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AC COMICS JUNE 2018 SOLICITATIONS

First Comics News - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 01:24

GOLDEN AGE GREATS SPOTLIGHT #18
Crime and romance comic books aimed at a largely adult audience made up a large part of the US comic boom of the late1940’s/early1950’s (the all-time high point in comic book sales by volume), but have been sadly underrepresented in terms of historical coverage in the modern era. Golden Age Spotlight Special Volume 18- Guns and Roses will blow the lid off things by presenting a collection of the edgiest, most violent and provocative crime and romance stories of the Pre-Code Era. Originally published by such venerable(though long-defunct) houses as Fox Features, Ajax/Farrell, Quality, Prize, Avon, Standard/Nedor, St. John and others, these stories are written and drawn by a virtual “all-star” lineup , including some of the greatest artists every to put brush and pen to Bristol board. This volume is exemplary of the books (much moreso that the early ’50’s horror comics) that led to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority and brought about self-censorship to the comic book business; the “love” books purportedly leading pubescent youths down the path of moral turpitude, the “crime” maggs offering a blueprint to move juvenile delinquents up to more serious crimes. We’re talking about tawdry classics like “I Joined A Teenage Sex Club”, with art by Bob Powell; “Jo Ardway, Roadside Murderess” (out of Fox’s legendary Crimes By Women comic); “Reform School Girl” drawn by Louis Zansky; Alex Toth’s “Blinded By Love”; TWO Ajax/Farrell early John Romita-drawn gems, “Anguish In My Heart” and “You Must Trust Love”; Matt Baker’s gritty gunsel Kid Kane; Bill Draut on “Tough Beat” and girl detective Calamity Jane; “Beautiful Schemer” drawn by Ralph Mayo; more Bob Powell with “Savage Love”; “Madelon” by Sheldon Moldoff; Reed Crandall illustrating crimestopper Ken Shannon; “The Stranger” by Rudy Palais; plus “Cop Killer”, “Secret Heart”, “Gun Happy”, “Cry For Love”, “Prison Panic”, “Song In My Heart”, “Death’s Calling Card” and a half-dozen more in this super-sized, 164-page collection. These romance stories all sport top-flight “good girl” art and all the crime tales are extremely violent. These are NOT your father’s sanitized, Code-approved comics, but rather your grandfather’s shameful pleasures. Once you read these stories, you’ll say what they said in the Old Days- “Va-Va-VOOM!!”
Writers: Carl Wessler, Ruth Roche, Joe Millard, Dick and Dave Wood, George Kapitan, Bill Woolfolk and others uncredited
Artists: Alex Toth, Matt Baker, Reed Crandall, Bob Powell, John Romita, Ralph Mayo, Chuck Cuidera, Sheldon Moldoff, Bill Draut, Louis Zansky, Harry Sahle, Rudy Palais and others uncredited.
Cover Artists: Wallace Wood and Al Avison
Format: Standard comic book size, saddle-stitched
Page Count: 164 pages
Color: Black and White (with color covers)
Ship Date: June 27, 2018
UPC Code: 64924192152301811
Retail Price: $29.95

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

John Crowther talks about ROCHELLE

First Comics News - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 01:07

I interviewed John Crother about his wrestling bio-comic on Nikolai Volkoff. I had remembered Volkoff from my childhood and thought it was a cool thing to do. Now John is back with a cockroach-inspired superhero, Rochelle. While people may not like communists, they really don’t cockroaches. John was nice enough to stop by First Comics New to catch our reads up on all thing Rochelle and explain why this is on roach you will want.

First Comics News: How did you get Rochelle to be a flip book with Femforce?

John Crowther: When I first imagined the Rochelle concept, I reached out to industry veteran, and the current artist on the Rochelle series, Dell Barras (Web of Spiderman, Blue Beetle, Conan the Barbarian). Dell is friends with Mark Heike of AC Comics and is a longtime contributor to the Femforce series. Dell put Mark and I together, and we agreed to have Rochelle make her debut as Rochelle: The Teen Cockroach, as a way of testing the market by placing her in the hands of small press comic readers with an interest in female superheroes.

1st: Why move from AC to Antarctic Press?

John: After Rochelle’s strong debut with AC Comics in 2015, I began discussions with Joe Dunn at Antarctic Press about bringing her under the AP banner. I had discussed Rochelle’s future with AC Comics editor Mark Heike and explained that I wanted to convert the story into a color format, away from the black and white format we did with AC. AC doesn’t print color comics and Mark felt the series had a larger market appeal than AC Comics could provide. All of these things I found with Antarctic Press.

1st: Who is Ms. Planeta and how did she mate with a cockroach?

John: This one made me chuckle. Ms. Planeta is Rochelle’s mom, and she didn’t actually mate with a cockroach. She’s a single mom, who wanted a child. She visited an unsavory fertility clinic, where she left her egg, which was subsequently fertilized with donated sperm. What actually happened in the clinic will be revealed as the Rochelle series builds, but supposedly the fertilized egg was contaminated by a cockroach, infusing the egg with cockroach DNA. When Ms. Planeta gave birth to Rochelle, the first known human/cockroach hybrid entered the world.

1st: How old is Rochelle Planeta?

John: Rochelle was modeled after my daughter, Jaylen, when Jaylen was 15 years old. When the series began, she was 15, but readers will see her age as the stories progress, albeit slowly.

1st: What type of powers does she have?

John: Rochelle has all of the abilities of a modern-day cockroach (most people are unaware that, by size, the cockroach is the fastest creature on the planet)…flight, speed, enhanced strength and agility and heightened senses (vision, hearing, smell, and taste). In addition to her ability to generate a cockroach exoskeleton and wings (she typically remains in human form), she can also communicate telepathically with cockroaches.

1st: Kind of like a Cockroach Aquaman?

John: In a sense, although whereas Aquaman can communicate telepathically with all forms of sea life, Rochelle is limited to the various species of cockroaches.

1st: Before you created Rochelle, did you know… most people don’t like cockroaches?

John: Ha! Yes, and that’s exactly why I chose the cockroach. My intent was to teach an underlying lesson through the contradiction..the understanding that when people or other creatures are different from us, it doesn’t make them any less or greater than us, it only means they are different. People should recognize others for those differences and realize that those differences are what make each of us unique in some way. With Rochelle, I combined an innocent teenage girl with a “disgusting” cockroach, but where does Rochelle derive her superpowers? The cockroach. Even “disgusting” cockroaches have positive attributes if you take the time to understand them.

1st: I notice that her name is Rochelle Planeta and her superhero identity is Rochelle; is this a secret identity or public and what’s life like as a teen-age cockroach?

John: Rochelle is very public about her identity as a human/cockroach hybrid. She attends school, hangs out with friends, and participates in sports and other school activities (although she typically remains in human form without her exoskeleton). The citizens in her community have seen Rochelle mature so, although she leads the life of a local celebrity, the community has accepted her as one of their own. As the character is based on my daughter, I also use the stories to address everyday events that can occur in the life of the average teenager (albeit one with some interesting attributes).

1st: Who are Carmen and Taylor?

John: Carmen and Taylor are a pair of Rochelle’s female companions, both based in part on real life friends/relatives of my daughter, who make sporadic appearances in the different story lines. Carmen is Rochelle’s cousin and based on my daughter’s real life cousin, Carmen. Taylor is a friend of Rochelle’s and based on a real life friend of my daughter.

1st: Who is Dylan Sparks?

John: Dylan is a young classmate of Rochelle’s, who is teased for being a “nerd”. Unbeknownst to his antagonists, Dylan is one of the smartest beings on Earth, able to solve equations and formulate solutions to seemingly impossible puzzles with ease. On occasion, he assists Rochelle in her adventures as the masked teen superhero, Pure Genius.

1st: Who is Big Country?

John: Big Country is a burly henchman and the personal bodyguard of the Rochelle series’ primary antagonist, Fletcher Jakes, the founder, and CEO of Byrne Time Industries,

1st: Who is Angel and how did she become lopsided?

John: Angel is another of Rochelle’s friends from high school and another friend with “special” abilities. A “Goth” girl and a loner, Angel is teased in school for a peculiar limp, with jeers of “Lopside”, which she tries to hide under a full length cloak. In Issue #2 of Rochelle: Volume 1, Angel removes her cloak to reveal the source of her limp… an abnormally large and muscular right arm, which possesses superhuman strength. Rochelle befriends Angel and convinces her to defeat her antagonists by embracing the name “Lopside” as her superhero identity. No spoilers from me though. The cause of Angel’s lopsidedness, as well as the cause of many of the main character’s special attributes, will be revealed in a future story line.

1st: Who is Major Mess?

John: Major Mess made his debut in Rochelle, Volume 1, issues 2 and 3. He is a disgruntled former Major in the United States Army who, according to the Major, was enhanced by the United States government into a super soldier in the government’s Weapons of Mass Destruction project (WMD), and later secreted away following the Gulf War in an attempt to cover up the WMD project. Major Mess, with an assist from Big Country, is neutralized by Rochelle and friends in Volume 1, and locked away, after his failed attempt to kidnap and force then President Obama to admit to the existence of the WMD project. But, as in most stories, the supervillains are never truly gone, so expect the Major to return sometime in the future.

1st: Who is Teen Beetle?

John: Ah…I see you noticed the teaser reveal I had on an upcoming character for the Rochelle series. I don’t want to give anything away, as Teen Beetle will make his debut in Rochelle, Volume 3 (which is currently in the early stages of production) but he is a dynamic new character, distantly related to a public domain character who made his comic book debut in 1942. The Teen Beetle concept was created by me and brought to life by legendary comic book artist, Steven Butler (Spider-Man, X-Men, X-Factor, Sonic the Hedgehog).

