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Comment Re:Unsound mind! (Score 1) 101

I certainly can't claim origin. I am just carrying on a philosophy / mentality that has been a "torch light" for the DIY / engineering community for decades.

I'm glad you see the merits in that simple statement. I'm also glad I was able to have my cognitive faculties intact enough to still produce a statement that concise.

Comment Re:Unsound mind! (Score 1) 101

You entire argument rests on the assumption that your bump key for your front door is secure.

Answer? Obviously, it isn't! All you are saying, here, is that you have PURCHASED an insecure system in lieur of a security system, that you know fully well its weaknesses and that it can (basically, let's admit it -- WILL) be defeated by easy to replicate means, and that your only HOPE is that law enforcement will discourage your predators.

I expect better debate than this out of Slashdot. Please don't respond if you aren't going to win the debate with your next words. Thanks but no thanks.

Comment Re:Can't Stand (Score 1) 283

Just realized that the original Kelley (sp) rendition of Bones McCoy also tended to set off my gaydar. So, I guess the new McCoy is closer on that I figured -- hey, what do you know. I just referred to him as "the new McCoy". Guess some of those character flaws are more subtle than we might think.

Comment Re:Very good. (Score 1) 283

Well, come on, maybe it's not a holodeck. Maybe it's a holographic projector in a room fitted with 4 wall-sized PMOLED screens.

They even showed the "rustic" projector rigs jutting out of the walls. TNG didn't give us that, just gave us dialogue expecting us to suspend disbelief.

I don't think it's fair to call what Kirk was enjoying a "holodeck".

I'm interested in seeing whether the writers can show restraint in maintaining it as a degraded technology.

Other missed it, but to me, it was a subtle dig at the TNG writers. The "Continued" writers included this prototype of something leading up to the holodeck, but then they left it behind and didn't bring it up again in the same episode, at all, whatsoever.

Tell me, what technologies introduced in TNG or its spin-offs were just throw-away introductions that didn't somehow deal into the plot? Including in that notoriously crutch-like way?

I think that by bringing in this primitive holodeck precursor and then not mentioning it again, they were doing two things:

1) Acknowledging the mistakes TNG made in relying heavily on the holodeck as an ever-present antagonistic threat to the Enterprise and crew

2) Laughing it off by doing the exact opposite of what TNG did.

I wouldn't be surprised if the writers didn't plan to mention this holodeck precursor again in the series, except maybe as a nearly humouristic element in a single episode. Certainly not the recurring, weird-assed, existential problem the 1701-D faced so often.

Comment Re:Very first scene using tech from Next Generatio (Score 1) 283

*facepalm out of embarassment for you*

I mean, come on. The story was fucking phenomenal.

They took one moment out, one tiny moment, to (retcon or not to retcon, hmm, depends on which fans you ask apparently) some tech into the universe.

Then, did you not notice, they didn't use it at all? The rest of the show was largely practical effects and these magical things called writing and acting and ... ... wait. Basically, you saw that there was a holodeck being invented, found that to be somehow implausible in a totally fictitious universe, and decided not to continue to enjoy the show.

Listen: you need to get out of your house. STAR TREK ISN'T REAL. ALSO, VIETNAM IS OVER.

Comment Re:Holodecks were supposed to be new tech in TNG (Score 1) 283


Well, if we had a holographic projector worth mentioning in our time in our life, I bet we would not consider it to be anywhere near a holodeck.

And if we made it into a room with an "immersive" 4-walled background image and/or film to accompany the holograph, I bet we would still not quite consider it a holodeck by TNG standards.

I do hope, though, that they don't go too far with the capabilities of the holodeck in "Continued". I like the aesthetic of a still background image and too-sharp images with everything in focus coming from the holographs.

I never did understand the holodecks from TNG, how they could get lost in these holodeck worlds when they're all really just a few meters away from one another. I even had the official book that's supposed to be diagrams and explanations of the technology in the series, as well as the same book for TOS. Holodecks, I can assure anyone, were never really explained. So I have a problem with holodecks as sinister plot devices to begin with.

Comment Re:Can't Stand (Score 3, Interesting) 283

I don't feel like the acting is weak. Allow me to delve into details.

Spock's nasal voice instead of the deep register we've come to expect from Nimoy struck me as "off". I immediately expected that I would come to find it annoying. However, the actor faithfully captures the Vulcan's calm, direct demeanor. I chalked the nasally, nerdish voice of Spock's actor up to an "interesting actor flaw".

Then there's McCoy. I could easily imagine Kelly sitting down with a nice young girl or two in the woods, playing acoustic guitar. He was kind of one of those rustic hippy sort of personalities. Grating and sensible, but romantic and passionate. Yeah, well, this new guy is a tad overweight and smacks a tad of "gay". However, I think he perfectly captures the McCoy character. We can chalk up what's lacking to Kelly's interpretation. This new guy delivers perfect deadpan, which is pretty important for McCoy's sarcastic and wise wit.

Kirk was a good Kirk. As others noticed, he obviously studied the hell out of the part.

Scotty's, well, original Scotty's son apparently. He obviously enjoys the part and puts a lot of emotion into it. He almost looks like he's going to break into tears out of love for his precious Enterprise and the illogical and unnecessary danger she's being put in. He's the consummate engineer.

And there's Sulu. That guy delivers with so much arm-swinging gumption it's hilarious, but he keeps it so muted! He never crosses the line into cheese-land! And did you see him almost cracking up on the bridge? It's obvious that Sulu's actor will be able to deliver with just as much subdued grinning as the original.

Uhura obviously loves her part, as well. She really shined during her delivery in the opening of the "rec room 6" scene. I think the way she held herself on her forward foot was a slight bit ungraceful, but wow, what shoes to fill. The original actress for Uhura was a real smooth woman. I think this girl does great, most importantly she gets into the part. Maybe when her hair gets longer, she'll put it into a more 70's do.

Everybody else was pretty much carbon copy of the original.

Somebody mentioned the sets being CGId to look plastic-textured. I beg to differ. I think some of those sets were built with a lot of plastic. It's not like they don't have access to it -- obviously they built the space suits. The hallway leading to the recreation room, check out those joist panels coming down from the ceiling. That hallway is definitely built.

The lighting was really picturesque, too. No moment was wasted with washed-out effects.

Personally, having seen the recent big-budget reboots with all the camera lens flare covering everything up, and having seen this other fan-made thing "Phase II" that seems to prefer dark and blurry shots, I think there's apparently a sort of guilt complex hazard in making a remake of such a famous show. I'm sure the directors feel like they can't live up to it and so the lens flares and blurs and darkness are supposed to offer the audience a chance to suspend disbelief for fleeting moments.

That approach doesn't work for me. This approach that "Continues" is using, where everything is well-lit and filmed in classical style, it spot-on. It allows them to go a step further and showcase that actual thing called The Writing.

Comment Re:New Voyages/Phase II is dramatically better (Score 1) 283

I went and took a look, because I'd love to shore up both sides of a pointless argument.

Sorry, but all arguments aside, nothing about the presentation of "Phase II" impressed me. It seemed kind of blazed-out or something, with cinematography reminiscent of a psychedelic shoegazer music video, poor casting, poor writing, and inconfident acting. Though they did do better choosing voice actors (apparently), it's a television show, not a radio drama.

You have to admit that the pilot for "Continues" was dead-on, and great writing, and that this "Phase II" is over-camped.

Comment Just "wow" (Score 1) 283

Wow, this, was really, really, really, really good. Like read in other comments, I have to say that I expected much, much less than what was presented. But it became apparent after the first few moments that any fears of bad acting or casting could be forgotten, and once the big reveal at the end of the first scene was concluded, I realized that the writing might possibly be good, as well. After seeing the whole episode, I have to say that the writing is absolutely spectacular. What a great episode!

I can only hope that every episode has a cameo. I would in particular LOVE to see Jane Wiedlin (original guitarist of the Go-Gos, played the crazy-haired woman broadcasting from Earth in "The Voyage Home") in an episode. Hell, I'd love to see her as a regular cast member. And of course it would be interesting to see George Takei.

What a great concept and so well executed. I can't wait to figure out how to give them my feedback. Annoyingly, the YouTube comments are turned off. I guess it's kind of apparent that nobody wants to hear what the average YouTube viewer has to say about shit. (Most of the really high quality things I find on YouTube turn comments off.)

Comment Good. (Please, hear me out.) (Score 1) 488

I used to be a staunch defender of the right of a person to "hack" under the broadest possible set of definitions for the term "hacker".

"Hacker": 1. A DIY person. 2. An unlicensed repairperson. 3. A person with the needed skills for a situation. 4. An umbrella term conglomerate with the skills of computer programming or scripting, phreaking, cracking, and a host of other skills involving physics, radio usage, metallurgy, anything under the sun, when those skills are applied in a unique fashion.

and then there's the popular definition:

"Hacker" (2) 1. A computer criminal: identity thief, password cracker, malware author.

And the debate is SO old. When I came on the scene in 1992, the debate was SO old.

DIY / engineering people wanted to reserve the term "hacker" with a presumed innocence, so they could call themselves and their friends "hackers".

And, basically, get away with it. Which I add, because the popular term is nothing like the term preferred by the DIY / engineering crowd who enjoy the use of the term.

In popular culture, "hacker" is a purely criminal term. And that includes law enforcement culture and the rest of the legal system.

Fighting the negative might seem like a jolly ride, but consider what you're ultimately doing to yourself by applying that label.

Now, in my life, personally, I stopped using the term for myself after, I dunno, high school? Thereabouts? Because, what's the point of applying the term, or of putting up the fight? Where in the spirit of DIY / engineering, does it say "oh, you should incriminate yourself in front of others, probably for the benefit of nothing more than looking cool and some desperately hoped-for but unlikely street cred."

