Chinese mobile phones

There seems to be a rising interest in Chinese mobile phones here in the West. The reason for this is because they offer the same features at much lower prices, are available as dual boot and dual sim and there’s simply a lot of choice.

I am also considering to buy one in 2013 and currently orienting myself.

Now the issue is that mainly these phones are relatively new with very little hands-on experiences. One might wonder if they even work on our networks. What about after sales service? What kind of SIM cards fit the models? And, heck, how the charge these phones? Obviously, important other things to look at are the quality of GPS, WiFi, battery and camera amongst others.

I’ll leave it to others to come up with the verdict.

As this is introductory, please find below three relatively unknown brands and their flagship smartphone products.

Jiayu

This company has been active since 2009 and mostly produces phones for the local Chinese market. Since the Jiayu G3 is in, it also receives more international attention. They are aiming for the higher priced market segment and offer devices with great specifications and high quality. The “high price” is to be taken very lightly since in Europe you get a lot of worth for relatively little money.

Jiayu does everything in-house. They have there own R&D department and do both the phone manufacturing and sales with some 800 folks on their paycheck.

So Jiayu’s current flagship is the G3! The G3 carries a 1GHz Dual Core processsor and has 1GB RAM & 4GB ROM memory. Of course it also suports Wifi, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and FM radio. The screen is 4,5″ and supports an astounding 1280×720 pixels. It also has a fast 8MP camera with autofocus and flash and a 2MP camera in the front. The phone is only 10,8 mm thin, weights 158 grams and the measurements are 135 x 65 x 10,8 mm. Its battery is also pretty strong: 2750 mAh.

Here a review for the G3:

Huawei

Huawei is a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It is the largest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, after having overtaken Ericsson.

Huawei also produces and sells a variety of devices under its own name, such as the IDEOS smartphones and tablet PCs. Recent products include U8800U8860,E220AscendU7519, Huawei Mercury M886, and U8150. In 2010, Huawei Devices shipped 120 million devices around the world. 30 million cell phones, of which 3.3 million units were smartphones, were shipped to markets such as Japan, the United States and Europe.

A particular high end model that stands out for me is the recently introduced Huawei Honor 2. The Honor 2 packs a quad-core 1.4GHz K3V2 processor, 1GB, 8GB of onboard storage, microSD support, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 4.5-inch IPS display, ICS and comes around a $300 price tag (1888 yuan). Note that this is double the price of Jiayu G3 though and it only carries an Android ICS (< 4.1). Huawei will only offer Honor II with 1GB of RAM at the moment, but the company promised it will be upgraded to 2GB RAM in the future for the same price. Not bad right?

The camera is quite impressive too. Here’s a sample:

Get it through Amazon China!

Oppo

OPPO Electronics Corp., Ltd is an electronics manufacturer based in DongguanGuangdong. Its major product lines include MP3 players, Portable Media players, LCD-TV, eBook, DVD/Blu-ray Disc players and mobile phones. Founded in 2004, the company had registered the Oppo brand name in many parts of the World., with a company mission to become one of the worldwide leading brand in consumer electronics. The company has introduced quite a number of new products with their own innovation and design, aiming to climb up the value chain to be a sound brand on their own internationally.

The excellent looking Oppo Find 5 has some amazing specs: a 5 inch display with 1920 X 1080 resolution, 2GB RAM, quad-core Qualcomm 8064 CPU and impressive 12 mega-pixel rear camera! It was launched on 12 December in China. The measurements are as follows: Body size: 129mm * 65mm * 6.9mm flat, with no protruding.

Only downside of this device is its battery power. With only 2500mah, the  5 inch device with a 1080p resolution won’t probably last long…

Oppo said the Finder 5 is also going to hit mainland Europe!

Here’s a hands-on review of this very promising phone by Engadget:

Ok so now you might wonder where to buy these type of phones. Well, here are some webshops that deliver:

Do let me know your experiences!

Feestdagen

Het is weer die periode waarin we ondergedompeld zijn in de kerstsfeer, met de nodige pakjes bij de boom en de kerststal uiteraard.

Ik ben er niet zo “wild” van. Het eindejaar voor mij is vooral terugblikken op het voorbije jaar. Niet naar de winkel hollen voor allerlei nutteloze cadeaus die al de volgende dag weer worden omgeruild. Of je op de ijsbaan begeven en eindigen met een gebroken nek. Om nog maar te zwijgen over mensen die hun ledematen verliezen of huizen die in lichterlaaie komen te staan door een vuurpijl die jammerlijk verkeerd terecht komt. Of die melige en eindeloze eindejaarslijstjes: “dit was 2012”. En al die voorbereidingen die moeten worden getroffen om het jaar 2013 nog maar te kunnen beginnen! Mijn god! Moeten nadenken over je resoluties en wensen voor jezelf en anderen.

And so on.

Ik walg er zo een beetje van als u begrijpt wat ik bedoel.

Neen, eindejaar staat garant voor tijd doorbrengen met vrienden en famlie. Het warme knusse gevoel. Dat heb ik gisteren mogen beleven op de IMBIT alumni nieuwjaarsreceptie.

Het was een etentje in restaurant Samoerai in’t Stad. Over het Steen. Enkele oud gedienden waren ook van de partij en de showcooking was top. Ze stoppen je in een kimono en al. Een absolute aanrader.

We zijn ook nog gestopt op de kerstmarkt voor een jenevertje. Want dat hoort er bij hé…

Maar stop nu met regenen, miljaar! Ik wil sneeuw.

Ha!

Héy Maya’s… kust men kloten allemaal… ik overleef 2012!

Michael Van Peel heeft weer iets straf op poten gezet met zijn eindejaarsconference Van Peel Overleeft 2012. Over de dolle fratsen van het laatste rampjaar. Zo klaagt hij ook de absurditeit van GAS boetes aan. Zoals Van Peel het formuleert: “Een top idee om rap iets op te lossen. Ge hebt geen rechter meer nodig, geen bewijsmateriaal, geen getuigen. Het enigste wa ge nodig hebt is éne onnozeleir met een klak, nen bic en een beperkte wereldvisie. Das al.”

‘k Heb er echt van genoten.

The case for a professional IT association

Jelle Wijkstra, deputy editor of automatiseringsgids, has a very good point in his latest column. It talks about the VRI, Vereniging van en voor Register informatici, a professional association in The Netherlands for IT. This organization sort of maintains the code of conduct and defines the knowledge requirements for an IT professional to be able to earn and keep the same professional designation.

Professional associations are common sense in the practice of professions such as doctor, notary and accountant. Basically such organizations exist for nearly every type of profession. As a practitioner, you need to undertake a minimum level of continuing professional development to stay professionally competitive. It should also be in the interest of the professional association to penalize those who do not attain the necessary skills, by withdrawing their professional degree for instance.

Just like Wijkstra, I can absolutely see why we would need such a professional association for IT too. The work we carry out is in the public interest as Wijkstra says: companies go bankrupt because of IT failures and security flaws in the IT infrastructure allow for identity theft for example. Here’s what should be the scope of such a professional IT association in my opinion:

Competency development

The IT industry constantly changes and the only way to keep up with contemporary issues is to constantly undergo trainings. This might lead to a certification afterwards. Of course, engineering principles do not change, this is the foundation. But processes might be refined, new technologies keep popping up and industries get regulated all the time. To a certain degree, I agree that it is left down tot the practitioner itself to enhance his/her professional skills and to stay competitive. However, my contention is that it should be up to the professional association to create sort of an industry wide baseline in terms of professional education in order to maintain quality.

Licensing

Based on the education, professional experience, certifications and so on, the association should issue licenses and degrees. Essentially it should allow you to be “associated” and allow you to perform a licensed service that is regulated by state, federal or local government. This has always been essential for occupations like a doctor, lawyer, engineer and teacher, so it is and should definitely be in IT too.

Advisory services

The association should provide support to members by offering advisory services. This can be in terms of technical helplines, knowledge artifacts and process libraries.

Networking

They also should offer opportunities for professional networking, to find a new job and business development advisory services.

Others

Tout court, the work in the IT field requires the association to keep an eye on integrity and all other quality challenging issues. This also means for instance ensuring there’s a fair compensation, educate users on how to use the Internet (e.g. the need for Internet/computer license) and think how shift work should be regulated.

That being said, it seems however that both the IT industry and its clients still don’t seem to understand the necessity of such an organization. The very saddening numbers in The Netherlands don’t lie either: only 505 practitioners registered themselves up tot today. At least that is better than Belgium, as I am not aware of any such associations at all.

5 great Spotify apps

It took me a while, but now I’m really enthralled by Spotify. Streaming services are not new to me. I have been using Last.fm and Pandora for a long time already and tried out Jango Radio on my smartphone. But what Spotify is doing on the Desktop is just pretty much overwhelming me. ((It would be interesting to find out what alternatives there are to Spotify and how they compare on different criteria))It offers endless possibilities. That’s why last month I also purchased an unlimited account. This basically means two things: 1) I can listen unlimitedly to millions of song and 2) there are no more ads. Beginners could just start with a song they love, hit the Spotify radio and it will bring you one great track after another. Perfect if you don’t know what to listen to, or if you’re in the mood for something new. But that’s not where it ends. You can opt in for a much more personalized experience. Spotify has a great music app ecosystem too, and I am just really impressed. It offers a wide variety of apps along categories such as music discovery, lyrics, social, music concerts and reviews. It’s even a bit of a shame hat I only discover it now, since Spotify has been already on the market since last year. So below are the Spotify apps that I like and am currently using.

TuneWiki

If you are eager to know the lyrics of a song, check out TuneWiki. It displays lyrics in time with when they’re sung during any song you play on Spotify. Their database is crowdsourced so you can edit and synch lyrics yourself. There are two modes. The main mode auto-scrolls the lyrics for you as the song plays. Sync mode enables you to listen and match a song to its words, line by line, for the good of the Tune Wiki community. Great for your karaoke nights too!

Last.fm

I have been a user of Last.fm since 2004 so this tight integration with Spotify is just what I longed for. Everything is available from a single interface. The main thing that is important about this app is that it automatically scrobbles your tracks to your profile. It also recommends tracks you might not have heard, based on what you like. Additionally, it lists the albums you played over the last 3 months, recent tracks you listened to and the ones you loved. Another useful feature is that you can easily create playlists based on whatever is playing at that time: great at parties when you want to keep it alive. Of course, there should still be a reason to lead you to the Last.fm pages itself, so that’s why there’s no trace of your top artists and tracks.

Moodagent

Another service that’s available as an integrated app is Moodagent, a service that recommends music based on very specific musical qualities such as tempo and mood. This allows Spotify users to choose any song that happens to suit their mood at the moment, and then automatically build out a mood-based lengthy playlist of songs that are likely to evoke the same emotional response. It lets you pick a progression curve based on either tempo, sensuality, tenderness, happiness or aggression and the playlist will adjust accordingly to your selection. You can view the mood profile of the entire playlist and adjust the track sequence by using the mood curves.

Soundrop

Soundrop is a pretty advanced social listening service. It is organized around chat rooms and you can also create your own. They can be dedicated to a certain genre, theme or artist and everyone can add and vote on tracks to listen to. Every room comes with a space where fellow listeners can write and send messages to each other and check out ongoing activities. Not sure where to start? Check out the trending rooms and find out the top influencers and tracks. It’s raining outside and Santa Claus is coming to the town.

Schermafbeelding 2012-12-23 om 14.54.53

Pitchfork

Pitchfork.com is the indie hipster’s bible – an online magazine with news, reviews and features about the best in cult music, old and new. The Pitchfork Spotify app is a companion to the site, offering playlists based on features and quick links to the music they review. It’s an ideal extension, giving you the chance to make up your own mind as you flick through the site. A collection of annual and themed playlists completes the offering together with an overview of the best new albums. A cool feature is that you can also share the album’s they review with other Spotify users. By the way, NME.COM is doing something similar. They bring you the latest music news and reviews too and their Spotify app lets you check out the bands they recently loved and recommend and there’s a whole bunch of playlists based on a certain theme, artist or genre. Same goes with the HLN.be and DeMorgen.be, but they are more directed towards a Belgian audience and do not offer the same deep functionality as Pitchfork or NME. Similarly, they provide you with reviews about concerts and albums. The articles are accompanied with relevant songs that can be saved as playlists.

Resource allocation

Greg McKeown kind of nailed it on LinkedIn.

There is always a tension between specialization and generalization and I am not suggesting we should shift entirely to one side or the other. Being able to do many things is important in many jobs today. Broad understanding also is a must. But developing greater discernment about what is distinctive about us can be a great advantage. Instead of simply doing more things we need to find our highest point of contribution. Failure to be conscientious about this represents the #1 mistake, in frequency, I see capable people make in their careers.

