Author Archive

From Fear to Fun

Posted: June 27, 2011 by lisabu00 in solving IT-problems

Before I started studying, my computer was mainly a tool to play – for facebook, emails and other distractions. But since my computer is my best friend and working partner, I decided to order my stuff a bit more structured.
After rearranging all my data in different folders, I tried to achieve a clearly laid out formation in my web browser as well, because it’s the tool I use the most.
So I began to collect a lot of links I often use and need and ordered them in folders and bookmarks to get to the homepage I want just with one click.
But for any reason, I thought it could be even more efficient and I started to look for tools to facilitate my surfing in the web and to save time later on.

My web browser is Mozilla Firefox and so I came across Add-ons and Plug-ins which can amplify your browser and give him a lot more features. They both have almost the same functionality – they extend the usability of a programm. But while Plug-ins are often a part of another software that works together with your browser, Add-ons are a specially built for your browser as a addition to the software.
For more detailed information look at ’Difference betweens add-on and plug-in’.

Surprisingly, I discovered, that my Plug-in folder is already pretty filled with programs like Adobe Acrobat, Java toolkit, DivX Web Player and more.
For this reason, decision making was fast and easy – I want to focus on the diversity of Add-ons.

Firefox offers 2.529.060.452 different add-ons to download, which are all cumulated at mozilla.org.
There you can choose between 14 diverse categories like ‘data privacy & security’ or ‘photos, music & videos’ or ‘RSS-feeds, news & blogging’.

To show how my browser looked like before I started the add-on marathon:

(these coloured stripes at the top I just added some weeks ago – fancy, isn’t it?)

To start with something easy, I thought it might be nice to do some little changes in the design. So I looked in the category for ‘tabs’ and installed ‘Colorful Tabs’. After some installing and saving, the window with all my plug-ins and add-ons appeared, where I just had to click on ‘activate’ and I was done. After restarting Firefox, a dozen of coloured tabs appeared. If you have a lot of tabs opened, the colours makes it easier to distinguish between the different ones and in addition – it just looks nice.

But to come to something more useful:
To make reading easier and faster, I discovered the add-on ‘Readability’. It allows you to reduce the content of a homepage only to the necessary – the text itself. Everything else disappears, which makes it very easy to print the text and to read it without distractions. Same old story: downloading – saving – installing – activating – finished. You can try it with every homepage you want. Just use the shortcut: CTRL + ALT + R.
In the same category I found Read It Later, which works perfectly together with the Readability add-on. This add allows you to move interesting articles to a little folder, where they are collected and saved and it gives you the opportunity to read them at a later date. Just get an account, register yourself and you have access to the list wherever you are. You can filter them, sort them in a special order and just look for the newest.


But to come to the one, which I liked most and which all computer ‘nerds’ I’ve talked to recommended – adblock. After pressing the button ‘Zu Firefox hinzufügen’ and 30 seconds of installing, I was a proud owner of this really helpful tool, how I will recognize in some minutes.
Immediately after I restarted my browser, I was asked if I want to add a filter subscription for the cooperation with adblock. I just said yes – and here we go. To show the effect, the example of gmx.net is a pretty good one:
Before adblock:                                                                                        With adblock:

Adblock inhibits all kinds of annoying and blinking advertisement and commercial articles to appear and reveals the real content of the web page. Many sides are now easier to read, important information are more definite and it’s not that crowded anymore.

I could make an endless list of really useful and great add-ons here, but I think this isn’t the goal of this task.
I got lost for hours and my add-on folder has incredible 20 items now (before there were 2). I also installed ACE Foxdie, FEBE, Last Pass , Play Drums and many more useful or just funny additions for my web browser. They all work the same way. They are like the whipped cream on your icecream. You don’t really need them – but with them – it just starts to be fun.

Add-ons are like apps for your smartphone – you can’t get enough of them and they make you spend too much time for it. But as I have to do a lot of research, have to write many documents and emails, it’s much nicer to spend hours in a colourful browser, with tools helping me to be more efficient and faster than without it.
The idea of this little und free inventions are just to facilitate your daily life and to make improvements in your self- organization.

If you combine some features it can really help you to find information very easily and faster and it also supports you in collecting information and transforming them the way you need it.

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A Drop of Innovation Please…

Posted: June 23, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment

When I was looking for new innovations and news in the field of Green Business – I use the GreenBiz.com homepage for those purposes – I came across this article: 10 Perspectives on the Future of Water.

One of the links the article provided was the homepage of the ‘The Future we Create’ with the current virtual conference of the future of water.

The talk which caught my eyes the most was the statement of Guy Horowitz of TaKaDu who talks about the ‘innovation or investment gap’ in the water industry.

He talks about the urgent requirement of investments and innovation in the water infrastructure, because spending on water is not visible and not perceived as important yet and revenues are spent for other projects. (more…)

Intelligence in Buildings

Posted: June 15, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment

In my last post I wrote about Masdar – a very intelligent and sustainable city with a sophisticated energy system without CO2 emissions. Very smart thing.
The imagination every city in this world would take Masdar as a prototype and would develop a similar system, would be really awesome, but we have to admit – as amazing it seems, as unrealistic it is.
But let’s start in a smaller portion. Many firms like IBM specialized in the field of Intelligent Building Management and construct skyscraper with an integrated IT systems to “Improve facilities & real estate asset reliability & performance to reduce energy, lower maintenance & management costs & extend asset life to help create a smarter building.”

But it isn’t that easy, to write down a certain definition of what smart buildings are about. So the Greenbang blog published a very informative article about how different organizations define it and what it makes so smart. (more…)

Masdar?!?

Posted: June 9, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment
Tags: ,

Since the temperatures in Germany climb higher and higher, everybody digs out its old bicycle from the dark corners of the basement.
As soon as you can avoid the stinky surrounding of the s- and u-bahn (because people tend to sweat in summer) you’re even up to suffer some sportive activity.
But in the area where I come from, it’s not always possible to take your bike for all occasions, because driving 30 km per day isn’t that unusual. Since public transportation isn’t that common there, I was wondering, where it is actually more sustainable to live? City or rural area? Flat or house?

While I read a lot of very intelligent essays and reports concerning this topic, I figured out, enough other people think and argue about it.
So there’s sufficient material to read about it out there in the endless spheres of the web.
But I still wanted to keep this track and came across MASDAR. (more…)

Dancing under green leaves

Posted: June 6, 2011 by lisabu00 in environment
Tags: ,

Last weekend I was walking through the streets of Berlin. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and people with sunglasses and flower skirts were passing by as I was heading to another open air festival this season on a Sunday afternoon.
After managing the endless line of guests we entered a dirty, but charming place with little docks and bridges to the small water channel, comfortable deck-chairs and a cute bar, which reminds of Caribbean beaches and cocktail shakers. Crowds of people are already dancing in front of the DJ and raise the dust of the scruffy floor until everybody is slightly covered with a fine film of dirt. But nobody cares. For most of them, that’s what it means to enjoy summer in Berlin. The atmosphere is great, the weather is awesome, the music is overwhelming and the people are nice.
A lot of fun for just a little effort.
But when I saw the cigarettes stubs and bear bottles swimming in the brown water next to us, I was wondering how ecologically friendly those events are and if it might be possible to transact it with a greener touch. (more…)

Children’s Chocolate

Posted: May 24, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment, politics
Tags: ,

Everybody is praising the globalisation and its huge advantages and opportunities. Nobody doubts it’s not like that.

But who is the sufferer in this shiny development?

Who does not benefit of the possibility of worldwide trade and communication?

I read a article these days in ’Die Zeit’ concerning the ingredients of food and the truth about them. In order to give customers a platform for complains about certain substances in products, the German government is planning to implement a forum called ’Wahrheit und Klarheit’(Truth and clarity). Comments will be reviewed by professionals and in case of importance, complains will be transmitted to the company which is asked to give at least a public response.

But is it enough just to look at the ingredients of chocolate and co?

Shouldn’t we look where the ingredients come from and how they came together?

(more…)

Mind Mapping

Posted: May 23, 2011 by lisabu00 in about us

As it was our task to do some brainstorming concerning our interest in combination with IT, this mind map was the result. (more…)

Green Travelling

Posted: May 18, 2011 by lisabu00 in environment
Tags: ,

Since I’m living in Berlin I feel the urgent need for holidays. As much as I love living and studying here, as hard is it not to adopt the stress and the hectic rush from the city. Working, studying and going out without letting a possibility pass by can make you forget yourself.

So now imagine – you’re lying in a hammock, the sun is shining but palm leaves cover your face softly with shadow. You listen to the sound of waves gently rushing to the beach and a delicious shake of fruits and rum refreshes your body. You’re relaxed and calm and the only thing your mind is concerned about is the question of the next drink.

Sounds good, isn’t it?

Since my general idea was to show interesting aspects of green businesses, I chose to discuss the topic of Green Tourism in this fourth post. (more…)

When I was a kid …
(I haven’t thought I would write a story starting like this before I turn 50)
… being cool and ‘IN’ was a pretty big thing.
In primary school, you were cool, if you had the newest Gameboy or the flashiest shoes.
In secondary school you were cool if you had the most hours of absence or a driving licence and in the best case – a car.
After school, you were cool if you threw the biggest parties, could drink like a rockstar or had the dirtiest sex. (more…)

From Food to Franchise

Posted: May 3, 2011 by lisabu00 in development, environment
Tags:

Even I was really surprised. It didn’t take me a minute to choose my recent topic.
Normally I would sign the latest posts of my blog partners without changing a word. Finding the best fitting topic for yourself can become an endless procedure and often ends with a not really satisfying result.
But fortunately, it was different this time and my thanks applies to our great Dr. B.

(more…)