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Comment: Right on SWA (Score 1) 928

Entitled jerk-face acts like a whiny bitch and gets tossed from a flight? I'm not sure I see the problem here.

Oh wait, I do. It's that we as a people have become so uppity that if we don't get our way we act like petulant children, and cry and moan and stomp our feet so the whole world can see.

I applaud SWA for being so in tune with Twitter that they could take action so quickly. They should go all the way an ban this crybaby from all future flights.

Comment: Re:name and location tweeted... (Score 0) 928

From the beginning of time until about 50 years ago, women were considered second class citizens pretty much everywhere in the world. You realize that in this great country of ours, women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years?

A few million years of oppression isn't just erased in a few decades, there is still psychic debris in our collective conscious, and it'll be there for some time.

So, you know, help the ladies out and quit being a wuss.

Comment: Re: name and location tweeted... (Score 1) 928

Actually, most states have laws that allow for a reasonable expectation of privacy in public places. Just because you step outside your front door doesn't give people the right to be an asshole to you.

Especially if you're at work, where there actually are much stronger laws protecting your privacy.

Comment: Re:call them (Score 1) 354

by mattyj (#47513381) Attached to: Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

So, uh, the name of the company is NETflix. From day one there has been a clear intention, it's right there in the name.

We're in a transitional period. As Netflix gets more clout and the market realizes that people don't want to go to a different website to stream this movie or that, the selection will get better.

The notion that streaming is a 'dead end' and physical media is the wave of the future is patently absurd.

Comment: Re:I live in Canada (Score 2) 190

by mattyj (#47347511) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

The issue with the US government is really communism, read up on your American history a little bit before posting stupid crap like this.

Granted, by this time it's more of a grudge than anything. BTW, China has a lot more at stake when it comes to the US, like carrying a significant amount of our debt and as you so eloquently explain, importing every manner of toy and electronic device. It behooves the US to allow travel there. It has nothing to do with communism but everything to do with commerce. Cube doesn't have as much to offer the government.

Having been to Cuba, I kinda fear what would happen if the US had unfettered access to the country. Despite all its problems, it's largely untouched by US interests, and that was refreshing. I don't even think Cuba has the concept of a franchise, except maybe when it comes to gas stations. There's no such thing as a 'chain' there, everything is one-off. Although, for some reason you can get M&M's and Pringles. Other than that, you're forced to go native and it was pretty great.

Comment: Re:So will he go to jail upon return to the US? (Score 5, Informative) 190

by mattyj (#47347501) Attached to: Eric Schmidt and Entourage Pay a Call On Cuba

I took one of these person-to-person trips to Cuba two years ago and it was pretty awesome. It's nice to travel somewhere that hasn't been ruined by American interests yet (no Starbucks, no McDonald's, etc.) It wasn't that difficult, you can find tours through chambers of commerce or other travel groups.

The restrictions are not extremely enforceable, but know that the Cuban government is looking after you, too. Don't make an ass of yourself while there. In any case, roving around the country in an air conditioned tour bus was quite desirable, it was hot.

Aside from that, if you have some cultural relevance (teacher, sports figure, musician) you can go without it being a 'person-to-person' cultural exchange, I think you just have to clear it with the US Treasury. My guess is that Schmidt et al were able to do that, to spread the good word of a truly American company.

Comment: Re:NOTABUG (Score 1) 96

by mattyj (#46667847) Attached to: The Amazon Fire TV Is Kind of a Mess

The most straightforward way to get Youtube on the Roku 2 is to buy a Roku 3. The youtube channel works fine on there. Not sure when the Roku 2 channel will be out but they're apparently working on it.

Besides, most people consider beaming content from a tablet or phone to be straightforward, and there are a multitude of apps for the Roku 2 that support beaming youtube.

Comment: Re:Rejects (Score 1) 921

by mattyj (#46365691) Attached to: Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

No. What this woman did was basically the equivalent of pointing a smartphone at someone and saying 'it's not recording', but continuing to point the phone at them when they say they don't want to be recorded. Checking your mail and pointing a phone at someone are two different things.

From what I understand from other people that were there, everyone was drunk and this alleged 30-something blogger isn't exactly innocent.

In six months to a year, everyone will be embarrassed that the ever put a Google Glass on their face.

Comment: Re:They took our jobs... (Score 1) 131

by mattyj (#46355247) Attached to: Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It

The over head for most US VFX shops is already razor thin, it is not a profitable industry as it is.

Most of the overseas, subsidized countries are emerging economies that are trying to kickstart their tech industries. It makes sense for them to subsidize as their economies grow. To subsidize in the US, it means that we taxpayers will be the ones subsidizing, and I find it hard to believe the general population of the US is going to have any sympathy for the lowly VFX artists and go along with subsidizing their industry. We barely supported the car industry when it collapsed, and that is arguably a more American rah-rah-rah industry than VFX.

