Showing posts with label annoying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label annoying. Show all posts

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Clickbait, Social Media, and You

Clickbait tickles your curiosity with some wild and crazy idea, and invites you to click to find out the "whole" story.

Seems innocent enough, right?? Except, it isn't

When you share clickbait and encourage your friends and connections on social media to explore that deceptive site, you're in effect becoming a mouthpiece for the owner of that content. 

Facebook will be banning all posts expressing religious beliefs? Seems legit. Bill Gates will give you $5,000 just for sharing a photo? Sure. Obama rebuked by a former Navy SEAL? Right. One thing many of these have in common, you might notice, is that you're invited to click on a link which takes you to someone's website, or Facebook page associated with a website which invites you to visit.

Once there, mission accomplished as far as the website owner is concerned. 

They have lured you in, and in doing so, subjected you to a barrage of ads, ads which make them money. Your visit to a site set up with various advertising means money for them. Your sharing that clickbait with your social media connections means even more money, especially if that content goes viral. Given that you've lent your credibility to it by sharing it with people you know, that is entirely too possible.

Do yourself, and your social media connections, a favor. Search before you share. Use due diligence and check your facts, because what someone else tells you is truth may turn out to be utter crap designed solely to spread lies and make that someone advertising revenue.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ImageShack, I Am Disappoint

ImageShack is one of many free online image hosting services.

Up until recently it's been one of my favorites because it allows you to easily copy a simple direct link to an image you've hosted. This allows you to link someone directly to a given image without any clutter, just the image by itself.

As of a week or two ago, however, they've disabled their Direct Link textbox and insist that you register with their site for this privilege. Sure, you can still freely obtain the Link code, which will show the image plus some minimal markup of ImageShack itself, and you can still copy various forum, thumbnail, widget and other markup for the image you wish to host, but really, most often I just want the image alone, that's all, nothing else. 

I freely admit it, I am a cheapskate.

There are several workarounds for this annoyance. 

First of all, you could simply visit another image hosting provider like imgur and use their service instead. Of course, you could sign up and create a user account with ImageShack; obviously ImageShack is in favor of this option. Another option is to visit BugMeNot and borrow somebody else's credentials. If, however, you yearn for ImageShack prior to their shenanigans, you can still obtain the Direct Link through this relatively convoluted series of steps:
1. Upload an image to ImageShack as usual.

2. Right-click on the Upload Successful page and view source.

3. Copy the direct URL to your image, and paste it wherever you like.

Why ImageShack chose to do this, I don't know. I've used their Direct Link for years, why they would choose to implement this, particularly when so many other image hosting sites like imgur continue to offer a plain URL to your hosted image, is a mystery to me. 

I'm certainly not enough of a die-hard fan of ImageShack that I would go to the trouble of digging into the HTML to grab that direct link each time, so I guess the easiest option is to just use another provider from here on out. Perhaps this will lead to a similar backlash to the infamous Gizmodo design change, which caused a significant reduction in visits to their site?

Yet another example of how a seemingly small change to the user experience can prompt users to seek an alternative.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Annoying Coworkers!

If your own annoying coworker story evokes sympathy in me, compels me to go to a convenient corner and huddle in a fetal position, or just makes me laugh out loud and point at you mockingly for your plight, I might send you a $20 Amazon Gift Card* in return!

In my career as a software developer, I once had an office mate (let's call him Jork) who had this habit of making the office we shared all dark and womb-like before I'd arrive in the morning, meaning he'd turn off the lights and close the door until it was just barely open.

This, in itself, was no problem. The problem was the smell. Jork was a large guy, and sweated fairly profusely. Also he used way too much laundry detergent, so it was a stifling wall of laundrysweat for me to encounter every morning. Usually when I'd arrive I would open the door and go grab some coffee just to let it air out a little.

He also had this loud, tittering laugh, like some freakin' obese goblin, whenever he'd read something funny or be watching some amusing video.

He was also flatulent like a motherfucker. Once he let one loose, turned to me and with a half-assed laugh said, "Heh heh... was that you?" What the fuck, Don Prudhomme, you can't hear yourself fucking fart??

Once when a buddy and I were in the office and Jork was still out to lunch, we happened to notice one of his desk drawers wasn't quite closed, so we took a peek inside. Hanging out in the bottom was a big bottle of Vaseline™ Intensive Care lotion.

Every few days the guy would ask me when I was leaving for the day. He would frequently work late, and he mentioned he didn't have broadband yet because his home was in the middle of bumfuck nowhere. I wish I could unimagine what I imagined after hearing that.

Wage slaves, you very likely have come across someone whom you would never choose to interact with outside the workplace.

Tell me your story! 


  1. Be creative, but please, be original. Make sure you're sharing your own tales of coworker woe.
  2. This is NOT a contest, and a recipient of a gift card is NOT guaranteed to be chosen. I'm simply offering to brighten the day of one or more people who are willing to share their story.

  3. By participating, you agree not to sue me for any reason whatsoever. This agreement remains in effect forever and ever, so help you God, Allah, FSM, Satan, or whomever / whatever you believe in.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Top 10 List on 10 Separate Pages?? Uhhh... NO.

I discovered a new old Firefox add-on which is my new favorite. Repagination lets you take many annoyingly spoon-fed articles on the web which are broken up into separate pages and consolidate them as you like.

Increasingly, to get their advertising exposed to as many eyes as possible, content publishers will take anything from a howto article to a top 10 list and break it into individual pages. I think mainly the purpose of this is increase the CPM, which is understandable if someone is publishing content for purposes of earning some money.

Another reason for doing this is to try to regulate how much bandwidth is consumed in viewing the site. One user gobbling up 1 item of a top 10 list at a time uses less bandwidth than a user grabbing all 10 items at once. This is certainly a concern particularly for a forum which might be running with an ISP which charges for monthly bandwidth overage. However, some sites like Something Awful will do stuff like charge users a one-time fee for the privilege of searching their forum. While this is understandable, I find it annoying.

Say you have a favorite thread on a forum which is huge, but unfortunately only shows a set limit of posts per page. This add-on lets you bypass the site's limitation, and lets you consolidate all the posts into a single, huge web document.

In the screenshot below, by right-clicking on the Next link, a Repagination popup menu is present, and the "All" option I choose lets me append to the current page all subsequent pages of the forum thread.

In this example, a thread which is several hundred pages long can, if I like, be loaded en masse in a single browser window. At that point, I can easily search it for references, in this case, to artists or songs I like, or just save the whole mess for viewing later on a laptop if I happen to be somewhere without wireless connectivity (a situation which is becoming increasingly infrequent).

While the popularity of this kind of add-on certainly will open the floodgates as far as your ability to gobble up more of a content publisher's bandwidth at one time, it also will and arguably should send the message that informed users can and will get around attempts to spoon-feed content and advertising to them.

Although this add-on hasn't been updated recently, someone posted an update to this extension here which makes it compatible with Firefox 3.x. I hope that the author will consider an update of his own, I find it an incredibly helpful and useful add-on!