www .at-magazin.at


www .at-magazin.at
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You have to be careful if you want to match with
the big ones of the media world, but a bit of pride can’t be denied. If look back on the last edition of the .at-magazine (October ’05), there
was also a preview to the UN World Summit on
the Information Society in Tunis. The corresponding headline was www.wer-regiert-dasinternet.at. Almost exactly one month later, the
German “Spiegel” published an article about
the same topic with almost the same title:
Cooking can be a great experience for all senses:
Smelling, feeling, tasting. Purists like the GaultMillau commentator Angelo Peer think that the
Internet has reached its limits – at least with
regard to cooking. The celebrity chef Alois Mattersberger has a different point of view and
helps potential cooks to find their way on the
It is obvious that the automobile market has
changed significantly by the Internet. The web
has become a large car exchange, and the possibilities seem to be boundless: As weird as
your imagination might be, you will certainly
find the vehicle of your choice on the Internet.
But don’t forget to recognise the difference
between a car exchange on the Internet and a
virtual scrap yard.
Now the big Internet world summit is over and
it seems to support the truth of the expression
“Announced revolutions don’t take place”:
What people expected as the great showdown
between the absolute Internet superpower USA
and the rest of the world, turned out to be a
meeting without bitter defeats but with many
compromises. You can read about the details of Have you read “The Da Vinci Code”? Yes? But
the summit in Tunis in this issue.
you certainly don’t know what the central figure
of Dan Brown’s thriller, Leonardo da Vinci,
Would you have welcome xxx-domains that thinks about it. You can read about it in the
clearly identify pornographic contents and make exclusive interview with the great genius.
them inaccessible for non-adult Internet users?
Sorry, but the US Department of Commerce But that’s not all: Writing weblogs is no longer
has put this project to an end. These prude enough, as it requires moving pictures. We
folks have prohibited a possible admission of have included a story about the new trend of
xxx, because there can be nothing on the Inter- video blogging, and we report on the Internet
net that must not be. Nevertheless, there is without barriers for handicapped people and on
something going on with the .eu-domain and the world of online gaming. You will also learn
other domain endings. Please find further infor- about how the new scourge of DDOS can be
mation in the following pages.
fought and what the ENUM technology and a
historical cooking pot have in common.
Normally, he is a TV star and a master of spontaneous gags in the ORF celebrity quiz show If you want to know more about these stories,
“Was gibt es Neues”. For this .at-magazine, the just enter one of the headlines as an URL in
cabaret artist and former boss of the cabaret your Internet browser and visit the relevant link.
“Simpl”, Michael Niavarani, gives some ex- But you probably know this already.
clusive comments about his personal access to
the World Wide Web.
We hope you enjoy reading
Talking about web and gags – the interview with (1) Richard Wein
Toni Polster is not just about football, he also (2) Robert Schischka
talks about his experience with the new media. nic.at CEOs
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.eu, .xxx, .cat – a variety of new domain
endings is on the way. However, let’s see if
this new domain category will really be
much asked for. At least there is some
activity regarding .eu-domains, as owners
of trademark rights already have the chance
to register their trademark as a .eu-domain
– even before the actual registration
launch. More than 143,000 applications
were forwarded to the .eu-registry EURid
within the first 20 days. And the name of
the hottest .eu-domain is not surprising:
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.eu: The European domain
The plans for creating an own .eu-domain date back to the year
1996. What many people have doubted is about to become reality.
On 7th December, at 11 o’clock sharp, the registry for all .eu-domains, EURid, launched its registration system, beginning with
phase 1 of the .eu “sunrise period”. During this phase,
public bodies and owners of registered trademarks have the possibility to apply for their .eu-domains.
More than 143,000 applications for more than 107,000 different
.eu-domains were sent to EURid within the first 20 days. The European domain is most popular among our German neighbours
(35.5 %), followed by the Netherlands (15.1 %) and
France (13.3 %). Austria ranks ninth with 3.2 % of
the total applications.
The next rush for the new .eu-domains can be expected with the
launch of the second “sunrise period” on 7th February, when
company names, business names, characteristic titles of protected literary and artistic masterpieces, trademarks and family
names can be registered as .eu-domains. The hunt for the most
wanted names makes use of the strangest techniques: When you
search through the official Luxembourgian or Lithuanian registers
you might come across products like sweets or dishes bearing the
rather untypical name “sex” – actually these products don’t really
exist. In both countries it is simply cheap to register a new trademark, and this is what .eu-domain hunters need in order to get
what they want.
As of 7th April, it will finally be possible for all EU citizens to apply for their desired .eu-domain – even if it may be expected that
the most popular names will already be delegated by this time.
There is a list of all registrars (ISPs and telecom providers) who
accept applications for a .eu-domain at http://list.eurid.eu/registrars/ListRegistrars.htm?lang=en. However, it must be pointed
out that there is no guarantee that you will actually get the desired
domain, even in case of premium reservations.
The 10 most desired .eu-domains
Number of requests *
* as of 26 December 20055
.xxx: The domain for adults – now prohibited
The discussion around a domain for adults almost dates back to
the time of the plans for the .eu-domain, which is the year 1997.
In the future, the domain ending .xxx should indicate websites
with sexual contents that can only be accessed by adults. This
will certainly find favour with many parents. However, providers
of erotic and pornographic websites would have been able to register domains below .xxx on a voluntary basis, so it’s quite uncertain whether .xxx would actually have served its purpose. The
heated discussions around the “red-light domain” have finally
been terminated by the US Department of Commerce, which is
the supreme authority of the TLD registry ICANN (Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers): the registration
of .xxx was prohibited on the spot, thus reflecting two features:
1. The US government is consistently prude. 2. It is fully in charge, also on the Internet.
.cat, .travel, .mobi – Even more new domain endings
No, the domain ending .cat is not intended for cat lovers, but
should identify Catalan websites in the future. .cat-domains can
be registered by anyone who “serves the Catalan speech community” somehow. By the way, .jobs and .travel have been officially
approved recently.
And there are already copyists of the .cat-domains. For example,
a Berlin-based initiative is trying to assert .berlin, and a Scottish
initiative is pleading for .sco. Other domains that are currently
waiting for ICANN’s approval are .asia, .mail, .tel or .mobi. But as
the example of .eu shows us, it may still take a while ... 7
Monika Kerck
Over the last 100 years, many perplexing artefacts have been
found that do not fit into the currently accepted theories of the
history of man and earth ...
That’s bad luck: A man flirts with a woman on the Internet. But
at their first real date he finds out that she is his mother ...
Marie Antoinette as an action figure with a removable “ejector head”...
Just for watching … http://blueballfixed.ytmnd.com/
What does normal mean? Are you normal, or how would others
evaluate your situation? Just find out on the following website ...
