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Thomas Themel
Works at Google
Attended Vienna University of Technology
Lived in Vienna
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Thomas Themel

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The Italian beer harvest from a visit to Il Pretesto in Bologna. The Mikkeller one snuck in. 
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Chrome just got prettier: Art in your new tab page!
Art Project masterpieces from Google Cultural Institute in your browser tabs
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Tax time! Austria is currently undergoing yet another attempt of reforming its (high) income tax. The two parties in the ruling coalition have provided two different suggestions on adjusting tax rates, and as usual much nitpicking ensues about financing, distributional justice and so on.

When my friend +Anton Pirker published this table, I was first of all reminded of the sad state of the Austrian media landscape. Despite the fact that I read both of the supposedly "quality" newspapers in the country, this was clearly the best presentation of the two proposals that I had seen until then, and I got it from an amateur on the Internet.

The second thing that they struck me was that both of these proposals weren't very ambitious overall. This was visible in the third and fourth graph, but I decided to make it a little more explicit by comparing pre/post reform situations with Swiss tax rates. The results are pretty stark. In the salary range for professionals, living in Switzerland saves you 20-25% of gross income in income tax alone, i.e. you pay 3x the income tax in Austria.  That is not considering the fact that the table ends at an annual 90k EUR, which is almost exactly the median household income in Switzerland, but above the 90th percentile in Austria.

In conclusion, Austria is not a country where you'll accumulate much wealth from labor income, and it's not going to change much with either of these proposed reforms. Wealth and inheritance are tax free though, so you might have a tolerable time if you or your family already have something to pass around. 
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When this becomes available, I'll be finally convinced that I live in the future (I'm already halfway convinced since my phone started answering spoken questions).
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Keeping it safe, Zürich style.
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Insects that live inside other insects. With juicy video of wasp abdomen!
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The best film since Barry Lyndon, and I'm not saying this lightly.
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Have him in circles
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Thomas Themel

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Wikipedia seems to be in begging mode again, and much of their donation rhetoric is around "we need money to keep Wikipedia running". I was interested in seeing how much of the Wikimedia foundation's money would actually go towards this since I had heard about lots of extra activities that they're into, so I took a look at the 2014/15 financial plan for the Wikimedia foundation. 

The top-level Engineering + Product orgs make up about half of the spending (42%, 25M USD). A top-level item named "HR, Finance & Admin" is set to consume 18% of planned expenditure (10.8M USD), which is more than all of "Operations" (13%, 7.7M USD) - it's a little mystifying to my why that has to be so high. Another 20% (11.5M USD )  is taken up by grant making activity, which they're alternately enthusiastic ("a set of highly transparent and participatory processes") and lukewarm ("early evidence suggests that the Wikimedia movement's programmatic activities aren't achieving the level of impact we'd hope to see with the money that's being spent") about. 

I still gave them a bunch of my (and Google's) money, but I'd feel better about it if they engaged in less disingenuous messaging or allowed me to contribute to the narrow uncontroversial purpose that they advertise for instead of their somewhat nebulous overall mission.
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Unfortunately that's way more detail than I know, so let's see whether the others that I've tagged in this discussion are able to comment.
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The video description has background. Didn't realize that uploading to YouTube would share this to my stream, I just wanted to show it to some friends in a hangout.
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An illustration of Kyllingstad's Law[0]: For every 50[1] steps that have to be taken on foot, the number of freeriders is halved.

In that case, I paid for my private little valley in an otherwise pretty tracked up area with a 200 meter ascent on the other side that put me at the end of what otherwise would have been a nasty traverse to more nice snow.

I laughed like a little child at the end, and I'm grateful that this insight enabled me to enjoy some excellent snowboarding in an otherwise crowded place!

[0] Attributed to +René Kyllingstad​.
[1] I keep forgetting the value of the constant, but it's in that order of magnitude and doesn't much seem to matter for practical route choices.
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Oh, I see I never posted my draft comment, here goes. I do check the avalanche bulletin and generally skip steep terrain at orange or above. In this case, there really was not enough snow to worry about.
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Greetings from a world where the tentacles have won the war.
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Ich find den Namen der Strasse genial ;)
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Watching a bunch of children who  haven't heard of a busy phone line in  their lives reminded me of how blown away I was when I figured out that ALL THE PROGRAMS ON MY MACHINE CAN USE THE INTERNET CONCURRENTLY.
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Have him in circles
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Vienna - Villach - Wolfsberg - Zurich
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Computer Nerd
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2013 - present
  • Mirai Solutions GmbH
    Solutions Architect, 2011 - 2013
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  • Vienna University of Technology
    Physics, 2005 - 2010
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The newly opened Zurich branch of Switzerland's finest craft beer establishment offers 24 beers on tap (see website for current menu), two ale pumps and a few fridges of bottles for those with even more need for variety. Service can be a little slow and good beer is often expensive, though the free samples and reduced takeaway prices help blunt the impact a little.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Truly the most excellent of B&Bs. Beautiful house, incredibly nice owners, great surroundings.
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
Never tried before the change in management, but a couple of times since. Food is good, but not exceptional - classic Italian base with some off-beat extra ingredients and liberal use of truffle oil. Prices are on the expensive end of reasonable (20-30 CHF for pasta/risotto).
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
5 reviews
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Incredible selection of beers served by competent staff. Could use a cozier interior and cheaper prices, but the great beer makes it a solid five star pick.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago