Instagram does an about-face

The New York Times on Instagram’s what-was-old-is-now-new terms of service released this evening:

Following a reaction that included customers defecting to other services, Mr. Systrom told Instagram users on Tuesday that the new policy had been misinterpreted. “It is our mistake that this language is confusing,” he wrote, and he promised an updated agreement.

That statement apparently was not enough. With more people leaving the service, the company, which Facebook bought for $735 million this year, reacted again by returning to the old rules.

Well, that didn’t take long. As I wrote earlier, it’s not a good public relations move to get feedback by pissing everyone off.

Your Twitter archive

Mollie Vandor of Twitter on how to download your archive:

Go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom to check for the option to request your Twitter archive. If you do see it, go ahead and click the button. You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to access your archive when it’s ready for you to download.

This is great. And it seems I’m one of the lucky ones who can download my tweets today. My only question is: how often can I do this? After every new tweet? Once a week, month or year? After a certain number of additional tweets? Or is it a one-time only thing?

I’m guessing I’ll make several hundred more tweets next year. I want access to those too, not just the 7,928 I’ve racked up so far. Which gives me pause before trying this handy new service.

It’s curious that Twitter didn’t think to address this. Or did they and I just don’t know about it?

BBEdit 10.5.1 update (still) doesn’t suck

Buried inside the BBEdit 10.5.1 release notes:


Another fun thing about using BBEdit is its developers obvious love of self-deprecating whimsy. And they’ve always been this way. Just read the marketing copy for the latest version of their editor: “It’s ooh shiny” and “it (still) doesn’t suck.”

And although that’s a big list of issues, I never hit a single one of those bugs. They still fixed them quickly. That’s how seriously they take the quality of their product. A good balance.

Don’t ever change, guys.

Thank you, and we’re listening

Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, on the shitstorm they created with their new privacy policy and terms of service released yesterday:

One of the main reasons these documents don’t take effect immediately, but instead 30 days from now, is that we wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to raise any concerns. You’ve done that and are doing that, and that will help us provide the clarity you deserve.

Sorry, but I’ve got to call bullshit on that. There were so many extreme reactions by everyone, including myself, to Instagram’s new advertising model and ownership rights after reading that document, that it’s unclear whether it just wasn’t properly vetted ahead of time or they panicked and pedaled backwards from the precipice. It wasn’t us. It was Instagram being vague, misleading or stupid.

Not a good public relations move to get feedback by pissing everyone off. Next time they should be saying, “Thank you, and we’re thinking.”

Via The Loop.

This is the Web right now

The Oatmeal on bringing back that shrieking dial-up noise:

It’s like listening to a computer fellatio.

I was eating lunch while reading this. Big mistake. Now I’m wearing it.

Everything about this comic is true and righteous.

The Hobbit at 48 frames per second: a review

John Scalzi:

On the technology side I thought the 48 frames worked as advertised: The images were clearer and sharper, the movement and action more fluid and engaging, and the 3D far smoother and rather less headache inducing.

And his last paragraph:

By the way, the hardest thing about writing this review? Not using the word “film” to refer to The Hobbit. It’s a movie, yes. A film? Nope.

He wasn’t talking about the content — that he gave a “B” grade.

It’s clear Scalzi liked the presentation. And doesn’t mourn the end of the film aesthetic. Props to him being forward thinking. Then again, he does write speculative fiction so he’s supposed to do that.

I haven’t seen “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” yet. I hope High Frame Rate projection in a theater is better than what television manufacturers have been doing in recent years.

My wife and I just bought another big-ass TV with a 240 Hz LED screen. It was delivered with all sorts of motion interpolation enhancements on by default. Everything we watched on it looked like a broadcast of “Days of our Lives” — which means not good. There’s a reason any real or perceived increase in frame rates is called the “soap opera effect.” We soon disabled those features with extreme prejudice.

Regarding Instagram’s new TOS

Wil Wheaton on Instagram’s new privacy policy and terms of service which allow using your photos in advertisements:

If someone Instagrams a photo of Seth Green walking through an Urban Outfitters, does that mean Urban Outfitters can take that image and use it to create an implied endorsement by Seth?

When I first heard about this inevitable dick move by Instagram for making money, I thought about ordinary people and not celebrities. It’s a whole other set of real and complicated legal problems for folks who make their living with their faces. Best of luck to everyone on this mess.

My advice? Find another free service to post pictures of your pets having lunch that isn’t big enough yet to sell you as a product.