Archive for March, 2009

18 Random Things That Stink About Facebook.

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

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As the world continues the Facebook love fest… I thought I’d explore the other side of things… those things that get under your skin about Facebook… not necessarily something wrong with Facebook itself… but rather in how people choose to use it…

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And as there’s a lot of ways to experience Facebook beyond the way I do… I thought I’d leave some room for everyone else to add to my list… I’ve seeded you with the first 15… read ’em, and if you have one that I haven’t covered… post it to the comments… I’ll grab the best ones and add ’em to the list.

The disclaimer here is that much of the following is written with tongue-in-cheek (I’m laying it on thick with the wise-crackin’)… so keep the hate mail to a minimum… especially if you find yourself falling under more than a couple of the following categories…

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1 > It’s called Facebook. So why use an underexposed, poorly focused picture taken from across the room of you with 4 of your BFF’s? In this age of a free digital camera when you open a new checking account, is it really that hard to produce a decent picture of yourself? If someone searches for you, they need to have a reasonable chance of recognizing you from the photo you’ve posted… That’s the point right? Maybe it’s just me…

2 > And continuing that theme… posting a picture of something “not” your face… although sometimes funny and perhaps descriptive of your existence in some meaningful way… is still NOT your face… and to the next person who thinks how clever the ubiquitous Che Guevara icon would be for their picture… know that you’re about the 2 millionth person to have this thought… There should be a Facebook Group of Che’s…

3 > Virtual swag… flowers, chocolate boxes, easter eggs… what good is this stuff going to do me in tough economic times? Feel free to use that donation button though… My PayPal creds are available upon request.

4 > Those of you who are linking your Twitter feeds to your Facebook status updates… perhaps the original ‘tweet’ is serviceable… but then your replies to friends who comment on your tweet (which also post to your Facebook status) are just clogging up my news feed. Consider yourself a ‘see less of this person’

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5 > Parents that set up a Facebook account just so they can see what their kids are doing… sounds noble… but I’m connected to some of your kids and can tell you with very little hesitation that you don’t want to see what they’re up to… Now I’m talking about college-aged kids here and I need you to just take my word for it on this one…

6 > Don’t “Rank” your friends… nothing good can come of this.

7 > Those that make their home address a part of their profile… believe it or not it’s a much scarier world outside your quaint suburban enclave… and they all have the internet too. Posting pictures of your adorable 5 and 7 year old’s right next to your home address is a recipe for disaster dont’cha think?

8 > Publicizing the ends of relationships… all that will do is open the flood gates for condolences posted to your wall… these are as public as if someone spray-painted them onto your actual wall. A quiet, simple change to your relationship status is all that is necessary.

9 > Write a small ‘personal message’ when making a friend request… how hard is that? If I haven’t seen you in 25 years and your maiden name has vanished… maybe I need a little jog of the memory to remember we were tight in Freshman year homeroom… plus, would you walk up to someone in a bar, nudge ’em and grunt “be my friend?” Conversation is a dying art… Facebook is still a community. Communicate like your Momma taught you.

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10 > If you de-friended me for 1/10th of a Whopper Sandwich… don’t be offended when I won’t take your dumb-ass back.

11 > If you’re on Facebook… never again complain about, or use the term “big brother” negatively… you’re likely more a part of the problem than the solution… but don’t worry about it… the world let that cat out of the bag quite some time ago….

12 > Those that post their phone numbers on their Facebook profiles… nothing good can come of this either… Believe me when I say that Facebook could care less about your privacy… post only your email address… and preferably not your primary email address… use an off-shore gmail or hotmail account that’s easily jettisoned if you ever get in too deep… that way, if someone needs to call you they can drop you an email for your cell number… seems like a reasonable filter in our mad, mad world.

13 > I agree that mobile updating is a pretty cool feature… but does the world really need to know that you’re stuck at an unusually long stop light? Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should

14 > And on the same topic of status updates… if communicating the minutae of your day is what interests you… “I sooo wish work/school was over…” Isn’t Twitter the more appropriate tool for that? At least then I’d only see it if I subscribed to it (you)… The Facebook What’s on your mind? should have a higher calling I think… share something of value to the community with a link or a picture… or at least offer an observation or write something cryptic or clever… it’s not possible all the time I know… but I’m also not interested in the fact that your kids have been bickering all day.

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15 > And in an ode to the title of this post… if something is making the rounds on Facebook that appears a bit narcissistic… it probably is… as my friend Patrick Crispen’s Dad taught him… if you don’t want to see it on the cover of the New York Times… don’t ever write it down… words to live by sho’nuff.

