Real Germans Don’t Tweet

According to Semiocast, an analyst, Germany ranks 31st worldwide in terms of public tweets, with 59m per year. Germany’s 82m people have just 4m Twitter accounts. That puts it 22nd in the world, behind not only European neighbours like Britain (population 63m, 45m accounts) or Spain (population 47m, 16m accounts) but also Turkey (population 75m, 11m accounts) and the Philippines (population 98m, 8.6m accounts).

Junglecamp

But they do like to google, however. Although what they googled most in election year 2013 is another matter. The number one German search item was Wahl-O-Mat, an online election tool that tells you who to vote for.

And Amazon didn’t even make the short list. That’s because it’s “designed for world domination,” I assume.

“Innovation erfordert den Willen, über einen langen Zeitraum missverstanden zu werden.”

Bah Humbug!

Hundreds of Amazon.com Inc workers in Germany went on strike on Monday, just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay and conditions that has raged for months…

Amazon

The Verdi union said up to 700 workers joined the strike in Amazon’s logistic center in Bad Hersfeld, plus 500 to 600 in Leipzig. For the first time, the union also called a strike in Graben, where Verdi said 600 workers took part.

Now that’s what I call having the Christmas spirit. Just replace the Scrooge part below with Ver.di.

Fred: Merry Christmas, Uncle Scrooge!
Scrooge: What’s so merry about it? I’ll tell you what Christmas is. It’s just another work day, and any jackanape who thinks else should be boiled in his own pudding!
Cratchit: But sir, Christmas is a time for giving… a time to be with one’s family.
Scrooge: I say, Bah humbug!
Fred: I don’t care! I say, Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas!
Cratchit: [clapping] Well said, Master Fred!
Scrooge: Cratchit, what are you doing?
Cratchit: [stops clapping] I was just trying to keep my hands warm, sir.

Amazon has recently announced it would build three new logistics centers in Poland and two in the Czech Republic, prompting speculation that it could seek to shift work across the border from strike-hit centers in Germany.

Günter Wallraff Dresses Up As Günter Wallraff To Appear As Günter Wallraff On Günther Jauch

Günter Wallraff, disguised as the unspeakably annoying undercover reporter Günter Wallraff, appeared undercover last night on Günther Jauch to explain to Günther Jauch how he, as Günter Wallraff, just went undercover to uncover at Amazon ITSELF how Amazon is now single-handedly causing “our entire culture to atrophy” and how it is a “monster” that is using its “slave laborers” to bring “our entire society” in imminent danger (when he says “our” here, folks, he actually means “our” as in the “German our”).

Günter

Other than that though he appeared somewhat lucid at times, or at least until the end of the show when his hallucinations began to resurface again and he started foaming at the mouth once more and got in a few of his more predictable anti-American swipes but by that time it was time for me to go to bed and go undercover myself so I had no other choice but to shut his ridiculous ass down.

Günther Jauch stellt in seiner Talkshow den Boykott des Onlineversenders zur Debatte. Dabei fällt der Streit um unmögliche Arbeitsverhältnisse bei Amazon glatt in sich zusammen.

German Sky Already Falling With Bad Robots

Datenschutz! Datenschutz, Datenschutz, Datenschutz Datenschutz. Robot insects.

Robot

Drones. Datenschutz. Robots. Amazon. Amazon drone robots. New ideas. Bad technology. Technology bad. Bad ideas.

Then there’s the Datenschutz part.

Jeff Bezos. Darth Vader. Das Imperium schlägt zurück (The Empire Strikes Back).

Technisch ist es möglich, der Datenschutz aber ist heikel.

Taylorismus-Made

Please read the following out loud in that classic monotone el cheapo Hollywood movie robot voice:

Taylorism

We are all robots here. No one talks. It is ghostly quiet here in the Amazon warehouse.

We are forced to wear these weird orange signal jackets. Amazon wants us to hand over our brains at the door once we enter here. There is no turning back.

Only the customer is allowed to have any individuality.

Everything is fully conform. Every step is standardized. Deviations would disrupt the calculation.

