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Submission + - Now We Know Why the Hobbit Movies Were So Awful

HughPickens.com writes: Everyone seems to agree that the key to the success of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy was years of careful planning before production ever began. Now Bryan Bishop writes at The Verge that in what can only be described as the most honest promotional video of all time, we find out why the Hobbit trilogy turned out to be such a boring mess. In the clip Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis, and other production personnel confess that due to the director changeover — del Toro left the project after nearly two years of pre-production — Jackson hit the ground running but was never able to hit the reset button to get time to establish his own vision. Once the new director was hired, the harried crew members had to scramble to redesign everything to suit Jackson’s vision, but they could barely even keep up with the production schedule, let alone prepare anything in advance. At some junctures in the process, Jackson found himself essentially having to improvise on set because there was nothing really prepared for his actors to do. “You’re going on to a set and you’re winging it, you’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot," said Jackson. "I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it ][] even from a script point of view Fran [Walsh], Philippa [Boyens] and I hadn’t got the entire scripts written to our satisfaction so that was a very high pressure situation.”

But wait, "Peter has never made a secret of the fact that he took over the Hobbit directing job with very little preparation time remaining before shooting had to begin. It was a challenge he willingly took on. His comments are an honest reflection of his own personal feelings at times during the movie's production." says a spokeman for Jackson. "Somebody has decided to create this cut-down, using only the sections of The Gathering Clouds that discuss the difficulties faced, not the positive ways they were addressed and overcome – which are also covered in this and other featurettes."

Submission + - How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name (theverge.com)

ColdWetDog writes: Codesign has an article by two early Apple designers on how the company has lost its way, and quite frankly, lost its marbles when it comes to user interface design. In the search for minimalist, clean design it has forgotten time honored UI principles and made it harder for people to use their products. As someone who has followed computer UI since the command line and who has used various Apple products for a number of years, their concerns really hit home.

Of course, Apple isn't the only company out there who makes UI mistakes. And it is notable that TFA has totally annoying, unstoppable GIFs that do nothing to improve understanding. User Interfaces are hard, but it would be nice to have every body take a few steps back from the precipice.

Submission + - Lightning wipes storage disks at Google data center (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A lightning storm in Belgium last Thursday hit Google’s St Ghislain data center causing power loss and damage to disk storage, leaving some customers without access to data. The facility was hit directly by four successive lightning strikes which immediately took down the centre’s operations from Thursday 13th until Monday 17th August, according to Google. Despite the uncontrollable nature of the incident, Google has accepted full responsibility for the blackout and promises to upgrade its data center storage hardware, increasing its resilience against power outages.

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 10

turp182 writes: This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about aquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/...
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/...
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
    https://www.quantcast.com/slas...
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):
    http://arstechnica.com/informa...

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising saleforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowdsourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightning conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Submission + - One million web pages attacked by lilupophilupop S

hankwang writes: The Internet Storm Center reported that one million web pages have been attacked by a the Lilupophilupop SQL injection and contain a malicious javascript link. Affected sites can be found using a a Google search query. See also the technical details of the SQL injection. The attack is directed to sites running ASP or ColdFusion with an MSSQL back end. The payload of the javascript leads, via redirects and obfuscated javascript, to a fake download page for Adobe Flash and antivirus software.

Submission + - Online-Banking Trojan Stole Money From Belgians (www.hbvl.be)

hankwang writes: The Belgian authorities uncovered an international network of online banking fraud, which has been going on since 2007. (Story in Dutch and Google translation). The fraud targeted customers of several major banks, which used supposedly secure two-factor systems that required the customer to generate authorization codes from transaction information (random code and amount or recipient's account number) that is manually keyed into a cryptographic device (Flash demo from one of the banks, Manufacturer's website). Trojan horses that were planted onto the victim's computer would generate a fake error message and requested to re-enter authorization codes. This way, amounts up to €4,000 were transferred to foreign bank accounts.

The worrying part is that many cases were never reported to the police, with the bank preferring to refund the money to the victim rather than risking their reputation. The extent of this type of fraud is unclear.

