NASA Space Apps Challenge

Directly after coming back from Doha to Zürich, I got a quick 6hrs of sleep and took the train to Lausanne where I was a co-organizer of the NASA Space Apps Challenge sponsored by the Swiss Space Center, among others. We had over 30 people at the event, and 3 distinguished guest speakers and judges (including Dr. Prasenjit Saha from my institute, on crowd sourcing gravitational lensing measurements), and an action packed weekend. Read More …

2011 in blogging

According to the dataviz folks at Wordpress, the concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. My blog was viewed about 9,800 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Go here http://cosmicrays.wordpress.com/2011/annual-report/ to see the complete report. Thanks everyone for stopping by and hoping to blog even more in 2012! Happy New Year! Read More …

TEDxZurich 2011: Ideas worth spreading from Zurich

I am proud to have been on the organizing team of TEDxZurich 2011. With the help of great sponsors, including the Swiss National Television Network, at which the event was held, amazing speakers and performers, and a full house of 450 attendees, we celebrated and shared “ideas worth spreading”. I was on the speakers committee, moonlighted with a bit of tech help, and the day of was rushing around making sure all the speakers were happy and prepared for their big moment on stage. Here are the videos; it’s extremely hard to pick a favorite, but the speaker I am most proud of and moved by is Dr. Eleanor Dobson who gives us a peek into the belly of CERN and how modern big science is done. Dr. Dobson’s talk was one of the talks I helped curate, in conjunction with the TEDxZurich team, and came about after I heard her passion on the subject and suggested she speak. Don’t stop there though, there are 20 videos from the day and hundreds of ideas ready to run loose. Read More …

Circle of 6 winner of White House's Apps Against Abuse Challenge

I’m proud to have been the developer behind Circle of 6, which has just won the White House’s Apps Against Abuse Challenge. I spent part of this week in a conference call with US Vice President Joe Biden, who is well informed and extremely passionate about bringing a stop to violence against women. He spent 5 minutes speaking about our app, which was surreal and heartfelt. It has been more than worth it to spend some Sundays working on such a meaningful project with a great team; and glad to see our work will be appreciated. Like our Facebook page to stay up to date and join the pledge to end violence against women. The app will launch in January 2012. Read More …

Kliq – What has been intriguing you lately?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuW5cciFX4M] I’ve been working for awhile on a way to connect people in a more meaningful manner than via Facebook–under the umbrella of the name Kliq. One thing I’m playing around with is short videos on a focused question–meaningful or irreverent but something that gives more of a connection than static text and a few Read More …

Kliq movie is live

I’m amazingly lucky to have only hobbies, even though I work constantly. The Kliq movie is live! I am extremely proud of the work myself, and my cofounder Michael Craig have done thus far and where we are taking it next, making it easier than ever to interact with people, friends, acquaintances, and potential new best friends, business partners, etc. at events you are already RSVPing to. Read More …

Galaxy clothing

I splurged and bought two galaxy printed items of designer clothing the other week from the lovely http://www.blackmilkclothing.com/. Some colleagues and I couldn’t help but think about possibilities of extending this further: what about layers of astronomy themed clothing each featuring the same image taken in a different wavelength? Interested seamsters and seamstresses or people with an idea how to print high resolution images on fabric, please contact me! Read More …

SSL and packet sniffing with Wireshark.

SSL stands for the secured socket layer and it is the way many websites handle encrypting your data as you communicate to them and helping you to verify that they are who you think they are, making it more difficult for others to view your traffic. As simple as using SSL is, many services don’t use it. What happens then? Well if an eavesdropper, let’s call her Eve, is somewhere on the same network as you are, for example if you are at a coffee house and she is sitting a few tables down from you, she can run any number of freely available tools (or one she wrote herself) to observe your network traffic. Sounds like a rather far fetched scenario, if you aren’t familiar with how easy it is to be Eve(il) if you so choose. Read More …