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Sophie Wrobel
Works at iQser GmbH
Lives in Remchingen, Germany
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Sophie Wrobel

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Generation C's demand for privacy: Social media is evolving

The meaning of privacy is evolving - it seems that the younger generation does value privacy, but not in the same sense that the older generations have.

Privacy, for younger people, is reflected in their demand for technological media that limit the access to information they are sharing to their social circle. Older, digitally-sensitive folk also make conscious decisions to restrict which information is shared to whom. Yet these positions differs in one key area - the amount of trust offered to the technological platform operator. Younger generations tend to assume that underlying platform operator is an honest player: a potential fallacy that older generations take the opposite stance on.

The change in trust between the two generations on that particular factor is a pivotal change in the digital ecosystem. This trust is essential for deriving data-based benefits out of operating such a communications platform. It is what causes intelligence agencies and marketing departments to flock to platform providers, and the core to understanding and providing personalized services. And with the rising generation more willing to offer up that trust than their parents, it looks like market pressures of supply and demand - with this change in trust driving the supply and demand for social media providers offering the sort of walled gardens that Generation C is looking for - is going to fundamentally change the landscape of social media as we know it.
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Just invest in p2p tech instead.
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Success is not your goal. Avoiding failure is.

This is a wonderful reflection on why success is such a fleeting state, and takes a very simple - yet very approachable and effective - method to attaining success. The following excerpt sums it up:

He always said, “I just try to avoid being unsuccessful.” That is the number one thing I learned from him. He said that you should study what makes you unsuccessful, unhappy, broke, fat, stupid. Then, eliminate those things out of your life.

The alluring part of this approach, compared to many others, is that most people know what they don't want already, but don't know what they really want. And knowing what you don't want is all that you need to start on this pathway - steer away from what you don't want to be, and towards what you want to be. If your closest friends are pulling you down, perhaps it's time to find some friends who will pull you up - and with that, not just your attitude towards life will change, but so will your success.

#Geist #Charisma #Happiness
Do you really think you’ll be successful if you simply copy other people’s habits? If that was the case, success was eas…
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+nyeko ric
awe Seems like you pray the thug called Jesus.
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Cell targeting

Cancer is certainly a dreaded condition. And this approach - targeting cancer cells with intelligent nanobots that recognize protein signatures and release the right drug in response - could certainly help provide a more beneficial treatment alternative. But what does the payload actually contain, and how accurate is the targeting mechanism? Creating an auto immune condition certainly wouldn't be nice.

Or more importantly, how certain are we that the bots are safe, robust enough to avoid self destruction and remaining non manipulated during therapy, and exiting the body after therapy?

/via +IdeaFaktory​
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Then it is the question, if the fast evolution of machine can really be countered by the slow evolution of medicine.
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Sophie Wrobel

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Effective personalized learning, but without personal information

Coming from Facebook, I'm quite skeptical on Zuckerberg's particular take on personalized learning. It looks like an attempt to monetize the immense data reserves held by Facebook with very little investment on learning outcomes.

But at the same time, I think it is worthwhile to highlight the effectiveness of personalized learning as a tool that has been repeatedly demonstrated to give children a deeper understanding for and appreciation of the topics to be learned. Yet these effective experiment conditions involve an integrated, involved personalized learning experience - a far more integrated and far more involved experience than I suspect Zuckerberg is thinking of.

Rather, I am referring to a system which teaches children how to find what they want to learn about, and encourages them to discuss, explore, and intrigue each other into learning more. Because finding and analyzing information is a much more valuable skill than regurgitation these days. And even more important is understanding and applying acquired information - which is what these newer learning environments encourage through appropriate technology integration and modified pedagogic form.

