Saved

Overly dramatic post follows.

I was going to donate blood today, but because of a prolonged conversation with my mother-in-law, I ran out of time to do so, and instead shifted things around a little so that I could donate blood tomorrow instead.

And then, just after I arrived home instead of donating blood, I was informed that the mall where I was going to donate blood was on lockdown after an armed robbery on a jewellery shop therein. Thankfully, no-one was (physically) injured.

But oh em gee. I could have been donating blood when it all happened (safely one floor down and just around the corner from all the pew-pew action).

I think I would have survived.

Sadly, this armed robberyism isn’t an unusual occurrence right now in Cape Town. The post office just down the road got hit a couple of weeks ago, a mall I was outside got hit last week, and I managed to visit another mall just a few hours after another fancy jewellers got done over.

It’s like it’s following me around. But then, it’s like it’s following everyone here around because it’s happening everywhere and so often.

Happy days!

A new menace

The problem with connecting more and more things to the internet is that more and more things are then more and more vulnerable to being attacked by unkind people.

Our family were recently devastated by a DDoS attack on our toaster.
As your family would be too: we weren’t able to have breakfast. Apparently, the attack was launched through a cereal port.

Sorry not sorry.

The latest of these things that I read about is a camera. A Canon EOS 80D, in fact.

Just like mine.

But fortunately, not actually mine.

Vulnerabilities in the image transfer protocol used in digital cameras enabled a security researcher to infect with ransomware a Canon EOS 80D DSLR over a rogue WiFi connection.
A host of six flaws discovered in the implementation of the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) in Canon cameras, some of them offering exploit options for a variety of attacks.
The final stage of an attack would be a complete takeover of the device, allowing hackers to deploy any kind of malware on the camera.

Reading through the article on bleepingcomputer.com, it seems that I am safe from this sort of thing, thanks to my not connecting my equipment to random, free wifi hotspots.

But I will be updating my camera’s firmware to the latest, safer version, as soon as it becomes available in SA.

And that only leaves the viruses in the iron to sort out.

Happy Women’s Day

Happy Women’s Day to all women across South Africa.

Sadly, much like other SA public holidays, the words (because they are just words) ring rather hollow.

Meghan Cremer’s family’s worst fears were confirmed on Thursday when police found the missing 30-year-old’s body in Cape Town.
“Our investigation and search operation led us to a sand mine on a Philippi farm this morning around 1am, where the body of the missing person was found,” said police spokesperson FC van Wyk.

Very depressing. Again.

I do understand what this headline means, but…

Ooer. Drama at the golf.

And the headline to go with it:

Look, I get it. The player (Kyle Stanley) hit the ball into the crowd and didn’t warn them that it was coming. The lady who got hit with the ball happened to be the mother of the caddie of Stanley’s playing partner that day, Bob MacIntyre.

Golf etiquette dictates that golfers should always yell “fore” upon hitting a shot that carries the risk of hitting another golfer. As long as you yelled “fore,” you did all you could to warn the other golfers. Convey this message to them in as polite a manner as possible.

MacIntyre was irritated that Stanley never warned the spectators that the ball was going their way.

But that’s not quite what the headline says, is it? That word “after” really doesn’t fit very well, because now for me, the suggestion is that Stanley should have gone over to Mrs Caddie Mum, who was by now nursing a very, very sore hand, and shouted “fore” at her. And I mean, there’s no point in doing that once the ball has hit someone, is there? In fact, some might call it ‘adding insult to injury’.

Seriously, if a golfer whose ball had just fractured my metacarpals, then strode purposefully off the fairway, across the rough and over to the gallery (look at me with all my golfing terminology, innit?), I’d be expecting some sort of sympathy or apology, not for him to shout “fore” at me at very close range. I’d likely consider that rather sarcastic, and, given my recent and clearly still very painful injury and subsequent troubled state of mind, I might even swing for him with my remaining good hand.

The subheading doesn’t really clear it up either, does it? It almost makes it sound as though MacIntyre was encouraging Stanley to go and scream “fore” into the face of the injured woman. Which he clearly wasn’t, but you wouldn’t know that by reading that second line.

There’s no point to this post except maybe to point out how weirdly my mind works sometimes. And that if you do play golf, and your ball looks like it’s going to hit someone, warn them before it happens, rather than after. Because that’s the way that warnings work best.

The World Cup win

I’ve been quite surprised at the online reaction to England’s Cricket World Cup win last night. So many calls that Stokes’ inadvertent extra boundary shouldn’t have counted, or should have counted for less (fewer?); so many people saying that the final outcome being decided by the number of boundaries in the game was “unfair” or “too arbitrary”.

Allow me a couple of points, if you will.

Firstly, it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people, and yesterday’s game encouraged it even more simply because it was so spectacular, so topsy-turvy, so big: and so damn close. The fact that it was played in such great spirit and with such gracious sportsmanship only adds to the emotion, and to the belief that neither side deserved to lose: that they should have simply declared it a draw (which is clearly hugely irrational, but it’s ok, because I know that I’m doing it).

Secondly, it’s really not “unfair” or “arbitrary” to decide a game in any given manner, just so long as the participants are aware of the rules ahead of time. It would be ridiculous to get to a tie at the end of the Super Over and then choosing a method to decide the winner. I’m sure that no-one could have believed that it would ever come down to how many boundaries each team had scored, but since there was a chance that it might, maybe Kane Williamson (yes, lovely guy) should have rallied his team to score more boundaries. Mind you, since this is kind of the aim of the batting side in cricket generally, I’m not sure why they weren’t trying to do this anyway.

It’s unfair (and irrational) to cherry pick the method of deciding the game only once one gets to the stage where one has to. But still, people thought they’d give it a go. Some other suggestions to decide the game might have been: using the result in the round robin matches (England would have won), the overall net run rate (England would have won), relative positions in the ten team league (England would have won), wickets lost in the Super Over (England would have won), overall boundaries scored in the tournament (England would have won).

But those all seem to have been ignored, with many people seeming to have settled on the number of wickets lost in the 50-over final, which conveniently would have meant that New Zealand took the match, and with it, the World Cup. Of course, it we’d all known about that up front, presumably both captains would likely have encouraged their side to try and lose fewer wickets (which is – again – pretty standard stuff unless you’re raking in some dollars in from some dodgy bookmakers).

Of course, it simply comes down to anti-England sentiment. Which is why we have to hear about all the different original nationalities of the players every time we play.

Everyone: England should accept more immigrants and put them in positions of responsibility.
ECB does it.
Everyone: Not like that.

And which, of course, is rather irrational.

But we’ve covered that already, haven’t we?

So here’s a photo of the World Cup winning team, full of diversity (except that they’re all men, obviously), who scored more boundaries than their opposition yesterday.

Well done, boys!