It must have been tempting to use the phrase Nancy boy in this article.
A French youth who used a drone to capture impressive aerial footage of the city of Nancy is facing an appearance before the beak on a charge of "endangering the lives of others". Nans Thomas, 18, strapped a GoPro camera to an unspecified vehicle* he bought on the internet to produce a noteworthy video, which quickly became …
@Symon, I take your point, and PC'ness has helped move us away from those generic derogatory terms that were so prevalent.
However, when is enough enough? I agree that people should be educated as to the harm using such terms can have so that if they do use them, you know that they are projecting a personality flaw of their own (as opposed to just repeating what their forebears said in ignorance).
What I object to is the way in which it has become a form of self censorship of language, which in turn is a form of mind control.
I do believe that people have the right not to be persecuted because of their creed/colour/sexual orientation etc., especially when it is aimed at a person based on a stereo-type. However I don't believe people should have the right to not be offended by someone else's views.
Just as an example, if I thought someone was an arsehole and told them so I think that is fair enough. It's based on my personal experience of that person and not on a negative stereo-type. However, if they were black, or gay or whatever, then saying that they were a 'black arsehole', or a' gay arsehole' would not be acceptable.
The problem (in this example) arises when I call someone an arsehole, and because that person happens to be black/gay/whatever there is often a call of racism/homophobia simply because the person I believe to be an arsehole just happens to fall into one of those categories.
It is unfortunate that there is a general lack of subtlety within the realm of public perception and with every step that political correctness takes, we lose a little more. The media is often portrayed as the villian in sensationalising trivial matters, yet surely it is the buying public that is actually at fault. If no-one bought bad-news for example, how long do you think it would take papers to start running good-news stories?
...are the worst sanctimonious arseholes out there. A black friend of mine says people get embaressed and confused when he's in America, because they insist on using the insulting term 'African American' (do the rest of you refer to yourselves as 'european americans' ??)
After a bad breakdown, I recently spent just over a year in a 'community rehabilitation centre' - or whatever the hell they called it - I honestly don't remember. basically, mental home.
I needed the help, and opted to go - everyone else there had been sectioned.
Last halloween, some idiot complained about the Halloween costume that tescos or asda were selling being offensive to people with mental issues. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24278768)
No, what we all found offensive is some nob getting offended on our behalf, making us out to be fragile little helpless wimps with no sense of humour.
It msy shock you, but most people that I've met with mental issues have quite a dark sense of humour on the matter. More importantly, they/we are not blubbering wrecks, but some of the most emotionally strong people out there. That probably comes from dealing with the internal shit 24/7 - everything else is just petty.
So now the situation has been made worse. The stigma they claim to want to lesson has got worse. We are now simply a bunch of blubbering wrecks with no sense of humour that need protecting.
I know "I have a friend that...." is so clichéd, but I did just ask a gay friend of mine, and as expected, he said he would more likely by offended by the second comment - the one attacking the original poster as being homophobic. Surprise surprise, gay people aren't whiny little crybabies either.
The 'Stewart Lee' post above is a fair point to make, I guess, but it's so far to the other extreme as to not be all that relevent to this situation.
Please... common sense and perspective, ok?
Have an upvote.
I'm really surprised and somewhat depressed by how the battle lines are being drawn about this thread.
I mean, the Olympics opened a week ago in a country where people are being beat up, jailed, or worse, for the crime of being a "nancy boy" and where the head of the IOC made a rather lengthy and pointed speech about subject before Vladimir Putin officially opened the games.
Or did I imagine that?
Gay people are being executed in Iran and religious idiots from MY country are going to countries in Africa to pass laws making homosexuality illegal or worse.
Perhaps the editor of this site noticed the byline and discarded it due to the fact that it was obvious to anyone over the age of four!
I mean grow up!
I have (had) the wonderful acquaintance with a friend of the family who when I pointed out that he was a down and out racist idiot (among his many other sterling qualities) rebutted with (after the shock of someone pointing this out to him) that I was being politically correct.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words do (and often) kill.
I shall also be looking up this comedian you mentioned.
