German TV pours cheap anti-Russian propaganda

State television in Germany continues to brainwash their fellow citizens, despite a growing resentment on the part of ordinary Germans. After all, they are the ones that have to pay for this circus from their taxes.

This time Günther Jauch and his talk show took cheap anti-Russian propaganda to new heights on March 8. The theme of the talk show – “Putin’s Russia on the road to dictatorship?” – already did not bode any meaningful discussion. The portal Propagandaschau (“Propaganda Review”) made an apt remark that one could ask any number of questions that would be equally meaningful, like: “Obama’s Presidency – on the way to the Apartheid?”, meaning, of course, the hundreds of American citizens of African descent killed by US soldiers recently in protests around the country.

One could expect that, after the popular German host Günther Jauch publicly expressed regret that “Putin will not die soon” in November last year, anything goes. And he stands up to the expectations, making new produce in the best tradition of Goebbels’s propaganda.

To create the proper atmosphere at his talk show on March 8, Jauch invited the daughter of the late Nemtsov and corresponded with Garry Kasparov in New York, who, however, did not say anything new, repeating the mantra of “the hope of internal destabilization of Russia and the Putin regime lies in falling oil prices and the collapse of the ruble.”

Fortunately, there were some guests with a mind unclouded by propaganda in the studio. To the question of whether things would get better if Putin was displaced, Chairman of the German-Russian Forum Matthias Platzeck reasonably noticed: “Let’s do some theoretical reflection and ask ourselves a  practical question – who will replace him? What will happen then? Will it be someone who meets our expectations? The answer is – no! ”

Platzeck also stressed that, with the current level of support for the opposition in Russia, the hopes for a quick displacement of Putin should be abandoned. Then, in defiance of Kasparov’s critique of the policies of the Federal Chancellor Merkel, he praised the Chancellor for leading negotiations on the settlement of the crisis in the Donbass area of Ukraine. His words were met with a thunderous applause… -->

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Sony Corporation – ready for a takeover

The good old Sony logo.

The business world never seizes to amaze. Another great company bites the dust – Sony Corporation. The company was brought to a complete distraction in just 15 years. Well, ok, it still exists but that is, first, not for long, and second, that is a pitiful shadow of the once great company.

In the news, Sony is selling its computer business “to concentrate on mobile”. What a load of bullshit. Sony is also apparently spinning out its TV business. Am I the only one that finds it all hard to believe? Sony, the great empire of video everything – video recording, video transmission, video viewing, video gaming – is going to concentrate on mobile phones. What a joke. Sony always had and still has the greatest technology in video and throwing all that out of the window is just, well, business nonsense. And therefore something else will happen.

I have a feeling of a deja vu with this story. Nokia folded while being the market leader to concentrate on, what, networks. Now Sony is folding while being the market leader to concentrate on mobile. Nonsensical explanations at best for the rest of us.

When did it all start? Sony started to sell off its assets, buildings in the first place, some time around the turn of the century. That was a clear indication of things going quite wrong financially – someone wanted the cash and did not care at what price to the company it would come. That started the financial erosion of the company that progressed swiftly: I do not think Sony owns much in terms of property anymore. Sony announced to stop manufacturing the Aibo robot dog in 2006 and that was the clear beginning of an end in technological sphere. Best and inventive products were not encouraged, the research engineers were the first to go in the several job cut rounds that followed. No new and exciting products came out.

There could be more at play that is obvious to me but these two pillars of destruction: financial erosion and enforced technological stagnation are already unsurprisingly sufficient to bring a company to its knees. Or to bring Sony to an extremely vulnerable position, ready for a takeover, if you prefer. And that is exactly what we see happening – takeover of key businesses of Sony by overseas companies. That is what it is all about. Who will get the Sony logo?

Good-bye, Sony. I will keep a fond memory of you.… -->

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Where will you get a good TV?

I am looking at the reports for TV sales for the last quarter of the last year comparing it to the previous year. What most analysts are interested in is the amount of shipments and how good LCD compared to other technologies is doing and why there is a little decline in TV shipments and things like that.

I am looking at it and I am feeling very sad. Here is why. The best TV manufacturers are historically Japanese. We may argue about it all day long but you would never call a Sony TV set “bad”, would you? Same goes for Sharp. The best two manufacturers of TVs in history of flat panels. And so I am very sad to see how they keep shrinking away under the pressure of their cheap-junk-TV competition. Sad, sad story. Where will you get your TV in 10 years if all you will have is junk, eh?


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WiFi on WD TV Live Plus

It is a very rare occasion when I want to endorse a product in a public way. However, now I am just in such a mood. I bought a WD TV Live Plus box a couple of months ago to hold my videos and photos at home. Unfortunately, it did not come with a wireless network connection so it had to stay off-line until yesterday.

And yesterday I had a crazy idea to stick a nano-WiFi (whatever that means) USB stick into it. The box has two USB slots to connect two USB hard drives. So I just put the wireless network stick into the second slot. I expected nothing, I was sure it would check that it is not a disk and then I would just put the WiFi stick back to the desk drawer whence it came. Imagine my surprise…

I open the settings menu and I see the wireless network settings staring back at me. To say I was dumbfounded does not even begin to describe my state at that point. After recovering my thoughts and a cup of tea I went about setting it up and 30 seconds later the thing was happily connected to my home network.

This is brilliant. I sincerely congratulate WD engineers on this piece of hardware. Not only it works great as a video player and a photo viewer but it recognized and used a piece of obscure hardware thrown at it without so much as a backward glance. Way to go, guys!

P.S. If you go and use it, make sure you have the HDMI interface, the “normal” video quality sucks.… -->

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