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Posted by John Timmer

Enlarge / You don't want to know what this guy's been evolving. (credit: Washington Fish and Wildlife)

BOSTON—"The national debt is a big structural problem," former Representative Brian Baird told his audience at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And that, according to Baird, is one reason scientific research comes under fire. “If you can’t solve something big," he went on, "distract people by attacking something small.” All too often, that something small has been scientific research.

Two of the researchers who found their work under fire were on hand to describe the experience and talk a bit about the lessons they learned.

Does that treadmill look expensive to you?

One of them was David Scholnick of Pacific University who produced the video above, showing a shrimp going for a run on an underwater treadmill. It's hard to tell just how many people have ended up viewing the video, given that it has been cloned, set to various music, and appeared in news reports that have also made their way onto YouTube—it's fair to say that it's quite popular. Scholnick wasn't looking for that popularity. He had just put the video up on his faculty webpage; someone else grabbed it and stuck it on YouTube.

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Latest Tips & News + Free-for-All

Feb. 24th, 2017 01:53 pm
inkstone: The Gotcha screen from Pokemon Go (PokeGo)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] pokestop
Hello trainers!

Hope your week has been going well and you've been enjoying the influx of new pokemon. While your mod is sad she didn't see any Chansey during the last event, she is laughing at how cute Gen 2 is.

Here are a couple bits that may be of interest:

• Gen 2 brings the addition of two new eeveelutions: espeon and umbreon. As with jolteon, vaporeon, and flareon, you can use the rename trick to get the eeveelution of your choice. In this case, Sakura and Tamao will get you espeon and umbreon, respectively. Remember, the rename trick is guaranteed to work only once, so choose your eevee-to-be-evolved wisely. However, some determined trainers did some research and found another way to get espeon and umbreon without using the rename trick (and thus allowing you to do it multiple times). (read more but also keep this in mind)

• We're getting another in-game event! To celebrate Pokemon Day on February 27, Pikachu will be getting a fancy hat from the afternoon of February 26 until the afternoon of March 6. (more info)

How has your week in PokeGo been going, trainers? Any news from your neck of the woods?
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Posted by Brandon Staley

Fate of the Furious International Trailer Reveals Trouble in Paradise

Cuba just got a little less romantic in the first international trailer for “The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth entry in Universal Pictures’ “Fast and the Furious” franchise. The trailer sees Vin Diesel’s character, series mainstay Dominic Toretto, recruited to the side of Charlize Theron’s Cipher while on his honeymoon in Cuba.

“The Fate of the Furious” will pit a rogue Dom against his own crew, many of whom have returned to a normal life. Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) finally make time for their honeymoon, but, while vacationing in Cuba, Dom is accosted by the mysterious Cipher and subsequently allies with her, betraying his friends. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Dom’s former crew will trek across Cuba, New York City and the frigid Barents Sea to stop a crazed anarchist from plunging the world into chaos and save their friend.

RELATED: BOOM! Studios’ Talent Picked Up by Fast and Furious Franchise Producer

The $3.9 billion franchise has been running for 16 years, starting in 2001 with “The Fast and the Furious.” Although originally a car-focused action series, in recent years the automotive aspect has taken a backseat to family drama and interpersonal struggles within the main cast, while still dolling out a generous amount of explosions and stunts.

Directed by F. Gary Gray, “The Fate of the Furious” stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren. The film arrives in theaters April 14.

The post Fate of the Furious International Trailer Reveals Trouble in Paradise appeared first on CBR.com.

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Posted by Brian Cronin

Doctor Doom: 15 Times He Saved the Day

When recently asked by a fan about who his favorite supervillain was, Stan Lee replied Doctor Doom, but then explained why he did not necessarily view Doctor Doom as a villain, explaining, “Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood. Everybody thinks he’s a criminal, but all he wants is to rule the world. Now, if you really think about it objectively, you could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, ‘Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.’ He can’t arrest you; it’s not a crime to want to rule the world. So […] it’s unfair that he’s considered a villain, because he just wants to rule the world. Then maybe he could do a better job of it. So I’m very interested in Doctor Doom, and I’d like to clear his name.”

RELATED: Evil Geniuses: The 15 Smartest Supervillains In Comics

Recently, Doctor Doom has been trying to prove that he is a hero in the pages of “Infamous Iron Man,” where Doom has tried to take over for Tony Stark following “Civil War II” to atone for his sins prior to the most recent “Secret Wars” event. However, this is not the first time that Doom has fought on the side of the angels. Let’s look at 15 previous times where Stan Lee was correct and Doom did not act like a villain.

