Insight No. 74: China Social Credit Blacklist 2018

Insights, Oddities, Reisen, Technology, Travel
George Orwells Nightmare – the China Social Credit System

Due to a low so called individual “Trustworthiness Score” in 2018 (1st stage of implementation of the Social Credit Rating System)…..

17, 46 mio Chinese were banned from air travel

5,4 mio Chinese were banned from using highspeed trains

3,6 mio Chinese companies were banned from various corporates activities (e.g. bidding on projects land auctions etc.)

The accordant TRUSTWORTHINESS BLACKLIST 2018 was available online but just in Mandarin / Hanzi language.

The China Social Credit System in Brief

The Social Credit System is a national reputation system being developed by the Chinese government. By 2020, it is intended to standardise the assessment of citizens’ and businesses’ economic and social reputation and cit: trustworthiness resulting in assignments of individual ‘Social Credit’ Scores.

As of mid-2018, it is unclear whether there will be a single system-wide social credit score for each citizen and business. By 2018, some restrictions had been placed on citizens, which state-owned media described as the first step toward creating a national social credit system; in the EU and US.

The system is considered as a form of mass surveillance which uses big data analysis technology.
Some of the technology is provided by the Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial which operates the Sesame Credit loyalty program. Alibaba is China’s largest conglomerate of online services, including the largest online shopping and the leading payment provider that actually dominates the Chinese domestic market.

The Chinese government aims at assessing the trustworthiness and compliance of each person. Data stems both from peoples’ own accounts, as well as their network’s activities. Website operators can mine the traces of data that users exchange with websites and derive a full social profile, including location, friends, health records, insurance, private messages, financial position, gaming duration, smart home statistics, preferred newspapers, shopping history, amount of time spent online, visits of parents (often visits will be punished by decreasing your score) and even dating behaviour.

From the Chinese government’s Plan for Implementation, the SCS is due to be fully implemented by 2020.
Once implemented the system will manage the rewards, or punishments, of citizens on the basis of their economic and personal behavior.
Some types of punishments include: flight ban, exclusion from private schools, slow internet connection, exclusion from high prestige work, exclusion from hotels, and registration on a public blacklist.

Insight No. 73: Breaking-through Technologies: 3-D Metal Printing – End of Mass Production – Storage – Logistics

Insights, Technology
3-D Metal Printing

3-D Metal Printing is becoming cheap and easy enough to be a potentially practical way of manufacturing parts. If widely adopted, it could change the way we mass-produce many products.

In the short term, manufacturers wouldn’t need to maintain large inventoriesthey could simply print an object, such as a replacement part for an aging car, whenever someone needs it.

In the longer term, large factories that mass-produce a limited range of parts might be replaced by smaller ones that make a wider variety, adapting to customers’ changing needs.

The technology can create lighter, stronger parts, and complex shapes that aren’t possible with conventional metal fabrication methods. It can also provide more precise control of the microstructure of metals.

Tipp No. 104: “Below The Surface” – Spectacular Underwater Photography by Tobias Friedrich

arts, Creatures, Film, Insights, Nature, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel

When I was a child, I dreamt of becoming a crew member of spaceship “Enterprise” in order to discover new worlds, unknown life forms and different cultures. Actually, I`ve lived this dream by chosing jobs that
allowed myself to travel a lot, to visit exotic places and which is even
more important to meet interesting people of in many aspects different cultures.

Scuba diving has been on my bucket list since childhood because I was
aware of the fact that the oceans are still “terra icognita” although about
71% of the earth`s surface (2/3) is covered with water of which 97,4% is salt-water.
From the very beginning, I had the idea that scuba diving could be the
unique opportunity to experience a kind of “space traveling” without the
need to meet NASA qualification requirements.

Of course, I was also inspired by the reports about Jaques-Yves Cousteau
and his adventureous expeditions when I finally took action and passed my scuba diving PADI open water exam in the Red Sea / Egypt many years ago.
It turned out that my phantasy of “space traveling” underwater was not completely absurd. As a scuba diver rookie, who is dependent on his
equipment and the goodwill of the sea dweller, I felt actually very vulne-rable. There was no doubt, it was me who was the intruder… the alien in this outlandish – almost surreal – water world! 

