“The Trouble With Tribbles” – Facebook Birthday Notifications Run Amuck

Credit: ThinkGeek.com

I hereby dub this Tek | Angst Day!  Time to rant!  I hate that word and I vowed not be an angry blogger who just uses his site as a virtual soapbox to rant.  I’m in the midst of a crummy week and I just can’t help myself so I’ve decided rare exceptions must be allowed to rant.  Just know that this is as bad as it gets with my posts and being able to vent frustrations on this forum is truly therapeutic but I promise to make this a rare thing.  So here it goes; below is the first of three or four posts today that will tackle a few things that just set me off:

Happy Friggin’ Birthday!

Facebook is barely tolerable most days but one thing that for me rises above all other cannon fodder I could lob its way concerns its birthday notifications.  They’re like that episode of Star Trek with the cute little Tribbles that multiplied at exponential rates!  I’m sure at some point I inadvertently said ok to some oblique pop up that allowed the flood of birthday notifications to enter my digital world.  They’ve literally thrown up all over every screen I turn on and like Tribbles they’re multiplying exponentially now with a flood of related notifications like wanting to know if I want to purchase the birthday boy or girl a gift right after asking if I want to poke them!  If I haven’t seen you since high school it was likely because I picked on you or you picked on me so frankly I don’t care that it’s your birthday.  I probably accepted your friend request in a moment of curiosity to see what kind of train wreck you became or because I felt guilty for successfully blaming that particularly foul silent-but-deadly-one on you during chemistry class.  Trust me for those who I genuinely care about I don’t need a FB reminder for your birthday.  Those same people know that my penchant for numbers would never allow me to fail to remember such an important date.

Nevertheless when I groggily checking my iPhone’s lock screen first thing in the morning, or am at my Windows 8 login screen, or flicking through my great Fantastical calendar app, my email, my notifications bar, or last but not least opening Facebook I must be reminded of some practical stranger’s birthday nearly every day.  Why gripe, was it not my fault in the first place to accept their silly friend request or somehow say yes to the notifications in the first place?  I gripe because I can’t seem to stop the flood.  I’m pretty tech savy and with some instances I have been able to remove those notifications but there are still many places where I have been completely unsuccessful.  My notifications bar on my iPhone is the worst offender because it will not let me clear it.  I must stare at it all day!  For those of you who share my disdain for these very intrusive notifications I vow to find all the secret formulas for ridding your world of Facebook’s birthday notifications and devote a whole post someday to what I will dubiously call “The Great Purge”.

P.S  Notification:  Today is my Unbirthday!  I will freely accept gifts but please poke someone else by sharing this post.

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App Discovery | Timehop

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Welcome to my new series that I will called App Discovery.  I will provide posts like these periodically and they will differ from App Reviews by their depth.  In this series I will try to highlight apps I feel worthwhile for fellow Tekkies to check out so it is presumed that I offer at least a TekYa rating on apps showcased here.

To start I would like to showcase an app I’ve found to be at least novel if not timely.  Timehop available only on iOS serves one purpose and that is to serve you up daily doses of precisely what you did exactly one, two, three years ago and so on.  It does this by tapping into all of your social network feeds and regurgitating what you were doing, where you were doing it, what you were saying, and pictorially what you were sharing years past on the same date.  It can tap into all the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram.  It goes deep on the photo front by syncing with Dropbox Photos, Photo Sync, Flickr, and even your iPhone camera.  Syncing with all services is as simple as signing in and okaying the usual obligatory do-you-really-want-to-give-all-access questions and for me synced flawlessly.

I love the reminders of all things past.  A couple days ago I was reminded that my son started crawling for the first time three years ago which is fantastic considering next year on the same date it’ll be displaying this year’s Instagram reminder of my son taking his first jumps into the pool and swimming.  One of the toughest things for apps to do is to garner at least once daily usage.  This app’s formula is perfect for such success.  I look forward to finding out what surprises await me each day since there’s no way to either look forward or backwards in the app unless, of course, if you want to methodically dig down each individual social feed.  The last morsel of history the app gives you is a snippet of news from years past via USA Today such as the six year anniversary of the first iPhone launch.

I will say the app isn’t very old and thereby is a bit buggy in its infancy.  I’ve waited for an update before going ahead and recommending it.  The latest update seems to have brought some stability however I am still unable to share to Facebook which seems silly anyways since I would likely just be resharing an already shared moment.  Nevertheless if you are fairly active on social networks I highly recommend the app.  It does one thing and does it simply and well and that almost always garners a TekYa rating in my book.

QuikTeks V3

  • 1367739444_clockHow about download codes to great kids apps instead of those pointless toys in Happy Meals.
  • I love asking people to fast forward during live tv when it gets to commercials.
  • Bing just added two dialects of Klingon to it’s translator (reH sucks Bing – translation Bing still sucks).
  • At what point will the web shift to a widescreen scaled format exclusively?
  • At least take me to the product’s page if I click on an ad for it!
  • Google+ just gained 41 new features making it unquestionably superior to Facebook but it doesn’t matter if none of my friends use it.
  • Best tech job – Google Trail View Trekker
  • When is the last time you used the actual Yellow Pages or White Pages for that matter?
  • Ultrabook™. Inspired by Intel. Besides a cheesy naming convention what on earth did Intel really inspire? (Propaganda)

QuikTeks V2

QuikTeks V1

  • 1367739444_clockNO I don’t want to go paperless, STOP ASKING!
  • Blackberry CEO says tablets will be useless in five years.  Still think Blackberry is relevant?
  • I would choose the Dark Side (Empire) because they had cooler tech (Death Star, AT AT)
  • When posting on Twitter don’t be lazy and give me a Facebook shortcut or vice versa.
  • Website surveys – 1st of all don’t ask for one while the site is still loading.
  • Microsoft, what was wrong with the start button to begin with?
  • Dell sucks.
  • Conan Rules (had to fit that one in somewhere).
  • Except for the phone and text apps, I don’t use a single native Apple app.  Why would you?
  • The Kindle just works (eInk version).
  • Never buy 1st generation.  Why?  Would you be the 1st ever to ride a brand new roller coaster?
  • Maybe I should throttle my payment (AT&T)?