Testimonial Master’s program TU/e Systems & Control

In November 2013 I was asked by the PR of the Mechanical Engineering department of the TU/e to write a story about myself and how I perceived the master Systems & Control. It would be used as a testimonial on the TU/e website. In the end only a part of my full story was incorporated, below is the full-text which I submitted.

TUe - Testimonial
Testimonial on the TU/e website.

Hello, my name is Wouter Geelen. Currently I am following the Master Systems & Control at the Eindhoven University of Technology. First I will tell you something about why I decided for the Master System & Control, then something about how I experience the Master track and what currently keeps my life occupied.

When I was finished with my Bachelor in Mechatronics (HBO) it was clear to me that I wanted to continue studying. Choosing at which University I wanted to do my Master was a really easy choice for myself for 2 main reasons. Firstly, since I was raised in a small town in the province of Limburg and did not yet wanted to drift off to far from my roots and secondly I did two years of my Bachelor in Germany near Düsseldorf and at that time I still went regularly to Germany to visit friends. Therefor I decided that the University in Eindhoven was best the best choice. However, choosing the master was a really hard and difficult decision. After a Bachelor in Mechatronics there are several possible Masters which you can choose from. In my case there were basically two options: i) Embedded Systems or ii) Systems & Control.

During my graduation project for my Bachelor I created a double inverted pendulum (video) which would be a typical project for students from Systems & Control, but with the knowledge at that time it was a difficult problem for myself. However, I successfully completed the project. After a lot of talking with my former teachers and a graduate from Systems & Control, who helped me with my graduation project, I decided to start with the Master Embedded Systems and that I would choose several Systems & Control courses in my free electives. When you come from a University of Applied Sciences you will have to do a pre Master first, before you can actually start with the “real” Master. I did the pre Master of Embedded Systems, it had a lot of fun and interesting courses. After I finished the pre Master and had started with the real Master it started nagging me that the control courses which I wanted to do for my electives where really hard because of a knowledge gap. Furthermore, the master Embedded Systems also focused really on energy-efficient chip design which I really did not find interesting at all. I am the type of person which just wants to pick a chip from the shelve after which I work my magic on it. For those two reasons I decided to switch to Systems & Control. Luckily most of the courses of the pre Master of Systems & Control where the same as the pre Master of Embedded Systems so I finished it quickly. Furthermore, after asking the examination board of Systems & Control for permission, I could take 3 courses from Embedded Systems with me to the Systems & Control. So luckily that detour of half a year Embedded Systems was not a complete waste.

The core program of Systems & Control covers really all the basics about control engineering and the whole cycle of model based design. There are very theoretical courses but also very practical courses, which, I think is perfect for a University of Technology. You can then namely apply what you learnt in your theoretical courses in your practical courses. You also have a lot of freedom in choosing your electives: i) there are a lot of elective courses from which you can choose from and ii) if there is a course which you really like but is unfortunately not on the list then, if you have good arguments, you can ask the examination board for permission. Which I did as you have read earlier.

For a lot of courses you have to work together with another student or a group of students. Which is nice since most students in System & Control all have a different background, as well in study, as in culture. As such groups get really mixed up, which is good for learning how to work with a very diverse group of people. Also all the Professors excel in their field of expertise, they really challenge you during college. Since the TU/e is a small University you really get to know them and can almost always ask them anything if you don’t understand something. So the distance between you as a student and the Professor is really small.

Inside the master Systems & Control there are several specialization groups. At first I did choose for the Hybrid Systems group. However , during the summer they did merge with the Control Systems Technology group, which made them one of the strongest groups at the TU/e and one of the strongest in control theory worldwide. The reason why I did choose for this group is very simple. During my graduation presentation of the double inverted pendulum I was asked if I could compute the best possible transition between the two controllers. The system namely consisted out of two controllers one for bringing the pendulum in upwards position and one for stabilizing it. At that time I could not answer that question yet, but now and thanks to the help of Hybrid Systems, which combines continuous and discrete systems, I can answer that question! Which makes me feel kind of proud of myself.

Nowadays I am busy with a literature survey about several Matlab toolboxes which help in analyzing and simulation of systems in which wireless networks are involved. Wireless networks are namely increasingly more being used for control systems. To give an example where one could have used a wireless network inside a control system is my double inverted pendulum, namely at the encoder where the two pendulums meet. In that case the encoder at the connection of the two pendulums is not wired anymore. Wireless networks however bring all kind of nasty behavior with them which influences the stability of the system. Furthermore, wireless networks combined with control systems are still hard to analyze mathematically. Therefore there are still a lot of open questions to be answered around this subject.