VERSUS THE OVER-MIND

Interestingly enough, throughout the entire original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby run on “Fantastic Four,” while Doctor Doom certainly had his occasional moments of not being a complete jerk (in that he sometimes showed a glint of having some honor), there was never a moment where he flat-out aided his enemies. That changed with one of the very first “Fantastic Four” stories after Stan Lee left the book.

In “Fantastic Four” #116, new writer Archie Goodwin had the Fantastic Four deal with the Over-Mind, a villain so powerful that the Watcher showed up to warn the Fantastic Four that he was coming (this was when the Watcher breaking his non-interference vow was still a big deal). The Over-Mind’s telepathic abilities were set to take over the world after he had already overloaded Mister Fantastic’s mind. The Invisible Girl set off to get Doctor Doom’s help in stopping the Over-Mind, as, after all, if the Earth fell to the Over-Mind, Latveria would be affected, as well. Doom agreed and he helped the FF save the day.

VERSUS ATTUMA

Generally speaking, an area where both Marvel and DC have repeatedly had difficulty managing is telling ongoing stories about their most famous villains. This is natural, of course, as ongoing comic books typically are driven by heroic protagonists that you can root for in their stories. When you have villains as the leads, who are the antagonists? How can you root for the villain to succeed? One of the most impressive examples of Marvel trying to work out that balancing act was “Super-Villain Team-Up,” a series that mostly starred Doctor Doom in its two-year history of regular publication (it kept publishing on a sporadic basis for another three years). Along with Doom (hence the “team-up” part) was Namor for most of the run, as he had just lost his own ongoing series.

The series was about Doom and Namor forming an alliance, and as a result, a good deal of the series involved them fighting against Atlantean threats, including a crossover with the Avengers where they all teamed up to defeat the villainous Attuma. Doom had actually captured the Avengers, but Vision cut a deal with him to free them so that they could all defeat Attuma together (after all, if Atlantis took over the world, Latveria would be affected, as well).

VERSUS THE RED SKULL

Writer Steve Englehart helped give “Super-Villain Team-Up” an actual hero to root for by introducing the Shroud, a hero who was an attempt to do a Marvel version of Batman. The Shroud hunted down Doctor Doom throughout Englehart’s issues of the series. However, when the Shroud finally had a chance to take Doom down (after Englehart had left the series), he had to back off, since Doom was actually the lesser of two evils in this particular scenario.

You see, while Doctor Doom and the Red Skull had fought with each other in the past, their beefs tended to be personal and not the sort of things that anyone else would be interested in. Even when the Red Skull conquered Latveria while Doom was busy with Attuma, it was not something that the world’s heroes would necessarily have gotten involved with. However, once Skull got control of a hypno-ray that he could use to control the world, that was too much. So, Captain America teamed up with Doom to sneak into Latveria and defeat the Skull. They drove Skull out of Latveria, but Doom had to finish him off in a battle on the moon (where the hypno-ray was located).

VERSUS KRANG

As noted earlier, the driving force of “Super-Villain Team-Up” in its first two years (it was a bi-monthly book) was that Doctor Doom and Namor had made an alliance together. The main part of the alliance was that Doom promised to help save the Atlantean people, most of whom had been put into suspended animation at the end of Namor’s previous series. Throughout the first two years of “Super-Villain Team-Up,” Doom kept putting off actually doing what he promised because he kept having need of Namor.

Finally, in “Super-Villain Team-Up” #13 (by Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen and Don Perlin, with Giffen doing his most classic Kirby-esque storytelling), Doom made good on his promise to Namor. Incidentally, it’s amusing to see Doom talk about how annoyed he is at having to stick to his word. First, they defeated the evil Warlord Krang. Doom then revived Namor’s people and their alliance was at an end. Doom then “teamed-up” with Magneto for the final regular issues of the series.

VERSUS THE DARK RIDER

While it pales in comparison to the balancing act needed to maintain an ongoing team-up series starring supervillains, writing a team-up series period can be a difficult task to achieve, since it is annoying to always have to come up with reasons why various superheroes happen to be teaming up. More importantly, how do you tell an ongoing story when your format dictates that you have a different featured guest star every issue? That was the challenge for Bill Mantlo when he wrote a four-part “Marvel Team-Up” storyline in 1975 that saw Spider-Man team-up with Scarlet Witch, Vision, Moondragon and, yes, Doctor Doom himself!

The storyline involved the villainous Dark Rider, who existed in Salem in the 17th century and was obsessed with magic. He drew the Scarlet Witch to the past and Spider-Man and Vision had to follow her in Doctor Doom’s time machine. Doom, as well, soon followed, as the Dark Rider was obsessed with draining Doom of the inherent magical abilities that he possessed. In the final issue, Scarlet Witch somehow also brings Moondragon to the past and the collective characters defeat the Dark Rider, using Doom’s magic as their main source of attack. It is revealed that the whole incident is what drove Cotton Mather to pursue the Salem Witch Trials. Even when he helps, Doom ends up hurting people indirectly!

