Fix to remove or uninstall MacFuse on Mountain Lion when you get the error "MacFUSE Uninstaller: Can not find the for MacFUSE Core package."

If you've been upgrading OSX for a while, you may have some kernel extensions lying around that are no longer compatible, and may have been installed long enough ago that the uninstallers don't work.  

When upgrading from Mountain Lion to Mavericks I noticed MacFuse 2.1.7 which stopped development back in 2009.  There's a 2.1.9 that works on Lion and a 2.2.0, but the project has been superseded by OSXFUSE which is on 2.6.0 as of this writing, available at

In the meantime, you need to uninstall MacFuse.  If you click the uninstall button in the 32-bit preference pane, nothing happens.  If you track down the original fuse.fs package, it's in /Library/Filesystems/fuse.fs, but the uninstall script errors out with the message:

MacFUSE Uninstaller: Can not find the for MacFUSE Core package.

Several blogs suggest you simply need to add newer OSX version numbers to fix this.  That's true if your MacFuse bill of materials (bom) file is where the script thinks, at /var/db/receipts/, but mine wasn't.  Mine was at /Library/Receipts/boms/

To fix this, edit the script:

find the section that tests your OSX version (search for uname), and update it:

Of course, use whatever path really has your file.

Save, run the revised script, and two pages worth of files are removed.  Finally, you need to remove the MacFuse System Preferences pane.

Right click it, and choose Remove "MacFuse" Preference Pane.

Now go get OSXFUSE and enjoy.

How not to launch your new phone — Facebook Home takes a lesson from the Google Play book

Facebook Home looks like a slick product, initially offering a first class experience exclusively on the HTC First, sold through AT&T:

“The HTC First is the best Home experience possible. There’s no setup—just turn it on, log into Facebook, and see your friends. Available in matte black, white, red and pale blue with a 4.3″ screen, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and LTE capability. Exclusively at AT&T.”

Such a widely anticipated launch, to an audience the size of Facebook's, is sure to generate an incredible surge of sales for AT&T.

Well, if AT&T had planned for Facebook to link to them, that is:

Maybe Facebook accidentally poached the Googlers responsible for the Nexus 4 failure to launch in the Google Play Store?

Pro Tip: When you launch a splash page with a a pre-order button, people may want to try to click it!

Why, thank you, FedEx Manager Suraj Golden, I'll be right over

How is this obviously a scam? Even without getting technical and examining email headers, let's review:
  • Is the email from a FedEx email address? No.
  • Is the email sent to just you and only you? No.
  • Is the email logo and branding all perfect? No.
  • Is the email free of typos? No. (lack of space between date and Courier)
  • Is the email in conventional English? No. (should be "The courier" our "Our courier")
  • Is the email grammar consistent? No. ("at February 20" vs "at 20 February" and "parcel, please, print")
And most of all:

  • Does the link go to FedEx? No.

Even if all of these are "Yes" it's still a better idea to copy the tracking number, type "" into a new browser window, and look up the tracking number yourself. In general, you should never click a link in an email from a business unless it's in immediate response to an action you took on their site, such as when verifying that you just changed your email address.

Learn more about the FedEx undeliverable parcel phishing scam at Snopes.

We Built This!

I'm thrilled to share the results of what we've been working on this year: a live video transcoding and streaming service to take a broadcast quality source from a venue or live show and turn it into the multiple bit-rates and multiple protocols needed to serve the video stream to users watching on anything from a 3G Android phone to a Retina Macbook Pro.

Our live video solution is being used every day by media and content companies around the world, from Mom & Pop small businesses to the widely watched Republican National Convention brought to you this whole past week on the home page of the New York Times and Google's YouTube Election Hub.

If you missed it, check us out next week when we'll be helping bring you the DNC live from Charlotte!

YouTube asks for your real name, can't imagine you might want privacy

Back in 2009, YouTube started requiring a Google Account for new users. In mid-2010, YouTube forced original usernames to "connect to" a Google Account.

Now YouTube's prompting you to supply a real name to go with that that account.  

They justify this by suggesting your username is hard to read, though in my case it's a dictionary word.  They go on to tout "start using the name people know you by", as though that's what everyone with a not-so-high-minded list of YouTube favorites is just itching to do.

For now, this is optional.  That's good. But YouTube doesn't like that answer much, as shown by the next screen:

Tellingly, "I like my viewing habits and preferences to stay unattached to my real name" is not one of the six reasons you're allowed to express.  The closest option, "personal use", has the unsettling choice of "I cannot use my full name" rather than the perfectly reasonable "I'd rather not".

It makes sense for Google's business model to train users that privacy is overrated.  But it's a step in the wrong direction for users' online privacy.  

There are already far fewer widely used "online ID" issuers than there are driver's license issuers, and tying these IDs together into essentially just Facebook, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft is fantastic for advertising, but not so great for people who don't want every click to get recorded in an open book.

iOS vs Android OS upgrade adoption rates as of June 2012

For me, this was the most interesting chart during the WWDC 2012 Keynote.  

