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Sayonara, Adobe

I’ve been offering business card translations for many years now, but only as a sideline and never in sufficient quantity to justify perpetual updates to the latest and greatest graphic design software. Fortunately, I was always able to get perfectly legal and serviceable versions of Adobe Illustrator up and running by purchasing upgrades a few steps behind the current version. That all stopped when Adobe came up with their Creative Cloud concept. Now if you want to use Adobe Illustrator legally, you have no choice but to use the latest version. And you have to pay hundreds of pounds every year for the privilege of doing so. This just wasn’t a sensible option for me, so instead I carried on using the version I had at the time (CS2). It did everything I needed, so things were fine for a while. But CS2 isn’t compatible with newer Macs. These days I have to run it on a machine that is so old it could conk out at any minute. It makes no sense to continue like this. For this reason, [More…]

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Cookies

On May 26th 2011, a half-baked piece of EU legislation called the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 is going to become part of UK law. This means it will essentially become illegal for a website to set a cookie in your browser without your explicit consent. Unfortunately, the only reliable way for a website to store visitor preferences is by setting a cookie. So if you don’t consent to these cookies, then every time you visit a website that uses them, you will be shown a message asking you to enable cookies in your browser. This message will most likely appear on every single page, and the nagging will not stop unless and until you give permission for the site to set cookies. You may even be completely denied access to some websites until cookies are enabled. The legislators also seem to have overlooked the fact that it’s already possible for users to control the use of cookies within their own web browsers. If you need help with that, click the name of your browser in the list below: Internet Explorer Safari Firefox Google Chrome Opera [More…]

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Trade and Investment for Growth

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills recently published a white paper on the subject of Trade and Investment for Growth (download PDF file; 997 kB) that stresses Japan’s importance as one of the key markets for new business opportunities as the world emerges from the global recession. To help things along, the UK Government is hoping to set up an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement that could potentially “deliver €43.4 billion additional EU exports to Japan”. However, the document raises concerns about the lack of language skills among UK businesses, an issue that was also mentioned by Baroness Coussins in a House of Lords debate yesterday: Another figure worth quoting, given the explosion in online sales, is that over 70 per cent of consumers require information in their native language in order to make an online purchase, while people who do not have good English are six times less likely to buy from an English-only site. It is self-defeating and inaccurate to think that English is enough. Only 6 per cent of the world’s population are native English speakers and [More…]

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Header image: Busy night-time traffic appears as trails of light in this long exposure shot of Akasaka-Mitsuke (赤坂見附) in Tokyo by user DarkFritz at Wikimedia Commons.

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