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    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by steve 16 September 2021
      RT @steve @bobjonkman I really appreciate it, Bob!
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      bobjonkman favorited something by steve: @bobjonkman I really appreciate it, Bob!
    • New note by bobjonkman 12 September 2021
      #Stroopwafels FTW! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroopwafel
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      bobjonkman favorited something by guizzy: Today @mitsu and I went to a Spanish specialty grocery store, got sobressada and menorcan cheese. Then we went to an european specialty store and got stroopwaffels. And we went to Bagel St-Viateur, and got freshly made bagels (the real stuff, not New York pretenders) to enjoy with some smoked […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 12 September 2021
      Hang in there, Dr. Sekula. Your summer somewhat mirrors mine: Conflicted about working in a Covid environment; trying to stay engaged in politics (not physics research); the loss of my father and admitting my mom to a long-term care facility where Covid mortality is high. We'll pull through, and if the future looks different from […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by steve 12 September 2021
      RT @steve "End of Summer, 2021" Ive gone silent in this blog. Take it as a sign of everything else that has been going on. Writing in this blog is the first thing to be sacrificed when life intervenes. Its been many months since I wrote here. Truth be told, I think I need to […]
    • Favorite 12 September 2021
      bobjonkman favorited something by steve: "End of Summer, 2021" Ive gone silent in this blog. Take it as a sign of everything else that has been going on. Writing in this blog is the first thing to be sacrificed when life intervenes. Its been many months since I wrote here. Truth be told, I think […]
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      bobjonkman favorited something by lnxw48a1: Last year, while visiting #sonTwo and meeting #GS3 in person for the first time, I asked my daughter-in-law about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. She said they had one of each, but she wanted more. So I ordered a few of each and they put them up. Tonight, the gas […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 2 May 2021
      But human labour only produces surplus value when it's being exploited. If humans are paid a fair value for their labour then there is no "surplus", ie. no profit for the corporate owners. This is why I favour worker-owned co-operatives instead of capitalist-owned corporations.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lxo 2 May 2021
      RT @lxo the greatest challenge of automation for a capitalist economy is that machines don't produce surplus value, only human labor does

Why I’m an E-mail Luddite

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 2nd October 2013

Statue of a Luddite

Luddite Memorial, Liversedge

The pervasive expectation of HTML everywhere came to light in a recent e-mail exchange:

Him: Bob, have a look at this video: LOLcats at work

Me: Did you intend to send a link with that?

Him: Yes, here it is: LOLcats at work

Me: Sorry, still no link. Remember, I don’t receive HTML e-mail…

Him: Wut? I’ve never heard of someone not receiving HTML e-mail!

E-mail was never designed for HTML; it is intended to be a plain-text medium. HTML is merely cobbled on, and mail clients have no standard way to render HTML messages, resulting in different displays on different mail programs. Some mail programs, especially those run from the command line, can’t show HTML rendered messages at all.

Although I use a graphical mail client (Thunderbird), I choose to not display HTML for two reasons:

1) Security: HTML mail can have Javascript code or other objects embedded. That’s a great way to get virus infections on your computer. I don’t want any code running on my computer that I didn’t put there myself.

2) Privacy: HTML mail that links to external images allows the owner of those images to track your mail usage: When you open the mail, how often you open it, the location you open it at, what computer you’re using, and whether you forward it to others (and then, when they open the mail, how often, their location, &c).

Not to mention that HTML messages are far bigger than text messages, especially when the HTML contains embedded images, fonts, and other stuff. Now, that’s not such a big deal with fast connections, unlimited download caps, and cheap disk drives, but it will still make a difference on small-format devices like phones and watches.

That said, if you do send me HTML e-mail, be sure to embed any images or LOLcat videos. That way I can still view them as static attachments, without revealing when, where, and how often I view them.

For more info have a look at the Wikipedia article on HTML e-mail

–Bob.

You can send HTML e-mail to Bob Jonkman at bjonkman@sobac.com

The Luddite Memorial, Liversedge by Tim Green is used under a CC-BYCreative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0 license.

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