New Camera

March 7th, 2010

After about one month of searching and reading reviews on and similar websites, I bought my first digital SLR last week. Just like most IT projects this one also ended up way above the planned budget after talking to a couple of people with more experience than me.

Eventually I ordered a Canon EOS 7D the 15-85 IS USM kit lens and a bunch minor small parts like second battery, etc.

The plan is to revive my photoblog where I used to post photos from the old industry ruins around Chemnitz, Germany. We’ll see, how often I manage to update that page. The link is here:

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This is one of the first pictures with the new camera documenting the results of sheep feeding on genetically modified flowers (seen in Konstanz this weekend).

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Breakfast @ Air China

February 20th, 2010

On my way back from Hong Kong to Frankfurt I had the “pleasure” to fly with Air China. On the way to Hong Kong they had already set a new lower boundary for airline food, but on the way back they really got me. After ordering the “not Chinese breakfast” from one of the flight attendants, I got the Chinese breakfast which looks like this:

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I had a dejavu with a scene from “The Matrix”: After Neo has left the Matrix and has a meal with the crew of Morpheus, one of the crew complains about the white slimy stuff that they have to eat. It contains all you need to survive, but tastes – well, not so good.

Guess, what the white stuff on the bottom of the photo is like. ;-)

Never Air China again!

Helge Schneider in Concert

February 19th, 2010

Yesterday, the German comedian Helge Schneider gave a concert in Saarbrücken.

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Here are a few of my favorite quotes (German, as a matter of fact):

  • “Der Mensch ist, weil er lacht — und gähnt.”
  • “Schließe die Augen. Was Du jetzt siehst, ist Deins.”
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My Favorite Activities in Hong Kong

February 13th, 2010

After the conferece I had two extra days in Hong Kong. Here are my favorites from the last days:

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No. 1: The Skywalk on Macao Tower. At 200 meters, you can leave the closed observation deck and walk on a platform around the tower. No handrails, just a harness and 40-50 km wind.

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No. 2: Hiking Hong Kong Island. We found a closed trail that leads from West Peak down to the south side of the island. The views were absolutely amazing. The island is half jungle and half mega-city. Add a very steep and rocky trail and you get probably one of the best hiking trails ever.

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No. 3: Watching the skyline of Hong Kong Island at night. According to Wikipedia, Hong Kong is the city with the highest number of skyscrapers world wide.

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No 4: Kowloon (a part of Hong Kong) also happens to be the most densly populated place on earth. Walking across its night markets is also fun.

Presenting MEDICO @ IUI 2010

February 13th, 2010

Here are some photos from our system demo at the combined poster and demo session at the IUI 2010. We presented our multimodal dialogue shell for the MEDICO system.

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Although small, all the hot shots were here:

  • Hery Lieberman + bunch of other students from MIT Media Lab
  • Princeton University, CMU, Cambridge
  • a number of research labs: German T-Labs, IBM Research, SAP Research, Palo Alto RC, HP Labs
  • and even someone from my alma mater TU ChemnitzIMG 3659

The organization was very well, location and service were top and a number of top speakers gave interesting and inspiring presentations.

@ Intelligent User Interfaces Conference 2010 in Hong Kong, China

February 8th, 2010

Currently I am attending the Intelligent User Interfaces Conference (IUI) 2010 in Hong Kong, China. Sunday was the day of the workshops. In the Gaze Workshop I gave a presentation for the Text 2.0 Framework, work by my colleagues at DFKI in Kaiserslautern. Some more information on the paper is online here.

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Not only because of the jet lag we spend the evenings outside of the hotel. Above is a picture from Kowloon.

Tomorrow I have another presentation together titled “A Multimodal Dialogue Mashup for Medical Image Semantics” which is joint work with Daniel Sonntag from DFKI in Kaiserslautern.

The real conference has just started but it seems like brain computer interfaces are becoming a big topic in the community.

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Here is another curiosity from one of our restaurants: Toothpicks with vitamins and minerals!

First Impression from Hong Kong

February 7th, 2010

Until today I thought, the skyline of New York is impressive. It still is, but Hong Kong is a class of its own.IMG 3557

More photos soon…

Ph.D. thesis writing activity so far

January 30th, 2010

This video shows the activity of the SVN for the Latex sources of my Ph.D. thesis for the last months. However, there is still some work ahead…

Alps in the Chartreuse

December 25th, 2009

A Shack in the Alps

December 25th, 2009