Copyright infringement in Germany

Context: In Germany it is extremely common for people to be sent very nasty fines for breaching copyright laws by uploading content online.

Here are my tips on how to avoid getting stung for copyright infringement by some dingbat using your internet connection in Germany ..

(1) Never let others use your internet connection – this solution sucks
(2) Block all ports commonly used for BitTorrent connections at the router level – this solution will probably work, but you can also bypass these restrictions and use otherports. Plus, it’s highly annoying for anyone wanting to use those ports.
(3) Run all of your traffic through a proxy to another country – this solution will work, but will not protect you as well as option #4
(4) Use a VPN – this solution will prevent anyone apart from your VPN provider from seeing that you are even in Germany. Simply choose a country which protects people well against copyright infringement (Netherlands is a good option for this).

For option #4, if you are smart enough and/or have the time, you can find a cheap router and flash the ROM to allow you to connect to a VPN service. If you are lazy, you can simply buy a router which allows you to connect to a VPN in it’s router settings, I bought an Asus RT-N66u for this purpose:

To state the obvious, you should never use a German VPN provider :P (that just makes finding you easier for the Polizei). I use which costs US$39.95. They (like many other VPN providers) “do not collect or log any traffic or use of its Virtual Private Network (VPN)”.

Once they’re through the VPN, they can pretty much do what they want without it being your problem. In the worst case scenario, the Polizei could get an international search warrant to nab your personal details from the VPN provider, but they’d need to do it whilst the downloading was occuring since the VPN provider wouldn’t store historical data about your VPN activities. Then I’m guessing they’d probably send a police team over to kick in your door, in which case the illegal user would be there and so would likely get caught instead of you anyway. They’re not going to do that for some schmuck downloading the latest season of House of Cards; U’m guessing that’ll happen for sharing nuclear secrets, running a long term kiddy porn ring etc., but those sorts of crimes will land someone in jail in every other sane country on the planet anyway. Basically, you should be safe from regular dingbats using your internet connection.

Beetroot juice

I heard that beetroot juice was ridiculously healthy. It sounded nasty, but people claimed it tasted great, so I decided to buy some. It does not task great; it tastes nasty! In an attempt to improve the vile taste, I added a crap-ton of vanilla flavoured whey powder and a bunch of strawberries. It’s now slightly more palatable, but I have three times the amount of liquid to consume now :/

Do any of you have any great suggestions on how to make this crap taste less like something which should stay in the ground where it came from?

Beetroot strawberry smoothie

John Lennon quote

When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life

Quitting cola

Public announcement: Due to my unhealthy cola drinking habits, I am quitting drinking cola for three months.

Exceptions to this rule are:

  1. If there is nothing else to drink
  2. If someone (in person) tells me I’m allowed some (need new permission per serving). If a caffeine free cola is available I must choose that one.
  3. If someone serves it to me without me asking for it

1x serving = 500 mL or less

After three months I will reevaluate the situation. If I feel the lack of cola in my life is having a detrimental affect on my well being, then I will return to my cola drinking ways. If I feel the lack of cola in my life has improved my life, then I will extend the time limit even further.

I have gone cola’less for weeks before, but never for months. I have however drastically slashed my intake for long periods, including a drop of around 70% consumption which has so far lasted for about four years. This is first time I have attempted a long term drop to zero consumption however.

And yes, I know other people have far more serious addictions, but this is my only vice in life* and I’d like to see if I can kick the habit.


* I’m not sure if an obsession with sugar counts as a “vice”, but I have that too

EDIT: Current, vague, not properly though through plan for when this ends:

  • Allow unlimited sugar free colas
  • 1x 500 mL cola allowed per month
  • Review after another six months

MitoQ mesylate

Well this was a surprise. It’s not often you see a drug advertised on Facebook and realise that you are partly responsible for it! The chemical used in this “supplement” is MitoQ mesylate. I was the first one to synthesise it in the mesylate form back in 2004 :)