The Goodness of the West

March 10, 2008 at 11:14 am | Posted in Friends | Leave a comment
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I have just returned from a fan-tas-tic weekend in Vorarlberg – yes, the western most state of Austria where I spent three (relatively) lonely years of my life, teaching English to aspiring media designers, and that I eventually could not wait to leave. It was good to return, good to achieve some psychological closure (as my ex-colleague WM would say:-) – Vorarlberg may not be welcoming the legal alien, but it certainly is kind to the tourist:-)

I broke all the rules of Lent, had my first sugar high at 11am on Friday, had beer, prosecco, wine, sparkling wine méthode champenoise and more prosecco, ate pork and poultry and home-made Chinese delicacies, American fried bacon, banana nut bread, Altwiener Topfentorte, Schinkenfleckerlauflauf… wow. My friend S. also turned out to be the most fabulous hostess (not that I expected anything less), found my former colleagues in an excellent mood and condition (the banter quotient of course was as high as ever), drifted in and out of inspiring conversations with about a dozen of people and all in all really had a great weekend:-))))))) I even got serious work done on the train, for the conference I am attending next Monday.

But as of today, Lent is back on:-)

Viral Video Digest: Bunnies and Masses in Motion

January 15, 2008 at 7:36 am | Posted in video, Viral | Leave a comment
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This is a strangely fascinating movie about the execution of one, two, three chocolate bunnies. Was it in the viral video chart in the past? If not, it has the potential to make it – and to find tons of emulators as well. Remixes are already on Youtube.

Here is one that’s currently #2 in the viral video chart – amazing material. And although it’s all different people, it kind of makes you worry how fast life might go by.

Here is #3 – again people as the visual material, reminding one inevitably of Siegfried Kracauer’s “Ornament der Masse” (The Mass ornament). Whether it’s synchronized swimming or military parades or this viral video: Mankind seems not to can get enough of seeing its kind move as one body.

Secretaries are the least economic data processers ever, but at least they’ve got a memory like an elephant

October 30, 2007 at 4:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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DISCLAIMER: This piece of writing does not apply to each and every individual that has ever worked as a secretary. It applied to the average, stereotypical person doing the job of a secretary. You decide whether this applies to the secretaries around you – or to you, if you are a secretary.

No offence meant, but I just need to get this one off me chest… it seems as if there is an antagonist of mine among the working population that goes by the name of: the secretary.*

Secretary keep track of each and everything, but are absolutely unable to draw any conclusions from data.

*) The absolutely endearing secretary who works for the VC of my last employer is quite obviously not part of the secretary gang. She’s a an early 19th century

This unfinished post has been sleeping in my account for nearly a year now – I edited it marginally as I have moved on to pastures new since then. Unfortunately I cannot recall to what type of 19th century individual I had wanted to compare my lovely friend S.

I vaguely remember what had happened that day that made me conceive this post – another frustrating encounter between me and the rigid frame of mind of some EFFICIENT secretary.

TIME Inc. s*cks / Lose the right to your picture through adoption 28/40

March 24, 2007 at 9:43 am | Posted in TIME, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments
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I did partake in the the craze about Brangelina’s latest addition to their family by posting of a picture of Pham Quang, now know as Pax Thien. This morning I found an email in my mailbox and this notification on the post’s site:

This blog post has been marked private by staff in response to a DMCA notice. Please remove the Time Inc copyrighted image before making this post public again. Please see our DMCA process and contact us if you have concerns.

How bizarre. Can they claim that? Technically, I did not take their picture at all, but simply entered the URL of _their_ picture in the image tag. I suppose they wouldn’t complain about me providing a text link to their website – technically, there is hardly any difference between the two methods. The image tag retrieves the image from their server to display on my website, the link opens their page first before it displays the image. If they don’t want such a thing to happen, they should develop a script that generates the images in such a way on their site that one cannot easily retrieve their URL.

Furthermore, I entered a total of two links (!) to their website. In academia, that would be properly referenced and no copyright theft. In doing so, I also generated traffic to their website, for free – but they obviously have no understanding of the workings of the web 2.0.

And generally, isn’t it questionable whether_they_have the rights to Pham’s picture? The individual automatically has the right to his/her picture – this only changes once somebody becomes a person of public interest. Does being adopted by a celebrity automatically mean that you lose the rights to your picture, that you become a public persona? I’m highly critical of that.

Anyhow, the conclusion of that is: No more links to TIME Inc. publications. They s*ck anyway.

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