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What I haven't been able to find is if/how they encrypt the data between the Arris and their network. Skype is transparent about their encryption, but is it safe enough to use TWC (or 8x8, AT&T U-Verse) or others to call my bank and do business without having to worry there might be an eavesdropper?"
Not to defend the Bay Transformer franchise, but unfortunately that detail is rather true to the series. When I watched the original series as a kid, I hated Spike and his family, because they were always stealing camera time away from... just about anybody more interesting. There were so many robots in the Transformers line, so many opportunities, but it had to open with Bumblebee rolling in to the garage and chumming with his human pals.
I've always found it a bit insulting, even as I grew up, that these kids' shows about non-human things (Smurfs, Transformers, etc.) have to have an "ambassador" to their world, in the form of a young human that the viewers can identify with. It's as if the producers believe that little kids would have absolutely no frame of reference and be completely unable to comprehend the themes surrounding a bunch of non-human yet highly anthropomorphized characters.
I used it. It was fairly functional and effective for its day, but the problem was the Brazilians. When you tried to start up an interest group, even if you specified English as the language, it was more often than not overrun with posts in Portuguese, many of them stating not much more than "Hey, who else out there is Brazilian!?!!" I've got nothing against Brazilians -- it could just have easily been the Vietnamese or the Indians. I think no small number of English speakers felt alienated by an increasing number of semi- or fully-nude torsos trivializing their pages with banter they couldn't understand. A lot of these alienated users jumped ship early to a more comforting platform and didn't return. Perhaps the site has much better controls now -- maybe it's better than Facebook even, but every time I think about Orkut, those images of tan, funloving Brazilians clogging up my pages leer back at me.
I thought that Kevin Bacon, while not really resembling Shaw very well, still made a captivating villain. I especially enjoyed his brief depiction as a Nazi scientist at the very beginning of the movie. The latest Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me has a small but enjoyable interview with him regarding, among other things, his role as Shaw.
They made some weird choices for characters. I don't know if Darwin even has a precedent (probably not, given his character's treatment), but who was the guy who blew the tornadoes? Azazel was also an odd choice. He doesn't really belong in the Hellfire club, from what I can tell, though he does set up Nightcrawler fairly well.
Spoiler (and an example of internal inconsistency) -- what the devil happened to all of that energy Shaw sucked out of the submarine? I felt his powers were somewhat poorly defined to begin with, but when you suck a nuclear submarine's batteries dry, doesn't that energy go *somewhere*? I suppose it could be explained away in one way or another, but it would have made a lot more sense if there were an explosion or some other kind of awesome manifestation of the power he ate.
A couple of good places to get free ebooks are:
There are quite a few others, but many of these sites share 90% of the same content anyhow. I've got a Kindle and greatly enjoy it, but like many of the other readers here, I balk at the ridiculous prices for ebooks (wow, a dollar off the electronic edition!!). There's a great backlog of classics out there that are freely available, so I'm not really wanting for leisure reading content. I guess I'll just have to wait for Going Rogue to go public domain!
Not just that, but Quorra did make it through -- does she have internal organs? Does her antivirus software recognize chicken pox? Somehow I can conceptualize the idea of a brain being translated into cyberspace more than I can understand how programs existing on a computer can be fully fleshed-out to exist in our world.
I think one reason the flashbacks didn't bother you as much is that the folks behind Tron, perhaps a bit apologetically, conceal the young Flynn more in the real life flashbacks than they did in cyberspace. It took them forever to reveal young Flynn at the beginning, as most of the shots were in shadow and from behind. When they did flash his face, it wasn't for long, and he was soon out the door.
I noticed his computerized plastic surgery in both forms, and it bugged me. I wish the uncanny valley effect were intentional, but I'm pretty sure that if they could have made a more realistic face, they would have done it.
I tried to use that same reasoning on myself, because CLU does look really weird (the mouth, especially). It certainly does add to his creepiness.
Your assertion might hold, but unfortunately they do show a few shots of the "young" Jeff Bridges in real life, and he's had the same CGI makeover as CLU in the computer system.
I tend to agree that it was the best so far, but I also think SGU had so much untapped potential that became entangled with the trappings of soap-opera caliber relationships and irritatingly pointless antics where they returned to Earth via the stones. I don't care about what's happening on Earth. I don't care that the HR lady's lesbian relationship is strained being 20 kabillion miles from her lover. I'm in this more for the science and the vast promise of the entire universe.
I did think a few things were quite well-done:
- I greatly enjoyed the universe. Instead of landing in yet another deciduous midwestern forest like every stargate seemed to point to, the planets in SGU had radically different terrain. Ice planets, deserts, wastelands, jungles... very few of which had even signs of civilization. Space in SGU was much emptier, mysterious, perilous, and realistic.
- Along with that, I enjoyed the music (not the crooning pop montage at the end of the episodes). It... really felt "spacey" to me.
- I thought the aliens were very well-done in this series -- especially the little guys on the seed ship. They were truly alien and unknown, unlike the Wraith, who stomped about in their dingy scary ship wearing scary makeup and scary clothes and hissing scarily at the camera for the umpteenth scary time. The scariness of the wraith was so exaggerated that they simply became ludicrous caricatures of antagonists.
I'm not going to shed tears at its departure, because while it had potential, I got the feeling the writers would never really get around to harness it, being instead trapped with a middle school mentality amidst the intrigues of the crew. It's a shame, though, because they did get many things right.