Guide to Software Development… with cats

March 31st, 2014

Original comic from Sandra and Woo

Do it for Denmark!

March 27th, 2014

Do it for Denmark, come in Paris for unforgettable holidays!

By the way, it works well even when Danish girls come alone…

Mast-Walk videos

March 19th, 2014

Back to the "mast-walk" by Alex Thomson. On the official video, it seems pretty natural.

However the making off shows that, during first attempt, Alex Thomson found himself hung in a really dangerous situation and he finally confesses that this stunt was one of the most stupid thing he ever made!

An autonomous swarm of flying robots

March 4th, 2014

The first flock of autonomous outdoor quadcopter.

Research is funded by EU ERC COLLMOT project, at Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary.

Published paper available.

Mast Walk

February 28th, 2014

Impressive communication picture featuring Alex Thomson walking on his Imoca’s mast. Courageous too since this exercise is not without danger.

Students should be allowed to cheat

February 28th, 2014

I already mentioned the paper by Peter Nonacs titled "Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Exam".

While cleaning Firefox folders in a old notebook, I rediscovered Don Norman‘s "In Defense of Cheating". The bottom line? Call it "networking" or "cooperative work" and you call kill most cheating behaviors by making them plainly legal.

Twitter and symmetry

February 28th, 2014

Joy through making things happen

February 28th, 2014

Another great cartoon by @gapingvoidart

Chema Madoz

February 13th, 2014

There is a genuine poetic skill in Chema Madoz’s pictures. In a very personal way, he crafts graceful objects that could perfectly come true, would some matter of fact physical laws stop stubbornly applying.

Learning complex issues

February 11th, 2014

Non linear learning is the usual way when complex issues are to be addressed. As depicted by this nice picture, it is a pretty amazing (brain) mechanism.

I was fortunate enough to find a good description about the way it can be operated when learning C++ in 21 days.

Furious Petra

February 10th, 2014

Tempest Petra slams the little fishing harbor of Porthleven pretty hard. Some waves were measured up to 15 meters.

A refreshing way to get aware of Porthleven and the Bickford-Smith Institute whose clock tower remains up and ticking despite Petra’s furor. This building opened on December 17th 1884 as a gift to Porthleven from Mr Bickford-Smith of Trevarno, a former Member of Parliament.

Sunday Times advertising

February 9th, 2014

The Sunday Times – Icons from Us on Vimeo.

Magistrale Découverte pour Le Cléac’h

February 1st, 2014

Armel Le Cléac’h, à bord de Banque Populaire VII a battu le record en solitaire de la Route de la Découverte en 6 jours 23 heures (soit 23,1 nœuds de moyenne sur les 3 880 milles).

Il en a profité pour battre au passage le record en solo sur 24 heures, avec 682 milles parcourus, soit 28,4 nœuds de moyenne.

Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster

January 24th, 2014

Nice picture from "Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster" by Steve Blank.

British Isles

January 24th, 2014

From France, all this is usually called "England". Now that we have strong evidence of a much more complex situation, we can conclude that actual denominations are barely manageable and keep on with old habits!


January 20th, 2014

Nous remarquons tous combien "le pouvoir" est devenu vain. Notre précédent "super-président" était surtout pathétique, le nouveau "super-normal" est surtout ordinaire… et ceux qui croient encore en leur capacité à résoudre plus de problèmes qu’ils n’en causent sont toujours moins nombreux.

Les réseaux où se construit une intelligence collective en arrivent à réduire leurs ambitions à espérer que l’évident parvienne à atteindre le niveau de conscience de politiques qui auraient déjà besoin de plus d’un temps plein pour "gérer la politique" (jouer aux échecs contre l’autre camp tout en s’assurant que ses propres pièces ne se bouffent pas les unes les autres).

Un article tout neuf de Susannah Fox vient de me titiller les neurones : elle y parle des conversations avec ses enfants autour des personnages de super-héros et de leurs super-pouvoirs (voler, guérir, être très fort, avoir le don d’ubiquité…) et de sa prise de conscience soudaine qu’elle a elle-même des super-pouvoirs – et que nous pouvons tous en avoir : il suffit d’utiliser ses réseaux à bon escient !

Si nous raisonnons dans l’autre sens, plutôt que de réaliser que les réseaux existants nous donnent déjà des super-pouvoirs, on peut choisir ou concevoir des façons de "faire-réseau" en fonction des super-pouvoirs que nous aimerions avoir… ça peut paraitre anecdotique, mais c’est l’amorce d’une expression des besoins et désirs en Interaction Design.

Creating a password

January 14th, 2014


Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.

boiled cabbage

Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character.

1 boiled cabbage

Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.


Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.


Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.


Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.


Sorry, that password is already in use!

Complexity Awareness Equation

January 8th, 2014

We are living in a complex society, with complex companies addressing complex issues. In my opinion, the most sound answer to this challenge includes switching from hierarchical to networked organizations and opening this network to the edges.

But… such dramatic organization changes can only be envisioned when two conditions are validated:

  • there is some awareness about complexity: it can be detected and assessed,
  • there is a understandable threat to keeping the usual pace.

My take on this is in the form of the "Complexity Awareness Equation":

Complexity ⟹
Grossman’s Law + Duning-Kruger Effect ➔ Dumbest lead

Let’s explain…

Grossman’s Law states that "Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers." It is the shortest way to express the malediction that organizations face when in complexity denial. It both reads "simple and easy to understand solutions will be (endlessly) tested and will (endlessly) fail" and "the more it will fail, the more a disoriented hierarchy, confusing complexity with complication, will ask for simple and easy to understand solutions."

According to Wikipedia, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority. When complex issues are addressed using regular solutions, repeated failures result in smarter people becoming unsure of their skills while the dumber suffer from the illusory certitude that the simple solutions, the ones they can understand, are fit.
As Bertrand Russel stated The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts. It might not apply to "the whole problem with the world" but it is at least archetypal to complex issues.

Applying Grossman’s law, we now know that complex issues will lead to both repeated failures of simple solutions and the demand of ever simple solutions from a disoriented hierarchy. We also know that the Dunning-Kruger Effect will have unskilled ones feel superior while skilled ones are "lost in complication". What follows is that the unskilled will take the lead.

The side effect is well known, and may probably represent the hardest issue our societies currently face. Unskilled take the lead. Their solutions keep failing and the only reason they can think of is that they were not granted enough control, or budget, or both. Accordingly they ask for more power and are usually given what they want because the more was already invested in crappy solutions, the more they become artificially valued.

This equation was elaborated from an historical study of Public Health Information Systems, an archetypal environment were many countries spend considerable amount of money trying in vain to build Patient Health Records. I latter discovered that it helps understand much larger systems, for example the Bush administration foreign policy or US secret services building PRISM as an answer to their failure to prevent 9/11.

Un texte un jour

January 6th, 2014

Si c’est moderne, c’est sur le web, c’est en réseau, et c’est social. Sinon, c’est mort pour des Petites Poucettes à qui le rythme de Facebook, Twitter et des SMS interdit définitivement d’aller mourir d’ennui aux marges du désert des Tartares.

Et pourtant, il y a du graphe dans la littérature, du lien, du mouvement, de l’intrigue ; il suffisait de trouver le moyen de connecter ces rythmes au tempo de la toile, ce qu’a magistralement réussi Sarah avec son application un texte un jour qui a aujourd’hui les honneurs mérités du magazine Libération

2014 :-)

January 2nd, 2014