Vancouver 2010: Day 6 – Mailing it in

So my experience of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics boiled down to letting the wookie win, and this implies the cold that was just a tad annoying the day prior. I waived the white flag in the battle when my head felt like it was in a vicegrip, taking in the games by whatever the TV could bring me while I slipped in and out of consciousness on the couch.

I make it sound worse than it was, but sometimes you just need to rest it out.

Day 6 certainly had some action to it. I missed Lindsey Vonn’s gold medal ski run but caught most of the last handful of skiers who had a heck of a time in Whistler. Shani Davis rocked that 1000 meters in speed skating, and Shaun White pretty much blew my mind.

Combine all of that with Twitter and Flickr, I have all I really need to find out what’s going on between all over B.C. in terms of these games.

So what I thought I would do is poke through some of the photos submitted to the True North Media House photo group on Flickr to pull out some great stuff that’s been filtering through the social media news wires. A lot of people are doing cool stuff, and the photography that’s coming through really pushes that concept of cool to a different level of storytelling rather than just saying what happened.
Continue reading “Vancouver 2010: Day 6 – Mailing it in”

CityTV in Toronto punished for using Flickr photos and not giving proper credit to owner

CityTV in Toronto had a great story. Burglar gets caught in the act by home owner, attempts to get away by leaping off balcony, busts his leg, and someone snaps pictures of the poor sap while he lays on the ground as cops are called and arrive to the scene. What avid Flickr user Joel Charlebois did with the photos afterward is the real story.

When CityTV heard him mention that he was going to post the photos to Flickr, they not only checked them out but used them in a news story. Problem is, there was no mention of the person who took the images. This is also known as a violation of copyright. As any good Flickr user and avid photographer will tell you (like Duane did on his blog post on this same topic), you protect the things you love. Yes, you can protect your photos on Flickr with a copyright, and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council agreed with the complaint brought against CityTV.

Charlebois, displeased, took his case to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), and today, nine months after the complaint was filed, a majority of the National Specialty Services Panel found that City’s broadcast did indeed violate the Association of Electronic Journalists of Canada’s RTNDA Code of (Journalistic) Ethics, which states that “Plagiarism is unacceptable. Broadcast journalists will strive to honour the intellectual property of others, including video and audio materials.” (The full decision is here.) The panel took particular issue with the lack of credit to Charlebois, stating that “the broadcaster knew full well the identity of the photographer whose still shots were used in the news report,” an omission that they deemed unfair, for news reporting or otherwise. (They note that the American RTNDA states that “professional electronic journalists should…clearly disclose the origin of information and label all material provided by outsiders.”)

As a result, City must issue a rare on-air statement at least twice, during prime time, over the next ten days. That statement will follow a script set by the CBSC, stating that, in part, the news organization breached the aforementioned Code of Ethics and “included three still photographs of the injured burglar without providing any credit to the photographer, whose identity was known to the broadcaster. By failing to provide that accreditation, the broadcaster has failed to honour the intellectual property rights of the photographer.” [torontoist]

What is important to me on this story is that intellectual property was protected as it should be, no matter how it is being utilized. On top of that, it gives comfort to know that mainstream media will be held accountable for violations of copyrighted material. It’s not a full safety net, but that means that even the little guy stands a chance against big media companies when it comes to protecting your content.

Even Charlebois admits in the story that all he was really concerned about was the proper accreditation, not the punishment handed down to CityTV. I think it’s interesting to note that there is very little discussion of fines or compensation.

RSS feed management

Some time ago, I had a request to supply a separate feed to my blog for those who would be interested in subscribing to a “posts only version” of my site. I finally got around to getting this done, so here is how it breaks down.

  • Posts + Flickr + Feed: This is currently how the feed has been operating for a while now. If you put this RSS feed into your aggregator, you would see not only my latest blog posts, but you would also get the various pictures I would post to Flickr as well as bookmarks that I would save on This is the true, social gambit of stuff that I like to loft into the blogosphere.
  • Posts Only Feed: This should speak for itself, but allow me to clarify. If you would prefer to not get all the pictures and bookmarks or whatever I decide to put in that “life feed”, then subscribe to this one. You’ll only get the posts from my blog in this feed, so it’s really a matter of preference because you’ll never miss anything that I am posting to my blog.
  • Comments Feed: Curious to see what people are posting for comments on my posts? Then this is the feed for you. You’ll see how horrible I am at replying to comments as well as getting the latest and greatest spam bombs that happen from time to time. Crucial if you are keeping tabs on the viagra and cialis markets on the internet.

Pick and choose what you want to follow. You have the power. And if you are not using RSS feed reader, try Google Reader. It’s my tool of preference.

Crossroads and WordTwit plugins for WordPress

Duane has been cooking up some interesting plugins for WordPress lately. I thought I would install them on my blog and try them out.

WordTwit is the first one, and this is a good one for you Twitter users out there with a WordPress website. Basically, it makes twitter updates for every blog post you make. That way tweets are sent out automatically to alert your followers on Twitter about new blog posts. This post will be my first trial, but I think this is much better than doing it manually.

The other plugin is Crossroads. If you like the Flickr and WordPress like I do, then you should really check this out. It allows you to post an entire set within a blog post as you see below.

This is an old photo set of mine, but it helps demonstrate the function of this plugin. Really useful instead of pointing people to Flickr to see the rest of your pictures for something that you have a bunch of pics about. And let’s be honest, people love looking at pictures just like many folks read the newspaper for the funny pages.

Visit both of the links for those plugins to find out more.

JPG Magazine is the way not to do things

I am not a huge contributor to JPG Magazine but have been a big fan of what they’ve been doing with overall concept of what JPG has been. In fact, I signed up for an account to vote on submission of friends so they will get published in their magazine. Kris Krug[flickr], John Goldsmith[flickr], and Mr. Jacob Stewart[flickr], better known as “Cosmo” from the Clubside Breakfast Time podcast, were the handful of people who got me to sign up, vote for their submissions to make it into the next edition of the magazine, and also check out some of the other stuff there.

I might not be the greatest photographer in the world, but time could be well wasted digging through submissions. At least I am able to recognize worthwhile work and understand the art that is presented.

Then today, Goldsmith posted this image to his flickr, which led me to this post, written by the man who co-founded JPG Mag. To the heart of the matter:

Unfortunately, issue 10 will be the last one that Heather and I will have a hand in. We are no longer working for JPG Magazine or 8020 Publishing.

Why? The reasons are complicated, and the purpose of this post is not to air dirty laundry – it’s just to let the community know why the founders of JPG are no longer there. We owe you that much.

In one evening, Paul removed issues 1-6 from the JPG website, removed Heather from the About page, and deleted the “Letter from the Editors” that had lived on the site since day one. Paul informed me that we were inventing a new story about how JPG came to be that was all about 8020. He told me not to speak of that walk in Buena Vista, my wife, or anything that came before 8020.

Here’s where the whole “not lying” thing comes in. I just could not agree to this new story. It didn’t, and still doesn’t, make any business sense to me. Good publishing companies embrace their founding editors and community, not erase them. Besides, we’d published six issues with participation from thousands of people. There’s no good reason to be anything but proud of that. [powazek]

After reading this, and you should read the entire post for the complete story, I’ve deleted my account as well. Granted that I have done very little with JPG Magazine, there’s very little making me want to increase my interaction, not to mention that all those people I listed above have done the same thing. Call it a revolt, protest, or what have you, but the reputation that once existed is quickly falling apart.

Deleted my JPG Mag account

If you want to kill off a community, then this is a good example of how to do that.

Bowing down to Flickr Uploader

It might sound crazy, but I have not been using Flickr Uploader for the Mac since I first joined into the Flickr fun. Being a long time supporter of the widget way of doing things, I liked the one I was able to find for Yahoo! Widget Engine, formally known as Konfabulator. It worked well, and was, overall, fairly effective in its use.

Flickr UploaderThe other day, I downloaded Flickr Uploader again to find how much better of an application it has become. My first time around with it was shortly after its inception, and I read a lot about it, hearing mostly that it was lacking in functionality and stability. Basically, I was picky and wanted something “better”, not to mention at my fingertips.

That’s hardly the issue anymore, and if you ain’t using it, then you’re missing out. I have to say that I loved having the little widget directly on my desktop, but that frame of mind is easy to change once you try this sucker out. It’s like one stop shopping, no needing to visit the actual website after you’ve uploaded everything. Stupidly, that’s what I had to do before, and now I hang my head down in shame.

So long I have resisted, but now I see the light.

1,000 Photos on Flickr

1,000 Photos on Flickr
Amazing what tickles your pickle when you’ve had a long day, not drank enough water, and had only one beer with fish and chips. 1,000 pictures, right on the money. Even after uploading everything I have today, what’s the chances of that happening? Neat.

Dinking with things that dink with content

I’ve been cramming a lot into my brain over the past few days. For one thing, I’ve been exploring the lovely world of Drupal. After all the things I’ve seen and heard about it, I’ve been impressed. It’s everything that it’s said to be. Content management system, and they ain’t kidding.

