[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Sources at a growing number of financial institutions in the United States say they are tracking a pattern of fraud that indicates nationwide sandwich chain Jimmy John’s may be the latest retailer dealing with a breach involving customer credit card data. The company says it is working with authorities on an investigation.

jjohnsMultiple financial institutions tell KrebsOnSecurity that they are seeing fraud on cards that have all recently been used at Jimmy John’s locations.

Champaign, Ill.-based Jimmy John’s initially did not return calls seeking comment for two days. Today, however, a spokesperson for the company said in a short emailed statement that “Jimmy John’s is currently working with the proper authorities and investigating the situation. We will provide an update as soon as we have additional information.”

The unauthorized card activity witnessed by various financial institutions contacted by this author is tied to so-called “card-present” fraud, where the fraudsters are able to create counterfeit copies of stolen credit cards.

Beyond ATM skimmers, the most prevalent sources of card-present fraud are payment terminals in retail stores that have been compromised by malicious software. This was the case with mass compromises at previous nationwide retailers including Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, White LodgingP.F. Chang’s, Sally Beauty and Goodwill Industries (all breaches first reported on this blog).

According to the company’s Wikipedia page, there are more than 1,900 Jimmy John’s stores in at least 43 states. Nearly all Jimmy John’s locations (~98 percent) are franchisee-owned, meaning they are independently operated and may not depend on common information technology infrastructure.

However, multiple stores contacted by this author said they ran point-of-sale systems made by Signature Systems Inc. The company’s PDQ QSR point-of-sale product is apparently recommended as the standard payment solution for new Jimmy John’s franchise owners nationwide. Signature Systems did not immediately return calls for comment.

Reports of a possible card compromise at Jimmy John’s comes amid news that the Delaware Restaurant Association is warning its members about a new remote-access breach that appears to have been the result of compromised point-of-sale software.

Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Jimmy John’s was based in Charleston, Ill.; rather, it was founded there. The copy above has been corrected.

Cake Mix-a-lot

Jul. 31st, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Sharyn

In honor of Mutt's Day, and the Dog Days of Summer:

 

I like cake MUTTS and I cannot lie!

 

No other pastry beats this guy!

 

When a cake comes out like a pile of doggie waste

 

Or has Sliding-Frosting-Face

It gets SUNG!

 

Wanna say "enough"

 

'Cuz you know that spelling's "Ruff!"

 

Doggie got wrecked.

Happy Mutt's Day, everyone!

 

I'd feel like a heel if I didn't unleash a pack of thanks on Heather W., Nicole O., Erin R.., Catherine S., Sara S., Lysa R., & Thomas R. for taking pictures rather than going barking mad.

*****

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

Cake or Death Eater?

Jul. 31st, 2014 09:00 am
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

"Um... Death Eater, please."

 

Yep, it's time for John's big Death Eater reveal!

Ready for your close-up, Sweetie?


Oh yeah, he's ready.

 

Epic side-eye.

I've already done tutorials for the mask and wand, so the rest of the costume was relatively simple - assuming you can sew. (Which I can't. Good thing John can!)

John sewed the tunic from heavy embroidered upholstery fabric. It was pricey stuff, so to conserve fabric and provide a little ventilation, he used an old black t-shirt for the back panel. The pants are cheap cotton dress pants, and he's also wearing a cotton balaclava to hide his neck and ears. (Whose idea was it to have Leaky Con in August in Florida, again? ACK.)

The tunic fabric was solid black, so to make the embroidery stand out I gave John a good dusting with Fuller's Earth - the fake dirt & dust scenics use on actors. If you have a specialty paint store around, they may have it - it's quite cheap and SO FUN to use. (Just make sure you're outside; it's fine as flour and very dusty!)
  

 

We made the hood and robe using a pattern for a wizard's robe, just leaving off the sleeves and making the hood a bit longer & pointier. (I cut, John sewed.) It took a whopping five yards of fabric just for what you see here, so it billows out quite dramatically when John walks around.

 

The bracers are plain black vinyl which John hemmed & set with grommets on the inside edges. They're held on with black leather cording wrapped through the grommets and around. (The vinyl still looks quite new, so John may still rub on a little grey paint for age.)

John made the wand holster out of old leather belts, a large steel ring, some patterned vinyl, and metal duct tape for the decorative bits in the middle. (The tape looks great, but is pretty fragile; one end keeps peeling up. For my own belt I used a heftier glue, though, and it's holding up so far.)


To grunge up John's hands I swiped a little black craft paint over his nails and knuckles, and then had him wash his hands. The paint sticks in all the skin creases even through gentle hand washing, so it's a nice option for conventions. (And if you REALLY want it to stick, use black primer. That'll stay on for days.)

And finally, my favorite shot!

SO COOL.

Coming up next: my own Lady Death Eater! 

Who Cut the Cheese?

Jul. 30th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

That's right, folks: the day you've been waiting for is finally here. All those hours of planning, long nights of anticipation, and stockpiling of Lactaid pills will finally pay off, because today...is National Cheesecake Day.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Jem," you're thinking - because you frequently get me mixed up with the 80s cartoon rocker - "Jem, how is it even possible to Wreck a cheese cake?"

Why, like this, my adorably confused reader:

[singing] "This-is-how-we-do-it!"

Aww, I see this was taken on my birthday, Mike & Angie. Well, thanks for the thought and all, but that drippy brown splotch has just reminded me: I...uh...don't eat drippy brown splotches. Sorry.

So that's a traditional cheesecake Wreck, but what if I told you it gets even Wreckier?

BEHOLD, THE WEDDING CHEESE CAKE WRECK!!!

