This Doll Must Die

Don’t EVER let anybody tell you that Germans are lasch (feeble) when it comes to threats posed to them by foreign intelligence snoops.

Cayla

Forget about not caring about Putin & Co., forget about spinning your wheels ridiculously with your NSA spying affair. We’ve got a real live (sort of) freakin’ wi-fi-connected Internet doll on the loose and we’re all going to die if we don’t kill her first. OK. So we don’t know who she’s working for yet. But still.

A German government watchdog has ordered parents to destroy an internet-connected doll for fear it could be used as a surveillance device. According to a report from BBC News, the German Federal Network Agency said the doll (which contains a microphone and speaker) was equivalent to a “concealed transmitting device” and therefore prohibited under German telecom law…

“My Friend Cayla” uses a microphone to listen to questions, sending this audio over Wi-Fi to a third-party company (Nuance) that converts it to text. This is then used to search the internet, allowing the doll to answer basic questions, like “What’s a baby kangaroo called?”

Why would anybody want to know what a baby kangaroo is called, huh?

And this is just the beginning, too. These wi-fi-thingies will soon be everywhere. “It doesn’t matter what that object is — it could be an ashtray or a fire alarm.” Damn right. So after you’ve finished strangling this doll toss everything else out of the window while you’re at it. Just in case. They’re out to get us, people. They’re everywhere, I tell you. Whoever they are. Bad dolly!

At what point did we enter this Philip K. Dick novel, anyway?

And The Little Girl Was Goose-Stepping, Too

And those Christmas trees covered in snow? Talk about white supremacist symbolism par excellence.

Christmas

Are we having that Christmas spirit yet, Germany? It’s time to find Nazi symbolism in supermarket TV ads that make a pitch for spending more time with your children during the holidays. Seek and you shall find, I always say. But don’t forget to take your medication regularly, I also always say.

A Volvo shown in the 84-second clip has the number plate MU SS 420. “SS” is forbidden on German number plates because it is synonymous with the Schutzstaffel, the Nazis’ paramilitary “protection squadron”. The number 420 is a common abbreviation – especially in far-right circles in the US – for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s birthday, 20 April.

Finding Friends Now Illegal In Germany

If you had any friends, you wouldn’t have to find them, right?

Facebook

And trying to find friends who aren’t your friends yet would only be an imposition and a possible violation of their Gott-given data privacy rights.

So just why are you trying to find these friends, anyway? Do you have some hidden agenda we don’t know about? What are you really up to? And, more importantly, why are you standing on ze corner?

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has upheld a 2014 judgement that Facebook’s Friend Finder feature is illegal under laws concerning both unwanted commercial promotions and data protection, following an appeal by the social media giant.

The album (Weasels Ripped My Flesh) also documents the brief tenure of Lowell George (guitar and vocals), who went on to found the country-rock band Little Feat with Mothers bassist Roy Estrada . On “Didja Get Any Onya?”, George affects a German accent to relate a story of being a small boy in Germany and seeing “a lot of people stand around on the corners asking questions, ‘Why are you standing on the corner, acting the way you act, looking the way you look, why do you look that way?'”

How Do You Want Your ID?

Rare to non-existent, many Germans will tell you. They place them in microwaves here to destroy the RFID chips inside, you see.

Or boil them – if they’re paranoid about microwave ovens, too.

Otherwise most of these folks appear to be able to live normal, somewhat productive lives.

When it comes to privacy, Germans can’t take a joke. After it was revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency had intercepted calls in Germany, sales of old-school typewriters were reported to have skyrocketed, as some Germans assumed that sending letters might make communications surveillance harder for U.S. officials.

It’s not only American surveillance that Germans are concerned about, however. On Tuesday, a 29-year old man was arrested at Frankfurt Airport after authorities noticed that he had microwaved his German identification card, reported German news agency dpa.

German Of The Day: Alleingang

An ancient German tradition, Alleingänge are when Germans, as Germans, go it alone.

TTIP

In this particular case it has to do with their Empörung (another traditional German word meaning indignation or outrage) about TTIP, a planned free trade deal between Europe and the United States. Strangely, much like their hysterical reaction to Fukushima and subsequent Alleingang out of nuclear power, no one else in Europe really understands what their concern is all about.

These protestors aim to change that, however. Germany’s fellow Europeans, they feel, clearly do not seem to understand what this treaty is really about: It is a planned free trade deal between Europe and the United States. Hello? Is anyone home out there? A trade deal with the United States? As in US-Amerika?

“The U.S. push for world domination is unacceptable. Obama sends out drones to kill people and wins the Nobel peace prize. This has to stop.”

We Know Nothing

Nothing! Not even the last name of this guy. He’s just Andreas L. to us. And that’s why everybody here is so pissed off at some of the German media for revealing, like, his entire name and everything!

Andreas Lubitz

We Germans respect his privacy, you see. Even though he’s dead – along with the other 149 innocent people he killed. Oops! We don’t know that yet. No jumping to conclusions here, folks. At any rate, we’re crazy about privacy. Some say we’re even stark raving mad about it.

In the U.S., it’s standard operating procedure to release the names of people who are suspected of committing a crime. But in Germany, where people are far more sensitive about the line between public and private, that is not done. Critics in the country have cast the move as a reckless rush to judgment, and accuse the media of exploiting the tragedy before all the facts have been established. Others believe that the co-pilot’s family could now face retaliation for the crash.

Analysis of a tablet device belonging to Germanwings Flight 9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz shows he researched suicide methods on the Internet in the days leading up to the crash, the public prosecutor’s office in Dusseldorf, Germany, said Thursday.

Germans Confused Why Everybody In Europe Wants TTIP Except Them

It’s like I say, folks: A real German says no first and asks questions later (that was oddity 255, if you’re interested). And if US-Amerika is involved in the calculation (see TTIP), all bets are off.

TTIP

“The EU has published a survey according to which citizens are downright euphoric about the free trade agreement TTIP. In all, 25 Member States [of the 28] there will pour sheer enthusiasm over the completely secretly negotiated agreement, but for one small exception: Germans are mostly against the TTIP.”

Die EU hat in Deutschland einen merkwürdigen Zusammenhang zwischen der Befürwortung von TTIP und der „Demokratiezufriedenheit“ der Bürger ausgemacht. In anderen Ländern lasse sich ein solcher Zusammenhang nicht feststellen.

Germans Worried About Being Liked

Or at least they’re suspicious about it. And rightly so, I say. I mean, wouldn’t you be worried if you were a German and people claimed that they liked you? As a country, I mean? It just doesn’t make any sense. It must be an international conspiracy of some kind and the very idea of being liked as a country that is Germany needs to be rejected out of hand before being thoroughly analyzed by German German popularity experts and then officially rejected out of hand for good, officially like.

German Popularity

Amazingly, people outside of this country like Germany. According to the English, Germany is the most popular country, even! Yes, the English! The very ones who used to hate us are now celebrating us. Only question is … why?

“Typewriter” Just First Step In New Wave Of German Anti-Spy Technologies

Gripped with paranoia after the shocking discovery that German information is being intercepted by foreign intelligence services, German counter-espionage experts now demand that all future communication be done using spy-proof “typewriter” technology.

Typewriter

What is more, foreign intelligence services operatives operating in the country have discovered a list indicating that the “typewriter” is only the first new-old anti-spy technology to be introduced in Germany.

The list, taken from an unsupervised “typewriter” (non-electric) in the reception area of the Germany Foreign Ministry, indicates that a whole new wave of old technology is to be introduced in the coming months. Among them will be cassette and eight-track tapes, VCRs, Polaroid instant cameras, the Walkman, carousel slide projectors, ditto machines, Morse code and the abacus. Needles to say, the use of cell phones, microwave ovens and remote control for television will have to be verboten.

“Before I start using typewriters and burning notes after reading, I’d rather abolish the secret services.”