Archive for the 'Science' Category

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The way we speak now – the development of English

The way we speak now – the development of English


The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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Dan Pink at theRSA

Cost of Education

An article at Mashable  “In the Future, the Cost of Education will be Zero” doesn’t bode well for institutes for higher education. Universities are a different matter, as higher education used to be free in Germany and still is in countries like Sweden – also top students in any country. In the long run, costs will naturally decrease, but I don’t see language teachers being replaced by videos anytime soon. Also, lower costs don’t mean the price will fall as well – especially in education, a high price tag signals quality. Many of the courses universities offer though could be replaced by open source and keep down overall costs – readings first and foremost. Also, education could be introduced to a broader spectrum of the population, but then again, a certain mindset is neccessary to watch an MIT Video lecture about Classic Mechanics instead of a mundane Big Brother episode at Youtube.

A commenter argues that “automatization can go only so far” – but logical essays i.e. can’t be evaluated by a machine. Nevertheless, PearsonVue is attempting exactly that with the new Pearson Test of English. If it’s technically feasible, I don’t see a problem evaluating other forms of academic production as well, verbal or written.

Still, I’ve had the opportunity to both experience face2face as well as online courses: The biggest advantage is direct intellectual exchange between students working on a case – not doable with today’s tools. Many textbooks are definitely going to be free in the future, it’s just a long way. Education is certainly going to get cheaper – but as long as teachers need to be paid and class rooms needed for social interaction, institutes for higher education are not going to be able to offer completely free courses.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome arrived – the second browser war, if it hadn’t already started with the emergence and success of Firefox, has now officially begun. I think Google Chrome is rather a huge social experiment than a browser – what’s more important, your privacy or the (second) best browser?

Reading CNET’s 10 Things we’d like to see in Google Chrome, I already know what I’d like to see in it but won’t ever be part of the software… a decent Adblocker.


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Oliver Sacks Is Back

Oliver Sacks is back – one of my favorite authors interviewed by wired magazine


What Terrorists Want

What Terrorists Want and how to beat them: a lesson from history.


10th Dimension

Something to wrap your brain around, if you have ten minutes.

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What Happens To Your Body If You Stop Smoking Right Now?

What Happens To Your Body If You Stop Smoking Right Now?


Chaos Computer Club: Election-Rig-O-Mat

Chaos Computer Club: Election-Rig-O-Mat: Nothing easier than a landslide win


Wireless Power Transfer

Wireless power transfer – nothing worse than cable spaghetti!


Camera Flash Be Gone

camera flash be gone!


Hubble Photos

Several breath-taking Hubble photos.


Where Are All the Open Source Billionaires?

Where Are All the Open Source Billionaires? is a great article about open source and a Linux distro timeline showing the development over 16 years.


Düsseldorf Goes WiMAX

Düsseldorf is one of about a dozen cities worldwide that build up a WiMAX network. There’s a public presentation on the 25th:

Standortvorteil Regionale Funknetze -WiMAX und die Digitale Stadt der Zukunft
25. Januar 2006, 12:00 – 16:30 Uhr
Rathaus der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
Marktplatz 2, 40213 Düsseldorf

If you want to join the event, send in your registration within the next two days.

state capital Düsseldorf – WiMAX-Event in Düsseldorf’s city hall