Annoyances

Windows Mail Phantom New Message Count

I use Microsoft Outlook as my primary email client but for less urgent things (things that don’t necessarily need to have immediate attention) I also have some accounts set up in the Windows 10 Mail app. Periodically, the Mail app seems to get stuck displaying 1 unread message when in fact all messages have been read, something that has come to be known as the “phantom message”. Sometimes, the count may be higher than 1 but  the most common scenario is just 1 phantom message. People have been reporting this, complaining about it, and seeking solutions since windows 8 but it’s still an issue with apparently no clear solution. The issues seems to be caused (in Windows 10 at least) by dismissing new mail notifications in the Windows Notification area (or in the noification popup) instead of opening the Mail app to check the mail. This seems to mess up the mail synchronization function in the app. Most of the suggested solutions either don’t work at all or they involve drastic measures like uninstalling and reinstalling the app, or performing a complete reset on the app, either of which is probably going to cause a loss of your emails and even your accounts, meaning you have to set everything up all over again. Thank you, Microsoft, but if that’s my only option I think I’d rather live with the annoyance of a phantom 1 showing on the app. Fortunately, there is a solution I’ve discovered, possibly two, that actually works: Try this first: If you have a second account, or if you create a temporary one, send yourself an email to an account that is checked by the Windows Mail app. Then open the app, and click on the email to “read” it, and the unread mail count should reset

Website Push Notifications: How to Disable Them in Major Browsers

With recent browser updates, it appears that the popups asking whether you want to allow Push Notifications from websites you visit have become more aggressive – or perhaps it’s just that more websites are using this feature. We have nothing enabled on this site to use these popups but here is how to disable these annoying popups in the three major browsers for Windows. Disable all push notifications in Chrome How notifications work By default, Chrome alerts you whenever a website, app, or extension wants to send you notifications. You can change this setting at any time. If you’re browsing in Incognito mode, you won’t get notifications. Allow or block notifications from all sites On your computer, open Chrome. At the top right, click More    > Settings. At the bottom, click Advanced. Under “Privacy and security,” click Content settings. Click Notifications. Block all: Turn off Ask before sending. Block a site: Next to “Block,” click Add. Enter the site and click Add. Allow a site: Next to “Allow,” click Add. Enter the site and click Add. Choose to block or allow notifications: You can also block any sites or apps from sending you notifications. Disable all push notifications in Firefox Open up Firefox, click on the Menu button at the top right, and click Options. Click on Privacy & Security in the left pane. Scroll down to Permissions > Notifications. Click on Settings to the right of Notifications. If there are any websites already listed as okay, click on Remove All Websites. Check the box next to Block new requests asking to allow notifications. Click Save changes. Disable all push notifications in Edge Start Edge and click on the More button at the top right. Scroll down to View Advanced Settings. Scroll down to Website Permissions. I think you

How NOT to write headlines

Before I get into today’s annoyances rant, consider why we worry about writing headlines at all and what we hope they will accomplish. I think this comes down to two things: In a world where we are all inundated by more information than we can possibly process, we want the article or story we’re writing to stand out from the crowd, to make the reader stop scrolling down a list of a hundred other headlines and say, “Wait! What’s this?”. To provide the ultimate and most accurate mini-summary of what the article to follow has to say. Most headlines today do neither of these things. And yet we have article after article in the media and on the net telling us what this author and that marketer constitutes a “good” headline. And then what happens? The suggestions become a kind of “law of headline writing” which evidently everyone feels compelled to obey. I don’t want to single out any specific author because they are legion, but to use one recent article as an example, the author states that “While short, a headline has to stand out from the crowd of headlines running down a user’s screen.” and then offers these suggestions: “there are specific formulas that will attract more readers. For example, the ‘How to’ formula is popular, as it indicates the reader will learn something useful in an easy presentation. Also, ‘What You Need to Know’ is effective, as it creates a sense of urgency in the reader, especially when it hints that the reader may not know everything.” and “Numbers are effective for many reasons. They help construct articles, which provides organization. Not only does this help when you write the content, but it easier for the reader. When you use numbers in the articles, you create a
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