Facebook Names and Privacy Concerns

So there’s this new application out there — you may have heard about it — it’s called “The Facebook.”

I jumped on briefly when Rob was doing some developing and wanted me to do some testing with him. I know people who are deeply involved with their Facebook accounts but I didn’t really think of it as “my sort of thing” so set up my profile using just my first name and initial. I was also troubled by the privacy issues connected with Facebook.

Go figure that people I know in real life found me and friended me there and this weekend the circle grew again. Continue reading “Facebook Names and Privacy Concerns”

Intelligent Gmail

I’m blown away. Something that *should* be, actually *is*.

Say for instance you have a gmail address with a “.” (dot) in it, say for example sixteen.punches@gmail.com. If someone sends mail to that address — or the same address but does not include the dot the mail will find you at the right address.

Sixteenpunches@gmail.com sends mail to my account at sixteen.punches@gmail.com

I’ve tried this with several different address and it has worked every time. I can only log into the account that I created and if I try to create the other one I’m told it is unavailable.

This is how the Internet is supposed to be: it’s just supposed to work. It shouldn’t depend on people knowing what they’re doing, or doing everything exactly right — it should allow for a bit of understanding and empathy. 🙂 The contact is trying to find you. There’s nothing wrong with a little help.

Other obscure file types

I wrote a while back about my struggles opening .docx files. Though not exactly obscure, they were new at the time and presented an unnecessary headache when all I wanted to do was read the document. Today I was presented with another new-to-me file extension: .hqx

Some other people who also received the document complained about being unable to open the file (so suddenly I became interested in what might be inside, motivating me to open my mail too). A little experimenting has shown that Open Office opens the file quite nicely, with all formatting preserved. Textpad was also able to open it although in text-only (naturally) so the fancy indenting and emphasis, etc were stripped.

For those interested in the details, .hqx is the file extension for BinHex encoded files. From Wikipedia:

BinHex, short for “binary-to-hexadecimal”, is a binary-to-text encoding system that was used on the Mac OS for sending binary files through e-mail. It is similar to Uuencode, but combined both “forks” of the Mac file system together, along with extended file information. BinHexed files take up more space than the original files, but are far less likely to be corrupted in transit.

In other words, it’s a Mac thing.