Facebook is making Developers’ life easier

Unlike other platform, I think many people would agree that developers working on the Facebook platform are more busy with the breaking changes and platform changes that Facebook releases periodically.

Yet, thing get better in 2013!

Facebook has announced that they are going to start bundling breaking changes on a quarterly basis instead of a monthly basis.


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VirtualBox v4.2.6 released

Oracle has just released VirtualBox 4.2.6!

It is a maintenance release of VirtualBox 4.2 which improves stability and fixes regressions. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: don’t inject stale VT-x events to prevent crashes after VM reset (bug #11256)
  • VMM: workaround for buggy BIOSes which enable MONITOR only for certain CPUs (bugs #9460#10686)
  • GUI: fixed trimming of anti-aliased text in details-view element headers (4.2.0 regression)
  • GUI: fixed create-settings-file-alias functionality on Mac hosts (4.2.0 regression)
  • GUI: fixed take-guest-screenshot functionality on Windows hosts (bug #11095)
  • GUI: several minor fixes, including palette fixes (bug #11191)
  • GUI: fixed Windows 2012 OS type (bug #11206)
  • GUI: allow to terminate the VM even if VBoxSVC crashed
  • API: fixed cancelling of snapshots, previously this could lead to inconsistent VM configs (bug #6877)
  • API: fixed identifying disk images by UUID (bug #11209)
  • 3D Support: several fixes
  • VRDP: fixed occasional crash with external authentication (bug #11156)
  • VGA: fix for double scan text modes
  • USB: fixed invalid pending request count at the time of service of DEVICE POWER requests (Windows hosts only; bugs #10021#11056)
  • USB keyboard: Korean keyboard workaround (bug #11150)
  • Storage: fixed hang with QCOW images and asynchronous I/O enabled
  • Storage: fixed hang with newer VHD images (bug #11279)
  • Storage: actually write the non-rotational flag to the VM settings (4.2.0 regression)
  • Virtio-net: fixed the problem with network statistics counters in Session Information dialog (GUI)
  • Metrics: introduced network rate and disk usage metrics
  • Metrics: fixed a crash under certain conditions on Solaris hosts
  • BIOS: fix for El Torito
  • Shared Folders: if the host folder of a shared folder mapping does not exist, keep it active but mark it as invalid to prevent inconsitent saved states (bug#11147)
  • VBoxManage: fixed converting disks from raw images
  • VBoxManage: show snapshot description in the VM or snapshot information
  • VBoxManage: make implicit opening of media consistent in all places dealing with media
  • VBoxManage: the iSCSI initiator name was not stored in the settings file when doing storageattach (bug #11212)
  • VBoxManage: metrics collect now properly handles ‘CPU/MHz’ and ‘Net/*/LinkSpeed’ metrics
  • VBoxManage: changing the image UUID or parent UUID as part of storageattach works now in all safe cases
  • VBoxManage: introduced storageattach –medium additions as a shortcut to mount the additions image (bug #11165)
  • OVF: fixed importing OVF files cerated by recent VMware products (bug #10905)
  • Linux hosts / Bridged Networking: fixed the problem with leaking connections in conntrack (bug #11178)
  • Linux Additions: added support for ConsoleKit sessions in the vminfo service of VBoxService
  • Linux Additions: don’t crash during remount under certain conditions (bug #11291)
  • Linux/Solaris Additions: fixed guest memory metrics collection
  • Solaris hosts: added a dependency to ensure that the user directories are reachable when starting VBox services
  • Windows host installer: integrated user-contributed translations, thanks to all contributors!
  • Windows Additions: fixed auto-logon installation for Windows 8
  • Windows Additions: don’t fail if the shared folders host service is not available
  • Windows Additions: fixed Guest Additions startup on Windows 2000 guests (bug #11253)
  • Windows Additions: auto-resize fixes for Windows 8 guests

You can download the binaries here:


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Recent Warnings from Facebook about “desktop web game off Facebook.com”

I believe many Facebook developers should have received email from Facebook warning them about their “desktop web game off Facebook.com”.

In summary, the warnings include

  •  Your desktop web game hosted primarily off Facebook currently accesses user connections when authenticating and/or requests additional permissions beyond age, email, and publishing permissions.
  •  Your Canvas/mobile game currently shares the same app ID with a desktop web game off Facebook.com, which is no longer allowed per Facebook Platform Policy I.13b.
  • Your Canvas/mobile game currently promotes or links to game sites off of Facebook, which is no longer allowed per Facebook Platform Policy I.13b.

First of all, as far as I know, there is no clear definition from Facebook on the term “desktop web game”.   On the other hand, it was confirmed that even you have set your facebook application to have a category other than “game” in the facebook app settings, it does not mean Facebook will not treat your app as “game”.  Personally, it seems to me that all facebook apps are actually “games” in Facebook’s eyes.  So, be careful with that!

Next, I think one of the reasons for enforcing these rules is that Facebook want to make sure most users will stay within the Facebook canvas, or at least third party apps should not intentionally “encourage” the users to move away from Facebook canvas.  Probably they think that by using so, Facebook can earn more ad revenue.

For me, I don’t care too much about the above actually.  My main interest is to know what should I change so as to comply to the policy (otherwise I will be having a risk that my apps will be banned on 5Dec).  Below is my consolidation on what you should do if you have received these warnings:

  1. If your canvas or mobile app does not have a Connect integration you should remove the URL from this field to avoid a subsequent notice.
  2. Check if your canvas app promotes or links to a desktop web game off Facebook, that will need to be addressed. Examples of violations include linking to a desktop web game within the canvas page, including links from the canvas app’s privacy policy.

Let see what will happen on 5Dec!

