23 Apr, 2013 | Posted by: sellmyphotos

Scott Kelby Interview: The Wizard of Photoshop Exposes His Photographic Magic - Melissa Parker. Florida native and photographer Scott Kelby is editor and publisher of Photoshop User magazine, training director and instructor for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour, President National Association of Photoshop Professionals, CEO of Kelby Media Group and award-winning author of more than 50 books. In the fall of 2007, he created Kelbytraining.com to bring much of his training material into one easy-to-find location. SOURCE:
PHOTO: Scott Kelby

19 Mar, 2013 | Posted by: bswenson


METADATA: That's the information about you and your photo that's embedded in the image used to describe each shot you take, credit the photographer, provide contact information, and serve as a copyright notice to potential infringers.
Sometimes it's just a little bit of info automatically included by your digital camera, sometimes (as with PhotoShop and similar products) you painstakingly input identifiers such as keywords and key phrases.
This is valuable information for photo editors, and especially so... if your photos are posted in online media, including popular social networking sites (Facebook, Flicjer, Twitter, and so on).
Just recently, the British Journal of Photography published a long-term study by the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) that revealed Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr routinely remove most of your metadata.
Twitter also was found to remove Exif and IPTC data as well. Here's a plus for Google: Also revealed was that Google+ retained all types of metadata. In all, 15 social media sites were included in the test.
(Since your digital camera likely automatically encodes camera and even perhaps lens data with the image file, this could be a source of tracking your images online, and a valuable resource should your equipment be stolen.) -BH

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
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and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

11 Sep, 2012 | Posted by: st

FBI Warning
-- Recent policy changes at the FBI now allow anyone, including photographers, to download and use for free the FBI Anti-Piracy warning that you see on DVDs (and videotape) movies and films. There are some guidelines that you need to agree to before you can use the seal, and there are restrictions on how the seal can be used. For further info, and a link to download the seal, visit http://www.fbi.gov/aboutus/investigate/cyber/ipr/anti piracy/

Another Back-up Appliance
Backing up your data, photos, etc., is really critical and vital to your ongoing photo business, and there are many options and methods available to you. You can back up locally, storing your backups on local media (tape, removable disk, DVD, etc.) and storing at an off-site location or using cloud storage (putting your electronic valuables on servers attached to the Internet). Here is a recent addition to the local option: a new Drobo mini device (www.drobo.com). It's basically a fast external multi-drive device that can house the small (2.5-inch) hard drives and includes a slot for the super-fast solid state drive (SSD). Not inexpensive, but worth a look, and its true value is in the eye of the photographer. By using multiple drives in the external unit, your data integrity is protected, because if one drive fails, the complete data set can be retrieved from the remaining drives. Fully loaded with drives, it can hold up to 36 terabytes of data. Nothing is foolproof and perfect, but this comes close.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

17 Jul, 2012 | Posted by: st

Anti Wi-Fi Wallpaper

You don't believe me?
Engineers at Grenoble Institute of Technology and the Centre Technique du Papier have developed a wallpaper that would block cellular and Wi-Fi signals, yet still allow AM/FM and emergency transmissions (when not on cellular or Wi-Fi frequencies) through. This wallpaper can be used in concert halls to inhibit use of cell and smart phones inside the venue. Its a passive system, so no power is required and it is not "jamming," so it may avoid certain legal issues. It could also be used by those who, for various reasons, desire to shield themselves from such radio waves.

Ah, Passwords

We all need them, and we (mostly) all hate them. Many websites tell us how they want the password set up. Start with a number, 10 characters long, mixed case, include so many numbers, maybe toss in a special character, and then don't use this one for any other online account you have.
For most of us, this is a big thing.
Just try remembering all those weird passwords! And then toss into the mix all your social networking passwords, and, well, the list grows.
And, of course, each account wants a User ID as well (most let you set your own User ID). Just think back to the LinkedIn password breach (6.5 million compromised passwords).
Here are some ideas for creating better passwords. First, the Don'ts.
Do not: use proper names or nicknames (children, family members, pets, friends, etc.), common phrases, or short passwords;
Use the same password for multiple sites;
Tell anyone your password; or post the list near your computer.
Now some Do's.
Do use a complex combination of letters and numbers (you can mix case, use the first letters of a phrase you like and can remember, append your ZIP code, or other numeric to your letters, etc.),
change password frequently (yes, a bear, but you can consider switching some of the numbers around, or incrementing the numerical portion),
stick in a special character or two,
use at least 10 characters (see above for how to make that easy to remember).
By the way, you can use these techniques for creating your User ID as well (if the site allows such creativity).

Was Your LinkedIn Password Compromised?
AFTER you change your LinkedIn password, you can see if you were one of the 6.5 million users whose password was compromised.
Go here: https://lastpass.com/linkedin/ and enter your OLD password (remember, you changed it!).
Note: eHarmony passwords may also have been compromised, so if you have an account there, you should change your password to be on the safe side.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

15 May, 2012 | Posted by: st

It Ends July 2

As part of Kodak's continuing restructuring, Kodak's photo-sharing website called Kodak Gallery has been sold to Shutterfly, and Gallery will close on July 2, 2012. Gallery has operated for over 10 years. According to their press release, Shutterfly's "services include free, unlimited storage and 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. Working together, we will securely transfer your account photos to them free of charge. We are absolutely committed to making this transition as smooth and easy as possible." Gallery members will have until May 28 to opt out of this automatic transfer of their account and images to Shutterfly. For more information and details, visit www.kodakgallery.com/transition.

HARDER THEY FALL Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publisher Files Chapter 11
Important to many stock photographers,
this major purchasing source of stock images for use in its K-12 schoolbooks has reached a deal with major creditors. It will be a pre-packaged bankruptcy filing, designed to quickly get through the courts. Due to state and local government budget cuts, their revenue (and thus ability to procure images) has fallen 48% over the last four years. Here's hoping they emerge stronger and continue to recognize the value of images, especially rights-managed.
TAKEAWAY: Of course educational learning is not going to disappear. HMH's competitor, Pearson, is still alive and has become a monopoly in the industry. It will no doubt be Amazon's next target. Both companies will continue to need quality photos for their future products. -re

Gmail Translates

EASY READING Next time you receive an e-mail written in a foreign language with your Gmail account, you can have it automatically translated into your native language (currently, 65 languages can be translated) at the click of a button. It can also be set to auto-translate. It is not perfect, as it uses computer algorithms without human intervention, but early reports are that it’s pretty good. Of course, if you’re fluent in those foreign languages, you just turn off the translation feature and read your mail in its original form.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

20 Mar, 2012 | Posted by: st

Turned Off Tracking,

Have You Now?

Maybe so, maybe not. As we learned a short while ago, Google was found to be bypassing privacy settings in Apple's web browser (Safari) on phones and computers.

At the time, Safari was the only browser that had tracking turned off by default. A page on Google's site, since removed, informed Safari users they could rely on the settings in the browser to prevent tracking.

Google has since stopped the tracking and deleted associated files. Other companies were found to be using techniques similar to Google to bypass privacy settings, and when notified by the Wall Street Journal, were "looking into the matter."

No-Track Button

So, after all that, several of the large Internet companies have agreed to support a do-not-track button that would be embedded into most web browsers.

The button (or option)is currently in most browsers (Firefox has had it for a year, for example), But's just that the tracking companies had not agreed to pay any attention to it, and so ignored the preference.

The caveat: It won't stop all tracking, just like the national do-not-call phone list doesn't stop all unsolicited calls. For example, data to customize ads will not be tracked, and the data won't be used for employment, credit, health-care nor insurance purposes.

However, the data can still be tracked and used for market research and product development (and of course, law enforcement). That's a hole a Mack truck can drive through!

Still Using Password1?

Just checking, since that's the most common password used on business systems (welcome is the second). And why not? It's easy to remember, meets the general password guidelines of starting with (or including) a capital letter, a length of at least 8 characters including a numeral. Problem is, it's also an easy (and obvious) guess for those attempting unauthorized access.

So, change it now! Include non-alphabetic characters, such as $, #, @, & and others. That will prevent successful attacks that try to guess a password by using typical words.

If you have multiple accounts requiring passwords, of course you should use a different password for each one, and even different login IDs.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

10 Jan, 2012 | Posted by: st

Do you have "toasted skin syndrome" -an unusual-looking mottled skin condition resulting from long-term heat exposure. That could be a result of using your laptop computer on your lap for frequent extended periods of time. Temperatures under laptops have been measured at up to 125 degrees. Consider placing a thermal barrier between you and your laptop, such as an extra layer of clothing or mattboard. Better, don't use your lap for holding the computer for long stretches. It's especially important, to keep it off bare skin.

Dark Clouds For Kodak
Laura Tyson told Kodak in December that she will resign from its board. And that makes three recent departures. Adam Clammer and Herald Chen also resigned in December. Kodak continues its efforts to sell patents as a way to generate cash to fund operations. They've not had a profitable year since 1997. Stock price? When we last checked, it was less than one dollar a share (65 cents). They have also warned Wall Street that, unless $500 million can be raised, they may not survive 2012. Maybe you should bronze that last roll of Kodachrome.

Plagued by Frequent Wrong Numbers?
Back in the old days, phone numbers were handed out to phone companies in blocks of 10,000 by the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA). Today, with the proliferation of cell phones and other devices requiring a phone number, NANPA provides numbers in blocks of just 1,000. If you're planning ahead, it's expected that North America will run out of 10-digit phone numbers by 2040. All this results in numbers being recycled much faster than before. Almost 37 million are recycled each year.
If your new number used to belong to someone or something you'd rather not be getting calls for, you can request a new number from your phone company. But be advised that since the numbers are computer generated (from the telco's assigned blocks), there's no way of knowing ahead of time if your "new" number had been issued previously. Amazingly, there are still about 30 million numbers issued each year that have never been used.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

23 Nov, 2011 | Posted by: st

Kodak Needs Money
They're not asking for donations (yet), but if you have several hundred million dollars to invest, they'd like to sell you their Kodak Gallery (Kodak bought Ofoto in 2001). As Kodak continues to try to transform from a film company into a printer company, they continue to shed assets. They are also burning through cash and have warned investors they may run out of cash within a year. Kodak Gallery "helps users store their digital photos and print them out into scrapbooks, cards and calendars for a fee." However, the business has never been profitable, and the drop in traffic could be a deterrent to potential buyers. Over the last three years, visitor traffic has dropped from about 7 million to about 1.5 million. In fact, compared to the other major photo-sharing websites (Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, and Shutterfly), Gallery's visitor count is way down at the bottom.

Photographer's Market 2012
If you're starting (or re-starting) out in Stock Photography, a very good resource for places to sell (remember, you're actually leasing) your photos is the latest edition of Photographer's Market. You can find it in our Bookstore at this link: http://www.photosourcefolio.com/bookstoreone.htm#1440314195. It is also available for Amazon's Kindle (and Kindle apps), where you can download and start your research in under a minute.
Included are verified listings for magazines and book publishers, greeting card companies, stock agencies, advertising firms, fine art, and more. You also get a FREE 1-year subscription to ArtistMarketOnline.com.

RoboCallers Want Your Cell Number
The Mobile Informational Call Act, sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry, would allow robocalling* to cellular devices. Currently, under the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act, unsolicited calling to cell phones is prohibited. You don't have to be on a do-not-call list. Naturally, businesses (like banks and collection agencies) and their lobbyists are supportive, just as consumer groups are opposed. And there is another group impacted: Those on prepaid plans, where each minute incurs a cost, and those with tiered data plans. You could end up paying for unwanted cell phone calls!
*unsolicited calling to cell phones

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

21 Sep, 2011 | Posted by: st

I’VE BEEN HACKED! How would you react to seeing this text message on your smart phone, sent to you by your Internet-connected ride? Think it can’t happen? Well, probably the warning wouldn't happen, but the hacking might. As more and more of our "everyday" items get linked to networks, the risks of a breach go up. We've all seen the car ads where someone gets locked out, calls in, and the doors magically open. Maybe even the engine starts. Well, what’s to prevent unscrupulous folk from hacking into the wireless network (typically cellular phone services) and doing the exact same thing? Or, telling the car to turn off the engine. Not much, really. Want to feel even better? Networked devices today include security systems, industrial control systems, medical devices, and even home appliances. Homeland Security views it as "a significant concern." And unlike our typical computers, most of these embedded devices cannot be updated remotely by someone who has to physically do it. And, as one industry official recently said, "You just don’t reboot the power grid." Now, stop reading and at least make sure your computers have up to date security and operating system software installed.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

15 Jun, 2011 | Posted by: st

Rental Boomerang

What do you do when you need an extra computer, like when yours fails and you have important and urgent work to complete, or you need a second one for just a short while to catch up with your keywording?
Or you need one for your daughter away at college or on a trip to Europe?
One course is to rent a computer.
And if all goes well, you pay your rental fees and return the computer per the rental agreement. But what if things don’t go well, or you run into financial difficulties?
Looking at it from the rental company’s view, you've got their equipment and are not paying for it. In a federal lawsuit filed against an Atlanta-based company, the allegations are that the rental company installed software on the computer to track keystrokes, make screenshots and even for taking webcam images. Of course, this raised privacy issues, especially since the renter was allegedly not informed of the monitoring software.
The company says it has the right to install monitoring software to facilitate retrieval of their equipment. Naturally, as with any lawsuit, there are fine points, differing interpretations, and differing viewpoints of legal matters. And this is not the first instance of such action.
Last year a school district agreed to pay a fine to settle lawsuits over photos taken on school-issued laptops in an attempt to locate missing computers. Such monitoring is something to keep in mind when renting equipment, and this may apply to electronic equipment other than computers.

Do Not Track

By now we all know about the national Do Not Call list, and its counterpart for Internet users, the various Do Not Track proposals. We reported to you last time on Apple’s addition of a Do Not Track tool to their browser (coming soon). Microsoft has added a similar tool to their latest browser.
The idea, and problem, is that these tools are intended to tell trackers that you don’t want to be tracked, but that doesn't (yet) mean that the trackers have to pay attention. In a strange twist, Microsoft’s advertising unit may be ignoring such requests, according to a recent article. Such discord underscores the divergent views of the major players in this technology. So perhaps for a while at least, the Do Not Track requests are being sent and no one is listening.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

09 Mar, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes

Are You in a Rural Area?

Many of us take access to the Internet for granted, and at generally much higher speeds (at least compared with the U.S. as a whole) than that old standby, dial-up. DSL, cable, Wi-Fi, wireless, satellite, and FiOS all offer high speed, and in many cases, substantially higher speeds, both for download and upload.
Our government considers a 4 mbs speed the minimum for basic Internet activities (surfing, e-mailing, video streaming), yet upwards of 10% of U.S. households do not have access to this basic speed, and about 3% still rely on dial-up services.
Many schools and libraries are also behind the speed curve (which typically have many users accessing the Internet through a single connection).
Granted, many are in rural areas (just wait a building boom is coming to your farming community, soon).
And just because you have access to these higher speeds does not mean they are affordable, even when included as a monthly business expense.
A new Federal broadband map, a 5-year project costing taxpayers about $200 million (http://www.broadbandmap.gov/), lets you see where the speed is.
Officials note that it is not complete, and some smaller Internet providers did not provide requested information for this project. Still, it can be useful and informative.

Help Is (Maybe) on the Way

As you can gather from the above article, A Digital Divide is growing, not shrinking.
President Obama, in a recent speech at Northern Michigan University, promoted his plan for high-speed Internet coverage to 98% of America within 5 years, mostly by wireless technology.
This plan requests Congress to invest $5 billion to bring wireless coverage to rural areas and/or areas not currently served by any Internet service provider (other than dial-up).
This also includes an auction plan for broadcast spectrum to be turned into wireless, and has components ($10.7 billion worth) promoting a nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety services.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

02 Feb, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes

THAT’S MINE! -- Google claims Bing copies its search results. After noticing curious search results at Bing, then running a sting operation to investigate further, Google has concluded that Microsoft is copying Google search results into its own search engine. Google made it clear it isn't happy about it. SOURCE: Stephen Shankl http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20030206-264.html

02 Feb, 2011 | Posted by: psnotes

Do Not Track on the Web

Mozilla's Firefox plans to be the first Internet browser to offer a feature supporting the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) call for a web-based do-not-track list, similar to the familiar do-not-call list.

Naturally, for this to work, tracking companies must agree to honor it. Not too surprisingly, no tracking company has publicly agreed, though Mozilla is urging them to join. Microsoft said it would revive privacy features (previously left out of MSIE) when Internet Explorer 9 is released.

Google also has similar tools in its Chrome browser, all of which currently rely on a brute-force approach of maintaining a local list of sites to block, whereas the do-not-track list would be something the trackers would agree to honor (by not tracking you) when presented to them by a browser.

