E-Mobility

Yesterday, the international Motor-Show in Frankfurt (IAA) saw a big protest, demanding an urgent change in politics towards eco-friendly mobility.

A lot of people think that this is only about the question which power train to use in a car.

Alas, it’s not. Even with an all-electric car, it’s still neither a good idea nor good use of resources to propel 2 tons of steel forward to get a single human being to work.

Rethinking mobility is much bigger and needs to focus on how to keep us mobile, with a strong focus on public transport and bicycles. It also includes questions like home office – why do people need to commute to work, if work could also commute to them?

If we’re serious about saving our planet, we need to stop putting individual car ownership on top of our agenda.

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(Deutsche Bahn, ICE 3, Cologne Central Station)

Reached 100, now towards 200

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve managed to maintain a weight below 100 kg – the first big milestone

Next milestone is a weight below 200 lbs., after which I will probably reward myself with a new game

So far, a low carb, high fat diet (LCHF, Keto) has been very good to me, and my GP is quite happy with my blood stats. I also almost by accident slipped into 16:8 interval fasting, simply because I wasn’t hungry and never was a big breakfast eater anyway

My long term goal for the next two years is to reach a normal BMI value

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(Scale)

PowerWatch Matrix

In 2017 I contributed to a campaign on Indiegogo for the PowerWatch Matrix.

An interesting and promising concept – a smart watch and fitness tracker that you’d never need to charge, because it would recharge using thermoelectric energy from your wrist.

Alas, after more than a year, I’ve now to decided to abandon it, for these reasons:

  • Frequent freezes. Nothing a reset wouldn’t fix, but since the watch does not have non-volatile storage, all data after the last sync is lost
  • Data. There’s nothing you can do with the data, except for looking at it from the app on the phone. There’s no way to export your stats, let’s say to Google Fit, or share it with other devices.
  • Global warming. Thermoelectric energy harvesting works off the delta between the case and your skin – more often than not I found that there no longer was a difference and thus had return to manual charging.

While freezing and manual charging were only mildly inconvenient, my main reason to leave the PowerWatch behind is the inability to use the data. I’m now using a refurbished Polar Loop – it needs charging every couple of days, but at least I have access to my stats.

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(Same skin and case temperature, no harvesting)

Segway done right

This weekend I had the great opportunity to test-drive a prototype of a new scooter, the Steereon; I’ve been watching it closely ever since I saw the first prototype during a startup event at Stadtgarten a year ago.

The Steereon will come in two versions (for regulatory reasons) and sports a unique, all-wheel steering which makes driving an enormous amount of fun; the founders call it “Carving on the Street” and that’s pretty much exactly how it feels.

As a modern device for urban mobility on the last mile it’s basically what the Segway should have been – light weight, fun and extremely agile.

The scooter will become available during early 2020 (planned) – I can highly recommend it and plan to pre-order one

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(Test-drive in Cologne, e-Scooter configuration)

High School Exchange Year

Today our youngest son left with EF for a high school exchange year in Ireland.

It’s pretty difficult to let your kids go, but I am totally happy and excited for him, for the experiences he will make, the friendships he’ll forge, the adventures that await him and the difficulties he’ll have to learn to master himself.

And I’m insanely proud of him!

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(EI 0693, DUS-DUB)

Encryption

There’s been a lot of discussion lately (again) on the need for encrypted Email or Messaging, and the pros and cons of various services, from WhatsApp to Telegram, from RCS to SMS.

I am not fully on the post-privacy bandwagon, but for sure people are aware that by using a third party service for Email or Messaging their messages can be read, aren’t they? We don’t call root super-user for no reason.

In the last century the Network Working Group wrote in RFC 1855 “Netiquette Guidelines”

2.1.1 For mail:

Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that mail on the Internet is not secure.  Never put in a mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.

That’s today as true as it was then – unless you own both sides of the encryption, don’t send anything through the Aether that you don’t want other people to see!

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13th_Annual_Wichita_Postcard_Club_Show,_Wichita_Postcard_Club_(NBY_17466).jpg)

Climate Pledge

Here are my five pledges to support climate action in 2019:

  • I will not renew the contract for our family car
  • I will stop flying for vacation, and minimize air travel for business
  • I will avoid using single-use plastic items
  • I will buy fair-trade and carbon-neutral wherever possible
  • I will go back to a vegetarian life once I have reached my target weight

What do you plan to do?

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(#SoKoFuture)

Fridays For Future Summer Congress

Over the last five days I had the honor and pleasure to be able to support the Fridays for Future summer congress #SoKoFuture in Dortmund as a volunteer.

And was I in for a treat!

I have never seen so many people being so kind to each other, working all day diligently and earnestly on the most pressing issues of our time, and coming up with ideas on how to save our planet – people, especially politicians, who belittle these efforts should be ashamed.

The center-right paper “Die Welt” called the congress the Political Woodstock – I think that’s quite a fitting description.

After spending this time with all these young people I know for sure that a different world will be possible.

The Fridays deserve our full support!

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(Closing ceremony)

Freelance Rancher

After a brief stint at a small consultancy in Cologne I decided to go back to working as a freelance IT architect and consultant, with my favorite open source cloud projects, Rancher and Kubernetes, and everything else cloud native. I have also submitted a couple of papers to regional conferences.

From August onwards I’ll then have two more years at University, and during that time I’ll need to figure out whether I should be starting my own business, continue going solo, or try to find full-time employment again. Main goal: Get my kids through college. And enjoy my work.

On that note: I’ve passed all exams so far and am happy with the results!

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