Thursday, June 21, 2012

iPad 3 harnessed for sailing

My iPad 3 is now prepared for summer holiday at sea. After some research, the choice landed on Griffins Survivor case. Both because it is reasonable priced and it fits the iPad 3 (even if not stated explicitly on the package). An alternative - the Lifeproof case, not available for iPad 3 yet , looks pretty good, but is slightly more expensive.

After testing it outdoors, I already suspect one problem - sun reflections. With direct sunlight and a small angle, the plastic screen cover very quickly turns into a mirror.

The apps ? Navionics Marine HD of course. Its is a must and have integrated weather forecast which is a huge advantage. In addition Havneguiden (Harbour Guide) which is an excellent guide to all harbors in Scandinavia. Finally,  I can recommend the Windfinder app on iPhone - it provides real time weather data from several weather stations along the coast.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Nassim Taleb: The Black Swan - the impact of the highly improbable

Nassem Taleb born in Lebanon (1960), focuses on problems of randomness and probability. He has been a wall street trader, hedge fund manager and professor at several Universities.

The book have been on my wish list for a while and it suddenly stared at me in a bookstore  - I decided to finally read it.

It is one of these rare books that is important not because of what you learn, but because of what you un-learn.
Humans are in love with the thought that there is a casual link between all historical events and that that most things are possible to predict given the right models.

Economists and social scientists are also in love with simple
models based on Gaussian curves where the mediocre is the centre and everything else is considered deviations from it. Very few real life phenomena actually fit this nice abstract mathematical model. If you are dealing with risk and the magnitude of one single event far from the norm is so big that it changes the whole game - you might be in trouble. 

We have a strong bias towards building models based on the knowledge and information we have, and to a far less extent consider the possible impact of knowledge we do not have. This lead us to create models that nicely accounts for every single grass in the field, but rules out the possibility of a tree.