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Original 11' Star Trek Enterprise Model Being Restored Again

Dogtanian Re:Crude? (95 comments)

This is why they had to redo all of the special effects shots in the TNG Blu-Ray release. While the film had enough resolution for an HD transfer, all of the special effects shots (ie. warp stretch, light boom, etc.) were done on video tape.

That's correct. Though I intentionally left it out above of the above post (I'm longwinded enough and it was less relevant there), I've commented in the past (e.g. in this post and several others in that thread) that TNG's effects shots were at best (AFAIK) composited on SD video from film sources, if not entirely generated on SD video.

Hence a 100% authentic HD transfer of the original unmodified TNG episodes would be impossible, purely because certain shots only ever existed in SD.

(If they were to be upscaled- as I understood they did for some regular scenes were they couldn't locate the original footage- they would stand out like a sore thumb among the HD-scanned shots, as ST:TNG's analogue NTSC video was soft and crappy even in SD and there's no way on earth they'd be able to convincingly upscale it).

10 hours ago

Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Dogtanian Re:An end to XBox? (300 comments)

Funny you should say this. A while back I was thinking that- for this reason- MS should have "partnered" with a Japanese company for the original XBox launch there, paying them a cut of the profits there in exchange for "contributing" some token (but easily played-up) role in its "development" and the agreement to use that company's name prominently in marketing the product.

In reality they'd actually be paying the Japanese company near-free royalties in exchange for the right to use them as a trojan horse for the notoriously hard-to-break Japanese market. Yes, it might grate slightly, but 80% of ten times as much profit is still preferable in the long term. The exaggerated "development" role would be a way of countering accusations that the Japanese company were doing little more than marketing an American console... of course they weren't, it's well-known that they contributed significantly to the XBox joint-venture!

The agreement would have to have been drawn up carefully in advance (without being overly explicit about its cynical intent) to avoid MS being held hostage later on, and ultimately the XBox brand is the one that should be being promoted- the Japanese company's name being a means to get a foot in the door, and possibly phased out or reduced later on.

11 hours ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Dogtanian Re:Offsite. (236 comments)

I understand that VHS can store huge amounts of data very reliably, so after you digitize your VHS tapes make sure you use backup software to store the digitized images onto VHS casettes for offsite storage.

I'm sure that Xzibit would have something canine-related to say about that.

12 hours ago

Original 11' Star Trek Enterprise Model Being Restored Again

Dogtanian Re:Crude? (95 comments)

Models built for TV in years past often weren't built with much detail, simply because it wouldn't show up on screen anyway. That said, the TOS Enterprise did have a lot more detail than one would expect for a TV show (there are markings and such that are too tiny to see on TV), but it pales when compared to the Enterprise built for "The Motion Picture" which has much, much finer detail.

This touches on something I've mentioned previously- namely, why older TV shows shot and mastered entirely on film still aren't necessarily "HD", even though the medium itself *happens* to be capable of resolving that much detail.

An HD production requires *everything* to have been done to HD standards. If not, it's quite possible that props, makeup et al that were only ever expected to look good on a standard-definition set of the time will show their deficiencies far more obviously under the scrutiny of HD.

There were no doubt good reasons for shooting on film- either technical or aesthetic (film converted to standard-def video for transmission still looks different to natively-shot video)- but decades before HD was even a twinkle in anyone's eye, I doubt they were going to waste their limited TV budget on detailing they (reasonably) assumed no-one was ever going to see.

I suspect that the original Enterprise model was more detailed as it would have been used a lot, and having a higher-quality model in the first place would give them more flexibility in terms of close-ups, etc.

Compare [Star Wars movie props] to some of the ST:TNG props that I've seen that look fine on screen, but when examined closely look like someone gave a 5-year old a couple of shots of vodka and turned them loose with a paintbrush.

Bingo. I bet the one-off single-show models were done as well as required- and no more. (Particularly as ST:TNG was from the shot-on-film-but-mastered-on-video era that- ironically- gave poorer quality than the all-film ST:TOS).


Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

Dogtanian Re:Philosophical Point (100 comments)

I accept what you're saying, but the point was that he mirrored the OP's comment in order to make a point- presumably- that this form of "seeing" was just as valid as seeing with the eyes, or rather that, if that wasn't seeing, then "touching" with the fingers wasn't "touching" either.

But it doesn't work because putting "touching" in quotes implies that this isn't actually touching, when it *is* in effect the definition of touching- there's no more direct way you can "touch" something with your own fingers, and it's arguable whether it's meaningful to argue what constitutes touching below that scale.

The "seeing" example quite plainly *was* more indirect, and that's the point I was making.

2 days ago

Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

Dogtanian Re:Philosophical Point (100 comments)

This concept also applies when people claim to "touch" a tree with their hands. They are, in fact, just extrapolating from the repulsion of electron charges. That shit is far removed from the nervous system, yet we still prefer to make sense.

No- you're trying to be a smartass here, but it doesn't really work, because there isn't any more direct form of "touch"- i.e. the sensation- than that. Insofar as the sensation of "touch"- or the mechanism underlying it- has any meaning when you examine it at such a close, microscopic level, that *is* what "touching" is.

This contrasts with the OP's example of scientists "seeing" on the screen on an electron microscope, where there quite obviously *is* a level of abstraction from directly seeing something (via the interaction of photons with the object and then one's own eyes). So, no- you didn't make a point.

3 days ago

Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Dogtanian Counter-productive renaming obsession (351 comments)

Since there's so much confusion about the differences between RT, Phone, and desktop versions of our OS, let's just call them all by the same name. That will simplify things. Worked for Admiral General Aladeen.

I can't think of a thing microsoft has done in the past few years that aren't one of these:[..]
B. Rebranding an existing product(so many times)

Attention-deficit-rebranding so that no-one knows what the **** is what has long been an apparent obsession with Microsoft, and going by this story, they don't seem to be improving.

I already posted this elsewhere a couple of years back and re-posted it at least once on Slashdot- but no point reinventing the wheel so:-

This is the same company changed the name of its "passport" service a ludicrous amount of times:-

"Microsoft Account (previously Microsoft Wallet, Microsoft Passport, .NET Passport, Microsoft Passport Network, and most recently Windows Live ID)"

I'd have said that MS's stupidly confusing naming is marketing-over-clarity, but *it's not even good marketing!!* I bet the man on the street doesn't have a clue what MS's constantly-changing brands-of-the-week are supposed to mean to him anyway, beyond being a confusing and counter-productive mish-mash of pseudo-terminology.

The quintessential ironic example of how MS just don't get it was their (then-)latest media-player compatibility scheme called "Plays for Sure" which obviously implied Apple-style "no brainer just works" straightforwardness. They proceeded to totally undermine this by renaming it to tie in with "Certified for Windows Vista" (which also encompassed other schemes) and launched a separate, incompatible DRM/compatibility scheme for their now-defunct Zune range. Does anyone know (or care) what MS's attention-deficit clusterf*** of overlapping brands are supposed to mean?!

Further thoughts on this are that it may be a reflection of Microsoft's internal political structure and culture, and power struggles, with every newcomer needing to stamp his or her identity on the product, regardless of whether that's beneficial. Either that and/or the environment is conducive to horrendously expensive branding and marketing consultants topping up their cocaine money by suggesting rebrandings at regular intervals- again, regardless of whether it's really needed or not.

4 days ago

Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

Dogtanian Re:So they cut it from $199 to $600. I see. (134 comments)

For a buck, I'd buy it. Hell, I'd buy it for $20 or $30, even though it's within the confines of Amazon. [..] It's the phone contract that does it in for me.

That's the whole blooming point, though! You're only being offered the phone for 99 cents *because* you have to agree to the contract.

It's like a shop had a "Buy 1, Get the Second for 1 cent" offer on horribly overpriced multivitamins, you wouldn't say "well, they're not even worth half the regular price, but I might have snapped them up for 1 cent if they didn't require you to buy the other at full price"!

about a week ago

Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

Dogtanian Re:It's a Fire Sale (134 comments)

Joking aside, the "99 cents" headline might give the impression of a big (if not "fire sale") reduction, but it's is as misleading (and pointless) on its own as the subsidised headline "price" of *any* contract-tied phone is.

This post already made the point that the total price of phone + contract (since you can't get the former without the latter) over two years is $600, which implies that it was $800 before when the still-contract-tied phone was selling for "$200" and it was being panned as an awful deal.

If it's not quite a non-story, it's not the one it's being made out to be either.

about a week ago

Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

Dogtanian Re:Broadwell (181 comments)

If you are a rich mofo, you don't use Intel at all!

Oh, what are the rich folk buying instead?

Processors hand-made by artisans from individual valves/vacuum tubes.

Of course, you need a rather large house to hold the 1.4 billion valves required to match something like the Core i7. Well, actually you need a rather large estate with enough room to build a large number of very large buildings, and a literal army of support staff to replace the failed valves.

Trust me though, it's worth it for the additional warmth the use of valves lends to playing back your Nicki Minaj MP3s.

Then again, that warmth might just be coming from the hundreds of megawatts of waste heat given off...

about two weeks ago

Google Wins $1.3 Million From Patent Troll

Dogtanian Re:Google was defending customers (35 comments)

Formatting text like that *always* makes it look like attempted poetry.

about three weeks ago

New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Dogtanian Re:Which means... (251 comments)

There are a lot of hints that Microsoft is backing away from this mistake and realizing that the desktop is still important to their bottom line.

I'm not sure that MS actually thought that the desktop was entirely unimportant, per se. Rather, it's my understanding that because they had a near-monopoly on the desktop market, they thought could get away with dicking about desktop users- most of whom had to use Windows anyway- by force-familiarising them with the Metro interface (whether or not it was appropriate for that purpose) so that when it came to tablets, they'd go for the one with the interface they were already familiar with... i.e. Windows-based ones.

Of course, MS were right to be worried about tablets. They've had a near-monopoly on the x86 desktop (and laptop) market for well over 20 years, and it was- and is- very unlikely that they could easily have been unseated from that position in the forseeable future. The biggest threat to MS's dominance is that the computing market itself undergoes a paradigm shift away from the traditional desktop model, not destroying their monopoly, but rendering what it covers less important. Which is exactly what's happening with tablets, and- to some extent- online apps.

Of course, whether forcing Metro on people was actually successful is open to question, but the motivation behind it sounds plausible. I don't think MS would throw away or ignore the desktop market simply for a chance of the tablet one, but I can certainly believe that they'd leverage their existing monopoly to stand a chance of competing in a tablet market that they're already miles behind the compeition in.

about three weeks ago

For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Dogtanian Re:Don't feed the parasites! (316 comments)

Whatever his motivations, it doesn't change the fact that your original assertion (and the specific point that was replied to), i.e. "I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it." was wrong, and demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of even the basic principle of free speech, let alone the specific details of the US constitution's version of it.

It always surprises me (*) how so many of the Americans who bleat on about "free speech" et al don't even understand the basics of either the principle or the US implementation of it, thinking- as you do- that one is free to express one's own opinion, yet somehow protected from others' right to respond to it (i.e. *their* free speech). Or- the other common misconception- that the constitutional right to protection from *government* interference in free speech is actually the right to free speech in any private place or forum.

(*) It doesn't, really- but it ought to.

about three weeks ago

For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Dogtanian Re:Don't feed the parasites! (316 comments)

In what sense was your argument supposed to be "rhetorical"?

about three weeks ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Dogtanian Re:Actually, it does ! (375 comments)

A word of advice- posting your comment as a single wall of text like that makes it very tiring to read and digest, and thus a lot less likely to get read. Try using paragraphs, and it might come across more credibly, rather than appearing as a train-of-thought comment.

I don't claim to understand the Scottish-UK relationship

You evidently felt that you "understood" it enough to judge Scotland "proving itself stupid" for wanting independence.

