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Comment: Re:Not good enough (Score 5, Interesting) 309

by ConceptJunkie (#47918083) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

U2 didn't used to be terrible, but at some point in the late 90s or early 2000s they seemed to start phoning it in. I haven't listened to anything new by them since then.

I'm a pretty serious music junkie, and while I usually listen to progressive rock and jazz fusion, I liked U2's stuff starting in the late 80s and my wife brought me an appreciation for their earlier stuff. They were a talented bunch of guys who were never above reinventing themselves every couple albums, like a lot of good, creative groups. This was back in the days when a significant amount of popular music was interesting and creative.

I'm surprised that Apple would be so tone-deaf to think everyone would automatically want this new album pushed to them. It wouldn't bother me (but I don't own any Apple devices and you couldn't pay me to use iTunes), but I can guarantee I'd want a very easy way to get rid of it if I didn't like it. I haven't spent decades curating a collection of music just to have it be carelessly junked up.

Comment: Re:It Costs Money (Score 1) 213

by ConceptJunkie (#47608953) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

You can keep getting your snippets of VB code from the internet, and I'll keep reading latest research on AI and email the actual researcher with questions.

1998 called and would like its internet back.

If you need access to the latest AI research, etc., then it sounds like ACM is a good deal, but don't pretend there isn't a lot of good info outside its paywall. No one gropes for code snippets when is available.

Comment: Re:Sensationalism at its worst (Score 1) 201

by ConceptJunkie (#47582211) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

If the thing works, it's not that it violates conservation of momentum, it's that it's doing something we don't understand, which appears to violate the conservation of momentum because we don't know how it works.

I'm sure many people would love to see this turn out to work because it would be a really cool real-world effect based on some of the the really bizarre and incredibly abstract physics going on these days. Like many people here I'm sure, I'm fascinated by the advances in modern physics in the last century, but a lot of it, especially in the past 30-40 years, seems to bear no connection to the world we see and experience. I know it explains how matter and energy work, but I'm talking about allowing us to do things we couldn't do before.

Plus, who isn't looking at this and wondering if it couldn't be the basis, assuming it can be improved umpty orders of magnitude, to Jetsons-style anti-gravity devices. Let a nerd dream...

Comment: Re:From the pdf... (Score 2) 201

by ConceptJunkie (#47582125) Attached to: NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

which is currently from a physics stand point pure gobbledygook

Dr. Alcubierre would beg to differ.

The warp drive in Star Trek was based an earlier incarnation of this theory, which is based on results from Einstein. Warp drive FTL travel might not be possible, but the idea is definitely not "pure gobbledygook".

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 144

Google "slit scan". It was an amazing process used to create the Stargate sequence, especially amazing because of the crazy amounts of manual work it took. Another iconic example of slit scan filming is the old opening sequence for "Doctor Who".

This forensic reconstruction of the original gels used in "2001" is a fascinating bit of movie archaeology:

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 144

I'm not one of these purists who thinks only practical effects are good, but "Blade Runner" is one of those movies that shows you don't need CGI to make a visually stunning movie. The only good CGI is CGI that doesn't look like CGI, or when you say, "I only know this is CGI because that can't be done in real life."

I just remembered that "District 9" was a good recent SF movie, and I thought the effects in that movie were excellent. Just enough to make it believable, not enough to look like you're watching someone playing a video game.

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 144

Yeah, I think the terms are used interchangeably these days.

There was, for all intents and purposes, no CGI in 1981. Computer effects at the time of Blade Runner were negligible and amounted mostly to wireframe 3D in computer displays. I mean "Tron" was was watershed of computer effects, and 95% its effects were hand-drawn animation and a crazy amount of compositing. It was an amazing triumph of visual effects, but it owes much more to the ground-breaking art direction than to the actual use of computers.

It's a shame the same can't be said of the sequel, which minus a couple of short scenes had absolutely nothing of interest to look at. OK, Olivia Wilde and absolutely nothing of interest to look at. In my house, we joke that the Futurama spoof of "Tron: Legacy" had better effects than the movie, and we're only half joking. It seems Big Hollywood has reached the limit of what can be done with CGI, not the limit of what can actually be done, but what their narrow tunnel vision and arrested creativity can provide.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.