Johann Almer is the master of the skies, whose private passion
is quite earthly, although a bit extraterrestrial: ballooning. The
domain himmelvater.at belongs to him. He hasn’t got a website
yet, but you can send him an e-mail: [email protected]
You can also find all these domain links in the online version of the
.at magazine at www.redaktion-at.at. We hope you enjoy surfing! 7
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I must confess that I’m not the typical surfer, as I don’t actually
spend much time surfing worldwide. Of course I have got my
“favourites”, which I visit regularly, but it’s not more than one
new site I discover each month. Anyway, I use the web in order
to inform myself, even if it usually means the search for needless
information. Yesterday, for example, I was searching for the
name “Kevin Kropatschek”, which has been invented by me.
I’ve got no idea why. It was 2.30 in the morning, I could not
sleep and felt the urge to eat a peanut butter roll. I was positively
surprised that Google returned 57 results for Kevin Kropatschek
(0.62 seconds). But unfortunately, as none of these websites
contained the complete name Kevin Kropatschek, just the names
Kevin and Kropatschek, I was feeling disappointed: The Internet
betrayed me. Well, I made a second try: I used quote signs. The
result was:
Your search – “Kevin Kropatschek” – did not match any
> Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
> Try different keywords.
> Try more general keywords
Autumn 1996: The cabaret Simpl in Vienna presents a
new programme called the “Lavender Woman on the
Internet”, and there are actually people who don’t know
anything about the Internet. It took us a long time to discuss whether we should make an opening sketch
which is only about the Internet. At last we did it, and in
the beginning we had to explain to the audience the meaning of “www” and that Internet surfing is not a new
kind of sport. The World Wide Web was brand-new, the
opening sketch was late-breaking. Meanwhile, millions
of people are online and everyone knows what the Internet is about – but what is it really about?
I see. You (whoever you are) are telling me that I probably
misspelled the name I have just invented. Well, okay. “Kevin
Kropacek“. Result: 647 hits for Kevin Kropacek. (0.10
seconds). But not a single Kevin Kropacek among them. I’m
start getting ambitious, so I try Kevin Kropaceck. Result: 1 hit
for Kevin Kropaceck. (0.12 seconds) and his name still isn’t
Kevin. I feel frustrated, get myself another peanut butter roll and
enter the search term: Kevin Cropacek. Result: ZERO! Your
search ... didn’t ... and so on. Well, at least they suggested using
different keywords. Which terms could I use instead of “Kevin
Kropatschek”? “Fictitious names“ Result: 1,460 hits for "fictitious
names". (0.30 seconds). Very good. A short release of endorphins. So there are 1,460 websites containing the term
“fictitious names“.
1,460 people all over the world deal with fictitious names in some
way. One of these sites states: [“fictitious names are subject to
a witness-protection programme – and they are allocated by the
relevant authority.”]* This information startles me – I’m shokked. Assuming that I in appear as a witness in a legal proceeding
against the Mafia, just because I accidentally witnessed three
Russians or Chinese getting rid of a body in the Danube river, I
get a new name preventing that the same thing happens to me.
That’s really nice, but: I’m not allowed to choose the name
myself! I feel angry, worrying about the name Kevin Kropatschek
for the rest of my life! How horrid. I could never testify against
the Mafia. People know me as Michael Niavarani. I would have
to start over with the name Kropatschek. “The new boss of the
cabaret Simpl, Kevin Kropatschek!”
deighthundred!!!! I’m a real star! Sixtyfourthousandeighthundred!!!! I was paralysed!! I immediately enter the search term
“paralysed“. 738 hits for "paralysed". (0.25 seconds) This
search leads me to a website about a medieval text. I’m getting
excited and continue searching. There is one special thought
that keeps me from getting back into bed: How many hits does
my fellow cabaret artist Düringer have? 98,300 hits for Roland
Düringer. (0.11 seconds). Well, he probably deserves it. Rainhard Fendrich? 264,000 hits for Rainhard Fendrich. (0.08
seconds). That sucks! Peter Alexander? 498,000 hits for "Peter
Alexander". (0.09 seconds) Bad luck for Fendrich! I have tasted
blood and want more: Who is the greatest star of all? Once again
I think of getting to bed, at least it’s already 3.45 am..... Never
mind, I need to know. Robbie Williams? 7,300,000 for "Robbie
Williams". (0.09 seconds) Seven million!!!! Seems like he really
made it! God? 9,220,000 hits for God. (0.08 seconds). Of course,
he must be the superstar. But it’s hard to believe that more
people are concerned with death than with god – there must be
several scared atheists among them. 12 million websites –
that’s unsurpassable.
I’m feeling enthusiastic. Just a moment, what about the often
mentioned assertion that most people search the Internet for
sexual contents? Sex? 197,000,000 hits for sex. (0.09
seconds). I have to pause for a moment......onehundredninetysevenmillion websites containing sex. I ask myself: Why? Internet pornography? Yes, but..... I begin looking into it. Several
pop-ups appear. You can watch people having sexual intercourse... I’m prompted to enter my e-mail address in order to get free
access to the entire movie...I also get a password granting me
access to even more websites...... Well, so far so good. But what
happens next? Shall I really start to masturbate, sitting in front
of my computer? Obviously there are millions of men (I guess
the number of women is marginal) who actually masturbate in
front of their desktop. Or do they just watch the movies and
remember them under the shower? Well, you could actually
download the movie, burn it on a DVD and watch it on a notebook in the bedroom – or on the DVD player in the living room.
But all these hardships for only five seconds!?!?! This isn’t really
in line with my sexual preferences.
But we oughtn’t to be so prude and close-minded. I will probably continue my research within the next few days. We should
really make more use of the Internet. Or should I start right
now...... Oh, I must specify my credit card number, but that
might turn out to be embarrassing... if they learn that I, Michael
Niavarani, started.... in front of my computer ... at five o’clock
in the morning..... No, I will put off my consumption of Internet
pornography until I have successfully testified in the Mafia trial.
Then I will register at www.geileschnitten.com, participate in
the discussions of various sex forums. Then there will be at least
one hit for Kevin Kropatschek on the Internet. 7
* www.metaportal.at/cgi-bin/ikonboard/post.cgi?action=replyquote&forum=12&topic=670&postno=3
After all I’m quite famous in Austria. How famous am I actually?
I enter the search term “Michael Niavarani”. Result: 64,800
hits for "Michael Niavarani". (0.38 seconds). Sixtyfourthousan-
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Let’s polarise a bit today, so nobody can claim that we only talk
about the Internet’s benefits. Obviously there is an enormous
market on the Internet which is treated in a quite unkind and unoriginal manner: the topics food and drink. Apart from some
well-working online shops and a few useful recipe websites, it
is quite surprising that there is a great potential that has really
been neglected in the past. Angelo Peer, a strict gastronomy
critic and writer, who is a bit eccentric, has dealt with this
topic using three examples. Nevertheless, as thinking positive
is fun, the celebrity chef and nutrition expert Alois Mattersberger has provided several links, which are as useful as the other
four million website are supposed to be. The conclusion is that
eating and drinking is a matter of our five senses, which is hard
to realise in the two-dimensional world of the Internet. It’s time
for all the innovators to get behind their computers – there is
plenty to do!
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Oft findet man nicht den Genuß, den man mit Recht erwarten muß.
Wilhelm Busch
Indulgence in the times of the Internet
I must confess – there were times when I used to buy wine on eay
or several other Internet online marketplaces. At first things seemed
quite well, as it is certainly a bargain to get a Chateau Petrus for
300 Euro, even if the vintage was doubtful. But I soon began to
break this habit, as you always buy the pig in the poke, despite
the detailed descriptions and photos. It might happen to you that
the place of delivery is a shady house in the third urban district
of Vienna, where you meet a couple of teenagers who probably
inherited a few bottles from their uncle trying to make the big
deal without realising that this product has to be properly handled. Or when you buy salmon, sausages, cheese or sweets – old,
grey and unattractive. Should you send the parcel back? On the
one hand, this is quite troublesome, and on the other hand, you
never know what you are getting into, as there might be a dedicated disputer on the other end of the deal. This isn’t usually
worthwhile: All the enjoyable things you can buy on the Internet
are also offered in any average city – face to face.
If you use a search engine, you will abandon all hope right at the
beginning: More than 44 million websites about restaurants
appear within split seconds.
Regarding this vast number,
it is hopeless and not recommendable to go on: the majority of these sites are useless PR. The ready-made
phrases – just like those of
the print media – are served
up electronically. And you often get things you don’t even
want. On the other hand, the
small number of websites
that really try to be objective
hardly use the advantages of
this medium. You will probably find gastronomy reviews that are
two years old and have long been updated in the printed versions.
The Internet is often used as an alibi, but the presence alone is
not sufficient. If the only purpose is being online, you’d better
stay offline.
Why do people cook anyway (and I’m not talking about those who
regard cooking as a daily routine, just like making the beds or
cleaning the toilet)? Because it is a sensual artwork they produce
in front of their eyes, ears and noses. And the cookery book is
definitely a decisive matter for the eyes. Looking at the meal of
your choice on a glossy, coloured picture is a motivation which no
Internet recipe could provide. It probably won’t look like this in
the end, but you will at least remember the ideal example.
Just imagine a Viennese Schnitzel that was scorched, just
because the website you were trying to consult took several
minutes to build up. In the living room, of course, as you wouldn’t
use a laptop in the kitchen. Otherwise, the place would definitely look like a laboratory considering all the physical and chemical
processes. And last but not least, there are those romanticlooking cooking traces left on the books, which make you remember
one or two historical feasts, whereas you would just throw away
an ordinary printout copy. “If you have got your own axe, you don’t
need a carpenter”, says a German proverb. However, the Internet
doesn’t replace the library (yet). Even if an axe would be quite
handy regarding the vast number of cookbooks. 7
Angelo Peer
5. Play and learn: www.mcdonalds.at. Here you can compose a
variety of meals. The data listed shows that McDonald’d offers
many products – from the low-calorie menu to the almost dangerous fattener. Conclusion: fast food is not thickening as long as you
eat deliberately.
6. Eating out takes practice – even on the Internet. Advice: A
printed restaurant guide is still the best solution. The online
version of the Gault Millau is almost one year old but still better
than many others.
7. A good meal needs a good glass of wine. Visit the leading expert
at: www.winespectator.com
“I have already prepared it” – now online
Mattersberger is not alone – the TV chef gets a competitor. We want
to present you three online cooks….
Alois Mattersberger cooks and gives his advice...
1. www.mattersberger.com
or www.gesundnaund.com
“Gesund, na und?®“ is the new project of the celebrity chef Alois
Mattersberger. It is about something that seems quite unbelievable
– but it is possible: losing weight with indulgence.
With Alois Mattersberger and his team of nutrition you won’t experience an age of fasting or your twentieth instant diet. You will
rather find pleasure in eating and enjoy the right meals. The
weight-losing package includes eight personal consultations over
three months and is adapted to your personal needs. Its aim is to
change your food patterns with fun and joy.
2. The book classic of our grannies as the best German cookbook
on the Internet – the Thea cookbook: www.thea.co.at
3. A funny website, which leaves nothing to be desired for those
who regard cooking just as an act of removing hunger. Many people
are quite clumsy, but there are many tips and tricks that make
cooking real fun. Here is the URL: www.frag-mutti.de
4. If you want to learn something about food, you will certainly find
it at www.lebensmittellexikon.de.
Although www.eatturkey.com is only about turkey, it has 30 chefs
dealing with it. Numberless recipes are presented in Quick-Time
format. If you cook together, be careful and don’t cut your finger.
Of course, the US celebrity cook Julia Child also has her own online
videos (www.pbs.org/juliachild).
They are very extensive but fee-based, just like the virtual cooking
lessons by Eric Arrouzé. (www.911cheferic.com)
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If you think of the latest technologies, timing is almost as important
as the technology itself. But you can only choose the right time if
you are at the top. Regarding ENUM, Austria is actually at the top,
as enum.at has taken part in the development of this technology
itself and commissioned the first registry worldwide in 2004.
Papin's pot
In 1681, the Royal Society did not show
much interest in participating in Denis
Papin’s second presentation. At least,
the first demonstration of his high-pressure pot ended in a catastrophe. The pot
blew up in the middle auf the audience,
spreading its unknown contents everywhere. Although the second attempt was
successful (Papin had also invented the
pressure-relief valve in the meantime), it
was 200 years too early – nobody was
interested in the product.
In the middle of the 90’s, the first experience with Voice over IP
was much the same: Instead of a telephone number you had to
dial an IP-address, which you had to ask for beforehand (usually
by a phone call). The callee was scarcely audible and the modem
dial-in demonstrated the absurdity of the whole thing: While the
voice was transmitted via Internet, the Internet packets were
transferred via voice telephony in turn. The entire technology
disappeared after an intensive trial phase for almost 10 years,
because the basic conditions were obviously missing.
