• Wanna feel like playing World of Warcraft?

    'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'

  • We need weapons. Lots of weapons.

    Last year, I and some coworkers bought some Nerf Maverick guns. But that shall only be the beginning.

    The Great Office War - Click here for another funny movie.

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  • Welcome, Amalia!

    (Deutscher Text unten)

    When Carolin went into labour at half past two in the morning, we knew that June 12th would be the birthday of our baby. What we didn't know was what a strain it would be.

    We spent the rest of the night at home, but only I could still get some rest while Carolin couldn't get to sleep any more. In the morning, the time came to go to the hospital. After arrival and examination, we went for a walk, but didn't come far because of the contractions getting stronger.

    And then, a long birth process started. Eventually, the contractions came almost without pause, so Carolin got medication to slow them down to prevent complete fatigue. When the actual birth was imminent, however, Carolin couldn't come up with enough strength to press the baby out. So, they had to give her another medication with the opposite effect than the one before.

    Finally, after 10 hours, at 09:08pm, a totally exhausted Carolin and an also quite weary Jochen held their baby daughter in their arms: Amalia Elin Gall. Seh's healthy and obviously inherited my serenity.


    Both girls will recover in hospital over the next days. Afterwards, we'll together enjoy the time I took off work at home.

    More pictures of Amalia will be posted on Flickr. If you like, you can leave some greetings below in the comments which I'll gladly give to Carolin and Amalia!

    And now, I'll open this bottle of Midleton Very Rare.


    Als gegen halb drei morgens Carolins Wehen einsetzten, wussten wir, dass der 12. Juni der Geburtstag unseres Babys sein würde. Was wir nicht wussten, war, wie anstrengend der Weg dorthin sein würde.

    Die Nacht verbrachten wir noch zuhause, allerdings bekam nur ich ein paar Stunden Schlaf, während Carolin nicht mehr einschlafen konnte. Am Vormittag wurde es dann Zeit, in die Klinik zu fahren. Nach Ankunft und Untersuchung gingen wir noch etwas spazieren, aber aufgrund der stärker werdenden Wehen kamen wir nicht allzu weit.

    Und dann begann eine lange Geburt. Irgendwann ließen die Wehen Carolin kaum noch Pausen. Um ihre Erschöpfung zu lindern, erhielt sie ein Wehen hemmendes Medikament. Am Ende fehlte ihr dann jedoch die Kraft, das Kind hinaus zu pressen, sodass ein Medikament mit umgekehrter Wirkung nötig wurde.

    Schließlich jedoch hielten zehn Stunden später um 21:08 Uhr eine völlig erschöpfte Carolin und ein auch recht müder Jochen ihre Tochter in den Armen: Amalia Elin Gall. Sie ist gesund und hat offenbar meine Ruhe geerbt.

    Die beiden Damen werden sich in den nächsten Tagen weiter im Krankenhaus erholen. Zusammen werden wir dann zuhause die Auszeit genießen, die ich mir in der Firma genommen habe.

    Weitere Bilder von Amalia sind auf Flickr zu finden. Grüße an Carolin und Amalia nehme ich gern in den Kommentaren unten entgegen -- ich werde jeden einzelnen ausrichten!

    Und jetzt mache ich meine Flasche Midleton Very Rare auf.

  • How mobile phone operators become banks in rural Africa

    The abstract of Jan Chipchase's TED talk "Our cell phones, ourselves" goes as follows:

    Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase's investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. He's made some unexpected discoveries along the way.

    One of these interesting discoveries is how Africans use mobile phones to transfer money to rural areas where there's no bank let alone an ATM machine:

    • Person A buys a pre-paid card in a bigger city
    • Person A calls phone kiosk owner B in a small village. B doesn't have to own more for his business than a simple mobile phone that he rents to other villagers.
    • Over the phone, A tells B the pre-paid card's code number
    • B collects the amount of pre-paid phone credit
    • B pays villager C the amount, keeping a discount of 10-20%

    Imagine: People that aren't creditworthy enough to get a bank account practically become human ATM terminals, using the mobile phone infrastructure as a medium of money transfer. I find it fascinating how those people use the same technology we use -- but for a totally different use case. Is that what we meant with "developing countries"?