[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

Let’s talk about category structure and oppression | Etched with Soma’s Pen: Great analysis of category structure and oppression. (20 August)

Kimberly Bryant has levelled the digital playing field for black women | Marie Claire : “When Bryant, 47, signed Kai up for a summer program at Stanford University that teaches kids how to code, she discovered her daughter was the only African-American, and one of just a handful of girls, enrolled.” (26 August)

The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews | Fortune : “Does gender play a role in the type of feedback an employee receives at review time? We had a linguist crunch the numbers.” (26 August)

Trolls drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house to prove misogyny doesn’t exist | The Verge : “Since the project launched on Kickstarter way back in 2012, the gaming community has been treated to an incessant, deeply paranoid campaign against Tropes vs. Women generally and Sarkeesian personally.” (27 August)

Girl coder takes a leap on the Rails | The Age: “Karthika attended a coding workshop at Rails Girls a year ago and found herself drawn in by an atmosphere of conviviality and collaboration at odds with the solitary stereotype.” (25 August)

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] valerie_fenwick_blog_feed

Posted by Valerie Fenwick

First and foremost: I will be attending the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing again this year! I missed last year, so I am excited to be coming back!

Second: I am co-chairing the Online Community Committee again with Gail Carmichal, and we need volunteer bloggers, note-takers (on the wiki), wiki managers, tweeters, LinkedIn group managers, video bloggers, etc - so we can capture all of the content for those who were unable to get a pass to the conference this year.

Also - we could you remote volunteers to help manage questions from other volunteers, manage the online groups and keep the wiki free of spam.  So, even if you can't attend, if you are available to help before and during the conference - we want you!

We are accepting applications through September 8, 2014 - please sign up sooner than later, so we can get you set up well ahead of the conference start!  Apply now!

Thanks!

Valerie Fenwick
Online Communities Committee Co-Chair

This post is syndicated from Security, Beer, Theater and Biking!

Fade to Wreck

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

Posted by Jen

Just when you thought Fridays couldn't get any better, along comes...

WEDDING WRECKS!


Molly S. ordered this lovely ombré design for her wedding cake:


But instead, she got this:


Molly paid $500 for it.
It was still frozen solid in the middle.
And it left a giant puddle on the tablecloth.

NEXT!


Stephanie R. tells us the bride wanted a combo of these two cakes:


Oooh. Aaah.

So, a blue ombré fade on a smooth tiered cake with a monogram?

ROGER THAT.


o.0

***

ROGER, KILL THAT.


And finally, not a wedding cake, but Michelle tells me they wanted this for Madisyn's birthday:



I guess the baker didn't feel like making all those strands of fondant, though - which would probably be ok, provided the aforementioned baker can pipe even lines of oh who are we kidding.


Mmm. Finger-y.


Thanks to Molly, Stephanie, & Michelle for reminding us maybe it's time for a new trend. I'm thinking... chevrons. Eh? What could go wrong?

*****

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

[syndicated profile] female_cs_feed

Posted by Gail Carmichael

I've been working on our non-majors computing course for a while now.  Last year was the first time I got to try it with a large group (440 students!), and also the first time I tried using Python.  I have since refined it to the following design.  I will report how it went at the end of the semester, but I have a great set of TAs and am optimistic about using turtle in assignments to make programming a bit less daunting.

 We're not using the robot turtle, but wouldn't it be fun? Image from Wikipedia

This course design lives on my portfolio site, and will be updated there as time goes on.

Introduction

This course is currently undergoing a transformation.  It has traditionally taught basic office software usage in a step-by-step workshop style.  The new version focuses on computational thinking skills by teaching basic programming concepts in Python and then applying them to understanding more advanced functions of the same software previously covered in detail.  Instead of learning a laundry list of programming concepts, however, the concepts are embedded in four relatable general contexts (see topic list below).

A new calendar course name and description, which I developed, is up for approval Fall 2014.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students will:
  1. Develop an appreciation of computer science.
    1. Understand what computer science is.
    2. See how computer science can help solve problems in arts and social sciences
    3. Learn how computer science can help you by automating boring, repetitive, or error-prone tasks.    
  2. Develop computational thinking skills.
    1. Learn how information is stored on a computer.
    2. Learn basic programming concepts (variables, if statements, loops, and functions) and write simple programs using these concepts.
    3. Learn how to formulate searching and sorting problems in a way a computer can solve them, and understand the efficiency of the solutions.
  3. Develop an advanced understanding of useful software packages by applying computational thinking skills.
    1. Apply an understanding of variables to effective use of word processing software.
    2. Apply an understanding of variables, if statements, and functions to effective use of spreadsheet software.
    3. Apply an understanding of variables and references to database software.
Topics

Many topics have a context in which the concepts are placed.  For example, for conditionals and repetition, we discuss how the logic would look for a robot that can find its own way out of a maze.  We start with just the ideas, such as how to break the right-hand rule down into its constituent parts, then see how to implement if statements and while loops in snippets of Python later on.
  1. Introduction
    1. Course intro
    2. What is computer science?
    3. What is computational thinking?
  2. Binary Numbers and Data Representation: How Photography Went Digital
    1. Image representation
    2. Binary numbers
    3. Bits and bytes in memory
    4. Using the Python interactive shell
  3. Conditionals and Repetition: Helping a Robot Find Its Way
    1. Boolean expressions
    2. If, else, elif
    3. while loops
  4. Data Structures: Making Stories Interactive
    1. Data types and variables
    2. Lists
    3. Dictionaries
    4. References and simple graphs
  5. Searching and Sorting Algorithms: Managing a Bookstore More Efficiently
    1. Searching: linear, binary, hash
    2. Sorting: insertion, selection, quick
  6. Applying Computational Thinking to Word, Excel, and Access
  7. Miscellaneous applications of computational thinking / Python
    1. E.g. PyschoPy, RenPy, etc
Assignment Topics
  1. Computer science, computational thinking, binary numbers
  2. Image and text representation, first Python turtle program
  3. Python turtle programs with if statements, loops, and variables
  4. Searching and sorting (conceptual), Python turtle program with a user-defined function
  5. Word, Excel, Access

Review: Misfit Wearable

Aug. 29th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

 

Click to view slideshow.

Let me tell you how much I wanted to love the Misfit Shine Wearable (Amazon). It’s so pretty! You don’t have to wear it on your wrist (something that sometimes irritates my skin on the Nike Fuelband, and slightly less so the Jawbone up).

The good:

  • It is very pretty.
  • I love the way it lights up.
  • There are a number of ways to wear it – necklace, leather watchstrap, and the attachment that comes free, which clips really nicely onto a bra strap.
  • Great support – after mine didn’t arrive from the US (stuck in customs,  mail not delivered at work)  they were really lovely about it, and when they accidentally sent me a second one they let me keep it.
  • You can swim in it!

The bad:

  • Data isn’t as detailed
  • Doesn’t sync automatically (have to open the app).
  • You interact with it by tapping it, but it doesn’t always respond to taps (I guess you don’t want it to be over-sensitive), I found I needed to hold the back of it whilst tapping the front to be most effective.
  • Shipping from the US took forever, got stopped in customs, taxed, and then I missed it (this is not their fault! And they handled it well!)

The reason why I’m not currently wearing a Misfit has nothing to do with the device itself and everything to do with the accessories. The first necklace broke within a week. Then I used the clip to attach it to my bra strap which worked well, until that broke too – luckily it was after I got out the swimming pool and I didn’t lose it. Then I used another necklace, which broke within a couple of days… and this time I lost the Misfit. I still have a spare, so I might return to it again, but for now I’m just living without it.

It’s such a shame, because I wanted to love it. And I do love the Misfit itself, just not the accessories. The reason why I didn’t buy more premium accessories was because I didn’t want to be stuck with them if the device itself broke. Oh, the irony.

My previous review of the Nike Fuelband and Jawbone UP is here

Supernatural Fun At CONjure Orlando

Aug. 28th, 2014 11:04 am
[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

With Dragon Con starting tomorrow, I guess I better wrap up our last convention: a little local event called CONjure.

This was CONjure's first year of existence, and if I had to guess, I'd say also its last. Because despite having some great celebrity guests, a pleasant staff, and a hefty $1000 prize for the costume contest, almost no one showed up.

In fact, attendance was so dismal on Saturday that the con let everyone in for free on Sunday, hoping to draw more crowds. Even then, the vendor room was a ghost town for the few hours we were there, and it looked like some sellers didn't even bother coming back after Saturday's disappointing turnout.




A look at the vendor room from the main entrance.


I can't say for sure WHY no one was there, but I'd mostly blame timing; both Leaky Con *and* Tampa Comic Con were going on that weekend. 

The main reason John and I were there, of course, was to see Mark Sheppard's panel and give him his custom figure, since we're big Supernatural fans. We wandered the vendor room twice working up the nerve to approach his table, and I stopped to take pics of this replica of Supernatural's own Impala:



The Impala's guardian invited me behind the caution tape for more pics, and I'm so glad she did. Check out the awesome details inside!

On the floor is a box of old classic rock cassettes, and on the seat, Dean's knife and their dad's notebook: 

Beside the car in the back was a cooler topped with the boys' favorite brew and rock salt shotgun cartridges:


And the trunk... Ohhh, the trunk:


Propped on the side is a cigar box filled with Sam & Dean's fake IDs, burner phones, and other miscellanea:

Looks like they even ended up with Charlie's driving license. Ha!

But the best detail of all? Let's see if you can spot it:

Yes, it's the green army man wedged in the ash tray, made famous by the emotional season 5 finale. [sniffle]

After we gave Sheppard his figure and took a few pics together - at his suggestion - it was off to his panel.

Now, keep in mind, Sheppard had just come from San Diego Comic Con the previous weekend, packing out massive convention halls with thousands upon thousands of screaming fans. So when he walked out onto the stage of a big ballroom and saw maybe 50 of us scattered among the first few rows of chairs, you can forgive him for saying, "Is this it? You're joking."

There was no heat to it, though, just surprise. And I've gotta hand it to Sheppard; he recovered like a champ. He gave a mild "what're ya gonna do?" shrug, hopped off the stage, and strolled down to us to take questions face-to-face.


And when I say "Take questions," I mean Sheppard would listen to a question, and then talk about whatever the heck he wanted, related or not. It was kind of hilarious. I'm not exaggerating when I say he spent the first 35+ minutes of his hour panel talking about Doctor Who - what a great show it is, where newbies should start watching and why (with #11, if you're curious), the motivation and intricacies behind certain characters - the works.

When someone tried to derail him by asking about Supernatural, Sheppard blinked twice... and then resumed his Who fanboying. Like I said: kind of hilarious.
 
 (Yes, that's a real bird in the background. It belonged to some of the attendees.)

Sheppard also had a way of reverse-heckling the audience. You want to know about on-set pranks? Do you KNOW how many times a day he's asked that question? Now, as he was saying about Doctor Who...

He personally greeted anyone who arrived late to the panel, inviting them in, asking how they were, where they'd been, that kind of thing. On the flip side, if you tried to leave early you got the same treatment. o.0

This lady asked the very first question, and as she was speaking Sheppard strolled over to her, getting closer and closer and kind of looming over her seat. She responded by standing up to face him, and guess who was taller then?

That got a good laugh out of the audience. :)

Sheppard is extremely soft-spoken, so everyone really had to lean in and hush up to hear him. I've never been in a panel quite like it: you could hear a pin drop when he paused for thought. I quickly had to stop taking pictures with my camera, too; the shutter click sounded like a gunshot in there.


I've had someone remark since this that Sheppard isn't very talkative in person, but I think - like most of us - you just have to get him started on something he's interested in. He's quick, extremely intelligent, and not terribly interested in faking enthusiasm. On the one hand that makes him a bit intimidating, but on the other, at least you know what you're getting is genuine.

For example, after the panel, when this group of Moulin Rouge/Supernatural inspired Can Can dancers lined up for Sheppard and lifted their skirts, he didn't so much as quirk an eyebrow:


Instead he looked them over, gave a grave nod, and said, "Very nice."

:D

Another celeb there - Chad Rook - was more enthusiastic, diving in for a picture:


I can't tell which characters all the dancers are supposed to be, but the last two on the right are dressed as Bobby and Crowley:

Check out "Bobby's" little trucker hat fascinator - complete with small angel wings! [sob] BOBBYYY!!!

Ahem.

And Crowley's dress has a beautiful Devil's Trap on top of the circle skirt in red sequins - plus note she's wearing a red flame tiara. Appropriate for the king/queen of hell, no?

They told me they worked on these dresses for months, and with all those ruffles, I can see why!


A few days after CONjure I watched the Supernatural Nerd HQ panel, and it was quite a difference, seeing Mark have so much fun with the fans. Give it a watch here, if you haven't already; it's always great seeing the four guys tease each other nonstop. Heh.




And now that I'm caught up on convention coverage: Off to Dragon Con! See some of you soon!

Evolution of the Anniversary Cake

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

Posted by Jen

Tomorrow is John's and my wedding anniversary, so I've been thinking: Remember how the first few years you always celebrate at some fancy-schmancy restaurant?

("Lhappy Ammversary" is totally how I'm saying it from now on.)

 

And you not only remember the day - you even remember how many days it's been.

 

After a while you dial down the festivities, though, and maybe just bring home some take-out and a cake:

(The urge to scratch in an "I" at the end there is overwhelming.)
(YOU'RE WELCOME, tech guys.)

 

Past the ten year mark you both might start to get a little fuzzy on when and what exactly you're celebrating:

"Here's a cake. Hope I got one of those days right."

"Who are you?"

 

But hey, at least it's happy.

"TMI, mom & dad. TMI!!"

 

John and I are still a long way off, but I hear making it to your 50th anniversary is a real education:

"Presenting the 2014 graduates of the Aniversity... of LUUURVE."

 

So, John, sweetie, Happy Arricorz.

(Changed my mind; THIS is how I'm saying it from now on.)

 

And here's to 50 more Arricorzes, as we learn to hold on to what's most important:

...like how this baker managed to misspell "I" before someone told him to fix it - and then still missed the "you."

YOW.

 

Thanks to Tina G., Sonia Y., Kari J., Natalie L., Jessi C., Ann G., Lisa M., & Johnell. Yow guys are the BEST.

*****

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

Merci!

Aug. 27th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Have you heard of the Croquembouche [CROCK-you-EAM-butchy]? It's a French thing.

Well, if not, here's what it's supposed to look like:

So kinda like old, cobweb-wrapped monkey bread. But in a yummy way.

 

Well, a certain anonymous person - who shall remain unnamed to protect her anonymity - found this gem at a wedding which she may or may not have anonymously attended:

I believe her exact words were, "it looks like some kind of primitive jungle cake being attacked by a swarm of lactating spider-wasps."

Mmmm, lactating spider-wasps...

Well, uh, Jane D. [wink wink], thanks for putting a new spin on these things.

 

Note: I think it's important to ask yourself a couple of questions before commenting here on Cake Wrecks:
Question: Did Jen and john really intend to give us the pronunciation of a word?
Answer: No.
Question: Are Jen and john complete and total idiots?
Answer: No.
Question: Do they...
Answer: No.
Question: Would they...
Answer: No.
Question: What about...
Answer: No.
That is all.

 

*****

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

The Aristechracy

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

Posted by Cate Huston

French aristocrats, c. 1774

Credit: Wikipedia

In the 1980s “a computer in every home” was a crazy dream. But the rapid rise of technology until that (in the West at least) became normal has created a lot of opportunity. And, a new aristocracy. The Aristechcracy.

Many Aristotechs think the Aritechracy is a meritocracy, This is because they are a) delusional and b) not aware what meritocracy means (it’s satire).

Three ways it’s like the Old World Order:

  1. It’s undeserved. While there are some genuinely impressive people in tech, most of us lucked out. At least by being middle class enough to afford a computer growing up.
  2. It relies on economic disparity and gatekeepers. This article about disrupting laundry really irritated me. The laundromats are the same. The customers are the same. Now there is a layer of tech between them that makes for a little more convenience – for the consumers. The laundromats are now in the same, or worse position because all business comes through an app… that they have no influence over. That app is somehow worth more than the laundromat.
  3. It’s self-perpetuating. Aristocrats used to marry each other. Aristotechs hire and invest in each other.

The thins is, for all Aristotechs talk about “disruption”, they don’t actually want to be disrupted.

They talk about the education of 5-15 year olds, but not the empowerment of people. They’d sooner profit off them instead.

The status quo isn’t supposed to change. It’s supposed to be perpetuated. The system is working as intended. Or at least until the Aristotechs leave the mortals for the purely Technocratic Island instead. Regrettably that isn’t satire.

First, Do No Harm

This is harmful in the same way that any elite class lacking empathy, high on the delusion of the godtalent-given right is.

If you despise humans, how do you create things for them?

If you don’t empathise with them, how do you begin to understand what they need?

Just because you are winning the “meritocracy” doesn’t make it real.

Profiting off a class system isn’t “disruption”, it’s the same old story with a new name. And yet somehow, it just so happened that the white dudes are still the ones in charge.

[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

Sources in the financial industry say they’re seeing signs that Dairy Queen may be the latest retail chain to be victimized by cybercrooks bent on stealing credit and debit card data. Dairy Queen says it has no indication of a card breach at any of its thousands of locations, but the company also acknowledges that nearly all stores are franchises and that there is no established company process or requirement that franchisees communicate security issues or card breaches to Dairy Queen headquarters.

