The Twitpic homepage is also 404'ing big time, perhaps it's just a devops issue more than them pulling the plug before the sunset date?
It almost seems like they're playing a little hardball and showing everyone what things will be like if they disappeared from the web, which seems to be what Twitter is threatening them with since they're unable to secure the use of their name and yet millions of images are linked based on that (domain) name.
Still, we've seen this story before, Twitter doesn't give a fuck about developers now that they have sufficiently used them to build their platform and brand.
But, what's funny is, it was the use of "tweet" that Twitter frowned upon for 3-rd party names -- "twit" was considered fine...
> Twitter doesn't give a fuck about developers now that they have sufficiently used them to build their platform and brand.
I really hate that this is the standard model for building startups these days. Make a free service, grow your userbase using investment money and by encouraging developers to build on your platform, then once users and developers are dependent on the platform, start littering it with ads, selling users' data, and shutting down all your API and all the developers' work. We've seen this happen over and over. Will it ever stop? One thing is for sure, developers will wizen up to this if it continues and stop building on top of platforms, which just sucks for everyone.
Something that perhaps ought to happen is that in the UK, Australia, etc public broadcasters (those funded by the public) such as the BBC and ABC should be required to stop integrating Twitter into their programs.
For example, Q&A (on ABC1) uses Twitter as its primary channel for real-time audience engagement -- announced every week by the host and shown on-screen multiple times in each program. It's fairly clear this isn't benign as the producers at the ABC might think, but means that public money is being used to give an advantage to one commercial social networking company over any other.
Aside from people with huge audiences and Twitter-related businesses, anything you choose to use and incorporate into your life is at least somewhat of a dependency, even in the presence of substitutes.
For example, I love Chick-fil-A sandwiches. When I moved, the closest Chick-fil-A is now far away. I was dependent on Chick-fil-A, and I'm less happy without it, even though I have missed no meals and probably eaten healthier in its absence.
All kinds of things are like this - if emacs went away, I could learn vim. If my apartment building went condo, I could find another place to live. If my favorite TV show got cancelled, I would find something else to watch, read a book, etc. But those are all things I chose to use, and taking any of them away would reduce my welfare by definition, even if only a little bit.
What would you suggest (more for e.g. Twitter users than my example)? Reliant? Used to? The whole concept of dependence is that substitutes aren't perfect. Windows/Mac, Android/iOS, emacs/vim - no one is dependent on those, but a lot of people would be pissed if any one of them went away.
The issue is obviously one of semantics but your concept of dependence is not the widely accepted concept. Dependence means completely reliant on - no substitutions would do. The thing you're dependent on is a requirement, not a preference. For example, you are dependent on food. Remove food from the equation and you will perish. You are not dependent on Chick-fil-A.
Twitpic is dependent on twitter. There are no substitutions that they can make and still survive. They can't port to a service comparable to twitter as there are none.
EDIT: Whether or not users are dependent on twitter is up for date. I imagine it depends on their use case.
> Dependence means completely reliant on - no substitutions would do.
I disagree with that. Package managers have concepts like optional dependencies or alternatives (only 1 of multiple options required). Anyway, you seem to be speaking of dependencies in a technical sense - build dependencies, package dependencies, etc. In a more general sense it is quite normal to say something like "I depend on my bike to get to work" even if I could take the subway or use Uber, or "I depend on YouTube for my daily dose of cat videos" even though you wouldn't really die without them.
I have many, many twitter acquaintances I have literally no other way to contact (many I don't even know their actual names). So yes, dependent in that it's an independent, non-duplicated social graph, completely disjoint from other social graphs. Leaving it would, in fact, cause an ill effect in my life (multiple ill effects, actually), just as withdrawing from any social group.
I would split a hair here: It's not the users as people who are dependent, necessarily, it's the content they've spent time contributing that is dependent on the existence of the 3rd party service and on Twitter itself.
I'd say it's more the shortsightedness of the developers who build on others' platform. It's OK to tag on but you've got to make sure that your core value prop is not a value added feature to that platform. Twitpic could have branched to something else 2-3 years ago, but they did not, and as a result, is eliminated from the game.
But I think the problem goes much deeper: We keep building one-offs. Twitter - a one-off messaging service. Instagram - a one-off photo sharing app.
This is one of the reasons I started Buddycloud. We'd already built a nice location and social app but eschewed the VC cash to, dare I use the word, pivot, and build a different way of building apps.
Instead of building another one-off social-location-system like Foursquare, we decided it better to build a federated platform that others can then start building on. The federation and run-it-yourself mentality means that our users don't end up in the Twitpic scenario and that there are always other suppliers that will host your pictures in a compatible way. In a way that fosters competition between providers without needing to resort to switching friction cost to keep users.
In the Twitpic case, the buddycloud media server is designed to be a plug-in federated media hosting provider for each domain. Don't like how one provider is dealing with you data? Just switch.
It's not been easy to get this far, but we're starting to see traction from ex-app.net devs who are looking for something a bit more open that they can also run themselves (as a Docker container). And I still believe that the real solutions will be based on federated open systems that form a foundation so that developers can innovate further up the stack.
Over the years I have talked to a few companies (large and small) that wanted to move forward on a platform yet maintain some legacy cruft...aka sustaining engineering. I partially declined these companies at the risk of them hiring new and then the stuff you work on you maintain for it's lifetime...but that's another story.
That said, I am curious if there is a business model being missed here. Essentially for twit pic and similar, buying up/sustaining the content and trying to figure out how to get some value out of it.
Another option would be for companies like twitter to offer a mechanism where twit pic/etc content could be snarfed up by the internet archive and when a company goes away, somehow the links to content get redirected.
Legally speaking, most terms of service include a term which allows the provider to change everything in the future, without any limitation. Maybe developers are advised to develop for a platform only if the terms of service include some commitments which will be kept and not changed.
From their website, they appear to both provide services to talk to inmates (of which I have a few friends from my time growing up in a poor, crime infested neighborhood) and to act as a data broker about the prison system and inmates, something I've had a long interest in and is related (tangentially) to my professional work in data analytics.
I won't be using their services either, neither as a communication method nor as a data supplier, and will try to steer any companies I work on data analysis at away from using their data.
It's the same, the part of the flag that was once representing Scotland is now just a blue background; case solved. In fact, I would wager that most folk view that "Scottish part" as nothing more than a background color anyway.
In all seriousness, the idea that the UK would have/need to redesign it's flag, w/ an independent Scotland, just seems preposterous and just plain sad.
To me it's one of the most beautifully designed flags out there -- and let's not forget the $millions in sales it has generated (think Union Jack pillows, dresses etc.) in the pop culture and fashion worlds -- since it (arguably of course) symbolizes that Sixtes "cool factor".
Whenever two factions within a Muslim state clash, one or both will eventually accuse the other of being Israeli stooges. The same charge is also commonly levelled at any external criticism of a Muslim state or faction. It's the Muslim world's equivalent of Godwin's Law.
To be fair, someone did post a link to ynetnews, an Israeli news website which appears to have a rather pro-Israeli-government slant with all that entails. (It was quite entertaining when Turkey got a new government that was no longer friendly to Israel and suddenly all the Israeli politicians and news websites went from pretending the Armenian genocide didn't exist to making a big fuss about it.)