Fanboyism

6 06 2014

This is about very special people conspicuously often found in the tech scene, fanboys. Whether it’s Apple, Google, or Samsung, these companies can trust in crowds of people following them regardless what happens. They are like advocates defending their beloved company whatever all other competitors might do.

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They are waiting in front of an Apple Store up to 24 hours before it opens and starts selling a new product which already was rumored 11 months before. Excitement is still as emotional as last year and the many years before last year.

The cult …

Apple enjoys a cult-like following for its platforms, especially following the massive increase in popularity for the brand brought about by the huge increase in sales for all its products that started around the time the company introduced the original iPod in late 2001.
The mass usage of computing devices in everyday life, mixed with Apple’s vertical integration of its products, has helped to bring about this increase in popularity, and combined with a tight-lipped corporate policy about future products, helped foster an interest in the company’s activities.

Hardcore fanboys …

FANBOYS are much more than a mnemonic acronym to remember the coordinators For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So. I’m talking about very special people most often with a limited view on reality and a focus on imagination.

Admittedly there are many fanboys behaving like normal open-minded people just admiring technological leading-edge products which fit their requirements with a dash of wine. They don’t purchase a product for just playing with it but improving their creativity, knowledge, and doing all the tasks they have to do where a device can make it easier than a pen and a sheet of paper.

Real hardcore fans can be identified by comments like this

Lol brainless samsungfags, if you hate iPhone so much, why do you care to watch it? Lol the android community is so damn annoying. Shut up about the shit4 or note 3, stop hatin on Apple!

or the following list of characteristics (or should I say ‘mental throwbacks’?):

  • They just like images.
    Reading articles is not their bag. The thing-in-itself is represented just by shape and color.
  • Their comments on social networks are quite short-worded, frequently reduced to a single emoji. The more precise authors repeat one emoji up to ten times and creative people use emojis in an alternating order, randomly or following a law of nature which states that the entropy never decreases.
  • Their heartbeat is near to frequency of the processors of their devices.
  • While sleeping and dreaming the device always takes up an outstanding room.
  • They set their priorities:
    1 news about a successor, 2 getting the money for it, 2 buying accessories for their actual device, 3 their actual device, and light years later other fanboys, friends and the family. This ranking is completely updated with the mother or father in the pole position if she/he pays for the new device.
  • They change their device’s wallpaper at least 5 times a day to keep up the imagination of loving something new.
  • Youtube, games, and some messaging apps connected to social networks are the most frequently used applications.
  • They patched their brain with a powerful filter mechanism which allows to ignore arguments of normal people using a device of a competitor.
  • An unexpected and surprised turnaround to a competing company can be done easily by replacing emojis in forum comments just by the same emojis. That’s not a big deal but yet near the border of skills.
  • They talk about their beloved company as if it’s a political candidate running for control of the universe.
  • An unboxing video is always a case for an academy award, the Oscar, nothing less.

Admiring leaders is easy because you just have to click on +1, the striking example of expressiveness. There seems to be no time to create a significant sentence when hastily switching between Google+ , the actual game, Twitter, an incoming mail, and a call with a friend. I always ask myself what the +1 stands for. Is it a severe emotional attack lasting 2 secs? This would be in the line with the life of a fanboy which is much more stressful than that of a leader who has to declare insolvent in front of hundreds of journalists.

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To avoid criminal attacks on me I stop outlining more of these character traits although the enumeration could be continued up to a length of about 20 websites in portrait mode of an iPad which is approximately 158″.

The delusion …

The Internet changed the way people argue. People with a spirit of mischief might ask: Argument? Let’s have a look at Wikipedia to figure out what this term means.

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Once somebody has acquired this level of arcane knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to do but share it with other fanboys. Check any comment system in social networks or forums and you will find fanboys debating why their chosen product is better than that of others.

Competition is transferred from the companies to the customers.

Customer competition is about defending an emotional decision.

Usually, these arguments are between men, because men will defend their ego no matter how slight the insult is. These are also usually about geeky things that cost lots of money, because these battles take place on the Internet where tech-savvy people get rowdy, and the more expensive a purchase, the greater the loyalty to it.

Almost a quarter of younger people even use their phones while having sex. So it shouldn’t be too surprising that some of them develop an abnormal fixation with devices that goes beyond being extremely grateful for the YouTube application.

A phone might not seem to be something worth fighting over, but what it stands for most definitely is.

A fanboy immediately turns into a hostage.
Hostages have no choice but to buy certain products.

They are far less likely to care if one device is better than another. It’s the choosing one thing over another which leads to narratives about why you did it. If you have to rationalize why you bought a luxury item, you will probably find ways to see how it fits in with your self-image.

To combat postdecisional dissonance, the feeling you have committed to one option when the other option may have been better, you make yourself feel justified in what you selected to lower the anxiety brought on by questioning yourself.

All of this forms a giant neurological cluster of associations, emotions, details of self-image and biases around the things you own. This is why all over the Internet there are people in word fights over video games and sports teams, cell phones and TV shows. The Internet provides a fertile breeding ground for this sort of behavior to flourish.

Summarized …

The imagination …
You prefer the things you own over the things you don’t because you made rational choices when you bought them.

The reality …
You prefer the things you own because you rationalize your past choices to protect your sense of self.

Google+ …

Google+ is intended to be a content network. You as a community member can do a lot to keep fanboyism on a low level. Just write appropriate comments.

Google implemented a comment section which, in the case of brand communities, should better be renamed into
‘My feelings’.

Moderators cannot do this all the time. They do this job in their leisure time and it would be too much work to go through all the comments. But they consequently can remove posts with thin content. It doesn’t take a long time until fanboys are aware of heavy moderation and that there is no chance to post useless content.
On the internet everyone is entitled to express his opinion or feeling. It’s in the hands of owners and moderators to decide what kind of contributions should be allowed. There are two alternatives:

  • All kind of content
    useful, useless, on topic, off topic, self-promotion, emotional status messages, images without any further comment, etc.

