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Recommended reading

My youngest son graduates college today. Congratulations, Garrett!

Garrett
Garrett. Nikon F2AS, 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor, Kodak Portra 160NC, 2017

💻 If you keep waiting for everything to be just right before you do the things you want to do, you will never do them. Conditions are never perfect, says Cal Newport. Just get on with your life anyway! Read Favorable Conditions Never Come

💻 Paul Hoppe lives in Germany, where vaccination passports are a thing, without which some aspects of normal living are not available. He warns us against restricting rights based on vaccination status. I’m not fully sure where I stand on this issue, but I can’t escape thinking that vaccination passports are the modern equivalent of “may I see your papers.” Read This Is My Vaccine Passport

💻 The Internet is not free, by which I mean without cost. I spend upwards of $500 each year with my domain registrar, my hosting company, and with WordPress just to keep the lights on. Someone’s gotta pay for it. I carry my own costs, but many sites run ads not only as a way of covering costs, but of making a profit. Yet most people hate ads. Jeff Kaufman works on Google’s ad engine and he explains why he does so with a clean conscience. Read Why I Work on Ads

📰 I read a lot of Aaron Renn‘s work and he definitely leans conservative. That’s why it’s remarkable that he pans the standard conservative state-government play of low taxes and light regulation to attract businesses — because it ignores the citizen experience, which gets worse by the day. (Ad alert: you might have to click through an ad to get to the article.) Read Are Red States in Denial About Improving Economic Prospects?

📷 Dave Jenkins found a family snapshot made with Kodak’s cheapest Instamatic camera. Any modern cell phone can do better work, but he’s thrilled to have that memory recorded despite its so-so quality. Read Precious Memories

📷 Now that I scan my own negatives, I value scanner reviews. Bob Janes looks at the Plustek OpticFilm 135i, Plustek’s entry-level 35mm scanner, and compares it to the Minolta ScanDual III. I own a ScanDual II, so this review is all the more relevant to me. Read Plustek OpticFilm 135i 35mm Film Scanner Review

📷 Nikon had Cosina make a couple of its SLRs. The FM10 is probably the most famous, but there was also the FE10, and Mark O’Brien reviews it. Read Nikon FE10 – Hands On Review

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19 thoughts on “Recommended reading

    • The pandemic is making this a lot less of a celebration. The bigger marker for me is ending up being the day I wrote the last check to his school, back in December.

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    As a person involved for a long time in advertising related industries and senior ad staffs at retailers, I have zero concept on how anyone makes money off of internet advertising, and to this day, still don’t? Don’t get me wrong, I get the tech, data, etc., but I go to ad rich sites all the time, never click on any of the ads, and couldn’t even tell you what they were for: in old “ad speak”, they’re amazingly ignorable! Based on raiding my cache and tracking my web presence, I’m even sure they’re hitting me with stuff I want, but I’m focused on information I’m going to the sites for and miss the ads. How anyone gets paid for this is beyond me? After looking at stats, I’m sure is has way less conversion than almost any other advertising. Not my planet any more…

    • I see a couple of tiers. The major players, the big Web sites, probably make money. You get paid not just for clicks, but for views. Clicks pay more, but with enough volume, views pay. The lower tiers are sites more like mine where people have enough viewership to qualify for ads. I made about $150 a year when I ran ads here. Paltry. They were too invasive for the small return so I gave them up.

  2. Congratulations and best wishes Garrett! That’s fantastic news in a time when we greatly need something to boost our happiness.

    Lots of food for thought today!

  3. Roger Meade says:

    I have no objections to the concept of ads, but most internet ads are SO intrusive, They move, they jump onto the content, they push aside the content.

    Going back to the dark ages, if I see an ad in a newspaper that interests me, I will pay attention to it. It might not even be anything I would remotely buy- A Mercedes or a Rolex for example, but if the ad is good, it will get my attention. Others just get ignored. It is easy to not “see” a newspaper or magazine ad unless it tells me something about a product or service I might actually use or buy. Internet ads are almost always an in your face annoyance. They are very hard to ignore, but completely ineffective for all that. Seems like someone should have figured that out by now.

    • Thank you! A real milesone: my last child, launched. He actually has one class he needs to take in May, and then he’ll go get his first job. He has a CS degree but he’s figured out his heart is in hardware, so he’ll go get his A+ certification and get an IT job.

