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[I’ve been following Puppet Combo’s work for a few years now, and I love everything I’ve seen, but I still haven’t gotten around to actually playing any of their titles yet. Luckily, Xeo is here to remind me to tighten the hell up and finally get on that. – Kevin]
Why are there not more slasher games? This is a question I’ve thought about many times since I was a teenager, given that slashers are some of my favorite movies. Yeah, I get that if you involve kids and stuff it gets nasty, but you don’t have to (and really shouldn’t). However, what’s wrong with having some adults get cut to ribbons if they make a mistake or get caught in a chase? I mean, we already have ultra-violent video games anyway.
Then it hit me. Rarely are YOU the one doing the killing of seemingly innocent people in video games. People seem to freak out a bit more with cases like Manhunt, Hatred, or anything like that. Manhunt is something I never saw as a problem because every person you kill in that game is a piece of shit and has it coming, honestly. Games like Hatred are definitely a bit more questionable. Still, if you played a serial killer in a game stalking innocent victims… would that be okay? I suppose it depends on who’s playing or watching it.
Well, regardless, we’ve seen more and more things like this in recent years. An interesting twist came in the form of games like Dead By Daylight and Friday the 13th, where several people are playing as the victims and one player is controlling the serial killer. To be honest, as a slasher fan, these games are fun as hell to me played from either side. Still, you don’t see many developers willing to put you in the shoes of a killer who goes around shredding victims into a pile of flesh and bones. It’s still a taboo. Hell, comparatively, you rarely even see games where you’re trying to escape from a serial killer as a potential victim.
Well, that was until I discovered Puppet Combo’s games. The gentleman behind Puppet Combo, Ben Cocuzza, is a huge fan of ’70s and ’80s horror movies, most especially slashers. He makes small PSOne-looking horror games often based on this subject matter. I say he, because he’s a one-man development studio. That’s important to note before I begin here.
I randomly discovered one of his earlier games, Babysitter Bloodbath, when watching one of my favorite YouTubers who specializes in horror games. (John Wolfe/Harshly Critical.) It’s a simple premise: you play as a teenage girl coming to the home of some strangers to babysit their child, a young boy, and a serial killer is on the loose from the local asylum. You’ve seen it a thousand times in film, but how often have you gotten to play this experience as a video game? Surprisingly few. Shit hits the fan fairly quickly in the game and we’re introduced to a red coverall-wearing, masked serial killer named Neokalus Burr who strikingly resembles Michael Myers.
The game consists of simple tank controls and inventory management with some fetching puzzles while running and hiding from this maniac. Gameplay-wise and plot-wise, it’s nothing special, but it still stands out. Why? As I said earlier, for some reason slasher games just aren’t very common. The low-rez graphics combined with the ’80s VHS-like film grain and menus enhance the atmosphere greatly, and what seems (and honestly is) extremely simple on the surface becomes something pretty atmospheric. You run and hide from this guy while he stalks you from room to room of the house before having a confrontation with him, finally, in the garage at the end.
This immediately made me take notice. This was the thing I’d been looking for all this time. In a mad dash of Google-fu, I discovered that Puppet Combo was originally called Pig Farmer Games. He’d been working on games like this for a while (about 2000-2013 when Babysitter Bloodbath was completed) before I discovered him, and I found myself head over heels with his work. Another of his finished games at this time was Power Drill Massacre, originally released as Minotaur and then remade as Power Drill Massacre in 2015. Gameplay-wise, this one is similar to Babysitter Bloodbath. You play as a mostly helpless, innocent victim to a serial killer. In this case, you’re playing as a young woman whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The woman tries to find help in the closest structure she can find, a seemingly abandoned factory building.
Inside, she finds herself trapped in the gigantic, sprawling building with a madman, equipped with the power drill that the title suggests, stalking her. Despite the silly concept and the purposefully-aged graphics, both this and Babysitter Bloodbath absolutely ooze atmosphere and create some extremely high-tension chase scenarios for the player. They’re VERY stressful games to play, in my opinion. But, that just means that they’re effective in what they’re trying to do.
