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weird differences

I've been making Anki flashcards to learn vocabulary and grammar and such, and because visual cues help with memorization I do google image searches in the language I'm learning for stuff to put on the cards.

This mostly works fine with Spanish. You enter the Spanish word and you get pictures that work decently as cues, not just for plain objects but also verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and get a kind of visualization of actual word usage. However with Russian words image search results are more often than not completely overrun by internet memes.

That is not useful. (Also you frequently get gross image results for totally harmless words.) Though I guess it might say something about Russian internet culture.

Like if you image search e.g. "a little" in English you get a bunch of images with thumb and index finger a bit apart, which is the kind of thing you might put on a vocabulary flashcard. But if you google "немного" the first page is all internet memes, and you probably don't want to look at these at work or if you are easily disturbed (from nudity to animal harm to racism to execution pictures all kinds of stuff is featured). From what I can tell that is mostly because these come from sites that collect internet meme pictures or something, and the word just appears somewhere on the page.

It's like that with every other word. I mean, concrete nouns are frequently okay, like if you google "дверь" it results in images of doors, but even simple verbs get you a bunch of weird memes, when with other languages they get you pictures of people doing something. Whether you google to work, travailler, trabajar or arbeiten you get fairly similar images. Image searching "работать" meanwhile does not, but lands you in weird internet meme land again.

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  • Current Mood: frustrated
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reading

I have a new e-reader

After the untimely destruction of my last one (lesson learned: don't read while walking, at least not unless you have seriously rugged your e-reader to take a lot of impact), I got a replacement today. I briefly considered just getting the same model again, because I liked my PocketBook Lux Touch 3, but actually it now cost 12€ more than eleven months ago when I bought it, and it would have been kind of depressing to get just the same again for more money now that the tech is almost a year older.

So instead I spent a little more still to get the new PocketBook Touch HD, which as the name indicates has a HD display, is faster with twice the memory and can play audio. My preference for PocketBook is that I want to be able to use my e-reader without having to register it anywhere or be associated with any store. PocketBook offers a cloud backup and synchronization service too, but you can just skip that. Also it supports the Adobe DRM my public library uses.

One thing that made me apprehensive is that while most reviews liked the hardware they cautioned about bugs in the firmware. Some reviews also claimed that it stopped working entirely when they tried to update said firmware, but I put these down to inexperience in coping with technical difficulties.

I was already familiar with how horrible and glitchy their firmware updates are from my previous PocketBook, but they also offer multiple ways of troubleshooting, restoring corrupted systems and their support is decent.

And true to form the thing hung during the initial firmware update, but actually it resolved more easily than last time. After a call to their support line, it took only one reset and connecting the e-reader to my laptop during the update for it to finish correctly. Apparently the thing likes to be connected to a power supply while updating, and may hang if it is not, even if it is nearly fully charged. Only the manual doesn't tell you that. (I was clever enough this time around to try this during their office hours, whereas last time I tried over the weekend and only got an answer to my, then slightly different, problem via mail on Monday, when I had already managed to resolve it with a lot of trial and error.)

Anyway, once I was past that (and disabled automatic updates), so far it seems to work okay when I tried stuff, though some problems might only show with longer use. I mean, my previous one has glitched a few times with books for no reason I could discern, like it would sometimes not display a page but exit to the menu, even though when I checked the ebook source code in that place on my computer I could never see anything unusual (like broken formatting or code or such) that might explain this. It wasn't happening often, maybe half a dozen times per several hundreds of files, but still annoying. And a few times it crashed for no reason, so even picking the old one again I would not have been bug-free.

The HD display of the new one is noticeably nicer and crisper than my previous one, and it is faster when loading things, when browsing the library and when reacting in general. So that is very nice. It connects fine to Calibre (though the translation of Calibre tags into "genres" is not ideal for my use of tags in particular with fanfic), and its own library organization got even better than previously.

Anyway so far I'm happy with it.

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ow!

I should not have read while walking. I stumbled over some uneven pavement and fell down. I didn't hurt myself too badly, mostly my hands, one wrist and both my knees are scaped up, but my ebook reader was destroyed. :((( Also my trousers, but I mostly feel the loss of my ereader.

I mean, I feel lucky that I didn't break my right wrist -- I awkwardly landed on that since that hand was holding the ereader and scraped its outside, but I guess the device absorbed quite a bit of force (it actually bent and partly shattered). Or damaged my new glasses which were far more expensive than my ereader.

But still. I really liked that ereader, and it wasn't that old either.

ETA: a picture of the casualty.Collapse )

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Doctor Strange

My expectations were kind of low, because most of what I heard about it in advance were the casting issues and such, and also Benedict Cumberbatch is a bit hit and miss for me, but I actually had a lot of fun watching this one. Then again I, heretically, enjoyed Antman too. Though I'm not feeling particularly fannish about either.

quick comments, cut for spoilersCollapse )

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wtf, Twitter?

You should not send spammy emails that claim that the account's tweets got lots of attention (and then explain how to promote them more or something) to accounts that have never posted even a single tweet.

After first glancing at the mail I wondered whether this meant that my twitter, which I don't actively use, had been hacked (it hasn't), and somebody had actually tweeted from it, or something, and now they wanted to inform me about unusual account activity.

This applies in particular since, afaik, I had already unchecked all seven checkboxes for receiving emails about Twitter updates, including the one about new features and services. So they should not have sent me spammy emails in the first place. Though maybe they added a new one, I was opted in by default and only unchecked the latest, seventh(!) fine-grained twitter product "information" box with my unsubscribe click.

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  • Current Mood: aggravated
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ew

I unwittingly caused a life and death drama in my fridge's vegetable drawer: I just found a giant, dead caterpillar (well about four centimeters long) in the bowl of plums I had also stored in the drawer. It definitely wasn't in the plums when I put them there, considering that I transfered them to said bowl from a bag and was too big to have been inside any of the plums without doing obvious damage. I think it must have come hidden in the cauliflower I also stored in the drawer (though that wasn't sitting directly next to the plums), somehow tried to desperately escape the cold or something, and then expired in my plums.

Well, I guess it's good to know that despite not being organic or anything, my cauliflower was wildlife supporting. I kind of feel bad for it, trying to escape and then slowly dying of cold. It was still unpleasant when I found that thing as I just wanted to grab some plums to snack on, though.

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weather griping, again

August shouldn't be a month in which you have to huddle under a blanket for warmth, not in the Northern hemisphere and far out from the Arctic anyway. And yet here I am. Under a blanket.

I've resorted to wearing thermal underwear as sleepwear too (rather than just a t-shirt as I usually do in summer), because two nights ago I woke up cold and shivering.

Thanks to my regular weather complaints here I realize it actually is not that unusual (I complained about even colder temperatures in August 2011) but I'm still grumpy.

I'd like some nice temperatures with pleasant highs in the upper mid-20s, balmy nights and some sun. Weather should be tradeable, like I'm sure that say Portugal would be happy right now to take our excess rain and give some five to ten degrees in warmth, then we could have pleasant temperatures in the mid-20s and not be soggy, and they could get some rain against their horrific fires and not have a heat wave anymore.

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  • Current Mood: cold
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