triadruid: Rat in a skinner box, pressing on the lever. Caption: Do Not Want! (do not want)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] solarbird at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mdlbear at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] dejla at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] rodlox at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] sabaceanbabe at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups in getting the word out this week:

"Under CISPA, can a private company read my emails?

Yes.  Under CISPA, any company can “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property” of the company. This phrase is being interpreted to mean monitoring your communications—including the contents of email or private messages on Facebook.

Right now, well-established laws, like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, prevent companies from routinely monitoring your private communications.  Communications service providers may only engage in reasonable monitoring that balances the providers' needs to protect their rights and property with their subscribers' right to privacy in their communications.  And these laws expressly allow lawsuits against companies that go too far.  CISPA destroys these protections by declaring that any provision in CISPA is effective “notwithstanding any other law” and by creating a broad immunity for companies against both civil and criminal liability.  This means companies can bypass all existing laws, as long as they claim a vague “cybersecurity” purpose."

More details and what to do here.




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triadruid: Picture of Uni the annoying little unicorn from the D&D television show. (I'm a sheep)
Hello, Dreamwidth/LiveJournal... it's been 34 days since my last confession entry. Actually that seems to be the new pattern, looking back at January and such. Oh well, that means I'm living life, right? Sorta. Life is indeed busy, but some of it is good (really good) and some is really weird/bad.

Thing the First: I'm COVERED in poison-ivy-or-something-like right now, and I'm one of those lucky folks who can transfer minute amounts of urushiol from one part of my body to another, even though that's not supposed to be possible. I'm 99% sure I got it at the annual Blue River Rescue, but it's driving me batty. Topical creams aren't doing crap, so half the time I'm zoned out on Benadryl. I think I've got some in my shoes from several years ago too that keeps giving me foot blisters, and just learned that you can supposedly deactivate it with a hot wash cycle. Worth it even if it trashes my shoes' finish. BATTY I TELL YOU.

Thing the 2nd: Just finished cardiac rehabilitation - by the end I'd ran 5k (on a treadmill), ran a 7:56 mile, and only tried to pass out once. I've got a much better idea of my current cardiac capacity (AND limits!) which is kind of the point... still should get a HR monitor, but finances are tight enough right now to make it a lower priority. Still doing Fitocracy and still find it useful as a motivator, but they've just pushed through an *unfortunate* graphical redesign that is only slowly getting better. The problem with Internet startups is that they can try to Chase All The Things too much and end up doing nothing very well, but the people of the site are fantastic. If you were interested when I announced it before, they are now out of beta and you no longer need an invite to join. I'm 'naybliss' there; I think if you are on FB it will give you an autoprompt for friends you know there.

Thing the 2nd-and-a-half: Having finished cardiac rehab, K and I wanted to join a gym to keep going. One of my rehab nurses mentioned the Bene-Fit gym near us in the Red Bridge Shopping Center; turns out after going there that she's related to the owner! Also one of our neighbors works the front desk, and recognized us by our car. Heh, small world, etc. Anyway, we've gone twice so far and it's a very nice little gym. Decent hours, especially for an independently-run establishment. And the price is right; Bronze membership starts at just $10/month!

Thing the 2nd-and-two-thirds: Speaking of finances, 'bounced' my bank account the other day in a surprising turn of events. We've been dining out more and made a few bigger purchases lately, but that's no excuse for not keeping better track. Was able to transfer things around and avoid any major problems, but meh, embarrassing.

Part E: Boulevard has a Barleywine. A rye barleywine, and it's frickin' amazing. Complex, rich, warm, colorful, fantastic finish, and 11%ABV to boot. Whee? Related: Martin City Brewing Company is pretty awesome for a new restaurant, despite not (yet) having their own brewery license in place. Both the food and the staff are excellent, though the place can be a little loud (uhh, we helped with that problem, actually).

ζ: Mafia Scum suffered a catastrophic, unpredictable server outage that wiped out months of posts due to a suboptimal backup procedure. Many games were recovered via the amazing utilization of Google Cache by some very clever users, but my latest giant game got destroyed. Which is not the tragedy it could have been, as the game was just Too Damn Big and flawed in its core. Still, it's both stunted my desire to run games for a while and (hopefully) rekindled my efforts to work on the back end and site skins. Time will tell...

Seventhly: Finally finished painting the front door yesterday. When it got surprise-replaced last fall, we got the wild-ass idea of painting it copper, but that's not really a practical basecoat color for insurance contractors to implement. So we got a basecoat down in a sort of pumpkin color and then it got too cold to paint the glaze on. I'll try to get a picture posted soon, but it really does look surprisingly like http://www.kpcopper.com/doors/7-DoorPanels-In-1s.jpg

Ochtú: Miss the gaming; we've been SUPERbusy lately and less frivolous (well, sort-of) pursuits have taken precedence. Exercising in particular is becoming addictive in a good way... Games Night still happens, of course, but the RPGs are on the backburner. Ideas continue to flow, which is a step beyond first-world-problems, I'm guessing.

3*3: We'll be missing JordanCon this year, it appears. The massive drive, the expense-per-unit-of-fun (not that it's not fun, but it's really concentrated in one fandom, for the most part) and general burnout on extroverted activities led us to this conclusion. I think we'll end up going out of town somewhere that weekend anyway, just someplace closer and quieter. Going next year AFTER the release of the final book is probably a better use of limited resources. K and I are almost to the end of TFoH in our rereadaloud, with an excellent book coming next. A coworker who also happens to be a total wotfan gifted me the audiobooks in digital format too, so I've put them on the mp3 player and started listening to them in one ear at work. Funny how much of the first book I have near-memorized after 15 rereads...

Lastish: All complaining aside, life is pretty good. There's other stuff going on that is either too small or too private to mention, but if you made it this far, well done.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
I'm not venturing out into the retail shopping world for all the little plastic toys in China today, but I can make a post to help some of you with your holiday shopping, and help someone amazing ([livejournal.com profile] rowangolightly) at the same time. Here's the community's basic description:
[livejournal.com profile] rescue_rowan is a place for auction or direct sale of items to benefit the relocation of our dear friend. She has tirelessly worked to raise money for friends and occasionally even people she has never met who have fallen on hard times or had catastrophe land in their laps, and now it is our opportunity to assist her. She did not ask us to do this, and is graciously accepting this, though it goes against her nature to expect for herself what she does so willingly for others.

Some of the auctions end soon - I'm only bidding on one thing myself, but there's a LOT of cool stuff up. Check the profile for more details on how the auctions and payments will work.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
...but I know not everybody reads [livejournal.com profile] news.

http://news.livejournal.com/117957.html outlines a security breach that happened for about an hour last night. I've already messaged several of you who were hit (it adds four little chunks of Flash to the bottom of the post, edits the post security to Public and may change icons/tags), but I may not have caught everybody. It looks like the only really malicious thing besides the viral editing is that you may see more spam, since it saw your email address during editing even if you normally keep it private.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Finally got around to starting up the No Coast Avengers group at [livejournal.com profile] nocoast - anybody is welcome(lacking a coast where you live is recommended), and please pass on the word. I've listed a few things going on in September already (most of which I won't be able to go to) and want to get a critical mass of people over there to centralize some of the do-gooding that goes on already. Everything's more fun in a group, right?

Might try to create a FaceBook auxilliary at some point, but let's see if this part takes off, first...
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Yesterday's massive, if localized, Shipment of Race-and-Sexuality-Fail by some speculative fiction writers (I'm not linking; they've already got more publicity attention and critique than they can handle, I'm sure) caused several things to click for me regarding the issues of prejudice, -isms, and privilege that have been circling the Internets lately. I kept thinking of writing a post about it, but my brain was too tired and I had too much to do, and I'm still really in the beginning stages of understanding this crap. So instead, today I came across some essays and explanations and attempts at education; for my own information as much as any of yours, I'm collecting them here:
Sorry if this got long.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Day Zero Flash/Adobe Reader exploit - note that it requires no direct action by the user, just visiting a malicious site (up to and including those ubiquitous Flash ads).

According to [livejournal.com profile] solarbird, who I got this from, all O/S's are susceptible until this is fixed. What your computer will allow the vulnerability to execute will vary, of course, but this affects Macs and Linux as well as Windows.

Whew...

Jul. 6th, 2009 11:09 am
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Played a metric hectare of games this weekend, with a bunch of friends both old and new(ly met). I've got several new things in my "wishlist" for buying if/when I get tired of my current favorites, including Pandemic, Small Worlds, and Tsuro. Perhaps my favorite new game was the recently-published Battlestar Galactica, not least because I'd been trying to design a game recently that would have been extremely similar, but now it's been done and I don't have to! It's also done very well, at least from that one play. I'm definitely going to pick that one up if I have funds. Oh, and we (by 'we' I mean Pooky) seem to have invented a 3-player version of Mafia, which plays a bit more like Conspiracy.

And the tiger is torched. More on that later, including pictures (and perhaps video, if it came out worth a damn), but for now I'll leave you with the information that just because junk mail, cardboard, flour, and paint each burn easily, does not mean they'll burn easily together. :)
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Setting: Six-lane divided highway, at normal speeds (assume 65mph/105kph, to minimize regional bias). Protagonist is driving a taxicab in the middle lane. Antagonist is driving a smaller (30-seat or so) school bus in the right-hand lane. Any other occupancy of the bus is up to you to determine.

Requirements: Protagonist must stop or disable the bus, but may only use the taxicab or themselves as a weapon (no firearms for shooting out tires, no swords/adamantium claws to remove the rear axle). Property damage, shooting/SFX budget, and collateral civilian injury are NOT restricted.

For the movie version: Who is your director? Who is your protagonist actor? Does the choice of actor directly influence the effectiveness of the method you chose (i.e. Bruce Willis/Chuck Norris)?

GO!
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] featherynscale and I did our second-ever Walk-for-Good-Cause this weekend, both having made our fundraising goals due to the power of the Internet (and in my case, a little judicious tech-support-for-donations horsetrading). We ran into not only the semimythical [livejournal.com profile] liquidfun (he does exist!), but also a surprise encounter with [livejournal.com profile] bountifulpots who was looking for a way to stretch her legs before driving out of state for the weekend. The walk itself was everything you might expect, which is to say huge,. full of cheerfully doggy dogs and cheerfully clueless people, running late and doing good work in its own inimintable way. I have to wonder, though, if all GLBTQQIAWTFBBQ organizations in KC are incapable of running functional websites? Pride was a particular disappointment, as not only have they switched URLs for their website this year with little-to-no fanfare/announcement, but no one was at their booth at the AIDSwalk. Instead, the friendly folks from Grace Episcopal had graciously appropriated the table space kept their seats warm and set up a coffee pot. Ahhh, Episcopalians, I love them so. They also had awesomely straightforward t-shirts: "We Accept Everyone. Yes, EVERYONE!" or words to that effect.

We were (ostensibly) walking with the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project team, but the whole thing was more of a meander than a "walk" so the three of us (your narrator, [livejournal.com profile] featherynscale, and [livejournal.com profile] bountifulpots) ranged up and down the line, noting teams with good names and trying to come up with our own after hearing the gauntlet cast down of "Girls Who Like Bacon". Some false starts worked around to the idea of forming the "No Coast Avengers", who have the sterling qualities of (a) Avengers will accept almost anybody on to the team, and (b) the full title is not trademarked in the way, say, "superhero" is, as far as we can tell. The Avengers do have a few qualifications, though, that we largely borrowed intact:
  • Pants are optional (Moondragon, Tigra, etc).
  • Code names are optional (Thor).
  • Capes are optional (pretty much everybody).
  • Superpowers are optional, but make for good schtick (the crappier/less dangerous to other charity-goers, the better).
  • A pulse is optional (Vision).
  • Not living near a coastline is not optional. Get your own damn team. You can be in Denver, Saskatchewan, or Liechtenstein, though, for all we care. Behold the power of the Internet!
  • Creeds and religion are irrelevant. Ditto gender or the lack thereof, and I'm not really looking forward to having to rule on any sexual orientations, so let's just not go there, shall we?
  • Doing good is not optional, but wanting to do good is not required. Thus, you're welcome to join up even if you're doing charity work on dares, bets, or for sexual favors from your partner(s).
I'm thinking we need a logo. T-shirts would be nice, but buttons would be more flexible (since mostly any charity event wants to give you a t-shirt anyway). Perhaps an LJ community or Google Group, if things take off.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Actually, this mostly isn't local, but it's been rolling around in my brain of late.

Our house loves books. Really, REALLY loves books. We have successfully gone to Half-Price Books twice, I think, and walked out without something new in hand. The only problem with this glorious store is that it doesn't actually support the authors directly. Likewise, I read a ton of stuff from the library that doesn't directly provide the income authors want from their good work. Which bothers me...

So the other day, I started thinking about the microsponsorship idea and how it might fix this dilemma. And I think, in my brain, that it makes sense to donate money directly to the authors (via PayPal or what-have-you) of books I loved, but didn't pay retail for. Right now I'm thinking of $X for each 'star' I gave it in my read lists, but that may turn out to be excessive. Where does one go to find out how much authors get per copy of a book these days?

And then there's a couple of other things going on in today's economy that I feel like sharing because I enjoy the authors/creators immensely. One is that today is the last day to get a Charter Membership rate in [livejournal.com profile] montecook's Dungeon-a-Day project. He's running a website that will be chock full with maps, creatures, and tips for running dungeon encounters. I think they've started in D&D 3.5 and may move to 4.0 if demand makes sense, but a lot of it should translate to other gaming systems as well. I don't run many dungeon encounters myself so I may not sign up, but it's a damn good resource if you do like that sort of game.

