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Comment There is always a reason. (Score 1) 120

There's really no logical reason that famous film stars are also billed prominently for animation, and yet that's what we have.

The vocal performance and personality of the actor shapes and defines the animation of the character.

Disney understood that from the beginning, which is why three generations of stars from film, radio, television and theater have recorded for Disney. Try imaging the animated Aladdin without the manic improvisation of Robin Williams.

For bonus points, try re-casting the voice of Rocket Raccoon and see if you if you still have a CGI and motion capture character that audiences will actually give a damn about, help anchor a new franchise and deliver a billion-dollar pay-off at the box office.

Comment Re:Will never happens (Score 1) 270

but if they can put them close go city centers, then they could have a huge advantage over airplanes

Approaching the city center implies rapidly escalating costs for right-of-way.

If I understand the Hyperloop correctly, it is more or less as rigidly constrained in its design as a pneumatic tube or a pipeline. Even the gentlest of curves become a problem. You can't simply route around obstructions that would be too expensive to clear.

Comment Rear-view mirror. (Score 2) 227

I am reminded that when cars were first invented, there were laws put in place mandating that someone walk ahead of any self-propelled vehicle waving a red flag, for fear of scaring horses and making people uncomfortable.

Not automobiles as we know them.

Steam powered road tractors, mammoth agricultural tractors and heavy construction equipment. Ca. 1860-1896. Think township or county roads that were dirt or gravel tracks barely more than a single lane wide. Now do you know why you needed a flag man?

Comment Content protection isn't going away. (Score 1) 260

The only question remaining is whether protected content will be accessible through a general purpose web browser. If not, subscribers will abandon the browser for the app.

The app that has already been integrated into their smartphone, tablet, HDTV, video game console, set top box, etc.

The streaming music service I use has 30 million tracks to explore. It would be very tempting to settle in there to stay. If you want me to have a look at what can be found elsewhere, don't make it anymore difficult than it needs to be.

Comment Re:Discountined? (Score 1) 61

Privacy concerns helped kill it for one. Because the threat to your privacy isn't the NSA or CCTV cams everywhere or facebook on your phone or the two cameras on it. No no, it's a grainy camera on some tech bro's head evidently.

He's not my tech bro.

The smartphone is visible and there is no mistaking when it is being used as a camera.

The CCTV camera keeping watch over the till is not something I need to worry about. The creep sneaking videos of my girlfriend at the bar is something else again. The geek frets over the anonymous bureaucrat pouring over video footage at the NSA but this strikes close to home.

Comment Re: This is silly (Score 0) 322

So Firefox can write their own sound server to get sound data from each independent content tab, or blow huge holes in the sandboxes for ALSA dmix, or they can just use the sound server that already exists and is used by 98% of Linux desktop users: PulseAudio.

It's strange to think that audio can still be problematic on the Linux desktop over twenty years out from the launch of Win 95.

Comment Pot, Meet Kettle. (Score 0) 542

There are a large number of books that they can use as a base for movies.
The reason is not that they are out of ideas, the reason is that they are lazy and just re-use what did work one more time.

How many fan-made episodes of Star Trek: TOS have been produced in the last 20 years or so?

How many original productions?
How many adaptations of classic sci-fi stories, film or TV that hasn't been touched since the 1950s or even earlier? There is a lot out there, still relevant and entertaining, that could be successfully revived.

The geek doesn't have much cause for complaint if his amateur productions follow the same well-worn path of the big-budget studios.

Comment Marketing 101. (Score 1) 353

In fact, they lost the grip when they first shipped MS-DOS that was a decade behind other operating systems with its single tasking and lack of memory protection and small memory limits

IBM went out shopping for an OS that would run on the more or less affordable commodity x86 PC hardware available in 1980 and provide a natural upgrade path for developers and small business users familiar with CP/M.

Bonus points for being priced at 1/5 the cost of CP/M-86, retail list. The MS-DOS PC was a viable commercial product before the cloning of the IBM PC BIOS.

Comment Local time. (Score 1) 228

Daylight savings time has been opposed by a grassroots group of Montana farmers and ranchers, who have to sync their work schedule to the sun rather than the time on the clock.

Take the argument to its logical conclusion and these farmers should be reverting to the pre-railroad days of setting their clocks based on local solar time. Be sure to re-set your watch every 25 miles or so as you move east or west.

Comment One Size Doesn't Fit All. (Score 1) 383

Example: 3D CAD software that runs on Windows 14, Playstation 7, an Android Smartphone, Nintendo's latest handheld gaming device and an Ubuntu PC in exactly the same way with no compatibility problems whatsoever occurring.

The Playstation sells to console gamers and home theater enthusiasts with a big screen HDTV. Your CAD/CAM program has to be something that market needs and wants and can use effectively.

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky