waah, they can't delete facebook

Bloomberg has a story with the shocking headline "Samsung Phone Users Perturbed to Find They Can't Delete Facebook" (hat tip JR).
Two years ago no major news outlet would have written this. Post-Trump and Cambridge Analytica it's suddenly acceptable to express concern about Zuckerberg's enterprise.
The story, intriguing but not eye-opening to privacy buffs, provides a gauge of mainstream sentiment regarding tech giants. Eric Schmidt's company could be said to rival Facebook in the sinister department, yet its products (email, browser, etc) also can't be deleted from a Samsung phone. (Because Schmidt's company makes the operating system the phone runs on.)
About fifteen years back a programmer friend lamented the "demise of the general purpose computer." To some extent that's been happening because Apple and Microsoft make it harder to tinker with devices running their software. But it's also come to pass voluntarily, because of the mass migration to "smart" devices with undelete-able programs.

guten-free word press, please

Good critique of Word Press "Gutenberg" -- the sh*tty new behind-the-scenes content editor that is supposed to be mobile- or touch-friendly.
It popped up as the default editing screen when users installed Word Press 5.0 a couple of months ago. We were told if we wanted the old editor we had to install the "Classic Editor" plugin. Needless to say this WP user did that immediately.
The author of the critique, Dedoimedo, likens Gutenberg to Windows 8 and hopes Word Press will follow a similar path of treating it as a failed experiment. He notes that the Classic Editor plugin "has more than 200,000 active installations with a near perfect 5.0 score."

pix2pix

htown-1pix2pixcrop

image by htown, via bogchat (sans border)

This was made with pix2pix, a web-based image processor that supposedly turns line drawings into fully-fleshed photographic renderings.
Most of the results are on par with the famous #botched_fresco_restoration in Spain.
Artists who use the pix2pix service without high expectations can get some charming results, however.
htown's image above is delicate and somewhat mysterious!

peek a boo scrolling

gplus

Good breakdown from fanfare on the obnoxious trend of peekaboo scrolling on web pages (notably the search results page from Eric Schmidt's company).

A terrible trend on the Internet is the peek-a-boo effect. It can come at you through a variety of ways.

One common way is when a website tries to preserve the visibility of the header when you scroll down, through the use of a transition or an animated effect. I assume the logic is that once you've scrolled all the way down a page, the header is out of sight, and getting back to it would require the brutal task of scrolling up (or in the case of a touch screen, swiping up) and that's way too much work. So to make things easier, websites try and keep the header fixed at the top, all the time. Okay - that seems like a decent solution to a problem. So why not just use position:fixed any be done with it? Why use a 'seamless' transition --using animation--, which by definition won't look seamless, because an animated effect on an otherwise static page is an attention-seeker, and therefore a distraction! It's calling attention to the most unnecessary part of a web browsing experience.

An even more infuriating example in this variety of header peek-a-boo effects are websites that wait until you've scroll down a bit on the page, then trigger the re-emergence of the header, once you've scrolled up, even by a hair. It's absolutely jarring, especially if you use the scroll wheel a lot, and move an article up an down a bit just out of habit.

Another example is the jack in the box peek-a-boo effect, in which a div is hidden off-screen then POPS out once you've hit a certain point on the page. I assume this is meant to be less of a surprise than a sudden popup modal that pops up on the page without warning like a screamer (e.g. SIGN UP FOR OUR MAILING LIST), but the effect is just as bad, if not worse.

peekaboo3

peekaboo2

More examples

gritty teens and pepe teens

Blogger Carl Beijer wonders who's actually on twitter, or at least, how influential it is. Not sure what prompted this but it might have something to do with all the mainstream journalists who obsessively discuss "what twitter is thinking" or believe it's significant when "twitter erupts." How much thought leading is really going on over there? Says Beijer:

[N]ot everyone, it turns out, uses Twitter to talk about the news:

--One recent survey shows that only about 11% of the population ever gets their news from Twitter.

--Among respondents who ever use social media to get the news there is also significant variation in consumption: for instance, 30% of that group say that they "hardly ever" get their news from social media. If these trends holds for Twitter, then it is probably a significant source of news for something closer to 3-8% of US adults.

Beijer concludes with this paragraph:

This, I think, is a much more realistic assessment of Twitter's news reach: bring together all of the blue check journalists and unverified posters, the sinister operatives and the doe-eyed normies, the Pepe teens and the Gritty teens, the #TCOT grandpas and rose emojis - put them all together, and you are reaching a single-digit percentage of US adults, somewhere between 3-8%.

This hairball of newspeak might send a Twitter-unobsessed reader to the Urban Dictionary. A few people I asked didn't know what "Gritty teens" meant. Email if you have an idea.

edits after posting

Update: Thanks to Rubbercat for emailing a Gritty teens explanation: "'Gritty teens' refer[s] to an emerging contingent of meme-loving leftist kids. Its namesake is the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team's new mascot Gritty who, after a few initial weeks of universal revulsion, became jokingly recharacterized as this hip ultra-leftist antifa hero in photoshops and memes. There was a counterprotest recently and Gritty was on a lot of the signs."