The Web-Browser Edition Sunday, August 21, 2016

How Panics About Pictures Of Naked Women Shaped The Web As We Know It, by Sarah Jeong, Washington Post

The Web browser that accompanied this launch was text-only. Two years later, Mosaic became the first browser to display images inline — that is, right next to the text, rather than having to be downloaded in a separate window.

Berners-Lee was displeased with this development. Now, he said, people were going to start posting pictures of naked women.

He wasn’t wrong.

Someone Is Wrong On The Internet. That’s Where I Come In., by Brooke Binkowski, Washington Post

In a famous xkcd cartoon, “Duty Calls,” a man’s partner beckons him to bed as he sits alone at his computer. “I can’t. This is important,” he demurs, pecking furiously at the keyboard. “What?” comes the reply. His answer: “Someone is wrong on the Internet.”

His nighttime frustration is my day job. I work at, the fact-checking site pledged to running down rumors, debunking cant and calling out liars. Just this past week, for instance, we wrestled with a mysterious lump on Hillary Clinton’s back that turned out to be a mic pack (not the defibrillator some had alleged). It’s a noble and worthwhile calling, but it’s also a Sisyphean one. On the Internet, no matter how many facts you marshal, someone is always wrong.

Bloated Web: One Article Shouldn’t Need 55 Pages Of Code To Show Up On Your Phone, by Frédéric Filloux, Quartz

Regardless of promising innovations, the war to reduce HTML’s bloat remains to be won. Many forces—advertising technologies, user profiling, endless analytics, trackers—might conspire to eat all the benefits promised by the proposed new standard.

Siri Talks

Barbra Streisand Brings Siri Kvetch Directly To Apple CEO Tim Cook, by Tony Maglio, The Wrap

“I called the head of Apple, Tim Cook, and he delightfully agreed to have Siri change the pronunciation of my name, finally, with the next update on September 30,” Streisand said during a “Weekend Edition Saturday” NPR interview. “So, let’s see if that happens, because I’ll be thrilled.”


I Tried 5 Potty Training Apps To See If They'd Get My Boys To Go, by Megan Zander, Romper

I road-tested five potty training apps to see which were the most effective at encouraging my 3-year-old twins to use the bathroom so we can say goodbye to diapers once and for all. I hoped that the apps wouldn't just excite the boys with their cool visuals and characters, but that they'd actually offer us all some concrete assistance in the potty-training game. Here are the hits, and unfortunately, the misses.

Fusing Fun With Learning, New 'STEM' Toys Debut, by Marc Saltzman, USA Today

Many of today’s toys reinforce learning through STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – which not only straddles the line between entertainment and education, but helps sharpen young minds for a future career in the digital space.


The Battle Over Net Neutrality Started With The 1920s-Era 'Hush-A-Phone', by Lauren Young, Atlas Obscura

Invented in 1921, the Hush-A-Phone was advertised as a “telephone silencer” and a device that “Makes your phone private as a booth.” It produced the same effect as cupping both your hands around the mouthpiece of the two-pieced candlestick model telephone, with others in the room only hearing a rumbling of indiscernible sounds.

Callers only needed to slide the Hush-A-Phone over the mouthpiece of the phone, place their lips in the circular opening, and speak. The device was simple, easy to use, and it worked. Yet, the Hush-A-Phone isn’t remembered for its simplicity, or success in creating an artificial cone of silence. Rather, the device is known for waging a war against the telecommunication giant, AT&T—a historic legal battle law experts compare to feuds over today’s open internet.

Jobless In The Self-driving Economy, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

The problem is driving constitutes one of the core forms of low-skilled labor alongside cashiers and fast-food prep. The robots are coming for all of them. Some argue that technology will create new jobs for these people. Though while it may create new jobs, they likely won’t be attainable by those losing their low-skilled ones.

Bottom of the Page

I miss the days of the web when I can remember all the possible HTML tags. Even blink.

I miss the days of the web when I can just create a web page in a single .html file, and don't have to worry about pages and pages of CSS and js files.

I miss the days of the web when I don't have to argue with the designers on whether the navigation menu should be one line or multiple lines, because nobody has any control over that.

I miss the days of the web when the biggest controversy was whether to use .html or .htm extension. And how to pronounce GIF.


Thanks for reading.