Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Flickr Update

A while ago I blogged some whiny stuff about how Yahoo canceled its photo site and forced everyone who used it to choose another photo hosting site (with an emphasis on its own site, Flickr). Part of my gripe was based on the fact that my pictures seemed to have disappeared somewhere in the transition.

Well, now they are on Flickr. I haven't had much time to figure out how Flickr works exactly, but I'll try to mess around with it and see if I think it is worth paying the yearly fee to keep the pro account. I'll also try to figure out how to link up some stuff between Flickr and this here blog.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yahoo Buys Flickr

In 2005, Yahoo acquired Flickr, a photo-sharing website. I didn’t know anything about it at the time, and didn’t actually find out until sometime around the summer of 2007. For about four years I had been uploading my pictures to Yahoo Photos, mostly because I wanted my friends and family back in the U.S. to be able to see what my life in Taiwan is like, but also because I thought it was a good “poor man’s” offsite storage solution in case something happened to my computer. I had uploaded almost four thousand photos by the time I received an email from Yahoo telling me that they were discontinuing their photo service. Their reasoning was that, since they had acquired Flickr, they’d rather put their efforts into supporting that site instead of maintaining their own photo site. I assume they also didn’t want to compete with themselves for the share of the photo website market.

I was surprised and disappointed, as I’d spent many hours uploading photos, tagging them, and arranging them into albums. I’d also sent many emails to friends and family telling them where they could find my photos. Fortunately, Yahoo gave the option of moving my photos to one of several other photo websites, naturally including Flickr. They also gave the option of purchasing CDs containing all of my photos (I tried this several times, but the site declined my credit card. Even after contacting customer service, which wasn’t helpful at all. They basically scratched their heads and said, “Huh. That’s weird”), I was unable to complete the transaction.

At that point I was stuck with switching to a new service. I put off making the change for a long time, because it is really difficult to compare all of the different services that are available without actually using them. In the end I chose Flickr because I assumed it would be the easiest thing to do. That was one month ago. I now have a Flickr account that was automatically created for me, but at this time none of my photos have appeared, despite being told that the wait time would be one to two weeks.

Even assuming that my photos eventually appear in my Flickr account, it is possible that the albums and tags I used will not transfer. Also, Yahoo Photos was a free service, whereas a free Flickr account has many limitations (including only being able to view the most recent two hundred photos). In order to have an equivalent level of service, I will have to pay for a “pro” account.

I have to admit that, from a business perspective, Yahoo’s decision to discontinue their photo service in favor of focusing on Flickr makes sense. One positive thing that I noticed about my Yahoo account since this change has happened is that I now have unlimited email storage, which is perhaps the result of Yahoo freeing up all that server space that used to be used to store photos. Also, it may turn out that I really like Flickr, once my photos finally show up. Still, the overall experience was fairly inconvenient, and it has caused me some anxiety regarding the decision to switch, as well as regarding whether my photos will actually ever be transferred. Even if they do transfer, I expect that I will have to spend time re-organizing and labeling my photos.

I know that change is inevitable, especially in the rapidly changing world of the internet, but I would have much rather have kept things as they were.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Answering Machine

Try to breathe some life into a letter
Losing hope, never gonna be together
My courage is at it's peak
You know what I mean
How do say you're O.K. to
An answering machine?
How do you say good night to
An answering machine?

Big town's got its losers
Small town's got its vices
A handful of friends
One needs a match, one needs some ice
Call-waiting phone in another time zone
How do you say I miss you to
An answering machine?
How do say good night to
An answering machine?

I get enough of that

Try to free a slave of ignorance
Try and teach a whore about romance

How do you say I miss you to
An answering machine?
How do you say good night to
An answering machine?
How do you say I'm lonely to
An answering machine?
The message is very plain
Oh, I hate your answering machine
I hate your answering machine
I hate your answering machine...

Replacements, 1984

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Green Lounge - Green Computing

My friend, Ben, has been working for a company called VIA for a while. Part of his job is to create a website called "The Green Lounge." It is all about green computing.

This is from the website:

The Green Lounge brings you all the latest news in the fast-growing area of green computing. If you're a business looking to lessen your organisation's impact upon the environment, or an individual wanting to play your part, we hope to offer you practical tips and up-to-date information you can use.

Click to visit The Green Lounge.