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Comment: Re:WAAAHHHH!!! (Score 1) 172

by Dogtanian (#47919135) Attached to: Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

Sounds like a case of tall poppy envy to me.

Sounds like a badly mixed metaphor to me- tall poppy syndrome- which I assume is what you had in mind- tends to have a more specific use referring to people attacked for their achievements or prominence by their peers within a particular society, and I'm not sure this is a good example of that.

Comment: Re:Crude? (Score 1) 97

by Dogtanian (#47913129) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

This is why they had to redo all of the special effects shots in the TNG Blu-Ray release. While the film had enough resolution for an HD transfer, all of the special effects shots (ie. warp stretch, light boom, etc.) were done on video tape.

That's correct. Though I intentionally left it out above of the above post (I'm longwinded enough and it was less relevant there), I've commented in the past (e.g. in this post and several others in that thread) that TNG's effects shots were at best (AFAIK) composited on SD video from film sources, if not entirely generated on SD video.

Hence a 100% authentic HD transfer of the original unmodified TNG episodes would be impossible, purely because certain shots only ever existed in SD.

(If they were to be upscaled- as I understood they did for some regular scenes were they couldn't locate the original footage- they would stand out like a sore thumb among the HD-scanned shots, as ST:TNG's analogue NTSC video was soft and crappy even in SD and there's no way on earth they'd be able to convincingly upscale it).

Comment: Re:An end to XBox? (Score 1) 326

by Dogtanian (#47912387) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion
Funny you should say this. A while back I was thinking that- for this reason- MS should have "partnered" with a Japanese company for the original XBox launch there, paying them a cut of the profits there in exchange for "contributing" some token (but easily played-up) role in its "development" and the agreement to use that company's name prominently in marketing the product.

In reality they'd actually be paying the Japanese company near-free royalties in exchange for the right to use them as a trojan horse for the notoriously hard-to-break Japanese market. Yes, it might grate slightly, but 80% of ten times as much profit is still preferable in the long term. The exaggerated "development" role would be a way of countering accusations that the Japanese company were doing little more than marketing an American console... of course they weren't, it's well-known that they contributed significantly to the XBox joint-venture!

The agreement would have to have been drawn up carefully in advance (without being overly explicit about its cynical intent) to avoid MS being held hostage later on, and ultimately the XBox brand is the one that should be being promoted- the Japanese company's name being a means to get a foot in the door, and possibly phased out or reduced later on.

Comment: Re:Crude? (Score 2) 97

by Dogtanian (#47904161) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

Models built for TV in years past often weren't built with much detail, simply because it wouldn't show up on screen anyway. That said, the TOS Enterprise did have a lot more detail than one would expect for a TV show (there are markings and such that are too tiny to see on TV), but it pales when compared to the Enterprise built for "The Motion Picture" which has much, much finer detail.

This touches on something I've mentioned previously- namely, why older TV shows shot and mastered entirely on film still aren't necessarily "HD", even though the medium itself *happens* to be capable of resolving that much detail.

An HD production requires *everything* to have been done to HD standards. If not, it's quite possible that props, makeup et al that were only ever expected to look good on a standard-definition set of the time will show their deficiencies far more obviously under the scrutiny of HD.

There were no doubt good reasons for shooting on film- either technical or aesthetic (film converted to standard-def video for transmission still looks different to natively-shot video)- but decades before HD was even a twinkle in anyone's eye, I doubt they were going to waste their limited TV budget on detailing they (reasonably) assumed no-one was ever going to see.

I suspect that the original Enterprise model was more detailed as it would have been used a lot, and having a higher-quality model in the first place would give them more flexibility in terms of close-ups, etc.

Compare [Star Wars movie props] to some of the ST:TNG props that I've seen that look fine on screen, but when examined closely look like someone gave a 5-year old a couple of shots of vodka and turned them loose with a paintbrush.

Bingo. I bet the one-off single-show models were done as well as required- and no more. (Particularly as ST:TNG was from the shot-on-film-but-mastered-on-video era that- ironically- gave poorer quality than the all-film ST:TOS).

Comment: Re:Philosophical Point (Score 1) 100

by Dogtanian (#47896753) Attached to: Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom
I accept what you're saying, but the point was that he mirrored the OP's comment in order to make a point- presumably- that this form of "seeing" was just as valid as seeing with the eyes, or rather that, if that wasn't seeing, then "touching" with the fingers wasn't "touching" either.

But it doesn't work because putting "touching" in quotes implies that this isn't actually touching, when it *is* in effect the definition of touching- there's no more direct way you can "touch" something with your own fingers, and it's arguable whether it's meaningful to argue what constitutes touching below that scale.

The "seeing" example quite plainly *was* more indirect, and that's the point I was making.

Comment: Re:Philosophical Point (Score 1) 100

by Dogtanian (#47891833) Attached to: Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

This concept also applies when people claim to "touch" a tree with their hands. They are, in fact, just extrapolating from the repulsion of electron charges. That shit is far removed from the nervous system, yet we still prefer to make sense.

No- you're trying to be a smartass here, but it doesn't really work, because there isn't any more direct form of "touch"- i.e. the sensation- than that. Insofar as the sensation of "touch"- or the mechanism underlying it- has any meaning when you examine it at such a close, microscopic level, that *is* what "touching" is.

This contrasts with the OP's example of scientists "seeing" on the screen on an electron microscope, where there quite obviously *is* a level of abstraction from directly seeing something (via the interaction of photons with the object and then one's own eyes). So, no- you didn't make a point.

Comment: Counter-productive renaming obsession (Score 1) 352

by Dogtanian (#47884797) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

Since there's so much confusion about the differences between RT, Phone, and desktop versions of our OS, let's just call them all by the same name. That will simplify things. Worked for Admiral General Aladeen.

I can't think of a thing microsoft has done in the past few years that aren't one of these:[..]
B. Rebranding an existing product(so many times)

Attention-deficit-rebranding so that no-one knows what the **** is what has long been an apparent obsession with Microsoft, and going by this story, they don't seem to be improving.

I already posted this elsewhere a couple of years back and re-posted it at least once on Slashdot- but no point reinventing the wheel so:-

This is the same company changed the name of its "passport" service a ludicrous amount of times:-

"Microsoft Account (previously Microsoft Wallet, Microsoft Passport, .NET Passport, Microsoft Passport Network, and most recently Windows Live ID)"

I'd have said that MS's stupidly confusing naming is marketing-over-clarity, but *it's not even good marketing!!* I bet the man on the street doesn't have a clue what MS's constantly-changing brands-of-the-week are supposed to mean to him anyway, beyond being a confusing and counter-productive mish-mash of pseudo-terminology.

The quintessential ironic example of how MS just don't get it was their (then-)latest media-player compatibility scheme called "Plays for Sure" which obviously implied Apple-style "no brainer just works" straightforwardness. They proceeded to totally undermine this by renaming it to tie in with "Certified for Windows Vista" (which also encompassed other schemes) and launched a separate, incompatible DRM/compatibility scheme for their now-defunct Zune range. Does anyone know (or care) what MS's attention-deficit clusterf*** of overlapping brands are supposed to mean?!

Further thoughts on this are that it may be a reflection of Microsoft's internal political structure and culture, and power struggles, with every newcomer needing to stamp his or her identity on the product, regardless of whether that's beneficial. Either that and/or the environment is conducive to horrendously expensive branding and marketing consultants topping up their cocaine money by suggesting rebrandings at regular intervals- again, regardless of whether it's really needed or not.

Comment: Re:So they cut it from $199 to $600. I see. (Score 1) 134

by Dogtanian (#47862903) Attached to: Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

For a buck, I'd buy it. Hell, I'd buy it for $20 or $30, even though it's within the confines of Amazon. [..] It's the phone contract that does it in for me.

That's the whole blooming point, though! You're only being offered the phone for 99 cents *because* you have to agree to the contract.

It's like a shop had a "Buy 1, Get the Second for 1 cent" offer on horribly overpriced multivitamins, you wouldn't say "well, they're not even worth half the regular price, but I might have snapped them up for 1 cent if they didn't require you to buy the other at full price"!

Comment: Re:It's a Fire Sale (Score 4, Interesting) 134

by Dogtanian (#47862735) Attached to: Under the Apple Hype Machine, Amazon Drops Fire Phone Price To 99 Cents

Joking aside, the "99 cents" headline might give the impression of a big (if not "fire sale") reduction, but it's is as misleading (and pointless) on its own as the subsidised headline "price" of *any* contract-tied phone is.

This post already made the point that the total price of phone + contract (since you can't get the former without the latter) over two years is $600, which implies that it was $800 before when the still-contract-tied phone was selling for "$200" and it was being panned as an awful deal.

If it's not quite a non-story, it's not the one it's being made out to be either.

Comment: Re:Broadwell (Score 1) 181

by Dogtanian (#47843405) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

If you are a rich mofo, you don't use Intel at all!

Oh, what are the rich folk buying instead?

Processors hand-made by artisans from individual valves/vacuum tubes.

Of course, you need a rather large house to hold the 1.4 billion valves required to match something like the Core i7. Well, actually you need a rather large estate with enough room to build a large number of very large buildings, and a literal army of support staff to replace the failed valves.

Trust me though, it's worth it for the additional warmth the use of valves lends to playing back your Nicki Minaj MP3s.

Then again, that warmth might just be coming from the hundreds of megawatts of waste heat given off...

Comment: Re:Which means... (Score 2) 251

by Dogtanian (#47761239) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

There are a lot of hints that Microsoft is backing away from this mistake and realizing that the desktop is still important to their bottom line.

I'm not sure that MS actually thought that the desktop was entirely unimportant, per se. Rather, it's my understanding that because they had a near-monopoly on the desktop market, they thought could get away with dicking about desktop users- most of whom had to use Windows anyway- by force-familiarising them with the Metro interface (whether or not it was appropriate for that purpose) so that when it came to tablets, they'd go for the one with the interface they were already familiar with... i.e. Windows-based ones.

Of course, MS were right to be worried about tablets. They've had a near-monopoly on the x86 desktop (and laptop) market for well over 20 years, and it was- and is- very unlikely that they could easily have been unseated from that position in the forseeable future. The biggest threat to MS's dominance is that the computing market itself undergoes a paradigm shift away from the traditional desktop model, not destroying their monopoly, but rendering what it covers less important. Which is exactly what's happening with tablets, and- to some extent- online apps.

Of course, whether forcing Metro on people was actually successful is open to question, but the motivation behind it sounds plausible. I don't think MS would throw away or ignore the desktop market simply for a chance of the tablet one, but I can certainly believe that they'd leverage their existing monopoly to stand a chance of competing in a tablet market that they're already miles behind the compeition in.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the parasites! (Score 1) 316

by Dogtanian (#47741449) Attached to: For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit
Whatever his motivations, it doesn't change the fact that your original assertion (and the specific point that was replied to), i.e. "I thought people were allowed to have their own beliefs in this country without others attacking them for it." was wrong, and demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of even the basic principle of free speech, let alone the specific details of the US constitution's version of it.

It always surprises me (*) how so many of the Americans who bleat on about "free speech" et al don't even understand the basics of either the principle or the US implementation of it, thinking- as you do- that one is free to express one's own opinion, yet somehow protected from others' right to respond to it (i.e. *their* free speech). Or- the other common misconception- that the constitutional right to protection from *government* interference in free speech is actually the right to free speech in any private place or forum.

(*) It doesn't, really- but it ought to.

I'd rather be led to hell than managed to heavan.