The spectacular underwater photography of Tobias Friedrichs brought
pre cious memories back…
Back on board after a beautiful dive, I was completely overwhelmed by
all the impressions and my emotions…Secretly and unnoticed a few tears
dropped into the Red Sea.
I didn`t recognize myself anymore because I was convinced to be quite
top-heavy and introverted. 
All this fragile beauty underwater was simply breaking my heart.
I learnt that beauty can be painful. In particular, if it is endangered by
pollution, mass tourism (I was a part of too) and climate change.   
Maybe, it was also a dash of desparation why I experienced this sudden
“crisis of joy”. 

Tobias Friedrich`s touching underwater photography allows us to sneek
a peak  cit.: “Below The Surface”. This motto might be ambiguous in
my case.

However, I` d like to share my fascination with you and invite you to
descent into The 50 Shades of Deep Blue….Enjoy the weightlessness, the flow, hushed sound level and not to forget the encounters with still quite unknown creatures who are often as curious as the human visitor!

Friendly encounter with a brown fur seal (South Africa)
Humpback Whale (Oman)
2 purple eye dwarf gobies, sitting on top of a hard coral near Marsa Alam (Egypt, Red Sea).
Face to face with a shark


"From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is 
bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he
is free."
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 - 1997)

In his childhood Tobias Friedrich loved to watch the adventures of the Calypso with Jacques-Yves Cousteau as its captain and the beauty of the world that is below the ocean’s surface. It’s still an overwhelming feeling for him when he has the chance to dive. He loves the elegancy and calmness of the world under water standing in contrast to the hectic atmosphere above.

Tobias Friedrich lives in Germany and started taking pictures with a DSLR underwater in the year 2007. Since then his images have been published in prestigious scuba diving magazines and newspapers around the world.

Several underwater photographic competitions, have honoured his work, resulting in over 50 awards with nearly 30 1st places.

Lately, he has been named “Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018” in the prestigious UPY London competition.

The UPY 2018 awarded photo: A panoramic view of the cargo deck inside the SS Thistlegorm with the motorcycles in the middle and light to lighten the trucks on the side of the cargo deck, near Sharm el Sheikh, Northern Red Sea, Egypt.

All waters, from zero to 30° Celsius, are attractive for him, at least there is something to photograph.

Tobias`fine arts photography is not staged. His photography is rather a result of stamina, patience and opportunity. He is not working with photomontages. The panorama view – combining a view above and under the ocean surface – is achieved by utilizing a dome camera.
He is SEACAM equipment for his Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark II DSLR.

He is leading expeditions and workshops around the world, where everybody can join.

Please, feel free to visit his website that shows further amazing underwater photo galleries, panorama views, beautiful aerial views (highly recommended!) and a few offerings like:

  • Underwater photography BOOKS in German and English language,
  • His calendar “BELOW SURFACE 2019″
  • A collection of high-quality POSTCARDS with unique motifs
  • His schedule of awesome PHOTOWORKSHOPS 2019 (Destinations: Egypt, Bali, Philippines, Brother Islands) – simply click on “JOIN”.


The Calendar 2019 by Tobias Friedrichs

Tipp No. 97: Spectacular Couture – A Fusion of Traditional Craftsmanship & New Technologies by Iris van Herpen (Netherlands)

arts, Insights, Kunst, Technology

IRIS VAN HERPEN – Definetely one of my absolute favorite fashion designers, inventors & artists….unfortunately beyond my budget.

Her COUTURE respectively the brilliant pictures of her breath-taking art pieces – taken by MORGAN O`DONOVAN – is pure eye-candy in my view…


Iris van Herpen

IRIS VAN HERPEN is a Dutch fashion designer who is widely recognized as one of fashion’s most talented and forward-thinking creators who continuously pushes the boundaries of fashion design.

Since her first show in 2007 van Herpen has been preoccupied with inventing new forms and methods of sartorial expression by combining the most traditional and the most radical materials and garment construction methods into her unique aesthetic vision. 

Van Herpen is often hailed as a pioneer in utilizing 3D printing as a garment construction technique, and as an innovator who is comfortable with using technology as one of the guiding principles in her work because of its sculptural nature and unfamiliar form.

The designer’s intent is to blend the past and the future into a distinct version of the present by fusing technology and traditional Couture craftsmanship.

