Thoughts about the Internet

  • The aware surfer

She knows what she does when using the internet. Paying for services on the internet is highly uncommon for her, because she knows that everything that costs money is avaiable for free – at least somewhere. She´s a convinced Mozilla Firefox user with a technical affinity, maybe Google Chrome user (because of the faster Java VM) for testing and occassionally browsing. Though skeptical about the Web 2.0 thing she´s participating probably in Facebook and for listening purposes in Youtube and mySpace – the latter with a growing antipathy because of the spammed design. She´s got a fixed schedule on websites to visit every day and never spends time on leisure-browsing. Discovering new sites is only a part of focused searching, preferential using Google. She´s got plenty of email accounts, but only one or two of real interest – all the others are used for several spam purposes mainly for website registration affairs.



I called the ASC – academical service center of the Technical University Ilmenau a few moments ago. I´ve always been very skeptical about it and until now I had only bad experiences. But this time they solved my problem in 2 minutes. With only 1 call. Great, thank you !

Link : (only in german)

bike trail on the future ICE track – part 1

The Deutsche Bahn AG ist currently constructing a new ICE track from Erfurt to Nuernberg. When it´s finished in 2017 it will reduce the total traveling time from Berlin to Munich to something around 4 hours. Right now you need approximately 8 hours. The project started in 1996, got interrupted in 1999 and was continued in 2002.

Read more about the track at Wikipedia (only in German) :

The track passes Ilmenau in the east and is nearly finished up to Erfurt – only the rails are missing. Some kilometers south of Ilmenau, in the small village Langewiesen the track ends. From there a big bridge will push the track forwards which is currently under construction.

I visited the construction site several times and got the idea, that it would be a great route for a bike trip. I tested some parts of the track with my bike and came to the conclusion that a trip on the whole track from Ilmenau (Langewiesen) to Erfurt needs some good preparation. Nearly all of the bridges are blocked (and I mean really blocked) so you have to go through the valleys and all the tunnels are blocked too, so you have to go over the top. Sounds exhausting (and it is) but the bigger problem is, that there are no direct paths leading through the valleys or over the tops. I lost the way more than once when I looked for alternatives. So I decided to use Google Earth to have an all-time overview. It proved as a good and necessary idea. Besides that I used my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS watch to trace my trail – you can see the route in Google Earth below.

The track is covered by a combination of rough gravel and more capillary gravel. Riding on the first is sometimes a little bit tough and you really need to have a good hold on the steering, the second is much more comfortable although you are much faster on the rough gravel.

I felt pretty much motivated when starting the trip on a sunny day in late July. But I underestimated one thing – the weather. With nearly 35 degress it was way to hot for a trail like this. Normally I like riding when it´s that hot but the up and down through the valleys and over the tops consumed more of my power than I expected. There was no alternative apart from splitting the route in 2 parts. So I left the track next to Arnstadt and used the train back to Ilmenau.

My conclusion to the first part is a little bit divided. On one hand it was a damn hard and – especially after the third detour through a valley to get across a blocked bridge – demotivating trip. But on the other hand it was a great moment standing on the top after the last blocked tunnel and having a great view over the lowlands towards Arnstadt and Erfurt, knowing that the most hazardous part lies behind me.

Hopefully I´ll have the chance to ride the 2nd part before the winter comes.

From this point I started my trail with direction to Erfurt :

30082008 auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

>>> Link to the complete map in Google

bike trail pic 1

Entry point in Langewiesen. The picture shows the construction site for the bridge.

bike trail pic 1

And the view in the different direction, still at the entry point in Langewiesen. That´s the first view you´ll get when you start your trail.

bike trail pic 1

A (blocked) bridge next to Wümbach, the highest on the whole trail, so the largest valley to cross.

bike trail pic 1

Looking back on the last blocked bridge, with nature taking back its original ground. No wonder, 12 years after the construction of the track started.

bike trail pic 1

A view from the top of the first blocked tunnel. On the right you can see the Autobahn A71. At the horizon the next blocked tunnel is waiting for you.

bike trail pic 1

Cars and trains altogether. But where the hack are the trains ? The 2 tubes on the left side are for the cars on the Autobahn A71, the right tube is empty, blocked and forsaken.

bike trail pic 1

And that´s the view you´ll love. It´s after the last blocked tunnel (on the first part of the track) and leads you straight into the lowlands from Arnstadt up to Erfurt.

bike trail pic 1

With this device I traced the route via GPS. It has many additional features for training.

ARD cencors interview with Wladimir Putin

ARD – one of Germany´s TV channels under public maintenance broadcasted an interview with Wladimir Putin. Some guys who also saw the russian version of the interview discovered massive censorship.

Luckily there´s a transcript available on Youtube and Fefes Blog made short comment on the interview (all german – sorry) :

The interview with german subtitles : – Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3

Complete interview from the russian TV (only russian 😉 :

Russian transscript and the german translation :

Thanks to LawBlog for the information.

Google develops a browser – Google Chrome

I wasn´t very suprised about it – but I was very suprised about the way they do it. They seem to believe in my personal needs for a browser : “It has to be rock-solid”.

Take a look at the great comic (1st link) and the information in the blog (2nd link) for more technical stuff. The most interesting things :

  • every tab will have a separate process (yesssssssssssss !!!)
  • the browser will feature a self developed Java VM (V8), that compiles the source to machine code and executes it directly on the machine (so it will probably be much faster then nowadays VM´s)

links :


Today I started to add some content about my “musical career”. So be sure to check out the Music Page. The first band “Same As For” already got a nice article with many songs for free download (CC licensed for sure).

And I tried to install a captcha for the comments. And failed. Good night.

Update :

Someone should have told me that WordPress already has a antispam plugin included. You just need to activate it. Done and working ;).

Update 2 :

I started to add an article about “Rising Sun” to the music page. While doing I realized that there are many more things to tell about this band. So expect more soon.

Private Health Insurance – Versicherungskammer Bayern

For a few months the Versicherungskammer Bayern thinks that I´m interested in a private health insurance. So they dropped me some snail mail from time to time. But what a surpise – I´m NOT ! Last november (2007) I was so bored that I wrote them a letter to stop that and I wanted to have an information about my stored personal data (according to german privacy law). Never got a reply.

2 weeks ago I got another mailing from them in my box. So I gave all the stuff to my lawyer and today I got a very surprising answer from him. Besides his exorbitant bill I also found a sheet about my stored personal data. The guy listed there had the same name like me, but a totally different address. At least in Germany. I guess they are spamming more Sebastian Becker´s.

Now my lawyer has to act again…sadly this will increase the bill again I suppose.

Attachment : personal data sheet (only in german – sorry)

Update :

Well – I have to say that I´m surprised about how this ended. A few days later I got a second letter from the CEO with an apology and a correct personal data sheet. After paying my lawyers bill I spend some days thinking if it was worth the 300 EUR. But again – I was surprised when I found 300 EUR back on my bank account a little later. The Versicherungskammer Bayern accepted to take the costs on their side. Great. Thank you. And by the way – not a single mailing from them, since that.

lawsuit successful

A friend of mine, Andreas Weidner, filed against his removal from the register of students at the Technial University Ilmenau. He didn´t paid a very disputatious administration fee (50 EUR – Verwaltungskostenbeitrag) that was introduced with the new Thüringer Hochschulgesetz (thuringia law for universities – link only in german) – and got kicked out from the University.

Today his case was negotiated – and he won.

A little nightmare for the thuringia government, because the judge also predicted, that the fee may generally be illegal. So all 50.000 students in thuringia are free to decide if they want to pay the fee or not. And they can´t be kicked out for not paying it. A great day for students rights, after a long period of worsening.

Press links (all in german) :

press declaration TU Ilmenau

Spiegel Online




Update :

The TU Ilmenau decided to appeal against the judgement. They justify their decision with the unclear leagl status what to do with students not paying the fee. A great risk and a great chance for the students. If the appeal will be rejected then the fee will definitely be a part of history.

In the meantime a first dialogue with the secretary of culture delivered no improvement. He still thinks that 50 EUR are not a general tuition fee and that they do not stand in contrary to the promise, that there won´t a general tuition fee until 2009 which was given by the thuringia government.