Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

*Fading photos* Photopoint comes up blank, frustrating digital camera users
msNBC ^ | 01.05.01 | Lisa Somebody that tells us squat!

Posted on 01/05/2002 9:47:05 PM PST by Registered

Fading photos
Photopoint comes up blank, frustrating digital camera users


By Lisa Napoli
MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR
 
  Jan. 4 —  Richard Unten, a college student in Irvine, California, has friends all over the state and family in Hawaii. His Web site is a centralized virtual space where all the people in his life can see his pictures. Or, rather, could. The company that hosts his digital photo album disappeared just before the holidays.  
 
Lisa Napoli: MSNBC Correspondent

       IF YOU TYPE the words “photo hosting” into the Yahoo search engine, Photopoint is the third listing that comes up. But if you try to access the site, you get nothing. Calls and e-mails to published contacts associated with the business have either not been returned, or have bounced back as undeliverable.
       Industry analysts say the service boasted around 1.5 million members, including Richard Unten, who paid $20 a year to store their photos online.
       “As a paying member to the photo hosting service, I have no idea if Photopoint.com still exists. It seems that no one knows. Pantellic Software, the owners of Photopoint, doesn’t even have a statement available to the public, let alone its paying customers, about the future of the service,” Unten said in an e-mail interview.
       Frustrated Photopoint customers experienced a similar blackout in service in July. Servers were dark and links were dead for about a week then. The explanation was that Photopoint was being acquired by Pantellic, the Nova Scotia-based company that had created the service in the first place. After the blackout, users got an e-mail from Dale Gass, Pantellic’s chief executive. It said, in part:

"I would like to apologize for any uncertainty that our members may have experienced during the transition of ownership. Your photos, albums, and memberships were never at any risk of loss. The safety and integrity of our members’ photos has always been, and will continue to be, our number one priority. We understand how important your photos are to you.”

DEAD PICTURE LINKS

       Unten and others buzzing on Internet digital photography news groups take this as an empty claim, as their friends click on links that yield no pictures. Some Photopoint users used the service to house pictures for merchandise they were selling on eBay, making for not just an inconvenience but an economic wrinkle to the mystery for some.
       In an attempt to vent and find some answers, many of these users have been calling and writing to EzPrints.com, an online service that makes prints from digital photographs which a partnership with Photopoint.
       Jamie Bardin, chief executive of EZPrints, said he had no answers for them. One panicked user told him every photo he’d taken of his toddler was stored on Photopoint.

DEVELOPING INDUSTRY



       The larger issue is the transitioning business of digital photography. There are still “not enough people shooting digital,” Bardin said, although this past Christmas, digital camera sales made up 20 percent of all camera sales.
       “We’re still probably three, four years away from where digital cameras will outsell film. When you start to see that, that’s when this industry will start to take off,” Bardin said.
       And as with most things related to the Internet, there is strange post dot-com boom math involved. As the online photo industry takes off and matures, the number of players in the field decreases.
       Whitney Brown, a spokeswoman for Shutterfly, a competitor of Photopoint, explained. “At one point there were 300 companies that did bits and parts of online photo processing,” she said, as eager entrepreneurs tried to hedge their bets and create new online businesses. Many of them didn’t charge for services, in an attempt to create a buzz and online traffic — and found, as Photopoint did, that giving away services for free did not a business make. (They later started charging a fee.)
       Says Brown, “The lunacy of those days has passed.”
       The “lunacy” has given way to mergers of smaller companies and acquisitions by late-to-the-digital-game industry players like Kodak, which purchased a Shutterfly competitor, Ofoto, last year.
       Now, consumers can more readily find photo processing services under one virtual roof — from the hosting of digital photos to the printing of hard copies to the transformation of a favorite snap into a t-shirt.
       That still doesn’t explain what happened to Photopoint, which Brown says her company has attempted to reach since its disappearance, with an eye toward picking up customers who were left in the dark. She’s had no success, either. (Neither has Ofoto, said James Joaquin, the company’s president.)
       Epson, another of Photopoint’s partners, makes a cryptic reference to the site’s disappearance on its pages, saying that it’s taking photo hosting services in-house and that user photos won’t be available until Jan. 10.
       For many, it’s the digital age equivalent of the local dry cleaners closing its doors — with your clothing padlocked inside.
       “I would be panicked if I was a consumer,” said Brown of Shutterfly. “It’s unfortunate.”
       


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
Frankly, I'm surprised this story isn't all over the place. 1.2 million users just sitting around picking their noses?
1 posted on 01/05/2002 9:47:05 PM PST by Registered (Registered@aol.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Registered
Oh, here's a great link to eBayers that are picking their noses waiting for Photopoint news...
2 posted on 01/05/2002 9:49:15 PM PST by Registered
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Registered
The safety and integrity of our members’ photos has always been, and will continue to be, our number one priority."

Of course, even your number one priority is meaningless if you go out of business.

4 posted on 01/05/2002 9:55:07 PM PST by Timesink
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Perfect illustration.

Caption reads, "I just paid my Photopoint bill, wonder when they'll come back online?"
5 posted on 01/05/2002 9:55:44 PM PST by Registered
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Registered
“We’re still probably three, four years away from where digital cameras will outsell film.

Well, on the one hand, I'm ahead of my time.

On the other hand, I've been had.

Maybe some day some nice, kind person will tell me how to upload my pictures to my Road Runner web site (she sez, in her best Blanche DeBuis accent.)

"I've always depended on the kindness of strangers."

6 posted on 01/05/2002 10:02:57 PM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Well, I'm probably not the best person to instruct you, I lack patience when it comes to "instructing others"...so if you're not willing to email me the pics along with your domain, user id and password information you might want to look elsewhere ;-)
7 posted on 01/05/2002 10:05:54 PM PST by Registered
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Registered
Well, geez, I'll leave the password to my Zone Alarm at the end of this thread. Then help yourself! (They're all yours anyway :-)
8 posted on 01/05/2002 10:07:23 PM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: jrherreid
Another caption, sung to the Dr. Pepper theme.."I'M A PICKER, YOU'RE A PICKER, WOULDN'T CHA LIKE TO BE A PICKER TOO?"
9 posted on 01/05/2002 10:07:29 PM PST by Registered
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Howlin
Just send me the information Darlin and I promise to chew it up and forget it once I'm done...oh, and send me your credit card numbers along with SS#, DOB, and home phone. Thanks.
10 posted on 01/05/2002 10:08:49 PM PST by Registered
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Registered
Or how about "Digital camera, $300. Adobe Photoshop, $100. Paying $20 a year to store your pictures on a nonexistent website, priceless."
11 posted on 01/05/2002 10:13:33 PM PST by jrherreid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Registered
NO ACCOUNTABILITY ON THE INTERNET: Reason Number 73 why the Net PC was another one of Larry Ellison's bad ideas!
12 posted on 01/05/2002 10:28:42 PM PST by Skibane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Registered

Then again, there's always Photoisland.com.

 

13 posted on 01/05/2002 10:39:00 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Skibane
NO ACCOUNTABILITY ON THE INTERNET: Reason Number 73 why the Net PC was another one of Larry Ellison's bad ideas!

"The network is the computer"; hence, the network is down.
14 posted on 01/05/2002 10:42:03 PM PST by Bush2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Registered
Just use Laz's like we all did during the last Freepathon.
15 posted on 01/05/2002 10:50:05 PM PST by Howlin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Registered
One panicked user told him every photo he’d taken of his toddler was stored on Photopoint.

What a maroon.

Has it occurred to anybody besides me that paper is as close to permanent as we know it for photographic purposes but digital is is only as good as the technological standard? When was the last time anybody broke out their Super 8 movie projector? That was 25 years ago. How many people still have turntables that work? RLL hard drives and first generation IDE went away 10 years ago. People act like computers have been around forever when I remember multitasking with Desqview under DOS 3.1 and Windoze is effectively a whole 8 years old. Anybody wanna guess on how long current digital storage technology lasts?

16 posted on 01/05/2002 10:58:48 PM PST by agitator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: agitator
Can't digital photos be stored on a floppy or CD?
17 posted on 01/05/2002 11:11:36 PM PST by Chapita
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Registered
Try Ofoto at ofoto.com. It's run by Kodak (lots of opportunities to buy prints) so it should be the last one standing, it's free and apparently no mb limit. I've got 19 albums there, one with 162 images and another one with 138. It provides a decent way to share photos with friends and family.

I store my images on my hard disk and a Zip disk as well. Hope to get them on a CDRW someday.

18 posted on 01/05/2002 11:13:38 PM PST by Uncle Sausage
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chapita
Yeah, digital photos can be stored on floppies or cd's but if you had stored digital photos on a 5-1/4" floppy 7 years ago, do you have a 5-1/4" drive to read those floppies today? My point is that paper sits there. If it's good quality photographic paper, it will still be sitting there 100 years from now. If you don't revise your digital media storage to the latest hardware and software standard every time a new standard arises, one of these days, you're not going to be able to see those pictures anymore. The National Archives is having a fit over this very problem.
19 posted on 01/05/2002 11:16:51 PM PST by agitator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: agitator
Transferred my Super 8's to video ages ago ('course thats obsolete now, too) but still have the films and projector; still have a turntable that works and still have a computer with a 5-1/4. Still have about about a thousand prints in a box somewhere. Gonna index them someday, too.
20 posted on 01/05/2002 11:28:54 PM PST by Uncle Sausage
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: agitator ; Chapita
The Future

Stay Safe !

21 posted on 01/05/2002 11:30:06 PM PST by Squantos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Squantos
Light of Other Days, Bob Shaw, 1972. The premise of the story was "slow glass". Light took 20 years to pass through it. Maybe it's about to be invented.
23 posted on 01/05/2002 11:56:08 PM PST by Uncle Sausage
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Sausage
??? really now .....I'll have to give that a read. Thanks !

Stay Safe !

24 posted on 01/05/2002 11:58:03 PM PST by Squantos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Registered


PhotoPoint Still MIA, Epson's PhotoCenter Knocked Out
 
by Michael Bartlett

PhotoPoint.com, a popular but troubled picture-sharing Web site, has been offline for a week. Parent company Pantellic Software's Web site also is down, and this week, Pantellic took Epson's PhotoCenter site down with it.

PhotoPoint went out of business in July and was acquired by Pantellic - a company that builds online photo services for businesses and was the original creator of PhotoPoint. Pantellic purchased PhotoPoint from Sherwood Partners, a crisis management firm that was liquidating PhotoPoint's assets.

Neither company could be reached for comment on this story.

Keith Kratzberg, the director of photo imaging at Epson, said his company launched its PhotoCenter in April, with PhotoPoint as its third-party vendor "powering" the site. Because of PhotoPoint's troubles, Epson switched to Pantellic in July, he said.

Even before Pantellic went dark last Friday, Epson was preparing for the eventuality that it would have to take its photo-sharing site in-house, he said. On Wednesday, Epson decided to turn off the site in order to preserve the photos customers already had stored.

"With a site like this, you hate to go dark for any period," said Kratzberg. "We were prepared to go in-house, but it happened more suddenly than expected. But when we could see that Pantellic could no longer support our site, it was more important to keep our members' photo albums intact, rather than try to maximize the time we were up."

The people who paid money to put their images online are upset with PhotoPoint for disappearing without a trace. Many of these former customers vented their ire on the F--kedcompany site this week.

An individual posting under the handle, "wddbear," wrote, "I have over 950 photos stored there, and they better find a way for me to get them. I paid for a full year and some of those pictures cannot be replaced. I smell a lawsuit coming."

Another customer, "gladIpaid," wrote, "Glad I just paid for more space. Goodbye $60.00. No notice, no replies to customer concerns, no information for paying customers, no parent site - not even a splashpage telling us we're f--ked."

In a later post, "gladIpaid" added, "Well, although I do have copies of all my photos, when I think about the hours that went into photoshopping them and all the caption information I lost, it makes me mad."

Wendell Evans, a freelance journalist based in Philadelphia, Pa., and a former PhotoPoint customer, told Newsbytes the loss of caption information is the most galling part of the situation to him.

Evans said he had about 350 photos, letters and newspaper clips on the PhotoPoint system. He is preparing a book on his family's migration across the United States dating back several generations. Through his research, he has discovered 500 living relatives, and gathered numerous pictures and documents.

"PhotoPoint was a gathering point, a way to involve all those people," said Evans. "Now, all of those images have vanished into the ether for all I know. It is not so much a loss of money, but it is a loss of convenience and time."

Evans said he will have to re-upload 350 items, and recreate the descriptions.

"The biggest problem is the captions. They only existed on the PhotoPoint Web site," he said. "I have the information, but I will have to go back through my notes and reunite each photo with the notes. That is a huge loss of time. I am not back to square one, but I am back to square four."

One F--kedcompany poster who identified him or herself as "Tannis" and said he or she was a former PhotoPoint employee, defended the company. Tannis wrote, "businesses succeed, businesses fail, businesses face challenges that most customers never have the opportunity to grasp the concept of just exactly what went wrong."

"I am confident that if at all possible, PhotoPoint will be back online, and if not, they will make every attempt possible to ensure their users get the opportunity to (retrieve) their photos," Tannis added.

Even if that turns out to be true, Evans said he still is upset about the way the company handled things.

"It is incredible. I am really annoyed they disappeared without an e-mail or anything," he said. "They could have told us, 'hey, the business didn't work.' It is the deception that bothers me. They don't even return phone calls. They belong in the cybersleaze hall of fame."

Photopoint.com used to be at http://www.photopoint.com .

Pantellic Software used to be at http://www.pantellic.com .


25 posted on 01/06/2002 12:53:38 AM PST by stlnative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: agitator
I see! Thanks!
26 posted on 01/06/2002 1:15:52 AM PST by Chapita
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

After getting hosed by Geocities, then Tripod and finally Yahoo over my pics, I broke down and got my own domain for a one time fee $35.00. I pay $15.00 a month for 25 megs of space. I store my pics on my hard drive as backup and if, for some reason my server company goes belly up, I just FTP my pics to a new server company. All my pic links remain since my domain name hasn't changed.

I'm sure there are cheaper server hosts than my $15.00 service per month. You just have to do some research to find them. I paid a bit more to have the reliability of backups and tech support.

28 posted on 01/06/2002 2:30:12 AM PST by spectr17
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Registered
Another dot.com bankruptsy scam I suppose.
29 posted on 01/06/2002 4:52:33 AM PST by chainsaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Registered
I have been trying to find out what happened to Photopoint!

All pictures I had linked on FR were stored there.

They took my money and ran. I will check out Shutterfly.

30 posted on 01/06/2002 6:10:35 AM PST by Budge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Registered
One panicked user told him every photo he’d taken of his toddler was stored on Photopoint.

And, like a toddler, he had exhibited no foresight in making backup copies on his own HD or media.
31 posted on 01/06/2002 6:21:15 AM PST by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: brigette
The company could at least have used the money that its subscribers were *still* paying it to keep their servers up long enough to say goodbye. My guess is that they dragged their bandwidth bills out long enough that their provider cut them off, or that their landlord locked them out.
32 posted on 01/06/2002 6:34:59 AM PST by kezekiel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Registered
Frankly, I'm surprised this story isn't all over the place. 1.2 million users just sitting around picking their noses?

Frankly, I'm surprised that anyone would be stupid enough to not have a copies of important photos stored locally.

I can see using resources like Photopoint as an online "showcase", but anyone was using it as their only source of storage is an idiot.

33 posted on 01/06/2002 6:37:10 AM PST by AAABEST
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chapita
Storing your images on a floppy is not a good idea, they tend to go bad over time. So far CD's are a good bet, but the technology is changing so fast that cd's will probably be outdated in a very short time, leaving you with CD's that you won't have a way to read.
34 posted on 01/06/2002 6:45:00 AM PST by HapHaszard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Sausage
"I store my images on my hard disk and a Zip disk as well. Hope to get them on a CDRW someday"

My new puter came with a burner and it's great for storing photos.

An 800mb cd will hold around 400 photos.

My Nikon digital camera easily and quickly loads photos straight to cd.

As far as durability, I have 10 year old music cd's that still work.

35 posted on 01/06/2002 6:46:03 AM PST by Vigilantcitizen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AAABEST
I can't agree with you more!
36 posted on 01/06/2002 7:07:25 AM PST by Registered
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: agitator
Good point. Wasn't the Libary of Congress supposed to do something about this?

By the way FREEPERS just what is the BEST photo hosting site?

Now that I have XP and it seems to be willing to do just about everything for me with photos (love that new pic of W's portrait I have hanging on my wall!) I may join the ranks of REAL band width users around here.

37 posted on 01/06/2002 8:37:34 AM PST by mercy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Snow Bunny;Uncle George
Is your site gone too dear? I am so sorry, it was great.
38 posted on 01/06/2002 8:47:33 AM PST by Uncle George
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Registered
I heard that Al Gore invented Photopoint.com.
39 posted on 01/06/2002 8:58:27 AM PST by Boss_Jim_Gettys
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Registered
. One panicked user told him every photo he’d taken of his toddler was stored on Photopoint.

What kind of idiot puts the only copies of his digital photos on a server over which he has no control?

I had a ton of pictures at photopoint but kept copies of all of them burned on CD's. Luckily for me I have access to several web servers and plenty of drive space as alternative web storing sites. But hey $20 a year, you gets what you pay for in life.

40 posted on 01/06/2002 9:48:17 AM PST by Cacique
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: mercy
i don't know the BEST site but yahoo photos gives you 30mb for free and you can buy more and i have found it reliable so far.
43 posted on 01/06/2002 10:40:54 AM PST by fatrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: spectr17
I went web host hunting this weekend. My old web host company got sold to a new web host company. The new company fumbled the ball. After 20 days without a web site and 14 days without my domain name mail service, I decided to look around.

The best I found was www.hostsave.com

6.95/month
No set up fee
60 MB storage

I did a net searching on them. They got good reports.

I signed up, got my domain transfered and new domanin name web site and email operational in 24 hours.

The old host still has not been able recover most of the web sites they bought. If you want to know who NOT to buy from, send me an FR Email.

44 posted on 01/06/2002 3:29:44 PM PST by Jeff Gordon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Sausage
I remember it as Other Days, Other Eyes, but I DO remember it. In fact, I've got it here somewhere. Talk about a blast from the past ...
45 posted on 01/06/2002 3:42:21 PM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Uncle George
HI my dear friend.I had to find another photo storing place and then reload all the photos. I still have about 30 floppy disks to reload to the new place.

It meant having to re-do my profile page and I still have to re-do some of the last page of my homepage and change the address for my photo albums.

Uncle Geogre, it was awful. All the USO Canteen threads I did , the graphics are gone from the old threads whereever I posted things.

Oh well, it is not life and death, just tons of work getting another place, and reloading all the graphics and pictures to it.Plus the money I paid photopoint for a year is gone.
They must be liberals that ran it....no honor.

Soooooo good to see you !!!

(((((((((( HUG )))))))))))

46 posted on 01/06/2002 6:20:32 PM PST by Snow Bunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon
Thanks for the info, I passes it on to some friends who are shopping. Looks like it beats my deal too.
47 posted on 01/07/2002 10:27:35 PM PST by spectr17
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson