Pinterest – great site – pity about the copyright

Posted by jerry on March 25th, 2012 — Posted in New media, Photography, Technology, Writing

I have added a Pinterest blocker on this blog and here is why: Any images that are scraped from your site and put onto Pinterest become the property of Pinterest. While Pinterest asks people to ensure that they own the copyright or that the images are free of copyright, the site’s software removes all metadata from the image thus potentially absolving Pinterest on the basis that they had no way of knowing that the image was copyrighted by someone other than the poster.

Anyone who derives income from the internet – especially from the images they produce would and should be upset if their images being sold in one domain turn up being given away by another site entirely. While Pinterest has (yesterday) changed its terms of service to indicate that they no longer reserve the right to sell your images it is disturbing to say the least that it was in there in the first place.

I use a WordPress plug-in to achieve this end. Flickr has settings in the privacy component of your profile to block other sites from sharing without your permission – at least Flickr ‘gets it’ and allows users to set the copyright and share settings as befits the user’s wishes.


British steam car on track for world record

Posted by jerry on August 19th, 2009 — Posted in History, Journal, Steam, Technology

With the timing equipment being set up on the 7mile lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base and battling extreme daytime temperatures well over the old century, the British Steam Car Challenge is showing every sign of being capable of breaking the official land speed record for a steam powered car. The record, set in 1906 at 127.69 mph has already been passed in tests with the car reaching 148mph yesterday and averaging 131mph for the two way run within 60 minutes as required by the international timing federation (FIA).

The team recognises that the fastest steam car to date – and the one to beat – is the ‘Steamin’ Demon’ of the “Barber-Nichols Team”. On 18th August 1985 The Barber-Nichols Team carried out three successful passes and achieved an American National Record at 145.607mph. But at that stage there was no attempt to establish an FIA record. That car used a conventional piston engine powered by a boiler designed by a student of Abner Doble for use in a steam powered bus. When the us trials fell through, the Barber-Nichols team acquired the power plant and installed it in a car.

With the formal record attempts to commence at 2.00pm GMT, 53 year old principal driver Charles Burnett III is no stranger to world speed records – mostly on water. He holds world records using catamarans and monohulls powered by diesel, petrol and LPG. He was included in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 for an offshore water speed record of 137mph.

British Steam Car Challenge - Inspiration

British steam car challenge reaches 94.9mph so far…

Posted by jerry on August 3rd, 2009 — Posted in Steam, Technology

Testing continues on the British steam car challenge at Edwards Air Force Base. After displaying some problems requiring replacement of two of the 12 boilers, and some loss of steam due to a stuck bypass valve, the team has made the best run yet – reaching 94.9mph with more to spare. So things are looking good for the attempt on the world’s longest standing speed record – which stands at 127.659mph set by Fred Marriott in a modified Stanley steamer.

Don Wales the test driver – holder of 8 UK Land Speed records with his Bluebird Electric project – has been keeping a blog recording the steady progress on the car.

Here is a view from the car at speed


Stanley CX 1903 Steam car – for sale in Australia

Posted by jerry on May 20th, 2009 — Posted in Journal, Steam, Technology

It’s not often a steam car gets offered for sale in Australia – and when one does – few would match the quality of this newly restored Stanley CX 1903. The attention to detail is superb. The car is offered as part of a deceased estate and is fully functional. It is also London-to Brighton eligible. The car boasts a new boiler, burner, tires, leather, paint, basket etc. and its fold-out seat enables two additional passengers to be carried.

Check out the photos – then contact Ken Russell (himself a Stanley owner) for more details – but only if you’re genuine 🙂 He can be contacted in Melbourne Australia Vic, via the email link above. For more information about Stanley steam cars, check out the UK’s Steam Car Club website run by Jeff Theobald.

Stanley CX 1903

Stanley CX 1903

Stanley CX 1903
Photos courtesy of Ken Russell


5 social media blunders – and 3 responses to them

Posted by jerry on March 9th, 2009 — Posted in Journal, New media, Technology

Ben Parr of Mashable wrote this post on “5 social media blunders and what to learn from them“. The five seem to be divided between where the social media themselves have blundered and where users have blundered in using social media with examples from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – but they are applicable across the board.

It seems to me that they come down to a couple of basic principles to avoid making these blunders:

Firstly it’s about communication – with the audience – and this further breaks down into two strategies

  • If you make a blunder, be up front, apologise and set about communicating with your audience to fix the problem. Both Facebook and a campaign on YouTube could have learned from that. Sony didn’t, to their cost, and Facebook did, to their gain. Basically, people do make mistakes, and most people will forgive if you’re up front about it. Don’t try to stonewall or cover it up, because that will just dig (not Digg) you in deeper.
  • The second aspect of communication here is that you can avoid a lot of social blunders by knowing your audience – and you do that by communicating with them, being part of the community and testing the market or at least preparing the way with good announcements up front, then a test version which people can visit and comment on, before you launch that new feature or product.

Secondly, (which is really third, since I broke the communication bit down into two) it’s about people – the example about the Twitter user who became emotionally charged and did a public meltdown showed poor nettiquette and a poor appreciation for the fact that they were actually talking to people. The trouble with rapid response social software, like Twitter, is that there is little time for reflection before hitting the button – and the response can be over-the-top before you’ve had a chance to reconsider some ill-chosen words or actions.

So clearly, the appropriate way to respond is to write drafts, then do something else for a couple of minutes, and then return to the draft – if you still want to send it, go ahead, but that pause can take the heat out of an immediate response.

Thanks to Alja for passing on the link via Facebook