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Sophie Wrobel has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Eric Enge26,488@115620878851836664537 @107022061436866576067 and I are looking forward to discussing the rapid advances in semantic search. Google, Siri, and Cortana are all making advances, but Google is the clear leader in this space. Here is the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paQ7qq4ddag  @115515796589038584989 has documented that in a study that will publish in the Digital Marketing Excellence Blog on Tuesday morning.  David is about to publish a post on a "reconciliation of identities across different social networks". Join us on Tuesday October 7th at 1 PM ET to talk about these new papers and more.  Say YES to get access to the video for live or later viewing.  I will also share the YouTube link here for mobile viewers. Please *reshare the event* or *invite others*.  Thanks for your help!Scaling the Semantic Web2014-10-07 19:00:00294  
Yifat Cohen87,908*How Do You Rise To The Top?* In 2008, at the age of 24, @111509959619736677567 took all of the Bar Mitzvah money he'd saved up and started a television show in St. Louis, Missouri on ABC with *literally zero experience writing, producing or hosting a television show.* The Rise To The Top TV show focused on entrepreneurship and aired for 36 episodes. *HOW DID HE DO IT, AND HOW CAN YOU DO IT TOO?* How did a kid with no experience managed to interview The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, Two-time New York Times Best Selling Author @113217646903708244617 and creator of Wine Library TV @111310990991240556038, among others? *YOUR 30 MIN. WITH DAVID* In the tradition of my What's Your Story? Entrepreneurial Interviews, you get the last 30 minutes to engage in conversation with David and fill in your own gaps so that you get the answers you need to reach the same level of success. *RSVP FOR EARLY INVITATIONS* And to make sure I get your questions answered - start typing them here. *FUN FACTS ABOUT DAVID* David is the Creator/Host of The Rise To The Top: The #1 Badass Show, Resource & Community For Mediapreneurs. *Author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper* and super passionate about helping mediaprenuers (entrepreneurs who create media) grow their biz like a weed and dominate online. (Grab it here: http://amzn.to/P5g11D) David's interviews have been viewed over 6,000,000 times in over 100 countries. Creator of *Create Awesome Interviews* the #1 program to help folks create their own interview-based web show with hundreds of graduates creating shows on everything from NASCAR to healthy living.How to create and profit from your own interview-based web show?2012-09-13 18:00:00105  

Shared Circles including Sophie Wrobel

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 38

2015-09-11 09:38:16 (38 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Want to help me build my house?
Why a zero-energy-house is not economical in terms of energy needs, and what would be more efficient and economical

My partner wants us to build a new house. I'm against a new building - that is, unless it costs less to heat and cool than an old building. Do you think you can help us figure out how to design such a house?

The problem with current low-energy houses
Europe, and Germany in particular, is quite hot on energy-saving construction techniques. But I'm a hands-on homeowner and I'm no fan of these new passive house designs - in my experience, insulating actually drives up the energy costs. Want to know why?

1) The demand for fresh air. Zero-energy houses are designed to be air-tight. And we people have a strong desire for fresh air - so strong, that we open the windows every day to trade the... more »

Most reshares: 11

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2016-11-30 11:42:06 (8 comments; 11 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

Case Study: Cuba's holistic approach to health

Cuba's health system works because it does one thing that other system's don't: It "fosters a holistic approach centered around on a relationship with a primary-care physician."

The holistic approach doesn't just assess your physical condition, but also your environment, stress level, mental condition, and how all of these factors play together. That goes a long way to helping people stay healthy, allows doctors to identify risks early, and take preventative measures accordingly.

As a poor country, Cuba can’t afford to equivocate and waste money on health care. Much advanced technology is unavailable. So the system is forced instead to keep people healthy. ... It’s largely done, as the BBC has reported, through an innovative approach to primary care. Family doctors work in clinics andcar... more »

Most plusones: 31

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2015-11-05 06:18:57 (16 comments; 3 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

1 Month Update: Healing arthritis

It's been slightly over a month now since I've started a change in my nutrition and exercise schedule in hopes of getting rid of arthritis, and as promised, I'd like to check in and share my first results.

The program
To summarize, my changes involved following a balanced vegan diet, introducing a number of targeted, foot strengthening exercises, and continuing my regular exercise practices.

Results
It's a good week now since I'm able to walk without pain. :) Yay!

Side notes
Almost nothing comes without side effects. And therefore, I'd like to share with you some of the side effects that I've noticed.

Sustainability: Perhaps the most important note. I consider this regime to be not sustainable, at least not with my lifestyle. The main problem is that... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2017-02-24 02:49:55 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

SHA-1 vulnerability published

Google has just disclosed method to create hast collisions. Full sourcecode willfollow in90 days.

In the meantime, you should check that any sites you use to transmit important stuff over is using a more secure algorithm.

SHA-1 vulnerability published

Google has just disclosed method to create hast collisions. Full sourcecode willfollow in90 days.

In the meantime, you should check that any sites you use to transmit important stuff over is using a more secure algorithm.___

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2017-02-03 12:38:00 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Why Europe's sharing economy is suffocating

I've been thinking lately that there are a couple problems with the way things are set up today which really prevent the sharing economy from taking off in Europe.

At the center of everything is a shift in values: people don't value ownership as much as they used to. Instead, they value access. For example, in a car-sharing model, it doesn't matter who owns the car, or who the renter is, as long as they fit particular characteristics agreeable to both owner and renter - it only matters that users (renters) have access to the car.

If we look at commercial legislation today, access is considered a service - i.e. not a tradable commodity - but yet access is precisely what is valued under the sharing economy model much more than ownership. And this trickles down into many other aspects of digital interaction that... more »

Why Europe's sharing economy is suffocating

I've been thinking lately that there are a couple problems with the way things are set up today which really prevent the sharing economy from taking off in Europe.

At the center of everything is a shift in values: people don't value ownership as much as they used to. Instead, they value access. For example, in a car-sharing model, it doesn't matter who owns the car, or who the renter is, as long as they fit particular characteristics agreeable to both owner and renter - it only matters that users (renters) have access to the car.

If we look at commercial legislation today, access is considered a service - i.e. not a tradable commodity - but yet access is precisely what is valued under the sharing economy model much more than ownership. And this trickles down into many other aspects of digital interaction that simply haven't kept pace with this shift towards communal wellbeing. In my mind, some of the key issues include:

1) virtual identities: the concept of a virtual identity and the concept of a legal identity do not exactly match.

2) trust and authentication: current trust schemes focus around providing technical security, but do not focus around how believable the things that businesses claim actually are.

3) contract term enforcement: because consumers can always claim that they didn't actually read the terms because they were too long, it's difficult for small businesses enforce terms in their contracts.

4) decentralised trust services: since you can get your digital identity from Facebook, Twitter, Google, your bank, or any other provider, the government is no longer the sole identity regulator or trust provider.

5) context-specific execution frameworks: conventional contracts require approval from both sides in order to change the contract, and there are minimum notice periods around that. But smart contracting automates contractual execution, potentially also contractual changes, and these minimum notice periods suddenly become impractical and illogical within the context of their potential applications.

6) autonomous organisations: today's best AI agents are smarter than most people give credit. So what happens when the CEO of a company is actually a robot instead of a person? There are lots of issues around liability, whether or not a robot can conclude contracts with customers and suppliers, whether a robot might qualify as a legal person, and so on.

I think it's going to take change on a number of counts - starting with acknowledging that the value generated by sharing businesses today comes not just from monetary profits, but also from intrinsic motivators - and adjusting both public policy, legislation accordingly to provide a framework that will not hamper growth and innovation in the future.___

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2017-01-17 09:13:02 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

EU - Yes to free WiFi, No to free anonymous surfing

Because there are a lot of misleading articles recently, I think this is an important clarification: the recent CJEU decision doesn't say that shopkeepers have to take responsibility for the actions of users on free WiFi networks. On the contrary, it says that shopkeepers are protected from being liable for actions carried out by users, no ifs and buts.

However, it does say that users shouldn't necessarily have a free pass to do whatever they want, either - shopkeepers can provide free WiFi, but may receive an injunction to give provide free WiFi in exchange for identification information (presumably so that infringing users may be traced down and held liable for their actions).

Let's just hope that the day never comes when we need to post something political anonymously on the internet...

EU - Yes to free WiFi, No to free anonymous surfing

Because there are a lot of misleading articles recently, I think this is an important clarification: the recent CJEU decision doesn't say that shopkeepers have to take responsibility for the actions of users on free WiFi networks. On the contrary, it says that shopkeepers are protected from being liable for actions carried out by users, no ifs and buts.

However, it does say that users shouldn't necessarily have a free pass to do whatever they want, either - shopkeepers can provide free WiFi, but may receive an injunction to give provide free WiFi in exchange for identification information (presumably so that infringing users may be traced down and held liable for their actions).

Let's just hope that the day never comes when we need to post something political anonymously on the internet...___

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2017-01-11 07:24:46 (2 comments; 4 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

Regenerate your teeth
Stem cells are a magical tool that can fix almost any problem with your health, because stem cells can develop to become any type of cell in the body depending on where they happen to be in the body.

As it seems, a particular drug, Tideglusib, triggers stem cell production in teeth - allowing rapid, natural tooth repair to take place. Mind you, clinical trials and the rest of the drug approval process are still to come, but this first result looks like a promising alternative to fillings, with less side effects and follow-up problems than modern fillings have.

Of course, proper dental care to avoid needing fillings in the first place is still the better choice... but for those of us who already have had to deal with fillings, this might be something to look at in the future.

/via +Vlad Markov

Regenerate your teeth
Stem cells are a magical tool that can fix almost any problem with your health, because stem cells can develop to become any type of cell in the body depending on where they happen to be in the body.

As it seems, a particular drug, Tideglusib, triggers stem cell production in teeth - allowing rapid, natural tooth repair to take place. Mind you, clinical trials and the rest of the drug approval process are still to come, but this first result looks like a promising alternative to fillings, with less side effects and follow-up problems than modern fillings have.

Of course, proper dental care to avoid needing fillings in the first place is still the better choice... but for those of us who already have had to deal with fillings, this might be something to look at in the future.

/via +Vlad Markov___

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2017-01-04 07:02:07 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Meet the mesentery, now considered a human organ
The mesentery - which encloses the intestines and attaches them to the wall of the abdomen - seems not to be a fragmented set of incoherent parts, but actually one continuous whole. That means it can be classified as an organ.

The mesentery is a vital part of human existence. As far as we know today, it does three things:
1) It secretes serous fluid, which decreases friction and allows peristaltic movements that aide in digestion.
2) It provides a passageway for lymphatics, nerves, arteries and veins between the body wall and internal organs.
3) It holds the intestines in place.

Yet the function of the mesentery is still being explored, and the recent discovery that it is one continuous organ as opposed to a number of separate parts opens up the door for more research on the functions, ailments, and cures... more »

Meet the mesentery, now considered a human organ
The mesentery - which encloses the intestines and attaches them to the wall of the abdomen - seems not to be a fragmented set of incoherent parts, but actually one continuous whole. That means it can be classified as an organ.

The mesentery is a vital part of human existence. As far as we know today, it does three things:
1) It secretes serous fluid, which decreases friction and allows peristaltic movements that aide in digestion.
2) It provides a passageway for lymphatics, nerves, arteries and veins between the body wall and internal organs.
3) It holds the intestines in place.

Yet the function of the mesentery is still being explored, and the recent discovery that it is one continuous organ as opposed to a number of separate parts opens up the door for more research on the functions, ailments, and cures around this life-critical organ.

/via +Edward Morbius___

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2016-12-07 07:57:22 (13 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Could collaborative consumption raise the happiness index?

While the concept of collaborative consumption is very old - European records contain Roman legal constructs and definitions for collaborative consumption - the recent popularity growth of collaborative consumption in the western world suggests that the mainstream culture in the western world is changing, and perhaps this time it's a good change.

Almost a year ago +nyeko ric left a comment on a thread of mine: 'For wealthy countries & people,they tend to build their own strategies that would make them better than the others no matter the consequences.They always plan for the downfall of their neighbors...'

This underlying philosophy of consumerism has driven values in the developed world for the last few centuries, and being suddenly confronted by consumers who focus on intrinsic values and... more »

Could collaborative consumption raise the happiness index?

While the concept of collaborative consumption is very old - European records contain Roman legal constructs and definitions for collaborative consumption - the recent popularity growth of collaborative consumption in the western world suggests that the mainstream culture in the western world is changing, and perhaps this time it's a good change.

