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Comment Re:No wonder ... (Score 1) 384

It can be, doesn't have to.

"Fallen" is a good example. It has a nice atmosphere and storytelling, but the real kicker that made it a memorable movie is in the structure of the story and how the end loops back to the beginning and makes you re-visit the entire movie in your head. I don't want to go into more detail because it would ruin the movie for everyone who hasn't seen it.

The structure of the story is one element of the whole, and like every other element, you can creatively play with it. If people stop doing that, it's a loss in variety. Same as for everything else.

Comment theories (Score 3, Insightful) 1029

but the bulk of box-office success ultimately comes down to the most elusive and unquantifiable of things: knowing what the audience wants before it does, and a whole lot of luck.

My personal pet theory is a lot simpler:

Not overfeeding them on the same stuff.

There are only so many times you can see the same movie and enjoy it. Hollywood blockbusters have largely turned into remixes of the same movie. If you know anything about storywriting, you've long realized that almost all Hollywood movies have the same script. Not just similarities the way most stories have, say, a beginning, a middle and an end, or a dramatic curve with a typical shape, but actually the same fucking script. Replace specifics like names, locations or technologies/species/etc. (giant robots/aliens/monsters/whatever) with placeholders and you'll see that they're pretty much all telling the same story.

And you can only hear the same story so often before it gets boring.

Comment 19th century wants their corporations back (Score 2) 269

Surprise, people with a common interest banding together and pooling their resources to make it happen is a model that can actually work.

Thinking about it, that's how corporations originally got started. You know, before they turned into immortal international government-corruption special interest lobby groups.

Comment Re:Microsoft Learning (Score 1) 116

Also; if anybody with an open-source-inspired name starts first-posting with links to MS sites; check their posting history and see if they've ever posted anything non-MS-related, often you'll find they won't. Lately every first post on slashdot seems to somehow relate whatever TFA is about to some random MS link.

It's too much work to check the background of every random poster, which is exactly what they're betting on. Maybe we should have a /. version of "spot the Fed".

Comment Re:face saving (Score 1) 139

Right, because falling over backwards and giving in is the only reasonable choice when someone pressures you.

If I were the CEO of an international corporation with a budget that dwarfs several small countries, I would have enough legal experts on staff to check the law very carefully and make a stand when they cross the line.

I would also understand that the last thing they would do to force through a secret and very likely highly illegal program is jailing a public person.

No one expects anyone to risk being shot in the face. But putting one of the 2800 million dollars of profit (Google, in this example) into a legal defense against this wouldn't bancrupt the company. Basically, all the "fighting" they do now they could've done when they received the first PRISM request.

Comment unsurprising (Score 2, Interesting) 550

Moon still orbiting Earth, news at 11.

Seriously, this is probably the least surprising news of the year.

MS jumping on the tablet bandwagon with a windows tablet? *yawn* the most obvious business decision Balmer could make.

That it would suck and sell badly? The only people who didn't expect that were the ones not yet born when MS launched the Zune. Not only that MS first version of everything sucks so bad you have to be either a MS employee or a total moron with brain damage, amnesia and an IQ below room temperature to buy one, but especially in the mobile sector MS is so much of a non-player that their de-facto-acquisition of Nokia destroyed one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers instead of boosting the sales of MS mobile devices.

If they gave away a "greatest idiot on the planet" medal with each tablet sold, they might increase sales and do something honest for a change.

So, aside from click-baiting, why is this article on /. ?

Comment GPLv3, section 6 and passing the freedoms on (Score 1) 120

That section says that if you give someone a device with software that's supposed to come with the freedom to run, study, modify, and redistribute, then you can't prevent them from modifying the software on that device and running it.

Where's the controversy?

The only problem is that some mega corps don't want to give those freedoms to users. If some companies won't keep their side of the deal, why should free software developers help them?

GPLv3 didn't create the problem of locked down devices. It's part of the solution but we've a long way to go.

Comment Re:Dirty Laundry (Score 1) 266

I don't think the idea of taking something on faith without proof is inherently utterly without merit.

Why not?

If you accept that, then how do you seperate the scammers you tell you hogwash for their personal profit from those that (your assumption) have something valuable to say?

