My Internet Complaints, Chapter 1 of a Very Large Number

In the holiday spirit of airing greivances and family feuding, I wish to lodge the following complaints:

  1. Steve Benen is a great blogger but the new MSNBC redesign is ugly, and the one-sentence RSS feed is a shit sandwich on turd bread. There’s a reason that I haven’t been posting much from Benen, and that’s because I can’t get a decent feed of what he writes.
  2. Promo popups are basura. I know you all hate our ads here but please at least give Cole some credit for not popping over a window asking you to like this blog on Facebook or to subscribe to some email list or other.
  3. Are there any local TV stations that have decent web sites? The best TV station in our market recently redesigned their site and made it worse, not better.

Please register your complaints below. Open thread.

194 replies
  1. 1
    kindness says:

    Balloon Juice Festivus!

  2. 2
    MomSense says:

    You mean you don’t like the MSNBC website? But they have a CEO and everything so how is it even possible they screwed it up?

  3. 3
    jharp says:

    “new MSNBC redesign is ugly”

    100% agree.

    “give Cole some credit for not popping over a window”

    Done. Thank you Mr. Cole.

  4. 4
    James Gary says:

    What you said about the MSNBC site.

    I guess the intent of the redesign was to create a site that looks the same across all devices. Maybe it works better for mobile users, but on my desktop machine it’s probably the most awkward, confusing, difficult-to-use layout I’ve ever come across. Like you, I hardly go there anymore…hopefully the decline in traffic will cause the powers that be at MSNBC to re-redesign it to something actually usable.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Slate redesign is just awful also. A hot mess. It did occur to me that the new design is a better representation of the content of the site than the old design, so there’s that.

  6. 6
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Pop ups that actually impede your use of the site by covering all the relevant links and making you ‘accidently’ click there shit are some of the worst bullshit internet ad-makers have devised. And of course the wormy ways they hide the ‘close’ button on them more and more so you’re forced to wait for it to ‘automatically collapse’.

  7. 7
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Balloon Juice doesn’t have a Facebook page. Should we give credit or complain?

  8. 8
    Splitting Image says:

    @James Gary:

    I guess the intent of the redesign was to create a site that looks the same across all devices.

    This attitude is going to be the death of the internet. The Mobygames redesign may be less important in the scheme of things, but it was another nice little website that was destroyed by the theory that people using desktop computers and people using mobile phones ought to have the same experience when browsing the website, and the theory that it is immoral to use HTML when javascript is available.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    I don’t particularly hate MSNBC’s new design from a visual standpoint, but I don’t get their present content strategy. no longer functions as a breaking news site, which is an odd tack for a news network to take. WTF?

  10. 10
    rammalamadingdong says:

    @MattF: It’s hard to know where to rest your eyes on that site – I hate it. But it is easier to read on an iPad. so that

  11. 11
    James Gary says:

    @MattF: Yeah. As I mentioned above re MSNBC, I think their goal was to create a completely platform-independent design, which in my opinion is a bit silly: viewing a website on a smartphone is a very different experience than viewing a website on a computer screen, and should be dealt with accordingly.

    (Edit: as Splitting Image also noted at #8 whilst I was typing the above paragraph.)

  12. 12
    mikej says:

    For the past two years all redesigns have sucked as people attempt to make their desktop websites look the same was they do on a phone.

  13. 13
    Elizabelle says:

    I love The Guardian’s interface. I use a laptop; it’s really easy to navigate. Lots of quirky stuff.

    Hope saying that does not doom it to a redesign.

  14. 14
    mikej says:

    The popovers don’t bother me much. Noscript makes them all go away.

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    I recommend YesScript for those that use FF to deal with sites with particularly annoying popups. Others recommend NoScript, but I find that too limiting.

  16. 16
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @James Gary: Whatever their reason for the redesign, I’ve noticed a sharp drop off in comments. It’s a shame because Steve Benen is one of the hardest working bloggers in the business.

  17. 17
    dww44 says:

    I absolutely agree with you about the MSNBC redesign plus how inaccessible they’ve made the Maddow Blog where Benen writes. Used to be able to access directly via Now one gets redirected.

    Also, maybe It’s cause I’m older and much of the change I experience is not an improvement over what it replaced, but the Weather Channel recently redesigned their graphics and replaced the easy on the eyes blue with shades of gray with a thin white font and the local doppler radar is no longer green, it is a very boring white. Both of those colors are hard on my eyes and I absolutely hate it.

    I am indeed thinking of adding Ad Blocker to my computer because of the creative and obnoxious ways everyone’s figured out how to make me watch their ads and videos. I honestly think, unlike peak wingnut, we are getting close to peak ad incursions on our private spaces and the pendulum is gonna swing back the other way.

    Finally, I do learn lots from BJ’s NewsMax headlines. Has anyone else ever noticed how some of their headlines contradict each other?

  18. 18
    Redshift says:

    It sucks slightly less on a mobile device in vertical mode, only because the comments appear below the article instead of off to the right and invisible unless you know to scroll back to the top. And you still have the totally unnecessary click on the comment groups to expand them and get to the actual comments. It’s dreadful on any device.

  19. 19
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @MattF: My off the cuff capsule review yesterday of Slate’s new site.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    The Guardian has a slideshow on Ally Brosh and creating Hyperbole and a Half.

  21. 21
    Bill says:

    After a decade of excellent service, Yahoo, in a few short months, destroyed their mail, sports and finance pages.

  22. 22
    Shakezula says:

    Anything that has autoplay should be pushed into a pit of acid.

    The only comfort I take is that one day people will figure out that the way to make money off websites is the same way you make it off the print page, put the ads along the edges and shut up. Currently we’re in the heart of the “Websites = TV,” phase which is wrong.

  23. 23
    PeakVT says:

    I don’t have any original internet complaints (because how many people haven’t complained about Flash and popups and Javascript at some point). I do want to complain about my country’s inability to develop high-speed rail, which at this point is (almost) 50 year-old technology.

  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    Hate the atrocity of the MSNBC site, regardless of whether it’s on my desktop or phone. I only go there for Benen, but it’s just a horrible experience. They should be barred from even commenting about

  25. 25
    lurker dean says:

    uh oh, some randian wingnut heads are going to asplode:

  26. 26
    Mudge says:

    Corporate types like change, so it seems they are doing their jobs. Maintenance doesn’t lead to promotions.

  27. 27
    Redshift says:

    @James Gary: There’s nothing wrong with a platform-independent design, but the goal should be to make it work on all devices, not look the same on all devices. You can do that with a single set of HTML/etc. (which you couldn’t a few years ago), but designing it so it doesn’t adapt just gets you the worst option on nearly every platform.

