Are Computer Monitors Harmful to Your Health?

Posted: June 16, 2011 by lenahaase in health
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Using electronic devices several hours a week has become normal for us. Checking emails, surfing through the web, or talking on the phone belong to our daily routine like eating dinner or brushing teeth. (However, there are exceptions everywhere!)

One can do lot of great stuff and we love the advantages the Internet offers us. We can stay in contact with our family, check the most recent news just with one click, and extend our knowledge continuously. However, did you ever think about which impact the permanent usage of computers has on your body? Read the rest of this entry »

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Intelligence in Buildings

Posted: June 15, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment

In my last post I wrote about Masdar – a very intelligent and sustainable city with a sophisticated energy system without CO2 emissions. Very smart thing.
The imagination every city in this world would take Masdar as a prototype and would develop a similar system, would be really awesome, but we have to admit – as amazing it seems, as unrealistic it is.
But let’s start in a smaller portion. Many firms like IBM specialized in the field of Intelligent Building Management and construct skyscraper with an integrated IT systems to “Improve facilities & real estate asset reliability & performance to reduce energy, lower maintenance & management costs & extend asset life to help create a smarter building.”

But it isn’t that easy, to write down a certain definition of what smart buildings are about. So the Greenbang blog published a very informative article about how different organizations define it and what it makes so smart. Read the rest of this entry »

Trash TV and other disasters

Posted: June 15, 2011 by Stephanie Krogmann in about us, social life
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Last week I saw the final show of Germany´s Next Topmodel. I expected an interesting show with lots of fun, interesting guests and good entertainment. All I got were boring comments from the host Heidi Klum who wore an awful outfit. (Well, I know I have talked about her before, but she seems to be really important for the German TV culture). The show was boring, without any intelligence and I waited without any success for only one tiny highlight. This happened during prime time when one usually is expecting high quality entertainment.  How can that happen? Why is the most interesting aspect of the show the never-ending commercial breaks? But not only Germanny´s Next Topmodel is like this, also other shows like Daniela Katzenberger´s documentation of her life don´t contribute anything to the cultural education of our country.

Firstly, TV means making money and people seem to butcher it more and more. Breaks for advertisements every 15 to 20 minutes are not rare and during shows like “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” there are short commercials offering the newest mobile phones. Commercials seem to have a big impact: In 2010 Tv commercials had a business volume of $ 180 billion. Indeed the commercials fund the shows and we can watch them for free, but often they are really distracting.

Secondly, people offering TV shows produce what the target group wants. That makes sense. However, very often it turns out to be trash TV. After a long day of working people do not want to watch movies where they have to use their brains. All they want is to watch a light show where a mid-20 blond girl gets her nails and breasts done. Read the rest of this entry »

Around 1000 years BC the Israelites were at war with the Philistines. In one decisive battle Goliath the Giant stepped out of the Philistine rows and challenged the Israelite soldiers: If anybody was able to defeat him the Philistines would knuckle down and serve the Israelites ever after. However, if Goliath should turn out as the victor of the duel, the Israelites will be the slaves of the Philistines henceforth.

After an hour of silence the young shepherd David finally accepted the offer and agreed to dedicate his life to the glory of Israel. Knowing that Goliath is practically invincible when it comes to a duel, David decided to leave sword and shield behind. Carrying nothing but a pack of stones and a slingshot he stepped before Goliath and killed him with one single shot at his forehead.

According to the biblical myth neither David nor Goliath wore business suits. But nowadays there are a lot of pinstripe-suited Davids and Goliaths running around, all camouflaging their real nature. Read the rest of this entry »

With Amazon on Cloud Nine

Posted: June 13, 2011 by lisaneubert in development

Every baby needs a mum, every student needs a teacher and every cloud needs a provider.

You cannot use your own cloud, because it has a specific infrastructure which must have been developed before. So, you have to use offers made by certain providers. Those providers – usually companies – built up a cloud in the course of their development and IT performance.

Having followed my last posts, you probably have seen that AMAZON was mentionend very often.

The Company

AMAZON  is a social-commerce mail order company founded Jeff Bezos in the United States of America in 1994. It sells alomost everything – from books and clothers to car accessory and foodstuffs. Since summer 2002 AMAZON has offered its AMAZON WEB SERVICE. Using AWS can be a huge advantage for developing companies, because you can use AMAZON’s already installed programs, applications and systems. One of their services is the CLOUD COMPUTING system.

