Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
When I travel, I like to be done traveling as fast as possible. I don't want to spend a lot of time 'on the road'. So what do you do these days? Indeed you fly. Flying is the quickest way to get somewhere... Well, if your destination has an airport... And if there is an airport at your origin... And if there is a carrier flying from your origin to your destination. I happen to be so lucky to live in a place nearby an airport—a big airport (well, Europe's 5th largest). Big airports tend to serve many different carriers, and different carriers tend to fly to different places. So I am in de fortunate circumstance to be able change my destination according to where there is an airport and a carrier flying from my home town to that airport. So in principle, I can fly all over the world right from my own home town, and I get to see the worlds ... airports! (Fortunately I like cities very much, and airports tend to be near to cities, so I often get to see these cities when I fly there). But... flying is not cheap... and so I don't fly a lot... Actually I am flying more and more frequently these days (another advantage of doing science); I'm not nearly as frequent a flyer as E.J. is, but I'm making progress. And now it is becoming even easier (even if you're not in science!): recently Pier H opened at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which was opened especially for so called low-cost airline's! These low-cost airline's are cheap, cheap to the bones, cheap in every sense of the word... but they suffice, they do exactly what the tell you; they bring you from A to B—nothing more, nothing less. If only I wouldn't keep forgetting the names of those low cost carriers out there... To help remember, I compiled a short list of low-cost airlines flying from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to other interesting places in Europe
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I received the link below from Eric-Jan. It says:
"This is realy a tricky one! Are you able to find the three differences? It is said that only 5% is able to find them."
-----Original Message----- From: Eric-Jan Wagenmakers Sent: dinsdag 8 november 2005 13:11 To: Raoul Grasman Subject: FW: moeilijk
-----Original Message----- From: Sander Nieuwenhuis link Sent: dinsdag 8 november 2005 13:09 To: Eric-Jan Wagenmakers
Subject: moeilijkGood luck!
Dit is echt een lastige! Lukt het jou om de drie verschillen te vinden? Het schijnt dat maar 5% ze kan vinden.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
" By Mike Musgrove
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 19, 2005; Page D01
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it isn't. The pages coming out of your color printer may contain hidden information that could be used to track you down if you ever cross the U.S. government.
Last year, an article in PC World magazine pointed out that printouts from many color laser printers contained yellow dots scattered across the page, viewable only with a special kind of flashlight. The article quoted a senior researcher at Xerox Corp. as saying the dots contain information useful to law-enforcement authorities, a secret digital "license tag" for tracking down criminals.
The content of the coded information was supposed to be a secret, available only to agencies looking for counterfeiters who use color printers.
Now, the secret is out.
Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco consumer privacy group, said it had cracked the code used in a widely used line of Xerox printers, an invisible bar code of sorts that contains the serial number of the printer as well as the date and time a document was printed.
With the Xerox printers, the information appears as a pattern of yellow dots, each only a millimeter wide and visible only with a magnifying glass and a blue light.
The EFF said it has identified similar coding on pages printed from nearly every major printer manufacturer, including Hewlett-Packard Co., though its team has so far cracked the codes for only one type of Xerox printer.
The U.S. Secret Service acknowledged yesterday that the markings, which are not visible to the human eye, are there, but it played down the use for invading privacy.
"It's strictly a countermeasure to prevent illegal activity specific to counterfeiting," agency spokesman Eric Zahren said. "It's to protect our currency and to protect people's hard-earned money."
It's unclear whether the yellow-dot codes have ever been used to make an arrest. And no one would say how long the codes have been in use. But Seth Schoen, the EFF technologist who led the organization's research, said he had seen the coding on documents produced by printers that were at least 10 years old.
"It seems like someone in the government has managed to have a lot of influence in printing technology," he said.
Xerox spokesman Bill McKee confirmed the existence of the hidden codes, but he said the company was simply assisting an agency that asked for help. McKee said the program was part of a cooperation with government agencies, competing manufacturers and a "consortium of banks," but would not provide further details. HP said in a statement that it is involved in anti-counterfeiting measures and supports the cooperation between the printer industry and those who are working to reduce counterfeiting.
Schoen said that the existence of the encoded information could be a threat to people who live in repressive governments or those who have a legitimate need for privacy. It reminds him, he said, of a program the Soviet Union once had in place to record sample typewriter printouts in hopes of tracking the origins of underground, self-published literature.
"It's disturbing that something on this scale, with so many privacy implications, happened with such a tiny amount of publicity," Schoen said.
And it's not as if the information is encrypted in a highly secure fashion, Schoen said. The EFF spent months collecting samples from printers around the world and then handed them off to an intern, who came back with the results in about a week.
"We were able to break this code very rapidly," Schoen said."
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
The Sedof came only today -- two days after all the other tall ships arrived. It's famous because it is the world's longest sailing ship still in operation (127 meters long, if I'm well informed). It was German build in 1912 (if I remember correctly), but was taken as a war trophy by the Russians after the second world war. Frankly, I didn't find it as exciting as some of the other ships, but this picture was more or less sharp...
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
A career with one of the most disproportionate ratios of training to pay is that of academic research scientist.
A Ph.D. program and dissertation are requirements for the job, which can take between six and eight years to complete. (See correction.) Add to that several years in the postdoctoral phase of one's career to qualify for much coveted tenure-track positions.
During the postdoc phase, you are likely to teach, run a lab with experiments that require you to check in at all hours, publish research and write grants – for a salary that may not exceed $43,000.
The length of the postdoc career has doubled in the past 10 years, said Phil Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University. "It's taking longer and longer to get there. You can't start a family. It's really tough."
And it's made tougher still by the fact that in many disciplines, there aren't nearly as many tenure-track positions as there are candidates.
So, to those who earn their MBAs in two years and snag six-figure jobs soon after graduation, your jobs may be hard, but maybe not quite as hard as you think.
Correction: An earlier version of this story understated the number of years it takes to get a PhD in the sciences. CNN/Money regrets the error.