Project 12: Julia

posted in: 12, Photography, Portrait | 0

The (rather late) October portrait for »Project 12« was taken in January and finally edited only a few days ago. It is of Julia, who is not only a close friend, proper hiking buddy and HR professional but – and this points to the root of the lag – godmother to my daughter, who was born in November. Julia recently moved into a new flat and redecorated it, so we decided it was an suitable setting.

On new year’s eve she at one point donned a turban, looked stunning and someone took with a camera phone – and as we had the gear in place anyway we thought it was worth recreating the opportunity. At the end of our 5 hour session we were both pretty happy but also pretty knackered (and one of us still needed a haircut – desperately).

Bribing MPs soon illegal in Germany

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

Finally the German Bundestag made a move and eleven years and three governments after the United Nation Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) was signed by Germany, it can now finally be ratified. Until now it had only been illegal to buy the vote of a member of parliament, other forms of corrupting them were fair game, which made it impossible for Germany to ratify the UNCAC – and put the country in very shady company:

 ...   READ MORE

Project 12R: January

posted in: 12, Lifestyle, Photography, Portrait | 0

In 2014 »Project 12« gets a slightly different spin and is now »Project 12R«. The plan is to take 12 pictures of Rosina. Starting in February, we shoot one photo a month that derives its theme from the events of her preceding weeks.

The first installment involved a poster for a party that was stuck onto many distribution boxes. We narrowed it down to two location options that were close to each other: one spacious and quiet, the other at a busy tram stop in the middle of an equally busy crossroads. We decided to opt against comfort and for better looks, which unfortunately meant I had to shoot from the tracks with trains rattling in from three different directions by the minute. Thus, I was constantly shifting my light and tripod and Daniel, who was kind enough to act as assistant, not only patiently braved wind and coldness but in addition held on to the contraption for the black background with cars whooshing past very close by – thanks a lot Daniel!

Project 12: Rosina

posted in: 12, Photography, Portrait | 0

In September I photographed my friend Rosina for »Project 12«. It was a new experience in a couple of senses:

First of all, Rosina is a designer by profession and it was as interesting as instructive to take a picture of someone who is both meticulous and knowledgeable when it comes to composition, colours, set design and furniture. I enjoyed it tremendously as it allowed me to concentrate on the lighting....   READ MORE

Wien Südbahnhof

posted in: Architecture, On the Road, Photography | 0

I spent New Year’s Eve with magician, architect and fellow photographer Sven Wuttej. Going through his images from the last day at Wien Südbahnhof reminded me of the pictures I took of the monumental old landmark when I still lived right across the road from the train station. Somehow I quite liked the architecture, and was hence rather sad to see it go. So here are a couple of images from the transition of the hood: »Wien Süd« to »Quartier Belvedere«.

The first few pictures, where the train station (if already partly demolished) is still busy are from August 2009. The ones of the gutted building I took in February 2010 and the last two, where nothing remains of the old glory, are from September 2010 (you can see the very last one with just a flat stretch of sand where the station once was in full size).

Human Nascars

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

Terence Eden has an article on the »Nascar Proposal«. The proposal that politicians should wear logos of who paid them in order to make lobbyism more transparent is not new, but Terence has gathered a couple of links to interesting resources and also makes an interesting suggestion: Sure, the probability that we turn politicians into real human Nascars is very low, but we have the potential of open data that could easily be coupled with some programming and a little graphic design skills. The resulting visualidation could at least make it very easy to understand the at times very complex linkages of politics and private sector.


posted in: Linux Archives | 2

My ubuntu 12.04 computer cannot see my Android 4.1.2 phone, instead I must install go-mtpfs and control it via command line. Thankfully, Andrew over at webupd8 provides all the necessary tools (all credit goes to him, for long version see there):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install go-mtpfs...   READ MORE


posted in: 12, Commission, Photography, Portrait | 2

When I last photographed my friend Theresa, she had just secured her first job after graduation. A year later, the resourceful health and safety professional sticks to the good advice my friend Rob once expressed: the best time looking for a job is when you have one.

Since a picture is mandatory for almost all job applications in Austria, we put my spacious living room to good use one last time before I had to move out and shot some formal portraits. Luckily there’s also one to sneak into »Project 12«. This, that and the relocation got into the way, so it took me way too long before I managed to get round to editing (and seeing the barber).

Valentin Rosegger, Physiotherapist

My good friend and physiotherapist Valentin Rosegger is about to open his own practice and asked me to provide some visuals.

I gladly obliged, because in the past I received countless hours of Valentin’s skilled treatment and profound advice. Creating the images for his information material was a great way to repay the services (and I could also sneak in my – late – August portrait for »Project 12«)....   READ MORE

Project 12: Anke

posted in: 12, Photography, Portrait | 0

Since the beginning of the year Anke, who teaches German Literature at Vienna University, and me tried to put an idea for a portrait into practice, which for this, that and the other reason never quite happened.

