Culture Politics

Not so great, Britain

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Obelix & Brexit

Well, this is awkward. #Brexit is happening. In other words, the UK has voted to leave the EU in yesterday’s EU referendum. History is happening today. The future, uncertain.

Since I consider myself a European, in popular start-up terms an enthusiast, I am very sad about the result. However, I am actually not particularly worried about visa requirements, the economy or some other prominent issue. Those things will be sorted out – sooner or later – through agreements or deals. I am more concerned about the symbolism. Nationalism, xenophobia, and populism is on the rise, so the democratic powers have to find a way to overcome this troublesome time. Problems can only be solved through collaboration and mutual understanding. And I believe only a few want to see another major conflict. Read More

Culture Digital

One Messenger To Rule Them All

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Franz Messenger

Currently, I think I have around nine messenger installed on my smartphone alone, not included apps that could technically also be considered messengers – like Snapchat or Twitter. On my laptop it’s pretty much the same picture. Hence, I always wanted one messenger – to rule them all. Well, not exactly. One messenger would mean a monopoly*, which, for the sake of security, control and user experience, I simply would prefer to avoid. But the internet of Facebook and Google might get us there.

Anyway, switching between different messengers is a pain in the back. A while back I stumbled upon Franz, an application that combines different messenger services. Pretty much what I am looking for. Read More

Culture Digital

Netflix vs the User: Going Backwards

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Netflix vs User

A couple of days ago I wanted to watch a movie on Netflix. Like I do on a regular basis. And I like the service – mostly. This time I was shown an error message. Something with a proxy service.
After a few tries it worked again, but the error messages kept popping up every know and then. Now it seems I cannot access Netflix through VPNs at all. In other words, Netflix is trying to shut down people that access its service through VPNs and/or proxies.
The company has long threatened to fight this. They probably have tolerated it long enough to gain market share. Now that they have expended into so many countries / markets, they are acting on it. I guess. And they probably have to. After all, they mostly do not own the rights to the movies.

Some claim it is only for popular movies, but I have not found an exception. I am not actually pissed that they are doing it. After all, Netflix is the service provider.
However, I am disappointed, as I was hoping Netflix would revolutionize the TV/film market. Ok, revolutionize is a tad strong, but make it a bit better – at least. Read More