giandujakiss: (festivids)
So, as you may or may not know, this year we've got brand new technical challenges.

Viddler is no longer offering free accounts, and YouTube and Vimeo are both now vigorously taking down vids if they don't like the music selection. This is a serious challenge to the FV model, because we need a streaming site that can host vids anonymously for the thing to work. Technically, people can just submit vids as download links - upload them to Dropbox or whatever - but in practice, when people come to view vids during the anon period, they don't like downloading things, so download-only vids don't tend to get a lot of views or comments.

So! [personal profile] lithiumdoll offered to redesign the Festivids website so that we can host vids at the site itself.

It's been a tremendous amount of work for her, and of course, there have been lots of technical issues - both the site redesign itself, and then lots of back and forth with the company that hosts the website because of bugs on that end. But it's basically saving Festivids - I don't think we could feasibly do it without the site hosting.

LJ is now offering video hosting - and yesterday we considered that as a backup - but the problem there is, the vids won't crosspost (so you couldn't watch them on Dreamwidth) and more importantly, any single account can't host more than 2 GB, which isn't enough for Festivids. But we'll keep that in our pocket if things get desperate.
giandujakiss: (Default)
I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend, and I think I might be in love
The new service creates the man or woman of your dreams and helps you fake a convincing digital relationship.

When you sign up for the service, you can design a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to your specifications — kind of like picking the genes for a designer baby, except for an imaginary adult. You pick his name, his age, his interests and personality traits. You tell the app if you prefer blonds or brunettes, tall guys or short, guys who like theater or guys who watch sports. Then you swipe your credit card — $25 per month, cha-ching! — and the imaginary man of your dreams starts texting you.

Except … the man on the other end isn’t imaginary. He’s a real human person, texting multiple women, contorting himself to carefully match each one’s specific expectations and fantasies.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Lights, Camera, Taking Action
The American movie mainstream needs a revolution — and if some women have their way, it just might get one. It’s time. Not because Ava DuVernay wasn’t tapped as a best director in the recent Academy Award nominations, even though her acclaimed movie “Selma” received a best picture nod. There has been a lot of speculation about the snub, but the reasons are less crucial than the message that the largely white, male directors in the Academy sent: This woman doesn’t deserve credit for her own movie. Women in film are routinely denied jobs, credits, prizes and equal pay, so the rebuke was familiar. That’s because while individual men struggle in the industry, women struggle as a group.
giandujakiss: (Default)
but here are my general observations.

Male protagonists are permitted to go on violent sprees to avenge the harms inflicted on female loved ones, but not on themselves. They often may have endured horrible tortures personally, but their violent vendettas are rooted in harms to women who they must protect.

Villains, however, frequently base their vendettas on harms to themselves, rather than loved ones. Silva in Skyfall, or Lex Luthor in some Superman versions, are examples. It is a sign of vanity and weakness if one goes on a vendetta to avenge harms done to one's own person.

Unless you are a woman, because female protagonists - unlike male protagonists - are permitted to avenge themselves. Which I take to be a subtle suggestion that women are expected to be vainer and more self-centered than men.

Generally, when heroes - male or female - avenge others, those others are female. Both women and men may avenge mothers, female lovers, daughters, female friends, sisters - but not men. Presumably, this is because women are viewed as uniquely vulnerable and helpless; men are expected to care for themselves, and so harms done to them, while tragic, are not worthy of vengeance by heroes (though they might be by villains).

There are exceptions - I can think of several off the top of my head. Khan avenged his wife; Maggie Q's Nikita avenged her male fiance. Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke is sort of avenging her father, although she's also largely avenging herself so I'm not sure how much that counts. Nonetheless, I believe these are decently accurate general rules.


Jan. 22nd, 2015 10:45 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
Week one, we had a speaker election that did not go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we got into a big fight over deporting children, something that a lot of us didn't want to have a discussion about. Week three, we are now talking about rape and incest and reportable rapes and incest for minors. … I just can't wait for week four.
-- Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), describing the conduct of the new Republican House caucus.
giandujakiss: (Default)
via LGM, here's an interview with Björk:
Pitchfork: When it was originally misreported that Vulnicura was produced by Arca, instead of co-produced by you and Arca, it reminded me of the Joni Mitchell quote from the height of her fame about how whichever man was in the room with her got credit for her genius.

B: Yeah, I didn’t want to talk about that kind of thing for 10 years, but then I thought, “You’re a coward if you don’t stand up. Not for you, but for women. Say something.” So around 2006, I put something on my website where I cleared something up, because it’d been online so many times that it was becoming a fact. It wasn’t just one journalist getting it wrong, everybody was getting it wrong. I’ve done music for, what, 30 years? I’ve been in the studio since I was 11; Alejandro had never done an album when I worked with him. He wanted to putting something on his own Twitter, just to say it’s co-produced. I said, “No, we’re never going to win this battle. Let’s just leave it.” But he insisted. I’ve sometimes thought about releasing a map of all my albums and just making it clear who did what. But it always comes across as so defensive that, like, it’s pathetic. I could obviously talk about this for a long time. [laughs]

Pitchfork: The world has a difficult time with the female auteur.

B: I have nothing against Kanye West. Help me with this—I’m not dissing him—this is about how people talk about him. With the last album he did, he got all the best beatmakers on the planet at the time to make beats for him. A lot of the time, he wasn’t even there. Yet no one would question his authorship for a second. If whatever I’m saying to you now helps women, I’m up for saying it. For example, I did 80% of the beats on Vespertine and it took me three years to work on that album, because it was all microbeats—it was like doing a huge embroidery piece. Matmos came in the last two weeks and added percussion on top of the songs, but they didn’t do any of the main parts, and they are credited everywhere as having done the whole album. [Matmos’] Drew [Daniel] is a close friend of mine, and in every single interview he did, he corrected it. And they don’t even listen to him. It really is strange.

Pitchfork: How does it make you feel when this happens now?

B: I have to say—I got a feeling I am going to win in the long run, but I want to be part of the zeitgeist, too. I want to support young girls who are in their 20s now and tell them: You’re not just imagining things. It’s tough. Everything that a guy says once, you have to say five times. Girls now are also faced with different problems. I’ve been guilty of one thing: After being the only girl in bands for 10 years, I learned—the hard way—that if I was going to get my ideas through, I was going to have to pretend that they—men—had the ideas. I became really good at this and I don’t even notice it myself. I don’t really have an ego. I’m not that bothered. I just want the whole thing to be good. And I’m not saying one bad thing about the guys who were with me in the bands, because they’re all amazing and creative, and they’re doing incredible things now. But I come from a generation where that was the only way to get things done. So I have to play stupid and just do everything with five times the amount of energy, and then it will come through.

.... I learned what a lot of women have to do is make the guys in the room think it was their idea, and then you back them up.
giandujakiss: (Default)
This isn't quite the same thing:
America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise

Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades.

It’s a sham. The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it’s driving car enthusiasts insane.

Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks. Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away.

Softer-sounding engines are actually a positive symbol of just how far engines and gas economy have progressed. But automakers say they resort to artifice because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine — but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Here Are 2014's Most Popular Passwords, And... Oof

See, here's the thing about online passwords. Every company I do business with online wants me to set up an account with a password. And when my account includes, say, my home address and credit card number, that makes sense. But I also have to set up an account with a password to read free articles, or to make appointments with my hair dresser. And I don't care if someone wants to break into my salon account and make me an appointment without my authorization. Frankly, if you care that much about how my hair looks, I'm grateful for the concern.

And since for the love of god I can't keep track of those things, I use easily cracked passwords that I can remember.

(Of course, some of these companies would let me log in with my Facebook account, but then I'd have to wonder if FB is blasting to everyone I know that I'm dyeing out the gray roots on Saturday, or that I read an online article about BDSM accuracy in 50 Shades, and it's just not worth keeping up with what privacy they've decided to take away today, so I don't bother)

For things I do actually care about, well. .. I tend to have only a small handful of passwords that I reuse (as most people do), but I vary them to match the requirements of the site (some sites require letters and numerals, 6 characters or 8 characters, etc). A lot of the time I have trouble logging into an account because I can't remember which variation on my basic passwords I used for that site. I wish instead of making me change my password to get back in, they'd just remind me what their password requirements are. I can figure it out from there.

And tbh, even if someone cracks those, I don't care very much because the most they'd get is my credit card info, and credit card companies eat fraudulent charges. For actually serious stuff - my bank, things with my social security number etc - that's when I break out the unique passwords.
giandujakiss: (Default)
I realize that advocating easier access to alcohol is a counterintuitive way to fight campus rape, but I tend to agree - allowing alcohol only in frats, and not sororities, really is an invitation to trouble.
giandujakiss: (Default)
so I'll link just in case:

Guess The Complexion Of The Shooter
A Sentinel, Okla., man on Thursday shot the town’s police chief four times and was then released from custody after questioning.

White Teenage Criminals Are Cuddly And Cute And White And Not Really Criminals Really!
Dalton Hayes, an 18-year-old out on bond from a burglary charge, and Cheyenne Philips, his 13-year-old “girlfriend,” ran away from their respective homes in Kentucky and stole a series of cars around the South before being arrested two weeks later. It’s a simple enough story: star-crossed lovers go on multistate crime spree! We’re rooting for ya, white kids! Here’s the headline from the Associated Press, as published in the Los Angeles Times:

Police Capture Teen 'Bonnie and Clyde' Suspected in a Trail of Crime
giandujakiss: (Default)

One down?

Jan. 18th, 2015 11:28 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
What Taking My Daughter to a Comic Book Store Taught Me
[T]o all of the women that I know, especially those in the tech scene, I kinda feel like I owe you an apology…because it wasn’t until I took my seven year old daughter to a comic book store this weekend that the universe slapped me upside the head and brought a really serious issue into focus for me…

By the way

Jan. 18th, 2015 08:40 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
One of the reasons Selma stands out is because so many movies about the civil rights movement focus on white saviors rather than on black activists. One exception to that rule, though (and I'm sure there are others, but this is one I know), is the TV movie Freedom Song, which, fwiw, I think is very good. You can buy the DVD pretty cheaply on Amazon.

Oh hey, as I was thinking about this, I remembered the HBO movie Boycott, about the Montgomery bus boycott. And I looked it up and discovered that the same actress played Coretta Scott King who played her in Selma. Which is funny.

Also, not for nothing, but I had a good high school and college education which included basic information about the civil rights movement - but Boycott, IIRC, was the first time I'd ever heard of Bayard Rustin.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Selma was a mixed bag for me. I think there were many real cinematic flaws, in terms of narrative structure, dialogue, and direction. Despite that, there were many powerful moments that left me in tears. So I came away with mixed feelings. And from that perspective alone, I can understand why the Academy would have chosen not to nominate Selma for writing and directing.

I am white.

If I were black - and I have no idea if this is true - I might well have perceived the same flaws, but also may have identified more strongly with the movie's other elements, such that the flaws would have been relatively insignificant as compared to the movie's strengths.

I haven't seen the other nominated films, but it is easy to imagine that when you have multiple films about tortured misunderstood white geniuses who violate social rules but it's okay because they're so special, those movies might also have flaws as well as strengths, but white male voters could easily feel that those movies touched them in special ways such that despite their flaws, they were worthy of an Oscar nod.

And that's why we need more diversity in Oscar voters (and in movies and in everything else, but for now, let's leave it at voters). Because Selma's flaws are real. But the relative weight given those flaws as compared to its strengths depends very much on who you are as an audience member, and I imagine that's equally true of the other nominees.


Jan. 16th, 2015 10:50 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)

giandujakiss: (Default)
There are things I liked, things I wasn't crazy about etc, but there was one particular thing that interested me.

Maybe a spoiler? Kinda, anyway )
giandujakiss: (Default)

giandujakiss: (Default)
4 Minute Window (24127 words) by Speranza
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Peggy Carter
Additional Tags: Surveillance, It's Like Grand Central Station In Here, Brooklyn Boys, Power Couple, People Are Sick of Conceptual Art
Series: Part 1 of 4 Minute Window

"Look, if they catch me," Bucky muttered, "they're either going to kill me or they're going to put me in a box with a little window and—Steve, I can't."

... which probably everyone who 'ships it has read, and then [ profile] counteragent and [ profile] monicawoe made this fantastic art/story follow which just is a source of absolute joy:

Yelp page for Coney Island Design & Construction (0 words) by Speranza, monicawoe, counteragent
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: POV Outsider, document kink, divanoir's comment is wayyy too dirty, sweat never looked better, the problem with bucky's plan, pearls flying with every sledgehammer swing, hire them in the summer, brad doesn't get it, so what else is new
Series: Part 3 of 4 Minute Window

The Yelp page for Coney Island Design and Construction has many positive reviews.

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