Berlin Starts Talking Tough To Russia After All

Sort of. Jeepers creepers already! This ought to stop old Vlad Putin dead in his tank tracks.

Tanks

Germany should remove a pair of World War Two-era Soviet tanks standing on pedestals next to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in protest at Russia’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine, Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild said on Tuesday.

Launching a petition to get rid of the two green T-34 tanks that have stood in front of the Soviet war memorial since it was built in 1945, Bild and Berlin tabloid B.Z. urged readers to send letters of protest to parliament against the war symbols.

Wir wollen keine Russen-Panzer am Brandenburger Tor!

Bleeding-Heart German Responsible For Heartbleed Bug

Well here’s yet another case of that famous German Gründlichkeit in action (that means thoroughness).

Heartbleed
A major Internet security bug that affects websites like Google and Facebook has been discovered, leaving users’ financial details and emails vulnerable to theft by cybercriminals.

The so-called “Heartbleed bug” was discovered in OpenSSL software—an encryption service used by around two-thirds of websites to protect information sent to and from Web pages.

The German software developer responsible says that he didn’t deliberately make the mistake when he was working on the popular OpenSSL software. Honest.

“In one of the new features, unfortunately, I missed validating a variable containing a length.”

German Energy Turnaround Finally Turned Around For Good?

As in your classic “tango uniform” turnaround? She is way too expensive, señor.

Turnaround

The German Energiewende (energy transition) – once an international model – threatens to disintegrate…

The Handelsblatt Research Institute monitored 24 industrialised and newly industrialising countries over a span of 5 years, looking at 51 different indicators. In the end, the researchers condensed the data into two overall rankings: mapping the status quo, and tracing the trend of the past 5 years.

Good news first: Germany’s current ranking is a respectable 8. Only smaller states with “good topographies” had better results, explained Rürup during the presentation of the study. Sweden holds first place, followed by Norway, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark. But even France – due to its high share of nuclear power – and Spain outranked Germany.

But for Germany, the results of the second category are even worse. Here, in the “dynamic ranking”, which reflects the developing trend during the examination period, Germany came in last place.

The reason for this, according to the study, are rising CO2 emissions and high per capita energy consumption. Energy prices have also risen significantly in recent years; nowhere, do households spend more on their energy bills than in Germany.

Nach der Bund-Länder-Einigung auf die Ausgestaltung der Energiewende droht Gabriel neues Ungemach. Grund sind die hohen Kosten für das Projekt.

PS: If only they could learn how to harness the power of Berlin’s rising ground water.

Thank Goodness Email Made In Germany Is Safe

Safe from those awful NSA criminals over there in US-Amerika, I mean. Remember the recent “Boom Triggered By NSA: German Email Services Report Surge in Demand” hype?

Theft

Well now it turns out that evil data criminals have somehow managed to steal some 18 million email accounts, with passwords, across the board, from all the major German Internet providers. And these guys weren’t even working for the NSA, people!

You just can’t trust any kind of Internet criminal these days, I guess.

Die Staatsanwaltschaft Verden ist auf einen Datensatz von 18 Millionen E-Mail-Adressen samt Passwörtern gestoßen. Betroffen sind alle großen deutschen Provider.

“It can’t work without Russian gas”

The German energy turnaround can’t, that is. And that’s why the way things look right now, the turnaround is about to get turned around – yet again.

Power

If Germany makes its goal of having 80 percent of its power come from renewable sources by 2050, there is no question it will add to the country’s energy security. But along the way, as it takes nuclear power plants offline and builds up its renewable network, the country remains reliant on fossil fuels – and that means Russia.

Germany gets some 35 percent of its natural gas and oil from Russia, as well as significant quantities of coal, a dependency that weakens Germany’s energy switchover plan, according to Hans-Werner Sinn, a prominent economist.

“Es wird eine neue Betrachtung der gesamten Energiepolitik geben”

What The Frack?

US-Amerikan gas has suddenly become a whole lot more attractive to Europeans these days for some strange reason.

