DC Rebirth Hopes

I’m really excited that the “legacy” is coming back to DC comics. For the past few years reading DC has felt sort of sterile and, because of that, I’ve cut down my DC reading to just a few titles I follow through the good and bad times. But I have some hope this change will bring back what seems to have been lost through the New 52. Here are a few wants (probably more like dreams…) I have for the reboot that isn’t a reboot.

I’m going to focus on my favorite area of the DC universe: The Green Lanterns. As far as I know there isn’t a term for the Green Lanterns of Earth other than saying ‘Earth Lanterns’. Since the New 52 we’ve been introduced to a few new Lanterns or Lantern like characters. However, we’ve also lost a few who were at least mild heroes and villains before Flashpoint and I believe having them back would add interesting elements to the GL books.

Obsidian

obsidian02Since Alan Scott was reimagined as a homosexual DC removed his children from existence. Ignoring that Scott could still have adopted children or had children in a previous relationship, Obsidian went from being Scott’s child who happened to be gay to something different entirely. According to the Wikipedia page the Obsidian I know and love returned in Convergence. However, Convergence was not the best story and I ended up skipping all but the main story which wasn’t so compelling either. Here is hoping that Obsidian is back and gets some focus within the Rebirth.

Jade

green_lantern_jadeAnother child of the original Alan Scott, Jade seems to be missing from the New 52. It’s possible she exists but I haven’t read any books with her in any capacity but I have a feeling she was removed or, at the very least, down played to near non-existence. When I was getting back into comics as an adult Jade and her brother had at least major-minor character status in JSA and other books. I have a bad feeling that, since we have Power Ring maybe there isn’t the same space for Jade to occupy: A female with similar GL powers but not exactly a Lantern. Here is hoping I’m wrong!

Sodam Yat

sodam_yat_ionProphesied to be the last of the Green Lanterns in the future, and an important host to Ion, Sodam Yat has been pretty boring in The New 52. Pre Flashpoint he had created some kind of offshoot of the Lanterns where his own people, the Daxamites, follow him towards being less xenophobic. Heck, I thought we were seeing the birth of a new Lantern Corps that would less spectrum based and closer to a religion. An intriguing story line which seems to have been largely left dangling. In the previous universes he was one of my favorite characters.

Hank Henshaw

hank-henshawAlso known as Cyborg Superman. You remember, one of the 4 Supermen that came to be after Superman “died”. Hank is one of the more interesting thorns in the Lanterns side yet has been pretty absent since the reboot even though he does exist in some form. I would love to have the emotionally upset and misunderstood Henshaw back. The man who who led the Alpha Lanterns and Manhunters trying to find his humanity (or lack of it) among the stars. There’s just something about the character that, when he emerges from the shadows in an arc, adds credibility and strings back in history to the story.

Hal Jordan

Ok, yeah, he was there through the New 52 but for at least a third of it he sure didn’t look, sound, or feel like Hal. I mean, look at this guy:

l3rnutb
That is Hal Jordan. Really.

 

I’m hoping we get Hal back. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to try new things and take characters in different directions but what was done with Hal in the later New 52 just didn’t work in my opinion.

Blue Beetle

While not directly a Green Lantern character, Jaime Reyes as the Blue Beetle with the history of past Blue Beetles is something I have missed. Jaime is my favorite Blue Beetle, mainly because he was the first o5099548-4122363971-tumblne I really took notice of, but without having a legacy to stand on his character is a bit boring. Not only that, but in the past the scarab has been noted as a weapon of the Reach (an enemy of The Guardians of the Universe). There has been some development around that in the New 52 as well as pre-Flashpoint but it seems like there is still a lot of stories that could be told to round out the Reach, Blue Beetle, Black Beetle, The Guardians of the Universe, The Controllers, and the Lantern forces.

 

 

 

So…

By this point Rebirth is has been running for a bit. I’ve purposefully been holding back from reading my issues so I can immerse myself in the rebirth story line in hopes it brings back the spark.

What is it you hope Rebirth will bring?

Advertisements

Brave: Because It’s The Best Middle Available

I’m no different than a large portion of web users who are looking to read content and stay safe: I use one or more ad blockers. Is this stealing website content? No. I’d be happy to be served ads is they didn’t have such a bad track record in terms of security and privacy.

Privacy

Many people are still ignorant to what information they are giving up to online advertisers. In a 2013 post by VentureBeat they noted:

Advertisers and the tracking companies they employee are able to gather all sorts of information about you, such as the websites you frequent and what kind of products you’re interested — and even some even scarier stuff like political views, health problems, and personal finances.

