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Universal Fan Con suddenly postpones — so attendees organized

A convention built to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness in fandom has been postponed at the last minute, and would-be attendees are channeling their understandable frustration in constructive directions.

Universal Fan Con, which was originally funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, released the bad news on Friday. Just a week before the event, organizers decided to postpone it, citing a “financial deficit.” As of now, it’s unclear when the conference will be rescheduled. The status of attendee’s refunds is also unclear.  

It would be enough under other circumstances to cause well-justified social media uproar. Instead, attendees have used the occasion to organize and help support vendors and artists who will likely suffer a rough financial blow as a result.  Read more…

More about Watercooler, Social Good, Diversity, Comic Culture, and Culture

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Geek News

WikiLeaks loses access to a key cryptocurrency account

This hasn't been the best week for WikiLeaks, to put it mildly. Coinbase has shut off the WikiLeaks Shop's account for allegedly violating the cryptocurrency exchange's terms of service. In other words, the leak site just lost its existing means of…

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Colin Kaepernick may be exiled from the NFL, but that's also why he keeps winning

Colin Kaepernick may be the most criminally unemployed NFL player in the free agency pool today, but the actions that brought him to this point continue to pay off.

Kaepernick was named Amnesty International’s “Ambassador of Conscience” for 2018 on Saturday. The award recognizes the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s act of kneeling during pre-game national anthem performances, a choice that eventually cost him his job, and likely his NFL career as well.

SEE ALSO: Why did ABC shelve this ‘Black-ish’ episode?

The protest action started with a simple intent: Bring attention to racial inequality in America, specifically racially motivated police brutality. It’s been attacked by various critics, including Donald Trump himself, as unpatriotic and wrong. But that willful mischaracterization in and of itself also reinforces Kaepernick’s statement. Read more…

More about Sports, Social Good, Activism, Amnesty International, and Colin Kaepernick

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Geek News

AT&T and Verizon investigated for possibly colluding to make your smartphone life worse

AT&T and Verizon don’t want to let you out of their grasps. 

So much so, in fact, that they may have colluded to make it harder for you to switch cellphone carriers. 

So reports The New York Times, which notes that the Justice Department is investigating the two companies for possibly working together to stifle a technology known as eSIM. If deployed, eSIM would make it easier for people to jump from provider to provider — no new physical SIM card required — potentially leaving AT&T or Verizon behind in the process.  

SEE ALSO: Verizon will now trade you your personal data for … concert tickets Read more…

More about Apple, Verizon, T Mobile, Sprint, and At T

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Apple will replace swollen batteries in newer MacBook Pros

It hasn't been that long since the iPhone battery fiasco, but Apple already has another battery issue to deal with. The tech giant has launched a battery replacement program for 13-inch MacBook Pros without Touch Bar manufactured between October 2016…

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Geek News

Verne Troyer, Mini-Me star from 'Austin Powers,' is dead at age 49

Actor Verne Troyer died on Saturday at the age of 49. 

Troyer was perhaps most famous for his roles in the Austin Powers film series, where he played Dr. Evil henchman Mini-MeAn Instagram post to his official account broke the sad news.  

SEE ALSO: Verne Troyer unboxes his new Tesla for Christmas and takes it for a spin

“Verne was an extremely caring individual,” read the post. “He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible.”

It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday. He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, and attitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s & personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there to show everyone what he was capable of doing. Even though his stature was small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach up and open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more peoples hearts than he will ever know. Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much. During this recent time of adversity he was baptized while surrounded by his family. The family appreciates that they have this time to grieve privately. Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Verne’s name to either of his two favorite charities; The Starkey Hearing Foundation and Best Buddies. Photo by @paulmobleystudio Read more…

More about Depression, Verne Troyer, Culture, and Celebrities

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Donald Trump suggests he may pardon Jack Johnson because — c'mon, you know why

While past presidents were mourning former First Lady Barbara Bush at her funeral in Houston today, President Trump was on his phone in Mar-a-Lago, having his usual Twitter meltdown.

In between excoriating James Comey and tossing around conspiracy theories about Mr. Peepers, President Trump decided to suddenly announce he was considering a pardon for Jack Johnson, the history-making boxer.

Trump, as you might imagine, appears to have taken a particular interest in pardons as of late.

SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama shared the perfect parenting metaphor for Trump’s White House

Some background on the controversy: Jack Johnson was the first black man to ever hold the title of world heavyweight champion. By 1912, he hadn’t lost a match in four years. Other white boxers refused to fight him. When one, Canadian Tommy Burns, did, Johnson destroyed him soundly.  Read more…

More about Watercooler, Boxing, Pardon, President Trump, and Jack Johnson

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Football drama 'Friday Night Lights' starts streaming on Hulu

The good news for fans of Friday Night Lights, the highly acclaimed TV show about a high school football team in Texas, just keep on coming. Only a couple of weeks after Amazon announced that the series would be streaming on its video service, Hulu i…

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Geek News

GSMA puts eSIM work 'on hold' due to US collusion investigation

Don't expect to see embedded SIM technology in your phone any time soon. The GSMA, which oversees key cellular standards, has placed eSIM spec work "on hold" while the US Department of Justice investigates the possibility of collusion between AT&…

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Recommended Reading: Tesla and Waymo's self-driving data quests

How Tesla and Waymo are tackling a major problem for self-driving cars: Data
Sean O'Kane,
The Verge

In order for cars to drive themselves, the vehicles and their systems require loads of data. And gathering those details are one of the main goals…

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