Smuggling Game (Dutch: Smokkelspel)

The Smuggling Game is another running game which can be played inside the forest. The game takes place inside the forest. The group is divided into two teams. One team is called the smugglers and the other the police or customs. The goal of the smugglers is to smuggle goods (cards) from one part of the forest to another part. In both parts of the forest is a game leader, one who hands out and one who collects cards. The goal of the police is to make sure that the smugglers fail at their goal. The smuggler has to hand over his card to the police when he is tapped by them. The police then hands out the collected card to a third game leader who is located in the middle of the two other game leaders. The game leader who hands out cards to the smugglers has a fixed number of cards. Shortly after the game leader is out of cards the smugglers become the police and vica versa. Of course this team switching can also be time dependent.

To actually play the Smuggling Game there is one required accessories and one optional.

  • required: game cards (see below)
  • optional: sash, for identification of both teams

A few alterations can be made to the game to make it more difficult or exiting.

  1. If the police taps a smuggler, they do rock-paper-scissors or another simple game, to determine if the police wins the card from the smuggler. If the police loses he has, for instance, to stand still for at least 5 seconds.
  2. Instead of one location where the smugglers can bring their cards towards to, there are multiple locations.
  3. First the smugglers bring their cards to the first location. They can then decide to double the value of the card by bringing it to a second, more difficult to reach, location. Then they can bring to a third, et cetera.

Game cards

Click on the figure to go to the Google drawing. You can download a A4 paper sheets here with the cards in the correct ratio, to be printed on colored paper. The Dutch version can be found here.

Smuggling Game - Cards

High quality interesting freely publicly available e-books

During my studies at the Eindhoven University of Technology some professors have been referring to freely available e-books. Some of these are mentioned here, others I just did find useful for other reasons. I tend to expand this list whenever I find an freely publicly e-book which I think is worth sharing.

Please contact me if one of the links is broken.

A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation

By Richard Murray, Zexiang Li and Shankar Sastry

A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation presents a mathematical formulation of the kinematics, dynamics, and control of robot manipulators. It uses an elegant set of mathematical tools that emphasizes the geometry of robot motion and allows a large class of robotic manipulation problems to be analyzed within a unified framework. The foundation of the book is a derivation of robot kinematics using the product of the exponentials formula. The authors explore the kinematics of open-chain manipulators and multifingered robot hands, present an analysis of the dynamics and control of robot systems, discuss the specification and control of internal forces and internal motions, and address the implications of the nonholonomic nature of rolling contact are addressed, as well. The wealth of information, numerous examples, and exercises make A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation valuable as both a reference for robotics researchers and a text for students in advanced robotics courses.

Link

Mathematical Control Theory

By Eduardo Sontag

Mathematics is playing an ever more important role in the physical and biological sciences, provoking a blurring of boundaries between scientific disciplines and a resurgence of interest in the modern as well as the classical techniques of applied mathematics. This renewal of interest, both in research and teaching, has led to the establishment of the series Texts in Applied Mathematics (TAM). The development of new courses is a natural consequence of a high level of excitement on the research frontier as newer techniques, such as numerical and symbolic computer systems, dynamical systems, and chaos, mix with and rein force the traditional methods of applied mathematics. Thus, the purpose of this textbook series is to meet the current and future needs of these advances and to encourage the teaching of new courses. TAM will publish textbooks suitable for use in advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate courses, and will complement the Applied Mathematics Sciences (AMS) series, which will focus on advanced textbooks and research-level monographs. v Preface to the Second Edition The most significant differences between this edition and the first are as follows: Additional chapters and sections have been written, dealing with: nonlinear controllability via Lie-algebraic methods, variational and numerical approaches to nonlinear control, including a brief introduction to the Calculus of Variations and the Minimum Principle, – time-optimal control of linear systems, feedback linearization (single-input case), nonlinear optimal feedback, controllability of recurrent nets, and controllability of linear systems with bounded controls.

Link

Synchronization and Linearity : An Algebra for Discrete Event Systems

By François Baccelli, Guy Cohen, Geert Jan Olsder and Jean-Pierre Quadrat

This book proposes a unified mathematical treatment of a class of ‘linear’ discrete event systems, which contains important subclasses of Petri nets and queuing networks with synchronization constraints. The linearity has to be understood with respect to nonstandard algebraic structures, e.g. the ‘max-plus algebra’. A calculus is developed based on such structures, which is followed by tools for computing the time behaviour to such systems. This algebraic vision lays the foundation of a bona fide ‘discrete event system theory’, which is shown to parallel the classical linear system theory in several ways. This class of synchronized systems finds its main current industrial applications in the modeling, optimization and control of communications networks, computer architectures, manufacturing and transportation systems. The book should hence appeal to students and researchers in probability-statistics, applied mathematics, (industrial and electrical) engineering, operations research, as well as computer and management scientists.

Link

Convex Optimization

By  Stephen Boyd and Lieven Vandenberghe

Convex optimization problems arise frequently in many different fields. This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject, and shows in detail how such problems can be solved numerically with great efficiency. The focus of the book is on recognizing convex optimization problems and then finding the most appropriate technique for solving them. It contains many worked examples and homework exercises and will appeal to students, researchers and practitioners in fields such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, statistics, finance, and economics.

Link

Linear Matrix Inequalities in System and Control Theory

By Stephen Boyd, Laurent El Ghaoui, Eric Feron, and Venkataraman Balakrishnan

In this book the authors reduce a wide variety of problems arising in system and control theory to a handful of convex and quasiconvex optimization problems that involve linear matrix inequalities. These optimization problems can be solved using recently developed numerical algorithms that not only are polynomial-time but also work very well in practice; the reduction therefore can be considered a solution to the original problems. This book opens up an important new research area in which convex optimization is combined with system and control theory, resulting in the solution of a large number of previously unsolved problems.

Link

A Brief Introduction to Neural Networks

By David Kriesel

Neural networks are a bio-inspired mechanism of data processing, that enables computers to learn technically similar to a brain and even generalize once solutions to enough problem instances are tought. The manuscript “A Brief Introduction to Neural Networks” is divided into several parts, that are again split to chapters. Part I: From Biology to Formalization — Motivation, Philosophy, History and Realization of Neural Models. Part II: Supervised learning Network Paradigms. Part III: Unsupervised learning Network Paradigms. Part IV: Excursi, Appendices and Registers.

Link

The Feynman Lectures on Physics

By Richard Phillips Feynman, Robert Benjamin Leighton and Matthew Sands

This revised edition of Feynman’s legendary lectures includes extensive corrections Feynman and his colleagues received and Caltech approved, making this the definitive edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. For all readers interested in physics.

Link

Motion Mountain the adventure of physics

By Christoph Schiller

Motion Mountain is an entertaining and free e-book in six pdf files introducing physics – the science of motion. Explore the motion of wheels, birds, lightning, planets, light and empty space itself! Be fascinated by the beauty of nature and by the concepts of modern physics, from the principle of cosmic laziness – least action – to gauge symmetry!

Link

Stratego Alive (Dutch: Levend Stratego)

One week in the Summer I work voluntary as a camp leader at a summer camp for children. Each year there are at least three summer camps for different ages. The camp accommodation is located in the Veluwe which is a forest-rich ridge of hills in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. Hence a lot of the activities take place inside the forest. Every camp leader organizes some games/events for the children. This year I organized four events.

The last two games I want to share with you. In this blogpost I explain the details of Stratego Alive. In another blog I will give the details about the Smuggling game.

Stratego Alive

Stratego Alive is a variation on the strategy board game Stratego. It is a running game and is to be played in the forest. The group is divided in two or more teams. All teams have their own playing field, i.e. part of the forest, in which they hide their flag, note that the flag must still be, partially, visible . The flag can be for instance a colored towel or an old ripped bed sheet with some colored paint on it. The goal of the game is to capture the flag of the opposing teams.

Every team has at least one game leader. The game leader sits on a fixed location somewhere in the part of the forest of that particular team. The game leader hands out every player a card. On the card the rank is shown and depending on the card also some extra info. The table below shows the ranks. In general it holds that the card with the highest rank wins. If a player wins the player who lost gives his card to the winning player. Both players must then return to their respective game leader, the winning player is to hand in the card of the losing player. The losing player is to obtain a new card.

Ratio Name Rank Info
1 Marshal 10 Loses against the Spy if Spy taps first.
4 General 9
5 Colonel 8
6 Major 7
7 Captain 6
8 Lieutenant 5
9 Sergeant 4
6 Miner 3 Wins against Bomb
10 Scout 2
2 Spy 1 Wins against the Marshal if Spy taps first.
6 Bomb 0 Loses against the Miner. Cannot tap anyone

The Marshal is the highest rank and wins from all other cards, except if it is tapped by the Spy. The Spy is the only character which wins from the Marshal if he taps first. It is to be noted that sometimes children fight over who tapped first regarding the Marshal and Spy, therefore the rule can also be changed such that the Marshal always losses against the Spy regardless of who taps first. The Bomb is somewhat similar to the Marshal it also wins from almost every card accept that the Bomb cannot tap other players by himself and loses against the Miner.

If the rank is equal there are two rules which one can enforce, (i) either the two players exchange cards and return to their game leader or (ii) the two players ignore each other and continue playing.

This is Stratego Alive. This game can easily be themed when the game is to be played into a certain setting, for instance, pirates. You simply change the name of the Marshal to Captain Hook, General to Jack Sparrow, et cetera.

To actually play Stratego Alive there are two required accessories and one optional.

  • required: game cards for every team (see below)
  • required: flag for every team
  • optional: sash, for identification of each team

Game cards

Click on the figure to go to the Google drawing. You can download a A4 paper sheets here with the cards in the correct ratio, to be printed on colored paper. The Dutch version can be found here. Credits regarding the graphics of the cards go to Sjoerd.

Stratego Alive - Cards

 

TU/E LATEX HOUSE STYLE TEMPLATE

Last month I blogged about a template I made for my thesis at the Eindhoven University of Technology. It so happens that the TU/e actually has a \latex house style template for reports. It can not be found threw any public channels, such as the corporate identity webpage of the TU/e. You will have to connect to the network drive \\winstorage\MikTex\MiKTeX29\. Which is accessible from the TU/e network or threw a VPN connection. An example of the package output can be downloaded here. If you want to have the source please contact me.

For now I will just stick with my own template. The TU/e template namely generates some warnings and errors. Furthermore, it is also limited in its capabilities. Of course I can expand it, however, I do not feel the need to do that at this time.

Motorola Moto G

Recently my Samsung Galaxy SII passed away. So I started looking for a new mobile. I was always very pleased with the capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy SII and did not see the need to obtain a mobile with more capabilities. In my search I came across the LG Nexus 5 (320 euro) and the Motorola Moto G (207 euro) as a replacement. Here is a specification list of my old phone and the two candidate replacements.

Samsung Galaxy SII Motorola Moto G LG Nexus 5
Operating system
Mobile operating system Android Android Android
Version 4.1 4.4 4.4
Display
Diagonal 4,27″ 4,5″ 4,95″
Resolution 800×480 1280×720 (HD Ready 720p) 1920×1080 (Full HD 1080p)
Input method Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen
Display type Super Amoled Plus LCD LCD
Multitouch Yes Yes Yes
Touchscreen Capacitive Capacitive Capacitive
Hardware
System-on-a-chip Samsung Exynos Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974)
Number of cores Dual Core Quad Core Quad Core
Clock speed 1,2 GHz 1,2 GHz 2,26 GHz
Internal memory 1 GB 1 GB 2 GB
Storage memory 16 GB 16 GB 16 GB
Memory card (mobile) microSD, microSDHC  –  –
Sim card Standard Micro Micro
Camera
Resolution back 8 MP 5 MP 8 MP
Resolution front 2 MP 1,3 MP 1,3 MP
Autofocus Yes Yes Yes
Flash Single led Single led Single led
Resolutie camcorder 1920×1080 (Full HD 1080p) 1280×720 (HD Ready 720p) 1920×1080 (Full HD 1080p)
Stabilization Digital stabilization  – Optical stabilization
Connections
Mobile networks edge, gprs, hsdpa, hspa, hspa+, hsupa, lte, umts edge, gprs, hsdpa, hspa, hsupa, umts edge, gprs, hsdpa, hspa, hspa+, lte, umts
Frequency range (mobile) 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz , 1900MHz , 2100MHz 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz , 1900MHz , 2100MHz 800MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz , 1900MHz , 2100MHz , 2600MHz
Connection (wlan) 802.11 (onb. type), 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
Bluetooth-version 3.0 4.0 4.0
Other wireless communication Near Field Communication (NFC)  – Near Field Communication (NFC)
Mobile connector 3.5 mm, micro-USB, digital TV-out 3.5 mm, micro-USB 3.5 mm, micro-USB
GPS Yes Yes Yes
Battery
Talk time 8 h  No data 17 h
Stand-by time 610 h  No data 300 h
Capacity 1.650 mAh 2.070 mAh 2.300 mAh
Type Li-Ion Li-Ion Li-Ion
Physical characteristics
Model Bar Bar Bar
Housing (water/shockproof)  – Splashproof  –
Weight 116 g 143 g 130 g
Length 125 mm 130 mm 137,8 mm
Width 66 mm 66 mm 69,2 mm
Depth 8 mm 11,6 mm 8,6 mm
Color Black Black Black

