Tag: Facebook

Facebook capitulation

I had a profile on Facebook long ago, as in before applications showed up. Then I deleted it. And I had some problems with that as well.

I’ve been prodded way more than once to get back on, and teased incessantly once I did. This very morning. Heh…things change.

Call it capitulation, or something like that. Meanwhile, I can be found here: http://facebook.com/michael.e.gracie.

Stuff YOU might have missed if YOU have been fly fishing too much – 07/13/09

Technology

  • RSA’s Coviello: Cloud Computing Not Secure Enough [PC World] – Web 2.0 and widgets led to the cloud computing craze, so it’s no wonder security wasn’t part of the deal. Nonetheless, while RSA has a clear vested interest in pitching more secure web apps, I’m in complete agreement with Mr. Coviello. Only I don’t think RSA will be the sole innovator in the space.
  • Are You Helping Facebook Outrank You For Your Brand Name? [search engine land] – Get lots of attention over at a site you don’t control, and lose control of your brand in the process.
  • How to Ease Your Transition to Google Voice [LifeHacker] – The dial once, ring everywhere service formerly known as Grand Central is getting aggressive with invitations (even I got one), but I think Google really needs to add the ability to port numbers before it really takes off. PS: I heard Google is using the voicemail service to perfect it’s own text-to-speech services. Is that true?
  • Flickr adds direct-to-Twitter publishing [VentureBeat] – Now playing on Flickr, a way to automatically tweet your photos as you post them. This geek couldn’t figure out if the service would tweet all your photos or whether it could be done on a selective basis, but he couldn’t figure out how to link his Twitter account with his Flickr account either. Then he bailed on the idea altogether.
  • Finance

  • What’s North Dakota’s Secret? [Forbes] – North Dakota had twice the growth of the any other state in 2008, except Wyoming, which it still handily trounced. It presently has the lowest unemployment in the nation, and the 20th ranked GDP per capita. And a budget surplus. Huh?
  • U.S. Home Prices to Fall Through 2011’s First Quarter [Bloomberg] – Unemployment becomes the next leg in the foreclosure boom, and more than half of the major cities in the US are expected to see falling prices for the next two years.
  • The Rental Market Stinks Too [The Atlantic] – While some thought rising foreclosures would lead to rising rental prices as former homeowners mortgagees bailed, the opposite has happened in many places.
  • Mean Street: California IOUs and the Great American IOU Market [WSJ Deal Journal] – Banks won’t take them, and recipients have to eat. The SEC is coming to the rescue, declaring California’s funny money a municipal security and hoping a regulated market will arise for their trade. I wonder if anyone will be allowed to short them.
  • Fly Fishing

    Give yourself a break, will ya’?

    Adieu.

    Stuff you might have missed while searching for your old ‘Thriller’ vinyl – 06/29/09

    Technology

  • How Difficult Is It To Post A Bill On The White House Website For Five Days? [Techdirt] – Watch for a new government job listing for, uh, White House Blogger. Primary responsibility: cut and paste.
  • Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out [Wired] – All Google has to do is remove Facebook from their search results, and the fight is over.
  • Indian CEO Says Most US Tech Grads “Unemployable” [Slashdot] – The kingdom of outsourcing may be hedging its bets through the PR channels.
  • Finance

  • Krugman and the Housing Bubble: A Love Story [Reason] – Mr. Krugman is long to get his story straight. Looks like the ‘internet is forever’ mantra is getting the best of him.
  • Goldman Sachs: The Great American Bubble Machine [The Big Picture] – A must read, particularly the final blow on cap-and-trade. I suggest clicking through to the Scribd page and going full screen.
  • Frank Pushes Fannie and Freddie to Take On More Risky Loans [Contrarian Profits] – Along with a plan to refinance homes that are underwater, it looks as though we’ll all soon be in government housing, whether we like it or not.
  • Fly Fishing

  • Is It Time For Rodmakers to Get Out of the Warranty Business? [MidCurrent] – It would certainly force people to rest their rods someplace besides the door jam of their vehicles.
  • Invention Lets Fish Live Without Water [Cutthroat Stalker] – A fly fishing photographer’s dream come true? Heh, nothing can help my photog skills.
  • Elite anglers focused on FKO/IGFA Inshore World Championship [Fishing World] – Coming soon, and on EPSN to boot.
  • Adieu.

    Stuff I saved in my feed reader for the last ten days – 06/15/09

    Technology

  • Uh…Twitter something. [Everyone]*
  • Let’s see…Facebook this and that? [Everyone]*
  • *Editor’s note: we’re now actively filtering out all news related to Twitter and Facebook for efficiency’s sake – the above mentioned groundbreaking highlights were garnered through inference.

    Finance

  • America: Now $8-to-$14 Trillion Poorer [Reason] – It’s very hard for some of us to feel any poorer, but by golly we’re trying.
  • Unemployment at 10% to Depress Consumer Spending, Survey Shows [Bloomberg] – To figure out how to get paid to do surveys that give the same result as that learned in Economics 101 is the real trick to survival.
  • Court Docs Reveal Govt. Likely Forced Chrysler Deal With Minimal Knowledge of Fiat [NewsBusters] – Heck, the government probably forced Merrill Lynch on Bank of America too, so quit the bitching.
  • Fly Fishing

  • England Takes World Fly Fishing Championships [MidCurrent] – Congratulations to Team England. And in other news, the PMs decided this was a good reason to buy all new gear for themselves and bill British taxpayers.
  • To Save Fish, Defeat Them Quickly [Fly Talk] – What the fast-action graphite wielding contingent knew all along.
  • Dress for success applies directly to fly-fishermen [Durango Herald] – Proving once and for all that looking good really does matter.
  • MG signing off (to clean out the rest)

    Laws may not prevent hate crime, but Facebook might

    Briefly….

    There’s a bill before Congress called the Matthew Shepard Act. Sponsored by Ted Kennedy, it aims to prevent violence against gays and lesbians. Steve Chapman notes that the Matthew Shepard Act will do little to prevent hate crime – the legislation targets violent acts against various groups which are already illegal, just at a narrower segment of the population.

    Meanwhile, there’s a discussion being kicked around about hate groups on Facebook. The call is the elimination of Holocaust denial groups on the social network, but Facebook is playing the free speech advocate. Mark Cuban’s brother Brian chimed in with a salient argument that points the finger at CEO Zuckerberg for being wishy washy on the matter.

    In summary…

    Laws are being created that do little to prevent hate crime, yet the government is spending time and effort to push it through in the name of symbolism. And a social network is gathering hate group communication, which of course could be used to identify potential hate crime perpetrators as well as garner information about potential targets of said crime, and is being asked to shut it all down.

    Yes…one subject is homosexuals and the other is ostensibly a religious contingent. But hate knows no boundary. Whether it is directed at gays and lesbians, Jews…or for that matter heterosexuals, Catholics, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Cantonese, those people with disabilities, or people who shop at Walmart, it’s all the same. Definitive repugnant behavior.

    A little common sense is in order here.

    News you probably can’t use – 4/30/09

      Technology

    • Apple to introduce more affordable Macs – it’s always those pesky ‘sources’ you have to wonder about. Unless Apple drops their prices by 50% or more (and without handicapping existing systems), I don’t think they are going to make any significant market share gains in this economic environment.
    • Another phishing scam hit Facebook – I’d like to worry about the phishing issue, but I’m not on Facebook. No…I’m more worried about the catfish noodlers depicted in the news encroaching on my territory.
    • Twitter’s reach is limited – It’s part of the meme that Twitter can’t keep users on board. Part of this may result from Twitter syntax (i.e. direct message versus replies versus retweets) being a little tough to grasp, or it may just be that Oprah hasn’t started pumping the service full of feel-good self-helpedness yet.
    • Finance

    • Comcast is cranking up the cash flow – And I’ll tell you how. My Comcast internet is down today, and when I called tech support they offered to send support out. Great…except they also said it’ll cost me $27, unless I want to pay money for ‘service assurance.’ So I’m supposed to a monthly rate for broadband, and pay extra to keep the service up? The moment I mentioned pro-rating my bill for all the time service is down, the tone changed.
    • Chrysler is headed for bankruptcy – Last minute negotiations with creditors don’t pan out, but thankfully the government sweetener (i.e. more taxpayer dollars) doesn’t pan out either.
    • Continuing US jobless claims at fresh record high – The meme tossed around here is that things are turning around because new claims for unemployment have slowed. Can’t go into the numerous factors that may have caused that, because I hardly trust the government estimates to begin with. What I can say is that the powers that be have a lot of motivation to convince you to spend, even if it does mean stretching the truth.
    • Fly Fishing

    • California Legislator Wants Striped Bass Eradicated – The striped bass are always in trouble, particular on the East Coast. But hearing that a Californian doesn’t give a damn about protecting wildlife is just too much.
    • If you teach a man to bonefish – Well he might still go a little hungry (I’m not sure how tasty bonefish are but I have heard they’re edible). But he will have a hell of a lot of fun.
    • What…three tidbits on technology and finance, and only two on fly fishing? Yep, I think you’ve had enough this month already.

    MG signing off (to find some news you can actually use)

    Really important stuff you must worry about all weekend

    Unless you are watching college hoops, playing with the kids, waxing the vintage auto, balancing the checkbook, vacuuming the rug, fly fishing, playing fetch with the dog, sharing a beautiful mountain sunset with a loved one, smoking a fine cigar, taking a backcountry hike, reading a classic novel, [UPDATE INSERTED AT THE REQUEST OF A VIP: ‘mapping with your GPS’] or any of the other useless stuff you might do instead of absorbing the following…

      Technology

    • Social networking is purportedly now more popular than email. I read the report, and it felt mostly like (yet another) Facebook sales pitch. Of course, if Nielson can’t sell the most popular social network on earth, I’ll bet Oprah can.
    • Google sales chief Tim Armstrong is leaving for the CEO post at AOL, and the move is generally being hailed as a good one (at least for AOL). There’s even speculation Mr. Armstrong will have his choice regarding keeping AOL under the Time Warner umbrella, or spinning it out. Either way, I believe one of Tim’s first moves is to find a growing property to rejuvenate AOL’s tired ship – I think that engine should be network of social networks Ning (logic to follow…later…maybe).
    • Finance

    • One trillion dollars is a heck of a lot of money, and it’ll seem that way to just about everyone except a government official writing checks against other people’s accounts that are already long overdrawn. Yep, one-thousand billion bucks, on double stacked pallets covering an area bigger than a football field. Visualize it here.
    • Value investor Ben Graham would think the S&P still too high, were he alive today. Further, that declaration was made by Bloomberg on Monday – the market chalked up a roughly 10% gain this week. Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini already said there could be a suckers rally – maybe he’s not as tired as I thought he might be.
    • Fly Fishing

    • Bryan Gregson’s 15+ pound pig got a mention in Fly Rod & Reel – I say it’s about time. I was kind of surprised the Madison beast hadn’t generated a little more press, until I read the recent article. See…much as Bryan lives for the outdoors (i.e. he respects the streams, and fish he chases – and conveys it openly), that grand Madison brown died after the catch. It wasn’t bleeding at the gills, or beat with a bat and then slung on a grill. It fought the good fight, but simply couldn’t be revived. For that reason (death) publications shunned the story.
    •    And my take…

    • I’m beginning to notice a pattern: skilled anglers who just so happen to grasp the notion that fly fishing is a sport grounded in “the hunt” are putting up trophies, while a pack of panda-food-slinging, latte-sipping nancy boys jump to high-browed conclusions under cover of their keyboards. It is no wonder kids would rather play shoot-em-up video games than go outdoors – it’s genuine, unlike than the flavor of fly fishing the overzealous Gucci-elite would like to cram down their throats. The player gets a chance to comprehend finality, which is, in fact, reality.

    Adieu.

    Facebook’s problem is dissociative identity disorder (UPDATED)

    A few days ago, the Consumerist kicked up quite a stir when it uncovered how a relatively small tweak to Facebook’s terms of service essentially negated any rights users might have had to permanently remove their content from the social site. Soon after, the apologists and site management attempted to discredit and/or ‘explain away’ the situation, notwithstanding the fact that Facebook ostensibly ambushed its users. The key issue is whether Facebook should have access to your data after you delete your account, and the given explanation for why they need it is so all the messages, notes, tags (and poop) flying around the site aren’t dislocated by one person deciding to remove theirs. It’s a “two-message system,” says CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and there’s nothing you can do about it (including quit).

    I’ve heard more than a few people cry bloody murder when ‘colorful’ pictures of themselves showed up on Facebook, kindly tagged to them by their friends. They applied for a job, and their prospective employer now knows they enjoy a little weed, or a little too much drink – they are passed over before anything can get scrubbed. In addition, I’ve absorbed first-person accounts of folks fighting with the same friends to delete mentions of their childrens’ names and photos, citing the fact they themselves don’t mention that particular subject matter on their own Facebook pages. Incredulity reins supreme, and real-world friendships are weakened as a result. And this is supposed to be fun?

