Author Archives: Jasper

Ghost of a Terrace House I

Here’s an admission: I fucking love terrace houses – specifically Sydney area Victorian era terrace houses. I’ve also noticed the sad poetic beauty of the outline these terraces leave when they are destroyed.

Exhibit A...

Exhibit A… I love the ‘smoke’ trail.

Lately I’ve been snapping off pictures of the shadows of former terraces from around the inner city. Today’s images are from Redfern taken as I was riding past on my bike. I’m thinking it might turn into a full blown project.

Another shadow

Another shadow…

 

Images and the Decontextualised Web

Oh Internet! How you have shown me so many wonderful things. Like that picture of, something… actually I’m not really sure what it was or where it was from. The only thing I knew was that I liked it.

This is a situation I am in all the time! Seriously. There are so many examples out there of sites that will show you the wonders of the world with collections of breath taking photographs and snippets of information with limited to no context. I often see something I like such as an amazing piece of architecture and think wow that’s great, I wonder where that is… with often no real way of finding out.

 

Side note: Google Goggles shows some potential in tracking down the source of images.

 

So Jasper, what is your main beef? Well, I think that the problem is that there is an inherent lack of citation going on. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to be the copyright police on the issue but no citations leads to plagiarism.  I know, I’ve been to university so I have a bee in my bonnet about this stuff… but the whole concept of don’t rip off other people’s shit and pass it off as your own is based on some very good reasons. If we never acknowledge original work then I imagine the internet is going to become a mire of dodgy meme’s. I love dodgy meme’s. I just don’t want other work to be abandoned for the fear that it will just get ripped off.

Social media suffers from the same problem with user’s sharing images and quotes with no background. Now I know wherever you get people powered content you can never hold them to any level of editorial accountability but what it does illustrate in my eyes is a propagation of a lazy culture that is more than just seeping into our society.

I will always be grateful of Wikipedia enforcing their policy of not allowing primary sources. I can’t tell you how many pages I have edited over the years asking contributors to cite their statements. I see it as a nice little way of calling bullshit on something without directly saying so. However I don’t think that this model works at all for most sites – it is far too restrictive.

So where do we find it done correctly? Well cracked.com for one. There are plenty of others, but this one is a stand out as it references (almost wikipedia style) what it is talking about when relevant, however there is ample amounts of primary source material there too. Oh, and all imagery is credited.

The worst part is that putting this argument forward has made me feel like a fucking dinosaur. I want a free and uncomplicated internet. I like to browse a thousand images a day for shits and giggles. I just would like sometimes to be able to know what I am looking at. Is that too much to ask?

Concerning maps and bandwagons

Things that bore me to tears include jumping on bandwagons and beating up technology companies for not living up to my expectations… the whole: we live in 2012 damnit!

You could cast me as the wide-eye optimist when it comes to new technology and while I could never be described as an early adopter, I generally am quite forgiving of new product while they get bugs ironed out of. Hell, I’m even quite Zen about the fact that OSX still doesn’t support  SFTP in the finder so I am using some dinky third party software so that I can have GUI access to my web servers.

Now that I’ve painted myself as some happy-go-lucky naive technology user, let me tell you how that came crashing down… and yes, the target of my dissatisfaction is Apple Maps on iOS 6. Now I must admit I was aware of the abundance of negative feedback already out there, but as with all things you read on the internet I took it all with a giant grain of salt. I updated both of my iPhones to the new operating system, checked out the maps and while it looked different from the Google offering, I couldn’t give a damn what my maps look like, as long as I can get from point A to B.

So, yesterday I get off a plane in the Gold Coast for work, pick up a van full of AV gear and prepare to drive to my hotel. Cue maps on the phone. Firstly, it had a bit of trouble getting the right place, and when I finally found it, I got a ‘Directions Not Available’ message. Really?

I had to fire up Chrome and go to the Google Maps webpage which solved the problem although wasn’t ideal.

Now lets be clear: If the Maps app was some kind of newfandagle feature on iOS 6 then I’d be all like “that’s cool, I’m just impressed they are trying this”. Really, I don’t mind people failing, no matter how spectacularly, while attempting something ambitious and revolutionary. We could go into a whole list of leaders that I respect not because they had successful policies but rather they attempted ambitious (and sometimes retarded) reform.

Too bad that Apple wasn’t doing anything remotely revolutionary. They simply took a product offered on previous platforms that was extremely stable and robust in features and replaced it  with an in-house solution which just sucked.

If Apple were trying to prove to us all that they still have the ability to surprise – then they certainly succeeded…  I was surprised just how woefully inferior this product is. Not only my experience with not being able to  find my hotel on a business trip but when I looked further into it I noticed that I can no longer get public transport information on the Maps app. No, that is now  a third party download – which I’m not even sure if there is a solution for Sydney.

I’m not a jaded person. I’m hoping that these maps get better over time. I just wish the role of beta tester for Apple wasn’t hoisted on all us iPhone users against our will.

Start

I used to blog. A lot.

It used to be hosted here at this address. I dunno why, but somehow I managed to lose the entire site a few years ago. Now that sucks. So now I am slowly slowly going to start my rants on here once again. Cool? Cool.