Would You Trust Your Memories to a Web App?

As I post this, I’m uploading hundreds of digital photos onto my Flickr account. I still do have a ton of photos I haven’t uploaded yet, and most of these are either burned onto DVDs or still inside my laptop’s hard drive. Each time I update and manage my photo collection, I come to the realization that because of technology we’ve come so far in terms of how we manage our memories.

Just a decade ago, photo albums were still the preferred way of keeping family memories. People took photos on film cameras, had these developed, and organized select photos into albums. The negatives are mostly kept tucked away, sometimes along with the album itself. This way, we had hard copies of whatever relevant events in our lives on hand. If we wanted copies, we just took the negatives to the photo shop, and had duplicates printed.

These days, though, it’s mostly digital. The first time I bought my family our own digital camera, we were hooked on digital photography. The initial cost was higher than your usual film point-and-shoot camera, but the variable costs are close to nil. You could just keep on downloading your photos to your computer, and save them to optical media for backup. Printing was only done sparsely, and we only printed photos which we would frame.

Along with this radical change came also radical changes in how we shared these memories with friends. Before, we used to bring out photo albums everytime friends or relatives visited our home. But these days, we just send emails with links to our photos online. We post them on our blogs. Or even better, our social networking contacts are automatically notified of newly uploaded photos, for them to view at their pleasure (or displeasure, if you’re not exactly the photogenic type).

However, Murphy’s law says if something can go wrong, something is bound to go wrong, and this is especially applicable in the realm of technology. So in a couple of years, my hard drive might crash. My CDs and DVDs might scratch, melt or fade. There’s still my Flickr account, you say. But how sure am I that Flickr will still exist as it is now, 10, 20 years from now? What about Photobucket? Picasa? Multiply? What about my blog?

And if nothing wrong happens, the world might adopt an entirely new way of storing and cataloging images that might render our present one obsolete. Would we be using holograms? Would we be directly interfacing our brains with computer equipment? If this be the case, would we have an easy way to migrate our data over to such formats?

The question looms. Have I haphazardly entrusted my memories to technology and to web apps?

I’m using a Flickr Pro account, and Flickr says pro users get permanent archiving of high resolution photos. I sure hope stick true to their word.

At my old room at my parents’ house, there’s this old leather attaché case filled with unfiled, un-sorted photos of our family dating from decades back (even before I was born). Some are still in pristine condition, while some have yellowed and faded. But the photos are still there, within physical reach. We still reminisce and laugh about those moments that happened ages ago, whenever we chance upon the old thing and open it to reveal the treasures hidden inside.

I’m wondering whether I can do the same with my digital photos with my kids and future grandkids decades into the future.

Irish children should be taught about blogging and social networking

James Greenslade, Director of Information, Communication and Technology at Tipperary Institute, has said that Ireland needs to prepare second-level students (11-16s) for the changing face of the Internet, and its impact on communication.

“We teach children how to cross the road, provide sex education classes but the reaction to web based social networks has been to attempt to block them. If you look into any internet cafe across the country, at 4.05pm you’ll see teenagers participating unsupervised and uninformed in web based social networking,” he said.

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Rumor: Google To Purchase Feedburner For $100 Million?

Whether you love them or hate them, rumors are abounding on whether or not the search engine giant is considering purchasing Feedburner, which helps bloggers large and small track the number of users reading their sites.

While some are proposing Google is interested in Feedburner to help aid in their never ending war against spammers, others think the real reason lies in the pot of gold at the other end of the RSS rainbow.
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Google’s Blogger Looking For A Few Good Web Programmers

It looks as if Blogger is on the prowl for a few good web programmers in order to help improve one of Google’s most popular features.

Blogger, which was previously rated as the top blogging platform by PC Magazine earlier this year seems to be seeking the extra help in order to add some additional features to one of the most popular blog platforms online.
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Chinese Political Prisoner To Yahoo!: Do You Hate Me Now?

A long, long time ago on a blog post far away Yahoo! decided to expose its users to the wrath of the red dragon lest it get burned in China’s backyard.

Well, apparently they are now beginning to reap what they have sown, as one of the prisoner’s family has filed a not too friendly lawsuit against the search engine prince (as Google is King).
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Should Photobucket Apologize To MySpace?

There seems to be a controversy regarding the recent banning of Photobucket video’s on MySpace. According to TechCrunch, this blockage seems to be some sort of bullying tactic, informing Photobucket that MySpace holds the keys towards their success.

Many users are venting their displeasure over on the Photobucket blog, which alerted their users of the ban by the social network king.

MySpace however seems to be countering that this has nothing to do with politics, but rather with policy, as Photobucket was allegedly advertising on MySpace via slide shows, a big no-no according to NewsCorp’s policies.
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How Did Photobucket Spank Google’s Picasa and Yahoo’s Flickr?

In a weird twist of fate it seems that the search giants of old are losing out to the “mini-startups” that are now populating the web.

Usually this happens because a site has better culture (aka social network) than its larger competitors, but how in the world do you explain a photo album site defeating its competitors when it barely qualifies as a social network on its own?
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Cinema 2.0


For the last few years, there has been a debate brewing about the death of the theatrical experience. With so many things fighting for people’s attention, and the downward trend in box office returns, I have often found myself wondering if the communal theatrical experience of viewing films on the large screen was in fact dying a slow death. Sure people enjoy going to the movies but the only thing that keeps the institution in tact is the release window that ensures a movie can only be seen in the theater when it is first released.

About six months ago I started planning a theatrical experiment of sorts. I wanted to see if I could mashup movies, music, gaming and a bit of theater into one show. This past weekend we staged the first screening in Philadelphia.

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