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Comment: Re:Parody (Score 1) 252

by bluefoxlucid (#49174651) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

The Austin Powers films stand on a lot of firm ground: they're a completely self-sustaining franchise (new work); they're a lampoon of James Bond films (parody); and a lot of their jokes are satirical references and shout-outs. You *are* allowed to say "McDonalds" instead of "McDougals"; Family Guy does the direct parody thing a lot, and Space Balls took it up to 11 with the Planet of the Apes reference.

Notice that Austin Powers wasn't "James Bond in: I am a Frozen Retard Popsicle." Likewise, the Godzilla joke you showed dispels all trademark confusion issues (the legal crux of media IP) by lampooning international copyright law. These aren't just James Bond rip-offs and Godzilla showing up in a movie; unlike the Metal Gear, Megaman, and Star Wars fan movies that claim to be MG and Star Wars, and could easily be mistaken for an official production because... well... they happen in-universe with the same characters.

Comment: Re:As long as it is not an official power rangers (Score 1) 252

by bluefoxlucid (#49173855) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

The fact that it's a piece of visual entertainment or related, and called "Power Rangers". Also, substantial similarity can hit trademark on characters, or even hit copyright by being a derivative work. Parody quickly distances you from these--hence the Axem Rangers, a humorous reference to the Power Rangers without using any of the scenario, names, or other assets, used as a large joke in an unrelated work--and derivation into unrelated works and unrelated scenarios is usually considered influence--such as between Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and the completely unrelated NES game Crystalis.

Using the same characters, same setting, same scenario, but a different title won't get you away from derivative work copyright issues or plagiarism. Using the same title but different everything will hit trademark law. Using a similar scenario as a whole work or a *very* similar scenario as part of a different work often passes. Using something very similar as a joke falls under parody.

Comment: Re:Leonard Nimoy is why we have nice things (Score 0) 409

by bluefoxlucid (#49148565) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

The ginormous geniuses I've met don't seem to consider themselves intellectuals, geniuses, or whatnot. I've started pointing out that I'm a genius after recognizing that genius is a matter of technique, and so geniuses can be made: we can turn roughly 100% of the population into geniuses by proper training, with strikingly little effort. As such, one of my future political plans is to tweak the education system to normalize geniuses, bringing the baseline up to something most people believe is an inherent force of genetic superbrainism. Maybe then people will stop pestering me or, worse, trying to hire me with the justification that I'm smart and they want smart people on their team; they have smart people, if they would just act like an intelligent species.

Now, having understood that the only thing that ever stood in the way of my dreams was myself, I must go learn to draw. I realize now that I can't draw because I've never put in the exact same effort that career artists and famous painters put into the subject, and so never learned to draw; it's not that I can't, but that I simply decided not to. That changes now.

Comment: Re:ignorant hypocrites (Score 1) 347

by bluefoxlucid (#49147607) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

A core dump is two projects: find out what's wrong, fix it. You cannot estimate how long it will take to fix a problem until you know what the problem is.

How are you an expert when you consider a core dump to be a reasonable place someone would try to estimate bugfix time from? You can't estimate until you can plan the work, until you can draw a work breakdown structure and show what must be done. Even projects are chartered with a big budget and time estimate based on "this is 3x bigger than something else, so it takes 3x longer and is 3x as expensive", and then broken down into work that all comes together and says "okay, it's only going to be 2.1x as expensive and take 2.3x as long". That initial budget estimate? It comes from a dozen or five dozen or hundreds of prior projects, all with varying times, so you can say, "Stuff of this size and complexity has a low-water mark of like 5, a high-water mark of like 11, and tends to take more like 7.2" and decide how important the project is and thus if you want to budget for more like 5 or more like 11--and the same goes for the broken down work.

You can't even estimate what a bugfix is from a core dump. Someone brings you a core dump and says, "I need a bug fixed." They may as well bring you a blueprint and say, "I need a house built." Until you open the damn blue print up and see if you have a 1200sqft row home or a 4500 sqft Victorian, you have no fucking clue what you're doing, and can't tell them how long it's going to take. Once you unroll the damn thing, you can give them a ballpark estimate by glancing at the paper once; take a few hours to study the blueprints and work out what work actually needs to be done, and you can give them a better estimate.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

by bluefoxlucid (#49147363) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Then, I recorded over/under for every project and found (over about 24 programmer data set) that programmers consistently overshot or undershot their estimates. So after a few projects, I had a pretty good idea of their deliverables.

Doing it right.

Made worse by the fact the indian contractors said "I'll do my best" for "no- you are batshit crazy" and then things fell apart when the indians were unable to deliver.

This is a cultural thing. Asian cultures are strongly hierarchical: you always agree with the guy above you. Never argue. You need to either read the cues or break them of that.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

by bluefoxlucid (#49147239) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

A good project manager uses historical data and the expert judgment of the project team to estimate the complexity of the project and determine the time required to perform the work. This is done in many ways: projects are compared to similar projects and scaled to size for a ball-park figure; projects are broken down into work packages, themselves broken down into activities and tasks, all of which the project team estimates the complexity and time required for, accounting for how long it took them to do similar things; time variance from historical data and current contexts are accounted for, providing a low, most-likely, and high mark (2 weeks in the best case scenario; most likely, based on prior work and known information, 3.5 weeks; some disaster scenarios bring in a 9 week estimate--that kind of lag HAS happened).

The more work is done, the more accurate estimates for budget and time become. Agile projects deliver in phases, iterations, and increments, and so can estimate work later in the project based on risk events earlier in the project--opportunities that cut time and can be exploited to cut more time, threats that cost time and may further cost additional time. In this way, "Historical Information" even includes work performance information for the parts of the project already completed.

It's all probabilities.

Comment: Re:Realistic (Score 1) 372

by bluefoxlucid (#49138457) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Because I can't switch to another electric supplier. I did (I switched to a 100% solar-wind-hydro-geothermal supplier, meaning they need to ensure there's at least enough of said power produced to cover all of their customers), but the main utility continues to charge me for just having electricity.

Basically, the utility company for my area supplies everyone with electricity and gas. There is only one utility company. For every unit of electricity or gas, they charge you a few pennies of transport fee. On top of the transport fee, they also charge you $30 "customer fee". So if you use 0 gas and 0 electricity, you pay $30; if you use 10 gas and 200 electricity, you pay $8 + $11 + $30, plus either the main utility's commodity gas and electricity costs OR your electricity and gas suppliers's commodity gas and electricity cost.

It costs $30/mo to have an account with the local utility.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant