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Comment: Re: Why does this need a sequel? (Score 1) 298

by Samantha Wright (#48593013) Attached to: Blade Runner 2 Script Done, Harrison Ford Says "the Best Ever"

...Not having any particular stake in this argument, are we quite sure that's Tyrell's intended meaning, something so mundane? I think Tyrell is more taking about stuff like this:

I have seen things you people wouldn't believe Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [small cough] tears in rain. Time to die

...i.e., Roy's greatness and accomplishment as a person. At that point, Tyrell wants to sooth Roy and make him accept his place by calling him amazing. Simply saying "well, that's the cost of bein' so darn strong" conflicts with his next line: "And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."

Comment: Re:the mysterious "us" (Score 1) 178

by buchner.johannes (#48568057) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

The reason that the discussion isn't framed more to be about the safety of citizens is because it's assumed that people understand to have buildings not collapse in an earthquake is a generally good thing for everyone. Do you really have to have a discussion about how not having buildings collapse onto people inside them is a good thing or a bad thing? We even have some pretty good numbers of the costs associated with earthquakes, as they happen frequently enough in plenty of developed and undeveloped areas.

Isn't this a usual risk-cost calculation? Every building can decide whether the risk (probability times loss) is greater then the costs of avoiding the risk.

Comment: Re:Doesn't matter even if the publishers win... (Score 0) 698

by buchner.johannes (#48548897) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

I think the original post is delusional. People would still use AdBlock if ads were unobtrusive and static. They just want the content, just like they download movies without paying.

I am willing to bet that the fraction of AdBlock users that turn on the feature where some ads are allowed does not exceed 1%.

Humans want all of it, for free, and now. If they can't have it under those terms, blaming "stealing" on the providers is only half of the story.

Comment: If... (Score 1) 103

by jd (#48546713) Attached to: Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

You are vulnerable to Social Engineering (and almost everyone is), no security of any kind will ever work. Become a Scottish crofter, it's your only hope of a life.

You are a private individual, see all XKCD coverage. Same remedy.

You are Sony, abandon hope now. You wouldn't even make it as a crofter.

You are anyone else, encryption is not enough. You want segmentation, active NIDS, proxies and firewalls at the gateways, HIDS on the machines, role-based access controls, host-to-host IPSec, security labels on packets, total removal of all vulnerable protocols, disk encryption, strong authentication and Neuromancer's Black Ice. A platoon of extreme freediving Ninja with enhanced magnetic sensors in their eyeballs would help, too.

Comment: Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (Score 1) 368

by jd (#48545413) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Science fiction isn't fiction that has elements that aren't science but might appeal to geeks who like science.

Science fiction isn't science fantasy.

Science fiction isn't pure fantasy with stuff science geeks like.

Science fiction isn't biologically improbable females fulfilling spotty teen fantasies.

Science fiction is science that is fictional. Very different animal and naturally restrictive.

That's life. Or will be.

Comment: Re: you're doing it wrong (Score 0) 368

by jd (#48545395) Attached to: Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Absolutely wrong on all accounts.

People are the least important part of a story, they exist solely to represent something. What they represent is almost never another person. In fact, it is never another person.

Science fiction is about the universe, about meaning, about the nature of reality. There are perfectly good science fiction stories that don't include people, or indeed any living thing. And that is fine.

Stories that are people-centric are no more science fiction than vampire stories are history, or Microsoft manuals are about learning.

This isn't up for discussion, it is the way the ontology is. Don't like it? Fine, don't call your crap science fiction. It's very simple.

Comment: Games were the death of programming (Score 4, Interesting) 110

by GreatDrok (#48544553) Attached to: Spectrum Vega: A Blast From the Past

While early computers had very limited graphics and usually no sound, the arrival of colour and sound (er beeps) resulted in a large number of games and kids at the time clamoured to get a spectrum, C64 or whatever because it was a games machine and nothing else to them. Sure, you could program them but very few did. I started on a Commodore Pet (horrible BASIC) and went through the Sinclairs, the BBC Micro and then onto UNIX machines skipping PCs entirely (at least until Linux came along) and what I appreciated about all these was the ability to program them (same goes for Linux) but I was a minority.

The sad thing is once you got to PCs and GUIs, programming was largely a thing of the past. My son just got interested in computers and asked me to teach him to program so I pulled my actual Spectrum out and gave it to him. Sadly, age hasn't been kind to the hardware so the modulator failed and wouldn't display a picture. I bypassed that and got composite video out but in the process the keyboard membrane cracked so I had to order a new replacement (yay for retro computer fans) and it works again. He's getting on well and hasn't really shown interest in games on it. I did load up Manic Miner for a laugh but it was awful. I forgot how precise you had to be.

I just wish this was a real Spectrum with a keyboard. As it stands, meh. Emulators are also hard work without the real keyboard.

Comment: Re:As far as I'm concerned, Pluto is still a plane (Score 2) 77

by buchner.johannes (#48543073) Attached to: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Ends Hibernation To Start Mission

Sure, it might have originated in the Kuiper belt, but it isn't there any more.

That's not the point. The point is it has three moons of the same size as itself, and a lot of other debris. It's not dominating its environment.
You can choose: Either we have 8 planets, or you have to learn 19 names, and new ones every year or two. 9 is not an option anymore.

Anyways, I don't understand why "dwarf planet" was not made a subclass of "planets" along with "major planets" (where the others go). But no, it is "planets" and "minor planets", which are by definition not a "planet".

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."