Attribution links to pasted content? – Something is wrong on the Internet!

Some websites will transform, at the paste event, the content that you copy. This isn’t recent, and it was a mild annoyance until it made its début in Opera, the browser I use the most (I installed 12.11 beta RC last last week).

What happens is that when you select text from some web pages, the site uses JavaScript to report what you’ve copied to an analytics server and append an attribution URL to the text that you paste.

What a terrible idea.

As John Gruber put it in a 2010 article on the subject:

It’s a bunch of user-hostile SEO bullshit.

I looked at the Tynt website, and soon found that users can opt out. o/

If you don't want Tynt tracking copy activity or adding attribution links,
you can disable Tynt, by clicking the Opt Out button below.
You will need to Opt Out for each browser you use, and have cookies enabled.

It appears that there aren’t any other competitor. I hope it stays that way.

But what I wish even more, is that Websites would just NOT do this. It’s not privacy that concerns me, it’s the fact that in many cases, what I want to paste is lost.
In all cases, what I want to paste is what I select.

I don’t want to need any work-around. Yes, I can view the source of a page and select from there. It’s tedious. Yes, I can paste in a text editor, strip to what I need, copy again and paste what I want. It’s also tedious.

A couple tips, troubleshooting a bug in Opera menus

Before I forget and in case I need it later.
A bug in Opera 11.61 I submitted in February [DSK-357462] (that apparently others with similar configurations can not reproduce) still occurs in Opera 11.62. So I looked at other possible causes for that peculiar bug.

The bug is in any menu of Opera, any drop-down list and any right-click menu. When the menus appear, selecting through them is slow at best, and doesn’t apparently work at worse. I can click several times and sometimes forever on an item in the list, it’s as though the state doesn’t change, or takes a while to actually select. I click outside of it to make it disappear and it just stays there until I click either outside of the Opera window, or sometimes (not always) until I hover the mouse over it and then click outside of it, inside the Opera window.

I needed to find when I last performed software updates. Karl gave me this tip:

cat /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist

This is much more accurate than my intuition to search in the console (there is entirely too much info there, and this would take much longer) or looking in the Applications folder and find a common date for “Date Modified”.

This allowed me to check that a few days prior to my noticing the bug, I had performed the “Mac OS X Update Combined” (10.7.3). This was later followed by a “Mac OS X 10.7.3 Supplemental Update”.

Then I needed to assess whether my usage of Opera could be a factor. I typically run it several days or weeks without quitting it. I operate with 1 or more windows and the number of tabs I keep open is around 90. Opera is also my Mail User Agent, has been for years and as such its mail database indexes more than 133K messages (I archived once in 2004, but then I became lazy).

I performed two tests.
The first on my other computer which has the same OS as my work laptop and the same Opera version (the processors are different but I don’t suppose the test is invalid). My opera session on that other computer has an empty mail database and I ran it with one tab. Menus were reactive as expected and selecting through them was smooth and gratifying. I opened several other tabs and I had the same positive experience.
I performed the second test on my work laptop and started a new Opera session with one tab and then a few. I was happy to experience smooth and reactive menu action. Happy and frustrated at the same time.

So maybe there is something in the early February Mac OS 10.7.3 update that impacts Opera to some extent. And if Opera couldn’t reproduce the bug to fix it in 11.62, it may be useful to give them extra info on that bug.

Another good tip, via Dean, was to run in the Terminal:

sample Opera

And perform any menu action for it to dump an “Analysis of sampling Opera (pid xxxxx) every 1 millisecond” in a text file. The blitz sampling, which lasted a fraction of time, analysed me right-clicking on a link in a Web page and clicking on “copy link address”, and wrote 21K lines, hardly any of them making sense to me. I sent it to Opera to accompany my February bug report.

Then I went back to my habitual session, bookmarked for good as many tabs as I could and tried with a 28-tab session. Same frustratingly slow menu actions. Oh well. I need them all (I need more of them in fact) to work, they’re my work flow. I hope this is fixed some day.

Opendirectoryd crashes

I was unlucky enough two months ago to start to experience loss of my (computer) identity, occasionally at wake from sleep. My computer terminal would show “I have no name!” in the prompt instead of my user name, would claim that I am 501, when it should say I’m koalie. Of course, ssh would not want me, telling me to go away as I don’t exist. So I rebooted a couple time and grumbled a lot.Vlad suggested something was wrong with LDAP and my colleague Thomas diagnosed that opendirectoryd was crashing. All true.

It happened again tonight and Vlad found a way to restart opendirectoryd (in

sudo launchctl

Which restarts opendirectoryd.

I’m none the wiser on what triggers the opendirectoryd crash at wake from sleep. But I’m glad this works when the crash happens.

Update: The above doesn’t always work. Actually, it may have worked just once. Since then, I’ve experienced silent opendirectoryd crash, and no sudo worked, neither some kill -9. Only a restart can fix it.

lorem ipsum

Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…
“There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain…”

Until recently, I thought ‘lorem ipsum’ was a meaningless series of random latin words. It is partially true. The words come from Cicero’s “de finibus bonorum et malorum” (the extremes of good and evil), a treatise he wrote in 45 BC.

It is not meant to be readable, as in contemporary times, it is commonly used as filler text when a graphic designer dummies up a page layout, a typeface, or elements of design. And it appears to have originated in the printing trade in the 1500’s.

So, I’m glad I looked that up, that’s one less mystery. But another reason I’m glad I did, is that I found a pretty quote, one that happens to be timely, as I’m on vacation just now for a couple week:

But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.

Now, here are, thanks to wikipedia, the full parts of the treatise, from which the ‘lorem ipsum‘ filler text comes from.

The original version (with the excerpted items highlighted) appears in Book 1, sections 1.10.32–3:

[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?
[33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat…

H. Rackham’s 1914 translation (with major source of Lorem Ipsum highlighted):

[32] But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?
[33] On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue; and equal blame belongs to those who fail in their duty through weakness of will, which is the same as saying through shrinking from toil and pain. These cases are perfectly simple and easy to distinguish. In a free hour, when our power of choice is untrammelled and when nothing prevents our being able to do what we like best, every pleasure is to be welcomed and every pain avoided. But in certain circumstances and owing to the claims of duty or the obligations of business it will frequently occur that pleasures have to be repudiated and annoyances accepted. The wise man therefore always holds in these matters to this principle of selection: he rejects pleasures to secure other greater pleasures, or else he endures pains to avoid worse pains.