    I used to be pretty active on Maddowblog, but since the redesign, it’s way too much work to keep up with an ongoing discussion, and I only post the occasional drive-by.

  28. 28
    scuffletuffle says:

    @dww44: I learned that Obamacare includes death panels. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….I fucking wish!

  29. 29
    PurpleGirl says:

    Graphic design goes in cycles in which someone decides things aren’t edgy enough or are dull and old, and who knows what else. (This decision is not usually made by a designer but the designer has to come up with something new and bold and whatever!.)

    I recently bought a book about yarn and related matters. I was looking forward to reading, and I’ll admit that I should have looked at it at the store. It has one of the worst interior designs I’ve ever seen. What’s wrong, you ask… How can the interior pages of text be bad… The first page of each chapter is 12pt on 16 pt line BUT the rest of the chapter is maybe 9pt type on the same 16 pt line. It is unreadable and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get back to the store in time to return it.

  30. 30
    MCA1 says:

    Agreed completely on MSNBC. If it weren’t so incredibly fucking slow, maybe I wouldn’t mind clicking into a post by Benen to see what he’s saying beyond a headline and half a sentence, but it’s so incredibly fucking slow that I don’t want to bother. You used to be able to scroll and get a feeling for each post before needing to click and load the whole thing plus the comments. And let’s not get started on the fact that you can’t actually see the conversation and the article at the same time on the new platform. It’s a fucking disgrace, designed by people who no doubt consulted with Benen for zero minutes. As pamelabrown says, it’s really too bad because he’s one of the best, most prolific bloggers out there.

    Other redesigns that completely suck include the aforementioned Slate, and Salon, as well. The latter even has those embedded videos that automatically play despite your either (a) doing nothing, or, more frustratingly, (b) actually clicking the “Close” button on the fucking popup. You still get the audio for all your office neighbors to hear.

  31. 31
    Quarks says:

    I, too, have stopped visiting Benen’s blog — and I started reading him back in his Carpetbagger days. The new site is just too difficult to navigate.

    I don’t have much hope that MSNBC will notice my absence and make it more navigable, though.

  32. 32
    Bill E Pilgrim says:’s systematically divesting itself of most people who made the site worth reading. Most notable for me among a long list: Dan Perkins AKA Tom Tomorrow, and Patrick Smith, who did Ask the Pilot.

    It’s hard to believe, but at one point it was actually sort of readable, despite the hideousness of Camille Paglia’s regular columns. They did make for great comments threads though, with around 87% expressing sheer disgust with her.

    Alex Pareene does some good work, but it’s also dressed up in the tabloid sensationalism style.

    Patrick Smith says that they told him that he didn’t fit the new “Salon vibe”. As I told him in reply, since the new vibe seems to be mostly first-person confessionals (“I posted a photo of myself on Facebook and was teased!) and HuffPo style gossip and titillation, I think he can consider that a compliment.

  33. 33
    Percysowner says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    Pop ups that actually impede your use of the site by covering all the relevant links and making you ‘accidently’ click there shit are some of the worst bullshit internet ad-makers have devised. And of course the wormy ways they hide the ‘close’ button on them more and more so you’re forced to wait for it to ‘automatically collapse’.

    Thank Goodness for Firefox with AdBlock Plus and Flashblock. I miss so many ads. That said, the Slate redesign is horrible and MSNBC is pretty bad as well.

  34. 34
    MaryJane says:


    Thanks for that. Ally’s book is #1 on the L.A. Times non-fiction paperback list. It’s a hoot and I’m really happy for her.

    eta: My .02 on the topic: Washington Monthly (Ed Kilgore) has greatly improved, as has Daily Banter (Bob Cesca). Yes, MSNBC sucks. I fear Little Green Footballs will blow up my computer.

  35. 35
    H.K. Anders says:

    I had been following Benen for years the same way I follow all my other blogs: RSS. The site’s hideous redesign has ruined it for me.

  36. 36
    stinger says:

    @pamelabrown53: I’ve read Benen since his Carpetbagger days, but now not only are his posts intermingled with those of other Maddow bloggers, but with this redesign (which takes longer to load), you have to click to read them, and then click twice more to read the comments.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    Are there any local TV stations that have decent web sites?

    The ones in my area are awful. Occasionally I visit one to check on a local story and all of them are virtually impossible to navigate. People make fun of old school web design, with blinking text and flashing lights, but modern local TV station websites are worse.

    And thank you Cole for not having pop ups. One of the many reasons I love this site.

  38. 38
    Napoleon says:

    dpm, is your local station a Gannett property?

  39. 39
    Brian says:

    This works:

    It is the same as putting “Steve Benen” in the search box on the MSNBC site, and it delivers all of his stories in chron order.

  40. 40
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @lurker dean:

    I’m beginning to suspect that the new pope actually practices a real religion.

  41. 41
    RSA says:

    You know what else is basura? The way I have to read half a dozen hits down a Google results page to find out what the word means. I realize that this is part of the current information economy, that a click is money while a glance is not (so a dictionary or translation site might not want to make the information available in a snippet), but it’s still annoying. It used to be the same thing with holiday dates, like the date of Mother’s Day in 2014, except that now Google just displays the answer.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Bill: Yahoo Mail is a nightmare now. The worst for me is the giant leap between Medium and Large font sizes. The Medium is small and the Large is huge. The leap between Large and X-Large is not that much. It’s ridiculous and should be so easy for them to adjust. But no.

  43. 43
    MomSense says:

    @lurker dean:

    That is an incredible statement. I may actually read the whole document.

  44. 44
    PurpleGirl says:

    @PeakVT: Sorry to tell you this but there are areas where such service can’t be built. The railroads no longer own the land they’d need to straighten out routes so they can run the trains faster. (Example: the Northeast corridor.) Also the deinvestment in passenger trains makes trains the very poor relative who no one wants to acknowledge.

  45. 45
    Raught says:

    Your site doesn’t work for shit on my Kindle. The worst is when there’s a TWIB post with podcast links. The player takes over.

  46. 46
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Newsmax’s sole Obamacare headline today is all about the death panels. If they’re back on that it seems like a good sign.

  47. 47
    NotMax says:


    Google has always had the feature of typing in define:word for definition sites to come up pronto.

    No space after the colon and before whatever the word is you’re looking up.

  48. 48
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @stinger: At the end of each post, at the bottom there are a number of little blocks. The last one on the right has an empty “word balloon”. Just click it once and it will take you to the comments. Still can’t see the post though. Makes it less likely for me to comment because I like to refer to the post to ensure I comprehended it correctly.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    Agree on the Maddowblog site. It’s crap. Simpler was better.

