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Month: February 2017

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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Solar plus Storage in Australia

In the 2016 South Australia Blackout, a storm lead to a cascading failure, with in turn left 1/6 of the continent without electricity. Fortunately, this is not a densely populated area even for australian circumstances, so it affected some 1.5 mio people (out of 20 mio total for all of Australia) – still quite a lot of people.

The news of a 73-year-old Tesla Powerwall owner powering through this outage without even noticing made the headlines in the aftermath, and in consequence demand for PV + Battery combination surged. In total, more than 50GWh have been installed in 2016 alone, and demand is climbing.

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Gaming Laptops – your recommendations?

The current vacation is hard on me, because I hardly get to use my own computer – the best wife of all and the Schnuppel both compete for time on my machine in order to play Transport Fever and Cities: Skylines. That’s an annoyance not only because I can’t get the keyboard, but also because a MacBook pro apparently sucks as a gaming machine.

So this website lists a bunch of relatively recent laptops with proper graphics cards, and household peace seems to require a premade machine and a transportable device (not a desktop device).

What would be your recommendation (see above, and maybe Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky), and why?


The Energiewende Dashboard

LichtBlick and the WWF have a new, common website, (Website in German, literally “acclerating the Energy turnaround”).

The dashboard shows the currently installed capacity in Renewables compared to Fossil energy sources (100GW vs. 90GW), the current energy mix and the CO2 output of Germany.

The site is a good overview of what works, and what needs more work done. For example, while electricity in Germany is on track towards renewables, electrification of mobility is lagging.


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BFQ is coming…

LWN reports that the 4.11 merge window opens. Among other things, Maik Zumstrull reminds us, we get

The multiqueue block layer finally has support for I/O scheduling. That is useful in its own right, but the real news is that it enables the merging of the long-awaited BFQ I/O scheduler. That, says block maintainer Jens Axboe, “should be ready for 4.12”.

Of course, if you are on a LTS release of a Linux kernel, it’s unlikely that you will profit from this any time soon.

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Turns out, people don’t like traveling to Nazi America…

A report by Frommer’s states that

Experts across the travel industry are warning that masses of tourists are being scared away from visiting the United States, and the loss of tourism jobs could be devastating.

So far, the observed drop is about 7%, and is not limited to travel from Muslim countries:

Apparently, an attack on one group of tourists is regarded as an assault on all

the report continues. Affected are business travel as well as  leisure travel, and the projected losses for this year are in the billions of USD and in the thousands of jobs.

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