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Archive for May, 2012

IKEA Sewing Machine

May 27th, 2012 10 comments

May has turned out to be a heavy-duty travel month Chez Noile. Some was planned, some not, and some is not yet finished.  Whew!  I’m just surfacing for a moment because of an unexpected discovery; otherwise, it will be the second week in June before I’m back to posting again.

We’ve been hearing for a long time that IKEA was going to offer a sewing machine in the USA, and a machine has finally arrived.  The website says that it will only be around as long as supplies last — that’s kind of how IKEA works — but this cute little device is now in stock for only $59 (USD).

No one who shops at IKEA is likely to believe this is a precision machine, but there might be some valid uses for it, including teaching kids to sew, or as a basic travel machine, for example.   A blogger called icatbag has a rather thorough review; scroll down, as the first part of the post has to do with what IKEA does to our brains when we walk in the door.

The machine is called Sy — actually, all IKEA’s sewing notions are called Sy, so that’s perhaps no surprise. Patient searching on the Internet will reveal a number of other comments by happy users; again, this is not a precision machine, but within its limits, it seems to be a perfectly adequate machine.

I’ve seen one in person, and can report that it seems surprisingly solid.  The reverse lever is a perfect size for use by children, and has a positive spring return.  (Adults will find it quite satisfactory, too.)  Removing the sliding accessory box reveals a free-arm bed (pretty cool, no?), though removing the box requires some dexterity, and, as icatbag notes, you’ll need to keep the accessories in the plastic bag they came in, since otherwise they will spill when the box is removed.

In a departure from IKEA tradition, the manual is written — yes, words and pictures!  Even more surprisingly, it seems to be quite complete, so operating this little machine shouldn’t prove at all mysterious.

Categories: Tools Tags:

Rolled Hem Foot

May 3rd, 2012 14 comments

To hem my cycling vest, I used a rolled hem foot for the first time.  I used to love the  Kleibacker finish, which involved running a line of stitching incredibly close to the edge of filmy fabric, trimming it, and turning it again. That method makes a very light, beautiful hem.

But I have several damaged fingers, and can’t do things like that anymore.  Of course my rolling hem foot doesn’t do produce exactly the same result as the Kleibacker method, but it is a great take on it, and the foot is extremely easy to use.  You just guide the fabric into the front of the foot  (practice first — I did!), and it does the rest.

You’ll need to keep the tension fairly even on the fabric in front of the foot, and in back, but that’s easy enough to do, with just a light touch at the back.  Do hold onto the threads when you begin, and pull gently backward as you begin to stitch.  The result is very nice::

Corners are tricky, and they may not be perfect unless you practice a lot.  I did the long edges of the ties on my vest first, cut the threads, and then did the short ends.  It’s trickier feeding the hemmed edges through the foot; I had some trouble, and one of my ties has a fairly messy corner as a result.  I just kept reminding myself that it’s a utility vest, but for my next project, I’ll probably demand better results.

The foot here is a 2mm foot; it’s strictly for the thinnest fabric; this very light poly knit, or a chiffon, silk, or things of that ilk.  They’re available in various sizes — I have a 3mm that I haven’t used yet, for example, and it looks as if it can handle a slightly thicker fabric, and will make a slightly wider hem.

Related:  Sailor Cycling

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Update: Pinterest

May 2nd, 2012 2 comments

Mary has sent in a copy of Pinterest’s user agreement, pulled yesterday from the Pinterest site. (You can see her comment on the previous post, here.)  The wording has changed from the previous agreement, which was in force at the time I originally wrote my blog post..  Pinterest now acknowledges each user’s rights to his or her own data:

Pinterest allows you to pin and post content on the Service, including photos, comments, and other materials. Anything that you pin, post, display, or otherwise make available on our Service, including all Intellectual Property Rights (defined below) in such content, is referred to as “User Content.” You retain all of your rights in all of the User Content you post to our Service.

(Bold is my emphasis.) That’s an excellent change, and reflects the legal realities of content produced by other entities (corporations or individuals).

Here’s the original paragraph, from the previous agreement, which unilaterally granted the owners of Pinterest with all rights to user data, forever

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

That has now been replaced by this one, which is more carefully written

Subject to any applicable account settings you select, you grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify (e.g., re-format), re-arrange, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest for the purposes of operating and providing the Service(s) to you and to our other Users. Nothing in these Terms shall restrict Pinterest’s rights under separate licenses to User Content. Please remember that the Pinterest Service is a public platform, and that other Users may search for, see, use, and/or re-pin any User Content that you make publicly available through the Service.

. . . which essentially says that Pinterest has the right to use data posted as it pleases in order to operate Pinterest.  That’s a much better user agreement, but these new terms are still a matter for concern, though.

As  Venture Beat has noted:

[These] changes, however, fail to address many of the copyright infringement concerns outlined by the photographer community.

Lawyer and one-time Pinterest-lover Kirten Kowalski, for instance, ostentatiously deleted her boards after learning that Pinterest’s terms of service could leave her vulnerable to copyright litigation. The new terms of service still state the user is “solely responsible” for the content they pin to the site.

Here’s a distillation of some of those copyright concerns, from a different Venture Beat article:

Members can easily grab copyrighted works from photo-sharing or media sites and clip them to their boards. Pinned images often include attribution, but sources later get lost in the shuffle, and some members go on to use images on their blogs or websites. Plus, considering that Google is the second most popular source of pins, a sizable percentage images are likely misattributed.

These copyright issues are not only a matter of concern to photographers, but to everyone who posts images on the Internet.  The issue of what amounts to wholesale theft — however unintentionally — of images isn’t really addressed adequately here.

There are legal issues that should be of concern to individual users, too.  Here’s what  SocMedSean, a social media blogger, wrote about the new user agreement:

Basically, “if you get sued for something you posted and didn’t have the permission to post…you’re on your own.” And remember, Copyright infringement is evaluated unders a standard of  Strict Liability so it doesn’t matter if “you didn’t know it was protected by Copyright law” or “didn’t mean to share something protected”. If you violate Copyright law…you’re on the hook, whether you meant to or not.

The interesting thing, here, is that Pinterest appears to be taking the approach that if they add an indemnity clause to their Terms of Use and they treat themselves as just the platform where the activity takes place, they’ll be able to claim the “safe-harbor” defense under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Not sure that worked out so well for Napster, so it’ll be interesting to see how Pinterest behaves when the first big copyright infringement lawsuit arises.

In other words, you, Indiana Mom, could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit for “pinning” those images you found on the internet, but have no right to use.  And Pinterest won’t be defending you, or provide a legal shield for your (perhaps unintentional) theft of other people’s work.

What does this mean for users of Pinterest?

  • you have the right to upload your own images, not anyone else’s
  • you may face legal liability if you chose to ignore that restriction
  • allowing Pinterest, and Pinterest users, access to your images seriously limits your ability to control their use

The revised EULA is a huge improvement over the previous one, but fails in some critical areas.  Decoding user agreements, and understanding the implications of those agreements, isn’t easy for an average Internet user.  This one is no exception.  When considering participating in a social media site, the burden of understanding what you’re getting involved with is on you, only you.  You can’t count on “common sense”, the website itself, or your belief that things are run a certain way, to protect your interests, or those of others to wish you may wish no harm.

For those of us who are concerned about these issues, and do not want our content appearing on Pinterest, Paulund provides these instructions for preventing “pinning” from your own website.  I’ll be adding this blocker to mine.

Categories: Misc Tags:

Pinterest

May 1st, 2012 11 comments

This post refers to Pinterest’s original terms of use agreement, which was changed on April 6,2012.  Please see the following post, Update: Pinterest, for additional information regarding the new terms.

Here’s one good reason I will never use Pinterest.  Do you realize that when you upload your images to Pinterest  YOU ARE GIVING ALL RIGHTS TO YOUR  IMAGES TO PINTEREST, FOREVER? This has changed; this post discusses the original EULA  to which members agreed, prior to April 6, 2012.

Don’t believe me?  Here is part of the user agreement:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

(My emphasis, because Pinterest would rather you didn’t read this carefully.)

You post it, they own it, no matter what they chose to do with it in the future.  When you sign up for Pinterest, you agree to give up all rights to the images you post there.

This is the sort of EULA (end-user-licensing-agreement) that gives websites a bad name.  As it should.  Your images should never be given to any other entity unless you know exactly how they will be used, when, and where, AND you are in complete agreement with that use.

Do you think this is acceptable?  I don’t.  I don’t want anything I post on my blog to turn up in business materials produced by Cold Brew Labs, the owners of Pinterest.  I don’t want the images I willingly share, on my own blog, used in advertisements for Pinterest.  Or on  websites Cold Brew Labs might produce.  Or in books Pinterest may produce.  I’m not working for Cold Brew Labs; I chose to share what I share publicly for the benefit of my readers, and for myself, on my terms.

I won’t give up the right to do that, and I hope everyone who wasn’t aware of this paragraph in yet another of those hardly-read EULAs gives some serious thought to what Pinterest is asking you to give up.  Pinterest is NOT your own bulletin board; it’s a device for others to collect your intellectual property and then do what they wish with it.

As a side note:  How sleazy is it of Pinterst to hide these terms within a document they know perfectly well almost no one will read?

Most of us in the sewing/craft community love to share — that’s why we have blogs.  Many of us are sweet people who would never dream of an organization grabbing their property and using it for the corporation’s own devices.  But that’s exactly how Pininterst is set up.  You no longer own what you post there.

Pinterest could have set this up so that they allow you to keep the copyright you automatically own on your own intellectual property.  That’s how Pattern Review works, for example.  You allow Pattern Review to post your reviews and images, but YOU keep the rights to everything you post there.  Pattern Review does NOT own what you post. Taking away your rights is not part of their user agreement.  Pattern Review does NOT claim to own what you post on its website.

Pinterest DOES. This is a nasty business model, and, in my opinion, unethical.  It’s completely legal — you have to agree to the EULA before you can post — but it is, in my opinion, unethical.  I won’t contribute to that kind of business model, and I don’t think anyone else should, either.

Update, 5/2/2012:  The new terms still leave a lot to be desired.  As noted above, the next post discusses some of those issues.

Categories: Misc Tags: