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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

jafac Re:The Hobbit didn't take the material seriously (67 comments)

What's funny, is that I remember for DECADES, fans bemoaned the lack of a good LOTR/Hobbit adaptation, because the special effects weren't good enough. We had the Ralph Bakshi atrocity, then the Rankin-Bass embarrassment. (and for the hipsters, the little-known black-and-white Russian adaptation). Then. . . Nothing. No studio was going to invest their good money into such a farce. Then Peter Jackson came along, with some contacts who had a CGI technique that could maybe make human actors look like Hobbits - then, we finally got LOTR.

And there was great rejoicing among the FANS. But if you really want to look at LOTR with a critical eye, step back and take a look at it, and yeah, it was pretty stretched-out (and at the same time, weirdly had the feeling of being tightly compressed; like months of road-travel and hiking crammed into a 30-minute TV episode compressed.) (I hike. And I don't know how you make a long hike "interesting" to a cinema audience. But that experience, of long day-after-day exposure to nature, that absolute breathless awestruck feeling when you behold the spectacle of pristine wilderness, the deafening silence, the overwhelming feeling of "letting-go" of your personal safety in the face of insects, weather, predators, rough terrain, homesickness, isolation, struggle, confusion, physical exhaustion, was all very deftly conveyed in Tolkein's prose, and totally absent from the movies). But, overall, still better than the Bakshi version of the movie.

Hobbit takes that to the next extreme. I think it's obvious that the Studio wasn't going to fund Hobbit unless they could milk it to the same profitable extent that LOTR was milked. Only, it's like 1/10th the literary material to work with. I think it's also apparent that the creative team had a difficult time making that requirement work. My guess is that everybody was all geared up to accept this new whizbang 48 fps 3d technology, and that they were hoping that this would make these movies so visually engaging that the audience wouldn't care about the pacing and story and plot problems. I think that they almost certainly fell into the groupthink trap, and bought into their own bullshit, and somehow, anybody who had any nagging doubts was just never in a position to say; "fuck, this is awful, we need to back up and fix this shit." because, by that time, it was probably too late, and the only impact of speaking-up would be to end one's career in the industry. I've been on projects like that. I know that feel.

4 hours ago

Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

jafac Re:I like Swift pretty well (254 comments)

what are you talking about? Visual Basic is totally portable!

I can run it on Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows CE, Windows 7, even Windows 8!

9 hours ago

Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

jafac Re:It's a funny world (148 comments)

there's always Tizen. . . :D

2 days ago

Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

jafac Re: It's a funny world (148 comments)

ubuntu and red hat should work in most UEFI setups.
But there are some machines that just don't get it (UEFI) right, so you have to set it in BIOS (emulation) mode.

2 days ago

Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

jafac Re:It's a funny world (148 comments)

Prices have been in free-fall, unfortunately, since the beta.

Which is sad, because that was my retirement plan.

2 days ago

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

jafac Re:The Future's So Bright (415 comments)

The only bad programmers I've ever encountered, are programmers that are inconsiderate.
Those who do not consider that the purpose of a computing language is to communicate with other developers, not just the computer. That's really the main common-factor I've found among "bad programmers". It's a skill, that can be learned, but it's an emotional skill. Some people can be very intelligent, brilliant even, and still not want to learn that one crucial skill.

about three weeks ago

Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

jafac Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (385 comments)

WE don't lack the will.

We lack the power.

The ones with the power lack the will (or desire) - because their power depends on control of generation of energy through resources they control; namely fossil fuels. They're not going to give up that power while they have it. Not voluntarily.

about three weeks ago

Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

jafac Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (385 comments)

The reason thorium never hurt anybody, is because it is complete fantasy. Nobody has ever built one that has demonstrated any degree of industrial reliability and usefulness. Thorium is up there with Fusion, as far as being a demonstrated technology.

about three weeks ago

Austrian Tor Exit Node Operator Found Guilty As an Accomplice

jafac Re:Dear former colonies of United Kingdom... (255 comments)

... basically, what American Colonists were rebelling against in the first place. . . then adopted.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

jafac Re:Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

He's not joking.

Open emacs.
Type the command "xdoctor".

Best part: no copay.

about a month ago

New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

jafac Re:I see a problem here... (380 comments)

The reason why it's so cheap:
We all pay a shitload of taxes to fund wars to conquer lands where we're extracting the stuff.
We don't pay for destroyed habitats, and climate change (yet) from waste, spills, and other pollution. (basically, we're borrowing from the future generations who will suffer directly from these problems).

When compared, as an energy source, with something like solar pv, factoring these hidden costs in, gasoline is astronomically expensive.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

jafac Re:Only if... (427 comments)

With the galaxy gear 2, it's just a speakerphone (bluetooth). So it doesn't really matter how you hold it. If it's a situation where I can't speakerphone, I just pull out my actual phone.

about a month ago

The Rise and Fall of the Cheat Code

jafac Re:DLC? (178 comments)


At it's root, the problem is that the product manager is not familiar with real engineering practices, and does not have the ability to plan a project lifecycle beyond; 1. code features, and 2. get paid. Too bad it's the industry standard.

about a month ago

What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

jafac Re:Biased source? (148 comments)

In general, economists are not well known for recusing, or otherwise following ethical practices which are standard in other fields. The least ethical, are the ones at the top, and those are the people who run our economy. And this is why we can't have nice things.

about a month ago

US Government Introduces Pollinator Action Plan To Save Honey Bees

jafac Re:For a First Step (143 comments)

lol. Also the same wonderful people who brought us Zyklon B.

about a month ago

Scientists Successfully Grow Full Head of Hair On Bald Man

jafac Re:title should be... (109 comments)

Just develop a pill that "cures" female aversion to bald (or balding) men.

Problem solved.

about a month ago

Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

jafac Re:most young developers are at least as bad (232 comments)

This is really about how older people are experienced to know a boondoggle when they see one. (Example:the cloud, and how it's basically about trying to take control from the user and seeking rent). Older people don't buy into the bullshit and get off my lawn, and thus are seen as not wanting to embrace new technology. Its not that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, it's that the old dog knows that it's all a bunch of crap

about 2 months ago

H.R. Giger, Alien Artist and Designer, Dead at Age 74

jafac Re:Coffins are vaguely phallic. (92 comments)

But sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.
(- Sigmund Freud).

about 3 months ago



Natalie Portman: Not Petrified (of Science)

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "Turns out, that Natalie Portman, much abused by slasdot geeks, was, herself, a Science geek, in High School, and studied Neuroscience at Harvard. Who knew?

Okay, don't answer that. I don't care."

Link to Original Source

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "As discussed in this SpaceDaily article, the video footage from the launch, earlier this week (available at, of the Falcon 1 vehicle, seems to show a problem with the stage separation. I noticed this when I watched the video last night — it appears that the top of the first stage bumps the engine nozzle.

The upper stage guidance does a good job of setting the craft straight after this bump, but some odd things happen after that, including some kind of ring flying off the engine, and a wobble that gets progressively worse until the vehicle goes completely out of control. I've been fascinated by the availability of these kinds of videos more and more; but this is the first one I've seen that documents a failed launch — (Elon Musk's denials notwithstanding), and because of that, it's probably the coolest video I've seen all year."


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