Archive for July, 2006


Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

The Guardian: Gavyn Davies does the maths — How a statistical formula won the war

The statisticians had one key piece of information, which was the serial numbers on captured mark V tanks. The statisticians believed that the Germans, being Germans, had logically numbered their tanks in the order in which they were produced. And this deduction turned out to be right. It was enough to enable them to make an estimate of the total number of tanks that had been produced up to any given moment.

Via Bloggbox: Mit Mathematik Kriege gewinnen


Saturday, July 15th, 2006

The designers of the Arkansas
Were inspired to choose a form that was
The exact dimensions and the shape
Of the state whose name she bore.

Yes, the ship was shaped like Arkansas,
And the hull was formed without a flaw.
Every detail had been reproduced
On a scale of one to one.

I was on the coast of Arkansas
When I saw her colors from the shore,
And I sadly waved my handkerchief
As the ship began to sing:

“I’m the ship that’s shaped like Arkansas
And my hull was formed without a flaw.
Every detail has been reproduced
On a scale of one to one.

“Avast, me hearties!
Ahoy, me state!
Ahoy, there! Avast, there!
Ahoy, there, me hearties!”

When the rising tide engulfs the shore
And the waves roll over Arkansas,
Will the ship return to anchor there
And replace the sunken state?

For the ship was shaped like Arkansas,
And the hull was formed without a flaw.
Every detail had been reproduced
On a scale of one to one.

Music and lyrics by John Linnell (from the album State Songs)

A whole lotta Web Monday: Berlin, Munich, Bremen, Leipzig, Bielefeld

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Coming this Monday, July 17 to a town near you (if you’re in Germany, at least):

  • Berlin — 20 people (no agenda yet)
  • Munich — 7 people (structured blogging, MediaWiki wiki engine)
  • Bremen — 50+ people (social bookmarking, microformats, accessibility)
  • Leipzig — 1 person (no agenda yet)
  • Bielefeld — 5 people (no agenda yet)

Looks like it will be mostly small groups this time around, with the exception of Bremen, the newest addition to the list of now twelve cities.

Update (07/16): The Leipzig meeting has been moved out one week to July 24.

Germany 3, Portugal 1

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

Germany made third place, playing Portugal in yet another game that was fun to watch. It’s been a great ten days here in Germany with what surely must have been one of the finest world cup events in recent years. The atmosphere was incredible, and hopefully some of it will carry over.

At Cologne airport, headed for Newark, waiting for boarding to complete.

Web Monday Cologne follow-up: Citizen Think Tank

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

I’ve posted the slides to my presentation at Web Monday Cologne: Citizen Think Tank (HTML). A little more background information can be found on the Web Monday wiki: Citizen Think Tank.

For anyone who was not present at Monday’s meeting, please note that these are little more than idea fragments and should be viewed as such. I hope to work out some of the concepts in more detail over the coming weeks.

That said, feel free to contact me if you are working on similar projects or want to give feedback. I will be happy to hear from you.

Germany 0, Italy 2

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

They say that in order to beat a team like Italy one must score a goal at some point. Germany didn’t. And lost. Still a good game, though. And a great effort on both sides. It’s been fun watching the young German team play soccer.

Three more games in this tournament. Germany will play the loser of Portugal vs. France on Saturday for third place. See you again at the Euro 2008 in Austria/Switzerland and at the next Worldcup 2010 in South Africa.

Mnemomap is live

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

Mnemomap launched in alpha today: mnemo - beyond searching

mnemomap is a new way to search the internet. It combines technologies of social networking, search engines and other data sources to help you formulate search queries and find really relevant information.

Today’s search engines have some common flaws: Though easy to use, they hardly deliver any concept to assist the user in finding relevant information. They are somewhat straight-forward: give a word, get a list.

mnemomap can do better: in an interactive way it helps the user to refine search queries by providing alternative or additional search parameters on-the-fly. By providing tags, translations and many other data sources to find words it helps formulating a search query that delivers better results. And finally: it show live search results. You won’t have to wonder whether you’re using the right words in queries. The live feedback enables you to see it realtime!

Tim will present Mnemo at Web Monday Cologne tonight.

Germany 5, Argentina 3

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

Closest game so far. Now Italy on Tuesday.