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    • New note by bobjonkman 13 December 2018
      That was fun! I'm actually working on a for-reals Emergency Broadcast System at @RadioWaterloo -- I'll pass on your video so we can use it as our fallback audio track :)
    • Favorite 12 December 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by scarlett: always remember "punishable with a fine" means "legal for rich people"
    • New note by bobjonkman 12 December 2018
      I was out. Back to the archives for me.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by fdroidorg 11 December 2018
      RT @fdroidorg Do you have experience with #Flatpak? Then we need your help!We want to package #Repomaker as #Flatpak to make it easier for people to install. We already have a running flatpak and are only missing the final bits. Any help is highly appreciated!See "Packaging Repomaker as Flatpak" for more information: https://forum.f-droid.org/t/f-droid-roles/4202
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by tindall 11 December 2018
      RT @tindall Understanding these things, I feel that it is my duty, to myself and to my community, to reject and replace the products and services of as many spying companies with those of non-spying companies and nonprofit groups as rapidly and thoroughly possible.That can only be done with free software. So, I am a […]
    • Favorite 11 December 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by tindall: Understanding these things, I feel that it is my duty, to myself and to my community, to reject and replace the products and services of as many spying companies with those of non-spying companies and nonprofit groups as rapidly and thoroughly possible.That can only be done with free software. So, […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by indi 11 December 2018
      RT @indi The 2018 iteration of Indi's alternative holiday playlist has started going up today! Over the next two weeks, 100 holiday songs that are non-religious and don't sound like the standard holiday fare will be featured. https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/12/indis-alternative-holiday-playlist-2018-100-to-91/ !atheism !secular !SecularHumanism
    • Favorite 11 December 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by indi: The 2018 iteration of Indi's alternative holiday playlist has started going up today! Over the next two weeks, 100 holiday songs that are non-religious and don't sound like the standard holiday fare will be featured. https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/12/indis-alternative-holiday-playlist-2018-100-to-91/ !atheism !secular !SecularHumanism
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by ronhouk 4 December 2018
      RT @ronhouk Just got a grant for my #library to get 15 laptops. they'll be using #Linux and we will be teaching classes on open source software.
    • Favorite 4 December 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by ronhouk: Just got a grant for my #library to get 15 laptops. they'll be using #Linux and we will be teaching classes on open source software.

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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