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Comment Re:Duh! (Score 1) 309

May not work until they get the voice synthesis and the mannerisms right. They might as well start from scratch if they're going to develop digital "actors".

Additionally, digital actors have less of an impact (episodes IV, V, and VI vs. episodes I, II, and II for example).

Meatspace actors and stuntmen do take real risks on the set. They break real sweats in those chase scenes and they sustain bruises or worse when something goes wrong, even though it's all scripted. Don't forget about improvisation. It's a lot less exciting to know that what little existing element of real danger and urgency has been replaced by billions of triangles made with a keyboard and perhaps motion-capture sensors.

Comment Re:pirate repellents (Score 0, Flamebait) 830

All the testosterone and gung-ho aside, how about not giving them a reason to pirate? It seems that nobody here realizes that the Somali pirates are doing what they do because other nations illegal fishing (worth an estimated 300 million) in the region have depleted their fish stocks while the UN turned a blind eye. To add insult to injury, there's been some toxic waste dumping off the coast.

So while the media distraction du jour clearly has many of you foaming at the mouth, try to realize that Somali pirates, much like our own domestic media pirates, are doing what they do because they system has failed them and they see piracy as the most feasible method to force change. The only difference between us and them is that they do it to put food on their table.

Comment Re:Get what you pay for (Score 1) 515

And would would a hypothetical

I based my argument on the behavior or existing free and non-free operating systems, especially with regards to customizability.

Monopolies are monopolies because they control what the user does, not vice-versa. With a free operating system I can examine the source and do whatever I want to it or even port it provided I have the time and the skill available. With closed operating systems, I'm pretty much stuck. If there's a (hypothetical) kill-switch on a proprietary OS which forces a software upgrade(possibly a hardware upgrade too) then I'm stuck with three choices: try to break an agreement and crack it or be forced to upgrade. And we can get over-pedantic about licensing and all that, but if everybody used different distros and hybrid mutants having only the Linux kernel in common then I wouldn't say that Linux the operating system would not be a monopoly in practice.

Comment Re:Get what you pay for (Score 1) 515

short term cheap computers, or long term expensive computers.

False dichotomy. As long as there isn't a non-free OS monopoly which essentially forces upgrades which require better hardware each iteration, then almost all hardware stays relevant in the long term. There will always be exceptions for hardcore gaming, visualization, media development, etc.

As Captain Splendid said above, it's actually been that way for awhile - though Microsoft and other monopolists wouldn't want Joe User to realize that.

Comment Re:Sure it will. (Score 1) 469

So student A signs up, and Student B does the work, but Student A gets the credit.

Not always. Many online classes (especially the maths and sciences) require students to take the midterms at school, showing photo ID before the tests are administered.

My community college even offers calc I online and I believe they did offer calc II. Perfect for those of us who work full-time but have to jump through the hoops only to never use the math again. I don't know many webapp or database programmers whose job depends on solving improper integrals.

Comment Re:Plagiarism takes yet another hit (Score 1) 315

Exerpt from Turnitin's website:

"...being able to see a highlighted line that is similar or exact to another document gives us that "teaching moment"..."

Without knowing the mechanism of the plagiarism detection I'm wondering about writers, especially budding ones, who like to use the same style and mannerisms as their favorite writer(s). Being influenced by an artist does not necessarily constitute ripping them off.

The Courts

Submission + - Jane Harman strikes back

fisticuffs writes: Yesterday on Slashdot we discussed the collection of allegedly incriminating evidence against California rep. Jane Harman via a federal agency's wiretap. Now she wants to make public all of the evidence collected during the wiretap. Will this plot twist make her an unlikely ally in the fight against government secrecy? Hopefully this will be allowed to move forward and not quashed in the name of "national security".

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