Mjays Planet

… deprecated

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on April 30, 2010

This place here, so it seems, experienced a rather short resurrection. But all is well, I will continue blogging, hopefully even more regularly. It just so happens that that won’t take place here, at wordpress.com’s serverfarm, but instead over there, at my freshly set-up home at mjays.net. It’s still a little rough around the edges and needs some further work…

This place is, as they say, deprecated. This blog won’t be repopulated anymore, but will continue in this form as archive.

If you are reading this by feedreader and want to continue reading that stuff I deem worth blogging about, you will need to redirect that feed’s subscription to: http://mjays.net/feed/

Thank’s for sticking around. Hope to see you at my new place.

This American Life – Inside Job

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on April 12, 2010

This doesn’t need too many words. My favorite podcast, This American Life, which together with the team of NPR’s Planet Money did such a marvelous job at explaining the reasons and mechanisms of the subprime crisis in their show back in November 08 have aired a new amazing episode.
Inside Job looks at the workings of Magnetar, a hedge-fund which grew heavily throughout the crisis by sponsoring and shorting CDOs (that’s those toxic sub-prime mortgage assets which got us into this mess) and thus basically betting that the stuff that they helped create tanks.
So by all means, head over to TAL and listen to the episode.

And as a sidenote: I’ll be at re:publica from Wed through Fri — so if you’re there too, give me a shout so we can meet up.

Your Questions on the Smart Grid?

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on April 6, 2010

So it turns out that my talk about Smart Grids for this year’s re:publica got accepted.
I’m genuinely thrilled and working on the preparation of the talk.
But I kind of hit a brick wall: I just don’t know what you guys out there already know and what your questions are. I’m kind of trapped with a deformation professionelle here, as I’m working on that stuff for some time already, and a lot of it became self-evident to me.
So if you were planning to join my talk, may I ask you for a favor? Please tell me, what you are interested in, what you already know and what is a gray area. This would help a lot in the preparations. You can do this in the comments or just send me an email at talk@mjays.net.
Thanks a lot.

Tanslating Website Copy

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on March 17, 2010

Currently, I’m in the process of translating website copy for a product we want to launch in Germany.
Now mind you, I’m not a copywriter. (Unless, as many How-To-Blog-Succesfully-Blogs would have you believe, you think writing this is writing copy…)

But I’m stumbling on interesting things during the process, some of which are connected to the product, so of course I can’t tell you about it, but some of it are not.
First, it is amazing how much more space you need to say/communicate the same things in German. I never really thought about it before. And it is weirdly counter-intuitive, shouldn’t it be that German takes up less space, given all the compound words and all that. But it turns out it is way more complicated to convey a meaningful message in short German, than it is in English.
Second, you stumble across one very important problem: How do I talk to the customers. It’s fairly easy in English, because that distinction is not there in the first place, but further, the language of many web-based services nowadays seems a lot more colloquial than in the German environment. I have yet to find a reason for that.
Third, it seems to me that it is far easier to convey quite difficult concepts in understandable terms in English than it is in German. When it comes to explaining concepts, the German language usually resorts to making up new compound words to help grasp the concepts, whilst English utilizes imagery comparisons. Hence it is easier to understand complex issues, as the metaphors reduce complexity.

So there you have it. These are some of the reasons, why this blog will be written in English. (To be honest, there are many more, but most of them I cannot pinpoint as clearly as the ones mentioned above). And now I should probably get back to translating this website copy.

bisschen ruhig hier

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on September 8, 2009

aber hier drüben ist bisschen mehr los

links for 2009-07-20

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on July 21, 2009

links for 2009-07-18

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on July 19, 2009

links for 2009-07-02

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on July 3, 2009

links for 2009-05-28

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on May 29, 2009

links for 2009-05-19

Posted in Uncategorized by Martin Spindler on May 20, 2009