    These communities usually have lots of members but less contributors compared to well-known stats.

  • Rich content
    on topic with added value to improve knowledge and widen horizons

It’s that simple.

The G+ guide …

Andrij Harasewych created a noteworthy Google+ Member Guide with useful information about the engagement on Google+, the content network.

If you are a hardcore fanboy there is no need to read Andrij’s comprehensive guide, feel free to use my Golden Rules

  • 1 Do not read the content of a post. It will save you from the decision to +1 a post and to write useful comments on topic.
  • 2 +1 all posts with a colorful image of your actual device, a device you would like to have, or a device which still doesn’t exist.
  • 3 To avoid typos just use emojis in the comment section.
  • 4 If you find information about a competitor’s device, it’s definitely against the human rights and you should immediately use the scroll bar to quickly kick off posts into invisibility. It will save you from being punished by a moderator because of trolling.
  • 5 Last but not least keep on dreaming about non-existing devices shortly after purchasing an actual device. Follow Steve Jobs and Stay hungry, stay foolish.

The benefit of these simple rules for fanboys is that they can easily be transferred to all other networks except Twitter which is already meaningless per design.

Trolls …

Sad to say that fanboys often are also trolls.

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

The worrisome result of scientific researches is described in an article of Chris Mooney on SLATE.com:

In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.

That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad:

Machiavellianism
(willingness to manipulate and deceive others),

Narcissism
(egotism and self-obsession),

Psychopathy
(the lack of remorse and empathy), and

Sadism
(pleasure in the suffering of others).

Summary …

Let everyone do as he likes.
Getting older and focusing on essentials might patch some bugs in their brain. Moderators in social networks should keep a close eye on fanboys otherwise interaction will not surpass 2nd grade level.

Sorry, if I went ballistic. I only wanted to summarize my experiences as a former member and moderator in an Apple related community with more than 90k members.

Related links …

Google+ Moderation

Brand Communities

Google+ Activity Guide

I had a dream

About Internet Trolls

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.
Hope to see you again in front of an Apple Store.





Monitoring Rumors

29 04 2014

Publishing media always want to attract readers.
Within the electronic industry it’s Apple sitting in the center of all-embracing interest. The Cupertino-based company was and in some way still is well-know for it’s secrecy and it was Steve Jobs who closed all doors and windows at the time the company started to develop the iPhone.

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Secrecy always goes along with excitement and parents keeping the secrets before Christmas awaken this kind of excitement in their children. But the culture of secrecy is disturbed by an increasing number of companies all over the world (more than 700) which form the supply chain for the company. What we can see is that the number of news leaks also increased. Rumors push publicity and interests. Are they welcome for Apple?

The Apple community …

The Apple community is considered to form an extension of the advertisement department of the company. Generally this has evolved into a proliferation of websites, all involved in online stories and discussions about Apple’s products and how to use them, with some specifically speculating on rumors about future product releases.

Such stories and discussions may include topics related to physical products like the Macintosh and iOS devices (e.g. the iPhone, iPod, and iPad); software and operating systems, like iOS, OS X, and Final Cut Pro; or even services like iCloud. In recent years, a more specific subculture within the Apple community has developed, where some websites will focus almost exclusively on rumors about new Apple products and services.

Apple enjoys a cult-like following for its platforms, especially following the massive increase in popularity for the brand brought about by the huge increase in sales for all its products that started around the time the company introduced the original iPod in late 2001.
The mass usage of computing devices in everyday life, mixed with Apple’s vertical integration of its products, has helped to bring about this increase in popularity, and combined with a tight-lipped corporate policy about future products, helped foster an interest in the company’s activities.

The culture of mass discussion about Apple products goes back to when the company started to sell significant numbers of their original computers in the early 1980s. Latterly, the industry of Macintosh rumor speculation, began with a regular column in the now defunct MacWEEK magazine called “Mac the Knife” and written under a pseudonym. This column would often cover topics such as upcoming hardware releases from Apple, as well as new software products and incremental updates with new features. It was written by the MacWeek staff and was sometimes used by companies as an early form of viral marketing to generate buzz around products before they were ready for release.

We all know that the stock exchange is a place for gamblers and so it’s obvious that rumors even affect the stock exchange value of the company of further rumors come up.

Are any of these rumors meaningful to investors? After all, Apple CEO Tim Cook warned analysts against reading into supply-chain rumors:

Months of rumors about order cuts and so forth, so let me take a moment to comment on these. No comment on any particular rumor.

I suggest it’s good to question the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. Even if a particular data point were factual, it would be impossible to interpret that data point as to what it meant to our business. The supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for things. Yields can vary, supplier performance can vary. There is an inordinate long list of things that can make any single data point not a great proxy for what is going on.

So there is still a lot of secrecy but rumors in 2013 shortly before Apple’s Keynote in October already presented the iPhone 5S with it’s fingerprint scanner and the 64-Bit processor. We saw lots of people being disappointed. This also happens when parents “inform” their children about upcoming Christmas presents.

Sources of rumors …

Wikipedia about publishing media:

