Tag Archives: crap

Don’t take away my fansubs!

I’m a bit of an anime fan. I’ve bought many a VHS tape, Laser Disc and DVD in my time and I plan to buy many more… unless the anime studios shutdown the fansubbers. For those of you who might not be familiar with the world of fansubs; here’s the definition of a fansub from Wikipedia:

Fansub – short for “fan subtitled”; a copy of a foreign movie or television show (most often anime) which has been subtitled by “fans” into their native language. This has been done to provide shows that would otherwise be unavailable in one’s native language, but with the growth in the popularity of anime, fansubs’ purpose has expanded to include programs that would be commercially unviable (I.e. older or niche appeal market titles.) in one’s country or simply to reduce the amount of time one would wait to see a particular program. Also, many American anime viewers feel there is too much censorship of anime broadcast on TV, especially in scenes related to nudity, which is common in Japan (even in children’s shows) but is typically considered inappropriate in the United States.

I mostly get my fansubs from online sources via BitTorrent1. This allows me to:

  • Judge if a series will be worth the money to buy once a U.S. distributer starts selling it here.
  • See some of those niche shows that no distributer will bring over.

Given that I quite often am not fond of the “mainstream” anime that is brought over and that my budget is limited; being able to view the series completely via fansubs is a vital part of my process for deciding what series I will buy. If the anime studios force the fansubbers to stop their work; then I’ll be forced to spend my money elsewhere. Harsh, but I’ve already bought my share of crappy anime and I’m not willing to shell out ~$20/disc in the hopes that a given series won’t suck.

Oh and in case you were curious, this article over on C|Net prompted my post.

1 If you’re interested in more info on this; leave a comment and I’ll see about writing something up.

Fantastic Four

The next Marvel Comics movie, the Fantastic Four is due out 1 July 2005 and their official website went live sometime today. Apple has a trailer up for the movie and as I expected it looks like crap. What makes me doubly annoyed is that the choose to use one of the coolest super villians of the Marvel universe1 but it appears they’ve “modernized” him. One of the cool things about him was that instead of using his superscience to make a perfectly human looking mask; it had those old-school rivets & cast-iron look to it. From the brief glimpse of him that we get during the trailer, it appears they’ve taken away all the rivets and completely smooth over the metal of his mask. Ah well, I’ll probably still end up going to see it (or at least renting it at some point). After all, it wouldn’t be fair to completely lamblast it without watching it once. 😀

1 Who? Why that would be Dr. Doom of course! *sheesh* That was a silly question.

Snooze buttons are the channel-changers of the dream world

Just I had another night were I stayed up far, far too late dinking around on my computer getting some stuff setup on my local test server. This means when my alarm went off this morning; I was still in the deeper levels of sleep and it awoke me out of some dreaming. As I usually do I just kept hitting at the snooze for as long as I knew I could get away with. Finally though it was time to get up and when I did so I could still remember bits of what I had been dreaming. Those bits were enough for me to discover that my dreams had been changing each time I smacked that old snooze button.
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F’ing Management

Today was a brillant example of why management sucks. I was working merrily along1 testing a particular area of the software. Then I had to teleconference –he said with extreme venom and hatred– into a meeting for a testing project that I’m not currently working on but that I would much, much rather be on. For extra fun, that teleconference –again said with extreme venom and hatred– call was taken at my desk. A desk which I might add is in a cubicle, a private office. A cubicle which happens to be located next to the loudest @#%&@(^&!#($)^*^()#$^#%&^@$(^#$(^#)(%*@&($#^ f’ing support group in our building. They’ve got email; they’ve got phones; they’ve even got IM but when this group wants to communication; they just scream crap out.

Anyways, I took the conference call and listened in watching my clock count away the wasted minutes of my life. When the meeting was finally over; I got back to working on the @#(%@ project that I am currently assigned to. I’d only gotten a few minutes into working when I get a meeting announcement for another meeting today. In fact, just 20 minutes away but the only information that the announcement gives me about the meeting is a subject line of “Test”. WTF?

It’s coming from one of my managers2 and he’s sent out dozens of meeting announcements before without any problems; so why would he be trying to test the system out that way? 20 minutes later, I got the answer.

Apparently, UPPER management decided that everybody in the company is going to have to take this general aptitude test but had told middle/lower management that they weren’t supposed to say anything yet. Then Human Resources started sending out meeting invitations to schedule people for the test. So our managers were pulling an emergency meeting to do spin-control and fight the rumor mill. There was one problem with that plan.

Some of the team I’m on –including me– work out of a different building, in a different state and we’re not scheduled to take this stupid test until next week. As such and as our HR person isn’t a complete f’ing idiot; she didn’t send out the invites yet because she wasn’t supposed to. So the only thing that the emergency meeting occomplished for me was to start freaking me out instead of helping me stay calm. I hadn’t heard a word about this test until I went to this meeting and then I got treated to roughly an hour of how they couldn’t tell us yet because management said they couldn’t and you have to do what management says and they won’t use this as the sole factor of whether or not you keep your job as that would be nuts and I’ll fight against that thing I said they’d never do tooth and nail. Riiiiiiiiiight. Like I’m going to believe you’re going to fight that hard for me when you just got done saying you didn’t already tell us because management said not to and you have to do what they say.

I feel sooooooooooooooo reassured. *sigh*

1 As merrily as I ever get at work, first thing in the morning.
2 Work isn’t quite as bad for me as it was for Peter Gibbons; I’ve only got 2 direct supervisors instead of 4 (or was it 6?).

Michael vs. Root

If you’ve been involved in the WP community at all for the past couple of months; you couldn’t have missed that Root and Michael Heilemann have been… bickering back and forth about Kubrick and designs and usability and whatnot. From what I saw in the various threads on the WP Support forums, on both’s blogs and elsewhere they both need a good smack to the head. I’m too tired of the whole deal to really care who started it or who’s currently at fault.

Why bring it up then? Michael’s got a thread up that’s continuing the spat. Normally that wouldn’t be enough for me to bother putting a note up here but one of the people commenting on Michael’s thread said:

Quoting Root:

IMHO that is going to make WP less accessible to the self design end user than it is now. Some of us are quite interested in these things.

That means they’ll have to pay a designer to do it for them, hopefully. To that I say, “Bravo!” (There are way too many people running around loose on the Internet with a bootleg copy of Front Page calling themselves web designers, IMHO.)

Another person commenting replied:

There are way too many people running around loose on the Internet with a bootleg copy of Front Page calling themselves web designers, IMHO.

Hear hear

And that just pisses me off. I’m not a designer and make no claims to be one. I do have a very rudimentary grasp of CSS and a slightly better one of HTML. I’ve borrowed a book from a friend of mine and am learning a bit about PHP/MySQL. I do all my coding either in Bluefish1 or Notepad2. I looked at the template WP shipped with in v1.02 and realized it was beyond my skills to really modify at the time. So I grabbed a couple of styles from the Alex King style competition but I saw that under some circumstances they’d break. I wasn’t happy about that and I didn’t like that my blog’s style wasn’t something I’d crafted. I kept looking around for something better to use and then Root came out with his Trident template. I was able to drop that in and make a few modifications so that I had a style that’s my own. It’s ugly as all get out but I could alter it as I need it without having to shell out more money to indulge in my blogging hobby. And the idea that just because I’m not a designer that I must be using a pirated copy of Frontpage3 in order to work on my site is insulting! I also think that if WP v1.3 does make it substantially more difficult to create new themes for my site then I will have to an alternative platform.

1 When working on my desktop and booted into Linux.
2 When working on my laptop, whose CD-ROM drive sucks so bad I can’t get windows off the machine.
3 Frontpage is a piece of crap! I’ve had to use it at work a few times and it writes the most horrific code! If you’re going to claim that people are pirating web design software; why not credit them with pirating something that’s actually useful.

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