in post

January 13, 2021

Phone camera software

I have lately been annoyed that every time I open my camera app, Samsung suggests that I will save photos to One Drive (their cloud platform). There should at least be an option that says "Never ask me again", but all I can choose is "Not Now". I am not signed in to Samsung (or Google) on my Samsung A10. and don't plan to use a cloud platform. So I looked in FDroid for an alternative Camera App and found Open Camera. I am not sure it has all the features of the Samsung camera app, but it has quite a lot. One small thing I like is that it can show a cropping grid for my favourite aspect ratio, which is 3:2. For now I have made Open Camera my default camera app, and placed it on the home screen of my BaldPhone launcher.


Despite the initial high numbers, Israel's vaccination drive has been faltering due to a shortage of vaccines, though new supplies are supposed to arrive during the week. About 1.9 million have been vaccinated so far. Second shots are not expected to be affected.


EFF Conference

The EFF have a conference in a couple of days on privacy concerns regarding mandated COVID-19 applications.
They are holding it on their channel on Twitch, which I would not agree to use as it's an Amazon subsidiary. It's being live-streamed also to Facebook (which I use only for my office) and YouTube, which, well... Anyway, YouTube doesn't require a login. Are there still no viable alternatives to these surveillance capitalist companies for holding big events?

Being not quite equal

The Mohammad Bakri verdict illustrates what it means to be a not-quite-equal minority in Israel. Theoretically, you can make films, run for the Knesset, speak freely. If you play nicely, you will enjoy a modicum of tolerance and respect. If you speak out against the majority view, you will be cornered by a hostile establishment and regarded as a dangerous member of a fifth column. In the previous suit against him, Bakri apparently won on a technicality. The latest suit, according to the TV news, he lost because the plaintiffs, a soldier or group of soldiers, could claim that their good name had been injured by the film: the Jenin residents interviewed in it had accused the army of committing a massacre. Bakri, in his defence, said that he was just a film-maker, not an investigative journalist, and had no ability to check the validity of the narrators' stories. "This was their narrative", he said. But the court did not agree. The judges said that he had a responsibility also to air the other side of the story, i.e. the army's version of what happened. As if every lie put out by the military spokesperson were to be balanced by the version of the Palestinian victims - the media just swallow whatever the army says. But, to its credit, the TV channel at least used footage (without commentary) of destroyed houses, and women standing among the ruins, as the backdrop to their voice-over. It created a jarring contrast to the former soldiers elation that justice had been served and their name had been finally cleared.

In the world's eye, they will always remain war criminals, even if international human rights agencies eventually decided that this was not a massacre. In the eyes of Israelis, the battle of Jenin was a just response to a town that had sent more than two dozen suicide bombers to kill innocent people in Israeli cities. In the eyes of the Palestinian residents, hundreds of whom found themselves homeless, this was the latest and greatest in a long stream of injustices. "Arna's Children" shows very well the background story of how children in the town grew up to be fighters. "Paradise Now" shows well how young men become suicide bombers. In the Middle East, it is not truth that wins out, but always the narrative, the story that has been told to you and which you tell to your children. Perhaps it's the same everywhere.