9to5Mac

9to5Mac is an Apple-focused technology news website founded in 2007 by Seth Weintraub. The site gained fame early on because it accurately predicted the release of the first aluminum iMac, an ultra-thin Apple notebook that was launched as the first-generation MacBook Air, as well as Apple’s invention of the aluminum unibody notebook manufacturing process.
The site also gained fame for leaking genuine photos of this third-generation iPod nano as well as details about the first iPod touch. Apple demanded 9to5Mac remove the images of the iPod nano. In recent years, 9to5Mac has continued leading the Apple news industry revealing many details about various product lines.
In 2011, the website’s writers originally revealed the “iPhone 4S” name a full six months before the product’s announcement—and reported the iPhone 4S would include a Siri Assistant feature with Wolfram Alpha integration, the dual-core A5 processor from the iPad 2, and 64GB of storage capacity.
In 2012, the site revealed much of what would eventually become the iPhone 5, releasing accurate, high-resolution photographs of the device a full five months before the introduction. The site also revealed iPhone 5 details such as internal hardware, display, and software specifications such as an Apple-built Maps application to replace Google services.
The site also detailed Apple’s 15-inch and 13-inch next-generation MacBook Pros, noting that it would include the Retina display technology from the iPad and iPhone, a thinner design, and faster internal components. Additionally, the site revealed that Apple’s iPad mini would look like a “larger iPod touch” and be priced at $329, which was above many analyst expectations.
The site is also known for publishing breaking news like leaked, high-resolution blueprints images of Apple’s “spaceship” campus, and important internal Apple memos such as Apple CEO Tim Cook’s letter to employees following the company’s win in court against Samsung and letter responding to claims of worker mistreatment in Apple’s supplier’s factories oversees.
In 2013, 9to5Mac continued its reporting style, breaking the news of an imminent launch of a higher-capacity version of the iPad for education and enterprise users, and by posting photographs of the back of the next-generation, yet-be-released fifth-generation iPad.

MacRumors

In 2000, MacRumors appeared as an aggregator of Mac-related rumors and reports around the Mac web. MacRumors has over 400,000 members and over 10,000,000 forum posts. In addition to providing rumors, news, and an active forum, MacRumors also broadcasts live coverage of Apple announcements via MacRumorsLive.com.
MacRumors has an Official “Internet Relay Chat” Channel where current events are discussed “Real Time”. It is also a place where many Mac users seek assistance from other users. The channel is moderated by “Operators” who provide assistance.

Others

AppleInsider, iMore, MacFixIt, Mac OS Rumors, MacScoop, ScreenCastsOnline, The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), Think Secret, Appleunity, Cult of Mac, OS X Daily, iLounge, MacDailyNews, MacLife, MacStories, Macworld, and Patently Apple – a site reporting on Apple’s patent filings, offering a glimpse of possible future products and services from Apple.

What we see is a second industry supporting the cult image of the company. There is no other company in the electronic market which could be compared with this cult statue. On the other hand it’s the reason for being obligated to deliver new and innovative products within a short time. With the Keynote in late October, 2013, we saw many customers being disappointed about the new iPhone 5S.

Rumors and reality …

It might be interesting to monitor all the rumors published about new or improved products and to compare them with the reality. So I started to outline information about Apple products with the beginning of 2014 and summarized what was posted in the biggest community on Google+ dedicated to the brand.

The tool …

Mind maps are a perfect way to summarize information.

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Note

The image only shows rumors I found in January 2014.
The downloadable version contains rumors posted in January, February, and March.

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

I use the mind mapping tool iThoughts HD for the iPad (by Craig Scott, UK) to retrieve essential steps on the way to Apple’s next Keynote event where new products are presented by Apple’s CEO.

Variants of sharing …

iThoughts HD supports different file formats when saving maps. These are proprietary file formats of other mind mapping tools (MindManager, iMindmap, XMind, ConceptDraw, etc.) as well as formats for people who don’t use such tools (PDF, Microsoft Word DOCx, Powerpoint PPTx, etc.).

iThoughts supports hyperlinks which can be assigned to each topic. A linked topic shows a small globe which indicates a link to a website. Tapping on the globe opens the website within the integrated browser of iThoughts. So additional information can easily be accessed without leaving the app. Images breathe life into a mind map and they also can be assigned to topics. To see the details a user just has to tap and hold on the topic and the image is then displayed in a new screen.

All these features make a mind map to a powerful tool when it comes to retrieve information without moving to another app.

For people not using mind mapping tools iThoughts offers the map export in alternate, well-known file formats, e.g. DOCx, Microsoft Word’s file format for text. The generated file contains the map as an image as well as the textual information of all topics.

If opened with Apple’s Pages you will get a message about some compatibility issues.

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The mentioned issues are not important. As you can see the map and the textual information is perfectly displayed in PAGES.

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This example shows the result when exporting with the option ‘Bullets’ for hierarchical organized information.

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Summary …

Rumors are an essential part of Apple’s strategy but you never really know what’s presented on a Keynote event. The good thing is that the company never feels pressured launching unfinished products without benefits for its customers. That’s completely different from all the Asian competitors selling technology which is actually possible but often without benefits for users. A shining example for different business strategies is Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smart watch (see a noteworthy article of Jonny Evans under ‘Related links’).

Summarizing rumors is an easy task with a mind mapping tool and it’s much more attractive than presenting the information just as an article with plain text.

Related links …

iThoughts for the iPad

CES 2014 When is a smartwatch dumb?

Thanks for dropping by.





Li-Ion Battery

5 04 2014

Your iOS device gets its energy from a Li-Ion battery.
Li is the symbol of Lithium discovered in 1817, weighs about o.5 g/cm3, and melts at about 180C (360F). It is a soft silver-white metal, the lightest metal, and as all alkali metals it’s highly reactive and flammable. Lithium mine production is mainly done in Chile, Australia, China, and Argentina. Due to its high reactivity it does not naturally occur in elemental form.

Lithium is corrosive and requires special handling to avoid skin contact. Breathing Lithium dust or compounds initially irritates nose and throat. Carriage and shipment of some kinds of Lithium batteries may be prohibited aboard certain types of transportation (aircraft) because of

the ability of most types of lithium batteries to fully discharge rapidly when short-circuited leading to overheating and possible explosion in a process called thermal runaway.

A thermal runaway is not very common (just two or three battery packs per million burst into flames) but when it happens, it’s extreme. In some situations, the failure rate can rise, and when that happens you end up with a worldwide battery recall that can cost manufacturers millions of dollars.

But don’t worry, batteries in your iOS device have thermal overload protection.

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The specific energy density of Li-Ion batteries is 100 to 250 Wh/kg (o.47$/Wh) and so it’s only comparable with Alkaline long-life batteries 0.19$/Wh). Because of the increasing usage in the automobile industry costs will decrease down to 0.20$/Wh in the near future.