You come across as someone who lacks experience, someone who is thinking out the abstract principles, but applies them to a real-world situation that you don't understand the important details of at all.

Regarding WW2; yes, that is generally considered one of the better times of the British state. If Scotland had been independent then, I would hope that it would fight together with England (and the rest of the UK), and there are aspects of defence where I feel that the proposed independent Scotland may be relying too much on the efforts of others.

Still, the comments I made regarding the reasons for wanting Scottish independence were just a small proportion of the total I could have posted- in other words, there were many more reasons, but I did not have more time to add to a post that was already very long at that point.

about three weeks ago

For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Dogtanian Re:Don't feed the parasites! (316 comments)

To play devil's advocate in "I'm New Around Here"'s defefence, it was the user "Third Position" who posted the racist link in his sig, and the comment from "I'm New" himself wasn't (necessarily) condoning the views expressed.

What he *was* clearly doing was defending Third Position's "right" to express his opinion without being attacked for it. Which is, of course, stupid and ignorant, because no-one has such a "right" under the freedom of speech in the US constitution (which I assume is what "I'm New" has misunderstood when he referred to what was "allowed" in "this country"), despite many thinking it does. Freedom of speech obviously cuts both ways, otherwise it's not true freedom of speech. (Anyone making such a deal about it should have realised this already.)

But that misunderstanding doesn't *necessarily* mean he's a racist... just stupid and ignorant.

about three weeks ago

For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Dogtanian Re:Don't feed the parasites! (316 comments)

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences of your speech, sweet cheeks. He's free to associate with a disgusting ideology that holds certain people inferior because of how they're born, I'm free to mock him for it. For that matter, I'm free to mock your ignorance.

Go on, attack and mock those who you don't agree with. Attack me all you want.

The implication in your reply being that he mocked and attacked you because he disagreed with you?

Either that's a strawman or you really weren't paying attention.

The paragraph you replied to was mocking you not because he disagreed with you on a matter of opinion, but because your belief that "people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it" was *factually wrong* (and by implication showed that you really don't understand what "freedom of speech" does and doesn't get you.). End of story.

about three weeks ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Dogtanian Re:Actually, it does ! (375 comments)

I mean, what does the Italian-Chinese community have to do with it?!

holy hell batman, you just triple-downed on his racism. impressive :)

Well... not really. It just came across- or so it seemed originally- as a bad hybrid of stock cliche Italian and Chinese accents (which may well be considered racist now, but it's not like *I* was the one doing them! Mind you, we can't blame Jeremiah Cornelius for that either, at least not in intent- his only crime was being very bad at Scottish accents :-) ).

On reflection, though, it's *not* actually that much like Chinese at all- not even the most offensively stereotyped version- and it only looked cod-Italian because of the vowel at the end of "need(a)"- not sure how that's even incorrectly reminiscent of a Scottish accent!

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure *what* the fsck it *does* resemble, to be honest.... oh yeah, a very bad Scots accent. :-)

about three weeks ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Dogtanian Re:Actually, it does ! (375 comments)

I disagree. I think every country has the right to self defense, and possess these. However I'd be a big fan of a global nuclear weapon's ban that everybody signs. PS. What are the Scots thinking of trying to be independent? If I were them I'd be happy to be ganged up with England, as long as England is not exploiting me economically because I'm Scot, nor does it restrict my liberties such as freedom of expression, or practicing my own Gaelic mother tongue. tradition. But hey. they are the Scots, and you have to let them decide for themselves. I just think they are proving themselves stupid. Instead of separation, they should be trying to liberties and while united, and only if that's impossible while being united, when push comes to shove, do you have to lower your expectations and strive for independence. But they might be misjudging England, and its willingness to allow for broad reaching internal freedoms, within the UK, such as practicing your own language, etc. United is usually better than divided. The proverb says together we stand, alone we fall. But there are of course many exceptions.

Thank you for your half-baked opinion on why Scotland is "proving itself stupid".

In fact, the freedom to speak Gaelic (which is the "mother tongue" of very few Scots, and still only spoken by a small proportion) has little to do with the push for independence.

