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Comment False equivalency (Score 1) 205

I believe an important distinction is that Gitmo was not closed after 8 years of promises and the President leaving office without it getting done.

Obama was actually trying to close Gitmo, because it's a travesty against liberty and justice. This was a constitutionally sound, well thought out, and highly principled stance.

Trump was not actually trying to give us good healthcare, because either he has no idea what he's doing, or he is specifically trying to benefit monied interests rather than actually see that good healthcare is made broadly available to the citizens. This is the stance of (take your pick) an idiot or an evil person.

Yes, both were stymied by congress. But:

Obama's Gitmo effort is fairly described as "good intent, stymied by congress, AKA failure."

Trump's ACHA is effort fairly described as "bad intent, stymied by congress, AKA failure."

People claiming doomsday for President Trump are foolish.

Based on the ACHA failure, certainly. It was just terrible legislation that made him look like an idiot. Being an idiot isn't cause for impeachment. Otherwise we'd have been rid of Bush II early on. :/

However, based on Trump's continuing spewage of falsehoods, his campaign's complicity with Russian manipulation of the election, based on his utilizing the presidency to take financial advantage... I wouldn't be too sure that us saying "President Pence", and fairly soon, is all that unlikely.

Trump is obviously incompetent at the job. Between that, and his continual coloring outside the ethical and legal lines, and that of the campaign that resulted in his election, his future as president is by no means certain to extend a full four years.

Comment Laumerlicious stuff (Score 1) 379

Chris, know what else would make a superb movie from Laumer? The Long Twilight. That book is awesome fun.

It has superhumans, aliens and alien artifacts, AI constructs, alien empires, broadcast power, several quite different levels of plotting, alternate history, near-future tech, military aspects of various ages, a love story, revenge, reconciliation... and it's all reasonably doable, movie-wise.

Any Laumer fan who hasn't read it... I highly recommend it.

Comment Cockpit access (Score 1) 248

First, those only stop someone from commandeering the aircraft in the circumstances that we saw in 2001 and do not necessarily address destroying an aircraft

No, they don't. And you can't, completely. You can shoot one down, and nothing at all prevents that. And the TSA doesn't do anything worth doing at all. But the problem that arose in 2001 was using the aircraft as a ballistic weapon with intelligent guidance. Everything that came about post 9/11 was in response to that. We'd had various aircraft destroyed by bombs, and no one felt we had to go anywhere near the lengths we did after 9/11. So what I was saying was that in response to 9/11, we should have done what I suggested, and that would have adequately addressed the actual issues that 9/11 brought to the table.

One of the concerns about the cockpit door is a rapid depressurization of passenger cabin might force that the door be opened.

Fine. If this is a real problem (unlikely, but possible), start building new aircraft without cockpit doors, and replacing the entire bulkhead in older aircraft. Have an external hatch access the cockpit; another the cabin. The pilots and engineer(s) don't need to be in the cabin, and the passengers and stews don't need to be in the cockpit.

Then toss the (un)PATRIOT(ic) act in the sewer where it belongs.

Comment Re:Hollywood is usually awful (Score 1) 379

Voiceover is definitely called WRT Bolos. But here's the thing: this would actually be a challenging movie to make. As opposed to "just another story." And CGI is now up to the task. Even so, there are quite a few Bolo stories that are man and machine, and some of those stories are more than a little poignant.

No one's made a good mech movie yet (Pacific rim was freaking horrible.) I would love to see one.

But even if there's no studio capable of bringing Bolos to life, there are still many, many stories that haven't even been touched that stay in the usual zone of people vs whatever.

Comment Adult appeal (Score 1) 379

Why do adults see these type of movies? Mystifying. Someone should explain the appeal.

We adults were kids once, and some of us enjoyed reading comics. With a good superhero movie, we get to see some of that come to life. It can be done well, and has been; you can also get a real stinker. Like Superman vs. Batman.

You know, just because I'm 60 doesn't mean I'm dead. Yet.

Also, comics are an art form. Like most art, it doesn't speak to everyone. That's okay. Like most art, it can be done well, or poorly. Also okay. And conversions to movies... same. But when someone does such a conversion poorly, and then claims that the audience is at fault, as here, for sharing their opinion about it... well, that's just humor.

Comment Hollywood is usually awful (Score 3, Insightful) 379

It's not safe to make garbage and expect to turn a profit.

Exactly this. There are amazing numbers of untapped novels out there that would make wonderful movies.

That the movie industry spends most of its effort ignoring this resource leaves me with absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for any whining I hear from them. Where's Neuromancer? Where's Tau Zero? Where's (any one of) the Bolo stories, or Galactic Odyssey? Pretty much anything Gene Wolfe ever wrote? Axis of Time series? Novik's Temeraire? I could on for days just in the areas of fantasy and SF. There are tons of untapped thrillers and etc. out there too; Lots of as-yet-to-be-mades (not to mention as-yet-to-be-made-wells) from Clancy, Clavell, etc.

And then, when they commit crimes against art like create utter crap like "Soylent Green" out of really good books like "Make Room, Make Room"... then I'm glad they're not digging up good novels as sources. Let 'em make more formula superhero movies like the (utterly terrible) Batman vs. Superman we're talking about here. Keeps me from tearing my hair out.

Honestly, if the movie industry died (which it shows no sign of, this buffoon's whining aside), I'd just read more books.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 239

OK, but with the gaming examples you're talking about (a) a DRM system that was obviously broken and (b) DRM applied to something where you bought a permanent copy. I have much less sympathy for the content provider in those situations, and if they wind up having to refund a lot of people's money because they shipped a broken product then I still won't have much sympathy for them.

The opposite side is when you have DRM protecting a service like PPV or Netflix where you know you're not buying a permanent copy, and most people will just fire up the player and enjoy the show without ever knowing the DRM is even there. In that case, the DRM is transparent to legitimate viewers, but some form of protection is reasonable to prevent casual infringement.

As I've said throughout, there has to be a balance. DRM that breaks stuff is bad, and people who supply broken products should make good on the damage to their customers. But DRM also makes it practical to follow new and useful business models that can benefit everyone involved.

Comment Re:makes suing security researchers a feature ... (Score 1) 239

Right, but why should any business give up broad legal rights like that? There needs to be a compelling argument that they get something worthwhile in return. From a commercial perspective, I just don't see one here. From the W3C's perspective, it's trying to bring some standardisation to the industry, but it's abundantly clear that major content providers will walk away and implement their own proprietary equivalents if they are backed into a corner, so the W3C has very little bargaining power to try to force the matter. (See also: Mozilla's handling of the same issue.)

Again, I have nothing against legitimate security research and responsible disclosure, but there is a reason we're talking about laws here. It's because it typically requires laws, or other regulations with statutory backing, to compel desirable behaviour when commercial pressures alone won't do it. If there's a problem with abusing provisions in the DMCA to inhibit valuable security research, that problem needs to be corrected at the same level, the DMCA, not kinda sorta worked around through some commercial agreement with a non-statutory standards organisation.

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