Roland Dürre
Tuesday June 30th, 2009

UTB #44 – The First Two Fjords!

Now seeing and really experiencing our first two fjords lies behind us. Yesterday was Monday and we were in Flåm. Today, we will be in Olden.

Flåm lies on the Aurlandsfjord, which is part of the 204 kilometres of the Sognefjord, the depth of which is 1,308 metres. Visiting Flåm, you have to take a ride on the Flåm-Bahn, which is exactly what we did.flambahn

I must say it is worth the money and time. You go through 20 kilometres of beautiful scenery, starting at an altitude of zero and going up to 863.6 metres. Also, this railway line has a very diverse history.

We then climbed down half the way and re-entered the train in Berekvam. That meant six fast kilometres on foot down the hill and I know what my muscles are complaining about today.

However, that is not a problem, because today we are going by bike, and on the bike, other muscles are in demand.

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Bernhard Findeiss

Scrum vs. Kanban (1/2)

The topic Kanban frequently came up during recent discussions. Often associated with the question “Do you still use Scrum, or have you already changed to Kanban?”.

That gave me the impression that many people think of Kanban as being the “successor” to Scrum. However, this statement is wrong! The contratry is true: Scrum and Kanban are both based on the same ideas. Even more: Scrum is one possible way of doing Kanban…

A detailed paper on this has recently been published by Henrik Kniberg ( see here). But don’t worry, you don’t have to read everything in detail. I’ll give you a brief summary:

If you try to categorize today’s project management methods, you can base your categorization e.g. on the number of rules and regulations these models contain, and the number of areas these models cover.

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Roland Dürre
Monday June 29th, 2009

UTB #43 – On “MeinSchiff” near Norway

🙂 The discreet abbreviation in the heading is for travel journal. But since these days I seem to be vacationing a lot, I find it a little embarrassing to write “travel journal” yet again, so instead I just write UTB.

bild06141Today (Sunday, June, 28th, 2009) Barbara and yours truly are on our way from Denmark to Norway on “MeinSchiff”. That is really how the ship is called. It first went out of the wharf in 1996 and early this summer, TUI sent it to general inspection and servicing, before commissioning it for their new business line TUI Cruises.

Yesterday evening, we started on time in Kiel at 7 p.m. Today, we are at sea all day long, and by tomorrow, 10 a.m., we are supposed to be docking in Flam.

The ship is really quite nice. It is a very huge ship, 264 metres long and more than 32 metres broad, with 13 decks. It lies 8.3 metres under water and can do 21.5 knots under her 31,500 kW of motor power. Currently, we are doing a leisurely 10 knots along the Norwegian coastline.
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Roland Dürre
Sunday June 28th, 2009

(Deutsch) Die Überwindung von Zeit und Raum!

How to Conquer Time and Space!
bild0537A short while ago, I took part in a discussion on “The Sense and Benefit of WEB Pages for Radio and Television Stations”.

Some of the people I met who still had their doubts were quite competent and famous. Another participant, who is almost all the time travelling around the globe for an American world trust, was quite happy:

“I can hear Bayern 3 all around the world!”

Heute im Stadion” (“Today in the Stadium”, the Federal League Soccer reports, Saturday at 3 p.m.) is “live” all around the world. German soccer fans listen to the reports from the football stadiums of the federal league no matter where they are and what they do: while they eat breakfast, while they have their laundry washed, during lunch or dinner, or else on their night watch. No matter which continent they are currently living on.
I am currently on a ship near Norway. Even here, I could (if I so desired) listen to current reports of Bayern 2 (and in theory all other radio stations of this world).

The answer to the question if the web makes sense for radio stations is quite simple:

Information starts surpassing the borders of space and time!

To me, that sounds quite sensational. Regardless of place, you can listen to any station you wish to, provided they offer their program on the internet! For quite some time, internet radio stations functioning through WLAN have successfully done their job just like normal radios. Using them, you can receive an “endless” number of radio stations.

And even if a program has been recorded in the past, I can still listen to it as podcast. Whenever and wherever I so desire. That is a little like the stars shining down on us from a long time ago.
When we still had nothing but short, medium, long and ultra-short waves, that was unconceivable. In those days, we recorded programs on our cassettes and later labelled them. How many fruitless attempts we made! How often did malfunctioning cassettes and tapes drive us crazy? Again a jumble of twisted tape! Or else, we got angry because the cassette recorder did, after all, not automatically start recording at the time we had programmed it to.

I once tried to get a few old programs from my past. No way! Even the big German television stations had nothing left in their archives.
Today, everything gets recorded for eternity. The archives of today will provide an excellent portrait of our times to later generations. And everything is centralized and can be loaded at any time! I wonder what influence this will have on historical research.

Personally, I prefer current programs. For me, the element of surprise and the feeling that I am hearing people in a live-program talking into the airwaves are important.

This is also why I am the only person in our family who does not own an MP3 player. As a compensation, I carry a normal, small ultra short wave receiver almost all the time. I am very selective about using it. Constant background music is my idea of hell.
So far, I have not downloaded a single podcast. Whenever I feel I would like to do so, I change my mind quite fast. After all, I know beforehand that there will, again, never be time to listen to it.

🙂 And besides, I prefer being a hunter to being a collector.

Well, and if ever I will change my mind or have more time, then this, too, is not a problem. After all, everything is centrally available at all times and places.

(translated by EG) mehr »

Whose life is it you live?
Is it your own life,
or is it some other people’s lives?
Some people have no life of their own.
Which is why they keep meddling with other people’s lives.
It is just possible that one of those people is currently meddling with your life.
It is hard to identify your own life,
Because so many others meddle with it.
How to notice whether you are a stranger to your own life?
If life has become quiet around you,
And exactly this quietness makes you restless.

(translated by EG)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

A blogger’s life is really a nice life. You keep meeting very nice people, get the most interesting news all the time, get interesting books sent to you, etc. Once in a while, there is a nasty comment, but mostly the feedback you get is encouraging.

bild0589Now someone gave me a bag for a present! It looks sassy, has a nice logo, and, above all, is very handy. In fact, it is a true Crumpler – which seems to be an “en vogue” brand from Australia (as younger employees of mine have told me).

The generous gift was sent to me by Andreas Bruckschlögl. In 2001, he and Martha Bruckschlögl became directors of a leather shop in a small Bavarian town. The first thing they did was add Eastpak products to their business line in order to increase business.

Inspired by the ebay boom, they then came up with the idea to sell their products in the internet, as well. With striking results! They continued to build up their own Online-Shop “Der Online-Versand für Rucksäcke”. By now, the enterprise is specialized on selling all types of backpacks and bags through the internet.

And what used to be a small shop is now a flourishing, independent enterprise with happy customers.

🙂 And giving bloggers a backpack is, in my humble opinion, also a very good marketing idea.

For me, however, the pleasure is not just the backpack, but especially the fact that this is another example of me having found an enterprise that started without a brilliant business idea, without initial subsidies, and probably even without a big business plan and still turned out to be a huge success.

(translated by EG)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Once in a while, you really have to be grateful to Bildzeitung. It is the first newspaper to write about something that has been clear for some weeks now: the coming raise of the value added tax. It reads as follows:

As BILD heard from party members, the raise of the low tax from seven to nineteen per cent is being discussed. Currently, the low tax is applicable for victuals and flowers. According to the calculations of the parliamentary party, the raise could mean an extra 14 billion Euros for the federal budget.

The Spiegel gives a similar prognosis, whereas the Welt already talks about 25 per cent. It looks like this might be the future EU standard. mehr »