Sunday, September 25, 2016

Facebook: what to do when you receive a Friend request from someone who is already a friend (impersonation scam).

There are a lot of scams on Facebook. Heck, at one time their revenue came largely from shady games and the covert sale of personal information. It’s kind of in their blood. With time Facebook has become respectable, but the scams continue.

Some scams have no fix. If someone uses a personal email address you haven’t yourself associated with a Facebook account you are out of luck. At best you can lock the scammer out of Facebook by doing a password reset.

Other scams do have a fix, but the fix is usually anti-documented. What’s anti-documentation? It’s to documentation as antimatter is to matter. The opposite of useful; it gives the wrong answer to every question.

The fake-friend scam is anti-documented. When I searched recently for a good explanation I found lots of chaff and nonsense. So here’s a stab at what you do — at least until Facebook changes things again.

The fake-friend scam leverages Facebook’s default behavior of sharing your image, your name, and your friend list. A software program creates a new profile based on your image and name, then sends an invite to everyone it can find on your friend list. Friends accept, and it does the same thing to them. The resulting information can be sold. Eventually someone monetizes the network, usually by sending a link that loads malware with a payoff.

The fix is to report the fake profile. This is what I did when I received a request from someone who was already a friend (I’ve removed her identifying information). If all goes well after the report is done a confirmation request is sent to the friend who is being impersonated (though sometimes Facebook seems to remove the fake profile immediately):

1. Click the mystery drop down icon on right side and choose report.


2. Choose report.


3. They’re pretending to be … someone I know


4. Submit for review


5. Facebook will lookup the name from your friend list.


A few minutes later you should receive a Facebook notification that the case has been “closed”:

Screen Shot 2016 09 25 at 9 53 38 AM

I’ve done this a few times. So far Facebook has removed the fake profile fairly quickly, but that may depend on your friend managing their followup. So let your friend no what to expect.

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Scrivener does poorly (or not at all)

There’s a lot I like about Scrivener, a writer’s integrated development environment with compilation to platform specific documents. I’m not the only person who wants to like it, there are many enthusiasts online.

It’s easy to find tips and advice online, it’s harder to find a list of what doesn’t work. That’s important to know up front, before you commit to Scrivener.

This is my working list. I’ll expand it over time…

  1. PDF export has no page footnotes. The footnotes become chapter endnotes instead.
  2. Table creation within Scrivener is quite limited (Scrivener uses macOS text editing services).
  3. Table creation in compiled output is poor or unusable. Formatting in PDF and RTF loses font information, formatting in Word .docx defaults table to Word “auto fit to contents” instead of “auto fit to window”.
  4. It’s easy to get formatting drift between chapters, there’s no ready style enforcement (there is a process for redoing all formatting to a default)

Some of Scriveners’s limitations seem inherited from macOS text handling, others may be limitations of third party libraries. Scrivener could be more forthright about what works and doesn’t work, but that’s asking a lot of a small business.

Scrivener works best for writing fiction, though even there style support is a big issue (see also, below). It works less well for non-fiction — we need things like tables. If I do continue with Scrivener for my own book I’ll have to treat Word output as a forked version — with late stage editing being manually replicated in two locations. That’s not ideal, but it might be doable. The alternative, of course, is to use Word from the start [1].

- fn -

[1] At least in light use Word for Mac is now useable and the bugs are manageable. With the rental model Office 365 is also quite reasonably priced.

See also:

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Set alert sound to Constellation and you can't miss them.

I had one job. I had to put my daughter’s laundry in the dryer. Since I know I’m demented I set a Reminder. Which I never saw because I didn’t look at my phone and the tiny ding went unheard (and perhaps because Reminders sync to El Cap is unreliable).

It’s not the first time I’ve missed a Reminder. When I set one I really want to be reminded.

An alarm option for Reminders would be great but for now there’s a workaround. In Settings:Sounds:Reminder Alerts [1] choose “Constellation” ring tone. It goes on endlessly.

- fn -

[1] Same option can be found in Notifications. iOS changed settings model from a hierarchy to an acyclic graph; settings now appear in multiple places. I think this is a good thing, especially with search. Search is still odd though; if you search on Sounds you find individual Sound settings, but the Sound menu item appears with the description “Lock Sounds”. (I think this is a bug.)

Monday, September 05, 2016

Tweak to my, Aperture workflow.

WARNING: There are at least two issues with this workflow.

1. Not all images that appear in iOS UI for “All Photos” are actually available for import into Aperture. I suspect images that have synchronized from iCloud Photo Library are stored in a different physical location from the images Aperture sees.

2. Neither Aperture nor Image Capture can delete photos from iPhone if iCloud Photo Library is active. Aperture doesn’t show an error message but fails. Image Capture doesn’t show the delete control. Turn off iCloud Photo Library to reenable delete.

———- ORIGINAL POST ——————-

With El Capitan it is possible to have and iPhone share photos via iCloud, while Aperture owns posting to iCloud photo sharing streams. You have to fight a bit, but it works great.

So my workflow has been to use on OS X and iOS to cull images, then periodically export from to Aperture. Except original image export is broken, and has been broken since 1.0. (Exports all images, even those that are “deleted”), so this is a pain.

Finally realized there’s a much better solution. Whenever I want to move images from to Aperture I import them from the iPhone into Aperture (iPhone set to keep full res images). Then I use Aperture post-import delete. Then they delete from Much neater.

See also:

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Apple's peculiar relationship to RSS (and blogs)

Apple “Newsroom” smells like a blog, but there’s no RSS feed. I assume it uses Apple’s RSS variant and works with Apple’s, but it also renders in a browser. (Historically a dull PR site, Apple is starting to use Newsroom to promote Siri.)

On the other hand, Apple has RSS Feeds. They even have an iTunes Store query tool that generates custom RSS. They don’t have them for newsroom though. and Apple News is supposed to be able to work with RSS feeds, but I can’t get it to work with Wordpress or Blogger feeds.

Apple’s half-baked approach to subscription and notification is sadly typical for them.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

OS X and iOS wifi defect with iCloud keychain sharing: rejoining zombie networks.

With iCloud keychain sharing enabled both iOS and OS X seem unable to truly “forget” networks I’ve joined. I remove them using the WiFi menu or advanced preferences but they seem to keep returning. With large numbers of networks the U for locating specific networks is quite frustrating.

These unforgotten networks mean I’m constantly having to adjust what networks I join, or I join the wrong ones.

The best workaround I’ve found is to use Keychain Access from OS X to delete the wifi password for unwanted networks. That seems to propagate correctly and the UI includes search.