rss: slashdot

  • Valve Threatens Counter Strike Gambling Sites
    An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes a report from HNGN: Game maker Valve is threatening to shut down sites dedicated to gambling with add-ons to its popular Counter Strike game. On Thursday the company sent cease and desist letters to 23 sites, demanding that gambling operations be stopped, and that the sites had 10 days to comply. The row revolves around the software overlays that change the appearance of the characters people play in Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) and the weapons and other virtual items. Last week the company reiterated that its user agreements ban external sites from asking users to connect their Steam accounts in order to trade items for real money. The company added that it would use "all available remedies" against sites that did not stop players using virtual goods to gamble. Bloomberg reports that in June a class action lawsuit was filed against Valve "for its role in the multibillion-dollar gambling economy that has fueled the game's popularity" -- by a man who had been gambling on the site since 2014. This was followed in July by a second class action lawsuit by a mother on behalf of her son, reports ESPN. "The case alleges that the Valve knowingly allows and profits from teenagers participating in illegal, unregulated and underage gambling of in-game cosmetic weapon skins through third-party sites."

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  • Can Iris-Scanning ID Systems Tell the Difference Between a Live and Dead Eye?
    the_newsbeagle writes: Iris scanning is increasingly being used for biometric identification because it's fast, accurate, and relies on a body part that's protected and doesn't change over time. You may have seen such systems at a border crossing recently or at a high-security facility, and the Indian government is currently collecting iris scans from all its 1.2 billion citizens to enroll them in a national ID system. But such scanners can sometimes be spoofed by a high-quality paper printout or an image stuck on a contact lens. Now, new research has shown that post-mortem eyes can be used for biometric identification for hours or days after death, despite the decay that occurs. This means an eye could theoretically be plucked from someone's head and presented to an iris scanner. The same researcher who conducted that post-mortem study is also looking for solutions, and is working on iris scanners that can detect the "liveness" of an eye. His best method so far relies on the unique way each person's pupil responds to a flash of light, although he notes some problems with this approach.

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  • Phones Without Headphone Jacks Are Here... and They're Extremely Annoying
    A few weeks ago, we had an intense discussion on what would happen if Apple's next iPhone doesn't have a headphone port -- and what that means for the rest of the industry, as well as the pros and cons of ditching the legacy port. Over the past few months, we have seen many smartphone manufacturers launch new handsets that don't have a headphone jack. Mashable has a report today in which it says that it is already causing frustration among users. From the article: In the Android camp, phones like Lenovo's Moto Z and Moto Z Force and China's LeEco have already scrapped the 3.5mm headphone jack; to listen to music on the company's three latest phones, users need to plug in USB Type-C headphones, go wireless, or use a dongle. I'm all for letting go of old technologies to push forward, but what is happening is actually going to make things worse. The headphone jack has worked for 50 years and it can work for another 50 more because it's universal. Headphones I plug into my iPhone work in an Android phone, in a BlackBerry, in my computer, in my PS4 controller, in my tablet, in any speaker with audio-out, and so on. I can walk into any electronics store and pick up a pair of headphones and not have to worry about compatibility with any of my devices. I know it'll work. [...] With a universal headphone jack, I never have to worry whether or not the crappy pack-in iPhone EarPods I have will work with the Android phone I'm reviewing or not. I also never have to worry if I'll be able to plug my headphones into a friend's phone to listen to some new song. Same applies for when I want to use my earbuds and headphones with another person's device. And there lies the real issue. I will need different dongles -- a Lightning-to-headphone-jack and a USB-Type-C-to-headphone-jack to be prepared because I do carry both iPhone and Android phone on me daily. Dongles also get lost.

