Pre-October 2006 entries are listed over here.

  • On the other hand, Babel gets it right

    Last time I griped about the numerous ways in which the popular U.S. TV series Heroes got Japanese things so totally wrong. Over the weekend we finally got to see Babel. The merits of the movie as a movie aside (I liked it, sort of, though it left me a bit cold), as far as the Tokyo scenes were concerned I thought that they felt absolutely right. There might be some minor quibbles with some details of how Chieko (played by Oscar-nominated Rinko Kikuchi) and her friends act (though, not having been a Japanese teenager for some time, I really don't know how a typical 16-17 year old acts) but the atmosphere, the sets, and the way people generally behaved felt very natural.

  • The numerous Japanese problems in Heroes

    I have been resisting downloading Heroes, the new 'hot' show this season on offer on American television, but since several people whose opinions I respect told me that it was awesome, I succumbed and got the season pass. It is a very good show overall. But the Japanese aspects of it are mind bogglingly wrong - I'm talking Memoirs of a Geisha (the movie, not the book) level wrong - a real shame considering that it's quite obviously influenced by manga, anime and graphic novels. It's also the type of show that would probably do very well in Japan (where Dark Angel had a very strong cult following).

    (spoilers below)

  • Not quite a picture a day, no. 11: Red chili peppers


    I am fairly happy with this one, especially the red. Took about eight hours total!

  • Not quite a picture a day, no. 10: Desem bread

    011107-desembread.jpgI am still drawing...but I haven't been able to keep up the daily picture goal. There are a couple of reasons for this; first, I've just not had the time, or given it the time, on days when I've been swamped with work and other matter.

  • Amazon Unbox? Not even if you pay me to use it

    Here's a way in which opt-in, almost-everyone-is-allowed web site monetization schemes could skew how people talk about products and web services. When I checked into my Amazon Associates page today, there is a notice saying that I can earn "up to 10% commission" for promoting Amazon Unbox on my site. Since this is 1.5% higher than even the highest tier of regular Amazon commission rates, I'm pretty sure a lot of people will aggressively promote Unbox on their sites now.

    I couldn't do this even if they paid me a 100% commission. Unbox is a horrible, horrible product, unlike most of the goods and services that Amazon offers. (Aside from Unbox I'm a very happy long time customer of the Amazon empire.) Its DRM scheme is so terribly restrictive as to be crippling, it's Windows only (and tied to only one machine), and the downloads are, in my experience, extremely slow. And just try uninstalling their mess of a software - it's a huge pain in the ass.

  • Pretty, pretty Mint v. 2.0

    Mint, the highly addictive web site statistics program from Shaun Inman, has been upgraded to version 2.0, and it's prettier than ever. It now has bar graphs that show historical stats and a host of nice original Peppers (the Mint term for plugins). Here are the new features. But perhaps more importantly for the design-conscious, the interface has been injected with doses of black in addition to the shades of pale green, making it much bolder yet sleeker. It's a pure pleasure to behold. Who thought that a stats program could be eye candy?

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