Berlin Face Recognition Technology Severely Flawed

Immediately after launching their six-month test of automatic facial recognition technology at Berlin’s Südkreuz railway station, a number of the German authorities responsible have already expressed their bitter disappointment with the initial results.

Face

It seems that the face recognition software being used – programmed here in Berlin – is only capable of recognizing frowning faces and security officials involved with the project fear that the new system will not be able to recognize any cheerful, smiling terrorists who attempt to murder and maim us in the future.

“This is German software, after all,” grumbled one frowning security official, refusing to give his name for security reasons. “Now wipe that stupid grin off your face and leave me the hell alone.”

Heute ist es soweit: Die umstrittene Testphase zur Gesichtserkennung am Bahnhof Südkreuz beginnt. 300 Freiwillige haben sich gemeldet.

Suspicious Object Found At SPD Headquarters

And it wasn’t the Schulz effect, either.

Stegner

German police gave an all-clear on Monday at the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin after it was evacuated due to a suspicious object found in the mail room.

The object, being the face and attached body of SPD federal chairman and state chairman of Schleswig-Holstein Ralf Stegner (aka “the face of defeat”), was found loitering around the mail room, mumbling incoherently (even though there were no microphones in sight), apparently having been looking for fan mail. For hours and hours and hours on end, I assume.

“There was nothing found on Stegner that could have been termed dangerous,” a police spokesman later said as his colleagues led Stegner back outside to put him on a FlixBus to Kiel. “Other than that face, I mean.”

Can I Have My False Pleasantries Back?

German facial expression of the day: Staring.

Stare

Oddity 34. You know you are in Germany when you regularly find yourself being stared at for no clearly discernible reason. I don’t know if Germans necessarily like to stare but they sure do it a lot.  A nice term a friend of mine prefers using is “unfiltered curiosity” but it’s staring all the same.

But it’s a wonderful trait: Firstly, you know the person is listening intently (they really are); secondly, since it’s very difficult to look someone in the eyes and speak coherently and come up with pleasant little white lies, the false pleasantries vanish and the conversation becomes honest and true – leading toward a final deep dive into the other’s soul.

Is That All You Could Find?

501 German oddities?

Dog

I know, I know. There are way more than that. Just consider these 501 oddities to be, you know, Oddities 101 or something.

“Hermann, thank you for your blog and books, I am hooked. I recently picked up 501 German Oddities and couldn’t stop laughing. I am German, but live in Boston with my husband, who is from the area and grew up here. We cracked up so many times and just had a blast reading your book. It was actually eye opening at times to the both of us and explained some “odd” behaviors of mine to him. Super grateful for the book and can’t wait to see more blog entries. All the best, Marina.”

Limited time ebook offer or something, folks. Also available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc.

The Man In The White Castle

Frightened by unsubstantiated fake news reports that US-Amerika‘s president has turned the place into an alternative history (alternative fact history?) horror-land run in part by their creepy grandparents, German vacationers are staying away in droves.

Castle

Almost half of Germans with an interest in traveling to the U.S. won’t do so now because they feel unwelcome or don’t want to endorse President Donald Trump.

About 46 percent of Germans who would like to visit the U.S. “in principle” have changed their views on that destination since Trump took office and won’t travel there as a result, according to a survey by GfK SE published in travel-industry magazine fvw.

My German Is More Dumber Than Your German Is

It’s 99 cent blowout ebook sale time again! Like how outrageous is that?

Dumb

Dumb Deutsch: Absurd German Language Errors (auch für deutsche Leser geeignet)

Also available at iTunes, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc. For a limited time only or something.*

“Very funny book, relating dumb things people say while trying out their high school German. Laughing so hard at my normally quiet workplace I had tears in my eyes, my boss walked by and asked if I was OK. Oh yeah! She has a great sense of humor with an eye toward languages. Buy this book and laugh yourself silly!”

Kilgore Trout

* I’d give this ebook away for free but then you wouldn’t read it and that would be irresponsible so I won’t.

Germany To Take Over Leadership Of The Western World

This is one of the best satires I have read in a long, long time.*

America

One-Hundred Years of Fear – America Has Abdicated Its Leadership of the West

For 100 years, the United States was the leader of the free world. With the election of Donald Trump, America has now abdicated that role. It is time for Europe, and Angela Merkel, to step into the void…

The leaders of the West, minus America, face monumental tasks ahead. They are tasks for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

* This is a satire, right?

Kraut EU Commissioner Sorry He Called Chinese Slitty-Eyed

He actually meant to call them Chop Sticks. Or maybe Chinks. Or at the very least Ping Pongs.

Oettnger

What a Herm. This Boxhead Hun needs to get with the times already and call up the Racial Slur Database on that Heinee Handy (smartphone) of his. He is responsible for EU digital policy, after all.

Frei von der Leber, as we say in German.”

Germans Now Allowed To Watch So-Called “Music Videos”

Damn. The down side here is that this is finally going to let South Sudan pass Germany by. When it comes to blocking online music videos, I mean.

GEMA
The internet video platform YouTube and the German rights collection society GEMA have reached a deal under which artists who are GEMA members will receive payment when one of their videos is viewed, both sides announced on Tuesday. The agreement also brings an end to the red “blocking banners” notifying users in Germany that access to their favorite music was banned for copyright reasons.

Ab heute geht’s los. Also habt bitte einen Moment Geduld, wenn noch nicht alle Videos sofort verfügbar sind.”