Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired The Ultimate Toxic Fandom Lives in Trumpworld

Hexbyte Tech News Wired The Ultimate Toxic Fandom Lives in Trumpworld

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

Lately, in considering the erosion of America, the image that first comes to mind is Mariah Carey’s now-iconic “I don’t know her” GIF. The gleeful shake of Carey’s head. The subtle mischief of her utterance. The animation frames our current moment with dead-on precision. In fairness, from its earliest days, America has never looked like we knew it could. Which is to say, America—a country of sharp contradictions and tangible evils—has never lived up to what it could be. Since the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, we have encountered grotesqueries that have further marred the country beyond recognition. Who is she? How did we get here?

One way to characterize all the recent chaos is to understand that Donald Trump’s rise and reign was, and continues to be, anchored by an acutely corrosive variety of fandom. This is not your typical fandom; not like the ones we normally discuss here. It is much more pernicious than anarchic XXXtentacion fans or Elon Musk’s army of bros. Trump’s ilk falls into the most harmful category of fandom—men and women who, explicitly or implicitly, uphold the structures of white supremacy. His supporters vary in texture and intent, and it would be inaccurate to paint Trump’s base in one broad sweep, but there is a considerable portion of white supremacists who very seriously subscribe to, and fuel, his vile thoughts. As I’ve previously pointed out, to view the world through a white supremacist lens is to exist as an antithesis to progress. Trump’s is a gospel of negation: At best, it is to live in the complicity of false equivalences, to shroud one’s scope in unsafe fabrications like “alt-left,” and to willfully color malice as virtue.

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Hexbyte  Tech News  Wired The Ultimate Carbon-Saving Tip? Travel by Cargo Ship

Hexbyte Tech News Wired The Ultimate Carbon-Saving Tip? Travel by Cargo Ship

Hexbyte Tech News Wired

By the end of June, Kajsa Fernström Nåtby was homesick. The native Swede had just finished a 5-month internship with her country’s diplomatic office near the UN headquarters in Manhattan, darting between debates on migration and ocean plastic. Now, her parents were pleading for her to hop on an 8-hour flight across the Atlantic and rush home.

But Fernström Nåtby had a different idea. Putting convenience aside, she opted to glide across the Atlantic on a cargo ship—getting home in what she calls the most “klimatsmarta” or “climate-smart” way possible. She arrived in Sweden on Tuesday night, after 12 days aboard the ship La Traviata, two full days on trains, and a few overnight stays at friends’ homes.

Cargo vessels sometimes host a handful of cabins for transporting real passengers, tucked away among the sun-dried colors of hundreds of freight containers. Fernström Nåtby’s berth, along with meals, cost upwards of $100 a day, a steep price for a student who just completed a degree in political science and economics at Lund University. The ticket included limited internet access, which she used on a shared computer to keep in touch with friends and correspond with WIRED about her trip. “I do understand that I, as an individual, cannot make a huge difference,” Fernström Nåtby writes. “But I hope that by doing as much as I can, I hopefully inspire others to become a bit more environmentally friendly.”

Booking the ticket took perseverance—months to find an agent, stacks of paperwork, and a doctor’s stamp of good health. Just when everything was set, Fernström Nåtby’s voyage was canceled, so she hung around New York City a few more days until her passage was secured on La Traviata.

But if you’re OK with some surprises, the carbon savings are real, says Tristan Smith, an expert in low-carbon shipping at University College London, who has himself dreamed of exchanging jet streams for white-tipped waves. A round-trip trans-Atlantic flight can easily gobble up a ton of carbon dioxide per passenger—about half the annual emissions an individual should aim for if we’re to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Cargo ships do emit a lot of greenhouse gases, but it works out to a lot less per ton. (Older ships average 15 grams of CO2 for every kilometer they carry a ton of cargo, while newer ones average only 3 grams.) Carrying an extra passenger is like sticking a feather in a giant’s cap.

The calculations would be more complicated if more people joined Fernström Nåtby, says Smith. Shipping companies would hurry to launch dedicated passenger ships, crowded with fuel-hungry luxuries to entice customers. But even those ships are on track to be more carbon-responsible than aircraft. The shipping industry agreed in April to cut its total carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2050. Today, boats powered by hydrogen fuel, whose only generated “trash” is water, are already slipping in and out of inlets near coastlines; tomorrow, they may be powerful enough to cross entire oceans.

Onboard La Traviata, Fernström Nåtby investigated shipping emissions on her own. She inspected the fuel tank, interrogated the crew about the ship’s fuel consumption, and got everyone talking and reading about international climate politics. The cook even joined in by preparing vegan meals. Fernström Nåtby watched a pod of dolphins leaping and glittering in the sunset, but she spotted about as much floating plastic as she did sea life.

