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The Lost Film That Accompanied Empire Strikes Back

dschuetz Re:Really? What was the distribution on this? (195 comments)

It sounds like you saw TESB at the Uptown

Lol. Good guess, but no. Saw it a few miles north, across from WTTG. Not sure that theater's even still there (can't find it on Street View, looks like a furniture store now). [Ha! Found it! "KB Cinema." And the link even describes TESB, complete with the line. :) ]

I used to love the Uptown (saw reissues of 2001 and the "director's cut" Blade Runner there, among other films), but now it's just too far to go. And the last couple times I'd been there I had bad experiences -- for one, the doors to the lobby open RIGHT INTO the auditorium, so anytime anyone came in our out of the theater you'd get bright light flooding onto one or the other side of the screen. (Maybe they've fixed this in the last 10 years).

Agreed, though, if it were anywhere, I'd've banked on Uptown.

more than 4 years ago

The Lost Film That Accompanied Empire Strikes Back

dschuetz UK / Canada only (195 comments)

Okay, checking on IMDB it seems like this was only released in the UK and Canada. So my memory of, Christ, 30-year-old movie experiences, is not yet faulty.

more than 4 years ago

The Lost Film That Accompanied Empire Strikes Back

dschuetz Really? What was the distribution on this? (195 comments)

I saw TESB the first week it was in theaters (I think it was like day 5). I distinctly remember the theater, the standing in line wrapping around the building in downtown DC for like an hour, and I think I can even picture the interior of the theater, but I do not remember this film. Perhaps it was just too weird for me, but somehow I'd think that it would've been talked about amongst my friends and such.

So was this included with all prints, or just selected theaters in selected cities?

more than 4 years ago

Nexus One Name Irks Philip K. Dick's Estate

dschuetz Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (506 comments)

Is "Nexus-1" trademarked? Does it actually appear in the story? Does it refer to a phone?

All those are (I'd expect) no. I doubt Dick (or his estate) trademarked Nexus, and I don't think that Nexus-1 was ever mentioned in the book (though some might guess as to its existence because of Nexus-6 in the book. but even that's not guaranteed -- were there really 6099 other models before the Binford 6100?). And in the book, it refers to replicants, not to telephones.

"But wait, the telephone here runs an operating system called Android!" Yes, it does. But that's not what Nexus-1 refers to -- it refers to the phone. If the phone ran WinCE, I'd bet they'd still be complaining.

Finally, what does nexus mean, anyway? "A connection or series of connections within a particular situation or system." I can certainly see how that'd apply to such a well integrated smart phone. The fact that there's a geeky subtext/double-meaning is just a bonus.

Even Motorola had the wherewithal to kindly ask Lucas before using Droid as a name for their phone because 'droid' is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.

You just proved my point there. Motorola didn't "kindly ask Lucas" because they were being friendly, they asked because Lucas has a trademark on the word Droid (for reasons passing understanding, as 'droid is just a diminutive form of android). So Motorola really didn't have a choice. And they certainly play up the "droid as friendly robot phone" angle in their ads.

Ultimately, I'd doubt that Dick's estate has any solid legal grounds to complain, and I'd have a hard time agreeing that they've got moral/ethical reasons. I think this is just a ploy to get money. And if they don't win a settlement from Google, at least they've got some free press, and might make some more book sales than they would have otherwise.

(OTOH, trademark rulings often defy belief. Like when Palm lost the right to call their handheld computers "Pilots," because Pilot Pen complained, and (here's where it gets tenuous) you wrote on the Palm Pilot with a "pen-like" stylus. So anything could happen.)

about 5 years ago

Simple, Cost-Effective, Multiroom Audio?

dschuetz Re:squeezebox family (438 comments)

I second this. I'm using squeeze server on a linux box with all my mp3s on it, slaved to a bunch of old Dell Rio Receivers that aren't fantastic, but work good enough for squeeze. They're all in the basement (I've actually got in-ceiling speakers throughout the house wired to the server room) and controlled through browsers and an iPhone app.

In most cases, though, just stick those in different rooms (find 'em on eBay, maybe) or a bunch of Squeezebox players (slimp3, etc.), hook them up with ethernet, and you're good. Use the browser, or an iPhone or iPod touch for controlling them, or you can even buy a fairly cool gui controller from Logitech that works with the whole thing. (though I'd probably recommend the iPod Touch route, 'cause you can do a lot more with it and it costs about the same as the controller does).

Anyway, it's cool, and reasonably open too (their hardware information is even available on a wiki, with block diagrams and software source code).

more than 5 years ago

NCSU's Fingernail-Size Chip Can Hold 1TB

dschuetz Is this a real writable chip? (227 comments)

Or just a demonstration of an artificial structure with resolution / density that'd permit 1 TB in whatever their size is?

I didn't see anything in the article that leads me to believe it's an actual storage device. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it's even necessarily a "fingernail-sized" chip they made, just that if you scaled their research to that size it'd hold 1 TB.

Any information other than this incredibly vague article? (I swear, more and more frequently we're seeing useless articles that say even less than the press release they're drawn from. And aren't the press releases often DESIGNED to be vague and over-promising, possibly to attract more research dollars?) Be nice if we'd just see their actual research, or a rough draft of a paper, or even just a frank interview with the geeks involved.

more than 5 years ago

Mozilla Unblocks Microsoft's .NET Addon

dschuetz Still can't uninstall? (275 comments)

Mozilla should block the plugin simply on the grounds that a user can't uninstall it from within the approved Mozilla add-ons panel. That should be the case for any plugin that doesn't play by the rules, no matter who it's from or what its use is.

If I can't delete it, it's malware. Oh, wait, I *can* delete it, if I google for some crazy instructions that involve registry editing? Isn't that how I delete malware?

more than 5 years ago

Apple Takes Action Over Australian Logos

dschuetz Re:Apple is ass (425 comments)

Also not the original questionee, but...

I'm in Information Security, and like slinging perl in my rare moments of spare time. All our boxes are Macs, except for two dell mini 9s (running Leopard) and the Dell Servers (running Ubuntu) in the basement.

I agree with the GP - they're tools. Good tools. And the OS is stable enough that I don't have to worry about things breaking all the time, which is why I've not installed Windows on a box in 7 years.

more than 5 years ago

Suitable Naming Conventions For Workstations?

dschuetz We use office number and system type (688 comments)

Where I currently work, our systems are named with a combination of 1-3 letter codes. Included in the code are building and room, machine type (server, workstation, printer, etc.), and network (we have multiple LAN/WANs that systems can be a part of). Works pretty well to help someone physically identify a system, which is really all you need anyway.

Worst scheme I've seen: facility name, subnet, node. Facility never changed (it was only used there) and subnet/node are already part of the IP, obviously. So having a much of machines named things like "ETC_37_123" and "ETC_37_124" really didn't do a bit of good.

One place I worked, we used a different scheme for each subnet. One net was movie titles. Points to anyone who can tell me why naming a machine "2001" in a UNIX environment is a PITA.

more than 5 years ago

Battlestar Galactica Feature Film Confirmed

dschuetz Singer already tried this. (342 comments)

Nine years ago, Singer was working on a made-for-TV adaptation of BSG, but it got delayed and died and eventually Fox "lost interest" in the project.

So rather than sitting back and saying, "Well, Ronald D. Moore got lucky and did great, good for him!", Singer's got time now and is probably thinking "Hey, I can make a lot of money on this!" I'll bet whatever he does is based on the work from 2000. Or maybe it's Larson saying "Hey, I hated that re-imagining, let's see if Singer's still interested and I can make some coin on a movie instead!" Either way, it's the wrong reason to make a movie.

I don't have high hopes for this. RDM's BSG was one of the best TV series I've ever seen, and there's no way Singer will be able to even approach it. Especially after the Superman debacle.

more than 5 years ago

Maddog's New Hampshire "Unix" Plate Turns 20

dschuetz DEV AUTO (212 comments)

I had DEV AUTO on my car back in '92 or so. After a few years, the car died, and I went for a while w/out (sharing only my wife's car). Some years later, I put the plate up on my office wall, at which point a co-worker promptly registered the tag for his own car. He's still got it (probably about 10 years for him, now). Bastard.