Her singular vision combined with the complexity of her creations has made van Herpen a fixture on the Paris Haute Couture calendar, where she has shown since January 2011. Additionally, van Herpen’s work has been featured in various notable museum exhibitions.

Because of van Herpen’s interest in multidisciplinary approach to creation that goes beyond fashion, she has often collaborated with various artists such as Jolan van der Wiel and Neri Oxman and architects such as Philip Beesley and Benthem and Crouwel Architects. The designer’s interest in science and technology has led to ongoing conversations with CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Insight No. 68: Urban Air Mobility – AIRBUS

Insights, Technology

With the establishment of its new Urban Air Mobility unit (UAM) in June 2018, Airbus aims to lay the foundations for more efficient and sustainable city travel. To co-create an entire industry from scratch, it will develop cutting-edge technical solutions as well as engage a wide range of stakeholders to ensure maximum societal benefit. 

Urban Air Mobility – the Sky is Yours

Airbus UAM Cityscape

Understanding Cities

By 2030, the air traffic will increase tenfold. About 60% of the global population will live in cities. Thus, 600M people will commute on a daily basis.

Therefore, a key responsibility for the new unit is understanding how UAM can introduce an added mobility solution to a city’s existing network for the benefit of its citizens. By gathering urban flow data from cities like Paris or Beijing and using advanced modelling software, Airbus can simulate and understand how people move around to develop sustainable urban development strategies. 

Not only have cities become more densely populated in recent decades, they have also become increasingly centralised as more people travel to, from and around a central point. This is putting a tremendous strain on ground transportation.

New infrastructure elements will be required, which is why the UAM team is looking at different types of ‘vertiports’ – an airport for VTOL vehicles. This could range from a single landing pad on top of a building to a larger system of multiple landing pads that could redefine the purpose and function of motorways.

Future UAM solutions will require a redefined air traffic management considering the fact that additional air traffic will push e4xisting systems to their limits. In contrast to the conventional ones, Airbus wants to create more intelligent, autonomous and decentralised traffic management solutions that support operations in urban areas, from helicopters to drones. This will gradually pave the way for autonomous eVTOLs carrying passengers.


A key element is unmanned traffic management (UTM). For almost two years, the Altiscope project in A³ has been working with regulators and key stakeholders to define a clear picture of the future of traffic management, publishing the Airbus UTM roadmap called Blueprint for the Sky and becoming a Federal Aviation Administration Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) certified service provider. In December 2018, the Altiscope team transitioned from A³ into the UAM unit to form Airbus UTM.

…is an on-demand helicopter booking platform that is already operated in Sao Paulo and Mexico City.
The service will be launched in other megacities this year 2019 and beyond and will continue to lay the groundwork for Airbus’ longer-term vision of urban mobility using electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.
Voom is just one part of Airbus`UAM unit, which hosts the ongoing UAM activities across the company, from air traffic management to infrastructure development, including partnership building and pilot projects. It also steers the development of Airbus’ ongoing eVTOL demonstrators, Vahana and CityAirbus.   


eVTOL Airbus

It is said that the electrical vertical take-off and landing air vehicles to carry 4-5 passengers might be ready to market in about 5 years. It seems to be that Airbus is losing valuable time due to legislatory constraints.

The German startup company Volocopter might be faster thanks to its cooperation with the city state of Singapore. They have annouced last year that test flights are scheduled for 2019. Volocopters fully eVTOL aircraft is powered by 18 electric drives operating on high-capacity batteries. The aircraft made its first flight in Germany in 2016. Volocopter’s eVTOL features no combustion engine and can be flown autonomously or with a pilot in the cockpit using 18 rotors. It is capable of transporting two passengers up to 18 miles.

Other OEMs – such as Embraer that has even already launched an eVTOL online configurator for customization – as well as independent engineering companies (e.g. Mafom Design) will offer competing solutions, of course.



Vahana accommodates 1 passenger only. The autonomously flying Vahana airship successfully passed its first test flights in Feb. 2018. The prototype is 5,7m long and 6,2 m wide. The max. take-off weight is 745 kg. The unmanned prototype is powered by 8 electrical motors. It is equipped with tipping wings that allows vertical take-offs and landings. On flight the wings are fixed horizontally. In future, the passenger shall call for a Vahana by utilizing an App. The air vehicle will use roof tops of skyscrapers and other buildings as hubs. Human pilots will become obsolete. Airbus expects Vahana ready for serial production in 2020.



The CityAirbus demonstrator was designed to transport 4 passengers referring to the idea of a flying car. The airship is still under development and shall be introduced in 2023.

Airbus is aiming for the launch of a unmanned configuration as soon as the regulations allow this self-piloted concept. In the meantime, Airbus considers to offer a version that includes a pilot.
The overall multi-rotor system is being developed in Donauwörth, with the electrical propulsion system built in Ottobrunn/Munich. The use of four ducted fans contribute to safety and low acoustic footprint. The fully integrated drivetrain has eight propellers and eight 100 kW (130 hp) Siemens SP200D direct-drive electric motors. The fixed pitch propellers are controlled by their RPM. The four electric batteries total 110 kWh (400 MJ) and can produce a combined output four times 140 kW (190 hp). The design should cruise at 120 km/h (65 kn) on fixed routes with 15 minutes endurance.

Audi Pop.Up Next is a conceptual unmanned flying electric vehicle that can move both on the ground and through the air of the joint development of the German automaker Audi AG, the Airbus company, and the company that designs ItalDesign Giugiaro. It was first presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2018.

Audi Pop Up Next Concept for the CityAirbus


Skyways Cargo Drone

Skyways is an autnomous, electric cargo drone delivery system, which is testing delivery of parcels to connected stations via pre-programmed sky highways. The parcel stations are equipped with lockers where you or a courier can pick up the parcel.

Airbus UAM Overview

Insight No. 67: “The Hyperloop” will come to Abu Dhabi and Hamburg

Insights, Reisen, Technology, Travel
Bildergebnis für Hyperloop

High-speed Tube System for inter-city Passenger and point2point Cargo transportation

Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and/or freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain design released by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX. Drawing heavily from Robert Goddard’s vactrain, a hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient.

Concept art of Hyperloop inner workings

Elon Musk’s version of the concept, first publicly mentioned in 2012,incorporates reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on air bearings driven by linear induction motors and axial compressors.

The Hyperloop Alpha concept was first published in August 2013, proposing and examining a route running from the Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area, roughly following the Interstate 5 corridor. The Hyperloop Genesis paper conceived of a hyperloop system that would propel passengers along the 350-mile (560 km) route at a speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h), allowing for a travel time of 35 minutes.

Preliminary cost estimates for this LA–SF suggested route were included in the white paper—US$6 billion for a passenger-only version, and US$7.5 billion for a somewhat larger-diameter version transporting passengers and vehicles. 

Hyperloop is coming to Abu Dhabi by 2020

The first passenger transporation pilot project might be started in the United Emirates. It is planned to connect Dubai with Abu Dhabi to reduce travel time from 2 hrs to 12 min.

Bildergebnis für Hyperloop

in April 2018 it was announced that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), one of the firms developing the super-fast transport method, will begin building a track in Abu Dhabi with the aim of having it operational by 2020.

It will be a 10 kilometer track developed close to the site of Expo 2020 and Al Maktoum International Airport, on the border of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates.

HTT signed an agreement with Aldar Properties PJSC, the developer behind Yas Island’s Formula 1 racing circuit.

It will be developed close to the site of Expo 2020 and Al Maktoum International Airport, on the border of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates.

The video shows a mock-up only. 

Hamburg will build a 100-meter Hyperloop line to test transporting sea containers 

In November this year, it was announced that the port of Hamburg, Europe’s third-largest, will use the futuristic Hyperloop transport system to transport shipping containers from the quayside to container yards inland.

Ähnliches Foto

Several consortia have been working on projects to realize the idea, including LA-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which has signed a contract with the Hamburg port operator, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik.
The two companies have set up a joint venture to develop and test seaport and inland shipping container operations and bring them to market. They will start by building a transfer station at a Hamburg container terminal and a 100-meter cargo route together with a freight capsule and a loading dock.

The aim is to pave the way for more ambitious applications of the Hyperloop idea. One day, containers could whoosh down pipes to logistics hubs outside the port, relieving congested roads and rail lines and reducing air pollution.

The partners will initially invest €7 million ($7.9 million) in the venture, a manageable sum given HHLA’s annual revenues of €1.3 billion.

