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#1149759 - Fri Nov 04 2016 05:04 PM Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

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Just in case anyone doesn't know... Photobucket, where many of us host our images (not to mention our avatars), was taken offline last night for scheduled maintenance. At the time, this was supposed to last until 2 a.m. MST (Mountain Standard Time) which is 9 a.m. GMT. However, the servers did not come back online when promised and, with the exception of a notice that said the maintenance period had been extended, there was silence from Photobucket for much of the day, despite a frenzy of criticism on sites like Twitter.

There has now been another update from Photobucket saying:

"Update: During the planned maintenance last night, we encountered an unforeseen issue. Our team is continuing to work on resolving that issue, and we will provide another update as soon as possible. Rest assured that your information and content is safe. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support.

(last updated November 4, 2016 – 2:50PM MST)"

Which could mean several things - an engineer dropped a spanner into the electrical power supply for the server complex and everything went pfft!, a software developer wrote "Hello Mummy" into the reboot program which went into a sulk and keeps stamping its foot because it only speaks American, or they have absolutely no idea what the problem is and went home for tea.

Anyway, they will be back. Sometime. In the meantime, you could spend the time working out how Flickr works (in which case please tell me), twiddling your thumbs, or cleaning your camera lenses. And if you want to keep up with how Photobucket are doing you can check here:

http://blog.photobucket.com/status/

But don't hold your breath, they only seem to give updates every 12 hours. Which doesn't seem often for a company that some people pay for. I don't pay, I'll wait. wink
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#1149761 - Fri Nov 04 2016 05:37 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
sisterseagull Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 596
Loc: Torquay, Devon UK
I gave up on Photobucket a little while ago; far too many advertisements for me.

I use Flickr now which, it has to be said, is a much simpler site to negotiate. Additionally, like FB, members can join groups of like-minded individuals.

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#1149762 - Fri Nov 04 2016 05:44 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
postcards2go Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 20 2008
Posts: 1223
Loc: New York City USA
I'm just hoping they haven't lost all the photos. sick

Agree about Flickr. The ads on PB alienated me a long time ago, but I still have photos (including my avatar) on it.
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#1149763 - Fri Nov 04 2016 05:52 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

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My main problem is that I have hundreds and hundreds and... heaven knows how many images on Photobucket, all in neatly labelled folders, and the idea of moving them is daunting. Plus a lot are avatars which I make for other people and I don't think Flickr is an easy place to host them, especially as sites like FT won't take Flickr addresses in the relevant boxes.
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#1149772 - Fri Nov 04 2016 07:39 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
MiraJane Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1454
Loc: New York USA
Postie & SisterSeagull, your avatars from Flckr have gone on walkabout too.

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#1149782 - Fri Nov 04 2016 08:48 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
postcards2go Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 20 2008
Posts: 1223
Loc: New York City USA
MiraJane, my avatar is (hopefully 'is') still on Photobucket. I never saw a reason to change it, and as long as I don't go to the site, I don't see the ads.
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#1149795 - Fri Nov 04 2016 10:46 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
satguru Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7643
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
As Flickr didn't resize photos till a number of years ago I always posted photos to link to forums on Photobucket. If my current image is showing then it's probably working. Certainly all my photos here for the first few years are hosted there and back then it took about a minute to load one and another minute to resize them.
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#1149814 - Sat Nov 05 2016 01:34 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 4562
Loc: Northampton England UK
Photobucket is back now. Phew!
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#1149819 - Sat Nov 05 2016 03:09 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
sisterseagull Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 596
Loc: Torquay, Devon UK
Likewise MiraJane, my avatar is still hosted on PB.

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#1169842 - Thu Jul 06 2017 11:53 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
windrush Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Apr 28 2012
Posts: 383
Loc: South Australia
Now that PB has hijacked our photos, can someone explain how I can convert my photos to be able to make a fresh avatar or post to the chat threads?

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#1169873 - Fri Jul 07 2017 05:58 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 4562
Loc: Northampton England UK
Bear with me while I tell other people what is going on with Photobucket...

In the last few days, Photobucket has changed its terms and conditions. They now intend to charge users who want to link images to other applications - they want to charge a flat fee of $400 per year. They claim they informed users of the change at the end of June but many don't appear to have received such an email (like me, I didn't) but as it was only a few days before they took the next step I'd say it was debatable whether they ever intended a gradual introduction of a fees system because last weekend they started to replace linked images with a notice that fees had to be paid. You can read more about it here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40492668

I can understand the problem Photobucket has - firstly it has always provided linking, which allows users to display images on other sites using PB as a host. As they have millions of users and host billions of photos the cost of the bandwidth must be huge and as most of their users have free accounts, they receive no income but sustain a large cost. Secondly, some of their users make money via other sites such as Amazon - they're the people who sell products via Amazon, eBay, and other shopping sites, where the text is on those sites but the images of their products are hosted on Photobucket. Amazon etc get paid commission on sales, PB gets nothing but pays bandwidth on the images - and given the number of people who might look for products on these huge sites the cost could be large and open-ended. So I can understand why PB might be miffed.

However, in addition to those users, there are the rest of us - who post images to other messageboards, use avatars, and share our pictures using PB as the host. No one makes any money out of it but bulletin boards, blogs, forums, messageboards, etc are full of images hosted on PB and they get no income from it. They have tried to charge fees before now but very few people seem to have paid and their attempt to make money from advertising doesn't seem to have worked, at least not well enough. Last weekend's blocking of some images affected both commercial users and others. I'm not sure how they're applying the block - so far FT's images including Avatars haven't been affected as far as I can see but I imagine it won't be long before they are. (I have sent Terry a note alerting him to the problem but he's away and hasn't read it yet.)

A large part of the problem is that when the web first started, some sites like PB offered things for free. Sites like Amazon offered cheap products but they did at least get paid something, and they did charge commission/fees to other sellers. Sites like Photobucket provided free services, and not only that they stayed free of advertising for years but now their business model won't sustain it. They're by no means the only site with this sort of quandary, many have gone bust already, and at some point internet users are going to have to bite the bullet and pay for some services we've hitherto taken for granted as freebies.

PB's problem now is not just financial, it's also been a PR disaster. They may (or may not) have told some people what they planned but for others it was a complete shock and the proposed fee is so large that social users aren't likely to pay it whatever happens even if commercial users do. Therefore, even if some people do pay the fee, the chances are that PB will stop providing free accounts and even if they continue their users may leave them anyway.

So what we need to do is find alternatives...
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#1169874 - Fri Jul 07 2017 06:00 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 4562
Loc: Northampton England UK
Avatars

There are still sites that offer free hosting for avatars. Probably the best known site for avatar hosting is http://imgur.com/

It's not a good site for photos as the storage limits are small but it's fine for avatars and it's still free.

Tinypic.com is still free and as well as avatars it allows for image-hosting. However, Tinypic is owned by Photobucket so who knows how long it will last...

https://postimages.org/ is good for avatars. However, when you upload your image and get to the page of links, you should copy the Direct Link. Once you've pasted this into your profile, you'll need to remove the "s" that appears after the http or FT won't recognise it. (I have asked Terry if he can change this.)

http://www.imageshack.us/ is still there... but it's no longer free.

Photos

At present the best alternative to Photobucket seems to be Flickr. Some of our members already use that site. You will need a Yahoo account to start with. Flickr isn't the easiest site to use so perhaps our members who use it would like to give us an idiot's guide? Satguru? Sisterseagull? How do we get images from Flickr to appear on FT?


Edited by flopsymopsy (Fri Jul 07 2017 06:01 AM)
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The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

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#1169909 - Fri Jul 07 2017 08:35 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
sisterseagull Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 596
Loc: Torquay, Devon UK
With the (likely) imminent demise of Photobucket, flopsymopsy has asked me to provide a quick precis on uploading images from Flickr onto the FT forums, so here goes:

Firstly, you'll need to set up an account on Flickr; simply visit the address below and follow the instructions:

https://www.flickr.com

Once registered, it's time to upload your images. Look at the black bar at the top of the Flickr screen. To the right of the search box are three icons. Click on the 'Cloud' icon and follow the instructions to upload your collection of images. At the end of the process you will have your own ‘Photostream’.

