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General

Baking Schoggi-Weggli

I am making Schoggi-Weggli based on this recipe

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recipe

Experimental Sunday

This bucket chemist made Rüeblitorte based on this Betty Bossi recipe.

English translation via Google Translate (which can now process .pdfs).

Recipe Betty Bossi From “Back Buch”, 2001 © Betty Bossi Verlag AG www.bettybossi.ch

Carrot cake
5 egg yolks
250 g sugar stir until foamy
250 g carrots, grated
250 g almonds, grated
1 lemon, add juice and peel
80 g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 egg whites, beaten until stiff
1 pinch of salt
Put in well-greased, floured springform pan (Ø 24 cm).
Bake at low heat (180 ° C) for about 50 minutes.
Allow to cool.

After garnish as desired with lemon or cherry glaze and marzipan carrots. Lemon glaze: 250g icing sugar 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice.
Cherry glaze: 250g icing sugar 1 tablespoon water 1-2 tablespoons kirsch.

Pics to follow.

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General

Bicycle snapshot

auf zwei rädern bleibt man jung

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General

Apache Wave and Walkaround

In my inbox:

“If you would like to continue using Wave, there are a number of open source projects, including Apache Wave. There is also an open source project called Walkaround that includes an experimental feature that lets you import all your Waves from Google.”

http://incubator.apache.org/wave/

http://code.google.com/p/walkaround/

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General Photos

Three snapshots

near basel sbb

peeking thru the window

garage t. inglese

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General

Chrome apps

I am trying out a couple of new Chrome apps:

chrome apps

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General

DLF for the win

I have always been a radio junkie. Listening to news and current affairs.

Favorite radio stations include BBC World Service, NPR.

Started listening to Deutschlandfunk. I like the detailed news hour coverage.

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flickr Photos

Tomato photos

tomatoes from the bio-market

i made Risotto today...

dopo...

tomaten

tomaten tomatoes pomodori

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General

About the longevity of crazy, futile ideas

Many social media centuries ago, 2 bloggers started collecting photos of Nutella alternatives. It was just a fun idea on the sidelines. Started, while we were talking about Nutella culture and regional variants in Italy, Israel, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany.

Well, we’re still collecting.

Many thanks to all contributors.

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General

Recommend for “Photography calling”, Sprengel Museum, Hannover

I saw the photography show “Photography calling” at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover yesterday.

It is really diverse showing the work of 31 different photographers. Inspiring.

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General

Some free time

Postponed my day trip to the mountains. Cos of rain. The weather is improving this afternoon….

Some free time to clean and sort and catch up with things. And unbox some of those remaining moving boxes.

I am trying very hard not to read work-related emails on my Blackberry.

I am watching the news. Following tweets. Reading lots of news articles.

Like this one:

Der Finanzsektor befindet sich in der Lage, grenzenlos bis zu jenem Punkt wachsen zu können, an welchem er schließlich die Realwirtschaft völlig ausgeblutet hat.

or this one

That’s because, unlike a political campaign designed to get some person in office and then close up shop (as in the election of Obama), this is not a movement with a traditional narrative arc. As the product of the decentralized networked-era culture, it is less about victory than sustainability. It is not about one-pointedness, but inclusion and groping toward consensus. It is not like a book; it is like the Internet.

I went to see Le Havre by Aki Kaurismäki last week. Enjoyed it. Every angle is carefully planned. The plot is simple. A fairy tale. But very fitting, in this day and age where our governments are discussing how to save banks rather than helping people find jobs, education, or affordable health care.

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General

Random notes

der tunnelblick

Cos my bike was in for repairs, I took the tram today. Leaving the Basel SBB tram station, there’s a taped announcement welcoming passengers to Basel in English and in German. This evening, it was different: The announcement was spoken live, in a jovial mood, and in 6 languages, including Spanish and Turkish. And the tram driver adapted the text calling Basel: the golden city. So funny. Everybody on the tram was laughing.

On Sunday I cycled all 60 km of the Slowup route. In the morning, the weather was rainy and cold. Which meant most people stayed home and drank hot cocoa. Not me.

Es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur schlechte Kleidung

I put on several layers of bike clothes and rain gear. And was rewarded with a dry afternoon and empty roads.

slowup dreiland - basel region

Projects

I am trying to select a few of my best photos to print as posters. Not finding it easy at all. The idea is to decorate my home with my own artwork. A la Etsy. Any tips where I can get high quality posters printed in the Basel area? I haven’t decided on the format sizes yet. I need to edit more. And upload less. But then again, my Flickr stream is a documentation project. I love everyday scenes.

I am working on a small Drupal 7 website project in my spare time. I learnt a lot. Drupal is fun. And it is good to set yourself a project to learn more about a software package.

Changes I’ve noticed in my online behaviour

Over the past months, I have started watching more TV via computer then via TV. Many German TV stations offer a so-called “Mediathek”. I enjoy viewing TV reports according to my own schedule. Video-on-demand. At last. 13 years later than when I first heard about the term at the micro-electronics company that I worked for.

In general, we’re using the technologies invented 10 years ago.

Between you and me, the brand new Facebook Subscribe function reminds me of RSS. But as described in this article, this is one of Facebook’s strengths. It doesn’t re-invent, it re-uses functions.

I haven’t been using Google+ much (yet). What is your experience? Tips?
I am suffering from social media network fatigue. My favorite sites are – by far – Flickr and Twitter. Flickr for the photos (browsing Flickr is an activity I can do half-asleep) and Twitter for the unfiltered, global news. I check Facebook regularly for work reasons.

But Dave Winer’s warning about the closed data silos is ringing in my ears. Some Twitter third party apps are unusable due to API restrictions. And many app developers are discouraged by Twitter’s recent feature additions and app acquisitions.

And at Yahoo, the new CEO may decide to sell good old Flickr.

Although, for Delicious this has been a turn for the better.

New web app I stumbled across:
http://www.hipmunk.com – to compare and book airplane tickets.

5 mins ago:

In this blog post via @Bufferapp, they’re saying you shouldn’t go into blogging “If you can’t create quality, original content”. While I agree with most of the points made, this is what the traditional journalists said 8 years ago when blogging emerged. Only journalists have the skills to write quality content. The problem isn’t quality. It’s the fact that many people just scrape content. Copy and paste. Without adding value. Including journalists. Obviously a good writing style helps. Grammar. Punctuation. Style.

The web isn’t just for the elite.

If you want to write a blog: Just start writing at regular intervals and ignore all the checklists full of advice. Most of it is SEO and advertising bait. Writing is a great way to reflect. Write about a topic that you are really interested in.

spiral up

Alles wird gut.

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General

8000 entries on Flickr

Landmark of 8000 items on Flickr = reached.

Tonnes of snapshots on Flickr document my journey thru everyday life.

I started taking photos for this blog. Yeah… blame it on blogging.

Snapshots of

  • Daily, mundane things
  • Bicycles
  • Urban details / photo walks
  • Travel / landscape
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General

Global websites

Useful link on internationalization.

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General

Twitter question: I have a protected account. How do I approve my follower requests?

Yesterday someone asked me how to approve follower requests from an iPhone. It turns out that you can’t approve follower requests from the iPhone app. You need to approve followers via the web or email:

If you have protected your Tweets, you can approve followers from your account home page or profile page (see screenshots below).
You can also approve followers by clicking the link in the follower request email notification.

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General

Bicycle power in Malawi

Recommended reading: France 24 on cycling as a major form of transport.

“The bicycle is very popular in Malawi, because people can’t afford a motorbike and because Malawi has a high density of population,” said Dutchman Peter Meijer who set up a bike business, Sakaramenta, in 2009.

Here is a link to Peter Meijer’s company website.

Most of the bikes in Malawi are imported from India:

Countrywide dealer Farmers World, meanwhile, sells 8,000 to 10,000 bikes a year imported from India for between 12,000 and 15,000 kwacha. A basic single gear, standard 22-inch (55-centimetre) wheel model is the most popular.

Photos of bicycle taxis in the Malawi Flickr group

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General

Photos from the Netherlands

I went to the Netherlands for a long weekend. An inspiring place for a passionate cyclist like me…. I flew to Amsterdam and then rented bike and cycled north in direction Hoorn, along the Ijsselmeer. Very beautiful and lots of fun.

The weather was sunny on my way up, but very rainy and windy on my way back. My conclusion: Switzerland has mountains, the Netherlands has wind to slow you down.

I collected lots of photos of Dutch bike brands. And visited museums (the Anne Frank house, FOAM, the Rijksmuseum, the Kunsthal, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen). And took pictures of Hagelslag and other Nutella alternatives.

I think it is amazing that the Ijsselmeer has fresh, non-salty water even though it is separated only by a dam from the North Sea. A huge dam.

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General

yet another quote

via this tweet

socializing the losses and privatizing the gain

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General

quote of the day: FAZ

,Globalisierung”˜ zum Beispiel sollte ursprünglich nichts anderes bedeuten als weltweiter freier Handel. Jetzt heißt es, dass Banken die Gewinne internationalen Erfolgs an sich reißen und die Verluste auf jeden Steuerzahler in jeder Nation verteilen. Die Banken kommen nur noch ,nach Hause”˜, wenn sie kein Geld mehr haben. Dann geben unsere Regierungen ihnen neues.

Some factors you learn about in Economics 101, e.g. independent central bank.

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General

Sports-mad

I like this quote:

“The real loser is never the person who crosses the finishing line last,” she said. “The real loser is the person who sits on the side. The person who does not even try to compete.”

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General

It’s their content

Gapingvoid posted on why he is giving up Twitter and Facebook

it’s not your content, it’s their content.

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General

Bike ride to the Gelateria and back

I cycled to the Glatscheria in Basel for 2 delicious flavors of ice cream.

I had lemon and melon. Cost 7 CHF. Delicious and creamy.

Summer in the city…

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General

If you’re in online marketing…

Do you know about digital sharecropping – (So this is what it’s called)

G+, Etsy, FB, Twitter, eBay, Skype, Flickr…

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General

In search of the best Twitter client ever…

What is the best Twitter client? I’ve tried several web and smartphone apps. Here are some observations:

Web version of Twitter

Despite all odds, i use the web version of Twitter a lot. Mainly cos browsers are ubiquitous. Twitter is trying to improve the display and usability. Newest addition: possibility to add photos. Performance and stability have improved enormously over the past year. I haven’t seen the fail whale for a while.

I would greatly appreciate

  • “historical” searches beyond the current time span.
  • more and better spam control

I maintain several Twitter lists. My largest list aggregates Malawian twitterers. But within the list overview, I always need to click one more time cos Twitter organizes lists chronologically and not according to activity or number of tweeple listed.

Fullscreen capture 8132011 110122 AM.bmp

Brizzly

I liked this web app in the beginning. But I’ve stopped using it. Cos some months ago it really pushed Direct Messages (DMs) in my face. And it wasn’t aware that i had already viewed these. In addition, as Twitter reduced and tightened access to the API, it had performance issues. Brizzly was an early mover and showed the potential of Twitter integration with photos and other web apps. I like the Twitter trend feature, where users can explain trending hashtags.

At the time when Twitter rolled out the (controversial) Retweet button, Brizzly allowed us to add a comment to a retweet.

(e.g. now 11:32 CET, I can’t access Brizzly.com to get a screenshot)

(Very sad)

(later:)

Fullscreen capture 8132011 124923 PM

Streamie

My ideal Twitter web app is an interface without all the bells and whistles, minimal use of AJAX, no fancy auto-lookups, no images integrated, and really fast and reactive. Pure HTML. While looking for an HTML-only Twitter web app, I stumbled across Streamie:

Fullscreen capture 8132011 112206 AM.bmp

I like their general idea. I like their ideas on structuring public tweets and DMs:

Fullscreen capture 8132011 112732 AM.bmp

I would like them to reduce even more. Focus on speed and performance. Although those very factors are limited by the Twitter API.

Twitter for Mac

My favorite Twitter app is on the Mac.
Twitter for Mac is by far the fastest, most responsive Twitter app I’ve ever used. Very close if not identical to the iPhone variant. End of search.

