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Sep. 22nd, 2016

wtf, Twitter?

You should not send spammy emails that claim that the account's tweets got lots of attention (and then explain how to promote them more or something) to accounts that have never posted even a single tweet.

After first glancing at the mail I wondered whether this meant that my twitter, which I don't actively use, had been hacked (it hasn't), and somebody had actually tweeted from it, or something, and now they wanted to inform me about unusual account activity.

This applies in particular since, afaik, I had already unchecked all seven checkboxes for receiving emails about Twitter updates, including the one about new features and services. So they should not have sent me spammy emails in the first place. Though maybe they added a new one, I was opted in by default and only unchecked the latest, seventh(!) fine-grained twitter product "information" box with my unsubscribe click.

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Jul. 29th, 2016

I like AO3 as much as the next fan...

...but it does not currently "archive" fanart (or anything besides text-based fanworks). You can embed and list other fanworks there in an index, but they are *not* preserved.

I want to headdesk every time I see some Tumblr post advising people to back up their "fanworks" to AO3 in the current round of freakouts over Tumblr's corporate overlords and their possible agendas, that pretends as if everything worked like fanfic.

I have fanart on AO3 that will be broken image links if Tumblr goes down, because I embedded some from Tumblr when my own website was particularly glitchy.

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Apr. 14th, 2013

horrible homonyms everywhere

I just read a headline on a mainstream news website that misspelled "in principle" as "in principal". Aauuugh. News outlets really have cut every last copy editor to save cost, haven't they? This is one of my pet peeve homonyms. I hate it in fanfic, an it's not any better to have to see it on news sites. I mean, assuming the headline wasn't supposed to tell me that they agreed while sitting in a principal they eviscerated.

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Feb. 18th, 2013

meta on the AO3

There are honestly people who are still surprised/disappointed that the OTW decided on the meta on AO3 issue without broader input/discussion first? (In the comments on the announcement post.) Seriously? Even though the OTW board in the past has said explicitly that the org never builds policy in public because "policies are difficult enough to draft and revise even in private with a small team of participants".

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Jan. 23rd, 2013


I can't believe they're selling chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies already. They really need to invent some sweets geared towards carnival or something, so that there is at least some buffer between the Christmas items deco and the Easter stuff in supermarkets.

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Dec. 12th, 2012

being somewhat touchy, I guess

I've seen a bunch of links to an anon end of year feedback meme, and I checked it out, but once again, as so many memes, it is only for fic writers, not any other fanworks, even though no modifications in the feedback meme setup would be needed to make it more inclusive. Doing anything else but fic writing in this corner of fandom feels like being invisible sometimes.

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Jun. 1st, 2012

argh, Scrapbook

So, LJ migrated my Scrapbook, which is a good thing, because apparently the old system had already corrupted ten of my pictures so they couldn't migrate them now, when I myself had only noticed two that had been messed up while I happened to look at old posts. However I would have liked the migration report a little more informative when listing the damaged ones, because if you haven't titled your pictures, the report doesn't even give you the folder. Or, you know, if LJ's Scrapbook hadn't corrupted my pictures in the first place, but I've learned not to set my expectations too high when it comes to LJ.

The thing is, when the old Scrapbook was still around and destroyed one of my pictures, I could usually still see the preview picture that had been created, and of course the folder and the position the picture was in. I asked support whether they might be able to give me that information at least about the pictures they corrupted, but the reply, while prompt, wasn't helpful. They could just tell me that they passed this on to the migration team as suggestion, so that maybe the log could become more informative for others who aren't migrated yet.

Thanks to the DW search function I have at least found posts for about half of the images when they were embedded or linked, and could reconstruct what they had been, and restore those. But I'm still at a loss what some of the other pictures were. Well, hopefully the new system won't eat any more of my stuff from now on.

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Jan. 19th, 2012 question

I don't always read the announcements on the mainpage, so I only now noticed the update from January 5th which says "We are redesigning the storymarks (story bookmarks) feature and unfortunately the new system is incompatible with the current setup. If you have existing storymarks, please save them at your earliest convinence [sic]." What on earth are these "storymarks"?!? Do they mean the favorites list? I do have favorites bookmarked that way, though most are old, and more recently I've just used the the story alert feature, but I'd still save them, only it doesn't seem like you can export them as bookmarks. Or do they mean some other feature I'm not aware of? I have never seen the term "storymark" on the site before in all the years. Why can't they call things in their announcements like they are called in the site navigation?

ETA: [personal profile] sholio explained to me that they are apparently something separate from the favorites (phew!). I still can't find the feature (maybe they are already gone?) and don't recall ever seeing anything called that, but at least I won't miss the feature. Also I can see why they need to redesign it, if the feature was so hidden as to completely escape any notice by a regular user.

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Jan. 5th, 2012

headdesking forever

I've already ranted several times here how computer translation is not your friend if you want to litter your English story with German words (even disregarding the characterization issues or the likelihood of random language switches occurring in the first place). That includes swear words, because believe it or not, swearing works differently in different languages. For example you can't just translate "fuck" and use it like in English for a swear word. Argh.

Well, the story wasn't very good otherwise either, so I don't regret the back button use, but seriously. And now I have the urge to write an introduction to swearing in German to explain, but that probably would only encourage people to avoid using betas, and make things even worse.

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Dec. 9th, 2011

venting through tags, y/n?

Sep. 24th, 2011

Animal Man #1

So, I couldn't resist giving the new Animal Man series a chance, because I love the character, and the story may have potential, or at least the opening doesn't seem worse than average, but yikes, that art is seriously bad. (I preordered just based on series title, if I had seen page samples I might not have spent money on this.)

It completely lacks details and textures in the background that would create atmosphere, or even just normal looking rooms and environments. Seriously, it's like empty squares, boxes and tiles, and the artist couldn't be bothered to put in any effort, but not in a deliberate minimalist way, but just because they couldn't think to put something else on a nightstand besides a square clock, or give texture to a windowsill that would make a square look like an actual window and so on. (ETA: I don't necessarily expect excessive detail rendering, considering that there time/effort constraints on a comic production schedule, but there are ways to make panels *look* decent and alive through blacks and dynamic lines and hinting at detail and texture, just look at for example Ditko's art in old Spider-Man comics.)

Then the layout is atrocious with panels being given odd shapes for no good reason, same for some perspective choices. And the artist can't really draw humans well either. All their hair just looks odd, and okay, hair is difficult, but they get paid for this after all. Then there are sometimes odd scribbles on the faces, like in one scene taking place at a hospital I thought Animal Man contracted a weird infectious disease and those were skin sores, but he didn't. I have no idea what that texture on his face was supposed to be.

I honestly have trouble believing that they paid someone for this.

Aug. 14th, 2011

*spork* *spork*

Dear XMFC fanfic fandom,

computer translation is not your friend for creating German sentences for your fiction. Not even short ones, or single words. It will inevitably get all sorts of grammar wrong, like cases, tenses, sentence structure, form of address, word choice...

Then, just as inevitably, I will be thrown out of your generally well written story by the hilariously wrong German, or stumble while trying to figure out what it was supposed to say, and along with me scores of other German speakers (seriously there is no shortage of German speakers around in media fandom). On the upside that also means that there are many, many German speakers available to you, who'll be willing to write you a quick translation as a beta-type service.

But what if you're shy, or afraid to break anon-status, and don't want to ask a German speaker for help? In that case you should consider to skip the dialog and just settle for paraphrases such as "he cursed in German" or the like.


As an aside, I also notice that I skip giving feedback to stories I otherwise like that have
this unfortunate problem, because I feel awkward to tack on some sort of red pen correction section onto my squee, but otoh I also don't want to not say something when there are such embarrassing errors there, and pretend I didn't notice. If I know the author, I usually have no problem to mention such nitpicks, but it's different with strangers or anon posters. The same goes for deciding whether to rec things. Argh.

Aug. 13th, 2011

well, this helps explain the infernal name smooshes...

It turns out that while Tumblr allows you to put a "/" in your tags, it still gives you a 404 error when you click on a tag of that type. WTF? That is just broken.
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Aug. 7th, 2011

I am tech-challenged...

It's no secret that I'm not fond of Tumblr. It's hard to talk there, so you can't get or give comments only "reblogs" and "likes" (unless there is some external Disqus thingie set up), and if artists don't provide art themselves for reblogging (so you can click-through), art and photos seem to be posted there without attribution more often than not.

However, I have been name-squatting there since 2007, and with the uptick in fannish use I thought, okay, maybe I'll try it out as a reader. So I log in, then go to a fanartist's Tumblr that I'd come across in a rec, go there and want to subscribe to the Tumblr. Where do I click?? I did manage to subscribe by doing a c&p on the name, and then going to my dashboard, then going to the "follow" page and entering it manually, but surely with the supposedly "easy to use" appeal of the thing there has to be a simpler method?

Apr. 3rd, 2011

Criminal Minds

spoilery for 6x19 )

Dec. 29th, 2010

have some publishers just done away with proofreading editors entirely?

I'm reading the fifth volume of Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series, and just on the first couple of pages I've noticed several typos, missing letters and such. I get that one or two per book may slip through, but several in the first ten pages? I also noticed some in the previous volumes, but the frequency in this seems particularly high and even shoddier. I like the series well enough, but this is really annoying.
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Dec. 14th, 2010

today's rant

Why don't stores carry cheap blank notebooks anymore these days? If you don't want it lined or checkered, it all seems luxury moleskines and other yuppie sketch books where you pay €10 for a small one, rather than the €1-2 a bound ones with lines sets you back. I get that the yuppified versions have nicer paper and/or nicer binding and maybe a brand name, but seriously. Copy paper quality is fine for just scribbling for me, because it's not like I want to do water color sketches or something. Also it actually makes me much more likely to do scribbles if there's no anxiety over wasting expensive paper thrown in. I have a small sketchbook with nicer paper I got as a gift and that's still blank.

Anyway, I've looked in two stores, and neither had cheap, blank A6 notebooks I can carry in a pocket. I should have hoarded some when I last saw them available, because then already cheap blank ones were rarer. *is disgruntled*

Also, today's random observation that doesn't have anything to do with notebooks, except that I noticed while I was in a store looking for those: I came across a display of plastic toy horses, and the stallions were all rendered with small horse penises and testicles. I don't remember my plastic horses having those when I was a kid.
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Oct. 21st, 2010

so much interface fail

So I tried to turn my Santa!Cthulhu image into a basic greeting card, but their site just doesn't work right with any of my browsers. That is in my Firefox some of their links don't aren't clickable, even though I have Flash and Javascript and everything enabled, and in Opera the links work but the OK buttons in their pop-up windows don't. And Konqueror didn't show the pop-up thingies correctly from the beginning. At first I thought, ok, the Firefox on my laptop is very old, so I tried on my desktop, which has the current Firefox, but no luck with that one either.

But I'm not easily deterred so I did manage create an account and to upload the image, finally, but then when I wanted to do the simplest product design, i.e. pick a card, put the image on the card sized so that it fits, without even any text or borders or stuff, it constantly did weird things. Like I wrangled it right, and clicked the save, but then back in the overview it had saved empty. And then when I finally managed to put an image onto a card, and made it public (or so I thought), it didn't show on the shop page, which I thought was because I got a page error in the middle and had to reload. However, it seems that was just a time delay, but they could have said that it takes time to show up.

Also, whenever I clicked the help popup to explain something I only got the general main help page. Like there would be a link "what is such-and-such" to explain a function and then I didn't get somewhere that even had the term on the page.

However, I did manage to create a Santa!Cthulhu card, and I think one can replace the country code in the zazzle URL with the one most convenient, like pick the .com ending for the US store.

Oct. 14th, 2010

*hearts killfile*

I've finally overcome my sloth and killfiled the poster who constantly spams [ profile] kirkspock with updates about that idiotic song contest. I would not have minded one post, or even two, but there have been fourteen (!) posts already since late August, and with greater frequency recently, and the thing apparently will go on for a while still. Now I won't have to see these posts ever again, yet can still follow the comm. Seriously I should have killfiled earlier, but on LJ the method I know involves fiddling with these style layers.
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Sep. 17th, 2010

has anyone ever seen a non-faily before/after ad?

One involving humans, I mean, not some sparkly clean bathroom. They seem to be disproportionally racist, sexist and of course fat-phobic. Like the poster advertising some kind of beauty parlor near my father's place. It has before/after images, one worse than the next, but the one that never fails to make me go WTF? is the photo of a black woman, who somehow in the "after" picture does not just have make-up and a new hair cut with straightened hair instead of curly, but is also at least two shades lighter, thanks to Photoshop, one assumes rather than them really offering some kind of toxic skin bleaching.

Of course I'm mostly desensitized to racist advertising due to its ubiquity -- though I'd really like to know what the producers of some convenience foods are thinking when they advertise their disgusting powdered sauce product with literally yellow, slit-eyed cartoon Chinese that should have gone out of style many decades ago and not be on products in 2010, and that company afaik doesn't even have the flimsy excuse that their racist cartoon is some kind of traditional mascot for them like Sarotti chocolate -- but some things still manage to stand out.
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