Archives for October 2009

Humankapital

Humankapital is a term that is often used in Business Administration.  It refers to the value of employees in a company.

There are different ways of using it and thus calculating that value.  One way means the amount that an employee costs, eg. their salary, telephone, computer, insurance.

Used positively, it can refer to the value that an employee has because of their knowledge and motivation.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Mike Cliffe-Jones on Lanzarote

Many German tourists will have visited the island of Lanzarote this summer. During our own holiday we recorded a short series of podcasts with British ex-pats who live there.

We met up with Mike Cliffe-Jones, at the Puerto del Carmen offices of his company ¡Estupendo! We talked to him about his book „Living in Lanzarote“, about moving to the island and the services that his company offers. We also talked about his connections with Germany and touched on a few of his favourite things…

Mike Cliffe-Jones outside the ¡Estupendo! office in Puerto del Carmen (Lanzarote)

Mike Cliffe-Jones outside the ¡Estupendo! office in Puerto del Carmen (Lanzarote)

Links
¡Estupendo!
Lanzarote Information
@mikecj on Twitter
“Living in Lanzarote” at Amazon.com

To find out more, listen to the podcast:

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Download the MP3 file | Comment in the forum

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The latest debate about summertime

You’d think that the new Government in Germany would have more serious problems to work on than whether or not to keep Daylight Saving Time.  The economy, for example.  It appears not.

A brief history:

Summertime (Sommerzeit) it its current form has only been around in Germany since 1980 – partly to catch up with its neighbours in the west who had introduced it during the 1970s to save energy.  Amazingly, both West and East Germany introduced it at the same time!

The dates for changing to and from summertime were not however the same as those used in the UK, leading to both countries having the same time during October each year, until the EU synchronised all Daylight Saving Time rules across its member states in 1996.

So for the past 13 years everything has been going fine, and all the countries of Western Europe change their clocks at the same time.

Which begs the question: why is one of the parties in the new German Government, the FDP to be precise, going to campaign for it to be abolished?

Of course, it would be ludicrous for Germany to abolish DST on its own, even if EU law allowed it to.  The country would become isolated time-wise in the summer months, something that happened to Switzerland for a single year in 1980.  This causes all sort of problems with time-critical things such as cross-border timetables.  But EU law forbids it to go this way anyway.

So instead they want to lobby the EU and its members to get the rule abolished instead.

Somehow I don’t think they stand much of a chance.

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