Arrogant, subtle, entitled: 'Toxic' open source GitHub discussions examined

The Register - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 14:23
Developer interactions sometimes contain their own kind of poison

Analysis  Toxic discussions on open-source GitHub projects tend to involve entitlement, subtle insults, and arrogance, according to an academic study. That contrasts with the toxic behavior – typically bad language, hate speech, and harassment – found on other corners of the web.…

Categories: Tech News

Sex-Drive-Boosting Gummies Have Officially Gone ~Aesthetic~

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 14:21

At this point in our adult lives, we know what turns us on. But we also know that Mulberry silk sheets are spensi, and that there’s only so many times you can make your partner watch all 686 (extended) minutes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And no offense to our local businesses, but those “gas station dick pills” and bodega “energy boosters” aren’t the most enticing things to swallow when we need a little libido boost. That’s where the burgeoning world of “horny” supplements comes in swinging—with gummies and chocolates that promise to not only get you in the mood, but do so in a more *aesthetic* fashion than ever. Just look at Maude’s  libido gummies! They belong in the MoMA gift shop.

Now, Dame is the latest sexual wellness company to throw its hat into the (cock)ring for supplement consideration. This week, the cutting-edge brand launched its first ever collection of gummies supposedly designed “to significantly improve mood, anxiety, and stress after four weeks of daily use [and to] decrease stress, a factor which can directly impact connectivity and sexual satisfaction.” They’re also giving us Flintstones chewable vitamins nostalgia in the best way.

The lineup of key ingredients includes ashwagandha (to manage stress and improves mood), L-theanine (to promote relaxation), mucuna (a building block of dopamine, a.k.a. the pleasure neurotransmitter) and shatavari (which balances female hormones related to depression and burnout). “To launch Desire Gummies,” a Dame representative told VICE, Dame also conducted its own clinical study on the finished formula, in addition to using ingredients that have been tested on their own [and] are also doctor-approved by Dame’s Clinical Board.”

We’ve been loyal Dame… dames since the brand’s 2014 debut, when founders Alexandra Fine (a sexologist) and Janet Lieberman (an engineer who attended MIT), carved out a space for sexual wellness items that feels like a breath of fresh air by setting higher engineering standards for toys, and even creating a beta-testing system for products called Dame Labs. If there were ever a supplement to try, we’d bet our buns on the one by Dame. Plus, our food pyramid is mostly Camel Blues, burritos, and negronis, so these chewies might do our bones some good—in more ways than one.

Learn more about Dame’s Desire Gummies on the brand’s website.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

Arm announces the Cortex X3 CPU, headed for 2023 Android phones

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 14:15
The Arm Cortex X3 brings some modest improvements.

Enlarge / The Arm Cortex X3 brings some modest improvements. (credit: Arms)

Fresh off a dramatic journey of not being bought by Nvidia, Arm announced its latest flagship CPUs. Coming soon to your 2023 Android devices, we have the Cortex-X3 and Arm Cortex-A715 CPUs.

As usual, these designs will be part of a system-on-chip CPU cluster. Assuming the normal layout, Arm's proposed design would have a 2023 SoC with one big Cortex-X3 core, three medium-core Cortex-A715 CPUs, and four little Cortex-A510 cores, which are returning from the current generation.

Arm is promising the X3 CPU will 25 percent performance improvement over the X2, while the Cortex A715 is claiming a "20 percent energy efficiency gain and 5 percent performance uplift" compared to the current-gen Cortex A710. Arm claims the A715 is as fast as the Cortex X1 CPU from 2020. The A715 also drops 32-bit support, making it the last part of our theoretical flagship SoC to go 64-bit only. The smaller A510 CPU is returning, but Arm says it is "an updated version" with a 5 percent power reduction.

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Categories: Tech News

Daily Horoscope: June 30, 2022

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 14:00

The moon in Cancer makes a harmonious connection with Neptune in Pisces at 11:28 AM, inspiring our imaginations and encouraging us to connect with our intuitions. But watch out for arguments and impatience as the moon squares off with fiery Mars in Aries at 2:17 PM. The moon opposes Pluto in Capricorn at 4:14 PM, which could stir up intense emotions: Make time to sit with how you feel and don’t ignore what comes up for you. The moon enters courageous, big-hearted fire sign Leo at 8:40 PM.

All times ET.

Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!

Aries glyph Aries: March 20, 2022 - April 19, 2022

The moon in Cancer squares off with your ruling planet Mars, which is currently in your sign, Aries, finding you impatient to address an issue at home or in your personal life. A fun, flirtatious energy flows as the moon enters fellow fire sign Leo.

Taurus glyphs Taurus: April 19, 2022 - May 20, 2022

An intense conversation may take place as the moon in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn. The moon enters Leo later on, bringing your focus to your home and family.

Gemini glyph Gemini: May 20, 2022 - June 21, 2022

A power struggle may come to a head as the moon in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn. The moon enters Leo later on, lighting up the communication sector of your chart, possibly bringing news your way or finding you eager to express yourself.

Cancer glyph Cancer: June 21, 2022 - July 22, 2022

Intense emotions could arise in your relationships today as the moon in your sign, Cancer, opposes Pluto in Capricorn. An important shift can take place, if you’re able to let go of the past. Your focus turns to finances as the moon enters Leo.

Leo glyph Leo: July 22, 2022 - August 22, 2022

The moon in Cancer encourages you to slow down and rest today, although you may feel a touch impatient as the moon squares off with Mars in Aries, plus the moon’s opposition with Pluto in Capricorn could find you wondering if you have to set better boundaries at work or around your schedule. The moon enters your sign later on, Leo, encouraging you to connect with your emotions!

Virgo glyph Virgo: August 22, 2022 - September 22, 2022

The moon in Cancer makes a harmonious connection with Neptune in Pisces, inspiring a romantic atmosphere! The moon enters Leo later on, encouraging you to connect with your inner voice.

Libra glyph Libra: September 22, 2022 - October 23, 2022

The moon in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which could find you setting better boundaries between your home and personal life and your work and public life. The moon enters Leo later on, bringing your focus to your social life!