Those observations neatly mirrored the issues that drove her internship. At the Swedish Mission to the UN, in addition to her focus on migration and humanitarian issues, Fernström Nåtby attended negotiations on a new rulebook meant to uphold people’s rights to a sound environment through the weight of international law. She was part of a push to reduce the use of disposable plastic items in the office—a move they then encouraged amongst other UN country missions. Ulrika Ajemark Åsland, a colleague of Fernström Nåtby at the Swedish Mission who worked closely with her on these projects, was in awe of how Fernström Nåtby chose to travel home, especially given how expensive it was. But her office-mates weren’t very surprised she took a stand. Leif Pagrotsky, the consul general of Sweden’s New York Consulate, points out that in Sweden, there is a lot of emphasis on environmental consciousness.

Not everyone Fernström Nåtby encountered was as supportive. After a 14-hour train ride from New York, Fernström Nåtby arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, where her ship was waiting to depart. “People think you are really strange when you tell them you are boarding a cargo ship as a passenger and sometimes even start yelling at you,” Fernström Nåtby says. She called six different numbers for port and ship authorities, and no one could tell her where, how, or when to board the ship. The last number finally sent her on a phone chain through three people before a nice guy named Ben came on the line and listed which taxi companies were certified to pass the security and passport control at the port. “The first taxi company yelled at me as well, but the second was very helpful!”

Regardless, Fernström Nåtby is happy with her travel choice. Perhaps her trip will inspire others to take similar steps to curb their carbon emissions—who then will inspire even more. “Like rings on the water,” she writes, “you have soon reached quite a large part of the population.”

After a few days in her cobblestoned university town of Lund, Sweden, Fernström Nåtby will take the train home through forests and lakes to Stockholm. In September, she starts a master’s degree in environmental policy at the London School of Economics—and yes, she’ll be taking the train there.


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GitLab Ultimate and Gold now free for education and open source

GitLab Ultimate and Gold now free for education and open source

It has been a crazy 24 hours for GitLab. More than 2,000 people tweeted about #movingtogitlab. We imported over 100,000 repositories, and we’ve seen a 7x increase in orders. We went live on Bloomberg TV. And on top of that, Apple announced an Xcode integration with GitLab.

We went live on YouTube on Sunday evening to answer your questions about #movingtogitlab and got a question from Mohammad Al-Ahdal who asked: “What about Education Discounts or Student Dev Packs?”.

Today, we’re excited to announce that GitLab Ultimate and Gold are now free for educational institutions and open source projects.

  1. Educational institutions: any institution whose purposes directly relate to learning, teaching, and/or training by a qualified educational institution, faculty, or student. Educational purposes do not include commercial, professional, or any other for-profit purposes. To apply, send an email to education@gitlab.com. Once your application has been approved, we will send your license code.
  2. Open source projects: any project that uses a standard open source license and is non-commercial. It should not have paid support or paid contributors. To apply, send a merge request to add your project to a list of open source projects using GitLab Ultimate and Gold.

What are GitLab Ultimate and GitLab Gold?

GitLab Ultimate and Gold are our most comprehensive offerings. GitLab Ultimate is self-hosted, whereas GitLab Gold is our SaaS offering hosted on GitLab.com. It includes all of the features in Core, Starter, and Premium, plus a more robust set of portfolio management and security features. For open source and educational projects, this means unlimited access to current and new features, including Epics, Roadmap, Static Application Security Testing, Container Scanning, and so much more!

Does it come with support?

Free GitLab Ultimate and Gold accounts do not include support. However, you can buy support for 95% off, at $4.95 per user per month. To purchase support, contact sales.

Why make it free?

We make GitLab free for education because we want students to use our most advanced features. Many universities already run GitLab. If the students use the advanced features of GitLab Ultimate and Gold they will take their experiences with these advanced features to their workplaces.

We would love to have more open source projects use GitLab. Public projects on GitLab.com already have all the features of GitLab Ultimate. And projects like Gnome and Debian already run their own server with the open source version of GitLab. With today’s announcement, open source projects that are comfortable running on proprietary software can use all the features GitLab has to offer while allowing us to have a sustainable business model by charging non open source organizations.

Can students apply for a discount?

To reduce the administrative burden for GitLab, only educational institutions can apply on behalf of their students. If you’re a student and your educational institution does not apply, you can use public projects on GitLab.com with all functionality, use private projects with the free functionality, or pay yourself.

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