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Category: Deutschland

Meanwhile, in Germany…

Yesterday was the big Tesla Delivery Event, in which the first 30 cars have been handed over to their new owners, and in which the final technical specs have been revealed. Electrek has the full scoop, of course.

Yesterday was also the date, on which Bavarian Ministerpräsident Horst Seehofer percolated the idea to give tax breaks on the purchase of Euro 6 Diesel cars. Yes, he was serious.

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The great Diesel Massacre in Germany

It’s going to be a Post-Diesel Society in Germany, quickly: Drive reports on the sales ban for the Porsche Cayenne. Porsche is kind of the fall guy here – not many of these cars are being sold, but the engine is actually an Audi one. Drive (and many others) report:

Germany’s federal motor transport authority, the KBA (Kraftfahrtbundesamt), has placed a registration ban on the Porsche Cayenne Diesel due to the discovery of what it describes as suspect emission manipulation software.

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Campaign Time and Summer in Germany

Merkel’s CDU has a programme, and it contains the impossible promise of “full employment”. CDU’s Peter Tauber comments “full employment is better than social justice”.

Of course nobody promised full employment at proper salary, so one commenter asked “So that’s now 3 Minijobs for me?”

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Tauber pulls a Marie-Antoinette: “Had you learned something proper, you would not need three Minijobs.”

Twitter understood, and escalated quickly.

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Ad revenue, and the German technophobia

Germany is not actually technophobic. As a country, we are looking back to a long tradition of embracing technology and innovation. A lot of the German technophobia you are seeing today has been created by German newspapers, notably the Springerpresse.

And they have their reasons. Reported by the Financial Times:

[Google and Facebook] hold on online spending has created a digital duopoly that is upending the advertising business. In 2015 they accounted for 75 per cent of all new online ad spending, according to Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the US venture capital fund. Several analysts estimate that excluding Google and Facebook, the digital ad industry actually shrank in the first half of 2016.

The root cause for German Internet policy stances, current law and the general hysteria versus all things Google, Facebook/WhatsApp, Apple, Ebay and Microsoft in the end come down to that single observation above. From that root comes the defensive position of German Springerpresse, and from their influence on German politics comes the current policy.

Understanding that is the key to successful influence on German politics.

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Google: “Federated learning”, Apple: “Differential privacy”

Google is using a strategy called “Federated Learning” to keep privacy sensitive data being used for AI purposes private. They basically download a preliminary model to the phone, modify the data with the observed behavior on the phone and upload the diffs back to Google Cloud, where they merge it to the existing data.

Apple uses “Differential Privacy“, where they add noise to the data so that observed privacy sensitive data observed in the cloud for one user may or may not be actually true, but individual noise contributions even out statistically over the whole data set.

Meanwhile, #neuland talks about Datenkraken and does… nothing?

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