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Max Huijgen
Works at Outside of the Box Startups
Attended discourse wherever it took place
Lives in Europe
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Max Huijgen

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Never surrender: Charlie Hebdo will live / Pour que Charlie Vive

Cartoon by @LucilleClerc 
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Happy birthday Max ☺
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Marilyn blown away
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I have a photo where I am underneath this statue in downtown Chicago. Looks like it blew a long way!
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I was almost in awe of a Dutch singer covering 'Ne Me Quitte Pas'
until I listened to the original again. What a song, what a coverage. No match for our local talent and even Nina Simone has a hard time improving on the original.  

Nina is over here

Who do you think covered it best? (And Jacques Brel is an allowed answer ;)
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nina simone 
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Googlers: I know you're handy with words but how about some simple math?
Solving 12 : 4 × 3 (see note below) looks easy, but can you multiply the result with 1 + 2 x 3? Pick your answer below and let's see if G+ can solve the kind of 'math' we expect from current primary school students.

Vote for your answer or disagree with the pre-canned ones and provide your own in the comments

note: 12 ÷ 4 * 3 is considered identical to 12 : 4 x 3 
note 2: I reworded the question slightly to make clear that you need to multiply the result of the first calculation with the result of the second one.
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The problem is that  5 out of 4 people have trouble with fractions.
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Thought experiment: what if the Taliban tortured US captives?
Americans torture (rightly or wrongly) captured people.

Some things are not a matter of perspective. But in the mass of analysis floating around, as a citizen it is a valuable thought experiment to flip perspective and see how we would have reacted.

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No Nipple
Last week I posted about the movement and the film #FreetheNipple. I tried to shed some light on that weird puritanism where female nipples are considered the sign of the devil  / the most desirable thing on earth making it impossible for women to walk around without a t-shirt, breastfeed in public or get a tan on the beach.

To illustrate my point I used a photo of a nipple with some of the surrounding breast. And yes, after a few days Google censored it as breasts are fine, but nipples are evil.

The photo below  is allowed. I have posted it before as I found it utterly humiliating for women and it survived three years on G+ so a digitally mutilated woman is fine by G+ standards. 
The censored post can be found in the link below. There seems to be a raging debate within Google as that image has been removed and reinstated several times. Check the discussion here 

For now I present you with this  #noNipple  mutilation.
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I wonder why they allow sharing photos of the Google car...
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Max Huijgen

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Sounds like a compelling game
Did you try Factorio?
My new favorite game is Factorio ( It's like a cross between Minecraft, SimCity, and Civilization, and the result is massively better than any of them. The game is currently in "alpha", but I'm not sure why; it's far more polished and less buggy than many finished professional games I've played.

Overhead view. Like Minecraft, you start out punching trees for wood to craft a pickaxe with which you can then mine some ore to craft other things. But soon, you are building an automatic mining drill, then a conveyor belt to bring the ore to a smelting furnace, then robot arms to insert the ore into the furnace and take the smelted bars out, then more conveyor belts to bring those to other places where thy can be used. Eventually you can build power plants, labs to research new technologies, walls and turrets to defend against attackers, oil refineries, robot delivery drones, trains, and more.

The game is incredibly addictive (especially for programmers?). But what really impresses me is how the game illustrates the complexity of the real world. Factorio is a lesson in how logistics trump tactics and strategy ("strategy is for amateurs, logistics are for professionals"), and in how to build a complex system for changing requirements. The lessons are broadly applicable to the real world.

It's fairly easy to analogize Factorio to city planning. In your first game, you will quickly discover that the city you built for the early game is all wrong for the late game -- and then you realize: every real-life big city is a horrible mess and this is exactly why.

I also find myself comparing Factorio to software, especially distributed systems and networks. I find myself constantly using phrases like "buffer", "flow control", "back pressure", "throughput", "refactor", "under-utilized", etc.

One transition I find particularly interesting: around the middle of the game, you research the ability to build "logistics drones", which are basically like Amazon's quadcopter delivery drones. They can transport materials from point to point around your base -- you set up "request" points and "supply" points, and the drones pick up whatever items land in the supply points and bring them directly to whichever requester is requesting that item.

Up until this point, you mostly use conveyor belts for this task. When you first get logistics drones, you think "These are WAY more expensive than conveyor belts and have much lower throughput. Why would I ever want them?" But you quickly realize that the advantage of drones is that they are rapidly reconfigurable. Once your base is entirely drone-based, you can switch factories to build different items on a whim -- no need to re-route any conveyor belts. This gets more and more important in the late game as the number of different types of things you are building -- all with different input ingredients -- increases, and maintaining a spaghetti of conveyors becomes infeasible. This is tricky to grasp until you do it.

For a while, of course, you'll have part of your base running on drones while another part is still based on conveyors. It's like using Google Flights in your browser to search for airline tickets, while on the back end it is integrating with 60's-era mainframe-based flight scheduling software.

