A First Look at GM’s Prototype Facebook Interface

Facebook updates while driving to work

When I heard that General Motors was testing a new feature that allows drivers to post Facebook status messages while driving, I couldn’t wait to try it out. So I called GM, explained that I have a blog with almost a dozen regular readers, and asked if they’d let me try the system out for a few days in exchange for some free publicity. Naturally, they jumped at this opportunity and offered me a 48-hour test drive.

Tuesday, after work: I stop by the dealership to pick up my vehicle, a Chevy Impala with the prototype social networking software installed. After programming in my login information (a tedious process, but one that only needs to be done once) and getting a brief tutorial on how to use the system, I’m all set. As soon as I pull out of the dealership, I dictate my first (admittedly unimaginative) update: “Hi! This is my first Facebook update from my car”.

My first Facebook update using the automotive interface.
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When Memes Collide: Unfortunate Pairings from Catroulette

By now you’ve probably heard of Chatroulette, the website that pairs people up for anonymous online video chats with random strangers. Here are some screenshots from a similar but lesser-known service catering exclusively to cats.

1. The Cat in the Hat meets Limecat.
The Cat in the Hat meets Limecat in Catroulette / Chatroulette

2. Maru meets Schroedinger’s Cat.
Maru meets Schroedinger's cat in Catroulette / Chatroulette

3. Archy meets Keyboard Cat.
Archy meets Keyboard Cat in Catroulette / Chatroulette

I’m actually not the first person to think of the name “Catroulette” — it’s also the name of a cute site that collects images from (apparently) real Chatroulette sessions involving cats. But the best use of the name by far goes to this cat adoption site in Belgium.

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Sentiments I’m Incapable of Expressing on Facebook

Recently, there have been a few things I’ve wanted to say to some of my Facebook friends but haven’t been able to, because of technical or other issues with the Facebook framework. Here are some examples.

“I’m happy for you, but I don’t care who else is happy for you”. I'm happy for you, but I don't care who else is happy for youThis happens to me all the time — someone posts a Facebook update announcing a pregnancy, birth, graduation, or other news, and I foolishly click the “like” button or add a “Congrats!” comment. And then, for the rest of the day, I get a constant barrage of Facebook notifications. I click on each one expecting lavish praise for my latest astute observation that my car is dirty or that bees exist, only to have my hopes dashed when I realize it’s yet another person adding a “Congrats!” comment of their own.
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Arbitrary and Capricious

By now, you’ve probably heard that federal prosecutors have decided not to press charges in the Pennsylvania high school laptop spying case. I thought it might be helpful if I explained some of the legal issues involved — but first, I should probably list my qualifications as an expert.
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