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I found Vanity Fair’s Cover Story on the Secrets of the Marvel Universe quite intriguing.

Marvel Studios, which kicked things off with Iron Man in 2008, has released 17 films that collectively have grossed more than $13 billion at the global box office; 5 more movies are due out in the next two years.

They came for Kevin Feige, the unassuming man in a black baseball cap who took Marvel Studios from an underdog endeavor with a roster of B-list characters to a cinematic empire that is the envy of every other studio in town.

On the wall of one of those early, drab offices hung a 1988 Technicolor poster by Marvel artists Ed Hannigan and Joe Rubinstein, crowded to the margins with hundreds of characters from all different story lines with the words MARVEL UNIVERSE emblazoned across the top.

Jackson signed an unheard-of nine-picture deal with Marvel shortly after Iron Man came out, ensuring his participation in the subsequent Avengers movies and other Marvel properties.

Feige doesn’t deny that directors need to play by a set of rules when they join Team Marvel, especially now that the concept of a single cinematic universe is non-negotiable.

Director Ryan Coogler’s upcoming Black Panther movie marks another major shift for Marvel: in February, the studio will launch its first movie with a black actor, Chadwick Boseman, in the lead. Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson in the title role of a female air-force captain with superpowers, opens in 2019.

Feige has no worries about Marvel’s longevity, a point he illustrated by quoting one of his personal heroes: “On opening day, when people asked Mr. Walt Disney if Disneyland was finished, he said, as long as there’s imagination in the world, Disney will never be complete.” And as long as people are willing to watch superheroes save the world, Marvel-and Kevin Feige-won’t be done, either.

Marvel has done wonders for comic book movies, producing a lot of quality content. However, I am beginning to tire of the MCU and am not really finding it all that interesting anymore. While I am looking forward to Black Panther, I find blockbuster movies less appealing and generally prefer the Netflix approach to Marvel, especially their most recent Punisher series.

Engadget sat down with Oscar award-winning documentary director Alex Gibney to discuss his upcoming “Zero Days” film:

The Obama administration has talked a lot about transparency, but meanwhile it pushed forward on secrecy and making Stuxnet even worse.

Gibney: The Obama administration on secrecy has just been appalling, absolutely appalling, both in terms of the number of secrets they keep and the punishments being meted out for people who leak. It’s an odd thing. You’d think, if you’re the Obama administration you’d say this stuff is supposed to be secret and we’ll prosecute people. But for a long time there was an intentional balance between secrets and leaks because that’s part of the democratic process. Because ultimately, if everything the government does is secret, how is there going to be any accountability?

You were able to get fascinating people to talk about Stuxnet; you even got [former NSA/CIA Director] Michael Hayden. Was it difficult to convince them to participate?

Gibney: Michael Hayden is becoming increasingly expert at talking about just about anything, but he had some insights that I never expected. Particularly regarding the Bush administration, of which he was very much a part. I found it interesting from the U.S. perspective, he implies, that Stuxnet was developed not to stop Iran from getting the bomb but to stop Israel from bombing Iran, which inevitably would have embroiled us in a third war in the Middle East.

The entire interview is well worth reading.

Months after it was hit by a major cyber attack devastating its ability to broadcast, France TV5 Monde IT services remain in chaos, with the breach cleanup costs rolling into the millions (emphasis added):

At the time, the hack was believed to be the work of Islamic State sympathisers although later reports from Trend Micro and others suggest this was a ‘false flag’ operation, conducted by the APT28/Pawn Storm group, which is believed to be closely associated with the Russian government.

The attack has been traced back to January 2015 when phishing emails were sent to TV5 Monde journalists. Leaked documents suggest German secret services knew about the attack two months before discovery, while experts, speaking anonymously to SCMagazineUK.com recently, suggested GCHQ knew about it too.

The broadcaster’s CEO has now told SC that IT services won’t fully resume until October, some six months after the attack. What’s more, the hack is costing the TV station millions of Euros.

Yves Bigot, CEO at TV France, was quoted in French magazine France.Info recently, in which he said that the broadcaster was without Internet and Skype, while equating the situation to him to his colleagues being castaways in the TV series ‘Lost’. He said the attack costs varied between €4.3 million and €5 million, with €9.9million due to be spent over the next three years.

Hayao Miyazaki is a legendary filmmaker in Japan thanks to his animated movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howls Moving Castle, and others. This tribute uses some of his most beloved characters, transforms them into 3D, and then places them in an interesting world.

Legendary Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki has created some of the most beautiful animated films—but this video tribute takes some of Miyazaki’s most-loved characters and puts them into a 3D world. The result gives you Miyazaki like you’ve never seen him before.

Vimeo user and animator Dono made this incredible video, which combines the beautiful piano work of Joe Hisaishi with extracted clips and characters from a plethora of Miyazaki films, from Spirited Away to My Neighbor Totoro to Porco Rosso, placing them into specially created 3D environments made by Dono.

It is absolutely stunning and a wonderful tribute to this exceptional mind.

Ever since I heard a new USA channel show centering around cyber security I kinda both rolled my eyes because Hollywood always gets hacking completely wrong, but at the same time it piqued my curiosity to see if USA would be able to change things up enough to develop a compelling drama. As it turns out, Mr. Robot is not only a really fun show with an intriguing storyline but it is incredibly accurate too (emphasis added):

While Mr. Robot’s plot is in itself is fascinating and Malek’s portrayal of Elliot is captivating, the drama’s main selling point is that it actually delivers a believable portrait of the world of hacking. So to learn more about the making of the show—which airs Wednesday nights at 10pm EST—Forbes spoke with Michael Bazzell, Mr. Robot’s technical consultant. Bazzell worked for 15 years as cyber crime detective—10 of which he spent with the FBI’s cyber crime task force—before Sam Esmail, one of Mr. Robot’s directors, tapped him as an expert to work on the show. Now a cyber crime security consultant, Bazzell spoke with us about Mr. Robot’s emphasis on accuracy and attention to detail and how it has managed to separate itself from cyber crime movies and television shows of the past.

Critics have praised Mr. Robot as one of the most accurate displays of hacking ever on television or in movies. How is Mr. Robot really getting it right in your opinion?

I think it is Sam [Esmail], 100 percent. When I first saw the early version of the pilot—which I had no influence on whatsoever—I knew that Sam not only understood hacking but had a very good grasp on it. Instead of showing hackers typing frantically and bypassing every firewall in a system, he focused right away on social engineering, email phishing and the more realistic ways that criminals will get to your information. Then there is all of the computer code. We make any computer code shown on the screen accurate. We don’t need to fake it. There is no reason to put random characters up to please the audience. We want that code to be accurate so that even the most sophisticated hacker or technical person out there will not roll their eyes at a scene.

The moment that there is a problem or something that isn’t 100% perfect, Sam is willing to change whatever needs to be changed to make it right—whether that means dialogue, changing the scene or changing where that scene goes. He is so concerned with accuracy that he is willing to sacrifice some of the story line if he has to.

Mr. Robot is actually one of the first TV dramas to get cyber security right. It is refreshing to see the show discuss a particular hacking or attack technique, and for it to be correctly discussed as well as entirely plausible.

Hopefully Mr. Robot stays this course throughout the show’s lifetime and as more people watch the show they will become more aware of the dangers lurking out there in cyber space.

I grew up listening to Van Halen, so this Billboard cover article on Eddie Van Halen surviving addiction, why he still makes music, and how he really feels about David Lee Roth is quite interesting. What I found more peculiar than anything I ready about EVH was this (emphasis added):

Eddie Van Halen doesn’t listen to music.

This is not a fake-out or a misdirection, nor is it a seemingly straightforward statement that actually means its opposite. Eddie Van Halen does not listen to music. “I don’t listen to anything,” he tells me from a greenish couch inside 5150, the expansive home recording studio built on his seven-acre residence in Studio City, Calif. I’d just asked if he ever revisits old Van Halen albums, but his disinterest in those records is merely the tip of a very weird iceberg: Unlike every other musician I’ve ever met, he does not listen to any music he isn’t actively making. The guitarist maintains that the last album he purchased was Peter Gabriel’s So, when it came out in 1986. He’s not familiar with the work of Radiohead, Metallica or Guns N’ Roses. He appears to know only one Ozzy Osbourne song Randy Rhoads played on, and it’s “Crazy Train.” He scarcely listened to Pantera, even though he spoke at the funeral of the group’s guitarist and placed the axe from Van Halen II inside the man’s casket. He doesn’t listen to the radio in his car, much to the annoyance of his wife (“I prefer the sound of the motor,” he says). He sheepishly admits he never even listened to most of the bands that opened for Van Halen and worries, “Does that make me an asshole?” Sometimes he listens to Yo-Yo Ma, because he loves the sound of the cello. But even that is rare.

“It’s an odd thing, but I’ve been this way my whole life,” he continues. “I couldn’t make a contemporary record if I wanted to, because I don’t know what contemporary music sounds like.”

He really must be a genius to be able make some of the best guitar music ever without ever really having had any outside musical influence to guide his inspiration. The whole article is fascinating.

[link_wrap]Infographic: Batmobile & Iconic Batman Logo[/link_wrap]

I thought this infographic depicting the evolution of the batmobile and the iconic batman logo Commissioner Gordon projects into the night sky to signal Batman’s attention is just pretty damn awesome. It is pretty amazing how a comic book hero like Batman has gone through so many iterations and is likely to go through many more in the foreseeable future.

Love the mood and music of the trailer. It appears just right.

I can’t wait for True Detective season two even though I will severely miss the location season one was filmed. Also, who won’t miss Rust Cohle-isms? Hopefully HBO doesn’t disappoint.