tom moody

egregious e-book errors: Routledge

From David Walley, Teenage Nervous Breakdown, 2d edition, Published in 2006 by Routledge, © 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
The e-book retails for $24.69.

rocfe

(page 78 of the e-book)

For a few seconds you could be forgiven for thinking there was a form of art-rock you missed called "rocfe." The word was supposed to be "rock."
It appears again later in the book: "Along with the new paradigms for sexual behavior came an inordinate amount of discussion about sexism in rocfe music among the females who’d formerly been the objects of lust and/or veneration, love or repulsion, but really (as always) approach and avoidance among the men." (e-book, page 373)

Walley's book is practically unreadable for a different reason: intermittently throughout the book the letter "k" is scanned as "b" -- this error occurs dozens of times. Thus you have "boob" for "book," "the bids" for "the kids" -- it's nerve-wracking to beep encountering these mistakes. Yes, "keep" appears as "beep" eight times in the text. Possibly these are mistakes that an algorithm doesn't catch because they aren't misspellings, just the wrong words. Thank you, Routledge.

- tom moody

July 15th, 2017 at 2:00 pm

egregious e-book errors: Pickle Partners Publishing

Have been spending quite a bit of time reading e-books lately, and the quality is pretty horrendous overall.

Main errors:
Typographical errors
Layout/formatting glitches
Lack of font uniformity
Poor handling of illustrations and "special characters" such as math symbols.

Main reasons for errors:
Widespread use of OCR (supposed "smart" character recognition within a scanned text) without subsequent human proofreaders
Conversion mistakes (changing one electronic format to another)
Lack of uniformity in fonts and word-processing applications
Change of corporate culture from giving-a-shit to laying-off-and-praying

I'm trying mostly to read .epub books and avoid Amazon/Kindle but occasionally I still have to resort to Kindle/mobi/azw and the situation is no better. Surprisingly, I've found public domain works from Feedbooks.com to be of better quality than many offerings from "respectable" mainstream publishers, although there are no guarantees.
This will be a series of blog posts (I hope) that document egregious e-book errors.
Let's start with a doozy, from Richard Ellman's Yeats, The Man and the Masks, 1948, e-book (c) 2016 by Pickle Partners Publishing. Ellmann is discussing an early draft of the poem that became "To his Heart, bidding that it have no Fear" (1896):

ellmann1
ellmann2

Astonishing, indeed. The word is supposed to be "part" -- only a demon would introduce such an error into such a lovely poem.
Also, note the weirdly italicized third line -- the text is supposed to be in italics from that line to the end. Pickle Partners, get thee hence to the typesetters.

- tom moody

July 15th, 2017 at 1:26 pm

"Little Infernos"

"Little Infernos" [5.1 MB .mp3]

Song made with Tracktion's Waveform digital audio workstation, running on Ubuntu Studio.
Sound sources include:
Eurorack modules: Violin samples granularized in the Qu-Bit Nebulae, filtered in Z-DSP VC-Digital Signal Processor, sequenced with Doepfer A-154/155, then timestretched and further altered in Waveform
Two Waveform Sampler Rack plugins with various beats from my burgeoning ".wav collection"
Arpeggiated 8-bit-ish synths played with the Helm softsynth plugin (LV2 version), running in Ardour, rendered and imported into Waveform

The mood here is creepy, disjointed, and languid.

- tom moody

July 11th, 2017 at 7:23 pm

Posted in music - tm

spudoogle video loop

screenshot of spudoogle twitter video thumbnail -- with one small correction

giflikevideoloop

Have been enjoying Spudoogle's twitter account recently but still have a problem with the way the SVS (Silicon Valley scum) appropriated GIFs to their commercial platforms. It's like in the movie Barton Fink where the cigar-smoking producer tells the East Coast populist playwright he wants "movies with that 'Barton Fink' feeling," then later says "get out of my office, I can get 100 writers who can give me that 'Barton Fink' feeling."
One imagines an SVS getting a neck massage and saying, "we need something like those GIF things the kids are exchanging." And then the tech slaves come up with a typical, locked-in proprietary video format with the word "GIF" superimposed. 100 guys can give them that animated GIF feeling.

