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Comments

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Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

cashman73 Re:Meh (257 comments)

I call that the "optional tax". Because I have yet to meet anyone that actually reports it and pays it when they send out those forms.

about two weeks ago
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Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

cashman73 Re: Not a chance (631 comments)

Apple Pay registers to my credit card instantly as well. There is not four day period. More like four minutes, maybe.

about 1 month ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

cashman73 Re:Submission with a spelling error, say it isn't (406 comments)

As much as we'd all love our cars to drive our drunk asses home from the bars, thereby saving us a cab fare, that's a long way off. I think in the near future, the laws will mirror pilots and autopilots -- even if the autopilot is on, you still need a licensed, non-drunk pilot in the cockpit in the event the autopilot fails. However, I am sure we are not far away before some drunk Infiniti owner tries to use his self-driving car in his DUI defense. Stay tuned to Fark.com for more details on that story, coming at 11.

about 4 months ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

cashman73 Re:Comcast (570 comments)

I cancelled Comcast a year ago when I moved to a new city outside of their service area. Since they could no longer serve me due to being out of their area, they didn't harass me. They cancelled me no problems and I sent the equipment back via UPS with no issues. But they said that I had a $40 credit on my account and that I would be getting a check back in the mail in about 60 days. Ha! LOL! It's been a year and I still have yet to see that check. I should probably send THEM to collections for it,. . . except for the fact that it's really not worth the $40 in dealing with those pathetic excuses for human beings.

about 4 months ago
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"Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

cashman73 Well, it could be worse,. . . (102 comments)

I mean, at least they didn't ink a deal with the guys in charge of the Fifth Element. We would all be required to carry a MULTI-PASS!

about 4 months ago
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Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

cashman73 Sad fact . . . (365 comments)

I used to be a die-hard Windows user throughout the 90s and early 21st century. Until 2011 when I bought my MacBook Pro. I've now come to the sad realization that, in the post Windows XP world, Windows sucks. My employer even gave me a Lenovo ThinkPad to use last year and it sits on my desk collecting dust while my own personal MacBook Pro does most of the work. Apple just makes a good, solid machine that just works. Most of the "clone" manufacturers make cheap crap systems for $300 a pop that you'll replace every year because they'll fall apart. And don't even get me started on "Windows 8".

about 5 months ago
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Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

cashman73 Re:Administrators (538 comments)

I don't know about administrative staff, but at many of the D1 research schools, tenured and tenure-track faculty have largely been replaced by "perma-docs". That is, postdoctoral researchers that are entirely paid by "soft money" (e.g. grants), have zero teaching responsibilities, are not offered tenure (only the minute chance of a tenure-track job if they keep applying enough) and have no job security. It is not uncommon to see people in STEM fields with a PhD and having done three, four, even six post-doc appointments. In the past 20-30 years, the number of tenure/tenure-track jobs has declined dramatically, and the number of post-docs has increased exponentially.

about 5 months ago
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Computing a Cure For HIV

cashman73 Re:Bitcoin mining? (89 comments)

who will sacrifice industry paychecks to work in academic fields.

Why do researchers have to sacrifice an industry paycheck to do it? In other words, why won't industrial pharma hire more talented scientists. They seem instead to be more interested in hiring salespeople, lawyers and MBAs, then contracting with academia so they can take advantage of "cheap labor" due to the overabundant supply of low-paid graduate students and post-docs. But then they wonder why the amount of NDAs (New Drug Applications) has been declining.

about 5 months ago
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'Godfather of Ecstasy,' Chemist Sasha Shulgin Dies Aged 88

cashman73 Re:Drugs can be bad mmkay! (164 comments)

No doubt that Shulgin was a definite genius, and made significant contributions to his field. The biggest issue with him among many professionals in the biomedical sciences is his rather unorthodox methods. He often tested compounds on himself, which is a major safety issue and generally frowned upon among professionals. If he followed common laboratory protocols and human subjects guidelines, he would be more accepted among his peers.

about 6 months ago
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Small Genetic Change Responsible For Blond Hair

cashman73 gene linked to intelligence? (125 comments)

So, is this blond hair gene linked to intelligence? I wouldn't be surprised,. . .

about 6 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

cashman73 Saved, with conditions . . . (521 comments)

Your material will be saved to the cloud where the NSA computers can check it and make sure you're not doing anything illegal. But please just ignore the prying eyes, citizen, and get back to work for the Man. After all, he owns the NSA now.

