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Archive for April, 2018

User “plexiform” writes: “start ’em young“. Well, the son of my friend M. is already in this situation: his toddler is mad about motorcycles!

(Click on the picture to see the original photo)

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Another BMW R1100S Image

More curvy roads, but no sun…

(Click on the picture to see the original photo)

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A couple of years ago on this blog, I started publishing links to a wide variety of photos picturing the BMW R1100S. That was the bike I owned at the time. While revisiting the forum websites where I found most of these pictures, it became clear to me that even in 2018 the R1100S owners still take pride in their machines. So I’ll continue to tell you about the new pictures I found.

Jeff Roof’s family & friends are very fond of
the R1100S (and its successor)

(Click on the picture to see the original photo)

Here’s the follow-up picture:

(Click on the picture to see the original photo… and more!)

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… And because it is quite a exploit to make this short but very beautiful movie.

Featuring Madeleine Graham, star of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and music from London Grammar, Corey’s film highlights the threats of climate change through stunning choreography against the spellbinding backdrop of the Antarctic.

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In Wired’s “It’s Time For An RSS Revival“, RSS gets a bit of love – some would say: “much needed love”. RSS isn’t a new web technology; its original version was published in 1999.

“The most amazing thing to me about RSS is that no one really went away from it,” says Wolf. “It still exists…”

Well, of course RSS still exists, and there are many websites, personal and commercial, that publish one or more RSS feeds. What purpose do these “feeds” serve?

If you have never used an RSS feed, you may not know what you’re missing. RSS stands for “RDF Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication“, but that does not explain much. An RSS feed will publish a list of “items”, each pointing to a webpage on the site publishing the feed. Details about the link may include a page title, a summary of the link’s content or the whole text, an audio attachment (think ‘podcast’), publication date, etc. Usually, these lists are used to publish the latest updates on a site. That’s how they allow you to use them to discover new opinions, news, updates to pages, etc. without having to go to each individual page. “Feed reader” software combines the RSS feeds of multiple feeds, thus giving you a single tool to discover news from multiple sites.

Such feed reader software is what I have used for more than a decade now, to keep up with the many news sources I like to consult. Combining multiple sources in a single tool on a mobile device (tablet of smart phone) was the first driver for my decision to go that way. The possibility to read those feeds even when you’re not even online was the second driver: indeed, once you have downloaded the feed, you do not need an internet connection to get your dose of news – and that was very handy in those days when mobile internet access was hard to get and expensive!

Even today, when I’m practically always online, I still prefer browsing “the news” through a feed reader. That allows me to bypass the homepages of sites filled with screaming titles and adverts, and use just the item titles to judge their value to me. I find this so much more compelling than surfing from website to website, that an RSS feed reader was the first mobile app that I paid for – I’m using Byline on iOS, and I love it!

I can only encourage you to try out a web-based RSS reader like Feedly if you want to discover what RSS is all about. Then go looking for the RSS icon on the sites you care about, and add those feeds to your Feedly account. When you decide to use a separate application or app to read your feeds, there’s plenty of choice – and more may be coming, if Wired’s talk of a revival comes through. And no, you don’t have to be tired of Facebook to start reading RSS feeds – just don’t be surprised when you discover that RSS feeds are more interesting than a stream of messages on one of the many social media…

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I like bamboo a lot when it comes to kitchen cutting boards: bamboo is much tougher than most wood for that use case. I also have a shirt made of bamboo fiber, and that works well on a hot summer day. And now an entrepreneur in the Philippines is using it in the construction of a motorcycle:

The Green Falcon is Banatti’s inaugural offering, an electric motorcycle boasting a bamboo body shell that, including the seat, speedo, and housing, weighs in at just 14.5 pounds which Lacson says is markedly less than what it would weigh if made of fiberglass.

You’ll find more details on the RideApart website! The look of the bike is unusual, just like the material.

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It’s all over the Internet: the Telegram messaging application will be banned in Russia. Censorship is never good news, so why am I happy about the news?

It’s simple: if even the russian secret services/hackers can’t break the Telegram encryption, then their protocol and encryption must be very good! That’s good news for Telegram users and privacy lovers all over the world (except Russia, of course). And that makes me a happy user of Telegram.

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Dave Winer writes:

Wait till the press figures out that Google knows everywhere you go. Not only on the web, but in the world.

Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.

African proverb. The photo is (c) W.Van daele.

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That’s not my title, it’s the conclusion of Dave Pell when he wrote about the Facebook affaire a few weeks ago. You can’t blame him for saying so, and he’s illuminating, serious and funny at the same time in “The Flight of the Zuckerberg“.

2. Facebook is constantly urging you to share your immediate thoughts and reactions to every life event. We were a couple days into the company’s biggest challenge before Facebook’s creator shared any of his thoughts on the matter. There’s probably a lesson in that…

11. You read the stories about Cambridge Analytica and you think, Damn, these guys are total geniuses who can control our minds. You watch the undercover video of the Cambridge Analytica execs and you think, Damn, these guys are seriously some clown-ass schmucks. Like always, believe what you see…

12. If Facebook really manipulates our thoughts, they must want us to be really pissed at Facebook…

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March 2018 was the darkest month of March since 2009, measured by the solar energy production of our panels. It was the darkest March by far, by the way, since a production of 133 KWh is far below the previous minimum of March 2013. It’s just 87% of that minimum, and more than 20% less than last year – those numbers cannot be explained by the diminishing efficiency of the panels.

We don’t need a blue sky from dusk till dawn; we don’t mind a few clouds or a bit of rain. But more sun would be welcome, and not just for our panels (I’m not too good making photos with artificial light).

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I did not write this up, and Dave Pell just contrasted what a few notable Americans said about freedom of speech and its importance in a democracy. And then he added a few tweets by you-know-who. Check it all out on Dave’s blog:

Click the image to go to Dave Pell’s post

How long before Trump believes that a new Cold War will halt global warming? Sorry, I know: April foolery is supposed to be funny…

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