Tag Archives | Identity

Canada’s First Child To Be Born With Three Parents On Birth Certificate

babyWill the two-parent default come to be regarded as a quaint relic of the twentieth century? Suppose that three-plus parents is superior? Via CBC News:

A Vancouver baby has just become the first child in British Columbia with three parents listed on a birth certificate. Three-month-old Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of lesbian parents and their male friend.

B.C.’s new Family Law Act, which came into effect last year, allows for three or even more parents. B.C. is the first province in Canada with legislation to allow three parents on a birth certificate, although it’s been achieved elsewhere through litigation.

“In the old days, we looked at biology and genetic connections. And that’s no longer true. We now look at the intention of the parties who are contributing to the creation of the child, and intend to raise the child. And that’s a really, really big shift.”

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How I Became a Queer Heterosexual

Pic: iamiyouareyou (CC)

Pic: iamiyouareyou (CC)

Clyde Smith, writing for the International Conference on Sexuality “Beyond Boundaries” in 1997:

This is the story of how I became a queer heterosexual. It begins in North Carolina where I spent most of my life till I was twenty-nine years old. There I developed a flexible conception of gender and an openness to others’ sexual orientation but held on to binaries of male and female, hetero and homo. The bulk of my story focuses on a three year period spent in San Francisco where I was immersed in a queer milieu. There I learned a great deal about further possibilities for sexual and gendered identity that went beyond rigid binaries. Much of this learning occurred in queer territory and led to my alignment with that identity yet my initial inability to claim such a title. I close with my experiences after leaving San Francisco and my eventual coming out as a queer heterosexual.

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Patriarchy Is Misandry

PIC: LOC (PD)

PIC: LOC (PD)

Sian Ferguson writes at News24:

Where exactly do we see sexism against men? Anything that perpetuates gender stereotyping could be considered sexist. I absolutely detest woman saying things along the lines of ‘men are all the same’ and ‘men are all after one thing’, because it’s sexist. The idea that men are driven entirely by sex (and that women, by contrast, have very little desire for sex) stems from patriarchal expectations of male sexuality. Not only can the acceptance of such stereotypes damage relationships (imagine trying to be in a relationship with someone who constantly second-guesses your intentions because of an untrue stereotype they were brainwashed into believing?), it damages the male psyche and perpetuates patriarchal ideas. As patriarchy advocates the strict adherence to certain gender roles, it asserts that men should behave in a certain way to be considered ‘men’. This is sexism against men. While patriarchy values men over women on a general level, it also values certain men (more ‘masculine’, athletic, straight, etc.) over certain other men (more ‘feminine’, homosexual or transsexual, etc.).

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On Consumer Choice And The Quest For Meaning

666girlsVia The New Inquiry Rob Horning warns that attempting to express our identities has become a zero-sum game:

Consumerism is sustained by the ideology that freedom of choice is the only relevant freedom; it implies that society has mastered scarcity and that accumulating things is the primary universal human good, that which allows us to understand and relate to the motives of others.

Choosing among things, in a consumer society, is what allows us to feel autonomous (no one tells us how we must spend our money) and express, or even discover, our unique individuality — which is proposed as the purpose of life. If we can experience ourselves as original, our lives will not have been spent in vain. We will have brought something new to human history; we will have been meaningful. (This is opposed to older notions of being “true” to one’s station or to God’s plan.)

The quest for originality collides with the capitalist economic imperative of growth.

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Senator Raises Concern That The FBI Could Access iPhone Fingerprint Data

fingerThose who find Apple’s new fingerprint reader disturbing apparently include members of Congress. Ars Technica reports:

On Thursday, the Minnesota senator Al Franken, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, published a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

“Passwords are secret and dynamic; fingerprints are public and permanent,” wrote Sen. Franken. “If someone hacks your password, you can change it—as many times as you want. You can’t change your fingerprints. And you leave them on everything you touch; they are definitely not a secret. What’s more, a password doesn’t uniquely identify its owner—a fingerprint does.”

He also has specific questions for Cupertino:

Is it possible to convert locally stored fingerprint data into a digital or visual format that can be used by third parties?

Is it possible to extract and obtain fingerprint data from an iPhone? If so, can this be done remotely, or with physical access to the device?…

Under American intelligence law, the FBI can seek an order requiring the production of “any tangible thing (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” if they are deemed relevant to certain foreign intelligence investigations.

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Apple’s Fingerprint Authentication For The iPhone Is Here

fingerThe iPhone 5S, going on sale this month, unveils Apple’s plan to build a fingerprint database, err, to feature fingerprint security. Now when someone steals your phone, they will cut off your thumb as well. Via ZDNet:

Apple has unveiled its smartphone’s latest weapon: a fingerprint reader it’s calling Touch ID.

With its move, Apple could end up making the technology commonplace, as rivals might feel compelled to follow suit. It could be only a matter of time before passwords and passcodes are relegated to yesteryear.

In making the iPhone 5S one of the first mainstream smartphones in the Western market to include hardware security, Apple has begun to reinvent the notion of device and online identity.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said at the Tuesday event that the Touch ID fingerprint scanner will be used to access a user’s device quicker, as well as preventing unauthorized users from accessing a device’s data.

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Motorola Aiming To Replace Smartphone Passwords With Electronic Tattoos

biostampsIf you’re concerned about the mark of the beast, this has to be worrying. Via the Telegraph:

Initially designed for medical purposes, Motorola hopes the ‘Biostamps’ could now be used for consumer authentication purposes.

The technology, which aims to remove the need to enter passwords and replace them simply with a phone being close to a user’s body, was one of the suggestions by Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s chief executive, at California’s D11 conference yesterday.

Nokia has previously experimented with integrating tattoos into mobile phones, and Motorola’s senior vice president of advance research, Regina Dugan, a former head of the US Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, demonstrated the silicon-based technology that uses bendable electronic circuits.

The tattoos have been developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, and contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer’s skin using a rubber stamp.

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Researchers Successfully Use Subjects’ Brain Waves As Personal Identifiers

brain wavesIn coming years, allowing a machine to momentarily observe your mental activity may be the key to open your email account or front door. Via Dark Reading:

It sounds like something straight out of science fiction: brainwaves taking the place of passwords in the name of authentication. A new study by researchers from the U.C. Berkeley School of Information examined the brainwave signals of individuals performing specific actions to see whether they can be consistently matched to the right individual.

Participants were asked to imagine performing a repetitive motion from a sport of their choice, singing a song, watching a series of on-screen images and silently counting the objects, or choose their own thought and focus on it for 10 seconds.

To measure the subjects’ brainwaves, the team used the NeuroSky Mindset, a Bluetooth headset that records Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. In the end, the team was able to match the brainwave signals with 99 percent accuracy.

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Linguistics Identifies Anonymous Users

Chaos pattern in 1DCVCN left-influential rule=147 gI = 0.14

Chaos pattern in 1DCVCN left-influential rule=147 gI = 0.14

via SCMagazine

Being anonymous online may become more challenging for those who wish to be unknown. A new data mining technique is being developed to reveal identities of people by writing style.

Imagine that the social networks which require real names will be used as a standard to delve the deep dark alleys of the internetAlthough it appears there may be ways to add white noise to a writing style, if indeed one is that concerned about being revealed.

Up to 80 percent of certain anonymous underground forum users can be identified using linguistics, researchers say.The techniques compare user posts to track them across forums and could even unveil authors of thesis papers or blogs who had taken to underground networks. “If our dataset contains 100 users we can at least identify 80 of them,” researcher Sadia Afroz told an audience at the 29C3 Chaos Communication Congress in Germany.”Function words are very specific to the writer.

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Boston Police Pose As Indie Rockers Online In Hilarious Fashion

“Whats the 411 on the local music show tonight?” …Life imitates art as authorities attempt, very poorly, to infiltrate and break up youth subculture by creating imaginary electronic personas, Slate reveals:

Boston police are finding out as their bungling efforts to infiltrate the underground rock scene online are being exposed. A recently passed nuisance control ordinance has spurred a citywide crackdown on house shows—concerts played in private homes, rather than in clubs. The police, it appears, are posing as music fans online to ferret out intel on where these DIY shows are going to take place.

This week the St. Louis band Spelling Bee posted a screencap of emails from an account that they believe was used by the police in a sting before their recent Boston show. It reads like an amazing parody of what you might imagine a cop trying to pose as a young punk would look like:

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