It’s time for another round of short, seemingly random, topics. Most of these topics could become a full length post, but they’re still only ideas floating around in my head.

Flavour

I often find myself wondering where certain words come from, or how we ended up with certain phrases. “As long as a piece of string,” for example. It’s one of the many things that interest me about languages and linguistics.

For instance, I received an e-mail at work today that said:

ニンジン味のポタトチップス

To those unversed in reading Japanese, it says “Carrot [sic] flavoured potato chips”

One of the guys I work with saw this and emailed it to me. The first thing that struck me was the strange use of Katakana to spell out “ninjin”. I wont lie to you, I had to look  up what ninjin was, simply because it was spelled out in Katakana.

Katakana is one of the 4 scripts used in Japanese typography (along with Hiragana, Kanji and Romaji). Katakana is used, almost exclusively, to spell out foreign words.

Once I’d figured out what ninjin was, my eyes where drawn to the Kanji for flavour (“味”). It’s comprised of two other Kanji (many Kanji are made up of other, simpler Kanji):

口 which means “Mouth” (as it’s a pictogram of an open mouth) and

未 which means a whole bunch of things, the only related one I can think of is “Still” (as in “To stay still”)

To me, this makes sense: if something tastes good, then you’ll want to keep your mouth still to take in the flavour. At least, that’s how I’m going to remember it from now on. Or maybe something like, “The air was so sweet that I decided not to move. Just take in the sensation of the breeze and the warm sunshine against my skin.”

DRM

I promise you that this isn’t going to be a long, boring post on DRM. I’m not even going to go into the specifics of what it is. There are pluses and minuses to DRM. It’s a kind of marmite, in that it divides people straight down the middle.

Some wont get that reference. Marmite is said to be the quintessential “love it  or hate it” product. There, apparently, is no middle ground when it comes to yeast extract.

DRM is good from a content producer’s point of view. You’re protecting your investment (either time, effort or money) from those who want access to it for free. Most “content sponges” (a phrase coined by James Portnow of “Extra Creditz“) don’t see it this way, and get upset at the very mention of it. True, it does get in the way of you enjoying a product. In fact, there’s a (years old) image doing the rounds this week on Google+ that goes a little like this:

I agree with this image, but not with the idea's it promotes

I agree with this image, but not with the idea's it promotes

The only thing wrong with this image, in my opinion, is that it promotes piracy. Something I cannot get behind. Of course, I love the fact that I can drop in any of my personally compiled DvDs (taken from my legal purchases of the same), or fire up my WDTV and jump straight into the movie. But I also like the idea that the people behind the movie have received some (even if it is very little) payment, indirectly, from me for the the fruit of their labours.

Of course, I can see it from the other side of the argument, too: Just before Christmas, my brother bought me a copy of Sonic Generations for my PC. He (foolishly) bought it from a store, but made a saving on the price (I was as shocked as you are right now, dear reader) as the store was having a sale.

I dropped the DvD into my PC’s Blu-Ray drive, excited to play the game…

I know that being 25, and getting mildly excited about a Sonic the Hedgehog game that, stylistically, goes back to when Sonic was fun to play is seen by some as a bad thing. I don’t really care, though.

I waited for the install procedure to complete, and was asked to enter my CD Key. It turned out that someone had pirated my copy of the game. I got in touch with Steam and they, rather quickly, authorised Sonic Generations on my account. That was only after having proved that I’d bought the game legitimately and having sent them a copy of my brother’s purchase receipt, though.

Typing all of this, I’m reminded of a conversation over at Stack Exchange I read recently, about copy protection and how it’s only a matter of time before someone cracks each protection system.

Once you’ve got the data in memory, it’s been decrypted. It has to be decrypted somewhere along the line, for you to use it. Once the RIAA/MPAA figure that out, we’re buggered.

Health

I’ve been ill this past week. Starting Wednesday, I got a real sore throat. It got so bad that I couldn’t swallow, at one point. I still managed to throw up twice, though. It started out as a sore throat, became some kind of flu, then relaxed back to a sore throat. I even had to have a nap at work… during my lunch hour, though.

If I had access to my work email account, I’d put up the picture that was taken of me, asleep at my desk. It was sent out to a whole bunch of people with the subject header “It’s all go in the office”

Most of my symptoms had gone by the Saturday afternoon, but since then I haven’t been able to hear anything with my right ear. It’s all been muffled and rather strange. I think it’s linked to my Eustachian tube dysfunction.

How was I able to spell Eustachian first time, but then screw up on dysfunction, straight after it?

It might be an infection that’s moved from my throat up to my right-hand Eustachian tube. I’ve been advised by someone at work to get it checked out. The last thing that I want, apparently, is a perforated ear drum.

As you can, no doubt tell, I’m not a medical professional and will be seeking professional, medical advice as soon as an appointment can be booked.

TL;DR

Japanese words. DRM is good, but also bad. I was will

That’s All, For Now

I’ll leave you with this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9YFhaMTwA8]

How many other songs can you think of that have Tambourine solos?

Remember, “TAMBOURINE SOLO!”

J

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Jamie is a .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for this blog, or writing for a blog about Retro Gaming (which he runs with his brother)