Turked

Overnight, around 6,000 Turkish-based bots followed me on Twitter.

Here are just a few of them…

The number is wholly coincidental (and will soon be wholly incorrect, as I’m still accumulating high quality followers from Istanbul even as I write).

I don’t know exactly why this is happening, but just for safety’s sake, I’m going to limit my tweeting pertaining to the current situation in Northern Syria for the moment, as I’m concerned that any three letter codeword involving a P and a couple of Ks could set them all off which would make my account even more unusable.

Hopefully, twitter will note this unusual activity and will clamp down on them (and not me), allowing me to return to my regular* (and entirely justified) criticism of R3c3p Erd0gan.

 

UPDATE: Despite some amazing data analysis by @arfness, we’re still none the wiser. He did make some amazing graphs though.

* never mentioned him before.

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).

Subtitles

This crashed onto my computer screen this morning, and though I’ve seen it several (or more) times before and it’s very silly, it’s also very amusing, and so I’m happily sharing it on here.

And talking of fake news programmes – as in other programmes pretending to be news programmes, rather than news programmes playing hard and loose with the facts – I’ve also been enjoying some Jonathan Pie this weekend. His alter ego Tom Walker’s Youtube channel is well worth a browse if you like your comedy hard, fast, spikey and political.

This Is Now America

South Africa might be falling apart at the seams and the UK might be collapsing under the pressures of Brexit, but at least America is leading the way in… what?… oh cock.

The situation over there is why even the usually apolitical Magne Furuholmen has chosen to release a song, sharing his thoughts on the US right now. This are it:

He popped it on his personal Instagram to begin with, but it was more popular than he thought:

wowaweewah…thank you for an overwhelmingly kind response, people!
i woke up yesterday to a record-label in a panic over my insta(nt)-release.
they’re now scrambling to get the track out on other platforms, so stand by for more info as and when i get it – in the meantime, enjoy the exclusivity!

That’s why it’s out all over the place now. It’s upset a few people – mainly all of them Americans – but that is the nature of free speech and incisive political comment.

And I know it’s about the current state of America, but:

“No bridge across divides; a drunken joyride,
With a monkey at the wheel…”

…really does seem to sum up a lot of the planet at the moment.

Happy days.

Mixed day

It’s been a decidedly mixed day.

On the downside, the country fell apart a bit more, with more appalling economic news, kidnapping, murder, violent protests and looting.

However, tonight marks the start of series 15 of Only Connect.
So there is at least something of a glimmer of hope upon the horizon.