Random Questions


In response to a question, yes, that would be an appropriate response, but not in isolation.

That doesn’t change the answer to Lizzy’s question. If one were to tweet about the effects of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, for example, the Japanese tweet would probably contain fewer characters than the English tweet, but if they were to be read aloud, the English tweet would probably be longer.


Actually, this reminds me of reading an article (or watching one of the bundled video documentaries) about Working Designs’ Japanese video game translation process way back in the day. In many cases, they’d often have to recode the entire text storage/display engine of their games, especially text-heavy RPGs, because the English text used up so much more space than the Japanese text. While this may not be a problem for media storage, given how most of them were on CD-ROM, it was an issue with when they had to store any of that textual data in memory.


The last time this topic came up I wondered if there was maybe some way to use compression to fit more text in there. Text compresses really well. Was the problem that these games were made before appropriate compression algorithms were invented? Where the CPUs in the game consoles just too weak to decompress the text in a reasonable amount of time? With modern programming techniques could we re-code the game to include a better translation using the same hardware?


I think this is the main reason that Japanese Twitter can be much denser. In English if you leave out grammar structures you sound like a caveman. In Japanese you can sound unnatural in many situations if you leave them in.


I think in this particular case the original code may have assumed no compression at all for the Japanese text, so the localization team had to find some way to stick the compression code (along with text rendering code for the Latin alphabet and such) into the program and still get everything to work within the confines of the systems, which in these cases were the Sega CD and original PlayStation.


Briefly, I can say I definitely leave out grammar structures in my futile attempts to make my written voice as close to my spoken voice as possible.

Sometimes this leads to me being harder to understand when writing, but just pointing out we can have a fair amount of grammar structures implied in English though maybe not quite as many as one could in Japanese.

For instance, in the above sentence I left out “I’m” between the words but and just. I don’t think it made me sound like a caveman, just made the sentence a tiny bit harder to parse.


I wonder if this has anything to do with translations ala All Your Base. Besides just bad translation perhaps there was the memory and compression issues not being addressed so the translation got crammed into the same space as the Japanese text.


LZ77 was invented in… 1977. Maybe they already were compressing. Space was at such a premium on old-timey consoles.


That’s an interesting hypothesis, but given how much translation was an afterthought in many cases back then, I still think it was a case of translation by one Japanese dude, a Japanese-to-English dictionary, and a large pot of coffee.

From watching various videos about development during the 16-bit era, compression was very common for 16-bit cartridge-based consoles. Not just for textual data, but also sprite/graphical data as well, and perhaps even code on occasion.

I even recall a case where a SNES game got some negative reviews due to having bad “load times” despite being a cartridge-based game. These “load times” were in fact instances of the game decompressing data crammed onto the cartridge.


I got a call back for an interview with a law firm nearby that I applied for when I was unemployed and applying to anything I was qualified for. On closer inspection of their reviews on Indeed, Yelp, Glassdoor and Google it’s really obvious they hired a PR firm to fluff their online presence and make themselves look good to both clients and applicants. Their website also looks like a 90s ambulance chaser commercial in website form. Should I run away screaming?


To give an update to a discussion earlier this year, WOTC announced yesterday at PAX that they are releasing a new Novel for MtG.


Is it common in companies for acceptable use policies to unofficially not apply to IT? There’s rules against using work computers and internet access for streaming, chat, and non work related stuff but every time I walk by the IT desks they have browser Discord open posting memes and streaming music on Spotify or YouTube while they kick phones off the guest wifi if they see them streaming music.


No matter what the policy is, trying to enforce it would be like trying to have cops ticketed for parking violations.

Also, no IT person would work for you if you filtered their Internet. If someone told me to stop watching YouTube at work, I would just quit immediately.


I guess it’s a just perk of the position. I suppose the other thing is being a law firm, they’re not beholden to the same standards of tracking productive time since they’re not doing work that’s being charged to clients.


We don’t do a ton of filtering on our network and I can easily bypass all of them. I was asked to not go onto facebook/amazon etc. because if others see me there they’ll be upset that the rules aren’t being applied equally. I don’t really care much about the things they block so I just follow along. Everyone knows that I can bypass all the filters, but because I “don’t” they’re okay with it.

I wish I understood the policy however. We do allow streaming at desktop pc’s, we don’t allow phones on the wifi, only laptops, but you can’t get onto facebook/amazon … it’s so weird. But what the boss man wants, it’s what he gets.


It’s not even filtered I can go on all those sites we’re just not allowed to while IT does whatever they want and no one stops them. I know it’s like @Apreche said, they’re the cops no one’s gonna give them a ticket but they also flaunt the already lax dress code and other minor policies. This is my first white collar office job so maybe I’m just not used to the way things work in that environment. And it’s not a huge deal it just irks my sense of fairness and I’d like to preserve my data plan but still listen to Spotify.


I would quit and find another job, but I’m also in the position Scott is: most of my jobs are going to be like trying to police the cops as the cops.


I’m not in IT I’m contracting for a law firm doing class action claim processing so I’m constantly looking for something permanent. It’s actually not bad all things considered, pay is good and it’s not retail. But in law there’s consideration given to productive time and what can be ethically charged to clients. Like technically I’m supposed to count going to the bathroom against unbillable break time so we’re not charging the clients for the time I spend pooping and not working on claims. I think the policy is mostly in place to prevent issues with that and give a defensible argument should somehow an allegation of unethical billing arise. Since IT doesn’t produce a work product charged to clients I’m guessing no one gives a shit what they do as long as the systems are up and working.


Just go on all those sites and ignore the dress code. If and when someone calls you on it, tell them you thought it was acceptable because IT is worse.


I was considering that actually.