Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

Google Collections Framework

The Google Collections Framework is now available for some time, but I never took the time to look into it. Now there is a nice presentation about it, part 1 and 2 including slides, and as someone in the audience already said “It sounds that it is cooler as I thought“. Currently it seems that the download-able snapshot is not the most current one but nevertheless it is worth to have a look on the code …

Photosynth again, evolved

Last year I’ve written a short entry in my blog about Photosynth, a Microsoft research project which is able to extract spatial information out of pictures and rearrange them in space. At SIGGRAPH 2008 they presented a very nice picture viewer which is using an advanced version of the original Photosynth. Besides arranging pictures in the space itself it actually can discover useful orbiting paths and manipulate images in a way to support a very seamless viewer experience. Besides this, it actually can work with social image sites like Flickr and allows the user in this way to use existing collections in which he can add his own snapshots of the same motive. Hopefully this will become a available product soon …

There are other admirable companies besides Toyota

I have currently read the book Maverick! from Ricardo Semler who is CEO and owner of Semco Group, a Brazilian company. Normally you can read today a lot of Toyota and it’s sophisticated and very successful practices and general management style. But Semco is a company which started as very traditional managed company, with a very unspectacular product range, hydraulic pumps and dishwashers in a country which was definitely not known as successful economy. Ricardo Semler and his very creative co-workers have build up a company which seems to be very unique in the world: the structure is build on the best values of democracy, capitalism and socialism, it survived a hard economic system and produce very low organizational overhead. The Semco Way is based on fairness has proven that if you trust people and keep them responsible a more effective and agile company can emerge.
I highly recommend to read this book, it helps to understand why traditional management structures are ineffective and no way to go in our fast changing world …

UPDATE: His second book, The Seven-Day Weekend, is different from his first. Maverick! is basically a biography of Semco, the newer one is written from a more outsider like position and, more interesting, after Semco has become a very large, diversified group of different companies. So this book is written in a bit more like style of an general management advisor, but never the less highly recommended.

The Doomsday machine

Very nice pictures of the Large Hadron Collider which is nearly finished can be found here.
We all know the world will end if we switch it on … 😉