Facebook uses Gowalla’s old icons

I was a big fan of Gowalla, a location service check-in app. It was similar to Foursquare with one big exception. When you checked into a location sometimes you would find virtual treasures. Gowalla made checking-in a game. Instead of just saying, “I’m here,” like Foursquare, Gowalla created incentives to check-in as many places as possible.

Today Gowalla no longer exists. It was acquired by Facebook a couple of years ago. The location service part of the app became Places in Facebook and the icons representing the locations and virtual treasures have been recycled as “Rate These Places.”

Facebook’s Rate These Places on the left and a Gowalla map on the right.

Banned from friending people on Facebook because I friended people on Facebook

facebook_friendLike most people who love to use social media I’m on Facebook all the time. And like most other social media websites I invite or “friend” people that share the same interest I do. So I was shocked when I receive a notice form Facebook saying, I have been banned from requesting new fiends for 30-days.

Really? Why? I don’t recall sending anyone a friend request in the least two weeks on Facebook.

The notice also said, I can only friend request people I actually know personally.

Well that’s a slap in the face to those of us who are seeking out other people who share similar interest and hobbies. Not to mention if you play any of the online games supported by Facebook. I don’t think I know more than 3 out of the dozens of people I play against in Words with Friends.

I decided to look up Facebook’s rules regarding friending people. The statements below were taken word for word from Facebook’s own web site.

Why am I blocked from sending friend requests?
If your account is temporarily blocked from sending friend requests, it’s because friend requests you’ve sent have gone unanswered or been marked as unwelcome. From now on, please don’t send friend requests to people you don’t know personally. Facebook is a place for connecting with friends, family, classmates, coworkers and other people you know well.
Who should I send friend requests to?
Facebook is a place for connecting with friends, family, and other people you know personally. You should send friend requests to people you have a real-life connection to, like your friends, family, coworkers, or classmates.

So apparently those people on Facebook who have thousands of friends are actually family, classmates and coworkers? I don’t think so.

Then I saw this Facebook rule.

Who can send me friend requests?
By default, anyone on Facebook can send you a friend request.

Wait! “Anyone” can send you a friend request? But that conflicts with the other rules. Obviously this rule has not been thoroughly thought out, or at the very least updated.

I understand the point Facebook is trying to make. They want to reduce spam as much as possible. But most of us are harmless. We are just looking to make new friends or at the very least new people to chat with online.

The system that monitors who friends who appears to be automated, a conclusion I came to after reading this statement on Facebook’s website.

If you’ve been blocked by mistake, we won’t be able to end the block early—but you’ll be able to send friend requests again soon. We’re sorry for the inconvenience! In the meantime, you can still use other Facebook features to connect with your confirmed friends.
Source: https://www.facebook.com/help/232530170162023/

Disgruntled I tried to reach out to Facebook but they provide little if any practical way to communicate our problems to them. No email, phone number or even an online form which would be the most logical way to do it. And the fact that they say, “we won’t be able to end the block early” just tells me they have no interest, at this time, in dealing with it.

It seems unfortunately that all any of us can do who have been blocked is just wait it out and hope it does not happen again.

A couple of other Facebook rules regarding friending people you mite want to read.

Unused applications could be slowing your Mac

OS X Lion slowing you down?

One possibility for a slow computer is unused applications running in the background.

Slow computer

Slow computer

To check go to “System Preferences” / “Users & Groups” / “Login Items.”

On my Mac Lion had the two apps running and four that failed to run. The four that failed to start were no longer on my computer. I had removed them long ago. The other two were GeekTool and Google Chrome. I selected all the apps and hit the “-” to remove them from the Login Items list. Removing the apps from this list will not uninstall them.

Note: Always check and make sure you are not removing any apps that need to be there to operate properly.

This is just one possible reason for a slow computer. But for me it was all I need to fixed the problem.

Duplicate replaces “Save As” in OS X Lion

Duplicate

Duplicate

I am a big “Save As” user. If you make modifications to a file but want to save it under a new name all you have to do is hit Save As and enter a new file name. But in Apples OS X Lion the Save As function, in Apple applications such as Numbers and Pages, are now gone.

In it’s place Apple has added Duplicate.

With the app creates a copy of the file and brings it to the front. The original file is then cleared from the screen. Do not worry your original file is still in its directory unmodified. At the top of the new file the word “copy” has been added to the end of the files name.

Careful, this new file has not been saved. It’s just a copy and can easily be deleted. I recommend that the next step be to save the duplicate file right a way.

Hit the save option. Now you can rename the file and specify the directory it will go in.

As far as I can tell the replacement of Save As with Duplicate only appears be in Apple’s iWork applications.

Could LightSquared end your smartphones GPS abilities?

LightSquared, a communications company is currently building a nationwide 4G-LTE open wireless broadband network designed to integrate satellite and terrestrial technology. Their goal is to create the country’s first wholesale-only wireless broadband network.

To make the system work LightSquared wants to use the U.S. governments’ global positioning systems (GPS) to ensure nationwide coverage. The drawback, the signal would interfere with the global positioning system used by the military, pilots and cellphones. In short all GPS enabled devices would not work as intended or may not work at all.

Artist Interpretation of GPS satellite

Artist Interpretation of GPS satellite

Federal officials warn that wireless data transmissions would interfere with their GPS technology and could lead to airplane crashes and failed military operations. It could also cost the U.S. military billions of dollars to accommodate LightSquared’s proposed technical fixes.

LightSquared says the military’s cost analyst is extravagant and has offered to pay $50 million for federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration, to retrofit or replace their GPS devices.

The offer by LightSquared however does not include any GPS device owned by civilians such as cellphones, car navigation systems, and handhelds.

Republicans have criticized the process of the FCC to fast-track a private company to become a broadband Internet service provider. LightSquared would use government equipment and technology to compete with AT&T, Verizon Wireless and other broadband providers.

LightSquared Chief Executive Sanjiv Ahuja says the company has not received any special favors from the FCC.

LightSquared is currently testing their system and is expected to start service in 2012.

Related articles

LightSquared makes 4G case to the public (news.cnet.com)
LightSquared to Defend Project in Open Letter in Newspapers (pcworld.com)
Air Force security issues stall broadband project (springfieldnewssun.com)
For LightSquared, a High Bar: High-Speed Wireless Network’s Fate Hinges on Switching Off Interference (online.wsj.com)

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