about 6 months ago
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Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

cashman73 Economics (659 comments)

The reason the electric vehicles aren't taking of has a lot to do with price (although there is also a legitimate concern about range between charges). But the price is a major factor, especially in an economy where the middle class (the lion's share of all car purchases) continues to get squeezed every time we look the wrong way. Seriously, let's look at price -- even the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt (plug-in hybrid) are $40,000 vehicles. And electric vehicles go up from there -- up to the Tesla Roadster in the six figure range. The average American doesn't even spent $30,000 on a car, so the price range of these new vehicles is still in the realm of the rich for toys and games. And to be honest, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are going to be priced in that same $40,000 and up range as well, so we won't be seeing those in the mainstream anytime soon. Henry Ford had it right back in the early 20th century. If you want your product to be adopted in the mainstream, you need to pay your workers enough to afford the product to be worth owning. They haven't done that yet, and until they do, we won't be seeing electric of hydrogen fuel cells in mainstream life anytime soon.

about 6 months ago
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Consumers Not Impressed With 3D Printing

cashman73 About the same time as Linux on the Desktop? (302 comments)

I predict that 3D printers in the home will be out at about the same time that we start to see Linux as a mainstream OS on most home desktop computers. In other words, not everyone needs to print 3D objects often enough to really warrant their own personal 3D printer. The same reason most home users don't need all the functionality of unix. It will be a novelty by many for awhile, and you'll probably see 3D printing being an option at Walmart and FedEx Kinko's for some things. But it's still a very niche product, and won't be mainstream for a very long time. Maybe one day, if they get to the point of having a 3D printer with almost the same functionality as a Star Trek Replicator, then it will become an appliance in the kitchen.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

cashman73 Re:Here's a trick: Don't live in the U.S. (390 comments)

Most universities in Germany include an unlimited public transport pass in the low semester fee (ca. $300 per semester, the biggest part of that actually is the public transport pass. There is no tuition.) Public transport includes railways, not just buses. You don't need a car. Cycling is common in Germany. Get a bike. It is often the fastest way to get around.

Many US universities also offer free public transportation passes as well. But this typically only works well for urban campuses and in areas with good public transportation, which does not describe most of the united states. The oil companies made sure of that several decades ago.

Most required reading is available at the libraries or you can buy hand-me-downs cheaply. Course based learning materials are also made available online.

Publishers have American students basically by the balls. The cost of textbooks has doubled and even quadrupled in the 20 years since I was an undergraduate. They'll charge you through the nose for a required textbook, then make a few minor changes to the questions at the back of the chapter, pump out a new edition, and use that next semester, so the buyback/used value drops to practically nothing. And if they don't get you that way, it's the extra fee for "online access" and "online homework". I also see more and more students opting for the "international version", which is basically the exact same textbook but not in hardcover -- it's a paperback. Basically, they know that the USA is the wealthiest nation on earth, and companies intended on milking us for every dime they can get.

BTW; Professors don't buy the textbooks. Publishers give professors free complimentary copies of the "instructor's copy". They also like to wine and dine them to make sure their textbook gets selected,. . .

about 7 months ago
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U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable' Prominent Researchers Warn

cashman73 Re:Labor market responding to market forces, biome (135 comments)

Majoring in biology is one of the most popular majors for students interested in medical school (if not, the most popular major). And, of course, the process of getting into medical school these days is super hypercompetitive, so many of these students don't get in. Many of the students that don't get accepted after a BS, go on to either pre-health certificate programs (essentially a masters degree without the research component) or a full masters degree, in the hopes that they'll get a good enough GPA and other experience that medical schools will look for so they can get in. And even with a masters degree (yes, the certificate programs are a complete waste of time and only serve as cash cows for the universities offering them), the prospects of getting into medical school are still hypercompetitive. So many masters recipients go on to get their PhD. In the biomedical sciences. So part of this issue is a direct result of the hypercompetitiveness of medical school admissions.

about 7 months ago
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University Developing Technology To Vote On Your Tablet, Smartphone

cashman73 Won't happen (259 comments)

Sorry, but the GOP will never allow this to happen. They're voter base still hasn't figured out how to use the coffee cup holder on computers yet!

about a year ago
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China: The Next Space Superpower

cashman73 Re:China? (250 comments)

Wake me up when one of these budding super powers no longer has people shitting in the streets.

