Saturday, November 10, 2007

Twitter Facebook App: How to Fix the Double Feed-Post Glitch

The Twitter application on Facebook has an optional feature that's kinda cool but has a really annoying side effect. I'll get to the side effect in a minute and tell you how to fix it.

If you go to and click on "Want Twitter to update your Facebook status? Click here!", Twitter will thereafter permanently update your Facebook status (i.e. the "[First name] is ..." text) whenever you post a message on Twitter (with the exception of replies or references to other Twitter peeps using the at symbol followed by the Twitter username, e.g. @theJoshMeister). So if I post "There's a new episode of Tech Pulse up at !!!" on Twitter, my Facebook status would then change to say "Josh is twittering: There's a new episode of Tech Pulse up at !!!"

Now here's the annoying side effect: Your Facebook News Feed and Mini-Feed will now double-post every time you update Twitter. (First you'll get an item in your feeds with the Twitter "t" logo and the contents of your new tweet, and then immediately after that you'll get a Facebook status update with the exact same contents, but preceded by "[First name] is twittering: ".) Here's a visual example from the profile of another Facebook and Twitter user, iJustine:

After a lot of frustration, I finally found a setting that will allow you to go back to having just one instance of your Twitter message in your feeds. Basically, you just have to remove the Twitter application's permission to post messages in your feeds. Here's how:

1) Log into Facebook (if necessary)
2) Go to
3) Next to "Twitter", click on "Edit Settings"
4) Uncheck "News Feed" and "Mini-Feed", and then click "Save"

To clarify: this disables the feed items that have the Twitter "t" logo, but it leaves the "[first name] is twittering: " status update feed items enabled.

I hope this helps someone out there who has been as annoyed by the dual Facebook feed posts as I was. If you found this tip useful (or any other on this site), please consider making a donation:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

shutdown: halt by root: Shutting down due to power loss!

Note: This is a very technical, geeky article that very few people will appreciate. I just thought I'd post this since I couldn't find an answer doing a Google search, so I wanted to make my findings public.

My Mac (a Blue & White "Yosemite" Power Macintosh G3) has been acting kind of flaky for the past couple weeks. Specifically, sometimes when iTunes 7.4.2 has automatically downloaded a podcast, I can't drag the file from iTunes over to my flash memory card on the desktop, and when I right-click on the podcast episode in iTunes and select "Show in Finder," the Finder would activate but the folder containing the file would not open. Very weird. I've been able to work around this glitch by quitting and relaunching iTunes, but the issue recurs later. I repaired permissions and that didn't help. I thought I'd try cleaning out my hard drive's caches by restarting and using AppleJack—and that's when I ran into a scarier problem.

AppleJack was doing its thing; it got through the "repair disks" phase (no problems found), the "repair permissions" phase (no problems), and then it got to step 3, "cleanup cache files." The CPU halted and the system shut down during this process. That was freaky—the cleaning process hadn't finished, and moreover I didn't tell AppleJack to shut down the computer. I started the computer again, tried cleaning cache files, and the computer shut down again. I noticed an error message before the CPU was halted:
shutdown: halt by root: Shutting down due to power loss!
Power loss? The only power loss was the computer shutting itself down. I Googled the full error message in quotation marks and came up with no results. I tried just the second part, "shutting down due to power loss", and both results had "UPS" in the page title. That makes sense; I have my Mac plugged into an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), with a USB cable from the UPS to the Mac. The cable allows the UPS to communicate to the Mac that it's running off of battery power and how much battery time remains.

Although having the UPS plugged into the Mac had never caused this problem to happen before, naturally I decided to unplug the USB cable. Success! AppleJack was able to get through the whole cache cleaning process and clean an individual user's cache. After the computer restarted, I plugged the USB cable back into my Mac and it booted normally into the Finder.

Please note this issue is NOT AppleJack's fault. I'm not certain, however, whether something changed in the OS or whether the UPS is communicating differently with the Mac now. I'm currently running Mac OS X v10.4.10 on the PowerMac, but I'm pretty sure I've run AppleJack since upgrading to 10.4.10.

Anyway, the solution to the "shutdown: halt by root: Shutting down due to power loss!" issue is to unplug the UPS's USB cable from the Mac before booting into Single User Mode.

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