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Comment It's not CGI, it's familiarity (Score 3, Insightful) 302

Remember when Jurassic Park came out, how impressed we all were with the dinosaurs?

Remember when T2 came out, how impressive the liquid metal man was?

The problem isn't that CGI is "bad". It's just a technique, that can be used well or poorly like anything else. It's mature enough now that you can use it a whole lot. But there's nothing intrinsic about it that makes it less impressive or less verisimilitudinous or less worthwhile to watch than other filmic techniques.

The real problem is that "lots of things moving at once look at the spectacle!" is no longer novel. We have scads of movies every year come out that show us that. So, when Jurassic Park had cool dinosaurs, it was *the* movie that had that. When Return of the Jedi had fighters flying all over the place in a massive space battle that upped the ante from the previous two Star Wars movies, it was fresh and cool and new.

Nowadays, that's just same old, same old. You can no longer impress by having lots of specatcle out there, because audiences have been there and seen that. it doesn't matter how you accomplish it -- CGI or otherwise. CGI only gets blamed because that's how people usually accomplish it nowadays. Maybe you can blame CGI because that's what made it cheap engouh to be overused so much. But it's not CGI itself.

Done well, it still entertains. Somebody else has already mentioned Mad Max. As another example, the speedster running through the exploding house scene from [i]X-Men: Apocalypse[/i] was a lot of fun, because there was more to it than just spectacle. The same movie at the end had lots of crap flying all over the places in a special effects spectacular, and it was kind of boring, because it was just gratuitous spectacle for the sake of spectacle, and that's old hat.

Comment Same problem with an ultra-niche blog (Score 3, Informative) 465

I had been using a blog to record my pond over a period of a year. I specifically wanted to have a timeline record of pictures and notes. I knew no one would be reading it for a while until I completed the year and used it essentially as a notebook that I could easily upload to using my phone. I got about 10 months in and Wordpress deleted it all. Greeeeat. I still have the photos on my phone, but not the notes I took.

Comment Google Earth Ingress Pokemon Go (Score 2) 168

This game is pretty good and much more fun than Ingress. It also has serious incentive to buy stuff in-game, like the incubator. To hatch an egg you have to walk 5K and with only one free incubator, I'm inclined to buy a couple - they're only $1.50 each. Niantic, the company behind the game is a spin out from Google, who in turn were a spin out of the Google Earth team, who were acquired by Google way back when. The Ingress SiFi game has been running for years and you can still spot the mid-20's to 30's crowd every so often in a park trying to take down or protect a portal. That said, Ingress's business model was based on putting portals at places like Jamba Juice to try and attract customers to go there. As far as I know, it didn't really work out. Pokemon GO's approach seems much more likely to pay off.
Right now, the biggest problem is that the servers keep crapping out. We'll have to change the phrase "Slashdotted" to "PK'd" or "Go'ed" or something because they are hammered. If you don't think this is a big thing, go to a park and look for teens hanging out looking at phones. Then tell them you haven't reached level 5 yet and they'll nod knowingly.

Comment Because US privacy laws suck (Score 3, Informative) 95

For comparison, while data protection and privacy are fundamental rights in the EU, there is no equivalent protection in the US.

EU data protection consists of several principles, which include, rules on data quality standards, on sensitive data, independent supervision, the purpose limitation principle, rules on inter-agency exchange or transfer of data to third states, time limits for the retention of data, effective judicial review and access possibilities, independent oversight, proportionality elements, notification requirements after surveillance or data breaches, access, correction and deletion rights as well as rules on automated decisions, data security as well as technical protection. These rights and principles are subject to restrictions, but these restrictions are limited by proportionality elements and are continually subject to judicial review. Some of these EU rights, such as notification, supervision or judicial review can also be found in certain US Acts, for instance in the ECPA, however, they only exist in a mitigated form.

Most of the EU data protection guarantees simply do not exist in US law. Good for businesses, bad for humans.

Comment Failure to Police (Score 2) 281

This is par for the course in trademark land. Trademark rights might be lost when a trademark owner fails to police its mark against eroded distinctiveness. In this case, Citigroup think that AT&T's use could lessen the distinctiveness of their THANKYOU. On the face of it, it probably does. As a result, their trademark will become weaker, and may lose its distinctiveness entirely. If it does, they could actually lose the mark. To help avoid this, the trademark owner it pretty much obliged to police its mark through legal means, up to and including going to court. This is pretty much mandatory - you need to do this, it's not really an option. Some courts have determined you don't have to prosecute every infringing third-party use, but if you have the money and the mark is worth it to you, then it's a no brainer.

Comment Follow the money... (Score 1) 257

Follow the money: After a phone is sold, only carriers and the app store owners make any from the subscriber. Manufacturers get nothing. If the carriers were smart, they would structure their purchasing contracts to include a service contract with the manufacturers, e.g., 10% of the sale price for X years of support. Then the OEM could justify keeping a sustaining engineering team going, assuming the opportunity cost isn't too high.

Comment What's the incentive in China? (Score 1) 184

I'm genuinely interested. Do Chinese start-ups give stock to employees? Or is it all cash and bonuses? I've worked for multiple US companies and stock is one of the big drivers to pay over and above the base salary. Sure, there's employees at start-ups all over the world who work night and day, but they're doing it because they have a stake in the company usually.

Comment Re:Already been done in the US (Score 2) 111

I was going to comment on this too. They are roaming around the Stanford shopping center doing mall-cop duties. They're very polite and usually get attacked by little kids jumping in front of them to make them stop. From what I could tell they don't do much except video everything (they have 4 or more cameras).

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