Almost a year ago +nyeko ric left a comment on a thread of mine: 'For wealthy countries & people,they tend to build their own strategies that would make them better than the others no matter the consequences.They always plan for the downfall of their neighbors...'

This underlying philosophy of consumerism has driven values in the developed world for the last few centuries, and being suddenly confronted by consumers who focus on intrinsic values and communal values has allowed things like car sharing, airbnb, wikipedia, and other community-focused endeavors to thrive. At the same time, by revaluing intrinsic motivators, these endeavors strengthen communities - building resilience, social support networks, human compassion, and ultimately improving happiness by nurturing a collaborative instead of a competitive environment.___

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2016-12-07 07:39:50 (6 comments; 7 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

Potential new health fad: red algae

Looks like someone rediscovered red algae and wants to put it on the US health food map. Red algae is a known superfood due to its high nutritional density, but isn't very well known in the western world. More details on the nutritional value of red algae here: http://slism.com/calorie/109010/

I recall this stuff boiled together with white algae, sugar and dried lotus fruit in an Asian dessert - one that I find very tasty, actually - but have never thought of frying it. This sounds like a lot of new potential recipes bound to crop up in the next few years, and a potential new ingredient that will find its way into standard vegan 'meat replacement' products.

Thanks to +Russ Abbott for the heads up

Potential new health fad: red algae

Looks like someone rediscovered red algae and wants to put it on the US health food map. Red algae is a known superfood due to its high nutritional density, but isn't very well known in the western world. More details on the nutritional value of red algae here: http://slism.com/calorie/109010/

I recall this stuff boiled together with white algae, sugar and dried lotus fruit in an Asian dessert - one that I find very tasty, actually - but have never thought of frying it. This sounds like a lot of new potential recipes bound to crop up in the next few years, and a potential new ingredient that will find its way into standard vegan 'meat replacement' products.

Thanks to +Russ Abbott for the heads up___

posted image

2016-12-01 14:39:07 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Can technology disrupt social discourse to prevent history from repeating itself with the rise of new demagogues?

This is one of the reasons why I love the Google+ community - People like +Ferdinand Zebua go off to trigger some fascinating discussions. But it's also a topic that I'd think has potential - if some leading company has a motivation to take action.

To summarize the general gist of things: instead of using online platforms to annoy users by means of heavy profiling and targeting, could we instead use online platforms to prevent rising demagogues from usurping thoughts, feelings, and ultimately add another horrible chapter to modern history?

Comments on the initial post, please (follow the link).

Can technology disrupt social discourse to prevent history from repeating itself with the rise of new demagogues?

This is one of the reasons why I love the Google+ community - People like +Ferdinand Zebua go off to trigger some fascinating discussions. But it's also a topic that I'd think has potential - if some leading company has a motivation to take action.

To summarize the general gist of things: instead of using online platforms to annoy users by means of heavy profiling and targeting, could we instead use online platforms to prevent rising demagogues from usurping thoughts, feelings, and ultimately add another horrible chapter to modern history?

Comments on the initial post, please (follow the link).___

posted image

2016-11-30 11:42:06 (8 comments; 11 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

Case Study: Cuba's holistic approach to health

Cuba's health system works because it does one thing that other system's don't: It "fosters a holistic approach centered around on a relationship with a primary-care physician."

The holistic approach doesn't just assess your physical condition, but also your environment, stress level, mental condition, and how all of these factors play together. That goes a long way to helping people stay healthy, allows doctors to identify risks early, and take preventative measures accordingly.

As a poor country, Cuba can’t afford to equivocate and waste money on health care. Much advanced technology is unavailable. So the system is forced instead to keep people healthy. ... It’s largely done, as the BBC has reported, through an innovative approach to primary care. Family doctors work in clinics andcar... more »

Case Study: Cuba's holistic approach to health

Cuba's health system works because it does one thing that other system's don't: It "fosters a holistic approach centered around on a relationship with a primary-care physician."

The holistic approach doesn't just assess your physical condition, but also your environment, stress level, mental condition, and how all of these factors play together. That goes a long way to helping people stay healthy, allows doctors to identify risks early, and take preventative measures accordingly.

As a poor country, Cuba can’t afford to equivocate and waste money on health care. Much advanced technology is unavailable. So the system is forced instead to keep people healthy. ... It’s largely done, as the BBC has reported, through an innovative approach to primary care. Family doctors work in clinics and care for everyone in the surrounding neighborhood. At least once a year, the doctor knocks on your front door (or elsewhere, if you prefer) for a check-up. More than the standard American ritual of listening to your heart and lungs and asking if you’ve noticed any blood coming out of you abnormally, these check-ups involve extensive questions about jobs and social lives and environment—information that’s aided by being right there in a person’s home.

At the same time, completing a course in holistic health recently has had me realize how I've missed many 'initial signs' already, thinking that they are 'normal' or 'incurable'. Some examples: Hard poop. Menstrual pains. Tiredness. Hair loss. Migraines. Joint inflammation. Sound familiar? Then maybe you should have a look at what a holistic health approach can offer to improve your wellbeing. The examples that I've mentioned are things that, with appropriate action and no significant additional costs, have either improved or completely disappeared in my life - much to my amazement.

While a holistic approach can't solve all health problems, it certainly can improve quality of life, and I think that's a message worth spreading. If you feel particularly spoken to, then do reach out - nothing could be more rewarding than to empower another person with the gift of their own improved health!

/via +John Poteet___

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2016-11-23 07:07:33 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Expect more e-books at your local European library soon!

Some countries have a 'public lending exception' allowing public libraries to lend books without first acquiring expensive licenses. This recent CJEU decision establishes applies to e-books too - lowering the hurdle for public libraries to acquire and lend e-books.

This decision is an important win for the information sharing society, and opens the door for new business models built around collaborative sharing services, such as annotated sharing, co-reads, library consolidation services, etc.

Expect more e-books at your local European library soon!

Some countries have a 'public lending exception' allowing public libraries to lend books without first acquiring expensive licenses. This recent CJEU decision establishes applies to e-books too - lowering the hurdle for public libraries to acquire and lend e-books.

This decision is an important win for the information sharing society, and opens the door for new business models built around collaborative sharing services, such as annotated sharing, co-reads, library consolidation services, etc.___

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2016-10-20 10:19:45 (14 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

One simple fitness test predicting how likely you are to die in the next few years

Once you reach the age of 35, your physical fitness starts to deteriorate. And being less fit also means being more likely to die. So for people over 50, here's one simple test that predicts - given it's simplicity, with surprising accuracy - how likely you are to die because of deteriorating physical fitness.

The 'sitting test', developed by a Brazilian doctor, involves sitting down from a standing position into a cross-legged position and standing up again, using as little support from hands, knees, or other body parts. The process of sitting is granted a score out of five, and the process of standing up again is granted another score out of five, for a total of ten points. One point is deducted for each body part required to sit or stand up, and half-points are deducted for... more »

One simple fitness test predicting how likely you are to die in the next few years

Once you reach the age of 35, your physical fitness starts to deteriorate. And being less fit also means being more likely to die. So for people over 50, here's one simple test that predicts - given it's simplicity, with surprising accuracy - how likely you are to die because of deteriorating physical fitness.

The 'sitting test', developed by a Brazilian doctor, involves sitting down from a standing position into a cross-legged position and standing up again, using as little support from hands, knees, or other body parts. The process of sitting is granted a score out of five, and the process of standing up again is granted another score out of five, for a total of ten points. One point is deducted for each body part required to sit or stand up, and half-points are deducted for losing balance (this is explained with examples in the video). The higher the score, the longer you're expected to live.

To quote from the results:
"SRT scores [below] 8 (that is, requiring more than one hand or knee support to sit and rise from the floor in a stable way) were associated with 2–5-fold higher death rates over 6 years in men and women aged 51–80. SRT scores in the range 8–10 indi- cated a particularly low risk of death during the tracking period [12 years]. Even more relevant is the fact that a 1-point increment in the SRT score was related to a 21% reduction in mortality. The SRT can be considered a simple screening procedure in which a low score largely reflects the degree of impairment in the components of musculoskeletal fitness – mainly those indicating a reduction in muscle strength and/or joint flexibility."___

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2016-09-29 08:01:34 (15 comments; 7 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

JASTA: Is the US more authoritative than an international court?

This US bill, which was passed yesterday, is highly concerning. To highly oversimplify things, it looks like this bill is trying to make the world subject to American law and American definitions on anything related to terrorism (however the US decides to define terrorism now and in the future). Of course, all without asking the rest of the world on their opinion about it (both Saudi Arabia and the EU have expressed views against JASTA, among other things because it is not compatible with international treaties). And of course, how much power of jurisdiction the US actually has overseas, is another matter completely.

Given how vague and broad the banner of terrorism has become, close to anything - e.g. not complying with a request to have all data intercepted and scanned by US intelligence - might be considered as... more »

JASTA: Is the US more authoritative than an international court?

This US bill, which was passed yesterday, is highly concerning. To highly oversimplify things, it looks like this bill is trying to make the world subject to American law and American definitions on anything related to terrorism (however the US decides to define terrorism now and in the future). Of course, all without asking the rest of the world on their opinion about it (both Saudi Arabia and the EU have expressed views against JASTA, among other things because it is not compatible with international treaties). And of course, how much power of jurisdiction the US actually has overseas, is another matter completely.

Given how vague and broad the banner of terrorism has become, close to anything - e.g. not complying with a request to have all data intercepted and scanned by US intelligence - might be considered as something related to terrorism. That's a very scary thought, in my opinion, especially for activities that are not within US jurisdiction!

That all said, while I can understand and sympathize with the motivations behind this bill, I still think that there are better mechanisms of going about them than enacting this bill. And I'm sure there are others who can find even better mechanisms to do so than I can. But no one asked me - why should they? After all, I'm not American.

This could be one messy law with unintended consequences. For example, to turn the tables: I wonder if anyone will be using that law to sue the US for their interference in the Middle East, in Vietnam, or in any other number of places they've fought in over the last years?

References:
1. Official summary of the bill:
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2040/summary
2. Official text:
https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2040/text___

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2016-09-29 06:03:09 (3 comments; 5 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

The NSA Side of the Story: Countering the Insider Threat

Edward Snowden's actions have had serious implications across the world - and raised many important questions. One of those questions is how an organization can defend itself against the threat of cybercrime committed by insiders with malicious intent - and Snowden's case is a wonderful example of how complex that insider threat can sometimes be.

This also raises some interesting questions on how organizations can protect themselves from the insider threat. In his talk, Steven Bay suggests several important measures:

1) Separation of Duties
2) Separation of Information
3) Employee Training
4) Locking Down on Technical Gateways to the WWW
5) Effective Internal Processes

While this looks good on paper, how do they fit in the increasingly integrated demands of IoT, Predictive... more »

The NSA Side of the Story: Countering the Insider Threat

Edward Snowden's actions have had serious implications across the world - and raised many important questions. One of those questions is how an organization can defend itself against the threat of cybercrime committed by insiders with malicious intent - and Snowden's case is a wonderful example of how complex that insider threat can sometimes be.

This also raises some interesting questions on how organizations can protect themselves from the insider threat. In his talk, Steven Bay suggests several important measures:

1) Separation of Duties
2) Separation of Information
3) Employee Training
4) Locking Down on Technical Gateways to the WWW
5) Effective Internal Processes

While this looks good on paper, how do they fit in the increasingly integrated demands of IoT, Predictive Analytics, and Enterprise Dashboards, in which separation of information poses a severe challenge?

That question is one that I think information logistics addresses very well - allowing organizations to design the way in which information flows, and is accessed, across the organization. Of course, information logistics does more than just protect against the insider threat - it can also significantly improve business performance, when paired to other existing processes, such as those captured in a business process management (BPM) system. And with information being the new gold of our century, I think this sort of system is going to become increasingly important, both for large scale and small scale operations.___

2016-09-23 09:48:37 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

Ein Kristallball die funktioniert: 34 Jahren altes Vorhersage liegt ganz nah an unsere Realität

Schaue mal, wie die heutige Zeit in 1982 in diesem Zeichentrickfilm prophezeiet würde - unsere menschliche Motivationen haben nicht großartig geändert!!!

