Das ist traurig: In Kalifornien, Oregons Nachbarstaat, hat der Gouvernator heute seinem Namen wieder alle Ehre gemacht:

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Oooh, heute ist ja schon erster Advent!

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Im Fernsehen sah ich heute Werbung, dass Tanken ja immer teurer werde, und man daher bei F*rd eine ganze Menge Autos kaufen könne, die mehr als 25 Meilen pro Gallone Sprit schaffen.

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Weil hier die Vorlesungszeit ziemlich schnell rum ist, kommt auch das Konzert schneller, als ich es von anderen Orchestern gewöhnt bin.

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Meinen Samstagnachmittag habe ich in den Woodburn Company Stores verbracht. Das ist ein ziemlich großes Shopping Center mit allerhand Outlet-Stores, irgendwo zwischen Salem und Portland.

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If there was an award for the largest company with the most unusable website, I would consider recommending T-Mobile for the award.

The American cellphone branch of the German Telekom obviously doesn't like its compatriots in the U.S. - or maybe they don't like their customers at all.

One might guess, ordering some new minutes for a prepaid cellphone card should be a common task. Far from it! Not only that I had to switch from Firefox to MSIE (and this hurts, believe me) because the "okay" button didn't show up (MSIE shows a big red cross meaning "image not found" that you can click instead). When I proceeded entering my data, the page was reloaded with every click on one of the numerous dropdown fields, constantly reminding me of the fact that there are securely encrypted and unencrypted parts of the page mixed. - click no, I do not want to display insecure parts of the page.

After I finally entered my whole address - the German one, using the dropdown box to select Germany, then, after another reload, selecting the only state "other - German" in the State dropdown box - a nice little Javascript information insists on: "Please choose a valid state".

So I have to go back and re-enter all the information again with an American address and I wonder if anyone has ever tested the site before making it available on the net.

Wow. This can't be coincidence. T-Mobile must virtually have spent a tremendous amount of money to build a website with so many obvious errors that it must be intentional. I seldomly got pissed off as much by a company website as today.

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Gestern hatte der beste Web-Browser der Welt Geburtstag!

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Ja, ich war an Halloween verkleidet. Es fühlt sich nicht besser an als Fasching, und ich hasse es genau so wie im Frühjahr, aber es musste sein. Man will ja nicht negativ auffallen.

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How was it again, the way home when I was in Germany? Aaaah I remember!

Markus just sent me a picture message from his cellphone in the tram. Woohoo! How fancy the green-yellow pattern on the seats is ;)

Straßenbahn 1 Straßenbahn 2

Thanks for reminding me of the 45 min journey that I have to take to university in Germany every day. Oh, and, thanks for reminding me of the other 45 minutes it takes me to get back home again.

Okay, this belongs to the things I do not miss here. However, the "bike riding action" here is somehow flawed by the rain getting you soaking wet easily... Everything has its drawbacks.

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Today, I got my social security card. (Yes it is as ugly as in the picture...)

This, however, is no big secret. Almost every American has one.

Social Security Card

The bigger secret is the number itself. Being discovered by "bad guys", they can do quite a bunch of bad things concerning identity theft. Therefore it is a sensitive document, and you don't want to carry it around. And you don't want arbitrary people know your number. Maybe your employer. Maybe your bank. But nobody else. Especially not the bad guys mentioned above.

Considering this, it is impressive that you are asked for your SSN almost everywhere. I don't really get why some companies should need it, but they ask for it nonetheless. Being an international student is usually a good excuse not to have one, however it is strange how easily this sensitive data is asked for and written down everywhere.

If I read it right, once upon a time even the "student ID" number at Oregon State University was derived from the SSN.

For my job however I have to inform the university administration of my new SSN now. But I kind of hesitate to send it via plain text email. - "No problem!", you would guess, "as a facility that has to handle sensitive data every day, they surely have a bunch of GPG public keys (or something else) for their employees. I mean, they must be interested in the privacy of their students!"

But no, no, you might have anticipated what comes now: Of course they do not have GPG keys for us to use, of course they want me to send my sensitive data via unencrypted email, and of course they have no clue why plain text emails are bad.

Surprising? No.

Sad? Kinda. :-/

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