If It Works, Fix It

This is another one of those “only in Germany” numbers. Or maybe it isn’t (I’m slowly losing track of what’s going on out there in “the real world”).


The Deutsche Bahn’s program to use small drones to patrol railyards by night in a bid to fight graffiti spraying graffiti terrorists has suffered a setback. Although the test flights worked out just wunderbar, the German Luftsicherheitsbehörden (air security authority) has stopped the program for now as no night flight permits have been permitted – for drones designed to patrol railyards by night. Ordnung muss sein already.

This is actually a bit of a relief for me, to tell you the truth. Before reading the article I was convinced that the flights had been cancelled due to Fluglärm issues. Fluglärm (aircraft noise) is a big honking major awesome all-important obsession for all Germans at all times in all regions and all locations all over the country (and tomorrow the world) and I was sure that I was about to read how these mini-drones were simply too loud for the Anwohner (local residents), whoever or wherever they were.

Whew! That wasn’t the case, like I said. At least not this time. But let’s just wait and see what happens when/if these things are ever actually allowed to fly.

“Die Tests sind exzellent gelaufen, ein hervorragendes Einsatzmittel. Jedoch erteilen die Luftsicherheitsbehörden der Länder derzeit keine Fluggenehmigung für die Nachtstunden.”

Empty Box Empty Box

Hamburg police have determined that an empty box found in a subway station just before the Hamburg Marthon was scheduled to begin turned out in fact to be an empty box.


However, if the box had not been empty, no one would have had any video footage of the person who had placed it there because, as you can see, surveillance cameras are still black (as in evil) in Germany.

In light of the Boston Marathon bombings, a new German “debate” about increasing the number of surveillance cameras has begun once again but will lead to nowhere fast as usual.

Kurze Aufregung im Umfeld des Hamburg-Marathon: Die Polizei hat am Sonntag einen verdächtigen Gegenstand in einem U-Bahnhof in der Innenstadt untersucht.

Guy Paid To Warn Germans About Too Much Video Surveillance Warns Germans About Too Much Video Surveillance

This guy and millions of other Germans, too (although they don’t get paid and therefore do it for free).


Datenschutzbeauftragten (data protection officers) are just that way over here, whether they’re Datenschutzbeauftragten or not.

It doesn’t matter that most of this video surveillance might be taking place for a reasonable reason (like crime prevention/fighting – think Boston Marathon), there is clearly a pathological fear of being watched in play over here (and not just over here, either). It’s a sign of the times, I guess. I know. It’s only paranoia (but I like it).

Oh. This suddenly reminded me of some old lyrics (sort of) to Frank Zappa’s Didja Get Any Onya?

…Years ago in Germany when I was a very small boy, zere was a lot of people standing around on ze corners asking questions: “Why are you standing on ze corner, acting ze way you act, looking like you look? WHY DO YOU LOOK THAT WAY?” And they ask me and I only would say: “I don’t . . . I don’t know, I’m just standing ’round ze corner waiting here . . . just in . . . in ze evening, and . . . and it’s so nice outside . . . the night is so nice . . . why . . . are you just asking these questions . . . ”

“Offenbar scheint eine notorische Neigung zu bestehen, Nachbarn zu überwachen. Und eine pathologische Befürchtung, überwacht zu werden.”