Roku AMAZON PRIME Movie of the Day : FRANKENSTEIN DAY OF THE BEAST (2011)

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FRANKENSTEIN : DAY OF THE BEAST – A decidedly bloodier and more brutal take on the Frankenstein story. Well made and intriguing. What if instead of a misunderstood behemoth, Frankenstein had created something all-together different.

Low budget production, but the inventive and visceral take on Mary Shelley’s enduring myth, transcends its restraints. Recommended. Currently available on Amazon Prime.

 

News you can Use : Marc Olden’s BLACK SAMURAI and POE MUST DIE coming to a screen near you?!

Common to Star in ‘Black Samurai’ TV Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Any of you who have followed this blog know I am a HUGE fan of the work of the late, great Marc Olden.

I became aware of him, because I had stumbled across his BLACK SAMURAI series from the 1970s, and was immediately hooked. Getting all eight of the books in the unfortunately hard to find series.

In a vibrant and violent age of Remo Williams’ that destroyed and Mack Bolan’s that executed, Marc Olden”s Robert Sand stood out as being pulp fiction taken to the next level.

Written by someone who had mastered propulsive action, larger than life plots, and demented villains, what distinguished this series is the quality of the writing, the detail and felt authenticity of the fight scenes, and the richness of the titular character.

For these reasons Marc Olden’s BLACK SAMURAI series stands out as one of my favorite things. He would go on to surpass their formula limitations with his standalone novels POE MUST DIE and BOOK OF SHADOWS, two masterpeices, and serious literature by any definition; but for sheer joy, I love the BLACK SAMURAI series.

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Particulary, the original first printing Signet paperbacks, with those stunning painted covers, hold a special place for me. God love the newer printings, but without those 70s style covers the reading experience is slighlty less fun. I really hope those Signet books can be reprinted if not individually then in a 3 volume omnibus edition that uses a cover evocative of those 1970 ones.

A bit similar to what Mario Van Peebles and the late lamented Payback Press did for Chester Himes’ 9 book French Noir series/Pulp-Fiction series, collecting all 9 of Himes books in a beautiful 3 Volume omnibus called… HARLEM CYCLE.

Kudos to Dianne Crafford, (who was kind enough to consent to an interview with me a few years back) for keeping these books in print, albeit in a kindle format and without the covers I love, but by her keeping them in print and you guys buying them, we open the door to seeing the Black Samurai series collected, in a manner that lives up to the visual quality of those Signet Paperbacks.

And if you have never read an issue of BLACK SAMURAI, the time to rectify that is now. Especially with the linked news at the top of this article, that both the BLACK SAMURAI and POE MUST DIE may be coming soon to a screen near you.

 

That, my friends, is the definition of news you can use!:).

 

 

On Alton Sterling and Micah Xavier Johnson and Baton Rouge Louisiana and Donald Trump


Sometimes I think I have seen everything.

Every beauty, and every horror.

Odd how I am constantly proved wrong.

Madness breeds madness.

Alton Sterling was a father cut down by terrorism. What else would you call it? When you can not drive 10 feet in this country with out risk of brutalization or death.

It is a story sickeningly old in this country. People of color, targeted for their color. And cops who with impunity, use excessive and (in too many cases) deadly force, at the slightest provocation, or no provocation at all… when confronted with men of color.

Men who should be trained to control themselves, then control their situations, so that they may protect, and serve, suddenly have no more control, or never had control, and therefore should never have been given a badge and a gun to begin with. Men who have no more understanding than a child playing cowboy, about the value of life.

Not all to be sure.

I think cops and soldiers… most of them hold the line, an important line between those who would erode our laws and our lives. It is a noble and oft thankless calling, a dangerous calling, and the ones called to it, and who do it credit, are the line that keeps civilization… working, turning, moving forward. They are our musketeers, our soldiers, our heroes.

Unfortunately bad cops, terrorists,like the two cops in Baton Rouge, do a disservice to the majority, by making that fragile trust between police and the community they are tasked to serve… untenable. They break the trust that is needed to tell friend from foe, hero from villain.

And it does no good to the system when this small outlaw faction of terrorist cops are allowed to thrive, get away with brutality and murder. It sends a message that the system supports terrorism. That the government we pay tribute to, gives shelter to terrorist factions within the police, within the courts, within the prisons. And it calls into question justified arrests and justified shootings. It calls into question a system that many good men gave their last, best measure… to make just.

it would not occur to many people of the anglo inclination to consider cops and terrorists in the same sentence. However, to many families of those thousands lost to police bullets, it would not occur to them to separate those concepts. What 9/11 is to the slogan inclined of America, is every day for those under siege populations in America.

That is the harm that bad cops, and not punishing them, or better yet more stringent training and psyche requirements so they do not get hired in the first place, does to the majority. It paints the majority of good cops with the same brush. That is the hard truth that is lost, in the blind rush by agencies such as the FOP, to defend the blue, regardless of innocence or guilt.

