Twitter following limit

Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 20:33 | Posted in absurd, web 2.0. | Leave a comment

I just filed a support request ticket to my Twitter account. It is quite self explanatory:

How come am I supposed to have hit a following limit? Was not everybody supposed to be allowed to follow 2000 accounts? I am currently following only 90 accounts but I receive a following limit error message when trying to follow the 91st account.

Looking forward to hear from @twitter. And for those whom I am not following I can just say that it may not be because I would not like to. Hope to get this sorted out ASAP.

Edit: 56 hours later the problem seems to be partly fixed. I added this to the support request:

As it looks now, this problem seems to be connected to specific user accounts. I am able to add some accounts to be followed while others return this error:

You are unable to follow more people. Please read about our following limits.

I am currently following 92 accounts which is obviously much less than 2000.

The support ticket is still waiting assignment to a help desk operator.

German MP scores own goal

Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 18:05 | Posted in absurd, Freedom of speech, Germany, internet, Legal, web 2.0. | 6 Comments
Tags: , ,

If you type into the address bar of your browser you would normally find a search box for articles in the German Wikipedia which is hosted in a US based server belonging to  Wikimedia Foundation. As from late Friday, the page looks like this (click for a full size view):

The reason for this provisional change of layout is an interim injunction issued by Landgericht Lübeck. The court injunction was sought by Left Party member of German Federal Parliament Lutz Heilmann. is ordered not to redirect to, i.e. the German Wikipedia.

Mr Heilmann is apparently unhappy about an article in German Wikipedia about himself. I addition to regular CV there is a short passage about Lutz Heilmann’s alleged activities within the former East German Secret Police STASI. Referring to an article in Spiegel Online, Wikipedia writes:

Mitarbeiter des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit

Im Oktober 2005 enthüllte Der Spiegel die von Heilmann bislang verschwiegene Stasi-Vergangenheit. Heilmann gibt bis heute öffentlich an, von 1985 bis 1990 einen „verlängerte[n] Wehrdienst (Personenschutz MfS)“ geleistet zu haben.[2] Heilmann war nach Ableisten der allgemeinen Wehrpflicht von 18 Monaten für die Zeit bis 1990 als Berufssoldat beim MfS beschäftigt und verließ dieses erst, als es aufgelöst wurde.[4]

Vor der Wahl hatte Heilmann den Mitgliedern des Landesverbandes seine Tätigkeit beim MfS verschwiegen. Dies stellte einen Verstoß gegen innerparteiliche Richtlinien dar. Auf dem Landesparteitag am 4. Dezember 2005 stimmten die Mitglieder des Landesverbandes Schleswig-Holstein über einen Misstrauensantrag gegen Heilmann ab. Das Ergebnis war 47 Stimmen für Heilmann zu 42 gegen ihn.[4] Heilmann ist seitdem innerhalb der Linken in Schleswig-Holstein umstritten.[5]

According to Mr Heilmann, he was enrolled in a “prolonged military service” from 1985 and 1990 but Spiegel says they are in possession of documents confirming that he was working full time for the STASI:

In den nach dem Fall der Mauer von Bürgerrechtlern gesicherten Gehaltslisten des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit (MfS) ist Heilmann 1989 als hauptamtlicher Mitarbeiter des DDR-Geheimdienstes registriert. Nach Aktenlage war er in der Hauptabteilung Personenschutz tätig, die für die Sicherung und Versorgung der Partei- und Staatsführung zuständig war.

Wikimedia Deutschland are going to file a counter motion tomorrow but it may still take some time before things return to normal. This is not the first time Wikimedia Deutschland have been targetted by legal action. Hubertus Albers a.k.a Atze Schröder last year unsuccessfully intimidated took legal action against then CEO Arne Klempert.

The funny thing is that barely anybody took notice when Spiegel published the information about Mr Heilmann’s alleged STASI activities but it has become more than common knowledge now thanks to his own reactions. I call this a classical example of own goal 2.0.

via RA-Blog and Compyblog

Edit: There is a short article about Mr. Heilmann in the English Wikipedia.

Sense and talent

Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 21:15 | Posted in absurd | Leave a comment

Swiss National Bank chairman Jean-Pierre Roth says that salary caps for bankers would be senseless:

Switzerland’s top central banker said Saturday that a mounting call to limit bankers’ pay was “senseless”, as such action could spark an outflow of talent from the sector here.

Sure, bankers allover the World have shown both “sense” and “talent” lately.

Barbie and Batman “destructive” for Iran

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 1:00 | Posted in absurd | Leave a comment

Western toys, such as Barbie, Batman, Spider-Man and Harry Potter , are going to cause “destructive and cultural consequences” for Iran, says top prosecutor Dori Najafabadi:

“The appearance of personalities such as Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter and … computer games and movies are all a danger warning to the officials in the cultural arena.”

Not even local versions of Barbie and Ken – Sara and Dara who follow the Islamic dressing rules – are regarded as safe by the Iranian clergy. The morality police are reported to have confiscated loads of “destructive” but enormously popular toys.

