10. teden

November 27th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

Minhen je bil poučen – gledat ekipo profesionalnih svetovalcev pri Å¡esturnem procesu od navodil do predstavitve z nasveti za izboljÅ¡anje poslovanja je bilo zelo zabavno. Glede na to, da na začetku ni noben od njih vedel kaj je to spletni dnevnik, so na koncu dneva uspeli sestaviti kar uporaben načrt.

Na srečo sem imel tudi en dan prostega časa v katerem sem si lahko ogledal center mesta in olimpijski park. Presenečen sem bil nad prijetnostjo mesta, ki se prav lepo primerja z Mariborom in sploh ni preveč bavarsko. Hotel je bil nesramno razkošen in spet sem užival v vroči kopeli. :)

Potem pa v enem dnevu let na Dunaj, dva sestanka, pot do Ljubljane in drugi dan let nazaj v London. Povsem so mi uničili bioritem, ker se zdaj kar zbujam okrog pol osmih. Kar je sicer super koristno, je pa tudi čudno obenem.

Å e dva tedna do Pariza. Najbolj napeta dva tedna.

Dailly oddities of London

November 26th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

image1) Imagine a crossing, rather large one, with an pedestrians island in the center and a rather major underground station nearby. Now imagine a metal wall in the middle, with a metal roof. A nice piece of metal in the middle of a frequent road crossing. Now imagine a nice reddish sign saying “Urinators”.

2) I was buying a cake today. I asked what kind it was. The guy looked at me as if I was an alien, and said simply: “there’s nothing inside. This is French.”

Stars and Clouds

November 26th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageListening to Wanderer made me think about Cash’es relationship with June. Morrisey had a similar story in ‘Half a Person’, and remember Forrest and Jenny.

In the real world on the other hand, love and devotion seem to have become obsolete, a notion of a weak mind even – I know all about Christian ideals, postmodernism and ideological interpelation, and I still claim that they these do not explain everything that is going on in my mind. There remains a solid core to that soft surface.
Maybe my next carier will have to be one of a pop/rock star.

Influences of coincidences

November 25th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageEvery now and then in life, coincidences chain themselves up so, that it gets creepy and I start start to wonder about the faith. Not necessarily huge coincidences, a chain of smaller ones can be just as important.

The other day I was thinking about the regular geek’s special social status and thought about writing a blog about it.

The next day somebody proposed an interesting way of deescribing the core product my company is developing: “relevancy engine”.

The next day I spent with my friend, and was feeling a bit confused after I had to catch an airplane again.

While waiting at the gates, I heard an announcment that everyone should find their way towards gates and everybody else should get lost from the building. An interesting way to handle a bomb threat I must admit.

In the meantime I decided to do something useful and was browsing the web for ‘relevancy engine’, to see if it already exists. The very first hit was an article about geek relationships. I got to know quite some new things about myself.

I arrived home late, and only had time to read the latest blog entry from my favourite Wanderer, and went to sleep. The first song played at random from my iPod this morning was ‘the Wanderer‘ b U2 & Johnny Cash – a fantastic piece I heard for the first time, even though I am a fan of them both.

   Yeah I left with nothing
   Nothing but the thought of you
   I went wandering

How many consultants does it take, to make a business plan?

November 23rd, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageLive blogging from a 5 hour session with 8 top-level consultants, approached with a problem of sorting out our exact value proposition and market analisys. When we started, they knew nothing (0, zilch, nada) about blogging, now they are happily crunching numbers and designing their spreadsheets to look nice. I am not sure, whether this means they understood what I want from them, or are they simply running under time pressure, but it looks impressive nevertheless.

First I had a briefing for them, they posted some basic questions, then they started brainstorming ideas we went trough three months ago, then they started posting individual questions I’ve been banging my head with last two months, and now I am really curious what they will come up with. It might be, that if they had a couple of days they would progress immensly, in comparison to my performance, even though they lack the market insight and are trying to convince me, to go into advertising.

Hehe, and now their spreadsheets got buggy…

Business travelling

November 22nd, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageNice feature of my job is travelling around different conferences, representing and evangelising my company. Some peopleI know hate this, but i’ve learned to like it. Today I spoke with a german collegue, who explained, that while some others can live most of their proffesional time in one city, because all the relevant partners are in the same place, while he is spending more than half of his time away from his girlfriend. In this sense it really is a bit unfair.

I learned to appreciate the hotel rooms, with all the luxury I won’t have at home for quite some time. There’s nothing like a nice hot bath after a busy day. It is something I can’t afford at home.

I just wish my duckling was with with me all the time.

Differences in biorythms

November 19th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageWe went into alpha stage today, which basically means, we gave access to our service to some handpicked users, which we will annoy for the rest of the week demanding feedback. I love deadlines, my collegues aswell. Deadlines are the best way to raise productivity, actually they are the only way.

That said, you can imagine, it was an all-nighter again. I went to sleep at 5am, and the last man standing woke me up at 9am because I had to send official invitation letters. Three hours later he is still sitting accross the  tableworking on his computer. These guys are really incredible!

It is not usual for me to stay up so late. When I woke up today I had to immedietly start working on random office tasks, which basically means I am not going back to sleep. It’s the same every day, except that normally I go to sleap earlier, which always causes some complaints from the team, who by then just start working again after dinner. And it never helps if I explain, that I’ve woken up six hours before them.

For the record: country X

November 19th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

image Slovenia is a nice little country in the central europe, we like to call it ‘on the sunny side of the alps ‘, which is completely useless here, because brits just don’t know what alps are. *sigh*

Future of semantic web

November 17th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageWorking with web technologies, one cannot escape all the hype being built up around semantic technologies, Powerset, CYC, natural language technologies in general. We have more or less gotten used to this set of fancy new buzzword compliant companies raising obscene amounts of dollars for products, I personally believe are unachievable and are bound to dissapoint a whole generation of users.

These guys are making a dangerous bet, that they will be able to formally describe the world in a rational structure of well defined entities and relations. This sounds incredibly similar to what the structuralists were claiming 40 years ago, and failed.

These guys are smart, they recognized that top-bottom approach to building an ontology of the world will fail, so they bet everything on understanding natural language and deducing the meaning of the message with help of grammar as a translation layer for their rational representation. Their bet is, that the natural language grammar is rational enough, that they can follow it’s structures and translate them into mashine-readable format. 100 yars ago Wittgenstein and de Saussure started a movement around premisses like these, but unlike these contemporary nerds, they knew what their objectives and limits were. Wittgenstein described formal relation beetween language and mind, Saussure practical one. None of them was prudent enough to think he could invent the sense of the world.

The sense of the message is encoded into the context surrounding the individual words, not into their grammatical relations. Or better said, there is a substantial amount of sensful information that cannot be recognized using rational analysis, because language is not a rational structure. Human beings learn to communicate with observation and repeating after other. To know a language is mainly about interpolating it from the aggregated behavior of others. The interpolation is done according to ‘rules’ deSaussure and structural linguistics recognized, and has logical limits Wittgenstein and logical positivismus described. Actual ‘grammatical’ rules are the result of each individuals constantly growing interpolation and are never fixed. The message is always ‘in-between’ words and language rules, simply because humans don’t relly on language rules in order to tranfer the message, but rather adapt to current receiver’s language code.

Anyway, main reason for writing this article was seeing Powerset demo, with handpicked use cases, none of which worked. And some computer scientists around me simply wouldn’t accept the fact, that philosophy has already tried and abandoned the hope of rationally sorting out the world. And the only true power of computers lies in the abbility to crunch numbers at a scale so large, that the practical statistical analisys starts to give usefull results. Statistics is just like interpolation, and preserves the human approach to content; while logical deduction simply doesn’t have the infromations avaliable, on which it could reliably run. So it tends to take wrong turns and end up on entirel wrong part of the tree.

9. teden

November 17th, 2007 § Comments Off § permalink

imageVem da se ponavljam, a dejansko vsak naslednji teden mine hitreje. Glavna novica tega tedna je, da imamo končni datum vrnitve domov, in že kupljene letalske karte! Tako da to je to, v daljavi se že sveti drugi konec prej neskončnega morja. Občutja so mešana; po eni strani smo se že udomačili v tej hiši in se zavedamo, da takšne izkušnje ne bomo najbrž nikoli več ponovili. Po drugi strani pa življenje v Londonu in delo 24 ur na dan tudi ni ravno mikaven način življenja za predolga obdobja.

V naslednjih tednih se bo v podjetju marsikaj spremenilo – prvič bomo storitev dali v roke uporabnikov v resničnem svetu, ki nas bodo napadli s svojimi lastnimi pričakovanji in zahtevami; v tej prvi skupini bodo tudi naÅ¡i bodoči investitorji, ki že nekaj tednov komaj čakajo da bodo lahko v živo preizkusili toliko opevan produkt.

Spet bomo potovali, po vsej Evropi; ta teden grem v Minhen, od tam najverjetneje na Dunaj in potem iz Ljubljane nazaj v London. Avanturo bomo zaključili s skupinskim obiskom Pariza, česar se vsi zelo veselimo. Potem ko sem pot v Bruselj prespal, upam da bom tokrat dejansko videl rokavski tunel. :)

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