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Comment: Why is this bad? (Score 1) 508

by Hodar (#33391380) Attached to: Wired Youths In China & Japan Forget Character Forms

My ancestors are from Norway - the Vikings used to write in Runes, a language of symbols not all together different than Kanji in that each character had a unique shape.

Guess what? No one, aside from a few historic scholars, reads or writes Runes anymore. Is it the end of the world? Nope. Has Norway fallen into the sea? No. Has Norway undergone a total disruption of their cultural identity? No.

Runes fell into disuse, because the alphabet is superior. It's just that simple. Kanji script and other writing forms will likely follow suit, as a re-useable alphabet is not only easier to learn and teach, a person who has never heard a word can use phonics to sound out the word. In the end, the superior format usually wins.

Comment: Virtual Keyboard - glass or plastic screen? (Score 2, Interesting) 161

by Hodar (#31430676) Attached to: 6 Smartphone Keyboards Compared

All virtual keyboards are NOT created equal.

One of the primary differences is the backing material of the touch screen. The cheaper phones utilize a plastic backing on the touchscreen, this plastic will bend, warp and cause 'typos' even if your finge is precisely where it's supposed to be. Glass does not flex, or warp - but is more expensive. This is why the iPhone gives such a superior performance on the virtual keyboard, as they have a glass backing.

I think many of the problems with virtual keyboards is due to the cheaper touchscreens utilize the flexible plastic backing behind the flexible membrane - thus adding distortion to the pressure point matrix - resulting in typo's that are indeed the "phone's fault".

It would be interesting to see this sort of study conducted with external keyboards, virtual (glass) and virtual (plastic) keyboards.

I'm switching to the Droid for the option of not only abandoning my cheap plastic backing on my touchscreen LG Dare; but also because I'll have the option of the slide out keyboard.

Comment: Patent limitations (Score 2, Insightful) 294

by Hodar (#27937071) Attached to: Breast Cancer Gene Lawsuit Argues Patents Invalid

You can't patent ice, snow or slush - why? Because these are naturally occuring items. You cannot patent a mathematical function (1+1=2), an obvious extension of a patent (make an iPod entirely chrome plated), naturally occuring item (wood), or something that has been in the public domain.

No one invented the genes in our bodies, so how can anyone own a patent on them? If I patent the gene that turns Breast Cancer 'off' - then can I sue men and women who possess that gene without my permission? If someone has breast cancer, and it goes into remission - can I chose to 'gather my property' by imprisoning that person and extacting the gene that I own rights too?

Crighton's book, "Next" was an excellent novel based on this entire theory. No one should have the 'rights' to any gene.

Comment: Re:PG-13 superhero movies lead to... (Score 1) 640

by Hodar (#27344999) Attached to: Why Fear the End of the R-Rated Superhero Movie?

You hated X-men 3, while I and many others loved it.

Yes, it was violent. Yes, Wolverine killed many 'bad guys'. So what? Did Wolverine have gratuitous sex scenes? Was the language so filled with profanity that a Sailor would blush? No, the movie was made to appeal to a large audience; and it was tremendously successful ($459 Million Internationally). So, I think you are quite alone in your 'offended' status.

At the end of the day, the money a film makes is an indicator as to how well received a film was appreciated by the audience. Now, would you like to defend the under-whelming success of 'Watchmen'?

Want to see a Star-Trek movie fail? Make it 'R' rated; and it will bomb.

Comment: What are the most successful movies rated? (Score 1) 640

by Hodar (#27344227) Attached to: Why Fear the End of the R-Rated Superhero Movie?

You don't need gore to sell a movie, unless your movie is based on gore.
You don't need sex to sell a movie, unless your movies is based on sex.

Superhero movies are based on the concept of a 'superhero'. The most profitable movies of all time, have been geared to be watchable by 'families'. Now, family-friends does not mean that Mom and Dad and their 2.3 kids are all going to the theater, it also means that parents will permit thier young daughter, Barbie, go out with 'Ken' to see a movie that they feel comfortable sending young adults on a date to go and see.

There are plenty of movies that fulfill the 'R' rated audience demands. These seldom are huge cash machines, in fact one could argue that as a percentage of all movies made, the 'R' rated movies make less money than the 'G' rated movies.

As a movie executive, the goal is to make money from your movie. You can do like Pixar and make a fortune on your movie, then make double that in after-market toys, pajamas, T-shirts and lunch boxes. Why? Because their movies appeal to young and old alike. Parents buy the DVD, and they know that when the grandkids, cousins, neighborhood kids come to visit; they can watch those movies without any parent being offended.

A superhero movie's demographic is going to be minors to young adults. The older classics (Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman) are going to appeal to a wider age range than the 'Watchmen', simply because of the age of those people who read the comics. Simply stated, when you make an 'R' rated movie, you immediately remove the family and young adult (12-18) group from the customer list. Those 18-90 yr olds are going to be more mature, those who are 'adults' will want a compelling story, and there had better be a good reason why the story required them to find babysitters. Boobs, graphic violence jsut doesn't cut it. Now, movies that tell a historic event fall into a category that is unique. The 'R' rating is justified, in fact 'defended' in movies like "Saving Private Benjamin", "The Passion", "The Patriot" and "Schlinder's List" for the fact that the movie depicts actual events.

Having a big blue guy with full frontal nudity for 3 hours isn't defendable. There is no reason, other than the Director's wish to shock his audience. Guess what? Most 18-24 yr olds weren't shocked, and those 25-90 didn't find the rationale for having to include the scenes that gave it an 'R' rating defendable. Hence, the movie didn't make money.

Comment: Re:HEY! (Score 1) 1240

by Hodar (#27329311) Attached to: Strip-Search Case Tests Limits of 4th Amendment

"Secondly what is up with this, Ibuprofen, are u kidding me, that's for headaches, its not crack..."

Exactly, you are exhibiting an unusual amount of common sense- something that the educational industry finds both unnecessary and undesireable.

You see, 'Zero-tolerance' means they don't have to think about it, they do not need to use any brain cells, exercise critical thinking or rationale behavior. It's simply an excuse to exercise some authority over kids who cannot fight back.

Pesonally, I'd like to see the courts take an aggressiver approach on this one. If the kid has drugs on school grounds, treat it as a felony; if it's a case of a 'stupid' teacher on a craze to exercise authority - take his teaching license. If an engineer, medical doctor or lawyer was found to be behaving in this manner at work, they would find themselves fired, and tried for mal-practice. If teachers want to be respected as professionals, lets treat then like professionals.

Comment: Re:How much free space in the BIOS? (Score 2, Informative) 396

by Hodar (#27297589) Attached to: Researchers Demo BIOS Attack That Survives Disk Wipes

Motherboard vendors typically use some form of protection, to prevent the 'normal' user from hacking into the BIOS Memory. In the old days, BIOS was in the 512K range, however many BIOS chips now sport 1 or 2 MB of space. This additional space is usually reserved for the nice big splash-screen image re-sellers throw up instead of having the PC sit and display the DOS boot messages (Memory test, speed, processor, Hard Drives, CD Drives, ect).

So, there is 'plenty' of memory space that is non-violatile, that lives on your motherboard that could be used to hide either multiple compressed malware programs, or a host of viri. The only way you would know if you were infected would be the obvious crash, or if you were wise enough to compare the sum-check of the BIOS that you loaded against the sum-check of what is in your BIOS memory chip.

But, the part they didn't tell you is that the BIOS memory chip may live in a variety of different places, it could be on the root PCI bus, or off the SPI bus, or hanging off the SMA bus. The virus loader would need to be smart enough to know 'where to look' and also have both Phoenix and Award BIOS passcodes/proceedures for this to be effective.

Once hit, the only way to get rid of it would be to re-flash your BIOS (assuming the new BIOS doesn't have a self-preservation routine built-in - Like disabline the ability to write the BIOS again).

Comment: Re:everything old is new again (Score 4, Insightful) 601

by Hodar (#27232169) Attached to: Auto Safety Tech May Encourage Dangerous Driving

The only thing worse than not having a parachute, is having one that doesn't open.

If we 'teach' people to ignore warnings that their car is losing tractions, such as wheel vibration, we are taking an active role killing people. There are reasons we have traffic laws, policemen with laser and radar, and traffic courts.

All we can, or should do, is punish stupid behavior. Teaching people to ignore danger signals, will simply lead to people ignore a very serious warning. I'd much rather see someone in traffic court paying a hefty fine, having their insurance fees jacked up and possibly lose driving priviledges - than see them dead. This is especially true, because we all know that when a traffic accident occurs, the people killed are often innocent passengers, and/or another totally innocent vehicle who simply got in the way.

Comment: Re:Hahaha. TV P2P downloading nerds OWNED! (Score 1) 798

by Hodar (#27218103) Attached to: Sci Fi Channel Becoming Less Geek-Centric "SyFy"

Assuming you are telling the truth - what does one expect?

Consider, you create a storyline. Let's use FireFly and the travesty that this potential money-generator had. Any good story requires that the audience feel sympathy and develop a connection with the primary characters. Like any good story teller (Pixar, for example) you develop your characters for a period of time. After a short while, the audience knows what a character will, and will NEVER do.

For example, Han Solo would do things without thinking twice, that Luke Skywalker would never even consider. This is character development. Pretty basic stuff, right?

Then why, pray tell - do executives pitch a series, then run the series in multiple time periods without warning? FireFly, which had serious potential to make major $$$, premiered on Fox, but had it's air time changed 3x in the first season. How do you expect to get a following when you move the air time, and don't run commercials telling the fan base where/when the next air time will run?

Then the Boy-Genius's at the Sci-Fi channel not only managed to run the series at different times, they also managed to run the series out of order. Despite this, somehow - there was a fan-base. Then Serenity came about, and the fan-base exploded. Without fanfare, without teaser trailers, Serenity became one of the best Sci-Fi movies to hit the market. It is STILL one of the best selling series on Amazon.com.

The executives were given a diamond, but they thought it was coal. It was fished from the discard pile, it was polished and certified genuine - and it was disgarded again. It made money as a major film release, yet still the message managed to escape the executives. It still, to this day, remains one of Amazon's top TV series - this leads one to conclude that either the executives are selected for having an IQ lower than room temperature, or a severe allergy to money.

People want good Sci-Fi. It just seems that the executives are simply to arrogant, or stupid, or to impressed with their own opinions - to allow good Sci-Fi to hit the market.

Comment: Why be ashamed of Sci-Fi? (Score 2, Insightful) 798

by Hodar (#27217959) Attached to: Sci Fi Channel Becoming Less Geek-Centric "SyFy"

Science Fiction is perhaps the biggest money maker that Hollywood has going. And from what I can tell, ever since Star Trek first aired, people just can't get enough of 'good' science fiction. The problem is that most of the crap on the Sci-Fi channel isn't Science Fiction, it's fantasy somehow involving some science in it.

Consider Star Trek (and the spin-offs), Star Wars, Terminator, ET, Fantastic Voyage, and even Firefly. There is an insatiable appetite for GOOD Science Fiction. As soon as someone comes up with a great idea, and if the industry is smart enough to recognize the good idea - money is made. Sci-Fi includes classics like Batman, Spider-Man, Iron-man, Fantastic Four and many others have made gazillions, and entertained us for decades. Other stories, dealing with the simple topic of (if only the techology existed ... .then ....) all encompass the realm of Sci-Fiction.

The problem is that there are too few imaginations who care to write Sci-Fi. You don't need major bucks to tell a good story. Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Star Wars managed to tell a compelling set of stories all on a tight budget. It just requires a talented and imaginative set of writers.

Unfortunately, today Sci-Fi writers have been dumbed down into telling inane stories with little or no character development, original thinking or any real motivation. Such a pity. There are so many good Sci-Fi books that could be done on a budget and tell a compelling story.

Comment: Re:Did anyone read the article (Score 1) 1038

by Hodar (#27183471) Attached to: US Adults Fail Basic Science Literacy

They also neglected to mention what times these phone calls were made. Chances are more than fair that those calls were made between the hours of 8am and 5pm, on a weekday. Thus, those few adults who were sampled were either stay-at-home parents, or unemployed adults.

A stay-at-home parent wouldn't have the time to answer mundane questions, as watching kids is a full-time job in and of itself. Thus, the unemployed likely make up a substancial percentage of the population. Given this likely sub-set; is it any wonder that they scored so poorly?

We had a friend who ran a small hardware store. He insisted he wanted to only be open 9-5 and Monday - Friday; so he could have his evenings and weekends free. Then he complained that the only people who came in to his store were contractors and the unemployed who couldn't pay the accounts they had set up. I told him "What did you expect? You set your store hours to coincide with those of the working class, so they have no choice but to go to Home Depot or Lowes". I think this 'survey' suffers from the same problem. They may have inadvertently removed the adults who would make the survey 'meaningful' by taking the survey during the times when 'educated' adults were at work.

Comment: Re:Uh, WordPerfect and Novell? &Linux/Unix too (Score 1) 257

by Hodar (#27081525) Attached to: Utah Trying To Restrict Keyword Advertising ... Again

"How could I be oppressed by Islam? In fact, how could any man EVER be oppressed by Islam?"

If you are being sarcastic, you need to state so explictly.

If not, you need to educate yourself. This is simple, just Google the words "Jizya" and "Dhimmi". It will only take a few seconds, from there you should figure out pretty quickly - why we need to fight these people.

They declared war on us, we did nothing to provoke them. Ever wonder which modern religion still practices slavery?

Comment: Re:You Have Stolen From Your Bandmates & the R (Score 5, Interesting) 672

by Hodar (#27077845) Attached to: Lars Ulrich Pirates His Own Album

When you P2P, you not only take the data for yourself, you also help spread the data around.

So, my accessment is that I was freely 'given' the Album directly from Lars. Therefore, as I was freely given the album anonymously by one of the original artists- I didn't steal it either. That is assuming, of course, that I would bother to download his 'music'.

Comment: Re:Typical Republican Paranoia (Score 1) 597

by Hodar (#27077791) Attached to: Calif. Politican Thinks Blurred Online Maps Would Deter Terrorists

So, exactly how many attacks did the US have after 9/11? In the 8 yrs under the 'terrible' reign of Pres. Bush; how many times did we have our Navy attacked? How many aircraft were hijacked? How many of our embassies were bombed? How many times did Terrorists succeed in bombing buildings on US soil?

Um, that would be ZERO, Jack.

Now, let us contrast this to the 8 yrs under the 'wise and benevolent' Pres. Clinton.

Good God, man; do you ever bother to read a newspaper and learn; or do you mindlessly spout talking points that someone else gave you, not based on any observable facts - but golly, they sure make you 'feel good'.

Nevermind .... we both know the answer.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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