You've apparently never been in a city after their team wins the Superbowl / NBA Finals / World Series / Stanley Cup / etc.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Using the iPad as sole computing device

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  about 2 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "Bad news. My mother's six year old desktop computer finally bit the dust due to and electrical surge. It's out-of-warranty, and not really worth fixing. Plus, I'm 2,500 miles and two time zones away, so I can't exactly troubleshoot things from here. I recently got an iPad (fourth generation with Retina), and even 80% of the things I do are done easier with the iPad! Plus, she really likes the size, convenience, portability, and the screen. Virtually everything she does is simple web browsing, email, light photo sharing but no heavy editing, and other simple tasks. We're thinking that using the iPad as her sole "computer" might be the best solution here. What are other Slashdotter's experiences with using the iPad or other tablets without a separate desktop computer connected to it?"
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Weatherspark: New website offers in-depth weather

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

cashman73 writes "Weatherspark BETA is a new website that just launched offering some pretty detailed and in-depth weather charts, forecasts, and historical analysis going back to the late 1940s. Data is laid out in charts, graphs, and averages, and also has a visual map. According to the site's about page, it was started by a software engineer and a rocket scientist from the San Francisco Bay Area. It's still fairly new — the only major press on it at the moment is a lifehacker post and a KOMO News story."
Link to Original Source
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Internet "kill switch" for President proposed

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "Several media outlets, including the Sydney Morning Herald, Fox News, and the Daily Mail, report today that Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has introduced legislation giving power to the President to shut down the Internet using a "kill switch" in times of "national emergency". The bill also describes the global internet as a US "national asset"."
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Nielsen Ratings to Count Online Viewing

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "Several sources (NY magazine, Variety, The Big Money) are reporting that Nielsen is finally going to start measuring online TV viewing. You would think that this is a good idea, since many people are now watching TV programs on the internet. However, there's a catch: Nielsen's new service will only count viewings of a program with the same number of advertisements as the network TV model. So this immediately eliminates Hulu, as well as any shows watched via the network's own websites. As a matter of fact, it would currently only include Comcast's XFinity TV service, and TV Everywhere (which, so far, appears to be the equivalent of "Duke Nukem Forever" of television). So either, (a) everyone will rush out to watch their online TV on Comcast XFinity, so that they're viewing counts in the ratings (unlikely), or (b) Hulu and everyone else starts to put more advertisements on their shows (more likely, but would also probably mean the death of Hulu)."
Link to Original Source
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Amazon hikes Kindle royalties to 70%, with a catch

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "Amazon dropped a bomb on the publishing world Wednesday morning by announcing a new royalty program that will allow authors to earn 70 percent royalties from each e-book sold, but with a catch or two. The move will pay participating authors more per book than they typically earn from physical book sales so long as they agree to certain conditions—conditions that make it clear that Amazon is working on keeping the Kindle attractive in light of upcoming competition. Still, authors and publishers are split on how good this deal really is.

Amazon's old system will remain in place for those who don't want to participate in the new arrangement, but the carrot to upgrade is pretty attractive—a typical $8.99 book would pay an author $3.15 under the "standard" system, while an author or publisher would get $6.25 under the new 70 percent scheme.

The catch, however, is that authors or publishers must list their books for between $2.99 and $9.99 on the Kindle. A majority of Kindle books already fall into this range, but authors are able to set prices higher if they want, and some do.

The price must also be at least 20 percent below the lowest list price for the physical book, the book must be available in all geographical areas where the authors has rights, it must include all features of the Kindle store (including text-to-speech capabilities), and the Kindle price must be the same or below the price offered at other e-book stores."

Link to Original Source
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Should workers get paid to boot up their computer?

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  about 6 years ago

cashman73 writes "The National Law Journal currently has an interesting article (premium access required; summary here) covering a new type of lawsuit, in which employees are suing over time spent booting [up] their computers. Apparently, some employers don't think that their employees should be paid during the 15-30 minutes that it takes Windows Vista to boot up every morning, because all that takes is for the employee to press a button and then go take a smoke or coffee break instead of doing actual work. I thought it would be interesting to get the opinions of the Slashdot community on this matter; should you get paid while your computer boots up? Or is Microsoft robbing us of valuable work-time every day?"
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No Email for US Presidents

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  about 6 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "The New York Times currently has an article that provides some interesting insights into why past U.S. Presidents have not been able to converse directly via email in cyberspace. Even George W. Bush had to give up his G94B@aol.com account prior to moving into the White House in accordance with the Presidential Records Act, which puts any of his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review and the threat of subpoenas. The problem is, Barack Obama has become quite "addicted" to his Blackberry. Now, the question is, will the President-Elect maintain the status quo and give this up, are will he try and push to keep connected, and finally give us Slashdotters, "change we can believe in"?"
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Introducing Sega's New Female Robot!

