Showing posts from July, 2009

George Carlin - Advantages of being old


US recovering a bit?

M&A Activity Heats Up In July To $9.6 Billion: "Whether it’s a sign of economic recovery or just investment bankers getting ready to take off the month of August, there’s been a lot acquisition activity lately."

I had noticed that too. Suddenly, companies are on the war path again... Hmmm, I guess that's good.

Google Wave Federation Protocol and Open Source Updates

Google Wave has opened up the first parts of its revolutionary new Internet protocol: Wave. the first open source components are the Operational Transform protocol and a prototype Wave server using the Wave protocol.

Wave is seen as the next step in Internet communication because it can seamlessly and transparently integrate Mail, IM chat and Twitter into one interface. However, it does not change the user's client if he doesn't want to. You can participate in a "Wave" with any client, while preserving the overall structure and semantics of the communication thread/msg/chat. So you may never know. That's part of the genius.

Easy explanation of Google Wave in Dutch available at

Whoosah - Secret Cinema Invites

Last Sunday, I went with a friend to the beach in Scheveningen. Found a spot on the Noorderstrand at the Culpepper, next to Whoosah. Discovered there was a free beach party going on there from 3pm -1am. After dinner, we decided to go there because the music just got better and better.

Took a few pictures. It was packed, inside and outside. The music was great! Warren Fellow just rocked the house and sadly I had to go home at 11:30pm because there was work on Monday. So we missed Secret Cinema itself, and that was a shame I heard. Oh well.

Aquarium update

Last weekend, I did some more work on my tank and now it looks a bit like a real aquarium. Albeit a little deserted. This weekend it's time to get more fish and plants and try to give it its final look before getting the rest of the fish mid next month.

Strangely, I discovered some gunk growing on the decorative wood I put in. I realized I had forgotten to clean it, so I quickly removed it and scrubbed in clean. A day later, it was back. So I called the store and asked them and they said it's normal and harmless. If I wanna get rid of it, cook the wood in some water and scrub it or pour boiling water over it. It would disappear anyway on its own. Hmmm, all right we'll see.

Update: the 'Net also says the white fungus growing on the wood is harmless. *sigh*

Green diode lasers breakthrough

Ah the researcher in me got a big boost today from the news that Green diode lasers got a big breakthrough! Now we have red, blue and green diode lasers and we can expect laser displays to arrive in the near future (1-3 years). Instead of a big LED display, these will be illuminated by lasers! Ars Technica has a great, detailed, technical write-up of the breakthrough.

And of course, I'm expecting Awakenings in the Westergasfabriek to get the first ones by next year! ;)

Apple 'iTablet' by Xmas?

Feeding the hype. :) Apple seems to be trying to get an Apple 'iTablet' out for Christmas. If the photo is anywhere bear reality it looks cool and could be a great seller! 3G, web access, iTunes, eBooks... Interesting!

Update: Apple is rumored to Spotify the iTablet, using streaming music instead of local files

Apple aiming to enhance albums

Apple is trying to change the albums in iTunes in an effort to try and recreate the ability for record companies and artists to create and sell appealing and attractive CD artwork or booklets with their album. Sales have been declining and they think having a cool interactive booklet with artwork, text and other features will change that. Should be announced in September of this year...


There will be a TED in Amsterdam, later this year. :) While most TED events are invitation-only I am psyched that there will be 50 lottery seats available! So if you would like to attend this outstanding event, Get on the List!

Fish in the aquarium

Yesterday, I put the first plants, decorations and fish in the aquarium!

I have a few plants to help develop the biology in the tank and some drift wood, that still needs to soak and sink before I can place it. I also got 2 sets of small fish. Don't remember the names. I'll have to get that next time I go, when I get more plants and fish. But one set is orangy in color and will get a bright red stripe when they grow up. The other smaller kind has a black stripe and will get a red accent as well.

Jolien born

Another baby girl born! My good friend Astrid gave birth to Jolien this morning at 9:28.

Restaurant Square

I will be a (part-time) chef again at Square in Den Haag at "het Plein", right in the backyard of the Dutch parliament. It's a nice place but management has its issues. They try though. So it's not the best places, but my old friends Daniel (chef), Deborah and Gio from Doen! are there and for 2 days it's good enough. Gonna work Thursday and Friday evenings. Busy times but that's what I want to learn anyway. The rhythm of the kitchen when the going gets tough, I can handle the rest. How do you optimize? Where to cut corners and where not (NOT the quality!).

Should be interesting and I'll be tired on the weekend again. But I can sleep in on Friday morning, so that's important. Yey!

colbie caillat: Fallin' in Paris

Was going to see friends in Utrecht but thunderstorms and havoc on the train system changed our plans. Instead, we took the train to Amsterdam and - due to's event listing - were able to attend colbie caillat in Paradiso! she's a young and upcoming singer/songwriter, 24, really cute and sings beautifully while playing her acoustic guitar. Great show!

NextGEN Gallery for WordPress

You may know I'm thinking of moving my Blogger site over to WordPress, because WP is a blog tool as well as a decent CMS and that gives the ability to create pages as well. Not just "articles" or "posts".

Just found another reason to do so because now there is a very nice plugin called the NextGEN Gallery WordPress Plugin that offers a simple and easy administration back-end to handle multiple photos, galleries and albums. Found it through a link on Petra's blog to a photo project called "100 Abandoned Houses".

CityDance Den Haag

Yesterday, after a long day of work on my aquarium, I treated myself to some dance music. There was a free festival on the Malieveld in Den Haag: CityDance Den Haag 2009, with Benny Rodriguez, Don Diablo and Dennis van der Geest, so I quickly changed and went there. Sadly, none of the people I knew in Den Haag responded to my call-for-company, but what the heck?! Dancing only requires one, the rest is optional. :)

Don Diablo, I discovered, is a house music genius similar to (but no where near) the original mixing genius Ben Liebrand. He mixes traditional songs from charts with house music and always in a way that is worth listening to. He does add value there. It is no longer the song, but different with a pleasant familiar ring to it. :) Granted, it's not always music you can still dance too - or it could be me - but it's good to hear. Sadly, his talents were wasted on the crowds because his trendy, hip sounds did not contain the minimum required bpm, where bpm > 130. :( Oh…

Aquarium assembly finished

Well, the tank is up and running! :D I've updated the gallery with more photos. Have a video too. Hope I'll get to editing that this week. No need in seeing me pour buckets of water for 20 minutes. :) You get the idea after 2-3 anyway. ;)

This week, I have to pour in a splash of bacteria daily to colonize the aquarium and its filter so that the tank can handle the wastes in the water once I add fish. Each day, you add a splash for 7 days, then add a few fish. Same thing the week after. After these two weeks, the micro ecology of the tank should be sufficient to handle the full load.

Here is a good sampling of the gouramis that I am planning to put in the tank. They are very colorful, pretty fish. Not very picky about what they eat and can mate fairly easy if it's not too crowded.

Kuroshio Sea - 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world

Planning my next aquarium project to be bigger than this: Kuroshio Sea - 2nd largest aquarium tank in the world. ROFL

7500m3 of water! Holy Moly!

BBC - MasterChef

I know there are a few cooking and kitchen related programs on TV these days. But I'm am baffled by Twitter storm related to BBC - MasterChef! O_o psych! It looks all right and original (how come BBC keeps coming up with these amazing good ideas?!) and the things the amateur chefs have to do are simply astonishing, James! Totally stupendous! Wonder if RTL/SBS/NET will license it here in Holland. ;)

update: hype is over the Australian version

2nd annual World Photo Walk

Damn, I missed the 2nd Annual world photo walk here in The Hague. :( Would have been cool and great to meet some new interesting people. Bummer, what's her face!

aquarium assembly

Shot of my 100 gallon tank om the table. Just put in the background. Now that has to dry 24 hrs before i can put it in place. Then i'll put in a nutrients, sand and the water. Hook up the filter and add chemicals and bacteria to seed the culture needed for when i add fish around this time next week. So there you have it!

Update: the photos on smugmug

Time Tracking

Find yourself doing a gazillion things a day but in the end you don't remember what you did? Always too little time to do what you need to do, but more than enough time to do what you like to do? Problems concentrating and focusing because you are easily distracted by the dozens of things buzzing by you(r head) each day?

Read the article Why I do Time Tracking by a guy in India and how it gave him enough insight in himself to solve all these issues. Great read!

Android Live CD

If you're interested in Google's Android OS (aimed at phones and netbooks), you should checkout Android Live. It's an ISO that will give you a LiveCD with the smartphone OS that Google is making.

Chrome OS, a sort of competitor to Android is something different and as of yet I'm not clear on how Google sees these two similar operating systems.

CMU: Snakebots

Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh (CMU) has been working on some creepy, sneaky but way cool Snakebots and have a video to demonstrate how it can be used:

Tara born

My good friends Arjen and Isa have become the proud parents of a baby girl Tara on Tuesday. :) She's exhausted and he's still dazed. :)

Mamiya announces M18, M22 and M31 digital backs

DPReview reports that Mamiya has made three new digital backs for their medium-sized housings. The M18, M22 and M31 digital backs are based on 18MP, 22.1MP and 31.6MP sensors respectively, and incorporate 2.2" LCDs featuring a Live Preview mode. The M series digital backs have all been designed for compatibility with Mamiya's 645AFDIII. Not sure if owners of older second-hand 645 bodies can use these backs, but somehow I doubt it. Too bad.

Google Chrome OS

Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google Chrome OS says "Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds."

Google Chrome OS, Chrome itself and Google Wave... hmmm, I'm starting to see a pattern develop. anyone?

Photos Sjoerd and Mirel

I'm going through 450 photos right now, selecting and editing them so that I can turn them into a bridal book of the whole weekend. So this will take a little while.
Until then, I've published unique pictures that I'm sure no one has: the groom getting ready. Enjoy!

Sony Ericsson Android phone leaked pictures

T3 has some details on Sony Ericsson's latest Android phone codenamed "Rachael". Based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, the hardware looks decent. 1 GHz CPU, 600 MHz DSP, Wifi, bluetooth, 720p video, WXGA display support, up to 12 Mpx digicams and a whole slew of audio/video codecs. Even DVB-H (video calls, TV on your mobile) can be included. And... Linux is support too. ;)

To me it's the first decently styled Android out there, something Sony was always pretty good at. It may even become my first Sony phone. ;)

Viggo born

Antonique had a baby boy today: Viggo. Strange name. I found a Danish actor with the same name.

Ant mega-colony takes over world

BBC reports on findings that ants from a European, US and Japanese colony recognize each other as relatives somehow and don't fight. That means that an Ant mega-colony takes over world as the single largest organized and recognized structure. Because, face it, we humans do fight each other ;)

WordPress Themes Tutorial

WordPress Themes Tutorial is an elaborate 12 part tutorial on how to make your own WordPress theme. While not hard, it is not trivial either, especially for those how have never seen PHP and how framework like WordPress work.