Month: December 2013


New Facebook Permissions for Android

facebookThis morning I was greeted with a notification on my tablet that there was a update to Facebook.  Normally I just hit “update all” but today the notification popped up saying that Facebook was requesting additional permissions to access my data.  I quickly glanced down the list and then had to pause.  The following is taken from the Facebook help site.  The first two didn’t phase me much but “Read/write your contacts” did.  I wonder: does Facebook simply allow me to do this, or does it act on my behalf without any further permission?

Android permission (what you’ll see on your Android) Examples of what we use this permission for
Read your text messages (SMS or MMS) If you add a phone number to your account, this allows us to confirm your phone number automatically by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message.
Download files without notification This allows us to improve the app experience by pre-loading News Feed content.
Read/write your contacts These permissions allow you to import your phone’s contacts to Facebook and sync your Facebook contacts to your phone.
Add or modify calendar events and send email to guests without owners’ knowledge This allows you to see your Facebook events in your phone’s calendar.
Read calendar events plus confidential information This allows the app to show your calendar availability (based on your phone’s calendar) when you’re viewing an event on Facebook.

Maybe I don’t want Facebook knowing everyone I have in my contacts list.  Since my contact list is both personal and business I am not sure just what Facebook wants to do here.  The fourth item on their list is going too far for me.  I certainly don’t need Facebook editing my calendar or knowing what’s on it.  How do I know they will keep my information confidential?   How will they retain my information?  How long will they retain my information?  Just a few questions I have after reading this.  The last item could just be the way Google lists the permission but I certainly don’t want Facebook accessing my confidential information.  Who is Facebook showing my availability to based on my phone calendar?

Facebook just keeps trying to be more than it really is.  They keep changing their rules and the way they use our information.  I for one am tired of trying to figure out just what Facebook is doing with my information.  I think this is the end of the Facebook app on my tablet.

Google Fiber Equals Competition

Google fiberIn March of this year (2013) the city of Olathe KS signed an agreement with Google to bring their Google Fiber to the city.  Google has been deploying their fiber optic network in Kansas City Kansas as well as Kansas City Missouri.  Other cities on both sides of the line have been signing up to get the service.  A list of the cities currently on the list can be found here  Google City List.  Google Fiber offers something most have never seen, real speed at a reasonable price.  I work from my home in Olathe KS, we currently have three wired options for internet access. While that is better than many areas of the country even with the options it’s been hard to find a good deal.  With the Google Fiber threat looming, the offers from our current providers has begun.  AT&T, Surewest, and Comcast are my options, other cities in the area have Time Warner instead of Comcast.


ComcastI have been using Comcast for about three years, the first two I had a really good deal they had offered me.  For the last year I have been paying full list price for the service with no deals to be had.  Recently I have received a mailer from Comcast touting a new X1 Platform.  They are offering this deal for three years with download speeds of up to 250 Mbps for $70 plus some TV package as well.  They require a 2 year agreement to get the deal with penalties for early termination of course.  This speed is only 1/4 of what Google will be offering but compared to my current download speed of 26Mbps is quite a jump.  They don’t say anything about upload speeds but they are probably not the same as the download speed.


About two years ago Surewest wired all of Olathe with fiber optic cables and began offering their service.  I have a few friends who have used their service and it works well.  Their offering was not good enough to get me to switch from Comcast though.  This week I discovered that Surewest was offering greatly discounted prices for one or two year agreements. Consolidated Communications  With this new pricing and knowing that I can get the same upload speed as down I am jumping ship.  Other cities in Johnson county that have Surewest are offering the deal as well but they don’t get the same upload speeds.  While nowhere near the 1000 Mbps that Google will offer I am looking forward to higher upload speeds as we can actually use them.

AT&T is of course our third option and I wanted to at least mention them but they are limited by their existing wiring.  They have been able to do quite a bit with their existing wiring however DSL delivered via a pair of copper wires just has not been able to compete with even coaxial cable for speed which can’t compete with fiber optic cable.  They will have to really upgrade their infrastructure in order compete with the others or be relegated to the bottom of the heap.  They continue to offer deals but if you need speedy internet access look elsewhere.

There has been no announcements or time frames from Google as to when they will be installing their service.  Just the threat though is forcing the other companies to upgrade their networks, provide better pricing and attempt to lock customers in with contracts.  Competition is a good thing, just having Google push the envelope of internet speeds is making other companies look at upgrading their old equipment and actually work for our business.  Without competition we all lose.