I don't like it or agree with it, but that's the reality in the US.

Comment: Re:Where are the VFX millionaires? (Score 1) 131

by mattyj (#46355227) Attached to: Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It

There is no longer a 'very top' of ILM. The place was decimated last year.

Another related part of the problem is one the VFX industry created on its own. Throughout the late 90's and early 2000's, new studios were popping up all over the place and got into an arms race by undercutting each other to get the work, thinking that maybe on the next show they'll charge the movie studios more based on the awesome work they were doing. Instead, they trained the movie studios to expect low-cost, high-quality effects work, and everyone is now losing out. The VFX industry has not been profitable for ages.

When the US VFX houses got to the point where they couldn't cut any more without going out of business (or they did go out of business), cheaper labor abroad started to get hired. Talent is everywhere and the movie studios just want cheap labor. Labor has always been cheap overseas but the US VFX industry now finds itself in a place where it has to compete globally, and they're hurting for it.

And anyway, all the big movie studios have overseas subsidiaries that they'll just funnel the money through. I think the US VFX workers have their heart in the right place, but they'll still end up getting squashed.

Comment: Re:Then where will we fix everything?!?!?!!! (Score 1) 79

by mattyj (#44916663) Attached to: LucasFilm Combines Video Games and Movies To Eliminate Post-Production

I can say from firsthand experience that Kim Libreri speaks in nothing by hyperbole and is a world class d-bag.

That being said, there is some merit to this concept, at least as it applies to the type of movies Disney will be churning out under the Lucasfilm moniker for the next decade or so. It won't eliminate post-production, but as others have said it will move some of it to actual production time, and streamline some of the repetitiveness in vfx production, namely animating the same stormtrooper dying in different ways.

I don't know how this technique will help when rendering things like fire, water or buildings collapsing. But when rendering and re-rendering known things (stormtroopers, Millenium Falcon, etc.) it'll give the director some insight into how his shot will actually turn out, without having to wait months and months for it. Seems more like previz on sterroids, which was more than good enough for a video game.

Some directors have an eye for that stuff. As much as people hate on Michael Bay, he's crazy good at visualizing things like this without having to actually see them, but other directors not so much. It'll be a neat toy for directors new to the big-time effects picture. But I don't think it'll go much beyond that.

The technique was originally spearheaded by Lucasarts in the production of 1313 (and another game, I think) to animate characters in a realistic way instead of by hand. The technology was shared with ILM and now, obviously, they have to carry it on. It's a shame the 1313 game will not likely see the light of day. I think it would have passed the scrutiny of the average Star Wars fanatic.

The only thing holding this technology back is the culture at Lucasfilm. I think it's changed drastically but I don't know that it's changed drastically enough. Each production thinks they know the best way to do things, and they don't normally use the exact same pipeline. Custom tools are always hanging off the software end of the production. They tried to build a sort of universal pipeline at one point, but nobody wanted to risk using it and fall too far behind in production, so they normally fell back to the same base pipeline and tweaked it from there. Nobody had the time to follow through to the end of a completely new pipeline.

But now that Lucasfilm is mainly in the Star Wars business, maybe they'll be able to pull it off. They'll be able to build this new pipeline and use it to spit out a movie in two years, right? A movie they haven't even hired the principle actors for? Nor have a complete script? And with a third less employees than they had before April?

Comment: Go for it (Score 1) 189

by mattyj (#44596741) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences Working At a High-Profile Game Studio?

I worked for the parent of a major studio that recently got purchased by a much larger media company and was shut down, and I was also eventually shown the door. Broke my heart but it was a good run while it lasted.

Your friend is likely young enough to be pretty resilient as far as job prospects go, so he owes it to himself to follow his passion first, then worry about having a steady gig when he's in his mid-30's.

Yes, a lot of studios are sweatshops, etc., etc., but you (ahem, 'he') might find his niche in just the right spot and be the happiest guy in the world. Otherwise, he has a corporate job and will always be wondering what he missed.

Plus, you tend to learn a lot more, and learn it a lot quicker, when you're in the middle of a disaster. The highs are high, the lows are low, but on some level it's always a fun ride.

Looking to the future, if you lose your job because a studio folded, it's easier to get another job. If you leave a job because you're bored, it makes it look like something is wrong with you, you're not a team player, etc. I highly suggest that he not take the job he has on the table if he plans on looking for other jobs and leaving. If he then leaves (or gets asked to leave) the second job, it looks bad. At his age he's gotta grab the balls of that bull and hold on for dear life. Taking the safe route, career-wise, can wait.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling