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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:buffy dammit (475 comments)

Thing is there's actually isn't much difference between "paranormal phenomena we could understand with further study," and "magical phenomena that is understood by magicians who have done significant amounts of study." They're just the two ways one would phrase the statement depending on whether one was learning about the paranormal/magical from a skilled practitioner or a governmental scientifically-oriented bureaucracy. Thus my comment they could happen in the same universe.

It's a good show concept. I like how the physicist's story wraps around, and he helps thwart the invasion he was coming back to warn about.

yesterday
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:TNG == Social workers in space (475 comments)

I was actually referring to the main crew. Half the human actors left the show before they could do anything interesting, and the other half didn't change at all.

In a later post I remembered the non-humans. They had some great arcs, particularly the guys who started as Narn and Centauri Ambassadors. I think G'Kar was the name of the Narn guy.

I did watch the entire series. Torrented the whole thing a few years ago. It wasn't that good. The long story-arc was interesting, and it was worth watching once, but it's influence on TV as a whole was minimal, and the writing was terrible. Not everything can be Buffy, but if the best B5 quote relating to poor understanding of a situation you can come up with is "You do not understand," that is pretty clear proof the writing staff needed a guy who did;t suck ass at dialogue.

yesterday
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:Something is wrong with the respondents! (475 comments)

"Threshold" was Season 2. So yes, it was after.

I wasn't paying much attention to Voyager at the time, because DS9 was just so much better, so I have no idea which cast member made what.

yesterday
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:buffy dammit (475 comments)

By that definition X-Files wasn't Sci-Fi either, because the show was designed around the conceit that Sculley thinks they're in a Sci-Fi film (and everything has a rational, scientific explanation), while Mulder thinks they're in a fantasy or horror flick. If Sculley was always proven right you could call it Sci-Fi using your definition, but that would have been a really shitty show so most of episodes were ambiguous about whether it was Sci-Fi or fantasy/horror. And X-Files is on the list.

Which means there's no real way to keep Buffy (which, I am insisting on reminding you, had an android episode) off. They could actually take place in the exact same universe.

yesterday
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:TNG beats out B5? (475 comments)

I got a couple reasons for preferring TNG to B5:

1) There were virtually no episodes of B5 good enough that I remember the damn things ten years after downloading the entire series and binge-watching it. The story-arcs of the non-human characters remain in my brain, as does extreme frustration at the shitty dialogue, but if you asked me which episode I liked most I couldn't even start to answer because they all ran the fuck together. OTOH, there's plenty of TNG episodes I liked, particularly the ones from the 90s which only had Wes 11 times.

2) B5's main advantage it's multi-season story arc. This would never have been approved by the suits if TNG hadn't done the Locutus of Borg thing.

2 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:Something is wrong with the respondents! (475 comments)

Kes left at the start of Season 4 (she got two episodes), Boobs debuted in the finale of season 3. So you saw at least three of those episodes if you watched them all. And Jennifer Lien was definitely let go due to budgetary reasons -- specifically they didn't have the budget to add Jerri Ryan and keep all their main cast, but they refused to fire that loser who played Harry Kim right after he'd gotten some ridiculous magazine award -- but asking for a raise had nothing to do with it.

2 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin TNG All the Way (475 comments)

The 90s misses most of the really bad episodes, and without TNG there's no way in hell any of the others get made.

Particularly B5. You can convince suits to pay money for a multi-season story arc after Locates of Borg has proven that season-ending cliffhangers are great for ratings, but not before.

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:buffy dammit (475 comments)

If you're counting X-Files, which did not even include the minimal science Star Trek does, and was also a monster-of-the-week show, why wouldn't you count Buffy?

Despite all attempts to create one, there really isn't a sharp dividing line between Sci-Fi and Fantasy. It's more of a spectrum.

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:Something is wrong with the respondents! (475 comments)

They wrote themselves into a corner with her. Her species is only supposed to live 9 years, so three seasons on Voyager should have meant roughly 25 years of aging prosthetics for the actress.

Granted if they'd really wanted to solve it they could have used a deus ex machina, but why do that when you can introduce Boobs of Nine and the Borg?

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:Something is wrong with the poll results! (475 comments)

Wait a sec, you're arguing that the show premised on a long-lost hero returning out of nowhere to save the Minbari by uniting them with their human foes just as the ancient enemy they forgot existed returns ISN'T incredibly cliched?

Don't get me wrong, I liked the cliche, but that don't mean it wasn't a cliche.

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:TNG == Social workers in space (475 comments)

The writing on B5 was the absolute worst writing I have ever seen on any SciFi series. The dialogue was crap. All the characters were stock archetypes who didn't develop much (Trek characters typical start as archetypes, but they tend to get some depth by Season 7).

The long story arcs were more interesting then then ones on the Star Treks, largely because the entire show was designed as one long-ass story arc from the absolute beginning; and the universe was in some ways more interesting (because you actually get to hear about the politics, whereas in Trek series you almost never get to see a Federation Councilor or the Federation president); the space ship scenes looked much better then on Trek because actual physics were involved; it's a lot more coherent as a universe then any Trek show because there was only one writer, etc. but that don't mean the writing didn't suck.

3 days ago
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Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

NicBenjamin Re:Missing (475 comments)

If they'd made Star trek one entry there'd be no point to the poll. Right now B5 is within 6 points of TNG, but it's 20 points off the three series combined.

