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Tag: GERMANY

Google Will No Longer Collect Street View Photos in Germany

Google has decided to stop collecting Street View photos in Germany, where regulators have spent much of the past two years railing against the search giant for violating the privacy of German residents. A company spokesman confirmed the decision in a statement sent to the Register, explaining that the images gathered across 20 German cities will remain available online, but reiterating that...

German Politician Exposes Personal Data Gathered by Cell Phone Companies

Looking for another reason to feel paranoid about your privacy? German politician Malte Spitz may have found one. Spitz recently sued his mobile provider, Deutsche Telekom, in order to obtain data that the company had collected on his own whereabouts. Deutsche Telekom complied, and handed over all the geographic information it had gathered over a six-month period. As it turns out, the provider...

New Endoscopic Camera Is Disposable, Remarkably Tiny

Researchers in Germany have developed a new endoscopic camera that's cheap enough to be thrown away after each use, and small enough to see eye-to-eye with a grain of rice. Designed at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, the prototype's camera is just one cubic millimeter in size, and features a resolution of 62,500 pixels. But researchers say it's still...

Polish Culture Minister Asks Nazi Museums to Drop '.pl' Suffix From URLs

Poland is home to a handful of museums at former Nazi concentration camps, but the country's culture minister doesn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about who put them there to begin with. Yesterday, Bogdan Zdrojewski told the Polish news agency PAP that he'd written to the directors of three World War II-era museums in the country, asking them to drop the ".pl" suffix from their URLs. The...

Elderly Couple Crash Car Into Old Church, Blame Faulty GPS System

An elderly British couple recently got lost while driving around Germany, so they decided to consult their vehicle's GPS navigation system. As it turns out, the device was totally faulty, but the couple didn't realize it until they had already crashed into a 19th century German church -- because, apparently, the GPS system told them to. The church suffered about $37,000 in damage, but the...

Teen Sorry for Hacking Gaga, Blames 'Ambition'

Last week, a German teenager known as Deniz A and his 23-year-old accomplice managed to hack into the personal computers of Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Ke$ha. Upon infiltrating the computers with a Trojan horse virus, the hackers stole and sold the artists' unfinished songs online. Over the course of 12 months, they allegedly pocketed over $13,000. They're even rumored to have blackmailed...

Pro-Google Pranksters Pelt Blurred German Homes With Eggs

Before Street View launched this month in Germany, Google allowed wary residents to refuse the service, if they so wished, by blurring images of their homes. While that decision appeased privacy advocates, it apparently didn't appease everybody. According to Deutsche Welle, Street View-blurred homes in the Bergerhauser area of Essen were recently splattered with eggs. (The pro-Google pranksters...

Facebook Reunites Texas Mother and Long-Lost Son, After 29 Years Apart

Share We've seen Facebook facilitate several parent-child reunions, but few of these feel-good stories have been quite as incredible as Jutta Fairley's. When Fairley was 19-years old, she became pregnant while still living with her family in Germany. At the time, her parents forced her to make a difficult choice: either moving out of the house, or giving the baby up for adoption. Fairley chose...

'Onskebronn' LED Installation in Berlin Gives Straphangers a Trippy Commute

Need some dance floor with your morning commute? Until October 25th, Berliners are being treated to the interactive installation 'Onskebronn' (Norwegian for 'wishing well') in the Hauptbahnhof train station. Created by performance art group Phase 7, the installation's LEDs respond in real-time to visitors' steps. Check out a video of an older version of the eye-popping work here....

Berlin Wall Video Game '1378 (km)' Stirs Controversy in Germany

This Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of German reunification. Not coincidentally, it also marks the release of a new shoot 'em up game called '1378 (km),' set along the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. Although the game's creator insists that '1378 (km)' has a very real educational value, that hasn't done much to quell the controversy in Germany, where the memories of East-West violence are...

Personal Data Hacked from New German ID Cards Live on Public TV

The same, privacy-conscious German government that threatened Google with legal action over its "invasive" Street View feature is now facing its very own security crisis, after a group of hackers recently demonstrated how to easily extract private information from government-issued ID cards. The hackers, who are part of the so-called 'Chaos Computer Club,' recently appeared on the German TV show...

Sensor-Controlled Tower 'Breathes' to Save Energy, Eliminate Office Tornadoes

A new skyscraper in Frankfurt, Germany has been outfitted with a "pressure ring" façade that, quite literally, allows the building to breathe. Unlike other German towers, which are mandated by law to include windows that open, the KfW Bankengruppe office building doesn't suffer from rip-roaring winds when a casement gets thrown open -- and neither does it endure the energy loss of older...

Germany Proposes Law to Ban Employers From Spying on Facebook Profiles

Our commenters give us a lot of heat for hating on Facebook (e.g., "Whassamatta, AOL? Jealouz??"), but we have to admit that, from time to time, we love to use the social network to stalk. And, frankly, who doesn't? Employers have known for a few years now that some of the best insight into a job applicant's life is through their unvarnished Facebook profile. Those knee-jerk rants and party pics...

Google Lets Germans Erase Their Homes on Street View

In response to protests from privacy advocates in Europe's most populous country, Google is now allowing Germans to completely erase their homes from the company's Street View feature -- but only for a limited time. In an unprecedented move, Google has decided to give Germans until September 15th to fully "opt-out" of Street View. Should a German user choose to nix the service, which is...

Julius von Bismarck's 'Feel-O-Meter' Reflects Public Sentiment

Artist Julius von Bismarck has installed a massive, dynamic emoticon on top of a lighthouse as part of the Provinz exhibition currently on view in Linz, Austria. As part of his work 'Feel-o-Meter,' a clutch of cameras records the facial expressions of passersby, and, with the aid of computer software, determines whether or not most of them are smiling. That collective emotion is then translated...