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301  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked on: December 20, 2014, 08:17:00 AM
^ I'm not a Trekkie, nor really that big a fan of Roddenberry's universe. But I did go to a Trek convention once. It amazes me how deeply that show has shaped so many peoples lives. (Sometimes frighteningly so.) While there I got the chance to see a panel session with some of the TNG cast.

Marina Sirtis was funny and absolutely charming those few times I got to see and hear her then, as well as at various other scifi conventions. So was George Takei (a wonderful gentleman!) and Gates McFadden. (I always thought the writers did a particularly bad job with her character. The Dr. Crusher role had the potential to be so much more. Like Bones and Spock, she would have been the perfect verbal sparring partner for Worf. Instead, they cast her as a fairly neurotic pre-menopausal empty-nester who was about one month shy of being started on Prozac. Seriously guys...this was the best you could come up with for an elegant looking and rather classy female medical officer? No wonder they pay you the big bucks!)

BTW: If you ever do get a chance to hear Patrick Stewart, don't pass it up. He usually deserts the podium and speaks without a microphone. He's a Shakespearian actor so he knows how to project his voice so that it can be clearly heard in every corner of the room. And while not a physically large man, his stage presence is enormous. Patrick Stewart owns any room he speaks in. Not to be missed.

Trivia note: when asked, Sirtis said the one thing she always wanted to be given in the show was the opportunity to sit in the captain's chair and say Stewart's iconic line: "Engage!"
302  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What are your favorite movies? on: December 19, 2014, 07:54:38 PM
"Once Upon a Time in the West": http://en.wikipedia.org/w...e_Upon_a_Time_in_the_West

A masterpiece. No need to add further words.



+1! Awesome flick.

To which I'll also add the suggestion: High Plains Drifter. Clint's very own Spaghetti Western. Thmbsup
303  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked on: December 19, 2014, 01:54:37 PM
Then the ... "interesting" ... crew member was given an "interesting" outfit, (that almost made Jeri pass out a couple of times on set!) ... just to ... gain your eyeballs longer when you actually weren't impressed with the writing, as you just admitted.

Aha! tellme I always wondered why they eventually plunked Jeri into a Star Fleet uniform - even if that uniform, unlike those of the rest of the female cast, was oddly tailored to Barbie Doll specs. Apparently the Trek universe has evolved past Earth's PC phase by the time TNG boldy went...wherever to do...whatever.

My GF's reaction the first time she saw Seven of Nine was classic. After silently watching the entire episode, she looked at me and said "Huh! That's all real."  (Women apparently know these things.) I nodded and said so it seemed to me too. She reflected for a moment - and then said "Oh-KAY then!"

That was the sum total of her assessment of the woman and the costume. Grin
 Wink
304  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: December 19, 2014, 08:01:35 AM
Only today I have known Tina S:

Quite impressive. The future of speed metal shred seems to be in very good hands as the next generation takes over. It would be even more interesting to see how she handles a slow lyrical number however. I'll have to go look. Thx for the find.  smiley
305  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked on: December 19, 2014, 06:50:51 AM
^Yes indeed. It was bordering on modest by today's standards. You can see far more on the average beach. Or at an up-scale cocktail party. But Ms. Jackson's poise and deportment lent a certain "authority" to whatever she wore. A fully buttoned choir robe would have worked equally well with her in it.

As even the normally unflappable Dick Cavett learned.  Grin
306  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked on: December 18, 2014, 08:13:38 PM
Voyager isn't my favorite either, but I never understood the hate it gets.

I don't think it's so much hate as extreme disappointment. Voyager had the potential and opportunity to be the apotheosis of the StarTrek saga. Then Paramount Pictures started chiming in on what to do and how to do it...

Quote
Then again, I grew up with TNG, so those episodes will always be my among my favorites.

I grew up with the original. And much as I liked that, TNG was definitely (IMO) the best and finest iteration once it got past its growing pains and the main members of the cast started to click as an ensemble. Pretty much the way a real ship's crew would.

Quote
Deep Space Nine started out not that great, but I heard from others that did watch DS9 completely, its ending was very strong.

It had it's moments. But those good scenes and storylines were spread out few and far between all the soap opera junk that made up the bulk of the series. Most times it felt like you were watching Dallas, except this time it was out in space.

Quote
Granted, I watched Voyager longer, because of an "interesting" new crew member...

Ah! Jeri, Jeri, Jeri...

Ms. Ryan probably did more to rekindle our fascination with metallic spandex than anything else found in the StarTrek universe.

For the record, Famke Janssen  Kiss, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby, Sherry Jackson (whose legendary costume by Bill Theiss most emphatically answered the question in the TOS episode: What are Little Girls Made Of?), Beth Toussaint, and any of the 'Onion Girls' are more my speed.

(Note: Bill Theiss is on record as saying his Theiss Theory of Titillation maintains that “the degree to which a costume is considered sexy is directly dependent upon how accident-prone it appears to be.” )
307  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: All Packt Publishing eBooks and Videos are $5 today on: December 18, 2014, 07:33:58 PM
And me! Thmbsup
308  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: December 18, 2014, 04:14:41 PM
I know for a fact that equipment that allows off grid power is a very sensitive issue with building and safety, and other code related agencies.

Yup. You still usually need to have utility mains attached to your house (making you subject to utility charges for "line maintenance" and various fees regardless of how little utility power you actually use) if you want to keep your CO. Most municipalities require electrical service as a condition of occupancy. You usually also, at a minimum, need to spring for an electrician to install a fairly expensive transfer switch for safety reasons. That, however, does make sense purely from an engineering perspective. So it's not entirely motivated by political considerations.

A 200A service main is not something to tinker with lightly. Screw up messing with that degree of electrical potential and you'll likely wind up as a cautionary tale on the local 6 o'clock news channel.

[attach]

 tellme
309  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: December 18, 2014, 11:38:31 AM
@Ren - if you didn't want to get bogged with Laserhacker, you definitely don't want to check out this guy's YT channel.

More seriously, if you're thinking of going off the power grid as much as possible, you'll need to know about the stuff he's demoing. Not sexy or bleeding edge like Laserhacker's site. But he's rock solid on whole house inverters and battery tech. Something you'll need to know about if you plan on disconnecting from the utility mains. Good product reviews too.

I had an electrician I know vet the info this guy is presenting. She said he is correct - but be sure to check your local electrical and building codes. Because some of what he's doing gets into grey areas - and may be illegal depending on where you are. And in some places, you may also need to obtain a permit to do it even if it does comply with electrical and/or building codes.

She said if you have a fire or injury due to code violations, your homeowner's insurance won't cover you. And you could also be subject to fines - and possibly some community service or slam time - if someone got hurt as a result. She said it's always best check with a licensed electrician before you start mucking with your AC or house mains. If for no other reason than to avoid electrocuting yourself. She said it's a lot easier to do than most people think.

She also said it shouldn't cost much ($100-200 at most) for someone reputable and licensed to review whatever you plan on doing and let you know if it's kosher.

 Cool Thmbsup
310  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: December 18, 2014, 09:59:09 AM
Laserhacker.com - one of the better alternative power project websites I've ever visited. I'm in the process of gathering materials to try out the crystal power cell project detailed here - and thinking of adapting the supercapacitor boost pack project for a friend's powerboat.

Check it out. It's time well spent.
You just sounded like "Doc" there!

LOL! But which one? Who? Savage? Or the Disney dwarf? Grin
311  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: December 17, 2014, 08:48:38 PM
I pray nobody in Hollywood gets a wild hair to start cinematizing Kafka.

@Edvard - Too late! It happened in 1962.

[attach]

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_7weUR0oMY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_7weUR0oMY</a>

Unedited and long talk by Wells on the making of The Trial (along with other things) can be found here. Wells is a fascinating character and well worth listening to. That voice alone is worth it.

And a full list of others (mostly not by Hollywood USA) can be found here.

Oh yes, the BBC took a stab at Kafka in 1993 as well:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQafXHKPWu0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQafXHKPWu0</a>

 Cool
312  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: auto switching of network drive mapping on: December 17, 2014, 08:28:51 PM
By the way, do you happen to know WHY I can map a drive letter to an FTP drive using NETDRIVE2 with Zero problems but cannot do the same thing with any other program.

Not really sure. Have you ever tried Ferro Backup's freebie FtpUse ?
313  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: auto switching of network drive mapping on: December 17, 2014, 01:16:33 PM
The trick is not to allow Windows to manage your wifi connections. Many laptops include an OEM supplied utility (usually written by Intel or done for IBM, HP, or Lenovo) that handles all this for you.

For 3rd-party, take a look at freebie/FOSS project Argon; and for "pay-for" check out NetSetMan Pro.  (~€18/$20 USD last I looked)

314  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: December 17, 2014, 12:59:33 PM
Better that than the CIA, NSA, and Executive Branch renaming some of their favorite things while stone cold sober. Wink

Heh.  When I lived in Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis was credited with substituting the term "Revenue Enhancement" for taxes.  smiley

LOL!  Grin Right up there with "five-finger discount."
315  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: December 17, 2014, 12:50:45 PM
That makes things really scary for people who only know the basic concepts of bitcoin.

And I would guess that those people represent somewhere north of 85% of all the people who might be using Botcoin currently - and possibly 99% of those who would be using it if (or once) it went mainstream.

Simple fact is most people are not sufficiently up on data signal security and cryptographic methodologies to have a considered opinion - let alone be able to adequately evaluate somebody else's opinion of it.

In the end, it all comes down to a matter of trust for most people. Whom do you trust about this?

Or, if that's too much to ask for, to SeraphimLabs earlier point: Who will be blamed??? Who will be held to account if it ever goes sideways big time? For the average Bitcoin user (who has little hope of understanding much of this technology) the response is a resounding: "Not I!"

With a decoupled currency system such as we now have, the collapse of one currency system does not necessarily bring down all currencies. Governments worldwide will step in quickly to shore up the global monetary system until the problem gets resolved. But with a distributed, "non-fixable responsibility" system that is only protected by encryption and some clever algorithms, and no governmental sanction to date, it is very possible a systemic breech or failure could bring the entire system down in flames. And lacking government sanction, it's doubtful many governments would intervene should it ever happen. Many might even conveniently argue a lack of legal jurisdiction because Bitcoin is not a 'recognized' or 'registered' investment vehicle, commercial paper, or currency. A case could be made for intervention on the grounds of wire fraud perhaps. But that would be about as good as it gets. And from my experience with government agencies, their feeling about something like Bitcoin will probably be: "You wanted to operate independent of government? OMF-YOYO!"

Now some may well believe Bitcoin can't be compromised due to the programming cleverness behind it. But up until recently we believed Tor was extremely secure, digital certificates were an excellent safeguard, and random numbers really were random. Complex engraved artwork and special paper was considered a foolproof check against counterfeiting until photo offset printing came along and counterfeiters discovered they could bleach single denominated paper currency and reprint them as hundred dollar bills.

Whatever is made by human design can be undone by humans, given time and sufficient motivation.

And it will be interesting to see how crypto-currencies fare over the long run since there are sufficient humans and motivation on both sides of the equation.
316  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Some unknown webpage opens itself after starting my PC! on: December 17, 2014, 12:02:06 PM
But i'll still not use anti-virus lol, its not that i m not heeding your opinion, it just slows my pc. I have a decent pc with dual core , 2 GB ram and 3.0 Ghz processor. Whenever i'll have a drastic situation , then restore would the way to go. But these kind of annoying things are rather best fixed and opt to a drastic restore.

Fine (sorta tellme) as long as you don't do any online banking or shopping on that machine. If somebody succeeds in dropping a keylogging trojan on your PC, all the cleaning and recovery operations in the world won't mitigate the problems you may shortly encounter. It'll just be locking the barn after your horse is gone.

Antimalware is most effective when it's used as a preventative - not as a "fix."

Anyway...good luck going forward. Thmbsup  You'll need it. smiley
317  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: December 17, 2014, 11:08:28 AM
Better that than the CIA, NSA, and Executive Branch renaming some of their favorite things while stone cold sober. Wink
318  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: December 17, 2014, 11:05:00 AM
Laserhacker.com - one of the better alternative power project websites I've ever visited. I'm in the process of gathering materials to try out the crystal power cell project detailed here - and thinking of adapting the supercapacitor boost pack project for a friend's powerboat.

Check it out. It's time well spent.
319  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: December 17, 2014, 10:12:54 AM
Dammit... I'm into my second bottle (750 ml) of ginger ale here that I brewed with Lalvin EC-1118...

But you raise really good points, and I'll be damned if I'll let a bit of intoxication fart with a response~!

But perhaps you should? Just sayin' tongue Grin



But I think you're wrong about the comparison there. A few jerks can't spoil Bitcoin because it's decentralised, and at any time the miners can tell the Bitcoin development team to go f**k themselves.

It would take a LOT of assholes~! Grin

There's a balance in Bitcoin that doesn't exist in other systems. You can create any code you want for Bitcoin and run it. But that doesn't mean that anyone else will do the same. One or two assholes can't poison the pie here. It takes a massive number of assholes to do it.

A medium of exchange is only as good as the general public's and the business community's belief and trust in it is. Otherwise, Bitcoins are nothing but faux-collectibles. Their relative rarity is manufactured. No different than pogs, or Beanie Baby dolls, or baseball cards - which may be "valuable" within a minor subset or two of enthusiasts - but are pretty much worthless anywhere else.

Right now I see a certain schizophrenia in the Bitcoin world. One part is attempting to establish Bitcoin as a "store of value" and a "medium of exchange." A fancy way of saying: Bitcoin is REAL MONEY! The other part seems to be saying: Bitcoin is sooo much more than that. It's a...it's a...Oh go screw yourself! You just don't get it!

And in this framework it definitely won't take much more than a jerk or two to derail it. Maybe not within the community of Bitcoin diehards who will be the last to ever admit a failure. They'll continue to man the bastions to defend it long after the rest of the world, having better things to do, gets on with their lives sans Bitcoin.

Truth is, Bitcoin is too much of an "in" thing for it's own good. And from many of the comments by Bitcoin enthusiasts, I think a large part of the Bitcoin world would rather it remain that way. A thing for "the cool kids" to play with. And as for the rest of you? Catch up as best you can - or better yet - KTFO! It's an elitist attitude that doesn't work in Bitcoin's favor if the goal, as espoused, is to make Bitcoin universal.

But maybe that's just me. I've generally found most Bitcoin enthusiasts to be pretty obnoxious about it once they start talking and let their guard down. They've "bought their 'cool'" as George Sanger so beautifully phrased it. Fairly typical behavior for a clique. And Bitcoin is still very much a clique.

Either way, Bitcoin will have its moment on the stage. Whether or not it turns out to be " full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" is entirely up to those involved.

I wish them the best. Cool
320  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: OS News on The Devaluing Effect of the Application Store Model on: December 17, 2014, 09:47:50 AM
Which goes to show there's very 'good' reasons why none of the big players are willing to publish any relevant data about revenues - or revenue sharing with devs.

[attach]
321  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: December 17, 2014, 06:41:07 AM
@Ren - I think enough people want it to work right now that the single biggest threat is some people in the Bitcoin community doing something completely jive to torpedo it. I remember the heady early days of the libertarian party when everybody thought this was finally the big break with the past we'd all been waiting for. Surprise! Surprise!

All it takes is one or two jerks to poison the well. I already see that happening over in the FOSS world where the stakes are perhaps even higher.

I don't know if the sudden reduction in serious governmental push-back is a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe those that would see Bitcoin gone are banking on the "fall from grace" so many new social movements too regularly suffer. If so, the odds are certainly in their favor.

Good luck Bitcoin. smiley
322  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Farewell, Dr. Dobbs on: December 17, 2014, 06:27:59 AM
I guess surviving means you keep losing those things you enjoyed along the way.

+1

In an era of technology where the desire to be considered "cool" has almost entirely replaced the desire to be considered "elegant," it's understandable. Brightly colored cookie cutter apps, running on locked-down dumb-downed devices, for a dumbed-down and uncaring public. That's where we seem to be going these days. People will even camp out on the sidewalk for days just to be among the first to buy in.

Such a high price we pay for "Cool!" undecided
323  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Farewell, Dr. Dobbs on: December 16, 2014, 08:23:17 PM
Sad to see the first and finest purveyor of "computer callisthenics and orthodontia" ("Running light without overbyte!) finally quits the field. I still have some of my old issues carefully stowed away.

[attach]

It's a whole new world.
324  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Every Episode Of Every 'Star Trek' Series Ever, Ranked on: December 16, 2014, 04:59:16 PM
IMHO it began to slip with Deep Space Nine. And I do my best to not think about Voyager or Enterprise.

But it was an interesting list. And I definitely agree with their #1 and most of the top 20.
325  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: December 16, 2014, 01:36:21 PM
^Anything P.K. Dick did in that era with his "Valis" concept is both intriguing - and ultimately disappointing. Radio Free Albemuth as a book ranged from barely tolerable to OK. The movie was...um...mostly less so. Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here handled that theme far better, and frankly, far more believably - no scifi or fancy tech needed to pull it off. Lewis's book should be required reading for every schoolchild in America. (I'm not holding my breath for that however.) And I'd love for someone to make it into a major motion picture. (Not holding my breath for that one either.)

Oh well. Maybe someday some brave soul will do it as a web series while we're still able to. huh

If you like old movies, the 1942 Keeper of the Flame adapted from I.A.R. Wylie's novel of the same name is worth watching.

[attach]

Tracy and Hepburn in an unusually dark and serious setting this time out. Was the unexpected and accidental death of a beloved national war hero (and rising political juggernaut) as simple as that? Or was there something far more sinister behind it all? Very cool noire flick that was quite out of character for the movies of that period, even if there still was some of that 40s zaniness in places. Recommended. (This story is just begging for a remake.)

Also check out the big 1964 surprise Seven Days in May with screenplay by none other than Rod Serling.

[attach]

A ballsy cautionary movie made in an era where you didn't talk, let alone think, about things like this as far as the United States was concerned. (What are you? One of those Commie sympathizers or something? Somebody ought to report you to the FBI, buddy!)

The official trailer is one of the biggest spoilers going. If you're in a rush (or the tl:dr type who wants to skip watching the entire film) this trailer will effectively give you the entire story in 3-minutes 43-seconds flat. You have been warned! tellme


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsMuK_Sos58" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsMuK_Sos58</a>

 Thmbsup

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