Tag: Smartphone

2019-03-15 19.22.10

FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (24.2 mm, f/8.0, ISO200), Copyright 2019-03-10 Khürt L. Williams
If Stalin Had a Smartphone by David Brooks

As Shoshana Zuboff wrote in her book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” when you are using Google, you are not Google’s customer. You are Google’s raw material. Google records everything you do; then it develops models that predict your behavior and then it sells those models to advertisers, which are its actual customers.

Thanks to this business model, some of the best minds in the world have spent tens of billions of dollars improving tools that predict personal consumption. This technology, too, has got to come in handy for any modern-day Stalin.

Third, thanks to big data, today’s Stalin would be able to build a massive Social Credit System to score and rank citizens, like the systems the Chinese are now using. Governments, banks and online dating sites gather data on, well, everybody. Do you pay your debts? How many hours do you spend playing video games? Do you jaywalk?

Back in Stalin’s day, social discipline was so drastic. You had to stage a show trial (so expensive!), send somebody to the gulag or organize a purge. Now your tyranny can be small, subtle and omnipresent. It’s like the broken windows theory of despotism. By punishing the small deviations, you prevent the big ones from ever happening.

Fourth, you don’t have to go through all the trouble of staging a revolution. You just seduce people into a Faustian bargain. You offer to distract them for eight hours a day with animal videos and relatable memes, and they surrender their privacy to you and give you access to their brains.

As online life expands, neighborhood life and social trust decline. As the social fabric decays, social isolation rises and online viciousness and swindling accumulate, you tell people that the state has to step in to restore trust. By a series of small ratcheted steps, you’ve been given permission to completely regulate their online life.

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Point-and-Shoot Cameras are Dead

Looking ... — FujiFilm X100F + Fujifilm @ (23 mm, f/3.2, ISO3200), Copyright 2018-06-23 Khürt L. Williams
Are Point-and-Shoot Cameras Dead? by Take Kayo (fujilove.com)

Don’t try selling to us camera nerds, as we’re buying less and less cameras. The sales numbers are reflecting this trend. To grow the market, manufactures must appeal to a larger consumer group that loves taking photographs. They need to appeal to the younger photographer, and to accomplish that the camera has to be a connected device, as well as offer features that smartphones don’t have or can’t do better.

The article started strong (the virtues of Point-and-Shoot cameras) but then went sideways with a feature list that seems silly when compared to a smartphone. With exception to sensor size, the smartphone checks ALL of the boxes in Take's feature list. The smartphone is compact, light, stylish (hundreds of cases and other items to add…

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Whoops, Wrong Camera

Whoops, Wrong Camera

I'm normally very good at seeing both sides of issues, but I have to confess, I'm completely mystified that some people don't accept the idea that the camera you have with you can easily be the wrong camera. I don't get it. It seems so utterly self-evident to me. I'm not seeing the other side of the argument, this time.

I mean, I suppose you could say that I got something. But what's the use in that? So I have a souvenir of the picture I wanted but that I wasn't able to take? Something to take home as a reminder of my failure? I don't get that people don't get this.

I don’t normally give a hoot when someone says their smartphone camera takes great photos. Photography can be subjective and if the person is happy with the results, then I’m not one to suggest otherwise. But I’ve had more than a few moments where some at a public event or outing asks me why I…

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