BullShnit: Egyptian homophobia’s Swiss defenders

Harry Underwood:

In which a Swiss film festival bullshits its Twitter audience to defend a bigoted Egyptian hatemonger with a camera.

Originally posted on a paper bird:

Mona Iraqi, in an Egyptian Internet meme

Mona Iraqi, in an Egyptian Internet meme

ACTION: Please write to Shnit and Olivier van der Hoeven in protest at the film festival’s decision to support homophobic informer Mona Iraqi: 

The International Short Film Festival is based, along with its director, Olivier van der Hoeven, in the placid Swiss capital of Bern. The festival has branches or “playgrounds” in Argentina, El Salvador, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand. Oh, and Cairo, Egypt. The festival goes by “Shnit” for short, a semi-acronym ugly but calculated to grab attention. As director of its Cairo playground, Shnit chose someone also skilled at doing ugly things that grab attention. Shnit’s Egypt representative is the infamous TV presenter, gay hunter, homophobe, and police informer Mona Iraqi.

Pink in some places, not in others: Olivier de Hoeven, director of Shnit

Pink in some places, not in others: Olivier de Hoeven, director of Shnit

A splendid French blogger discovered this four days ago. But let’s be fair: Shnit chose Mona Iraqi before her full penchant for depredations was known. She only…

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When Not All Lives Matter

Harry Underwood:

#BlackLivesMatter and its crashers.

Originally posted on Gentleman Gustaf:

Many well-meaning people, when confronted with ideas like feminism or “Black Lives Matter” will respond as though offended.

“Shouldn’t we,” they will say, a slight smirk on their lips, “instead of calling it feminism, call it humanism? After all, all people face issues in their life, and we shouldn’t ignore that.”

The sentiment is very easily articulable, and seems so simple that in has to be correct, right? And yet it couldn’t be more wrong. Let us take a step into Linguistics to understand just what these statements mean, and why they’re wrong.

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Google announces custom gender option for Google+ profile pages coming this week

Harry Underwood:

Even better than Facebook’s gender options tool. Just type it in yourself! #LGBT #GooglePlus

Originally posted on 9to5Google:

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Google has announced a new update to the profile editor on Google+ which introduces a new “custom” gender option. Rather than take the Facebook approach and present a long list of options, however, the setting instead shows a free-form text box and allows the user to type in anything they want.

A second field below that allows users to select a personal pronoun, with options for masculine, feminine, or non-specific settings. The old option to choose who can and can’t see the gender information listed on your profile will remain as well.

The update isn’t live for all users just yet, but Google says it will be rolled out “over the next few days.”

The full announcement, via Google+:

For many people, gender identity is more complex than just “male” or “female.”  Starting today, I’m proud to announce that Google+ will support an infinite number of ways to express gender identity…

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I got my e-Residency!

Harry Underwood:

A guy who has been applying for “e-residency” in Estonia has finally gotten it. A brave new world for residency and citizenship.

Originally posted on Hamid Reza Tahsildoost:

I got an email this morning telling me my e-Residency card was ready for pickup! It was written in Estonian on top and English below. I had a tip from an insider that this would be happening, so I’d already made plans to pick it up at lunch. My good friend and former Skyper (he’s now at Teleport) Karim Heredia offered me a lift and brought his fancy camera to snap some pics.

I walked in to the building, but this time it was lunch, so there was no woman standing by the machine. I pushed some buttons (English -> Documents / Pin Codes). A ticket was printed, and again I just had to wait. In less than 5 miutes, my number was on the display. Seriously, I don’t get why any Estonian would complain about this office. It’s heaven. Anyone who thinks this place has lines should drive in San…

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Court ruling deals blow to welfare drug-testing law

Harry Underwood:

Good. A useless law to make the 1% feel good about themselves.

Originally posted on Political Insider blog:

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An Atlanta federal appeals court struck down a Florida law mandating the blanket drug-testing of all welfare recipients, raising fresh legal doubts about a similar Georgia law.

A three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday concluded that Florida failed to prove any “concrete danger” justifying the need for suspicion-less drug testing for poverty aid recipients.

Georgia lawmakers this year passed their own bill that built in a screen for reasonable suspicion rather than attempt to test every welfare recipient. Critics called it political grandstanding and said it was doomed to fail a legal challenge.

Gov. Nathan Deal quickly signed the proposal, House Bill 772, into law. But his office immediately delayed the implementation until the appeals court ruled on the Florida case. At the time, Deal’s aides said they wanted to await guidance from the courts rather than risk another legal battle before the Florida case was settled.


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Milo Yiannopoulos and the Kernel

Harry Underwood:

Interesting story on the manic life of a Breitbart.com contributor and avowed anti-feminist dudebro:

Originally posted on Max Dunbar:

I don’t know a great deal about online magazine The Kernel, apart from that they did a truly dismal hatchet job on Laurie Penny, and that the magazine is currently involved in complex industrial disputes with former employees claiming to be owed thousands for unpaid work. Then, a good source asked if I would consider publishing the following piece. I found the article compelling, and credible, so have shared it below. I cannot name either the author of the article or the person who recommended it to me. Apparently Mr Yiannopoulous is a man you don’t want to cross. But unpaid labour is a red light for me.

The other day, Guido scored a memorable scoop in exposing leading left-wing blogs who were relying on the labour of unpaid interns. The principle that the labourer is worthy of his hire is a good one, which all people of good will should be…

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What’s Next For Firefox?

Harry Underwood:

I remember Firefox being the benchmark by which other browsers were judged. Now Chrome is that benchmark. And everytime I wonder what Firefox is missing, I think of a feature that is already in Chrome (easy browser profile management, tabbed processes). Maybe Firefox can secure its position in the Chrome era by doing what Chrome can not.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

When historians look at the history of the Web ten or twenty years from now, chances are they will point to Firefox as one of the most important products of the last ten years. But right now, it’s hard not to look at Firefox and worry a little bit about its future.

At the height of its success, around 2010/11, Firefox owned more than a quarter of the browser market in the U.S. and almost a third in Europe. Today, those numbers are much lower in most regions (though Germans still love Firefox more than any other browser). The exact numbers always depend on who you ask, but the trend is the same everywhere — and it’s not looking good for Mozilla’s browser.

Google’s Chrome launched at a time when Firefox development felt stagnant. I remember firing up Chrome for the first time back in 2008 and…

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