After this break, the second generation seemed to have all the
necessary requirements: “always-on” broadband interfaces,
appropriate hard- and software, fast computers for a high voice
quality, and VoIP telephones that looked like the usual devices
and were not dependent on the PC. Just like Papin’s high-pressure pot, some people looked back on the first generation and
they had to be convinced to try again. The most significant evidence for its technological maturity was that many phone calls
from the conventional telephone network were already transacted
via Internet. And just like the essential “pressure-relief valve”, it
also had a feature against the lack of usability: ENUM enables
the use of telephone numbers instead of Internet addresses and
transmits calls between two VoIP users via Internet – a technology that entered the market exactly at the right time. Domains that
are connected to a telephone number are registered, and the
Internet addresses available with a number are entered.
In Austria this technology has become
routine, as ENUM has already been in
operation for a year and is offered by several service providers. Other countries
are still testing and will pick up in 2006
– the German registry has announced
that the regular operation will start at
the beginning of this year, and the politically delicate country code “+1” (as it
is shared by the USA, Canada and several Caribbean states) should be brought
on line later this year.
However, enum.at already thinks ahead, and the next project is
the use of ENUM as a router between different network operators. In this process, the entries are not made by the user of the
phone number but by his operator. These entries can be used by
other operators in order to find the best communication line. In
2006, this so-called “Infrastructure ENUM” will be the focus for
standardisation issues within the Engineering Taskforce (IETF) –
and Austria will again play a major role. 7
Alexander Mayerhofer
enum.at is a sister company of nic.at, which operates the registry
of ENUM domains within the Austrian country code “+43”. Please find further information at www.enum.at. Alexander Mayrhofer is a systems engineer with enum.at and a secretary of IETF’s
ENUM workgroup.
> Germany lauches the commercial operation
> IETF standardises Infrastructure ENUM
> Canada becomes the registry for the country code “+1”
> Austria launches a trial run for Infrastructure ENUM
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Seite 16
Football star, comedian, and almost an all-round entertainer: Anton Polster, who is known in the
German-speaking area as “Toni”
the goalgetter. In the TV show
“Dancing Stars” he even proved
his skills on the dance floor, and
his name is always mentioned
when a statement starts with “In
the times when Austria was a real
football nation“. But how does he
cope with the world of the new
media? Another “.at” star interview.
Are most of your friends and relatives Internet freaks or total refusers?
How important are modern means of
communication for you?
What does your future look like?
Football, singing or dancing?
Very important. Nowadays it’s
hard to live without these things.
My mobile phone rings non-stop,
but I don’t have to answer it all the time (laughs). To be honest,
I have accustomed myself to simply switching it off sometimes.
Regarding e-mails: In terms of business, many things can be
handled via e-mail. This is both practical and time-saving, as my
phone calls usually take much longer than writing an e-mail! I
especially enjoy writing e-mails in private life, and there are many funny things people send you – I like reading them in between, although they sometimes become too many. I mainly use
the Internet in order to get information – especially about companies I do business with or about other people.
For how long have you been an Internet user and how intensely do
you use it?
When I was an active football player, I didn’t care about computers at all. My first contact with the Internet took place when I
joined the management of the Gladbach football club (6 years
ago). Regarding the intensity, I would consider myself an “average”
Like I said before, my son is a
real computer junkie. My father
hardly uses it and my mother never – she doesn’t even touch the
computer. I guess that many
older people feel like that, but
that’s a great pity considering
that there would be many advantages for them. I often tried to
convince my mother, but I had
no luck.
At the moment I’m a businessman, but football should become
the central part of my life again.
Of course, the conditions must be right. I certainly won’t enforce things. On the other hand, I’m even concerned with football
now. I’m a TV presenter with the TV station Premiere and I’m
going to work for T-Mobile during the world championship.
Who will become world champion and who will become the German
Brazil will become world champion, winning against Argentina
in the final. And Bayern München will certainly get the title in
One brief statement about the situation in Austria...
In the Austrian football league there will be a duel between
Austria Salzburg and Austria Vienna – of that I’m sure. The
chances are 50/50, but I think that Vienna will keep the title.
What is your opinion about the national team – what can we expect
from the European Championship?
Is there a funny story to tell about Internet or e-mail?
Well, when I started surfing, I used to open anything I found. But
nobody told me that all those files and e-mails had to be closed
again sometime! You can imagine how my screen looked like
after a while…
How does your family use the Internet? Is your son your personal web
My son, Anton, is now 15 years old and he’s an absolute computer
freak. He has been learning it in school and keeps himself busy
doing it at home, too. In my point of view, he spends too much
time in front of the “box”. My daughter (Lisa-Marie, 12 years
old) and my wife are normal users, just like me.
Only if all persons and parties involved – i.e. players, trainers,
managers, clubs and associations – devote themselves to this
event, we will have a real chance to stand our ground in the
European Championship. I think that our team manager Pepi
Hickersberger will work hard on it, and as a big fan of our national team I wish him good luck.
Thank you for the conversation. 7
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Seite 18
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Seite 20
Searching for a used car on the Internet is really great. In the past,
people used to drive from one trader to the next or leaf through tons
of newspapers pages. Nowadays, you just have to search for the car
of your choice in one of the large online marketplaces, and you will
find it – with a probability of 99%. That’s not surprising, as since the
90’s, which was obviously the time of many poor websites, several
Internet sites have emerged that have up to 800,000 articles for offer. You even have the possibility of having the instalment or leasing
and insurance rates calculated. Only a test drive requires leaving
your home.
The 200,000 Euro VW & the tank with 200 km/h
Recently, several online marketplaces have been in the headlines
of many newspapers: 189,900 Euro for a car that isn’t even worth
15,000 (former “popemobile” – VW Golf), or a VW van from the
German army, 20 years old, including bullet-proof screens and
camouflage painting.
Talking about bullet-proof screens: Have you ever considered acquiring a car with the highest possible safety level on the market?
Your personal James-Bond car including all amazing gadgets? Well,
apart from the integrated ejector seat, ground-ground missiles or
hidden smoke-bombs: In case of a gas attack, the passenger compartment is inflated with oxygen, and if the sensors detect fire, it will
be extinguished with dry powder within seconds. Additionally, there
are gas masks available in case of an emergency. If anyone tries to
shoot your tyres, you needn’t be upset. The emergency system
“Pax” allows you to drive on and reach your target safely without
any damage (unless your tyre is hit by another bullet...).
The cost factor is between 200,000 and 400,000 €, depending on
the model type and producer.
pre-order your personal model at www.moller.com.
