Black Women Running for Office, Net Neutrality, National Film Registry, More: Friday Buzz, December 15, 2017

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NEW RESOURCES

Awesomely Luvvie: A List of 100+ Black Women Running for Office in 2018 . “…below is a list of Black women who are running for office around the United States. The list was able to happen because of a Twitter thread started by Jeff Yang, which he then turned into a spreadsheet that he will continuously update. That, along with a Facebook thread I started and the handiwork of three other women who put in some about 20 reak hours (hey Sili, Lucrecer, Candace), we were able to come up with this list of 100+ Black women who are running for office. Its alphabetized by state.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TechCrunch: The FCC officially votes to kill net neutrality. “Despite overwhelming opposition from Congress, technical experts, advocacy organizations and, of course, the American people, the FCC has voted to eliminate 2015’s Open Internet Order and the net neutrality protections it established.” Lawsuits are already flying through the air. I won’t link to every development on this because I don’t want to overwhelm ResearchBuzz, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.

Library of Congress: 2017 National Film Registry Is More Than a ‘Field of Dreams’. “Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the 2017 selections to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selected for their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance, these 25 motion pictures range from an early film of the New York subway in 1905 and the musical biopic “La Bamba” to the holiday action thriller “Die Hard” and “The Goonies,” the adventure tale of a band of misfits.”

Digiday: Facebook plans to stop paying publishers to make news feed videos. “Three publishing sources whose companies were paid by Facebook said the platform plans to end the program that paid publishers and other video makers every month to produce on-demand and live videos for the news feed. Under the deals, most of which are set to expire by the end of the year, content providers were required to produce a minimum number of minutes per month in order to get paid by Facebook. This included both on-demand and live videos. Additional requirements stated that on-demand videos had to be at least 90 seconds long, and live videos had to be at least six minutes long — the minimum requirements under which Facebook could test mid-roll ad breaks within those videos.”

USEFUL STUFF

Techradar: Using a VPN? Find out whether it is leaking data with this set of tools. “VPN provider, ExpressVPN, unveiled a suite of free online security tools that allow consumers to test if their VPN provider is leaking data. Leaks occur if a VPN fails at protecting a device’s DNS queries (despite the fact that the rest of the traffic is safe behind a VPN).”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

IOL: Protest at Google, Facebook ‘bullying’ of bare-breasted maidens. “CULTURAL groups and traditional values enforcers say they feel bullied and are concerned that media giants Facebook and Google continue deleting online pictures of bare-breasted maidens. More than 200 maidens yesterday protested against the media companies, accusing them of discriminating against African culture.” I wasn’t sure that I understood what the “maidens” were in this context, but Wikipedia helped with an article about the Reed Dance Ceremony. WARNING: As you might expect, there are breasts visible in this article.

Merriam-Webster: Merriam-Webster’s 2017 Words of the Year. “Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism. The word was a top lookup throughout the year, with several spikes that corresponded to various news reports and events. The general rise in lookups tells us that many people are interested in this word; specific spikes give us insight into some of the reasons why.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Business Insider: Lawsuit based on a surreptitiously recorded phone call claims Google doesn’t refund advertisers who spend money on fraudulent clicks. “A web advertising company named AdTrader, whose staff surreptitiously recorded a phone conversation with a Google executive, claims in a class-action lawsuit that Google does not refund money to advertisers when it discovers that those advertisers have spent money on fraudulent or invalid clicks.”

POGO: Revealing the Lost World of Government Reports. “The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 4631) is a bipartisan bill championed by Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) in the House, and introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Senate. It would require that federal agencies forward copies of their reports to the Government Publishing Office (GPO), which would then post them online, allowing free access with modern search features. Congress, the public, and journalists could then easily find the reports. The Library of Congress would provide additional accountability by creating a list of all mandated reports so Congress and the GPO can double check for missing reports.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Guardian: The new cold war: how our focus on Russia obscures social media’s real threat. “Washington used to worship Silicon Valley. Few things made politicians’ hearts beat faster than the bipartisan love for big tech. Silicon Valley was building the future. Government’s role was to offer compliments and get out of the way. Recently, however, the mood has shifted. ”

UC San Diego: Computer scientists develop a simple tool to tell if websites suffered a data breach. “The concept behind the tool, called Tripwire, is relatively simple. DeBlasio created a bot that registers and creates accounts on a large number of websites—around 2,300 were included in their study. Each account is associated with a unique email address. The tool was designed to use the same password for the email account and the website account associated with that email. Researchers then waited to see if an outside party used the password to access the email account. This would indicate that the website’s account information had been leaked.” The researchers are not planning to go further with Tripwire. I hope someone else picks this up. Good morning, Internet…

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darastar
5 hours ago
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Link number 1: Black women are who got Doug Jones elected in Alabama. For those of us who want to thank them for that, find a local candidate and support her in her journey to elected office next year.
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The Best In Tabletop 2017 – Near and Far

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We’ve been lucky in 2017, with amazing games hitting store shelves and our tables. We saw some of our favorite developers hit the shelves yet again with a couple of fresh faces thrown into the mix. It was hard to choose just 10 games to spotlight on the list, and here is one of them.  Stay tuned to see the other games on this list and for the full list.

