There is another question I keep getting asked a lot in the aftermath of the Xerox saga: Whether or not I accepted cash (or non-cash benefits) from Xerox. The answer is simple: I did not. I did not even ask for a refund of the DHL Express stamp I used to send my originals over to Francis Tse.
As a result of this answer, I keep being asked unbelieving and doubtful questions. “Really?” – “Really. Not a single cent.” I was okay with this, though. However, in the light of some recent specialized press articles, I got word of a business manager's opinion that surprised me quite a bit. The trenchant outline is as follows: I would have been stupid not to demand at least several tens of thousands euros from Xerox for my work – in consideration of the enormity of the issue probably more. Well, this is the opinion we all expected. Here comes what actually surprised me: Every single reader of the specialized press articles would be supposing I accepted money for this anyway.
I do not want to demonize this view after all. There obviously are valid reasons supporting it. What's more, the one to state this view reportedly has a precise intuition on the state of affairs due to his wealth of experience and business success. Additionally one might consider a nice cash injection to be always welcome to a 29 year old computer scientist right at the start of his active life. Therefore, in this blog post, I lift the lid on the reasons of my way of proceeding in the Xerox saga. May the reader decide for himself, whether or not I was stupid (I appreciate any feedback on my stupidity ).
I overhauled the web site a quite a bit, there was a whole lot of things I put off some time, and that came back to me during the Xerox saga rush on the site.
I completely installed a new Dokuwiki Weatherwax from scratch (so far, I've still been using an old Adora Belle peppered with rubbish. And while I was at it, I also reinstalled and reconfigured all the plugins I use. Moreover, the image galleries look nice again (a few months ago, I bugfixed them in a quick and dirty way that made them ugly).
Some old, obsolete pages were dumped, and the navigation was overhauled to consider the blog content a bit more without becoming obtrusive. Originally, the site was never intended to be a blog, which still took its toll in the navigation. As a consequence, the ugly direct link to the blog post with the xerox saga was removed from the home page and got a new (semi-)permanent place within the navigation.
The style sheets and general lay-out were also tuned a bit. The standard font was changed already some time ago to Open Sans, and I've decided I to keep it, at least until I use a completely new design template. Additionally, I changed some of the headers to Open Sans Condensed now. Also, already some months ago, I got a new and bigger root server for the site. While the server originally was planned to provide a lot more resources than a web site like mine needs, I was glad to have the spare power during the Xerox saga impact.
Finally, some photos again. Originally, I wanted to post them the beginning of August, however, the Xerox saga came in between, so there was no time to develop them. As a result, I post the gallery of photos I took from a hornet nest now. The hornets made theirselves at home in a bird box; however, it seems that it's too warm for them in there, as they rotate in cooling the nest down by creating an air stream with their wings (clearly to be seen on some photos).
Another funny behavior, as well clearly to be seen on some photos, is that hornets sitting in the nest entrance “wave” to landing nest-mates by pointing their front legs towards them. Maybe, some of you is an hornet expert and able to shed light on why they exhibit this. All photos, parts of them in wonderful evening sunlight, were shot with a Nikon D90 and the Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR lense – completely zoomed towards the long end, from a respectful distance of two meters, using a tripod.