Test CircleCount PRO now!
Login now

Not your profile? Login and get free access to your reports and analysis.

Sophie Wrobel

Sophie Wrobel 

Everything is possible in the virtual world, it's only a question of innovation.

Occupation: iQser GmbH

Location: Remchingen, Germany

Followers: 22,965

Following: 233

Views: 1,214,487

Added to CircleCount.com: 07/13/2011That's the date, where Sophie Wrobel has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
This hasn't to be the date where the daily check has been started.
(Update nowYou can update your stats by clicking on this link!
This can take a few seconds.
)

Tags

Sign in

The following tags have been added by users of CircleCount.com.
You can login on CircleCount to add more tags here.

  • Blogs of August
  • Developers
  • Geeks
  • Scientists

Are you missing a tag in the list of available tags? You can suggest new tags here.

Login now

Do you want to see a more detailed chart? Check your settings and define your favorite chart type.

Or click here to get the detailed chart only once.

Sophie Wrobel has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Eric Enge25,826@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 19:00:00297  
Yifat Cohen87,179*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

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

The Google+ Collections of Sophie Wrobel

New!
Login and checkout your own profile to see the average response per collection.
Or check out how it looks like on the profile page of +CircleCount.

Looks like this is your profile but we haven't loaded your posts yet to show you here the average numbers per collection.
Just open your dashboard and let the server work for you.

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 39

2015-09-11 09:38:16 (39 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: 12

posted image

2015-07-26 07:18:58 (2 comments; 12 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Your computerized guts

Imagine if your guts contained a full working computer - made out of a fleet of bacteria. Imagine if computer could store data, act as a surveillance system to detect and monitor bowel infections at an early stage, release medications as necessary, and not require any electricity - all using bacteria that, in their wild form, reside in your guts anyway. There's certainly a lot of potential - organic infestation stories aside!

Which raises some important questions: assuming someone did create such a bacterial computer, who would be responsible for making sure that the 'installations' are not abused? And how would we deal with 'abused installations'?

The nutshell version
Basically, the researchers have managed to control expression of particular bacterial secretions and corresponding receptors to communicate with... more »

Most plusones: 104

posted image

2015-05-01 00:02:41 (24 comments; 1 reshares; 104 +1s; )Open 

My daughter has arrived!

I've been somewhat silent lately - and one main reason why: my daughter was born recently! And with a very relaxed, almost surreal birth that could not have gone better.

See, I hadn't realised that I was about to give birth when I had sent the kids to kindergarten and then had a regular checkup with my midwife at home. At that point I was told that the birth canal was already open and the kid was on the way. By some stroke of luck, the father-to-be was in home office that day and was able to stop work, join in and witness everything from the start. So we set up everything for the birth, all relaxed, and to be honest I still couldn't quite believe that I was about to give birth at that point. An hour later the contractions began and within another hour the baby was born. One hour later everything was cleaned up, and the big kids came home... more »

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2016-06-06 10:09:29 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +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___

posted image

2016-03-11 05:17:47 (4 comments; 1 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  ___

posted image

2016-03-08 11:31:25 (8 comments; 2 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  ___

posted image

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___

posted image

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?___

posted image

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___

posted image

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___

posted image

2016-01-04 03:44:26 (13 comments; 5 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​___

posted image

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 ___

posted image

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___

posted image

2015-11-09 07:55:49 (4 comments; 7 reshares; 22 +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 ___

posted image

2015-11-08 06:06:28 (4 comments; 9 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 ___

posted image

2015-11-06 06:53:52 (14 comments; 7 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 ___

posted image

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  ___

posted image

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___

posted image

2015-10-21 04:38:34 (1 comments; 2 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​​___

posted image

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___

posted image

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​___

posted image

2015-10-08 13:14:09 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 9 +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  ___

posted image

2015-10-06 11:08:47 (2 comments; 1 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 ___

posted image

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​___

posted image

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  ___

posted image

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 ___

posted image

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 ___

posted image

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  ___

posted image

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 ___

posted image

2015-09-21 08:39:18 (6 comments; 6 reshares; 20 +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 ___

posted image

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  ___

posted image

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 ___

posted image

2015-09-20 02:35:04 (32 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.

posted image

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 (39 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?___

posted image

2015-09-10 13:59:26 (0 comments; 1 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  ___

posted image

2015-09-10 13:57:20 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 4 +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  ___

posted image

2015-09-06 10:14:09 (1 comments; 5 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Cello Wars: Want to play it too?
Now with sheet music

My son is currently keen on Star Wars, and a wonderful little cello player. That combination brings "Cello Wars" to mind - an ingenial video for those of you who don't know it yet.