Update, Aug. 28, 12:08 p.m. ET: A spokesman for Dairy Queen has confirmed that the company recently heard from the U.S. Secret Service about “suspicious activity” related to a strain of card-stealing malware found in hundreds of other retail intrusions. Dairy Queen says it is still investigating and working with authorities, and does not yet know how many stores may be impacted.

Original story:

dqI first began hearing reports of a possible card breach at Dairy Queen at least two weeks ago, but could find no corroborating signs of it — either by lurking in shadowy online “card shops” or from talking with sources in the banking industry. Over the past few days, however, I’ve heard from multiple financial institutions that say they’re dealing with a pattern of fraud on cards that were all recently used at various Dairy Queen locations in several states. There are also indications that these same cards are being sold in the cybercrime underground.

The latest report in the trenches came from a credit union in the Midwestern United States. The person in charge of fraud prevention at this credit union reached out wanting to know if I’d heard of a breach at Dairy Queen, stating that the financial institution had detected fraud on cards that had all been recently used at a half-dozen Dairy Queen locations in and around its home state.

According to the credit union, more than 50 customers had been victimized by a blizzard of card fraud just in the past few days alone after using their credit and debit cards at Dairy Queen locations — some as far away as Florida — and the pattern of fraud suggests the DQ stores were compromised at least as far back as early June 2014.

“We’re getting slammed today,” the fraud manager said Tuesday morning of fraud activity tracing back to member cards used at various Dairy Queen locations in the past three weeks. “We’re just getting all kinds of fraud cases coming in from members having counterfeit copies of their cards being used at dollar stores and grocery stores.”

Other financial institutions contacted by this reporter have seen recent fraud on cards that were all used at Dairy Queen locations in Florida and several other states, including Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

On Friday, Aug. 22, KrebsOnSecurity spoke with Dean Peters, director of communications for the Minneapolis-based fast food chain. Peters said the company had heard no reports of card fraud at individual DQ locations, but he stressed that nearly all of Dairy Queen stores were independently owned and operated. When asked whether DQ had any sort of requirement that its franchisees notify the company in the event of a security breach or problem with their card processing systems, Peters said no.

“At this time, there is no such policy,” Peters said. “We would assist them if [any franchisees] reached out to us about a breach, but so far we have not heard from any of our franchisees that they have had any kind of breach.”

Julie Conroy, research director at the advisory firm Aite Group, said nationwide companies like Dairy Queen should absolutely have breach notification policies in place for franchisees, if for no other reason than to protect the integrity of the company’s brand and public image.

“Without question this is a brand protection issue,” Conroy said. “This goes back to the eternal challenge with all small merchants. Even with companies like Dairy Queen, where the mother ship is huge, each of the individual establishments are essentially mom-and-pop stores, and a lot of these stores still don’t think they’re a target for this type of fraud. By extension, the mother ship is focused on herding a bunch of cats in the form of thousands of franchisees, and they’re not thinking that all of these stores are targets for cybercriminals and that they should have some sort of company-wide policy about it. In fact, franchised brands that have that sort of policy in place are far more the exception than the rule.”

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN?

The situation apparently developing with Dairy Queen is reminiscent of similar reports last month from multiple banks about card fraud traced back to dozens of locations of Jimmy John’s, a nationwide sandwich shop chain that also is almost entirely franchisee-owned. Jimmy John’s has said it is investigating the breach claims, but so far it has not confirmed reports of card breaches at any of its 1,900+ stores nationwide.

The DHS/Secret Service advisory.

The DHS/Secret Service advisory.

Rumblings of a card breach involving at least some fraction of Dairy Queen’s 4,500 domestic, independently-run stores come amid increasingly vocal warnings from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service, which last week said that more than 1,000 American businesses had been hit by malicious software designed to steal credit card data from cash register systems.

In that alert, the agencies warned that hackers have been scanning networks for point-of-sale systems with remote access capabilities (think LogMeIn and pcAnywhere), and then installing malware on POS devices protected by weak and easily guessed passwords.  The alert noted that at least seven point-of-sale vendors/providers confirmed they have had multiple clients affected.

Around the time that the Secret Service alert went out, UPS Stores, a subsidiary of the United Parcel Service, said that it scanned its systems for signs of the malware described in the alert and found security breaches that may have led to the theft of customer credit and debit data at 51 UPS franchises across the United States (about 1 percent of its 4,470 franchised center locations throughout the United States). Incidentally, the way UPS handled that breach disclosure — clearly calling out the individual stores affected — should stand as a model for other companies struggling with similar breaches.

In June, I wrote about a rash of card breaches involving car washes around the nation. The investigators I spoke with in reporting that story said all of the breached locations had one thing in common: They were all relying on point-of-sale systems that had remote access with weak passwords enabled.

My guess is that some Dairy Queen locations owned and operated by a particular franchisee group that runs multiple stores has experienced a breach, and that this incident is limited to a fraction of the total Dairy Queen locations nationwide. Unfortunately, without better and more timely reporting from individual franchises to the DQ HQ, it may be a while yet before we find out the whole story. In the meantime, DQ franchises that haven’t experienced a card breach may see their sales suffer as a result.

CARD BLIZZARD BREWING?

geodumpsLast week, this publication received a tip that a well-established fraud shop in the cybercrime underground had begun offering a new batch of stolen cards that was indexed for sale by U.S. state. The type of card data primarily sold by this shop — known as “dumps” — allows buyers to create counterfeit copies of the cards so that they can be used to buy goods (gift cards and other easily-resold merchandise) from big box retailers, dollar stores and grocers.

Increasingly, fraudsters who purchase stolen card data are demanding that cards for sale be “geolocated” or geographically indexed according to the U.S. state in which the compromised business is located. Many banks will block suspicious out-of-state card-present transactions (especially if this is unusual activity for the cardholder in question). As a result, fraudsters tend to prefer purchasing cards that were stolen from people who live near them.

This was an innovation made popular by the core group of cybercrooks responsible for selling cards stolen in the Dec. 2013 breach at Target Corp, which involved some 40 million compromised credit and debit cards. The same fraudsters would repeat and refine that innovation in selling tens of thousands of cards stolen in February 2014 from nationwide beauty products chain Sally Beauty.

This particular dumps shop pictured to the right appears to be run by a completely separate fraud group than the gang that hit Target and Sally Beauty. Nevertheless, just this month it added its first new batch of cards that is searchable by U.S. state. Two different financial institutions contacted by KrebsOnSecurity said the cards they acquired from this shop under this new “geo” batch name all had been used recently at different Dairy Queen locations.

The first batch of state-searchable cards at this particular card shop appears to have first gone on sale on Aug. 11, and included slightly more than 1,000 cards. The second batch debuted a week later and introduced more than twice as many stolen cards. A third bunch of more than 5,000 cards from this batch went up for sale early this morning.

An ad in the shop pimping a new batch of geo-located cards apparently stolen from Dairy Queen locations.

An ad in the shop pimping a new batch of geo-located cards apparently stolen from Dairy Queen locations.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

Equity a distant prospect for women in CSIRO|Canberra Times: “CSIRO’s [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] latest annual report released in 2013 indicates that women represent 40 per cent of employees, but only 12 per cent of technical services roles and 24 per cent of research scientists are female. In contrast, women are over-represented in more poorly-paid, traditionally female roles such as administrative support which is 76 per cent female. At higher levels of the hierarchy, the situation for women is even bleaker, with only 11 per cent of research management roles held by women.” (August 25)

We Need to Talk About Silicon Valley’s Racism|The Daily Beast: “an elite set of tech investors that Forbes labels “The Midas List,” 100 venture capitalists with staggeringly profitable portfolios in the tech industry. And if you scroll down the complete Midas List, some visible trends begin to emerge. The featured photo for the list, first of all, is as white as a loaf of Wonder Bread and as male as a football locker room. There are only four women on the list, none of whom rank in the Top 20. And of the 96 men on the Midas List, the overwhelming majority appear to be white, including every single member of the Top 10.” (August 22)

Lunch with Dads|Ellen’s Blog: “That’s what being different does. It makes you aware of your actions, and that you might be imposing. It’s so minor, but it adds up…..When you don’t have a diverse team, there will be that nagging sensation for the few people who are different. It’s more likely those people will leave, or continue to feel out of place.” (August 23)

I accept trans women in my tech feminism | 0xabad1dea: “Trying to enforce the separation of trans women from other women does not support any cause I believe in – especially if that enforcement is being proposed by a man, no matter how well-meaning or feminist.” (August 22)

Adding misogyny to Fark moderator guidelines | Fark: “as of today, the FArQ will be updated with new rules reminding you all that we don’t want to be the He Man Woman Hater’s Club.  This represents enough of a departure from pretty much how every other large internet community operates that I figure an announcement is necessary.” “I recommend that when encountering grey areas, instead of trying to figure out where the actual line is, the best strategy would be to stay out of the grey area entirely.” (August 22)

Late Night Thoughts on Boundaries & Consent | Julie Pagano: “Being nice is incredibly overrated. I have no desire to be nice, and I think a culture of “nice” is counter to a culture of consent and boundaries. I prefer to be kind and empathetic – these are things to aspire to.” (August 24)

People of Color-led Makerspace and Hackerspace! | Indiegogo: Liberating Ourselves Locally is one of the few (if not only) people of color-led makerspaces/hackerspaces in the Bay Area. If you do a search for “people of color makerspace” on Google, we’re not just the first result, we fill the first page. We lost one of our main funding sources recently, so we’re appealing to our community to keep the space running.

