10 reasons why Facebook’s Timeline is a Fail

I couldn’t resist, I clicked the Timeline feature on Facebook. I suspect that Timeline will become a prime example of an epic fail.

1. No explanation given:

    Clicking the about button provides an Apple-esque commercial, which happens to look a lot like the “Dear Sophie” ad. It provides no information about the mechanics of use. This is a nice combo with a buggy interface. Some Timeline options such as edit cover image don’t seem to work and details of all usage are not provided before your “preview” begins.

2. Preview isn’t a preview:

    If you hit that “try it” button, that all she wrote. You can’t go back. Obviously, someone at Facebook doesn’t have a dictionary otherwise this stuff would better labeled.

3. It looks like MySpace:

    Oh, how many times has this been said? Well, it does and it has all the problems of MySpace too. The critical flaw of this design is social interaction. Removing other people’s posts from your Timeline sends a message, as does not including content about friends. And that message is not friendly. Also see 6.

4. Tagging’ hostility:

    Are you a guy tagged in a Little Miss image? Guess what? You have to report that person as hostile or block them to remove the tag. Nice message to send to the GF or wife. Why isn’t “I just don’t like it” an option?

5. Old information reappears:

    This one is alarming. I downloaded all of my information using the Facebook provided archive option last year. Then I deleted all of my pictures from my albums and uploaded only a select handpicked few. I guess Facebook really didn’t delete those images, because when I switched to Timeline some of them came back. Nice glaring privacy issue, because any percentage of 1,000+ images is really noticeable.

6. Hide, delete, remove?:

    If you hide/delete/remove content where does it go? What is the difference between hide and remove? If a friend posts to your Timeline you have three choices: keep it as is, hide it or delete it. “Hide from Timeline” is the passive-aggressive option, its delete without actual deletion. Using hide or delete are both hostile to people who share with you.
      “What you didn’t like my stuff?”
      “Yup.”

7. Not optimized for small screens:

    How is this going to look on my 7 inch tablet, notebook, Kindle? Oddly, the only thing I can’t see is the ads on the right column. Removing your ad support base is a terrible way to make money from ads. The screen should rescale proportionally.

8. No self-interaction:

    This is a flaw G+ and Timeline share. The profile page (G+) or Timeline screen (Facebook) is a secondary screen for the user. The user can completely ignore the screen… until they have a privacy issue like an unwelcome link or posting on their timeline.

9. Loads slowly:

    Obviously, Timeline is a dynamic webpage. That is really an unfortunate name as dynamic sort of implies progress while Timeline makes you watch a progress bar as the page loads.

10. No opt out:

    This is always a bad design flaw and one that social media tends to dive into head first.

I figure I will spend the next week or so tweaking and to see if this a valid method of interaction. At the end of the day, I suspect I will have three options: Live with it (unlikely), delete my account (possible) or delete all of my content then cancel the account so I can re-register with a clean slate (most likely).

Stay tuned.

Social Music and Movies

One of the nicest things about social media is the ability to find new music and movies. I “discovered” a new song by one of my favorite artists, Trent Reznor thanks to a share.

This song is from a movie called “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. I want to say that I had never heard of it, but my latest unread Entertainment Magazine features on the front cover and it shows up on Netflix everyday. It seems that there is a 2009 and 2011 version of the movie. I will have to check them out.

Kobo update provides new functions

Last semester, I started taking Spanish. I found that my bad high school Spanish was in no way improved with age. I jumped on the net and found a few books in Spanish from Project Gutenberg. I found my old Spanish to English dictionary and wished that I could somehow load it to my Kobo. After a while, my wishes faded as the course sped up.

The semester ended and Christmas rolled around. My Kobo updated itself and it was much improved for it. Today while registering for classes, I tinkered with my Kobo and found the highlight and look up features smoother than I remembered.

Even better, there were more choices.

And best of all, it has four language dictionaries for translation on top of the English dictionary.

Excellent! Ausgezeichnet! ¡Excelente! and even Ottimo!

Deleting Preview Books On Kobo

Deleting preview books on the Kobo is simple with the right tools. In this case, Calibre is the right tool.

If you do not already have this Swiss Army Knife of the e-book world, get it. Do not read or do anything until you have it.

Once you have it, plug-in the Kobo (or any other device) and open the software. Select “Device”. BTW Preview books shouldn’t be on a card in the Kobo. Search for preview in the menu bar.

Highlight the titles and delete. Wait for the job to finish.

Done! Aren’t you glad you downloaded Calibre?

New Tab Added – Erie Community College Landing Page

I have created a virtual notebook so to speak. It is safe to ignore this page if you don’t attend these classes.

The page should contain notes and useful websites.

In a few cases there is crossover with the gallery pages. For example, all notes for AT-210 and AT-211 are found with my painting galleries.

If you are a student at ECC, please let me know what if anything you have found useful or unhelpful. I love the feedback.

Why use Terminal? (GIMP Install)

Linux has come a long way over the years. Nearly every variant has a software manager, a graphical interface for adding software. Why bother with the Terminal any more?

First, the terminal will display everything it does. Second, there are many versions of Linux and all of them have Terminal as an option. No matter what version of Linux, Terminal experience will server you well.

Here is a quick example of how to install GIMP using the Terminal.

Install GIMP

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gimp

The && combos two commands, update and install. The first checks your repositories to make sure they are up to date and the second installs GIMP.

You can follow this with autoclean and clean.

sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get clean

These commands remove .deb files not used by your system. Autoclean removes the cache information. This is good for systems with low disk space, however the penalty is you will need to download these again if you need to update or install software.

Tis the Season for Weather

It snowed last night. The temperature is hovering at 13 degrees F. What to do?

After shoveling this morning, I downloaded a weather app for Mint. There aren’t many reviews in the Software Manager. I selected several and nothing seemed very good to me.

I uninstalled them and decided to go for a browser-based solution. I set my home page to www.google.com/ig as my home page and added the weather widget. Very easy solution. Now when I check my email, I see the weather page first and can decide whether to shovel first.