Archiv für den Monat: Dezember 2011

The 100th Anniversary Draws to an End, Quest for the Prerogative of Interpretation Continues

At December the 14th 1911, Roald Amundsen claimed victory by reaching the geographic South Pole weeks before his rival, Englishmen Robert Falcon Scott, in a race that never has been one.

Ever since the “prerogative of interpretation” in what regards nature of the contest, as well as heroism, furtiveness, endurance, inability, virtue and candor, of its protagonists is as fiercely disputed as the original cause itself. To many Shackleton is regarded as the true leader, Amundsen the congenial perfectionist, Scott the genuine man of honor driven by finest sense of responsibility to self-abandonment. Yet there are also more critical voices, questioning Scott`s motives, background, and not least personal abilities. Others, in turn, openly condemn Amundsen not less for forcing Scott into a battle with unequal arms.

It thus comes as little to no surprise that over the course of 2011, that is 100 years later, ample documentaries, reports, and coverages of all sorts were looking back to what is know to many as the “Heroic Age of Polar Exploration”. Amongst those, however, two books will certainly stand out; “Race for the South Pole: The Expedition Diaries of Scott and Amundsen” from Robert Huntford (published in 2010 to be precise) as well as “Pol: Hjalmar Johansens Hundejahre” from Reinhold Messner.

The former is well-known for his harsh critics about Scott, ranging way beyond Scott himself but fundamentally addresses the British Empire and it`s desperate attempt to battle its decay. Scott, a royal navy officer with background in the lower, fading ranks of the British establishment, may thus too be seen as the prefect symptom of a hence much broader cause. And indeed, Huntford argues extensively along these lines, and so does Preston, Fiennes, Thomson, and many more. Yet non of latter so fundamentally, consequently, but also controvert as Huntford. Eventually, Huntford, which is by all accounts one of a handful persons regarded as to be a true master of this domain, may be seen as to have given in to a sense of compulsion, most notably after Ranulph Fiennes defense of Robert Falcon Scott from the perspective of a man that stood at the very same forlorn place on earth, the South Pole. And fate has it, despite being an argumentative stretch, this compulsion may indeed connect to a similar force that drove Scott. That is to remain known as a man of great ability but ill-posed achievements, evidenced by post-analytic scrutiny carried out by a set of eager scholars in quest of seizing “prerogative of interpretation”.

The author of the second book, Reinhold Messner, and Ranulph Fiennes share this unique polar experience. But Messner`s journalistic compass points to the north albeit being to the South Pole, to personal tragedy of similar sort, the life of Hjalmar Johansen. This book is (to the best of my knowledge) only the second account about the life of a man who””””””””s place in history is still to be granted. A man full of virtues at one hand, and human shortcomings and weaknesses at the other. The typical underdog, given this one and only chance, earned via uncompromised, honest endurance of inhuman hardship “Farthest North”. Ragnar jr. Kvam was first to question and revise the common perception of Hjalmar Johansen, especially in his homeland Norway, and perhaps from the perspective of a patriot. Now Reinhold Messner adds to this from his very own perspective, albeit it remains to be seen – to me – what the result will be. But no matter how positive or negative this account will eventually be, one honorable deed is that Messner popularity will draw attention to the achievements of a man that has suffered the most from being sidelined, from being left alone “In the Shade”. Regretfully, history once again proves that justice takes time, too much time in so many cases, in the case of Hjalmar Johansen, whose life found an undignified end in one of Oslo””””””””s parks, likely a place that most closely resembled the spirit way beyond Franz Joseph Land.

The interested reader may visit DIWAN, a literature review broadcast by the German radio station BR. The Dec 2011 issue featured a review and interview with Messner about his book (download podcast, in German only)

Towards Cloud Computing Competence at InIT / ZHAW

The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is one of the largest multi-disciplinary Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland with roughly 9000 students enrolled in a total of 24 Bachelor’s degree and 12 consecutive Master’s programs. One differentiating feature of ZHAW is its focus on industry co-innovation represented by 30 research institutes across 8 schools.

The Institute of Applied Information Technology (InIT) of the School of Engineering is currently looking for a

“Senior Researcher/Researcher in Service Engineering/Cloud Computing” (Download in PDF)

The successful candidate will conduct cutting-edge research in the area of Service Engineering / Cloud Computing. More precisely, InIT is currently working towards a Cloud Computing Competence Center for collaborative co-innovation with the Swiss high-tech SME sector covering the full range of aspects inherent to the Cloud Computing stack that is Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Typical assignments are (not limited to):

  • Research in the area of Cloud Computing (OpenStack Framework)
  • Collaboration with Swiss high-tech SMEs in co-innovation projects
  • Definition, acquisition, and leadership of research proposals / projects (national + EU)
  • Supervision of student projects and research assistants
  • Publishing in national and international conferences, magazines, and journals

Applicants must have a degree in Computer Science, or related study, with excellent results in relevant disciplines. Willingness to engage and demonstrate applied research is a prerequisite. The ideal candidate will have a passion for computer communications, distributed systems, Internet technologies combined with a solid background in software development and Open Source Software.

Knowledge of English is a prerequisite for application, German is an advantage. Most people in Switzerland can communicate conveniently in English. We expect the candidate to be an internationally oriented, enthusiastic computer engineer that enjoys working in teams with a healthy mix of scientific and applied ambition. In return we provide intellectual liberty, opportunities for applied industrial collaboration, and competitive compensation based on Swiss standards.

For further information please contact
Gerold Baudinot, Head of Institute
Tel. +4158 934 70 68

Interested? Then send your complete application with reference “T1131” to E-Mail:

Back to the Roots

emobility-relaunch-logo_networksAt the very beginning there were the ETPs … and Net!Works (formerly known as eMobility) at the forefront of the X-ETP movment towards the definition of the FI-PPP.

Today got the chance to present the status and well-being of FI-WARE to it*s founding fathers during the Net!Works Steering Board meeting (slides).

Great pleasure, what a loss that I have to leave it along with my resignation from SAP. But let*s see what the future my bring.