Reddit shuts down The_Donald for hate speech, harassment, and targeting

The 790,000 subscribers to The_Donald have suddenly found themselves without a place to spread hate and harassment after Reddit shut down the subreddit earlier this morning, reports The New York Times. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told reporters “Reddit is a place for community and belonging, not for attacking people. The_Donald has been in violation of that.”

From The New York Times:

Reddit said people in “The_Donald” consistently posted racist and vulgar messages that incited harassment and targeted people of different religious and ethnic groups on and off its site.

“The_Donald” has also heavily trafficked in conspiracy theories, including spreading the debunked “PizzaGate” conspiracy, in which Hillary Clinton and top Democrats were falsely accused of running a child sex trafficking ring from a pizza parlor in Washington.

Reddit said that as of Monday, it was introducing eight rules that laid out the terms people must abide by to use the site. Those include prohibiting targeted harassment, revealing the identities of others, posting sexually exploitative content related to underage children, or trafficking in illegal substances or other illicit transactions.

While the site had already banned many of these behaviors, the latest changes take a harder line on speech that “promotes hate based on identity or vulnerability.”

Image: Gage Skidmore - Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Man learns tech support scammer's real name

Scambuster Jim Browning got access to a tech support scammer's computer and was able to find out his real name and monitor his communications with his boss and colleagues. He spooked them so much that it looks like they shut down operations, at least temporarily. I love Browning's laconic, bored-sounding voice as he talks to the increasingly panicked scammer.

Two free or cheap alternatives to Adobe Illustrator

If you're a professional illustrator, podcaster, or filmmaker, a $53 a month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud is a fair price to pay. But if you're just interested in having a good vector graphics application, you can probably get by using Inkscape (free) or Affinity Designer (one time cost $50). Inkscape even runs on Linux computers. This video runs through the key features of each application.

For triggers, gates, clocks, and sociopaths alike, "Master/Slave" faces retirement

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hello, everyone - Welcome back. Part of this week's show is on language. One great result of the recent protests is a reassessment of some of our worst phrases. "Master/Slave" is an ugly one, with a direct path to some of the world's most terrible history. Unfortunately, it's largely adopted into electronics as an example of one device maintaining control over countless other devices. It's been suggested a better phrase might be Leader/Follower, and in that way you realize "Master/Slave" also describes politics, too.

As language is finally being addressed on this shameful history of semantics, I offer one final discussion on "Master/Slave" as an EXPLANATION for how people are still following and supporting Trump. Electronic control can be their only defense. In sympathy, I call for us all to love Trump Supporters and seek to emancipate them from this mental prison.

Mind Control is an interesting subject. There's been an ongoing effort to control minds with technology, and some consider this to be happening right now. Today's episode discusses triggers in drum machines as an explanation for how Trump's very sharp signal clock controls his followers. He's a perfect drum sequencer. He keeps his messages monosyllabic and sharp. That's the best signal for opening up a drum to follow a controller. And the term for this in synthesis is, regrettably, "Master/Slave", in that the Master is the sequencer and the slave is the follower.

Jump aboard for a 45 minute exploration of Triggers, Gates, Clocks, and Sociopaths. We also get semi-local and discuss the murderous deeds of Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Identifying an April 28 order to open Texas and ban Texas Mayors from protecting their cities, I accuse Greg Abbott of every Covid death related to any unmasked transmission since. This is a significant number, and it's only gotten much worse:

It's only gotten much worse

Electronics are useful for describing humans. We operate the same way as many synthesizers. Our brains operate through subtractive synthesis, for example. The stimulus in the world is a constant blaring signal, and we are constantly filtering out noises and thoughts to develop a personal perspective. Otherwise we would go crazy, literally. Subtractive Synthesis keeps us sane. One opinion on psychedelics is it removes some of these filters, which allows us to see more of the world for a brief moment. It's a very vulnerable state, however, which is why psychedelics are temporary. We couldn't survive too long with those filters wide open and sensitive to every breeze.

This week's show is also about timekeeping, specifically analog clocks for drum machines. Analog drum machines are special things, especially, in that they mimic a lot of engines and other mechanical equipment. They are wired up with trigger cables that fire off each drum noise with electricity, which is very different than digital emulations of drums. They are literally drum MACHINES, and this week demonstrates exactly how that works.

For a little humor, or maybe a direct explanation for the madness going on in this world, this week's bonus link is on Soviet Mind Control machines from the 1980s. Enjoy: The State of Unclassified and Commercial Technology Capable of Some Electronic Mind Control Effects

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #16: Analog Drum Machines and THE REPUBLICAN MIND

Connect with SWWE via buffered clock signal on Bandcamp, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podcast Republic, and Google Play.

