February 3, 2010
January 16, 2010
If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care
Great and funny video about the ridiculous state of IT in health care.
You might also be interested in posts about the sad state of electronic health care records in Germany and Where Are We And Where Should We Go With Electronic Health Records?
January 15, 2010
Public Health and Cybercrime: Facebook
A long while back (almost 3 years ago) I wrote about how fighting cybercrime is similar to public health and that - since much of the cost of having an infected computer is born by others - we need public action to incentivice (through monetary support or regulation) safer computers and particularly the use of virus scanners.
Not surprisingly no government has taken steps in this direction - but today Facebook is: once they see evidence of a user's computer being infected with a trojan or virus they will shut the user out and require him or her to run a (web) virus scan. They also offer free 6 months subscriptions to anti-virus software.
I'm not a fan of Facebook in general and some doubt whether it is right for Facebook to take this role - but its about time that the mainstream awakes to the the fact that a large portion of the cost of not protecting your computer is born by others - by large websites that are attacked and by the whole society that has to read all the SPAM and is affected by crimes depending on SPAM and by DDOS attacks.
Planet Scale Information Integration
My input for the public consultation for the EU 2020 strategy - not sure whether anyone reads these things, but I was bored and actually think that some of the ideas in the resulting text are quite innovative.
Humankind has stumbled almost accidentally on a way to globally integrate all knowledge into one interlinked network and thereby made it accessible everywhere to everyone. In the next 10 years we must safeguard, extend and build on this achievement. We should also use it as an example to tackle similarly challenging integration problems - creating integrated and interlinked models of entire enterprises, the state of the art in scientific communities and all the laws governing our societies.
The entire text (4 pages) - talking about topics ranging from copyright legislation to business rule management systems - is available here.
October 16, 2009
New German Government: Health Care should stay Offline
In other countries lots of money is spend on electronic health records and digitizing medicine because of the (imho well founded) believe, that in the long run this will enable massive cost savings and improvements in quality. Not so in Germany - here our new government just decided that the introduction of electronic health care records needs to be slowed down and needs to be reevaluated (because they are afraid that privacy cannot be guaranteed and because they want to save a few millions in the short run). Ah well, guess in 20 years Germany can then just buy a finished solution from some high tech country - after another 100,000 people have died from preventable drug side effects and drug interactions (only one of the things that could be tackled really well with electronic health records).
The Economist's Battle of the Clouds - Missing the Battlefield
This weeks Economist leads with a story about the battle of the clouds. The two articles (here and here) are - as usual - well worth a read. However, its kind of surprising that The Economist sees the battle of the clouds only in directly customer facing applications (such as Google Mail, MobileMe or the Facebook website) and as a three way battle between Google, Microsoft and Apple (no Amazon or Salesforce).
This is really a very restricted way to look at cloud computing; it misses the use of the cloud as a platform that is leveraged by other parties to create customer facing applications. The Economist then also fails to understand the breath of Microsoft's vision: Azure is the next operating systems and Microsoft imagines third party software vendors (that used to create Windows applications) to create Azure applications that are then executed in the Azure cloud. Microsoft will then directly profit from the sale and use of these third party applications (much more directly than they used to in the days of Windows).
Because of this restricted view on cloud computing The Economist then also misses the real battlefield in the battle of the clouds - i.e. the question which cloud will be the platform that third party developers will use to create their applications. Its telling that they fail to mention either Salesforce or Google's AppEngine - core contenders in this battle of the clouds.
October 10, 2009
Predicting the next 5000 Days on the Web
The talk is embedded below and accessible here http://blog.ted.com/2008/07/the_first_5000.php
August 24, 2009
The Global Immune System
Nevertheless I believe that the response to a possible pandemic will find its way into medicine history books as one of the great advances in medicine, listed alongside such glorious achievements as the first open heart surgery or the first kidney transplant. Why? Because it is the first time that humankind's global immune system - that giant network of doctors, scientists and pharmaceutical factories spanning the globe - could actually be fast enough to beat an novel infection before it really infects the globe. If we manage to vaccinate enough people that may actually stop Swine Flu; this new virus with the potential to infect billions of people may just disappear again without ever having infected more than a couple million.
That would be a splendid achievement indeed - and a rare bit of good news in a time of drug pipelines drying up, antibiotics loosing effectiveness and air-travel speeding up the spread of infectious diseases.
July 17, 2009
AI Mashup Challenge Deadline Extended
We have extended the deadline for the AI Mashup challenge at the KI 2009 conference until the 1st of August. So, there is still time for you to create a small mashup, join us for interesting discussions and your chance to win the 1500EUR main prize ...
The AI mashup challenge accepts mashups that use AI technology, including but not restricted to machine learning and data mining, machine vision, natural language processing, reasoning, ontologies and the semantic web.
You can read more about the challenge here.
June 9, 2009
Tool Support for Finding and Preventing Faults in Rule Bases
I just realized that I never actually published my PhD thesis to this blog. This of course is an negligence that needs to be corrected .. so, embedded below is the (German) summary presentation. I've made the actual (English) document available here.
June 4, 2009
The Immersive (Geo-) Web
I just have a sweet spot for technologies/tools that bring a new visual and immersive dimension to the web (see here for an earlier article). Hence I wanted to share a reference to 360cities - not that new, but a great way to immerse yourself into cities and places near and far. Have a look - embedded below you'll find a panorama of Venice. Hit full screen, note that controls at the bottom of the screen allow you to navigate to other panoramas close by and enjoy :)
S.Marco Tower in Venice
June 3, 2009
How To Wreck Your Living Room (or: The Future of Gaming Controllers)
Videos from Sony and Microsoft give a glimpse into the future of gaming (that seems set to be dominated by Wii inspired controllers that allow to use ever more body movements to control the game). If you have any interest in gaming at all, you'll enjoy the two videos below.
The first is the video from the demo of the Sony system which still relies on specially marked objects but seems to be extremely precise. The demo is really fun to watch. Sadly embedding is not allowed, but you can watch it on the bbc website.
The other is Microsoft's Project Natal, an extension for the XBox360 that seems to rely exclusively on image recognition (and voice and speech recognition) - no controllers (Microsoft tag line is "You are the controller"), no specially marked objects. This video is embedded below or here on YouTube.
The AI Mashup Challenge 2009
Always wanted to build a Mashup using AI Technology? Already have one? Why not participate in our AI-Mashup Challenge 2009, win up to 1500€, software or books and meet nice people.
Seriously, together with Brigitte and Pascal I'm organizing an AI Mashup challenge / camp that will be co-located with the KI 2009 (Germany's prime AI conference). Would be great if you wanted to join us - its sure going to be fun.
The deadline for submissions is the 15th of July - so you still have more than 6 weeks to build your Mashup!
You can read more about the contest here.
See you there!
Perspectives Of Strategic SO Research
An overview of current research topics in service orientation (SO) from a technology oriented point of view. The presentation also gives a glimpse of what we (the FZI and in particular the group of Professor Thai) are doing in this area of SO in particularly with respect to cloud computing.
I presented these slides at the SOA symposium of the BITKOM organization (a large German intra-trade organization in the IT sector). The other (often interesting but all German) slides from this event can be found here.