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I Had My First Kiss in GemStone III

  • In 1997, when I was figuring out who I was, GemStone III gave me a way to develop friendships, meet new people, and confront emotional situations.
  • The multiplayer role-playing game GemStone III launched 25 years ago on America Online (AOL), that sacred portal of connection that predates smartphones, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • GemStone III was also the first online multiplayer game accessible to people across different internet providers, Dunin says.
  • Adam Vartanian, a software engineer who now lives in London, played GemStone III from 1996 to 2002 and remembers the positive sense of community in the game.
  • As my friends and I grew into our out-of-GemStone adult bodies, others continued playing the game, and even met in person at fan conventions like SimuCon in St. Louis.
  • There were real weddings taking place at these conventions, said Dunin, between people who met as GemStone III characters in Renaissance Faire garb.

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Why Amazon Is Bullish on AWS Cloud Development Kit

  • The AWS CDK provides users with a high-level object-oriented abstraction to define AWS resources imperatively, using the power of modern programming languages.
  • While AWS has a lot of different services and tools to help developers build and deploy applications in the cloud, he noted that Amazon itself realized that more is needed.
  • Because of the global nature and scale of the Amazon catalog, the development team needed to continuously deploy the service to multiple development staging and production environments, across a growing number of AWS regions around the world, he added.
  • So Amazon's team decided to develop a high-level object-oriented abstraction that allowed it to work with the power of CloudFormation using Java, a general-purpose imperative programming language, to help model the more complex application logic behind these resources.
  • To that end, Vogels said AWS developed an open source JavaScript Interoperability Interface (JSII) that enables CDK abstractions to be published as different programming languages.

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Food stamp benefits are going up because food prices are rising

  • This year's annual cost-of-living increase is more than double the average 2% boost over the past 20 years.
  • While there's no significant shortage of food, disruptions in the supply chain have created scarcities and driven up prices.
  • Congressional Democrats and consumer advocates have been pushing to increase the maximum benefit by 15% for months, but the measure has not made it into any coronavirus relief packages.
  • Under the cost-of-living bump, a typical household of four will receive $680 a month in food stamps, up from $646 a month.
  • Nearly all states have opted to provide food stamp beneficiaries the maximum benefit for their household size, which was authorized by Congress in a coronavirus rescue bill in mid-March.
  • Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, as food stamps are formally known, will likely see the increase starting this month.

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NYPD planned assault and mass arrest of protesters with 'kettling' tactic, Human Rights Watch says

  • The report and video are based on interviews or written accounts from 81 people who participated in the protest, interviews with 19 others and an analysis of 155 videos, the non-profit human rights organization said.
  • That evening, the NYPD encircled and confined protesters within a tight space, a tactic known as "kettling." Generally, after surrounding protesters, police will then ask them to disperse or face arrest.
  • Chantel Johnson, one of the protesters in Mott Haven that day, told HRW that officers trapped her in a crush of people -- in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic -- and then moved in to make mass arrests.
  • About 10 minutes before curfew, marchers in Mott Haven reached a group of police officers with riot gear, helmets, shields and batons.

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Major U.S. diocese becomes largest to file for bankruptcy after 200 sexual abuse lawsuits

  • The Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island could not afford to litigate so many cases, Bishop John Oliver Barres said in a video posted to the diocese's website.
  • Barres said that the diocese's ministries would continue, and that the filing would not affect employee wages or benefit programs.
  • The wave of lawsuits came after New York increased the statute of limitations in early 2019, creating a one-year window where child sexual abuse victims of any age could pursue their cases.
  • The Child Victims Act also raised the maximum reporting age for child sexual abuse from 23 to 28 in criminal cases, and up to 55 in civil cases.
  • The Archdiocese of New York, the second-largest diocese in the nation, came under fire in 2019 when it identified 120 priests or deacons accused of sexually abusing a child or having child pornography.

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Wrestling with the ghost of a Confederate general

  • But until I read Connor Towne O'Neill's "Down Along With That Devil's Bones: A Reckoning With Monuments, Memory, and the Legacy of White Supremacy," I did not know this about my home state: It is also home to 31 monuments to Confederate general and native son Nathan Bedford Forrest -- more than the state's three presidents (Jackson, Andrew Johnson and James K.
  • CNN: I wanted to ask what it was like to get to know some of the contemporary characters you bring to life -- like Rev. James Perkins, the former (and first African American) mayor of Selma, Joshua Crutchfield, a graduate student at Middle Tennessee State University, Tami Sawyer, an activist (and now local politician) in Memphis.

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Federal judge denies Bolton's motion to dismiss DOJ lawsuit over his book

  • Washington (CNN) - A federal judge on Thursday denied a motion by former Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton to dismiss the Department of Justice's lawsuit over the publication of his tell-all book.
  • In denying the motion and allowing the lawsuit to move forward, Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that "the government alleges sufficient facts" to support its allegations that Bolton violated his obligations to have the book reviewed before publication and his obligations to not disclose classified information.
  • In recent weeks the Justice Department also launched a criminal investigation into whether Bolton had "unlawfully disclosed classified information" in the memoir, according to The New York Times.
  • The Trump administration had previously tried to block the book's release in court, arguing that Bolton had not completed the required prepublication review of the manuscript to make sure classified information was not contained in it.

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For seniors in some care centers, loosened Covid-19 rules mean actual hugs and a respite from isolation

  • Miami (CNN) - Victoria Cerrone remembers the moment her parents tried to kiss through the glass window of a memory care center in South Florida.
  • It was three months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and senior care centers were closed to visitors.
  • Standing inside, beyond the pane of glass, her 85-year-old father, Vittorio Cerrone, wore two or three layers of clothing because he felt cold.
  • Millions of families across the country have experienced unfathomable pain from the forced separation from their elderly loved ones due to Covid-19 lockdowns at nursing homes, assisted living facilities and long-term care centers.
  • In Florida, more than 5,500 staff members or residents of long-term care facilities have died since the pandemic began, according to the Florida Department of Health.
  • For Victoria Cerrone, the window visits with her father eventually grew too painful, she said.

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5 things we still don't know about Donald Trump's finances

  • New York (CNN Business) - The bombshell New York Times report over the weekend detailing two decades' worth of Donald Trump's tax records answered a number of questions Americans have been asking since Trump announced his bid for the White House.
  • The answer, per the Times reporting: at least during much of the past two decades, Trump has paid less in federal income taxes than the average American taxpayer.
  • Perhaps the easiest way for Trump to clarify for the American people just how much he has paid in federal income taxes — which support the Defense Department, law enforcement, education and myriad other government services — would be to release his tax returns himself, just as every other president has done since the Watergate era.
  • From 2010 to 2018, Trump wrote off some $26 million in unexplained "consulting fees" as business expenses, according to the Times report.

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No, polls don't show Donald Trump won the debate 'big'

  • But my best guess is that Trump is conflating actual, scientific polls -- like the two I noted above -- with non-scientific, Internet polls which, among other methodological flaws, allow a single person to cast as many votes as they like.
  • Trump, never one to dig deep into how a poll is conducted, may have latched on numbers like the non-scientific ones being produced by Breitbart and other sites.
  • Or, and this is a real possibility too, Trump is just saying he won, without even any bad numbers -- like those in the Breitbart "poll" -- to back him up.
  • Anyone not willing to play along with him in that story by, you know, noting that the facts often don't support Trump's version of events, is removed from his inner circle.

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