marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Since I've gone out of my way to pick apart a malware how-to on PCWorld that had too much text/too many steps just to reboot into Safe Mode (conversely, I think my version *still* leaves out selecting Safe Mode before Restart, so I might have gone a wee bit too minimal!, but I'll run through the steps again to make sure)* I figured I'd offer folks a contrast to show how much "fun!" a tutorial can be.

Mine are rarely "fun!"; my nerves get so wrecked getting things right there's not much left over for "fun!". So do as I say, not as I...anyway, Adam Clark Estes at Gizmodo, who I ran across after my own how-to attempt (any title with the words "If You Dare" makes me wanna dare, so I looked even though I don't have Apple-anything to see if he'd get into installing it on Parallels - which shows how little I know about Apple/Mac/iOS) gets it right. Maybe I should try to hire him? After I win Lotto?

Though his style isn't mine, and I prefer mine for Reasons, you have to admit he hits the right notes, like this:

Until the software gets an official release, you can expect your phone to be a big pain in the arse, featuring all kinds of new adventures like crashing apps and awful battery life. So you should consider running the new software on a secondary device, in order to avoid ruining your day-to-day phone usage.

And this:

If all this sounds fine to you

I like this for a few reasons: a) he's not losing sleep wondering if you should. b) You're good with it? So is he! Which sounds kind of re-assuring.

And, finally:

Once you're all updated, have a blast. Impress your friends. Expect everything to crash! It will be annoying, but you'll feel so cool in your annoyance.

I loled.

His how-to is also quite short (maybe that's the difference between how much harder Windows is than Apple-anything? Windows isn't hard to use/tweak/take apart for me, but I doubt my ease with it is on par with much of the population's).

In fact, his how-to is so damn short if I quote much more maybe I'll get in trouble, so just go visit the link (and if you're an iOS user and try it let me know how it goes - though I am not, so I can't help it if it all goes south).

* Ran through the steps on my PC again after posting and nah, it's fine, it's just that the final Restart boots your computer directly into Safe Mode - there are no other options on that screen because it's just that easy...(but seriously, my nerves do get shot making sure of things like this).

marahmarie: How to Even, for Dummies (how to even)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Mind you, in the mid to late 70s I was anything from 7-10 years old.

I had shoulders.

Sometimes they were bare.

I didn't choose my clothes, my mom did. But I happened to like having shoulders, so this was no problem.

The teachers in my (small, well-to-do, perhaps slightly liberal) public school said nothing.

The kids said nothing. They bullied me (I was reed-thin and always sick, which doesn't go over well with bullies, believe you me) but not for that.

The neighbors said nothing.

Back then I did things like: walk for miles unattended, hang around a nearby train station because I liked watching people more than I liked watching trains, and wander through the woods either alone or with boys my own age. While I was a girl.

No one said a word. About my shoulders, nor any of the other stuff I did.

But shoulders? Are apparently a reason to be tortured.

Shoulders? Going off on them now is a thing.

So I guess I had a particularly amazing childhood, considering.

I'm not talking about my shoulders getting me tortured now, either - I'm talking about Ivanka Trump's. She wore this stunning, cheapo off-the-rack dress that showed off her shoulders.

They were bare.

It was too much for people to take.

She's caught almost nothing but hell for it, since (some praise, but mostly hell).

And I don't understand.

I refuse to say, "Well, at least it's not her bottom or breasts" because it's sexist to suggest those areas should not be shown off, too. That's the absurdity of this: we're going off on shoulders now? What's next? Ears?

In light of this, if my mom were here, we'd go shopping to buy up things with no shoulders and take our shoulderless selves out on future dining, shopping and sightseeing jaunts like, "Take that, shoulder sexists, we're a two-for-one. And you won't say a word, because we know how to carry ourselves".

I just. Cannot. Even. With this horseshit.

And I am kind of a prude - not when it comes to how to dress, more in other areas - so I really can't even.

likeadeuce: (marvelgirl)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
Title: Fractures and Echoes
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe/ Avengers movies
Written for MCU Rolling Remix 2017 (but not actually a remix since this was the original source story!)
Characters: James Rhodes, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson
Rating: Teen (Language, Canonical Character illness and death, gratuitous DJ Khaled)
Word count: 2731
Also available on AO3
Summary: Between "Age of Ultron" and "Captain America: Civil War," divisions are starting to appear in the team, while history catches up with them.
Thanks to [personal profile] muccamukk for beta reading.

FIC: Fractures and Echoes )

I am a patriot.

Jun. 28th, 2017 01:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thinkingtoomuch_feed

Posted by Sigrid Ellis

I love my country.

This is, well, not exactly news to me, I mean, I’ve always been sort of vaguely in favor of defending the United States of America. And, I mean, I’ve sworn some oaths to uphold the laws of the land and protect the interests of the American people, etc. So I might even have been more patriotic than a lot of folks.

But this year, 2017, has made something painfully clear to me. Painful, like endless sandpaper abrasions, painful like a bad sunburn, painful like a pulled back muscle that aches when I breathe.

I’m a patriot. I actually… I love my country. I’m invested in it, in its continued existence, success, and welfare. I want the U.S. to grow and learn and become better for its citizens and for the world.

I didn’t know that until I was scared I wasn’t going to have it.

I’ve often been cynical about my government. The Gulf War, the Clinton impeachment, the refusal of the federal government to acknowledge the existence of AIDS, the Iran-Contra hearings, the second Gulf War. The war on drugs, the CIA in Central America, the three-strikes laws, don’t ask don’t tell. There’s a lot to inspire cynicism. But I never thought very deeply about what I wanted for and from the United States. I never tried to imagine what I wanted instead of what we had.

The current national leadership has made me realize everything I want for the U.S., by threatening to take it away. Now, some of these things have never been an actual reality. Racial equity? Nope, never been real. Restorative justice? Naw. Equal rights for women? Still not a thing. But I thought, I thought, for the last couple of years I thought, we would get there. Slowly, tediously, with setbacks, we would get there.

And now I’m afraid that we won’t.

So now, now I am a patriot. A fighter for my country.

The country I fight for is one that has never really existed. I do not want to “make America great again” because I know all too well that greatness for some has always been purchased with the lives of others. I do not want to go back to any part of American history. I want to go forward. I fight, I argue, I call, I give, I protest, I march for an America I have never seen but which I believe in with all my heart.

The America I stand for is one which believes in basic rights for all people. One that believes that the wealth of a nation best serves its most vulnerable citizens, and puts this believe into practice.

I believe in an America that holds people to their word, that turns its back on liars and thieves, that protects people from the dishonest and fraudulent. In an America that values all people within its borders for the accomplishments they may yet contribute to our world, not for citizenship or physical appearance or place of birth. In an America that values families of all compositions and expresses this value by supporting the health and welfare of those families.

The America in my heart values truth, science, and education. It makes decisions about the future based on the painstaking work of learning about the past and present. In this America we turn our immense power and wealth towards improving the planet for the future of all species, because it is in our obvious best interests to do so.

In my America, we colonize other worlds while at the same time we feed the hungry, heal the sick, and educate all.

I have never in my life lived in my America.

But that’s no kind of fucking reason to stop fighting for it.

I do not believe the story the liars of this nation tell. They say greed is good. They say that vile outsiders are coming to rape and rob and kill us. They say uteruses and breasts are valuable, but women are worthless. They say the lives of the wealthy are worth more than the poor, that some people are being punished by god and deserve to die. They say black men are monsters and Muslims are terrorists and Latinos are thieves, and I do not believe their endless lies. They say science is a lie and that only they speak the truth, and I do not believe.

They say there is never enough. They say that we must fight and kill each other over scraps because there will never be enough, they say we must hate and mistrust each other and be grateful for the little we are given.

These are lies, and they are not true of the country I fight for. They are not true of the America in which I believe.

There is enough. There can be enough. We can have universal basic income, we can have universal health care. We can stop insisting that food and medicine are realms of profiteering. We can insist on science. We can insist on truth. We can reduce and reform the laws of the land to remove the ability to profit from slavery. We can believe women and people of color and those who are victimized.

We can be better.

I believe we will be better.

And so I find myself a patriot, here in the year of 2017, with this government under criminal investigation and a world on the edge of ecological collapse. I like my America better than the one being offered to me right now. It’s a world worth fighting for.

I’m a patriot.

I hope you are, too.

*

*


Yours truly, Jack the Ripper

Jun. 28th, 2017 06:33 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Q1: More about Jack the Ripper! Who do you think did it?
Q2: Research -- do you plan your approach, or is it more freeform/serendipitous/falling down rabbit holes?
Q3: Are you exclusively reading true crime? If so, what's that been like? If not, what else are you reading?
[each from a different and lovely reader]


Read more... )

My Denver Comic Con Schedule

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:09 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Hey! I’m going to Denver Comic Con this weekend! I’ll be on panels and signing books! Here is my schedule!

