Skip to main content

Facebook: what is it good for?

Absolutely nothing? No, that's war.

After months of regular usage I finally figured out what I like to use Facebook for. Surprisingly: for very little.

I started using Facebook many months ago. The first thrill came from discovering long lost friends. Just type their names, verify it's really them and add them to the list. For extra credit browse their friends to see any other people you know.

Once I had enough friends and read about their whereabouts in their profiles it was fun and exciting to see their status updates.

Then applications seemed cool and even useful. I really liked the apps that let me rate books and movies and share my reviews with my friends. I rated a few things, but after a while it became like work and that was the end of that.

The problems started when my friends discovered applications. Being tickled, poked and even super poked was cute the first 5 times. But you can't underestimate the boundless energy of your friends who happily ping you in increasingly silly ways over and over again.

And it gets worse because every Facebook application is obsessed with viral spread. Applications are so desperate to distinguish themselves from the thousands of apps nobody cares about (98% of all apps?) that they use every possible opportunity to let people invite their friends. Many pop up a dialog containing all your friends preselected for infection! I hope my friends write really dull things on my super fun wall because I have no inclination whatsoever to install another application.

So, I quickly learnt to ignore all requests for new applications. I don't even see them anymore.

Which brings us to the main point of this post. Facebook: what is it good for?

Pictures! The little icon labelled "photos" takes me to a page that shows the latest pictures posted by my friends, in reverse chronological order. Brilliant! I log in once a week and with one click get to see a current picture of someone I know and even find out what they're up to.

I find Facebook's photo sharing easier and more convenient than sites like Picasa or Flickr, only because I can see all my friends' pictures in one place.

Uploading pictures is made easy with helper applications. Facebook has an iPhoto plugin with a very convenient interface. It lets you select pictures, tag your friends in them and then automatically scales and posts them to the site. Nice! For security, the final step is to go to the website and approve the images you just uploaded.

Having finally made peace with Facebook, balance was restored to the force when... Invitations started pouring in for hi5, family mingle and others! Ach! One social networking site is more than enough for me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Online Traffic School?

After paying my red light ticket, the epic story described in a previous post, the San Mateo County Southern Branch Court provided me with a list of about 80 approved online schools. Which one to choose? I expected the Internet in all its collective wisdom to provide the answer with a comprehensive site of traffic school reviews including all sorts of evaluation criteria (price, time to complete, use of animations, etc) and user rankings. To my disappointment, no such site seems to exist. I was faced with scanning a large list of URLs to pick a traffic school.

The first approach was to start entering URLs in the browser and try to deduce, from the home page, whether the traffic school would be right. Here's the list of schools approved by San Mateo County:

http://www.ctsi-courtnetwork.org/home_studies/san_mateo_county/index.html

An ideal traffic school for me would be:

Responsive. Pages load fast. No stupid artificial delays like I experienced many years ago when I tried an online tra…

My red light ticket story

Where I recount my true experience with a red light ticket and the San Mateo Country traffic court system...

The Infraction

About a month ago I received in the mail a notice of a red light violation. The notice included four photographs: one of me from the front, one of my license plate and two from the back showing the traffic light (already in Red) and my car about to enter the intersection and then half way across the intersection. The pictures  contain timing information highly relevant to the case. The first picture:

Location: El Camino Real and Glenwood Ave., Menlo Park, CA
Date: Friday, 13th March 2009
Speed Limit: 35MPH
Lane: 2
Vehicle Speed: 36MPH
Elapsed time: 0.00

The next picture shows my car half way into the intersection, and the data shows:

RED: 0.86
Elapsed Time: 0.75

The notice does not explain any of this, but we can interpret it as follows: when the light went red I had not entered the intersection yet. This is clearly shown in picture 1. The second picture shows that 0.75 seco…

High Def, Low Def and Now Ultra Low Def TV

High Definition TV is great, amazing, a must have for sports. How did we ever manage to watch soccer games without it? Unfortunately, I'm forced to remember the horror every weekend, where I move from Barcelona's glorious HDTV courtesy of GolTV HD to Boca's horrific, ultra low def, courtesy of TyC Sports.

I claim that the video quality we get from TyC for these Argentinean soccer games is lower than Low Definition. Games look, really, really bad, much worse than low definition games you see on ESPN or even Univision. I don't know why, but here's the evidence.

What follows is snapshots of my LCD TV, with signal from DirecTV, comparing High Definition to whatever this other thing is. I used my digital camera, taking pictures at max resolution.

First, a snapshot of this weekend's Barcelona Vs. Osasuna game.



Very pretty. Now here's the capture of today's glorious Boca Juniors victory over Huracán.



To highlight the differences even further, I took a picture …