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RE: Is the blockbuster the end of cinema?
Topic: Arts 3:31 am EDT, Jun  9, 2005

noteworthy wrote:

In 1946, weekly movie attendance was a hundred million. That was out of a population of a hundred and forty-one million, who had nineteen thousand movie screens available to them. Today, there are thirty-six thousand screens in the United States and two hundred and ninety-five million people, and weekly attendance is twenty-five million.

The industry is short sighted (as usual).

In 1946, no one had television or Internet. Cinema was how you "watched the news" and there weren't nearly the multitude of other entertainment options then as there are now competing for everyones money.

25 million people out of nearly 300 million - better than one in twelve Americans is in a movie theatre once a week. Not too damn bad at all by my calculations. Not when you factor in the fact that people are getting taken to the tune of $5 for a bucket of popcorn; $5 for about 5 CENTS worth of product.

Going to the pictures is EXPENSIVE. Lets see... I can pay $50 to take my family to go watch it in a theatre, or I can wait and BUY the DVD for $15 in a couple months and watch it any time in my OWN theatre. Hmmm...

Of course part of the high cost of a movie ticket is the costs of distributing a film on celluloid. Digital cinema will drasticly reduce the costs of distribution, but its currently stuck in a catch-22 situation. Theatres dont wanna pony up $120,000 for a DLP projector unless they have movies (besides Star Wars) to show on them. Studios don't want to bother with digital releases unless there is a substantial number of screens they can play on...

Blockbuster is NOT the end of cinema. Its the same song they have been singing for the past ~25 years. When home VCRS came out in the late 70's "Oh, who is gonna bother to go to the theatre when they can watch it at home?"

I think the days of the 35 bazillion screen mega-plexes might be coming to an end, and maybe somewhat of a return to the larger theatres with fewer screens.


RE: Is the blockbuster the end of cinema?

No training wheels needed - New trike bike takes fear out of first solo ride
Topic: Technology 5:32 am EDT, Apr 30, 2005

Three Purdue University industrial designers who tapped into memories of their own childhood cycling misadventures have built a bike that ditches the training wheels but keeps rookies stable.

Called SHIFT, it slowly transforms from a tricycle to bicycle configuration as the rider pedals faster, then returns to trike formation as the rider slows down.


No training wheels needed - New trike bike takes fear out of first solo ride

On-demand airline could alter travel to midsize cities
Topic: Technology 9:13 am EDT, Apr 25, 2005

A technology entrepreneur on Monday unveils a new kind of on-demand airline that could alter the way people travel between midsize cities.

DayJet, of Delray Beach, Fla., will marry two advanced technologies: Very Light Jet (VLJ) aircraft, which can seat four passengers and operate at half the cost of today's small jets; and sophisticated computer databases that can determine the most efficient ways to route those aircraft to pick up customers.

The service will be halfway between a private jet charter and an airline, says DayJet CEO Ed Iacobucci, founder of software company Citrix Systems.

Customers would go to DayJet's Web site and enter cities on DayJet's route map that they want to fly between. Customers would put in dates and time parameters, such as "depart no earlier than" and "arrive no later than."

If a DayJet plane is available, the user would get a guaranteed confirmation. The system would try to fill all the seats on a given flight, though it would not be required. The flight would go even with only one passenger aboard, and the price would be the same no matter how many take the flight.

Expected cost: slightly more than full-fare coach tickets on those same routes, Iacobucci says. Service is expected to begin in mid-2006, with plans to expand to 30 markets by the end of 2007. DayJet will focus on mid-sized cities, such as Asheville, N.C., that it considers under-served by major airlines.

"It will pose a threat to the commuter airlines," says Henry Harteveldt, an analyst at Forrester Research. "A lot will depend on pricing and reliability."

Interesting idea if it "flies". -LB`

On-demand airline could alter travel to midsize cities

NASA nominee will consider saving Hubble
Topic: Space 10:39 am EDT, Apr 13, 2005

"President Bush's nominee to be the next chief of NASA said Tuesday that he would consider sending astronauts to repair the ailing Hubble Space Telescope, even though the last NASA chief said such a mission was too risky."


NASA nominee will consider saving Hubble

RE: The Big Picture: Gasoline Prices (Adjusted for Inflation)
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:13 pm EDT, Apr  6, 2005

dmv wrote:
] ] Second, sales of the largest and most profitible SUVs are
] ] slowing. This has a disproportionate impact on GM and
] ] Ford. I'm not sure what the net net is on an individual
] ] (consumer) level; if you own a large SUV, I expect you
] ] will be disappointed at what you can sell it for, as long
] ] as gas stays near $2.50 per/gallon. Now consider all of
] ] the SUVs which have been leased over the past 3 years:
] ] Dealers will soon have a glut of them on their lots, if
] ] they don't already, as lease renewal/extensions and trade
] ] ups slow.

GOOD! FANTASTIC even! Send 'em to the scrap yard where they belong! It's about time people woke up and realized how inefficient these fucking things are. FINALLY the honeymoon is over and people are going to think long and hard about buying an oversized SUV; buying decisions will now be based more and more on how it will impact their expendable cash and not the "doesn't this look cool?" mentality of trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Everyone says they want to reduce dependence on foreign oil. Great! So start at home and stop driving vehicles that get 12 MPG.

Soaring gas prices DO have a silver lining after all. :)


RE: The Big Picture: Gasoline Prices (Adjusted for Inflation)

RE: Google Maps
Topic: Technology 9:56 pm EDT, Apr  6, 2005

Rattle wrote:
] terratogen wrote:
] ] The satellite feature is pretty neat.
] It sure is.. I was disappointed when MapQuest removed a
] similar feature. Google Maps is going to eat them alive.
] Check this out.

Don't get me started on CRAPquest... they started out pretty good, only getting exact directions wrong (for me) about 1 out of 20 queries. Now its really a crapshoot with them, (hence the reason I now call them CRAPquest).

Don't get me wrong - I love Google, but I watch as they continue to grow and bury their competition in what seems like most areas they touch - affiliate advertising programs, USEnet (ever wonder what happened to Dejanews? Its now called now this...

I can't help but wonder how much longer they will be allowed to steam roll before those 2 words "anti trust" start to buzz around?


RE: Google Maps

Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil
Topic: Science 2:07 am EST, Mar 27, 2005

"For more than a century, the study of dinosaurs has been limited to fossilized bones. Now, researchers have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue, including what may be blood vessels and cells, from a Tyrannosaurus rex.

If scientists can isolate proteins from the material, they may be able to learn new details of how dinosaurs lived, said lead researcher Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University."

Amazing ANYTHING would remain viable after 70 million years! We're still a long way from "Jurassic Park", but who knows...


Soft tissue found in T-rex fossil

Spirit Gets A Dust Devil Once-Over
Topic: Space 3:57 pm EST, Mar 15, 2005

"Mars scientists and engineers are elated about a dust-busting blast that has struck the Spirit rover at its Gusev crater exploration site.

Turns out that a martian whirlwind – dubbed a dust devil – likely zoomed over the robot high up in the Columbia Hills. That fleeting flyby effectively cleaned Spirit’s solar arrays, giving the robot a new lease on life.

Engineers report that the rover’s power reading quickly shot up to almost as high as when the rover landed on Mars over a year ago."


Spirit Gets A Dust Devil Once-Over

RE: 'A New Bunny'
Topic: Miscellaneous 3:48 pm EST, Mar 15, 2005

Nanochick wrote:
] NOT WORK SAFE....but damn funny

The uncensored version (DEFINATELY not work safe) but even more funny!


RE: 'A New Bunny'

RE: eBay item - Haunted Nintendo Entertainment System - Paranormal NES
Topic: Games 3:21 pm EST, Mar 15, 2005

Rattle wrote:
] ] When I purchased this Unit I asked the owner of the shop
] ] about who brought the System in, and what he actually
] ] told me was that a gentleman had donated it that same
] ] morning and said "It was just sitting in his attic", and
] ] according to him, it supposedly belonged to his son who
] ] passed away years ago.
] ] I brought this System home, and on the first night of
] ] playing, about 10 minutes into the game, I began hearing
] ] sounds similar to human voices, mumbling to the
] ] background music of the television.
] ] On 3 separate occasions I've had the game 'Pause' by
] ] itself, without having my finger anywhere near the 'Start'
] ] button of the controller, and the really suspicious thing
] ] about it was the fact the timing of the Pause always
] ] happened to be during an intense moment of a game,
] ] as if the intentions were made for me to lose.
] ] And not only with me. I've invited close friends and family
] ] members over, and some but not all have witnessed
] ] something strange happen, like the one time the 'Arrow
] ] icon' on the Main Options screen of a game actually moved
] ] down to 2 Player Mode, all while the controller was out
] ] of my hand.
] ] Even my cat won't go anywhere near this System, unless
] ] she's 5 feet away and hesitating to sniff at it, and not
] only
] ] that, she's been running back and forth through the house
] ] in the middle of the night during the past few weeks, and
] ] that's something she's never done in the entire 8 years
] ] that I've owned her.
] ] I sincerely believe there may be some form of strong
] ] connection or attachment between this system and its
] ] previous owner.
] Currently priced at $152.50. This has Laughing Boy written
] all over it.
] Booga-Booga!

NES??? thats so 1988. Why couldn't it be a haunted X-Box??


There are so many "haunted" items on Ebay, word has it they will be starting an entire subcategory for the genre...

Sounds like he ought to invest in a can of electronic switch cleaner. :)

RE: eBay item - Haunted Nintendo Entertainment System - Paranormal NES

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