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Comment: Both movie trilogies were just visualization aids. (Score 1) 318

by mmell (#48663815) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
I've read quite a bit of Tolkien's work - including The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. While I was thrilled to see the LOTR movies stayed very true to the books they were based on, that very fidelity meant there was little room for suspense or surprise. Based on my experience with the LOTR movies, I chose not to bother seeing any of the Hobbit movies. If they were as faithful to the book as the LOTR movies were, no loss. I already know the story quite well, and can even imagine it without Hollywood film magic to help. If (as I'm beginning to understand) they took liberties with the story, tone and content I'm actively glad I didn't waste any money on this, as it would only have made me unhappy - the intellectual equivalent of "bait and switch".

I wonder if they'll try to make The Silmarillion next?

Comment: Can they legally jam cellular traffic? (Score 1) 284

by mmell (#48661105) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi
You know, so that guests will be obliged to use the hotel's telephone to send/receive calls? At a dime a minute for local calls buck a minute for long distance, well . . . it adds up quick. Especially when you have multiple guests with no choice.

Oh, that's not legal? Well, how is this any different?

Comment: It's the battle of three armies . . . (Score 2) 234

by mmell (#48650083) Attached to: Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves
1) The Koreans - the only ones explicitly in an army,

2) Sony - no uniforms, but that much money, media control and political connectivity packs one helluva wallop, and

3) Anonymous - (self-declared) internet "freedom fighters".

Here's to hoping the US government does what's best instead of what it does best.

Comment: Google+ (Score 3, Interesting) 70

by mmell (#48629833) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator
Worthless. A complete failure. Except . . .

It just so happens to have a video chat capability that integrates quite well into the Android ecosystem. It's actually superior in some ways to Skype, but (being part of Google +) nobody has ever heard of it - not even the NSA (?). Microsoft doesn't want to screw Skype up badly enough to force people to discover any of a number of alternatives. RIght now, the only thing maintaining Skype's dominance in video chat is the size of the user base. Force [Linux|Android|iOS|downlevel M$] users to find an alternative and that advantage disappears. Users are so damned fickle that way . . .

Comment: Let me make sure I understand this . . . (Score 1) 118

by mmell (#48628881) Attached to: Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

Fixing the issue is as simple as managing PolKit authorization rules or properly managing group privileges for users.

I get the impression this means that we're looking at a PEBKAC issue rather than a software bug. Sorry, I know of no OS which can be secured against PEBKAC exploits.

Also, to exploit the PEBKAC error requires the Chair to be locally attached via the system console. Uh, hate to bust your bubble guys, but if somebody has console access (physical access) to a server they OWN that server for all practical purposes. I'm surprised they didn't note the "insert a CD and reboot" exploit for hacking a system - it's about as usable and extremely well documented.

MS-DOS must die!