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Jan 2013 10

by Nicole Powers

“Scholarship is inherently not a market activity.”
– Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow has made me wait almost a year to read Homeland, the much-anticipated sequel to Little Brother, his opus on civil rights and protest in the digital age. With not one but two Doctorow novels, Pirate Cinema and Rapture of the Nerds (which was co-authored with Charles Stross), already on the release schedule for 2012, Homeland has had to loiter in the wings for a 2013 publication date. But the wait has been well worth it. Homeland is a beyond worthy successor to Little Brother.

The highly prophetic novel, which was first published in 2007, is now regarded as a contemporary classic. As such, Little Brother is required reading in many of our more progressive schools, and has even been turned into a “must see” stage play –– hence Homeland has quite a legacy to live up to.

When I last sat down with Doctorow –– for an interview specifically about Little Brother –– on January 4th, 2012, Obama had just signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 into law. With the stroke of our President’s pen, yet another of the central themes of Little Brother –– unlimited military detention without trial –– had become fact rather than fiction.

In Homeland (which Doctorow had finished writing a few days prior to our first meeting), we return to the Little Brother universe a year and a half after the last novel left off. In the intervening months, austerity has choked the life and soul out of America, and our hacktivist hero Marcus Yallow has quit his studies, having been forced out of university by financial pressures and burgeoning student debt.

The action kicks off at Burning Man, where Marcus has an unexpected encounter with his sometime ally Masha, and their nemesis Carrie Johnstone. Masha, who is on the run from just about every law enforcement agency you can name (and a few that you can’t), hands Marcus an insurance policy in the form of a key to an encrypted torrent file which contains a treasure drove of highly sensitive data. Her subsequent disappearance prompts Marcus to set up a WikiLeaks-like site, an endeavor which is made all the more complicated by conflicts of interests that arise from his new job as a tech guru for an independent political candidate.

Meanwhile Johnstone has given up her position in the military for a lucrative job in the private sector with a Halliburton type entity that has tentacles embedded in the government, military, and the increasingly lucrative (and corrupt) student loan market. It’s therefore no surprise that Johnstone and her corporation, Zyz, are the subject of much of Masha’s leaked data, and a cat & mouse game ensues involving lawful interception, rootkits, and drones. It’s not all doom and gloom though, and at one point during the breakneck-paced plot, Marcus (and Doctorow vicariously through him) gets to sit down and have a Mini Dungeon adventure with Electronic Frontier Foundation founders John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor, with uber geek Wil Wheaton acting as Dungeon Master.

Having read an advance copy of Homeland, I met up with Doctorow at his North London workspace to question him about it. As I make myself comfortable on his couch and set up my digital recorder on the coffee table next to his well-thumbed copy of the RAND Corporation’s 1955 book A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates, the Canadian-born writer and Boing Boing editor does something quintessentially English by offering me a cup of tea. Normally this would be more than acceptable, but having been tempted by the delights of cold-brew coffee –– Marcus’ hi-octane beverage of choice which fuels much of Homeland –– I can’t help feeling a little disappointed that Doctorow didn’t have a batch on the go…

Read our interview with Cory Doctorow on SuicideGirls.com.

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Dec 2012 12

A.J. Focht

It’s been a big week for Trekkies. The first teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams Star Trek: Into Darkness has been released. The explosive trailer was just one of several announcements since the start of the month. The new movie website has released the new poster as well as the movie plot. Keep your eye out for more Star Trek news as Into Darkness launches into theaters on May 17, 2013.

There are a lot of questions floating around about the upcoming Star Wars movies. A few actors have spoken up about returning to the film. Samuel L. Jackson wants to work on the movie in some way. Since his character died, he said he’d be happy returning as a hologram. Ewan McGreggor also spoke up saying he’d return if needed. It looks like the only person not getting in on the project is George Lucas. Lucas described his hands off consulting role as being something of a Star Wars encyclopedia.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out this Friday, but some lucky folks in New Zealand have already had the chance to enjoy it. However, there are complaints that the innovative 48fps format that Jackson used is causing nausea for some. Jackson fought to bring 48fps to theaters, so we’ll have to wait until The Hobbit is released worldwide to know the extent of problems the high frame rate will cause. While the first Hobbit film isn’t out just yet, the first still from the second movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was release via EW.