RECLAIMING LATVERIA

In an epic storyline that concluded in “Fantastic Four” #200, the Fantastic Four managed to overthrow Doctor Doom and get the “rightful” heir to the throne of Latveria (and the head of the resistance movement in Latveria) put in his place. Soon after that happened, there were already some hints that Zorba’s rule was having some problems, as the people of Latveria had almost gotten used to living under Doom’s rule, and adjusting to Zorba’s new policies were taking some time.

However, within a couple more years, Zorba finally snapped under the pressures of succeeding Doom and he became more of a tyrant than Doom ever was. This led to the Fantastic Four begrudgingly agreeing to help Doctor Doom retake control of Latveria. In this particular instance, at least, Doom was, strictly, by comparison, the good guy. After they helped him defeat Zorba, though, Doom went right back to being the Fantastic Four’s enemy.

CURED KITTY PRYDE

Comic book history is rife with superheroes fighting each other over various misunderstandings, but one of the odder ones was the conflict that led to the four-issue miniseries, “Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men,” which seems to clearly have been worked out backwards. In other words, someone came up with the idea of having a “Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men” miniseries and then someone had to come up with a reason as to why those two teams would fight each other. Chris Claremont (working with artists Jon Bogdanove and Terry Austin) somehow got four issues out of simply determining who was going to save Kitty Pryde after her cellular cohesiveness began to break down following her injury during the “Mutant Massacre.”

Reed Richards didn’t think he could help, which led to the teams fighting (as the X-Men tried to force Reed to help). Then Doom offered to save Kitty. The X-Men fretted over whether they wanted to be in debt to Doom, so Reed decided to come help Doom. That, of course, led to the teams fighting again (as the X-Men figured the FF was there to stop them from working with Doom). In the end, Doom and Reed put aside their differences and devised a cure for Kitty.

SAVING HIS MOTHER’S SOUL

“Super-Villain Team-Up” was actually not Doctor Doom’s first ongoing series. That honor belonged to the anthology series, “Astonishing Tales,” which Doom initially shared with Ka-Zar. That series was notable because it did not seek to try to make Doom a protagonist at all, unlike some of the “Super-Villain Team-Up” stories. However, it did introduce one major piece of the Doctor Doom puzzle, even as Doom’s feature ended after just eight issues. In that final issue, we learned that every year, Doom fights against Mephisto for the soul of his mother, Cynthia Von Doom, who was a witch.

Doom’s attempts to save his mother’s soul persisted over the years, until finally coming to a fruition in the classic graphic novel, “Doctor Strange/Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment” by Roger Stern, Mike Mignola and Mark Badger, where Doctor Strange ended up owing Doctor Doom a boon from a magic contest — Strange won it, but the deal was that the runner-up would get a special prize. The two teamed up and ultimately freed Cynthia’s soul from Mephisto.

SAVING CHRISTMAS

This one is a bit tricky, since Doom only saved the day after first being the person who made the day need saving in the first place; still, he did save the day. In “What The…?” #10’s “I’ll Be Doom For Christmas” (by Scott Lobdell, John Byrne and Jade Moede), Doctor Doom was waiting for Santa Claus at his castle, ready to capture him. However, in capturing Santa, he also injured him enough so that jolly ol’ Saint Nick would not be able to complete his annual mission that night, so Doctor Doom had to take over.

Naturally, when the superheroes all saw Doctor Doom doing Santa’s job, they all figured that he was up to no good. After tracking Doom all night long, they eventually all attacked him. While he was fighting them, a little girl wandered over and wanted to know why Kris Kringle was fighting all of the superheroes. Everyone stopped and Doom explained that they were not fighting, but rather that they were all his helpers. He finished the rest of the deliveries and returned to Santa, who was now well enough to leave. In the end, Doom might have gotten the present he wanted all along.

PROVING CAP’S INNOCENCE

When Mark Waid and Ron Garney began their acclaimed run on “Captain America” soon before the book relaunched as “Heroes Reborn,” their opening arc involved the Red Skull saving Captain America’s life so that Cap could help him do what Cap was literally created to do: stop Adolf Hitler (who had taken over control of a Cosmic Cube). What Captain America did not know was that in the process of having his life saved, Red Skull’s accomplice, Machinesmith, had accessed all of Captain America’s memories.

Machinesmith then used those memories to make it appear as though Captain America was a traitor. President Bill Clinton had to exile Captain America from the United States. Cap, now without his costume and shield, continued to fight to clear his name while in Europe, using a new energy shield that Sharon Carter made for him. Cap discovered that Machinesmith’s plot was all to get to the nuclear football during a European trip by Clinton. Machinesmith would then start a nuclear war between the United States and a small country by Latveria. Cap went to Doctor Doom for help in getting to the President in time. Doom agreed and even threw in a new Captain America costume for Cap.

VERSUS ONSLAUGHT

During the crossover, “Fatal Attractions,” the X-Men decided to stop Magneto once and for all. Professor X used his mental abilities to, in effect, lobotomize him. However, what he did not know is that the process of doing so let loose all of the bad parts of Magneto’s mind and they latched on to the bad parts of Xavier’s mind. Together, through the power of Xavier’s mighty psionic abilities, a new psionic being was created known as Onslaught.

Onslaught set out to take over the world by wiping out humanity, as he was, in part, powered by mutants themselves. Doctor Doom initially just wanted to see if he could steal Onslaught’s power (Doctor Doom is obsessed with stealing people’s powers). When that did not work out, though, Doom stuck around and helped Earth’s heroes defeat Onslaught. The problem was that the only way to do that was for the non-mutant heroes to basically absorb Onslaught’s psionic energy by sacrificing their bodies. Doom was a reluctant sacrifice along with the other heroes. In the end, instead of dying, Franklin Richards resurrected all of the dead heroes (and Doom) on an alternate Earth.

HELPING THE HEROES RETURN

On this alternate Earth, things turned out basically the same as they did on the regular Earth, although there were a few major differences. One of those differences was an attempt to tie the major Marvel characters together more, so it turned out that Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Victor Von Doom were now all really good friends in college together. Other than that, though, things still turned out roughly the same, with Doctor Doom becoming a supervillain.

After a year or so on this alternate Earth, however, the heroes learned that there was a way for them to return to their homes. However, they needed a way to get there. In stepped Doom, who supplied the ship and the special technology that would allow them to breach the dimensional barriers (by shrinking them). Yes, in the end, Doom tried to kidnap Franklin Richards and steal his powers, causing Thor to (temporarily, as it turned out) sacrifice himself to stop Doom; but still, if it weren’t for Doom’s ship, the heroes would not have gotten home, so we’ll give Doom a bit of a mulligan on this one.

SAVING VALERIA

During John Byrne’s run on “Fantastic Four,” Sue Richards became pregnant with a second child. However, she sadly lost the baby to a miscarriage. Years later, during Chris Claremont’s run on “Fantastic Four,” an alternate reality version of that baby showed up, now a teenager (a new Marvel Girl, as it were) and her name was Valeria Richards. Valeria was the name of Victor Von Doom’s true love, so it was surprising to hear that Reed and Sue’s baby would be named after her.

Through some cosmic shenanigans, the alternate reality Valeria was transformed into a fetus and Sue’s pregnancy returned. However, she was in danger of losing the baby again. In came Doctor Doom in “Fantastic Four” (Vol.3) #54 (by Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino, Karl Kesel, Mark Bagley and Al Vey) and he saved her (and cured the Human Torch of an issue with his powers, to boot) in exchange for them naming the daughter Valeria.

JOINING THE FUTURE FOUNDATION

Due to the fact that he allowed her to be born, Doom and Valeria (who turned out to be a super-genius herself when she was just a toddler) formed a tight bond between each other. Doom saw her as a sort of niece and Valeria saw him as much of an uncle as Ben Grimm or Johnny Storm. Thus, when the Fantastic Four re-formulated as the Future Foundation in “FF” #1 (by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting) following the seeming death of the Human Torch, Valeria sought out Doctor Doom and got him to join the team.

As it turned out, he had some brain issues that Valeria helped him with, and in exchange, he did what he did best, he came up with a way to defeat Reed Richards. Why was that something Valeria would want? You see, recently Reed had met the Council of Reed Richards, a group of Reeds from alternate realities, none of which had the same grasp on reality that our Reed had, due to the love of his family. Valeria knew that they would be a problem in the future and Doom’s plans helped the heroes defeat them.

VERSUS RED ONSLAUGHT

In a travesty of justice, following Professor Charles Xavier’s death during “Avengers vs. X-Men,” the Red Skull was able to get a hold of Xavier’s brain and then find a way to mold his brain on to the Red Skull’s own brain, giving him access to Xavier’s powerful telepathic abilities. He used these powers to torment the newly formed Avengers Unity Squad, a team consisting of Avengers and X-Men members commemorating an era of good will following “Avengers vs. X-Men.”

Eventually, the X-Men and Avengers combined to fight Red Skull together and Magneto decided to kill him. This, though, backfired, as it kicked off the Onslaught aspect of Xavier’s brain, creating the ultra-powerful Red Onslaught. He then attacked the collected heroes with special Sentinels designed by Tony Stark to specifically target superheroes. Magneto then had to get a group of villains together to stop Red Onslaught, including Doctor Doom. They won due to a spell by Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom, but in the process of defeating Red Onslaught, the personalities of the heroes and villains were “inverted,” so Doom was an outright hero for a while (since that was artificial, we won’t count it here).

