Scientists decode brain signals to recognize images in real time | KurzweilAI

Using electrodes implanted in the temporal lobes of seven awake epilepsy patients, University of Washington scientists have decoded brain signals (representing



Thinking like an astronaut: life lessons from Hadfield

Story of my life. I wanted to become a pilot and an astronaut. I had enough enthusiasm to move a small country in the effort to make it happen, but it turned out I was colorblind. No flying, no sexy planes, no rockets. But I always tried to think like an astronaut, be it a colorblind one.

Meet Chris Hadfield. The man who sang Space Oddity live from the Space Station. The Canadian that made US space travel sexy again. The guy that was tweeting with Captain Kirk while flying in a tin can. The hero who says without a lot of fuzz: “I broke into Mir using a Swiss Army knife. Never leave the planet without one.”

CHris Hadfield Thinking Like an astronaut
Tweeting with Kirk

I’ve bought his book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth for the fourth time. I need to stop giving it away (or I should buy it in bulk :-)). It became one of the corner stones of my thinking. It’s full of wisdom. It’s how I select my teams (Could I stand spending weeks with them in a tiny space ship? Would they be able to fix the toilet?), it’s how I try to think about business. Chris Hadfield translates perfectly how thinking like an astronaut can be a very good way of moving around here on planet earth.

Here are a few quotes:

Competence means keeping your head in a crisis, sticking with a task even when it seems hopeless, and improvising good solutions to tough problems when every second counts. It encompasses ingenuity, determination and being prepared for anything.

Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive.”

In my experience, something similar is true on Earth. Ultimately, I don’t determine whether I arrive at the desired professional destination. Too many variables are out of my control. There’s really just one thing I can control: my attitude during the journey, which is what keeps me feeling steady and stable, and what keeps me headed in the right direction. So I consciously monitor and correct, if necessary, because losing attitude would be far worse than not achieving my goal.

Good leadership means leading the way, not hectoring other people to do things your way.”

It’s mostly a matter of changing your perspective.”

Hadfield Thinking like an astronaut

Astronauts are smarter, faster and tougher than everyone else, and they are able to fix a toilet. Flying a complicated machine through space is no fun when the shit is gently floating around, pardon my French. Think like an astronaut. You don’t have to go to space to learn how to do that.

FTC rules on Native Advertising Labeling: transparency

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidance on native advertising just before attacking the Christmas diner. With the guidance, the FTC tries to make sure to protect consumers from advertising in disguise.

Confused and confusing
A study from stated the obvious: consumers are utterly confused about what is advertising, and what is not. They have difficulties to detect native advertising within ‘real’ editorial content. The key-findings of the study:

  • On nearly every publication tested, consumers tend to identify native advertising as an article, not an advertisement.
  • Consumers often have a difficult time identifying the brand associated with a piece of native advertising, but it varies greatly, from as low as 63 percent (on The Onion) to as high as 88 percent (on Forbes).
  • Consumers who read native ads that they identified as high quality reported a significantly higher level of trust for the sponsoring brand.
  • 62 percent of respondents think a news site loses credibility when it publishes native ads. In a separate study conducted a year ago, 59 percent of respondents said the same.
  • 48 percent have felt deceived upon realizing a piece of content was sponsored by a brand—a 15 percent decrease from last year’s survey.

While this might look as great and fab to some advertisers and their agencies, it is clear that the FTC is not amused. Their guidance clearly aims to over time enforce a guarantee that native advertising is very clearly labeled as such.

Shared responsibility
The FTC puts the responsibility of correctly labeling the native advertising as advertising jointly to the advertisers, their agencies, and the publishers that own the content platform, be it on- or offline. It expects not only that the commercial piece is clearly labeled as such, but moreover that the visual presentation of the native advertising piece leaves no doubt for the consumer that it is “different” from the regular content.

Ethical behavior
FTC put out a guidance in the US that is completely in line with its view on the commercial use of influentials and bloggers: asking for complete transparency and disclosure. The FTC guidelines and policies historically become textbook best practice guides real quickly in Europe.
Personally, I think that as well the advertisers, the agencies as the publishers have a moral duty to disclose, and be fully transparent. Duping the consumer into thinking that a piece of content is genuinely editorial is just plain wrong. There is room enough to be creative with native advertising without having to dupe the consumer in any way.

FTC guidelines on real time advertising
FTC guidelines on real time advertising

There is a Starman… RIP David Bowie

RIP David Bowie
Bizarre. I’m not a Bowie groupie, never labeled myself as a fan. But, there is a Starman woven into the very fabric of my Life. Lyrics and tunes from Bowie that paved the way. My way. A Major Tom that made me dream of space. I still whisper that song, every night I look out and up. Stars that looked very different, night after night. Squealing Under pressure in the car, as loud as I can on that last stretch of road to an important meeting.
It’s good to know: There’s a starman waiting in the sky

I let Chris Hadfield do the singing. Out of his own tin can… so long David Bowie!

2016: I am, (and I always will be) Je suis Charlie…

One year ago, with deadly precision, the satirists of Charlie Hebdo were shot. Kalashnikovs tried to destroy the very fundamentals of my universe: the power of words, ideas and images. Ironically, this very act of senseless fanatic stupidity made the French magazine more illustrious than ever before, and killing its cartoonists made them instantly immortal forever.
Je suis Charlie set off a worldwide outcry against religious fanatics, against censorship, against senseless violence. Fear of terror and bullets should not refrain us from expressing what we think, and feel. Terror gains ground when people get afraid.
The slogan was used, misused, hijacked and merchandised. We were Charlie, We were Kenya, We were Ebola, We were Paris, We were Ukraine and very often We were Plain Stupid. We Charlie-ed our profiles, cars, T-shirts and coffee-mugs. A dating site thought to get away with Je suis Célibataire (I am Single).
But I still see movements trying to silence the fundamental rights of thought, expression, communication, free speech and satire. It creeps in editorials, in memes and posts, in explosive-enforced terror, in Photoshopped Facebook evidence, in pseudo-intellectual finger pointing and in full-metal jacket arguments. It quivers in debates around political-correctness, and peer-pressured opinion steering.
Call me naïve, but I will not relent. Je suis Charlie…

Je suis un con, mais quand je vois ce que les gens intelligents ont fait du monde... (Georges Wolinski)

MBP expands: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. (Ben Kenobi)

Ach. One of the perks of being in charge, is that you can handpick your team. A year after the launch of my MBP squad, I’m so happy to announce we’re expanding –again-. As I am notoriously difficult, noisy, sceptic, challenging and overall impossible-to-live-and-work-with, finding the right talents was not a small task.
But, here they are, the brave souls that gave a kidney to join MBP. They all pack enough energy to propel a pound of meat in an orbit around Saturn just by fluttering their eyelashes. They have brains the size of asteroids, and ideas so fresh it will freeze your Jacuzzi over. Heck, if I had found these people earlier, Pluto would still be a planet, regardless of what Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks.
Salma Haouach joins as a Business director and as content strategist. Solvay-trained, Salma has an extensive background in content marketing and storytelling. With Moroccan roots, she is the energetic woman behind and the mesmerizing voice of “Dame de Pique” (Every saturday on Arabel FM -106.8 FM-).
Thaïs Smeekens reinforces our French Community and content management. Thaïs comes from Baby Boum, where she was in charge of both the B2B and B2C communication strategies, social media, press relations, partnerships management, video production, web design, brand development and customer relations.
Adrien Duchateau joins as creative director. He is a multidisciplinary designer focusing on brand identity, and web & mobile interface. An online wizard on digital creation, he will strengthen the team on all visual creations, digital imagery, and visual concepts. Strongly versed in mobile development and design, Adrien is able to create his designs from the ideal perspective for digital creations: mobile first.
Julien Denotte brings his designing skills in image creation and infographics to the table. He is a passionate believer in visual attractive snack-bites that offer great stopping power, and loves translating a good brand story in an attractive infographic. In his world, an image definitely beats a thousand words.
Ergin Arslanbas started as a creative consultant. An unorthodox video communication specialist, he will be a corner stone in MBP’s YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram endeavours. Ergin, from Turkish ancestry, kicks ass at Achterklap ,one of YouTube most popular channels.
Every MBP’er is as well a top-notch leader in his speciality, as a crucial addition to the team. Content is a science, and experience teaches us it takes a slightly mad team to make it happen. We’re all geared up for 2016. To quote Olivier Blanchard: “Pray that we never become your competitor’s secret weapon.”

Pinterest Wants To Be Your Discovery Engine For Travel | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

By expanding its Place Pins featureintroduced in 2013Pinterest is making a more pointed play for the travel market.