For those of you who come here through a google search for “enno rehling zebra”: Yes, I’m the guy that’s on TV2’s new football show FK Zebra. For those who don’t know what that is, we’re 16 nerds who are learning to play football, and we’re being coached by Norway’s former national coach, Egil “Drillo” Olsen. This is a lot of fun for us, and because most of us have never played much football before, and we’re playing with some football legends, it will hopefully also make good television. If you’re in Norway, tune in to TV2 Zebra in October.
If you’re hoping for inside information about the show or match results then I have to disappoint: we’re not allowed to give away spoilers (games industry folks will be familiar with the concept of an NDA), so I probably won’t talk about anything that hasn’t already been shown on TV. If you want to see what’s been written about us other places, the Facebook group for our team.
Dear marketing people,
for various reasons that I don’t feel I need to go into here (because face it, you all know what they are) I’ve decided to boycott this year’s Olympic games. Not only will I not be participating (yeah, right) but I’m extending my personal boycott to the following:
- I will not watch the Olympics on television. Your marketing dollars spent on the games will not reach me
- I will try not to read about the sports events. This is probably not going to hurt anyone much, and there are still articles about the politics of the Olympics that I might read, but I’ll give the sports event the same amount of attention that I give to professional soap box racing in Tasmania.
- I won’t buy any products that advertise with the Olympics.
That last item is most likely going to be the hardest. I already stopped buying Coca Cola (though I’ll extend it to restaurants) and eating at McDonalds, so those are going to be a major issue. But today I noticed that Tine is sponsoring the Norwegian Olympics team – so many of their products are off limits.
I’m lazy in my extremism, so I will limit my boycott to such items that actually carry the 5 rings on them. If you’re supporting the
warolympic effort, but it’s not obvious to me while I’m in the shop, you might get away with that.
Yesterday, Sweden voted for a new wiretapping law that gives the police the power to listen in on all traffic crossing the Swedish border – without a court order! this is reminiscent of the Great Firewall of China, and even Germany hasn’t gone that far. Obviously this is bad news for Sweden, but why is it bad for you?
11 302 ms 26 ms 27 ms level3-117311-s-b3.telia.net [188.8.131.52]
12 184 ms 410 ms 205 ms ae-11-11.car1.Stockholm1.Level3.net [184.108.40.206]
13 * 210 ms * ae-4-4.ebr2.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [220.127.116.11]
In my own case, my provider (NextGenTel) routes at least some of its traffic through Stockholm. Which means it’s crossing the border to Sweden, and can be listened in on by the Swedish police. Who can’t be trusted.
Which should be a reminder for everyone to use more encryption. Encrypt your mail. Use SSL where you can. And encrypt your IM sessions: If you are using Pidgin or Miranda IM, you could install plugins for Off-The-Record messaging (pidgin) (miranda).
And if you’re saying “I have no secrets”, reconsider that statement considering you lived in a country like China. You would have secrets there. And what if your traffic gets routed through a country like that, and somebody reads it? You might just end up on some no-fly list for saying something ironic about a major global power to your girlfriend. And because encryption requires everyone you communicate with to take part it’s hard to get critical mass, and it will be too late by the time you need it.
The fire is lit. The games must continue. Today the German national Olympic Committee announced that they will participate no matter what. My guess is that the Chinese would have to carpet bomb Tibet for anyone to boycott the games now. Too much is riding on having good economic relations with China, and officials cannot afford themselves even minor criticism.
Which means that it is now up to us as consumers to decide for ourselves whether we want to see these Olympics or not. I urge everyone who is in favor of a boycott not to tune in the summer, not to participate in the discussion of winners, losers and gold medals. Our governments may not be in a strong enough position to say no, but we certainly are.
In another blow for journalistic freedom in Germany, it’s been revealed today that the police has been wire-tapping journalists of tagesschau.de and NDR radio. This is apparently covered by paragraph 129a, one of those anti-terror laws that have done nothing to protect us, and everything to make everyday people’s life hell.
Link in German and some information in English (towards the end of the article).
This comes after last week’s revelation that police have been rifling through everybody’s mail. Link also in German, I’m afraid.
Yesterday, Germany lost one of the cornerstones of its constitution. The fundamental rights of journalists to keep their sources confidential, the Hippocratic oath and attorney-client confidentiality have all been sacrificed.
The International Press Institute calls on Germany to rethink that strategy:
The proposed amendment creates different classes of protection, with defence attorneys, parliamentarians and members of the clergy beyond scrutiny in the first class. By contrast, journalists would be treated as less worthy of protection, with investigating magistrates having the right to require journalists to divulge their communications if doing so is in the interests of the prosecution.