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Thread: missing pictures in mklotz posts

  1. #1
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    missing pictures in mklotz posts

    As many of you probably know I host my post pictures on Photobucket. This allows me to display large images inline with the text which, to my mind, makes for a more effective presentation of the thread subject.

    Recently, without any advance notice, Photobucket decided to no longer permit third party hosting without a paid subscription of their highest class. For such a subscription, they're charging an extortionate $400 a year. Until such amount is paid, photos previously uploaded will not be displayed. This means that many of the pictures in my posts are no longer visible which makes the posts more or less useless.

    If they charged a more rational $40 or $50 a year, I would pay it, but, since they've resorted to what I would describe as a policy of ransomware, I refuse to pay. Payment would not prevent them for charging higher ransoms in the future. As far as I'm concerned they've lost all credibility as a business enterprise.

    I've found another hosting service and, as a trial, used it to reinstall the photos in all of my tool-of-the-week winners. Nevertheless, retrofitting all of the posts I've made over the years is a daunting and time-consuming task and will have to proceed slowly.

    Until this situation is clarified, I will adopt the following policy...

    If you are interested in one of my posts with missing pictures post a response indicating your wish to see the pictures. I will be alerted to your post automatically by the forum software and, once alerted, will rehost the images and edit the post to show them.

    Thanks in advance for your patience.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mklotz For This Useful Post:

    Paul Jones (07-12-2017), Toolmaker51 (07-02-2017)

  3. #2
    Jon
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    And everyone should stop using Photobucket right now.

    It looks like we'll need to make a custom script to download everyone's photobucket images, host them ourselves, and then replace all of the photobucket image references with our own. The cost upgrade is so exorbitant, and the backlash so strong (articles: here, here, here, and here) that a part of me is thinking that photobucket will backtrack, but that isn't a viable strategy for preserving these images long-term.

    Scripts and options to work around this disaster are already coming online (example: https://fixphotobucket.com), but it looks like our best option is just to implement our custom replacement, and then to disallow any future photobucket images from being posted on the forum.

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    Paul Jones (07-12-2017), Toolmaker51 (07-02-2017)

  5. #3
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    And everyone should stop using Photobucket right now.

    It looks like we'll need to make a custom script to download everyone's photobucket images, host them ourselves, and then replace all of the photobucket image references with our own. The cost upgrade is so exorbitant, and the backlash so strong (articles: here, here, here, and here) that a part of me is thinking that photobucket will backtrack, but that isn't a viable strategy for preserving these images long-term.

    Scripts and options to work around this disaster are already coming online (example: https://fixphotobucket.com), but it looks like our best option is just to implement our custom replacement, and then to disallow any future photobucket images from being posted on the forum.
    Even if they recanted and offered the service for free, I wouldn't trust them. I've had a peek into their management ethics and it's soured me enough to never go back.

    As you suggest, hosting the images on the forum is the safest alternative. Other hosting sites may decide to get on the ransomware bandwagon.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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    Paul Jones (07-12-2017), Toolmaker51 (07-02-2017)

  7. #4
    Jon
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    I also need to take a look at our options for doing inline 800px images, with forum attachments.

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    Toolmaker51 (07-02-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Even if they recanted and offered the service for free, I wouldn't trust them. I've had a peek into their management ethics and it's soured me enough to never go back.


    I like revolts.
    I like knocking off king-pins.
    I like it when people seize opportunities, such as when near monopolies get too big fur der gol-dang breeches.

    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    I've found another hosting service and, as a trial, used it to reinstall the photos in all of my tool-of-the-week winners. Nevertheless, retrofitting all of the posts I've made over the years is a daunting and time-consuming task and will have to proceed slowly.

    Until this situation is clarified, I will adopt the following policy...

    If you are interested in one of my posts with missing pictures post a response indicating your wish to see the pictures. I will be alerted to your post automatically by the forum software and, once alerted, will rehost the images and edit the post to show them.

    Thanks in advance for your patience.
    Now, what was I commenting about real mentors? Show me a professor would undertake that without compensation.
    My hat is off to Marv Klotz.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

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  12. #7
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    A progress report is in order. So far I've rehosted the pictures and edited the posts for my ten tool-of-the-week posts and forty of my 179 tool posts. At a SWAG of two pictures per post average that's about 100 pictures rehosted. Rehosting involves locating the original photo in my files, transferring it to a working directory, and then running FastStone on that directory to reduce the picture size (all my photos stored locally are in maximum camera resolution) and add the watermark. Then these reduced size photos must be uploaded to the new hosting service and their URLs edited into the Homemadetools posts.

    I like to do as many as possible in one sitting. That way I get in a mousing/clicking rhythm and muscle memory helps to speed the process along.

    What I've done so far took about five hours of my time. So that's a processing rate of 50/5 = 10 posts per hour. With about 160 posts (179-40 + some tool tips and creation posts) left, I'll need another 16 hours to reach the point where I can give Photosuckit the one finger salute.

    From what I've been reading, there are apparently folks who used PB to store photos and didn't keep copies of the originals locally!!! Surely, by now, you must realize what a bad idea this is. Storage is dead cheap these days; always keep copies of original photos in maximum resolution locally. You might be able to reproduce and re-photograph a shop setup but those pictures you took on your vacation can't be reproduced.

    I ran into this situation myself. There were one or two pictures in my posts that I couldn't find in my storage. Using the script noted by Jon (see post #2 in this thread), I was able to create a URL that, installed in the post, showed the picture. I then saved the image into my storage. You might want to think about doing this with any irreproducible photos for which you have no originals.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  14. #8
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Ok, the final update...

    In a marathon of mousing and clicking yesterday and today, I managed to remove all traces of the demon Photobucket from my posts and replace the pictures with versions hosted elsewhere. [To be honest, I may have missed one or two; if you find them, alert me and I'll deal with them with extreme prejudice.]

    I wanted to do this as soon as possible because...

    @ I didn't have local copies of a couple of the pictures and I wanted to download them from PB before they pull the plug completely or go out of business

    @ I'm already getting picture requests on other fora so I wanted to get the photos rehosted so that I can deal with those requests

    I can hear a lot of you saying, "What if the new host does the same thing that PB tried with its ransomware?"

    Granted that could happen but, having seen the outcry when PB did it, I think any intelligent hosting site would avoid the ransomware approach and perhaps require some reasonable hosting fee which I would be willing to pay.

    If we do experience another repeat of PB's extortion, I'm just going to say, "**** it! Let them eat cake." and give up posting photos/videos altogether. I certainly wouldn't go through the rehosting ordeal again.

    Have any of you "youtubers" given thought to what would happen if that facility decided to emulate PB? It's a scary thought.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  15. #9
    Jon
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    Thanks for all that work, that removes a lot of the immediacy in the need to implement our script. I just queried our database for all remaining posts by mklotz that contain "photobucket.com", and here's what came up. I clicked all of these; the database query was accurate. Duplicate titles below are different posts in the same thread.

    Modifying small screws - HomemadeTools.net
    Cutting short stock in the bandsaw - HomemadeTools.net
    Centering aid for polygonal stock - HomemadeTools.net
    One tool - two uses - HomemadeTools.net
    Shorty scriber - HomemadeTools.net
    One liners - HomemadeTools.net
    Modifying small screws - HomemadeTools.net
    Modifying small screws - HomemadeTools.net - Page 2
    Tripod quick release - HomemadeTools.net
    Hello from Stirling! - HomemadeTools.net
    Miniature milling table - HomemadeTools.net
    Magnetic DTI holder - HomemadeTools.net
    Curve tracing aid - HomemadeTools.net
    Customizing a Unimat - HomemadeTools.net
    Expanding the utility of the boring head - HomemadeTools.net
    More lathe safety thoughts - HomemadeTools.net
    Adjustable spanner - HomemadeTools.net
    Tiny DI hand puller - HomemadeTools.net
    Miniature lantern tool post - HomemadeTools.net
    Dremel fan - HomemadeTools.net
    Quick and dirty no-spill container - HomemadeTools.net
    Machined branding iron - HomemadeTools.net
    Color your Pozis bronze - HomemadeTools.net
    Chinese plan for failure? - HomemadeTools.net
    Color your Pozis bronze - HomemadeTools.net - Page 3
    What is this tool? - HomemadeTools.net
    Help me find a modern use for this tool - HomemadeTools.net
    Pot chuck - HomemadeTools.net - Page 2
    Quasi-involute V-block - HomemadeTools.net
    Curved barrels for firearms - HomemadeTools.net
    Miniature die filer - HomemadeTools.net - Page 2
    Wobbler Steam or Air Engine - HomemadeTools.net
    Wobbler Steam or Air Engine - HomemadeTools.net
    Wobbler Steam or Air Engine - HomemadeTools.net
    Tool hanging hook - HomemadeTools.net
    A glimmer of hope - HomemadeTools.net - Page 5
    Miniature tap wrench - HomemadeTools.net
    Miniature tap wrench - HomemadeTools.net


    I had been internally pontificating on how correct I must be about not trusting a third-party service to host photos when your point about YouTube threw me for a loop. That's really prescient. Embedding YouTube videos in forums has become extremely popular in the past few years, and has really improved the forum browsing experience. Yes, YouTube's owner, Google, has more reputation at stake than Photobucket, but YouTube could do exactly what Photobucket did, anytime, with no warning, as could any new owner of YouTube down the line.

    These issues all point to the critical theme of this era on the web: trust. Hosting an image is easy. Trusting a host is not. Not sure how to solve it. Magnet links? Smart contracts? Something-something-blockchain?

  16. #10
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for that, Jon. I had no idea I had missed so many. I'll get right to work repairing as many of those as possible.

    Your script for downloading photos from PB hasn't been working for me today so a few photos that I never bothered to save locally are missing and I will have to retake them but, before getting to that I want to fix as many on the list as I can using my locally stored copies.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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