Yes, my dear Wreckies, I'm afraid it's true: that is a "cake" made entirely of cheese. And not a sweet cream cheese, either - oh no. I'm talkin' the stuff that gets described with words like "sharp," "green veining," and "stinky feet." And it's a wedding cake.

 

I wish I could say this is a one-time fluke, but unfortunately wedding cheese "cakes" are a growing trend. They're not in addition to the traditional cake, either; they're in place of it. Meaning there is no actual wedding cake at these weddings - just cheese. Cheese! As if that's an acceptable substitute!

What happened to the time-tested wedding arrangement? You know, the one where we bring expensive linens, crystal, and espresso-makers in exchange for a free meal, a little boozy dancing, and a slice of gorgeously decorated, oh-so-scrumptious cake?

 

Frankly, it only adds insult to injury when someone tries to "pretty" these things up, too:

Fake flowers and ribbon pinned (yes, pinned) into cheese wheels does not an elegant "cake" make.

 

Still, nothing's as bad as combining cake, cheese, and a pork pie all into a single display:

The question is, can you tell which layer is which?

 

Cass J., Anony M., Stella P., & Second Anony., I Camembert it; all the Gouda puns Havarti been used!

*****

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

Software Engineers Aren’t Normal

Jul. 30th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

yikes...

Credit: Flickr / Cara

Techies often try and do design (I am also guilty of this), and typically they design for themselves. I don’t think this is uncommon – a lot of people think they would be a good product manager based on little or no evidence, for example.

However with techies, there are three common areas where they make mistakes when it comes to actual humans.

Fear of Technology.

Techies often have no empathy for people who fear technology, who are intimated by the computer, who worry they will break things, panic every time a dialog box pops up.

Manifests in: Poor UX. Not caring about poor UX because people should just “figure it out”.

Money.

The technology field is relatively well paid [interesting data for Ireland, although long hours mean the hourly rate isn't as good comparatively to other industries, like education], this means that techies don’t have the struggles of say, a low end smart phone that is still working that they can’t really justify replacing. And can be less price sensitive: opt for the easiest option rather than the cheapest (yes, some techies are very into frugal living, but there is a big difference between choice and necessity, especially as when you buy large amounts of things up front they are far cheaper).

Manifests in: Many many products solving the problems over over-paid young men.

Math Literacy.

I know there’s been a big debate about math lately that I just don’t want to get in to. But techies are typically way more comfortable with math than your average person [mathematical literacy amongst US adults is amongst the lowest in the world]. They don’t get freaked out by basic arithmetic. Or graphs. (One techie once said to me that a graph wasn’t math. Ha).

Manifests in: Poor tools for making sense of data, which are intimidating because they require too much math to use.

So?

Like most problems in the technology industry, the answer is empathy. We can ask ourselves questions – what if I was afraid? What if I was poor? What if I never finished high school math?

And if the answer you come up with is “well I would just figure it out”… try again. You’re wrong.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  • Dr who? Campaign to boost digital profile of Australia’s female scientists | The Age (July 29): “According to web information company Alexa, Wikipedia is the sixth-most popular website globally. Yet even Wikipedia admits to a systematic bias when it comes to women in science, describing the subject as ‘’woefully under-represented’’. Next month, the Australian Academy of Science plans to change that, hosting a Women of Science ‘’Wikibomb’’ event inspired by a similar call to arms by the Royal Society, London.”
  • This Is What Tech’s Ugly Gender Problem Really Looks Like | WIRED (July 28): “Shortly after Kathryn Tucker started RedRover, an app that showcases local events for kids, she pitched the idea to an angel investor at a New York tech event. But it didn’t go over well. When she finished her pitch, the investor said he didn’t invest in women.”
  • Checking Your Privilege: A How-To for Hard Things | Leslie Hawthorn at OSCON 2014 | Youtube (July 23): “The reason that systemic problems are so difficult and so insidious, is because when you are a participant in a system, when you are a user of a system and all of the defaults are configured to work for you out of the box, it never occurs to you that those defaults even exist.”
  • When Does a Woman Owe You Sex? Check This Chart | Identities.Mic (July 22): “Microsoft Excel took a turn for the explicit this week when the Internet learned the once-innocuous office tool was being used in a dispiriting new bro-trend: tracking the number of times their partners refuse sex. Yes, #sexspreadsheets are a thing, presumably because some men still believe that owning a penis entitles them to unlimited sexy times. [...] The many falsehoods propagated at every turn have driven us to put together a helpful chart that may help clear up any uncertainties regarding when women owe it to anyone to have sex”
  • “Females” in Open Source, by Amber Wu | Model View Culture (July 21): “Sexism is so deeply ingrained in tech’s unbalanced demographics that making a point of not being a misogynist is practically countercultural. Unseating those biases to the point where codes of conduct are normal and our spaces are widely safer will take huge forces of change. “
  • How can tech companies diversify their workforces? | Marketplace.org (July 24): “Twitter is the latest tech company to disclose statistics on the race and gender of its workforce, following Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn. Like those companies, Twitter is falling short on diversity.”
  • Getting hired without getting burned: Sniffing for culture smells | Liz Abinante (July 24): “It is incredibly difficult to find a good place to work. With companies that fire women after they announce that they’re pregnant, intimidate women into leaving, hire people who think it’s ok to compare women to programming tools, and have abysmally low diversity numbers (although at 10% women in tech, I am no longer surprised by Twitter’s terrible block policy), it’s surprisingly easy to end up working in a toxic environment.”
  • The Mary Sue Exclusive Interview: Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford on Acknowledging Sexuality and Gender Diversity in D&D | The Mary Sue (July 24): “Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, lead designers of the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons, out in a staggered release all this summer and fall, talk about the mechanics of inclusive gaming, Gen Con diversity panels, realistic artwork, and the decision to “look at the wonderfully diverse group of people who play the game and say, ‘There’s a place for each of you at the game table’” with the system’s new suggestions for roleplaying gender and sexuality.”
  • Virginia E. Johnson, Scientist: Beyond “Masters of Sex” | The Toast (July 23): “The 2013 Showtime television show Masters of Sex introduced viewers to William H. Masters (1915–2001) and Virginia E. Johnson (1925–2013), two of the best-known American sex researchers of the twentieth century. [...] But the television show fails to address why and how she has become the person that she became, and why she chose to devote her life and career to sex research with a difficult and demanding man.”
  • Women and Minority Leaders Are Penalized For Fostering Diversity, Study Finds | Mashable (July 18): “Women and minorities don’t shy away from hiring their peers out of fear of the competitive threat they may pose, but rather out of fear of the retribution they may incur, new research suggests. The reason they are so reluctant to hire other women and ethnic minorities is because they are often penalized by their bosses for doing so, according to a study to be presented at next month’s annual meeting of the Academy of Management.”
  • Women in the Sciences Report Harassment and Assault | Julienne Rutherford at Huffington Post (July 24): “We, like many other scientists, had heard the stories, shared via email, on blogs, whispered in the corners of hotel conference rooms. Harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault during one of the most important stages of professionalization in the sciences: fieldwork. [...] We set out to explore more deeply the pervasiveness of these experiences and the results we published in PLOS ONE on July 16, 2014 are a sobering wake-up call.”
  • Comic-Con’s dark side: Harassment amid the fantasy | The Washington Post (July 27): “Geeks for CONsent, founded by three women from Philadelphia, gathered nearly 2,600 signatures on an online petition supporting a formal anti-harassment policy at Comic-Con.”