But this is a multi-operating system household (Ubuntu, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Mac). Which means I have also been investigating Windows-based Twitter apps. A recent find is:

MetroTwit

The column layout reminds me of Tweetdeck. I haven’t really put it to the stress test yet. Though I am hoping that it will provide a good native app for Windows. Cos i love to hate Adobe AIR used by Tweetdeck and Lazyscope.

Lazyscope

I use Lazyscope regularly cos it visualizes articles and images in the panel next to the timeline. I follow a lot of world and tech news. Lazyscope is a cool way to read article links in the same view. Much like Flipboard and Paper.li. At the same time it’s a Twitter client with all the RT and post a tweet goodness that you can expect.

Downsides:

  1. The constant Adobe AIR update requests will probably drive me mad one day.
  2. And when you click on a Twitter follower to catch up his or her activities during the time you’ve been away, it opens an overlay window in which you cannot answer or retweet or quote on a single post.
  3. DMs are not displaying from time to time

Fullscreen capture 8132011 120801 PM

I use the following smartphone apps:

Echofon for iPod Touch / iPhone

I use an old version of the free Echofon app on my 1st generation iPod Touch. Works ok.

Downside: it displays ads.

Twitter for Blackberry

I like the BB app for Twitter. It was pre-installed and it’s close to the Twitter for Mac app in functionality and all. And – for me – the BB is easier to type on than the iPod touch keyboard.

The major challenge ahead
Third party apps are getting hurt by Twitter’s unpredictable API changes, feature changes and acquisitions. While on the one hand it is understandable that Twitter want market share “on the last mile”, it is the surrounding Twitter eco-system which has made Twitter itself so successful.

Will developers quit building apps for Twitter?

One of the downsides as a user is the limited access to my own data, c.f. previous post on data silos.

Faved

My current fave is Twitter for Mac

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General

Data silo

BTW, if you’re starting a blog – cos it’s an easy way to increase visibility… Have fun. Those times are long past. Way back in 2002 and 2003. Ask the bloggers behind Chiperoni and Handmade2.0.

And… even in 2003 it wasn’t as “easy” as some of the internet experts try to make it sound. Blogging requires time, energy, passion, expertise, creative writing skills and a good topic. Handmade 2.0 is the perfect example.

I have recently been re-reading some of Dave Winer’s warnings, regarding adding all your valuable data to the corporate micro-blogging silos aka Twitter, Facebook. In this post he explains why the silos are not open:

  • the API is heavily regulated and always changing,
  • and will become more narrow rather than opening up or expanding.

On the other hand if you put your data in WordPress.com, you can export your data if you decide to leave.

Your best option is zero lock-in. Static HTML and RSS.

We need independent, open, ad-free blogs.

Compare the Google Plus launch where apparently…

“they are only accepting people who have strong social graphs so that they can both make sure everyone has a good first experience as well as test out some of the technology before opening it up to a wider audience”

This is just like pre-blogging traditional media. The gatekeepers control who gets to see what first.

One of the reasons why I keep returning to my online playground is the fact that I love browsing through the notes and ideas and links and tools. I like my online scrap book of my years in Basel. It’s also a history of social media apps and software that I tried. Thoughts like today’s.

This Copyblogging article has some excellent tips how you can get some visibility. Bloggers treasure well-written, intelligent comments that contribute to a topic. Instead of lurking, add a comment why you enjoyed reading a blog post. Say thank you for useful content. Zurich blogger and social media consultant Su Franke has a list of ways you can say “thank you” to a blogger (in German).

Don’t just feed the data silo! Stay free.

In conclusion I want to point to this blog post that I think is true. It’s about the daily decisions that we face and that shape our lives. I worry about the big decisions in life, but the daily crossroads have an impact.

In Career World, crossroads don’t happen very often. Should I go to college? Which one? Should I quit this job? Where should I apply…

In Project World, on the other hand, every day offers a choice that could change things. Should you start a new project? Organize a conference? Open a new channel of social media? Quit something you’re doing right now to make time for something else?

It’s easy to get stressed and excited about the infrequent crossroads. It’s just as easy to ignore the daily opportunities you have to change everything.