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Quickie Fu 135

Sit back and get jiggy with tonights Quickies: First up, jamiemccarthy sent us a Magic 8-Ball that claims to be operated by Legos. And if you're into those remote control legos, Paddy noted that there is new stuff on the lego website. Todays stranges item comes from Chris Henesy who sent us official NASA procedure for Viking Raids. Michael Van Vertloo sent us linkage to a webcam from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depositoryso you conspiracy theorists can keep an eye on it. Bogatyr noted that there now is actually a website selling stuff from the matrix. No, not the minigun, but sunglasses and stuff. tj2sent us linkage to an interview where George Lucas blaims the internet for Jar Jar sucking so badly. Mike sent us a page that tracks Strange things sold on ebay. Finally, markhb sent us a Washington Post profile of Marc Andreeson where he talks about assorted things, and even plugs Slashdot as one of his favorite sites (thanks Marc!) And finally, to bookend this Fresh block of quickies, harb sent us lyrics to the classic (cough) Will Smith Song "Men in Black" for Linux geeks.
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Quickie Fu

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Who accompanies all these 'kids' to the movie theatres? Adults. Lucas forgot about the adults that would be seeing the movie WITH the kids.

    Any classic 'kids' show has two faces: the slapstick and silly kiddishness, and the subtle adult side. Hence you have shows like the Flintstones that are silly and adult at the same time. It appeals to BOTH audiences because the creators know that along with the kids watching the show, there are the adults (the parents) watching as well.

    Lucas ignored this and gave us something I doubt even a 5-year old would have enjoyed. Jar Jar was WORSE than insulting.

    As for Star Wars being a 'kids' flick, think about this: yes, I was a 'kid' when the original Star Wars hit the theatres in the '70's. But you know what? I can still watch Star Wars today without being embarrassed. It was a good flick with broad appeal, without targeting ONLY ONE AUDIENCE. Contrast that with the Phantom Menace...I won't watch it again, and in 5-10 years time it will look EXTREMELY dated, due to the narrow childish-only focus. The Phantom Menace will NOT go down in history as a 'classic', I guarantee you.

    Why should we watch it through a 'child's eyes'? I'm an adult, not a child. I've seen the original Star Wars through a child's eyes and an adult's's still a great flick. The Phantom Menace was pure product-oriented tripe. As an adult, I'm damn embarrased by it.

    And one more thing: when making a movie, especially a SEQUEL, you should keep your original audience in mind. Most of us Star Wars fans were kids in the '70's. Lucas ignored us, big surprise. Contrast that with the guy making the Lord of the Rings movie. He has gone on record stating that he hasn't forgotten about the crowd that grew up with LotR when it was insanely popular...the 60's crowd. If Lucas were making LotR I'm sure it would be a chewed-down CGI-ridden Care Bears meets the Telly-tubbies experience.
  • Unfortunatly, they forgot to defend against the Dreaded Slashdot Effect. All I'm getting is: `No Object Data'. Dang.
  • It's about time someone stood up to all those people shouting for children to have their toys taken away. I can barely hear myself think over all that racket. If only the government would quit wasting time on balanced budgets, health care, education, and the like and let kids play with their toys.

    I had a lot of respect for Lucas before Phantom Menace. After seeing the movie I saw that he could make mistakes. After reading that comment about toys, I realize that he can be a complete idiot. Maybe it's just me, but every time he opens his mouth I feel less and less like seeing the next movie when it comes out.
  • I found Lucas' argument that Jar-Jar doesn't speak like a "real Jamaican" ("I know real Jamaicans and they don't talk like that") interesting. And a cop-out.

    The trade federation aliens whom everyone accuses of sounding Japanese didn't sound like real Japanese either (and as a native speaker, I should know).

    But what they did most definitely sound like is the Hollywood stereotype of Japanese, that irritating fake Asian accent used over and over in movies and sitcoms by non-native speaker actors. (Geez, isn't there a single native speaker of Japanese in the entire Screen Actors' Guild??) There's no way an accent like that is natural to the actor (because no one really speaks like that), nor could it be coincidental.

    I'm not going to jump to conclusions that Lucas is racist, or is trying to ridicule an ethnic group, but to deny that the accents (both Jar-Jar and the trade feds) were deliberate and to pass it off as coincidence is just disingenuous.

    And as for the rest of the interview, man, what a whiner!
  • I get the exact same answer every time I hit
    the 8-ball page. Exactly. The same look to
    the images too. I think it's a fake mockup.
  • In response to the above comments: Yes I know all about proxies and shift-reload. I was not using a proxy server, and shift-reload still gave the same page. Even doing a "clear memory cache" and "clear disk cache" didn't change anything, and *that* was a clear sign that something was up. But the weird thing is that it works correctly now and I didn't change anything on my side. (doing the same exact steps now yeilds different results on each hit. It didn't before.)

    Anyway, the 8-ball is a really cool idea.

  • You're supposed to ask only yes/no questions.
  • I can't help but picture the lego 8ball shaker vibrating madly and exploding in a shower of plastic blocks as the /. effect kicks in and queues up thousands of requests for wisdom.

  • It's funny. I liked THX1138 (in an odd art-film kind of way). I enjoyed the hell out of Amrican Graffiti. I Have seen Star Wars (the first one, or "SW: A New Hope" for the hardcorp twits out there) more times than I have ever seen any other movie (somewhere between 50 and 70, I forget), at least 30 times in the theatre.

    I saw "Empire" twice. It was okay.

    I Saw "Jedi" twice. Ewoks must die.

