Three-dot Lounge for August 3, 2014

Three dot lounge is a mostly-weekly collection of things that deserve more than a retweet. Stay tuned for fascinating opinions and pithy commentary. Also keep an eye on my Twitter feed for more interesting stuff.

Florida mom arrested after letting 7-year-old walk to the park alone

Florida mom arrested after letting 7-year-old walk to the park alone

So a mother may go to jail for allowing her kid to walk to the park alone. On a path he rides every school day to school. With his cell phone to contact her in case something happens. Because, well, terrorists, I guess. In other news, childhood obesity is an epidemic that continues to grow and more and more research is pointing to lack of exercise as a key, perhaps the key cause.

When I was growing up, I got kicked outside and told to go run around and do things. Today’s kids are kept in strollers longer because they aren’t at risk of wandering away that way. They can’t go outside and play, they have to be in organized sporting leagues and structured situations where they’re always supervised and told what to do. Parents are paranoid about letting kids out of their site because the press way overplays the frequency of child abductions — and by the way, the vast majority of these the do occur are by people known by the (or part of) the family, not strangers.

So kids are being told to get exercise, but aren’t allowed to go and get exercise, except for the one or two days a week they get driven to the soccer field by the parent for an hour or so of mostly not moving around waiting for someone to coach them on something. And now we wonder why they’re getting fat…

It always amazes me, but never surprises me, that people get so sideways about really rare occurances and re-arrange their lives to avoid them, and then ignore the common things most likely to kill them, like smoking, driving stupid and not wearing their seat belts. And then they blame someone else when bad things happen, like diabetes in their kids…



Zack Arias takes on the “if it’s not a full-frame sensor it’s crap” myth. To which I can say “Amen”.

I’ve got two big problems with the people who play this game. One is that they’re generally using facts that were true, if we’re talking about sensors three or four years ago. Technology marches on, and so do the facts. Except when you latch onto an idea with religious fervor, evidently.

And second, most of the differences that do exist today are noticable only with larger prints. So all of you running around putting stuff online and telling us that it’s better because it’s full frame? Please cut it out. Unless you’re doing a fair bit of printing at larger than 11×14, or you really think it’s more important what the pixels at 100% look like than what the image looks like to a normal person, there’s not much to talk about.

There are some differences in how full-frame handles depth of field and bokeh, but honestly, the days where small sensors weren’t more than good enough are long gone, folks.

10 Things Google Should Consider in Launching a Standalone Photo Sharing Service

10 Things Google Should Consider in Launching a Standalone Photo Sharing Service

The number one thing I want to see out of Google about G+ is a roadmap. When Vic Gundotra left, there were all sorts of rumors about it being changed, blown up, shut down — name your favorite disaster movie. I had some projects I was planning to use G+ for; to be honest, they’re all on hold until I have some sense about whether that platform is going to be worth the time investment, and I won’t know that until I have some idea what Google’s future plans are.

I’m seeing some good things happening here: hiring John Nack, for one, gives me some comfort that they have some interesting ideas to work on. The death of the idiotic “real names” policy means someone finally got a clue about that, since it never worked and never could.

But there are still big holes in the platform. You can build a really good community there, but you can’t build a great one. There’s an amazing number of ghost towns there as well, even more than normal for an open community site, and it’s really hard to build real engagement the way the community systems are designed. Still, for photographers, you can build up a really nice community and set of relationships — with other photographers. But not, as far as I can tell, with potential customers or the general public.

I long stopped believing any of the numbers Google issued about the service. I’m hoping whatever changes that are coming stop the idea of integrating G+ into everything and trying to force people to use it, and put more energy into improving the platform so people want to.