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David Craddock and Two Blizzard North Co-Founders (Video 2 of 2)

Avatar8 Ad torture (14 comments)

I understand the need for ads to keep /. free.

I'm okay with losing 20, 30 even 60 seconds of my life in order to watch a video.

But 2:15 of IBM talking about vague business practices around the "cloud" is horrendous and sadistic.

Stop torturing your audience, get sponsors that have something to do with technology and understand it and keep the ads at least reasonable to the typical TV :30 or :60 at most.

about 10 months ago

Fast-Food Logos Burned Into Pleasure Center of Children's Brains

Avatar8 Re:Logos? Maybe. Tastes? Yes. (322 comments)

Dislike of fast food is not social conditioning.

I grew up with home-cooked meals, not healthy but typical comfort food. Once I was old enough to cook for myself, most of my meals came out of the freezer and cardboard boxes. When I was old enough to drive, fast food joints were my primary source of food.

I grew obese, developed a few health problems then met and married a woman who not only knows how to cook, but has recently learned to cook healthier food. I'm losing weight, all health issues are gone and I'm eating the best food I've every had in my life.

Your analogy of a barbarian choosing between a burger and ethnic food is far off the target. Compare apples to apples. Given the choice between a McD/BK/W/whatever burger and a burger made with fresh beef, fresh vegetables and fresh baked bread, the barbarian will steer clear of the fast food one after one bite. (Actually, he'd probably eat both.)

Food does not have to be fancy to be good. It should be fresh, healthy AND taste good. Fast food restaurants provide NONE of those factors.

Try eating fresh food for a month, and you'll wretch at the thought of trying to eat a fast food burger, too. Don't try the "fast food is cheaper" argument either. It's been well documented that buying and preparing food is much cheaper than fast food, not only at the cash register but also at the doctor's office.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Explaining Version Control To Non-Technical People?

Avatar8 Fork (383 comments)

A simple analogy for a non-technical person is by using "fork in the road."

Making a change to software is like choosing to take a fork in the road - you either change, or continue unchanged.
Version control remembers when and where you took that fork in the road and most importantly provides a map of how to get back to that fork.
By descriptions of VC software here, it sounds like you can also view multiple forks at the same time and judge which one would allow you to arrive at your desired destination.

about 2 years ago

New Hobbit Trailer Debuts

Avatar8 Re:How big is a Hobbit, really? (130 comments)

That's been one of my gripes. Jackson has the hobbits the same height as the dwarves. Hobbits range from 3 to 4 feet, the tallest having been 4' 6". Dwarves range between 4 and 5. While you may have some seeing eye to eye around the 4 foot height, there should be a visible difference between Bilbo and the other dwarves.

It's mostly when they do the close scenes with characters side by side. On action or distant scenes where they substituted actual little people, those were much more accurate.

about 2 years ago

New Hobbit Trailer Debuts

Avatar8 Re:nice but (130 comments)

This is the key point of the debates between the movies and books.
C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in similar styles which is no wonder since they attended college together and were friends. They both "skip over" the details of long journeys and battles. The final battle in "Lion, Witch and Wardrobe" only took up two pages in the book. Likewise the battle of five armies only took up a few pages until Bilbo was knocked unconscious and the battle was summarized for him upon his awakening.

Today's writers, directors and audiences leave nothing to the imagination. All the details are poured forth so the audience does not have to think.

I'm sure I'll enjoy these movies, too, despite disliking all of unnecessary additions and changes.

about 2 years ago

New Hobbit Trailer Debuts

Avatar8 Re:What's a Nimoy? (130 comments)

It was rumored that Nimoy was going to voice Smaug. I still hear Richard Boone's gravelly boom every time I think of the dragon, though.

about 2 years ago

New Hobbit Trailer Debuts

Avatar8 Re:Are they really adding an Elf to the company? (130 comments)

Legolas is there logically; he just was not mentioned in "The Hobbit" as Tolkien had not yet created him.
"Prince" Legolas is the son of the Elven King, Thranduil of the wood elves who reside in north eastern Mirkwood. Like Aragorn he chose to go without his royal title and amenities until he felt he had earned it.

The addition of Tauriel, or more accurately, the naming and extrapolation of the captain of the woodland guard, is all Jackson's creation.

about 2 years ago

New Hobbit Trailer Debuts

Avatar8 Re:Scouring of the Shire (130 comments)

I wish I had boycotted KK. It made the 1976 version look like a classical masterpiece.

Not only was the major plot point of the Scouring lost, but the change to Faramir being tempted by the ring tells me that Jackson, Boyens and Walsh did not GET Tolkien's writing or understand how the ring worked.

While I'll be cringing and bitching about changes to "The Hobbit," I'm sure I'll still enjoy the scenery and journey of these movies. I just don't understand the gall of thinking you can improve on what many consider the epitome of fantasy writing.

about 2 years ago

Video: Paul "Froggy" Schneider's Hard-Won Wisdom For Conference Organizers

Avatar8 Same from Toastmasters (35 comments)

You can also learn and practice conference leadership, organization, funding and logistics skills through Toastmasters.

more than 2 years ago

Giant Paper Airplane Takes (Brief) Flight Over Arizona

Avatar8 wrong choice of design (54 comments)

As many others have commented here, the basic "dart" is one of the worst possible designs for gliding. I, too, spent many, many hours in school designing, folding and testing airplanes. Once you've exhausted what you, your friends and other paper airplane enthusiasts around you know, finding a new source (like White Wings or Wings & Things) you get inspired to go in new directions and try new materials.

I was taught the "basic glider" (according to rwa2 and his website) by a Japanese man who called it a "Mitsubishi." The best and worst part of the design was that any inconsistencies in folds would result in erratic, acrobatic flights. While looping, swerves and abrupt dives are cool for random throwing, they are counterproductive to gliding.

My point is that any paper airplane enthusiast who has spent more than two hours folding paper knows the dart is the worst possible design. While I applaud that any organization put effort into a project such as this, I'm baffled that more work was not put into a better design.

Low speed aerodynamics do not scale up well, it appeared the center of gravity was not even tested and I saw no presence of a dihedral, the keystone of a paper plane's stability against rolling.

They'd probably have done better to scale up a flying hole.

more than 2 years ago

Walmart Holds Invention Contest

Avatar8 How about... (91 comments)

an invention to stop the monstrosity that is Wal-mart - duping people into thinking they're saving money, but instead buying cheap, disposable, foreign products or products altered to a sub-standard grade to meet Wal-mart's price point.

I give my ideas to Wal-mart for a one-time prize and they rake in money year after year on its sale? Go blow that smoke up your consumers' collective butts.

more than 2 years ago

DHS Goes Ahead With 'Pre-Crime' Detection Project

Avatar8 Re:Hey DHS, read much? (438 comments)

Indeed. Isn't this the point of literature, fact or fiction, for us to learn from possibilities and history so we don't make the same mistakes in "real life?"

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do In SW:TOR For Just 3 Days?

Avatar8 WoW trade (211 comments)

Sit in WoW trade chat spamming how SW:TOR is going to kill WoW while you wait for the EA beta servers to respond.

more than 2 years ago

Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business

Avatar8 AOL? (481 comments)

I was debating whether or not to cancel my DVD by mail subscription. The streaming was out the door due to lack of good/current content. This e-mail from Reed today nailed it for me in one sentence:

Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us) because they are afraid to hurt their initial business.

Borders, maybe. But when was AOL ever great?!?! Unless it was the only possible way of getting onto the internet, AOL hands-down sucked compared to any of their peers or predecessors, namely Prodigy, CompuServe or Bubba's tin-can ISP. The only thing AOL ever did was support the CD production/duplication industry and the postal service.

If Netflix is using these two companies as a role model, they're already on the path to failure.

more than 2 years ago

Obama Administration Closing Recently Opened Datacenters

Avatar8 Re:Stimulus. (262 comments)

I'll concur with Cayenne8 since I've dealt with closing a government data center in the past.

Granted what I was involved with was migrating and upgrading, but I saw hundreds of perfectly usable, 1-3 year old servers stacked in the old data center, hard drives pulled and drilled and the servers sold to a scrap company.

Complete and utter waste. I seriously doubt TFA servers will be treated any differently regardless of age.

more than 3 years ago

Are We Seeing the End of Big Oil?

Avatar8 Re:With profits like these... (230 comments)

I think it may be a method to generate more profit.

What happens when two companies start working together, exchanging goods for services, etc? Their overhead goes up because now they are dealing with two different cost/profit models that are pulling from different budgets. Typically the primary reason for companies to merge is to reduce those costs and bring a service "inside."

The drilling companies will see a rise in costs because they won't have a parent company to absorb overages or internal costs. The refiner will see a rise in processing and administration fees having to deal with an "external" company. Add to both of these all the standards requirements, federal regulations, etc.

Bottom line is these costs will be passed on to the consumers so that BOTH companies can continue to make ungodly profits.

more than 3 years ago

Review: Captain America

Avatar8 Best and worst (295 comments)

Watched Captain America and was impressed with the genuine characters, story and unobtrusive special effects - they added without overpowering the scenes. The only issue I had was right at the beginning - Chris Evans' voice not matching the body; I became accustomed to it after a few minutes. Chris made Steve's character completely believable that he was pure, honorable and just wanted to do the right thing. Those are qualities lost today even in our fantasy heroes.

I made the mistake of trying to continue my movie high by going to see Transformers 3. Ugh! I dozed off several times, but didn't feel like I really missed anything. Besides the eye candy of Carly, the voice acting of Nimoy was the only decent part of the movie. Buzz Aldrin himself was just freaking cool, but not nearly enough to save this film. Such a shame for the franchise.

more than 3 years ago

Outgoing Federal CIO Warns of 'IT Cartel' In DC

Avatar8 Not just procurement (198 comments)

Having worked at an IT company that supported the U.S. government, I saw first hand how a load of bureaucratic hogwash can bring an operation to a halt. I fully understand the "skill" needed to navigate government procurement, approval, change, spending, etc. It's the biggest time and money wasting factor in any operation. Because the department heads feel everything needs to be checked, double-checked, triple-checked, signed off, filed in 12 different ways, audited twice and then run through oversight, by the time the work gets done (if it does) it is either no longer needed or outdated. Past actions of unscrupulous politicians, administrative staff and government employees have led to this necessity.

Add to this the people problem. Everyone I ever dealt with in the department I supported was extremely unskilled and ignorant of the knowledge they needed to know to do their job. I know for a fact that work days are short, especially Fridays and thanks to web monitoring software, I know most of the employees only spend about an hour a day of actual work. Now put this sluggish, ignorant person in charge of making a technical change to an application, a server or god forbid, a whole data center. Top it off with the IT barrage of regulations and procedures (SOX, ITIL, ISO, etc.) and you have the epitome of steering a huge ship with a small wooden paddle.

In the three years I supported them, I only ever saw one major implementation of new equipment, one successful disaster recovery exercise and multiple misses of the DNS SEC implementation.

With my inside knowledge I have no faith in our government in any department. I'm surprised ANYTHING gets done ever. Except, of course, pay raises. Those happen immediately, without fail and completely without merit.

more than 2 years ago

Netflix Announces Streaming Only Plans and Higher Prices for DVDs

Avatar8 Re:Doubling the value! (488 comments)

I am seriously looking for this content you speak of. I spent about an hour last night looking through Starz page by page. Mostly crap.

In the Browse DVDs, yes, there are a few thousand. I look through the genres, searches or the recommended based upon my past ratings.

In the Starz Play, Netflix even posts a bullet of "Approximately 1,000 titles available from Starz Play" at the top.

I can only guess your tastes in movies are much, much broader than mine. We've been watching DVDs from Netflix the last 3 years. We basically caught up with all the movies we might have missed in the past few years, so now I watch for new releases, search for classics in the genres we like and catch up on TV series. I have about 75 in my DVD queue, but only 25 in the instant play.

more than 3 years ago

Netflix Announces Streaming Only Plans and Higher Prices for DVDs

Avatar8 Re:Doubling the value! (488 comments)

While I was not including the Starz play in my original post, I checked into it last night. I was hoping to justify staying with Netflix for the streaming side. The DVD side is already not worth it as more and more DVDs arrive heavily scratched. Despite cleaning them using the techniques on the sleeve, a portion of the movie will still skip.

Starz play is 38 pages of 31 titles (1178) plus another page of 18 for a total of 1196 titles. The *AGE* of most of those titles immediately decreases the value for a viewer wanting recent (last 20 years) movies. The number of series of old television shows (Gene Autrey, Perry Mason) further decreased the value.

With both the Netflix DVD on demand library and the Starz play, yes, there are several thousand titles. Unless you greatly enjoy old, low-rated or low-budget movies and shows, though, the selection is significantly smaller. For my tastes a few hundred, half of which I've watched over the last three years of my subscription.

I'm already checking into Amazon Prime and Blockbuster for my movie fix when I cancel Netflix.

more than 3 years ago



WoW gets more secure

Avatar8 Avatar8 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Avatar8 (748465) writes "WoW Insider announced the WoW authenticator, a RSA-like fob that will be associated with your WoW account and will generate a six digit code for verification upon login to the client. With the history of account hacking and scandals, this is no surprise and actually sounds like a smart move on Blizzard's part. Blizzard will charge $6.50 for the fob. Question is, should this be included? Is the extra protection worth it? Is this simply forcing people who share accounts long distance (a stupid act IMO) to buy individual accounts and pay for transfers? On a broader perspective, will other businesses and services follow suit and offer fobs? Google fob, Amazon fob or PayPal fob? How long before we see a single universal RSA fob that links all of our accounts?"
Link to Original Source

Nationwide gas price comparison

Avatar8 Avatar8 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Avatar8 (748465) writes "A co-worker developed this website regarding gas prices, average prices of major cities and at state level and trends. It is a collection of several feeds that shows a good graphical representation of prices across the country and how they've changed over the past few years."


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