1st: Is Obama going to return in the sequel, or will he be replaced by Trump?

John: If the need arises to use a public figure in the future like we did with President Obama in Rochelle, Volume 1, we’ll go with whoever is in office. That being said, there is no immediate plan for President Trump to make an appearance, but if Major Mess ever returns to finish what he started, he’ll have no regard for party affiliation, he just wants a piece of whoever is in charge.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The New Edition of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

Knit and Tonic - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 21:44
Wow! I got my hands on the new edition of Vogue Knitting and "Wow" is pretty much my summation. When I first started knitting (again) in 2002 or so, I picked up the earlier edition because I'm one of those... Wendy
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Marty’s Kickstarter Pick … Frankenstein: A World of Gods and Monsters Issue #1

First Comics News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 19:48

“Frankenstein: A World of Gods and Monsters is the exploration of what it means to be a monster in a world populated by greater than life characters from classic literature, mythology, and urban legend.” I’ve worked with artist Justin Shauf with the Canadian Comic Book Alliance and we had a quick chat about the Kickstarter for his new project.

Frankenstein #1 Splash Page

Martin Boruta: Justin, your take on Frankenstein looks awesome. Thanks for answering a few questions today.

Justin Shauf: Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to help spread the word about the Kickstarter.

Martin: Well, you know me and my love of Canadian comics. What’s the background of how you and Graeme Williams got together on this project?

Justin: Graeme and I met a few years back, at the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo in Saskatoon. This is the first time Graeme and I have worked together. Frankenstein: A World of Gods & Monsters is actually Graeme’s first foray into the world of writing comic books. Graeme is a rabid comic book fan. And once you begin analyzing the how’s and why’s behind a comic book, and truly digging deep into what makes them tick, I think the natural progression for any creative-minded person is a desire to tell your own stories. Graeme combined his love of comic books with his love of movie monsters, that’s where our version of Frankenstein was born.

Martin: Have you collaborated on any other comic projects that our readers might want to check out?

Justin: Well, I drew a few stories in issue #1 of Jeff Burton’s the Adventures of Auroraman. But you knew that already as you edited that book. I have also collaborated with Donovan Yaciuk on his Spacepig Hamadeus comic and Andrew Lorenz on the first two issues of Canadian Corps.

Martin: Frankenstein: A World of Gods & Monsters Issue #1. Number one indicates there is more to come. What’s the plan for subsequent issues?

Justin: The original concept was to release the entire first story as a 100-and-some page graphic novel. I guess we were impatient. All kidding aside, I think releasing the story in single issues allows us a chance to build the brand and grow an audience. It also gives us a physical product to sell at conventions or in stores or to hand to a prospective publisher.

Martin: Justin, give us the background on the story.

Justin: It has been 200 years since a lightning bolt gave Frankenstein the gift of life. Those years haven’t always been kind, and neither has his family. He has been labelled a monster and shunned by society. But Frankenstein is working to change all that. He now works as a monster hunter in order to distance himself from the label and is doing what he can to reconnect with the Frankenstein Family and rediscover a sense of normal.

Martin: Why are you putting this project on Kickstarter specifically?

Frankenstein #1 Interior Page

Justin: Kickstarter is a fantastic platform. I’ve supported numerous Kickstarter campaigns in the past. All were books, I would’ve never been exposed to had they not been on Kickstarter. It’s a fantastic way to discover if your product even has an audience. And by crowdfunding, we can offset some of the expenses from the onset.

Martin: Kickstarter is all about the rewards, can you fill us in a bit on your different reward levels?

Justin: Sure, the main reward, obviously is the book itself, which will be available in a digital or physical format. We also have some original art tiers, sketches and actual pages from the book are available as well. We also have t-shirts featuring the fantastic Frankenstein: A World of Gods & Monsters logo, designed by Donovan Yaciuk.

Martin: Every Kickstarter contributor is always eager to know how close is the project to being finished. Pretty sure it is to gauge how likely is the project to ship.

Justin: The first issue is nearly complete. There are a few pages left to ink, but the colours are well underway. The book is slated to be at the printers for the end of March.

Martin: Again, thank you for taking a few moments and best of luck. I have already contributed but I should change my pledge and get in on some of these great rewards.

Justin: Thank-you for taking the time to do this, your support is greatly appreciated.

Frankenstein: A World of Gods and Monsters is written by Graeme Williams, pencilled and inked by Justin Shauf with colours by Greg Menzie. The logo was designed by Donovan Yacuik. Frankenstein’s Monster created by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Check out the rewards and make a pledge at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1742552648/frankenstein-a-world-of-gods-and-monsters-issue-1

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Panic attack: Apple scams apply pressure

Malwarebytes - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:31

We’ve seen a number of Apple-related phishes in circulation over the last few days. While most of them already lead to deactivated phishing sites, we thought it was worth highlighting some of the tricks being used to bait people into handing over payment details at the moment.

Fake receipt emails

First up, a number of fake “receipt” emails ranging in date from February 2–6. While the content of some of the emails varies slightly, most of them use a subject line similar to the below:

[ New Statement ] Your receipt from Apple [ 02 February 2018 ]

In the cases we’ve seen, the mails claim to be receipts for a payment of $9.99 made out to, er, Mr. Edward Snowden. Apparently, privacy campaigns and 2 terabyte storage plans go together nicely.

 

Click to enlarge

The general rule of thumb is to try and be as inconspicuous as possible, so we’re not really sure why the scammers went with one of the most well-known privacy advocates on the planet to fill in the personal information box. Not only that, but they used a randomly-grabbed address from a property website sporting nine bedrooms and four bathrooms.

Maybe the plan is to hit the potential victim with something so utterly ludicrous, that they’ve already clicked the link before they’ve had time to think about it. For a lot of people, simply seeing a “Thanks for the order of this thing that costs you money” would be enough to have panic set in.

The good news for potential clickers is, the site the scammers are trying to bounce through is already wise to the scam and has effectively killed the one-way street to the phish page.

Click to enlarge

The phish link itself is also offline, so we can’t show you what may lay in wait. But we can confirm people won’t be losing money to this one anytime soon.

Someone else logged in

Elsewhere, we have a “Reminder” notification that someone else is logging in on your Apple account with an iPod in Monaco.

Click to Enlarge

The email reads as follows:

[Reminder] [Notification Update] Statement new log-in your Apple account with other device Fοuг уοuг ѕаfеtу, уοuг Αррlе ID hаѕ Ьееn lοсκеd Ьесаuѕе wе fοund ѕοmе ѕuѕрісіοuѕ асtіνіtу οn уοuг ассοunt. Ѕοmеοnе ассеѕѕіng уοuг ассοunt аnd mаκе ѕοmе сhаngе οn уοuг ассοunt іnfοгmаtіοn. This the details :
Country : Monaco
IP Address :
Date and Time : 13:09, 06 Feb 2018
OS : iPod
Browser : Safari If you did not make these action or you believe an unauthorized person has accessed your account, you should login to your account as soon as possible to verify your information.

Apart from the lazy typos (“Four your safety”) and awful sentence structure, they also make use of some Cyrillic characters in a likely attempt to bypass Beyesian filtering. While the destination site was offline again, it’s worth noting that all of the examples tried to send potential victims to HTTPs websites, instead of the plain old HTTP landing page. All phishers now want to look as “secure” as they possibly can—anything to help pull the wool over your eyes.

Always worth repeating: Just because a website is HTTPs, does not mean it is a legitimate website. Phish pages can lurk anywhere, no matter what security the page you’re on happens to be touting.

Apple care scare

There’s also some dubious texts going around claiming to be from Apple Care:

It reads as follows:

Final Notification Your Apple ID is due to expire today. Prevent this by confirming your Apple ID at appleid-revise(dot)com Apple Inc

As you can see, there’s a big push to apply pressure to potential victims, and everything falls somewhere between the two extremes of “Payment made, quick do something!” and “So, your account is going to be terminated.” While we’re happy to say this is another one that came to our attention already DOA, even as texts were going out, the sad truth is that for every site taken down there are many more happily accepting credit card details and personal information.

Fake app purchases

We’ve also seen some fake app purchases, and this one rather spookily has an order number attached that was actually of some relevance to the recipient.

Be aware of Apple Phishing email! (See pic) I checked my payment source, & called Apple. They DO NOT have a link in the receipt emails. The order ID was a valid one from a purchase 2 months ago. (Not this purchase) #TeamEmmmmsie #TUGfam #MGC #AppleSupport pic.twitter.com/SZYY2YxS0q

— Rick92647 [TeEm] [TugFam] [MGC] (@Rick92647) February 5, 2018

While one hopes this is just some horrible coincidence, it could just as easily have prompted the above individual to start visiting rogue links—and that’s all it really takes. Just one fragment of information from an otherwise garbled email missive could be enough to cost someone a small fortune—or even worse, a very large one.

If you’re worried about the pushy tone of a supposed Apple missive, contact them directly to check its validity, and wander over to their help page for more information on securing your Apple account. These are some of the most common scams around, and for as long as Apple IDs are tied to valuable purchases and personal information, criminals will continue target these accounts.

The post Panic attack: Apple scams apply pressure appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Tarot#69 Studio Edition Special

First Comics News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:19

Tarot#69 Studio Edition Cover

Enjoy your copy of This limited collector’s cover. Each one will be numbered on the cover (Litho Style).

Limited Printing 1000-only 500 (or less) left . Add the Full story arc ( Issues 66,67 & 68) for $6.90.

Order #69 Today!

$5 Special!

Add On the full Story Arc for $6.90!

while supplies last

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

On the Wizard

Hack & Slash - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 18:14
No Wizard is happy.

