My favorite talks of #31c3

Another Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg ended yesterday. Instead of going there (as I originally had planned), I just tuned into the livestream (frequently) and checked the recordings (for only a few talks, so far). As some people on Reddit stated that they found the program “underwhelming” beforehand, my expectations were not super-high – and I was rather positively surprised in the end. Here is the talks I liked the most, so far:

Computer Science in the DPRK

If you want to learn about something new today, with little overlap to what you already know, you should watch this talk about teaching and studying computer science in North Korea, by Will Scott. I’m not sure how and for what you will apply this knowledge, but it’s definitely intereresting. Will, a graduate student from University of Washington, gives some insights on the curriculum he tought, the state of tech in the country, as well as what his students were like.

Link on media.ccc.de – Reddit AMA, from a year ago, in case you prefer to read about it.

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The Long-Run: 2014 in the German Long-Distance Bus Transport Market

Germany might be ahead in a lot of things, but long-distance bus travel is definitely not one of them. Here Germany is a developing country and many other countries, from Romania to Chile, are far ahead. The German development* began (very slowly) in 2009, with the founding of DeinBus.de, the pioneers in this market. After a somewhat long court battle with Deutsche Bahn which DeinBus won, the government decided to change laws to set the ground rules for the new market, effective from January 1st, 2013. This political backing created a sufficiently reliable regulatory environment for a number of players to enter the market, some small, some with serious backing.

Initially, this let to a very fragmented market. Fragmentation, the enthusiasm of early-adopters, growth of passenger numbers and routes offered, was what arguably defined most of 2013. Growth continued in 2014: 247 lines were offered in early 2014, compared to 109 lines, in early 2013 (BMVI), passenger numbers increased by over 100%, year over year (Fernbusse.de). Just by looking at these numbers, 2014 was more of the same (of what happened in 2013), and for same players in the market, this might essentially be true, but qualitatively, there was some major events that signal upcoming changes. Changes towards consolidation and more difficult, competitive market. In this article, we will take a look at some of the major events of the long-distance bus market in Germany in 2014.

* Technically, this development is actually rather a revival of long-distance bus travel, but the focus of this article should not be ancient history.

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