Older blog entries for Zaitcev (starting at number 216)

19 Nov 2006 (updated 30 Nov 2006 at 01:09 UTC) »

Web 2.0 at ANN

Anime News Network has a very interesting feature, a rating histogram. It presents a better readout than traditional one-dimentional rating number.

I find this histogram a great way to know what the great unwashed thinks about a particular title. But there's more. Users vote by registering the series they watched. Therefore, it's possible to transpose the table and collect a list of all anime a particular user has seen, with ratings. My list is there too.

However, for an unknown reason, ANN decided to make this exceedingly difficult. There is no link to one's own list. When users want to share their lists, they must 1) find a valid URL which contains "MyAnime/" (by following "public lists", perhaps), then 2) edit it and remove explicit collection (this shows all collections). Wow, just wow. I don't think I saw anything as kinky since learning how to fetch rating values at Advogato.

Also, users must set their own lists to be public explicitly, but that is an understandable nod to privacy concerns.

{Update: I wish ANN had a list for "Rejected Unseen", similarly to SDB's "Future Series".}

Syndicated 2006-11-19 04:06:38 (Updated 2006-11-19 19:42:42) from Pete Zaitcev

18 Nov 2006 (updated 30 Nov 2006 at 01:09 UTC) »

Naruto DVD

Viz decided to throw a wrench in my works with Naruto releases, which I wanted to buy selectively. Thanks to explanations at RACS, I discovered that the scattered volumes upon which I built my plan actually contain a repackaged broadcast version, sold at $15.98 a disc, 4 episodes per volume, or $4 per episode. Which would be all right, but I do not want the broadcast version. In the same time, RACS sell an "uncut" version at $39.98 a set for 13-episode thinpack. At $3.08 per episode, this would be savings... for someone who wanted to buy everything.

Using my old map, and expecting each set to have 13 episodes, the thinpack scatters like so:

set eps needed
1 1-13 none
2 14-26 19, 22
3 27-39 32
4 40-52 none
5 53-65 53

This is going to be expensive.

On the other hand, it's not a disaster like "Cardcaptors". One might say that Viz is doing fans a service by releasing the real footage. They could have as easily sent us to CDjapan.

{Update: Side-by-side comparisons of edited scenes are available from anime-editz.net (beware of spoilers): ep.19, ep.26 (massive mousbleed removals :-)).}

Syndicated 2006-11-18 05:40:25 (Updated 2006-11-18 05:55:16) from Pete Zaitcev

17 Nov 2006 (updated 30 Nov 2006 at 01:09 UTC) »

DS and "Kanji Brain"

From an article comparing top sales:

Software Sales - This Week | Total Sales
1.) Common Knowledge Training (NDS, Nintendo) - 102,240 | 451,106
2.) Pokémon Diamond (NDS, The Pokémon Company) - 78,744 | 1,682,896
3.) Kirby: Squeak Squad (NDS, Nintendo) - 77,949 | 244,081
4.) Pokémon Pearl (NDS, The Pokémon Company) - 65,574 | 1,423,990
5.) Kanji Brain (NDS, IE Institute) - 33,932 | NEW
6.) New Super Mario Bros. (NDS, Nintendo) - 27,361 | 3,393,921
7.) More Brain Age (NDS, Nintendo) - 24,166 | 3,412,008
8.) Winning Eleven DS (NDS, Konami) - 23,653 | 112,928
9.) Ridge Racer 7 (PS3, Bandai Namco) - 21,655 | NEW
10.) Gundam: Target Sight (PS3, Bandai Namco) - 21,310 | NEW

And... DS is region free! I know what I want to Christmas now.

There's just one small problem: there is a bunch of kanji games for DS, so identifying the one may prove difficult. Known before are Rakubiki Jiten (aka: "DS Rakuhiki Jiten: Kanji Sono Mama") and KanKen DS (aka "Zaidan Houjin Nippon Kanji Nouryoku Kentei Kyoukai Kounin: KanKen DS"). After a short googling it appears that what they really mean is "Zaidan Houjin Nippon Kanji Nouryoku Kentei Kyoukai Koushiki Soft: 200 Mannin no KanKen: Tokoton Kanji Nou". I do not know how it is customarily shortened. The jacket says "tokoton kanji nou", so perhaps it's Tokoton. The game is available at Play-Asia.

BTW, I suspect that the game got into the best-selling list because of Japanese parents who buy it for their kids. Kids can't be crazy enough to buy them on their own. On the other hand, I'm sure we can find 30,000 Americans with midlife crisis and Japanese fetish at any given week. Maybe they are who buys all those games.

Syndicated 2006-11-17 04:36:33 (Updated 2006-11-17 04:39:52) from Pete Zaitcev


It seems that Java was open today. I can't help thinking that Sun was nudged by gcj. I run gcj web plugin in Firefox to access Bladecenter, and gcj proper to build and run small Java toys (like USBMon). I also tinkered with running Azureus and RSSOwl, and although they aren't mainstay applications for me, they are not little toys, and they work with gcj and Classpath. So, Sun opened Java when it became patently obvious that Classpath is on the course to obsolete Sun's implementation.

Regardless of the reasons, I think that open Java is great news. I loved hacking in Java. The language was great. Libraries were... hard to evaluate for a drive-by programmer like myself, but I saw them getting better quite a bit (especially when you count non-Sun things like SWT, RxTx, etc.).

I never was big on WORA (actually, considered it a marketing fraud personally), so I gave a thought to liberating Java from the grip of it. When at Sun, I looked into having Forth-based firmware replaced with Java-based one -- naturally with a non-SE runtime. It would provide immense benefits (such as interrupt processing). Some were unobvious. Everyone at Sun, except perhaps Ping Lee, considered hacking FCode a career end. Once a manager knows that you are familiar with FCode, you get tasked with it, because everyone else is so keen to avoid it, and that is forever. Your only choice is to go management, or to quit. Replacing Forth with Java would ease this problem considerably... If Mitch Bradley won't like it, tough! It was a pipe dream for many reasons, but a fun one.

It would be great to tackle a project in Java, but with my current work it's hopeless. I can't even complete a 1000-line patch to usbmon for a month.

Syndicated 2006-11-14 05:51:41 from Pete Zaitcev

yum is slow

I have a 500MHz P3M laptop, which is running yum at 96% CPU and ate 29 minutes of CPU as of this moment [as I was typing this entry, yum ended its thinking and started downloading headers]. I remember times, around FC-4 or so, when everyone was complaining about yum being a memory hog. On this very system it would balloon over 200MB and thrash badly in my 192MB of RAM. Apparently Seth Vidal (or someone) did some radical surgery, because my yum's RSS is 13MB now (on top of modest 24MB total). While in awe in front of this masterful achievement, I have to ask if his main technique in getting yum's bloat under control was to throw away cached structures and recompute stuff.

But what am I doing using a 500MHz laptop? I suppose it's a good question, but on the other hand the poor thing seems to run GNOME with no big difficulty. Its main downside is the 16 bit color. And the battery is dead. Also, 9GB winchester is getting kind of tight... Oh heck who am I kidding. I need a new laptop.

Syndicated 2006-11-14 01:19:14 from Pete Zaitcev

Woops Groups

I boasted in comments for an entry at Astro's how I did 3" groups with my short Mosin (I have a cut-down known as "Model 59" in America). Since I had 5 rounds left from the season, I took it with me to the range today, with explicit purpose to take a picture of the group.

As a result, I'm having a crow for supper tonight. The orange circle is it. The problem is, I started flinching badly; even caught myself closing eyes. For comparison, the green circle is set around 10 shots from my 5.56 Browning, for which I wasn't straining too much.

BTW, it looks like I wasn't to the range for about a year. I went through the door where office used to be, and a club staffer explained that the office was relocated 8 months ago. I blame anime.

Syndicated 2006-11-13 02:43:48 from Pete Zaitcev

15 Nov 2006 (updated 2 Dec 2006 at 05:06 UTC) »

LJ trust metrics

Raph linked to Bitchun by Joseph. Joseph knows math of eigenvector and carries the torch of trust metrics, so to speak. When we touched bases some time ago, I was somewhat disturbed by his [very] premature attempts at commercializing the research. I know only too well what happens when premature commercialization strikes (Anyone remembers Matt O'Keefe and GFS? Me neither). Joseph is too smart to fall into his trap though, I did not even need to tell him about the danger.

Raph's link prompted me to surf a little bit, so I found this:

It's a picture made by the same guy who applied PageRank to LJ. I gave that a whirl as well. The results were well calculated, but mostly useless. For some reason I do not find popular people's diaries all that interesting. Also, it unearthed a pile of folks who used to write years ago and moved on. The lonely catch of the day was ajaxxx. I have to pay attention to X11 due to this Xen and PV framebuffer business.

{Update: Oh, and BTW. The picture above is a good illustration to the thesis that one ought to blog in English.}

Syndicated 2006-11-12 10:29:08 (Updated 2006-12-02 04:53:26) from Pete Zaitcev

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou

I saw the two OVA episodes of YKK. Of course I had to, considering the impact of the parent manga.

The OVA is very faithful to the manga, especially in the art, but overall it feels as if the creators were afraid to make the anime. It does not disappoint, because it's exactly what I was expecting. The right adjective would probably be "weak".

I am not quite sure what to blame for the lack of punch, because, for example, both Azumanga and Naruto (up to ep. 136 or so) are very closely aligned with their respective mangas and they are tremendous successes. Maybe trying to retell the story in two episodes without changing anything was hopeless. The whole thing seems overcompressed.

Probably what an ideal YKK anime needs is a Japanese Peter Jackson (and his budget).

Second episode tries to deliver on the subtle post-apocaliptic feel in the very end, which was the main thing going for the manga. It kinda sorta succeeds if the viewer feels generous.

Liked: It could be worse
Rewatch: No. Re-read the manga instead.

Syndicated 2006-11-12 08:25:42 from Pete Zaitcev

15 Nov 2006 (updated 30 Nov 2006 at 01:09 UTC) »

Google imitates LiveJournal

I suppose it must be the most sincere form of flattery, but Google started to integrate Orkut with Gtalk. So far though, Gaim does not seem to pick the new connections added through Orkut, although their web applet does (even after restarting). Also... They use a Flash applet to set a JavaScript variable. If that sounds too crazy to believe, look at Control-U and gtalk001.js. I suppose I'm lucky my browser hasn't crashed yet.

{Update: In the morning, Gaim started updating, after a fashion. New buddies are added to a default group, so I have to drag them where they belong one by one.}

{Update 2006/11/10: They add buddies with e-mail addresses which are registered with Orkut. But they are NOT the addresses used for jabbering! They should've used the sign-in name for Orkut and gmail.com domain, or else this won't work.}

Syndicated 2006-11-09 13:09:16 (Updated 2006-11-10 18:39:09) from Pete Zaitcev

Atom feed for Advogato

Regarding Advogato, Steven writes (in comments for an article):

I got a little carried away yesterday and decided to add support a few more feed formats than I'd originally intended. Zaitcev's feed uses Atom (thanks for volunteering as a test subject, by the way!), so that's first on the list. A few other people have set up a feeds too, so I have sample data for the common RSS formats (v0.91 and v2.0). And one feed was in the somewhat more complicated RDF Site Summary format (aka RSS v1.0). Looks like all of them will work out okay so far. After parsing all these formats, I can see why Atom is becoming so popular.

Since I'm only a kernel monkey, I'm utterly ignorant about the merits of Atom. I subscribed my Advogato feed to Atom because Siebermann wrote once:

The difference between Atom and RSS is that Atom has a real specification, one good enough that people actually write to it. So I can use the specification to write a useful feed generator [...].


Syndicated 2006-11-08 23:54:45 from Pete Zaitcev

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