What was your favorite heroic Doctor Doom story? Let us know in the comments section!

The post Doctor Doom: 15 Times He Saved the Day appeared first on CBR.com.

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Posted by Elliot Harmon

The idea that you don’t need a subject’s permission to report on them is fundamental to a free press. If a powerful or influential person, or company, could veto any coverage they don’t like, or make sure any embarrassing or incriminating statements disappear, there’d be little point to having a news media at all. Journalism relies on fair use, the idea that you can use a copyrighted work (like a video or audio clip, or piece of text) in certain ways without the copyright holder’s permission.  Indeed, the section of U.S. law that defines fair use even explicitly calls out its importance to news reporting and commentary.

If we want to protect free and independent journalism, then we need to protect and strengthen fair use.

You don’t need to look far to see how frequently journalists rely on fair use protections to do their jobs. In 2011, Bloomberg obtained and published a recording of a conference call that Swatch Group had held to discuss its financial performance. When Swatch sued for copyright infringement, a judge warned that the company’s demands were a threat to a free speech: “That kind of activity, whose protection lies at the core of the First Amendment, would be crippled if the news media and similar organizations were limited to sources of information that authorize disclosure.”

We recently wrote about Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorian president who’s repeatedly used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to censor media coverage about himself. Today, with a U.S. president who campaigned on a promise to “open up” libel laws so that he could more easily sue newspapers for their coverage of him, and who recently called the mainstream press an enemy of the American people, it’s more important than ever to protect journalists from censorship-by-copyright.

And those protections are just as necessary for publishers with minority views as mainstream ones, if not more so. In 1968, Time Inc. attempted to sue a book publisher over its use of the Zapruder Film, the famous document of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The book used stills from the film in order to advance a theory that multiple gunmen had participated in the assassination. As the judge noted, “Thompson [the author] did serious work on the subject and has a theory entitled to public consideration.” Regardless of your opinions about the Kennedy assassination, it would be disastrous to allow copyright to be used to keep the public from reading unpopular opinions.

Again and again, large entertainment companies attempt to trivialize fair use, treating it like an archaic flaw in copyright law—or at best, the realm of hobbyists on YouTube. Fair use isn’t just about your right to make funny videos (as important as those are); it’s about the public’s right to news and information, and the crucial role of the press to hold those in power accountable.

~

This Week is Fair Use Week, an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use and fair dealing. It is designed to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing, celebrate successful stories, and explain these doctrines.

Who else crushed it at RSA?

Feb. 24th, 2017 06:00 pm
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Posted by Dana Torgersen

The theme for this year’s RSA Conference was the “Power of OpportUNITY”, and with more than 43,000 IT and security professionals in attendance—it truly was the gathering to bring our community together.

Malwarebytes was proud to once again take part in this spectacular week-long event. Thousands of customers, new businesses, students, press, and industry analysts made their way to our new booth to catch our giant threat theater presentation, see a demo, grab a new collectible T-shirt, and say “Hi” to our robot (who was officially named ZERO).

While at the booth, visitors shared with us the security challenges and pain they’re experiencing. Overwhelmingly, threats including zero-day exploits, malware, and ransomware are continuing to get through their existing defenses and perimeters. Businesses from around the country across every industry are all looking for better threat detection capabilities and ways to reduce their response times for incidents. This made for a great opportunity to explain how Malwarebytes technologies can address these shared needs.

Click to view slideshow.

But the week wasn’t just about security… the galleries at the recently remodeled San Francisco Museum of Modern Art were the perfect backdrop for our CRUSH PARTY on Valentine’s Day. Filled to capacity, guests fell in love with the perfect palette of music, food, and great art.

Click to view slideshow.

Mark your calendars now for RSA’s 27th annual conference, being held April 16-20, 2018 in San Francisco. ZERO and the rest of us Malwarenauts will be there, and we hope you’ll join us too!

Can’t wait till then? Check out our Events page to see where else we’re popping up this year.

The post Who else crushed it at RSA? appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

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Posted by Malwarebytes Labs

Malwarebytes is proud to support Cybersecurity Factory, a 10-week summer program for early-stage cybersecurity companies. This program runs in collaboration with Highland Capital Partners provides teams with a $35,000 convertible note investment, office space, and dedicated security mentorship from industry leaders at leading companies throughout the United States.

Security software startups face several unique challenges. The advantage of new technologies is hard to communicate, and can be even harder to demonstrate, to customers. Reputation is paramount, but can be damaged overnight. Sales models are rapidly evolving, and keeping up with them requires both agility and experimentation. Despite these challenges, hackers are continuously trying to penetrate systems and exploit vulnerabilities. There is a strong need for security innovation to stay ahead of these attackers.

