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Comment: Re:Both those Jar Jar movie sucked. (Score 1) 218

by denzacar (#49167003) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

There is one upside to the Michael-Bay-Trek movies though: they demonstrate conclusively that Jjabrams is very capable of making a Star Wars film.

Lucas made not one but THREE brand new Star Wars films. Had the droids and light sabres and everything.
ANYONE can make a Star Wars movie. Internet is full of fan-made movies. Some of them pretty good.
Trick is to make a GOOD Star Wars movie while maintaining the spirit of the original trilogy.
And that second part is the HARD part.

Think Matrix sequels.
Hero's journey ended long ago, but they kept making more content, making a mess of it.
And those are just the difficulties that any director would face when trying to continue the story from almost 40 years ago.

Jar Jar and his cohorts live by his bullshit philosophy of "mystery box".
They even sell that shit as a product - a lame collection of overpriced card decks for card tricks. In a box. With a question mark on it.
Translated to storytelling - their idea of a story is that the "mystery" and "cool" is what drives the story, so the more unexplained and shiny shit you pile up, the more mystery and cool there will be.
And that WORKS. It really does.

Until they have to finish the story.
Then it turns out that the whole "magical" journey was about something utterly unremarkable, that almost all those unexplained elements were simply meaningless (cause they can't ALL be vitally important), that a lot of "cool" was forced, and that there is this huge pile of shit standing there in the living room - and they have to find a meaning to it all.

Which usually ends up with a lot of really smart people on all sides of the story suddenly starting to act like complete idiots - or accidents start to happen. Or both.
Improbable things suddenly become the norm, logic goes out the window, and it turns out that all the buildup and mysticism was leading to something very empty or simply stupid.

The GOOD news is that the whole thing is a Disney movie. Yeah, I know.

They will NOT let it be anything less than a super-money-making machine for decades more.
MANY Bothans may die, but the movies WILL work. There are facilities. In the desert.
And many new flavors and colors of Soylent apart from the green.
Movies! WILL! WORK!

But it will be no better than your average Disney animated feature - minus the songs.
Someone else will come up with the musical version. It is unavoidable.

Comment: Both those Jar Jar movie sucked. (Score 3, Insightful) 218

by denzacar (#49164831) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

They had Star Trek brand... and you could say that the cast was nicely picked.
Aaaand that's it.

They failed in everything else.
From basic Star Trek technology (imagine the next Star Wars movie where Jedi prefer blasters), basic science, logic, story structure... Even characters.

E.g. Spock is not logical and detached - he is passive-aggressive to full on aggressive hostile. Constantly.
He's half-Klingon, barely managing not to rip everyone's heads off and feast on their insides, not a calm, logical Vulcan.

They made a sly Scotty into a bumbling nerdy idiot.
Sulu and Chekov... they have no character.
McCoy was boiled down to a frowny face.
They made Uhura into a love interest bimbo.

And Kirk... He's simply a fratboy dickhead now.
Shatner's Kirk did used to get his shirt off a lot, but he was still a cerebral character.
All of them were. Star Trek was always ultimately about the triumph of the mind - not brute force.
The old scenes of Spock saving the Enterprise in Wrath of Khan vs. Kirk doing the same in Jar Jar's Trek 2: Trek Darker illustrate that very well.

Spock is clearly out of strength and running on will power to complete the task.
Kirk is jumping up and down and kicking the core to make it work.
Brute, mindless force replaced determination and will power.

And then they shit on the entire universe by curing death with magic blood.
And they have portable teleporters that can beam people across the galaxy from Earth all the way to Qo'noS.
Why bother with ships then? In a movie whose big plot point is a secret MegaBig spaceship.

You know... Like the last time on Jar Jar Trek.
Which copied that last Trek movie. About the TNG crew and Romulans. And their big world destroying ship.
Remember how that movie had the captain of the Enterprise driving around in the desert... which is how Jar Jar Trek starts.
And how the captain gets captured... and then someone has to jump through space to the MegaBig ship to save him.

Jar Jar is that kid who comes out of the theater after watching Wrath of Khan all excited about how it was awesome when they "killed those bad guys".
He lacks the capacity to grasp what the show is about - but he likes explosions and shiny.
He's Michael Bay without the looks and confidence to be a complete over the top dick.

Comment: Not thinking practical enough. (Score 1) 140

by denzacar (#49163641) Attached to: AVG Announces Invisibility Glasses

I'm guessing a "designer" came up with those hipster glasses?

Why bother with glasses when there are rechargeable button cell batteries that you can fix with double sided tape or a clip, to any pair of glasses?
Cameras come from the sides too. Where one could wear IR LED clip-on earrings.

And why point your week LED at a camera (which can be too far for the light to reach the lens) when you can point it AT THE FACE and "wash it out"?

It will age your skin though so additional facial creme might not be a bad idea.
Also, wearing a hat to minimize both sunlight and camera exposure.

Comment: Re: Do you even movie bro? (Score 1) 133

by denzacar (#49156231) Attached to: Why Hollywood Fudged the Relativity-Based Wormhole Scenes In Interstellar

Fixing nitrogen so we can't breathe it? We don't breathe nitrogen, except in the sense that it comes in our lungs and goes out unchanged.

Umm... Yes we DO breathe it, in a sense that its presence or absence in the air that we breathe are detrimental to our health.

Pump more of it in the atmosphere we breathe, changing pressure, we get drunk on it.
Pump it out of the atmosphere, bind it into ground, and we poison ourselves with the remaining oxygen or CO and CO2 - as both the air pressure and concentration of gasses in the air now changes completely.

Nor is there any sign that anybody's having problems breathing on Earth (except with the dust).

You have issues with being able to movie too?

It is a future problem, which would eliminate most air breathing life and most certainly all humans on the planet - IN THEIR FUTURE, AFTER THEY FIRST RUN OUT OF PLANTS.
Not then and there. Maybe not for the next 100 or 1000 years for the whole thing to play out completely. But it is a done deal.
Earth is ALREADY a dead planet.
Even "recycling" people for food will not help.

Again... same way that the REAL horror of "Soylent Green" is NOT "it's made of people".
It's that there is no more plankton in the oceans, while the individual trees and vegetation are viewed as prized statues.

That is why the only solution is LEAVING. Not finding more corn that WILL grow.

The idea of a blight that methodically wipes out one crop after another need some serious explanations.

It does not wipe out crops one after another. It has wiped them all out already.
Scientists have managed to keep creating a more resistant crop, one after another.
And they've run out of crops and (per)mutations. And that WAS explained.
Explaining the exact way the blight works is NOT needed no more than it would be needed to explain the existence of robots. Or cryogenics.

But it is REALLY easy to explain. And bog down the movie with EVEN MORE technobabble.
But if you really need a plot device spelled out for you... and don't want to accept that someone is producing electricity in their world without any power-plants being shown... and you simply refuse to imagine them somewhere beyond the horizon...

Plants ingest the nitrates thanks to nitrogen binding BACTERIA. Some of them symbiotic.
Just have them mutate so that they no longer bind nitrogen in the form digestible by plants, while still sucking the sugar out of the plants.
Or have them start feeding on the plants themselves.

Say we get a bright idea to create vitamin B3 (C6H6N2O) reinforced crops that will at the same time suck out the CO2 from the atmosphere AND create fertilizer (NH3), by creating a mutation of existing nitrogenase equiped bacteria.
Aaaand... we fuck it up.
Bacteria starts eating the plants from the roots up (getting their C there instead of from the atmosphere) and filling the ground with nicotinamide which then gets flushed away by water.

