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The Isoblog. Posts

‘Illegal’ Airbnb landlord hit with €300.000 fine

Amsterdam, like Berlin, has a housing problem.

At the same time, for many owners it is more lucrative to rent out an appartment to short time renters via Airbnb than to enter a long term contract with a proper resident.

The Amsterdam City Council now has hit eleven flats, all owned by the same person, with a fine of €13.500 for appartment, calling them ‘the prototype of an illegal hotel’. The owner is contesting the fine.

(via DutchNews and Het Parool)

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Freedom of choice for cable internet customers in Germany

Fall 2015 saw a change of law in Germany: Just as with DSL customers, Cable Internet customers got freedom of choice. Their provider has to tell them usernames, passwords and other required config information so that they are able to purchase a router of their choice and configure that itself, instead of being forced to use the customer premises equipment (CPE) provided by the cable company.

The wording of the law, “bei Vertragsschluß” (at the time of signing), could be read that this rule is only for new customers, not for existing customers. Some cable providers offered the passwords to all their customers, but others didn’t. A customer of Gelsen-Net sued for the information, and won – the judge basically said that the law obviously wants all customers to have this freedom of choice, or it would be useless.

(via Golem)

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The Mars Water Paradox

Surface structures on Mars, suggesting liquid water

Surface structures on Mars as found by the Curiosity Mars Rover, suggest liquid water 3.5 billion years ago. Yet no carbonate has been found, which should have been there, had liquid water been present.

The why is as of yet completely unsolved, says NASA.

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Mark and Scott Kelly: Twins and Space

Motherboard about the NASA twin study:

[The twin brothers Mark and Scott Kelly] were closely studied by ten different research teams at various points, including before, during, and after Scott Kelly’s 340-day-stint living on the International Space Station. Mark Kelly, who has flown in space previously, although never for such a long period of time, acted as the control subject on Earth.

It seems that a long time in Space has many effects on human biology, not all of them bad – telomeres seem to get longer.

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Google vs. your data

Hooray, EU data protection authorities confirm compliance of Google Cloud commitments for international data flows! exclaims Google.

But on the other hand, Google ordered to hand over foreign emails to FBI, unlike Microsoft.

With legal instabilities and conflicting signals like these, are you running your crap in a public cloud owned and operated by a US company?

You probably should, it’s still better infra than you could create yourself. But the legal nonframework around it – it is not helping at all.


There will be war: Understanding Bannonism

Quartz dissects Bannon, and what that means for the future. It does not look good.

It is, in his view, one of a repeated cycle of crises that occurs periodically, each of which inevitably culminates in war and conflict on a grand scale.

“This is the fourth great crisis in American history,” he says in the speech to the LRF. “We had the revolution, we had the Civil War, we had the Great Depression and World War II. This is the great Fourth Turning in American history.”


“This may be a little more militant than others…I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam…. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions.”

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