Hmm! This must be good news for those in Pentagon and West Wing planning to start a war against Iran. All they need to do now is to parachute plane loads of Barbie and Batman allover Iran to bring the country on its knees. So much cheaper than bombing and it would save so many lives. 😉

Popping into cellar

Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 20:02 | Posted in absurd, funny | Leave a comment

A weightless wine cellar.

via Duhh

Vodpod videos no longer available. from

This test sucks

Monday, September 17, 2007 at 4:13 | Posted in absurd, Not serious, web tests | Leave a comment

This web test sucks but I did it just the same.

via Margaret Marks says I'm a Slightly Dorky Non-Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Those were the days

Friday, September 14, 2007 at 19:15 | Posted in absurd, computer, Nostalgy | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

I guess every opsys has been something of a news at the time it was released. This Dos 5 Promo Video makes us laugh now but it was no doubt the news of the day back then. You kids just do not imagine what primitive tools we had to rely on.

via Jaanus

Vodpod videos no longer available.

from watchedbylarko.vodpo

Putin’s phallus

Monday, September 10, 2007 at 1:29 | Posted in absurd, russia | Leave a comment

Russian state operated gas giant Gazprom plans to ruin the unique architecture of St. Petersburg by erecting a huge tower skyscraper in the historical mid town.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


GEZ Newspeak

Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 3:38 | Posted in absurd, censorship, Germany, internet | Leave a comment

If you are in Germany you are not using your personal computer to read this blog post. From now on it is a modern receiving device for public broadcasts (neuartiges Rundfunkempfangsgerät). Since you are not reading this with a computer, I would obviously not be writing a blog post if I were in Germany. I would be broadcasting.

If you have a computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts in Germany you would have to pay a public broadcasting fee of 5,52 € a month provided that your computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts can be hooked up to the Internet. The authority collecting the fee is Gebühreneinzugszentrale, abbreviated GEZ. While it is customary in the everyday spoken language to refer to paying the fee as paying GEZ for PC (GEZ für PC zahlen) you are not allowed to use the expression in the Internet. You must write paying the legal public broadcasting fee for a modern receiving device for public broadcasts (gesetzliche Rundfunkgebühr für neuartige Rundfunkempfangsgeräte).

I am not kidding although I understand if you think so. Neither am I referring to Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. This is just one of the many unacceptable expressions listed in the cease and desist letter sent by GEZ to portal. The listed expressions, although widely used by millions of Germans, are quoted as “non existing” or “false”. The web portal is being asked to sign a declaration of discontinuance with a penalty clause of 5100 € for using any of the banned expressions.

So if you have not reported your computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts to a fee collector (GEZ-Fahnder) agent service of the public broadcasting institutions or a public broadcasting fee agent (Beauftragtendienst der öffentlich rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten oder Rundfunkgebührenbeauftragter) you need to give a GEZ notice (GEZ-Anmeldung) legally required notice of a broadcast device suitable for receiving (gesetzlich vorgesehene Anmeldung von zum Empfang bereit gehaltener Rundfunkgeräte) to make your possession of the computer modern receiving device for public broadcasts legal.

You may want to watch an educational GEZ Newspeak video at Toonblog. Among the many blogs exercising their constitutional right to express an opinion until receiving a cease and desist letter are RA-Blog, Basic Thinking Blog, StoiBär and Lawblog.

Too fat to be a father

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 7:16 | Posted in absurd, Sweden | 2 Comments

Jan and Mona-Lisa Karlsson in Tibro, Sweden have been denied an artificial fertilization. The local health officials say the father is too fat to be a parent. Mr. Karlsson is 168 centimeters high and weighs 85 kilograms. According to the officials, general health of both parents is regarded in their consideration.

To be consequent about it, weight regulations should also be imposed on men who wish to become fathers the old fashioned way. Why not legislate about a compulsory weight control before granting license to have sex?

Futile censorship

Sunday, July 22, 2007 at 19:51 | Posted in absurd, censorship, Freedom of speech, internet, Journalism, Legal, Press freedom | Leave a comment

A court order in Spain issued by judge Juan del Olmo triggered a police operation to impose a seizure of all copies of the Spanish weekly satirical magazine El Jueves. The El Jueves web site has been down all weekend but I do not know if this is connected with the seizure. Judge del Olmo ruled that this caricature featuring Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia “struck at the honour and the dignity of the people represented”:

In the text the Crown Prince, while banging his wife, says that if she becomes pregnant, it would be the closest to work he will ever have been during his life. The statement makes fun about the Spanish government’s plan to fight declining birth rate by paying 2500 € to parents of every fresh born baby. El Jueves is known for their republican sympathies.

Insulting the Royal Family is prosecutable in Spain. While judge del Olmo obviously had no choice but to grant the court order, I wonder if he and the prosecutors seeking the seizure realize that in this day and age, trying to censor something, especially something which is witty and funny, is bound to backfire. This is the most certain way to guarantee that the cartoon is going to be spread far beyond the boarders of Spain while the printed copies would probably have been forgotten within a week without these futile attempts of censorship.

As the Spanis paper El Mundo puts it:

“The picture, which had been seen by thousands of people, was posted on numerous Web sites in Spain and abroad and will now have been seen by tens of millions of people. Not even the Crown’s worst enemy could have had that effect.”

Sources: The Ink Blog, Aftermath News and Helsingin Sanomat

Hubertus Albers again

Monday, May 21, 2007 at 5:17 | Posted in absurd, Freedom of speech, Germany, Legal | 3 Comments

There was an all time high in my blog statistics a couple of weeks ago. As my web connection was broken at the time and I therefore had a very limited access to the Internet, I had absolutely no idea why my two month old post about Atze Schröder a.k.a. Hubertus Albers was suddenly receiving loads of hits. While Atze Schröder is a very popular TV character in Germany, I thought that attempts of Hubertus Albers to get his name off the web were not such a big deal.

What I did not know is that the CEO of Wikimedia Deutschland e.V Arne Klempert had published a long post in his blog about legal actions taken by Mr. Hubertus Albers against him. Mr. Klempert appears as the admin-C of The well known fact that the real name of Atze Schröder is Hubertus Albers was momentarily to be read in an article in the German Wikipedia.

In December 2006, Arne Klempert received a cease and desist letter from a lawyer representing Hubertus Albers. On advice of his counsel, Mr. Klempert refused to comply and was subsequently sued by Hubertus Albers. The case was scheduled for a first hearing in Hamburg in early May but just before the trial, Mr. Albers withdrew the lawsuit.

One would think that this would be a closed case as far as Arne Klempers is concerned. But what do you know, now Hubertus Albers is seeking his legal costs from Arne Klempert. As Mr Klempert writes, Mr. Albers was barking at the wrong tree in the first place and had a case with very questionable merits, to put it mildly. His legal team must have realized that they were wrong but they still want Mr. Klempert to pay for their own mistake.

As I wrote in March, there is a public record readily available in the web saying that Atze Schröder is a registered brand belonging to one Hubertus Albers in Emsdetten. Practically all Germany and anybody else who may be interested knows who the guy is. So suing everybody who may or may not have published his real name is a bad art of comedy.

via RA-Blog

Atze Schröder again

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 16:28 | Posted in absurd, censorship, Freedom of speech, Germany, Legal | 8 Comments

As I wrote a while ago, the German TV star Atze Schröder does not want it to be told in public that his real name is Hubertus Albers. I also noted that Stoibär received mail from his lawyers management for mentioning Atze Schröder’s real name in his blog. Now I hear that RA-Blog has received a cease and desist letter from the lawyer for posting the image below.

It is a screenshot from a public record which shows that the trade mark “Atze Schröder” has been registered and belongs to one Hubertus Albers in Emsdetten. The lawyer representing Hubertus Albers suggests that posting the screenshot of a public record would constitute a violation of his client’s personal rights. Thomas has deleted the post without admitting any wrongdoing.

This looks to me like utmost bizarre humor but I guess Hubertus Albers and his lawyer are actually serious about it. I am just being too polite to comment their mental status. Something like this could only happen in Germany. Or China.

Counterproductive message

Monday, March 26, 2007 at 23:41 | Posted in absurd, copyright, entertainment | 3 Comments

Image: Michael Heilemann, some rights reserverd

Michael Heinemann bought a legal DVD copy of a movie he liked. He liked it enough to pay for the DVD rather than download a pirate copy. He voted for the movie with his wallet.

Did the movie industry thank him for the purchase? No, they are making him watch an anti piracy ad, an extremely annoying one, each time he wants to watch the best movie he knows. That, dear copyright proponents, is a very counterproductive message.

via Kristjan in Tallinn

One step too far

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 2:25 | Posted in absurd, censorship, Freedom of speech, Germany, Legal | 4 Comments

I thought at the end of last week that this blog would have been over and done with Atze Schröder a.k.a. Hubertus Albers. The story is bizarre and it is strange, to say the least, that the German Wikipedia would volunteer to self censor their article about Atze Schröder a.k.a. Hubertus Albers. But I never believed that this would become a sticky story that I frequently need to return to.

Not only is it practically common knowledge in Germany that Atze Schröder’s real name is Hubertus Albers. There must be around 100.000 pages in the web to be googled to disclose that very same piece of information. If one of them gets deleted – either because the site owner no longer wants to have that information at their site or for other more compelling reasons – It would be likely that about 10 new pages in blogs and other sites would pass on the info. Once it is in the web there is no way to take the information back.

Now I hear (via Peter) that out of all these 100.000 places Hubertus Albers has chosen to attack one single blog, StoiBär. According to StoiBär, he has received mail from “Atze Schröder’s Management”, quoting the court ruling against a German paper and demanding a particular blog post to be removed. The ruling does not even have the authority of a final decision yet and even if it did it would only apply the paper in question.

As Peter writes, Atze Schröder has gone one step too far. There is no way Hubertus Albers could censor off his name from the World Wide Web.

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