Technology: February 2010 Archives

I have a couple of technological frustrations that I would like to vent:

1. I plug an external hard drive into a USB port on my laptop. The drive is a USB 2.0 device, capable of transferring data at 480 Mbps. The laptop is new enough so that all of its USB ports are USB 2.0. But still, some of the time, Windows reports: "This device can perform faster. This USB device can perform faste if you connect it to a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port. For a list of available ports, click here." Data transfers then happen at a sluggish 12 Mbps, the speed for USB 1.1, a fortieth of the speed of USB 2.0. But I can unplug the cable and plug it back in and Windows suddenly realizes that the port is USB 2.0 and gives me the higher rate of speed with no error message.

I'm running Windows XP, but I see that the same issue comes up in Windows 7.

Now, I could imagine the OS being uncertain about the device's compatibility with USB 2.0 and so throttling back to USB 1.1 speed in such a situation. But the computer's operating system should know that all of its own ports are 2.0 all the time.

2. Facebook has this neat feature: When you insert a webpage URL in the status update box, it fetches images from that page, the title of the page, and an excerpt from the page. You can pick which image to display as a thumbnail, edit the title, and edit the excerpt, then add your comment on the link in the box. It makes the links you post a bit more eye-catching than they would be otherwise.

But this feature doesn't always work, and lately, for my site, it never works. The link preview is the hostname of the site ( and the first 40 characters of the URL. You can't add a description. You can't add a thumbnail.

I've been using the link preview feature on the Michael D. Bates "fan page" to notify the 200 people signed up as fans about new blog posts here. Recently I've had some posts with eyecatching photos, but I can't show those eyecatching photos as part of a Facebook link, and that's frustrating.

Got a gripe about something that should work consistently but doesn't? Feel free to voice it in the comments.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Technology category from February 2010.

Technology: July 2009 is the previous archive.

Technology: April 2010 is the next archive.

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