1965: Background Apps

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(Explanation: {{w|Marquee element|Marquee}})
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* Another to comment on how surprisingly cheap the banners are to rent
 
* Another to comment on how surprisingly cheap the banners are to rent
 
* A third just to show off their own banner
 
* A third just to show off their own banner
* A fourth displaying the HTML "Marquee" tag, a non-standard tag that many web organizations advise against using, which is used to cause a message to scroll across the web page, much as the plane is flying across the sky.
+
* A fourth displaying the HTML "{{w|Marquee element|Marquee}}" tag, a non-standard tag that many web organizations advise against using, which is used to cause a message to scroll across the web page, much as the plane is flying across the sky.
  
 
The fairly obvious parallel here is to using various Internet forums for "unsolicited tech advice to strangers," smug responses, comments on others' advice, off-topic rejoinders, and all the other things that go on there constantly. It seems ludicrous to rent airplane banners for such trivial purposes, but there are non-trivial resources involved in the global distribution of electronic communication, as well, and their use for purposes such as this seems ludicrous once Randall makes one think about it.
 
The fairly obvious parallel here is to using various Internet forums for "unsolicited tech advice to strangers," smug responses, comments on others' advice, off-topic rejoinders, and all the other things that go on there constantly. It seems ludicrous to rent airplane banners for such trivial purposes, but there are non-trivial resources involved in the global distribution of electronic communication, as well, and their use for purposes such as this seems ludicrous once Randall makes one think about it.

Revision as of 18:12, 9 March 2018

Background Apps
My plane banner company gets business by flying around with a banner showing a <div> tag, waiting for a web developer to get frustrated enough to order a matching </div>.
Title text: My plane banner company gets business by flying around with a banner showing a <div> tag, waiting for a web developer to get frustrated enough to order a matching </div>.

Explanation

Background apps (apps in the recently used list) on both iOS and Android are in a paused state and do not consume battery; they only take up some memory. Closing them means that if you want to use the app again later, it will need to reload fully which likely uses up more battery. Wired had a detailed article on this topic a couple years ago.

A person goes to the trouble of renting a banner plane just to dispense this trivial advice. Then a second person goes to the same amount of trouble just to make a judgmental statement against the first person, seemingly unaware that they themselves are chartering a plane for an equally (if not more) inane reason. The first person rents yet another plane just to apologize to the second person and explain their actions.

In the punchline, the second person rents another plane to respond to the first person's response, being no less smug or hypocritical than before. Meanwhile, four more people have chartered planes:

  • One to urge the first two people to have their conversation somewhere private
  • Another to comment on how surprisingly cheap the banners are to rent
  • A third just to show off their own banner
  • A fourth displaying the HTML "Marquee" tag, a non-standard tag that many web organizations advise against using, which is used to cause a message to scroll across the web page, much as the plane is flying across the sky.

The fairly obvious parallel here is to using various Internet forums for "unsolicited tech advice to strangers," smug responses, comments on others' advice, off-topic rejoinders, and all the other things that go on there constantly. It seems ludicrous to rent airplane banners for such trivial purposes, but there are non-trivial resources involved in the global distribution of electronic communication, as well, and their use for purposes such as this seems ludicrous once Randall makes one think about it.

The title text is spoken by a plane banner company owner, who uses the insidious tactic of flying around with a banner of an unmatched HTML, just to compel obsessive people into renting banner space to make it syntactically correct.

The theme of the mis/use of airplanes and banners has previously been explored in 1355: Airplane Message.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

[A small airplane is flying across the panel from left to right. It is trailing a large banner that reads:]

Airplane 1: People! Closing background apps when you're not using them makes your phone battery drain faster, not slower! Stop it!

[After a pause, a second, similar airplane flies by from right to left, also trailing a banner.]

Airplane 2: What kind of person charters a plane to give unsolicited tech advice to strangers?

[Another pause, then the first airplane returns.]

Airplane 1: OK, fair. Sorry. I guess I'm just angry about other stuff and it's coming out here.

[The second airplane returns immediately, this time with four other small airplanes of various types flying by beneath it.]

Airplane 2: No worries. Just maybe spend as much time reflecting on your own motivation for correcting people as you have on theirs for closing apps.
Airplane 3: Can you two please have this conversation somewhere else?
Airplane 4: Wow, these banners are surprisingly cheap to rent.
Airplane 5: Haha, I got one, too!
Airplane 6: <marquee>


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

Honestly, the fact that there isn't closing tag doesn't bother me that much. It might bother me more if HTML tags were the same length. When I first started HTML, I styled all my opening tags with a space < like-this>, just so it could be the same length as a closing tag, </like-this>. It worked, but I eventually gave up and accepted it... Linker (talk) 18:50, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

App closing advice

Okay, so I've never edited before, but I found an article from a year and a half ago here that relates to closing apps and batteries. 172.68.211.244 16:22, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

That's better than the CNET article I found. Updated to use yours, thanks. TheAnvil (talk) 17:52, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Not necessarily true

This sounds like good advice if you have a flagship phone with boatloads of RAM, but those of us that have to save money by having a midrange or budget phone absolutely can not leave everything running and using RAM when not in use. On my Nexus 5X (2GB) if I don't close absolutely everything other than what I am actively using the phone will run too slow to be useful, and some apps will even crash. Especially true with Google Maps which just dominates resources. 172.69.69.52 17:57, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

I don't know how Android works, but on iOS, if low on memory, the system will automatically purge background apps to free up RAM. 172.68.174.82 19:10, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

I too have a low end android phone (v4.1.2), and I can tell you that it doesn't automatically close apps when it runs out of memory. I can have my foreground app crash (while seeing the IOU memory message) and the background apps are still open. It drives me mad when people claim that the memory management is perfect, and cannot be improved by human management. The user has special knowledge that the OS doesn't. I.E. I am done with a certain app, and won't be using it for a while. 162.158.79.119 19:39, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

My experience shows that an Android phone indeed tries to conserve memory, but is rather stupid about it. E.g. if I have a couple of tabs open in Chrome, this usually means I'm actually switching between them. Yet, even though I'm in Chrome at the moment, when memory runs out it will not kill unused apps - no, it will look for room in the cache, meaning that the tabs will reload at every switch. More bandwith usage when not on WiFi. Slower browsing. Losing state for script-driven sites, start again. Dynamic content reloaded, that random article link that looked interesting - good luck finding it again... And so on. Killing apps really makes room for more tabs. So, the advice from first panel looked just weird at first sight - what does battery life have to do with that? I kill unused apps all the time and never even considered whether it would have any effect on battery. Logical fallacy: assume the reason for some action and criticize that. Surprizing on Randall's part. --141.101.77.212 20:59, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

It sounds like you're assuming Randall is making this statement out of his own belief in it, which I don't believe is the case at all; he's just using it as a comic device. Besides, you're all falling for his nerd-sniping trap! Stop while you still can! Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 21:18, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
This drives me crazy too; The sheer number of apps which launch upon system startup is idiotic. Every app wants to open quickly, so they preload as much as possible, even when I haven't used them & have no intention to. The phenomena of tabs getting cleared from the cache is particularly loathsome. One might as well just not have tabs at all & only show a series of History links, if several pages can't be kept open at once. I frequently open secondary tabs to locate & cite references for a comment in an existing tab, only to have the comment page reload when I return to insert the relevant link into my comment. Note to Android developers: Don't clear downloaded data out of the cache if there's any local data you could clear instead. ProphetZarquon (talk) 15:04, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
Never believe the Android developing team. Background apps can kill your battery like crazy, specially spyware apps like Chrome which are constantly "synchronizing".
Wear leveling

Do android systems cache/swap memory to the eMMC? If so, these background apps could cause (perhaps trivial) extra wear cycles on my finite, non removable storage.Cutech (talk) 07:46, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Meaning of "<marquee>" banner

It may be that the "<marquee>" banner is not a blank template but rather a reference to the obsolete HTML tag (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTML/Element/marquee).

