July 11, 2016

Oh my aching bones and white hair

How many of you have ever even heard of TECO? Know what it is? Know how to use it?

For extra credit, what does the name mean?

UPDATE: And for extra extra credit, what command do you use to get out of it if you get into it by mistake? 

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 03:26 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 57 words, total size 1 kb.

July 10, 2016

USS Archerfish

In my never-ending search for cheesecake I ran into this post. It doesn't really count as cheesecake but I thought it was noteworthy anyway.


USS Archerfish was an American submarine in the Pacific during WWII, and it is particularly noteworthy because it sank IJN Shinano.

Shinano was the third hull of the Yamato series. Yamato and Musashi eventually became battleships but while Shinano was still in construction the decision was made to turn her into an aircraft carrier. She was commissioned in November 1944 and was being moved from Yokosuka to Kure when she was spotted by Archerfish.

Archerfish stalked Shinano for six hours and finally achieved a nearly ideal firing position. 4 out of 6 torpedoes hit, causing flooding which Shinano's rookie crew could not stop. She eventually capsized and sank.

So I think it's pretty remarkable that this Japanese artist honors Archerfish in this way, since although cartoony (and clearly based on KanColle) it's really rather respectful.

I guess you could claim that they do the same with USS Iowa, but that's not really the same. First off, Iowa is being drawn mostly as a fan service object. Second, Iowa is a ship you can get in Kancolle. I don't think there are any submarines in that game. (I could be wrong. There are no submarines in World Of Warships but there might well be some in KanColle. It's easy to get the two confused.)

That same post also includes a picture of USS Albacore, which is noteworthy for having sunk IJN Taihou during the battle of the Philippine Sea. Sadly, Albacore didn't survive the war and was lost with all hands (the most common fate for an American submarine). Her fate isn't known for certain but she probably struck a mine.

Time heals wounds and I guess a modern Japanese can look back and honor a gallant foe (by putting her in a stars-and-stripes bikini).

Other notes: CV-2 is the first USS Lexington, which was sunk at the Battle of Coral Sea. CV-16 is the second USS Lexington, which survived the war. The Japanese carrier they're shown fighting is Zuihou, which participated in Coral Sea and was sunk at Leyte Gulf by American carrier air strikes, including planes from the second Lexington.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 12:32 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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July 09, 2016

Ange Vierge -- ep 01

I'm going to hold off on a real post about this, so just a quickie for now.

It's about ⅓ Strike Witches, ⅓ Petite Princess Yucie, and ⅓ Pokemon, with lots and lots of nudity. About half the first episode was spent in bath scenes, all heavily censored with fog and rays of light, this being the MX version of the show. But it's also running on AT-X, so I'm going to wait until that shows up, if it does.

It's got a good voice cast, as it turns out. The basic concept: there are five worlds in five universes. One day something happened and opened a portal between the five worlds. At the same time it gave special powers some high school girls on each of the worlds. They've all collected together to fight a mysterious enemy called Neuroi Oroboros. It seems like the Oroboros opened the gateways, and there seems to be a tendency for all the worlds to eventually merge, which will destroy them all.

There are two kinds of girls involved in this fight. First are "Progress", front line girls who actually engage in combat. Then there are "Alpha Drivers", who sit in the rear and bond with the Progress, giving them power boosts.

Which is to say that this is based on a collectible card game and the Progress are cards and the Alpha Driver is the player. In our case our Driver is Amane and she has five Progress working for her, one from each of the worlds.

So more on this after the AT-X version of the show appears.

UPDATE: I might have known that Fapservice would be all over this (NSFW) and they say that it won't show up on AT-X for days, and it will still be censored. So I guess these are all Buy The BD's shots.

The most noteworthy thing for me was that Amane, the player surrogate, is voiced by Tamura Yukari, who does the voice of Nanoha Takamachi. She isn't actively trying to sound like Nanoha but she isn't trying not to, either, and it really does sound a lot like Nanoha.

Anyway, to the extent that there is any kind of story beyond "Hey, cute girls flying around firing energy blasts!" it seems to be about Saya, the magical girl from Earth who is in Amane's team. But it isn't much of a story, I suspect, and this is mainly going to be about eye candy.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:23 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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July 08, 2016

Cheesecake: Less is more!

Cheesecake should be risqué, revealing, lots of skin and not much else. A cheesecake picture of a model who is fully dressed isn't cheesecake, so I apologize for my previous post. To make it up to you, today's search term is "micro bikini".

I presume you all realize that everything below the fold is NSFW, so I won't bother mentioning that everything below the fold is NSFW.





Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 06:41 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 160 words, total size 2 kb.


The web site for Ange Vierge says that it's broadcast time is 25:30 on Saturday July 9. I've seen that before, and it's always confused me. I thought there were only 24 hours in a day. Is that not true in Japan? (If they've got a 25 hour day, maybe that's why they're so productive!)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 05:44 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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July 06, 2016

Cheesecake -- BEEDAH!


Cheesecake is educational! Today you'll learn a word you may not know! Today's search term is "akanbe".




Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 02:43 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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July 05, 2016

Naming fads

With fifty or sixty new anime titles each season, and this going on for decades, the studios have a hard time coming up with names for them. Sometimes they don't have to because the name comes from a manga or a light novel so it's someone else's problem.

But as a result when we look back on our history we find there are some trends which appear, get used a few times, and then fade away. Like using incoherent phrases in English (e.g. "Neon Genesis Evangelion").

The latest one seems to be to use WORDxWORD or LETTERxLETTER. I think it may have started with HunterxHunter, and continued with SisxSis (which became known to its fans as "SxS"). Then there was "High School DxD" and now this season we have "Masou Gakuen HxH".

The latter three were all soft core porn, and I think that LETTERxLETTER has become a shorthand for "pandering".

The first episode came out today and I didn't watch it. But Fapservice is right there, doing what they do best, and if you're willing to risk it, here it is.

It's borderline hentai. If this was broadcast on anything except AT-X, it probably got censored up the wazoo. I haven't seen anything so lewd since the Maken Ki OVA.

There's an audience out there for this kind of thing, but I'm not part of it. I can't drop it because I never picked it up, but if I had I would.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 07:58 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 245 words, total size 1 kb.

The most terrifying commercial competition

Microsoft was the first company to realize the ramifications of the fact that software costs nothing to reproduce. No matter what it is, it costs $10 to make a copy (or even less now, with internet distribution). That means the entire cost is amortized development expense, and thus the more copies you sell, the less amortized cost there is per unit and the lower the price you can charge.

And with that realization, history was made.

Now Microsoft is finally up against a competitive wall, facing a competitor it is having a hard time dealing with: itself, five years ago. If software costs nothing to manufacture, the problem is that it also doesn't wear out.

Each new iteration of its products have been intended to be improvements over the previous version, enough so as to convince people to shell out for the upgrade. But that's a treacherous path because you eventually run out of obvious things to add or change, and you end up adding things that people see as being a "gimmick" instead of an obviously valuable change. And they don't shell out for the gimmick.

Microsoft is also facing a technological revolution. The self-contained PC is now being challenged by tablets with touch screens. (And also phones.) The PC with a built-in keyboard isn't going to die; there are a lot of uses for which it is simply better than a tablet. But its percentage of the market place will decline, and Microsoft is facing a crisis the like of which they haven't seen since OS/2. The problem is that Android is eating Microsoft's lunch in that arena. Partly that's because Google is giving it away and partly that's because Microsoft doesn't have any kind of competing product, or it didn't.

The goal of Windows 10 is to make it possible for Windows to run on a PC and also to run on a tablet. Windows uses the Desktop metaphor which has ruled the industry for 30 years, and Android uses the new Bookshelf metaphor, which an increasing number of users find to be very comfortable.

Microsoft is thus facing a bootstrapping problem: they need a lot of copies of Win 10 out there so developers will create apps for it, but before those apps appear there is no advantage to Win 10 for PC users, who would rather stay with Win 7. Without those apps, Win 10 simply isn't a compelling upgrade for Win 7.

They've been reduced to giving it away and using annoying nags to convince people to switch, and I have a suspicion they've taken to sabotaging Win 7. And they're rolling out the mother of all nags this month.

This is an act of desperation, and they're not fooling anyone. It's also a last ditch. They can never do anything like this again or customers will get angry. (They already are; this will make it worse.)

Some percentage of PC customers may switch to Linux or switch to OSX, but most PC customers are locked in with Microsoft. But that's not true for tablet users, and there's a lot of overlap between those two bodies of customers. If Microsoft blackens its own eye this way, a lot of PC users will say, Fuck Microsoft and buy tablets running Android.

Microsoft is already badly behind in this market segment and they may never be able to catch up at the rate they're going.

In the 1980's Microsoft gained a stranglehold on the PC OS market. Since then there have been three major attempts to break it: by IBM with OS/2, by Sun with Java, and by Netscape with Navigator. All the attempts were credible but ultimately Microsoft was able to fight back.

Now Google is making the fourth attempt, and I think they're going to succeed. It's hard to compete with "free" but "free" alone isn't enough to win, as Linux freaks have found.

Android is also free but it's also friendly like Linux isn't. And Google isn't going to start charging for it, either. Part of Google's business plan is to make internet access into a commodity, because the more time people spend online the more money Google makes. That necessarily means they need to badly harm Microsoft, but they aren't doing it out of any kind of animosity. It's just that Microsoft is in the way and needs to be moved.

I think Microsoft is making a huge mistake in all this; they're sacrificing 30 years of customer good will. On the other hand, I'm not really sure what else they could do, except to find some other business to be in. And they've been trying to do that for 30 years and their only successes were the XBox and the Microsoft Mouse.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 07:14 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 796 words, total size 5 kb.

Metanorn's Summer 2016 Picks

They don't call it a "preview" because they got tired of trying to be comprehensive.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:35 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 04, 2016

All good things come to an end

Once upon a time the World's Fair was a huge deal. In the 1930's it was held in NYC and it was a real event. I remember when I was a kid it was held in Seattle, and we visited and that was a big deal, too. They built the Space Needle for it and installed the monorail in downtown, which is still running, 50 years later.

But these days they aren't really very important; I don't even know where the last couple were held, indeed if they were held recently at all. The Vancouver world's fair was rather lackluster but I think it was Nashville that started the death spiral.

Now I think that the Olympics are going to face the same fate, and this year is the beginnning of the end. All reports are that the games in Rio de Janeiro are going to be a disaster. It's supposed to take place in August and some of the facilities aren't complete yet. The drinking water there is contaminated and the area around the site is crime-ridden. The area of ocean where all the yachting events are supposed to take place is contaminated with unprocessed sewage.

And there's the Zika virus and the mosquitos that carry it. Plus the Russian track team isn't being permitted to attend because of a drugging scandal. And the laboratory which was supposed to do all the drug tests can't because its equipment doesn't work and its people have been bribed. Or something like that.

Meanwhile, the City of Rio is broke and may not be able to provide the services (like police) that are required.

So this game will be a disaster. But will it begin the downturn, like Nashville did for the World's Fairs?

UPDATE: Sorry, Knoxville, not Nashville!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 09:58 PM | Comments (18) | Add Comment
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