I-CON 29: Saturday Continued
Panel: Writing Unique Heroes and Memorable Villains
- Keep the working class visible - make the one-shot NPCs real even though they are there for a short time (e.g. - unmasking Stormtroopers in Brazil complaining about how hot the helmet is and his buddy’s response. They were average guys.)
- Give heroes quirks - hobbies, phobias, quirks. Make readers (who are humans) care about these unusual characters. For example, a sweet tooth. Look to yourself for like and phobias.
- They still think they are heroes
- "If you could kill somebody and get away with it, who would it be and how would you do it?"
- We would not actually do it. The villain did.
- They have a heroic noble goal.
- There are two choices - the easy but nasty one is avoided by the hero but taken by the villain. Think of Ozymandias in The Watchmen.
- Just like the hero, the villain should not be perfect nor invincible.
- Good tip: make villain intellectually victorious (Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects)
- Heroines: see above, plus
- Put clothes on them!
- Do not write the hero's girlfriend-they should stand alone when they have the spotlight.
- Your worlds are yours. Just do it.
Panels: Technology (see below for individual topics)
Brett A. Scudder, host of the technology panels
- Mobile Devices - Using and Protecting Your Cell Phone or PDA
- What are the concerns?
- Tracking by stalkers
- Whole life is in it
- If someone gets a hold of your device, and gets to it, can use your account for all kinds of things: stealing from you, defaming you, etc.
- Put a password on your device. The password should kick in after a few minutes of inactivity.
- SD memory chip is not encrypted, so if your device is lost or stolen, the chip can be taken and all info copied. The chip should be encrypted.
- Mobile devices have an expected life of 6 months. Sprint is offering free replacements every year with a contract to encourage getting new devices.
- 4G will have ten times the speed connection compared to now, so the content will be like never before. 1GHz processor; 8 Megapixel dual camera. HDMI connection on phone. GPS better than current GPS devices.
- Devices are used very little for voice and mostly for data. In the panel, the audience said 90% or more of usage was for data.
- There is a convergence where your devices will become one device.
- What are the concerns?
- Email Dangers and Security
- Block or blacklist forwarders of bad emails - chains, jokes, etc.
- People fall for the Nigerian scam multiple times. Con artists keep and sell/trade databases of suckers
- Google has disclosed multiple hacks into their system.
- Avoid using the Google toolbar - instead, go directly to google.com.
- Why Antivirus Isn't Enough
- You should set up rules where a compromised machine is taken off network.
- Have spare machines in case some go down.
- Conficker worm - mutating worm, encrypted control system, highly sophisticated.
- Rogue antivirus - a virus posing as antivirus software. Some even come with customer support.
- Aurora exploit was not detected by any of the antivirus companies.
- Of the four levels (Critical, Severe, Warning, Low-level) antivirus only reports on the top two. Virus writers target low level threats.
- Beware of Mafia Wars - a big back door into Facebook.
- Protection is now layering on you but their footprint is too big, thus slowing everything down.
- Summary (all panels)
- Need multi layers of support, not just AV
- Must be able to handle multiple layers
- Any system is vulnerable.
- A vulnerable app on a patched OS is still a vulnerable OS (note!)
- Patch everything.
- If you do not need it, uninstall it.
- The internet is always there, so the threat is ever present.
Panel: Ancient Prophecy - Cool or Cliche?
- Prophecy has been used for a long time. The Greeks and the Jews used prophecy and are probably the most familiar to us.
- While prophecy is used by most writers, some items have become cliche:
- Always rhyme
- The reincarnated hero
- End times
- The Oracle
- Prophecy can drive the hero's action after he learns it.
- Cliche - is it the only motivation for the hero? Would he have done it if the prophecy was unknown? Think of Neo when he met The Oracle. She told him not to worry about the broken vase, which he then broke.
- Fewer works make good use of prophecy. Notably, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.
More Convention Costumes
Bleach was big at the convention this year.
Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki from later in the Bleach series.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi, Captain of the 12th Division in Bleach
Alice from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
Future Beta Ray Bill
Console game characters
Very cool character
Fearsome looking Jedi
Jedi vs Sith
The mayor from Nightmare before Christmas