Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’


What Facebook Messenger Really Is

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014


Facebook messenger has been installed, then uninstalled, twice now. It is dispensable.

Facebook has removed message (email) functionality from its smartphone app. To regain that ability you must install a separate Facebook Messenger app. Its purpose is to elevate
Facebook messages to the level of phone calls, email and texts. No.

There is no way to lessen its grip on your phone. Some annoyances can be turned off, but only for a limited period.

They know how we’re reacting. They know what we’re saying. They can gauge how much we’ll take passively. This is all measured.

In 2014, this is what a price increase looks like. They do charge to use the service. We pay by entrusting our most personal thoughts to them. Now they want more.

The unspoken bargain is they never use it to hurt us… but who knows?

Facebook Goes After Click-bating

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Whoa! Facebook is taking a positive step, or so it seems. They’re trying to diminish the influence of “click-baiting.”

I’ll let Facebook explain.

“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

You know the ones. Any head which includes, “You won’t believe,” “Unbelievable,” “Caught on camera,” or “The most…” gets on the list.

The trailblazer here was probably the Facebook scam with a suggestive photo and “You won’t believe what her father did after…”

Buzzfeed does this a lot. “21 Questions All Insanely Hot People Are Tired Of Answering.” Like I need them to tell me!

The first problem with click-bait is it’s unsatisfying to the person who clicks. That’s you!

Second, bad hyped content drives good content out. Is TLC still The Learning Channel? Does MTV play music? Did Larry the Cable Guy host a show on the History Channel? Schlock sells.

Google’s search algorithm changes have helped limit the reach of spammy content farms. Maybe Facebook’s change will seal-the-deal?

Your Privacy And The Free Internet

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

facebook-logoThis started as a comment on Facebook. I was asked about the new Facebook messenger. It’s been installed twice on my phone, uninstalled once, probably coming out again. Too invasive. Tentacles… Too… Tight…

We live in amazing times. The power of the world is at our fingertips. You have access to more information from more sources than any human before you. And the price of admission is cheap.

Google has never sent you a bill. Facebook doesn’t charge. Neither do Twitter, Instagram or Reddit.

All these companies and many more make their living selling access to you. The ads you see online are usually targeted. The better they define you, the more they charge.

If you aren’t paying, you’re not the customer, you’re the product. That is more true today than ever.

All these companies store vast tidbits of your life, connecting things you might not see as important. Using Boolean algebra (and other techniques too dweeby for me) data mining companies find markers that link similar persons. No piece is too small. Everything is evaluated. The details of your life have been graded and sorted. You have been objectified.

Google and others know your real friends, your passwords, the pet names spouses call each other, what you buy and where, even your taste in porn. Their computers have no trouble identifying my face in photos.

We all spend the day dropping breadcrumbs.

The power of these systems is you’re never an individual to them–but is that good for you? Don’t you see yourself as individual? We are already pushed into cubbyholes without a say in the process.

What do you or don’t you get in life because their incorrect classification is within an anticipated margin of error! A job? Better loan rate? Who knows?

Data miners live with little regulation. Their power is too strong to not politely police. At the very least we should be able to check what they know about us, the inferences drawn and to whom our data’s been sold.

Right now we’re entitled to nothing.

Facebook And Birthdays

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Because of Facebook I’ve heard from lots of friends and viewers in Connecticut. Facebook’s great reminding you of upcoming events. It fails pretty badly when it comes to managing that influx!

4  Geoff Fox

Let me back up for a moment. Most people assume their friends stream by on the Facebook timeline. Yes… but!

I stopped using my “Fox on Fox” page because Facebook was only showing my posts to 5-10% of the people who liked me. Some meteorologists and TV stations who steered viewers to Facebook pages now find Watches and Warnings are poorly distributed.

facebook-logoFacebook assigns values to your friendships. If Facebook thinks two people really don’t engage it lowers the frequency they see each other. Overall, it probably works fine. That doesn’t mean it’s great every time. And, since the users are not Facebook’s real customers (advertisers are), our problems aren’t that important.

For my birthday I’ve gotten hundreds of greetings. Counting private messages, wall posts and folks who weren’t allowed to post (Facebook rules), but wished me Happy Birthday in a reply to something else, the total will be north of 500 and south of 1,000 by Sunday. I want to acknowledge each one.

If you think they’d be displayed on my wall one-after-another you’d be wrong. Only the last half dozen or so appear. Beyond that you have to navigate to a page of links. Then you open a page for each in order to reply. Finally, you navigate back to the page of links.

It takes three times longer than it should!

So, I’m working on it. It might take a while. Worth it. I am very appreciative of each one of you who has taken the time to write.

I miss you too.

The Santa Ana’s Have Arrived

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014


Hot day. Hot night. We officially hit 97&#176 at John Wayne. The Santa Ana’s were blowing. They are dry winds–katabatic winds. Katabatic winds warm as they sink from higher elevations.

Other areas get winds like this, the Chinook east of the Rockies for instance, but SoCal has the largest concentration of affected residents.

The dew point stayed in the teens all day with the relative humidity hovering near 5%. Someone posted a photo on Facebook reminding everyone nosebleed season is here!

We didn’t run the a/c. I was very tempted. Maybe tomorrow.

This room, my office, catches afternoon sun. It holds heat longest. The overhead fan is silently spinning. Fans make a big difference, especially here where evaporation needs little prodding.

As moisture on your skin evaporates you feel cooler. In humid climates where evaporation takes place more slowly the same temperature leaves you feeling warmer!

Today’s heat index was actually 5-6&#176 cooler than the air temperature. On the East Coast that’s unheard of.

Santa Ana’s also raise the fire danger.

There are a few more days of this weather coming. Trust me, I’m not complaining.

How Facebook And Twitter Differ For Me

Friday, March 14th, 2014

twitter logoI use Twitter and Facebook differently. Facebook has conversations. Twitter is more a shout into the darkness.

I follow interesting people on Twitter. Some are funny. Some are profane. A few are silly.

Each describes himself in a self written mini bio.

Former shoe salesman now making a go at film and theater. Wish me luck…

Comedian, talk show host and ice road trucker. My tweets are real, and they’re spectacular.

Mr. Oswalt is a former wedding deejay from Northern Virginia.

Legend, Hat aficionado, Lady who Lunched

I like long walks on the beach…and then to be dragged through the sand by an off-road vehicle, and then hurled off a catapult.


Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…

comedic person of some notoriety

Professional Pretender

Not all of them are active tweeters. I just like them in my eclectic mix. Clever people. The world in 140 characters.

Breaking news shows up on Twitter faster than any other source. That’s correct whether the rumor is true or false!

The response I get on Facebook dwarfs what I get from Twitter. Still learning.

Facebook’s Birthday Fail

Sunday, July 28th, 2013


Facebook says I got 633 birthday greetings Friday. The problem was I didn’t see 633. That was troubling.

The way it seems to work is, Facebook only lets three or four similar posts sit on your wall at any given time. Once you’ve looked at them new posts will come through, but again only three of four.

What about the posts that come in-between? Under normal circumstances they’re hidden! Worse still, Facebook never mentions this (or it does it’s in the most obscure way).

I knew something was up when I looked at timestamps. Posts were clustered close together, then large gaps. How could three people send birthday notes over five minutes, then nothing for hours?

A little Google sleuthing revealed the trick to finding them all, but what a pain! Don’t ask me how I did it, because I don’t think I can replicate the steps!

Once the magic was unlocked, I went back and read (and “Liked”) each and every one.

Without Facebook I wouldn’t have gotten 633 greetings. That part is good. But it’s obviously a two edged sword.

Why I Still Write A Blog

Monday, November 5th, 2012

I just posted an entry with six fall photos. If I would have put them on Facebook more people would have seen them. It wasn’t that way when I began.

My blog started 7/4/03. There was no Facebook. Social media was hatching, but slowly.

Few think about blogging anymore.

The problem with Facebook and the advantage of this blog is my ability to search and recover. All 5,638 (including this one) blog posts are known to Google.

Many times someone will ask a question and I’ll remember I wrote about it and send a link. That’s tough to do on Facebook.

Yes, Facebook has a timeline and you can go back, but it’s cumbersome to use.

Is everything Facebook has really accessible? Is there the ability to search old entries by text? I don’t see it.

So, I continue to post in my blog and hope to attract readers as best I can. Times have changed.

Those Facebook Notifications

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

My Facebook friends run the gamut from tech savvy to “Where’s the ‘Any’ key?” Some should probably have their clicking privileges revoked! Another story for another day.

With a gazillion Facebook friends I see every annoyance and problem possible! I see my friends complain about them every day.

Really people??! I do not want any requests for games and all this crap! Please respect my wish and back off! Not intersted!

One of my Facebook friends posted that last night. It sucks, but that’s how Facebook makes a living. There is some good news.

After one spammy message, you can turn it off!

When you get notification move your mouse cursor to the upper right corner of the message. Mysteriously an “X” will appear.

Click it!

You’ll be asked to verify you want to stop this specific app from emailing you. “Yes.” Done!

Each app will require separate permission. There are many similarly named apps. In the beginning you’ll think you’re not making headway. You are.

You’ll never be fully rid of them. The pace can be slowed.

You’re welcome.

Facebook’s Email Land Grab

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Most people misunderstand our place within the business of Facebook. If Facebook was a restaurant selling chicken dinners we would be the chicken! Facebook’s real customers are advertisers. We’re the product.

It’s no surprise Facebook’s recent email change wasn’t implemented to make your life better. Facebook’s goal is to make Facebook more ubiquitous… more deeply a part of your life. Anything they can do to become indispensable is literally and figuratively money in the bank.

If you haven’t heard, Facebook has replaced your publicly viewable email address(es) with your Facebook wants you to use Facebook as your email provider.

I don’t want to use Facebook for my email. I like the unified mailbox I’ve set up through Google. As I’ve recently found, having all my email in one easily searched place is very powerful (more powerful and useful than I can explain right now).

Even Facebook understands this really isn’t a good idea for their users. After all, they will continue to contact you via the email address you originally provided them.

In the past I have found email addresses for people I want to reach through their Faceook “About” page. That will now be much more hit and miss.

Here’s PC Magazine’s guide to your switching your viewable address back

Go to your Facebook Timeline or page (get there by clicking on your name at the top left).

Click About. It’s on the left side beneath your profile picture and short information about you.

Look for Contact Info, and select Edit. Next to each of your email addresses are two settings: a) The first one controls who can see each email address: public, friends, only you, or some customized setting, which can include special groups of friends, if you’ve created any. b) The second setting controls whether the email address appears on your Timeline.

Will Facebook relent? If they don’t in the next 72 hours my guess is, no.