Update is failed

A really nice guy who I met at an awful place said he "chuckled a bit when I was updating my Blu Ray player and when it was done, it would say 'Update is Failed'.....ahh God bless LG products lol..."

So we have yet another badly translated product from abroad. Please, hire good translators or at least editors who will correct such odd English.

By the way, it's supposed to be "Update has failed".


Answer the question

I don't understand how a publication can interview someone, then publish a question that hasn't been answered.

I was perusing Aspen Peak Magazine and came upon an interview with an interior designer. The first question they asked him wasn't answered:
You primarily design vacation homes for your clientele. How did you get your start?

Answer: I like to create fantasies and take risks when designing a home for a client, and I found that my clients are more creative and willing to experiment with a vacation home as opposed to a primary residence.
How does that answer the question? He promotes himself, but he does not explain how he got his start. If he, or the magazine, thinks the question was answered, then they are expecting the reader to infer it by assigning almost symbolic meaning to those words, rather than read a direct, real answer to the question.

If I was editing that article, I would either delete that question, or not publish it unless he really answered it.


A word nerd with a cool day job

Brian Cleary told me about his language-related books for kids (he calls himself a "Word Nerd"), but what really caught my attention was his day job. According to his Facebook page, "For his day job, he serves as a Senior Editor in the Humor Department at American Greetings."

Can you imagine having that as your day job? Someone would ask him, "American Greetings? What department?" And he would reply, "I work in the Humor Department."

A lot of people have to do some bland work to pay the bills, and do the creative stuff on the side, but his life is full of creative pursuits. Plus, his books sell well, so he's experiencing success professionally and through his passion.

He's obviously a smart, creative guy who's getting a lot out of life.


French Thanksgiving words

I know, it's weird to mention French when they don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but I find it amusing that someone has compiled list of French vocabulary related to the holiday. And it's a good way to practice your French :D You can also test it via the Thanksgiving quiz.



I was talking to someone who is bilingual in Spanish and English, and he said that when he was dealing with some people in Texas for work, they would use a different kind of Spanglish by attaching Spanish grammar to English words, and vice-versa.

For instance, he was talking to a guy who said a windshield was "crackiado" instead of "rajado". I think that's really cool, though a purist would think that's just so wrong. But there's so much language mixture in the US, I'm not surprised they ended up with "crackiado". I wonder if there's a list of such words out there.


Interview with powerful mass media guy who's not snobby

As you know, this blog isn't part of the mass media, and blogs had been derided by various people in the media, until a bunch grudgingly jumped on board. But before they did, we (the micro-media) were reading and writing all over the Internet, and the mass media didn't really care. Even now I'll meet some folks who think they're "too good" for such online participation, and I've heard negative comments about "those bloggers" as well.

But I talked to Lee Abrams, who's been one of the most influential and successful consultants in the mass media: he changed music radio forever, has worked with and knows a lot of popular bands, was at the beginning of satellite radio, consulted MTV, and has done a lot more. He has always worked in, and greatly profited from, mass media and mainstream culture, and unbelievably, he let me interview him!

Just the fact that he had no problem talking to me (I only had to ask him once, and he said yes right away) shows that for a successful mass media guy, he's very open-minded and not arrogant or snobby at all. A lot of people in the mass media don't think we micro-media folks are worthy of interaction. But he's different--in fact, I've met people who don't even have a fraction of the success he has, and they either don't respond or just refuse to do an interview.

Anyway, feel free to listen to it at this link (mp3 file).


I finished the manga!

Last summer, I started reading 島耕作 (Shima Kosaku) and didn't realize what slow progress I was making until my progress report earlier this month.

Well, today I finished it! 230 pages! It was great from beginning to end, and I'm going to get another one the next time I go to the Japanese store. I just hope that the next one I read will seem easier and not take as long. But now I'm really motivated, so maybe it will take a fraction of the time :D



I always wonder why Brits say "leftenant" for "lieutenant", and found some information that explains why:
In the time of Chaucer (1340?-1400), the distinction between the letters u and v did not yet exist in writing. Once they separated, people remained uncertain as to which sound each of these letters represented. Another theory focuses on auditory rather than visual confusion.
Read the rest of the explanation to find out a lot more.


Japanese 3D hologram concert

This is really weird but cool: a dancing hologram performing in Japan. The crowd looks fake too, especially with the way they use the glow sticks, but I guess the people are real. (found via Alan Cox's blog)


Fair Use

I just spent a lot of time (more than a few hours today and some yesterday) putting a podcast episode together with snippets of commercial music because I interviewed some on-air talent from a music station who were talking about various groups, and I thought it would be interesting to include musical examples of what they were talking about. Then, after all that work, I decided to make sure that what I was doing was legal, and I realized that it probably isn't.

There are a lot of discussions online about Fair Use of music, and the US Copyright Office is the place to go. They have a PDF of the complete U.S. Copyright Law and a list of sections so you can find what you need. But basically, this is what I learned from looking at the PDF:
"the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
So if you're going to use music as a way to make the podcast more interesting, even if it relates to the discussion, then it's not fair use. But if you're going to play a piece of music to critique it, then that's okay. Basically, when in doubt, get a license or permission, even if it's just for a few seconds. I got permission from a band to use their music in my podcast's intros and outros, but I guess I'm going to have to scrap the style of the latest podcast I did because I'm pretty sure it doesn't fall under Fair Use.

So now I'm wondering if all that work was a "waste" of time, but I guess it wasn't, because I was able to do this post. Plus, it was just an enjoyable thing I did, and maybe down the road my production skills will be put to use based on the practice I just had :D


Book Drum

Someone from Bookdrum noticed that I listed The Great Gatsby as one of my favorite books in my profile (read the entire book online here), and they suggested that I look at its multimedia profile over there. It seems like a very interesting site that makes books multi-dimensional, so if you're into books and want to express your love for them in various ways, feel free to join, or just check out what's already there.


Manga progress report

Ugh, now that I saw my post about my manga reading, I realize it's been a few months since I started reading it, and I'm still not done. I'm sure if I read it full time, I'd be done sooner, but I don't always have the time or energy to figure out what every word means, though I get the gist of the story.

Well I see the end in sight. I was quite busy last week with work and other things, but this week is slower, so I will have more time to devote to it. And when I finally finish it, I will definitely celebrate that here!