    I saw "Menace" once. I never, EVER want to see it again. Ever.

    After $200,000,000.00 (US) and two years of actual work (preceded by 16 years of sitting on his ass) he spews forth one of the worst movies of the year and has the unmidigated gaul to blame the Internet for the fact that people hated it?

    Earth to George! The movie is a piece of CRAP! People hate Jar Jar because he's inane, stupid and the most painfully obviouse "new toy sensation" in the history of film.

    Next time spend more time actually writing your damned movies and less time on the licensing contracts and you might just luck out and make a movie worth the (recently raised) price of admission.

    At one time George had The Magic. Now all he has is sad, wornout slight of hand tricks.

    TPM could have been a good movie (provided it was scripted and directed by someone else) but it's not.

    George will get no more of my money.

  • Well THAT showed him! You really tore down all of his arguments with scathing logic and your incredible powers of reason.

    This may be news to you but you are aware that you can disagree with someone without stooping to insulting them and behaving like an ass, don't you?

    Give it a try someday. Someone might actually take what you have to say seriously rather than just tossing aside your comments like the badly thought-through drek they are.
  • Well, with most of the know-nothing public, it'll take a while for that to become an issue. We, the geeks, aren't their core revenue source (we're not as big a group) so if we figure it out, oh well, so they lose part of their potential audience. For all the rest though, it'd take long enough to sink in where all that hype would work on them for a nice, long while.
  • Umm. The Simpsons? I think the Simpsons are great, but I certainly don't think it's aimed at kids. I believe Matt Groening himself has said that it's not aimed at kids. Kids may ENJOY it, but that doesn't mean it's made for them.
  • College educations have a nasty habit of typecasting you. Once typecasted as non-technical, forget everything you know about computers. You're not working in IT. Would there be a web browser for Linux if Mark's degree said "history" or "philosophy" instead of computer science 6 years ago? You don't see Hemos working for RedHat.
  • I'm slightly more concerned about the obviously-Japanese trade federation, who were portrayed as evil, cowardly exploiters. American paranoia over Japanese industrial and commercial superiority is widespread enough in film.
  • Most people don't like toys and don't think children should be able to play with toys. But I'm a big fan of toys, and I think it helps kids be able to play and expand their imaginations.

    Especially if you get a percentage on all their toys, eh George?

    TPM was one long advert for merchandising from start to finish. Who needs a story when there are billions to be made from gullible kids?

  • To quote the late, great Bill Hicks:

    "It's pretty accurate ... Oswald's not there."

  • "He's as much of a genius as I've ever met," says Mike McCue ... Andreessen, only 28, spends his days surfing the Internet...

    Now there's a develop a product that allows you to waste time in the name of future watching.
  • "Get a Life".

    As I understand it, he said this after finding out from fans that one of his real-life horses gave birth, before then, Shatner didn't know himself. I believe that Lucas himself made statements to the same.

    Dissing Jar Jar, R2D2, C3PO or the Ewoks just because you don't like them isn't the way to go. It would seem that people deify George Lucas or say he's great with reservations about certain plot items. I'm sorry, the movies are already made. You'll have to take them as they are or leave them. If you don't like it, I'm sure there are many other movies as good or better out there to check out. Or get _really_ good at acting, computer animation or something else useful to Lucasfilm to get Lucas's ear in time for Eps 2 & 3 (hopefully to convince him into doing 7-9!)
  • The magic 8-ball jpeg may not be playing at normal speed. (compression?)
    Try saving a few images with the same answer, and comparing file attributes.
  • The actor chosen to play Jar-Jar (Ahmed Best?) was not chosen because of his accent, but rather because he could move in the lankily uncoordinated manner Lucas had envisioned as being appropriate for Jar-Jar.

    Lucas has had a tradition of using accents to simulate a community. In the original trilogy, the imperials generally had british accents, and the rebels had American accents. So perhaps Lucas felt that this was a effective cinematic tool. Certainly the callowness of Mark Hammil's southern Californian accent resonated with me. I could really feel the disapointment in his voice when he wanted to "waste time with his friends."

    What puzzles me is why the "not really Jamaican" accent of Jar-Jar gets far more attention that the Vietnamese accents of the trade-federation folks. But then, they would probably get misidentified as Japanese.

  • Most people don't like toys and don't think children should be able to play with toys. But I'm a big fan of toys, and I think it helps kids be able to play and expand their imaginations.

    Excuse me, but is this not the most glaring straw man argument you have ever seen? Is George Lucas trying to do a bit of PR work for himself because his baby got a lukewarm reception? Did all the net.flames make him insecure? Is he just an idiot? Who knows....
  • Actually, there's quite a difference between making a movie that is good for kids and making a movie that panders to them. The original star wars movie is great for kids, but Episode One is explicitly marketed to the 8-year-old demographic. THAT'S what Star Wars fans were upset about.

  • So maybe I'm the only guy on the planet who thought Jar-Jar was damn cool. He didn't lack any depth that any of the other characters in the series have ever had, and he was more entertaining than most.

    I think everything Lucas said in that interview was valid... Twentysomething Star Wars fans wanted a serious flick, and got a kid's movie. Wah. He said from the beginning that it wasn't made for you, it was made for kids. Get over it.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @04:17PM (#1795055)
    Look, here's the REAL reason Jar-Jar sounded Jamaican, and it's actually totally innocent.

    You see, the man who voiced Jar-Jar grew up in Jamaica. He was actually using his own natural voice, with only slight exaggeration (which he deemed appropriate for a comic sidekick).
  • This is true to an extant. It's mostly because its harder to gain credibility as a or judge credibility in a person who is degreed in a field tangential to what they want to specialize in. I've got some anecdotal evidence in the form of friends who either didn't go to college at all or went to college to study the liberal arts but who do work in IT. The web browser would've been created regardless of Mark's background. He may or may not have been a part of it. The concept of the web wasn't created by him, just an implementation of a tool for navigating through it.

    As for why its harder for people with other degrees to break into computer science its mostly because before your resume is even looked at by a hiring manager or a technical person its pre-screened by a person trained to look for buzz words. They usually look at academic credentials first.

  • by Quazi ( 3460 )
    Yeah, and I'll go watch Telletubbies through a childs eyes.. That won't make me like it.

    IMO, The big thing that bugs people about TPM is that they grew out of the target audience. It's a sad fact that most forms of entertainment don't grow up with us. Silly-ass saturday morning cartoons were a hard thing for me to let go of, but I eventually did. Some people are just going to have to get over Star Wars. According to its Creator, "it is a kids movie". We simply shoudn't be watching it..

    But dammit George, you could have warned us.
  • > I think as a kid I would have been pretty > dissappointed if I was always hearing my parents > and practically all adults going about how much > that fucking Chewbacca kept annoying them and > how they hated him so.

    That Chewy was never hated should tell you something. The first three movies all had characters with "child appeal": Chewy in the first, Yoda in the second, and the Ewoks in the third. OK, the Ewoks get some ribbing, but for being cutsey, not for being stupid/insulting. Chewy was the pilot of the MF, and must have been rather competent considering all the mishygosh they had to get through. Yoda's first appearance made him seem vaguely Jar-Jar like, but that was a *ruse*! A Jedi master can, in fact, sound like Grover from Sesame Street and be a muppet but still strike one as incredibly wise. The Ewoks managed to beat up the much larger and more "advanced" Storm Troopers by being *intellegent*! They tripped up their flyers, they outflew them, and in general kicked their collective ass.

    Jar-Jar, however, was neither intellegent nor competent. He bumbled his was to a high position (bombast general), simply by being in the wrong place at the right time. He was comical without being amusing, clumsy, and in general a fool. Sure, he has kid appeal, ask any 4-5th grader. However, because he was a bumbling fool, he added nothing to the movie.

    Note, however, that the gungans as a race were actually decent fighters and people; I liked Boss Nass and the general. This despite the fact that the only reason they didn't die by the thousands was an all-too-serendipitous shot.

  • Sounds like last night's Becker rerun. For those of you who don't know (non-Americans, non-TV viewers), Becker is a sitcom about Dr. John Becker, a perpetually bitter, abrasive, and vocal New York family doctor. The locations are split between his office and a diner owned by a woman named Reggie. There's a newsstand in the diner run by a blind black man (whose name escapes me at the moment). Reggie and The Newsstand Guy are accustomed to Beckers rants, even when they are potentially racist, sexist, and/or otherwise insensitive, and usually give as good as they get in response. They'd have to, or else it wouldn't be an American sitcom.

    Becker storms into Reggie's, yelling over his shoulder at the driver of a car blasting rap music loud enough to be heard from blocks away. He then proceeds to complain about his neighbors, who cook on the sidewalk. Finally, an asian driver dings Becker's car, which, of course, sets Becker off even worse. In the meantime, Becker engages in the usual acid-tongued banter with Reggie and The Newsstand Guy. What Becker didn't know was that a newspaper columnist overheard the whole thing, and then wrote a scathing column about a loud-mouthed bigot he encountered in a diner.

    The episode builds up to a confrontation between the columnist and Becker on a radio talk show, where Becker launches a rant that could have been ghost-written by Dennis Miller, slamming Political Correctness and catches the columnist proving Lucas' point. (Took a while to get here; hope it was worth it.) When the columnist assumes that the sidewalk-cooking neighbors are Puerto Rican, Becker points out that he doesn't know what ethnicity they are, and never offered any description, except for their cooking preferences.

    The best part of the rant is when Becker points out that most of the people who advocate PC thinking are actually perpetuating the stereotypes they're trying to dispell. He used that to set up the Puerto Rican killshot.

    Granted, a sitcom script is a rather contrived arena for such debate, but the point was driven home well.

    Keith Russell
    OS != Religion

  • Agreed: the accent wasn't a big deal racism-wise. Actually, I couldn't help but feel a bit uncomfortable at times because it sounded so much like some kind of a racial stereotype (whatever it actually was, since he's so clear that wasn't Jamaican), but I didn't think it was really offensive. At least not that way.

    No, my problem was more that, whatever the accent was based on, it was just so damned annoying! I probably disliked Jar-Jar somewhat less than most -- some of his scenes were kind of cute, or even a bit cool (Qui-Gon grabbing his tongue) -- but for the most part, it just positively grated on my ears. At times it was literally painful.

    Lucas seems to be aware of the real issue, and he mentions it briefly, but he uses the racism thing to cover it up:

    "There is a group of fans for the films that doesn't like comic sidekicks. They want the films to be tough like Terminator, and they get very upset and opinionated about anything that has anything to do with being childlike."

    I'd say that's just about right, though it's not quite fair to us: there's a difference between "comic" and "childlike", and there's yet another thing called "just plain annoyingly silly". Also, I for one didn't want it to be quite like Terminator -- more somewhere in the middle, like, maybe, exactly the way it was, but without Jar-Jar.

