Why Germany is a blank spot on Google's Street View

There are good historical reasons why Germans are suspicious of surveillance — but is Google as bad as Gestapo or Stasi?

Image: Google Maps
  • Since its launch in 2007, Google Street View has mapped millions of miles of roads across the world – and even gone to space and into the ocean
  • Germany and Austria are a conspicuous gap in the mess of blue lines that covers the rest of Europe
  • It's to do with Germans' curious sense of privacy: they'd rather flaunt their private parts than their personal data
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Terraform Mars? How about Earth?

Fauna and flora refuse to go quietly into the Anthropocene.

Image source: Lightspring/Shutterstock
  • Pioneers of the Greater Holocene plan to strike back against concrete.
  • Seed packets and plant nutrients are the weapons of choice for standing up to humanity's destructive impact.
  • Hopeless? Maybe. Poignant? Absolutely.
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In a world of autonomous vehicles, this is why we'll need more public transport than ever

Combined with high-capacity public transport, AVs could remove 9 out of every 10 cars in a mid-sized European city.

The media is fascinated by autonomous vehicles (AVs), in particular their safety and when or if they will arrive en masse.

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Photo credit: George Rose / Getty Images
  • As the homeless population soars in California, city mayors are contemplating a variety of initiatives to combat the problem.
  • San Francisco mayor London Breed has published the most extensive list of solutions, including supportive housing, eviction prevention, and rental subsidies.
  • Other mayors are creating tiny home villages and even considering a floating apartment complex in the San Francisco Bay.
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Kettling: Why is this police tactic so controversial?

In any sufficiently large protest, police officers may "kettle" protesters. Critics say it violates human rights, while advocates claim its one of the few safe tools available to police during a protest.

  • "Kettling" is when police form a cordon surrounding a group of protesters, immobilizing them for hours or directing them to a single exit.
  • It's an effective tactic to control the movements of a crowd, but it also catches people indiscriminately — journalists, protesters, rioters, innocent civilians — and cuts people off from food, water, and toilets for hours.
  • Some police officers have taken advantage of kettles to abuse protesters, but its still seen as one of the few effective ways to control a potentially violent crowd.
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