+1, Like and Flattr

After some mental back-and-forth I have finally decided to add a Google +1 button, a Facebook Like button, and a Flattr button to this blog.

You can see them in the right hand sidebar, and they look like this:




flattr this!

The arguments for (that finally got me) are quite simple: I wouldn’t mind more traffic to the site, and if someone out there finds the text and content I produce interesting enough to find it worthy of a donation, that would be fun too.
I don’t expect to become rich off the Flattr thing (I’m actually quite curious if any donations will be made at all…). I am also very interested in seeing if the two social-media-website-buttons will actually bring any (new) traffic my way, or if they are just a wast of space and pixels.

The arguments against are these:Alex Zanardi's Williams Formula 1 car, the FW21, on Fleet Street by Ben Sutherland, on Flickr

  1. I feel they make the site look cheap. This blog is not a formula-1 racing car, and as such should not have stickers from sponsors and similar pasted all over it. To be honest, that is my primary argument against. So, deep down, it comes down to my own vanity (on my blog’s behalf).
  2. The second thing is privacy of my viewers. Although browsing the internet anonymously this day in age requires the user to take many precautions (like using Tor or similar), I still feel that the average user should be able to visit my blog, without Google, Facebook or Flattr knowing about it. With the current buttons (on this site, and any other site that has them) Google, Facebook and Flattr will receive information about each and every visit to this blog. Furthermore, if the user is logged in to any of those services, those companies will have the user info connected to the particular visit. But since it happens everywhere else, I figure it’s cool here as well.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the use of these (and similar social media buttons) in the comments below.

Photo by: Ben Sutherland

The two greatest things about Google+

I have been looking around Google+ the last few days and it seems nice. The interface is intuitive, the Android app works fine, and the idea of putting your friends and acquaintances in circles to sort them by your relationship with them is (while not a new concept) clever.
In general I like most of the Google services and this one has that google feel that makes your average google fanboy (like me) feel good using it.

There is really no reason to pretend that Google+ is not taking on Facebook (I think Google themselves are the only ones claiming that it does something different from what Facebook does), so a comparison is straight forward.
On both systems I can stay in touch and share with people I know. That is basically it, and both systems do this. Who does it best isn’t really that important. As with all social networking tools, what matters most is if the people I want to socialize with are using the system.

So, is there any reason to believe that Facebook and/or Google+ is going to be the last social network I’m going to sigh up with? Properly not.

So as a user, I’m really interested in being able to migrate my data  (content, connections, personal info) easily from one network to the next.
And that is the first great feature of Google+. Getting your data out is easy – there is a menu option under Account Settings called Data liberation. It let’s you export your data nice and easy. (See the screen shots to your right.)

The other great thing is the option to delete your account. Facebook has been infamous exactly because this is so hard to do with Facebook accounts. First you have to go through the process of deactivating your account, and only then can you request it to be deleted. But Google is presenting this option one click from my Google+ frontpage.

These two features of Google+ is, in my mind, helping people understand that they are free to leave any social media site, and if they can’t bring their data with them, it’s not really the right place to be to begin with.


But I may be wrong. In the end, the most popular site is properly going to be the one with most kittens


Kittens! by jameswragg

Blog movingday

For quite some time I have wanted to move my blog from my compadre.dk domain.

 

Getting the new domain (soerenbredlundcaspersen.dk) was quite easy, and I did that long time ago, but getting around the technical stuff took a bit more time. Setting up a new blog was no problem with WordPress. What took me some time (but now that I know how to do it shouldn’t have taken more that a few minutes) was moving all the old posts over through the wordpress export and import tools and setting up a redirect from the old blog.

 

So, hopefully I have now managed to transfer all the content from the old domain, set up a redirect that catches all old posts. Additionally I have changed the theme of the blog, from the very brightly coloured Greenery theme to the more low key Titan Theme. Hopefully this change won’t represent a general change from less colour full content on the blog, but I felt now might be as good a time as any to make a change.

 

On a more technical note, although the redirects should take care of any issues, feel free to update any links and change rss feeds from pointing to http://compadre.dk/blog/ to http://soerenbredlundcaspersen.dk/. All underlying link structure should have been moved along – but if you do notice dead links or other odd behaviour, feel free to let me know.

 

In case you wonder, this is actually the second time the blog is moving. First time was when I moved from Livejournal to a wordpress install on my own domain.

Is Google+ going to take out Facebook?

So, what is Google+?

That was the question that struck me today while reading xkcd.
It would seem that Google is trying their hands at a full scale social network.

They have tried and failed not quite succeeded in the past. Google is fantastic at seaching, presenting information and seraching and processing your own data.
Their social services have been less successful.
Google Buzz never really took off, and their collaborative tool, Google Wave is now being killed off (at least as a Google service).

But maybe this time they will succeed. The central difference between Facebook and Google+ seems to be what Google describes as circles. Basically you have to sort your contacts. This ensures that things you just want to share with a select few of your contacts doesn’t reach the eyes of all your contacts. The obvious example being the pictures from last night that you may want to share with your close friends, but maybe not with your boss.
Facebook does have something like this implemented (they call it lists), but it is far from intuitive to use.

Another strength that Google has in the coming struggle with Facebook is their track-record. Google has a motto of don’t be evil. Facebook has with their actions time and time again showed that they in fact don’t care about the privacy of their users.

From my point of view, anything else than Facebook can almost only be better. However, that it will be up to everyone to make up their own mind on this matter. The problem with social media is that what really matters is if the people you want to interact with are using your network of choice or not. Not much fun sharing funny stories only with your self…

One issue that Google+ won’t be tackling, in regard to privacy, is the fact that all the data will be located on Google’s servers. Being an American company, that means that quite a lot of law enforcement agencies will have access to the data – and they don’t have to inform the people whose data gets handed over.

In the long run I hope to get all my social media needs fulfilled by some sort of distributed system, where I at least have the option to control my own data. When it matures out of the current testing status, Diaspora might be a candidate to provide this.
In the meantime I am very interested in seeing how well Google manages to implement their Google+ social network. As I stated above, from my point of view, anything is going to better than Facebook. The possible integration with other Google services, such as Picasa, also seems interesting.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

When a Starcraft 2 ranking algorithm goes drinking

Today features a guest blog-post by my good friend Søren Houen about one of our experiences while playing StarCraft 2.

Myself and the owner of this blog, Søren C, play Starcraft together. A lot. Recently, we have improved our game severely, and started ranking against better and better players. The secret to our recent success? Scouting.

While this success has registered with our egoes, and it damn well has, Blizzard ranking mechanism, however, has started a severe drinking binge.

It started quite innocently. While we are currently in Gold League, Rank 13, every time it says “Even Teams”, we find ourself head to head with two Platinum players. Matches we have begun winning more and more often, I might, proudly add.

However, recently, the ranking algorithms alcoholic exploits took on a sinister turn. We were thrown into a match in which we were favored. We lost the match. Not by a lot, but certainly by enough. The defeat screen is at the top.

Okay, we lost a match in which we were Favored. It hurt our ranking, and we move on. However, if you consider the players, I think it is hardly fair:

Holy Zergling! Two players in 1v1 Diamond, and Master. MASTER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Telling two Gold 2v2 players that they’re favored against them is, while an incredible boon, like telling a crippled porcupine it’ll “Totally win for sure” when its facing off against a howitzer.

WTF Blizzard?

English… og dansk

To help readers who might only understad English (or Danish) I have now added two categories to this blog.

Read all posts in English here, (rss feed)
and read all posts in Danish here (rss feed).

(Some posts where both languages are used will be categorized as belonging to both categories.)

Som en service til mine læsere har jeg nu tilføjet to nye kategorier.

Læs alle blog-indlæg på dansk her, (rss feed)
og læs alle blogindlæg på engelsk her (rss feed).

(Nogen indlæg vil blive kategoriseret både som dansk og engelsk, hvis begge sprog benyttes.)

I’m moving to Greenland in one year

I have been thinking about moving abroad for quite some time, but I also like my work very much, so I don’t want to stop teaching.

Of course I could go somewhere and teach in English (my English is fair enough, and the mathematics and physics curriculum is pretty much the same everywhere), but I do feel strongly about my native mother tongue. It is after all the language that Hans Christian Andersen and my namesake Søren Kierkegaard wrote their wonderful works in.

So where (except maybe Bornholm) could I go and teach in Danish, but still feel like I had moved far?

The answer is so simple and elegant: Greenland.

The former Danish colony has a constant need for teachers at their gymnasiums and the nature is supposedly breathtaking. As you may know, I’m quite the out-doors kind of person!


Original photos by Kim Hansen, stitched by Noodle snacks (Based on) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I have never enjoyed cold weather, but the snow and low temperatures shouldn’t matter that much. As I understand it, it is only cold there for a few weeks in winter, and then you get pleasantly warmer weather, as the sun rises higher on the sky. After all, there is a reason it is called Greenland and not Whiteland. There does seem to be some other caveats, but I have been reading up on the issues and conditions of moving from Denmark and working at a gymnasium in Greenland. The Gymnasieskolen magazine has an interesting article on the topic and none of the issues seem like deal-breakers to me.
It seems alcohol is quite expensive, so it will be hard giving up drinking completely (or cutting down enough for it to not hurt my economy to much), but some of the other stuff, like expensive fruits and little or no daycare for children isn’t really relevant for me.

It will of course be hard to leave behind family and friends, but when I consider what chance of a lifetime this can be for me, it really is a no-brainer. I have of course spend a lot of time contemplating this decision lately, but today, April first 2011, I have finally made my decision. I will however stay in Copenhagen for one more year, both to finish my Pædagogikum (Dip.Ed) and to figure out what to do with my stuff. What to bring, what to store and what to trash, since moving stuff from Denmark to Greenland is quite expensive. I also have to figure out exactly how I will manage my living arrangements. But I’m quite excited about this opportunity, and convinced that the practical stuff will work it self out over the coming year.

Vector

Der er 2-3 forskellige måder jeg kan skrive denne blog-post på, og jeg har endnu ikke helt bestemt mig for hvordan jeg egentlig vil gribe den an… formidling kan være en bitch og det kan være indlæget ender med at blive lidt stream of consciousness-agtigt. Så er du advaret.

Vi (det vil sige jeg) starter med at være bitre!

Jeg har set Grusomme mig. Jeg så den på originalsproget (engelsk) – og var ganske underholdt. Jeg følte godt at man kunne have dyrket Gru’s små gule væsener mere og fået flere sjove scener ud af dem, men ellers morede jeg mig fint. Det var dog ikke de små gule væsener der gjorde mig bitter…

Ved et tilfælde kom dvd’en (eller var det en Blue Ray?) til at køre i baggrunden med dansk tale på et tidspunkt, mens jeg lavede noget andet. Det var her jeg blev bitter!

Men før vi begge bliver bitre (for jeg er overbevist om at du, kære læser, vil blive bitter med mig, lige om lidt), så lad os se et klip fra den engelske udgave og tage et kig på Wikipedia.


vector-en

Her introducerer Vector sig selv og har styr på matematikken. En Vector er nemlig et matematisk objekt, repræsenteret ved direction and magnitude. Derfor giver det fint mening, at han har valgt det navn, fordi han begår kriminalitet med både direction and magnetude (oh yeah!).

Betragt så den samme scene på dansk. (OG DET ER NU VI BLIVER BITRE!)


vector-da

Du hørte det godt, ik’? Retning og dimension! Er det ikke bare en rar bitterhed, som brænder i dig nu?!?

For lige at få helt styr på matematikken, også på dansk, så betragt den danske Wikipedia artikel om vektorer. En vektor … er karakteriseret ved … en størrelse og en retning.

Størrelse og retning! Ikke retning og dimension.

man gjorde en matematiklærer fortræd… og han blev både ked og bitter.

Men hvordan kan sådanne fejl opstå? Det er vel ikke umuligt for oversætterne at gribe ud efter en ordbog (eller nogle af de mange muligheder der findes på nettet) og lige tjekke betydningen af magnitude. Det kan sagtens være at oversætterne har haft travlt og så har dimension måske lydt godt nok? Man skal aldrig antage ond vilje, hvor forklaringen lige så vel kan være manglende evner..

Men kunne man forestille sig at oversætteren simpelthen har været ligeglad med at være matematisk korrekt? Er dette et udtryk for at matematik (og naturvidenskab generelt) bliver opfattet som svært og det rigtig mange steder er helt legitimt, hvis man ikke engang gider forsøge at gøre det rigtigt?

Når den holdning breder sig, så bliver det i orden at give op på at forstå hvad det handler om, og så ender man med en eller anden oversætter, som roder rundt i vektor-begrebet… og det er jo ikke svært…

… for de kan åbenbart godt på norsk:


vector-no

Lige for at skære det ud i pap. En vektor er en pil. Det som kendetegner en vektor er at den har en retning og en længde (størrelse).

… og gå så ud og nyd det gode vejr!