* Posts by Steffen Schubert

11 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

Wünderbra! German policewomen take 'Action Brassiere'

Steffen Schubert

It isn't, actually

"* Should you need to know for your next trip to Berlin, the German for 'bullet-proof bra' is, delightfully, 'der Gewehrkugelbeweisbüstenhalter'"

Well, "Gewehrkugelbeweisbüstenhalter" has actually no meaning at all in German. "Proof" can be, depending on context, mean "Beweis" (=Evidence) but it this case, it obviously doesn't. It seems, AltaVista translators didn't do a good job for the author of the article ;-)

Bavaria sanctions police spyware

Steffen Schubert

Windows or Linux spyware?

Would this spyware be written for Windows or Linux or both? And under what license? GPL with source code freely available?

Truphone picks up Sim4Travel

Steffen Schubert

Still too expensive !

With a local SIM card and a Direct-Inbound-Dial (DID) number and call forwarding through VoIP (e.g. the "Continental" product from www.IrishCall.eu) to my local SIM I can receive calls anywhere in the world for some €0.20/£0.12 and make calls via SMS callback with the same product for the price of an SMS + €0.20/£0.12! By using this service and routing the calls myself, I have been able to make/receive a lot cheaper than TruPhone or eKit or other companies offering global SIM cards. And once I am back at home, I simply redirect my inbound number to my home phone and callers can reach me there, too. Noone ever notices that I am abroad or where I am in the world and I can make/receive calls without incurring massive cost. So where exactly is the advantage of this TruPhone service?

London store brews £50-a-poop cat-crap coffee

Steffen Schubert

It is thus the first time in human history...

...that what goes into the human is worse then what come out ! (We'll, actually, if you count McD slow-food, it may be the second time this happened).

Dell fills out XPS laptop line

Steffen Schubert

"Buy cheaper - don't buy in Europe"

"UK prices start at £699, US prices at $999"

Taking today's exchange rate, US$999 equates to about Stg£482.61. Stg£699 is some 45% higher than this currency conversion. I can see why a company would try to maximize it's gains by any means possible, but as a consumer I have taken to buying from non-EU markets in order not to fuel this rip-off. Even when adding shipping and insurance, buying directly from a US retailer is not going to set you back Stg£216: "Buy cheaper - don't buy in Europe".

Researchers ease LCD viewing angle woes

Steffen Schubert

Watching DVDs

So how, I wonder, might this new LCD adjust when two or three people huddle around the screen to watch a DVD? Will the software adjust accordingly to suit each viewer or only the first? Whose eye movement will be tracked?

Motorola signs up for tiny projectors

Steffen Schubert

Superb thinking....

...And how about a miniature-torch with an inbuilt toaster? Miniature-Radio-Shoes? Miniature-USB-Hairdryer? They too have no practical purpose ;-) I think that after the success of the super slim and simple (New word: "Slimple"?) Motofone F3, Motorola embarked on a minituarisation trip ...

Loopy quantums reveal successive universes

Steffen Schubert

Bing Bang ... Steady State ... Big Boing ...Where's the News ?

An alternative theory to the Big Bang was proposed in 1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Sir Fred Hoyle It was called the steady-state theory.

They found the idea of a sudden beginning to the universe philosophically unsatisfactory. Bondi and Gold suggested that in order to understand the universe we needed to make observations of its distant parts, which would of necessity be observations from the past. In order to interpret those observations we must use the laws of physics, and those have been formulated at the present time. If the state of the universe was different in the past how could we be sure that the laws of physics were not different in the past as well? If they were different no valid conclusions could be drawn.

For Bondi and Gold not only would the laws of physics have to be the same in all parts of the universe, but at all times as well.

The Universe would also be the same, always static, always contracting or always expanding, or ... (own thought) both - contracting, followed by expanding, followed by contracting, etc.

So where's the big news here?

Physics GCSE: 'insultingly easy, non scientific, and vague'

Steffen Schubert

Serious concerns with the outcomes of school science education

Major research in recent years indicates serious concerns with the outcomes of school science education, with retention levels beyond the compulsory years, the levels of motivation and engagement in secondary classrooms, and the level of science literacy achieved all being seen as seriously problematic (AAAS, 2000).

Wubbels (Wubbels, 1993) did not find a correlation of these problems to factors intrinsic to the science curriculum. Instead, he suggested that changes in teacher interpersonal behaviour seemed to play a greater role in student outcomes than the curriculum.

It thus appears that teacher classroom practices were primarily the key to addressing the problems in relation to science development in schools. While a supportive school environment seems relevant, pedagogical teaching practices appear to play the most significant role.

Mr. Wellington Grey writes "My pupils will sit an exam and earn a GCSE in physics, but that exam doesn't cover anything I recognise as physics". It appears to have slipped Mr. Grey's attention that our Western Modern Science (WMS) is not the only authoritative knowledge system. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) are equally legitimate sciences and Mr. Grey should be able to adjust his pedagogical teaching practices accordingly. In my opinion, Mr. Grey's letter to the DfES does, however, not support his ability to make this transition to this new science curriculum.

If I were a teacher, I would certainly choose not to voice my own deficiencies in quite such an open way.


AAAS, 2000: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Designs for science literacy [Project 61] , OUP: New York

Wubbels, 1993: Wubbels, T., Teacher-student relationships in science and mathematics classes Vol 1., pp. 65-72, Curtin University of Technology: Perth, Australia

Opera brings 'speed dial' to browsers

Steffen Schubert

Firefox "Bookmarks Toolbar Folder" is more useful

I use the Firefox "Bookmarks Toolbar Folder". I can't see the site previews like in Opera but I have an extra toolbar with 10-15 links - also instantly accessible with one click. So where's the advantage of Opera's invention?

EU poised for vote on roaming cap

Steffen Schubert

Cheaper roaming also for IoM (Isle of Man) Global SIM cards?

It's about time that roaming fees come down. "Meteor", a mobile operator here in Ireland charge Euro 1.29 for in-/outbound calls in continental Europe. So, if I call my partner on her mobile while we holiday in, say, France, I pay Euro 1.29 to call her and she pays another Euro 1.29 to receive the call - A total of Euro 2.58 per minute !

When we use our Isle of Man, roaming SIM cards, we can call each other for between 65c - 112c per minute and don't pay for the inbound call. So that's an instant saving of between 57%-75%.

If outbound calls on all tariffs were now to be regulated, my partner with her cheap SIM card (Was only some 9 Euro to buy with 20 Euro credit on it) would benefit from the new regulation the most. Our holiday phone bill would shrink to acceptable levels and we would probably use our mobile phones even more whilst ditching phone cards which we have used so far.

I am wondering though, if Isle of Man operators are also subject to these new regulations on capped prices or if the IoM territory will be treated differently.


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