“It’s what’s wrong with the world. People think technology is an easy ride. They’re watching too much TV.”

— Harry Bosch, The Closers

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Typical. Typical for Tarkov to wipe while I have no time to play games for a few weeks. By the time I’ve got time again, all the streamers will have Kappa and I’ll be completely outgunned again. What kind of time to wipe is the middle of the summer, anyway? Some of us actually have a life. You know, go out in the sun and such? Damn you, Nikita!

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A Tesla is full of brilliant engineering. Well. Kind of.

I turns out that the Model S has a conventional car battery. Which can fail, even while the car is plugged into a charger. That’s because once the big battery for the motors is charged, the charger will turn off and stop topping off the conventional battery that powers the computers, car locks etc. Which means that can eventually run flat, just like in one of those horrible, old-fashioned patrol cars. But unlike with one of those old-fashioned petrol cars, you have to actually partially disassemble a Tesla to get to the battery to charge it manually so that you can use your car again. Which, meanwhile, was sitting on a huge battery, fully charged and fully ready to drive off. Hilarious.

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“Death of a Professor”

The Witcher

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Well, YouTube has restored the episode of The Private Citizen they’ve blocked yesterday. Apparently, I’m not a liar or incredibly bad at my job or whatever they were alleging with their unjustified claim of a TOS violation. They say in an email:

After taking another look, we can confirm that your content does not
violate our Community Guidelines.

Thanks for your patience while we reviewed this appeal. Our goal is to make
sure content doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines so that YouTube can
be a safe place for all – and sometimes we make mistakes trying to get it
right. We’re sorry for any frustration our mistake caused you, and we
appreciate you letting us know.

I guess that’s admitting that they fucked up. No explanation of how such an incredibly dumb mistake could have happened to such a supposedly very smart company, though.

I am still awaiting a response from their press office with a proper explanation. In my opinion, this automated email is a very sorry excuse for supressing important journalistic work. I will continue my research into what options journalists have to prevent overblocking like this.

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You probably know that I record a weekly podcast on privacy, security, civil rights and other policy issues. You might also know that I record each episode live on Twitch and later upload it to my YouTube channel. Today, YouTube informed me that one of my videos had been blocked for a TOS violation for the first time.

They have removed the video for episode 74 of The Private Citizen because it allegedly contains “medical misinformation” with regards to COVID-19. This is a ludicrous claim and obviously bogus – that should be clear to anyone who listens to the episode (which is of course still available in podcast form). It was probably an automatic decision and YouTube is not providing any information on why they think I violated their TOS at all.

Now, it happens that I am not just some random YouTuber. I am a journalist and this video was made with my usual journalistic standards (see my previous work and the ethical guidelines for journalists in the German press codex , which I follow to the letter to the best of my abilities). As such I regard this kind of unsubstantiated claim as a grave insult to my work ethics. And I will fight this tooth and nail – my professional reputation is on the line here.

I have disputed the claim and contacted Google’s press office to provide me with information on why they think I violated their TOS, i.e. detailed justification as to where exactly my video contradicts expert guidance from the WHO and/or RKI. I will also take up this matter with my trade union, the DJV, as I consider this kind of behaviour by YouTube to be a threat to press freedom, especially of independent freelance journalists, here in Germany. I will keep you informed about Google’s response and my further steps in the matter.

Funnily enough, I pretty much predicted that something like this might happen on the podcast only last week when talking about YouTube, upload filters, journalism and free speech: The Private Citizen 73: A Great Time to Be a Podcaster.

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What the fuck is wrong with Microsoft? They push this shit on my taskbar with a minor update? Not even with one of those twice-a-year feature updates?

Look at that shit! Pixelated weather icon looks like it was copied off 1998-era ICQ assets. The fucking font isn’t the same as anything else on the taskbar (or the Start menu for that matter). It’s blurry as fuck as well. And the whole thing doesn’t even adhere to the operating system’s language settings? What the hell, Redmond?

I legit thought someone had installed malware on my computer. This whole thing looks like baitware for a trojan straight from a Russian hacker forum that you get served as a “Free Weather App for Windows” via some scammy banner ad. Only remembering that I shut down my PC for a Windows update before booting into Linux last night saved me from total panic here. And a search on the web.

Apparently, Microsoft has tested this absolute shitshow since January. How the fuck did nobody notice that this piece of shit looks like Russian malware and not like a part of the operating system made by the fucking maker of the operating system? Jesus Christ. People are really going soft in the brain working from home.

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Talking Life, the Universe and Everything While under Enemy Fire

I’ve started a new podcast and I think it’s pretty neat.
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“Aлтын”

Escape from Tarkov

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What’s Been Going On?

An update on what’s happening in my life and why I haven’t been around as much.
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