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The Rational Man - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 22:35

On Saturday I had a great discussion with Anthony Johnson, Rian Stone (Married Red Pill Reddit) and “Carl” from Black Label Logic. The topic was a critique of the impact Dr. Jordan Peterson is having on a society of ‘lost’ (mostly) young men and how his message is affecting this generally rudderless generation of men. It’s a little over two hours long, but from the overwhelming response on YouTube, Facebook, Reddit and other forums it’s definitely struck a nerve. As an aside here, I’m considering making this meet up video format something I may do semi-regularly (like every other week) with some of the men I consider peers in the manosphere.

You can watch this talk at your leisure, but it has taught me a few things. As I mentioned in the chat it’s next to impossible to have any disagreement or critique of people whom other’s believe are your betters. As Rollo Tomassi it’s impossible for me to be critical of any high profile guy in the sphere without the accusations of professional jealousy or sour grapes being the first reflexive response from haters. I got that, but I’ve learned the conversation is more important that trying to convince anyone of it being genuine. In fact, I think it belies a bigger problem when they are above critique.

That aside, I think it was good to finally parse where Red Pill awareness and what Peterson is advocating have some overlap and where we differ. Peterson is a fountain of hope for the ‘lost’ boys, so anything critical of his message is going to sound like it’s endorsing an “enjoy the decline” mentality. I can’t expect everyone to have read up on my own opinion about that, but the short version is that I’ve never been convinced of some inevitable decline and fall of western civilization. In other words, I think it is possible to turn the ship around; where I may differ is in how that might be done.

For the record here I want to say that I have a great respect for Dr. Peterson. I think he’s what the sphere has needed for a while and I think he fits the role of ‘champion’ that a generation of young men have wanted to place on someone. Ideologically I agree with about 85-90% of what he advocates and there’s no doubt that he’s got definite skin in the game. In fact I really hate it when people use that as some catch phrase to disqualify men today. As a man we all have skin in the game now. How much and to what degree may be debatable, but we all live in a feminine-primary social order and as such we all have a lot to risk whether we acknowledge this or not.

Where I differ with Peterson is in his very Trad-Con solutions to turning the ship around. I wasn’t shocked to see him endorsed in videos for Prager University. In some ways what he proposes resonates with young men looking for a direction because their fathers and generations of Blue Pill men haven’t been able to deliver a way out of Hell for them. I go into this in more detail in our talk here, but here are some of my issues with Peterson’s take on things:

• Life is suffering and sacrifice: In every video I’ve watched Dr. Peterson’s founding (zen-like) premise is that life is suffering and the best men can do is to find ways to minimize that suffering. Men (and I’ve yet to see a video addressing women) must sacrifice parts or all of themselves in order to qualify for “genuine” manhood. The degree of that self-sacrifice is relative to how high a status that man can achieve.

I fundamentally disagree with this premise though I do understand why it’s so appealing to a ‘lost generation’ of young men. From my own perspective, life is based on a perpetual discontent, but how a man deals with that discontent – creatively or destructively – is the measure of him. Furthermore, I would argue that women fundamentally lack the capacity to appreciate the sacrifices men make in order to facilitate their reality.

• Blue Pill conditioning seems to define his perspective of women: Essentially the archetype he has for women was formed for him as a 7 year old boy when he first developed a soul-mate ONEitis for his wife. His reluctance to acknowledge the Alpha Fucks side of women’s Hypergamy in any video (beyond his repeated use of 50 Shades of Grey as a humorous example) leads me to the impression that he defaults to women as innately ‘good’ and above too much criticism. As such he focuses almost entirely on the good provider / parental investment / Beta need side of Hypergamy. This is unsurprising as it follows the same Trad-Con interpretations of women being “closer to God than men” and men must qualify themselves, and sacrifice themselves for women’s (wives) intimate approval. Dalrock has covered this dynamic among male “complementarian” Christian leaders quite extensively.

• Sacrifice of men is a parallel to men’s disposability: Men will blow themselves up for pussy. From what I gather from his talks Peterson endorses male disposability as a form of Honor. He seems to play on the ‘Man Up / Shut Up’ dynamic I talked about in The Honor SystemWhat ever aspect of maleness that serves the feminine purpose is a man’s masculine responsibility, yet any aspect that disagrees with feminine primacy is labeled Patriarchy and Misogyny. I’m not suggesting Peterson is accusing men of Patriarchy or Misogyny, rather, like most Trad-Cons, it’s a question of living up to one’s duty as a man in his disposability and his usefulness in that sacrifice.

• “Get your shit together” is also a plea for sacrifice: If a man is less valuable his sacrifice is less meaningful. No one cares about mediocre / average men’s sacrifices, but if a man accepts that he is to improve himself it is so that his sacrifice is more appreciated and important. Thus, the comparisons to Christ’s sacrifice as being the ultimate expression of sacrifice and meaning which Peterson uses in his dissertations on manhood and the Bible. My issue here is that women and a feminine-primary social order lack a capacity to appreciate the sacrifices men make because these are taken-for-granted expectations of what a man just “ought to do”.

• Peterson is egalitarian to a fault: The mantra may be for men to sack up and make something of themselves, but this is couched in an egalitarian equalism that’s prevalent today. If I had one question to ask Jordan it would be this; is there a dominance hierarchy in a healthy LTR or marriage? I don’t know for certain. My guess is he would say it passes back and forth between a husband and wife which is to say he falls back on an egalitarian ideal. However, outside the family structure he acknowledges that men and women in a state of egalitarianism choose to adopt traditional gender roles (I think he gave the same example as was covered here).