Then, when I got to college, I found that telling people I'm pursuing a degree in computer engineering led to this statement (or a derivation thereof): "oh, you're a hacker!"

And no, they didn't mean "you're part of the ultra-hip, super-cool DIY / engineering squad of citizens who can do some McGyver shit and who stands up for causes like the misappropriations of terms by mainstream culture! Far out!"

They meant, "oh, wow, I bet you'd like if it I called you a 'hacker' right now, you fucking geek. God, if I was half as smart as you, I think I'd already be in prison. Here's hoping that you'll take the bait and open your stupid cocksucker like a real jabroni."

Or, sometimes, if they're really fucking stupid, they meant, "wow, that Hacking movie I watched last night is STILL kicking in with all this caffeine I can't stop ingesting. I hate my course of study and it bores the shit out of me, so I'll glorify this person's field of study and excite myself vicariously through that exchange, using my imagery from the movie I watched that also excited the hell out of my excitable, stimulant-addled ass. I'll be killing two birds with one frantic stone, I think! Maybe the person really IS a hacker! At the very least, I'll be able to suspend disbelief in Hollywood for a few more hours, perhaps even days!"

In either case, because you're not talking to a fellow member of the small segment of the population who fit in the DIY / Engineer / verbally jousting defender of the proper use and innocence of the term "hacker" / geek crowd, you're getting one of those two social situations, above. Take your pick.

Now, that's just in the context of running into social peers in the amazing world of "higher learning". Let's see what happens when an officer of the law, or a lawyer, or a judge, or a prosecutor, or a victim of computer crime asks if you're a hacker. What they really mean is:

"Are you one of these space-age freaks who's abusing their high priesthood secret knowledge of how the magical computer works, in order to redirect our credit, steal our identities, crack our passwords, read our email, threaten and or blackmail us, watch our laptop webcams, blow up our smart toasters, and to otherwise exploit our weaknesses?"

And the thing is, THAT is the majority of the population. And the other thing is, the peer group scenario outlined previously is also the majority of your peer group, unless you ONLY socialize with DIY / engineering geeks, in which case you're a lost cause, just ... just go hide in the shame of your cheetos belly and KY-besmirched keyboard already. And don't worry about what happens to you. Somebody else will worry about that, for you.

Do you catch my drift? If you're the only one keeping up the fight, and if the fight is meant to be a social fight, then forget it. You're not making any progress. NOBODY has made any progress with this "the innocence of the hackers" battle, ever. It has been downhill, a losing battle the entire fucking time. So give it up.

So, my conclusion on the matter of the arrested hacker is, GOOD. You don't do anything positive for yourself by knowingly associating yourself with the undeniably negative image of hacking that is cast on the term by the mainstream -- meaning, everybody else in the population of your country, except for you and a few denizens of the local IHOP.

As a 2600 fan, that's hard for me to admit, but only a tiny, tiny little bit hard, in a place in my heart that should be drowned like an unwanted puppy, to spare the rest of the litter (the litter of puppies being my heart).

So much so, that last year when I was in an Anthropology course, and we were doing the first week classroom meet and greet, and we had to say what we are going to college for, I got to enjoy two moments of social ostrocisation: being the only person in the classroom who said "computer engineering" (or anything with the word "computer" or with the word "engineering" for that matter), and then the teacher saying out loud, in front of the class: "OH... SO... YOU'RE A HACKER?"

To which I responded with rather frightened silence, which opportunity the teacher took to imply that my silence was admission of guilt.

So you see, it's already TOO MAINSTREAM. You can't WIN that sort of battle against that sort of cultural force.

I wrote to the teacher and explain to her, explicitly, that my silence was due to being shocked and appalled, and that she must never refer to me as a hacker in public again or that we would have to speak with the dean of her department.

I didn't get any more crude "hacker" jokes. But the point is, the battle is already lost. You can't argue without any credibility and credibility is already lost as soon as you admit, socially, that you "do computer stuff". There have been no exciting movies about programming computers, building your own directional antenna, or encrypting codes by hand for sending over HAM radio. There never will be. Society will never see you in the exciting light that you see yourself in.

So grow up! Be a REAL hacker. Stop using society's term for you and use something more specific to your favorite fields of study or areas of expertise. If you want to use several, go ahead, bore the shit out of the other person by listing all the cockamamie things you do that sound like Latin to them. But there's just no real reason to call yourself a "hacker".

I don't know how many other different ways I can say it, so I'm done.

Comment Super Mario Bros. Crossover (Score 1) 361


Didn't face nearly as much opposition. It was up for months and Nintendo never really gave a care. Only when the author wanted to sell a version did Nintendo strongly suggest that he invent his own characters. But you can still play Crossover for free.

Nintendo seems picky and choosy about this stuff. Sort of like Atari!

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman