WordPress Responds

If you read my response last week to Paula Light’s The Monday Peeve, I was on a rant complaining how, for more than a year now, the WordPress iOS app for the iPhone was causing issues with my ability to both like and comment on some other bloggers’ posts.

I opened up a support message and attached a link to my TMP rant. This is what I got in response:

Hi again, Fandango,


Thank you for reporting this! I’ve tested this, and I could reproduce it on WordPress.com sites with a custom domain. In my case, I couldn’t like a post at all, even after a refresh. My “likes” didn’t get saved on the post, and this is frustrating! I understand how annoying this is. We will keep a close eye on this one.


This is similar to the issue that the WebView (Apple’s library for providing a web browser experience within an iOS app) doesn’t recognize that we’ve logged in to the app and WordPress.com. I have reported this as a bug to be looked into by the developers, but as you already know, I can’t promise you a timeline for when this will be fixed. However, I will highlight this to the team and hope they can prioritize this bug since it’s been happening since iOS 14 was launched.


Once again, thank you very much for your time in reporting this. We appreciate your patience while we look into this matter.

Note the “Hi again, Fandango.” Obviously this happiness engineer was one of those who was involved last year when I exchanged myriad emails with the support team. At least she agreed that this bug is frustrating and annoying. But once again, she seemed to be assigning blame to Apple for the issue. She committed, just as she did last year, to have the WordPress developers “look into” this, but failed to offer a timeframe for resolution. Again, this bug surfaced almost 13 months ago.

I wrote back and said this:

I hope your developers will give this issue a high priority. One of my blogging friends suggested that I switch from my iPhone to an Android device, but no one should have to do that in order to use the WordPress app for a smartphone. I’m sure there are many WordPress users who, like me, blog primarily on their iPhones, so this bug must be affecting a lot of us and is seriously detrimental to our WordPress blogging experience.

Here’s the response I received…from a different happiness engineer:

I agree and we understand how frustrating this is. We will keep a close eye on this one. Thank you again for reporting it. We really appreciate that.

So things are pretty much as they have been for more than a year. An acknowledgment that there is a problem, that it’s frustrating and annoying, and that they’re going to have their developers look into it. And, once again, no ETA on when I might anticipate a resolution.

Déjà vu all over again.

Who Won the Week — 10/17/2021

Sorry, I’m a little late today, sometimes life gets in the way. Anyway…

The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

My Who Won the Week winner this week is Frances Haugen.

Frances, a former Facebook product manager who was hired to help protect against election interference on Facebook, turned whistleblower and has testified before Congress as well sitting for a 60 Minutes interview.

In her testimony, Haugen told that the tech behemoth knows that outrage, anger, and conspiracy theories — what it internally calls “bad for the world” content — generate more emotion, engagement, and dopamine hits. “If they change the algorithm to be safer,” Haugen said, “people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, and Facebook will make less money.”

Haugen said that Facebook consistently chose to maximize its growth rather than implement safeguards on its platforms, just as it hid from the public and government officials internal research that illuminated the harms of Facebook products.

“During my time at Facebook, I came to realize a devastating truth: Almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook,” Haugen told Congress. “The company intentionally hides vital information from the public, from the U.S. government, and from governments around the world. The result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more threats and more combat. In some cases, this dangerous online talk has led to actual violence that harms and even kills people,” she testified.

So thank you, Frances Haugen, for your courage to speak truth to power. Will it do any good? As Rachel Maddow says, “Watch this space.”

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Dare I Do It?

I keep getting notifications on my iPhone about the release of the latest, greatest update for my Apple phone: iOS 15.

I also keep getting this notification from McAfee demanding that I immediately update my now out-of-date iOS software.

Oh, the pressure!

I’m thinking that I’ll wait until Apple rolls out iOS 15.1, as there almost always seem to be issues with the initial “big” (i.e., those with a number followed by “.0) releases of Apple’s iOS.

On the other hand, based upon what I have read, iOS 15 has some pretty neat features and new functionality that is kinda cool.

Should I jump into iOS 15.0 with both feet? Should I be an early adopter? Should I risk having all kinds of unexpected issues that arise on WordPress because of shoddy integration between the WordPress iOS app and the new Apple iOS?

Or should I play it safe and give the techno gurus at Apple and the happiness engineers at WordPress time to work out the kinks.

Thoughts?

It’s a Different World

As I was reflecting back on the tragedy of 9/11, I was struck by how different our world is today from what it was just twenty years ago. Especially from a technology perspective.

In September 2001, nobody had a smartphone, unless you considered the earliest generation of BlackBerry phones to be “smart.” And if you wanted to take a picture back then, you needed to have a dedicated device known as a camera and you had to load the camera with film and send it out to be developed. Now photography, except for the old school purists, is done mostly on smartphones and it’s virtually all digital.

If you wanted to access the internet — known then as the World Wide Web — in the days before broadband was widely available, you had to connect via what was known as “dial-up,” which used a telephone landline to connect to the internet. This meant that you could only use either the phone line or the internet at the same time. Prehistoric, right?

Social media didn’t really exist back then. In 2001 Microsoft released MSN Messenger and Friendster was in its infancy. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, or Tik Tok. No YouTube. Not even WordPress, which started up in May 2003. Texting wasn’t even a word in 2001. And if you said the word “emoji,” people would think you were speaking a foreign language.

In 2001, you could subscribe to Netflix and have DVDs of movies delivered to your home. You remember DVDs right? They superseded video cassette tapes that you would get at your local video store. Remember? Netflix’s streaming service was introduced six years after 9/11. And that flat screen, high def TV you probably watch Netflix on were just introduced in the late 1990s and had barely scratched the surface of television sales.

Google was a relative newcomer to the search engine field. The most popular search engines at the time were Yahoo, AltaVista, Lycos, and Excite. I even remember using Ask Jeeves!

In 2001, biometrics like facial recognition were in their infancy. Now every smartphone uses facial recognition to unlock it. Alexa and Siri were girl’s names. “The cloud” was a weather term.

Tracking someone by satellite via street cameras or GPS on their phone still seemed like science fiction. If you needed to figure out a route to get from point A to point B, you needed a physical map. The Garmin Street Pilot was one of the first standalone GPS devices, and that was introduced in the late 90s. It wasn’t until 2005 that Google Maps was introduced as a desktop utility and as a smartphone app in 2008.

Security at airports was mostly privately run, and may have included walking through a metal detector. Passengers could take baseball bats and blades up to 4 inches long on the plane. Family members could go through security to the gate to say goodbye. Identification wasn’t always required and nobody took off their shoes. Passengers typically needed to arrive only 30 minutes before their scheduled flight time.

These are just a few of the changes that occurred to me off the top of my head. How about you? How different is your life today due to technology than it was just twenty short years ago?

Supercharged

Eleven days ago my wife an I purchased an electric vehicle (EV). So far it’s been a great experience except for one thing: the time it takes to charge the car. As I explained in this post, the car comes with a portable charger that plugs into a standard household outlet. But charging on a 120 Volt, 20 Amp circuit wall outlet is excruciatingly slow. Sort of like watch golf on TV. 🥱

So I made the decision to purchase and install a “Level 2” charger in my garage, which charges the car eight times faster than the “Level 1” standard wall outlet. Eight times faster! Woo hoo!

Well, that Level 2 charger is now installed. I guess I could have installed it myself, but in order to avoid death by electrocution or causing an electrical fire and burning my house down, I hired a professional electrician. In less than three hours he had the JuiceBox charging station installed and ready to rock and roll.

And rock and roll it did. Within five hours of Level 2 charging, my EV was charged enough so that, at my typical rate of driving, my car has enough “juice” to last up to two weeks.

And the fact that I will never ever need to pull into a gas station to fill up my car with polluting gasoline makes my whole body tingle with joy!