    Also, too, fuck Yahoo. Fuck whomever designs and runs their sites. I pretty much have to use my email account there as I’ve had it for a long time, but god I’d love to elsewhere. Maybe this summer I’ll get brave enough to switch everything over to my gmail account.

  50. 50
    ronin122 says:

    Poll on the stores open for Thanksgiving. Guess where BJ’s favorite number factors in:

    via HP

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Quoting Mark Halperin, no less. It just occurred to me that quoting Mark Halperin is supposed to add authority to the headline. Alternate space-time continuum, and all that.

  52. 52
    Suffern ACE says:

    In 2014 I’m going to be giving up the internet anyway, so change the sites all you want. Send me a telex to let me know how y’all are doing.

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    Since this is the season for Thanksgiving, in addition to being thankful for Cole not having pop up ads, I’m also grateful he hasn’t switched to Facebook or Disqus commenting systems. I detest those. So thanks, John.

  54. 54
    GregB says:

    President Obama photoshopped as Neville Chamberlain on the front page of the Drudge Report.

    The GOP and their message machine has decided on an all Godwin all the time strategy.

  55. 55
    AliceBlue says:

    I don’t have any complaints about a particular website but I can say that I’d like to take a blowtorch to Frosty the Snowman.

    Also too thanks to Mr. Cole for no popup ads.

  56. 56
    PeakVT says:

    @PurpleGirl: The railroads no longer own the land they’d need to straighten out routes so they can run the trains faster.

    That’s just ignorant. First, there is such a thing as eminent domain, which this country has no problem using to build roads. Second, most HSR is built on new ROWs, so where the existing rail lines run is irrelevant.

    You’re part of the problem.

  57. 57
    PurpleGirl says:

    @BGinCHI: Gmail also did a redesign of the site and how it works.

  58. 58
    Scotius says:

    I hate Yahoo Mail’s new look. They took away features that everybody liked such as tabs and hid folders away so that you have to click on them each time you want to get to them. Yahoo has also been almost insanely condescending and aloof when responding to complaints about the new look. Pissing off your loyal customers is a funny way to run a struggling business you would think.

  59. 59
    Splitting Image says:

    Are there any local TV stations that have decent web sites? The best TV station in our market recently redesigned their site and made it worse, not better.

    I would not be surprised if the word “TV” is not a big part of the problem. I think that we may be seeing a cultural clash between people who want the internet to be a newspaper and people who want it to be a TV show.

    Advertising works differently in each medium. In a newspaper, the ads go in specific positions on the page and can be easily filtered out. On TV, it is understood that after seeing the first part of a story, you have to watch an ad before seeing the rest. So part of what we are seeing is websites that were set up to look like newspapers with links are being turned into TV shows with interactive menus. Sites like MSNBC are rife with this kind of problem for obvious reasons.

  60. 60
    feebog says:

    Must be a slow news day or sumptin. Bitching about websites and such is all we have this am? OK, then, I hate Esquire, which I only go to for Brother Charlie P. If you click on any of his articles you get a huge pop-up that covers the entire screen. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Otherwise, I am a happy camper. Finally got a good prescription from my eye doctor yesterday for reading glasses, almost two months after cataract surgery. Then was pleasantly surprised when I went to the optometrist Mrs. Feebog is now using and ordered a new pair of reading glasses and lens replacement for my Raybans for less than $400. Also too, going to do a bunch of Christmas shopping this afternoon because we are leaving for two weeks in Mexico in December and won’t be back until a few days before Christmas. Like I said, Happy Camper.

  61. 61
    MattF says:

    @Splitting Image: Yeah, that’s consistent with the recent ruckus over ‘native advertising’. The key concept is ‘product placement’… “Is that our product in your pocket, or are you just glad to see us?”

  62. 62
    denguyfl says:

    I use netvibes and get full Maddowblog articles in my RSS.

  63. 63
    Eric U. says:

    GOS always pops up something stupid, “daily kos inaction by signing a worthless online petition.” Thinkprogress does it too, although today they don’t have one. Don’t know what they think they are gaining by that. If a commercial site does it, I tend to close the tab immediately

  64. 64
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Violet: God, I hate fucking Disqus. It puts my comments at TBogg’s joint in moderation, even though I jumped through the goddamned verification hoops. I also hate all the options offered by moderated Blogger blogs. I read No More Mr. Nice Blog faithfully but never comment anymore because of the stupid Blogger platform. No great loss to NMMNB, put it irritates me.

  65. 65
    Petorado says:

    @lurker dean: Francis lays down some shockers:

    “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

    “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”

    So when are we going to see Bill Donohue on the TV defending on the pope’s statements on controlling lady parts and gays economic opportunity and financial equality?

  66. 66
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The only thing worse than pop ups are pop unders.

    My stupid UNION put a pop-up on the homepage. I had to explain to the INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT that this broke the website he was so desperate to promote on a SMARTPHONE which, because about half of us or more are WORKING POOR is the only fucking internet they have!!

    Who teaches these kids out of college to break webshit like that?! Back when I studied this shit in the 1990s… well, okay, I spent a lot of time on usability sites and trying to make any site I did accessible to people with disabilities. I guess that is totally oldfag now. Those blind people can just get an app to have a Bangledeshi child read the internet to them, right?

  67. 67
    scav says:

    @lurker dean: I rather like that he explicitly calls out trickle down

    54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.

    He also chews on the bishops / priests a bit and reaffirms the abortion / women stuff but qualifies the last a bit when he calls for a less hierarchy-centered church (rather “we won’t let you in the treehouse, but we’ll honor those that bring us sandwiches and make our beds” but I tend towards grumpy). Love the money talk though, we may yet hear cries of not wanting Catholic Presidents again and just look at who they are stuck with on the bench! (No, I’m sure the Supremes think they outrank a mere pope as they already outrank god, and you know exactly who I’m staring at.)

  68. 68
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @kindness: It seems it will coincide with Hanukkah this year.

    I was telling a coworker about how early Hanukkah was this year and said cow orker (oh, he’s a dumb one) said, “Oh, me too.” and when I stared blankly he said, “I celebrate Yule.” I smiled, and nodded.

    I’ve never heard of a lunar Yule, have you?

  69. 69
    BGinCHI says:

    @PurpleGirl: Yeah, I don’t love it either, but Yahoo is just dogshit. Not so much the way it’s set up but it crashes and loses stuff. Not as reliable as you would hope.

  70. 70
    Violet says:

    @Scotius: Yeah, the tabs were really helpful if you needed to switch between a couple of emails or maybe leave one open as a reminder to reply to someone or something. Now you just get one open email and that’s it. The redesign is useless. There’s no added value and they took away useful features.

  71. 71
    BGinCHI says:

    @Scotius: Yeah but Katie Couric!!!!!!!

    Seriously. It’s like a business that doesn’t do anything that is just trying to fail.

  72. 72
    Frivolous says:

    When did mistermix encounter the word basura? I didn’t know he spoke Tagalog.

  73. 73
    catclub says:

    @Violet: This is why I use thunderbird. I only have an idle yahoo email, I have long since forgotten the password, so if the BJ frontpagers have been trying to contact me.
    Sorry! I wonder if thunderbird can access yahoo email servers. I suspect it can.

    I do use gmail in the webpage, but so far, gmail is relatively unobtrusive (to me, which is what matters).

  74. 74
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @James Gary:

    Yeah. As I mentioned above re MSNBC, I think their goal was to create a completely platform-independent design

    I thought that’s why Jesus invented cascading stylesheets, so you didn’t have to serve the same page format to everyone?

    Once again, we are being forced into the Procrustean bed of whatever equipment companies are buying for their young, “hip”, and completely tunnel vision web designers. They must go through every five years and fire everyone who tests sites on old boxes with bad connections or fixes sites so they meet accessibility standards. “Ewwww, soooo unhip. Pack up. Get out. No, pack up: I want those dinosaur boxes out of here when you’re gone or I’m sending you a removal bill.”

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:


    “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

    How about refusing communion to politicians that vote to cut food assistance?[1] I think the church shouldn’t be refusing communion to any politician based on their votes, but if they’re going to do it, abortion shouldn’t be the only test.

    [1] Very limited impact since the states in the 1860 rebellion don’t really elect many Catholics. Maybe a few from LA.

  76. 76
    👾 Martin says:

    @BGinCHI: I like the changes to Flickr, but I don’t see how that keeps them afloat. Yahoo has been a mess for a long time. I’m not sure they know what they want to be.

  77. 77
    srv says:

    Balloon-Juice still crashes recent levels of Firefox, at least on OSX

  78. 78
    Comrade Mary says:

    The MSNBC Blog Collective sucks hot lemur ass on desktop, mobile and all future platforms. Get Benen out, then nuke it from space. It’s the only way to be sure.

  79. 79
    PurpleGirl says:

    @PeakVT: I live in NYC and have spent considerable amount of time in Peekskill, getting there by MetroNorth. I also have used Amtrak to get to Maryland and farther north in NYS. I have watched the various rail operations sell off land, shrinking their rights of way. And then I’ve seen new development of either housing or businesses move ever closer to the track. I’ve not heard much of buying new rights of way/land to build rail lines. In fact, Amtrak is forced year after year to justify its need for subsidies and to beg for stable funding.

    How am I part of the problem?

  80. 80
    Comrade Mary says:

    @mikej: Popovers suck hot lemur ass on phones. Death to them! Death to them, I say!

  81. 81
    handsmile says:


    Do note GregB’s comment above (#54). Evidently, citing Chamberlain is not so “ridiculous” or “old and out-of-touch” for Village opinion-makers. After all, Drudge is “the Walter Cronkite of his era,” according to Village elder Mark Halperin.

    That both Halperin and Drudge are ridiculous and out-of-touch is, of course, abundantly clear.

  82. 82
    Shakezula says:

    @lurker dean: Stand by for the 51st Fighting Popesplainers. They will assure us that they’re good Catholics and so they know that what Pope F really meant is that private charities and not governments should take care of the needy, who should yank on their bootstraps until they’re not needy anymore anyways.

  83. 83
    catclub says:

    I am mostly thankful for the BJ design. Too bad the recent posts on the right side have been replaced by ads.

  84. 84
    muricafukyea says:

    Guess you are just going to have to go back to Politico to get all your fair and balanced news regurgititate on here muckymux!

  85. 85
    muricafukyea says:

    Guess you are just going to have to go back to Politico to get all your fair and balanced news to regurgitate on here muckymux!

  86. 86
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Here’s one I’ve complained about for years:

    Go to , set the output language to French, the input language to English (should auto-detect that for you), and type in:

    one thousand four hundred and seven

    For years I always used it to just double-check my orthography when writing a check or something, and at one point a number of years back it started doing this. D’oh. I wrote and posted about it but it still seems to do it.

  87. 87
    Monty says:

    Please register your complaints below.

    You misspelled greivances “grievances.”

  88. 88
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @PurpleGirl: I hate to break it to you, but the railroads didn’t own the land to build the continental railways, either. They did it with government assistance. The USG was very, very involved in that process following the Civil War.

    Now, the smaller railways were often built by developers so they built the commuter line and the houses alongside it for a big profit. But then, as now, they often relied on eminent domain assistance. They also, typically during the early 20th century, during the TR era, sought monopoly franchises for street railways, which were run on public ROWs for large portions. The public thought it was wasteful to double franchise the same route. OTOH, the piper had to be paid during the Depression–the cities used their power to keep fares depressed while joblessness caused ridership to plummet. This was the first big shock to traction companies (worse than the introduction of cars… sure there were cars in the 30s but rich people had been buying cars as toys for a long time–it was unemployment of the masses, who certainly didn’t have income or credit to buy cars by that point, that hit traction right in the wallet).

    Airports, of course were built with governmental assistance. Interstate highways as well. In fact, Ike taxed railroad passengers heavily to get start up financing for the Interstate highway system because gas tax revenues were insufficient. A lot of people don’t realize that.

  89. 89
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Did you submit a better translation? I just did, for whatever it’s worth.

  90. 90
    Origuy says:

    @Frivolous: Basura is Spanish. Tagalog must have picked it up from that.

  91. 91
    Cacti says:


    Love the money talk though, we may yet hear cries of not wanting Catholic Presidents again

    Not likely. In 1960, people feared that Kennedy would be taking orders from the Pope. In 2004, John Kerry was criticized for being an insufficiently dogmatic catholic on reproductive issues.

  92. 92
    fuckwit says:

    I hate sites that show nothing at all if NoScript is running. I use NoScript and I like NoScript and fuck anyone who can’t deal with that.

    As for modal CSS popups, I terminate them with extreme prejudice using Web Developer plugin for FF, just turn all CSS off. Blessed text (and most of the pictures) is all that’s left! Yay!

  93. 93
    wvng says:

    @stinger: Add to that the font they have chosen on the full blog posts is terrible -practically unreadable.

  94. 94
    Origuy says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Interesting. It does that for some languages, but not for others. Russian, Greek, and Spanish get words, but Chinese gets digits.

  95. 95
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Comrade Mary: Yep. Also wrote to them, posted on their forum, submitted more translations– nada.

    It’s a funny one, I mean sheesh guys, I know what it is in digits, thank you very much, it’s the words I wanted.

    I don’t really need it now in French but I had to write some Dutch figures recently, same thing. You can actually fool it sometimes, by writing it this way for example:

    one thousand

    four hundred and seven

  96. 96
    lurker dean says:

    @Shakezula: Yes, I’m waiting to be told that the Pope doesn’t know anything about religion. Like how I was told by some wingnuts that the Supreme Court knows nothing about the law when the ACA was upheld. Like how I’m told that judges don’t know anything about the second amendment by barely literate neanderthals who claim to know the true meaning behind it.

    This pope is giving me some nice ammo to aim at my Republican but not wingnut brother, who seems to be on the edge of understanding he’s been hoodwinked these last 30 years. And I particularly liked the mention of trickle down as well, since my brother’s GOP love all started with Reagan.

  97. 97
    Scotius says:

    @Comrade Mary:
    No kidding! Washington Monthly and are unreadable on a phone because of popovers.

  98. 98
    JoyfulA says:

    Big, big ad-type things that say “Like us on Facebook!” that you can’t make go away unless you click “like.”

    I think a lot of these places intend to look with-it, but does anything look past the sell-by date more than this? I am far from trendy, and I haven’t been on Facebook for years.

  99. 99
    Joshua James says:

    I’ve been tweeting to Steve ever since they moved, and he often responds, but I don’t know how much he can do about it… but yeah, I read a lot less simply because if I have to decide I want to click to find out what a story is, most of the time I won’t…

    It’s bad, he’s a great blogger, but it’s bad.

  100. 100
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Origuy: Yeah it is curious. Arabic, Catalan, Czech, and Dutch also give digits. And German and Italian. I stopped there.

  101. 101
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @PurpleGirl: I suggest you head to the forums and read the Amtrak Virginia thread.

    The Downeaster thread is good for an emotional pick-me-up too.

    And don’t forget Amtrak Illinois with its 110mph portions, new bridges, & so on.

    You should also read the Empire Service thread because apparently you’re unaware of how much your own state is investing in passenger rail right now. You know Albany used to be a depressing Amshack… right?

  102. 102
    MattF says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: French is such an odd language. It does the same thing for Slovenian, Chinese, and Afrikaans.

  103. 103
    WereBear says:

    If Windows 8 made this same mistake, humble blog makers can only follow.

  104. 104
    scav says:

    @Cacti: But that Catholicism was aligned with Evangelicals and competing for faith-space by agreeing, only louder, This papa is talking about other things.

    218. Peace in society cannot be understood as pacification or the mere absence of violence resulting from the domination of one part of society over others. Nor does true peace act as a pretext for justifying a social structure which silences or appeases the poor, so that the more affluent can placidly support their lifestyle while others have to make do as they can. Demands involving the distribution of wealth, concern for the poor and human rights cannot be suppressed under the guise of creating a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority. The dignity of the human person and the common good rank higher than the comfort of those who refuse to renounce their privileges. When these values are threatened, a prophetic voice must be raised.

    220. People in every nation enhance the social dimension of their lives by acting as committed and responsible citizens, not as a mob swayed by the powers that be. Let us not forget that “responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation”.[180] Yet becoming a people demands something more. It is an ongoing process in which every new generation must take part: a slow and arduous effort calling for a desire for integration and a willingness to achieve this through the growth of a peaceful and multifaceted culture of encounter.

    Dude certainly knows how to get people talking about this stuff. A section on “Kerygmatic and mystagogical catechesis “? Holy Scrabble Batman!

  105. 105
    lamh36 says:


    @TPM 4m
    Mark Halperin: Death panels are “built into” Obamacare (VIDEO):

  106. 106

    I hate the new Gmail redesign and I hate Google+. They are fast becoming the new Microsoft.

  107. 107
    Stella B says:

    @MikeJ: Works for me.

    I believe that modern website design is only done by people under thirty since it is invariable unreadable by those of us with wise and seasoned eyeballs. I. Am. Not. Going. To. Find. Reading. Glasses. Even. For. Benen. If I can’t scale the font size, I’m not reading it. Anyway only Cole’s and Krugman’s commenters are bearable. Shooter242 says something stupid, everybody piles on, lather, rinse, repeat. Just ban the abusers, it’s not free speech.

  108. 108
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @Napoleon: Our local paper is, and it sucks. The station is owned by some other conglomerate.

  109. 109
    Tim F. says:

    Poor Benen. Carpetbagger was a model of responsible web design, with a great search function and the most context-filled posts anywhere. Then Washington Monthly offered him a job, which was nice, but their search function was balls. He even thanked me for pantsing his magazine in public because he had spent so long fighting with their tech intern to clean it up. Now MSNBC. The guy deserves a much better web outlet than he got.

  110. 110
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Here’s the biggest hole in the Internet in my opinion:

    I browse using Chrome set to accept no cookies, and then I put all of the sites I want to accept in the exceptions list. It sounds like a lot of work but I just did it one by one, and once it’s set up it works.

    Then, for any site that A) wants me to accept cookies, but B) isn’t one that I want to bother adding to the exceptions list, e.g. something I just need to look at once, I open Firefox, which I have set to accept all cookies… but delete them all when I close it.

    Works like a charm. Except, there are any number of sites that insist on cookies — but don’t say a word about it. For example a salary calculator the other day. You never know, a surprising amount of sites like that work fine with no cookies accepted. So, I enter the figures, change states from the drop down list, hit “calculate” , and nothing. It doesn’t calculate, it does nothing. Absolutely nothing informs you of why, i.e. “Cookies required” or whatever.

    For me it’s clear what’s going on, but I always just imagine for people who have any of the various levels of restrictions set but who might not even be aware of it — it could be totally confusing. It’s just amazing how many sites have no alerts about it, just click — nothing.

  111. 111
    am says:

    It’s the same thing with every website (looking at you, Yahoo!) and with OS desktops (Windows 8).

    Everyone is trying to design one interface for mobile, desktop/laptop, and tablet. And they are 3 distinct, different modes for interacting with an application are to me, generally incompatible with each other.

    Mobile is the ‘hot’ and desktop (ie, no gestural touchscreen, and physical mouse/touchpad and keyboard) is being left by the wayside.

  112. 112
    Mike E says:

    I like how the mobile site still retains Megaphone Guy–all 6 pixels of him. Really stands out.

  113. 113
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Elizabelle: That was wonderful — thanks! The last couple of slides showing the evolution of her style was especially great.

  114. 114
    MattF says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Once upon a time I used to go to the trouble of deleting any cookie that didn’t come from the site domain. But I’ve given up. Based on the mini-ads I get from gmail, they have no idea what I want, and Google supposedly knows what it’s doing.

  115. 115
    piratedan says:

    @lamh36: note to Mark Halperin, we already have Death Panels, they’re known in the Insurance Industry as “the Claims Department”.

