Monthly Archives: March 2012

World Backup Day – Saturday March 31st

Tomorrow, March 31st, is World Backup Day. If you know anything about us here at SocialSafe, then you’ll know that we’re all about backing up your data!

Here is a quote from the World Backup Day site explaining why you should backup:

“As we live an increasingly digital life, we can’t afford to ignore the enormous amount of data that we create. We’re well on track to make well over 1.8 zettabytes of data this year. That’s almost 57 billion iPads or 210 billion movies worth! Think about all the precious baby videos, financial documents, love letters, business emails and wedding photos that you’d lose if it isn’t backed up.”

We developed SocialSafe to provide the many millions of social network users across the world a way of extracting and saving a copy of all the content they have created across the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other networks – content that normally resides on a nondescript server that the everyday users don’t have access to.

Recent episodes such as the Twitter unfollow bug and the disappearance of Facebook photos only go to show that our decision to create and continue to improve SocialSafe is fully justified.

If you’d like to backup your Facebook profile, your Twitter accounts, Google+ content, LinkedIn contacts or Viadeo profile, then start your SocialSafe journal today. You can download a free trial version of SocialSafe from our website.

As World Backup Day say, “Don’t be an April Fool. Backup your files.”

Meet The SocialSafe Team: Julian Ranger – Chairman

This week’s SocialSafe team Q&A profile is all about our Chairman, Julian Ranger…

Name: Julian Ranger

Job Title: Chairman

Q: Favourite food?

Bacon – isn’t it everybody’s?

Q: Favourite film?

The Man Who Would be King (1975) based on the book by Rudyard Kipling.  A great story with Michael Cain and Sean Connery.  Going to war because the people upriver are urinating in your water made a great impression on this 12 year old!

Q: If you could have one super-power, what would it be?

Running fast – or flying.  To get places faster – and maybe do just that bit better at rugby.

Q: What’s currently on your iPod?

70s and 80s music mostly – Meat Loaf, Supertramp and the like.

Q: What do you do during your breaks at work?

What breaks?

Q: What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Innovation – constant excitement at learning new things and trying to produce new things.

Q: Where did you last visit outside the UK?

San Francisco/SiliconValley and then to Austin, Texas for SXSW

Q: Favourite sport? What team do you support?

Rugby – I am edging 50 and still playing which is quite mad really.  England is my favourite team of course followed by Leicester (primarily because of Deano in the 90s).

Q: Hobbies/interests outside of work?

Rugby, cricket, skiing, scuba diving. Biggles, aircraft, reading.

Q: Interesting fact about yourself

Going to space next year (hopefully)

Q: Biggest achievement?

Building a business (STASYS) and selling it to Lockheed Martin in 2005.

Q: If you could own any car, what would it be?

A convertible – I have a Bentley GTC already though so probably not a fair question.  (I love my Mini Cooper S convertible just as much though, and I once had a very early Morgan +8 which I used as an everyday car.)

Q: Who is the most famous person you have met? How did it come about?

I don’t meet famous people as a rule – I’m far to low down the pecking order.  I did once go to the dressing room of the Sugarbabes courtesy of my son, but otherwise it’d be Richard Branson at the Spaceport America opening last year.

Affected By The Twitter Unfollow Bug? We’ve Got An App For That

Twitter users have been up in arms at the micro-blogging service’s latest bug that causes users to randomly unfollow people without the account holders’ knowledge or consent.

The problem has been acknowledged by Twitter, with a spokesman saying: “This is a bug, and our team is working to fix it.” Thousands of users have tweeted about experiencing this problem, and there must be many more that haven’t yet noticed that they have unfollowed people.

Unlike adding friends on Facebook, Twitter is much more conducive to following large numbers of people (thousands, as opposed to hundreds of tens of friends), so it can be very hard to work out who you may have unfollowed in circumstances like this.

However, this is just the sort of situation that lead to us developing SocialSafe. By using SocialSafe to run incremental backups (that you can schedule to do automatically), you are able to view lists of people who you are following, people who follow you, people who have stopped following you, and crucially in this case people who you are no longer following.

Each individual backup has its own log of content, so if you only wanted to see who you had unfollowed in the past week, all you’d need to do is view any backups made in the last seven days for any ‘Lost Followings’.

Thankfully this bug doesn’t appear to have affected me, but I’ve just unfollowed a few users and run another backup to show you how this works with a screen shot:

see who has unfollowed you
March 29th - 3 Lost Followings

From there you can just click on ‘View Items’ to see which poor souls have accidentally been given the chop, and for each user there is a thumbnail of their account picture that opens up into their Twitter bio with a link to their profile so you can simply go straight to their page and follow them again.

Unfortunately if you’ve already been affected by the Twitter unfollow bug and you don’t use SocialSafe yet, it won’t be able to tell you who you have stopped following after the first backup. However, once the first backup is complete any subsequent backups will show you any changes to your followers/following, and tell you who you have gained or lost, both in terms of followers and following.

To start your own offline digital backup journal visit the SocialSafe website. Don’t let a simple coding bug get the better of your online social life.