Comment Re:Diary of Anne Frank (Score 1) 272

I find books each have their own time. How we read and relate to a book has a lot to do with where we're at when we read it. Unfortunately, when most of us our first exposed to the classics has nothing to do with this. I had a hate on for Stenibeck for years because I had to read "The Red Pony" and "The Blue Pearl" in grade 9. There was nothing I was going to relate to in these at the time, and the subject matter bored me to tears. I got over it, but it took me a while.

Some of the book selections made by the curriculum committees completely dumbfound me, not because they're bad books, but because the kids just aren't going to relate to them at the point they're introduced.

Comment Re:where you at (Score 1) 750

google wardrives everyone's wifi while they update streetview; your unique 48 bit mac address uniquely identifies your location if you are on a recorded wifi hotspot.

Doesn't this seem like a bit of an invasion of privacy? Since we love car analogies, would it be ok for google, while updating streetview to OCR the license plate of every car that it encountered in your driveway and update the mapping with that? That way, if you were cut off by someone while driving you could input their license plate into google and google could tell you where they lived. Or a criminal could go somewhere public, record all the license plates of the expensive cars and then figure out where those cars reside since, presumably if you have an expensive car, you would live in a nice home with expensive stuff inside.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 2, Informative) 220

No pure ideology works on the scale of a modern country (pop > ~1,000,000)

Pure democracy doesn't work for anything larger than Ancient Athens.

I dunno, it works pretty well over here in Switzerland, population somewhere between 7 and 8 million.

Fair enough, although from my limited understanding of Switzerland their level of internal order seems to be more the natural result of the Swiss culture and collective thinking process than an example of what a 'Pure Democracy' can achieve for a country.

If you are someone who likes their trains to run on time, I'm not so sure the magic bullet lies in simply changing the country's governmental structure; the Swiss are a wonderful addition to Humanity's tapestry of life but people who prioritise the importance of societal order as high they do are somewhat in the minority, even in the west.

Comment Re:Linkstation Pro Duo (Score 3, Interesting) 697

All I do from my home Linux server is read/write files - mostly from Windows clients, but I have a few Linux clients as well. Also some very basic MRTG which I usually don't even look at anyways. One thing I've consistently read about NAS devices is that they won't necessarily have the horsepower to push the network connection on file read/writes to the max.

What's your experience with the speed of files in and out of the Buffalo device?

Comment fit-pc2 (Score 1) 697

I just bought a fit-PC2 (linux) with semi-intentions to do what you're wanting to do. It's pretty nice, I've been booting from USB into fedora 11 but haven't got the poulsbo chipset video working, yet. Of all the gadgets I have fooled with (not a large number) this one installs 'normal' linux distros much better, except for the video driver (google poulsbo). It draws 8w max when it's bttw and you can get one for just over US$300 at amazon.

Comment Re:Gee, just 14 years (Score 1) 487

Agreed. One additional advantage not covered in TFA that I remember fondly from OpenStep (which feature GNUStep shares when configured for non-flattened bundles) was the ability to have one network installation of an .app that would execute on any OpenStep machine that mounted the share, regardless of the architecture (m68k, Sparc, PA-RISC, Intel, in our case). This also meant you could move a hard disk between machines of different architectures and still boot from it. For those without these needs, and needing to conserve as much disk space as possible, there was always Lipo ( http://ss64.com/osx/lipo.html ).

--Rubinstien

Comment Re:Development crippled by what? (Score 1) 239

>>>I've got 5 Mbps cable Internet.

"Nobody needs more than 640kbps." What is the cap your cable provider places on you?

I'm not sure, to be honest.

I don't believe I've seen any mention of a cap in any of the promotional materials or on the bill we get. There may be no cap... Or at least no official cap...

However, the way our service is, a cap is unnecessary.

We're signed up for 5 Mbps, but I've never seen more than 2 Mbps on any speed test. At least once a week we'll have some kind of Internet connectivity issues. Maybe it'll just blip and I'll have to reboot the modem... Maybe it'll go down for a couple hours... We used to have tons of DNS issues, which were never really resolved - I just stopped using their DNS servers. Every couple of months there'll be a major outage here. You'll have half the town without Internet, but if you call the 1-800 number they'll claim everything is fine. And eventually things will start working a day later. Sometimes random websites will be unavailable. I'll be able to bring up Slashdot from work (not on cable Internet) for example, but not from home.

If there was a real alternative we'd switch in a heartbeat.

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