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Play Game to Win Free iOS Apps, iPod Touch, iPad – for iPhone Users Only

Just found out that there is an easy and free way for iPhone users to get those famous non-free games, iPod Touch or even the new iPad by playing the free game “FreeAppSlots”.

What you have to do is to visit this page by using Safari on your iPhone.

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Debug version of the Facebook JavaScript SDK now available

I think most of the facebook applications are using the JavaScript SDK.  Even though the stability of the JavaScript SDK has been improved a lot already, there may be cases where developers would like to check and know what is happening within the JavaScript SDK.

A debug version of the JavaScript SDK is now available. It is loaded un-minified and also contains stricter type checking. This should be helping if we are debugging an error while working with the JS SDK.

By default, for performance, the JS SDK is loaded minified. To load the debug version of the JavaScript SDK, simply turn on the debug argument in FB.init.

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VirtualBox 4.2.4 released

Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.2.4, a maintenance release of VirtualBox 4.2 which improves stability and fixes regressions.

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • GUI: fixed validation warning on global settings / proxy page (4.2.2 regression, bug #11089)ac
  • GUI: fixed crash with multiple guest screens on certain conditions (OS X hosts only)
  • VBoxBalloonCtrl: fixed command line argument handling of ballooning module
  • VRDP: fixed occasional crash during a video playback in the guest (bug #11082)
  • BIOS: fixed broken DMI information (4.2 regression)
  • BIOS: workaround for booting from Windows 2000 floppy disks
  • EFI: fixed video mode selection loss on VM reboot (#10983)
  • Parallel: fixed parallel port printing failure/ paper queue empty error (Windows hosts only; bug #2226)
  • NAT: fixed crash on alias-less DNS responses when host-resolver is used
  • Storage: fixed hang under rare circumstances

You can download the binaries here:

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Be careful with “offers” advertised in Facebook

Recently, Facebook had made the “Get Offer” feature available to more countries.

If you want to get those offers, what you have to do are:

  • Click the “Get Offer” link in the advertisement or wallpost of that “offer”.
  • Then you have to confirm that you want to get the offer.
  • Once confirmed, an email will be sent to the email address that you have linked up with your Facebook profile.  It is clearly stated that you have to check and read the email for the details instruction on how to get the offer.
Up to now, everything is pretty safe as they are all controlled by Facebook.  
However, that does not mean you have obtained the offer.
To get the offer, the “final step” is to check and read the mail.  It is usual and expected that there will be links given in that email.  This is where the trick comes in.  Those links are not necessary linked to Facebook and can be anything!  It seems to me that more and more spammers are using this trick!  Today, I have seen a “starbucks offer”.
However, it actually link me to a site “classemi.net” which my security software are poping up alert for that!!
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VirtualBox 4.2.2 released

Today, Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.2.2, a maintenance release of VirtualBox 4.2 which improves stability and fixes regressions.

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: adapted to changes in Mac OS X 10.8.2 (bug #10965)
  • GUI: restored VM item tool-tip functionality (4.2 regression)
  • GUI: added group item tool-tip functionality
  • GUI: fixed handling of the .ova/.ovf file name association (4.2 regression)
  • GUI: it was not possible to change any setting before the first VM was created (bug #10928)
  • GUI: disable grouping action if all the selected items are full children list of the same group already
  • GUI: added menu for runtime drag-and-drop option change
  • GUI: cleanup shared-clipboard menu on visual-mode change
  • GUI: make sure VM receives keyboard focus on entering fullscreen-mode on Win host (bug #11051)
  • GUI: disable proxy authentication for security reasons
  • 3D Support: DrawIndexedPrimitiveUP implementation fixes for the Windows WDDM video driver (bug #10929)
  • Storage: fixed a release assertion in the AHCI emulation when requests where canceled with asynchronous I/O disabled
  • Storage: fixed a hang during VM reset under certain circumstances (bug #10898)
  • NAT: fixed a crash under rare circumstances (Windows hosts only; bug #10128)
  • NAT: automatically use the host resolver if the host name server is set to some unusual loopback value (bug #10864)
  • E1000: fixed a VirtualBox crash during intensive network transfers (4.2 regression; bugs #10936#10969#10980)
  • ICH9: fixed PCI bridge initialization
  • USB mouse: ensure that the last mouse event doesn’t get lost if no URBs are available
  • BIOS: certain legacy guests (e.g. Windows 95) didn’t find the boot device after a warm reboot
  • BIOS: don’t trash the palette in text modes when setting the border color
  • EFI: fixed OS X guest autoboot (4.2 regression)
  • VBoxManage: fixed output of showvminfo –machinereadable (bug #10973)
  • VBoxManage: fixed parsing of storageattach –discard (bug #11023)
  • VBoxManage: fixed wrong output of the HPET setting in showvminfo (bug #11065)
  • VBoxManage: fixed closing the guest session after executing a guest process via guest control
  • VBoxShell: adaptions to interface name changes
  • Guest Additions device: fixed a Guest Additions hang when a machine was reset after a crash
  • Linux hosts / guests: Linux 3.7-rc1 fixes
  • Linux Additions: support X.Org Server 1.13
  • Linux Additions: fixed a hang when the X server was restarted with old guest kernels
  • Linux Additions: fixed a VBoxService crash during CPU hot remove (bug #10964)
  • Windows Additions: fixed automatic screen resize issue for NT4 guests
  • OS/2 Additions: fixed shutdown hang
  • OS/2 Additions: fixed mouse driver panic
  • Solaris hosts: fixed autostart service going into maintenance mode after all VMs started
  • Solaris hosts: fixed linking the host driver with the dtrace module

You can download the binaries here:


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