If White Characters Were Described Like People Of Color In Literature|Buzzfeed:
“2. She took off his shirt, his skin glistening in the sun like a glazed doughnut. The glaze part, not the doughnut part.” (August 22)

 

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.

That's Internet for "I Love You"

Aug. 26th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Courtesy PSA:
August is "Win With Civility Month."

Fortunately, Cake Wrecks has helped inspire a touching new cake trend for just such an occasion:

 

You're welcome, world.

 

Thanks to Autumn H., Christy M., Fribby, Haley O., Karen W., Kathleen S., Kayla P., Kristen P., Lexi, Maribeth, Anony M., Rob, Sarah F., & Wendy B. for being such a trendsetter way back in 2010.

*****

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

[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

You guys! After years and years of searching... I finally found a dining room light fixture.

Let the rejoicing... BEGIN.

See, I was forever drooling over stuff like this:

via Houzz


But I was also completely in love with banded globes, like these:



It had to be vintage enough for steampunk, elegant, but still casual, and with down lights for functionality, since I do most of my crafting at the table.

After a few years I decided the light didn't exist, so John - ever resourceful - drew up plans to build one:

But then we'd get to the point of discussing welding the iron frame (!!), and I'd tell him it was too much work; I'd just keep looking.

And finally - FINALLY - after scouring every light store in central Florida, and then every website I could think of, I found this:


At $336 it's the most expensive light we've ever purchased, but considering how long I've been looking? - totally worth it.

(It'd be nice with bare Edison bulbs instead of globes, too, but since those would cost another $60 this is great for now. Maybe I'll try removing the globes later.)

This is also a great excuse to photograph my dining room again, since I just realized you guys haven't seen it in a couple of years:


Looking back at my old dining room photos, WOW am I glad we found that antique radio cabinet. Really helps fill the space.


Funny; you see so many of these metal globe fixtures now, but this is the only one I've seen with lights pointing down, and also on the outside of the sphere. (You watch; now they'll be everywhere.)

We have it on a dimmer, so at extra low light the globes glow orange:


The ceiling medallion was a plain white one from Home Depot, so John threw a little brown glaze on it to age it down:
 
 The glaze helps the design stand out more, too.




And since I'm so proud of John, I've also gotta show off the frame he made last week:


I've had this art print rolled up for over a year now, since I'm too cheap for custom framing. Finally John took a giant clearance frame we bought for $25, cut it up, re-assembled it, & refinished it to an aged coppery gold to match the art. And it is SO PRETTY.

The print itself is perfectly matte, so it almost looks a velvet painting up close - only, you know, in a good way. (You can buy it directly from the artist here on DeviantArt - only $23!)


Aaaand that's a perfect segue into announcing this month's art winner! So congratulations to... AliceGracey!!
Please e-mail me your mailing address, Alice, plus your choice of prize from my Pinterest art give-away board.


Hope you guys liked the new mini-tour of our steampunk dining room!

Not That Commercial Again!!

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

Posted by Sharyn

Every year, millions of cakes are wrecked.

*gulp*

But YOU can help!

 

♫ In the hands of a Wrecker

 

♫ Cakes all live in fear

 

♫ From the dark chocolate tear drops...

 

♫ To the endless messes we fear

 

If you buy just one wreck a month...

...that's just pennies a day...

 

♫ You are pulled toward the wreckage

 

♫ In its silent...

misery...

YOU could help these cakes feel wanted.

 

♫ If you buy wrecks from bakeries...

 

♫ They might fi- i- i- ind...

♫ Some comfort, dear.

 

(At least until you eat them.)

 

Let's give generous thanks to Lola L., Jodee R., Marla M., Anna F., Suzanne F., Andrea H., Stuart S., Sarah M., Karen P., and Geneva W. Now stop reading and go out and buy a wreck -- and maybe some ice cream.

*****

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

[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Empty room

Credit: DeviantArt / MadameM-stock

Someone tweeted that this post reminded them of my post about leaving. And I read it, finding it oddly compelling (even though I’m not excited by comics, or superheros), and then I found this quote.

it seems to me to be the worst thing in the world to want to do something that badly and then to have your love for it slowly leeched out of you to the point where you don’t want to do it at all anymore

And then I felt like I understood, because yes, this is often how I feel.

Maybe I’m actually doing better than that, because whilst I might have come to hate the tech industry I still love making things.

Two things. One bad, one good.

First thing. I remembered a comment a guy must have made… oh, 6 months ago. I remember my reaction, the double take “oh, did you really?” I think he thought it was a joke. I think jokes should be funny. And I realised, I put this in a box for the last 6 months. I didn’t run into him again, I didn’t think of it again, until I was meditating on the words that get used about women, and only about women, and I remembered this.

Does it really matter? If one guy says something stupid? If he thinks he’s funny when he’s not? I have a relatively dark sense of humour so I probably do that too. One guy, doesn’t matter. One guy each [day|week|month|quarter|year] starts to matter as the [days|weeks|months|quarters|years] go by. They start to add up. And on dark day it’s not one guy making that comment, it’s one guy articulating what they all must think. And eventually the dark days become everyday. The fear of “what next?” becomes crippling and constant. Eventually, it’s time to leave. Maybe that mental departure took place a while ago, a disconnection as a way to cope, but now is finally official, and real.

My coping strategy has just been to push harder, move faster, accelerate. To say, OK, 10 years, tops, make the most of it. Want to push me down? I’ll run faster, diversify, find a way to bounce back up.

Frantic. Frantic. Frantic.

Second thing. Take a deep breath. I am 29 years old. That is not actually that old, really. This reaction, feeling like I am running out of time, is actually just… madness. I have time. It’s not actually an emergency. I don’t need to have all the answers today.

Or even when I do leave. I don’t need to know exactly what is next, or if my departure is real, or permanent. I just need a starting point.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

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] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

Aside from having a memory that I twice successfully skied nearly half a lifetime ago, there were two things I’d been told about skiing that tempted me back. One is that it is somewhat easier to learn on carved skis, but the other bigger consideration is that being tall is apparently essentially a complete disadvantage in snowboarding, where holding your centre of gravity pretty much above the board at all times is the key skill. In skiing, this is not so. I asked a few people, and someone I know who is quite good at both agreed that with my snowboarding skill level, I really wouldn’t be losing a lot by switching to skiing.

Our trip didn’t begin promisingly. First there was the usual agony of planning a holiday. We had thought to return to New Zealand, but I decided I didn’t want to deal with pumping for A in a daycare and so we’d have to switch off caring for her. There’s essentially no on-snow accommodation in New Zealand; I imagined the experience for the person sitting with the baby in a crowded snow cafeteria all day with a shudder. And the difficulty getting V onto a bus up a mountain each day and entertaining him for an hour in each direction. Then we considered Perisher where we’d been before, but it was ludicrously expensive. So we settled on Thredbo, which is also far from cheap but has more beds and is also a genuine village in its own right. Important, I thought, if I once again got too injured to continue and wanted to do something else with my time. I was tired from planning long before we left.

Even less promisingly, the morning before we left, V woke up and was sick. To be precise: he was sick on the baby, setting a new record for contagious behaviour from my children even exceeding the time A stuck her snotty finger up Val’s nose in the US. We didn’t have the food we’d planned to take and we didn’t have snow clothes. So we waited a while and took a pale and tired V for clothes and generally considered the following day with fear.

V was bewildered and annoyed to get up before the sun, something I think we’ve never got him to do before, and especially since we then hustled him onto a city bus, and marched him across Central and onto a coach. (We can’t easily take a taxi with a baby under one year old, something that also caused a lot of problems on my US trip.) He was then annoyed that we had promised him the very interesting experience that the coach would have a toilet and it didn’t, which was nothing to our reaction to the prospect a seven hour coach trip on a coach without a toilet. Meanwhile, I contemplated the joy of seven hours on a coach where all but three of the seats didn’t have enough leg room for me. (About every two years I have the brilliant idea of taking buses places instead of driving, and each time I board only to remember that I don’t actually fit on them. Oh.)

It all worked out though; the bus made a few loo breaks, and V was well enough to not be miserable but sick enough to spend most of the trip asleep or staring dreamily out the window rather than, as we’d feared, spending the whole trip in perpetual whine-motion. A still isn’t crawling, so she spent the trip strapped to me or Andrew mostly happily except for occasional annoyed screeches. Towards the end of the trip, I was the one climbing the walls, squashed into the bus and nauseous from the bus’s heating level and A’s body heat.

