Category: Interweb

  • Background image not appearing on mobile devices

    Spent some time trying to figure out why the background image on my site’s home page was not being displayed on mobile devices although it was appearing in a desktop browser. There are, of course, endless solutions that may or may not have worked for someone in the past. They suggested tweaking your CSS coding or adjusting the size of the image or some other voodoo. None of these worked for me.

    What worked for me was simply ensuring that the image’s colour profile was set to sRGB. Once that was changed everything worked as expected.

  • Artificial nonsense

    As if navigating the nonsense produced by the erroneously named Artificial Intelligence, which spews out all manner of silliness and even scarier stuff, was not tricky enough we should not neglect the human generated nonsense.

    On a recent visit to HMS Victory a guide informed Martine that after evacuating their bowels sailors would pull up a rope that was being towed in the water on the end of which was attached a rag with which they could clean their rear ends. The rag would then be draped back into the sea to be cleaned as it was towed along – hence the term Tow Rag. It makes for a good story but is utter nonsense. And yet…. it has now become a thing. An actual thing. There are even videos with actual tow rags

    a man on board a ship pulling a tow rag on a rope from the water.

    If such a thing was used at all why would they call it a tow rag? Would they not have a more colourful name for it?

    The OED has no Tow Rag and Chambers suggests you may have meant Toe Rag – which of course you did because that is an actual thing – hence the popular view of Boris Johnson

  • Word guessing

    The annual subscription to the i news app is mostly due to their excellent puzzle section. There are interesting variations on Sudoku puzzles and some groan inducing crossword clues:

    cryptic crossword clue

    But the recent addition of a Wordle style GuessWord has fascinated more for the flaws than the puzzle. Apparently today’s five letter word has two Es, two Os, two Ts and two Ls. 🤔

    word puzzle grid

    It works as expected on the web site:

    Site GuessWord

    My email to the editor will also complain about the name, although similar to many such puzzles, one is not guessing random words but deducing the correct word from the clues provided.

  • Dear Web Developers

    I am not you. I do not live your life. Just because something is perfectly normal to you and everyone you know please do not assume that it is so for everyone.

    Just because you skipped that boring lecture on parsing regular expressions please do not tell me that my email address is undeliverable:

    Pop up window claiming email address is undeliverable with blurred address

    I would guess this email address was deliverable when you were still in nappies.

    I, along with eight million other people across England and Wales, do not have a passport so please avoid requirements such as…

    Web form requesting a name as it appears in your passport

    Whilst fairly trivial but annoying examples they are symptomatic of a trend which is resulting in people not getting housing or employment because they do not fit neatly into some arbitrary but erroneous requirements…. Dear Estate Agents, I can live perfectly comfortably on one third of the income you assume I need to rent a property.

    Worryingly such problems reach right to the top; a Tory MP in today’s Times complaining about the “hordes of twentysomethings with an Excel spreadsheet”.

    A Clipping from The Times

    From there it is but a few steps to the bonfire of red tape madness.


    It transpires that the undeliverable email problem was caused by the company using some bodgers, rather than developers, to create their site and they are paying for the loqate verification services – which clearly do not work.

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