Frank's Blog


Yesterday I had to visit a photographer to take a picture of me to update my identity card. Until now, I always avoided getting new documents, because the rules for the photos have been changed since 2005. I decided to get the new "digital recognizable style", because this one is required for the passport (so maybe I could reuse the picture some years later). Interestingly, besides technical sound pictures, regarding sharpness, contrast, lighting, background, and print quality, also the person in front of the camera has to fulfill some requirements. In particular, you have to

1. Look with a neutral face into the camera (without open mouth and any non-aligned angle of your head)
2. Look straight into the camera (no closed eyes, no hair in front of your face, don't squint)
3. The eyes have to be visible (e.g. no dark glasses, shadows, etc.)
4. You're not allowed to wear anything on your head (except for religious wear)

Afterwards, the photographer has to crop your picture to show almost only your face (e.g. hair cut of). My photographer told me that he once had to take pictures of a man with a rounded face and jug ears. Unfortunately, the tailored software software he was using (certified of course), told him to crop his ears!

As a result, a computer system might have the change of detecting your identity with a failure rate of about 3/10. For any other kind of resource (e.g. official, policeman), it might be a bit harder. However, since my photo is now officially registered, I can freely provide it to the remaining people as well:

I already ran an edge detection filter, giving you the information required to recognize me. Have a nice day!
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My colleague Arnd just sent me a photo of a bar formerly known as Pi-Bar. Unfortunately, it has been renamed to Ki-Bar in the meantime. I've never visited it, but if you're in the area, here's the location.

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Good Enough 

Sometimes, I get asked why---and how---I wrote a doctoral thesis. There are some simple answers for the former question: Why?

1. Stay a student.
2. Get paid to be a student.
3. If you're out of arguments, you always have the doctoral joker ;-)

The second question seems to be more complicated, but indeed is also very simple: Do your job good enough. While people often search for something to become perfect, this seldom appears to be the same to other people. Just like the 80:20 rule, focus on the important things. Here is a simple graph to depict the idea:

The horizontal axis shows the time that flies by. The vertical axis shows the amount of additional knowledge you earn each time unit. In the beginning, you quickly graps knowledge. Over time, your reach the meridian. Then, you cool down. While you're still working on the topic, something absolutely new and directly related to your work is hard to find anymore. Finally, prepare finishing your thesis. The important point is to submit your thesis just in time. While you would still be able to find additional knowledge, it's not mattering for your thesis anymore. So, that's at least how I did it. And believe me, you can apply the good enough rule to almost everything!
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HPI Sommerfest 

Today the HPI Sommerfest is (still) taking place. Here I have some impressions for you:

The HPI band: Poolraum Party.


Some people in front of the stage---most stayed in the background.


Even the sun appeared in the evening.

Unfortunately, I have no picture from the fourth band, Tiger HiFi, since I had to leave early. If anybody has one, please send me a copy, so that I can add it here.
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Welcome to the Exhibition 

I know quite some people that are a bit unsure about the things we do all day long. Instead of talking about something they don't understand (it can be found here), actually, our institute has something new to offer: An exhibition of modern art. Take a look at these pictures and objects that have been placed at nearly every possible place. And yes, these pictures/objects are all original ones...

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