Panels:

Laughter in the Face of Disaster (Friday 6/30 11AM Room 407),

Military Scifi an Institution (Friday 6/30 3PM DCCP4 – Keystone City Room),

Fight the Power! Fiction for Political Change (Friday 6/30 4:30PM Room 402),

The Writing Process of Best Sellers (Saturday 7/1 12PM Room 407),

The Hardness Scale – Is Fiction Better Squishy or Solid? (Saturday 7/1 3PM Room 407),

Economics, Value and Motivating Your Character (Sunday 7/2 11AM Room 407).

Signings:

Friday 6/30 from 1PM-2:50PM at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2,

Saturday 7/1 from  10:30AM-11:50PM at the Tattered Cover Signing Booth,

Sunday 7/2 from 2PM-4PM at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2.

Come see me!

Also, thanks to Sisters in Geek, who collected up this information in this article on my and other authors’ schedules, so I didn’t have to. You’re the best, Sisters in Geek!


New Books and ARCs, 6/27/17

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:35 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

We interrupt this Tuesday afternoon to bring this fresh stack of new books and ARCs that have arrived at the Scalzi Compound. What here is a book you would like in your possession? Tell us in the comments!


November 2074

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:13 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

"Unfinished Business with the Group Captain"

  • Graphic Depictions Of Violence
  • Major Character Death

Lena "Venom" Oxton made Winston a promise, one Winston did not like. But Lena Oxton keeps her promises.

This is part of the on overcoming the fear of spiders Overwatch AU continuity, and the linked novella should be read first, both for spoiler avoidance and for context.

In the north of England - November 2074 )

The Big Idea: Desirina Boskovich

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:18 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Memory and language: Two concepts that Desirinia Boskovich had in mind for her novella Never Now Always. And now, here she is, to remember to you, in words, why they were important to her story.

DESIRINA BOSKOVICH:

There are key moments and motifs in fiction that we latch onto as readers, and as writers. Symbolic scenes that loom large for us because they connect in some deeper way with our own buried nightmares and past traumas.

For me one of those moments is in C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, where every single day, bound to that chair, the prince remembers how much he’s forgotten. Fleetingly, he understands he’s a prisoner and also that he can do nothing about it, imprisoned equally by his own enchanted brain.

I was just six or seven when I read this and the horror of it simply overwhelmed me and then infiltrated me: that moment when you know, and simultaneously know the knowledge won’t last.

I think it terrifies me because the vulnerability and powerlessness of that moment is so crushing and absolute.

In Never Now Always, I set out to explore the terror of that moment. And also to face it and conquer it, putting my characters in the same predicament, yet giving them tools to fight.

So the story centers on Lolo, a child who finds herself trapped in a mysterious labyrinth under the supervision of a horde of voiceless alien Caretakers. She is surrounded by many other children, but none of them know how they ended up there, or what happened before. And as the Caretakers subject the children to psychological experiments focused on trauma and memory, their ability to form short-term memories is limited, too. Everything they learn, or think they learn, just slips between their fingers like water.

Then Lolo hits on the concept of writing — scrawling drawings and pictographs as simply as possible, designed to represent these fleeting pieces of story to her future self. Hoping that she stays the same, that her perception persists enough from day to day that when she sees those scribblings later, she’ll still know what they mean.

For me, as the writer of the novella, it was more complicated. The deeper I got into the story, the more I realized how truly challenging it would be to tell a story where the mechanics of narrative are broken, where one thing doesn’t always lead to another and pieces of story don’t necessarily add up.

In some ways every scene felt like a first scene. There are gaps in this story, and continuity errors.

But I also realized that while I wanted my reader to feel somewhat disoriented, I could not let them remain as disoriented as the characters, because that would really not be an enjoyable story to read.

So I also ended up depending heavily on language to do the work — I tried to anchor everything in touch and taste and feelings, always in the present tense, a language reinvented for children whose sense of time is confined to a narrow slice of perpetual now. Everything that’s happening to them is happening in the immediate, and the present is the only moment that matters.

And in that perpetual now is where I think my characters — and I, myself — find redemption and solace. Because love is deeper than language. Because my dog doesn’t need to remember all the days of his life with me to know that with me he’s loved and safe and home; “yesterday” and “tomorrow” don’t actually mean anything. As always, my dog is wiser than I am. So I gave Lolo a dog, too, to help her figure it out.

In the end, the story returns to the one idea I find most comforting: that in this world and the next, life after life, we always make our way back to protect those who’ve protected us, and to be reunited with the souls we’ve loved.

I hope it’s true.

—-

Never Now Always: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.


truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

Yesterday, you compared me, not favorably, to a car: "We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you would require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crash their car."

I cannot tell you how furious I am.

