Tetris : le jeu réduirait les effets à long terme des traumatismes psychologiques sévèresOxford, Angleterre – Selon les chercheurs de l’université d’Oxford, jouer au célèbre jeu vidéo Tetris après un traumatisme sévère pourrait réduire la gravité du stress post-traumatique.Le fait de jouer à Tetris peu de temps après la survenue de l’évènement à l’origine du traumatisme réduirait la fréquence des flashbacks douloureux. Cette découverte pourrait permettre de mettre au point des traitements pour les victimes d’accident, de viol, d’une maladie grave ou les témoins d’une guerre, d’un attentat, de la mort violente d’un proche…À lire aussiPsychopathe et sociopathe : qu’est-ce que c’est et comment les différencier ?L’équipe du docteur Emily Holmes, du département de psychiatrie de l’université d’Oxford a testé l’effet du jeu sur quarante personnes en bonne santé. Toutes ont dû regarder des images de personnes blessées, ainsi que des campagnes chocs de lutte contre l’alcool au volant. Trente minutes plus tard, la moitié d’entre elles ont dû jouer à Tetris pendant 10 minutes, tandis que l’autre moitié patientait. Il s’est avéré que, la semaine suivante, celles qui avaient pu jouer à Tetris avaient beaucoup moins de flash-back des images violentes que les autres. D’après Emily Holmes, le jeu vidéo empêcherait le cerveau de stocker certains souvenirs, si on y joue immédiatement après le choc.Les chercheurs ont choisi Tetris parce que ce jeu utilise un large panel de zones cérébrales grâce aux multiples formes et couleurs présentées aux joueurs. Par conséquent, il n’est pas certain que d’autres jeux vidéo eussent été aussi efficaces. Le 28 mars 2010 à 17:38 • Emmanuel Perrin
L’iPhone, produit le plus recherché et vendu sur eBay aux Etats-UnisUne étude d’eBay sur l’année 2010 montre que l’iPhone est l’appareil le plus convoité et acheté par les internautes sur le site marchand. L’iPad est cinquième du classement. Apple brille sur le site marchand eBay. Avec l’iPhone, l’entreprise de Steve Jobs occupe la première place en ce qui concerne les produits les plus recherchés et vendus sur le site aux Etats-Unis en 2010. Ce résultat est la conclusion d’une enquête des dirigeants d’eBay, qui ont observé les chiffres des ventes et ceux des requêtes réalisées sur le site. Le smartphone griffé de la pomme est donc le grand vainqueur avec 1,6 million de résultats. Par ailleurs, la tablette iPad d’Apple apparaît à la cinquième place, quelques mois seulement après sa commercialisation, avec 621.000 articles le concernant. Cette dernière a aussi été plébiscitée gadget de l’année 2010 par les médias Time Magazine et Wall Street Journal. Le 30 décembre 2010 à 12:47 • Emmanuel Perrin
Un virus se cachait dans les publicités de SpotifyLe site de streaming de musique a été victime d’un virus qui se cachait dans ses publicités.Vendredi dernier, le site Spotify a annoncé qu’un virus avait affecté son système. Celui-ci s’installait après un clic de l’utilisateur de la version gratuite de la plateforme de streaming sur une publicité piégée. Il signalait d’abord la fausse présence de logiciels malveillants et proposait l’installation d’un anti-virus imaginaire, explique LeNouvelObs. Portant le nom de “Windows Recovery”, il ne s’attaquait qu’aux utilisateurs du système de Microsoft en masquant les fichiers personnels, en supprimant les droits administrateurs et en interdisant l’accès à certains logiciels.D’abord silencieux, si ce n’est par l’intermédiaire de quelques Tweets, Spotify a donc stoppé l’affichage de contenus publicitaires via son logiciel, suite à plusieurs remarques de ses utilisateurs. Le virus s’est finalement attaqué aux PC des utilisateurs anglais, espagnols, français et suédois. Spotify a annoncé que tout était depuis rentré dans l’ordre mais va devoir se montrer vigilant, le scareware s’attaquant à sa source principale de revenus.Le 30 mars 2011 à 10:58 • Emmanuel Perrin
iPad 2: une faille de sécurité découverteUne faille de sécurité, impliquant la housse de protection d’Apple, la “SmartCover”, a été découverte. Elle permet d’accéder à la tablette sans avoir à taper le code confidentiel.Après avoir découvert une faille de sécurité sur l’iPhone 4S concernant l’assistant vocal Siri, c’est l’iPad 2 qui se retrouve sur le banc des accusés. En effet, selon le site 9to5Mac, il est possible de faire fi du code de sécurité de la tablette en utilisant simplement la “Smart Cover”, la housse d’Apple conçue pour son ardoise star.À lire aussiiPhone 6 : un smartphone fragile qui se plierait en restant dans une poche ?La manipulation n’est pas des plus aisées, mais quand elle est connue, elle permet un accès total au contenu de l’iPad. Pour ce faire, il suffit, lorsque l’on se trouve sur l’écran d’accueil, de simuler l’extinction de l’appareil, de poser la housse (qui met en veille l’appareil instantanément) puis de la retirer. Et voilà, la dernière application utilisée s’ouvre, outrepassant le code normalement exigé, comme on peut le voir sur cette vidéo.Il est possible de désactiver cette sortie de veille automatique lorsque l’on ôte la Smart Cover dans le menu Réglages de l’appareil, mais cela en revient à supprimer la fonctionnalité qui fait tout l’intérêt de cet étui magnétique. Seule solution pour éteindre l’incendie: que la Pomme publie rapidement un correctif pour ses appareils et bouche les trous de son système qui s’expose au tout-venant.Le 21 octobre 2011 à 12:33 • Maxime Lambert
Portal : faire entrer des objets réels dans une télévision !Jayne Vidheecharoen, du Art Center College of Design de Californie a réalisé un prototype d’écrans révolutionnaire, permettant d’introduire un objet réel dans un contexte numérique. En l’occurrence, Google Street View… Avec une technologie de fond vert (souvent usité en photographie et en cinéma) allié avec une surface tactile, Jayne Vidheecharoen est arrivé à faire interagir sa main dans un espace virtuel créé dans un écran : c’est le projet portal (ou portail, en français).À travers le logiciel Google Street View, elle a réussi à introduire un petit personnage virtuel dans une rue et le pousser à l’aide de sa main !À lire aussiIFA 2012 : Samsung ES 9500, un concentré de technologie Pour elle, cette vision rend Google Street View “comme un espace de spectacle de magie, un espace public qui ne subit pas le Temps, et dont le potentiel de développement est sans limite”.Cette incroyable réalisation, élaboré avec des éléments simples qui n’appartiennent pas forcément à la haute technologie, peut être une plateforme d’interaction d’avenir : “On peut imaginer des milliers de façons d’utiliser ces ‘boîtes’ interactives et créer de véritables mondes parallèles entre la réalité et elles, comme des boîtes à poupées d’un nouveau genre”.Les premières ébauches de ces mondes interactifs sont déjà visibles, en vidéo, ici et là.Le 3 janvier 2012 à 13:30 • Maxime Lambert
CES 2012: le Casque Bluetooth Zik Parrot signé StarckParrot vient de dévoiler son casque Bluetooth Zik au CES 2012 à Las Vegas. Celui-ci est notamment signé Philippe Starck, le célèbre designer.Ce nouveau casque, à arceau et plutôt sobre, est équipe de l’ANC (Active Noise Cancelling, qui permet l’annulation du bruit) pour une écoute beaucoup plus tranquille et non polluée des sons environnants. De plus, ce casque intelligent intègre des algorithmes permettant d’améliorer le son, selon Parrot. À lire aussiLe nouveau Coyote se dote d’un écran tactileLa firme ne s’arrête pas là et fait parler son savoir faire: en plus de la connexion Bluetooth et de prise jack, le casque contient des commandes tactiles se trouvant sur l’écouteur droit, et enfin la technologie NFC…Du jamais vu pour un casque audio !Un capteur de présence détectera même si vous retirez le casque (il se mettra en veille si c’est le cas)!Le casque Zik est donc une petite merveille de technologie disponible dans le courant de l’année, chez le constructeur français Parrot. Le prix n’a évidemment pas été communiqué.Le 13 janvier 2012 à 13:30 • Maxime Lambert
Apple se défend d’entente sur les prix avec les éditeurs de livresApple affirme ne pas avoir incité les éditeurs de livres électroniques à s’entendre sur des prix à la hausse de leurs produits pour concurrencer Amazon et sa liseuse Kindle. Pour l’instant, tout reste flou mais cela ne devrait pas tarder à changer. En effet, depuis quelques semaines, le département à la justice américain (DoJ) et la Commission européenne travaillent ensemble sur des soupçons d’entente illégale sur les prix entre Apple et les éditeurs de livres numériques. “Parce-que le marché des ebooks est en croissance très rapide, nous sommes préoccupés par le développement de pratiques qui n’existent pas pour les livres physiques, comme la collusion entre les éditeurs sur les prix”, explique d’ailleurs le commissaire européen Joaquin Almunia, cité par Actua Litté.Si la marque de Cupertino se défend et nie ces pratiques, il n’en reste pas moins que les prix fixés sont bien plus important que ceux pratiqués par Amazon avec sa liseuse Kindle, l’autre grand acteur de ce marché, jusque- là en situation de monopole. Une situation étrange effectivement, que celle de l’arrivée d’un concurrent… faisant augmenter les prix ! Joaquin Almunia demande donc à ce que tout cela soit éclairé au plus vite sous peine de voir Amazon reprendre son monopole… et les sociétés coupables d’entente s’exposer à des amendes allant jusqu’à 10 % de leurs ventes mondiales. L’affaire ne semble en tout cas pas prête de se finir… Le 14 mars 2012 à 15:00 • Emmanuel Perrin
En 2011, les hacktivistes ont volé plus de données que les cybercriminelsLes hacktivistes se sont montrés plus virulents que les cybercriminels en 2011 en matière de vol de données. Près de 60% des vols sur Internet ont en effet été perpétrés par des pirates informatiques l’année dernière, révèle un rapport publié par l’opérateur Verizon.Les hacktivistes, tels que les Anonymous ou les membres du groupe LulzSec, sont de plus en plus actifs. En 2011, ils ont été à l’origine de 58% des vols de données sur Internet, affirme l’opérateur Verizon dans un rapport annuel basé sur des données recueillies auprès des autorités américaines, néerlandaises, australiennes, irlandaises ou encore britanniques. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Une tendance qui “contraste fortement avec celles des dernières années, où la majorité des attaques étaient le fait de cybercriminels motivés principalement par les gains financiers”, souligne cette étude. Les hacktivistes, contraction des mots hacker et activiste, se différencient des simples escrocs par les idéologies au nom desquels ils affirment agir. Les Anonymous, particulièrement virulents l’année dernière, sont avec le groupe LulzSec les plus célèbres pirates animés par des convictions idéologiques ou politiques. Ils s’attaquent aussi bien aux multinationales qu’aux gouvernements et services policiers, et ont réussi à “narguer des entreprises dans le monde entier” note Verizon. “Beaucoup, inquiétés de la nature mystérieuse du mouvement et de son inclination à jeter ses victimes dans l’embarras, ont trouvé que ce type de menace était encore plus effrayante” que les attaques criminelles auxquelles elle étaient habituées, ajoute l’opérateur.Le 25 mars 2012 à 15:45 • Maxime Lambert
Stay on target The Most Addictive Mobile Clicker GamesSimple Geek’s Guide to…Streaming Services You know you’ve been working from home too long when you sing songs to the fridge about how delicious its contents are, and you have to ask yourself if you brushed your teeth today before leaving the house. Yeah, I’ve been self-employed long enough to have very questionable hygiene habits – so much so that I even made this hilarious checklist to consult before leaving the house.The plus side of this whole working for myself thing though is that I’ve developed some pretty keen ways to help me stay productive…because just lying in bed and watching Netflix is way too tempting. Here they are:Be Honest With Yourself About When You Work BestI’m a morning person. I get my best stuff usually done by noon. Come 1 pm or 2 pm I’m not nearly as sharp, so I try to get all the important things done before then. Some people work much better at night, though, and if that’s you, try to finagle a schedule that allows you to do so.Schedule Meetings and Calls for Early in the DayEven if you do your best work at night, the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily run on your schedule. I know, lame right? People often allow themselves to procrastinate if they have some event to look forward to later on like “oh, I’ve got that thing in an hour, I can’t get much done before then.” That’s why scheduling your calls and meetings for earlier in the day is important. It frees up the rest of the day to do the work you need to do without interruptions.Block off Specific Amounts of Time for Specific ProjectsI think Tim Ferriss talks about doing this with regards to answering emails in his book The 4-Hour Workweek, but I don’t know because I haven’t actually read it. The idea though is that you block off certain parts of your day specifically for certain tasks and you do only those. For example, if you’re working on an article you set aside 11:30 am – 1 pm to write it, and you don’t allow yourself to do anything else, including emails during that time. Same goes for answering emails. Give yourself two periods per day where you plan on doing emails. Let’s say 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm. Turn on your out of office responder for the other periods and in it let people know what hours you respond to emails, so they know when you’ll be getting back to them.Write out a to Do Lists and Cross Shit off as You GoThis is especially handy for when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It lets you see actually what you have to do that day and helps you prioritize. Each time you cross something off it feels really damn good. And then once you’ve done them all you can reward yourself with ice cream or weed or clown porn!Do a Few Easy Things First to Get MomentumSometimes it’s hard to just jump straight into work mode. So I like to take care a few easy things right off the bat so that it gets my juices going and I have the momentum to take on the bigger tasks. Just don’t get mired down in the little ones. Knock off a couple then go straight to the most important thing on your list.Take a NapYes really, just don’t be a jerk about it. Nothing hits the reset button on your day like a short 20-30 min nap. You wake up refreshed and ready to be more productive. Make sure to set your alarm so that you don’t sleep for 2 hours though because then you’ll wake up all weird and groggy.Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow his weird and wonderful adventures over at BrokeAssStuart.com.
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that comics community mourns the loss of Len Wein, who passed away on September 10, 2017. While he’s not a household name in comics in the way that Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, or Frank Miller are, he absolutely should be. Here are just a few reasons why.Over at Marvel Comics in 1974 Len created one of the single most celebrated characters in comics, Wolverine. With artists Herb Trimpe and John Romita Sr. during his celebrated run on The Incredible Hulk in issue #181. Early the following year, Len would use Wolverine in his massively successfully X-Men relaunch with Dave Cockrum in Giant-Sized X-Men #1. With Dave, Len created Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Thunderbird for this X-Men revival. With so many X-Men comics, spin-offs, TV shows, video games, action figures and blockbuster movies, it’s easy to forget that X-Men was originally cancelled without a proper ending over five years before Giant-Sized X-Men #1 due to low sales; being relegated to a reprint title for all those years in between. While Chris Claremont may be one of the best (if not THE best) to ever tackle the X-Men in comics, it was Len that gave him some of his favorite characters and a strong push at the starting line. To this day, Len’s comics The Incredible Hulk #181, Giant-Sized X-Men #1, and X-Men #94 are three of the most sought after Bronze Age comics by collectors.Next time you watch X-Men Days Of Future Past, remember to look for Len Wein’s cameo role #LenWein pic.twitter.com/rib6Q9jXjc— Cool Comic Art (@CoolComicArt) September 11, 2017Len’s DC work is also impressive. Back in 1971, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson created Swamp Thing. This groundbreaking horror comic led to multiple TV series, movies, action figures, and more. Len came back to Swamp Thing as editor years later and was the first to edit Alan Moore’s celebrated run on the title. He also edited Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen which remains one of the most celebrated and enduring works of literature in the comics medium. Editors are often unsung heroes in comics, and Len’s work as an editor is no exception.The Batman we know today is also largely because of the work Len Wein put into the character. Where Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil shifted the character away from the campy comics of the mid-60’s, Len was a driving force, along with writers like Steve Englehart and artists like Jim Aparo and Marshall Rogers, that further pushed Batman to the Dark Knight we know him as today and helped pave the way to some of the most celebrated works with the character. He also created characters like Lucius Fox who played a pivotal role in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Len’s involvement with Batman spans decades as he wrote multiple episodes of the fan favorite show, Batman: The Animated Series.Len Wein’s work in comics spans far wider than these examples. Saying the medium would not have been the same without him would be a gross understatement. He co-created so many characters, and his fingerprints are on so many of the biggest events that ever happened in comics.Len is survived by his wife, Christine Valada.
Stay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend For years, scientists have been trying to answer the big questions: Why rainbows are so awesome, what makes cats so… weird, and just where the hell is most of the “Stuff” in the universe. We might not have made any progress on those first two, but a team of researchers have managed to find more than half of the “missing” atoms in the universe.These atoms were described as missing or absent because physicists have known for some time roughly how much matter came into being shortly after the big bang. According to their models, 70% of the universe is dark energy with another 23% as dark matter. That’s a little weird, though, given that we have yet to detect or precisely characterize either, but alas. The remainder of the stuff in creation exists either as regular ol’ energy and… well… stuff. You, me, my cat, the sun. That’s all what’s known as Baryonic matter. It only accounts for 4.6% for everything we know of, but there’s a problem there. Of that sliver of all that is, scientists can only detect half. Or at least they could. New work by a team at the University of Edinburgh, though, might clear things up.“This is embarrassing, as you can imagine,” astronomer Renyue Cen of Princeton University told Science Mag. “Not only do we have most of matter which is dark, and most of energy which is still darker; but of the 5% which is normal atoms, most are missing.”The best explanation for the missing stuff was that it had been stretched across the universe in super-thin strands of hot filaments that span between galaxies and clusters. These strands are known as WHIMs or Warm-Hot Intergalactic matter. They’re hot enough to glow in the upper bands of radiation — namely X-rays — but they’re so thin that they’ve been almost impossible to detect.To sort it out, the team used the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation — a signal left over from the Big Bang, and one of our largest pieces of evidence for the event — to backlight, in a sense, the WHIMs. They compared a million pairs of galaxies, separated by relatively narrow distances, and then stitched all the images together, looking for traces of the WHIMs.This works because photons from the CMB can strike electrons in the WHIMs, which are like the connective tissue of the universe. When that happens, sometimes, the photons will gain energy. This is known as the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect. The new signal is faint and extremely weak, but it’s still measurable by modern instruments. By looking for evidence of the SZ effect, cosmologists claim to have located a good chunk of the missing mass — as much as 30%. Subsequent experiments, led by the next generation of super-powerful X-Ray telescopes, should be enough to give us more direct evidence, and round out the models. But it’s a great indication that we’re on the right track. It’s also a little unnerving when you think about it. Most of the stuff that is, doesn’t exist in any form that’s recognizable to us. And when you think about what percentage of the total mass that we can observe is in stars or black holes, it’s really weird to remember that the overwhelming majority of the universe is bizarre and empty.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
If you’re finished paying ridiculously high phone bills, drop your current carrier, and move to FreedomPop. As an early Black Friday deal, you can pick up a three-in-one SIM for your unlocked GSM smartphone for just a single cent, and it even comes with voice minutes, text messages, and LTE data for free. • FreedomPop LTE SIM with Unlimited Talk, Text, 2GB Trial, and 500MB Bonus for $0.01Insert this FreedomPop SIM card into your compatible iPhone or Android device, and you’ll get one month of unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 2GB of data on the nationwide GSM 4G LTE network FreedomPop is using. If those conditions sound good to you, you can stay with that plan without a longterm contract for just $24.99 per month after the trial. But if that’s still a bit pricey, you’ll always have the option to drop down to the free tier. For a whopping $0 per month, you’ll get to enjoy 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages, and 200MB of data through FreedomPop. Keep a close watch on your usage to steer clear of the automatic top-up functionality, and your barebones cell service is yours without a monthly bill. And since there’s no longterm commitment needed, you can cancel or change your service tier at any time.Better yet, FreedomPop offers Wi-Fi calling and texting, free calls/texts between phones using FreedomPop, and free international calling in over 60 countries. So whether you want to keep your old number or start fresh, FreedomPop is a simple and affordable way to stay connected to your loved ones. Heck, you can even earn bonus data by adding your friends.Note: Terms and conditions apply. Service renew at full price after trial unless user takes action. See the FreedomPop site for more information. For more great deals, head over to TechBargains.
Stayed tuned for part two later in the week. Batman Loses a Dad Again, Another Ben Affleck Update & More DC Movie NewsSecret Aquaman Role, Wonder Woman’s Throwback Photo, & More DC Movie News The other day I had the opportunity to have an in depth interview with a true trailblazer in comics, Mindy Newell. She’s the first woman to write Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Lois Lane, and more. This is part one of our two-part conversation. Thank you for joining me, Mindy! It’s an honor. Let’s start from the beginning, sort of. You are a long time comics fan. When did you fall in love with comics as a kid? What were some of your favorites and why?Mindy: It’s real pleasure, Joe, and thanks for the compliment…though I don’t know why it’s such an “honor.” When I reflect on how I got here, it seems that I was “in the right place at the right time.” Or, truth to power, I think the better phrase is “I stumbled” into the comics industry. But more on that later. I can’t tell you exactly at what age I started reading comics, but it was definitely during the Silver Age—I was born in 1953 (yikes!)—and all I can tell you is that by the time I was 5 or 6, which would make it 1958, 1959 (and onwards, )I was avidly reading comics…my first definitive memory is discovering and reading them at sleepaway camp (Camp Monroe, if any alumni of the place I’ve always thought of as “Brigadoon” are reading this), where comics were passed around the bunks like candy on Halloween. I read them all—something about them captured my imagination; not only superheroes, but the romance comics, westerns, horror, science fiction, World War II stories—so we’re talking Superman, Wonder Woman, Sgt. Rock, Thor, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Superboy, Tales from the Crypt, and especially Adam Strange. Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, and Supergirl. You name it, I read it. During the school year I didn’t get to read them as much, except when I was home sick and my parents would bring them home for me. Any concerns they had about my reading comics were assuaged by my Uncle Max, who was a principal in the New York City school system. “She’s reading,” he told them. “And she’s learned to love reading because of comics. Besides, how many kids her age know what “invulnerable” means (thanks, Superman!) or how many miles the Earth is from the Sun?” (Remember those “Editor’s Notes,” guys?) Anyway…they were all so full of wonder—“strange new worlds, new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before,” to appropriate a well-known phrase—I can still clearly see in my mind’s eye Wayne Boring’s (though of course I had no idea who the artists were back then) Lori Lemaris; the worlds of Ranagar and Krypton; the “time-bubble” of the Legionnaires, Superboy and Supergirl’s robots…so much more…but of all of them, my heart belonged to the orphaned Linda Lee, aka Linda Lee Danvers, aka Kara Zor-el, aka Supergirl.Of course it was the idea of a girl not really that much older than myself—Kara was about 12 or 13 when she first popped out of her rocket ship—though of course when you’re 5,6,7 years old you think that those ages are “really grown-up,” and you can’t wait to get there—with the same powers as the awesome Superman when she first enchanted and entranced me; but later on, when I did grow up and thought more seriously about the implications of my love for the character, I realized that she was an incredibly powerful symbol for little girls back then. Think about it…this wee thing, barely pubescent, was Superman’s “secret weapon”; he depended on Kara to pull his super-ass out of the super-fire in emergencies, he depended on Kara to protect the Earth when he was off-planet—Supergirl literally told little girls that they were capable of doing anything we wanted to. (Hmm…I wonder how many of my generation, who grew up to march in the streets and demand women’s rights, were influenced by this four-color “proto-feminist?”) In 1983 you sent a submission to DC Comics that lead to you getting work at DC. Could you tell me what motivated you to submit to DC?I’m gonna cheat here a little bit and quote from my first column at ComicMix—HOW I BECAME A COMICS PROFESSIONAL…OR HOW THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN?… I wish I could tell you that I always knew I wanted to be a comics writer, and that I was encouraged by my high school teachers and then went to university and majored in English with a minor in writing, or that I was a “convention-ho” and showed sample after sample after sample of my writing to every editor who didn’t make a beeline for the bathroom when they saw me coming. Or that I’m related to someone in the comics world, and hey, a little bit of nepotism doesn’t hurt. (Let’s get real, here, right?)But…Once upon a time –1983 – I was working in the OR at a “great metropolitan hospital of a major American city.” It was an ordinary day, with no hint of things to come. Lunchtime came, and, not having anything to read while I ate, I went down to the hospitality shop, thinking I would pick up a magazine or maybe a paperback. None of the magazines or books was really catching my interest, when out of the corner of my left eye I noticed a rack.A rack of comic books!Spider-Man. Action. Thor. Superman. Green Lantern. Fantastic Four. Daredevil. The Legion Of Super-Heroes. And more. I mean, it was a veritable cornucopia of all my old favorites! (Yep, I was one of those weirdo girls who devoured super-hero comics back in the days when the prevailing wisdom was girls only read Nancy Drew and maybe an occasional Betty And Veronica.) I couldn’t believe it. Why hadn’t I ever noticed them before? I scooped them all up, and went back upstairs. I was really excited as I sat down and tried to decide which one to read first. I had just decided on Green Lantern when one of my co-workers tapped me on my shoulder and said, “Hey, can I read Green Lantern?” And before I knew it, everybody in the staff lounge – nurses, X-ray technicians, surgeons, orderlies, aides – were grabbing all my comics! “Where’d you get these, Min?” “Man, I haven’t read a comic in years! This is great!” “You don’t mind if I take this Spider-Man, do you?” Grabbing all of my comics before I can say no, which I wouldn’t, ‘cause everybody knows I’m a softie. And I’m left staring at my PB&J on rye with nothing to read except an old New York Daily News from three days ago. But I did make sure I got them back before I went home, and that night I tucked myself into bed and read and read into the wee small hours of the morning. (Good thing it was a Friday and I was off that weekend.) So Sunday rolls around and it’s a rainy, dank, cold, absolutely miserable day. My daughter is out with the grandparents, I’ve read the Sunday New York Times and finished the crossword puzzle, it’s not football season so there’s no game to watch, and there’s not one good movie on the television. I don’t need to go food shopping. And I’ve walked my dog, who’s now sleeping as only a dog can do on my couch. Which technically she’s not supposed to be on, but she knows I’m a softie and won’t wake her. And then – maybe it was the hand of God or Dr. Fate, or maybe it was just being bored out my mind – I go into my bedroom, and rummage through the pile of comics on the floor next to my bed, and pull out Action Comics. I turn to the editorial column by the editor-in-chief, the late, dearly loved and missed, great and talented Dick Giordano – and reread the bit about DC Comics’ new New Talent Program. The rules are, you can’t use any of DC’s characters, i.e., you have to make up your own. Don’t write a whole story, just a synopsis with brief bios of the main character(s). Think outside the box. And good luck! I find some typewriting paper in a drawer. I pull my old portable manual out from underneath my bed, where it has been collecting dust bunnies for I-can’t-remember-how-long. I get a paper towel and some Windex and wipe off the keys. I pray that the ribbon is still good. I roll the paper in. Set the margins.And start writing… “Writing is easy,” Red Barber said. “You just open your veins and bleed.” I slit an artery that day, because I bled like a stuck pig. In a few hours, I had written a little story about a young couple expecting their first child. They were scientists – aren’t they always? – working in the then infant field of genetic research. There’s an accident at the lab – isn’t there always? – and the woman, exposed to a mixture of chemicals and radiation – isn’t she always? – gains super-powers. (Duh!) But there is a price. She loses the baby. And estranges her husband.I mailed it off. (Snail-mail. Remember, this was 1983, and I was writing on a portable typewriter. With carbon paper!)How did the subsequent interview with Karen Berger and your first work got to print?Funny you should ask! Here’s some more from “HOW THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN?” A week later I got a call from Sal Amendola, the coordinator of the talent search for DC. A month later I was sitting at the desk of Karen, who was then the editor of New Talent Showcase.Aside: Yes, I know, it’s not supposed to happen like that. You’re supposed to work and work and work and sweat and sweat and cry and cry and cry and revise and revise and revise and submit, submit, and submit.Karen and I talked for a while. She asked me about my background, and like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, my answers were all I know notzhing! I see notzhing! The only thing I could really tell her is that I read comics. Always did. And when she asked me about my writing experience, I said it was only for school. But my brother, when I told him about the experience, said I was wrong. He said I was always making up stories and writing them down. But I don’t remember that. Well, except for one, a story I wrote for eighth-grade English, in which a UFO sighting is reported, and then the next day while walking to school I meet this funny little man dressed strangely and who had a weird accent. Karen sketched out the process of putting a comic together. Explained the full-script method – in which the entire story, including dialogue, panel layout and specified “shots” – is dictated by the author, and “Marvel style,” in which the writer does a detailed synopsis of each page, but basically leaves all artistic decisions to the artist.One thing I do remember very clearly – a man comes into Karen’s office. She introduces me. His name is Len Wein. Obviously an important person. Clearly as a comics reader I’m supposed to know him. But my inner dialogue is I’m supposed to know him? Len Wien. Len Wein. Sounds kinda familiar. Why do I know that name? Meanwhile I’m shaking his hand and saying things like, “I’m so pleased to meet you,” and “I love your work,” and “It’s an honor.”Never let ‘em see ya sweat, kids. Anyway, Karen sent me home with a stack of old comic scripts to “study,” and with instructions to take a whack at it. (My words, not hers.) And here let me say, very clearly, that any success I’ve had in comics is thanks to Karen, who nurtured me and encouraged me and was the best editor (and friend) a tyro like me could ever have. It was Karen who had faith in any untapped abilities I had, who championed and gave me the opportunity to write more stories for New Talent and to work with people like Paul Levitz (The Legion Of Super-Heroes) and Keith Giffen (Legionnaires Three, Amethyst).And for whatever reason, other people noticed. Robert Greenberger—whose articles I had read in Starlog magazine, and with whom I work at ComicMix—gave me an assignment on V, and later edited my Lois Lane mini-series. Len Wein—he whom I had faked knowing that fateful day—asked me to write a Tales of The Green Lantern Corps. It just kept going. Some of your earliest works included Legion of Super-Heroes and Amethyst. How did that come about? Would you pitch ideas, have options, or be assigned issues? As I said, it was all thanks to Karen. IIRC, when Legion was about to go “glossy” with all new stories, it was decided that there would be a “newspaper print” version—with some lag time, though I don’t remember how much—which would be titled Tales of The Legion of Super-Heroes and which would also include a short, original back-up story. This was an incredibly workload for Paul Levitz, as he was not only the writer of Legion, but also the Vice-President and then Executive Vice-President of DC Comics. Behind the scenes it was decided that a scriptwriter would be brought in to dialogue over Paul’s plots. I wasn’t privy to the actual conversations, of course, but one day Karen called me and asked if I would consider and like the assignment. Would I????? Are you kidding??? As I said up above, I had been a fan of the Legion—LLL!!!!—since their very first appearance in 1958 (Adventure Comics #247). My finest work, imho, of that run is “Triangle,” a little story in which Sun Boy, aka Dirk Morgana, the roué and male chauvinist pig of the Legion, finally gets his comeuppance. It appeared in Tales of The Legion of Super-Heroes #320, and also made the Best of DC Digest for that year, which I believe was 1985. I’m very proud of that story. I think it is/was my skill at dialogue that propelled me forward. (I still think I suck at actual plotting—like Ronald D. Moore, who has admitted this on Outlander podcasts, I tend to write straightforward, meaning that I don’t jump around the story, and though I have a singular climax or scene in my head, I let the characters take me there.) My style was once described to me by artist John Higgins as “very British,” meaning that my characters spoke in natural rhythms and reactions (while still pushing the story forward). He also told me that I was very popular across the pond and more well known and respected than here in the States. This was sorta confirmed to me when I was invited over to UKAC in London for my work on Catwoman. It was the first time I was treated like a “superstar”—someone even followed me into the bathroom at the convention, so eager was she to get my autograph! A weird—and, yes, ego-boosting—experience.) My work on Amethyst also occurred the same way, though in this case, as far as I know, it was a discussion between Keith Giffen and Karen. It may sound like I’m shortlisting the Princess of Gemworld, but I’m not. Writing her just came so naturally to me; after all, I had been that little girl who dreamed that she was capable of so much more. You are the first woman to write Wonder Woman. Were you aware of that at the time you took on writing duties? How much did that mean to you and continues to mean to you today?Mindy: No, I wasn’t. And it wasn’t until Gail Simone took on the writing responsibilities of the Amazon Princess in 2007 that I found out. In Gail’s own words, from her Five Questions With…” interview with me: “I’m really excited to score this interview. A little personal story first. “…many years later, when I got the Wonder Woman job, there was this crazy little firestorm of publicity…where we got the front page of the NY Times Art Section, a dozen major papers, TV appearances, the whole schmear. And the news was ‘Wonder Woman Gets First Female Writer.’ “I knew that wasn’t exactly correct, so I kept correct everyone, ‘No, I’m the first female ONGOING writer.’ But then I spoke to Kurt Busiek and he said I was STILL wrong, that Mindy had been absolutely pegged as the first female ongoing WW writer…’” Gail also said that “it feels like people are trying to pave over history, because the REAL pioneer was Mindy, back when being a female writer in comics was darn near impossible.”I gotta say, I never thought much about it at the time, but lately—I think Gail is right, it has felt like I’ve been “paved over” by TPTB. Of course, as I became more and more familiar with the ins-and-outs of the comics industry, I realized that it was a microcosm of the “Hollywood” scene—obviously, a lot more than a microcosm these days—in its attitude of “what have you done for me lately?” and in its overt and covert misogyny. And, frankly, it pisses me off. Hell, I’m not a saint!!What was your favorite contribution to Wonder Woman or favorite memory related to Wonder Woman while working on the book?Just the fact that thanks to Gail and other people, including here at Geek.com, I’m being recognized again. More specifically, and perhaps surprisingly to you, I actually don’t have “great” memories of working on Diana the first time around. Of course, I was terribly excited, and I had lots of ideas, but, truth to power, I was never given a chance. What I envisioned didn’t matter. The editor at the time—he’s an extremely good man and terrific gentleman in a field where that moniker is often lacking—was big into Mayan civilization, theology and myths, and that’s the story he wanted to tell. Maybe he liked the idea of two great “pagan” civilizations clashing, as Wonder Woman represented the Hellenic Period. But I had no interest in Mayan culture at that time—or was it Aztec? Anyway, it seemed like the editor didn’t give a damn about what I thought. He didn’t even give me a chance to talk about