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Comment: Re:Why even 3? (Score 3, Informative) 96

by NicBenjamin (#48936371) Attached to: 'Anonymized' Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous, MIT Study Shows

And this only works if you have a lot of other data in your data set. If you don't know who Scot is, then you can't figure out he's the only person who could go to the bakery on that one exact day and that particular restaurant the next.

I don't think anyone is particularly sanguine about the future of privacy if big companies manage to figure out a way to profit from combining their multiple massive databases. This is particularly true in the US, where it would be virtually impossible to stop the police from using said databases with our warrants. Or worse, using info that the big companies forwarded them as the basis for warrants.

If Apple or Google can silence one of it's critics by figuring out he was paying a hooker with his supposedly anonymous Mastercard gift card, that is a really fucking bad thing.

Comment: Re:buffy dammit (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48920199) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

Thing is there's actually isn't much difference between "paranormal phenomena we could understand with further study," and "magical phenomena that is understood by magicians who have done significant amounts of study." They're just the two ways one would phrase the statement depending on whether one was learning about the paranormal/magical from a skilled practitioner or a governmental scientifically-oriented bureaucracy. Thus my comment they could happen in the same universe.

It's a good show concept. I like how the physicist's story wraps around, and he helps thwart the invasion he was coming back to warn about.

Comment: Re:TNG == Social workers in space (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48918277) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

I was actually referring to the main crew. Half the human actors left the show before they could do anything interesting, and the other half didn't change at all.

In a later post I remembered the non-humans. They had some great arcs, particularly the guys who started as Narn and Centauri Ambassadors. I think G'Kar was the name of the Narn guy.

I did watch the entire series. Torrented the whole thing a few years ago. It wasn't that good. The long story-arc was interesting, and it was worth watching once, but it's influence on TV as a whole was minimal, and the writing was terrible. Not everything can be Buffy, but if the best B5 quote relating to poor understanding of a situation you can come up with is "You do not understand," that is pretty clear proof the writing staff needed a guy who did;t suck ass at dialogue.

Comment: Re:buffy dammit (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48917663) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

By that definition X-Files wasn't Sci-Fi either, because the show was designed around the conceit that Sculley thinks they're in a Sci-Fi film (and everything has a rational, scientific explanation), while Mulder thinks they're in a fantasy or horror flick. If Sculley was always proven right you could call it Sci-Fi using your definition, but that would have been a really shitty show so most of episodes were ambiguous about whether it was Sci-Fi or fantasy/horror. And X-Files is on the list.

Which means there's no real way to keep Buffy (which, I am insisting on reminding you, had an android episode) off. They could actually take place in the exact same universe.

Comment: Re:TNG beats out B5? (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48910867) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

I got a couple reasons for preferring TNG to B5:

1) There were virtually no episodes of B5 good enough that I remember the damn things ten years after downloading the entire series and binge-watching it. The story-arcs of the non-human characters remain in my brain, as does extreme frustration at the shitty dialogue, but if you asked me which episode I liked most I couldn't even start to answer because they all ran the fuck together. OTOH, there's plenty of TNG episodes I liked, particularly the ones from the 90s which only had Wes 11 times.

2) B5's main advantage it's multi-season story arc. This would never have been approved by the suits if TNG hadn't done the Locutus of Borg thing.

Comment: Re:Something is wrong with the respondents! (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48901819) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

Kes left at the start of Season 4 (she got two episodes), Boobs debuted in the finale of season 3. So you saw at least three of those episodes if you watched them all. And Jennifer Lien was definitely let go due to budgetary reasons -- specifically they didn't have the budget to add Jerri Ryan and keep all their main cast, but they refused to fire that loser who played Harry Kim right after he'd gotten some ridiculous magazine award -- but asking for a raise had nothing to do with it.

Comment: Re:Something is wrong with the respondents! (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48897927) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

They wrote themselves into a corner with her. Her species is only supposed to live 9 years, so three seasons on Voyager should have meant roughly 25 years of aging prosthetics for the actress.

Granted if they'd really wanted to solve it they could have used a deus ex machina, but why do that when you can introduce Boobs of Nine and the Borg?

Comment: Re:Something is wrong with the poll results! (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48897917) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

Wait a sec, you're arguing that the show premised on a long-lost hero returning out of nowhere to save the Minbari by uniting them with their human foes just as the ancient enemy they forgot existed returns ISN'T incredibly cliched?

Don't get me wrong, I liked the cliche, but that don't mean it wasn't a cliche.

Comment: Re:TNG == Social workers in space (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48897903) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

The writing on B5 was the absolute worst writing I have ever seen on any SciFi series. The dialogue was crap. All the characters were stock archetypes who didn't develop much (Trek characters typical start as archetypes, but they tend to get some depth by Season 7).

The long story arcs were more interesting then then ones on the Star Treks, largely because the entire show was designed as one long-ass story arc from the absolute beginning; and the universe was in some ways more interesting (because you actually get to hear about the politics, whereas in Trek series you almost never get to see a Federation Councilor or the Federation president); the space ship scenes looked much better then on Trek because actual physics were involved; it's a lot more coherent as a universe then any Trek show because there was only one writer, etc. but that don't mean the writing didn't suck.

Comment: Re:Missing (Score 1) 476

by NicBenjamin (#48897843) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

If they'd made Star trek one entry there'd be no point to the poll. Right now B5 is within 6 points of TNG, but it's 20 points off the three series combined.

I'm surprised there's no Buffy. If you're calling one supernatural-monster-of-the-week show Sci-Fi why wouldn't you call the other one Sci-Fi?

Comment: Re:Well (Score 1) 216

by NicBenjamin (#48896297) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

You can't compare anything but murder because the categories are different. I personally have been the victim of two crimes which would be reported as violent crime in England, which I reported to the local cops, but were not included in these statistics. In addition to these two crimes I mentioned, my sister has been mugged three times in DC and NYC.

If you want a anti-gun-control person's takedown of this particular statistic I refer you to:
http://blog.skepticallibertari...

We can predict everything, except the future.

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