Shutdown, first week, with home concerts

In Cologne, we’ve just completed the first week of the shutdown, with many more to come and a lockdown looming on the horizon.

As long as there are neither tests nor a vaccine, the only course of action to prevent spreading the infection of an airborne virus is to maintain physical distance. Staying at home as much as possible and avoiding physical contact is a show of solidarity, a display of caring for others, not an infraction on personal freedom.

I am very privileged and very thankful for that: FOM has quite successfully moved to remote teaching, and I can carry out all my work from home.

I am also very thankful for all artists that go out of their way to make our life at home much better!

  • Adexe y Nau,
  • Johnny Orlando, and
  • Oscar Stembridge,

to name a few. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

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(Adexe y Nau, #Yomequedoencasa, 3/21/20)

Be considerate and stay home!

City and Council of Cologne are requesting all citizens and visitors to stay home and cancel all events, big and small.

The goal is to minimize all forms of social contact during the next couple of weeks, to slow down the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 (and thus COVID-19), as especially the elderly and people with a weakened immune systems are at risk.

So, be considerate, stay at home and help your neighbors!

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(Empty cinema, 3/13/20)

O caritas, o caritas nobis semper sit amor

“We must never forget that Caritas has its origin and essence in God Himself (John 1, 4:8). Caritas is the embrace of God, our Father, for every person, especially for the very last and the suffering, who take a privileged place in his heart.” (His Holiness, Pope Francis, May 2019)

I am deeply ashamed about our actions at the EU borders in Greece and the Mediterranean Sea, and our utter lack of compassion for the people in need.

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(Dhagpo Kagyu Ling)

Hanau

This Thursday, Weiberfastnacht, was the start of Carnival, which is usually a week of fun-filled celebrations leading up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

Not this year.

Wednesday night before, yet another right-wing terrorist went on a killing spree, taking nine lives in the small town of Hanau; from his social media accounts, we know that his motivation was blind hatred and xenophobia, fueled by current AfD rhetoric.

The names of his murder victims are:

Ferhat Ünver

Gökhan Gültekin

Hamza Kurtović

Said Nesar El Hashemi

Mercedes Kierpacz

Sedat Gürbüz

Kaloyan Velkov

Fatih Saraçoğlu

Vili Viorel Păun

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(Köln gegen Rechts, 2/21/20)

2020 Goals

Here are my goals for this year:

  • Further reduce my carbon footprint and continue to actively support Fridays For Future in the struggle to achieve climate justice
  • Reach at least a normal BMI, i.e. a BMI less than 24.9:
      • Reduce my weight below 174 lbs. (79kg) and start exercising
  • Submit at least three responses to Call for Papers / Meetup talks
  • Run regular Rancher meetups in Cologne
  • Process YouTube backlog, publish regularly on YouTube throughout the year, and improve my video and photo skills
  • Reach these Social Media milestones:
      • 10.000 Tweets
      • 1.000 Instagram posts
      • 100 YouTube videos
  • Earn enough credits to start my Bachelor thesis in early 2021

2020 must be the year in which CO2 emissions begin to drop!

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(#COP25 – posted by Aidan R. Gallagher)

Willkommen in Neuland

On November 5, @dieserDad (father of @dieserOskar) will release his new book “Willkommen in Neuland” – a travel guide for YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Knowing Tobias I’m pretty sure that it will be a very good resource for all parents and other concerned grown-ups, to get behind the scenes information from social media and the life as a Creator, and a better understanding of the digital realm.

The book will be published  by Kreutzfeld digital

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(Cover)

Feierabenddemo

Yesterday we had the first afternoon climate strike, organized by Parents 4 Future, Scientists 4 Future, Extinction Rebellion and many more, to support the Fridays and acknowledge our responsibility.

It’s the grown-ups who’ve caused the climate emergency, and it’s up to us to do our part to mitigate it – individually, of course, but also collectively as a society.

After the abysmal “Klimapaket” was presented by our government, the idea was born to add a weekly protest on Friday evening, to reach the people who are at work during the day, to increase awareness for the need for climate action, broaden support for the Fridays and compel our government to act.

Wish us luck!

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(Chlodwigplatz, Cologne)

PowerWatch Matrix

In 2017 I contributed to a campaign on Indiegogo for the PowerWatch Matrix.

An interesting and promising concept – a smart watch and fitness tracker that you’d never need to charge, because it would recharge using thermoelectric energy from your wrist.

Alas, after more than a year, I’ve now to decided to abandon it, for these reasons:

  • Frequent freezes. Nothing a reset wouldn’t fix, but since the watch does not have non-volatile storage, all data after the last sync is lost
  • Data. There’s nothing you can do with the data, except for looking at it from the app on the phone. There’s no way to export your stats, let’s say to Google Fit, or share it with other devices.
  • Global warming. Thermoelectric energy harvesting works off the delta between the case and your skin – more often than not I found that there no longer was a difference and thus had return to manual charging.

While freezing and manual charging were only mildly inconvenient, my main reason to leave the PowerWatch behind is the inability to use the data. I’m now using a refurbished Polar Loop – it needs charging every couple of days, but at least I have access to my stats.

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(Same skin and case temperature, no harvesting)

Encryption

There’s been a lot of discussion lately (again) on the need for encrypted Email or Messaging, and the pros and cons of various services, from WhatsApp to Telegram, from RCS to SMS.

I am not fully on the post-privacy bandwagon, but for sure people are aware that by using a third party service for Email or Messaging their messages can be read, aren’t they? We don’t call root super-user for no reason.

In the last century the Network Working Group wrote in RFC 1855 “Netiquette Guidelines”

2.1.1 For mail:

Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that mail on the Internet is not secure.  Never put in a mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.

That’s today as true as it was then – unless you own both sides of the encryption, don’t send anything through the Aether that you don’t want other people to see!

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13th_Annual_Wichita_Postcard_Club_Show,_Wichita_Postcard_Club_(NBY_17466).jpg)

Android Pie Backup Now grayed out

This week I migrated my phone from a Nokia 8 to a Nokia 9 PureView, for the impressive built-in camera.

After completing the migration I found that I was unable to perform a backup – the Backup Now button was grayed out and all items were in “Waiting to backup” (except for Contacts and Photos, which operate independently).  Google to the rescue!

I found many good posts, some recommending to temporarily disable Screen Lock. That worked – I then had a valid backup in Google Drive.

After I re-enabled the screen lock, though, the button became grayed out again – back to Google.

Several people recommended setting up Smart Lock, so that the phone unlocks itself, for example when you’re at home.

Enabled Smart Lock, no change, button still grayed out. Bummer.

This time though I decided to give it a couple of days – a good idea, since there seems to be a timer involved, too.

Issue is now solved, the phone performs automatic backups, if

  • it’s at home and automatically unlocked, and
  • the last backup is more than a day old

Good enough for me. But I will regularly check in Drive from now on …

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