  116. 116

    Are there any local TV stations that have decent web sites?


  117. 117
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @MattF: Yeah the main impetus for me is just that if you accept anything, it can actually really slow things down, every site you go to planting one and all of them trying to download tracking info, scanning the entire list of them on your computer to find their data, and so on.

  118. 118
    Violet says:

    @handsmile: Yeah, I guess that was my point. The Village may think it’s brilliant political analysis, but most people will just say, “Huh?” Chamberlain doesn’t have the instant name recognition of a Hitler or Stalin.

  119. 119
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Popovers suck hot lemur ass on phones

    There is a version of noscript that mostly works on firefox mobile, with a little tweaking. For the most part, using noscript means never seeing a popover unless you’re in a bakery.

  120. 120
    Mandalay says:

    @lurker dean:

    some randian wingnut heads are going to asplode

    And mistermix, who defers to nobody in his blind mindless hatred for Pope Francis.

  121. 121
    scav says:

    @Violet: Wasn’t Milt the Stilt in Thornbirds? Wouldn’t want to live through that again I reckon.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:


    With the way they have “threaded” emails now on Yahoo!, I can’t figure out how to reply to just one response in the thread. I ended up replying to MYSELF and had to copy and paste the correct email address in. WTF?

    I realize it’s a free service and you get what you pay for, but they really screwed the pooch.

  123. 123
    JerryN says:

    The MSNBC site, and Slate and others reflect the latest fad – Responsive Design (look up responsive web design on wikipedia). I build this stuff for a living and visual design / information architecture trends come and go pretty frequently. After all, if you’re a digital agency, you have to have something to pitch to get new business. That said, the way this fad has manifested itself is pretty awful across the board.

    On the bright side for me, since these new designs seem to be universally unloved that means I’ll be implementing redesigned sites within the year :-)

  124. 124
    MikeJ says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: If you hit enter after the “one” it will give you a better, if uglier, result.

    mille quatre cent sept

    The real stupidity is for bigger numbers. un million de 1407

  125. 125
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    I typed “seribu empat ratus tujuh” (1,407) in Malay and got the English translation “one thousand four hundred and seventy”. Hmm.

  126. 126

    Will Sister Sarah of the Northwoods please explain to the wingers how the Pope really didn’t mean all of the stuff he said? They have multiple sads.

  127. 127
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @kindness: For the restivus!

  128. 128
    Bex says:

    @Petorado: Is Francis ever going to quit with the Jesus stuff? Hope not.

  129. 129
    ruemara says:

    I think what’s really getting my goat right now is, the amount of people I’ve gone over and above to help are very silent. People I risked my job to take pictures for their event-contribute, who, them? “say, can you find risk your position to allow us to borrow several thousand dollars worth of cameras, lights, stands, editing bay, steal some tape and never replace it-so we can build our careers? THANKS!” “Um, you have an idea to shoot? Sorry, busy. Fundraiser, um didn’t see it, sorry? Well, off to Germany for a week!” If you wonder why I don’t really ask for things, consider just what a shitty response I’m getting from blood relatives and people I’ve bent over backwards to help. Goddamn. I know I’ll forgive and forget, because I can’t really begrudge people, but it’s an eyeopener. Of course, if I say no to the next favour someone wants from me, I’ll have 27 emails from people wondering why I’m mad at them.

    @JerryN: Well played

  130. 130
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Also, if you leave the “one” out and just type “thousand four hundred and seven” you get, all in words, “mille quatre cent sept”. But write any number before the “thousand” e.g. “one”, “two”, and you’ll get it all in numbers.

  131. 131
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @MikeJ: Yeah see mine here.

    @Amir Khalid: Oops. That’s not good.

    I tried it this way in English to Malay and it seems to give the right amount:

    one thousand four

    hundred and seven

  132. 132
    sparrow says:

    I agree on MSNBC. I can’t go there without the though “seriously what the fuck is this fugly site” going through my mind every time. It’s utterly confusing. I usually give up and click over to CNN, which for all of it’s problems, at least functions well as a breaking news portal.

    Another pet peeve of mine is news sites that have links to video-only stories. When I’m on coffee break at work, I don’t want to have to desperately close video windows before the whole office hears about the (probably stupid) news story I clicked on. Plus I find video to be the least efficient means of communicating news. I want to READ, people, that’s why I’m on the internet and not watching TV. Gah.

  133. 133
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yep. But so also:

    six hundred forty seven > 647 (Eng > Fr or Eng > Malay)

    So you have to do


    hundred forty seven

    Which is somewhat useful, but sometimes just having the words and not the whole phrase can be a problem. Not in French but were I trying to write in Malay for example ;) Clueless.

  134. 134
    tybee says:


    amen. and i can read way faster than i can watch. :)

  135. 135
    Mandalay says:

    @lurker dean: From Pope Francis:

    “Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. This serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.

    They’re going to have to find a way for this guy to spend more time with his family. He’s speaking way too much sense and truth.

  136. 136
    sparrow says:

    @PurpleGirl: IWe don’t invest in rail because our culture demands that we all drive SUVs for FREEDUMB and manliness. That’s why when people complain about Amtrak losing money they conveniently leave out the hundreds to thousands of dollars per person we spend on roads and other support for personal vehicles. I think in comparison we spend like 2 bucks per person on rail. If there was a strong desire in the public for rail, it would get built and paid for. But people want their stupid cars, and trains are a convenient hippy-punching target for the ‘conservatives’. (but I’m not grumpy, nope).

  137. 137
    Scotius says:

    Yahoo MAil isn’t free for me. I pay an annual fee and they are totally ignoring complaints from people like me. Actually, they are doing worse than ignoring our complaints, they have been giving condescending snotty lectures about how awesome the new interface is and how we long time Yahoo users just don’t seem to get it. Previous Yahoo Mail changes had been released as Betas in order to give Yahoo time to iron the kinks and get feedback from users as to what worked and what didn’t. This time they just dropped the new interface on our laps and told us to lump it more or less. That seems like a funny way to run a compamny. Still Marissa Mayer knows how to use the term “stochastic”in her Vogue profile so what do I know?

  138. 138
    kc says:

    I really hate modern website design. If enough sites change over, I may have to go back to reading those other things. Books, I think they’re called.

  139. 139
    Redshift says:

    @JerryN: That may be what they think they’re doing, but it’s not what they’re doing. “Easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling” does not describe the MSNBC site. About the only element of it they seem to actually be doing is rearranging the layout for portrait vs. landscape.

    If there’s one thing that’s more annoying than design fads, it’s design concepts that can be good being discredited by fad-followers who don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:


    I know I’ll forgive and forget, because I can’t really begrudge people, but it’s an eyeopener.