Now the video in question was lovely and I do hope the law dismiss this.
>If the youth had used his big chopper to spy on his cheating boyfriend in Nancy, then maybe it would be funny and clever.
>I have (had) the wonderful acquaintance with a friend of the family who when I pointed out that he was
> a down and out racist idiot (among his many other sterling qualities) rebutted with (after the shock of
> someone pointing this out to him) that I was being politically correct.
The fact that it's sometimes correct, doesn't render it impossible to be too politically correct.
Yes, we should be mindful of others, and shouldn't spread hate, but no one has a right not to be offended. Certainly no one has a right not to be offended on behalf of someone else.
As long as there's a distinction between an off-the-cuff remark and actually buying into real discrimination, there's no real harm - assuming we're not making those jokes to people who don't understand the distinction (yes, that was a 'think of the children').
I occasionally get called cripple, hop-along and various other things. It's all meant in good humour and it doesn't cause me any offence, other people it might. Frankly I'd rather have a rapport with someone than have them too busy worrying about saying the wrong thing.
Me and my two best mates, long, long ago, used to go across the street to the Chinese Takeaway three or four nights a week. This was before 'Happy Days' had jumped the shark. On account of products associated with, typically, Kashmir, Nepal, Afghanistan, we were very jovial. We tended to identify people by who they looked like. The Takeaway owner was, therefore 'Arnold'. We'd order stuff like 'an Arnold burger', basically because when you're not expecting it, it's funny. As long as you do it deadpan, anyway. We got on great with them. They understood us.
Then one night, about closing time, a crowd came in, including a guy I'd gone to Junior school with - and who we'd met in the pubs regularly. He saw us having fun, addressing the owner as 'Arnold', being surreal, and decided he could do it too, and came out with racist 'ching chong', making slits of his eyes shit. We were appalled.
What it is, is there are levels of conscious awareness; levels of intelligence. Some of us - me and my two mates - and the Takeaway staff - were on a higher one. And you 'look down' at this buffoon who doesn't get the whole picture, who lives in Flatland, and thinks that what is actually humour is insult.
So it's suddeny fun to gratuitously mock someone's sexuality when it has absolutely no relevance to the article. No play on words, nothing. Yes, he was a boy, was he from Nancy? We don't know, it's not as if it was even hinted that the youth was gay, yet the OP feels it must have been difficult not to make a homphobic comment.
I'm a dorset boy, I've got a few friends who identify as london lads. If he's from nancy, he's a nancy boy. BTW I'm going on the assumption you aren't gay based on how offended you were by that comment. In my past jobs I have had several bosses who were gay, supervisors who were gay, a colleague who was gay (and had a crush on my) and my best friend is also gay. None of them would have found that remotely offensive. Oh and a gay Parisian who runs a cafe I go to... I know far too many gay people, I think I talk to more gays than I do straights.
It has something to do with the article in as much as the story was about Nancy and the person in question was a boy. The poster simply make a quick comment in a jovial way. It's called humour. Almost everyone (I say almost as you obviously didn't) reading it knew the context in which it was posted and knew the person was simply joking. Therefore, it wasn't interpreted as homophobic as it was certainly not posted in that manner and the intent was clear, which was in no way homophobic. It was simply a cheap, easy laugh to brighten peoples day.
People who read far too much into peoples off the cuff comments are actually doing some very worthwhile causes a lot of harm. Exactly the same can be seen in womens rights and other areas. It's the difference between being literal with words and interpreting them in a more intelligent way, taking context and obvious intent into account.
"You said it yourself, a cheap, easy laugh but at who's expense?"
Nobodies expense as it wasn't aimed at anybody!! You're looking to take offence and strangely enough finding things. If you spent less time looking for reasons to be offended and more time just getting on with things and being less sensitive on other people behalf, perhaps there would be less grief in the world.
"The poster simply make a quick comment in a jovial way. It's called humour"
So humour at the expense of someones sexuality. WRONG. hide away in shame, and stop eyeing those tweenage girls whilst you crawl away! Whats that, my comment not authorised because it was not funny to mock your sexuality?
You need to read a dictionary meaning of the word humour, 'cause your reckoning is WAY off.
"People who read far too much into peoples off the cuff comments are actually doing some very worthwhile causes a lot of harm."
Those off the cuff remarks are the type which highlight the commenter as being very very immature and so stupid as not being able to see such. Back to the playground!
The humour of the joke derives from the fact that at first glance it looks like it could be homophobic but in reality is not. It's a classic bait and switch joke. 'We called him a nancyboy... because he is a boy and from Nancy.'
Initially we are repulsed by what we have been conditioned to accept is a derogatory remark for a gay man, only to then realise that any inferences about sexuality are a result of our own prejudices and are not actually inherent in what is being said.
As someone whose sexuality would cop the "nancy boy" jibe I find this a storm in a teacup.
1. If you are a nancy boy, this wont be the worse thing said about you. Toughen up you going to need it.
2. If you are a Nancy boy, your city looks beautiful in the drone video.
3. This is The Register where it is a pre-requisite for every article to take a swipe using irreverant language. It also happens to be one of the last sites capable of reporting the pitfalls of political correctness. BTW dont change - i need my daily dose of irreverance.
4. Why do you feel that being tagged as gay is so insulting? Do you still suffer from internal homophobia, it took me a while to recognise my own homophobia.
5. It was a very obvious omission, for the Reg not to use a Nancy boy bi line. I appreciate David 63 effort "Nancy boy windmills chopper in cam outrage".
As Oscar Wilde is alleged to have said "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Enough of these boys from Nancy, I am off to move a bundle of faggots in the garden and then rest my feet on my poof and relax. later I will be partying with gay abandon.
Nope, pure 100% isolated word-play held in context it was intended. At least that's how I and I believe 95% of this forum saw it. I bet if you asked every one on this forum what they thought the second they read the OP comment, most would have simply said they had absolutely no mental image, I certainly didn't, most simply saw an isolated phrase held in an isolated context.
NomNomNom, It would be so easy to claim it was a troll but it wasn't, it was genuine disgust. As mark 63 and I said earlier there needs to be some play on words to justify such a comment. If the young lad had been gay then Nancy boy would have been a suitable double entendre to employ however as one of my critics has been so stupid to point out it was nothing more than a cheap and easy laugh.
AC is a bit like the feminists who campaign for equality, who want Page 3 to be removed from papers yet at the same time refuse to say a thing about diet coke adverts. Do you comment on the Pink Times and berate those who call straight people 'breeders'? Do you attend mosque and confront Imam's who refer to non-Muslims as Kuffars?
Did you even consider the sexual orientation of the OP when you called them a homophobe?
Nancy Boy. an effeminate man; what gay men were called back in the days when gay meant happy.
Maybe AC can find something offensive with the definition of the phrase at the time. No sexual connotation at all ;)
I mean if George Orwell can use it, so can the OP
Boy, Nancy looks spectacular from the air.....
The Rhein is fine, but Nancy is fancy....
Lighten up folks, the real issue here is some talented but obviously underinformed kid is going before the beak to "pay" for his video efforts...privacy versus art (again....). Probably the only winner here will be the tax(ing) authorities.
Odd, there are surveillance (ooh, seems to be a French word) cameras everywhere, but we're not permitted to take pics or vids of many things....ahhh....progress....
Though I fully understand the need to regulate UAV activity in populated areas, that is some really beautiful footage, demonstrating considerable talent.
Hope he is sentenced to...
- complete a UAV operator's licence, including flight application processes.
- community service producing several hours of (this time appropriately authorised) quality footage for the city of Nancy.
Not likely. This is Napoleonic law we are talking about here. Creative sentencing as practiced by some judges in common law countries is not on the books (pun intended). The criminal code specifies exactly what the offence is, exactly what the minimum and maximum terms are and the accompanying rulebook specifies exactly how you move from the lower to the upper sentencing bound.
Though that difference is now being blurred. Various acts of Parliament (or Congress in the USA) which instigate mandatory sentencing guidelines have removed the traditional common law judge discretion. They are eroding the key (if not only) value of common law - the ability of the judge to say "this is an idiocy, I am establishing a precedent and I will judge it as follows". So as an end result we get the worst of both worlds - the strict rulebook of the Napoleonic law and the natural bias to serve the "powers that be" of common law in one nice shrink wrap package.
Don't confuse the overarching principles and the actual application of law - especially for minor offences. Napoleonic Law is not as restrictive as you depict.
If a French judge determines that a specific offence has been committed then yes - he must apply one of the sentences defined in the relevant "code".... (For example he can't be creative and send you to jail for 20 years for illegal parking!)
But the first mission of a judge is to establish if a case fits one of these codified offences or not.....which gives them a lot of leeway in sentencing....
Totally in agreement. That footage is stunning. There are establishing shots done by professional film companies using $100,000s worth of motion control cranes and helicopters that weren't as engaging as that video.
I can't work out whether he's pre-programmed the paths into the drone or simply flown it manually and either extracted the most stable shots or applied some stability fixes in post. However he did it it's really impressive.
In Britain, everything that is not prohibited by law is permitted.
In Germany, everything that is not permitted by law is prohibited.
In Russia, everything is prohibited, even if permitted by law.
In France, everything is permitted, even if prohibited by law.
In Switzerland, everything that is not prohibited by law is obligatory.
Yes and no...
Yes the police have quite a bit of discretion when it comes to breach of the peace, and anti-terror laws are often misused, but the OP is right, unless specifically restricted by law, it is allowed.
Generally when the bobby on the beat that makes a mistake and curtails a legal act, its because they don't know better, or their own 'culture' means they see the act as breaching the peace...
i.e. a british bobby would just smile and walk on if he saw a woman topless sunbathing in the park, yet one from a Mulsim background might tell them to cover up or be arrested..
Now there is NOTHING illegal about being topless in public in the UK, and the police often will leave a nudist alone unless they get a complaint... the problem if they person being disturbed or offended can be the police officer, so they have the power to arrest someone because they offend the officer with their actions! now that is something I think should be curtailed. A police officer should require a complaint from the public before being able to act under 'breach of the peace' powers and then only if the breach is significant!
Not sure that really is the case. There has been a least one case dismissed where the magistrate ruled that the police cannot really claim to be offended by bad language. Unfortunately not a precedent, but the same claim would succeed now in a higher court.
But I digress. Lovely video.
>>In the US, everything is potentially permitted, even if everything is potentially prohibited by law. No one is quite sure.
Not even the courts, the legislature or the Executive departments are sure. They tend to have vague ideas. And just because one of them finds it legal or illegal, doesn't mean the next will have the same opinion, though they always might. If this sounds complex and ridiculous, it is because it is, but if you work for the United States Government it will make perfect sense to you.
Gotta give the lawyers work.
So the Prosecuter says:
"If the machine crashes in a densely populated area, the consequences could be serious."
And I can see, that yes, in a town it the consequences of crashing could be worse than if he's flying over an empty field, but this is just a quadcopter we're talking about, even if you tried I don't think you could hit more than two people in one crash, and then only if they were stood really close together. Crashing a car would cause much more damage.
However if the quadcopter crashed into a car, causing the driver to panic and swerve into the path of an on comming bus that in turn swerves to avoid the car and in doing so crashes through a fence and down an embankment landing on a railway at the point where two express trains are about to pass each other. Then that would be serious.
Wrote :- "yes, in a town it the consequences of crashing could be worse than if he's flying over an empty field, but ... even if you tried I don't think you could hit more than two people in one crash"
I do not see your point. The reason flying over a town is more serious is the increased likelihood of hitting someone, not the possiblility of hitting more than one person at once.
1) The camera itself is at least as interesting as the video. I had never heard of "GoPro". I am trying to think of a reason to buy one as some of them are very reasonably priced. (But a *very* quick glance at the website did not reveal the recording times or capacities of the available models.)
2) The drone to which the camera was mounted seemed to be flying at street level at certain points. This is not entirely without risk. It would not seem impossible for the drone to go out of control, suddenly approach a cyclist, or automobile or truck at very close range and startle or distract the driver, possibly leading to an accident.
3) The kid's statement that the drone vendor website had no warnings about the applicable laws governing drone flights in Nancy does not strike me as a defense inherently capable of garnering either sympathy or success. Still, I would expect the legal consequences to be minimal... unless the judge really hates French people.
Reasons to buy a GoPro.
1.) They are avaiable for sale
On the face of it that might seem like a very good reason and for me I don't really need any other. However, I've spent the last few months trying to convince the finance comittee of this, even showed her a mock up of one strapped to a pair of heels to no avail and questions on the purpose of doing so. If anyone has any other reasons they'd be gratefully recieved.
"If the machine crashes in a densely populated area, the consequences could be serious. The use of these drones also raises questions of privacy."
Professionally trained pilots crash too. "Questions of Privacy" Oh, you must be kidding right, have the French been ignoring the news, no-one has any privacy any more.
The Mayor André Rossinot already did make him an offer of work, all eez super!
Approximately:- "I 'ave med 'im un oeffer toew woerk weez our leetle friendz at zee projet "French Tech"
I think UK law varies a lot depending on if you're a hobbyist - Mostly common sense and contained within this doc:
... Or doing "commercial aerial work", where the regulations & licensing seem to be more complex http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995&pageid=11213
Operators of Small Unmanned Aircraft are required, under articles 166 and 167 of the Air Navigation Order 2009, to obtain permission from the CAA before commencing a flight in certain circumstances; these circumstances cover:
flights within a congested area, or in proximity to people or property, by Small Unmanned Aircraft equipped for any form of surveillance or data acquisition.
Surveillance (or surveillance related data acquisition) is a distinct activity carried out "for the purpose of influencing, managing, directing, or protecting" people or property.
Simply using a camera to record the flight of a small unmanned aircraft (as in the Nancy video) does not equate to surveillance. Indeed, photographs of individuals in a public place and photographs where an individual is not readily identifiable are excluded from the Data Protection Act.
Therefore I would argue that the need for CAA permission (and indeed the whole of par 167 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 - relating to small unmanned surveillance aircraft) in circumstances similar to the Nancy flight is moot.
The only relevant law in the UK is par 166 of the Air Navigation Order which deals with safety - particularly166(2) "The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made."
You'll notice that it actually says the words OR DATA ACQUISITION not 'surveillance related data acquisition' in the quote - a separate item to the 'surveillance' item. I reckon recording video footage comes under this description.
I am not a lawyer, I doubt that you are either. If you are a droner, then your interpretation will only affects you.
While I applaud your optimism that the law won't be stretched or twisted to ridiculous lengths, I think the original story proves this is not the case in real life.
"Nancy's public prosecutor's office explained: "If the machine crashes in a densely populated area, the consequences could be serious. The use of these drones also raises questions of privacy.""
unless of course it is used by the government, then these concerns are null and void.
Do as we say and not as we do, then?
The camera is just a small camera, the plane, well probably a radio controlled electric model. So at what point does amateur modellism become illegal. Here in France they sell ruddy great electric model planes and there is no licence needed, however the french Gendarme do NOT prosecute illegal and dangerous structures by Mairies just innocent things. They are or rather want to be completely nameless so you for example cannot raise them as a witness in a case they object to being photographed, and will not give you their name. They have no number!
This is a fit up by someone who rather wants to make a point!
If you do not believe about the dangerous things see
some of the photos actually involve death yet nothing is done yet they do the boy for the plane!!!
Sounds about right.
This would seem to be to be a case where it would have been better for the gendarmerie to have a quiet word with him that this sort of thing is illegal - no matter how well-produced his film is - and that he should refrain from doing it again. Only if he then gets awkward should they start to arrest him and charge him. Otherwise, how is it in the public interest to wreck his future with a police record?
Of course, maybe that's actually what happened, and he only got charged because the quiet word resulted in an attitude.
A little googling turns up all sorts of blokes who lift cameras using beefed up kites.
One of these sites goes on to discuss several crashes, so they are definitively not safe.
Yet, all media headlines concern drones. Is it because drones are relatively new, or is it because kites of doom are rarely (if ever) operated in populated areas?
In Norway we were recently told that some helicopter pilots have taken issue with drones. They fear they will fly into one of them eventually.
I can't help but think that we should reintroduce the flag waver. I.e. a person walking in front of motorised vehicles waving a big flag to warn oncomers of the approaching danger. As for the drones, they make quite a bit of noise. How hard can it be to step to the side in case one of them gets too close?
But some of these quad-copters (or whatever the correct term for them is) are not toys.
Take a mosey down to the Excel next week and you will see a range of these things, ranging in size from a couple of feet across to a couple of metres across and capable of lifting hefty DSLRs with remote pan, tilt and zoom.
I'm guessing that the flyer in this case was on the larger side because the overall stability is very, very good and the height it acheives is impressive. (Yes it could have been stabilied in post, but I don't think it was).
As I've said earlier, this kid knows how to fly this thing.
The BBC used something like this over the flooded tracks at Datchet - but their film was nowhere near as good.
these officials claiming 'danger!, the sky is falling!, too much noise!, plane tour du Eiffel is outrageous!' etc etc etc about these new contraptions are just another 'crying wolf' when there is no real threat. automobiles were treated as such, dangerous and unwieldy, when horses were king.
We now have a relatively few flights overhead by these gnat sized vehicles all the while, thousands of million ton of aircraft (Boeing, AIrbus, etc) shed parts, ice chunks and even drop a few frozen stowaways thru the roofs of peoples homes. big deal! the french (and the other monsters of power) fear they may lose control of the peoples freedom to explore, expand and innovate on their own. govts, please stick with waging senseless wars for the causes of the few!
Whilest you all seem obsessed with the phrase 'nancy boy' THAT NEVER APPEARED IN THE ARTICLE no one seems to care that he is up before the beak. Drones are happening whatever anyone thinks, and to leave these just to the security services or other organs of authority.
So this discussion demonstrates the level of drivel El Reg readers can summon.
"....So the officials are complaining about WHAT?!" Yes, as art is a respectable product. But in terms of flight it is a danger to legitimate air traffic. Drones flitting about over a city pose a risk to aircraft, especially helicopters, which tend to do an awful lot of damage and kill many innocent bystanders when they fall out of the sky. All city airspaces are controlled zones where the intent is to keep all flying objects well separated by radio direction from controllers. Drones being flown by clueless art students do not work well in that scheme. If you think a little drone couldn't do much to a proper aircraft or helicopter, please go read up on birdstrikes and ingested material causing engine failures.
The relatively soft body of a bird as small as a pigeon can cause a turbine blade cascade failure in a commercial airliner engine, so just imagine what the hard bits of a drone's engines could do to a helicopter's turbine if ingested. There were two large jet crashes due to engines ingesting pigeons in Ethiopia, a cargo 707-300 on 25th July 1990 and a passenger 737-200 on 15th September 1988. The latter killed thirty-one people. Helicopters having engine failures and crashing in cities can be very dangerous, as shown by the Police chopper that fell on a pub in Glasgow just last year, killing nine people. For small planes the risk is more of the drone damaging either a control surface or coming through the windscreen and disabling the pilot. A small drone closing at a combined speed of 200+mph would probably not be seen in time to avoid before the collision.
Please, before you get on your Tate Modern moral hobbyhorse, try and understand the authorities are not trying to stifle art, they are merely trying to prevent an air disaster.
I discovered all this nifty footage (hmm, bit of anachronism there) on uboob, lets face it, without the drones we would never see most of that stuff-- like the details at the top of a spire, or the coif on the statue?
You go to Nancy and crawl around on the ground in the mud, even with high power optical equipment (probably also illegal in France, might spot Hollande creeping around somewhere) one can't see all the detail shown in the video.
This is probably the reason the French are prosecuting, there would be no reason to go to Nancy if one can visit virtually and see much more detail.
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