Archive for the ‘news’ Category


BZ ran an article today where one guy knifed another guy because the other asked him to not bother his girlfriend. Which brings up the question, WHAT THE FUCK?

It happened right outside Universal at Oberbaumbrücke, which is not the worst area at any given time of the day. The poor guy who was attacked is in ICU at the moment and doctors say he might still die from it.

Generally, I’m a huge advocate of  courage and I try to get involved whenever I see crap happening and I never experienced anything like that in return in almost eight years of Berlin. I bet we all agree that the most we would expect from such a situation is an oral/verbal argument but stabbing someone is so totally out of line that I am inclined (displacement) to not believe it happened, especially because it’s so close.

Of course I am somewhat shortsighted. After all I live in Berlin and I am surrounded by all this and it probably happens more than I am aware of it. And sometimes it takes those super drastic events to take notice. But I wonder what’s next – shooting over organic food and parking spots?

On strike

Better not leave the Kiez on Wednesday. Effectively from 3 AM no trains will work and the BVG people are on strike.

Aftermath from the Stallman lecture

So I had the maybe weird pleasure to see this lecture two days ago. I went primarily not because I wanted to know so much about free software, but rather for reasons such as I think Richard M. Stallman () is someone you have to at least witness once. Especially when you are involved in this open source (he objects to this term) thing.

About RMS – there is literally too much on the Internet already to really sit there with no expectations or second thoughts.

RICHARD M. STALLMAN All in all I had a pretty entertaining evening. Roughly three hours were over in no time, which in my opinion is always a compliment for the speaker. I twittered the entire lecture, if you care you need to browse my Twitter for that.

He started off by explaining the basics – Free (GNU) and Non-Free. Explained the four freedoms, which are to run/use software as you wish, to adjust software, to (re-)distribute, including your “adjusted” copy, and to contribute to the software. During the evening he basically came back to those citing examples why Free is what we should aim for and Non-Free is not.

He then briefly went over the license () used for free software and explained the basics of . I think I found this part particularly interesting because licenses are generally a book of seven seals and he managed to explain the reasoning behind the GPL really well.

He also once more iterated about the issue of the naming of the operating system, Linux vs. GNU – when Linus Torvalds wrote a Kernel for GNU and now people mistakenly call what is supposed to be called GNU, Linux. Though he’s fine with GNU/Linux (“GNU slash Linux”) because it gives credit to everyone involved.

So without diving more geekery and tech-talk – he objects all forms of non-free. Even GNU/Linux-distributions (haha) which contain a little of the so called closed source software (often in form of binary drivers) are not free, but non-free. It’s as easy as that. And to be honest I had hoped for a little grey, but apparently it’s very black and white – good and evil – there is no fading.

In the end RMS introduced his other identity (so he says), which is Saint Egnusius of the Church of . Pretty funny, but More like geek fun. I can already see people rolling eyes, when I call this funny. So you didn’t read that.

Last but not least – time for Q&A. Well, almost. He managed to not let anyone else speak. People were cut off all the time while they were asking a question which was either not accurate or plain wrong – according to the star of the evening. I had really hoped for this part of the evening and found this part of the session to be extremely narrow-minded. Time for an exchange? Rather a wasted opportunity and all because his ego didn’t fit into the room.

Fleischerei given notice

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Fleischerei is about to lose its location in Torstraße, near Rosenthaler Platz.

Fleischerei is not a butcher’s shop – even though the name makes believe. Fleischerei exists since 2002 and it is many things, none of which have to do with meat. Fleischerei is a creative space, self funded. A place to screenprint, a place for exhibitions, a place to hang out and learn, a place for workshops and among many other things also an art collective.

Aside from supporting and working with artists, Fleischerei also supports youth work in Mitte. Fleischerei itself is a voluntary efford.

Charming Burka

Berlin based artist presented what he called the Charming Burka at (in ).

For those not familiar with the term Burka or . The muslim burqa is a dress which is worn by some women in Muslim countries with the objective to cloak their body.

The Charming Burka is just like that but also powered by Bluetooth and transmits a picture – chosen by the wearer – to mobile phones of the people around. The artist says that his Charming Burka doesn’t violate the laws of the Koran and allows the wearer to follow a more Western lifestyle.


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Protests against Scientology reports about a demo of anonymous in Hollywood against Scientology. And I wonder when this movement will come over here and rally in Berlin.

Hartz4 Speiseplan

Speiseplan means menu in German, and (only in German) is collection of suggestions to reform the labour market policy in Germany.

Along with the suggestions people who are subject to Hartz4 (unemployed, etc.) only get a certain amount of money to deal with their daily life. Now I don’t know if you have heard of all that – if you are not from Germany, the chances are slim. The reforms also didn’t quite make it up to their expectations. Suggested in 2002, they aimed to reduce the unemployment by 50% within four years time, and they didn’t come close to it.

Now, according to Hartz4, Berlin’s head of the financial office Thilo Sarrazin came up with a menu for people who are subject to Hartz4 in order. Check out the prices on the goods, I wonder where Mr. Sarrazin shops. Maybe he copied those from the former ?


Frühstück, Mittag, Snack (!!!) and Abendessen are breakfast, lunch, well … snacks and dinner. Look at the prices for a Brötchen (bun) – €0.30. That’s a pretty good price. ;-). Or what it takes to make spaghetti bolognaise. € 1.03 EUR – wonder if you have to buy a truckload of ingredients to match the price or pick through dumpsters behind Kaisers to make that.

I also like the Gemüsesuppe mit Fleisch (veggetable soup with meat) example where you buy no meat, but spices (Rindfleisch-Gewürze) that make it taste like there is meat in there.

For sure you will need to get a lot of storage to keep your goods fresh. Since the plan is setup for three days (Tag 1, Tag 2, …) you will have to rotate. And in order get even close to those prices you will have to spend a lot more in the beginning to actually match that.

Picture source:
Thanks to Sensas for the tip!

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Power failure?!

After my heating stopped working Sunday, and I had some issues to fetch someone to fix it, I just experienced a power failure, sponsored by Vattenfall. Vattenfall is the “local” supplier.

So all in all the rest of my house, the street and one next to it – all without electricity. And it lasted from around 2:50 PM to 3:30 PM until they fixed it. Which is pretty fast since they estimated about two hours when I asked.

I don’t remember the last power failure I experienced in Berlin – but there must have been at least one or so in the last six years. Though I think I slept right through it.

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Entering the environmental zone!

Umweltzone / environmental zone

Effectively from today you will need your shiney Umweltplakette when you drive your car in the inner Berlin-city (inside the S-Train circle). If you failed to get your’s be prepared for a 40 EUR fine in addition to scoring one point in Flensburg. I picked up mine today at Jüterboger Straße in Kreuzberg. It took ten minutes (literally) and cost five Euros.

On a side note, I’m curious as of what other fines and regulation will be adopted in time. It seems like this is suitable topic to milk people for. After all, we are all for the environment.

Picture courtesy of

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Fired for non-smoking

The owner of a small German computer company has fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to disturb the peace after they requested a smoke-free environment.


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