If you like TTIP, you might also like TiSA

Yeah. TTIP was just about merging two quite unmergable trading zones. But now here comes the

Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

It’s about „liberalising“ trade in service. It actually sounds like Shadowrun. It will liberalise and deregularize certain areas like financial markets. It is meant to privatice publicly owned services, like water or energy. What a great idea. If I wanted to be an international megacorps. You know who started it? No? The „Really Good Friends of Services“. You know where they negotiate? No? The australian embassy in Geneva. You know about the content? No? You will learn about the content 5 years (yes 5!) after TiSA is set in action.

But now some more qualified and more into it meanings and analysis:

Ska Keller: TiSA, das neue Abkommen zum Handel mit Dienstleistungen – kein Multilateralismus, keine Transparenz (obviously its german)
TiSA – a danger for transparency (authors note: it is really completly negotiated in secret)
TiSA – a danger for public goods (authors note: there is a white list, what area is protected, but new areas can not be added!)
TiSA – a danger to democracy

Lets read the statement of the EU, as one negotiator:

Like any other trade negotiations, the TiSA talks are not carried out in public and the documents are available to participants only.

The EU, however, has been keen to be as transparent as possible.

To keep it as transparent as possible. If there current effort for transparency is all they can do, than they failed massivly!
Hey. But for enforced transparency we have Wikileaks. It’s about the financial part. Lets hope there is more to be leaked.

But lets have a look at the other side. As a researcher I do not like to be one-sided. There is the The Coalition of Services Industries (CSI) and Team TiSA.
CSI says:
The TISA has the opportunity to address major and fundamental barriers to trade in services affecting the United States and the globe. Some barriers to services trade include limited movement of data across borders, unfair competition from state-owned enterprises, lack of transparency and need for due process of law, and forced local ownership and discrimination in obtaining business licenses and permits.

An international services agreement has the potential to create trading conditions that enable services industries to achieve their full potential. The TISA can be one of the most important economic contributions of this century-for the United States and the globe.

Team TiSA says:
The TiSA has the potential to tackle non-tariff barriers which hinder services businesses from trading across borders, including improving market access, ensuring the movement of data across borders, and guaranteeing national treatment rules, among many others. Reducing or eliminating non-tariff barriers is especially crucial for small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who largely depend on digital trade to export their services and reach new customers.  A study by a leading economist found that only 3 percent of services firms export, as compared to a quarter of manufacturers, largely because of foreign barriers. An estimated 3 million jobs could be created if U.S. services matched the export rate of manufacturers.  TiSA, by addressing unfair barriers, can help make that happen. 

All economies and businesses need efficient services to be competitive in today’s global economy, especially if they are to plug into the global supply chains that are the predominant phenomenon in international trade. The TiSA gives all businesses a chance to be successful in today’s global market and has the potential to create high standard trade rules which encompass the digital revolution and future innovations.

More sources:

Tagesschau: Geheime Verhandlungen über TISA-AbkommenUnter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit (german)
Telepolis: TISA: Alles wird vermarktet (german)
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Dienstleistungsabkommen Tisa – Bundesregierung gibt sich ahnungslos
Techdirt: Meet TISA: Another Major Treaty Negotiated In Secret Alongside TPP And TTIP
PSI (global union federation of public sector trade unions): PSI denounces Trade in Services agreement and their TiSA site


Drawing and including Tikz images in Latex

Tikz is great! That’s it.

Drawing your images in Latex, that is the coolest and prettiest thing I can imagine. My friend Matthias showed it to me and he was as excited about it as me now. 🙂

A short and totally computer science example: A Turing Machine.

begin{tikzpicture}[start chain=1 going right,start chain=2 going below,node distance=-0.15mm]

    node [on chain=2] {Tape};
    node [on chain=1] at (-1.5,-.4) {ldots};
    foreach x in {1,2,...,11} {
        x, node [draw,on chain=1] {};

    node [name=r,on chain=1] {ldots};
    node [name=k, arrow box, draw,on chain=2, arrow box arrows={east:.25cm, west:0.25cm}] at (-0.335,-.65) {};
    node at (1.5,-.85) {Read/write head};
    node [on chain=2] {};
    node [draw,on chain=2] {Program};
    chainin (k) [join]; % Connection of the program to the read/write head

Which gives you:


The shortest tutorial is definitely the Wikibooks entry. For a bit more of information have a look at A very minimal introduction to TikZ. The original manual is large, complete and beautiful. For a lot of Examples visit www.texample.net/tikz.

I’m using Ubuntu 13.10 with texlive.

So what have i done to be able to use Tikz in my diploma thesis?

1. Install PGF

On my Ubuntu I just have to run „sudo apt-get install pgf“. For everything else, you should know how to add additional latex packages.

2. Editor

I am using KTikz. Run „sudo apt-get install ktikz“ to install or „sudo apt-get install qtikz“ if you like QT more.

KTikz is using templates to embed your tikz file in something useful. A template usually includes the package tikz. So if you want to use some other tikzpackages you will have to write your own template. Notice the additional usetikzlibrary statement to get „snakes“ support! The <> is the marker where your tikzpicture will be included.


There is also TikzEdt, which offers support for Linux or Windows.

3. Save the code of the image to the file example.pgf.

begin{tikzpicture}[snake=zigzag, line before snake = 5mm, line after snake = 5mm]
    %draw horizontal line   
    draw (0,0) -- (2,0);
    draw[snake] (2,0) -- (4,0);
    draw (4,0) -- (5,0);
    draw[snake] (5,0) -- (7,0);

    %draw vertical lines
    foreach x in {0,1,2,4,5,7}
        draw (x cm,3pt) -- (x cm,-3pt);

    %draw nodes
    draw (0,0) node[below=3pt] {$ 0 $} node[above=3pt] {$   $};
    draw (1,0) node[below=3pt] {$ 1 $} node[above=3pt] {$ 10 $};
    draw (2,0) node[below=3pt] {$ 2 $} node[above=3pt] {$ 20 $};
    draw (3,0) node[below=3pt] {$  $} node[above=3pt] {$  $};
    draw (4,0) node[below=3pt] {$ 5 $} node[above=3pt] {$ 50 $};
    draw (5,0) node[below=3pt] {$ 6 $} node[above=3pt] {$ 60 $};
    draw (6,0) node[below=3pt] {$  $} node[above=3pt] {$  $};
    draw (7,0) node[below=3pt] {$ n $} node[above=3pt] {$ 10n $};

4. Include the tikz file in the document

To include the picture I use the input statement, nicely wrapped in a figure with caption and label.

    caption{My TikZ example picture}

Project: Reclaim My Data

So the very first post in my new blog is about reclaiming my data from the services out there.

What do I mean by reclaiming my data? For several years I have been using Google Mail, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. Now I decided to get my data back in my full control.

Why do I do this?

First: Because it is the right thing to do! Especially in regard of the ongoing series of privacy and security breaches in the services around. Some of these breaches are accidental, some are by purpose and some are by purpose and not a breach to see at first. By the last I mean the intentions of services like Facebook or Google to offer me free services by selling me to advertisers.

Second: Because I can (Remember I am a student in computer sciences). I know about the tech, the programs, the protocols and if not: I know where to read about it. It should not be too hard. But I will not accept to complex programs or tech. I will use easy-to-use software with good integration in other software. I will not program the stuff myself (not at first).

Third: Sounds like a nice little hobby and maybe I can help some of you people out there.

I will do this process of reclaiming in several different steps:

  • webmail with PGP support,
  • cloud storage with encryption,
  • calender, tasks, adressbook,
  • everything has to have an Android app!
  • what ever else I find.

The upcoming posts will show you my considerations, approaches and findings through the available software and services out there.

Stay tuned.