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Comment Re:12m resolution? Pffft. (Score 1) 65

However, this high resolution would come at the expense of broad coverage, and would be achievable over an area of only a few tens of kilometers square.

You might not believe it, but the earth has a surface of more tens of square kilometres. The site doesn't have any real data on the actual speed of this thing, but it looks like that thing is something completely different (a military spy satellite) and might take dozens of years to cover the whole planets or even longer. If it is even capable of producing a coherent map, this doesn't seem to be in the design specifications.

Comment Re:Already in place in EU (Score 1) 354

You're mixing "national ID card" and "passport" again. This are very different things.

National IDs are
  - required for everyone in most EU countries
  - sufficient for travelling inside the Schengen zone
  - not regulated by the EU
  - required to contain contain fingerprints in some countries but not in others

Passports are:
  - not required if you don't want to visit foreign countries (or leave the Schengen zone)
  - regulated by a whole bunch of international treaties
  - for EU countries, regulated by the EU
  - required to contain fingerprints

For the fingerprints in ID cards, blame the national governments, this has nothing to do with the EU. For fingerprints in passports, blame the whoever you like. Blaming the EU is ok too, they did not start the idea, but they weren't too opposed to it either. Or blame the USA, who won't recognize passports without fingerprints any more. Or blame yourself or me for not protesting it when the international treaties were written years ago.

Comment Re:Already in place in EU (Score 1) 354

What exactly are we talking about here? OP said "id card", I was talking about national ID cards, you seem to be talking about passports. These are very different things, passports are not required for anyone, are for international travels only and are limited by international acceptance. Many countries, like the USA, don't even accept passports that don't contain fingerprints and will require additional papers.
National ID cards on the are required either by everyone or by nobody depending on the country you live in (most EU states require an ID card). The EU may set a few standards for interoperability but does not require any of the possible features (like fingerprints) to be implemented. This is a national issue.

Comment Re:Already in place in EU (Score 2, Informative) 354

- Log url history.
- log phone contact history
- log mail contact history

Yes, but a number (at least 3, might be more) of EU countries have already thrown that out as unconstitutional and are taking the fight back to the EU to get it thrown out on a EU level.

- Obliged to introduce CP filter. Filter can be expanded for other 'illegal' websites.
- Obliged fingerprint scans for id cards.

Uhm, no. The EU does not prevent members from implementing this but it is not required in any way. A lot of EU states don't have this and don't have plans to implement it. If you live in a country where this exists, well that sucks, but don't blame the EU.

- Log banking history.

Well, duh, would be a bad bad world where your bank doesn't have your history on record. They could just change your balance without anyone noticing. At least the treaty to live-stream it to the USA was killed by the EU parliament.

Comment Re:New record on summary mistakes? (Score 1) 197

The content-delivery services seem to be very cautious about what you can buy from German soil

Don't confuse selling with releasing. Companies refuse to release that stuff in the first place. An easy way around this problem is to just buy UK imports. If you live in a big city there probably is a shop near you that sells this stuff. Otherwise just order it on the internet, either from UK sites like (you'll need a credit card for this) or from German shops that specialize in this stuff, like Okaysoft (you'll need to send them a copy of you ID first, as proof of age). So if you want to buy uncensored games in Germany there are a lot of options and all of them are 100% legal. But the people who release the games on the German market are big companies that try to maximize profits, naturally. Restriction on the age of potential customers is bad for that, therefore they'll cut as much as possible to get the rating as low as possible.

Comment New record on summary mistakes? (Score 5, Informative) 197

This is the country that has banned Wikileaks

Except they didn't. was disabled because the guy who own this domain (and nothing else related to wikileaks) didn't pay his bills. He was also involved in some fraud so his ISP didn't want to do business with him any more. They informed him 3 or 4 month before killing his account, he just forgot about it.

sought a ban on violent games

Good thing the word sought is there. The conservative hardliners have been talking about it for 20 years now and so far not much has happened. Preemptive censorship by the publishers is far worse.

and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

Except he didn't, he signed this law. It's just that everybody (including half the people who voted for it) hoped he wouldn't because a few month after this law was voted on the pirate party gained 2% in the federal election (5% is the minimum to get seats, which they did get in some regions). The last thing any of the established parties want is yet another party to worry about so internet topics suddenly because important. The ministry of justice has instructed the police to treat this law as the most unimportant one of all (i.e. not enforce it) and the parliament is actively working on replacing it with a law that does not allow filtering. All in all, awesome summary.

Submission + - EU parliament rejects SWIFT data sharing (

Menchi writes: The EU parliament just rejected an earlier decision by the EU council to grant the US unlimited access to all banking data ( This earlier decision was made on the last day before the treaty of Rome, which would have granted the parliament a vote in this matter, came into effect. After the rejection of the treaty by a parliamentary group last week (, the whole parliament rejected it with 378 to 196 votes.

Comment Re:What ? (Score 1) 346

I'm about 80% sure you're just trying to be funny but I looked it up anyway: Opera released user javascript with version 8 which was released on April 19, 2005. I have no idea how old Greasemonkey is but version 0.2.5 was released on March 28, 2005. So, no.

Comment Re:What ? (Score 1) 346

Don't forget user javascript. While it's not a mainstream feature and technically wasn't invented by Firefox but the guy who wrote the Greasemonkey plugin, it's definitely one of the features I don't want to miss with Opera and Firefox had it first. But yeah, "closing the feature gap" is kinda delusional.

Comment Re:Not exactly what you want, but (Score 1) 533

Won't work at all because they don't use just the domain names, they use a subdomain, even if it's just "www".

Try this with your bind resolver:

zone "" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.empty";

Same for "", "", "", "", "", "", "" and "". Disable cookies for the google search engine. That's what I do and I feel relatively save.

Of course all of this is a moot point if you use a Google service that requires a login, like gmail. In this case they can and have read all the mail you've ever received until right now and there's nothing you can do about it. I prefer my own little IMAP server.

Comment Re:cookie whitelists (Score 1) 206

That's good, but not really cookie-free browsing. I use this for sites were you have to click some "Yes, I've read the terms of service" disclaimer away on your first visit but apart from that and a few exceptions for permanent cookie storage (forums, shopping sites, ...) turning cookies off completely is perfectly save and doesn't hinder your internet experience in any way. That said, Google is not on my exceptions lists and never was.

Comment Re:What the? (Score 1) 272

Actually no, the chancellor is elected by the parliament these days, but the parliament at that time was too fractured between too many parties to agree on a chancellor. Therefore Hitler was appointed by the president. Appointing the chancellor in times without a stable parliamentary majority was one of the reserve powers of the president back then. This meant that the parties weren't too motivated to find a stable majority because the government would just continue working with reverse powers. The power to appoint a chancellor without a majority in parliament was one of the powers that was removed with the founding of the Bonn Republic. After he was appointed chancellor, Hitler managed to push a law through parliament that gave him legislative powers by arresting/murdering members of the communist and social democrats (less member of parliament means a larger percentage for his own party) and making some promises to the centre party that he broke days later. As for the Berlin Republic, it's basically the Bonn Republic V1.2. Legally it's the same state, the GDR was dissolved and it's states joined the old FRG. The modifications to the constitution were minimal, they just removed some passages that referred to German territory outside of the German state and that the German reunification was one of the goals of the state.

Comment Re:What the? (Score 3, Informative) 272

To understand why the president is such a weak position in Germany, think of it as a constitutional monarchy. Back in 1918 (that's less than 100 years ago, basically yesterday in terms of history) Germany was a monarchy. Then, when the riots broke out, the guys who would found the Weimar Republic intended to go for a constitutional monarchy, with a weak Kaiser who's just a head of state without any actual powers. But things got out of hand, one thing led to another and suddenly the Kaiser was exiled and they had to do without him. So they created the position of president, more or less a Kaiser, just elected. He had some reverse powers and that's it. But in the Weimar Republic political chaos was the very common and so the reverse powers were used on a daily basis. After the war when the new constitution was written this was identified as one of the factors that caused the previous republic to fail and so they decided that the president should have even less reverse powers. And that's how we got here. Also, the Constitutional Court is a very good check against parliamentary power. The judges there tend to have the most common sense of all courts and because they need a 2/3 majority to get elected there, party politics tend to be kept out of the process.

Comment Re:Bubby? Is that you? (Score 1) 859

As mentioned, there is no problem with public archives whatsoever. This law is about publication, not stuff that was published a decade ago and is still laying around somewhere. The problem is that an internet website is considered to be a new publication every time someone visits the site. So even if you wrote the names on a website a decade ago and never changed this site, you still published it today, according to the stupid laws that don't know anything about the internet.

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