First of all, I’ve mentioned the Electrotherapy Museum before. It’s one machinist’s astonishingly expansive collection of vintage high-voltage machinery… the kind of gear Tesla and contemporaries played with.
To get an idea of what this stuff looks like in person, see what may be the most goth-mad-science music video ever (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRkqJCxXVdg) and then watch the behind-the-scenes explanation of what all those strange devices actually do (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0H2VZQKTNU).
Also highly noteworthy… if you’re interested in electrical physics at all, this article on some breathtaking static-electricity effects discovered by a Boston mad scientist will knock your socks off… you did NOT learn this stuff in school, guaranteed! http://www.electrotherapymuseum.com/Articles/3July1902/CuriousElectricalForms.htm
Anyway this is my way of sending a shout-out to their crowdfunder… because while crowdfunding is a poor substitute for a proper business model, it’s a decent gateway drug and this stuff is just awesome. Plus, with 64 hours to go, the guy could use some love. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nikola-tesla-archive-electrotherapy-museum
Right, so back to our regularly scheduled Snowden coverage.
The man’s getting 3 more years in Russia, not one like originally anticipated. It seems his (FSB-connected) lawyer suggested that instead of simply asking for an annual renewal, he should ask for the “upgrade” residency permit, and this was granted.
Now, this isn’t simply a matter of extending the time until his next renewal. The new permit allows Snowden to *leave Russia* for up to three months at a stretch… which is highly significant.
One of the biggest arguments in German politics against inviting the “indoor cat” for a bratwurst has been that the German goverment can’t and/or doesn’t want to try and shelter him for an indefinite period of time.
In all fairness, this is a reasonable consideration. With the (still extant and officially allowed, for some reason) massive US spy presence across particularly the South and West of Germany, keeping Snowden safe is a defensive security challenge even I would be a little hesitant to tackle.
I’m reminded of the German official in the RAF case who was wanted “dead or alive” by the leftist terrorists rampaging across Germany in the 70s-90s. That man ended up living in a small house built in the middle of a German military base — it was the only place they felt he’d be reasonably safe.
Snowden in Russia, on the other hand, has been sighted at the Bolshoi ballet, with a nice watch too. 
Now granted the German government is one thing, the German spirit of, erm, volunteerism is a whole ‘nother cup of tea. (See also, the RAF.) But, given that a short term event is much easier to secure (physically and politically) than a long-term stay… this new development significantly reduces the hurdles to Snowden enjoying some sauerkraut and relaxed conversation with the various legislators and prosecutors who’d like to have him over for dinner in Germany.