  4. Congrats to your son! I hope you can celebrate in some form.

    I always wonder about ads. I am running adblockers since like forever. Whenever I use the Internet at work (where we do not have blockers) I am shocked at how many often very intrusive ads websites try to shove down my throat. I don’t feel guilty using a blocker because I never click on ads anyway. There was an article in the Economist talking about a shift from ads to subscriptions or donations for many creators. Although these again end being winner takes all markets with a few creators earning top dollar and the overwhelming majority being happy to cover some of their costs (if they earn anything at all).

    Thanks for the mention.

    • I use blockers as well, though I do allow a few sites run by good individuals trying to fund their sites. I decided to sell books as a way of monetizing what I do. I tried ads for a while but they were a pain for me to administer and too many of them were intrusive.

    • Andy Umbo says:

      While I was living in Indy, I was what I would loosely call an ad manager, part time freelance, for a pals journalism comment site. He was nationally known and received literally tens of thousands of hits a day, before he decided to retire. You would think he would have made great money from that, but he did not; most all our money was made by sponsorship ads that were generally bought by journalism institutions and schools, to promoted seminars and the like. I booked those for him, no differently than if we worked for a newspaper: we charged for size on the page, and amount of time run on the site, at a fee structure we decided on ourselves based on what we thought it was worth. In fact, we did this because we were familiar with other relatively famous web-sites that also did the same.

      We were admin’ing this separate than any “automatic” web ad generator, and I handled it because he was too busy blogging; I just did all the client interaction, got the info and in most cases, a complete sized ad, and he placed it on his page when he was updating. The Google Ad Sense, or whatever item like that you would use, basically only paid Google, and not you. You’d have to have hundreds of thousand of hits a month to make anything, and the ads all over your site would be annoying.

      I read somewhere that over 98% of all sites that even carry advertising, make less than 100 dollars a year.

      I was appalled when I got to Indy, with the Gannett portal for the local Indy Star newspaper. It was unreadable with all the ads flying in and out, and notices creeping in the sides and all. I used to think the Chicago Trib was bad until I saw that Indy Gannett monstrosity! Unreadable! Imagine my horror when I got back to Milwaukee and found the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sold themselves to Gannett, and they were forced to use their portal! It is well known in journalism circles that the Gannett portal is the worst!

  5. Kodachromeguy says:

    Congrats to the graduate! Good for him!

    As for the article by Mr. Renn, he said it all in these few sentences:

    “Rather than investing to build up the skills and enhance the well-being of their citizens, they engaged in a race down to the bottom as a strategy to attract corporations.

    This too often can turn into an outright anti-citizen mindset, with governors and legislatures prostrating themselves before the worst sorts of parasitic industries and special interests.”

    I see this in many of the southern states: poverty, deteriorating education, filth, deteriorating infrastructure, and now, new voter repression laws.

      • Andy Umbo says:

        Having lived all over the country, I’m always amazed that corporations move out of highly educated states, like Wisconsin, to much less educated states, just to save a few bucks. I’m a big student of the history of company/worker relations, and marvel at the wonderful work environments of the pre-war years into about the 50’s. Milwaukee companies, mostly all proponents of the autodidactic old- German style trade associations; had factory literary societies, and symphonies, and arts and education groups; all thrown out after WWII. After many companies “went public”, and the initial families that started them were out of the equation, most companies had no more reverence for their communities and “benefit shopped” for the cheapest place to throw up the next building.

        While I was in Indy, I read an interesting book on Janesville Wisconsin, and the shut down of the GM plant there, which had one of the highest quality ratings of any GM plant in the U.S., and one of the most educated work force; just to move someplace with a cheaper tax deal. When you see how they treated their highly educated, “Germanic” work force here, sometimes three or four generations of their neighbors, in a plant that had been in operation since 1919, just to save a few bucks; why would anyone think they would care for the people in some of the places they moved those plants?

        If they wanted to spend more money and forge a community interaction with an educated work force, they would have stayed in places like Wisconsin; not recreate what they had here someplace else for the same money. It doesn’t seem like Mr. Renn understands that what he’s asking for already existed, and the manufacturers turned it down for lower quality levels, and cheaper taxes, and more profit!

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