In the Batman Handbook, the next sections are dedicated other “Batman” accessories like sidekicks and caves. However, in this blog, I will throw some theories out there about how to create or manage your personal network. I typed 'network' because I don’t believe a person is limited by how outdated their computer or phone is (perhaps leftover thinking from my Earth Agent days).
As far as hardware suggestions, the only thing I can recommend is investing in jump drives or external storage drives. While patrolling, you may accumulate a lot of pictures or random bits of information that needs to be cataloged. Don’t trust your computer solely to store all your information. There might come a time when that computer crashes…. and you might lose all your information. You may not have a computer of your own or want documents or files saved on a computer that is shared. So back up everything.
What you see below is the total nerve center for www.reallifesuperheroes.org, www.zetaman.tv, www.blogtalkradio.com/meowandfriends and my family photos plus a plethora of random images and drawings. This stuff is on my laptop, but I have also backed it up on multiple jump drives.
For software, I do recommend that you invest in a good virus scan. Luckily, my internet provider includes McAfee virus scanner in the package. But if you have to go free, then download AVG. I cannot guarantee they are extremely effective, but they are free.
Also, consider using online proxies to hide your IP address. So try using sites like these:
Here are some additional tools to collect information about crime within your area.
It is illegal to interfere with police calls. For information gathering on which areas to be patrolling in the future, check out http://www.police-scanner.info/live-police-scanners.htm. Get an idea of what’s in your area. It might need further eyes on crime prevention.
One other thing a person may consider is setting their phone up to receive amber alert texts. To register for that, go to https://www.wirelessamberalerts.org/index.jsp
This should get you started for pursuing investigations.
Before considering the following resources and online tools, understand that any information on the Internet is not secure information. Using the following online applications, you are opening yourself and your computer. If you do want to act intotaly anonymity, then this section is not for you.
Creating my very own network:
What I am referring to when saying “create your own network” is utilizing tools online for information gathering and sharing. I believe by using online tools you will be able to create a network that can be used by your cell phone and to share with other people that can help them with their “missions” as well.
A lot of RLSH use applications like MySpace and Imageshack to archive their information. I believe one of the reasons why social networks are used is because of the pre-made templates and applications. And with websites, it is harder for people to just build a functioning website that can include captions and extras. I am not saying it cannot be done, but a majority of RLSH do not possess programming skills. A great example of information collecting via pictures can be found at Thanatos’ MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/thanatos2008ms). This is an excellent example of using blogs and pictures to catalog what is going on in his city. As a side note, the common misconception about RLSH blogging is that they are doing it for media attention. But a critic would have to look at the offending RLSH “friends” list to see who exactly they are writing for. I personally use the MySpace social network purely to advertise projects or promotions. Other people may use it to make ambiguous statements concerning social issues. For whatever the reason I do not believe a majority of RLSH use social networks to brag about themselves. Some may, but I don’t think it’s all RLSH.
For myself, I have decided to reinvest my time in my Google account. I like using the Google Apps. Some people may say that my account can be used to track me. But that can be true for any account I make online. With Google, I can create galleries and documents that I can access with my phone. I use an old phone which was pretty cheap. For different reasons, I have not been able to invest in a mighty phone with a million applications. If you are in the same boat as I am, I recommend downloading Opera Mini (http://www.opera.com/mini/) to your phone. Make sure you have unlimited internet time. But here are a few examples of me using different Google apps that I can now access via phone:
Pictures of Portland- I’ve mapped where the pictures were taken place
A copy of Step one of Rebuilding Zetaman
With Google, I can create wikis, sites, and alerts, and a G-mail account (which does not give out IP’s when you send out an email). By using my Google account, I haven take page 24 of the Batman Handbook (which refers to a palmtop computer) literally. I have created a network that can be used by both my home computer and phone. Heck, I can now access my network from any computer with my password. Just be sure to delete your browser history if using another computer. The other advantage of using this system is that you can share links to pictures and documentary that can be useful for evidence gathering. If you are using pictures to help gather evidence, make sure that all pictures are time stamped. There should be a function with most digital cameras that allow you to imprint the time which the picture was taken. I’ve had a series of pictures that I’ve taken that were actually used in court. The time stamp provided evidence in which the crime took place (great for car accidents too). I believe the application of using Google apps is only limited by a person’s imagination, but that can be relevant to an online program with a person chooses to use.
I'll throw out a few links as a shameless promotion to projects I am involved in.
1. http://RLSHspace.com- I’ve been working on a social network by RLSH for RLSH. Just like MySpace, you can make your blogs viewable by the RLSH community only and not just the public. The only drawback at this time is the number of videos and images it can store. However, there are great features like video chat or adding events.
2. http://www.therlsh.net- Online forum based off of www.reallifesuperheroes.org. The easiest way to network with other RLSH across the world. This forum can be accessed rather well with a cell phone.
3. http:///www.worldheroics.info- This is under construction as of February 15, 2010. We’re working on creating an operator program in which RLSH can communicate with operators to get the information needed on the field or maybe just chit chat while on patrol.
So, now that I have the mindset, the gear and the network on standby, I am ready to start my patrol.
Zetaman is a costumed activist located in Portland, Oregon. The views and comments of Zetaman do not reflect on the views of the RLSH community.