I just came back from the next09 conference in Hamburg, one of Europe's leading digital/creative/marketing forums that stands out in the conference circuit because of its unique German-international focus (bilingual program, 80 percent international attendees, many international speakers). This year's theme was "Share Economy," and the 1,300 attendees comprised of European VCs and angel investors, Web 2.0 entrepreneurs, media, creative agencies, and executives from German corporations (from BMW to Deutsche Bank to Deutsche Telekom).
In talking to many German attendees, my impression was that the German creative community shows no … Read more
The environmental benefits of electric cars are being questioned in Germany by a surprising actor: the green movement. But those risks don't apply in the U.S., the American electric-car lobby asserts.
The German branch of the environmental group World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has conducted a study together with IZES, a German institute for future energy systems, on the environmental impact of electric vehicles in Germany.
Just like the U.S., Germany has an ambitious goal of introducing electric vehicles. Germany, which today has 41 million cars, aims to have 1 million electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles on … Read more
Franziska Dierschkeare is the designer behind this concept , a unique take on the kitschy toy camera popularized by the Lomography Diana, Holga, and the Supersampler...all of which can be found at your local Urban Outfitters, if you dare.
This pinhole camera is slightly different in that there's no viewfinder to look through. Instead, users are encouraged to simply aim the photogun as accurately as possible and blindly pull the trigger. Dierschke claims that this method of shooting puts less emphasis on picture and more on the "playful" act of taking pictures.
Sounds like fun, but … Read more
Regulators in Germany slapped Microsoft's local subsidiary with a fine of 9 million euros ($11.8 million) for improperly influencing pricing of Office during a retail promotion.
"Microsoft has influenced the resale price of the software package--Office Home & Student 2007--in an anticompetitive manner," Germany's Bundeskartellamt said in an English-language version of its press release.
The agency said that Microsoft unduly influenced pricing of Office Home and Student 2007 at a particular retailer as part of a fall 2008 promotion with office supply stores, which included financial support from Microsoft.
"Even before the launch of … Read more
YouTube has pulled the plug on music videos in Germany as Western Europe starts to look like a hostile environment for Web music services.
A YouTube spokesman confirmed that YouTube is no longer playing music videos belonging to the largest music labels after talks with Germany's biggest royalty collections group, GEMA, broke down.
The conflict is almost identical to YouTube's spat with a royalty group in the United Kingdom, but with one important twist. According to YouTube, GEMA is asking for royalty rates that are 50 times higher than those asked for by PRS, the British organization, and … Read more
Imagine being able to control street lights with your mobile phone. This isn't a prank, but an eco-friendly solution now in place in parts of Germany.
The (I must add) responsible denizens there have put in place a system called Dial4Light that lets cell phone users turn on the street lamps only when someone actually needs illumination. We won't suggest this for streets like Harlem or the dodgier parts of Asia since it's so easily subject to abuse.
Much like your very own on/off switch at home, this one requires you to dial up the lights, … Read more
In a move to stop the spread of child pornography on the Internet, German officials will soon be asking ISPs to filter out Web sites they deem offensive, according to news magazine Der Spiegel.
German regulatory officials have been working with Google and other search engines, providing them with a blacklist of sites to block, according to the article, which was reported on Google Blogoscoped on Friday. Google already excludes from its German and French search results content that is pro-Nazi.
There have been other censorship efforts recently related to images of children. Internet service providers in the U.K. … Read more
Last week in Hamburg, Germany, I had the pleasure of lunching with a SPIEGEL editor in the iconic news magazine's iconic canteen, or "Spiegelkantine," as the Germans call it. The extravagance of the interior design (created by Danish designer Verner Panton, who worked with Arne Jacobson, in the 70s) -- a lavish, ultra-red cave with highly disruptive stalactites hanging from the ceiling -- is reminiscent of "Clockwork Orange" and so ostentatiously out of line with the earnest, purist, social democratic SPIEGEL culture that it appears to be almost deliberately cynical -- and that again is … Read more
StudiVZ, a German site geared toward college students, is 10 times the size of Facebook's user base in Germany. It also looks just like Facebook, with a different color scheme, which is what ticked off the site's legal team. The court complaint, which called StudiVZ "a knockoff," says "a year and a half after the debut of Facebook's Web site, (it) was built by copying the look, … Read more