Insufficient Addresses
This is a true and looming problem. Folks have been working on it for several years, and it's still several years away from full implementation.
The Internet is running out of addresses. When you type the familiar web address into your browser, it gets translated by root servers into a number. www.photosource.com becomes, for example. Well, there are only 4,300,000,000 possible addresses with this system, and, as with area codes, many are reserved. Like the hard disks of yore, when first envisioned, that was a pretty big number. Now, with so many devices wanting their own IP address, the world will run out of IPv4 addresses (as this system is called) very soon.
So, a new system, called IPv6 has been invented with much longer IP addresses that use numbers and letters (up to the letter f, as in Hexadecimal notation).

What's it all mean? Well, you add to your home office with network gear upgrade (or even buy new networking gear) that can process the new IPv6 notation.

You can do a test now. Many big companies have been slowly upgrading their websites and networks to support IPv6. Facebook has an IPv6 website at www.v6.facebook.com, which can only be accessed by systems that can support IPv6. So, type that URL into your browser and see if you get Facebook or an error.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

29 Dec, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes

ON-LINE PRIVACY RIGHTS -- The Federal Government has proposed, in an 88-page report, that Americans should have a "Privacy Bill of Rights" concerning Internet data mining.
There would also be the creation of a Privacy Policy Office at the federal level to coordinate on-line privacy issues both domestically and internationally. The Privacy Policy Office is currently being formed. This is a reversal of a long-standing policy of "hands off the Internet" for the government.
A "do not track" list, similar to the popular "do not call" list is being considered, based on a recent Federal Trade Commission report calling for such a system.
The Commerce Department has said it will encourage the industry to adopt the bill of rights, but noted that without legislation, nothing contained therein will be enforceable. Among the suggestions is that companies should ask for permission to use data for a purpose other than for which it was collected, and that they submit to privacy audits.
TAKEAWAY: Under the cloak of ‘protecting privacy’, governments have been known to move forward into the next lower level: censorship.

Do You Fit In?
OK, -so the survey was small (350 small businesses that use Egnyte=s, egnyte.com, cloud storage services), but is it indicative of the real world, or a trend? The question asked was, "When do you use your mobile device for work purposes during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year holidays?" Which one are you? 79% said, "When I can get away with it." 19% said, "I do not plan to check it for work purposes." 12% said, "On the drive to grandmother=s house." 4% said, "At the dinner table." And 3% said, "While people are opening presents."
NOTE: If you’re adding up the totals and they don’t add up, It’s because respondents could answer in more than one category.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

24 Nov, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes

Printers Can’t Fly

Not welcome on the plane?
So, technically, it’s toner and ink cartridges that have now been banned from aircraft. The TSA (Transportation Security Agency) now bans any toner and ink cartridges weighing more than 16 oz. from passenger aircraft in carry-on and checked luggage on both domestic and international flights due to the recent discovery of explosives contained within toner cartridges found on inbound international flights.
I wonder if they are going to weigh each one, or use the manufacturer’s weight rating. Scales at security checkpoints? That ought to speed up passenger loading.

Secure E-mail from the Post Office

We’ve all received the spam, from time to time, that our USPS will start charging for e-mail since using e-mail has cut deeply into their business of delivering paper mail. Of course, it’s not true. However, Germany has figured out a way to make e-mail a profit center. Security and privacy are a much bigger deal in Europe than here at home (so we’re told). And Deutsche Poste faces the same declining revenue problems in its core services as the USPS. So they’ve come up with the idea of offering secure e-mail for the price of a postage stamp for a standard letter (as of this writing, that’s 75 U.S. cents). So far, they’ve registered one million users since the service began last July 2010. Customers need to register and show identity proof (a selling feature) before receiving a Deutsche Post e-mailbox, which is free. They will print out and deliver the letter to those not having the official e-mail box at no extra cost. But don’t expect the USPS to soon offer a similar service—there are laws that restrict what the postal service can do.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

13 Oct, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes

Watch Out For Geotagging

Nope, it's not a new form of graffiti, or wall art, or vandalism, or whatever it's called in your neck of the woods. If you have a smart phone, or perhaps a video or digital camera that has built-in GPS capability, then most likely all the images you take with the smart phone camera contain a geotag, which provides the lat/long of where you were when the photo was recorded. smart photo
That could be good and useful for the photographer, but it can also be useful for the bad guys. The concern to law enforcement and many others is that the casual (and probably frequent) user may not realize the location information is embedded in the image. This could compromise your privacy and safety when such images are posted online, or even forwarded. You never know who's looking at your stuff once it leaves your control.
For most smart phone users, this feature can likely be turned off, but as is the case in our social-networking obsessed society, is probably on by default.
And turning off this feature may disable other GPS applications, like mapping.
So, decide whether you want this info in all your images and videos, get out that instruction manual, and make the choice.
ICanStalkU.com, a website created by security consultants, provides instructions for disabling geotagging for some popular smart phones.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

White Space

The FCC has recently approved the use of "white space" for advanced broadband applications.
This white space is frequency spectrum between broadcast TV channels. There are still some issues to work out, like potential interference to wireless microphones and similar signaling devices. The advantage is that this swath of spectrum will be available for free, require no licensing, and will have longer range and be able to penetrate through walls, delivering Internet speeds ranging from 15 to 20 megabits per second over a range of several miles (your mileage may vary). Imagine, Wi-Fi on steroids! Products using this newer technology are expected to be showcased within the year.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

15 Sep, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes

Who You Gonna Call?

When your computer starts acting up, from slowness to weird stuff to viruses and malware, what can you do? There are many options, from the kid down the street to an on-site visit by a technician, to hauling the computer to a repair shop.
Another option that's gaining ground is remote access. That's where a technician connects to your computer via your broadband Internet connection *and takes over control during the session.
Sometimes you have to download control software, sometimes you just go to a specific Internet site and enter a code that the tech gives you. You can see what they're doing, communicate via a chat window, and are able to terminate the connection at any time, though it may be a challenge to regain control of the mouse to click on the "terminate session" button.

This kind of help is useful for software and hardware compatibility issues, performance problems, etc., but, of course, can't help you with physical problems like broken hardware. And it certainly can beat taking the computer into a shop and waiting days or longer to be checked out and/or repaired.
Prices vary for one-session pricing from about $20 to $125. Some also offer hourly pricing.

Here are four you can check out:
AskDrTech.com, BoxAid.com, ComputerGeeksOnline.net, and AskPCExperts.com.
Also, don't forget to check with your computer's manufacturer, especially if still under warranty, for similar remote diagnostic help.

* note that most remote diagnostic services will not want to help you over a dial-up connection, just because it's too slow for their liking.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

04 Aug, 2010 | Posted by: psnotes

Do You Safari?

If you're using Apple's Safari browser, you might want to turn off the feature, on by default, that automatically completes online forms.
And be sure you have installed the latest updates. While most browsers have a similar auto-complete feature whereby you start typing in a form field and the browser will attempt to automatically fill out the rest of the form for you, Safari pulls some of its data from your computer's address book, with the potential for websites to gather names, email addresses, and other info from anyone who visits a website designed to collect this info. To disable this feature, select "Autofill" from the preferences menu and uncheck the boxes on that page. This issue has apparently been around for a while, and a fix is in the works, or may even be out by now. So, if you use Safari, make sure you have the latest Safari browser software.

Hardware Virus

If you're using Dell PowerEdge servers R310,R410, R510 or T410 and have recently had the motherboard replaced, you should contact Dell for a possible replacement. Turns out that some of those motherboards are infected with malware that could allow access to data stored on the server. All stock of these motherboards at Dell are now clean, and they are contacting affected customers. A Dell spokeswoman said that the malware was old and easily spotted by security programs.

First Still, Now Movies

Kodak has said that its movie-film business is shrinking faster that expected. Along with that, the higher profit margins that film enjoys over digital are also going away. One thing that is helping Kodak is their intellectual property income and income from sales of commercial and consumer inkjet printers.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

30 Jun, 2010 | Posted by: st

Forgotten Milestone

Just a little anniversary I forgot to mention last month, so I'll mention it this month. Last month was the 200th anniversary of this column.* So, a belated Happy Anniversary to On-Line!

So You Think You Can Have Unlimited Downloads?
As wireless devices engulf the nation, and particularly in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New York City, many wireless carriers are scrambling to figure out how to manage the tremendous volumes of data traversing their data networks.
AT&T recently moved to tiered levels of service, where heavy data users pay more. T-Mobile likewise has limited excessive use on its network. And now Sprint-Nextel has changed its policies for laptop data users with mobile broadband cards or USB modems.
Excessive data roaming by laptop users could result in suspension of service until the next billing cycle, unless the subscriber opts in to a different plan. Sprint says it will notify affected customers via text message or email when they hit 75% and 90% of the roaming data limit.

What's That?

A revealing comment by Kodak's CEO, Antonio Perez: "Film will never come back. Those very, very, very high gross margins that film had will never come back. I don't know of any digital businesses that will even have half the margin that film had."
Kodak's focus continues to be on printers. Their consumer-level printers typically cost more than the competition, but their price for ink cartridges are about 50% less. And they continue to push into commercial printing with their fast digital Prosper Press equipment, although there are some manufacturing issues. These presses sell for over $1 million to $4 million. Kodak will continue to rake in the bucks with their patents, although Mr. Perez has plans to be less aggressive with their patent lawsuits.

* The quixotic Bill Hopkins loves being on-line and is the brain-storm of our www.photosourcefolio.com . Give him a look over on the right hand column. -RE

28 Apr, 2010 | Posted by: photosource

Print Money Legally!

You can, in a manner of speaking. And this method works with laser or inkjet printers. It sure won't make you rich, but it might just save $20 - $80 each year, depending on your printing capacity. Here=s what you do. First, change the default font in the documents you print. Next, well, there's no next because that's all there is, unless you want to count the savings a little at a time.

Since different fonts require varying amounts of ink for each character, you can save a little ink or toner by using a different font. A serif font tends to have thinner lines than a corresponding safns-seri font, thus requiring less ink. Naturally, fonts with "bold" or "black" in their names would likely use more ink/toner than a similar font with "narrow" or "light" in its name. Testing by www.printer.com showed that Century Gothic and Times New Roman were most ink-friendly. For example, Century Gothic used about 30% less that Arial.
But hold on. There=s more. Some of these less-ink-using fonts are wider. So what you save in ink/toner may be lost to consuming an extra sheet of paper (of course, if your printer allows for it or you do it manually, you can print on both sides of the paper, saving costs and helping the environment).
You can also print in draft mode whenever appropriate. For the greatest benefits to your wallet and the globe, just don't print!
Here=s a direct link to the report:

Clipped by Coupons

What's that saying, "What=s good for the goose is good for the gander"? Well, after decades of being taken advantage of, coupons are fighting back. When you use coupons from the Internet or from your cell phone (and in 2009 there were 50 million Internet coupons!), they come with a barcode. That barcode contains data that allows for, in many cases, very detailed tracking.
For example, you search the Internet looking for a Mother's Day present. You find something you want to purchase, and it comes with a discount coupon at a retailer you want to buy from. So you do. That coupon barcode can be used to discern the contents of your search (which keywords you used), where you bought the item, and how long it took you to make the purchase.
It could also tell your computer type, your IP address, even city and state, and then coupled with all that other data about you out there in the cloud or from that retailer you frequent, they've got a very good dossier started (or still building) on you.
Many of these online coupons are handled by RevTrax, and since they are the third party and don't interact directly with the consumer, they don't have a privacy policy on their website. And if you're on any social networking site, like Facebook, that info may also be part of the aggregated data. Privacy on the Internet? Forgetaboutit!

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax:
1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

23 Mar, 2010 | Posted by: photosource

Amazon Strikes Again!

In the continuing battle over taxing sales on the Internet, Amazon has cut ties with more of its affiliates, this time in Colorado. That state recently enacted legislation that requires online retailers to either collect sales tax or share information with the state about all of the purchases made by Colorado residents.

Federal law prevents states from requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax if those merchants do not have a physical presence in the state. Due to the economic situation that most states find themselves in, looking for new sources of revenue is paramount. Many states have or are trying to pass laws that would result in on-line retailers having to collect and remit sales tax if they have affiliates in the state. So, no affiliates, no sales tax from Amazon in Colorado.

Post Office to Charge for Email

Now, if you believe that, you've not been paying attention (but I got YOUR attention!). We've all seen the email spam come and go about how the USPS will start charging you for sending email since they can't make a go of it with regular stamps and letters anymore. That's not gonna happen. However, we are all to blame if Congress grants the Post Office=s request to halt (or otherwise modify) residential Saturday delivery. Think about it. You get your charge card statements via email and your bank sends monthly statements via email. Same with your investments, with statements and proxies coming directly to your inbox, and online voting for board proposals. You pay your bills with on-line payment programs. And you've probably contacted the Direct Marketing Association asking them to stop mailing you all those advertising papers.

Sure, that saves us all a lot of money, time and often bother, and I'm certainly not going back to posting all those stamps, but it does help support the Post Office=s position about eliminating Saturday residential delivery. Naturally, there are other cost-cutting measures available to them, and no need to re-hash all that here.

A Backup Solution

Some folks prefer to have a third party handle their backup chores, and for some it may make logical and financial sense. Here's one you can check out with a trial period. It's called Carbonite ( www.carbonite.com ).

A one-year subscription is under $60, with discounts for longer periods. It works over the Internet, so you'll need a high-speed connection. There are default settings for what gets backed up, and you can add to that list, with some exceptions. If you give it a try, let us know your opinion. Here are some interesting stats from their website: 43% of people lose irreplaceable files every year, only 3 out of 100 stolen laptops are ever recovered, and up to 13% of hard drives crash in their first year. Now, go forth and (with some method) back up!

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email.

27 Jan, 2010 | Posted by: photosource

Do You Own The Airwaves In Your House?

The company (YMax Corp) behind the popular magicJack thinks so. The magicJack is a small device that allows you to make free calls in the U.S. and Canada using your high-speed Internet connection.
You plug your phone into the magicJack, and the magicJack into a USB port on your computer. More info, including pricing and hardware requirements, is available at magicJack.com.
That's the background. YMax will soon be marketing a similar device that works with your cell phone.
The idea is that you plug their device into your computer with a broadband Internet connection, and it connects wirelessly with your cell phone. As long as you are in range of their device, your phone stays connected to the device instead of connecting to your carrier's cell towers.
You get to make free calls using your cell phone routed over the Internet.
But there are some gotchas.
First, it only works with phones using the GSM standard (like AT&T and T-Mobile) and won=t work with phones from Verizon or Sprint/Nextel.
Second, since the device is essentially a mini-cellular tower in your home, it is using the same frequencies that the cellular companies have paid big bucks to use.
The cellular carriers aren't saying much right now, and the FCC also had no comment but is looking into the issue. YMax says it's legal because cellular licenses do not extend into the home. Wonder who will win that one.

Portable File Cabinet

Not the kind on two (or four) wheels, but the electronic kind.

There's a free service called Evernote (yeah, the free version has some limits and includes ads, but it's free) that lets you store stuff in the "cloud" and retrieve them seamlessly. You organize your stuff in a digital file cabinet containing notebooks, just like files and folders on your computer. It works with a variety of electronic devices, including PCs, Macs, and smart phones like iPhone and Blackberry and others.
Use it to manage your photos, texts, documents, notes, web page snapshots, and more and have it all available on all your connected devices.
Evernote includes an email address, and anything you send to that email will go into your digital file cabinet. Twitter can also be used. Unlimited access without ads and more features, including up to 500 Mb per month upload costs $45 per year. Check it out at evernote.com. There's also an on-line video tutorial.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

06 Jan, 2010 | Posted by: photosource

Cloud Storage

Nope, we’re not talking about storing clouds somewhere, though in some cases, that could be an advantage. Instead, we’re talking about storing your files (documents, music, photos, etc.) in "the cloud," otherwise known as the Internet.

You know, out there somewhere.

There are many vendors and products that let you do this, with the idea that you can access your cloud files from any Internet-connected device.

A recent addition to that collection is a service called ZumaDrive. Basically, the program installs software and an icon on your desktop (Mac, Windows, or Linux) that operates exactly like a physically attached hard drive, so you can copy files from your computer (or Internet-capable phone, etc.) to the ZumaDrive and then access those files from basically anywhere, anytime.
You get up to 2 Gb of free online storage. After that, you’ll pay for additional storage. Example: 10 Gb is $2.99/mo.

If this might fit your needs, check it out at www.zumadrive.com

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email.

02 Dec, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

by Bill Hopkins

GREEN TVs? California (May Be) Leading The Way. As California goes, so goes the nation, or so we’ve heard. Therefore, this may be something to watch. The California Energy Commission, CEC (www.energy.ca.gov) has proposed changes to the Appliance Efficiency Standards that would increase the energy efficiency of new TVs sold in California. Beginning in 2011, new sets would have to reduce energy consumption by 33%, and by 49% starting 2013. Already, over 1000 sets currently meet the 2011 standards. This is important because, energy-wise, those big TVs consume about 10% of a home’s electricity. Some say big sets would disappear in CA, others say no way. There will be public hearings, etc., as in any proposed rule-making.

LOOKING FOR A DEAL…? We all know about Black Friday. And we’ve heard about Cyber Monday. Black Friday is the day of the year most major retailers rely on to get into the black on their balance sheets. Or so they say. In reality, Black Friday originated with the Philadelphia police in the 1960s, using it to describe the heavy city traffic on the day after Thanksgiving caused by all the shoppers looking for a deal. Fearing that the negative spin and visions of heavy traffic would keep shoppers away, retailers started saying it was the day they’d turn a profit. And Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, was originally a marketing gimmick created five years ago to get shoppers using the web. And it’s never been the top online sales day. So, did you contribute to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or did you split your allegiance?

HTTP//:www.xyz@#-$-%^apres/vous>IV<&*.com…Internet Addressing.. It’s taken a few years, but top-level domain names will soon be able to be written in other than the Roman alphabet. Currently, portions of a web address can be written in other characters, but the familiar .com and other suffixes must be in Roman. The change will allow the top-level domain to be written using 17 other languages including traditional and simplified Chinese, Russian Cyrillic, Arabic, French, Korean Hangul and Hebrew.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* (www.photosourcefolio.com) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. (*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view on your own page on the PhotoSource website.) For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at www.photosource.com/board.

28 Oct, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

Net Metering

No, I’m not talking about power company net metering programs for those of you (us) who have installed grid-tied solar electrical panels or other forms of local electricity generation (wind turbines, co-gen, etc.), but rather the possibility (some even say the eventuality) of Internet service companies charging by the gigabyte for Internet usage. In some areas, trials are being conducted where new users are presented a tiered service plan. The more bytes you want, the more it’s going to cost. After all, somebody has to pay for all the infrastructure. And, yes, this appears to be the result of a few spoiling it for the rest of us. You know who you are, the heavy downloaders taking advantage of movies and music available on the web. We went from really expensive (back in the day of 300 and 1200 bit dial-up modems) to cheap flat-rate plans, then inexpensive broadband, and now we’re coming around the bend toward metered Internet. By the way, the average Internet user consumes around 15 gigabytes a month.

Google Voice

Google Voice is a free web-based telephony system which allows one to set up a phone number which can ring any number of other numbers when called. It also offers many other neat features, including text messaging.
The question for the FCC: Is Google Voice an Internet company or a common-carrier service?
This is important because Google Voice blocks calls to certain numbers (those with high termination fees, like chat lines, for which Google Voice would have to pay much higher fees if it connected the call).
Under FCC rules for common carriers such as AT&T and your local phone company, all calls must be connected. But the rules are different for the Internet. Google has stated that it does block calls to certain numbers, and that to use its service, one must also have a "regular" phone service, and since it is a web-based application, is not subject to common-carrier rules. The FCC has opened an inquiry into whether Google Voice is restricting calls, and has asked for more information.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

25 Sep, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

Cell Phones More Powerful Than a Locomotive
Well, not quite (at least not yet). But they can do amazing things. Like turning on your oven. Of course, it was an unintended consequence, but a guy in Brooklyn had his oven turn on "all by itself" and melt a thermometer that was inside.
Further sleuthing determined that his ringing cell phone activated his Maytag oven in his apartment. Additional testing by the New York Times confirmed that different brands of cell phones can activate multiple models of Maytag ovens, which seem to prefer the high setting when turned on this way. If it's still up, you can read the full story and watch the video here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/nyregion/23about.html?_r=3
As our appliances get more advanced and wireless, and start communicating with each other, we can expect a whole lot more of these kinds of happenings.
One can only hope that each abode of the future will be equipped with an easily accessible master OFF switch for all our "communicating" appliances, regardless of which room they are in. But you know, I'd bet it would be wireless.

Snap and Buy
Amazon.com recently purchased a start-up company, SnapTell, which makes a popular app for the iPhone. The app allows you to take a photo of a book's cover, DVD, or other product, and then be connected to an online store to buy it.
True, there are similar such search engines out there, and even Amazon has one, but it relies on humans to match the snapped photo with the store catalog. The SnapTell does the matching (or tries to) via software. If you've downloaded the app and purchased something (or tried to) using the snap and buy method, let us know how it worked for you.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* ( www.photosourcefolio.com ) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com Fax: 1 818 831-0916. (*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view on your own page on the PhotoSource website.) For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at www.photosource.com/board

09 Sep, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

How To Surf The Web Anywhere

Find a wireless service to connect to the internet.. Cell phone coverage in the United States and Europe are pretty complete, but the title of this article is “How to Surf the Web from Anywhere.” So for maximum service also look into a satellite phone and internet service.
Satellite phone service takes some getting used to but is unmatched in its ability to connect you to the rest of the world in what you swore was a mile past the middle of nowhere.

02 Sep, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

by Bill Hopkins

Taxes Affecting Associates
As more and more states pass or update laws to tax Internet sales shipped to their states, more and more Internet merchants are pulling the plug. At least for their associates. Amazon has now terminated their associate program in several states. Among the latest to receive word are North Carolina, Rhode Island and Hawaii. States are trying to close budget gaps by finding new (and sometimes novel) ways to collect additional sales taxes. Previously, if a state collected sales taxes (some don=t) it would only collect if the business had a physical presence in the stateBthe "brick and mortar" approach. Now laws are being passed/proposed to collect sales taxes if the merchant has any affiliates in their state, a decidedly different tack.


I suppose you could always ask your (or another=s) kid to decipher this for you, but when that resource is unavailable (or you suspect the shorthand is inappropriate) you can always go here: http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php Another site is dtxtr.com, which offers translations of "teen speak" to "english" (4col, they can't even capitalize "English.") I kinda like this one, 404. I'm sure your Internet browsing has shown this to you more than once. What does it mean in texting? "I haven't got a clue." How true. And watch out for these: 9, 99. CUOL.

12 Outdated Tech Terms
With a nod to George Carlin, here are twelve outdated technology terms, at least according to Business Week (there are dissenting points of view). Intranet, extranet, web surfing, push technology, Application Service Provider (ASP), Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), Internet telephony, weblog, thin client, RBOC, long-distance call, World Wide Web. To understand why these terms are considered outdated, please visit http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/aug2009/tc20090824_902851.htm

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* ( www.photosourcefolio.com ) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at http://www.photosource.com/board

*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.

17 Jun, 2009 | Posted by: photosource


So, we were visiting Disneyland here on the West Coast, (can’t remember the last time), and every so often I’d spot a commercial photographer wearing a vest, digital camera, and even a tripod sometimes. These people were Disney cast members willing to take your picture for free.
But what caught my eye was the cord running from the camera to a small box at waist level with an antenna sticking up from it.

So, I had to ask. The deal: They offer to take your photo for free(or you can ask.) Then they give you a little plastic card with a PIN number on it. Within a couple of hours, your photo is up on a secure website that is accessible using the PIN number on your "photopass."

You could probably also access the site right from your iPhone (or similar product) before you even leave Disneyland. You’re then able to buy souvenier prints and other products.

Now that’s technology! Depending on the nature of your own stock photography business, such wireless technology could be useful. Got any ideas?

Did You Miss It?

Just thought I’d write about this for history’s sake. If you receive your TV signal via satellite, cable, or fiber, you probably missed it. Friday, June 12, was the absolute final day for analog television signal transmission over the airwaves (the previous date of 2/17/09 was extended).
For the most part, if you’re using an older analog-only TV attached to an antenna, all you’ll get is snow on the TV screen (newer TVs are required to have digital tuners built-in). To continue to receive over-the-air signals with an older TV, you have to get a converter box. And thanks to the Stimulus Bill, Congress authorized more money for the converter box coupon program, which provides a $40 discount coupon for approved converter boxes (and there are lots of choices, retail and mail-order). Full details at www.dtv2009.gov Coupons are still available, and if you applied once before and let your coupon expire (they are valid for 90 days from mailing), you can re-apply. If you are reading this is 2025, I thought it might be interesting to tell your grandchildren what the ol’ analog TV was like back in 2009.

You Saw It Where?

Why, in Prague, of course. But you live in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. There it was: A huge storefront advertisement using your family’s Christmas photo!
Neither you nor the photographer had given permission for such use. And you didn’t know a thing about it till your friend sent you a photo of the store. What? How?

Well, the family in the photo used their picture as a Christmas card last year and sent it to family, friends and (you knew this was coming, didn’t you?), uploaded it to the Internet on their blog plus a couple of social networking sites (Twitter, FaceBook, etc.)

Well, the store in Prague, in eastern Europe, got the photo "from the Internet" and assumed it was computer-generated. Uh-huh.

Upon learning more about the photo, the shop owner took measures to remove the ad. All’s well in the end, but is it really the end?

Now you can understand the Internet problem of what’s being called “orphan photos” – pictures on the Internet whose ownership is unknown. The Library of Congress, in Washington, DC, where copyright issues are attempted to be resolved, is advising Congress on how this “ownership” problem can be resolved. But they’re having little progress.

In the interim, one way you can help is to include what’s called “ph oto metadata” (imbedded digitally along with each photo) along with each of your images. The information can include your name as the copyright owner.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* (www.photosourcefolio.com) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at < www.photosource.com/board >.

*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.

27 May, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

The Case of the Undeleting Photo
For the most part, when you delete a photo from your digital camera or computer, it’s really deleted. Sure, you may have the Recycle Bin on your computer and could get it back, but if you’re like most of us, you keep the Recycle Bin pretty well emptied. And for purposes of this discussion, we’ll not mention the backup files you’ve maintained all these years.
So, here’s an experiment you can try yourself. Upload a photo to Facebook. Make a copy of the actual URL of the photo (not the page that contains the photo). Then, delete the photo after a day or so. One month later, use the URL and see if the photo is still there.
There’s a very good chance it will be. But, how can that be if you deleted it 30 days ago?
Researchers at Cambridge found that nearly half of the social networking sites don’t immediately remove photos when requested to do so. Why? The reason has to do with the way big sites are managed.
To speed response, the content is replicated across many servers, often in diverse geographical locations. Thus, it can take a while for all the copies to be deleted.
Photo-centric sites like Flickr are quicker to remove all those copies. And of course, once the photo gets out into the world (i.e., the broader Internet), consider it out of your control.
Then, there’s the Wayback Machine ( http://www.archive.org ), which archives web pages practically forever (although they do honor owner removal requests).

Love Photoshop But Too Expensive?
Here’s a free alternative: http://www.gimp.org
Here’s a comment I found on eFLuxMedia: Probably the most powerful free image editor available is GiMP, an open source program that now rivals Photoshop in features and usability, many believe. GiMP offers a customizable user interface, so you can set it up to provide you with just the features you need so that you're not overwhelmed with options.
GiMP has its own plug?in system, and over 100 free plug?ins are already available. What's more, you can use GiMP to open and save files in formats supported by most other image editing software, including Photoshop.
If you give it a try, let us know what you think about it
. 1 800 624 0266.
TiVo Is Watching You!
What a shock it was to TiVo users a few years back when they collectively discovered that their viewing habits were being recorded and uploaded to TiVo’s computers for detailed analysis and aggregation.
Now, TiVo is set to launch a local version of its StopWatch ratings service, in its escalating battle with Nielsen for TV viewer demographics.
This service is scheduled to start with the Fall TV season. They can track second-by-second whether commercials are being watched or fast-forwarded. Just which markets it will monitor is not yet determined.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

25 Mar, 2009 | Posted by: photosource


No, I didn’t mean "Gotcha!" So, you ask, "What’s a Captcha?"

You know those websites where you’re asked to decipher and type in a string of funny characters, all stretched and spaced out, or at multiple angles, different colors and conflicting backgrounds, etc?

The stuff that makes you want to rush to the phone to set up an appointment with your optometrist? Well, you’ve just seen a Captcha.

It’s an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. The name recognized Alan Turing, a British computer scientist.

The Captcha system came about because Yahoo! wanted a way, back in 2000, to identify spammers that were using software to obtain huge numbers of email addresses from which they could send their spam. So, now you know, and have something to talk about at your next party.


No, it’s not the old story of Pete and Repeat. Now, when you decipher a Captcha, you may be helping to digitize old books and manuscripts (like the New York Times).
How? Scanning technology is used to digitize, but like computers, scanners can’t always decipher a word, due to such things as smearing, poor contrast, typestyle, etc.

So, websites that use the Captcha system to validate users can use the ReCaptcha system to present two words to the user to decipher. One is a real Captcha (thus the website knows what the correct answer is), and the other is the undecipherable scanned word.

If enough users (like maybe 3-5) correctly decode the ReCaptcha word, and have matching decodes on the Captcha word, the system presumes the ReCaptcha word has been correctly figured out.

That helps get the manuscript/book/magazine fully digitized. For more info about adding the Captcha or ReCaptcha system to your website, visit http://recaptcha.net

Is It Real or Fake?

You received an e-mail from your friend telling you that next week is "free scoop night" at an ice cream store. Is it real or fake (the free scoop offer)?
Or, you receive an urgent email saying terrorists are buying DHL uniforms on eBay. Well, here’s one place to check: http://www.snopes.com It includes a search engine so you can enter part of the suspicious offer and check the results. In case you’re wondering, yes, the free scoop night was real.

Want a browser toolbar to help you check?
Look at http://netsquirrel.com/combatkit

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* ( http://www.photosourcefolio.com ) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com Fax: 1 818 831-0916. (*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view on your own page on the PhotoSource website.) For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at http://www.photosource.com/board

25 Feb, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

Stealth Camera Phones Exposed!
There is a new bill in Congress designed to address the rampant problem of cell phone cameras, at least according to the bill's author, Peter King (R-NY).

(If you're curious, it's HR414, Camera Phone Predator Alert Act.) It is designed to address the ever-proliferating voyeuristic images caught by cell phone cameras by requiring them to make a sound "audible within a reasonable radius of the phone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera in such phone."

No mention of video recording devices, "spy" cameras, nor what to do about all the current noiseless cell phone cameras in use and production. Strange as this may sound, there is apparently a similar law in Japan, where such image-taking is on the scale of a national pastime. Will it happen here? Quien sabe.

Password Security

Yes, I know they are annoying, and some places where they are used, like online banking sites, seem to require ever-stranger and difficult-to-remember strings of characters.
Like, "your password must be 8-10 characters, including at least one upper case letter and one numeral..." and not be anything we don't like or think is too easy to guess.

So, naturally, the password-using public tends to pick one character string, use it for everything possible, and tries their best not to have to change it on any site.

Well, here's some interesting news. A small website recently had their database of some 20,000 users hacked, and the list posted on the web. InformationWeek analyzed the data and found some disturbing trends.

First is the fact that the website is a message board for people interested in programming, and one would think such techies would know better. Or maybe, being just a message board, the users didn't care much about their passwords.

So, here are just a few of the highlights from the analysis. The most popular password (3% of users), and considered the most-used password today, was "123456."

The second most popular password was "password," or variants. Bet you guessed that one, right? Of the top 20 most-used passwords were these, "dragon," "master," and "killer." And of course, patterns were popular, like "abc123," and "qwerty." You may stop reading now and go fix your passwords.

20 Jan, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

Superstock Files for Bankruptcy
If, like some of our subscribers, you have images on file with Superstock, you’ve probably already received an email alerting you to their bankruptcy status. The letter states, As a part of our reorganization process, we are returning all original materials to photographers. Sounds good, no? But wait. The next paragraph says you have to fill out a form and mail Superstock a check for fifty bucks! If they don’t get your check by Jan, 31, 2009, “We will securely discard them.” Wow! And according to one of our Photosource subscribers, (See Stock Agency section), you will not be paid for any of your images they have licensed since July 2008. Further, their website (superstock.com) is still functional and gives no mention of their pending doom. On the contrary, their website looks like business as usual! (Ed Note: Superstock is in the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy which gives a business entity a chance to start over, but much to the disadvantage of suppliers and others who are owed money. See news announcement below.) *

I Feel It Slipping Away!
Breaks for sales tax on the Internet, that is. As you know, typically, sales taxes are only collected on-line (as part of your order) if the merchant has a nexus in your state. As we reported last year, New York is trying to rewrite the rules so that all merchants shipping goods into New York would collect and remit sales taxes to the state, and big on-line retailers have sued. But there is a bigger picture. As the economy continues to falter, more and more states are losing tax revenues across the board and are keen to get whatever they can wherever they can. And collecting sales taxes from Internet sales is thus getting more attention. Sure, the amount collected would generally be small compared to most states’ budgets, but something is better than nothing, so the political reasoning goes.
There is a group called the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, set up to assist states in simplifying their tax codes to make it easier to tax Internet sales (it’s really complicated as there are thousands of different taxing jurisdictions, with different rates and different definitions of what category an item is in for taxing purposes). Many states have joined this effort as have over 1,000 retailers that collect sales taxes for the states in the group, even if the retailers are not legally obligated to do so. That may explain why some of your favorite on-line retailers are now adding sales tax to your purchases where they didn’t before. It’s notable that New York has not joined the Board since they feel it would require extensive revisions to their tax rules. Instead, New York changed their definition of a nexus.

The Great Firewall
Nope, we’re not talking about China’s efforts to restrict Internet access of its citizens. This is the Great Aussie Firewall, a proposed Internet filter for Australia. As one might expect, the Government says it is trying to protect the populace from child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use, and advocacy of terrorism. The list of sites to block so far is over 1,300. But, of course, the country isn’t making the list public. And such a filter would not stop peer-to-peer networks, where much of the material is traded. A lab test of six different filtering techniques had this result: 3% to 12% of the material that should have been blocked was not, 1% to 8% was wrongly blocked, and browsing speeds decreased as much as 86%! Protection or Censorship?

Bill Hopkins
is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio ( http://www.photosourcefolio.com ) (Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.)
and a regular contribu tor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at www.photosource.com/board

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -*PhotoDistrict News announcement: Bankrupt SuperStock Sold to Three Other Photo Agencies - Three photographer-owned stock agencies outbid Masterfile in an auction of the assets of bankrupt agency SuperStock. Blend, Glow Images and RubberBall, in a joint venture called RGB, won the auction with a bid of $2.825 million, Blend CEO Rick Becker-Leckrone says. There will be some changes but the new owners will keep SuperStock in business.

From the parent company website ( http://www.a21group.com/ ):
-- Ingram Image Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales, was the winning bidder for the shares of SuperStock, Ltd. Ingram Image Limited will pay $50,000 for the shares of SuperStock, Ltd.

17 Dec, 2008 | Posted by: photosource

Firefox Add-Ons
If you’re using Firefox ( http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ ) as your Internet browser, you probably already know that there are a host of add-ons available. If you, like me, use lots of tabs while browsing, Colorful Tabs is a nice addition, as is the Undo Closed Tabs button, for when you accidentally close out the wrong tab. Installing Showcase converts the AList all tabs@ feature into a windowed feature that shows all your open tabs as small versions of the viewable webpage. For those websites that seem to only work in Microsoft Internet Explorer, installing IE Tab makes it simple to open a tab using Firefox’s built-in IE engine, or to switch between Firefox and MSIE rendering of a webpage.
Another one that’s fun is Flagfox. It puts a little flag representing the country where the website is based, and it will alert you if a website is hosted in a country that does not match the website’s domain name. Useful to help detect possible phishing schemes.
And for those bargain hunters out there (and aren’t we all–- in these times?), there’s an add-on called RetailMeNot, which will alert you when you’ve landed on a site that has online coupons, and tells you about them. It uses a weekly downloaded database to help track all those coupon codes. And we can’t forget the eBay Sidebar Add-on, useful for you eBayers out there. There is also an Add-On to emulate Netscape 4.8!
To see the available add-ons in Firefox, click on Tools, Add-Ons, and then the link for Browse All Add-ons.

Another Reason To Use A Different Browser
Recently, another serious security flaw has been observed in Internet Explorer, allowing crooks to gain control of your computer. Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/6mprb4 Apparently this zero-day flaw has been around a little bit and Microsoft is considering fixing it via an emergency patch outside their regular monthly updates. So, maybe it’ll be resolved by the time you’re reading this, IF you keep your system patched.

Digital Fingerprints In Your Digital Photos
Digital cameras have built-in demosaicing software which translates each pixel into a usable color and brightness signal. Nasiar Memon of the Polytechnic University in Brooklyn has discovered how to work backward and identify the camera model used to create the image. In early tests, he and his team were able to identify the camera model with 90 percent accuracy. While they can’t identify an individual camera, narrowing it down to a particular model can have great forensic benefits, especially given that the typical digital camera has a shelf life of about 18 months.

More On Phishing
Phishing: The art of getting someone to give you their confidential financial information. Just a reminder, during this recession, to be even more alert to phony email and websites that purport to be from Ayour@ bank or financial institution and requesting confidential info like passwords and account numbers. Due to the great many mergers and acquisitions happening lately, this warning is especially critical. And remember, most of these bad guys and gals are very good at creating email and websites that look exactly like the real thing. Best advice: Always contact your bank using known good sources, like the website and phone numbers on your statements, rather than clicking on a link in an email. Same applies if you received an unsolicited phone call from your bank and/or credit card company.
Happy Holidays!

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* ( http://ww w.photosourcefolio.com ) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. (*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view on your own page on the PhotoSource website.) For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at http://www.photosource.com/board

19 Nov, 2008 | Posted by: photosource

Spammer Gets Off
You may remember back in 2004, when Jeremy Jaynes was convicted for sending unsolicited bulk email (SPAM to us). Now, 4 years later, the conviction has been overturned on First Amendment rights. The Virginia Supreme Court (the action was brought in Virginia because the servers that he used to send the emails, AOL, are in Virginia) declared the state’s antispam law unconstitutional, since at the time, the law was not restricted to commercial email, but included all such email, which would have included political and religious messages. And since the national CAN-SPAM act was not in effect at the time the messages were sent, it cannot be applied.

When Is Email Not Private?
Well, for one, we all know that most companies have a policy that emails sent via their equipment and/or ISP are not considered to be private correspondence, even if you use a non-company email address and/or webmail. Now, how about this: A reasonable suspicion is not needed for customs officials to search a laptop or other personal electronic storage devices at the border, which would include computers, cell phones, PDAs, memory sticks, etc.
Wow! Fortunately, so far, you don’ t have to worry about this unless you are the one being arrested. Passengers will not be stopped just to have their electronic devices searched. But if you do get into an altercation or are stopped for other reasons, your personal electronic devices are subject to this warrantless search. Yet another erosion of our personal rights in the name of justice.

White Spaces Opened by FCC
Bonus! This November, the FCC voted to allow use of the white space empty electromagnetic spectrum (air waves) between television channels to allow companies to provide broadband internet access.
“What is white space?” In the old days (analog television transmission), channels were spaced apart to avoid mutual interference, especially in fringe areas. And for some communities, analog TV will still be used, at least for a while. But remember, February 17, 2009 is the date for the nation to switch to digital TV transmission (www.dtv.gov), with the analog TV frequencies auctioned for other uses.
So I just see this as a re-allocation of broadcast spectrum, and not so much as filling in the spaces between TV channels.
And as it has the potential to reduce broadband prices and increase broadband access to millions of people, freeing up the white space is a good thing.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.

29 Oct, 2008 | Posted by: photosource

When Security Is a Security Risk
Yet another fake Windows Security Center is out there. Current Windows products include a Security Center that warns you of dangerous conditions, like whether you have a firewall installed, if you’ve turned off Window’s Automatic Updates and the status of your anti-virus program.
This trojan modifies certain Windows settings, and uses the Security Center to falsely warn you of missing anti-virus protection. Of course, the real issue is the fake Security Center warning. It tells you to download a specific product (the real Security Center does not specify products by name), which costs forty bucks.
Just like the protection rackets of decades ago (yes, I know they still exist in the world), you are to pay to clean up a mess (or prevent one) that is not of your making. This trojan instructs you to download WinDefender 2008.’ And to help ensure that you do, it blocks outgoing Internet connections so you can’t download a legitimate program, and continually harasses you to download (and pay for) their program. By the way, the real name of Microsoft’s program is Windows Defender.
Read more about it here: http://tinyurl.com/3m8mdh If you’re in doubt, here is the full URL: http://community.ca.com/blogs/securityadvisor/archive/2008/10/14/two&#64979;good﷓looking﷓windows﷓security﷓centers﷓one﷓fake﷓one﷓real.aspx

Tiny URL

Did you notice that neat trick I just did? I converted a very long URL (it contained 129 characters) into a very short URL containing just 25 characters total. If you have need to do the same, such as avoiding very long URLs in an email, get your free tiny URL here: www.tinyurl.com
The instructions are simple. Type in the long URL and click on the Make TinyURL button. You also have the option of creating/using a Preview TinyURL, which allows users to preview the translated URL before clicking on the TinyURL link. There are only a few sensible rules, like not using it for spamming or illegal activities.


An easy way to automatically sync folders across and between Mac and Windows platforms is to use the free foldershare program from Microsoft (Microsoft bought the company a few years ago). Check it out at http://www.foldershare.com
Public Service Announcement
The rules-of-the-road generally require that you pull to the right side of the road and stop when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights and siren approaches your location.
I’ve noticed over the last few years in my major metropolitan area that drivers are taking an ambivalent approach to this requirement. The majority of drivers just stop wherever they are on the road, or worse, just slow down a little while staying in their lane, forcing emergency crews to expend precious time weaving in and out of this man-made obstacle course. So, do us all a favor, and pull to the right and stop to allow safe and quick movement of emergency vehicles. Remember, the life you help save may be someone you know.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio, where photographers
display photos
and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments to Bill via email.
For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel.
Display 6 of your images at www.photosourcefolio.com

17 Sep, 2008 | Posted by: photosource

by Bill Hopkins

Amazon Ends


Discount Policy

Photo book buyers:

In February, we told you about a great price guarantee program at Amazon.com. If they lowered their price within 30 days of your purchase, you could request a refund of the difference, even if they lowered the price multiple times. Well, it must have been very popular, because effective 9/1/08, the policy was discontinued. That's really a shame, because having you watch for price drops keeps you coming back again and again to their marketplace.

Bad Bats Again

We're talking about rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Remember the Aflaming laptops? It's not so bad this time.
Some iPod Nanos have suffered from a meltdown due to defective batteries. So far, the problem seems isolated to batteries from a single supplier, affecting first-generation Nanos that were sold between 9/05 and 12/06.
Given the high turnover of these kinds of electronic devices, you've probably already upgraded to another model. But it may be worth checking to see if you might have one of these around and/or still in use. (This may not affect U.S. products and may be an isolated case, as the report came from Tokyo.) Visit http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2099 for further info

ISP Imposed Download Limit

Comcast, in an effort to manage bandwidth on its network, announced that beginning Oct. 1, it would start limiting the amount of data users can download.
The limit is set at 250Gb of traffic per month. If you go over, you get a phone call. If you go over again in the next 6 months, you get cut off for a year. For comparison, their typical customer uses between 2 and 3Gb per month (likely does not include businesses who pay higher fees for higher speeds and bandwidth).
Comcast is not alone in trying to figure out how to deal with the profusion of Internet activity, particularly that small subset of extremely heavy users making extensive use of file-sharing applications (we're not going to get into the discussion of moral or legal issues on that hot potato).
As video-on-demand, Internet gaming, and other uses increase, the problem will only grow. A few other ISPs such as Time Warner Cable (Road Runner) began testing a billing system that would charge customers for usage beyond a specified point. AT&T has said that metered billing (like your electricity) is inevitable.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* (www.photosourcefolio.com) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at www.photosource.com/board.

*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.

13 Aug, 2008 | Posted by: photosource


ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved new guidelines allowing for the introduction of hundreds, maybe thousands, of new domain names. You’ll not likely see any till at least next year, since there are still items to be worked out, like the fees ICANN will charge registrars for the new names. They also voted to open up to public comment a proposal to allow addresses, including the domain name, to be entirely in non-English languages. Now, isn’t that going to be interesting!


VoIP—using the Internet to make phone calls—is gaining in popularity. VoIP boxes let you use your high-speed Internet connection and your regular telephone to make calls. You’ll pay a monthly fee to a service provider like Vonage (vonage.com). Skype (skype.com) is another service that allows you to use your computer’s audio card and microphone to make calls without a regular phone. Calls to other Skype subscribers are free (as is the software), and calls to regular phones (landline and cell) incur a fee. Vonage and similar carriers have a 9-1-1 service for emergencies, whereas Skype does not, so you’d be advised when relying on Skype (or a similar product), to also have an alternate phone (landline or cell).


Kodak reported a profit decline, adding that soaring costs for silver, aluminum and petrochemicals will continue to inflict pain this year. They’ve invested another $125 million into their line of consumer inkjet printers, and are working on a commercial version. In case you’re wondering, their sales on traditional film products (excludes motion picture film) fell 14%. Although the digital side showed a 17% increase, it continues to be a loss.

Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* (www.photosourcefolio.com) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to wh[at]photosourcefolio[dot]com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at www.photosource.com/board.
*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.

23 Jul, 2008 | Posted by: photosource

You Win!
Our collective cries have been heard in Redmond, WA. Microsoft has agreed to continue support for Windows XP till April 2014, including security patches and program updates. That=s three years longer than any prior version, and extends support for 13 years. That does not mean, however, that you=ll be able to BUY XP for several more years. June 30 was the cutoff date for retail selling of XP.
However, many retailers with master licenses can continue to sell computers with XP preinstalled, and large companies with master disks can continue to install XP on their new computers. And, as a last resort, you can still get a computer with Vista installed, then downgrade (for a fee) to XP.

Overstock.com Reacts to New NY AAmazon Tax@ Law
As we reported previously, New York enacted a tax law effective June 1, 2008, that requires online retailers to collect and remit NY state tax for products shipped to NY addresses, regardless of whether the shipper has a nexus in NY or not, the prior standard for imposing sales tax collections. The NY law says that affiliates count as a physical presence and thus it should collect sales tax.
Amazon is challenging the law in court, and Overstock.com may join in. Meanwhile, Overstock.com has terminated its association with its affiliates in NY, believing that in doing so it can avoid collecting NY sales tax on products shipped there. How all this plays out in the courts will be interesting, and perhaps precedent-setting.

Conserving Energy
No, we don=t mean sitting on the couch watching that new flat panel hanging on your wall. You=d be surprised at how many of your electronic gadgets continue to suck power even when you think they are off.
DVD players, VCRs, stereos, your computer and/or monitor in standby/sleep mode, and anything capable of remote on/off. Here=s an idea: Plug all those devices that don=t need to be on all the time into a power strip/surge protector with an on/off switch. That way, you can switch your equipment on with the flick of a switch, and yet conserve power all other times.
Even that 7-watt nightlight that=s on all the time, for Ajust pennies a day,@ does add up. Using a national electric average of about 9 cents/kWh (and that=s before local taxes, surcharges, connect fees, etc.) that one little lamp costs you about half a buck a month. So, unplug and help save the EarthBand a little cash on the side. Here=s an inexpensive device that will allow you to see how much power a particular piece of equipment consumes: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000RGF29Q/photosourcefolio -BH

11 Jun, 2008 | Posted by: photosource

Father Time, Father Spam We could say
that it's in honor of Father's Day this month, but the real anniversary was
last month. Thirty years ago, Gary Thuerk sent an invitation to an open house
for a new computer via email to 400 of the couple thousand email addresses he
had. It generated business for him, but some folks started complaining immediately.
This was back in the early days of the Internet when it was known as ARPAnet,
and he broke the rules about using ARPAnet to sell things. His answer: He was
not selling anything, only promoting a product. The Father of Spam is in the
Guinness Book of World Records. Happy Anniversary, Gary!

       What's Dirtier Than a Toilet
A computer keyboard. A British advocacy group called Which? asked
a microbiologist to test bacterial levels on the 33 keyboards in its office.
Most were clean enough, but four were deemed potential health hazards. One keyboard
had levels 150 times the acceptable level, and was five times as dirty as a
toilet seat in their offices that was also tested. Maybe you should consider
having a bottle of sanitizer for your keyboard at work, or even at home

     . Solar Power Since we've had solar
cells on portable devices for over 40 years (think calculators and an early
transistor radio, among others), I find it strange that Apple has filed a patent
to place solar cells on portable devices. One idea, and maybe this is where
the patent comes from, would be to place the solar cells underneath their LCD
touch screens, to help power devices like iPhones. There is a lot of interest
and activity in this area of portable solar power/charging, and many devices
are marketed for that purpose, including foldable panel arrays suitable for
backpacking, and even a laptop carrying case with solar panels on the side.
Most of these external devices have solar cells AND a battery. Thus, the solar
cells can keep their battery charged, and when connected to portable devices,
use the charged battery to power/charge the connected device. I have such a
device on my bicycle. I use it to extend the battery charge of my Garmin bike
computer/nav aid.