Facebook Purchase IBM Patents, Up To 750 Rumoured

Facebook appear to be attempting to cover their bases in terms of patents in the wake of legal action taken by Yahoo earlier this month.

The social network has confirmed that they have bought a number of IBM’s intellectual property rights, but would not say how many. Bloomberg have reported that as many as 750 patents involving software, networking and other technologies were purchased. It had been said previously that Facebook only owned 56 secured patents.

Yahoo claimed earlier this month that Facebook’s “entire social network model” was based on its technology, and that legal battle continues. Some analysts say that Yahoo may be trying to replicate what it did in 2004 when it was issued shares by Google in the search giant’s floatation as a means of settling a patent lawsuit.

This rumoured acquisition could prove to be crucial in the Yahoo vs. Facebook lawsuit, as The Verge have reported that at least some of the patents purchased might have been licensed to Yahoo by IBM.

Ilya Kazi, from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attourneys said, “If Facebook has bought patents that IBM had already licensed to Yahoo it could tilt things in their favour… It would certainly strengthen Facebook’s negotiating hand. Depending on the sale terms they could terminate the licenses which could put Yahoo in a difficult position.”

What do you think about this? Will this patent acquisition leave Yahoo up the creek without a paddle? If you have any legal expertise or just simply an opinion on this matter, please feel free to make your voice heard by leaving a comment.

SocialSafe Now Backs Up LinkedIn – Contacts, Profiles and Updates

SocialSafe adds another string to its bow by now supporting LinkedIn as a backed up service.

LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site mainly used for professional networking, with more than 150 million users worldwide.

With the latest release of SocialSafe you can now backup LinkedIn contacts, profiles and updates. We’re also looking into backing up LinkedIn Groups, and this functionality will be implemented as soon as we are able to do it!

In the meantime you can amuse yourselves with our latest version of SocialSafe, and backup your LinkedIn profiles as well as your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Viadeo accounts.

To create your own offline social journal, visit our site and download SocialSafe now.

Here’s how SocialSafe currently looks with LinkedIn contacts:

backup for linkedin

Meet The SocialSafe Team: Ben Hogan – Flex Developer

flex developerIt’s time to meet another member of the SocialSafe team. Last week we heard from Heather about her love of chinchillas among other things, so lets see what Ben has to say in reply to our questions…

Name: Ben Hogan

Job Title: Flex Developer

Q: Favourite food?

I am partial to a Rustlers burger for lunch but my favourite food would be a tossup between steak and rissoles.

rustlers burger

Q: Favourite film?

I like action movies, my brothers and I used to always watch Predator when we were growing up.

Q: If you could have one super-power, what would it be?

To fly and to fly fast – then after work I could shoot off to the south of France with ease.

Q: What’s currently on your iPod?

Flux Pavillion after recently going to bass culture event in London.

Q: What do you do during your breaks at work?

Check BBC for sports news and Twitter for random stuff.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Working in a relaxed environment in the middle of nowhere away from all the busy cities like London.

Q: Where did you last visit outside the UK?

Fuerteventura – Canary Islands on my last holiday looking forward to going again, could do with a tan.

Q: Favourite sport? What team do you support?

Football, Man Utd – although I get the feeling Rugby is a lot more popular in Surrey after living here for over a year now!

Q: Hobbies/interests outside of work?

Football mainly as a spectator, cycling (prefer off-road).

Q: Biggest achievement?

Growing a decent [if you say so!] beard at the ripe age of 23.

Q: If you could own any car, what would it be?

Pagani Zonda although I would settle for a TVR Tuscan if I was to go British despite the Russian money.

Q: Who is the most famous person you have met? How did it come about?

My dad Hulk, I’m guessing he really liked my mum.

hulk hogan

Facebook Photos Disappearing For Some Users

A problem that has seen many Facebook photos disappearing may have been traced to a server farm in Sweden.

Users have recently reported that albums uploaded in 2008 and 2009 were displaying as a grid of blank frames, and that the pictures were nowhere to be found. A number of people posted to the photos section of the Facebook Help Centre to report the problem and seek some help or answers, but initially there was no word from Facebook on the matter.

Scores of users chipped in to either state that they were experiencing the same problem or to offer some advice. In certain cases users were able to get around the problem by changing their web browser or deleting their cache/temporary internet files. However, the majority of users still weren’t able to view their albums, and it looked like they were having to face the possibility that they had lost Facebook photos forever.

One user managed to trace the problem to a broken server or servers in Sweden:

“I have checked about a dozen “blank” photos in various albums of about 4 or 5 people posting on this thread. Though I do not know how reliable the information is, ALL of the images in question appear to be associated with an IP address leading to an Akamai fbcdn (Facebook Content Distribution Network) server, located somewhere in Sweden.

Please note that approximately 6 months ago, it was announced that Facebook was planning to construct a server farm in northern Sweden near the Arctic Circle. I do not know if Akamai or Facebook are currently having server and/or network problems, or, if the encountered issue is related to the reported Facebook construction in Sweden.”

 Facebook have finally issued a response, posting the following in theirKnown Issuessection:

“Photos: Some people are seeing photos as blank squares in their albums and around the site. These photos are not lost and will begin to appear as we continue to work on this. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

So while it seems that this is a case of temporary misplacement, it must have been very unsettling for those affected users to think that they may have lost a sizeable chunk of their photo memories. If you are concerned about losing your Facebook photos – and wall posts, updates, friends and comments – then you can backup Facebook and other social media accounts with SocialSafe.

Twitter User Faces Jail After Racist Posts During Football Match

A British Twitter user may face a jail sentence for racist remarks he posted on the micro-blogging site over the weekend.

It all started when Liam Stacy, 21, tweeted the message “LOL, F___ Muamba. He’s dead,” on Saturday after the Bolton Wanderers football player Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch having suffered a heart attack during a live televised game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Many other users responded to his message to express their disgust and outrage, and Stacey in turn replied to them with repeated racial slurs and insults. It wouldn’t be appropriate to repeat any of them here, but if you have a real desire to find out what he said, there are plenty of news agencies running this story so the tweets shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Enough users reported Liam for his tweets and on Sunday he was arrested by local police under a “public order offence“. It is reported that he initially tried to distance himself from the tweets, saying that his account had been hacked, however he was arrested before he could try to delete the account.

Yesterday he pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence and has since been released on bail, but he is due back in court for sentencing on March 27th. In yesterday’s hearing at his local court, Stacey was told that his comments on Twitter may result in jail time.

Fabrice Muamba can “breathe independently” without a ventilator but remains in intensive care after a cardiac arrest on Saturday.

Meet the SocialSafe team: Heather Roberts – User Experience Developer

We thought you’d like to know a little bit more about the people who do all the hard work behind the scenes at SocialSafe, so this is the first of our weekly staff Q&A profiles. First up we have Heather, one of our User Experience Developers, who talks about weird films, chinchillas and Morocco.

Q: If you could have one super-power, what would it be?

I’d like to fly, though I think it might get cold up there…

Q: Where did you last visit outside the UK?

I went to Morocco last April with my boyfriend, we went during the heatwave and were quite upset to see it was hotter in England than Africa! I tried surfing for the first time and almost drowned, and I also broke my vegetarianism one night!!

Q: Favourite film?

I like films that are a bit weird and also really depressing, so I think my favourite is Requiem for a Dream as it makes you feel a bit like you’ll never be happy again.

Q: Hobbies/interests outside of work?

I absolutely love chinchillas, they are definitely my biggest interest! They are just so cute and beautiful, they look like the shouldn’t be real… One day I want to own a chinchilla sanctuary and look after poor abandoned chinchillas.

Q: What do you do during your breaks at work?

I go on walks in the woods, once I saw a badger and another time I saw about 8 deer that all ran away from me. I can pretty much guarantee seeing a squirrel every time :-)

Q: If you could own any car, what would it be?

I have a Fiat 500 which I absolutely love, but I want a Fiat 500 Abarth as they are even better. There’s one model that is silver on the top half and reddy-orange on the bottom, it looks so cool! Failing that I would like this orange Lambourgini. Orange is my favourite colour!

Are You A Digital Hoarder? 10% Of People Never Delete Emails

It may be fair to say that as humans, it is within our nature to hoard things. Even when it comes to useless things like out of date takeaway menus, most of us are loathed to throw anything away. Does this trait cross over into our digital lives too? According to research by Microsoft, yes it does.

Given the seemingly infinite amounts of space at our disposal, it’s no surprise that people are happy to keep hold of obsolete emails from months, even years in the past. Obviously it’s good to keep receipts or proof of booking emails from online vendors such as Amazon or Ticketmaster for posterity’s sake and for your records. But then there’s the endless stream of ‘greymail‘ (neither spam nor authentic mail) such as newsletters and special offers that we have somewhere along the line said we’d be happy to receive.

Microsoft estimate that of the 14,600 emails an average Hotmail inbox will receive in 2012, around 80% of them will fall into the so-called ‘greymail’ category. Coming back around to the notion of hoarding, the same research showed that one in ten people said that they never delete emails. To a certain extent you can understand why, as if there’s no real limit to how much you can keep backed up, then you may as well keep things ‘just in case’, and when you need to find something in particular you can search for it.

I’m not aware of many people who make a habit of deleting old Facebook posts or tweets, so why should email be much different? The difference with social networks, is that it is much harder to search a Twitter timeline for example, given the amount of extra noise and content that is generated on the microblogging site, and even harder still to find something when you can’t remember what network it was posted on.

However if you would like to be more organised with your various social media feeds, SocialSafe can solve a lot of your problems. By backing up Facebook profiles and pages, Twitter accounts, Google+ and Viadeo into a searchable user-friendly UI, you can easily find what you’re looking for. You can also act safe in the knowledge that you’ll possess a copy of your content on your own machine rather than having to hope that the servers hosting your accounts will be there forever.