Stupid Safari

It used to be that dragging from the URL bar of one window to a textarea in another would do the only sane thing: paste the URL as text. Now it opens a Finder window displaying a folder called "WebKitDropDestination-8FCUXgO8" with a .webloc file in it.


This started a couple of months ago. Is there some way I can make it stop doing this?

Dragging from an HREF still works properly, it seems to be only the URL bar that has developed this new craziness.

Generally, I'm impressed with how poorly macOS handles dragging and dropping of text, and always has. There's that constant struggle where you have to click and wait juuuust long enough before moving. It works so badly that it makes me wonder if I'm the only person who ever drags text.

Also, whoever started the new trend of text fields in dialog boxes selecting everything by default as soon as you focus there can just fuck right off into the Sun. Looking at you, iTunes.

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Ferrofluid Speaker

This is glorious. I once had a jar of ferrofluid in Lavaite form-factor, but it was difficult to get it to do anything interesting, and completely static without hands-on.

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Blue Whale Bandage


🐋 We've received many questions about the blue whale's bandage: It's real. It was installed yesterday by Trenton from the Exhibition department! It's 6 feet long & 2 feet wide. Come see it for yourself! Register for a vaccine today.

(The whale room is a vaccination site, in case you missed that part.)

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"Oil factory what a compactness"


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Earthquake shacks

San Franciscans still live in 1906 earthquake shacks:

There were once 5,610 refugee shacks in 11 San Francisco parks, assembled with lightning speed in the months after the April 18, 1906, earthquake and fire. Today, there are fewer than 50 identified in the city. But those that remain are a symbol of civic vision, built in a bureaucracy-free utopia that included a partnership among city officials, labor unions and the U.S. Army. They're also a symbol of post-crisis rebirth, designed to house the displaced workers who built back San Francisco better than ever.

And today, 115 years after the disaster, they're the most visible reminder of the city's most defining event -- preserved by a shifting collection of regular citizens and nonprofit history organizations, advocates so dedicated to the shacks that they feel like a religious order. [...]

Half of San Francisco had burned to the ground, and refugees moved to tent cities in Golden Gate Park, the Presidio and other green spots. But the shelters were a ticking clock. Relief leaders feared they would become waterlogged and disease-ridden when heavy rains arrived later in 1906.

Using redwood and fir lumber sent from Washington state and Oregon, the cottages were built in tight clusters in the parks with cooperation among the San Francisco Parks Commission, headed by John McLaren, the San Francisco Relief Corporation and the Army. Tenants paid $2 monthly rent on cottages valued at $50, with the option to own. And in 1907, many shack owners hauled their new property using literal horse power, becoming starter homes in empty lots across San Francisco and beyond.

Map: Where 1906 earthquake shacks live on:

Most of the 5,610 relief cottages built in San Francisco parks have been demolished, but a surprising number -- at least 30 and maybe many more -- still exist in the San Francisco Bay Area. The residents who live in them swear the sturdy redwood frames built in a day could last another 115 years.

We've compiled a list of all the San Francisco shacks that are "certified" by local preservationists, plus some more strongly believed to be earthquake refugee shacks as well. Bernal Heights has the highest concentration, but the petite homes are scattered throughout the region and beyond.

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Black screen screen saver, $0.99. May require additional fees. ★★★★☆.


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Big Tech's guide to talking about AI ethics

50-ish words you can use to show that you care without incriminating yourself.

artificial general intelligence (phrase) - A hypothetical AI god that's probably far off in the future but also maybe imminent. Can be really good or really bad whichever is more rhetorically useful. Obviously you're building the good one. Which is expensive. Therefore, you need more money. See long-term risks.

compliance (n) - The act of following the law. Anything that isn't illegal goes.

for good (ph) - As in "AI for good" or "data for good." An initiative completely tangential to your core business that helps you generate good publicity.

interpretable (adj) -- Description of an AI system whose computation you, the developer, can follow step by step to understand how it arrived at its answer. Actually probably just linear regression. AI sounds better.

long-term risks (n) - Bad things that could have catastrophic effects in the far-off future. Probably will never happen, but more important to study and avoid than the immediate harms of existing AI systems.

privacy trade-off (ph) - The noble sacrifice of individual control over personal information for group benefits like AI-driven health-care advancements, which also happen to be highly profitable.

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It's got a good beat and it's easy to dance to

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Fog City Gothic

A Field Guide To San Francisco's Iconic Street Signs

There have been roughly three eras of street signage in the city by the bay: the pre-automobile era, which featured a wildly inconsistent and much-complained-about mess through the 1800s and early 1900s. Then came a few decades of good standard blue porcelain signs (1920s to late 1940s). And finally the signature black-on-white that appeared in the 1940s and is still with us today. [...]

Fortunately, we live among history today  --  not since 1950 has the city again undertaken a comprehensive sign replacement program. The SFMTA only replaces street signs as needed. So you can find nearly all of the black-on-white variants still in use around the city, easily spotted by walking a few blocks along any street. (The iconic embossed enamel signs eventually rusted beyond usefulness in the field. A small handful of examples were still mounted on poles as of about 2010, and it's possible one or two are out there hiding in plain sight.) [...]

It remains this author's hope that San Francisco will one day wake up from its stupor and re-embrace its signature design legacy, resurrecting the all-caps embossed lettering and rounded corners of the midcentury heyday.

He's also selling a recreation of the 1946 font for $5.

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Murder Offsets

A fine is a price.

Carbon offsets are a voluntary penance mediated by an organization that promises to promote good elsewhere to make up for climate vice, much like indulgences paid to the church before the reformation. Essentially it's paying for the right to do wrong.

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