Imagine a doctor. Years of study. Chooses to become a proctologist. There's a reason. Yes, money, job security, comfort. Still, to devote so much time to assholes, looking at asses of mostly older men and women, thinking about what the health of a colon really means, nobody that has the opportunity to become a doctor would choose something like that if it didn't resonate with them at least a little.

So it is with wizards.

Whatever they are into, is not a topic of interest to most people. It's off-putting and strange. They didn't get to be so knowledgeable about such topics by wiling away their hours in idle pursuits. The study, social inexperience, and strange experiments and activities push them further apart from their fellow man. They wonder how much to care about the opinion of a person that can't even read.

You're a wizard
Magic never has the answer. Solitude, isolation, and the plain fact that magic is terrible for utility, why risk your very life toiling with such forces for such a meager payout? Magic leaves you destitute. Those with money or no future will seek tutelage from other powerful wizards, in exchange for either cash or servitude. Your habits of study and isolation leave you unclean—your spirit, hygiene, food even, are just annoying things that take you away from what matters.

And it does matter, when you finally bind the axial niffit from the dolorous realm to the resonant exoskeleton of the clockwork narix, allowing you to maneuver it under your control. You share your idea, only to be told the utility of such a thing is useless.

How do they not see the potential?

You have your awakenings, as all mortal creatures do. But revulsion and disgust on the face of the young man or woman you fancy, is it your stench? Unkempt hair? It doesn't matter. People speak in euphemisms. You are a 'magic-user'. You let go of the idea that you would spend hours, hours, every week engaged in such banal activities, just so other people found you palatable. What a waste! You have more important things to do.

The study of magic, is, at its core, based on a series of poor decisions. The energy for it comes from other creatures and other realms, filled with powers beyond the reach of men. Those willing to traffic in such knowledge often did not have better options. Unsuccessful sociopaths, power hungry criminals, those who would just as soon see you fail. These are your peers and sources of magical knowledge. Each as unseemly and untrustworthy as the next.

You start to realize what magic means. That people are really just harmonic wave reflections, made transparent by sacrifice of loric natodes. It is your will that you enforce upon the universe. Are people that do not even real? More and more you discover the limits, the forms and behavior that make up your so called "peers". They are revealed and controlled just as easily as a simple narix. Well, perhaps not a simple one, but. . .

If you're lucky, you have money, and can secure yourself a homestead and an apprentice far enough away from civilization for you not to be noticed. If not, you could find yourself a group of ner-do-wells and trade your services in hope of finding enough money. Allying with a group who's best plan was to sell everything they own; to roam around try to steal lost "treasure" from deadly monsters while hiding it from the government? You soon realize it wasn't the best plan. Like you, these people were poorly-suited for fitting in among civilized people. Except they didn't have intelligence to carry them. Assuming their poor judgement and ignorance doesn't get you killed, you put up with their abuse, because what does it matter what gnats say?

Finally, what's your success? Ultimate power and riches? Hardly. Now that magic's secrets are unfolding, you see the endless cost, and it becomes about tricks and techniques and resources to bear the weight of that cost. You see what you want, but just out of reach. Only another year or two of research. . . . If you're successful, you've created an isolated environment that allows you to actually do that research, and then just hope a bunch of armed and heavily armored thugs doesn't break into your home and murder you.

Finally, when magic gives you real power, when you've twisted and folded your very being that the cost for what you want is finally enough to bear. You look around and realize you are alone. Your path leaves you few friends and many enemies. You yourself have become old. You no longer recognize the land, the songs they sing are strange, and it feels as if you walk among a cardboard stage. Any who see you whisper and those that meet you recoil in fear.

You spend an age using your power to grant you all your lost desires. You form a demi-plane and within your dreams come true. Even you are intelligent enough to realize the base urges and simplistic ego structures that make up such a fantasy are empty and devoid of value. You live there for years after all the joy has fled.

Finally, assuming you avoid running to the unknown or other self-destructive behavior, you realize all that's left is your engagement with the mysteries of magic. All worldly concerns cease to be yours, your environment idiosyncratic, your only company, those few of your peers who have survived, but can't really be trusted. Your intermittent communications with them the only telluric enterprise that remains.

Eventually, you die while at work, as your body gives into the ravages of a life unbalanced.

This is the life of a wizard.
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Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

New Doctor Who DVD & Blu-ray Releases

First Comics News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:00

Today, two new releases by the BBC give Doctor Who fans a chance to relive their time with the Twelfth Doctor.  The Christmas special “Twice Upon A Time” is being released on DVD and Blu-ray along with a special 14 disc set of the Capaldi years.  In addition to the initial programs, both releases will include bonus content.

DOCTOR WHO: TWICE UPON A TIME

Suggested Retail Price: DVD $19.98 (U.S.), $24.98 (Canada)

BD $24.98 (U.S.), $30.98 (Canada)

Length: Approx. 60 mins + bonus content / single disc

 Twice Upon A Time – the final episode of Peter Capaldi’s tenure as the Time Lord, which found record-setting success with its Christmas Day airing on BBC AMERICA – sees the Doctor come face to face with…the Doctor! The epic conclusion to the Twelfth Doctor era features the return of Pearl Mackie as well as special guests Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and David Bradley (Game of Thrones, the Harry Potter movies), and culminates in a historic regeneration that introduces the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch). Newcomers have the perfect opportunity to catch the new Doctor’s adventures from the very start, while fans of the Classic series will be delighted by the return of the First Doctor (Bradley, who previously played the very first actor to take on the role of the iconic Time Lord in 2013’s An Adventure in Space and Time). Bonus content on this Blu-ray and DVD release includes Doctor Who Extra.

DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE PETER CAPALDI YEARS

Suggested Retail Price: BD $129.99 (U.S.), $166.00 (Canada)

Length: Approx. 1969 mins + bonus content / 14-disc set

 The Complete Peter Capaldi Years includes all three Twelfth Doctor seasons plus Peter Capaldi’s very first appearance in Doctor Who – years before he took over the iconic role – as Caecilius in the Tenth Doctor episode The Fires of Pompeii. Chock full of extras – with all of the bonus materials from seasons eight, nine, and ten, plus a new disc full of additional content, including never-before-seen deleted scenes from season eight.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Lavender Kisses Cowl Tutorial

Moogly - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 16:00

The Lavender Kisses Cowl features an easy two row repeat, and uses just one ball of yarn – and now you can make it with the written pattern (linked below), or this video tutorial and chart! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; material support provided by Red Heart Yarns and Furls Crochet Hooks. How to [...]

The post Lavender Kisses Cowl Tutorial appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

Kotlin-based malicious apps penetrate Google market

Malwarebytes - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 16:00

An open-source programming language, Kotlin is a fully-supported official programming language for Android. Google boasts that Kotlin contains safety features in order to make apps “healthy by default.” Many apps are already built with Kotlin, from the hottest startups to Fortune 500 companies. (Twitter, Uber, Pinterest)

Concise while being expressive, Kotlin reduces the amount of boilerplate code needed to create an app—which makes it much safer. However, as revealed by Trend Micro researchers, the first samples of Android malware created using Kotlin were found on Google Play. Introducing: Swift Cleaner, a utility tool built with Kotlin that claims to clean and optimize Android devices.

This malicious app is capable of remote command execution, can steal personal information, carry out click fraud, and sign users up to premium SMS subscription services without their permission. So much for safe.

Analyze this

Subsequently, after launching Swift Cleaner, the first thing the malware does is call PspManager.initSDK, check the phone number, and send an SMS message to the particular number that is given by the C&C server. The app initiates this to check for a SIM card presence and if mobile carrier services are available.

Upon server interaction, the malicious part of the app launches URL forwarding and click fraud activities. Click fraud is an illegal practice that occurs when individuals click on a website’s advertisements (either banner ads or paid text links) to increase the payable number of clicks to the advertiser. In our case, the app clicks on a URL, which leads you to a survey. At the end of the survey, you are given an opportunity to get some free services if you click on the claim link. By clicking the button, you will then be redirected to another possibly malicious website.

Meanwhile, Swift Cleaner collects personal information from the infected mobile device, such as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), and information about the SIM card. The stolen information is then encrypted and sent to the remote Command and Control (C&C) server.

There are services that run in the background in order to communicate with a C&C server. Swift Cleaner compromises one of these services: the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). WAP is a technical standard for accessing information over a mobile wireless network.

The app is using WAP in conjunction with JavaScript in order to bolt on CAPTCHA bypass functionality, using mobile data and analyzing the image base64 code. CAPTCHA images are parsed and cracked, and the image data will later be uploaded to the C&C server. This data is needed to train the neural network. Later on, all the image samples will be useful for finding the best match for each character of the new upcoming CAPTCHA.

Premium SMS service

The Swift Cleaner malware also uploads information about the user’s service provider along with login information and similar sensitive data to the C&C server. This can automatically sign users up for a premium SMS service, which will cost money.

Premium rate SMS is a way of mobile billing where user pays for a premium service by either receiving or sending a message. There are two ways this billing service works:

  1. Mobile Originated (MO): where the mobile user pays to send a message (used for once-off services, such as competitions)
  2. Mobile Terminated (MT): where the mobile user pays to receive a message (used for subscription services)

Our example app uses the premium SMS MO service, and redirects users to webpages where they can select to send a message.

Neverending story

As of now, Google has removed the fake Swift Cleaner apps carrying this new malware from the Play Store. However, even if Google states that their protection is on a high level, there appears to be no fail-proof way to stop malware from entering the Play store. By using a quality mobile anti-malware scanner as second layer of protection, you can stay safe even when Google Play Protect fails. We (as always) recommend Malwarebytes for Android. Stay safe out there!

The post Kotlin-based malicious apps penetrate Google market appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

RICH REVIEWS: Planet of the Apes: Ursus # 2

First Comics News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 14:44

Title: Planet of the Apes: Ursus # 2
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Written by: David F. Walker
Illustrated by: Chris Mooneyham
Colored by: Jason Wordie
Lettered by: Ed Dukeshire
Cover: Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera
Variant Cover: Michael Allred with Colors by Laura Allred
Subscription Cover: Becca Carey
Classic Variant Cover: Bob Larkin with Designs by Kez Wilson
Virgin Classic Variant Cover: Bob Larkin
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Website: www.boom-studios.com
Comments: Ursus was brought up to hate humans and that the only good human was a dead human. Ursus is far more intelligent than your average gorilla or ape.
Ursus and Zaius have a mutual love/hate relationship going.
The apes those who know fear the talking humans. Dr. Zaius knows just how dangerous humans can be.
The art seems to go back and forth, when focused on Ursus it comes across as bold but on Zaius it is more soft, mellow.
This issue offers a deep look inside General Ursus and what makes him who he is. It is not hate that motives him but love. His lost love, the love of his life. How his life would be different if only things had turned out differently. You will feel sad for this hard soldier.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Kirkus Review on “Tharn, Dawn Warrior”

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 14:22

Via Spencer Hart, we have a rare look into how the fine folks at Kirkus Review react to classic red-blooded, all-American adventure fiction:

This is typical pulp magazine stuff in book form. It is a story of Cro-Magnon man, packed with violence, suspense, brutality, horror and incredible speed. It certainly keeps you reading. But plot, dialogue and characters show amazing disregard for even the little knowledge we have of prehistoric life. The author thinks nothing of introducing a sent of Roman palace and social life into the midst of this prehistoric jungle, or a twentieth century love motif like “”He could not help but compare that fine, healthy well-rounded figure with the pallid, artificial women of his acquaintance!”” But the major outrage of the book — and it is outrageous — is the positively lustful “”love interest””. If this is a book intended for young people, and the jacket suggests it is, then the numerous “”hot”” passages are utterly unsuitable. That is putting it mildly. This is certainly something new in juvenile writing and highly offensive. The author evidently thinks he is creating another Tarsan series, for he ends with a promise of more to come. I devoutly hope someone will stop him before an outraged public opinion steps in to bar the sale of such a book for the young.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

PRESALE: Midnight Chupacabra Cryptkins Vinyl Figure (WonderCon Exclusive)

Cryptozoic - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 14:00

Now’s your chance to own the Midnight Chupacabra vinyl figure created exclusively for WonderCon 2018! This presale makes it possible for you to purchase this extremely limited version of Chupacabra now and pick it up at Cryptozoic’s Booth #1337 during WonderCon.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Do Dungeons & Dragons Players Hate Linear Adventures? Not When DMs Avoid Two Pitfalls

DM David - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:40

A linear adventure is written, or at least planned, so every play group follows the same plot thread, through the same scenes, to the same conclusion. In Dungeons & Dragons, linear dungeons set the pattern, with walls and doors that channel players along a single route. Without walls, a linear adventure only ever shows players one course of actions to a successful end.

At best, critics accuse linear adventures of robbing players of choices between scenes. At worst, critics say linear adventures require dungeon masters to abuse their power to shunt players along a railroad. Instead of steering the adventure, players follow a fixed story.

Despite the criticism, players don’t hate linear adventures as much as DMs think. We tend to judge harshly because we see the lack of options. But in a successful adventure, players never see the walls.

When the walls become plain, players may complain about a lack of freedom. Linear dungeons, with their obvious walls, always risk criticism. Adventures without walls can also flaunt a lack of options. Imagine an adventure where players follow a patron’s plan or a commander’s orders from scene to scene. Unless catastrophe upsets the plan—or assassins reach the commander—the adventure would feel scripted and less satisfying.

Linear adventures work best when success in each scene brings the clues that lead to the next scene. Then, for all the players know, a different choice in the scene or unseen clue could have spun events in a different direction. To players, each success leads to the clues needed to set a new objective. Players favor one choice over an overwhelming number of choices, and certainly over feeling stuck without a direction.

Make no mistake, players still like to face a few, clear choices. Linear adventures grow better when they include decision points that pose options. (Of course, such adventures no longer qualify as linear.)

For adventure creators, linear adventures bring advantages. They’re compact. Authors can devote their energy—and a published adventure’s pages—to developing content that reaches play. No DM with an ingenious dungeon room wants players to miss it.

The limits of a convention time slot makes linear adventures particularly common in programs like the D&D Adventurers League. Linear adventures can consistently fit in a convention time slot. Players in organized play tend to forgive the limits imposed by a 4-hour session, but some do complain when adventures reveal a lack of choices.

But organized-play adventures with more options draw complaints too.

