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Comment: Re:The problem isn't the FBI ... (Score 1) 174

by Dahamma (#49595095) Attached to: FBI Slammed On Capitol Hill For "Stupid" Ideas About Encryption

Yeah, individual deliberation before voting as a means of change is nearly pointless these days.

Just look at the Koch brothers - they literally put out a list of "viable Republican candidates they will consider". So now it seems even primary elections will be decided by the American Oligarchy.

Comment: Re:Sounds like upper middle class housing developm (Score 1) 540

I'm thinking "indie" more in terms of distribution not production quality. With his resources his "indie" projects could be equivalent to studio production.

Except that just doesn't make much sense... Lucas has given *no* indication he wants to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on high end productions and then not distribute it widely. People just don't self-distribute movies these days. In fact, the main point of indie festivals like Sundance is for the filmmakers to try to get their films picked up by a distributor.

On the other hand, he *has* indicated he wants to spend hundreds of millions (actually, billions) on philanthropic ventures. I just don't see any reason not to take his own statements at face value until he actually *does* something to show he has ulterior motives.

Comment: Re:Sounds like upper middle class housing developm (Score 1) 540

by Dahamma (#49574893) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Unless he is physically ill its hard to image him not wanting a studio to tinker in.

Studio? He has Skywalker Ranch, which is already WAY more than he needs to work on "indie" projects if he chooses to (it was enough for his major projects!)

The entire POINT of this article was that he had another property (Grady Ranch) in Marin where he wanted to build a huge digital film production campus, which had been blocked. This facility was obviously NOT to experiment with indie projects, it was to be a major production house used for many Hollywood titles (not just his, but contracted for effects to many movies like ILM and Skywalker Sound, etc). He eventually decided he didn't need it any more, and wanted to turn it into affordable housing instead. Didn't you RTFA? :)

The storytelling business is quite different than say the "Standard Oil" business or the "Microsoft Windows" business

I think this side of the business is a very good analogy to tycoons in other industries - Lucas made a lot of his money not as a "storyteller" but as a pioneer in visual and audio effects. He's backing away from that, and donating most of his fortune now. I hope he does continue to work on misc creative projects - but it sounds like he's getting away from, to paraphrase Carnegie, the "making tons of money" phase into the "donating tons of money" phase.

Comment: Re:I will never understand (Score -1, Flamebait) 104

by Dahamma (#49553929) Attached to: Vizio, Destroyer of Patent Trolls

There is the rub. They knew they were doing something wrong and did it anyway. They knew they were brewing coffee too hot as they had been warned several times before. They brew hotter so more flavour is extracted and less ground coffee needs to be used.

You aren't even a coffee drinker, are you? NONE of this even has to do with the BREWING temperature, so your conspiracy theories about saving money are irrelevant. It's the hold and serve temperature.

McDonalds claims their customers like the coffee at a higher temp (175-180) since they often commute and don't drink it for a while. The trolling lawsuits claim that's too hot too spill on your genitals safely. I'd agree with the latter, though also with the former. But that means I try not to spill hot coffee on my genitals, and if I do, not to blame the person who made the coffee, but my own clumsiness.

Similarly, I also don't blame knives for being "too sharp" when I drop one on my foot or lasers for being "too bright" when I shine one in my eye.

Comment: Re:I will never understand (Score 3, Insightful) 104

by Dahamma (#49553783) Attached to: Vizio, Destroyer of Patent Trolls

The manager of that McDonald's refused to pick up 50% of the initial ER bill.

The problem is, THIS is exactly what patent trolls rely on! You are saying even if they felt like they didn't do anything wrong, they should just pay a lesser fee to avoid a possibly larger one after litigation.

This woman had 3rd degree burns because she was 78 years old, in a car, and spilled a cup of 180 degree coffee on cotton sweatpants that she couldn't remove in 30+ seconds. That SUCKS. But on the other hand I (and most people) brew coffee at > 180 degrees at home every day and manage not to soak cotton sweatpants with it to cook our skin for 30 seconds. Because hot coffee is not intended to be pressed up against the skin for 30 seconds. It's intended to be sipped slowly.

McDonald's got fucked in this lawsuit because they were an arrogant megacorporation. Which I have to say, I don't pity them much for. But I also don't think the lawsuit made much sense.

Comment: Re:Sounds like upper middle class housing developm (Score 1) 540

by Dahamma (#49542951) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

I don't think anyone here is worshipping him, just acknowledging a very generous act.

He's a my way or nothing sort of guy.

Eh, I think by giving up all rights to the Star Wars movies so someone else could continue the story pretty much disproves that theory. I'll give you once doing that he has said he doesn't want to be actively involved in it any more.

Until they break ground I wouldn't be surprised if the locals rezone to land to permit his original studio plan

He's already said he has retired, so he doesn't NEED a new studio any more. To quote: "I'm completely confident that Disney will take good care of the franchise I've built. At the same time, for me, I look at it as I'm investing in Disney, because that's my retirement fund."

There is a history of philanthropists working hard to amass their fortune and then working hard to distribute it - and once they reach the next phase they really focus on it alone. In fact, to quote Andrew Carnegie, his dictum was "To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education one can. To spend the next third making all the money one can. To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes."

Comment: Re:Sounds like upper middle class housing developm (Score 1) 540

by Dahamma (#49534309) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

The poor could not afford the annual tax payments for these homes. Neither could the working poor, nor lower middle income. Even if sold at a discount to the market, qualifying for loans and affording annual expenses will most likely restrict buyers to the upper regions of "middle income".

Don't think anyone said they would be offered for purchase? More likely rental. And even if it was for purchase, in the Bay Area the "working poor" covers a LOT higher range than you'd imagine. A full time high school teacher in Marin is basically "working poor". Imagine how much more effective a teacher would be if he/she didn't have to commute 2 hours a day just to get to school.

Lets also not ignore that he wishes to make an example of those who opposed his earlier development plans.

That was speculation. He denies it. You can be cynical and not believe him, or realize that someone who has already committed half of his multibillion dollar fortune to charity might actually be trying to find a charitable use for his hundreds of acres of land that his douchey rich neighbors won't allow him to use for anything else.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by Dahamma (#49517693) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Except: that angle is bullshit. He has a ton of land and a ton of money, has already made it clear that he wants to use the majority of his resources philanthropically, so how *else* should he combine those two? A few new public Marin country courses for "disadvantaged" residents making less than $500k per year?

The spiteful nasty pop news angle is that it's for revenge, but there is no actual evidence that that had anything to do with it.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by Dahamma (#49517671) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Not to be cynical

No, you are being completely cynical.

He's 70. He sold off his cash cow (Star Wars) and pledged half of his multibillion dollar payoff to charity. He has no interest in building a new studio any more. He's basically retired and trying figure out how to best spend his money wisely to help others. How hard is that to imagine?

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540

by Dahamma (#49517655) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Your math is as bad as your estimation skills.

First, Bay Area rents are closer to $3/ sq ft.

Second: $200 * 1000 = $200,000 ; $3 * 1000 = $3000 * 12 = $36000 * 10 = $360,000.

So the rule of thumb, yes, is bogus, but not in the direction you meant. And that's because the *land*, not the improvements, are the majority of the value of properties in this case. Your numbers are pointless if you don't include the land value.

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.

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