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Comment: When it's REALLY bad (Score 1) 214

by WheezyJoe (#49147821) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

after this sequel comes out, we'll be trying to 'unsee it' .

Very much this. Only a bad sequel or reboot has the power to leave you so disappointed that you wish you could purge your memory of it.

I've managed to forget nearly everything of The Crow 2, City of Angels (except walking out of the theater) and the Lost in Space reboot. Still working on forgetting Kick Ass 2, Ghostbusters 2, Alien 3, Phantom Menace, and Star Trek 5. Knew better than to see Highlander 2, SpiderToby 2-3, Alien Resurrection, the Robocop reboot, Attack of the Clones... such movies should come with a Warning that they may make you feel genuinely resentful for the money, time, and date you'll never get back.

Comment: This Can't End Well (Score 2) 214

by WheezyJoe (#49147191) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

Blade Runner was a self-contained story. To my knowledge, Philip K. Dick didn't have a follow-up, and that means some Hollywood types are going to hash and re-hash sequel formulas that lure in the nostalgia crowd (1982 for chrissakes) and a whole new audience looking for their sci-fi blockbuster fix. Seriously, how can this possibly be good?

Most likely, some new replicant crisis will occur, bigger and badder than before, the Tyrell corporation will have a new head who's more morally ambiguous than before or even downright evil (Tyrell Jr.?), and Deckard has to be lured out of retirement somewhere, still mourning the death of Rachel, because somehow he has the key to solving the problem. An army of super Nexus 50 replicants have escaped from Tyrell's labs. Face-dancer replicants mind-controlled by the corporation have managed to take over key government posts undetected. The President himself may be a replicant, plotting to destroy all humans. Only Deckard has the uncanny talent to ferret them out.

There'll be explosions. Spaceships on fire. Flying cars with no wires visible. A soundtrack by Moby. And since Harrison Ford is so old, his love interest is his daughter by Rachel, with hidden super powers key to solving the crisis, threatened with retirement unless Deckard does what he's told! Edward James Olmos make his triumphant return as Gaff! You know I got at least some of this right.

+ - Cable Networks are Speeding Up Shows to Fit More Ads

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "After trying just about every other trick to squeeze more commercials into your Law and Order binge-fix, cable networks are now resorting to speeding up older shows and reruns in an effort to capture yet more revenue. TBS used compression technology to speed up the Wizard of Oz during its airing last November, causing pop-culture writer Stephen Cox to notice that the munchkins' voices were pitched higher than normal. TBS, TNT, and TV Land have also sped up shows including Seinfeld and Friends. “It is a way to keep the revenue from going down as much as the ratings,” a top executive at one major cable programmer said. “The only way we can do it is to double down and stretch the unit load a little more.”"

Comment: Re:Well damn (Score 1) 379

by WheezyJoe (#48985587) Attached to: Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II

Major difference there are no practical physical barriers to competition in the ISP space as exists with other utilities.

How?

If you are talking about wireline broadband, the physical barriers are exactly the same as exists with other utilities: utility poles, underground conduits, and all the rights-of-way necessary to get your wire through.

Sure, theoretically, another electric, gas, water, sewage, or cable company can step in to your town and lay all their own new pipes and wires. But the city is not going to let them clog the streets with all new utility poles or new underground conduits; you gotta use the ones already there. And someone, probably your competition, is already leasing them, or owns them outright.

Unless you're google, or the city itself, that's enough barrier to keep all new competition out.

But perhaps you are considering wireless as being free from physical barriers to competition. Not so. Spectrum is a scarce resource; you have to buy, at auction to the highest bidder, the right to use it, which excludes anyone else from using it. And wireless is no replacement for wireline in performance or reliablility.

So much for robust competition. I say again, competition is for small fry and suckers. Once a company has reached a critical mass (e.g., Comcast-size), it becomes more cost-effective to simply crush competition or buy them out. Why compete, risk revenue on innovation that might fail, when you don't have to?

Comment: Re:Well damn (Score 3, Insightful) 379

by WheezyJoe (#48981773) Attached to: Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II

it gets the government ever more involved in your life, and in managing how you can or must communicate

FUD. Either our government does the managing, or the corporations do. The government, at least, is accountable to the ballot box and the press. Comcast and their ilk are not. And don't say anything about free enterprise and competition. Competition is for small fry and suckers. Once you reach the size of Comcast, it benefits shareholders more to merge and acquire than to compete. Once monopoly status is achieved, hell with consumers and employees alike.

Markets without regulation are like sports without referees... there's nothing to prevent a nice pick-up game from turning into an all-out brawl, because who's to say it wasn't your fault for putting your face in the path of my elbow? Without rules and enforcement, you're a fool if you DON'T cheat like hell, because there's no downside and if you don't the other guy will.

Comment: Re:bandaids (Score 1) 262

by WheezyJoe (#48948311) Attached to: Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

"... Comcast has apologized and is looking at ways to prevent it from happening in the future..."?.

An upper manager at Comcast contacted a lower manager in Public and Press Relations, who promptly ordered an assistant to hastily look through pre-fab corporate apology phrases and hash together an official but very brief written response that 1) acknowledges that mistakes were made without admitting to actual knowledge of who made what mistake, if any, 2) appears to take responsibility for whatever went wrong without actually accepting any responsibility for anything, and 3) indicates that some form of appropriate action will be taken without identifying such action or making any commitment that any such action will take place, now or ever. Upon review by at least one corporate attorney to assure that the response does not obligate the company in any way, express or implied, such that the company is completely free and clear to move on and forget the entire thing, the response was released along with an implied message directed to the press that the matter should now be permitted to die away in favor of something more interesting like Katy Perry's wardrobe malfunction.

There. FTFY.

Comment: Re:Hmmm, what about management??? (Score 1) 262

by WheezyJoe (#48947875) Attached to: Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

Either management is approving of these actions either explicitly or implicitly by inaction or management is incompetent.

I would bet that management is 100% engaged in the pending merger with Time Warner... that's the sexy stuff. Day to day management of delivering product or keeping the proles... I mean, customers, satisfied is way down the list of priorities. Too hard to measure, too hard to link to anything that raises stock value. It may be sad, but in big companies making customers happy (particularly customers who are captive to your monopoly status anyway) doesn't get you promoted from your middle-management job like cutting costs does.

I'll wager the under-appreciated grunt employees at the front-lines with the customers are doing this just to test whether any of their merger-mad managers are paying any attention. Since management is only apologizing now after the press and blogosphere have discovered it, the answer was probably no.

Comment: Re:Need "Apply" or live updates in dialogs (Score 1) 148

by WheezyJoe (#48941839) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

live updates or an "Apply" button when making changes in character, paragraph, and, page dialogs

Very Much This. It's an interface feature that's not at all new, and easily taken for granted until you come across an app that doesn't have it. Particularly in Draw, the lack of this feature wastes a lot of time.

I am also waiting in vain for Writer to include a "normal" or "draft" view like in Word, making better use of the space on the screen (I don't need to see faux paper stuff all the time) while still retaining margins and showing page breaks unlike the useless (to me) "Web View".

There's bugs registered for these things somewhere, but I can't tell how the developers choose which issues to address and which ones to put off indefinitely.

Comment: Re:What are the practical results of this? (Score 2) 430

by WheezyJoe (#48934587) Attached to: FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

Both parties in this country are bought and paid for by corporate interests so there's no way to change the status quo

Why do people always say this? Although both parties receive contributions from whoever wants to contribute, they most definitely don't behave the same. This FCC decision is a prime example: the two Republicans voted lock-step with the cable lobby, but the three Democrats had the balls to stand against it to at least try to drag the United States into the future. So, thank you, Democrats, thank you, particularly for calling out the industry's lobbying bullshit, testifying that 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up is just plenty, while at the same time telling consumers that same speed sucks and that we all should pay premium (not available in all areas) because ’25/25 is best for one to three devices at the same time, great for surfing, e-mail, online shopping and social networking, streaming two HD videos simultaneously. 50/50 is best for three to five devices at the same time, more speed for families or individuals with multiple Internet devices, stream up to five HD videos simultaneously.’

+ - Comcast Pays Overdue Fees, Free Stuff For Time-Warner Merger Approval

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "In seeking more support for its mega-merger with Time-Warner Cable, Comcast has been going across the country giving local governments a chance to ask for favors in exchange for approving a franchise transfer. In Minneapolis, this turned up an unpaid bill of $40,000 in overdue franchise fees, so Comcast will have to pay the city money it already owed in order to get the franchise transfer. Comcast will also throw in $50,000 worth of free service and equipment.

"Thirty Minneapolis city buildings will get free basic cable for the next seven years as part of a package of concessions the city wrung out of Comcast in exchange for blessing its proposed merger with fellow cable giant Time Warner," Minnesota Public Radio reported. "Comcast has also agreed to pay Minneapolis $40,000 in overdue franchise fees after an audit found it underpaid the city for its use of the public right of way over the last three years." The article notes that getting any kind of refund out of a cable company is not easy.

Part of the deal with Minneapolis involves the spinoff of a new cable company called GreatLand Connections that will serve 2.5 million customers in the Midwest and Southeast, including Minnesota. After the deal, Comcast's franchises in those areas would be transferred to GreatLand. Such goodwill concessions may seem impressive as Comcast seeks to foster goodwill, but one wonders how Comcast/TimeWarner will behave after the merger."

+ - Computer chess created in 487 bytes, breaks 32-year-old record->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The record for smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform was held by 1K ZX Chess, which saw a release back in 1983 for the Sinclair ZX81. It uses just 672 bytes of memory, and includes most chess rules as well as a computer component to play against.

The record held by 1K ZX Chess for the past 32 years has just been beaten this week by the demoscene group Red Sector Inc. They have implemented a fully-playable version of chess called BootChess in just 487 bytes."

Link to Original Source

+ - FCC calls blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots "disturbing trend"->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The FCC on Tuesday warned http://transition.fcc.gov/Dail... that it will no longer tolerate hotels, convention centers or others intentionally interfering with personal Wi-Fi hotspots. This issue grabbed headlines last fall when Marriott International was fined $600K for blocking customer Wi-Fi hotspots, presumably to encourage the guests to pay for pricey Internet access from the hotel."
Link to Original Source

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