Estimated time of delivery: 2009. 7
Wolfgang Mader
Exciting Links:
Moller Aircraft Corp. www.moller.com
The Skycar M400 http://www.moller.com/skycar/m400/
Demolition Derby http://www.derbypro.com/
Wrecked Exotics www.wreckedexotics.com
Pimp my ride – do it yourself: http://www.streetracersonline.com/
Value of used cars www.dat.de
Purchase & sale of vintage cars: http://www.classicsandcustoms.com/
totally wrecked
If you have wrecked your car, you still have the chance to make
some money out of it by visiting totallywrecked.com. This website
not only offers photos of Ferraris, Jaguars and Bugattis that have
been wrapped around a tree, you can also read about the weirdest
and most sarcastic car accidents in the USA. And if the condition of
your car is not that bad, you can register for the American Demolition Series... Take a glance at derbypro.com, which provides videos
of burning cars and guarantees spectacular action.
With America being the perfect example, the Europeans are becoming more and more enthusiastic about modifying their cars. This
trend is not least due to the American TV production “Pimp my ride”, which for instance turns an 84 Caddy into a “pimpmobile”.
Watchers of this MTV series can apply for taking part in the show
and having their old junk car transformed into a completely renovated high-quality automobile for free. These cars are not only roadworthy, but will probably have an integrated entertainment center
including state-of-the-art TFTs as well as games consoles or entire
fitted kitchens.
Nevertheless, the US-based Moller Aircraft Corp. is certainly more
than one step ahead – with their “SkyCars” (special about these
“cars” is that they can fly!). These high-flyers offer seats for four
persons and have a top speed of 480 km/h. The demand is accordingly high. If you have at least 500,000 € in your pockets and
want to join the exclusive “flying motorists” club, you can already
12:17 Uhr
Seite 22
DDOS. This is not a new operating system, a typing error or a part
of the new German orthography – another one. No, it’s a vicious
threat to well-working systems and probably the actual source of
DDOS is actually based on a quite simple principle. Even in the
world of computers DDOS works according to the childish motto:
“All against one! (... how cowardly...)” The technical term is called
“Distributed Denial of Service“. Once again the computer world
has adopted something that also exists in the real world – like
viruses, Trojans and worms.
What is DDOS about?
It’s the simple overstraining of a target by a coordinated request
overload. Blocking fax machines, telephone terror – these are methods that have already existed in the times of telecommunication,
before the invention of the Internet. Looking back it may sound funny, as a few years ago the oldest type of such attacks has become
modern again: Coordinated via Internet, SMS and telephone, hundreds of people got together in cities in order to assault a shop and
do quite unreasonable things. Shop owners in the Mariahilfer Street
in Vienna can tell a thing or two about how it is when hundreds of
people enter a shop, make telephone calls with their mobiles and
tell a fictitious person about an air trip for 5 minutes while inspecting a pair of blue jeans, and leave the shop together after exactly 5
minutes: This is called “Flash-Mob” – a new phenomenon whose
effects remind you of DDOS, telephone terror and blocking fax
In a coordinated action different computers with even different
locations worldwide attack a server by overstraining it with senseless queries until software and hardware pass out. The aim of such
attacks is to make a website or its services break down. In case of a
thoroughly organised attack, computer users don’t even notice that
their computer is just taking part in a query attack of a particular
server: Viruses and Trojans enable the attacker to take control of the
unaware user’s computer, which starts acting like a zombie and forwards queries to a server until it can no longer answer.
Who is the target of an attack?
The most common targets are servers from important institutions,
large companies – especially those which are not quite popular
among the “scene” – and, of course, central Internet authorities.
Some of these central bodies of the Internet are the global registries. The places where domains are delegated are most vulnerable,
as they are responsible for the vital functions of the Internet – email and the World Wide Web. These services are dependent on
such authorities, which forward the domains to the relevant webesite
or e-mail server.
The .at-magazine has asked the nic.at expert Gerhard Winkler about
the situation in Austria and what steps nic.at, the registry for “.at”domains, takes in order to protect itself from such attacks.
Basically, nic.at has three weak points. The first one is the actual registration service for domains. However, nic.at doesn’t make it easy
for attackers, as the queries from registrars (ISPs who register domains on behalf of their customers) are forwarded to an automated
system via e-mail. Several security measures, like SPAM filters and
an appropriate anti-virus software, protect the nic.at registration system against an e-mail overload. In addition, authorised registration
e-mails are PGP-signed. This signature indicates whether the sender is known, which means that the system blocks any unauthorised
The second weak point are the services for the public use. In
order to check when a domain expires or who owns a particular
domain, nic.at offers a free “Whois service” for all Internet users.
This database contains information about every domain ending
with “.at”, like the holder and his address. Using an automated
query with billions of letter combinations or even entire dictionaries, commercial Internet providers sometimes try to find out
which domains are free or when they become available again, in
order to register them in time. Such mass queries might really
cause distress to a server, but nic.at has even taken measures
against this kind of threat. A redundant infrastructure provides a
smooth operation, and any irregularity – like continuous bulk
queries from a particular server – will set off the alarm. Subsequently, proper blocks can be installed, in order to prevent another query that uses the words of the entire Encyklopedia Britannica with “.at” endings. Thus, nic.at is also able to react fast
against this problem.
The most vulnerable part are the name servers, as these are responsible for forwarding the domain name to the right web server, which
contains the website, services or e-mails. Therefore, the domain registry has to build a real fortress, which means:
Strong diversification: Using many different servers, various hard-
ware elements, different operating systems and versions, as well as
different types of software, prevents the complete vulnerability of
all servers.
Having a higher performance and more potential and capacity than
the attacker is also an effective technique.
Cunning front servers try to avoid DOS and DDOS and search for
irregularities by using statistics and traffic monitoring.
AnyCast: This is an important keyword for the protection of the network infrastructure. Many servers in different locations pretend to
be one and the same server. If this server is attacked from different
points worldwide, the attackers don’t even realise that they only see
the server which is nearest to them. The truth is, however, that they
all attack different servers.
Gerhard Winkler,
Anti-DDOS-expert for nic.at
What can you do?
One more thing: The protection against viruses and Trojans and
the use of inhomogeneous systems – all the things Gerhard Winkler from nic.at has just described also work in a smaller context,
and you can make use of them yourself – is not only a means of
self-protection, but also protects other users from things your
computer can do without your knowledge. Gerhard Winkler’s
expert advice: “Choosing different techniques is vital for locating
attacks and blocking the service if needed, but also for being able
to repel attacks. As a result, attackers can not tune in to one particular procedure. And in some cases it is even useful having the
‘larger network wire’”. 7
Roland Vidmar
12:17 Uhr
Seite 24
Really big international summits have one thing in common: The
event is considered successful if there is a result at all. In view of
that, the UN World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis has
really been successful: The USA, which dominate the Internet, have granted a few allowances to the rest of the world. But they exactly comply with the US fitness principle: They are “super extra light”.
The big bang didn’t take place. Before the summit, people expected a great showdown between the formerly (and still) very
powerful USA and other great nations – like China, India and
Brazil. But in the end, there was the forced harmony of a typical
multinational meeting: No winners, no losers and some achievements for everyone. However, the UN World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) in the North African city of Tunis
didn’t only save faces, but there were also decisions made. The
Internet is apparently no longer governed by the Americans alone. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – a detailed article about this “worldwide regulator” for the
web can be found in at-magazine no. 3) is no longer the sole institution regarding Internet policy. The Californian company, a
central Internet junction on the entire globe which is massively
influenced by the US government, gets a little brother – a very,
very weak little brother.
The “Internet Governance Forum” is intended (not to decide but
at least) to discuss questions around the Internet regulation and
web policy. This should officially please both sides: Everyone outside the USA, as the Americans’ ultimate dominance has fallen
at least symbolically, and the Americans, as the forum isn’t (yet)
more than a many-voiced global discussion club that has no actual decision-making power. And both sides are right. Richard
Wein, nic.at manager and local observer of the summit, gives a
slightly sarcastic summary: “Many have expected a grand duel
between the major opponents. However, it wasn’t resolved the
Western way, and it could rather be characterised as “much ado
about nothing”. They used a well-proven strategy in order to
solve the conflict in a smooth way: If you can’t get ahead, just
establish a working group”.
The “Internet Governance Forum” represents this working group,
and currently nobody expects more from it: On the one hand, the
democratic principle constrains efficient debates. The discussion shouldn’t only include government representatives but literally everyone who is concerned regarding the Internet. And who
isn’t actually concerned nowadays? On the other hand, there
isn’t much known about the procedures, organisation and coordination of the international committee. Except that the forum will
first meet in Athens in early 2006. And there are still things be
discussed regarding its dimension, formation and leadership. So
the USA doesn’t really seem to be awestruck.
Nevertheless, a completely new standard has been defined in
paragraph 63 of the summit’s final document: No country is
allowed to have control over the country-specific domain of another country. Although it may sound only moderately sensational
for laypersons, it is a decisive turning point regarding the influence of the Americans. ICANN had enabled them to “shut
down” any country code (e.g. .at) – at least theoretically. The
nic.at manager Wein attaches much significance to this regulation: “It is not a legal but a moral decision and it still has to
stand the test of practice, but it is a strong symbol of the world
against the omnipotence of one single country”.
For Wein the political development is far less exciting than another
development, which is quite significant – not for the public but
with regard to its practical consequences: Since its foundation in
the late nineties, ICANN was the bearer of the so-called IANA
function. IANA stands for Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
and means no less than control over the entire technical equipment for the worldwide coordination of the Internet. This function,
which is the basis of ICANN’s power, will possibly be opened for a
competitive bidding for the first time: “This basic task for the
operation of the Internet was already regarded as a right of succession, which could result in idleness and mistakes. Thus, creating a competitive environment by tendering is going to bring
both dynamics and quality improvements”.
By the way: With enum.at, which is a sister company of nic.at,
being on the cutting edge regarding the use of the ENUM technology, the Austrian delegation to the summit took an internationally respected role. 7
David Mock
Another summit – much smaller but more efficient: nic.at invited
to Salzburg, where a debate around the main topic broadband
took place.
Location: a former bell-foundry in the outskirts of the city. The
symbolism: While people used to ring in former times, people nowadays surf in order to communicate. Gabi Burgstaller, the head of
the provincial government, opened the event and declared Salzburg the “secret Internet capital of Austria”, because nic.at is
located there. nic.at manager Richard Wein supplied evidence
for this thesis: The .at-zone is controlled by nic.at, and the fast
development regarding domains is a positive sign for the situation of the Internet in Austria: Whereas there were about
270,000 domains registered with .at in the year 2002, the
current number for 2005 is almost as high as 500,000.
Martin Hagleitner from the Malik Management Center in St. Gallen
pointed out the ongoing change to an economy of knowledge:
“Making knowledge productive is the current purpose of companies and location policy”, says the originator of Austria’s first
region-wide broadband study. Broadband density is not the only
crucial factor, as “it means nothing without content, development and proper end devices”, according to Hagleitner.
Regarding e-government, i.e. administration via electronic communication, Austria has a leading position. The respective EU
ranking shows the country on the second position, right behind
The participants discussed, philosophised and communicated
with each other – not only on the podium. Exhibitors from the IT
business and local industry used this event as a chance to do
networking among the target group. And: Due to its great success, the nic.at event series will continue even this year. 7
Salzburg Research manager Siegfried Reich evaluates the broadband factor from the users’ point of view. In his opinion, by
using weblogs, websites and podcasts the users have become
“prosumers”, which is a combination of producers and consumers. So they have become more and more critical. In his opinion,
the main challenge is to produce high-quality contents.
The audience’s national pride was strengthened by Christian
Rupp, who is the spokesman of the “Platform Digital Austria”:
left to right: Univ.- Doz. Dr. Siegfried Reich, Salzburg
Research, Richard Wein, nic.at, Mag. Robert Schischka,
nic.at, Landeshauptfrau Mag. Gabi Burgstaller und
Mag. Hans Scharfetter, Salzburger Landesregierung.
Foto © www.kaindl-hoenig.com
12:17 Uhr
Seite 26
world championships. Numerous game servers, which require
the registration of all team-mates, offer their “guests” Source-TV
access – the game itself should be installed on the user’s computer, too, so the spectator can switch between the participating
players and even explore the playing field where it is most interesting. So you can easily watch the game – just like on TV. The
first “couch potato” computer players are emerging – who would
have thought that the development would continue that way?
Practically everything that existed in the real world of sports
already exists on the Internet and in the world of the electronic
sportsmen. There are even moderated “Source TV” platforms,
where show hosts from the gaming scene comment these games
live, who are almost as famous as Heinz Prüller from the ORF
(Austrian TV broadcasting station).
The enthusiastic player is not a strange character, and although
the non-gaming world might be sceptical about these e-sportsmen, the argument which states that the most important muscle
of the human body – namely the brain – is trained can not be
completely ignored. A fast reaction is vital, just like a completely
automated use of the mouse and keyboard, a fast eye and a full
concentration on different actions. This is what makes an
e-sportsman successful (apart from a capable graphic card that
should be able to deal with a monitor in the size of an airfield
with high resolution).
All right,
a new high-score!
Computer games are broadcasted live, there are world championships with outstanding rewards, groups of gamers make their own movies with computer games,
and the advertising industry affixes posters in the virtual games – to make a long story short: computer games have not grown up, they have rather become a
medium of its own. Even PC producers benefit from the urge to play: technically sophisticated games require an enormous computing power, which probably
makes it a vital factor for the decision of buying new technical equipment.
Computer games have been a driving force of the technological
development. The multimedia hype was never based on text processing or spread sheet – the performance of graphic and sound
cards was determined by the requirements of complex computer
games. Computer games have never been a matter only for kids,
and now even the world of computer games itself has grown up.
The decisive factor for this development was, finally, the networking of computer games. Nowadays, they are no longer played on
one single computer, but there are several players or even teams
who can play together or against each other via Internet using
central game servers. These servers coordinate the data of the
participating players, so every local player gets all the necessary
information about the positions and scores of the other players
on his computer. Although the games look quite complex, the
transfer of data which is necessary to play together is quite low,
because most data, i.e. game graphics and sound, is locally
stored on each player’s hard disk.
H. Prüller’s network competitors
People play against each other around the globe. The “e-sportsmen” even compete against each other in tournaments and
Movies from computer games?
Yes, that’s something readers of the .at-magazine have certainly
heard before. There have always been computer games that were based on real Hollywood movies, and fans from all over the
world were eager to buy posters, movie requisites, the DVD
including the cut scenes and director interviews, as well as the
corresponding computer game. The times have changed, and the
computer games industry has not only become
more creative, it also has a decisive
advantage: Hollywood movie proI don’t think
ducers often have to search for
me anymore!
the appropriate actor for months,
while the gaming industry just
designs its own character in a graphic
studio – a powerful 3-D animation is no longer an exception, it
has rather become the rule. In the meantime, more and more
movies are produced that are based on computer games.
But things seem to become more bizarre, as there a creative
masterminds who have recently influenced the scene even more
noticeable than the professional gamers on their joysticks,
mice and keyboards. Computer gamers cooperatively
make their own “movies” using “in-game material”,
which are mostly movie shorts that are available
on the Internet. Sounds weird and it actually
is. The technical production is not very difficult. The monitor display of one player who
observes the scene is filmed, while the other
players act according to the script, which is
usually in contrast to the game’s original purpose. For example, there are ballet dances in
military games, performed by the players who
move synchronously according to the rhythm
of a music added to the video. And there are
other fanciful ideas, like movie scenes that
are imitated in a computer game environment.
Readers of the .at-magazine can find some of these rather entertaining videos on the .at-magazine website. Just click on the
links and enter the movie world of computer gamers… 7
Roland Vidmar
Here is a first introduction, and the homepage of the .at-magazine
offers even more:
One of the largest European gaming platforms that offers game
critics and even SourceTV
Gaming platform with a large community that also provides
numerous reports about new computer games
A true ballet performance made by computer gamers…
12:17 Uhr
Seite 28
In the last two issues of the .at-magazine our readers learned much about text
blogs and audio blogs (also known as “podcast”). The time is due for users to
enjoy even amateur-TV: The time of waiting is over – now everything is going to
be filmed!
This is basically all a vlogger needs. For those who want to start
right now – here are a few tips from someone who already does
it himself:
It wasn’t before the end of 2004 that vlog – this is the correct
abbreviation of video weblog – became popular in the Germanspeaking area. To be more specific: it was the 26th of December
2004. Horrible events happened that day, and just like podcasting and text weblog (i.e. the traditional blog type), the mass
media was once again responsible for making this phenomenon
so popular. The 26th of December 2004 will long be remembered
by many tourists of South-East Asia: Tsunami. Because they
didn’t have their own material due to the fact that their correspondents could not be reached, many TV broadcasting stations in
Europe and America showed vlog sequences from tourists who
had cameras and Internet connections. The consumers suddenly
became the producers of television.
It has often been the same with many phenomena of the wonderful wide world of the Internet: It’s not a brand-new thing. The
first known “vlog” entry was quite unspectacular. On 27 November 2000 – so more than 5 years ago – Adrian Miles (University
of Melbourne, Australia) published the first known “vlog” entry
online. Even at those times, he clearly told the media theorists:
A “vlog” isn’t a reincarnation of television, as there is no broadcasting (“streaming”), but the videos are provided for other users
to be downloaded.
Anyway, vlogs are obviously a sneaking revolution in the television society. Just like it happens everywhere in the Web, consumers are becoming producers – “prosuming” is the new trend
of sending and receiving. Neo-programming directors walk
through the streets using their webcams or video-compliant mobile phones. The range of vlogs seems to have no limits – they are
flashy, documentary, satirical, political or private. While a group
of vloggers show their creative skills as video editors, artists or
visual designers, others make documentary blogs that are so weird
and amusing that they even have their own groups of subscribers.
Real subscribers. Just like a Podcast, a vlog can not only be viewed on the vlogger’s homepage, but can also be subscribed via
iTunes, so the viewer needn’t miss a single broadcast. The system downloads the files from the Internet and the user can
watch the vlog on his screen – according to his daily, weekly, or
monthly subscription.
While initially only few were “acquainted” with the medium, now
there are hundreds and thousands who publish their videos on
the Internet, and the “prosumers” are becoming more and more
each day – without the need of a radio transmitter, broadcasting
station or broadcasting license. The necessary technical equipment is no longer a problem for the typical technically equipped
Internet connection
Computer with video editing program
Video camera
1: Save the vlog as iPod compatible. The proper format is usually
provided by the video program on your computer, as the potential
audience has been increasing since Apple introduced iPodVideo on the market. Those who don’t have an iPod can open the
file anyway.
2: Get some music – and don’t forget to observe the rights. Of
course, it would be best to compose the music yourself. If you
are not able to do this, just search for the “Creative Commons”.
3: Tell your friends immediately and remember the 1st issue of
the .at-magazine: If you don’t have friends, you should have a
vlog – if you’ve got many friends, you must have a vlog. Moreover,
some constructive feedback is always a benefit for neo-TV producers. And now you are a part of them.
In order that you don’t have to start from scratch, click on the
website of the .at-magazine. There you can pick up some courage
not only by watching things others have published but also by
finding some relevant sources for your required material – even
music. 7
Roland Vidmar
12:17 Uhr
Seite 30
The Internet has evolved so tremendously because it was boundless, because it was possible to communicate between distances
and times, and because it provided access to information within
the entire “global village”, even if it was thousands of kilometres
away. Boundless, without barriers – that’s what the Internet is
supposed to be. But up to now, this has only applied to those who
were familiar with computers and who weren’t handicapped in
some way.
“Accessible Internet websites” are about making the Internet and
all its information available for all people – and they literally mean
“all”, as they comply with the regulations of the “Web Accessibility Initiative” (“WAI”). This initiative, which consists of different
persons, companies and associations, is a part of the so-called
“World Wide Web Consortium“. This means that it can take part in
the decisions regarding the function of HTML, which is the “computer language” that defines and designs Internet websites.
