Sunday, 17 October 2010

Nero is incredibly annoying

I've been using Nero Vision in order to do my next video. A few weeks ago, after getting quite far, the program crashed and corrupted my project so I had to start from scratch.

Last night I also got reasonably far, but this morning the saved project keeps claiming that it's empty, so I have to start from scratch. When I do, and I drag something in the timeline, it is not placing it where I let go of the mouse button but somewhere in the future instead.

Though the Cyberlink Powerdirector I used for the first video had it's share of problems and limitations, it still wasn't quite as annoying and buggy as this is turning out to be.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Quick update

I'm currently working on my next video - I've got a lot of the first 15 minutes done, but I need to re-record my video parts, as well as the audio. Though I had roughly 600 sound files and then cut them down, upon re-listening, I flubbed a good deal of the "good" takes.

Also, I've managed to get some good sound effects, so will likely re-encode the Dragonball video using those, so that I can then enable ads and maybe get a little bit of recompense towards what I've already spent on these.

Finally, I don't want to only review bad films, but I also don't want to manage multiple blip accounts, so though the show is registered on blip as "Aradiel", the episodes themselves will be labelled appropriately (so, the Dragonball one is now no longer "Dragonball Evolution: A Review" but is "Awful Adaptations episode 1: Dragonball Evolution")
So, coming soonish is "Awful Adaptations episode 2: Blood the last Vampire", to then be followed by "Awesome Adaptations episode 1" then another awful, then an awesome and so on.

Friday, 20 August 2010

CSS Pseudo clases

Just a quick heads up for anyone who reads this and has suffered a problem with this, but CSS pseudo classes need to be expressed in a particular way to guarantee that they work:

Normally in css, you will define things with a particular id using #(id) and a class is .(classname)

The pseudo class allows you to define particular behaviour, for example, if you want something to change appearence when you hover over it you would use :hover

So, to combine them, if you want everything with a particular class to look a particular way when you hover on it, you might want to try .(classname):hover

However, this does not always work (in Firefox), as I found out five minutes ago.

I was dealing with divs, and the solution was to say div.(classname):hover

So, when using pseudo classes, in order to make sure things work, try to be as precise as possible - (tagname).(classname):(pseudoclass)

However, I subsequently discovered that the hover pseudo class is only valid for links ("a" tags) in IE.
In order ot make them behave like divs, make the use display:block, and if you really want to, remove the href.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Hell is the Epoché

An interesting thought hit me a little while ago. When studying different Philosophers, even ones which are contained within the same label, it is interesting how different they seem to be. Seem being a key word.

Take for example Edmund Husserl and Jean-Paul Sartre. Both are Existentialists but both say quite different things.

Husserl came first and tried to tackle the concept of how we understand ourselves. When we describe things in the world we tend to describe them as distinct from us, entirely separate. We describe objects as objects and ourselves as subjects. But we can also perceive ourselves as objects. So which are we? Subjects, objects, or some blend of both? And what about other things, what are they, really?
In order for us to find out he proposed a mental exercise, a sort of meditation. Don't deny that the world exists, that you exist, that everything else accepts as you perceive, but don't accept it either. Be agnostic. Detach your mind, somehow, reflect and you will perceive or experience (he was very bad at explaining his concepts) the "Transcendental Ego", the method by which we perceive and understand the world.

Now, as for Sartre, he wrote a lot of plays. One of which was called "No Exit", wherein a group of people found themselves in hell, in a room and with no eyelids. The crux of it was the saying "Hell is other people" - we judge ourselves by how others react to us, how others perceive us. This was a more ethics focussed take on matters, but it seems to me that these ideas are not too dissimilar. In fact, I would perhaps go so far as to say that the transcendental ego is encompassed within how other people react to us.
To further develop this idea, perhaps we can expand the concept of us understanding ourselves by how other things react to us so that it also includes physical reactions. We perceive ourselves as objects because we can push the glass off the table.

It is at this point that I realise somewhat that Heidegger acts as the required bridge between these concepts - Heidegger said that the way we normally describe the world is as "Zuhanden" ("To hand") but the way we tend to perceive the world is as the "Vorhanden" ("For hand")
Though we describe the world as subjects and objects, we perceive it as tools. Rather than seeing the glass as an object completely separate from ourselves, we see it as a container we can pick up and interact with.

I've now lost most if not all capability of describing this any further, but what I've described is hopefully enough to get my random point across.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Metro Newspaper Complicit in Commercial Copyright Infringement

The Metro Newspaper, which is freely distributed on the transport networks of Britain, has promoted commercial copy-right infringement twice in the past 7 months.
Scan 1: Tuesday 22nd December 2009
Scan 2: Tuesday 29th June 2010

I am referring in particular to the anime sites they mention in the above two clippings - sites which stream anime shows an films online. Both sites use advertising and or VIP programs in order to generate revenue.

In both clippings they promote the sites using Bleach and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

The former, last time I checked, is not streamed or licensed to be streamed by the rights holders.
The latter is distributed in the UK by Manga Entertainment, which streams 5 episodes at a time from it's own website, and does not license any other sites to stream episodes.

So, in the latter case, a national newspaper is promoting a site which partakes in commercial copy-right infringement while there is a free official alternative available for use.

I have already sent them an email expressing my thoughts on the matter, but I thought I should make this as public as possible.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Internet Explorer

This is why Internet Explorer sucks and Microsoft is guilty of false advertising.

The above is a link to the w3c's website explaining a particular CSS2 element - "max-height"

This is Microsoft's page comparing the major browsers. Notice how their own product, of course, has more ticks against it than the other browsers.
I could go through each one of those explaining why the missing ticks should not be missing, or why the tick should actually be a cross, but instead I will just focus on the claim that it supports CSS2.1 - admittedly it does not say it supports all of CSS2.1, but the w3c site says that IE supports the property. As do other sites I have visited.

These sites are wrong. IE does not support max-height.
I did a little experiment to prove this. The following pictures are cropped screenshots comparing Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 8. They compare how they render a div with the following style settings:

width: 50px;
max-height: 50px;
overflow: auto;
border: 2px solid blue;

Now, what results would you expect from this?
A box with a 2 pixel thick blue border. It will be 50 pixels wide. It's height will be dynamic up to a maximum of 50 pixels. When the content of the box extends beyond those 50x50 limits, scrollbars will appear.
Now, lets look at the results:

Google Chrome


Internet Explorer

That's right, Internet Explorer fails to do what it should, completely ignoring the max-height property.
So, Microsoft, you claim that your browser supports more CSS2.1 than other browsers, but that other browsers support more HTML5 and CSS3 (the things that make CSS2.1 redundant)
All I can say is [citation needed] - perhaps you should focus on supporting the features your developers will need rather than, at most, obscure features no one who's competent in web design cares about.

Disdain for world... growing

This morning on the news it was revealed that hospitals that take in the same patient twice in a month, where the second time they come in is a direct concequence of being discharged too early, the hopsital will be "fined"

Now, why does this annoy me? Think about what a fine is - it is a cost. You park in the wrong place, you get charged money etc

Now, in this case, the word fine is wholey inappropriate. Here is how it was explained to me:
When someone enters a hospital for treatment, the NHS pays the hospital a lump sum. The same pateint gets discharged early, comes back in because they haven't fully recovered, and the hospital gets another lump sum.
What is being suggested is that in such cases the hospital would not get the second lump sum. Essentially, because the patient hadn't finished being treated adequately, then their return to the hospital is still part of the first treatment.
This is not a fine, just an extension of the rules as they stand to prevent abuse. For it to be a fine, they would have to have the second sum (which they don't) or be entitled to the second sum. Which they are not.

Now, I want to extrapolate this to the idea of piracy. Large companies claim that when their product is pirated, that it is a loss. Now, ignoring that the assumption that 1 pirated copy is a lost sale* it is like claiming they had money which has now been taken away, or that they are entitled to the money. The latter is, at least on the face of it, fair enough, but the first is utter rubbish.
The Hurt Locker cost $15 million to make, and has grossed $150 million. Ten times their investment. 1000%.
Yet they are chalking up every download as a loss. I cannot see how a company that has managed to make a profit can claim a loss. It doesn't make sense.

*As a direct counter example, I downloaded 20th Century Boys part 1. I watched it. I have now bought the DVD twice. That is only one example, I have several.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Companies just don't get it

Last week I got an email from moneysavingexpert, within which one of the offers it mentioned was a £10 voucher for a film and tv streaming site:

So I used it to give it a go, buying Iron Man (£2.99)
I could stream it only, but you can also download it - 1.3 gigs. On the downloaded version, when you try to watch it, you need to verify your details over the internet.

Now that might seem fair enough on the face of it, but there is something very wrong with this.

Think about exactly why you want to download a film. Convenience, right? The ability to watch it whenever you wanted, without the need for hardware. Instead it is data on your hard drive.

Except, this way, if you want to stream it, you need a net connection. If you have downloaded it and want to watch it, you neet a net connection.
That doesn't seem that convenient to me.
In fact, it would be more convenient (in the long term) to buy the DVD and rip it to your hard drive, or to pirate it.

Ok, so it's not quite as convenient as actually having the DVD is, but does the price reflect that?
Hell no.

As a better example, they have Avatar for £8.99
The DVD is available for £8 in Asda.
Or even, they have the entire original series of V for £1.79 an episode, or £17.99 for the series. In HMV it is £15

Not only that, but the prices on blinkbox are for the video only. No other languages, no subtitles, no directors commentary. No extras whatsoever.

So, you are paying more for an inferior product that is far less convenient to use.

Is it any wonder why some digital distribution methods fail and piracy is rife?!

Still, at least they have some decent free stuff, but only to stream. What if I want to download Night of the Living Dead (which is public domain)? Guess I have to fileshare.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Awful Adaptations: Dragonball Evolution

Finally, it's done!

Sometimes the release of a film breaks your heart.
Other times it tears your heart out, grinds it with the heel of it's boot, spits on it and then sets it on fire.
Dragonball Evolution, for me, was the latter.
"Fun" games to play while watching the video:
  1. See how many simple words I mispronounce!
  2. See how many times I say "That" and "However"!
  3. See how many times I run out of breath midway through a sentence but refuse to stop talking!
  4. Pinpoint the exact moment my heart broke in two!
  5. Pinpoint the exact moment I lost my sanity (hint: It's after 4)
Other versions available here

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Google has migrated my site, which now means that though the links on the side aren't broken, you download the files rather than viewing them.

I have three choices:
1) Give up
2) Adapt so that those pages can still be hosted on google
3) Be hosted somewhere else

I believe I've already expressed how terrible their WYSIWIG editor was. It's now even worse. It's unbearable.

I'm therefore going for option 3 asap.