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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Chalnoth Re:Good news (420 comments)

In large part, I think Harrison Ford really carried the first trilogy. After I'd learned that Ford improvised a number of his lines, I watched the trilogy again and noticed just how wooden and dead nearly all of the other characters in the movies were.

I do think that this trilogy stands a much better chance as long as Lucas isn't writing the dialog. He's okay, I think, as far as overall plot is concerned. But dialog and characters really aren't his strong suit.

As for Abrams, his main problem, it seems to me, is that he seems to focus a bit over-much on action sequences. But Star Wars works pretty well with that, so I'm not too concerned. I think it might work fairly well.

about a week ago
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Tesla To Produce 'a Few Million' Electric Cars a Year By 2025

Chalnoth Re:Tell me it ain't so, Elon! (181 comments)

Why not? Right now Tesla has far more demand for their cars than they can fill. The reason why they're in the red is because they're building their manufacturing capacity so rapidly.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

Chalnoth Re:About time (417 comments)

Who do you think Obamacare is paying off? Are you making allusion to the fact that Obama's campaign had a very broad funding strategy, so that Obama is "paying off" the general populace?

about two weeks ago
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HTTP/2 - the IETF Is Phoning It In

Chalnoth Re:HTTP isn't why the web is slow (161 comments)

This is precisely why header compression is so useful.

Loading this page, for example, I see 93 separate requests, dozens of which are less than few kilobytes. And while there are a number of different domains, there are quite a few requests that share the same domain. I imagine that having only one connection per domain, instead of one connection per request, would reduce the number of connections by a factor of five or more (I'm not taking the time to look through and count nearly a hundred requests).

So yes, I do think that header compression is likely to be very useful. And combining header compression with allowing one connection for a batch of requests will give web developers quite a lot more flexibility in how they structure their websites.

about three weeks ago
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The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Chalnoth Re:They said that about cell phones (386 comments)

Google Glass, at present, is not intended for consumers. It's intended for developers. They're basically trying to get the app ecosystem up and running before a consumer-friendly version of the product is released.

I fully expect that consumer versions of the product will typically cost less than $600 around launch time, for the simple reason that I don't think they can expect a significant quantity of sales unless they get the price that low.

about 1 month ago
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Chalnoth Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (719 comments)

This is not the issue. The problem is that climate change denialists don't question honestly. They lie. They fabricate data. They ignore other data. And, by and large, are bankrolled by the fossil fuel industry.

Science is settled in the sense that we know climate change is happening, and humans are causing it, not because of any sort of dogma, but because the evidence is so strong. If the deniers actually engaged in reasoned debate, scientists wouldn't be so incensed.

about a month ago
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"Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

Chalnoth Re:Amazing PR! (230 comments)

It is pretty great PR. But unfortunately it seems to be a pretty crappy movie, which blunts my enthusiasm for watching it.

about a month and a half ago
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Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

Chalnoth Re:Anti-Aging is a Fraud Magnet (175 comments)

I'd also add that even if this research is valid, and even if stopping the action of this protein reduces skin aging in humans, there is a very good chance that the protein does other things that are quite important for health. It's conceivable, for instance, that you might have great skin, but a weakened immune system or have your digestion of certain important nutrients stunted. So even if there's no fraud, there's a lot of reason to remain skeptical.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Chalnoth Re:There is no vaccine for the worst diseases (1051 comments)

I'm skeptical that there's actual evidence of severe adverse reactions (aside from the occasional allergic reaction). "I had a vaccine and then this bad thing happened to me," is not an indication that the vaccine caused the bad thing. It might have, but the severe reactions have been so incredibly rare that there's really no evidence of a causal link, as near as I can tell.

But what you are asking for here is a far, far higher barrier to obtaining a vaccination than is asked for for most any other medical procedure or remedy. The real information is, "This will protect your child, and the population as a whole, from serious diseases. It most likely won't cause any issues. Your child may have minor cold symptoms for a bit, which means the vaccine is working."

The CDC's page is informative here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/va...

Note that under the "severe" reactions is usually the disclaimer that they can't actually be sure this reaction is caused by the vaccine. I'd be willing to bet that disclaimer should really be expanded to encompass every vaccine on the list, aside from the allergic reactions.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Chalnoth Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

Well, right. A rehabilitation-based system needs a whole supportive infrastructure for it to work well. In this instance, you'd want there to be regularly-collected data on recidivism that is provided as feedback to rehabilitation centers so that they have the data they need to evaluate their release criteria. We'd also have to eliminate all for-profit prisons, and adequately fund the prisons that remain (I don't think they should be considered prisons at all, but whatever they are, they would need adequate funding).

Getting rid of non-crimes such as personal, non-reckless drug use would also be a huge benefit for everybody.

about 2 months ago
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James Watson's Nobel Medal Sells For $4.1 Million

Chalnoth Re:the evils of Political Correctness (201 comments)

His profession is intellectual. Demonstrating extreme intellectual dishonesty is absolutely a valid disqualification for working in an intellectual field. Hurting people in the process by promulgating racist bullshit is a good reason as well.

Also, he wasn't a scholar that studied the fields relevant to his reality-free claims. So literally everybody who posts in this thread is just as qualified as he is to talk about race (and I'm sure many are more qualified).

Finally, arguments matter more than qualifications, and his arguments were absolute dreck. I know people who have yet to graduate from high school who are far more knowledgeable about race than this douche canoe.

about 2 months ago
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Do you worry about the singularity?

Chalnoth Re:No, it's not even possible (181 comments)

Nit: there are at least 10^22 stars in the visible universe (approx. 10^11 stars per galaxy, 10^11 galaxies). So there are far more stars than links in our brains. Our galaxy has somewhere around a hundred billion stars, though, so we've got more links than stars in the galaxy. But not the universe.

about 2 months ago
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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Chalnoth Re:Wouldn't time be better spent... (481 comments)

And this is precisely why the police in the US are little more than armed, bullying thugs who suppress minorities and extort money (see: civil forfeiture).

about 2 months ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Chalnoth Re:From Experience (561 comments)

That might be a meaningful reply if the book was, "Barbie: I Can Be a Manager". It isn't, so you're just pulling bullshit rationalizations out of thin air to justify some rather disgusting sexism.

about 2 months ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Chalnoth Re:From Experience (561 comments)

Er, what? She doesn't employ anybody. She has a class project, gets a couple of boys to do her work for her, and takes the credit. There's nothing about this that is flattering for Barbie or women.

If you're going to say that people who want to be offended will be, you should at least not create a straw-man of peoples' actual complaints.

about 2 months ago
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Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

Chalnoth Re:Have we discovered all there is to discover? (221 comments)

A couple of points here.

First, we've now sequenced the DNA of so many microorganisms that it would be very, very hard for a new domain of life that uses the same sort of DNA structures to exist. The only likely way for a new form of life to exist is for it to be of a kind that isn't picked up in our DNA tests. That's what is proposed in this article.

Given that, and given that all life (and viruses) found so far speak the same basic DNA language, it's really not unreasonable at all that the domains we've already discovered are the only ones.

There's an outside possibility of new discoveries shaking up the current tree of life, splitting one of our domains in two (as happened with bacteria/archaea). But that's not what is being discussed in this article.

about 3 months ago
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Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

Chalnoth Re:Discover life? (221 comments)

I honestly have always been annoyed with this rather restrictive definition. It excludes viruses, but I can see no reason why we should consider viruses to be a completely different category than living organisms.

about 3 months ago
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Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

Chalnoth Re:Have we discovered all there is to discover? (221 comments)

Not quite. They're suggesting that there's a good chance that there's an entirely different domain (or more) of life other than eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea. That's a pretty radical proposition, but not entirely out of bounds, because many of our more modern techniques for detecting life forms check for molecules that may not exist in a fourth (or fifth or sixth) domain of life.

If it turns out to be the case that there are only three domains of cellular life (leaving viruses out of the discussion for now), that doesn't indicate that we know all there is to know. It just means that cellular life can be categorized into three groups. These researchers could be entirely incorrect in their assumptions. For example, the genes they mention could have evolved within the viruses themselves, or could be remnants of a now-extinct branch of eukaryotes.

about 3 months ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

Chalnoth Re:Not exactly (161 comments)

I checked, and electrons accelerated via plasma shocks do indeed emit synchrotron radiation. What is your source for this claim that the energy will be purely additive?

about 3 months ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

Chalnoth Re:Not exactly (161 comments)

There's no problem in daisy chaining them, but I don't think you can guarantee the same energy boost each time. One of the big physics problems here is that accelerating charged particles radiate when they are accelerated, which acts as a sort of friction. The amount that is radiated increases quite dramatically as the particle gets closer to the speed of light (the energy loss scales as (E/(mc^2))^4). In practice, this means that if you dump a bunch of energy into an electron to accelerate it, you'll only add a fraction of that amount to its kinetic energy (the rest will be lost in radiation).

Given this, the naive expectation is that each subsequent box will add less and less to the energy of the particles. The disclaimer here is that I haven't studied the specific physics of plasma shock acceleration, so I don't know how such acceleration scales with energy. I do know, however, that this is the exact same mechanism that is suspected to be behind the "oh my god" particles (single particles with more than ten million times the energy that the LHC can produce): plasma shock fronts in the galaxy accelerate some small fraction of the interstellar protons to unbelievable speeds.

about 3 months ago

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