Your er.... *eloquent* speech on remaining together did nothing to address the contradiction that traditional Tory voters in their south-east England heartlands are moving against EU membership. The Tories-- afraid of losing votes to UKIP (the UK Independence party) who are pushing this policy- are pandering to *their* potential voters by promising a referendum on EU membership in 2017, which- if they win- would result in the UK leaving the EU.

Scotland is (in general) much more in favour of the EU, and UKIP support here is *much* lower than it is in the south-east of England. But, of course, if the English vote is sufficiently against EU membership... tough for poor Scotland who (hypothetically) remained attached to Little England. Should Scotland "stand together" with the people who didn't "stand together" with the EU?

Devolution has improved things somewhat, but control of the UK overall- including the economy and many devolved matters- remains with Westminster, which is run by an increasingly right-wing Tory government which the Scots did *not* elect, and whose political trajectory has been veering away from Scottish values for a generation. (Some readers may be surprised to note that the Tories once had a significant share of the Scottish vote. In the 1955 general election, they gained a majority of votes and a majority of the seats here. Such a prospect would be unthinkable now- there is only one Scottish Tory MP).

This has been happening since Thatcher came to power in the late-1970s, promising "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony"- either hugely ironic or intentionally hypocritical since she was a divide-and-rule politician with a "them and us" mentality that abandoned any notion of "one nation conservatism", decimated Scottish industry, squandered revenues from North Sea Oil- most of which would have belonged to Scotland if independent- on funding the unemployment her policies caused. In short, she pandered to the Tory heartland of the South East (England), and foisted her values on Scots who profoundly disagreed with them.

In the post-Thatcher era, we got the once left-wing Labour party selling out to stand any chance of being elected by the South East, to the point they were arguably more right wing and more pro free market than the pre-Thatcher Conservatives. Following Blair's nauseating arse-licking of George W Bush (which bought him nothing- as any idiot could see at the time- and was a result of his egotism, hubris and messiah complex) we got the Tories again, even more right wing despite initial promises, and the Liberal Democrats selling out to become their meaningless lapdogs, and Labour giving laughably diluted wishy-washy concessions to their socialist past. All three promising nothing I- and many other Scots- find of value.

And that's partly what it comes down to. Some people clearly did vote for all this- but not the Scots. If the "Yes" campaign loses, it'll be because the "No"s cast sufficient doubt on Scotland's ability to go it alone, not because they had anything inspiring or positive to say about the Union.

I could go on about this all day, but I have other things to get on with. But once again, thank you for your patronising opinion on our stupidity. Cheers!

about three weeks ago



Low-tech, out-of-date... is this Japan?

Dogtanian Dogtanian writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Dogtanian (588974) writes "Japan is often seen as the archetypal high-tech society, years ahead of the rest of the world and the first to adopt innovative new technology with gusto. Yet while every good Japanophile knows how this facade hides a very traditional and conservative society with roots going back centuries, it's less well known that this ultra-modern image also hides the fact that many aspects of Japan are far from high-tech- quite the opposite. Police stations with no computers, ancient tape-based answering machines, antiquated heating... and a very real danger that they've already missed the boat in several important technological areas. Is this really the same country as the Blade Runner-esque tech utopia of geek lore?"

NASA Uncovers the Original Moon Landing Tapes

Dogtanian Dogtanian writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Dogtanian (588974) writes "Having been missing for almost forty years, the original video footage from the original 1969 moon landings has been uncovered, promising much higher quality images of the event. The low-quality, grainy images we're all used to were converted to NTSC, compressed for relay to the US, then archived by pointing a 16mm film camera at a monitor. Although the technology now exists to view the slow-scan source transmissions in much higher quality, unbelievably the tapes with the original recordings were misplaced and lost until recently. NASA was apparently hoping to keep a lid on this for the 40th anniversary, but I'm very happy to have heard about this sooner. [Note to editors: IIRC you might have covered the loss of the tapes previously]"
Link to Original Source


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