Category Archives: Leisure

Mostly everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else … sometimes the sheep post here, too (scroll down; you’ll surely find’em)

Schi 4.0

{feature image (C) “Loop21 Mobile Net GmbH” – gefunden auf futurezone.at}

 

Dieser Tage eine Schlagzeile: “WLAN auf der Schipiste wird zum Standard“. Der Artikel erklärt weiter, dass das WLAN besonders in der Mittagszeit genutzt würde (hoffentlich von jenen abseits der Piste, denk ich mir noch) und dass die Frage nach dem WLAN meist die erste beim Betreten einer Hütte wäre. Ein unmittelbarer Realitycheck bei den Kids bringt hervor: Jaja – das kennen wir schon lang!

Kurz überlege ich mir: Mit dem Handy in der Hand auf zwei Brettern den Berg runtersausen (Anm.: Ich bin kein Schifahrer) – interessant. Könnte cool aussehen und sich schmerzhaft anfühlen – mitunter. Man müsste Helmvisiere mit Dateneinblendung haben (gibt’s ja bereits fürs Motorrad). Da lese ich schon: “Skiwelt amadé lockt mit Datenbrille zum Ausborgen.” – Also auch schon alt.

Trotzdem: Ein paar Probleme – abseits einer gewissen Kollisionsgefahr beim beliebten Downhill Race Livestream – bleiben doch. Die könnte man eliminieren:

  • Strom: Die Hütten und Liftsäulen haben zwar jetzt alle ihre ordentliche WLAN-Abdeckung, haben aber wohl vielfach zum Aufrüsten ihrer Steckdosen vergessen. Wenn etwa 500 ausgehungerte Schifahrer zu Mittag essen, trinken, sich sonnen und mit den Freunden snapchaten wollen, dann brauchen wir Steckdosensäulen bei jedem Tisch. Oder …
  • Das Hochleistungs-Akkupack in der Tasche. Oder noch besser: In die Schijacke verbaut. Am Rücken einer mittelgroßen Jacke gehen sich so 5 – 7 LiPo-Zellen locker aus (auf die feuersichere Verbauung achten).
  • Alternativ wäre die Verbauung von Solarzellen im Schulterbereich des Anoraks denkbar. Ein kleines Zimo-Panel bringt angeblich etwa 5-6V. Bei gutem Schiwetter wohl ausreichend, um ein bisschen Surfen, Route Checken oder Chatten auf der Schipiste zu ermöglichen, bis Zeit für einen Stop und den nächsten Schnelladevorgang ist.
  • Der könnte sich übrigens mit USB-Ladestationen auf längeren Sesselliftfahrten ausgehen.
  • Nachts will dann das ganze Zeug ordentlich für den nächsten Tag vorbereitet werden, weshalb auch die Hotelleriebetriebe gut daran tun, ausreichend Steckdosen in den Zimmern vorzusehen (ich reise ja mittlerweile mit dem persönlichen Dreifach-Stromverteiler auf Grund dieses immer virulenter werdenden Problems)
  • Routenplanung: In kurzer Zeit möglichst viel des auserkorenen Urlaubs-Schigebiets kennen zu lernen hat schon seinen Sinn, finde ich, weshalb die Gebietsbetreuer gut daran täten, entweder in der eigenen App oder auf deren Website optimierte Schischaukel-Tagesrouten anzubieten. Inklusive wählbaren Schwierigkeitsgrades, Starring (“like” – möchte ich nochmal fahren – …) und natürlich der Sharing-Möglichkeit mit Freunden (wozu sonst Online-Sein; “ich bin hier; wo bist du gerade”).
  • Die Routenanweisungen werden dann per Bluetooth-Lautsprecher in den Helm durchgegeben, wenn nicht grade das Lieblingslied läuft (gibt’s schon – ich weiß; “Warte, Schatz, ich muss erst mein Handy rausnehmen und die Musik abschalten, damit ich dich verstehen kann.”)
  • Selbstredend blenden die Hütten- und Attraktionen-Betreiber entlang der Strecke per iBeacons an den Liftsäulen und Bäumen den p.t. Schigästen die besten tagesaktuellen Angebote abhängig von deren Vorlieben ins Helmvisier ein – das nur zum Drüberstreuen.
  • Und wenn ich dann von der Bergstation aus mein Mittagsmenü per Voice-Command bestelle, bekomme ich 10% Rabatt und einen Jagatee extra.

Zugegeben: Mein letztes Mal auf Brettern im Schnee liegt doch wohl schon so etwa 5 Jahre zurück (wenn nicht mehr). Der Test all dieser IoT Errungenschaften macht allerdings schon irgendwie Lust … Vielleicht stell ich mich in den kommenden Wiener Semesterferien wieder mal auf eine Schipiste und schau mir an, was von all dem schon geht. Um dann vielleicht festzustellen, dass die 4G-Abdeckung bereits so breit ist, dass das eingangs noch als Alleinstellungsmerkmal vermutete WLAN bald schon wieder völlig wurscht sein wird.

P.S.: Am Realitätscheck passionierter Schifahrer wäre ich übrigens brennend interessiert … bitte hinterlasst mir doch einen Kommentar hier. Danke!

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Longplay

We are the sole generation to watch vinyl’s decline and(!) rise!

  • These days, news reported vinyl purchases to exceed digital downloads.
  • My birthday this year saw a very special present: My brother had produced his first ever record. Circulation: 2 – one for him and one for me!
  • My last turntable didn’t make a move anymore for more than 15 years; I recently disconnected it from my HiFi – it still lurked around somewhere …

However, with that disc – that black shining vinyl disc from my brother – at hand, I had to find a way to listen to it …

A 70ies kid

I “learned” music in the 70ies. My dad had kind-of an album of single records: Kinks, Walker Brothers, … one had Omar Sharif on the cover, I recall (no clue what that one was). Also some LPs – Roger Whittaker, Bert Kaempfert, … I grew up with that stuff. We had a Lenco compact HiFi system with a turntable. It exists to the day. Records were played “wet” (anyone here knows what this means?).

Later my bro and I owned a cassette player – mono – which we used to create our own “samplers” from the albums we found at home. I recall, that some day in 1986 or 1987 I played Jethro Tull’s “Bursting Out” to my parents on my dad’s HiFi – and tried to explain it to them … they probably laughed upon my enthusiasm 😉

1988

My brother and I found a chance to leave home for a few days; we decided to visit friends in Kassel. Back in these days, HiFi was cheaper in Germany. I already owned some vinyl and needed a turntable of my own. My brother – bastard! – wanted his first ever CD (shall I mention that he was the one to buy a DCC recorder in the days when Minidiscs hadn’t made the race? – another story to tell another time ;))

After a week of fun, we returned home on a long motorway ride with a Technics CD Player (which still exists, too) and a Thorens turntable (the most basic you could get) in the booth of our Golf II — — and were caught on the border. In the end, that stuff cost us the same amount as in Austria – BUT Hey!: I had my first own turntable.

I later exchanged that one for a Technics – as it had more semi-automated controls (still sad, that the Thorens vanished into dust in some cellar).

Compact Disc

I commenced “Communication Engineering and Electronics” in autumn 1988. And one of my first classroom presentations was about compact disc technology. I was amazed by what technology could do with music! In the same year, “Flim & the BBs” recorded their album “Tricycle” fully digital – “DDD”, the formular for pure technical sound – still my favourite HiFi testing album of all times; while purist discussions in those years circulated around the inability of CDs to reproduce overtone harmonics and the warmth of an analogue vinyl recording.

In the years after, I moved most of my vinyl collection into a well cared archive. Some time between 1995 and 1999 I recall to own my first computer-based CD recorder. Some of my self-recorded – digitalized – vinyl CD-copies date from that time. And some vinyl of earlier times vanished in those days as I didn’t deem’em important …

Over time, my CD collection grow to a decent 1800 pieces store. And I admit, that I am proud of some stuff that can be found in there …

Rooting

I never understood about the capabilities of a DJ until around 2014 I discovered Freestyle Furioso! Dedicated to vinyl with a feel for the right tune to come … made me think of my polymere at home – still lingering in some cupboards …

And then – on occasion 2016 – I received that previously mentioned “disc”; one of the best presents I ever got … so – well: I had to find a way to play it — and therefore purchased the 3rd turntable ever in my entire life!

The only thing I didn’t expect was the overwhelming joyous shiver down my spine, when the first tone elapsed of it …

 

 

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Student_in der Soziologie gesucht!

Nein – nicht, wofür du jetzt glaubst …

Sonntagnachmittag. Der gestrige Tag wurde von der Generation… (was sind die Damen und Herren jetzt eigentlich; für “Z” sind die doch auch schon zu jung, oder?) … an den Computern verbracht. Leage-of-Legends, Minecraft, oder was das Internet halt sonst noch so an Spielen hergibt. In Konsequenz dessen gab es heute also einen “Frische Luft”-Zwang-Tag. Weitestgehend Internet-frei (außer zur Navigation am Stadtwanderweg Nr. 4) und ohne der Chance, dem mit einem vagen “ich treff mich später noch mit Freunden; ich bleib da” auszuweichen.

Der Drittgeborene (14) schaffte es dann doch noch erfolgreich, sich vorzeitig vom gemeinschaftlichen Ausflug zu verabschieden. Hätte er sein Smartphone etwas selbstsicherer als Navigator zu verwenden vermocht, wäre ihm das lange vor dem Anstieg an den höchsten Punkt des Satzberges gelungen.

Mich stimmen derartige Situationen zweifach – völlig konträr zueinander – arg nachdenklich:

  1. Was ist so schlimm am Rausgehen?
  2. Warum ist ein Smartphone für einen 14-jährigen immer noch nur ein Tipp-o-phon?

Im Volksschulalter

waren mein Bruder und ich mit 3 Kindern aus der Siedlung befreundet. Unsere Eltern trennten streng in Schulgewand und Alltagsgewand. Deshalb hielt uns nach den Hausaufgaben noch das für uns überaus lästige Umziehen vom Treffen mit den geliebten Freizeitkumpanen ab. Wir haben damals Lokal-Geschichte geschrieben auf unseren Ausflügen in die dörfischen Umlande. Der Beweis unserer kindlichen Kraft, in der Lage zu sein, ein Wehr zu öffnen, endete für den örtlichen Forellenzüchter mit dem Verlust seines Fischschwarms – sehr zum Leidwesen unserer Eltern, die das entschuldigen mussten. Dass wir danach was zu hören bekamen, verstand sich von selbst. Tags darauf waren wir dennoch wieder draußen.

Gut – mag man einwenden: Damals gab es weder Computer (zumindest nicht im privaten Haushalt) noch Smartphones. Aber es gab Bücher. Fernsehen (hie und da). Matchbox-Autos, die man stundenlang unter dem Heizkörper in Reih und Glied aufstellen konnte, und Fußball-Sammelkarten. Gründe genug, das Haus nicht zu verlassen; und oft genug entschieden wir uns für sie. Uns rauszukriegen aus den eigenen vier Wänden war dennoch recht einfach und unsere Eltern hatten mehr Stress damit, was wir nun wieder anstellten, als damit, dass wir zu wenig oder zu spät selbständig werden würden.

Man mag auch einwenden, dass es wohl etwas leichter war, in der ländlichen Umgebung meiner Kindheitsheimat nicht verloren zu gehen, als in einer Großstadt. Ich meine hingegen, dieses vermeiden heute intelligente, hilfreiche Smartphone-Funktionen doch völlig ohne weiteres. Kinder lernen heute in dem Alter, in dem ich Fische unerlaubterweise in ihre Freiheit entließ, wie man ein Smartphone (zum Spielen) benutzt. Da könnte man doch annehmen, dass sie dann im gymnasialen Alter wissen, wie sie es dazu benutzen können, ihren frischluft-fanatischen Eltern zu entkommen.

Oder ist es vielmehr vielleicht so,

dass Eltern heutzutage die Computer-Verliebtheit ihrer Kleinen doch ein wenig genießen? Meint vielleicht manche Mutter, dass ein Nachmittag (10-12 Stunden) Strategiespielen am Kastl sicherer ist, als mit irgendwelchen Freunden, die man vielleicht garnicht so genau kennt, irgendwo in der Großstadt herumzuhängen?

Ein Teil meiner spärlichen Freizeit ist bekanntermaßen mit der Arbeit für eine mir aus zig-1000 Gründen lieb gewordene Organisation – http://www.cisv.org – gefüllt. Wir bieten Kindern ab dem Alter von 11 Jahren an, ihre Ferien mit Gleichaltrigen aus der ganzen Welt zu verbringen und zu lernen, wie die so leben. Für die 11jährigen dauert unser Programm 4 Wochen; das hat gute Gründe in der Zeit, die Kinder in dem Alter brauchen, um sich gegenseitig so richtig zu vertrauen. Wenn ich Eltern davon erzähle, höre und spüre ich die Begeisterung, die sie meinen Schilderungen entgegenbringen – bis zu dem Moment, an dem ich “4 Wochen” sage. Dann weiten sich oft genug die Augen mit Schrecken und es folgt eine Antwort à la “Nein, 4 Wochen – das ist für mein Kind viel zu lange! Das kann es noch nicht!”