Only, one problem: after scouring the Internet, I couldn't find the sheet music for it anywhere! So I sat down yesterday to change that. And here you have it: Sheet music for my arrangement of their song - slightly abridged - in PDF format for a cello duet, which you can download and play yourself.

If you do decide to perform, change, or do anything with it, I'd appreciate it if you let me know!

Link: https://avesophos.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cello_Wars.pdf

#music   #cello   #pianoguys   #sheetmusic   #pdf   #cellowars  

Cello Wars: Want to play it too?
Now with sheet music

My son is currently keen on Star Wars, and a wonderful little cello player. That combination brings "Cello Wars" to mind - an ingenial video for those of you who don't know it yet.

Only, one problem: after scouring the Internet, I couldn't find the sheet music for it anywhere! So I sat down yesterday to change that. And here you have it: Sheet music for my arrangement of their song - slightly abridged - in PDF format for a cello duet, which you can download and play yourself.

If you do decide to perform, change, or do anything with it, I'd appreciate it if you let me know!

Link: https://avesophos.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cello_Wars.pdf

#music   #cello   #pianoguys   #sheetmusic   #pdf   #cellowars  ___

posted image

2015-08-14 04:24:45 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

What's the quality of air in your bedroom?

Clean air is beneficial for health, and also good sleep. But do you know the quality of the air around you?

This latest Finnish development could help you answer that question: by using infrared spectrometry to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air, a smartphone add-on can tell you whether the air around you has good, or bad, quality. This kind of measurements can help you to initiate clean air initiatives in your office, city, or even in your home.

The cheapest way to clean up bad air? Well, there are several alternatives. You could invest in an air filter system. Or you could invest in plants. There's a wonderful combination of five plants that NASA uses in its sealed biospheres because they are so very efficient at cleaning up air. Of those five, three have been demonstrated to be sufficient to... more »

What's the quality of air in your bedroom?

Clean air is beneficial for health, and also good sleep. But do you know the quality of the air around you?

This latest Finnish development could help you answer that question: by using infrared spectrometry to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air, a smartphone add-on can tell you whether the air around you has good, or bad, quality. This kind of measurements can help you to initiate clean air initiatives in your office, city, or even in your home.

The cheapest way to clean up bad air? Well, there are several alternatives. You could invest in an air filter system. Or you could invest in plants. There's a wonderful combination of five plants that NASA uses in its sealed biospheres because they are so very efficient at cleaning up air. Of those five, three have been demonstrated to be sufficient to meet the clean air demands of a single person:

- Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)
- Mother-In-Law Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Money tree (Epipremnum aureum)

And in case you, like me, have a brown thumb, a word of advice: the first two plants need regular care. But do consider the money tree. It's not as efficient as the areca palm at turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, but binds poisonous particulates. It thrives pretty much everywhere (even in constant shade), can survive up to two months without water and requires close to no nutrients. The only real work for you: You'll need to tie it up every now and then so that it doesn't overrun your house! ___

posted image

2015-08-05 00:14:29 (3 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

How to track a website user without asking permission

HTML5 seems to have introduced a new way to track innocuous website visitors on mobile devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets - no cookies required! The level of detail provided includes 16 decimal digits - a double - on your battery health, which allows a website to get a pretty accurate and unique device profile. That means a way to track you!

There's no magic potion against this yet, other than to use Tor (which is a bit slower and doesn't support the battery life API for that reason). Then again, if you have no problem with cookies, would you really care? 

How to track a website user without asking permission

HTML5 seems to have introduced a new way to track innocuous website visitors on mobile devices such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets - no cookies required! The level of detail provided includes 16 decimal digits - a double - on your battery health, which allows a website to get a pretty accurate and unique device profile. That means a way to track you!

There's no magic potion against this yet, other than to use Tor (which is a bit slower and doesn't support the battery life API for that reason). Then again, if you have no problem with cookies, would you really care? ___

posted image

2015-07-26 07:18:58 (2 comments; 12 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Your computerized guts

Imagine if your guts contained a full working computer - made out of a fleet of bacteria. Imagine if computer could store data, act as a surveillance system to detect and monitor bowel infections at an early stage, release medications as necessary, and not require any electricity - all using bacteria that, in their wild form, reside in your guts anyway. There's certainly a lot of potential - organic infestation stories aside!

Which raises some important questions: assuming someone did create such a bacterial computer, who would be responsible for making sure that the 'installations' are not abused? And how would we deal with 'abused installations'?

The nutshell version
Basically, the researchers have managed to control expression of particular bacterial secretions and corresponding receptors to communicate with... more »

Your computerized guts

Imagine if your guts contained a full working computer - made out of a fleet of bacteria. Imagine if computer could store data, act as a surveillance system to detect and monitor bowel infections at an early stage, release medications as necessary, and not require any electricity - all using bacteria that, in their wild form, reside in your guts anyway. There's certainly a lot of potential - organic infestation stories aside!

Which raises some important questions: assuming someone did create such a bacterial computer, who would be responsible for making sure that the 'installations' are not abused? And how would we deal with 'abused installations'?

The nutshell version
Basically, the researchers have managed to control expression of particular bacterial secretions and corresponding receptors to communicate with the bacterial environment. They then used these bacterial 'components' to detect and respond to carbohydrate presence in mouse guts, and checked their feces for indications of the indicators produced by the programmed response reaction. While it's still a long way from full-powered biocomputing, we're definitely starting to see the first small steps to an intriguing future ahead.

More details in the full article:
http://www.cell.com/cell-systems/pdf/S2405-4712(15)00006-X.pdf

/via +Hans Youngmann ___

posted image

2015-07-26 03:48:25 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

Speeding up drug research and production

Gene therapy is controversial, but who said we need to modify human genes? Predicting the effects of gene editing is a long-awaited holy grail to drug research: Each living cell has many receptors, and activating or blocking different receptors causes the cell to act differently (or self-destruct). Several drugs work by mimicking the shape of these receptor-binding proteins.

But how do you develop a drug that binds to a particular receptor and requires a particular form? That's where the sort of AI that this startup claims to possess comes to play: it can simulate whether a particular new drug will have the right shape or not to bind to the target receptors. The instructions to create these drugs are then transferred to drug-producing factories (such as bacteria or other genetically modified cellular organisms), which secrete the... more »

Speeding up drug research and production

Gene therapy is controversial, but who said we need to modify human genes? Predicting the effects of gene editing is a long-awaited holy grail to drug research: Each living cell has many receptors, and activating or blocking different receptors causes the cell to act differently (or self-destruct). Several drugs work by mimicking the shape of these receptor-binding proteins.

But how do you develop a drug that binds to a particular receptor and requires a particular form? That's where the sort of AI that this startup claims to possess comes to play: it can simulate whether a particular new drug will have the right shape or not to bind to the target receptors. The instructions to create these drugs are then transferred to drug-producing factories (such as bacteria or other genetically modified cellular organisms), which secrete the drugs that are harvested for human use. A long way from human gene modification, but an important advancement in speeding up the development of new drugs that fall into this class of production!

/via +Wayne Radinsky ___

posted image

2015-05-27 09:54:49 (10 comments; 6 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Myth: Small children cannot control their bladders

... at just under one month, my latest daughter can hold for about five minutes after she lets me know that she needs to go and breaking out in pee. Which isn't bad at all. But once this inborn reflex - expressing oneself before excrement - is suppressed, it takes time to re-learn, which the common western 'toilet training' process involves.

This early bladder control, contrary to popular thought, has not been demonstrated to be damaging to child development. Nor has it been demonstrated to be beneficial for child development. There simply is a lack of substantial research in the area.

Well, you may be wondering, how does my daughter do it? Here's the nutshell version of how it works: she expresses herself when she needs to go, and I give her a cue that she can do her business. The baby associates the... more »

Myth: Small children cannot control their bladders

... at just under one month, my latest daughter can hold for about five minutes after she lets me know that she needs to go and breaking out in pee. Which isn't bad at all. But once this inborn reflex - expressing oneself before excrement - is suppressed, it takes time to re-learn, which the common western 'toilet training' process involves.

This early bladder control, contrary to popular thought, has not been demonstrated to be damaging to child development. Nor has it been demonstrated to be beneficial for child development. There simply is a lack of substantial research in the area.

Well, you may be wondering, how does my daughter do it? Here's the nutshell version of how it works: she expresses herself when she needs to go, and I give her a cue that she can do her business. The baby associates the cue with being allowed to relieve itself, and this cue becomes a command that is subsequently used to signal when it is time to go. At the moment she can hold for about five minutes before she absolutely must, which is not bad for a baby that's a bit younger than one month old.

And it is a very rewarding experience: at the price of six very chaotic weeks at the beginning of life, the rest of infancy is very pleasant - only two or three 'accidents' with pee a day until the infant is 'dry', child is more peaceful and enjoys the constant attention and being carried around all day, no need for a big baby bag when traveling, and the baby is dry all night quite early on in life (somewhere around 6 months, when the bladder is large enough to hold through the night). Not to mention the rest of the advantages that come with 'no diapers', such as cost savings, no diaper rashes, and so on.

There's one thing that I would add, however: the most challenging part of this manner of 'toilet training' is, in my opinion, not the chaos, extra work, or energy that it involves, but rather the difficulties surrounding social acceptance - including strange stares from passers-by and fellow passengers in public transportation, and constant discouragement and comments of all sorts from friends and family.

If you are interested in trying this method, I'd strongly recommend the following book by Ingrid Bauer: Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene___

posted image

2015-05-01 00:02:41 (24 comments; 1 reshares; 104 +1s; )Open 

My daughter has arrived!

I've been somewhat silent lately - and one main reason why: my daughter was born recently! And with a very relaxed, almost surreal birth that could not have gone better.

See, I hadn't realised that I was about to give birth when I had sent the kids to kindergarten and then had a regular checkup with my midwife at home. At that point I was told that the birth canal was already open and the kid was on the way. By some stroke of luck, the father-to-be was in home office that day and was able to stop work, join in and witness everything from the start. So we set up everything for the birth, all relaxed, and to be honest I still couldn't quite believe that I was about to give birth at that point. An hour later the contractions began and within another hour the baby was born. One hour later everything was cleaned up, and the big kids came home... more »

My daughter has arrived!

I've been somewhat silent lately - and one main reason why: my daughter was born recently! And with a very relaxed, almost surreal birth that could not have gone better.

See, I hadn't realised that I was about to give birth when I had sent the kids to kindergarten and then had a regular checkup with my midwife at home. At that point I was told that the birth canal was already open and the kid was on the way. By some stroke of luck, the father-to-be was in home office that day and was able to stop work, join in and witness everything from the start. So we set up everything for the birth, all relaxed, and to be honest I still couldn't quite believe that I was about to give birth at that point. An hour later the contractions began and within another hour the baby was born. One hour later everything was cleaned up, and the big kids came home from kindergarten to be greeted by (surprise) their new sister!

I can't help but ask myself, what would have happened if I didn't happen to have had a regular checkup that day? What would it have been like for the kids? If I had to go to hospital instead? Would I have made it? All I can say for sure is that it certainly would have been a lot more stressful, dramatic and chaotic. And that is probably a big understatement.

Now life is settling in - I am recovering very quickly, the baby is very cooperative, peaceful and even kind enough to let us know when she needs to go to the toilet (well, more like a Tupperware than a toilet, but very effective). The extended family has been very helpful, the father overjoyed and he already feels that the baby has been around for more than just a few days.

And next? Well, everyone, knows that Germany is a country famous for paperwork. But the ladies at the civil registrar's office in our town apparently don't have too many births to process in our particular constellation and had to call another office to double check which paperwork was required. And since they didn't have the right form templates at hand, they 'borrowed' the forms from another city, put white-out over the city name, and had us fill that out instead, lending an amusing little twist to the usual paperwork experience!

At any rate, my little Anna now officially exists!

#Geist #baby___

posted image

2015-04-19 13:04:51 (6 comments; 10 reshares; 21 +1s; )Open 

Changing darm flora: Western lifestyle practices may be responsible for more of our health problems than we think

There's an isolated Yanomami village in the middle of the Amazon with no previous contact to western society. And one of the surprising things about them is their health: "The medical workers also documented that although these Yanomami had high levels of parasites, they were healthy and did not suffer from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease..."

With autoimmune disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other problems on the rise in western society, it raises the question of how these trends came about in the first place. Nutritional changes in our diets over the years as a result of industrialization and food processing is not a secret, and the decreasing diversity of intestinal flora is not a... more »

Changing darm flora: Western lifestyle practices may be responsible for more of our health problems than we think

There's an isolated Yanomami village in the middle of the Amazon with no previous contact to western society. And one of the surprising things about them is their health: "The medical workers also documented that although these Yanomami had high levels of parasites, they were healthy and did not suffer from autoimmune disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease..."

With autoimmune disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other problems on the rise in western society, it raises the question of how these trends came about in the first place. Nutritional changes in our diets over the years as a result of industrialization and food processing is not a secret, and the decreasing diversity of intestinal flora is not a secret either. But perhaps they hold the key to answering these questions - and could raise a lot of lobby pressure as the food processing industries fight to maintain their practices. In the words of Justin Sonnenburg, "I think these missing microbes are at the root of many Western diseases. The big message is we in the Western world have lost the diversity in our microbiota. We have to study these groups to figure out what we lost, what these microbes do, and how we get back to a healthy microbiota."

#Geist  #Health #Diet

/via +Wayne Radinsky ___

posted image

2015-04-05 05:39:37 (2 comments; 10 reshares; 23 +1s; )Open 

Software defined networks are changing the internet backbone

If you don't know what a software-defined network is or how it works, read the linked post. These networks have wide-ranging implications, both positive and negative.

Example: Throttling and bandwidth quotas.
Implementing bandwidth quotas has been, in the past, something costly, inefficient, and a major consumer annoyance. But now, it comes practically out-of-the-box for internet service providers.

Example: Large-scale network setup and administration.
Now for the good part: network administration has never been easier! Forget the Cisco Certifications and other expensive, year-long training - now, even an amateur hobbyist should be able to set up a big-data-scale network cluster without much difficulty.

Now that's a big change in the IT landscape behind the... more »

Software Defined Networking - Everybody needs it. Nobody understands it. We explain it!

Beginning with well known fact, that routers, switches can be configured to work in a fail save mode, being redundant (see BGP - Border Gateway Protocol) and several selected ports can be switched to build their own 'collision domain', called VLAN, there was an urgent need to have VLAN groups depending on protocol basis (e.g. port 80, http) for e.g. load balancing.

Directly after CISCO™, JUNIPER™ did implemented that, customers were asking for firewalling (IP masquerading, NAT), bandwidth control for realtime services, like video streaming (Netflix®), telephony (Skype™), video conferencing, decentralized server clusters. Things became complex, more and more software controlled. Good old ASICS, doing well in routers, switches until now, couldn't solve these complex tasks any longer.

So some CISCO® employees founded JUNIPER®, building up routers, switches with FreeBSD and ASICS as 10/100 GbE network card, gaining significant market share.

Now, something magic happend. Some guys did find out, that memory I/O of a simple INTEL® Core™ i5 is fast enough to care about everything running - Linux!

Have a look at next picture: Jetway NF9G-QM77 plus Jetway ADE4INLANG 4 Port PCI-E daughter board, together available for far under $300. (Available at: http://www.jetway.com.tw/jw/ipcboard_view.asp?productid=996&proname=NF9G-QM77 ). For more ports see cheap $20 TP-LINK 8 port switch (see diagram).

