Archives for category: Seeds

If Bluetooth security is indeed such a mess, why hasn’t anybody made a wireless headphone hijacker yet? A small device you can carry in your pocket, that hacks any wireless Bluetooth headphone in the vicinity, to allow you to whisper any ‘message from God’, or blast any obnoxious song, in the ears of unsuspecting victims. Let’s take rickrolling to the next level!

De zuidelijke ringweg van Groningen is overbelast. Als oplossing heeft de provincie Groningen voor een zeer ambitieuze aanpak gekozen. Klein probleempje: het project is amper begonnen en heeft nu al jaren vertraging opgelopen. Erger nog: het project ligt na een vertrouwenscrisis nagenoeg stil. Mochten de partijen er onverhoopt niet uitkomen, dan stel ik de volgende creatieve oplossing voor: maak de ringweg eenrichtingsverkeer!

Read the rest of this entry »

When I was a child, we used to have a wall (under the staircase) that was painted with blackboard paint, so I (and my brother) could draw in chalk on it.
These days we all have whiteboards with erasable colour markers (except mathematicians that don’t mind the chalk dust apparently 😉 However, whiteboards (and walls covered with a similar material) are really hard to clean: a coloured stain always remains, and often a vague shadow of the original drawing/sentence/formula remains visible as well.

Perhaps we could make use of E Ink technology? In E Ink black and white coloured particles (with opposite charge) are captured in microscopic transparent capsules, such that applying a positive or negative charge moves the black or white particles to the surface. Allowing one to create any black and white image when such  E Ink capsules are aligned in a kind of grid.

Couldn’t you turn that into a kind of paint? So you could draw on a wall covered with such paint with a marker that makes the black charged particles come to the surface, while the opposite charged eraser would make the white particles come to the surface? If the capsules where small enough, alignment in a grid wouldn’t be necessary really, as long as the capsules are spread evenly and dense enough…

IMG_1751Last year I gave a lecture at a summer school on Lesbos. It was in July, right after the Greeks voted against a bailout. All Greeks, students and teachers alike, were gloomy and stressed. They loosened up, just a little, when three days later Prime Minister Tsipras did formally apply for a bailout, which Europe accepted shortly after that.

At the same time we saw scores of refugees walk along the highway every morning and found dozens of life jackets on the beaches.

I saw Europe disintegrate before my very eyes. I felt I stood right at the fault line of history. That first week it seemed nothing but certain I would return home from Greece as a country that would no longer belong to Europe. I was lucky: I could go back to Europe. They might not. And neither might the refugees. And it made me very very sad.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the I-want-to-be-a-startup-too-department. The Last Post. A digital funeral service for bloggers. Provides automatic archiving of your blog, to keep it accessible for eternity. Create a ‘last post’ now, to be published as soon as you pass away. A smart watch app (measuring your heart rate and other vital statistics) can be programmed to trigger the publication of this post…

Note: lastpost.be is already taken by a The Last Post Association. Their aim: to play the Last Post every day under the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper at 8 o’clock sharp, to remember those that fell at Ypres Salient during the First World War. They have been doing this every single day since 1928!

About 11 years ago, my then girlfriend (now wife) gave me this drawing as a present. She called it “Let’s fly”. And we sure did!

lets-fly-cropped

Now that my children have grown up and are about to leave the house, it’s indeed time to fly. And maybe you can help. Or rather, I hope I can help you…
Read the rest of this entry »

The earth is divided in timezones. Timezones guarantee that on every place on earth noon 12 o’clock is, roughly speaking, the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest point on the firmament. As a result, 12 o’clock in one timezone corresponds to 11 o’clock one timezone to the west (the sun rises there later) and corresponds to 1 o’clock one timezone to the east (where the sun rises earlier). Most mobile calendar apps support timezones. In fact many calendar apps do not even allow you to create an event without specifying a timezone. But they do so in a totally unusable way. Thing is: you only notice when you start traveling…
Read the rest of this entry »