Archive for March, 2006

Test your Viennese/Austrian knowledge: The “triple” question mark issue

the much coveted Austrian passport????
First things first, this entry might not interest the Viennese/Austrian natives. As it deeply concerns the immigrants who are considering an Austrian citizenship.
It is going to happen. This “Wissenstest über das Heimatland.” It sounds absurd, yes. But it is part of the changing political climate in Austria. And the whole Europe, for that matter.

Newer laws, stricter laws, old music, old issues.

So if you are contemplating to change your nationality, consider this–an examination on how well you know about Vienna and Austria, if you are an immigrant wanting to be Austrian in Vienna.

They are planning to stage the first testing in June. So, yeah, watch out.

“The city´s office for integration issues has given an example of questions which can be expected: What is another name for Vienna´s first district (italicised mine)? Applicants will be asked six questions from the Vienna list and 12 questions from a list about the rest of Austria. The Vienna list is still being compiled, but city officials say the first tests could be administered as early as June.” That’s according to Wiener Zeitung.
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44 cities, one feed

RSS logo

As you might know, Metroblogging is a network of sites – currently, we cover 44 different cities on the globe, spanning from Bangkok to Berlin, from Lahore to Los Angeles and from Tokyo to Toronto. Many of you are probably interested in what goes on around the globe, not only in your city, but that means 44 sites to check, right?

Wrong – may I proudly present, our world feed – all the articles from all the cities in one nice RSS feed. Add this to your feed reader, and you’re always up to date. And in case you belong to the 88% of all internet users that have never even heard of RSS, well, get cracking already! As the marketing guys says, it’s fun, it’s free, and it’s feeding all the things you should or want to know right into your computer. Read more here, get a RSS reader there, and ba-zing!, you’re done.

Not another train story!

I just read Scott’s entry, and didnt want to write a subway story as well. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, i cant resist. ha.

If youre using the U6 right now, i pity you.
I just used it, and usually it takes around 10-15 minutes to get home. Not today. According to the nnouncement there is some fire or something at the U6 station Längenfeldgasse, which causes the traffic to go damn slow. Like… DAMN slow.
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Zug Fährt!

As a multiple trip per day commuter on Wiener Linien, Vienna’s amazing mass transit system, I’ve developed a amusement device to keep me entertained and distract me from the people smoking on the U-bahn (subway) platforms. My game is called, “Zug fährt”.
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Hello _2

Rumours of delay circulated for a bit now, but it was all rubbish. It’s time to celebrate, Fluc_2 is going to open it’s doors for the first time on 1st of April! The Viennese experimental (oooh) artsy fartsy (aaah) underground (uuuh) community gets this wonderful place of manifested creativity back, at last.

A few weeks ago, at night, outsideVery recently, inside

The first live performance to please or tear apart your ears will be local clicketyclick laptop musician Fennesz, with Philipp Benner and Andreas Leikauf DJing, starting at 21:00. And it’s, as always, free.

Go, drink, party.

Oh and, you hopefully noticed, spring is here too! Hello spring — do you like Vienna as much as me these days? Please stay, we’d appreciate it, wouldn’t we?

Dynamite phishing

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This entry isn’t strictily Vienna-related, but since we pretty much have to represent for all Austrians (Except for the rocking folks from Linz and Graz, of course), I think I can safely share this with you. Just now, I got a nice mail from the folks at the Raiffeisen Bank group who told me that, because of new regulations to prevent money laundering, they have to check every e-banking account and kindly ask me to log in to prove I am a genuine customer. How thoughtful.

About the only problem is I am not, and never was a customer at this bank. Oh, and there’s the rather, let’s call it creative grammar in the mail. Yup, you guessed right, the practice of phishing has reached the sunny, land-locked shores of our little country. I’ve gotten similar mails like this in the past days, and let me tell you, I am disappointed. The quality of the fake sites is abysmal, there’s silly jokes in the URLs (I guess you’d have to be pretty dense not to be alarmed by “index-NA-NA-NA-NA-HEY-HEY-HEY-GOOD-BYE.html”), and most of the images in those mails won’t load.

This specific piece of forged information takes the cake, however – have a look at the name of the attached file. I personally would not have a problem with it, but I guess it will be a very, very cold day in hell before any bank sends me an image called “transsexuals.gif”. Shame on you, account phishers! Get your act together before you try to expand your business into international waters!

Ellen Semen @ Bétonsalon

The folks at Bétonsalon (MQ) are currently featuring an exhibition of figurative paintings by Ellen Semen.

Brilliant hybrids… featuring fighting ninjas and other archetypes from the realms of computer gaming and pop culture.

ellen-1.jpg

ellen-2.jpg

Exhibition:
March 10 – April 9, 2006.

Info Link (German)

Meet Emily’s strange creator

We were on a normal book hunt in the Morawa store in the first district, when we noticed many ads about Emily The Strange, plus a couple of fan-girl-like girly girls with black hair and black lips and all of that stuff. What was the reason? The arrival of Rob Reger, the creator of said comic. Having my camera with me was a good thing, and i was allowed (and somehow – even wished. I talked to one of the Morawa guys and he was delighted to find out that i owe a camera and was telling me to use the flash light. i didnt want to, but yeah..) to do a couple of photos.
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Transportation Notes

Naturally, our hard-working Wiener Verkehrsbetriebe are consantly trying to improve the journeys of their passengers. They even pay attention — they noticed that people, especially the young kind, listening to loud music care a lot more about their headphones than their ears or their annoyed fellow travelers.

You may have come across this already: Headphones take damage from listening to music loudly. — A warning by the ministry of music. Why thank you, I’m already thinking about getting new ones.

This not the only recent fad, the new all walkable trains are seemingly now being used for the U1 as well (at least I haven’t seen it until very recently). Walking through the whole train isn’t their only new feature though, you’re also constantly filmed while doing so! They have stickers at the doors that inform you of it: For your security they say. You’re nuts, I say.

One of the new trains

A few years ago, I was robbed and threatened to be killed inside an average 2 AM Saturday night filled nightbus. No-one noticed, or cared enough to say anything. When I contacted the driver because of it, he kicked me out. Mochts as eich söwa aus, owa ned in mein Bus — I was supposed to deal with someone obviously a lot more stronger than me alone.

How would that have been prevented by cameras watching us? It looked like normal interaction, not even a little suspicious at all. Let me ask this way: which cases of crime can cameras inside trains prevent? Will they keep burglars away that nick purses out of pockets? Unlikely, every wagon has two of the cameras, that’s a lot of video content to look at. Neither will it prevent anything that’s similar to what I’ve experienced.

Mit Sicherheit gut ankommen?

What it could prevent is beggars asking for money, who no-one really minds (except for old ladies that also think that the MuseumsQuartier is branch office of Sodom and Gomorrah), beggars that stink, someone lighting up seats (note: it doesn’t work) or fights. To me, this is not enough to consciously ensure my security as I enter the train, let alone invade my privacy. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Wooden Chess And Mimosa In a Can

Today i found some rather interesting items, during the daily routine of buying food and all of that crap.

Wooden chess figures:

schachfiguren08.jpg

I had to laugh when i saw them. The facial expressions are priceless!
(At the antique shop next to Foto Eder. Josefstädter Strasse)

Mimosa plants in a can:

mimosa.jpg

Yes, i bought them. I want to find out if that really works, and i never had Mimosa plants. I like their name.
Mi-mo-sa.
(At the Post Office, Josefstädter Strasse. 2,99eur)

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