April 13, 2014

What a waste of time

Some filthy fake sunglasses spammer just tried to load me up with 326 spam comments. Pixy's wonderful spam limiter only let 22 show, and all of them are now gone.

Whoever paid this spammer for his "Search Engine Optimization" just wasted all his money. You deserve to go out of business and be stuck with your thousands of boxes of un-paid for counterfeit goods. Hopefully the Triads will break both your legs and your arms in three places each for the loan money.

As for the spammer himself, you, sir, can die in a fire. Slowly. If anything causes the internet to fail, where people only go to big, corporate controlled systems, it will be because sub-human shitbags like you will have ruined it for everyone else.

You wasted enough of my time dealing with your fraud. You have my permission to cease breathing.

Update: Oh wow, Shitbag is still at it, another dozen attempts just as I was writing this.

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April 07, 2014

This season

So far, and subject to updates:

Blade and Soul. Not entirely sure of the plot just yet, but a pretty white-haired, supposedly emotionless (But there are definitely some undercurrents in there) assassin girl is on the run from an evil empire. We know it's evil because they raze the village she takes shelter in. She's fast, bullet-dodging fast, and the empire wants her bad, blaming her for killing "The Master" when she's actually out to avenge him. Atakushi's subtitling needs some heavy-handed QC. We'll see who else picks this up.

Brynhildr in the Darkness (Gokukoku no Brynhildr). The first episode is a real downer, but that's all just setup. The lead is a young boy into astronomy because of his childhood friend "Kuroneko," who also watched the stars and believed in aliens. After they have an accident falling off a dam (she said she was taking him to meet the aliens), he is injured and she dies, or at least so he's told, and he never sees her again. Out of devotion to her, and guilt (Why did he have to clutch her hand as he fell off the dam?) he dedicates his life to astronomy and trying to find Aliens. Then a girl shows up who looks exactly like a grown up Kuroneko, who has a name that easily becomes Kuroneko (oddly, our hero doesn't know Kuroneko's real name). He embarrasses himself in front of the class assuming it's her. The girl is a little weird, with her own "original" school uniform, and she doesn't know much - so how did she get into their exclusive school? But things happen around her, things that help save people's lives, including our hero, who tries to cut it a little too close with her death prediction for him just to confirm it. In the process, he forces her to confess to being a magician. Although magic power seems to have come from surgery and drugs. It confirms that she is not his childhood friend, but opens up a whole new, unscientific world to him. Mezashite is doing it, and I didn't see any obvious problems.

Both of these seem interesting so far. I have two other things I'm looking at, and once they come out, I'll update.

Update:
[Anime-Koi] Hitsugi no Chaika: Strange white haired goth loli running around with a Coffin on her back. That's what you get from the previews. Well, that and her magical Barret rifle. Okay, not necessarily a Barret, but it is her spell casting device (much like the Caster from Outlaw Star). Her broken Japanese will probably get annoying very quickly. She speaks in one or two word sentences. Apparently she's on a quest to, well, from the looks of things, accidentally re-release a terror on the World. She doesn't know this, as far as I can tell. But just based on the first episode I can guess where this is going. There are eight legendary heroes who defeated an evil (as in probably powered by Satan or something ) emperor. The hero seen in this episode has an artifact from that battle, a hand (no, not the Doctor's). There's a faction from some corporation that wants to acquire it, and this lost goth loli girl who appears to be the emperor's daughter, if my guess is correct.

While running around lost on a mountainside, she runs into a ne'r-do-well, and decides to employ him. They are chased by a Unicorn, and this beast is NOT Twilight Sparkle. The ne'r-do-well is resigned to the fact that he's going to die, because once the Unicorn lays eyes on you, well, it's gonna follow you and kill you. Goth Loli opens the coffin and inside the false lid is her taken-down rifle-thing. If he can buy her time to prepare, they might make it. He recites an incantation invoking his Iron Blood power (makes him glow red, fast, and hard to damage), she sets up the rifle, and blows the thing in half. Neatly in half. Well, as neatly as a unicorn bisected the long way will be after it falls to the ground....

Upon returning to town, they encounter ne'r-do-well's sister. Goth Loli hires them both to help her break into the hero's mansion to acquire the McGuffin, without telling them what it is. The hero catches them, but once he sees Goth Loli, he's in utter shock. She's supposed to be dead.

Simply because it doesn't take place in a school, I'll give this more of a try. But I'm guessing we're going to visit 8 heroes, steal back 8 pieces of the dead emperor, resurrect him, and realize it's a really, really bad idea, and lay him to rest for good.

One thing of note, apparently magic this season involves large circular plugs in the back of your neck. Not Kuroneko gets some of her magic from a big steel knob attached to her cervical vertebrae, and Goth Loli also has a large circular jack on the back of her neck that she plugs her Barret charm-caster into.

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April 01, 2014

I didn't want to have to do this...