• Dr. Peterson regularly resorts to shaming language with men, rarely does he do the same with women: This may be a simple question of his delivery, but Peterson is always harder on men than he is with women. In so doing he adopts the AMOGing of only men techniques that a pastor like Mark Driscoll uses from the pulpit. Inso doing he pedestalizes women and absolves them of any consequences of their Hypergamous choices by imploring men to “man up and marry those sluts“. In essence the sacrificial nature of men becomes one that is necessary for the continuance of ‘family’ and western culture in spite of women. I also see how this plays into the idea of women lacking any moral agency, personal responsibility and wiping the bad behavior of women off on the men who have allowed this to happen. Once again it comes back to the hypoagency of women.

• Peterson believes that desire can be negotiated: This is my biggest problem with Peterson’s approach to women. This undoubtedly comes from his being a clinical psychologist, but like most therapists he defaults to the idea that genuine desire can be motivated by a process of negotiation. If there is one example of his lack of experience with women it is this belief. In several of his interviews and podcasts he makes reference to appealing to women’s reason and negotiating terms for acceptable behavior (always a man’s behavior) in exchange for intimacy and/or a stress-free marriage. This is the egalitarian, Oprah Approved, male-sublimated means to achieving transactional intimacy.

As you might guess, I strongly disagree with negotiating intimacy. You cannot negotiate genuine desire. You can obligate a woman to fuck you (now called rape) via negotiation, but you cannot organically inspire genuine desire in a woman. This has always been my main point of contention with the marriage counseling trade for a long time.

What is the Red Pill version of “man-up”?

I had a commenter ask me this in the last comment thread. I think there’s two sides to this question. First, I think there’s a need to keep the Red Pill (in the intersexual sense) as close to an objectivist purpose as possible. That means Red Pill awareness is the result of a continuing praxeology.

I’ve locked horns with a few Red Pill guys recently who seem to think that ‘Red Pill’ is an ideology and it’s just the counter revolt to feminism; basically it is feminism for men. I think that does a huge disservice to everything and everyone that’s brought us to where we are today in Red Pill awareness and all of the work and personal risk that was put on the line to explore what we know as Red Pill awareness now. Not only that it casually devalues the effort and work that’s continuing right now.

Critics and feminists alike want to draw parallels in the manosphere to whatever (fictitious) wave of feminism they think applies to whatever the Men’s Rights Movement is calling Red Pill at the moment. Believing that Red Pill is an ideology is one more casualty of how the term / brand has been bastardized by other ideologies who’ve never had any business referring to themselves as “red pill”.

Presuming Red Pill is just an ideology is juvenile, and unsurprisingly it’s an opinion of some underexperienced men in the manosphere who want for simplistic answers. They don’t want to think about what Red Pill awareness implies on a larger social scale. They want a flag to wave and an easy to understand ideology so they can stick it to their feminist enemies. I get it. They want Red Pill (however they define it) to be that ideology, but to me, I think, and I’ve always said it, the Red Pill needs to remain fundamentally apolitical, areligious and amoral to ensure that it stays true to understanding truth. It needs to remain true to being an aggregate of men’s collected experiences with intersexual dynamics.

What these guys want is a meaning to that truth, but that’s not the Red Pill. Meaning is what men will apply to that truth according to their individual needs, situations and circumstances. This is why Peterson and probably some more personalities to follow him will be popular in the future; they prioritize meaning above truth. If you listen to the first podcast of Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson they spend the entire time trying to come to an agreed measure of truth between the two of them so they can move on (in the second podcast) to what is meaning.

You want to know why I don’t do prescriptions on The Rational Male? Because we disempower ourselves when we follow someone else’s path and not our own.

There is a deep need in almost all people to improve or ‘fix’ ourselves in some way. I’ve written essays about it; discontent is is the human condition. That in no way means that life is suffering as per the Peterson (Zen) doctrine, but it is man’s condition to never be satisfied with even the greatest of accomplishments. That is what put us at the top of the species contest on this planet. You can be constructively or destructively discontent, but when you tell me that life is suffering and the only way to lessen that suffering (never to solve it of course) is to sacrifice my way to a better life all that says to me is that you’re out of ideas for a creative solution and you’re all-in on the destructive methods. Either that or you’ll continue naval gazing.

Fuck that.

So, the Red Pill needs to remain a praxeology and it ought to always resist being force-fit into an ideology because it’s always some ideological hack who wants to claim the truth it reveals as proof of his own purpose. The Red Pill has to remain an open source aggregate of men’s experiences. That’s why we’re still here today in spite of the Rooshs who said it would die out 3 years ago – it’s open source and decentralized information.

Now, to the second point, what does ‘Man up’ mean in the Red Pill context? I think this is really for the individual to decide, but I’d say that it would involve a man utilizing and internalizing the awareness the Red Pill represents to him and improving his life with it. In the Safety Net post’s comment thread there are hundreds of examples of how men saved their own lives, often literally. How the Red Pill truth reached them and then manifested in their lives is highly individual. I mentioned the need for a dissociation with ideology because that usually means aligning oneself with the expectations of someone else’s version of truth, not the objective (or as objective as we can make it) truth of the Red Pill.

When I hear ‘man-up’, I identify the context only as derogatory… is there any other definition which is not?

It should, because in almost all contexts imploring a guy to “Man Up” is following someone else’s path, not your own. This is what I mean when I say that I’m not in the business of creating better men, I’m in the business of men making themselves better men. And in today’s world of men seeking direction there is no shortage of personalities who’d like nothing more than to profit from selling men on their paths.

