Category Archives: Short Stories

[Namm2014] Roland to Reissue an updated Version of TR-808?

There are rumors, that Roland might be working on updated re-issues of their all-time-favs TB-303 Bass Synthesizer and TR-808 Drum-Machine.

The updated version of the TR-808 is currently going under the name AIRA TR-08. You may subscribe to their AIRA newsletter on their website.



The picture is courtesy Attackmagazine.You may head over to them to get some more details
Leaked image purporting to show the new Roland AIRA TR-08

[News] Beer and Civilization

Although that article is not new, in fact is from march 2013, it still is very interesting. It deals with the question if grain originally was grown and stored for making bread or beer at first. And evidences seem to tend into the beer direction more and more…

Current theory has it that grain was first domesticated for food. But since the 1950s, many scholars have found circumstantial evidence that supports the idea that some early humans grew and stored grain for beer, even before they cultivated it for bread.

Brian Hayden and colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Canada provide new support for this theory in an article published this month (and online last year) in the Journal of Archeological Method and Theory. Examining potential beer-brewing tools in archaeological remains from the Natufian culture in the Eastern Mediterranean, the team concludes that “brewing of beer was an important aspect of feasting and society in the Late Epipaleolithic” era.

Via: Gizmodo

Original article has been published here at Springer.

[misc] Das Riester-Dilemma – Die Riester-Lüge? ARD Reportage vom 09.01.2012

Die Reportage “Das Riester-Dilemma” ist nun sowohl in der ARD-Mediathek auch auf Youtube (s.u.) verfügbar. Für alle, die schon lange wissen wollten, ob sich die Riester-Rente wirklich lohnt, ist dies wohl einer der wenigen Beiträge, die sich auch der Entstehung des Riester-Rentengesetzes kritisch rekonstruktiv nähern. So kommt auch die Lobbyismus-Expertin Dr. Diana Wehlau zu Wort, die die Spendenströme aus der Finanzbranche in die Bundestagsparteien in den Jahren 1998 bis 2001 genauer beleuchtet.

In der Programmankündigung auf den Internetseiten des RBB heißt es:

“Januar 2001 wurde die Riester-Rente eingeführt – und als entscheidender Schritt zur Lösung der Rentenfrage gefeiert. Die Verfechter waren sich einig: Die gesetzliche Rente alleine könne es nicht mehr schaffen. In einer älter werdenden Gesellschaft müsse jeder privat vorsorgen. Mit staatlichen Zuschüssen sollten die Bürger ermuntert werden, ein privates Zusatzpolster für ihr Alter anzusparen. Doch nun, rund zehn Jahre später, entpuppt sich die vermeintlich renditeträchtige Privatvorsorge mehr und mehr als Rohrkrepierer: Die staatlichen Zuschüsse kommen vor allem den Versicherungsgesellschaften zugute und nicht den kleinen Sparern. (..)”

[Media] Newspaper Articles About Copying And File Sharing


According to the RIAA the media industry is suffering heavy losses due to increased copying and file sharing in the last 10 years. Sanity and reason shows there must be something true with that argument. But are the numbers the media companies are providing correct? What can we learn from history?

The following links provide an uncategorized and unsorted mixture of links (in multiple languages) dealing with the topic of copying and file sharing. It is in no way complete and perfect, but is probably usable as a lateral cut thru that topic.

We will update this section frequently. Comments are highly appreciated.


Date Headling Editor/Media Link
1977 Sind Leer-Cassetten der Tod der Schallplatte? (~ “Will blank tapes mark the end of vinyl?”) Bravo Link
1977 “Klang-Supermarkt zum Nulltarif” (~”Sound supermarket for free”) Spiegel Link
Late 1980s “Anti-DAT lobbying” Wikipedia Link
1992 “Audio Home Recording Act” Wikipedia Link
2003 “Studie: Illegale Kopien sind ein internes Problem der Filmindustrie” (~”Study: Illegal Copies Are Internal Problem Of The Filmindustry”) Link
2006 “Studios See Big Rise In Estimates of Losses To Movie Piracy” Wall Street Journal Link
2006 “Raubkopie-Studie: Hollywood verliert 6 Milliarden Dollar” (~”Illegal Copy Study: Hollywood Loses 6 Billion US$”) Link
2009 “Hollywood-Studio will Suchmaschinen kontrollieren” (~”Hollywood Studio Aiming At Control Of Internet Search Engines”) Link
2009 “How UK Government spun 136 people into 7m illegal file sharers” Link
2009 “Blu-ray kann weltweiten DVD-Verkaufsrückgang nicht auffangen” (~”Worldwide Blu-Ray Sales Don’t Compensate Reduced DVD Sales”) Link
2009 “Blu-ray Disc zieht an – DVD-Verkäufe rückläufig” (~”Blu-Ray Sales Increasing – DVD Sales Decreasing”) Big Screen Link
2009 “Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates”) Ars Technica Link
2009 “Sind Labels die wahren Piraten? Musiker verklagen kanadische Musikindustrie” (~”Are Labels The Real Pirates? Musicians Sue Canadian Musicindustry”) Tom’s Hardware Link
2010 “Observations on Efforts to Quantify the Economic Effects of Counterfeit and Pirated Goods” U.S. Government
Accountability Office
2010 “Verluste durch Filesharing sind stark übertrieben” (~”Losses From File Sharing Massively Exaggerated”) Big Screen Link
2010 “Seagate to preload hard drives with movies” Financial Times Link

[Stories] Lovelock’s Gaia Theory Explained by Himself…

Following an approach of explaining biological processes on earth the Gaia theory says (the surface) of planet earth including its biosphere can be viewed as a single living organism that every life form is a part of. Sounds familiar? Yes, I bet you’ve watched Avatar in cinema.

The Gaia theory has been developed by biologists Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock in the 1960s. According to them the biosphere as the whole of all organisms creates and maintains conditions required for life and evolution.

Lovelock, however, defines life as a self-preserving, self-similar system of feedback loops like Humberto Maturana’s autopoiesis; as a self-similar system, life could be a cell as well as an organ embedded into a larger organism as well as an individual in a larger inter-dependent social context.


» Gaia Hypothesis
» Lovelock

The Open University has compiled a documentary about that theory featuring Lovelock himself:

[Pre] Palm Pre’s Slider Oreo Issues

Forum reports seem to be growing about this issue. A certain amount of first generation Palm Pre’s being sold all over the world seem to have slider issues. “It just wobbles too much, thus making it feel like a 500€ plastic toy.”, said a customer in a local O2 store.

Our testing device received from  a local O2 store in November, 2009 here in Berlin suffers the same slider issue.

When talking to O2’s customer support,  he by the way confirmed: “my Pre had the same issue. It is being repaired currently.”

Fortunately the repairing procedure with O2 is quite painless. If a customer realizes a defect within the first seven days of purchase, the local O2 store offers direct exchange of the device (this not only applies to Palm’s devices but to any cell phone O2 offers here in Germany). If defects are reported after seven days, they will be repaired within two weeks. Business customers are offered exchange devices at any time within 48hours.

If Palm Pre’s having the orea offect can be repaired at all, is still not really proven. According to a report on PreThinking, U.S. american devices are getting exchanged. Repair centers are not allowed to repair them.

When asking O2’s customer service, if the slider issue has been reported often, he answered: “No, this is a very rare issue, and we also asked Palm about this, and they also said, there is no slider issue.”

This might be the case for Germany, but in the meantime Palm in the U.S.A. seem to have implicitly confirmed the slider issues. In a review article of the second generation Palm Pre (called Palm Pre Plus for the Verizon network), Dieter Bohn mentioned that “Palm says that they’ve fixed up the slider action (..)”.

In the meantime we’ve received our exchange device, and guess what? Although it still is a first generation Palm Pre, this slider has no orea effect.

It feels a lot more stable, making it eventually a serious tool for all the people who don’t want to follow the iPhone hype.

Picture is courtesy of

[News] Copenhagen: The Fight Continues

More than 14 million people from around the world already joined AVAAZ.ORG. It is by far the largest ever online petition in the history on mankind.

From their about us page: is a new global web movement with a simple democratic mission: to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.

Across the world, most people want stronger protections for the environment, greater respect for human rights, and concerted efforts to end poverty, corruption and war. Yet globalization faces a huge democratic deficit as international decisions are shaped by political elites and unaccountable corporations — not the views and values of the world’s people.

Join AVAAZ.ORG now, by going to

[misc] Incomplete List of Proverbs Equal in German and English

Reading english proverbs in english articles that are equal to german proverbs always makes me ask if the article has been written by a german trying to write english (much like I do ;-).

So I found some proverbs that I just wanted to archive for later reference. If you know some more, let me know in the comments…

  • Let the cat out of the Bag
    Die Katze aus dem Sack lassen
  • The apple does not fall far from the tree
    Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm
  • Give up the ghost
    Den Geist aufgeben
  • All beginnings are difficult
    Aller Anfang ist schwer
  • To paint a black picture of something
    Etwas schwarz malen
  • Everything has an end, only sausage has two
    Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei
  • Hard work never hurt anyone
    Arbeiten hat noch keinem geschadet
  • Barking dogs don’t bite
    Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht
  • Go through thick and thin
    Durch dick und dünn gehen
  • Tribute to whom tribute is due
    Ehre dem, dem Ehre gebührt
  • Don’t look a gift horse into the mouth
    Einem geschenkten Gaul, schaut man nicht ins Maul
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day
    Rom wurde nicht an einem Tag erbaut
  • All is well, that ends well.
    Ende gut, alles gut
  • All that glitters is not gold
    Es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt
  • To see light at the end of the tunnel
    Licht am Ende des Tunnels sehen
  • To go to the dogs
    Vor die Hunde gehen
  • Guard your tongue
    Hüte Deine Zunge
  • That is just splitting hairs
    Das ist Haarspalterei
  • To cast pearls before swine
    Perlen vor die Säue werfen
  • Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
    Was Du heute kannst besorgen, verschiebe nicht auf morgen
  • He who laughs last, laughs best
    Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am Besten

[iPhone] iBluetooth available

Eventually a Bluetooth application has become available for the iPhone. As this is not approved by Apple it can be downloaded only via Cydia on jailbroken iPhones.

iBluetooth costs 4US$ and can be downloaded from the iSpazio repository. The purpose of the shareware fee is buying a complete Bluetooth stack to make it available to all customers. Currently iBluetooth comes with a seven days trial period.

The pictures are courtesy of iSpazio. See more pictures here…