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Comment No "right to be forgotten" should exist (Score 1) 59

I am from the EU, and I have severe problems accepting a "right to be forgotten". It basically forces Google (and other search engines) to lie, to knowingly hand out false information. There is a major difference between forgetting things and keeping silent about them. Everyone who scours old information should be aware that with time, the relevance of information often fades. And that is the problem: it *OFTEN* fades, but not always. Some information remains relevant over long periods of time.

Comment Re:Cultural? (Score 1) 479

Yep, it's really pretty much impossible that top management DIDN'T know about that. That's also the current opinion in the German media - casting doubt even on the new chairman of the supervisory board. "Engineers" doing it? At companies like VW, most people in top management have an engineering degree - so yeah, "engineers" did it.

Comment Re:yep, noticed that (Score 1) 70

I even received an unwiped "Warehouse Deals" phablet from an unnamed online vendor (potentially named after a large river), that had personal documents, holiday pictures AND pornographic videos on it. My girlfriend discovered the videos - fortunately right on the first day, while we were playing around with it. Said online vendor then immediately agreed to a further discount. Which was quite a good idea, since in my country, spreading unwanted pornographic material is illegal.

And yes, I also know the previous owner's name, since he had set up two e-mail accounts with real names on the device :-)

Comment There could be reasons for skipping the broccoli.. (Score 4, Insightful) 257

Well, why not just reduce the serving size of the "delicious" food on your plate? Three chicken wings + as much broccoli as you like...

Or, maybe those kids' taste buds are actually signalling them to get the nutritious food first, and eat the unimportant remainder later (or never). What's the nutritious value of broccoli, anyways? There's a reason vegetable gardens used to be wayyyy smaller than the main crops.

Maybe kids are fat because they are being served prepared foods with insane amounts of sugar (as in HFCS), while at the same time their parents are being told that their kids must not go out and play alone, for fear of the ubiquitous imagined child predator. Turn off the internet for their PS4s and put them out in the rain, they'll live (and lose weight, and eventually have fun).

Comment Re:Well... (Score 3, Insightful) 323

I wonder if anyone dares to put this into perspective - i.e. in a comparison with Wall Street practices. Last time I heard, bonuses and pensions over there were at least one order of magnitude higher, and deaths (like suicides) following crises like Lehman Brothers and their followers were actually countable, not dubious statistical numbers.

Also, Mr Winterkorn is still facing charges in Germany, which could lead to his imprisonment (large-scale fraud). I haven't heard from many bankers going to jail.

Comment Re: This legislation brought to you by.. (Score 2) 446

People DID live quite long even in previous centuries (as long as you didn't work in a coal mine or such), and low life expectancy in previous centuries must be adjusted for the insane child mortality in it. If you do so, your improvements over time vanish: (

Comment Re: Not forced... (Score 1) 302

Whoah, I pay like 650€/year for my 2007 BMW, liability and comprehensive cover included. We have a discount system depending on the number of years without an accident (the insurance had to pay for). Since I've been driving for 20 years without (any major) accident, I'm down to 30% of the reference rate. Our rates are per car, not per driver, and react to type of car, engine hp, km driven/year and some minor details (garage/roadside parker, region, age of driver, other drivers' lowest age etc.)

Comment Re:Not forced... (Score 3, Informative) 302

Are those numbers real? Sounds like a joke given the propensity to sue for absurd damages.
I'm German, I have a coverage of €100.000.000 (!) combined for death, injury and property damage on my private car (though max. €15.000.000 per person harmed). It's really not more expensive than minimum coverage, because the odds are so low, but maybe US lawyers would immediately take their chunk out of it and make it too expensive for everyone.

Minimum coverage here is €1.000.000 for property damage and €7.500.000 for bodily injury. Difference in annual premium is maybe 10-20€ between the two.

Comment Re:May I suggest an Etch-A-Sketch? (Score 1) 334

For people like these, even letters are a dangerous form of communication. A tenant of mine died recently - his apartment is overflowing with letters, pictures, cheap amulets from dubious astrologists, his mail box is still overflowing every time I check. And I was wondering why he was in debt despite his quite comfortable retirement pay.

Comment Re:And low-emission transport trucks, too (Score 2) 491

That is not really true. Read e.g.

As of January 1, 2014, Euro-6 is standard on all newly sold trucks in the EU. But even the older buses in my city (all diesel except for two diesel hybrid buses) are not really polluting that much. You can get even truck diesel engines clean, if you want to.

I wonder what the potential for fuel savings in *hybrid* buses is. I checked up on this and found an article on the buses my city used: 750,000€ instead of 400,000€ for the bus, with savings of only 8000 L/year of diesel fuel.

Comment Re:maybe (Score 1) 512

Please explain to me just HOW Israel can be called an "apartheid state" without Gaza *at least* being called a "fascist regime filled from head to toes with exterminatory anti-semitism".

Just explain to me why muslim Arabs can live mostly peacefully under Israel's reign, while not a single Jew can live peacefully in most Arab countries, especially (!) Gaza. And that is not something that started with Israel's founding or the current conflicts.

The German word for most Arab countries nowadays is "judenrein" (you should know - a goal we Germans tried to achieve quite fervently before being bombed to the grounds and the following denazification). And that's nothing, ever, to accept or be proud of - unless you are Hamas, of course. Then the whole world will excuse your anti-semitism with whatever anti-semitic ideas still linger in the rest of the world.

Today, Jews cannot even live peacefully in Berlin or Paris. Tell me why, just WHY these French or German citizens are being held responsible if the protests target "Israel" and not Jews. And did you read the signs held up in recent (mob) protests all over Europe? Or hear the translations of their chants? "Juden ins Gas" ("Jews into the gas chamber") was recently chanted in Berlin. And not by a single "native" German: Nazis don't openly fraternize with muslims - yet.

All of this happens while Syria is going belly-up in terror, with hundreds of thousands dying, and ISIS building a terror regime wherever they go.

Comment Re:Which is why corporations are born criminals (Score 1) 247

You must be pretty naive to think that the "possible abuse hasn't materialized in Finland". First of all, this idea is also present in the German tax code ( 42 AO). It is a constant reason of judicial trouble, and it puts the state above the law - because it only works against the taxpayer and not in other circumstances. It is a clear indication of a cleptocratic government. Second, there are hidden costs: In your example, a couple marrying and then divorcing again is clearly f*cked. Their marriage is lost, and so is their money. And, of course, their belief in justice. Which is the greatest cost of all.

But I know, people with collectivist tendencies see the "state" or "society" as standing above individual justice.

Comment Re:So what happens (Score 1) 253

I *suspect* that even Comcast will route this through a secondary public IP and will also log activity there. At least that's what Deutsche Telekom does. Hotspot users get an IP address different from your own public IP address. I think doing otherwise would also endanger your NATed private network, if ever so slightly.

Comment FON & Deutsche Telekom (Score 3, Informative) 253

Same principle here in Germany.

But Deutsche Telekom is not doing this as an opt-out thing, but as opt-in - plus you need a certain router model. I bought the (inexpensive) router and opted in, because now I can use all of these home router hotspots, plus all FON hotspots worldwide, all Telekom hotspots (in public places, at McDonald's, in high speed trains). The public hotspot users get very low QoS, so they don't harm my VDSL connection.

And the best thing: All I have to do to keep using it is connect the home router at least once every 30 days. So since the router is not my primary choice, 99% of time I'm freeloading and using my custom router, all the while keeping my hotspot privileges.

Comment Re:Privacy? (Score 2) 124

If she sees me and she (or the thief) shares it online, it *is* an invasion of my privacy. And that's why I am opposed to Google Glass. If I sit in a restaurant, that is a private venue, not a public place. So turn off your f*cking Google Glass, or I will. There is a fundamental difference between seeing me somewhere, and saving imagery of seeing me somewhere.

You might find that if you used GG here in Germany, you might find yourself confronted with a lawsuit.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga