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Comment: Re:..and nothing of value was lost. (Score 2) 465

It's not that nobody would watch people code for four days. It's that nobody would watch manufactured reality show drama troweled over hour-long chunks of dramatically-edited footage of people coding.

Well, people would, but at that level of edited reality, it becomes irrelevant what the contestants are actually doing. They could be sorting tiny screws or building Lego sculptures of breakfast foods and the show would be the same.

Comment: PCjr and the Crash (Score 4, Interesting) 178

by Pentomino (#46091013) Attached to: IBM's PC Junior Turns 30, Too

I attended a panel of veteran video game programmers from the Phoenix area a few years ago. They asserted that the PCjr had a greater role in the video game crash of 1984 than people realize. Many software companies bought into IBM's hype that the PCjr would dominate the market, and put a lot of resources into PCjr development, and ended up going bankrupt when the PCjr failed.

Comment: Physical remedies to noise floor problem? (Score 1) 615

by Pentomino (#41731953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

I've looked at the top threads here and I've noticed that most people blame the noise floor rising as WiFi devices become more capable, and a few people talking about how to configure the routers or flash the firmware to get into less-occupied frequencies. A few people have described how 5 GHz spectrum is more vacant, but doesn't travel as far, how there are only three channels that don't overlap in the US, and how traffic slows down when new routers have to step down to old protocols.

I don't hear much about the gains that can be made by freeing up one's dependence on WiFi within the home. If your computer is next to the router, running an Ethernet cable to it is a no-brainer, and certainly too obvious for this thread. But video streaming gets more common every year, so maybe these homes have reached the point where it's worthwhile to run Ethernet to the room with the TV in it. And I'm sure there are kids out there who think nothing of running BitTorrent on a WiFi device. Is it worthwhile to move devices to Ethernet, or is that just a lay assumption? Or maybe also too obvious for this thread?

Moreover, I've never heard anyone talk about consumer-friendly methods to block WiFi signals from outside the home. Whenever I ask my network engineer friends about this, they act like I'd have to build a Faraday cage around my entire network with specialized copper mesh. No, I'd just like to do my level best to discourage signals from passing through my exterior walls, so that my traffic doesn't have to compete with weak packets from across the street. My router is close to the north wall, so is there something small I can hang behind the router to attenuate any of the signal through that wall? What about replacing my chain link fence with concrete?

Comment: Maturity of CGI (Score 1) 532

by Pentomino (#34555820) Attached to: Why Special Effects No Longer Impress

I look at it more in terms of maturity, where the technology proves itself through subtlety rather than through going over the top. Less is more.

And my moment of CGI maturity was in the movie Amélie. I didn't realize how often the director used it until I watched it with director's commentary. They used CGI for really the most frivolous things, although it was the frivolous things that made the movie awesome.

The article touched on how CGI gets cheaper and accessible to small filmmakers, but I think the real beauty of CGI happens when it allows people to get something they wouldn't ordinarily be able to get without studio backing or lots of union workers. Virtual sets and virtual actors have already been done, but they're still time-intensive and space-intensive, even if the hardware is getting cheaper. I want to do a shot-for-shot remake of Citizen Kane with my iPod Nano's camcorder, and I want to play all the parts.

Comment: Is this what the spam looks like? (Score 1) 179

by Pentomino (#33264398) Attached to: "Dislike" Button Scam Hits Facebook Users

I've been seeing a lot of posts saying "[Name] likes [platitude] on ." from people who would probably never post [platitude]. Things like "Clarence likes “I don't have a temper problem, everyone else needs to stop pissing me off” on ." I'm afraid to click either the platitude or the heart, but I can't really find any evidence about what the hell is going on.

Comment: Re:Tested it... mine works... (Score 1) 553

by Pentomino (#26658727) Attached to: LED Lighting As Cheap As CFLs Invented

Perhaps I bought CFL's too long ago and they last too long.

The switching mechanism on my Clapper has always worked, but when the switch is in the "off" position, the light flashes on dimly every few seconds. Not good for the bedroom, and probably not good for the life of the bulb.

This same "bug" prevented my father from pulling a prank on my mom's friend who was staying in from out of town. He was going to hook up a timer to a strobe light so that it would go off in her room at midnight. But it would flash once every few minutes.

Movies

Gaming Netflix Ratings? 235

Posted by kdawson
from the stadium-seated-astroturf dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes "Not for the first time, I've noticed a new film that hasn't yet even reached the theaters, yet has hundreds of positive votes and/or reviews recorded on Netflix. This time the movie is Inkheart. For a movie that doesn't even hit the theaters until January 23, it already has 428 votes and a rating of 4.3 (out of 5) on Netflix. Seems more than a bit fraudulent to me. Also, it has a review that doesn't even review the movie, but instead says the books are great, therefore the movie should be too. Does the word 'shills' come to mind? With millions spent to promote a movie, are a few hundred of that going to phony voters? Or have that many people actually seen the film and just can't wait to rush home and log onto Netflix to vote? Just what is Netflix's responsibility here to provide honest ratings?"

Comment: Foreign language courses. (Score 1) 324

by Pentomino (#16267837) Attached to: Television For an Audience 45 Light Years Away
I was watching French in Action a few years ago, and thought that this might be a good way to introduce an alien species to humanity and a particular culture. It's a foreign language telecourse that's produced entirely in the target language of French, so in order to be effective, it needs to demonstrate the usage of the language, as well as every concept a human being needs to talk about. The only problem is that this approach would inevitably focus on one culture, no matter which language you choose.

I do agree that it's completely pointless to send out a single one-time message. It seriously needs to repeat many times, for a long time. Who would pay for that?
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