Gas

“European nations…will, if no solution to this can be found, recast their approach to energy and economic links with Russia over time. Those are things over time which I think will mean this has been a serious miscalculation [by Russia],” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

Britain buys about 1% of its natural gas from Russia, but other European nations purchase more than a third of their needs, which means they wouldn’t be in a position to simply do without that supply, he said.

Angesichts der anhaltenden Spannungen in der Ukraine drohen europäische Politiker Russland mit Folgen im Energiemarkt. Europäische und amerikanische Politiker werden Verhandlungen über höhere US-Exporte nach Europa aufnehmen, sagte Großbritanniens Außenminister William Hague an.

Germans Bugging Americans About Bugging Germans Again

Well they’re sure bugging me.

Merkel

I mean, the Pres already told the NSA to stop listening in on Angela Merkel, right? So like are they now supposed to stop listening in on everybody else out there, too? Why that’s, I dunno, unrealistic or something. Damned if you do. Damned if you still do.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has stepped up its surveillance of senior German government officials since being ordered by Barack Obama to halt its spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday.

Was soll ich denken?”

PS: Looking at that picture up there makes me think that I could work for the NSA, too. I bet I could have cracked that password eventually myself.

I Just Hope They Never Develop ICE 9

Get it? Don’t matter. Germany finally has a new ICE train, the ICE 3.

ICE 3

No, not as in three years late (although it’s that, too), three as in three hundred freakin’ kilometers per hour. Damn. I wanna ride that puppy, too.

Die Autos auf der parallel verlaufenden Autobahn A3 scheinen zu stehen, wenn der ICE mit Tempo 305 an ihnen vorbeirast.

Chinese And Eastern European Spy Attacks Boring Spiegel Readers To Tears

1) Chinese intelligence agencies have apparently carried out a spy attack on the federal government of Germany. Yawn.

China

2) Some 16 million email addresses and passwords of 600 government employees at every German ministry have been taken in a massive data theft operation. The attack was carried out by eastern European criminals, according to Der Spiegel. Snooze.

When asked for more detailed information, a German government spokesman replied “More detailed information. Of what? Like who cares? It’s not as if these attacks were carried out by the NSA or anything.”

Researchers declined to speculate about the possible origin of the malware, but noted that none of the victims were from China.

PS: As for this year’s Berlinale, hmmm. The Chinese just won the Golden Bear for best film this year, too. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Some long-established film festivals, such as Cannes and Venice, can legitimately claim to be timeless. Berlin, however, seems to be stuck in the past, and not only because the event somewhat coasts on its bygone reputation as a festival of discovery…

The Berlinale’s 64th edition was the most lukewarm in years. You don’t usually expect swoons and scandals here, but you do hope that every year’s competition will bring one major discovery, or at least an unassuming gem that everyone falls in love with. There was one universally adored film in competition – but it doesn’t quite count as a Berlin revelation, as it came straight from wowing Sundance…

Berlin always provides its share of A-list red-carpet promenades – this year, by the likes of George Clooney, Bill Murray and Uma Thurman – yet these never quite disguise the festival’s essential earnestness…

Otherwise, I suspect that Berlin 2014 will be best remembered for its major innovation – the addition of a pop-up line of gourmet food wagons. Festival-goers will turn up undeterred again next year – but many of them will be doing it less for the films than for this Berlinale’s real discovery, the pulled pork baps.

Creepy Corn Coming (And I Don’t Care)

Ghastly, genetically modified creepy corn.

Corn

Creepy corn without a name. Creepy corn that isn’t even spelled with a capital K. Corn so creepy that it only has a creepy number; the nasty and nightmarish 1507. Corn devised in some creepy laboratory somewhere in the United States of Creepy Amerika.

Insect-resistant, creepy, nameless and K-less corn. Creepy corn that Germans dressed up like bees simply must say Nein! to. Corn that must be stopped at all costs.

Corn declared safe by the European Food Standards Authority. But still.

“Wir erkennen die Vorbehalte des Großteils der Bevölkerung gegenüber der grünen Gentechnik an.”

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