Over time the picture you provide to these private companies becomes clearer and clearer. Of course, you may not care if companies know you like chocolate chip cookies but you may not want them to know more personal things or, worse, be able to extrapolate things about you that you haven’t even unknowingly shared … not to mention government use for predictive modeling.

Malvertising

Privacy is important but this is the bigger problem in my opinion. Malvertising has proven a successful vector to infect users machines with malware. If you are interested in a time line of large malvertising events GeoEdge has a nice post. A quick summary of heavy hitters who have inadvertently exposed their readers to threats include The New York Times, eBay, LA Times, Spotify, Answers.com, Huffinton Post, MSN, BBC, AOL and NFL. Of course, there are many more but that list should be enough to get anyone’s attention.

Options

So what are valid options to protect personal privacy and security on the web?

Ignore Internet Content

This is the best option but it’s very unlikely. Everyone loses with this as content providers get nothing from their ads and readers don’t get any news.

Go To “Safe” Sources

Another good option, but about as unlikely as the first. It takes work to find out the sites that are not tracking or injecting third party advertising. It also assumes safe sources are always safe but the web is a constantly evolving place and a site may be totally different upon two visits.

Run an Ad Blocker

This is the most common solution today. It blocks as many ads and third party cookies as it can and generally keeps users safe. It’s not a perfect solution as the content providers miss getting any ad clicks/impressions but the reader gets a much safer (and faster) experience.

Some sites actively block ad blockers. When I come across these sites who nicely ask me to unblock their ads I head over to google and find another source for the same story. I don’t think I’m alone in doing that.

Use (something like) Brave That Shares Ad Revenue

This is a newer thing and the actual reason  I wanted to write this post. Brave seems to be a good middle ground which attempts to keep users safe while still providing money back to content providers. In some ways Brave is acting like a arbitrator to let everyone get something out of the deal. Users get content, creators get money. Yeah Brave (and users) get a cut to but that’s not so bad (though I’d be fine with not getting a cut at all as a user).

Here is the flows for revenue from Brave:

brave_infographic_large

852764

Unfortunately, the NAA  didn’t quite grasp the above idea and has called to Brave to stop. Surprise, at least one of the companies who signed the letter has put users at risk via malvertising on multiple occasions.

Brave has posted a rebuttal in an attempt to help NAA understand the business model and why it’s not illegal. Hopefully logic will triumph over emotion and posturing.

My Hope

My hope is that users will jump on to the idea that Brave provides (whether they use Brave or not) and that the NAA will understand that it is a business model where everyone wins, even their readers.

I Have To Make Things

We are all consumers of things. These things are everything from food to software based services. We are trained to want more things, use more things and find that one thing that will finally make us not want any other things but it never ends up working that way. Over the last 10 years I figured out that making something is way more fulfilling.

Years ago I figured out that I enjoy writing code. Specifically FLOSS. While I always heard FLOSS was great because you “scratch your own itch” I found myself looking at what others were looking for and trying to figure out a way to get it done. That didn’t keep me from coming up with my own ideas, but I found trying to implement someone’s idea of things was more of a challenge — like a puzzle. Imprinting my own way of thinking in code is “easy”, but trying to wrap my mind around someone else’s way of tackling problems isn’t so straight forward.

I believe my want to create has also shaded my view on things like tablets as laptop replacements. I can’t produce things I consider valuable with a tablet (with exceptions to adding a keyboard and having an ssh client). I can produce communications and consume but that doesn’t cut it. I want tools to create that let me produce well crafted results I can feel satisfied with.

Over the last few years I’ve found my want to create things does not stop at producing software. I’ve picked up brewing which has really been a challenge I’ve enjoyed. I still have so far to go but with each attempt I find things I could do better and improve my results. I’ve also picked up more baking which I had done a bit of before. For some reason making bread is a very relaxing process for me.

Over the weekend I found myself with nothing on my plate to make. I felt bored, frustrated and found myself grasping at things to do. For instance, I start to rewrite some code in a different language just to do it. Of course this didn’t actually make me feel any better as it didn’t really serve any real purpose. I turned to cook some food to eat later in the week which helped, but didn’t really do it for me. All this reminded me that I am one of those folks who has to actually make things. I need to create to things. Maybe it’s a way of expression or maybe it just proves I have “value” (Hi Tim) but no matter what I need to make things.