After reading several reviews about the Nexus 5 and the Moto G on the Dutch technology site Tweakers, I decided to choose for the Moto G. The Moto G had come out pretty well out of the reviews and it has about the same technical specifications as the Samsung Galaxy SII as can be seen from the list above. Of course the Nexus 5 has better specifications but, as I mentioned, I was always satisfied about the Galaxy SII and did not deem the difference in price, 113 euro, worth it. My main priority was that all the apps that I use run seemingly smoothly.

Now that I have the Moto G in my possession for a while I can say that for now I think it is a really good replacement of my Galaxy SII. Both the speed and display are good in my opinion. One of the things I really like, compared to my old mobile, is that it — almost — runs stock android. Hence there is very less bloatware compared to the Galaxy SII — because of this I actually installed the custom rom CyanogenMod, but this maybe of importance in case you do not want to install a custom rom on your mobile because of warranty issues. Furthermore, I like the rubber mat back cover, it is really simple and feels sturdy.  Something what I do not like are the buttons, power and volume. To me they do not look very sturdy. This is mainly caused by the fact that they can be wiggled a lot, from my impression, in the housing. We will see if they cause some problems in the future. For now I am really glad that I did buy this mobile.  Below are some pictures of the Moto G when I received it.

Along with the Moto G I bought six screen protectors and an Orzly wallet case, see pictures below. While I am satisfied with the screen protectors, the Orzly wallet case turned out to be a pig in a poke. Firstly the the it seems to be too thin. The back and the front are made of one piece of leather. When the case is closed there is miss alignment with the begin and end. When we lay down the case on top of the table, it does not close by itself. It hovers with a certain angle, also indicating it is too thin. This is even shown more when you have two cards in it. The two card stocks inside the case are also matter of concern. It is hard to get a card in the card stock. You really need to apply pressure to put a card in. When it is used more frequently this might improve. However, I think that the binding of the leather from the card stocks will not hold very long when they are used on a daily basis. Luckily I did not throw my real wallet away yet but I will restart my search for a better casing.

— Update, 2014-06-24 —

I found out that the Orzly Wallet Case was positively reviewed in a video on youtube. I then decided to create, in my opinion, a more fairer video review. I try to point out the positive sides of the case but also to the negative ones. This is the first video review I created.

TU/e LaTeX Template

On the second of June, my birthday actually, I will start with my Master thesis at ASML Holding NV. ASML produces machines for the production of integrated circuits. Using their machines other companies, such as Intel, Apple, Samsung and many more, can create, for instance, CPUs, SoCs, DRAM or flash memory. But this blog post is not about my graduation at ASML actually. It is about my \LaTeX template which I created for my thesis.

The university where I study, the TU/e, does unfortunately not provide a nice \LaTeX template for their students to use. Joos Buijs actually created a kind of template à la TU/e style. However, as geeky as I am, I decided to create my own template. An example of how it looks can be downloaded here, the complete source can be downloaded here. It might be possible that you find a bug or you have a question about the template, if so, please contact me. To give you a heads-up, most likely you will not have the beautiful font MinionPro installed. If so, and you want to compile the source, you will need to remove line 590 (\figureversion{lining,proportional}%) from the class file (thesis.cls) and select one of the other fonts in the main \LaTeX file (thesis.tex).

Most features of the class will speak for themselves some might need a little explanation. The \thSupervisors command for instance can take an arbitrary number of supervisors. The input has to have the format {name} / {Affiliation}, and elements need to be separated by a comma.

