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Friday, 16 February 2018

Top 10 sources of free public domain images

There are some great websites offering up free public domain images with a CC0 License. This a list of a few I use. 

Skitterphoto

A beautifully curated collection of CC0 Licensed images. The site features works of theirs own photographers so you will find less used and unique photographs.


Pickup Image

Pickupimage is the largest collections of free photographs. Free download high quality premium free stock images, public domain photos. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

PhotoDorks

A unique collection of public domain CC0 Licensed images.


LibreShot

A collection of free images by Martin Vorel. A SEO consultant in online marketing agency and hobbyist photographer.


Free Images

Formally sxh,xchang and now owned by Getty Images, Free Images has an even larger collection of free images.



Pixabay

Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes.


Public Domain Archive

A very well organized and large collection of public domain photographs. You can easily browse images filed under categories or use the search feature.


Unsplash

A very popular destination for high quality CC0 licensed photographs. The site releases 10 photos every 10 days. It has a nice search feature which you can use to find images matching certain themes like nature, office, work, etc.

StockSnap.io

StockSnap is a growing collection of free stock photos where hundreds of images are added weekly.

Little Visuals

Sadly this site is no longer updated with free images but there remains a good collection of public domain images available for download.

Some other sources worth mentioning:



Friday, 2 February 2018

car2go may end operations in Toronto after shock city council vote


The car sharing program Car2go is evaluating whether it will continue to operate in the city of Toronto after your City Councillors vote 30-2 against free-float carshare.

Despite media reports last week in the CBC that there was optimism that Toronto city council would approve the project. Many are quite surprised by this result. Even myself I can remember how traffic congestion was a key issue for John Tory when he became Mayor. Here I am pictured in the Mayors office talking about key transit issues back in 2015 shortly after John Tory became Mayor. Getting Toronto again was a big part of the discussion.

No wonder I have such a strong disdain for politics.

Despite overwhelming respected third-party research how it is proven that free-float carshare effectively reduces road congestion while improving urban air quality. The city of Toronto is not in favour, along with other benefits that include:
  • reduced vehicle ownership rates
  • reduced household transportation costs
  • reduced vehicle kilometres traveled
  • reduced greenhouse gases and emissions
  • increase in walking, cycling, and transit use
While I tip my hat to City Councillors @mary_margaret32 and @norm for being the only 2 to show support. I can't help but ask, does the city of Toronto really want to reduce congestion in the city? Is this really what we expect of our City Councillors and why are they so focused on giving preferential treatment to car owners, other major Canadian and U.S. cities are increasing their support for carshare. In a nutshell, Toronto is being left behind. Please leave your comments below.

Here is an email I received from Paul Delong on the vote....


As we emailed you about on January 25th, Toronto City Council was supposed to vote on a carshare pilot project that would have better supported the service you use to move through your life, mainly through the creation of universal parking permits for carsharing vehicles.

The City’s Transportation Services department strongly supported the launch of the free-float pilot, stating that carshare offers “a number of benefits to individuals, businesses, the environment, the community, and the transportation network, including: reduced vehicle ownership rates; reduced household transportation costs; reduced vehicle kilometres travelled; reduced greenhouse gases and emissions; and an increase in walking, cycling, and transit use.”

Respected third-party research has proven beyond a doubt that free-float carshare effectively reduces road congestion while improving urban air quality.

Despite the available and accepted proof illustrating the benefits of free-float carshare, plus the recommendation from Transportation Services that City Council vote to establish a free-float carshare pilot, last night City Council voted 30-2 to once again delay discussion to establish Toronto’s first free-float carshare pilot and effectively send the entire process back to bureaucratic square one.

This is a clear sign that your City Councillors lack the courage to support free-float carshare (30-2 vote!). It also clearly signals that they care more about Torontonians who own their own cars than Torontonians who have either shed or delayed purchasing a car because of a service like car2go – people like you who are part of the solution, not the problem.

Today, car2go operates 350 shared vehicles in Toronto – a city with well over one million privately owned cars. This means – at most – the car2go fleet makes up .00035% of all the cars on the road in Toronto. Over 75,000 Torontonians, like you, depend on those 350 cars to move around the city several times a day, unlike the million-plus privately owned cars which sit unused 95% of the time. In fact, each car2go vehicle is proven to remove up to 11 other cars from the road. City’s Council’s refusal to take a serious approach to a free-float carshare policy will eventually force more Torontonians to buy their own cars. And that will only make the problem worse.

While the Toronto City Council seems focused on giving preferential treatment to car owners, other major Canadian and U.S. cities are increasing their support for carshare. In a nutshell, Toronto is being left behind.

Given the City of Toronto’s consistent unwillingness to establish this critical free-float carshare policy, we are forced to re-examine our operations moving forward in Toronto. This may mean changes to the way you currently use car2go.

We promise to update you as soon as we complete our review. If we do decide to make changes, we will let you know in-advance so you can plan accordingly.

As always, we appreciate your membership and had hoped to share better news with you.
The Toronto Twitter community was also surprised by the result:


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Google fails to fix broken monetization algorithms, instead punishes content creators

It has been a while since I have posted a blog on my ptoone blog, I was looking for somewhere to post my latest Google rant and thought this would be a fitting outlet. As you likely know, Google has an appetite shutting down and pulling the plug on useful features. The latest community to be thrown under the bus are YouTube publishers. The very people that make the YouTube content we watch and love, who Google profits from. In a blog post sent out yesterday, Google announced it was suddenly putting a permanent hold on further payments to its content creators.

Google has traditionally shared 55% of the revenue with its publishers that have over 10,000 views. Now they are changing the requirement to 4,000 views per year and a minimum of 1000 subscribers.

Google relies on content producers for their revenue, why they would throw content producers under the bus is beyond me.

Sub4Sub


Many users have started #sub4sub campaigns in the hopes of getting more subscribers. For example if we all subscribe to each other then we get to keep our earnings.

Please note that it was pointed out to me that subscribing to some someones YouTube channel because they subscribed to you is a violation of Google terms as posted here. This could lead to you getting banned, that is if Google is willing to punish YouTube users even further.

Feedback for Google


Google is hardly an open and transparent company. Users are often not able to provide feedback or contact Google staff. I do know a couple of folks at Google who basically just reminded me that "they work for Google" and thus had no opinion on the matter. I was advised to contact the Google YouTube Help Forum.

It seems Google mods are constantly deleting posts on the topic to keep it under control. I tried providing feedback on the forum but my post was deleted, stating that it is a duplicate. For the record it was NOT a duplicate post. A well written and unique post, just like this post. Other users have also complained that their feedback on the matter is promptly deleted. Often marked as 'spam' or as a 'duplicate post.'

Trust and ethics


It is not the first time Google ethics and trust have come under fire. A recent trend for privacy and security conscious internet users has started to gain traction. This is to go "Google Free,' As people grow wary of the big G and begin to turn to ad blockers, private email accounts, encrypted cloud storage drives, this inevitably affects Google's core business. I recently wrote a blog for Thexyz on starting the New Year, Google free which you can check out here.

What does Twitter say?


I always check Twitter for current events. It gives you insight into what journalists might write about next week or next month. Here are some that caught my attention.






Taking action


Some users have decided to fight back by installing ad blockers. Google hates ad blockers. There is also now a campaign on Change.org calling on Google to revert the changes over here. Someone this morning started a spreadsheet on Reddit where users could add their YouTube Channel URL and the idea was to each subscribe to each others page. It helped my Channel grow by 20%.

As requested I found the link to Reddit spreadsheet. Thanks to Thank You Robot for providing the link to Spreadsheet here

Message YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki 


You can reach Susan via Twitter @SusanWojcicki

Looking for subscribers? 


Leave your YouTube Channel URL as a comment and I will be sure you get some additional subscribers.
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