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Category: Deutschland

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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Understanding Energiewende

Arne Jungjohann has been speaking about the German Energiewende at a Clean Energy Discussion in Ottawa last week.

Jungjohann offered “lessons” from the German clean energy story, also called the Energiewende. It’s the German word for the country’s clean energy transition, and Jungjohann co-wrote a book about it: Energy Democracy — Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables. […]

It’s a technical transition from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy, he explained, but it’s also a political and cultural transition; it’s a transition from centralized, corporation-dominated energy, to a smaller, decentralized power grid.

 

 

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Militant capitalist attacked german soccer bus

The bomb attack on the bus of the german soccer club BVB has been solved. The attacker was not an islamist extremist, as the fake letters found on site suggested. They also weren’t Neo-Nazis, as the fake letters to two german newspapers claimed. The perpetrator was instead a militant capitalist who tried to influence BVB stock in order, after he purchased 15k put options on BVB stock.

An english language article with background can be found at the BBC.

It is unclear if German legislation will now call on a ban on radical capitalist education camps in german universities, or what kind of extreme vetting will be instituted in order to handle the problem.

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Mercy instead of The Law

Neulandrebellen with Frauke voll der Gnade (german language article) explains the difference between the subject (of the crown) and a citzen: Where the subject has to plead for mercy by throwing themselves at the feet of their ruler, the citzen has rights, and the law, speaking to the state as an equal. The article then goes on to show how an important part of the neoliberal agenda in “pushing back the state” is also pushing back human rights, reducing having them to an act of mercy.

Starting point for the line of reasing was AfD’s Frauke Petry, who was trying to re-frame the german constitutionally grounded right for Asylum (and because it’s a right you can sue for it) into an act of mercy. But while this is a starting point, the article goes on to paint this as part of a larger picture, and a systematic agenta. “Less state” also – and always – means less rights, and hence more dependency on Mercy. For everybody, not just refugees.

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