At first life without a smartphone was terrifying. Then it was beautiful

Eitan Chitayat writing for QZ

In an attempt to try and battle an addiction to my smartphone (I’m sure most of us suffer from this addiction in some measure these days), I took a pretty radical step. I went out and bought a basic Nokia to use outside of work as much as I could. This “dumbphone,” as it’s called, would only allow me to call or text.

For one week, I kept a public daily diary of Facebook posts documenting my experiment. It was a verbal commitment to myself, and by doing it publicly, I figured it’d help me stay committed. It wasn’t the perfect experiment, but it showed me how glued I was to my smartphone—and how much of my life I got back once I learnt how to put it down. That I could control it instead of it controlling me. An edited and condensed version of that journey follows.

This is great. I have tried this, and I have friends that have done this. Our smart phone use is through the roof and our society is starting to show cracks in its overuse. 

 

I’m Sorry To Report Instagram Is Bad Now

Katie Notopoulos writing for Buzzfeed

This is the crux of the problem: Adding Stories has led to people posting fewer pics to the feed, so the feed is boring. And then people either post Stories way too much or not at all because they’re intimidated by the concept of having to post a full, charming narrative. Our photo feeds are now ghost towns, and Stories is like sticking your face into a firehose in which a distant acquaintance talks to the camera through an unbearable number of videos.

Gotta say I agree with this article. I came back and made an account for Instagram just so I could use stories. I am a horrible photo browser on IG. Many times I open the app and only look at a couple stories. I cant even look at all the stories they are too numerous. I rarely post photos, and it seems I rarely post stories, when I do I try to do the mini-movie style. 

As a hobby photographer I find Instagram underwhelming and useless. I do not search out inspiration or learn any techniques, I watch 10 second motocross videos, or rock climbing, or crazy Russian dash camera videos. Maybe SmugMug will revitalize Flickr and make something photographers would enjoy and benefit from.  By the way, SmugMug bought Flickr

New Films on Design

A couple interesting films will be coming out soon. I have been a patient kickstarter backer of Design Canada and Rams.  Both films have Gary Hustwit involved. Gary's previous work is genius, Helvetica, Objectified.... some great work worth viewing.

Dieter Rams is iconic now. 

Quote from the website: "Design Canada follows the transformation of a nation from colonial outpost to a vibrant and multicultural society." 

For those not in Canada this film looks to be a good explainer on how much of our design and identity was formed. These are iconic logos to Canadians. So much so I would wear a shirt or hat with the CBC or the CN logo. They are just a couple symbolic logos.

Like-minded vs Like-hearted

From an interview with Alan Jacobs by Austin Kleon. 

That’s how I chose my company on social media. I chose to be around people whose disposition and whose character I found trustworthy. So that when I’m with them, I feel good about being in their presence. And I don’t always feel good about being in the presence of people who might, you know, if you made a list of 100 core beliefs, they might line up more, but they’re just not people I want to spend much time with.

What a great way to phrase it, like-hearted. I really enjoy being friends with people that have an open mind and are ready to embrace me and engage in doing life together. I had a friend once that continually reminded me that the next person I meet could be a best friend. ( I don’t think he was trying to get rid of me ) This is great advice. I have found some excellent friends on twitter, so no matter how sour I may feel about social media it sure has gifted me. 

Finding Joy

The city I live in recently broke a weather record. Horay! We accomplished the most consecutive days with weather below freezing. Yes, 166 days in a row of below zero weather. We also ended up with a bunch of snow this winter. I love snow, especially when it is falling, very peaceful. I read a good quote about that. 

“If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy and still have the snow.”

How great is that quote? It is important to remind myself of this.

Micro Blog

Many of you remember the earlier days of the web. If you wanted to write on the internet, you created a web site. You could publish essays, post photos, start weblogs. Because web sites were independent, often with their own personal domain name, there was no one company who could tell authors what to post or which tools to use. If a hosting provider went out of business, or changed their prices or policies, you could simply move your site to another host. It was your content and you owned it.

Today, most writing instead goes into a small number of popular social networking sites. These sites became popular because they made it so easy to connect with friends and start publishing, and because they provided a timeline user experience that made everything easy and fast.

Another reason social networks are not ideal is your content is posted along side everyone else. I am not a high content producer but if I was it would annoy me to no end that people would find a link to my article along side news of Trump or other inflammatory commentary you find on social media. I am experimenting with ways to remove myself of Twitter and Instagram. I recently deleted the apps from my phone so I will only read these networks at night when I am done work and at home.

This Micro Blog solution seems quaint. More control, it uses open web standards, and no ads or smut like social networks. I signed up today to take a closer look.

I do enjoy writing small amounts and sharing little quips and thoughts. Years ago I would write  on my weblog and in the past few years I would write on Twitter. I am doing a bit on my website right now. I definitely do not want to equate social media with social points and I am happy with a small audience. Maybe I shouldn't bother writing :P That is an option.

FujiFilm Discontinues Acros 100 :(

Thank you very much for your patronage of FUJIFILM products from everyday.
Fujifilm Imaging Systems Co., Ltd. (President: Toru Nishimura) has worked hard to absorb cost, such as improving production efficiency and cost savings for black-and-white film and black-and-white photographic paper that we have used for many years. However, As the supply decreased due to the decrease, sales will be terminated.
Although it is truly selfish, thank you for your kind understanding on your circumstances.
We look forward to your continuous patronage of FUJIFILM products in the future.

Whelp. 

Cant say this is not surprising. Acros is a great film and loved by many. It is too bad Fuji could not make this work financially while other film companies are able.

Russian postal drone program hits wall in debut

Video footage from the scene showed the drone lifting off from a miniature launch pad bearing Russian Post’s blue and white logo, buzzing through the air for several seconds before losing height and crashing into a three-storey residential building in front of a small crowd of spectators who were heard uttering expletives.

Sounds like the first time I flew a drone... 

RSS Readers are Due For a Comeback

Brian Barrett writing for Wired.com

THE MODERN WEB contains no shortage of horrors, from ubiquitous ad trackers to all-consuming platforms to YouTube comments, generally. Unfortunately, there's no panacea for what ails this internet we've built. But anyone weary of black-box algorithms controlling what you see online at least has a respite, one that's been there all along but has often gone ignored. Tired of Twitter? Facebook fatigued? It's time to head back to RSS.

I am using Feedly to read through blogs and news sites. One of the larger complaints I see about Twitter - Facebook - Instagram is that they can not see what they want to see as Twitter - Facebook - Instagram are always suggesting the wrong articles. In a way this is why I am more active on my website this week than in the past. 

If anyone has any cool blogs they follow send me a link.