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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

The Cake Said WHAT?

Jul. 29th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

When you see the same ol' "happy birthday" butchered day after day, you learn to cherish the cakes that break the mold and say something truly unique.

Whoah, thought that said something a little off-color for a sec!
(Who else saw "Jerk?")

 

Anyway, I've been collecting some of the better examples for ages now, and as I started scrolling through them today I realized they told a kind of story.

It helps if you imagine them as a conversation between two people.

And also if you're a little drunk.

BEGIN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D'awww. Brings a little tear to the eye, doesn't it?
(I mean, who's giving away "chrildren?")

 

Thanks to Mike B., Julie R., Marissa D., Nancy M., Jack W., Anony M., Another Anony, Jennifer W., Bethany P., Libby M., & Julie N. for proving a cake can be worth a thousand questions.

*****

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

[syndicated profile] valerie_fenwick_blog_feed

Posted by Valerie Fenwick

As you faithful readers know, I love riding my bicycle and I love raising money to help the American Lung Association of California fight lung disease!

Due to my earlier injuries, I haven't been able to support the ALAC for a few years.  The ALAC no longer does their Two Rock Ride, but that's not going to stop me!  I'm riding the Marin Century this Saturday!  I'll be doing the metric century (100K/60miles) - quite a challenge for me, as I haven't done more than 40-45 miles since my injury.  My trainer - my husband, Mark - has been working with me every weekend on longer rides with more climbs. I'm sure I'll be ready.

This ride is important to me, as a long time asthma sufferer and since I've lost so many loved ones to lung cancer and other lung diseases.  My mother, a non-smoker who survived her ordeal with lung cancer, inspires me to ride every day and not to take my lungs for granted! My mom lost 1/2 of one lung to cancer, and I know she misses it!

So, please support my ride! I'm trying to raise $8,000 and I'm only 30% of the way there - the ride is on Saturday!  I know together that we can do this!

Thank you so much!

Valerie
[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Three Israeli defense contractors responsible for building the “Iron Dome” missile shield currently protecting Israel from a barrage of rocket attacks were compromised by hackers and robbed of huge quantities of sensitive documents pertaining to the shield technology, KrebsOnSecurity has learned.

The never-before publicized intrusions, which occurred between 2011 and 2012, illustrate the continued challenges that defense contractors and other companies face in deterring organized cyber adversaries and preventing the theft of proprietary information.

The Bad, The Bad, and The Badder

Jul. 28th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by The CW Team

The following cakes were made by professionals, and paid for with actual money.
Do not adjust your screen.

 

Vicky W. wanted this cake, only in pink and white.

Hm. I wonder how it turned out?

 

Oh, that's right! This is Cake Wrecks.

BAM!

 

This next cake is not the wreck.

It's actually what Mary J's half sister's other sister* wanted for her wedding.
(*cousin's nephew's roommate...)

Which Mary J's half sister's other sister apparently bought at a donut shop.

Okay, time for some hard truths here. Are you ready? Here goes:

If your baker makes most of her money selling donuts,
MAYBE DON'T GET YOUR WEDDING CAKE THERE.

(King cakes should be fine, though.)

(OH SNAP!!!)

 

And finally, Elydia B. writes:

"My wedding was like a fairy tale. The cake was supposed to be from a very prestigious bakery in Tuscany..."

Wait, Tuscany? Like in Italy? Well, since I'm an American and everything I know about Italy involves designer clothes, expensive shoes, and bright red sports cars, I have to assume that the cake would be amazin...

"...but it was like the wicked stepmother portion of the fairy tale!"

AH. Right, then. So here's what she wanted:

Nice! I like how they digitally added in Elydia's monogram for this mock-up; really speaks to a high talent and prof... wait, you added that, Elydia? Oh.

