Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Google Tasks API – Overdue Tasks

Friday, June 4th, 2021

Here is a handy little script to move tasks that are overdue to today.

Post in Dutch: companies against covid are hypocritic?

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Ik heb moeite met de zin:

“Om de veiligheid van alle deelnemers te garanderen, kunnen wij helaas alleen deelnemers zonder COVID-19 gerelateerde gezondheidsklachten toelaten tot de programma’s op locatie.”

Ik ervaar dit als zeer onrealistisch, discriminerend en niet logisch. Mensen met andere gezondheidsklachten zijn wel welkom? Mensen met AIDS? TB? Kinkhoest? Griep? Vroegen jullie voor corona ook of mensen met besmettelijke ziektes aub niet wilden participeren?

Ik voel me juist onveiliger als bedrijven op deze manier omgaan met gezondheid. Laat staan dat ik me welkom voel.

Het staat je als persoon en bedrijf vrij te opereren zoals jezelf wenst. Ik heb hier verder geen last van – ik benoem de, zoals ik het ervaar, hypocriete uitingen van de mensen waar ik mee om ga eenmalig. Ik geloof dat ik de wereld daar beter mee maak. Ik ben niet opzoek naar een reactie, maar hoop dat mensen beter leren te zeggen wat ze bedoelen ipv klakkeloos anderen te volgen.

World Future Society Acceptance Letter

Monday, October 19th, 2020

Written on 05-05-2000 by Sir PK.

The World Future Society is an association for the study of alternative futures and publisher of The Futurist – a journal of forecasts, trends and ideas about the future.

  1. Introduction
    In this acceptance letter for Coordinator for the World Future Society in The Netherlands I would like to introduce myself and express my own beliefs and current discussions with myself and surroundings about what future is, what it could be like and how one can utilize it to live the present.
  2. History
    “Only through understanding the past one can understand the future.” 

    Having been born in 1978 I have not experienced a lot of future yet; resulting in my belief that understanding what is ahead seems to be all the more important. At every turn in my life I became more aware of the path I walked and who I am. Some major turning point in my life where:
    • finishing my primary and secondary education
    • my AFS exchange year to Watertown, New York (1995-1996)
    • finding and understanding the Victim Paradigms
    • making the decision to excel and grow continually
    • founding a few very interesting companies and communitiesUnfortunately I can not tell you who I am, I can however provide my understanding of it. For more information and a curriculum vitae please see my website.
  3. Present
    A while ago, while studying the understanding of meaning and the meaning of understanding, I stumbled upon General Semantics (see: The Institute of General Semantics, and also: The International Society for General Semantics, 

    This made me realize that there can be no truth outside or besides ones own thinking; or as René Descartes (1596-1650) writes: cogito ergo sum. When deduced this led to my belief that both meaning and understanding are “in the eye of the beholder”. Through acknowledging this I understand the following: 

    The past determines our choices in the present, and our individual understanding of the future determines the choices we choose in the present.
  4. Future
    My understanding of the future: 

    “One can envision the future a lot more pleasant and grander than one can explain the present.” ~ Sir PK, April 2000. 

    My revelation of the future: 

    “You will never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be.” (Dexter Yager), so “Choose your own choices.” (Sir PK, April 2000) and understand that “Only your choices in the past make your present choices possible.” (Sir PK, Februari 1997).
  5. World Future Society The Netherlands
    The theme “thinking globally, acting locally” recognizes that futurists are concerned about the world as a whole, but that effective action to achieve a better future generally takes place in one’s local area. With local futurist groups I hope to enable futurists in any given area to get to know each other, share ideas, and work together to educate the community about future possibilities. 

    Objectives for local World Future Society The Netherlands groups are:
    • to contribute to a reasoned awareness of the future and the importance of its study, without advocating particular ideologies or engaging in political activities.
    • to advance serious and responsible investigation of the future.
    • to promote the development of methods for the study of the future.
    • to increase public understanding of future-oriented studies.
    • to facilitate communication and cooperation among organizations and individuals interested in studying or planning for the future.Activities for the World Future Society The Netherlands:
    • an online public discussion board with regular guest appearances
    • a quarterly local discussion and lecture meeting
    • a regular publication of activities in The Netherlands
    • a website listing all publications by Dutch members
  6. In conclusion
    I would like to thank the previous coordinator Prof. Dr. Frans van Vught, Rector Magnificus University of Twente, for his work for the World Future Society The Netherlands and his scientific futurology work and research. 

    I am looking forward to meeting many of you personally, and help facilitate the exchange of information and ideas. I hope to be able to help define our understanding of the future and making it happen. 

    Thank you for your participation and support, 

    Sir S.F.P. Koopmans, MMS 

    ~ Student of all … disciple of none.

Remote controlling a computer via robotics.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

How to control a device with a screen and one or more input devices (like a keyboard and mouse) remotely? There are solutions that connect the device directly (Remote Desktop software like VNC), but it could also be done physically.

This might be of interest to spy agencies like the CIA or FBI – but also for companies with old equipment (like machine controllers, for example, those found on CNC’s and the first versions of modern robots).

Imagine the RemCoRo with a camera and ~100 tentacles (with a labeled actuator at the end) that one could bend with a bit of force to hover above the key of a keyboard or a button to be pressed or a touch-sensitive screen. You could position the RemCoRo close to the device you want to control (and fix it in place with clamps or suction nobs). If one would have the RemCoRo controller software installed on a computer and log into a RemCoRo (via a WiFi or GSM connection), you could see what the RemCoRo camera sees and use the keyboard of your computer to have the tentacles press the buttons of the device the RemCoRo is set up to control.

The RemCoRo could also have USB plugs: one to mimic as a normal keyboard (sending the remote pressed keyboard key to the virtual keyboard in the RemCoRo that would send it to the device to be controlled) and another USB plug to do the same for a mouse. This would make the RemCoRo easier to test and more versatile.

I wonder if this is patentable. I also wonder if there would be customers for this. Let me know your ideas in the comments, thanks.


Monday, May 1st, 2017

Blessed are those who join their loved ones.
Blessed are those who live on in our memory.
Let us share our tears and pain,
Let us remember, let us live,
Let us celebrate his life, his passion.

Male or female? How many categories for “people” will we need?

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Gender is not a fact about persons that we must take as fixed and essential (and then build our social institutions around that fact). Gender, for humans, is socially constructed; an externally imposed hierarchy: male or female. The human personality is a spectrum – and allows us to more or less conform to the gender norms associated with our gender, or not.

But, we do not need gender. We would be better off without it. Gender as a hierarchy with two positions operates to naturalize and perpetuate the subordination of female people to male people, and constrains the development of individuals of both sexes. And reconceiving of gender as an identity spectrum represents no improvement!

The solution is to not categorize it at all.

How the FBI could Unlock the Apple iPhone without the Encryption Key

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Here’s my recipe for unlocking the iPhone 5c used by the San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook:

  • the phone is already owned by and in possession of the government
  • there are only 10.000 possible combinations to try (the PIN is a 4 digit number)
  • it will take about 7 months to try all combinations (due to the programmed delays) if the phone does not have the “delete all content after 10 failed attempts” option turned on
  • we should assume that that feature is turned on
  • the content is stored on the device only in 0 and 1 bits
  • those can be read without changing them (non-invasive and non-destructive)
  • thus a duplicate of the exact data can be made
  • the hardware has an embedded unique identifier, that part needs to be isolated in a way that all device duplicates can interact with it
  • we should probably assume that the wrong PIN code has already been tried (a few) times
  • the maximum is 9 times out of 10, so if we err on the side of caution, 10.000 device duplicates need to be made
  • the cost of the hardware is significant (the retail price is around 650 USD)
  • however, the hardware can be virtualized
  • that makes duplication cost about zero, but the reverse engineering rather costly
  • but once that is done, the government can “unlock” all devices of that same type by just duplicating all the bits into the virtual model


Getting to inbox zero.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Many years ago when gmail was just launched in beta, my first email was the welcome email from Google. Over time I had an inbox in the thousands. In the last few years I tried to get to 0 again, but failed. Now I have learned about GTD and also a thing our two from The Behavioral Science Guys, so I decided to actually track my, uhm, progress publicly.

Gmail Inbox Chart

PS: This is done by having a Google Script write to a Google Spreadsheet that generates a public Google Spreadsheet Chart. Here is the code:

function WriteInboxCountToSpreadSheet()
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.openById("TheCodePartFromTheSpreadsheetUrlHere");
  var sheet = ss.getSheets()[0];
  sheet.appendRow([Utilities.formatDate(new Date(), "Europe/Amsterdam", "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss"), MyGmailInboxCount()]);

Are your customers satisfied?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Customer satisfaction research might be a waste of time if you only try to find the areas you want to improve for existing customers: they are still customers! You can probably be more effective in improving the aspects that cause existing customers to go elsewhere – or, even more importantly, not even come to you!

Research News on Brain-Measured Learning to Save Time

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The following article explains that studying-results can be significantly improved not only by the brain-based methods I am a strong proponent for, but also by actual retention qualifiers.

Using Brain Scans to Predict Future Test Performance

Will a brain scan reveal how well you’ve studied for a big test? Researchers at Sandia National Laboratory have demonstrated that the brain’s electrical activity, detectable via electroencephalogram (EEG), predicts how well studied material has been incorporated into memory, and, thus, how well subjects performed on memory tests.

The researchers asked 23 people to attempt to memorize a list of words while undergoing brain scanning. The average subject recalled 45% of the words on the list. The EEG data correctly predicted which five of the 23 subjects would beat the competition, remembering 72% of the words on average.

“If you had someone learning new material and you were recording the EEG, you might be able to tell them, ‘You’re going to forget this, you should study this again,’ or tell them, ‘OK, you got it and go on to the next thing,’ ” chief researcher Laura Matzen said in a statement.

Matzen presented her findings at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference in Chicago. This second phase of research will determine the effectiveness of various types of research and training methods.

Source: Sandia National Laboratories