New Emergency Number Closes Security Gap

On July 1, 2005, a new, unified European emergency call number for blocking electronic authorizations has been launched in Germany – not only the first of its kind here, but this is also the first of its kind worldwide. The scheme will involve blocking the authorization of items such as credit cards, debit cards, mobile (cellular) phones, digital signatures, health-insurance cards, employee ID cards, customer cards, and internet services.


This new security system provides improved protection and confidence in the case of emergencies inherent in today's information centered society. The amount of electronic IDs used by today's consumers is increasing at an astronomical rate, ranging from identification data for credit and debit cards, mobile phones and online banking accounts to digital signatures and in-store cards. In the future, electronic ID cards as well. Because each company currently has its own contact points and procedures for an emergency, any consumer who loses his wallet or mobile phone must presently call the service number of each provider as soon as possible to block his cards and stop the risk of fraud.

This is where this service steps in. The block-forwarding service is available to all companies, which voluntarily join the non-profit blocking alliance and are willing to carry the costs related to routing customers who need assistance. Although membership of Sperr e.V. is not compulsory, customers of affiliated companies would benefit tremendously in terms of protecting themselves against the misuse of electronic authorizations. The new emergency call number should provide the same level of trust as the established emergency call numbers for the police and the fire department.

Financing of the Block-Forwarding Service

The block-forwarding service is run by a non-profit organization, Sperr e.V., and is available toll-free for the caller. Costs are therefore assumed on a causal basis by the affiliated organizations. An average block-forwarding call costs € 1.60. Each organization can decide on its own to decide whether or not to pass on the ensuing costs.


With the continued proliferation of cards and other electronic authorizations in an information-centered society, the need for a simple and convenient emergency call number for protecting electronic authorizations is becoming increasingly urgent. For this reason, the new European emergency call number for blocking electronic authorizations has the vision of becoming as widely accepted and trusted by the public as the numbers for the police and fire services.

Further information (only in German) can be found in the Internet: www.sperr-notruf.de

The European regulation administration (CEPT) has proposed to suspending the 116 number in national numbering space. 116 stands for Harmonized European Short Code (HESC) which will soon be regulated within Europe. Germany decided to chose “116 116” for the block-forwarding service.

How does it Work?

The 116 116 block-forwarding hotline is available toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and without prior registration for the caller.

blocking number

Process of blocking electronic authorizations using the new emergency call number

In a one-to-one dialogue between the caller and a call-center agent, the affected issuers or the service providers will be determined via a special database. After all affected cards are determined and the personal dialogue is finished, the caller will automatically be routed to each relevant issuer one after another.


The 116 116 block-forwarding service is neither responsible for identifying the caller nor for performing the blocks. Its role is limited to providing quick and unbureaucratic help, which means to route the customer to the responsible blocking authorities.

Fraud is not Possible via the Block-Forwarding Service

The block-forwarding service only matches callers with the related card / medium issuers, not for verifying whether the caller is entitled to initiate a blocking. Customer identification and legitimization is to be performed by the issuer. The established security mechanisms employed by the individual card / medium issuers will be maintained.

Block Forwarding also Available from Abroad

From abroad the country prefix for Germany (+49) is necessary “+ 49 116 116”.

Click this sentence to download a sample for personal card details !


Published on the old CMS on 2007/04/17
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 3,256


The Primary and Secondary Consequences of Converting Handedness

The fact that the converting of innate handedness which has been and is being carried out on the basis of societal prejudices (i.e. a mechanical adherence to traditionalism; would-be reasons of practicality; laziness; ignorance; and often even reasons with a religious-ideological background) has massive consequences, especially if one is using the non-dominant hand to write with.

This converting is contrary to the natural state of the human being. Converting handedness does not result in a converting of brain dominance. Instead, it results in an over-loading of the non-dominant half of the brain and an under-loading of the other half. Accordingly, there are also resulting difficulties in transference in the corpus callosum which in turn could probably result in the appearance of the widest range of primary consequences.

Writing is a process of the greatest complexity. Moreover, because it involves many different brain functions, it is also one of the most difficult tasks; one which only human beings have developed and come to grips with. The pre-dominant use of the non-dominant hand leads to complex functional disturbances, inhibitions, blockages, and an over-burdening of the entire brain. During writing, the greatest variety of cerebral skills are included here. Examples are the fine motor skills, speech, the pictorial representation of imagination of the series of letters as well as the simultaneous chain of thoughts, associations, graphic representations, memories, and recall of previously learned material which also run throughout. Scarcely any other human undertaking is comparable to writing in its multifaceted connections between the most differing brain functions. Accordingly, it is understandable why the overburdening that comes from converting handedness can lead to tremendous disturbances.



The publisher's compliment!

Published on the old CMS: 2007/7/30
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 1,429 reads

SCHUFA (Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung)

This association is just as much hated as well it is loved. It depends on who is thinking of this most prominent agency for credit history and creditworthiness.

The SCHUFA (Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung, Protective Community for Security for General Loans) is a company that is funded by companies granting loans (in one way or the other) and fees for its services for those who need credit information. Its goal is to inform its contractual partners (banks, insurance companies, mail-order businesses, leasing companies, department stores, telecommunication firms, big real-estate companies, etc.) on the creditworthiness of a potential client in order to prevent non-payment of loans. This article introduces this beloved and equally hated organisation to you and shows you how to react when a listing is wrong.

Whoever has a negative listing with SCHUFA will hardly be able to close a contract unless they're putting the money up front. In some cases, it can happen that the SCHUFA is informed beyond the statutorily allowed requirements. When Germans talk about having a bad listing they typically say "Ich habe einen Eintrag bei der SCHUFA."

