It’s like someone walkings into your living room in 1956, sneezes, and suddenly all the books vanish.


Amazon yesterday updated its Kindle for iOS app, which works across iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, to version 3.6.1. The update was meant to fix a few bugs as well as the registration process. Instead, that update seems to be wreaking havoc on bookworm-style iThing owners who watched as their Amazon digital libraries and saved settings were erased before their eyes.

TechCrunch noted that the reviews weren’t kind. I went to take a look.

Thank you new update for erasing all of my saved settings. Now I have to go through my hundreds of books to find the ones I haven't read and change all of my screen settings.

That’s a three star review. I wonder what the app would have to do to merit one star. Explode? Go back in time and kill then commenter’s favorite author?

The app has 178 one-star reviews at this moment. Such as:

Ruined my life, please fix.

Well, to be fair, the download page on the App store does have a warning under “What’s New,” where it says “Note: There is a known issue with this update. If you are an existing Kindle for iOS user, we recommend you do not install this update at this time.” Although it’s there if you want to.


DEVELOPMENT The Edina Byerly’s is slated for demolishment and redevelopment. There’s nothing distinguished about the structure, although it was quite the marvel when it was opened. The breadth of the frozen foods aisle was breathtaking back then, I’m sure, and the perpendicular arrangement of the aisles a clean break from established styles. It’s still anomalous, and I wonder if the new store will keep the idea.

The new plan includes housing. The original draft had a big parking lot facing France - standard orientation for the suburbs, but something we’ve come to regret. The cumulative effect of parking lots facing a main drag makes the strip feel empty and placeless, and I’m sure studies show it makes people speed like maniacs. When the buildings are up against the street, you get the perception of density, the area has more personality, and people slow down. So Byerlys redid the design, and  now the store is up against the street.





And the housing is set back with a parking lot on France. Okay. Right. 

Insert some gif here indicating confusion. Why? Read on:


ART Apparently it came as a surprise to some people that if you hire the creator of “Family Guy” to host the Oscars, you’re not going to get the grace of Fred Astaire, the grown-up quality of Johnny Carson, or the subtle wit of Noel Coward. You get the creator of “Family Guy” singing about actresses’ breasts. One could say that McF was rubbing Hollywood’s face in its own culture - sure, this is all about the high-minded part of your industry, but let’s not forget how many witless gross-out “comedies” you’ve made, and how they’ve helped coarsen the culture. Enjoy! But I doubt it. Anyway, it’s led to this: GIFs of actresses reacting to his number with something less than enthusiasm. (They're rather large, because they're HQ, so I'm not embedding them here.)

If you saw the paper a few days ago, you might recall a New York Times piece that explained how the GIF is hot again - thus proving my old rule about technology writing for newspapers. It’s usually watered down for people to appeal to people who haven’t cared about the subject before, which drives away the people who do care, because they assume it's going to be a primer. The article notes that GIFs are used now as emotional punctuation, or - of course - an ironic or sarcastic counterpoint to an assertion. But there are rules. For example: this.





You can’t use that seriously. You can only use it to emphasize, say, how you’re confused by something you don’t care about. But you really shouldn’t use it anyway, because it requires subtitles to make the point. As opposed to, say, this, which can be used non-ironically:




 (Note: for some reason this one may not display for you. Go here. It's worth it.)

That’s perfect for a status update: looking calm but working hard! Or this:





Good for reacting to something you really wish you hadn’t seen or heard.

Of course,  we could just develop better language skills to describe what we mean - 





Kidding. Here’s the question, though,a nd the reason I brought it up at all: how do you pronounce GIF? Some use a soft G, as in the peanut butter brand favored by Choosy Mothers; others use a hard G, as in “Graphical Interface Format.”

FOOD People should be getting angry about the things that make me angry so why aren’t you angry about OFFENSIVE YOGURT? The problem, for some, is this: Greek Yogurt for Men is a Thing. 

The problem, for me: the prease “Is a thing.” It’s another bit of webspeak we can stop using now. If you have used the phrase “This is a thing because reasons” your brain has been turned to farina by the internet.

AND SO WE'RE DONE except that I linked the wrong URL (you-are-el? Erl?) to the spite houses. Here. I hope.