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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

neilo_1701D Re: Good news (409 comments)

Star Wars 'ethos' is front and center via the Force, so its harder for JJ to lens flare away the central theme of the story (balance of Light and Dark).

Lightsaber battles with lens flares. Lots of lightsaber battles. And put lens flares on the lightsabre exhaust ports. And the X-Wings speeding over the water; those water droplets surely must interact with light to cause lens flares.

'nuff said.

2 days ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

neilo_1701D Re:Good news (409 comments)

Even when he was out of the loop on TNG, Roddenberry still managed to screw with early Ron Moore screenplays like The Bonding, loudly insisting that "children in the 24th century wouldn't morn their parent's death."

However, The Bonding turned into a very interesting story because of that. Now we have the consequences of someone else's guilt being pushed onto another person - in this age of outrage on behalf of someone else, very topical too.

I agree that generally the scripts and ideas got better as Roddenberry was removing himself from the process - but his overarching vision and narrative framework made the interesting stories possible in the first place. It's that narrative framework that allowed Berman et al to create DS9 and VOY.

As a counter-example to this, I present Enterprise. See what happens to Star Trek stories that are completely outside Roddenberry's influence.

2 days ago
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Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

neilo_1701D Re:It's about time. (134 comments)

You must mean Tiberian bats you insensitive clod!

Episode 67 clearly established they were Factarian moon bats. What you hear was an overdub based on a misspelling.

2 days ago
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Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

neilo_1701D Re:It's about time. (134 comments)

That's easy to fix. How about we have Spock come through a wormhole (or somesuch) to a point just before the first movie and nip it in the bud. That way, the existing canon will be wiped out and the series can be rebooted without messing up canon.

Ah shit; that's just too simplistic. No studio will ever fall for a crap idea like that.

2 days ago
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Hands On With Microsoft's Holographic Goggles

neilo_1701D Re:Definitely interested in this... (170 comments)

so that one could "feel" virtual objects.

This is Slashdot. Why not come out and say straight away that you want to feel virtual boobies, then the conversation will get all hung up on the term "boobies" and you'll have made your point: it's all about interactive porn.

2 days ago
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Time For Microsoft To Open Source Internet Explorer?

neilo_1701D Re:Too Late? (165 comments)

According to Thurrott, it's Trident minus all the compatibility cruft.

3 days ago
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Jim Blasko Explains BitCoin Spinoff 'Unbreakable Coin' (Video 1 of 2)

neilo_1701D Re:Useful changes (55 comments)

I don't think inflation means what you think it means.

The supply of money has nothing to do with inflation; inflation is the change in the cost of good or services over time. As the cost of goods or services increases, a unit of currency buys less of those goods or services. Increasing the supply of money drives inflation up over time (supply of money increases; purchasing power increases; demand increases & the supply - demand curve settles on a new equilibrium state, as the supply side now has to compete for goods and services).

You're right in that an inflation rate of ~2% is economically stable: because inflationary effects are generally lagging in time it allows for an accumulation in wealth. But the currency has nothing to do with inflation; that's all economic conditions.

A currency whose value (somehow) tracked inflation would not have the outcome you might desire. Ultimately, a currency must trade against another currency so that country A can buy and sell goods and services to country B. If the value of country A's currency was tied to their inflation rate, residents of country A would get a rude shock whenever they wanted to buy goods made by country B (which doesn't have this inflation rate lock-in): the cost of those goods has gone up - which leads to inflation in country A anyway.

Economics is economics, no matter if dealing with a real currency or a crypto currency - and crypto currencies behave more like a commodity anyway.

4 days ago
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FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

neilo_1701D Re:Just cause needed (371 comments)

USA: stop this please. You exist for the people, not the other way around.

Republics exist for the people (res publica = public affairs). Empires tend towards having the people the subjects of the Emperor.

Is the USA a republic or an empire?

4 days ago
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FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

neilo_1701D Re:Corporations and Companies (371 comments)

When are we going to get some lawmakers who actually understand the fucking technology?

They understand the technology well enough. It's the Constitution they're having problems understanding.

4 days ago
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FBI Seeks To Legally Hack You If You're Connected To TOR Or a VPN

neilo_1701D Re:Locked Homes are Next? (371 comments)

They don't need to enter your home, locked or not, anymore:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/...

New police radars can 'see' inside homes

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person's house without first obtaining a search warrant.

The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.

4 days ago
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Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

neilo_1701D Re:WHO forced them? (141 comments)

What I'd like to see in the abstract is an explanation of what the submitter thinks "ironically" means.

I saw that too. Looks like the submitter was trying to distance himself from the "literally" crowd. Ironically, he fell flat on his face.

5 days ago
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Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

neilo_1701D Re:Self-aggrandizing (141 comments)

I don't understand the point you're trying to make.

If she left Iran and went to (say) Afghanistan, would that have have helped her realize her full potential? Doubt it. Or let's pick another country: Australia. Suppose she went there. Given the state of the Australian space program, could she have realized her full potential? Of course not; Australia can barely launch a helium balloon (I'm Australian, BTW).

No, if her full potential was to go into space, there's only really three countries available: China, Russia and the United States. Of those three, given the choice, which would you pick? So, saying that she "...had to become an American to realize her full potential." is completely fair.

I don't understand how you get 'Self-aggrandizing' out of this.

5 days ago
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Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

neilo_1701D Re:Too bad! (141 comments)

Given that it was so long ago, finding actual news sites is hard. I found http://www.memri.org/report/en... which has a summary of Arab reactions; some good and some bad.

5 days ago
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Iran Forced To Cancel Its Space Program

neilo_1701D Re:Too bad! (141 comments)

Then I guess you forgot about some Arabs cheering in the streets as Columbia broke up.

5 days ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

neilo_1701D Re:Bitcoin (290 comments)

I do see your point regarding precious metals. But I would argue that metals are precious only because we decide they are precious. As an example, the Spanish came to plunder the Incas for their gold; the Incas valued the gold far less than fine cloth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inca_society).

And to speculate: what do you think would happen to the price of gold if an asteroid were discovered that was made of the stuff? Part of the value of gold it it's relative scarcity.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

neilo_1701D Re:Bitcoin (290 comments)

Ah. I see your point. You're separating the concept of "medium of exchange" from "store of value".

In that case yes, we are on the same page.

You might be interested in a fascinating book "Money: The Unauthorized Biography" by Felix Martin (http://www.amazon.com/Money-Unauthorized-Biography-Felix-Martin-ebook/dp/B00F1W0DAO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1421348597&sr=1-1&keywords=money%3A+the+unauthorized+biography), which actually goes quite deeply into this concept and traces as far back as can be (stone tablets kept by priests in ancient temples where debts were recorded and traded) where the concept of money came from and how the Greek philosophers eventually united the concept of value with the need to store that value and finally exchange that value.

It certainly doesn't change your life, but adds a new dimension to appreciating what we call 'money'.

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

neilo_1701D Re:Pyramid Schemes (290 comments)

The crash of 2008? That was what happened when the guys running the Ponzi scheme managed to get everyone else to cover their losses.

Damn. Here I was thinking that the GFC was primarily precipitated by homeowners starting to default on subprime mortgages as the US economy started to slow and people were being laid off. The most junior people at first, sure... exactly the sort of person a subprime was aimed at (a regular consumer with a good credit history, a job and a deposit didn't need a subprime). As subprime mortgages started to default, first in a trickle then in a flood, the investment packages (the CDO's) started to turn sour. Then the kicker happened: the Credit Default Swaps started to kick in. As investments fell over, the insurance that had been bought for these, the Credit Default Swaps, started to have to be paid out. Companies holding these bailed out as fast as they possibly could, which sucked the liquidity out of the system. With liquidity gone, trades could not happen. With trading effectively halted, companies with big exposure to failing investment packages couldn't get out fast enough and failed. Now that investors knew that their insurance wouldn't pay out on investment losses, they started to bail out, causing the next wave of crisis.

But I see your point. It was a Ponzi scheme, elaborately set up so that when it came crashing down everyone lost. That's much easier to accept than banks had the regulation removed that were precisely designed to stop this sort of things happening; regulations born out of the hard lessons of the 1930's Great Depression and 1980's Savings & Loan crisis. Yup; why go with incompetence when malice was the obvious motivator?

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

neilo_1701D Re:Hmmm ... (290 comments)

The volatility of bitcoins is just proof that you shouldn't horde them, there's no reason to do that.

So BitCoins are not suitable as an investment? Interesting....

about two weeks ago
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Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

neilo_1701D Re:Bitcoin (290 comments)

Sure. But the value of precious metals isn't going to collapse like bitcoins, fiat currency or anything else created out of thin air if investors and speculators stop believing.

Tell that to the gold speculators.

Look at the price of gold over time: http://goldprice.org/gold-pric...

If you bought gold on August 19, 2011 for $1850 / oz, you would be pretty sore today at $1262 / oz. The period of September 24, 2012 through to July 2, 2013, where gold dropped by $512 / oz looks like a collapse to me.

about two weeks ago

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