All play and no work makes Jack a dull boy?

JISHOU, HUNAN — I am one happy camper tonight, because I discovered how to circumvent China’s blocking of Picasaweb. The solution was right there in front of me, if I had bothered to look. In their ineffable wisdom, the wonks at Google allow you to upload photos to Picasaweb via email. All you need to do is go to Picasaweb’s settings and set up a secret email addy. Then you can emails to that address with photos as attachments. The subject line is the name of an existing album. Sweet! Because China is blocking Picasaweb and Blogger, both Google services, I have had a hell of time uploading to my Picasaweb albums. For a while, I could upload using Picasa 3, the desktop application, then mysteriously uploads would constantly fail. Either the uploads would stall, or I would get the message, “This account is not enabled for web albums.” First, I suspected a bug in Picasaweb (like THAT would ever happen!), but it appears some service or port is being blocked by the Great Firewall of China. I can use the latest version of Ultrasurf (v.9.98) to climb the Great Firewall, and access Picasaweb to edit photos and such, but ...

Slow and steady wins the race

JISHOU, HUNAN — I am happy to report that I can once again post to my Picasaweb photo site, as long as I use the Ultrasurf proxy client I downloaded a couple of months ago. It’s slow, but at least I can use the 80 GB of Picasaweb storage space that I paid for. It also means my photos will automatically get posted to Facebook through the Picasa Facebook app. So, as I wait for my photos to trickle slowly into my Picasaweb space, I can write some posts. Here’s the first one.

Further proof Google plans world domination …

JISHOU, HUNAN — I have a lot of photos: old photos, new photos, photos I want to share, photos I want to preserve. So, I took advantage of my Google account and starting using Picasaweb soon after I arrived in China. Part of my grand plan was to show my family and friends my life here, so they can feel more a part of it. Picasaweb was the easiest way to do it. Facebook, my favorite social networking site, has painfully slow uploads sometimes, making it a photo-sharing option for masochists. Qzone, since I am in China, is lightning fast, but its menus are in Chinese, which frustrates my peeps in the USA. So, I downloaded the desktop Picasa application (which has a quirky interface), and started organizing and uploading my photos to Picasaweb.google.com/john.wheaton. One nice feature (which Flickr also provides) is to tag the location of the photos or albums, so visitors have an immediate idea where I was at the time. Last night, I discovered a new Picasaweb feature, that’s as helpful as it is eerie: automated people tagging. Facebook users know you can tag people in photos, but if you have a lot of photos, the process ...
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