Some time off

It’s time to take a break from things. I’m traveling to Peru and Bolivia for all of December to be as far away as possible from the obligations of everyday life, to stay clear of computers and the Internet, and to recharge the batteries for a new episode of my life. I’ll be back in Berlin in January, when I hope to continue this blog. Until then, enjoy reading and commenting on the posts from the past. See you soon!

Advertisements

German stereotypes – A beer glass full of precision

My days in London may be over soon, as I’m about to move back to Berlin. Time to sum it all up and take a final look at Germany from the outside, or rather at the foreign opinions and representations of Germany. Luckily, I won’t need to go off on some abstract cultural analysis. Instead, I will lure the reader into clicking on “Keep reading…” by saying that this post is about beer. Now you want to click on Continue reading

Can Google Wave revitalize online debates?

googlewave

Some days ago, I managed to get access to Google Wave; this highly anticipated, widely praised service that will revolutionize online collaboration and interaction. Well, I’m not that impressed, to be honest. It comes across like an advanced, non-linear chat programme of some sorts, which allows you to post different forms of media content and to write responses to earlier posts. Leaving aside the myth of a collaboration revolution for now, this sort of functionality may be perfect for online debates… Continue reading

A cell phone for each stage of my life

cellphones

In the summer of 2007, me and my cell phone were thrown into a Spanish swimming pool. We managed to reach the shore, but my cell phone died a few hours later from the damages it had suffered to some of its vital number keys. I was generously provided with exactly the same type of cell phone shortly after, which wasn’t a particularly modern device even back then. By now, it comes across as medieval. But it works. I’m not sure when I’ll purchase a new smart phone, but before I do, I’ll quickly remember some of its predecessors in this post. Continue reading

The wind of change blowing through my London living room

berlinwall

I was only 5 years old when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. So I have no recollection of that day. I once had to interview my parents about it for a school assignment and they said we spent the night together watching it on TV, not believing (them) or not understanding (me) what we were witnessing. I should see if I can still find that essay somewhere in our attic back home. 20 years later, I’m living in London, following the celebrations through the eyes of the British media. Continue reading

250 words on spelling conventions in texting and twittering

twitterspelling

A few weeks ago, I came across a few intriguing questions in a job application form. Not just the usual inquiries about motivations, strengths and career plans, but questions that you could argue about in a pub or write books about. Below is my answer to the following question: “How much does it matter, if at all, that texting and twittering treat spelling convention with little respect? Please limit your answer to 250 words”. At the end of the post, you’ll find more food for thought. Continue reading

Illegal file sharing in the UK – Three strikes and you’re out

strike

The Phillies have just won the fifth game of this year’s World Series against the Yankees and people in the UK couldn’t care less. They prefer the more gentlemanly version of the game called cricket. Only when it comes to combating illegal file sharing do UK lawmakers borrow a bit of baseball terminology (the author apologizes for such a sleazy introduction). A “three-strike” policy will soon be rolled out, which may lead to offenders’ Internet connections being cut in 2011. But is that gonna help? Continue reading