Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My problems with Facebook

1. On Facebook, I have 400+ friends. Out of which, I consider around 10 as real friends. Around 20 of them aren't friend-close to me but I had interactions of intellectual nature  with them for extended periods which makes them important enough for me to value their opinions. The rest? They are not my friends. They are just in my friends list. A few of them like each of my posts and post a comment with just the word 'superlike' or 'wow this is great' or something of that sort. Although they do this in good faith, but this annoys me. Also I don't think they are competent enough to post a random comment on a topic I started on my wall. Looking from a different viewpoint, I don't want to say this in their face and un-friend them right away. Because I may need their help some day when, for some reason space time continuum deterministically puts me in their city and I am on harm's way.
The bottomline? Facebook is not the app for me. I know you will say how can I create lists and do something with them like not showing my posts to specific lists. But so many lists with overlapping members aren't practical and worth my time to create and update regularly. Facebook's concept of friendship is fundamentally broken for me. It might not be that way for people who talk to each of their Facebook friends on a regular basis. Twitter's concept of followers suits me better. Facebook has that, but not the way it should be.
2. News feed's algorithm is out of my understanding. It hides many posts from me which I would like to see. If facebook thinks that a probabilistic set of algorithms is smart enough to determine what I would like to see on my newsfeed, they are wrong. Machine learning techniques are in fashion but the output is useless when it is used to forcefully solve a problem which isn't meant for it. I am sorry Facebook, but the hammer you are using for this nail is of wrong size.
3. I can not see all my wall posts. Many events and posts are missing from my timeline. I want my timeline to be a journal of everything I do on Facebook. Timeline literally isn't doing what it stands for in plain English.
4. I don't want to connect every other website with Facebook. I don't want Facebook to know what I do on that website. And I don't want that website to know what I do on Facebook.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I don't like Google Maps

The quality of Google Maps is deteriorating day by day. With their update on Android that killed the handy scale, to out of place venues, to UI irritations. Its all piling up.

Lets see the search quality. This screenshot will tell you everything. I searched for "KFC near me". It recommended me the one which is a 2 hour 25 minutes walk from my current location, despite showing up so many of them which are far closer.
 Did I search for "KFC near me" or "KFC far from me"?

Lets see some example screenshots of POIs which exist on Google Maps within 2KM radius of my home but do not exist physically on planet earth. I guess, Google has indexed POIs from one of the parallel universes.

Look at that "Grand Sweets". I followed Maps and reached there to find someone's residence. I had indications early on that Google is lying to me and just wants me to walk so as to burn some calories. Because, why will Grand Sweets open their outlet inside a residential area?
See that Domino's pizza. According to Google, it lies right there on the middle of an expressway!!!! If you can't employ human operators to fix it, then at least get it fixed using the crowd way. If n number of people, report a venue address as false/bogus please put someone to look at it and remove from maps.

One fine sunday, while returning back from a weekend getaway, I suggested my friend who was driving; to take a shortcut through a residential area to save a few kilometers. We used Google Maps to route us. It took us deep inside a colony showing us that we are inching towards our destination closer and closer. Suddenly we saw a wall in front of us. Google was telling us to take the car through that wall. Another time, I was with a friend on bike and needed to get the puncture repaired. I searched for bike repair shop. It showed us one at around 400 meters from our current location. We dragged the bike there only to find a chaiwala stall there. 

There are umpteen numbers of factual inaccuracies on Google Maps. And they are stacking up pretty quickly. Within 2KM radius of me, I showed you two of them. I don't know how many more are there. According to a random estimate, I assume there are 1000+ factual inaccuracies in Google Maps, just in Chennai.

I have decided not to believe Google Maps for address of places. The best way is the old way. Ask the local people. If more than one person who are spaced at least 300 meters apart, tell you an address; then believe it. It must be true.