So there was a vacancy in »project 12« since at least the beginning of 2013 – when, by the end of May, somehow several things just fell into place: a friend of ours gave Anke a bunch of hefty peonies in a colour she absolutely adored and that coincidentally also matched a dress in her wardrobe....   READ MORE

Fabulous Fab and Obama’s Promise

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

Gregg Fields from Harvard’s Lab writes on the prosecution of Goldman Sachs’ Fabrice Tourre. When the housing bubble burst, many lost a lot and few earned obscenely much through a security called ABACUS 2007-AC1 which Tourre helped engineer. At the time, he was a mere foot soldier and senior management had to and did approve everything. Fields asks, why the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) keeps going after the little fish and lets their fishmasters get of the hook rather easily.

An unrelated article over at Techdirt asks what happened to Obamas election campaign promise to protect whistlblowers. The interesting bit from Obama’s ethics agenda read...   READ MORE

Prescription Drugs and Corruption

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics has an interesting, yet disturbing post on a forthcoming article on institutional Corruption, Pharma and prescription drugs (Light, Lexchin, Darrow (2013): Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 14, No. 3).

The highlights:...   READ MORE

Project 12: Karin Peschka

posted in: 12, Editorial, Photography, Portrait | 1

In February this year, I met up with author Karin Peschka (whose story »Watschenmann« recently won the Wartholz-Literaturpreis) to discuss a portrait. We agreed to wait for spring and in mid May I took the Lilo to Eferding, where we were lucky enough to experience some of the rare sunny moments this year. After a lovely family lunch in a beautiful garden, we went over to the former family run restaurant and explored the house from top to bottom.

The building’s arresting atmosphere provided photographic opportunities galore, so we tried to realise a few, starting in the attic, working our way down through the kitchen into the basement and back up into the »green room« (where I also took the May-portrait for »Project 12«).

Network Sync

posted in: Linux Archives | 0

I recently got my hands on a shiny eee-PC for surprisingly little money. As I am travelling a fair bit at the moment, the opportunity was more than welcome. Now, mobility comes at a price and the price is called »multiple instances of files«. When the files in question are your PhD, it has the potential for a fantastic nightmare. Most people use dropbox to tackle this, but for one reason and another, I neither want to use that, nor ubuntu one. I have owncloud [see here], and after resolving some issues, the sync client works, but I still would like to keep more data in tune then I could possibly channel through my shared hosting plan. Unison (via ssh) seems the way to go.

Setting it up was a lot easier then I though. All it took was rbgeek’s exccellent article »File Synchronization Between Two Ubuntu Servers using Unison«....   READ MORE

Project 12: Mirko Krause

posted in: 12, Editorial, Photography, Portrait | 0

The library of the Viennese Arbeiterkammer (Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour) is quiet, well stocked, has a sensible policy on water in the reading room and comes with a garden, so on most days this is where I work – and so does Mirko. He is an architect and writes his Ph.D. on Peter Eisenman and Rem Kohlhaas (which is a a funny coincidence because I am writing on Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas). Most of the time we share the better parts of our days and in the past year we went from being just library-buddies to being lunch-buddies, too.

A while back I had made a mental note about a lovely spot in the Arbeiterkammer lobby/waiting area and had hoped I could use it for a portrait one day. With the extraordinary architecture (by NMPB-Architekten) surrounding it, what better subject could there be than an architect who even happens to spend most of his working hours in that very building? So for my April portrait for Project 12 I am grateful that, despite his super busy week, Mirko was willing to sit in the gorgeous sunset light for me....   READ MORE

Medical Practitioners cannot be Corrupt

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

At the moment, medical practitioners in Germany can only be corrupt when employed by someone else. As long as they practice on their own, German law to date knows no way of finding them corrupt – even if pharmaceutical companies give something in exchange for the practioniners prescribing certain medication.

The good news is that German health minister Daniel Bahr is about to change that....   READ MORE

Bright Field Trinity

posted in: Photography | 0

Re-reading Light – Science and Magic and coming through the glass department, I thought I’d give bright field and dark field a try. I picked non-coloured bottles with different contents (brownish, clear, air) and am quite pleased with the bright field result. Dark field was an utter fail due to several reasons, two being a) lack of proper dark material and b) bottles having stuff on them like labels and print and me being unable to remedy that.

So here’s my Austrian-Scottish-Swedish bright field trinity:

The Tricycle

A week or so ago Christian Bazant-Hegemark said he had an idea for a picture involving himself, a children’s trike and one of his paintings. Was I interested in helping him shoot it? Of course I was – he is very easy in front of my camera and I knew it was going to be fun.

