September 2007

Head-hunter vocabulary

The word for the day is 頭皮. Why? Because that’s the stumper that Kakitorikun threw at me today. [yes, this means that I’m still working though the 3rd grade vocabulary drills; work, WoW, and other study methods have slowed down, but not eliminated, my progress…]

The hint was: 「あたまをおおうあたまのかわ」, which at least confirmed that it was a literal combination of the two characters meaning “head” and “skin”, unlike the same lesson’s 皮肉. I’m not sure how you get “sarcasm” out of skin+meat, but at least the word is in my dictionaries.

頭皮 is not. It’s not in my WordTank (not even in the J-J section), it’s not in my printed dictionaries (not even The Compact Nelson), nothing. Edict and its derivatives are the only things that list it. So, here we have a word that’s common enough to put into children’s training software, but too rare to be worth mentioning in an electronic dictionary intended for native speakers. I’m not surprised that my student J-E dictionaries don’t have it, but Nelson’s usually pretty good.

Oh, the other study method that’s taking up some of my time? I’m watching Sentou no Musume during my daily workout. Lots of rapid casual speech with no subtitles, but the story is straightforward, the comedy is largely visual, and the acting is, um, “accessible”.

[Update: while I was in Kinokuniya tonight, I looked up 頭皮 in several printed J-J dictionaries. It wasn’t in any of them, and while I did find it in a few E-J dictionaries, it wasn’t in the matching J-E section.]

[Update: Kanji Sonomama has it.]

When guns are outlawed...

…they turn up in the oddest places.

(via Japundit)

Lousy timing

This morning, one of our executives sent email that her laptop crashed, and then refused to boot, asking for the original install media. Ordinarily, this would mean looking at it on Monday morning.

Unfortunately, she was at the airport, getting onto a plane for New York, for Very Important Business. So she took the dead laptop with her, and asked us to FedEx her the install CDs. That really wouldn’t have worked out very well for her, so we’re sending another laptop out there ASAP.

At least, we’re trying. It seems that no amount of money on our part will get any shipping company to let us use their same-day service. We’re not TSA-approved for such things, and having an established account doesn’t matter. The only way we could get it to her before Tuesday morning is to buy a ticket and fly it out there ourselves. Grrrr.

[yes, the dead machine is a Sony, but it’s not one of the BXs that have been causing us trouble.]

[Update: finally got details from her. It’s not dead dead, it’s giving up during the Windows startup, complaining about a missing or corrupt DLL, which it would be happy to retrieve from any Windows XP disc. So, we’re not looking at a major hardware failure, at least.]

Yah, good plan

Responding to the recent Windows Genuine Advantage outage that caused thousands of Windows XP and Vista machines to incorrectly decide they were running a pirated OS, Microsoft has announced that they will no longer disable minor functionality in this situation to encourage compliance.

Instead, it’s being reported that Vista will now shut you down completely. No worries, eh?

Good afternoon, as of this week, Microsoft has activated a function in Vista called 'Reduced Functionality.' This is a specific function in Vista that effectively disables nongenuine copies of Windows. Therefore anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:

A black screen after one hour of browsing
No start menu or task bar
No desktop

I hope that this is just Computerworld Australia being scammed by someone with a phony email. If not, it’s a really, really bad idea.

Dear Roxio,

Your DigitalMedia SE software is installed on one of our Windows laptops (Sony ships the damn thing, in fact). It’s supposed to help users burn DVDs. When I pushed the little button to burn a disc containing 3+ GB of data scattered across several thousand files, a little dialog box popped up complaining that 6 of the files couldn’t be written.

This was in a fixed-width window, and the files were listed with their full pathnames, cut off at the end of a non-resizable column. I have no idea which 6 files can’t be burned to the DVD, and your software refuses to tell me. Obviously no one at your company has ever actually used your product.

Spare the rod, spoil the EU

The English are once again free to use English units of measure.

(via Kim du Toit)

"Hi, Gary"

My opinion of the talent working the Genius Bar at Apple stores has been… less than wholly positive. Tonight an old co-worker from my Synopsys days turned up as the New Genius In Town.

I’ll feel a lot better about taking one of our MacBook Pros down there for service now.

What do we do?

I guess we do this:

The only girl group destroyed by Ultraman

At first glance, it sounds like a recipe for failure: take one of your idol singers whose career has been languishing since her partner was kicked out for being a bad girl, team her up with a bikini model and a professional eater, dress them all up in Gal styles, and have them do para-para moves as they sing their dance tunes.

Okay, maybe it was a recipe for failure, because in the middle of the hype leading up to their first single, lead singer Nozomi Tsuji abruptly dropped out. Why? She’d been knocked up by Ultraman (more precisely, the latest actor to take on the role).

The powers that be quickly replaced her with one of their best-known idol’s little sister, who’s certainly appealing, but lacks the desperately hungry fanbase that Tsuji provided. Result: the one-hit wonder Gyaruru.

Mildly amusing, but the real draw for me is that bikini idol Ami Tokito is a curvy meganekko…


Dear Negi,

[Update: nice trailer]

In the commercial for your upcoming live-action show, you say “I’ll use my magic to make my students happy”. Having read the comic, I’ve got to tell you, it ain’t your magic they’re after.


Two guys working alone in an electronics factory at 1:30am, and one of them falls into an open vat of sulfuric acid?

It’s nice to hear that OSHA is investigating, but I can’t help but think that a company that lets unsupervised 18-year-olds work around a waist-deep vat of acid in the middle of the night should have been shut down a long time ago.

Expose breasts before entering

A Chinese online game is enforcing gender in character creation. Want your online avatar to be a girl? Prove you’re a girl. Using a webcam.

In their next release, players will be required to provide proof that they’re elves, dwarves, trolls, warriors, wizards, thieves, heroes, assassins, or demigods before they’re allowed to select anything but the “geek living in mom’s basement” character class.

By the end of the year, they plan to require all characters to be exact replicas of their players, leading to 1000-man raids on the Lord of Cheetos and endless camping of the Valley of Free Porn.

Morning pick-me-up

[Update: the title says it all, really]

I’ve been getting a little Youtube-happy around here recently, which slows down page-loading, but I can’t resist the megadol:

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”