HTML email rant

A rant on the wrong wait to use the mutipart/alternative MIME type in email.

So there are five different ways to do email with HTML in it. Only one of them is correct. Commercial entities should know better.

Either they

  1. Don’t include a text/plain (Walgreens, GNS3)
  2. Include a text/plain that is just a duplicate of the text/html(IFTT)
  3. Include a text/plain that is the text of the text/html, with all the href links, which are useless in a text/plain context(Zillow, Royal Caribbean)
  4. Include an actual plaintext message in the text/plain, but the content of that message is just their legalese and a message to go to a particular URL if your mail reader can’t display text/html(Chase, Adobe)
  5. Include a text/plain version that contains exactly the same text as the text/html version, but without any of the HTML markup, making it actualy readable to mere human beings.(Patreon).

I can’t stand “weight loss” entertainment shows

Extreme Weight Loss: How the most obese nation on earth makes itself feel good by publicly shaming the worst of us

I’m very glad the stack of routers and switches next to me is almost loud enough to drown out the TV. My wife is watching Extreme Weight Loss and I wanted to slap the “guest loser” about 30 seconds into it. (Queue sob story about how her entire family done her wrong when she was most vulnerable…)
Then they pulled the predictable and over-the-top “You’re exercising for the first time in 20 years. You’re sweaty, out of breath and straining like you’re giving birth again. Now while you strain against this weight, tell us why you’re mad at each member of your family. Great! You’re completely out of breath, drenched in sweat, face is completely red, you’re angry and crying. Now, tell us whom you’re the maddest at of all?” (Spoiler warning: she’s slightly less than pleased with herself. Bet you could have guessed that already, right?)

Oh, and the weight loss reveals, where the giant scale takes 10 seconds to “add up” how much the loser has lost this interval, piss me off. Especially when they start the “reveal”, explain what they weighed when they started, what they weighed at the last weigh in, how much they lost the first interval, how much they had to lose this time, and the overly dramatic “If you weigh less than XXX pounds today (pause) you’ve met your goal!” (because they, and the audience, can’t do math?) They step on, the scale takes 5 seconds to count down and…. ad break!
Break’s over. Let’s cover that entire conversation again. Now step on the scale and take 10 seconds to “add up” the weight…

They haven’t gotten to the part where they start discussing how close the “loser” is to having lost enough weight that the surgeon is comfortable performing the skin reduction surgery. As if the weight loss, and the chance for the surgery, actually goes away if they don’t hit that magic number by the end of the 1 hour episode.

I’d be far more interested in what the “losers” from the first season look like today. Did they maintain their magical transformations, or have half of them gone back to their original weight?

Back to this weeks episode: She’s already lost over 100 lbs, she’s down to 160-something and looks fantastic! But the narrator / trainer just said “But, she doesn’t look any different from when I last saw her three months ago in the Bahamas…” Are you kidding me? She hasn’t put on an ounce, looks great, “But she doesn’t look any different…” Fuck you. She’s not 4 feet tall and 160-ish is fat or something. And then you weigh in and she’s lost another 11 lbs and is down to 150? You, Sir, are a DICK. Double douche-bag points to the show for having her go back to her parents, on camera, and confront them with the emotional reconciliation. Either they agreed to this when the producers contacted them and all the on-camera stuff is fake, or they didn’t and you just sandbagged them. People watch this shit and actually believe it’s real?

Just imagine how much I’d be frothing at the mouth if I wasn’t sitting next to noisy equipment and could actually hear it?

“New Features” alerts in software

In which I rant about software and web site “notifications” telling you about “new” features and permissions they want from you.

There’s a new trend in software development going around where apparently it’s very important that users know about all the wicked cool new features in this latest release, so when a user launches the program, every few seconds the program has to completely block interacting with it to pop up a dialog bubble pointing to the new button that was added to UI telling you all about this new feature. (I’m looking at YOU, Evernote!)
Open program, click button to open a new document/card/note/workflow/whateverNO! You have to read about how we’ve added “chat” to this program! (great, yet another “chat” program…). Click to close the stupid dialog bubble, start to type something in the new document, get three words in and BOOM! New dialog bubble! Not only have we added chat, but we’ve added a new button to, I don’t know, make “presentations” of your documents! Click to close dialog bubble, try to finish typing the sentence (and cursing as your thought process has already been disrupted twice) and BOOM! No, it’s reallyimportant you know about this completely useless feature!
Why would I want to make “slides” out of my notes? If I want to make a presentation, I’ll use a program designed for presentations.. like, I don’t know, Powerpoint?

On a related note, web sites that do this drive me insane, especially on mobile devices. Click on something a friend has shared in Facebook. FB web browser opens, starts to load the site BANG! “Site would like to know your location and / or send you notifications”. NO. Site loads some more, BOOM! “This site should really be viewed in our APP! Would you like to install the app and read it there?” NO. Loads some more Blamo! Popup asking you to share the like / share the site with your friends, so they two can be asked for permission to send them push notifications, track their location and install an app, before reading the more and more marginally informative article.
Page FINALLY starts to become visible. You read the first paragraph and start to scroll down, but NO, the page is actually still loading all the useless menu bar graphics and advertising, and everything moves as it re-renders the new graphics, so instead of touching the text and pushing up to scroll, you just tapped an ad! Wait while the ad loads a completely NEW site, which starts playing a video with obnoxious audio.

Tip to my friends who see a cool video on a web site. If the video embedded in the site is on YouTube, just click the link to go to the YouTube page, then share THAT on FB. It will skip the clickbait site that didn’t actually say anything about the video (Seriously, “He starts to talk about something boring. But when he gets going? I finished it to the end!” (yes, really, “finished it to the end”. I kid you not. But I digress…) That site had ONE paragraph, that said NOTHING about what the video was about, just that it was something really neat / moving that you just have to watch. OK, just share the damn video link and skip the useless clickbait site.

Bad telephone design

What fucking MORON designs a telephone so that you can’t replace the CORD????
I have an important phone call to make in half an hour. I don’t trust a mobile phone in this house to not drop in the middle of the call, so I went out and bought a basic land-line phone and a 25-foot phone cord so I don’t have to stretch one across my office to my desk.
I take the phone out of the box, unravel it’s cord to remove it and plug in the 25-footer… and you can’t detach it! I’m stuck with the 6 feet or so of cord that comes with it and not enough time to go buy another one. And any other I buy is likely to have the same issue, since the store only stocks the one brand (GE. GE for crying out loud! Who at GE would be that stupid?)

Edit: And to top that off, to call from 817 area code to 972 area code (across town) the phone company considers this “long distance”. Since I didn’t get long distance service with my land line (I only got it for the DSL) I can’t make the call.