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Slashback: Segwait, Farscape, Leg-pulling 264

Slashback tonight with news of the Farscape backlash, an explanation for the slight shipping delay on your hypothetical new Human Transporter, an amusing chapter in the long and boring Nigerian spam book (check out the passport), and some tips on getting Linux on an Xbox. Enjoy! Update: 09/13 00:34 GMT by T : And a late add as well below with some important information for anyone intrigued by yesterday's mention of discarded AT&T microwave towers for sale.

You knew this had to be too good to be true. Joe Ryan from writes: "Please note that the information posted Wednesday regarding sites American Tower has for sale is not accurate. American Tower Corporation has a limited number of surplus towers for sale. The list of sites can be accessed through our sites for sale list at These are the only towers that are for sale. Please also note that these Surplus sites are sold on a strictly "as is-where is."

Thanks for the correction.

If the site you are inquiring about is not on the "Sites For Sale" list, then it is not for sale."

Despite all the lobbying, the wait is on. dgreno writes "Like many other Slashdot readers, I stations signed up with to be notified when the Segway Human Transporter would be available for sale. Today Amazon sent me an email which included the following, "We've recently learned from our supplier that the item you requested to be notified about, Segway Human Transporter (also known as "Ginger" or "IT"), will not be available in the foreseeable future." I guess the sidewalks are safe for a while longer."

Don't they like devoted fans? $nyper writes "I just wanted to let everyone know that there is major backlash against the Sci-Fi channel from fans about the cancellation of Farscape. They appear to have miscalculated the Fans. For the past few days Sci-Fi's main office has been inundated with faxes, e-mails, and phone calls to keep the show alive for its 5th season. CNN Headline news also ran a story on the effort yesterday. What it boils down to is that at $1.5 million USD per episode the greatest science-fiction show on television is too expensive for Sci-Fi to produce. Even the top Executive at the Sci-Fi channel (Bonnie Hammer, Executive Vice President and General Manager), which is one of Farscape's biggest fans is currently only operating in figure head mode and is being made to keep quiet. Most think she would speak out in favor of the show but is worried about the status of her job at the moment. If you have any questions about what you can do to help out, just pop over to Farscape World for the best information. There is also a website setup for detailed up to the minute information about the struggle to save Farscape over at the main Save Farscape site including information being supplied under the table y a Sci-Fi channel mole. :)

After all the coverage Sci-Fi has stopped the construction crews assigned to tear down the sets and have re-entered negotiations regarding the show. The Jim Henson company that is responsible for the show's creation is also currently courting executives from Showtime and UPN about moving the show to another network for the 5th and future seasons."

This will not be made into a Dummies book for a few years yet. dsyu writes "Follow-up to a previous article -- the good folks at the X-Box Linux Project have posted step-by-step instructions on how to install SuSE 8 on your XBox."

The Nigerian Spam saga wends ever onward. An anonymous coward writes "'Mike Aba' and 'Obi Azuka' are the fake names used by a Nigerian criminal who tried to defraud me. As soon as I read the "DEAR FRIEND" of the first e-mail, I knew it was a scam, but for fun I decided to mislead the criminal into believing that I was falling for his scam. You can read the exchange of e-mails here. This type of fraud is known as the Nigerian Fee scam. Unfortunately, gullible people do fall for this scam. Hopefully this page will alert more people and make criminals like "Mike" less successful."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Segwait, Farscape, Leg-pulling

Comments Filter:
  • Re: Segway (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I want a solar powered Segway with extra big tires for driving in sand dunes.
  • Farscape... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bartab ( 233395 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:11PM (#4248418)
    The only reason I buy HBO is for the series shows (Sopranos, Oz, etc) ... the reason I canceled Showtime when they lost Stargate was because of no series that interested me. I'd be sure to resubscribe if Farscape moved there.

    I really wish more serial shows would move to commercial free tv, I'd be happy to pay for it.
    • Re:Farscape... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by d.valued ( 150022 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:29PM (#4248502) Journal
      Farscape is one of the greatest sci-fi series ever, in the same tier as The Outer Limits, Star Wars (Eps 4-6), B5, Star Trek (original series and Next Gen), Hitchhiker's Guide, and Doctor Who.

      Each has a somewhat unique point, but Farscape's was most off-kilter: the characters live in a realm defined more by the fantastic than the scientific. The characters are of strange colors and shapes, there are robots and sentient bacteria and living ships, and an almost magical feel permeates the screen.

      Farscape is a sci-fi show that should be destined to be a classic, and the reason why is because it focused much much more on the fiction than the science.

      • Re:Farscape... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by evilviper ( 135110 )
        Farscape started off great, but then it went downhill. Now, 90% of the show consists of sex between characters, petty bitching and bickering. The other 10% is the thin, weak story lines

        Ooooo, let's have a character knocked unconscious, as a flimsy pretense to make the show into a cartoon!

        The show, now, is no where near as well written as it was for most of the first season. There are some occasional ringers, but there's too much crap to make it worth watching.
      • Only wish I could agree...

        I found Farscape to be too far out there, almost as wierd (but not as good) as the Far Side comic.

        Just too wierd for me maybe.
    • Re:Farscape... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macrom ( 537566 )
      I'm not sure when you cancelled Showtime, but Odyssey 5 [] is a good sci-fi show. Hell, my wife is addicted to it, which says a lot. I've never seen Farscape, so I can't compare, but O5 certainly has my attention.

      In fact, I've been wondering why I haven't seen more about it on Slashdot. Perhaps no one knows about it, or maybe it truly is disliked by the sci-fi crowd.
      • Re:Farscape... (Score:3, Informative)

        "Jeremiah" is pretty good, too. And it's done by the guy who made Babylon 5, to boot.
      • All I get from the link is sorry these pages are only for viewing in the US or something like that. (My redirection limit has been exceeded so I can't go back and give the exact text).

        What exactly is Odessey 5?

        And why is it such a security risk that us subversive Canadians must be kept from it

        • What exactly is Odessey 5?

          And why is it such a security risk that us subversive Canadians must be kept from it

          Well, I can't tell you what it is, 'coz I've not really read much yet, but I can tell you that Google is your friend [] (you want to be clicking on those cached [] links if, like me, you're outside the US =).
          Oh, and here's [] a few [] more [] links [] about it []...

          HTH, etc... (=

        • Re:Farscape... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by macrom ( 537566 )
          That's really odd that Showtime keeps non-USians from viewing the site. It really is well done with all kinds of Flash goodies (if you don't mind that sort of thing) that help you track the back-story.

          I'll give you and the other SD-ers the background :

          A space shuttle, the Odyssey, is up in orbit. The crew consists of Robocop (Peter Weller. Sorry, Pete -- had to give that reference!), his 22-year-old son, a news reporter, a geneticist and a couple of other astronauts. The news reporter is filming a special from the shuttle when something weird happens -- they lose connectivity with the Earth. One of the astronauts looks out the window and sees the Earth imploding. Oh crap, better strap ourselves in! Anyhow, the shuttle survives the implosion and starts drifting around when they run out of oxygen -- almost. Naturally, some alien with a fancy-shmancy ship picks them up and saves them. He doesn't know why the Earth imploded, but he's seen it happen all over the galaxy. In order to find out what's what, he tells them that he can send them back in time -- but NOT their physical bodies. Only their "information patterns" can go back -- their souls/consciences/whatever-you-wanna-call it. So poof, they're 5 years in the past and they need to figure out why the earth will blow up in the future.

          The show is great, IMO, and has some wonderful characters. It's also neat to see how these people try to do things slightly differently the second time around. For example, the news reporter mentioned above has a son who died of cancer in the first timeline. In this new one, she tries to convince doctors that her seemingly non-sick son will die of cancer in the near future. Lots of fun subplots like that.

          The show's technical plots focus on a lot of different science. The Sentients, artifical lifeforms that are believed to be behind this destruction, use all sorts of ways to subvert humans into doing their dirty work : gene therapy, Internet attacks, particle accelerators, religion, computer AI, nanotech, etc. Obviously things get slightly distorted since they only have 45 minutes to explain things, but for the most part it's refreshing to watch a sci-fi show that takes place in the real world, using current technology (real and theoretical) to flesh out the plots.

          One more thing, we find the acting to be top-notch. Peter Weller is wonderful as the take-no-crap head of this group of 5. Sebastian Roche plays a great cocky geneticst with a penchant for sex. Yadda-yadda. To sum it up, we've yet to see a character or actor on the show that made us say, "Send him/her back to acting school."

          Poke around on Google or follow the links someone else posted. If you can find a way to visit the Showtime website, do it. It's fun to poke around in there.
        • Another suggestion I forgot about : Usenet. or groups like that may have MPEGs or similar of Odyssey 5 episodes. If you can at least find the first episode, which is more like a Showtime movie at over 90 minutes, I think you'll be hooked.
    • Re:Farscape... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rashan ( 546637 )
      The only reason I buy HBO is for the series shows (Sopranos, Oz, etc) ... the reason I canceled Showtime when they lost Stargate was because of no series that interested me. I'd be sure to resubscribe if Farscape moved there.

      Actually, Farscape is the only reason I have Sci-Fi. If they continue with the cancelation, I'll likely be dropping it. If HBO or whomever picks it up, I suppose I'll be putting my money there instead.

      Of course, now that I think about it, the cable companies usually make you purchase channels in packages, these days. Basic gets you hardly anything, Standard gets you up through TNN or something, and the next tier up gets you the rest. And in order to get HBO or any of the other movie channels, you need to have at least Standard, if not the digital cable tier these days. Just another way for the cable company to pile on extra fees...

      woah, this turned into a rant somehow... go figure.

      • Actually, Farscape is the only reason I have Sci-Fi. If they continue with the cancelation, I'll likely be dropping it. If HBO or whomever picks it up, I suppose I'll be putting my money there instead.

        I agree with you 100%.

        My wife has been after me to cut back, for instance revert to "basic cable". As soon as I found out about the cancellation I told her and then said that I didn't need "extended services" (the package that has Sci-Fi channel). I will likely subscribe in January for the end of the season, and then unsubscribe when the series ends.

        My wife was in shock (she claims I'm a TV junkie but thats the only show I watch on Cable that I'd really miss). She also asked if there was anything she could do (email/fax/letter). She isn't a sci-fi fan but liked the show (she would watch it with me).

        And they claim their not targetting outside their core audience. I wonder what spouces and others are getting drawn in.

        BTW don't forget to let the cable company know why you are dropping the package (ie. because Sci-Fi channel canceled Farscape. This will get back to them and will put pressure on Sci-fi Channel).
  • Did someone finally figure out that very few people would be willing to pay so much for the product?

    Did someone finally figure out that those who are most likely to use it, those without a car, usually don't have the 3000 to pony up for one of these things? (Excepting a few people in Boston and NYC, but the sidewalks are so crowded as it is! not to mention trying to take it on a subway...)
  • we have
    Sexscape: Newer, Harder, and Faster

    • Your post reminded me of something...the fact that Fox's new show "Firefly" seems to be ripped off from the "Lexx" format.

      "Spaceship full of misfits, engage in raunchy space meyhem"

      Firefly has a Pilot - Lexx had a pilot, Stanly Tweedle: Deputy Assitant Back-up Courier

      Firefly has a tuff guy - Lexx had a tough guy, Kai: Divine Assasin

      Firefly has a whore - Lexx had a whore, Xev & Zev: Love Slave from B3K

      Firefly has girl in a box - Lexx had a girl in a box(well, girl in a plant) - Lykka: Carnivorous Humanoid Space Plant

      Firefly has a spaceship named after a bug - Lexx had a spaceship that IS a bug, Lexx: The Most Powerful Weapon of Destruction in the Two Universes

      I'm bitter cuase Sci-Fi cancelled Lexx, damn you Sci-Fi Channel! Plus Jos Wheaton kinda fsck'd up Buffy too, so I hope he doesn't screw up Firefly with morals and ethics and stuff. Keep it to the sex and aliens, I get enough preaching from Star Trek.

      Jos should've called the TV buffy version, "Daria The Vampire Slayer", cause Sarah just doesn't convey the stuck-up cheerleader role well. Buffy the movie was funny, Buffy the TV show is too serious, though slightly campy.

  • by fruity1983 ( 561851 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:12PM (#4248424)
    This Register article [] says so.
  • by chimpo13 ( 471212 ) <> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:13PM (#4248429) Homepage Journal
    Here's where a couple guys respond to Nigerian scam pages as David Lee Roth and say they'll send the money. It's pretty good getting Nigerian scammers to go to the airport to meet them holding a sign that says "David Lee Roth" on it.

    Sorry it's on geocities, but hey... []
    • My friend also recieved something simular to the spam email that was linked in the article.

      the link is:

      The spam:

      FAX: 234-1-7597267



      First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, which is of mutual benefit. This is by virtue of it's nature of being utterly confidential.I am sure and have confidence of your ability, and reliability to prosecute a transaction
      of this great magnitude.

      We are top Officials of the Federal Government Contract review Panel who are interested in importation of goods into our country with funds which are presently trapped in Nigeria. In order to commence this business,we need your assistance to enable us transfer funds into your account. As members of the Contract Review Panel set up by
      the Government of Nigeria to review all contracts from 1983 to the present,we have identified a lot of inflated contract funds which are presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria ready for payment.

      By virtue of our position as Civil Servants and members of this Panel, we cannot acquire this money in our names, in this regard I have been delegated by my colleagues of the review Panel to look for an overseas partner into whose account we would transfer the sum of US$21,320,000.00
      (Twenty -One Million, Three Hundred and Twenty Thousand United States Dollars) hence we take the liberty to write you.

      The money will be shared as follows:-

      1. 20% for you the account owner
      2. 70% for us (The Officials)
      3. 10% to be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses.

      Please note that this whole process will take between 7 to 10 working days from the date of receipt of the following information by Fax :234-1-7597267,Your individual/Company's
      signed and stamped letterhead with a transcribed"Text" which we would send to you upon receipt of your reply with a letter of interest. The above information will enable us write letter of claim, and Job description by using your
      individual/Company name to apply for payment for the above stated amount. Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter using the above Fax number.

      Detailed information of this pending business transaction will be sent to you as soon as I hear from you.

      Yours faithfully,



      I never saw this type of spam/scam before until he pointed it out to me a few days ago. But it has been forwarded to so hopefully they can catch this idiot.

      The measure of the love we give is in the hearts that others show.
      • I never saw this type of spam/scam before until he pointed it out to me a few days ago. But it has been forwarded to so hopefully they can catch this idiot.
        These are also called '419 frauds'; Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code deals with fraud schemes (More info [] at igerian but without the space /. added in Nigerian). Anyway, the correct place to send these is not, but That's the US Secret Service Financial Crimes Division that investigates the 419/Nigerian frauds ( [] for more info).

        Chris Beckenbach

  • Scapers unite (Score:3, Informative)

    by jjohn ( 2991 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:13PM (#4248430) Homepage Journal

    If you like Farscape, it is easy to show your support for the show by going to Save Farscape []. You can help by doing something as simple as logging on to and lurking in #farscape. It's not too late for Farscape. We are having an impact. This is a populist movement and you can be a part of it.

    Peace out.

    • Re:Scapers unite (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jmccay ( 70985 )
      There is a petition going around to have the management of Sci-Fi channel removed because of the mass appearences of non-sci-fi shows, movies, and the cancelation of some of the older classics. The petition can be found here []. I think everybody should sign this. Maybe we can get someone who knows something about sci-fi in charge!!!
  • by Timmeh ( 555676 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:14PM (#4248433) []

    Amazon goofed up, there's actually no new news regarding segways and when they'll be available. blamed its email robot for the error. "A small number of customers were e-mailed in error by one of our automated e-mailing systems today. In actuality there is no new information about Segway availability. We of course will let that small number of customers know that they should disregard the e-mail."
  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:16PM (#4248442) Homepage Journal
    Howto here [].
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:17PM (#4248444) Journal
    funny sure, but did he not commit a felony by providing the 'fake passport'?
    • by brooks_talley ( 86840 ) <brooks&frnk,com> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:57PM (#4248609) Journal
      IANAL, but my expectation is "no." I imagine the fake was created with photoshop, so the question is "Is creating a photoshop image of a fake passport illegal?". To answer that, I'd ask "Is creating a photoshop image of a fake murder illegal?" or "Is creating a photoshop image of a speedometer reading 200mph on a public road illegal?"

      I think most folks would agree that an image of a thing is not the thing. Of course, there's the whole "simulated child pornography" thing which goes the other way, but it's unclear how far that will fly in the courts. And, fake passports being much less of a hotbutton issue than child porn, I daresay this guy can sleep well at night.

      Now, trying to *use* the image for anything would be a whole different story.

      • IANAL either, but creating a legible image of currency is illegal in Canada. There was a bank which had to pull a series of ads because they contained images of Canadian money ...
      • I think most folks would agree that an image of a thing is not the thing. Of course, there's the whole "simulated child pornography" thing which goes the other way,

        On April 16, 2002, the Supreme Court (of the US) overturned the "simulated child pornography" ban. So even that is once again legal. Not only that, but that case should serve as a tidy precedent to protect fake murder images and fake speedometer images.

        However, the passport thing is different. He went beyond simulating a crime to trying to convince someone the image was a real passport. That's fraud. He might have a defense if the judge who tries his (hypothetical) case is a Trekkie. :)

        IANAL, in the US or in Nigeria.

    • Looks like he forgot to fake the signature. Doesn't *look* like he signed it James T. Kirk!
  • by EvilBastard ( 77954 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:17PM (#4248446) Homepage
    I must admit I did like their []
    photoshopped Passport they provided.

    But - they got his place of birth wrong ? I thought he was from Iowa, he only worked in outer space ?
    • Should have drowned the wife in a pool, just like the real life Kirk.
    • "I must admit I did like their
      photoshopped Passport [] they provided.

      But - they got his place of birth wrong ? I thought he was from Iowa, he only worked in outer space ?"

      I predict an amusing story from customs soon.
  • by troutman ( 26963 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:22PM (#4248462) Homepage
    This email exchange [], between the now world famous Xach (a former cow-orker at the dearly departed MINT.NET) and someone claiming to be from Togo, must rank among the all time best SPAM exchanges. No, really -- Read and prepare to ROFL.

  • You're excited about getting a Nigerian scam email?? I must get a dozen of these a day. Once in a while they get creative: they're from Zim, or South Africa. You'd think with the volume of the emails they're sending out that *everybody* with email must have gotten dozens of these offers by now.