They have got me so far that I now do everything they say (just like I already do outside when watching the Tagesschau or when reading Spiegel Online).

I have no free will. We are all victims and are being ausgebeutet (exploited) to an unbearable degree. This is Kapitalismus pur or something. Oh my God we are all going to die. No, wait. We are dead already.

“Mich haben sie jetzt so weit. Ich mache, was man mir sagt.”

Clever German Union Outsmarts Evil American Online Retailer

In a move that will clearly bring Amazon to its negotiating knees, German union Ver.di is threatening to strike the evil American online retailer’s logistic operations in Germany during the Christmas season itself should said evil retailer not increase wages for its German employees real pronto-like.

Amazon

Shocked spokesmen at Amazon were clearly speechless here, prefering to announce that their company will now be opening three big new logistic centers just down the road in Poland in the very near future instead.

„Ich würde mich an Amazons Stelle nicht darauf verlassen, vor Weihnachten alle Kundenversprechen einhalten zu können.“

Ausgeliefert

As in being at the mercy of.

Ausgeliefert

Everbody agrees that big American hi-tech companies are fundamentally evil, right? Well they do here in Germany. In Germany’s state-run media, I should say (they actually call these channels “public-service broadcasters” here because that sounds better).

Anyways, the latest greatest twist to the anti-Google/Facebook/Apple/Microsoft/Amazon agitpop over at the ARD is breaking new ground (or maybe it isn’t) by unabashedly inventing witnesses and working/living conditions in one of Amazon’s German plants in a scarry documentary about that horrible company called Ausgeliefert – and all of this while using the generous funding provided by the compulsory charge every German household has to pay to support objective “public-service broadcasters” like these, of course.

Germans have to pay this charge now whether they even own a television or not, by the way. Hmmm. The ARD called their documentary Ausgeliefert (as in being at the mercy of Amazon), and that’s something every German knows about personally already. Being at the mercy of the ARD like they are, I mean.

Dort, gezeigt wurde das in einer angeblichen E-Mail, würden Menschen “abgefüttert wie die Schweine”, hieß es. Eine Behauptung, der CoCo von Anfang an widersprochen hat und nun vor Gericht zunächst Recht bekam. Der besagte Speiseraum existiere gar nicht, so das Unternehmen: “Das ist schlicht eine Erfindung der ARD-Journalisten, gegen die wir auch juristisch vorgehen.”

Der HR hat bereits vor der Gerichtsentscheidung bestätigt und eingestanden, dass der strittige Screenshot der E-Mail “fingiert” gewesen sei. Zudem musste der Hessische Rundfunk über seine Rechtsabteilung zugeben, dass auch eine im Film porträtierte polnische Leiharbeiterin namens Agnieszka Lewandowska “niemals als Leiharbeiterin bei Amazon beschäftigt war.”

This New-Fangled EBOOK Nonsense Ain’t Never Gonna Happen Here

Not in Germany it ain’t. No way. It’s, uh, I dunno. It’s just plain wrong. It’s too American or something.

Let Amazon & Co. sell all the damned ebooks they want to over yonder (currently 105 ebooks for every 100 printed at Amazon), we’re sticking to tradition and our traditional fixed book prices (this protects our culture somehow) and the unfair taxation and the measly 0.5 percent ebook sales of total volume of books sold in Germany (sure we only got around to introducing the Kindle here just a few weeks back, but still).

Remember this: Germans don’t read ebooks.

And remember this too: Television had no future (radio pioneer Mary Somerville) and the world only needed five computers at most (IBM president Thomas J. Watson).

Verlage und Buchhandlungen in Deutschland sind zögerlich, weil die Investitionen hoch und die Gewinnspannen niedrig sind und es außerdem mal wieder Streit um die Mehrwertsteuer gibt: Während gedruckte Bücher einem ermäßigten Satz von sieben Prozent unterliegen, sind es für E-Books 19. Und bis das ausdiskutiert ist, wird vermutlich auch Amazon.de mehr E-Books als Bücher verkaufen. Denn in Deutschland wurde der Kindle ja erst vor vier Wochen eingeführt.