The line of Braille
Since 4 January 1809, there has even been a solution for blind
people – just in time for the Internet. On this special day Louis
Braille was born, the man who later developed the script that blind
people have been learning all over the world. However, a printing
that needs to be felt is not easily applicable for a computer, as
perforating a monitor would definitely destroy it. So a different
solution had to be found in order to make the Internet touchable.
As of 2008, the “WAI” regulations will become binding for Austrian
authorities and public organisations with regard to their websites.
These guidelines define the properties and technologies that
should allow all people to use such Internet websites, even those
who are unable to move, spectacle wearers, users of older hardand software types, as well as deaf and blind persons. This group
of persons with limited possibilities, who actually represent a very
large user group, should benefit from the WAI guidelines.
The “Braille display” reads out the text on the display screen and
presses the letters against the user’s fingers, according to the
Braille script: 6 dots per letter, i.e. 3 lines with 2 dots each are
necessary. Everyone should take the opportunity of watching a
blind Internet user surfing. You will be fascinated about how incredibly fast a blind Internet user is able to read the websites... but
only those websites that are accessible, i.e. that correspond with
the WAI guidelines. A website that does not meet these criteria
would be completely useless for blind Internet users.
Making a text larger and using a strong contrast will certainly help
those who don’t have their glasses with them, who are (red-green)
amblyopic or who have a different kind of visual impairment.
Accessible websites already offer contrasts with different adjustments – the user is free to choose. The Austrian Blind Union
provides such contrast adjustments on its website, and there are
also other commercial and public institutions who have adopted
this “label”.
Mobile communication is becoming accessible!
The technological advance in the mobile communication sector
hasn’t only brought more (rather annoying) TV spots. Even if the
developers had more in mind than just providing equal opportunities for everyone, people with special needs have also benefited
from these developments – at least partially. Already back in
December 2001, an internationally respected project of the “Post
& Telestyrelsen” in Sweden, which was working by order of the
Swedish government, started opening up the mobile communication
sector for deaf people.
mation, the use of broadband connections is the crucial factor – an
area where the technical development of the recent years has
significantly contributed to the realisation of human needs.
The key element of this technology is the development of the
so-called “3G” mobile telephony. This third generation of mobiles,
which offers more than SMS and voice telephony, has a decisive
advantage for people who are deaf: the transmission of video telephony. While lip-reading is quite difficult even for experienced lipreaders considering the low transfer rate and the inadequate
smoothness, a solution would be the use of sign language and text.
By the way, the mobile phone industry has also taken care of blind
users: “Braillino” is a mobile phone which allows users to read
SMS and other texts by means of Braille. In the future, the main
challenge will be making graphical information, like city maps,
available for blind people. And there are already masterminds who
are working on new brilliant inventions – the right visions for people who cannot see have already removed many barriers. 7
In the years 2004 and 2005, the experiments of the project
“Mobile video communications for people who are deaf“ was very
successful, but the project leaders still continued their research.
They started working on a central system that interprets data for
deaf people which is transferred by signals via Internet Protocol
(IP). Especially when audio information is replaced by video infor-
Roland Vidmar
12:17 Uhr
Seite 32
He was a scientist, artist, philosopher
and the namesake of a Ninja Turtle.
Whenever Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t
busy slitting open dead bodies or constructing war machines, he probably
used to hide encrypted messages in
paintings. The illegitimate son of a
notary was doing research on almost
everything he got hold of and, additionally, invented about eleven thousand
things. And that’s what’s most special
about it: The Italian universal genius
agreed to an exclusive interview with
the popular .at-magazine interview
series with the greatest geniuses in
world history.
12:17 Uhr
Seite 34
Leonardo, you were
much ahead of your times. If you could
choose your birth
date, how would you
decide: 1452 or 2000?
As tempting as it
sounds to be born
among all these new
technologies and modern sources of wisdom, I would choose
my original birthday,
though. If you want to
achieve something in
science or research
nowadays, you will
have to concentrate
on a tiny part, whereas I rather represent
the all-rounder. This was the reason why I only finished a few of my
paintings. While I’m busy painting the one day, I might devote myself
to studying the female anatomy the other day. By the way, it is quite
childish to laugh about my comments...
I’m sorry.
On the other hand, this century has opened
a lot of doors that were still closed at those
times. For example, I was not allowed to
study at the university just because I was an
illegitimate child. Another problem was the
acquisition of dead bodies I needed for my
autopsies. Back then, opening human corpses was considered a sacrilege, and I had to
secretly exhume my research objects from
the graveyard – in the dark. Nowadays, I
could kill two birds with one stone.
But anyway, I’m glad that I wasn’t born in the
year 2000, as I would be only five years old
now and I certainly wouldn’t be here to talk
to you.
Yes, you could be right. But now you see how the world has changed.
Did many of your prognoses prove true?
At least some of them. For example, I predicted that there will be carriages that are “not drawn by an animal and move with unimaginable
power”. In fact, your rusty car doesn’t really represent an unimaginably powerful vehicle, but you finally got the basic principle. Concerning the exchange of information, I would probably have imagined a
steam-powered carrier pigeon in my obscurest dreams, whereas the
Internet in its current form exceeds all my speculations.
I have never bothered publishing my inventions. Now it would be
possible to spread my ideas easily via World Wide Web, and I could
sell my paintings in an online shop.
In 2004, Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” was published. The
thriller was translated into 44 languages and sold millionfold. Many
people believe in the story and accuse you of giving details about the
private life of Jesus in your paintings. How are you dealing with these
To be honest, I originally included even more hints in “The Last Supper”,
but my sponsor instructed me to paint over the unicorns and space
ships. To the right and left of Jesus there is neither John nor Maria
Magdalena but Paris
Hilton after a time travel.
And concerning encoded messages, I still
need some practical
The people should stop
searching for possible
conspiratorial elements
in every detail, and they
should rather see my
paintings as what they
really are: invaluable
You don’t seem to have a
lack of self-confidence.
Why are you so sure of yourself?
I painted my first angel in “The Baptism of Christ”. When I showed it
to my former teacher Verrocchio, he dropped his paint-brush and
never touched it again. I think that was quite motivating for me.
You are an animal lover, vegetarian and pacifist – so you are a real softie.
Why does someone like you decide to create deadly war machines?
I was young and needed the money. Well, I was
not that young, but I needed the money
But according to my records…
Okay, I actually was quite rich my entire life, but
in order to please you: war machines turn me
on. Well, I think it’s enough for now – I’m busy.
I’m just chatting with some da Vinci experts
about the question whether Mona Lisa is a man
or a woman and if her smile is the sign of a Far
Eastern sect. I guess they have some quite
hilarious suggestions...
Thank you for the conversation. 7
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