Facebook for iPhone – “Places” hangs on “Locating you…”

I decided to see how “Places” stacked up with Foursquare. I reactivated my Facebook account and reinstalled the iPhone app. Went to “Places” and clicked “Check In,” and… nothing. It mentioned something about turning on Location Services. I know I already have that enabled because other apps are using it without problem. Turns out you need to enable Location Services explicitly:

First, go to the Settings app and select General:

Settings -> General
Settings -> General

Select Location Services:

Location Services
Location Services

Make sure Facebook is enabled (On) if you want to use Places. If you want to disable Places, make sure this is set to Off.

Turn Facebook "On"
Make sure Facebook is 'On' to use Facebook Places.

Vonage iPhone App Calls Facebook Friends Free, So What?

Lots of outlets seem to have picked up the story about the new Vonage iPhone app that lets you call your Facebook friends free. I don’t understand why this is even newsworthy. There are a bunch of free VOIP apps for iPhone already, with Skype being the one that comes to mind first. But a couple of other things have me scratching my head about this story:

  • AT&T doesn’t offer the unlimited data plan for iPhone anymore, so this “free” call could end up being pretty expensive over 3G.
  • If you’re making a call to another friend with the iPhone app, then your friend probably has an iPhone. They’re also probably also on AT&T, so a regular voice call to them would be free anyway. So just call them?

This might make more sense to me if your friend is outside the US, or they come out with a similar app for other platforms, but even then… so what? Free VOIP calls aren’t new. Is it just the Facebook tie-in? I don’t get the buzz. Maybe it’s because I have 5,000 rollover minutes with AT&T.

Ripping a DVD on Fedora Core 13

I thought this would be a pretty straightforward task. It was, though it took several minutes to track down the CSS library needed for decryption of the DVD. All I want to do is copy Talking Words Factory to my phone so my kid can watch it in the car if needed. It looked like Brasero was the tool for the job, but I got some error about needing a plugin for it to be able to decrypt it. I found libdvdcss here and after installing the RPM, everything worked. Now I just need to encode it with ffmpeg.

Ripping a DVD to iPhone or iPod-compatible m4v for free?

I was stuck somewhere the other day wishing I had the full movie “Cars” on my iPhone. Surprisingly, this is not something you can presently do through iTunes. After some searching I figured out an easy way to do it for free. The two programs you’ll need are good old DVD Decrypter and WinFF. Put DVD Decryptor in IFO mode and set it not to split the .vob files by size (so it rips them to one huge 6+ GB .vob file). Then drag the .vob file onto WinFF (making sure to use the proper preset for iPhone/iPod) and click “Convert.” It’ll take a while but it works. With my first attempt there seem to be some audio/video sync issues but I’ll play around with it.

Also, see this previous post for more info about WinFF and iPhone-compatible video.