That's just one possible technobabble solution. From the top of the head. Probably requiring a lot of improbable science to work.
But it does not matter any more than the explanation (and the lack there of) of ANY other world-building plot point.
Why are there no MRIs? What EXACTLY do cars run on? What about the rest of the world? What's going on in Australia? Did Madagascar close its ports on time?

Story is NOT about intricacies of microbiology and technobabble. It's about SPACE. And exploration thereof.

Did anybody mention a large war? If so, I missed it.

Robots are former marines. NASA refused to drop bombs on starving people and was shut down because of it.
"Marines don't exist anymore". Or scientists. Or engineers. ON THE PLANET.
Entire planet is agrarian just to produce enough food.
Which is "not so bad". People used to "be too busy fighting over food to play baseball."
"6 billion people" is some distant, incredible, number from back when grandpa was a boy and there was magic everywhere.

It is hinted at huge, global, food riots in the past.
Big enough to warrant the government to ask NASA to bomb the civilian population.
Governments have nukes. Why call NASA?
Unless they want to bomb people with kinetic projectiles as nukes are useless if you want to plant food on the bombarded ground.

That's a war.
Between countries. On "too many people". Between starving people, over food...
The exact flavor and number and exact size(s) of the conflict(s) does not matter. Everyone LOST.
What matters is that the people and their technology level has suffered.

AGAIN... Story is NOT ABOUT THAT.

There was, indeed, time travel going on. Main character manipulated the books in a way daughter noticed said "stop" at an earlier time.

Nope.
Not time travel. Nor a temporal paradox.

The whole point of the wormhole to the other galaxy and allowing for humans to come up with the solution on their own instead of just sending them the blueprints on how to build the spaceships and sidestep gravity - is in NOT violating causality.
Cause that IS NOT POSSIBLE.
It ends up being inter-universe travel.

And that would be of no use to humans of the future, Cooper or the humans of his present.
He would end up sending (possibly wrong) data to a daughter of some other Cooper.

Instead, they "borrow a cow" by creating a tesseract alongside of the 4th dimension of the back of the shelf.
They can create wormholes and grab people and robots dropped into black holes.
Either folding a piece of the universe into a 3-dimensional space along its 4th dimension, or creating a bubble-universe for the same purpose is probably within their reach.

Cooper is thus not communicating from the future - but from a temporary time-space outside of the universe.

He's outside time, not forward in time.
Telegraphing "S-T-A-Y" is him repeating to his past self the same exact words his past self already heard in the past.
AND it is something his daughter was saying, and would be saying, ANYWAY.
No information gets added to or removed from the universe, nor is there any alteration of the timeline, by the movement of information or objects along it.
There is no paradox and there is no time travel.

It's a loophole that allows them to tell the story about wormholes and all the other stuff without violation to the science as we know it.
Which works because... deus ex machina from the future.

But that IS the SETUP of the story.
The deus ex machina is OUTSIDE of the story, in a form of a "What if..."
"People from the future" don't land with their spaceships or appear like Q from the thin air, snapping their fingers - they set up the events long before (or after... or outside... they move outside the time) the events observed.

No deus ex machina lands on the stage - but one WAS used to construct the stage.
It has to be. It's science FICTION.
There is always a hidden deus ex machina in ANY fiction.

Comment: Re:Perception (Score 1) 407

by denzacar (#49153991) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

That's not how it would work. It's cloth. It has ripples and shades.
There would be patterned ripples across the dress where "real" colors would show in shades or highlights.

IF the photo itself wasn't messed up by the camera/software, effectively replacing the color palette in the entire photo.

William Gibson foresaw this in his "Bigend cycle" books.
Hubertus Bigend wears International Klein Blue suits just to fuck with everyone else, as it can't be represented correctly on monitors or in print - note two different whites in the color corrected photo in order to get both the skin tones and the dress right.

Gibson just didn't thought of adding shitty CCDs to the list of technology with issues with reproduction of the color.
Or, illiterate "designers".
She calls it "Royal Blue" in the video.

