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Comment In praise of CGI Jeff Bridges (Score 1) 412

I liked the fact it wasn't quite realistic, and I do think the film makers knew it too. It made him look a little more deranged, a little more mad. The effect worked for me.

I liked the film. Very different in tone to the first - my kids love the first (eldest is 9) but I doubt they'd get on well with the second. That's fine though - the film is aimed at mid-to-late thirties like me, people who saw the original and wanted it taken one step further. Lots of doom-laden portentous imagery, but that's fine.

I would have liked more of Tron himself, and felt slightly cheated of a big Tron/Clu showdown. Still, it's a minor point - I really enjoyed the whole thing. I think one thing that helped me do this was staying away from all pre-film publicity and speculation other than the initial trailer. I had no preconception coming into the film, and I'm sure I enjoyed myself more as a result.

Cheers,
Ian

Comment Not Solaris - SunOS (Score 1) 412

Was running SunOS 4 (Solaris was SunOS 5), which is roughly contemporary to the original Tron, but slightly later (exactly as would be needed to have set up the new Grid). He was also running iostat, and the blk_writes went up as the laser switched on.

Somebody, somewhere, cared about that scene.

Cheers,
Ian

Comment Trust (Score 1) 608

No, it shouldn't. At that point it loses trust - I can no longer consider the information to be free of commercial conflicts of interest.

There's already enough problems with the editor model - let's not add more.

Cheers,
Ian
Java

Apache Resigns From the JCP Executive Committee 136

iammichael writes "The Apache Software Foundation has resigned its seat on the Java SE/EE Executive Committee due to a long dispute over the licensing restrictions placed on the TCK (test kit validating third-party Java implementations are compatible with the specification)."

Comment Re:Do you people really watch movies... (Score 1) 295

Are you disappointed by Citizen Kane because the clever camera work doesn't jump out at you?

Deathly irony there. Citizen Kane is in part so famous exactly because the clever camera work jumped out at you. It's an effects-based film, with a first-time director showing off various then-new techniques.

Cheers,
Ian

Comment Re:That's just sick (Score 3, Insightful) 824

If even one of them works, doesn't that mean I have to push them just to be sure?

Exactly. If you press a control that doesn't work you lose nothing. If you fail to press a control that does work you lose functionality. Whilst I agree with the effect they're suggesting, presenting it using examples of deliberately wiring-in dummies is ridiculous. If they then go back and ask people if they believed the button in question actually worked, well then there's the begins of the data we actually need for this.

Cheers,
Ian

Comment BBC vs Murdoch (Score 2, Insightful) 214

'The BBC's technology correspondent, on the other hand, reckons: "it's safe to assume that Times Newspapers has yet to achieve the same revenues from its paywall experiment that were available when its website was free."'

No it isn't. It's possible to believe it (and so do I) but it's not safe to assume anything. Data please.

Cheers,
Ian
The Internet

Blekko Launches a Search Engine With Bias 133

Pickens writes "Previous specialized search engines including Cuil, Hakia, Powerset, Clusty, and RedZ — each had a special trick, but they've all faded from memory, some after crashing in flames, some after making their founders rich. Now Rafe Needleman reports at Cnet that along comes Blekko, whose claim to fame is that you can tilt your search results in the direction you like by using a category of bias, like 'liberal' or 'conservative.' Categorization lists are applied by appending a 'slashtag.' The query, 'climate change /conservative' will give you politically slanted results, for example. 'Climate change /science' will restrict your results to hits from scientific Web sites. Blekko won't have a real, Web-wide impact unless its concept — that bias is good and more aggressive search filtering is needed — gets some traction, writes Needleman. But 'Blekko is a solid alternative to Google and Bing for anyone, and more importantly it's got great potential for researchers, librarians, journalists, or anyone who's willing to put some work into how their search engine functions in order to get better results.'"

Comment Re:Houses too (Score 1) 330

Hi - hope you get this, saw your reply a bit late.

Thanks for that. My dad died last year, in his sleep and surrounded by all his family (including me). Couldn't have scripted a better ending. Like your uncle, he did a lot of work afterwards for his community - starting and running a youth club for instance, to help out with kids who had little to do.

He didn't talk that much about what really went on. I have some stories, but it was only when we went through his things that we realised he'd kept things like the Eisenhower letter from before the landings. He did describe Belsen, which they simply couldn't believe when they saw it. People like your Uncle and my dad - they had a tough time of it, and we owe them a lot.

Cheers,
Ian

Comment Re:Houses too (Score 3, Informative) 330

Ah, here come the armchair heroes who've played some WWII game and think they know everything. Clearly you're right - I'm lying. Obviously I have massive amounts to gain from lying on Slashdot about my dad's achievements.

Bluntly, you are being daft. Did you not notice the language I couched it in? I'm no WWII expert and don't intend to be one, I'm recounting stories I was told as a kid by my dad. There'll be people who know more than me about this and will correct me - 'lying' doesn't begin to come into it.

Here's my dad guarding Belson, by the way. Picture 1 and Picture 2. They were one of the first forces into the area - please let me know when you've achieved a tenth as much.

Anyway, that link shows my dad to have been in the 11th Armoured Division. It seems you're right - not Berlin, but Lubeck and Neustadt. So yes, turns out I'm inaccurate. But lying? No.

Cheers,
Ian

Comment Houses too (Score 3, Interesting) 330

My dad drove a tank in WWII. I believe one of the Churchills but I'm no war historian and I'm happy to be shown otherwise. He was in the Normandy landings and eventually in the invasion of Berlin too.

Thing is, the German tanks had bigger guns and longer ranges - significantly longer. There was apparently a speed advantage to the British tank (I'm going by what I was told, again I'm not a WWII-buff by any means) though, so what they used to do was lure the German tank into a village, then drive round back of them. The German guns were so big they couldn't turn them in in a normal street with buildings on either side whereas the smaller British tank certainly could. Not sure this was by design, but they took any advantage they could of course and I'm told that this trick was used by my dad a number of times.

Cheers,
Ian
Java

Submission + - Doug Lea leaves the JCP Java standards body (oswego.edu)

mccalli writes: Doug Lea, the person behind Java 1.5/1.6's concurrency utils, has decided not to stand for re-election to the Java Community Process execuite , citing Oracle's behaviour regarding standards. Whilst acknolwedging there were issues when Sun controlled it, he states that 'Rather than fixing rules orceasing violations, Oracle now promises to simply disregard them. If they indeed act as they have promised, then the JCP can never again become more than an approval body for Oracle-backed initiatives.'

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