It does, you know. You just have to get it hot enough.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Where I’ll write in the future…

tSo I started this blog a billion years ago for art/design stuff. Then I went to design school, then a Masters in Tangible Interaction Design (aka “physical computing”), then lots of interesting career paths.

I’m going to start writing about design and related stuff on my professional blog at; I’ll keep this blog for history and comments on old posts.

I have another blog for Pittsburgh, nerdiness, and stuff that isn’t design thinking at

posted by jet at 20:13  

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Spam Cleanup Day

Sorry if I spammed any real comments.

posted by jet at 14:03  

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Another Semester as Adjunct

Last fall I taught Intro to Physical Computing and this spring I’m teaching Making Things Interactive, a class I helped develop when I was earning the first Master of Tangible Interaction Design.   The TID program is being shut down and I have the last candidate in my class, but I’m glad that CMU developed IDeATe.  I think TID could have evolved in to something like IDeATe, but not being a career academic I have no idea how that would work.

Teaching a class of mixed undergrad and graduate students is interesting.  I have undergrads who’ve only taken the pre-req (Intro to Phys Comp) and considering an IDeATe minor along side graduate students who have engineering or software backgrounds looking to learn more about making interactive things.


posted by jet at 13:59  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Back to the blogs, I think

After nearly a month’s vacation from my personal Facebook account, I think I’m not going back any time soon.  I still have my business FB accounts, but personally, I feel a lot less stress in my life away from Facebook.

I think the biggest problem is that FB doesn’t have easy access to organized group discussion.  The events are ok, but the groups are basically a disaster when it comes to conversation over time.  Mailing lists, USENET groups, and conferences on private forums (like the well) are a great way to organize discussions on topics of interest.  These groups can have agreed upon rules, ranging from “no spoilers” to “no political discussion.”

One benefit of group conversations — I can avoid topics where I simply DGAS.  I can’t remember the last time where I’ve wanted to discuss sports with anyone, especially in a public place where every fan’s team is the best ballsporter or whatever.   So I don’t read those groups and I never have to see any words about fantasy teams or the sweet sixteen.

It works both ways, I do care quite a bit about politics and am involved at the local level.  I’m on several vintage motorcycle mailing lists and I’m pretty certain people on those lists have voted for Dotard, but politics has no place in a vintage bike discussion so it never comes up.   Same goes for gardening and cooking.  I like to do both, and I think I can have a civil discussion with someone who is a vegetarian or who has similar-but-different food allergies and have religion and politics only come up for curious reasons, not ranting/yelling matches.

So, back to words.  It’s been a year since I’ve had anything to say about design in a public space, but maybe I’ll give it another go.

posted by jet at 16:38  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Seriously, Dreamhost, What the Fuck? [somewhat resolved]

[update: response from dreamhost CS attached to the end of this post.]

[update: final(?) resolution appended.]

“This is our new mail interface! We love it, you will too! ”

No, I fucking DO NOT love it.   But you didn’t ask my opinion as a customer, you told me how you expect me to feel.

I’ve been a happy Dreamhost customer for almost fifteen years.  They host many of my domains and many domains that belong to my clients.

Happy until this week, that is.  Some clueless fuckwit(s) at Dreamhost had a brilliant idea — let’s pre-filter people’s incoming email in to new IMAP folders WITHOUT ASKING THEIR PERMISSION or even WARNING THEM that this is going to happen.    Oh, and if they don’t like it?  DON’T GIVE THEM A WAY TO TURN IT OFF.

Yesterday I discovered new IMAP folders on my work account ( client), “Social” and “Promotion”, and dreamhost is filtering my incoming email into these AND I CANNOT TURN THE FILTERING OFF.  Turned on with out my permission and I can’t turn it off.  Seriously.  So after filing a customer-support ticket they apologize and say they’ll turn it off and that due to customer feedback they’ve turned it off everywhere.   If it’s turned off everywhere why did it just get turned on for this account yesterday?

I was wondering why I never noticed this on my personal account (Thunderbird client) and checked my settings.  Oh, I’m only showing IMAP folders I’m subscribed to, let me turn that off.

And there they are, as I never subscribed to the Social and Promotion folders.  They  were added two months ago with mail going in to those folders instead of my inbox.   I sorted all that misfiled mail in to folders yesterday and today find even new mail going in to those folders which means they haven’t turned it off and there’s still no way for me to disable it.  I’ve deleted the folders after emptying them, maybe that will be similar to turning them off.  Assuming they don’t just delete the mail if they can’t find the folder…

Then the unrequested changes to how spam is filtered, making it more difficult for me to manage spam.

It looks like only dreamhost owners can have whitelists/blacklists for spam.  “You cannot access this page if you are NOT the DreamHost account owner. If that is the case, please contact the owner or administrator of your DreamHost account and they can modify these settings for you.”  Which means I (as the account owner) have to personally update the whitelist for each email account in each domain.

Spam is no longer sortable by its potential spam score.  Think about it for two seconds: now to deal with spam I have to go through my entire spam folder and un-spam legit email.  Today that’s 1108 messages in one account, and I can’t even list them all on a single page.  Instead I get to skim through 50 messages per screen, select-all, then delete.  “Select-all, delete” takes a minute and a half (I timed it with a stopwatch).  So it will take me half an hour to delete 1108 spam messages.

Can I bill that time to a C-level at dreamhost as I’m not billing it to a customer?

This is the first time I’ve thought about changing hosting/email vendors in a decade.  Dreamhost costs more but the service, until now at least, was excellent.

Losing my email with clients and vendors by whimsically filing it for me IS NOT providing a valuable service.  If you think it is, let me filter the email of dreamhost C-level execs without their knowledge or permission then make it damned difficult for them to change anything.

Edit 12 Oct, 2016

I filed a ticket about this on 5 Oct.  Today, seven days later, someone at dreamhost CS got around to answering the ticket.  I’m wondering if the CEO change also involved changes in senior operational staff.


Re: How do I turn off IMAP filtering on the dreamhost side?

Message #: 125684297
Time: 1476278807


I apologize for the delay responding to your support ticket. A
configuration ran on a few of our incoming machines that caused the
setting to temporarily revert. We fixed it soon after reports started
coming in.We’re using a new spam filtering system that no longer works with the
junkmail quarantine through mailboxes.[domain].tld. You still have
access to any messages that were filtered there before. Otherwise, all
new spam will be filtered to the spam folder. Also note any
white/blacklist settings need to be managed through the Mail -> Anti-spam
page- let us know if you have any additional questions or need anything

Email with CS continued, basically getting  canned responses on the newest way to work around spam filtering problems and DH’s aggressive spam filtration.   I moved from email to Twitter, thinking maybe it would get bumped to a C-level’s notice instead of just being parked in tickets that were ignored.  In mid-January 2017, I received a response from CS that explained things (follows).  I also turned off the auto-Junk feature of Thunderbird and, it appears that moving mail out of the Spam folder marks it as not-spam, even if it’s moved to “Junk”.   It’s still not as accurate as the old system when it comes to marking legit email as spam, I’ve had to whitelist over a 100 domains, including,,, dozens of vendors, and several friends.   Today I received the weather-related delivery advisory from UPS at three different domain accounts, one of them marked it as junk.


[…] if you want to mark things as spam and not spam, the only way
to do so would be within atmail.”

“Since you are using a separate mail client, best case is to use
whatever spam filtering mechanism it already is using”

“Please allow some time for us to work out all the kinks, but for now
best case is to manage your spam settings within your respective
client, and if you want to mark mail as spam or not spam, you would
need to do so within atmail.”


posted by jet at 13:55  
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