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Why I don’t like Facebook

2009-12-02 @ 16:02
Categories: Life,Miscellaneous
Tags: , , ,

It seems that most of the world is obsessed with Facebook. I walk into the library at my school, and 99% of the computers are being used to look at Facebook. When I see someone using a smart phone, they are generally on Facebook. Everybody has an account: parents, children, friends, family members, colleagues, etc. So because of this general global obsession, people are quite amazed when they discover my distaste for such a thing. So to those of you who cannot understand this concept, please allow my to explain my problems with Facebook. Beyond the aforementioned obsession, my reasons are as follows:

People have reduced all forms of communication to “facebooking.” Nouns are being turned into verbs unnecessarily, such as “friend.” (The most appalling result of this phenomenon is that the New Oxford American Dictionary has named “unfriend” to be the word of the year!). People are “friends” with people they really aren’t. People seem to go into withdrawal if they do not access their Facebook multiple times throughout the day. People have started using Facebook messages in lieu of email (which is absurd since it sends you an email to tell you that you have a message). People also seem to use this public communication tool for private conversations…

Don’t get me wrong, I realize there are some positive aspects of such Social Networking sites. They can help keep people in contact with each other more easily. They can help reconnect long lost friends. And people can use these services to update their personal social network on whats going on in their life (whether exciting or not). In my opinion however, this is where the usefulness ends.

Beyond this is where it starts going downhill. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of “Apps” now. These apps seem to serve no purpose, other than to annoy the crap out of everybody that you know. The simple games people play will continually post their generally unexciting achievements. Every silly “quiz” or “survey” posts its results. And to top it off, your “friends” will continually send you invites to use the same crappy apps they use. It’s fine that people want to kill some time and play mind numbing games and take silly internet surveys, (hell, I do it too), but is it really necessary to broadcast the results and frequency of such things?

Like the rest of you, I do have a Facebook account, but I refuse to use it for more than simple public communication. Which is why I prefer Twitter. I rarely log into Facebook for anything beyond the status timeline (which I view through TweetDeck), disabling notifications from people’s silly game play, and the occasional adding of friends (all of which are actually my friends in real life). Some people may agree with some of my points, or disagree entirely, this is your choice. However, these are some of the reasons I personally dislike Facebook.

If Apple won’t support Push IMAP, then I will…

2009-07-14 @ 04:11
Categories: Geek
Tags: , , , , , ,

Even with the long awaited 3.0 iPhone update, Apple still refuses to add support for true IMAP push (using IDLE). Luckily however, they did finally enable the Push Notification Service, allowing a slew of push capable apps to show up in the AppStore. So I started to read the programming guide to write my own app to push mail notifications to me…. Unfortunately I gave that up, because it’s just way too much work just to get a new mail notification… But I did find a gem in the AppStore that would let me do what I want, called Prowl (iTunes link) (Their site). As they describe it:

Prowl is a Growl client for the iPhone. Notifications from your Mac (or even Windows! see the FAQ) can be sent to your iPhone over push, with a full range of customization and grace you expect.

They even provide a script to use for notifications from non Mac computers. So with this gem, I was able to get push notifications of new mail by adding one simple line to my existing .mailfilter on my server. While I was at it, I figured why not make another use for this, and wrote a simple perl script to search for @-mentions on twitter and push them to me.

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