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Comment PR spinning (Score 1) 482

Greets from Germany.

There aren't any gold vending machines in Germany. The company did install 1 (in word one) machine at the Frankfurt airport and even that was for a testing period only. So AFAIK there is just one single machine installed in Germany, in Geisslers gold shop in Reutlingen. Try finding one on their website: .

Of course there should be gazillions (=480 ;-) ) of gold vending machines in Germany by now, at least that's what he planned when installed the test machine at Frankfurt airport in spring 2009.

This Thomas Geissler guy is quite clever at spinning the PR wheel. But 100 gold vending machines? ILMAO ...

One at his gold shop in Reutlingen and (presumably) one in Dubai.

GOLD AUS DEM AUTOMATEN! (Sorry, in German only).


Submission + - Oddest Book Titles of 2010 announced (

egghat writes: The Bookseller ( is already down) has announced the 2010 prizes for their yearly Diagram Prize for the oddest book title of the year.

The IMHO very well deserved prize goes to “Crocheting Adventures With Hyperbolic Planes” by Dr. Daina Taimina which combines non-gaussian mathematics and crocheting (who would have thought that this would be possible?).

Second place went to “What Kind of Bean Is This Chihuahua?” by Tara Jansen-Meyer. And“Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter” by David Crompton and “The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease” by Ellen Scherl and Marla Dubinsky aren't bad either ...

Comment Re:Asian languages and vastly different grammar (Score 1) 142

Google Translate is 100% based on statistics, so there are no special algorithms for translating from one language to another. The translation gets better when Google has *a lot* (gogoool) of sentences in a pair of laguage and knows that they have the same meaning. If the language pair is Russian - Ukrainian or German - Swaheli it's almost guaranteed to fail.

Artficial Intelligent god Peter Norvig (guess where he works) always says: We don't have better algorithms, we just have more data. And if they do not have enough data, well, then Google translates fails.

There's a very interesting video of a presnataion done by Peter Norvig n YouTube. Highly recommended.
Norvig - TODAY: Innovation in Search and Artificial Intelligence

Comment Re:I recommend (Score 1) 153

Damn. I forget two things:

I wouldn't try WLAN. 5.000 hotspots at T-Mobile seem to be a lot, but in my case (inside a city with a population of mor than 200.000) the next Wifi-spot is more than mile away. Fon is a disaster as well. But cell phone coverage and prices are good and cheap in Germany, so who cares?

You can get prepaid cards in nearly every supermarket. Aldi uses eplus (see above) and costs 14,90 per month. AFAIK the data plans of all the other discounter data plans do not offer good data plans.

Comment Re:I recommend (Score 3, Informative) 153 is an ePlus reseller and ePlus is the slowest network in Germany. A lot of areas are still EDGE, many are normal speed UMTS (384kbit/s) and only a few are UMTS/3G. A kind of "official" reseller of eplus is called Simyo. They offer 1 Gig data for € 9,95 valif for a month. If the gig is used up just buy a new card for 10 Euros. No plan whatsover.

o2 is the second of the two smaller providers in Germany. Their coverage ist a bit worse than that of eplus, but in urban areas their network is usuallly faster. o2 has a prepaid plan as well called Fonic. Their rate is 2,50 Euros per day. USB stick costs 60 Euros.

Vodafone and T-Mobile are the two big providers and usually offer the best network coverage and best speed. But they are more expensive. A day with a maximum of 1 Gb costs 4,95 Euros (Vodafone Websessions) or 4,95 ;-) (T-Mobile Websessions). Vodafone has 7 days with 1 Gb data for 9,95 as well.

USB sticks should be no problem. If you buy one at the phone store you'll get them some Euros cheaper, but in most cases they will have a simlock, but you can go to an electronics store and buy one without a simlock. That should be the easiest part ...

After a short check there are no pages in English on their websites ( has them).

Comment Graph misleading? Some org-reshuffles were done (Score 1) 295

Microsoft reorganized their business multiples times in the past. I wonder if these reorganisations disturb the numbers from the graph. IIRC Hotmail was in the online division some years ago, now it seems to be reported in the Office division. I remember similiar things for their server OSs (were Office, now seem to be Windows), their embedded OS (where is it now? Entertainment or Windows?), the xbox etc.

Microsoft has a bunch of products that don't make money or at worse loose a lot of money. On the other side they have some products (Windows 7 (incl. Server) and Office) that are cash cows like nothing else on this planet. Microsoft seems to be quite eager at mixing these parts. So that Microssofts customers can't see their extreme margins on Office and Windows (which are 95% plus) and their shareholders won't complain about Microsofts many lossmaking products (everything online, embedded Windows (whatever it's called today), xbox, ...)

Comment Re:At 400 km the fuel runs out in only 12 minutes (Score 1) 790

The price of the Veyron will never be lower than now. At least there's a rather good chance of climbing prices for this car as for a lot of other supercars before. A used McLaren F1 is now twice the price a new McLaren F1 was ten years ago.

4.000 Euros for a set of tires are not a problem. But 4.000 Euros every 12 minutes is a different beast ..

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