Adventurers League administrator Claire Hoffman explains that when adventures offer more choices, some DMs gripe about prepping content that may not reach play.

Most DMs understand the value of extra prep, but some players fuss too. Those who enjoy the accomplishment of clearing a dungeon or of completing every quest feel frustrated when an adventure teases them with more options than they can explore. The Howling Void by Teos Abadia sets a brilliant example of a 4-hour adventure with a wealth of options. In an elemental node, Earth motes float like aerial islands. Players must choose which to visit. Teos explains that some players left the adventure disappointed because they could not explore every location. The adventure proved so fun that players wanted it all. Still, adventures shouldn’t cater to completists. Better to leave players wanting more.

Linear adventures may fall short of an ideal, but if they avoid flaunting their limits, players seldom mind. One exception bothers players. When the only choice suggests a style of game that players dislike, they will resist.

During these rebellions, the players telegraph what the want to do in the game. In a podcast, Mike “Sly Flourish” Shea explained, “If the king is speaking, and the barbarian charges him, maybe you ought to start the players in the dungeon.” Clearly players crave a fight. “I’ve seen it the other way too, where in my DM-head I’m thinking, now they’re going to fight 12 orcs, and the players are doing everything they can to negotiate with the orcs. ‘Just fight the orcs!’ But the players are telegraphing their desire to have an interaction.”

If your players dislike intrigue, and the next clue in a linear adventure suggests they infiltrate a masquerade, that’s when they rebel.

You can avoid such problems by setting up situations tailored to the style your players favor. If you know your players, such tailoring probably becomes natural. If not, then an ideal episode lets players choose styles. Let players enter the castle by infiltrating the masquerade, sneaking over the walls, or battling through a secret entrance into the dungeons below.

Players don’t hate linear adventures; players hate being driven into a style of game they dislike. Players who read gaming blogs may resist by accusing your adventure of railroading, but the rest will start a fight at the masquerade.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Nephele Sweater: Why Row Gauge Matters

Knitted Bliss - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

Why yes, I did knit a sweater the same colour as my hair. Thank you for noticing. Ravelry project page can be found here.  Pattern: Nephele Yarn: Delicious Yarns Frosting in Chocolate Mods:  No modifications on purpose, but…… I loved the Nephele sweater pattern when I first saw it, so much so I featured it

The post Nephele Sweater: Why Row Gauge Matters appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Xena #1 preview

First Comics News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:48

Xena #1

writer: Meredith Finch

artist: Vicente Cifuentes

covers: David Finch (A)

Vicente Cifuentes (B)

David Finch (RI-Virgin)

Vicente Cifuentes (RI-B/W)

David Finch (RI-B/W)

FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen +

The path to redemption is never easy, and the journey of a warrior princess seeking to wash the blood of innocents from her hands is no exception. Xena travels to Athens to plead for redemption in the temple of Eleos. but some things can never be forgiven and the shadows of past sins are long. Will Xena find redemption or betrayal waiting for her in the temple of the gods? The power, the passion, the danger… her courage would change the world. Xena: Warrior Princess.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Sheena: Queen Of The Jungle #6 preview

First Comics News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:47

Sheena: Queen Of The Jungle #6

writers: Marguerite Bennett, Christina Trujillo

artist: Maria Sanapo

covers: Maria Sanapo (A)

Marco Santucci (B)

Dan Parent (C)

Cosplay Photo Variant (D)

Maria Sanapo (RI-B/W)

Marco Santucci (RI-B/W)

Dan Parent (RI-Virgin)

FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen +

NEW STORY ARC!

The start of a bold new adventure! Mother Forest is beset by a terrible plague that sickens the very jungle, but this deadly evil is not the only danger Sheena must face. A ruthless huntress prowls the forest, seeking a girl with golden hair, and the mark of the jaguar…

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The Hidden & Dangerous Corruption of S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth By Gary Gygax For Your Old School Camaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 08:12
"Find the perilous Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth and you may gain the hidden wealth of the long-dead arch-mage - if you live!" So the Thirty Years War has been raging across Europe, the gates of Fairyland have been flung open a few times & closed again by the machinations of a plethora of adventurers! The whole of the war has been taking on and out of circulation scores of adventurers by Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Cryptkins: They Do Exist!

Cryptozoic - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 04:05

Shipments have been arriving by the crate here at Cryptozoic Entertainment, and the entire office has been abuzz with excitement as we prepare to introduce Cryptkins to the world! Series 1 of Cryptkins will bring thirteen recognizable and menacingly adorable cryptid characters to life, including Chupacabra, Yeti, Bigfoot, Mothman, Cthulhu, and more!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Box Breaking 230: Pathfinder Battles Deadly Foes

Gamer Goggles - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 01:40

Matt Breaks open a brick of Deadly Foes. I must say I love miniatures. And the Pathfinder Battles miniatures are a great addition to any tabletop.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

While I tend to try (key word there) and paint my minis I do like not having to paint everything all the time!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

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