It's not spudoogle's fault, he accepts conditions the way they are and rolls with the shoddy resizing, rounded edges, and fake labeling. That's twitter's price for providing an audience for your GIFs.

- tom moody

July 11th, 2017 at 12:48 pm

jack reacher, you are no travis mcgee

If you're stuck in an airport, Jack Reacher novels will kill a few hours but aren't otherwise recommended. Lee Child, the author, conceived the character as a way to make money after he was laid off from his TV job -- a dubious provenance that seems to impress some writers. The runaway success of the franchise gives a reading of the zeitgeist, at least: readers identify with a big tough guy who beats the sh*t out of people who don't ascribe to Hollywood ideals of liberal humanism. Think Billy Jack without the hippies.
Before leaving TV, Child wasn't much of a thriller reader, he admits in an introduction to one of the books, but he found a blueprint in John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. Like Trav, Reacher is a single, rootless, white knight for hire, except Reacher doesn't do it for money, he just stumbles into these situations where wrongs need rightin'. MacDonald wrote pulp but he had convictions, expressed in long, precocious rants about economics and politics, so engaging they caused the action momentarily to stop dead until the author ran out of gas (MacDonald even joked about this). MacDonald also had a lifelong theme, which was the dark sexual undercurrent in Ozzie and Harriett America: the McGee books first appeared in the early 1960s, around the same time as his novel The Executioners, which became the movie Cape Fear. No pulpster beat MacDonald at describing a nymph or satyr sucking someone's fortune dry.
Child has opinions, too, and they are occasionally well-expressed, but it's hard to trust such a mercenary concoction as Jack Reacher. It all seems focus-grouped. If a villain is a hunter, he doesn't just hunt deer, he lazily picks off armadillos from a truck, justifying the character's eventual humiliation. A stalker of teenage illegal aliens won't simply kill them but must also behead and partially flay them. For a child molester, nothing less than a barn full of abused victims will do.
The karma of the market played an amusing prank on Child, though. In the books Reacher is a 6 foot 5 inch, musclebound, formidable guy in his thirties. In the movie versions he is played by a diminutive egomaniac in his mid-50s.

- tom moody

July 11th, 2017 at 9:59 am

Posted in books

oculus bereft, or, one gimmick too far

Possibly the most annoying feedback I've received to a written essay was from VRfan (not his or her real screenname) on the late Dump.fm.
I posted a link to The Stubborn Dream of Everyday Virtuality, a thinkpiece on why we weren't living in The Matrix yet. VRfan apparently didn't read the essay but took the time to post a GIF of a screenshot of someone typing the word "Oculus" into a browser and getting "No Result," within the text of the essay. As if to say, "How could the writing possibly be any good if it doesn't mention Oculus Rift? I rest my case." I pointed out that it was posted in 2011, before Oculus was a thing, and VRfan replied, "Oh."
The date's right on there. If the piece were written today it might include a reference to Oculus as yet another example of the persistence of the virtual reality ideal in the face of public apathy, along with Second Life.
At any rate, VRfan thinks Oculus is important, and so do the curators of the Whitney Biennial (who showed some recent goggles art), despite articles such as Another Price Slash Suggests Oculus Is Dead in the Water, from MIT Technology Review. Read it and weep CGI tears.
(That's not to suggest any wisdom on the part of the marketplace. Likely if Rift is failing it's because people don't want to be torn away from their phones.)

- tom moody

July 11th, 2017 at 9:59 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid

linear regressionists (anti-CD, 1990)

via Discogs:

linear_regressionists_cover

linear_regressionistsCD

The Linear Regressionists ‎– Living On The Regression Line
Label: Pursuit Of Market Share ‎– POMS ROI-001, RRRecords ‎– CD-002
Format: CD, Limited Edition, Anti-CD
Country: Germany
Released: 1990
Genre: Non-Music

Tracklist

1 Untitled

Credits

Concept By – Bernhard Assfalg, Don Hedeker, Franz Liebl, Lydia Tomkiw, RRR (2)

Notes
"The POMS Principles - applying violence to compact discs
The POMS Series in Anti-Cds Vol. 1"

(unplayable cd perforated by 10 holes)

- tom moody

July 10th, 2017 at 1:29 pm

the burglar, 1955-7

photo via IMDb

Following up on a run of reading David Goodis novels, checked out his self-adapted film version of The Burglar (he wrote the screenplay, the director was Paul Wendkos). Made in '55, it sat on the shelf until '57, when the career of Jayne Mansfield took off with The Girl Can't Help It. She is physically miscast here but her acting is good. Dan Duryea plays Nat Harbin, a gloomy burglar who heads a small, dysfunctional crime family, consisting of himself, a fence, a heavy, and "Gladden," a girl he's looked after for years as a de facto sister. In an extended flashback (better in the book, too sketchy in the movie) we learn about Nat's past as a destitute orphan adopted and mentored by a professional thief named Gerald Gladden. Gerald dies during a botched robbery and tells Nat he must always look after his daughter, who is simply called Gladden. Nat wrestles throughout the story with his loyalty to a dead father-figure and the exploitation of Gladden as part of the burglary team (she cases potential locations).

Nat's angst is less compelling in the film than the book. We don't really get a feeling for the horrific grind of his youthful poverty before Gerald "rescued" him, as conveyed in Goodis' captivatingly anguished prose, nor do we really understand why Nat seems so conflicted about Gladden. We see Duryea resisting the advances of the ultra-sexy Mansfield, but in the film he looks twenty years older than she does. In the book the characters are close in age and Gladden isn't a bombshell, but a "thin" young woman who could be a sister, friend, or lover, if the two could only get their feelings straight and stop being haunted by Gerald's ghost. In both versions, Nat and Gladden separate and dally with other partners, leading to a dark conclusion.

- tom moody

July 9th, 2017 at 10:57 am

Posted in books, films

drexciya on dallas radio, 1992

Dallas-area radio DJ Jeff K currently announces sports and classic rock, but previously had a career (in the late '80s/early '90s) as a John Peel-like pioneer of electronic dance music. He's gradually fleshing out a discography of his radio shows and mixes on his website. When I lived in Dallas I taped his show off and on from '93 - '95, and, working in my painting studio, re-listened to the dazzling guest mixes from the likes of DIY Crew, DJ Icey, Utah Saints (!), Gavin Hardkiss, and others. When I moved back to NYC in '95, those tapes provided me with tunes for about a year (on a portable tape player, until I got the rest of my music out of storage -- yawn, sorry).

How au courant was Jeff K back in the day? In this broadcast of Oct. 17, 1992 [.mp3] go to the 35:53 mark for the "Edge Club Techno Screamer," a regular feature. That week's Screamer was "Sea Snake," by Drexciya, who at that moment were completely new and unknown but are now regarded as giants in the field. According to Discogs they "first came into the public eye" in 1994, and here's Jeff K playing them two years before that.

Drexciya was secretive about their membership and plans from the beginning, so it's no surprise to hear Jeff K wondering aloud on the show who they were:

...in the mail this week, all the latest records from Detroit, some new Underground Resistance... and some new Shockwave. The latest from Shockwave is an EP called 'Deep Sea Dweller' by Drexciya, and Jackmaster Joe Curry is still in the studio with us and we tried to find out 'Who is Drexciya?' and he thinks, well, it's probably just the guys from Underground Resistance, could be Mad Mike, we don't know. But anyway, it's a very very fine track, we're going to hear 'Sea Snake' from the 'Deep Sea Dweller' EP, it's this week's Techno Screamer, on Edge Club 94.

- tom moody

July 8th, 2017 at 8:23 am

Posted in music - others

weaponized sharing

sharing

from rene abythe: "this fragment from a Daily Mail infographic describing North Korea's nuclear capabilities caught my eye when their social icon widget overlaid the image"

- tom moody

July 8th, 2017 at 5:46 am