Look What I Found #4

 

Can you believe another week has come and gone? This past week I found myself behind the computer a lot rather than behind the camera. Whilst not ideal, it did allow me to do more online reading than normal whilst waiting for images to process.

So, what exactly did I find this week? Have a look below to see the things that caught my eye.

If you are new to this series there is an explanation of what all this is about back at my first post which can be found here

Climate Change

I think most people are in agreement that the climate is changing. Where most disagreement seems to happen is when discussing what we should do about it.

This opinion piece I found in the New York Times is interesting in that it is in favour of a technology which could have a large roll to play, but which is often written off as being too dangerous and ‘dirty’.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/06/opinion/sunday/climate-change-nuclear-power.html?linkId=66602043

It is an interesting read that highlights some of the benefits of nuclear power as well as some of the often over-hyped negatives.

Is it the only answer or solution? Probably not, but I personally think we need to keep an open mind and consider all our options.

Tweet Worth Seeing

With the South African elections just around the corner (8th May 2019) we have seen and heard the usual promises from our politicians.

The below tweet seems, to me any way, to be bang on. Have a look and let me know if you agree or not – I certainly do!

The Racial Bias Built Into Photography

This article has been doing the rounds over the past week. It initially brought back memories of studying photography at Natal Technikon as we used the very same Shirley Cards when colour correcting our images.

It is a very well written article that help you understand just how the bias that was in the film industry and how that had a knock on effect. It is also quite odd that it took corporate America to push for change – change that the manufacturers didn’t seem interested in up until then.

It took complaints from corporate furniture and chocolate manufacturers in the 1960s and 1970s for Kodak to start to fix color photography’s bias. Earl Kage, Kodak’s former manager of research and the head of Color Photo Studios, received complaints during this time from chocolate companies saying that they “weren’t getting the right brown tones on the chocolates” in the photographs. Furniture companies also were not getting enough variation between the different color woods in their advertisements.

Even today the bias still seems to be there, not only in film but also in things like facial recognition software.

Postproduction corrections also offer answers that involve digitizing the film and then color correcting it. All told, rectifying this inherited bias requires a lot of work.

Perhaps this is why I have always loved black & white film photography that doesn’t seem to suffer from any of the issues mentioned in the article. Decent film with the most basic understanding of Ansel Adams’ zone system will yield you great results every time.

Have a read of the article below. I found it fascinating and was almost completely unaware of the issues dealt with.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/lens/sarah-lewis-racial-bias-photography.html

A New Podcast – Household Name

First let me say that this is in no way an endorsement of this podcast series. It is still far too new, but so far it has been interesting and one that I may continue subscribing to.

If you are new to podcasts then this is one may wish to check out. Here is a blurb from Stitcher.com:

These are the surprising stories behind our biggest, household name brands. Host Dan Bobkoff finds tales of tragedy, love, strange histories, unintended consequences, and accidental success. And in each episode, we find out how these brands changed our lives – for better or worse.

Check it out if it sounds interesting to you – so far I have enjoyed listening to it.

Stitcher
Apple Podcasts

POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

With our fast approaching elections, as I mentioned above, I have found more and more articles and opinion pieces interesting. It is almost as if every few years I need to frantically get up-to-date with what is going on. I don’t mean to fall behind, but politics in general is frightfully boring.

Many of these pieces often end up being outright propaganda, whilst others seem poorly researched and written. It doesn’t take too long to work out which are the scribes one should be following.

This past week, amongst the usual malaise of political pieces that have been showing up in my Twitter feed, I came across a post from the Orwell Foundation linking to a piece originally written by George Orwell in 1946.

POLITICS AND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

I definitely recommend everyone reads this even if it is to just bask in the brilliance of George Orwell, but hopefully it also helps you separate the wheat from the chaff when next reading about how this politician or that has all the answers – if you would only vote for them!

These Ads Think They Know You

Another piece from the New York Times, been a bit of a bumper NYT week this week, discusses advertising. Not just any advertising, rather the sort that is specifically tailored to you, your spending habits, and your browsing habits amongst other things.

While targeted ads may be familiar by now, how they work — and the power they have — often seems invisible.

It is an interesting look at how companies target us, where they get the information from, and i’ll follow it up below with how you can limit some of this intrusiveness.

Targeted advertising was once limited to simple contextual cues: visiting ESPN probably meant you’d see an ad for Nike. But advertising services today use narrow categories drawn from a mind-boggling number of sources to single out consumers. (Like many publishers, The Times uses targeted advertising to find potential subscribers and readers.)

Now, some people are completely fine with this level of intrusiveness – I’m not! If you fall into this group then so be it, but I would still recommend you read the article to get a better understanding of how it all works.

These Ads Think They Know You

Brave Browser

My last recommendation this week is for a browser that I have been using for some time now called Brave. It is based off of Chromium but comes with added security baked right into the app.

Brave fights malware and prevents tracking, keeping your information safe and secure. It’s our top priority.

Brave was co-founded by Brendan Eich who was also one of the co-founders of Mozilla and Firefox. He was also a principle engineer at Netscape – remember that one?

Brendan has been a long time advocate for user privacy and it shows in Brave.

Our servers neither see nor store your browsing data – it stays private, on your devices, until you delete it. Which means we won’t ever sell your data to third parties.

You don’t realise just how bad tracking and advertising has become online. I had no idea until I started to see just how many ads Brave was blocking. Have a look below at my current stats.

Look What I found #4

Brave is also introducing some innovative ways to reward content creators and users alike using their Brave Rewards.

If the earlier article about online advertising didn’t sit well with you then perhaps you too should consider using Brave. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending it.

Conclusion

That is about it for this week.  As always, please feel free to leave a comment below if there is something you would like to add. Also, if you came across something interesting recently and would like to share it then please do so.

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