Responsive Email

I was going to put together a post complaining about #email #newsletters that still assume you’re reading on a desktop and send out layouts that rely on a wide screen size and end up with 2pt type on a #mobile phone – you know, where most people read their email these days.

Then I stumbled on this #usability article by Jakob Nielsen.

From 2012.


The funny thing is that #HTML is #responsive by default. In the very early days, it was *always* responsive except when you added preformatted text. Once you got a little more rendering capability (tables, images and image maps) you had people designing websites who were accustomed to fixed-size media, and the paradigm stuck.

Build for 800×600. Build for 1024×768. Hey, we have widescreen now. What do you mean the window isn’t always fullscreen?

And so on.


Being able to apply relative sizes to everything, and being able to tweak the layout based on the logical screen size instead of physical pixels is an amazing improvement in the flexibility of anything formatted in HTML+CSS.

(And of course higher-definition displays, but a responsive layout can still make itself usable on some of those older screen sizes.)


I agree with a lot of the comments about losing complexity, but I don’t have as much of a problem with…

A response to @matthewjmandel asking my thoughts on A Comparative Book / Movie Review of LES MISÉRABLES

It’s interesting. I agree with a lot of the comments about losing complexity, but I don’t have as much of a problem with the character changes (partly because I’m used to the stage version, where Gavroche is less political & the the Thenardiers are funny, but still dangerous)

On Twitter

Eponine’s probably the biggest change that isn’t just a simplification, but I think her role in the story still works, even if the details have been changed.

I do have a problem with the finale, because it’s *not* Jean Valjean’s heaven by any stretch of the imagination. It works better on stage, where it’s more like a curtain call for all the characters who have died.

The main place I disagree with the post, though, is about the theme and title. Listening to @readlesmispod talking about how the word is perceived in French makes it clear that *all* of the main characters are “miserables” and Hugo is linking the sympathetic wretched like Valjean and Fantine with the clearly evil wretched like the Thenardiers because, as far as society is concerned, they’re the same. Society looks at Fantine and thinks she’s just as depraved as Thenardier.

And Hugo is arguing that they *all* deserve compassion, that they *all* should have a better life, that society should treat them *all* better, whether they turn to evil when they fall or not.

So the musical is less of a complete inversion of the theme and (once again) more of a simplification.

Thinking about different aspects of location tracking in terms of…

Thinking about different aspects of location tracking in terms of

1. Your device figuring out where it is.
2. Others figuring out where your device is.
3. Your device telling others where it is.

1 would include GPS, or just listening for cell/wifi signals.
2 would include IP geolocation, or seeing which towers your calls go through, or tracking which map tiles you download while moving around.
3 would include telling a website, or an app uploading your location



Pinging hotspots or cell towers is both 1 and 2, figuring out your own location while revealing clues.

So you’ve sort of got passive sonar, active sonar, communications metadata, and actual reporting.

As for tracking:
Passive sonar isn’t a risk
Active sonar’s risk is inherent to being active
Metadata’s risk is inherent to actually using a connection
You can obfuscate it by things like onion routing, vpns, extra requests, pulling location-specific info ahead of time, etc.



And then there’s the issue of when your device explicity sends your location once it’s figured it out. Like when you search for the nearest coffee place or bank branch, or you’re using navigation software, or updating an online map in real time. Or when an app or website just wants the data.

Fortunately, OSes and browsers have decent access controls for letting apps and websites know your location (as determined by your device). But an app or website can still try to infer from other info



An app with online ads could look at which CDN endpoint you end up connecting to. Or make connections to sites with known locations and see which is faster, just like a speed test app or site choosing the nearest server to make a proper test. It’s a lot less precise, but it’s not like the OS can block the upload as easily as it can just refuse to hand detailed location to the app.

And of course it can be correlated with other metadata like geolocation



And of course anything you *intentionally* report — online navigation, check-ins, Pokestops you spin, the nearest ATMs on the bank site — you have to trust that the service at the other end isn’t going to misuse it.

Your bank isn’t going to care. They already know which branches and ATMs you visit.

I wouldn’t trust an ad network with a 10-foot pole.

Something big like Google or Microsoft or Amazon? That’s where you get into trade-offs.



Offline maps & navigation definitely have an appeal to them. Especially if you aren’t sure you’ll have reliable network access where you’re going. It’s doable. The only downside is you can’t add live traffic info. You could probably download typical traffic per day/hour along with the map and get rough esimates, butof course not be able to know there’s a 10-mile slowdown because a truck jacknifed, fell over, spilled an entire load of cheese and caught on fire



or maybe grab traffic data for a wide area, quantized so that it only reveals which large rectangles you’re passig through, not which roads. Like iNaturalist does with obscuring locations of observations.

Anyway, I don’t know why I’m still writing this. I just wanted to write down the active/passive sonar analogy, and i kind of rambled on from there.



Let’s just say the kid was not impressed with Attack of the Clones.

Let’s just say the kid was not impressed with Attack of the Clones.


TBH I think it’s the weakest of the prequels and of the 6 that George Lucas was actually involved in.

The Phantom Menace is better than i remember. It’s well constructed, and there are incredible subtleties and thematic elements hidden among the flashy (and cheesy) A-plot.

AotC is…not. I could see what they were trying to do, but it doesn’t hold together as well, and the story hinges on a romance that is, frankly, unconvincing.


TPM is about dualities, symbiosis, and most of all, misdirection. An elaborately costumed decoy queen, an invasion waged to maneuver the Senate into giving Palpatine more power, and so on. And the movie is that too: a big flashy effects and battle and comedy extravaganza in front of a master manipulator quietly going about his scheming.

I mean, yeah, the dialogue isn’t very good, and there are all the horrible stereotypes, but the core of the story is thematically solid.


AotC…was trying.

In more ways than one.

It’s like an early draft of a script went into full-blown production. And no one could tell Lucas, hey, maybe you should try something different here, or keep working on the dialog there, etc.

The effects are amazing, the music’s top notch, there are cool concepts and interesting characters and good actors doing the best they can with what they have. When they can.


And there are great moments too, like Dooku telling Obi-Wan the absolute truth about the republic having fallen under the sway of a Sith Lord, just in a way that Obi-Wan can’t believe it. Or Padme quietly picking the lock on her handcuffs in the background while Anakin and Obi-Wan argue in the foreground.

Mainly I think it needed more script revisions and to let someone else direct it.


Huge meteorite strikes, historical

One of the things I find fascinating about Tunguska vs Chelyabinsk is that in one case it took decades of scientific research and multiple theories to settle on what probably caused it, while in the other we have video footage and the actual meteorite.

But there were eyewitnesses to Tunguska despite its remoteness, and somehow I’d never read their reports before.

#tunguska #meteorite

Tunguska event – Wikipedia


As for the debate about what caused the Tunguska event: it was clearly something from space, but they never found an impact crater or an actual meteorite, just damaged forest. Plus the scientific expeditions weren’t carried out until years later. Current consensus is that it was a meteor, but it exploded in the air before impact, causing the visible fireball across the sky, intense heat, shock waves, atmospheric disturbances and so on but no crater.

Les Mis, goose, dream

I dreamed that Jean Valjean convinced Javert to rescue an injured goose like he helps rescue Marius in the original. Javert took the goose to the station, issued it its own photo ID (it was a modern retelling), and the goose proceeded to follow Javert around everywhere for weeks until it got homesick and wanted him to take it back to the lagoon where Valjean had found it. Somehow it managed to convey this to him and he brought it back.

#goose #lesmiserables #dream #weird


If I had more time, I would have written a shorter stylesheet.

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter stylesheet.


That said, 3.6K is awfully short by today’s standards.

And it automatically adjusts for display sizes from phone portrait to widescreen monitor, light and dark themes (so it doesn’t blast your eyes out if you open it on a dark themed desktop), and switches the main font between serif on high-density displays and sans-serif on low density displays for maximum readability.

This stuff doesn’t require half a megabyte of frameworks and JavaScript to implement.


Oh yeah, link so you can see it actually works
At least on modern browsers.

I guess the next step is to test in older ones to see how they handle the mix of media queries. I don’t care if it doesn’t look perfect on the older browsers, but I do want it to be readable!


Photos of a local park that doubles as a flood control basin…

A recent news article with photos of a local park that doubles as a flood control basin.

Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach protects homes by collecting rain runoff
Polliwog Park did what it is designed to do during Thursday’s heavy rain, by collecting rain runoff, and providing food and a resting place for local and migratory water birds.

And some photos I took after storms in 2017 and 2019 (since I can’t exactly go out right now)

Flickr album: Flooded Park


An outdoor mall extension completed in 2020. Which wasn’t exactly ideal timing…

An outdoor mall extension completed in 2020. Which wasn’t exactly ideal timing.

The courtyard was at least someplace they could set up chairs and signs reminding you to keep your distance. I saw a few people walking through on their way to somewhere else (like I was), and could hear an exercise class running in the parking structure next door.

#mall #empty #reflection #fountain #photo

On Photog.Social
On Flickr

Every time through the book, the bishop’s chapters are more interesting. But “In the Year 1817” gets more tedious each time through.

Every time through the book, the bishop’s chapters are more interesting. But “In the Year 1817” gets more tedious each time through.

On Twitter

Argot, the sewers, the convent – there’s at least some substance there and you can see how things connect. “1817” is just a list of contemporary pop culture references that would already have been barely relevant 50 years on, never mind 200 years on and across the world.

On Twitter

Modern editions of it have more footnotes than text. Last time I read it, it took forever because I was looking up every footnote as I got to it.

On Twitter


On Twitter

Found the ancient G2 (HTC Desire) phone (back when there were Android phones with actual …

Found the ancient G2 (HTC Desire) phone (back when there were Android phones with actual KEYBOARDS!). It still runs. Wondering if there’s something I can put on there that’s newer than the ancient version of Android it has, but it’s too old for LineageOS.

Anyone know what might run on it?