Technology is hard

So Hootsuite seems to be acting up on me. I thought I’ve been sending status updates and all but apparently Hootsuite got messed up and things were not getting posted. I first noticed it on Facebook. Easy enough I thought, so I removed Facebook from the Android app and tried adding it back. Sounds simple… until you get a "Failed adding Account" message. Strangely it still shows up in the Hootsuite interface but I still couldn’t post to it.

Then I find that Twitter seems to have also stopped working on the Android app but works in the desktop browser. Since Facebook posting didn’t work on mobile either, I logged out of the Hootsuite Android app, deleted Facebook from Hootsuite via the browser and tested Hootsuite in the browser. It all worked. Out of the woods I though. Until I tried it on the Android app. It still fails to post on both Twitter and Facebook

To top things off, I tried to send that screenshot to my laptop in order to share it on the Hootsuite that works in my browser but not on the phone. Then I run into Gmail not sending the emails

Fine sure.. I’ll Dropbox it to myself! Uploaded fine from the phone and now the laptop Dropbox client is still stuck "Downloading file list…"

I even tried Bluetooth file transfer to no avail!

Finally Google did come through though… via Hangouts

Man that took way too much effort just so that I could tweet and Facebook post my dissatisfaction about Hootsuite which led to a weird technology failing experience that ends this Monday.

Well here’s hoping to a better week ahead of technology that works!

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We have the right to remain silent… Or do we? Please check the EULA

I was in the heart of Gadong yesterday having lunch with a couple of friends at the only McDonald’s in Brunei and after a quick trip to The Mall we found out they were distributing flags which would seem like a nice thing but their tactics get me a bit wound up. Let me say first that I do believe in patriotism and I will celebrate my country’s upcoming 25th National Day but I believe in asking permission when handling other people’s property. The methods used in distributing some of these flags in the Gadong area was that the people in charge would stick the flag onto your parked vehicle without your prior knowledge. Would some lawyer care to help me to explain to me the legality of this or whether we have the right to protest it? They have done this last year as well and I’m not too sure about the previous years but I take offence to the fact that an unauthorized person is leaving their mark on somebody else’s property. Isn’t that similar to defacing public property or graffiti?

And it was just a day after that incident that I read the new issue about Facebook’s New Terms of Service. Each time we install software we agreed to a EULA (end user license agreement) which dictates how we are supposed to use the piece of software. With online services like Facebook there are the “Terms of Service” / “Terms of Use” by which we inherently agree to when we use the service, whether we bother to read the terms or not. The following is what Facebook has to say about your (/their?) content:

You are solely responsible for the User Content that you Post on or through the Facebook Service. You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof. You represent and warrant that you have all rights and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses.

Facebook basically states that they have the rights to use any content of yours for any purpose they like without asking you for permission. This problem has been around for quite a long time and was noticed by Jan Shim. For all content creators out there I hope this is a wake up call to all of your and for non-content creators there is still something else to worry about with online services and especially social sites such as Facebook, and that is privacy / identity issues. LSM’s take on this is dealt out in his article entitled “My identity in the hands of strangers”. On top of that I will add Andy ITGuy’s post on “25 Random Reasons I Won’t Tell You 25 Random Things About Me”.

So before you go on registering for that website offering you some great deals or just so you can read an article, perhaps you should reconsider your actions of signing away a bit of your personal information…. Or just check BugMeNot to see if you can just sign in using readily available credentials.

**Update 18th Feb 2009: It seems that Facebook has reverted back to the previous Terms of Service as told by founder, Mark Zuckerberg after the user uproar. A good sign that at least they are listening to users feedback and possibly taking a little page out of Google’s book with Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto

26

Wow… The guys from 20+ CG just celebrated my upcoming 26th birthday just now. And as they all left and I was clearing up and I thought. I was thinking that 26 seems so much older than 25 and that 26 years of life should account to something. I guess it’s like an epiphany, maybe not a huge one but an epiphany nonetheless. I remember I used to talk with NTT and how we would joke something like:

“So we’ve/I’ve lived X many of years and what have we/I achieved? ‘Nothing!'”.

(fill X with your age)

That ‘Nothing’ is a lie that we tell ourselves trying to belittle ourselves and yes we shouldn’t think that way, but I guess from tonight I want my life to mean something. I want the answer to the question to be ‘something’. I want to make a change. I want my life to mean something, but not just to me, because what is a life if a person changes only themselves and not touching the lives of others? They say no man is an island so let us not be islands. For those who know me, I’ve had my hermit island days and even the sit-at-the-back-of-church-and-play-with-my-PDA-you-better-not-bug-me days. But I think as I turn 26 I’m trying to be a link in a chain, a node in a mesh network, a seeder in torrents. Let us be a people that will not say “What have I done? Nothing!” but let us strive to be a people of change. I’m sure we’ve all heard of inspirational stories where they usually end the story with something like, “go chase your dreams” or “don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t make it”, so I kind of feel obligated to end off with a phrase. But I guess all I can say is, let your life not be nothing, make a difference. So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, make a difference. As cliché as it may sound, it has so much more meaning to me right now.