\thSupervisors{%
{F.A.J. Rompa} / {Eindhoven University of Technology}, {D.S. Addiks} / {ASML Holding NV}, 
{J. Appelhof} / {Embedded Systems Institute}, {S.R.E. Wessel} / {Van der Lande Industries}}

The class also provides a nomenclature. Symbols are to be put in the file ./frontmatter/symbols.tex. In the file the same format is used as the \thSupervisors command accepts with an extra element, namely, {symbol} / {meaning} / {unit}. The unit can be expressed using the siunitx package. Any acronyms can be inserted in the  ./frontmatter/acronyms.tex file which has the format {acronym} / {meaning}Furthermore the class can insert a custom title page. The title page can either be a .pdf or .tex file which is set as \thTitlePageOne{pdf}{./frontmatter/titlepage.pdf}.

To create this class I used a lot of internet resources, especially the Q&A site tex.stackexchange, which is the number one spot on the internet for all \LaTeX related questions. Here follows a list of all the internet resources which I consulted.

The template is ready for use but I will most likely give it an update in the coming months. I tend to make it more robust with use of the etoolbox package instead of the ifthen package.

Almost identical

Sometimes you come across a very interesting or funny video on the internet. I have decided to occasionally post one on my blog.

The video below questions the social stigma behind chewing gum. It does this by an experiment in which two twins, with the same clothes, are placed side by side of each other in a museum. There is only one difference between them namely, one twin is chewing gum. Visitors are then asked several questions. While the outcome of this experiment would seem interesting, one has to take the experiment with a grain of salt. The experiment is namely carried out by Balten, the South American name for Trident gum, an American producer of chewing gum . Furthermore it seems that the twin who is not chewing gum is told to look miserable.

Datacoup is going out of beta

In today’s world, our personal data — location, e-mail’s, photo’s,  and anything else you produce online — is collected everywhere and at any moment. It is being saved and analyzed. Large companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple do this. They do not only use the collected personal data to provide tailor-made advertisements. It is being used to analyze our lives and predict our behavior and movements in the future. For instance, Target figured out a teen girl was pregnant before her father did [1,2,3]. The data-mining algorithm of Target saw that the girl was buying a specific set of products. It concluded from this that the teen girl was pregnant. Target therefore sent her coupons for baby clothes and cribs. When the father saw the coupons he demanded an explanation from Target why his daughter had received such coupons. Then the truth came out that his daughter was actually pregnant.

On 28 October 2013 there was a very interesting broadcast on the Dutch television program Tegenlicht about this topic. Since companies profit a lot from our personal data, it is questioned if people should get paid for their data and gain more control over it. It was then when I first came in contact with Datacoup. Datacoup lets people choose which personal data they sell. It is possible to connect a number of American credit card vendors and several social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursqure, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Youtube, Flickr and Last.fm) to Datacoup. Datacoup tries to sell the personal data either directly or trends found in it and that of others. It gives you an overview of your personal data such as your credit card spending, places you have been, age cluster of your friends and how big your data is. The images below give an impression of Datacoup in its current state.

Up to this moment Datacoup was in beta and invite only. Data which user choose to sell, was not yet being sold to actual companies but to Datacoup itself. Till now I made 10.75 with Datacoup, around3 each month. At the end of each month users receive an e-mail with an update on how much money they made. The e-mail of the month April included an important update:

“An important update regarding payouts to users for data: The amount and structure of payments is changing. We are trying to launch the platform publicly in June. As you know, we are a cash-strapped startup, and we’ve been paying you (our users) out of our own pockets. In order to conserve cash before the launch, we will not be purchasing any user data during the month of May. In June, we will unveil a new structure for payouts to our growing user-base. Our team wants to extend our sincerest gratitude for your participation in the beta, and future participation in the fully-launched platform. There are only better things to come!”

So Datacoup is going public and data is actually going to be sold to companies. Up to this point I joined Datacoup as a personal experiment. I wonder how Datacoup is going to change and how selling your personal data will actually be implemented, works and for how much money it is sold.

Hello world!

Hello world. Often referred to as being the simplest program of a programming language, which illustrates the most basic syntax. I will abuse it, like many before, as the title of my first blog. What will I be blogging about? My tag-line says:

“About everything and nothing”

Meaning that I will blog about things that cross my mind and interest me. This arises the question: What does interest me? I am interested in technology, movies, tennis and ballroom dancing. The latter three interests are self-explanatory however, the first one is not. Technology is a very broad term, Wikipedia defines it as:

“Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function.”

Quiet a mouthful. I will narrow this down to: a gadget, a hobby project or something related to my field of expertise, Mechatronics.

Future will tell about which topics I will be blogging mostly. In the next few days I will update the about page with a introduction of myself.