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "Finally coming out with a robot that Slashdotters can actually appreciate, Sega is set to debut it's new female robot. Meet E.M.A., which stands for "Eternal, Maiden, Actualization". She walks, talks, offers company cards to passers by, and even has a love mode in which she'll lean forward for a kiss when owners' heads come in close proximity. She'll sell for $175, though only on sale in Japan,...

Read Sega's press release, which, of course, is in Japanese,..."
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iPhone 3G - Coming in July

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cashman73 writes "Apple has officially announced the next generation iPhone, available July 11. It includes 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the new App store. And it costs less than your first iPhone, at $199 for the 8 GB model and $299 for the 16 GB model."
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Views of the internet from 1995

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cashman73 (855518) writes "I recently came across this article from the February 27, 1995, issue of Newsweek. In it, Clifford Stoll discusses this "new" thing that was just becoming popular at the time, known as the Internet. And proceeds to tell us why it will never really change society and the way in which we live. While he did get a few things right, like more or less correctly describing Usenet as a, "cacophany [that] more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harassment, and anonymous threats", he was dead wrong on others. For example, he didn't see that we'd ever replace newspapers with internet websites, or that we'd ever purchase and read books online (a la Amazon & Kindle). He described reading a book online as, "an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tote that laptop to the beach."

He also described the internet as a, "wasteland of unfiltered data", and told us about this difficulties in trying to hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar, in the pre-Google and pre-Wikipedia era. And then he talks about the failures of the internet in the realm of political campaigning, citing one local government official who put up all his campaign releases online, only to get 30 hits. How shocked he must be today, seeing websites for every major political candidate, from US President on down to local city mayor elections, not to forget about all of the video out there, like the CNN/Youtube debates!

His comments on computers in the classroom were sort of a mixed bag, stating that computers will never replace teachers, but also failing to see how computers will be utilized in the classroom today.

In the end, the thing he argues most as the reason why this new internet thing would never really take off, is the lack of human contact, citing that computer networks isolated us more. He even goes on to say that a, "network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee." Which is interesting because, while he makes a valid point about the lack of in-person contact via the internet, he failed to predict that those same friends that met over coffee in 1995, would still be meeting for coffee today AND accessing the internet via the coffee shop's wireless internet to chat with other friends online."
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Why aren't there any new ideas in sci-fi?

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cashman73 writes "EW.com's Mark Harris has an interesting article tackling sci-fi's big problem today of remakes and reimaginations, and wonders where all the original ideas and content are these days? In the past several years, the biggest sci-fi projects haven't been original ideas, but instead, remakes and continuations of old ideas: more Star Wars movies, and a long-anticipated Star Wars television show, Star Trek being produced ad nauseum (not heeding Bones McCoy's famous proclamation that, "It's dead, Jim", a new Battlestar Galactica series (although good, it's still a remake of an old 1970s show), and even making a movie based on childhood, 1980s toys (e.g. the Transformers). So where are all the new ideas these days? Why can't Hollywood keep "boldly going where no one has gone before", instead of giving us the same stuff in new packaging?"
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New Star Trek episode set to "air" Christm

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

cashman73 writes "Well, sort of. An independently produced webisode of Star Trek: The Continuining Mission will be released on the website on December 25, 2007. Created by Andy Tyrer and Sebastian Prooth in July 2007, ST:TCM is a non-profit, monthly release, downloadable audio programme set in the fictional universe of Star Trek. The series follows the adventures of the Trieste class starship, USS Montana (NCC-1786), under the command of Starfleet veteran, Captain Paul Edwards (read about the rest of the crew here).

CNN.com also has a story on this new web series here."

Journals

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Carnegie Mellon's digital library exceeds 1.5 million books

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 6 years ago Most slashdotters are probably familiar with Google's book scanning project with several major universities. But Google may have been beat to the punch this time -- about a decade ago, Carnegie Mellon University embarked on a project to scan books into digital format, to be made available online. Today, according to new reports, they now have a collection of 1.5 million books, the equivalent of a typical university library, available online. Of course, on the downside, most of the books are in Chinese, so I hope they don't get blocked by the great firewall of China.

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Flash Gordon: What's wrong with the Sci-Fi Channel?

cashman73 cashman73 writes  |  more than 7 years ago Ok, so I admit, I actually watched the first two episodes of the new Flash Gordon television series on the Sci-Fi Channel. I guess I thought it might actually be like the 1980 movie,... that actually was pretty good for its time. And I guess I had high expectations that Sci-Fi might actually be able to pull off a pretty good, action-packed series, given their recent success with Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, and Firefly. After watching the first two episodes (the pilot, and episode 1), I'm not so sure,...

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure sure if I'd even call this 'Flash Gordon',... it seems more like 'Smallville II'. The characters are rather unconvincing and the plot is rather weak (and nothing like the movie). Basically, 13 years ago Flash's father (a professor at the local university) invented some kind of rift which transported him to another world (Mongo). To Flash & his mom, he died. Now, in the present, Flash is probably about a 25-year-old momma's boy, living in his mother's basement, when aliens from Mongo start coming back through the rift. His high school girlfriend, Dale, is now engaged to some cop, and just started a new job working at the local TV station as a reporter. The story seems to shift between earth and mongo quite frequently, with travel made easy and convenient by these "RiftBlaster" devices. Two episodes later, and Flash has still spent 90% of his time on earth -- WTF? Flash needs to let his balls drop and start exploring Mongo (I don't care if he's looking for his Dad, or trying to kill Ming -- just get off your fracking ass!).

The characters are rather unconvincing and bland. First, you have Flash, as I've said, is some 20something momma's boy, who's not a Football star (as in the movie), but a marathon runner, which, while somewhat impressive, not nearly as "heroic". He also comes across as kind of a wimp, and not very much of a man -- more like an overgrown teenager who has trouble taking care of himself (I keep wondering if his mommy dresses him in the morning and does everything for him).

Then, you have Dale Arden, who is probably one of the "better" characters in the series (which sadly isn't saying much). She's reasonably attractive, smart, dated Flash in high school, went off to Yale, came back, got a job as a reporter,... yada yada yada. So far, she's more impressive than Flash -- they should probably rename the series? Of course, she's also engaged now, to a local cop. I'm still not sure what this has to do with the real story -- her fiance doesn't seem to be doing much of anything, as most of the story focuses on her running around with Flash investigating these new alien sightings and crimes. Plus, it's not all that realistic -- a cop investigating a crime scene is giving way too much information to a news reporter?! Yeah, right! I think the whole fiance thing was added to show Dale as having 'moved on' in her relationship with Flash, but now she's around him again and falling in love again. Ok, whatever,...

Dr. Zarkov is a disappointment. Supposedly, he was working with Flash's Dad on the rift project when he disappeared 13 years ago. Not sure what he's still doing 13 years later, but he still looks like some geeky grad student, hasn't aged a day, and living in his mother's winnebago (probably because the basement is full of his old comic books). The guy doesn't look very competent -- he can't even build a ray gun to blast more than one shot at an alien -- the real Zarkov would've had a ray gun that could incinerate a legion, fry their brains like eggs, and then eat them for breakfast. This guy couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag.

Ming? The Merciless? Ruthless Dictator? Ha! Ha! Ha! Think again. This guy looks more like an ad executive or an accountant than a dictator. He looks far too, ... "human", and comes across as too much of a nice guy. Though at least he still went ahead with the execution he ordered in the second episode -- there were times I thought he was going to back off. His daughter is fairly attractive, but she seems more like a valley girl than an evil dictator's princess.

The whole set used for the planet Mongo looks kind of cheap -- the set used in the 1980s movie was several orders of magnitude better, which is not what I expect from something produced almost 30 years later. Of course, we haven't seen much of Mongo, so this **could** get better. Still -- where the frack are the hawk men?!?!

So in the end, I'm just not impressed. About the only thing this has in common with the 1980 movie is the name, 'Flash Gordon'. But I still think 'Smallville II' would be more appropriate -- they should rename it, sell the whole thing to News Corp., so that they can show it on Fox and market it to the teen drama queen myspaced crowd, who'll probably eat something like this alive,...

I really hope that this isn't a new trend for Sci-Fi. Between this, ECW (what in the heck is wrestling doing on sci-fi?), and Painkiller Jane, I'm beginning to think that the network is going the way of TechTV,...

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