After a long absence, I decided to start writing again and my first post will be about Stevia. It is a sweetener, which is extracted from the Stevia plant:

Stevia plant

I came accross this plant, when I asked a sales assistant in the local supermarket about sugar-free drinks. He pointed me to a sirup from the company Teisseire. The sirup is provided in different flavours and has the following ingredients:

Water, fruit juices from concentrates (11,5%: red fruits, 8% elderberry, reducrrant, blackcurrant, raspberry; lemon 3,5%), bulking agent: polydextrose, flavourings acidifier: citric acid, sweeteners: acesulfame K, sucralose, steviol, glycosides*, thickener: E415, preservatives: E202, E211. * Extract from Stevia rebaudiana.

The nutrition table says the following for 100 ml:

  • Energy: 68 kJ or 16 kcal
  • Fat: < 0.1g
  • of which saturated fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrate: 1.1g
  • of which sugars: 1.1g
  • Fibre: 4.2g
  • Proteins: < 0.1g
  • Salt: 0.075 g

Now these values are for the sirup itsself, but of course you don’t drink that pure. So if you take their recommended mixture of 1 unit of sirup and 7 units of water, you end up with just 2 kcal per 100 ml. Compared to a Coca Cola drink, which has 43 kcal per 100 ml, this seemed like a good improvement.

However, knowing that replacement sweeteners may have bad side effects, I also checked the German Wikipedia entry on Stevia. This revealed that it is currently unclear, whether this substance has negative impact on human health. The article also states that studies have found negative impacts on male fertility organs in rats.

Currently it is not clear for me, whether this is a good replacement for sugar or not. This needs further investigation!

Posted in Food and health by Imran. Kommentare deaktiviert für Stevia


The SourceForge monthly update made me aware of this nice project called: GnuCash. It seems to have a very intuitive interface and works fine with saving on mapped network drives. Hopefully it will help me keep track of my expenses and feed my nerdish need for statistics.

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Starcraft 2 Upgrade Analysis

The official Unit Tester Map allows you to create two unit compositions and let them attack each other to determine the outcome without any micro management involved. I did this for two standard tier one Protoss and Terran armies composed of around 10 Stalkers and 10 Zealots vs around 16 Marines and 12 Marauders. Both armies cost roughly 2000 minerals. I changed the armor and weapons upgrades and took five data points for each armor/weapons upgrade configuration and plotted the mean value. You can see the result below. It clearly shows that Protoss armor rocks in this type of setup. I guess this is because the Terran army needs more shots to focus down the Zealots before they can target the fragile but damage dealing Stalkers.

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Blizzard Cup

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World Cyber Games (WCG)

Die World Cyber Games stehen an und werden dieses Jahr in Busan Metropolitan City, Süd Korea ausgetragen. Süd Korea hat eine Zeitverschiebung von 8h, d.h. wenns bei uns 12:00 Uhr is, dann isses bei denen 20:00 Uhr. Das Event läuft vom 08.12. bis zum 11.12., also von heute bis Sonntag. Eine Liste der Spieler die sich für die WCG qualifiziert haben findet ihr auf:

Die Gruppenphase läuft derzeit. Die einzelnen Gruppen findet ihr unter:

Hier mittlerweile auch der WCG-Zeitplan:


Leider konnte ich noch keinen genauen Zeitplan finden, da die WCG Seite total überlastet zu sein scheint. Werde aber die Infos posten sobald ich sie habe.





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Minecraft 1.0

Der Server wurde auf die Releaseversion Minecraft 1.0 umgestellt und läuft somit nicht mehr im Beta-Betrieb. Mal sehen wie stabil er läuft und ob wir dementsprechend nochmal auf bukkit wechseln müssen oder ob die vanilla Version mittlerweile stabil genug ist.

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NASL Grand Final

NASL steht für North American Star League. Das große Finale der Season 2 findet an diesem Wochenende statt. Das Finale wird in Ontario, California ausgetragen. Wenns bei uns also 18 Uhr ist, ists bei denen erst 10 Uhr morgens. Hier alle wichtigen Links zu dem Thema:

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Starcraft meets Science

The Cognitive Science Group of the Simon Fraser University (SFU, at Vancouver, CA) is investigating Starcraft 2 as a scientific subject! They state the following mission objective on their homepage:

A study on the acquisition of attentional skills and expertise in StarCraft 2©.

We believe that the analysis of StarCraft 2 performance has the potential to be very valuable to the study of attention, learning, and cognition. Our initial project involves using replay files and survey questions to characterize differences across all skill levels, from bronze to professional. We plan to examine how players of different leagues access relevant game information by analysing their SC2 replay submissions and a level-of-play-questionnaire in StarCraft 2.

Starcraft really is science 😉

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CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. The test is commonly implemented as blurry, distorted or noisy pictures of words that are most of the time hard to read for a computer and can be possibly read by a human. Once the user has identified the word, he or she may enter it in the appropriate form field to gain access to the specific website. This method is supposed to prevent spambots from registering on websites and spamming links to external sites or placing words to improve the Google rating of specific industries.

In practice however, CAPTCHA is not a perfect solution as there are ways of breaking it, like optical character recognition, redirecting the CAPTCHAs to humans on other websites or simply paying people to solve CAPTCHAs. A possible remedy are SAPTCHAs, which stands for Semi Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. The idea is to provide a more accessible, lightweight and unique way of telling humans and machines apart. Instead of having humans read distorted pictures, the SAPTCHA software might simply ask a question which is hard to answer for a machine but easy to answer for a human. An example could be telling cats and dogs apart in a picture or how many seas there are on earth.

Personally this topic is interesting for me, since i receive a lot of spam on my algorithm database project. A SAPTCHA implementation for the MediaWiki software is provided by the extension QuestyCaptcha. It offers administrators the ability to add an extra form field to the user creation dialogue, which can be used to answer a predefined question. In my case, the question is: „What is the topic of this website?“. This question will be easy to answer for humans and would probably require specific programming for a machine to handle it. For now i chose the question to be very easy to see if this is enough to stop spam. Hopefully it will :-).

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All the links you need for MLG Providence SC2

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