The killer encounters are completely random and non-scripted, as are the item locations that you need to find in order to escape this ordeal. The “jump scare” of the killer charging you around a blind corner while screaming, combined with the loud whirring of the power drill, is intense and effective when combined with the ’70s slasher-like burst of chase music. (If you’re a fan of these types of films, you know what I’m talking about here.)
By this point, it’s easy to see the angle Puppet Combo is going for. That b-movie grindhouse vibe, complete with those awesome retro VHS cover art pieces for the games. (I seriously LOVE these.) The titles of the first two games I discovered from him absolutely scream this, and this type of general vibe would continue for a bit with his work from 2016’s Meat Cleaver Mutilator to 2017’s The Night Ripper. The Night Ripper was the next game I saw in action from him and immediately it brought to mind the real-life 1982 Italian exploitation/slasher The New York Ripper. It was clearly inspired by this, and this just further cemented my love for Puppet Combo’s work.
Buzz-Saw Blood House mixed things up a bit with a different twist on the same general concept. You play as some drugged young schoolgirls from the perspective of a deep web “red room” livestream. You have to navigate a torture dungeon of various death traps, all while sometimes being chased by a maniac with a chainsaw. This one forgoes the slasher angle and focuses more on raw carnage, all while “viewers” to the livestream are constantly commenting on the action unfolding.
Sometimes, they’ll even donate to bring in the maniac or for more elaborate death traps. The gameplay here deviates a bit from the previous offers by mostly doing away with puzzles and item finding, replacing it with just navigating around obstacles. This is already difficult as it is, but even more so when the chainsaw man is on your heels. The game doesn’t end when you die, and your next “life” is represented with a different looking girl to play, seemingly another of the kidnapped victims.
In a bit of tonal shift, the next game to release from this madman of a developer was 2018’s Planet of the Bloodthirsty Santas. It’s a Christmas-based game that plays more like the previous offers, where you play as a member of a space mining expedition that lands on this Christmas-y planet in order to find minerals. You soon discover you’re not alone on the seemingly empty planet and end up being chased by a deranged, monstrous Santa creature. This one is about as tongue-in-cheek as it gets, but how many other Christmas themed horror games are out there?
Stay Out of the House followed this and goes back to the less cheesy grindhouse roots that Puppet Combo started with. You play as a gal who wakes up trapped in a house in a cornfield, after getting knocked out by a man wearing a burlap sack over his head when searching for a missing friend. There’s less emphasis on being chased in this game compared to past ones and more on finding items as a means to escape the dire situation you’re in. This game is also entirely in first-person, changing the dynamic a bit.
A short prequel game accompanied this called Night Shift. Here you play as the missing friend from Stay Out of the House as she works her night shift job at a convenience store. You deal with mundane, though sometimes strange, customer interactions before being abducted in the end by a man through the back room of your store, thus setting up the beginning of Stay Out of the House.
Puppet Combo was very busy in 2018 and has been in 2019 so far as well. He’s released a slew of short games. The Nun Massacre refined his typical serial killer chase game type and was followed by a very short, but different, game called Feed Me Billy. This is one of those games that starts to toe the line between opinions of what’s too much for some or others.
You play as a man named Billy who wakes up to find his closet… talking to him and telling him to feed it. It looks like a gaping maw of sharp teeth and meat and demands human flesh. Billy suits up with a mask and grabs a revolver. You’ll step into his shoes and must go out, kill innocent people, and then drag their corpses in your pickup truck back home to feed your monstrous closet.
There were previously some unreleased games by Puppet Combo in which you played the role of the killer, but this was the first one released to do so. While the premise of the game is almost slapstick, the tone changes so dramatically when you first go out and pull the trigger on an innocent girl by a payphone that it’s almost jarring. To be honest, the fact that the game makes you feel uncomfortable when doing so means it’s being effective in what it set out to do.
