Gestern im Münchner Ratskeller bekamen wir diese Rechnung:

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Yup, ich bin da -- und auch schon wieder weg, denn bald heißt's "Ozapft is!" :)

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So, for my international audience who would like to see once how nice my home town is, here's a little video made by a local musician. Very nice and entertaining too. Enjoy.

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I just noticed that youtube is an excellent resource for all things Care bear:

Good to know! ;)

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Och Mensch, jetzt habe ich schon gedacht, das Wort "Konvertiten-Register" wäre der Senkrechtstarter auf dem Weg zum Unwort des Jahres 2007.

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Almost half a billion Euros, which is about 600 million US Dollars, is the fine against which Microsoft fought with an appeal at the European Court of First Instance. Today, they lost: The court ruled that the decision of the European Commission to impose the fine on Microsoft was appropriate.

For almost a decade now, the European Commission has been struggling with Microsoft (to little avail) against their alleged abuse of their significant market power. In the center of the controversy is the hardly uninstallable Microsoft Media Player, which was considered an abuse of the OS monopoly to create another monopoly in the media player market. However, when it comes to monopolists abusing their monopolies, the European Union tends to have little sense of humor (a fact that Microsoft could have known in the first place). And thus, they fined Microsoft in 2004 with 497 million Euros and demanded them opening their APIs so competitors could give the consumer a realistic choice of softwares. Microsoft complained against that at the European Court, and now, only ;) 3 years later, the 248-page ruling was published.

Well, you can almost imagine how it went on in the meantime: After Microsoft still didn't completely comply with the demands after two years, they were fined with another 281 million Euros in 2006. In early 2007, the European Commission complained that Microsoft charged too much money for the API documentation and threatened to fine another 3 million Euros per day (dated back from the 1st of August 2006) if they kept up that practice.

Microsoft's main lawyer said today that they will "analyze" the whole ruling and then decide if they keep going on -- but I have a feeling that this is the amount of money that Microsoft is not happy losing: I assume the judges at the European Court of Justice (the next and last instance) are already waiting for the appeal in the mail.

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Heute ist Joe Zawinul, eine österreichische Jazz-Legende, gestorben.

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Check out this cool animation:

The author writes:

An animator faces his own animation in deadly combat. The battlefield? The Flash interface itself. A stick figure is created by an animator with the intent to torture. The stick figure drawn by the animator will be using everything he can find - the brush tool, the eraser tool - to get back at his tormentor. It's resourcefulness versus power. Who will win? You can find out yourself.

This is just awesome. But sometimes I am glad I'm not in the animation business. :)

Oh, and if you can't get enough, there's a sequel, too! (And it features Firefox :))

(Thanks for the link, Jenny!)

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Ich weiß zwar nicht, wer hier heute morgen für über eine halbe Stunde ununterbrochen diesen Krach gemacht hat:

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Liquids on a Plane spoofThe European Parliament in Strasbourg want the European Commission to review the ban on liquids on European flights:

EU parliamentarians are to vote on a resolution Wednesday calling on the EU executive to urgently review the restrictions, which have led to widespread confiscations, confusion and delays at airports. "The European Parliament is concerned that the cost (of) the regulation may not be proportionate to the added value in terms of additional security," says the resolution, which is expected to be approved.

I hope the European Commission does relax the rules at least a little bit: The current ban on liquids on flights all over the world have, according to many security experts, while not increasing security significantly, caused much hassle and produced a great deal of cost for airlines and travelers. Apparently, people who want to smuggle liquids, succeed, and honest travelers like us get to throw away millions of bottles of water, with organizations outside the airport now happily joining the paranoia.

Easing the European travel regulations could take some time though: Each of the now 27 member countries of the European Union would have to approve.

Next step: Keeping our shoes on.

(Picture source)

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