Realized that the #TwitterMigration is like going from beta testing the Fediverse to productionJust like …

Realized that the is like going from beta testing the Fediverse to production

Just like a public beta always turns up issues that were missed during development, going to production you suddenly have a *huge* pool of new users who are going to use the system in ways you didn't anticipate and haven't already accustomed themselves to its quirks.

And that turns up a lot more things you need to fix!

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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.

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/mobile-email-newsletters/

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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.

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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.)

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COVID, weird

It turns out the person I caught it from also tested negative for Covid during their illness…and then came down with actual Covid after they recovered. Fortunately they seem to be on the mend from that now too.

That means (a) whatever I caught from them wasn’t Covid and (b) we haven’t been around them in long enough that we don’t have to worry about it having been a Covid exposure too.

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COVID, confused

All three of our tests came back negative. So I don’t know what I have, but apparently it’s not COVID.

(One false negative, sure, but 3? Not likely.)

And now the kid’s mad that he has to go back to school on Monday because we haven’t tripped the COVID isolation protocol after all.

I’m kind of disappointed, weirdly enough. I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop for almost 2 years and thought it finally had, and dropped in a way that would do minimal damage to the 3 of us.

On the plus side, if it really isn’t COVID, I probably won’t need to isolate for the full 10 days, just until my symptoms clear up.

I probably should isolate as if it was covid, just to be sure.

Possibilities:
1. It’s not COVID, it’s something else. Even though the symptoms match and it’s massively surging in this area
2. I’m the only one who caught it and mine was a false negative.
3. They both caught it and have already cleared it out to the point of testing negative, and mine was a false negative.
4. All 3 tests are false negatives.

I’m really not sure which is most likely.

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Covid, food: Tonight’s dinner taste test

Tonight’s dinner taste test

Garlic: yes. Roasted potatoes: barely. Roasted radishes: delayed taste. Kale: yes. Carrots: no. Bell peppers & onions: kind of. Soy sauce: yes

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And dessert test.

Maple cream cookie: Similar to the chocolate chip cookie yesterday, where it initially didn’t taste sweet at all until after a few seconds of chewing. And fortunately I can still taste maple!

A 60% cocoa Ghirardelli square tastes like a 72%.

A mint-filled square tastes more intensely minty.

A sea salt caramel square tastes like salty chocolate.

covid, spice cabinet

So this is interesting. I can smell most of the dried herbs fine – oregano, thyme, dill, cloves. Rosemary is kind of faint, but I can pick it up.

Garlic is intense.

I can smell cinnamon but not nutmeg, which is odd.

And here’s the really weird one: paprika, ancho, black pepper, cayenne and ginger all smell subtly off from normal. Like when you get a chile that’s normally spicy but isn’t, and you can still taste the flavor but it doesn’t have the bite you expect.

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I also tried tasting a few sauces.

Ketchup and mustard tasted more sour than usual. Plain yellow mustard was too intensely sour.

Teriyaki tasted a little more like sweet & sour sauce.

Gochujang & caramel were both a little bit off, but I couldn’t quite place how.

Chocolate syrup was interesting, because I could pick up the chocolate taste before the sweetness, so it started out tasting like darker chocolate.

Covid, food: Weirdest thing is the taste/smell impact…

Got what is so far a mild case of what’s almost certainly covid, mostly fatigue & runny nose (yay boosters!).

Weirdest thing is the taste/smell impact. It hasn’t gone out completely, it’s more like taking an audio equalizer and readjusting the sliders so that some frequencies are barely audible while others are still normal. Umami’s solid, sour’s a bit blunted, sweetness is even fainter. At least food still tastes like food so far.

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And some of the fainter tastes do kick in after a while. I tried a chocolate chip cookie, and at first it was like eating a cracker or plain biscotti, but after a few seconds of chewing I could taste the chocolate.

And yes, I have considered experimenting with the spice cabinet…

Halloween

We set up a pair of take-one boxes on a table on the building’s front lawn, one with candy and the other with party favors. Then we took turns taking the kid around the neighborhood. Last ride of the giant Minecraft spider jockey costume before he outgrows it.

I was amazed at how many families were out. More than most years. We ran out of both candy and toys.

I guess it’s a reaction to everyone staying home last year.

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I picked up Outer Wilds again now that the expansion dropped and finally finished the endgame. …

I picked up #OuterWilds again now that the expansion dropped and finally finished the endgame. (No spoilers since the game is all about discovery. I’ll just say that it involved revisiting one of my least favorite mechanics in order to get to it, which is why I set it aside for so long).

The ending is a perfect, bittersweet coda to the story you uncover over the course of the game.

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Looks like it’s the CPU cooling.

Looks like it’s the CPU cooling. Started monitoring the temperature and found that under heavy load it was climbing up to 70 C. Max operating range is 61.

So tomorrow I get to open up the case, clear out the dust, make sure all the fans are working, etc. I’m hoping either that’ll be enough or just putting new thermal paste on the heat sink does it.

Whee.

A voice in the back of my head wants to use this as an excuse to upgrade & I keep telling it “no, only if it’s actually necessary.”

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Meanwhile the laptop has been experiencing major lag on Minecraft over the past week. More or less since Apple released the latest security update…which didn’t actually install.

Hoping it’s just a case of the stuck update slowing things down. I’ve had that happen on my work computer too.

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I really don’t want to spend the 3-day weekend fixing computers 😟

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Ugh…my home computer clearly needs some hardware help.

Ugh…my home computer clearly needs some hardware help. No Man’s Sky isn’t the only game causing it to shut down under load.

I guess it’s time to figure out whether the power supply needs to be replaced or I just need to blast a couple year’s worth of dust bunnies off of the CPU fan.

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Actually it can’t be that long, I replaced the graphics card last summer just before the chip shortage started driving prices sky-high (damn that was lucky timing), and I’m sure I would have cleaned it out at the time.

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It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last macOS security update. There’s no …

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last macOS security update. There’s no possible way there are 2.3 GB worth of changes between that one and this one.

Did Apple just give up on delta patches a while back and start shipping the entire OS every time there’s a bug fix?

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I really liked Outer Wilds

In response to a post about “chill games”

I really liked Outer Wilds. A space exploration game that starts in a forest, where you can toast marshmallows on multiple planets, the whole system is in a time loop, environments change drastically between the early and later parts of the loop, and you find other astronauts by listening for the music they’re playing.

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Huh, Verizon has sold Yahoo and AOL. For half of what they paid for them…

Huh, Verizon has sold Yahoo and AOL.

Verizon sells AOL and Yahoo for about half of what it paid

For half of what they paid for them. 🤦‍♂️

To a private equity firm. 😬

Flickr and Tumblr REALLY lucked out that Verizon put in the effort to look for a photo-sharing company and a blogging company to sell them to instead of just muddling along with no idea what to do with them until they just wanted to unload them.

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Expanded on K2R: Ya-who? Flickr and Tumblr Were Lucky!

Food, covid-adjacent

Grabbed a coffee and muffin while out walking, and found an out of the way outdoor place where I could unmask and eat without being near anyone else.

It was WEIRD.

It felt like I was getting away with something.

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I mean, I haven’t eaten at a restaurant in nearly a year. Not even outside on a patio. This is the second time since last March that I’ve eaten anything away from home except the occasional travel mug of coffee in the car, when I’m actually going somewhere farther than the grocery store.

I’m not used to it anymore!

…this used to be normal, and now it’s not, and the fact that it’s not normal is weird too.

I think the last time I ate at a restaurant was when I went out to lunch with some co workers the first week of March, and we were talking about whether we wanted to switch to working remotely early, before the order came down. Cause we all knew it was coming sooner or later.

And as it turned out, all of us who were there ended up doing just one more day onsite. Two of us switched early voluntarily, and I got the flu & didn’t recover until the office closed.

At least, I thought it was the flu. The symptoms I used to determine it wasn’t Covid have since been found to be associated with Covid too, and I had a long, lingering cough after I’d otherwise recovered. And while my wife didn’t get the full on flu symptoms, she got the lingering cough too.

Whatever it was, I isolated right away and we didn’t give it to anyone else.

I guess at this point there isn’t any good way to tell. And it probably doesn’t matter anymore either.

Anyway, it’s weird to think that even though I still have the same job, I’ll never go back to that office again. The lease expired last month and they decided to move to a new location once onsite office work is actually a thing again, and the new building isn’t ready yet, so they packed everything into storage.

I guess it would be different if I’d had a chance to grab some key items and/or clear out the clutter on my desk (at least now I know I don’t need those hand written notes after all), which I would have done if I hadn’t been sick when the work-from-home order came down. But as it was, I just had my work laptop at home and that was it.

Expanded on K2R

Les Mis, history, slavery

Years ago I saw a mention of Les Misérables being popular with Confederate soldiers, who were nicknamed “Lee’s Miserables.”

Even though the book is about why you shouldn’t treat people horribly even if they’re on the lower rungs of society.

Even stranger, the rare times America is mentioned, it’s to condemn slavery.

It turns out there was an 1863 edition published in Richmond that “fixed” the “Yankee” translation from the year before.

JFC

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3040282?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

They claimed they were trying to fix up some of the idioms, but decided while they were at it to remove all the abolitionist references, insisting that the anti-slavery remarks were somehow off-topic for a book about *European* oppression.

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Interesting point about Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda: for the most part, MS doesn’t care what …

Interesting point about Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda: for the most part, MS doesn’t care what hardware you run their stuff on, they just want you to buy the software. So it’s less likely to be about trying to gain Xbox exclusives and more likely to be about getting more games for Game Pass.

https://www.theverge.com/21449178/microsoft-xbox-bethesda-zenimax-media-acquisition-xbox-game-pass

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It reminds me of a blog post I read a few years back comparing the core business of various major tech players:

Apple sells hardware, and they sell software & media to give you something to do with the HW.

MS sells software, and the HW is to give you something to run their software on.

Google sells ads on services, and provides HW & SW to connect to those services.

Amazon sells stuff, and their HW is a way to sell you virtual stuff.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20131030165516-1269-waterworld-the-right-way-to-think-about-the-battles-in-mobile

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And that’s why, for instance, you can run Gmail on anything, MS Office on almost anything, but the main Apple program that runs on other operating systems is designed primarily to hook you up with an iPhone (previously an iPod).

It’s an older post and predates the rise of smart speakers, but it still fits remarkably well. Remember how the Echo originally was mostly a way to place orders through Amazon?

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