Cybersecurity Factory is attempting to fulfill this need by providing the support and mentoring to help teams with business and product strategy and to help them build a network of entrepreneurs and investors to identify key opportunities in the security market. During the summer, each team will work closely with our security mentors and potential customers to produce and improve a marketable prototype.

Applications are open! The early deadline is 3/6 and the program will accept applications on a rolling basis until 3/20.

If anyone has questions about Cybersecurity Factory, don’t hesitate to email the team at team@cybersecurityfactory.com.

As a leading security provider, Malwarebytes is excited to help facilitate and support new innovation in the security market to keep users and companies safe.

The post Malwarebytes teams up with Cybersecurity Factory appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

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Posted by Rob Cave

Vampirella Artist Stands By Controversial Variant Cover

Although writer Paul Cornell and Dynamite Publisher Nick Barrucci quickly apologized for a “Vampirella” variant cover criticized by some as transphobic, artist Jimmy Broxton stands by his illustration and text, insisting, “I created the cover, I know what my intentions were and I make absolutely no apology for it what so ever.”

RELATED: New “Vampirella” Series From Paul Cornell Manifests in 2017

The variant, for the upcoming “Vampirella” #3, was intended as a pastiche of the more salacious covers of certain 1970s men’s magazines, but Cornell acknowledged that in the approval process he overlooked the phrase “She was a he! I Found out the Hard Way!,” explaining, “That’s a line that impacts the lives of real people. Indeed, let’s be blunt, ends the lives of real people. A number of people called us on this, and I got Dynamite to cut the line. It won’t be appearing on the finished comic. I saw the line and let it through, so this is my responsibility.”

Broxton, who created the image and wrote the text, wrote on Facebook, “First Batgirl, then Spider-Woman and more recently Iron Man, all comics featuring variant covers that kicked up a bit of fuss. It seems my variant cover for Vampirella #3 is next on that infamous list. it has upset a few folks (four of them as far as I know, could be more). I’m solely responsible for the cover, it was my idea, my art and my cover copy.”

He elaborated in a response to a supportive comment, saying, “there is no bigotry on display, it lampoons all of those outdated notions, with humour, it in no way condones or legitimises abhorrent views. Anyone who thinks it does is wrong. I created the cover, I know what my intentions were and I make absolutely no apology for it what so ever. If a few people are offended, so what? Also, for the record the woman is not trans, she is female. The trolls who kicked off this nonsense got that wrong as well.”

Broxton added on his own Facebook page, “As the sole individual responsible for this I do not apologise, I have absolutely nothing to apologise for, personally I think Paul and Dynamite should have risen above this nonsense and ignored the trolls who kicked it off, and I certainly did not want them to apologise on my behalf. That being said, everyone else can do, say and think what they like, as that’s just how I roll.”

This morning Cornell tweeted, “this will be the last time I work with Jimmy Broxton,” prompting the artist to respond, “So Paul has publicly sated [sic] he will never work with me again, presumably for disagreeing with him. For the record, I had no problem working with him, I was happy to agree to disagree.”

“Vampirella” #3 goes on sale in May. Cornell has pledged to donate his fee for the issue to Trans Lifeline, while Dynamite has said it will “find an appropriate charity for which to place a free ad in all copies of this issue.”

(via Bleeding Cool)

The post Vampirella Artist Stands By Controversial Variant Cover appeared first on CBR.com.

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Posted by Brian Cronin

Movie Legends: Did LotR Nearly Have An Accidental Stabbing In It?

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Viggo Mortensen had to deflect an actual knife that was accidentally thrown at him during the filming of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.”

The filming of the three “The Lord of the Rings” films were famously difficult, in part because of the schedule (all three films were filmed at once to save money) and in part because it was just a difficult shoot period, with a lot of stunts and action sequences. Director Peter Jackson also went for as much versimullitude as he could get for a film that was, at its heart, a fantasy film. This meant particular care taken with the design of the swords for the film.

For each sword in the movie, there were typically two “hero” versions of the sword that were made with real metal as if they were an actual sword (the sort of thing that you would make for a reenactor) and a “stunt” sword that would be made out of aluminum for a lot of the stunt scenes. Basically, if there was a scene where lots of people were waving a bunch of swords around, the odds were that those swords were stunt swords.

Due to the amount of real weapons in the movie, there would occasionally be accidents as a result of the real items being used. Famously, Viggo Mortensen actually broke his toe while kicking a real metal helmet in a scene (Jackson used his real cries of pain in the film).

