Pre holiday wrapping up

The summer may not have brought the best weather but still good times are around. This week finishing off some work before we’ll be going on an ill-prepared week long surftrip somewhere along the French Atlantic coast.

Seasoned travellers as we deem ourselves and busy as we are, we have dispensed with most of the preparation one would think would be necessary. We have some camping equipment, surfboards and roof carriers and lots of good humour to go around. That should be enough for any holiday.

iPhone Queue

That’s also a reason I won’t be getting my iPhone 3G right away like a lot of people are. I’m planning on travelling some more and this device is more of a hindrance and a risk than it is a benefit on the road.

I’m still debating whether or not I should take my laptop. Odds of us finding solid power let alone WiFi are slim and 7GB of CF memory should be enough for a week’s holiday: 1GB/day. And a week of disconnection will probably do me more good than I realize.

10th Reboot – day 2 and on


The second day started off with a talk about Free by Jerry Michalski which reminded me a lot of the topics that I had covered the previous day in my talk. Jerry’s talk being in the main hall made this turn out a lot differently than my talk.


David Recordon followed with a talk about the open web and reminded us that not that much has changed in the last six months since I saw him on the same topic in Berlin. The big social conglomerates that have each other in a chokehold make for glacial progress.

Arduino Workshop

I dropped in on the Arduino workshop which was a very nice introduction into building electronic stuff. Because I was already somewhat familiar and I wanted the freedom to bounce around the conference, I hadn’t registered but I did get some questions in to further my own ideas.

Joshua’s talk proved to be one of the best of the conference —with this great quote— marred slightly by the fact that his partner could not make it for a more complete stage presence. His work and vision how technology works towards freedom is very relevant and interesting though we usually stare ourselves blind at Silicon Valley and the likes.

After the conference we made a yearly chaotic meetup somewhere in the city trying to get something to eat more or less succesfully after which we made our way to Vega. The party in the bar was quickly replaced with a party outside with tipping beers and music where everybody had a great time. Even the arrival of police could not really stop our party.

The next day I was going to get some coffee at Kafeplantagen when I remembered that some people were having a post-Reboot brunch at Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus. I was a bit hesitant to join after having already spent two days with these people but I’m glad I went inside. I got to catch up with Chris Messina, Brynn Evans and Janetti Chon and talk about the differences between the USA and Europe.

10th Reboot – day 1

Reboot 10 is over and in my experience they simply get better every year.

I’d signed up for a session and got slotted on Thursday morning so I spent a good part of Wednesday preparing and running through the story. Of course after having gotten over my early flight and having eaten something at the Laundromat.

My session on Free Economics was filled over capacity while it was meant to be a cosy conversational session. Fortunately that also meant more than enough people willing to participate and add information, so I think it went well and it proved a good starting point for the rest of the conference. My stress relieved could follow the rest of the sessions.

There were a number of other Dutch presenters most notably: Kars, Ton, Ianus and Iskander. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of them present, but I’ll catch up on that when the video’s are posted. Being programmed against Andy Budd meant that I missed his presentation as well, but maybe I wouldn’t have fitted in the completely full small room anyway.

Thomas vander Wal

Thomas Vander Wal’s talk —always nice to have him over at this side of the ocean— gave us some great elements for social software to base our thinking on and concluded with a way to get organizations to think about the dichotomy between keeping information and sharing it.


It was a joy to hear music in the presentation on Tradition by Jeremy Keith. More music is usually a good idea as we would also see in the final party.

On Reboot I never can keep up going to sessions and usually it’s better not to. The interactions in the hallways and the lobby especially during the lull when there are sessions going on are more interesting on a personal level than anything else.


The first day’s talk got concluded by a fun treatment of information by David Weinberger. During dinner it was also very interesting to get a preview of his session from Siert Wijnia about his Fablab and what the commoditization of the production process will do to product design and manufacturing.

Off to Copenhagen

By the time this post has been published I will be on a train on my way to Schiphol to fly to Copenhagen to attend the 10th edition of Reboot.

Copenhagen has become familiar territory and I’ll be there for only four days. Acclimatizing on Wednesday which kicks off with a boat trip. Thursday and Friday will be conference days during which I hope to see a lot of people and I have been alotted a small session where we’ll talk about Free Economies.

Saturday will be spent recovering, maybe a run along the lakes or a decent brunch or burger and Saturday evening my train will depart for the Netherlands. The train journey back I’m looking forward to a lot more than the plane ride in.

Value Added

The Dutch government is thinking of increasing the VAT from its current 19% to 20% at the end of this year (source). That may seem like a lot, but for instance in Denmark I believe it stands at 25% and Denmark is a pretty nice country.

I’m curious to the rationale of such an increase of 1%. Why increase it at all? In the current political climate it will only increase perception that Jan Modaal is being screwed over by government. And why then not increase it directly to 25% or 50%, if it’s such a good thing?

In other news a radio commercial claiming that ‘taxation is theft’ (source) was banned this week.

Workshop session on geodata visualization

Yesterday we had an afternoon of workshops in an unconference style event at the office. A full registration of the event with video and slides will be published during the course of this weekend, but unfortunately most of it will be in Dutch.

I did a hands on workshop of a small datavisualization project I did this week and I registered myself on video using Screenflow. The video (in Dutch) is below:

Geografische Datavisualisatie from Alper Çugun on Vimeo.

And the result:
Public Transportation Travel Times

I did not make a keynote instead opting to the more hands on presentation of narrated browser tabs interspersed with live demoes and code samples.

Here’s a list of the tabs I’ve used during the presentation.


Using the iPhone to Mine for Gold & Sense

City Sense


Data gathering

Travel-time Maps and their Uses

Travel-time and house price maps

mySociety Travel Time and House Price Maps

Wikipedia — Postcode

Postcode map (one digit)

Google Maps



GeoNames, query, webservice

Simple visualization


ArcGIS Desktop

Open Source GIS

Wikipedia — GIS

Google Earth

KML Reference

Adobe Kuler

Wikipedia — HSL and HSV

Google Maps — Retranchement



Surfing Summer

Mr. Zog's Sex Wax

We had an excellent summer last year surfing on and off on Scheveningen as the waves allowed. This year has been mostly flat, but we had some waves a week ago and end of this week promises some nice swell, so surf is up.

It’s nice to have a surf spot this easily accessible, but I’m curious how surfing in real waves is. So this July we’ll be headed off to Aquitaine or Basque country for a week to check the waves over there.

Apple’s new iPhone

Today was a day of many happy occasions. The Dutch national soccer team utterly crushed the reigning world champion 3-0. And Steve Jobs held his annual WWDC address announcing a 3G iPhone for the masses.

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

“Twice as fast. Half the price.” Hell yeah. I will be getting me one. It’s been some two years since T-Mobile shafted me and I can’t exactly say that the other telcos in the Netherlands are worth a damn. Might as well go back for 2 years of servitude.

July 11th it is and no official price yet, but I will be queueing at the store.