    Still, some folks opine that the best way to protect your identity on social networks is to sign up for them – a completely ludicrous proposition. All creating a legitimate account is going to do is provide a clearly defined target for the above described hassles. The only real benefit of such action is it protects your real world friends from getting scammed by the fake you, of which there may be a few lurking around already looking for a helping hand. Personally, I love my friends and family, and thankfully they take responsibility for their own actions so I don’t have to.

    As for the idea that your privacy has already been deemed null and void at the hands of the internet, I say bunk. Consider this – you share personal information all over the web. That information lies on many disparate sites, mixed together with other information from many other users. Even Google can’t sort through and precisely collate that data with you – that’s why they’re trying Friend Connect. Someone looking carefully and specifically for you might be able to correlate this information, but it’s a time consuming task (and not necessarily free either). Conversely, if you share all that data on a single site, anyone looking for trouble can easily find you – even Facebook admits they’ve spent a lot of time and effort refining their own search algorithms to make it so.

    In a perfect world, everyone would understand exactly how to tweak their Facebook privacy settings for optimum safety. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that perfect world – if we did users might have thought about reading the terms of service before they socked themselves into this mess. And let’s face it – it sounds like work. We’ll ignore the fact that people are actually trusting a service whose genesis was possible theft. Gloss over attempts to infringe on user privacy – in particular the failed Beacon, with its omniscience regarding your everyday purchases. Disregard that it takes days to permanently delete an account. Users signed up in droves anyway.

    Coming on the heels of the announcement that Facebook plans to make money by selling user data, I’m wholly unsurprised by this move. Bailing users breaking all those links (and the associative information they convey) would be like breaking the bank.

    Now you’re supposed to just trust them?

    Good luck with that.

    (more…)

    News you gotta have to end your week – 1/30/09

    Or your month

  • TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington is ‘taking a break’ from blogging, and running for his life. While the latter part seems pretty serious, the editor of the venerable Silicon Valley news resource is also blaming a Wall Street Journal property and one of Nick Denton’s gossip columns for some of his woes. And if that’s not enough, Ted Dziuba has called Arrington on the carpet regarding the part of the story dealing with a purportedly known felon who also purportedly owns a gun. We haven’t heard the last of this.
  • Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman says it’s a wonderful time for buyouts. Henry Kravis too says private equity isn’t dead. It may not seem all that obvious, but these guys have a point – valuations are dropping right along with forecasts, which will in part make up for the fact that nobody can borrow like they used to. Further, I think this will play well with the middle-market buyout houses too – I’m sure there are a lot of business out there which the owners (often the founders) would trade a pile of liquidity for right about now.
  • Of the top performing branded pages on Facebook, only two are really brands. I take that back – if you are selling Barack Obama or Homer Simpson collectibles, you should be jumping for joy right now. And not to be outdone by the furious ‘business competition’ (read: frivolous attention mongering) which always exists among venture-backed startups, Facebook itself is the 8th ranked branded page on Facebook.
  • Les Jones asks what if we had inflation, and nobody showed up for the party? The hyperinflation question is being bounded about, and at the same time so is the deflation meme. I suspect that when and/or if the dollar takes such a whacking that an iPod costs $1,000, people are just going to quit buying iPods. Same goes for TVs, autos, etc., although they’ve pretty much quit buying most of that stuff already. I think the tougher question regarding which way prices go is whether or not the US can provide its own staples – a gallon of milk at $20 would be a real problem.
  • Talk of Google’s mysterious GDrive offering is bouncing about again – it’s file access anytime, anywhere. Meanwhile, Joel Spolsky says don’t ever rely on Google Apps for anything mission critical, or even keeping your coffee dates straight. I won’t be using either, regardless of the reliability. And while I don’t believe Google is going to disappear anytime soon, Mark Glaser is warning on Facebook/Twitter dependence, using alternate reasoning for those two ‘businesses’.
  • Last but not least:

  • Moldy Chum finds the final connection between golf and fly fishing, which means there is still hope for you fly fishing folks looking for AMEX and Buick endorsements.
  • And finally…

  • A new study finds alcohol makes men better in the bedroom. Last week we had to be rich. Now we just have to be drunk?
  • Adieu.

    Facebook Spam Getting Worse?

    The company says they have the problem under control, but it’s probably just the first inning for Facebook spam.

    Bound to happen sooner or later.