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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Seder

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I hereby release Taco Bell to use this as an ad campaign.


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jad
1 day ago
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This Be Bad Translation #12, Breath of Fire II!

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Every speck in this photo is Breath of Fire II making a mistake
You know how your brain just sort of fizzles out when you try to think about how many stars there are in the universe and stuff like that? At some point, it just becomes impossible for the human mind to grasp things at that scale.

Well, the same thing happens whenever I think about how many translation problems there are in the Super NES RPG Breath of Fire II. I even wrote a huge overview of the game’s translation issues, yet barely scratched the surface. Breath of Fire II is a miracle of bad translation.

However, Breath of Fire II is also one of those games with a “slow burn” bad translation, just like Twinkle Star Sprites and Harvest Moon. Basically, single problems might not seem too bad, but they come at such a quiet, steady pace that when you eventually look back on your experience with the game, the text nonsense is one of the first things to come to mind.

Screenshots

Without a doubt, Breath of Fire II deserves a spot on my all-time bad game translation list. So here are just a few examples of the game’s translation in action:

Other Info

Again, individual screenshots don’t really do the game justice. But if you want to see more details about the game’s translation issues here, see my review here.

The crazy thing is that this translation is actually an improvement. A beta version of the game shows that the script had even more issues.

Incidentally, Capcom re-released Breath of Fire II for the Game Boy Advance many years later… but didn’t fix a single thing in the translation. The script was edited for the game’s Virtual Console release much later… but it only changed two lines that didn’t really need fixing. Brrrr!

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jad
3 days ago
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Ghost Ship

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The best reason not to believe in the 'supernatural' is that nobody from Texas is harvesting it and putting it in a pipeline.


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jad
3 days ago
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Don't Fear the TSA Cutting Airport Security. Be Glad That They're Talking about It.

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Last week, CNN reported that the Transportation Security Administration is considering eliminating security at U.S. airports that fly only smaller planes -- 60 seats or fewer. Passengers connecting to larger planes would clear security at their destinations.

To be clear, the TSA has put forth no concrete proposal. The internal agency working group's report obtained by CNN contains no recommendations. It's nothing more than 20 people examining the potential security risks of the policy change. It's not even new: The TSA considered this back in 2011, and the agency reviews its security policies every year. But commentary around the news has been strongly negative. Regardless of the idea's merit, it will almost certainly not happen. That's the result of politics, not security: Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of numerous outraged lawmakers, has already penned a letter to the agency saying that "TSA documents proposing to scrap critical passenger security screenings, without so much as a metal detector in place in some airports, would effectively clear the runway for potential terrorist attacks." He continued, "It simply boggles the mind to even think that the TSA has plans like this on paper in the first place."

We don't know enough to conclude whether this is a good idea, but it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. We need to evaluate airport security based on concrete costs and benefits, and not continue to implement security theater based on fear. And we should applaud the agency's willingness to explore changes in the screening process.

There is already a tiered system for airport security, varying for both airports and passengers. Many people are enrolled in TSA PreCheck, allowing them to go through checkpoints faster and with less screening. Smaller airports don't have modern screening equipment like full-body scanners or CT baggage screeners, making it impossible for them to detect some plastic explosives. Any would-be terrorist is already able to pick and choose his flight conditions to suit his plot.

Over the years, I have written many essays critical of the TSA and airport security, in general. Most of it is security theater -- measures that make us feel safer without improving security. For example, the liquids ban makes no sense as implemented, because there's no penalty for repeatedly trying to evade the scanners. The full-body scanners are terrible at detecting the explosive material PETN if it is well concealed -- which is their whole point.

There are two basic kinds of terrorists. The amateurs will be deterred or detected by even basic security measures. The professionals will figure out how to evade even the most stringent measures. I've repeatedly said that the two things that have made flying safer since 9/11 are reinforcing the cockpit doors and persuading passengers that they need to fight back. Everything beyond that isn't worth it.

It's always possible to increase security by adding more onerous -- and expensive -- procedures. If that were the only concern, we would all be strip-searched and prohibited from traveling with luggage. Realistically, we need to analyze whether the increased security of any measure is worth the cost, in money, time and convenience. We spend $8 billion a year on the TSA, and we'd like to get the most security possible for that money.

This is exactly what that TSA working group was doing. CNN reported that the group specifically evaluated the costs and benefits of eliminating security at minor airports, saving $115 million a year with a "small (nonzero) undesirable increase in risk related to additional adversary opportunity." That money could be used to bolster security at larger airports or to reduce threats totally removed from airports.

We need more of this kind of thinking, not less. In 2017, political scientists Mark Stewart and John Mueller published a detailed evaluation of airport security measures based on the cost to implement and the benefit in terms of lives saved. They concluded that most of what our government does either isn't effective at preventing terrorism or is simply too expensive to justify the security it does provide. Others might disagree with their conclusions, but their analysis provides enough detailed information to have a meaningful argument.

The more we politicize security, the worse we are. People are generally terrible judges of risk. We fear threats in the news out of proportion with the actual dangers. We overestimate rare and spectacular risks, and underestimate commonplace ones. We fear specific "movie-plot threats" that we can bring to mind. That's why we fear flying over driving, even though the latter kills about 35,000 people each year -- about a 9/11's worth of deaths each month. And it's why the idea of the TSA eliminating security at minor airports fills us with fear. We can imagine the plot unfolding, only without Bruce Willis saving the day.

Very little today is immune to politics, including the TSA. It drove most of the agency's decisions in the early years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That the TSA is willing to consider politically unpopular ideas is a credit to the organization. Let's let them perform their analyses in peace.

This essay originally appeared in the Washington Post.

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jad
4 days ago
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The Public Square

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Last night I deleted all my tweets going back to the beginning of Twitter time. (Except for a mysterious 49 tweets that apparently can’t be accessed?)

And I tried to make my profile info very clear about me not being there any more. Removed avatar and background image. Changed bio to “Finished with Twitter.” Changed display name to the name of this blog.

* * *

My problem with Twitter remains the same: centralized social networking concentrates way too much power in one place.

Twitter is awful in other ways, sure, not just for that reason. (The issues with Nazis and harassment and abuse. The way it treats third-party Twitter developers.)

And Facebook, too, is awful in its own ways.

But, even if it were well-run, centralized social networking is still a deeply bad and unhealthy idea. Josh Marshall writes that we should be concerned about

…ceding so much of the public square to private platforms which really aren’t about free speech in any way and don’t have free speech in any way. They’re all ordered by algorithms designed to maintain time on site and service ad sales. In no sense are they open or free.

Twitter is not the public square. It just wants you to think it is. The web itself is the public square.

* * *

It’s not like I’m short on ways to read and write and connect: email, RSS, text messages, podcasts, Slack, the chat app my company uses, GitHub, my blog, my microblog. Plus real life!

* * *

I get it, though, when people think they need Twitter for exposure and marketing. In fact, I help with social media at my job — and I’m a professional, and I try to do the best job I can and get even better at it.

But I don’t need Twitter for me. For a long time there’s been just one thing I’d like to convince Twitter users of: that centralized social networking is harmful to society and to individuals.

I can make that point on Twitter — but it’s hollow there, since the medium really is the message. Better to make that point by not using Twitter at all.

PS Matt Haughey has left the building.

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jad
5 days ago
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acdha
5 days ago
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Washington, DC
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I’m done with Twitter

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Screenshot 2018-08-08 17.33.03.png

After 12 years, I’ve decided to hang it up on Twitter. I started using the site in 2006, when it was all texts sent to your phone, and I remember my first experience was actually kind of awful. It turned out a friend put his address book into twitter, so the moment I signed up, I automatically got every single one of his tweets sent to my phone via text with no way to turn it off.

After the second time I was woken up at 2am by a supermarket tweet from him, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and tried to delete my account. But I kept getting the texts, and I remember having to send a personal email to Biz to ask that my phone number be removed from Twitter. He forwarded it on inside the company and I got an email reply from a young engineer named Jack that promised me he wiped out my account and number and all was well.

About six months later, in early 2007, I decided to bite the bullet and come back. I made sure to not even give Twitter my phone number for the first six months and I instantly enjoyed everyone posting thoughts off the tops of their heads. By this point, blogging was almost a decade old, so people were taking it very seriously. A little light-hearted fun was good and I loved hearing from lots of new voices on early Twitter.

But then Twitter matured and became more mainstream. And then all the bad stuff that came with it showed up. I was doxxed, harassed, and threatened at various points. I trusted the friends I knew that started it to do the right thing and I knew running a large public service used by millions was a much bigger deal than anything I’d ever worked on.

Over the years I started to get increasingly frustrated with the decisions made by Twitter. Every six months or so something would happen that’d make me stop and ask why I still use the site and I kept thinking of all the new voices I’d read and enjoyed that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. But the looming doubt over the future of the service eventually became too great.

Screenshot 2018-08-08 09.17.24

I downloaded my Twitter archive today. 11.5 years of tweets. Over 1.5Gb of text and images. I probably could have written two or three books with that many words by now. This makes me a little angry and sad.

Screenshot 2018-08-08 09.14.41

Next, I set to deleting all my old tweets. I want to leave the service and no longer feel the need to provide the site with my posts, so I’m doing my best to delete 3,2000 at a time (API limits) until it reaches zero.

I’ll continue to read twitter occasionally, and I might keep on liking tweets, but I’m not going to send another tweet until the service changes or the management changes in very drastic ways. I’ll be posting here on my blog more often, and probably on Medium for the longer stuff, and maybe more Instagram than usual. But no more tweets.

So long Twitter, I want to say it’s not you, it’s me, but it’s mostly you. Especially Jack.



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jad
5 days ago
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acdha
5 days ago
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angelchrys
5 days ago
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I've been thinking about it a lot. Twitter has been my main social media for over a decade and I don't want to say goodbye, but I also don't want to reward shitty behavior.
Overland Park, KS
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