The agony was not over: we were disgorged from the bus with two little kids and two giant and heavy suitcases, went briefly to see the tobogganing and then went to pick up all the gear — two sets of skis, a snowboard, three sets of boots, my stocks, three helmets — with a tired V who was very keen to ski and who believed that we were going to get off the bus and immediately all ski down a mountain together.

I have to hand it to Thredbo: their hire gear places are frighteningly efficient, with 8 separate “stations” each staffed by multiple people who sit you down, pop your feed on sizing guides, stand you up, eyeball you for ski length, strap everything together, tinker with it, and send you on your way.

Even so, it was tough. V had a small tantrum that we weren’t getting him stocks, believing it’s not possible to ski without them (only very advanced children are allowed to use them in the children’s ski school), and a very long epic tantrum as we painfully loaded all our luggage and gear onto a minibus packed with other skiers. Once we had fought all our stuff back out of the minibus, we had to slowly leapfrog it up a steep driveway and steps to the apartment we were staying in while V cried that his skis were so very very heavy, can’t you carry them Mama please? What, with a 20kg suitcase, my skis and stocks, and the baby strapped to my front? (Various adults who saw this trainwreck in action would make sad pitying noises before they saw the baby. After that, they’d just squeak and flap in alarm.) The owners of the accommodation were horrified and helpful once they’d discovered all this and helped us into the flat where we used the very last of our energy for sorting out the following morning’s piles of stuff.

Actually, no, I tell a lie, I used the very last of my energy walking several hundred metres down the hill and back up in the icy dark to buy additional groceries, but this was actually a blessed emotional getaway. (And Thredbo is actually quite warm, it was probably only roughly freezing.)

It’s not a destination designed to be reached on public transport, that much was clear.

We set our phone alarms for the distressing time of 7am, and in our last tragic act, failed to check how to set the thermostats properly before going to sleep, leaving them on MAX and sweltering all night. And so it began. Not entirely as it was to continue, you’ll be pleased to hear.

Sunday Sweets: Dragon Con Treats

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

Posted by Jen

Next weekend John and I will be among Our People at the annual nerd mecca: Dragon Con in Atlanta. That's right, geeks, WE'RE COMIN' HOME!

Naturally, I feel we should celebrate the best way I know how: with amazing cakes themed to some of the various tracks at Dragon Con. (If you've never been, DC separates its panels into 37 different "fan tracks." It's like a geeky buffet of all-you-can-attend goodness.)

You might even be surprised by the variety. For example, there's a Young Adult Literature track:

(By Sweet Blossom Cakes)

... along with a Writer's track, Fantasy Literature, & Tolkien's Middle Earth.

 

Alt History is where my fellow steampunks hang out:

(By Swank Cake Design)

And if you keep your eyes peeled on Saturday night, you MIGHT even see Lady Vadore stalking the halls. ;)

 

My friend Stephen is heading up the Science track this year, so trust me, you're gonna love it.

(By Gimme Some Sugar)

Er, but it's not THAT kind of science, kids.

(Best use of rock candy ever, or what?)

 

There are also tracks on Podcasting:

(By That Cake Girl)

Any Welcome To The Night Vale listeners out there?

 

And Puppetry:

(By Peace of Cake)

Swedish Chef will always be my flurby durby caken-schmöösher favorite. ALWAYS.
(Love how the base looks like an upside-down stew pot. So clever!)

Last year at DC some of the real, honest-to-goodness Fraggles came to visit, along with their original performers. For reals, you guys. NOSTALGIA HIGH-FIVE.

 

Of course there are always the big sci-fi classics, too, like Trek Track:

(By Sugar Plum Cake Shoppe)

Resistance to this stellar cake is futile.

 

And everything Star Wars:

(By Fancy Cakes By Lauren)

"Judge me by my flavor, do you?
Because delicious, I am."

 

There are even tracks for Paranormal interests, Zombies, and Horror:

(By Gayle's Bakery)

Admit it: best. horror cake. EVER.

 

For those of you who like to tinker, there's a Robotics and Makers' track:

(By CW reader Jane M.)

 

And for those who love cartoons (GUILTY!), another for Animation:

(By Sweet Disposition Cakes)

Adventure Time!

 

And finally, if you're wondering where all the Whovians go, that's over on Brit Track - but careful!

(By Katawampous)

Blink and you'll miss it.

 

Sorry I couldn't cover all 37 tracks here, but I think you guys get the idea. If you'll be at Dragon Con next weekend, too, keep an eye out for me and John - I'll have pins! - and feel free to tweet at me to arrange a meetup, since we don't tend to stay in one place for very long. You can also watch my other blog, Epbot, for more DC details and tons of coverage after the fact.

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

Aug. 24th, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

Click to view slideshow.

Life

Hung out with friends, made it to the gym again – not as much as “usual” but a start. Still feeling a bit worn out but I think that is stress as much as anything else.

Sent off a draft of my book chapter again. Exciting! Eventually it will be the final draft, which is scary and awesome.

Media

Saw The Commitments which was fun, although culturally appropriating (bunch of white people doing “Soul”) and somewhat sexist (what changes?). Went to the movies for the first time in ages and saw What If which I loved at least in part because it’s set in Canada. Read The Lies You Told Me which I really enjoyed, a little bit dark and gripping. Finished Gravitas, will post a review soon, and read It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single which I liked, short meditation on being single when the world tells you you should be part of a pair.

Product links Amazon.

Places

Brunch at Cafe du Coin (meh), dinner at Addie’s Thai (yum), Kopapa (not quite as great as brunch was but still tasty), Da Mario (amazing pasta), and Sushino EN (wonderful, especially the spinach with sesame sauce), BBQ pork buns at Dragon Palace, desert at The Troubador Cafe,

Published

On The Internet

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Tim Chevalier

Google is offering 5 grants for women in computer science (either working in or studying it) to attend EuroBSDcon 2014 — the main European conference about the open-source BSD family of operating systems — in Sofia, Bulgaria, to take place September 25-28. The grants cover conference registration as well as up to €1000 in travel costs.

Women who have a strong academic background and have demonstrated leadership (though if you don’t think you do, you should apply anyway) are encouraged to apply. Google’s form requires selecting either “male” or “female” as a gender; if you are not binary-identified but are marginalized in computer science and wish to apply, make use of the contact information for this Google program.

Also note that EuroBSDcon does not appear to have a code of conduct or anti-harassment policy. (If I’m wrong, add it to the wiki’s list of conferences that have anti-harassment policies!)

[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

I suppose it’s just possible I have enough loyal fans to actually remember my snowboarding epics, but it’s unlikely.

The distance between 1998 and 2003 doesn’t seem so long now of course, but at the time, it was about a quarter of my life, and encompassed university. (Which is why I didn’t follow up skiing; I couldn’t have remotely afforded to. I am not sure how I paid for the 2003 trip during my honours year, but possibly Andrew, who was working by then, paid for some of mine.) My memory of the fun of skiing at the very end was intact, but the certainty was gone.

I did some research online and the conclusion I came to was this: skiing is easier to learn, but requires a much longer period of refinement over more difficult terrain. Snowboarding is harder to learn, but once you know how to do it, you apply essentially the same skills to harder and harder terrain. Given that I’d skied successfully for a grand total of about a minute, it seemed worth saying goodbye to the four days of sunk cost and starting with the once-off investment of pain required for snowboarding.

And that theory worked basically OK… for Andrew, who began snowboarding with me in 2003 and who now snowboards at an upper intermediate skill level.

In 2003, we went to Perisher with several friends, staying down in Jindabyne and hauling up to the Skitube and the snow at 8am each morning, other people’s hangovers be damned. (I cannot fathom how hangovers and snowsports go together so closely.) It was the first time Andrew had ever so much as seen snow in his life, hopping out of the tube into the sunlight with his board under his arm. (I’ll give snowboarding this: it’s a lot easier to carry one board around than skis and stocks.) We practised a teeny tiny bit on a very flat part and then enrolled in group lessons.

The skiing joke about snowboarders is “sitting on their butts”, partly because beginning snowboarders fall a lot and partly at group lesson time, beginners’ slopes will be arrayed with snowboarders sitting down listening to instructors, spread along the slope inconveniently. (Andrew notes entirely correctly that skiers don’t do this only because it’s not really possible to sit down in them.) And the first day was terrible for me because we were learning to ride heel-side (facing out from the mountain, heel side of the board dug into the snow), and that involved standing up heel-side, and I was just never able to do it. Sit down. Dig board in. Reach down and grab the toe side. Pull up. And boom, back on my butt. As with having to put my skis back on for every turn five years before, this quickly tired me out and I started getting worse. That instructor had a day off the following day and the new instructor — I think a woman — was rather horrified: everyone (except apparently for day #1 guy) knows that some women in particular really struggle with standing up heel-side (because women are, generally, less strong for their height and have somewhat higher centres of gravity) and you get around this by having them get up toe-side (lie or kneel facing the mountain, dig the toe end of the board in, push up with arms), which indeed I could do.

And then my unrevealed snowboarding curse kicked in: I bruise very easily. A couple of days of falling on my butt and I was so badly bruised that I had to sit out the third day because falling over and over on plate-sized bruises was hurting me too much to continue.

It was in 2004 we learned to scuba dive, and for a while that took up a lot of the time and space we had for getting up too early, hauling ourselves into uncomfortable clothing and interacting with our environment in a highly artificial and expensive manner. Even then, Andrew hinted that he’d probably prefer winter sports, but as the person who has the powers of arranging such things in our household, scuba it mostly was. (If you’re wondering what’s happened to it: we haven’t ruled a line under it. It’s just not a kid-friendly activity, I couldn’t dive at all when I was pregnant, and I’d have to pump at the moment to be apart from A for that long, which is impossible on a dive boat. Most likely we will dive again when we happen to be near good dive sites, as in Maui in March 2013, the last time we dived. We probably won’t go back to diving ten or more times a year for a long time, if ever.)

We stumbled into a snow trip in 2006, when André arranged for a number of people to spend a week at his family’s ski lodge in Victoria. I think I grappled again with the idea of switching back to skiing but figured I couldn’t be that far from getting over the hump to learning to snowboard. So we went for lessons again, the last time Andrew and I were still just plausibly at the same level, and I continued to struggle. I bought a private lesson one afternoon with our instructor at Mt Hotham which just about hauled me up to the level of the rest of the group, so that they could cheer when I turned again and again to reach the bottom of the slope. But again, I was ridiculously bruised, my knees and butt an even black-purple, and had to sit out the third day, the day Andrew thoroughly climbed over the snowboarding hump and began to cautiously experiment with intermediate slopes with André’s skier friends. He got his own injury there, falling on his face hard enough to kick his board into the back of his head (if you look at the back of his head, there’s a 4cm hairless vertical scar on it — that’s why), but while he probably narrowly escaped a really nasty head injury there (and has since worn a helmet) cuts on the head aren’t as inhibiting as falling on bruises over and over.

And this was also the time we were heavily into doing yoga, and for months afterwards, I noticed a faint but sharp pain in my ribs when I twisted.

Finally, in 2008, I decided it was do or die, and as part of a bigger pre-kids holiday driving around the south island of New Zealand (recommended: “let me guess… around this corner we will find… a lake and a mountain? I WIN AGAIN!” — it’s the best) we spent five days snowboarding and I took only private lessons. And really, after these I probably can say that I could snowboard, but every inch of progress was hard won. I never once got off a chairlift without falling over embarrassingly. I got badly bruised on the first day, and kept on mostly with the power of the butt and knee armour I hurriedly went out and bought. At least one night I cried about how much I was dreading the next day. And, on the third day, I cracked a rib in the same place that I’d hurt them in 2006. I sat in the medical centre in the ski resort while a very small friendly doctor pressed all over my chest until I screamed, and then offered me some powerful codeine, just in case I wanted to return to the slopes the same day. No.

We had a few rest days then in any case, and escaped from Queenstown down to Te Anau and Milford Sound, me sleeping a lot under the influence of the lesser codeine I’d been prescribed, the doctor preferring that I be very sleepy to being too afraid of pain to cough, although in reality I didn’t find it had a lot of effect on the pain. Returning to Queenstown I did two more days of lessons, my instructor kindly recommending I never join group lessons because I progressed “at a different rate” to most people. The last day the plan was to attack some long and new-to-me runs, but there was a whiteout and it scared me. Instead I linked some turns down a blue run, and my instructor triumphed over my learning to snowboard, and assured me I’d get the hang of chairlifts soon for sure and could progress from there on intermediate slopes. “Tell your next instructor you’re beginning to link turns on blue,” he advised me. Meanwhile, Andrew’s group lesson was making their first forays into the terrain park as upper intermediate or lower advanced boarders. We would occasionally run into him getting off the lifts, as he’d board over to us with a foot free, bend over, strap it in, wave, and take off down an intermediate run.

Which left me in a frustrating half-way point. I could snowboard, but it was agonisingly slow going, rather scary (you have to have your back to the drop a bunch), and not only had I come home with the usual bad bruises and cracked ribs, I also had a painless but severe swelling in my knee for the next couple of weeks that got bad enough that my GP tossed up draining it (and also, since this was close to the time when I was recompressed for suspected decompression illness, suggested I take up chess as my sport of choice).

I clung to my how-to memories of boarding tightly, determined to go back and get the pay-off from all of this, but life — very literally ­— got in the way. The following winter, 2009, I was pregnant with V. The year after that we were lost in a wilderness of childcare-induced illnesses, and then the flurry of projects I committed myself to; finishing my thesis, getting my business going. Andrew started making noises about really wanting to go again last year, but I was again pregnant. And so, before we knew it, it was six winters since I’d snowboarded, and how much of this pain was I going to need to go through again to get it back?

And so, once more the question: should I really be skiing instead?

Skiing round one: 1998

Aug. 22nd, 2014 10:38 pm
[syndicated profile] lecta_feed

Posted by Mary

Me learning to ski a couple of weeks ago is a weirdly long story, beginning in 1998.

In 1998, I was in the final year of high school, but because of my ludicrous and I now think in some ways ill-advised academic program, I had already completed 9 units of study of the required 11 minimum for the Higher School Certificate and was only doing 8 more. (The reason I now think this was ill-advised is beside the point, but in short, I should have risked a slightly lower university entrance score in return for just completing the entire thing in a year early in 1997, and not spent so much energy on doing 1½ times the required courses for absolutely no long-term benefit.) So it was not completely out of the question to head off to New Zealand for a week in winter.

My sister Julia and I were both working retail at the time, and my parents offered us half the price of the trip if we saved the other half. We duly did so and thus embarked on all the mysterious preliminary rituals for a snow trip (getting fitted for gear and such before leaving) and flew to New Zealand with a small group of fellow pupils. It wasn’t my first extended trip away from my family by any means, nor my first plane flight: in the preceeding year, I’d done two fortnight long nerd camps and flown by myself to Sydney a few times to take part in a selective university-level philosophy course for high schoolers. But it was my first international trip, and my first trip between time zones.

The trip was basically a disappointment in several ways. First, I think in retrospect that the supervising teacher, who went every year, must have been frustrated at the social dynamic. There’s good odds that when you take a small group of teenagers out of their usual environment and hierarchies and give them something to do, they behave much more like adults. But it didn’t really work like that. Unless I’m forgetting someone, in terms of age, there was myself in Year 12, Julia in Year 10, and six or seven other girls all in Year 11. All but two of those were part of a group that even I, a year older and not really in need of knowing their class’s dynamics, recognised as the core of a notoriously cliquish group of princesses. We were staying in a lodge in Methven, and they grabbed their own dorm room with unseemly haste and proceeded to have nothing to do with the likes of the rest of us. We made shift for ourselves, but it was still less than ideal.

Second, most importantly, most of us really struggled to learn to ski. The teacher explained the setup to us, and pointed us at the trail guide and the longest beginner run that we were all going to ski with him at the end of the week, and it wasn’t to be. Or at least, I don’t recall how the princesses did, but of my dorm-mates, one was a natural, already turning parallel within a day of starting, one I think wasn’t and other than participating in lessons took to spending most of the day reading in the bus, and Julia and I weren’t much chop either. I think I was the worst. It was the first time in my life that I got pulled aside by an adult to be complimented for trying really really hard, as distinct from succeeding at all. (As I recall, the instructor was quite emphatic about this: he’d never seen anyone work so hard at it. Subtext: at least, not without learning anything.)

With hindsight: here’s what happened. First, I hadn’t even finished growing at this point. (I finished really late for a woman, when I was 18 or 19.) Physically, I was enormously tall and stretched out like gum. My brain and body were not well matched at the time. Second, this was the dying days of non-carved skis. If you were buying yourself skis, they were carved. If you were renting them, at least at Mt Hutt that year, they were still long narrow flat fence-posts. Thirdly, and most importantly, I just didn’t lean forward enough to stop my skis crossing in front. That last the instructor really ought to have picked up: it’s the most common failure mode in beginning skiing. Perhaps he did and I just never learned quite far enough forward to believe him.

The setup was much the usual for beginners: there was a very shallow first day slope and then over to a short but slightly steeper slope to get the technique down. And that’s pretty much where I was done. On, I think, the second last day, still believing that I’d celebrate with a run down the much longer ultimate beginners’ slope the following day, I grit my teeth and just figured that more hours were more better, went higher up a second short beginners’ slope, and went down it, falling at every single turn. I am pretty sure that I spent the best part of two hours snow-plowing cautiously down in one direction, trying to turn, falling over, retrieving my skis (the bindings were pretty loose), pointing myself in the other direction, spending ages knocking snow out of the soles of my ski boots and skiing in the other direction. Two hours, two baby slopes. Not one successful turn. Lots of crying and self-pep talks. Presumably my growing exhaustion and cementing bad technique were hindering me by then.

