Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Jesus, that was a pain. I noticed a bunch of my wordpress flickr-embedded videos were no longer working — such as my awesome post of my college video experiments — despite me following embed instructions.

1) I sent notes to WordPress support, who basically told me it was Flickr‘s problem. I was pretty damn convinced they were wrong, as I had changed nothing on my side. They kindly investigated further at my behest, and it turns out that Flickr had set my account to not be in public searches — which had the undocumented side-effect of making my embedded videos no longer worked.

2) I had to send a note to Flickr‘s help. I then waited 5 business days after they said to wait 3 business days — they had escalated my issue up the chain, according to them — and sent another email, which was also ignored. Finally on day 6 I opened up a 2nd ticket with reference to my 1st ticket, and was rewarded with a prompt response a couple hours later:

[Flickr Case 1368805] Other issues
I have classified your account as “public”/”safe”.

What?!?! My account wasn’t “public”/”safe”???? Greeeeat.

By examining random photos from my FlickR, I see that most do not have the “hide from public searches” checkbox checked anymore! Yay! But does this mean that the pictures *I really want hidden* are no longer checked? I don’t know! I had tried to avoid the wrath of various corporate entities by hiding selected photos that are otherwise public.

Anyway, I always thought my stats were pretty good… But I had noticed a dropoff to about 2500-5000 views a day, whereas in the past I got closer to 7500. However, despite being hidden from public searches, I still got a lot of referral traffic from both Flickr and Yahoo Photos [Yahoo owns flickr], so it seems like “hide from public seraches” still leaves you open to plenty of other referral methods. Anyway, hopefully these stats improve now that my account is no longer censored:

And yes, it bugs me to be a paying user and to be censored. But if I were to make my own photo album off of flickr, nobody would view it. Sort of how my blog gets read through Facebook a lot, but hardly anyone actually goes to it directly. People need to get over their technical laziness. Our technical laziness funnels us into social sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr — thereby putting us under the umbrella of corporate and community censorship. If only we could all just run our own stuff on our own hardware, nobody could censor us! But it would be much harder for us to all stay together. Maybe that is an issue that Web 3.0 will address. . .

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] A great movie to see in HD.

PEOPLE: Same as the “first” Transformers movie. Michael Bay directs, Shia LaBeouf (worst…name…ever) and Megan Fox star. And of course, Peter Cullen reprises his role as the voice of Optimus Prime – a role he’s now played for 25 years.

QUIRKS: Epic robot battle action. Damn this movie has a lot of trivia!

VISUALS: Epic robot battle action.

BAD STUFF: I’m still annoyed at how they changed all the Transformers from the canon. It was really hard to tell who is who at times. In the opening battle, neither of us had any clue as to who was a good guy or a bad guy.

CONCLUSION: After accepting the flaws of how they changed the function and appearance of the Transformers, this movie is quite good. Running at a nice long length of 2.5hrs, there’s more than one challenge to be overcome. There is a LOT LOT LOT of action. As much as you may want to hate Michael Bay, this was pretty damn entertaining. Of course, I am looking through the eyes of nostalgia, which added a star to this movie. Carolyn was not quite as impressed.

Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars (nostalgia bonus!). IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Apparently Clint liked this way more. Go transformers!
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 4.0/5 stars (3.7/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB 6.2/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you saw the 1st Transformers live-action movie, then you should definitely continue and check this one out.