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October 19th, 2017

Diversions

App Nauseam | Recurring Themes

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published August 16, 2016

App Nauseam | Recurring Themes

In May, the Norwegian Consumer Council staged a live, 32-hour TV broadcast marathon -- a word-for-word reading of the "terms of service" for internet applications Instagram, Spotify and more than two dozen others, totaling 900 pages and 250,000 words of legal restrictions and conditions that millions of users "voluntarily" agree to when they sign up (usually via a mouse click or finger swipe). A council official called such terms "bordering on the absurd," as consumers could not possibly understand everything they were legally binding themselves to. (The reading was another example of Norway's fascination with "slow TV" -- the success of other marathons, such as coverage of a world-record attempt at knitting yarn and five 24-hour days on a salmon-fishing boat, mentioned in News of the Weird in 2013.) [Wall Street Journal, 5-25-2016]

In the most recent instance of a landlord ordering a resident to make his home safe for burglars, Kevin Sheehan of Abingdon, England, was told by his housing association in May that he would be evicted unless he removed his above-ground backyard fish pond (and relocated the 80 koi carp and goldfish). The landlord was concerned that if a trespasser jumped the property wall, he could not anticipate that he would land in the pond and might hurt himself. [BBC News, 5-26-2016]

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