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Topics - Bernd

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Artwork and Design / MOVED: vandalized topics
« on: April 06, 2016, 03:04:23 PM »
Removed vandalized topics

Announcements, Feedback and Bug Reports / New Facebook Group
« on: March 23, 2016, 07:26:46 PM »
Added a new group

in addition to the Facebook page

With a bit of luck that will attract new people through linking with other groups.

General Trek Discussion / MOVED: Star Trek Fan Films
« on: August 01, 2014, 09:42:44 AM »

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / Facebook anyone?
« on: July 17, 2010, 03:07:44 AM »
So I tried to set up a Facebook page for EAS (because for some reason an increasing number of people expect it from a website).

And I now know why everyone dislikes the privacy policy/settings of Facebook.

For starters, there is no way that I could set up an account named "Ex Astris Scientia" or something. It has to be my name, and I have to provide some personal information. I may be able to verify my account via SMS, which didn't work though (in which case I might have been able to change my user name).

I can set up a *page* for EAS, but a page is something different and apparently doesn't allow much customization and it is not possible to use any applications (such as auto-feeding it with my RSS feed, which would be indispensable and would be the only reason for me to care about Facebook at all).

But the worst of all is that I can't tell what everyone can see of the information I post at Facebook. I can make certain things visible only for "Friends" but essentially I don't know which personal information is displayed for whom. I don't know where Facebook draws the line between the personal page and the "fan page" and how they are linked to each other.

And now the unbelievable thing: I am not even told the URLs of my pages!!!!!! No kidding. Because when I'm logged in I see the page the way only I myself am supposed to see it. When I'm logged out I can't find it any more. And I can't search for myself unless I'm logged in!

This is outrageous!

Anyone with Facebook experience who may help me?

Silver Screens and Boob Tubes / Scotthood
« on: May 12, 2010, 05:22:54 PM »
Strange that there isn't a thread about it yet. I just saw the trailer and other small bits of Ridley Scott's version of "Robin Hood" (who "was not a fan of previous film versions"). The way the legend is being rebooted in Scotthood is amazingly similar to Abramstrek.

- Retell the story in a way that it's not just a different depiction/interpretation of basically the same events, but that it has to take place in a parallel universe
- Replace the classic hero with an emotionally imbalanced badass character (This is perhaps a false impression, but Russell Crowe? Come on.)
- Replace the optimistic quest with a desperate struggle
- Tone down the colors and reduce brightness of the scenes until everything is almost unrecognizable
- Everything has to be biiiig, so increase starships/number of archers by a tenfold
- Kill the Vulcans and quite possibly an important figure in the Robin Hood legend too

And Ridley Scott seems to be fond of lens flares too, though not quite as much as Abrams.

Whatever we may think about it (I don't mean to say the new "realism" and edginess it is all bad, some of the "brighter" films were quite close to "Men in Tights"), the similarities are remarkable. But it may be just the trend of our time.

Needless to say, it's not my Robin Hood. I know it as a charming old legend. One that has certainly undergone many re-interpretations in the many centuries it exists or only in the films that were made in the last 100 years (that I am rather familiar with than with the history of the legend). Anyway, I think this remake goes much further than anything I've seen or heard of before. Does the world need an edgy and dark Robin Hood? I think I don't.

(And yes, I admit I liked the Costner version, which was already labeled as "modern" at its time.)

Announcements, Feedback and Bug Reports / Old Groupee server hacked
« on: May 01, 2010, 07:36:31 AM »
This is a note, rather than a warning. Dan Carlson informed me of a hacking incident at Groupee (our old provider), in which e-mail addresses (but most likely no password information) were harvested. Perhaps some of you have received the following message too:

From: <>
Date: April 30, 2010 12:02:42 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Alert: Old forum provider compromised, private registration emails harvested
Reply-To: <>

The following is an e-mail sent to you by an administrator of "Ars Technica
OpenForum". If this message is spam, contains abusive or other comments you
find offensive please contact the webmaster of the board at the following

Include this full e-mail (particularly the headers).

Message sent to you follows:


You are receiving this message because you have a registered an Ars
Technica account with this email address.

Our previous forum provider (Social Strata, formerly known as Groupee and
Infopop) had a server hacked recently, and has advised us that private
registration email addresses were harvested.  These included email
addresses for anyone who registered with Ars Technica while we were still
using their services.  In addition, the rooted server was used to send out
at least one mass phishing attempt.

Although Groupee/Social Strata tells us that no password information of any
kind was accessible from that server, we still recommend that you change
your Ars Technica password (and any account on a third party site you use
that password with) just to be safe.

