Putting the real Apple into your Computer

Some technological advances make me shake my head with incredulity.

After I have painfully learnt that some people talk about their computer when they talk about an “Apple”, they could now be referring to the real fruit after all:

A German website, www.mundraub.org, allows users to post information about fruit-bearing trees that they have spotted in their neighbourhood the ownership for which is either not claimed by anyone or the owner of which has consented to passers-by picking the fruits for themselves for free.

The service comes just in time for the season and the map, which is already full of entries, even specifies what kind of fruits you can expect to find, from apples and pears to mirabelles and plumes. The service has meanwhile been extended to nuts, herbs and berries.

It’s probably a nice and friendly service, but to someone like me who remembers a time before the internet and mobile phones, it seems like these inventions have deprived people of any taste for spontaneity. Does everything really need to be planned in advance?

I didn’t need any internet to find these olive trees.

I still prefer to go for a walk across the fields or through the forest without any advance planning. If I find mushrooms, I’ll pick mushrooms. If I find grapes, I’ll eat grapes. If I find nothing, I’ll still enjoy the sun and the air and the birds. – I guess I am too romantic for the 21st century; or at least too old-fashioned.

(I have to concede though that the name of the website is well chosen and of some interest to lawyers and legal historians: “Mundraub” used to be a lesser form of theft, especially of food or drinks for personal use, until this specific offence was removed from the German Criminal Code in 1975. It carried a lesser sentence – and no sentence at all if the victim of the theft was a child or spouse.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in German Law, Germany, Law, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Putting the real Apple into your Computer

  1. John Erickson says:

    You, sir, are what we Yanks call a “tease”. I got all excited, thinking you were going to reminisce about the REAL Apple Computers. (Like one of the two Apple IIe’s I own.)
    False advertising, I say!!
    Oh, and while you may remember a time before cell phones, do you remember rotary-dial phones? Those wonderful Apples with either 48k, 64k, or REALLY tweaked, with 128k? When a car radio with FM was a big deal, especially with an 8-track tape player?
    (Sorry, it seems tonight is “Make John feel old night”. I’ve gotten several reminiscence posts. I’m starting to feel like I’m about to turn 70, not just a year and a few months from 50. God, I am SO old. ;) )

    • I hoped that the computer geeks would be attracted by the headline.
      I grew up in the 80s so I remember all this, rotary-dial phones, phone booths throughout the city, the first dial-up modems for which I had to unplug the fax or phone to use the landline, self-recorded tapes for the car. I liked all of that!

  2. Andreas, thank you for your comment on my blog. Very interesting subject that you’ve raised here — I too remember those days with fondness, though I admit, I like the technology I have now a wee bit more! At any rate, I find your post even more interesting from a timing perspective because just a couple of weeks ago I gave a Continuing Legal Education presentation on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and I used an example of comparing a 1980s computer to today’s children’s Leapster and the modern iPhone 4. If you have any interest in seeing the graphic, or if you just can’t sleep at night and need something that works better than Ambien, you can find it on the right hand column of my site http://www.shawnetuma.com and it’s slide 19.

    Again, thanks for the comment and have a great weekend!

    Shawn E. Tuma

    • John Erickson says:

      Shawn- I really liked the comparison slide, as well as the nod towards WarGames, a favourite of mine (though I could write MANY pages on the things they got wrong). I also saw your post about stealing a car being equal to computer theft with Ford’s SYNC technology. Very interesting, both to the former programmer and the gearhead in me. Thank you VERY much for great link!

  3. John, so sorry that I did not see your response until now — THANK YOU VERY MUCH! As a gearhead and former programmer, should I ever have a case on this issue you would be a great expert witness! What makes all of this so much fun for me is that everything is evolving so fast that we are all pioneers on this journey together because just when someone thinks they really know something, it all changes and we are back to making educated guesses! I must admit, when I wrote the first blog about the Ford SYNC, I had an idea conceptually about how someone could “hack” a car but I hadn’t seen anything that could show me that it could really be done. Then, over last weekend, I read an article that talked about exactly that — hacking a car’s computer to open the doors and start the engine — it was a real goldmine for me so I wrote another blog about it earlier this week: http://shawnetuma.com/2011/09/06/hacking-a-car-yes-really-and-you-thought-i-was-kidding/
    Thanks again John and sorry for the delay in responding to your very kind comment,

    And Andreas, I apologize for the links on your blog – not normally something I do so please feel free to come share a few of your own on my blog if you would like!!! Thank you,

    Shawn E. Tuma

Please leave your comments, questions, suggestions:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s