    It’s good to forgive, because it’s better for your blood pressure, but there’s no need to forget. You can forgive someone for being a selfish jackhole while still deciding not to let them take advantage of you again.

    Yes, that is my therapist’s voice talking. ;-)

  141. 141

    Greenwald will have the bestest layout evar. If you don’t agree, you are dumb and a deadender.

    But seriously, folks, I like a few of the writers Glennnn and Pierre have been poaching.

  142. 142
    MikeJ says:


    they have been giving condescending snotty lectures about how awesome the new interface is and how we long time Yahoo users just don’t seem to get it.

    Gnome gave the same lecture to users of their UI. Everyone who releases a new UI always responds with, “people just don’t like change and when they get used to the new way they’ll see what geniuses we are.” They never seem to consider that several million users may have more informed opinions than half a dozen designers. And sometimes, worse really is better. A suboptimal UI that people understand and use can be much better than a perfect UI that users have to relearn.

  143. 143
    kc says:


    The MSNBC site, and Slate and others reflect the latest fad – Responsive Design (look up responsive web design on wikipedia).

    Is that what it’s called? I freaking hate it. It’s not easier to read, it’s harder, you have to scroll all over the got damn place and dodge all these stupid pop-up (or whatever you call them) suggestions. I find that it sucks on ALL devices.

    I’ve stopped reading Slate since its redesign. Unfortunately, my state and local government websites have recently gone to this crappy design and I have to use those most every day for work.

    In conclusion, get off my lawn!

  144. 144
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    For some reason, without the hyphen between forty and seven, GT won’t translate the “forty seven” into Malay. For me, anyway.

    More GT translation weirdness: “lima ribu tiga ratus” gets me “fünftausenddreihundert” as it should, but anything after the “ratus” and GT just gives me numbers.

  145. 145
    Napoleon says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    I asked since one of our 4 local commercial tv stations that have newscast is Gannett and in the last month they changed their website and IMO it now sucks. I was wondering if it was a Gannett wide thing perhaps (our local paper is not a Gannett property)

  146. 146
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Excellent summation of Slate.

  147. 147
    YellowJournalism says:

    I know it has to do with copyright issues and such, but I hate that you can’t view some video links from Canada.

  148. 148
    Suffern ACE says:

    @scav: Goodness. It’s like this Church is reconciled with democracy and not fighting for a return of the monarchy. Dangerous this is.

  149. 149
    Paul in KY says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: They fucked it up so that I couldn’t post (or see) commants there (at Salon) back in 2010 or so. Haven’t been back.

  150. 150
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Paul in KY: Thank you.

  151. 151
    Comrade Mary says:

    @kc: Responsive web design: You’re soaking in it. (Note how the columns change width as you change the size of the window? Note how the two sidebars disappear if you make the window narrow enough?)

    It can be done well (God knows, some “frozen” designs do not adapt at all well to non-standard display sizes), but there is some absolute shit out there, like MSNBC, that makes me want to hurl things.

  152. 152
    Comrade Mary says:

    Oh, and I HATE endless scrolling. HATE. Give me pages, or give me lemur parts, a stove and a frying pan.

  153. 153

    Some Thanksgiving mansplaining, courtesy of one of our national resources: the wisdom of professional athletes

    David Price ‏@DAVIDprice14 17m

    Everyone thats traveling for thanksgiving please be careful! Driving conditions will be rough with these storms! Ladies..let ur man drive!


    ETA: exclamation marks mean nothing these days! Overused!!!!!

  154. 154
    Yatsuno says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: OT: this came up on my Book of Faces and I felt compelled to share. May make some of these soon.

  155. 155
    JerryN says:

    @Redshift: That’s how they’re selling the look and feel and of course, they would never exaggerate. Ahem.

    As folks up above have pointed out, the designers are starting with a layout for mobile and then trying to generalize. Part of the appeal of responsive design is that you can use a framework under the hood that allows one core set of code to be adapted via CSS, JavaScript, and other magic to display properly across platforms, dramatically reducing time and cost to produce (in theory). In practice, the frameworks place constraints on the design so that you can get bad results on many browsers if you try to color outside the box. Combine with a herd mentality as in, “that site’s cool, let’s make one just like it only with different sparkly bits” and you get this crop of annoying sites.

  156. 156
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: Me and Disqus don’t get along either.

  157. 157
    TG Chicago says:


    Balloon-Juice still crashes recent levels of Firefox, at least on OSX

    I second this. It’s annoying.

    ETA: In fact, posting this caused a Firefox crash just now.

  158. 158
    Paul in KY says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Maybe ‘Yule’ is the hipster word for ‘Christmas’? Or maybe he’s a pagan?

  159. 159
    Paul in KY says:

    @Frivolous: I speak Thinmint.

  160. 160

    So, a TN state trooper reprimanded for a racist email waaaay back in 2009 has now been allowed to “retire” after, waay back in June he refused to allow Tennessee’s only black female appellate judge into the state supreme court building.

  161. 161
    Paul in KY says:

    @lurker dean: Good luck!

  162. 162
    Bruce Partington says:

    I wish we could fix the so-called “mobile” sites that reduce everything to small, unscalable text that can’t be read by anybody over 40. Like, fer example, Balloon Juice.

    Too Small, Couldn’t Read.

  163. 163
    Frivolous says:

    @Origuy: Oh, interesting. Thanks. I didn’t know.

  164. 164

    @Yatsuno: I am familiar with most, though not all. I have no idea what a Momo is, for example. Also too, Indian sweets are too sweet for my palate.

    ETA: It should be plantain chips not banana chips.

  165. 165
    RSA says:

    @NotMax: Thanks. I actually knew that, but stupidly didn’t think of it while searching or commenting on this post.

  166. 166
  167. 167
    stinger says:

    @pamelabrown53: Thanks! And I agree, I want the post on the same page as the comments.

  168. 168
    ruemara says:

    Also on my internet shit list-this site on mobile. jesus, the margins. the scrolllllllllllllling. Fix it! Or not, really, I’m annoyed but not demanding.

  169. 169
    kc says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    Is BJ a “responsive” website too? Huh, I haven’t noticed – it just looks like an old-style easy (for me) to read site. It doesn’t have the irritating features that, say, Slate has recently adopted.

    The new MSNBC site sucks BALLS, as does Slate, and the South Carolina state government site, and every other site with giant semi-transparent photos and text and banners that crop up and hover annoyingly in your field of vision etc . . .

  170. 170
    Bobby Thomson says:


    First, there is such a thing as eminent domain, which this country has no problem using to build roads.

    Now who’s being naive, Kay?

    New roads are incredibly controversial. The interstate highway system couldn’t be designed today because of the suburban sprawl it created. Too many people affected.

