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[Repost] Intro to Public Key Encryption

I happened upon Cory Doctorow's work years ago, and the explanation of public key encryption given in his novel Little Brother was the first one simple enough for little me to understand. As it's under a Creative Commons License, I'm reproducing it here. Privacy is going to be needed all the more for the next four years.

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[MST] House of Night 3: Chosen, Chapter 5

I would like to claim that I've spent the past two HON-less days trying to find an "I'm kinkshaming" reaction GIF, but that would be a lie. I actually spent them running back and forth between appointments and helping move a recliner, activities which bear much less internet credibility. I was also putting this particular chapter off because it's so draining; it's pretty bad, even by this series' standards. Sorry for the delay in any case.

Last time, Zoey found her zombie friend and was a dick to a homeless woman.

Content warnings: fire, discussion of rape, abusive relationship dynamics. Also, this chapter is NSFW due to a My Immortal-esque Sexy Part.

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[MST] House of Night 3: Chosen, Chapter 4

Last time, Zoey yelled at her stepdad and helped spread lies about the real meaning of Christmas. Hold onto your hats, kids; this chapter is awful in a lot of different ways.

Content warnings: They do everything they possibly can to shit on a homeless woman who did absolutely nothing wrong. I don't know what to call that (anti-homeless prejudice?).

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October 2016 announcements!

At long last we've arrived in Halloween Month -- er, I mean October. October is my very favorite month for a number of reasons, and I've been considering how best to celebrate since mid-August or so. Suffice to say there's a lot planned!

First and foremost, there's a new Halloween-themed stylesheet on this very blog for a limited time only (complete with a pumpkin logo). You can also expect some original fiction to crop up later on, including a completed visual novel for the first time in about five friggin' years. sweat_drops I'm also planning to post guides to the original arts and crafts I'll be working on throughout the month, namely my costume.

But perhaps the most exciting item, at least for random strangers who happen upon this blog, will probably be that I am going to start sporking the infamous House of Night series! It's pretty horrific and it has vampires, so it's a fine choice for Halloween.

The first installment will be up at midnight of 1 October (of course), and I'll be starting from the third book, Chosen.

Why am I starting from the third book instead of the beginning? Because there are already detailed MSTs of the first two books (e.g. Das Mervin) that go over most of what I would want to say anyway, so I would 1. just be belaboring points that were already well-established, and 2. probably get bogged down and driven to drink by the books' sheer awfulness long before finishing (which is presumably what happened to the previous sporkers, bless their hearts).

What kind of posts will these be? Just in case you're not familiar with the "sporking" or "MST" format, it means interspersing passages from the book with my commentary and jokes, in a similar vein to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 TV show. (This is fair use under the criticism and parody provisions, to the best of my knowledge.) I will refrain from personal attacks against the authors and the target audience, because those are mean; I also will not interrupt the action to make childish cracks like "and then the characters fell in a hole and died, yay!", because those don't really engage with what's actually wrong with the text. And believe me, there's a lot wrong with this one.

Be prepared with alcohol, puppy pictures, or the alternate soothing-forgetfulness method of your choice, and get hype for the 1st!

Ren'ai game musings, part one of many

There have been some wonderful visual novels by incredibly talented people. There have also been absolutely wretched ones. That's how it is for pretty much any medium you care to name. That said, I feel like a disproportionate number of the latter are (het male-oriented) romance sim games specifically, and there are a few basic patterns to their badness that could be remedied.

I once saw a Youtube video that purported to be advice for writing ren'ai games. That wasn't what it was. It was a series of disconnected cliches -- The setting should be a high school! The main character should have a bratty little sister! There should be a goofy male best friend! -- presented without any kind of context or explanation as to why they were good ideas. Certainly, this sort of advice might be useful if one wanted to make a ren'ai game as a cynical cash grab with as little thought or effort put into it as possible, but otherwise it was worse than useless. (I can't help but wonder if the wave of interchangeable high school romance ELVNs1 overtaking Mangagamer owes some sort of debt to that video.) I'm trying to avoid giving that sort of "advice" here.

In the Bollywood film Three Idiots, there is a recurring line "don't chase success; chase excellence and success will chase you". That is the kind of attitude this series takes. This is not a guide to making a successful ren'ai game, but to make an excellent one.

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