    Basically, the scam market is a commons. There's nobody to prevent them from using up the commons with their letters, and so they have.
  • by nyet ( 19118 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:24PM (#4248474) Homepage
    I want my three dollars! []

    Long but funny. Make sure to read to the end.
  • by phr2 ( 545169 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:24PM (#4248477)
    is at Buddy Weiserman's site []. The complete, extensive email exchange with photos is shown there. He actually got the scammer to travel to another country and run around flapping his arms like a chicken! "Buddy Weiserman"'s name was of course inspired by Budweiser beer, but the scammer didn't figure that out either.
  • Realtime revolution. (Score:5, Informative)

    by KILNA ( 536949 ) <> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:29PM (#4248497) Homepage Journal

    I'm a regular of the #farscape channel on, and it has been incredible. Here's a java chat link [] for the lazy. Random stars and makers of the show have been showing up there at least once a day, sometimes several visits throughout the day, to give encouragement to the fans. The channel grew to consistently hold hundreds of users, maxing out at 700 at a time. Here's a quick rundown of some of the news converage that we've gotten:

    E! Online []
    TV Guide [] (again [])
    CNN []
    Wired []
    BBC []

    Its turning out to be a story not just about a bunch of SciFi geeks crying about a lost show, but a protest against corporations directing culture through actions they don't have to justify. I mean, they killed their #2 show after having already made the commitment to the year. I don't consider myself the protesting type, especially over a TV show... but I wrote a letter, linked to it from my site and sent a few emails because I think the people who make and watch the show aren't out of line to demand what was promised to them.

    • #2 keeps popping up - what's considered to be their #1 show then?
      • Stargate SG-1, according to CNN.

        By the way, CNN Headline Hotwired covered the story again tonight. A link to low-res video captures of all four segments is on the Save Farscape [] site. You really only need to watch #2 and #4, as they're kind of repeats of each other.
    • 700 at a time? At the moment, it only has about 180, but I can't get connected. I pop onto the channel using an IRC client, and then the server closes connection on me. I reconnect automatically, pop into the channel...and the server closes connection on me.

      Lather, rinse, repeat. How frustrating.
    • Its turning out to be a story not just about a bunch of SciFi geeks crying about a lost show, but a protest against corporations directing culture through actions they don't have to justify

      Directing Culture??? Thats a bit OTT is it not. Corporations are not about promoting culture, they are about making money. Period. If the show made money in sufficient quantity they would keep it alive.

      Personally, I'd rather they bin it than continue on a cheapo budget.
      • Isn't the number of viewers directly related to how much money you make on a show? Why aren't they charging advertising rates appropriate to the popularity of the show?

        • Farscape Episode Production Costs: $1.5M
          Advertising Revenue: $3.0M
          ROI 100%

          ST:TNG Repeat Production Costs: $.1M
          Advertising Revenue: £1.0M
          ROI 1000%

          Return on Investment is better on the shitty repeat. Farscape doesnt have to lose money to be economically unattractive.
          • Gee, *I'll* take over the show then... Yeesh... give me last years Advertising Revenue for the show, and I'll take it from there...
            It just can't fathom how making 1.5million a year in profit is unattractive, what are they going to replace the show with? more reruns? I guess there is a higher profit margin on reruns... Heck! They could run reruns of Farscape, keep the 3 millin in revenue and have only 1% of the production cost! It's brilliant! Even if they are assholes.

            • give me last years Advertising Revenue

              Thats the whole point here. You don't get the revenue until you've sunk the production costs on making the show. For another network to take this on they need confidence that they have the audience, and that they CAN make the show.

              What if, having made half a series ($9M) your audience turns out to be 20% down on expectations, your now making 130% not 200%. And thats just on the first show out, next week could be down ANOTHER 20% on expectations because you expected it to grow and it didn't... this is risky stuff.

              The audience could be UP 20%, then your a commissioning genius and you get babes and porches sent to your home. Down 20% and your wondering wether to leave the show on your CV.

              SF is particularly risky because most people don't watch it. You make a show like 'The worlds scariest DIY bikini babes' and pretty much anyone but Ned Flanders will have a look at it. You have potential access to 95% of the audience. With SF its probably more like 10 to 20% - you won't get many sticky flickers.
  • WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:30PM (#4248507) Homepage Journal
    Farscape was saved and Futurama wasn't? WTF?!

    Anybody else find that a little weird, especially considering that a number of Fox's moneymaker shows ended?

    (don't bother me with 'Futurama was saved too!' posts, the RERUNS were saved, there's still no word on new episodes.)
  • Nigerian Scammers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 )
    I don't really think these are people you want to fuck with. There are stories floating around about people who were beated or killed after travelling to meet these scammers. I wouldn't be surprised if they had ties to organized crime.

