November 20th, 2011



Originally posted by write_light at BAD Internet Laws Heading Your Way

From the flist: 

Spread the word, even you're not a US citizen, it is important for everyone!! It easy to do and it can change everything. More info by clicking on the banner.

Website Blocking

The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users.

Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users

It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook.

Chaos for the Internet

Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn't be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system.

Read this analysis from

Get on the phone and call your representative. Express your disapproval. Tell him or her exactly how you feel, and that you don't support this. Tell your friends to call their representatives, their Congressperson, and complain. Mention that you are a registered voter that takes your civic responsibility seriously and that you will use that vote to express your feelings about this.

“We support the bill’s stated goals — providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting,” the Internet companies wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites.”  The chamber-led coalition in support of the bill includes Walmart, Eli Lilly & Co. and Netflix.

Google and other opponents of the legislation argue that restricting the Internet in the U.S. sets a bad international precedent and that the language defines infringing too broadly.


Minor Final Fantasy VIII meta/trivia

 D'oh! Why didn't I think of this before? Well, I did, but I hadn't quite connected all the dots.

Ahem. I was working on a page about influences/sources of Final Fantasy (disclosure: I earn a few pennies from the ads in the sidebar, plus commissions if anyone buys something through Amazon links on that page).

I was rehashing my observations about how Irvine and Laguna are actually cities in Orange County, California, where I live. (This mystery was solved when I discovered there used to be a localization branch of Squaresoft in Costa Mesa, which is on the other side of Irvine from Laguna Beach.)

I suddenly remembered: hey, wait a minute, Irvine is often called (since it used to be) Irvine Ranch!

Whence the cowboy. Or maybe that's why they used that name for a cowboy, since it was the closest ranch to a Squaresoft office. They may even have wined and dined visiting Squaresoft bigwigs by taking them on a trail ride.

Laguna is not actually plain old Laguna; it's Laguna Beach with annexes of Laguna Woods and Laguna Hills. Laguna Beach is a flaky artists' colony with a lot of good restaurants. Not really doofy in quite the way Laguna is goofy, but it works.

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On Unreasonable Expectations

 For so many years, I have seen of FFVI as the best of the series, that I think I built up my expectations too high.

I'm mostly cranky because I just got killed for the second time in as many days by yet another timed fetch-quest. I hate those. Hate hate hate hate hate...ahem. So I will now be playing through the Floating Island sequence and its timed-quest again, and then, if I survive, I can look forward to the timed-quest that just killed me. Hello, arthritis!

But it's not just the timed-quest problem. I've come to realize that I depend more than anything else on characterization— mannerisms, speaking styles, personalities, past histories, interactions, dialog, speeches.  Follow that up with worldbuilding and interesting settings. And then, at the bottom of the priority heap, plot. Sounds a lot like my writing. I also wither up and die in urban and technological dystopias, which is why Midgar has always given me trouble (luckily, FFVII has some well-defined characters, dialog and interactions). 

Or maybe I just don't like clowns. Or maybe I'm confused because the cackling purple octopus seems like it belongs in a much sillier game than the rest.

I don't know. There are character developments, and Celes is interesting (like Beatrix in IX, except as a PC). But I still feel like I'm bumbling around Twilight Town waiting for the party to gel. It's a huge, huge cast of characters, and since they can't count on any one set of party members at any time, there's a lot less person-specific dialog and moments.

It's not really that I dislike VI, but after everything I've heard, I expected it to knock my socks off, and so far, no luck. Whereas V, with all its shallowness and early-early RPG simplicity, amused me more. Maybe because it was more lightweight. But I still got to know the main party's characters better, because there were only 4-5 of them, and they all had something to say at major plot points. VI can't, again, because only a few of the characters are fixed for any given scene.

I had no idea I was so dialog-driven.

Kefka helps, because he's got distinct mannerisms and animations, but few of the characters do.

The funny thing is, I'll take choppy voice acting (X) and worse translations (V), so long as there's enough information that I can figure out what people are supposed to sound like. It's the same way I can listen to fiction (Dorothy Sayers, Justira's writing, Ellnyx's writing) read aloud by my lousy text-to-speech program and fill in the real voices in my head. 

Then again, I am consistently backwards from everyone else; my favorites are X, XII,XIII, V, VIII, roughly in that order.

P.S.  Updated Flist from DOINK friendmeme; apologies. I thought when I added someone as a friend it granted access, too..*peers at DW*

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