such a licence.

Some options I’ve already looked into:

WP License reloaded: was pretty much exactly what I wanted but doesn’t seem to be actively maintained and is now failing (possibly because the site in question is now hosted on SSL, I’m not sure, see above about not being interested in debugging).

Creative Commons Configurator: seems to be the most actively maintained CC plugin, but seems to be opt-out, and even that was only introduced recently.

Creative Commons Generator: opt-out.

Easy CC License: perhaps what I want, although I’d rather do this with an options dialogue of some kind than a shortcode.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Tim Chevalier

[Content warning: sexual objectification.]

Obie Fernandez is the author of The Rails Way, the editor of Addison-Wesley’s Professional Ruby Series, and a co-founder and CTO of Javelin, a startup that builds “tools and services to help you change your world”.

Fernandez also, apparently, can’t talk about technology without reminding everybody that he has, on some occasion or another, had sex. Despite being a CTO, he also apparently doesn’t know that the Internet doesn’t have an erase button — which goes to show you that extremely poor judgment doesn’t stop you from getting copious VC funding for your company, if you’re male.


A screenshot of a tweet from Obie Fernandez, which he later deleted

Fernandez’s Twitter bio declares, “Author, Programmer, Dad”. Usually (certainly not always, I’m aware!) being a dad implies that you have had sex at least once. But it’s so important for Fernandez to remind us that he has had sex — with people of multiple ages — that he also has to inject tortured sexual analogies into what could have been a perfectly benign programming language flame war.

At 8:36 PM tonight (in my time zone, anyway, Fernandez tweeted, “still not sure exactly what I’m supposed to apologize for other than being a bit crass about 20-year old people.”

By 9:11 PM, Fernandez had evidently thought about it deeply and carefully enough to issue a retraction. I guess the “lean startup” approach is so powerful that its adherents can go from sneering at their critics (including a risible attempt to backjustify his sexism with an appeal to pansexuality — folks, we’ve been over that already) to heartfelt apology in less than 40 minutes. (I fear that his apology may not be entirely heartfelt, though, as he quickly moved on to declaring that he’s “not a sexist” and attempting to pay for his blunder by citing all the women he hires.)

Readers of this blog are aware that one asshat in tech would have little effect on his own, if he were indeed an isolated case. They are equally aware that Fernandez is no anomaly of asshaberdashery. I think the hapless Fernandez is providing us with a valuable lesson: the message to “not feed the trolls” is a dangerous one. While any given individual absolutely can and should disengage with trolls when necessary to protect their physical and mental health, engaging with them can have value. Judging from his Twitter avatar, Mr. Fernandez is at least 30 years old. That makes 30 years or more in which not a single person in his life has told him that the world generally does not need to know that he has done a sex. Perhaps his demeanor makes them afraid to challenge him. Perhaps they don’t think it’s worth the time. Who knows? But at one point in his life, one presumes that he was impressionable — one knows that he’s impressionable, since nobody acts like he does unless they get rewarded for it. Rewarded with laughs, with buddy-buddy slaps on the back from fellow bros, with congratulations on how delightfully politically incorrect he is, with 1.5 million dollars of venture capital money from the likes of Mark Suster, Eric Ries, and 500 Startups.

Back when I was first dabbling in Usenet in the mid-1990s, it was conventional wisdom that trolls were usually children sitting at a computer in their mothers’ basements. That, in other words, they had no real power other than the ability to rustle a few jimmies for a moment. It’s 2014 now, and some of those children have grown up and become technology executives — people with hiring and firing power, with a lot of control over a big part of the economy. If the adults in the room had spent a bit more time trying to socialize those children (because clearly, they weren’t getting it from their parents) and less time stating their troll-starving prowess, perhaps we would be able to attend a conference without hearing about some guy’s crotch.

Postscript: On Twitter, Matt Adereth pointed out this 2005 blog post from Fernandez:

I didn’t particularly like Ruby the first time I met her. I thought she was interesting, but a few months later (to my surprise) something changed. I started seeing her appealing qualities. My friends really spoke highly of Ruby, so we started spending time together. The love affair began in February 2005 and about a month later, things started getting pretty bad with my wife, Java. Even when I was doing Java, I couldn’t stop thinking of Ruby and how much better she is for me.

So it looks like Mr. Fernandez has been unnecessarily sexualizing technical discussions for fun and profit for quite some time. As Adereth observed, it also looks like Fernandez’s use of the “who said I was talking about women?” derailing tactic is entirely disingenuous.

[syndicated profile] evopropinquitous_feed
“We often talk about the “leaky pipeline of STEM” as a way to talk about how women and people of color drop out of STEM careers at alarmingly high rates, but it is time to abandon that language. We’re not talking about a passive system here, where people just happen to drip out of the pipeline. No, we’re talking about a system that actively creates pressure. If you take a large pipe, attach it to a smaller pipe and then a smaller one, while still pushing the same amount of water through, what’s going to happen? Either your pipe is going to spring pressure-driven leaks or you’re going to have to have holes drilled to relieve it. We’re not talking about a leaky pipeline of STEM, we’re talking about a gorram sprinkler system, actively pushing out people who were set up to fail from the beginning by the very system itself.

There are very real problems in the sciences. But right now the field is caught in an auto-catalytic cycle, where people point out ways in which we’re failing at outreach, the people in positions of power dig in their heels with cries of “but *we* weren’t offended!”, the same people then wring their hands and wonder why there isn’t more diversity in science… and continue to ignore us when answers to that question are given. And if we keep making excuses for the smaller things that hurt various groups, it’s never goin to change.”

- Skepchick | Science has an Image Problem (via brutereason)
[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Heads up, bargain shoppers: Financial institutions across the country report that they are tracking what appears to be a series of credit card breaches involving Goodwill locations nationwide. For its part, Goodwill Industries International Inc. says it is working with the U.S. Secret Service on an investigation into these reports.

goodwillHeadquartered in Rockville, Md., Goodwill Industries International, Inc. is a network of 165 independent agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. The organizations sell donated clothing and household items, and use the proceeds to fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based initiatives.

According to sources in the financial industry, multiple locations of Goodwill Industries stores have been identified as a likely point of compromise for an unknown number of credit and debit cards.

In a statement sent to KrebsOnSecurity, Goodwill Industries said it first learned about a possible incident last Friday, July 18. The organization said it has not yet confirmed a breach, but that it is working with federal authorities on an investigation into the matter.

“Goodwill Industries International was contacted last Friday afternoon by a payment card industry fraud investigative unit and federal authorities informing us that select U.S. store locations may have been the victims of possible theft of payment card numbers,” the company wrote in an email.

“Investigators are currently reviewing available information,” the statement continued. “At this point, no breach has been confirmed but an investigation is underway. Goodwills across the country take the data of consumers seriously and their community well-being is our number one concern. Goodwill Industries International is working with industry contacts and the federal authorities on the investigation. We will remain appraised of the situation and will work proactively with any individual local Goodwill involved taking appropriate actions if a data compromise is uncovered.”

The U.S. Secret Service did not respond to requests for comment.

It remains unclear how many Goodwill locations may have been impacted, but sources say they have traced a pattern of fraud on cards that were all previously used at Goodwill stores across at least 21 states, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

It is also not known at this time how long ago this apparent breach may have begun, but those same financial industry sources say the breach could extend back to the middle of 2013.

Financial industry sources said the affected cards all appear to have been used at Goodwill stores, but that the fraudulent charges on those cards occurred at non-Goodwill stores, such as big box retailers and supermarket chains. This is consistent with activity seen in the wake of other large data breaches involving compromised credit and debit cards, including the break-ins at Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Sally Beauty, and P.F. Chang’s.

stepping out of Facebook

Jul. 21st, 2014 11:43 am
[personal profile] bokunenjin
Heya world, I'm going to try avoiding browsing my Facebook news feed for the near future, so here's some warning for you—and a commitment device for me. Note that my public blog posts (like this one), Flickr uploads, and some tweets automatically get posted to my Facebook wall, so you'll probably continue to see some activity from me, and if you comment on it I'll engage with you. Likewise, I'll respond to Facebook messages, event invitations, and mentions. Theoretically you'll see more status updates from me on Twitter and Dreamwidth/Livejournal, where I'm bokunenjin.
pleia2: (Default)
[personal profile] pleia2

This past spring I had the great opportunity to work with Matthew Helmke, José Antonio Rey and Debra Williams of Pearson on the 8th edition of The Official Ubuntu Book.

Official Ubuntu Book, 8th Edition

In addition to the obvious task of updating content, one of our most important tasks was working to “future proof” the book more by doing rewrites in a way that would make sure the content of the book was going to be useful until the next Long Term Support release, in 2016. This meant a fair amount of content refactoring, less specifics when it came to members of teams and lots of goodies for folks looking to become power users of Unity.

Quoting the product page from Pearson:

The Official Ubuntu Book, Eighth Edition, has been extensively updated with a single goal: to make running today’s Ubuntu even more pleasant and productive for you. It’s the ideal one-stop knowledge source for Ubuntu novices, those upgrading from older versions or other Linux distributions, and anyone moving toward power-user status.

Its expert authors focus on what you need to know most about installation, applications, media, administration, software applications, and much more. You’ll discover powerful Unity desktop improvements that make Ubuntu even friendlier and more convenient. You’ll also connect with the amazing Ubuntu community and the incredible resources it offers you.

Huge thanks to all my collaborators on this project. It was a lot of fun to work them and I already have plans to work with all three of them on other projects in the future.

So go pick up a copy! As my first published book, I’d be thrilled to sign it for you if you bring it to an event I’m at, upcoming events include:

And of course, monthly Ubuntu Hours and Debian Dinners in San Francisco.

Originally published at pleia2's blog. You can comment here or there.

Solicitation on flipping the script

Jul. 21st, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Guest Blogger

This is a guest post by April Wright. April is a graduate student in evolutionary biology at the University of Texas at Austin. When she’s not crunching data at her computer, she teaches courses for novice biologists so they can learn some computation. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gaming, running with her dogs and spending time in the kitchen. You can get ahold of her at her website or Twitter.

So I wrote a blog post that went a little bit viral the other day. And a lot of people have asked in the past couple days what can be done to improve the atmosphere at programming meetings. I’ve been chewing on that pretty substantially.

I’ve had a lot of good discussions over the past couple days (help yourself to warm fuzzies here).

Reader bioatmosphere made a very good point in the comments, pulled out below:

The burden to fix things shouldn’t be on you just because you’re experiencing them

She’s right, of course. And that reminded me of this post by Cate Huston, which closes with a section called “Changing the Conversation”. I’ll copy the crucial bit (do read the whole thing, though) below:

Are you doing meaningful work?

Do you feel appreciated?

Do you feel respected?

And I’m going to tack on one more:

Do you feel like you’re part of something?

Because I think that’s what really got me: I felt like I was part of something, then I didn’t. It’s not just being snubbed that hurts, it’s a sense of loss of a community I kinda thought I fit with.

Since I have some ears bent towards me for a bit: People who feel integrated in communities and happy at meetings, what about it? What about these communities and meetings that makes you feel appreciated? Or respected? Or part of something? And what could you do to help someone else feel that?

Get at me via whatever channel preferred. [Mod note: while we normally do not encourage anonymous comments, they are acceptable on this post. Please note that your IP address will be logged, but is only visible to blog administrators.]

Olaf Heats Things Up

Jul. 21st, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

[Olaf:] "Oh, I don't know why but I've always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot...

[Kristoff:] "Really. I'm guessing you don't have much experience with heat."

[Olaf:] "Nope! But sometimes I like to close my eyes, and imagine what it'd be like when summer does come."

[cue music!]

♪ Bees'll buzz ♫

 

...kids'll blow dandelion fuzz,

(hurk)

 

♪ And I'll be doing whatever snow does...

In summer!

 

♪ A drink in my hand,

 

my snow up against the burning sand

 

♪ Prob'ly getting gorgeously tanned...

[...]

[...]

[...]

[...]

...IN SUMMER!!

 

Thanks to Robert H., Jaleo, Anon M., Erin T., Jaclyn O., Charwoody, Susan R., Jessica B., Marika A., Lauren A., and Kyla Q. for playing it cool.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

5 Things I Hate About London

Jul. 21st, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

IMG_5700

See part 1: 5 Things I Like About London.

1. Quality of Life

This is the main thing. The #1 worst thing by far about London. Quality of Life in London is really low. Housing is expensive. Commutes are long. As a relatively well-paid London resident I am lucky enough to have the choice of horrendous commute or hideously expensive apartment. I opted for the apartment. Most people suffer both the commute and the barely-affordable (or straight up unaffordable) rent.

This style of living has created some new words and phrases. For my apartment, my friend coined the phrase “povel” (posh hovel). For me, this is a one bedroom basement apartment, dark all year round, and also slightly damp in winter. But in Kensington and Chelsea. There’s a private garden, but no dishwasher.

The other phrase another friend and I use is “zone 1 poverty”. This is living in zone 1 (central London, although huge – I will get to that later) but that is the full extent of any extravagance.

2. Filth

London is disgustingly dirty, especially the tube which I sometimes describe as a “filthy rat hole”. In other news, I saw an actual rat yesterday.

I’ve come to think that a regular dip in mild bleach (easily located at your nearest swimming pool) is probably necessary for feeling actually clean.

3. Distance

It takes the best part of an hour to cross zone 1. Obviously leaving zone 1 takes even longer, although I confess this is something I aim to do as seldom as possible. When visiting my family, the journey time is roughly 45 minutes to the train station, 50 minutes on the high speed train to Rugby.

4. A Series of Small Towns

I love walking across cities, I think a great city has an arc, where downtown is the crescendo. London has no arc, that I have found at least. It feels like a series of small towns, connected by the aforementioned filthy rat hole. In some ways this is kind of cute, you find little high streets and residential squares. However there’s nowhere I have found where you can have everything you want, close by.

5. Londoners and Tourists

There are two kinds of people in London. Londoners, who are desperately avoiding eye contact and will never speak to you. I sympathise, I as have become this – every time I take the tube I also start to hate humanity. If they are driving a black cab, they may try to run you over. This baffles me, as surely the pedestrian is the natural passenger of the taxi. And, tourists. Tourists are typically lost, lugging large suitcases, and in the way due to the suitcases, walking slowly, or because they blocking the pavement in order to take a picture of their friends with some landmark.

Londoners hate each other, because there are too many people everywhere, and tourists, because they are in the way. I expect tourists also hate Londoners because they are horribly rude, and keep walking through their carefully staged photos.

Happy 4½

Jul. 21st, 2014 08:45 pm
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comments welcome in either place.

Biker

The Sydney Project: Luna Park

Jul. 20th, 2014 11:52 pm
[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

This year is my son’s last year before he begins full time schooling in 2015. Welcome to our year of child-focussed activities in Sydney.

Luna Park entrance

by Jan Smith, CC BY

Luna Park is, honestly, essentially cheating on this project. Do children like amusement parks? Yes. They do. There you go.

In addition, I think four years old is basically about the right age for them. It’s old enough that children are aware that a giant painted face, tinkly music, and carousels aren’t a completely normal day in the world, young enough that the carousel is still just as magical as the dodgem cars. And too young to have horror-film associations with amusement parks, I think that helps too.

Luna Park ferris wheel

by Kevin Gibbons, CC BY

It’s also more accessible to a four year old than some more thrill-oriented parks. V isn’t scared of heights or speed, so he loves the Coney Island slides, and was annoyed to find out that he was too short for the Ranger (the ship you sit in that gets spun upside down about ten stories in the air) and the free-fall ride. He is, however, apparently afraid of centrifugal force parallel to the ground, and refused to go on any “octopus” rides.

Even the four year old who wants to go on the free-fall ride is still young enough for, well, frankly dinky rides like the train that goes around about five times in a circle while you pretend to drive it, and the space shuttles that turn in gentle circles and which slowly go up and down when you press a button. His big draw is the ferris wheel, which I found fairly horrifying this time as I read the signs about keeping limbs inside to him and then had to answer a lot of questions about “why? why do I have to keep my limbs inside?” while giant pieces of metal calmly whirled past us with their comparatively infinite strength. In a similar vein, V also enjoys the roller coaster past all reason and sense, whereas Andrew and I react with “this seems… flimsy…” (I love coasters, but I like them to look overengineered).

Luna Park, where there's still a space shuttle

The only things V really didn’t like were the organised dancing groups who were encouraging children to learn their (cute!) 1930s-ish moves, and the process of choosing a child from a hat to press the lever to light up the park at night (he refused to let his name be entered), because there’s some specific types of performative attention that he really loathes. But there’s plenty of children gagging to dance along and to light up the park that an objector goes unnoticed. It’s not coercive fun.

Cost: entry is free. Rides aren’t, an unlimited rides pass for the day starts at $29.95 for a young child and goes to $49.95 for a tall child or an adult. There are discounts for buying online. (The entry is free thing sounds really useless, but it’s actually good if you have several adults, not all of whom are interested in the rides and/or are looking after babies.)

Recommended: indeed. We’ve considered getting an annual pass, in fact.

More information: Luna Park Sydney website.

Disclosure: because of a prior complaint to Luna Park about opening hours (we showed up several months ago at 2:15pm to find that an advertised 4pm closure had been moved to 3pm), we were admitted free this time. No reviews were requested or promised in return for our admission.

BOO!!

Jul. 20th, 2014 03:27 pm
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Since Facebook changed the Page format again, I can't "highlight" your posts on the Epbot page anymore, which makes it a lot harder to share all the fun photos and links you guys post there.

SO... here's a little something that brightened my Sunday:




I get a lot of amazing costume photos from you guys, but Caitlin's Weeping Angel inspired me. So, a few minutes of photo editing later...





This is one of those times when low lighting actually helps - yay for extra creepiness!!



Thanks so much to Caitlin for sharing! (And keep an eye on her blog for more details, which I hear are coming soon!) Maybe I'll have to start featuring some of my favorite FB posts every now and then, just so the rest of you won't miss out.




Oh, and by the way...


YOU BLINKED.

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