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Posts posted by gaijin

  1. Did you know the reason why British officers' uniform jackets were traditionally red?

    The soldiers under their command were not supposed to notice when their officers got

    injured so that they would not lose their morale.


    Incidentally, the Austrian officers had brown pants for very similar reasons...


  2. Due to some last minute cancellations, we have three seats left for Sunday night (6pm-end) for the Hofbraeu tent. Two Mass, one Hendl, one 7,50 Euro voucher per person, selling at 37 Euros (face value, round up to 40 welcome). Vouchers come with wrist bands for the Wiesn and wrist bands for the tent. We have some extra wrist bands, so if there are four or five of you, we could get all of you into the tent. Handover tomorrow at 7:30 at the Augustiner in the city centre, send a PM ASAP for details.



  3. There is a housing shortage and landlords have lots of different prospective tenants to choose from.

    Given the choice between a German student (whose parents might even sign a statement that they will take the responsibility for the rent in the event that he doesn't pay up) and an international tenant with whom communication might be complicated and who could disappear at any moment, who does the landlord choose?

    Not, it isn't fair.

    Finding an apartment is hard enough for the locals, it is even harder for ex-pats. Keep trying, maybe have a German friend/colleague help you.


  4. Wouldn't it make sense to split this topic into

    - Rants about the GEZ system (or "Beitragsservice") and the öffentlich-rechtlicher Rundfunk in general

    - Trouble with the GEZ, with an implicit acceptance that - whether you like it or not - the system is the way that it is. This would be the place to discuss e.g. how to avoid paying twice in a shared flat.


  5. Whether your scholarship counts towards your Stufe or not is a question of how much weight your supervisor pulls with the administration. Don't let them tell you that they cannot count scholarships.


  6. rahulcrjk: I use pdftotext (Unix command line utility, there must be something similar for Window$) to extract the text of PDF files and then upload the resulting .txt to the Kindle. Works great (unless the source PDF was scanned), and the Kindle reflows the text very nicely, i.e. it replaces the old line breaks while keeping the paragraph formatting intact.


  7. Stuff like this is covered by federal laws, so, yes, bundesweit.


    Correct, talk to the landlord as soon as possible. If the amiable way does not work out, you should give notice as soon as possible, preferably with Einschreiben mit Rückschein.


  8. No sweat.

    Since you are not married, signing a contract for an apartment together means that you are implicitly entering a "Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts" (GbR) for the sole purpose of renting the apartment. Any of you can dissolve the common contract, the landlord can then (but does not have to!) make a new contract with the remaining party. You will have to observe the legal time frame for cancellation of a rental contract, though (usually three months). The landlord might be willing to let you out out of the contract and make a new one with your (ex-) GF right away: If he wants to keep her as a tenant, there is no point in waiting with the transfer. If you and the landlord want to cancel the contract right away but your GF wants to keep it, you will probably have to wait (and pay for) three months.


    Until you are out of the contract, you and your GF have gesamtschuldnerische Haftung which means that the landlord can choose from whom to get any money that he is entitled to.


    Things would be rather different if you had been married (and this is why I know this rather well, because this happened to my GF with her ex-husband): If a married couple signs for a rental contract together, they can only cancel it together. There is no way for one of the (ex-) partners to get out of the contract (if the other wants to keep it) before the divorce is final, so the partner who moved out can still be made to pay for the flat. 


  9. On 8/18/2016, 11:23:23, Uncle Nick said:

    @gaijin: why would he be snookered on the brown if there were still reds on the table? If he had just potted a red he could choose any colour. So much for knowing a bit about snooker! ;)

    What I meant was "If the pink ball was on its spot in front of where the red ones are at the start of the frame"...


  10. On 6/24/2015, 1:14:11, BobUK said:

    "Griffiths is snookered on the brown, which, for those of you watching in black and white, is the ball directly behind the pink "

    This does make sense, though. If the pink ball was on its spot in front of the red ones, anybody knowing a bit about snooker would know which one was the brown ball... 


  11. 22 minutes ago, Ctrl-Alt-Delete said:
    • Configure the 2nd router to block all peer-to-peer protocols.

    Good luck with that.

    You can't.


    P2P protocols are specifically designed to be able to make their traffic look like normal https traffic, it is almost impossible to block. (Ask any major academic computing centre.)


  12. As a physicist, let me assure you: There are no one-way mirrors, it is not possible to make light pass through the mirror one way but not the other. There are, however, semi-transparent mirrors that reflect some light and let some light pass through. Then, when the room on one side is much brighter than the room on the other side, it seems like the mirror is one-way...


  13. 1 hour ago, programdirector said:

    I have to stick up for fraufruit here  My son was speeding in our car. The car is registered to my husband, my husband received a ticket. He would have had to pay it if my son didn't step up.

    The legal situation concerning cars is slightly tricky in Germany, but I think the comparison to the internet is actually interesting in this case:

    There is "Halterhaftung" and "Fahrerhaftung", i.e. the owner or the driver is responsible, depending on the situation. For an illegally parked car, there is Halterhaftung. Your car, your problem, no matter who drove it. For accidents and speeding, the driver is responsible. For the former, this is standard, for the latter, a lot of other countries hold the owner responsible. If you cannot be identified on the picture that the speed camera took (or if you handily have a twin brother), you can get out of the fine (but you might be required to keep a detailed log from that point on so that in the future in can be determined who was driving your car at a certain point in time).


    For the internet, what we have right now amounts to "Halterhaftung", while a lot of people would rather see "Fahrerhaftung". As much as I detest these bloodsucking lawyers, I think the problem with the equivalent of "Fahrerhaftung" for the internet would be that it would be close to impossible to pursue any misdemeanor on the internet, the owner of the connection could always claim that somebody else used his connection. If everybody had to be properly authenticated, on the other hand, we would lose all anonymity. I think that the current situation is not that bad (name the guilty party of cough up the money), but we should make sure that these ridiculous charges for Abmahnungen are reduced. (There is actually a law that limits the lawyers fees to a rather reasonable amount in "simple cases" but of course all lawyers try to argue that this very case is not simple...)


  14. Hi,

    interesting way of ending up in the insurance business, John G.!

    When I became a member of Alte Oldenburger, I did not have to have a check-up, but I needed to provide detailed information about my health history, anything that happened in the preceding five years for normal doctor consultations, in the preceding 10 years for hospital visits. I think the new system with the check up makes a lot more sense, though.



  15. Hi Sharshollow and John G.,

    very interesting, I had not known about this!

    I actually went to an independent insurance broker when I first became Beamter and I ended up with a contract with an "Alte" insurance company named after a small town in Northern Germany... I was extremely unhappy with them, when I went to see an orthopaedist because of a not pre-existing condition, they tried to trick me into filling out a questionnaire that included a lot of information that they were not entitled to have. I then changed because of a personal recommendation.

    I guess you can always be lucky or unlucky... 


  16. 18 hours ago, john g. said:

    Another point:insurance brokers cannot work with two  of the popular providers for Beamte: Debeka and HUK -they don´t cooperate with us. But there are other good providers out there.

    As a long-time customer of Debeka (and a Beamter), I can actually recommend Debeka very much. They do not introduce new tariffs every couple of years to attract young customers with low starting rates, and their decision not to work with insurance brokers probably keeps the prices down by cutting out the middle man.

    (With the highest respect for John G. on the basis of his extremely helpful and well informed posts on this forum.)


  17. Imagine you slide out of a curve and hit/injure somebody else in doing so. If the insurance finds out that you changed your suspension and did not register this with the TÜV, they will definitely try to claim that your modified suspension was the reason for losing control of the bike. This will of course be complete bullshit, but you will have a hard time proving this in court. You should really make sure that all your modifications are registered with the TÜV. I had to have my raised handlebar registered because (unlike the seat) it changes the vehicle's geometry, but this way I can be sure that they cannot try to pin the blame on the modification if an accident happens.


    Edit: If the TÜV registers your modification, you are on the safe side. I doubt that they would register stuff for your dealer that they would not register for you, though. Sounds more like trying to attract business to the dealer...