Li-Ion batteries have a self-discharge rate of approximately 5–10% per month, compared to over 30% per month in common nickel metal hydride batteries, approximately 1.25% per month for low self-discharge NiMH batteries and 10% per month in nickel-cadmium batteries.

The electrical charge …

In tech specs you find the physical unit Milliamps Hour (mAh). It characterizes the ‘strength’ (the right physical term is ‘charge’) of a battery. The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last.

Milliamps Hour is 1/1000th of an Amp Hour, so a 1000mAh = 1.0Ah

Think of it as a car’s gas tank. Voltage is how much gas is being used, and mAh is the size of the gas tank. The bigger the gas tank (mAh) rating the longer the device will run. If your battery is rechargeable, then think of the gas tank as refillable (rechargeable).

In physics an ampere-hour or amp-hour (symbol A·h, A h, Ah) is a unit of electric charge, with sub-units milliampere-hour (mA·h or mAh; often used in rechargeable and disposable battery specifications) and milliampere-second (mA·s). One ampere-hour is equal to 3600 Coulomb, the unit for electrical charge. The commonly seen milliampere-hour (mA·h or mAh) is one-thousandth of an ampere-hour (3.6 Coulomb).

Basics …

Get familiar with some physical units to understand the calculation.

  • Volt
    unit of electrical potential or motive force
    Potential is required to send one ampere of current through one ohm of resistance
  • Ampere
    unit of current
    One ampere is the current which one volt can send through a resistance of one ohm
  • Watt
    unit of electrical power
    Power is energy per time.
    One watt is the product of one ampere and one volt – one ampere of current flowing under the force of one volt gives one watt of power
  • Coulomb
    unit of electrical charge
    One Coulomb is transported if a current of one Ampere flows through a conductor for one second.
    It is equal to the charge of approximately 6.241×10 to the power of 18 electrons (6,241,000,000,000,000,000).
    So you can see that your investment in an iPhone is accompanied by a significant countervalue.
  • Joule
    unit of energy
    One Joule is one watt (power) being effective for one second. The unit is named after the UK physicist James Prescott Joule.

Electrical energy is potential energy before it is delivered to the end-use. Once converted from potential energy, electrical energy can always be described as another type of energy (heat, light, motion, etc.). In case of your iPhone most of the energy is used to enlighten the touchscreen and connecting to the outer world, aka internet.

Energy stored in your iPhone …

With these basics and Apple’s tech specs for the iPhone 5S we now can calculate the energy stored in the Li-Ion polymer battery.

Energy = Power x Time

The battery of the iPhone 5S has a electric charge of 1510 mAh (1.51 Coulomb) and works on 3.8 volts.

So the electrical energy stored in the battery is

1.51 A x 3,600 sec x 3.8 V = 20,656.8 J

that means approximately 21 kJ (kilo Joule).

Note
In reality this calculation is not fully correct because the voltage varies.

One Joule in everyday life represents approximately:

  • the energy required to lift a small apple (with a mass of approximately 100 g) vertically through one meter
  • the kinetic energy released when that same apple falls one meter to the ground.

So your fully charged iPhone approximately offers the energy released when 21,000 apples fall one meter to the ground.

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As an Apple fan you might feel sad with these many crashes of apples so just replace apples by bars of chocolate.

Safety …

Lithium-Ion batteries can be dangerous under some conditions and can pose a safety hazard since they contain, unlike other rechargeable batteries, a flammable electrolyte and are also kept pressurized. This makes the standards of these batteries high, and it consists of many safety features. There have been many reported accidents as well as recalls done by some companies.

Reducing energy consumption

Follow the instructions in this mind map to reduce energy consumption of your iOS device.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Word DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Summary …

There is much energy stored in a fully charged iOS device but it’s still not enough to cover a whole day of frequent usage. With larger form factors for the iPhone battery life might be improved. There are already some innovative features in Apple’s operating system to reduce energy consumption up to the user behavior. The target however should be a 12h usage or, more convenient, an energy equivalent of 42,000 apples.

Related links …

What is electrical energy?

Li-Ion safety concerns

Apple about iPhone batteries

Thanks for stopping by and charging your brain.





Thanks

25 12 2013

The year 2013 is drawing to the end and we all are looking forward to the next year.
So it’s time to say

Thanks


to all of you visiting my blog.

Whether it was a good year for you or not there is still something which gives us the power to continue:

It’s hope. Hope that the good times will continue or hope that better times will come.

Laughter is a mechanism everyone has; laughter is part of universal human vocabulary. There are thousands of languages, hundreds of thousands of dialects, but everyone speaks laughter in pretty much the same way. It’s healthy and a sense of humour helps in almost all situations.

It’s not possible for me to personally communicate with you. So I decided to present a funny image gallery instead to make you laugh. I hope you like it.

I found these images in blogs and on websites and if you remember my post about the Copyright you might say this is illegal. Well, it’s the fault of the owners/creators not to sign their images. If I’m sentenced to life imprisonment I hope I still can continue with my blog due to Apple’s mobiles.

Let’s start with a mind map which could show the diversification of Microsoft

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and continue with a company focussing on essentials

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and end up with some funny pictures.

Again, thanks to all of you for visiting my blog. Readers are the food for every blogger.





Brand communities

23 11 2013

Is Google+ on the way to become a contentless network? Does it come closer to networks like Facebook or Twitter where nearly everything is allowed?

No.

But owners and moderators of communities have to strengthen their efforts.

And admittedly they do it already in some well-moderated communities.

I’m not talking about communities of any kind but of those related to brands where the companies behind are strong competitors.

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Some weeks ago I was promoted as a moderator of the largest community dedicated to Apple. And believe me that’s a hard job because there are many members just expressing their feelings by posting photos or single sentences without adding value for other members. It’s the same situation in other communities related to the Android operating system of Google running on devices of many vendors like Samsung.

According to the intention of Google G+ is said to be a content network not comparable with e.g. Twitter or Facebook. Many members in communities still do not accept this concept and litter useless content, photos without any intro, just one sentence or some words and usually take the first available category which is most often ‘Discussion’.

If the post is online it takes just some minutes and a discussion, which is no real discussion, starts. People start talking about everything but not refer to the posted content.

Please read this great comment written by Dave Trautmann on Google+ on 2013-09-13.

Comment Litter happens as much in real life as it does online.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been to a large public meeting to discuss important (and suitably real) issues only to have someone get up and question the integrity of the people presenting the information. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have someone get up and complain about something which happened 30 years ago and they just can’t let it go.
I can’t tell you how I feel for public officials who are required to attend these meetings only to be harangued by a hostile crowd with some other agenda in mind. I have even been to a couple of perfectly normal public consultations only to have them hijacked by people bringing their own issue (entirely off topic) into the meeting and disrupt anyone who wants to bring things back to what the meeting was originally all about.

I’ve been reading comments since Usenet and I am not surprised by the childish compulsions of some people to only champion their own “brand” loyalty. The demographic of these posts is quite specific. I have had to build up a strong tolerance for offtopic, cranky, in-your-face, sophomoric remarks in order to be able to find those other wellconsidered, clearly written, referenced, reliable, and insightful remarks which appear about as frequently as the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

I cannot begin to list all of the valuable things I have learned from reading some people’s gems after sifting through a beach full of rocks•. A lot of what I have synthesized in my own understanding of the world has been shaped by exchanges I have enjoyed online, in blog posts, comments, and from e-mail with previous colleagues• I sometimes discover things myself and try to bring them into the public sphere.

But I find it is as true in real life, as it is online, not a lot of people are interested in new ideas. Not many have a tolerance for questioning their own belief systems, myths, and personal scripts. Sometimes events force whole populations to reexamine their values (like a war) but in most cases people prefer the comfort of their own views and seek out others who seem to have the same views (whether or not it can be verified those views are the same).

So what can moderators do if posts or comments are not well considered or the comments spiral gets out of control or strays off into unrelated topics?

Well, they can notify the member and delete the post. Acting on members regularly leads to obsessive comments. Arguments are not brought forward. Thanks Google that moderators can ban those members, report insults, mute or even block them.

But that’s no workable solution and it’s not durable.
It’s not in the responsibility of Google to enforce quality and avoid uselessness and control behavior. Everyone in the internet is entitled to publish his opinion. It’s the reality that this right in many cases is misused.
And it’s the task of active moderators to prohibit this behavior.

Support for moderators, please …

Unfortunately Google’s app Google+ for iOS supports moderators just to a certain extent, not enough to do their work effectively. We should not forget that moderating is a job done in leisure time and no one can expect that all their actions are fairly done.

The flaws of the Google+ app …

  • 1 Moderators cannot look into a log showing them which members have already been notified because of misbehavior.
    With this information repeated violations could be monitored and would give solid arguments for banning a member. It’s a question of fairness.
  • 2 Some additional options for notifying members are missing.
    Off Topic
    Useless Comment
    Obsessive Comment
    At the time moderators always have to write a comment or insert a text template.
  • 3 Stats showing from which communities a member was already banned.
  • 4 Report to Google at the time offers just ‘Spam’ as an option.
    The following options should be added:
    Trolling
    Insulting Comment
  • 5 A moderator should be able to see whether his colleagues are online and active or not.
    This could be done by some kind of ‘Moderators Log-In’.

Trolls …

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

This behavior is always seen if Apple fans comment in Android communities or vice versa. It’s childish, unworthy for adults, points to a close-minded attitude, and ignores the irrelevance of these kinds of opinions for human life.

Identifying post litterers …

If somebody posted off topic or made any other failure I saw these kinds of reactions:

  • Sorry
  • … German Wehrmacht
    (This is quite interesting because these people first look up my profile, see I’m a German, and then post an abusive comment not knowing who I am.)
  • I can post here what I want you …
  • or simply no reaction

The latter one is a strong indicator for a post litterer. He comes, shares, and quits without engaging in any upcoming discussion, a case for the ban hammer.

Even moderators are human beings and so they are faulty. If a member starts a fruitful discussion about his removed post and put forward understandable arguments, the moderator can simply reply ‘Sorry, please share again’ or remove the ban.

All members should not forget that the work of moderators especially in great communities (which are always attractive for litterers) is mostly an uncoordinated leisure job on the fly. Most often articles and comments are quickly skimmed for a more or less fair impression of the content.

Google’s spam detection …

The Google+ Community ‘Community Moderatos’ is a high-quality content community where many problems are discussed with just one target: The quality of G+ and what moderators can do.

Rupert Wood (on Community Moderators)
Community Spammers – why doesn’t google take action?
Firstly I must admit that Google has gotten better at spotting spam and putting it into moderation in communities, but even when multiple communities confirm that it’s spam, why does the culprit go ‘unpunished’ and is allowed to join and spam further communities?
Surely a user who has the activity similar to that shown on the link below should incur some restrictions on their ability to post, and/or join communities.long can such a spammer survive until Google takes action? Indefinitely it appears.
How many Google communities can a spammer join and post to before action is taken? There seems to be no upper limit surely new users should be limited to maximum number of communities they can join!
How many reports from community moderators does it take to alert google to a ‘spammer’? Looking at this example there are dozens of examples of posts being removed from communities, even if only 1 in 10 removals were accompanied by a ‘report’ action this account should have been investigated by now, if not suspended until investigated.

So we need an update of spam detection to keep the quality on a high level.

Concept map …

For a visualized summarization see this concept map.

20130918-144524.jpg

Newbies …

Profiles cannot be validated, neither by Google nor by moderators. Neither profile photos nor a note like ‘Attended University of …’ or working at ‘…’ let us know with whom we communicate. There are many bad guys on their way to compromise people or just sabotage well-organized communication. The experience of life and a look on the profile usually tells us quickly who is behind this attack.

In case of newbies (young or old) we all know that they make their faults because nobody can expect that they all read articles like

Google+ Activity Guide

before engaging in a social network.
So, what can moderators do to keep the fairness?

Well, members can be notified with a link to the above mentioned article.

In case of repeated misbehavior it’s up to banned members to share their thoughts privately with the moderator and discuss the issue. He then possibly can remove the ban if arguments and understanding are put forwards.

Summary …

Content networks like Google+ need active moderators who are prepared to forward their experiences and to act with clear notifications if necessary. Google+ offers many opportunities to improve knowledge, personality, and social intercourse. Moderators are responsible and in some way their job is quite similar to that of teachers.

Related links …

Google+ Activity Guide

Google+ Community Owner Guide

Google+ Etiquette

Ronnie Bincer, New to G+?

Google+ on iOS devices

I appreciate your visit on iNotes4You.





Apple’s Keynote Sep 2013

19 11 2013

On September 10, 2013 Apple staged it’s Keynote with two new models of the iPhone and the new operating system iOS 7.

These events always let the heartbeat of Apple fans increase near to the frequency of their devices’ processor. Gamblers at the stock exchange look at this event as well and the company immediately gets it’s comeuppance. Let’s have a brief look on the event in Cupertino.

The presentation …

The company is mainly represented by its CEO Tim Cook. Others like Phil Schiller or Jonathan Ive just have to work out the details.

Fred Erick on G+
Nobody can match Steve Jobs. He made tech fun, exciting, and he had such a great sense of humor. Even after you realize he rehearsed his presentations like crazy to get it all right, he still delivered every time.

With Cook, it’s a tightrope because he almost has to let the products speak for themselves since his personality is like that of an old librarian. He’s a nice guy, but his mannerisms and voice could lull a zombie into a coma.
One misstep and he’s got so many negatives against him.

In this mind map I tried to compare both leaders by just using photos. One can write long essays which compare the different characters. My knowledge of the English language is far away from being suitable to point it out with that extra and subtle something. If you take your time and look at the photos you might see what the differences in the two characters are.

20130914-204900.jpg

Feel free to download this map in one of the following file formats.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

I don’t know Tim Cook personally so I have to be careful with any assessment of his personality. But if I compare the photos of Tim and Steve I can see some differences in gesture and expression which transfer some hidden messages like enthusiasm, analytic thinking, inventiveness, and focussing whereas Tim looks more like a banker managing all the tasks well. The development of the iPhone 5C was an economically driven decision and I’m in doubt whether Steve would have gone the same way.

Admittedly Steve was a charismatic person, impervious to any criticism. He was able to cast a spell on the entire audience. The biography of Tim shows us a typical ambitious businessman who doesn’t feel well when entering the stage of cult.

Diversity comes up …

Apple now offers two iPhone models, the 5C (a cheaper version) and the 5S (the premium version).
While the 5C became the brand for choice whereas the 5S is still the brand for innovation, high quality and perfect design. Apple failed in developing markets and so diversity became a necessity for further increasing revenues although the company makes 75% of the global profit in the mobile market while the market share is just 25%.

Storm Williams, TheTechStorm
“Apple: It’s All About the Brand,” is the headline of a Wired report in 2002. This remains true to this day. And more importantly, the company is well aware of this. The company had built up its reputation through selling premium products. As a result, Apple needs to price its products accordingly to support this image in the eyes of consumers around the world. Asking the company to move away from this path is like asking Mercedes or Audi to build affordable cars for consumers in India and China. The iPhone is basically a status symbol.

So the new model iPhone 5C is not cheap and Apple is not interested in replacing feature phones by low-quality devices.

See the full article here

iPhone 5C Costs

Secrecy has gone …

This year secrecy has completely gone and the Apple event on September 10 this year was as exciting as viewing James Bond’s Goldfinger.
All the leaks in the global process of development and manufacturing makes it hard to keep the things in a safe. Maybe Apple wants this PR they get without paying for it but it’s followed by disappointment. That’s why our parents kept all the toys under wraps.

Rumors say that the company is working on a TV and a watch. We already see rumors about these devices. So it’s again the same procedure as last year and the same procedure as every year.

It needs just one or two months that rumors about the iPhone 6 will start. If we look on G+ communities it seems to be what many people want.

Innovation …

I’m in doubt about further innovation in the smartphone market if it’s seen as development of completely new features or devices. It’s getting harder and harder to stand out among the mobile crowd. With each iteration of every product from every manufacturer, these phones and tablets look more and more alike.

We already have powerful processors, cameras, displays, operating systems, and now the fingerprint scanner.

If people talk about innovation, they only think about something completely new nobody expected. But the term doesn’t necessarily imply the release of new things. Every development, every step forward is based on former experiences and pioneers is intended to serve people to do things better than before.

What we see in the history if technical products is that sometimes there are big steps but most often small steps leading to a ‘new’ product. Even Albert Einstein wouldn’t have described his Theory of Relativity without all the work done by his colleagues.

Innovation generally refers to renewing, changing or creating more effective processes, products or ways of doing things. And it takes time.

20130917-061713.jpg

Disappointed Apple fans should know that it makes no sense to always release products, new and in a beta phase. This was demonstrated by Samsung when it presents it’s Gear Watch on the IFA in Berlin.

For businesses, this means implementing new ideas, creating dynamic products or improving your existing services. Innovation can be a catalyst for the growth and success of business, and help to adapt and grow in the market.
Being innovative does not mean inventing; innovation can mean changing your business model and adapting to changes in your environment to deliver better products or services.

If we look in todays smartphones we basically have these most frequently used features:

  • Making calls
  • Surf the web
  • Manage contacts
  • Take photos
  • Listen to music
  • Play games

These tasks are settled by every smartphone today. But innovation does not only mean to present new products and functionalities it’s also the improvement of already existing technologies with the target of a more seamless usage.

The fingerprint scanner, named Touch ID, is not new (we already saw that technology in the Motorola Atrix in 2011) but innovative because now it works. It also can be used for authentication when purchasing at Apple’s stores.

