Alex Smolianitski

Write jibberish, sometimes even with some meaning.

RE: 04/15

This month was one of the best for a long time. A good mixture of tons of productivity combined with special moments. Sometimes it is important to look back and to realize how great life can be. It’s spring time and a lot of things have been happening lately – so here is my personal recap of April:

It all started with some gardening in Bavaria.

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Pessach was about to start and we had a lovely group of people in our house for the second Seder.

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Modern art in old buildings was the next on the list.

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Of course we can not forget work. So many new designs and projects which are all going to be published very soon!

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Friends of our family invited us to the first communion of their daughter.

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It is fascinating how you can bring people of different faith all to one table. In this case because of biodiversity.

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More culture. This time a great band.

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Of course there was some traveling around the country as well. For instance to Frankfurt.

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And more traveling. Bavaria.

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A close friend of mine had a fare well party. In a castle.

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It could not get better. But it did. 

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And the grill season started on Israels Independence Day.

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Debating about the radicalization of society with experts.

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Even more culture. A poetry slam organized by a friend.

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Most of the time I was fortuned enough to spent the time with the people who matter the most and I love. Truly blessed and slightly overwhelmed after sorting out memories.

The human “downtime”

This year’s DLD was all about “the beginning” of the new era — one that enables people to be creative in a completely new way. One of the rather non-digital segments of the conference was a short talk by Arianna Huffington. When I first heard Arianna speak about “sleeping your way to the top” I was fascinated how a media-mogul unequivocally proclaimed the need to stop bragging about the fact that we do not sleep as much as we should or desire to. Even I sometimes like to share the in fact I do not need too much sleep to be able to work the next morning.  But let us be honest – we all need and like to sleep an hour more than our routine sometimes allows us.

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During Arianna’s talk with Joshua Kushner, a great young investor of Thrieve Capital, Arianna spoke about the idea of Shabbat as a metaphor for the digital concept of “downtime”, something usually considered to have a negative connotation. Humans are not expected to have a 99.9% “uptime” like our servers do. In order to have new ideas and to enjoy the world we live in, Arianna argued that we need to have a certain amount of “downtime” — a human feature which allows us to disconnect from our email-inboxes and to reconnect with ourselves, our family, and our loved ones.

Although I might work in a media-heavy industry, one of my favorite moments is to be distracted by the little things in life, which make your day so much more meaningful. Put away your phone and play a board game or make a salad with someone – afterwards you will have the motivation and the power to smile and to succeed in your endeavors.

Listening to this short talk was a great aspiration for a fruitful year, which is only just beginning.

Photo: © Gigler

A typical day.

This week some people have shown a very strong interest in what a day in my life looks like. So here we go – a typical day.

3.42am – Waking up and finishing packing, so I can leave the house and catch the first train.

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5.14am – The first train of the day in the direction of Berlin arrived with a slight delay.

9.58am – About to enter my first meet up of the day.

12.43pm – First appointment is over and I’m about to ran into a designer who’s working on an non-profit project.

1.10pm – Finally the first breakfast of the day. Don’t look at the table unless you want to get a headache.

3.24pm – A little time gap which gives me the possibility to find a new tie for myself.

3.49pm – With a delay of almost an hour I have my next conversation for the day. More tea.

5.09pm – Still running a bit late, but finally getting the chance to sit down in the office and work on some texts, answer emails.

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6.16pm – The night is young and so are the politicians which I’m dealing with.

8.41pm – Time for a snack. Sudanese falafel with peanut butter.

9.11pm – A good friend invited me to an english-speaking stand up comedy night.

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10.07pm – A small drink doesn’t hurt, right?

11.53pm – Finally arriving back at the apartment. A few phone calls with beloved people.

1.00am Bedtime.

Why Apple knows that we need a “Double-Tap to Slide Down”

With the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus we see two new screen sizes which are just a clear response to the Smartphone-Market. At the same time it creates a slight issue for people with average-sized thumbs – reachability.

Here is a great lineup which illustrates the areas of a screen a normal thumb could reach. As we can see, with the new iPhones a big part of the screens top is out of accessibility.

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That’s why Apple decided to develop and promote the new Double-Tap function on the big iPhones. If you tap twice on the Home-Button the screen slides down and suddenly you can touch the corners you couldn’t touch normally:

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For more on that; read Scott Hurff’s latest blogpost.