Elements of the Cloud 

AMAZON offers different types of cloud:

>> Amazon EC2: called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud; basis for all elements

>> Amazon SimpleDB: you have access to well structured data; API (application programming interface) included

>> Amazon S3: called Amazon Simple Storage Service;  huge database Read the rest of this entry »

Since we upload our personal data online, we have to consider the consequences. Businesses, e.g. Facebook, guarantee great privacy protection, but when it comes to outsiders, who can still ensure safety?

If we register on a webpage or if we buy something online, we are leaving our traces everywhere. Contact data, bank connection, home address… a real treasure for hackers. A hacker is defined as a person who breaks down the security system in computer networks for several reasons. Some of them hope to make big profit; others just want to show how easily they can crack down the security barrier, or because they are motivated by the challenge. Read the rest of this entry »

Masdar?!?

Posted: June 9, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment
Tags: ,

Since the temperatures in Germany climb higher and higher, everybody digs out its old bicycle from the dark corners of the basement.
As soon as you can avoid the stinky surrounding of the s- and u-bahn (because people tend to sweat in summer) you’re even up to suffer some sportive activity.
But in the area where I come from, it’s not always possible to take your bike for all occasions, because driving 30 km per day isn’t that unusual. Since public transportation isn’t that common there, I was wondering, where it is actually more sustainable to live? City or rural area? Flat or house?

While I read a lot of very intelligent essays and reports concerning this topic, I figured out, enough other people think and argue about it.
So there’s sufficient material to read about it out there in the endless spheres of the web.
But I still wanted to keep this track and came across MASDAR. Read the rest of this entry »

I am sure a lot of you guys have the same problem I have: lack of money but still so many wishes to fulfill. I would really like to travel to Spain this summer, but have not enough money for a flight. So what can we do? Well, we could start to work in a restaurant or at the movie theatre. That is what most students do. Work  two days a week and there you get be the money. However, the Internet again offers unexpected possibilities for every situation.

Did you hear about Fiverr before?

Well, I did not know it until I was searching for an easy possibility to make money.  Fiverr is about services. Everybody can offer a mini-service to be fulfilled for 5 bucks. The offers are really variable: There are people willing to translate texts from one language into an other, others offer a wakeup call and even others want to send you a postcard from Thailand. It seems to be really funny and interesting, sometimes a little bit crazy, as there are offerings to get rid of a girlfriend on Facebook. Crazy world. 😉

But how does it work in real life? First, people make an offer on the web. The persons that are interested in a service pay 5 $ via PayPal and receive the service.How do the operators of Fiverr make profits? They keep 1$ of each transaction. The service provider gets 4$. Therefore the operators are definitely interested in many transactions, they can make huge profits. Welcome to the online money machine. How do I as a customer choose among various offers? People are as always able to evaluate others. So if a provider has a lot of good feedback, he might be able to make some money. Read the rest of this entry »

Dancing under green leaves

Posted: June 6, 2011 by lisabu00 in environment
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Last weekend I was walking through the streets of Berlin. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and people with sunglasses and flower skirts were passing by as I was heading to another open air festival this season on a Sunday afternoon.
After managing the endless line of guests we entered a dirty, but charming place with little docks and bridges to the small water channel, comfortable deck-chairs and a cute bar, which reminds of Caribbean beaches and cocktail shakers. Crowds of people are already dancing in front of the DJ and raise the dust of the scruffy floor until everybody is slightly covered with a fine film of dirt. But nobody cares. For most of them, that’s what it means to enjoy summer in Berlin. The atmosphere is great, the weather is awesome, the music is overwhelming and the people are nice.
A lot of fun for just a little effort.
But when I saw the cigarettes stubs and bear bottles swimming in the brown water next to us, I was wondering how ecologically friendly those events are and if it might be possible to transact it with a greener touch. Read the rest of this entry »

What about the odds?

Posted: June 5, 2011 by maxsc21 in sports

I’m pretty sure that each of you did numerous bets in his life. In our early years they were about who can run faster around the jungle gym. Or who can hold his breath for one minute. Or maybe who dares to sniff at the trainers of your classmate after PE lesson.

What’s betting?

Per definition, a bet is nothing more than the statement that some event will produce a certain outcome; your opinion held against that of at least one contra-bettor. Further on it is important to distinguish between the content and the wager of the bet. The content is the thing the bet is about (e.g. who can burp the loudest) and the wager describes what has to be done or paid after the bet (e.g. who has to order the next beer). The wager does not always have to be money; it can be every kind of action agreed in advance. What’s also possible is that the only thing you want to achieve is honor.

Read the rest of this entry »