snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
How do I imprint something flat into a curved surface? Like if I needed a planet with Comic Sans text carved into its surface as if by a giant laser

For some reason?

I refuse to learn to actually work this program for a single dumb Homestuck joke, no
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Academic stuff, pop history, fiction, whatever. I've read Elizabeth Wein's novels (of course!) and some of Richard Pankhurst's academic stuff.

What I'm looking for in particular:

* Stuff by people who are actually from the region. And uh, preferably not white people. Yeah.

* Anything about Gudit/Judith. Or Bani al-Hamwiyah, or the Queen of Sheba, for that matter! Women in positions of political power.

* Primary sources that are not puzzled European Christians. Puzzled Muslims from anywhere would be interesting, though.

* Details about day-to-day life stuff for normal non-aristocrat people.

* Details about diplomacy with other nations, particularly primarily-Muslim ones.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
We'll be there for five days. What should I do? My only solid plans at the moment are the Muir Woods, Chinatown, and Japantown.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Does there exist any sort of browser extension that will, if both I and Otherperson have it installed, do this:

I type an email to Otherperson. The extension automatically grabs Otherperson's public key from a server or my keyring and encrypts the message, surrounding it with tags like [Message Encrypted Using SuchAndSuchExtension]. Otherperson receives the message, their copy of the extension sees those tags, and it is automatically decrypted.

The extension I want needs to do this automatically and silently, without prompting, without throwing up any garish pop-ups like it thinks it's the FBIses and the cyber-hacksers have hacksed all the nodes to steal all the Presidents. There should be at most a subdued little inline note at the top of the textbox, saying "This message will be encrypted with Sane Normal Encryption, the sane and normal encryption extension that was not designed by an unusually stupid twelve-year-old boy."

Does this exist? If not, why not? I mean, what is this, 199-fucking-2?

Other desirable features:

* It would be excellent if this didn't work merely in email: like, you could set it up to automatically encrypt and decrypt Facebook messages! Or you could encrypt bits of blog posts so that only specific people could read them. In this case, it would be best if the encrypted text were hidden, so people for whom it's not intended don't have their screens cluttered up with a bunch encrypted prattle. Something vaguely like this, I guess?:

a href="" title="[Message Encrypted Using SuchAndSuchExtension]hkjdfhaksjdhfksahdfsk[/Message Encrypted Using SuchAndSuchExtension]">[Message Encrypted Using SuchAndSuchExtension]<

* Inline encryption and decryption of attachments would be preferred.

* It would be good if step one also saved a copy encrypted with my own public key in some fashion - by sending a second copy of the email to oneself, by saving to local memory somewhere, or by saving to a specified cloud destination.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
A friend has asked me to translate a koseki page for someone who's having immigration problems, and I have no idea what's going on with some of the word usage here. Could anyone with experience reading these give me a hand, or point me to an example?
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I need a mean word for a socially and/or economically upwardly-mobile person. The text calls this "群民上がり". (That is stupid.)

This can be, like, a ridiculous-sounding Victorian word. It's being used in the context of one of those obviously-doomed anime societies where everyone's kind of albino-looking and wears winter colors.
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Due to aggregate aggravation building over the course of a number of years, rather than any specific reason or incident. I'm still going to read my Flist over there, given that DW doesn't support reading secure RSS, so I'd miss some access-locked posts if I just turned everyone I read over there into a feed.

I'm sure the answer to this is going to be "no", but: Does there exist some kind of script that would go through my LiveJournal entries, match them up to my Dreamwidth ones, and just replace the text of the LiveJournal post with a link to the DW one?

I don't really want to leave my content up over there, but I'd feel like I was contributing to the entropy of the universe, in the form of linkrot, if I just deleted everything. I don't want to give QB any more rationalization for its behavior.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
We were cleaning out the basement.

1) Mom has a bunch of old Star Trek fanzines from the seventies, which she'd like to donate to a library that would know what to do with them, or else a fannish conservation project. Any suggestions?

2) Suggestions for good ways to digitize VHS tapes?
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
I have a poor-quality video file with sort of muddy color, which makes it difficult to tell certain pale areas from certain darker ones. I need to heighten the contrast between them. In Photoshop, it's the sort of thing for which I'd use the Levels or Brightness/Contrast tools, but Windows Live Movie Maker does not appear to have either of these things. (Or, if it does, I can't find them.) Is there some piece of free software that would let me do this?

If it helps, this is a video of a forest with clearings in it, taken from above - the problem is that you can't easily tell where the clearings are. It was taken in the middle of winter, on what appears to have been a cloudy day, meaning that everything's just differing shades of brown and gray.

(I'm doing this for work; we need it for next week, and we don't think we can get a professional video editor in time. Obviously, this means that the IT person is in charge!)
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Thanks to my excellent taste in fiction, I am just as capable of saying the following things as I was the day I left Japan:

"Even if you're not human, you're still capable of being killed!"

"I still haven't wiped the blood off from the last one."

"It will be as if this train had never existed!"

It is to be hoped, however, that none of this will be necessary at Mo's wedding. Is there a good book or website just for polite conversational stuff, without all the hyperbolic threats?
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
There's a set of twin girls who have boyfriends who are also a set of twins. For the first chapter or two it's note-perfect as a slight romantic comedy, but then one of the girls is abruptly killed in some sort of accident.

Everyone grieves. But the girl is brought back to life as a mindless zombie with a vocabulary of only a few words, and they're trapped in a house with it; there's some kind of physical threat over them if they try to leave. The dead girl's boyfriend, breaking down under the stress, becomes obsessed with the zombie, convinced that there is meaning in its gestures and words, and that it still loves him.

...I've just realized that this sounds like the sort of dream that I'd have. To clarify, I am in fact describing an actual shoujo manga.

I saw it on some scanlation group's site maybe eight years ago. The group primarily worked on shounen, and if I recall correctly they posted a warning to their readers not to be fooled by the saccharine nature of the first chapter.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Is there some piece of software that's particularly well-suited to producing scanlations? Or just comics, I guess? I've used Photoshop in the past, when I've done the actual editing part, but it's kind of cumbersome. I feel like by now someone must have come up with a piece of software, or at least a bunch of Photoshop plugins, that can:

* Keep all the images organized in a sort of project, similar to individual pages in a PDF.

* Auto-level a whole volume worth of scanned grayscale pages so that they look pretty much consistent with one another. (I assume that this is possible without screwing things up too bad?)

* Keep text pretty-much-kinda appropriately centered and sized within balloons. I assume that a computer cannot always tell what looks good, given that we still pay people to do this, but given the dimensions of the bubble, it should be able to make a good guess in most circumstances.

* Bulk-edit all the text (say, to change the font).

* Tag certain balloons as certain types of text, like "omniscient narrator," "singing," or "Shigure Sohma," so that you can bulk-edit just that type. Because Shigure's font needs to be just slightly more unpleasant than everybody else's.

* Do a full-text search-and-replace, in case you need to change the way you transliterate a particular name or something. Or find all the scenes in which a particular character is mentioned so that their gender pronouns can be changed. Not that that has ever been a problem in translating any manga, ever.

* Allow notes-to-self on the balloons, which can say stuff like, "fix this later" or "I can't figure out this word." Preferably it should be possible to view all notes project-wide somewhere.

* Maybe generate a viewable script for the whole project. Though obviously it would often not be perfectly in order as the computer cannot understand visual flow well enough to figure out whether balloon A comes before or after balloon B.
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Do you just solve crimes there, or what?
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
I need a piece of software that will thwart evil.

I have about a hundred text files, which contain lists of about eighty numbered questions, 4000 words in length. Most of them seem to be identical text-wise, but I've turned up one that has some very minor differences.

I need a way to search through all these files and figure out if there are any others with different text. I really don't want to have to skim 1600 pages of this stuff - I'm afraid I'll miss something, and I've got more important things to be doing. I guess conceivably I could put a script together myself, but I've only recently started playing with regular expressions, and it might take longer than doing the project by hand.

The thwarting evil part comes in here: We were sent these files by a horrible law firm representing a horrible corporation, who inserted these discrepancies precisely to waste our time. The horrible corporation needs representation because they recently -ed over several hundred desperately poor people, a number of whom are now homeless. There will come a reckoning. But first I need, like, a Python script or something.


Aug. 20th, 2010 08:21 pm
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My computer runs Vista, doesn't have enough RAM for it, and freaks out when I try to add more RAM. It takes fifteen minutes to finish booting up, takes thirty seconds to open Chrome, and gets too hot to hold in my lap. This affront can no longer be borne.

I've tested out a few Linux distributions on LiveCD, and Xubuntu looks good for 95% of my needs.* However, I do need to keep Vista around for the other 5%, so I want to set it up to dual-boot. I've never tried that before, and was looking at this guide - does anyone knowledgeable in such things see anything terrifyingly wrong with it? It's been heavily linked, so I have no idea how seriously to take any of the debates going on in the comments.

* I'm not new to Linux, so you need not warn me about its peculiarities in general - though warnings about Xubuntu's in particular would not come amiss. (I used Red Hat before.)
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
I'm trying to educate myself culturally. What are the classic annoying fantasy series that I need to have read, as a nerd?

Notice that I'm talking about annoying fantasy series - like, stuff where every single book has the same plot, or the cast of characters grows by six or seven people every book and every book gets longer because they all need to have stuff to do, or the last eight books have pretty much just been about the author's hat bondage fetish, or whatever.

I have read Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books and Raymond Feist's Magician books.


Apr. 26th, 2010 08:54 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
Does anyone know why the Girl Power Corrupts post apparently got seven zillion hits from at the beginning of the month? Google Analytics doesn't give the full referring URL and the forum's search engine doesn't turn up anything, so I can't tell if this represents actual human beings or what.

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