Archive for Technology

Facebook Privacy and All The Hoopla

// May 18th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Technology

It seems that Facebook has created mass hysteria with it’s ever changing privacy policies. Granted Facebook’s privacy policy is longer than the United States Constitution… and that’s without all the amendments. Pretty long @ 5,800+ words, eh?

Many groups are starting pledges to help users quit Facebook. The two most popular have about a 1,000-2,500 members. Even if these groups grow to 5,000 ‘strong‘ that wouldn’t even be .01% of the 400,000,000 current Facebook users.

Well, I don’t want to quit Facebook but I also want to control my privacy. Wait, you can’t do that! Yes, you can. This NY Times article graphic maps out the 50 different settings with over 170 options… it’s meant to overwhelm and complain about the privacy settings. It’s one of those situations where Facebook can’t win. With too few options we can’t control everything. With too many options we get to control (almost) everything but it’s too confusing. I like all the options.

What do I do? First off check out reclaimprivacy.org – they have a great app that once you login to Facebook it will tell you how your privacy settings are set. It let’s you know what you are or are not sharing. What’s the best privacy settings? It will vary by user. For me- I prefer it all to be private and for only my friends (my Facebook friends) to be able to partcipate in my Facebook life.

ReclaimPrivacy.org scans the following settings:

  • Instant Personalization Feature:  For me, this was the main privacy setting I wanted turned ON, meaning block it all.  This feature can feed your information to other sites so that it can better match up your likes and dislikes.  Sounds interesting now with three ‘trusted’ beta sites but what about when it’s opened up to developers?  Just about any site will be able to pull your data-  yes, hackers, id theft punks, scammers, spammers and the such.
  • Personal Information: This one is up to you.  I don’t mind my friends having my information.  My Friends.  Not the rest of the internet.  This section will let you adjust how your personal information is shared.
  • Contact Information: Just like above.  it’s up to you who you want to see your contact information.  Mine, again, is set to Friends Only.
  • Friends, Tags and Connections:  I respect my friends so I don’t let others outside of my network see my friends even when I tag them or how I’m connected to them.  Again, it’s up to you… to a point.  See the next option.
  • Friends Sharing: This lets you decide what your friends can share about you on their Facebook pages.  Sometimes they may ‘accidentally’ share your information…  at least you get to pull back on those strings.
  • Applications: Many applications pull and share your data as well.  This will let you know what applications are allowed to share and not share.  I do not let any applications pull or share my data.  Applications aren’t my true friends.  :)

There is no need to quit Facebook.  We all just have to stay informed and know our options.  This won’t be the last time Facebook changes their privacy policies.  Go ahead and give reclaimprivacy.org a try and I’ll see you on Facebook… maybe, if you aren’t blocking me.

Waiting for iPad 3G? Don’t Wait There’s A Better Option!

// April 6th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Technology

So I’ve been asked multiple times why I didn’t wait for the 3G version of the iPad. Simple answer. AT&T.

AT&T 3G coverage is horrible, spotty and unpredictable in many areas. Think the map on the Verizon commercial is joking? It’s not.

Many folks have wireless devices… I have a laptop, an iphone and now an iPad. I need a wireless option for all of them (not really the iphone, but for complete 3G coverage- I do!).

So let me give you a solution. A solution for all your wireless devices. These mobile broadband devices allow you to connect up to five devices and share the connection. Verizon and Sprint each have an option. The Verizon option has great coverage and speeds. The Sprint version has great coverage (for my area) but will be launching 4G in more locations throughout the year. Sprint’s 4G network was tested in Austin recently by Wired and the speeds lived up to the hype. Read Wired’s review here.

Here’s a link to the Verizon MiFi piece on Amazon: http://bit.ly/9Xco4p

Here’s a link to the Sprint Overdrive 3G/4G on Amazon: http://bit.ly/9MhS01

So when this thing is in my hands I can cancel my $30 AT&T Data plan and spend that money with either of these two but have 3G coverage for my laptop, iphone & iPad.

See, I told you I had a reason for not waiting. Truthfully I believe most people would go this route if they only knew.

Hope this helps those who are waiting on the 3G iPad… don’t waste the extra money for it! :-)

iPad : Worth It?

// April 5th, 2010 // Comments Off // Technology

As I sit here on my new iPad I’ve read tons of posts and questions wondering if the iPad is all they are making it out to be.

My simple answer is yes. I love it. This is my first post with the WordPress app and I’m amazed at the ability of this ‘magical’ toy. I’ve spent the first two days looking and downloading apps. My favorite so far? This one, the WordPress app. Maybe I’ll blog more now!

The ‘Pages’ app and it’s ability to create text documents both in Word and PDF format will be used a ton while traveling. The NPR app is pretty amazing as well, all my favorite music shows are right at my fingertips.

Oh! Definitely can’t forget the Netflix app. Yes, I can stream movies and TV show right from my iPad!!!

Needless to say I think Apple has done it again. They’ve created a game changer. While this may be a little slower to catch on I strongly believe the ‘need’ will grow. I know many doubt it, but hey… Get your hands on one of these and you’ll see what I

WordPress Snow Is Annoying

// December 17th, 2009 // Comments Off // Technology

Snow FlakeNot really. I love it. It’s one of my favorite plugins ever. It’s a freebie too… if you are using WordPress and want a great plugin for your site during this awesome time of year. You can download it here-

Let It Snow Plugin

Merry Christmas All!

The Curse Of Experts

// October 8th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // life, Technology

The curse of experts is overconfidence. They think they know more than they really do. – Malcolm Gladwell

curseexpertsThis morning Michael Hyatt quoted this guy.  I don’t have any idea who -just realized who Malcolm Gladwell is, he wrote this most excellent book– The Tipping Point. No matter, he nailed this point.  There are so many “experts” online today and it blows me away when you actually talk to some and they don’t have a clue.  It’s easy to copy and paste and it’s even easier to retweet the positive things people say (as well as retweet the positive things people say about you).

Know your limitations… they don’t make you weak.  They make you stronger.  Build your network so that you have access to knowledge and more knowledge but don’t assume you know everything your “friends” know.

I don’t suppose this quote would do well in a poster format… I mean, who would be happy receiving this for their wall!

(don’t wait for the movie.)

Yup. Twitter is down… the world is at a stand still.

// October 8th, 2009 // Comments Off // Technology

twitter timelineTwitter might be talking to Google and Microsoft about multi-million dollar search deals, but apparently, someone forgot to start the engines on the service this morning.

Many user’s timelines haven’t updated in nearly an hour, and on my account, all of my followers and people I’m following are missing. Yikes!

Somewhat ironically, Twitter (Twitter

) search still appears to be working in near real-time, so you can see other users complaining about their timelines not updating.

No word yet from Twitter on what’s up, but we’ll update when we know more. Are you experiencing the Twitter time freeze? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto (iStockphoto

Posted via web from This Is Pro-Posterous!

Lego Animation : Looking Through The History Of NES

// August 24th, 2009 // Comments Off // Technology

Yes, I was a NES kid. Loved it. Very impressive Lego animation looking back on the NES.

Think Social Media Is A Fad?

// August 15th, 2009 // Comments Off // Technology

The stats presented in this video are amazing and will blow your mind. The medium in which we socialize and connect continues to evolve at record speed.

I think most won’t doubt the growth and/or use but seeing these stats remind us that the times are (have) changing.

Supporting stats found here.

My Twitter Suspension; Can We Depend On Twitter?

// July 4th, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Technology

suspendedsucksThe answer currently is… no.

Let me be the first to say that I’m a fan of Twitter.  Twitter has revolutionized the way we communicate and connect with others.  It’s an amazing tool.  However, I discovered a pretty big snag last week with Twitter, one that made me look silly for depending on a free communication tool.

Let me also say that I’m not bashing Twitter, I’m simply offering some constructive criticism to help Twitter become that dependable and even “critical” application.  Enough build up… Here are the details.

On Wed, June 23rd I wrapped up my day with a simple Tweet about the day being long or something along those lines.  The next morning I grabbed my phone to see what was happening in Twitter world.  Uh, oh.  It wouldn’t take my password.  I panicked and immediately thought my account had been hacked.  Crap.  I tried to get a password reset and that process worked but when I saw my actual account on Twitter.com it said the account had been suspended.  Not only did I think my account had been hacked but it had been hacked and someone used it to spam the Twitterati. Great I’m suspended.  Hasn’t happened since high school.

No worries.  I would email Twitter support and get this taken care of immediately.  After all, I’ve been using Twitter over a year, have a pretty healthy group of friends (followers sounds so cultish!) and was very vocal against spam and all the crappy auto direct messaging that has been going on.  Easy fix, so I thought.

I went to the help desk and submitted a request.  I was given this <a href=”http://twitter.zendesk.com/forums/26257/entries/15790″ target=”_blank”>link</a> and continued to read that my account could be held for 30 days for “research”.  30 days?  Not me, I use Twitter to communicate with clients and to stay on top of the happenings in my area of work!  I NEED Twitter.  This is where the problem comes in.  I needed Twitter.  I had just successfully landed a new client and was a Twitter evangelist only for them to see that I was actually a suspended evangelist.  Talk about looking silly.

Here’s where the kicker comes in.  I have never been told exactly why my account was suspended.  I was sent an automated response saying it could be one of many things.  After reading the list I’ve determined that my account was suspended because my personal blog site had been hacked.  My blog.  Not Twitter, my blog. After connecting some dots I’m pretty sure that when my blog was hacked the hacker put a piece of code on my site that linked to malware/spyware.  Twitter saw this link in my bio and thought I was distributing the malware/spyware.  Technically they were right, but I had no clue this was going on.  Thankfully it was brought to my attention and cleared up quickly.  Google had put notice on my site that is was a malware site, however I contacted and updated them and was taken off that list in less than 24 hours.

While I’m happy that Twitter is watching out for this sort of thing and keeping us all clear from the crap that floats the internet, that is NOT why I think they are not dependable.  My problem was the communication and the customer service. This is what I had to figure out on my own.

  • Account suspended
  • No notice of account suspension except red box on twitter.com (I use Seesmic and don’t go to Twitter.com so it makes it tough to see that)
  • No explanation of suspension
  • Request from help offered no information immediately
  • 30 day estimated resolve time

Again, I’m glad that Twitter is taking the time to protect us from the crap that is floating the web on some sites.  I believe there is a better way to handle these issues and the contact from customer support. Some simple ideas to help Twitter out:

  • Send email to address on file notifying of suspension
  • Give exact reason of suspension
  • Suggest ways to correct/fix the issue
  • Automate the research process- It’s easy to read and see if a user is a participating asset to the Twitter community
  • Setup @helpusers to assist suspended/questionable accounts
  • Don’t put up that it takes 30 days to “research”.  That sends users into an immediate panic.
  • Create an automated process that users can use to “protest” their suspension.  With my problem I could have easily taken off the link to my blog,  submitted a ticket to re-check my account and been back up and running in minutes.
  • Listen to other users in the community.  I had multiple friends contact the Twitter help users on Twitter to see how to get help with no response.

These aren’t the answers to all of Twitter’s customer support problems but this is a start for some one who depends on and uses Twitter daily.  And just for the record my account was offline for 7 days not 30.

As Twitter moves into being a critical app for business I hope they will take the time to realize that most users are legit and want to be a part of their community.