What Flickr did right

Flickr (stylized as flickr and pronounced “flicker”) is an image hosting and video hosting website, and web services suite that was created by ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by yahoo in 2005. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, and effectively an online community, the service is widely used by photo researchers and by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media

Flickr front page

‘Make Flickr awesome again.’ That was the Internet’s message to Marissa Mayer when she was appointed CEO of Yahoo! last year. Last night’s announcement of a new-look Flickr with a new business model was her, and her team’s, response to that claxon. But are the changes all that awesome?



To summarise, ‘New Flickr’ has done away with the divide between ‘Free’ and ‘Pro’ accounts. Before, ‘Free’ membership meant limited image display that was supported by ads. ‘Pro’ accounts cost about $25 a year, enjoyed unlimited storage, provided statistical analysis, and were ad-free. Now, everyone has one terabyte of storage for free and photos are undoubtedly the heart-and-soul of the newly designed site.

The new-look moasic-style photostream

The new-look moasic-style photostream

If you want to enjoy Flickr ad-free and have access to statistics, you need to pay $50 a year. For $500 a year, you can buy a Doublr account and double your storage space.

Understandably, the split between the ‘Wow’ and the ‘Grr’ reactions seems to fall along the divide between ordinary members and ‘Pro’ members. For ordinary members—those who didn’t pay about $25 a year for unlimited uploads, statistical analysis, and no ads—it’s a win. One terabyte of storage for free, full-resolution display, and some of the organisational tools that were previously the preserve of ‘Pro’ members: what’s to complain about?

There are two primary complaints that Flickr needs to solve, and quickly. The first is the treatment of its old ‘Pro’ members. I paid for Pro membership because I wanted the unlimited storage, I appreciated the statistical analysis, and I liked the ad-free experience. ‘Pro’ exists no longer, and instead there is a great deal of confusion as to which old ‘Pro’ members will be grandfathered in to the new deal on their old terms. It seems as if some might, and some won’t. Apart from not being able to determine easily if our previous contracts will be honoured, why the differentiation at all? Flickr’s ‘Pro’ membership was a relatively small percentage of its overall membership; giving all these loyal users the benefit of the doubt seems only fair.

The old ‘Pro’ members were the old Flickr stalwarts, who stuck by the site when it felt as if Yahoo! had put it out to seed, but continued to pay them their money and keep the community alive with images and conversation. What could have been a positive transition, with clear communication and recognition for their loyalty, feels more like a shafting. It is, however, an easy fix.

The new-look sets lay-out

The new-look sets lay-out

Second, can Flickr please fix its metadata-stripping antics? Display an image online and you run the risk of it being purloined and used without permission; that’s a fact of life. However, there are measures that many of us take to protect our images. Some of us use watermarks, some of us only upload small versions of our images, I’ve disabled the downloading function on Flickr, and most of us append metadata to our pictures. Metadata are a bit like a dogtag, identifying who took an image, where, and when. Unfortunately, Flickr strips images of their metadata, (or takes the collar off of the dog, if you like) so if someone does manage to download one of your pictures, its owner can’t be identified. Now that pictures are being displayed bigger and brighter and bolder on Flickr, this is more important than ever. Ensuring that metadata aren’t separated from images really would be awesome.

In terms of the look and the feel of the new Flickr: I love it. If the images can’t do the talking, then why bother? And the new moasic layouts and easy enlargement options make it all about the images. When Yahoo! addresses the issues that people are finding troubling, Mayer might’ve answered the Internet’s request.

Did you enjoy The Flickr Spectaculr: what’s right, and what’s wrong? Share it with your friends:


14 Most dangerous critters





Lice are wingless scavengers that feed on the skin of the host’s body, or on other secretions such as blood. On the average, humans who serve as hosts to lice have about fifteen different species of lice on their heads. Although like termites they are not always dangerous to humans in the classic sense they do have the ability to transmit diseases.


Deer Tick

Deer TickEvery year the Deer Tick infects thousands of people with Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease begins with a rash around the bite resembling a bull’s eye. Early symptoms include head ache and fever. As time passes, the victim will suffer stiff joints and heart problems. Few victims die from the disease but their suffering can go on for years.

Army Ants

Army Ants


The first creature on our list that would be dangerous in the typical sense of the word, army ants are known for their aggression, especially as predators. Unlike other species of ants, army ants do not construct their own permanent nests. Instead, they build colonies that move from one place to another. These predators incessantly move during the day, preying upon insects and other small vertebrates. In fact the entire colony put together can consume over  half a million prey animals each day.


Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets


Although most yellow jackets are little more than a pest, certain species such as the German yellow jacket of North America are bold and aggressive, and if provoked, they can sting repeatedly and painfully. They will even mark their aggressors and pursue them if provoked.


Black Widows

Black Widows


Although the sting of a female black widow spider can be very harmful to humans due to the neurotoxins released, if medical attention is sought immediately then the effects of the bite can be limited to little more than some pain.


Puss Caterpillars

Puss Caterpillars


Although they look cute and furry, and even supposedly derived their name from their resemblance to “pussy cats”, do not be deceived. Their fur hides spines that can cause an extremely painful reaction upon contact with human skin and sometime  chest pain, numbness, or difficulty breathing.





One of the best known disease carrying bugs, cockroaches have been known to carry numerous disease agents that can be very dangerous to humans. And here’s a fun fact for you – they can live for months without food and water.


Parasitic Worms

Parasitic Worms


Parasitic worms are a type of eukaryotic parasite that get their nourishment from absorbing the nutrients of their hosts by sucking their blood. Most parasitic worms are known to dwell inside the digestive tract of humans and cause insomnia, vomiting, nausea, and numerous other issues.


Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs


A longstanding human parasite, while they may not cause excruciating pain or death, their bites can potentially lead to negative psychological effects and allergic symptoms.


Human Bot Flies

Human Bot Flies


Human botflies have larvae that can transmit life threatening parasites to humans. Also known as torsalo or American warble flies, human botflies are typically transfered by mosquitoes and ticks. When a mosquito carrying the larva of a human botfly lands on the human skin, it drops off the larva onto the skin and leaves it there. After a few days, this larva develops under the layer of the skin and may cause serious infection if not immediately treated.


House Centipedes

House Centipedes


House centipedes are most known for their pairs of venom claws called forcipules. Their bites are deemed hazardous to humans because they are very painful and can cause severe swelling that can last for days.


Black Spitting Thick Tail Scorpion

Black Spitting Thick Tail Scorpion


Although not technically fitting into the bug category, black-spitting thick tailed scorpions are among the most dangerous species of scorpions. Most of them live in South Africa, especially in deserts. They are most known for their thick tails and thin claws. These scorpions have the ability to spit out venom through their tails. They stings can cause pain, paralysis and death among humans.


Assassin Bugs

African Assassin Bugs


Well known for carrying Chagas disease, these parasitic bugs often infect people living in poor, rural parts of the Americas.


Bullet Ants

Bullet Ants


Called bullet ants because victims often describe the feeling of being stung by this ant as equal to the feeling of being shot by a gun, a person bitten by this ant can feel throbbing and unabated pain that can last for more than a day.

Tips for moving


Number each door in your new place with a sticky note and put a number on each box of the room you want it to go in. This makes things smooth and quick when moving with help from others

Dispose of any items no longer needed. Remember charities, friends and family may appreciate your pre-loved goods. You don’t want to pay to move those items or move them twice when you realize you don’t even want them!

Start using up food in freezer. You’ll find that the food won’t move from freezer to freezer as fast as you.

Make sure to change your address for Banks, credit cards and anything you care about.

Measure out the new place. You’ll want to get a feel for how things will fit.

Always remember, something will go wrong, get some sleep the night before and don’t stress.

25 Islands you will dream of visiting


U.S. Virgin Islands


A destination of choice for cruise ships, these islands are really small. In fact, they’re no bigger than Washington DC.




Cayman Islands


Due to being a popular tax haven, this place has more registered businesses than it does people.




Puerto Rico


With one of the strongest economies in the Caribbean, this US territory is a popular cruise destination.




St. Vincent and the Grenadines


In spite of a high unemployment rate this chain of islands is famous for its bananas, beaches, and also being the movie set for Pirates of the Caribbean.




British Virgin Islands


Although this British Overseas Territory used to have trouble with drug smugglers, these days it’s primary claim to fame are its scenic beaches.




Antigua and Barbuda


Nicknamed “the land of 365 beaches” tourism accounts for 50% of GDP while banking and finance account for the other half.






Widely known for its cuisine and jazz festivals, to get a hotel in this place you better book your reservation months in advance.




St. Martin


As one of the smallest islands in the world that is divided by two nations, St. Martin is half French – half Dutch. The Dutch side is known for its festive night life and casinos while the French side is notorious for its beaches and shopping.






As one of the eastern most islands in the Caribbean, Barbados is located outside of the typical hurricane strike zone and only gets hit on average once every 26 years. Although tourism is a huge part of its economy, Barbados has the third largest stock exchange in the Caribbean and its finance sector is well developed.






Being the third most populous english speaking country in the America’s after the United States and Canada, Jamaica has left its mark on the world with its record breaking athletes and influential music culture. In spite of a high crime rate, the islands popularity has led to tourism still being a significant part of the economy.




Dominican Republic


Occupying one of only two Caribbean islands that are shared by more than one country, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation after Cuba with around 10 million people. Combining a vibrant culture with diverse geography, ecotourism has been on the rise in recent years.






Composed of over 3,000 islands the Bahamas has one of the higher GDP’s in the America’s (behind the United States, Canada, and several other islands) and it is supported almost entirely by the cruise industry.




St. Lucia


Home to what St. Lucians claim is the world’s only drive-through volcano, the island is mountainous even by Caribbean standards. Although most tourists coming to the island stay near their cruise ships in Castries, the capital, it is well worth it to go do some exploring.






Christopher Columbus named the island after the day on which he first spotted it (Dominica means Sunday in Latin). Since then, however, it has been nicknamed the “nature island of the Caribbean”, due to its unspoiled beauty.






This island is so small that it only has one road, aptly called “The Road”, and with barely 1,800 residents, Saba’s population only reaches 2,000 when classes are in session at SABA University School of Medicine. Of note, it is often listed as one of the 10 best scuba diving locations in the world.





Lying outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt, Aruba makes for an excellent tourist destination. It is much flatter than most of its island counterparts and because it is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the primary language on the island is Dutch.






Known as the “Island of Spice” due to its production of nutmeg and mace, it is a land of diversity, with beautiful beaches along the coasts and a mountainous interior laced with picturesque waterfalls.






As part of France, Martinique is also a part of the European Union. The island consists of several volcanos, one of which is currently active and as a result the geography is very mountainous.




Turks and Caicos


These former pirate hideouts and British Territories are a favorite getaway for tourists, particularly Canadians. In fact, there was even a debate at one point as to whether Canada should annex the islands.






A part of the Netherlands, Bonaire is very small and only has two official towns. The island, however, is a nature lovers paradise and the economy is almost exclusively centered around diving and snorkeling.




St. Kitts and Nevis


As the smallest sovereign state in the America’s, St. Kitts and Nevis was one of the first to be settled by Europeans and has thus adopted the title of “Mother Colony of the West Indies”.




Trinidad and Tobago


When it comes to Caribbean islands, Trinidad and Tobago is very unique. Its economy consists primarily of industry and there is a lot of cultural diversity owing to its long history of conquest. In fact, a good amount of its population can trace its roots back to India when the English brought people over to work as indentured servants.






Guadeloupe is an overseas territory of France, well known for its accomplishments in sports and literature. Although tourism (80% of which comes from France) is the main industry, there is a significant agricultural aspect to its economy.






This transcontinental island (its considered part of South America and the West Indies) lies just off the coast of Venezuela. It is widely known for its diving, especially the characteristic drop-off of the sea floor known as the “blue edge” only several hundred feet from shore.




St. Barts


A volcanic island fully encircled by shallow reefs, the language, culture, and cuisine of St. Barts is almost exclusively French. It has an extremely high standard of living that stems from its high-end tourism industry supported by luxury hotels and villas and has often been referred to as a “playground for the rich”.

This woman was arrested for failing to return a rental movie… 9 years ago

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema

There are children currently alive who will never see a VHS movie and might not even be able to recognize one. But you can still, apparently, be arrested for failing to return one to a rental store … at least in South Carolina, where 27-year-old Kayla Finley was jailed overnight for keeping a “Monster-in-Law” VHS she rented in 2005.

That “Monster-in-Law” VHS, per eBay, is worth about 50 cents today. Her bail was set at $2,000.

According to CNN affiliate WYFF-TV, the rental store owner requested a warrant years ago, when Finley didn’t turn in the video. The warrant apparently didn’t surface again until Finley went into the station on another matter last week.

We don’t have to take WYFF’s word for it, though: A woman claiming to be Finley herself took to WYFF’s Facebook page to rage about the arrest. Her profile photo and details match those released by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department and reported by WYFF. (If the comments seem disjointed, it’s for good reason — Finley left them at different points over the three-day weekend, and some are clearly intended as responses to other commenters in the thread, though she rarely specifies which.)

Source – The Washington Post

Tips for planning your retirement

Here are the top 10 things you need to know as you plan for retirement.

1. Save as much as you can as early as you can.

Though it’s never too late to start, the sooner you begin saving, the more time your money has to grow. Gains each year build on the prior year’s — that’s the power of compounding, and the best way to accumulate wealth.

2. Set realistic goals.

Project your retirement expenses based on your needs, not rules of thumb. Be honest about how you want to live in retirement and how much it will cost. Then calculate how much you must save for retirement to supplement Social Security and other sources of retirement income.

3. A 401(k) is one of the easiest and best ways to save for retirement.

Contributing money to a 401(k) gives you an immediate tax deduction, tax-deferred growth on your savings, and — usually — a matching contribution from your company.

4. An IRA also can give your savings a tax-advantaged boost.

Like a 401(k), IRAs offer huge tax breaks. There are two types: a traditional IRA offers tax-deferred growth, meaning you pay taxes on your investment gains only when you make withdrawals, and, if you qualify, your contributions may be deductible; a Roth IRA, by contrast, doesn’t allow for deductible contributions but offers tax-free growth, meaning you owe no tax when you make withdrawals.

5. Focus on your asset allocation more than on individual picks.

How you divide your portfolio between stocks and bonds will have a big impact on your long-term returns.

6. Stocks are best for long-term growth.

Stocks have the best chance of achieving high returns over long periods. A healthy dose will help ensure that your savings grows faster than inflation, increasing the purchasing power of your nest egg.

7. Don’t move too heavily into bonds, even in retirement.

Many retirees stash most of their portfolio in bonds for the income. Unfortunately, over 10 to 15 years, inflation easily can erode the purchasing power of bonds’ interest payments.

8. Making tax-efficient withdrawals can stretch the life of your nest egg.

Once you’re retired, your assets can last several more years if you draw on money from taxable accounts first and let tax-advantaged accounts compound for as long as possible.

9. Working part-time in retirement can help in more ways than one.

Working keeps you socially engaged and reduces the amount of your nest egg you must withdraw annually once you retire.

10. There are other creative ways to get more mileage out of retirement assets.

For instance, you might consider moving to an area with lower living expenses, or transforming the equity in your home into income by taking out a reverse mortgage.

Is testosterone good for your body?

Testosterone, The good, the bad and the natural

body_builder-250x167Aging isn’t fun for anyone, but for males over 35, it can be especially troubling.

This is because a man’s testosterone level – which peaked in his mid to late 20’s – has started to decline. So the very essence of what makes men MEN slowly decreases. This leads to a bevy of symptoms and issues for men over 35. Things like getting tired quickly, losing muscle and endurance, and decreasing performance (and even interest) in the bedroom.

But this is the 21st century, and there are products available to help men regain the testosterone levels they had when they were younger. Unfortunately, some testosterone products (like creams and enhancers and such) can be dangerous, and lead to side effects.

These side effects can include:

  • Contributing to sleep apnea.
  • Cause a man’s body to make too many red blood cells (polycythemia), which can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • Cause excessive acne or other skin reactions.
  • Stimulate non-cancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and possibly stimulate growth of existing prostate cancer.
  • Enlarge breasts (“man boobs”).
  • Limit sperm production or cause testicle shrinkage.

There’s a sense of irony here. For example, a man may take testosterone to help him feel more attractive and virile, yet the very thing he’s taking gives him acne, bigger “man boobs”, and smaller testicles…

A Natural Testosterone Increase May Be the Answer

However, there are some new supplements sold in health food stores and online that aid your body in producing more of its own testosterone. Having your body produce testosterone on its own (as opposed to introducing more testosterone like creams and other therapies do) would seem to make sense, as your body knows best what it can handle. Add in that these new supplements are all-natural, and you have an ideal product.

Given the benefits that these natural supplements offer (increased libido and virility, increased energy, and more muscle), it’s no wonder a national chain like GNC reports that Test x180 (one of the leading all-natural testosterone supplements) has become one of its hottest sellers. The company that manufacturers Test X180 is giving away samples of the products to qualifying customers who request them online. This is great news for men everywhere!

Flapy Bird meets its end!

game over 2Yesterday, the developer behind Flappy Bird saidhe would be removing the remarkably/mysteriously successful game from the App Store in just 22 hours.

Sure enough, the game appears to be gone. And in its spot on the #1 spot on the iOS leaderboard? A Flappy Birds clone.

Flappy Bird’s developer, Dong Nguyen of Vietnam, suggested that the many pressures of success had become overwhelming.

He later followed up to clarify that the game was not being removed for legal reasons, nor would he sell Flappy Birds to someone else.

According to an interview with The Verge last week, Dong Nguyen disclosed that the game was making upwards of $50K per day in ad revenue.

Many internet commenters had suggested that the tweet was something of a ploy to bump downloads up even higher; that Dong would have a “last minute change of heart” after the tweet lead to a surge of downloads and further secured the game its #1 spot. Given that the game is seemingly gone from both the iOS and Android stores (with a million clones left in its wake), that doesn’t appear to be the case.

The strikingly-similar game that now takes its place aboard the iOS App Store’s free games chart is called “Ironpants”, and the concepts are essentially identical: You’re controlling a flying thing. Tap to make flying thing go up. If your character touches anything, you lose. You’re a superhero instead of a bird, you’re dodging crates instead of Mario-inspired pipes — but at its core, it’s pretty much the same game. The main difference I’ve noticed so far: the ads are significantly more in-your-face.

For the curious: according to App Annie, Ironpants was first added to the app store on January 27th of 2014, 10 days after Flappy Bird first reached the number 1 spot (January 17th) and roughly 2 weeks before Flappy Bird was removed (February 9th.)


Could the bird return, if Nguyen does decide to bring it back? It’s feasible. It depends on how it was “removed” from the App Store. If the app package was removed from iTunes Connect entirely, Nguyen would need to resubmit it and wait for Apple’s approval, and it will have lost its previous download count, reviews, etc. If he just turned off its country-by-country availability, bringing the game back could be a matter of ticking a few check boxes.

If you’d downloaded Flappy Bird before it got the self-dropped App Store ax, you should still be able to download it indefinitely if you ever delete it from your phone. The download button will be hiding in your iCloud “Purchased” list, which is in turn tucked away into the Updates screen in the app store.