I can't help but imagine that conveyor belts and logistics drones represent two different programming languages (or, maybe, programming language paradigms). Choosing your programming language based on how easy it is to do something simple is totally wrong. The true measure of a good language is how it handles massive complexity and -- more importantly -- reconfiguration over time.

Another thought: In 10-20 years, when we have everything delivered to our houses via drones and self-driving taxis populating every major street, will we be able to just get rid of small residential side-roads? You won't need to drive a car up to your house anymore: it's easy enough to walk a couple blocks to the nearest major street and hop in a cab, or better yet to a train station. You don't need to carry cargo since it's delivered by drones. Delivery trucks: also replaced by drones. Will we suddenly be able to reclaim a ton of inner-city space? What will we do with it?

In any case, thanks to +Michael Powell and +Brian Swetland for introducing me to this game!

PS. Factorio is multiplayer! We've been having a lot of fun with it at LAN parties, and I just completed a coop game with +Jade Q Wang, who is also addicted. We tend to forget to do things like eat or sleep when we're playing.
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+Ted Ewen They've mentioned that the current endgame is just rudimentary so that it would not be a total cutoff. They have plans for a much more fleshed out endgame but what those plans are i have no idea of xD

Yes I know your comment was made 8months ago but if you haven't revisited the game I strongly advise you to do so. It's constantly getting better and better :D
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Now I understand this week's headlines about Google seeking a partner to make a car

We don’t particularly want to become a car maker, we are talking [with] and looking for partners.  said +Chris Urmson head of the self-driving car project.

Some design work is in order... 

With a maximum speed of 40 km/u ( 25 mph) we will have all the time in the world to appreciate the vehicle so looks are important.

We shouldn't repeat the mistake of a century ago when cars initially looked like the horse carriages they replaced, but find a new challenging design language for self-driving cars.

This looks like two rear-ends of the original Fiat 500 glued together.

If a real car manufacturer would be involved I'm sure they would come up with something bolder, more exciting. 

And it's just a prototype is no excuse: no car designer would accept this as a first incarnation as it will define public reaction.

(and you can't park two next to each other or Google earth will have to be censored. Maybe they should each bring half a bra to cover up ;) A joke started by +Sakari Maaranen 
Today we’re unwrapping the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined: the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype.  

The vehicle we unveiled in May ( was an early mockup—it didn’t even have real headlights! Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car—for example, the typical “car” parts like steering and braking, as well as the “self-driving” parts like the computer and sensors. We’ve now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle—our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.

We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year.  Our safety drivers will continue to oversee the vehicle for a while longer, using temporary manual controls as needed while we continue to test and learn.  Happy holidays!
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The hard part is making a volume of cars at a competitive factory cost. The electronics and software bit is the easy bit.
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Now what? Kim Oba-ma to strike back at North-Korean Christmas movies?
Straight from the horse's mouth, the chief-commander of the US of A speaking about the Sony hack: "We will respond, we will respond proportionally, and in a place and time that we choose. It’s not something that I will announce here today at this press conference.”

Weirdest hack ever. Sony cracked under the pressure and understandably so. This had nothing to do with cinemas refusing to show the movie. It was about blackmail: keep the film from the public and we will stop releasing more compromising data.

“Very wise to cancel ‘the interview’ it will be very useful for you,” read the message. “We ensure the purity of your data and as long as you make no more trouble.”

The freedom to release anal humor movies is a great good, but if every day that you hold on strong, more details of your operations, finance, your email exchanges and business practises are released, pulling a movie is the easier option.

Limiting the damages at the expense of the free word is an easy one for a corporation. Now what's next? Cyber wars over a remake of Lawrence of Arabia?

Salman Rushdie published his Satanic Verses at a high cost to his personal life., Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was brutally killed for his work on a anti-Islam movie. Heroes of intellectual freedom.

But who wants to die for a comedy? And which company is willing to pay the price of near destruction over a holiday box office hit? The reality is that Obama is left without the means to respond in an effective way. 

Sure a few extra sanctions and deleting the porn collection on Kim Jong-un's laptop will be within the capabilities of the US, but how do you prevent the blackmailing of corporations over ideological issues?

#SonyHack #TheInterview #Blackmail   #Cyberwar  
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The Department of Homeland Security subsequently reported there was “no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.”
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Please Google, can I return one bell after Christmas?
It's a funny prank to introduce a second +Mr. Jingles All in the spirit of the holiday season no doubt. Always nice to see engineers having some autistic fun with the G+ user interface, but PLEASE can you remove it the moment Christmas is gone again?

(my excuses if it was not your prank dear engineers: maybe your A/B testing panel came up with the best joke at your expense ever by voting to introduce this) #Notifications  
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Yes +Max Huijgen  I just hope that when they DO bring back the changes that they made that they listen to the noise & keep that page... I will stop responding to all comments that day, ( which I did on Tuesday, until they brought it back!)
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Amazon is Google's biggest search competitor according to+Eric Schmidt 

Amazon is stealing the online retail show, and Google is looking for ways to reverse this trend. Back in 2009, 24% of online shoppers began their research on search engines and only 18% began on Amazon. Now in 2014, roles have reversed and 39% of US online shoppers began their search for products on Amazon.

Why does this matter for Google?

This matters for Google because they are primarily a search advertising company. Google makes $50 billion-plus in ad revenue each year, and when people move over to Amazon for product research, this cuts directly into Google's bottom line.

How will Google compete?

According to the +Wall Street Journal, Google is in talks to add a "buy" button which would enable 1-click ordering directly from Google Search results. They are also in talks to create a two-day shipping program, which would allow them to compete more directly with Amazon's Prime service.

For more details, see this WSJ article ( note this article is behind a paywall.

#business   #Google   #searchmarketing   #Amazon   
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Very glad you enjoyed our post +Max Huijgen, thanks for resharing! Also, great conversation here +Edward Morbius and +Alex Schleber.  
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How contagious is suicide?
If you grew up with literature you will have read Goethe's 'Die Leiden des jungen Werthers' (Sorrows of young werther) where the protagonist kills himself dressed in yellow trousers and a blue jacket. The story goes that this was repeated in lots of copycat suicides, Young men, dressed the same way killed themselves leaving a romantic letter.

Later in the 1930's Rezső Seress wrote 'Gloomy Sunday, a dark musical peace which is rumored to have been forbidden by major networks as it was considered to trigger suicides.

The same has been said of Marilyn Monroe's suicide which reportedly was followed by 200 other deaths the same month. 

News papers seem to have protocols in place ranging from 'not mentioning any suicide' to at least hiding all practical details. This was recently seen when Robby Williams hanged himself. Most journalist obeyed the code and didn't detail the way he had done it.

Apparently the media believe suicide is contagious so should be hidden from the public. But is it?

Maybe the 'already decided' just copy the method. Dressing up in yellow and blue to make an intellectual connection with Werther is not the same as committing suicide just because you read the book.

Too much pills and alcohol is a sure fire way to kill yourself, but was Marilyn Monroe's death the trigger or just a reason for journalists to look at suicide statistics? 

A temporal effect is easy to understand. Once someone you feel connected to, commits suicide it could well be that last nudge to do it yourself. And the chosen method could be copied once known. Partly because of the celebrity effect, partly because it's a working example.

But would these same people live forever without that example? Is suicide contagious or does it just concentrate events and methods? 
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Yes, suicide, in a way, is contagious. As is self harm - in any form. People are more easily influenced and affected by things than they realise. For example, if a girl has a friend with an eating disorder, she is more likely to contract one then someone who has limited knowledge and no connection to eating disorders. When someone, especially someone well known, commits suicide, it deeply affects the people around them. This is what I call "sympathy suicide". Like sympathy sickness - when someone you care about or someone near you is ill, you begin to feel the symptoms as well. Or when Ebola "struck" America. It's a sort of paranoia. This paranoia brings depression and often, sympathy suicide. That is why, when a loved one is taken by suicide, one must keep a sharp eye on those around them.
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Entrepreneur, publisher
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  • Outside of the Box Startups
    life long student, 2010 - present
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Think outside the box, Technology, European, Challenging your brain
Old geek, virgin to social media, but on the internet since usenet, parallel entrepreneur, a nerdy knowledge of everything computer related, from time to time a rabid debater. 

I´m a passionate writer about nearly every subject. It´s easier to list the things I´m not interested in than the other way around. 

Knitting is currently not on my list but I wrote software in the nineties to come up with knitting patterns so it´s not a definite no. Nothing ever is.

Circles you could place me*
It´s up to you, but I write mostly about technology, internet publishing, photography and other art, patents, Europe, startups, politics and G+. Usually in depth so be prepared for more than a one liner.

Proud user of the MOAF!
When I created this account in the early days of G+ the intention was to make it into a corporate account but not only did Google step in and prohibited this but I discovered the fun of social networking.

For me G+ is the Mother Of All Forums and as I have been using forums for thirty years I feel at home.

I enjoy being on G+, sharing my thoughts, listening to others, debating where possible and the feeling that there is an enormous world out there. Outside of your own circles of life. So one G+ circle to rule them all :) 

Outside of the box thinking
I´m all about creative thinking. Innovation instead of reproduction or imitation Thinking out the box is my motto and I hope it shows.

Bragging rights
Studied so long that they gave me cum laudes just to get rid of me, but I worked while studying so no government money was wasted in the making of me :)
  • discourse wherever it took place
    Information Technology & Political Science, 1980 - 1988
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    H&R, 1974 - 1980
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam
    Information Technology & Political Science, 1980 - 1988
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