The above is so very true. Luckily sometimes we are conscientious about this and do realize that our strengths, knowledge and skill-set are not used at its best. Often we are indeed capable of making more valuable contributions in other areas. This is essentially an unfortunate development for both the individual, the company and its customers from a micro perspective and the market at macro level. I hope you may agree with me that one’s role and designation in the first place is a huge motivator for the individual. It enhances self-development and growth as a professional. Consequently, it will contribute to the growth of the business too.

To add to this discussion, I think we should also factor in our education/qualification in the equation. For young people this is important and very relevant too. I read a research from the University of Ghent recently and I can totally agree with it. In this study, it is pointed out that starter jobs below qualification are not a launch pad to a job at the right level. The results of their analysis demonstrate that young school leavers would benefit from continuing to look for a job that matches the skills they have acquired at school. If they accept a job below their qualification level, they risk becoming stuck for a long time and not progressing to a job that matches these skills. All this unused knowledge is leading to a loss of economic efficiency also. In other words, our qualifications being out of synch with our job, is not a healthy development for both the individual and the market. This can really dampen the individual’s spirit.

Then also, if the individual complains about his/her job not being challenging enough, the danger exists that out-of-touch managers delegate more of their responsibilities to them. This will of course ease the situation, but is not a sustainable solution. It all depends on the business requirements, available opportunities and a good sense of drive to move into the most suitable position. But generally speaking, as Alexis de Tocqueville said: “when citizens are all almost equal, it becomes difficult for them to defend their independence against the aggressions of power. As none of them is strong enough to fight alone with advantage, the only guarantee of liberty is for everyone to combine forces. But such a combination is not always in evidence.”

Flexibiliteit in arbeidsvoorwaarden

He was working the lazy-Euro angle, pushing for extra daycare, time off for sick relatives and spouses. The last policy binder he’d dumped on V/DT had contained enough obscure leave-granting clauses that an employee who has sufficiently laywer-minded could conceivably claim 450 days of paid leave a year. Now he was pushing for the abolishment of ‘core hours,’ Corporate Eurospeak for the time after lunch but before afternoon naps when everyone showed up at the office, so that they could get some face-time. Enough of this, and GMT would be the laughingstock of the world, and so caught up in internecine struggles that the clear superiority of the stress-feeding EST ethos would sweep them away. – Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribes

Het bovenstaande fragment schetst een beeld van een decadent Europa. Misschien wat overdreven, maar het is er niet ver van af en zo zou het in de nabije toekomst wel kunnen worden als we niet veranderen. Het doet me een beetje aan de opgezwollen samenleving in de film Wall-E denken.

Wat ik wou zeggen is het volgende. Het bedrijf waar ik werk is Indisch van oorsprong, en in India liggen de zaken net iets anders. Geen vijf weken verlof zoals dat in Europa gangbaar is, maar vier. Ook een vergadering op zondagavond is niet uitgesloten. Een hele andere wereld dus, met andere waarden, normen en gewoontes tout court.

Vaak wordt er gezegd dat de loonkosten hier veel hoger liggen en Westerse medewerkers een lagere flexibiliteit tonen. Het eerste is zeker waar, maar het tweede moet vanuit een specifieke context worden bekeken. Hoe kan je er voor zorgen dat, onder invloed van diverse culturen, het afgeleverde werk kwaliteitsvol is en probleemloos verloopt? Dat is de uitdaging waar we voor staan.

Soms merk ik dus wel dat wat er hier gebeurd letterlijk een ver-van-mijn-bed show is voor het Oosten. Vergelijk maar eens onze gezondheidszorg, onderwijs en sociale zekerheid – jawel, de geneugten van de verzorgingsstaat, met de hunne. Inderdaad, in vele West-Europese landen is het de staat die de primaire verantwoordelijkheid draagt voor het welzijn van zijn burgers. Onze generatie heeft deze exuberante levenstijl dan ook helemaal in de schoot geworpen gekregen.

Werken met bijvoorbeeld Indische collega’s is vandaag geen uitzondering meer. Openstaan voor een andere cultuur is één ding, maar het is niet altijd evident om de cultuur volledig te begrijpen. Er blijven communicatie problemen en andere conflicten. Een typisch voorbeeld. Zij komen laat en vertrekken weer laat. Wij zijn vroeg op post en vertrekken eerder. En hoe zit het ook al weer met overuren in België? Oh ja, die moeten we regelen bij CAO. Maar meneer, er zijn ook nog schuivende werkuren en wachturen. Hoe gaan we daar mee om? En wat met arbeidsduurvermindering? Arbeidsvoorwaarden om soms gek van te worden.

De moraal van dit stuk is dat we van elkaar kunnen leren. ((Dit stuk is grotendeels gebaseerd op een vorige post over de verzorgingsstaat, maar vanuit een andere invalshoek bekeken.))

Het lijkt er vaak op dat in Azië het werk centraal staat, en dat familie op de tweede plaats komt. Je zou dan kunnen zeggen: ze zijn flexibeler! Hier een voorbeeld. Nog steeds is naar het Westen (onsite in de volksmond) komen de ultieme droom van vele jonge Indiërs. De werkdruk en productiviteit ligt hier misschien nog hoger dan India, want er worden minder uren gepresteerd. Maar de lonen zijn nog steeds hoger. En ondanks de inflatie in deze opkomende economieën piekt, stijgen de lonen niet evenredig. Toch vertrek je niet zomaar naar hier. Er heerst een zekere onzekerheid rond eerst en vooral het verkijgen van een visum en ten tweede is de verblijfsduur lang niet zeker. Zij kiezen dus welwillend en bewust het onzekere boven het zekere. Laten hun ouders en familie achter. Dus in dat opzicht zijn zij veel flexibeler en minder standvastig dan wij wat het werk betreft.

Je kan ook zeggen: ze zijn minder flexibel! Inderdaad, langs de andere kant zijn medewerkers van offshoreleveranciers vaak niet dezelfde rationele westerse mensen zoals wij dat zijn. In deze andere culturen staat vaak de familie centraal. Dat soort familiebanden verwachten zij ook op hun werk. Ze willen dat u iedereen kent, persoonlijk terzijde staat als er iets niet goed gaat. Als ze trouwen moet u aanwezig zijn, als ze scheiden verwachten zij van u raad en daad. Bijgevolg brengt dit sociale aspect teweeg dat deze culturen in zekere zin ook minder flexibel zijn.

Toch moet je vele collega’s van het verre Oosten meegeven dat ze flink wat lef hebben. Je krijgt niets zomaar: je moet ook geven. Het én-én verhaal. Niet verwonderlijk dat de boodschap in vele Bollywood films is dat het vaak een tragedie en moed vergt om écht succesvol te worden. Dat zit in hun cultuur ingebakken. Zij houden er in feite dan ook een compleet andere levenswijze op aan, zeker in vergelijking met waar wij voor staan. Er wordt keihard gewerkt, want de achterliggende redenering is dat je niets voor niets krijgt. Als je op straat belandt, dan is dat jouw schuld. Er is geen systeem dat je opvangt. Je staat er alleen voor en moet jezelf bewijzen. ((Toch is het onderwijs in India niet minder toegankelijk dan wij het gewoon zijn. De staat heet namelijk plaatsen gerserveerd voor de laagste kasten om te studeren aan de universiteit.))

“The Euro sensibility, with its many nap-breaks, statutory holidays and extended vacations seemed ideally suited to a double agent’s life.” – Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribes

En ja, in feite staan wij hier in Europa misschien te veel stil. Nemen we geen beslissingen. Zijn we niet dynamisch genoeg. Het sociale europa lijkt op zijn elan verder te bouwen en te teren. Hoe lang is zoiets nog houdbaar zonder structurele hervormingen? Onze Westerse economie rijdt op steunwieltjes. Het is maar de vraag hoelang om een 10% van de bevolking pap in de mond te blijven in te lepelen. En wat zal de reactie van onze generatie zijn die alles maar als evident beschouwt en één van hun prominente eisen die de werk/leven balans is – generatie Y. Zij vereisen een goede balans tussen werk en leven en zijn minder flexibel.

Ik zou ijveren voor een aangepast sociaal beleid (bijv. de loonkosten omlaag) en anderzijds ook aangepast onderwijs om een mentaliteitswijziging te bewerkstelligen. Dan alleen kunnen we in spelen op de ongelijkheden, die aan het hard liggen in vele conflicten. En uit de slechte economisch conjunctuur te geraken. We moeten vooral met zen allen weer keihard aan het werk en inboeten op het vlak van work-life balance. Want flexibilteit in arbeidsvoorwaarden is schaars.

PLSQL stuff

I’m learning new stuff all the time. Here’s one of my new tricks in PLSQL.

When you’re dealing with huge volumes of data, often you need to manipulate this data and execute multiple steps one after another. It becomes cut-and-paste work of a huge amount of identifiers. For example, first fetch me all the employees that have following IDs, and then update the leaves entitlement with 20 days for the employee names retrieved from the previous query. The identifiers need to be between single-quotes.

There are basically two solutions to this data-intensive cut-and-paste work.

First of all, you could just paste all the data in a text editor: identifiers line by line. Then you would need to replace the selected data with \n with ','. This will return a single line with all identifiers separated by comma’s and single quotes. You could then copy this line and use it in your next query.

Or you can be more clever and just eliminate the above intermediate and redundant step. Just directly manipulate your data in the query itself. Use the below concatenate function in your SELECT statement itself:

concat(concat('''',i. service_id),''',')

Even more smart: just automate it altogether and loop!

-- Loop: Select employee name and country values for following employees.

BEGIN
FOR empl IN (
SELECT empl.name, empl.country
FROM tb_employees
WHERE empl.id IN('121','122','123','124','125','126'..'N')
ORDER BY empl.id
)

-- Update the data
LOOP
-- update leave entitlement to 20 with retrieved country from previous query

UPDATE tb_leaves SET
leave_employee_country = empl.country,
leave_employee_entitlement = '20'
WHERE leave_employee_name = empl.name
END LOOP;
END;


--commit (do not forget commit when you update !!!!! )
--end of file

Ha!

Smart stuff with lights

Over the past few weeks I got fascinated by the idea of light.

I stumbled upon this interesting read in the weekend edition of the Belgian newspaper Gazet Van Antwerpen. It covered Philip’s personal wireless lightning solution called hue. And it seemed so fascinating to me!

Hue consists of a couple of parts. First of all, it uses these special LED light bulbs. They can display different tones of white light – from warm yellow white to vibrant blue white. And every color in between. Also, these light bulbs are very convenient and easy to install.

Now you might want to wonder where all the clever stuff happens. Philips designed the hue bridge to make the magic happen.  It’s the “bridge” between your bulbs and your hue smart phone app in fact.  You need to plug it into the back of your wireless router, using some network cables. As easy as it gets, you can then use the app to control your wireless bulbs. The app comes with a whole lot of settings fine-tuned to your mood. For example, the “Energize” setting will give your energy levels a boost. Perfect for those moments when your batteries are running low. The “Concentrate” setting will change all your selected LED bulbs to a tone and brightness that will help keep you focused and alert. Choose the “Relax” setting and all your selected light bulbs will change to a soft, soothing glow. And of course, there’s also a “Reading” setting, which makes reading become a pleasure again. What’s also interesting, is that Philips built an entire community around hue. All of the scenes created by the community can be used with your very own wireless LED bulbs!

It is just amazing how much health and wellness benefits that light can offer. And what an experience it can create apparently!

And how this hue system explains how much radical progress we have made! Here’s why.

Matt Ridley devoted a couple of paragraphs on lightning in his latest book The Rational Optimist. He explains, in terms of economic growth, that artificial light lies on the border between necessity and luxury. In monetary terms, the same amount of artificial lighting cost 20000 times as much in England in the year 1300 as it does today. Or put another way: an hour of work today earns you 300 days’ worth of reading light; an hour of work in 1800 earned you ten minutes of reading light. And these numbers don’t even take into account the greater conveneience and cleanliness of modern electronic light compared with candles or kerosene — its simple switching, its lack of smoke, smell and flicker, its lesser fire hazard, as Ridley points out.

And the improvment in lightning is by far finished! I just demonstrated that clearly with what Philips is doing with hue.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are highly efficient and have the added benefit of working at a portable scale. This can and will surely transform people’s lives.

Think about what improvements in lightning efficiency mean!

Also, just think about what scientists can do with all these data about our lightning use. Enterprises likewise. Today it is possible to generate data on a single light bulb, such as switch-on and switch-off times and the frequency of use. It’s about looking at ways of using such data effectively to meet organizational and personal goals.

But let’s not be too serious about this light thing. If NPP Doel 3 and Tihange 2 remain closed, this will threaten electricity supply or cause shortages during the next cold snap. And what do our members of parliament propose? Well, to shut down the highway lightning! Wonderful.