[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

Dear Lazyweb, I have a request.

As you know, the primary lesson of Scooby-Doo is that ghosts and monsters don't exist, it's always, always a shady real-estate speculator wearing a rubber mask.

Please combine all of these videos of supercuts of the Scooby Gang unmasking, and photoshop Donald Trump's cartoon face onto all of the villains.

I thank you. Future generations thank you. And most of all, those meddling kids thank you.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

"HTML email, was that your fault?"

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:24 pm
[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

tl;dr: "Probably".

Just for the record, when this Unfrozen Caveman bitches about the horrors of the world, it is not without recognition of my culpability.

Montulli and Weissman also deserve a portion of the blame, but I was the one who ran with it, so I'm sure they'd be happy to let me fall on that sword.

{You're|I'm} {welcome|sorry}.


Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 20:01:22 -0700
From: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>
Subject: Re: HTML e-mail: is it your fault?
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v1084)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1084)

Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 14:45:13 -0700
From: Andrew Gray <adsgray@...>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-08-17)

Hi,

I'm trying to figure out when HTML e-mails were first sent. Do you happen to know if the Netscape Mail and News clients that you worked on were the first MUAs to render HTML?

This question is in the context of struggling to craft an HTML e-mail that looks "good" in every possible stupid mail program that anyone could possibly still be using in the year 2011.





You know, my gut reaction is that the answer to this question is "no", but after some digging, I have yet to find any evidence of a mail reader that can display inline HTML messages (email or USENET) that predates Netscape 2.0!

So, maybe?

If you find out for sure, please let me know!

I think there may have been closed systems inside Compuserve and Outlook that supported rich text messages (in formats other than HTML).

The Andrew Message System at CMU and MIT supported WYSIWYG rich messages, including inline images and audio attachments, as early as 1985. Not HTML or MIME, but a predecessor to MIME, as the architect of that was Nathaniel Borenstein who wrote the first MIME RFC.

My other project is a time machine of course. First application: preventing HTML e-mail from ever happening.

Yeah, go back to chipping your USENET posts out with a piece of flint, why don't you.

Even if it wasn't the first, Netscape Mail was probably the first mail reader that put the ability to easily *view* HTML messages in front of more than a million users.

I know that Eudora 4 supported display of HTML email, and possibly composition of it, but I'm not sure when that was released.

Qualcomm/Eudora spent a while trying to push text/enriched (RFC 1523, published late 1993 -- not sure when Eudora first supported it) as an alternative to HTML, but that went nowhere. Early versions of Netscape (at least 1.1, I think possibly earlier) supported display of text/enriched, but just about nobody was even aware of that because nobody ever used it.

We also supported display of text/richtext, which was an HTML-like SGML dialect with only a few tags. In 2.0b1 or possibly earlier. I added that just to placate the peanut gallery, not because I expected anyone to actually use it.

I think the only person who really used text/enriched was Brad Templeton through ClariNet, where you could subscribe to USENET newsgroups of the UPI/AP feeds that were formatted with it.

From Mosaic Netscape 0.9 through Netscape Navigator 1.1 (1994), there was a mail composition window which allowed one to attach external URLs. They were attached as MIME multipart/mixed attachments with proper Content-Type and Content-Transfer-Encoding (using quoted-printable to ensure short lines).

You could also "attach" things with "Include Document Text" which would suck them in as plain-text with ">" at the beginning of each line, wrapped at 72 columns.

There was also a USENET news reader and composer built-in. The USENET reader's display of MIME documents was remedial at best. The composition tool only allowed plain-text. Version 0.9 displayed any part of a message between <HTML> and </HTML> as such, even if there was no Content-Type header. That was removed some time before 2.0. Back then, you couldn't actually rely on a Content-Type header propagating through multiple USENET hops -- bnews would strip out any headers it didn't know about!

(Remember that 1.1's big innovation was *tables*. 1.0 didn't have 'em!)

2.0 contained the mail reader, with full MIME support (which was also a news reader, replacing the minimalist one that 1.0 had). So that showed up in 1.22b or so, mid 1995, I guess?

I believe 3.0 was the first version with WYSIWYG HTML composition, early 1996. To accomplish that in 2.0, you had to attach an HTML file. If there was only one attachment, it was sent as the single MIME part.

Forwarded messages were attachments of type message/rfc822 and included full headers, which were hidden upon inline display. Nobody does that any more because now the world sucks.

There was the IETF MHTML working group as early as 1995. I can't find a working archive of the mailing list, but it was run by a fellow named Jacob Palme -- http://people.dsv.su.se/~jpalme/ietf/jp-ietf-home.html

Microsoft Outlook Express shipped in 2005 and did not support HTML, but later versions (2006? Maybe 2008?) posted HTML *by default* to both mail and news. This angered many. Outlook Express is also where the blight of top-posting originated, those monsters.

Here, this may be helpful too: http://web.archive.org/web/19990128073742/http%3A//www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/mail/mime-faq/part2/faq.html

Also this: http://segate.sunet.se/cgi-bin/wa?A3=ind9606&L=MHTML&E=7bit&P=124821&B=--------------2F1C7DE14487&T=text%2Fhtml;%20charset=us-ascii

It would be fantastic if you could update http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_email with your findings.

--
DNA Lounge - 375 Eleventh Street, SF CA 94103 - 415-626-1409






Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

From The 13th Hypervelocity Impact Symposium:

The worst case, given the specified uncertainty, would be that the approaching object is already fractured and weak enough to explode at high altitude. Such an airburst can spread its energy out over a larger area and will be more damaging than a crater-forming impact. The worst-case scenario would be a high altitude airburst releasing about 10.6 Mt of energy. The best estimate would be that the fragment is a slightly less dense 50-meter object. Even a relatively strong object of this size is likely to explode at high altitude; although it is possible some fraction of it could reach the ground and form a crater. This best estimate is almost identical to current understanding of the Tunguska explosion. [...]

