Tag: hitler

VW refuses to give British a payout in diesel emissions scandal

Hitler’s favourite car company, VW, has denied that Brits were deceived during its emissions testing scandal and unlike everywhere else in the world its Blighty customers will not get any compensation.

For those who came in late, VW diesels were fitted with software which could tell that they were being tested for emissions and tune themselves to pass. VW has forked out millions to make watchdogs and regulators worldwide go away.

However, Paul Willis, the auto company’s UK managing director said that while the German outfit might have tried the stunt in most places in the world, it did not advertise these cars in the UK based on its nitrogen oxide emissions.

He claimed that VW had neither done anything wrong in the country nor had it misled anyone. The company maintained that there is no “legal basis” for compensation in the UK.

In Europe, Volkswagen admitted to tampering with 8.5 million vehicles to cheat emissions tests but it said that the software did not amount to a “defeat device” under EU law.

Willis added that 470,000 of the UK diesel vehicles, which were affected from the emissions scandal, had been fixed by the company. This is less than half of the 1.2 million vehicles of Audi, Porsche, VW, Skoda and Seat brands that were found to be affected.

Willis explained that the delay was partly amid the need for EU regulatory approvals before installing the new software. He said VW had to wait for many regulators, including those in Germany and the UK, to approve the proposed fixes to the cars. Some approvals, he said were received as late as December 2016.

While UK customers might be angry that they are the only ones in the world not receiving any compensation, Willis said there was no comparison between the situation in the US and Europe, because VW said so.

It does seem odd that VW seems to believe that it can get out of paying its British customers compensation while having to fork out money to practically every other country in the world.

Transport Minister Chris Grayling, to seek more detailed information that would allow take further steps. He added that launching a legal action against VW had still not been ruled out.

VW goes electric

b299405f6eafe0ac98ce9d9405a17663 (1)Adolf Hitler’s favourite car company Volkswagen has decided that the only way to avoid being caught out fudging emission readings is to make more cars that are electric.

Volkswagen wants to make 30 electric plug-in models by 2025 as part of a cunning plan to overhaul its global strategy which has been limping along since it was caught lying about how environmentally friendly is cars were.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller on Thursday articulated a new vision for the automaker up to 2025, describing electric cars, ride-hailing services and cost cutting as critical to the company’s future.

Volkswagen, which also owns Audi and Porsche, will “significantly” reduce the number of models it makes and will slash almost $9 billion in spending.

This will go some way to help pay the $18 billion it will need to cover the costs of its emissions scandal.

The bet on fully electric vehicles will be paired with an investment in battery technology, though Mueller provided few details of what that would entail. Among the electric vehicles already in the works are the Porsche Mission E sports car, billed as a Tesla fighter, and the Audi e-tron quattro luxury electric crossover concept.

It is a brave move. The electric market is not really established yet, and although some countries like Holland are talking about banning petrol cars, electric cars are still too pricy for the great unwashed to afford.

If VW pull it off, it will be in the vanguard of the electric revolution and go a long way to removing the stain left by the emissions scandal.

Tame Apple Press calls for Jobs to take over US

The Tame Apple Press has been getting sillier and sillier with its pro-Jobs’ Mob claims lately.

Not satisfied with claiming that the Tablet is killing off the PC, the press now claims that Apple has more cash than the US government .

The implication is that Apple could buy the US and sort out the entire nation’s economy, or some such bollocks and probably sort out the nation’s economic woes.

“The feds could probably learn a thing or two from Apple’s success,” enthuses Chris Moody in the The Ticket magazine.

Like most press release spin the concept is fatally flawed. Apple’s quarterly financial report shows it has $76.4 billion in reserve cash, while the Treasury Department is sitting on just $73.7 billion. So without actually engaging the brain, the Tame Apple Press thinks this means that Jobs’ Mob has more cash than the US government.

However, what if you compare the US operating balance against Apple’s reserves? US reserves are 2,907,837 millions, or 40 times more than Apple’s. Of course Apple has zero debt, which means that it is in a good state as far as a business goes. However, comparing a business with a government is like comparing Apple with pears.

For a start it is easy to have zero debt when you are not required to have social programmes, a standing army, go to war, run national parks and a legal system.

Apple does not have a problem with people trying to avoid paying for its products either, nor does it have its senior management being bribed by “lobbying groups” to produce products that no one wants.

I hate to invoke the spirit of Godwin, but the newspapers that are making these comparisons are effectively calling for some form of fascist utopia in the former colony of Virginia. The logic seems that there is a belief that if Steve Jobs can make tablets a money spinner he could do a better job of running the country under a constitution which is similar to Apple’s business model.

Since that is fascism, complete with black shirted fanboys policing the web for nasty comments, compulsary censorship and and micromanagement of personal life,  it would seem that the Tame Apple Press is advocating a Fascist State run by Jobs.  Still at least the Army would be disbanded. Jobs does not believe in security. 

Austria planning an internet kill-switch

Austria is working on creating a big red button which will turn off both the internet and mobile networks. The idea is to keep the country safe should there be some sort of cyberwar within the borders of the EU, keeping Austria safe from nasty viruses and acts of sabotage.

The Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria admitted to Futurezone.at it is working on the plans, while a bloke from private sector CERT.at denied anyone had such a thing in mind, ever.

Apparently there is a legal basis, namely §89 of the Austrian Telecommunications Act, which states the Führer for Traffic, Innovation and Technology can shut down telecommunications to uphold law and order and the peace, similar to the West’s friendly and caring Egyptian ally Hosni Mubarak actions a few days ago. Futurezone.at reports §89 has never, ever been used in Austria.

A decision to shut down Austria, however, would be made by the EU – not on a national level. It would also have to be considered which parts of the internet should be shut off, and if other networks can be maintained. At the same time, Austria is also working on alternative communication measures, such as data over DVB-T.  

Whatever the case, Roland Ledinger, head of ICT strategy / GovCert in the Federal Chancellery, claims the kill switch would be a last resort and one of the central measures in warding off cyber attacks. GovCert is part of the Chancellery and is supposed to help keep Austria safe and secure cyber-wise.

Hitler gets reprieve

Downfall, a flick about Hitler’s bunker, is back in use on Youtube as an amusing piss-take of practically anything.

This week YouTube pulled multiple versions of the parody, which involves tinkering with the subtitles for comic effect. YouTube said it had been approached by the film-makers, Constantin Film, who claimed the parodies infringed its copyright.

While the defence for running such content in the US is “satire” and “fair use”, such an argument does not necessarily work in Europe which does not have constitutional rights of free speech.

Now YouTube has advised its users to fight back against attempts to remove the immensely popular clips from the site.

Earlier this week several of the parodies, created by adding fake subtitles to Hitler’s famous rant scene in the 2004 German film, vanished from YouTube. The production company, Constantin Film, argued they infringed its copyright.

The most recent parody is Hitler’s supposed reaction to Constantin’s decision to remove parodies.

In order to remove the clips, Constantin is using Content ID, a tool supplied by YouTube to enable them to set different policies depending on the proportion of their content used in a video or the length of the clip.

Ironically, the Downfall takedowns took place on what would have been Hitler’s 121st birthday.

YouTube product manager Shenaz Zack pointed out that YouTube had made it easier for users to dispute inappropriate Content ID claims.  He advised people to say that the video was fair use, and check the box that reads ‘This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder’.

Once the dispute is filed the video immediately goes back up on YouTube.

This would mean that  Constantin woud have to file a formal Digital Millennium Copyright Act notification

The director of the Downfall film, Oliver Hirschbiegel, has been quoted saying that he found the clips “so funny” and that “you couldn’t get a better compliment as a director”.

Wikipedia gets ready to change

Users of Wikipedia will see big changes to its interface and how it looks from next month, making it easier for people to change history and call Hitler rude names.

Registered users who have already opted into the beta will already have seen Vector in action already, a MediaWiki skin that will replace the Monobook skin that we are familiar with.

Wikimedia Commons will be switched over first, first English and then other languages, along with sister projects.

The aim is to make Wikipedia more welcoming and understandable, so new users will feel more comfortable editing the online encyclopedia. Mainly visual, the changes will involve different tabs and a moved search box. It should also make the website more standards compliant. 

A new editing tool bar should make it easier for users to put in links, and also ex6end the ability to make PDFs from articles to all users, not just registered ones. However, if users aren’t happy with the changes, they are able to change it back to the original skin if they so  wish.

This is just a first step though, and we should expect further changes in the future. Hopefully the changes won’t cause Wikipedia to bust and suffer a global outage which occurred only a couple of days ago, after its European data centre overheated.

It impacted all European Wikipedia projects, meaning that it was forced to move all DNS traffic to its Florida cluster, for which it has a quick failover procedure in place changing DNS entries.

Mark Bergsma, Wikimedia’s operations engineer in a post on Wikimedia’s Technical Blog said: “However, shortly after we did this failover switch, it turned out that this failover mechanism was now broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally. 

“This problem was quickly resolved, but unfortunately it may take up to an hour before access is restored for everyone, due to caching effects.”

Unfortunately for many it turned out to be longer than an hour. Hopefully the interface changes will be clean and won’t cause these kinds of problems for its huge user base.

A tale of tech execs, mustaches and social networks

Stalin, Hitler, Hulk Hogan, Frida Kahlo; who would they have been without their famous moustaches? Likely, they’d never have amounted to much. And if they were around today, they’d likely all sign up to Stache Passions, the social network that’s all about love of facial hair. 

Style is a difficult thing to pin down,” proclaims Stache Passions’ homepage addingbut there is no doubt among Stache Passions members that there is nothing finer than a good stache.”

Indeed, members of the free social not-working site are encouraged to “browse the Mustache Groups to find members by their preferred type of stache, whether it be DaliWalrus or Pencil.”

One can also search the site for Stache lovers “by experience level,” including NewbieExpert or the ever popular Stache Groupie.

The site led us to ponder about prominent staches in the world of tech, and the realisation that most of the big shot CEOs around today didn’t have one. Or didn’t have one anymore.

Of course, back in the early 70s when the likes of Intel, Microsoft and Apple were coming into their own after puberty, facial hair was still very much in fashion, as can be seen by the following hairy shots.

Microsoft 1978

microsoft hairy

SteveStachio Jobs


Only the Stachio’d survive


Some still believe that computer languages developed by bearded programmers have higher success rates, but for the most part, it would appear tech execs have shifted to using monopolistic Gillette.

phenom fusion

AMD even advertises its razor blade preference, Gillette Fusion, because only real men have fabstaches. Oh, er, nevermind.


Wonderful sand drawing appears on YouTube

“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.” – William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Little to say here but to embed the HTML code for this really rather amazing drawing in sand.

And so to Hitler and to the Ipad. Video below from YouTube. Culture and comedy. It’s TechEye.

Oh and here’s an Ancient of Days called Mr Mossberg arguing the toss with a younger man, Steve Jobs.