Other innovative steps presented on the event are

  • 64-Bit processor working together with the M7 motion processor
  • improved camera and pixel management
  • revamped iOS

Innovation has to serve people. The fingerprint scanner does because it provides seamless and fast access to the device and Apple’s stores. Time will show us if the fingerprint scanner will also increase security or establish another new whole in the ongoing series of compromising personal data.

Apple said

All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the secure enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5S. It’s never stored on Apple’s servers.

Saying NO …

Apple again said NO to the near field communication (NFC). The reason is simple: No acceptance, no benefits compared to a credit card, embryonic infrastructure.

It just works …

Here are some basic strategies of Apple which didn’t change independent of stock exchanges, rumors, and criticism of Androids. They emphasize the ‘maverick reputation’ of the world’s most valuable company.

  • The biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone
    a slogan when introducing the iPhone 5 in 2012
    It points at continuous development and progress.
  • Even More to Do
    a slogan in 2008 regarding the Apple TV
    It reflects the future efforts to improve the products instead of replacing them.
  • It just works
    a slogan in 2007 regarding Mac OS X
    It reflects the companies strategy of seamless usage.

20130914-125906.jpg

Apple’s Keynote in 2013 followed these principles. People who were disappointed about this event read to many rumors with the consequence that excitement was near to a child getting a Hamburger as it’s Christmas present. But they will still buy the new products and will like them.

Quality, design, durability …

The new iPhone 5S again is a product of high quality and no other company is in the same street as Apple.

Baked Apple
Accompanying a story of an Apple II that worked after a house fire, to illustrate the claim of durability

Durability means also updating older devices with the latest operating system. Users of all the Korean products draw the short straw when it comes to use innovative features Google implemented in it’s Android operating system, a wrong licensing policy and defiance of the principle of ‘Focussing’.

Related links …

Tim Cook Biography

Apple Keynote 2013 with Tim Cook (13 min)

Apple Keynote 2010 with Steve Jobs (10 min)

SWOT Analysis Feb 2013

Tim Cook interview (Busiessweek)

Thanks for stopping by.





The Copyright

11 11 2013

Nothing attracts people more than photos or created images except the visible reality itself. Human beings always refer to images when it comes to understand things like the atomic model, to remember important and funny things in their life, or to get a first impression of new technologies.

The internet and social networks are overloaded with photos and images and their are some networks like Flickr totally based on presenting this kind of information.

Even if you start a Google Search there is an option to just show images Google retrieved from websites referring your search term.

20130707-115605.jpg

What about the Intellectual Property Law enacted by most governments and valid in more than 160 countries around the world since 1886?

We all know -at least, most people know- that it’s illegal to put your name on someone else’s work and call it yours or sell it for your own personal profit; this is considered as a copyright infringement.

But the laws of copyright are nuanced, and the line between copyright infringement and so-called ‘Fair Use’ is a blurry one at best.

There are some questions we usually do not think about.

Is it allowed

  • to retrieve images from websites and present it on a search page?
  • to post images found in the internet via Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and other networks?
  • to use images copied from a Google Search on websites, blogs, or in posts?
  • to financially benefit from images created by others by improving the attractiveness of the own website?

The simple answer is: NO, it’s not allowed.

People might think that the internet is a ‘Public Domain’ and everything found there is free to use.
This highlights a common misunderstanding about what is meant by ‘public domain’ when referring to copyright work. A work will fall into the public domain once copyright expires.
While work published on the Internet may be publicly accessible, it is certainly not in the public domain.

For the period of copyright, the copyright owner has the following exclusive rights. None of the actions below can be carried out without permission:

  • The exclusive right to reproduce the work, though some provisions are made under national laws which typically allow limited private and educational use without infringement (Fair Use).
  • The right to authorise arrangements or other types of adaptation to the work.
  • The exclusive right to adapt or alter the work.

The author also has the following Moral Rights:

  • The author has the right to claim authorship.
  • The right to object to any treatment of the work which would be ‘prejudicial to his honour or reputation’.

From the point of view of people who share images there are a lot of questions coming up when going into the details:

  • How can I see that an image is copyrighted?
    The answer:
    In most cases you cannot see it and you simply have to accept that the creator must not set any copyright note to claim rights on his work.
    An essential note on Googles website ‘Images may be subject to copyright’ doesn’t answer the question. It’s a notification not helping anyone to decide about further usage of content.
  • Is it already against the law if an image is shared as a file but the creator is mentioned or do I have to ask the creator when doing so?
    The answer:
    It is against the law (with some exceptions mentioned under ‘Fair Use’) and you have to ask the creator.
    But this is in most cases far away from reality. Nobody would share an image if he first has to find out the creator and then ask for permission. To find out the creator is an unworkable task in most cases.
  • Is the copyright still valid?
    Most copyrights are valid for a limited time but the detailed regulation depends on laws of each country. So do I have to contact an attorney’s office with international experience to find it out?
    The answer:
    Copyright is valid for 50 years AFTER publishing. Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was commercialized in 1995 by removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic. So add 50 years to 1990 and all what you see is copyrighted until at least 2040.

The general problem was mentioned by Mike Allton on Google+ when he asked:

If you share a picture to social media, is it copyright infringement?

Well, the comments are highly interesting but don’t give rules to normal people like me who did not study law. All search engines make it easy to copy images and share them. Some social networks like Flickr even invite people to share images without controlling any copyright infringements and so they support acting against well-known laws which is, in some countries, an infringement as well.

The Copyright …

The term already gives the explanation: the right to copy.
Sharing an image not using a link but a file (jpeg, png, or any other format) is what everybody would name a process of copying. The Berne Convention says that this is a copyright infringement. Dot.

A large legal limbo comes up when somebody modifies copyrighted images, uses them in a another context or in a collage for commercial or non-commercial purposes even if he bought a license for using it!

If it comes to a lawsuit judges have to assess the case and nobody really knows what the result will be.

It’s out of question that selling of images underlying the general rule of Intellectual Property is against the law. Definitely. But bloggers and members of social networks usually don’t use images for commercial purposes. Anyway, posting an image might be a copyright infringement.

