Björn Kahlert

First Retrospectives

A couple of weeks ago I started my visual facilitator career and started introducing respectively renovating an existing Scrum board to put my newly acquired knowledge into practice.

Now it was time to combine my new skills with my goal to become more proficient in the Scrum process. As I was always a team player who’s goal was to bring people together and treat each other with the most respect possible, it was just natural to volunteer organising retrospectives.

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Becoming a Visual Facilitator

What happens if you give more than a grand to computer scientist with a weak spot for team organization, Scrum and Agile in general?
He buys markers and learning material about doodling … to soon understand that there’s a whole lot more than being able to doodle things nicely. At least that’s what happened to me.

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Online Grid Generator for Photoshop

For those who layout their websites with grids it is very common to use grid systems like grid the 960 GRID SYSTEM.

The bugging thing about it is always to prepare a corresponding photoshop file. But now the GRID CALCULATOR comes to help!

Simply enter your grid definition and the online tool creates a photoshop script you only need to double click. Et voilà: the corresponding guides are created directly in your photoshop file.

iPhone Siri Bug

All I wanted to know is the weather in Berlin…
However Siri’s answer looks like some interpretation is still needed.

CSS preprocessing

I always thought that CSS lacks in expressiveness which is far below the one of XPath. For example you can’t select elements based on their child elements. How nice would it be if you could format anker tags if and only if they contain a single image tag.
For this to work you would simply use the following XPath expression:

//a[count(img)=1]

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Color Wizard

Tired of bright red, green or blue?
Then try out the Color Wizard on colorsontheweb.com.

Given one color the tool gives you 3 variations (hue, saturation and tint&shade) as much as 6 corresponding colors (monochromatic, analogous, triadic, tetradic, complimentary and split complimentary). Give it a shot!

WordPress Web Service

You are an enthusiastic WordPress user?
You want to implement a Flash based WordPress front end / theme?
You want to use WordPress as a back end for you software?

My new WordPress Web Service plugin is your solution!

WPWS allows you to access your WordPress installation via WSDL/SOAP. In contrast to classical RESTful services WSDL/SOAP is type safe meaning that you always get what you expect. RESTful services can change their normally not explicitly defined API from one day to the other and … BANG! You web application crashes.

After you have installed WPWS you can simply open your blog and append ?/wpws to your blog’s url.
My plugin for example is accessible through bkahlert.com/blog/?/wpws.
The following screenshot shows what the plugin’s homepage looks like.

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generic ISOCUBE

Zachary Johnson and Paul Hayes showed some really nice examples of the CSS 2D transformation capabilites (isocube, 3D isocube using 2D CSS).

What I missed was the math behind it. Both (and every other isocube I could find on the net) statically positioned the three rectangles that form the isocube.

So what I did was to implement a generic isocube that renders based on the dimensions w, h and a degree α. The sources can be downloaded as a jQuery Plugin.

The math is mainly based on the Pythagorean theorem. In order to geometrically verify some hypotheses that came up I used Cinderella.

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Improvement of the Out-Of-Box Experience (OOBE) in Saros though Heuristic Evaluation and Usability Tests

Four days ago at 11:30 I finished my Master’s thesis.

Everyone knows the term usability but only a few the special aspect called out-of-box experience. In short OOBE is about the experience a user has when first confronted with a product.

Verbesserung der Out-Of-Box-Experience in Saros mittels Heuristischer Evaluation und Usability-Tests

Osama Bin Laden killed live on a news broadcast! watch the video: …

A worm has started to spread over Facebook promising
the user a video where the killed Osama Bin Laden can be seen.

The link is:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Osama-Bin-Laden-Killed-Live-on-Video/201198676585608?sk=app_190322544333196&71029

On the corresponding Facebook profile you are asked to copy a javascript line following line into the browser’s location bar which reloads a JavaScript file named “bin.js” from a doubtful source.

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Client-Server Communication for Humanoid Robots

Last month I finished my Bachelor thesis with the German title Client-Server-Kommunikation für humanoide Roboter (engl. “Client-Server Communication for Humanoid Robots”).

Within the framework of this work I implemented an application based on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) that allows for the communication with humanoid soccer playing robots – namely FUmanoids – developed at the Freie Universität Berlin.

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