Dear [eCommerce website] Customer Care,

On [a recent date], [support monkey] wrote:
In regards to your query about having issues trying to reset your password via our website, I would recommend re-attempting to reset your password via a Laptop or PC using Google Chrome where possible for compatibility purposes.

Some thanks are in order, as I was able to reset my password using Google Chrome.

However.

"This website works best in $CORPORATE $BROWSER" was a Dark Time™ for the web in the late-nineties/early-noughties when $CORPORATE was Microsoft and $BROWSER was Internet Explorer. That mindset is no less awful in 2016 when substituted by Google And Chrome. The web grew to become what it is *because* it was built on open standards that are re-implementable by anyone.

Notably, the functionality I had trouble with, consisting of an HTML form with two password fields and a submit button, was codified into HTML 2/RFC 1866[0] as part of "the capabilities of HTML in common use prior to June 1994". That functionality has been included in every web browser released as a /de facto/ standard for over 20 years, since before Windows 95 even existed.

That your web developers managed to break cross-browser interoperability for such a basic web use-case is an impressive technical feat. One which, IMNSHO, they should *not* be proud of.

If you would be kind enough to pass on a request that your web team look into either Graceful Degradation[1] or Progressive Enhancement[2] (or, preferably, both[3]) as cross-browser compatibility strategies before commencing any future updates of the site, I, and the web as an entity unto itself, would be most grateful.

Sincerely,

[Grok McTanys]

[0] https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1866
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceful_degradation
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_enhancement
[3] http://www.w3.org/wiki/Graceful_degradation_versus_progressive_enhancement

Skiing, and more thoughts on pain.

No, I didn't hurt myself this year. No dislocations or breaks or anything! Win.

I even only fell over once. I was going about 2mph and my ski got a bit stuck, and I overbalanced and basically sat down unexpectedly. I definitely took things easy this year. And it was still fun. A more relaxing kind of fun, but still fun.

I was still quite nervous at times though. Despite a fair amount of physio, and then some time in the gym geared towards strengthening my shoulder and the muscles around it, and starting climing again and being pretty confident of putting a lot of weight through that shoulder, I've still not given it a good 'jolt' yet. I'm not entirely sure what will happen when I do. So there's that.

It did lead me to wondering a bit more about the nature of pain.

First, is it just me, or did pain used to be a lot more emotionally disturbing as a kid/teenager?

I remember watching some movies when I was younger, seeing characters get hurt in various ways, and wondering how they could be so brave as to not burst into tears. Lawrence of Arabia's "The trick [...] is not minding that it hurts" was genuinely confusing. James Woods character in Bestseller putting a cigarette out in the palm of his hand was astonishing. Sometimes it broke my suspension of disbelief (even though I couldn't have articulated that at the time), but at other times I was aware that adults generally didn't cry when they got hurt. Still, I couldn't separate the idea of being in pain, and being really distressed and upset.

Nowadays, pain just isn't as emotionally disturbing. Other kinds of things that weren't particularly upsetting then, now are (thanks, Pixar!), but pain, not so much. Sure, pain is still painful, and a sharp stub of the toe on a bedpost first thing in the morning can still bring a tear to my eye, but it doesn't set off the whole "cry" reflex including a wobbly mouth and buckets of snot.

Is that familiar? Do you think you've become 'braver' as you've grown up? Developed a different mental outlook on pain? Or do you think it's something more subconscious and innate than that?


Second, if you're asked to consider the idea of a 1-10 pain scale, is your scale linear, or geometric? In other words, if you take the difference in pain between levels 2 and 3, and add that amount of pain to a 7, do you get an 8 (linear)? Or something only a tiny fraction over the original 7 (geometric)?

February Lard

Thanks to a suggestion from bonedancer, this Wednesday we shall be trying out Kia's Pasteria on Abbeydale Road (near the bottom of Woodseats Road) at around 7:30. The nearest pub is The Broadfield, so if you're in the mood for a drink meet there beforehand. It is about ⅓ of a mile away though, for what that's worth.

Party leftovers

Argh. Been meaning to post this for ages.

Thanks again for everyone who came to my New Year/Birthday party. All the food that was left is now gone, but I still have some containers and other miscellanea that needs to find its way home.

1 "Plastic is not fantastic"/Manchester international festival canvas bag.
1 robust iron(?) bottle opener/flathead screwdriver, stamped "GEORG". Possibly belongs with bag.
1 24cm×18cm×9cm "sistema" plastic container, with two blue lid clips along the long sides.
1 22cm×15cm×6cm generic food container, with lid clips on all 4 sides.

If these are yours, or you know who the belong to, please give me a shout, and I'll try to get them back to you as soon as I can.

Corporate advertising on the BBC - again.

I was watching TV over Christmas, as you do, and noticed something peculiar. In the between-program voice-overs where the BBC tells you what's coming on later, they kept referring to Brave as "Disney's Brave".

Why? They didn't mention the production company or distributor of any of the other films they showed. They didn't refer to "Short Circuit" as "Tri-Star's Short Circuit", or to "DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar 3". So how come Disney gets free brand awareness promotion?

At least, I hope it was free. I imagine that name-checking Disney would be something that the other channels might charge for. Part of me hopes the BBC would be better than that, but I'm not sure if it's better that they do it for free than it would be if they charged for it.

Come on, BBC, you're meant to be better than that. :-(

January lard

Just in case you have any money at all left in your wallet, and any calories left in your new year diet plan, lets give Trippets a go, which was recommended to me not too long ago by... someone. (I may have had a drink or two at the time. Sorry if it was you, and I forgot.) It's a lounge bar with a tasting menu, so we can meet there from around 7 for a drink, see what's on the menu, and how it all works.

On the off chance that we end up needing a backup plan, we could wander over to West Street around 7:30 and vote from there.

SpaceX returns to flight, and to the launch site!

Falcon 9 stage land at Cape

SpaceX rocket in historic upright landing

Video from SpaceX mission control with everyone going bananas (full launch webcast).

Falcon 9 First Stage Landing | From Helicopter

How this will revolutionize the cost of space travel

This is huge, but I don't have much time to write about it now. I'll try to put up a post about this, and about the Blue Origin flight from a few weeks ago, sometime in the next couple of days.