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    Europe is in the middle of a messy nuclear showdown / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 23 January - 11:45

Europe is in the middle of a messy nuclear showdown

(credit: Felix König )

On the last day of 2021, as final preparations were being made for the New Year’s Eve firework display in central Berlin, outside the German capital another era was drawing to a close. It was the beginning of the end of Germany's decades-long dalliance with nuclear power.

On December 31, Germany shut down three of its six remaining nuclear plants. By the end of 2022, the other three will be shut as well. Two decades after an agreement to eliminate nuclear power became law , the country’s phaseout has been dramatic. In 2002, Germany relied on nuclear power for nearly 30 percent of its electricity. Within a year, that percentage will be zero.

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    Remember Google and Twitter Account Verifications... Verified Calls on the Google Phone app now available in Germany

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 31 December - 21:17

The availability of Verified Calls seems to be in the process of rolling out, and currently is only showing up for some users. Those that have access and choose to enable it in Phone settings can start getting notices from participating businesses. When a business calls, they'll see a screen informing them of the reason for the call, even before they pick up.

Android users are lucky enough already to have fully functional, working caller screening apps like Truecaller. On iPhone, I have to suffer through crippled versions of those apps as Apple prohibits any 3rd party from controlling the phone app (my biggest bugbear with iOS).


#technology #Germany #android #callscreening #robocallers

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    Pandemic skyrockets in Europe; COVID is the No. 1 cause of death / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 - 17:51

North Rhine-Westphalia, Herten: The crew of a Dutch ambulance brings a COVID-19 patient from Rotterdam to St. Elisabeth Hospital in Herten.

Enlarge / North Rhine-Westphalia, Herten: The crew of a Dutch ambulance brings a COVID-19 patient from Rotterdam to St. Elisabeth Hospital in Herten. (credit: Getty | Picture alliance )

Health officials in Europe are pleading for people to adopt more health precautions as the region grapples with its most dramatic surge of COVID-19 cases yet in the pandemic.

Cases have been skyrocketing across the European region since the start of October, with cases rising from around 130,000 per day to the current all-time high of more than 330,000 per day. For the week ending November 21, the region of 53 countries—including the European Union, the United Kingdom, Russia, and several countries in Central Asia—reported 2,427,657 new cases, representing 67 percent of all COVID-19 cases reported globally.

The region also accounted for 57 percent of all COVID-19 deaths worldwide, with 29,465 deaths in the week ending on November 21, according to a weekly report by the World Health Organization. During the week, daily COVID-19 deaths increased to close to 4,200, doubling from 2,100 daily deaths seen at the end of September, the WHO noted .

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    The north-German state of Schleswig-Holstein plans to switch to open-source software, including LibreOffice, in its administration and schools

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 19 November, 2021 - 14:48

In doing so, the state wants to reduce its dependence on proprietary software, and eventually end it altogether. By the end of 2026, Microsoft Office is to be replaced by LibreOffice on all 25,000 computers used by civil servants and employees (including teachers), and the Windows operating system is to be replaced by GNU/Linux.

The necessary steps for this are specified in the planning of the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament (German), as digital minister Jan Philipp Albrecht explains in an interview with c’t.


#technology #opensource #germany #LibreOffice #schools

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    German police halt armed far-right vigilantes on Polish border / TheGuardian · Sunday, 24 October, 2021 - 10:04

Weapons seized after call from far-right party for members to prevent migrants from entering country

German police say they have stopped more than 50 far-right vigilantes armed with pepper spray, a bayonet, a machete and batons who were trying to patrol the Polish border to stop migrants from entering the country.

The vigilantes were following a call by the Third Way, a far right-party with suspected links to neo-Nazi groups, for its members to stop illegal crossings near the town of Guben on the German-Polish border.

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    Germany's election result could soon be inspiring Europe's centre left | Martin Kettle / TheGuardian · Thursday, 30 September, 2021 - 05:00

If Olaf Scholz becomes chancellor after his narrow victory, progressives across the continent will be trying to imitate him

Germany’s general election signals far more than just the end of the Angela Merkel era. Although it will eventually produce yet another centrist coalition government, this should not be dismissed as simply the same old same-old. For the new government will represent several steps into the unknown. There will be significant lessons and lasting political consequences – for Germany above all, but also for the continent of which, in spite of everything, Britain remains part.

Even without Merkel at the helm, Germany remains Europe’s economic powerhouse and principal regional player. That will not change. Yet, with no party exceeding 26% of the votes after last Sunday’s contest, German voters have ushered in a new and more fragmented political order. For the first time they face government by a three-party coalition, not the more familiar two.

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    Post-election rifts emerge in Germany’s centre-right alliance / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 28 September, 2021 - 15:25

Growing dissent within conservative ranks is diminishing Armin Laschet’s hopes of keeping his party in power

A leading German conservative has made a public show of congratulating the Social Democrats’ candidate on winning Sunday’s national election in a sign of division within the centre-right alliance of outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel after it plunged to historic losses.

Markus Söder, the head of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, the Christian Democrats’ sister party, said Olaf Scholz was frontrunner to become Germany’s next leader, undermining the claims of the CDU-CSU’s Armin Laschetthat the 25.7%-24.1% result was too narrow to amount to a clear mandate and he could still form a “future-oriented coalition”.

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    German election on knife edge as months of coalition wrangling loom / TheGuardian · Saturday, 25 September, 2021 - 13:44

The country faces ‘Dutch-style’ political era with main parties neck and neck before Sunday’s poll

Germany is braced to enter a new “Dutch-style” political era after federal elections on Sunday, as a knife-edge vote points to months of complicated coalition wrangling.

Outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel joined the campaign trail at a rally in the western city of Aachen on Friday night in an attempt to help her designated successor from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Armin Laschet , close the gap on the centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD).

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