Android 4 and iOS 5 were released at the same time.  And as of now, here are the percentages of users still on each mobile OS version:

// via engadget

This is one of many reasons it's so challenging to support streaming video on Android.  Even within version 2.3, various point releases fix and break significant chunks of streaming support.  

The good news is that both iOS 5 and Android 4 support HTTP based "HLS" streaming, another Apple technology.  

Verisign seizes .com domain registered via foreign Registrar on behalf of US Authorities

At the end of the day what has happened is that US law (in fact, Maryland state law) as been imposed on a .com domain operating outside the USA, which is the subtext we were very worried about when we commented on SOPA. Even though SOPA is currently in limbo, the reality that US law can now be asserted over all domains registered under .com, .net, org, .biz and maybe .info (Afilias is headquartered in Ireland but operates out of the US).

This is no longer a doom-and-gloom theory by some guy in a tin foil hat. It just happened.

The ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of US federal and state lawmakers (not exactly known their cluefulness nor even-handedness, especially with regard to matters of the internet).

The Constitution and Founding Fathers make Rick Santorum want to throw up too

JFK's famous speech on freedom of religion in America makes Rick Santorum want to throw up.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy addressed Protestant concerns that he might try to direct American policies in the interests of the Catholic church:

“I am wholly opposed to the state being used by any religious group, Catholic or Protestant, to compel, prohibit, or persecute the free exercise of any other religion...”

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”

Last fall, Rick Santorum said this made him want to throw up, and this past week, he confirmed his remarks.  

Santorum is either incapable of reading comprehension, or a truth-challenged politician angling for a particular demographic.  He distorts JFKs words, which are unambiguous, doubling down this week with this comment:

“What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up.”

Did JFK say “only people of non-faith can come into the public square” as Santorum claims?  On the contrary.

Acknowledging that he was a person of faith in a very public square, JFK said, “I am not the Catholic candidate for President, I am the Democractic party's candidate for President who happens to be Catholic.  I do not speak for my Church on public matters, and the Church does not speak for me.”

JFK speech was clearly about freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.  In a sectarian nation, this remains important.

Even today, there are no religious majorities in this country. 

We are 26% Evangelical, 22% Roman Catholic, and 16% Mainline Protestant.  The other 40% are none of these.  Among Protestants, 25% of the US population is Baptist, 9% Pentecostal, 5% Lutheran, 4% Presbyterian, 4% Methodist, and 1.5% each of Anglican, Adventist, and Holiness. We are 1% Muslim. By comparison, 9% of us don't believe in any kind of god, and 15% claim no religion at all.

To appeal to “conservatives”, Santorum—like Palin before him—insists the Founding Fathers established a Christian nation.  He may not realize the phrase "under God" was only added to the pledge in 1954.  (Perhaps it's no coincidence this is the decade that informs his wardrobe.)

Santorum claims, “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

But the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli, a treaty with Muslims with its English text ratified by Congress, states that the United States was "not in any sense founded on the Christian religion". This treaty was written and signed less than 20 years after the Declaration of Independence, during the presidencies of Founding Fathers George Washington and John Adams.

In fact, the words Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, or God are not once mentioned in the Constitution. The only mentions of religion in the Constitution at all are in exclusionary terms: 

"no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

This is almost word for word what JFK said.  I imagine Santorum feeling queasy as he reads those constitutional lines, wondering what other litmus tests might be left for him for appointments to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, American politics has enough work to do without dragging religious differences into Congress.  From the national creed, adopted by Congress in 1918: 

“I believe in the United States of America, as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.”

“I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.”

Imagine if Congress spent as much debate on Equality and Humanity as on hearings against contraception.

James Madison, writing in the 1780s, wanted the government to stay focused on its Civil authority, and religion on religion, to avoid conflict on "unessential" points.  Madison viewed the government's only role in religion as keeping sects from imposing their views on others.

"It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points.  The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded against by an entire abstinence of the Government from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespasses on its legal rights by others."

Madison penned a sobering reminder of what happens if Church gains the upper hand in State, in contrast to a "just government" upholding public liberty. 

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society?  In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.  Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries.  A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not." 

Each time we allow the government to form policy, or even frame discussion, based on sectarian doctrine, we tear down the "wall of separation between church and state," as described in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, on government coming between each man and his God: 

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Do Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, our Constitution, and "the whole American people" make Mr. Santorum sick too?

The year’s worst tech trend: complexity

In 2011 the entire tech ecosystem descended toward entropy. Devices and services had a harder time playing together, and simply choosing what to use became an occasion for a flowchart. Some of the simplest tech questions — How should I send a text message to a friend? Which video phone service should I use? — are now hopelessly fraught.

There’s a big opportunity, in 2012 and beyond, for startups that attempt to solve the complexity problem.