The law must bind us all, cop and civilian, rich and poor, or it ceases to be law. And those who enforce it… cease to be cops. They become an army in a war of oppression.

And every war, will give birth to its opposition.

Micah Xavier Johnson they say was a soldier.

Thank You for your service.

They say he was troubled.

Who in an America where Trump is running for president, is not troubled?

I do not know this Micah Xavier Johnson.

I do not know what demons he carried, what compulsions he was heir to.

But I do know the unqualified rage I felt upon hearing the Alton Sterling tragedy. And I understand how such rage, in a world absent of justice, can sweep us away.

I do know that if you are perceived as killing people for nothing and getting away with it, you will give birth to a type of man who will be willing to die for something. However misguided.

The murders in Dallas are madness. The deaths are tragedies.

Not because they were cops but for the same reason that Alton Sterling’s death was a tragedy.

Because it is a hell of a thing to kill a man, to take away everything he is, and everything he may have been. To leave a hole in the lives of those who knew him, who loved him.

It is a mad and damning thing to kill a man.

But mad causes, breed mad effects. And mad abuses, unpunished, people will only take so long, before they feel the only justice left to them, is the justice of blood.

That is the danger of disenfranchising people to the point they have nothing left in your system to trust in, or to hope for. Times without hope, create men without fear of extreme action.

Create patriots and madmen.

The acts in Dallas without doubt deserve punishment. But so do the actions against Alton Sterling.

And whether that punishment is applied justly will determine if there will be more Micah Xavier Johnsons, more machine men, with machine minds, killing in these machine times.

It is my hope that justice can rule the day, and that the murderers of Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge, Louisiana officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II never wear a badge and a gun again, and serve time in prison. As should Micah Xavier Johnson. But if these Baton Rouge men escape punishment, then so should Micah Xavier Johnson, because either all lives matter, or no lives matter.

That is the cost and lesson of an Apartheid State, that madness, breeds madness. So I urge everyone involved, especially Baton Rouge, to punish the terrorists that they have given badges to.

And to the families that have lost, my condolences; and to all of us, may god grant an America and a world, without such losses.

Roku, Amazon Fire TV and backdoor WiFi Direct networks shipping on these devices without an off switch?

I am that odd combination of 21st century tech savvy and 19th century distrusting Luddite. I know enough about technology, to while grateful for its wonders, be always mindful of its potential horrors.

I think a lot of smart people get enamored of the former, and only think too late of the latter.

I don’t have an X-BOX in my house because, while a lauded gaming machine it also has the potential to be an unscrupulous company’s marketing and privacy invasion wet dream. It is perhaps the most perfect spying machine the American public has paid to be in their homes.
You can believe that or not, the specs are there if you choose to look, or not.

I don’t go looking for issues, but I like for the things I buy to do just what I buy them to do, and not much more. So I notice when undocumented ‘features’ pop up.

In the case of the Amazon Fire and the 3600R Roku Streaming Stick it meant while using these devices I noticed they were each generating another wireless hotspot ON TOP OF my wireless signal.

A technology, that subsequent research told me was WiFi Direct, a rather odd way for these devices to supposedly just connect to their remotes. But you don’t need to create a separate network to do that. I do not like Backdoors at the best of times, I especially dislike backdoors and ‘features’ that lack upfront documentation and a clear off switch.

I found a way to disable Roku’s WiFi direct, thanks to Jo Rhett over at Net Consonnace. He or she gets my hero of the day award. See the solution here:

http://www.netconsonance.com/2016/06/how-to-prevent-roku-wifi-direct-breaking-5ghz/

Here are the instructions to fix it.
Start up the Roku and get to the home screen.
Press these 10 buttons quickly: HOME-HOME-HOME-HOME-HOME-FFWD-PLAY-REWIND-PLAY-FFWD
Select “Wireless Secret Screen” from the menu choices
Select “Interference” from the menu choices
Choose “None”

There is also an option to shift power to low, as well as an option to disable the Roku’s AP (Access Point) all together. This is what I chose to do, and utilize the remote on the phone or tablet to control my roku. Job done.

No more unwanted secondary netwok in my home.

Shame on companies like Roku and Amazon and Microsoft for 1/ not clearly informing you of the scope of these devices you purchase and 2/not providing a simple off switch to defeat/disable these technologies (mic, camera, wireless, Wi-Fi direct) should you, the purchaser, choose.

Amazon Fire likewise has a defeat procedure for its piggybacking hotspot. I’ll update this article with that link as well.

Be wary of smart tvs, and smart refrigerators, and smart thermostats, because increasingly these devices might define their intelligence by virtue of your ignorance to notice or control their communication.:)

I hope you guys have found this article useful. It puts in one place info that I found incredib!y helpful and a bit elusive. Thanks for looking!