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Comment Re:Kohoutek (Score 3, Insightful) 100

"Yeah. Look," Harvey said, "can you name one newsman who lost his reputation because of Kahoutek?" He nodded at the puzzled look that got. "Right. None. No chance. The public blamed the astronomers for blowing it all out of proportion. Nobody blamed the news people."

"Why should they? You were quoting the astronomers."

"Half the time," Harvey agreed. "But we quoted the ones who said exciting things. Two interviews. One man says Kahoutek is going to be the Big Christmas Comet. Another says, well, it's going to be a comet, but you might not see it without field glasses. Guess which tape gets shown on the six o'clock news?"

--Lucifer's Hammer; Niven & Pournelle, 1977

Comment Re:A comment about the Zoo (Score 1) 76

I have two recollections of the San Diego Zoo, despite never having been there: the first is of Joan Embry, on Carson; the other is Jerry Pournelle, speaking as the character "Nat Reynolds," giving a shout-out to his brother George in the pages of Footfall -- George had some rhinos to house at the zoo, but he didn't know what temperature they needed their water at. So, he threw a gradient across the pool and let them figure it out.

Unfortunately, to avoid an Off-Topic mod, I don't know how many commas he mis-used in making that happen...

Comment Re:Dish Network (Score 1) 379

Those slots are made available to operators and affiliates (such as Dish, or a cable company) to fill with whatever they can sell. If the operator can't sell that time, then the network's ad appears onscreen. Same kind of setup with OTA TV networks and local affiliates. Same kind of setup with NPR and local broadcasters (except the time is for local announcements and promotions, not ads). Same kind of setup that pretty much everybody uses; nothing to see.

(This is one of the reasons cable operators hate to hear about a la carte cable -- most of the cable channels are part of "networks" of cable channels, and the more channels you carry from the same network, the better your ad insert deals become.)

Comment Any effect on Arrington's future? (Score 1) 160

From TFA: As part of the deal, Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington will oversee a new group responsible for bringing together all editorial content from both companies including news, technology, music and local media websites.

Does this mean we can look forward to the editorial equivalent of a Celebrity Death Match between Ms. Huffington and Mike Arrington?

Comment Re:You think long takes AREN'T CGI? (Score 1) 295

I think you've missed the point of what a "long take" is; ultimately its charm/value lies in the fact that it's a meat-world, real-time thing. Collaborative groups -- the film's director and ADs, cinematographer and assts, lighting director and assts, set designers and assts, scriptwriters, actors, and myriad workers -- all have to coordinate exquisitely to push beyond their normal boundaries of time (and usually of space). In one regard that work is similar to the coordination needed to efficiently produce a CGI sequence, but the big difference is that, as you noted, when the mountain isn't quite in the right place/shape, the CGI-er can "back up a few frames" and grow a notch in the mountain. In a meat-world long take where the mountain is out of place/shape, you have to reset the whole scene. There's some "making of" dox about the OK Go "This Too Shall Pass" viddy that illustrate this very well.

Missing from TFA are two of the most landmark uses of long takes in modern cinema: Hitchcock's Rope and Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons. Rope -- which is nothing but long takes, 10 IIRC -- stresses the actors: each shot was basically as long as the film in the camera magazine (10 minutes), forcing the actors to summon their best "stage play" skills while still accommodating cinematic conventions. The Ambersons' most noteworthy long take, the ballroom scene, stresses the various directors and crew with an extended backtracking shot through four rooms of the Amberson mansion (following the action through a set of French doors was considered a technical tour de force in its day).

And, of course, there's the matter af art. The Genesis sequence in Khan is hardly art; it portrays nothing that couldn't be replaced by a few seconds of explication (indeed, I would say that in its context that CGI sequence is merely the 23nd century equivalent of a PowerPoint presentation), does little to drive the story forward, and carries no emotional impact (unless your emotions are driven by your CGI-detecting circuits ;-).

What do an extended CGI sequence and parking lot surveillance footage have in common? Neither qualifies as a "long take".

Comment Re:A recipe might not be copyrightable... (Score 1) 565

"Of course in this case I don't see a link to the offending recipe, so there's no way for me to know whether it is subject to copyright or not."

Yeah, this was a tough one: it required actually reading the first paragraph of the first linked article. Here's Ms. Gaudio's original article. Sorry you did all that typing for nothing, but thanks for playing. Better luck next time!

Comment Re:Yeah.... (Score 2) 237

You're gonna have to clue me in on the joke... I mean, if the cost of settling for those 5,000 Does is $2,000 each, then that's $10M to split between the producers and lawyers. Hurt Locker has racked up about $48M in worldwide box office so far (against a production cost of $15M). How is $10M "almost as much money" as $48M? (Not to mention the $28M from DVD and BD sales.)

And, let's see....9 Oscar nominations with 6 wins, including Best Picture and Best Director; about 100 awards from groups that like to hand out prizes; 97% on Rotten Tomatoes; the praise of two Iraq veterans with whom I watched it...yeah, it's a crappy film. Are you forgetting that it's lowest-box-office-ever-for-Best-Picture status in large part stems from its extreme shortage of prints?

And just because it's slashdot....what's up with putting "stealing" in quotes? Are you saying that if I'm offering my car for sale and someone drives it away without paying, that my car hasn't been stolen? And that the fault for that is mine, by virtue of it not being a very good car? Oh wait, I get it -- Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal should be selling T-shirts at every venue, since making money from your actual art is so passé...

Comment Re:greedy airlines ? (Score 1) 673

The BA passengers stuck in Mumbai until May 6 -- even though holding paid-for return tickets -- who get to watch those able to cough up £2000 fly out today might argue that "greedy" pretty much fits the bill. (Small lie there: since you can't enter the airport without a boarding pass or a bribe, it might be hard to spot departing flights ;-)

Comment Re:Do we really want the government controlling it (Score 1) 790

What "free market" would that be? The one that magically creates more height on telephone and power poles for stringing cables in dense housing areas? Or the one that forces a regime change at Comcast by magically convincing 80% of its customers to cancel service out of respect for the 5% whose activities are curtailed/restrained by non-neutral policies? It's gotta be strong magic, since it will also need to prevent new/replacement operators to not pull the same shit as their predecessors....

Well, have at it and good luck. At the same time, would you please also wave the wand to de-regulate terrestrial radio waves? I really miss the days when a religious nut or quack doctor could fire up their incredibly dirty 500,000 watt AM signal and drown out every other voice for hundreds of miles. Get rid of the Bureau of Mines, too -- heck, anyone rich enough to dig a really big hole must know what they're doing, right? And don't get me started on the financial regulators...enforceable accounting standards just stifle innovation!

Comment Re:why? (Score 1) 224

Rolling a truck for short-term jobs like one-day service for a home inspection, or cutting service to a non-pay, or de-socketing/re-socketing a meter for service repair work is very inefficient. Hard to imagine any exec who wouldn't want to cut the expense for gas, vehicle, work hours, and risk. (It's one thing to say, "cheaply disconnecting people who arent' paying their bills...is...inherently risky objectives." Now go deal with those folks -- by definition you're losing money on them, and the field reps can be faced with threats, vandalism, bricks, knives, guns.... Be a good time to reassess "risk" ;-)

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