  • You're absolutely right, except that "deprecated" is only half the story: it was never a W3C-compliant tag to start with (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquee_element). And, given the nature of plane-pulled banners, it's also very obviously a reference to the similarity of behavior. Plus, it also meshes with the title-text, since that also delves into HTML both by talking about the Div tag and by the fact that the plane-pulled marquee tag is also un-closed. 108.162.238.95 16:58, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
Comic is about compulsive messaging, not battery usage specifically?

Per the edit performed by 172.68.58.11, I don't believe this comic is specifically about background apps or airplane banners. As that added content in the explanation points out, this comic seems to be a commemtary on typical exchanges in forum discussions across the web on a variety of topics. It makes me wonder if Randall has recently come across a similar exchange himself and is making jabs at the absurd posts that are so common in that type of environment. It seems the title of the comic is not directly related to its primary focus, which IMHO is not uncommon for Randall! (Warning: Randall may be nerd-sniping us in this case, maybe seeing if he can start a similar exchange within our discussion!)

On a separate topic, aren't we supposed to avoid adding section headers within the discussion comments because they somehow mess with automated page layout templates? Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 19:25, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Agreed and have removed and made bold headers in stead. --Kynde (talk) 22:27, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
nontrivial resources

"but there are non-trivial resources involved in the global distribution of electronic communication" ... well, technically, yes. Except that unlike the planes, those resources are optimized for high capacity; your forum post would "consume" very little of those resources, if anything at all, as most devices involved will consume same amount of electricity when turned on no matter how much communication they exchange. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:11, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Banner prices

Looks like these banners cost on the order of $500/hour (e.g. http://www.flyskyads.com/what-it-costs/). --172.68.54.112 02:40, 11 March 2018 (UTC)


Randall is even wrong here. While in THEORY a background application does not consume any power, there are so many exceptions that for an average users it can be hard to know if one of your running applications is one of those with an exception that continues to use a lot of battery (exceptions include things that can send notifications, anything with background audio and things using location services).162.158.202.88 09:12, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

You're missing the point. The joke here is the fact that he (along with other people) is renting extremely expensive banners for a trivial reason. Also, you misspelled Randall"s name, I've edited that for you. Herobrine (talk) 13:00, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

"Participants in online discussions sometimes become so focused on pointing out the perceived mistakes of others that they neglect good online practices and their computers crash." -But like... not really. You could be as obsessed with arguing on a forum as you want, and lack all kinds of 'good practice' online, and you'd still need a Sunday morning cartoon-esque level of coincidence for your keyboard warrioring to result in your computer crashing. We're really struggling for a 'crash' pun here I think. 162.158.142.28 13:29, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Improbability of actually doing this

All the planes would have to be flying in nearby airspace, towing LED or LCD banners. There would also have to be individual observers, either on each plane or on the ground, ready to change the messages in real time. You would need a bunch of clairvoyants with very large lead times if you planned to do this if the planes towed traditional pre-printed or pre-assembled banners. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 04:15, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

I mostly close background apps because I want to have an overview of the recent apps. Sometimes I use three or more at a time, I don't want to scroll past others for that. Also, I sometimes use the empty space above to go to the home screen. Also, my phone is extremely eager to close background apps (including the music player or Chrome while I'm selecting a file to attach on a website), so it would be closed anyway. Fabian42 (talk) 09:47, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

I expect few people close background apps to conserve battery. I feel like most people would do it for the same reason as I do: Freeing up system resources (memory and processing power). Secondly, the "cheaper to leave open" argument (whether about battery or resources) is flawed, and the people who use this argument never seem to spot it: It depends how LONG. If I re-open the app in 2 minutes, sure, then I should have left it open. If I don't touch it for 24 hours, then sorry, closing it was the more efficient solution. The "leaving it open" cost is ONGOING. It keeps costing, while reopening the app costs once, the same cost no matter how long - in theory, anyway, depending on how sloppy the device is about said closure. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:42, 30 March 2018 (UTC)


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