We became aware of this issue this morning and are following up with
Groupee/Social Strata to see if we can get more details and assurances on
the scope of the compromise.  We have also requested that they purge all
Ars Technica data from their systems so future problems don't affect our

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  If you would like
to read further updates on this issue, please see the active announcement
we have in our new forums:

Please contact us with any questions.

Kurt Mackey
Technical Directory, Ars Technica

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / Attack on EAS
« on: March 16, 2010, 12:22:04 PM »
On Monday, March 15 someone with the IP address gained illegal access to my FTP account and uploaded the following evil code to the file /index.htm:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

The domain resolves to

As a result, EAS has been found as infected and is currently labeled as "attack site" by Google (you will notice if you are using Firefox).

I have immediately deleted the evil code and checked for possible other infections, I have changed the passwords and filed reports to Google and other organizations in an attempt to restore the reputation of EAS and put an end to this nightmare. The site is clean now.

The attacking site/server has been identified:!

I am currently uncertain whether the guy running this site hacked EAS, or whether he may be a victim himself. In any case I will further pursue this criminal attack on my site, and I am currently preparing an official complaint with the FBI's IC3 center and a possible lawsuit.

Announcements, Feedback and Bug Reports / Flagg is out
« on: June 16, 2009, 07:29:20 AM »
If anyone wonders what has become of Flagg, I have permanently banned him. He has a long record of insulting people here at the SCN, including me, and somehow I always put up with it. But the final straw was that he took part in a badmouthing campagin against me at another place.

I found this only by chance, because I am not a regular at MA (although perhaps I should have been):

So far Memory Alpha used to be on the servers of Wikia (the company of the Wikipedia founder) for technical reasons, thereby profiting from their server bandwidth and the wiki software, while being obliged to undergo certain "upgrades" and display increasingly annoying and slow loading flash ads (I am blocking most of them with a Firefox plugin). Now it seems that Wikia has requested MA to become fully incorporated in some fashion. Dan and Harry may have had no other chance but to sell the domain to Wikia.

While this step may not directly affect the content at MA (other than being polluted by perhaps even more ads), it is sad to see this great independent fan effort be turned into another highly commercialized platform of a big company.

Sure, with fans donating far more than perhaps 200 dollars a year the site may have remained independent despite its data volume. I admit I didn't donate. Yet, with already three or four ad blocks per page (initially there was none) I thought Wikia was satisfied and there was a chance to maintain MA's status as an independently run affiliate. I was mistaken.

The destiny of MA further illustrates the motto of Web 2.0: subordinate to your host and its ads or die.

P.S. Even though it costs me a lot of money, I have secured the EAS domains forever, and I swear that there will never be any ads. I will not let anyone else control a single pixel. Take me at my word.

Announcements, Feedback and Bug Reports / Holidays are coming
« on: December 18, 2008, 05:15:55 PM »
Thanks to Legion who made our Christmas banner!

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / OT: Illegal eBay auctions
« on: September 10, 2008, 07:09:29 AM »
I was notified of this: (with a bit of luck it will be gone soon)

(Please copy&paste link, I don't want it to be traced back)

After already selling several DVDs with apparently the same stuff, the guy is trying to sell memberships to a website with all kinds of stolen intellectual property (of various Trek fans) for $25.

And this statement just blows me away: "All materials contained herein are 100% fan produced and, as a result, in no way infringe upon any copyrights owned by anyone."

No need to mention, this is an eBay career that will likely end very soon.

Artwork and Design / Creating a 3D planet
« on: August 31, 2008, 03:11:11 PM »
I am planning a new article on the planets visible in TOS. Jörg, who once again did a lot of research and prepared all the screen caps, noticed that at least one of the planets (there were only five distinct models altogether) was seen from so many different angles that it could be used to create a complete 3D globe or an interactive map.

Does anyone have experience in creating a 3D planet model and to present it as something like a VRML object (or whatever is practical for web use)? Or would you know anyone interested in such a task?

The Other Voyages / TAS, reloaded
« on: July 23, 2008, 04:58:41 AM »
Curt Danhauser is going to continue The Animates Series:

While the style is dated by now, the idea is nifty nonetheless, and I like how he attempts to make everything fit seamlessly.

The official announcement:

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / [EAS] Feed Aggregator
« on: July 17, 2008, 05:40:24 PM »
As many sites now offer RSS feeds (including SCN, BTW), I thought it would be a good idea to aggregate them in one place:

What do you think? Is it useful? Is it a feature that people would check out frequently?

Any other important or otherwise interesting Trek sites with feeds that I could include?

Now this is curious:

Be sure to watch the response as well.

Artwork and Design / Unused Nemesis concept art
« on: June 11, 2008, 01:14:27 PM »
Has anyone seen this stuff before? Tex Kadonaga says they were made for "Nemesis" before the contract was given to another company.

Artwork and Design / Wireframes by Mojo
« on: May 08, 2008, 07:46:53 AM »
Here are some "illuminated wireframe" renders that Mojo just posted in his blog:

Beautiful stuff for my desktop! And a significant improvement over how his renders came out in the Starship Spotter.

General Trek Discussion / ST: XI Criticism & Debate
« on: April 17, 2008, 04:23:46 PM »
Please keep general criticism of the movie's premise and discussions about if and how it must be made out of the other topics. Otherwise it won't be possible to discuss recent news or specific questions!

If you don't agree with the basic idea of the movie, criticize it here. If you think the bashing is all wrong, try to refute it here. Please keep the other threads free of such fundamental debates!

Videogames and computers / Random internet annoyances and pleasures
« on: April 17, 2008, 10:24:46 AM »
- Captchas
I hate them. In just one or two years they have become one of the worst online plagues after spam and huge ads that make my modem and CPU burn. You want to comment on a blog or write into a guestbook, you want to log in somewhere or download something. You are in a good temper, but suddenly a page comes up with a cryptical image of distorted numbers and letters. It always takes some guessing, but in spite of everything I fail to pass half of the captchas. Because letters are not recognizable at all, because numbers and letters look alike, because it is case-sensitive but capital and small letters look alike, or even because I have to solve an additional puzzle by only typing a certain selection of the (barely) visible characters.

I know too well how nasty spambots can be. But enhancing the captchas making them always more cryptical riddles doesn't help. It only annoys the hell out of the human visitors. The much better option is to ask a simple question that a human being can easily answer. Since It switched to such a procedure, the average spam entries per day in my own guestbook decreased from over 3 per day to 0.0.

- Translation tools
This is not the usual rant! On the contrary, to my pleasant surprise the Google translation has been significantly improved. When translating from English to German it always left incomprehensible word fragments, it messed up the grammar of any sentence far beyond reason, and it did not even get the proper meaning (out of multiple possibilities) of simple words in a simple context. Well, the results of the improved Google translation are still incomrehensible for the most part and often very silly, and hence completely useless. But the grammar has been improved, and the vocabulary has been significantly expanded.

And most surprisingly, the tool now recognizes the most important Star Trek words correctly. A "Star Trek fan" is no longer a "Sterntreck-Ventilator" in German. The Enterprise does not wind up as a company. And even many episode titles are in the dictionary, and they are not literally translated any longer. Now I have hope again that one day translation tools will work half-way reliably.

- Web 2.0
I am slowly putting up with the randomness and superficiality of the Web 2.0 generation, but I miss the good old days when people actually recognized what was new and exciting and when they used to read and reflect on what someone was writing. Case in point: Recently the EAS counter went up because of several blog/online bookmarking posts. The subject: "Starship Interiors", a page that has been in existence for several years now. But once it is posted at one community, it effortlessly finds its way to dozens of other places. You just don't have to care about it, you just repost it, and it becomes something "new" (at least for a couple of hours until it vhas been shifted down to the 14th archive page). That's one working principle of Web 2.0.

And no one really cares about the topic that is posted (unlike it is the case here at the SCN, for instance). It seems that everyone believes that I created those cross-section views, although the source is credited beneath every single thumbnail. Also, several people complain "So many images, but none from the Enterprise-D?" They don't even bother going one page up and look for a possible TNG page. I wonder how many still know how a website works - I mean, a real website, not one with highly interactive but highly interlinked but overall randomly selected half-baked stuff.

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / [EAS] downtime
« on: March 05, 2008, 07:33:13 PM »
Someone messed with the server configuration. I hope everything is up in an hour or so. I will let the people do their work and go to bed now...

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / [EAS] 10th anniversary
« on: January 02, 2008, 07:18:15 AM »
This month (January 28th) is the 10th anniversary of EAS. I'm not such a big fan of celebrations, but I really should prepare something besides a special header saying something like "10 years of extreme Trekking". I was thinking of some sort of competition or puzzle, but since I have only few possible prizes and don't want to waste a lot of money for worldwide shipping, I dropped that idea. Any other ideas?

General Trek Discussion / discontinued
« on: December 16, 2007, 07:12:07 PM »
I just read this:
Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team

Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately.

We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years.

If you have comments, please send them to editor @ - we hope someone at CBS will read them.

Thank you for your loyal fandom over the years. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

For me this is only more proof that the internet rapidly goes downhill. Company websites once used to be figureheads, now they have degraded to billboards. They are only "tolerated" if they can provide immediate return from countless irrelevant ads.

It is particularly sad in the case of, which was maintained by people who cared about Star Trek, and who took the fans seriously. And it is completely incomprehensible that the end of the website comes just as the franchise is going to be reinvigorated. And it is the ultimate proof that the people in charge at CBS don't understand the heart of their own business. They only know how to make short-term profit and keep their shareholders satisfied. They pour out millions of dollars when they advertise a new movie, but don't want to spend a few thousand dollars per month to keep that website running that maintains a much closer contact to the fans, the customers.

Videogames and computers / Parlez-you Deutsch? Naturalmente!
« on: December 11, 2007, 09:16:34 AM »
For ten years I have been accustomed to speaking English whenever I am online, unless I am moving through a purely German realm like with eBay, model trains, my bank account etc. (all of which are closely related, if you know what I mean). However, recently all sorts of sites force me to speak German even if I don't want to. They are "intelligent" and analyze my IP, offering me a customized German version. At work I often have to switch to French, because our company's network hub is located in France.

Google is among the sites that insist on me speaking German - when I type "" I wind up at "". This wouldn't bother me very much, if the search results were not customized as well, with German language results always coming first, regardless whether they are really relevant. I sometimes even have the impression that the databases are different for the different language specific sub-sites. The only way to switch to the English default version is to click a small link at the bottom of the page, which then takes me to "". Well, I can stay logged in, so Google will respect my language preference, but I don't really want them to know everything that I search for. (The best way is to access Google through the built-in Firefox search engine, which always takes me to
It's the same with several other sites. When I go to what I think is the English version, they say "Willkommen" to me nonetheless. I appreciate that as long as the German version is correct. But when I visit a blog of some American guy, and it shows the content in English, but the standard links, navigation and even his bio in German although his German skills are most likely limited to "Guten Abend", it becomes bizarre. Especially since "Schulbildung: Gymnasium" insinuates that he attended a Gymnasium, a type of school that isn't comparable to anything that exists in the US.

I am only glad that they don't attempt to automatically translate essential content with Babelfish to create total confusion... But this will be only a matter of time.

Artwork and Design / Request: Start your own thread!
« on: November 15, 2007, 04:34:53 AM »
I noticed that several design threads are like this:

Member A: "Here is a new science vessel..."
B: "I made a science vessel too..."
A: "Update on my science vessel..."
B: "Attempt to design a battlecruiser..."
A: "Another science vessel update..."
C: "Hey, I made this shuttle..."
D: "Need someone to design a bridge for me..."
A: "Anyone remember my science vessel?"

To avoid such a confusion:

  • Unless you are working on a common project, please post your designs in your own thread!
  • Start only one thread unless you have various projects with frequent updates.
  • There is no problem if you resurrect your old thread, even after there have been no updates in months.

Webmasters' Corner and Member Sites / [EAS] Enterprise redesign poll
« on: November 07, 2007, 05:58:57 AM »
I know it's been done before. But I posted a poll at EAS with refined redesign options:
I'm curious what the result will be at the SCN, with the identical question.

Despite the attempt to describe the options, I'm not sure where everyone would draw the line. Here is my personal definition:
- The Greg Jein reconstruction is as close to 1) "no change" as possible. Probably closer than the original model after it was repainted with grid lines.
- The recent CGI Enterprises/Defiant is between 1) "no change" and 2) "only decent hull panels and tiny details for close shots".
- Everything from 5) "slightly adapt the proportions and details to present-day aesthetics" upward makes it virtually impossible to justify it is still the very same starship. Well, unless the movie takes place before Spock's time under Pike and provides a justification.
- Yet, the Movie Enterprise is closer to 6) "allow everything to be redesigned, keeping only the basic structure" than to 5), because every proportion was reworked. (This is okay because we know it was completely rebuilt).
- Gabriel Köerner's Battlestar Enterprise is a 7) "Get rid of the old Enterprise and make it a radical redesign". In several aspects even the Ambassador class is more akin to the original Constitution than his version. Yet, many people may see the "saucer-neck-engineering-nacelles" combination and think it is just a design update.

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