Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Rant about Censorship and a Post about a Can of Air

To all Turkish bloggers
Please be advised that, according to rumors, once again the Turkish courts have blocked ALL blogspot connections inside the country. If the information is true, the same excuses and the usual suspects are to blame, i.e. Digiturk and illegal copyright violations of football matches.
According to antiquated media laws in the country, the courts have the right to immediately close any site if a complaint is filed. Some time later, days, weeks, months a judge may look over the case. (Most of the major bans are lifted at this point.)
In this case, the complaint has apparently been filed against blogspot and not the individual blogger. Thus, all blogs using the blogspot format are closed. One day, you go to your blog and you get a message that your blog is not opening. First you panic and then, after a chill pill, you go to a proxy server and find that your blog- now an orphan- is perfectly safe but unreachable. Then you get angry and you stay angry for a few hours. For me, the next stage is a kind of sadness for the country.
Mind you, I could be wrong about all this. None of this is public information. It is all done behind closed doors with lawyers and judges. Clearly none of the parties involved feels that any person has a right to know or even to ask.
Frankly, I am rather doubtful about this entire scenario because the timing is a bit too coincidental. I have always been on the paranoid side but, given the recent unprecedented events in the region, it's hard not to see a connection.
With Digiturk is one of the largest cable media suppliers in the country, many people are now seriously thinking of cancelling their cable services. (It isn't a monopoly and many of the other cable providers are just as good.) When this interruption first began a couple of days ago, a friend of mine spoke to a S.O service rep (an Internet Service Provider) and he couldn't explain the problem. That's called a "telephonic shrug of the shoulders." Of course not, Digiturk owns S.O. too.
I recently signed up for S.O. new fiber optic line too. It was so fast and modern but then they never actually promised complete Internet. It's a partial Internet Provider I suppose. They So it's really my fault, I guess. Google is also affected but to the degree it was in the last ban, when many of the Google apps were accidentally locked as well.
For Can of Air
Recently my laptop has been acting up. (And I am definitely not speaking of Shakespearian acting. More like Nicholas Cage.) Lots of strange noises coming from inside which I firstly thought was my hard drive about to implode. Later I learned it was my fan- which is apparently clogged with dust and cat hair. I have used the vacuum on it several times in the past and this has, much to my surprise, worked. So far, it hasn't this time.
I went on YouTube (which hasn't yet been banned) and learned the way to solve this problem was to purchase a can of air. That's correct. A spray can of air and you can clean it out this way. Other than that, the solution appears to be taking the whole thing apart... and I mean, the whole thing. The laptop has 3.6 billion screws that are nearly microscopic.
As a child I was often reprimanded for taking things and disassembling them. Naturally, I would always be unable to get everything put back together and my parents used to be quite miffed whenever I did this. So I think I have grown out of that stage and I don't think I will attempt it.
So off I went into town to buy my can of air. First thing I managed to do was to stumble and twist my ankle. I laid there on the cold ground wondering if I had actually broken my ankle and I was thinking, is THIS what old age means? I climbed up a wall- literally- and put my weight on it it and it held. Pacing back and forth in the parking lot, I decided I would make another attempt.
When I got into the center of town, it was crowded. It is always crowded. Now I know this sounds like a grumpy old man but... I have noticed that so many people- at least, the ones I encounter when I venture out- really do not know how to walk anymore. I do not mean they stumble and fall. That's me. I mean they don't walk in an orderly way.
Examples. They walk three in a row, shoulder to shoulder and will not allow anybody to pass in either direction. You will have to wait for them. They like to walk fast and then stop and start and then walk slow. They like to push their baby carriages at you like some kind of Roman weapon of war. They will actually bump into you while they try to walk and talk on their cell phones. Is it only Turks or is this a world wide thing?
Anyway, so I went to shop after shop and tried to explain that I was hunting for a can of air. I explained in Turkish, that my laptop had a lot of dust inside and the thing seemed pretty clear to me but so many people just stared at me like I had lost my mind. One gentleman told me to bring my PC in and they would take it apart and... I was starting to imagine the resulting chaos. That same shop couldn't even refill my ink cartridge so I wasn't about to have them hand me a back a bag of laptop and give me an endearing shrug.
Another man offered to blow out my dust with an air compressor. The kind they use to fill aircraft tires, by the look of it. I could only imagine watching him press the handle and have a blizzard of keyboard buttons flying all over the room. It was still a tempting offer since he said it would be free. But I thanked him and left, wondering if I would ever find my can of air.
Finally, I made one last attempt and the old man invited me into his shop and when I asked him for the air and did my best explanation. He said, "Sir, you do know this is an electronic shop, don't you?" As opposed to a air canning shop, I guess he meant. My eyes went into slits and I said, "Yes, I do. Thanks anyway." And yes, if you are wondering, I did mutter something vile under my breathe. But, being a coward, my testy little comment was in English.
After that, I gave up. My ankle was really starting to ache and so I thought it best to come back home. When I finally returned to my humble abode, I took off my shoes and socks and so my ankle was the quite swollen. It looked like somebody had slipped a tennis ball under the skin.
And so now, as I write this, my laptop, choking on furballs, whirs and hums like a 1950s sci-fi spacecraft.


  1. More stupid censorship, boo!....

    As for the can of air, I admire your moxy even going to ask around about such a thing. That's totally in the territory where most people would think you're completely insane, or making a linguistic mistake. I don't know what the superstore situation is down there, but I've seen cans of air at places like Techno S.A. and Medya Markt... Good luck! And geçmiş olsun for the ankle.

  2. Sorry, Stranger. I made an edit. I think you might understand why. Yes, I have used that thing that you mentioned but for me, this time, it didn't work. None of the usual things broke the ban this time. Obviously they are hiring better staff.

    If you send me your email, I can give you another means that, much to my surprise, works fine. (Needless to say, I will not reveal your email address)

    All day I have had no problem. Are we sure the ban is still in effect? :) For some reason, now I just feel like watching TV instead of using the laptop.

    The ankle has been hurting all day.

    I woke you and tried the vacuum again on the vents. Only, this time (discovering my inner genius) I decided to turn OFF the PC. I was clearly cancelling out the suck. It seemed to improve the situation enough for me to delay another expedition in search of canned air. I think I shall indeed try the places you mentioned but only after I am ready to hobble about.

  3. Hi!
    I had bought my domain name last year and used blogspot until a couple of months ago. I finally got tired of not being able to access my blog regularly and moved to Wordpress, it was pretty easy. I haven't had any problems since.

  4. Kinda ironic that in the US we can buy canned air at almost any store. WalMart, Staples etc. I bought a 2 pack for $15. To me that is expensive but it works better than a vacuum cleaner.

    Good Luck w/the other issue.

  5. @Jules
    In the past Wordpress has been blocked so I am not so sure if I want to go through the hassle. In fact, I think I already have a blog site in Wordpress but I never use it. I was thinking of buying a domain name too. Somebody has stolen "Nomadic View" tsk tsk. Somebody has actually taken "A Nomadic Views" which grammatically fails to impress me. (The site wasn't all that wonderful either.)
    I saw that web hosting is surprisingly cheap and offers a lot of possibilities. At this moment, what with my PC problems, I think I'll hold off on any expansive changes.

  6. @Dusty
    I am sure that you are correct about its availability in the states. There are a lot of things like that in Turkey. One of the less pleasing things about living abroad. Still, it doesn't make sense when it is an American company like Best Buy. Oh well, If I want to clean my screen there's lots and lots of that!

    I've tried the vacuum a couple more times and decided that I was only doing it to do something. It didn't seem to change anything.
    Thanks for your comment, btw.


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