I've restored all the comments that vanished after I removed Disqus last weekend. This is after a considerable effort to get everything out of BlogML and into WXR a couple of years ago. At some point I'll just have to give up and decide it's faster to write my own blogging and commenting system but for now Facebook Comments are enabled for all posts.
I just discovered that Disqus started running adverts on my blog without permission. It's probably been going on for a little while and I should have paid more attention, sorry.
By 'without permission' I mean that I'm sure I clicked though and didn't read a terms of service document that said they could do what the fuck they like to my site. And reading other accounts of this issue I'm sure I filed without reading the email they sent out that mentioned this new 'feature' in passing. So in a legal sense they probably had all the permission they needed. In a moral sense they're switch-and-bait scum of the highest order.
They should have made this feature opt-in and then sent out an email explaining it in detail. Some sites don't want to run ads. You could have non-commercial Creative Commons content on a site that is suddenly a commercial concern.
It's a free service and at some point they need to make money, fine. If this had been presented as an option I might have considered it. If they wanted to charge for the service I'd probably have paid for it.
Instead I've disabled Disqus and hastily hacked in Facebook Comments which should be coming online as I write this post.
A side effect of this is that all the existing comments are currently unavailable. I have an archive and will try to get them resurrected soon.
You'd think Facebook or Twitter could scrape together a semi-functional Android client but apparently not.
Twitter has some size limit for photo uploads. In a sane world the client would resize a photo that was too large and just get on with it. Table stakes would be an error message. But no, it pretends everything is just peachy and then fails to upload. To post a photo to Twitter I have to remember to go into the camera settings and ratchet down the megapixels which I remember to do about never.
Facebook used to work occasionally but now just dumps an ugly immobile progress bar that won't go away until I reboot the phone.
Google+ probably works fine technically but if a photo is uploaded to a forest and there is nobody there to see it is that still in any sense counted as success?
I was a little saddened to read today that Diaspora is transitioning over to some form of community manged slow death. I joined a pod a while back and was pretty impressed with the design. It was very similar to Google+: clean, nice features, nobody home.
I've also joined app.net. The concept here is a social network that you pay for, so the owners are aligned with the interests of the users and developers rather than advertisers and lame brands. I wish app.net well, but it's not the future. Best case (and it's not a bad one) it could be the new WELL - a community that people care enough about to pay for (I was on the WELL in the early 90's, splitting the tab with a friend so our handle was abft, account built for two). If that is the direction it goes in then simply having a slightly longer post limit than Twitter isn't really going to cut it. And cool as it might be most people aren't going to pay for a social network.
Any attempt to displace Facebook has to solve the problem that anyone interested in sharing anything with anyone else is already using Facebook. The only platform that is in any sense comparable is email. So someone needs to make email into a social network.
This could be an interesting startup. Create some account - [email protected] - anything you send directly to that address is a post. Anyone you copy is a mention. Reply to a thread with this email address included and you're replying on the social network as well. Anyone copied on such an email gets invited to the network if they're not already.
You've got a killer viral component and an instant social network that is supported on every platform with no investment needed. Everyone has email, and everyone is a member as soon as they claim their email address or get included in a post.
Maybe someone has tried this already and I just haven't seen it. I'm half tempted to have a crack at it myself.
What would be more interesting would be layering a social protocol over email, and implementing that protocol by proxy on top of email providers that don't or won't support it. This creates a core social service practically out of thin air. Facebook and Twitter are the new AOL and CompuServe. There has to be a way to leverage email into a free and open alternative.
Here’s how to share a picture to Facebook, Twitter and so forth from MonoDroid:
A fun mix of Java and C#. The directory got me to start with so check to see if the ExternalCacheDir is available and if not fall back to the internal CacheDir. Frustratingly Facebook doesn’t pick up on the text associated with an image regardless of the intent ExtraWhatever specified.
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
A love triangle set in the turmoil of post-graduation. Well written but left me a little cold, I just didn't care for the characters or the sudden resolution.
An important update from the International Earth Rotation Service http://t.co/n5VcLNH3 <- warning, subculture
Seeing Beyond the Human Eye: Video of beautiful scientific and artistic photography http://t.co/aZsFEfh1
ITHCWY: Mission:Explore Food - Get It Now: I posted a few months ago about my brother's crowd funded book, Mission… http://t.co/1A2FEkHN
Pyura Chilensis, the living rock http://t.co/54moGgML
Robot Hand beats you at Rock-Paper-Scissors every time. http://t.co/W4K1zAeq (Robot hand crushes rock, robot hand crushes scissors...)
Moon Landing http://t.co/oHFSCowO
Patent 'trolls cost $29bn a year' http://t.co/VQRiKFtb
Facebook Just Changed Your Email Without Asking http://t.co/z9QRi3qP
http://t.co/mZWx5FIr Turing Suicide in doubt?