In a semi-related note, [livejournal.com profile] gamera_spinning posted the other day about Wizards of the Coast disallowing PDF sales of their products by third-party publishers. While I think this is an immensely foolish decision, it does mean lots of third-party companies are running fire sales until the end of this month. More information in his post: http://gamera-spinning.livejournal.com/1849875.html
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Fractal's house is still in the process of reconfiguring itself, and one of the ways that I'd like to do that is by reworking the Traditional American Golf Course Lawn into something lower-maintenance, lower-impact, and still attractive. Since the implosion of our former lawn company, it's been understandably difficult to find someone willing to mow the half-acre behemoth for the old rate. We don't want it mowed every week to a maximum height of 1", either... we're not going for the Better Homes & Gardens award here, kids. But the city gets cranky if your greenery goes above 10".

Since the fence went up and the number of dogs doubled, the back yard has been more-or-less self-maintaining from four-footed traffic; it'll probably need to be mowed only once or twice a month going forward. However the front yard is in a low/well-irrigated place (our street has swales, not curbs) and grows at an absurd rate in the summer months. We might even have to get it mowed once more this year.

Read more... )

Anybody else looked into this?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Three things unlike each other:
  1. Once again, our house will be hosting a Halloween Porch Party on Friday the 31st, 7-til-we-get-tired-of-it. You're invited to: dress up, come by, hand out candy, eat candy (and other stuff), drink beer (and other stuff), play games, hang out, have your cards read (or read other people's cards) and other things not advertised, but legal and consensual. Kids are absolutely welcome, as our neighborhood is a pretty good trick-or-treat zone, but obviously it's choose your own adventure. If you've already RSVP'ed to [livejournal.com profile] featherynscale, great! If you need directions, let us know.
  2. At some point on Saturday (dodging around Craft Circle in the afternoon), we'd like to resurrect the "Pumpkin Katana Baseball" concept. Pumpkins will be on sale cheap Saturday, being November 1st. We have swords (you may have swords, as well). You do the math, or do I need to draw you a picture? Weather and cops permitting, of course.
  3. E! Online is showing their ass again; this time a columnist asks if bisexuality really exists. Bonus points because the fellow in question is apparently gay himself, no bonus points for the flawed poll methodology. Go write E! a letter, or better yet their advertisers, will you?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
I don't have any commentary on the VP debate last night. I was instead out listening to Slayer, speaking at an AoG church, speeding, folding newsletters, eating dinner, kicking my fiancée's ass at pool, and having sex. It's an exciting, fun-filled life I lead.

I might watch it on the retreads, but for right now I'm enjoying other people's interpretations of it. And I'm just pleased Biden didn't catch a fatal case of Foot-in-Mouth disease.

For now, though, that meme:
In honor of Sarah Palin's having been stumped by Katie Couric when she asked the Vice Presidential candidate to name any Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade, we have a meme. The Rules: post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic, to your LJ. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) Pass on the educational fun!

Since Palin was actually asked to name a case she disagreed with, how about... oh, I dunno, Dred Scott (not really a person)? Bush v. Gore (nuff said)? Roth v. United States (obscene material is still not protected speech)? I had to look up the case name on the last one, but I remember looking that one up offline before there was a World Wide Web...
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
That makes about four nights out of the last seven in which a big part of the dream has involved getting a weapon across a border.

First it was the European sniper rifle, then wrestling with the everything-that-goes-through-time-must-be-organic problem, then an exotic shotgun that needed to come in from somewhere in the Caribbean; last night it was a continent-spanning battle with the Lost Swords of Power, part of which involved getting Coinspinner into Mexico and back. Unfortunately that's where I woke up, when my friend Casey "Kennedy" Davis from H.S. asked me what was going on...
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Any story (real or fictional) whose setup involves 'a plane full of lemurs..." is guaranteed to Not End Well.
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
The evenings that your friend the federal agent doesn't show up for your social gathering on Metcalf is NOT the night to taunt the Hispanic boys for hitting on your fiancée and driving on the sidewalk. Especially if they're carrying...

Ow. Getting shot *hurts*. And welcome to your first OOBE... who says you can't die in your dreams?
triadruid: Apollo and the Raven, c. 480 BC , Pistoxenus Painter  (Default)
Today's XKCD )

The image of Mr. O Obama I'd been looking for a while ago:
I make this look GOOD! )
Unfortunately, it loses too much detail when shrunk to icon size...

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