Europe’s Latest Travel Scams

In a shell game on a Berlin street, who wins? Not you. (photo: Rick Steves) Photo: Ricksteves.com

tomorrow in Luxembourg. Europe is faced with a high level of structural unemployment and this is not going to change any time soon, said Annamaria Grimaldi, an economist at Intesa Sanpaolo SpA in Milan. The recovery is happening painfully slowly and thats another reason why well see jobless rates far above 11 percent well into 2015. Even after the currency bloc emerged from its longest-ever recession, economists predict unemployment to keep rising and peak at 12.3 percent in the final quarter of this year. The job markets resistance to an improving economy has been the subject of political debate across the region, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi urging governments to implement decisive structural reforms to fight unemployment. Stocks Decline European stocks sank today as the U.S. faced the first government shutdown in 17 years and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta fought to save his administration. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.8 percent to 309.76 at 4:11 p.m. in Frankfurt . The euro was little changed at $1.3530. Italys Letta said hell request a confidence vote for Oct. 2 to try to save his five-month-old administration after Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his support from the ruling coalition and pulled his ministers from cabinet. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development sees Italian unemployment at 12.5 percent next year.

Sometimes the scam artist is disguised as a lost tourist or a gregarious local who (seemingly) just wants to show you his city. Regardless, be suspicious when invited for a drink by someone you just met; if you want to go out together, suggest a bar (or cafe) of your choosing instead. Slow Count: Cashiers who deal with lots of tourists thrive on the “slow count.” Even in banks, they’ll count your change back with odd pauses in hopes that you’ll gather up the money early and say “Grazie.” Waiters seem to be arithmetically challenged. If you have to use a large bill to make a small payment, clearly state the value of the bill as you hand it over. Some waiters or cabbies will pretend to drop a large bill and pick up a hidden small one in order to shortchange a tourist. Get familiar with the currency and check the change you’re given. The Well-Dressed Thief: The sneakiest pickpockets look like well-dressed businesspeople, generally with something official-looking in their hand. Some pose as tourists with daypacks, cameras, and even guidebooks. Don’t be fooled by looks, impressive uniforms, femme fatales, or hard-luck stories. Don’t hand your wallet to anyone, especially not to fake police who want to “check it for counterfeit money.” The Shell Game: Avoid any gambling on the street. The classic shell game comes with a shill who wins money easily. Then it’s your turn.

Hadoop Summit Europe 2014 Marches Toward the Data Architectures of Tomorrow

Hadoop Summit Europe brings together the leading Hadoop minds and ecosystem vendors from across Europe to discuss the open source big data platforms role in the data architectures of tomorrow. The second annual event will be held at theBeurs van Berlagein Amsterdam on April 2-3, 2014. Click to Tweet : Hadoop Summit Europe 2014 marches toward data architectures of tomorrow. Call for papers now open. #hadoopsummit #hadoop Focused on accelerating the next-generation data architecture built on enterprise Apache Hadoop, Hadoop Summit Europe will feature networking and shared best practices between all levels of the IT landscape, including a vibrant community of architects, developers, data scientists, data professionals and solution providers. The event will feature two full days of content and five tracks, all designed to arm attendees with the know-how to successfully harness the power of big data with Hadoop, driving their business into the next level of the information age. Apache Hadoop continues to proliferate across Europe as enterprise organizations and leading IT vendors realize first-hand the tremendous business impact of the open source big data platform, said Dave McJannet, vice president of marketing, Hortonworks. Building on the success of previous Hadoop Summit events in both North America and Europe, Hadoop Summit Europe 2014 will feature nearly double the number of sessions as last years event and energize the community with new ideas and real-world case studies for making Hadoop the cornerstone of the data architecture of tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you there! Hadoop Summit 2014 attendees will hear and share use cases and success stories, best practices, cautionary takes and technology insights, including discussions on whats next for Apache Hadoop. The Hadoop Summit tracks are divided into five key topic areas including: technical deep dives from Hadoop committers; the future of Hadoop with projects such as Apache YARN; data science using Hadoop; deployment and management of Hadoop operations; and using Hadoop with existing applications to derive business value from data. Call for Papers Now Open Hadoop Summit Europe 2014 continues in the tradition of previous Hadoop Summit events, making submitted speaking abstracts available for public voting on which sessions they would like to see most at the conference.