Invasion of Privacy

“Some son of a bitch bastard attempted to hack into my laptop last night,” Randy griped. “Fortunately, whoever tried it didn’t have a clue about how to actually pull it off.”

“Yeah,” Tess agreed. “Hacking into computers seems to be the trend these days. It’s an invasion of privacy. The hackers either try to steal your personal data, including your passwords, or they install malware on your computer and then charge a ransom to remove it.”

“I’m lucky that I am using a VPN with a robust firewall that prevented a breach,” Randy said.

“I read that a lot of people are making the transition from laptops to smartphones for most of the tasks that they used to rely on their computers for,” Tess said.

“Are you kidding?” Randy said. “Using a smartphone instead of a computer would be like trying to pull a boat behind a car with twine rather than with a trailer hitch.”

“Not so, Randy,” Tess said. “There is literally nothing using a laptop that I can’t do just as well or better on my smartphone, including blogging by the way.”


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hack), The Daily Spur (clue), Word of the Day Challenge (trend), Ragtag Daily Prompt (breach), MMA Storytime (transition), and Your Daily Word Prompt (twine).

TMP — The Down Side of Streaming

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. My peeve today is not so much about something that pisses me off as it is about something that surprised me.

Back in late March I decided to “cut the cord” with my cable TV provider. I switched to streaming using a Roku Streaming Stick and streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime TV, HBO Max, etc. It was a lot cheaper than it was to pay for the cable TV package from Comcast/Xfinity. The monthly cost would be less than half about of what my cable TV bill was running.

Of course, I still needed an internet service provider (ISP) and because the only game in town is Comcast/Xfinity, I must use that for internet access.

Here’s the rub. I found out that my internet plan “limits” me to 1229 gigabytes of data per month, a fact I wasn’t aware of before I started streaming instead of using cable. It was never an issue. But then I received this email on April 29th: What? Holy shit. That’s a lot of data usage. And the only thing I can attribute it to is the switch from cable TV to streaming TV.

I checked the status of my account this morning and saw this:My first thought was “Phew, I came in just under the wire in April.” My second thought was that I used 64 gigabytes of data in just the first two days of May. And that was over a weekend when I watch much less TV than I do during the week. At this rate, I’m going to have an overage in May.

Okay then. I guess the lesson here is to turn off the goddam TV and read more books. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Thank You Fellow Bloggers

On Sunday, in this post, I asked a question to the WordPress blogging community about how to create single-spaced text within the paragraph block in the block editor instead of having to use the verse block. A number of you offered suggestions.

Some suggestions could work on a Windows computer with a full-sized, physical keyboard, but not on the virtual keypad of an iPhone. Others suggested going into the HTML and making changes using the <br> tag, which inserts a single line break. And still others suggested using an external text editor to draft the text that I wanted to single space and then cut and paste it into the paragraph block.

Well, I ended up going with the external text editor, writing my seven-line “poem,” and copying the text into the paragraph block. And here’s what I got:

This is a test
Of some HTML code
Within the paragraph block
To see if it permits
Me to single space
Without using the
Verse block

Woo hoo! That is exactly what I wanted to do. Yay!

So I want to offer a huge thank you to those of you who took the time to respond to my post and to offer help. I am now more determined than ever to master this block editor because I can’t imagine blogging anywhere other than on WordPress because of all of you. You are the most generous, supportive, encouraging, helpful, and most sincere community of bloggers there is. Thank you for being who you are.

And for those of you who are interested in this sort of thing, here is what the HTML view looks like for the six lines of single-spaced, center-justified text.

Damn You, WordPress

Now you’ve gone and done it, WordPress. You’ve removed the “Use Block Editor” toggle on the settings menu in the latest update (version 17.1) of the WordPress iOS app.

Up until yesterday, if this toggle was set to off, I could create new posts on my iPhone using the iOS version of the classic editor, or what I referred to as “classic lite.” Now those of us, like me, who blog primarily from our iPhones, have no choice when creating a new post other than to use the block editor. There is no longer an option to switch to the classic editor.

Interestingly, there are still ways to access the classic editor when using wordpress.com in a browser on a laptop, but that option is no longer available in the iOS app.

Yes, because you’ve given me no choice, I’m struggling to write this post on my iPhone using the block editor. And at this point, I’m going to have to try to push my way through this because I am not ready to quit blogging.

But I have always felt that when the day comes that blogging on WordPress becomes more of a chore than a pleasure, it will be time for me to leave. And with this latest decision on your part to remove the classic editor altogether from the iOS app, that day may finally have come.

At the risk of sounding overly melodramatic, I feel like I’m standing at the precipice and all I see before me is a blogging abyss.

TMP — Another Letdown

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Are you ready for another rant about WordPress?

On Sunday I was really excited that the WordPress iOS app version 17.0 was available for uploading. I figured that by now, five and a half months after releasing version 16.0 last November, and with 11 interim releases up to 16.11, version 17.0, a major release, would surely have fixed the annoying bug that surfaced in version 16.0. I installed the new version, tried it, and the problem was not fixed. So I reached out to the “hapless” engineers. I wrote…

This morning I was very psyched to upload WP-iOS version 17.0, thinking that, after more than five months since the release of version 16.0, a new major release will have finally fixed the problem. But yet again, disappointment, frustration, and anger. I’ve had countless exchanges with various happiness engineers over the past five-plus months, explaining the bug, providing screenshots, and even a video clip illustrating the issue. Over the months I have been told that the developers had been able to replicate the issue and were working on a fix. Meanwhile. You keep on releasing enhancements to that stupid block editor that few people like, you add the head-scratching ability to mark a post as “seen,” a functionality whose value I can’t understand, and add a SnapChat or Instagram-like “stories” feature that most bloggers don’t want or need. But you have still failed to fix a critical bug in your iOS app. WTF, WordPress?

I got a response yesterday saying…

I’m sorry to know it’s not working for you even after updating to the latest version of the WordPress app. We’re not able to reproduce this with our own test sites/accounts. Can we have your permission to log in to your WordPress.com account on the app to perform testing for troubleshooting purposes?

What? After all this time, they’ve done nothing? We’re back to square one. I gave them permission to log in to my account and this morning I saw this…

Thank you for giving us the permission to access your account. I was able to reproduce this on your account and my test account. I have reported this to our developers for a fix.

So, how likely is it that you think this will be my last post complaing about this as yet unresolved bug in the WordPress iOS app?