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Comment This could be a problem... (Score 5, Insightful) 261

Peter Jackson was able to get very good visual effects on the LotR trilogy because he used camera tricks rather than digital editing to achieve the illusion of a world populated by big and little people.
The technique called "foreshortening" was used quite a bit, like when Gandalf first sits with Bilbo and has tea in his kitchen. The actors were there, but the set was arranged and props and actors placed so that Bilbo was farther away from the camera than Gandalf, and therefore appeared little while Gandalf was 'human sized'. Its a simple gimmick and worked great. Using a 3D camera setup may not work with this unless you deliberately went frame by frame and edited the 3D in afterward since shooting it with multiple cameras would cancel out the single-perspective trick of foreshortening.

Comment I'm A PowerPoint Heretic (Score 1) 194

I'm a blue-collar guy who is currently enrolled in a part-time MBA program that is designed for working adults, and the rest of them are white collar. Whenever the courses require PowerPoint, the slides flow freely and in dizzying density and volume.
I, on the other hand, gave the best presentation of my life without a single slide, and even when I need to use them, I limit myself to 3-5 slides. Working on team projects, I often need to talk down my colleagues who think that more slides = better presentation. One guy had 13 slides for a four minute presentation, other times people are trying to cram spreadsheets into slides and expecting the audience to be able to pick out some kind of useful information.
If it were up to me, I'd always do it without the slides. Once I master public speaking that way, I'll maybe consider using PowerPoint.

Comment The one thing I want... (Score 4, Interesting) 497

I want a good all-in-one reader. PDFs, CBR/CBZ files, Word or Open Office documents... etc. Sure, throw in a media player, but I really just want a book replacement. Most of the ones on the market are limited in scope and frankly, TOO SMALL. Make the screen a standard paper size, make it able to read all kinds of formats, and I will be a happy, happy man.

Oh, and make it cheap.

Comment Re:No. The Italian's one is *rude* gesture based. (Score 3, Funny) 69

Italian gesture-based interfaces would be fraught with problems.

Abraham: Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Sampson: I do bite my thumb, sir.
Abraham: Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Sampson (to Gregory): Is the law of our side if I say ay?
Gregory: No.
Sampson: No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you sir; but I bite my thumb, sir.
Gregory: Do you quarrel, sir?
Abraham: Quarrel, sir? No, sir.
Medicine

Brain Surgery Linked To Sensation of Spirituality 380

the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."

Comment Getting through the university barrier in the US (Score 2, Informative) 252

I was perfectly happy using OpenOffice for all my home needs, but then when I started up a master's program, I could digitally submit assignments (depending on the prof) for most of my courses. The only problem was that even though I would save things in OpenOffice so that they would be readable on MS products, not a single one of my professors could get them to open, and weren't really interested in going through any additional steps aside from double-clicking to open them up. So, because I needed to submit deliverables in a format that they could read, I was forced to purchase MS Office. Ribbons bleh.

Comment Americans Pay More (Score 3, Interesting) 533

I know a guy who, after a trip to China a couple years ago, decided to start up an electric bike business in Portland, Oregon which is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US. He originally wanted to import the bikes from China, but due to trade restrictions, he couldn't bring in bikes which he could sell here for $US400-600 and instead had to fill his new shop with US and European models that cost 3 to 5 times more.
He did his research, so it wasn't like the Chinese bikes were painted with lead and made by slave labor or anything. Anyone have any idea why electric bikes would be on the import no-no list?

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