October 1st, 2014

#4402: Okay, THAT is damned cool.

So last night I finally got my crap together enough to go find the backup disks I did way back in 2007, of anime, and slipped one into the BluRay player I bought in early July.


My experiment was prompted by something I'd seen in the thing's manual: it said that it could play certain computer video file formats--a rather sizable number of them--and I thought it couldn't hurt to see what that feature was like. But I expected that it was pretty limited.

Last night, then, I dusted off the data DVD that contains Mokke and watched ep 1. I tried Seto no Hanayome and had similar results. Then I copied ToLoveRu to a flash drive and tried it out in the player's USB port and--to my delight--I was able to play videos that way, too.

I am now tempted to plug the 1 TB external into the thing and see if I can play movies from that--because if I can, that would be amazingly cool. I'm already very happy that I can watch at least some of the anime that I have only in data format (rather than video format) media, though, so being able to plug in the entire hard drive would be mere icing on the cake.

There are going to be problems, of course. I am expecting that some file formats won't play, and some of the later series are soft-subbed and I have no idea how the player will handle that--or if--and in all probability some of the series I have that start out playing will have eps that won't.

Even so, this is damned cool.

* * *

My experiment with the Blu-Ray player was prompted by a long-delayed success in extracting the Brewfest song from WoW.

For quite a while I've been unable to drag music out of the WoW MPQ archives. The program I had for accessing that information stopped working after the Pandaria release, and every time I thought to have another go at it, that program was the only one I could find.

Last night I cracked my knuckles and sat down to solve the problem, and I found a different program; and after realizing I can't access these files with WoW running in the background I was able to get in. It took more detective work and more Googling to find out where the Brewfest music is stored--it is not stored in SOUND.MPQ--and after finding a hint online that told me to look in the EnUS folder (where all the language-specific data is stored) I finally found it and extracted it.

This was after I found a macro that will play the song anywhere, anytime--but that's fine, because I can adapt that macro to play any sound or song from the game I want.

* * *

So, first confirmed case of ebola in the US, and--surprise, surprise!--it's a man from Liberia who came here to visit his family, and he already may have infected another person, and the hospital that treated him initially sent him home with antibiotics.

It is time, as Ace notes, for the US to refuse entry to people coming from Africa, until the ebola outbreak there has run its course. Or quarantine them; what's the incubation period for ebola? Two weeks?

Before the invention of antibiotics and vaccines, we used to quarantine people with dangerous diseases. If someone in a house got polio, for example, there was a public notice posted that there was polio in that house and it was under quarantine.

Five gets you ten that you're not allowed to do that today, because of health information privacy laws.

But which do you prefer? Allowing a few temporary restrictions to the civil rights of people who are infected with a deadly disease, or pandemic? Sure, they haven't broken any laws, and it's going to stigmatize people who have done nothing wrong, and a bunch of fuckheads are going to sue everyone over proper and reasonable containment precautions, but this disease kills half the people it infects and we cannot afford to screw around with it.

Of course, nothing like that will be done until it's too late to do any good. We're going to be ass-deep in corpses before our government acts, because there isn't anyone in D.C. who has the balls to make a tough call like that and tell airlines--all of them, not just the domestic carriers--that their flights to and from Africa are no longer authorized, and won't be until after the epidemic there dies out.

The latter would mean all itineraries originating in Africa, by the way. Customs would have to be the front line of enforcement for screening those who tried to sneak in; anyone whose passport had an exit stamp from an African nation in the prior two weeks (or three, or pick your incubation period) would be turned over to CDC for quarantine. If you have an entry stamp to an African country in your passport with no corresponding exit stamp, regardless of where your flight came from you go to quarantine (unless you can otherwise prove you left Africa more than two-three-whatev weeks prior).

An epidemic in a world with air travel must take such precautions. When the fastest travel is by ship, it takes days to cross the oceans, and the voyage itself gives time for infected people to become symptomatic. When it takes mere hours to get anywhere on the planet, however....

But as I say, I don't see these sort of measures being taken, not prophylactically, not soon enough to do any damned good. Not by the US, anyway.

* * *

And let's lighten things up a bit with some humor:

Natalie Dee no longer seems to be generating new comics, and they recycle approximately at random. The one I saw today is not one I recall seeing, and it made me laugh out loud. The smile on the baby's face is what did it.

#4403: Making a target out of yourself

Delusionally describing yourself as "eye candy" is a good way. It leaves the door wide open for people to talk about your looks.

This woman is not eye candy. She's not even eye brussels sprouts, for fuck's sake. She's eye poison.


* * *

I took the Jeep to the DMV to get the bike's license plate sticker, and was pleased to see that they've installed a desk specifically for handling plates now. No waiting in the regular line, then waiting again, then waiting again; you come in, go right to the sticker line, and wait in one line. I was in and out in about ten minutes, which ain't too shabbly.

* * *

There's some kind of low-frequency hum I can barely hear, present with windows open or closed, at all hours, everywhere in the bunker. It sounds like a locomotive running far away, and it was not present a few days ago.

Fortunately I can drown it out with a fan or music, but that completely shoots my whole "quiet time" thing to hell. *sigh*