16 > From Badger > What’s that, friend? You’re throwing a party? Your band is playing a show? Here’s a thought…HOW ABOUT A PHONE CALL?!? Even an email would suffice… If you have an event you hope for me to attend, I recommend you make me aware in a manner more direct than bundling a FB invite in with myriad Lil’Green Patch requests that I already am bitter about having to constantly ignore.

17 > It sucks when you read a friends status update… think of a clever, witty comment… only to scroll down and realize that 7 other people have beat you to it.

18 > How about when you post a new status update or comment on one of your friends updates… you read it over once or twice before submitting… then you post it just to realize you misspelled a word or made a grammatical error.

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iPhone OS 3.0 Preview.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Town Crier IconOn March 17th, Apple unveiled details about iPhone OS 3.0 software and released the new iPhone Software Development Kit to developers. The presentation went down at the Apple Campus in Cupertino, CA. and was hosted by Greg Giles and Scott Forstall of Apple Computer. If you’d like to view the entire presentation, you can do so here in Quicktime format… be aware the entire preview is 90 minutes long… if you’re into the iPhone though, it’s cool to have running on your desktop while you’re doing other things.

Here’s a quick laundry list of the new features your iPhone will sport once the update hits.

Copy & Paste Text > This works across all applications… Double-tap over text and a ‘cut, copy or paste’ bubble appears… double-tap again and a ‘paste’ bubble will appear if you have anything on your clipboard. Expand selections with your thumbs… and if you inadvertantly paste something, shake the iPhone to undo it.

Copy & Paste Photos > You’ll be able to copy and paste pictures now as well. Select multiple photos by tapping the action button, copy some of them, and paste them in an email, ready to send.

Search Full Monty > Any Mac Spotlight fans out there? I don’t know how I ever existed before Spotlight… and much to my delight, it’s coming to iPhone with v.3.0 across all Apps that are native, in other words, created directly by Apple. This capability is included in the latest revision of the iPhone OS SDK as well, which means the makers of your favorite Apps now have what they need to make them Spotlight-ready… so stay tuned on those…

Also worth noting is that Mail, iCal and iTunes each have their own specific search interfaces… Mail does not yet support searching the content of your emails. What? Why not? But it does support searching on IMAP servers… which will really be handy for all you gMail users.

3G Tethering > This will allow you to connect your iPhone 3G to your laptop and use it as a modem… which is really a nice thing to be able to do if it ends up either free with your AT&T contract or extremely cheap… initially it might not work at all as it involves the carrier… but we’ll see.

Landscape Keyboard > Apple has added the larger landscape keyboard to more Apps including Mail, SMS Texting and Notes… a boon to all the sausage-fingers out there.

Multimedia Messaging (MMS) > I can’t see wanting this… it seems to miss the point of the medium… but you’ll now be able to attach images, sound and vCards to “text” messages… the jury is still out on video though.

Extended Calendar Support > You’ll now be able to subscribe to calendars on the web in both calDAV format which is used by Google and Yahoo as well as .ics format which is used by Apple’s iCal.

Improved “Stocks” Application > which now includes embedded links to related content on the web allowing you to witness your 401k tanking in much more vivid detail.

Stereo Bluetooth A2DP audio > You will now be able to pair your iPhone 3.0 with stereo Bluetooth A2DP devices like headphones or speakers.

Automatic Login with Safari. The new version of mobile Safari will remember login values for the sites you visit requiring them. Your iPhone will also now automatically login to wi-fi spots that you frequent, such as (outside) the local Starbucks, as well… And for the security-minded, your mobile Safari will also now warn against phishing or possibly malicious sites.

A New Native Voice Recording App > Although this feature is currently available via 3rd-party Apps… why not save yourself $6 if you haven’t already spent it (I did)… If you’re prone to forgetting all those brilliant thoughts you have throughout the day (I am), this little puppy becomes indispensable…

Beyond the scope of this post is all the improvements that have been made to the development kit given to developers as well as the features those improvements will enable… if you’re interested, follow the link I gave up top and watch the presentation by Apple…. cool stuff.

This update to iPhone OS 3.0 is going to be free to all current iPhone owners including 1st generation iPhones, although those original iPhones won’t benefit from any of the 3G enhancements. iPod Touch owners are going to be able to upgrade for $10 which has me scratching my head… why wouldn’t the upgrade be free for those folks as well? If anyone has the answer to the logic behind this… post to the comments.

Start salivating… it’s coming soon.

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