ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
...but apparently I now know enough Russian to stumble over obvious automatic translation errors in fanfic in yet another language, even though I do not know enough to have even simple conversations.

But I can distinguish some verb forms, and the author in this particular case clearly wanted an imperative (it had an exclamation point and everything) but put in an infinitive form. Not that I knew that particular word (my vocabulary is still very pathetic). Of course in English both look the same (except for the 'to') but in Russian you conjugate more -- only google translate for example won't, even if you add the exclamation point.

They could label a language acquisition stage after this -- it comes way before even A1 proficiency (which in case you are not familiar with the European language reference framework means more or less the ability to understand and produce simple, formulaic conversations in familiar contexts).

I have no idea why authors feel the need to sprinkle other languages into their fiction without knowing the language very well or getting a beta who does. And even then, as a reader it annoys me unless I also read the language at least decently. I loathe not being able to follow all story parts. And yeah, there's hover text and what not, but that won't work on mobile devices or e-readers, so you are stuck with disruptive footnotes...
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
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.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
...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.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
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.
ratcreature: eyeroll (eyeroll)
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".

WTF?

Jan. 23rd, 2013 19:29
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
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.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
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.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
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.
ratcreature: FAIL! (fail!)
I don't always read the announcements on the ff.net 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.
ratcreature: headdesk (headdesk)
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.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
Poll #8736 passive-aggressive tagging?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 29


Starting to tag XMFC stories with a "bad German" tag where applicable, would be...

View Answers

petty.
7 (24.1%)

breaking fannish etiquette and shouldn't be done.
1 (3.4%)

pointless, because it isn't a good way to communicate the complaint as feedback to the author.
6 (20.7%)

a good way to vent frustration after multiple rants failed.
22 (75.9%)

useful information for the bookmark readers.
18 (62.1%)

So in summation, should I create a "badgerman" tag?

View Answers

Yes.
15 (60.0%)

No.
1 (4.0%)

I don't care.
4 (16.0%)

Make it a hidden tag that Pinboard offers just to vent for yourself.
5 (20.0%)

ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
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.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (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.

Yours,
RatCreature


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.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
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.
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
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?
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
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.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
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.
ratcreature: FAIL! (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.
ratcreature: RatCreature is enraged, swinging an axe: Kill! Kill! Kill! (rage)
I've finally overcome my sloth and killfiled the poster who constantly spams [livejournal.com 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.
ratcreature: FAIL! (fail!)
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.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Linus: Dear Great Pumpkin,... (halloween)
Authors should really indicate if they spread out the posting of parts. If they have a posting schedule I like to know when to check as to not miss anything, and I also like to be prepared that I won't get to read the whole thing right now.

I don't mind even following unfinished WIPs but if I see a post linking to 1/3 in community and the notes talk about the story as if it is finished, I assume that all three parts are posted in the linked journal. But recently, especially it seems in Star Trek Reboot, headers neglect to mention staggered posting/WIP status. I guess I'll have to remember to check myself in advance. *grumble*

That said, the Reboot time travel murder mystery of which I just read the first part is a really promising opening, which probably explains why I'd have like to get the rest right now.
ratcreature: zen? or not. Animated pic, that first shows RatCreature calm,  then angry. (zen)
You may or may not have noticed (depending on whether you followed the [community profile] fanlore comm and previous discussions and posts by other contributors), that I've been somewhat discontent with how the Fanlore wiki is handled, and the recent thing was kind of the last straw. My idea of the wiki as a group project, and the OTW's idea of the wiki are a bit further apart than I thought, and my issues with the official side are now at a point that it's been sabotaging my enjoyment of anything related to that wiki, and that's no frame of mind to contribute somewhere. This post is however only tangentially related to that.

I'm upset about the uploading of my art there without my permission. I never uploaded any there even while I was editing for a reason. )

So yeah.

Disgruntled. >:(
ratcreature: zen? or not. Animated pic, that first shows RatCreature calm,  then angry. (zen)
It feels like there was a steep increase in the horrible misspelling of "summary" as "summery" in story headers. Is it the season? No matter how summery it is, this is not even a seasonally appropriate spelling for your story's summary. *stabs this with a spork* I've seen this twice already just browsing my flist now.
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
Deviantart overhauls its layout and navigation all the time (the newest is the seventh version apparently), and as it hasn't been easy for me to get used to their navigation in the first place, I was once more confused when I saw this today.

However I could get used to the new design if it wasn't so horribly glitchy for me. The new menu isn't too bad, and I guess the scrolling view below the single image display would make it easier to browse a gallery, but that only works intermittently for me. And somehow now the smaller versions of the images look worse and often even those only half-load, i.e. I get some pixellated mess. Similarly their recently introduced message stacks don't really work. Also with the new layout they hide most of the artist's comments. Not to mention that sometimes the ad areas overlap the pictures now. (For me Adblock works to block most ads on dA, but does not always collapse the area where the ad would be, so I have background blocks overlapping images.) Mysteriously the search box vanished from some pages, and the page navigation in the search results doesn't always work...

Also, similarly to LJ's recent shenanigans, they have abandoned the "unspecified" gender option and reduced it to male/female if you pick now, rather than have unspecified still picked from previous versions.

Most of the 22,000 comments on the news announcement (mine included) aren't too thrilled either. >:(
ratcreature: The lurkers support me in email. (lurkers)
I have to say that the more I hang out in storyfinder comms that allow mixing specific with general searches (like the Star Trek one I follow, [livejournal.com profile] st_ficfinder) the more cumbersome and pointless the strict separation of the SGA comms in story- and genre-finders seems to me.

Because the rules are enforced rigidly, you frequently have dual queries: Either because a poster remembers a specific story, but wants similar ones right away too, or someone posts a general search first, then someone else remembers a story that fits but not its title, and has to make yet another post in a separate comm, wary of the mods' wrath if they asked others in the comments. And then shortly after you get another modly reminder post anyway, because someone else has forgotten yet again to keep the chocolate away from the hazelnuts.
ratcreature: RatCreature is enraged, swinging an axe: Kill! Kill! Kill! (rage)
You know what I hate? When a program, for no discernible reason, changes what it does so that an action you have done a thousand times in exactly this manner just doesn't work anymore, because inadvertently you changed some setting or clicked something or picked something without meaning to, but you can't discern anywhere what has changed and fix it. So after trying for some time you have no choice but to save and restart the program in hopes that the default behavior will be restored.

Just now I tried to do a simple copy & paste in GIMP, and it inserted the new layer just fine, but the moving tool refused to work on this newly inserted layer, so I couldn't move it to the right place. There was no symbol attached to this layer in the layer view that indicated it being in any way different from any of the other layers that I had previously inserted and moved. I have no idea what I did that suddenly broke the move tool without warning. I hate that. And now I find that even with a restart the default setting hasn't been restored, so it seems to have remembered whatever messed up option caused this. I still can't move the layer I pasted, WTF? Why are you doing this to me GIMP?

Do any of you have an idea what can suddenly break a move tool like that so that you just can't grab a layer anymore to move it with the tool? I know I didn't pick this intentionally, so I must have clicked accidentally somewhere or something. Argh.

Does this kind of thing happen to other people, that your software just doesn't do a routine task anymore and you have no idea how you broke it?
ratcreature: grumpy (grumpy)
The object of today's curiosity is signatures added to blog and journal posts. In particular the practice I've encountered in some blogs (mostly non-fandom) to include random religious scripture excerpts at the bottom of every post, even if the blog itself has no obvious religious content or otherwise preachy slant or anything like that. I tend to find this vaguely annoying, and usually won't subscribe then, even if I otherwise might have. Case in point, just now I came across one of those "a painting a day" blogs, and the art looked nice enough, but I find signature quotes that are unrelated to the content of the post annoying more often than not in general (especially the picture sigs on some message boards, I'd actually take preachy ones over those), but these seem even more obnoxious to me.

I understand that for some faiths there exists some sort of obligation to spread their words or something like that -- I vaguely remember that from confirmation classes at least -- but does it have to be in your art blog posts? It's not like I'm about to be converted by these. So now I'm curious: Do others like/dislike this kind of thing? Are indifferent? Maybe you overlook them, like with ad-blindness? Thus a poll:

Poll #2288 religious signatures?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 40


What is your reaction to religious quotes as blog signatures?

View Answers

I like them.
0 (0.0%)

I like them only if they are from my religion.
0 (0.0%)

I don't mind them/just overlook them.
10 (25.0%)

I dislike them.
28 (70.0%)

Your radio buttons are oppressing me.
2 (5.0%)

ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
So I just came across a story announcement for a WIP and it seemed interesting from the author's notes, but then the author referred to the part as "chappie". And no, just no. Don't do that. *sporks* (similarly "ficcy" should be forever banned as well)

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