The lore of the film has extended to a cool story also involving Viggo Mortensen about a fight scene late in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” where Aragorn (one of the heroic Fellowship of the Ring) fights the evil Lurtz of the Uruk-hai Scouts, Sauron’s agents in trying to find the Ring.

During the battle, Aragorn stabs Lurtz, who then takes the knife out of his leg, licks it, and then throws it at Aragorn, who deflects it with his sword.

As the story goes, the actor who played Lurtz was supposed to throw the real metal knife that they were using in the scene far away from Mortensen and that they would then use digital effects later to add the knife hitting a tree right by Aragorn’s head. However, the actor was distracted by the heavy prosthetic makeup and accidentally threw the knife directly at Mortensen! Mortensen then luckily used the real sword he had in his hands to deflect the knife away, saving himself from an awful stabbing! The sequence looked so cool that they decided to keep it in the movie!

Aragorn swatting knife away

Aragorn is show in the midst of swatting the thrown knife away with his sword.

That’s how the story goes, and just do a quick internet search for “Viggo Mortensen real knife throw” and you’ll get a lot of results on the topic telling basically that story.

However, I tend to disbelieve the tale. First off, I’ve yet to see a credible source used for the story. No quotes from anyone. Secondly, here is Peter Jackson and his wife and collaborator Fran Walsh talking about the sequence for the director’s commentary for the film:

Peter: Having created our villain in Lúrtz, we obviously have to finish him off; and we were actually shooting two things at once, because whilst I was filming Boromir’s last stand, Barrie Osborne was just on the other side of the hill: we were only about thirty or forty feet away – he was just over the hill on the other side of the slope filming the fight between Lúrtz and Aragorn, so this was largely shot by Barrie. Viggo did this incredibly well. There’s a shot coming up where he had to hit the knife that gets thrown at him with his sword, and he did it first take. That was a real knife that was being thrown, and he literally did bat it away with his sword for real: it wasn’t anything fake about it. Do a little bit of computer-enhancement here to take Lúrtz’s arm off.

Fran: We weren’t allowed to have it spurting, though.

Peter: No spurting blood was allowed. (beat) I’m sure people are going to blame me for Lúrtz licking his dagger, but that was actually filmed by Barrie Osborne, and I have no responsibility for it at all. [laughs] I can distance myself from it, although I do actually quite like it!

Now, does that sound like the knife was accidentally thrown at Mortensen? Similarly, he noted that it was done “first take.” That seems to dismiss an alternate version of the story which was that they tried it a bunch of times and were going to give it up and just do it digitally but then the actor accidentally threw the knife again, but this time Mortensen was able to hit it.

From the way that the scene is set up, it sure as heck looks like the original intent was for Mortensen to bat the knife away with his sword. That matches Jackson’s commentary perfectly.

Viggo Mortensen is certainly a badass, I’m surely not disputing that, I just don’t think he used a sword to bat away a knife that was accidentally thrown at him while filming “The Lord of the Rings.”

So I’m going with the legend as…

STATUS: False

Be sure to check out my archive of Movie Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of film.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

The post Movie Legends: Did LotR Nearly Have An Accidental Stabbing In It? appeared first on CBR.com.

jesse_the_k: Lin-Manuel Miranda, costumed as Hamilton, laughing (HamLaff)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] hamiltunes
Pop culture mashup supreme

https://hamiltonsunnydale.tumblr.com

This is funny, and also proves that drama is dramatic in every case.

Habit Trackers

Feb. 24th, 2017 01:13 pm
inkstone: Luffy from One Piece touching his toes (I can touch my toes!)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] bujo
I'm thinking of adding a habit tracker to my bujo. For those of you who use them, could you possibly post a pic or two? I'm trying to get a feel for how everyday people (versus Instagram superstars) use them on a practical, routine basis.

It doesn't matter if it's weekly vs monthly (or even daily!). I'm not wedded to format. I'm just trying to figure out what would work best for me, what I'd find useful to track, etc etc.

Thanks!
[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by Mitch Stoltz

Dot-Org Registry Suspends Secretive Copyright-Policing Plan

Yesterday, the group that runs the .org top-level domain announced that they will suspend their plans to create a new, private, problematic copyright enforcement system. That’s welcome news for tens of millions of nonprofits, charities, businesses, clubs, bloggers, and personal website owners that use .org. It’s also surprising, because most of those Internet users had no idea that a new copyright system, strongly reminiscent of the failed SOPA/PIPA Internet censorship bills, might be forced on them.

The possibility was easy to miss. Public Interest Registry, the nonprofit organization that administers the .org domain, never mentioned the new policy on its blog before yesterday, nor on the registrar websites where people actually register and renew their domain names. It was announced two weeks ago on a news website that covers the domain industry. And it was referenced in a proposal by the Domain Name Association, an industry group, titled “Registry/Registrar Healthy Practices,” a day later.