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  • Do We Need The Moto Z Smartphones' New Add-On Modules?
    This week saw the release of the Moto Z Droid and Force Droid, new Android smartphones from Motorola and Lenovo with snap-on modules. Slashdot reader MojoKid writes that the Z Force Droid "is sheathed behind Moto ShatterShield technology making it virtually indestructible." Motorola guarantees it not to crack or shatter if dropped... However, what's truly standout are Moto Mods, which are snap-on back-packs of sorts that add new features, like the JBL Speaker, Moto Insta-Projector and Incipio OffGrid Power Pack (2220 mAh) mods... Even the fairly complex projector mod fires up in seconds and works really well. But the Verge has called it "a good phone headed down the wrong path," adding "this company is competing in the global smartphone market, not a high school science fair, and its success will depend on presenting better value than the competition, not cleverer design. Without the benefit of the value-projecting fairy dust of brands like Apple and Beats, Lenovo will have an uphill climb trying to justify its Moto Mods pricing with functionality and looks, and our review has shown that none of the company's extras are essential."

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  • Turn Your Android Phone Into a Laptop For $99 With the Superbook
    An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: A company called Andromium is attempting to harness the processing power of your Android smartphone and turn it into a full fledged computer. The 'Superbook' consists of a 11.6-inch laptop shell, which you connect to your phone via a USB Micro-B or Type-C cable, and run the Andromium OS application (currently in beta, but available in the Play Store)... The leader of the project and Company co-founder Gordon Zheng, previously worked at Google and pitched the idea to them... They refused so he quit his job and founded Andromium Inc. In December 2014 the company had introduced their first product which was a dock which used the MHL standard to output to external monitor. That campaign failed, however their newest creation, the Superbook smashed their Kickstarter goal in just over 20 minutes. And within their first 38 hours, they'd crowdfunded $500,000. In an intriguing side note, Andromium "says it'll open its SDK so developers can tailor their apps for Andromium, too, though how much support that gets remains to be seen," reports Tech Insider. But more importantly, "Andromium says its prototypes are finished, and that it hopes to ship the Superbook to backers by February 2017."

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  • 'High-Risk Vulnerabilities' In Oracle File-Processing SDKs Affect Major Third-Party Products
    itwbennett writes: "Seventeen high-risk vulnerabilities out of the 276 flaws fixed by Oracle Tuesday affect products from third-party software vendors," writes Lucian Constantin on CSOonline. The vulnerabilities, which were found by researchers from Cisco's Talos team, are in the Oracle Outside In Technology (OIT), a collection of SDKs that are used in third-party products, including Microsoft Exchange, Novell Groupwise, IBM WebSphere Portal, Google Search Appliance, Avira AntiVir for Exchange, Raytheon SureView, Guidance Encase and Veritas Enterprise Vault. "It's not clear how many of those products are also affected by the newly patched seventeen flaws, because some of them might not use all of the vulnerable SDKs or might include other limiting factors," writes Constantin. But the Cisco researchers confirmed that Microsoft Exchange servers (version 2013 and earlier) are affected if they have WebReady Document Viewing enabled. In a blog post the researchers describe how an attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities. TL;DR version: "Attackers can exploit the flaws to execute rogue code on systems by sending specifically crafted content to applications using the vulnerable OIT SDKs."

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  • Salesforce CEO Told LinkedIn He Would Have Paid Much More Than Microsoft
    Ina Fried, reporting for Recode: It was already known that LinkedIn chose a potentially lower all-cash acquisition offer from Microsoft rather than take on the uncertainties of a stock-and-cash deal from Salesforce. But now it has been revealed that Salesforce might have been willing to go "much higher" than Microsoft's $26.2 billion, or change other terms of its bid, had it been given the chance. In a filing with regulators on Friday, LinkedIn said a board committee met on July 7 to discuss an email from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. "The email indicated that Party A would have bid much higher and made changes to the stock/cash components of its offers, but it was acting without communications from LinkedIn," LinkedIn said in the updated filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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  • Google Tests Ads That Load Faster and Use Less Power
    Slashdot reader Big Hairy Ian quotes a report from the BBC: Google says it has found a way to make ads load faster on web pages viewed on smartphones and tablets. The company said the ads would also be less taxing on the handsets' processors, meaning their batteries should last longer. The technique is based on work it has already done to make news publishers' articles load more quickly. But it is still in development, and one expert said Google still had questions to answer. The California-based company's online advertising revenue totalled $67.4 billion last year... The technique limits the scope of JavaScript, and "provides its own activity measurement tools, which are said to be much more efficient," according to article. A Google software engineer explains that this technique "only animates things that are visible on the screen," and throttles animation to fewer frames per second for weaker devices -- or disables the animations altogether. "This ensures that every device gets the best experience it can deliver and makes sure that ads cannot have a negative impact on important aspects of the user experience such as scrolling."

