Killing IE6

Settle down and enjoy a little bit of history:

The bittersweet consequence of YouTube’s incredible growth is that so many stories will be lost underneath all of the layers of new paint. This is why I wanted to tell the story of how, ten years ago, a small team of web developers conspired to kill IE6 from inside YouTube and got away with it. […]

There’s totally an argument to be made that this was the sort of underhanded flexing of corporate muscles by unaccountable employees of major corporations that we’ll all look back on and regret one day when we’re required to browse Web 6.0 over our 6G internet connection while logged in with our FreedomID, so that the Secretary of State for Homeland Security can ensure that we’re not abusing our freedom by looking at unreliable online content that might knock our ResponsibleConsumer status down to PotentialSubversive.

But first, a couple of generations of web developers would like to give these folks a medal.

[Via @SwiftOnSecurity]

ArchiveBox

ArchiveBox looks like something I’m going to have to find the time to look into:

ArchiveBox takes a list of website URLs you want to archive, and creates a local, static, browsable HTML clone of the content from those websites (it saves HTML, JS, media files, PDFs, images and more)

You can use it to preserve access to websites you care about by storing them locally offline. ArchiveBox imports lists of URLs, renders the pages in a headless, autheticated, user-scriptable browser, and then archives the content in multiple redundant common formats (HTML, PDF, PNG, WARC) that will last long after the originals disappear off the internet. It automatically extracts assets and media from pages and saves them in easily-accessible folders, with out-of-the-box support for extracting git repositories, audio, video, subtitles, images, PDFs, and more.

I currently pay to have my Pinboard account archive pages I bookmark, but as a matter of principle I like the concept of having a toolset that enables me to have the ability to save and browse local copies of stuff. 1 I currently tend to grab stuff I think I’ll want to read and refer to later and either chuck the URL at Pinboard or else use Evernote’s ability to grab a page’s content and file it away safely, but it’d be nice to have another option for accessing stuff that caught my eye open to me.

[Via Four short links]

Civilisational HTTP Error Codes

There’s no substitute for thinking ahead. Who can say when we might need these HTTP error codes for civilisational errors:

Civilisational HTTP Error Codes

To be truly useful, HTTP error codes need to take into account possible future issues. We therefore propose the 8xx range of codes for errors pertaining to the civilisation in which the server is operating. Inspired by https://github.com/joho/7XX-rfc. Forks and pull requests encouraged!

  • 80x ‘Temporary’ failures (but I’d wait a while before re-requesting):
  • 801 BLACKOUT

  • 802 NUCLEAR WINTER

  • 803 GULF STREAM ERROR […]

We can but hope that one day there will be a need to deploy code 831.

[Via Extenuating Circumstances]

Memories

Not one but two announcements that remind me how long I’ve been playing round with this internet thing and how times have changed:

I left Demon Internet years ago once it became clear that their new owners were much more interested in selling comprehensive telecoms packages that running an ISP, and last time Suck was being updated I was reading the site using Windows 95. but never mind: both the ‘zine and the ISP helped to show me what the internet was good for. It’s sad to to see them both disappear from the internet.

PYMK

Having caught up with Kashmir Hill‘s Gizmodo piece ‘People You May Know:’ A Controversial Facebook Feature’s 10-Year History, I’m both supremely glad that I’m not on Facebook 1 and creeped out by how little difference that makes to Facebook’s determination to shadow profile me whether I like it or not.

In other words, People You May Know is an invaluable product because it helps connect Facebook users, whether they want to be connected or not. It seems clear that for some users, People You May Know is a problem. It’s not a feature they want and not a feature they want to be part of. When the feature debuted in 2008, Facebook said that if you didn’t like it, you could “x” out the people who appeared there repeatedly and eventually it would disappear. (If you don’t see the feature on your own Facebook page, that may be the reason why.) But that wouldn’t stop you from continuing to be recommended to other users.

Facebook needs to give people a hard out for the feature, because scourging phone address books and email inboxes to connect you with other Facebook users, while welcome to some people, is offensive and harmful to others. Through its aggressive data-mining this huge corporation is gaining unwanted insight into our medical privacy, past heartaches, family dramas, sensitive work associations, and random one-time encounters.

[Via Pixel Envy]