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Updated 2018-03-25 03:31
Mozilla 'presses pause' on Facebook ads over data-mining claims
Non-profit organisation behind Firefox browser announces move after Cambridge Analytica revelationsMozilla, which makes the popular Firefox web browser, has become the first major organisation to stop advertising on Facebook amid the controversy over the Cambridge Analytica files.Related: Mark Zuckerberg apologises for Facebook's 'mistakes' over Cambridge Analytica Continue reading...
What's the best way to keep Windows programs up to date?
Secunia’s recommended Personal Software Inspector is being discontinued and Laurence is looking for a replacementNow that Flexera has announced end-of-life on Secunia Personal Software Inspector, do you have any recommendations for a replacement? LaurenceIn 1999, David Lee Smith – who was later jailed – named his PC virus after a stripper called Melissa, and it swept the world, forcing some large companies to shut down their email gateways. That and some later malware successes forced Microsoft to spend two years rewriting Windows XP, and Windows XP Service Pack 2 was finally completed in 2004.
'The stench of it stays with everybody': inside the Super Mario Bros movie
In 1993, the makers of The Killing Fields and Chariots of Fire bought the film rights to the world’s biggest video game. The result was a commercial disaster. But that’s only part of the storyDennis Hopper was not happy.It was the summer of 1992, a few weeks into shooting Super Mario Bros: The Motion Picture and the atmosphere on set was febrile. Endless rewrites and script splices had scrambled the story and dialogue. Producers, writers and investors were all working at cross purposes with the directors, the British couple Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton. On set, there were 300 extras waiting to film the next scene. The lines Hopper was about to deliver had been changed at the last moment, and not for the first time. He was dressed as a humanoid dinosaur, heavily made up in the sweltering North Carolina heat, his hair gelled into a weird row of reptilian spikes. Continue reading...
Are you leaving Facebook? Share your concerns on privacy with us
We’d like to hear your thoughts on Facebook, privacy and the Cambridge Analytica files
Twitter not protecting women from abuse, says Amnesty
Human rights group says trolls are winning as site has become toxic place for womenTwitter is failing to prevent online violence and abuse against women, creating a toxic environment for them, Amnesty International has claimed.In a report published on Wednesday, the day that Twitter celebrates 12 years since the first tweet, Amnesty said the social network responded inconsistently when abuse was highlighted, even when it violated its own rules. Continue reading...
Google says it supports ACCC inquiry into digital threat to Australian news media
Google’s vice-president for news defends company against claims it is harming journalismGoogle has welcomed the competition regulator’s inquiry into the impact of digital platforms on Australian publishers.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating the impact of Google, content aggregators such as Apple News and social media platforms such as Facebook on the state of competition in media and advertising. The inquiry has taken on a new urgency in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica’s mining of Facebook data. Continue reading...
Child abuse imagery found within bitcoin's blockchain
Researchers discover illegal content within the distributed ledger, making possession of it potentially unlawful in many countriesGerman researchers have discovered unknown persons are using bitcoin’s blockchain to store and link to child abuse imagery, potentially putting the cryptocurrency in jeopardy.The blockchain is the open-source, distributed ledger that records every bitcoin transaction, but can also store small bits of non-financial data. This data is typically notes about the trade of bitcoin, recording what it was for or other metadata. But it can also be used to store links and files. Continue reading...
No 10 'very concerned' over Facebook data breach by Cambridge Analytica
Downing Street backs information commissioner inquiry into data-mining affecting millions of peopleDowning Street has expressed its concern about the Facebook data breach involving the analytics company that worked with Donald Trump’s campaign team and that affected tens of millions of people.No 10 weighed in on the row as almost $20bn (£14bn) was wiped off the social network company’s market cap in the first few minutes of trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange, where Facebook opened down more than 3%. By midday, the company’s share price losses had multiplied to more than $40bn, making the day its worst in more than five years. Continue reading...
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom review – gorgeous visuals, irresistible vibe
Beautiful, fantastical and feelgood, this Studio Ghibli collaboration is a timely counterpoint to the idea that games are gun-centric, violent and nihilisticJapanese role-playing games tend to be pretty specialist, with anime-style graphics and rather old-fashioned, often turn-based gameplay. But Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, whose gorgeous visual style was created in collaboration with feted animation pioneers Studio Ghibli, is more inviting than most. It possesses the irresistibly charming vibe of Nintendo’s Zelda games, combined with modern, open-world gameplay that’s reminiscent of Witcher 3.Ni no Kuni II begins in Ding Dong Dell, a cute fantasy kingdom occupied by cat-human Grymalkins, though before long the action takes us elsewhere. You play Evan, a cat-boy-king whose ascension to the throne is imminent following the death of his father. But dastardly mice execute a coup. Evan manages to escape. Continue reading...
Why sexism is rife in Silicon Valley
The tech industry doesn’t simply tolerate gender discrimination, it’s hardwired to marginalise women, says author Emily ChangEmily Chang is an American journalist and host of the US TV show Bloomberg Technology. Her new book, Brotopia, is an exposé of Silicon Valley’s macho culture.What is Brotopia?
Amazon's Japanese headquarters raided by nation's regulator
JFTC investigating firm over antitrust allegations that it demanded fees from suppliers for discounting productsAmazon’s Japanese headquarters in Tokyo have been raided by the country’s fair trade watchdog on suspicion of violation of antitrust regulations.The Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said on Thursday that Amazon Japan was being investigated after allegations that the company improperly asked suppliers to shoulder part of the costs of discounting their products on the retail site. Amazon Japan said Thursday that it was “fully cooperating” with JFTC, but declined to comment on the details of the allegations. Continue reading...
Spotify is testing its own voice assistant to control your music
Streaming service’s voice recognition system seeks to free it from reliance on Siri and Alexa, paving way to launch its own smart speakerSpotify is experimenting with a voice-control interface, looking to free itself from reliance on Siri and Alexa and pave the way for the company’s forthcoming smart speaker.Users of the service have spotted the new feature hiding in the search bar of Spotify’s iOS app. After tapping the magnifying glass to search for a track or playlist , testers see a microphone icon inside a white bubble, according to the Verge. Continue reading...
'Not welcome here': Amazon faces growing resistance to its second home
As cities vie to host second campus, local activists say the ‘Hunger Games’-style competition is a bad deal for everyone – except Amazon
From kickass heroine to soppy student snowflake: the many lives of Lara Croft
Hot pants in the tundra? As Tomb Raider hits cinemas, Lara Croft’s writers and developers explain her evolution from pneumatic bait for teenage boys to global sensation – and reveal why motherhood may be nextLara Croft is one of the few video-game characters to have crossed over into real-world celebrity. As with James Bond, her various iterations have reflected the times. When the first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996, she was a sex symbol in sunglasses and a tank top, later featuring in Playboy and on the cover of style magazine the Face.Embodied by Angelina Jolie in the 2001 film, she is curvy and capable, kicking the collective ass of the Illuminati. In 2013, she was a shipwrecked student in torn cargo pants – an accidental metaphor for graduates struggling through the economic recession. Now, in a Tomb Raider movie out this week, Alicia Vikander plays a tearaway Croft dossing around in London. Continue reading...
Lawsuit claims sexual harassment rife in Microsoft's 'boys' club atmosphere'
Suit claims world’s largest software firm failed to properly redress 238 internal complaints, including harassment, discrimination and rape
Fond memories of inventor Trevor Baylis | Letters
Andy Ganf and Jude McGowan reflect on a man who was great fun with a string of risqué jokesLiving on an island provides a ready-made family and Trevor Baylis (Obituary, 7 March) repeatedly said it was the best move he ever made. It was with sadness that Eel Pie islanders read of his death – our very own celebrity. He was a lovely man – eccentric, yes, but never a bad word to say about anyone. In his last three years he came to us for Christmas lunch. The first year, a neighbour had to bring him because he had forgotten who had invited him. We all laughed. On another occasion at pre-Christmas lunch drinks he presented me with a handwritten list of the doctorates and awards he had received. This was not a boast, he was repeatedly surprised at his own success. Of course there was his string of risqué jokes. That was just Trevor.The island took him to its heart and there was always someone who made sure he was safe, that he had taken his pills, walked his beloved dog, seen that he had eaten properly and not fallen into his swimming pool, which was situated precariously just inside the front door. Continue reading...
Dropbox IPO valuation set between $7bn and $8bn
The cloud storage company set the pricing well below the $10bn valuation when the company had raised private capital in 2014The silver lining appears to be coming off Dropbox, the cloud storage company set to go public next week.On Monday, the company set terms for its initial public offering (IPO) that values the company at between $7bn and $8bn – well below the $10bn valuation when the company had raised private capital in 2014. Continue reading...
Elon Musk: we must colonise Mars to preserve our species in a third world war
Founder of SpaceX, which is working on getting humans to the planet, speaks at SXSW amid rising nuclear tensionHumans must prioritise the colonisation of Mars so the species can be conserved in the event of a third world war, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk said on Sunday.Related: Trump under pressure over chaotic approach to North Korea nuclear talks Continue reading...
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story review – startling life of the film star/inventor
This excellent documentary celebrates the glamorous Hollywood icon and brilliant engineer whose groundbreaking work led to Bluetooth and wifiThere can hardly be any more extraordinary story from the Hollywood golden age than that of Hedy Lamarr; a very beautiful star with a moderate acting talent but an untutored brilliance in science and engineering that should by now be getting her compared to Nikola Tesla, or maybe even a neglected female scientist like Rosalind Franklin. Her tragedy was that she was in the wrong business, precisely that business that promotes beauty over brains – the movie business.Alexandra Dean’s excellent and important documentary about her is very instructive – a parable of modern sexual politics and assumptions about science. Even now, many can’t believe in their hearts that movie star Hedy Lamarr really was a scientist, or scientist manqué. The accomplishment simply doesn’t square with the accepted female star biography narrative into which Lamarr otherwise fits: movies, husbands, poignant reclusive decline etc. Many film encyclopedias and reference books simply omit what was important about Hedy Lamarr. Continue reading...
Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: the best big-screen smartphone by miles
Gorgeous screen and excellent camera are highlights of this top-end phone, but battery life could be improvedHaving ushered in a new super-slim bezel design at the beginning of 2017 with the S8, has Samsung’s new dual-aperture, dual camera enough to entice people to upgrade?
Trump meeting with video game bosses revives tenuous link to gun violence
Debate over connection between games and crime dates back to Columbine – but despite moral panic evidence doesn’t stack up
Google’s AI is being used by US military drone programme
DoD’s Project Maven uses tech firm’s TensorFlow artificial intelligence systems, prompting debate both inside and outside companyGoogle’s artificial intelligence technologies are being used by the US military for one of its drone projects, causing controversy both inside and outside the company.
Government to review law before self-driving cars arrive on UK roads
Three-year review will consider responsibility in self-driving vehicles and their role in public transportThe government is to review the law before the arrival of self-driving cars on UK roads, considering issues such as whether this type of transport requires new criminal offences.The development of autonomous vehicles is at the heart of the government’s industrial strategy and the three-year law review is considered necessary if it is to stick to the timetable announced in November last year when the chancellor, Philip Hammond, promised driverless cars on the road by 2021. Continue reading...
Rage against the machine: self-driving cars attacked by angry Californians
Local residents are hitting back at their new robot neighbors – literally – as reports detail assaults on driverless carsThe great promise of self-driving cars is that they will save innumerable lives by removing the most fallible and unpredictable element from vehicle traffic: the human.But in San Francisco at least, fickle human behavior is taking a stand. Continue reading...
Guilty! How Google Maps judges Britain’s courts
The search engine’s map now allows you to review any business building in the world – and the country’s magistrates are taking a kicking
How to persuade a robot that you should get the job
Do mere human beings stand a chance against software that claims to reveal what a real-life face-to-face chat can’t?According to Nathan Mondragon, finding the right employee is all about looking at the little things. Tens of thousands of little things, as it turns out.Mondragon is head psychologist at HireVue, which markets software for screening job candidates. Its flagship product, used by Unilever and Goldman Sachs, asks candidates to answer interview questions in front of a camera. Meanwhile its software, like a team of hawk-eyed psychologists hiding behind a mirror, takes note of barely perceptible changes in posture, facial expression and vocal tone. Continue reading...