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  • Almost Half Of All TSA Employees Have Been Cited For Misconduct
    Slashdot reader schwit1 writes: Almost half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and the citations have increased by almost 30 percent since 2013... It also appears that the TSA has been reducing the sanctions it has been giving out for this bad behavior. Throughout the U.S., the airport security group "has instead sought to treat the misconduct with 'more counseling and letters that explain why certain behaviors were not acceptable'," according to a report from the House Homeland Security Commission, titled "Misconduct at TSA Threatens the Security of the Flying Public". It found 1,206 instances of "neglect of duty", and also cited the case of an Oakland TSA officer who for two years helped smugglers slip more than 220 pounds of marijuana through airport security checkpoints, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The newspaper adds that "The misconduct ranges from salacious (federal air marshals spending government money on hotel rooms for romps with prostitutes) to downright dangerous (an officer in Orlando taking bribes to smuggle Brazilian nationals through a checkpoint without questioning)." Their conclusion? "The TSA's job is to make airline passengers feel safer and, not incidentally, actually make us safer. It's failing on both."

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  • Maximizing Economic Output With Linear Programming...and Communism
    Slashdot reader mkwan writes: Economies are just a collection of processes that convert raw materials and labour into useful goods and services. By representing these processes as a series of equations and solving a humongous linear programming problem, it should be possible to maximize an economy's GDP. The catch? The economy needs to go communist. "[P]oorest members would receive a basic income that gradually increases as the economy becomes more efficient, plateauing at a level where they can afford everything they want to consume," argues the article, while "The middle classes wouldn't see much change. They would continue to work in a regular job for a regular -- but steadily increasing -- wage... Without the ability to own real-estate, companies, or intellectual property, it would be almost impossible to become rich, especially since the only legal source of income would be from a government job."

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rss: digg

  • 'My Daughter Came Out. They Handed Her To Me. She Was Dead'
    It is a decision that no parent should have to make: should we let our very sick baby die before she was born?

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  • How To Remove A Leech From Your Body, As Explained By Man Covered In Leeches
    Don't forget your ninja turtle bandaids.

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  • Every Single Character Interaction In Every 'Star Trek' Episode And Movie, Mapped
    There have been a lot of different "Star Trek" TV series and movies ? and a ton of different characters. This nifty interactive maps the relationships between all the characters in the different series and movies.

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  • The New Resistance Tech That Olympians Are Training With
    Physiclo?s compression pants (designed with the world?s first built-in resistance technology) challenge muscles, enhance cardio and boost workout results just by wearing them. No wonder the USA Olympic team is training with them for Rio. Use promo code DIGG25 to get 25% off.

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  • WeWork Evicted A Startup After It Published A Negative Blog Post About The Co-Working Space
    While Thinknum claims the data that it used to calculate WeWork's burn rate was pulled from the company's public API, WeWork does not agree.

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  • The Goalie Responsible For That Awful Own Goal Is Handling It Like A Champ
    Yesterday, Minnesota United keeprSammy Ndjock was the butt of many an internet joke, thanks to his inexplicable own goal in a recent game. Rather than hang his head, Ndjock is back with a hilarious, self-deprecating response.

