Category: "News"

Hello Eleanor

by Nick  

Well, I seem to have been remiss. I announced it via facebook and twitter, but neglected to share here. So, belatedly, welcome Eleanor Jasmine Kaijaks, born at home on 17 March 2010, at 8.18pm. She was 8lb, and lovely.

Hello Eleanor (20 of 97)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dr-nick

Eleven weeks on, and she's thriving. Healthy, nice smiles & coos, and mostly sleeping through the night, which is pretty much all you want from a baby. Jess loves her lots, although she can be a bit heavy handed at times. :)

Hello Eleanor (89 of 97)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dr-nick

Eleanor (57 of 63)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dr-nick

Kids (20 of 116)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dr-nick

Kids (63 of 116)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dr-nick

Kids (70 of 116)
Creative Commons License photo credit: dr-nick

The Digital Economy Bill

by Nick  

There is currently a Bill before Parliament, the Digital Economy Bill. In among the DCMA-like elements and changes to broadcasting is a clause which could harm both amateur and professional photographers.

It permits the use of works, including photos, where the author cannot be identified by a "reasonable search", simply by registering the work as an "orphan" and paying a fee to a quango. Since metadata about things like authorship is so easy to strip from a digital image, this has the potential to become a publishers' charter for online image theft. If you find someone has stolen your image by claiming it's orphaned, you can claim a fee, and apply to have the orphaned state revoked.

You can read more from Copyright Action. I've written to my MP; my own letter is on the next page. You should write too. It doesn't have to be as long - but they need to know that clause 17 takes away too many rights from the individual photographer.

Personal Information Online Code of Practice

The same article refers to a code of practice for collecting personal information, drafted by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The code doesn't actually mention photography. However, the contention of Copyright Action (actually in the clarification on p2 of the comments) is that the ICO would now view it as a breach of the Data Protection Act if you took a photo, even in a public place, with someone who did not want to be photographed. This follows the High Court ruling under the ECHR that a photo of JK Rowling's son in a public street was an invasion of privacy.

In my view, this is less of a real threat at the moment, but is certainly one to watch.

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My mobile life

by Nick  

We were talking in the office a little while back about mobile phones, and I started to try to work out what phones I've had. I was kind of surprised how quickly you forget. So, for posterity, here's the list:

  1. Motorola mr30
    Back in the day this boasted "an astounding 40 hour battery life", support for fax and data (up to 9600bps). "Also, for the first time with an Orange Motorola, the phone supports a proper battery life indicator." It could store up to 190 names and numbers. This would have been in around 1995, when I signed my first 12 month contract with Orange.
  2. Motorola cd920
  3. Ericsson T28s
  4. Nokia 8210
    Ah, properly dinky. Nice Nokia menus. Must have been around 2001?
  5. Ericsson T610
    Wow! Colour! 128x160 pixels! 2MB memory! This was the state of the art in July 2003 (or at least heading in that direction). I left Orange after all these years, taking my number to Vodafone. At the end of that contract, I got it unlocked at Banbury market and switched to a better contract with T-Mobile.
  6. Motorola RAZR V3
    Sticking with T-Mobile, I got an upgrade to this handsome little flip phone. Excellent design that (visually) stands the test of time in 2010.
  7. Nokia N73
    Big upgrade here, to something which probably just about counts as a smartphone. I got it on the 3 network, who were excellent, until I tried to leave them, when they tried to invent all sorts of exit fees and notice periods which were never part of my contract. Grr.
  8. iPhone 3GS
    So, here I am now, with a phone that is a very welcome companion. I'll freely admit that I didn't buy into the iPhone hype for a couple of years - when I used the iPhone 2 I wasn't that blown away by it, and couldn't see much gain over the N73. But when the 3GS came out with the new OS, I compared it (specs, size, design and usability) to the N95, Blackberry and first gen Android phones, and the advantage was clear. So I bit the bullet, handed over the cash, and signed the contract with O2.

    I use it more as a pocket computer, calendar, map, and web tool than I do as a phone, but it's probably the mobile I've valued the most. It's got 16GB, 95 apps across eight screens, and the same phone number I started with 14 odd years before.

(Edit 8 Feb - managed to forget the RAZR!)

So, what's new?

by Nick  

December rushing on already.

Ros has a proud bump, and is looking very cute and motherly. :D

Aside from work, I've made much progress in my long-term project to rip all the old vinyl that's been hanging-around-the-house-not-getting-played-for-years into MP3s. Once I wrap that up, I'll probably share a few 'fair use' snippets for fun. My other autumn project has been a photography course at Warwickshire College, the fruits of which I'm going to have to dedicate some time to organising - quite a bit of technical stuff rather than focusing on the 'pretty', but so many photos produced...

Jess is getting bigger, brighter and bossier. She's lots of fun but relentlessly hard work. I suppose it's better that than supine! She has learnt the concept of the joke, and now has a surefire one which she proffers remarkably frequently. We've given up trying to come up with a new reaction... Want to hear it? Tough, nor do I but I have to several times a week:

What's grey and wibbly?
A jellyphant.

Finally, I've stopped resisting and bought an iMac, which is a thing of much beauty and omigod power. All I need is to make time to use it. It arrived on Tuesday, but I've not really had chance to do a huge amount with it yet, as I've had to spend best part of two days recovering the linux box that acts as mailserver and fileserver for the family. It chose Monday night to keel over and die. XX( Not helpful, but I suppose at least we don't use it for TV or webserver any longer.

Right, having been up until 1am fixing that yesterday, I want an earlier night, so I'm off to bed! If you want to keep up-to-dater than my rare forays into the blogosphere, you'll find me most days on twitter.

I've been busy

by Nick  

Well, I say I, but I can't take all the credit...


Due on 19 March 2010.

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