Geographic Relativity
Dec 22nd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

I keep hearing the Austin is located in the “Texas Hill Country.” It is slightly hilly, but less so than the “Los Angeles Basin.” I suppose it’s a difference in perception between a state that’s mostly flat and a state that’s full of mountains that reach more than two miles above sea level.

Photographers, avoid Instagram like the plague
Dec 17th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

New Instagram Terms of Service.

The Facebook-ification is starting:

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising
revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored
content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity
may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along
with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in
connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without
any compensation to you.

Where by “metadata”, they’re not talking about exposure and shutter speed. They’re talking about location. Just awful.

[Daring Fireball]

It’s actually much worse than that. According to the terms of service, not only Instagram may do basically anything they want with your photos, including license them out to others, they also say:

You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Service or otherwise have the right to grant the rights and licenses set forth in these Terms of Use; (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Service does not violate, misappropriate or infringe on the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark and/or other intellectual property rights; (iii) you agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed by reason of Content you post on or through the Service; and (iv) you have the legal right and capacity to enter into these Terms of Use in your jurisdiction.

What that means you as the photographer could easily wind up in very deep, very expensive legal trouble just because you used Instagram. Consider how this could play out: you take a photo of a random complete stranger on the street and display it freely as an example of street photography. So far, so good. However, someone in the PR department at a generic huge corporation sees the photo and pays Instagram $100,000 to sublicense your photo for a major advertising campaign. You don’t get any say, or any of the money. Now it’s not looking so good. Now we’re getting into dangerous territory, because use of a person’s image for commercial purposes requires a signed model release–which doesn’t exist.

But it gets worse! The random person on the street sees the advertisements prominently featuring their face and decides to sue. Because of the Instagram terms of service, you get hung out to dry by Instagram and the huge corporation. Congratulations, your little art photo taken with Instagram has cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Too bad your life is ruined because you didn’t read the terms of service.

This really is just like Facebook.

Cultural Differences
Dec 16th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

I’ve noticed a few cultural difference between LA and Austin that weren’t really apparent before I moved. Some of the interesting ones:

  1. Dogs in Austin are mostly dog-size. The little hybrid rat/dog things that are ubiquitous in LA exist here, but are a small minority.
  2. White people work minimum wage jobs in Austin. I don’t recall ever seeing that in LA.
  3. In Austin a total stranger saying “hello” on the street is just being polite. In LA, he’s about to beg for change.
  4. Anorexia is rare in Austin, and common in LA.
On hypocrisy
Dec 16th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

God Damn You, America, and Your White, Privileged Grief [Once Upon a Time…]

An excellent (if typically long-winded) article on the rather disgusting displays of hypocrisy and narcissism in response to the recent murders in Connecticut. Let’s not forget that the very same people who today are claiming to be oh-so-upset about a couple dozen murders were, just over a month ago, actively and enthusiastically endorsing the mass slaughter of many hundreds of times as many people by the vile, monstrous tyrant who rules in Mordor on the Potomac (and this includes the people who voted for his phony “opponent,” who made it clear that he would do the same things).

Old theme back
Dec 15th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

I’ve gone back to the previous WordPress theme, which is called Ahimsa.

Amusing side effect
Dec 11th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about a new game Google is developing for Android, called Ingress. I’ve noticed that so far nobody seems to have noticed an unintended (presumably) consequence of the game: people playing it will be traveling around to libraries, post offices, courthouses, fire stations, monuments, and the like, standing around for several minutes, and then moving on to another location in a seemingly random pattern.

What the people writing about Ingress as a game seem to have missed is that it’s fairly well known by people who pay attention that the government tracks everyone’s movements using the location data from their cell phone services. The strange and erratic movements of Ingress players are bound to drive the secret policemen responsible for such spying berserk, which I consider to be a huge benefit. I’m considering getting a Nexus 7 just so I can help confuse Big Brother.

Theme Change
Dec 11th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

I’m trying out the Twenty Twelve theme that came with the WordPress 3.5 update.

Not exactly hiding their corruption
Dec 7th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Staffer axed by Republican group over retracted copyright-reform memo. The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives, has told staffer Derek Khanna that he will be out of a job when Congress re-convenes in January. The incoming chairman of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset about a memo Khanna wrote advocating reform of copyright law. They asked that Khanna not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request. [Ars Technica]

Apparently the Republican faction of the Boot On Your Neck Party wants to be sure everyone understands that they’re just as much in the MAFIAA‘s pocket as the Democratic faction, and that voting Republican will certainly not change anything.

I think I saw this movie
Dec 6th, 2012 by Ken Hagler


A huge flock of these small black birds like to gather on the power lines at Barton Springs and First Street around sunset. It’s a bit creepy.

Quote of the Day
Dec 4th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Side note: “If you don’t, I’ll poison your dinner” is a compelling argument for a feature request, but can typically only be used once.

BBEdit 10.5 Release Notes

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
© Ken Hagler. All rights reserved.