We’ve gone beyond “the revolution will be televised”…

We’ve gone beyond “the revolution will be televised,” and are in a reality where the latest European war is live-streamed not just through social media, but on online mapping services without Google or Apple intending it.

The sheer volume of mapping data now available at our fingertips means it was possible for civilians half a world away to see when Russian forces began moving. Specifically, that data pinpointed a traffic jam starting on the Russian side of the border, actively moving into Ukraine in the first few minutes of the Russian and Ukraine conflict.

Google Maps did not specifically say that it was troop movements, nor was its satellite imagery up to the minute. During the process of researching this story, we’ve confirmed that Apple Maps presented similar inbound troop movement information — but it wasn’t setting out to do that either.

What these services did, though, was register all of the smartphone users whose driving was slowed or halted by unusual traffic conditions. Wherever the majority of the data came from, it was possible to determine what was happening when coupled with known details of Russian troop locations.

So it was possible to know that the invasion was starting, long before conventional news could break the story. And, it was all relayed in real-time on Twitter.

TWITTER does everything I need it to do. And more.

Hank the Tank is Innocent!

Hank the Tank, a 500-pound black bear who lives in South Lake Tahoe, California, is a wanted individual. Residents of this idyllic ski town have reportedly called the police about Hank more than 150 times, and he’s been caught in the act of property damage at least 28 times in the pursuit of human food. According to the New York Times, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is edging towards euthanasia as the solution for Hank’s disruptive presence, while bear advocates frantically try to arrange a spot for him at a wildlife sanctuary…

Hank has become a national media story, because of his sheer bigness, but coverage that describes him as nothing but a destructive and dangerous force misses the mark. He doesn’t know about laws, and, as a bear, there’s no way he’ll ever find out about them! He is, above all else, innocent. Hank deserves protection from state violence…

Having a bear inside your house is scary and dangerous— I don’t want to minimize that—but even the South Lake Tahoe residents who are most threatened by the prospect of hulking, furry home invaders don’t want Hank dead. Ann Bryant, president of a local black bear advocacy organization called the BEAR League, told CBS13 Sacramento that people in the community “do not want the bear to pay the price for human ignorance,” adding that “when a bear is set to die in their community, people take a stand.” In an interview with a blog called AnimalRightsChannel, Bryant said that, pre-COVID, South Lake Tahoe residents had happily adapted to the presence of bears in their community and that pushback against Hank’s presence was driven by newcomers. “[The bears] go swimming at the beach with us,” she said. “They have names.”…

To borrow a legal argument, a bear who’s broken into 28 houses is a bear that’s been near people 28 times without hurting anybody. Give everyone a way to secure their garbage cans and leave Hank the Tank alone.

UPDATE: The hunt for Hank has officially been called off, thanks to—I swear to God—DNA evidence that proved three different bears were responsible for the property destruction previously blamed on Hank alone. Wild!

No foul, No harm. No penalty!