Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thessowary Bird

While working on a thesaurus for a client, one of the employees interviewed had some difficulty with the word 'thesaurus' and spoke of 'thesuaris'. My colleague who knows his birds, was triggered and told me about the 'kasuaris' (dutch spelling for Cassowary). Hence the Thessowary bird depicted.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Useful Void: The Art of Forgetting in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing

As humans we have the capacity to remember ­ and to forget. For millennia remembering was hard, and forgetting easy. By default, we would forget. Digital technology has inverted this. Today, with affordable storage, effortless retrieval and global access remembering has become the default, for us individually and for society as a whole. We store our digital photos irrespective of whether they are good or not - because even choosing which to throw away is too time-consuming, and keep different versions of the documents we work on, just in case we ever need to go back to an earlier one. Google saves every search query, and millions of video surveillance cameras retain our movements. In this article Viktor Mayer-Schönberger analyses this shift and links it to technological innovation and information economics. Then Viktor suggests why we may want to worry about the shift, and call for what he terms data ecology. In contrast to others he does not call for comprehensive new laws or constitutional adjudication. Instead proposes a simple rule that reinstates the default of forgetting our societies have experienced for millennia, and shows how a combination of law and technology can achieve this shift. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government / Harvard University. His work focuses on business, legal, and policy issues of the new economy. He is also an expert on the European Union, especially its regulatory framework and business-government relations.

Corporate summit in Spain

Colleagues reponsible for new business and innovation from Norway, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom and The Netherlands will meet in the Barcelona area for 2 days. Sunny weather will be the scene for sharing ideas.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


This colourful row of houses is located in Cleator, close to the train viaduct across the Keekle River at Cleator. The River Keekle is a river running through the English county of Cumbria. The source of the Keekle is to be found at Keekle Head Farm on High Park between Gilgarran and Asby. From there, the river moves gradually southwards via former open cast mine between Frizington and Whitehaven to Cleator, where it becomes subsumed by the River Ehen. The river is noted for its occasional abundance of salmon.

Cleator revisited

The largest group of Cleator's citizens: sheep.
Typical view while walking from The Ennerdale to The Grove for lunch. The Grove Court Hotel is run by the family Benn. Situated next to St Mary's Catholic Church and Grotto in the lovely town of Cleator. If you're thinking of having lunch out there, at least have the scampi fried in a light batter. Not like the well known fritters, but more like tempura, so much lighter.

Little Chef, the British answer to the golden arches

Bring your healthy appetite and they'll make sure you leave ready for your journey - wherever you're going. Their aim is very simple:

to be the motorist's friend, serving up quality food and offering great value for money. Expect freshly prepared food, using the best ingredients we can buy. Enjoy a welcoming, informal setting and watch out for some exciting dishes this Autumn like our hot Ciabatta sandwich and the incredible Double Olympic Burger – helping you beat the rush hour (and the hunger pangs).
Each year they welcome 20 million guests, serving: 10 million cups of tea, 12 million rashers of bacon, 13 million eggs and 13 million sausages!


Always nice to be in this street (part of the 595 heading to Workington) in Whitehaven. This was the first time it was sunny, normally we drive out here in the evening or in heavy rain. Taken from the car, while driving on the 595, a picture of the Irish Sea from Whitehaven. Just outside of the Waterfront restaurant this picture was taken in the evening.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wakey wakey, rise and shine, it's Starbucks time!

Right, Monday morning I'll be at Newcastle Airport again. After customs, fetch bags, through "nothing to declare", half way the hall on the left get some cash, some yards further down check for an interesting read, opposite of the bookstore is the Starbucks for a tall cappucino and a cinnamon twirl or whatever they call that stuff that lasts for a fortnight to digest, all the way down the hall to Herz to get car keys and all the way back to the other end of the hall, exit the building, get the car and leave the airport area ASAP to head for the countryside and relax all the way down to Lake Ennerdale...

Is everything miscellaneous?

DiiGo and Grupthink... tools for tag drafting

Remember the item on tag drafting, well, here's Diigo, with communities sharing bookmarks, clippings, annotations, ... The name "Diigo" is an abbreviation for "Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff." Diigo (dee'go) is about Social Annotation. By combining social bookmarking, clippings, in situ annotation, tagging, full-text search, easy sharing and interactions, Diigo offers a powerful personal tool and a rich social platform for knowledge users, and in the process, turns the entire web into a writable, participatory and interactive media. The social annotation service introduced by Diigo allows users to add highlights and sticky notes, in situ, on any web page they read. Imagine a giant transparency overlaying on top of all the web pages. Users can write on the transparency as they wish, as private notes or public comments. And they can read public comments on the transparency left by other readers of the same page, and hear their "two cents" and interact with them. Grupthink is a similar kind of tool, with a much better name as far as I'm concerned, but less useful. Grupthink caters for communities sharing answers to more or less open-ended questions, like: "Can all ideas be expressed using language?"