Friday, February 27, 2009

From an article on celestial happenings in the great Kingston Whig-Standard:

"Uranus has an 84-year cycle, so for the rest of your life, the planet will never again be as far away from you as it will be this evening."

It's a good thing that they specified that it is the planet. Otherwise, immature people like myself might think it was funny. Tee-hee.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Fine Print

How often do you read the Terms of Service or End User License Agreement when you set up an account on a web service (e-mail, social networking, etc.) or when you install software? My guess is: not that often. Well, you'd be amazed at what you're agreeing to when you go through those systems. Those are the rules by which the company agrees to abide, and the rules by which they expect you to abide in using their service.

I've seen people get billed for the use of a service that they thought was free because that aspect of the Terms of Service wasn't clear to them. That sucks, but is it worse than giving up rights to your content permanently? Maybe being a photographer makes me more keenly aware of the issues of the latter. In any case, I'm not the only person with a concern.

Facebook recently changed it's Terms of Service, claiming perpetual rights to content that was posted. This caused an uprising of users around the world. Many saw it as an effort to claim ownership over the what users posted. Photographers who make a living from selling their photos were justifiably worried. Well, the uproar has borne fruit. Facebook responded both to explain their intentions (to have the right to use the content to help you share it) and to revert to their old terms of service.

Still, if people hadn't reacted so strongly, most people may not have noted what happened at all. As conspiratorial as it may sound, to ensure our rights are protected, we must remain ever vigilant.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's always nice to have moments that make you smile (that is a generalization I am happy to make). I had a few today, but one of the most rewarding involved being out on the frozen surface of Lake Ontario. Besides the beautiful location and the good company, I was most pleased to see the enjoyment that others were getting. Specifically, seeing an elderly man with an electric scooter out on the ice exploring and, when the ice conditions suited, sliding around and doing doughnuts. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Apologies seem to be the order of the past few months. It seems to be the most common type of post that I write. That's what happens when days and weeks go by between posting. And so it has happened again.

Having an online presence has it's benefits and it's challenges. For me, the greatest challenge has been the extent of my presence and the energy required to maintain it. I'm on Facebook, Flickr, Blogspot, Twitter and of course e-mail (6 accounts - 4 work and 2 personal). As is my tendency, I spread myself to thin.

Plans for an adventure are afoot. But you'll have to wait for that. :)