BMW recalls nearly half a million cars

BMW recalls nearly half a million carsMunich, April 12 - German car producer BMW Group has recalled almost half a million cars with 6-cylinder engines, since realising that a screw in the engine compartment could possibly break and damage the engine in rare cases, a company official said Friday.

Around 489,000 cars with 6-cylinder engines that were manufactured between September 2009 and November 2011 are involved in the recall, Xinhua reported.

Bavarian premier to seek dialogue with Czechs in expulsion dispute

Bavarian Prime Minister Horst SeehoferAugsburg, Germany  - Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer said Sunday he planned to revive the dialogue with the Czech Republic over outstanding issues related to the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia at the end of World War II.

Seehofer told a rally of the Sudeten German Association, attended by several thousand mostly elderly expellees, that he intended to visit Prague next year.

He said he would be going "with an outstretched hand" and would seek advice from the Sudeten Germans in preparing the trip to Bavaria's neighbour.

Bavarian premier inaugurates concentration camp visitor centre

Bavarian premier inaugurates concentration camp visitor centre Berlin  - Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer opened a new visitor centre at the site of Dachau concentration camp near Munich on Thursday, with words of warning against extremism and racism.

"We are responsible that inhuman ideologies, hatred of foreigners and antisemitism can never again gain a foothold in Germany," Seehofer said at the opening ceremony, one day after the 64th anniversary of the camp's liberation at the end of World War II.

Polished Apple: Buying used Macs

Polished Apple: Buying used MacsMunich  - In tough economic times, restraint is in, even when buying computers. Yet there are also times when a change is needed. Those looking to buy a computer from Apple, but unable to spare the extra couple of hundred dollars should consider a used model.

Apple's Safari 4 promises faster surfing

Apple's Safari 4 promises faster surfingMunich  - Apple's new browser promises to be significantly faster than its predecessors.

According to Apple, Safari 4 will be able to run JavaScript, a feature of many websites, faster than n Safari 3. Indeed, the company says the speed will increase by 4.2 times.

Apple also boasts that its new browser, now available in a beta version, will make the competition look positively slow. HTML websites will load seven times faster on the new Safari than on Internet Explorer 7 and up to three times faster than on Firefox 3, it added.

Pregnant women should spend longer periods on their side

Pregnant women should spend longer periods on their side Munich  - Pregnant women, who are experiencing problems with their blood circulation, should be placed on their left side and medical assistance called immediately, according to Germany's Professional Association of Gynaecologists in Munich.

Symptoms to watch out for include sudden breathlessness, dizziness, increased heart rate and nausea.

Easy installation, security, crucial when selecting internet routers

Munich  - In the best-case scenario, people just have to deal with their internet routers twice - when buying and when installing them.

But routers, which connect computers to the wider internet, sending messages and downloading data packages, come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, so check the selection before making a purchase.

There are two important considerations when purchasing a router. Is it pre-packed with a modem? And is it WLAN-capable or able to access the internet wirelessly? Price differences between WLAN and non-WLAN capable routers are minimal, says Johannes Endres of the Hanover-based c't computer magazine.

Obama "resignation" e-mail sends Trojan

Obama "resignation" e-mail sends TrojanMunich  - Criminals wasted no time in integrating Barack Obama's inauguration into the latest wave of spam mail seeking to lure hapless surfers.

The latest scam e-mail messages claim ostensibly to bear news of Obama's surprise resignation. But the messages are, in fact, intended solely to lure users to websites infected with malware, warns antivirus laboratory Sophos. Under no circumstances should you click on any link in such a message.

Mini confirms entry-level Clubman for Geneva launch

Mini confirms entry-level Clubman for Geneva launch Munich - An entry-level One version of the practical Mini Clubman estate is to make its debut at the Geneva car show from March 5 to 15 and will go on sale in Europe the same month, owners BMW have announced.

The Mini One Clubman uses an upgraded version of the 1.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine turning out 95 horsepower. Combined fuel consumption is given as 5.4 litres per
100 kilometres with a CO2 emission figure of 128 g/km.

Calibration for pros: Colour-neutral reproduction on the PC monitor

Calibration for pros: Colour-neutral reproduction on the PC monitorMunich  - When it comes to colours being displayed on computer monitors, many computer users cannot be blamed for being confused. After all, the white on the screen is not really white. Monitor technology itself often disrupts the neutral depiction of colours: imperfect circuitry or tubes may cause the image to have a reddish tinge or the colours to appear too cold. The best chance you have of setting up your monitor with professional precision is to calibrate it, says Andreas Roth from Prad, a consumer portal for monitors and TVs.

Take snow glasses along when buying a ski helmet

Munich  - Winter sports enthusiasts should take along their own ski glasses when buying a ski helmet because not every helmet can be worn with every pair of glasses, said a German ski safely foundation and the German ski association.

The glasses should be flush with the helmet across the face. They should not press on the bone of the nose and neither the helmet nor the glasses should impair the skier's vision.

Whether a skier wears a half-skull or full skull helmet is a matter of taste, experts say. Half-skull helmets differ in many ways, including their soft ear pads, which can be removed on warm days. Children and skiers who race should wear the half-skull model, according to the foundation and the association.

Photo machine to plug in: A GraphicBooster from Fujitsu Siemens

Photo machine to plug in: A GraphicBooster from Fujitsu Siemens Munich  - Fujitsu Siemens is offering its first laptop with external graphics: the AMILO Notebook Sa 3650 works with a device the company is calling a "GraphicBooster." This primarily consists of a 18 x 13 x 3.35 cm case containing an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 graphics card with 512 MB of memory. The manufacturer claims that the GraphicBooster speeds up processing four-fold over the machine's ATI Radeon HD 3200 working alone.

Quest to look ever younger only causes stress

Quest to look ever younger only causes stressMunich  - The clock ticks without heeding the loss of youth and vivacity - causing unease especially among women.

"Young" is no longer a description for people who reach important milestones such as their 40th, 50th and 60th birthdays. While some people have difficulty accepting their age, a few things such as a a flirtation test or a new project can help.

Toyota Prius tops German Eco rankings

Toyota Prius tops German Eco rankingsMunich  - The Toyota Prius hybrid continues to lead the Eco-Test rankings conducted annually by Germany's automobile association (ADAC) which measured fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in a special test.

None of the 800 cars tested achieved the maximum number of five stars. The ADAC says its test is more realistic than the fuel consumption tests conducted under laboratory conditions by the car makers. The Eco-Test takes the cars on motorways, stop-and-go city traffic while the air conditioning systems run.

Condoms can help heal genital infections

Condoms can help heal genital infectionsMunich - Condoms can help support the healing process of viral infections that affect the cervix, according to the Munich-based professional association for German gynaecologists.

Mutations that occur in cells affected by the human papilloma virus (HPV) are better contained when condoms are used because they the prevent the virus from spreading, the association said. In addition they protect from other sexually transmitted diseases that can slow down the healing process.

Astronomers obtain deepest ultraviolet image of the Universe

Astronomers obtain deepest ultraviolet image of the UniverseMunich, Nov 8 : Astronomers have obtained the deepest ever ground-based ultraviolet image of the Universe, which shows millions of distant galaxies of different shapes and colors.

Obtained in part with the ESO’s (European Southern Observatory’s) Very Large Telescope, the image contains more than 27 million pixels and is the result of 55 hours of observations with the VIMOS instrument.

Winter sports fashion celebrates colour

Winter sports fashion celebrates colourMunich - The ski pistes this year again will be lit up by colour. Skiers and snowboarders wearing the latest fashion will be sporting bright colours and their outfits will include elements borrowed from street clothing. 

In addition to striking, ski suits in uniform solid colours, patterns in plaid, comic strip design and photographs that dot the snow scene colourfully are set to hit stores this season. The designers seem to be looking back; for some, they are reminiscent of the 1980s. 

Micro-blogging conquers the virtual world

Munich - Posting the details of one's doings on the Internet for the world to see is all the rage right now. Micro-blogging is one recent form of short online messages that is particularly well-suited to letting other people have permanent access to the details of one's daily life. Experts expect that this type of exchange will soon become an integral component of digital communication.

Micro-blogging combines characteristics from various communications worlds. As with traditional web-based diaries or blogs, micro-bloggers create a profile with a blog service and use it to post short entries. These posts are not normally more than 140 keystrokes long - shorter than a standard text message.

Luxury for virtual worlds: Keyboards and mice for gamers

Luxury for virtual worlds: Keyboards and mice for gamersMunich - Most PC users are happy enough with a standard keyboard and mouse. Gamers, however, can be very demanding when it comes to their hardware, and manufacturers have responded with keyboards and mice specially tuned to their needs.

While these devices include a variety of extra functions, the question of whether the extras justify the significantly higher prices is a matter of debate.

Bavarian premier resigns after CSU poll loss

Munich  - The premier of Bavaria, Guenther Beckstein, announced Wednesday he would step down, making him the second casualty of a disastrous election setback for his conservative party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

On Tuesday, the CSU leader, Erwin Huber, was the first to say he would leave. The CSU had elected the two men to their posts a year ago.

Beckstein said at a brief news conference he would not be available to lead the planned coalition government in the state, because he lacked the "necessary degree of support" within the CSU.

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