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Comment: US needs an OFCOM (Score 1) 272 272

It's too bad the US has no real authority to review advertising for matters of whether its truthful or not. For example, calling their plans "unlimited" when they aren't would not fly in the UK.

But in the US you can call anything anything and modify it as needed with tiny disclaimers.

It would be fun one day to see an add for a new phone with a disclaimer saying you actually get a paving stone and some wadded up paper, ala the faked game console/iPad boxes that always appear in stores during the holidays.

Comment: Why do they want to be like Valve/Steam? (Score 2) 46 46

I get why Amazon wants to/has to make their own video content: People expect it these days and they have to compete with Netflix and HBO. But in gaming, there are already a ton of publishers and a ton more developers in all shapes and sizes and for all markets and kinds of games.

It is a great time to be a PC gamer. There's so much choice. If you don't think there is, try playing something new instead of the same old things.

Anyway, there are a lot of people making games. Some great, some good, some bad. What is Amazon going to bring to this that isn't already being done? It's not like the video service where they have to meet expectations, and it's not an unmet need since there already are tons of games.

Amazon is hiring some heavy hitters and spending A-level cash on game engines. This says they intend to bring out an epic franchise brand, which means they will have to spend a LOT on making it, and take years, and after all the work, maybe people won't want to play it. Most games end up like that, especially the big, grand, spendy grand attempts. Very few of those command lasting presence. So they're basically betting a lot on what will probably be ONE title and the odds are it won't be huge hit. Maybe a moderate hit. Why do this? Why take on that financial risk when there are plenty of existing companies and people who already do that?

Amazon already sells their games, and now they have Twitch to show them off too. Amazon doesn't need to make content in this space.

Comment: Not surprising after Tron: Uprising was gutted (Score 5, Interesting) 205 205

There was another Tron mostly nobody saw, an animated series called Tron: Uprising which ran on various Disney cable networks.

It was.. excellent. Beautiful art, great music (improved versions of Daft Punk plus new stuff), really good casting and decent writing and plotting. All in all, one of the best animated anything that the American animation industry has yet produced. It was rather similar to an anime. Nobody would have been surprised if it had in fact come from Japan, but it didn't: it was Disney.

And of course a show like this made no sense to Disney so they killed it after one season. Boom.

Highly recommended viewing. Only 19 episodes so go for broke and watch them all at once. It will probably make you sad this was the last Tron, perhaps forever.

Comment: Re:Would YOU want a camera on you all day? (Score 1) 294 294

I work in a white collar office with 11 cameras installed, last time I counted. I work under them every day. They watch everything I do, along with all my coworkers. And the video is uploaded out of the country so it cannot be tampered with locally.

Who installed this 11-eyed monster? Me.

It's not for me. It's because we have an office full of expensive computers full of sensitive data. The cameras aren't the only thing we do but they are a visible deterrent. We have cleaning crews and other vendors in the office. And we have an honest system snack area with an unsecured open cup of money for people to pay or make change. Guess what's NEVER been pilfered? Yep, the money cup, in part because THAT spot is cross-covered by four cameras.

But mostly the cameras watch us working, or not working. They have been mainly inconvenient for the people who want to sneak off for a nap. I made sure there are no blind spots left.

My house is the same way, covered by a "number" of cameras. I get more emails with images and video from my cameras every day than I get from anyone else. There's a dashcam in my car too. It caught a truck accident 2 weeks ago today. Good stuff, great time to have a camera rolling.

So I live, work, and drive with cameras on ALL the time. My life is fine.

Comment: Re:And what about the infrastructure issues? (Score 1) 294 294

This is why excursion trains with old equipment should always have a modern locomotive attached to act as the hub for ATC or signalling. And also for pulling the old engine off the line when it breaks down.

Does it ruin things to have a diesel in the consist? No. It's still a train.

Comment: Re:1947... (Score 1) 65 65

Oh no, I'm totally willing to cut some slack. This stuff is not easy, be it reverse engineering OR inventing it with original research.

We're on the edge of unlocking a whole new realm of material science where we can do things that would have looked like magic even 50 years ago. Alien or not, this does show that science can do a lot in a very short period of time.

Comment: Re:1947... (Score 1) 65 65

Anyone remember Roswell, NM?

My first thought exactly. So it took us 60 years or so to figure it out.

"it was a sheet of metal, very light weight, but you could crush it up like a ball and it would bounce right back no matter what you did, and it would not cut or burn"

Comment: Re:Ottawa will never allow it (Score 1) 129 129

Not even sure about a bank as so many banks still use BBM. They might not like having another bank in charge of the company, though there are probably ways around that with a holding company or something.

My feeling is some kind of Canadian consortium can come to BlackBerry's rescue Despite FairFax taking a look and walking away, I still think they could do it with Canadian money without needing foreign partners. Canadian investors are as good as any, have plenty of money to invest and they can read the tea leaves as well as any. It comes down to what they think the value is. If not FairFax, perhaps somebody else.

Comment: Ottawa will never allow it (Score 1) 129 129

Canada considers BlackBerry as a national Canadian treasure of sorts. It's a huge success story and has been the backbone of just an immense number of high-tech jobs. BlackBerry is a flagship company. As such, Ottawa will never allow it to be sold to outsiders like Microsoft or anyone else.

It's just not going to happen.

This means the value of the company is a lot less than it seems since the value can't be taken out of Canada in any meaningful way.

Comment: Can the clock be changed? (Score 1) 250 250

Where I work, we currently tell one of our PCs that it is February because a software license expired on March 1 and nobody will pay to renew it while we work on getting a replacement up to speed. Meanwhile the old expired version runs fine thinking its February.

So what would happen if somebody told the plane today's date was 248 days forward of today? Or for fun, five minutes less than that. While it was in flight.

I'm assuming there are safeguards to prevent this but what if nobody ever considered that there could be a need to prevent changing the plane's clock? What if this was left exposed? Somebody from Boeing please tell me this clock was well protected and there is no way a virus could get into the plane, look for parameters like "wheels up" "seat belt sign off" and execute a clock change. It would be a magnificent disaster where not even the data recorders would capture what happened, if all power is cut off and all systems drop dead.

Comment: Re:I think we just need to get burned. (Score 4, Interesting) 332 332

Well that is the unspoken elephant in the room: we have people trying to live in arid areas never before used for habitation, and we have farmers and ranchers trying to make a go of their businesses in areas never before suitable for that kind of thing, all thanks to supplied sources of water which are now dwindling.

The simple answer is that all these people should pack up and leave, Nobody is promised they can live in any particular place. And some places are just not meant for it. But people hate to do that. They'd rather fight and protest and pay lots of money to truck in water, etc. And struggle for years trying to make it work.

Comment: Re:planet/planetoid (Score 3, Insightful) 83 83

You can call planets planets or call them aardvarks. It makes no difference. The name we give it has no meaning except to the person giving the name. Another person might call it something else. Who can say which is right? You because you give it a name in English, or a first nation's person who named it in their language? Which is correct? And which is wrong?

But no matter.

The planet itself does not care what we call it. Our names mean nothing to it. The planet simply is what it is, as it was before humans gave it names and as it will be long after humans have faded from this universe.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -- George Carlin