Whatever Is Not Expressly Allowed

Is verboten. In Germany. If you’re Facebook, Google, Amazon, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter and Co., that is.

Facebook

Recognize a pattern here? They’re all American companies and they’re all “free” to use. The Germans, of all people, surely must have figured out by now that nothing is ever for free. But they haven’t.

GERMAN REGULATORS JUST OUTLAWED FACEBOOK’S WHOLE AD BUSINESS – FACEBOOK’S MASSIVELY LUCRATIVE advertising model relies on tracking its one billion users—as well as the billions on WhatsApp and Instagram—across the web and smartphone apps, collecting data on which sites and apps they visit, where they shop, what they like, and combining all that information into comprehensive user profiles. Facebook has maintained that collecting all this data allows the company to serve ads that are more relevant to users’ interests. Privacy advocates have argued that the company isn’t transparent enough about what data it has and what it does with it. As a result, most people don’t understand the massive trade-off they are making with their information when they sign up for the “free” site.

“We disagree with their conclusions and intend to appeal so that people in Germany continue to benefit fully from all our services.”

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United Kingdom

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week – only it’s actually more like a purchase this time.

BAE

Because somebody has to admire them.

Wait a minute. Aren’t these the same Germans who tell us that Brexit is going to be the end of the world as we know it?

Brexit boost as Germans invest £30million in UK tank maker – A GERMAN defence giant yesterday defied Brexit doomsayers by pumping £30million into a British armoured vehicle business.

If You Want Fast Internet Speed Go To Poland

This is Germany. Things are more complicated here. Einfach kompliziert (simply complicated). If things weren’t simply complicated this would be another country.

Germany

That’s what makes things like the German government’s recent announcement to invest a few peanuts in artificial intelligence so humorous. They can’t even create the conditions for fast Internet speeds here and they think they will be able to compete with the likes of US-Amerika and China? And just in case you haven’t noticed, their data security defenses aren’t exactly world class, either. It’s complicated here, like I said. Simply complicated.

Germany is Europe’s largest economy, but business leaders warn it is in danger of losing its edge because of sluggish Internet connections. While other countries are thinking about whether to upgrade their cellphone systems to 5G, Germany is still grappling with 3G.

A report by Germany’s Federal Network Agency last year showed that 29 percent of German Internet users reported Internet speeds of less than half of what was promised by service providers.

“In Germany, you will find almost everywhere copper cable that’s not capable to go faster than 250 megabits per second. “The average reality is about 50 megabits per second. That’s quite poor.”

“Alarming… But Not Surprising”

Massive cyber attacks affect the German Bundestag and other government agencies on a regular basis here. Nobody cares. Just have the press officer read his prepared statement about how nothing important was stolen and ab ins Wochenende (off to the weekend)!

hackers

Personal data and documents from hundreds of German politicians and public figures have been published online, in what appears one of the most far-reaching cyber attacks in a country that has become a target of choice for hackers.

It was unclear if the breach, which triggered an emergency meeting of the national cyber defense agency, was the result of a hack or a leak, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was affected, but an initial analysis showed no sensitive material from her office was released, said a government spokeswoman.

If the data release does stem from a hack, it would be the latest in a number of hi-tech assaults on political institutions and key individuals in Germany.

Last year, lawmakers said a powerful cyber attack breached the foreign ministry’s computer network.

“Whoever is responsible, wants to intimidate politicians. That will not succeed.”

Artificially Intelligent, Maybe

But is it smart?

Technical progress by decree?

AI

Germany is often criticized for sluggish levels of digital investment, particularly in AI. The government wants to invest €3 billion before 2025 to try and close the knowledge gap with world leaders in the field.

Germans are smart, of course, but they can’t even spell AI properly. They call it KI. Ridiculous. And when you look at the amount being invested, well, maybe they’re not all that good at math anymore, either.

“This amount is much less than companies, such as Microsoft or Google, invest in AI in a single year. So people should not think that Germany will suddenly become a world leader in the field, able to compete with the US and China.”

Your Tax Euros In Action

You know the drill. These studies are routinely published (in this case by the German Federation of Taxpayers) demonstrating how tax money is burned by the government.

U-Boot

There were some real beauties in this report, too. But my personal favorite is the Case of the Squandered Submarines. The German navy has these six way cool new fuel cell driven submarines that set the German taxpayer back three billion euros. The only problem here is that none of them are currently operational and have spent most of their time dry-docked. Additionally, there are only three submarine commanders available to command these vessels. One of these subs has only been deployed once – in thirteen years. Wow. With a navy like this who needs an enemy?

And I’m sure the next tax increase is already in the works.

Die sechs U-Boote der deutschen Marine mit Brennstoffzellenantrieb gehören zum Modernsten, was die Nato in diesem Bereich zu bieten hat. Drei Milliarden Euro kosteten sie. Das Problem: Laut Schwarzbuch ist keines dieser U-Boote derzeit tatsächlich einsatzbereit.

To Rival Silicon Valley?

Good luck with that. Honest. It’s great that big industry finally wants to pump some money into Berlin again but keep your pants on already, Siemens.

Siemensstadt

The German engineering giant has unveiled plans to build a huge innovation campus in Berlin, harking back to its early days in the German capital and aiming to rival Silicon Valley in the United States.

Investment in a new campus to be called Siemensstadt 2.0 (Siemens City 2.0) will come in at €600 million ($680 million) on offices and residential accommodation, as well as laboratories and production plants, according to an agreement signed by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller and Siemens executive member Cedrik Neike on Wednesday.

The plan is to transform the historic Siemens site in Berlin-Spandau into a location for research and startup centers by 2030.

Der Weltkonzern baut in Berlin für 600 Millionen Euro seinen Zukunfts-Campus. Mit 2000 Wohnungen, Forschungslabors, Geschäften, Schulen und eigenem S-Bahn-Anschluss

German Of The Day: Überziehungskredit

That means overdraft credit. You know, when money is withdrawn from your bank account and the available balance goes below zero?

Credit

Sure comes in handy. Take this lady here. Please. She glanced at her banking app during breakfast one morning and was rather surprised to discover that the grocery store chain Rewe had just booked 8,590,000,000.42 euros from her account – with a friendly “Rewe says thanks!”

After some quick calculations she realized that a mistake had been made. Accidents will happen, folks.

Bank zieht Frau vermeintlich acht Milliarden Euro ab.

German Of The Day: Korruption

That means corruption. It’s a foreign word here, though.

Audi

Unless, of course, you’re talking about VW, Daimler, BMW, Audi

Now it’s out that Audi tampered with the chassis numbers of their test vehicles to hamper the emissions scandal investigation going on in Korea. And it looks like this was all directed from Germany.

Please note: The next time Germans get morally outraged about the next big moral outrage in US-Amerika – and it won’t be long – remember that absolutely nobody here in Germany pays the slightest attention to any of this dieselgate made in Germany crime and corruption stuff. They’re all serfs owned by the German automobile industry.

Audi hat jahrelang Fahrgestellnummern von Testautos gefälscht und so die Aufklärung des Abgasskandals in Korea behindert. Die Vorgänge wurden offenbar von Deutschland aus gesteuert.

 

German Of The Day: Umweltsünder

That means environmental sinner. You know, like Germany? Head of the class when it comes to climate protection? Or so we were led to believe.

Trump

Despite pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, that awful, terrible US-Amerika – under that awful, terrible Donald Trump himself – leads the world in cutting CO2 emissions.

According to the numbers put out  by the IEA (already back in March), CO2 emissions have risen in most of the large national economies, Germany included. Some countries, however, bucked the trend and have succeeded in reducing the amount of greenhouse gas produced, including the USA, Great Britain, Japan and Mexico.

Damit verringern die USA ihre Emissionen schon im dritten Jahr in Folge. Die Deutschen halten sich für die größten Klimaschützer – auf dem Papier.