Archive for the ‘Complaints and Grievances’ Category

Bring games to Linux

penguincomputingI buy and maintain a Windows PC just to be able to play games. I would be a lot happier, if I could stick to Linux on all my machines and spend the money on games instead of a second set of hardware. Steam for Linux is slowly growing but AAA titles are still not being ported by EA, bethesda and the likes. While an emulated version is generally performing quite poorly (if at all), the request for making a full port of your favorite games like Skyrim or Battlefield 3 is still being ignored. Make yourself heard now loud and clear by signing the petitions:

Let’s not doubt the potential impact those might have. It’s better to set a signal instead of giving up without even trying. At least I just signed…

Links first seen on

Privacy Off: You are now a data point in the Facebook Graph…


… not just a statistic! The new search graph function in Facebook is more than just a convenient way to find more people of specific interest to become friends with. Maybe Facebook wants you to believe it is for your own benefit but besides the obvious real goal of advertisers to target very specific people, it can serve as a tool to find individuals with opinions that might be ‘conflicting’ in some countries or societies. This should alarm you and make you even more careful what you share on Facebook, because now you are not just one entry in the cloud that nobody finds if they don’t specifically look up your name – you are a real data point in the statistic that will be found! And this information can be used against you…

Here are some example search phrase (taken from the tumblr below) that just by reading them should make you aware of the problem:

  • Mothers of Catholics who live in Italy who like Durex
  • Islamic men who like men who live in Teheran, Iran (and places where they worked)
  • Current employers of people who like Racism

You get the picture. I for one can very well imagine that there are people out there who would be very interested to know who belongs to these types of groups… I don’t want to imagine for what they would like to get their hands on them…




Die EU privatisiert gerade die Wasserversorgung

800px-Humanitarian_aid_OCPA-2005-10-28-090517aDamit gehört dann das Wasser bald nicht mehr dem Staat und damit seiner Bevölkerung, sondern muss von dieser erst einmal erkauft werden, obwohl die Versorgung mit Wasser zu einem der Grundrechte gehört. Das dies zu Schwierigkeiten führt (Preisanstiege von 400% und ähnlichen Manövern) sieht man an Portugal, wo bereits der Aufforderung zur Privatisierung nachgekommen wurde… Leider haben die Länder wie Griechenland oder eben Portugal wegen der Sparauflagen der EU keine andere Wahl als einmalig schnell Geld zu machen. Das sie damit eine wichtige Lebensader der Bevölkerung, eine Geldquelle für sich und ein Mittel zur Unterdrückung nun aus der Hand geben ist erstaunlicherweise erst einmal egal. Irgendwie gehen auch gerade die schwerwiegenden Entscheidungen sehr unbemerkt vor sich…

Habe die Sendung selbst noch nicht gesehen, halte das Thema aber für so brennend wichtig, dass ich es allein schon wegen des Sich-Bewusst-Werdens hier einfach mal reinstellen möchte:

Unterschreibe die Petition:


Reuters photographers and editors manipulating news of Lebanon 1996


It’s been quite a while since I posted to my blog and actually I was working out quite a few topics I would have liked to talk about when I come back here, but this one is just too amazing and I have to share it first, just in case you didn’t know:

I came across this site, which depicts and analyses different kinds of media fraud in reports of Lebanon in 1996. Most of them committed by Reuters, some photographers as well as editors, and some by AP – speak: mainstream media sources.

The (quite long) article classifies the types of manipulation into 4 different groups: photoshopping, staging of photos by war parties, staging of photos by photographers and false captions by editors:


  • The Reuters Photo Scandal


I was not so much surprised as shocked to realize what is being done to get our attention and maybe even influence our opinion in one direction or the other. Even more so, since you can imagine this might not even be a one-time event restricted to this particular time and place.

I am sharing this not to support any particular side of the conflict, but because I hope it will create a more critical mind next time you get some “news” from the mainstream media…

Atomkraft? GTFO!

(Bild-Quelle: Uni Frankfurt)

Fukushima ist alles andere als ein erledigtes Thema, auch wenn es in den Medien ein wenig untergeht. Es ist immernoch nicht klar, in welchem Umfang das Innere der Kraftwerke und insbesondere die Brennstaebe in den vier Abklingbecken zerstoert wurden. Unglaublich! Eine wahre Hilfslosigkeit macht sich breit: Derzeit ist das Japanische Militaer dazu gezwungen Schulhoefe umzugraben, damit der nukleare Dreck unter der obersten Erdschicht verschwindet. Erinnert ein wenig an “unter den Teppich kehren”. Was aber wenn eins der Kids anfaengt eine Burg zu bauen? Continue reading

Bottled Water

I never buy bottled water. Except the occasional beer, wine or whisky that comes in recyclable glass, I am barely buying any plastic bottles at all (and I am practically never buying cans of any kind neither). I might have a slight advantage though: I don’t like Cola, Fanta, Sprite very much, but… I probably can NOT live without sparkling water. The bubbles are soo refreshing and soothing for my stomach, its almost a relieve to drink it.