I set it up locally and played quite a bit yesterday. Every time I tried to do something that would be complicated by doing it stupidly, Drupal had some sort of built-in way to do what I wanted. Very interesting. Not sure that I like it from a blogging aspect, but it has that too. It can be oh so much more.

I’m experimenting with WordPress more and more. I’ve been a long time user of the visual rich editor. However, not anymore. It’s come to be such a pain, and the WYSIWYG interface gets so annoying after a while. Being a user of only version 2.0 and on, this is what previous versions did. I’ve gotta say that I like this, non-rich editor, much more. Loads faster in FireFox and has no lag. I’ll stick with this for now.

I did find a really great Flickr plugin for WordPress. Flickr Photo Album adds a nice interface for dropping images from your Flickr account straight into a post, all from within the editor. You can already do this with Flock, but I am still not impressed with its performance. This plugin makes things simple and quick, but the setup takes a little to sort out.

I also got into some Unix[wiki] junk last night. Seems that my external hard drive has the occasional ability of renaming itself at random times and confusing some of my peer to peer programs. How else are we to have our cheap nights in with some ghetto Tivo, aka BitTorrent? This could also cause problems with some of my podcast projects. If I spent enough time with it, Unix could become another language I could start to really understand. I’ve got way too many other things on the list right now. I should get some tape for the middle of my glasses.


I recall hearing about this story a while ago, but it appears that this guy lost the battle to keep the vanity plates on his Corvair.

Iowa man loses battle over F NADER plate

John Miller of Boone has lost his battle to keep the letters “F NADER” on the license plates of his 1966 Chevrolet Corvair.

A state administrative law judge has sided with the Iowa Department of Transportation, which contended the “F” was shorthand for a crude, four-letter word aimed at consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

Nader wrote a 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” that criticized the safety features of many American automobiles, citing General Motors’ sporty Corvair as an example and damaging its reputation.

Miller said Wednesday he didn’t agree with the ruling, but he had no plans to appeal the decision to revoke his license plates. [desmoinesregister]

It gets better. I have nothing against the guy, but you have to love the beauty of Flickr(photo credit: beeseason).

Flickr: F NADER

It’s beginning to look a lot like a mess

Flickr: Snowy Robson StreetEveryone and their cat is blogging away about it, but snow is rare in Vancouver. Compared to growing up in Iowa, whiteness is something that you learn to live with, but this “falling white death from the sky”, as my high school physics teacher from Florida liked to call it, has completely caught me by surprise.

I’m actually surprised to not hear more about accidents on the roads, but folks on the lower mainland might have opted to stay off them as much as possible. That hasn’t stopped me from spotting a few horrible drivers in the downtown area. One should understand that when snow falls, the roads get slick. When the roads are slick, you can’t drive like you usually do. You can’t do quick acceleration and stop quickly when coming to an intersection. The laws of common sense tell you that you’re stupid if you try. And just because you own a Jeep or Hummer, that does not make you invincible.

Flickr: Snowy west endI did witness a pretty bad fender bender on Saturday night. I was walking along Georgia and caught a minivan-taxi run into the back of a fellow car-taxi. It all happened in my peripheral vision, but I caught all the plastic pieces falling to the ground after the initial crunch. This is what happens when the light turns red and you don’t give yourself enough space for the car ahead of you to stop. I was in a hurry to meet Rebecca at the SkyTrain station but made sure everyone was alright before I went on my way.

The lack of snow removal really shows how unusual this weather is to this area. Earlier today, I watched one of the maintenance guys from our building clear the sidewalk. He was using a dust pan that was duct taped to a pole. It didn’t look pretty, but all that matters is that it worked.

Flickr: Snowy Robson StreetRunning an errand today, I wandered around the west end and Robson with my camera for a bit[flickr]. Snow removal on the sidewalks was spotty. That’s a little unheard of back in my home state, and Rebecca noted that during her time in Boston, sidewalks were cleared of snow on a constant basis. Like I said, snow is unusual here, especially in the downtown core. However, this stuff is going to stick around for a few days. It’s only going to get colder before it warms up enough to melt it all away.

Truthfully, I’m not complaining. I love snow. I love to throw snowballs and go sledding. Sadly, there’s not too many places to do that nearby. It’s only been in the last hour that the snow has really stopped. My hope is to do a bit of running tomorrow. Jogging through the snow is tricky. It is more of a workout and requires a little more concentration. It’s fun, too.