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Comment: Re:What % of people will buy with lower prices? (Score 1) 149

by mahlerfan999 (#28443471) Attached to: Activision CEO Warns Sony That the PS3 Needs a Price Cut
Actually the console games he was referring to (the 2600 era) were all casual games. If you think that casual and console gaming don't mix, you must be living under a rock. The 360 and the ps3 have been moving towards casual gaming since the Wii has outsold them just on the basis of pumping out cheap, casual games.

Comment: Re:I work in he rental industry (Score 1) 685

by mahlerfan999 (#28428921) Attached to: Blu-ray Adoption Soft, More Still Own HD DVD

I always hate it when someone uses the dreaded phrase "normal viewing distance" which is completely subjective, vague and ambiguous. Normal to my parents is sitting 15-20 feet from the tv, normal for me is sitting 8 feet away, normal for some of my friends is 5 feet away. What's "normal"?

The real problem is that it's not viewing distance but field-of-view that's important for discerning resolution. Watching 10 feet from a 26 inch is not the same was 10 feet away from a 60 inch tv. It's helpful to recast viewing distance into multiples of screen size, most home theater enthusiasts sit between 1.5-2.5 * screen size away from their tvs for that immersive experience. At that viewing distance hd is clearly superior to sd (assuming that you have reasonable eyesight). If you sit further away than about 3 * screen size away then hd and sd will look the same.

This is based on the human eye's ability to distinguish between two lines if they are separated by at least 1 arcminute apart. Most people that buy hdtvs buy in the 40-46 inch size range and sit typically between 8-10 feet away from the tv. That means that most people who buy an hdtv (as long as they have 20/20 eyesight) will see an improvement with hd content over sd content.

Comment: Re:I work in he rental industry (Score 1) 685

by mahlerfan999 (#28428637) Attached to: Blu-ray Adoption Soft, More Still Own HD DVD

To say that those that watch blu-ray mostly use netflix and itunes is speculation, and as someone who watches lots and lots of blu-ray I think it's not quite right.

Itunes is for overcompressed garbage that is nothing compared to the pristine high bitrate beauty that is blu-ray, in fact streaming hd content from any online source doesn't even compare to dvd. Videophiles do not turn to online content for their hd fix. It's for the good enough crowd and trendy hip journalists only.

Thanks to netflix' recent rate hike on blu-ray access there is almost no price difference between netflix and in-store. Despite the increase in price for blu-ray access on netflix, some new bd's still have long waits that make you wait patiently for several weeks before you get it. This is what I do:

If I really, really want to see it multiple times in hd-- amazon preorder
If I want to see it asap, but don't want to pay to own-- in-store bd rental
If I want to see it and it must be in hd, but I can wait a month or two-- netflix
If I want to see it, I don't want to wait but don't care if it's in hd-- redbox
If I want to see it, I don't want to wait but don't care if it's in hd and redbox doesn't carry it-- in-store dvd rental

I think that there must be plenty more people like me that feel that there still is a place for the brick and mortar rental stores. Don't compartmentalize people into the in-store crowd, the netflix crowd, and the itunes crowd... in reality people use multiple sources for their entertainment.

Comment: Re:Fans are disconnected (Score 1) 544

by mahlerfan999 (#27892847) Attached to: Reviews: Star Trek

If you didn't like the "modernized plot" they opted for, don't watch it.

Actually it's not modernized at all. Gigantic ship/entity destroying everything in it's path was in Star Trek 1, 4, 8, 9, and 10 and of course many scifi movies. Time travel was not only heavily used in all of the tv shows but was also used in Star Trek 4. Seriously the plot was so tired and cliche that it doesn't take long to figure out where it's headed. There are ways in which this movie feels modern and that is in that there is less talking, lots of cgi and poorly choreographed fight scenes that involve jerking the camera around so you can't see what's going on, and of course just being a reboot, remake, prequel etc makes it "modern", this seems to be the decade of unimaginative movie making. Heck the previews before the feature were from Transformers, GI Joe, and Terminator 4! Redressing an old show/movie with new cgi doesn't remake the storytelling, sorry but Star Trek 11 is not as radically different from other Star Trek movies/shows as everyone is making it out to be.

I'm not surprised to see people think it's different, just as I'm not surprised that teenagers (as a teacher I know this for a fact!) are not aware that the current bulk of horror movies are remakes of 80s movies, and the action blockbusters are movie versions of cartoons. I would like to see scifi/fantasy/horror/heck just an action movie that's not (a) a remake, (b) a reboot, (c) an unnecessary prequel, (d) based on a comic book or (e) based on a series of novels targeted at young adults. Would it be too much to ask for some originality?

Comment: Re:Good, but (Score 1) 544

by mahlerfan999 (#27891755) Attached to: Reviews: Star Trek
"there's always a bigger fish" nails it-- it's a Phantom Menace moment! Both stupid scenes served the same purpose of preserving the 7 minute rule: you must have action on the screen every seven minutes or the dumb as dirt audience (or so Hollywood believes) will lose interest. Think about it both stupid monster scenes occurred during a lull in the real action, and there you have it.

