Add Flickr Photos to WordPress Blog

I think I’ve blogged this problem before, but given how great it is to post Flickr photos to a blog (even those from others with credit automatically linked), I think I need to repeat this.    My problem after setting up a new blog was not to to this:

In WordPress dashboard under Settings > Writing > Remote Publishing be sure to check both Atom Publishing Protocol and XML-RPC

Which blogging services does Flickr support?

We currently support the following blogs:

  • Atom Enabled Blogs
  • Blogger *
  • LiveJournal
  • Manila
  • Meta Weblog API Enabled Blogs
  • Movable Type**
  • Typepad
  • Vox
  • WordPress***

*Note: In 2007 Blogger moved to a Google ID based login procedure. If you have blog which was supported under the email login schema, you’ll need to delete the existing blog entry in your blog settings and generate a new one. Then you’ll be asked to confirm your Blogsettings on Blogger. Also, at this time, only one Google ID is supported for each Flickr account for Blogger. If you have more than one Blogger blog, they’ll all need to be associated with the same Google ID.

**Note: If you use a Movable Type v4 blog, you don’t use your normal password to log in. When you edit your user account on your blog host, there’s an option called Web Services Password, with an option to reveal it (it’s an MD5-type hash), and you should use that as the password for the configuration on Flickr, not your normal password.

***Note: If you use a WordPress self-hosted blog, in your WordPress dashboard under Settings > Writing > Remote Publishing be sure to check both Atom Publishing Protocol and XML-RPC. Then, in your settings on Flickr for that blog, enter your WordPress API Endpoint; for example:

Misplaced compassion … kills

One of the most obvious things I assert is also the thing that bothers people the most.   It’s that most of us tend to fret or show  compassion over trivial or questionable things while we ignore the catastrophic circumstances that plague so many people around the world.

A great recent example is the effort to “find Paco”, a dog that was “lost” by Delta Airlines during a trip back to (the UK?) from Mexico.     As with most stories like this, the perception  at first glance is heart wrenching.    But then the facts clear up why this story is ridiculously overblown.

Paco was a stray, picked up by a tourist couple, who then had him shipped home.   It appears he escaped from his cage while on the tarmac in Mexico City and  (I’m speculating here) headed back to the places where he’s more comfortable living.    Sad for the couple, but hardly all that newsworthy, especially given the apparent outrage against Delta.

Delta’s offer to credit the couple only $200 for a lost pet was obviously a stupid move on their part, but I resent that people don’t get all the facts out there when trying to push these stories to a gullible public.    If you are a compassionate person you MUST IGNORE PACO and spend your time thinking about the daily deaths of thousands from Malaria, rotovirus, and lack of clean water.    Yes that task is more than  overwhelming, but the whimpy “Find Paco”  sentiment that people think makes them a “compassionate person” does nothing of the kind – it hardens them to the plight of millions who live in conditions we could largely fix if people would pay as much attention to that as they pay to missing stray dogs in Mexico.      (How?   If the developed world cut defense and entitlement spending by about 10% we could rebuild most of the developing world’s infrastructure  IN ONLY A FEW YEARS.     The strategic benefits alone would be staggering, but military enthusiasts are too blinded by irrational post-cold-war thinking while entitlement enthusiasts are too busy sending subsidies to the American lower and middle class, who contrary to our constant whining cost far more in bureaucracies and benefits than we pay for  (can you say “National Debt”?)

The millions spent sending poor Free Willie back into the wild also comes to mind (he died soon after, lacking the skills needed to survive).       Did people seriously think Willie would be happier in the wild?    It was as if their *need* to fight against captivity programs trumped the animal’s own well being.

So instead of fretting over things that don’t matter much, why not pick your favorite extreme poverty charity and help out – then you can feel good…. AND actually do some good too!    Here’s a start:

Zuckerberg’s Right. We are dumb ***s. Death of Privacy should be Birth of Transparency

Another mini Facebook Firestorm has come from old messages that suggest Mark Zuckerberg really doesn’t care much about protecting user privacy.   For those of you who think there is much care about privacy in any online sector,  I have some online oceanfront property for you in Arizona.    Privacy is dead, but we CAN BRING TRANSPARENCY and we need that NOW!

Step by step on privatizing your Facebook Info

Although online privacy has been an illusion for some time.  I’m surprised how few people understand how their address, phone, emails, home values,  and often even pictures of their children, friends, and associates are all online for much of the world to see.

Facebook has quite correctly come under more intense scrutiny for their almost reckless disregard of what users *would want if they knew what was going on*.      This is the key to our ongoing quest for reasonable online ethics, and it’s a principle that is routinely and regularly violated by every major player in this space.     Google, because they provide such brilliancy in free services, largely escapes the criticism they probably deserve – though it’s impossible to know how much they keep track of personal data – they simply won’t say, which of course is outrageous.      Their justification for the secrecy is combating phishers, spammers and other undesirable online activity and I suspect also because the legal issues are very complex and the less we know the less likely we are to bring lawsuits.

The irony is that so many naive and foolish people are now clamoring for “online privacy! privacy!”.     That possibility of online privacy – if it ever existed at all – is long gone.    You can’t “erase your info” from the internet, and the bad, good, Government, and Google guys all have databases chock full of information about you, your children, your house, your comments, your searches online, and much more.     This is NOT reversable.

HOWEVER there is something we can do and should be doing immediately, and that is creating a very simple law regarding the stewardship of  YOUR INFORMATION.    That law is my proposed

Internet Tranparency Act:

Individuals are entitled to view *all personal information* kept about them by any entity.

Their might be a handful of exceptions such as law enforcement, national security, etc.

The notion that commercial groups should be able to process MY INFORMATION without my consent or knowledge is, in Google’s increasingly hollow mantra  “Evil”.       But I don’t want to single out Google here because they are probably the best steward of all based on my limited knowledge of how they process data, which is mostly personalizing searches and matching that with advertising.    At a  deeper level Google reviews spammy activity by people around the world.   I’d agree with them that they have the right and even obligation to crack down on bad players, but I’d disagree that they have such deep secrecy rights, especially when those secrets are used to commercialize the advertising and other aspects of the online experience.

The big problem is that people still don’t get this.    If they understood the level of online profiling and surveillance they’d want more transparency.   In fact they’d demand privacy as people are foolishly starting to do, but that’s not possible.

“Open File” Windows Tip for Regular Folks

Something that always amazes me in the computer world is how poorly many “computer experts” understand how poorly most regular folks understand common computer tasks.

Today’s tip is how to avoid that incredibly pesky tendency of Windows to open the WRONG PROGRAM when you click on a file.    This is called “file association” and it’s a simple fix:

1.  RIGHT click on the file you are trying to open

2. Select OPEN WITH and then choose the list of PROGRAMS

3. Choose the program you want to use for this.   (you may be stuck here as well if you don’t know the differences between things like MS Word, MS Works, and WordPad, all MS programs that – for reasons that boggle any sane mind –  have always been a huge ambiguous pain in the ass for those of us who have to help other folks figure this out).    Generally I’d say associate Text and .doc documents with MS WordPad, which has saved me many hours of frustration because it’s a simple program.

For fancier word processing consider the free “Open Office” suite which will generally handle Microsoft documents created in MS Word and other programs.    Generally you should know the basic programs you have and when you want to use them.   If you don’t get this, consider asking somebody to step you through the difference between “word processor”, “spreadsheet”, “database”, and “text editor” and tell you which programs you have on your computer for these tasks.

4. Now click the box that says “Always use the selected  program … ”

This problem is related to a very great frustration for many – the poor compatibility of the various  .doc  and .xls  documents people email around without understanding the pain they’ll cause if the person either does not have the program, does not have the right version of the program, or simply has their file associations set differently.