INTERESTING STUFF: Sept 26

Stolen pic wins photo comp…Live view contributes to train death?…Ilford lives on…Galaxy 4 alliance with Blurb…PrecisionCore – it’s fast and, well, better…Random stats on internet shopping

Stolen pic wins photo comp
World-renowned Indonesian fine art photographer Hengki Koentjoro, after a tip-off from a friend, discovered that one of his photos – flipped, slightly cropped and altered – had won a photo competition ‘Live The Moment’ run by Samsung in South Korea. Only thing is, he hadn’t entered the competition.

The stolen 'winning entry' (left) and the original from fine art photographer

The stolen ‘winning entry’ (left) and the original from fine art photographer Hengki Koentjoro.

A thief/fraud calling himself Bogdhan, had stolen the image, made the alterations and entered it as his own from his Instagram account. Instagram strips EXIF data from images, which would have made the deceit even easier to get away with.

Samsung disqualified the fraudulent entrant and apologised to Mr Koentjoro when he showed proof that the original image was his. The decidedly dubious Bogdhan, after fielding a wave of criticism on his Instagram and Facebook pages, eventually removed the offending image, all the while maintaining it was his own work and his persecutors were ‘kiss-asses’.

This apparently is not an isolated incident. There is a website, Photo Stealers, devoted to exposing internet theft and misuse.

Earlier this year Photo Counter covered pending changes to Australian law which will make it easier for creatures like Bogdhan to steal and cheat.

Live view contributes to train death?
A New Zealand railroad buff killed by a train may have been misled by his camera’s LCD screen into thinking it was a safe distance away, according to a report in the New Zealand herald.

Fifty-year-old Gregory Duncraft was photographing an approaching passenger train this month when he failed to move out of the way in time, despite two long warning blasts by the train’s engineer. The train was travelling at about 40 kph when it hit Duncraft, who passed away shortly after from head and leg injuries.

Witnesses said Duncraft was busy looking at the screen on his camera, not the train itself, when the incident happened. Friend and fellow photographer Stewart Nimmo told the newspaper that he suspected the camera’s live view gave Duncraft the perception that the train was further up the track.
Ilford lives on
The CEO and CFO of Ilford Imaging Switzerland (www.ilford.com) have acquired the Ilford Imaging and Ilford Property companies in a first step towards saving the beleaguered company. The land owned by Ilford Property is being sold and the proceeds will be invested into the Ilford Imaging business.

In addition, JetGraph Ltd. which distributes Ilford paper into the Chinese and Japanese markets, has committed to invest in the company in partnership with the new owners. The company has reduced its 230-strong workforce by 40 percent.

Ilford Imaging Switzerland stressed that it is still trading throughout these difficulties and does not anticipate any disruption to its core products such as Galerie inkjet paper.

Galaxy 4 alliance with Blurb
landing-gs4Samsung is pre-installing a Story Album app in its Galaxy S4 phones, which links to US-based photo book making giant, Blurb.

The software creates layouts and enables the user to add captions, etc, then preview and order directly from the Galaxy phone. Options are 7×7-inch softcover or hardcover, or 5×5-inch softcover. International delivery within 15 days.

Photo-book making software in a picture-taking device – what a clever idea.  Wonder if it will catch on among the camera manufacturers?

Blurb has six print locations around the world, support for the world’s major currencies (including Australian dollars) and languages, and shipping and logistics expertise. Blurb has delivered more than 6.5 million books to 70 countries to date, with half of its revenues currently generated outside the United States.

PrecisionCore – it’s fast and, well, better
Epson global president, Minoru Usui, has announced PrecisionCore, a new printing technology ‘poised to transform the printing business’.

The press release describing this breakthrough is almost impenetrable, failing to effectively describe what PrecisionCore actually is, or the actual benefits it will deliver, but it seems to have to do with great printing speed and ‘recent breakthroughs in piezo material and high-precision MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) manufacturing to create an innovative new print chip’. Or, put another way, ‘new PrecisionCore chip delivers commercial-grade performance in a compact, modular form, and enables Epson to scale the technology from single-pass industrial presses to workgroup and desktop printers.’

It appears that this is technological transfer from wide-format printing and the greatest benefit will be in industrial and commercial printing, although one of the first products to emerge using PrecisionCore is the SureColor F2000 – Epson’s first direct-to-garment printer.
Random stats on internet shopping
When it comes to online shopping, 70 percent have shopped domestically, with 61 per cent shopping on overseas sites, according to a survey called ‘EMMA’ run by market researcher, Ipsos. EMMA (yet another near-meaningless acronym) is based on a panel of 54,000 survey respondents, according to Ipsos. (Really? Maybe that’s 54,000 people annually?)

Perhaps the random stat which best exposes the media hysteria about shopping centres turning into ghost towns for the irresponsible, ignorant drivel it is, is that while 76 percent of Australians have shopped online in their lifetime, 86 percent have visited a shopping centre in the last month!

Among Australians, those earning more than $80,000 a year and tertiary educated shop online most. (And probably shop more offline than those on less than $80,000 as well!) Those aged 30 to 44 topped the list of online shoppers, at 87 per cent of males and 85 per cent of females.

Other random internet stats for this week:
-The public is losing its appetite for group buying sites such as Groupon and price comparison sites, as the online shoppers look for something beyond cheap. Their popularity fell by 9 percent. (Magna Global).
– Online shopping through desktop computers increased 11 percent last year, according to the report while smartphone and tablet shopping increased 19 percent and 52 percent  respectively. (Magna Global).
– While the vast majority of people still go online to seek out bargains, slightly fewer people did that this year than last year (down five percentage points to 75 percent).  (Magna Global).
– Bricks and mortar stores are still seen as providing the best service and brand experience. (Magna Global).
– Australian online retail sales rose to $14.1 billion in the year to July 2013, a level that is equivalent to 6.3 percent of traditional retail spending. (NAB)

 


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