With that hardware you have everything in one: Router, switch, VLANs, redundancy, bandwidth control, firewall.

But not only that. Running isolated in secure LXC/Docker™ containers, you can start e.g. a 'silent, reversed proxy' like Varnish or Squid. Means: All bypassing traffic (http, ftp, video streaming) will be cached in the Linux machine, being internally rerouted (#ip route add...), massively reducing physical traffic going through your network of connected #Linux machines. Akamai® is known to offer such 'caching proxy' services, massively reducing traffic on #Microsoft servers e.g. at "patch day".

Why 6 ports? 6 ports are the minimum and sufficient number of physical ports needed to build up even largest redundant logical networks. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_topology

It's important to understand, that physical topology and logical topology, real traffic flow and logical trafic flow as well as real routing/switching and virtual routing/switching now totally have been decoupled. See diagram.

With #SDN, a physical port in california can build a logical, (firewalled) collision domain with some physical ports in europe, with or without proxy cache somewhere in between to reduce traffic. That's, why companies, like Netflix® with their global #FreeBSD server farms and global million customer base can fullfil their business, do exist.

So, in fact, just by connecting some handful of these magic Linux SDN machines you can throw out almost all network hardware, you ever had.

Now you might ask: Who, the hell, is able to administrate such complex SDNs? From my point of view, you have exactly two choices:

Either install #UBUNTU™ #OpenStack™, pay for expensive courses learning to administrate that stuff, or use OpenWRT zero administration machines. Based on B.A.T.M.A.N. protocol, just buy some new hardware, plug in, start #OpenWRT and everything is configured automatically. It's building up a professional, highly redundant grid network - automatically. No special knowledge required.

Buying "ready to use" #CISCO® or #JUNIPER® hardware, IMHO, is no option. U.S. NSA is, in fact, spying everywhere (See E. #Snowden papers), silently copying even your internal companies traffic onto #NSA servers in the U.S.A., (self) authorized by U.S. law (see U.S. 'patriot act'). Alternatively buy open sourced #Huawei Linux machines.

Have fun!

What can not be combined on a single manuscript page, is not been thought through yet ready for decision. (Dwight David Eisenhower) ___Software defined networks are changing the internet backbone

If you don't know what a software-defined network is or how it works, read the linked post. These networks have wide-ranging implications, both positive and negative.

Example: Throttling and bandwidth quotas.
Implementing bandwidth quotas has been, in the past, something costly, inefficient, and a major consumer annoyance. But now, it comes practically out-of-the-box for internet service providers.

Example: Large-scale network setup and administration.
Now for the good part: network administration has never been easier! Forget the Cisco Certifications and other expensive, year-long training - now, even an amateur hobbyist should be able to set up a big-data-scale network cluster without much difficulty.

Now that's a big change in the IT landscape behind the scenes - and one that, in a time where data analysis and volume is of growing importance, is bound to change the competitive field!

/via +Gregory Esau​

posted image

2015-04-02 09:12:47 (5 comments; 4 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Call for Funding: Dominia, a Negotiation Boardgame

Some time ago I posted about a board game to help teach negotiation skills. After a bit of testing and fine-tuning, I'm almost ready to bring the game to market. What's missing? Well, funding! So here's your chance to secure your copy from the first production run - and have a shiny, professionally produced copy of is board game in your hands! If the funding campaign succeeds, I'll be able to start the first run in June. Look forward to your support!

What's Dominia?
Players: 2-6 players aged 10 and up.
Languages: Bilingual edition in German and English.
Learning Goals: Principled negotiation. 

Each player starts with a character (and secret goal), a region, and two resources. Players take turns rolling the die and performing the action on the die – allowing them to collectre... more »

Call for Funding: Dominia, a Negotiation Boardgame

Some time ago I posted about a board game to help teach negotiation skills. After a bit of testing and fine-tuning, I'm almost ready to bring the game to market. What's missing? Well, funding! So here's your chance to secure your copy from the first production run - and have a shiny, professionally produced copy of is board game in your hands! If the funding campaign succeeds, I'll be able to start the first run in June. Look forward to your support!

What's Dominia?
Players: 2-6 players aged 10 and up.
Languages: Bilingual edition in German and English.
Learning Goals: Principled negotiation. 

Each player starts with a character (and secret goal), a region, and two resources. Players take turns rolling the die and performing the action on the die – allowing them to collect resources, ask questions, form alliances, steal resources, and ultimately attain their goals before anyone else does in order to win the game.

Links
Read more about how Dominia teaches negotiation, and the principles behind the game, at: http://igg.me/at/dominia

Or view the original post - and the first iteration of the game - here:
https://plus.google.com/+SophieWrobel/posts/Lw7wTTbJdEn

#Geist   #learning   #negotiation   #games   #funding  ___

posted image

2015-03-25 08:59:11 (15 comments; 10 reshares; 37 +1s; )Open 

More efficient than an oxygen tank

These new cobalt-based oxygen binding crystals look very promising - at the fraction of the size and weight of an oxygen tank, they can bind more oxygen than an oxygen tank and release it as required. And not just once, but repeatedly. This is excellent news for many applications - I can imagine applications not just for diving and submarines but also in space exploration, firefighting, respiritory ailments, and flight safety.

/via +Darin R. McClure​

More efficient than an oxygen tank

These new cobalt-based oxygen binding crystals look very promising - at the fraction of the size and weight of an oxygen tank, they can bind more oxygen than an oxygen tank and release it as required. And not just once, but repeatedly. This is excellent news for many applications - I can imagine applications not just for diving and submarines but also in space exploration, firefighting, respiritory ailments, and flight safety.

/via +Darin R. McClure​___

posted image

2015-03-23 06:32:08 (7 comments; 5 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

Computer, tell me what I dreamt last night

Would you really want to know what thoughts linger in your mind? When you lie in delerium? When you are in a 'vegitative state'?

Technology like this mind-reader - when it reaches maturity - could have many important applications in allowing traumatized, paraplegics, and other disabled groups to express their needs and provide insight into their experiences and required therapy.

Yet it also raises ethical questions: to what extent should brain-reading be allowed? As a preventative measure to identify behaviour anomalies in children early on? As a wearable device to 'relive your dreams'? Who stores the data, and how would it be evaluated? What is the risk and consequences of false positive results in an increasingly digitalized analytics environment?

... just a few thoughts to start the day!... more »

Computer, tell me what I dreamt last night

Would you really want to know what thoughts linger in your mind? When you lie in delerium? When you are in a 'vegitative state'?

Technology like this mind-reader - when it reaches maturity - could have many important applications in allowing traumatized, paraplegics, and other disabled groups to express their needs and provide insight into their experiences and required therapy.

Yet it also raises ethical questions: to what extent should brain-reading be allowed? As a preventative measure to identify behaviour anomalies in children early on? As a wearable device to 'relive your dreams'? Who stores the data, and how would it be evaluated? What is the risk and consequences of false positive results in an increasingly digitalized analytics environment?

... just a few thoughts to start the day! Enjoy!

/via +Hans Youngmann​___

posted image

2015-03-22 06:34:17 (8 comments; 5 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

A tribute to the most influential man in shaping Singapore's success

For those who don't know the story of Singapore, I strongly suggest you go and read up about it on Wikipedia. Lee Kuan Yew is one of the heros of the nation's short history. After being expelled from Malaysia 50 years ago as a worthless Island with no resources, this man has more or less singlehandedly transformed the nation into the booming trade capital it is known as today. Certainly, he was not perfect, but he does merit the recognition that others before him have had in their similarly rigid but effective regimes in their respective lands - Margaret Thatcher comes to mind, for instance.

Now in bad health, Lee Kuan Yew's days are numbered... but his legacy will surely continue on the island nation of Singapore.

/via +Robert Chew​

A tribute to the most influential man in shaping Singapore's success

For those who don't know the story of Singapore, I strongly suggest you go and read up about it on Wikipedia. Lee Kuan Yew is one of the heros of the nation's short history. After being expelled from Malaysia 50 years ago as a worthless Island with no resources, this man has more or less singlehandedly transformed the nation into the booming trade capital it is known as today. Certainly, he was not perfect, but he does merit the recognition that others before him have had in their similarly rigid but effective regimes in their respective lands - Margaret Thatcher comes to mind, for instance.