Phones should be 'slaves, not masters', says Samsung UK mobile chief
Firm says shift to more connected and ‘concierge-like’ experience needed to combat smartphone-obsessed societyWe need to return to being the masters of our technology and stop being slaves to our phones, says Samsung’s head of mobile for the UK.
Google's 'bro-culture' meant routine sexual harassment of women, suit says
Former employee alleges she was subject to ‘lewd comments, pranks and even physical violence’ on daily basisGoogle has a “bro-culture” that allowed the daily sexual harassment of a female software engineer, a new lawsuit from a former employee alleges.Loretta Lee, who worked for Google from 2008 to 2016, filed suit this month against the Silicon Valley giant for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination in California state court. Continue reading...
'Right to be forgotten' claimant wants to rewrite history, says Google
Man wants results that mention his criminal conviction removed in first case of its kind in England
How hard is it to learn to write by hand as an adult?
Doctors have warned that overuse of electronic screens is leaving some children unable to hold a pen properly. But while learning as an adult is difficult, it’s not impossibleThis week, paediatric occupational therapists warned that children were entering primary school not knowing how to hold pens and pencils, owing to an overuse of technology instead of activities that build muscles in the hands and teach control of movement, such as using building blocks. But what if you make it to adulthood without knowing how to hold a pen? Can you learn then? “You can, but the brain of a very young child is so plastic that it just absorbs information quite well,” says Angela Webb, recently retired clinical psychologist and the chair of the National Handwriting Association. “After age 11, you can learn things – but you have to really want to, you have to be motivated, you have to practise. The ideal position is if you learn in early childhood and then you have a skill for life.”There was a time, she says, when people didn’t believe handwriting was going to survive the digital age, “so they stopped teaching handwriting in schools. You have a generation of young adults [in their 20s and 30s] who weren’t taught at school and had to find their own way.” Continue reading...
Reloaded: Nokia brings back the 8110 'Matrix' banana phone
HMD Global bets on nostalgia once more after the successful relaunch of the 3310 last yearIn 1996 the original Nokia 8110 slider “banana” phone was released; three years later it hit the big time in the hand Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Fast forward 22 years and the Nokia 8110 has been reloaded.The Nokia 8110 was groundbreaking in its day as one of the first to feature an ergonomic shape, with the slider shooting down and out curving gently towards your mouth. But it will always be remembered for that moment when Reeves shoots down the slider picking up the phone to Morpheus before dropping it from the ledge of a tall skyscraper after he has stepped out the window of his office. Continue reading...
No, Mr Trump, video games do not cause mass shootings | Katherine Cross
After the Florida school shooting, attempts to deflect the blame on to video games rather than guns are a jarring hypocrisyWith Donald Trump, everything old is new again, it seems. His latest effort to grapple with the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, sees him joining his fellow Republicans, such as the Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, in resuscitating a long-dormant culture war, blaming video games for mass shootings.“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” Bevin said this week at a White House meeting on school security, where he also launched into a tirade about violent films. This echoes the thoughts of Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), in 2012 when he tried to pin the Sandy Hook shooting on “vicious violent video games, with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse”. Continue reading...
Apple devices make hundreds of false 911 calls from refurbishment centre
Emergency services in California field 1,600 calls and describe hearing people talking about maintenance and repairs, but cause is a mysteryAround 20 false emergency calls a day have been made from one of Apple’s refurbishment centres since October – and it’s not clear how.Emergency dispatchers in California have fielded in the region of 1,600 accidental calls originating from a repair and refurbishment centre in Elk Grove, with no one on the other end. Continue reading...
Fe review – dreamlike forest quest loses its way
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch; Zoink/Electronic Arts
YouTube promotes conspiracy videos attacking Florida's shooting survivors
Site removes video that became No 1 trending clip as search results lead to claims students are ‘crisis actors’YouTube is promoting conspiracy theory videos claiming that survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting are “crisis actors”, in the latest example of technology companies failing to tackle disinformation.Related: Crisis actors, deep state, false flag: the rise of conspiracy theory code words Continue reading...
Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog to fight back against humans
‘Testing robustness’ apparently crucial to SpotMini’s development, with machine showing it won’t be perturbed by human interferenceIt appears that, just like their flesh and blood counterparts, you just can’t put a good robot dog down, even if you’re a human fighting it for control of a door.
Call me Mr Monster Hunter: the man who guided a Japanese curiosity to global success
Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World is the fastest-selling game in its history. But for 10 years, the series struggled to find success outside Japan. What changed?Wherever you looked in Japan in 2008, someone was bent over a tiny PlayStation Portable games console (PSP) – and that someone was probably playing Monster Hunter. From clusters of young people playing on groomed lawns outside universities to suited salarymen on packed trains, the game had friends, family and work colleagues banding together to track and fight gigantic fantasy creatures. You had a good chance of finding a game to join if you pulled out your PSP in any public place.More than 40m Monster Hunter games, by Japanese developer Capcom, were sold between 2004 and 2017, but its success was confined almost entirely to its home country. Everything changed this year, though. When Monster Hunter World came out in January, it become not only the bestselling game in the series, but also the fastest selling game in Capcom’s history, selling 6m copies in less than a month. And much to the delight of long-time Monster Hunter players, it’s proved as popular in the US and Europe as it has in Japan. Continue reading...
Study reveals North Korean cyber-espionage has reached new heights
Spying unit is widening its operations into aerospace and defence industries, according to US security firmAn increasingly sophisticated North Korean cyber-espionage unit is using its skills to widen spying operations to aerospace and defence industries, a new study has revealed.FireEye, a US private security company that tracks cyber-attackers around the world, has identified a North Korean group, which it names APT37 (Reaper) and which it says is using malware to infiltrate computer networks. Continue reading...
Profile review – Skyping-with-Isis thriller dials up the suspense
Timur Bekmambetov’s film about a journalist investigating women online being lured to Syria is silly but effectiveCinema is currently deciding how it meets the challenge of representing the way modern life and modern experience is increasingly happening online. The recent supernatural horror-thriller Unfriended had the ingenious idea of playing out its entire drama on one computer screen in real time, a kind of found-footage 2.0, switching between Facebook, Skype and instant messaging, the various prompts all bleeping and pinging away disturbingly as a sinister presence looms up. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (who went to Hollywood in the last decade for brash and crass movies such as Wanted) has applied this approach to a thriller that asks the eternal question: what happens when cops or reporters with unsatisfactory home lives go undercover among people who actually treat them rather well?Profile is based on the 2015 non-fiction bestseller In the Skin of a Jihadist by a French journalist who now has round-the-clock police protection and has changed her name to Anna Erelle. She was investigating the phenomenon of young European women being radicalised online and lured to Syria; Erelle created a fake profile on Facebook and began chatting to a senior Islamic State commander who then tried to lure her over, repeatedly promising her that she would be his “bride”. A very dangerous game. Continue reading...
Samsung Galaxy S9: everything we think we know about the new smartphones
Company’s new flagships expected to continue full-screen, curved glass design of S8, with a dual camera for the S9+Samsung will launch its new Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagship pair of smartphones, the follow up to the popular Galaxy S8 range, in Barcelona on 25 February. Here is everything we think we know about the new top-spec Android smartphones. Continue reading...
'Parents killed it': why Facebook is losing its teenage users
This year more than 3 million under-25s in the UK and US are expected to leave the siteWhen Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook he was a 19-year-old living in a dorm in his second year at university. Fast-forward 14 years and it is the young people he was so successful in luring to Facebook to propel it to become the world’s biggest social networking site that are now his biggest problem.This year more than 3 million under-25s in the UK and US will either quit Facebook or stop using it regularly, and they are pretty vocal about why.
Uber to set up 24-hour hotline for UK customers
Taxi-hailing app promises to proactively report any serious incidents to policeUber has announced it is to set up a 24-hour hotline for UK customers and will proactively report incidents to the police, a day after London’s transport authorities announced plans for tighter controls on private hire firms.
Bitcoin is 'noxious poison', says Warren Buffett's investment chief
Billionaire vice-chair of Berkshire Hathaway calls for crackdown on ‘asinine’ cryptocurrencyBitcoin is heading towards $10,000 again, despite comments from the US billionaire Charles Munger who described the digital currency as “noxious poison”.Munger, the vice-chairman of Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, said he considered the bitcoin craze to be “totally asinine”. Continue reading...
Is it worth buying a refurbished PC for under £150?
Mark needs to replace a 10-year-old desktop computer on a budget. Is a refurbished model a good option?I’m considering buying a new general-purpose home computer for $200 [£142] or less, and I’d like a mini-tower that I can easily repair and upgrade.I will use it on the web, to scan photographs (with a flatbed scanner), and to watch video recordings from my trail cameras. I’d like to buy the minimum PC that can handle these tasks significantly faster than my 10-year-old Dell Dimension B110. I think I’d be happy with a 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo.Many people are familiar with the idea of “fleet cars” that have been bought or leased by large corporations and replaced after two or three years. They are cheap and have generally been well maintained, which makes them popular in the second hand market. There’s a similar market in “fleet computers”, which are usually recycled after three years and sold as refurbished PCs.
Help us monitor political advertising on Facebook in your state
You can help make political advertising more transparent by recording ads and the associated targeting informationAre you Tasmanian, South Australian or Victorian and care about holding politicians to account? If so, we need your help.During the current and upcoming state election campaigns you may be targeted with political advertising on Facebook.
Snapchat update: more than 800,000 angry users sign petition to change redesign
In backlash against latest update, users of the social app call on Snap Inc to change back to original designMore than 800,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Snapchat to revert its update back to the original design.The app’s latest redesign, which was released last week, focused on separating “media content” from that of “friends” among an array of other interface changes.
Facebook should 'get back to baby pictures', says YouTube CEO
Google’s Susan Wojcicki joins chorus attacking Facebook, while social network says it doesn’t know what people ‘find meaningful’YouTube’s chief executive, Susan Wojcicki, joined a lineup of tech and media executives lambasting Facebook at a conference in California.Wojcicki, whose own company is facing intense criticism over its handling of shock-jock vlogger Logan Paul, suggested Facebook should head further down the path it started on when it announced plans in January to de-prioritise news content. Continue reading...
Sports Direct to launch in-store eSports concessions
Sportswear retailer is joining up with Game Digital to create venues for hosting live matchesSports Direct shoppers will be invited to take a break from browsing for leisurewear to play video games, with the chain unveiling a partnership that will see Game Digital open pay-to-play concessions in its stores.Under the terms of the agreement, Sports Direct, owned by Mike Ashley, hopes to cash in on the growing popularity of eSports by clearing space in stores to host live matches between players battling it out in a variety of competitive video games.
Kendrick Lamar joins stars trying to keep concerts special
Performers are increasingly attempting to limit online footage of gigs to prevent ‘ruining the ambience’Guns N’ Roses, Jarvis Cocker, Alicia Keys and the late Prince all made a stand against fans who filmed their gigs with phones. Two years ago American folk rock band the Lumineers even put the house lights up to shame those who were “ruining the ambience” of their concerts, urging their audience to “be more present with us”. For music-lovers it might seem a simple way to record a real-life encounter with an idol, but now the question of who controls the images of a live concert is becoming a big issue for performers.After Jack White, the former White Stripes frontman, decided last month to stop the use of smartphones at gigs, hip-hop superstar Kendrick Lamar, who launched his European tour in Dublin last week, is the latest high-profile performer to attempt to take charge of his image in the face of modern technology. Continue reading...
Elon Musk: the real-life Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr used the entrepreneur as a role model for his part in the 2008 filmElon Musk is the archetypal serial entrepreneur, with a string of successes before the startups that would make him famous.Robert Downey Jr turned to Musk for help getting into character as Tony Stark for the 2008 film Iron Man. Musk’s enthusiastic embrace of technology for technology’s sake and his desire to push the limits of what was possible for private enterprise made him a close real-world analogue for Marvel’s billionaire arms dealer.