What Puppet Combo did here is no different than what many of the movies he’s inspired by did when showing the act of murder through the eyes of the killer, but the big difference, of course, is that it’s you pressing the mouse button to pull the trigger here. Frankly, it took balls to make this sort of game, and it’s one of the reasons we probably won’t be seeing any console releases of his games anytime soon. That being said…
Earlier this year, The Glass Staircase was released. I saw more mainstream coverage than I have for everything else Puppet Combo has made combined with this game. In fact, it was the first time I saw much of ANY mainstream coverage of his work. I’m not sure exactly what made this one be THE one in that regard. It’s overall less in-your-face violent. That probably helped. It doesn’t focus on the ’70s and ’80s slashers a lot of his previous work did.
Instead, it’s a slow-burning psychological horror romp that pays homage to old-school Italian zombie movies. Although, it’s also not really a zombie game either. Strangely enough, despite being the most mainstream-covered game of his, it’s one of the only ones to feature younger protagonists… that are murdered.
It’s quite different from the previous games in tone, theme, and atmosphere.
Another very different game in this catalog came next called The Riverside Incident. This one is a first-person investigation game, playing out like a found footage film. There is no actual combat or encounters here, making it very different from everything else Puppet Combo had done to this point. It also features a neat twist that I won’t spoil here.
The year is rounding out with a few more releases such as Day 7. It’s another first-person game that’s loosely based on both the PSOne game Hell Night and the creepypasta called The Backrooms, the latter of which was originally this game’s title as well.
Samhain is the latest release, and it’s a Halloween-themed game about trick or treating. I, unfortunately, haven’t had the chance to play or watch this one, so I can’t comment much on it.
This is honestly just scratching the surface of this guy’s body of work. He releases new games and updates constantly if you’re a Patreon supporter. His brand of retro-styled grindhouse horror is entirely unique, and he’s one of the few indie horror developers out there that’s willing to push the envelope and not just churn out recycled, asset pack Amnesia or P.T. clones these days. It makes perfect sense WHY his work is as niche as it is, but it’s still a shame. As a fan of the brand of horror he usually works with, it’s just so refreshing to see someone with this much passion working his ass off to bring his visions to us.
He’s constantly trying new ideas and gameplay elements. Each of his games, even the ones that are quite similar to one another, are almost always refining his ideas and visions into something more compelling to play. In short, the guy works hard in a field where so many others like him are content to just rehash the same tired old tropes and ideas over and over again. I just wanted to take this time to highlight what he’s all about. I know there are others here who appreciate his work already and maybe some more that hopefully will after this.
I, unfortunately, have been busy with real-life issues and things, so I wasn’t able to get this blog up before Halloween, which was originally my intention. But hell, if you’re like me, every day is still a bit like Halloween anyways. If you’ve read this far, I want to thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Puppet Combo’s special brand of horror.
Apparently, there’s rumors of Devolver Digital having been in talks with him to see some of his work published under them and, who knows, maybe we’ll see some console ports after all?
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The internet is a vast place. Not only are there fun memes and puppy videos to grace our feeds every morning, there is the entire dark web, too.
I don’t know much about the latter — I am a theater major who vehemently resents social media, instant messaging and ad-polluted shopping sites. Veering off the beaten path has never been on my radar, but playwright Javaad Alipoor is an encyclopedia of knowledge on how the internet is undermining democracy and instantaneously reshaping the world.
The central storyline in Alipoor’s new play, “The Believers Are But Brothers,” follows two Muslim men residing in different parts of England and their experience of getting recruited by ISIS. I’ve found that trying to explain the complexities of their recruitment gives away the show and is far better depicted by Alipoor, so my best bet is just to implore you to go see it at the Arthur Miller Theater.
The show dumped a ton of information related to the world of the dark web on the viewer without slowing down to hold anyone’s hand, so it’s no surprise that “The Believers are but Brothers” was rewarded with the largest retention of people for any Q&A I have seen at my four years at the University.
While I sat in the theater, I could not shake the feeling that what Alipoor was doing was dangerous. He spoke so much truth about ISIS’ successful recruitment of young
Muslims in the Western world while simultaneously depicting a young, white supremacist who never leaves his computer screen. In doing so, he allowed the audience to realize how much damage comes from each side. Spoiler: both do an astounding amount of rallying for their respective causes online.