He wanted to combine a photo of himself with a painting he is currently working on. The painting shows a boy on a children’s tricycle and my job was to place Christian so that his position would resemble the trike-boy’s as much as possible and at the same time keep the background relatively easy to edit out....   READ MORE

Fuji Finepix

posted in: Photography | 0

When I am out and about I usually don’t take the DSLR but use an old Fuji Finepix. It accompanied me to the summit of quite a few mountains, to the beaches of several seas and preserved the memory of the odd pique-nique, too. The wear is starting to show and it is nor ever was perfect, but as the second worst pictures are the ones never taken, she’ll do. The worst are of course the ones taken and then lost because some Northumbrian bog-pixie steals the camera (which was the fate of the Samsung I used before, hence this one is kept on a leash).

I wanted to try a light-tentish setup for a while and thought the battered old piece would make an appropriate subject – and it also gave me a chance to practice with my old 100mm ƒ/2.8 that unfortunately lacks the autofocus.

Übermäßige Zeitungs-Begierde

posted in: Random | 0

Ich muß […] bekennen […] / daß die übermäßige Zeitungs-Begierde / eine dermaßen schädliche Kranckheit sey / welche durch ihren Mißbrauch dem gemeinen Wesen viel Schaden bringet. […] Es ist nichts gewöhnlicheres / als daß die Bauren in der Schencke ein Collegium curiosum über die ordentlichen Post-Zeitungen halten / und durch den capabelesten aus ihrem Mittel selbige buchstabiren lassen / wenn man sie aber hernach […] fragen solte / was sie daraus verstanden / so würde es in nichts anders bestehen / als daß es weit rathsamer vor sie gewesen wäre / sie hätten […] mit dem Holtz-Axt an einem guten Eich Baume auf den Hieb gefochten / als daß sie die edele Zeit mit solchen Dingen verderben.

Philip Balthasar Sinold, gen. von Schütz. In »Das Curieuse Caffee-Haus zu Venedig« (1698).

Custom Shortcuts in Kile

posted in: LaTeX Archives | 0

If you use Kile as LaTeX editor and if you find yourself typing the same code all over again – like a specific table environment, or a slide environment in beamer or whatever, why not create your own user tag and assign a custom shortcut? You can even decide where the cursor should be placed and what should happen in case text is selected while pressing your shortcut.

It’s very easy and very fantastic: User defined Tags.

Projekt 12: Schlosserei Alex Stahl

posted in: 12, Corporate & Industrial, Photography | 0

Shortly before Christmas I visited Alex, who is a metalworker. He kindly paused building a motorcycle to turn my old cymbal boom stand into a light stand. I took the opportunity to take some welding and grinding pictures of him, his friend Lippo and his little apprentice.

At this occasion I also completed my »Project 12«: Alex is my final portrait for 2012 (with Lippo adding a nice touch through sending some flying sparks up and down the room).

Mining Data

posted in: www Archives | 0
Overview – through Hollerith punch cards »Overview – through Hollerith Punch Cards«

Motherboard has an insightful article on the history and future of Diaspora (an open source, distributed alternative to Facebook). The article is very long and alongside the Diaspora-narrative there are several other issues it focuses on. One of them deals with data mining, which – with Facebook as a regular dinner table subject – is touched upon frequently around here.

The argument I hear most often when it comes to privacy issues is »I can’t see how this bit of information could possibly be vital or interesting to a third party«. The thing with data mining is of course the three-letter-word above »argument« lacks: now....   READ MORE

Overheating Thinkpad T60

posted in: Linux Archives | 2

Since 12.04 my thinkpad (T60) regularly shuts down due to heat. I don’t like it and I am afraid of damage – to hard drives or to the system.

The problem is described in many places and many different fixes, remedies and work arounds exist. Most of them lack proper documentation, so I am reluctant to try them. Even thinkfan, which is quite popular, scares me more than it helps....   READ MORE

Top 10 Corruption Sentences

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

Wall Street’s Corruption Currents turns two on Wednesday. As a way of celebration, they nominated the top 10 corruption related jail sentences. The winners are:

  1. Joel Esquenazi
  2. Rod Blagojevich
  3. Viktor Bout
  4. James Ibori
  5. R. Allen Stanford
  6. Jimmy Dimora
  7. Matthew Ng
  8. Albert “Jack” Stanley and Jeffrey Tesler
  9. Jean Rene Duperval
  10. Gerhard Gribkowsky

More on the background on each of the cases in Samuel Rubenfeld’s article.