I don’t even know what got me back on the slopes the last day. Probably the money I’d spent on it. The last day brought the backhanded compliment about my work ethic (albeit true, I am bad at quitting things), and, crucially and a bit cruelly, the actual breakthrough I’d wanted the day before. For whatever reason, I decided to lean forward to what I considered a ludicrous degree, and which was probably barely acceptable, I pointed my skis downhill, I lost all fear, and I skiied to the bottom (if I am remembering correctly, more or less without attempting to turn) and stopped myself. And then I got back on the pommel, rode up, pointed myself down the hill again, and did it again.

It was exhilarating; I can still feel how happy I was about it.

And then there was absolutely no time to do it a third time because it was time to return my skis, get back in the minibus, ride the nailbiting drive back down to Methven, and fly home to Australia knowing that, probably, I was capable of skiing and would find it rather fun.

And then I didn’t return to the slopes until 2003 and, when I did, I made the regrettable decision to switch to snowboarding.

Words Aren’t Magic

Aug. 22nd, 2014 02:00 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Annalee

So let’s talk about This Shit Right Here (that’s an archive.today link), in which technology consultant Jeff Reifman accuses Geek feminism blogger Leigh Honeywell and advice columnist Captain Awkward of harassment.

Last November, Reifman wrote a lengthy post about his relationship with an ex who eventually asked him to stop contacting her, then threatened to get a court order when he did not. He used her as an example to decry what he called ‘cutoff culture,’ and to suggest that women who want to cut exes out of their lives have an obligation to find some kind of ‘compromise’ to make sure their ex’s emotional needs are met.

Leigh and the Captain, both feminist activists, called him out. The Captain did so in this excellent post breaking down the entitlement and abuser-logic in his arguments. Leigh called him out on twitter. He wrote something in public; they challenged it in public.

Reifman then sent Leigh an email that prompted her to publicly and privately tell him never to contact her again.

So he wrote a blog post in which Leigh is very easy to identify to trash talk her for ‘harassing’ him, implying that it’s a a violation of Double Union’s Anti-Harassment Policy for her to call out his enormously-creepy behavior towards an ex who’d asked him to leave her alone (including publicly hashing out his relationship with said ex with roughly as much care for hiding her identity as he showed for hiding Leigh’s).
The Geek Feminism Code Of Conduct contains a section on things we specifically don’t consider harassment:

The Geek Feminism community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The Geek Feminism Anti-Abuse Team will not act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’ (because these things don’t exist)
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

I wrote that section because people on an axis of privilege have a nasty tendency to appropriate social justice terminology (like privilege and harassment) and twist it around to serve their own point of view. They treat these words like magic incantations, as if it’s the words, rather than the argument, that convinces people.

Words are not magic incantations. They have meanings. Using a word without understanding its meaning just because you’ve seen other people successfully use it to convey a point is magical thinking.

Sometimes, the people who employ these words as magic incantations mistake other people’s refusal to engage for a victory–they must have successfully turned social justice sorcerers’ magic words against us, because we won’t argue with them anymore. Reifman himself engages in a version of this fallacy when he armchair-diagnoses his critics as ‘triggered’ rather than recognizing that their anger is a natural reaction to his demands for free emotional labor. The truth is more mundane: most of us are not interested in teaching reading comprehension to people whose comprehension is willfully limited to concepts that support their privilege.

This is the email that led Leigh to publicly tell Reifman to leave her alone:

From: Jeff Reifman
Date: Mon, May 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM
Subject: Responding to your tweets
To: Leigh Honeywell
Cc: [redacted mutual friend]

Hi Leigh, I don’t know if you remember meeting me – but I think we met
at Elysian, I’m actually close friends with [redacted mutual friend]. I saw your
tweets and your medium note and thought I would reach out.

I noticed that the comment policy on your blog asks that commenters be “
non-discriminatory, friendly, funny, or perspicacious” … I’m super
open to a discussion about this as long as comments are civil and
constructive. I would hope you would tweet as you wish others to
publicly comment on your blog.

Using the word shitbag … and repeated mentions of “fuck” both on
twitter and on medium doesn’t represent civil discussion very well.

the feedback I’ve received from the cutoff essay has been overall very
positive – but sometimes it triggers people … and I’ve now, only
twice, received attacks like this – you’re the second.

I’m open to talking about it – especially if you want to highlight
specifics … but I ask that you be civil and constructive …[sic]

Jeff Reifman

Translation: Tone argument, demand for free emotional labor and education, tone argument, tone argument, lurkers support me in email, tone argument.

You’ll notice that he CC’d a mutual friend of theirs. Then he went and wrote this follow-up post, using barely-pixelated avatars and so many direct quotes that Leigh and the Captain are laughably easy to identify. So for all his thinky thoughts about ‘shaming,’ he clearly has no problem with trying to shame people who call out his extremely inappropriate behavior.

Too bad he’s trying to do so with magic incantations.

Friday Favs 8/22/14

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

Posted by Jen

Anyone remember the CW classic, "It a Gril"?

(Ahh, good times.)

'Cuz now we have version 2.0!

Like most upgrade's, it fi'xed one prob'lem while creati'ng a whole n'ew one.

 

Two things on this next one:

1) Apparently there's a "Hawaiian Shirt Day"
2) I've never been so disappointed to see someone spell "shirt" right

(Right? RIGHT???)

 

Of course we've established - many, MANY times - that bakers can't seem to stop making chocolate icing look like poop.

However, I found the one exception!

It's when you ask a baker to actually TRY to make icing look like poop:

Like an ice cream swirl on a balloon string.

The mind, it boggles.

 

When this mom requested a Minnie Mouse cake for her daughter's birthday, I *think* the baker tried for a simple 3-circle Mickey logo, like this:

But instead, it came out like this:

In the baker's defense, if you squint a little this actually looks a LOT...

...like a consternated Kermit-the-Frog.

So, you know, SO CLOSE.

(Seriously, once you see it... it's all you see.)

 

So which is worse, guys: that bakers are already making globby Thanksgiving turkeys in August...

Or that there are only TWO CUPCAKES under that giblet-blasting load of icing?

(It doesn't have to make sense, ok? "Giblet-blasting" just sounds cool.)

Or, Bonus Option C: that enough people are buying these things to keep bakers making them. C'mon, people: TOUGH LOVE. Quit enabling the wreckerators!

 

And finally, to end on a high-pitched screaming note:

Let's hope the previous 49 Raymonds weren't so... [deep breaths, Jen, DEEP BREATHS] ...um, shiny?
[hurk!]

 

Thanks to Jamie C., Stacy F., Alyssa N., Anony M., Briana O., and Linda L. for forcing me to realize how eerily similar the globby turkey and shiny man chest are. WHERE'S THE "UNSEE" BUTTON ON THIS THING?

*****

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

#ModevUX Design, Device, Delight

Aug. 22nd, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] accidentallyincode_feed

Posted by Cate Huston

apripoko robot

Credit: Pink Tentacle

Design to Delight

  • Personalised.
  • Responsive to orientation, tap and gesture.
  • Culturally relevant.

Shared context is not just about sharing, about grind between designers and developers, “keeps your friends close and your developers closer”.

Sharing context:

  • Early and frequent collaboration.
  • Design considering development.
  • Implement considering user experience.
  • Having trouble? Colocate!

Get to point where everyone has a common expectation.

Build a device specific experience.

Design for reality. Don’t let technology drive your design, what that really means is don’t let developers drive your design, but absolutely technology is going to influence your design. You will run into walls, these walls aren’t make believe, you won’t be able to get around them.

Device reality:

  • Physical size and orientation.
  • Pixel dimensions and density.
  • Network and disk IO.
  • Processor speed.
  • Available memory (main and video).
  • Device platform.

Native applications do better with animation, handle things better, because they get you closer to the hardware. HTML is a very abstract platform. It’s important to help devs and designers understand breaking point of device. Ask: how far can we push it?

As you download images to the device, it will download and try and load them. It will only be able to do a little bit at a time. So when the user scrolls, if they scroll too fast, webkit won’t be able to render. What wound up doing was finding faster ways to paint to the screen. Showed placeholders first, wait to do activities until the user stops moving – this is viewport based.

Design for Time

It’s not about making something that will be relevant in 10 years, as you’re building the interactions in applications, plan for time, because even micro interactions take time. In prototypes, when the user clicks things happen very fast, this can build an expectation about that. That time wasn’t accounted for in the beginning. If that had been accounted for, it would feel more relevant and applicable.

  • Rather than build to best case and recover, build to a realistic case and improve.
  • Avoid chasing unicorns.
  • Beware of immediate content updates.
  • Plan for graceful introduction of resources over time.
  • Preload carefully.

