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Comment: Re:crap direction (Score 1) 304

by TheRaven64 (#49385795) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars
I could have put up with the bad acting if there had been a good script and a story that made sense. Rewatching some of the original Star Trek is like that: the acting is wooden and the sets are obviously cheap, but there's some fantastic dialog and story telling in there. Hint for writers: if your script relies on everyone in the universe being stupid at the same time, it may be realistic but it's not going to be enjoyable (unless it's a comedy about stupidity).

Comment: Re:Contradiction in article summary (Score 3, Insightful) 304

by TheRaven64 (#49385605) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars
It's not just the teeth. You particularly notice this if you compare US and UK TV. I find it really hard to tell the actors on US TV apart, particularly the female ones who seem to mostly conform to 2-3 stereotypical appearances. The same is true for the young male ones, though at least there are some older male roles that have distinctive appearances. There are very few ugly actors. Compare this with a BBC drama, where there will be a whole range of physiques.

I find it harms willing suspension of disbelief when watching US shows. I sit there thinking 'really, everyone in this low-income school has a personal trainer and stylist? And these people manage to have perfect hair as soon as they wake up or after running through the mud?' Actually, the UK isn't immune from the last part: Sean Bean in Shape has magic hair that is immune to mud, gunsmoke, and everything else the napoleonic wars can throw at him. No matter how dirty his face and uniform get, his hair always looks as if he's just come from the hairdresser.

Comment: Re:A Corollary for Code (Score 1) 223

by TheRaven64 (#49378147) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology
Not knowing about trickier parts of a language doesn't mean that you don't use them. I recently discovered some code where experienced C programmers didn't know that signed integer overflow was undefined in C. This meant that the compiler could optimise one of their tests away in a loop (nontrivially, in a way that's difficult to generate a warning for) and turn it into an infinite loop. After a few weeks, their code would hit this case and infinite loop and freeze. Unless you know that this tricky part of the language exists, you don't know enough to avoid using it.

Comment: Re:More... (Score 3, Informative) 223

by TheRaven64 (#49378133) Attached to: Why You Should Choose Boring Technology
The original justifications for hating goto referred to a non-local goto (or, exceptions, as the kids call them these days) which made it very difficult to reason about control flow in a program. The new reasons for hating goto in language like C/C++ relate to variable lifetimes and making it difficult to reason about when variables go out of scope.

Comment: Re:Do what you can to support this (Score 2) 186

by TheRaven64 (#49335787) Attached to: New Bill Would Repeal Patriot Act
There was an article a few years ago about how Congressmen judged popular support. I don't know how true it is now, but back then most of them got under ten letters for any given bill. Anything that got 100 was judged to be really important to their constituents. Basically, if everyone on Slashdot who is a registered voter in the USA actually bothered contacting their representatives (a form letter doesn't count, those are ignored, but a couple of short paragraphs will be counted as a separate mail) then they'd be perceived as representing popular opinion.

Comment: Re:The downside: It won't protect from direct hits (Score 2) 126

by TheRaven64 (#49325785) Attached to: Boeing Patents <em>Star Wars</em> Style Force Field Technology
The lack of seatbelts makes sense. If you're on a spaceship that can accelerate quickly enough to turn everyone into a fine paste and relies on inertial dampeners (adjustments of the artificial gravity) to prevent this, then there aren't many situations where you'll need a seatbelt: either the inertial dampeners are preventing you from needing them, or you're dead. The problem is that the drama needed the ship to seem to shake. It's the same issue as feeling the ship warm up as you get close to a star: it makes for good drama, but the difference between 'humans are comfortable' and 'humans are on fire' is tiny compared to the difference between 'humans are comfortable' and 'nuclear fusion is happening' - it's far more likely that the shields would work fine and no one would be discomforted right up until the point where much of the ship vaporised.

Comment: Re:As a recent buyer of a mid-2014 MBP (Score 1) 204

by TheRaven64 (#49325695) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance
I was quite surprised by the numbers they had for the old model. On my 2014 MBP, I recently did some tests doing sha calculations of VM images. These were multithreaded and not CPU-bound, but they ended up getting almost 2GB/s reads from the SSD. The benchmark is interleaving reads and writes, so that may account for it, but if you're just loading game data from disk then the old model can fill the whole of physical RAM in 8 seconds, so I doubt that's the bottleneck.

Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 1) 569

If people are actually being killed, then as soon as you get near the house you're likely to hear screams / gunshots. If they're just being threatened, then you have time to plan something that has a good chance of having the victims survive. Well-trained police forces don't rush in guns blazing.

Comment: Re:Fuck those guys (Score 5, Insightful) 569

Step one, drive past the house - no sirens or lights, just see if there's anything odd. Step two, knock on a couple of the neighbours' doors - say that you've received a non-specific report of gunfire in the area, ask if they heard anything. Step three, from somewhere inconspicuous see if you can see in through the windows with binoculars. Step four, visit the nearest take-away and have someone in plain clothes take the food to the house pretending that they misread the number, look for signs of distress from the person answering the door. Step five, surround the house with armed officers at all exits and have someone in uniform knock on the front door and ask the person who answers to step outside - if they're refusing and showing signs of distress, then go in.

Or they could just forget all of their police training and pretend that their soldiers in enemy territory.

Comment: Re:Normal women... (Score 1) 765

Racism is ok outside of the workplace? Thought not...

The workplace is special because it's somewhere where your freedom of association is limited. If you're being racist in a public place, I can leave or use my freedom of speech to tell you to shut up. If you're being racist in my house, I can ask you to leave (and call the police if you don't). If you're being racist in work, then my ability to do anything about it is limited by the management. If you are the management, then there's nothing that I can do about it except quit, and (depending on the state of the economy) that may hurt me more than you.

Comment: Re:Animal House (Score 3, Interesting) 765

She sees the same absurdity in the "feminist" movement that I do.

The problem for feminists today is that their parents (or grandparents) won all of the easy battles. Now the only ones left are difficult and nuanced. Addressing them is hard - it's much easier to make up an easy target to attack than deal with real issues.

Comment: Re:Everybody gets a dime. (Score 1) 54

They don't admit to anything, but the fact that they're willing to pay to make the lawsuit go away counts for something. Precedent doesn't usually apply in a small claims court anyway (and magistrates tend to get a bit cranky with anyone trying to be a lawyer in one).

Comment: Re:I choose MS SQL Server (Score 1) 320

by TheRaven64 (#49299953) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB
Because needs grow. The entire point of the free version is to encourage people to use it for everything and then discover that their data has grown to over 10GB and they can either pay MS for the full version or spend a lot more migrating all of their data and software to something else. If you start out on PostgreSQL, then you don't have that issue.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw