PayPal Commits Suicide

As of November 18, consumers who use PayPal to make a purchase will have up to 180 days to return items for a full refund.

That’s nuts. Why would PayPal promise something — a six month return period — no sane person would think reasonable?

Two words: Apple Pay.

PayPal knows what the future holds, and it’s not pretty. They know that whenever Apple enters a new market — in this case, electronic payments — they tend to steamroller the competition. Just ask Motorola or BlackBerry what happened to them after the first iPhones went on sale in 2007.

So, how does this new policy effect you?

That depends. If you never use PayPal for purchases, you may decide to start. If you already use PayPal to buy things, you just got an early birthday present.

As a business owner, however, I will no longer accept PayPal. I believe many businesses will join me before November 18.

PayPal may just have committed suicide in order to stay alive.

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New Work at TheiPhoneographyBlog!

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Sepia photo of a lone person on a ferry

I’ve just added a bunch of work to the galleries of my mobile photography blog, TheiPhoneographyBlog.wordpress.com. Surf on over and take a look! I hope you’ll like what you see.

Old Lenses? Great Lenses!

Black and white photo of the full moon on cloudy night

Full Moon Over Portsmouth…

This is what you can do, handheld, with a Nikon D7100 set at ISO 6400(!) and an ancient (1977-81) Nikon 80-200 f/4.5n lens!

Per Ken Rockwell, this is one of Nikon’s ten best lenses ever; it’s certainly one of the best I’ve ever used. I don’t focusing my own lens when I can get results like this for under $100.

New work added to the galleries!

I’ve just added a boatload of new work to all the galleries, so take a look around and let me know what you think!

I’m celebrating!

I have just spent the last week (yikes!) completely re-writing my SEO. (That’s short for “search engine optimization”, which is how you get found on Etsy.) It’s been quite the experience, know what I mean?

Anyway, as we all know, celebrations call for presents! So here’s my present to you.

Please use the coupon code THANKYOU10OFF for — you guessed it — 10% off anything in the store through October 10. Ladies and gentlemen, start your holiday shopping now! Just surf on over to —

https://www.etsy.com/shop/NancyGoldsteinPhoto

Or better still, just click on the word “Shop” at the top of the page.

 

Hard Drive Reliability Study

I use the Backblaze online storage service, which I find inexpensive, easy to use, and reliable. They just released an updated report on the longevity of the traditional, spinning hard drives they use in their storage pods; these results do not apply to solid state drives.

Please keep in mind that these are the drives Backblaze uses most often. If they don’t address your favorite brand, they just don’t use enough of them to have reliable data.

Considering the results of the original and updated studies are the same, I think there are some obvious conclusions:

(1) Hitachi’s are a safe bet, which is probably why there’s one in my iMac.

(2) A Seagate or Western Digital that is not 3TB is probably okay. I can vouch for that. My 1TB and 2TB Seagate drives are fine.

(3) If it’s either a 3TB Seagate or a 3TB WD, run in the other direction! (No experience with these, and I’m keeping it that way.)

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-reliability-update-september-2014/

To other drive makers, I’m just passing along Backblaze’s data. If you want to sue someone, sue them.

First Day of Fall!

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Autumn In The ParkHappy Dance! Happy Dance!

• Finally, it will be cool enough to hit the streets with my camera — without fear of melting in to the pavement.

• Finally, the leaves will start to turn, providing a welcome burst of color to the landscape, all ready to turn into art.

• Finally, I can break out my sweaters again! (I love my sweaters.)

And if I’m really lucky, Garden Ridge (or whatever they call themselves these days) will have their garish, neon Christmas trees all lined up, just waiting for me to have a little iPhoneography fun! Do yourself a favor and go, especially if you need a laugh. They are so bad, they’re good!

I love the fall.

Debunking Etsy Myths

One of the key myths about Etsy is that the more items you have listed, the easier it is to be found in search. More listings means more opportunities to be found in search, which means more customers and sales.

I agree, to a point: you have to be found in search before anyone can buy your work.

When I first opened, I wanted to join the Female Photographers of Etsy (f/POE) team. I needed about two dozen images to qualify, got busy, and was on the team in a few weeks. I’m glad I did, too; I’ve met a lot of great friends that way. (Hi, ladies!)

My next goal was to reach 100 listings, then 150. Earlier this month, I hit 152. I must really on my way, right?

Right?

None of it made the slightest difference, so I joined a promotions team. I started making a lot treasuries, got into many, many more, and began playing games to build followers and favorites. And I was successful, too! Except… ninety percent of my followers and faves are from other people on the promotions team, and they aren’t buying.

So for my next step, I’ve decided to really make an effort to learn all about SEO – search engine optimization. SEO has been called a black art consisting of keywords, tags, and mystical, constantly-changing algorithms that only Etsy and Google understand. To sell on Etsy, good SEO is essential, but it takes a lot of time and experimentation to get it right. You make a few changes at a time, see what works, what doesn’t, and make more changes. It takes time to figure out. (The fact that my favorites and followers are cluttered up with people who are required to favorite my items and follow me makes it that much harder.)

It was tIme to make some drastic changes.

First, I’m reducing my team participation to the bare minimum. Once the fake faves and follows drop off, I’ll be able to make a few SEO changes and actually be able to see what works and what doesn’t.

Second, I’m getting back on track, aesthetically speaking. They say that if you do what you love, success will follow. Well, I took a good, long look at my shop this morning. Visually, I was all over the map: black and white, intense color, architecture, landscapes, nature. I couldn’t tell what kind of photography I loved, and I know me!

This had to change immediately.

My first love is black and white photography, followed closely by alternative imagery like pinhole and iPhoneography. So I spent most of the morning deactivating any listings I didn’t love. I’m down to about 100 now, but the shop finally looks like just one person made the images.

Will it make a difference? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. Comments are welcome.

iOS 8 Upgrade Warning. Please read!

If you store documents in iCloud and use a Mac, be VERY CAREFUL when upgrading your iThings to iOS 8.

Apple has a new version of iCloud storage called iCloud Drive. During the iOS upgrade process, you’ll be given a chance to upgrade to it. Most people should NOT upgrade. You should only upgrade to the Drive if you are already running the new OS, Yosemite 10.10.

I’m not being an alarmist. If you are running Mavericks or an earlier version of the OS on your Mac, you will lose access to all the documents you have in iCloud until you upgrade your Mac to Yosemite. Keep in mind that older Macs may not be able to run Yosemite.

Apple is usually pretty good about stuff like this; it would be incredibly bone-headed of them to cause everyone to lose access to all their iCloud docs just by upgrading their phones and iPads. Still, the live stream last week was a mess, and they gave everyone U2’s new album whether they wanted or not…

Yosemite’s release is probably imminent; Apple just released the third version of the public beta yesterday. Just be careful, okay?

Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your favorite internet sites loaded at a snail’s pace, what would you do?

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV.

What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, and Verizon?

Today, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality.

Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

Get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10thEveryone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown Get creative! See you on the net!

via Battle For The Net.