Goodbye Berlin!

17. October 2010

I will miss you!

(Disclaimer: This is a political statement, so only read on if you can cope with it)

It all came into my mind again when seeing all the reports about the phase out of light bulbs starting from 1st of september in European countries. Apparently this isn’t a major issue for most people except the Germans who always fear to loose something.

Anyway, in all this reports it was talked about that this moster called “EU” has decided that no more light bulbs may be purchased. It was never talked about that the EU doesn’t decide anything but contrary as in every democracy, it is the people who decide.

In this case the proposal was made from the european commission which consists of 27 commissioners from the European countries approved by the European Parliament. A few months ago all Europeans had the right to elect their MPs though actually not so many did (less than 50%). If they had wanted to keep the light bulbs then they could have voted for it, but they didn’t.

I am writing this to conscientize people that sentences like “Brussels has decided…”, “the EU demands…”, etc. simply are not the truth. YOU ARE THE EU, YOU DECIDE!. And if you are dissatisfied with the decision it is up to you to change the European government.

Do you really want a light bulb to light your room that needs more energy than your laptop?

Update:  Some people state correctly that this is an indirect democracy so you can’t influence the decisions directly – that’s true. But it is the way most countries are governed because otherwise things become difficult to organize. And yes, you don’t vote the commissioner directly, but indirectly through your local parliament.

Update2: About this Mercury thing – there is excellent information available on this –  please use google.

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In case someone is wondering why I am not responding to mails or in general constributed only very few things in the last weeks I was mostly full-time working on our second year formula student car:

This is the first year we are participating both in Silverstone (FSAE UK) and Hockenheim (Formula Student Germany). After we failed horribly in Hockenheim last year with a half-finished overengeenered car our big aim this year was to have a running car. And actually things worked really good, we finished all disciplines.

We had some technical problems in acceleration and the drivers need more practice for skid pad, so we did not yet get good results there (look for car 74 – University of Erlangen). But after we already had a good pace in the sprint, we managed to offer an absolutely fantastic endurance result in difficult (english) weather conditions and finished in 3rd position. Overall this puts us on the 16th place in the overall results which is better than we could ever dreamt off.

We have two busy test weeks until Hockenheim and hope to be lucky again there and probably even improve our results further!


Things started nice with a normal flight from Las Palmas to Madrid yesterday even though the organisation could have been better on the Gran Canaria Airport. After arriving in Madrid I was heading to the gate for the flight to Frankfurt. I eventually made it in time and boarded Iberia flight 3516 schedules on 16:00. We then taxied to the runway and the aircraft was accelerating and suddenly after about 1/4 or the runway, the pilot reduced thrust and the takeoff was aborted.

While this was not really a quite nice thing to notice, things started getting worse now. After some discussion with people from the technical department of Iberia we taxied back to the gate with the pilot speaking of not further defined technical problems (he probably said some more interesting things in spanish though, which I didn’t understand).  After another half and hour we were asked to leave the airplane and proceed to another gate at the other end of the airport.

About an hour later we borded another aircraft there and things looked like it could finally work out. After the usually security advise we taxied again to the runway but in the end never reached it and got back to the gate which a rather annoyed and angry pilot telling us that we have technical problem again. (Some people metioned to me that he said “I won’t fly with this aircraft” in spanish but I cannot say that for sure). Half an hour later we also left this aircraft and where still stuck in Madrid with people getting nervous and others that suffer of aviophobia starting to cry.

Sorting out our options that using the train to Frankfurt would take about 19 hours and that a proper Lufthansa flight would cost us more than 1000 Euros most of the people got back to waiting for things to come while the first now decided to leave Iberia forever and try to find some more luck elsewhere.

Two and a half hours later and after we got a free sandwhich from Iberia (which was never announced but people found out somehow) yet another aircraft (the third one…) left Madrid at 22:00 and luckily arriving in one piece at about 24:00 in Frankfurt. This of course made me miss the last possibility to go home by train by about 2 hours so I was stuck in Frankfurt until the first train left in the early morining. Luckily by that time I knew most of the passengers of the flight personally and spent the time having a nice conversation with a girl who had started her journey 48 hours earlier in Honduras and was now also waiting for finishing the last 200km

Just a few of the reasons I will never use Iberia for any flight again:

  • There was absolutely no information on the technical problems nor was there any member of the crew which could make announcements in proper english
  • Service was bad on all flights and they didn’t even give people something to drink for free after getting stuck in two aircrafts
  • They refused to give any reimbursement for the inconvenience (have to go into that though)
  • The seat pitch is absolutely ridiculous

As I write this I got a message from André that after waiting 90 minutes in Las Palmas their aircraft got eventually evacuated.

Have a nice flight – but use sane companies…

New year – new laws

2. January 2008

This is maybe a reply to Mathias Blog:

The new year brought a bunch of new regulations in Germany (or at least in some states of Germany as we have a quite annoying federal system which makes most things even worse):

  • Smoking is now prohibited in all public buildings and all bars/restaurants/disco in Bavaria (and some other states while it is still allowed elsewhere). I like that much personally and it is sad that Germany is more or less the last country in europe having installed such a strict anti-smoking law.
  • All internet traffic connection data in Germany is now stored for at least 6 months to fight terrorism civil rights. I always admire George Orwell for his vision as he died in 1950 not even knowing an “internet”. Anyway, there is a complaint of unconstitutionality and hopefully it will succeed. But for now, if you happen to use the internet in Germany – watch out.

Other than that the new year started quite good (on top of a church tower…). So, happy new year to everybody (excluding most politicians).


6. August 2007

Today, I am leaving for a 3 weeks trip through Scandinavia using the train. This is rather cheap because of the ScanRail Pass which allows unlimited travel on Scandinavian railways.

My way, though subject to change at any time will bring me to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Gällivare, Östersund, Trondheim, Bergen, Olso, Göteborg and back to Malmö. In case you want to meet me anywhere on this route, send me a mail and hope that I will have Internet access somewhere to read it.

More important, I won’t read any mailings lists, bugzilla reminders, planets, blogs and so on in the next weeks so don’t expect to hear from me apart from private mail which I might have access to but that’s uncertain.

Today, I added a very simple feature to anjuta which makes it possible to build your project inside a scratchbox environment. It does not take care about execution and debugging yet but that’s not so important for me at the moment.

The last weeks I mostly hacked on drag-and-drop layout support for glom. It is far from finished at the moment and anyone is free to make suggestions how improve the whole dnd handling.

Today, I heading for the German Cup-Final in Berlin tommorow and I hope Nuremberg will win it’s first title after 39 years (including several years in the second and even one in the third league).

So, I finally hold my new Nokia N800 in my hands. Nokia was so kind to give a discount code to me for the work we did on Maemomm for openismus. Thanks to Nokia and Murray for organizing this discout!

So its simply incredible! l switched it on connected the wifi and write my first N800 blog now.

I should really start to read the manual now but I am just suprised of some things:
– It’s damn small. Of course I knew the size in cm before I bought it but it should feels much smaller with this 800×600 display.
– The display is very sharp though you need good eyes to be able to read webpages in full-size mode.
– Accidently pushed the button to the right and a webcam moved out
– You can use handwriting to edit text and that works amazing

I will continue playing…


12. January 2007

So I am entering the time where getting older does not have any new advantages – turning 22 today.

And just as a birthday present, they sent me a letter today about the 585€ tuition fees I have to pay for the next term – thanks much!

Never trust voting machines!

24. November 2006

In case you ever did (or trusted computers in general) you should watch this video (from YouTube)!