If there is a definition of ‘manning up’ in a Red Pill sense it is living a better way than your previous life that was informed by the falsehoods of your Blue Pill conditioning. Manning up Red Pill is killing off that old Blue Pill-created persona and killing off the false idealisms it taught you. It’s understanding and internalizing that those lies made you a less authentic person because the Blue Pill is firmly an ideology, but one that wears the mask of freedom or choice or individualism. If self-improvement in a Red Pill sense entail some basic tenets, one is that a man cuts himself away from that old Blue Pill paradigm and rebuilds a better life for himself based on a real understanding of intersexual truth on the personal, social and political scales.

Manning up Red Pill begins with rejecting the lies of egalitarian equalism and a commitment to real objective understanding of intersexual dynamics.

 

Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Cryptozoic Announces Release of Cryptkins Vinyl Figures and Launch of Cryptkins Channel on Quidd

Cryptozoic - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 22:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment today announced the March 15 release of CryptkinsTM vinyl figures and the immediate launch of the CryptkinsTM Channel on Quidd, the fast-growing platform for digital goods on iOS and Android. CryptkinsTM are Cryptozoic’s first original series of vinyl figures and are inspired by various creatures that have been the subject of folklore and tabloid headlines for decades. The CryptkinsTM Channel on Quidd will feature static and animated trading cards, stickers, and 3D figures based on both the initial 2.25-inch vinyl figures and future releases.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Greater than Games Announced Sentinels Freedom

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:50

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESt. Louis – February 7, 2018 – Greater Than Games today announced its collaboration with celebrated game design studio Underbite Games, based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to develop Sentinels of Freedom.

Sentinels of Freedom is a turn-based digital tactical game inspired by the upcoming Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game, designed by Critical Hits studio in conjunction with Christopher Badell of Greater Than Games.

Prepare for a story-driven campaign (featuring writing from Sentinel Comics creator Christopher Badell and artist Adam Rebottaro) within the Sentinel Comics universe as you join forces with an ever-growing team of heroes to face a wide variety of villains. What seems like a typical bank heist reveals itself to be just the tip of a much more sinister plan! Create your hero, lead your team, and save the world!

Customize your Hero!
Choose the characters backstory, personality, power source, and archetype – each heavily impacting your final character. Heroes have “stances” that provide boosts to certain stats like enhanced dodging or even flight, along with powerful sets of abilities and can be fully customized to fit your playstyle.

Game Mechanics
Swapping stances between rounds allow you to prepare for upcoming challenges. As the game progresses, more abilities and stances will be unlocked. Heroes have special support actions and enemies can create formidable squads with even more powerful attacks and dynamic combos. The Vigilance and Support systems allow characters to react despite not being their turn. This could lead to hero trying to stay in cover or counter-attacking when an active enemy moves or performs an action.

What kind of hero will you be?

Key Features:

Create your Hero – choose backstory, archetype, powers, and appearance
Build your Team – select from the many available heroes and unlock more throughout
Character Personalities – heroes will have likes, dislikes, and preferences which influence the mission
Full story campaign – writers and creators from Sentinel Comics
Freeform movement – Turn-Based game that allows you to move anywhere
Squad dynamics – heroes or villains can work together for more powerful actions
Living Environments – multiple objectives, interactions and dangers
Learning AI – enemies will start to adjust to current tactics and also make long-term changes to strategy

Sentinels of Freedom will launch on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter Tuesday, April 3, 2018. The initial release is slated for Windows® and Mac OS®. Console releases will be announced at a later date.

Development Team

Cory Heald
Owner, Project Manager, Art and Design Support
Cory Heald has been working in the creative industry for over 20 years working with a variety of companies. Cory has done everything including 3D Modeling, UI\UX, animation, and game design. This wide range of experiences allows Cory to bring something new and exciting to all Underbite projects.

Levi Schneidewind
Lead Developer
Levi brings an incredible level of passion to game development. Leaving the office usually means just taking a break so he can continue his current tasks into the night. Beyond just working hard, Levi always looks for what “should be done” instead of “just getting it done”. With three titles under his belt and his awesome work ethics, Levi makes projects successful.

David Fritter
Developer
David has a humble and heads-down approach when developing and is constantly seeking new ways to improve projects at Underbite. David’s extensive background allows him to masterfully integrate different systems throughout the project.

Brian Olmstead
Lead Artist
Years of experience working on a huge variety of projects allow Brian to create fantastic art then develop a process others can use to reproduce the techniques. Brian is a workhorse from the start of the day till then end, headphones on and hunched over his Cintiq display.

Gab Schwall
Artist
One of our most versatile artists, Gab offers amazing art and a critical eye to concept art, UI\UX, and 3D modeling capabilities at Underbite.

Kevin Young
Artist
Speed and Quality define Kevin’s work.  Once a process is in place, he can crush deadlines while delivering spectacular results.

Cris Miles
Lead Designer\Technical Artist
From designing characters to combat mechanics, Cris excels at making the game not only work but making it unique. Everything Cris designs have a purpose and great thought behind why and how it should function. He brings a critical eye to every Underbite project.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Flip Through: Tomb of Annihillation

Gamer Goggles - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 21:49

In this Flip Through Matt Takes a look at Tomb of Annihilation for Dungeons and Dragons. Tomb of Annihilation has a story rooted and inspired by Tomb of Horrors.  I tried real hard not to spoil too much for you.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

For me this book has been a trip down memory lane because Tomb of Horrors was one of my first gaming experiences

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Still Hatless

Knitting | Work in Progress - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 17:01
As part of the annual month-long Stash Knit Down Hatathon, I committed to making one or two hats. Easy peasy, right?

Well, this low-ball commitment has turned out to be quite a challenge. I don't knit hats often, but I've made more than a few and swatched this simple slip stitch multiple times, so I felt confident things were under control. Wrong! 

