Interesting, I just noticed that what is known (and has been for like a decade or so) as the "Opel Astra" in Europe is sold here in the US under the Saturn brand name, making it the Saturn Astra:

Both Saturn and Opel are brands under the hood of General Motors, so there's no big surprise here. What's more interesting is that 4-dollars-a-gallon seem to be making American car buyers interested in smaller European-style cars quite a bit more than they used to.

Also, the very same cars (sold under the same or a different brand name, doesn't matter) are much more affordable over here. The abovementioned Astra can be bought for 18.000 US dollars on this side of the big pond, while you'll have to cough up 20.000 Euros (that's about 30.000 dollars) easily for the same car in continental Europe.

The usual excuse for higher car prices in Europe used to be "the European customer wants higher quality than the American one" -- when the very same car is concerned though, this argument is hardly convincing.

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Now it has happened: As an effect of the urgent need for a weekend, I registered with twitter. Only adding people I could think of easily, I am not "following" 37 people ;)

Of course, my twitter experience started all peachy right off the bat, by first giving me site errors:

  (hey, at least they are pretty)

... and then I noticed something weird about the times they show on every page:

"ungefähr 1 Stunde ago from web..." ... is that... Germenglish? Englerman?

But let's not be discouraged. They probably just started their announced maintenance window four hours early ;)

Anyone else think I forgot to "follow" them on twitter? Leave a comment.

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Heute in meinem Postfach:

Mit Wirkung vom 11.07.2008 wird keine Werbekostenerstattung mehr für den DVD-Verleih gezahlt, da der Verleihservice eingestellt wird.

Wie es aussieht, klappt Amazon seinen DVD-Verleih zu, und übergibt das Geschäft an den britischen Verleiher "LOVEFiLM". Dazu auf der Amazon-Webseite:

Frage: Warum überträgt Amazon sein Geschäft an LOVEFiLM? Antwort: Genau wie ist auch LOVEFiLM bestrebt, Ihnen den besten Kundenservice zu bieten. Durch unsere Investition in LOVEFiLM werden wir noch besser Kundenwünsche befriedigen können. LOVEFiLM bietet Ihnen einen umfassenden Katalog mit zehntausenden DVDs von Neuerscheinungen bis hin zu seltenen Titeln.

Ich bin gespannt, wie sich der DVD-Verleih per Post in Deutschland weiterentwickelt. Wie wohl die Marktanteile zwischen Amazon/Lovefilm und verteilt sind?

Preislich sind die Anbieter exakt gleich, nur bietet Amazon/Lovefilm zusätzlich günstigere "1 DVD pro Monat" Anlockangebote an.

Die Unterschiede sind also nicht groß, ganz im Unterschied zu den USA, wo sich die beiden "großen", Netflix und Blockbuster, mal mehr mal weniger friedlich um die Vorherrschaft auf dem Markt prügeln, auch beim Preis: insbesondere bei den "großen" Verträgen ist Netflix günstiger, die Anfängersparte geht hier jedoch an Blockbuster. Letztere rühmen sich zudem damit, dass man DVDs in deren Verleihläden tauschen kann, was Netflix nicht vorweisen kann. Das ist natürlich ein Zeitvorteil (insbesondere bei der bisweilen seeehr langsamen Post in diesem Land), andererseits fangen auch Amerikaner an, bei 4 Dollar je Gallone Sprit den 8-Zylinder öfter mal in der Garage stehen zu lassen.

Ich dachte immer, DVDs per Post sei nicht so der Bringer in Deutschland, weil man immer persönlich zum Postkasten laufen muss und seine Rücksendung nicht einfach dem Postboten mitgeben kann. Alles in allem scheint das Geschäft aber dennoch ganz interessant zu werden.

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Yesterday on Discovery Channel:

Most regular toilets flush in the key of e-flat.

Well, add this to the list of things I am not sure I needed to know.

Still, I am wondering if that means from now on I should set my tuner aside and just tune my trumpet after the toilet? Of course I'd need to call the plumber about once a year when the whole thing is out of tune ;)

Yeah, me and my silly mind. I know.

(The picture above CC by-nc-sa licensed by hll!H on flickr)

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They should have covered the Firefox 2 cake instead: After all, it still rendered in black and white ;)

(Thanks for the link, Jean Pierre!)

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At the local dry cleaner's:

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The Firefox world record attempt has just weighed in with a whopping 8 million downloads (plus change) in a 24-hour period.

And, as I recently noticed, each Firefox instance carries my name among the men and women mentioned in the credits list (for my work on the Mozilla Add-ons project):

My name in the Firefox 3 credits. Awesome :) (did I mention I dig my name being spelled correctly?)

If you want to see who else is on the list, click on "About Firefox" in the help (or Firefox, on Mac) menu, then "Credits".

Thanks to Mike Connor (who I believe put me on the list) and to everybody who made Firefox 3 such a great product.

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Here's a funny commercial for a German mail-order company:

(it hurts even watching it! ;) )

Thanks for sending this to me, Tara!

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As contradictory as it may sound, finding a good mindless action movie is actually a rather challenging task.

A quote from an IMDB user review on Hitman (2007). Oh how right they are.

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Jean Pierre pointed out a fabulous little extension for Firefox 3 on OSX:

The firefox-mac-pdf extension embeds PDF files right in the browser, so you don't have to download them, open them with and remove the file off your desktop afterwards. It works much like Acrobat, except it uses OSX's built-in PDFkit.

That's definitely an extension I'd like to see on AMO.

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