ITHCWY: SETIcon 2: I'm at SETIcon 2 this weekend. It's a mix of science, sci-fi, religion and general speculation… http://t.co/jifR8Ang
Far-Fetched Scams Separate the Gullible from Everyone Else http://t.co/M8SyoAvH
Scout: get notified every time Congress proposes legislation with keywords you care about http://t.co/OlU04P45
Falsehoods programmers believe about time - riff on the malleability of computer time http://t.co/sznLoFlH
ITHCWY: Near-plurality of idiocy: "In the 30 years since Gallup started asking people whether they believe humans… http://t.co/9f5FoX9Z
BBC News - Alan Turing: why the tech world's hero should be a household name http://t.co/5eqmNyXY
ITHCWY: Petrol & Marks & Spencer: I recently got back from a trip back to the UK. Every time I go back these days… http://t.co/cV0N8tY7
+1 Error Code 451: an HTTP error for censorship http://t.co/OoA942o8
Bridge birthday thing... http://t.co/bBEc7TiC
Defensive Patent License: judo for patent-trolls http://t.co/h6Eq82kr
3 of 5 stars to The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides http://t.co/aJwE7cIz
Transit of Venus AND Sutro Tower Serendipitously Photographed from Bernal Hill http://t.co/bZAogCf8
Office has laid on EURO 2012 coverage. http://t.co/8dDStstW
Ridiculously nice walk with Rudy. http://t.co/u6E9H1Gg
ITHCWY: Playmobil http://t.co/bIuMirqh
My phone keeps running out of space. A little sleuthing under Manage Applications shows that Contacts Storage is using over 32MB. Can’t move it to the SD Card – I guess this makes sense, although it would be nice to cache some of the non-essential data there. I’ve no idea if this is a HTC problem or an Android problem (I have a HTC Aria), but some Googling would seem to indicate that it’s not uncommon.
In the People app choosing View from the menu allows you to pick which sources to use to display contacts. I had 5,854 contacts from Twitter, despite having configured the Twitter app to only sync with existing contacts. I also had a bunch of Facebook contacts, with the same configuration (existing contacts).
I tried deleting Twitter from Accounts & Sync. This warned that it would remove contacts (great!) but after blowing it away Contacts Storage had more than doubled to over 70MB.
Time to go nuclear. I backed up existing contacts and then deleted all data from Contacts Storage. My phone is happy again.
Contacts and sync in general is the worst part of the Android experience. HTC Sync is a contact-duplicating, pop-up-and-wave-my-arms-in-the-air-every-time-I-do-anything piece of Adobe Air uselessness. Google really needs a better answer for people who live in Outlook on the desktop. Or maybe they’ll eventually grind me down into GMail…
I just got on Google+, and the Circles concept definitely moves the ball forward, but my heart sinks a little at having yet another disconnected social identity. It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again – social networking needs to be an open, core internet standard like email. You can live on Facebook, Google, Twitter, wherever but your social graph should be independent of any specific service.
I don’t mean this in any (well, OK, a little) granola crunching open source way. Companies should compete to the death on their social graph implementation and added value. But the actual data on who your friends are should belong to you and should be both portable and interoperable. I should be able to friend someone on Google from within Facebook and share core items in both directions. If I get fed up of Facebook I should be able to move my graph and central identity elsewhere.
We’ve got OpenSocial, strangely not mentioned in the same breath as Google+, and Open Graph which is open for things but not people. Also FOAF, XUP, and other possible foundational standards. Of course the barriers here aren’t technical.
Diaspora is an interesting project, but running instances (pods) of a social network is the wrong level of abstraction.
Of course ‘owning’ the graph is tremendously valuable and it’s hard to see Facebook giving this up anytime soon. If Google really don’t want to be evil they should use Google+ to liberate us from the tyranny of walled social gardens. Unless it turns out to be another Buzz or Wave in which case it’s down to us.
The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids by Tom Hodgkinson
It could have been a great one page idle book - leave the kids alone more. But I guess that wouldn't fly with the publisher so it's more of a manifesto for a more traditional childhood - four hour school day, build things from wood, raise and eat your own pigs. Possibly idyllic but far from idle. Also, Hodgkinson denounces computers yet the book wants you to visit its blog. Entertaining and occasionally inspirational nonetheless.
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
Derivative, and requires batteries which is the last thing you need with a book. I think Carle phoned this one in. Actually, it's like when thriller writers get too famous and farm the hard work out. It reads like an "Eric Carle's" or "Eric Carle with Grant Blackwood" kind of book. Introduces a small range of insects but manages to use "whirred" twice. Has Mosquitoes out at night rather than being a dawn/dusk phenomenon. The only saving grace is the unexpected twist with the Luna Moth.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
It's a geeky, Hispanic coming of age / family history epic. To read it you need some Spanish, some knowledge of the Dominican Republic (rather distractingly sketched in via footnotes - I wish Díaz had included an appendix instead) and to have read a lot of SciFi.
- Internet Up For Nobel Peace Prize Again, Let’s Hope It Wins This Time from TechCrunch (I guess Al Gore would accept the prize?).