Recently, I saw "NICE -20" on a car (a 'Vette or similar fast muscle car). Laughed out loud when I saw that one....

more than 5 years ago

Let's Rename Swine Flu As "Colbert Flu"

dschuetz We already *have* a standard naming scheme (607 comments)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we already name newly-emergent virus strains from the city or country in which they were first identified? (hence Ebola Reston, etc.)

So Mexican Flu is not only accurate (that's where it first appeared, even if not strictly accurate as to its exact origin), it's also in keeping with past practices.

And I do agree that we should start calling it something else -- even though it probably is too late. Seems like every day they're devoting time on the news to debunking rumors about getting this from pork or from visiting a farm or whatever. Time that'd be better spent on substantive matters, like how virulent is this thing, really, or what Brittney Spears thinks of it.

more than 5 years ago

Encrypted But Searchable Online Storage?

dschuetz I don't understand... (266 comments)

...isn't this easy?

Plaintext: "Attack at dawn"
Ciphertext: "lkaoiuast98u;aw"
Search query: "oiua"
Result: "lkaoiuast98u;aw"

What could be simpler?

(no, I'm not an idiot, this is a joke.)

more than 5 years ago

GameStop Selling Games Played By Employees As New

dschuetz What does the law (or FTC guidelines) say? (243 comments)

It's not like people didn't already know (or guess) this. But I am curious what laws or FTC rules might apply to this. I frequently see modest "open box" price reductions for electronic items like TVs and such, and honestly. I'm not sure it's unreasonable to expect the same of software that is no longer in original, manufacturer-sealed state.

more than 5 years ago

Psion Accuses Intel of Cybersquatting

dschuetz Industry should cave - and capitalize on it. (116 comments)

I think the industry should all stop using the Netbook name, immediately. And then take out multiple advertisements to "clear up the confusion," pointing out how much better their fully-functional micro-laptops are.

Tag line: "Why buy a Netbook(TM) when you can have a Dell?" (with proper attribution for Netbook, naturally).

more than 5 years ago

Roku Box Adds HD, Grows Beyond Netflix

dschuetz Re:Pity download caps will kills this idea for now (95 comments)

I think it might go the other way. It's one thing for a few geeks with home-brewed media center PCs to start streaming lots of movies and run up huge bandwidth totals.

It's a totally different thing for "Interweb" users with a cable modem and a single PC they use for online banking, when they get something like AppleTV or Roku and can start watching lots of stuff that way.

That is, once this starts to go mainstream, when average home internet users can start using these devices, there'll be a lot more pressure for ISPs to NOT impose those bandwidth caps.

At least, that's how I'm hoping it goes.

more than 6 years ago

Is There a Cyberwar, and Is the US Losing It?

dschuetz Re:First and most stupid (320 comments)

"Is Never get involved in a land war in Asia" - Vencini - The Princess Bride

I've always liked this, but more because it's actually from a real source:

"The US has broken the second rule of war. That is, don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland of Asia. Rule One is don't march on Moscow. I developed these two rules myself." - Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, in the House of Lords on American policy in Vietnam, 1962.

more than 6 years ago

Twenty Years of Dijkstra's Cruelty

dschuetz Re:Cruel and couldn't use a computer (727 comments)

Oh, I don't know....

When I was in college, we (the students) were pushing for the CIS department to offer a course in...

wait for it...

VAX assembly.

That's real useful now, isn't it?

I can beat that.

I took a class (actually, an Electrical Engineering class) that taught the basics of assembly and low-level computer design. We interfaced FORTRAN with Assembly on a Sperry-Rand UNIVAC 1100/90 mainframe. With a line editor. It was actually pretty damn cool.

Then I changed majors to Comp Sci and learned all about mathematically verifying programs using some kind of weird "Program Calculus" that I strongly suspect was based on Dijkstra's research. (I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of the authors of our textbook, but since this was 20 years ago I'm not sure which came first -- the theory or the EWD).

more than 6 years ago


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