"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics," said Mark Twain. Progress has given us a fourth: Web statistics, and now Google has inadvertently invented a new way to make it even worse.
Forgive me, nightside copy editors, for I have come to dash your hopes and crush your spirit.
I come as one of you, having edited many thousands of stories and written many thousands of headlines in the darkness of an approaching newspaper deadline. But those days are gone, and that era is past. It's time to let go.
Forget about the horseshoe-shaped universal desk, the rim rat and the slot chief. They are as outdated as green eyeshades, pica poles, rubber cement, and drawing little lines below "w" and above "m" so as not to confuse the Ludlow machine operator.
I've been doing a lot more Web browsing lately on my Android phone -- not because I'm too lazy to get out of bed, but because it's always on and always with me. And I've become increasingly annoyed at a practice that should have died years ago: links that can't be shared.
I've spent five weeks so far this year in Alaska, which in part accounts for my absence from blogging. I spent three weeks in Juneau, one in Kenai, and one in Anchorage. That's a tiny sample of our largest state, which has more coastline than all the rest of the country combined, and more land mass than Texas, California and Montana put together. But some points stand out.
No, you can't see Russia.
Sarah Palin is not particularly welcome to return.
I found myself annoyed the other day by the Washington Post's unusually small, hard to read body type, so I installed the very nice CSSViewer Chrome extension and took a look at several sites to see what's popular these days.
When activated, CSSViewer pops up a display of the active CSS rules for whatever element you're pointing at. Here's what I found.
The New York Times has (finally) unveiled details of its metered-access digital subscription system to predictably mixed reviews.
As I've said, it's not a paywall, and using that word steers you toward misunderstandings. Think of it as rate-limiting. Light usage is free; heavy usage brings a request for payment.