For disabled players, Twitch offers community and a second income

A new profile in The Guardian gets to know young women with ability challenges who are earning money and raising charitable funds via online streaming service Twitch.

Help these young dames get to the Game Developers Conference

Toronto-based nonprofit Dames Making Games runs events and programs for women, non-binary, queer, trans and gender non-conforming creators who want to get into game design.

"We believe game-making can be an act of resistance, giving creators ultimate agency in the expression of their identities, politics, selves, genders and sexualities. Our work has the power to transform our communities, and positively impact industry policies and practice.

We believe that creating space and time to make and talk about games in an explicitly feminist context elevates the craft, amplifies alternative and diverse narratives, and supports the socio-cultural changes that are necessary to make game design accessible to all."

Currently DMG has just about a week left to finish fundraising so that some of its constituency -- mostly young students, freelancers and low-income folks -- can attend the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. They've already been granted pricey passes on scholarship, but the travel arrangements themselves are cost-prohibitive. Going to GDC could be a crucial learning and networking opportunity for these folks.

If you're interested in learning more about DMG and considering supporting, check out their site. It's one possible answer to that guy you know who's always saying "yes, sexism in tech is terrible, but what can be done?" Read the rest

Doc film on surveillance seeks fund to film Syrian activist subjected to state surveillance

Charles Koppelman writes, "Zero Day (working title) is a documentary film being produced and directed by Charles Koppelman. BBC Storyville is co-producing and intends to air it. The film begins with the story of a single malware attack by the Assad regime in Syria using Skype as a platform. This targeted phishing attack used a Remote Access Tool (Xtreme RAT) to infect an activist’s computer. He was then tracked surreptitiously by security forces. He suffered very real physical consequences — detention, jail, and torture. His jailers showed him a file with hundreds of pages of email, web posts and surveillance reports on his movements. It is well-documented that he was the first Syrian activist to be attacked in the ongoing cyberwar conducted by the Assad regime. The Assad regime uses this same digital surveillance tool to compromise countless other activists and citizen journalists." Read the rest

Last day of fundraising for Parltrack - turning Parliamentary records into searchable databases

Amelia Andersdotter Pirate member of the European Parliament and members of European Digital Rights call for support and donation on the last day of the Parltrack fundraising campaign.

Tiny library raises money with tiny uke and awesome video

Blackbeltlibrarian sez, "The Shutesbury Public Library in Shutesbury, Massachusetts is seeking funding in order to build a new building to replace their charming but woefully inadequate current one (which features no running water!). In order to get the word out staff and patrons created this cute little video in order to show the shortcomings of their current location, as well as what they could do with a new building."

Where would you be without your library? Read the rest

Library defender runs for City Council in Troy, MI

Neil sez,
You may remember 2 months back when the Troy, Michigan Public Library faced closure due to declining revenue. It was particularly sad given that this libary only recently celebrated its fortieth anniversary. It is home to some amazing letters from some of the most prominent authors and people of the day when it opened in 1971 thanks to a very intrepid children's librarian named Marguerite Hart.

Residents of Troy sprang into action to ensure that no effort be spared to prevent the library from closing. This included reaching out on line to rally library lovers throughout the world. Thanks to Cory, and our friends at Boing Boing, we raised almost 3 times our goal of $1200. This meant not only could we pay for our last mailing but we could afford a small TV buy for our existing web video. We won in no small part thanks to you!

Now our city faces a new challenge. Half of the City Council is up for election, and no sitting members are running. To make matters worse the forces who worked against our compromise solution to keep the library open and funded, have a slate of candidates who are determined to undermine our recent victory.

So I decided I couldn't stand by and watch these people undo our hard work. Now I am asking my fellow happy mutants / hacktivists to lend my campaign a hand. I face a unique challenge because unlike a library which people have an emotional connection, I am just a person, and not nearly as creative as Sean Teavis.

Read the rest