Thanks and good mind control to you all, Ethan

Toy hot rod car restoration

It took a lot of time and tools to restore this corroded 1960s tin toy car into one that looks brand new.

Here's a hint for watching restoration videos like this: most of the restoration processes shown in the videos are shown in time-lapse, and you can speed them up even more by playing the videos at double speed. You won't miss out on anything and, in this case, you will save yourself 10 minutes.

Los Angeles taco stand closes because maskless covidiots attacked workers

Hugo's is one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. They have one on Santa Monica Blvd that Carla and I have been going to since the 1980s. There's also a Hugo's in Sherman Oaks that's been around for about 20 years, and we order takeout from it. About 15 years ago Hugo's opened two excellent taco stands, one near the Sherman Oaks restaurant. Today I read the sad news that both Hugo's taco stands had to shut down because of sociopaths who were so angry about the "no mask, no service" policy that they "screamed, cursed, and threw drinks," at employees, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Nabor Prado says Hugo’s Tacos employees have been on the front lines of the face mask controversy, KNBC reported. One man became so enraged he attacked workers.

“He got a cup of water and (threw) the water at my employee, which is unsafe and rude,” Prado said, according to the station. “It’s really sad to see grown up people doing childish things like that.”

Workers, who are mostly Latino, also have been called racial epithets by customers who have demanded refunds and thrown drinks through drive-up windows, the Los Angeles Times says.

“It’s just gotten more difficult to open every day in an environment where you’re treated with hostility and venom,” Kohne said, KTTV reported.

Even Fox wonders if Trump might drop out of November's presidential election

Fox host Trace Gallagher questioned today whether, with Trump's miserable poll numbers (the national polls' average currently has Trump at 56.2 disapproval, 40.4 approval, according to FiveThirtyEight), he “might drop out” of the November presidential race.

Speaking to former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, a Republican, Trace added that the “vast majority of Americans” are "not happy with the way the US is handling the coronavirus pandemic."

Sununu says there's "no chance" Trump will drop out, but that Trump is "going to be judged in November, not on how the pandemic was handled from January until now. They’re going to be judged on how it’s handled between now and the election.”

Sununu then has advice for Trump: “Stop saying the virus is going to go away -- let people know that this is a real second wave, let them know there may be a third wave.”

Via Raw Story

Topic is an international favorites streaming service that’s on sale for just $2.50 a month

When you sit down on your couch to watch TV, the volume of options is truly staggering. However, a strange thing happens once you start cycling through page after page of Netflix suggestions and Amazon options. You invariably find yourself constantly considering the same set of giant Hollywood blockbuster films and major US television network offerings that you’ve watched for decades.

But c’mon...how many times do you REALLY need to watch every episode of Friends or The Office?

Topic is a streaming service curated specifically for smart, discerning viewers who look to veer off the beaten and over-trod path. They traffic in hand-picked series and films from around the globe, skimming the cream of the international entertainment world so you can get a look at all the best from every corner of the planet.

These are the neighborhoods Netflix, Amazon, and the others too often ignore, but with Topic, you can explore critically acclaimed series like Pagan Peak (Germany), Lambs of God (Australia), Salamander (Belgium), Arctic Circle (Finland), Vernon Subutex (France), State of Happiness (Norway), Asako I & II (Japan), Columbus (United States), The Broken Circle Breakdown (Netherlands), and Wuthering Heights (United Kingdom). 

Meanwhile, Topic is also making a name for itself as home to a growing host of Topic exclusive original series, including Rough Draft With Reza Aslan, What’s Your Ailment?! from Maria Bamford, Soul City, The Virtues, and The Second City’s Last Show Left on Earth. Everywhere you turn, Topic is serving up new favorite dramas, laugh-out-loud comedies, festival-featured documentaries, critically acclaimed indie films, provocative talk shows, and stellar shorts that you won’t see on the other services.

You can watch Topic on all the major streaming platforms, including Apple TV, iOS, Roku, Android, Fire TV, and Prime Video. It’s all ad-free with 4K resolution and your subscription gives you access to stream to up to two screens at once.

This sale on a one-year Topic subscription also makes it ridiculously affordable, especially next to its streaming competitors. Regularly $59.99, you can get 12 months of Topic now for just $29.99, just $2.50 per month.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

 

Topic Streaming Platform - $29.99

Get Topic for $59.99

Mysterious group carrying suitcases spotted at UK reservoir

Police in West Sussex, England responded last week to reports that around 50 people carrying suitcases were spotted walking towards Ardingly Reservoir. Part of the reservoir is a nature reserve popular for organized watersports, fishing, and birding.

"“An area search carried out and the team could not locate anyone with suitcases…most bizarre," tweeted Inspector Darren Taylor.

I wonder if anyone saw Wilford Brimley in the area.

(Evening Express via Anomalist)

image: Antiquary (CC BY 4.0)

Supreme Court strikes down abortion restrictions in 5-4 ruling

The Supreme Court today struck down Louisiana's restrictions on abortion, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the liberals to form a 5-4 majority. Roberts wrote that the case is nearly identical to one decided recently that struck down Texas's restrictions. Though he dissented in that case, stare decisis.

The laws required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Today's ruling appears to firmly end its use as a device to restrict abortion rights.

St Louis couple point guns at peaceful protestors on street by mansion

The photos show an angry white couple, barefoot on the lawn of their mansion, pointing guns at predominantly black protestors marching on the sidewalk and street nearby. In an age of reputation-ruining mistakes, this one – the man and woman are well-known in their community – might have more profound consequences.

The mansion is in a gated community, but the street is not the mansion owners' property. Moreover, people who threaten others with guns in Missouri, even trespassers, are often charged with crimes. The Black Lives Matter march took that route, according to reports, because protestors were calling upon the city's mayor to resign and she lives nearby.

Laurie Skrivan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the march and a small part of her definitive shot is cropped above. I think Laurie should win a Pulitzer: a crazed, bug-eyed white lady, saturday night special in-hand, shrieking at protesting black people getting too close to her mansion as her khaki-encased husband lurks in the background with a semi-automatic rifle. (It also takes real courage to point a long lens at people behaving like this.)

Truly (via Twitter) the stuff of nightmares:

Bank card makes it easier for trans and non-binary people to display their true names

You'll rarely find me singing the praises of any major financial institution, but the new True Name Card from Mastercard does seem like a thoughtful way to catch up with reality:

For many in the LGBTQIA+ community, the name on their credit, debit or prepaid card does not reflect their true identity. As a result, for the transgender and nonbinary community, the card in their pocket can serve as a source of sensitivity, misrepresenting their true identity when shopping and going about daily life.

Mastercard is making a commitment to address this challenge by introducing the True Name™ feature. We are working with partners to bring products to market that will allow for chosen names to appear on the front of cards, helping ease a major pain point for the transgender and nonbinary community.

BMO Harris Bank is the first partner to make this feature available on their consumer debit and credit cards as well as on their small business debit and credit cards.

That partner bank, BMO Harris, adds in its own statement that, "Research shows one-third of individuals whose ID has a name that doesn’t match their gender presentation experience harassment and denial of service."

While it's frustratingly remarkable that, "Respecting people by calling them whatever they'd like to be called" remains a controversial stance, it's still nice to see otherwise-amoral institutions putting in these small efforts to be more humanist and empathetic.

True Name™ by Mastercard

Inclusivity comes to credit cards: Mastercard creates ‘True Name’ for transgender, non-binary customers [Hannah Denman / The Washington Post]

Trump tweets video of supporter yelling "white power"

To distract from news that he was sitting on intelligence that the Russian military had posted a bounty on U.S. and U.K. soldiers, Trump tweeted a video of one of this supporters yelling "white power". He left it up for several hours, then deleted the tweet, claiming that he "did not hear the one statement made on the video" while continuing to praise the "tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters."

Celebrate Emma Goldman's birthday (belatedly) with this radical song

Musician/activist Evan Greer has released a new single called "Emma Goldman Would Have Beat Your Ass," to mark what would have been the 151st birthday (June 27th) of noted anarchist and feminist activist Emma Goldman. Greer writes:

This tranarcho-punk song is inspired by the time Emma Goldman literally whipped her former mentor in front of a crowd of people because he snitched out and condemned her lover after he tried to assassinate a fascist robber baron. Look it up.

If you purchase the song via BandCamp, all proceeds go to the Marsha P. Johnson institute. If you're interested in learning more about Goldman's radical life and philosophy, check out this collection of her writing from the University of Chicago and Archive.org; or via Project Gutenberg, LibriVox, and Anarchy Archives. I can't even remember which specific Goldman essays I've read and which ones I haven't, but suffice to say, I recommend them all. She was sometimes referred to as "the most dangerous woman in America," for saying things like:

Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations.

Image: Public Domain via Library of Congress

Re-imagining ALIEN as a Pixar film

Monica Ion is a London-based concept artist who has designed a number of mobile games for companies like Space Ape Games. And in her spare time, she explores other high-concept designs, such as horror movies rendered in a Pixar-esque style.

View this post on Instagram

My series of 4 studies of "What if Pixar did Alien?" Had a lot fun taking the atmosphere of the original Nostromo and making it more colourful and stylized. #digitalpaintings #artstudy #alien #alienart #artistsoninstagram #digitalpaintings #visualdevelopment #visdev

A post shared by Monica Ion (@monica_ion_art) on

You can buy prints of these terrifyingly adorable images from her Inprnt Gallery.

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