    I loved the movie, and I don't want to be too critical, but he seems to be using some sneaky tricks here: as pointed out above, when fielding racism charges, he dwells on Jar-Jar's accent but doesn't mention the Federation guys' (I'll admit, I would have said Japanese. I stand corrected. Sorry), which would be a bit harder to defend. Also, he ignores the real point of the criticism -- he dismisses the racism thing, saying in effect, "Besides, they're just saying that because they don't like him." If you ask me, the whole point is that we "just" don't like him. This is interesting, though:

    "The movies are for children but they don't want to admit that. In the first film they absolutely hated R2 and C3-PO. In the second film they didn't like Yoda and in the third one they hated the Ewoks... and now Jar Jar is getting accused of the same thing."

    He makes a good point in the first sentence -- it's his movie, and his is the official word on who the target audience is. I guess we're just jealous that he's making movies for little kids instead of for us. I don't know about the rest, though: I always liked R2-D2 better than C3-P0, I always loved Yoda, and I never thought too highly of Ewoks. I'm not sure what the point is -- that we keep asking him to stop using annoying characters, but he keeps doing it anyway? I thought that was our point.

    David Gould
  • I asked it. It said "YES, definitely". So it isn't a fake...
  • So when do the star wars fans who made GL
    such a rich man get the films they waited
    16 YEARS for? I seem to recall in the
    pre-TPM days someone from Lucasfilm saying
    that the new movies would be darker and more

    PS one of the reasons I dislike
    the jar jar thing is that I could not understand
    what it was saying.
  • I'm begining to belive in it too. I asked it a couple of questions in hungarian, and it got the right answers... Looks like no human interaction...

  • by slouie ( 8781 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @03:10PM (#1795064)
    I am stunned and thrilled by the Magic 8-Ball. I stand here today grateful that thanks to the miracle of the Internet and simple robotics. I can waste minutes of a boring work day asking about my raise and getting actual answers about it.
    -S. Louie

  • This is the same George Lucas who wouldn't let theaters show his film unless they banned discount coupons for his movie.

    Dunno which Legos, Linux, or Star Wars toys are better at expanding kids' minds. Heh heh.

    QDMerge [] -- data + templates = documents.
  • Boba Fett should have gone to Endor and had himself an ewok-roast.

    I remember hearing somewhere that Lucas admitted after ROTJ that the ewoks were only in there to increase marketing and the sale of little furry toys. I wonder if^W^W^W the same thing is true of Jar Jar.

    Someone (maybe me) should write a jar jar-izer along the lines of the Elmer Fudd-izer and the Redneck-izer.

    "Meesa read slashdottem all de time fang you very mush. Meesa no like slashers dotters slagging off Lord Lucas of George, heesa creator of all good fings and much fun."

  • >The movies are for children but they don't want to admit
    >that. In the first film they absolutely hated R2 and
    >C3-PO. In the second film they didn't like Yoda and in
    >the third one they hated the Ewoks... and now Jar Jar is
    >getting accused of the same thing."

    What the heck?
    I never hated Threepio or Artoo, and Yoda was my hero for years. And fscking George Lucas walks along, tells us they were supposed to get kids to see the movie.
    Yoda is a JEDI MASTER, not some kind of clumsy freak creature who can't even talk. He's as full of wisdom as Jar Jar is of shit!
    And go see the trailers, do you think they are targeted at an audience of CHILDREN? As somebody already said, the guy is about to forget who made him rich!

    "The use of COBOL cripples the mind.
    Its teaching, therefore, should be

  • "So when do the star wars fans who made GL such a rich man get the films they waited 16 YEARS for? I seem to recall in the pre-TPM days someone from Lucasfilm saying that the new movies would be darker and more mature."

    The people I hear constantly bashing this TPM all seem to be forgeting one very important thing: The Star Wars films have always been, are now, and hopefully will always be targeted primarily at children. I think many of the hard core fans who were dissapointed by the film walked into that theatre expecting a movie aimed at 20-30 year olds: that was a very silly assumption to make.

    I saw the first Star Wars film when I was 6. Over the next few years Star Wars was a major part of my life. Is everyone trying to say that Lucas should simply deny a new generation of young children the same pleasure _we_ had at that age seeing those films?

    Is TPM a little "kiddie" at times? Yes of course it is. Does that make it any different than any of the other films? No, it doesnt. Its the same formuala Lucas has used for the Star Wars films since the beggining - quality, _family_ entertainment. I got over the Ewoks.....I think I can learn to live with Jar Jar too.
  • by K. ( 10774 )
    I thought he saved the movie, to be honest. Those
    Jedi Knights think they're so smart with their
    sabres and their mind tricks. Jar Jar kicked more
    arse than they did and got out without a hole in his belly.

    But I also think that Darth Maul about as threatening as a sunburned rabbit with explosive
    acne, so what do I know.

    And the sword-fights sucked. From kendo to
    swashbuckling in less than two decades.

    How come there's an "open source" entry in the
  • Will I get ********.com out in time?

    "Better not tell you now"

    [repeat question]
    Will I get ********.com out in time?

    "The answer is no"

    Will I get ********.com out with a delay of less than a week?

    "Outlook not so good"

    I'm just hoping it's giving its opinion on
    mail clients.

    How come there's an "open source" entry in the
  • When I tried it, the queue was about 30 people. Now it's up to 80. Pretty soon it'll be so long that nobody'll get to see it. I'm glad I caught this early, before the line. It is very cool, although I couldn't quite read my message.
  • Once typecasted as non-technical, forget everything you know about computers.

    You could ask the well-known linguist Larry Wall whether he have had any success in our industry. :-)

  • "Most people don't like toys and don't think children should be able to play with toys. But I'm a big fan of toys, and I think it helps kids be able to play and expand their imaginations. To contribute to that is I think a good thing."

    So. George Lucas is, with no thought of the scandal and controversy this will no doubt bring down on his head, taking a firm position in favor of fun.

    Yeah george, most people don't think children should play with toys. But not you. You're the exceptional hero man who thinks children should play with toys. Wow. That's really something. I suppose most people also feel it is perfectly okay to steal puppies and beat them, but you are similarly opposed to that, right?

    George Lucas. Prefers good to evil, and thinks fun is a good thing for children to have. He is truly, truly truly in the minority for holding these views, but he is not afraid to voice them, so great is his integrity.

  • In compliance with His millenia-long press blackout, the 8-ball refuses to answer: Is Jesus the true Son of God and Saviour of mankind? [] I feel simultaneously vindicated and incensed.

  • I know he also said it in a saturday night live skit. He was at a star trek convention and everyone was acting like he really was captin kirk, to which he responeded "" (said in that classic shatner way of saying things).
  • by _Dante_ ( 14004 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @04:31PM (#1795076) Homepage

    I asked:
    "Is x^n+xy+y^n factorable for n>2?"

    I got:
    "My response is no"

    Thats one smart 8Ball.

  • I got the same thing. Fortunately, Google has the page cached.

    (Now watch their cached link go down, too. :)

  • When was the last time that a Disney cartoon with a comic sidekick that didn't have an ethnic accent?

    Why is that okay?
  • Is it just me or does GL sound really defensive in this peice?

    Has anyone else noticed this:

    Try to go buy star wars action figures. What's the only figure you can find? Jar Jar.

    Seems to me that everyone thought Jar Jar would be the big seller, but no one wants him. Everyone wants Darth Maul instead. Just try and find him. (marketing guy freaking out : "They want the BAD guy? The BAD guy? No they don't. deep down they really want the cute, loveable Jar Jar Binks. They just don't know it yet") eat me dude.

    I'd buy Jar JAr just to blow him up (wher'd I put that M80?)

  • When thousands of total strangers across the internet say "Yeah, I also thought Jar-Jar sounded Jamaican, then you know something's not right. Okay, so Lucas didn't intentionally try to make fun of Jamaicans in his movie, but a man in his position should've been more careful screening for this sort of thing.
  • Yeah, I'd seen the voice actor too. I know he's got a natural Jamaican accent and I don't deny that the perceived stereotypes were innocent, but I'm still of the opinion that Lucas should've been more careful about the voice he picked out for JarJar. Common sense or at least some test screenings would've indicated to him that this would rub a lot of people the wrong way.
  • My Question:
    Is Linux year-2000 compliant?

    The 8-ball's answer:

    The 8-ball truly knows all.

  • yep the slashdot effect was well illistrated. but like most 8-balls they don't work.
    i ask it a question and it answers gibberish
    i asked "what is one plus one?", and the answer was "without a doubt".. not very useful at all
  • >And while we're picking nits: I think the ebay >piece was a link of the day on UF recently.

    Yup, it was. And so was the magic 8-ball. Glad I caught both of them before the slashdot effect began...
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @03:24PM (#1795085)
    Has anyone tried that defense in court yet?

    Lucas is just miffed because he gave us action figures and found out too late that we wanted a movie instead. And that we have a medium where we can express our views, rather than just shelling out for whatever the spin doctors and pizza boxes tell us to.

    I don't plan on seeing the next one, unless I hear (on the Internet!) that he's delivered some interesting characters and a plot for them to participate in.

    Nor will I buy any collectibles, for this one or any other.

  • And you consider it preferable for Lucas to wave his hands in the air and jump on the PC bandwagon?

    If Jar-Jar had sounded French, would it still have racist undertones? What about Spanish? English? American?

    Would you have been offended if Jar-Jar had sounded very vaguely like you?

    What should Jar-Jar have sounded like, so as to not even risk offending anyone? A fscking automaton? Are we now to advise film-makers to make stupid/idiotic characters sound like _no-one_ at all?

    Come on, people. Get a grip!
  • i just asked it a simple "is food god?" and its ansewer was "without a doubt" so far i havnt heard of one person who it lied to yet ^_^

  • I thought that it was a play off a Jamacian stereotype before I had heard it online. I think the sound of Jar Jar's accent and the Kettle drums at the end (carribean music -- come on?) made me think that.

    I like his if anyone thought that it was racist then they are reflecting their own racism argument. Whooie. I am not sure I found it rascist so much as unimaginative anyways.

    I agree that Star Wars is a childrens movie, but saying that the Ewoks and Jar Jar are not too annoying is like saying Microsoft uses fair licensing practices. I am sure all children above the age of 7 agree. Perhaps in the next movie he can have Barney make a cameo? Maybe even have the Teletubbies show up as Jedi Knights...

    Slurping away on Darth Maul Taco Bell commemorative glass,

  • Heehee... The only thing wrong is that the "reply to this" link is not in the right font size, Other than that, funniest thing I've seen all day, dude!

    Only reason I even caught this is I was running at -1 today.

  • GL's defense of JarJar is that it is a kids movie.. ok, so what's he going to do about him in the next two? I mean, cute little Anakin is going to betray his friends, betray the mother of his children, betray his "nation", and murder millions.

    How are they going to put that on a lunchbox?

    Lucas is full of shit. He has no artistic integrity. It could have been a real movie, but it's cartoon dealing with issues that make police dramas look cheery. JarJar is simply the biggest aspect of this flaw.
  • Maybe Slashdoters should funnel some of their
    newly acquired funds into a good spell checker
    and a person who actually knows how to spell
    people's names.

    After a bunch of news items where you misspelled
    all sorts of words, this time you even misspelled
    Marc's name.

    Which brings another point. Slashot needs a spell
    check option...

  • > I don't have a dictionary handy, so I can't
    > prove this, but isn't misspelled not a word?
    > Perhaps if it were hyphenated, mis-spelled, it
    > would be... Dunno... BTW: Webster's doesn't
    > count... Oxford English Dictionary only! :-)

    Is is, according to Webster. What's wrong with
    Webster anyway?

    BTW, in case you haven't noticed already, there
    is a missing 'e' in the subject. The irony...

  • The 8 ball attempts to play at a speed that matches your link. Some ISPs have proxy servers that will read at their speed and forward at your speed. For those people they will get a time dilation effect since the 8 ball sends frames at a speed matching the ISP but the client can only accept them at a much slower rate.

    Its an 8 second cycle, if it takes longer on your machine then you have time dilation.

  • Your ISP is caching the response despite admonitions from the 8 ball against such actions.

    If you are using Netscape or IE Macintosh you should hit Shift Reload, this usually gets your ISP to bypass their cache.

  • Well this is just the sort of nerd audience that can help the 8 ball work under IE instead of just carp about it.

    What it needs is a Java applet that will read a stream of jpeg images and display them on the screen. Ought to be 5 minutes work for someone that knows what they are doing.

    Grab yourself a copy of the data stream,, (a couple lines of text, jpeg, lines of text, jpeg...) and send me the Java. I will credit you on the page and you will be loved all round the world by the destiny denied IE windows users.

    I'll promise to keep the images at 320x240 if that makes life easier.

  • As long as we are being senselessly rude and uncivil...

    It works fine in IE 4.0 Macintosh. Its only IE for windows that is missing suitable support.

    Now perhaps we can apologize to the gentle readers and continue the normal civilized, informed discussions which have been Slashdot's hallmark.

  • The movie makers know all about influencing the professional critics. They must find it frustrating to have a sizable portion of the reviewing community outside their control.

    They will learn to influence the internet opinion as well. The faked fan sites are only the beginning. In a $15million marketing budget there is plenty of room to hire 100 professional internet hype generators for a month. They can hang out on all the hot forums, channels, and newsgroups and sow the carefully crafted and orchestrated hype in the weeks before and after the opening.

  • The cgi program (nabber) sends a message out the serial port to the RCX over the IR to begin a cycle. There is no feedback to the computer, it just knows that its a 3 second cycle so it waits a total of 8 seconds to capture a nice settling time.

    The ball positioning is done by using the RCX optical sensor to watch the white dot of the 8 ball.

  • Well, speaking as the creator of the public 8 ball site...

    Is so!

    The spin and shake takes 3 seconds, I allow an additional 5 for settling, but it usually settles much faster. The first second of shaking is a 360 degree roll, the remaining two are jiggling back and forth through about 70 degrees, so the destiny icosahedron is already up by the glass when the shaking stops, it just has to get off the edge.

    And for fingers, the 8 ball does need to get dusted now and again and sometimes when people are in front of my desk talking to me they will give it a jostle when its on an edge. Destiny assistants.

    I'm glad the 8 ball could be of assistance with your, uh, question.

  • by victim ( 30647 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @03:52PM (#1795100)
    Yes, we at the 8ball are getting slashdotted pretty heavily. It apologizes for the inconvenience.

    The 8-ball cycle time can handle 400+ desitinys per hour, needless to say it is pegged. 36 minutes after slashdot posting the queue was 65 people deep, the system load went over the watchdog limit and the ever vigilant watchdog rebooted the server. Bad dog. Bad.

    The 8-ball is going to start shunning people at a queue depth of 30 to protect itself.

  • The Star Wars films have always been, are now, and hopefully will always be targeted primarily at children.

    I didn't believe this when I saw that Lucas said it, and I don't believe it now. The original movie has never until this point been described as for children except by one (yes, one) of my friends who doesn't buy good vs. evil, myth, epics or the rest. The original movie is appealing to kids, certainly. But it is also quite appealing to adults. The second in my experience appeals more to adults than kids. Kids like seeing the good guys win; seeing them mutilated or frozen in carbonite (whatever the ^#^! that is anyway...) is not what they expect.

    The third movie started a poor precedent. I saw it when I was still a kid, and I thought that the Ewok were annoying even then. It was far too childish and not nearly interesting enough. It had great special effects but a rotten plot (not that the first was a shining example of great writing, but it had a decent plot). TPM merely followed in this tradition. It has lost most of the great epic underpinnings and instead voices hollow forms: the monarch in disguise (ref. Henry V, the life of St. Edmund and more), the master-apprentice relationship &c. Instead of a decent character, we get Jar-Jar 'Missa Fscked in da Haid' Binks and Queen 'If I Talk Really Slowly I Will Seem Important' Amidala. Was I the only one who found the 'commendation' scene with R2D2 just a bit ridiculous?

    Even given that Lucas were right, that the original movie had been aimed at children (which I doubt; adolescents I can believe, but not children), he should have realised that the target audience is still those at whom he aimed the first movie. Only it's 22 years later. Those who saw it their freshman year at college are now 40. They expected just a little bit more than hollow characterisation and neat effects (how many lines did Darth Maul have? Two? How many computer effects did we see?).

    BTW, what in God's name is an elected queen? That's the point that annoyed me the most.

  • As a side note, IE 4.0 does not support the animated JPEG files it sends. Not that anyone here ever installed IE willingly...

    Hrmm...lets see...I run Linux to do all my work, but I use Windows and I need the web, its IE all the way. Quick and stable, unlike Netscape. I wish NS could produce such a product. Remeber, Slashdot is "News for Nerds." Not Linux/*BSD nerds, not Windows nerds, not Mac nerds...just nerds. Save your generalizations for #linux.

    Sorry about the random harshish response, but lately the slashdot community has been very intolerant of non-Linux people. Its really quite a shame too...this forum has much possibility of people coming together to have real intellectual discussions, but instead we have trolls who think that their preferences are The One True Way(tm).
  • him. Everyone wants Darth Maul instead. Just try and find him. (marketing guy freaking out : "They want the BAD guy? The BAD guy? No they don't. deep down they really want the cute, loveable Jar Jar Binks. They just don't know it yet") eat me dude

    Mmmm...they shouldn't be so surprised about that...I least in Mexico, the movie from the original trilogy that was seen by more people was "The empire..."...and the reason most people gave back then on interviews was "it's a great movie because the bad guys win at last" :)

    So...evil dudes sell :)


  • I'll have to disagree with you on this one.
    Personally, I think most of the problems that we're seeing in the realm of IT could be solved by having techies with a more well-rounded education.

    Besides, having a non-technical education does not preclude having an understanding of the technical realm. It merely enables you to bring a different perspective to the game, and may enable you to make a contribution that is radically different, rather than just squeezing a few more FPS of performance out of your video card.
  • You should see the forms the Vikings have to fill out :)

  • My favortie Lucas quote:

    "He said: 'I wish there was a world where
    nobody had to get paid and people could just
    do things for free but they don't. All the tens
    of thousands of people that make the toys
    and the films, they all have to pay their bills
    and so they demand to be paid.'"

    *cough* *hack* Oh, sorry. I didn't realize that Phantom Menace Colgate (tm), Band-Aids (tm), Kleenex (tm) and Pencil Toppers (tm) were paying someone's rent. Silly me. I'll be sure to run right out and buy some more, then. Meesa thinks George needs to re-read those licensing contracts a little more closely. Where exactly does a percentage of every blessed Darth Maul (tm) pizza go, anyhow? Betcha my local pizza dude (tm) isn't seeing a piece of that pie (sorry).

    Ahhhhh... mass merchandising and hype... the real Dark Side.

    - m
  • Why don't you shut the hell up? Lucas didn't do anything wrong! It's only stupid people like yourself who like to complain who started all this BS about Jar Jar being racist. Why not grow a brain and stop contributing to all the crap? No wonder the media is so bad these days, there's plenty of BS spreaders to go around...

  • With all due respect to the redoubtable Commodore, that's a misleading thing to say. Lucas blames the internet for the idea that GL is a racist for having made JarJar the way he was. He does not say "well, if people on the internet were nicer, then jar jar wouldn't have been such a crappy character." Nope, jar jar's annoyingness -- I'll admit to never having seen racism in the character -- was all GL's fault ("assuming" he had complete control), as far as GL says; it's the 'net reaction that GL thought sucked.

    And while we're picking nits: I think the ebay piece was a link of the day on UF recently.

  • Interesting how propaganda [] has toned down, at least temporarily, their references to JFK in light of what's happened to his son, but the Dealey Plaza Museum (live webcam from the book depository) is still going strong, and if anything, that's much creepier than what goes on at propaganda.
  • Yes, the 8-ball is a great thing! I discovered it several months ago while looking into Legos for robotics design purposes (and having since then purchased close to $400 worth - $300 of which is Mindstorms).

    I wish there was more info on the mechanism on the site. I am also curious how the ball is triggered - is it done via a sensor input on the RCX, or via IR to the RCX - or some other method?

    On top of this - I love the 8-Ball's surroundings! Makes me wonder what other wierd machinations are going on at that desk!

  • I disagree. I have a friend who's Jamaican. I've seen the move. There's no real comparison. Sure, some of the more slurred words kinda sound similar, but not really. Did anyone accuse the rest of those creatures of sounding Jamaican? Did the fat King sound Jamaican. Nah. Neither did JarJar. A couple people posted such, and in everyone's haste to jump on the bandwagon, make some kind of controversial statement, and sound like they knew what they were talking about- this thing blew way outta proportion.
    There's no stereotype there. Just enjoy the freakin' movie.
  • A few weeks ago director Barry Sonnenfield was blaming the internet because of the negative reaction his film "Wild Wild West" was getting

    As always, blame the messenger.
  • Is it me or has anyone else become addicted to the magic 8 ball ? The way it seems to be able to predict the right answer with a simple 'yes', 'no', or the occaisional 'maybe'... it's just too good...

    -"Does my life suck ?"

    -"My sources point to no."

    -"Will I get laid next week (;-)"



  • >Not that anyone here ever installed IE willingly ...