Comment: Re:Bad time for movies (Score 1) 448

by mahlerfan999 (#27690979) Attached to: Watchmen 50 Days On, Was It Worth the Gamble?
Dvd is acceptable and many times darned good, but there are many poor transfers out there that look hideous on an hdtv. Compression artifacts can be annoying, but the biggest problem is edge enhancement. You can see this on any big tv, not just hdtvs. Videophiles used to complain about edge enhancement from poor dvd transfers as they observed on their 36 inch sd tube tvs. Since I'm seeing the snake oil term of "upconverted" raise it's head again, let's clear this up. Upscaling doesn't improve detail on dvds, it's just necessary to do on fixed pixel displays (i.e. lcd and plasma).

Comment: Dependency (Score 1) 700

by mahlerfan999 (#27491023) Attached to: Beware the Perils of Caffeine Withdrawal
I drink about 40 ounces of coffee made at American strength (one tablespoon per 5 ounces water). I recently tried to quit by drinking 4 ounces less per day. Besides feeling nervous it actually went fine. That is until two days after my last cup, WHAM! I got a nasty headache. I had presumed that caffeine fading would result in not being dependent, and not having to face withdrawal at the end, and I was wrong. Actually the withdrawal doesn't really start until after you're done drinking coffee. Whether you go cold turkey or gradually cut back you still have to face the withdrawal. The only time I successfully quit coffee (albeit for only a month) was when I quit cold turkey just because the worst is over quicker. I have tried about every fading scheme you could come up with going from over in a week to over in a month, but no matter how slow you take it you can't get away from the withdrawal.

Comment: Re:Let me be the first critic (Score 1) 1127

by mahlerfan999 (#27434811) Attached to: Linux Needs Critics
Linux internet forums are populated by enthusiasts, they are like fan clubs. You posted in the wrong place (but yes those forums can be useful). It's like posting on Slashdot to get help with repairing a radio just because it's a tech site. Linux and *BSD OSs have dedicated email lists for the kind of support that you seek. You need to go there where then you would be in direct contact with devs. There are also web sites just for reporting bugs as well. This is about finding the right channels for support, and the attitude on linux forums, and not about linux itself. Also the major distributions offer support that you have to pay for. If you need quality support, then pay for it!

Comment: Re:Hilarious (Score 1) 55

by mahlerfan999 (#27403701) Attached to: Peter Molyneux On Developmental Experimentation
I've played both Fable games (and I haven't played Black and White), and well I like the second game. But the point is that they are not experimental or really new. I've seen it all before in other rpg games. I think the reason why I like the second game is because it's very polished and it improved upon or fixed the elements from the first game. Molyneux projects an image of being a wild and crazy experimenter, but honestly he's more of an innovator (improving upon what's already there).

Comment: Re:Printing (Score 2, Interesting) 571

by mahlerfan999 (#27379909) Attached to: RIP the Campus Computer Lab, 1960-2009
Not everyone is shooting for merely a Bachelor or 5 year Master's degree. If you want to go into law, medicine or earn a PhD, working before going to college wastes valuable time, and you just can't afford it from not only a time perspective but a financial one as well. And teenagers still work at part time jobs and full time during the summer, what you said is simply not true. Just look around you next time you're at a store or a fast food joint. Anyway I don't think you gain maturity by sacking groceries, I think you gain maturity from being placed in positions where you have responsibility and a sense of duty.

Comment: Re:Not just yet... (Score 1) 523

by mahlerfan999 (#27271003) Attached to: I saw Watchmen, and I thought ...

Any viewers for whom the movie experience was their first Watchmen exposure want to weigh in?

That movie was my first exposure to Watchmen, and IMO it's not that good of a movie. It lacked a cohesive plot. Telling the backstory through all of those flashbacks made it feel like an episode of Lost, and took the attention away from the main plot. The flashblack mechanism didn't even work right because there were too many characters, and too much emphasis on things not important to deliver character or plot development effectively. I guess I can't blame 'em. The whodunit mystery and the evil plan are trite. The movie is not complex or subtle, it's just bloated. And the choice of songs completely lacks subtlety. Think about it-- "The Times are a changin'" next to a montage showing how the times changed, "The Sound of Silence" at a funeral, "All along the Watchtower"... wait do I even need to go on?
Now the fanboys say it's supposed to be deep, thinking movie because it deconstructs the superhero archetypes or whatever. Now ask yourself this question: why is that important for a movie seeking a broad audience? Answer: it's not! And to top it all off, most of the acting was poor.

Comment: Re:Sarcastic or not? (Score 1) 353

by mahlerfan999 (#27214177) Attached to: How $1,500 Headphones Are Made
I've never heard as anything as strange regarding headphones as the comment you made about foam pads. I've owned many headphones and none of them audibly changed if I squished them closer to my head. The real point is that the cost needed for the "well-designed listening room and good speakers" is much greater than the cost of good headphones. My $100 Audio-Technica ad700s sound far more accurate (and revealing) than my budget Polk Audio Monitor towers. I would like speakers that rival inexpensive headphones, but I can't afford it.

"Pascal is Pascal is Pascal is dog meat." -- M. Devine and P. Larson, Computer Science 340

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