Echofon for Firefox – Authentication failed. Incorrect signature

For the past few days, Echofon for Firefox on my main desktop started acting funning, popping up an error dialog every second: Authentication failed. Incorrect signature

The only way to actually use Firefox was to quickly log off Twitter in between those error dialogs.

My laptop which also had Echofon did not experience this issue, so it doesn’t appear to be account related nor a global problem. I decided I would try to resolve the issue when I got home.

When I got home, I tried removing and re-adding my Twitter accounts from Echofon, revoking the OAuth access on Twitter’s website, and even clearing my cache and cookies without any success. Those darn annoying error dialogs always came back. A quick search online didn’t result in any quick solution either. Most people saw this error on their iPhone/iPad and associated it with some timing/clock issue. There were a few tweets that said they had the same issue on Firefox, but resolved it by removing and re-adding the account.

As a last measure, I decided to uninstall the addon and re-install it. Apparently that fixed it. Not sure if this solution will work for everyone, but worth a try.

Update: I believe I’ve found the culprit. This has to do with https. I was using HTTPS-Everywhere and the fact that HTTPS-Everywhere was enabled, but Echofon was told not to use SSL for Twitter made things go wacky. Go into Echofon preferences and enable “Use SSL for all requests”. Afterwards, I still had to uninstall and re-install the add-on for the error messages to go away. Maybe restarting Firefox would’ve worked too. Ben has confirmed below in the comments that you’ll just need to restart Firefox and the issue should go away. For folks hitting this issue, give it a try and let me know if it worked for you.

Locking Down Facebook

evil facebook For the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly locking down Facebook, altering privacy settings, removing data I once thought it was fun to share, and removing applications which I no longer use. If I could, I would delete my Facebook account altogether, but I’ve become dependent on it to keep in touch with friends who I would never keep in contact with otherwise.

You may also noticed I’ve been using Twitter a lot less this past week. Initially I thought of using Twitter to post random crap which I used to post on my blog. Now that I think about it, do I really care about random people reading my crap, which ends up as spam on my friends’ feeds. I also thought about making my Twitter account protected, but then what’s the point of Twitter since a protected account serves basically the same function as Facebook. Plus Facebook gives you more characters and control! I’ll still be using Twitter to promote my website (hdtrailers), but that’s really the only benefit of Twitter that I see at this point. I guess the one good thing that came out of Twitter so far is that I met some new friends.

Friend Lists

One thing new about Facebook that I found out recently is that you can create friend lists. Friend lists are especially useful when you want to post something to share with your friends, that you might not exactly want your boss or co-workers to know. Mashable has a pretty good tutorial on how to create such a list: HOW TO: Create Friend Lists on Facebook. Now when you post new things on Facebook, you’ll notice the little lock icon near the bottom right of the input area, and that lets you control who gets to see what you’re about to post.


Privacy settings are one of the newer things that Facebook has added (due to backlash from the community) and I have to say they’ve done a pretty good job. I’d like more control, but for what they have, it’s not bad. To get access to your privacy settings, near the upper-right corner, click on Account, followed by Privacy Settings.

Profile Information
facebook profile privacy

The first on the list is your profile. Here you control who gets to see what on your information tab. Back to the previous topic of friend lists, you can now even restrict particular info to just a specific group of friends, which I found useful.

Another useful tool Facebook provides is the ability to preview your profile in the eyes of a random stranger or friend. The button to do so is near the upper right corner.

Contact Information
facebook contact privacy

Similarly this page allows you to control who gets to see the different ways they can contact you (via phone, email, IM, etc.) Also, I know pixelization isn’t the best way to hide my email, but if you can figure out my email address(es) from that screenshot, kudos to you!

Applications and Websites

I’m actually not sure what Activity on Applications and Games Dashboards refers to, so I’ve restricted to just a small set of friends for now. The Instant Personalization is definitely new as I did not see it several days ago. I’m guessing this is part of their Open Graph feature they’ve just announced. I’ve decided to uncheck it until I fully understand what it does.

One particular interesting setting in this section is the What your friends can share about you. From the title, it sounds a bit harmless, but you have to understand that it’s what your friends share about you to websites and applications, and most of the time, they’re not informed what information they’re sharing about you. I’ve decided to uncheck everything on this page:
facebook friends share settings


I’ve always disliked the fact that I had to reveal all my personal info and give up friends’ data when I wanted to use an application. Why does a game like Farmville need to know my birthday or where I live? So over the past week, I’ve gone and removed all the applications which I no longer use and the ones I decided I could live without. ReadWriteWeb has a good tutorial on how to remove applications: How to Delete Facebook Applications (and Why You Should)

facebook authorized apps

Why Twitter? Why blog?

As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged much recently. In fact, the only blog posts in the past 2 weeks were my twitter aggregations.

Earlier today, a friend tells me he doesn’t fully understand why people use twitter and he really doesn’t understand why people post tweets on their blog.

First and foremost, I’d like to point out there are many different reasons why people use Twitter. Initially, I thought it was rather stupid too. Who in the right mind would want to tweet about what they’re doing all the time? See Penny Arcade!’s Le Twittre. And who in their right mind would care about knowing every mundane detail of what’s going on in your life? Unless of course you’re a stalker, but then you wouldn’t be in your right mind anyway. However, I found a very different use for Twitter. I’ve only been using it for about 2 months, and I’ve been slowly adapting on how I would like to use it.

My current twitter usage pattern is something similar to my Random Crap posts, in what I like to call mini-blog posts. I hear about something I want to share or I see a link I want to share. I used to aggregate this into 1 giant random crap post and then post it. Otherwise, I would create a draft in hopes one day when I have time, I would expand on it. Looking at my drafts count of 46, I don’t think it’s likely most of them will ever be published.

Initially, I kept my blog and Twitter separate, however I soon realized that people who come to read my blog are people who want to see what I’m up to or what I find interesting, basically the same stuff I’ve been posting on Twitter, but in short bursts of 140 characters or less. Therefore, my new weekly Twitter digest posts are akin to my Random Crap posts, containing links and whatever else I wanted to share during the week.

I understand that my twitter also includes response/replies that readers may not care about. Then again, probably half the stuff I ever post here you wouldn’t care about, so I don’t think that would make much a difference. It’s also not uncommon for me or others to respond to someone specifically in a blog post. In fact, this blog post by itself can be considered a response to the statement posed to me earlier today. Besides, most of the response/replies included are stuff I do want to share, or else I would’ve used the Direct Message feature in Twitter.

Of course, there’s also nothing stopping you from skipping/ignoring my twitter posts if you don’t fancy them.