Pwned By Facebook

Sun, 2008-01-06 18:52

Let's just get one thing straight. When you sign up for Facebook, you agree to hand them the ownership of anything you add to their website. Actually I am not sure that a case of Facebook claiming to own your name and birthday would hold up in court, but their ownership stops very close to that point. A very recent Wired article describes the new Social Ads to be possibly an illegal practice. IANAL and even more to the point I can't afford to hire one, so my strategy will have to be not to share anything I value.

I am really not against Facebook at all. It does not add much value to my life and I rarely visit. I do hope people become more careful about where they put their stuffs. I also hope that people do not get turned off to social networks altogether. After all, I am building a social site that will be much better than Facebook and will allow you to own your own stuff.

I do want to point out that the policy of this particular blog more closely mirrors the one at Facebook. Join this blog and all your stuffs are belong to me.

Should I have pointed that out earlier?

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Keeping An Eye On Data Portability

Fri, 2008-01-04 13:50

Looks like this week's big news across the Blogosphere is about Scobelizer getting himself banned from Facebook. I don't really have much of an opinion about that right now, except to say that everybody knew Facebook was a walled garden going in. I have not wasted much time on Facebook anyway, Twitter and IconBuffet waste all of my free time anyway.

What I would like to comment on is the apparent hypocrisy of Facebook, as explained in this post from Paul Buchheit. I have experienced some issues with data portability recently. It is one of those things that is cool and creepy at the same time.

I did try out the find friends feature on Facebook. Lucky for me the concept of handing out my Gmail password to another website was enough to put me on guard. I did change my Gmail password immediately. Facebook does state "We won't store your login or password or email anyone without your permission." I did not trust that too much given the way Facebook works. Who knows if I have already given them that permission?

I immediately regretted my decision. I did find one friend out of my hundreds of contacts. The horrifying thing was that FB was all too eager to send an invitation to everyone I had ever sent an email to. Business contacts and everything. It was way too much work to keep this from happening.

Just to prove that I am a slow learner, I did the exact same thing when I was playing with my new VOIP program. I don't really remember if Gizmo tried to spam everybody in my address book or not, but what it did do was log me out of my other chat program and transfer my chats over to it's own interface. It is possible that it would have been a Good Thing, but I was not ready at that time to make that move. Took a dig through their forums to set things right.

I am not against data portability at all, but at the moment it is all too easy for me to alert people such as the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspector that I just purchased T-Rex's "Bang The Gong" from Looks like I need to pay attention here.

BTW I think I do like the Gizmo VOIP program despite the chat hijacking. It might be even more fun if somebody I knew had it. I am not quite ready to post the number here, but maybe someday I will. In the meantime, you can contact me about it if you like.

Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I make you happy

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A Nod To The Fine Arts

Mon, 2007-12-31 12:24

Taking the day off to bring you the finest piece of filmwork ever. Have fun.

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I Am Too Cool For School

Sun, 2007-12-30 15:46

This is an example of an incorrect error message:

facebook screenshot

The full text, for those of you not using widescreens, is:
Sorry, we're not cool enough to support your browser. Please keep it real with one of the following browsers:

It is interesting that they listed some pretty cool browsers and no uncool ones, but in the next screenshot you can tell that I have a completely different problem:

facebook screenshot

Yep, that's Firefox. Sure, it renames itself randomly every day, but that's not what they are whining about. I am pretty sure it would all work if I enabled JavaScript.

Interested geeky types may want to click through to a screenshot of my dual monitor setup. The top screen is my secondary monitor showing the new killer app Prism. It is basically a browser that is tied to a single website. There are lots of reasons why this would be useful, one being that it may relieve some of the security concerns surrounding Facebook.

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I Can't Keep My Mouth Shut

Sun, 2007-12-30 00:48

OK, so I was working in a restaurant a few years back. Ok, quite a few. I was running the cash register and was more or less in charge. I happened to see a customer cross the floor with a plate, headed for the waitress. This really looked like management should be involved, so I started over and intercepted the customer just as she caught the waitress.

Turns out there were bugs in the food. Teeny tiny bugs. Now, you can say anything you want about this particular restaurant, but the place was clean. Really, really, really clean. I don't know how the bugs got in there. I took the plate and instructed the waitress to find out if there was anything else she could get the customer.

I took the plate back in the kitchen. The owner was trying to leave. I followed her around the kitchen trying to get her attention. She ignored me. Finally I stood still and cried "It's got bugs!"

The owner looked at the plate, and told me they were piss ants. She told me to tell the xxx cook to keep the xxx piss ants out of the xxx food. I turned right around, looked at the cook, and said "Can you keep the xxx piss ants out of the xxx food?" He says yes.

I also got permission to give the customer her meal for free.

The lady came up to pay. The original item she had ordered was pigs in a blanket. I did not even know that we had pigs in a blanket on the menu. I was immediately caught up in a dilemma.

Do I say it? You know I gotta.

"Ma'am, I am ever so sorry. That is a new menu item, and we ain't quite got the bugs worked out yet."

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Editorial Reply by Francis Pharcellus Church - 1897

Mon, 2007-12-24 16:45

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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