  • It doesn't work in IE dumbass.
  • Civilized discussion? Hmm, didn't know they had that on Slashdot, I seem to get flamed everytime I mention that Microsoft isn't all that bad. Anyway, I apoligize.
  • I agree that Star Wars is a childrens movie, but saying that the Ewoks and Jar Jar are not too annoying is like saying Microsoft uses fair licensing practices. I am sure all children above the age of 7 agree. Perhaps in the next movie he can have Barney make a cameo? Maybe even have the Teletubbies show up as Jedi Knights

    One of the biggest sins a childrens author can commit is thinking he can cut corners because his audience is 'just children'. I can't believe Lucas is taking that defence.

    I kind of liked Jar Jar. He wasn't nearly as bad as all the other characters taking all those cliches and plotholes seriously.

  • jar jar sucking has nothing to do with the internet. He was annoying. The whole movie I wanted him to die. I liked c3po and r2d2. I thought the ewalks were sligtly annoying but jar jar was just pushing it. He wasn't funny at all. He was just a moron. No George the internet didn't make jar jar suck, you did.
  • Well, I would say without a doubt that 1+1=2. So you see, the 8-ball was right.
  • So what if Jar Jar sounds Jamaican and happens to have dreadlock-like ears? So what if the flying junk dealer could be a southeast Asian carpet dealer if you closed your eyes? Hollywood has been casting cultural stereotypes for years. This doesn't make them racist, it just means they are exagerating reality a little. And with animated critters it just seems natural to exagerate reality a lot.

    Besides, I get really tired of aliens with perfect English. Have you ever tried to invent an accent that doesn't sound like something from earth? I've worked on in a few time, and it almost always comes out sounding like some existing accent done poorly. No, I don't think that this is one of Lucas's failings. There's plenty else to criticize him about.

    Like the fact that Jar Jar is a pathetic and non-sypathetic poor excuse for a marionette. I hate it when characters succeed BECAUSE of their faults.
  • Hate to burst anyone's bubble, but I say it ain't so.

    The settle time is too short compared to a control 8-ball, and in one of the jpgs, I saw a finger.

    As a side note, IE 4.0 does not support the animated JPEG files it sends. Not that anyone here ever installed IE willingly ...


    OB 8-ball story: Once, I asked it if I was going to have sex that year. (It was a slow year.) It said YES. That very night, Boom.

    The 8-ball NEVER LIES!

  • Would there be a web browser for Linux if...

  • I paid good money to watch that movie, and it seemed that for near 25% of the two hours or so I was in that theater I was rediscovering my primal instinct to kill the weak-minded (in this case Jar-jar).

    It was an experience that I did not enjoy.

    It was similar to that scene in Saving Private Ryan where the one weak-minded person gets everyone killed. Luckily THIS was a children's movie and there were fewer lives lost.

    Point is: I PAID to see that movie. If I don't like it (or extremely dislike it) I have as much a right to say so as a customer of mine would to complain to me.

    You wouldn't say: get really good at programming, marketing, or something else useful to Microsoft to get Gates' ear in time for Windows 2002. You would complain and complain and if MS didn't take your complaints seriously you would seriously consider the alternatives.

  • The flamebait reply to my comment got moderated down but the sensible reply to the flame got moderated up, making it seem like I was the flaming looser. Oh well...

    Thanks to the person who defended me BTW...

  • A few weeks ago director Barry Sonnenfield was blaming the internet because of the negative reaction his film "Wild Wild West" was getting, so I guess I shouldn't really be surprised at Lucas' outburst. After all, if the net can be blamed for everything from school shootings to the decline of Western Civilization then Hollywood directors can line up to cane it when people think their film blows goats. Btw, I *liked* Phantom Menace--it had a few problems but those + Jar Jar didn't wreck the movie for me. And I don't find Jar-Jar racist at all--annoying, perhaps, with a wee too much bad Jerry Lewis in him, but tolerable. As for Wild Wild Waste, forget it. Ah, well-just give Jar-Jar better lines and put Leo DiCaprio in the Anakin role and Ep. II will make me happy camper. ______________________________
  • Check out [].
  • I thought that it was a play off a Jamacian stereotype before I had heard it online. I think the sound of Jar Jar's accent and the Kettle drums at the end (carribean music -- come on?) made me think that.


    Did you hear "kettle drums" and assume carribean music? The drums they played during the parade didn't even sound like authentic kettle drums (and I've been a percussionist for nine years).

    The Gungans are playing a march, which sounds very much like a drum corp cadence.

    As for the accent, Jamacians don't sound anything like that...there's was a guy I knew in high school with a Jamacian accent and Jar Jar sounds nothing like him.

    This is not a flame. For the record I can't stand Jar Jar at all. He's the most annoying and worthless character out of the entire series. At least threepio and artoo were actually kind of amusing. :/

  • The Matrix made me do it.
  • I didn't see the so called racism either. The
    trade federation guys, yeah, it was dead obvious,
    but Jar Jar was just...himself. :P
  • by GrimFerret ( 70200 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @03:28PM (#1795133)
    Too bad I missed that eBay item! It was always my goal to get a sweatshop started in my early twenties. I really had my eye on the kid with the large melon.

    Oh well, maybe a similar item will come up for bid ;)
  • by Pennywise ( 92193 ) on Monday July 19, 1999 @07:46PM (#1795135)
    All you Jar Jar bashers are forgetting one very important point (as annoying as he may be to most of us). Star Wars is made for K-I-D-S. Not old people like us bashing him. Kids like Jar Jar, and I think as a kid I would have been pretty dissappointed if I was always hearing my parents and practically all adults going about how much that fucking Chewbacca kept annoying them and how they hated him so. It's a kids movie, try to keep that in mind next you time you watch it, and watch it through childs eyes, thats the way it was meant to be watched.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court