Therefore, as Alipoor dished out fact after fact in a state that swung red in the last election, I was frightened that maybe someone who did not agree with him could be inspired to protest or even incite violence.
Maybe that’s part of the show. If we are constantly attached to these devices and mediums of communication that have the potential to ensue such violence and hate, what is the difference? According to this show, the alt-right is far more advanced in digital manipulation that prompts the banding together of white supremacy groups,online hate speech and controlling elections. The left is far behind in the advancement of that sort of asset, if you can call it that. During the Q&A, American culture professor Lisa Nakamura said she believes the left underestimates the value of spectacle online that the alt-right has come to master.
I don’t think we are supposed to be overstimulated this much. There is a part in the show near the end where Alipoor is playing Call of Duty while the whole rest of the stage is lit up in all sorts of media for a couple of minutes. I couldn’t help thinking about how monstrous it all is.
Scenes jumped between direct address to the audience, Skype, Youtube and even WhatsApp. In each medium, the audience acted as an avid participant. At the beginning, Alipoor shared memes with us that any person under 30 would recognize like Pepe the Frog or Doge. By the conclusion of the play, however, these memes were boiled down to the basic ideologies that fuel the world’s most violent groups, like white supremacists and ISIS.
Memes to terrorism is a big jump, I know. I still have a plethora of questions that I want answered, but just like going down the internet rabbit hole, finding answers leads to more questions. Alipoor’s play feels a bit like going down the internet rabbit hole. At times, this made it hard to follow what train of thought he was going down.
The panel afterwards was led by Alipoor, Nakamura (known for her gender videogame class) and Alexandra Stern (author of “Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right is warping the American Imagination”) and School of Information professor Clifford Lampe. All four had fascinating insights into how the internet is shaping humanity.
When asked if we are just looking too closely at the internet by blaming it for the evils of the world, the panel acknowledged the sentiment, but Alipoor restated that there are worlds being destroyed because of the technology.
“There is a way that we as humans, for better or for worse, are able to communicate that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of yet,”Alipoor said.
It’s exciting and frightening to think of what happens past the internet. We have the history of mankind at our fingertips, the ability to overthrow governments or create blackweb armies that can be just a few clicks away, so what happens next?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go scroll through Facebook to shake off all this internet anxiety.
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Sunday, BBC2, 8pm
The intrepid trio of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness have got their feet behind the wheel of the long-running motoring show. After a couple of dodgy runs following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, Top Gear is no longer stuttering like a clapped-out old banger, but purring like a brand new sports car. The 28th series will once again feature a mix of test drives and out-of-this-world adventures, beginning with a road trip in a trio of affordable second-hand convertibles. Also: Harris’s views on the new Ariel Atom and the sight of daredevil Flintoff bungee-jumping off a dam in an old Rover.
Win the Wilderness: Alaska
Sunday, BBC2, 9pm
Six couples are challenged to prove their survival skills in Alaska’s harsh wilderness, with the most successful pair winning a remarkable home miles from the nearest road, which was built from scratch by its original owners. In the first episode, they receive a crash course in what to do when encountering a bear before being sent into the woods to gather material and build shelters. They must then fell trees, make a fire and brave the freezing waters of Lost Lake.
Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me
Sunday, BBC2, 11pm
If you watched BBC1’s The Trial of Christine Keeler, switch over immediately after the final episode ends for this documentary, which offers a personal insight into the 1963 scandal that brought down Harold Macmillan’s government. Journalist Tom Mangold reported on the story while working as a reporter on Fleet Street, and describes the atmosphere around the country at the time. There’s also a chance to hear secret audio recordings made by the producers of the 1989 film Scandal, in which both Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies discuss their weekends at Cliveden and their claims that they were pressured into giving evidence against their friend, society osteopath Stephen Ward.
Sunday, Channel 4, 11pm
Channel 4 premieres the first episode of this Swedish psychological crime drama (original title: Sthlm Rekviem), based on Kristina Ohlsson’s bestselling novels, with the entire 10-part series available online on All 4. After a tragic accident, unconventional criminologist Fredrika Bergman (Liv Mjönes) joins a special investigations team in Stockholm and is assigned to work with the leader of the unit, Alex Recht. He is resistant to Bergman’s intellectual presence but they needs her help in tracing the main suspect in the case of an abduction of a little girl: her apparently abusive father.
The Windermere Children
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
As the literary and cinematic worlds grapple with a glut of Holocaust-based fiction, is there room for a drama, based on a true story, about a group of children who survived the concentration camps and are brought to England’s Lake District in 1945 to try to rebuild their shattered lives? They’re helped in this slow, painful process by child psychologist (Thomas Kretschmann) and a team of counsellors who include an art therapist (Romola Garai). We’re not expecting any Beatrix Potter-style happy endings by Lake Windermere, but we may just see some glimpses of lost innocence. Followed at 10.30pm on BBC4 by The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.
Holocaust Memorial Day
Monday, BBC2, 7pm
Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, more than 150 survivors attend a commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Through music, poetry and powerful personal testimony, all those who were persecuted by the Nazis, as well as those who were victims of later genocides are remembered. Among those taking part are cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason accompanied by his brother Braimah, actors Simon Russell Beale and Warwick Davis, and the Fourth Choir. Huw Edwards presents.
Bring Back the Bush: Where Did Our Pubic Hair Go?
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
There have been a lot of new trends in personal grooming over the past few decades, but there’s one very big (and very personal) one that doesn’t get talked about much, at least not on TV. In this documentary, Chidera Eggerue finds out why so many women are removing their pubic hair. As she discovers, you only have to go back a few decades to find a time when this wasn’t seen as necessary, so what caused the change in our attitudes to our bikini lines – and is it time for the bush to make a comeback? To find out, Eggerue challenges herself and her peers to grow theirs back as part of an exhibition where they will reveal their bodies to the world in their natural, naked state.
Monday, RTÉ2, 11.35pm
Dave Tynan’s Ifta-winning short from 2017, only seven minutes long, is a spoken word film originally commissioned by theatre company ThisisPopBaby. Heartbreak is written and performed by Emmet Kirwan, who narrates the story of a schoolgirl, Youngone (Jordanne Jones), from teenage pregnancy to raising a son as a single mother.
Great Asian Railway Journeys
Monday, BBC2, 6.30pm
Michael Portillo sets off on the first leg of a new quest as he travels around southeast Asia, guided by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook on a 2,500-mile railway adventure across six countries. Beginning in Hong Kong, the former Conservative politician investigates how Britain won the island and Kowloon from China after two 19th-century wars over the trade in opium, before boarding the island’s most famous funicular to the Peak, and straddling a bamboo pole to learn the traditional Cantonese art of noodle-making.
Tuesday, TG4, 8pm
In the first programme of the series we join Naomh Anna ladies football manager Tony Lee as he prepares his newly promoted team for a season in the Galway Intermediate championship. In Rathnure, Wexford, all five O’Connor family sisters are involved with the club; but Claire has to decide if she will return to the playing fields after the birth of her second child. In Belfast, newly formed Laochra Loch Lao, which played their first game in the Antrim league in 2018, has big ambitions both on and off the field.
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thurday/Friday, BBC2, 8pm
Time for a final walk in the winter wonderland that is the Dell of Abernathy in the Cairngorms; Springwatch will move to a new home later in the year. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke pack their thermal underwear, down-filled coats and hardiest walking boots in preparation for sub-zero temperatures. Perhaps they’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Britain’s only herd of reindeer, which have been residents in the park since 1952. Other creatures popping up include badgers, squirrels and pine martins, whose habits will be viewed via secret cameras. There are also various challenges and pre-filmed reports, with extra content available via the Winterwatch website.
Belsen: Our Story
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
Documentary about the concentration camp in northern Germany, featuring personal accounts from the few remaining survivors and archive footage shot by the British forces that liberated them. Bergen-Belsen was used to hold prisoners evacuated from camps that had fallen to the Allied advance, leading its population to increase to nearly 60,000 by the winter of 1944. Thousands died at the camp from starvation and disease, their bodies left unburied. The British and Canadian forces who discovered the camp were left with no choice but to burn it to the ground.
Farage: The Man Who Made Brexit
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm
With Brexit looming, here is a profile of the man many people believe is responsible for the UK leaving the EU. Nigel Farage is one of Britain’s most divisive politicians, but this documentary, which was filmed over the course of five months, initially finds him riding high after his Brexit Party’s historic success in last May’s European elections. However, as Britain heads into December’s general election, the poll ratings start to plummet. The documentary asks whether the election is a sign that while the UK voted for Brexit, they don’t necessarily want Farage. Or with a new government that appears to support much of what he stands for, can he claim a bigger victory?
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
An in-depth look at the alarming increase in allergies in Ireland. This informative programme blends observational documentary with scientific factual content to give the audience a comprehensive view of the impact allergies are having on Irish society.
Laughter in the Eyre – Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway
Thursday, RTE 2, 10.30pm
A sort of Other Voices of the comedy world, this one-off special is a showcase of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, held every October in the City of Tribes. Last year the clever producers thought ahead and sent a camera crew into carnival to capture all the comedy action. Now the rest of the country gets to see what all the chuckling was about last autumn in the west of Ireland. An array of laugh-merchants will lay out their wares for the audience’s delight, and if the show’s punning title is anything to go by, there’s a serious danger we might die laughing on our couches. One of the comedians is Andrew Maxwell, but if you saw him looking glum on I’m a Celebrity . . . just before Christmas, don’t be put off. When he’s not being force-fed bugs and bullied by his campmates, he really can be quite funny. Other guffaw-inducing guests include Reginald D Hunter, Terry Alderton, Jo Caulfield and Seann Walsh.
Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.50pm
This twisty six-part drama, which originally ran on UTV last August, is set against the backdrop of England’s Lake District and based on the novels by Paula Daly. Deep Water follows the sometimes messy lives of three women as they navigate the choppy waters of family, friendships and finance. Anna Friel plays Lisa, a disorganised mum whose efforts to juggle family life with running her own business often result in chaos. Roz (Sinead Keenan) is a physiotherapist trying to repay crippling debts. And wealthy Kate (Rosalind Eleazar) appears to have the perfect life, the perfect husband and the perfect kids – but is it all just for show?
Save Money: Lose Weight
Thursday, UTV, 11.45pm
Sian Williams and Dr Ranj Singh takes two fresh diets (the Eat What You Like and Lose Weight for Life cookbook, and Noom, an app that is trending worldwide) and put them through their paces in a 28-day value-for-money road test. The programme also looks at the latest new diet products and finds out which are fleeting fancies and which are future foods worth splashing out on. Williams tests a new super grain, pea milk and a vegetable sheeter, while Singh investigates technology and gadgets designed to boost willpower when it comes to dieting. These include a state-of-the-art headset to fight food cravings and a low-tech fridge piggy gadget that actually oinks when you open the fridge.
The Late Tackle
Thursday, Virgin One, 10pm
Muireann O’Connell and last year’s Love Island winner, Greg O’Shea, host this new entertainment show focusing on the Guinness Six Nations Championship. Celebrity guests including past and present rugby players, while comedians and actors chat about rugby and life in front of a live audience.
Leaving the EU: BBC News Special
Friday, BBC1, 10pm
It’s a day some people were hoping would never come and others were getting impatient waiting for. But if all goes to plan, today Britain will leave the EU after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was backed by MPs in the wake of the general election. However, not everything is cut and dried, as Britain is now due to enter an 11-month transition period. Huw Edwards hosts a special edition of BBC News covering this momentous day and asking what Britain’s new relationship with the EU will look like.
The Last Leg: Countdown to Brexit
Friday, Channel 4, 10pm
For a more comical — and opinionated — take on the big Brexit day, The Last Leg team of Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are conducting their own countdown. They’re joined by writer and director Armando Iannucci, who knows a thing or two about satire via his influential news spoof The Day Today and the savage sitcom The Thick of It. So, if Iannucci was devising a Brexit satire, what angle would he take?
Friday, Virgin Two, 8.30pm
Lisa Cannon returns for another series of the movie-show. In advance of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Cannon speaks to festival director Gráinne Humphreys about the very best of world cinema and film talent in Dublin.
All Walks of Life
Friday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
As they wander part of St Kevin’s Way in the Wicklow Mountains, actor Amy Huberman talks to Mary McAleese about the importance of her mixed Catholic-Jewish roots and how she tries to balance her multiple careers with her more private roles as the wife of Irish sporting legend Brian O’Driscoll and the mother of two small children. Huberman is the proud daughter of a Jewish immigrant who came to Ireland in the 1960s to work as a designer. A few years ago, she and her father visited the Auschwitz concentration camp together. She reveals to McAleese what that experience meant to her and her thoughts on being Jewish.
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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Dark web activities and cryptocurrencies seem to be close allies that you can never separate since they came into being. The two entities are dependent on one another, therefore, cryptocurrency prices are hugely controlled by the Darknet illegal activities. Down the History Let’s go down the […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans National Film Archive of IndiaA still from Ritwik Ghatak’s Subarnarekha, 1962 In February 1972, three months after the close of East Pakistan’s bloody war of secession, the Indian filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak traveled to Dhaka, capital of the new nation of Bangladesh, as a state guest. It […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans SEIU reaches tentative agreement at Cleveland Public Library in attempt to avert strike By Isaac Finn 25 January 2020 On the evening of January 23, Cleveland Public Library (CPL) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 reached a tentative agreement covering roughly 400 librarians, assistants […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans We’ve been chasing ET for millennia with nothing concrete to show for it. Aside from conspiracy theory claims that the US government has an alien spacecraft hidden away somewhere, the search for alien life has been a complete bust. Michael Masters, a professor of biological anthropology […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans A SPECIALIST police unit in the West Midlands has been credited with helping bring down one of the most shocking online paedophile rings in recent history. Yesterday (23 Jan) Portuguese police held a press conference praising the cooperation of law enforcement agencies across the world in […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
What Mr. Pierson describes is low-hanging fruit — the kind of security flaws that can quickly be fixed with a little knowledge and attention to detail. Even then, he said, it takes time for the true nature of clients’ vulnerability to sink in. “They’re shocked when we give them their password and tell them where we found it, but it doesn’t hit as hard as when we tell them their entire home automation system has been potentially online and viewable for three or five or eight years,” he said.
When it comes to a Bezos-style breach — potentially at the hands of a nation-state’s intelligence service — high-profile targets would likely be even less prepared. As Mr. Bezos’s lengthy investigation into the 2018 attack shows, it’s difficult to get straight answers even when you have the money and resources to run full forensics.
Of course, it’s not just wealth that turns somebody into a person of interest for hackers. Journalists, government employees, workers at energy companies and utilities could all be targets for someone. Those who work for financial firms, airlines, hospitals, universities, Hollywood studios and tech firms are all potentially at risk. To mitigate that risk, there are plenty of things you can do. You can take steps to secure yourself from corporate data collection using privacy settings on your phone. And to protect yourself from cyberattacks there are helpful guides you can use that have been vetted by security professionals.
For most of us, the attack against Mr. Bezos isn’t the death of privacy, but a reminder of the risks of living a connected life. It should be a moment to think as critically about what you do online as you might in the real world. Invest in a password manager. Turn on dual factor authentication. Be skeptical of any communication that looks out of place.
For the ultrarich and influential, the Bezos hack should be a terrifying revelation that, as the former State Department employee and whistle-blower John Napier Tye told me last autumn, “For someone who’s truly a high-value target, there is no way to safely use a digital device.” The stakes are astronomically high. Not just personally, as Mr. Bezos found, but professionally. Company secrets, matters of national security, access to critical infrastructure and the safety of employees could all be compromised by lax security at the top.
The internet has long been thought of as a truly democratic tool, flattening and democratizing the ability to publish and communicate. It’s also the great privacy equalizer. Money can buy a lot of things. But on a dangerous internet full of exploits, flawed code, shady actors and absent-minded humans, total, foolproof security is not one of them.
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