The computer whisperer

My dear laptop, a trusty companion that went across the Atlantic with me and helped me get my work done far away from home, is on the blink. First it started freezing on me, and then it wouldn’t start. The trouble seems to be the graphics card (thanks, Alex, for figuring it out). And not only MacBook Pros seem to have the problem (see discussion board). OK, friendly Apple Store staff, here I come, and I sure hope you can help.

In the meantime, here is humor from brilliant French & Saunders, “The computer whisperer”, tried and tested medicine against my helpless machine rage (video):

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Dancing data

When I was at college, I found presentations based solely on statistics incredibly boring. I find it far more interesting to tell and to listen to stories about individual cases. Storytelling based in experience is still the easiest way to captivate an audience. But everyone appreciates how important statistics are to clarify the facts, and the bottom line. But the good news is that visualising statistics has just got more interesting. Thanks to Hans Rosling, we can animate data across a grid to demonstrate dramatic changes. Continue reading Dancing data

iGoogle Artist themes launched

A launch party on the streets of Manhattan: Google took their new product, featuring visuals by big name designers from Jeff Koons and Philip Starck to Dolce & Gabbana and Akira Isogawa, to one of the most interesting areas of New York, the Meatpacking District, and projected the artwork onto the buildings.
What a nice night out! Continue reading iGoogle Artist themes launched

Pretty in blue

I was pretty blue a couple of weeks ago when my trusty laptop gave out on me – leaving me without equipment at a very bad time, just as I am getting ready to teach my first seminar for Management Circle. So I’ve decided to invest in a MacBook. I’m so happy that I feel like the headless wonder. I hope can figure everything out quickly. My dad had the first Macintosh, and he would be so pleased. Continue reading Pretty in blue

Nobody’s perfect

I was walking through the TUM the other day when I saw a label above a nice architectural exhibit showing a building project, which read, “Der Zweck der Planung ist die Realisierung.” How very German that sentence is: three nouns and no real verb, like a stone temple of language. Nobody is doing anything in this sentence. Instead, it seems like there is one big purpose, one beautiful plan and one perfect realization. Oh, come on. That’s not how things work, is it? I, for one, would be in deep trouble if I had to get everything right in one step. Continue reading Nobody’s perfect

Falling from Grace

One of the projects that has inspired me over the years is Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child. He set out in 2005 with the vision of designing a fully functional $100 laptop for children in emerging economies. Quitting his job as the head of MIT’s Media Lab, he set up a project team, fired up the open source community and won over heads of state from Nigeria to Uruguay and corporations from Quanta Computers to Intel for his educational project – an amazing feat.



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