Web Summit – first conference day

Google Jigsaw

Argh, I started writing about my Web Summit 2017 experience here, but I just got to the Opening Night, I didn’t even make it to the actual conference. By now I’m sure I will have forgotten most of it, highly annoying! I wanted to try to save some of that inspiration and motivation I gained during the conference.

But I’ll try to report on the first day of the conference (and the rest cause it would disturb me too much to leave it unfinished). Once I get started I might remember more and more, who knows.

So… Anna and I lived very conveniently, when I think back. It wasn’t our original booking because that turned out to be a disaster. But Anna found a sweet, modest spot that was on the same tube as the Summit. But it was before the big crossing station, which meant we could get on the tube get a seat and the next station all the rest squeezed in. Perfect! It was close too.

The conference area was huge, there’s 4 big tents with exhibition areas and stages for the different talks. And then there’s the big arena with the big names and topics. Web Summit is actually 25 different conferences in one. Some of them cover several days and some just one. “My” day was thursday – the Fullstack day. But I had plenty on my custom-made schedule for all the days. More talks than I could fit in and physically run between.

One of the first things we did was head to the Centre stage to listen to Jared Cohen from Google Jigsaw, which is a collection of project with one objective – make the internet safer. The project covers areas like safe conversation, cyber attacks, extremism and so on. For example they’re using Machine learning to curate online conversation, he talked a lot about “online toxicity” and how to combat it.

When he talked about violent extremism recruiting online he shared the insight that what matters most to young viewers is how well the video answers their questions and not the quality of the video itself, which is very interesting. Depending on your message it could be a good or a bad thing to be able to effectively influence young people with a small budget, but well thought through message.

An ongoing theme throughout the 3 days, was the responsibility of the tech community, brought down to every developer individually, to take responsibility of what they are taking part in building, no matter how small.

Google Jigsaw

I also listened to the topic of “When machines outsmart us…” with Max Tegmark author of “Life 3.0: Being human in the age of artificial intelligence”. This was one of the things I made a note of;

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One of the things I had been looking forward to the most (and I was not alone in this) was seeing Sofia the Robot and Einstein the Robot from Hanson Robotics. Ben Goertzel, Chief Scientist of Hanson Robotics, was the curator for a debate set to take place between the 2 robots. Sofia said she will take our jobs, but that’s OK. (Ben explaining because we can have more time to do more creative things. One must wonder if he’s the one putting that idea in her head in the first place – literally)

The surprise of the day was ending up by the Swedish hotspot and meeting people there. We were told about a conversation about the topic of women in tech and we decided to come back for that (although I was told it was about FemTech – which is something totally different to me).

The panel was Ishtar Touailat from Tieto (and IT Woman of the year in Sweden 2016), Ditte Hammarström from Snowfire and Sofie Lindblom from ideation360 and moderated by Jonas Almeling from Business Sweden. Very interesting discussion, but as I remember Ishtar commenting – it would be nice to not have to discuss the issue itself year after year, and just involve women in the actual tech discussions going on. It’s troubling it still has to be discussed as well – that it’s still needed, but it is I guess and it was on the main stage several times as well.

Sofie Lindblom, Ditte och Ishtar
Sofie Lindblom, Ditte Hammarström and Ishtar Touailat discussing Women in tech.

After the conference finished we headed over to the Sunset Summit that was in direct connection with the conference area. We got a taste of Portuguese culture.

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After this we headed to a mingle hosted by the Swedish embassy, which was a very interesting network opportunity. We had a brief stroll along the Night summit (read chasing after the shortest cue to the bar). Before being dragged away from one queue by our company I met a tech podcaster from the UK (I love listening to podcasts in particular tech podcasts when working out), in the next place I met a young, female engineer student (who also works out to podcasts!) and had an interesting conversation about Bryan Johnsson (see my previous post).

This was the first conference day of the Summit. I met so many people in queues, sitting down for food, well, everywhere really. I love that. Love hearing entrepreneurs as well and their ideas and passion.

Wolf’s <3

On Friday me, my sister and my cousing went to watch Henrik Berggren, former front man of Broder Daniel. I saw them last 2008 at Way out West and even that was a reunion, I looked like this:

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Almost 10 years later it’s time to experience the magic again. And it truly was. It made me so happy to be at this concert!

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Web Summit 2017

Web Summit opening night

So I wanted to share some thoughts from the Web Summit with you. It was my first time attending and I had so much fun, gained knowledge and tied connections, but I also got very inspired and motivated.

Web Summit opening night 2017

I had a Woman in Tech ticket, like many other women there. Which might have been a contributing factor to 42% of the attendants being women. And I really felt that! The first day I was speaking to a woman who said it felt like 50/50 and I said “I know right?! Last night at the opening ceremony, we were suppose to stand up and greet 3 people sitting close to us and for me it was 2 women and 1 man (excluding the woman I was there with)”.

So many women wanting to be there shows there’s a huge interest. I believe it helps change the perspective from other people to a certain degree. When people see the Web Summit badges out on the street it’s not just a stereotypically looking tech man. And that we’re not getting the feeling it’s “#men #menslife #menslifestyle #guys” that I saw hashtagged on the websummitlisbon Instagram account…

Surely we can’t attend a tech conference talking about how AI-robots will take humans jobs and still discuss if women belong in the tech industry… But there are several diversity issues in tech and some were discussed on stage. I also unfortunately heard stories of women not being taken seriously, inappropriate speech when being out during the night summit and 2 women told some of us that they had been denied entry to the developer lounge by someone by the entrance pointing out it’s just for developers. These women have been developers for over 15 years.

Now that I’m writing this I realise that i walked pass that lounge several times, it said “All developers welcome” but I never even tried to go in. Not a conscious decision, but still. Whether you have 15 or 5 or 1 years experience you shouldn’t feel like you don’t belong. And you certainly shouldn’t be judged by your appearance if you belong somewhere or not.

I’m sure I’ll cover this topic again as I go through what I got up to at the Web Summit. I was staying with Anna, a C# developer at H&M, we both had tickets to the opening night, so we started heading that way around 5 or so, because the doors closed at 6. Sharp. If you were late, you weren’t let in.

Queueing up for the Web Summit opening night

The opening night had a few speakers lined up, first up was the CEO and founder of Web Summit Paddy Cosgrave. Then the special guest, presented by Feedzai, was a filmed talk by Sir Stephen Hawking, talking about the dangers with AI. (Found this on YouTube if anyone wants to have a look.) He says AI can be the best or the worst that has ever happened to humanity. It can either destroy us or help us with our challenges.

Stephen Hawkings at the Web summit

Then we got to listen to Bryan Johnson from Kernel talking about advances in neuroscience that is making the brain more accessible and closer to be understood. Rebooting the brain his speech was called. He’s working on tools to change and enhance the brain. We already have knowledge to change the brain with medication and therapy and our own routines and habits of course. But what if there was a whole range of technological tools of doing this.

When talking to an engineer student from Dublin the evening after, we discussed Bryan Johnson and his statements. There wasn’t any details of what they were actually doing or how, just a bunch of buzzwords as the engineer student said. Like “hacking the brain”, “walk a mile in someone elses shoes”. The last which the engineer student pointed out has partly already been done, referring to this experiment. But being able to even more so hack the empathy system, share memories etc. And not to mention about how much more efficient therapy can be in the future, thinking of PTSD for example. It’s definitely worth following and I added  Bryan Johnson to my Twitter right now. A little West World over the whole thing but still…

After this we got to hear Margrethe Vestager from the European commission being interviewed by Kara Swisher, they discussed fair play in the tech industry and it was interesting to hear about how they work to keep it as fair as it can be. After this it was government officials talking, welcoming and then the official opening.

Web Summit opening night

It was a fun night and teaser for what was to come. Me and Anna headed back to the hotel for an early night so we could get to the conference on time the next day.

Overshadowing sickness

Well, this didn’t turn out the way I thought. Coming back from Portugal I fell really sick. I thought it was a bad case of the flu, but after landing and sleeping another night with high fever and vomit I phoned I went to the hospital. After being shipped around a bit, my local GP saw that my CRP, infection value was through the roof and he sent me back to the emergency ward, where I was hospitalized for 4 nights. I’ve been out since monday late afternoon, but I’m exhausted. Maybe because I’m still on antibiotics. But pills now, not intravenous.

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I started summing up my Web summit experience in a blog post, but that was all put on hold as I’ve been so sick. I’m feeling better now. So maybe on the weekend I’ll get an opportunity to get back that inspiring feeling I had when leaving Lisbon that has been totally overshadowed by being so ill.

Lisbon weekend away

I’m sitting at a the airport, waiting for the Web Summit registration to open at 7:00. Me being me, a little stressed out, decided to get up at dawn with Jon to the airport and see him off, then register here. I need to register before 15:00 to get my accredation for the opening night. Which is tonight!

So I’m drining a coffee and eating a croissant. And thought I’d give my blog a few lines, sum up the weekend!

So we left on friday for Lisbon and had a bit of a shock coming to the Airbnb place. It was not what I expected. The description used private and so on, but it was a room you couldn’t lock because she lost the keys and a shared bathroom, and the whole place stank of weed. Not what you expect for a romantic weekend away… The mattress was terrible, if you can call it a mattress. Hips and both our backs where hurting. But we still stayed in bed to try and find another accomodation. First lesson learnt; if something is too cheap to be true, it is. 

We found an hotel to a decent price and went for that. I’m so glad we did! Totally save the weekend. But before we checked in, we went to this busy, little café with great breakfast and awesome coffee! Brick Cafe Lisbon

So what about Lisbon so far – great coffee, lots of walking and lovely food.

We went for espetada by the water on the saturday evening. It was absolutely lovely! This is the place.

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We took a few tourist buses around Lisbon to get a good overview and some history.

DSC07317-ANIMATION.gifDSC07293-ANIMATIONDSC07328-2.jpegIMG_20171104_122456That was the weekend. Last night I attended the Women in Tech pre-dinner and met some interesting ladies. But tonight the actual Web Summit starts with the opening night that both me and my room mate Anna got tickets to. We also had accomodation problems and will tell you all about it another time.

Caring for sick child today

Evelyn sjuk

Evelyn sickSo sometimes things don’t work out the way you want it. The little one coughed through the night and was awake for a period, making tiny noises and felt warm. She had to stay home today so that means no work for me either.

Something else that didn’t really turn out how I thought was the last post. I said I lost everything I wrote. Lie. Big lie. I must say I was surprised about my post not being auto-saved, until it turned out – it was. All along it was lying there in the post list. Haha

As you might have picked up already I have started re-posting some of my old post starting from 2014 and going back. I’m going through them all manually though looking at the text and pictures to see if I’m still comfortable with it being online. And so far I’ve been with almost everything. So if you’re interesting in some of my old life there’s a few post re-published already.

Oh well, I need to care for the baby climbing on me right now. See ya

Evelyn sick

3 more sleeps

Borrowed from http://www.museugulbenkian.org/imgs/lisabon_2.png

So this is an interesting week. On thursday we fly to Englad to “drop” the kiddos at granny’s and on Friday Jon and I are off to Lisbon for a weekend getaway. First time away from the kids for that long. I’m nervous and anxious about it so say the least. But hopefully, once we’re off and away we will be able to relax a bit. Such luxury to be able to do this. The opportunity arose and we grabbed it.

We’re staying in an Airb’n’b. First time for me so we’ll see how that goes. But the lady letting it seems very good and it has good reviews.

On Sunday we move to a hostel and I meet up with Anna from Stockholm, who I will be sharing a room with during the Web Summit. Jon goes back to stay with the kids in England.

Today it was 25° there. I need to do a little more research on what to do when we get there. Any tips?

 

DIY Treadmill desk

Ever since reading Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives (adlink) I was obsessed with getting a Treadmill desk. They’re pricey though…

So because I have a standing desk at my office from before, I came up with the idea of taking mum’s unused low-budget treadmill she’s been wanting to get rid of for years and have it under my desk. Voila – a DIY treadmill desk!

I dragged the whole thing to work on a day this summer when I knew no one else would be in the office to “test it out” without having to explain to everyone about my weird idea. I later realised my “weird” idea is a real thing (adlink)! You don’t have to buy a whole one-unit treadmill desk (adlink) you can just buy a treadmill that fits under your desk. There are special ones without the handle thing that fits under any desk.

And the real ones have a special type of motor in them that are better for this type of use – slow speed for a long time. And quieter with ability to control it from above your desk or through an app. But hey, who needs to be that fancy anyway right…

Anyway my solution worked fine! I could focus (better) when working, maybe writing becomes a bit shakier, but I am a programmer so I’m suppose to type with my keyboard anyway and that is no different from sitting. Also I have a track ball mouse so there’s no issue there either, just have to move it a little to the side compared to when I’m sitting.

So it works fine and I can work just as well while while doing it. But WHY do I do it? Well one reason is the same as standing up while working – getting a more varied work position instead of sitting and slouching for 8 hours.

Standing up and working burns about double the calories as sitting. So slowly walking while working burns even more calories. According to my Google Fit my hour of walking today 1.8 km/hr burnt just over 300 calories and added 6000 steps to my step counter! Compare that to an hour sitting and working which I got a Google search figure of about 100 calories/hour.

I’m busy reading a book by a Swedish author called The real happy pill (adlink). Last night I was reading about standing desks and it’s effect on children in particular. And yeah, a treadmill desk can’t possibly be worse! So what he’s saying is that the benefits of standing while working goes far beyond burning more calories, the brain actually works better. A study done on 7th graders showed that the benefits of standing while working was better concentration, improved memory and better working executive control (making decisions).

Who doesn’t want those benefits?!

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Stuff & things

So I have stuff to say and opinions to express. Just a matter of getting started right? Make a whole big fuzz about blogging again and then not write anything. What kind of a thing to do is that…
Well, weekend was super busy, no joke.

Today was a great monday though and I posted a bit on Instagram, so have a look there why won’t you my name is wwwaddell.

I also got a chance to workout on my lunch break. A HIIT class. I did not do well… But I did it!

 

 

Laser hair removal

I have long wanted to try out laser treatment on the bikini line in particular. I got the chance when Smartson was offering their test pilots to try Braun’s Silk expert. I applied and was selected.

I want to make a little note though before explaining more about the technique and how I found it. I think body hair removal is a private choice. I am not disgusted by female hair on legs and arm pits more than male. They are both out natural state, ok. But I am, as many others, subject to society’s view on female hair growth and have found it hard to not remove my hair on legs, arm pits and my mustasch. So I’ve made this choice and when I’m looking for something to help me keep up with hair removal and talk about the problems associated with it, I don’t mean that hair on the body especially on a female body, in itself is a problem for me and shouldn’t be anyone elses business either.

With that in mind, I have been looking for a more permanent hair removal option. All hair removal is pricey, but it seems more pricey if it’s a high one off cost. An IPL machine is certainly an investment. But not having to go to a salong for example once a month or whatever you will soon have earned that money back.

Shaving has worked fine for my lower legs, this is also where my hair is dark and thick. My bikini line and going down on the inside of my legs which also where I have darker, thicker hair is a real problem area as it gets terribly infected by shaving. Waxing by myself has not worked. The best at-home option is the epilator, but I find it time consuming and my epilator is not working great anymore. Besides that I also have a mustasch and some dark hair on my upper lip and shin that I wax at home. That works really well. But of course is a bit time consuming with heating the wax and painful, scary as well of course.

I have light skin but super dark hair in the areas where I want to use it, which should make me an ideal user for the IPL method. This is sort of the combination the technique requires as it has to have the contrast between the hair and the skin. Also using it on darker skin can be really painful apparently, so it’s quite the narrow market for this particular technique. Many light skin people have very light hair as well, so that doesn’t work very well.

When the machine arrived I spent some time reading the manual and to be honest it kind of scared me a bit. But I recommend you all to read it carefully before use. Despite being the “perfect” – in this very specific scenario – candidate for IPL, I realised when reading the manual that you should be careful with moles. I have a lot of moles… So I have to avoid them. But when I started using it, I realised it wasn’t so difficult to do anyway.

So the Braun silk expert you can use on your face as well. It has 3 light settings; beginner very sensitive, sensitive for face etc, and normal for legs and so on.

I decided to start with my face and did my waxing routine on my very grown out mustasch. I cleaned the area with water and then went for the treatment starting out with the very sensitive setting. I am now on my 3rd treatment after that (so 2 weeks since my first) and my face is still clean, no hair beginning to grow out. You need to leave it for at least a week before doing another treatment. So the thought is that you treat each area with at least a week in between and then make the treatments further and further apart until you only have to treat it on a maintenance basis (~every quarter).

I’ve also done my hair on my legs, bikini area and arm pits now (avoiding any moles). When it comes to the arm pits the hair has grown out in between treatments so haven’t seen any noticable effect as of yet. But it can take up to 4 weeks.

I am finding the device very easy to use and it’s quick and pain free. As a mother of two small kids (4 and 1.5 years) the fact that it’s quick is a big bonus! I’m going to keep trying it and will get back with a final review once the test period is done. Here’s my initial thoughts and plans though. I’m happy so far!