obsolete offences

Oct. 31st, 2014 10:10 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
"Section 13 [of the Criminal Law Act 1967] abolished the common law offences of champerty and barratry, challenging to fight, eavesdropping or being "a common scold or a common night walker." It also repealed the offence of praemunire, which had survived on the statute books since 1392. It preserved the common law offence of embracery (which was later abolished by the Bribery Act 2010)." --

If you're interested, I think these are:
champerty = paying costs of a civil action you have nothing to do with as an investment in order to get some of the money if you win
barratry = stirring up quarrels in court
common scold = disturber of the peace (apparently only for women)
praemunire = sending tax money to the Pope, or submitting to his jurisdiction in civil matters (yes, this was made illegal in 1392)
embracery = bribing jurors.
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin
Below the cut/at the link, you can read my short story "I Do Not Fight Monsters" in full for free. This story originally was published in The Edge of Propinquity and now appears as one of seven short stories in the anthology ebook The Lands of Passing Through.

Read more... )


Oct. 31st, 2014 10:24 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Yuletide assignments have gone out! Without revealing your fandom, how do you feel about yours?

I am very excited about writing for my fandom! But if you are participating in Yuletide and have not yet written a "Dear Yuletide Writer" letter, please write a letter and link it in the link post below. You don't have to get into tons of detail, but a little about what you like about the fandom and maybe a few areas you'd be interested in seeing explored in a story would be nice. Also, if you requested two characters who have an ambiguous relationship in canon, it would be great to know whether you see them as lovers, friends, friends with unresolved sexual tension, etc.

Here's a link to my Dear Yuletide writer letter. Here's a link to the page where you can link to your letters.

Friday, October 31st

Oct. 31st, 2014 09:43 am
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin
The Daily Report

So, last night around midnight, poet, author, and lawyer Elizabeth R. McClellan ([personal profile] popelizbet) and I went live with a little Halloween surprise, which we'd actually been sitting on since July when I surprised her with it: a recording of her Portal-themed poem "Down Cycles", from Apex Magazine #27. When the poem was new, I helped her find an appropriate title for it. You can listen to or download the poem from soundcloud. We've also been tweeting and sharing the link and will continue to do so periodically throughout the day.

Apex Magazine has already linked back to it, which is pretty awesome. If you like it, feel free to do the same. We've included our personal website info in the end cap, but since you can't click on a sound, we would appreciate some links back. Elizabeth's website is elizabethrmcclellan.com, mine is blueauthorproductions.com.... though you can also just link people to Tales of MU for me.

Note that we've released the recording with a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives license which means you can download it, upload it, share it, embed it, et cetera, as long as you don't change it or charge for it and give credit/link back.

It was kind of hard to sit on something like this for four months, but it's kind of good that it's going up now. I couldn't have guessed back when I recorded it that I would have started writing my own poetry, much less that I would have sold a piece by now. It'll still be a few months more before that's up, but right now I'm really excited about the world of speculative poetry, and that's largely thanks to the efforts of Elizabeth, who was an accomplished muse and cheerleader for the genre arts before she was a published poet. She along with Shweta Narayan have both given me so much encouragement in recent weeks, and I've been thinking about some ideas for paying their enthusiasm forward... though they'll mostly have to wait for my poem's publication.

The State of the Me

Little slow to wake up this morning.

Plans For Today

It's Halloween! I'm going to be balancing writing, boosting the recording, and getting things ready around the house for trick-or-treaters. Our ongoing quest to become "the cool house" continues.


Oct. 31st, 2014 10:00 pm
alias_sqbr: (dagna)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
Trip: Went as well as could be expected and still HORRIBLY EXHASUSTING
Hotel (Oak on Collins): Pretty nice except for the FIVE STEPS that mean I have to use a slow, out of the way wheelchair lift that is accessed through the bar and behind a curtain and refuses to work at all if the gate at the top isn't closed properly, which is super convenient when you're at the bottom.

Went to visit a friend and her ADORABLE BABY yesterday, made self even more tired and sore and it was worth every minute. Babbbiieesss :D :D (And he is a particualrly cute one)

Today: Realised as I neared the concention centre that I had forgotten my recharger, barely made it back and spent the rest of the day lurching from power point to power point. Note to self: find somewhere better than Rehab Rentals next time.

Cam told me about a Dragon Age playtesting thing and I thought "nah", then as I toodled around the exhibition floor I found myself thinking more and more "YES".
No spoilers just some panel notes and the rest of my day )
puzzlement: (jelly)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comment there unless you have a Dreamwidth login.

