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The 7 stages of Nik/Google grief

Nik software's heads must be spinning right now wondering what hit them. One moment they're on an all time high because Google just bought their company and the next the internet is filled with photographers all clearly somewhere in the 7 stages of grief about it. Check out the comments on Nik's announcement post: Here are a few highlights from their comments and from Twitter:

1. Shock and denial

Comment on Nik's post: This is terrifying. You make the best plug-ins in the business. I am scared.

2. Pain and guilt

Comment on Nik's post: You just ruined my day. Sorry to see this happen to a good product line :-(

3. Anger and bargaining

Comment on Nik's post: It would be helpful to have a statement from you or Google or GooNik or Nikoogle as to what this means for your products.

4. Depression, reflection, loneliness

Comment on Nik's post: I guess this is the beginning of the end, after 12 years of using your plug-ins, probably time to move on.

5. The upward turn

Comment on Nik's post: I was planning on upgrading my complete collection, but I’m glad I haven’t done so yet. Time to look for a replacement.

6. Reconstruction and working through

Comment on Nik's post: Oh well. Snapseed was great while it lasted. Time to find an alternative app I guess.

7. Acceptance and hope

On Twitter @chrismarquardt: I see it as an opportunity to do more education around how to get great b/w conversions without the help of NIK

Ok so that's all very entertaining but seriously, should we be worried? Well I'd say yes - worried. But not necessarily in despair, yet. So far we've not seen a response from Google or Nik describing what will happen to Nik's existing product line. All we have to go on is Google's previous track record. Sadly that  hasn't been so good. The recent google acquisition, Sparrow, immediately ceased development. And before that Picnik, the web based photo editing software - was also closed down. Certainly the future looks very bleak for Nik's IOS products.

No doubt we'll see improved photo editing tools in Google's own products like Android and Google+ but what about Nik's existing product line? At the very least it seems likely that talent within Nik will be at least partially distracted into Google products. It seems like Google likes to acquire companies for the talent rather than the products. If that's the case here I believe it'll be the end of the very best plug-in products on the market - products I use very regularly. But perhaps part of the deal with Google is that the Nik plugins will go on. Or perhaps I'm just in stage 1 myself.

Those of you looking for good alternatives should look at Topaz Labs and OnOne Software. This is a huge opportunity for those guys and if they're smart they'll think about offering discounts or cross-grade deals.

[The attached picture, by the way, is one of my old black and whites which I just recently re-processed from the original RAW using Silver Efex Pro and got a very pleasing result in a fraction of the time it originally took me with Photoshop]



Feedburner is malicious now?

This is more of a complaint than anything else but it affects the show so I hope you'll bear with me. PhotoWalkthrough uses Feedburner for the RSS feed that makes the podcast work. I've recently been made aware of a problem with Feedburner's servers. One of my viewers got in touch to say that he couldn't download my shows in iTunes. After some diagnosis back and forth between me and him we discovered it was because he's been downloading a HOSTS file that contains lists of "undesirable" domains and links them back to localhost. This essentially makes it impossible for his machine (and anyone else that uses this HOSTS file) to make contact with those domains. The intention is to stop companies like doubleclick and other ad/spam sites from tracking you and from sending you ads. Sadly is on that list. The hosts file in question is available from but the maintainer of the list pointed out that is also on many other similar lists. He pointed me at this URL to prove the point: So sadly it seems that feedburner is now considered a malicious site. This is obviously a big problem for those of us that have feed URLs that have traditionally gone through feedburner. To our viewers and listeners it simply looks like our show has died and stopped being served. iTunes gives an error saying it can't contact the server. Most people wouldn't even bother to get in touch with us - they'd just assume that the podcast was no more. So I'm faced with a dilemma. On the one hand I don't want to have to change my feed URL. That seems significantly risky to me. I say if it ain't broke don't fix it. My first instinct is to fight the inclusion of feedburner on these HOSTS file lists. But if that's lots of lists - that's a huge battle that I can't win. On the other hand if there are a number of people out there that can't get my show then perhaps feedburner *is* broke so I'll have to change it and face the attendant risk. Either way it seems that someone just dropped a huge pile of extra work in my lap. And that someone is GOOGLE. First they bought DoubleClick. Then they bought feedburner and broke it by putting doubleclick style tracking code in the pages. That hurts ALL the podcasters and bloggers that were using Feedburner who have now gone dark to part of their audience. "Don't be evil" my ass.