Sure... If one could get people to wear a computer screen, calibrated to show the web palette of colors.
There will be little difference. THERE. On the screen.
Especially if one's screen is not even close to calibrated.

On the other hand.... Trying to mix those "equivalent" values listed in RGB and CMYK.
In Web-RGB they WILL look exactly the same. And so will the blacks.
http://i.imgur.com/QdL00rr.jpg

Ask the same industry standard company to do it using their other, more professional tool, with full RGB and CMYK gamut...
http://i.imgur.com/46B6H55.jpg

And just try using the RGB and CMYK values for Ultramarine (essentially IKB).
http://i.imgur.com/Idc2pr7.jpg

The color she envisioned on her screen is NOT the color of cloth chosen for the dress, based on the color on the screen.
She wanted "royal blue" but picked ultramarine - because Web-RGB royal blue is closer to aquamarine IRL.
The person designing the dress DOES NOT KNOW WHAT COLOR IT IS.

It's not about "rods and cones" and "everyone seeing colors a little differently".
It's about people using wrong names for colors, often calling many different colors by the same name and the same color by different names.
Then it is about faulty capture technology and badly written color conversion and calibration algorithms.
Then it is about faulty display technology, which can't show the same image under different viewing angles.
THEN, and only then, MAYBE, color perception and ambient lighting might fool the untrained eye.

But it is most likely that in most cases it is again different people calling a shade of red pink and orange.
While trying to GUESS the "correct" color from a crappy photo on a crappy screen.

Comment: Do you even movie bro? (Score 1) 133

1) It consumes nitrogen from the atmosphere, binding it in the form that humans can't breathe, while eating up ALL PLANT LIFE at the same time.
Humans just managed to create species of plants they need for food which managed to stand out longer.

They got dustbowls because there are no more plants to hold down the dirt. On the entire planet.
Corn is the last EDIBLE PLANT that they can grow. Possibly last plant at all. And that would include plankton.
It's Soylent Green all over again. It's not about the food - it's about the collapse of the entire biosphere.

2) It's a post global war society, REVERTING BACK to old technology.
Think 20th century humans going back to horse and cart.
They still got the science and knowledge, they just don't have the resources anymore.

And they are clearly far more advanced in robotics and AI, they have means of artificially growing humans without a human uterus, they have space planes which can take off from the surface of a planet unassisted, cryogenics...

3) Because the entire setting of the story was picked and arranged by the distant future humans to provide the conditions for present (in the movie) humans to OBSERVE a very specific black hole and then transfer that data back to Earth without violating causality - with the help of a temporary tesseract attached along the universe and then collapsed.
They've scoured the ENTIRE UNIVERSE to find them those exact conditions.

No time traveling or time altering ever takes place nor does any matter or information leave or enter the universe.
All they did was bend the existing space to get humans to a place where data for figuring out anti-gravity could be gathered.

4) "Future utopia" would not exist without the data gathered by observing a black hole for 20 years or so, then dropping an AI probe into it, then telegraphing all that OUT of the black hole without breaking causality, to a specific point in space-time to a specific human with training and motivation to solve the problem and a means of reading the message.

Why aren't they leaving a perfectly good solar system with a slightly used home planet in a goldilocks zone that has only been messed up a little by an ecological catastrophe, and with dozens of planets, moons and asteroids laying around...
I'm guessing smurfs.

Also, what makes you think that it's an utopia?
Those are kids and grandkids of generations of "caretakers". Not explorers.
They've sent the last batch of explorers out to die far away in space somewhere.
They just want to play baseball and eat corn. And "take care" of museums.

Comment: You're talking out of your ass... (Score 1) 133

Lynda Obst and Kip Thorne came up with the the movie, then gave it to Spielberg and Jonathan Nolan to work out a scenario.

http://articles.latimes.com/20...

It's a project that has its genesis in the two-decades-long friendship between Obst, an astronomy enthusiast who produced "The Siege" and "The Fisher King," and Thorne, the Feynman professor of theoretical physics at Caltech. (When Obst was producing "Contact," adapted by screenwriters James V. Hart and Michael Goldenberg from Carl Sagan's novel, Thorne conceptualized a wormhole sequence for the film that also advanced the field of theoretical physics.)

Over the years, Thorne's work on gravitational-wave detectors, which calculate negative space in things like black holes and imploding galaxies, has been at the very front edge of Einsteinian astrophysics. At one point Obst and Thorne were brainstorming about, as Obst puts it, "the most exotic events in the universe suddenly becoming accessible to humans," and crafted a potential cinematic scenario that hooked Spielberg enough to consider directing.

And that version was...
Well, let's just say that Jar Jar Abrams and studio heads would have loved it.
There is sex in zero gravity and a Chinese expedition too. And the robot wears a baseball cap.

Comment: It's usually a. (Score 1) 213

by denzacar (#49093819) Attached to: Sony Offers a "Premium Sound" SD Card For a Premium Price

a. the MP3 player is badly designed. There should be sufficient capacitance to smooth the power level out to within a few percent of standard even at full read or write. Alternatively the audio traces could be routed too close to the data lines or the designer for the DAC may have had a bad day.
This means that the MP3 player was cheap enough that the designers weren't allowed the time to test their design properly.

Let's face it - from the Quality-Cheap-Quick triangle (pick any two) 'a' covers TWO possibilities.
Meaning that it will ALWAYS be present in anything you can purchase with money alone without waiting for years for someone to design and build and test it specially, just for you.

And no... paying premium MONEY for design is not the solution.
Only premium TIME spent on design-testing-redesign-retesting... counts for something.
So one ends up with an overpriced AND outdated 128MB player that plays their 64 bps MP3s without any outside noise whatsoever.
Making everyone in their retirement home jealous of their superior audio bling. Or not.

Which brings us back to SONY, who MAY actually be rectifying a real problem and not selling snake oil.
AND...
Should they actually succeed, they are opening further possibilities to future designers who now don't have to care about that one issue anymore.

Comment: Technology does not bring liberation. (Score 1) 369

by denzacar (#49073245) Attached to: Two New Male Birth Control Chemicals In Advanced Stages

It's just a tool.
It's how one sees it and uses it that liberates or enslaves.
One man's magical no-baby pill is another man's realization that no one want's his genetic material, only his sexual favors.

But being a cynical asshole, I hereby prophesize that this will be labeled as an "instrument of rape culture".

As the song says, this ain't no garden of Eden, this isn't the summer of love. It's no longer the '60s.
Now everything exists only as polar extremes. White-black, good-evil, love-hate...
You can't not choose sides, mildly dislike something or be ambivalent towards it.
You must love it or mildly praise it - or you are an -ist of some kind and a hater.
Which is now the ultimate reduction - Reductio ad Osoribus.

And since one pill liberated women, only logical black-white conclusion is that this one will enslave them.
Or are you an -ist of some kind?

Comment: That data only supports vaccination. (Score 3, Informative) 580

by denzacar (#49043919) Attached to: Low Vaccination Rates At Silicon Valley Daycare Facilities

From the links provided above:

The risk of VAPP is not equal for all OPV doses in the vaccination series. The risk of VAPP is 7 to 21 times higher for the first dose than for any other dose in the OPV series. From 1980 through 1994, 303 million doses of OPV were distributed and 125 cases of VAPP were reported, for an overall risk of VAPP of one case per 2.4 million doses. Forty-nine paralytic cases were reported among immunocompetent recipients of OPV during this period. The overall risk to these recipients was one VAPP case per 6.2 million OPV doses. However, 40 (82%) of these 49 cases occurred following receipt of the first dose, making the risk of VAPP one case per 1.4 million first doses. The risk for all other doses was one per 27.2 million doses.
...
The last case of VAPP acquired in the United States was reported in 1999.

New cases per 100,000 population in 2011
Rubeola (measles) 0.06

That's 1 in 1.66 million for measles.
1 in 2.4 million for Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio - overall risk.
1 in 1.4 million for Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio - for first doses.
1 in 27.2 million for Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Polio - for all other doses.

Only thing is, that 1 in 1.66 million number for measles is for a single year, 2011.
Even the "worst" numbers for polio vaccine are from data FOR 14 YEARS. 1980 - 1994.
What are the numbers for that period for measles?

New cases per 100,000 population in 1980
Rubeola (measles) 5.96

New cases per 100,000 population in 1990
Rubeola (measles) 11.17

That's somewhere between 1 in 16778.52 and 1 in 8952.55 during a similar time period, vs. 1 in 1400000 to 1 in 27200000.
You can't really compare them for "new outbreaks" - AS THERE WERE NONE FOR POLIO SINCE 1999.

As for lightning strikes data...
That may be more relevant in the lottery discussion from the other day.
As those are both cases closer to pure mathematical chance, while measles and vaccines are preventable risks.
Though in reality those lightning strikes probably fail to match their average US numbers when comparing millions of people riding on subways and people climbing mountains.

I.e. You can significantly increase your chances to get hit by lightning, but not really for catching polio from a vaccine or for winning a jackpot.

Comment: No. (Score 2) 277

by denzacar (#49028037) Attached to: Jon Stewart Leaving 'The Daily Show'

Oliver is fine doing his own "Stewart wannabe" show.
There he can be as opinionated and as biased as he wants, his fans will think he's funny and even insightful.
But you can forget him replacing Stewart on the Daily Show.

Cause while Stewart will coast into false equivalences and non sequiturs and even ad hominems for comedic effect - he still always works from a sound and reasoned out perspective, which makes him insightful.
And that practice is what makes people actually turn to that show for their news.
Which might seem kinda insane, but then again...
If you want someone to point out flaws in the logic you're being fed AND explain why it is so in simple, easy to understand terms... who else is there?

Oliver on the other hand is blind to his own flaws.
He does an entire segment on pandering and how it is bad - and then keeps doing exactly that in his other segments.
He doesn't think through or research his segments as thoroughly nor as dispassionately as it is needed, and he loves to preach.
Which makes him a pale copy of Stewart and half a step away from becoming a left/liberal/SJW/whatever version of O'Reilly.

Granted, there is audience for that, but that is not the Daily Show audience.
Put him on as Stewart's replacement and he'll kill it.
Off.

Comment: Re:Replacement Co-Anchors (Score 1) 277

by denzacar (#49027947) Attached to: Jon Stewart Leaving 'The Daily Show'

Or maybe it's related to the fact that two of them are married and that they got three kids while on the show?

Meaning that since Jones joined the show in 2005, Bee was on and off every two years.
And having three kids to raise can put a strain on people's marriage and/or career.
As they're still together...

+ - NASA confirms results for 'impossible' space drive that uses no rocket fuel-> 1

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Last August, NASA’s Eagleworks, an advanced space propulsion lab located at the Johnson Spaceflight Center south of Houston, created a great deal of excitement when it announced that it had tested a prototype of something called a Cannae Drive. Using microwaves, the device seemed to exert a minute but measurable degree of thrust when mounted on a pendulum in a vacuum chamber. NextBigFuture provided an update on the experiments on an engine that uses no fuel and seems to violate Newtonian physics.

In essence, the team at Eagleworks has been able to replicate the results of the original experiment, exerting a thrust in the area of 50 micro-Newtons. The team has been hampered by a lack of funding to fight through equipment failures. Nevertheless, they are working, very slowly, to scale up the thrust to 100 micro-Newtons. At that point, they intend to take the device to the Glenn Research Center for another replication effort."

Link to Original Source

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