Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Changing account info with yahoo is difficult

I have seldom used yahoo email account since they no longer support POP. Recently, I have logged on to it and was forced to add new security questions due to their new design and interface. Then I found that there is an error in my birthday and would like to amend it. Unfortunately the field is not available. I sent them a question asking about how to update it.

The answer is that I have to wait for 35 days in order to edit the field since my security questions are newly added/updated. The other ridiculous thing is that this field will be public by default (see the email exception below). I can't hide it until 35 days. How difficult to make the personal account information becomes editable immediately since they have already had the interface? Why do I have to wait 35 days? Anyway, I simply hide my entire profile since I am not using it for connections.

The following is excerpted from the email answered by Yahoo:

"Once the 35 days has passed, you will be able to edit your age from the "Edit Profile" link in your Yahoo! Profile. Edit fields for your birth date will be available on that page after the 35 day period. You will also be provided a field that will allow you the ability to hide your age from other users."

September 28, 2009
The 35 days have already passed. I still don't see that there is a field for age or birthday available at the Edit Profile page. Everything is the same as before only showing Full Name, Display Name, Location, Verify and two buttons (Save and Cancel) - that's! The page with the birthday info I found is only available at Account Info page. Unfortunately it is not editable at that page. I have never seen Age field that Yahoo keeps mentioning. They should have posted the screenshot at their support page to guide people. Such a question has been asked several times if you do a search on Google, but no one is fond of their answer. I have been talking to Yahoo back and forth 4 times. I can see that it is wasting time. Wait for 35 days? Then what? The information is still unavailable. Yahoo support just wants to dismiss you ASAP regardless of your satisfaction with their answer. Luckily, I don't subscribe their pay service. It is totally not worth it! Although it is free, Users should have the right to make corrections on their personal data. It seems to me that Yahoo promotes false information and discourages users to make amendments!

Side note:
  • A few years ago, a friend of mine's email accounts were hacked. She successfully had her Hotmail back but not Yahoo. She was extremely furious with Yahoo and advised everyone to reconsider if he or she chooses Yahoo's service while there are better services in somewhere else.
  • If you lose your password, you probably will be out of luck to get your account back from yahoo. I lost once in the past but luckily I remember it a month later to have it back. Their service support is very poor regardless of how much information you provide them. Their answer is always the same, "Sorry, your data doesn't match with their file." So the case is closed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Your Facebook photo alumn is never private

Regardless of your permission setting on your Facebook photo albums, they are all considered public. Each album is assigned an unique access link. It can be found at the bottom of the album page (the link is only visible to you). Don't think you set the photos are only viewed by you; then the rest of the world can't see it. Facebook has explicitly said in every album that "Share this album with anyone by sending them this public link: ...." Obviously your photos are viewable to non-facebook users, which means everyone. The link will look like this:


In the above example, l=abcdefghij, I believe, is sort of the public access ID. Without it, non-Facebook users cannot go in the album or see the photo. Therefore, don't casually distribute your album link to anyone. Without it, the link is difficult for human educated guess; possibly a hack program can. If you have ever published the link to someone else, you may consider to create a new album by transferring the existing photos to the new one and then delete the old album. The new album will be assigned a new public access ID. Such a way it may keep your photos more safer. As of this writing, there is still no guarantee to keep your photo on Facebook 100% private.

Blogger fails to identify users

Some people are unable to provide comments with their own identities using their Google accounts, because blogger always mistakenly tags them with someone else. Clearing cookies and cache for the browser won't make a difference. I am one of them. Thus, I won't comment friends' blogs with my Google Account identity because it will never be me. Luckily most of them allow visitors to sign with Name/URL.

I just did a little bit experience using a public computer where I have never been before by posting a comment back to my own blog. When I posted a comment, I logged in with my Google account, hoping my name will show up correctly. No, never! Instead, I became someone else. The worst is that I don't even know who that person is. Obviously, it is not the issue of you possessing many Google accounts as blogger claims. Unfortunately, blogger has never admitted the fault and has no plan to fix it. In looking back the complaints posted to the blogger user communities/forums, this problem has existed for a few years already. To be safe, if you have already experienced this problem, it would better not use Google account when you post a comment to blogger, use OpenID if you have another identity with some other sites, or use Name/URL if the blog allows anonymous posting.

Blogger cannot correctly handle their own Google account for comment posting. Why not put Google account under OpenID category and handle it the same way as other OpenIDs? This problem discourages people using (or signing up) Google accounts and also degrades user experience.