What are the rules regarding when to update the application? This are design problems. Need both design and dev discuss upfront, if left it to devs it will be left to the end and will just pop in. Find ways to address these issues early on.

Keep in mind: collaboration, innovate within constraints, plan for time.

[syndicated profile] epbot_feed

Posted by Jen

Time for more great geek art!

Think you can handle this cute? BECAUSE I CANNOT.

 Groot! By Piper Thibodeau
SQUEE! I don't see any prints for sale, but Piper does allow you to download the image on DeviantArt. (New wallpaper?) Plus check out the rest of Thibodeau's gallery for more goodness like this:


D'awwww.


Since I'm still catching up on posting all the art I found at Supercon, I tried not to buy any more at Tampa Comic-Con - I did. But when Mike Maihack is offering $20 watercolor commissions? COME ON.

I actually asked Mike what he wanted to draw, and he suggested the new Batgirl. SOLD! Here she is, all framed up in my office:

Watch for Mike at your local cons to snag a commission like this, or head over to his online store for prints and books.


When I posted this "art haul" photo from Supercon last month, some of you immediately zeroed in on that adorable Toothless in the middle:


That's an original commission by our friend Nathan Szerdy, but after seeing your response to it, he decided to give it a digital makeover and make it a print!

Now, despite our scolding Nathan still doesn't sell prints online, but he volunteered one for the give-away board, you lucky ducklings, you. ;) Be sure to follow Nathan on Facebook to keep up with his convention schedule, and/or look for him at Dragon Con next week!


Charlie Thurston - creator of that adorable WHObacca you all loved - donated his latest for the board, too. It's a geeky twist on the Christmas tradition of the Elf on the Shelf, called...


Wedge on the Ledge. 
(OH YES HE DID.)

Ok, so it's a little early for Life Day celebrations, but this is seriously cute stuff. The mini book is written & illustrated by Charlie, and the paper Wedge doll can sit up on, well, ledges. ;) Check out Charlie's Etsy shop (which he keeps fully stocked now, thanks to my constant badgering, ahthankyouverramuch) for lots more mini geek books and prints.



Also from Supercon, I picked up a few more of Alex Asfour's big 12X17 posters for the give-away board, since you guys snapped up the last batch I featured. You won't find these anywhere online; you can only buy from Alex in person or win them here!



Follow Alex on Pinterest to see the rest of his geek posters, or head to his website to see his travel posters (which are gorgeous) and design work.


Kit Steele had stacks and stacks of original pencil sketches like this beauty at Super Con:

It's accented with metallic gold, so the horns and scales gleam in the light. SO COOL. (I'm planning to frame it in silver for our bedroom.)

And I think you guys will like Kit's robot:

 I hope so, anyway; I bought it for the give-away board.

Follow Kit on Facebook to see all her newest stuff (GROOT!!), and you can buy her prints over on Society6.

Bamboota (aka Crystal Fontan) makes some fantastic t-shirt art you might recognize - and I just found she also sells them as prints and stickers over on Etsy:






Her postcard prints are only $5, and the larger 11X14 size is $15.


Bianca Roman-Stumpff is another local artist-turned-friend that I'm desperately trying to get selling online. She has a few things on Society6, and occasionally sells original Puff Monsters on Etsy, but that's not even a fraction of her work.

Here are two of her newest print sets:


That Avatar set is stunning in person - I so love Toph.

And since John and I disagreed on which of these next two you guys would like best, I just got both:
 




 Alien vs Predator. Bwhahaha!
 
If you like Bianca's stuff, do me a favor and go tell her on Facebook you'd like an online store; maybe we can badger her into it like we did Charlie. ;) Sometimes Bianca offers sales through FB with shipping, too, so don't be afraid to ask.


And finally, I promise these hand-sculpted and poseable art plushes WON'T drain your bank account - if only because they're already sold.


Yes, my friends, that is a handmade and sculpted ART DOLL. Can you believe it?? It's by Wood Splitter Lee's Fantasy Creations, who makes all kinds of different baby animals and auctions them off on ebay - for prices I'm betting neither of us can afford. Heh.

Check out her panda:

OH. Migosh.

And her latest, a wolf pup you won't believe isn't a real live animal:


AAAIEEE! Seriously unbelievable. And Lee does everything, too, from constructing a wire "skeleton" inside the plush to handpainting the eyeballs!

Head over to Lee's DeviantArt gallery for lots more cuddly creatures, and for ebay links to her current auctions.


K, that does it for this month! Now you know the drill: comment below for a chance to win your choice of prize from my Pinterest Art Give-Away Board, which has all KINDS of new goodies on it. (More than I've posted here, in fact, so be sure to check it out!) I'll pick a winner at random in a few days, and I'll ship anywhere, so internationals are welcome.

Happy weekend, and happy commenting!

UPDATE: The give-away has ended, and the winner is AliceGracey! Congrats, Alice, and please e-mail me your mailing address & choice of prize!
[syndicated profile] krebsonsecurity_feed

Posted by BrianKrebs

An increasing number of ATM skimmers targeting banks and consumers appear to be of the razor-thin insert variety. These card-skimming devices are made to fit snugly and invisibly inside the throat of the card acceptance slot. Here’s a look at a stealthy new model of insert skimmer pulled from a cash machine in southern Europe just this past week.

The bank that shared these photos asked to remain anonymous, noting that the incident is still under investigation. But according to an executive at this financial institution, the skimmer below was discovered inside the ATM’s card slot by a bank technician after the ATM’s “fatal error” alarm was set off, warning that someone was likely tampering with the cash machine.

A side view of the stainless steel insert skimmer pulled from a European ATM.

A side view of the stainless steel insert skimmer pulled from a European ATM.

“It was discovered in the ATM’s card slot and the fraudsters didn’t manage to withdraw it,” the bank employee said. “We didn’t capture any hidden camera [because] they probably took it. There were definitely no PIN pad [overlays]. In all skimming cases lately we see through the videos that fraudsters capture the PIN through [hidden] cameras.”

Here’s a closer look at the electronics inside this badboy, which appears to be powered by a simple $3 Energizer Lithium Coin battery (CR2012):

The backside of the insert skimmer reveals a tiny battery and a small data storage device (far left).

The backside of the insert skimmer reveals a small battery (top) and a tiny data storage device (far left).

Flip the device around and we get another look at the battery and the data storage component. The small area circled in red on the left in the image below appears to be the component that’s made to read the data from the magnetic stripe of cards inserted into the compromised ATM.

insert-frontside

Virtually all European banks issue chip-and-PIN cards (also called Europay, Mastercard and Visa or EMV), which make it far more expensive for thieves to duplicate and profit from counterfeit cards. Even still, ATM skimming remains a problem for European banks mainly because several parts of the world — most notably the United States and countries in Asia and South America — have not yet adopted this standard.

For reasons of backward compatibility with ATMs that aren’t yet in line with EMV, many EMV-compliant cards issued by European banks also include a plain old magnetic stripe. The weakness here, of course, is that thieves can still steal card data from Europeans using skimmers on European ATMs, but they need not fabricate chip-and-PIN cards to withdrawal cash from the stolen accounts: They simply send the card data to co-conspirators in the United States who use it to fabricate new cards and to pull cash out of ATMs here, where the EMV standard is not yet in force.

This angle shows the thinness of this insert skimmer a bit better.

This angle shows the thinness of this insert skimmer a bit better.

According to the European ATM Security Team (EAST), a nonprofit that represents banks in 29 countries with a total deployment of more than 640,000 cash machines, European financial institutions are increasingly moving to “geo-blocking” on their issued cards. In essence, more European banks are beginning to block the usage of cards outside of designated EMV chip liability shift areas.

“Fraud counter-measures such as Geo-blocking and fraud detection continue to improve,” EAST observed in a report produced earlier this year. “In twelve of the reporting countries (two of them major ATM deployers) one or more card issuers have now introduced some form of Geo-blocking.”

Source: European ATM Security Team (EAST).

Source: European ATM Security Team (EAST).

As this and other insert skimmer attacks show, it’s getting tougher to spot ATM skimming devices. It’s best to focus instead on protecting your own physical security while at the cash machine. If you visit an ATM that looks strange, tampered with, or out of place, try to find another ATM. Use only machines in public, well-lit areas, and avoid ATMs in secluded spots.

Last, but certainly not least, cover the PIN pad with your hand when entering your PIN: That way, if even if the thieves somehow skim your card, there is less chance that they will be able to snag your PIN as well. You’d be amazed at how many people fail to take this basic precaution. Yes, there is still a chance that thieves could use a PIN-pad overlay device to capture your PIN, but in my experience these are far less common than hidden cameras (and quite a bit more costly for thieves who aren’t making their own skimmers).

Are you as fascinated by ATM skimmers as I am? Check out my series on this topic, All About Skimmers.

Profile

terriko: (Default)
terriko

August 2014

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
1011121314 1516
17 181920 212223
24 2526 27282930
31      

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 30th, 2014 02:12 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios