Twitpic can now sell your photos

Thanks to this tweet, I was made aware of a change in the terms and conditions of the popular Twitpic site/service, used to attach images to tweets:

You retain all ownership rights to Content uploaded to Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

Which is all well and good until something happens and you are there and take one of those photos which you then have no control over.

Oh, and deleting your Twitpics “the morning after the night before” may also no longer be enough to save your bacon:

You understand and agree, however, that Twitpic may retain, but not display, distribute, or perform, server copies of your media that have been removed or deleted. The above licenses granted by you in user comments you submit are perpetual and irrevocable.

Although we are assured that:

Deleted images are only accessed in the event of a legal issue.

I, for one, was unaware of these changes in Twitpic’s T&C’s, and I’m unimpressed.
Having been a loyal Twitpic user since I joined twitter, I will now be on the lookout for an alternative.

UPDATE: This looks interesting.
UPDATE 2: Same “we can sell your images” clause is also in yfrog’s T&C’s.

1 Comment | Tagged , , | Posted in annoying people, from your comments, in the news

Death & Taxes

An oldie but a goodie.
A reply allegedly sent from the Inland Revenue (the UK tax people) to a presumably disgruntled Chris Addison and reproduced in full in his column in the Guardian.

The joy for me in this is imagining the original letter which is being replied to. It’s brilliantly written, whether it’s genuine or not.

Dear Mr Addison,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.
Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a “begging letter”. It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a “tax demand”. This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the “endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat” has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from “pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers” might indicate that your decision to “file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies” is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a “lackwit bumpkin” or, come to that, a “sodding charity”. More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay  “go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services”, a moment’s rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to “stump up for the whole damned party”  yourself.  The estimates you provide for the Chancellor’s disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful,  are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on “junkets for Bunterish lickspittles”  and  “dancing whores” whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to,  for example, “that box-ticking facade of a university system.”

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:
1. The reason we don’t simply write  “Muggins” on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;
2. You can rest assured that “sucking the very marrow of those with nothing else to give” has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn’t render it irrelevant,  the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime,  whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to “give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India” you would still owe us the money.
Please send it to us by Friday.

Yours sincerely,

H J Lee
Customer Relations
Inland Revenue

Now – I’m off to email SARS.

1 Comment | Tagged , , | Posted in that's a bit mad, uk

Cold fronts and warm klaps

Ah, the Cape winter. Bringing with it days of endless sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid twenties. Well, not usually, but that seems to be what’s happening at the moment. The first (and possibly second) of the infamous South Atlantic cold fronts that bring wind, rain, wind and rain to the Mother City are but a distant memory and we’re left with pretty days and clear skies forecast for the rest of the week. But we’re not complaining. We’re just enjoying these moments while we can, because we all know that there is trouble ahead, meteorologically speaking.

In an unrelated story, it seems that there’s also trouble ahead, politically speaking, for the ANC. The Daily Maverick’s Stephen Grootes puts their ultra-aggressive campaigning down to a sudden realisation that they are about to be dealt a warm klap by the electorate (a la Liberal Democrats back in the UK) and sheer damage limitation.

Zuma knows that, generally speaking, and with a hugely broad brushstroke, if you’re poor, black and pissed off, you’re just not voting. If you’re white, middle-class and pissed off, you’re going to vote, but not for him. So he’s got to invoke something to get the masses out to vote. And he is almost forced to be heavy-handed. How do you counter the image of black people on TV old enough to remember the days when they couldn’t vote now saying they will not vote? Well, you claim they’ve “been fed propaganda”, and invoke the horror of our past. It’s pretty sharp, but it’s all there is left for Zuma to use.

And political analysts here at 6000 miles… when asked their opinions on what might occur next Wednesday were very clear:

ANC support to *decrease* in CT – no chance for Tony. DA and Cope alliance to take Nelson Mandela Bay. ANC to get big scare in JHB, nearly losing it. Big DA inroads everywhere, and by far our most significant election since 94.

Which goes against the official ANC line that they can win Cape Town, but is very much in keeping with the other official ANC line which says that they can’t win Cape Town.
ANC provincial secretary, Songezo Mjongile is with Zuma in the former camp, talking up their chances of getting 750,000 votes and installing  Tony Ehrenreich as Mayor:

“To win the City of Cape Town, the ANC needs (to win) 56 wards and about 750 000 (proportional) votes based on the expected turn-out. The trends show this is attainable,” said Mjongile.
If the ANC’s supporters flocked to the polls, he said, the DA’s support would fall below 50 percent.

The problem with Mjongile’s statement is firstly that, as mentioned above, the ANC’s supporters are unlikely to flock to the polls and secondly, that no-one can see which trends he is talking about. In the last Local Government elections back in 2006, the ANC received 280 232 proportional votes in the City of Cape Town.  That’s some way short of the 750 000 that he is hoping for this time around.

And our analysts may have a point about Jo’burg as well, as DA MP (and infamously, Daily Maverick Opinionista) Ian Olsen notes:

Rumours spreading of City of Joburg officials told to destroy sensitive documents, “In case ANC doesn’t win” Eish… Rats departing!

Which reminded us of the final days of Cape Town Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo and her “gift” to the people of the city of city manager Wallace Mgoqi, whose contract was extended in the final days of the ANC-led city council in 2006; a decision which was promptly revoked by the incoming Helen Zille. Mgoqi clung like a barnacle before finally being dumped into the middle-management dustbin by a fourth court ruling against him.

It remains to be seen what surprises (or lack of them) the ANC will leave should they lose Johannesburg, but one thing is for sure – it’s looking like the next fortnight is going to bring stormy weather for those in the green, black and yellow camp.

1 Comment | Tagged , , , | Posted in politics, this is south africa

This is getting better and better and better…

The infamous words of football commentator John Motson as England banged 5 goals past Germany back on 1st September 2001. A match we watched in the old and somewhat scruffy Brittania Inn in Headington, before going down the Cowley Road to celebrate. I think I put an Aresnal fan in a skip that night, if I remember rightly. All good fun and games though.

At least for me.

And Motty’s words were echoed this evening on the balcony of a Sea Point apartment as those assembled for birthday drinks watched the sun set over the South Atlantic.

It was rather spectacular, as these thinned versions of the (sadly) cellphone pics show. One other interesting feature was the prominent tower block which appears to be moving slowly, but steadily north as the sequence progresses. That might have been due to the champagne though (I’m assuming it had been drinking too).
Bigger versions of these are available in my pretentiously named Sunsets & Skyscapes set on flickr:

Photos of sunsets or images in which the sky makes up an important part of or is integral to the user’s overall visual experience.

Seriously, who writes this stuff…?

Leave a comment | Tagged , | Posted in flickr, quota photo, this is south africa

Coldplay in SA in October

UPDATE: Confirmed! Coldplay to play Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday 5th October 2011 and Johannesburg FNB Stadium on Saturday 8th October 2011. Ticket prices range from R270 – R635 for each venue.
Tickets available from THURSDAY 12th MAY AT 9AM
Computicket,, 083 915 8000

The rumour mill has been at full tilt for some time now regarding Coldplay coming to SA. And it seems that the official announcements will be made simultaneously and at the same time on Primedia stations on Monday that they will indeed be gracing our shores in October 2011, presumably following their trip to Rock in Rio in Brazil.
Some would argue that they are the first decent band we’ve had out here since The Killers, and I’d be inclined to agree.

Herewith, in celebration, the clever video for Fix You – one of their more atmospheric live tracks and one which provided the biggest boost for church organ sales in recent decades.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

On the bright side, since the successful hosting of the World Cup last year, it seems that SA is finally becoming recognised as a worthwhile stopping point for some of the bigger names, although bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, of course.

Anyway – I missed them at Glastonbury because I moved to South Africa by mistake, so what better opportunity to go and tick another band off the list?

Once again, you heard it hear first. Unless you heard it somewhere else before this, obviously.

2 Comments | Tagged , , , , | Posted in in the news, music, this is south africa, uk