firecat: fox crouching (watchful calif. gray fox)
I just got a phishing email purportedly from Etsy.

The thing that especially bugs me about it is that it went to an address that I use only for a few sites, and I don't buy from Etsy very often, but I did recently buy something from there.
firecat: anime head of person with cat ears looking sarcastic (sarcastic avatar)
I took a screen shot of this, but then it occurred to me that someone else might have already done it. So I went to Flickr and typed in "chrome fail" and sure enough.

Gmail in Chrome #fail - Please try using a supported browser.

It does this because of some cookie setting I use. Reloading the page fixes it.
firecat: hothead saying "feh" "muh" "nist" (feh muh nist)
There was a controversy at Pycon 2013 in which a woman of color tweeted a complaint about the language some men were using. As a result, she and one of the men lost their jobs, and she's getting a metric gigaton of harrassment, which is still ongoing.

This op-ed says IMHO all the right things about it. I'm mostly putting it here so I can find it later.

The situation is well summarized here:

I'm not really in the mood to argue about whether the forbes op-ed is right, so I might be wielding an arbitrary ax in the comments section.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
...and the XKCD "Umwelt" cartoon, which looks different in different browsers, different countries, etc.
A professor at Harvard University believes she’s uncovered evidence that race is sometimes used to determine which ads you see when you go online.

Based on thousands of searches, Latanya Sweeney, who runs the university’s Data Privacy Lab, concludes in a recent paper that there is “discrimination” based on race in the delivery of certain ads.

She found that Google searches using names that sounded black (Latanya) turned up strikingly different ads than when the search was done for a name that’s more typically considered white (Adam).
firecat: anime head of person with cat ears looking sarcastic (sarcastic avatar)
Your message about how you have a secret horny crush on me might have worked better if you'd left it on my personal journal, rather than the journal I set up for my cat who died over 10 years ago.

Although yeah, "I have never been able to tell you for reasons which you would quickly identify as obvious" makes sense under the circumstances.
firecat: man grimacing (grimace)

Here's an article about a heterosexual dating site where men sign up as "products," declaring themselves to have certain characteristics (for example: Flavor: Intellectual; Packaging: Skater;
Bonus Pack: Vegetarian) and women sign up as "clients" to "browse" and "buy" the "products." The idea is pitched as giving women more control over dating. I have heard that on most het dating sites, women rarely contact men, so I guess this is also an attempt to overcome that tendency.

I think the buy/sell metaphor is really offensive.

But the first thing I thought when I heard about the site was "Whee, now there's another online store where I can put things in my cart and not buy them."

A lot of the comments on the article say "OMG, can you imagine what people would say if there were a Superwomanket?" I guess the people saying that have never typed "escorts" into a search engine.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Small medical tech companies have a hard time selling their products because of loopholes in Medicare laws.
Shaw’s retractable syringe hit just as these trends were converging. In fact, the year his product came onto the market, three of the nation’s largest GPOs merged to form a company called Premier, which managed buying for 1,700 hospitals, or about a third of all hospitals in the United States. Shortly thereafter, Premier signed a $1.8 billion, seven-and-a-half-year deal with Becton Dickinson. Under the agreement, member hospitals—among them Dallas-based Presbyterian, where Shaw would hit a brick wall—had to buy 90 percent of their syringes and blood collection tubes from the company. Over the next two years, BD landed similar deals with all but one major GPO. As a result, almost everywhere Shaw turned, he found hospital doors were closed to him.
This law is supposed to discourage sex trafficking, but the real consequences might be harmful to women:
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a new regulation targeting taxicab drivers who knowingly transport people who are engaging in prostitution....Critics of the law have pointed out that the new regulation might lead cab drivers to refuse rides to any woman who are suspected of being prostitutes or sex trafficking victims (based on their appearance and other factors).
The article suggests a better way:
There are many initiatives within anti-domestic violence movement that attempt to build community support for people who are in ongoing, long-term abusive relationships. One example of such strategy is anti-DV organizations partnering with cosmetology schools and practitioners to educate hairstylists and others in the field to become the first line of support and information referral point for victims of domestic violence....

The purpose of the partnership is not so that hairstylists can identify and report suspected abuse victims to the police; it is to build trust and rapport with the women, hear their stories, provide support and encouragement, and when a woman ready and willing, give her resources she needs to escape from violence. What I wish the New York City had done is to adapt a similar strategy to reach out to people in the sex trade through cab drivers, whether or not their circumstances meet the legal definition of “sex trafficking.”
So much for music companies' claims that they care about piracy because they want musicians to get more money: "any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,” IFPI writes."
From the DUH files:
In 2007, South Korea temporarily mandated that all websites with over 100,000 viewers require real names, but scrapped it after it was found to be ineffective at cleaning up abusive and malicious comments (the policy reduced unwanted comments by an estimated .09%).
I can't wait!
What if every Olympic sport were photographed like beach volleyball? (Contains a lot of butt and crotch shots, obvs.)
firecat: male and female crossed out, other written in (gender other)
For some reason I came to the attention of the company which is an online marketplace for products that it deems ethical. Its Wikipedia article says it offers ethical products in six categories: Eco-Friendly, Organic, Fair Trade, Animal-Friendly, People-Friendly and Social Change.

I care somewhat about the ethics behind products I buy so I went to look at the web site. You have to sign up before you can look. You can sign up with your Facebook account or with an email address. If you put in your email address, you are required to specify your gender and choose whether you care most about "rights," "environment," or "animals."

I guess I'm naive to expect that a company that is supposed to care about ethics, rights, and social change would have a clue that gender isn't binary and that gender isn't any of its effing business.
large-ish image with f-bomb inside )
firecat: hello kitty surrounded by irritation lines (cranky hello kitty)
Emphasis on "tinkers"—they've made a change to their interface so you can display a third name (a "nickname") alongside your first-and-last-name, but you can't display the nickname by itself, so you can't be pseudonymous.

There's a long discussion of it here.

There are a number of comments by the author of the original post, Yonatan Zunger, a chief architect at Google, that make me bang my head on the desk repeatedly. I can't figure out a way to link to the comments directly, but here's one that particularly caused head-banging:
We thought this was going to be a huge deal: that people would behave very differently when they were and weren't going by their real names. After watching the system for a while, we realized that this was not, in fact, the case. (And in particular, bastards are still bastards under their own names.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I am mad at Netflix but I want to be able to watch on-demand TV/movies from time to time. (I don't have cable or dish.) Is there any other streaming service that's good?


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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