Sunday, February 14, 2016

in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

We are here today, dear friends, to mourn the passing of Google's Picasa. Often neglected and often ignored, Picasa has been one of the wonders of the digital age. Able to cope with every file format and every brand of digital camera, Picasa has for many years been the software of choice for photo manipulation and cataloging on most of my computers.

Running Linux - Picasa's there. Running Windows - Picasa's there. Running Mac - Picasa's there. Running BeOs - you're an oddball! Picasa was one of those universal applications that was actually pretty darned good.

The future is apparently Google Photos but that means uploading photos to Google's cloud. I don't know about you but I have more than 15GB of photos (more like 50GB) and I have no intention of buying space on Google's servers to store them when I can pay for a hard drive and store it in a firesafe.

Google's cloud has several problems - as in fact do many.
1. It requires a constant internet connection. No connection, no photos.
2. It uses a lot of data. A single 8 megapixel RAW file is 8MB. Now imagine taking a hundred or so photos on a day out. That's almost a gigabyte. Now think of people like me, in an area not served by telephone lines nor any form of cable service who is reliant upon cellular or satellite connections. That kind of data is expensive! 10GB on HughesNet is $80. 4GB of cellular data is $40.
3. You are reliant upon the data being available. What happens if Google goes bust or if they decide they don't want to offer photo storage any more? They dumped Picasa so why shouldn't they dump Google Photos too?
4. Privacy - do you really want that saucy photo of you and your wife in matching balarina outfits online where hackers and government stooges might be able to find it?

This whole move toward cloud storage worries me greatly. It's not just the reasons above but also the way the population in general is becoming increasingly guillable. Why is Google offering online photo storage? It's dead business for them - the first 15GB makes them no money so what's in it for them? How are they making money from it? If they're not making money from you then there's no reason for them to care about keeping your data for you. There's no contract to enforce either. It's also not beyind the realm of possibility for somebody to read something that isn't there into the things you store online and to find enough "evidence" to produce a convincing case against you for whatever.

I for one will mourn the loss of Picasa. I have yet to see another photo program that I like as well. Aperture was good but clunky. I mourn the loss of Aperture too.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus, Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam,
ad te omnis care veniet.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

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