Yahoo! Requires a Dancing Pony to Open a New Account, but I Don’t Have a Dancing Pony
Isolated and Doomed this famous tree was cut down in February ( I photographed it in 2007 from the public road) From the same outing that produced “ More Biei Countryside ” among others. -- Biei, Hokkaido, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 51mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Isolated and Doomed
this famous tree was cut down in February
(I photographed it in 2007 from the public road)
From the same outing that produced More Biei Countryside among others.

I've so many things that I want to write about lately, but just no time as I help my mom recover from a stroke. But I ran into something so frustrating that I just have to rant a bit....

I worked for Yahoo! from 1997 to 2004, and as such it has a special place in my heart despite how it's deteriorated over the years. Knowing how it's deteriorated, though, didn't prepare me for what I ran into recently when trying to create a Yahoo! account for my mom.

Entrance This Way where is everybody? (from “ Not a Petroleum Refinery, Silly, it’s an Aquarium ” in 2011) -- Floating Island Aqua Life Park (マリンパーク境ガ浜) -- Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/6400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance This Way
where is everybody?
(from Not a Petroleum Refinery, Silly, it’s an Aquarium in 2011)

I recently set my folks up with a new TV, a TCL smart TV with Roku streaming service. The latter allows you to install apps on the TV, including ones that allow you to access photo-sharing sites like Yahoo's Flikr. I thought I'd set it up so that their kids (me and my siblings) can add photos of their grandkids to the Flickr account, and my folks would then automatically see them when they put the TV into Flickr Slideshow mode.

So, I went to create a Yahoo! account for my mom to use as the Flickr repository for these photos, but I couldn't. Yahoo! requires a mobile phone to create an account. If you don't have a phone that can receive a text message, you can't create an account. It's apparently been this way for some time.

Welcome (NOT!) (from “ Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Welcome (NOT!)
(from Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum in 2008)

Now, before you say that's absolutely asinine!, let me make a few observations. One is that it's a free service; beggars can't be choosers. Another is that though we can only speculate on the reason, they must certainly have a specific reason for having implemented such a draconian hurdle to participation.

What could the reason be? Well, it could be a way to choose their demographic. Maybe they simply don't want users like my mom; maybe they're looking to skew their audience to the young and technologically hip, or to exclude folks to don't have the discretionary income to afford a mobile phone (because inability to afford it is the only possible reason one wouldn't have a mobile phone, you know).

Lots of Storage that apparently people like my mom can't have (from “ Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Storage
that apparently people like my mom can't have
(from Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum in 2008)

It could also be a way to avoid account-creation abuse; if you want to create multiple accounts, you need multiple phones, and that's a hurdle that spam-bots, for example, can't easily overcome. If you don't have specific experience in the industry, you simply can not imagine the depths that some people go through to abuse online systems. Really, you're simply not evil enough to even imagine it. So take my word that abuse curtailment is a very big deal.

Or it could be something else. Who knows? Someone at Yahoo!, probably, but not me.

Nobody's Home (from “ Furano in Hokkaido, Japan ” in 2007) -- Hidaka, Hokkaido, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 51mm — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Nobody's Home
(from Furano in Hokkaido, Japan in 2007)

So, given all that it's not reasonable to complain, but as a former Yahoo! I'm compelled to exclaim:

This is absolutely asinine!

Many folks with mobile phones have no problem with this, obviously, as Yahoo! (at the moment) still seems to exist. But a lot of folks don't have mobile phones, and a lot of folks who do don't want to reveal that private information to big corporations like Yahoo!. Yahoo! is proactively excluding these folks, which is perhaps their exact intent, but I don't see how this can bode well in the long term.

It's All Downhill From Here (from “ Kyoto’s Nasty 21 % City-Bike Hill Climb ” in 2015) photo by Gorm Kipperberg -- Copyright 2015 Gorm Kipperberg
302HW @ 3mm — 1/180 sec, f/2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
It's All Downhill From Here
(from Kyoto’s Nasty 21% City-Bike Hill Climb in 2015)
photo by Gorm Kipperberg

I spent considerable time trying to find a way around it, not initially believing that Yahoo! could be so stupid. I eventually abandoned the idea.

Abandoned (from “ Snowy Round Trip to the Heian Shrine ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 82mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Abandoned
(from Snowy Round Trip to the Heian Shrine in 2008)

I moved on to try my idea with SmugMug, a non-free photo-sharing site that I've worked with for many years because I made a plugin for Adobe Lightroom for it. SmugMug has always kindly provided me with a free account for plugin development, so I used that to test with. Normal users would have to pay a nominal fee each year, but at least they don't require something that may well not exist.

In Lightroom, I created a Publish Service using my plugin to upload photos to a SmugMug gallery, adding to the pipeline my Crop for iPad plugin to crop photos on the fly to best fit the 1,920×1,080-pixel screen of the TV. (I should probably rename the plugin to remove iPad from the title, since there's nothing iPad specific about it and I actually use it for more other devices than iPads.)

I then installed the SmugMug Roku app onto the TV, and soon had a gorgeous slideshow of my test photos. It was wonderful.

As wonderful as it was, the free SmugMug Roku app didn't work quite the way I wanted... my folks would have to drill down a few menu items each time they wanted to see a slideshow, and I wanted an even easier solution, so I bit the bullet and returned to try Yahoo! again. I had two US phone numbers available on my own cell phone via my attempts to get a reasonable American number for my Japanese cell phone, so I thought to use one of them to create my mom's Yahoo! account.

No go: it simply wouldn't accept them, telling me that's not a valid phone number.

So I give up on trying to create a Yahoo! account for my mom, and on Yahoo! in general. I divested myself of what little YHOO stock I still had. It's been a long, slow decline into mediocrity and irrelevance, Yahoo!, but I've been with you every step of the way, but from now you'll have to continue down to the end without me. Bye.

Always Stay Connected (from “ Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Always Stay Connected
(from Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum in 2008)

Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

My server is back.

I was down for the better part of the week due to a bit of stupidity on my part. Much thanks to Peak Hosting for extracting me from my mistakes!


Poking Around Miyajima Island and its Daisho-in Temple
Dark Room of Lanterns Daisho-in Temple (大聖院、宮島) Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima Japan -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Dark Room of Lanterns
Daisho-in Temple (大聖院、宮島)
Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima Japan

今回二年毎宮島旅行写真。

Last week I caught a cold that absolutely lay waste to me... I think it was the worst cold I've ever gotten. I'm mostly recovered now. Somewhere along the line I heard a friend was headed to Miyajima, and that reminded me that I've got plenty of photos I've not yet posted, so while I recover, here are a few photos from a trip to Miyajima two years ago...

View from the Hotel Kinsuikan Hotel (錦水館、宮島) -- Kinsuikan Hotel (錦水館) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Hotel
Kinsuikan Hotel (錦水館、宮島)
The Famous Torii Gate of the Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) -- Kinsuikan Hotel (錦水館) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
The Famous Torii Gate
of the Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社)

I've posted photos of the famous gate many times, including in:

Those posts started over eight years ago; in comparing the early ones to the last one, I can see the quality of my photographs improve. So I'm not sure what happened with the shots on this current post...

In-Room Arrangement -- Kinsuikan Hotel (錦水館) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 40mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
In-Room Arrangement
Five-Tiered Pagoda Just above the main shrine Hokoku Shrine (豊国神社) -- Hokoku Shrine (豊国神社) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Five-Tiered Pagoda
Just above the main shrine
Hokoku Shrine (豊国神社)

Eight years ago I posted a bunch of views of this tower, here.

Photo Ops -- Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Ops
Budding Photographer -- Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Budding Photographer
Below Water The sign in the lower left is almost invisible at high tide -- Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Below Water
The sign in the lower left is almost invisible at high tide
Selfies -- Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Selfies

Most visitors to the island visit the main Itsukushima Shrine, but a short 15-minute walk off the beaten path brings you to a wonderful gem of a temple...

Back Streets -- Daisho-in Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Streets
Picking Weeds -- Daisho-in Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31mm — 1/60 sec, f/10, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Picking Weeds
Path To the Entrance Daisho-in Temple (大聖院) -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/10, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Path To the Entrance
Daisho-in Temple (大聖院)
Prayer Wheels -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/60 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Prayer Wheels

The path to the entrance has what looks like prayer wheels similar to those in a different part of the same temple, seen and explained here.

Once you get to the top of the stairs, you can continue forward into the temple, or look back to see the big pagoda and the rest of the main part of the island behind you...

Looking Back -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/80 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back

Miyajima's Daisho-in Temple is built on a mountainside, with stairs going all over, and it's easy to miss interesting parts. For example, the main path is seen heading up in this next photo...

Main Path Right, Small Alcove Left -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Path Right, Small Alcove Left

A quick glance at the alcove makes it appear entirely skipable, but if you venture into it, you're rewarded with a hidden entrace to the cave-like room seen in this post's lead photo...

“ Cavern of Universal Illumination ” 大聖院の遍照窟 -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Cavern of Universal Illumination
大聖院の遍照窟

Tripods seem to be allowed, but I didn't have one, so I had to make do.

Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 50mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Nap Time cute little statues were here and there -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Nap Time
cute little statues were here and there
Hall Entrance Daishoin Temple's Maniden Hall (大聖院 の 摩尼殿) -- Daishoin Temple's Maniden Hall (大聖院の摩尼殿) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Hall Entrance
Daishoin Temple's Maniden Hall (大聖院摩尼殿)

This scene above was the title subject of Finding a Rainy 25-Year-Old Memory on Miyajima Island two years ago.

Fell Asleep Studying -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Fell Asleep Studying
Happy Gourd -- Daishoin Temple (大聖院) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy Gourd

Making my way back to the hotel, the tide was already going down at the main shrine...

The Most Inland part of the Itsukushima Shrine -- Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) -- Miyajima, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
The Most Inland
part of the Itsukushima Shrine

Looking for a US-Based Phone Number for my Japanese iPhone

I'm looking for recommendations on getting a US phone number on my Japanese cell phone, via VOIP. I currently have such a thing with Skype, but their app and feature design are gratuitously stupid... just amazingly dumb.

My needs are simple... I pay a fee to get a US-based phone number, and when someone dials that number, it rings on an app on my iPhone. And using that same app, I can dial out. Voice messages a bonus.

I'd like to use Vonage's app (I've been a normal Vonage customer for a decade), but it doesn't work with Japanese phones.

Recommendations?


30 Pounds of Microsoft Office
30 Pounds of Software Microsoft Office, Circa 1994 -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/160 sec, f/3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
30 Pounds of Software
Microsoft Office, Circa 1994

Going through some closets in our childhood home, my sister came across some software she bought fresh out of college. It's a blast from the 22-years-ago past, when software came with massive manuals.

In this case, the box weighs 30 pounds (14kg), and the manuals are 9" (23cm) wide.

Floppies. 31 Floppies. -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/200 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Floppies. 31 Floppies.
“ Disk Format: High Density (1.44 MB) ” -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/250 sec, f/3.3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Disk Format: High Density (1.44 MB)
A Few Manuals of very many -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/250 sec, f/3, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
A Few Manuals
of very many
“ Micro Electronics ” ? -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Micro Electronics?

This was back when Windows™ was just Windows™ (it was a year or two before Windows 95). She paid about $500 for it, in 1994 dollars no less.

Side of the Box -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/200 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Side of the Box
Back -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Back
Other Side -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro — 1/250 sec, f/3, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Other Side