Bibtex going openout_any = p

posted in: LaTeX Archives | 4

Working with multibib, Bibtex started failing me after a recent reinstallation of texlive on xubuntu. On
bibtex <project-path>/src.aux
I got:

bibtex: Not writing to &amp;amp;lt;project-path&amp;amp;gt;/src.blg (openout_any = p). I couldn't open file name `&amp;amp;lt;project-path&amp;amp;gt;/src.blg'

To get rid of the error, open texmf.cnf, which resides in /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c through
sudo gedit /usr/share/texlive/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf
Then find the entry...   READ MORE

The Dark Side of the Moon

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

Transparency International calls it »the biggest bribery story of 2012«:

In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country....   READ MORE

Germany Fails GRECO Deadline

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

When it comes to UNCAC (United Nations Convention Against Corruption), Germany is in the good to shady company of Bhutan, Côte d’Ivoire, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic (many of which buy German tanks, too). These states all signed UNCAC, but have not yet ratified it.

Since it is still legal (or rather: not illegal) to bribe a German member of parliament as long as you are not buying her vote (§ 108e, StGB), Germany can’t even ratify the convention, which has been subject of much deliberation....   READ MORE

Cloud a la ownCloud

posted in: www Archives | 0

After an earlier failed attempt at owncloud 4 I’m prety happy with OC 5 now and succesfully sync contacts, calendars and some files in between a crunchbang netbook, a xubuntu notebook and my Android phone:

Sync Contacts

Sync Calendar

Desktop Client

  • Setting it up:
    Somehow it only worked as root, chown did the trick (see here):
    sudo chown -Rc USER:USER /home/USER/.local/share/data  
  • Syncing
    Syncing works pretty well – but unfortunately not well enough. I do like that one can connect random folders to sync (for example a local folder »Documents« may be called »docs« on OC). What I like not so much is that you can only run two-way-sync. There is no option »sync only from server to machine« or »sync only from machine to server«. It would be very helpful as I use Unison to sync very large parts of my hard drives among several machines – much more then I want or need in OC. Yesterday I lost some data and I think it was due to owncloud got confused with two machines syncing to it in addition to syncing directly in between each other.
  • Android
    The oc-app allows syncing to the phone on a file-by-file basis, which is neat. It also adds an owncloud-option to the share-menu. What I find really convenient though is that owncloud allows es-file-explorer to connect.

Sharing Files

Further tutorials and resources I used

[article started in August 2012; final, rewritten version from January 2014]

.htaccess redirect with GET variable

posted in: www Archives | 0

I wanted to rename a part of this website and I knew, I needed a 301 in order to redirect people from the old to the new address. It was easy to find out that this can be achieved through .htaccess and the basic needs were also pretty easy to gather. Create a text-file called .htaccess on your apache-web-server in the root directory of your website. It needs to contain the following two lines to switch the module on:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /...   READ MORE

New Xampp Security Concept

posted in: www Archives | 2

After quite some time I installed xampp again. Everything worked smoothly, only when trying to access phpmyadmin, I was greeted with

New XAMPP security concept:
Access to the requested object is only available from the local network.
This setting can be configured in the file “httpd-xampp.conf”.
If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.
Error 403...   READ MORE

The Right Password Manager

posted in: www Archives | 0

A guy got hacked recently. He calls the incident »epic« which may well be true from his personal point of view. Also, the apple/amazon shortcomings in handling his sensible information are downright preposterous, but there were a couple of mistakes at his end that made the scope wider than it had to be and the effect far more devestating than necessary.

For instance he did show an epic laxness concerning his personal data by not obeying Schofield’s 2nd law of computing. It states »data doesn’t really exist unless you have at least two copies of it.« I do obey this law by using backintime and I recommend you use something similar....   READ MORE

xubuntu 12.04

posted in: Linux Archives | 0

Way too many issues with a first attempt drove me to the decission to reinstall. I had a look around and made eye contact with fedora, arch and debian but in the end thought I’d give a clean xubuntu installation a second chance – and I did not regret it. Here goes:

1. Installation from LiveUSB

First surprise:No issues. Only: apparently all of a sudden my computer needs a /boot partition, so my partition map looks like this:...   READ MORE

The Shocking Truth

posted in: Corruption Archives | 0

The Guardian has a very interesting and insightful article on »The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy« by Naomi Wolf.

In her article she sheds much light on the many (dim to dark) issues related to the Occupy-movement, and explains how the Department of Homeland Security, local mayors, congress, Wall Street, and businesses are linked to each other and ultimately to OWS.

Feeds a la Tiny Tiny RSS

posted in: www Archives | 3

[update 2012-10-04] In the meantime, I helped Nic with what he calls scratching some itches for ex-Google-Reader users: we now have gritttt, and gritttt has a) a means to import shared/stared items from g-reader into tt-rss; b) drive-by sharing, meaning you can share any page in tt-rss on the fly; and c) a widget that can display the latest shared items from tt-rss on your website. More here. [/update]

[update 2011-11-10] Both this and Nic’s article have been featured on tt-rss’ project site. There are a bunch of other interesting and useful articles, too, so check it if you’re interested in tt-rss. [/update]...   READ MORE

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