Scorpio glyph Scorpio: October 23, 2022 - November 22, 2022

The moon in fellow water sign Cancer opposes your ruling planet Pluto, currently in Capricorn, which could bring a climax to an intense conversation. The moon enters Leo later on, bringing your attention to your career.

Sagittarius glyph Sagittarius: November 22, 2022 - December 21, 2022

The moon in Cancer squares off with Mars in Aries, which can inspire a hugely passionate—and perhaps impulsive—atmosphere. The moon enters Leo, which could bring you exciting opportunities! News from faraway may arrive…

Capricorn glyph Capricorn: December 21, 2021 - January 19, 2022

The moon in your opposite sign Cancer opposes Pluto, which is currently in your sign, Capricorn, bringing a climax to a power struggle. Consider bringing in a third party to help mediate things. The moon enters Leo later on, shifting your focus to finances.

Aquarius glyphs Aquarius: January 19, 2022 - February 18, 2022

The moon in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, encouraging you to kick an old habit. The moon enters Leo later on, lighting up the relationship sector of your chart and making it an exciting time to connect!

Pisces glyph Pisces: February 18, 2022 - March 20, 2022

The moon in fellow water sign Cancer makes a harmonious connection with your ruling planet Neptune, which is in your sign, inspiring creativity, romance, and a generally whimsical atmosphere! The moon enters Leo later on, encouraging you to get reorganized at work.

Categories: Tech News

Thanks to fans, the weirdest official Doom game is now playable on Windows

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:59
A seemingly lost turn-based version of <em>Doom RPG</em> is now fully playable on modern Windows PCs, thanks to efforts from the <em>Doom</em> reverse-engineering community.

Enlarge / A seemingly lost turn-based version of Doom RPG is now fully playable on modern Windows PCs, thanks to efforts from the Doom reverse-engineering community. (credit: id Software)

The creators of the Doom series have presented plenty of official and unofficial historical retrospectives, but these often leave out the weirdest official Doom game ever made: Doom RPG.

Even id Software's official "Year of Doom" museum at E3 2019 left this 2005 game unchronicled. That's a shame, because it was a phenomenal example of id once again proving itself a master of technically impressive gaming on a power-limited platform. And platforms don't get more limited on a power or compatibility basis than the pre-iPhone wave of candy bar handsets, which Doom RPG has been locked to since its original mid-'00s launch. You may think that "turn-based Doom" sounds weird, but Doom RPG stood out as a clever and fun series twist to the first-person shooter formula.

Its abandonment to ancient phones changes today thanks to the reverse-engineering efforts of, a Costa Rica-based collective of at least three developers. On Wednesday, the group released a Windows port of the game based on their work on the original game's BREW version (a Qualcomm-developed API meant for its wave of mobile phones from 2001 and beyond).

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Get a Free Dad Grass Joint This Weekend When You Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:45

Happy incoming three-day weekend, dear reader! Take a seat in our shag-carpeted conversation pit, and we’d love to puff, puff, pass you a fragrant, crystal-covered deal in celebration of the Fourth of July, which means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but to us at Rec Room, means leaving our chaotic inboxes behind for a few days to shotgun beers and light off fireworks with our squad in a backyard, by a pool, or adjacent to a body of water.

We’ve teamed up with Dad Grass, which makes some of our staff's all-time fave ultra-vibey CBD and CBG joints, to give you a free joint to give you a free joint this Fourth of July weekend. Yep, you heard that right—this is a bad-vibes-free zone, after all. Sign up for the Rec Room newsletter today, and you’ll receive a free joint while supplies last—we’re giving away up to 5,000, by the way. Plus, get all of our immaculately curated product reviews, best-of guides, scoops on new drops, and hot deals in your inbox every week when you subscribe, as a delicious bonus with a warm, gooey center. 

Click here to sign up for the Rec Room newsletter and get a free joint from Dad Grass. Claim your free CBD joint here. Then, throw on a great record, open the window to let the breeze and sunshine in, and have a beautiful day.

Categories: Tech News

The rise and precarious reign of China’s battery king

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:43
Zeng Yuqun, chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), poses for a photograph in Ningde, Fujian province, China, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Enlarge / Zeng Yuqun, chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), poses for a photograph in Ningde, Fujian province, China, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

The headquarters of battery giant CATL tower over the coastal Chinese city of Ningde. To the untrained eye, the building resembles a huge slide rising out of the urban sprawl. It is, in fact, a giant monument to the company’s raison d'être: the lithium-ion battery pack.

You may have never heard of CATL, but you’ve definitely heard of the brands that rely on its batteries. The company supplies more than 30 percent of the world’s EV batteries and counts Tesla, Kia and BMW amongst its clients. Its founder and chairman, 54-year-old Zeng Yuqun, also known as Robin Zeng, has rapidly emerged as the industry’s kingmaker. Insiders describe Zeng as savvy, direct, and even abrasive. Under his leadership, CATL’s valuation has ballooned to 1.2 trillion Chinese yuan ($179 billion), more than General Motors and Ford combined. Part of that fortune is built on owning stakes in mining projects in China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia, giving CATL a tighter grip on an already strained global battery supply chain.

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Categories: Tech News

Fly By Jing’s 4th of July Sale Is Here (Just in Time for the Cookout)

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:40

Attention chile crisp lovers, dumpling heads, and smoked fish aficionados: This is not a drill. One of our favorite online craft food platforms, Fly By Jing, is having a massive 4th of July sale from now through July 4. Shoppers can save up to 25% on the brand’s delicious sauces, spices, and other Sichuan flavors, ingredients, and ready-to-eat meals—no code required.

Fly By Jing’s founder and CEO Jing Gao’s birthday is coming up, and her oh-so-generous wish is to help customers stock their pantries and refrigerators with discounts on the most fire Sichuan flavors in the game. We’re longtime lovers (and hearty evangelists) of Fly By Jing and its wares, from the brand’s viral chile crisp and frozen dumplings to its smoked salmon collab with Fishwife and at-home hot pot kit. All of its kitchen essentials—including the wildly popular, mouth-numbing Sichuan Chili Crisp, which was the best-selling hot sauce on Amazon just six months after it dropped—are rooted in Sichuan tradition, made in California, and designed for eating however (and whenever) you’d like.

Rec Room editors have called the brand’s products “next-level” and “mouth-watering,” noting in technical terms that “they slap—hard." So, perhaps you’re interested in Fly By Jing’s Sauce Trio (20% off right now) for slathering on your BBQ at the upcoming cookout, or a variety pack of dumplings you can tell your Midsommar dinner party guests that you made yourself? No problem.

Or, maybe you need some marked-down tingly Sichuan salt, aged doubanjiang (a.k.a. preserved fava bean paste), or fragrant chili peppers? Whatever it is—including dope merch—Fly By Jing has you covered in all departments culinary. 

So, join us in celebrating our new favorite holiday, International Jing Day, and stock up on all of the insanely good Fly By Jing pantry staples. [Eats bag of dumplings like a snake.] 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

GOP Cop Who Punched Democratic Rival at Abortion-Rights Rally Should Be Fired, Chief Says

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:23

An off-duty Rhode Island cop running for state senate has been charged with assault after punching his political rival in the face at an abortion-rights protest, and now his police chief is saying he should be fired.

Video from Friday’s rally captured officer Jeann Lugo, 35, and Republican candidate for Rhode Island senate, throwing punches at Jennifer Rourke, the Democrat running against him. Rourke had been mediating between abortion-rights activists and counterprotesters when a fight broke out between two people, the video shows. Lugo can be seen striking Rourke in her face twice in the video, which now has more than 5 million views.

“This is what it is to be a Black woman running for office,” Rourke tweeted Saturday. “I won't give up.”

According to state police, Lugo turned himself in on Saturday and was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, and placed on administrative leave. He has since ended his campaign and suspended his Twitter account.

Rourke was treated for a concussion, her spokesperson told reporters.

On Tuesday, the Providence police chief said Lugo is facing internal charges, which include violating its standards of conduct and rules governing courtesy, conduct, and demeanor.

“Your above-described misconduct has been prominently reported in the print and electronic media, bringing dishonor, discredit, embarrassment, and reputational harm to the Providence Police Department,” police chief Colonel Hugh Clement Jr. said in a five-page report. “Based on the facts and circumstances presented to me, I have lost confidence in your capacity and ability to exercise self-control and to conduct yourself in a civil, respectful, and professional manner.”

Lugo’s attorney, Daniel Griffin, said in a statement that he and his client are “disappointed” by the choice to terminate Lugo.

"To make this decision so hastily really flies in the face of due process and fair treatment,” Griffin said. “Quite frankly, Officer Lugo expected more from his city. However, he remains confident that the facts of this situation will be brought to light and show that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.”

Griffin declined to comment further, but told NBC 10 that Lugo didn’t attack Rourke unprovoked and didn’t know it was her in the first place. Lugo alleges that while he was trying to protect a person being attacked at the rally.

“[Lugo] is there trying to pull the green jacket man off of the person getting pummeled,” Griffin said, in reference to a video showing another angle of the moment. “When the person behind him won’t stop pulling him, preventing him from protecting another citizen, he neutralizes that and then he goes right back to try and protect the person.”

In this second video, Rourke can be seen briefly holding onto Lugo as he rushes toward the man who punched another protester.

The Providence Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lugo will have until the end of the week to file a request for a hearing, which his attorney has signaled his client will do.

The incident in Providence was just one instance of violence at demonstrations protesting the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to abortion. Videos captured cops beating journalists and protesters at an abortion-rights rally in Los Angeles and tasing demonstrators in Greenville, North Carolina. In Phoenix, Arizona, protesters were tear-gassed after small groups began banging on the door of the state senate building. 

Follow Trone Dowd on Twitter.

Categories: Tech News

Former National Guardsman Arrested for Allegedly Selling Ghost Guns Also Threatened to Shoot Up Jewish Schools, ‘Hunt’ Black People

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:11

A former Ohio National Guard member named Thomas Develin was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly 3D-printing and selling “ghost guns” on Snapchat, Telegram, and other social media, according to a criminal complaint against him. Develin also allegedly posted a series of racist, misogynistic, and antisemitic memes and specific threats on Discord and other social media, according to the criminal complaint. 

A “ghost gun” is an untraceable weapon with no serial number which can be assembled at home. The weapons were allegedly made “in whole or in part” with a 3-D printer.

"An examination of the screenshots recovered from the Discord messages revealed a large quantity of antisemitic, white nationalist, racist, and misogynistic content that is consistent with that of racially motivated violent extremist and incel violent extremist content," a Department of Justice agent wrote in an affidavit.

Develin was arrested for allegedly intending to sell the firearms. He also allegedly had homemade devices for converting semi-automatic AR-15 rifles and Glock-type pistols into fully automatic weapons, according to the complaint. Authorities found more than 25 firearms in Develin’s possession in March of this year while searching his residence. 

Develin posted photos and videos of himself 3D-printing the “ghost guns,” which he sold on Snapchat and Telegram, according to the criminal complaint. He was enlisted with the National Guard at this point, and was also working for the security company Sahara Global Security, the complaint states.

The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint against him also revealed a shocking amount of racist, anti-semitic, and misogynistic posts he made on Discord and Snapchat. It also shows images of him he allegedly posted to Snapchat that show him pointing a rifle at a woman walking her dog threatening to shoot her.

Develin posted Holocaust denial content and explicit threats to shoot up Jewish schools. On March 11, he wrote that he was at a Jewish school, and shortly followed up with, “The  playground is about to turn into a self-defense situation,” according to the affidavit. With this, he posted a photo of a Glock handgun in his lap. A different image shows Develin pointing his rifle at a person walking their dog. He also posted about “hunting” Black people, and threatened to “firebomb” the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office in West Virginia. 

Develin is the latest current or former military member who has been found to be allegedly associated with extremist movements.

Categories: Tech News

Canada Has a New Toolkit to Stop Kids From Being Groomed by Neo-Nazis

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:06

Parents and teachers in Canada will now have an “educational toolkit” to help them if they notice a child being groomed by a hate group.

The new resource, launched by the Canadian government in partnership with the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, intends to combat the growing prevalence of hate groups online.  Members of those groups, most of whom were raised in the digital age, are becoming more adept at recruiting. For example, the neo-Nazi terror group The Base, as well as other neo-Nazi groups, have used meme websites to recruit young people, usually male teenagers, into their movement. 

Authorities are still figuring out ways to effectively combat the problem.

The toolkit can be found online free of charge here and contains modules that run teachers and parents through a variety of subjects related to hate groups, such as ideologies and recruitment techniques. One of the sections presents scenarios and offers ways to handle to them from a variety of perspectives. Elizabeth Simons, the deputy director for the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said that the examples were all taken from real-world events that had occurred in Canada.

"The scenarios in the toolkit deal with increasing severity of what hate might look like within the school community, said Simons.“You start out with anonymous hate promotion—so that could be graffiti, that could be a swastika on a desk. 

“It starts from there and then it escalates all the way to overt hate organizing within the school community and outside the school community” she added.

The project is one of the latest anti-racism initiatives rolled out by Canada’s government. In a Wednesday press conference announcing the project, Ahmed Hussen, the minister of housing diversity and inclusion, said that in total the government "has invested $35 million to fund 175 anti-racism projects across the country."

Bernie Farber, the chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, added in the press conference that Canadian schools still have too many instances of hate and brought up recent examples, including a group of children beating up a Black child while yelling slurs in Edmonton and children making videos of themselves doing Nazi salutes. Farber said the workshops will continue to evolve and that the Canadian Anti-Hate Network is already running the seminars. 

The vice president for professional development for the Ontario School Counsellors Association echoed that sentiment and said the group was surprised “at how many hate groups operated in Canada and how many methods these groups use to engage and recruit youth.” 

“As we would like to as parents, we can't shield our children from everything,” Hussen said. “But we can give them the tools to make the right decisions when they react to real life situations, whether in person or online when sometimes it's difficult to know how to respond.”

Categories: Tech News

Starlink tells customers that a Dish 5G plan would make Starlink “unusable”

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:00
A Starlink satellite dish on the roof of a house.

Enlarge / A Starlink satellite dish. (credit: Starlink)

SpaceX is asking Starlink customers to help the company win a regulatory battle against Dish Network. In an email urging users to contact the Federal Communications Commission and members of Congress, SpaceX yesterday said a Dish plan to use the 12 GHz spectrum band for mobile service will cause "harmful interference [to Starlink users] more than 77 percent of the time and total outage of service 74 percent of the time, rendering Starlink unusable for most Americans."

Those percentages come from a study SpaceX submitted to the FCC last week, which claims mobile service in the 12 GHz band would interfere with Starlink user terminals that use the same spectrum for downloads. Tuesday's email from SpaceX was posted on the Starlink subreddit and covered by The Verge. It says:

Today we ask for your support in ending a lobbying campaign that threatens to make Starlink unusable for you and the vast majority of our American customers... Dish has been attempting to claim new rights to the 12 GHz band, which is the spectrum you currently use to download content with Starlink. Despite technical studies dating back as far as 2016 that refute the basis of their claims, Dish has employed paid lobbyists who are attempting to mislead the FCC with faulty analysis in hopes of obscuring the truth.

SpaceX: FCC and Congress "need to hear from you"

The email directs Starlink users to a webpage where they can submit a pre-written comment to the FCC and send a pre-written letter to US House and Senate members. The page is titled, "Don't let Dish disable your Internet."

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Categories: Tech News

The Best Sex Furniture for Your Personal BDSM Dungeon

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:00

We’re about ready to be put out to pasture. Meaning: yes, we would like to retire with a bajillion Kardashian-level dollars, but we would also like to be ridden hard and put away wet on a pommel horse in an impeccably curated Berlin sex dungeon. Luckily for us (and thanks to the internet), the latter is easier than ever.

There are probably more sex toys and apparatuses on the web than people on Earth at this point, and whether you’re perusing the thousands of sex toys hiding on Amazon or flipping through the DIY dildo pages of Etsy, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. But when it comes to exploring BDSM gear, it’s extra important to make sure your sex-essories don’t suck. You don’t want to get spanked on a wonky pommel horse, or cuffed into a shaky stockade—and no one deserves to be strapped into a doozy of a pillory. (Except all you Republican senators switching between this article and NSFW Twitter in an incognito tab.)

The best BDSM sex furniture runs the gamut from explicity fuck-able apparatuses to more discreet, everyday benches and pillows—and even workout equipment—that moonlight as sex furniture. Although, if that viral paparazzi shot of Cara Delevigne’s lockdown-era sex bench is any way to read the room, the people are horny for sex furniture and don’t care who knows it.

If you’re new to sex furniture, you may want to start off with a Liberator wedge or some soft restraints, which turn regular furniture you already own into rated-R decor. Take the time to educate your partner(s) and yourself on all the safety, comfort, and the differences between the options that await you through highly rated BDSM furniture handbooks and online forum discussions. There are plenty of Reddit threads about commercially available spanking benches, and so many others which break down the difference between sex benches (which tend to have a more basic saw-horse center with independent arm/leg supports), spanking benches (typically two square platforms to position the sub in a  kneeling position), bondage horses (the more traditional, pommel-horse-style setup with parallel platforms on the sides for resting arms/legs), and so much more.

As your resident sex toy jockeys, we’ve found the best, most well-vetted pieces of BDSM furniture online for you to enjoy—from full-blown stockades and discreet benches to sex dungeon furniture, queening chairs, and beyond. That sweet peach deserves a spanking in the pillory, so let’s get to it.

Start soft

You don’t have to bend over backwards to get into spanking and pommel horse gear (unless that’s what you’re into). For a little more than $10, this blow-up pillow offers a lot of options for play: Bend over on your stomach for a spanking, use it as back support during sex, or use it to ride your dildos, thanks to the trusty Excalibur hole at the top.

The best discreet BDSM sex furniture

Is this a sex bench? Not inherently, but that’s the cool thing about sex furniture: It can moonlight as regular furniture. The quilted, shiny faux-leather of this industrial bench would be equally at home in your Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired playroom, your apartment’s foyer, or at the foot of your bed. It’s also equipped with three suitcases that are ideal for safely storing your BDSM gear, vibrators, tax documents, crystal balls, and various David-Bowie-circa-Labyrinth sex-essories.