What was the proposal? Public Interest Registry has never provided any details, but the Domain Name Association’s plan [PDF], which is labeled “PIR Proposal,” calls for creating a system of private arbitrators who would hear complaints of copyright infringement on websites. The arbitrators would wield the power to take away a website’s domain name, and possibly transfer it to the party who complained of infringement. It’s based on a system already in place for resolving trademark disputes on domain names themselves, but it extends that concept to cover the contents of websites and services—something that should be no business of domain name companies. Crossing that line invites even more censorship. The existing process for trademark disputes is notoriously biased in favor of trademark holders, so it’s nothing to emulate.

The proposal, as revealed to the public this month, resembles the SOPA and PIPA bills, which were defeated in 2012 after a massive protest by Internet users. Like SOPA/PIPA, the “Healthy Practices” plan would co-opt one of the Internet’s core functions to serve the narrow interests of a politically well-connected industry. And like those bills, it would throw away the standards developed in court cases over decades for applying copyright law to websites. In some ways, the PIR Proposal goes even further than SOPA/PIPA would have, because whereas the latter would have blocked access to certain domains in the United States, the PIR Proposal would see those domain names deleted worldwide.

It’s not surprising that a plan developed in secret, without input from Internet users, would disregard users’ rights. As we’ve explained, truly “healthy” Internet governance requires inclusion, balance, and accountability, all of which were absent here.

Public Interest Registry did the right thing by hitting the brakes on this proposal. Its brief announcement today acknowledges the importance of good policy-development processes:

Over the past year, Public Interest Registry has been developing a highly focused policy that addresses systemic, large scale copyright infringement – the ”Systemic Copyright Infringement Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy” or SCDRP.

Given certain concerns that have been recently raised in the public domain, Public Interest Registry is pausing its SCDRP development process to reflect on those concerns and consider forward steps. We will hold any further development of the SCDRP until further notice.

A good process must begin by asking whether new, private copyright enforcement mechanisms are needed at all, who benefits, and who will be harmed. It means asking whether the pursuit of copyright “pirates” justifies new architectures of censorship that can easily be turned to other ends, like the suppression of political dissent or news reporting, or the preservation of media monopolies. And it requires seeking the input of Internet users from all walks of life. Whether this takes place in existing organizations like ICANN or through new Internet governance initiatives, it can’t be done unilaterally, or secretly.

We’re glad Public Interest Registry won’t be continuing with this Shadow Regulation for now, and we encourage the Domain Name Association to drop its support for the plan, as well.

[syndicated profile] comicsalliance_feed

Posted by Chris Sims

Q: Hey, so in The Lego Batman Movie, there's a character called The Mime. What's the deal with that? — @comicsfan4life

A: That signal, shining in the sky --- someone needs me to explain an extremely obscure Batman villain to them! I have been training for this day my entire life.

It might come as a surprise, but I actually haven't seen The Lego Batman Movie yet --- although I definitely want to. As I understand it, though, the Mime is only one of several c- to z-list Batman foes who show up and somehow also manage to get toys out of the deal. So my question is, why stop with the Mime?

Continue reading…

10 Worst Superhero Games

Feb. 24th, 2017 05:40 pm
[syndicated profile] comicsalliance_feed

Posted by Alex Langley

Bad superhero games rise above the rabble of other bad games because they take such potential, such easily-obtained greatness and squander it so, so very badly, creating a product which infuriates comic book fans and video game fans. With that in mind, now that we've celebrated the best the world of superhero games has to offer, let's check out the dirty underside of this world and plunge ourselves into the muck and filth of the 10 Worst Superhero Games.

Continue reading…

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The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman The Haward Mysteries Vampires: The New Age The Soul Reader Series
Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake Cat's Creation by Natasha Duncan-Drake Cat's Confidence by Natasha Duncan-Drake Sacrifice of an Angel by Tasha & Sophie Duncan Stockings by Tasha and Sophie Duncan The Beginning by Natasha Duncan-Drake Advent by Natasha Duncan-Drake Forgotten Soul by Tasha D-Drake Forbidden Soul by Tasha D-Drake Fortunate Soul by Tasha D-Drake
Dark Reflections My Stand Alone Short Stories/ Novelettes/ Novellas My Anthologies
Me, Myself and I (Dark Relfections #1) by Tasha D-Drake Dreams and Reality (Dark Reflections #2) by Tasha D-Drake Face of the Dead by Tasha D-Drake Chip Off the Old Block? by Tasha D-Drake Parting the Veil by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan Out of the Frying Pan by Natasha Duncan-Drake The Trade by Natasha Duncan-Drake Myriad Imaginings by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan Half of Everything by Natasha Duncan-Drake Assassin's Blood by Natasha Duncan-Drake