Sooo I just got told that my post about image descriptions a while ago was the most shared post across Mastodon in 2021... Wow. I am so thankful that a post of that nature caught the attention of this many people, and kind of really humbled. Thank you all. I do not know what to say.

All national anthems are, by definition, country music.

Three years ago, my bank managed to get me with their "young people first, all mobile app" branch. Because I thought it was cool, I like mobile apps, and I hate phone calls.
I regret that choice every couple of weeks, every time I need to do literally anything that is not checking my balance or my transaction history. Oh wait, I hate that last part too because THE APP SUCKS AND HALF THE TIME THE VIEW MORE BUTTON IS OBSCURED TO VOICEOVER AND THERE IS LITERALLY NO WAY TO GET INTO THE SCREEN OTHER THAN TURNING VO OFF AND TAPPING AROUND LIKE AN IDIOT.
Any time I need a bank statement, a signature, any kind of document, I need to call in or try to talk to their absolutely useless help chatbot. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a mobile bank, don'tcha think?

Thank you, CaixaBank Imagin.

I found this very cool video yesterday: AI generated Dectalk songs. If you don't know what a Dectalk is, then you should watch it regardless for a different take on AI generated music.

Hi hello, I'm Guillem and I am a language nerd. Why do I say this, you may ask. Well because I just had to type to someone in a different language than usual because the usual language lacks distinction between the first person plural of the present indicative and present subjunctive (and imperative by extension), and I overthought the situation and realized there could potentially be a tiny bit of ambiguity. Yes. I hate my brain.

So like... The Spanish DNI Electrónico (electronic ID card). It's this wonderful system where your ID card is actually a Smartcard that lets you do all your paperwork online and supposedly Just Works (TM). In actuality I basically sat there for about 45 minutes trying to get my certificate to log into my city's town hall system. Had to install two different Java apps that supposedly do... Something. None of the sites taht use this DNIE actually managed to contact these apps which contact my reader which reads my smartcard. On four different browsers. My first impulse is to assume it's user error on my part, but basically everyone I ask has had to fight tooth and nail to get this system to work. So essentially all the time you would save by not going to wherever the heck your paperwork is supposed to be handled, you lose by figuring out how to make these things communicate with each other. Anyway I haven't felt this dumb in a while.

I got tired of having a browser window open with Pinafore all the time, so I ran nativefier on it. The result, as usual, is a nicely isolated (if a bit bloated) app which shows up under my cmd+tab, and I can assign a keyboard shortcut to. It also had the unintended side effect of giving it a new item badge which updates with my Mastodon notifications, and for some reason this all makes me very very happy indeed. Here come the endless scrolling. Send help.

we don't have fancy cat furniture or anything, but the cats are really enjoying that they can get around the living room by hopping up from floor to chair to windowsill, matrixing through the blinds and then running across the window and hopping back out and up onto a conveniently placed bookshelf

it's fun times, but the blinds have received some wear & tear :D

Enforced pronunciation dictionaries in VoiceOver 

I know a lot of these pronunciation exceptions are created with Siri in mind, so that people can find a Paramore song and have Siri actually say "páramor". That's fine, I honestly don't care, but leave screenreaders out of it, or at least make it a togglable setting for them. I want to hear what's on the screen, not a pseudoanglicized representation based on what John Appleseed thinks are the most common 1000 English words in the latest albums by top artists.

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Enforced pronunciation dictionaries in VoiceOver 

Never mind the abbreviation mess. 1kg is now read, literally, as "1 EXPANSION O F KG). With the Spanish voice. Nothing makes sense anymore. And all I can really do is wait and hope they realize.

Thankfully I know what an exception dictionary is, and I know why these things happen. Many users do not, should not have to care about why their phone is saying words completely wrong.

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Enforced pronunciation dictionaries in VoiceOver 

The thing is, this also happens in Spanish. They keep adding and removing words that are just completely wrong. On Mac OS, "case" from the verb "casar" is read as "keis". "Mean" from "mear" used to be read as "min". These are literal Spanish words and they take so, so long to realize they've fucked up. These dictionaries aren't even shipped with OS updates, they seem to appear on my iPhone out of the blue with no explanation whatsoever.

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Enforced pronunciation dictionaries in VoiceOver 

Can I just complain once again about enforced pronunciation dictionaries in TTS systems?

I speak a language (Catalan) that is not supported by TTS on Apple systems, even though there ARE Vocalizer Catalan voices. Therefore, I use Spanish TTS, which sounds extremely wrong but I can at least understand. Mostly.

Some Catalan words happen to be spelled the same as words in other languages which are more important to some rando APple engineer. Therefore, the weak pronoun "et" is read as "e", because French. The preposition "sense" is read as "sens", also because French. I (and) in the beginning of sentences is sometimes read as "Ai", because English. The direct object pronoun "ho" is read as "jo", NO IDEA WHY.

I cannot disable these. Nobody can. Apple keeps adding new ones that break existing words. I am so tired of this. So very tired of this pseudocorrect pronunciation being enforced on me.

Applying to a master's degree program for IU, I just encountered a first language combo box with options such as Indo European, Dravidian, English (old), Sumerian, Church Slavic (no it did not say Church Slavonic), and even Artificial, Esperanto and Interlingua. Wow.

Random realization of the morning: In Spanish, when you want to address someone politely (I.E. instances in which you would say "sir/gentleman" in English) you use the word for knight, which literally translates to something like horseman. I knew this, of course, but the weirdness of the situation dawned on me when a station worker at my local subway station tried to get someone's attention by going "hola, caballero" (hello, sir), and I started thinking of how absolutely awkward it would be if someone came up to you in an English speaking country in the 21st century and was like "hello, horseman!"

Kind of refreshing to start learning an Indoeuropean language (German) after working on an isolate (Korean) for a while. Even though it's of a different family than my native one, things still seem to make quite a lot more sense in quite a lot less time. I hope I'll eventually get to a decent level in both of them, but I feel like German will take a little less effort to understand for sure.

Weird comments on blindness by strangers 

This morning, as I walked up to my apartment building's door, a guy who had been walking close to me approached me and told me that they had really good doctors in Ukraine who could help me heal. I am blind, and had to get my eyeballs removed when I was 5 months old. He was surprised when I politely told him i wasn't interested. I know he probably meant well, I know he doesn't know my diagnosis, but this is exactly why it kind of bothered me. You must be seriously lacking in medical knowledge to approach the first random blind person you see on the street to offer them treatment. You must also be lacking common sense, because I could have not taken it too well. Am I insane?

Unexpectedly deep thoughts about time dedication and motivation 

It's strange to think that it has taken me this long to see the beauty and depth of the field I've chosen to dedicate my life to. In periods of high mental activity and motivation, I realize how much time I've lost, and I'm still able to think that most of my life is ahead of me and I can still fix this, learn what I now wish I would have spent so much more time learning in the past. But I can't help being scared of the next period of dullness, and wondering what silly thing will pull me out of it. Either way, I'm feeling quite positive now, and will ride the wave while I can.

I have forgotten about the Fediverse for much too long. This has to stop happening. I feel like I say this every time I come back. I'll try again :D

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