Sex is a workout, but you know what else is? Doing crunches on this cushioned bench. If you really want to fly under the radar with your sex furniture, investing in a workout bench for, ahem, “abdominal exercises” and “weightlifting” is the way to go. This Doeplex bench has a 4.6-star average rating on Amazon, with one reviewer saying “This is the Mercedes of weight benches… 10 stars.”

A spank-centric seat

Your patootie can get a spanking anywhere, but it’s the star of the show on this face-cradling spanking bench. “This bench has a good solid construction,” writes one reviewer on Etsy. “By removing the legs and headrest it fits right in my closet. Two bottoms have commented how comfortable it is.”

An oral sex chair

Every queening moment deserves a throne. What better way to gingerly sit upon your lover’s nose/get your [redacted] ate than with this cushioned seat from Master Series? “I very much enjoyed [this chair],” one Amazon reviewer writes. “I was a bit anxious at first, but Mistress very quickly made my fears disappear as she sat her butt right on my mouth and that did it! I was in heaven.”

A portable pommel horse

Giddy up and go with this portable pommel horse, which folds up into an easily transportable, handy dandy square for travel and storage. It has a 4.6-star average rating on Amazon, where doms are praising how easy it is to clean, and subs are touting its ability to keep you strapped-in. “From one Sub to another,” writes one reviewer, “this board is evil. Evil, evil, evil. It allows your Dom or Daddy or Mistress or whomever to truly do anything they want with you. And because it's portable, they can do it ANYWHERE!!!!! No room is safe anymore!”

Did someone say kebab cosplay?

Stockade machines are the minimalist’s answer to sex furniture. Not only do they look like they belong in Rick Owens’ painfully chic home-gym setup in Italy, but they’re easy to pack away in the closet or under the bed when you’ve got to hop on that Zoom call. The Master Series stockade comes with its own dildo, while the Strict Leather brand version comes with a chest pad—the choice is yours (or your dom’s).

The whole shabang

You are not a conjuror of cheap tricks. You came here to outfit your dungeon like a seasoned pro, and this highly rated, plush sex bench can become the horny axis of your pleasure den. “Most places I saw these [at] were anywhere from $600 to $1000,” writes one Amazon reviewer—at just over $400, that makes this one a steal. It’s also easy to assemble, comes in discreet packaging, and will make you neigh like Seabiscuit.

Pony up

We couldn’t resist. Once you’re done donning this BDSM horse mask in the bedroom, trot on over to Medieval Times to support the union/turn even more heads. Oh, and don’t forget that tampon flask of sherry.

Now go forth, and ride away into the sunset.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

Categories: Tech News

The Best Clogs for Men, Women, Hot People, Chefs, and Gorpcore Lords

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:58

We all know what clogs are, right? The wooden shoes that Dutch people traditionally wore, often painted, sometimes used for strangely erotic, hypnotizing dance routines? WRONG. Clogs are heel modieus, mijn vriend! They’re the chosen footwear of cool people, celebrities, and adults trying to hide the fact they still don’t know how to tie shoes. With a history dating back nearly as far as the trend of wearing socks with sandals (“calceus” shoes were wooden-soled shoes from the Roman Empire), folks have been wearing wood-bottomed shoes since the early 13th century. While at first they were a shoe for peasants, by the 14th century, clogs became the fashionable footwear of choice for all swaggy Dutch people (and started hitting the medieval trend circuit in other surrounding European countries), and they have been dazzling us ever since.

The cultural thirst for clogs spikes every decade or so. In the 70s, they were all the rage, in platform styles for men and women. In the 80s, clogs transformed into the wildly popular wedge shoe trend, the Kork-Ease fad, and then slowly meandered their way through the mainstream. Rubberized clogs graced nearly every restaurant kitchen, and blessed countless medical workers with comfortable footwear options until the 20-year trend cycle picked them back up around 2010, after exploding onto the runway in both Chanel and Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer collections that year, and were forever cemented into the zeitgeist.

We’ve made it through so many iterations of mule, clog, and slide that you may not have even noticed that pair of Merrell jungle slides lurking in the back of your dad’s closet. See, you’re no stranger to the shoe of all shoes, the uniform of Park Slope moms, celebrity chefs, Sarah Jessica Parker, and even Zaddy Goldblum. The real beauty of any clog or clog-adjacent style is a) the incredible comfort, and b) the effortless air that surrounds them. If the year 2020 gave us anything, it was the realization that we’re all a little more cool, calm, and collected when we're not shoving our bodies (and feet) into restrictive garments. (That’s one of the reasons why many doctors and nurses wear clogs every single day.)

Whether you identify as a fashionista, Nolita fit lord, or even a Pacific Northwest lumbersexual, there’s a style of slip-on clog for absolutely everyone. Here are a few of our absolute favorite styles at every price point—from pairs under a hundo to big $$$, designer names.

The classics

Slowly lower yourself into the clog-pool with a classic style that goes with everything, and will (actually) leave your feet feeling less terrible after a long day of standing or walking. Dansko, which means “Danish shoe,” started importing clogs from Europe in the 90s, and has been making the traditional comfort shoe, worn by countless professionals and style icons alike, ever since.

We would be remiss if we were to deliver an entire diatribe on the enigma of clog-dom without mentioning an independent brand that played a huge role in making it a fashion mainstay—No.6. The designs of owner and former stylist Karin Bereson can be spotted on stylish people everywhere, from Soho to Minneapolis, and even adorn the feet of A-list celebrities (Julianne Moore and Scarlett Johansson, to name a few). While they offer endless combinations of fabrics and heel heights, these classic Old Schools, in supple bourbon leather, are the perfect shoe to carry you through the summer and into fall.

A Birkenstock for every mood

Though not made of wood, the insanely popular Birkenstock Boston is what we will call the “true neutral” of clog styles. It’s insanely comfortable, low to the ground, and easy to simply step into and go. There’s also a shearling-lined version for shuffling to the corner store all winter long—but for summer, you can’t go wrong with a classic suede pair. If you plan on doing a lot of poolside lounging, the polyurethane Super-Birkis are non-slip and come in nine colorways.

The everybody, everywhere clog

If you thought the most divisive shoe of the last quarter century wasn’t going to be on our list, you’re wrong. We are huge Croc fans over here at Rec Room, squeezing in absolutely any opportunity to discuss the many iterations of the ubiquitous footwear, for better or worse, that ignite our fires, cushion our tootsies, and make us question our sanity. We will forever stan Crocs, and these two are our absolute favorites (for the time being). You can’t go wrong with Realtree camo—it’s a non-boring neutral with a high-contrast, neon-orange adjustable turbo heel strap for sport mode. I’m pretty sure nothing more needs to be said about an all-over glitter platform croc—get the Balenciaga lewk for less.

For gorp-core, outdoorsy types

Whether you’re into hiking to hidden waterfalls, urban spelunking, or just waiting in line outside Aimé Leon Dore on the weekend, you can’t go wrong with one of these styles that are so out, they're in. Merrell, the leader in hiking garb, recently re-released its iconic Hydro Moc style with BLOOM, a high-performance foam made of 10% algae biomass, which transforms green water into clean water during the manufacturing process. To top it off, they’re unisex and come in a bunch of funky swirling colorways for stunting on the entire white-water rafting crew.

The best designer clogs for men

You’re no rube—you’ve been on the mule trend since before TikTok was merely an idea. However, you’ve worn out your Birks and you’re ready to level up. In that case, allow us to direct you to Couture Clog City, where Bottega Veneta is having a moment. The fashion house is experiencing a big-time resurgence, with a tornado of hype surrounding its recent collections of footwear and accessories. The ultra-light weight Rubber Flash mules come in three splendid color varieties: Tangerine, Chalk, and Fondant, all of which make us want to take a huge bite. Don’t they look scrumptious?

Another luxury brand jumping on the rubber clog bandwagon is Prada, which just released a streamlined version with its triangle logo front and center. The chunky-soled, foam-rubber mules come in three very bright hues, plus white and black for more formal clog occasions.

If you’re someone who likes luxury goods, but absolutely despises the logo-mania craze and dropping entire paychecks at Grailed, then Fear of God’s understated California Slip-On Loafers may be just your speed. These ultra-sleek slides come in five muted colors, such as cement and almond, and are a minimalist’s wet dream.

The best designer clogs for women

While a good deal of men’s designer mules on the market are made of high-performance materials (and give off a Fifth Element vibe), women’s styles tend to lean more toward the natural, art-teacher-vibe part of the spectrum. We see a ton of classic, wooden soles; wool, shearling, and other natural materials; and a penchant for platforms. The it-girl shoe of the moment is the instantly recognizable bubble clogs from Simon Miller. Features like the extra-chunky platform and bulbous shape don’t take themselves too seriously, and they’re available in a variety of funky color and fabric options—from vegan kiwi-colored leather to fluffy plaid wool.

Chloé has been making a version of its classic riveted-clog style for several seasons now. The brand’s ethereal, alpine-maiden look has returned time and again because of its understated yet interesting design. This supple suede and embroidered lambswool style is equally stylish and comfortable.

For the gals who want to jump on the wellie shoe trend, don’t fret—Gucci’s got you covered. These pistachio-green clodhoppers are ideal for bonfires and keg parties, because they don’t stain, can tolerate getting wet, and kick right off when you get to the sand.

Go and do yourself—and your barking dogs—a favor and treat them to some cool, comfy clogs.

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.

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Intel’s CEO shouldn’t be surprised America can’t get CHIPS Act together

The Register - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:57
Silicon supremo warns he could prioritize expansion in Europe if Congress doesn’t approve subsidies

Comment  How serious is Intel about delaying the build-out of its planned $20 billion mega-fab site in Ohio?…

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Belkin launches new 3-in-1 charger capable of fast-charging Apple Watch Series 7

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:44
the iphone 12 apple watch and airpods charge on belkins 3 in 1 wireless charger

Enlarge / Belkin's new 3-in-1 MagSafe charging stand is identical to its predecessor, pictured above, but true change occurs within. (credit: Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica)

Belkin just launched its second 3-in-1 device capable of fast-charging the latest Apple Watch Series 7. The new Boost Charge Pro 3-in-1 MagSafe charging stand joins its pad-shaped sibling as the only other all-in-one solution that can charge your mobile Apple devices (MagSafe-compatible iPhones, AirPods, and Apple Watches) at the fastest wireless speeds possible.

When the Apple Watch Series 7 launched last year, it became the first Apple Watch to be fast-charge capable, cutting the protracted 2.5-hour charge time of previous generations in half. I noted it as my favorite feature in my review, and that's because it not only made zero to 100 charges quicker, but it also made quick dashes on the charger much more efficient. For instance, only 45 minutes on the charger brought the Series 7 from zero to 80 percent. It was a big help in making sure the watch wouldn't die right before I was about to go for a run or head to bed.

Belkin's 3-in-1 Apple charger is one we've recommended before. The previous version, without fast-charging for the Apple Watch, made our list of the best iPhone 12 accessories, thanks to its sleek, modern aesthetics, and compact, efficient design. The newest version looks identical, hiding its important changes within. It was never the cheapest option, selling for $150, but its build quality and versatility bolstered its value then, as the addition of Apple Watch fast-charging does now at no additional cost.

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Inside the Secret Networks Teaching Sex Ed to LGBTQ Youth

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:42

At 840 square miles, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city by area in the United States. A vast network of highways bisect the city like a river, forming a canyon of bridges, apartments, and offices in its wake. On a good day, moving from the west side to the east side of the city takes an hour. On a bad one, gnarled webs of traffic grind Florida’s most populous city to a halt.

Christopher Chasse, Jr. and his family moved to a rural area outside of the city when he was 14. The small town he lived in was a mash of lush greenery, traditional southern values, and far-right politics. The same year as his family’s move, Chasse began to publicly come out as trans.

“During that time, I was in this extremely conservative area, where there wasn’t anyone else openly queer around me, let alone openly trans,” Chasse told VICE. He yearned for a space to meet people his age and process his experiences: whether he would be able to attend prom, the pain of being dead-named in class, or what college would be like.