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The Empathic Civilization

Like I promised in my previous post, here comes another clip from RSA Animate, presenting a speed paint to a talk by Jeremy Rifkin called ‘The Empathic Civilization’. It is about the question of how we (and apparently also other mammals) feel empathy for something that can be observed happening to others. Like when we watch a movie, the same neurons fire in our brain processing what we see as if we would experience it ourselves. Scientists call this function in our brains the mirror neurons.

It is a remarkable discovery and he is talking about how it might have evolved from the bond that our ancestors in the cave had with their tribe (viewing other tribes as aliens), to religious groups believing to belong to each other up to the bond we feel towards the people of our same nation (and in many cases being hostile towards people of other countries). He then poses the very interesting question, if this evolution could extend over the whole planet to make us feel connected to one another as a whole ecosystem.

This is especially interesting to those who are working on ways how to convince people that we are not so different from one another. We should really stop treating people from other countries, religions and families as aliens. This is a very outdated concept in many parts of the world. The idea that, with our technology advances, it could be some day possible to overcome the differences between all of us and create what he calls the empathic civilization – where we act as a family of beings and not individuals. Think of the possibilities in sustainability and social equality that arise if we could just trigger these mirror neurons in each and every one of those who still live by the imaginary boundaries of nations, blood ties and religions.

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Smile or Die

If you are fed up with all the people who do not seem to realize, that some things are going wrong, maybe those might just not feel they would be allowed to say what they think. We live in a society where realism is not always appreciated. Even so far as to distort reality into a point of view where we are not making any changes, even when they might be absolutely necessary. The constant “everything is ok” and willful ignorance that is going on especially in the corporate world and politics does not contribute to our progress as a society at all. It is harmful in just the same way as the constant fear and depression that we perceive most of the time through the media. In fact, people might start to feel powerless with the constant good mood in the same way as they would with the constant negativity they are confronted with – especially if they don’t believe it. The solution? Just acknowledge the facts that you have at hand and act accordingly! Smile or complain whenever you think it’s appropriate but never stop acting upon what you think is right or wrong!

RSA Animate published a fantastic talk on this topic by Barbara Ehrenreich on positive thinking accompanied by a kind of speed paint to what the talker is saying. I really love all of their videos (and I will post some more here later). This clip unfortunately has some pretty bad audio, but the message is clear…

And while you are at it, you might also want to check out my previous post ‘Everything is OK‘.

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EA Origin EULA Privacy Scandal & Solution

First off: I love Battlefield since the first release and I have been playing all of them since Battlefield 2 weekly for hours. I love DICE for making awesome games with such attention to details and with the guts to put something new into each and every one of them. I also loved Mirror’s Edge and Pinball Dreams/Pinball Fantasies – both DICE products (those where the days guys!). What I hate is when some producer (read: EA) takes over and drives a perfectly good franchise and an awesome games studio against the wall by doing things like manipulating game review scores or not releasing it on steam. But the latest is really the kicker… they want you to install a spyware, they call ‘Origin’ if you want to play Battlefield 3 on PC.

I am really happy to see the reaction of the German gamers population, that led to EA’s latest scandal now even making it into the mainstream media.

In case you missed out on the details: The reason is that in the EULA (you know, the colossal text that you scroll down and accept when installing something) they get the agreement from you that, if you want to play Battlefield 3, you allow them to scan your entire harddisk and send everything they find to undisclosed third parties, which technically even includes private documents, photos, videos and the like. Not enough that you actually paid for the game (as far as i read the rumors, EA wants to increase their prices from now on from average 50 to 60 euro per game), you also have to install a trojan/spying virus with it to be able to play.

It took quite a while since the first complaints started to emerge online in August, but now that Battlefield 3 has been released, it is finally all over the german speaking media: Die Zeit, SpiegelOnline, NZZ, n-tv. Only Bild is missing out on that one so far. However, I am wondering why the Media outside of Germany does not seem to report on any complaints at all. Are you people satisfied with what EA is doing? Are you not informed? Or is the mainstream media just not covering what’s going on?!

What can we do about it? I for one will not even install the game until EA has modified their EULA dramatically (unfortunately I pre-ordered in April without knowing at that point, that it will run with Origin only). I will give Amazon a bad review on Battlefield 3. I will write a complaint email to EA’s Privacy Department and if nothing has changed until 11.11.11 I will send back my copy for a refund and start playing Skyrim as planned and only Skyrim instead. *drool*

Workaround: If you want to play Battlefield 3 anyway but of course would like to prevent Origin from scanning your system, there is supposed to be a solution called sandboxing. I haven’t tried it myself, but go ahead and report back if it worked… I would still suggest you to at least write a complaint to EA about it though, otherwise there will not be anything happening ever and you would at some point sandbox each and every game you buy.

Everything is OK

First of all: maybe I tricked you a bit with the title there to get your attention. Please accept my apology for that! But the following is really important to me. Since you are apparently still reading this, let me take the opportunity to clarify: I believe there are probably bazillions of things that are not OK at this very moment…

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