Lost wars and collateral damage

At the 22. Chaos Computer Congress, an impressive record of data protection and surveillance was achieved

At the 22. Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin once again brings together the computer nerd and hacker community. The Chaos Computer Club, founded in 1984, enjoys unbroken popularity among mainly young hackers dressed in black. Until Friday, you can catch up on the latest news from science, technology, politics and the community on four parallel panels around the clock, or try out the latest code in the Hack Center and meet like-minded people. "Hacking is about freedom and understanding technology and the world," Tim Pritlove called out to the assembled community at Tuesday’s opening address. Nevertheless, the first day was marked by critical tones and a rather depressing balance sheet in terms of privacy and monitoring.

"Private Investigations" is the motto of this year’s congress, which attracted more than 3000 data travelers from all over Germany and neighboring countries. They flocked to the renovated domed building of the Congress Centrum Berlin on Alexanderplatz, whose utopian 1970s architecture is reminiscent of a Stanley Kubrick science fiction film.


“There is no future here, only the past”

There are still some 664,000 Palestinians living in refugee camps. A reportage

Life in the 27 refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is bleak: Built on land leased from neighboring communities and private individuals, mulling, electricity, gas and water supplies function poorly and often not at all. Since the Israeli army has repeatedly hermetically sealed off the Palestinian territories, there is also a lack of jobs and thus of money. In this way, militant groups such as Hamas find their base here – and thus make the camps the target of Israeli air strikes time and again. The only relief is provided by the United Nations, whose relief organization UNRWA has been supplying the refugees with schools and hospitals since 1948 and has thus become an economic factor in its own right.

They sit and kill time, day in and day out, drinking tea, talking, discussing, not admitting to themselves or to each other that once again this month the money will not be enough for the children’s clothes or the wife’s medical treatment. Tel Aviv and its modern office towers are hardly more than an hour’s drive away. But it has been a long time since the men last saw them.


Learning by viewing

The Federal Ministry for Culture and the Media is concerned about the media socialization of the younger generation and is creating an "Film Literacy Agency" to save the cinema

Alarm was sounded within the film industry when a study by the German Federal Film Board (FFA) found a dramatic drop in attendance and revenue in 2003. The plunging bar graphs showed that an entire generation was being lost. For example, there was a twenty percent drop in the number of visitors in the 10 to 15 age group. This trend had already become apparent in the previous year and could no longer be explained by consumer restraint alone, but had deeper causes. A change in media, a move away from cinema and towards DVD and computer games were identified as. A whole generation is growing up here, so the fear goes, alienated from the cinema and then hastily placed under the general suspicion of piracy.

Danger was imminent and immediate countermeasures were initiated. In addition to an incriminating advertising campaign against pirate copiers, the film industry has been busy lobbying politically. Apparently with success: In February, a working group with the working title of "Film literacy agency" which is to be supported by the Federal Ministry of Culture with one million euros annually and is to be based in Potsdam-Babelsberg. "As a permanent network between schools, film theaters and the offer of film distributors", According to Minister of Culture Christina Weiss at the Berlin congress Kino macht Schule in 2003, the agency is to provide assistance in teaching film literacy among schoolchildren and young people.


Alliance with the left for the stability of the party system

alliance with the left for the stability of the party system


Liberal Democracy is Considered to Have No Alternatives Not Only at the Parliamentary Level, but also at the Upper-Parliamentary Level – A Commentary

It was only worth a small report that now in Bremen for the first time the Left Party also co-governs in a West German federal state. So far, only in North Rhine-Westphalia had it supported an SPD-led government in parliament. In Hesse in 2008, Andrea Ypsilanti’s coalition with the Left failed not because of the Left Party, but because of her own party’s pro-corporate members of the state parliament. In Saarland, the Greens have given priority to cooperation with the FDP and the CDU over a reform alliance with the SPD and Greens.


The war on terrorism continues

In his speech, U.S. President Bush proclaimed victory over Iraq and gives some food for thought in what he says and what he does not mention

It is always a question of how seriously one wants to take the rhetoric of politicians who try to tout their accomplishments. Difficult it is also in the last speech, which U.S. President gave on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. However, with all caution about the show and the rhetoric, some conclusions can be drawn for the future policy of the U.S. government from what was said and what was not said.

The S-3B Viking with co-pilot Bush lands on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln


Excitement about refugees in greece

Excitement about refugees in greece

Photo: Vasilis Aswestopoulos

The nerves are on edge: space, resistance and scenes as feared by the government

The nerves of the refugees and migrants in Greece are on edge. Moreover, in the Greek media there are more and more critical articles and caricatures about the refugees. Government strives to bring order to chaos.


Pipeline for the people?

Balance sheet of the oil project Chad / Cameroon

The Erdol pipeline between Chad and Cameroon was considered a model project of the World Bank. It should prove that with the revenues from raw materials also in autocratically governed landscaping poverty fighting is possible. Now the World Bank moved from the project.

Pipeline for the people?

Map: Chad / Cameroon Development Project


Ukraine in syria’s shadow: tactics with local elections

The separatists offered a postponement, but are themselves at odds, but now it is already impossible to agree on a further withdrawal of heavy weapons

Ukraine is heading toward local elections, which, along with decentralization and the question of the status of the two "People’s Republics", Explosives contained. Local elections are a part of the Minsk Agreement, now there is a dispute about the conditions under which they could be held in Donetsk and Lugansk as well. However, the representatives of the "People’s Republics" decided to hold their own elections independently of Kiev, which Kiev considers a breach of the Minsk Agreement. In Donetsk they are to be held on 18. October, in Lugansk on 1 October. November, in between, on 25. October, in Ukraine.

If the local elections were held independently of each other, it would mean the failure of the Minsk Agreement. At their meeting in Berlin, the earmarking ministers of the "Normandy format" First of all, they struggled to keep the agreement, which is also undermined by Kiev, because the conditions set for the election contradict the agreement and have been violated by the representatives of the "People’s Republics" will be rejected as long as there is no agreement on an amnesty regime, a special status before the elections and arrangements on which parties and politicians will be admitted to the elections.


The wow signal from oseti

Further guessing about the origin of an unknown extraterrestrial laser signal

What if aliens chose bundled light instead of radio signals to carry their interplanetary messages, swearing by the wavelengths in the visible, ultraviolet and infrared range?? Maybe several short laser flashes have already been vying for our attention without us noticing it until now. Australian OSETI (Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) astronomer Ragbir Bhathal caught one of these in December 2008 and openly speculates whether it is of artificial origin or its source is a previously unknown astrophysical phenomenon.

The classic wow signal

On 15. August 1977 it looked for a while as if the ather detectives searching for ET and Co. the rough throw succeeded. When young astronomer Jerry Ehman of Ohio State University in Columbus (U.S. state of Ohio) used the Big Ear radio telescope to locate an unusually strong signal that turned out to be an extreme near-band signal pulsating 30 times more strongly than any background noise for 70 seconds at a time, the excitement was raw, especially since the signal apparently moved with the stars. The actual intelligence feature of the pulse was that it switched itself on and off, similar to the sound of a telephone. The probability that the pulsation was of artificial origin was supported by the frequency of the signal. It was at 1420 megahertz, thus just in that radio range, on which "Earthlings" The first stars were not supposed to be sent out of consideration for astronomical research. "It was the most impressive signal we had ever seen", according to Lehman’s recollection of that memorable day. "Without thinking, I wrote on the edge of the computer printout ‘Wow’!"


Forest dieback and air pollution

China and India are becoming a problem for the fragile attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Agreement

The German forest is still dying. In the meantime it looked once superficially better, the into the international vocabulary entered "Forest dieback" seemed to some even to be a reminiscence of hysterical environmentalists. At the same time, the success of decisive political action to curb pollution from power plants and vehicles could be celebrated.

But after the newest forest condition report can be spoken no more from all-clear. The proportion of healthy trees has fallen to 28 percent. More than 40 percent of the trees have slight damage, one third is seriously ill. Especially the deciduous trees are affected now. The hot and dry summer of 2003 (drought stress and elevated ozone levels), together with existing soil acidification and air pollutants, accelerated the process. The increase in car traffic is eating up the emissions achieved by catalytic converters "Profits", and while sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions have been reduced, nitrogen is now increasingly attacking deciduous trees in particular. And it comes primarily from agriculture, where it is used in the form of manure and animal feed for quick benefits and long-term damage.