Friday, June 14, 2013
Saturday, May 04, 2013
I got a one of these
When it checked for firmware upgrades it found "18.104.22.168.260" but that would not connect to OCN no matter what I did. In the end I noticed that "22.214.171.124.270" was available, installed that and OCN worked immediately.
No special settings needed, just username and password.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
There is a rickety wooden fence pulled in front of the trucks but the 1000s of Euros of wood and who knows what else they sell is sitting right out there with no security whatsoever. How is this possible? It's not a busy street and they don't close it up any further at night time.
A few theories:
- They are paying the right people and criminals know they'll lose a finger (or more) if they try stealing from it? Or maybe they are the right people.
- There are actually no criminals in Japan. This can't be true, otherwise there'd be nothing to blame on immigrants :)
- The police are incredibly vigilant and effective...
- There is no market for stolen building materials.
Is there anywhere else in the world you could do this and expect to find everything still there on Monday morning? Switzerland?
Monday, January 07, 2013
Posting this because I spent far too much time figuring this out from various scraps here and there. I got a bunch of Japanese DVDs recently and ripped them to mkv. As part of learning Japanese, I want to be able to see the subtitles side by side, and use them in flash cards etc. I found recipes for extract subs from a DVD but it's not quite right for mkv. I also found tools that worked except but output distorted images.
There is also the very impressive subs2srs which will generate an anki deck with images and audio snippets and it works under wine but it actually is a little bit heavy for what I want.
First, you need to know what track has your subs.
mkvinfo will tell you that. Then after that you can use the following bash script (you'll need to install
You can invoke it as e.g.
extract.sh foo.mkv 4 and you'll have a bunch of
.png files generated from the 4th track of
foo.mkv in the
foo-sub-4/ directory. There will also be a
.srtx file which gives the timings for all the subs.
My next step will be to use these timings to line the subs up and output a HTML page with them side-by-side.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
I saw several people watching him, a couple of people following him on the ice and videoing him(!) and at 1:05 in the longer video, there's someone mimicking him.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Of course the story (and their attempted change to the copyright law in 2012) has not been covered at all in these papers.
Meanwhile one of the major papers carries an article titled, "Venomous and toxic social media out of control" which includes this gem: "Free speech and democracy are far better served by a regulated system of commentary, which insists on basic civilities, foremost among which is that participants identify themselves before contributing."
Right, good one, this regulated system is right now demonstrating that it cannot be trusted to report fairly and accurately (or even at all) on certain subjects - the internet and copyright law being two rather important ones.
Of course I'm not linking to this article or even saying what newspaper, not because I'm afraid of a bill but because I have no intention of ever sending another bit of traffic to one of these newspapers if I can avoid it.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
So I asked him, "can you think in your head?". He got a look of intense concentration for about 20 seconds, kind of like constipation and finally said, "no". But he tried really hard!
Monday, October 15, 2012
From the Indo today.
In an interview with the Irish Independent, junior finance minister Brian Hayes said the deal would not be extended in December's Budget, and buyers must act before the "train will have left the station"."""
"This is an offer of a lifetime, it won't come again," said Mr Hayes. "All our futures are based on getting the property market going again. People need to act fast to avail of it."
"Jesus, won't somebody please think of the first time buyers, they're so cute and helpless, with their floppy ears and their big round eyes."
He didn't actually say that last bit.
He apparently did say, "all our futures are based on getting the property market going again."
Maybe when he says "all our futures", he just means his mates who bought 50 apartments off the plans in 2006.
Let's give Brian the benefit of the doubt and assume he really means that the future of Ireland is based on getting the property market going again. Then you could rephrase that as, "we've been in govt for 2 years now and we have done fuck all to replace the fantasy economy of the previous 10 years with a real economy built on something other than selling badly built houses to one-another using Germany's savings".
By giving all first time buyers a 5k/year tax break you just push up their bidding power by 10s of ks. You transfer wealth from our govt (that is cutting back on health and education) to landlords and investors trying to cut their losses in a falling market (owner-occupiers don't benefit unless they're selling up and leaving the country or something).
Of course this is not news to these people, this is the intended result (unless they really are mind-boggingly stupid - I give that about a 20% likelihood) and they know that no one is ever going to argue against helping first-time buyers. Every first time-buyer is a voter and the child of 2 more voters.
A rising property market can be either a bubble or the result of real prosperity. It's never the _cause_ of real prosperity (for the majority at least, whenever there are losers, there are of course some winners). Trying raise it directly is just a bad idea. It's a bit like trying to treat low blood pressure with a bicycle pump and a needle. You may well cause a brief spike in pressure but you're not going to like the end result.
Cross posted on
Thursday, September 20, 2012
They'll want to know about their super powers, I have no advice for you here, it's going to vary from kid to kid, be creative.
Emphasise that it's a secret (or they'll probably get a kicking at school) and see how long you can keep this up.
Monday, September 03, 2012
This is inspired by mapo-tofu but ends up quite different, it's got more meat and less fire. It's really easy to cook (because I use sauces from a jar) and my kids love it.
It take about 5 mins to prepare and maybe 20 mins to cook and with rice is enough for 3 people.
Instead of rice you can also serve this with soupy noodles, just not too soupy or you lose all the meat into the depths of the soup.
You will need:
- 600g of firm tofu (if you're in Japan, that the one with "もめん" written on it)
- 300g of minced pork
- Lee Kum Kee Chill Garlic Sauce
- Lee Kum Kee Black Bean and Garlic Sauce
- 1 spring onion
- 300ml of chicken stock
- cooking oil
- (optional) ground sichuan pepper (or sansho in Japan)
Lee Kum Kee sauces seem to be all over the world, except Japan where they're actually hard to find, even in Chinese markets. I got mine in the basement market in Ameyoko in Ueno.
- Chop the tofu into cubes about 1-2cm on each side. Leave that in a for now.
- Put some oil in a frying pan or pot (you'll need a frying pan with high side, a wok would be even better). Get it hot enough for frying.
- Fry the mince until it's brown.
- Make a hole in the middle of the mince and in one table-spoon of chilli sauce (more if you like spicy) and one of the black bean sauce and then mix them right through the mince. It should take about a minute to get the mince fully coated in sauce.
- Check the tofu. The bowl probably has lots of water in it now that drained out of the tofu, pour that out.
- Add the tofu cubes and mix them around so that they are covered in meat and sauce.
- Add the chicken stock.
- Turn down the heat and let the whole thing simmer for 10-15m. At the end, there should not be much stock left. Give it a stir every few minutes to stop things sticking.
- While it's simmering, slice up the spring onion thinly.
- Serve either sprinkled with the spring onion and the sichuan pepper or let everyone add it to their own portions.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
experienced any direct racism in that time... until now!
We were driving home from a holiday, it was a long drive, we'd already
played I-spy and had moved on to shiro tori. This is a game where each
word has to begin with the ending of the previous word. E.g. sushi ->
shinobi -> bideo (video).
By the way, in Japanese, shiri tori is written 尻取り, according to
translate.google.com that's 尻=ass and 取=take. Not an ideal name for
a kids game and every time I hear しまじろう shouting "尻取りをしようよ”
I can't help but wonder if there are some unspeakable 2chan images of
Anyway, it was Sean's turn and he was struggling for a word that
begins with "pa", so Midori decided to help him out. "I'm mama", she
said pointing at herself, "and this person is...?", pointing at me.
"Gaijin!", shouts Sean.
The correct answer was "papa".
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
I thought this analysis of the evils of tax was funny. It's so one sided.
- There's no mention at all benefits come from the taxes collected. I wonder how Marcie's business would do without roads or educated, healthy workers for examples.
- I also think it's awesome that Marcie has found a line of business with absolutely no competitors and that the only barrier to growth is the govmint stealing her money.
- That's presumably why every cent saved in taxes will translate into a job created by her without that job being lost somewhere else.
- Finally, it's also awesome that as she grows her business the market doesn't become saturated and she doesn't have to give an increasing portion of her money to advertising executives so they can shoot cocaine into their asses.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I watched Oppai Baree the heart warming story of young, inexperienced school teacher in a small Japanese town who motivates a group of uncoordinated, dorky, teenage perverts to train hard at volleyball with the promise that she will show them her breasts if they win just one match in the high school championship. WTF? Yes, seriously.
As sentimental, formulaic movies go, it was OK. It ticked the usual boxes: training montages; slow motion scenes with inspiring music; a set back at the last minute; the wisdom of some older and/or more dead person leading to the realisation that you have to try your best anyway, followed by running to get there just in time.
It was entertaining enough though, the end wasn't entirely predictable and it kept me guessing. Will their secret get out? Will she be fired? Will they win? Will they get to see her breasts if they do? Will I? Will my kids stop talking about it and shaming us in front of parents and teachers? The answer to the last one is "yes", it took about a week.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Cycling on the road in Japan has had an unexpected impact on my imaginary arguments with drivers.
The most obvious problem of course is that the drivers probably only speak Japanese. While I sometimes try to conduct my simpler arguments in Japanese, at my level it's pretty much a waste of time for everyone involved. Happily, since these arguments are imaginary, I can just pretend they speak English.
A slightly less obvious problem is that a stock justification for cyclist doesn't work in Japan. Occasionally I take up a whole lane because there isn't enough space for a car to safely overtake and I'd rather they didn't try. If I was in a car, I would be taking up that space all the time.
In many countries, one more bike really is "one less car" (like it says on the stickers). That's not the case in Japan. When I don't cycle, I get the train. If I stopped cycling entirely I would get the train every day. I don't own a car here, I don't want to - parking would be expensive and I don't fancy being stuck in the queues I see every morning.
So best case, it's "one more seat on the train". However since I'm usually travelling around peak, the reality is more like "one more standing space on the train". Even in an imaginary argument, that's an embarrassingly poor justification.
I'm probably not even saving much energy by biking (if any at all) but I am keeping fit, saving money and time.The problem is that these are pretty selfish benefits. For a good imaginary argument you need to be way up on the moral high ground and I don't appear to be. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced that cyclists on the road in Japan have the moral high ground at all.
Slightly inspired by watching this video this morning.