All About Images Blog

Do you use a Seagate hard disk drive? If so, read Seagate hit with class action lawsuit over defective hard drives. Seagate’s drives are failing at an unreasonable rate, but the scary statistics go beyond Seagate. In fact many manufacturer’s drive suffer non-trivial failure rates, according to a recent report from Backblaze. Failure rates for different drive models in this report range from under 1% to more than 10%. Rates this high are certainly a reason to be concerned, especially if you are relying on hard drives to back up your data.



Every presidential election leads to a discussion of birth certificates. Is it OK to be born in Canada? Was the Canal Zone part of the U.S.? Was he really born in Hawaii? These questions are political in nature and miss the larger point.

In many countries birth certificates are not a given, and not having a birth certificate can have devastating consequences. How the Birth Certificate Became a Ticket to Society highlights some of these consequences:

  • Denial of health care, schooling, and fair treatment in society.
  • Risk of child labor, forcible conscription, child marriage, trafficking, and sexual exploitation.

More than 230 million children under the age of five have no birth certificate, including many children in China, India, and Somalia.

See also The Value of Identification.


The Domesday Book enumerating much of England has survived since 1086 in the National Archives at Kew in London. The electronic version of the project, the BBC Domesday Project, did not fare nearly as well. The BBC Project was completed in 1986; thirty years later the discs are nearly unreadable. Fortunately, the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, UK was able to rescue the data before it was lost completely,

Lesson learned. We need to actively manage our digital information to ensure that it is not lost. I only hope everyone is listening.






Epley and Whitchurch, 2008

When people are shown a full array of photos of themselves, from 50 percent more attractive to 50 percent less attractive, they choose the 20 percent better-looking photo as the one they like most and think they most resemble. This is an important , general result: self-deception is bounded – 30 percent better looking is implausible, while 10 percent better fails to gain the full advantage.  Robert Trivers, The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life, 2011.

After reading Robert Trivers’ book on self-deception, I now understand why so many people dislike photos of themselves. People’s image of themselves differs from reality. That is, they perceive themselves to be more attractive than they actually are. Consequently, when faced with reality, they don’t like what they see.

Keep this fact in mind the next time you see photos of yourself. It’s not always the photographer’s fault.

For the original study on morphing photos into attractive an unattractive versions, see Epley, N.; Whitchurch, E. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Enhancement in Self-Recognition,” PSPB 2008, 34, 1159-1170.


Kodak has announced that it will reintroduce the Super 8 Camera for creating movies on film. According to Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke, “This camera will allow Kodak to waste millions of dollars manufacturing a product that nobody wants.” Jeff Clarke went on to add, “Not only will customers be able to spend 400-750  dollars on a camera they don’t want, they will be able to spend an additional 50-75 dollars on film cartridges they don’t need.”

Kodak last produced a Super 8 Camera in 1982, and the new design is reminiscent of Kodak’s earlier cameras with the added feature of a digital viewing screen. With this camera, customers are able to record their movies on analog film that requires chemical processing.

For more on the Kodak Super 8 Camera see Kodak is Bringing Back the Super 8 as a Film Camera with Digital FeaturesKodak Reveals a Digital Super 8 Camera That Records on Film… Wait What?!, and Kodak Goes Retro With New Super 8 Camera.

In related news, unnamed sources indicate the Ford Motor Company is bringing back the Model T.

January 7, 2016: Kodak really is introducing the Super 8 film camera, but as far as I know, it is not part of a concerted plan to repeat their first bankruptcy, although that may happen.

100px-Plastic-recyc-03.svgPVC is used for lots of things, including most gift cards, ID cards, and credit cards. One of the disadvantages of PVC is that while it can be recycled, it very rarely is. PVC has a recycling code of 3, which most recycling programs do not accept. In the United States, recycling of PVC amounts to less than 1% of annual usage.

Gift cards and other plastic cards can be recycled, although it’s not always easy. Generally, you have to drop off plastic cards or send them somewhere. See How to Recycle Gift CardsRecycling Mystery: Gift Cards, and Take a look in your wallet for more information on recycling plastic cards.

reverseRecycled PVC provides the raw material to make new cards. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked into Club Quarters recently and was given a key card that was clearly labeled recycled. At 11 cents, this card probably costs a few cents more than a standard card, but it’s not so expensive that it’s going to break the bank. Club Quarters proves that recycling is possible and sets an example for hotels and other businesses.



amazon-cloud-drive-600x250In my presentation of Preservation is Forever, I discussed the fine print that was buried in the terms of service for many online photo services. These terms give online companies the right to delete your photos at any time or after one year, depending on the company. Recently ZDNet reviewed Amazon Cloud Drive and their terms of service in Is Amazon’s online storage really ‘unlimited’? Read the fine print. ZDNet highlighted many of the same restrictions:

  • Amazon limits the type of content you can store, such as file types they don’t support.
  • Amazon limits the number and type of devices you can use to access your files.
  • Amazon may suspend or restrict your account.
  • Amazon may impose other restrictions.
  • Amazon may delete or restrict access to your files if you don’t renew your service each year.

For more on Amazon’s cloud storage service, see Is Amazon’s $60 deal for unlimited cloud storage really worth it?

Note: I like Amazon Prime. It is a good deal, even without their cloud storage service


All opinions expressed in this blog are mine, not HID Global's.

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