I'm surprised there's no Buffy. If you're calling one supernatural-monster-of-the-week show Sci-Fi why wouldn't you call the other one Sci-Fi?

3 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

NicBenjamin Re:Well (209 comments)

You can't compare anything but murder because the categories are different. I personally have been the victim of two crimes which would be reported as violent crime in England, which I reported to the local cops, but were not included in these statistics. In addition to these two crimes I mentioned, my sister has been mugged three times in DC and NYC.

If you want a anti-gun-control person's takedown of this particular statistic I refer you to:
http://blog.skepticallibertari...

3 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

NicBenjamin Re:Well (209 comments)

Dude, all of England (aka: 56 million people) had 560 murders last year in 2013. NYC (8-9 million range) was crowing about 333.

I don't know where you got that number from, but I suspect it was from somebody who was skilled at the art of BS.

4 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

NicBenjamin Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (209 comments)

IOW you don't read?

About internal Chinese politics?

Nope.

I'm actually better able to explain the internal politics of several obscure, non-anglophone, African states then China.

4 days ago
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Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing

NicBenjamin There's only one case where this is useful: (162 comments)

Where there's no way to get important data on how the object is put together without destroying it. Which is somewhat believable if you're talking about living material, which would actually have to be reproduced at the molecule-level, including velocity of all molecules, electric forces, etc.to create a living copy. It's becoming more believable about electronics. It's hard to see how you could copy something with a 14 nanometre resolution that with a non-destructive external scan.

But even this process wouldn't be moving the damn thing. After all there's no reason you couldn't create two copies of the destroyed object.

about a week ago
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Serious Fraud Office Drop Investigation Into Autonomy Accounting

NicBenjamin Re:When does the investigation into HP start? (53 comments)

You have a surprising amount of faith in investor's ability to tell stupid shit from a "high-risk/high-reward acquisition strategy." Particularly when "high-risk/high-reward" is followed by sophisticated business-speak for "it's all that guy's fault," especially in this case, which includes a large subtext of "and it'll be at least three more years before the police decide to call my bluff on this particular line of ridiculous BS."

By the time all the cops have confirmed that it's BS all the relevant people at HP will have moved to other companies (probably mostly at higher-level positions), and this particular disaster will be the rationalization the next CEO uses to cover his ass when he totally fucks up. Hell this has already happened. Whitman wasn't CEO until a month after the acquisition was completed.

about a week ago
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Serious Fraud Office Drop Investigation Into Autonomy Accounting

NicBenjamin Re:When does the investigation into HP start? (53 comments)

I doubt it.

These shareholders are the exact same people who fired Walter Hewlett for opposing the Compaq merger.

about a week ago
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Winston Churchill's Scientists

NicBenjamin Re:Tony Blair quoting Churchill quoting Verne (75 comments)

The IRS's is one of the last government departments that a rational person would cut because IRS Agents earn their keep by nailing tax cheats.

Or you'd simplify the tax code, which would make it easier to spot them, and which would lead to less mistakes which means less fraud and less errors. Then you wouldn't need so many tax collectors.

That's virtually impossible to do under our system. It's incredibly complex, with a whole panoply of veto points, and it's specifically designed so that the same individual can never have control of all of those veto points.

Which means if you're taking a tax break away from somebody who uses it, they have a dozen or so places to stop you.

OTOH, why is the Canadian prime Minister Prime Minister? Because he has the Confidence of Parliament. What does that mean we he tells the Chair of some damn finance subcommittee to pass a bill? It means the Chair of the subcommittee has three options: resigning from the subcommittee, new elections, and passing the damn bill.

If your sole objective is freedom-protection you don't create a Federal government.

Wait, what? If your goal is to give states freedom to oppress people, that's true. Otherwise, false.

Don't be silly.

If your sole objective is freedom protection you're an anarchist, and instead of creating a new level of potential oppressors you abolish all levels of potential oppressors.

Even if you weren't full anarchist, the states of the 1790s were a lot easier to dodge then the Feds because you could always move. Moreover state-level elections back then tended to be annual, so they tended to be much closer to the Electorate then the Feds.

Founders were actually trying to do something very, very complex: create a government that restricted freedom enough

The founders were trying to maintain a status quo in which they and their ilk would control society. They suceeded. They were wealthy, racially privileged land owners, just like in Athens. And guess what? Wealthy, racially privileged land owners still run the country, so mission accomplished.

Don't be ridiculous.

Buffet, Soros, and the Koch brothers don't own land. They own stock. What we have today's completely different, and much more Democratic, then a landed aristocracy; because it just is.

about two weeks ago
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

NicBenjamin Re:a better question (592 comments)

You do realize you are literally not comparing Apples to Apples here?

My repairs were out of warranty. They happened because I could physically go talk to someone with the power to fix my machine, and it was easier for him to fix my machine right there on the fucking spot then argue with me. They had no legal, fiduciary, or ethical obligation to do anything nice for me. In fact they could easily have told me to fuck off (in those very terms) and the got the police to show up and escort me from the building. Instead they gave me a free motherboard, and charged me $15 for a repair Dell would need hundreds for out of warranty.

Your repairs are within warranty. Even assuming you aren't painting an overly rosy picture (in particular I'd be stunned if the wait time time to get on the phone with a real Dell Tech was less then 45 minutes, and I've never waited anywhere near that long for a Genius). If you tried my tactic with those guys you'd get nowhere because their computerized system probably won't send a tech support dude to a guy whose warranty with Dell is not current.

about two weeks ago

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