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

Surveillance-Equipment-Detect-Ear

… 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…

  • http://actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com

 

 

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:

http://www.wdr.de/tv/monitor/sendungen/2012/1213/wasser.php5

Unterschreibe die Petition: http://www.right2water.eu/de

 

My latest mix release: Write Your Own Stories

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This latest mix of mine is a compilation of everything produced in the year 2012 within the ranges of progressive and technoid tracks which I really enjoyed listening to (and still do). Naturally, I began the mix with some minimalistic intro and ended it with chillout… and in between… Yeah, that’s the stuff: I kind of came back to my style of 2006 which was a lot more pushing forward than what I have mixed lately (check it out in the music section).

Well, just kick back, headphones on and enjoy! I hope it gets you inspired and full of energy…

Nuff words. Take me to the download!

 

 

GEMA killed Space Night

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Let me explain: Nearly 20 years ago or something, there was no TV shows during the night in Germany. Statics. Nothing. Space Night started to be one of the few exceptions, which was showing satellite footage of earth paired with downtempo and soft electronical music. It became a great success among party-goers and actually inspired me a lot to produce chillout tracks myself in the years around 1998. So even though I am not watching it anymore (I don’t receive the TV channel BR anymore where I live), I have kind of an emotional connection to this show…

That said, it makes me really angry to hear, that Space Night might get cancelled or at least changed because of the increasing GEMA fees. Something like seven-digit figures per year. WTF!

Some have already suggested, that Space Night should play music that is published under Creative Commons and if this is the step they would like to go for, I hereby offer some of the tracks I have produced to their program for free. I feel it’s the least I can do: giving something back to a show that inspired me so much…

P.S.: Even the name of my section “auralfloat” is inspired by Space Night.

Reuters photographers and editors manipulating news of Lebanon 1996

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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…

Kicktrade v0.25 released: Bank now more intelligent

Let’s experiment a little. There was one thing in the game mechanics I was not very happy with: If you buy a share that not many people hold and nobody else is going to buy, your profit should be very small. But if your trade starts a trend on the market – let’s say you buy and several other investors follow your example, you should get the best prices in average. Same thing with selling: if a lot of people hold a stock and you are the first to sell, you should get better prices than those who decide to sell last. I hope to bring more fluctuation on the market and make your decision depending on the trend you expect to see in the future. Of course this will most likely work best with more players, but let’s give it a try now anyway, shall we?

One side effect of this will also be that teams which already went out of the competition and not many people are likely to be interested in are a great risk to buy, because the sell price will only increase if players follow your example. Otherwise the price might even go down, as the buy price is considerably lower now.

Further modifications in this version:

  • Fixed a bug: when you sell your complete depot of a share, you were still counted as an investor. This will be adjusted with the next trade each team (only then, because those numbers are only calculated when trading).
  • Number of investors are now displayed (this information is important to you so you can make a decision with the changes above)
  • Switched position of the tabs “Depot” and “History”, which increased performance (the history loads slower than the depot because it contains more entries and will now only be pre-loaded once you switch one tab to the depot).
  • The history now shows the last 100 trade entries when entering the tab. You can load more (if available) by scrolling all the way down.
  • The history graph shows the same amount of items that are in the list. Which means it will show up to 100 past trades now (before it was 20). If you scroll down the list of items before and more items are loaded, the graph will display them as well.
  • Performance has been increased on all list views.

Please comment on the changes, no matter if you feel they make the game better, worse or not very different at all… Thanks and let’s see how the market develops now with so many teams out of the competition.

Kicktrade night mode and other changes

The following changes have been just activated:

  • Night mode: The buy and sell prices will not be adjusted during the night between 0:00 and 6:00. That means that they stay fixed like they have been at 23:59 until 6:00. If someone makes a trade during that time the prices will be reset and adjustments follow from 6:00 on as usual. This should prevent those who make trades first on a day to make the best deals and distort the price development.
  • Sell price threshold: The sell price can never rise more than the actual price plus the number of investors. This should make it more risky to buy stock that most likely nobody else is interested in as you cannot just wait for the price to raise anymore (although a little profit can still be made if you dare).
  • New Price calculations on buy: Before, the bank only considered existing investors and shares (including you if you had already some shares) to calculate the average volume of all shareholders. If you bought more than that average, the price has been adjusted to the buy price. If you bought less, the price was adjusted by the percentage of what you bought compared to the average holder’s volume. Now you and your new buy volume is included in the calculation of that average volume.

 

Kicktrade v0.24 released

Changes in the new version:

  • The movement of the bank’s buy and sell prices is not limited anymore, allowing a share to really drop if nobody cares for some time. This might distort the market a little stronger (especially over night) as long as there are so few players active for now, but I think this is the way it should be when there are more people playing and I really need to try it during the beta test.
  • Adjustment of the final price after a transaction now fully depends on the volume of the transaction compared to the amount investors currently holding the same share. Meaning: Assuming the price is at 500 and you sell 100 for 510 and all other investors hold 1000 altogether. The difference in price is 10 and you hold 10% of all stock, so the final prices after your transaction is 501.
  • A news ticker is available on the start of the app, currently announcing the prices the bank pays for all the shares of all teams you still own at the end of the competition. This should encourage investors to now buy the team they think will most likely win.
  • The nickname is now synchronizing properly in the preferences.

Kicktrade v0.23 released

The new version contains the following changes:

  • The bank will sell only a limited volume of stock on each offer.
  • The history and the graph will contain the new price (not only the transaction price) from now on.
  • The green color has been adjusted for better visibility.

Euro Cup 2012 long running test: Kicktrade v0.22 (beta) released!

The version 0.3 that i have written about in the post earlier did not yet have to promise to make this game successful, as the complexity especially in the first couple of actions is way too high for the casual gamer. I might think about releasing a gordon gecko edition of this game some day and then you will find the mechanics of 0.3 in some form again (as a simulation) but I decided for the long running test of the game during the Euro Cup 2012 it is more likely to get players attached to the version 0.2 – so I made some minor fixes and tweaks and just released 0.22 tonight.

The database has been reset too so we are ready to see how the market behaves under the circumstances, that there are also matches taking place while the players are trading.

Probably I will have to fiddle around with the attributes a little (how long should a share be locked after trade etc.) but I will do so mostly on your feedback, so let me know!!

If you are not able to upgrade the application because of a certificate problem, just de-install the previous one!

Oh and the more players we are, the more fun we will have, as the market dynamics change depending on the activity! Don’t hesitate to invite your friends and tell them to spread the word too… very much appreciated!!

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