Man of Steel is already being called one of the most disappointing movies of 2012. This is a bit confusing as Zack Snyder’s Superman movie doesn’t release till June 14, 2013. Yahoo! writer Jonathon Crow hasn’t even seen the film yet. He was disappointed enough that the movie wasn’t released in 2012 to take umbrage, and was further perturbed by the fact that Snyder was throwing tradition away with his superhero’s red underwear. However, the comics have had Superman out of the red briefs for some time now. Don’t take these early negative critiques seriously, Christopher Nolan has put his full support behind the film. A new trailer, the second, has just been released for the film – see above.

Back in September, the CW announced they were going to film a Wonder Woman pilot. An in depth character bio has been released. Despite Wonder Woman being referred to as Iris, pilot script writer Allan Heinberg tweeted it was just a code name. There have been a few failed attempts at bringing the Amazonian Princess back to TV. Let’s hope the CW do as well with Wonder Woman as they did with Smallville and Arrow.

The Justice League movie isn’t set to hit theaters until 2015, but reports that Darkseid will be the major movie villain have ht the internet. Thanos was the hand controlling Loki throughout the Avengers, so it’s fitting that the Justice League would face off against what could considered DC’s counterpart to Thanos. Whether Darkseid will battle the JSA on his own or be using pawns is still unknown.

Joss Whedon has handed in his outline for Avengers 2. Marvel’s Phase 2 will officially begin in 2013. If everything goes right, the S.H.I.E.L.D. series will premier next year. ABC President Paul Lee is excited about the series. He said, “It’s very Joss Whedon,” which should only be taken as a good thing.

The hunt for Harry Osborne is over. Chronicle star Dane DeHaan will be playing the part in the Amazing Spider-Man 2. Many expect he will be the villain in the sequel, although he may be fitted for the best friend role in this outing before becoming a villain in a subsequent one. The movie is set to start production in early 2013 for a May 2, 2014 release date.

Some huge news for X-Men fans. The sequel to X-Men: First Class has two new cast members: both Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen will be in the movie. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy have also signed up. They may need them for a classic X-Men time travel story or perhaps a snapshot of the future.

It’s a sad week for Batgirl fans. Long time DC writer Gail Simone has been fired from the Batgirl book – via email! Simone wrote Batgirl for the New 52 after lengthy runs on Birds of Prey, Secret Six, and Wonder Woman. The graphic novel of her first story arc, which brought back Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, landed at No. 4 on the New York Times graphic books bestsellers list. Simone pushed boundaries with her characters, and had plans for a new transgender character that are now being scrapped. This upsetting news came just a week after Karen Berger stepped down as Executive Editor of DC’s Vertigo brand.

It’s that time of year, everyone is releasing their Best of 2012 lists. Spike TV hosted their Video Game Awards last week. While they certainly aren’t the Oscars, they’re the biggest name in video game awards right now. Out of the winners, there were some upsets. Borderlands 2 took Best Shooter and Call of Duty: Black Ops II didn’t win anything. The Walking Dead took the Game of the Year title. NerdBastards did an excellent job assembling all the amazing trailers from the show.

Kevin Smith announced he was leaving the movie game with his film, Hit Somebody. Well it turns out that might not be the case. The film was originally one movie, then two movies, and now it is back to one movie or perhaps a miniseries. That being the case, Smith is looking at leaving the movie business the way he came into it. He is now just waiting on Jeff Anderson to sign on so he can make his last cinematic creation, Clerks III.

The market for digital movies has grown a lot in recent years. While there are several choices for getting your films online, most of them seem to be equivalent to each other. That is until Netflix signed an exclusive deal to stream Disney. It means you will soon find all your childhood favorites on Netflix. Some movies have already been uploaded including Alice in Wonderland and Nightmare Before Christmas.

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Dec 2012 03

A.J. Focht

Paramount has just released a poster for the much anticipated new Star Trek film, Into Darkness. Cast members reprising roles from the 2009 J.J. Abrams-helmed Enterprise voyage include Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Bones), Simon Pegg (Scotty), John Cho (Sulu), and Zoe Saldana (Uhura). The most notable newcomer seems to be Benedict Cumberbatch, from the critically acclaimed UK TV series Sherlock, who is rumored to be playing Khan, a role that was originally played by Ricardo Montalbán in the ’60s TV series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan film. The Enterprise will head Into Darkness in theaters on May 17, 2013.

Many Marvel movie fans will be pleased to hear the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled box set has received a new release date. Marvel ran into a problem with the original suitcase the set comes in when a German manufacturer filed a suit. Those who have waited despite the delay will be rewarded with first look teaser material for Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. The box set is now releasing on April 2, 2013.

Despite all the rumors to the contrary, director James Mangold has revealed there will be no trailers for The Wolverine before The Hobbit. The first trailers for the movie won’t be until early 2013. The Wolverine will be coming to theaters July 26, 2013.

The CW’s new show Arrow adds yet another member from the DC comic family to the series this week. The Huntress, Helena Bertinelli, will make her debut this Wednesday. So far, there have been appearances by Deadshot, Deathstroke, and the Royal Flush Gang. It looks like Huntress will be the first hero to join the crew, although she will likely start off as an anti-hero/villain.

Peter Parker has been Spider-Man since his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15. While Miles Morales took over in Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter Parker has remained Spider-Man in the Amazing Spider-Man series. That might all be coming to an end. (Spoilers ahead, if you need to catch up on the comics skip down.) In the final issues leading up to the release of Marvel Now’s Superior Spider-Man #1, Doc Ock has taken over Peter’s mind and body. Amazing Spider-Man #698 sold out and has gone to second printing. In a tweet from writer Dan Slott (supposedly meant to be a direct message), it may have been revealed that Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man from Spider-Man 2099 will be taking over in Marvel Now’s Superior Spider-Man. Some are calling the tweet a red herring meant to mislead fans. What do you think? Is it time for Peter Parker to step down or will he always be Spider-Man?

There is more news from a galaxy far far away inside a Disney castle near you. Michael Arndt might be working on the script for the first movie in the new Star Wars series, but it looks like Disney is calling in the veterans to help. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have been approached by Disney to work on the later installments. Kasdan penned two of the original Star Wars scripts: The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi.

In case you missed out on reading the book growing up or just want to check to make sure the film story lives up to it, the synopsis for the Ender’s Game film has been released. For those who have been worried about the project, the synopsis is dead on. Ender’s Game releases in theaters on November 1, 2013.

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Nov 2012 26

by Nicole Powers

These days, it’s kinda like your computer illiterate granddad is laying down the law on the internet. Only worse. Cause your computer illiterate granddad doesn’t have the power to send your ass to jail for longer than most rapists for the crime of clicking on the wrong http link. Which is something the US government is trying to do. Fo’ realz. Yep. That.

Case in point. Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, a.k.a. @rabite, a.k.a. Weev. He’s just been found guilty on one count of not actually hacking anything and one count of having a list of email addresses, even though no one bothered to prove he ever actually had ’em, tho everyone agrees his mate did. Confusing right? You can totally imagine Gramps throwing his hands in the air at this point and saying to hell with this good-for-nothing with two too many silly-ass names – which is pretty much what the US government is doing.

Part of the problem is that the laws Andrew Alan Escher Auernheimer, fuck it, let’s just call him Weev, has been found guilty of violating – which came into being under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) – predate Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the first documented version of which, V0.9, was codified in 1991. In light of the fact that we’ve yet to come up with a fully functioning flux capacitor, as you can imagine, the application of the CFAA on today’s internet works about as well as Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine.

***

“Couldn’t it be argued that Weev actually did something good and beneficial for society?”

Wait? Wut? If that’s the case, remind me why Grampa Government is trying to throw his ass in jail?

I’m chatting with Jay Leiderman, a chap who knows a thing or three about the law and the internet. He’s an elite California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist-grade lawyer who’s defended several high profile hacktivist types, including Raynaldo Rivera of LulzSec and Commander X of the Peoples Liberation Front. He also happens to be a Twitter ninja, which is how I got to know him. A quick perusal of his @LeidermanDevine twitter feed will tell you Jay’s a rare legit legal animal who clearly gets today’s wobbly whirly web, which is why I called him up to discuss Weev’s wobbly whirly situation, which is as follows…

On November 20, 2012, in a Newark, NJ court, Weev was convicted of USC 1028, “identity theft” (as in “stealing” a list of email addresses) and USC 1030 “conspiracy to access a computer device without authorization” –– which, according to Jay, is something we technically all do multiple times every day. Given that Weev was singled out of the entirety of America’s online population for prosecution, in real terms, it’s safe to say what he’s actually more guilty of is embarrassing the fuck out of a Fortune 500 company…and the government no likey that.

Let me explain: Back in 2010 when the iPad first came out, Weev’s mate figured out that AT&T was doing a sloppy ass job with autofill on an app, and in the course of achieving this great technological feat had publicly published the e-mail addresses and ICC-IDs (the identifiers that match a person to their SIM card in a mobile device) of its entire iPad customer base on the web – with no password, no firewall, no fuck off or die warning, no nothing to protect them. Yep. Really. They were that dumb.

“There’s an AT&T web app that had a URL on it with a number at the end, and if you added one to the number you would see the next email address,” explains Weev by phone after I tracked his ass down via teh twitters. Obviously there’s quicker ways to get kicks online than adding a digit to a URL and hitting return (have you tried Googling Goatse?), so Weeve’s ever resourceful mate, Daniel Spitler, created an app called the “iPad 3G Account Slurper” which sucked up well over 100,000 addresses. “My friend just wrote a script to irate though and add one to the number again and again and again,” Weeve tells me. “It’s not fucking rocket science. It’s basic arithmetic. It could have been done manually on any iPad.”

So that explains how they “stole” the list of publicly published email addresses, but why might be a better question to ask. “Comment and criticism against large companies which go unchecked in our country,” replies Weev, when I ask him. “And making a public spectacle and ridiculing them, which I think frankly makes me the best fucking American in the room. We used to be a country that valued criticism of the powerful, and we haven’t really been in the past three decades.”

To add context, at the time, Weev and his mate (who copped a plea bargain) were working under the banner of Goatse Security, and as such, their mission in life was to explore gaping holes (I told you to Google Goatse!). AT&T’s might not have been the sexiest of holes, but it was gaping and it could be argued that it was in the public interest that Goatse Security rummage around in it.

Among the private email addresses that AT&T were publicly publishing were ones belonging to politicians (New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel), members of the military and multiple government agencies (DARPA, DHS, NSA, FAA and FCC), and high profile media types (Diane Sawyer and New York Times CEO Janet Robinson). Goatse Security could have had much lulz with the list and/or sold it for mucho dinero, an option which the duo allegedly discussed in IRC chats but put aside. Instead, they decided to go to the press to speak truth to power, which was really when the trouble began.

Weev served as Goatse’s spokesperson and spin master. It was his job to liaise with the media and present stories in a way that might titillate us lazy-ass scribes. “Hey, look, I just found a list of email addresses on a bunch publicly accessible web pages” might have been accurate, but it wasn’t the kind of story that would make copy even on the slowest of news days, so Weev sexed it up a bit. In a press release sent to several news outlets he wrote, “I stole your email,” and, like a magician offering to explain a trick, followed it up with, “Let me explain the method of theft.”

Because of this hyperbole, Weev essentially convicted himself on the first count of “identity theft.” The prosecution spent much of their time with Weeve on the stand discussing his use of the words “stole” and “theft” during cross-examination. I mean, I know it’s said that sarcasm is the lowest form of humor, but I didn’t know it was illegal! And speaking of the law’s humor bind spot, the prosecution also referred to Weev’s Encyclopedia Dramatica entry and used that against him, which, given the spoof nature of the site, is tantamount to using a Saturday Night Live skit as legitimate and damning character evidence. I. Kid. You. Not.

At no time did Goatse ever make the list publicly available – AT&T were the only ones doing that. The prosecution never really attempted to prove that Weev possessed the full list of email addresses. What neither side disputes is that Weev tapped the list for a handful of press email contacts (something he would have likely got by calling the media outlets direct anyways), then merely passed on a link to it to a journalist for verification. The journalist in question was Ryan Tate of Gawker. His story ran on June 9th, 2010, and it was because of this that the shit hit the proverbial fan.

“This access would have gone unnoticed if I hadn’t gone to the press. If I hadn’t informed AT&T’s customers,” says Weev. “They’re not really pissed about the access, they’re pissed about the speech attached to the access. God forbid corporations be subject to fair comment and criticism.”

Talking of access, the second count Weev was convicted of – “conspiracy to access a computer device without authorization” – is something that should be cause for concern for anyone that has ever clicked on anything on the web. The way this law – which predates all of One Direction and the hyperlinked internet as we know it – is interpreted means that accessing a “protected computer” could get your ass slung in jail. But what is a “protected computer” and how the fuck are you supposed to know when you’re accessing one? This is where the law gets interesting. And by interesting, I mean really fucking stupid.

“The definition of protected computer comes from comes from the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, and in 1986 http hadn’t been invented yet,” says Weev. “This was a long time ago when servers were things that were only accessible by dial-up that every single one universally had a password for. There wasn’t the concept of a public network. At the time, if you were accessing a remote server, and you didn’t have permission to be there it’s clear that it wasn’t public data. But now it’s the age of the internet. We click links every day. You’ve never gotten Google’s permission to go to Google, you’ve never gotten any website’s permission that you’ve visited. It’s the universally understood aspect of the web that you can visit a public http server without pre-written authorization. It’s a ridiculous notion that you need it. And the prosecutor is using an ancient antiquated definition of a protected system, which is any system that engages in interstate commerce. So essentially, every cell phone, every computer, every public web server is a protected system, and the minute you do something that a website operator doesn’t like – if they’re rich enough of course, if they’re a Fortune 500 company – then they can have you.”

That might sound rather dramatic, but Jay, my favorite SG-lovin’ lawyer agrees. “Based upon this case, the government’s new position is that you are required to be clairvoyant in terms of determining what a protected computer is and what a non protected one is,” he tells me. “From now on you have to be a psychic…because if it isn’t password protected but it’s a ‘protected computer’ you’re potentially going to be found guilty like Weev was.”

Thank god there’s free tittysprinkles on the internet, because otherwise the risks of clicking on something you shouldn’t wouldn’t be worth price. As Weev puts it, “The law says every time that you click a link, if the person at the other end has enough money and connections, and they just don’t like you, they can have you arbitrarily thrown in jail by declaring your access – after the fact – unauthorized.”

But how did we get from “something good and beneficial for society” to “free tittysprinkles”? Well, some might see a very obvious linear connection, but those that don’t should consider this; There’s a cat and mouse game that goes on between big business and the internet security community, but it’s a symbiotic relationship nevertheless. And as consumers who are clueless when it comes to code, we should be grateful to those that are scanning for flaws, and pressuring big corporations to sort their shit out on our behalf.

“Perhaps the greatest lesson of Weev’s case is that not only is there no reward for helping these companies patch their holes and fix themselves, indeed now you’re going to be facing ten or fifteen years of prison if you do,” says Jay. “What’s the incentive to make these companies more secure? I mean, you’re better off just hacking them now. You’re better off just hacking these companies and not telling them. If you get caught essentially you’re facing about the same punishment anyway so what’s the difference?”

***

Weev is currently in the process of appealing his conviction. You can donate to help with his legal costs here.

And tell Grampa Government to get off our lawn and out of our emails.

Isn’t it time we upgraded our legal operating system?

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Nov 2012 19

A.J. Focht

It may have been Thanos who was teased at the end of The Avengers, but it looks like he won’t be the only threat in Avengers 2. An incarnation of the The Masters of Evil is rumored to join forces for the sequel. Perhaps Thanos will be finished off in The Guardians of the Galaxy or while leading the Masters of Evil in the Avengers 2. The sequel isn’t out until 2015 so there is a lot that could change before then.

In the meantime, part of the story for Captain America: The Winter Soldier has been revealed. The second movie will feature flashbacks that shed light on the mysterious Black Widow and her relationship with the Winter Soldier. The film will be released April 2014.

The latest photos from the set of Thor: The Dark World have given the first glimpse of film villain Malekith the Accursed and his army of Dark Elves. Videos from the set shows the filming of the fight between Thor and Malekith. Thor: the Dark World is set to release November 8, 2013.

One of the original members of the Avengers might be joining the team in Iron-Man 3. Rumor has it Stephanie Szostak will be playing The Wasp. The Wasp was not only one of the original members, she was the first female on the team (sorry Black Widow fans). Iron-Man 3 releases May 3, 2013.

Shooting for Amazing Spider-Man 2 will begin in February. The film is still in the casting phase, and it looks like they are down to a shortlist of three actors for the part of Harry Osborne. Brady Crobet (Melancholia), Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), and Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures) are left in the running. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is scheduled to release May 2014.

The Avengers might have been the top grossing movie of the year, but it’s The Dark Knight Rises that is going for the Oscars. Warner. Bros is campaigning the Academy to consider the film for 16 different categories. The Hobbit is also campaigning to be considered for 16 awards.

The season finale of the Walking Dead will introduce another fan favorite character from the comics. The current rumor is that they will be bringing in Tyreese, the former NFL linebacker. Find out for sure on December 2 when it airs.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is set for release on May 17, 2013. Zachary Quinto will be reprising the role of Spock in the film, but possibly for the last time. Quinto suggested he might leave the franchise after the upcoming film in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. He doesn’t suggest that the character is being killed off, so who could be the next Spock?

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Nov 2012 16

by Dell Cameron

The threat of an all out war between Israel and the Palestinian resistance has increased drastically over the past few days as the Israeli Defense Force began a bombing campaign in Gaza. The Israeli Defense Force has continuously blanketed Gaza City with air strikes from warplanes, drones and gunboats since announcing Operation Pillar of Cloud on Twitter. This marked the first military action ever announced by a government entity via a social networking site.


[@IDFSpokesperson – November 14, 2012]

The tweet was posted shortly after the confirmed kill by Israelis on Wednesday of Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’ military commander. An endless volley of Fajr rockets from within Gaza have been targeting Israeli cities in retaliation. According to Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, the Palestinian resistance rockets have a range of 75km, placing Tel Aviv well within range of their attacks.

A pysops campaign was also started by the Israeli Defense Force, who dropped leaflets early Thursday morning throughout Gaza, warning citizens to stay far away from Hamas forces. Some Gaza residents on Twitter claimed the leaflets warned of an impending ground force attack should Hamas continue to escalate their attacks.

While UN meetings were either canceled or adjourned with no course of action decided, this wasn’t the case with another group. The hacktivist collective Anonymous jumped into action late Wednesday evening under the banner of #OpIsrael – downing Israeli government websites and amassing support on Twitter for those caught in the crossfire in Gaza.

In a press release, which was translated into several languages, Anonymous outlined their position in defense of a free and open internet stating:

“But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand. As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack learned the hard way – we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once. Do NOT shut down the Internet into the “Occupied Territories”, and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous. And like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will NOT survive it unscathed.”

Prior to the press release, Anonymous issued an online “care package” which contained a variety of useful materials intended for residents of Gaza. Resources included information on how to access the internet in the event that the Israeli government shuts off, instructions on how to hide data traffic from surveillance, a first aid guide, and meshnet apps to help Palestinian’s access Egyptian cell networks if their service is cut.