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  • 11 Charts Proving America?s Health Care Prices Are Out Of Control
    Americans use the doctor less than people in other countries. We still pay more for health care. The United States is routinely the most expensive place to buy medical care, whether that?s a Humira pen or a knee replacement or an MRI scan.

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  • Why The Songbird's Serenade Is Going Off Key
    Urban din is forcing animal mating calls to be either unsexy or unheard.

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  • Meet Hillary Clinton's VP Pick ? Tim Kaine
    In atext message sent to supporterson Friday evening, Hillary Clinton's campaign confirmed that the presidential candidate has chosen Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her Vice Presidential running mate. Here's what you need to know about Hillary's number two.

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  • The First Trailer For 'Wonder Woman' Is Finally Out And It's One Hell Of A Ride
    Gal Gadot and Chris Pine star in Wonder Woman, which will hit theaters June 2, 2017.

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rss: the register

  • IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'

    Everything's bigger in Texas ? including the fraud, allegedly

    A former lead systems engineer with a US software development company has been accused of laundering $2.4m (1.8m) in an IT consulting scheme.?

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  • Samsung: You won't settle? Fine, we'll do this the Huawei

    South Korean electronics giant countersues in patent spat

    Samsung has filed a countersuit against Huawei in China over allegations of patent infringement.?

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  • WikiLeaks fights The Man by, er, publishing ordinary people's personal information

    If you contributed to the Democrats Jan?May, get identity theft protection now

    WikiLeaks prides itself on taking on The Man by finding and publishing information that the world's most powerful organizations want to keep hidden.?

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  • White House to bung electric car industry $4.5bn in loans

    Before you buy that Tesla though?

    The White House has said the US federal government will underwrite loans totaling $4.5bn to expand the use of electric cars.?

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  • Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC ? by selling $650k laptops

    Ambitious finance plan looks to bring big bucks

    World exclusive Dell's ingenious strategy for financing its audacious $67bn acquisition of EMC is a secret no more.?

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  • Silicon Valley's contribution to the US Republican Convention: Gayness

    Peter Thiel ? the great contrarian

    Analysis If ever there was any doubt that billionaire Peter Thiel was a contrarian, he put it to bed last night in a short speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, US.?

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  • Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

    Ambitious but doomed UX experiment, I see

    A never-released Microsoft phone has surfaced, providing a glimpse of how Redmond's designers proposed to evolve touch-based user interfaces.?

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  • Diablo conjures up hell of a DIMM: 128GB NAND pretend-RAM summoned

    Up to fourfold two-socket server memory space boost

    Diablo Tech's Memory1 128GB DDR4 system memory module is now available, and is claimed to be the highest-capacity system memory on the market.?

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  • Intel and pals chuck money at another Fibre Channel killer

    We'll start the NVMe over Fabrics FC slaughter, claims firm

    +Comment Kazan Networks just got $4.5m A-round funding from Intel, Samsung Ventures and Western Digital Corp for its storage array access acceleration technology. So what??

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  • Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

    More tax, no extra benefits. Ta, HMRC

    IT contractors in Blighty could bear the brunt of UK government plans to clamp down on self-employed workers not paying the correct employment taxes - with HMRC targeting 20,000 public sector contractors.?

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rss: freshmeat

rss: metafilter

  • "I (had) to see it from both sides."
    Kay Parley, a 93-year-old psychiatric nurse and former psychiatric patient, reflects on her experiences ? from institutionalization, through experimental psychedelic treatments and the advent of group therapy, to the medical model ? in interviews with the CBC (~24 minutes; transcript included) and the Regina Leader Post.

    Her memoir, Inside "The Mental": From Psychiatric Survivor to LSD Researcher, was released this spring.

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  • Where money is made
    "Why did the Royal Canadian Mint make the world's purest and largest gold bullion coin? Because we can." The Royal Canadian Mint makes all of Canada's money. They offer tours that are FULL of fascinating facts. Now, for the first time ever, see these facts at your local Metafilter website!

    :: The collector coins, such as these Silver Superhero coins and these $20 Star Trek coins, are made at the Ottawa facility. You can visit it.
    :: Our circulating coins are made at the Winnipeg facility - the geographic center of Canada. As of 2013 pennies are no longer manufactured (previously) but are still accepted as legal currency across Canada. You can visit it. This location can produce billions of coins a year and has actually manufactured coins for more than 80 other countries.
    :: The Polymer bank notes are made at a SECRET location in Ottawa!

    Faces of the monarch
    :: Canada is a member of the commonwealth and we have the British Monarch on our coins. Each time the leader is changed the direction that the monarch is facing is changed as well.
    :: You may notice that the direction is not changed between George V and George VI (they are both facing left). That is because after George V died his son Edward VIII was not in power long enough to have his image printed on coins. Edward VIII abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson when he learned that a divorced woman would not be accepted as queen. When more coins were needed, the Mint printed pennies with the image of the deceased George V and added a small dot to the coin to symbolize the significance of printing a coin that did not include the image of the current monarch. A penny with this dot recently sold for more than $250 000 at an American auction.
    :: Queen Elisabeth II has been on our coin for more than 60 years and is the only monarch to update their image on our coin. The tour guide claimed that the Queen removed her crown in 2003 to both show respect for her father George VI and to show respect for Canada's independence. Apparently, we are the only commonwealth country for which she removed her crown. Our tour guide also explained that the queen wore a laurel wreath for her first portrait to reflect her youth and inexperience as a monarch.

    The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic medals
    :: The Canadian Mint in Ottawa produced the medals for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    :: The medals, which are among the largest and heaviest ever made for the Olympics, each feature a unique image. When the medals are combined flat, like a puzzle, they form one large image. Good summary here.
    :: Aboriginal artist Corrine Hunt (sound on her website) designed the artwork. The Olympic medals combine to make an Orca Whale, and the Paralympic medals combine to form a Raven. Listen to a CBC radio interview with Corrine Hunt here.
    :: Omer Arbel , an industrial designer, created the wavy look of the medals, creating the first Olympic medals that are not flat. Their wavy surface reflects Canada's ocean waves, snow and mountains.

    And finally... The million dollar coin
    :: In 2007 the Mint produced the world's first million dollar coin to celebrate reaching 99.999% purity in its gold production.
    :: It weighs 100 kg and only 5 have been sold.
    :: Our tour guide claimed that 1 coin went straight into Canada's vaults, another was bought by a Canadian that loans it to museums, 2 were bought by anonymous buyers and the 5th was sold to a man in Dubai that uses it as a coffee table.

    "Why did the Royal Canadian Mint make the world's purest and largest gold bullion coin? Because we can." Bad ass!

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  • "Hidden literary gems"
    Writing for the BBC, Lucy Scholes lists "Ten 'Lost' Books You Should Read Now," starting with Teffi's Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea. An excerpt from Memories appeared in The New Yorker in 2014, and a recent article there provided additional background for that book as well as the collection of which the essay "My Dinner with Rasputin" is a part.

    Further info on the remaining books:

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  • "What I do is not up to you."
  • Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely coincidental
    How did Hitler rise to power? SLYT. A basic explainer with beautiful animation.

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  • If you want to understand Kabali from a Malaysian Indian perspective
    Visithra Manikam writes about the various facets of Malaysian Indian life that Indian moviegoers might have missed in Kabali 'Kabali is our story. The story of Indian Malaysians and not Indian immigrants who now come to work in Malaysia or NRIs. We are not same. [...] I realised a lot of reviews are being written based on Indian cultural experience rather than the actual Malaysian culture and issues. '

    Kabali [trailer; turn on CC for subtitles] is the latest blockbuster by adored idol superstar Rajinikanth. How big is his impact? Some offices in South India declared Friday, the day of the movie release, as a holiday. It's well on its way to becoming another global monster hit for the star.

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  • as arbitrary as any other rule
    "It turns out rewriting history is pretty hard, but I did it. Because I'm bored. And because I love you." Jon Bois takes a look at what the 2015-2016 NBA Season would have been like without the 3 point line.

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  • " of the lowest points in Batgirl's 40+ year history."
    Per @AcroNite7: idk how to feel about this

    "Of course everybody knows that The Killing Joke has its controversial elements, so how do you make it exciting for the kids today? You add more controversy - namely you have SPOILERS AHOY [including the URL, so don't scroll over if you don't want to see]....

    ....Batman fuck Batgirl before she gets crippled. "

    io9: The Killing Joke Movie Is a Disaster, Right Down to Its Comic-Con Panel
    Unfortunately, it's what comes before and after the sex scene in The Killing Joke movie that makes it so much worse. Reports from fans who saw the movie at Comic-Con indicate that the first 30 minutes are an all-new prologue, before the remaining 45 minutes address the storyline of the original graphic novel. In that opening, we meet Barbara Gordon as a young librarian who has started donning the Batgirl costume in order to attract the attention of Batman?not just in crime-fighting prowess, but sexually, telling co-workers that she has "a man in her life" (throughout, Batman is apparently portrayed as emotionally distant from Barbara).

    This culminates in the sex scene moment mentioned above. After the encounter, Batman keeps away from Barbara, refusing to speak with her, leaving the young woman spurned (the film shows Barbara waiting for Batman to call her on the phone). Then, of course, the rest of The Killing Joke happens?and any fan of Batgirl knows how that plays out. Barbara is paralyzed in front of her own father after being shot in the stomach by the Joker, an infamous moment widely considered to be one of the lowest points in Batgirl's 40+ year history.
    The Hollywood Reporter:Comic-Con: 'Batman: The Killing Joke' Team Responds to Controversial Batgirl Sex Scene
    But afterwards, things got heated when one fan asked this: "You have talked about how you wanted to give Barbara more story ... and yet the story you gave her ended up being about the men in her life. Why?"

    Screenwriter Brian Azzarello responded by calling Barbara "stronger than the men in her life in this story."

    "She controls the men in her life in this story," he said.

    The fan shouted, she was strong by "using sex" as he walked away from the mic, sparking a minutes-long discussion about the scene. When said he Azzarello couldn't hear what the fan said, he challenged the fan to repeat himself, saying, "Wanna say that again? Pussy?"

    Others chimed in, saying they added sex and Batgirl "pining after Bruce" to the film.
    The fan Azzarello called a pussy was Bleeding Cool writer Jeremy Konrad, who writes:
    The very last question posed to the panel addressed this. The question was asked by a person cosplaying as the Joker: Batgirl, Barbara Gordon is such a strong female character. Why was this more about the males in her life? The crowd applauded the question.

    As they fumbled with the question,saying they do feel like she is portrayed as a very strong female character, I lost control of my emotions and, invigorated by someone asking the question I wanted to hear, I shouted from the audience with frustrated sarcasm,

    "Yeah, by using sex and then pining for Bruce."
    Review of the film in question by Konrad.

    Batgirl previously.

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  • Because who wouldn't want to be a dog?
    Sheep seem to be particularly prone to inter-species confusion, as shown in this compilation. Some like to chase balls, while others enjoy romping with their ostensible keepers. Lamo, however, is a bit of a dick.

    The occasional cat will also demonstrate the phenomenon, but it's not restricted to mammals.

    Bonus: a chihuahua puppy trying to be a goat.

    (In case you need an excuse to watch animal videos: it makes you more productive.)

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  • It's not really Christmas until you hear Shatner scream.
    For the past twenty-five years, Hallmark has included Star Trek themed Christmas ornaments in it's annual Keepsake ornament series (Memory Alpha has a complete rundown). These range from ships to characters to props to memorable scenes. However, none of these compare to this years' contributions, which include perhaps the pinnacle of their efforts.

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