After an unsatisfying visit to a support group for adult trans people, Chasse discovered JASMYN Jacksonville. Nestled in three softly colored Victorian homes, the organization is a sanctuary in the heart of northern Florida. JASMYN offers dozens of services for LGBTQ youth: from a resource group for HIV-positive teens to mental wellness drop-in sessions to clothing and showers. After years of isolation, JASMYN felt like a revelation.

But one problem persisted: The organization was more than an hour from his home, and public transportation was non-existent. He knew he was not alone. Across the country, thousands of LGBTQ young people yearn for resources but cannot access them—or, worse, are being actively prevented from doing so.

Chasse remained active at JASMYN throughout high school, but when he enrolled at the University of Northern Florida—which is located in the center of Jacksonville—his calling was clear. In 2020, he became a programming intern at the organization and created a space that was accessible to LGBTQ youth in rural areas and cities alike.

His solution to the geographic problem was to eliminate distance entirely and move the programming to the social-networking platform Discord. The class—a chat space inside the larger JASMYN server—was called Let’s Be Transparent. More than a dozen trans youth join each week to discuss transitioning, sexual health, and their bodies. To do this, Chasse partnered with a professional sex educator to give users a space to discuss being a sexual person while also being trans.

Chasse said that having this kind of resource could have helped his 14-year-old self feel safe and free—without an hour-long ride across Florida’s bustling interstates. “It’s so important for young people to know that things are going to feel different, but there are steps to take to ensure you’re still feeling pleasure,” he said.

JASMYN3.pngImage by JASMYN

Chasse is not alone. Across the country, LGBTQ youth organizers and their allies are leveraging Discord to ensure they have access to affirming sexual health education. This has become essential as far-right legislation limits access to life-saving resources in schools, homes, and health clinics throughout the United States. Without these in-person spaces, technology has emerged to provide young people with information about pleasure, consent, and medicine—ensuring they are satisfied and safe.

In the first six months of 2022, legislators across the country have proposed more than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills, according to the Human Rights Campaign. These laws are wide-ranging, but their impact is consistent: the violent stigmatization of LGBTQ youth, their families, and the organizations that support them.

Florida’s House Bill 1577—dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law by opponents—bans the discussion of LGBTQ topics in classrooms spanning kindergarten through the third grade, and other conservative-led legislatures across the country are following the Sunshine State’s lead. In April, Alabama’s Senate Bill 184 made it a felony for doctors to provide gender-affirming medical care for trans children. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott instructed the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-related care as “child abuse.”

“It’s so important for young people to know that things are going to feel different, but there are steps to take to ensure you’re still feeling pleasure,” Chasse said.

These policies have tragic consequences: 31 percent of trans youth reported a previous suicide attempt in a 2021 survey from The Trevor Project, a rate that’s nearly three times higher than the number of cisgender youth who said the same. As the American Association of Pediatrics states in a comprehensive 2018 report, mental health crises among trans youth “most often stem from stigma and negative experiences.” Under the guise of protecting children, these bills have made trans young people’s lives more dangerous than ever before.

Activists are already feeling the impact. “It has to be said: This is a hate crime,” said Roxanne C. Winters, a youth organizer at JASMYN, while referring to the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation. “The laws aren’t violent physically, but it’s possible to be violent on paper.”

Along with this legislation, school closures during the pandemic meant that LGBTQ teens could no longer access essential safe spaces, such as Gay-Straight Alliances, that offered accurate information about their bodies. To support themselves, young people from around the country told VICE that they turned to Discord for sex ed. “We used Discord because we were already there,” said Esmée Silverman, citing the fact that thousands of young people have created accounts on the digital-only platform over the past two years.

Silverman co-founded Queer Youth Assemble (QYA), a youth-led organization with members across the U.S. that is currently developing a trans and survivor-centered sexual-health curriculum. “Discord makes us feel included and provides a space to ask questions and discover who we are,” she said. Young people access QYA’s server through a brief intake interview, and once they’re approved, they’re led to a plethora of youth-specific resources.

In many ways, Discord is uniquely poised to meet the needs of these support groups. Servers are invitation-only, which means that young people can gather without fear of online harassment. Each group has their own process of identity verification—normally a brief Zoom meeting—to ensure that only young people and educators have access to the servers. Additionally, Discord does not require participants to speak or be on camera, which can spark body dysmorphia for trans and non-binary youth.

For those who do access these spaces, LGBTQ groups typically have chats organized by discussion topics like “Sex-Ed Questions,” “Drop-In Hang,” and “#MemesOnly.” These content-specific chats ensure that youth are never forced to engage in conversations about sexual health before they are ready to do so or before it feels safe for them.

These functions provide an essential sense of belonging during one of the most isolating eras of recent history. “In a world that’s so dedicated to generating their misery, it’s essential for LGBTQ youth to practice experiencing joy,” Hanna Harris, a queer poet and organizer, told VICE.

Harris, who grew up in rural Oklahoma, developed a weekly sexual health class called The Talk in September 2020 as part of their larger organization, Found Family. They started The Talk after noticing that LGBTQ young people were only accessing resources like preexposure pro-phylaxis (PrEP), which helps prevent the spread of HIV, after becoming sexually active. This “trial by fire” left them without the resources to thrive, Harris said. In an early session, one teen asked: “What’s strap-on etiquette?”

Creating a new narrative about sexual health means sharing information about consent and pleasure before LGBTQ teens become sexually active, according to Harris. For Chasse, this means covering topics like access to birth control for trans men and discussing what it’s like to have sex when you’re pursuing a medical transition.

“Having these online spaces is so important because it’s the rural areas that are being targeted right now,” Chasse said. “Those young people don’t have anyone around them to relate to or even who particularly cares. I’m talking to someone 50 miles away, and they’re probably the closest trans person to me, but at least I can talk to someone about this because I can’t talk about it in school.”

MCAC4 - Nico Lang.jpgImage via Magic City Acceptance Center

Although Southern states have become a hotspot for attacks on LGBTQ youth, the region is also a hub for strategic resistance. “We know how to collaborate in ways that are unimaginable in other places,” Amanda Keller, founder of the Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC), told VICE. “We have a community worth fighting for.”

MCAC is an LGBTQ center in Birmingham, Alabama and has one of the largest Discord servers for queer and trans youth in the country. More than 500 young people have joined the platform from around the state, and MCAC’s staff frequently host conversations about sexual health. In a recent workshop, a Discord “bot” enabled anonymous questions, and MCAC’s facilitators “ended up getting more than we could possibly answer,” said Lauren Jacobs, the organization’s assistant director.

“In a world that’s so dedicated to generating their misery, it’s essential for LGBTQ youth to practice experiencing joy,” Harris said.

“By the end, young people were responding to the questions themselves, and we were liking the comments that were accurate,” she told VICE. These answers turned into a Google Doc that the teens continue to reference, while the Discord still remains active.

Although Discord is not the final answer—LGBTQ youth still need transformative policies protecting their right to bodily autonomy—the platform enables young people to explore topics in a space where they do not fear retribution for their desires. They offer trusted professionals and peers who can be honest in their approach to  answering those needs, especially for young people who would not be able to access this information otherwise. In that exchange, their sexual desires are affirmed and named what they are: beautiful and irreplaceable elements of the human experience.

“These spaces assure young people: You are not rare. We exist and we’re normal,” Silverman said. “I only wish the internet could teleport my friends to give them a hug. Sometimes you want to reach through the screen and give each other that.”

Follow Colleen Hamilton on Twitter.

Categories: Tech News

Today’s best deals: Google Chromecast, Audible Premium Plus, and more

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:37
Today’s best deals: Google Chromecast, Audible Premium Plus, and more

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web includes the Google Chromecast back down to $40 at various retailers. While we've seen this deal a handful of times this year, it's still $10 off Google's MSRP, making it another solid opportunity to save on what we consider the best 4K streaming stick for most people.

Compared to competing devices from Amazon and Roku, we still find the Chromecast's interface to do a cleaner job of organizing and proactively recommending content you might want to watch. There are more powerful 4K set-top boxes on the market, but the Chromecast's performance still gets the job done for casual browsing, works with all the major streaming services, and supports both Dolby Atmos and HDR video (via Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+).

The main complaints are that Google's UI isn't especially customizable and that Google TV's curation is only so savvy because you're sharing your browsing information with the company. That said, the latter is an issue with almost every major streaming device; Google's platform is just better at using that data to make browsing more convenient. The device also doesn't support Google's newer, more efficient AV1 video codec, though that shouldn't be a deal-breaker for most. A new Chromecast model that supports AV1 is reportedly on the way, but it's expected to be limited to 1080p streaming.

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Facebook could be sued for addicting children under California bill

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:25
Facebook could be sued for addicting children under California bill

Enlarge (credit: Yiu Yu Hoi | The Image Bank)

Before the summer ends, California may pass the first US bill that would hold social media companies liable for product features that research has found are harmful to children. If passed, the law could have far-reaching consequences, potentially impacting how kids throughout the US use social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat.

On Tuesday, the bill—the Social Media Platform Duty to Act—cleared what The Wall Street Journal called "a crucial vote in the State Senate."

Although much of prior reporting on the bill focused on its earlier goal to grant a parent's right to sue over harm to individual children, WSJ reports that the amended version of the bill would instead "permit the state attorney general, local district attorneys, and city attorneys in California's four largest cities to sue social media companies" for unfair business practices known to harm children.

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R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking

Motherboard (Vice) - Wed, 06/29/2022 - 12:15

Disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for running a criminal operation that lured in women and children and then sexually abusing them. 

“You used your fame and power to groom and coach underage boys and girls for your own sexual gratification,” said one of Kelly’s victims, Angela, in court Wednesday, according to the New York Times. She added that victims were reclaiming their names. 

 “We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”

Lizzette Martinez, 45, also said in court that Kelly began abusing her after promising to help her singing career. 

“I do not know how to put a price on all I’ve gone through,” she said. “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.” 

One of the victim’s fathers asked Kelly to look at him, but he wouldn’t. 

“I do want to ask you, Mr. Kelly, to look at me, man to man, father to father. Put yourself in my shoes. I’ve certainly put myself in your shoes,” the father said.

As she handed down the sentence Wednesday in a Brooklyn courthouse, Judge Ann M. Donnelly said “the public has to be protected from behaviors like this,” according to the Times

Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, however, told Donnelly the singer “rejects that he’s this monster,” according to the Times. She said he’s a “musical genius” who has been generous in the past.

Kelly, 55, was found guilty of one count of racketeering and eight counts of sex trafficking in September. During the six-week trial, the jury heard details about how Kelly spent two decades trafficking women and girls across state lines to sexually abuse them and enlisted the help of managers and security guards in his inner circle to do it. 

Several of Kelly’s victims also testified and said they were heavily controlled, restricted from using the bathroom and eating, and forced to call Kelly “Daddy,” as VICE News previously reported. 

One of the complainants—who said Kelly sexually abused her while underage—said she saw Kelly performing oral sex on Aaliyah when the singer was 13 or 14. Kelly married Aaliyah in 1994 when she was 15 years old—he was 27. At the time, he believed she  may have been pregnant. Federal prosecutors accused Kelly of bribing an Illinois official to create a fake ID for Aaliyah when he married her; their marriage license stated that she was 18. Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.

Another woman testified Kelly made her have sex with someone he called Nephew for breaking one of his rules, the Times reported. She said Kelly filmed the encounter and made her have sex with the person several more times, sometimes joining in.  

Kelly, however, denied abusing anyone. After his conviction, his defense team argued he shouldn’t face more than 10 years in prison and provided evidence that Kelly was sexually abused as a child by his older sister and his landlord, according to recently unsealed court documents.

While allegations about Kelly’s sex crimes date back to the 1990s, the six-part Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, which aired in January 2019, reportedly prompted new law enforcement investigations. He was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February 2019, a little over a month after the series came out. 

In addition to accounts from women who said Kelly had sexually assaulted them, the series featured families who said Kelly was holding their daughters captive. 

Kelly is facing separate child porn charges in Illinois and two charges tied to engaging in prostitution with a minor in Minnesota. 

Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.

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