Und wenn ich so über uns, über die Generation nach mir, über die nächste danach, … nachdenke, dann scheint es mir fast, als könnte man eine Rückwärtsbewegung des Abnabelns beobachten: Mir konnte es nicht früh und schnell genug von zu Hause weg gehen – sei es mit 11 auf den Feldweg oder zum Fischwehr oder dann mit 18 nach Wien. Unser Drittgeborener definiert soziale Interaktion über den Chat in League-of-Legends. Und wenn wir – was wir noch nie getan haben – dann doch mal das Internet abdrehten, dann sagt er, er verlöre alle seine Freunde.

Ich suche eine/n Soziolog*in,

die Interesse hat, das Phänomen Smartphone/Computer/Internetspiel im Zusammenhang mit dem Loslassen in der Kindererziehung zu untersuchen. Was verändert sich da? Haben diese Devices Einfluss auf den Freiheitsdrang unserer Kinder? Welchen? Und welchen haben sie einen auf das Sicherheitsdenken heutiger Eltern? Sind die vielleicht froh darüber, dass die lieben Kleinen lieber Zeit in ihrem hochsicheren, hochdigitalisierten Kinderzimmer als auf der Straße oder im Park verbringen?

Mich würde das wissenschaftlich interessieren? Ehrlich! Und ich biete hiermit Unterstützung an …! Ehrlich! Wer mag?

 

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Happy New Year

Between the years: From Dec 31st, 11:00 CET, to Jan 1st, 13:00 CET, I decided to publish a collection of facebook posts once going full circle around our globe – each saying hello to a few countries – each at the time where these countries enter the New Year.

As – obviously – I didn’t want to spend any more time on the computer than necessary, I used a free account of Buffer (https://buffer.com/) to schedule the posts. Limitations (learnings) of this is:

  • It wasn’t possible to create a schedule for all necessary times throughout those 26 hours
  • Post queueing was only allowed for up to 10 posts in advance
  • After 24 posts, Buffer said, that my account had reached its post limit per day – this was especially annoying as it said it not while preparing the post, but when the post was due, thereby making it impossible for me to react in time.

Anyway – the whole exercise was fun, revealed a few interesting insights into how world time zones are structured and brought some nice feedback.

Data for “countries entering the new year at …” came from http://www.timeanddate.com. They use an html “title=” attribute of a <span> to list all the countries on hovering over the respective table column. If you’re interested – here’s the full table of countries exported from the source.

Have fun!

11:00

Samoa and Christmas Island/Kiribati

11:15

Chatham Islands/New Zealand

12:00

New Zealand with exceptions, Fiji, some regions of Antarctica, Tonga, Phoenix Islands/Kiribati and Tokelau

13:00

small region of Russia, regions of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Nauru, regions of US Minor Outlying Islands and Tuvalu

14:00

much of Australia, Sakha (Yakutia)/Russia, Pohnpei/Micronesia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Bougainville/Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island

14:30

Small region of Australia: Adelaide, Broken Hill, Ceduna

15:00

Queensland/Australia, some regions of Russia, much of Papua New Guinea, regions of Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, small region of Antarctica and Guam

15:30

Northern Territory/Australia: Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek

16:00

Japan, South Korea, Sakha (Yakutia)/Russia, small region of Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Palau

16:15

Western Australia/Australia: Eucla

16:30

North Korea: Hamhung, Pyongyang

17:00

China, Philippines, regions of Indonesia, Western Australia/Australia, Malaysia, most of Mongolia, Taiwan, small region of Russia, Brunei, some regions of Antarctica, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau

18:00

much of Indonesia, Thailand, Krasnoyarsk/Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Christmas Island and some regions of Mongolia

18:30

Myanmar and Cocos Islands

19:00

Bangladesh, much of Kazakhstan, small region of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory and small region of Antarctica

