Tried out DriveNow today

Update: I haven’t found the necessary time yesterday, but one day later I’ve found enough drive (pun intended) to upgrade this aside to a fully fledged post – enjoy!

Tried out DriveNow for the first time today – it works as well as expected and there’s just something special about spontaneously renting a top of the line 1-series BMW with all bells and whistles (compared to Car2Go‘s downright tiny and quite worn off Smarts).

Finding a parking spot for those bigger cars – well that’s an entirely different story. A story that you can find after the break:

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Safari – One Browser To Drive Them Crazy

Warning: The following post is of questionable interest to people not engaged in web development – you’ve been warned!

Just recently I did some work to improve the overall performance of this blog by reducing server load and decreasing page load times.

For both purposes I’ve installed the WordPress plugin “Cachify” which caches rendered pages server-side to deliver those static pages on consecutive loads.

Out of the box, the plugin does as advertised and cached pages are served near instantly, so overall server execution times are reduced. My next goal was to prevent the browser from actually loading and parsing the static pages if nothing has changed (the experts are calling this “local caching” ;)).

A good hour’s work later, I’ve extended the WordPress plugin with one major feature: It tells the browser how “old” the cached version of the requested page is, how long it will still be valid and thus when a new version should be acquired from the server.

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Being an Atheist

Having been an Atheist ever since I’ve been in contact with religion, I’ve often come across people that try to show me the “errors of my way” and how Atheism is either non-existing (as everything is based on their Christian faith) or morally wrong (as Atheists have no morals). Well, here’s what the late Christopher Hitchens said about that:

“About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?

Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don’t believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart’s content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called ‘meaningless’ except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one’s everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”

Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Couldn’t have said it better…

Undefeated – Battlefield 3 at its best

I’ve not been playing Battlefield 3 (PC) a lot in recent times – partly because I’m preoccupied with my new relationship – which is a good thing, thank you – and partly because I haven’t had a lot of time for playing on pc as well.

So it came that I just had a quick round (or two) on my last day of work before my vacation the other day and while I had to eat a lot of lead on the first map, the second one turned out.. well.. let’s just say “better”.

I’ll just let the scoreboard talk:

Not having played a lot on PC, I’ve shown those guys how it’s done!

MVP and Ace Squad, fucka! Don’t ask me how I did it, but being a level 15 among all those colonels sure felt good – so thank god for games where skill is king (and not the size of your wallet).

Why aspirational advertising is bad for us

Update: Back when I wrote this post in German, I was needlessly criticizing a blog post that was itself a critique of H&M’s then recent advertisement campaign for its swimsuit collection that made heavy use of a “tanorexic” look.

The post ended with a quite unfocused rant about cheap clothes, cheap television programs and how society brought this upon itself because people are too lazy or too stupid to demand better treatment for themselves.

But as not much has changed since then, I still wholeheartedly agree with Charlie Brooker’s assessment of “aspirational” TV and advertisement in general – enjoy:

Patrick Heyer's personal braindump