Tag Archives: Conspiracy

Zu unserer Sicherheit

Es fehlen einem erst mal die Worte, nachdem man das ZDF Interview (YouTube, Tran­skript) von Bierdimpfl CSU-Politiker und “Innenminister” Hans-Peter Friedrich vom 12.07.2013 gesehen hat. Ihm scheint auch nicht ganz wohl bei der Sache zu sein. Trotzdem sollen an dieser Stelle – zu unserer Sicherheit – ein paar Informationen im Kontext des “Überwachungsskandals” zusammengetragen werden und wie wir uns selbst schützen können:

PRISM Logo
PRISM Logo, welches stark an ein Schallplattencover erinnern. Man könnte es auch “The Dark Side of the Earth” nennen.

Auch wenn das Überwachungsprogramm PRISM in aller Munde ist, ist es nur eines von vielen. Da wären noch Tempora, Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, Oakstar, … Eine kommentierte ausführliche Übersicht gibt es bei Netzpolitik.org. Heise Online hat ebenfalls eine Zusammenfassung.

Nach einem Bericht der Monterey Herald hat die U.S. Army in ihrem Netzwerk, also für sämtliche Mitarbeiter weltweit, den Zugriff auf die Webseiten des Guardians blockiert, nachdem dort die ersten Berichte zu PRISM veröffentlicht wurden. “Netzwerk-Hygiene” nennt sich das. (via Heise Online)

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World Wide Investment Fund For Nature and More

Sind Sie für eine konstruktive Zusammenarbeit mit Monsanto und anderen Freunden der Gentechnik? Verstehen Sie unter nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft den monokulturellen Anbau von nachwachsenden Rohstoffen? Sehen Sie es als beachtlichen Erfolg, wenn dabei 0,5 % des ursprünglichen Urwaldes durch unser Engagement erhalten werden konnte und als ausschließlicher Lebensraum für alle vertriebenen Arten dient? Möchten Sie dafür spenden, dass wir mit Ihren Geldern unerschlossene Gebiete kartographieren, um sie dann nachhaltig durch die Palmölindustrie brandroden bewirtschaften zu lassen? Sind Sie für die professionelle Jagd auf Wilderer durch von Ihnen finanzierte Söldner? Dann schieben Sie jetzt Ihre Ablassabgabe rüber, so wie dies auch schon Ölkonzerne und andere, nicht ganz so ökologisch und nachhaltig ausgerichtete Großkonzerne erfolgreich gemacht haben … in manchmal, vielleicht nicht ganz so transparenten Vorgängen.

So oder so ähnlich müssten eigentlich der Werbetext für eine der größten Naturschutzorganisationen der Welt lauten, schenkt man der WDR Sendung “Der Pakt mit dem Panda: Was uns der WWF verschweigt” (ARD Seite | Mediathek) von Wilfried Huismann Glauben. Selbstverständlich stimmt das alles nicht und der WWF klärt sofort auf. Bereits die Vorankündigung wurden durch den knurrenden Panda leicht zurechtgestutzt (siehe ARD Seite).

Eine textuelle Zusammenfassung der Sendung gibt es bei der sueddeutsche.de, auch die taz.de hat mitgeschaut.

Was wohl Chi Chi dazu sagen würde?

The untold story of planned obsolescence

Did you know that the lifetime of light bulbs once used to last for more than 2500 hours and was reduced – on purpose – to just 1000 hours? Did you know that nylon stockings once used to be that stable that you could even use them as tow rope for cars and its quality was reduced just to make sure that you will soon need a new one? Did you know that you might have a tiny little chip inside your printer that was just placed there so that your device will “break” after a predefined number of printed pages thereby assuring that you buy a new one? Did you know that Apple originally did not intend to offer any battery exchange service for their iPods/iPhones/iPads just to enable you to continuously contribute to the growth of this corporation?

This strategy was maybe first thought through already in the 19th century and later on for example motivated by Bernhard London in 1932 in his paper “Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence”. The intentional design and manufacturing of products with a limited lifespan to assure repeated purchases is denoted as “planned/programmed obsolescence” and we are all or at least most of us upright and thoroughly participating in this doubtful endeavor. Or did you not recently think about buying a new mobile phone / computer / car / clothes / … because your old one unexpectedly died or just because of this very cool new feature that you oh so badly need?

The Light Bulb Conspiracy
"The Light Bulb Conspiracy" by Cosima Dannoritzer

A really well done documentary that provides a comprehensive overview about and a detailed insight into this topic recently aired on Arte and other European television networks. It is entitled “The Light Bulb Conspiracy – The untold story of planned obsolescence” (aka “Pyramids of Waste”, DE: “Kaufen für die Müllhalde”, FR: “Prêt à jeter”, ES: “Comprar, tirar, comprar”) and is a French/Spanish production directed by Cosima Dannoritzer. Recordings of the movie have been uploaded to various video portals, for example currently available on YouTube in EN/International with Norwegian subtitles, DE, FR and ES. Just the official TV and Internet broadcasts were viewed by over 2,500,000 people.

If you like to follow up on some of the documentary’s content, here are the links: The light bulb at the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department can be watched here via web cam. Wikipedia has some more information on the Phoebus cartel in EN and DE. The referenced clip about the tremendous waste of ink by inkjet printers can be found at Atomic Shrimp: “The Dirty Little Secret Of Inkjet Printers”. The software to reset the page counter of various Epson printers can be found here: SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus Printers. The people that made “iPod’s Dirty Secret” are the Neistat Brothers. The tough guy from Ghana that collects evidences at the dumping grounds to identify the orignators of electric waste is Mike Anane and he also contributed to the report “Poisoning the poor – Electronic waste in Ghana” issued by Greenpeace.

That planned obsolescence may be needed or even is substantial to appease the ever-growing hunger to achieve continuous and distinct economic growth that is natural to nations with advanced economies aka developed (?) countries is one part. The past and present is comprised of numerous advocates and supporters with well-engineered argumentations in favor of this business strategy. But even the ultimate argument gets immediately and indisputably absurd and unreasonable when it comes to the thereby produced waste – the other part of planned obsolescence. “The Light Bulb Conspiracy” quite clearly showed where this leads to and especially where all the resulting waste is dumped.

Let’s keep that in mind while impatiently waiting for the release of the next generation of the iPhone …


Trailer “The Light Bulb Conspiracy”

[written and directed by Cosima Dannoritzer]

SourceForge abandons Open Source idea and its community

Once upon a time SourceForge.net used to be the biggest and most popular platform for Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in the world. Just in the field of medical FOSS they hosted more than 900 projects and in total more than 230,000 projects. People from all around the world could search for projects of interest, collaboratively develop them via the platform, seek for support or just download the source code or precompiled binaries.

SourceForge.net - former FOSS platform

This is now all gone. According to their recent blog post “Clarifying SourceForge.net’s denial of site access for certain persons in accordance with US law” they disallowed users from ‘rogue states’ to interact with their platform and since last week they are also automatically blocking any IP (visitor) from certain countries including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

It appears really strange to me that they still show phrases like “Find and develop Open Source software” or “SourceForge is your location to download and develop free Open Source software.” on their front page. I am not yet sure if they should add the note “… in case you are from a ‘good’ country” or better remove the term “Open”.

At least it is clear that it is not Open Source anymore what they are doing as they are infringing two of the most crucial principles of the Open Source Definition which read like this:

  • 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.”
  • 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor: The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.”

SourceForge seems not to be familiar with these and is blocking users to comply with the US law … and hell yes, the US is the country whose Secretary of State recently gave a widely honored speech about Internet Freedom.

Happily there are dozens of other real FOSS portals/platforms where you can now move to and host your FOSS project while preserving the original idea of Open Source.

Articles about this in German are available at golem.de and netzpolitik.org.

Once upon a time in the Middle East

I just stumbled upon this advertisement from the 1970s … a time in which the U.S. and Iran have been best friends.

Nuclear Energy. Today's Answer.
Nuclear Energy. Today's Answer.

[taken from en.wikipedia.org]

During those days the U.S. were helping the Iran to build nuclear power plants. And they even used the Iran as example to convince their citizens that nuclear power is safe and future-proof.

I suppose there is no other country with such a ‘constant’ and ‘sustainable’ foreign policy …