Yet another Eitan's blog

יום שני, נובמבר 28, 2005

Podcasting on the news.

The news of Channel 2 in Israel had a short piece on podcasting last Saturday. They featured a short introduction to the phenomenon, the TCast, a short talk with Izhar Ashdot, and a podcast "addict" (hmmm... sounds familiar to me :-) ). Podcasting will become mainstream sooner or later, and I'm glad to see it catching up in Israel too. We still have a lot of issues to solve here, though. The language (ahm) is a barier both on the content side and on the ways of promotion and distribution. And iTunes - which in other countries bring a lot of mainstream listeners - is not common in Israel at all.

יום שבת, נובמבר 26, 2005

World Community Grid - Home

For a long time I wanted to join a distributed computing project that I believe in more than SETI@home. Well... lets me fold proteins and search for a cure for AIDS. They even have a version for linux :). Looks like IBM did a fine job here.

יום ראשון, נובמבר 20, 2005

What are the chances???

Just tried this spanglish chat room someone recommended on 43things - a way to study Spanish. He was right. It is a neat way to practice the language. In the chat room, a Dutch girl started chatting with me (in Spanish, of course) - and apparently we've both been in Casa Argentina in Xela, Guatemala - more or less in the same time, possibly exactly in the same time. What a tiny twisted world :).

יום חמישי, נובמבר 03, 2005

Technorosh & Environmentalism

Each year we have this Technorosh contest in the Technion (where I study for my degree now). It's a contest of giving a creative, engineered solution for an invented problem. The problems till now were "Safely dropping an egg off a 9 storey building" or "Pouring wine to a glass from behind a pool and a slope". Creative, entertaining and quite useless as a problem on its own. (The enthusiasm around the contest is another story - this creates a great positive effect as I see it).
I have 2 problems with this:
1) The problem is fake. If so many people invest so much time, why not solve a real problem? Don't we have enough of them in our world around us?
2) The whole concept of a competition is counter productive. Instead of cooperating on finding a creative solution to a problem, use the collective mind and reach really high - the groups compete and reach solutions that are probably less than optimal from what they could have reached if they had cooperated.
The solutions?
1) Choose a real problem, like making the environmental footprint of the Technion's campus smaller. The solutions can save money in the short and long terms, serve as models for other places, and achieve a real impact in many aspects.
2) The prize will be 20% of the prooved cost reductions to the technion, and will be distributed between everybody - so people will be incouraged to cooperate in order to make the prize bigger, and get more money. The winners will take 10% of the prize, and the rest will be distributed between the rest of the groups.

Does this make any sense?
This looks to me more win-win in nature than the previouse Technorosh contests.
Oh well,

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