FFF seems to have stopped Zvesda at episode 8.  Cthuko at 10.  It seems the only circle finishing it off is HorribleSubs, and I'm not happy about it, but I HAVE to know how it ends.

It annoys me especially since it speaks to the future reliability of those circles.  Why start a series with them if they're not going to finish.

Same thing happened with Commie and Space Dandy. Admittedly, 9 was a shitty episode, but it got a little better afterwards.

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March 12, 2014

Zvesda - Ep. 9

This show continues to amaze me. Yes, it's an Onsen episode, and yes, It's full of absurd coincidences, but it's actually very well played and manages to actually AVOID most of the common Onsen-episode Tropes.

Although I really don't get the thing with Natasha and the Monkeys.

It also does a lot to advance the plot.  Identities are revealed, and the scale of Zvesda takes a step upwards.

(And Cthuko is flying way ahead of blue-rated FFF on the Translations.)

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March 05, 2014

Space Dandy - Ep. 9

WTF did I just watch? This show has had some funny episodes, some surprisingly touching episodes, and some beautifully animated episodes. This one was none of the above. It was so utterly pointless, and nothing happened in it.  Hell, Dandy himself spent an awful lot of the episode just laying back with his hands behind his head doing nothing.  Even the animation was utterly lazy.

All I could find myself thinking of were those inevitable sections of any Tezuka movie where crudely animated "Strange creatures" are shown through a few cycles while the characters (offscreen) gaped about what strange creatures they were.

There was no real threat (Meow got fat, supposedly to be eaten by primitive plant people who didn't appear to have any mouths, and if there were no animal lifeforms on the planet, how'd they know he was edible?) no real plot, no development. It was stone soup, minus the stone (And all the other ingredients, if you go with the real meaning of stone soup).

I'm guessing this is the episode where they ran out of money, but they inserted it earlier into the sequence so they wouldn't end on a bad note.

This one is not a keeper.

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February 18, 2014

In case you were curious...

The "Everett" referred to in the ED of Space Dandy would most likely be This Guy.

Hugh Everett III, was a quantum physicist who first proposed the "many worlds" theory, which fits in with the lyrics about parallel worlds, and is why I think this is the guy. Which I guess shows that as low-brow as the series is, it's not entirely stupid.

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February 09, 2014

Egad!

I forgot that Kill la Kill was still running, and so I now have four more episodes to watch.  Whee!

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January 25, 2014

There IS something good this season

Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku no Zvezda. I just finished the first episode, and I'm so glad I have the second to launch right into. It is out and out hilarious.

Our hero is an ordinay school boy, Jimon Asuta, and we open with him fighting with his dad on the phone, and essentially running away from home, for which he is ill-prepared (Starting off broke and hungry). But before you think the world is ordinary, outside a convenience store he meets a classmate who reminds him that "Martial Law level 2" is in effect. And it's Curfew time. And she's gone, and the stores all shutter instantly before he can buy something to eat.

Evading police patrols, he runs into a very strange little girl with what he thinks are delusions of world conquest and being the leader of a secret organization. Hoshimiya Kate AKA Lady Venera, leader of the evil secret society Zvezda. With nothing better to do, he follows her around, and that's when we discover that not only aren't we in Kansas any more, it's not even on the same map! Explosions go off and it looks like the military is fighting some giant monster, that can only be seen for the moment by the flashes of the explosions.

They continue to wander the empty streets, but they aren't entirely empty, as some strange individuals are around. Jimon gets a little tired of the game and gives Kate a dose of what he thinks is reality. She zooms off on her little bike, and feeling regret, he chases off after her, only to nearly be run down by a police car (more of an APC). Nearly, only because one of those strange individuals cuts the damned thing in half with her sword so she can interrogate him about the whereabouts of Kate. A second stranger appears, and they argue while Jimon slips away.

He finds himself in a park, and then he finds himself underneath the giant monster as Apache Gunships launch missiles. He also find himself in front of a company of tanks, and he finds the stuffed animal Kate was out looking for.  And then he's really lost. The stuffed animal, along with a boatload of these little fuzzy ball creatures were what the monster was made from, and the tanks managed to blow it up, releasing them all. A deluge of thousands upon thousands of tribbles.

For some reason, he braves the charging tanks to scoop up the doll, and they surround him. The mask he's carrying that Kate game him makes them think he's the enemy who was controlling the monster (It was actually another guy he encountered in the park). The tank company are about to capture him at the orders of their general when SHE steps in. The Primary Target, the Leader of Zvezda. It's the little girl, in a costume change. And the tank commander takes the initiative and fires at her, point blank. She stops the shell with her fingertip (with a large floating glowing magical symbol at the tip). Jimon is speechless, thought-free, and probably this close to involuntary incontinence.

The stuffed animal is, apparently some kind of power focus, and Kate uses it to manifest a giant hand, and smash the tank company. The shattered tanks and the unconscious tank commander are thoughtfully labelled with a symbol indicating they've been "Conquered".

Later, after the strangers chastise their member who unleashed the monster too early, Kate joins with them and introduces Jimon as their newest member. He does not take it too well, but what's he going to do?

This was just so over the top, full of weirdness, I loved it. If you liked Kill la Kill, give this a try.

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January 21, 2014

Upgraded

Himawari got a third drive. A 3 Terabyte Seagate. And what is this massive storage going to be used for?  Backups.

Himawari started with a 2 T Seagate, which was divided in 2 for historic reasons (C: and D:). And got a second 2T for backups (E:) and to help me save all my stuff from the painful process of the Win XP-7 upgrade process. Well, the D: partition was where the torrents were going, and it was filling up, and the backups of C: and D; were filling up E:. I pondered aiming the torrents at the new drive, but really, with E: freed up, 2T should hold the torrents and future downloads, D: could be freed up for who knows what (C: has scads of space too).  F: now will comfortably hold the backup that was filling E: up.

The real painful process though was getting uTorrent to point at the new folder. I copied the CompletedDLs folder in the File explorer, and changed the directories in the preferences, but to get the torrents to point to the new location was painful (one thing that helped was renaming the original directory on the D: drive, because uTorrent then defaulted to the new folder, saving a lot of hunting). Basically I would select a bunch of torrents, chose "Advanced>Set download location" and then say no when it asked to overwrite the existing file. However, about a dozen torrents didn't like having their download directory changed. It didn't seem to "Take" for the files inside them. The common factor was that they were torrents with directories inside them, ones where the torrent name and the directory name didn't necessarily match, and typically ones that had been altered by some torrent echoing service that likes to add little text files saying they were the source to them. Some were easier to fix than others, but some ended up needing the individual files set to the right location, which often would result in the files in the torrent getting names with a fully qualified path. I never could get them to look the way they did originally, which probably means the torrent's structure was mangled from the beginning.

Well, everything points in the right place now - running Force Re-check on everything is a good way to make sure. but some of them are still ugly.

Would it have been better to let uTorrent relocate the files, I don't know. It probably did help to not start anything new until everything had finished seeding.

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January 12, 2014

I iz a Writer

I've been putting stories and serializing a novel on my DeviantArt page for a number of years now. But some friends of mine have had some pretty good luck joining the eBook revolution, and it was time I got on the bandwagon. Eventually the novel will be completed (although it's been taking a lot longer to complete than I thought it would), but to at least try to get the tool-chain working, I chose one of my more recent shorts, a novelette, technically, and ran it through the process.

Voodoo is probably a better term for it, since the single hardest thing to get right is the starting location, and even then, half of the viewing tools don't seem to honor it (Calibre doesn't, Amazon's online Kindle simulator doesn't, their PC reader does, and the Kindle itself does, IF it's set properly, but nobody seems to agree what properly is).

A lot of the process is centered around using Microsoft Word. I don't use Word, I use OpenOffice, and while it's mostly compatible, I think there must be a subtle difference in the bookmarking feature. So instead of trying to directly upload .docx format, I found a nice tool called Alkinea that can translate .odt into .ePub format. It can supposedly run the .ePub directly into KindleGen to get a .mobi file, but I can't make that work. Amazon can take either the .ePub or the .mobi format. Or hey, you can even try to use Calibre to go all the way to AZW3, the main Kindle format.

But in any case, you need to unzip the .ePub into its respective .xhtml files to make some edits, since the first file will be your front matter (copyright statement etc) and you want it to start at the second one, then zip it up again. PeaZip has an advantage over 7-Zip in that it has a context menu for opening any file as an archive, saving you from one extension change (but you need to change extensions on the way back, alas). PeaZip can also open .cab files, which isn't relevant here, but it saved me once for a driver install.

Amazon's uploader can take .docx, .ePub, and .mobi. But even though KindleGen takes the same .ePub that Amazon would convert into a .mobi, uploading the two files produces a different final product. .mobi seems to remain a little more faithful to one's intent.

The author of Alkinea has put out a new version in response to my issues, but I haven't gotten to try it yet.

And somewhere in the fighting I managed to let Calibre "Smarten" my quotes and turn my scene breaks from --- into a single em-dash, but since that file worked, I quit while I was ahead.  So I don't exactly have a tool-chain per se, at least I can eventually get where I'm going.

Oh, I suppose I should put a link here. This is Kiwi on Amazon (For those outside the US, it should be the same ASIN with your local Amazon domain substituted). It's about a rather bigoted human who gets locked up with a female alien criminal. While the expected eventually happens, it does not work out well for either of them. In the week it's been up I've sold 6 copies. Woohoo! (And I had one jerk from the UK buy it, read it, and return it the next day. Apparently that's legal, and little can stop him from keeping a copy anyway.)

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