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Links of the Week (2008/01)

Short (more or less) and sweet:

And I’d like to remind you of my blog carnival “Music of the Year 2007”, a little over 9 days left to participate – for anyone worldwide. :mrgreen:

Lethal Numbers 1

This is a little review of a German Sudoku booklet.

Puzzler Killer Sudoku 09/07 Ich hatte mich hier mal über die seltsamen Schwierigkeitsgrad-Nummern eines Éditions-Megastar-Sudoku-Heftes ausgelassen – da dachte ich, ich schreib auch mal was Positives über ein Sudoku-Heft, diesmal über “Killer Sudoku” von Puzzler, dessen Nummer “09/07” gerade erschienen ist – Erscheinungsweise etwa alle 2 Monate.

Hierbei handelt es sich nicht um die “gewöhnlichen” Sudokus, sondern um solche, bei denen jeweils einige Felder gestrichelt eingefasst sind und dafür die Summe angegeben ist – dafür ist kein Feld mehr vorgegeben. Außer “Killer Sudoku” hab ich sowas auch schon unter dem Namen “Sum-doku” gesehen; und jenes Éditions-Megastar-Heft hatte auch ein paar davon, allerdings ziemlich lieblos gestaltet, weil dort oft die “Summe” einzelner Felder angegeben war.

Das Puzzler-Heft enthält eine schöne, ausführliche Anleitung und verschiedene Schwierigkeitsgrade von “leicht” bis “absolut tödlich” – nun gut, letzteres ist nicht wirklich wörtlich zu nehmen, ;) aber ’ne halbe Stunde kann so ein Rätsel schon beanspruchen. Insgesamt enthält das Heft 58 Killer-Sudokus, 13 schöne normale Sudokus und 3 Kakuros – samt Auflösungen natürlich, aber da nachzuschauen, wenn man nicht weiterkommt, wäre unehrenhaft…

Insgesamt eine klare Kaufempfehlung – trotz des nicht eben niedrigen Preises von 2,75€ – für alle, die mal etwas Abwechslung von normalen Sudokus (oder anderen Rätseln) wollen.


Basic Rights and Freedom of the Press

Title of today’s Donaukurier (Ingolstadt) and its local editions:

black title of PK

Translation: We object to the restrictions of basic rights and freedom of the press!


And here’s the main article (German): “Massiver Eingriff in die Grundrechte der Bürger” (massive inteference in the citizens’ basic rights). Quote (in my translation):

“Today the democracy, thanks to govenrmental reglementation fury, sits at the edge of dissolution. Society, media and journalists, too, are watching magnetized and often also inertially what the gravediggers of basic rights and freedom in Munich, Berlin and also Brussels are devising.”

Listen ever earlier – and plan!

:tvangst: In times of TV stations changing their schedule more often and on shorter notice – especially ProSieben is notorious in Germany for series – I’m generally wondering how useful TV magazines are that cover two or even four weeks, plus the period between release and first schedule day.

:lesen: But even weekly magazines may have a problem, especially if this period becomes longer, and so I was surprised to find the latest edition of the HÖRZU (title translates to “listen”; for me, still the best of the “big” German TV magazines) in my mailbox today – with schedules from 13 October, i.e. 11 days in advance (including 1 public holiday, though). Already in the recent past, it arrived mostly on thursdays (9 days in advance), earlier it was fridays, like (still) on public sale in shops. Well, since I use electronic means more and more, it’s only a matter of time until I’ll do without any printed schedule, anyway. But I digress.

Hörzu-Planer 1 In this issue, they included a “channel planner“, a 8×21 cm large card where you can write down your individual channel numbers next to the station name and logo and then use it as bookmark for the magazine. However, this planner seems not properly thought out to me:

(1) The stations are not listed in the order they appear in the magazine: below “main stations”, Arte and Vox are swapped, and the order and the colors of the “thirds” are completely mixed up.


Hörzu-Planer 2 (2) Under “familiy stations”, there’s not only that church stuff (the inclusion of which into the magazine I consider a waste of space, anyway – but for all I care, well, let the beleivers have ther station, it kicked a call-in channel out of the magazine :mrgreen: ), but also a shopping channel. Now that really doesn’t belong there.


Hörzu-Planer 3 (3) On the back side, there’s room for program numbers for Kabel Deutschland and Premiere, two big digital channel bouquets. Room for one program number. That may only be useful for people who have stored the channels of the respective broadcaster en bloc in their receivers (for the first number of each), be it because they are unable to make it better, be it because they use castrated receivers (as KD likes to provide :motz: ) which do not allow a re-ordering…

Sudoku Level 3-5

Su-Doku plus 6 Cover

…what does one expect there? Medium to very hard, right? After all, many books have four or five difficulty levels. Well, the small “Su-Doku plus” book (Nr.6, German, from french publisher Éditions Megastar) advertises “Level 3 to 5” on its cover (and contains also two puzzles of level “5-6” :???: ) – but apparently, they are using a scale up to 10 or so (no, nothing was specified there), for as far as I can tell after solving several of various levels, “3” = “very easy” (you can write it down in a few minutes – “1” must be size 6×6, then…) and “5” = “medium”, at most a few “medium to hard” (8 to 15 minutes, never needed to write alternatives with a pencil – including those that should be “extra difficult” as “2 sabres” should indicate).

Of course, the more practice you have, the faster you become – but the difference between the supposedly advertised difficulty and your expectations shouldn’t be that high…

Hope I’ll find something better among that plethora of offers (not buying that many, anyway)… at least this one had a handfull of other number puzzles, too…