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Comment Cinema (Score 2) 239

For the first time in many many years, I went to the cinema to take my daughter to see the pet movie that just came out. I basically wrote it off in my head as cash spent to keep her quiet for a few hours.

But because I did it in a rural theatre, and not the ones in the city, it was very different.

It was dirt cheap to buy an entire "box" to ourselves in the theatre. I could book online in seconds. I did so, and then spotted the served-food section. I added on some popcorn and chips and other things. In total, for me and her in a private box, it came to less than I would pay for a child ticket in my own local cinema.

We arrived, and there was nobody there. We grabbed tickets and walked straight into the theatre, no waiting around. A guy led us to our box. We had four seats to ourselves, an unobstructed view to the entire screen.

There was barely anyone else in the theatre so no distractions. We still had the usual shite of tons of adverts but I was talking so didn't care. The food was brought to us and we were left alone when the movie started. We could hear, we could see, there were no disturbances, we had our own little table. It was great. The film, however, wasn't. But the experience is the best I've ever had in a cinema.

However, that just doesn't scale. I realise that.

I don't pirate. I have loads of purchased content on Amazon (including Prime), Google Play, etc. as well as my own library. Because it's one-click, play anywhere, download for offline, share with family. It's simple. The biggest problem is price online (£7.99 for Ghostbusters II, the original Terminator, etc.? Fuck off).

But if you could combine decent prices, decent content (even old movies at the right price) and the experience I got from that cinema, I'd go every week.

As it is, before that, I went for The Imitation Game (personal hero, movie was worth the money, the cinema wasn't). Before that? I can't even remember. Probably the original Independence Day.

Fix the experience, it doesn't cost ANYTHING to do that, fix the shit on show (including old re-runs at really cut-down prices if you want to fill the cinema in the week and weird hours, and empty screens on the evening), but also scrap crap adverts, horrible people in cinemas, stupendous prices, and utter shite "remakes" (everything post Aliens in that franchise, for instance, Mr Cameron).

Fuck the 3D. Fuck the Dolby super-whatever-sound. Fuck the "movie start time is 15 minutes after the time on the ticket" (literally, just tell me both, I'll still be there on time to get my food and beat the queues, but won't feel cheated), and fuck the "this movie won't be out on DVD until a year after it's never been played in a cinema" shite.

Decent theatre, decent management of it, nice and easy, and a half-decent price. How can it cost less in a rural theatre to a city theatre, when national minimum wage applies to most of the staff?

Outside of that, online availability everywhere, for the same (decent) price that drops over time, and isn't (like a recent Ghostbusters rental) butchered with all the original music cut (probably for contractual reasons, but fuck that shit), within a decent time of the movie being released.

The most obstacles you insert between me pressing play or buying a ticket and watching the movie throughout unhindered, the more people will go elsewhere.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 650

In context, with Trump denying the DNC hack was Russia trying to help Trump out, yes, this one can be seen as a very obvious joke. Just because he frequently makes horrific statements doesn't mean he doesn't occasionally also make jokes.

I don't think he's ever claimed that the wall comment was a joke. I don't think he ever will.

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Comment Re:Why not? (Score 0) 650

He was making a f---ing joke. He has brushed off the notion that Russia was doing the hacking in the first place. He made the comment at a press conference intending to ridicule the concept, not via a semi-secret text message to Vladimir Putin.

I'm no Trumpist, I mean, I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November and you have NO IDEA how little I want to do that, but I'm in Florida, so my vote may make a difference between Trump or Clinton, and Trump really is THAT BAD. But, in this one instance, the collective left and political establishment has lost their minds, and apparently their sense of humor.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 128

It seems the key field is real-world ID.

You're going to create a new one of those for each transaction also, right? And if they can discern the real-world ID once, they can do it again, so IP address, any of various 'fingerprints', etc will need to be randomized or incremented.

Iterate, and you're safe, until you find our you're not.

Comment Re:missed opportuinity OP (Score 1, Troll) 167

Total garbage clickbait headline. Slashdot becomes even more tone-deaf each day. The headlines are downright political trolls. This one is copied verbatim from the linked article. It's never more obvious that the people who write articles aren't the ones who write the headlines, when you read this:

The Miami Herald ( ) reports that under the proposal, acceptable levels of toxins will be increased for more than two dozen known carcinogens and decreased for 13 currently regulated chemicals.

I don't know the reason for relaxing the standards for the >24, but the fact that they are being tightened for 13 and many more are being added is important. It sounds like some knowledgable people might be doing their best to balance economics and public health. We hope there is a scientific basis. They could also be giving a corporate handout-- I don't know. Maybe some progressives would be interested in finding out instead of screaming "baby killers" (see the article) when they find out DHMO levels are going up.

Comment Re:Missing a big point (Score 3, Insightful) 558

You talk as if AI that "learns" is present here.

There are no real good instances of that in the real world, certainly nothing predictable or verified to act in accordance with instructions.

This is much more akin to a software bug. Someone will tweak a parameter, patch a flaw, add a condition but it's still inherently the same software underneath it all. Software that is trying to look down a webcam and interpret the data as a 3D model which it uses to try to drive.

AI is NOWHERE NEAR this kind of capability. In fact, in terms of actual learning, impressive, unexpected AI, Google can just about play the game of Go which has highly set, logical moves which can be played out with 0's and 1's.

We just don't have the kind of evolving programs that you think we do. They do not exist. How we cope is by throwing more processing power at it, more parallel processors, and planting in programmed heuristics. We don't just feed it more data and it suddenly learns that's a lorry and, whoops, should have braked a second earlier, I'll remember next time.

And any program that DID learn like that is not one that you want in a car. Because, literally, it's so unpredictable that it might actually be basing the decision to brake on the fact that centre pixel was red because in all the accidents it was "taught" with,the centre pixel was reddish, so it reacts fine when the centre pixel is red, but just ploughs on in when the centre pixel is blue, or whatever.

There is no "AI" here. It's a programmed set of heuristics. Programmed by humans. Sure, there may be a kind of pattern recognition, some computer vision, a 2D-3D extrapolation model. But it's still based on rules, created by hand by a human. Complex rules. Millions of them. But still rules.

There's no machine-learning in existence that can just take this incident, plug it back in, and make a "better" autonomous driver. Certainly not one plugged in as an afterthought to a mass-market vehicle.

Comment Re:Well, to be realistic (Score 1) 128

Well, Canada and the USA aren't part of that, that's for sure. Every restaurant, Walmart, mini mart, gas station, hell, even furniture stores will take the opposite countries currency happily. Typically at a loss for the buyer. I've ended up doing this a few times when I've been short on cash and not a single time have they asked for any information at all, ever. In fact, all the currency conversions I've done at professional institutions, such as large currency conversion chains... never once been asked for info.

Perhaps in border towns, but in most parts of the USA, stores will only accept American currency and will look at you suspiciously if you try to use foreign currency - even Canadian.

I used my Canadian credit card there successfully more than once, effectively making the retailer accept Canadian dollars.

That's not how foreign credit card transactions typically work - the merchant gets paid in his local currency, and your bank exchanges that currency for your local currency (usually charging you a foreign transaction fee or a more expensive exchange rate).

I've seen some merchants in heavy tourist areas let the customer decide which of a few currencies the transaction is charged in when you make the transaction, but that's not the norm.

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