Oh my.

Since I'm speechless, I'll let Elydia finish:

"The cake that we got is about twice the size of me..."

(Hey, the more the merrier, right?)

"...but was a thin layer of cake with STYROFOAM below each layer of the Cool Whip-type frosting."

(Oh. Um. Crunchy?)

"They took one hydrangea and broke it up into four pieces."

(A hydrangea? Where?)

"Honestly, I thought it was a practical joke!"

(Did you check if those "hydrangeas" were actually parsley garnishes from the salad bar? Because if so, then you were TOTALLY punk'd.)

 

Well, let that be a lesson to you, brides: always sniff your hydrangeas, and never... uh... yeah I got nuthin'.

*****

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

The Day I Leave The Tech Industry

Jul. 28th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

red curtain

Credit: Flickr / Fred Seibert

I know that this will happen, that one day I will have had enough, and I will leave. It’s something I think about on a regular basis, and wonder, what will I do after? Will I move to a cheaper city and make things, consult, and hope to make ends meet? Will I retreat still further, live up a mountain, never speak to a nerdy boy again? Make pronouncements on the tech industry from afar, if I feel so inclined. I ask myself, if I travel enough now, will I one day feel like I’ve seen enough of the world, be content with a smaller life?

I wonder, what it will look like. Will I leave my laptop in a unisex bathroom, with a note that says “this is a men’s bathroom“? Will I carefully print a letter on headed notepaper and leave it on my desk with a postit that says “mansplain this“? Will it just be the slow fade to the day that one of the bars on my gilded cage is loosened, when I decide that whatever amount of money that is there is finally enough, and that I can finally break out?

We joke about it, other women and I, what we will finally do when we leave. Become a barista. Go back to school. “Pull a disappearing act“, one friend says, leaving it to me to explain the chaos she left behind. “Not if I get there first“, I reply. We talk about our escape funds. A feminist hacker commune in Berlin.

Remember that April Fools joke from a woman that she was quitting the industry? The thing about humour, is that there needs to be the element of the unexpected. Nothing unexpected there. Today it is you, tomorrow it could be me. We are careful about who we trust to vent to, sometimes we’ve made mistakes and learned the hard way who cannot be trusted. Look for those who can, who we know will let it go no further, because today it is me, tomorrow it could be you.

We talk to each other about the grey areas, where something happened to make us uncomfortable. Maybe there was an element of truth to it, but it seems disproportionate. We agonise about how to be fair. Well yes, he did say that, but he means well, and to be fair... I’m so tired of people – men – who mean well, and their casual undermining.

I wonder, do we leave because of the big events? Maybe not, fuelled by righteous anger, pure straightforward knowledge that what he said, or did was so far out of line that nothing you did could have merited it. That guy, that guy, we won’t let him win.

Maybe the people we need to, will even take our side in that one. Maybe we will actually be protected.

Of course, that guy will be too. He, his career, will be just fine.

That guy, he probably won’t get me. The system, that might. I wonder, if it’s the grey area that is more likely to drive us away. That will make us feel more crazy, more alone. The thousand tiny cuts that make up life as a woman in this industry. Which are so hard to talk about, because these become conversations about their intentions, rather than my feelings of alienation and insecurity.

Someone, a man actually, once told me that the effect of a communication is more important than it’s intent.

The day that I leave the tech industry, the last thing that drives me away… I expect the intent will be helpful, perhaps benevolently paternalistic. The effect, the effect will be the last straw, the handing in of the security badge, and the new adventure to find a new way to fill my days and pay the bills.

Some people say that women leave the tech industry because babies. I don’t believe it for a minute, and the external data disproves it too. But if it wasn’t safe to be honest, what a great excuse. What else would one say, “it was one mansplain too far“?

One day, I will leave the industry. There’s this red curtain in my future, and I don’t know what is on the other side. Some days it looms close, scarily imminent, other days it is nicely, abstractly, further away.

A certainty, like death, taxes. One day I will leave. I don’t know what will be the last straw, although I might tell you, if I was sure I could trust you, what weighs down the balance. I don’t know what I will do after, or when it will be.

I just know that it will happen.

The Best Tweets & Pics Of SDCC!

Jul. 27th, 2014 11:37 pm
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

What's that? You haven't been obsessively following the flood of San Diego Comic-Con photos and tweets all weekend?

That's ok. I HAVE.

Now get comfy, and I'll catch you up on some of my favorites:

 





By far the most entertaining celeb at SDCC has been Misha Collins, aka Castiel from Supernatural:

 

 
(Mark Sheppard will be at CONjure here in Orlando this weekend - really looking forward to seeing him there!)

On Sunday Misha even served coffee to fans in line for Hall H... while wearing a cupcake apron:


Ha!

There were plenty of other celeb selfies to enjoy, though:
 
 (The cast of Arrow.)


I spent a few sick days on the couch inhaling the first season and a half of OUAT, so now I understand the love/hate relationship most of its fans have with it. Heh. (SO ANGSTY. And yet... I keep going back for more. Dangit.)


Yeah. Like that.


Avengers!!


Robert Downey Jr, being himself:



 

Pretty much everyone was talking about this new Wonder Woman photo:


And I never thought I'd say this, but Ben Affleck is lookin' good. BATMAN GOOD.



Miscellaneous happy-making things:
 

For my fellow Bronies and art lovers: Katie Cook & Andy Price:



Can't post so much Misha without Jenson & Jared, of course:





And SO. MUCH. CUMBERBATCH. The man dominated SDCC this year!

With John Barrowman!

 

And the cast of The Hobbit!




Now in flip-flops!

 

 (I'm actually more fascinated by his body guards eying the crowd. I love behind-the-scenes, candid photos like this.)

And while I'll fangirl right alongside you over Benedict, I have to sa...OMIGOSH LEE PACE!!

 Pushing Daisies fans, represent!
(He's also up there in The Hobbit pic, with floofier hair.)

That's one perk of waiting in that infamous Hall H line: the celebs do tend to come visit!


Two of my favorite famous people:


And at my friends' Paul & Storm's W00tstock, even!


My friend & fellow blogger Amy was all over SDCC, and I highly recommend following her Twitter and reading back for all the goodness. I especially loved her coverage of the Supernatural panel:
You can read her article on the whole panel here at IGN.


More cosplay!


(Not sure what the armored guys are from, but I love them.)



Holy false feet!


My jaw is on the desk. WOW.
A couple of sites posted this awesome shot of Batgirl ziplining across the Gotham skyline outside the convention hall:
And guess what? I KNOW THAT BATGIRL! It's Briana, the lovely Mad Hatter Disney Bounder John & I stepped out with some months back. Go, Briana!!


Official cosplay slideshows will be springing up everywhere soon, of course - and in fact there's already a great roundup here on io9.

If you know SDCC, then you probably know #AdamIncognito, the game Adam Savage plays each year where he dresses up in costume, and everyone else tries to find him. He only lasted about 20 minutes on the floor Saturday, but here's the video (and explanation!):

 

This man is seriously my Maker hero. I could watch him build things over on Tested.com all the live-long day.

And finally, possibly my favorite thing about SDCC: Nerd HQ, the off-site event run by Zachary Levi:


Not only does Zach snag some of THE best guests for panels and guest photo ops, everything they raise is for the charity Operation Smile. So much awesome!



Even better, Nerd HQ streams all their panels live online, AND posts them all on Youtube for us non-SDCC-attending geeks! So guess what I'll be devouring this week. [crazy eyes]


Hope you guys enjoyed the virtual visit to SDCC! It's the one con I don't mind missing each year, given its madness and thorough coverage online - but it DOES have me pretty pumped for the conventions we're hitting this weekend, and of course for Dragon Con next month!

Speaking of which, this Friday John & I plan to be at Leaky Con - dressed as Death Eaters - followed by Tampa Bay Comic-Con on Saturday and CONjure on Sunday. So if any of you want to meet up at one of those, be sure to tweet at me!

And FINALLY, as a reward for making it through this monster post: time to announce this month's art winner! 

So, my randomly selected winner is... Evelina Persson! Congrats, Evelina, and please e-mail me your mailing address & choice of prize from my Pinterest Art Give-Away Board

*****
UPDATE: Ack! I was supposed to announce TWO winners, wasn't I? Sorry, guys! Ok, my second randomly selected winner is.... ScaperMama! Congrats & please e-mail me your info, too, Scaper!

Quick Hit: #LikeDustIRise

Jul. 27th, 2014 07:13 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Annalee

Over on Twitter, the great and talented @Gildedspine, creator of #YesAllWomen, is hosting a discussion about online activism, the power of community, and speaking up even in the face of harassment and abuse.

She’s got a powerful conversation going. I encourage you to check it out: #LikeDustIRise.

[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

These may not be your grandmother's cakes... but I bet she'd love them.

(By Papillon Cakes, website currently disabled)

Rickrack and strawberries? Yes, please!

 

If we learned anything from Grandma's house, it's that you can never have too many floral patterns.

(By Amelie's House)

Especially when they're hand-painted.

 

No one does "dainty" like our grandmothers did. Mine recently gave me a bunch of her old jewelry, and there are necklace pendants in there smaller than my pinky nail. I'm talking TINY.

Kind of like the little accent flowers on this bottom tier:

(By Cakes by Suzanne)

Can't you just see this on a Formica countertop with little aqua star bursts on it?

 

 

And doesn't this look like one of those fancy candy dishes from Grandma's formal living room?

(By Sif Jensen)

The green even has a slightly translucent feel to it, like leafy green depression glass. SO PRETTY.

 

Did your grandparents go through a cherub phase? Mine had art, statues, some particularly memorable soap dishes... but sadly, no gorgeous cakes like this:

(By Svetlana Bayankina)

How appropriate the baker chose cherubs; that hand-piping is HEAVENLY.

 

Not all color schemes are timeless, of course - but I gotta say, I never thought a baker could make avocado green and peach look this sweet:

(By Two Cakes but I can't find a site for them)

And more awe-inspiring piping - it's just so delicate!

 

Now throw in a little lace and some more hand-painted roses...

(By Bubolinkata)

YES. Grandma, I take back everything I said about your avocado green fridge. (But I stand fast on my opinion of mustard yellow carpets.)

 

Did/does your grandmother wear pastel skirt suits? You know, those woven ones that were kind of scratchy? And that always had a giant matching brooch on the lapel?

BOOM:

(By Erica O'Brien Cake Design)

Admit it, this would make the most gorgeous skirt suit EVAH.

 

But at the end of the day, I think it's the combination of soft colors and delicate gilded designs that reminds me most of our grandmothers:

(By Sweet Art)

Something here just seems to capture that vintage sense of style and sweetness.

 

And of course it doesn't get more timeless than a couple of Grandma's favorites: creamy lace, ribbon, and roses:

(By Sweet & Simple Cakes)

Mmm. Perfection.

 

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Be sure to check out our Sunday Sweets Directory if you want to see which bakers in your area have been featured here on Sweets!

*****

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

This Week

Jul. 27th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Click to view slideshow.

Life

A friend from the US was over, and it was great to see her, and one of my other friends returned from months away, so we got to catch up (and plot!) which was awesome.

I still feel pretty energised, although I was pretty wrecked towards the end of the week but I actually took a vacation day (!!!) which was awesome. I worked out, and did non-work work (debugging my image filter app which I want to put up soon).

Trying something new where I do an hours writing before work, and go to the gym to chill out after work, which is working better than the other way around. I just need to be very focused on what is next, i.e. a blogpost that I’ve already thought about a bit, as I am not at my most creative right after I wake up!

Work

Just hectic this week. Doing the least fun kinds of debugging. Had a presentation that I was really stressed about and didn’t feel good about after.

Media

 Finished Veep Season 2, watched the last episodes of How I Met Your Mother (still don’t know how I feel about the ending), now getting into the latest season of Modern Family.

Finished The One and Only (I really liked it), now reading The Country Escape and still on Gravitas.

Went to see Digital Revolution at the Barbican, which was great. And also Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History museum, which was pretty small (20 minutes was plenty) but pretty cool.

Places

More hummus at Bill’s, I can’t believe I didn’t eat hummus for years (it tasted too nutty) and now I am obsessed with it. Dinner at Wagamama’s, Ping Pong, and Addie’s Thai. Brunch, and separately cake at the Troubador. Lunch at Dozo. Tea at Muriel’s kitchen.

I need to start venturing out more, I’m not exploring new places lately.

Published

On The Internet

[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

The longer one lurks in the Internet underground, the more difficult it becomes to ignore the harsh reality that for nearly every legitimate online business there is a cybercrime-oriented anti-business. Case in point: Today’s post looks at a popular service that helps crooked online marketers exhaust the Google AdWords budgets of their competitors.

Youtube ads from "GoodGoogle" pitching his AdWords click fraud service.

Youtube ads from “GoodGoogle” pitching his AdWords click fraud service.

AdWords is Google’s paid advertising product, displaying ads on the top or the right side of your screen in search results. Advertisers bid on specific keywords, and those who bid the highest will have their ads show up first when Internet users search for those terms. In turn, advertisers pay Google a small amount each time a user clicks on one of their ads.

One of the more well-known forms of online ad fraud (a.k.a. “click fraud“) involves Google AdSense publishers that automate the clicking of ads appearing on their own Web sites in order to inflate ad revenue. But fraudsters also engage in an opposite scam involving AdWords, in which advertisers try to attack competitors by raising their costs or exhausting their ad budgets early in the day.

Enter “GoodGoogle,” the nickname chosen by one of the more established AdWords fraudsters operating on the Russian-language crime forums.  Using a combination of custom software and hands-on customer service, GoodGoogle promises clients the ability to block the appearance of competitors’ ads.

“Are you tired of the competition in Google AdWords that take your first position and quality traffic,?” reads GoodGoogle’s pitch. “I will help you get rid once and for all competitors in Google Adwords.”

The service, which appears to have been in the offering since at least January 2012, provides customers both a la carte and subscription rates. The prices range from $100 to block between three to ten ad units for 24 hours to $80 for 15 to 30 ad units. For a flat fee of $1,000, small businesses can use GoodGoogle’s software and service to sideline a handful of competitors’s ads indefinitely. Fees are paid up-front and in virtual currencies (WebMoney, e.g.), and the seller offers support and a warranty for his work for the first three weeks.

Reached via instant message, GoodGoogle declined to specify how his product works, instead referring me to several forums where I could find dozens of happy customers to vouch for the efficacy of the service.

Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) and at the University California, Berkeley, speculated that GoodGoogle’s service consists of two main components: A private botnet of hacked computers that do the clicking on ads, and advanced software that controls the clicking activity of the botted computers so that it appears to be done organically from search results.

Further, he said, the click fraud bots probably are not used for any other purpose (such as spam or denial-of-service attacks) since doing so would risk landing those bots on lists of Internet addresses that Google and other large Internet companies use to keep track of abuse complaints.

“You’d pretty much have to do this kind of thing as a service, because if you do it just using software alone, you aren’t going to be able to get a wide variety of traffic,” Weaver said. “Otherwise, you’re going to start triggering alarms.”

Amazingly, the individual responsible for this service not only invokes Google’s trademark in his nickname and advertises his wares via instructional videos on Google’s YouTube service, but he also lists several Gmail accounts as points of contact. My guess is it will not be difficult for Google to shutter this operation, and possibly to identity this individual in real life.

[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Thanks to SuperCon in Miami, I have lots of new artists to share this month! I tried to do better this time by asking artists what wasn't available online, so I could buy more things for the give-away board that you couldn't easily get yourselves. Makes my give-away board that much more enticing, no? ;)

First up, Franciso Perez. His new take on Mario &Yoshi would be perfect in a kid's room:

 "Mario & Yoshi" 12X16 print $17

I'm also digging his minimalist Batgirl:

Check out his store for more!


I picked up one of these from Cryssy Cheung for the give-away board:

 Leia & R2D2 8X18 print, $15

I love the unusual size, and the soft watercolor background.

She also has cute 5X7 prints like these for only $5:




 Click over to Chryssy's etsy shop for more!


Melru of Ionitron doesn't have an online store - she only sells at conventions - but check out her super fun MegaMan:


And I liked Melru's Mario print so much I bought one for the give-away board! Who love ya? Huh?

 Love that soft color palette.


As John and I were walking through artists' alley we were stopped in our tracks by the most stunning painting of Spock:


Amanda Tolleson's art is so photo-realistic she's routinely accused of using actual photos, so she started taking process videos as proof. (She had one playing at her table on an iPad.) Wowza.

Her Sherlock and Supernatural art is equally jaw-dropping:


In fact, John bought her darker Castiel print for his man cave. Then I picked up that Sherlock up there for the give-away board, since Amanda doesn't have an online store.

Don't fret, though; Amanda will still sell via e-mail, if you're interested! Head over to her DeviantArt gallery to see the rest of her work, and you can contact her through her website for prints. (I don't remember the exact prices, but they were really reasonable - in the $30 range.)

 And speaking of Castiel, here's John's favorite art piece of the con:







 "Wayward Son" by Newsha Ghasemi, 13X19 print, $15

John loved how this illustrates something we never got to see in the show: Castiel rescuing Dean from hell. (And check out the hand burning his shoulder. Very. Cool.)

We've been watching Supernatural again from the beginning, so all the fanart really caught our eye this con. :)

Newsha had so many great prints, but this was my favorite:

"Someday I'll Be..." 13X19 print, $15

Check out all the Disney version homages here: Eric's wearing Ursula's shell, Ariel has a fork in her hair, and around them on the beach is Sebastian, Scuttle, a pipe, dancing couple, etc. LOVE. And I kind of like how both of them have tattoos; it adds more life and depth to them somehow.

And I have to say, this resin-coated print is STUNNING in person. The colors almost look metallic, the reds and blues are so vivid. The image here just can't do it justice.

And if you like that, Newsha also has a Beauty and the Beast one:

 "For Who Could Ever Learn..."

Love all the castle characters on and around the little side table.


And finally, one more big print you can only buy in person at a convention or win here at Epbot:

 Maleficent, by Danielle Otrakji

Such a great style! (And did you miss the dragon eye?)


I still have lots more to share and post to the give-away board, but my scanner suddenly isn't co-operating [>.<], so I'll have to save those for next month.  SO... give-away time!
Since I'm swimming in new art again (LOVE having that problem!), I'll choose TWO randomly selected commenters this month to take their pick of anything on my Pinterest art give-away board. I'll announce the winners sometime next week, and as always, I'll ship anywhere, so happy commenting!

[UPDATE: The give-away has ended, and my winners are ScaperMama & Evelina Persson! Congrats, ladies, and please e-mail me your mailing address & choice of art from the Pinterest Art Give-Away Board!]


And happy Friday, too! Hope you guys have an awesomely geektastic weekend. (John and I are happily ensconced in a major makeover of his man cave. WOOT! There will be construction pics soon!)
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  • Why Captain America Should Stay Black Forever | E.Knight at Boxing With God (July 19): “Comic book fans born today should grow up knowing this is Captain America. There should be no doubt.  The idea that a black man could represent the ultimate patriot is only ironic if our society continues to insist that White is America’s default race.”
  • New Thor Will be a Woman! Five Other Heroines Who Have Taken Up a Man’s Title | Mey at Autostraddle (July 22): “Although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feminizing a name, there is a lot of clout that comes with the name Thor. By not adding “She-,” “Lady” or “Ms.” to the name, they are saying that this character isn’t a sidekick or partner to Thor, they’re saying that she isn’t “inspired by” Thor, they’re saying she simply is Thor. [...] While Thor is the most high-profile example of this, it’s not the first. Here are some of my favorite examples of this happening before.”
  • How Big of a Problem is Harassment at Comic Conventions? Very Big. | Janelle Asselin at bitchmedia (July 22)[warning for discussion of harassment] “It’s not difficult to see why conventions can be rife with harassment. People in my survey report being harassed by fans, journalists, publishing employees, and comics creators, so there are issues at every level of the industry. Conventions involve cramming a lot of people into one space where ideally everyone gets to move around. This means there are a lot of brush-by maneuvers, awkward running into people, and a lot of general closeness. [...] This is the first time ever that SDCC has made a specific anti-harassment policy so prominent and offered a clear course of action for fans who are harassed.”
  • Killing the Messenger at Mozilla | Tim Chevalier at Model View Culture (July 21) (disclosure: Tim Chevalier contributes to geekfeminism.org): “In 2012, it was nearly taboo at Mozilla to question the individualist narrative: the story that says that Eich, like any other employee, could spend his paycheck in whatever manner he chose. In 2014, Mozillans had no choice but to engage with a more structural narrative: that it’s impossible to lead a diverse organization when you have openly and obdurately expressed animus towards members of a protected class. [...] If we take [the Mozilla leaders] at face value, they did not understand why anyone would think that queer people’s rights were relevant to an open-source software project — surely they must have been aware that LGBTQ people worked for them.”
  • WisCon…This is How You Fail | The Angry Black Woman (July 20): “Race, gender, and class have all been issues at various points for me at WisCon. Most incidents fall into microaggression territory, and as a personal philosophy I tend not to let those dissuade me from things I want to do. That is an eminently personal choice, and should not be construed as telling anyone else what to do or how to feel. If my friends stop going, then so will I.”
  • The Pay-for-Performance Myth | Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi at Bllomberg Business Week (July 22): “An analysis of compensation data publicly released by Equilar shows little correlation between CEO pay and company performance. Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random, as though performance doesn’t matter. The comparison makes it look as if there is zero relationship between pay and performance.”
  • Coder livetweets sexist remarks allegedly made by IBM executives | Aja Romano at The Daily Dot (July 22): “Note to IBM executives: If you’re going to openly discuss why you think young women make bad hires in the tech industry, you might want to make sure you’re not having lunch next to a young mom who’s also a coder. [...] According to [Lyndsay] Kirkham, the executives listed off a number of women who are currently employed at IBM, all of whom apparently have kids, and listed the amount of time the women were expected to take off in the next few years for anticipated pregnancies.”
  • #iamdoingprogramming made me feel more alienated from the tech community | Christina Truong at Medium (July 21): “In the eight years that I’ve been in the tech industry, I’ve worked with one Black person that was in a tech role and a handful in non-tech roles (project managers) and that’s a damn shame. [...] Diversity doesn’t mean pushing those that are already there out of the group. It simply means making space for different kinds of people, different opinions and opening up the culture instead of spotlighting and finding the same kind of person over and over again. It’s about showing people that there are different ways to be successful in this industry. It’s about telling everyone’s story.”
  • Numbers are not enough: Why I will only attend conferences with explicitly enforceable Codes of Conduct and a commitment to accessibility | Jennie Rose Halperin (July 22): “I recently had a bad experience at a programming workshop where I was the only woman in attendance and eventually had to leave early out of concern for my safety. [...] What happened could have been prevented: each participant signed a “Code of Conduct” that was buried in the payment for the workshop, but there was no method of enforcement and nowhere to turn when issues arose.”

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.

Friday Favs 7/25/14

Jul. 25th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

A few of my favorite submissions this week:

 

Yeah! Go SPORTS!

 

Of course it's easy to focus on the mistakes, so let's take a second to appreciate that somewhere there's a professional baker who actually did this... on purpose.

("I call it, 'Barbie's Dream Petri Dish.'")

 

Could be worse, though. This one makes me want to launch a CSI investigation:

("Looks like Merle... [SUNGLASSES].... got smoked.")

And yes, I do realize "CSI investigation" is redundant.

 

SPEAKING of which...

Ow. My brain.

 

Because nothing delights a girl on her birthday quite like chopping off the head of a terrified Minnie Mouse:

"Don't worry, Minnie, this'll only hurt for seconds."

 

Just think: last week two of you loyal wrecky minions spotted this display, took a photo, and sent it in to me:

I love it when that happens! It's like Missed Connections, Cake Wrecks style!

So Sara? Brittany? YOUR DESTINY TOGETHER AWAITS.
(Dibs on the wedding cake photos.)

Oh, and I think that bamboo plant is trying to lick us.

 

A few weeks ago a couple of readers had a discussion on Twitter about Cake Wrecks, and since they kept tagging me in it, I was privy to their thoughts on how our posting misspelled cakes smacks of "intellectual snobbery," and really isn't that funny anyway.

I didn't reply at the time because the two weren't talking TO me, just ABOUT me. However, now, at long last, I believe I have an appropriate response.

Ahem hem hem.

This was supposed to say "Celebrate."

[drops mic]
[walks off stage]
[trips]
[scrambles up]
[steps on skirt]
[pantses self]
[slinks off, stage left]

YEAH.

 

Thanks to Mag D., Allison A., Mark F., Laura H., Sara E., Brittany A., & Barb F. for celetraling with us.

*****

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

Book: The Charisma Myth

Jul. 25th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

charisma myth I quite enjoyed The Charisma Myth (Amazon), although I’m not sure how much more Charismatic I managed to become from reading it!

Charisma is behaviour (not personality!) that can be learned. Marilyn Monroe could turn charisma on and off.

A young woman went to dinner with William Gladstone and separately also with Benjamin Disraeli. She said she left dinner with Gladstone thinking he was the cleverest person in England. Disraeli made her feel like the cleverest person in England. Disraeli won the election.

Quick tips for increasing charisma

  • Lower the intonation of your voice at the end of sentences.
  • Reduce how quickly and how often you nod.
  • Pause for a full 2 seconds before you speak.

Being present shows in interactions. Charisma comes from internal mental state, not external. People can tell (from micro expressions) if you are faking it.

Transfer technique. Imagine passing off problem to something else. This can be surprisingly effective, because initial reaction to everything is “what if this were true?”

Managing negative thoughts. First, it’s normal to have them, we shouldn’t berate ourselves for it! Try not to fixate on them; see them like graffiti on the street. Don’t assume thoughts are accurate. Depersonalise. This is like The Happiness Trap book.

Warmth. This comes from feeling goodwill towards others, but also from practising self compassion towards ourselves.

Power, presence and warmth are important for charismatic speaking and listening.

Great listening skills are key to communicating charismatic presence.

Never interrupt people and occasionally pause for a second or two before you answer.

People associate you with the feelings you produce in them. Avoid creating negative associations: don’t make them feel bad, or wrong.

Make people feel good, especially about themselves. Don’t try to impress them – let them impress you, and they will love you for it.

Use visual metaphors, they are more memorable.

Use as few words as possible, and deliver as much value as possible: entertainment, information, or good feelings.

To emanate vocal power, use a slow, measured tempo. Insert pauses between your sentences, and drop your intonation at the end.

To emanate vocal warmth just smile, or imagine smiling.

We react more to how something is said than what is said, especially in high stakes situations.

Approach difficult people individually, tailor charisma style to each person.

Express appreciation for help or positive impact. Help them to rationalise action in your favour.

When delivering bad news, get into a state of compassion. Show warmth and care in your timing, body language, verbal language.

When delivering criticism, get into a state of goodwill and focus on behaviours rather than personal traits. Don’t use don’t do.

When delivering apologies, show presence in hearing them out completely, show warmth in apology. Power to correct or prevent reoccurs helps.

On the phone it is necessary to work harder to be present.

When writing emails, remove extra words. Look for I rather than you. Start with you.

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.

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!


[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 strategy 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.

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