To better understand what effective personalized learning should mean, I highly recommend you take a look at these TED speeches - they're a few years old, but still equally relevant (yes, that's goes to show how slow our education system is at embracing change!):
- Sugata Mitra (2010):
- Sir Ken Robinson (2010):
- Sir Ken Robinson (2013):

Personalized learning without personal information
If you look closely, this latter sort of personalized learning doesn't actually require personal information to create personalized learning. Instead, it requires students to create and define a learning context - and build interest groups around that context in order to conduct learning. What makes this learning personal is the fact that each student has a unique combination of learning contexts, depending on their interests - meaning that each student has their own expert specializations, while still learning enough about all contexts to attain a broad general education base. Or to make things simpler to understand: why not recoin the term 'personalized learning' as 'contextual individual learning', to avoid confusion on whether personal information and associated data privacy issues come into play?

That's where Zuckerberg misses the point: yes, we need personalized learning. But we don't need a service that collect personal information in order to deliver personalized learning. What we need is a service that delivers contextualized information to provide personalized learning.

#Education #Privacy #PersonalizedLearning

/via +Sabine Eckhardt Legakulie
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+Eileen O'Duffy well, language changes. I doubt that back in the 80s 'personalized' was a bad thing - we didn't have the context of widespread global data abuse that big data and social media have made possible.

One thing that I've noticed is that large enterprises looking to offer new online services are starting to shift away from 'personalized', because they realize that consumers don't want to build individual profiles all over the place (and hand over their data). Rather, consumers want a relevant online offer experience without the profile-building stuff. In my opinion, that applies to shopping just as much as education: put relevant, interesting materials together to create a unique individual experience - yes. Build a profile around each individual where they have to fork over data - no.
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From DRM to Smart Contracts to CopyFair

As nice as a digital commons might be, I think that digital commons platforms today lack in one particular aspect embodied quite closely by 'CopyFair'.

In the race for data ownership and data monetization, large corporations have built significant businesses around collecting data and works from users, and capitalizing on their productions - but not sharing the associated profits. The result is a transfer of capital from consumers to intermediaries (online platforms), leaving the creators and data owners out of the loop.

CopyFair is one attempt at reworking the profit sharing agreement, paying out royalties to data owners / creators for commercial use of their works and information. While it is not perfect, it represents a major step forward to building a viable, long-term digital economic system that ensures continued capital flow as opposed to capital concentration.

#Economics   #Policy   #OpenSource   #DigitalCommons   #CopyFair   #Copyright  

/via +Hoda Maalouf 
By David Bollier, author, blogger and consultant. From open access platforms to managed digital commons: that is one of the chief challenges that network-based peer production must meet if we are going to unleash the enormous value that distributed, autonomous production can create.
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There are several countries developing a blockchain voting system right now.  There are also some apps coming out, like

Most of those concerns you have are only a problem because of the monopolistic corporations that have central control over everything, +Sophie Wrobel.  Their model, based on industrial age mentality, will not last in the new era anyway, they are just bridges. (not that they think that)
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1 Month Update: Healing arthritis

It's been slightly over a month now since I've started a change in my nutrition and exercise schedule in hopes of getting rid of arthritis, and as promised, I'd like to check in and share my first results.

The program
To summarize, my changes involved following a balanced vegan diet, introducing a number of targeted, foot strengthening exercises, and continuing my regular exercise practices.

It's a good week now since I'm able to walk without pain. :) Yay!

Side notes
Almost nothing comes without side effects. And therefore, I'd like to share with you some of the side effects that I've noticed.

Sustainability: Perhaps the most important note. I consider this regime to be not sustainable, at least not with my lifestyle. The main problem is that around two hours after eating, I get hungry again - and not just a 'I'm hungry' annoying stomach rumbling, but a hard energy fail (which is terrible in the middle of training!). The explanation is also relatively logical: sugars, and simple carbohydrates, are effective for about that long after a meal. Beyond that, the body shifts over to using fats and proteins as energy sources.

Intestinal Flora: Solid excretion now takes place on a daily basis and has a healthy consistency, as opposed to every few days. Also, farting has significantly reduced. (which makes sense - more fiber and less meat means things go through the system faster). Without doing any biopsies or inspections, I have no way of verifying, but this improvement is indicative of a healthier intestinal flora.

