Apple’s Jonathan Ive describes his design process

by Volker Weber

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has landed

by Volker Weber


Today the Galaxy Note 4, which I find to be the most interesting smartphone/tablet from Samsung, became available in stores in Germany. One of them has landed at vowe's magic flying circus. I just played with it for a couple of hours so it's way too early for any serious review. But I do have a few impressions.


Like all Samsung smartphones it feels rather cheap. Just when Apple moved to curved edges, Samsung introduces chamfered edges, much like the iPhone 5 did two years ago. And this time, it's metal and not plastic. The removable back blends right into the frame, but the front does not. Where the screen meets the frame, there is a notable gap and a ridge, so the front isn't smooth at all.

But Samsung is clearly moving in the right direction. Metal is metal, not on the S-Pen, but on the device frame. The faux leather back does away with the embarrassing stitching. And the USB port on the bottom of the device goes back to version two with its smaller plug. With Google installing my apps from backup, I am immediately comfortable with the Google Now launcher and Gmail and Chrome. Only the Samsung phone icon sticks out like a sore thumb.

I would love love love to have the pure Android user experience, with Knox added. The screen is just wonderful. And a nice touch, compared to BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone: the Note shows me a German keyboard, with proper Umlauts. Without any tweaking on my part.


The Note 4 gets most of the S5 features, like the fingerprint reader and the heart rate monitor on the back. Lots of stuff to play with. The camera is also upgraded with OIS (optical image stabilization). And yes, I did not notice the protective plastic before looking at the photo. It's of course off by now. ;-)


And here is the weird part. Before you can insert a SIM which isn't from Europe, you have to place at least one 5 minute phone call with a European SIM. Excuse my French, but WTF?

Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

by Volker Weber

There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science. In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.

The Borowitz Report shows that Americans are able to master irony.

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New iPad LTE ship with an Apple SIM

by Volker Weber


The new Apple SIM is preinstalled on iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular models. The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and UK right on your iPad. So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments. And when you travel, you may also be able to choose a data plan from a local carrier for the duration of your trip.

That's for the UK and the US only. For now. The future just started. You may no longer need to swap SIMs when traveling. It all depends on whether carriers want Apple's business.

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Happy 10th aniversary @Sonos, Sir

by Volker Weber


Here is to one of the nicest people in the business. Thomas Meyer was my first contact at Sonos, where he was heading world wide PR. We only ever met once in person, more than four years ago in Berlin at IFA, where he quickly handed me over to his CEO. At this time we had already known each other for four years. When I was in New York a few weeks ago, we nearly made it to our second date. ;-)

Thomas is the person who infected me with the Sonos virus, with a little help from Ben Rose. He is still with Sonos doing exactly the same thing, only on a different scale. Thomas is now the Global Director for Industry and Artist Relations. Happy anniversary, Thomas.

Sonos BOOST vs Sonos BRIDGE

by Volker Weber


There is a new Sonos bridge available and it's called BOOST. It has exactly the same function as BRIDGE, but it has updated networking hardware and is supposed to give you 50% better coverage.


A: Only if (a) you cannot run an Ethernet wire from your router to any Sonos component in your home and (b) connecting via Wifi isn't good enough.

Q: When is Wifi not good enough?
A: For everything beyond simple music streaming. If you want to run PLAYBAR with SUB and two PLAY:1 or PLAY:3 for instance.

Q: I have BRIDGE. Do I want to upgrade to BOOST?
A: If everything is working OK, no. If you have dropouts due to bad wireless coverage, yes. Let Sonos support check.

Q: Does BOOST replace BRIDGE?
A: After Sonos sold their stock of BRIDGE, yes. For now they still have BRIDGE and you can buy two of them for one BOOST.

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What happened to Qik?

by Volker Weber

Skype launches a brand new service called Qik. Brand new? Been there, done that.

What happened to Qik? As of 30 April 2014, Qik has been retired.

Now it's coming back as a lightweight video messaging app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Das DNUG Büro informiert

by Volker Weber

Der Vorstand hat einstimmig beschlossen, den Vortrag 'Domino Anwendungsmigration' von Bernd Vellguth, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, von der Agenda der kommenden DNUG Konferenz zu streichen. Der Grund hierfür ist, dass der Vortrag den Interessen des Hauptsponsors und DNUG Partners IBM massiv widerspricht. Die Präsentation dieses Vortrags würde das finanzielle und Sprecherengagement der IBM sowohl für die kommende als auch für weitere zukünftige Konferenzen in Frage stellen und die Partnerschaft der DNUG mit IBM grundsätzlich gefährden.

Eine schöne Konferenz habt Ihr da. Wäre doch schade, wenn da was passiert.

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by Volker Weber

Aus meinem Postkorb:

deswegen gehörst du ja auch zu D führenden 'influencern'

Iwo. Ich bin nicht führend. Und bei keinem dieser Schwanzvergleiche dabei. Ich schreibe hier einfach auf, was mir Spaß macht.

The Empire Strikes Back Uncut :: Full Movie

by Volker Weber

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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