Filter: hardware,software, code, computer science, tech, life, robotics

Pixelation

I recently came across photographing some close-ups of several iPhone/iPad Apps we developed at Nerves. Fore some reason, I had forgotten how wonderful our back-lit LED displays are. Isn't it amazing that these screens work for countless hours with hardly any visible error.

Below are some impressions of our photo-shoot.

Pixels at Large 1

Pixels at Large 2

Pixels at Large 3

Tags: life, tech

Welcome to the Digital Age

I was recently interviewed for a documentary film about life in the digital age. Below are some excerpts which might be of interest.

What aspects fascinate you in the digital worlds in which you live in? Which opportunities do they offer?

Since I was a young child I was completely fascinated by electronics. My parents were always afraid to leave a calculator or such lying around, because they knew that if I found it I would surely take it apart, inspecting all the insides thoroughly. When I finally got my first computer at age 10, I discovered the internet, which instantly became my new passion. I was absolutely captivated by the idea that I could publish something online which would be instantaneously reachable from all corners of the globe! Today we take it for granted, but 15 years ago this was groundbreaking in the way we communicate with each other as well as with whom we communicate to. The digital world has progressed, where now I am always connected in some manner to multiple services spread across the globe which provide information in a constant stream. To me, the digital world is an (almost) unlimited resource, where information is easily obtainable. If I want to know who ruled England during the 18th century, I only need to grab my phone and type “18th century king england” into Google. Before the digital revolution, gaining this knowledge was considerably harder. This is what fascinates me: the wealth of obtainable knowledge. That's why I co-founded NERVES, where we develop digital services and applications and constantly try to redefine how we communicate digitally.

Could you say that the digitalization of technology has changed your life? How?

Yes, definitely. Probably the most astounding change is the way I interact with people. I'm sure I spend more time interacting with most people through a digital service, such as E-Mail, SMS, Networking, et cetera, than actually talking with them in person. This has both positive and negative effects and my daily life. In some senses I feel more productive (it's faster to Twitter a birthday party than call everyone), but at the same time I also feel much more disconnected from many people, especially in the professional world. I grew up in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and America, so I have many friends spread out all over the globe. Since the widespread use of the internet and social networks, I now have daily contact with all these friends again. So there are definitely positive benefits from the obsessive digital revolution.

How does your social circle react to your active digital life?

My curiosity makes me a typical early adopter. Most people react well to that, showing a similar interest in much of my digital life, just at a different (lower) level. My family have all slowly joined in on the digital world. We now commonly communicate with Skype and SMS. Even my mother has a Facebook profile now, and tries to promote her art on the internet. My deeper passion with computer science is not understood well by the people around me, neither are they interested. I mostly keep that to myself and a handful of fellow nerds.

Tags: life, tech

The Mens Room Strategy

The Mens Room, while at first glance, may seem as an unstructured ritual, has in fact quite a code of etiquette and formation.

This is my attempt to find the humor in this topic, inspired by a conversation late one night.

The strategy aims to help avoid the evermost embarrassing situations such as mistakenly being accused, either verbally or through radiating guilt, of peering over a neighbors stall. The first slide is a legend, or if you will a sort of introduction. The following slides are fitted to unique situations in the Mens Room.

The Mens Room Strategy: Legend

The Mens Room Strategy: When Alone

The Mens Room Strategy: When one-on-one

The Mens Room Strategy: When one-on-one

The Mens Room Strategy: When one-on-one

The Mens Room Strategy: When double cornered

The Mens Room Strategy: When double cornered

The Mens Room Strategy: Triple shafted

The Mens Room Strategy: Quad lineup

The Mens Room Strategy: Full house

The Mens Room Strategy: Crowded

Tags: life

This Product Will Kill You

There are only several hundred household products which come with a big label displaying a warning of death upon inhalation or deglutition, but only one product is actually made for consumption: the cigarette.

It is a odd phenomena that a widely used product can be sold on the public market baring labels such as "This product kills", "This product causes fatal lung cancer", "This product is highly addictive, don't start", "This product can cause a slow and painful death", etc..

Today the problems with smoking are blaringly clear to everyone. Nether the less, smoking is a highly pleasurable past time. While I am not at all a smoker, I will be the first to admit my hypocrisy with my love-hate relationship with the cigarette. Sitting on a balcony overlooking the city with a good friend, there seems to be little nicer than those couple late night smokes. It's just nice. On the other hand, returning home from a smoky bar, reeking of burnt tobacco is more than less than pleasant. It's that kind of stench that seems to infect everything you touch, and reminds you of just how poisonous the cigarette is.

To keep me motivated to stay away from cigarettes entirely - without exception - I have put together the following graphic displaying some of the ingredients found in the cigarette.

The Cigarette

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide
http://www.la-cigarette.com
http://www.emrupdate.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzopyrene
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotene
http://www.physorg.com/news126017408.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexamine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_packaging_warning_messages

Tags: life

Clarifications on Becoming a Scientist

I received quite a bit of feedback regarding the Thoughts on Becoming a Scientist blag, in various formats, including a sketch.

To offer some clarification; by Computer Scientist I meant more the type of work and interests, opposed to the environment and field of work.

I am not quite sure if that makes sense, so let me further blag about this idea: I see low level programming as a science, while high level programming more as a skill. To illustrate this with extreme ends, consider the kernel developer (A). His area of work definately corresponds to a science, right? On the other hand, someone writing HTML code (B) is acting on a aquired skill. The relationship between the two ends, science/skill, in my oppinion is asymetrical; in context meaning that A can do both A and B, while B is restricted to B only.

Of course, this doesn't directly apply, but I hope the gist is clear.

I am not quite sure if that makes sense, so let me further blag about this idea: just kidding. I give up. The real truth is that I think it is way cooler to be a hacking bit twiddler than be a [clever word here] developer.

Tags: life, computer science

Thoughts on Becoming A Scientist

Recently, through a constant series of different small events, I have become aware that I have made a big mistake.

I really want to become a Computer Scientist, opposed to a Software Devloper. The reason for this contains various motivations, but is driven by the fact that I find it much more interesting to work as "scientist" in the field of computing (possibly creating algorithms, device drivers, etc) opposed to working as a Software Developer (maintaining boring .net websites, writing infinate Java packages, etc).

Disregarding many factors and hanging weights; I probably should have stayed in America and finished my CS studies there. The idea of a Technical University (Fachhochschule) in Switzerland seemed very attractive at first, but has somehow quickly died into a boring friction.

Oh well, I guess you can't have everything - and I am known to get tired of things after a while.

Tags: life, computer science

Colorless Morning with Fog

I grew up mostly somewhat close to the equator, so living in Western Europe is still a little new for me. They warned me of the horrible winters which offer nothing but cold, rain and more cold, but I thought I would like it - as a change.

This morning was one of those mornings where I really hate the cold. However, admitingly, the photos look quite enchanting.

Colorless Morning Fog

Colorless Morning Fog

Colorless Morning Fog

...and no, the photos are not black and white.

Tags: life