So here are some facts …

The convention signed by more than 160 countries regulating Intellectual Property Rights is the

Berne Convention
for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

That’s a really comprehensive convention which is hard to understand without an appropriate knowledge of juristic terms. So I extracted some basic content:

  • Copyrights are valid for a limited time depending on laws of each country but usually for 50 years after the first publishing. Basically every content whether it is an image or a textual work is seen as an Intellectual Property of the creator without any further notes pointing to any copyright laws.
  • An author from any country that is a signatory of the convention is awarded the same rights in all other countries that are signatories to the Convention as they allow their own nationals, as well as any rights granted by the Convention.

In case of images found in the internet people are usually not informed about any copyright. Even the website where the image was retrieved from is not a compelling evidence that the website operator owns a copyright.

Note
It’s an act of honesty to forward a wallet to the police so that the owner has a chance to get it back. But what to do if the wallet doesn’t contain any documents about the identity of the owner? Even the wallet looks like a 08/15 wallet bought in a supermarket produced a million times in a developing country. You should give it to the police anyway but it cannot be stringently proved that the person claiming it back is the real owner.

So on my point of view it’s a general flaw of all laws and conventions not to persist on setting a copyright notice.

The consequence is that we see hundreds of thousands of copyright infringements daily.

Bounden duty …

It’s up to creators to do one’s bit and mark their own work as copyrighted. Otherwise they should know that their work is used by thousands of people not referring to him as the creator.

My personal opinion is that they have to bear part of the blame. There are a lot of easy to use techniques with which the authorship can be set. It helps website visitors and it additionally helps the creators to tell the world that ‘It’s me who did the artwork’.

20130707-115700.jpg

Note
I created this collage by using 4 images (mind map, head in the foreground, brain in the background, black arrow) I found in the Internet to visualize the main message which is about the benefit of a mind map.
Even if all images are copyrighted no court would say that my image is a copyright infringement.

Exceptions …

Under law, it is generally unlawful to distribute (or reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, etc.) a copyrighted work without authorization from the copyright owner. However, there is a fair use exception ‘for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, . . . scholarship, or research.’

Courts examining whether a use is fair consider a set of four factors:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

A school teacher who hands out a copy of an image to students for discussing a topic is in the line of ‘Fair Use’.

But not all scenarios are so straightforward. When assessing the ‘purpose and character of the use’ for more complex scenarios, courts give significant weight to whether the use is ‘transformative’. If the secondary use adds value to the original this is the very type of activity that the fair use doctrine intends to protect for the enrichment of society. Anyway the creator of the original work should be named if possible.

The more transformative the new work, the less will be the significance of other factors, like commercialism, that may weigh against a finding of fair use.

See all the collages on my blog which I created myself.
They all add value to the original images and so the ‘Fair Use’ principle is complied with.
All the images use other images found in the internet but put in a new context where to possibly copyrighted material is just used to visualize something new in a context to my blogs. There is no focus on any of the possibly copyrighted images and additionally my blog is not for any commercial purposes.

Laying down the rules …

As I mentioned above the line between copyright infringement and so-called ‘Fair Use’ is a blurry one at best. So it’s recommended to carry out these instructions:

  • Don’t share an explicitly copyrighted image without a license.
    If you want to get a license first read the Terms of Conditions.
  • Don’t share an image which looks like artwork.
    Share a link.
  • If you use images for non-commercial purposes integrate them in a collage and add value. Additionally label the website where it was retrieved from.
  • If you are a photographer just share you own images.
  • Resharing of a copyrighted image does not prevent fraudulent use.

It’s always up to YOU to make sure that the image you have shared is within legal requirements for Fair Use. If you share an image you did not create yourself, you are liable. It dosent matter if you shared it from a page that shared it a zillion times, when it ends up on your post or page that responsibility now lies with you.

More questions? See this comprehensive overview about

Copyright Myths

Strange advices …

See this strange advice of Facebook regarding the copyright. It’s simply nonsense.
FB users should place this or a similar note on their account:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, crafts, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berne Convention).

Your copyright is already automatically attached to any intellectual property you post to Facebook, as Facebook itself acknowledges in its ‘Help Center and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities’:

You retain the copyright to your content. When you upload your content, you grant us a license to use and display that content.

Indeed, the Berne Convention, which governs copyright in almost every country, mandates that copyright be automatic; i.e., registration, or copied-and-pasted status updates, aren’t required.

Consequences …

The fact is, that if a publisher catches you sharing copies of their images still under copyright protection, they can charge you with that and take you to court. The amount of the fine that the judge orders you to pay may be less if you didn’t charge any money for the copy you distributed but it would be a fine, nonetheless.

Summary …

Create images by yourself following the ‘Fair Use’ principle and become a copyright owner. Set a watermark or a copyright if you want to tell the world that’s you who did it or tell the people that you don’t claim a copyright and give others decision support.

Create images by yourself using e.g. Apple’s app Keynote (part of the iWork suite) and add value to inserted other images. While creating an image referring to a post you again think about your topic. Summarizing a post by creating an image is a funny task. Try it out. For details please refer to my post

Collages with Apple’s Keynote

Be careful when sharing images without any copyright note. Name the source or just use a link. It’s obvious not to share images already marked with a copyright.

If you are not sure of doing an infringement don’t publish.

And by the way …

If you find a great image give the credit to the publisher if he is the creator also. Don’t feel a compulsion to share the copied material with the world again. Place a link to the authors source. Decent behavior in a social network is to give the credit to the creator and not claiming it four yourself. You know that Likes and +1 often are given to reshared content. Some people will recognize your unsocial behavior in the social network.

Related links …

World Intellectual Property Organization
Edudemic: Teachers Guide to Copyright and Fair Use

Thanks for dropping by.

By the way …
There are no copyrights on images I created here on my blog or on Flickr, Pinterest, or Google+. You may use all of them to your convenience. But please, don’t put your name on it.








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