Ze Germans are on the road….

…on their journey to Mongolia…

“Ze Germans …are coming! We’re taking on the Mongol Rally 2007. 13.000 kilometers, 5 mountain ranges, 2 deserts, some of the worst roads in the world and all this in car most people wouldn’t trust to get them to the local shops.”

And as of today they are on the road doing the rally:

“If you read this after about 8am, then we are on the road and on our way to London. Thanks to Mirko, all our SMS Updates will also be posted here, so stay tuned! And for God’s sake, wish us luck!”

Source 1: http://www.mongolrally.de/
Source 2: http://mongolrally.theadventurists.com/

Student Technology Conference 2007

We spent the last two days in Duisburg attending the Student Technology Conference 2007.

“From Software Architecture, User Interface and Robotics to Games Development with the XNA framework: in use and brand new technologies of the IT – industry will be presented and demonstrated at technologically advanced level. Microsofts Student Technology Conference is the perfect opportunity to engage with potential employers and to get in touch with Microsofts .NET technology. Additionally the German Finals in Microsofts premiere technology competition, the Imagine Cup 2007, will have its final in the Software Design invitational right here!”


the keynote


view from our hotel room…nice, eh?

Source: http://www.studentconference.de

about the 23c3 recording and streaming teamwork

The planning process started way earlier than last year but as usual some things remain until the very last minute before everything starts. But since this year the teamwork and enthusiasm was extraordinary we finally made it almost as planned. We surely did not reach our goal of releasing the recordings hours after the talk ended. Mainly because we underestimated the amount of knowledge and pain it took to actually get the recordings running on the iPod. It was one of the guidelines for this years official recordings: they had to run on current generation video iPods and they had to have all the metatags. So the team did it and we ended up releasing the first half (nearly) of the 23c3 recordings into the public only 2 weeks instead of the 4-6 months of last year. Even better: we managed to improve the video quality and even got smaller files. That wouldn’t been possible without the encoding-pipeline knowledge that Michael Feiri brought into the team. With that knowledge it also took several days to actually build the working pipeline.(yes the iPod is one special piece of hardware) The complete encoding-pipeline we used will be documented and released soon.

So after all that planning we finally packed our stuff and hit the road:

After some hours and the unpacking the video studio looked like this:

here’s a close up of the Windows Media Encoders, the h.264 encoding machine and the storage (all from behind):

So we surely brought enough processing power to berlin. And this is what did take the picture:


BTW: the black machine in the background just
died during the keynote speech…

Want to see what it’s like watching “out of the window” of the video studio? No problem:

or how about another view of the studio:

So. So you had some pictures of the video studio and the setup. But I bet you want to know some more details about the setup itself. I created an overview for you:

Since last years setup was completely digital (planned) and we ended up using the DV-tape backup since all the recordings were screwed up we thought it might be a good idea to go back one step and use analog video as in FBAS to transport and record the talks. We also had the DV-tape backup this year and to be honest in some cases we have to fall back to that. Less than 10 out of 130 recordings are screwed up so we have to use the DV backup. That means 120 of them worked out as planned. Great! We are currently cutting and encoding them and as you read this more than half of them should be up on the official servers and the mirrors.

Now in the aftermath of the congress we learned a new lesson: there’s maybe one or another speaker that would not allow us releasing their talk recording. In the future we think of having something like a “don’t record me”-list to avoid misunderstandings.

Speed Camera Database

“At locations that are particularly subject to accidents, speed cameras are erected specifically to catch speed offenders, to call them to account, and thereby to teach them a lesson. This should also reduce the number of accidents.

We are of the opinion that there is also another way to reduce the number of accidents.

With the help of our database, we hope to achieve the following for our users:

  • to warn them in good time about high accident area
  • that they check their speed and adjust it if necessary
  • that they can fully focus their concentration on what is happening in the traffic

The goal of our project is not to promote “racing”! “

Source: http://www.scdb.info/en/

the 23c3 live streaming and recording plannings *ATTENTION: DRAFT!*

ATTENTION: The information in this article are not final and are subject to be changed during the plannings.

In less than 2 months the 23c3 takes place in Berlin/Germany (December 27.-30th 2006). And the plannings are in full progress. We had several brainstorm sessions and I think that we finally do have a plan. First of all: We learned a lot from the 22c3 live streaming and recording work. And to give you an overview of the things we want to achieve this time:

  1. permanent working live streams of all 4 lecture halls
  2. high quality recordings without using our DV-Tape fallback
  3. making low/mid/high quality recordings in different codecs available for download within 24 hours

To achieve these goals we’re going to need considerably more hardware than last year, which means:

  • 4 WMV Live Encoding machines
  • 1 MPEG-2 encoding machine with 4 MPEG-2 encoder cards
  • 4 video editing machines
  • 6 19″ TFTs + 1 4
  • at least 1 monitoring machine
  • more than 1 Tbyte of storage space
  • 5 cameras + 1 video mixer
  • a lot of helping hands (yes, we need help chaos angels!!)

So. The camera setup is almost identical to the last one. But this time we want to use a better FBAS signal instead of the in-house HF-cable-TV. The WMV encoding stays as it was last year. We plan to install an additional MPEG-2 hardware encoding machine which produces high-quality MPEG-2 data (which gets edited and compressed for download distribution as fast as possible).

Since we’re sill in planning stage we cannot speak about bitrates, live streams and such. Everything is subject to change, it’s just a draft. But stay tuned and read frequently. Oh… and comments are welcome.

Source 1: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Home
Source 2: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Angel_FAQ

live sign… and visiting the zoo…

Yes I am alive… I took some days off so here we are back in business. There will be some articles about the things I did the last days…and of course as usual: many pictures.

I start the series with the visit to the Zoo of Erfurt:







Of course I made some panoramic views:



this and the next one show the enclosure where the turtles and the cows live :-)




the monkeys live here…(no island)

Here are the three movies I made:

23C3: Who can you trust?

It starts fairly early this year: even FeM is already preparing and planning for this years live streaming and recording. The public wiki of 23c3 is online and even the Call for Participation screams: visit me!

So, remember: beside the official wiki pages, you can always come and check here for information about FeM activities on 23c3…(streaming, recording,…)

Source: http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/cfp/

Source: FeM 23c3 recording and streaming project (no website, no link)

Imagine Cup Beachparty 2006

As this is a germany-only-offer I’ll do it in german:




“Die Entscheidung ist gefallen! Die überwältigende Anzahl von 6477 Teilnehmern hat es der Jury sehr schwer gemacht. Dennoch stehen die deutschen Vertreter für das Weltfinale in Indien jetzt fest. Die vielen tollen Ideen und Euer super Engagement möchten wir mit Euch gebührend feiern – denn eine Party unter Palmen bei 25° Lufttemperatur und 31° Wassertemperatur geht auch in Deutschland. Wir laden Dich hiermit herzlich zur Imagine Cup Beach Party am 30. Mai 2006 in das Tropical Island Resort nach Brandenburg ein.



360 m lang, 210 m breit und 107 m hoch, eine Grundfläche von 6,6 Hektar mit 7000 Kubikmetern Wasser und über 20.000 tropischen Pflanzen, dies ist genau der richtige Ort für einen würdigen Abschluss des Imagine Cup 2006 in Deutschland.



Deck-Chair-Coding, karibischer Flair, Beachparty in der größten freitragenden Halle der Welt, und das alles kostenlos, … lass Dich überraschen!


Es sind noch ca. 50 Plätze für Studenten frei. Also los und anmelden! Die Vergabe findet nach dem First-Come-First-Serve Prinzip statt.




Hier geht es zur Anmeldung.

Hier auch ein kurzer Blick auf die Agenda:



Source 1: Imagine Cup Beachparty 2006
Source 2: Microsoft Imagine Cup 2006

Promise and QLogic event tomorrow


I am about to attend an event by Promise Germany and QLogic. The two partners are going to present their current products and focus on the technical side of storage area networks and current solutions (VTrak… remember? We have several of them…)



I just got the car from the rental so expect some pictures of the journey and the event tomorrow.


Source: http://de.promise.com

the gumball 3000 ’06

Every year again the “race” begins. Well it’s not a race per se – but a rally. This year the gumballers will start at sunday morning in London and arrive 8 days later in LA.

The difference this year: All of them are guided by a Windows Mobile powered device with ALKs CoPilot software. (ALK is one of the sponsors)


dreammodesomeday/dreammode

Source: http://www.gumball3000.com/

BMW 320i touring on the road…

Sixt gave me a brand new BMW 320i touring. What a great car! It could use some more bhp but it was fun to drive in every way: Fast and Slow.


Since my GPS logging tool is not working at the moment I just made a picture of the timer that comes with BMWs iDrive. So it’s 9 Minutes 25 seconds for the complete racetrack…very nice.

Microsoft at CeBIT 06

Man, I was exhausted after one day – as usual. But after all it was a great day with many great talks. Even Promise listened to what I had to say… and that’s astonishing…

But since I had the chance to sneak behind the scenes at the Microsoft booth I want to present you a little bit of the pictures I just made…:



The presentation theater as everyone can see it…


That’s the theater from behind… a huge projector and a really big mirror render the HD projection perfect…



that’s hall 2 – which I traditionally do a panoramic view of…

Rückblick auf Depeche Mode 2006 in Erfurt

Am Dienstag Abend war es endlich soweit: Nachdem ich bereits im Juni vergangenen Jahres meine Karte gekauft hatte, durfte ich heute meine 58,25€ etwa fünfzig Meter vor mir singen, tanzen und wild herumhopsen sehen.



Die Vorüberlegungen begannen schon am Tag: Früh losfahren, dann lange warten und vorne stehen, oder später losfahren, weniger warten und weiter hinten stehen? Ich entschied mich für letzteres und sortierte in der Zeit meine Kontoauszüge.


