Archive for the 'Off-topic' Category

Proofreading: an Art and a Parable

Posted on August 14th, 2016 · Posted in Analysis and Opinion, Off-topic

Taking on the formidable Murphy These days I’m working part of my time as the editor of Coller Venture Review, the journal of the Coller Institute of Venture at Tel Aviv university. An interesting job, where I get to interact with interesting researchers and experts around the world who write interesting papers for this interesting publication. And then there’s the less interesting – yet vital – part of the job: making sure everything in the printed journal is perfect and error free. In other words, Quality Assurance, which in this domain is called proofreading. As an engineer I’ve learned very.. Read more

Insight Article: How to Leave the Cube Farm

Posted on June 19th, 2014 · Posted in Off-topic

The move from a stable corporate job to a self-employed new career is complex both practically and emotionally, and when seen from the comfort of a cubicle can seem forbidding indeed; yet I’ve taken that step five years ago – and what a fascinating adventure it’s been! I experimented in many directions, won some, lost some, and figured out how to create value and deliver it for the benefit of my clients. My recent insight article, How to Leave the Cube Farm and Go it Solo, shares some advice, caveats and observations from these five amazing years. If you plan.. Read more

Hanging on to our Technology

Posted on January 9th, 2014 · Posted in Off-topic

We often comment on how attached we’ve become to computing technology,  how we’ve made it play a central role in our life – like electricity, like fire, like stone tools in earlier eras. One way to think of it is how lost we’d be without the technology; but another is to consider how resolutely we refuse to have it taken from us. Last month I had a glimpse into that… This December we had a major snowstorm that caused massive infrastructure damage leaving my home without electrical power for a few days and without our telephone and internet lines for.. Read more

Better Place is gone, leaving our world a sadder place

Posted on May 27th, 2013 · Posted in Off-topic

Two years ago I made a hopeful off-topic post here upon sighting a parking lot with charging posts for Better Place’s novel electric vehicle system. I titled in “The future is here!”. Today I made another sighting – I went into a gas station I haven’t been to before, and there was the wondrous structure you see in the photo – a robotic battery swap station for Better Place’s cars. A few dozen of these stations are said to exist around Israel, but this was the first time I saw one. Alas, I was a day too late to rejoice. .. Read more

CAPTCHA: A Wonderful Adventure in Exhibition Space

Posted on April 7th, 2013 · Posted in Off-topic

Somehow my career has repeatedly led me into doing unexpected and wonderful things. One such piece of serendipity has been the role I landed at the Jerusalem Science Museum as the curator of an exhibition in honor of Alan Turing. This project took a year and half, and gave me the occasion to work with some amazing people at the museum, interact with many more from around the world, and learn so much about that tragic genius, Alan Turing, of which I wrote here before. Now we’re finally done, and the exhibition is open to the public. It wasn’t my.. Read more

Alan Turing’s Earthshaking Philosophical Insight

Posted on October 12th, 2012 · Posted in Off-topic

Being the curator of the Alan Turing Year exhibition at the Jerusalem Science Museum, I was invited to sit on a panel dedicated to Turing’s legacy at the ICON Science Fiction, Imagination and The Future festival in Tel Aviv. My talk there was well received, and touches on some interesting truths, so I decided to share its content here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have! Incidentally, Alan Turing’s life and work will be the basis of a new lecture I will be adding to my public speaking offerings. The subject is a fascinating one on so.. Read more

A marvelous knowledge capture application

Posted on March 25th, 2012 · Posted in Off-topic

I was at the annual conference of the Israeli Knowledge Management Forum and saw a presentation of a very neat tool, from one of the seemingly countless small startups we have in this country whose creativity never ceases to amaze. The company is Streamitup, and its product is a complete learning delivery solution based on capture of classroom lectures and their delivery to students on demand at a later time via computer. This in itself is nothing unusual; we see it on YouTube all the time – and it is usually as a fuzzy distance shot of the speaker and.. Read more

Hooray! Graffiti for Android!

Posted on March 12th, 2012 · Posted in Off-topic

Love my new Samsung Galaxy S2 – but typing on its touch keyboard is hardly my idea of fun. And the handwriting recognition that came on it reminds me of  the notorious Apple Newton. Oh, how I missed the Graffiti system on my old Palm Pilot! Graffiti was a stylus-based handwriting system that improved the recognition by replacing some of the harder-to-recognize letter forms with simplified versions, while keeping most characters to a single stroke.  You needed a bit of practice to master it, but this was a minor and worthwhile investment, because the system had excellence performance even on.. Read more

They’re taking over! (In a good way)

Posted on October 3rd, 2011 · Posted in Off-topic

So we’ve made the switch back from Daylight Saving Time yesterday at 2AM, and like every year I got up in the morning and made the round of the house to set all clocks, watches, computers and other devices one hour back. This is always a bore – there are so many time-aware contraptions in a typical home… But this time I noticed one new thing – about half of these contraptions did not need resetting. The computers changed their time on their own (seems trivial to you folks elsewhere, but in Israel the changeover date follows the Jewish calendar.. Read more

Tribute to a favorite bookseller

Posted on September 29th, 2011 · Posted in Off-topic

My recent trip to the US was a pleasure, except for one shock: I went to the nearest Borders bookstore, and discovered the bookseller chain had closed forever the preceding week. I do favor small independent bookstores, and have been worried about their tendency to disappear under pressure of the larger chains; still, I had to admit that Borders had a pleasant aspect that provided a bookworm with a delightful experience. Seeing it go under – one can surmise, due to the pressure of Internet-based alternatives and other shifts in information consumption habits of the 21st century – was profoundly.. Read more