In an effort to get a very basic hat underway, I have over the course of the past week or so cast on five times, and somehow, I've managed to make every newbie mistake in the book. Twice, I cast on the wrong number of stitches. I've also chosen the wrong needle size, knit a basic ribbed edge that didn't work, and in one case, cheerfully knit along for some time before I realized I'd miscalculated the finished dimensions.

Between the gnashing of teeth and the croaking of frogs as I ripped, ripped, ripped one false start after another, knitting sessions were anything but quiet and peaceful. 

More than a week after I started, I'm still hatless. There's yet another attempt on the needles now, and while I very much hope this version will work, that remains to be seen!


Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.


Categories: Knitting Feeds

A week in security (February 5 – February 11)

Malwarebytes - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 17:00

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we featured a new Flash Player zero-day that has been found in recent targeted attacks. And we talked about a new trick to cripple browsers that came out of the hat of tech support scammers.

We also covered several methods of stealing cryptocurrencies, including one for the Mac that wasn’t as new as it seemed, one for Android that poses as hack apps, and yet another abusing the fact that Deepfakes content was banned from most major networks. We even threw in an overview of several major cryptocurrency related thefts.

For Safer Internet Day 2018, we provided you with some fast and free tools to make your Internet experience safer and more private using ad blockers and anti-trackers.

Other news
  • Security researcher Scott Helme reported that thousands of US and UK government sites were running a compromised BrowserAloud plugin, making visitors mine for the Monero cryptocurrency. (Source: Sky News)
  • Lenovo warned customers about two critical Broadcom (Wifi) vulnerabilities that impact 25 models of its popular ThinkPad brand. (Source: ThreatPost)
  • Research shows that LiteCoin will be the next dominating cryptocurrency on the Dark Web, and not Monero as expected. (Source: Recorded Future)
  • A free decryption tool was released for Cryakl ransomware by Belgian Federal Police together with Kaspersky Lab. (Source: Bleeping Computer)
  • The Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics was found to be using their nuclear supercomputer for cryptomining. (Source: Naked Security)
  • Researchers have identified a new strain of point-of-sale (PoS) malware that impersonates a LogMeIn service pack to steal credit card data via a DNS server. (Source: Tripwire)
  • The US Justice Department announced charges on Wednesday against three dozen individuals thought to be key members of ‘Infraud,” a long-running cybercrime forum that federal prosecutors say cost consumers more than half a billion dollars. (Source: Krebs on Security)
  • Working with Fujitsu, Microsoft is further embracing biometric technology with the implementation of a palm-vein authentication system that will be supported by Windows 10 Pro. (Source: CBR online)
  • Key iPhone source code gets posted online that could pave the way for hackers and security researchers to find vulnerabilities in iOS and make iPhone jailbreaks easier to achieve. (Source: Motherboard)
  • VMware has advised on how to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre chip design flaws in several of its products. (Source: The Register)

Stay safe, everyone!

The post A week in security (February 5 – February 11) appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Annie’s Spring Spirit & Red Heart Yarns Giveaway!

Moogly - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 16:00

I love it when I’m able to combine giveaways like this for one amazing prize package – for one very lucky winner! And I get to share some peeks inside Annie’s new Spring Spirit pattern collection too – read on to see more, and to enter this amazing Annie’s and Red Heart Yarns combo giveaway [...]

The post Annie’s Spring Spirit & Red Heart Yarns Giveaway! appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

The Dumbest Generation

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 14:41

Watching the excitement surrounding Jordan Peterson’s common sense advice, I wonder sometimes how we could have gotten to this point.

Part of the answer to that is buried in the science fiction and fantasy paperbacks that were released in the sixties and seventies. But it’s also in the deep tracks that came out during the same period.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Drive-by cryptomining campaign targets millions of Android users

Malwarebytes - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 14:00

Malvertising and online fraud through forced redirects and Trojanized apps—to cite the two most common examples—are increasingly plaguing Android users. In many cases, this is made worse by the fact that people often don’t use web filtering or security applications on their mobile devices.

A particular group is seizing this opportunity to deliver one of the most lucrative payloads at the moment: drive-by cryptomining for the Monero (XMR) currency. In a campaign we first observed in late January, but which appears to have started at least around November 2017, millions of mobile users (we believe Android devices are targeted) have been redirected to a specifically designed page performing in-browser cryptomining.

In our previous research on drive-by mining, we defined this technique as automated, without user consent, and mostly silent (apart from the noise coming out of the victim’s computer fan when their CPU is clocked at 100 percent). Here, however, visitors are presented with a CAPTCHA to solve in order to prove that they aren’t bots, but rather real humans.

“Your device is showing suspicious surfing behaviour. Please prove that you are human by solving the captcha.”

Until the code (w3FaSO5R) is entered and you press the Continue button, your phone or tablet will be mining Monero at full speed, maxing out the device’s processor.

Redirection mechanism

The discovery came while we were investigating a separate malware campaign dubbed EITest in late January. We were testing various malvertising chains that often lead to tech support scams with an Internet Explorer or Chrome user-agent on Windows. However, when we switched to an Android, we were redirected via a series of hops to that cryptomining page.

It seems odd that a static code (which is also hardcoded in the page’s source) would efficiently validate traffic between human and bot. Similarly, upon clicking the Continue button, users are redirected to the Google home page, another odd choice for having proved you were not a robot.

While Android users may be redirected from regular browsing, we believe that infected apps containing ad modules are loading similar chains leading to this cryptomining page. This is unfortunately common in the Android ecosystem, especially with so-called “free” apps.

It’s possible that this particular campaign is going after low quality traffic—but not necessarily bots —and rather than serving typical ads that might be wasted, they chose to make a profit using a browser-based Monero miner.

We identified several identical domains all using the same CAPTCHA code, and yet having different Coinhive site keys (see our indicators of compromise for the full details). The first one was registered in late November 2017, and new domains have been created since then, always with the same template.

Domain name, registration date

Traffic stats

We believe there are several more domains than just the few that we caught, but even this small subset is enough to give us an idea of the scope behind this campaign. We shared two of the most active sites with ad fraud researcher Dr. Augustine Fou, who ran some stats via the SimilarWeb web analytics service. This confirmed our suspicions that the majority of traffic came via mobile and spiked in January.

We estimate that the traffic combined from the five domains we identified so far equals to about 800,000 visits per day, with an average time of four minutes spent on the mining page. To find out the number of hashes that would be produced, we could take a conservative hash rate of 10 h/s based on a benchmark of ARM processors.

It is difficult to determine how much Monero currency this operation is currently yielding without knowing how many other domains (and therefore total traffic) are out there. Because of the low hash rate and the limited time spent mining, we estimate this scheme is probably only netting a few thousand dollars each month. However, as cryptocurrencies continue to gain value, this amount could easily be multiplied a few times over.

Conclusion

The threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few months, with many actors jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Malware-based miners, as well as their web-based counterparts, are booming and offering online criminals new revenue sources.

Forced cryptomining is now also affecting mobile phones and tablets en masse—not only via Trojanized apps, but also via redirects and pop-unders. While these platforms are less powerful than their Desktop counterparts, there is also a greater number of them out there. Similar to what we see with IoT devices, it’s not always the individual specifications, but rather the power of the collective group altogether that matters.

We strongly advise users to run the same security tools they have on their PC on their mobile devices, because unwanted cryptomining is not only a nuisance but can also cause permanent damage.

Malwarebytes mobile users are protected against this threat.

Indicators of compromise

Domains:

rcyclmnr[].com rcylpd[.]com recycloped[.]com rcyclmnrhgntry[.]com rcyclmnrepv[.]com

Referring websites (please note that they should not be necessarily considered malicious):

panelsave[.]com offerreality[.]com thewise[.]com go.bestmobiworld[.]com questionfly[.]com goldoffer[.]online exdynsrv[.]com thewhizmarketing[.]com laserveradedomaina[.]com thewhizproducts[.]com smartoffer[.]site formulawire[.]com machieved[.]com wtm.monitoringservice[.]co traffic.tc-clicks[.]com stonecalcom[.]com nametraff[.]com becanium[.]com afflow.18-plus[.]net serie-vostfr[.]com pertholin[.]com yrdrtzmsmt[.]com yrdrtzmsmt.com traffic.tc-clicks[.]com

Conhive site keys:

gufKH0i0u47VVmUMCga8oNnjRKi1EbxL P3IN11cxuF4kf2kviM1a7MntCPu00WTG zEqkQef50Irljpr1X3BqbHdGjMWnNyCd rNYyUQUC5iQLdKafFS9Gi2jTVZKX8Vlq

The post Drive-by cryptomining campaign targets millions of Android users appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Beneath the Fallen Tower

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:19


By Denis McCarthy
Aegis Studios
S&W Light
Level ???

Fifty years ago, a magician known as Melchior the Despoiler, rumored to be consorting with dark forces near the town of Southfork was investigated by a troop of militia and a priest… all of who returned from his tower as undead attempting to slay their own families. They were defeated, and after a petition for aid, the Duke lent the village his trebuchet and his men leveled the mage’s tower. Shortly before this assault was mounted, Melchior’s apprentice Xander escaped with a few books, a wand and a magical blade. Now that Xander has died. His apprentice, Aurelia, together with her henchmen, have returned to find the master’s library. Unknown to them, goblins have been living in the ruins for 30 years…

This is a 26 page adventure describing a minimally keyed seventeen room dungeon. A healthy introduction to the region takes up the first twelve pages, which along with the single-column format explains the large page count for a minimally keyed product. There’s not really anything to it.

*) This doesn’t have a level listed. I’d guess level two or three. There are a decent numbers of monsters, including wolves and bugbears.

*) The wilderness map is hard to read. I like the charm of hand drawn maps, and would not want to raise the threshold of publishing by insisting on comp-drawn, but the maps HAVE to be legible. The wilderness map in this is barely so. The dungeon map is better, but I still struggle with some notations on the map.

*) Speaking of maps, the dungeon is a simple branching design. Turn right and its the older undead portion. Turn left and it’s the goblin portion. Exploratory Games, like S&W, tend to do better with Exploratory Dungeons, with loops and so on. “Quest maps” are simpler and more suitable for Quest Games. Yes, there’s crossover in the genres; don’t be an ass.

*) The dungeon is supposed to have four entrances, but they are not really noted. There are two stairs, and I think I can tell which is which from the text. I think also I thinkered out entrance three, from we.. Fuck if I can tell where entrance four is. More clarity in this area would have been appreciated.

*) Out in the wilderness the wanderers are sometimes doing something, which I appreciate as a cue to the DM in helping them run the encounter. There is basically one sentence describing things, like bandits acting as toll collectors, of a tinker with dubious goods to sell. This is about the minimum text that I would say “adds to the encounter.”

*) The dungeon is minimally keyed. “Guardroom – 3 goblins and 1 wolf” or “Goblin Quarters – 4 goblins” is generally the extent of the description. This does NOT meet my acceptable level of Value Add. Rolling on the random monster table from the 1e DMG does not qualify. At least have them doing something in the guardroom, or put a big bubbling boiling pot in the quarters.

This is $3 at DriveThru. The preview is seven pages. Near the end you can see the wilderness map I had issues with, as well as the wilderness wandering monsters, for better & worse.
http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/232358/Beneath-the-Fallen-Tower

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weird Revisited: The Wonderbuss

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:00
This post originally appeared in February of 2011. It will show up in a couple more Weird Adventures posts after that...


Magical blunderbuss-type firearms were used by some wealthy Dwergen in their early conquest of the Strange New World. The weapons gave these sorcerously inept folk help against the shamans of the Natives and the thaumaturgists of rival Grand Lludd. Today, these antiques sometimes find their way into the hands of adventurers--in this world, and perhaps others.

Though they were manufactured in a variety of styles, they’re all muzzle-loading weapons with short, large caliber barrels and flared muzzles. They all can fire relatively normal projectiles of appropriate size (provided there is gun powder) , but their real power lies in specially designed spherical ammunition called “shells.” Interestingly, it appears likely that it was the prior existence of these magical shells which spurred the development of the gun, and not the other way around. No one knows who originally designed the shells, nor for what weapon.

Thaumaturgists (with alchemical aid) can manufacture new shells, but the process is tedious and expensive, so they tend to be rare. Sometimes, a supply is found in Ancient ruins or even other planes. The shells are classified by number, which denotes their effect. All shells of the same number historically tend to be of similar appearance, and modern manufacturers have kept with this tradition. Shells don’t not require gunpowder.

Magic Blunderbuss (Wonderbuss)
Dmg: 1d10 or special; Rof: 1/2 ; Range: 50’/100’/300’

Shells: (all spell references per the SRD)
#1: appears to be a lead ball, but too light for its apparently size. +1 weapon; Dmg. 1d12.  These are 80% of all shells found.
#2: brass-appearing. Casts two shadows, one distinct the other shimmering like heat-haze. Leaves a fiery streak when fired. 4d6 fire damage.
#3: appears to be a steel sphere etched with three 7-pointed stars. +2 to hit, 2d8 points of damage.  These are 5% of shells found.
#4: glass, containing a roiling green liquid. On a successful strike creates an Acid Fog as per spell.
#5: glass, faintly glowing and warm like the mantle of a lantern. Acts as the spell Sunburst, though it misfires on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6, and only does 1d10 damage.
#6: smoked glass. Faint moans can be heard within. Target’s soul is imprisoned on sucessful hit as per Magic Jar.
#7: silver and etched with glyphs which seem to shift when its not being watched. 1d10, deals double damage to lycanthropes, and extraplanar beings of evil. These are 5% of shells found.
#8: white, with the look of fine china, cool to the touch. Explodes for 5d6 damage in a 20 ft. radius.  Sleeping near (2 ft.) of one of these shells has a 75% chance of causing a ringing in the ears (leading to a penalty for rolls to detect things by hearing) lasting 1-4 days after removal of the shell from that distance.  Wrapping the shell in cloth will prevent this effect.
#9: appears as a flawless sphere of obsidian. Acts as a Sphere of Annihilation, though it can’t be moved, and exists only for 1 round before winking out.

Some scholars believe that more shell types are yet to be discovered.

The Christian Hope: A Counter To Spiritual Anemia?

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:00

I know the symptoms of anemia. You feel tired all the time, weak, lacking energy. You are alive, but life is a burden.

The cause of anemia, I’m told, is not enough red blood cells in the bloodstream to carry oxygen throughout the body. Serious lack of energy may be noticed before any other evidence of the deficiency.

Is there a parallel condition we could call spiritual anemia? A person may be a believer but may have limited faith energy and may lack rooted confidence in the hope Christians have of a life everlasting.

The short supply isn’t red blood cells but rather it is Spirit-delivered Christian hope. 

Christian hope means more than wishing for good luck such as: I hope the sun will shine on our family picnic. Instead, it is a “confident expectation,” a certainty, for the future that we cannot presently know or see.

It is founded upon something we do know as believers — that God raised up Christ from the dead and he will raise us up also!

Saint Peter shows us how fundamental this word is when he writes to beleaguered Christians of the dispersion: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead … (1 Peter 1:3)

Not a theoretical hope, or a fanciful hope, a living hope!

The gospel songwriter, Eliza E. Hewitt caught this certainty of the Christian hope and the energy it plays back into our present circumstances when she wrote:

Let us then be true and faithful,

Trusting, serving every day;

Just one glimpse of Him in glory

Will the toils of life repay.

Paul reminds the Christians in Ephesus that, before their conversion to Christ, they were without God and without hope in the world (Ephesians 2:12). In spite of adequate resources, an abundance of this world’s excitement, and pagan religious affiliations, none of these spoke a sure word of hope about the life to come.

When we are believers but feel spiritually anemic — that is, we are short on the energy the Christian hope provides, and we have only an inner uncertainty about the promise of everlasting life — there is something we can do about it.

We can turn to those Scriptures that reinforce our confidence in the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and meditate on our promised resurrection too. These scriptures will stimulate a formation of spiritual red blood cells, so to speak, and restore our energy to love God and serve him in this world.

One such scripture recounts the conversation between Jesus and Mary when she was in the throes of grief from the loss of her brother, Lazarus (John 11:25).

He said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Then he followed with the question to Mary that all people of faith must be prepared to answer: Do you believe this?

Photo credit: tanjila ahmed (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Modification Monday: Antlers Fingerless Mitts

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

Original Patterns: Maine Morning Mitts and Antler Hat Knitter Extraordinaire: Patti (Ravelry ID) Mods: Using the Antler hat pattern and the Maine Morning mitts as her guide, Pattie created these Antler Fingerless mitts. details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes This Awesome: Ah, the antler cable. It looks good on everything, don’t

The post Modification Monday: Antlers Fingerless Mitts appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

1165

Looking For Group - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 05:00

The post 1165 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

Dan's Top 19 RPGs - #19 - D&D 4th Edition

19th Level - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:03


I gave a lot of thought as to whether to include the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons on my list. Of all the games on my list it's probably the one I have the most issues with. On the other hand, I really like a number of ideas that the designers of D&D 4e tried to do. They took some chances, broke a number of "sacred cows of D&D". Looking back, I think Wizards of the Coast would have been better off making D&D 4e a separate/non-D&D game. though I can understand not wanting to have products competing with each other.

What I really liked about D&D 4e was the way it gave all classes a bunch of interesting abilities - some usable at-will, some usable on a per-encounter basis, some usable daily. Characters had different roles which greatly influenced how they'd handle things in combat - some characters were great at slugging it out with multiple opponents, others dancing all over the battlefield. All the classes managed to feel interesting and have a good contribution to make.

As a Dungeon Master, I found games in D&D 4e extremely easy to prep, much easier than D&D 3.x games. D&D 4e introduced minions to D&D - 1 hp enemies, great for simulating the hordes of baddies often encountered in film and literature. These minions could be quite dangerous and could threaten high level characters, but they were designed to be fought in hordes. I loved the idea.

The implied "points of light" setting was also a nice touch. The idea was that some great empire/kingdom had fallen and their were elements of civilization survived, but they were isolated with dangerous wilds between them. It justified a lot of adventures.

That said, D&D 4e did have a number of issues. The first of which is something I've heard described as "the grind". Combat took an extremely long time to resolve. Usually, halfway through the battle the outcome would be clear but it would still take some time to play out. Second, the game relied on an ongoing series of Player Handbooks, DM Guides, and Monster Manuals. It felt as if you were purchasing downloadable content for a video game. Unlike some games with such a model, the game felt a bit incomplete as released.

Probably the largest issue with D&D 4e was how different it felt from what came before. It probably did change a bit too much.

Why am I listing it with all those issues? Probably because I did like a number of the things it did and tried to do. It was perhaps a misfire, but an interesting misfire.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dan's Top 19 RPGs - Criteria

19th Level - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:41


I'm going to be launching a "Dan's Top 19 RPGs" series of posts. I was going to make it ten but with the name of this blog I couldn't help but go for nineteen. I'm hoping to get it done in about a month - it's been pretty hard keeping to a rigorous schedule the past several months, with family health matters and me getting close to completing my Master's degree while working.

This post will lay out some ground rules. The most important is I have to have played the game in question at least once, either as a player or as a GM. This will disqualify a lot of popular games - many of which I've used in some form - some of which I've used a lot of. I'll list them at the end of this post.

The other question is how I'll handle editions. If a game changes a lot between editions I will treat them as separate games. On the other hand, games that are refined from one edition to another will be treated as one game. For example, I'll be treating Call of Cthulhu as one game while there will be more than one D&D game on the list - moving from a 3.x D&D game to a 4e one would be doable but rather challenging.

I'm not going to be giving the games reviews, but rather I'll be giving my impressions of them - what I like about them, what frustrates me, etc. The ordering doesn't mean I dislike any of the games - I'd probably play any on the list and depending on mood I'd likely play a poorer ranked one over a better ranked one. And there's games not on the list I'd gladly play.

I do already have the list composed - I hope I'm not forgetting any that I should have included. When I wrap up I'll probably to a follow-up post of "oops, I should have included xyz..."

Closing, here is a list of games that would likely be on a "Dan's top games list", largely due to me not having played the game in question. For some I'm quite familiar with the game and have borrowed elements of it for other games but never actually played it.

  • Colonial Gothic
  • Firefly
  • GURPS
  • Hero System (technically I have played it once but I don't fully grok it enough to feel comfortable listing it)
  • Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
  • Pathfinder
  • Savage Worlds
  • Star Trek (Modiphius)
  • Traveller
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

In a drawer

Yarn Harlot - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 22:19

We’ve been going through my Mum’s things. It’s time to empty her house and sell it, and unbelievably, months of wishing the house would sort itself without us hasn’t really done anything. Erin and I are not really terrific at this, we’ve both got a low threshold, and I think we both feel like the house is full of emotional bombs.  You’re going along fine, sorting something, and then run into something that’s just so… Mum, that it hits you like a sledgehammer. Nothing is safe. Even trying to get rid of stuff from the freezer was hard – Erin pulled out the little jar of frozen lemon curd I’d made mum at Christmas, and I came undone, two minutes later we’re laughing and crying because we’ve pulled something out with a best before date of some time in 2014.  Mum didn’t really believe in best before dates. She thought they were a scam. (She once ate an 14 month old yogurt by accident and didn’t die. This cemented her philosophy.)

I knit a lot of things for my mum over the years, and I’ve been stunned to discover that she kept them all. Every bit of it (with the exception of slippers that wore out) are still in her closets and drawers. She’s got a fantastic sock collection, and hats, sweaters and tops. Erin took a few of the sweaters, and the silk tee that I knit her, and I think I’ll take the socks back – I’m not sure yet. Socks are such an intimate thing, I don’t know if I can bear to let them go, or bear to have them here.  There’s a lot to figure out and I hadn’t expected it to come down to weeping into old socks, but there you have it.  In her cupboard of sweaters, I found an old one.

This was the first sweater I knit my mother, and frankly, it doesn’t have much to recommend it. For a while with my mum, there was a sheep thing. It’s hard to explain, but she ended up with a lot of sheep stuff, and at the beginning of all of it, I knit her a sweater that was supposed to be reminiscent of her grandfathers sheep farm in BC. It was 1990, and at the time I was very young and broke, and Amanda was six months old, and the outlay of cash for the yarn was a big deal, even though it’s absolutely acrylic. (Canadiana, ordered from Mary Maxim. I remember it coming in the mail.)  I designed it myself, such as it is, a little square, drop-sleeve sweater, and charted the intarsia sheep and hills and clouds, and embroidered on the little bunches of flowers and the legs and noses of the sheep.

I remember making it. I remember hoping she liked it, and I remember being worried because the clouds didn’t look quite right, and the seams aren’t perfect, and the green wasn’t quite the green I thought it would be.  All those things are still true. It’s not the most expertly executed knitwear, my skills are very different now, that’s for sure. I remember her opening it, and I remember her saying that she loved it. I don’t know if she really did. I mean, now that I’m a mother I see that she certainly did love it, but we’ll never know if she loved it because of what it was, or because I made it for her.  The stuff your kids make is like that, and I suspect it doesn’t change because they grow up. She wore that sweater for years. Years and years.

(That’s her and Meg. The sweater’s already three years old by then.) I felt a little twinge of shame every time I saw that sweater in the last 10 years or so.  Wishing, now that I am older and wiser and have more skills and money that I’d made it better. I thought a few times about re-knitting it, this time in wool, with the green I’d always meant it to be, and with shoulder seams that were a bit tidier.  My intarsia isn’t much better, but I could have tried. I never did though, and now there it was, on a shelf in a cupboard in her room, carefully folded, with a bar of soap in-between it and the sweater under it. (My mother has a bar of soap in every possible spot of her closets and drawers. We can’t explain it, but there’s got to be fifty of them.)

It smells like her (and like soap) and right now it’s in my living room, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, and I can’t even explain my feelings toward it, but I knew it couldn’t go to Goodwill.  I now own a pretty crappy acrylic sweater, one that I’m super attached to, and rather ironically, it was knit by me.  Couldn’t have predicted that.

Life is surprises.

By the way, we’ve opened our April Retreat up for Registration, there’s some info here if you would care to join us.  Who knows. Maybe I’ll wear the sweater.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Talking about Authentic Medieval Roleplaying

Bat in the Attic - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 19:50
I been doing a series of podcasts with Brendan Davis, Nick Seidler and Adam Baulderstone.

The first was with Brendan as gamemaster and featured a trap dungeon.

The second was me using my Majestic Fantasy Rules (based on Swords and Wizardry) to run an adventure set in a fantasy medieval setting.

The live stream is here and the podcast where we discussed it can be found here.


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

White Feminist’s Burden

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 17:28

The indefatigable Jane Sand returns to contend with me over the literary merits of Ursula Le Guin’s Playboy appearance:

The character Alvaro is not just mentioned as dark-skinned and no other significant individual trait. He uses both his patrilineal and matrilineal family names to introduce himself, which shows the discerning reader that that old Spanish custom still exists in the far off future. He is bilingual, speaking English and ‘Argentinean,’ defined in the story as a future descendant of Spanish. Most importantly, his friend, Owen Pugh, the Welsh commander of the mission, has learned that language and speaks it with him at times for reasons of friendship, and later to speak confidentially to him without danger of eavesdropping from the third main character. This tells POC readers that not only is their darker skin acceptable in the future, their cultural differences are also appreciated and useful. This may not seem like much to you, but to POCs who have been discriminated against for those traits in the present, seeing people like themselves represented as equals in the far-off future by this author can mean a hell of a lot, especially seeing so few similar characters in the SF of the time.

Spoken like a person that has no experience whatsoever with non-white people in the real world. I mean it sounds all tender and sweet in theory, sure. But people tend not to be flattered when their bosses adopt the vernacular of their subordinates. Heck, people have to be so careful working with people from different cultures that corporate diversity training of today instructs people to not even ask other people where they are from.

Ursula Le Guin could be forgiven for not knowing anything about this. She hails from not just a time when America was much whiter. But she also comes from a region of that country that is notoriously white to this day. Truly, Portland is ground zero of Stuff White People Like. But her science fictional “It’s a Small World” moment is not near as effective when it’s placed side by side with her hatred for not just the millions of Irish people, but the billion Roman Catholics in the world.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Le Guin is one visionary that could stand to expand her horizons just a touch.

Meanwhile, Alexandru Constantin of Barbarian Book Club puts in his two cents on all this:

That has always been my question when seeing a bunch of middle-class white chubbsters patting each other’s backs over diversity. Who the [heck] are you writing for? Do you know any “diverse” people?

As a Romanian born immigrant, I don’t want or need somebody else to tell my story, my peoples story, or anything. I would be pissed if anybody turns my life experience into a fantasy tale.

Sort of like how China is not going to be one whit more interested in Star Wars just because some white feminist in America does them favor of incorporating a southeast Asian woman as protagonist. Kathleen Kennedy is nobody to them. Yet she acts like she’s some sort of plantation grandee doling out favors to the poor and benighted. Which is ridiculous when everyone from Bollywood to Hong Kong has their own means of culture production.

Normal people care nothing about this diversity stuff. What do they care about? Stuff that Ursula Le Guin despises and repudiates. Not the least of which would be heroism.

Watch the video below and see for yourself. People of all races, backgrounds, shapes, and sizes are outraged when the sort of “politics” Ursula Le Guin advocated for turns up in their epic fantasy. Really, it doesn’t matter if you do something “nice” for a supposedly helpless brown person if you’re simultaneously taking a great big dump on what it means to be human.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

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