To upload an image from Flickr to FT:

In your photostream, click on the image you wish to upload. This will display your slightly enlarged image at the top. Scroll down the page and you'll find the comprehensive information relating to that image. Immediately underneath your image and slightly to the right you'll see five small icons (the two arrows on the far right can be ignored completely). If you hover your mouse pointer on the central icon - the large arrow pointing toward the right - you'll see a small box appear that says 'Share Photo'. Click on this. The image and the background will fade and you'll be presented with a text box in the centre of the screen displaying a highlighted link. At the top of this box are four options 'Share', 'Embed', 'Email' and 'BBCode'. Make sure that 'BBCode' is underlined as this is the option you'll need. Underneath the highlighted link is another box with a drop down arrow. Click on this arrow to reveal a list of image sizes available. FT has a limit of 640 pixels in any one dimension for images that are to be uploaded to its site. Select the image size that you require and the Flickr system will display the selection immediately underneath the highlighted image. Ensuring that the ‘BBCode’ option is still underlined, right click on the highlighted link and select ‘Copy’. The screen will return to your original image and you can close Flickr if you wish at this point.

To complete the upload to the FT forum: (If you’ve posted an image to the forums before, you can ignore anything from here on and do your own thing – if not, follow this)

Log in to the FT Forums and go to the forum that you wish to upload your image to. At the bottom of the page click on the ‘Switch to full screen’ button. This changes the text box and presents you with a raft of further options. Below the emoji’s there is a line of fifteen buttons; the one you need is fourth from the left. If you hover over this one it will instruct you to ‘Enter an Image’. Click on this and select the second option ‘Insert a left floating Image’. Depending on your screen set-up this will open another smaller text box with a field for you to enter the link to the picture in Flickr that you copied earlier. Right click and copy the link and then select ‘OK’. This will enter a long string into the main text box.

At this point I always delete a lot of the information placed in the box otherwise it will appear as a string of messy text to the right of the image itself. The string begins with this [img:left….. Delete the text between this point and [img]https:…. Follow the string until you reach the next [img] and delete everything after this point.

Finally, press the enter key twice to give yourself some room and then enter any text that you’d like to say about your image. Go to the buttons at the bottom and click ‘submit’. There you have it and, as we say here in England, ‘Robert's your mother’s brother’ - you should now see your image in all its glory in the forum for the benefit of the FT membership.


Edited by sisterseagull (Sat Jul 08 2017 10:14 AM)

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#1169926 - Sat Jul 08 2017 08:04 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 4562
Loc: Northampton England UK
Thank you for doing that, especially as Photobucket chose today to block me from linking to FT and I know several others have also been affected in the past 24 hours. Much appreciated! smile
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The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

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#1170005 - Sun Jul 09 2017 07:45 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
WesleyCrusher Offline

Administrator

Registered: Thu Sep 04 2008
Posts: 6314
Loc: Germany
Another free and pretty easy to use alternative is prnt.sc - the hosting site associated with the free Lightshot (screenshot) tool. You don't need to download or use that tool to host a picture there, and you can freely hotlink.

1) Go to http://prnt.sc/

2) Browse and upload an image

3) When the short URL appears, click it. You'll get to a new page with your picture.

4) Right-click the picture, choose "copy image location".

5a) If you want to use the image as an avatar, paste the info into the avatar field in your profile edit screen (works both on main site and forum). Then remove the s from the https:// part and save.

OR

5b) If you want to show off the photo in the photo forums, paste the link in your IMG element, remove the s from https://, preview (just to be safe) and submit your post.

Note: The link you are pasting should be looking something like https://image.prntscr.com/image/DPdvB1oGQ7_OOqFUDDnx3Q.png - If you instead get a short link like https://prnt.sc/fthedu, you have accidentally linked the page, not the image itself. That link will NOT work!

Happy imaging!



Edited by WesleyCrusher (Sun Jul 09 2017 07:48 AM)
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#1170124 - Mon Jul 10 2017 08:45 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
windrush Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Apr 28 2012
Posts: 383
Loc: South Australia
Brilliant! Thanks, Wesley! I was REALLY annoyed when MY photo of MY cat disappeared as my Avatar. I have no copies of it. I've just tried one of my saved images and it works! Now to get the camera and the cat together again!.....

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#1170435 - Fri Jul 14 2017 01:18 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
LBaggins Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 22 2011
Posts: 1059
Loc: Georgia USA
Has anyone else received notification from Photobucket that, in order to use "third party images", you now have to join Photobucket's exciting (not!) new Plus500 program, which costs $399.99 (otherwise known as $400.00) YEARLY?

Like many of us, I have all the avatars I use stored there. On Wednesday, my avatar disappeared and I got the same message satguru is showing above. Since Photobucket offers NO telephone support, I can't even call them to ask about it. If I sound a little grumpy, it's because I am.

Does anyone else have any information?
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#1170436 - Fri Jul 14 2017 01:20 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
LBaggins Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 22 2011
Posts: 1059
Loc: Georgia USA
Apparently the avatar that pops up for me when I come to this message board came from Photobucket as well.
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#1170448 - Fri Jul 14 2017 05:22 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
flopsymopsy Online   content

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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 4562
Loc: Northampton England UK
Did you try reading the recent messages in this thread? Start at messages from 6th July...

If you don't have the avatars stored on your computer you can still download them from Photobucket. Just log on to your account, click on the image, and "download" will be one of the options in the box to the right. If you were a tidy sort and stored images in folders, you can download each album as a zip file.

Then choose another site - if you don't want to use any of the options we have listed, try googling for "third party image hosting".

If you don't want to pay Photobucket $400 you will have to find somewhere else. And frankly, even if you do pay them, if their business collapses after this you'll have to find an alternative anyway.

People who already have paid accounts with Photobucket have, allegedly, until December 2018 to use the site for third party hosting after which they too will be asked (told) to pay the extra fees. I say "allegedly" because PBucket clearly feel able to alter their terms and conditions without notice so anything might change at any time.
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The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

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#1170473 - Fri Jul 14 2017 11:25 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
LBaggins Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 22 2011
Posts: 1059
Loc: Georgia USA
Thank you, flopsymopsy. I don't come to the forums often, so I'm sort of stumbling around in the dark. I was looking at the date on the LEFT side of the page, and saw nothing past Nov. 4.

I'd pay Photobucket $40 a year for the convenience of using them, and to help offset their prices, but not $400. IMO, they'd have a lot better luck getting $40 from ten people than they will getting $400 from one. I suppose I'll need to shop around.

Thanks again for the help!
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#1170512 - Fri Jul 14 2017 10:36 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
satguru Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7643
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
My Photobucket hosted avatars have all gone now and I can't for the life of me get anything to link to Flickr. I know it's possible but the sharing methods won't convert to anything the site can use on both profiles.
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#1170515 - Sat Jul 15 2017 02:24 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
Blackdresss Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Wed Aug 19 2009
Posts: 192
Loc: Colorado USA
What a nightmare. I am certain this is "just a coincidence," but when Windows hijacked my laptop last night for a three-hour update (I was aware of this, but unhappy about it, and had scheduled a time that would be best for me -- they ignored it,) the first thing I noticed when I was able to regain possession of my laptop was my missing avatar.

Seriously? Coincidence? I don't think so.

I don't have thousands of photos in PB, but I have a LOT of photos there, and scrambling to get them out and somewhere safe wasn't on my list of things to do in the middle of this night.

I'll keep checking back here for help and tips, like a lot of others. This is beyond discouraging, and since most of us have "real" photos in PB, it's also a little scary. And creepy.

I am really tired of being hijacked. There oughtta be a law.
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#1170516 - Sat Jul 15 2017 03:49 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
Blackdresss Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Wed Aug 19 2009
Posts: 192
Loc: Colorado USA
Maybe it's because I'm sick and feel like walking death, but I read all the fixes in here, but all I saw was "Blah Blah Blah remove the s Blah Blah Blah."

I don't know what I'm going to do. But if PB has done anything to my photos with zero warning, I will happily lead the CA charge.

I may just try to retrieve them so they are back in my possession and give up on avatars. Right now, they're the least of my worries. It's just discouraging, like wayyyy too many other things.

The internet is not my BFF.
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#1170523 - Sat Jul 15 2017 06:46 AM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
pmarney Offline
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Registered: Thu May 10 2012
Posts: 299
Loc: Norfolk England UK            
Luckily I found my avatar in another place.
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#1170649 - Sat Jul 15 2017 08:09 PM Re: Photobucket - 4 November 2016
CmdrK Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Sun Jan 17 2010
Posts: 2142
Loc: Nevada USA
Yeah, and we can all guess where!
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