Take care all and God bless!

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What is Free?

Got this from C.F.King’s price list / brochure / leaflet / whatever you want to call it:
CF King's Eee PC 700 price with 'free gifts'
CF King's Eee PC 700 price with 'free gifts'

Made me question what does “Free Gifts” mean.
Via Google’s define feature (because Oxford dictionary is too complicated for me)

Free:

  • grant freedom to; free from confinement
  • free from obligations or duties
  • complimentary: costing nothing; “complimentary tickets”; “free admission”

Gift:

  • something acquired without compensation
  • endow: give qualities or abilities to
  • giving: the act of giving
  • give: give as a present; make a gift of; “What will you give her for her birthday?”

I would guess the typical perception/definition of “free gift” in this situation is would extra things given on top of the price of the object bought. However the different price of the unit “without Free Gifts” completely contradicts with this typical perception/definition. Thus this leads me to what does “Free Gift” mean in this context: it’s not stated in the brochure itself and I just see it as deceptive marketing. It makes the (potential) buyer that for the stated price you are getting a good deal because you get a bunch of free (having no cost) gifts. But when you realise that this isn’t the case, it’s not only deceptive but also hurts sales of products such as the Eee which is aimed more for the low end market. Bundling these “free gifts” which actually aren’t and thus increases the price, it could also put people off buying these products which are good for those who want a small light device for light web surfing, email and word processing. Oddly enough, it would have been ‘better’ if they had never revealed the “without free gift” pricing and nobody would have complained or be annoyed with this business practise.

On a side note “free” in today’s Open Source world usually refers to either or both of the following

  1. Gratis: “Free as in beer” meaning no cost
  2. Libre: “Free as in speech” meaning state of being free, as in “having freedom”

Source: Wikipedia: Gratis versus Libre

Welcoming Sickness

Night 0: Late night trip to pasar malam with satay and dried cuttlefish
Day 1: Sore throat + slight warmth. Thought nothing of it, probably due to last night’s food
Day 2: Cough. Sore throat still there but not much of a problem. Nothing too bad
Day 3: BAD cough-until-I-almost-puke cough. 1 month+ old nephew has a fever. Feeling pretty pathetic
Day 4: Running nose + slight muscle ache + feverish.
Day 5: Sneezing thus watery running nose

In the days of my sickness I have discovered command-line mplayer to play videos on my desktop while I work/lie on my bed with my laptop, Joomla and just a few moments ago (while Googling ‘geekdom’) rediscovered The IT Crowd which I believe I did watch when I was in Singapore =p So after 3 hours of postponing my sleep I think I should have just watched the video version of The Linux Action Show!, back with season 9! Hak5 will be coming back up on August 15th with weekly shows! Yayness!!

Boom De Ya Da

I love Discovery, making great ads
[Original Version with subtitles (hover over the video)]


[Short Version]

I love XKCD with their parody
I love the title-text

I love the community and project 442

I love musical stage sing songs

Boom de yada, boom de yada,
Boom de yada, boom de yada

— end of singing in tune to the ad —

Ok I know, in the last clip with Mike Rowe the text states ‘boom de ah dah’, but since to me XKCD > Discovery Channel, it’s ‘boom de yada’ =p. The Discovery file download says ‘Boomdeyada’ too so yeah =D

Downloads:
Discovery Channel’s MP3 audio download
Discovery Channel’s video download
XKCD version for project 442

To watch out for: project 442’s video rendition by the community of XKCD Loves the Discovery Channel. I certainly hope they don’t play around too much with this: it’s nice and simple, yet great so let’s keep it that way. Discovery don’t mess this up by trying to do some over budgeted and/or cheesy rendition of it or anything to ruin it, kapish?

Caricatures and Me

Got this done in Singapore about 3 or 4 years ago. The guy was/is from Portrait Workshop.

So naturally when I heard read “$10 A Caricature” (full article below) in my RSS feeds (*insert shameless plug for my Brudirect RSS feed here*) I want to have another one

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done (need to have hair cut before another caricature, don’t like my ‘long’ locks). Not sure if I’ll have the time. But maybe….

Bandar Seri Begawan – A local artist Indera showcased his talent in drawing caricatures at the entrance of Season’s Restaurant at the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong.

For $10 per drawing, the public is invited to come and have their faces caricatured; Indera will also be stationed there on Sunday.

The artist also provides lessons on drawing caricatures at $3 per hour but those interested must bring their own drawing material. — Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin