How WikiLeads cannot get shut down [Cartoon]

If you’re a chef you’ve probably wondered why everybody is talking about these WikiLicks. And if you’re into online marketing, you probably wondered why you are still struggling with Facebook while the competition is already generating WikiLeads like crazy. Calm down – it’s WikiLeaks and it probably won’t ruin you. Oh, you’re a politician? In that case: be afraid. Be very afraid.

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You want peace, Hippies? Go online!

Barrack O. has been president of the United States for almost a year, yet still he didn’t solve all of our large-scale problems: there’s still hunger, illnesses, wars and injustice – maybe he can’t do it that fast. I guess that grave change will not occur until 2012 (no, not the end of the world, but the next US presidential elections). The team of Wired Italy takes a different approach in terms of “who” to believe in: the fundamental changes driven by the internet are far more severe than those triggered by a single person, even if usually referred to as the most powerful man in the world. So Wired Italy proposes that the internet per se should receive the next Peace Nobel Prize.

Internet for Peace

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Austria must not leave CERN!

Some of you may yet not have paid any attention to the fact that I’m living, working and teaching in beautiful Vienna, capital of Austria. No surprise, as I usually don’t blog about .at-specific topics on this blog. But today I have to make an exception as Austrian minister of scientific affairs Johannes Hahn recently announced – as a complete surprise to all involved parties by the way – that Austria will quit the CERN project. Naturally, a massive wave of protest has risen among Austrian scientists and a petition has been put online.

CERN explained in 3 minutes

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJFllPVIcpg[/youtube]

Even though the page is in German, signing should be quite doable. It’s a simple online form, after clicking on the approval list your name is going to appear on the list of supporters which will be presented to the Austrian parliament soon – these guys are the only ones able to stop Hahn’s completely erratic plan. There are plenty good reasons for this:

  • The ministry of scientific affair’s budget has been raised by 15% percent this year. CERN project accounts for a mere 0,47% of that sum or, in absolute numbers: 16 mio Euros. But from 1994 to 2007 Austrian industry grossed an average total of 6 mio Euros per year via direct CERN projects.
  • The kind of experiments conducted at CERN are so expensive that one single country could hardly handle such a project. Austria has been a partner for 50 years now. The CERN is seen as the top European science cooperation showcase – being a part of that has huge benefits for a countries scientific community.
  • In the past, many great inventions were direct or indirect results of CERN: among them the world wide web, computer tomography, new cancer therapies – to name just a few. And thanks to Prof. Oberhummer I got some more I got some more numbers to put this situation into perspective: 16 Mio Euros is the sum the Austrian public railway company is currently losing – every 3 days.
cern

By the way: Albany, a much poorer country than Austria, recently applied for a CERN membership. Pls Mister Hahn, don’t be short sighted. The Austrian scientific community will suffer for years from the aftermaths of this historic misjudgment! As Prof. Herman Feshbach, physics Nobel Prize winner in 2004, puts it:

Scientific prospects at CERN have never been brighter and more exciting, as the great Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project approaches its operational phase. Many years’ investment in research, development, and construction are about to bear fruit. There are good reasons to anticipate discoveries that will dramatically advance our most basic understanding of what the physical world is made of, how it works, and even how it came to be. While the primary goal of CERN is to address such fundamental issues, the laboratory is also a treasury of engineering marvels. It has been a seedbed of innovation in computer and communications technology, cryogenics, and large-scale, high-tech project management. Young people learn cutting-edge skills at CERN that they take back to businesses and schools of their home countries. For these reasons I believe that CERN has yielded, and will continue to yield, excellent long-term returns on investment, just as a matter of economics, even apart from its unique scientific value. In addition, since its origins in the aftermath of World War II, CERN has been an inspiring, visible symbol of European unity and cultural vitality. It would be a great loss for Austria, and a blow to Europe and the scientific world, if short-term thinking and lack of vision caused Austria – birthplace of Ludwig Boltzmann, Erwin Schrdinger, Wolfgang Pauli, Victor Franz Hess, and Lise Meitner – to pull out of CERN now.

Particle Hunters: the CMS-experiment at CERN

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nifTTSfqubM[/youtube]

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 47/2008

Blogistan-PanoptikumThe last election parties have ended by now, the USA are looking forward to a new era of fairness and social improvement. Will the new president be able to live up to his promises in times of an economic crisis? Looks like Barrack Obama has got to deal with a difficult situation, as the crisis is now spreading from the finance sector to old economy and car manufacturers start facing serious troubles. Of course advertising budgets will be cut, which will eventually lead to more and more online-money being spent for performance based marketing. A rather bleak scenario for traditional advertiser, but definitely not the worst news for affiliates.

Going against Wikipedia: In Germany, left-wing politician Lutz Heilmann started a massive discussion among bloggers: the genius sued Wikipedia and had them remove the German article which contained among other biographical data on his history with the infamous Stasi. This is the perfect example of new media misunderstood: while Heilmann obviously tried to obfuscate facts, he provoked a flood of articles that give him a worse name than any Wikipedia page ever could have. The net is changing politics faster than anybody expected ten years ago…

Movement vs. Change: I love Seth Godins simple yet very illustrative examples of “the power of the net”. And I’m not a fan of Starbucks:

Simple example: the Starbucks in Larchmont, NY keeps their thermostat at 64 degrees. And the stores in Breckenridge, Colorado keep their doors wide open all winter. If you’re raging mad about energy waste, you could say something. And nothing would happen. But if customers organized and ten people said something or a hundred people said something… boom, new rules. The system doesn’t know what to do with a movement.

The ugliest thing of the week: it’s a mixture between a car and motorcycle, and it combines the disadvantages of both concepts in perfection. I have no clue why Time Magazine has voted the Peravces Monotracer one of the best inventions of 2008. C’mon guys, you can’t be serious – even the description sounds like a joke, but it’s not:

You really need the mind of a Swiss engineer to come up with a vehicle that combines the lithe maneuverability of a motorcycle with the not-getting-rained-on-ability of a conventional automobile.

This week in Online Marketing: Google started rolling out a Digg-like feature where users can “like” or “dislike” search results. It seems they are currently running a few tests – I’m wondering if this social component will be used for the general index or for tailoring SERPs to the logged-in user’s needs. And Twitter still is the new hot sh*t – even though the fail-whale returned today and SMS functionality is not avaible in most European countries, users still love their microblogging service #1. One of the reasons is the large number of mash-ups: the latest one even allows you to tweet from beyond: using twuffer.com, it’s possbible to schedule tweets – so if you already know what you’re going to do next week or next year, twuffer might be just for you. And if not you might still be able to use the service for marketing purposes :mrgreen:

Video of the week

How do you visualize a car that doesn’t even exist yet? Infinity has invested a great deal of time and money to build a flexible and impressive 3D surroundig – this video explains the whole idea:

So much for this week – I wish you great Sunday, see you soon.

Coldcut vs. TV Sheriff: Change gone come?

Coldcut and TV Sheriff“They’re awfully hard to tell apart…” Turn up your subwoofers for this one! For their latest drum-and-bass powered assault dancefloor shakers Coldcut teamed up with America’s notorious TV Sheriff: it’s vivisection time aka: this one is great remix of the media frenzy that broke out over the final phase of the presidential elections:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6Lz264wOAg[/youtube]