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General Musing

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Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Painful Facts For Developers #programming #foss

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I recently saw a note from the Tech Journalist Russell Holly who calls on the Scumbags of the Internet to stop making demands of developers from whom they get their free software:

You don’t demand ETA’s on shit you aren’t paying for. You don’t get angry when something doesn’t work quite right on an Alpha or Beta build of something you didn’t pay for. You don’t start shooting off at the mouth about how you are going to move to someone else’s free software if this developer doesn’t fix the software you didn’t pay for.

I was naturally in agreement with the spirit of what he said. And I think that he and these developers miss a number of simple facts: Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Slow Coffee as Wine #foursquare #4sq

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I drink a lot of coffee, and I visit a lot of coffee places which is how I earned my Fresh Brew x2 FourSquare badge. I just drink it all the time. And after visiting over the 30th time the owner asked me whether I would be interested in further developing my palate. “How?” I said. “Slow Coffee,” was his answer.

Slow Coffee

There is coffee, and there is coffee making. Coffee like wine comes in many different flavours, and like wine there is an art to making a good brew which starts with the beans. His come from , a company where quite a few people I know work. They craft beans, different roastings for different purposes; espresso; filter; and others I have yet to learn about.

Slow coffee is filter coffee, made slowly first by measuring the beans – 24 grams – and boiled water – 240 grams at 95º. Then grinding the beans and placing them in a soaked untreated paper filter and pouring a small amount of the water over the beans in a gentle even way allowing the air to cause a bloom as the escapes. Then another amount, and another, and then the remaining water taking care to not allow the bean pulp which is spent on the side of the filter to be reused. Once the water stops flowing from the filter and starts dripping remove the filter.

And then you don’t just gulp it down, this is vinology. Sip and swirl then liquid in your mouth, then leave it to cool down and taste again. Again leaving it to cool until cold and tasting more. Savoring the texture and feeling the explosion of flavours in your mouth.

I’m slowly becoming a coffeeologist.

Image source: mine, foursquare

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Posted in chemistry, food, personal, social

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Discriminating Against Breaks is Counter Productive #productivity

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Some weeks ago I read an interview with a Dutch Internet Entrepreneur who was launching a book on how to create a start up. I haven’t read the book so I can judge that, however what surprised me was his tip to give smokers only 23 days holiday rather than 26 days as they are 1.5 hours less productive every day. I think that he’s missed the point when it comes to productivity, and I’ll tell you why:

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Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

November 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Masterclass ‘Security’ – Hackner Security Intelligence #crime

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Last Saturday I was invited to go to a Physical Security Workshop organized by Independent Films to promote the movie Flypaper. The workshop was given by Thomas Hackner of Hackner Security Intelligence, an independent security auditing company.

The workshop started with a large amount of statistics on the current rates of crime in Austria, and a discussion of the methods by which property crimes are commited. Next there was some practical analysis of the security measures which are currently implemented in securing different classes of objects – houses, office, secure facilities, etc – and the various security measures that are implemented to ensure a certain level of security.

And as with any workshop there was a destructive and non-destructive practicum for most of the items discussed: windows, doors, locks, chains and social engineering. Besides from lockpicking and designing tools to circumvent security non-destructively, we also got to break into a door by destroying the lock and manually manipulating the locking mechanism.

It was great fun!

Image source: Daniël W. Crompton

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

October 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

Posted in amsterdam, environment, event, law, security

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AI Class #school #education #stanford

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Stanford’s AI Class has started and am finding it easy and enjoying it. I’m sure that like any other class it will soon become more challenging, and more interesting. I have a similar feeling to when I followed the Game Theory Lectures by Benjamin Polak from Yale.

I will continue to post updates here.

Image source: Stanford AI-Class

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

October 12, 2011 at 9:12 am

Posted in IT, science, technology

Just Finished Reading: Moonwalking with Einstein #books

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I’ve had an interested in memory for as long as I can remember, so when I saw Joshua Foer on The Colbert Report I went straight to the store to get myself a copy of his book Moonwalking with Einstein. I read it over three days, and haven’t given it a chance to sink in yet.

Through out the book Foer briefly dips into techniques that he used to improve his recollection, although he calls it memory in the book. He starts with Simonides’ memory palace as his basis and continues by learning the Major System, below, and the PAO system – where every two-digit number from 00 to 99 is represented by a single image of a person performing an action on an object – which he uses for committing cards to memory three at a time.

Major System

Although the book is mostly about how Foer trained to become the US champion in one year – and it only touches on the underlying techniques used – it shows the power of not just the mind, it shows that perseverance can make the unlikely possible.

Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next—and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.

Mind Map of Memory Techniques and sources in Moonwalking with Einstein

A great read.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

March 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

Doctors Without Borders Donate Profile #twitter #linkedin #facebook #social

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Medicine Sans Frontier - Doctors without Borders

Medicine Sans Frontier, Doctors without Borders, asked people to donate their Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profiles and profile images for one day. They do something similar to Twibbon, with the exception that they ask you change your profile image back yourselves. I support the work of MSF, and I think this is a great way for people, who don’t examine their profile pages and images daily or are lazy, to have the profile update for more than one day.

What MSF incorrectly tells you is that they are unable to change back the profile details, they can. All that is required is that they store the token which they use to update your profile, just as Twibbon does. They may not do this for security reasons or laziness, and my belief is that they do this because they know they can get more milage out of this than just the that one day.

Other than that it’s a fine cause which I believe should be supported.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

February 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

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