As if people need another reason to keep eyes affixed to their phone, Google now has a live view feature. I especially like the on screen safety message warning users to “…keep your phone down while you walk”.

Google maps augmented display

photo from Citylab

I’m not sure how effective this sort of augmented reality display is if the phone isn’t held up. It seems like it might be even less safe to hold it at waist or chest level. Maybe it’s better to pull over when looking at your phone, even while walking.

via Citylab

I’m loving securitycheckli.st. It is an easy to understand list of ways to secure your data and privacy. Not only does it tell you what you should be doing, but it also has suggestions for services and sites that can help. Each of the points on the list also have links to more in-depth resources.

Personally, I think if you were only going to do one thing on this list: Get a password manager. This will make using using strong, unique passwords for all of your logins much easier. I wouldn’t stop there though, the other suggestions on the list are solid.

Kudos to Brian Lovin for putting this together!

via Cool Tools

Changes are afoot at Flickr. The days of free storage (up to a terrabyte) are over. Now, non-paying members can only store 1,000 photos or less. In February, they will delete photos in excess of 1,000.

I haven’t been using Flickr in the past several years. Most of the that were uploaded there, are also archived locally, but local archives are the equivalent of a storing printed photos in a dust-covered box in the attic.

Wanting to get a copy of all of these pictures along with the meta data (albums, tags, etc.), I requested all of my data from Flickr. Getting the data is easy, but it doesn’t happen instantly. I didn’t time how long it took for Flickr to assemble all of the files, but it was less than 24 hours.

The files in the download are not user friendly. Here’s a brief inventory:

  • A folder full of JSON files including account profile information, Flickr mail messages, and indexes of galleries, sets and albums. Each photo also has its own JSON file with meta information about the photo. This meta information includes comments. Unfortunately, they don’t include the commenting username, only the user ID.
  • Several folders of photos. The filenames have been changed to include the unique ID of the photo.

This seems consistent with Dave’s analysis of his download from Flickr. There’s enough information to piece things back together, but not without some effort. My library has over 2,000 images. Probably on the lower end of what many users have on Flickr, but too much to go through manually. I might try hacking together a script to upload the photos onto this site with as much meta data as I can. At minimum, it would be nice to have the photos organized in the same albums. Stay tuned…