If nothing else I take it on faith that my experience of the world is real;

I don't. However, for all practical purposes, acting as if it were real until I know for sure (if ever) is the reasonable thing to do, because acting as if it weren't has all kinds of interesting consequences.

Basically, in situations where evidence is not available, it is perfectly rational to go with whatever the best and most reasonable path appears to be. But that still isn't a faith-based approach. The difference between an evidence-based approach and a faith-based approach is that in the former you keep your mind open to evidence to the contrary, and in the later you don't.

And its worth noting that atheism is itself a faith proposition

No, it isn't, and that this sentence has become popular is merely a strategy of the religious people fighting against atheism. It's a bold lie, just like the phrase about christians being persecuted.

There is literally tons of proof, just visit the nearest university library. What you are looking for is the one "big" piece of proof that proves everything. But the very core of science is that such a thing doesn't exist, that understanding the world does not come from a "root cause" approach (that is the faith-based "everything flows from god" way), but from looking at the small parts and how they interact with each other.

The proof is there. It's just not the kind of proof that people brought up in a "one ring to rule them all" ... errr... wrong meme... "one answer to end all questions" culture are satisfied with.

Comment Re:Do Not Track... (Score 1) 162

The real reason I switched is because I don't want to be a part of their extortion scheme.

You see, you are not the victim in this scam, you are the weapon. With millions of users behind them, they can go to advertising networks and say "nice campaign you have there, would be a shame if something happened to it..."

Comment Re:Dirty Laundry (Score 1) 266

This is about to fall off the end of my comments list, so I'd like to sum up a bit:

I don't think we disagree on the science/unknowable bit. There may or may not be parts of reality that science will never explain. I personally doubt it, because science is very flexible, but I am sure that there are parts that science as we know it today won't explain.

We also agree that religion does not know the answers that science doesn't. At best, they pretend to, and so far each and every one of their pseudo-explanations has been found to be hogwash. With that track record, it's a pretty safe bet to assume the remaining ones are just more of the same.

So, in summary, religion is bullshit and teaching it to young children as if it were fact is indoctrination. In fact, I think child abuse would be a better term and yes, many people suffer for life from the crap they were told as children.

My argument there is that we can be motivated to war without religion. If religion were eliminated we'd stop using it as an excuse to kill people, but I'm doubtful we'd fight less. We'll just find other excuses.

I'm pretty sure there would still be war, yes.

I am also pretty sure that there would be less violence. Modern islamic terrorism, for example, is unthinkable without islam. On the christian side, both the crusades and the prosecution of Jews can not be imagined without the religious component. There is still plenty of violence in the middle ages if you substract these, so it's not like I'm claiming religion is the root of all evil. Sometimes it is the cause of evil and sometimes it is just a tool. I think seing it as only one or the other is too simplistic a view.

Comment Re:Try unsubscribing (Score 2) 101

Legitimate companies don't send you crap that you didn't sign up for.

I unsubscribe from stuff when I actually did want it once, or if I registered somewhere and probably forgot to uncheck the "please fill my inbox with crap" box.

But everything that is actually unsolicited commercial email will very, very, likely not come from a legitimate company, because those wouldn't subscribe you to anything without your knowledge in the first place.

What you do when you click on that link is considerably raising the value of the address they can then sell to others, because they have now verified that not only is it a valid address, it also belongs to someone who actually reads the shit and apparently has bad spam filters.

Congratulations, you just made a spammer a couple bucks.

Comment background (Score 1) 74

What most here probably don't know:

There is an active discussion in Germany right now, because some politician wanted to save some money and decided to leave out the anti-crash sensors on the drones he bought. When they wanted to start putting them into test operation, the german office for airspace safety grounded the entire fleet instead, because these things have absolutely no mechanism that would prevent them from crashing into a passenger plane during flight.

Obviously, the idiot responsible got a bit of heat for that. Just as obviously, this video will pretty much end the discussion. BILD is a horrible newspaper, but they are read by so many people that they control public opinion to a frightening extent.

All of this happening in an election year is bad news for some careers. Not that the next monkeys we get elected would be any better.

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