Stegnography of Flickr

It has been demonstrated that files can survive flickr. More precisely, a hidden file in a flickr image survives being uploaded and then downloaded again. This means that flickr can be used as a covert means of message transmission. Not a massive deal, given that images with hidden files can just as easily be sent by many other means, but it is interesting given flickr's massive storage capability. Short of manipulating the original file to an intolerable degree and thus defeating the purpose of flickr, I don't see that there is anything they can do about this.

Why an intolerable degree? If the original file is small, then it can be put into the image with a lot of redundancy and thus reconstructed, this is the same idea that is used to embed a digital watermark in an image which can survive photoshopping.

Aside: Yes, I'm referring to an old post, but I just remembered that I hadn't linked to it when I read it for the first time, and so I've just googled for it again!

Yahoo and Flickr - Some reassuring words

On the Flickrblog there has been a reassuring post about Yahoo and Flickr. I didn't have any problem with merging, after all, I did try it, but I don't want to have to re-sign in every other click, as can happen on Yahoo.

This was so frustrating, I got my accounts unmerged. This is directly addressed:

Q: OMG, it is really annoying to have to log in to Yahoo over and over many times a day just to get my Flickr fix! [This is not a question.] Uh ... isn't it annoying?!!?

A: Yes, it really, truly is. It's enough to drive one batty. And it's a bug. And a fix will be out soon.

So, there we have it.

My other concern is that I don't want the look and feel of flickr to become like Yahoo. I don't care for the look and feel of Yahoo. However, this doesn't have any relation to the merge decision.

So, once things stabilise, and Yahoo loses its amnesia, I'll be happy to remerge.

Actually, I'll probably still be one of the last to merge - let someone else have the bugs, I had my share last week!

Flickr Games

The Great Court of the British Museum I'm trying to get a new game started on Flickr. The idea is simple enough, we start with a photo and then add it to the pool. The next photo in the pool should include the position where the last photo was taken from.

A destination is chosen, and we try to end with a photo which recognisably includes that destination, along with the position of the previous photographer. The winner gets to choose a new destination.

The current destination is Centrepoint in London, and the starting point is inside the British Museum, so not far to go... once it gets started.

The photo posted can already exist, it doesn't have to have been taken for this purpose. Only one photo should be posted at a time, i.e. no sequences of shots from one person. The exception is when we need to get on a plane or use public transport, a shot FROM the vehicle of the departure point, and a shot OF the vehicle from the arrival point will get us across international boundaries.

With luck, we may be able to get a snake of photos which circumnavigate the globe!

I've started this in London, UK - so British photographers can set the tone!

(fx: deathly silence.... tumbleweed blows across the screen....)

(This post mentioned on Tim Worstall's britblog Roundup)

Oh dear: Yahoo and Flickr

Yahoo and Flickr are combining their login procedures. It will be possible to log into one site and be logged into the other. New users will need to sign up to Yahoo to use flickr. Existing users do not have to merge accounts. I have one thing to say about merging, don't do it.

It was a complete disaster for me. My machine logs into flickr automagically, it is a private machine, no problem. After the merge this did not happen, despite ticking the necessary boxes on the Yahoo site. Each and every time I went to Flickr, I was logged out. A major pain. This is a major issue at the moment, but I'm sure it could be fixed, so it isn't a long term objection (despite yahoo asking for passwords all the time for my security... I'm happy for that to be a default, but let me turn it off!)

On top of this, if you use any helper programs to upload your photos, these get confused. This will be fixed, and so isn't a long term problem either.

There is the issue of forcing flickr users to get Yahoo accounts (I already had one). This gives rise to bad feeling. Yes, make Yahoo easy to click through to when in flickr. Yes, make it so that when you're logged into one you log into the other (but there is no reason to have the two accounts made one) - but for goodness sake, keep them distinct. Flickr is Flickr in its own right. I know it's owned by Yahoo, but for goodness sake, Yahoo, diversify! There is something unpleasant about your crowded interface, don't let this infect flickr too!

At the moment, the killer for me is the forgetfulness of yahoo when I ask it to remember me, however, if flickr became like the rest of yahoo in look and feel, that would be a real problem.

No, this is a bad move - I unmerged my accounts, and will keep then unmerged until dragged kicking and screaming to merge them again.... and if that happens, I will have my fingers crossed that Google will by then offer a photo hosting alternative, with a one click 'import from flickr'.

... and this is from someone with a paid flickr account until 2009


I've been playing for a while, and I'm converted. Flickr is wonderful, one can join 'groups' of similar interest, label features within photos and keep photos private of for friends only.

var zg_nsids = '29332463@N00';

Excellent stuff.

I'm even going to see about getting my phone talking to email especially (and this will allow LJ posting too).

I'm seriously thinking about getting the full paid account to remove the upload limit (which I've already reached), but will leave it a bit just to see how things go. I don't even know if any of my contacts use Flickr - and that is something which really adds to the thing.