Not macht erfinderisch!

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Sieh an: Die legendäre Marilyn Monroe wäre heute 80 Jahre alt geworden.

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Die Übermittlung europäischer Fluggastdaten an US-Behörden ist illegal. Das hat der Europäische Gerichtshof (EuGH) in Luxemburg entschieden. Der EuGH erklärte entsprechende Beschlüsse des EU-Ministerrats und der EU-Kommission für nichtig und folgte damit einer Klage des Europa-Parlaments. (via

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Am Dienstag sind meine Eltern zu Besuch gekommen, und deshalb kriegen sie gerade die volle Ladung amerikanischen Kulturschock. Natürlich habe ich schon das ein oder andere mal damit beeindrucken können, dass ich viel zu schnell sprechende Bedienungen in bekanntere, deutsche Sätze packen konnte.

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  1. Mai, 33 Grad Celsius (oder wie sie es hier nennen, 90 degrees Fahrenheit) hier im Mid-Willamette Valley.

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Da bucht man einen inneramerikanischen Flug bei Continental Airlines und bekommt gleich am nächsten Tag eine kleine Belohnung:

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Today a colleague asked me...

... by the way, do they celebrate Veterans Day in Germany?

hm. Ah, well... not quite.

But he figured it out himself ;)

German flag, half-staffAnyhow, the question is actually not as stupid as it sounds. The Federal Republic of Germany does not quite celebrate the "great work" of the German soldiers during World War II with a veterans day, for obvious reasons. However, we celebrate Volkstrauertag (similar to the idea behind "Memorial Day" in the U.S.), which is dedicated to those who died during wars in general, or suffered from them (especially the two World Wars). Regardless of their nationality, by the way. It is celebrated each year in November, two sundays before the beginning of advent.

The flags on official buildings are set half-staff, and the President holds a speech in the German parliament, the Bundestag. Afterwards, they play the national anthem and usually, the "good comrade" ("Ich hatt' einen Kameraden"), a famous German dirge. All over Germany, people get together to commemorate and put down memorial wreaths in front of war monuments. (I myself usually play the aforementioned songs with my orchestra in our home town).

So, now you know how it is, dear readers :). Of course, everything is different in Germany, but as you see, it is often still quite similar.

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Als ich heute auf Skype vorbeigeschaut habe, sah ich etwas sehr Interessantes: Da kann man nun für umme in die USA und Kanada telefonieren.

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Dem Ingenieur ist ja bekanntlich nichts zu schwör. Und beschäftigt ist er auch immer.

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I found a Mac OS X hint yesterday mentioning how VideoLAN CLient (VLC) can save streaming videos into a file. Since today I wanted to record a radio show off the Internet, I gave it a shot for an audio stream too.

Here's what I got:

If you want to save a Quicktime (AAC/MP4) audio stream (maybe others, too? Leave a comment if you know!) to a file, start VLC from the command line (terminal window) like this:

/Applications/ --rtsp-tcp rtsp:// --sout '#standard{access=file,mux=mp4,url=/Users/Shared/VLCoutput.mp4}'

Now, if you want to schedule the whole thing, a cron job will do the job. The tool at would be certainly more correct (since you don't want to schedule it as a recurrent task), but the at daemon is disabled on OS X by default.

So, do a crontab -e and put in two lines like this (yes, put the whole VLC stuff into one line as mentioned above):

0 15 12 5 * /Applications/ --rtsp-tcp rtsp:// --sout '#standard{access=file,mux=mp4,url=/Users/Shared/VLCoutput.mp4}' 30 15 12 5 * killall -QUIT VLC

The first line starts VLC as mentioned above. 0 15 12 5 means: Start at 3 p.m. (= 0 15), on May 12 (= 12 5). The asterisks in each of the lines just mean that you don't care about the weekday. <!--more--> The second command, accordingly, stops recording at 3:30 p.m. by killing the VLC process. Two notes on that:

First, keep in mind to sind the QUIT signal rather than TERM (which would be the default), otherwise VLC won't correctly finish writing the file and probably render it unusable.

Second, killall is the mass murderer of the kill() commands. It will kill all running instances of VLC, not just the one recording your stream. So, don't wonder if the movie you happen to be watching stops playing at the scheduled time.

Save it and you are all set: Your stream will be recorded at the right time. You will find your stream in the Users/Shared/ folder, as specified in the VLC command line.

Eventually, when everything is done, you do a crontab -e again, and remove the two lines so that it won't start recording again, a year from now ;)

Have fun listening!

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