Since the uncertainty in impact location is extensive, we also provided a map showing the damage footprint at several locations within the ellipse, which we then we convolved with the footprint (Figure 3). We advised participants that preliminary evacuation plans for an airburst over land should be in a lateral direction into area known already to be at no risk, but that detailed plans should wait until radar data becomes available (about 6 days before impact) [...]

Much of the uncertainty ellipse spans parts of the Gulf of Mexico. An impact within that part of the ellipse would produce a tsunami, and would affect the whole of the coastline from Texas to Florida. According to calculations by Souheil Ezzedine of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) a tsunami generated by an impact in the easternmost part of the ellipse would have wave heights of 3 to 10 m and would arrive at the coast over a time spanning from 1 to 4.25 hours after the impact. The tsunami would first reach the Louisiana coastline, causing near total destruction to the barrier islands, The wave run-up would extend inland as far as 16 km.

When planetary physicists start role-playing, you end up with the darkest tabletop strategy game ever.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

Give me control of the shipping lanes and I'll make all the lightning you want.

When Joel Thornton at the University of Washington in Seattle and his colleagues looked at records of lightning strikes between 2005 and 2016 from the World Wide Lightning Location Network, they noticed there were significantly more strikes in certain regions of the east Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, compared with the surrounding areas. Unusually, they occurred along two straight lines in the open ocean, which coincided with two of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Along these paths there were twice as many lightning strikes as in nearby areas.

"We were quite sure the ships had to be involved," says Thornton. But they still had to eliminate other factors that influence storm intensity, such as wind speeds and temperatures.

Once these had been ruled out, the team concluded that aerosols from the ships' engine exhausts were the culprit. Aerosol particles act as seeds, around which water vapour condenses into cloud droplets. In clean air there aren't many seeds, so the cloud drops quickly grow and fall as rain. But when there are a lot of seeds, like over busy shipping routes, a greater number of small cloud drops form. Since these are light, they rise up high into the atmosphere and freeze, creating clouds rich in ice.

It is this that leads to more intense thunderstorms: lightning only occurs if clouds are electrically charged, and this only happens if there are lots of ice crystals. [...]

Although lightning activity is higher over the shipping lanes, the amount of rainfall is no different to nearby regions.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

Today on the Unfrozen Caveman show, I learned that when iOS displays a notification about new email, it ignores the text/plain part in a multipart/mixed message and instead displays the text/html part, after stripping all the tags without ceremony or finesse.

Because that's a totally reasonable thing to do.

It's not like "Hey I would like to display a plain-text version of this angry tag salad" is why multipart/mixed exists in the first place or anything.

My guesses on the thought process here, from least to most likely:

  • Eh, everybody just generates their text/plain part by stripping tags anyway, without even the courtesy-reacharound of turning <BR> into \n so why bother?

  • I tried that but then 90% of my mail notifications turned into, "Please use an HTML capable mail reader to view this message" because nobody generates text/plain parts but for unknown reasons they feel compelled to include them anyway.

  • By the time we are putting that dialog on the screen, we are thirty levels above the last framework that had access to the MIME parts, because that's how software works now, so fuck it, fuck it all, burn it all down.

  • Even though I'm on the team that writes a mail reader, I have not read RFC2046.

  • Herp derp I eat paste.

Previously, previously, previously.

[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz

"Local College Professor in Altercation with Alt-Right Serviceman"
Hashtag not all newspapers

Since the Charlottesville attack a month ago, a review of commentary in the six top broadsheet newspapers -- the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post -- found virtually equal amounts of condemnation of fascists and anti-fascist protesters. [...]

While most "both sides" columns added a qualifier clarifying that there was no moral equivalency between antifa and neo-Nazis, this framing could not help but imply that there was. And a few explicitly argued that, yes, anti-fascism was just as bad as fascism: [...]

The Washington Post and New York Times published markedly more critiques of neo-Nazis than of antifa: the Post by five to two and the Times 13 to five. This was in contrast to the coverage in the Wall Street Journal -- five antifa condemnations and no anti-Nazi ones -- and USA Today, which featured seven anti-antifa pieces and only three opposing white supremacists or calling on Trump to do so. The LA Times and Mercury News were basically split down the middle, with the former publishing six anti-antifa and five anti-Nazi takes, and the latter publishing three against antifa and two against Nazis.

The Wall Street Journal felt compelled to publish five pieces on the resistance to resurgent white supremacy -- without publishing a piece criticizing the resurgence of white supremacy itself.

The Wall Street Journal seemed particularly averse to calling out Trump for soft-pedaling and dog-whistling white supremacists. A recent Guardian expos documented how dozens of writers have left the Journal in response to corporate pressure to "normalize" the Republican president -- an effort evident in the uniformly positive takes on Trump's response to Charlottesville.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Vincent! Basil!

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:59 am
[syndicated profile] jwz_blog_feed

Posted by jwz



RIP Basil Gogos.

Some of the most iconic pieces of classic monster art were found on the front covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine throughout the '60s and '70s, that art no doubt responsible for countless monster kids being bitten by the proverbial bug. Vibrant and eye-catching, the magazine's cover art made horror stylish, beautiful and cool.

Those paintings were the work of illustrator Basil Gogos, who we're sad to report is the latest in a long line of true horror legends who have recently left us.

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