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Posts posted by YorkshireLad6


    i have paid about 5250 euros towards the interest on my home loan. so, in effect, it stands negative. how does this effect my tax calculation at germany? do i stand to gain?


    Was that only the interest on your load or does it include capital repayments to reduce the loan? I only ask, because it seems like a lot if you only took 3400€ in rent. If your interest payments alone exceed your income, then your property is not a very good investment.


  2. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, but to normally meet minimum requirements for your house insurance any lock you buy for an outer door must meet the requirements of VdS Class A (survives at least 3 minutes drilling or 10 minutes picking), B (6 minutes drilling, 30 minutes picking) or B-plus (90 minutes picking) or DIN ISO 18252 class P2 or P3 (European standard).


    The lock must exactly fit the door (be flush on both sides), so be sure you buy the correct length of cylinder - note that not only the length of the cylinder is relevant but also the distance from the fixing hole to each end of the lock - while these are often the same they can also be different. They are specified by the two lengths from the fixing hole, so a 30/30 is 60mm long with the hole in the middle, and a 45/30 is 75mm long with the hole offset 45mm from one end.


    Check if you need a lock with a keyhole on both sides, and if so if you want to still be able to open/close the lock when a key is stuck in the other side (often a safety issue)


    Security locks mean only the original purchaser of the lock (who receives a certificate) can make copies of keys, which can also often only be provided by the original manufacturer.


    A decent cylinder will cost upwards of 50€, but even the same manufacturer (ABUS Buffo is a good example, with locks from 8€) may have cheap nasty locks which are from a security point of view worthless, as well as decent locks (ABUS W14 from 100€) in their catalogue so it's difficult to even recommend a manufacturer. C.Ed. Schulte (CES), Kaba (GEGE), DOM and Gretsch-Unitas (BKS) have better reputations for their products. Avoid cheap no-names from DIY stores if security (and insurance cover) is important to you.


  3. I don't think you (she) understood. Unless she formally leaves Germany (Abmeldung) she can't cancel her insurance or have any gap in the cover. Her old insurance company won't release her until she can show continuity of cover with a new one, or she proves she has left the country for good.



    she is in between jobs, her old insurance expires end of month, her new job starts 1st Sept, and she is heading back to Canada August 10th, then back here again.. so she is also in between insurances.. we general need to know if anyone has actually paid for a minor operation and what it cost..


    There's no such thing as "between insurances" as she will not be formally leaving her German residence when she effectively goes on vacation to Canada. Unless she is entitled to unemployment benefits then she has to continue her current insurance herself until the new job kicks in and takes over the payments. If she is between jobs for maximum one month then she has "nachgehenden Anspruch" (entitlement to cover) on her existing insurance to cover just this possibility.


  5. Contracts made on a traders premises in Germany or on the doorstep if you invited the trader to visit you have no statutory cooling off rights, assuming that they have provided all the necessary information regarding the contract you are signing - just like in the UK.


    Contracts made on the doorstep (without invitation), remotely, online or on the phone, or contracts which specifically include it have a 14 day cooling off period where you can cancel without having to give any reason and without penalty (except for the cost of return shipment where goods have been purchased and received), assuming the services you have ordered have not started within that time - just like in the UK

    Some traders (Mediamarkt and Saturn are good examples) offer voluntary cooling off periods where you can return good in "new" condition for a full refund. They have no legal liability to do this and can revoke the favour at any time or impose additional conditions.


    The only difference between UK and Germany (and most other countries) relates to purchases where a credit agreement is involved (which includes paying by credit card) - in this case the credit supplier (and credit card company) share liability for the quality of goods and services supplied and may be required to refund for any problems occurring. In Germany the responsibility lies solely with the trader. This has nothing to do with cooling off periods though.


  6. Just because bank robbers prefer to use Mercedes cars and vans to rob banks with does not mean that a Mercedes is an illegal vehicle and should not be sold throughout the world.


    Redistribution of copyright material on a commercial basis is illegal, irrespective of the underlying platform used, just like I can buy Bittorrent software and use it legally to download a video as much as I can use it illegally. That doesn't make Bittorrent software illegal either.



    I agree, but what I would like to know, is how is the Blade better than the MAG 250, to justify the price difference


    Just to clarify - "Blade" and "MAG250" are essentially the same - the MAG250 is simply a domestic hardware platform on which different software can be installed including a linux based open software platform for IPTV. "Blade" is a family of client/server solutions. The Blade client is installed on a MAG250 box and interacts with the Blade Mediacast server that feeds it the streams. You can buy a MAG250 and install Blade yourself or you can buy a MAG250 with Blade installed. The dealer price on a naked MAG250 is approximately 50-60€ net, which translates to around 100€ for the end customer with taxes and typical margins in this market. On top of that comes whatever the interim market and end-dealer think they can command for the Blade client software which they can tailor according to their client base. There are different Blade client versions and configurations depending on where you buy the box/software and the channel packages you wish to receive (determined by the supplier)


    Blade Mediacast is a distributed media server - interested dealers can feed media streams to server entry points for re-distribution to permitted clients which are identified and authorised by their MAC address. Blade themselves offer standard streams which their paying partners can piggy-back from but it is also possible to add bespoke streams. Once a stream is fed into an entry point it is distributed across the platform using a balancing mechanism to avoid any exit point becoming overloaded by multiple clients accessing the same stream.


    Blade also offer commercial media streaming via their infrastructure, so if a company wants to say, host a one-time webcast to their employees at facilities around the world then Blade can facilitate this.



    Franklan, that looks like exactly the same UI that I have on my MAG250.


    That's because you have essentially the same system. Blade Mediacast is a client-server framework where the different providers can tweak the interface and streamed content according to their market offering. The MAG250 is the common hardware platform.


  9. The Bayern Ticket is a generic ticket that covers one or more people on most trains around Munich and SBahns through the city from 09:00 on the date of validation to 03:00 the next day, so it's good for the journey from the airport to Garmisch, irrespective of which trains or route you take. It costs 23€ for one person with an additional 4€ per person for anyone travelling with you. If you buy it before you go then there are no delays when you arrive and you can take any train you fancy.


  10. If you are resident in Germany you should be declaring world-wide income on your German tax-return, so if you have a "money-earning source outside of Germany" you should have been declaring it anyway. That doesn't necessarily mean tax is (or was) due, but it might be. If you've been earning that money for 5 years now, you may be in minor trouble for not completing a return anyway, but suddenly popping up to declare it won't be particularly endearing for your application to stay long term.



    AFAIK it's far worse to put normal petrol in a diesel engine, can anyone confirm this?


    No - it's the other way around, and is why they make the diesel nozzle bigger than a petrol filler aperture to avoid such a mistake. In years before winrer additives it used to be common to mix a little petrol with diesel to lower the freezing point in winter. Diesel destroys many of the seals and pipes in a petrol engine which is why the problem is so expensive to rectify.


  12. "Selbstbeteiligung 2,500" implies that there is a deductible on the insurance of 2500€ - any costs in excess of this will be paid by insurance. Was it a reputable company? - one of the well known ones? The costs for this mistake can be high - I know someone with a new Volkswagen Golf who paid nearly 4000€ after she put diesel in the petrol and ran it until it stopped.


    I really don't understand how this can be done. The tanking nozzle from a diesel pump should not fit into the filler on a petrol car. While you can hold the nozzle end against the tank aperture the diesel risks spilling everywhere.


  13. There are (or maybe were) some IPTV suppliers that did just that. You signed up (or were signed up to) to a "Sky" (or one of many US cable/satellite services) service and they put your own personal Sky box and card in their receiver farm and transmitted the content from it to you over the internet - very similar, but more professional than the Slingshot service and damned expensive to boot, as not only did you pay for the satellite sub but also the feed and a "receiver" to watch it on. I think VPN/DNS redirection have superseded these as customers get direct access to the source at far less cost, plus of course there are now many more originating providers offering live and catchup services.


    Bear in mind that not everyone can install a dish of any size - either as it's not allowed or they don't have a place they can install it facing the right direction.


  14. The country-based licensing scheme is only legacy. In their new form they may now have the power and energy to propose a subscriber based licensing regime to the copyright holders who's content they transmit, notwithstanding the fact they now generate a lot of their own material for which they have a free hand in distribution.



    Zattoo need to get a decent App onto the Android box or stream to Mag250 boxes or Apple TV or something with proper catchup etc - then it is the clear winner.


    How do you define "decent"? - the UI, the stability of the app or the quality of output? I find the UI for Zattoo on Android, iOS and Windows pretty decent, although of course you may be referring to the lack of "traditional" remote control support. The UI on dedicated clients such as Samsung, LG (I think) and Videoweb is crap, but the stability and quality good.


    Now I'm used to driving Zattoo mirroring to Chromecast, I find the smartphone/tablet/browser approach surprisingly convenient as there is no need to hunt down a remote but simply reach for the nearest device to hand, sometimes already in a pocket, on the table to hand or simply the laptop I'm using on my knee at the time. No single device needs to be dedicated to Zattoo - one device can start a cast, another can control it and a third can change the channel or content later. Further, multiple Chromecasts can be simultaneously managed from the same or multiple management devices.



    the streams come from the Netherlands and Portugal as Franklan confirmed.


    Franklan didn't confirm it, Franklan was the first to find this out empirically and tell us.


    I've just returned from a trip to the Netherlands where I met someone who claimed to know a little more about the Bladecast Mediacast platform on which the Blade clients are based (but other platforms can also have access to - in fact anyone prepared to pay for the privilege can set up a media client platform based the Mediacast model). As would seem sensible in this business, the source of the streams that the client has access to is not necessarilly the originating source of the distribution. Mediacast is a distributed platform. Streams can be funnelled into a variety of servers (which are essentially relays) around Europe (the world) which are then redistributed into the client network. These redistribution servers can vary, either by design or randomly for a particular stream or a particular client (or range of clients), so if one server is taken down (accidentally or on purpose) another server can take over the load, where this second server can also be in a completely different geography. It could also be that two clients receiving the same stream actually receive it from different sources. The clear (and useful) intent is to obfuscate the originating source. What Franklan sees from Holland and Portugal this week might be from Spain and Italy next week, and might be from Turkey and Poland if I inspect them. Almost like a reverse VPN should anyone try to track the original source.