SCHUFA is an intellegence database that is subject to the strict rules of data protection of the Bundesdatenschutzgesetz (BDSG). When a data transmission has occurred illegally the person affected has the right to countermand the transmission, delete the data and maybe receive damages.

When do you get a SCHUFA listing?

The SCHUFA receives the data from its contract partners or from the debtors lists at the county courts. These debtors lists are publicly available and contain the names of persons who had to declare their income and assets under an affidavit (eine eidesstattliche Versicherung abgegeben haben). This will happen after an unsuccessful execution of debt collection.

Generally, the permission of the person affected is required, and is typically given when closing a contract and very often hidden in the STC. Typical situations are when closing a contract for a cell phone, loan contract or when opening a bank account. They have a so called SCHUFA clause ("SCHUFA Klausel"). What can you do about it, when signing a contract? Nothing! Nothing what so ever. They cannot, of course, force you to accept the SCHUFA stipulation but you either accept this clause or you will not get the contract at all. A permission is not needed when the information is obtained from publicly available databases, like the debtors lists.

Which information is stored at the SCHUFA?

SCHUFA saves all personal data (first and last name, date of birth, residential address), details on bank accounts, cell phone accounts, credit cards, leasing contracts, personal guarantees, etc.

Further the so called "soft details" are stored. These are typically disturbances in fulfilling a contract due to default or termination, when credit card has been levied, a bank account cancelled. All such is stored in the SCHUFA file.

The file also includes "hard negative facts" that report on measures of execution (after an incontestable judgment, like an affidavit or a warrant of arrest to force the affidavit). Also the opening of bankruptcy proceedings and the denial of such proceedings due to the lack of assets will be typical contents added.


When you want to know what intelligence they have stored on you personally, you can apply for a disclosure of one's personal and financial data for the current cost of € 7.80. When you need to regularly check their intelligence on you, there is also the possibility for an online disclosure of one's personal and financial data.

Illegal SCHUFA Listings

For debtors that have been incontestably judged to pay and the claim is in execution, there is virtually no chance anymore to save any credibility whatsoever - hard negative facts.

However, it happens in (too) many cases that even though no case is pending in court, and the customer has rights not to pay, companies still report such "soft details" to SCHUFA - often rashly or legally incorrect by flatly basing it on the "SCHUFA clause".

A typical example: you have closed a contract with a telephone provider for a flat rate, which was cancelled due to alleged default payment. Already, before the cancellation, you protested in writing and argued that you could not use your line due to technical flaws over a longer period. The provider alleges that the technical flaws are not in the line but are your fault. After you have not paid even after just two reminders, a collection agency will be hired and the event reported to the SCHUFA.

Your rights: In such cases, you have the possibility to fight and demand damages.

The OLG Düsseldorf (judgment of December 14, 12 2006, re I-10 U 69/06), decided that the §16 BDSG. Federal Data Protection Act does not permit forwarding customer's details solely based on an agreement in the small print of a contract without weighing both the company's and the customer's interest.

The court demurred if a data transmission is even permissible before an incontestable clarification of the claim in so far as the customer does not bring evidently unfounded complaints against the claim and the general circumstances do not hint at a general reluctance or incapability to pay.

Any case, the reporting company must weigh the interests of the credit institutions which deserve protection and the negative consequences of a listing for the customer. Whenever such remains undone, the data transmission is illegal because infringes data protection law.

A transmission not covered by BDSG constitutes an infringement of the general right of privacy. This infringement constitutes the claim for damages as follows:

  • Against the company for revocation of the data reported to the SCHUFA,
  • Against the SCHUFA for deletion of the data after revocation.

This is best to be done by sending a registered letter to the company or any other means that proves receipt of the letter. Be sure that you have the delivery report in your files.

When this is unsuccessful, a lawyer will gladly help you. Check out the business directory for a lawyer in your vicinity!


What can do about a listing with bad contents that is legal? Sit down and cry in shame that you are a bad debtor.

Umlauts on a U.S. Keyboard

Using the German language can be pretty tiresome for longer texts, when you press the key and punch in a numeric character code in order to obtain this Umlaut. This article will show how to solve this problem.

The "QWERTY" layout has not been designed to work with umlauts. Therefore, you will not typically get an umlaut or "ß" – only vowels with an accent. They are, however, on the "international" keyboard next to the vowel key. So, you just need to learn a few other additional keyboard shifts when typing blindly. The Windows-native drivers for U.S. keyboards include an international version that lets you directly type diacritics and special characters also for many other languages.

Under Windows 2000/XP/7, you will find the keyboard settings in Control Panel under "Regional and Language Options" on the tab "Languages" behind the "details". Here, right click on "Add" and select from the list of "Keyboard layout / IME" the layout "English (United States, International)". Confirm with "OK". Then the new layout in the selection list "default input locale", and close all dialogs with "OK."

By simultaneously pressing the right key and a normal key you can now generate umlauts. The right key is exclusively reserved for this, while the left button remains in its original function, e.g. to achievement menu entries. To distinguish, we use in the following combinations of the right key as >.You get capital letters by additionally pressing the key.


Study following table to have an overview of the system:



"rAlt" - "y"


"rAlt" - "q"


"rAlt" - "p" "rAlt"


"rAlt" - "5"


"shift" - "rAlt" - "s"


"shift" - "rAlt" -":"

" ° " (degrees)

"rAlt" - <[>

"«" (Swiss quote)

<rAlt> - <]>

"»" (Swiss quote)