JONATHAN JK

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Posts Tagged ‘google

A Possible Disparity

I’m having trouble articulating fully how I feel about what I’m going to write, but bear with me on this.

Last week I was presented with two google maps. One depicts all the growing privatisation in the National Health Service and this second one illustrates all the ACTA protests that happened across Europe.

Even as I read the more liberal news sources like the Guardian and the New Statesman, I wouldn’t have come across this information (though I expect to). Instead I found this information on my Twitter timeline. Thank you Twitter.

Both maps get to the point across of how large both of these events are. They were larger than I actually realised. This isn’t to say I didn’t know about these events, it’s just that the scale of what was occurring was not made apparent to me. Now I know, how do I feel and what can I do? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jonathanjk

August 2, 2012 at 08:29

The value in $300

The Google Nexus Q is designed and made in the USA. This is why the device is purportedly $300.

I read about this device on The Verge. In the article there is a discussion about whether manufacturing should came back to the US, but at the same time, we like our gadgets cheap and they won’t be cheap if they are not made in China. It’s a good writeup and I agree with the article, it sounded fair.

I went to the comments section which for a tech site is very informative (not so busy with the flame wars), with some great discussion, but if you go to the third comment (the third top level comment) you get this -

alcohol says: Nope. Make it in asia for $149 or im not buying

If you read everything before it, you’d have passed the informative discussion about manufacturing abroad and the economics behind it, ‘slave wages’ and a definition of slavery to get to this comment. I’m not very optimistic because if this is a Verge reader (assuming they took the time to read the article), what chance do the non-geeks have in understanding what Google may be attempting here; keeping manufacturing jobs in the USA.

My pipe dream would be for Google to make two sets of Nexus Q’s in the US and in China, ship two identical products with two different prices and explain to people why they are different prices (maybe have clearly labelled indicators on them saying ‘made in …’) and have people understand there is a reason why electronics are made in China (everything comes down to price, not value).

If people still didn’t buy the ones made from the US then you know this isn’t really a problem the American public care much about.

Then Google and everybody else (Apple’s history with manufacturing in the US is certainly mentioned in the article) can carry on sending the work to China and the media can find another tech story to chew on, because it would be one form of proof that American public aren’t concerned about the cause and effect of their buying decisions.

Written by jonathanjk

June 28, 2012 at 12:56

Re: Google is Making A Huge and Annoying Mistake

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Wil Weaton discusses at length the issue of Google Plus appearing on Youtube videos. Instead of the standard ‘Thumbs Up’ and ‘Thumbs Down’ buttons on a video, viewers are now presented with a ‘upgrade to Google+’. The discussion is mostly about Google forcing non Google Plus users who use Youtube to sign up for their service.

While I understand his problem, I think ‘Likes’ or ‘Thumb’ ratings are worthless, they invite the lowest and laziest forms of critique from people. They don’t add to a discussion with a constructive opinion, they are there for people who can’t express a sentence of their own to describe how they felt when reacting to something. Ask yourself if we as internet users are really engaging with content, with the push of these buttons?

I’m a kind of person who wants to know why. It’s the reason why I’ll write a comment AND click those buttons. If I have nothing to say I won’t comment either. At the same time though, all those ‘likes’ are useful as aggregate data for the owner (which Wil Weaton touched on).

This can be regarded as an appetiser with regard to engaging with the internet public. The main course is the issue of how valuable are comments themselves. Here is an introduction for those who are unaware of this topic.

Notable blogs like daringfireball.net, marco.org (not directly related, but very interesting read) don’t enable comments. The long story cut short, if you want to comment on something, respond on your own blog.When you factor in the spam, the rude feedback, general negativity, fake accounts and those who comment without identifying themselves, it’s a good stance to take (John Gruber especially has other reasons for not allowing comments, but I won’t go into those here, have a read yourself in the link above). Owning your own blog to respond to others also allows you the one responding; to be held accountable.

It’s one of the reasons why I really like tumblr, it’s trying to get people to do exactly that, take some ownership over what you want to say on the internet.

I tried removing comments from this blog a while back, for the 1% I receive which is useful, the other 99% is spam. I’m in praise of WordPress’s anti-spam feature, I really wonder why spammers bother; they won’t get to my readers and I certainly won’t buy from them if they are actually targeting me. I left the commenting system intact in the end because the WordPress template still held remnants of the commenting system. My idea was to make the site cleaner for removing them, but the template doesn’t allow it.

The writer, Dr. Axel Rauschmayer in the last link above (2ality.com) offers a few suggestions if somebody wants to enable comments on their blog and cut down on the noise.

I have a suggestion of my own I wanted to add: when somebody wants to comment, there should be a 140 character minimum limit in comment fields, you can’t post the comment until you’ve written at least 140 characters. One word responses would die and maybe richer discussion would come from that. It probably wouldn’t work for a site like The Verge, what with all it’s image only comments that are really fun to surf through. So I recognise it isn’t an approach that would work everywhere. It won’t stop those who really have an opinion, just those who don’t really want to say anything of worth.

UPDATE: Readers are ‘liking’ this article, hello irony!

Written by jonathanjk

May 2, 2012 at 20:12

Signing a photograph, why?

with one comment

As a student of photography, I’ve put myself in a position where I want to learn about the photographic practice. I’ll go to libraries, attend lectures, read publications and go online and mingle digitally with fellow enthusiasts on flickr or in online discussion forums. I’m in that position as a student where I’m supposed to question everything so that I am constantly trying to improve my photography to become a better photographer.

But there is one question which I’ve asked twice online now (this’ll be the third time) because I am genuinely curious to understand why people sign their photographs when displaying them. I haven’t asked my lecturers funnily enough but I will now once the new year starts.

My question is this… Why do photographers sign their photographs (so it relates to online photography you see)? I see it online nearly everywhere in discussion forums and frequently on flickr or some other photo sharing website. I’ve stopped and thought about it and wouldn’t do it myself. Can anybody convince me otherwise.

I see no point in it other than to pimp ones own identity online. It’s there as a bragging right surely?

Am I being unfair or shortsighted in my opinion?  Maybe but here’s why. How come I’ve never seen a professional photographer do it? Henri Cartier Bresson never did but we all know instantly that the image below is his.

Why didn’t he put his initials in the bottom right corner? He was our pioneer in photojournalism when it was still in its infancy, shouldn’t he have signed like any great artist?

As far as I can tell nobody from Magnum or VIIPhoto agency do it either unless its a deliberate watermark, stamped across their imagery so as nobody could crop the image and reuse it without attributing it first. Even then it is in the agencies name, not the photographers.

So if the professional, famous and genre defining photographers don’t do it.  Why do the amateurs or anybody who doesn’t fit into the molds I’ve mentioned in the last two sentences, why do I see so many photos online with a signature? The argument for the watermark is weak considering its placement in the image, always to the side, away so as to not distract from the image. But it does anyway and I can crop the image and make it my own.

Do you do it to get recognised so people remember your name?  Surely if the photograph was memorable in the first place people would remember the photographer who crafted it without the need to sign it? Can’t the photograph stand on its own merits and surely it is weakened by having your name there?

I’m asking the question and it would be enlightening to get an answer. Eight pages into google doesn’t give me one.

Written by jonathanjk

August 13, 2008 at 19:29

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