Exec Says Kodak Planned To Shrink Your Photos While Saying It Was An Improvement

from the corporate-doublespeak dept

A former Kodak exec is now suing the company, claiming she was fired for opposing a cost-saving plan at the company. The interesting part isn't the lawsuit... but the plan. Apparently, in order to "save money" the company planned to compress all the digital photos it stored, thereby reducing its storage needs (and we thought storage was supposed to be cheap these days!). That's annoying enough for anyone who trusted Kodak to keep their original images in the same shape they were uploaded. However, Kodak is accused of going even further, by planning to tell users that, rather than being compressed, their photos were being "optimized," -- implying that the process somehow "improved" the photos. This was justified by the wonderful explanation: it didn't matter because customers "wouldn't understand, anyway." Kodak is denying the whole accusation, and it's not entirely clear how this is a wrongful termination. It's not necessarily a case of whistle-blowing, since that appears to have happened after the termination. Either way, would be nice to hear a more complete response from Kodak.

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  1. identicon
    ccc, 30 Mar 2006 @ 5:01am

    For those of you arguing that "optimized" is ok because techies use the phrase, I call BS.

    Kodak is NOT aiming this service at techies, techies wouldn't USE it. It's a CONSUMER service.

    Furthermore, optimized only meant reducing the quality and therefore size of an image in one context - reducing the resources needed to transmit it over 56k modems, and to save space on your 1.2mb floppies.

    Optimized only makes sense in the context of who is seeing the benefit. In the examples I mentioned, the consumer (webmaster, etc.) saw the benefit. In this case, the consumer is being told it's being optimized, but from their perspective, they gain no benefit.

    By that logic, Kodak could have told you they were "optimizing" the film photos you sent them for processing by using inferior and cheaper chemicals - resulting in a poorer image, but "optimizing" their profit margin.

    Might as well allow companies to emblazon "New & Improved!" on their cereal boxes after reducing the quality of the ingredients, because they have improved thier bottom line.

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