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Iron Man's New Villain — an Open Source Terrorist 361

Posted by kdawson
from the engineers-make-good-terrorists dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a recent interview on Comic Book Resources about his new continuation of the Marvel comic-book series 'Invincible Iron Man,' Matt Faction provides information about the the new series (debut will be May 7). The villain is Ezekiel Stane, son of Obadiah Stane (the villain of the new Iron Man movie opening on May 2). Whereas Obadiah was a ruthless billionaire who fought as the Iron Monger, Zeke 'rejects the strategies of his father as being the crude tactics of Attila the Hun.' Instead, he will be 'a post-national business man and kind of an open source ideological terrorist.' As the author puts it, 'Windows wants to be on every computer desktop in the world, but Linux and Stane want to destroy the desktop.' The concept has gone over well on the CBR forums."
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Iron Man's New Villain — an Open Source Terrorist

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  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @01:17AM (#23074248)
    If you ask me, the plot is ripe for a twist ; Stark discovers that Stane is actually the good guy, and that the massed legions of commercial software are colluding with the hardware manufacturers in a plan to take over the worlds computers by putting secret encryption keys on the motherboards and only permitting "approved" software to run.
  • Re:Juh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @01:39AM (#23074328) Homepage
    DVD work?

    What DVD work?

    I have 400+ movies on my Linux file server with any computer around the house being able to work as a proper media player (with a proper IR remote and everything). You also can use a bog standard fanless and diskless thin client for this. No noise, nothing.

    Wanna try this with Microcrap Media Center Edition? Dream on...

    DVD is actually an area where Linux reigns supreme. I have tried many HD upscalers and I actually play my movies on a Linux box using VLC and Nvidia (with Nvidia drivers). It simply works better than any commercial upscaler I have seen so far. In fact it works so good that I do not see the point of buying and HD media for at least the next few years.

    You simply need to chose the _RIGHT_ drive or play off the hard drive. The problems with playing DVDs are usually not with Linux, they are with the DVDs being massively bastardised by Macrovision. As a result if you got the "wrong" DVD drive it will fail to read under anything - Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc.
    If you rip it all problems disappear. All my DVDs are actually stored on a file server in the loft. I got tired of dealing with scratches, dirt, Macrovision or simply trying to find the right DVD to watch.
  • by Torodung (31985) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @01:44AM (#23074346) Journal
    Iron Man will be renaming himself "Palladium," fighting to keep your computer trustworthy against open terror!

    I will be smelling stale milk for weeks after putting it out my nose laughing. I guess the "Heroes Happen Here" stuff isn't taking off?


    (Note: I believe this article was about a new comic book, not the movie [], which features "Iron Monger" (Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane) as the enemy.)

    [[UAC warning: Someone is making a schizoid post! mod Funny or Informative? Yeah, you should probably just click "ignore" ;^)]]
  • by Bellum Aeternus (891584) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @01:57AM (#23074400)

    Just because the movie is sponsored by SCO, Microsoft and NVidia does NOT mean that it is prejudice. Honest, gov.
    How in heck did NVidia make into that sentence? MSFT and SCO I can see... but NVidia? Do they not make a Linux driver, or an OpenGL driver or something I'm not aware of?
  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @02:01AM (#23074408) Homepage
    Doesn't the ridiculous labelling of open source software as "terrorism" call into question all the other things that get labelled terrorism? Examples:

    The ANC anti-Apartheid movement [] under the white South African government was labelled a terrorism. Nelson Mandela was public enemy number 1, the Osama Bin Laden of his time and place. White South Africa bought into their government's propaganda.

    The White Rose [] organisation was labelled terrorist, and its leaders beheaded. for their non-violent anti-Nazi position in pre-WWII Nazi Germany. The German body politic bought into their government's propaganda.

    Today, the word terrorism gets thrown around like some Muslim / Arab / Islamist (whatever that means) is hiding in the bushes outside your house with his AK-47 pointed at your door just waiting for you and your kids to step out so he can vent his hatred of your freedoms. The American people buy into their government's propaganda.

    When you hear the label "terrorist" used, you should think about who is doing the labelling, and what exactly their agenda is rather than just taking their word for it that you are in danger and need their protection.
  • by Anti-Trend (857000) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @02:59AM (#23074634) Homepage Journal
    I can really only think of one company that would be "terrorized" by open source...

    Ironic, really. One would think Steve Ballmer [] would be the ideal anti-hero.
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @03:14AM (#23074706)
    I think it's awesome to apply to comic-book storylines. Aliens attack the Earth? Terrorism. An evil scientist wanrts to blow up the sun for no apparent reason? Terrorism. Unicron eats a planet? Terrorism. Someone digs up an old bomb from the WW2 in his garden and dies? Terrorism! Hell, if Dr. Xavier gets a bedsore from sitting in his wheelchair all the time that's terrorism.

    The following decade of comics will be known as the Bomb The Shit Out Of Third-World Countries Era.
  • by MrNaz (730548) * on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @04:16AM (#23074926) Homepage
    I agree, however one must take into account the fact that the ANC viewed the entirety of white South Africa as the enemy. White South Africans on the whole (with few but very noble and notable exceptions) had racist views (partly the result of government propaganda and party the result of humans' latent xenophobia) and supported the government's racist policy. Furthermore, the average white South African treated blacks as slaves and expendable labourers, which made them appear as hostiles in the eyes of the blacks. Factory foremen brutalised their black workers, farmers often shot their farmhands just to make a point to the others and mining companies did not bother with even the most rudimentary of safety precautions for their mine workers, because in the eyes of management, the only good black was a dead black. Just because a person does not wear a uniform and salute, does not mean they cannot be a military type aggressor.

    In fact, the US definition of "enemy combatant" is deliberately designed to allow civilians to be targeted by military action.
  • by Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki (895364) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @05:56AM (#23075288)
    The same thing that happened to "rape" has happened to "terrorism".

    Incidentally, i find it very interesting that in a country like Sweden where there is practically no threat of terrorism, the government is redefining the crime of rape.

    Before 2005 (or 06, 07 i'm not sure exactly which of those years it came into place), we had a law that basically said that sex with a minor is "abuse of minor". Now a later law rewrote that so sex with a minor is no longer "abuse of minor" but plain "rape". That is, even if the sex is consentual, there is no legal difference. There's a dillution of terms. Sure it's abuse, but is it rape? No. Rape is forcefully having sex with someone. Abuse of minor is abuse of minor and not rape. They've now changed the definition of rape to be "forcefully having sex with someone, OR having sex with someone who's younger than ".

    From what can be discerned in current debates, the next step is widening the definition further by defaulting that sex without proven consent is rape too. The idea is to put part of the burden of proof on the "criminal" by forcing him to prove that the "victim" wanted to have sex and did not protest. The excuse is that too many rapists go free. (If the girl gets plastered, then gets fucked, and then regrets it, was it rape?

    They've already widened the definition of child porn to encompass drawings and something that's being debated is the possibility of writing in another exception in the child porn law that would
    1: Set a definite 18 year old limit on porn (currently the definition is "if she looks sexually mature, the porn is legal")
    2: Set a secondary limit defined by her looks that goes beyond point 1. That is, "if she does not look sexually mature the porn is illegal even if the girl is proven to be over 18".

    The widened definition of child porn is, not entirely surprisingly, supported by the man who is also one of sweden's most vocal opponents of filesharing (Thomas Bodström). The same person is also a supporter of the swedish child porn filter which has previously been used to block The Pirate Bay (and some site about bonsai trees). Coincidence?

    My personal belief is that the US fight on terrorism is inspiring those with a desire for more power into finding scapegoats. In order to create more scapegoats that can be used in order to expand oppressive laws, they widen the definitions of existing crimes. After all, if drawings are child porn, then surely the amount of child porn has suddenly seen an increase and then the supporters can come out and say "Well look even if we're fighting THIS HARD against child porn it's not doing anything good so we must fight even HARDER". And as mentioned before, this also works wonders as they can use the same weapons they use against child porn against file sharing.
  • by oliderid (710055) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @06:04AM (#23075338) Journal
    I think this is far more simple than that (or it could be summarized by): You fear what you don't know. Most people don't know what open source means. So this is a potential source of fear. Most people don't know open source, but they have heard of it (especially the targeted audience:Young male). Hollywood movie plays with it.
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @08:06AM (#23076230) Journal
    Yesterday's communist is today's terrorist. Anti Flag said it well in Anatomy of your enemy:

    10 easy steps to create an enemy and start a war: Listen closely because we will all see this weapon used in our lives. It can be used on a society of the most ignorant to the most highly educated. We need to see their tactics as a weapon against humanity and not as truth.

    First step: create the enemy. Sometimes this will be done for you.

    Second step: be sure the enemy you have chosen is nothing like you. Find obvious differences like race, language, religion, dietary habits fashion. Emphasize that their soldiers are not doing a job, they are heartless murderers who enjoy killing!

    Third step: Once these differences are established continue to reinforce them with all disseminated information.

    Fourth step: Have the media broadcast only the ruling party's information
    Iron Man anti-open source movie, anyone? Remember, this is an American movie, and the multinational corporations own and control the US government

    this can be done through state run media. Remember, in times of conflict all for-profit media repeats the ruling party's information. Therefore all for-profit media becomes state-run.

    Fifth step: show this enemy in actions that seem strange, militant, or different. Always portray the enemy as non-human, evil, a killing machine.

    Sixth step: Eliminate opposition to the ruling party. Create an "Us versus Them" mentality. Leave no room for opinions in between. One that does not support all actions of the ruling party should be considered a traitor.

    Seventh step: Use nationalistic and/or religious symbols and rhetoric to define all actions.
    This can be achieved by slogans such as "freedom loving people versus those who hate freedom." This can also be achieved by the use of flags.

    Eighth step: Align all actions with the dominant deity. It is very effective to use terms like, "It is god's will" or "god bless our nation."

    Ninth step: Design propaganda to show that your soldiers have feelings, hopes, families, and loved ones. Make it clear that your soldiers are doing a duty; they do not want or like to kill.

    Tenth step: Create and atmosphere of fear, and instability and then offer the ruling party as the only solutions to comfort the public's fears. Remembering the fear of the unknown is always the strongest fear.
    I remember the "duck and cover" drills. The tactics would be competely useless if there was an atomic explosion, it had no purpose whatever except to create and maintain an atmosphere of fear.

  • by g4b (956118) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @08:17AM (#23076344) Homepage
    Just remember... there was a time, when ATi didn't provide open drivers, nor specifications...

    I always had the feeling, they open their specs, because they can't hold up with nvidia and closed source driver development...

    and until today, I still prefer nVidia with closed source drivers over ATi with open drivers on my desktop...
    even if nvidia has glitches with rects/shadows in opengl sometimes, and leaves nice grey stripes on my desktop with compiz (something which happened in windows too some time ago), the 3d, playback, 2d and so on work greatly and fast!
    The closed ATi drivers don't offer everything, and the open ones cause Xv+kaffeine to crash my XServer from time to time, or have mouse cursor problems, and I have to tweak around all the time... so with ATi I can switch between performance+bugs and slowness+stability, in nvidia i have to install closed drivers from time to time but it is fast and stable... I prefer second option.

    But that might change in future, of course.
    But I wouldnt depict nVidia as evil, just because ATi (which was less supportive to linux) now opens its driverbase.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @08:28AM (#23076458)
    "which admittedly was a cool series, but it made Iron Man the bad guy"

    Yeah, he was a lot more of a good guy when he went around forcefully disabling other super heroes' suits because they maybe might have some sort of Stark-designed equipment in them, especially when he accidentally kills someone in the process. Or that time he decided to kill the Supreme Intelligence even after the Avengers as a team agreed not to. When you have to pretend you're not your regular guy alter-ego just to stay on your super hero team, you're far from a good guy in the traditional sense. Iron Man has always made ethically questionable decisions. Personally, I think he's right on some and wrong on some but that's just the way he's always going to be. The down side to that is that he'll always be a much more effective character in team-based series than in an individual series because he really needs to play off of a peer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @09:43AM (#23077442)
    Maybe that's the point. A guy with good intentions, thinking he's doing the right then, when really he's sowing the seeds for even bigger problems. Sounds like a good metaphor for a certain entity we're all familiar with.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:13AM (#23078636) Homepage
    In the comics recently, Iron Man has contradicted some of your statements somewhat.

    Marvel recently had a big crossover plot line called "Civil War," in which it was decided that superheroes were too dangerous to have running around without government oversight. They were all required to register with the Federal government. If they failed to do so, they were subject to imprisonment in one of SHIELD's top-security prisons designed for supervillains.

    Who was the main man responsible for hunting down his fellow heroes and former comrades? Tony Stark, the invincible Iron Man.

    In fact, Tony went on to become the head of SHIELD, the government's most ultra-secret spy organization (think more oversight than the FBI, more freedom than the CIA). In most respects, they've taken the "Tony is a billionaire industrialist" angle and spun it into "Tony is an arch-conservative storm trooper of the old guard of manufacturing wealth, using the power of the government to enforce a neo-facist agenda that goes contrary to 50 years of Marvel Comics philosophy."

    It's interesting that they are portraying the latest villain as an "open source" one ... because Tony has very much become Microsoft. In fact, I can't read comics where Iron Man appears anymore, because every time the character opens his mouth I can't understand why they are still calling him a hero, when he seems to really have become little more than a smarter, more modernized version of Doctor Doom.
  • Re:meh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DDX_2002 (592881) on Tuesday April 15, 2008 @11:40AM (#23079060) Journal
    While this is undoubtedly true for the overwhelming majority of comics, there are bright spots where someone is thinking outside the box. The Ellis run of Stormwatch and its transformation into The Authority was revolutionary. Jenny Sparks said "There has to be someone left to save the world. And someone left to change it." As the opening panel of one ish asked, why don't superheroes ever go after the REAL villains - and what followed was the Authority invading Indonesia, deposing Suharto and leaving him to be killed by his own victims. For that matter, in WildCATS 3.0 the hero decides to save/change the world by making a corporation, using his supertech to create an unbeatable product and use the leverage it gives him to reshape the entire global economic and political system. Of course, the requirements of publishing meant that the entire run was reset and the point lost and these became more violent and not particularly innovative or interesting titles.

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.