In late May, a John Gruber blog post on Daring Fireball titled, Tynt, the Copy/Paste Jerks, finally explained to me why pasting headlines into the spreadsheet of stories I want to talk about on Buzz Out Loud each morning had become a pain in the neck. Tynt makes a utility that lets publishers modify what's put onto a computer's clipboard when the user performs a copy action, breaking usual computer behavior and upending user expectations.
As an example of how Tynt "breaks" copy and paste, go to Wired.com and copy headline text from the site, for example, "Deep-Sea Vent Discovery Sets Hydrothermal Life's New Depth Record," what you'll get when you paste it is instead, this:
It's the extra two lines, a blank line and the "Read More" text, that annoys users like me who are trying to fill out spreadsheets or forms with headlines, and who want the source links elsewhere (off to the side, in my case). I know it sounds like a minor complaint, but as Gruber points out, "It's a bunch of user-hostile SEO BS...Everyone knows how copy and paste works. You select text. You copy. When you paste, what you get is exactly what you selected. The core product of the "copy/paste company" is a service that breaks copy and paste."
I agreed, and I put up a Twitter rant myself: "How to screw up cut-and-paste: http://bit.ly/cC34ok Daring Fireball on Tynt. Bonus: How to disable it."
My retweet of Gruber's post lead to a call from the Tynt marketing team, a meeting, and the eventual realization that the people at Tynt are not jerks, that they haven't broken the Internet, and that, in fact, they're sitting on a killer business model.
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