Now in bad health, Lee Kuan Yew's days are numbered... but his legacy will surely continue on the island nation of Singapore.

/via +Robert Chew​___

posted image

2015-03-20 07:43:55 (14 comments; 10 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

Holistic personal development

One of the things that I've been struggling with in helping my children mature is the gap between what schools teach, the skills that the workplace requires, and ultimately what satisfaction in life itself demands. If you set out searching for happiness, you soon discover that happiness isn't based on the consumerism paradigm that most of us, myself included, grew up with. Rather, happiness comes from a balanced, holistic approach to life - one that takes more than just mere logic and intelligence in consideration.

A particularly interesting division is the following chart, which is organized according to eastern perspectives of how an individual matures. This particular chart is based on http://edforlife.org/ - but there are other sources that follow the same basic outline as well.

The first four building blocks - from birth to... more »

Holistic personal development

One of the things that I've been struggling with in helping my children mature is the gap between what schools teach, the skills that the workplace requires, and ultimately what satisfaction in life itself demands. If you set out searching for happiness, you soon discover that happiness isn't based on the consumerism paradigm that most of us, myself included, grew up with. Rather, happiness comes from a balanced, holistic approach to life - one that takes more than just mere logic and intelligence in consideration.

A particularly interesting division is the following chart, which is organized according to eastern perspectives of how an individual matures. This particular chart is based on http://edforlife.org/ - but there are other sources that follow the same basic outline as well.

The first four building blocks - from birth to around 24 years of age - are, in general, the stages of life in which an individual is shaped, and through that, acquires maturity. This is supported through the educational system, and through parental support outside of the educational system. The latter years - from 24 to 72 years of age - are then the years in which selflessness ripens and comes to fruition.

This maturity, however, assumes that there is a solid foundation of intellect, willpower, emotional and physical maturity: something that, in western society, is sometimes absent amidst the focus on logic, goal-setting and consumerism, and the loss of a sense of awesomeness and appreciation for the "soft skills" and "soft communications" in life. The resulting imbalance leads to numerous other societal problems: depression, mid-life-crisis, etc. And this imbalance also points towards the cure: strengthening the foundation stones that aren't yet in balance, bringing the individual back to the stage of maturity in which they naturally belong.

#Geist   #Learning  ___

posted image

2015-02-12 08:06:00 (5 comments; 6 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

Looks like the definition of "smart" has changed!

The definition of "smart" seems to have changed since I was a kid. No longer does "smart" mean "having an IQ over xxx". Rather, smart now seems to mean "having the ability to learn." And that, it seems, is based on your attitude towards life.

In a nutshell, there are two main groups of learners:
1) Those who believe intrinsically that each person is born with a certain amount of intelligence, and nothing can change that.
2) Those who believe that hard work and dedication can change outcomes.

Surprise, surprise, no matter what IQ you have, children in the second group are those who seemingly outperform the others. In short: what kids need to be "smart" these days is a dedicated attitude.

#Geist   #Learning

/via +George... more »

Looks like the definition of "smart" has changed!

The definition of "smart" seems to have changed since I was a kid. No longer does "smart" mean "having an IQ over xxx". Rather, smart now seems to mean "having the ability to learn." And that, it seems, is based on your attitude towards life.

In a nutshell, there are two main groups of learners:
1) Those who believe intrinsically that each person is born with a certain amount of intelligence, and nothing can change that.
2) Those who believe that hard work and dedication can change outcomes.

Surprise, surprise, no matter what IQ you have, children in the second group are those who seemingly outperform the others. In short: what kids need to be "smart" these days is a dedicated attitude.

#Geist   #Learning

/via +George Station ___

Buttons

A special service of CircleCount.com is the following button.

The button shows the number of followers you have directly on a small button. You can add this button to your website, like the +1-Button of Google or the Like-Button of Facebook.






You can add this button directly in your website. For more information about the CircleCount Buttons and the description how to add them to another page click here.

Sophie WrobelLinkedInCircloscope