First of all, in comparing health insurance to car insurance, you are implying that:

(1) we can avoid illness, cancer, strokes, etc., the same way a driver, hypothetically, can avoid accidents (although accidents can't always be avoided, either);
(2) human beings are nothing but machines;
3) if we are not useful--as, say, children or elderly people no longer able to work are not useful--we are not worth taking care of;
(4) we decrease in value when we are damaged.

All of these implications are wrong. Frankly, they are all reprehensible. Also, a car accident is in no way, shape, or form like a "pre-existing condition." "Pre-existing conditions" are chronic. You can't deal with them once and then move on, the way you can buy a new car if yours is totaled. You have to deal with a "pre-existing condition" for the rest of your life; it goes on being expensive, eating up energy, and making your daily life harder long after the crisis point (the accident, in your analogy), if there even was one. Many people's "pre-existing conditions" start before they're even born. It is a false and pernicious analogy which you should never have permitted yourself to make.

Moreover, my "pre-existing conditions" are not things that I did, or things caused by my bad choices. The same is true of my friends who are bipolar. The same is true of any child who has cancer. Illness, whether mental or physical, is not a moral judgment, and a person's value, which is inestimable, is neither measured nor affected by the health care they need. And no one can predict the health care they're going to need--in much the same way no one can predict a drunk driver crossing the median and colliding head-on with their car.

Frankly, I have never expected you to oppose TrumpCare, whether it's called the AHCA or the BCRA, and I was angry enough about that. But the contempt this analogy shows for your constituents and for their need to have effective and affordable health care--a need that does not correlate with either their socio-economic status or their moral rectitude and that should never be thought of in terms of free-market capitalism--is appalling, especially from someone who claims to consider it "an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Wisconsin." I sincerely hope that this analogy is not a reflection of your true opinion of your constituents.

Senator Johnson, I AM NOT A CAR. I am a person, created equal with yourself, and I deserve to have my elected representatives respect my humanity and treat me with dignity.

Link'ems

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:54 am
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Politics

Amazon

  • Amazon now offers reduced fee Prime membership - $5.99 per month for low income earners. "Normal" Prime membership is $99, which in theory would be $8.25 per month, but only if you paid $99 at sign-up to lock in the price, so many people actually pay what I did before "cheaper Prime" came along - $10.99 per month/$131.88 per year - the usual $99 plus a $32.88 Poor People's Poverty Tax.
  • Also check out four more ways to get Prime on the cheap.
  • Amazon ended unlimited cloud storage pretty much the same week I had to jump cloud storage services...*grinds teeth into dust*
  • For cord-cutting Prime members now there's Amazon TV (pick your poison. Yay?).
  • From the email I got, as Amazon has no explainer and Google has nothing indexed: "Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of a game-changing Prime exclusive benefit—Amazon Channels, the first truly a la carte TV service. You can create a lineup you love from over 100 channels, and only pay for the ones you want—no cable required. You get a 7-day free trial of all of our channels, and you can watch anywhere and cancel anytime."
  • About the above - I haven't signed up and will probably be unable to. I also don't know anyone who's signed up. Comcast controls most of the fiber in my area and with them it's cheaper to pay for a TV and Internet package (called the "Double Play") than to just have Internet, so that's mostly what's been stopping me. Will take reviews, though (preferably from people I already know)!

Firefox

  • The search for Goldilocks, indeed. The author says the latest version of Firefox (54) has e10s (multi-process/multi-threaded like Chrome but a max four processes), but it does not have this. I'm using it on an x64 machine with two processors/8GB of RAM, so I can definitively say it has no e10s.
  • Before posting, I found an updated article which says (emphasis mine): "Electrolysis still isn’t on for all users. “Roughly half of Firefox’s user population is using multiple content processes, but Mozilla will be expanding the number over the next few months based on extension compatibility, accessibility support work and other factors,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. To check if you’re in the Electrolysis group, type “about:support” into the URL bar and check to see if it says “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item."
  • While I'm on the topic of Mozilla doing what Mozilla does, and as I made [personal profile] solarbird aware of, standard Firefox add-ons are on their way out, ostensibly to make room for the e10s that they claim exist which for many of us, still don't. People aren't exactly keen on this.
  • Without add-ons as we know them, Firefox basically turns into Opera on Webkit. And though they're killing add-ons as we know them first, a complete browser engine re-write is also on the way. "firefox why u so", indeed!

Invention

  • With this, the author proves he can turn something as ho-hum as a relatively obscure invention into an epic tale that covers everything from original sin to the rise and fall of civilizations to the sad state of mankind's eternal economic Shangri-La. He's also - did I mention this - a great writer.
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