ArsDigita folds

ArsDigita is closing down, and what’s left of the company got sold to Redhat. So what do I have to do with them? Well, for one, I checked them out a year and a half ago and went through their free Bootcamp. But even more important, my current employer, Xpogen, rented office space from ArsDigita in their building. In other words, over the last few months, we saw people being laid off, we saw the aquariums being dismantled and the office chairs being sold, and now we finally saw the place shut down.

Xpogen in the news

I’ve been working for my new employer, Xpogen for two weeks now – and I like it, tons of interesting stuff to do. What kind of stuff? Check out this article, that ran last weekend!

In Spanish

Okay, so this information is old (goes back to 1994). But I just learned that Spain decided to give up the dictionary sorting of “ch” and “ll”, which were considered individual “letters” until recently. So, the old sort order would be “lingua, loco, llamar”, and now it’s “lingua, llamar, loco”. Just a little bit of completely unnecessary, fascinating trivia.

Milk hormones and Media

This web site has been created by two reporters who got fired from Fox TV, after trying to tell the truth about BGH (bovine growth hormone), which is probably present in all the milk you buy in the USA. This hormone is banned in the EU. BGH products are likely to have direct (cancer) and indirect effects (antibiotic resistance) on humans.

Project Censored 2000

Like every year, the San Francisco Bay Guardian just released the “Project Censored” – the top stories buried by the mainstream media. Always an insightful read, the focus is on scary levels of collaboration between governments and coorperations, on the expense of the consumer.

Euro-court outlaws criticism of EU

Scary – In 1995 the EU fired British economist Bernard Connolly because he had written a book critical of European monetary integration. Connolly opined that Economic and Monetary Union was a threat to democracy, freedom, and ultimately to peace. Yesterday’s court ruling that the EU was justified in sacking Connolly does nothing to dispel this view.

jastram.de redesign!

I redesigned these pages! It was about time. While I liked the previous pages, they didn’t do a good job of showing what’s available. Also, there was no consistent theme, and the two-languaged nature of the pages was only approached half-heartedly. And last, it took a long time for the first text to appear, which is confusing to users with a slow connection.

Now, randomly one interesting piece of this site is featured on top. The top section will appear almost immediately, so that there is something to see until the page is fully loaded (works in Netscape and IE). The two languages are right next to each other and give easy navigation. And while I was at it, I made the page even more dynamic by including a random quote in the space next to the search window.

Comments? Questions? Ideas? I always like to hear from you!

Germans want to tax Internet access

Comments like “Absurd and quixotic” and “An idea that could only be developed by people without enough work to do” is what the American press things about this proposed “decree” (German for “Erlass”). The German financial minister Hans Eichel proposes that Internet access should be handled like a monetary advantage in the office, which means that the equivalent cash value is taxable.

“Politicians issue soothing messages on Green Cards and the New Economy while at the same time burdening citizens with nonsensical tax regulations”