by John Faust
First, I should mention that Mark Millar’s Civil War arc is my favorite storyline in all of comics. It is masterfully told and ahead of its time on so many levels. Although it was very cool to see the heroes comic book nerds grew up with duke it out in the bold realistic art style,the true genius of Civil War is that it tackles real social and political questions in an easily digestible and subversive way. Furthermore, it mirrors many of the issues currently facing America. Regarding the arc, Mark Millar said, “I opted instead for making the superhero dilemma something a little different. People thought they were dangerous, but they did not want a ban. What they wanted was superheroes paid by the federal government like cops and open to the same kind of scrutiny. It was the perfect solution and nobody, as far as I’m aware, has done this before.”
On April 28th of this year, the Supreme Court approved a rule change that has gone mostly unnoticed and unreported but has massive implications for the free and open internet. The Supreme Court has ruled that using the anonymous Tor browser is grounds to issue a search and seizure warrant. When this new rule change goes into effect in December, if the government finds that someone they are looking into is using the TOR browser, they will then be able to search the computer remotely. The rule change says that the government doesn’t even have to know where the computer is, just so long as they are using the TOR browser.
There are times when Laissez Squares encounters a topic absolutely perfect for us to address. We talk a lot about EVE Online and its innovations and unique free market structure. We also discuss charity, especially when it involves some interesting innovation, technology, or nerd culture tid-bit. EVE Online has outdone themselves in a perfect storm of things that interest us.
Daredevil Season 2 just dropped last week and currently has a 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. At the same time, Marvel Netflix released a teaser for the upcoming Luke Cage solo series of the fan-favorite supporting character in Netflix’s previous breakout hit, Jessica Jones. Marvel and Netflix have been absolutely killing it with their smaller, street-level stories. The Marvel writers are able to really delve into these complex characters over the 13 hours for a season, which is impossible in a feature length movie. Continue reading
Joseph Gordon Levitt’s new film Snowden has released a trailer and it looks great! Snowden,directed by the legendary Oliver Stone, is a biopic about the former NSA analyst turned whistleblower. The film will cover Edward Snowden’s life from his enlistment in the army and special forces training before joining the CIA and NSA, to his current asylum in Russia. Levitt plays the titular character in the film, and while preparing for the role he secretly interviewed Snowden himself numerous times in order to understand the man he was about to play. In the promotional press conferences, Levitt has been bombarded with questions about the controversial whistleblower and his thoughts while interviewing him. Continue reading
I have spoken a lot about CCP and my love for EVE Online on the show. They have an incredibly unique product in a genre that has been hurting for originality. About 3 years ago, CCP branched out from open world PC MMOs into a futuristic first person shooter for consoles called Dust 514. Dust 514 was ambitious but ultimately underperformed and considered a failure. But CCP recently announced that they will be creating another first person shooter, this time for the PC, with the hopes that the game will be more accessible to their already formidable fanbase. Continue reading
Coding is the language of technology. Jobs in the tech industry, especially coding jobs, are growing at around double the rate of most other types of employment. Harvard University has determined that the way to get more people into the programming and coding fields is to get them while they are young. Their strategy is Root, a small “Roomba” looking robot that can be programmed to do all sorts of interesting things. It was designed for consumers with fun in mind, and this sets it apart from most other educational robots. Just as the Lego brick sparked the imagination of generations of engineers and architects, Harvard wants to spark the creativity of future programmers with Root. Continue reading
I have recently discovered the comic We Are… Robin. It takes place in Gotham City after a Joker terrorist attack. In the wake of the attack, the youth of Gotham form a crime fighting street gang called the Robins. We Are … Robin is a fascinating book that explores the nature and morality of social movements and vigilantism.
Last December there was a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. One of the shooters had an iPhone that was password protected. As a service to its customers, Apple has an option to wipe the data from a phone after 10 bad attempts to unlock it. The FBI was, apparently, unaware of this feature and wiped the phone. The FBI then sued Apple to open up the phone and to create a backdoor into all iPhones that the government can access. The FBI cited the 227 year old “All Writs Act of 1789” which states that the courts may “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.” The FBI reads this to mean that they can write their own backdoors into any software they deem appropriate. An operating system back door is a loophole that allows anyone with the correct credentials to bypass whatever security features are on a device. As an answer to that court order, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote a Libertarian-goldmine of an open letter to the government that can be summed up succinctly as “hell no.”
Science fiction has always been a goldmine of political commentary, as writers get to project the problems of the current world into the future and imagine how humanity deals with them.