1. Do not trust Facebook. If you write a long meaningful bit of prose in a box on Facebook and then hit the appropriate button to post it, you may get a “Log in to Facebook” screen (even though you were, obviously, already logged in) and your prose will be gone. GONE I SAY!
  2. Do not trust Barns and Noble. If you look up to see if a book you need to buy NOW for a present for someone is “In Stock” and it says the book is “In Stock” it might actually be “In Stock” only in the sense that someone special ordered a copy and they’ve got that one. “In Stock.”
  3. I’ve made modest updates to my About page, which you should probably ignore.

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    April 19, 2009

    Since I have no idea what your About page used to look like, I’ll just assume that the whole thing is new. I hope that’s okay with your royal Harvardness. :-)

  2. #2 Jason Thibeault
    April 19, 2009

    I have to assume this is probably some trivial HTML error, but your list appears to be inverted. Facebook should not be number one on ANY list, except maybe “time wasters that drive acquaintances into my ‘ignore’ bucket quicker than actually conversing with them face-to-face”.

  3. #3 Ian
    April 20, 2009

    Facebook isn’t the only site which completely wipes your entry/ies when it finds an error or requires more information and sends you back to the previous page where you then discover that you have to type it all of it over again because the page was wiped.

    If it’s only one box, you can always copy it before clicking, but if you’ve filled in an address or other information in several boxes, you’re screwed.

    This is why I avoid such sites. And if you go to a book store, you know it’s in stock when you see it on the shelf….

  4. #4 Andrew
    April 20, 2009

    Ian the luddite troll has arrived…..

  5. #5 Jen W
    April 20, 2009

    If you call Barnes & Noble, they’ll pull the book from the shelf and hold it for you, if it’s there. If it’s not, they’ll usually call around to other local stores and ask them to hold it for you. Of course, if it’s a book that’s only ever in-store by special order, you may be out of luck… but at least your hopes will be dashed *before* you make the trek to the store!

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    April 20, 2009

    We did make that call, which is when we found out that “In stock” means something other than “Come on in and buy the book” so there was no harm done, but I thought I’d let people know so they could avoid the problem.

  7. #7 Dan J
    April 20, 2009

    The web site for Borders book stores now says “probably in stock” or something similar. I suppose this gives them an “out” in case it really isn’t there. On a side note, I really prefer their previous web site. It was much easier to navigate and to order books from the old site. It gave you the option to place an in-stock title “on hold” at the store; something that isn’t possible with the new site.

    Re: FaceBook and similar sites. I often compose more lengthy posts/responses in a text editor first, then paste it in to the box on the web submission form because I’ve been burned before as well.

  8. #8 Mal Adapted
    April 22, 2009

    Greg,

    If you write a long meaningful bit of prose in a box on Facebook and then hit the appropriate button to post it, you may get a “Log in to Facebook” screen (even though you were, obviously, already logged in) and your prose will be gone. GONE I SAY!

    A similar thing happened to a “long meaningful bit of prose” I wrote for a blog comment yesterday. I was able to find the lost prose in the Firefox cache.

    I cd’ed to the cache directory (I’m using Firefox on Linux) and grep-ed through the cache files for a string I thought would be unique to my post. I found it in the most recent cache file, so I ran strings(1) on that file and re-directed the output to a text file. A little bit of cut’n’paste on the text file, and I recovered all but the last five minutes of my two hours of work.

    I’m going to follow Dan’s suggestion of using a text editor for blog comments henceforth.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    April 22, 2009

    Mal …. nice. Very nice. You could make a bash script that facilitates this.

    wtfimt

    you type wtfimt followed by some text and it searches known caches and dumps the results into you favorite text editor.

  10. #10 Jason Thibeault
    April 22, 2009

    Brilliant, Mal. I’m surprised Firefox saved form content to cache, but only mildly.

  11. #11 Jason Thibeault
    April 22, 2009

    Could use work, but here. Takes two parameters — string (with quotes), and output file.

    #!/bin/bash
    # get my text back from Firefox cache

    #would be nice to handle command line validation and usage, but hey

    #figure out first profile, cd to it
    PROFILE=`cat ~/.mozilla/firefox/profiles.ini | grep Path= | sed ‘s/Path=//’`
    echo Assuming profile is $PROFILE

    cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/$PROFILE/Cache

    echo Searching for $1
    strings `grep “$1″ * | sed ‘s/:.*$//’` >> $2

    echo Output to $2

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    April 22, 2009

    Excellent. I’ll test it later when I’m on a linux box with power.