Immune vitality: I've avoided the fall flu season so far (whether or not this may be related is uncertain - there are suggestions that increased vital nutrients result in a better immune response - or maybe I'm just lucky!).

Food taste: Some foods that used to taste good (like normal pasta) now taste bad - whole grains taste better. I suppose I'll have to live with this socially challenging annoyance.

Change to barefoot shoes: Sometime around the end of October, I received a suggestion from a fellow dancer who is struggling with a painful hallux valgus: she indicated that barefoot shoes were absolutely amazing, because the hallux didn't hurt with them. I got myself a pair, and am impressed. Not, however, because they have minimal padding or any other "barefoot" qualities (I cannot attest to any barefoot feeling), but for the sole reason that they don't squash my toes, not even lightly (most shoes, even extra wide shoes, squash either the big toe, the little toe, or both). Maybe someday the rest of the shoe industry will figure that one out! It's possible that shoes are a compounding factor, but considering that I acquired them towards the end of the month, I doubt they have a relevant impact in this reporting time period.

What next?
Well, I'm going to have to experiment a bit to see if I can find the right balance. That means adding more fats ('good' fats) and proteins than the recommended mix, in particular before training times, in order to prevent the 'hard energy failure'. I also intend to start re-introducing various other foods in small quantities, to see what happens and if indeed there is a relationship between certain foods, or food groups, and inflammation.

#Geist   #Arthritis   #Health   #Nutrition  
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If you haven't seen a rheumatologist, you should consider having a full-on rheumatology work-up.  I started having issues in my late 20s with arthritis -- but arthritis is not a disease, it's a symptom.  

It was not until I had a stroke at 48 that we discovered that I had auto-immune vasculitis, and possibly more specifically Behcet's Syndrome (a subtype).  

If I had discovered the vasculitis in my 20s or 30s, it's possible that I might not have had the stroke that has left me essentially house-bound and in permanent chronic debilitating pain, 100% disabled, for the rest of my life.

All this not for sympathy, but to say, vasculitis has a very different set of therapies and approaches than simple arthritis, but arthritis is an early manifestation.  It's best to eliminate what else (besides vasculitis also) could be a root cause.

As you can see, the etiologies are multiple.

It's like pneumonia.  You don't just get pneumonia.  You get bacterial pneumonia, or viral pneumonia.  You get it from a particular organism.  And so on.  For arthritis, there is some reason you are getting it.  Is your doctor absolutely sure it's just that you've rolled horribly on genetics, and if so, that it's a bad roll on arthitis and not on Reynaud's or some auto-immune dysfunction?

For you to have arthritis so young is particularly suspect.  Make sure your doctors are considering all the possibilities.

Try to get to a rheumatologist.  If your doctor tells you you don't have to because it's not rheumatoid arthritis, tell him he doesn't know what he's talking about because any early arthritis can be a sign of inflammatory/auto-immune disease, and it's worth checking.  Maybe not in quite so many words...
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Sophie Wrobel

21C Transition  - 
Adaptive Capacity
How ready is your organization for tomorrow?

I think this is a wonderful short video outlining five critical aspects to ensuring an organization's 'fitness for survival' - namely, it's ability to react to changes in the marketplace and overcome difficulties. The five building blocks are:

(1) Structure
(2) Strategy
(3) Talent
(4) Culture
(5) Purpose

Okay, not too surprising so far. But something has changed: all of that has to cross the digital chasm somehow, and still remain interconnected. Which means we need digital platforms that follow a strategy that can:

(1) Analyze and make connections between these diverse, more-or-less intangible and weakly structured fields
(2) Adapt to constant changes during organizational adaptation
(3) Deliver immediate results throughout the constant adaptation.

What's your approach - and what are your most difficult hurdles in crossing that divide?
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Weaving new patterns of meaningful connectivity - both inside and outside organisations. Then, realigning the two.
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Gaming the legal system to the detriment of public health and safety

TFOA, the stuff in Teflon, is a standard in non-stick cooking pans. But it is only one compound in a whole class of compounds - including TFOA-substitutes - that have not been adequately assessed for public health and safety before being used in manufacturing.

The story of Robert Bilott's case against DuPont concerning TFOA points to just how deeply and intricately manufacturing companies are gaming the system, to be able to continue to produce products. There are several systematic issues:

1) Lack of public awareness, and public misconceptions. I remember the 'Teflon Scare' initiated by the public brief that Bilott published. Shortly thereafter, everyone got told that you could use Teflon, but don't turn the stove to high, use any cooking utensils in the pan, or put it in the dishwasher. Or consider the vague statements on the presence of TFOA in a water bill. This sort of information, while practical, does not provide any explanation of the risks or the basis on which the tips are derived - and without that information, leaves an eerie gap in public awareness of health consequences. There is not just an awareness gap in what chemicals do, but also in what chemicals are present where. There are lots of chemicals in processed foods that do not need to be listed, and therefore aren't listed. In plastics and other synthetics, there is even less regulation - do you have any idea what is in your clothing? Your cooking tools? Your crafts glue bottle? Probably not. And if you do know, then you already know how difficult it is to get a hold of information, and how difficult it is to put it all together.

2) Lack of consumer-safety oriented regulation. What happens when TFOA one day becomes banned? Manufacturers just move on to the next compound in the family - and there are so many of them, and so many more being created every year, that the slow pace of year-long litigation won't be able to keep up with it. And the consequences of each product are wide-reaching and devastating: not just entire communities with poisoned water supplies, but also the entire world - how did Atlantic salmon suddenly show up in the picture? Consumer products should be regulated such that only compounds that are provably safe for consumer health are allowed in the materials list. Today, pretty much any compound that isn't on the exclusion list can be used in consumer products. We need to turn this around - any compound that isn't on the inclusion list shouldn't be used in consumer products, with rigorous health and safety regulations before new compounds are included.

3) Lack of liability. Who picks up the bill at the end of the day? And how do you reverse contamination that spreads around the world? TFOA isn't the only compound that has crossed oceans in its fallout - in a more recent example, Fukushima radiation outfall are quite visible in western US agriculture. And with thousands of unregulated compounds and thousands of aging provisionary waste containment facilities that become permanent (in many cases despite being designed to be temporary and lacking appropriate maintenance and long-term safety mechanisms in the design) due to lack of appropriate disposal alternatives, we have a lot of baggage to deal with, with no preventative solution and no solution to ensure appropriate clean up when its too late. Compensation for today's victims - if they survive long enough to get compensation - simply doesn't clean up the mess for tomorrow's citizens. It's time to push up the stakes for taking responsibility, and if it means that companies go bankrupt doing so, then so be it - companies that care enough to stay around in the future will be smart enough to adapt their practices to match changing regulatory conditions.

#Health #Environment #Geist

/via +Jürgen Hubert
Rob Bilott was a corporate defense attorney for eight years. Then he took on an environmental suit that would upend his entire career — and expose a brazen, decades-long history of chemical pollution.
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+Sophie Wrobel apparently link to cancer is not enough

Well.. again - you have to draw the line somewhere.  Ban it if it causes cancer in lab rats at 3,000 times the expected exposure level for humans?  What about slow-acting carcinogens that take 20 years to manifest?  (Consider skin cancer caused by UV in sunlight - that sunburn you got when you were 7 can come back to haunt you a half-century later...)

For bonus points - what do you do with reports that cooked red meats cause cancer?  What happens when you try to remove beef from the marketplace?
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Sophie Wrobel

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2016: expanding horizons

You may have noticed that I haven't been around here too much lately. There's been a lot going on behind the scenes planning and setting up for this year, and will be a lot more going on this year.

But, a new year is time for reflection and planning ahead, and it is quite a challenging year planned ahead - one requiring growth in all horizons.

Family: last year, our family size increased. And as kids grow, so does the size of their problems... Or however that old piece of wisdom went. Each of the three kids has new projects for the new year (some force-selected and some self-selected), and keeping them motivated while pushing them to explore their weaknesses as well as their strengths is a continual challenge. One of their projects which is publically available:

Educational: I will be finishing a certification in health, as well as starting a master's degree in IT law. This has been an idea that I have been toying with for several years now - formalizing my interest and activities in the field - and I'm finally getting around to turning that to reality. Perhaps also a good excuse to analyse events that transgress in 2016!

Work: I have some quite sporty growth goals for this year. I hope the markets keep pace and are ready! At least, if Gartner is right and effective big data management is a hot topic - in particular how to fast track legacy data and legacy documents into an integrated, dynamic enterprise ecosystem - then 2016 should be an exciting year.

Farm: my partner has just bought a strip of farmland - one of his long-standing dreams. So this year, as new farmers, we'll expect to spend quite a bit of time tending the orchards, and over time adding a vineyard and adding honeybees. The next two months won't be too busy on the orchards, but after that there will be work to be done.

Dialogue: sometimes I wonder whether you realize how important you are to me. Like every human, I have need of entertaining, intriguing, intellectual dialogue - and amidst all the bustle of daily life, this is one of my most cherished dialogue outlets, and I look forward to continuing to converse here throughout the year.

And the question at the end of the day - will it all fit into that 24 hour per day limit that we all have? I'm sure it will - everything is a question of priorities.

#resolutions #2016 #PersonalGoals #life #Geist 
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+Ha Wai​ thanks for the offer! I used to have a vineyard, but that was an existing one - a new start is going to bring some new challenges, particularly in the first years and because the new strains are more fussy than the old ones. Any advice on getting through the first few years?
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Sophie Wrobel

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Intellectual property vs. the information ecosystem

Oh, no - this is particularly troubling. I can understand that content owners and creators want to profit from their work. But the proposed solution of telling search engines to pay out profits to content creators, is a doubly bad idea. An initiative that needs to be stopped, and replaced with a more intelligent and more modern one. The internet information ecosystem isn't perfect, and does need change, but destroying it completely won't make things better.

First, it will either destroy the search engine business, or cause search engines to stop listing major publishers (causing them to cry out or at least allow relisting of their works without cost). Search engine optimization is a key marketing tool, and should be incorporated into business plans that way.

Second, it does not address the complexities that digital content creation involves: how do you deal with remixes, derivative works, and so on?

I think that what we need is an overhaul of the information ecosystem to reflect content ownership, change history, and fairly distribute profits as part of the business strategy of all parties involved, throwing current copyright ownership into the inspection mechanism and replacing it with a more up-to-date version reflecting critical issues sich as: Who is the content owner? For what purpose has the content owner shared their content? How are derivative works, and derivative contributors, fairly compensated and attributed? What exactly is being sold, and how does the service offered and user demand relate to what the contributor has contributed? 

/via +Eileen O'Duffy 
The European Commission is preparing a frontal attack on the hyperlink, the basic building block of the Internet as we know it. This is based on an absurd idea that just won't die: Making search engines and news portals pay media companies for promoting their freely accessible articles.
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+Chris Harpner in my experience, there are good law professors over 50 who 'see the vision' and would make very valuable contributors. I'd welcome their input anytime, because with their experience, they can highlight, and help solve, challenges that techies may miss. But they aren't too many, and they don't get paid as well as the contributors backed by 'dinosaur corporations'.
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Sophie Wrobel

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Unintended consequences of cost-savings: cables that damages electronics

It's no secret that manufacturers want to cut costs. But cost cutting sometimes has more consequences than those manufacturers may test for - and this results in electronic devices reaching end-of-life earlier than expected.

The problem is very hard to verify. In this particular case, cables are marketed as being compatible with a particular specification, but upon inspecting the hardware, the Google engineering department has discovered that by using a cheaper, smaller capacitor, the specifications are not being met. That, in turn, means that the cable does work - but damages your equipment at the same time.

While this is a shining example of how cost-cutting around technical specifications and lying about them afterwards is particularly damaging to any electronic system relying on standards, especially because the explanations are public, precise, and difficult to bullshit against, it's certainly not an isolated case.

I know everyone hates bureaucracy... but if companies can't self-police to get fundamental things like international electronics standards right, with grave consequences for consumers, then perhaps it is time to introduce some bureaucracy back into the process to ensure a basic quality standard for standard interfaces.

#Economics   #Standards   #Fail

/via +Urs Hölzle 
One of Google's engineers has taken to Amazon to debunk bad cables and offer advice on which options consumers ought to pay for.
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Reminds me of the capacitor plague.  
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Sophie Wrobel

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Using "zombie cells" to battle cancer without side effects

Current cancer treatments target all cells with high growth rates - meaning that cancer cells, which multiply quickly, die, but other cells that multiply quickly end up slaughtered in the crossfire, such as hair follicles, intestinal cells, and so on... resulting in the standard battery of nasty side effects accompanying chemotherapy. But what happens if we could target just the cancer cells, and not the other cells?

That's what this latest bit of research suggests: Leukemia is a type of cancer affecting the bone marrow, leading to a large amount of undeveloped blood cells swimming around in the blood stream and thus limiting the effectiveness of blood in doing what it should be doing (transporting nutrients, wastes, repair tools, and fighting evil invader pathogens). The research team used an antibody to search for developing leukemic cells, and turned them into leukemic killer cells (that selectively kill leukemic cells) instead of 'normal' leukemic cells.

Put into an analogy, that's very similar to how fictional zombies work - only this time, the zombies are the good guys. If humans are cancer cells and zombies are the killer cells, then by introducing this antibody, we create the first zombie (leukemic killer cell). That zombie goes and kills all the leukemia cells around it, turning them into new zombies (more killers!) until there aren't any cancerous cells left. And just like humans tend to have poor chances holding out against a zombie apocalypse, those cancer cells have a tough fight against the zombie hordes of transformed killer leukocytes.

There are two very beautiful aspects to this solution of turning the cancer against itself:

1) Only cells that have started to develop leukemia are targeted, meaning that normal bone marrow cells continue to produce blood cells normally while the cancer cells die, and only to-be-cancer cells get transformed into cancer-killers. That means that once the cancer is eliminated, your body can stabilize to a normal condition quite quickly and safely.

2) Thanks to the receptor pleiotropism phenomenon, the cancer-killers target only leukemic cells, not any random cell in the body. That, in turn, means no side effects!

And, of course, let's not forget the poetic justice in it all: those who do evil get the evil that they deserve turned back on them. Evil cancerous cells deserve to die, and are thus brought to justice with a method as menacing as the one that they inflict to the rest of the body.

This sounds very promising. It will be interesting to see when, and how effective, the first human trials are!

/via +Eli Viertel 

#Cancer  #Treatment #Science #Medicine #Geist
By subjecting cancerous cells to a certain kind of antibody, researchers were able to transform them into natural killer cells — cells that can take out cancer.
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Update: first human case treated with this therapy is successful so far: a little girl in the UK.
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  • iQser GmbH
    Strategy and Business Development, 2014 - present
  • Independent consultant
    Information Consultant, 2014 - present
  • CAS Software AG
    Software Architect, 2011 - 2014
  • IBM
    Application Development Expert, 2006 - 2011
Basic Information
Other names
Everything is possible in the virtual world, it's only a question of innovation.

Advocate for technological innovation, digital literacy, and online privacy.

Things that I am passionate about:
  • Technology - Trends, Innovation, Mobile development, Performance, Usability 
  • Online Ethics - Censorship, End-user rights, Data ownership and protection. 
  • Human Awareness - Power of the mind, Relationship to the world and other beings, Quest for Harmony
  • Food - I like to eat food, but don't expect me to post about it often!
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Remchingen, Germany
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