    One thing they do not seem to be is stupid. Sure, they suck at english, but they aren't going to ever give you their real info. I'm sure they get some patsy to go get the money transfers for them, using high quality fabricated documents such as the ones linked to. They probably wind up scamming those people too.

    This guy [] has written an e-book that is supposedly about his experience baiting the scammers and going as far as to actually follow it through to the end. I have not read it.

    You have to think for a minute... If these guys were really that stupid as to give you real info about them just because you trail them along for a little while, don't you think law enforcement would have stopped them by now?
    • Insightful, but if they're supposed to be smart, wouldn't they get it if they're being reverse-hoaxed by James T. Kirk or Mr. Big Mac [] from McDonald's Corporation?

      Of course that means they haven't been exposed to that much western/popular culture.
  • by superpeach ( 110218 ) <(ten.xunilku.akins) (ta) (fmada)> on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:35PM (#4248538) Homepage
    Mike finally got enought money out of people to pay to get his CAPS LOCK KEY FIXED
  • Xbox chips (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @08:52PM (#4248587) Homepage

    The company I work for, SST, has a chip that was at one point supposed to be in the Xbox. That fell through, but the chip still works. So even though my company only deals in volume -- maybe 100,000 chips an order -- we've been flooded with calls from script kiddies wanting to chip-mod the Xbox. I guess our chip will let those in Europe play US content, among other things. The Sales people here are amused. The latest was a kid who wanted "5-10 sample chips for a school project." Uh-huh.

    • The latest was a kid who wanted "5-10 sample chips for a school project." Uh-huh.

      Funny yes, and most likely a modder, but friends of mine used to request free chips all the time when we were in college and they really did use them for school projects. I personally co-designed a digital voltage meter that plugged into a gameboy, so who knows what that guy could be doing that requires a mod chip :)
  • I heard this thing has trouble with potholes and curbs. Anyone have info on this? The website had absolutely zero, just that it will be available with snow tires. I was looking at the specs, it weighs 95 lbs (they call it portable, I'd like to see some 100 pounder try to put it in their trunk) and supposedly it can take a 250lb person and 75 lbs of cargo. I'd love to see what 420lbs crashing down a 4inch curb with essentially zero suspension travel looks like, I'd volunteer for testing that, though I'd wear a mouth guard to stop me biting my tongue off. Even if you stopped and got off to walk the segway off the curb, thats potentially 170 pounds of segway and cargo you have to move up and down a curb. And they say this thing will eventually tow a 300lb capacity trailer? Yikes. Either you and your trailer ride the sidewalk and block half the people, or you ride in the street and dodge cabs. I'd love to see what 700 or so pounds would tax those motors with. And then theirs San Francisco and other hilly cities...

    My favorite Segway quote:
    Many people believe the Segway will revolutionize the ways people get hit by cars.
    --- Tina Fey, SNL Weekend Update
  • by Arcaeris ( 311424 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:21PM (#4248686)
    I'm a big Farscape fan, but at $1.5 million per episode, I'm surprised that the Sci-Fi channel could keep it going for 1 season, let alone 4. I mean, looking at Sci-Fi's other proprietary shows - First Wave and Lexx - you would think they had a minimal budget. I'm quite surprised by this figure.

    I don't know much about TV show production costs, though, so (is this)/(is this not) a lot of money for one episode? I get the feeling that it really is, though all the stuff in the show is evidence of where it goes.

    Realistically, I don't think the advertisements during Farscape have been pulling in anything close to $1.5 million. The rest has to be coming from them, so no wonder they want to cancel it.
    • These days the big money in TV production comes from syndication and mechandising

      I know from talking to managers in local SF&F genre shops that Farscape merch just does not sell well. The magazines tend to go to pulp. It just doesn't work. If you compare it with shows like Buffy, Charmed, Angel &c where the merch flies off the shelves it just can't compete.

      Syndication tends to kick in around Season 4-5 of a series, the networks like to have at least 100 episodes so they can show them often without starting over too often. I guess that when Sci-Fi started hawking it around for syndication they got turned down or the networks weren't prepared to pay as much as Sci-Fi wanted. The producers of shows use the money from current series to fund production on new series, this means that if a show isn't pulling in the cash then they have to pull the plug.

      To be absolutely honest I hated Farscape, I hope that Sci-Fi will use the money saved from not trying to save that show to make better shows.


  • by joe52 ( 74496 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:32PM (#4248728) Homepage
    According to this article on the Amazon email about the Segway was inaccurate: op []
  • So give you ID card to the border guard
    Your alias says you're Captain Jean Luc Picard
    Of the United Federation of Planets
    Cause he won't speak english anyway

    Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people
    So meet me at the mission at midnight
    We'll divvy up there
    Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people
    Well I got the pistol
    So I get the Pesos
    That seems fair

    Wrong captain, but close enough.

  • by TheWanderingHermit ( 513872 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @09:45PM (#4248778)
    I've noticed there are several types of networks. There's the type that just runs programs to make bucks. There's nothing wrong that -- businesses are created to make money and so people can make a living. Then there's the networks that are run by people that like what they're doing. For example, TVLand. Maybe I'm wrong, but when one of the VPs of a network writes books about the types of shows his network airs, I figure he's into the product. Oxygen seems similar -- it's focused on women and it seems like the people involved with the network are in tune with what they show. This type of network has an integrated and obvious image that viewers can identify with -- they will often leave their TV on that network or go to it first before checking other networks.

    USA, on the other hand, to me, never seemed to be about anything but profit. They seemed to pick shows only for ratings, not because the people running the network were interested in a particular type of show or because there was any emotional motivation -- all they ever seemed to care about was profit. This kind of network, at least to me, always seemed to have no other identity or image other than "Aren't we cool with these cool shows? We've got the top ten," or something like that.

    While Sci-Fi has an image, it has seemed to me for a long time that the network was about money, and nothing else. That the people behind it were doing SF, but that the endeavor was more about money than the subject matter. I really liked The Invisible Man -- for once there was a show about an invisible man that wasn't contrived -- it didn't always boil down to "We're in trouble and the only thing that can save us is invisibility." It actually had interesting characters and a complex world. I understand it was making the numbers in the ratings, but still canned.

    I stopped watching Sci-Fi years ago EXCEPT for shows I could record and watch later. I got fed up with 4 minute commercial breaks. I was frustrated with watching Hercules or Xena re-runs (I didn't watch them when they were first aired). Remember, both shows have an overall story arc and the characters change. Sci-Fi started with airing episodes in reverse order and, later, when they were airing the shows daily, they'd cut them off at the end of the quarter when their schedule changed -- without reaching the series end. When they started re-airing the shows, I started watching again and -- guess what? They cut them off before the end of the series and at the end of the quarter again!

    If these guys (the Sci-Fi staff) were running NBC in the late 1960s, let's face it, Star Trek would have been killed after 2 seasons (I know -- with the 3rd season, that may have been a blessing!). Look at other classics -- not SF, but Dick Van Dyke was cancelled after year 1, then the producers talked them into keeping the series and it had a great 5 year run overall and was as profitable as a TV show can be. Decisions like this can not always be made based on the numbers, but at Sci-Fi, it is, has been, and always will be about nothing but the numbers.

    I stopped watching Sci-Fi several years ago. A friend talked me into I-Man, and let me see his tapes of the show each week. I do watch Stargate, but when that ends, I won't bother with Sci-Fi. I'm tired of 4 minute commercial breaks. I'm tired of getting into a show and seeing the re-runs cut short. I'm tired of getting into a show and seeing it cancelled before it's ready to go.

    USA networks doesn't care about any show. All they care about is the bottom line. I've seen episodes of Farscape and find it impressive, but I'll be damned if I get involved with any more shows on Sci-Fi. It's clear to me they dont' give a tinker's dam about the viewers/fans. Only the buck.

    Farscape will be much better off if it can move to Showtime and be the 3rd show for Sci-Fridays.
    • "Dick Van Dyke was cancelled after year 1, then the producers talked them into keeping the series and it had a great 5 year run overall"

      When Cheers went on the air it started with some of the lowest ratings for any show. Guess where it ended up?

      I suspect people like this (the network execs) are cut from the same cloth as the Decca record agents who turned down the Beatles. It takes people willing to take risks and with vision to run these companies, not just accountants.
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @10:12PM (#4248862) Journal
    You too can have your own industrial grade Lightning Rod, as these are likely on very high hill tops. Perfect for Budding mad scientists.

    As seen in the Excel Spreadsheet

    • AL - 05
    • AR - 11
    • AZ - 04
    • CA - 31
    • CO - 06
    • CT - 02
    • GA - 12
    • ID - 01
    • IL - 17
    • IN - 02
    • KS - 16
    • KY - 04
    • LA - 07
    • MI - 19
    • MN - 06
    • MO - 09
    • MT - 09
    • NC - 03
    • ND - 14
    • NE - 05
    • NM - 11
    • NV - 14
    • NY - 13
    • OH - 26
    • OK - 09
    • OR - 04
    • PA - 12
    • SC - 02
    • SD - 01
    • TN - 01
    • TX - 72
    • UT - 02
    • WA - 06
    • WV - 02
    • WY - 02
    • Bummer... nothing out here in Hawaii.

      Okay, okay, yes, I know. Spacing them 50 miles apart is a lot harder when all you've got is a bunch of funky-shaped little landmasses in the middle of the ocean, 2300+ miles from the nearest continent. Oh well.

