Atwood: Yeah, I was going through my blog…
Spolsky: It seems like half of all sites would be broken.
So, I need finer granularity of control. Part one is RequestPolicy for FireFox, similar to which (but not as fine-grained) is Cross-Domain Request Filter for Chrome.
Anyway, here’s the base configuration for my browsers these days:
I was watching Todd Sampson‘s Redesign My brain S1E1 Make Me Smarter and noticed the subtitling was annoyingly wrong. FMRI was subtitled as MRI. Baseline became based on – and there was more errors. My hearing’s not super-great, but even I could tell that these weren’t right.
Twice I’ve seen subtitling so bad that I’ve been prompted to find out who did it. Last time it was Jacqui Mapoon at CSI.
This time it was Jacqui Mapoon at CSI. Either Jacqui does a lot of work for CSI and sometimes has bad days, or she does a little work and often screws it up. What are the odds that on the two occasions I notice very bad subtitling, the same person’s behind it? Subtitling is a very specialized field, so there can’t be that many people doing it, but at the same time a lot of TV is subtitled. I know from personal experience that subtitling takes at least 5 minutes per minute of show, and can take more if it’s particularly speech-heavy. There are a few hours of TV a night requiring subtitles, and it’d take one person one day to subtitle one hour of TV, so there’s probably a few dozen people in Australia doing it; live subtitling is a different specialty. Perhaps work processes need to be changed; I know I proof my subtitling after having done it, and spot errors. Perhaps someone other than the original subtitler ought to do the final proofing? Proof-reading error rates would show whose work needed more attention.
Most of the subtitles that I’ve seen are great – precisely timed transcriptions of the spoken dialogue, either exact reproductions or well thought through précis, contracted just enough to be faithful to the words and the intent whilst also fitting on the screen. For some reason American stuff is all caps unless the character is off-screen. Given so many in this industry can get it transparently right, why does one person’s work repeatedly poke me in the eye? Somebody give Jacqui some training, stat!
Banshee is a cross-platform audio player built using Mono.
If you go to the official website and install Banshee for Windows, you're offered version 2.4.0 with warnings about it being alpha and all (as of April 16, 2013 the latest version is 2.6.1). Once you've downloaded it, when you then run it up, you get the following dialog:
Infuriating. Why wasn't I offered that one by the website? Naturally, one selects “Hell yes, give me the current (actually, still behind the main branch, but more current than what I've got) release!”, which is then followed by
and no freaking explanation of what went wrong. How am I meant to fix this? Given that the project is built for a VM, why am I offered one version, then offered the chance to update to a different version, and both of these versions are behind the current release?
I've been re-watching the DVDs of Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright sitcom Spaced, and noticing that the volume levels go up and down all the time. I didn't remember that being the case from the first time I watched them… which was on a previous DVD player (a Pioneer).
Turns out I'm not the only one to have this problem — those reporting there noted it was an issue on some Toshiba players, but I'm currently using a Sony.
I also have a Panasonic Blu-Ray player I could use, but it's not multi-region, and these discs are Region 2. Damn. And I can't see any easy way of hacking the player to make it multi-region, alas.
That's okay though, because taking a cue from the forum led me to this post about DVD sound problems, and also to a Wikipedia description of Dynamic Range Compression — leading me to think this was causing the issue.
I found this in the DVD player's setup menu. Once I'd switched it from “TV mode” to “standard”, all seemed to be okay again, though in contrast, a newer DVD of Parks & Recreation now seems to have its volume fluctuate, so perhaps I need to switch it back for everything other than Spaced. Odd.
I imagine that Jacqui Mapoon from CSI (Captioning and Subtitling Australia… or International) is someone who helps them out very occasionally, judging by the quality of her work on The Doctor Blake Mysteries: Season 1, Episode 9 “All That Glitters” - atrocious work. The gaff that stood out most was the transcription of sewers, but there were so many problems.
Don’t these subtitling services get given the script? There’s a job listed in the credits as “Post production scripts”, surely they’re able to hand the script over electronically, and it’s just a matter of timing, pagination and confirmation – no transcription, no transcription errors? I doubt Tim Pye – the writer of the episode – would have got that wrong, nor made the other homophonic errors.
The size of individual html files — chapters — that make up an ePub should not exceed 300Kb, according to ePubPreFlight, and this thread. Presumably this is to deal with eReader limitations, which are unspecified.
(I’ve found tell that you shouldn’t make the html/xhtml files in your ePub eBook “too big”, but finding out what “too big” is seems to be hard. Now the Internet knows the maximum size, and you don’t have to know all the magic keywords.)
Yesterday marked 30 years of the Commodore 64.
Meanwhile, a documentary about the origins of the UK games industry in the 70s and 80s, From Bedrooms To Billions is in the works, but needs pledges of support to be made.
If you donate, depending on the amount, you get some pretty cool gear including a digital or DVD copy, posters, your name in the credits, a T-shirt, and even a personalised portrait of yourself from ZZap64 illustrator Oliver Frey. Some of the higher donation amounts actually include vintage computers/consoles and signed (by the authors) copies of classic games for them. Zowee.
They’re aiming to raise the money by 17th of August.
From Bedrooms to Billions
Wolfenstein 3D is 20 years old. To celebrate it’s been re-released as a browser game.
And as Crikey notes, a 1992 Sydney Morning Herald reviewer was “flabbergasted” with the game: The game, we are warned, is rated PC-13 – Profound Carnage. Good advice. There’s plenty of blood and guts, and the sound effects are blood-curdling, so my sub-13-year-olds won’t be playing.
I remember playing it at my mate Brian’s place back when it was first released — the ancient computer I had at home couldn’t cope with it.
I had a go of it again last night. Sure enough, it worked well in the web browser. After about half-an-hour of shooting Nazis (and Nazi dogs) I felt a bit queasy. I think it was due to focussing on the low-res 3D, rather than the blood and guts.
(Hey, viagra online pharmacy has anybody done a Downfall parody tie-in?)
This is pretty cool: the 6502 source code to the original Apple II version of Prince Of Persia has been released.
The article also includes the story of how it was lost, found and recovered.