ThreeMachines's recent activity

  1. Comment on I regret not seeing Solo in theaters in ~movies

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    No, I know why he's alive now, because I read his Wookiepedia article after the movie. But it's absurd that somebody who has seen all previous movies in a series needs to either pull up a wiki...

    No, I know why he's alive now, because I read his Wookiepedia article after the movie. But it's absurd that somebody who has seen all previous movies in a series needs to either pull up a wiki page or have watched six seasons of a spin-off cartoon to understand a (pretty significant) plot point.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on I regret not seeing Solo in theaters in ~movies

    ThreeMachines Link
    I also skipped it in theaters, and watched it over the weekend. Counterpoint: "Solo" is not a very good movie. In its defense, it's a very difficult sort of prequel to make; you know most of the...

    I also skipped it in theaters, and watched it over the weekend.

    Counterpoint: "Solo" is not a very good movie.

    In its defense, it's a very difficult sort of prequel to make; you know most of the characters will be dead by the end of the movie, because you've never seen them in later events. Similarly, you know that Han, Chewbacca, Lando, and the Falcon will all make it out alive and unscarred (except the Falcon, which you know from the moment you see it will make it out very scarred). So, I'll give the movie a bit of a pass on the overall plot and pacing.

    Another issue is that it works a little too hard to explain Han Solo's background; we see him get his name, his gun, his ship, his best friend, his best frenemy, his career, his catchphrase... I'm honestly amazed they had the restraint to not also explain him getting his vest. One or two of these would have been great, but trying to fit them all in one adventure is lazy storytelling. The best defense for this is that Star Wars has always had this problem, where everything that gets four frames of screentime has a novella backstory. (This is also a broader cultural problem in "fandom" multimedia franchises; Harry Potter is another prime example of strip-mining the source material for backstory tie-ins.)

    But the real dealbreaker, the thing that actually totally sinks this film for me: why is Darth Maul in it? I honestly missed most of the rest of the movie because I was so distracted by trying to figure out 1) is that really Darth Maul? Didn't that dude get bisected at the torso? And why does his lightsaber have a blade thing on it? 2) Why is he in this movie? Now, apparently this would have been an incredibly satisfying twist if I had been watching "Clone Wars", but you really, really can't make movies with the presumption that everybody's seen the cartoon tie-in!

    What kills me about this is that they made this exact same mistake before, except somehow they made it worse this time. A lot of people were really underwhelmed by General Grievous in Episode 2 because of his weird asthmatic voice – because very few people had been watching "Clone Wars" to know that Mace Windu had injured his (organic) lungs.

    This movie was made by a committee of continuity wonks and it doesn't have much to show for it.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on What have you been watching/reading this week? (Anime/Manga) in ~anime

    ThreeMachines Link
    This week I read "Maiden Railways", which Denpa just released. It's a single volume collection of short romance stories which all involve trains. It's absolutely delightful and I'm probably going...

    This week I read "Maiden Railways", which Denpa just released. It's a single volume collection of short romance stories which all involve trains. It's absolutely delightful and I'm probably going to loan it to like five people.

  4. Comment on What do you think will be the next big innovation to smart phones? in ~tech

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Oh, it'll be miserable, and even once the hardware and OS support is decent it'll be months before there's wide app support. Even if foldable goes anywhere, it'll be at least two years before it's...

    Oh, it'll be miserable, and even once the hardware and OS support is decent it'll be months before there's wide app support. Even if foldable goes anywhere, it'll be at least two years before it's great.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on What do you think will be the next big innovation to smart phones? in ~tech

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Right now the phone landscape has an irreconcilable divide around device size – people who value pocketability and one-hand usability (and mourn the iPhone SE), and people who want a phablet...

    Right now the phone landscape has an irreconcilable divide around device size – people who value pocketability and one-hand usability (and mourn the iPhone SE), and people who want a phablet screen and damn the inconvenience. The promise of foldable displays, I think, is bridging that gap: it’s a slender one-hand usable phone, and then you unfold it, and now it has the screen size of a phablet. Best of both worlds.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Facing financial pressures, GOG quietly lays off at least a dozen staff in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Activision Blizzard made 1.5 billion USD net revenue in Q3 2018. CD Projekt made a net revenue of about $4 million USD in the same period, which is pretty good for a studio that hadn't released a...

    Activision Blizzard made 1.5 billion USD net revenue in Q3 2018. CD Projekt made a net revenue of about $4 million USD in the same period, which is pretty good for a studio that hadn't released a game in two years. (Gwent was released in Q4, although I believe it had purchasables in beta.)

    All these companies are making very healthy profits. Actiblizzion could have retained everybody they laid off, given everybody in the company a raise, and still made a profit. And it sounds like, although CD Projekt themselves are probably fine, GOG might not be doing so well. (Alexis Kennedy's sales numbers would seem to back this up, if you read his Weather Factory report.) It's possible that CD Projekt is recognizing that they missed their window of relevance to be a serious Steam competitor, now that Epic and Discord are also getting into it. (And Telltale really and truly just ran themselves into the ground, by all accounts.)

    5 votes
  7. Comment on Future of personal security and privacy, upcoming trends. in ~tech

  8. Comment on War over being nice in ~misc

    ThreeMachines Link
    This feels like a remarkably sloppy dichotomy. Maybe everybody can try to not hurt other people’s feelings and also try to be responsible for their own feelings.

    This feels like a remarkably sloppy dichotomy. Maybe everybody can try to not hurt other people’s feelings and also try to be responsible for their own feelings.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Fortnite's Appropriation Issue Isn't About Copyright Law, It's About Ethics in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Okay, so, two things. First, patents are for inventions and not works of art, and creative works don’t need to be registered for copyright to attach. They’re different kinds of intellectual...

    Okay, so, two things.

    First, patents are for inventions and not works of art, and creative works don’t need to be registered for copyright to attach. They’re different kinds of intellectual property and they work differently.

    Second, I can’t imagine what your idea of “documenting” a dance is, if you don’t think a (professionally produced and edited!) music video is documentation of deliberate, creative intent. This is much more like the Thriller zombie-dance than the Electric Slide.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Fortnite's Appropriation Issue Isn't About Copyright Law, It's About Ethics in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Are you suggesting an end to copyright and intellectual property? Or do you mean that books and code and songs and other creative works should still be ownable, but choreography somehow should not?

    Why does everything have to be owned by someone?

    Are you suggesting an end to copyright and intellectual property? Or do you mean that books and code and songs and other creative works should still be ownable, but choreography somehow should not?

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Nintendo Direct - February 13, 2019 in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    If you want to stave off shelving the WiiU a while longer and you like JRPGs at all, you might check out Tokyo Mirage Sessions. It was, frankly, a bizarre game – but excellent. The combat...

    If you want to stave off shelving the WiiU a while longer and you like JRPGs at all, you might check out Tokyo Mirage Sessions. It was, frankly, a bizarre game – but excellent. The combat mechanics were novel and compelling, and it used the Gamepad thoughtfully.

    I’d love to see it ported to Switch, but I think it would lose something in translation.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Emoji Don't Mean What They Used To - The pictorial language has moved away from ideography and toward illustration in ~tech

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I do. (Although I would never have considered 🍺 generic for "alcoholic drinks", even if it were the only option.) I would. Although "drinks" is somewhat agnostic, I would read 🍺 or 🍷as contextual...

    But no one does this.

    I do. (Although I would never have considered 🍺 generic for "alcoholic drinks", even if it were the only option.)

    No one is going to see "do u want to get 🍺 tonight?" and think it's fundamentally any different than "do u want to get 🍷 tonight?" or "do u want to get drinks tonight?"

    I would. Although "drinks" is somewhat agnostic, I would read 🍺 or 🍷as contextual clues to what the other person has in mind; I'd be taken aback if I agreed to 🍷 and they suggested a dive bar.

    (and that's completely ignoring that it's pretty unlikely someone would substitute a word for an emoji in the first place... emojis tend to be used to add context, and not to replace words)

    There's an element of personal style here; I know people who do drop-in replacement of words with emoji (like your examples), others who use emoji to amplify corresponding words, and still others who only use emoji for abstract expressive effect.

    9 votes
  13. Comment on Emoji Don't Mean What They Used To - The pictorial language has moved away from ideography and toward illustration in ~tech

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I have a lot of criticisms to make about how the Unicode consortium has gone about expanding emoji, but I don't think the decision to expand emoji was fundamentally misguided. Emoji were adopted...

    I have a lot of criticisms to make about how the Unicode consortium has gone about expanding emoji, but I don't think the decision to expand emoji was fundamentally misguided.

    Emoji were adopted into Unicode in order to unify multiple conflicting, proprietary implementations. I think there's every reason to believe that if emoji expansion hadn't happened, proprietary extensions to emoji would have proliferated in chat clients as competitive differentiators. (We can see evidence of this in the way that some aftermarket emoji features, like colon-delimited character codes and jumbomoji, have become ubiquitous.) By expanding emoji before an arms race broke out, Unicode was able to prevent a certain amount of character set fragmentation.

    9 votes
  14. Comment on Academy Awards to present cinematography & three other awards during commercials in ~movies

    ThreeMachines Link
    On the one hand, this is a disgrace to the craft of film. On the other hand, I’ve never watched the Oscars anyways, so I’m not exactly the target demographic. I’ve never understood how film...

    On the one hand, this is a disgrace to the craft of film. On the other hand, I’ve never watched the Oscars anyways, so I’m not exactly the target demographic.

    I’ve never understood how film editing is evaluated for excellence – how can an outside observer know the difference between bad editing and the editor doing the best they can with a pile of garbage shots?

    6 votes
  15. Comment on ArsTechnica's favorite two-player board games, 2019 edition in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    What on earth do you mean by “RPG card games”? None of these games are role-playing by any definition I know.

    What on earth do you mean by “RPG card games”? None of these games are role-playing by any definition I know.

    1 vote