19:15

Nepal

19:30

India and Sri Lanka

20:00

Pakistan, some regions of Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, regions of Kazakhstan, Maldives, Tajikistan, French Southern Territories and some regions of Antarctica

20:30

Afghanistan

21:00

Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Oman, small region of Russia, much of Georgia, Reunion (French), Mauritius and Seychelles

21:30

Iran

22:00

Moscow/Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Belarus, Somalia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Eritrea, Uganda, regions of Ukraine, Djibouti, Sudan, Yemen, Kenya, South Sudan, Qatar, Comoros, Bahrain, regions of Georgia, small region of South Africa, Kuwait and Mayotte

23:00

Greece, South Africa with exceptions, Finland, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Kyiv/Ukraine, Botswana, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Latvia, much of Dem. Rep. Congo, Libya, Jordan, Burundi, Cyprus, Rwanda, Malawi, Namibia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mozambique, Lesotho, Moldova, Swaziland and small region of Russia

00:00

Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, France, Poland, Italy, Barcelona/Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Nigeria, Denmark, Belgium, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Algeria, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Angola, Chad, Central African Republic, Hungary, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Albania, Serbia, regions of Dem. Rep. Congo, Slovenia, Niger, Congo, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Republic of, Kosovo, Montenegro, Gabon, San Marino, Malta, Liechtenstein, Vatican City State, Gibraltar, Monaco and Andorra

01:00

United Kingdom, Portugal with exceptions, Ireland, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Morocco, Iceland, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Guinea, Mali, some regions of Spain, Guinea-Bissau, Saint Helena, Gambia, Ghana, Guernsey, some regions of Antarctica, Isle of Man, small region of Greenland, Faroe Islands, Sao Tome and Principe and Jersey

02:00

Cabo Verde, Azores/Portugal and small region of Greenland

03:00

regions of Brazil and South Georgia/Sandwich Is.

04:00

Argentina, regions of Brazil, Chile with exceptions, Uruguay, most of Greenland, regions of Antarctica, Paraguay, French Guiana, Suriname, Falkland Islands and Saint Pierre and Miquelon

04:30

Newfoundland and Labrador/Canada

05:00

some regions of Canada, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Amazonas/Brazil, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Guyana, Caribbean Netherlands, Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, British Virgin Islands, small region of Greenland, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Bermuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Montserrat, Sint Maarten, Barbados, Saint Martin, Grenada, Saint Barthélemy, Curaçao, Aruba and Martinique

05:30

Venezuela

06:00

USA (New York, Washington D.C., Detroit), regions of Canada, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador with exceptions, Cuba, Panama, small region of Brazil, small region of Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, small region of Chile and Cayman Islands

07:00

USA (Chicago, Dallas), Federal District/Mexico, some regions of Canada, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and small region of Ecuador

08:00

USA (Denver, Phoenix), some regions of Canada (Calgary) and some regions of Mexico

09:00

USA (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas), some regions of Canada, Baja California/Mexico and Pitcairn Islands

10:00

USA (Alaska) and regions of French Polynesia

10:30

Marquesas Islands/French Polynesia: Taiohae/Nuku Hiva Island

11:00

Hawaii, some USA Outlying Islands, Tahiti/French Polynesia and Cook Islands: Honolulu, Rarotonga, Adak, Papeete, Hilo

12:00

American Samoa, regions of US Minor Outlying Islands and Niue

13:00

Baker Island and Howland Island (US Minor Outlying Islands)

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a man is not dead while his name is still spoken

It is tremendously moving, how wonderfully the Net reacts to the death of Sir Terry Pratchett who made such a huge impact not only to fantasy literature as such but to the way all things can be seen (maybe: should be seen).

One of the most eternal of initiatives is “GNU Terry Pratchett” (made it even to BBC Technology News) where GNU stands for:

  • G: pass the message on
  • N: do not log the message
  • U: turn the message around at the end of the line and send it back

derived from Pratchett’s “Going Postal” where the murdered clacks operator John Dearheart is GNU-ed as of the conviction that “a man is not dead while his name is still spoken”.

The initiative suggests to add an “x-clacks-overhead” message to the http header of a site or web server. Simply spoken: Add a meta-tag to your http header – a variable which gets transmitted through the net within the site’s header information – unseen but there – eternally.

I added it to my sites.

If you wanna participate but avoid browsing the net for further explanation – here’s the shortcut:

  1. Multiple code snippets and links to plugins for introducing the x-clacks-overhead message (plain html, apache, nginx, wordpress, etc.): http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/
  2. Plugin for Google Chrome to display an icon when a site has the overhead message set (easy to install directly from Chrome store): https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clacks-overhead/lnndfmobdoobjfcalkmfojmanbeoegab

And there we go -> www.smile-IT.at (took me longer to write this post than to introduce the message 😉 – DEATH won’t have him!)

 

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#CITIZENFOUR – a film by Laura Poitras

Thanx to rolfgeneratedcontent, I decided for one of my meanwhile (unfortunately) rare visits to the cinema and watched CITIZENFOUR, the documentary film by Laura Poitras outlining the chronology of events leading to the disclosure of some of the biggest spying endeavours of western governments (no, this is not only on the US, indeed).

The film is great work! It offers a glimpse of the vastness of data collected by programs like PRISM or TEMPORA, how security agencies engaged with big telecommunication providers in order to simply intercept lines, communications, traffic, … on the very source of transmission instead of at its origin – the persons involved.

Technology of these interceptions isn’t really rocket science (except, of course, for the decryption intelligence that those national security agencies posses just by their exceptionally high budgets – brain power is venal, either).

However, the question I keep pondering since having watched this documentary film is: What’s really the revelation? Not only of the film but of Ed Snowden’s work as such? Don’t get me wrong! I won’t argue for dropping human rights and personal privacy laws. Not at all. Neither will I say that the collection and structured analysis of data from millions of people against whom there’s no legal suspicion has any rightful legal basis. No. What I do, though, want to query is all those post-Snowden arguments against Cloud vendors and Service providers which state that no data can be given off-premise anymore for the reason of all the various programs that Snowden “whistleblowed” on.

Let me give you three simple considerations why I think that Snowden may have shaken us up (as awareness was so low prior to his revelations) but has not really disclosed the unknown:

  1. In a talk in 2013, Dr. Gerd Polli, ex head of the Austrian National Security, in essence stated that National Security Agencies always throughout the years head the possibilities, the money and the brain power to not only be ahead but supersede by far any technological intelligence within any non-governmental endeavour. Not only where they able to create respective programs but additionally have governments and businesses been their best-paying customers to receive espionage services; over decades. So the fact as such is far less new than – e.g. – Cloud Computing as a disruptive technology.
  2. Last year, facebook claimed 2.23 billion active users. All of them disclosing information about their current, their future, their past position, their activities, the people they surround themselves with, … Even though facebook – in my humble opinion – does a good job in allowing people to keep a respective level of privacy, it still lets through quite a bit even when I’m not connected to someone. Very useful information for anyone intending to stalk out the little extra of me.
  3. Anytime in the past – long before 9/11 and long before the capabilities of Cloud and Social services – could I have been observed by governmental institutions just because I may have been mistakenly judged to have illegal objectives of some kind. In the quest of identifying truly dangerous characters in a society it is highly unfortunate that sometimes legally acting people become victims. I’m by no means claiming this to be a good thing. And I believe, it is everyone’s responsibility to help clearing up wrong accusations and even more is it the core responsibility of governmental executives to treat observation and investigation cases with ever more care. However, fact remains – such things happen, also did they happen in the past.

My claim here is: This isn’t new. This isn’t a revelation. This isn’t a disclosure of the unknown. And this is by no means a reasoning why any kind of online services should be considered less secure than they have ever been before.

Remains the utterly hardest question: What can – what should – be done about it? Nothing? Abandon those programs? Let them Agencies act freely ever on just upon their will?

There’s no right answer to that, I believe. And I will always appreciate the aim of governments to reduce the danger of the next silly poacher causing a human life in the name of some religious interpretation …

I do think, the only rightful answer for acting and living within the fact of ubiquitous observation and data collection is two-folded:

  • Every single person has to act transparently, openly and humanly in a manner which obeys the laws, rules and regulations of his society for the benefit of a calm and secure life of everyone.
  • And every company – especially but by no means only telcos, security agencies and/or service providers – have to be fully transparent about every – literally: EACH and EVERY – interception of information running through their lines, services, …, their business.

I as a citizen have a right to know what is known about me by whom. And that includes Security Agencies to the full extent. In that, Ed Snowden’s revelations indeed serve the greater purpose of making a change to how governmental security treated privacy so far – and in that, they do need to be continued.

 

{ feature image from www.thehollywoodnews.com }

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Bedürfnispyramide / Hierarchy of Needs

… und auch wenn die allgemeine Digitalisierung und das dauernde Verbundensein grundsätzlich spannende und bereichernde Entwicklungen sind, dürfen wir – gerade dieser Tage – WLan und Akkuleistung auf der Maslow’schen Bedürfnispyramide ruhig ein wenig weiter oben einreihen. Tim Minchin hat da ein paar ganz gute Ideen dazu …


 

… and even though Digitalization and ubiquitous connection of everyThing are interesting and enriching advancements of mankind, we’re surely allowed – especially during these days – to put “WiFi” and “Akku” onto some higher places within Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs”. Tim Minchin has some nice ideas to this, indeed …

 

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Sunday afternoon fun: The Web and the Net

A friend of mine posted that pic on facebook – together with the post from the Status-Q blog archive, saying:

This has been circulating on Twitter, courtesy of Jeremy Geelan – taken at W3C20. Tim Berners-Lee is on the left, Vint Cerf on the right, and the joke is on those who don’t know the difference between the web and the ‘net.

In 2014, that joke still seems to work – and why shouldn’t it? At least amongst folks not captured all day with technology stuff. But there’s an easy metaphor to know the difference:

  • You write a letter on a piece of paper – in your own words, your language – which (hopefully) the recipient – say: your friend – will understand. Letters get written to-and-fro between you and your friends, relatives, others; a whole lot of pages written fly across the earth. Pages in different languages and hopefully all the writers and recipients understand each other. To ensure exactly this – for electronic letters – Berners-Lee invented an ubiquitous language and called it HTML – so that everyone could understand those written pages, when displayed by something capable of reading HTML – a browser for instance 😉
  • And the letters? Well, they need transportation. The post offices, horse carriages, trains, ships, plains, … And busy postmen (and women, for sure) to deliver them to the recipients. All kinds of different transportation methods have to constantly join efforts and bridge gaps to get all those letters flying across the earth. To make that a little easier – for the electronic letters – Cerf thought of a unified method for transportation and called it Transmission Control Protocol (TCP); he even considered efficient addressing of recipients and called this the Internet Protocol (IP).

So, actually letters could exist electronically as pages, independently; everyone could understand them as they were all written in HTML, and recipients could decode them as they had browsers – here’s with the WEB.

Independently of this, writers and recipients could identify each other by addresses and could transport stuff between them – here’s with the INTERNET.

Needless to say – however – that the real breakthrough success eventually came with the joining of both (a little bit as in the pic, maybe ;))

 

 

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Paris Business Adventure

Yes, of course, we’re doing a lot of integration work, these days (you might have noticed that those “Automagicians” – which I’m one of – are merging themselves with those “Orsypians”, whereof a new market leader in the Automation space will subsequently emerge; read the Automic blog, if interested in details).

Integration work is a challenge in itself and an interesting one indeed. There’s so many good souls and technicians, so many similarities and yet still enough differences to work on – technically, technologically, financially, from a legal, sales or IT perspective and much more … However: The true challenge in Paris – where one of our new offices is located – is: TRAFFIC!

Main goal: get your flight back home in time!

  • You could of course do it by car. Call a taxi to the La Defense office. Question No. 1: Does the driver know how to find the address (few do). Question No. 2: Is the Périphérique empty enough for the driver to pass through in time (it most certainly is not).
  • You could also pick the RER – can be pure contingency when personal is on strike.

What’s left?

I found an alternative (in case you really – really! I mean it: REALLY – have extremly steady nerves): It is called “moto taxi” and rushes you to the airport in 30 mins at an average speed of 120 between the jammed car rows.

Was it fun? OH YES! And once I had repeated the mantra often enough (“he knows what he does” – “he knows what he does” – “he knows what he does” – …), I even managed to do my checkin on the back seat (as I had forgotten that before)

Paris Moto Taxi - Périphérique

Paris Moto Taxi – Périphérique

Paris Moto Taxi - Périphérique

Paris Moto Taxi – Périphérique

 

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You’Lonely?

Leisure SmileIT

I keep contemplating about my social network self, what I can learn from it, how I can feed it, how I can keep it presenting my real-life self, … I did so already in one of my early posts here: http://smileit.at/blog/64/ … and I got pointed to this video today. It says it all. Nothing to add.

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