At least in spoken form we no longer have to explain who “Earl” is.
But still, the fundamental element of the web (which to be understood we used to have to name as “The World Wide Web”) on what is now the more common platform of access, is becoming harder to even find.
It’s worth remembering the original definition:
URI: Uniform Resource Identifier. A kind of “address” that is unique and used to identify to each resource on the web. It is also commonly called a URL.
Web addresses are unique and used to identify resources.
Or are they?
I sheepishly admit that in moments of Phone gazing, I do use the iOS News app, knowing full well, somewhere, my choices are noted in some database cell. You can use it to read opposing sources, as what happens when New York Times stories come in adjacent to Fox news ones.
But here is the irksome thing about content in the News app. They come from URLs. I know it. But take a few minutes. See if you can actually locate that unique and identifying address.
For example, I read this Vox story today (and no I have not seen the new movie, I read right past the spoiler alert)
If I opt to share it, say bye emailing it, well to myself, I get:
And here is where the whole premise for my post falls on its butt. You see, I remember trying this a year ago, and the link I got just re-routed me back to the news app. But in my browser, darned if I don’t land on the real web link. I should quit blogging.
I thought I was making a case that Apple kept us locked un their universe. Well, maybe on the device it does, because that link does send you to the News App. So at least on the iPhone you cannot discover the real URL, Earl.
But there is a way, I can get the URL, Earl. I can use google search on “Vox Blade Runner 2049” and interesting what comes up…
What’s interesting here is that the first link does go to the story, but the headline in Google Search results is “Blade Runner 2049 Spoilers: let’s talk about the Ryan Gosling twist” while the actual article title is “The best thing about Blade Runner 2049 is what it isn’t”
This means, on the mobile device, which apparently the majority of the web uses, wants to pull you in with words like “spoiler” and a celebrity name, and a hint of a secret.
This is exactly what I learned from Mike Caulfield:
Well, a little known fact about newspapers and other websites is they embed code in invisible HTML “meta” tags that provide different headlines to different platforms, when the content is shared. And if we look in those meta tags we see that someone at the Independent coded the false headline in the meta tags, even though they would never dare publish such a headline on their web site.
In the source, you can see that the titles of this article in social media (Facebook, twitter, and WTF is sailthru?) are the original title
Thanks Uncle Tim, for designing the web so that I can peek at the source. For now, at least.
And this URL in fact, is not the URL, Earl. It’s Cousin Amp
It takes dissection to yank the real URL out of that one (remove
That little link icon does expose the real URL… but you cannot do a thing with it. You cannot copy it. And then there is the fun little
More Info info
Was this info scary? Yes No
When did I opt into this data collection? When I opened my browser.
Hey, Earl, this stuff is messier and messier.