Category Archives: Day to Day

Day to day finds and observations, not presented at the front page.

Week Notes #6

A regular week the past 7 days.

  • Open data work for the Province of Overijssel, with a open data working group meeting and writing a preliminary report for the programme board.
  • Meeting with the Frisian open data working group, sketching the path to the new publication moment at the end of March, to extend what’s available on the Frisian open data platform
  • A good Techsolidarity meet-up in Utrecht, discussing the new EU privacy rules GDPR, and how to do that by design.
  • A session with the Province South-Holland open data team discussing how to build an effective data inventory this spring
  • Welcoming our new intern Jan, who will work on data ethics, and our new colleague LouLou, who will assist in one of our projects
  • Met up with an old university friend I haven’t met since about 20 years
  • Acquired two VHF/UHF transmitters, now that I’ve reactivated my old ham radio license (PE1NOR)
  • Dropped off my ‘Measure your city‘ sensor kit for repair, after the wind blew it out of a tree

Star Man Live

Yes, it is the folly of man, or rather Elon Musk, and can be seen as a hubris filled PR stunt: launching a Tesla Roadster into space just because. But is a good upgrade from the wheel of cheese he launched in 2010, and it sure beats lumping blocks of concrete into orbit to see if a rocket works as planned. Landing 2 boosters to be re-used is no mean feat either even if the core engine missed its landing site and crashed, nor is reducing the cost of a launch 10-fold. The successful test launch of this Falcon Heavy shows Space X is more than serious about pushing development forward. Having fun by hurling a car into space is just the cherry, not the cake.

The resulting live video footage of the empty space suit behind the wheel with our blue ball circling in the background is pure fun. Topped off by a Don’t Panic message on the dashboard. I only hope Star Man that as rumour has it indeed brought a towel for the next leg of the trip in the general direction of Mars and then ever onwards.

Week Notes #5

This week didn’t feel very productive. Lots of various stuff to think about, meant I did less focus work. Some of the things this week I did spend time on.

  • Open data work for the Province of Overijssel, meeting some departmental heads
  • Had a preparatory meeting for upcoming work in Serbia for the UNDP early March, and wrote a first draft for how to approach it
  • Provided feedback on a project proposal for an open data readiness assessment by the Palestinian NGO Leaders.
  • Made a first draft for a planned talk at the Open Belgium 2018 Conference
  • Discussed a potential project in Georgia
  • Made a short video on using data sharing and open data as a way to find out things you don’t know yet about your core client group, as part of a proposal for project in health care.
  • Activated a Things Network gateway, and reached out to the local community group to get more involved

Week Notes #4

Some of the things this week I spent time on.

  • Meeting with the Open Data Working Group of the Province of Overijssel
  • Discussing training civil servants for an open data readiness assessment with the Palestinian NGO Leaders.
  • Saw two speaking proposals accepted for the Open Belgium 2018 Conference
  • Meeting with a group of entrepreneurs within Mensa
  • Finished Q4 2017 VAT bookkeeping for my companies
  • Finished and submitted a report for the European Commission evaluating the impact and potential of the PSI Directive in the Netherlands
  • Discussed the 2018 plans and opportunities with my The Green Land partner Frank
  • Received the Things Network hardware, and unsuccessfully tried to run up a Cat6 cable to the attic space

Change Ninjas Redux

Eight years ago our friend Henriette Weber presented us with one of her annual Change Ninja awards. She gave them to people in her network that were advocating change. From a small army of even smaller Ninjas both Elmine and myself got to choose a color (me green, E purple) and a weapon (sword or throwing star), and we received our 2cm polymer clay ninjas I think in May 2010 when Henriette joined us for the Work on Stuff that Matters (WSTM10) unconference in our home in Enschede.

In our new home in Amersfoort we have an attic space that is our studio for DIY and tinkering projects, which has two additional desks. We wanted something big and colorful on the wall. Elmine took the two little ninjas that in Enschede lived on our office desks for years, carefully made a series of macro photos with moss grabbed from the roof terrace, and then had them printed on 100×70 format.

So now we have two life size change ninjas watching our backs in our tinkering space.

Week Notes #3

This was the first full regular week of this year. Although I worked on many different things, all in all it was mostly an unhurried week, except for an evening sprint to finish up a report. Some of the things filling up this week:

  • Several discussions with departmental heads at the Province Overijssel to make open data relevant to existing policy goals
  • Planning an in-depth session with a nature and environment department along the same lines as the previous point
  • A session with the Frisian open data working group to create the year plan for extending their regional open data platform
  • Hired an intern to research ethical aspects of data governance and emergent data technologies
  • Doing Q4 2017 VAT bookkeeping for my companies
  • Wrote a report for the European Commission evaluating the impact of the PSI Directive in the Netherlands

On ‘Monetizing My Page’

A fresh wave of spam comments is being received by my WordPress install, since I started blogging a bit more again. A recurring message is “I noticed you currently don’t monetize your page”, and then inviting me into scammy SEO services. It strikes me that I actually do monetize ‘my page’, as it builds history and reputation, lands me speaking gigs, and in various instances helps convince consultancy clients to commit. I just don’t do ads. Those spam comments showcase exactly what is wrong with the web, it feels to me, by assuming just that one business model. The content is the purpose not a means, the ‘page’ is a means not a purpose.

Spam #Spam Ham
The Spam versus Ham perspectives on a blog’s purpose

Bank Fraud Detection

My bank on the phone.

Bank: you recently made an international payment.

Me: yes, which one?

Bank: the one to [organisation name] in Belgium.

Me: yes, that’s correct.

Bank: we haven’t made the payment yet, as the intended recipient’s description contains a term that is on our sanctions list.

Me: ????, which term?

Bank: asbl

Me: you mean the official french abbreviation for a non-profit association?

Bank: oh, ok, in that case we’ll proceed with the transfer.

Me: yes, please do.

You’d think that they would have a list of official abbreviations for various EU legal entities to avoid false positives….or have the capacity to google it.

Reducing Facebook Use Increases Blogging Frequency

Spending less time posting to Facebook has positive impact on my blog. 8 thusfar in January 2018, which is equal to the first 9 months of 2017. I wrote 28 posts in Q4 2017 versus those 8 in the first 9 months of 2017.