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Category: Europe

New Technology vs Planned Obsolescence

based on an old Google plus article from 2015:

What you observe as Planned Obsolescence is often the natural outcome of fast product cycles that are necessary for any new technology.

When a new thing arrives in the market, it is often barely viable, a minimum viable product. We are remembering the iPhone 1 as revolutionary, but we chose to forget about is slowness, its clunkyness and the very limited feature set it had. And those of us having purchased a car with built-in satnav now have to deal with a car radio where you have to choose between listening to a CD or putting in the outdated CD-ROM with navigation data – and then wait for a minute until you get the route.

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Pitch Battle and the Eurovision

Britain and the Eurovision have a very reliable history, and it is not really a very successful one (“Still a better result than Germany!”). So, why not try something different?

Pitch Battle is an Acapella Casting Show on BBC One. That is, it’s a casting show for people who can actually sing, because nothing but singing is allowed. Using Pitch Battle to select the Eurovision Entry 2018, or the group – how about that?

Yeah, I thought you’d like that plan.

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Brexit

Washington Post on “Brexit and Britain’s delusions of empire“: The article goes through the former British colonies and checks how much they need the British and their trade to succeed. TL;DR: They don’t.

The Guardian on “Up to 100,000 UK jobs at risk as Merkel and Juncker ally warns on euro clearing“:

“EU citizens decide on their own money,” Weber said during a press conference in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “When the UK is leaving the European Union it is not thinkable that at the end the whole euro business is managed in London. This is an external place, this is not an EU place any more. The euro business should be managed on EU soil.” […]

Clearing houses are independent parties that sit between the two parties in a trade and are tasked with managing the risk if one side defaults on payment. London clears around three-quarters of all euro-denominated trades.

And German Die Zeit has an article titled simply “Vergesst Großbritannien!” (“Forget Britain!”), an interview with Labour-Politician and EU Trade Commissar Perer Mandelson.

 

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European Parliament ends visa-free travel for Americans

The Independent reports:

The European Parliament has voted to end visa-free travel for Americans within the EU.

It comes after the US failed to agree visa-free travel for citizens of five EU countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – as part of a reciprocity agreement. US citizens can normally travel to all countries in the bloc without a visa.

The ban, if it comes, affects all Americas, not just Redneckistanis. Will it come? It depends:

Following the committee’s vote, the Commission must act to suspend the visa waiver for Americans, but the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union may object.

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Being German, with a Hyphen

The BBC reports:

The Brexit debate in the UK is focusing on the rights of EU migrants in the country, among them about 300,000 Germans. Many people are worried about what will happen to them after Brexit. But how are the 100,000 Brits in Germany feeling?

and tells the story of Esme, a young british Expat living in Berlin (of course), applying for German Citizenship and getting it just now.

For Esme, and I suspect for a lot of the Brits who are now becoming German, what started out as a practical decision about visas and passports, is unexpectedly raising deeper questions about identity. Can you really be both German and British? And what does it mean to be German anyway?

Not so very long ago, saying to other Brits that you’re becoming German would almost inevitably lead to some tired gag about Nazis or towels on sun loungers. And although some British headlines might still use those cliches – and you can expect a few more if Brexit talks get nasty – today, modern Germany is seen more often as a bastion of tolerant values: international, democratic and open to immigrants.

Let’s keep it that way. In fact, let’s make or keep this a European thing.

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