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Comment Re:towed to the dealer? (Score 2) 315

My Prius was the same way, and when I got my Nissan LEAF I was concerned that there was no slot in the dashboard to insert the key in the event of the fob battery running out. There is a metal key in the fob but only to open the doors. For the LEAF the procedure is to hold the key over the power button on the dashboard for 3 seconds then push the power button, so there must be some sort of NFC style chip in there as well. I could imagine that illegal interference could mess that up and the car companies would generally not design a failsafe around an use case that is unlawful and reasonably well controlled, whereas a dead battery is not illegal.

Tesla Will Discontinue the Roadster 523

Attila Dimedici writes "Tesla has announced that their business model has failed. Their basic idea was to sell a boutique electric car to fund the development of a regular consumer electric car. With this announcement they are saying that they did not sell enough of the Roadster to make producing it profitable. If that is the case, it is only a matter of time until Tesla closes its doors. I thought their approach was the most likely to create a successful fully electric car. Although it is possible that the technology they have developed will allow the existing car companies to develop successful fully electric cars, it is a shame that Tesla has failed to become a successful car manufacturer." CT: As a huge number of you pointed out, the linked article is not nearly as doom and gloom as the submitter: Tesla isn't locking the doors and throwing away the keys, they plan on selling a $80k sedan in 2012 with a 300 mile range.

Comment Why directors shouldn't resist... (Score 5, Insightful) 521

I'm going to start off with the full disclosure. I am currently editor of a 3D film, and have previously worked on both motion capture and stereoscopic live-action 3D films. Also, I firmly believe post-conversion is terrible and is the number one thing the industry is doing to harm the advancement of 3D. Both live action 3D films I've been involved with have been shot completely stereoscopically in true 3D.

I don't believe that directors are particularly wise to resist the move to 3D. There are a lot of benefits to shooting in 3D and to embrace the technology will allow filmmakers to be at the forefront and to dictate the advancements in the technologies - rather than having the producers dictate the advancement of the technology.

It's just like the move from black & white to colour, from mono to stereo to surround, etc. 3D is going to consume a large portion of the market share in the coming years. Also, working with 3D isn't really that much trouble. You have to be smarter with your metadata and think a bit more about what you're doing ahead of time, but that holds true with any profession as technology becomes more complicated and more capable.

People will expect more out of your product. Most people now expect cars to have airbags, ABS, air conditioning, and power locks and windows. As technology advances, people will expect new filmmaking technologies like 3D to come "standard". Will it increase the cost of films? Sure. Will ticket prices rise? Definitely. Do cars cost more now than they did 15 years ago? Absolutely. Has the experience of driving improved? I would argue that it has.

Filmmakers Resisting Hollywood's 3-D Push 521

gollum123 passes along a piece from the NY Times on the building resistance to Hollywood's 3-D plans — from filmmakers. "A joke making the rounds online involves a pair of red and green glasses and some blurry letters that say, 'If you can’t make it good, make it 3-D.' While Hollywood rushes dozens of 3-D movies to the screen — nearly 60 are planned in the next two years, including 'Saw VII' and 'Mars Needs Moms!' — a rebellion among some filmmakers and viewers has been complicating the industry’s jump into the third dimension. Several influential directors took surprisingly public potshots at the 3-D boom during the recent Comic-Con... Behind the scenes..., filmmakers have begun to resist production executives eager for 3-D sales. For reasons both aesthetic and practical, some directors often do not want to convert a film to 3-D or go to the trouble and expense of shooting with 3-D cameras, which are still relatively untested on big movies with complex stunts and locations. Tickets for 3-D films carry a $3 to $5 premium, and industry executives roughly estimate that 3-D pictures average an extra 20 percent at the box office. Filmmakers like Mr. Whedon and Mr. Abrams argue that 3-D technology does little to enhance a cinematic story, while adding a lot of bother."

Comment I would urge IATSE to strike against this (Score 5, Interesting) 373

Should these asinine ideas come closer to fruition I would urge the union of which I am a member: IATSE Local 700 Motion Picture Editors Guild to go on strike and encourage other IATSE unions to do the same. The ideas being proposed can and will harm our industry and our livelihood by creating distrust and distaste of the media in the general public. It is unacceptable to treat our customers as criminals.

If entertainment industry workers took a stand for the country as a whole then public opinion would be on our side. The producers would have to take us seriously.

Comment Much-needed pro-level competition for Avid (Score 5, Insightful) 205

I'm really excited about this move. The first editing system I ever experienced when I was young was a Lightworks/Heavyworks system. My dad (a film editor, now director) loves the Lightworks systems due to their natural and intuitive control systems. I still have an old Lightwave controller sitting around that I've thought about hacking to work with the Avid.

Currently we work on Avid Media Composer, since it remains the only true pro-level editing software. Final Cut has it's pros but, at least to me, it's more for video editing (by which I mean not sourcing or finishing to film) and smaller projects (promos, commercials, shorts). If you want to cut a feature film - you use Avid. I have arguments with co-workers about FCP versus Avid but we usually arrive at the agreement that Avid is simply the standard to which all other systems are currently judged.

With the open sourcing of Lightworks I can only hope that the best of modern systems like Avid and FCP can be integrated with the very intuitive Lightworks way of working. At the very least, I hope it scares Avid and Apple at least enough to make them fix some of the problems that currently exist with their systems. More competition is always better for the end user.

Comment Re:120 miles? (Score 2, Interesting) 555

I do, actually. I own one. It's still no pure EV due to it's extremely limited electric range and very high dependence on the gasoline motor. If I could get my hands on a RAV4-EV, GM EV1, Honda EVPlus, or Hyundai Santa Fe-EV I would gladly trade in my Prius in a heart beat. I'm looking forward to the upcoming EV wars between Tesla, GM, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Smart. If Toyota wants to do battle they'll need to give us a Prius that relies more on electricity similar to the Chevy Volt. The technology exists today to give us 200 miles of pure electric driving in the current Prius shape due to it's light weight and aerodynamics. Mitsubishi is already testing a full electric prototype called the i-MiEV and Smart has many Smart-EVs in testing with corporate fleets in London. There may be no government requirements for these things but people are beginning to vote with their dollars and whoever can provide a cheap, long range, mass produced electric car first is going to be very well off financially.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.