Anonymous spent much of Wednesday night locating and utilizing Arabic-speaking volunteers to translate their communiqués, since Google Translate does not function adequately for Arabic. In addition to the Arabic translations, as of Thursday afternoon, Anonymous Twitter accounts were also seeking assistance from Hebrew speakers, claiming they intended to provide the same technical support to victims of Palestinian attacks in Tel Aviv. A short statement by Anonymous in a separate press release stated:

“Anonymous does not support violence by the IDF or by Palestinian Resistance/Hamas. Our concern is for the children of Israel and Palestinian Territories”.

Additionally, hundreds of users reportedly congregated in IRC chat rooms Thursday to carry out denial of service attacks on a variety of targets. The Israeli Defense Force website was downed several times throughout the day, though not for very long. One Anonymous user claimed that up to 40 sites had been targeted. Other websites, such as securityacademy.com/ – an Israeli security training company – were hacked and defaced with the Fawkesian symbols and suited imagery commonly used by the collective.

It is unclear what overall impact Anonymous will have in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but a number of mainstream news outlets including Tribune.com, Salon.com and The Huffington Post have already begun reporting on the collective’s action. Meanwhile, the IDF’s public relations and social media charm offensive has been countered by Anonymous and supporters of the #GazaUnderAttack hashtag. If bombing continues in Gaza, internet and phone services are likely to go offline. If that happens, as with the Arab Spring, Anonymous may once again receive credit for restoring communications to a population whose global access is being intentionally suppressed by a military force.

**UPDATE – 4PM PST, NOVEMBER 17, 2012**

[..]

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Nov 2012 12

A.J. Focht

The Star Wars legend will continue with Star Wars: Episode VII. Michael Arndt, the scribe behind Toy Story 3, is currently working on a treatment. However, Disney is looking to ensure they have the best talent working on the new series of films, and has brought in Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams to supervise the development of the project.

Earlier in the week, there were rumors that Disney was looking to capitalize on another nerd market by buying out Hasbro. But those rumors appear to be just that. Hasbro doesn’t have any plans to sell out to Disney right now, and there’s no solid proof that this deal was discussed at all.

At a conference down in São Paulo, Brazil, Marvel Entertainment International President Simon Philips let some intriguing details about Iron Man 3 slip. Iron Man and War Machine won’t be the only ones suiting up in the film; Gwyneth Paltrow will be donning an Iron Man suit as Pepper Potts. It isn’t confirmed if the armor she will wear is the Rescue armor that Pepper wears in the comics, but one way or another, Pepper is getting in the action on May 3, 2013.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. television series may be happening sooner than anyone thought. The pilot –– which is being co-written by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen –– is scheduled to go into production in January. At the rate they are moving, the series might be picked up as early as Fall 2013.

The Avengers brought together some of Marvel comics’ best known superheroes. The rest of the big names have been leased out by Marvel Studios. Most of these rights reside with FOX Studios, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four. Due to the success of The Avengers, FOX has hired Mark Millar to work with the remaining FOX superhero properties to help develop some sort of Avengers-like cohesion. He will be working with directors like Josh Trank to help the Marvel movies fit together.

The long awaited World War Z trailer has finally hit the internet. It’s been five years between studios, but Brad Pitt is ready to take on the zombie hoards. The film is a new take on the zombie outbreak, although it does not follow the documentary style of the book. World War Z will be in theaters everywhere on June 21, 2013.

We’ve known that Neil Gaiman was in line to write a new episode of Doctor Who, but it has now been revealed that Gaiman is bringing back the Cybermen in his episode, which will be entitled, ‘The Last Cyberman.’ Gaiman talked in a recent interview about the challenges of bringing the Cybermen back and making them scary again.

DC Comics fans can now enjoy their favorite comics without leaving their home. The company has expanded their digital output to include the Amazon Kindle Store, the NOOK store, and Apple’s iBookstore. Each Wednesday, new DC titles will be available online at these locations, and online at Comixology and via the DC Comics app.

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