  171. 171
    piratedan says:

    @Scotius: had a friend run into the same issues, I just told him to create a new gmail account instead or shop around for another email provider. As a customer, you don’t need to hear that *****.

  172. 172
    lurker dean says:

    @Paul in KY: thanks!

  173. 173
    rikyrah says:

    I cannot find the Maddow Blog.

    I get a PAGE NOT FOUND from that link

  174. 174
    stinger says:

    @wvng: I dislike sans serif fonts for any extended reading. (Ahem.) But then, I’m old.

  175. 175
    Gretchen says:

    I’ve quit going to Maddow blog since the redesign, and it used to be one of my must-reads. I just hate it.

  176. 176
    rikyrah says:


    this is for you.


    Taxpayers’ $1.2 million propped up owner’s 2nd charter-school bust
    By Bill Bush

    After resigning this year as superintendent of a financially troubled Internet charter school amid allegations of nepotism, James McCord had a new plan, and it again involved a charter school employing him and his family.

    This summer, McCord opened eight Olympus charter schools, including four in Columbus. They would be managed by a for-profit corporation formed by McCord called Education Innovations International, or EII, which would get most of the state money each month, own all the schools’ property and employ all the workers.

    His wife, brother, children and an in-law all had jobs with the company, former employees said.

    And again, it all collapsed. The school’s sponsor suspended it last month.

  177. 177
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    Well, I’ll pile on the MSNBC design too. It sucks. The thing that sucks most is the thing I’ve been complaining about for the past year or so – when you click on a post there’s no “next post”/”previous post” link. This would be OK if most of Benen’s posts were short and pithy (a la Atrios) but they’re not. He always goes below the fold, but then rather than clicking straight through to the next post, you have to go back out to the main page and scroll down and click. It’s not a huge pain, but it’s a pain. The least they could have done with the redesign, which is not very user friendly for those using an actual computer, is fix that flaw. But, they didn’t even do that. I hardly read the blog anymore.

  178. 178
    Comrade Mary says:

    @kc: There are relatively clean and uncluttered RD sites, and revolving dog’s breakfast’s of RD sites. (Not Allie’s site — shit like Slate and salon and MSNBC.) A List Apart is a site for developers that uses Responsive Design, but it’s quite clean and readable on desktop and devices.

  179. 179
    Comrade Mary says:

    Oh, look: a relevant article from ALA: “Responsive Design Won’t Fix Your Content Problem”.

    I recently posted a link to an article that called responsive design a “poor man’s content strategy.” Then my Twitter feed exploded with people heavily sighing and rolling their eyes, insisting no one would ever conflate the two. Why, everyone knows that the container and what you put in the container aren’t the same thing. Everyone knows that just rearranging modules from the desktop to make them squishy is not a content strategy for mobile. Everyone knows if organizations discover problems that go beyond the specific layout solutions offered by responsive design, that’s not the fault of the technique.

  180. 180
    Comrade Mary says:

    Not a grievance, but maybe a celebration:

    In the aftermath of Lara Logan’s egregious reporting on Benghazi, she and her producer have reportedly been asked to take a leave of absence from 60 Minutes. She will also not be hosting Tuesday night’s press freedom awards dinner hosted by the Committee to Protect Journalists as originally planned.

  181. 181
    Yatsuno says:

    @Comrade Mary: Waitaminute…CONSEQUENCES??? Granted she’s still getting off way easy, but actual PUNISHMENT for journalistic malfeasance? Am I in goatee-Spock universe again?

    @schrodinger’s cat: I had slight disappoint at no links to recipes, but it’s Buzzfeed and I know better than to expect too much.

  182. 182
    Elizabelle says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I hope Logan is fired. She doesn’t belong at CBS. Not like she couldn’t do something else.

  183. 183
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Yatsuno: There used to be a nice Tibetan restaurant in small town Belleville, Ontario, of all places. This recipe looks as if it will produce some nice momos.(Yeah, Buzzfeed has a pretty broad concept of “Indian”).

  184. 184
    TooManyJens says:

    Since we’re bitching about web design, I’d just like to take this opportunity to register my annoyance with the current trend of using GIANT SERIF FONTS for body text. I’m not talking “big enough to read even if your eyes aren’t that good,” I’m talking “big enough to read from across the fucking room.” There’s such a thing as too big for good readability, and right now it’s hip.

  185. 185
    JerryN says:

    @Comrade Mary: That’s a very good article, as far as it goes. It assumes that “one content set to rule them all” actually can work. I have my doubts, especially with sites (think something like the NY Times) with a ton of archived content that needs to be readily accessible.

  186. 186
    Central Planning says:

    Since we’re complaining, I’m still pissed off because I haven’t gotten my unicorn from the last site redesign. I’m sure JC promised one to everybody.

  187. 187

    @Comrade Mary: Many Tibetans live in northern India, including the Dalai Lama, so it is not that strange, come to think of it.

  188. 188
    Yatsuno says:

    @Comrade Mary: @schrodinger’s cat: They labeled it as more Nepalese, which is still not Indian. Apparently it’s an extreme Northern thing. Or something. They look interesting.

  189. 189
    kzoostout says:

    @Brian: THANK YOU!!! I’ve been trying to figure out a way to filter Steve’s posts for a while now. Clicking on his name only got you some bio info. I’ve updated my bookmark accordingly.

  190. 190
    WaterGIrl says:

    @BGinCHI: Can’t you just create a forward file on yahoo, so people can still send to your yahoo address but you can read and reply in gmail?

  191. 191
    skippy says:

    thk goodness for this thread. i thought my advanced age of just turned 60 was responsible for my current you kids get off my lawn feelings when i read most of what used to be my favorite websites. i no longerread benan, can’t stand salon and slate, and would rather browse my twitter lists for ineteresting articles than all the old standby sites, simply because they’ve decided to make it 3 times harder to get to content than the old days

  192. 192
    navarro says:


    i think the new trend is for websites to make redesigns that are worse than the originals. i haven’t been to slate since a week after the redesign. but hasn’t this has been going on for 2 or 3 years now? shouldn’t mr. cole be doing a redesign that makes it much harder to use this site?

  193. 193
    stratplayer says:

    Brother Benen, aka The Benenator, deserves better than this shit. I’m furious with MSNBC for making an unreadable mess of one of the best progressive blogs around.

  194. 194
    JWR says:

    Way late to the thread, but I’d like to add “Think Progress” with their new “Like Us On Etc.” drop down banner. It covers fully 20% of the screen, messes with the text location while scrolling, whether up or down, (the banner moves up and down, dependent on where your cursor happens to be), and there seems no way to close it! Also, TPM’s ads are getting worse with every new iteration of the site. So three cheers for Balloon Juice, where at least I know I can read!

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