Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    Archive for January, 2016

    Recommended: “Parasyte: The Maxim”

    30th January 2016

    Parasyte: The Maxim (2014) on IMDb

    This anime is the best that I have watched since (all seasons/full features of) Ghost in the Shell. In fact, I like this one more than Steins;Gate – which I can also recommend, but it takes patience to watch the first 3-4 episodes. With Parasyte, no patience is necessary: it is a very smooth flow from the very start until the very end. Luckily, season 1 is all there is. Just like with the legendary single season of Firefly :)

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    Smiling Amsterdam: under surveillance

    27th January 2016

    Coat of Arms of Amsterdam

    Coat of Arms of Amsterdam by Ssolbergj

    I had recently undertaken a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. There were a few strong first-time impressions, which I want to document before they fade.

    The strongest first impression is from the check in and check out system in trams (and, likely, other public transportation nets). Tickets are all NFC-based, and you must swipe/touch special verifying devices upon entering and exiting a tram. If your ticket is valid, green light and a sound tone will notify you (and everyone around you) about this. If your ticket is no longer valid, you’ll get red light and a different (louder also? not sure) sound.

    These chipcards come in a variety of forms: non-reloadable cards for 1/24/48/etc hours (from the moment of the 1st check in), anonymous reloadable cards, and other card types.

    Upon entering a tram with an invalid (train :) ) ticket, we were greeted by… a woman in a cage! :) She was selling tickets to those who didn’t have them. It was already late evening, but she was smiling a lot and also tried to figure out if we really need just a 1h ticket, or if a multi-day ticket would be better for us.

    I am not entirely sure why checking out is necessary, other than for collecting loads of data on passenger flows (oh, sweet sweet data to analyze!). I also haven’t checked what happens if your ticket runs out while you are in a tram: will it fail to check out, forcing you to buy another one? Most likely not: should still let you out (there are actual tourniquets at tram exit doors).
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