V, aged almost 13 months (February 2011) asleep on the floor of his childcare centre when I arrived to pick him up:

Childcare pickup

A, aged 9½ months (October 2014), asleep standing up and resting against our (huge) beanbag:

Beanbag snooze

I had been on the phone to Andrew yesterday and everything had gone very, very quiet. She was sleeping so soundly that she only woke briefly to squeak when I picked her up, and I put her down to sleep in her cot with no further wakings.

lol APIs

Oct. 30th, 2014 08:47 pm
flowerhack: (Default)
[personal profile] flowerhack
This is possibly a sign I'm a bit sleep-deprived at the moment (I did the waking-up-early-to-go-birdwatching thing this morning), but I found this bit from the Flickr API docs for their "photo search" function immensely charming:
[parameter:] accuracy (Optional)
Recorded accuracy level of the location information. Current range is 1-16 :
    World level is 1
    Country is ~3
    Region is ~6
    City is ~11
    Street is ~16
Does this mean Flickr, at its lowest accuracy level, can distinguish between "photo taken on the moon" and "photo taken on earth"? That is the "world" level, after all... :)

I've been super-quiet on the Hacker School blogging and I hope to resume that soon; I've been so busy hacking and learning that I keep forgetting to blog, oops. Suffice to say I've been doing some rad stuff: yesterday I implemented a bitflipping attack on CBC mode encryption, today I spun up a quick Flask app that lets you search Bing via text message, now I'm working on a birding quiz app I've been planning to work on "someday" since April (eep!), and in between all that I've been learning Rust and RUST IS DELIGHTFUL FUN. I'll blather all about it in a post, for sure!

Flashback Friday: playgrounds

Oct. 31st, 2014 08:40 am
puzzlement: Mother and pup Hatbor seals, with text reading "Mama" (mama)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comment there unless you have a Dreamwidth login.

V, aged 9½ months (November 2010):

Interacting with favourite toy Favourite toy

A, aged 9½ months (October 2014):

Playground toy

There’s a lot of differences at this age, actually. V most likely crawled over to that abacus himself, stood up, and casually leaned on it with one arm and I sure didn’t encourage him to lick the abacus. (Except insofar as I was standing there taking the photo!)

Whereas I put A in that position and moved a couple of the dials and levels so that she got the idea. She does pull up to stand, actually, and quite regularly, but her crawling is not at the point yet where she has realised that she can just go and interact with things that are much out of reach if she wants to. This last weekend I sat her on a picnic blanket and she stayed on it playing for about an hour. She did however at some point manage to eat some dirt. Because she is a baby.

[personal profile] mjg59
I'm not a huge fan of Hacker News[1]. My impression continues to be that it ends up promoting stories that align with the Silicon Valley narrative of meritocracy, technology will fix everything, regulation is the cancer killing agile startups, and discouraging stories that suggest that the world of technology is, broadly speaking, awful and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

But as a good data-driven person[2], wouldn't it be nice to have numbers rather than just handwaving? In the absence of a good public dataset, I scraped Hacker Slide to get just over two months of data in the form of hourly snapshots of stories, their age, their score and their position. I then applied a trivial test:
  1. If the story is younger than any other story
  2. and the story has a higher score than that other story
  3. and the story has a worse ranking than that other story
  4. and at least one of these two stories is on the front page
then the story is considered to have been penalised.

(note: "penalised" can have several meanings. It may be due to explicit flagging, or it may be due to an automated system deciding that the story is controversial or appears to be supported by a voting ring. There may be other reasons. I haven't attempted to separate them, because for my purposes it doesn't matter. The algorithm is discussed here.)

Now, ideally I'd classify my dataset based on manual analysis and classification of stories, but I'm lazy (see [2]) and so just tried some keyword analysis:

A few things to note:
  1. Lots of stories are penalised. Of the front page stories in my dataset, I count 3240 stories that have some kind of penalty applied, against 2848 that don't. The default seems to be that some kind of detection will kick in.
  2. Stories containing keywords that suggest they refer to issues around social justice appear more likely to be penalised than stories that refer to technical matters
  3. There are other topics that are also disproportionately likely to be penalised. That's interesting, but not really relevant - I'm not necessarily arguing that social issues are penalised out of an active desire to make them go away, merely that the existing ranking system tends to result in it happening anyway.

This clearly isn't an especially rigorous analysis, and in future I hope to do a better job. But for now the evidence appears consistent with my innate prejudice - the Hacker News ranking algorithm tends to penalise stories that address social issues. An interesting next step would be to attempt to infer whether the reasons for the penalties are similar between different categories of penalised stories[3], but I'm not sure how practical that is with the publicly available data.

(Raw data is here, penalised stories are here, unpenalised stories are here)

[1] Moving to San Francisco has resulted in it making more sense, but really that just makes me even more depressed.
[2] Ha ha like fuck my PhD's in biology
[3] Perhaps stories about startups tend to get penalised because of voter ring detection from people trying to promote their startup, while stories about social issues tend to get penalised because of controversy detection?

Thursday, October 30th

Oct. 30th, 2014 09:52 am
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin
The Daily Report

Okay, I've linked to it a couple times already on Twitter, mostly before it was hooked up to its domain, but I have a new official web presence: http://blueauthorproductions.com. It's not 100% done, but it is ready for visitors. The main purpose of this is to give me a location to use for reaching out beyond my existing fan base, so that when a new project drops it can link back to this one central hub.

This has been something I've been meaning to have put together for a long time, but it's never really panned out. It became a lot more important now that I've got more things being submitted for outside publication. In particular, there's something I've been sitting on since the middle of the summer that's set to go live tomorrow. It's a collaboration, so while I'll be putting it in my spaces, it'll also be going up elseweb. I wanted to make sure that people who get it somewhere else have a way of finding out what else I've done.

The State of the Me

Doing okay.

Plans For Today

I've been picking at that 10,000 word story I wrote last Wednesday since I wrote it, but today it's going to get its final substantial edits before being formatted for submission and sent off.

So that was a day.

Oct. 29th, 2014 10:12 pm
cofax7: Cordelia Naismith is dangerous (Bujold - Cordelia)
[personal profile] cofax7
In which the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, and Anita Sarkeesian appeared on the Colbert Report. (Icon chosen very specifically.)

A good day for the Bay Area, I would say.

On joining the FSF board

Oct. 29th, 2014 05:01 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
I joined the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation a couple of weeks ago. I've been travelling a bunch since then, so haven't really had time to write about it. But since I'm currently waiting for a test job to finish, why not?

It's impossible to overstate how important free software is. A movement that began with a quest to work around a faulty printer is now our greatest defence against a world full of hostile actors. Without the ability to examine software, we can have no real faith that we haven't been put at risk by backdoors introduced through incompetence or malice. Without the freedom to modify software, we have no chance of updating it to deal with the new challenges that we face on a daily basis. Without the freedom to pass that modified software on to others, we are unable to help people who don't have the technical skills to protect themselves.

Free software isn't sufficient for building a trustworthy computing environment, one that not merely protects the user but respects the user. But it is necessary for that, and that's why I continue to evangelise on its behalf at every opportunity.


Free software has a problem. It's natural to write software to satisfy our own needs, but in doing so we write software that doesn't provide as much benefit to people who have different needs. We need to listen to others, improve our knowledge of their requirements and ensure that they are in a position to benefit from the freedoms we espouse. And that means building diverse communities, communities that are inclusive regardless of people's race, gender, sexuality or economic background. Free software that ends up designed primarily to meet the needs of well-off white men is a failure. We do not improve the world by ignoring the majority of people in it. To do that, we need to listen to others. And to do that, we need to ensure that our community is accessible to everybody.

That's not the case right now. We are a community that is disproportionately male, disproportionately white, disproportionately rich. This is made strikingly obvious by looking at the composition of the FSF board, a body made up entirely of white men. In joining the board, I have perpetuated this. I do not bring new experiences. I do not bring an understanding of an entirely different set of problems. I do not serve as an inspiration to groups currently under-represented in our communities. I am, in short, a hypocrite.

So why did I do it? Why have I joined an organisation whose founder I publicly criticised for making sexist jokes in a conference presentation? I'm afraid that my answer may not seem convincing, but in the end it boils down to feeling that I can make more of a difference from within than from outside. I am now in a position to ensure that the board never forgets to consider diversity when making decisions. I am in a position to advocate for programs that build us stronger, more representative communities. I am in a position to take responsibility for our failings and try to do better in future.

People can justifiably conclude that I'm making excuses, and I can make no argument against that other than to be asked to be judged by my actions. I hope to be able to look back at my time with the FSF and believe that I helped make a positive difference. But maybe this is hubris. Maybe I am just perpetuating the status quo. If so, I absolutely deserve criticism for my choices. We'll find out in a few years.

Wednesday, October 29th

Oct. 29th, 2014 10:42 am
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin
The Daily Report

I'm in an odd state for me, which is being terribly excited about things that will be happening days, weeks, and months away. I think that very soon I'm going to have to a spate of things for more immediate release, just to keep myself engaged. I've been having a high-energy period, but I doubt I can sustain it all the way through January, which is when some of the things I have in the works will come to fruition.

I do have a few little things planned for Friday, to ring in Halloween. One is a newsletter that will contain some monstrously short pieces of microfiction. The other is a collaboration with one of my favorite poets that has been quietly in the works since July. Again, it's a small thing, but one I'm proud of.

The State of the Me

Today I slept in a bit, which made up for the previous night's interrupted sleep insofar as such things can be made up. It's a slow-start day all around, though.

Plans For Today

Due to the general lethargy and the fact that I have some errands to run, I'm keeping it light. I will primarily be focusing on writing Tales of MU. I think next week is going to be the last week of the fixed T-Th schedule, leading back into "every other week day", but that's going to depend on me going into next week a week a head.

3 Good Things

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:09 am
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
It's my birthday today, so I'm opening my field of view wider than usual.

1. This time last year, inviting someone over for a night of romantic intimacy felt unimaginable. Now it's something to look forward to.

2. This time three years ago, my academic ambitions were crumbling around my ears, depression held fast my feet, and I could not see my way to wholeness. Since then I have wrought harder things and tasted of richer dreams, and am now full circle back to finishing my degree with reserves of resilience and perspective that are carrying me through where I used to falter.

3. Now and then I feel a little overwhelmed in a good way with the people in my life these days I count among my friends and family, my mentors and my students, my colleagues, partners and peers. Circles upon circles of richness; I'm so glad to be here, and glad I overlap with each of you. To those I know well already: thank you. To those I'm getting to know, or haven't met yet: I look forward to it.

Here's to the year to come!

It's not about being worthy, no--
it's about growing
and refining
and passing it on

....oops, I forgot this

Oct. 29th, 2014 01:22 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

Big News Day in Fandom!

Oct. 28th, 2014 07:48 pm
yasaman: Natasha Romanov from the Avengers movie franchise looking down while shit explodes behind her (natasha motherfucking romanov)
[personal profile] yasaman
So today was a big news day in MCU fandom! Not sure if it all counts as spoilers, but my thoughts are behind the cut anyway.

MCU Phase 2-3 )

Short stories I think you should read

Oct. 28th, 2014 08:32 pm
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
[personal profile] wired
This Chance Planet, by Elizabeth Bear
What it means to have a fairy dog mother.

The Cambist and Lord Iron, by Daniel Abraham
What is a thing worth, when it comes down to it?

The Glass Bottle Trick, by Nalo Hopkinson
It's a fairy-tale retelling that surprised me and tasted new.

Coins for Their Eyes, by Kris Millering
A story about the jobs we are called to do. Creepy.

The Dryad's Shoe, by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)
What do you want, out of this fairy-tale life?

each thing i show you is a piece of my death, by Stephen J. Barringer and Gemma Files
Experimental, twisty, but ultimately sort of spine-tingly.

What You Pawn I Will Redeem, by Sheman Alexie
Alexie said this was one of his favorite stories that he'd written.

First extended rear-facing seats

Oct. 29th, 2014 09:51 am
puzzlement: (jelly)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comment there unless you have a Dreamwidth login.

In car seat news, I see Britax has the Premium SICT ISOFIX Compatible out, with rear-facing until the child is 2 or 3. Sadly, it also has a rear-facing depth of 600mm, more than 8cm greater than our current rear-facing seat. I’d need to rest my feet on the dash to ride in front of a seat that big, and I think it would even be impossible for Andrew. Extended rear-facing advocates (well, some of them) have been telling me for ages that extended rear-facing seats take up, if anything, less room in the car than normal rear-facing infant seats, because the seat doesn’t have to recline as much. If this is any guide… not so much.

Perhaps this will be true when cheaper extended rear-facing seats start to come out (apparently being a tall adult is not a “premium” parenting feature… except when you’re buying prams and strollers, when it totally is). I think it’s likely A will be pushing age 2 by that point anyway, so with any luck, this is the end of my very short career as a car seat blogger!

Disclosures: you can rest assured no one is offering me their giant car seats in return for a review!

raanve: (typewriter)
[personal profile] raanve
Okay, everyone, here's the deal!

I'm doing NaNoWriMo next month -- yes, yes, I've said this before. In fact, I've attempted NaNoWriMo almost every year since 2001, and haven't completed since 2001. (In 2001 I successfully wrote a 50k word novel in 30 days! No, you may not read it. No, seriously, it's abysmal.)

I'd like this November to be different. I've got some pre-writing in place, a plan for a totally new story (rather than trying to work off old story ideas), and I'm looking to provide one more layer of pressure & accountability. AND SO: I am issuing a walk-a-thon style challenge.

You can see more on sponsoring me during NaNoWriMo here. Funds go to NaNoWriMo to support all the work they do nationwide (and globally, via the web) to encourage creative writing and writing education for all ages.

At this link, you can make a pledge and see a tiny peek at my project for the month. (I will say this for now: Teen Girl Detectives with maybe a side of Why Isn't There a Movie Like GOONIES But With Just Girls Adventuring??) I'll also do my best to provide status updates as November progresses. When I finish the thing, I pledge to edit/revise it & find some way to share it with you all.

Thanks in advance for any -- and ALL, even non-pledge-related -- support.

(Cross posted, actually, from FB. But hey.)


brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)

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