Facebook stumbles, again

Facebook stumbles, again
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First Published: Wed, Feb 20 2008. 12 38 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Feb 20 2008. 12 38 AM IST
Facebook.com, stung by the wrath of members who want to sever their relationships, tripped again when it tried to let them do so. But the company claims it had fixed the problems, making it possible—and not too difficult—to delete an account from the site entirely. The problems, which Facebook described as technical, had to do with a form it introduced last week for users who want to obliterate their accounts. But as a few departing users found out, Facebook still had a few bugs left. Some people who used the form discovered that only certain parts of their accounts had disappeared.
Katie Geminder, Facebook's director for user experience and design, said, internal adjustments to the tool used to delete accounts had created a technical snag that affected “a small per cent” of Facebook users. “None of their information was exposed, but the empty account continued to exist even though all of its data had been removed," she said by email. The bug was fixed within 24 hours, she said.
Experiences of partially deleted users have done little to quiet the jitters of many users, who see Facebook's adjusted policy as an inadequate response to their demand for an easy opt-out button and to their larger concerns over the network’s efforts to profit from the private information they volunteer to the site. Magnus Wallin, the founder of a Facebook group called “How to permanently delete your Facebook account,” posted a warning on 15 February: “Users who have requested to be deleted via the recently introduced form are only partly deleted, even though the deletion is confirmed by Facebook staff."
©2008/ The New York Times
When your computer dies
If your computer had a tattoo, it would say, “Born to die”. Maybe the hard disk will go first. Or a lightning strike could turn the whole thing into a paperweight. It'll die young, or die old—but some day it'll go. It pays to be prepared.
You must make a backup copy of important data. Think for a moment about what your computer holds—photos, family finances, emails, recipes and documents that couldn't be replaced. You can back up your data with an external hard disk, CDs, DVDs or online backup services.
Take some time to find and store all your program installation disks. Even with a good data backup, you'll need to reinstall favourite programs separately. Also, make sure you have all the activation codes handy.
A few programs come with really elaborate carriers—applications such as Photoshop with its multiple disks comes to mind—so I keep those programs together on a shelf in my office bookcase. Next to them I have all the manuals. I also store a list of all my passwords.
Next, keep in mind that even a small problem—some cheap part failing—can bring your computer to its knees. A bad keyboard or mouse can put you out of business, or at least make doing any work awkward. And if your monitor goes, well, you can't compute what you can't see. That's why I keep spares around.
Prepare a DVD that contains many of the specialized drivers you need for video cards, printers and the like. In most cases, Windows will find drivers or you'll have them on the Windows CD. It would make it faster and easier to get the computer up and running again. (Bill Husted)
©2008/The New York Times
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First Published: Wed, Feb 20 2008. 12 38 AM IST