3.22.2013

Another trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness



I'm really hoping that this puts to rest the "Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Khan!" idea. I can't see someone like Khan as one of Starfleet's top secret agents. I still think that "John Harrison" is a red herring. You'll notice that in none of the trailers so far has Harrison been referred to by name. Then again, they said that Cumberbatch was playing a character from The Original Series and John Harrison was indeed the name the writers used for named extras. Maybe Harrison is a member of Section 31.

Of course, J.J. Abrams could just be blowing smoke up all of our asses and Star Trek Into Darkness could turn out to be a Rickroll on repeat for two and a half hours, for all we know.

3.15.2013

Riker, the Enterprise, and why it took so long to leave

Back when Riker still had ambitions.
Credit: Memory Alpha.
I think the reason why Will Riker kept turning down promotion after promotion was because he wanted to be captain of the Enterprise, but what he didn't count on was Jean-Luc Picard sticking around for so long.

When he was first offered the post of First Officer on the Enterprise, he did some research on Picard and figured that he would be captain of the ship in no time. Keep in mind that Picard had already been captain for over twenty years (closer to thirty) at that point and Riker assumed that “well, he’ll probably hang around for a few years, then move on to the Admiralty and I’ll become the new captain!”, so he accepted the offer and bided his time, waiting for Picard to scoot.

Unfortunately, what he didn’t count on was that Picard had no interest in being an admiral and that even if he was, the loss of the Stargazer and the resulting court martial probably pushed him down to the bottom of the promotion list. I think getting command of the Enterprise was meant to be a consolation prize by some sympathetic Admirals who felt that Picard had gotten a raw deal.

He looked good with the four pips.
Credit: Memory Alpha.
Anyway, Riker waited and waited for Picard to move on, but he never did and as time passed, Riker grew complacent as Picard’s Number One. I think this is best illustrated after the events of Best of Both Worlds where Riker, who was field promoted to captain and given command of the Enterprise, gave both up and returned command to Picard. I’m sure that if he wanted it, he could have pushed the latter aside and kept both the promotion (which Starfleet would have surely made permanent) and command of the ship. But he didn’t because he respected and loved Picard too much to do that.

On the other hand, Riker’s decision was incredibly selfish. Starfleet lost thirty-nine ships during the Battle of Wolf 359. Thirty-nine ships and thirty-nine captains. I don’t imagine that it was a crippling blow to Starfleet, but it had to hurt in terms of the combined experience that was lost. I do imagine, however, that Starfleet did a round of mass promotions to replace the thirty-nine (forty, if they promoted a captain to replace Admiral Hanson, who died at 359). At that point, Riker should have conceded that he probably was never going get the Enterprise, sucked it up, and moved on as a captain for the good of Starfleet.

Clearly questioning his previous life choices.
Credit: Memory Alpha.
Riker really lost his original ambition while serving on the Enterprise because of his aforementioned complacency. According to two episodes of TNG, he had wanted to make captain by the time he was thirty-five years old. He was forty-four by the time it happened. Before that, he was offered command several times, but turned down each one.

3.14.2013

Another book haul post

Because I've felt completely blocked when it comes to writing posts, even though I've got about four Trek related ones bouncing around in my head.
  • Wing Commander - Fleet Action (William R. Forstchen), End Run (Christopher Stasheff and William R. Forstchen), and False Colors (William R. Forstchen and Andrew Keith*)
  • Battletech - Test of Vengeance (Bryan Nystul) and The Price of Glory (William H. Keith, Jr.)
  • Star Trek - Mindshadow (J.M. Dillard), The Peacekeepers (Gene DeWeese), Requiem (Michael Jan Friedman and Kevin Ryan), Worlds in Collision (Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens)
  • Star Wars - Before the Storm (Michael P. Kube-McDowell)
  • Heris Serrano by Elizabeth Moon
  • And in case I didn't mention them, two Douglas Adams books - The Long, Dark Tea Time of the Soul and The Salmon of Doubt.
I've been buying more non-fiction (history and science books) and classic lit lately than scifi and fantasy.

*Funny this, the cover incorrectly credits William H. Keith, Andrew Keith's brother, but the title page gives credit to the latter. I wonder how they managed to confuse the two?

3.13.2013

Welp, so much for Google Reader.

Because in case you haven't heard - or rather, seen their little pop up notice - Google's shutting down the RSS reader in July. They claim that it's because the number of people using Reader is "declining" and that they're trying to reduce the overall number of products they have. Dumb reasons, if you ask me. If Reader was in decline, then why not simply redesign it to make it more attractive to both old and new users and give it just a tenth of the promotion that Google Plus, Chrome, and other products receive? As for the latter; nobody told Google to go and create twenty million things that no one was going to use.

Pulling the plug on something that a lot of people still use just because it isn't as popular as it used to be is just ridiculous. If other companies followed that line of thought, then no one would have a landline, because AT&T and the other phone companies would ditch it because of "declining use".

It also makes me question the value of using any of Google's other products, like Plus and their Play store. Are those going to go the way of Reader if they decline too? They're not giving both current and potential new users much incentive.

Anyway, if you're looking for a replace, CNET has a list of five free ones. I'm trying out Feedly and it looks nice and you don't even have to register an account to use it. Unfortunately, it's being swamped because of the announcement and CNET's article, so patience is a virtue.

3.04.2013

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