Opt out

I received an SMS from motoring company Subaru this evening. I’d imagine that they have my number because we looked at buying a Subaru, before eventually not buying a Subaru. But they make you fill in all the information for marketing purposes (like this SMS) before you get to see the goods, and you comply, because you want to stay on the good side of the salesperson, just in case.

Decent deal, and… no… wait. That’s not why we’re here.

You’ll note that the sms has an opt-out.co link at the bottom. I chose to use it.
I’ve moved on since I signed up with Subaru. (Great car, small boot.)

It (the link, not the car) took me a site where I had to enter the cellphone number that they contacted me on. Fair enough – that’s clearly a only a campaign (9930) specific link. I entered my number.

On the next screen, they made me read the SMS message that they’d just sent me. That was a bit odd, since if it was the wrong message, there was no option to say “er… actually no – that wasn’t it”; there was just a continue button at the bottom. But ok, I’ll jump through your weird hoops. I clicked the button.

And when I clicked it, I got this:

“If you receive another sms from the current campaigns [sic] kindly ignore it.”

Wut? Really? Time for this gif, I think:

If I wanted to just ignore “another sms from the current campaigns [sic]”, I would have done exactly that. I don’t want to receive the sms to ignore.

That’s kind of the point.

I want to opt out. (It’s a difficult concept to grasp, I know.)

I’m no legal beagle, but I’m pretty sure that this really isn’t how this works.
This isn’t how any of this works.

I’m going to be on the lookout for another sms from the current campaigns [sic] and then when I get one, I am going to sue Subaru for every last cent that they have be really rather irritated about the whole thing.

Honestly, how difficult can this sort of stuff be?

(Beach fisher)men are trash

Much like cyclists, it’s the 98% of beach fishermen that give the other 2% a bad name. The beaches of Cape Agulhas are hugely popular with beach fishermen because of the rich variety of fish to be found there. Consequently, the beaches of Cape Agulhas are also hugely littered with the detritus from this pastime, because of the rich variety of beach fishermen to be found there.

I recently posted this photograph of the literally miles of fishing line that we picked up on a quick walk along the beach in Suiderstrand.

And the fact is that we could have gone back and done it again the following day. Or walked the other way along the beach and collected the same amount again. The waste from casual beach fishermen is ubiquitous, and by far the biggest polluter of our local shores.

But it doesn’t end there. Fishing is a communal activity, and that sort of communal activity in South Africa demands some sort of liquid accompaniment. Thus beer cans and brandy bottles are also left all over the rocks, clearly it being far too much effort to pop them back into the bag you brought them in and drop them into the bin back at the parking lot before you illegally weave your way home.

But it doesn’t end there, either. Because a day out on the beach with plenty of brandy can really get the metabolism going, and so the local dunes are littered with piles of human excrement and bog roll. Never have the services of the local puff adder population been more in demand. One bite on the balls of a crouching miscreant would surely see a massive and immediate drop in this disgusting behaviour.

I recognise that I’m not painting a particularly pretty picture of the area, which is sad, because it is a particularly pretty area. I’m just tired of it being ruined by dirty, lazy, uncaring fishermen, especially when the facilities which mean that all of this sort of behaviour is completely unnecessary, are right there next to where they parked their cars.

And, as ever, SANParks and the local law enforcement are impotent and invisible. Try flying your drone in the National Park though (no, I haven’t) and they’d be all over you like an aggressive lichen.

Right. I’m done. I’ll be clearing up some more fishing line off the beach this weekend, and I’m going to keep this soapbox safely here in case I need to get back on it at some time in the near future.

Which will inevitably happen.

Drugby

Yeah, some footballers might dive a bit (something I hate, by the way) but if you think all footballers dive a bit, and we’re going to be going down the road of tarring entire sporting codes with the same messy brush, then… wow… this:

Cage rattlage via this guy.

But hey. Obviously, not everyone’s at it, and these figures are for the UK. But with one case of doping and one case of alleged ‘Roid Rage just ahead of the Springbok World Cup squad announcement (no, I’m not providing links, you do the legwork), I don’t think it’s an exclusively UK thing.

So next time Suarez flings himself over the outstretched leg of a defender absolutely nothing, just be mindful that while he’s a complete twat, his latest urine sample was clearly unsullied by illegal substances.

Just saying.

This was my first thought

Images and videos of the protests last week in Cape Town were shared widely across social media, but if there was one image that was more widely shared than any other, it was probably this one:

And while most people’s thoughts on seeing it were about the power of the protest and the sheer numbers of people present, I was wondering how legal it was.

And it seems like it might not be very legal at all. (Apologies for the Business Insider link.)

They mention the fact that Parliament is a National Key Point (although the photo is not taken over Parliament). They mention the fact that the pilot is flying over a crowd (not good practice, because a kilo of drone falling from the sky is going to sting a bit, minimum). They also point out that there was a NOTAM (NOtice To AirMen) (did you just assume my gender?) (let’s not go there) in force because of the World Economic Forum meeting at the CTICC.

I hadn’t considered that one, but it’s probably the most serious of the alleged infringements.

The reason I didn’t really go much further with my thoughts about the photo was twofold: firstly, that (as with every other aspect of life here) no-one cares about the laws and they’re never enforced anyway, and secondly, that I genuinely thought it must have been taken by a professional operating from a helicopter, because (to my eye at least), it seems to have been taken from well above the 120m ceiling allowed for drones. And yes, I know that’s just another law to ignore, but if I was a news person (which was who I had assumed had taken it) and I wanted this shot, I’d have used a chopper, not a drone.

It’s more bad press for drones and it’s going to highlight the lack of sensible admin around flying them. We have yet another dysfunctional government body to blame for that one, together with a misleading media. For example, this line:

Drone pilots have long complained that the SACAA is not issuing pilot licences fast enough. With an application process that can take up to three years… only an estimated 1% of those who operate drones in South Africa are doing so legally.

…is confusing. You don’t need a licence to fly a drone if you are a hobbyist. Whatever the guy who took this photo is guilty of, it’s wrong to assume that he needed a licence to fly his drone (although a little common sense may have been beneficial).

More on those horrendous Amazon forest fires

So much more awful than ever before, fueled by wood Bolsenaro’s policies and utterly cataclysmic for what’s left of the environment.

Or… er… pretty much the same as the last decade and a half.

As of August 16, 2019, an analysis of NASA satellite data indicated that total fire activity across the Amazon basin this year has been close to the average in comparison to the past 15 years. (The Amazon spreads across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and parts of other countries.) Though activity appears to be above average in the states of Amazonas and Rondônia, it has so far appeared below average in Mato Grosso and Pará, according to estimates from the Global Fire Emissions Database, a research project that compiles and analyzes NASA data.

It’s blatant hyperbole.

Again.

Once more for those at the back, I’m not saying that the fires are a good thing, or that we shouldn’t be concerned at the damage they are doing. I’m merely saying that what the green-leaning environMENTAList media are telling us isn’t exactly the gospel truth. The fires they should be more anxious about are the ones in their pants.