HyperloopTT, founded in 2013, has been arranging cooperation deals to build Hyperloop lines around the world including Europe’s first test line in Toulouse, home to the Airbus consortium. It plans to build a line in Abu Dhabi as mentioned above and has signed a feasibility study to link the Slovakian capital of Bratislava with Brno in the Czech Republic, 130 kilometers (80 miles) away. It is also exploring ventures in South Korea and Indonesia.

A letter of intent signed by Hyperloop TT in Ukraine could be of particular interest to Hamburg because it runs a terminal in the port of Odessa.

Ideally, Hamburg could license the technology for other ports.

Fotomontage mit Hyperloop im Hamburger Hafen

The Hyperloop General Concept Explained….

Poem No. 21: “Geh Fort von mir” von Elisabeth Barrett-Browning (1806-1861) – “Go From Me”

Gedichte, Insights, poems, Technology, Uncategorized
Bildergebnis für aus dem schatten treten
Aus dem Schatten treten. (Stepping out of the shadow)
Geh fort von mir

Geh fort von mir. So werd ich fürderhin
in deinem Schatten stehn. Und niemals mehr
die Schwelle alles dessen, was ich bin,
allein betreten. Niemals wie vorher

verfügen meine Seele. Und die Hand
nicht so wie früher in Gelassenheit
aufheben in das Licht der Sonne, seit
die deine drinnen fehlt. Mag Land um Land
anwachsen zwischen uns, so muss doch dein
Herz in dem meinen bleiben, doppelt schlagend.
Und was ich tu und träume, schließt dich ein:
so sind die Trauben überall im Wein.
Und ruf ich Gott zu mir: Er kommt zu zwein
und sieht mein Auge zweier Tränen tragend.

Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand 
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore 
Alone upon the threshold of my door 
Of individual life, I shall command 
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand 
Serenely in the sunshine as before, 
Without the sense of that which I forbore, .. 
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land 
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine 
With pulses that beat double. What I do 
And what I dream include thee, as the wine 
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue 
God for myself, He hears that name of thine, 
and sees within my eyes, the tears of two.

Strong Women No. 2: “Kathrine Johnson – NASA mathematician who calculated Appollo 11`s Return”

Insights, Technology

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (born August 26, 1918) is an African-American mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. manned spaceflights.

During her 35-year career at NASA and its predecessor, she earned a reputation for mastering complex manual calculations and helped the space agency pioneer the use of computers to perform the tasks.

Johnson’s work included calculating trajectories, launch windows and emergency return paths for Project Mercury spaceflights, including those of astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American in orbit, and rendezvous paths for the Apollo lunar lander and command module on flights to the Moon. Her calculations were also essential to the beginning of the Space Shuttle program, and she worked on plans for a mission to Mars.

In 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

She was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson as a lead character in the 2016 film Hidden Figures.

Katerine Johnson in 2008

Strong Women No. 1: “Lise Meitner – Discoverer of Nuclear Fission but excluded from The Nobel Price 1944”

Insights, Technology

Lise Meitner (born in Vienna, 1878 – 1968) was an Austrian-Swedish physicist, who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics.

Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and Otto Robert Frisch led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939. Meitner, Hahn and Frisch understood that the fission process, which splits the atomic nucleus of uranium into two smaller nuclei, must be accompanied by an enormous release of energy.

Nuclear fission is the process exploited by nuclear reactors to generate heat and, subsequently, electricity.This process is also one of the basics of nuclear weapons that were developed in the U.S. during World War II and used against Japan in 1945.

Meitner spent most of her scientific career in Berlin, Germany, where she was a physics professor and a department head at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute; she was the first woman to become a full professor of physics in Germany. She lost these positions in the 1930s because of the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany, and in 1938 she fled to Sweden, where she lived for many years, ultimately becoming a Swedish citizen.

Meitner received many awards and honors late in her life, but she did not share in the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nuclear fission that was awarded exclusively to her long-time collaborator Otto Hahn. In the 1990s, the records of the committee that decided on that prize were opened. Based on this information, several scientists and journalists have called her exclusion “unjust”, and Meitner has received many posthumous honors, including naming chemical element 109 Meitnerium in 1992. Despite not having been awarded the Nobel Prize, Lise Meitner was invited to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 1962.

Lise Meitner in 1946