There are a plethora of tabletop games that have walked the line between board games and roleplaying games. Titles such as Dead of Winter, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and Mansions of Madness, all provide plot-driven choices while never totally crossing into storytelling proper. However, there’s a simple charm to Ryan Laukat’s Near and Far that sets it apart from the rest. Using only snippets and glimpses into the story, it manages to build a whimsical and profound world that is refreshing and exciting to explore.

Near and Far

Near and Far is a sequel to Above and Below, a city-building game where characters have been cast out of their home and must try to construct a town over a vast and mysterious cave system in the lands of Arzium. In Near and Far the cities have flourished and it is now time for brave adventurers to set out and explore the wastelands in search of the fabled Last Ruin, where one can find an ancient artifact that will grant them their greatest wish (a pretty fair deal, so long as you can find it).

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Both Above and Below and Near and Far are set in an original world full of ruins, caves, strange creatures, and even stranger peoples. While most player characters are human, there are a wide variety of allies that include beast-men, merfolk, robots, one strange creature with floating disc for a head.

There are several ways to play Near and Far, and the most easily accessible way is as a simple adventure game in what Laukat calls “Arcade Mode”. Players will explore a map, fight bandits, build camps, mine for goods, and get into bar-fights, until one player has placed their last camp. You’ll get a taste of the rich theme of the game through the choose-your-own-adventure-style story bits that make up encounters which you find as you travel.

story

Players will read to each other from the storybook and the active player will need to make a decision on how their character reacts to the various challenges, creatures, and people they meet. Oftentimes the results of your choices will surprise you. In arcade mode, these stories are all self-contained and this version of the game is a great way to pick up and play whenever you like; however, it doesn’t give you the true feeling of a roleplaying game. For that, you’ll need to try the campaign mode.

Near and Far

Campaign mode is where Near and Far really comes alive. In it, each player will have a character that they’ll control through the 11 games that make up the full narrative of Near and Far. You’ll have the same exploring, brawling, mining, and building game-play, but now the quests that you encounter will give you experience points that will allow you to get your characters special skills that will carry over from one game to the next, essentially letting you level up. Some quests will also give you keywords, which will get added to your character sheet and give you new choices (and consequences) in future quests.

The heart of roleplaying is the storytelling and, in Near and Far, the continuation of your character through the arc of a campaign allows you to craft the tale of your adventurer, so by the time you reach the Last Ruin, you’ve got quite a history of accomplishments (and failures) behind you!

Near and Far

Near and Far is a superb example of what can happen when you join roleplaying and board games. Its’ charisma comes through the gorgeous art and clever theme to craft what could easily be a hit with everyone from families to seasoned dungeon delvers. As a light-weight adventure game with such a fantastic world-build and narrative potential, Near and Far has secured its spot on our list of 2017 Best Games of the Year!

What storytelling games are your favorites for the year? let us know in the comments below!

Want more awesome tabletop games?

Image Credits: Jessica Fisher

In addition to Geek & Sundry, Jessica Fisher writes for Gameosity.com and produces the Gameosity Reviews Youtube Channel. Find her talking about all things geeky on Twitter @miniktty.

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darastar
2 days ago
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Backed this on kickstarter, and it is LOADS OF FUN.
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(via THIS : TrollXChromosomes)

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(via THIS : TrollXChromosomes)

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darastar
14 days ago
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moosekleenex: lukehumphris: A comic I did about toxic...

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moosekleenex:

lukehumphris:

A comic I did about toxic masculinity. You can read the whole comic over at the nib here: https://thenib.com/toxic-masculinity

My partner made a very important comic for the Nib.

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darastar
16 days ago
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nevver: Would you still consider voting for a candidate accused...

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nevver:

Would you still consider voting for a candidate accused of sexual harassment by multiple women?

Shocking.

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darastar
23 days ago
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Thank goodness I have yet to be put in this position. But ugh to the 43% of republicans (and 12% of democrats) who are willing to allow predators into public office.
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President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list

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President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list
“Women are very special. I think it’s a very special time, a lot of things are coming out and I think that’s good for our society and I think it’s very, very good for women and I’m very happy a lot of these things are coming out. I’m very happy it’s being exposed.” — President […]
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darastar
23 days ago
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Urgh. Blech. I can't believe this is who we chose to represent our country.
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