This Blog Is Not For Reading

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    • Favorite 31 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by natecull: Dear everyone who is considering making a video of yourself talking rather than just writing the *exact same words* into a text file, a blog post or a PDF:Unless you're specifically targeting people who literally cannot read...Please don't.Sincerely, A Person Who Doesn't Have Literal Free Hours To Hear You Slooooowly […]
    • Favorite 28 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by kensanata: I recommend people just turn off voice assistants whenever they can. That includes smart watches and the like! If you don’t depend on them, then there always the chance of activating them by mistake and of voice samples getting sent and stored where they don’t belong and listened to by […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by floxadvocate 27 July 2019
      RT @floxadvocate Happy System Administrator DayToday, please remember to thank the professionals who keep your computers and network functioning https://sysadminday.com/https://www.sys-admin-day.de/https://www.LOPSA.org/#sysadm #LOPSA
    • Favorite 27 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by floxadvocate: Happy System Administrator DayToday, please remember to thank the professionals who keep your computers and network functioning https://sysadminday.com/https://www.sys-admin-day.de/https://www.LOPSA.org/#sysadm #LOPSA
    • Favorite 17 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by wolfie: @ink_slinger also "blood is thicker than water" is actually short for "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb" which means that friendship formed in hardship is stronger than family bonds, the exact opposite of the shorthandAnd curiosity killed the cat used to stop people […]
    • Favorite 17 July 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by inkslinger: "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" was originally satire because that is, um, impossible. It's now stated without irony."Just a few bad apples," when referring to police, conveniently ignoring the full aphorism ials actually: One bad apple *spoils the bunch.*
    • Favorite 27 June 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by selfcare: Fix something small that gets in your way. Sew on a button, clean a grimy keyboard.
    • New note by bobjonkman 27 June 2019
      Just this once, only for this video and no other, should you #ReadTheComments!https://youtu.be/1OfxlSG6q5Y
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by gudenau 27 June 2019
      RT @gudenau @dirb @Loki This is what a real toaster is like. https://youtu.be/1OfxlSG6q5Y
    • Favorite 27 June 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by gudenau: @dirb @Loki This is what a real toaster is like. https://youtu.be/1OfxlSG6q5Y

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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