Diana and Steve Trevor and Etta Candy. I had always thought of Steve Trevor as a nebbish, a mama’s boy, a disgrace to the Air Force, a man who made it to Colonel by ass-kissing the higher-ups, a humiliation in uniform, the perfect pisher, I wanted to base him on my father, a WWII Army Air Corps P-51 fighter jock in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, who hardly ever never talked about his experiences in the war until his later years and after Tom Brokaw called his generation “The Greatest,” who kept all his medals and honors tucked away until finally we forced him to have them framed and hung on the wall in our den, a man who loved to fly and did his duty to his country. A man who should have never left the service that he loved. As for Etta: I liked that she was, plainly speaking, fat. It made her stand out from all the, no pun intended, Amazonian superwomen of comics. She was so normal in that way. I saw her as awakening to her strengths, not just because of Wonder Woman’s influence, but because she was maturing into an independent, intelligent individual. And then there was Diana.Honestly? I had always hated her. Well, not her. The way she was portrayed. She was the most powerful woman in the DC universe, and all she did was whine about Steve. No, she was definitely not an icon for women in the later part of the 20th century. But I thought, here’s an interesting dichotomy: a superbly intelligent, supremely physical young woman who didn’t know shit about life in the “real” world. A royal princess who was waited on hand-and-foot while growing up who now found herself in a nation that had rejected royalty at its birth. The only baby “born” in a civilization of women who had isolated themselves from “man’s world” 2000 years ago. Of course she would be “pro-life” and “anti-abortion.” (This has nothing to do with my own feelings. For the record, I am firmly pro-choice.) And as for men? How would she react to a world where women were just starting to break the glass ceiling, where they made 70 cents to every dollar a man earned? How would she understand a country that went nuts just because Hillary Clinton didn’t want to just stay home and bake cookies? And what about relationships? Frankly, I thought her background would lead her to be a lesbian. But that could also bring up lots of different things: nature vs. nurture, genetic disposition vs. environment. And if she was also attracted to men…okay, there was Steve—but as I indicated, “what a jewel.” Still, could make for some interesting situations as she started meeting more men—of the mortal kind, I mean. Until she came to New York, the only men she had ever had any kind of relationship with were her gods. But the editor just wanted to tell his story, his way. I could have said, thanks, but no thanks. But this was my first chance at writing a regular series, plus I was a “nice Jewish girl” who hadn’t grown up yet, so I tried to go along with him….I mean, he was the editor, right? And as anything that is done when your heart isn’t it, I thought it was a disaster. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I couldn’t spell the goddamn name of the god who was the antagonist. I didn’t give a fuck about spelling the name of the god who was the antagonist of the story. I started hating the whole assignment. I felt I was turning out crap. I was embarrassed. I was sad. I worried about my future as a comics writer. And finally, I was, and got, fed up. And Mt. St. Mindy blew. I firmly remember the day it happened. I was arguing with the editor. And something simply exploded. “FUCK YOU!!!! I DON’T NEED THIS SHIT! I QUIT!!!!” I slammed the door as I left. I walked out to the elevator. I pushed the button. I was fuming. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was done. And then Marv Wolfman came out to the elevator lobby and talked me down. (Should I bless him or curse him?) He must have thought that I had talent and/or a future as a writer; he convinced me to keep going, not to quit, and he got me to go back into the office. He even got me to apologize to the editor. A miracle, I must say.Seriously, I thought (and think) of myself as a professional, and so, I finished my obligations to Wonder Woman and finished the run. But little did I know that I was not done with Wonder Woman!Dialoguing over George’s plots in the mid-eighties was a total joy. Hell, working with George was a total joy. He is, as I’m sure you know, not only a gigantically talented artist and storyteller, but a true mensch.Im-not-so-ho, the best thing George and I did together was Wonder Woman #46, “Chalk Drawings.” It is a tale of suicide and its aftermath on family and friends. Find a copy. Read it. That is the story that, to this day and forever, touches my heart. I hope it does yours. Stay on target
Keto Turns Your Smartphone Into Your Car KeysAston Martin Will Build You Your Very Own Supervillain Lair Stay on target Just because the real 2015 has already passed us by doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some Back to the Future love. Not too long ago the real self-lacing Nike sneakers got folks to pay big money to pretend to be Marty McFly. Well soon those collectors will have another 1985 item to add to their shopping list. The DeLorean is coming back, adding modern conveniences to the classic car.A new DeLorean in 2015 sounds like a no-brainer. So why the delay? Well the automobile market is very regulated, for good reason. And apparently DeLorean got caught up in years of discussions over laws controlling the low-volume production of vintage vehicles, at least in America. With those issues nearly settled, the new DeLorean is now back on track for a 2019 release and $100,000 price tag.And it looks like the wait has been worth it. Just take a look at this beautiful old/new car. The exterior recreates the chassis of the 1980s original from the movie screens of your youth. The doors open up vertically. It’s sleek and silver and boxy. It’s got those great rear lights and presumably this DeLorean also travels through time when you reach 88 miles per hour thanks to not-Rick Sanchez.However, since this is a car The DeLorean Motor Company theoretically expects people to actually drive, and not just show off, it does have some modern upgrades. Don’t worry, none of them should ruin your vehicular nostalgia. The changes are largely internal. The engine is three times as powerful. As a result the brakes, wheels, tires, and cooling air intakes are all bigger. And you’re not stuck with an old radio.The new old DeLorean is still at least a year away. So you won’t be able to drive it to the premiere of Ready Player One. But once you drop that $100,000 for this car in 2019, it’s just a simple matter of driving it to yourself in the past.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
By now, most of you know that John McAfee is a big fan of all things privacy-related, like crypto companies. He’s also a big fan of being paid six figures for Tweets that promote those crypto companies.On New Year’s Day McAfee tweeted his endorsement of Bezop.io, which develops a Blockchain-based decentralized e-commerce platform. “This could be as huge as it gets in the blockchain world,” posted McAfee.With security icon McAffee’s support and blog posts lamenting the way online advertisers trample consumer privacy, you’d probably expect Bezop to be laser-focused on protecting any personal data its users entrusted it with.And yet this week Kromtech researchers reported an alarming discovery. Bezop.io apparently failed to secure a MongoDB instance. As a result, personal information on around 25,000 Bezop.io investors was exposed and potentially accessible by anyone who came sniffing around — the way that Kromtech’s sleuths did at the end of March.In a blog post, Kromtech’s Bob Diachenko reports that there was some pretty sensitive stuff in that data. Full names, email addresses, crypto wallet information… and, more alarmingly, scanned images of passports, drivers’ licenses, and other ID cards.Here’s where things get weird. When contacted about the issue, a Bezop.io spokesperson said it was “old news” and that the company became aware of it around the time of its ICO. Investors were notified on January 8th, reportedly.That sequence of events confused me, so I followed up with Diachenko just to make sure I had the timeline correct. He assured me that Kromtech found the database to be accessible without credentials on March 30th.The database has now been secured, but Kromtech has yet to receive any sort of a response to its notification. It’s possible that the Bezop folks are busy getting tutorials from McAfee on how to change their appearance by shoving tampons in their nostrils and whatnot. Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Indestructible Poop Parasites May Be Lurking In Your Pool
In the lead up to Black Friday, Walmart is drastically discounting select iPad models. While supplies last, you can snag a 128GB 9.7-inch 6th Gen iPad for $330 or a 128GB 7.9-inch iPad Mini 4 for $275. 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This week’s Humble Book Bundle from Callisto is all about making 2019 a good year. Keep the stress levels low, the mindfulness high, and your body healthy with these digital books. • Humble Book Bundle: Blood, Sweat and New Year’s by CallistoJust $1 will get you books on pilates, sports nutrition, marathon-prep, and anxiety issues. And since they’re DRM-free, they’re easy to print out or read on multiple devices.Spend at least $1The Mental Toughness AdvantageRunning Your First MarathonPracticing MindfulnessThe Anxiety WorkbookBRAIN HACKSEssential Sports NutritionPilates for BeginnersTackle the likes of yoga, strength training, meditation, and clean eating when you go for the $8 level.Spend at least $8The Clean Eating Slow CookerYoga For BeginnersAyurveda Beginner’s GuideCognitive Behavioral Therapy Made SimpleBodyweight Strength TrainingStretching to Stay YoungPractical Meditation for BeginnersAt the tip-top, you’ll get $168 worth of multi-format ebooks when you pay a minimum of $15. Paleo and ketogenic diets are well represented here, and you can even explore the basics of Buddhism. Spend at least $15The Ultimate Bodybuilding CookbookNo-Nonsense Buddhism for BeginnersClean Eating Cookbook & DietPaleo in 28The Healthy Meal Prep CookbookThe Complete Ketogenic Diet for BeginnersPaleo for BeginnersThe Big 15 Paleo CookbookTwo non-profits, Little Free Library and charity: water, will receive a portion of your purchase. Alternately, you can swap the latter charity out with another participating non-profit of your preference.Sale Ends: January 16th, 2018 at 11:00AM PTNote: Terms and conditions apply. See the Humble site for more information.For more great Humble deals, go to TechBargains.
Stay on target Ben Affleck will not be Gotham City’s superhero in the upcoming The Batman movie.Affleck, who played Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, won’t star in the film, because it’s reportedly focusing on young Bruce Wayne’s story, Deadline reported on Wednesday. The Batman, which will hit theaters on June 25, 2021, hasn’t announced a Dark Knight replacement yet.In February 2017, Matt Reeves became the director of The Batman, after Affleck had to step out of the film due to other commitments. Affleck is busy with other projects at the moment: He’s producing the suspenseful flick I Am Still Alive and starring in Warner Bros.’ basketball drama Torrance.On Wednesday, Affleck tweeted about The Batman news and said, “Excited for The Batman in summer 2021 and to see Matt Reeves’ vision come to life.”Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life. https://t.co/GNgyJroMIO— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) January 31, 2019We’ll have to wait for more details on the new Bruce Wayne, however, you can watch Affleck in Justice League on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.More on Geek.com:‘Birds of Prey’ Teaser Reveals First Look at Harley Quinn and DC Heroines7 Sneakers Your Favorite DC Superhero Would Wear11 DC Characters We Want to See On Their New Streaming Service Christian Bale Shares Cheeky Batsuit Advice for Robert PattinsonRobert Pattinson Describes Trying on the Batsuit for First Time
Human athletes won’t be the only spectacles at next summer’s Olympic Games.As part of the aptly named Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, the organizing committee introduced a team of androids designed to assist disabled fans at the sporting extravaganza.Olympic sponsor Toyota is contributing the Human Support Robot (HSR) and Delivery Support Robot (DSR), which will roam the National Stadium, carrying food and other goods, guiding people to their seats, and providing event information.Human Support Robot (HSR), developed by Toyota Motor Corporation (via Tokyo 2020)“We believe that the robots will help spectators in wheelchairs to enjoy watching the events without any restrictions, to soak up the atmosphere inside stadiums, and to feel the excitement of sport,” Nobuhiko Koga, chief officer of Toyota’s Frontier Research Center, said in a statement.Officials plan to deploy up to 16 HSRs and five DSRs, as reported by the Associated Press.Delivery Support Robot (DSR), developed by Toyota Motor Corporation (via Tokyo 2020)Panasonic, also a major sponsor, will provide 20 of its Power Assist Suits, used to support the wearer’s back and hips while carrying or lifting heavy objects—like, say, guest luggage.“We strongly believe that our robot technology … will be of use to all people regardless of impairments, and to society in general, becoming a legacy for future generations,” according to Panasonic Executive Officer Masahiro Ido.Panasonic’s Power Assist Suits come in handy when handling heavy luggage (via Tokyo 2020)While these bots will be deployed in specific roles during the Games, the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project team hopes this international stage will help showcase their potential for wider applications in everyday life.“The Tokyo 2020 Games are a unique opportunity for us to display Japanese robot technology,” Hirohisa Hirukawa, leader of the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, said in a statement.“This project will not simply be about exhibiting robots, but showcasing their practical real-life deployment helping people,” he continued. “So there will be not only sports at the Tokyo 2020 Games, but some cool robots at work to look forward to, as well.”More on Geek.com:Japan Beefs Up Cybersecurity Ahead of 2020 Tokyo OlympicsMIT’s ‘Origami’ Robot Gripper Can Grab Delicate, Heavy ObjectsWatch: Here’s the First Four-Legged Robot to Do a Backflip Stay on target Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseCIMON Returns to Earth After 14 Months on ISS