Credit Card Confusion

First off, here’s this from an interesting read over at The Week:

In brief, payment card companies are piggybacking on public systems and guarantees to gouge the American public, especially with credit cards. They act as middlemen, skimming fees off transactions and using their size to bully businesses into accepting their terms — who then raise prices on all consumers. The associated profits, both for Visa and company and the issuing banks, are effectively a tax on everything Americans pay for.

Also, two other credit card facts I learned this weekend:

  • KMart doesn’t accept American Express
  • Audible (despite being owned by Amazon), doesn’t accept the Amazon Store Card.

iOS Shortcut to upload photo to WordPress & Instagram

I am trying to reduce the friction of posting photos to my site from my phone. In the process I thought it might be useful to simultaneously upload photos to my Instagram profile at the same time as my site.

Over the past year I’ve cobbled together a bunch of pieces to make this process work and it’s never been super-reliable in part because sometimes shortcuts likes to upload a .heic file instead of a jpeg.

##Heic file error

By default, the iPhone stores images in the .heic format. It seems that once you edit a photo on the iPhone it is then saved back to the library as a .jpeg. But I don’t want to have to edit a photo just to ensure that it will upload through the shortcut correctly.

What I’ve realized is that when you do anything with a photo using the share icon, iOS also converts the photo to a .jpeg.

As such, calling the shortcut through the share icon from the Photos library instead of calling the shortcut and then selecting the photo seems to get this whole thing working pretty consistently.

I can’t take credit for this shortcut working as good as it does. I pulled most of it from a website that, sadly, google can no longer find. I have no idea why. In any case, if you’d like to try it out, here is a link to my version shortcut.

You will need the WordPress iOS app installed on your phone for the shortcut to work.

Fuji X70. Not a portable X series.

Fuji X70

I have been loving my Fuji XE2s since I bought it off of Amazon a couple of years ago. It takes some of the best photos of any camera I’ve ever owned and is a joy to use in every way (manual dials for ISO, Shutter Speed, aperture. So nice!).

Except it doesn’t fit in my pocket. Which means I hardly ever take it with me.

But when I scroll through iPhone I can always tell the FujiFilm pics from the iPhone photos. It’s night and day.

No matter how good the iPhone camera software and lenses get, the iPhone will never consistently match what comes out of the Fuji series cameras. Sure, in certain situations the iPhone takes great photos but sometimes it’s just meh. The fuji cameras just give me more consistently better shots.

So last year I picked up a FujiFilm X70, hoping it would give me the best of both worlds: the great look of the out-of-camera jpegs from the FujiFilm XE2s with those awesome film simulations and also fit in my pocket.

Well, the X70 fits in my pocket and it sort of gives the film simulations but there’s just something about the lack of the view finder that makes using the X70 lose some of that fuji magic that you get from their other X series cameras. I brought it around with me but never enjoyed holding it and using it the way I do my XE2s.

So I sold it on ebay a couple of weeks ago and am now going to try to bring my XE2s with me more regularly. I took off the super 35mm 1.4 lens that I usually use and put on the pancake 27 2.8 to bring the form factor down a bit. I love that 35mm lens but it makes the camera even bulkier. The 27 makes it about the same exaxt form factor as the X100. If I can demonstrate to myself that I can reliably bring the XE2s around with this lens then maybe for Christmas I’ll see if Santa can bring me the X100. Stay tuned!