Kurz nach 1800 Uhr ging es los. Aber nicht lang. Irgendein Idiot musste auf der A71 einen Unfall bauen. In dem folgenden Stau steckte ich ungeduldige und elendig kalte zwei Stunden. Jetzt musste ich doch warten, nur eben anders. Auch die Vorband bleibt mir erspart. Gegen 2000 Uhr läuft der Verkehr wieder.


Auf dem (natürlich schon) vollen ega-Parkplatz das beliebte Spiel: Ich oder der andere Autofahrer? Wer findet schneller einen Parkplatz…


2045 Uhr angekommen in der Messehalle 1. Auf dem Weg dorthin habe ich noch 20€ gefunden – damit ist ein Drittel des Konzertes refinanziert.


Zehn nach neun geht das Konzert los. Im Gegensatz zur recht neuzeitlichen Exciter-Setliste werden auf dieser Tour wieder eine Reihe von Songs von vor 1986 gespielt. Vor mir steht ein Typ, der das Konzert mit einem MP3-Rekorder aufzeichnet, jedenfalls bis zur vierten Zugabe (Der hätte sich mal besser vorher informiert, wie viele Songs gespielt werden…).


01 – Intro
02 – A Pain That I’m Used To
03 – John The Revelator
04 – A Question Of Time
05 – Policy Of Truth
06 – Precious
07 – Walking In My Shoes
08 – Suffer Well
09 – Damaged People
10 – Home
11 – I Want It All
12 – The Sinner In Me
13 – I Feel You
14 – Behind The Wheel
15 – World In My Eyes
16 – Personal Jesus
17 – Enjoy The Silence
18 – Somebody
19 – Just Can’t Get Enough
20 – Everything Counts
21 – Never Let Me Down Again
22 – Goodnight Lovers


Von der Exciter-Tour haben nur ganze 5 Songs überlebt. Bei Just can’t get enough lief gegen Ende irgendwas mit dem Keyboard schief.


Eine Sache geht mir beim Zuschauen dauernd durch den Kopf: Warum gehen kleine Menschen eigentlich zu Konzerten?


Um 2300 Uhr ist alles vorbei. Zumindest das Konzert. Denn der Abend geht noch etwas länger, denn allein für das Stück zur Autobahn brauche ich eine halbe Stunde. Und jeder, der Erfurt kennt, weiß, dass man beim Messegelände eigentlich schon fast außerhalb der Stadt ist. Nach dem Konzert werden übrigens auch alle Merchandising-Artikel billiger verkauft. Leider habe ich irgendwo meine Eintrittskarte verloren, aber die zwanzig Euro sind ja auch nicht schlecht.


“See you next tour!”


Jens Heymann

the trip to the 22c3, the arrival and some food.


Well here we are – packed with equipment we arrived in Berlin and successfully tested the first encoding-run for the upcoming 22c3 which starts in two days.



hmm… bad weather



this text was on the equipment to discourage thieves



rest place at the A9



finally some food – well maedness had some sandwiches – but finally something hot



the fairy dust has landed


Since we arrived we unpacked all the equpiment and drawn-in our new “office” for the next days: the video studio – which is kind of above/around hall 1.



so here we are… on the right side you can see into hall 1 through the window.



concentrated calculating power – our four encoding machines + one fallback.


Funny thing beside that: we got our own /24 subnet here – peered with 10GE directly to the Berlin CIX. How cool is that ;)

after a week: update, speakers acting, 22c3, my 360 and more…


I did not write for over a week now – I simply had no time to write – but now I want to give you a short update on what happened the last days:


2. December: the 360 arrives. I had only some time to unpack and testdrive PGR3 – in fact it’s what was promised – the next generation gaming console. (please make a firmware update so that the DVD drive is more quiet).



yes, there’s an apple keyboard attached to the 360.


To raise the pain-bar the desperatly needed XBOX VGA cable is not available anywhere around. I actually have to wait till it’s available again. Until then I am using the 360 via PAL-60 – which is – oh well …


There are some nice and some bad things to say about the 360 – one thing I just found out and impressed me: when you want to type – let’s say in XBOX live – you might want to use the on-screen keyboard. But when you attach a commonly used USB keyboard to the 360 – you can use it for the typing job … I wasn’t expecting that.


late last week I attended the 3rd “Speakers Acting” Training held by Vision Voices Executives Alexandra Schwarze and Martin Marx. As you can imagine it was a fantastic and enriching experience.



And the this weekend it finally happened: SIXT gave me my the first V6 – a Mercedes Benz ML320 – what a … hell of a car.



hmm… a SUV at >220 km/h… hrhr eat this mother nature!


Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what I did with the addictive ML – We took a trip to Berlin to meet with the guys of the Chaos Computer Club Berlin who are organising the 22th Chaos Communication Congress. As things work out we will be in Berlin at 25th of december with 10 people – recording and streaming the whole congress for you. Working closely together with the guys from congress-tv, congress-streaming… I can only cross fingers and hope that everything is going to happen as planned and discussed.



Source 1: http://www.visionvoice.de
Source 2: http://www.ccc.de
Source 3: http://www.ccc.de/congress/2005