      Of course, we have our own collection of cool toys on a hill [] to play with... almost makes up for it.

    • Anyone have any idea why there's so many towers available in Texas? 72 is a lot.
  • by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @10:25PM (#4248908) Homepage Journal
    First /. posts a story on how Star Trek isn't original enough, now they have framed captain Kirk for murder!
    For shame!

    Slashdot editors have a Star Wars bias... ;- )
  • I just received this:

    Greetings from

    You recently received an e-mail from us regarding the Segway Human
    Transporter (also known as "Ginger" or "IT"). This e-mail was sent
    accidentally by an automated system and the information in it is

    In fact, there is no new information on Segway's
    availability. Consumer versions of Segway Human Transporters are
    currently being piloted in various communities throughout the U.S.
    The Segway HT is expected to be released to the general consumer
    market in 2003.

    We apologize for the confusion. We will keep your e-mail address on
    our list of customers who wish to be notified about this item.
  • Not related to any of the above, but I figure Slashback's the place anyway... I showed my girlfriend (who just happens to want to go out by being hit by a meteorite), this story [] about the girl being hit by one. She was quite jealous, and wrote me an indignant email, thus:

    >The odds against being hit by a meteorite are
    >billions to one - but a teenager in North
    >Yorkshire may have had one land on her foot.

    BAH! Landed on her foot! Bullshit! If she still has a foot, then a meteor did not land on it. I think someone threw a lava rock at her and her parents (trying to make her feel better) lied to her and said that it was a meteor. I bet she gets beaten up at school a lot.

    I quickly concurred.
  • Darn! (Score:3, Funny)

    by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Thursday September 12, 2002 @11:53PM (#4249282) Homepage Journal
    I was going to use the money I got from Nigera to pay for the next season of Farscape, and with the leftovers, buy a Segway to carry my Xbox (which would be running SUSE 8.0)!
  • by sawilson ( 317999 ) on Friday September 13, 2002 @12:16AM (#4249342) Homepage
    Forget the ratings issue. (they damaged the show
    by moving the timeslot)

    Forget the success of SG-1. (Farscape viewers
    killing time watching SG-1 until Farscape comes

    The important thing is, they took an escape clause
    out of their contract to get out of season 5
    while the show was still drawing a huge crowd.
    They moved the show to 10pm and that destroyed
    viewership with fans that have social lives.
    They effectively mismanaged the hell out of
    the show, then backed out of their season 5
    commitment when they tried to demand a lower
    amount of money for the show, and EMTV said
    no. Despite what anybody thinks, the show has
    at least 1 million viewers in the USA alone,
    and countless fans overseas. Recent numbers
    are starting to make it look like even the
    nielsen numbers are wrong (like that's never
    happened before) and there are probably even
    more fans. Also, it's looking like at least
    50 percent of those fans are women. And I'm not
    making this stuff up. This was reported on
    CNN Headline news 3 days in a row.
    How hard would it be for them to actually
    try to figure out who their viewing audience is,
    attract sponsors based on that audience, and
    make a ton of money? Not very hard at all.
    Especially now that due to massive amount of
    national, and international coverage, interest
    in the show will be higher than it's ever been.
    They'd be idiots to let this kind of opportunity
    to slip by them. They couldn't hope for better
    publicity than this for a show. The good news is
    there are several other interested parties that
    KNOW the type of advertiser dollars that can
    be made off this show. To quote Reney at
    CNN Headline News:

    "College educated, professions, typical incomes $50,000 - $150,000. Technologically inclined, and extremely computer literate. I would think that advertisers would jump all over that."

    And my favorite quote:

    "But Nina Lump is talking, she is the web mistress of the Save Farscape website at I spoke with her today and she said that site and a related one have had over 600,000 hits since yesterday"

    And that's just the net savvy viewers. I
    personally blanketed the area I live in with
    500 flyers today. I hit video stores, I hit
    skateshops, gas stations, malls, you name it.
    Most of the people I talked to were NOT on the
    net, and most of the people I talked to did
    not know the show had been cancelled.

    The point
    is that SciFi said they'd carry the 4th and 5th
    season, they mismanaged the hell out of the show,
    they backed out of their 5th season obligation,
    and they were not going to tell anybody until
    march. There are plenty of people saying some
    genuinely misguided things about what's going
    on here. I recommend you all take the time
    to read the information at
    before making guesses
    about what's REALLY going on.

  • by shri ( 17709 ) <shriramc@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday September 13, 2002 @12:40AM (#4249427) Homepage
    The US Secret Service [] has some more information about these scamsters. In the good old days, they would approach their victims using snail-mail with impressive letterheads. Now, they just spam everyone!

APL hackers do it in the quad.