Anmerkung: Ein seltene Fall wo ich auf Facebook verlinken, denn ich keine Ahnung habe wo das Originalvideo gepostet würde. Für Hinweise über den ursprüngliche Zeichentrickfilm wäre ich sehr dankbar!

https://www.facebook.com/freiemediennachrichtenpresse/videos/829259793876400/

Ein Kristallball die funktioniert: 34 Jahren altes Vorhersage liegt ganz nah an unsere Realität

Schaue mal, wie die heutige Zeit in 1982 in diesem Zeichentrickfilm prophezeiet würde - unsere menschliche Motivationen haben nicht großartig geändert!!!

Anmerkung: Ein seltene Fall wo ich auf Facebook verlinken, denn ich keine Ahnung habe wo das Originalvideo gepostet würde. Für Hinweise über den ursprüngliche Zeichentrickfilm wäre ich sehr dankbar!

https://www.facebook.com/freiemediennachrichtenpresse/videos/829259793876400/___

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2016-09-15 06:50:14 (5 comments; 7 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

AI answers 'smart' questions with human caliber

If you still don't believe in what artificial intelligence is capable of, then you should read this article: AI is sufficiently advanced that university students couldn't tell whether their teaching assistant, who answered their questions is real or not.

It's a brilliant use of artificial intelligence to reduce annoying human labor, and won't be the last. 

AI answers 'smart' questions with human caliber

If you still don't believe in what artificial intelligence is capable of, then you should read this article: AI is sufficiently advanced that university students couldn't tell whether their teaching assistant, who answered their questions is real or not.

It's a brilliant use of artificial intelligence to reduce annoying human labor, and won't be the last. ___

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2016-09-13 07:53:23 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

80% of people die in peace. This number has been higher. What went wrong?

I'm not quite ready to die yet - but when I do get there, I'd like to still be healthy, and die a peaceful death. However, the chances of dying in peace are falling. Why?

Dying has become a lucrative business. Not just for cemeteries, but also for health care practitioners, medical equipment providers, and pharmaceutical companies. And their current motivators are profit, and patient longevity. With one thing that you just don't say out loud: that comes at the cost of patient comfort. Instead of doctors visiting you at home and helping you prepare mentally for the next world, now you visit them and hope to extend your lifespan. Good medical care is no longer rated based on how happy you feel, but on how much longer you live. So how is dying actually happen?

What happens when you... more »

80% of people die in peace. This number has been higher. What went wrong?

I'm not quite ready to die yet - but when I do get there, I'd like to still be healthy, and die a peaceful death. However, the chances of dying in peace are falling. Why?

Dying has become a lucrative business. Not just for cemeteries, but also for health care practitioners, medical equipment providers, and pharmaceutical companies. And their current motivators are profit, and patient longevity. With one thing that you just don't say out loud: that comes at the cost of patient comfort. Instead of doctors visiting you at home and helping you prepare mentally for the next world, now you visit them and hope to extend your lifespan. Good medical care is no longer rated based on how happy you feel, but on how much longer you live. So how is dying actually happen?

What happens when you die naturally?
Dying is a natural, hormone-driven process.
1. You lose your appetite. Your body continues to produce hormones to suppress hunger.
2. You lose your thirst.
3. Your kidneys fail - but your body continue to produce happiness hormones.
4. You slowly become increasingly tired and breathing becomes more difficult, because the lungs no longer properly function
5. The lack of oxygen triggers hallucinations.
6. You fall into a coma, and die peacefully in a happy hallucination.

What happens when you you die under medical intervention?
... so when medical intervention prolongs this process with artificial feeding, infusions, artificial respiration, and dialysis, you prolong the process of dying, and the extended life comes riddled with medical complications resulting from the treatments, such as bed-ridden complications resulting from insufficient physical activity, hormonal imbalances, end-of-life hallucinations in an extended coma produced without influence of the happiness hormone, etc. Extending life through medical intervention during this natural stage of dying may keep someone alive for several months longer, but the quality of life deteriorates as you suffer from side effects caused by your medical care.

Of course, if you stand a decent chance of recovery, then by all means: modern medicine is there to help. But if your body has already initiated its 'shutdown' sequence, perhaps moving on in peace is the better alternative.

If you speak German, I'd recommend watching this video - it provides an interesting perspective to modern palliative medicine that you may not know that much about, and many dirty details described as 'open secrets' in the industry.___

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2016-06-06 10:09:29 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

Slander and bad research: how are honeybees really treated?

My neighbor is teaching me how to keep honeybees this year. And I can tell you this much: it makes the linked article seem like outrageous slander.

Bees don't die because of bad beekeeping practices. It used to be that way - when beekeepers just broke the beehive apart to steal the honey - but these days, bees have artificial houses which allow beekeepers to remove parts of the hive (e.g. just part of the honey room) to harvest honey without killing the bees. In fact, a lot less bees die thanks to modern beekeeping practices than compared to beekeeping a few decades ago. Bee colony health is of utmost importance to the beekeeper, as that's where their livelihood depends on.

Honeybees have been bred to be more productive than wild bees. So yes, they do need to be cared for differently than wild bees in... more »

Slander and bad research: how are honeybees really treated?

My neighbor is teaching me how to keep honeybees this year. And I can tell you this much: it makes the linked article seem like outrageous slander.

Bees don't die because of bad beekeeping practices. It used to be that way - when beekeepers just broke the beehive apart to steal the honey - but these days, bees have artificial houses which allow beekeepers to remove parts of the hive (e.g. just part of the honey room) to harvest honey without killing the bees. In fact, a lot less bees die thanks to modern beekeeping practices than compared to beekeeping a few decades ago. Bee colony health is of utmost importance to the beekeeper, as that's where their livelihood depends on.

Honeybees have been bred to be more productive than wild bees. So yes, they do need to be cared for differently than wild bees in order to keep their population in check with the seasons. And yes, they have weaker immunity against mites, so they are treated once a year - albeit not with antibiotics, but with oxalic acid. This is the only synthetic treatment the bees receive, and the only time at which a beekeeper needs to use protective gear to prevent the bees from stinging. The rest of the work is done with garden gloves. Even commercial beekeepers here work with just thin, non-stingproof gloves, and no other protection on.

A healthy honeybee colony has two or three 'floors'. The 'honey room' is empty in winter: if it is full, the queen starts to lay lots of eggs, and the bee population explodes. In spring, the beekeeper fills the 'honey room' with honey to get the queen to start laying eggs early, so that the workers will be hatched when the flowers start blooming. Conversely, in winter, the bees get more beefood instead, so that the queen doesn't lay as many eggs.

From spring to fall, the beekeeper inspects the bees regularly - about a weekly basis to monitor colony health. The bees don't sting during inspection, even when each frame is taken out individually. When the honey room is full, or when there isn't enough space for the bees, the queen will fly away and look for a new nest. She does not have clipped wings. So before the room fills up, the honey frames are removed and the honey extracted, and the empty frames hung back for the bees to continue their work. Or, new frames are added to the hive, so that the bees have enough space to live.

Don't believe me? Go visit a beehive yourself. :) No genetic manipulation, but the bees are manipulated (by manipulating the hive) to raise honey production in spring, and taper down honey production in winter. They can also be manipulated to create two beehives out of one (making one of the new hives raise a new queen), or to move the bees to an area with more flowers.

As to what does make bees die? Pesticides, mites, rats, and so on. But certainly not beekeepers!

#Geist   #Mythbuster   #Bees   #Honey   #Health #Environment___

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2016-03-11 05:17:47 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

US starts laying the groundwork for EU Privacy Shield

Privacy Shield is going to replace the Safe Harbor agreement for data transfer between the EU and US - as the Safe Harbor agreement was struck down as invalid by the courts. It should provide more personal protections. The question is, however, whether that is sufficient.

One of the biggest loopholes is that the new US bills cannot 'impede national security interests' - and national security interests has been demonstrated in the past to be very broadly applied, such that the potential for abuse still remains.

We'll have to see how the EU reacts.

#Privacy  #EU #US #PrivacyShield  

US starts laying the groundwork for EU Privacy Shield

Privacy Shield is going to replace the Safe Harbor agreement for data transfer between the EU and US - as the Safe Harbor agreement was struck down as invalid by the courts. It should provide more personal protections. The question is, however, whether that is sufficient.

One of the biggest loopholes is that the new US bills cannot 'impede national security interests' - and national security interests has been demonstrated in the past to be very broadly applied, such that the potential for abuse still remains.

We'll have to see how the EU reacts.

#Privacy  #EU #US #PrivacyShield  ___

2016-03-09 05:47:45 (1 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s; )Open 

What's the EU up to these days?

Unlike what the headline suggests, the game isn't over yet, and there is more legislation to come. The EC is running a series of workshops this month to gather information from industry on how data is being transmitted and the legal constructs currently associated with that, and I'd expect that the conclusion of these workshops will be at least an opinion and recommendation, if not new legislation, that is going to shape the European cloud provider market. 

#Privacy   #Cloud   #DataProtection   #Europe  

What's the EU up to these days?

Unlike what the headline suggests, the game isn't over yet, and there is more legislation to come. The EC is running a series of workshops this month to gather information from industry on how data is being transmitted and the legal constructs currently associated with that, and I'd expect that the conclusion of these workshops will be at least an opinion and recommendation, if not new legislation, that is going to shape the European cloud provider market. 

#Privacy   #Cloud   #DataProtection   #Europe  ___

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2016-03-08 11:31:25 (8 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Surgery and the placebo effect

Yes, there are definitely many cases in which surgery is a justifiable and helpful measure. But there are also many cases in which surgery is unnecessary - and given the complications associated with surgical risks, making the call on unnecessary surgery is something that needs to be addressed, regardless of who is at fault.

But first, let's set some misconceptions straight. No, the problem isn't just a big conspiracy in the modern health care system to eek as much money out of patients as possible. There is just as much a problem on the patient side: patients who refuse to provide full medical records that may be necessary to make a sound decision, patients who keep insisting that they have a particular condition and go about from doctor to doctor until they find someone who agrees with their opinion, and patients who believe that by... more »

Surgery and the placebo effect

Yes, there are definitely many cases in which surgery is a justifiable and helpful measure. But there are also many cases in which surgery is unnecessary - and given the complications associated with surgical risks, making the call on unnecessary surgery is something that needs to be addressed, regardless of who is at fault.

But first, let's set some misconceptions straight. No, the problem isn't just a big conspiracy in the modern health care system to eek as much money out of patients as possible. There is just as much a problem on the patient side: patients who refuse to provide full medical records that may be necessary to make a sound decision, patients who keep insisting that they have a particular condition and go about from doctor to doctor until they find someone who agrees with their opinion, and patients who believe that by having a treatment, they will be better off than having no treatment.

Appropriate health care requires a stable, two-way trust relationship between doctors and patients: if this trust is broken, then the accusations in both directions take off. Unfortunately, with the overwork and stress commonplace in medical professions, mistakes happen more than they should - and this has resulted in increased mistrust in the health care system, as indicated by the rise in demand for alternative medicine.

Personally, I think we need to strike a balance: if you approach a medical professional and actually care about your long-term health, you should inform yourself about the risks and chances associated with the treatment you are recommended, as well as the circumstances in which that treatment actually helps. If you have a preconception that a particular treatment is going to help, then do your homework and inform yourself about the circumstances under which that treatment actually works, as well as whether your preconception is valid, and keep your tin foil cap on!

Granted, the subject is riddled with biases and any study on how necessary surgery may be is bound to be inaccurate - and despite that, I think that this is an issue that needs to be looked at more closely, and not just surgery, but medicine in general.

/via +Lerato Majikfaerie 

#Health   #Surgery    #Misconceptions   #Geist  ___

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2016-02-05 11:35:37 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Generation C's demand for privacy: Social media is evolving

The meaning of privacy is evolving - it seems that the younger generation does value privacy, but not in the same sense that the older generations have.

Privacy, for younger people, is reflected in their demand for technological media that limit the access to information they are sharing to their social circle. Older, digitally-sensitive folk also make conscious decisions to restrict which information is shared to whom. Yet these positions differs in one key area - the amount of trust offered to the technological platform operator. Younger generations tend to assume that underlying platform operator is an honest player: a potential fallacy that older generations take the opposite stance on.

The change in trust between the two generations on that particular factor is a pivotal change in the digital... more »

Generation C's demand for privacy: Social media is evolving

The meaning of privacy is evolving - it seems that the younger generation does value privacy, but not in the same sense that the older generations have.

Privacy, for younger people, is reflected in their demand for technological media that limit the access to information they are sharing to their social circle. Older, digitally-sensitive folk also make conscious decisions to restrict which information is shared to whom. Yet these positions differs in one key area - the amount of trust offered to the technological platform operator. Younger generations tend to assume that underlying platform operator is an honest player: a potential fallacy that older generations take the opposite stance on.

The change in trust between the two generations on that particular factor is a pivotal change in the digital ecosystem. This trust is essential for deriving data-based benefits out of operating such a communications platform. It is what causes intelligence agencies and marketing departments to flock to platform providers, and the core to understanding and providing personalized services. And with the rising generation more willing to offer up that trust than their parents, it looks like market pressures of supply and demand - with this change in trust driving the supply and demand for social media providers offering the sort of walled gardens that Generation C is looking for - is going to fundamentally change the landscape of social media as we know it.

http://www.businessinsider.de/young-people-flock-away-from-social-media-2016-2?r=UK&IR=T___

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2016-01-26 09:16:21 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Adaptive Capacity
How ready is your organization for tomorrow?

I think this is a wonderful short video outlining five critical aspects to ensuring an organization's 'fitness for survival' - namely, it's ability to react to changes in the marketplace and overcome difficulties. The five building blocks are:

(1) Structure
(2) Strategy
(3) Talent
(4) Culture
(5) Purpose

Okay, not too surprising so far. But something has changed: all of that has to cross the digital chasm somehow, and still remain interconnected. Which means we need digital platforms that follow a strategy that can:

(1) Analyze and make connections between these diverse, more-or-less intangible and weakly structured fields
(2) Adapt to constant changes during organizational adaptation
(3) Deliver immediate results throughout the constant... more »

Adaptive Capacity
How ready is your organization for tomorrow?

I think this is a wonderful short video outlining five critical aspects to ensuring an organization's 'fitness for survival' - namely, it's ability to react to changes in the marketplace and overcome difficulties. The five building blocks are:

(1) Structure
(2) Strategy
(3) Talent
(4) Culture
(5) Purpose

Okay, not too surprising so far. But something has changed: all of that has to cross the digital chasm somehow, and still remain interconnected. Which means we need digital platforms that follow a strategy that can:

(1) Analyze and make connections between these diverse, more-or-less intangible and weakly structured fields
(2) Adapt to constant changes during organizational adaptation
(3) Deliver immediate results throughout the constant adaptation.

What's your approach - and what are your most difficult hurdles in crossing that divide?___

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2016-01-22 07:02:34 (9 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Success is not your goal. Avoiding failure is.

This is a wonderful reflection on why success is such a fleeting state, and takes a very simple - yet very approachable and effective - method to attaining success. The following excerpt sums it up:

He always said, “I just try to avoid being unsuccessful.” That is the number one thing I learned from him. He said that you should study what makes you unsuccessful, unhappy, broke, fat, stupid. Then, eliminate those things out of your life.

The alluring part of this approach, compared to many others, is that most people know what they don't want already, but don't know what they really want. And knowing what you don't want is all that you need to start on this pathway - steer away from what you don't want to be, and towards what you want to be. If your closest friends are pulling you down, perhaps it'stim... more »

Success is not your goal. Avoiding failure is.

This is a wonderful reflection on why success is such a fleeting state, and takes a very simple - yet very approachable and effective - method to attaining success. The following excerpt sums it up:

He always said, “I just try to avoid being unsuccessful.” That is the number one thing I learned from him. He said that you should study what makes you unsuccessful, unhappy, broke, fat, stupid. Then, eliminate those things out of your life.

The alluring part of this approach, compared to many others, is that most people know what they don't want already, but don't know what they really want. And knowing what you don't want is all that you need to start on this pathway - steer away from what you don't want to be, and towards what you want to be. If your closest friends are pulling you down, perhaps it's time to find some friends who will pull you up - and with that, not just your attitude towards life will change, but so will your success.

#Geist #Charisma #Happiness___

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2016-01-14 07:58:19 (7 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

Gaming the legal system to the detriment of public health and safety

TFOA, the stuff in Teflon, is a standard in non-stick cooking pans. But it is only one compound in a whole class of compounds - including TFOA-substitutes - that have not been adequately assessed for public health and safety before being used in manufacturing.

The story of Robert Bilott's case against DuPont concerning TFOA points to just how deeply and intricately manufacturing companies are gaming the system, to be able to continue to produce products. There are several systematic issues:

1) Lack of public awareness, and public misconceptions. I remember the 'Teflon Scare' initiated by the public brief that Bilott published. Shortly thereafter, everyone got told that you could use Teflon, but don't turn the stove to high, use any cooking utensils in the pan, or put it in the... more »

Gaming the legal system to the detriment of public health and safety

TFOA, the stuff in Teflon, is a standard in non-stick cooking pans. But it is only one compound in a whole class of compounds - including TFOA-substitutes - that have not been adequately assessed for public health and safety before being used in manufacturing.

The story of Robert Bilott's case against DuPont concerning TFOA points to just how deeply and intricately manufacturing companies are gaming the system, to be able to continue to produce products. There are several systematic issues:

1) Lack of public awareness, and public misconceptions. I remember the 'Teflon Scare' initiated by the public brief that Bilott published. Shortly thereafter, everyone got told that you could use Teflon, but don't turn the stove to high, use any cooking utensils in the pan, or put it in the dishwasher. Or consider the vague statements on the presence of TFOA in a water bill. This sort of information, while practical, does not provide any explanation of the risks or the basis on which the tips are derived - and without that information, leaves an eerie gap in public awareness of health consequences. There is not just an awareness gap in what chemicals do, but also in what chemicals are present where. There are lots of chemicals in processed foods that do not need to be listed, and therefore aren't listed. In plastics and other synthetics, there is even less regulation - do you have any idea what is in your clothing? Your cooking tools? Your crafts glue bottle? Probably not. And if you do know, then you already know how difficult it is to get a hold of information, and how difficult it is to put it all together.

2) Lack of consumer-safety oriented regulation. What happens when TFOA one day becomes banned? Manufacturers just move on to the next compound in the family - and there are so many of them, and so many more being created every year, that the slow pace of year-long litigation won't be able to keep up with it. And the consequences of each product are wide-reaching and devastating: not just entire communities with poisoned water supplies, but also the entire world - how did Atlantic salmon suddenly show up in the picture? Consumer products should be regulated such that only compounds that are provably safe for consumer health are allowed in the materials list. Today, pretty much any compound that isn't on the exclusion list can be used in consumer products. We need to turn this around - any compound that isn't on the inclusion list shouldn't be used in consumer products, with rigorous health and safety regulations before new compounds are included.

3) Lack of liability. Who picks up the bill at the end of the day? And how do you reverse contamination that spreads around the world? TFOA isn't the only compound that has crossed oceans in its fallout - in a more recent example, Fukushima radiation outfall are quite visible in western US agriculture. And with thousands of unregulated compounds and thousands of aging provisionary waste containment facilities that become permanent (in many cases despite being designed to be temporary and lacking appropriate maintenance and long-term safety mechanisms in the design) due to lack of appropriate disposal alternatives, we have a lot of baggage to deal with, with no preventative solution and no solution to ensure appropriate clean up when its too late. Compensation for today's victims - if they survive long enough to get compensation - simply doesn't clean up the mess for tomorrow's citizens. It's time to push up the stakes for taking responsibility, and if it means that companies go bankrupt doing so, then so be it - companies that care enough to stay around in the future will be smart enough to adapt their practices to match changing regulatory conditions.

#Health #Environment #Geist

/via +Jürgen Hubert___

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2016-01-04 03:44:26 (13 comments; 6 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

Cell targeting

Cancer is certainly a dreaded condition. And this approach - targeting cancer cells with intelligent nanobots that recognize protein signatures and release the right drug in response - could certainly help provide a more beneficial treatment alternative. But what does the payload actually contain, and how accurate is the targeting mechanism? Creating an auto immune condition certainly wouldn't be nice.

Or more importantly, how certain are we that the bots are safe, robust enough to avoid self destruction and remaining non manipulated during therapy, and exiting the body after therapy?

/via +IdeaFaktory​

Cell targeting

Cancer is certainly a dreaded condition. And this approach - targeting cancer cells with intelligent nanobots that recognize protein signatures and release the right drug in response - could certainly help provide a more beneficial treatment alternative. But what does the payload actually contain, and how accurate is the targeting mechanism? Creating an auto immune condition certainly wouldn't be nice.

Or more importantly, how certain are we that the bots are safe, robust enough to avoid self destruction and remaining non manipulated during therapy, and exiting the body after therapy?

/via +IdeaFaktory​___

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2016-01-04 02:55:40 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 22 +1s; )Open 

2016: expanding horizons

You may have noticed that I haven't been around here too much lately. There's been a lot going on behind the scenes planning and setting up for this year, and will be a lot more going on this year.

But, a new year is time for reflection and planning ahead, and it is quite a challenging year planned ahead - one requiring growth in all horizons.

Family: last year, our family size increased. And as kids grow, so does the size of their problems... Or however that old piece of wisdom went. Each of the three kids has new projects for the new year (some force-selected and some self-selected), and keeping them motivated while pushing them to explore their weaknesses as well as their strengths is a continual challenge. One of their projects which is publically available: www.ameliewrobel.de

Educational: I will be finishing a... more »

2016: expanding horizons

You may have noticed that I haven't been around here too much lately. There's been a lot going on behind the scenes planning and setting up for this year, and will be a lot more going on this year.

But, a new year is time for reflection and planning ahead, and it is quite a challenging year planned ahead - one requiring growth in all horizons.

Family: last year, our family size increased. And as kids grow, so does the size of their problems... Or however that old piece of wisdom went. Each of the three kids has new projects for the new year (some force-selected and some self-selected), and keeping them motivated while pushing them to explore their weaknesses as well as their strengths is a continual challenge. One of their projects which is publically available: www.ameliewrobel.de

Educational: I will be finishing a certification in health, as well as starting a master's degree in IT law. This has been an idea that I have been toying with for several years now - formalizing my interest and activities in the field - and I'm finally getting around to turning that to reality. Perhaps also a good excuse to analyse events that transgress in 2016!

Work: I have some quite sporty growth goals for this year. I hope the markets keep pace and are ready! At least, if Gartner is right and effective big data management is a hot topic - in particular how to fast track legacy data and legacy documents into an integrated, dynamic enterprise ecosystem - then 2016 should be an exciting year.

Farm: my partner has just bought a strip of farmland - one of his long-standing dreams. So this year, as new farmers, we'll expect to spend quite a bit of time tending the orchards, and over time adding a vineyard and adding honeybees. The next two months won't be too busy on the orchards, but after that there will be work to be done.

Dialogue: sometimes I wonder whether you realize how important you are to me. Like every human, I have need of entertaining, intriguing, intellectual dialogue - and amidst all the bustle of daily life, this is one of my most cherished dialogue outlets, and I look forward to continuing to converse here throughout the year.

And the question at the end of the day - will it all fit into that 24 hour per day limit that we all have? I'm sure it will - everything is a question of priorities.

#resolutions #2016 #PersonalGoals #life #Geist ___

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2015-12-18 08:14:33 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Effective personalized learning, but without personal information

Coming from Facebook, I'm quite skeptical on Zuckerberg's particular take on personalized learning. It looks like an attempt to monetize the immense data reserves held by Facebook with very little investment on learning outcomes.

But at the same time, I think it is worthwhile to highlight the effectiveness of personalized learning as a tool that has been repeatedly demonstrated to give children a deeper understanding for and appreciation of the topics to be learned. Yet these effective experiment conditions involve an integrated, involved personalized learning experience - a far more integrated and far more involved experience than I suspect Zuckerberg is thinking of.

Rather, I am referring to a system which teaches children how to find what they want to learn about, and encourages them to... more »

Effective personalized learning, but without personal information

Coming from Facebook, I'm quite skeptical on Zuckerberg's particular take on personalized learning. It looks like an attempt to monetize the immense data reserves held by Facebook with very little investment on learning outcomes.

But at the same time, I think it is worthwhile to highlight the effectiveness of personalized learning as a tool that has been repeatedly demonstrated to give children a deeper understanding for and appreciation of the topics to be learned. Yet these effective experiment conditions involve an integrated, involved personalized learning experience - a far more integrated and far more involved experience than I suspect Zuckerberg is thinking of.

Rather, I am referring to a system which teaches children how to find what they want to learn about, and encourages them to discuss, explore, and intrigue each other into learning more. Because finding and analyzing information is a much more valuable skill than regurgitation these days. And even more important is understanding and applying acquired information - which is what these newer learning environments encourage through appropriate technology integration and modified pedagogic form.

To better understand what effective personalized learning should mean, I highly recommend you take a look at these TED speeches - they're a few years old, but still equally relevant (yes, that's goes to show how slow our education system is at embracing change!):
- Sugata Mitra (2010): http://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education
- Sir Ken Robinson (2010):
https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution
- Sir Ken Robinson (2013):
https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley

Personalized learning without personal information
If you look closely, this latter sort of personalized learning doesn't actually require personal information to create personalized learning. Instead, it requires students to create and define a learning context - and build interest groups around that context in order to conduct learning. What makes this learning personal is the fact that each student has a unique combination of learning contexts, depending on their interests - meaning that each student has their own expert specializations, while still learning enough about all contexts to attain a broad general education base. Or to make things simpler to understand: why not recoin the term 'personalized learning' as 'contextual individual learning', to avoid confusion on whether personal information and associated data privacy issues come into play?

That's where Zuckerberg misses the point: yes, we need personalized learning. But we don't need a service that collect personal information in order to deliver personalized learning. What we need is a service that delivers contextualized information to provide personalized learning.

#Education #Privacy #PersonalizedLearning

/via +Sabine Eckhardt Legakulie___

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2015-11-09 07:55:49 (4 comments; 6 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

Intellectual property vs. the information ecosystem

Oh, no - this is particularly troubling. I can understand that content owners and creators want to profit from their work. But the proposed solution of telling search engines to pay out profits to content creators, is a doubly bad idea. An initiative that needs to be stopped, and replaced with a more intelligent and more modern one. The internet information ecosystem isn't perfect, and does need change, but destroying it completely won't make things better.

First, it will either destroy the search engine business, or cause search engines to stop listing major publishers (causing them to cry out or at least allow relisting of their works without cost). Search engine optimization is a key marketing tool, and should be incorporated into business plans that way.

Second, it does not address the complexities that... more »

Intellectual property vs. the information ecosystem

Oh, no - this is particularly troubling. I can understand that content owners and creators want to profit from their work. But the proposed solution of telling search engines to pay out profits to content creators, is a doubly bad idea. An initiative that needs to be stopped, and replaced with a more intelligent and more modern one. The internet information ecosystem isn't perfect, and does need change, but destroying it completely won't make things better.

First, it will either destroy the search engine business, or cause search engines to stop listing major publishers (causing them to cry out or at least allow relisting of their works without cost). Search engine optimization is a key marketing tool, and should be incorporated into business plans that way.

Second, it does not address the complexities that digital content creation involves: how do you deal with remixes, derivative works, and so on?

I think that what we need is an overhaul of the information ecosystem to reflect content ownership, change history, and fairly distribute profits as part of the business strategy of all parties involved, throwing current copyright ownership into the inspection mechanism and replacing it with a more up-to-date version reflecting critical issues sich as: Who is the content owner? For what purpose has the content owner shared their content? How are derivative works, and derivative contributors, fairly compensated and attributed? What exactly is being sold, and how does the service offered and user demand relate to what the contributor has contributed? 

/via +Eileen O'Duffy ___

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2015-11-08 06:06:28 (4 comments; 8 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

From DRM to Smart Contracts to CopyFair

As nice as a digital commons might be, I think that digital commons platforms today lack in one particular aspect embodied quite closely by 'CopyFair'.

In the race for data ownership and data monetization, large corporations have built significant businesses around collecting data and works from users, and capitalizing on their productions - but not sharing the associated profits. The result is a transfer of capital from consumers to intermediaries (online platforms), leaving the creators and data owners out of the loop.

CopyFair is one attempt at reworking the profit sharing agreement, paying out royalties to data owners / creators for commercial use of their works and information. While it is not perfect, it represents a major step forward to building a viable, long-term digital economic system that ensures continued... more »

From DRM to Smart Contracts to CopyFair

As nice as a digital commons might be, I think that digital commons platforms today lack in one particular aspect embodied quite closely by 'CopyFair'.

In the race for data ownership and data monetization, large corporations have built significant businesses around collecting data and works from users, and capitalizing on their productions - but not sharing the associated profits. The result is a transfer of capital from consumers to intermediaries (online platforms), leaving the creators and data owners out of the loop.

CopyFair is one attempt at reworking the profit sharing agreement, paying out royalties to data owners / creators for commercial use of their works and information. While it is not perfect, it represents a major step forward to building a viable, long-term digital economic system that ensures continued capital flow as opposed to capital concentration.

#Economics   #Policy   #OpenSource   #DigitalCommons   #CopyFair   #Copyright  

/via +Hoda Maalouf ___

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2015-11-06 06:53:52 (14 comments; 8 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

Unintended consequences of cost-savings: cables that damages electronics

It's no secret that manufacturers want to cut costs. But cost cutting sometimes has more consequences than those manufacturers may test for - and this results in electronic devices reaching end-of-life earlier than expected.

The problem is very hard to verify. In this particular case, cables are marketed as being compatible with a particular specification, but upon inspecting the hardware, the Google engineering department has discovered that by using a cheaper, smaller capacitor, the specifications are not being met. That, in turn, means that the cable does work - but damages your equipment at the same time.

While this is a shining example of how cost-cutting around technical specifications and lying about them afterwards is particularly damaging to any electronic system relying on... more »

Unintended consequences of cost-savings: cables that damages electronics

It's no secret that manufacturers want to cut costs. But cost cutting sometimes has more consequences than those manufacturers may test for - and this results in electronic devices reaching end-of-life earlier than expected.

The problem is very hard to verify. In this particular case, cables are marketed as being compatible with a particular specification, but upon inspecting the hardware, the Google engineering department has discovered that by using a cheaper, smaller capacitor, the specifications are not being met. That, in turn, means that the cable does work - but damages your equipment at the same time.

While this is a shining example of how cost-cutting around technical specifications and lying about them afterwards is particularly damaging to any electronic system relying on standards, especially because the explanations are public, precise, and difficult to bullshit against, it's certainly not an isolated case.

I know everyone hates bureaucracy... but if companies can't self-police to get fundamental things like international electronics standards right, with grave consequences for consumers, then perhaps it is time to introduce some bureaucracy back into the process to ensure a basic quality standard for standard interfaces.

#Economics   #Standards   #Fail

/via +Urs Hölzle ___

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2015-11-05 06:18:57 (16 comments; 3 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

1 Month Update: Healing arthritis

It's been slightly over a month now since I've started a change in my nutrition and exercise schedule in hopes of getting rid of arthritis, and as promised, I'd like to check in and share my first results.

The program
To summarize, my changes involved following a balanced vegan diet, introducing a number of targeted, foot strengthening exercises, and continuing my regular exercise practices.

Results
It's a good week now since I'm able to walk without pain. :) Yay!

Side notes
Almost nothing comes without side effects. And therefore, I'd like to share with you some of the side effects that I've noticed.

Sustainability: Perhaps the most important note. I consider this regime to be not sustainable, at least not with my lifestyle. The main problem is that... more »

1 Month Update: Healing arthritis

It's been slightly over a month now since I've started a change in my nutrition and exercise schedule in hopes of getting rid of arthritis, and as promised, I'd like to check in and share my first results.

The program
To summarize, my changes involved following a balanced vegan diet, introducing a number of targeted, foot strengthening exercises, and continuing my regular exercise practices.

Results
It's a good week now since I'm able to walk without pain. :) Yay!

Side notes
Almost nothing comes without side effects. And therefore, I'd like to share with you some of the side effects that I've noticed.

Sustainability: Perhaps the most important note. I consider this regime to be not sustainable, at least not with my lifestyle. The main problem is that around two hours after eating, I get hungry again - and not just a 'I'm hungry' annoying stomach rumbling, but a hard energy fail (which is terrible in the middle of training!). The explanation is also relatively logical: sugars, and simple carbohydrates, are effective for about that long after a meal. Beyond that, the body shifts over to using fats and proteins as energy sources.

Intestinal Flora: Solid excretion now takes place on a daily basis and has a healthy consistency, as opposed to every few days. Also, farting has significantly reduced. (which makes sense - more fiber and less meat means things go through the system faster). Without doing any biopsies or inspections, I have no way of verifying, but this improvement is indicative of a healthier intestinal flora.

Immune vitality: I've avoided the fall flu season so far (whether or not this may be related is uncertain - there are suggestions that increased vital nutrients result in a better immune response - or maybe I'm just lucky!).

Food taste: Some foods that used to taste good (like normal pasta) now taste bad - whole grains taste better. I suppose I'll have to live with this socially challenging annoyance.

Change to barefoot shoes: Sometime around the end of October, I received a suggestion from a fellow dancer who is struggling with a painful hallux valgus: she indicated that barefoot shoes were absolutely amazing, because the hallux didn't hurt with them. I got myself a pair, and am impressed. Not, however, because they have minimal padding or any other "barefoot" qualities (I cannot attest to any barefoot feeling), but for the sole reason that they don't squash my toes, not even lightly (most shoes, even extra wide shoes, squash either the big toe, the little toe, or both). Maybe someday the rest of the shoe industry will figure that one out! It's possible that shoes are a compounding factor, but considering that I acquired them towards the end of the month, I doubt they have a relevant impact in this reporting time period.

What next?
Well, I'm going to have to experiment a bit to see if I can find the right balance. That means adding more fats ('good' fats) and proteins than the recommended mix, in particular before training times, in order to prevent the 'hard energy failure'. I also intend to start re-introducing various other foods in small quantities, to see what happens and if indeed there is a relationship between certain foods, or food groups, and inflammation.

#Geist   #Arthritis   #Health   #Nutrition  ___

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2015-10-22 07:23:01 (5 comments; 9 reshares; 25 +1s; )Open 

Using "zombie cells" to battle cancer without side effects

Current cancer treatments target all cells with high growth rates - meaning that cancer cells, which multiply quickly, die, but other cells that multiply quickly end up slaughtered in the crossfire, such as hair follicles, intestinal cells, and so on... resulting in the standard battery of nasty side effects accompanying chemotherapy. But what happens if we could target just the cancer cells, and not the other cells?

That's what this latest bit of research suggests: Leukemia is a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, leading to a large amount of undeveloped blood cells swimming around in the blood stream and thus limiting the effectiveness of blood in doing what it should be doing (transporting nutrients, wastes, repair tools, and fighting evil invader pathogens). The research team used an antibody to... more »

Using "zombie cells" to battle cancer without side effects

Current cancer treatments target all cells with high growth rates - meaning that cancer cells, which multiply quickly, die, but other cells that multiply quickly end up slaughtered in the crossfire, such as hair follicles, intestinal cells, and so on... resulting in the standard battery of nasty side effects accompanying chemotherapy. But what happens if we could target just the cancer cells, and not the other cells?

That's what this latest bit of research suggests: Leukemia is a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, leading to a large amount of undeveloped blood cells swimming around in the blood stream and thus limiting the effectiveness of blood in doing what it should be doing (transporting nutrients, wastes, repair tools, and fighting evil invader pathogens). The research team used an antibody to search for developing leukemic cells, and turned them into leukemic killer cells (that selectively kill leukemic cells) instead of 'normal' leukemic cells.

Put into an analogy, that's very similar to how fictional zombies work - only this time, the zombies are the good guys. If humans are cancer cells and zombies are the killer cells, then by introducing this antibody, we create the first zombie (leukemic killer cell). That zombie goes and kills all the leukemia cells around it, turning them into new zombies (more killers!) until there aren't any cancerous cells left. And just like humans tend to have poor chances holding out against a zombie apocalypse, those cancer cells have a tough fight against the zombie hordes of transformed killer leukocytes.

There are two very beautiful aspects to this solution of turning the cancer against itself:

1) Only cells that have started to develop leukemia are targeted, meaning that normal bone marrow cells continue to produce blood cells normally while the cancer cells die, and only to-be-cancer cells get transformed into cancer-killers. That means that once the cancer is eliminated, your body can stabilize to a normal condition quite quickly and safely.

2) Thanks to the receptor pleiotropism phenomenon, the cancer-killers target only leukemic cells, not any random cell in the body. That, in turn, means no side effects!

And, of course, let's not forget the poetic justice in it all: those who do evil get the evil that they deserve turned back on them. Evil cancerous cells deserve to die, and are thus brought to justice with a method as menacing as the one that they inflict to the rest of the body.

This sounds very promising. It will be interesting to see when, and how effective, the first human trials are!

/via +Eli Viertel 

#Cancer  #Treatment #Science #Medicine #Geist___

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2015-10-21 04:38:34 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

The road is clear for large scale DNA reengineering

This is no mystery machine. It is a damn accurate DNA folding machine, one that means we now have the power to predict how large-scale changes to DNA are going to fold and whether that is compatible with the rest of the chromosome. That in turn means that we can expect a flurry of new research into genetic reengineering to cure certain diseases, as well as to make new monsters.

And I'm sure someone will try to make monsters. Not a Frankenstein or a Hulk, but self-terminating, pesticide-producing foods: companies do already make them and they now have an even more efficient way to do so. I'd just hope that the regulatory committees overseeing and approving these new developments consider the ecological implications of the new introductions.

Welcome to a brave new world.

/via +Hans... more »

The road is clear for large scale DNA reengineering

This is no mystery machine. It is a damn accurate DNA folding machine, one that means we now have the power to predict how large-scale changes to DNA are going to fold and whether that is compatible with the rest of the chromosome. That in turn means that we can expect a flurry of new research into genetic reengineering to cure certain diseases, as well as to make new monsters.

And I'm sure someone will try to make monsters. Not a Frankenstein or a Hulk, but self-terminating, pesticide-producing foods: companies do already make them and they now have an even more efficient way to do so. I'd just hope that the regulatory committees overseeing and approving these new developments consider the ecological implications of the new introductions.

Welcome to a brave new world.

/via +Hans Youngmann​​___

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2015-10-15 12:02:28 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

Controlling the media: new government tactics

A troubling story about lenta.ru - a Russian news sites so successfully managed by Timchenko, that it the reached critical mass required to pick up government attention. That attention led to... to put it nicely, a sharp change of direction on that site.

But censoring media isn't the most troubling part of the Kremlin's reaction. That sort of mediation is kind of expected. What I find striking is one particular line in the story:

"When Russia has faced problems with its neighbors in the past, different tactics were used: DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks against Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, and so on," he [Andrei Soldatov] said. "Everyone expected something similar in Ukraine, but it never happened. Instead we got these attacks of trolls."

That's really a new tactic -... more »

Controlling the media: new government tactics

A troubling story about lenta.ru - a Russian news sites so successfully managed by Timchenko, that it the reached critical mass required to pick up government attention. That attention led to... to put it nicely, a sharp change of direction on that site.

But censoring media isn't the most troubling part of the Kremlin's reaction. That sort of mediation is kind of expected. What I find striking is one particular line in the story:

"When Russia has faced problems with its neighbors in the past, different tactics were used: DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks against Estonia, Georgia, Lithuania, and so on," he [Andrei Soldatov] said. "Everyone expected something similar in Ukraine, but it never happened. Instead we got these attacks of trolls."

That's really a new tactic - and one that, perhaps, may be more powerful than pure technical attacks: pitting waves of trolls against rowdy internet sites. After all, what could possibly be more annoying than crowds of trolls disrupting communities and conversations? We'll have to see how netizens respond to the new attack wave next...

#FreeSpeech #Censorship #Control #Internet #Russia #Trolls___

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2015-10-14 04:04:08 (7 comments; 3 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Food addictions: fact or fiction?

There's been increasing talk about food addictions lately, and not just cheese: sugar addiction, fat addiction, anything else that may be a favorite food addiction. But what is a food addiction, really?

The topic is not as easy as we might think. Food affects the body in a number of ways.

1. Taste bud growth. Did you know that you are constantly growing new taste buds to replace old ones, and that these new taste buds reflect the tastes that you eat most often? Put in other words: if you change your diet, you will find after a while that your tastes have changed, and the old favorites no longer taste good anymore. Conversely, the things you eat a lot of will be reinforced and taste even better!

2. The not-hungry response. Once food hits your gut, your gut stops producing a hormone, grehlin. Grehlin basically tells... more »

Food addictions: fact or fiction?

There's been increasing talk about food addictions lately, and not just cheese: sugar addiction, fat addiction, anything else that may be a favorite food addiction. But what is a food addiction, really?

The topic is not as easy as we might think. Food affects the body in a number of ways.

1. Taste bud growth. Did you know that you are constantly growing new taste buds to replace old ones, and that these new taste buds reflect the tastes that you eat most often? Put in other words: if you change your diet, you will find after a while that your tastes have changed, and the old favorites no longer taste good anymore. Conversely, the things you eat a lot of will be reinforced and taste even better!

2. The not-hungry response. Once food hits your gut, your gut stops producing a hormone, grehlin. Grehlin basically tells your brain that you're hungry and your gut is empty. This is also why you get full faster with salads,making overeating easier with high fat diets: salads take less time to go through your stomach and hit your guts than fat does.

3. Food cravings. Your body is programmed to ensure that it gets a balance of all nutrients. While we haven't identified all the mechanisms yet, this is very likely regulated by hormones (like almost everything in the body). Pregnant women have higher nutrient needs and are thus more sensitive to these signals, but everyone has them - perhaps you recall being 'sick of zucchini' after the 20th day straight with zucchini (or any other food).

4. Food as a reward. 'If you are good, I'll give you a gummy bear,' a mother might say. But adults, not just kids, react to motivation rewards. The brain uses hormones to signal pleasure, and learns to associate just the thought of something pleasurable with producing those pleasure hormones in anticipation of the promised treat. And it turns out that there are whole classes of foods, not just cheese, that turn you on. For example, ever heard of a fruit addiction? Fruits can work in the same way too - just that won't make good news headlines.

The addiction is,as you may have started to notice, not a single factor but lots of factors working together and a bit of marketing on 'it is easier to blame someone else (the food) than to take control yourself'. While there is more at play than just drug-like effects, the analogy to addictive substances certainly helps to understand why we like some foods more than others and why they taste even better when we eat them more.

#Geist #Nutrition #Food #Addiction

/via +Hans Youngmann​___

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2015-10-08 13:14:09 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

The vegan version of char siew bao (steamed pork dumpling)
Preparation time: 5 hours, most of which is waiting

You know those white, fluffy, somewhat sweet buns filled with barbecued meat? No? I loved them when I was a kid! Well, here's a vegan variation on them - or at least, as close as I can get to the original taste with 'normal' ingredients!

Dough
 - 1 packet (around 8g) dry yeast
 - 1 tsp + 2 tbsp sugar
 - 4 tbsp + 200 g white flour
 - 4 tbsp + 110 ml water
 - 1/4 tsp salt
 - 1 tbsp oil
 - 1/2 tsp baking powder

Filling
 - 200 g chick peas, boiled and coarsely blended
 - 2 leeks, finely chopped
 - 1/2 onion, finely chopped
 - 1 clove garlic, pressed
 - 6 tbsp soya sauce
 - 2 tbsp honey
 - 2 tbsp oil

Instructions
1. Mix theyeast, 1 tsp ... more »

The vegan version of char siew bao (steamed pork dumpling)
Preparation time: 5 hours, most of which is waiting

You know those white, fluffy, somewhat sweet buns filled with barbecued meat? No? I loved them when I was a kid! Well, here's a vegan variation on them - or at least, as close as I can get to the original taste with 'normal' ingredients!

Dough
 - 1 packet (around 8g) dry yeast
 - 1 tsp + 2 tbsp sugar
 - 4 tbsp + 200 g white flour
 - 4 tbsp + 110 ml water
 - 1/4 tsp salt
 - 1 tbsp oil
 - 1/2 tsp baking powder

Filling
 - 200 g chick peas, boiled and coarsely blended
 - 2 leeks, finely chopped
 - 1/2 onion, finely chopped
 - 1 clove garlic, pressed
 - 6 tbsp soya sauce
 - 2 tbsp honey
 - 2 tbsp oil

Instructions
1. Mix the yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 4 tbsp flour, and 4 tbsp water together. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
2. Add in 110 mL water, 200g flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 2tbsp sugar, and 1tsp oil. Knead for 2-3 minutes.
3. Let the dough sit for 3 hours, until the dough has increased in volume to three times its size.
4. Sprinkle in the baking powder and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
5. Leave the dough aside for 30 minutes.
6. While you're waiting, mix all of the filling ingredients together. It would also be a good idea to cut squares of wax paper and start boiling water for the steamer.
7. Cover the workspace with flour (and your hands, too!)
8. Divide the dough into twelve equally sized balls.
9. Flatten each ball into a round disk with the diameter of your hand's length.
10. Fill the disk with a pile of filling in the middle and fold the sides up, pinching and twisting at the top to close the bun and leave a little 'hat' on the top.
11. Place the bun on a square of wax paper. The bun should be about half as wide as the wax paper. The wax paper prevents the bun from sticking to your steamer, so that you can take it out later without tearing it's thin skin.
12. Steam the buns for 15 minutes.
13. Take the buns out, and enjoy!

#Geist   #Recipe  ___

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2015-10-06 11:08:47 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Neutrinos have mass!

Neutrinos are little ghost particles: they weigh almost nothing, have no charge, and are very, very fast. Because they have no charge, and interact very seldomly, they are very hard to pin down. They are little ghosts. Until the turn of the century, they were thought to be the only particles of matter that don't have mass. But these two nobel prize winners discovered that they do have mass - confirming that all matter has mass.

Yet these little ghosts are also very important. When a star goes supernova, it emits a lot of energy. That's why it is so bright. But light is not the major form of energy leaving the supernova: neutrinos are. That's right, our little ghost particles make up the bulk of energy that a supernova produces, and travel across the cosmos at close to the speed of light - and maybe, just maybe, even faster than light.
... more »

Neutrinos have mass!

Neutrinos are little ghost particles: they weigh almost nothing, have no charge, and are very, very fast. Because they have no charge, and interact very seldomly, they are very hard to pin down. They are little ghosts. Until the turn of the century, they were thought to be the only particles of matter that don't have mass. But these two nobel prize winners discovered that they do have mass - confirming that all matter has mass.

Yet these little ghosts are also very important. When a star goes supernova, it emits a lot of energy. That's why it is so bright. But light is not the major form of energy leaving the supernova: neutrinos are. That's right, our little ghost particles make up the bulk of energy that a supernova produces, and travel across the cosmos at close to the speed of light - and maybe, just maybe, even faster than light.

You can read more about neutrino astronomy here:
http://profmattstrassler.com/2011/09/20/supernovas-and-neutrinos/

/via +Jenny Winder ___

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2015-10-03 03:04:50 (16 comments; 10 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

The more you think, the more you evolve

Back in school, we learned that evolution is a slow process taking millions of years where mutations randomly took place as a result of transcription errors and environmental factors encouraging mutation to take place. Using a muscle, however, was not deemed to be a selector for causing mutation. But what if it was?

This latest research suggests that using neurons to think causes the most commonly used genes to mutate more. So you are actually mutating as you think - and the more you think, the more you mutate. The exact opposite of what we learned in school. And a most intriguing prospect: we are born to change,learn, and evolve.

#Evolution #Health #Brain #Mutation #Geist

/via +Hans Youngmann​

The more you think, the more you evolve

Back in school, we learned that evolution is a slow process taking millions of years where mutations randomly took place as a result of transcription errors and environmental factors encouraging mutation to take place. Using a muscle, however, was not deemed to be a selector for causing mutation. But what if it was?

This latest research suggests that using neurons to think causes the most commonly used genes to mutate more. So you are actually mutating as you think - and the more you think, the more you mutate. The exact opposite of what we learned in school. And a most intriguing prospect: we are born to change,learn, and evolve.

#Evolution #Health #Brain #Mutation #Geist

/via +Hans Youngmann​___

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2015-10-01 13:36:27 (30 comments; 0 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

My latest goal: Curing arthritis, and preventing it from coming back

For those of you who aren't too familiar with arthritis, it is considered to be an incurable, rather painful condition in which particular joints are swollen, and moving them hurts. Typically, it affects elderly patients, although the number of younger patients affected has been increasing in the last decade.

And guess what: I'm one of those young patients. I haven't even reached thirty. But my feet are affected - and walking is tedious, to say the least. Visiting the doctor didn't give me a cure I was hoping for, but instead a chilling response: There isn't a cure for arthritis. The least she could do was give me painkillers to alleviate the acute pain, and prescribe a pair of shoe inserts to support my foot arch and enable a less painful walk.

That said, I don't take no for... more »

My latest goal: Curing arthritis, and preventing it from coming back

For those of you who aren't too familiar with arthritis, it is considered to be an incurable, rather painful condition in which particular joints are swollen, and moving them hurts. Typically, it affects elderly patients, although the number of younger patients affected has been increasing in the last decade.

And guess what: I'm one of those young patients. I haven't even reached thirty. But my feet are affected - and walking is tedious, to say the least. Visiting the doctor didn't give me a cure I was hoping for, but instead a chilling response: There isn't a cure for arthritis. The least she could do was give me painkillers to alleviate the acute pain, and prescribe a pair of shoe inserts to support my foot arch and enable a less painful walk.

That said, I don't take no for an answer just because some doctor said so - and because I'd really like to be able to walk painlessly. And I'm not completely sold on the shoe inserts - even after a month, they are extremely uncomfortable (it feels like I am walking over a stone on every step) and while the inflammation has subsided somewhat, it has not gone away, but spread from just one foot to the healthy foot as well. So I started looking around to see if there's any alternative medicine treatment for arthritis, and I've found a rather convincing explanation around it. There are two factors to the explanation, and the treatment:

1. Diet
It seems that animal protein, and in particular casein, a protein found in milk, is particularly bad for us as it has been demonstrated to influence a number of "civilization-born diseases" such as arthritis and cancer when it comprises more than 5% of the total protein intake. (For comparison: current dietary recommendations are around 30% animal protein intake, and most people consume more animal protein than that in my part of the world). At the same time, in order to rebuild damaged tendons and cartilage, the body needs the right nutrients to do so - which is the reason why some folk claim antioxidants, vitamins, collagen supplements, or other nutritional supplement intake cures arthritis. But these claims only have limited success, it seems they do not consistently cure arthritis. What could be missing?

2. Movement
No, I don't mean just getting sports and exercise on the program. I mean moving properly throughout all daily activities. See, your joints receive nutrients only when you move, causing the fluid exchanged with the surrounding cells, that in turn exchange nutrients and wastes into the blood capillaries. So that to get the nutrients from my new diet to the places where they are needed most, I need to move the affected joints, and do so in a manner that encourages constant fluid exchange to the affected joints with as little additional repetitive physical strain as possible. For me, that means re-learning how to walk - or rather, applying a particular technique that I have so far only used in dance into everyday life.

Putting it together
So, I'm starting a little trial: This month, I am going to do three things:
(1) follow a balanced, strictly vegan diet,
(2) take on a set of daily exercises targeted at mobilizing and strengthening the intra-foot muscles, and
(3) adopt a 'fox gait'.

I think the rational and clinical evidence available so far suggest that this has a good chance of working. But there haven't been any studies available to date testing a combination of both factors - they either isolate just one factor, or the other factor, so I can't claim that this is a proven technique to curing arthritis. And in case you're wondering about the 'one month' timeframe: this is not random; it is, according to various studies, the time frame for overcoming the 'this is hard' hurdle and expected first improvements as a result of to dietary and exercise changes.

I'll be reporting in again at the end of the month.

#Health   #Arthritis   #Nutrition   #Exercise   #Geist  ___

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2015-09-24 06:20:09 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Could broadband internet become a public utility?

The good news: politicians have recognized that broadband internet access is so essential to modern working life that it is no longer an optional amenity but an essential service.

But what exactly does that mean for us as a society? Is internet access going to become centralized, or shift to a more regulated model, the way that other public utilities are? And if so, what implications does that have for us, not just in terms of cost but also in terms of:

 • our privacy, in particular if certain government branches have an interest and get their way in monitoring internet communications?
 • our security, in particular with respect to how centralizing infrastructure could make it easier to compromise, should that turn out to be part of the implementation?
 • administrative efficiency, in particular ifthe impl... more »

Could broadband internet become a public utility?

The good news: politicians have recognized that broadband internet access is so essential to modern working life that it is no longer an optional amenity but an essential service.

But what exactly does that mean for us as a society? Is internet access going to become centralized, or shift to a more regulated model, the way that other public utilities are? And if so, what implications does that have for us, not just in terms of cost but also in terms of:

 • our privacy, in particular if certain government branches have an interest and get their way in monitoring internet communications?
 • our security, in particular with respect to how centralizing infrastructure could make it easier to compromise, should that turn out to be part of the implementation?
 • administrative efficiency, in particular if the implementation construct does involve central regulation and administration of various aspects of managing broadband internet?
 • technology advancement, in particular keeping pace with technological advancement and providing continued access to the latest, continually changing technology without lagging too much behind the rest of the world?

I, for one, certainly hope that there is someone willing to put a well thought-out, public-interest plan on the table, and that the plan doesn't tip going through legislation... as if it does, this well-intended statement could unleash a devil in disguise!

#Privacy   #Government   #Internet   #Policy   #PublicAdministration  

/via  +Kristian Köhntopp ___

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2015-09-24 04:52:01 (6 comments; 2 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Science and religion heading down a common path

That science and religion would someday start heading down a common path is an inevitable part of the singularity. And in Buddhism, it's already starting to do so. 

A lot of credit has to be given to the Dalai Lama, who issued a challenge to scientists that Buddhism is compatible with science, and asked them to prove it. And, it seems that there's been quite a lot of progress on that front so far, but also some way to go.

If you're interested on a quick, but more in-depth overview, take a look over at Coursera - there's currently a fascinating course series there which is going through the various aspects of buddhism and interleaving it with the 'matching' scientific research. Contrived? You decide... https://www.coursera.org/learn/buddhist-meditation

#Religion   #Buddhism  #S... more »

Science and religion heading down a common path

That science and religion would someday start heading down a common path is an inevitable part of the singularity. And in Buddhism, it's already starting to do so. 

A lot of credit has to be given to the Dalai Lama, who issued a challenge to scientists that Buddhism is compatible with science, and asked them to prove it. And, it seems that there's been quite a lot of progress on that front so far, but also some way to go.

If you're interested on a quick, but more in-depth overview, take a look over at Coursera - there's currently a fascinating course series there which is going through the various aspects of buddhism and interleaving it with the 'matching' scientific research. Contrived? You decide... https://www.coursera.org/learn/buddhist-meditation

#Religion   #Buddhism   #Science   #Singularity   #Geist  

/via +Hans Youngmann ___

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2015-09-22 09:22:07 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

'Maleness' is triggered by one particular enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase.

The story about the Guevedoces that's been circulating lately is nice, but I think the main take-away has been buried in all of the narrative. So let me reiterate it here: 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone, which causes males to grow male reproductive parts and, quite probably, behave the way that stereotypical males behave.

If you lack this enzyme, your male reproductive parts don't grow. Taking supplements with this enzyme will cause your male parts to grow. That means: (potential) sex change, bigger prostrates, and more baldness.

If you block this enzyme, the reverse happens. While it won't get rid of existing male organs, it does mean: smaller prostrates, and more hair on the head. This is what the drug finasteride does - it blocks this... more »

'Maleness' is triggered by one particular enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase.

The story about the Guevedoces that's been circulating lately is nice, but I think the main take-away has been buried in all of the narrative. So let me reiterate it here: 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydro-testosterone, which causes males to grow male reproductive parts and, quite probably, behave the way that stereotypical males behave.

If you lack this enzyme, your male reproductive parts don't grow. Taking supplements with this enzyme will cause your male parts to grow. That means: (potential) sex change, bigger prostrates, and more baldness.

If you block this enzyme, the reverse happens. While it won't get rid of existing male organs, it does mean: smaller prostrates, and more hair on the head. This is what the drug finasteride does - it blocks this enzyme.

  #Gender   #Health   #Hormones   #Geist  ___

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2015-09-22 08:21:45 (6 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Can we cultivate creativity?

This paper - like many before it - demonstrates that there is a link between the defining characteristics of neural disorders such as autism or schizophrenia, which involve, among other things, abnormal production of neurological chemical signals such as dopamine.

But we also know that those same chemical signals are controlled by emotions, and that emotions are controlled by our reaction to the environment around us - something that can be trained, albeit not as easily as learning a 'logical' subject for most people.

Yet it also raises an intriguing proposition: if we can train ourselves to favor certain emotions over others, this means we are capable of training ourselves to increase the production of particular neurological chemical signals. So, we should be able to train ourselves to partially compensate for, if not completely... more »

Can we cultivate creativity?

This paper - like many before it - demonstrates that there is a link between the defining characteristics of neural disorders such as autism or schizophrenia, which involve, among other things, abnormal production of neurological chemical signals such as dopamine.

But we also know that those same chemical signals are controlled by emotions, and that emotions are controlled by our reaction to the environment around us - something that can be trained, albeit not as easily as learning a 'logical' subject for most people.

Yet it also raises an intriguing proposition: if we can train ourselves to favor certain emotions over others, this means we are capable of training ourselves to increase the production of particular neurological chemical signals. So, we should be able to train ourselves to partially compensate for, if not completely eradicate, particular neurological disorders. And on the flip side - it should also be possible to train the cold, calculative folk to take on a more creative approach in life.

Now, if only we gan get a grasp on the idea that grades, degrees and accomplishments are not everything, and focus on emotional training instead... I wonder where we would be in terms of our scientific, artistic, and humanistic stage of development then?

#Creativity   #Autism   #Schizophrenia   #Neurology   #Geist  

/via +Andrea Kuszewski ___

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2015-09-21 08:39:18 (6 comments; 6 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

Noise to power: on the way to a green airport

Think about all those noisy places: dance halls, construction zones, train stations, and airport runways. Noise is nothing more than a compression of air into short bursts, which, even if minute, still contain energy. And loudspeakers create music much along the same lines, by vibrating a surface in order to cause the air to vibrate.

So how about collecting noise and turning it into energy? Well, until now, this has not been very efficient - the output energy has not exceeded input energy. It looks like this invention has changed that, and is able to generate electricity by collecting the airport noise and wind from planes leaving the runway.

While this system certainly can't power an airport, it does go some way to reducing energy bills, and perhaps can also trigger some ideas on how to generate electricity from other... more »

Noise to power: on the way to a green airport

Think about all those noisy places: dance halls, construction zones, train stations, and airport runways. Noise is nothing more than a compression of air into short bursts, which, even if minute, still contain energy. And loudspeakers create music much along the same lines, by vibrating a surface in order to cause the air to vibrate.

So how about collecting noise and turning it into energy? Well, until now, this has not been very efficient - the output energy has not exceeded input energy. It looks like this invention has changed that, and is able to generate electricity by collecting the airport noise and wind from planes leaving the runway.

While this system certainly can't power an airport, it does go some way to reducing energy bills, and perhaps can also trigger some ideas on how to generate electricity from other noisy environments as well.

/via +Nitin Balodi ___

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2015-09-20 13:05:17 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

Keep your brain fit - eat cocoa!

It looks like cocoa contains particular polyphenols that lower production of particular neurological toxins, and promote their clearing. This helps to prevent cognitive degeneration - and thus slow down the onset of alzheimer’s disease.

For the chocolate lovers out there - this is cocoa we're talking about here, not chocolate. Chocolate still contains all that additional fat and sugar that isn't too good for you, in addition to the beneficial cocoa powder. Or you could mix cocoa powder into other things to make them look chocolatey... and that said, I’ll bet my kids will love hearing this news, and we’ll have an additional excuse for putting cocoa into the meal plan!

/via +Deyanira Villalta 

#Health   #Chocolate   #Cocoa   #Alzheimers   #Geist  

Keep your brain fit - eat cocoa!

It looks like cocoa contains particular polyphenols that lower production of particular neurological toxins, and promote their clearing. This helps to prevent cognitive degeneration - and thus slow down the onset of alzheimer’s disease.

For the chocolate lovers out there - this is cocoa we're talking about here, not chocolate. Chocolate still contains all that additional fat and sugar that isn't too good for you, in addition to the beneficial cocoa powder. Or you could mix cocoa powder into other things to make them look chocolatey... and that said, I’ll bet my kids will love hearing this news, and we’ll have an additional excuse for putting cocoa into the meal plan!

/via +Deyanira Villalta 

#Health   #Chocolate   #Cocoa   #Alzheimers   #Geist  ___

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2015-09-20 03:38:33 (4 comments; 6 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Knowledge is power. But what is destruction of knowledge?
Data publishing and data destruction are both actions with significant, irreversible consequences.

Big data has made increasingly clear that knowledge, or data, is directly correlated with power. But what about the destruction of knowledge?

Knowledge destruction destroys trust, and irreversibly destroys the ability to make decent forecasting models. When a nation destroys its data, it will no longer be able to forecast national trends to the accuracy that other nations can - leaving it in a dangerous position to fall into the 'dark ages' as the rest of the world moves on. Similarly, if a company destroys its data, it risks falling behind the competition. 

As a result, knowledge destruction is an intentional abuse of power with unfortunate long-term consequences. And while there are situations in... more »

Knowledge is power. But what is destruction of knowledge?
Data publishing and data destruction are both actions with significant, irreversible consequences.

Big data has made increasingly clear that knowledge, or data, is directly correlated with power. But what about the destruction of knowledge?

Knowledge destruction destroys trust, and irreversibly destroys the ability to make decent forecasting models. When a nation destroys its data, it will no longer be able to forecast national trends to the accuracy that other nations can - leaving it in a dangerous position to fall into the 'dark ages' as the rest of the world moves on. Similarly, if a company destroys its data, it risks falling behind the competition. 

As a result, knowledge destruction is an intentional abuse of power with unfortunate long-term consequences. And while there are situations in which data deletion may be justified (e.g. to give a person under death threat from a criminal group a new identity), in general, destroying data is not a good idea.

/via +M Sinclair Stevens ___

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2015-09-20 02:35:04 (24 comments; 1 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Social Media and Terrorism: Doesn't it go both ways?

Sure - social media is making it easier than ever before for terrorists to recruit new henchmen. But what about enlisting public help in locating terrorists? Why shouldn't social media help that as well?

Perhaps intelligence agencies need to change the public opinion on them from 'evil big brother' to 'your helping hand'. I mean, more people have good intentions than evil intentions. So why not take advantage of that to enlist the general public help the law enforcement system do what it was originally concepted to do, namely making sure that we have a safe, harmonious and enjoyable place to live in?

Social media and the digital world works both ways - play nice, and you will gain support. Play evil, and you will lose support. Play smart, and you will be able to achieve goals beyond mere... more »

Give Us ALL Your Data Already

In The Social Media Mind (http://goo.gl/vdKwxV) I defined social media as “The empowerment of the individual over the State”. I said social media is changing everything because it is a catalyst that forces upon us the need to rethink the way we connect, the reasons we do so, what we want to achieve and how. 

It’s no secret that National Intelligence Agencies want to spy on us all on the understanding that then they will be able to ‘protect’ us better from ‘undesirables’. The terrorist threat is a real one. Globally we have more disgruntled, capable, empowered, trained people who have an axe to grind and an ideology to drive, than ever before. These people have the same access to technology as we each do and however misguided they may seem from our point of view, they nevertheless believe as fervently in their beliefs as we in ours. 

To have the serving head of an intelligence service to talk to the public in a public radio broadcast as the MI5’s (British Secret Intelligence Agency) Andrew Parker, has done is unprecedented. But let’s note that his coming out of the ‘shadows’ to enlist the public’s understanding and provide some transparency is out of necessity (because we no longer are willing to be led by the nose “for our own good”) rather than choice. 

In his radio interview he covered five things which are worth digging into deeper: 

1. Current terror threat to the UK is unprecedented in Andrew Parker's 32-year career – true as that may be there is also a direct connection between the action of western Governments (the UK’s included) in destabilizing areas like Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and resulting in the largest humanitarian crisis of our century so far with refugees, flooding into Europe. The days when we could allow governments to act blindly on our ‘behalf’ without us having a say in it, or them being accountable have come to an end. While it may be too late to reverse the past we can still make sure that the way we move forward into the future begins to put in place lasting solutions as opposed to stop-gap measures. And, yeah, we now all have to step up and make sure that we create a world that is more equitable, fairer, more transparent and less likely to lead to the kind of extremism we are seeing right now. 

2. Social Media is changing everything – Parker suggests that social media is making it easy to find and indoctrinate disenfranchised youths willing to join the ranks of extremists. As the Baader Meinhof (https://goo.gl/cLsmcb) shows this has always been the case. The best defense against that is a better world, better education, better communication and better relationships – actually more of the stuff that makes us human and less of the things that make us pawns. Numbers in someone else’s game. 

3. Encryption is making the job of security agencies harder – yeah, I really feel for Parker here. Snark, aside, I totally get the frustration that must come with hitting operational brick walls because we, as citizens regard our privacy … well, private. Traditionally, intelligence work meant exactly that: intelligent analysis, the ability to win hearts and minds (and create informants and defectors), the ability to have in place the kind of real-life network and connections that make it hard for anyone doing something bad to actually do it without tripping off alarms. 

4. MI5 wants to grab ALL your data at will – Well, Parker really tells us nothing new there. Every intelligence agency worldwide is singing from the same hymn sheet citing encryption as the evil to be defeated, giving us the “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” spiel which, as an argument, historically (given the level of abuse we’ve seen by intelligence agencies has seen comic books banned (http://goo.gl/FcYL0X) – they must have been truly evil) holds about the same amount of water as a sieve. Parker trots out the classic (and I suspect required by his job) line of “our efforts are focused on people who mean us harm” kinda forgetting that McCarthy thought there was a commie under every bed in the US (https://goo.gl/hGmdhQ) and ruined countless people’s lives on that whim. 
 
5. No transparency – this interview not withstanding Parker actually does say that obviously there can be no transparency in the work security agencies do but… as we saw with the CIA use of torture (https://goo.gl/rLK0sL) that approach creates opportunities for abuse without delivering effective results, which however don’t matter as there is no transparency and no accountability and it kinda doesn’t matter as long as we think we do what’s right, even if it ain’t. The really difficult thing to do here is develop practices and processes that work and are seen to work and there is oversight so that no abuse happens while at the same time operational effectiveness is maintained. Does that sound easy to do? No. It requires trust – both ways, from us to intelligence agencies and then from them to us. Trust that currently does not exist and has to be earned the hard way. 

To his credit Andrew Parker is on the record, on public radio (which is why this post is possible at all). So, instead of making him the whipping boy for all our frustrations let’s think that this, at least, is a conversation starter that is pointing in the right direction. Catch the interview here: http://goo.gl/jPw8ve___Social Media and Terrorism: Doesn't it go both ways?

Sure - social media is making it easier than ever before for terrorists to recruit new henchmen. But what about enlisting public help in locating terrorists? Why shouldn't social media help that as well?

Perhaps intelligence agencies need to change the public opinion on them from 'evil big brother' to 'your helping hand'. I mean, more people have good intentions than evil intentions. So why not take advantage of that to enlist the general public help the law enforcement system do what it was originally concepted to do, namely making sure that we have a safe, harmonious and enjoyable place to live in?

Social media and the digital world works both ways - play nice, and you will gain support. Play evil, and you will lose support. Play smart, and you will be able to achieve goals beyond mere popularity contests. And when your real enemy has learned how to play smart, it's time that you do, too. I'd expect that a digital world where privacy is respected, but sufficient trust is there between law enforcement and citizens in order to allow effective terrorist tracking on targeted individuals to take place, is something very possible by purposing, and respecting purposed data - in a manner that closely parallels how we track down terrorists in real life.

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2015-09-18 09:57:42 (5 comments; 2 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Improving employee quality of life and business profits

Pay employees the same money, but let them work less - How can that possibly improve business profits? Contrary to common sense, businesses in Sweden are discovering that is just what happens - a shorter work day for the same pay means:

(1) Workers are more productive. Guess what: workers who aren't stressed are able to think better, make better decisions, and work faster. That translates into more profit - one business owner reports an increase of 25% (take that with a grain of salt: his business would probably have grown without the change in working hours as well).

(2) Worker retention increases. If employees earn enough to cover their basic needs, they'll quite likely value their time more than money, and not quit - even if paid more - because they like their working hours. With each new... more »

Improving employee quality of life and business profits

Pay employees the same money, but let them work less - How can that possibly improve business profits? Contrary to common sense, businesses in Sweden are discovering that is just what happens - a shorter work day for the same pay means:

(1) Workers are more productive. Guess what: workers who aren't stressed are able to think better, make better decisions, and work faster. That translates into more profit - one business owner reports an increase of 25% (take that with a grain of salt: his business would probably have grown without the change in working hours as well).

(2) Worker retention increases. If employees earn enough to cover their basic needs, they'll quite likely value their time more than money, and not quit - even if paid more - because they like their working hours. With each new hire costing a company resources to get them up to speed, workers who stay end up costing less.

Not to mention, this sort of model would allow considerably more stay-at-home mothers to get back into the work force!

  #WorkLifeBalance   #Happiness   #Work   #Geist  

 /via  +Jura Stan ___

2015-09-11 09:38:16 (38 comments; 0 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Want to help me build my house?
Why a zero-energy-house is not economical in terms of energy needs, and what would be more efficient and economical

My partner wants us to build a new house. I'm against a new building - that is, unless it costs less to heat and cool than an old building. Do you think you can help us figure out how to design such a house?

The problem with current low-energy houses
Europe, and Germany in particular, is quite hot on energy-saving construction techniques. But I'm a hands-on homeowner and I'm no fan of these new passive house designs - in my experience, insulating actually drives up the energy costs. Want to know why?

1) The demand for fresh air. Zero-energy houses are designed to be air-tight. And we people have a strong desire for fresh air - so strong, that we open the windows every day to trade the... more »

Want to help me build my house?
Why a zero-energy-house is not economical in terms of energy needs, and what would be more efficient and economical

My partner wants us to build a new house. I'm against a new building - that is, unless it costs less to heat and cool than an old building. Do you think you can help us figure out how to design such a house?

The problem with current low-energy houses
Europe, and Germany in particular, is quite hot on energy-saving construction techniques. But I'm a hands-on homeowner and I'm no fan of these new passive house designs - in my experience, insulating actually drives up the energy costs. Want to know why?

1) The demand for fresh air. Zero-energy houses are designed to be air-tight. And we people have a strong desire for fresh air - so strong, that we open the windows every day to trade the stale air indoors for fresh air from outside. And we're not as "bad" as other families, which leave the window constantly open in winter! Result: the actual effectiveness of good insulation is severely reduced by our leaving-the-window-open strategy of getting fresh air.

2) The prolonged heating season. Thanks to the good insulation, the house stays cool longer than it had before the insulation. That means, I now have to heat the house into June.

To be very honest: I have not noticed any savings in terms of the amount of fuel that I need per year.

A more economical approach to the passive house problem
Did you ever wonder how the traditional Eskimos managed to keep their igloos above freezing, despite the walls of ice, the frigid temperatures outside, and an open door and ventilation hole? Or did you ever wonder how the ancient Persians managed to keep their lofty desert mansions cool, despite the scorching heat and freely circulating airflow? If we took that as a starting point... then the energy requirements for a modern house could be lower than what we have today, especially for an average family who wants a lot of fresh air.

Yes... environmentally friendly systems for heat exchange and heat retention! So, let me start with two questions:
(1) Are you aware of any other traditional temperature control mechanisms, such as the sunken igloo entrance and wind towers alluded to above?
(2) How could we adapt those solutions to outfit a modern passive house, and yet keep the open air circulation concept instead of focusing solely on insulation?___

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2015-09-10 13:59:26 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 1 +1s; )Open 

Where's the line between business and personal data?

Microsoft is up on a particularly important battle out on the legal field - and this time, they're the good guys. The US government has requested that Microsoft hand over personal emails from non-US citizens stored in an EU data center on the claims that emails constitute business records. Microsoft argues that they are personal data. What does common sense tell you?

Either way, the implications of this decision are quite high. Consider how much computing power is moving into the cloud these days. And consider what happens when the same argumentation and logic applies not just to email records, but also to process traces and digital transactions. What happens when computing records and transactions - which, in an enterprise arrangement, would constitute company-internal processes - can be handed over because the parent... more »

Where's the line between business and personal data?

Microsoft is up on a particularly important battle out on the legal field - and this time, they're the good guys. The US government has requested that Microsoft hand over personal emails from non-US citizens stored in an EU data center on the claims that emails constitute business records. Microsoft argues that they are personal data. What does common sense tell you?

Either way, the implications of this decision are quite high. Consider how much computing power is moving into the cloud these days. And consider what happens when the same argumentation and logic applies not just to email records, but also to process traces and digital transactions. What happens when computing records and transactions - which, in an enterprise arrangement, would constitute company-internal processes - can be handed over because the parent company of your cloud supplier happens to sit overseas? Well, that would certainly be a disaster-in-the-making for many businesses, and a big hurdle for cloud providers trying to enter international markets! 

After all: the idea behind the cloud is offloading computing resources to someone else is still as secure, and more cost-efficient, than maintaining those mainframe machines yourself. But if cloud privacy is not legally respected, then it becomes a larger business risk than the cost savings deliver in benefit - ultimately meaning that cloud providers would only be able to operate on a country-specific basis. Not quite the distributed computing vision that the cloud originally should have in mind!

#privacy   #technology   #cloud   #law   #data  ___

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