BlackBerry PRIV :: I love this feature

by Volker Weber


This has to be one of the greatest features of the BlackBerry PRIV. When you plug this thing in, there is a line that runs from the plug and around the corner to the long side of the screen, telling you how the charge is going. It starts yellow, it probably starts red, but I never ran down the battery far enough. Then it turns green as the charging process continues. And not only is the length of the green line the charge percentage, it also gives you the numbers and how long it will take with this charger to fill it up completely. Awesome.

Expect a move from Inhi in three two one ...

by Volker Weber


Inhi Cho Su introduced herself as the new General Manager of IBM Collaboration on the last day of IBM Connect, which was Feb 3. You are generally given a hundred days to make your mark. And 100 days from Feb 3 happens to be next Friday. Something is about to happen. If not by next Friday, then shortly thereafter.

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Microsoft's biggest fear is irrelevance

by Volker Weber

Four dots to connect:

  1. Microsoft claims Windows 10 on 300 million devices.
  2. Microsoft reminds you that Windows 10 will cost $119 after July 29.
  3. SAP works with Apple on enterprise apps.
  4. Android is wiping the floor with everything but Apple.

Windows 10 upgrades are already stalling and Microsoft wants to remind you that time is running out for your free Windows 10 upgrade. And they are pushing hard. Really hard. Why is that happening? Simple. Nobody wants a new Windows. Windows 7 works just fine. Developers don't want a Microsoft controlled app store. And if both users and developers don't want the Universal Windows Platform, as it is called now, the Windows business is toast and Microsoft loses its leverage. That's why your Windows 10 update is "free". And I don't think that anybody will ever want to buy Windows for $119.

Android is the new Windows. It's running on everything but Apple. Android and iOS combined combined market share is above 98.5%. That's why BlackBerry is pushing for a secure Android. And why Microsoft is stalling with Windows 10 Mobile. Watch how the few UWP apps all come out for "Windows PCs and tablets" and are not "universal" in that they also run on Windows phones. Microsoft knows this and is pushing applications for Android and iOS. Faster and harder than on Windows itself. There is a real danger that Microsoft might become irrelevant.

Microsoft still holds a strong position in enterprise. But the battle has moved from operating systems to cloud services. Where Microsoft's biggest competitors are Google and Amazon.

Taking out the trash

by Volker Weber

Two kinds of people. Myself, I like to run a clean ship. That means I get rid of stuff before it piles up. If I buy something new, something old has to go.

I do the same on social networks. Old Facebook posts (currently at zero), old tweets (always way below 100), old Instagrams (close to 100). I still need to clean out Google+ and Flickr. I follow 50 Twitter accounts, 100 Instagram accounts, less than 10 Youtube channels, I hardly ever go on Facebook. That means I have to take less trash out of my brain.

Snapchat is nice in that it takes the trash out immediately. Old stories expire after one day, snaps expire right after you saw them. That's working well for kids who don't want to be reminded of what stupid things they said yesterday. It does not work so well for me in 1:1 chats, since I am often missing context. Whatsapp is working better for me, since I can do 1:1 and 1:many on Whatsapp with text and voice.

Marketing has discovered Snapchat and they will drive everybody out once they start pouring money into it. For stories, I am trying something different. Actually, I am trying it for the second time, since it failed last year. Beme has just relaunched, and I am posting bemes instead of Snapchat stories. It's the same thing, without the funky filters and decorations. One big advantage, for me: I can be logged in on several devices at the same time. Beme is very nascent and it will attract the kids who watch Casey's channel. Like myself.

I'm sorry if this ride is too fast for you. But the little kid inside of me never died. And he needs to play.

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iPad Pro 9.7" :: Pencil Clip

by Volker Weber


I found a way to hold the Apple Pencil on the iPad Cover. And as you can see, it stays put, although it's only held at one end:


How does that happen? There are small magnets in the cover that help you fold it. The strongest are actually on the outside, but then Pencil is to close to the edge. This pencil holder is sold by Muji. You have to be careful though and bend it back so it does not scratch the screen. I am going to put some white tape on it.


I did the same on the front and you cannot see that gap from more than a few centimeters away.


As you can see in the first picture, I put the pencil holder on the middle panel, close to the right fold. That is on purpose. There are small magnets at this fold to hold the tip of the pencil. At the same time, you can still do the triangle fold to prop up the iPad.


If you let the tip of the pen stick out, you can safely store and remove the pencil when the iPad is propped up. That is going to be handy on airplanes.

This is my first solution. Not perfect yet, since it is not holding the pencil tight enough to keep it in place when the iPad is in a bag. But you won't lose it when you are using it on a table.

Stuff that works :: Marshall Major II

by Volker Weber


There is so much marketing fake in this Marshall headset that I thought I would never like it. Funny thing though, I have been using it more than any other headset at vowe's magic flying circus. And most of the time I have forgone the Bluetooth link and instead I just plugged it in. Into the iPad Pro, the iPhone, the PRIV, the MacBook, the Yoga. Bluetooth often was just too much effort. Silence the computer by plugging in the headset, put it on. Bang.

This has happened before with another headset made by the same company: the Plattan ADV. They are in fact very similar, and the Plattan also comes with Bluetooth. Somehow those were never as successful here as the corded ones.

I prefer Bluetooth with headsets I use for dictation or phone calls. But for media consumption at rest, a cable rocks. Switching Bluetooth between devices is just too much effort, Bluetooth has dropouts, Bluetooth has latency. And as it happens, the cable on the Marshall rocks. Tangle-free, solid, sturdy plugs at both ends. This headset has both. Bluetooth when you don't want a cable, especially on the move. And a good cable when you do want one.

And the sound? To me it's good enough. When you compare it with better gear, it falls short. But when you only have this one around, you couldn't tell. And it's pretty loud. Not good for your ears, but sometimes you just need something that goes to eleven.

Steve Jobs: Secrets of Life

by Volker Weber

This was more than 20 years ago. The original hipster. Everybody else is just a copy.

You won't believe your ears

by Volker Weber

Hear is an amazing way to listen to the world. It harmonizes your listening experience which helps you to be less distracted and stressed. The Hear app filters your acoustic environment, takes out harsh sounds and turns stressful noise into harmonic sound environments.

You need a headset and an iPhone.

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Beme relaunches

by Volker Weber

If you have trouble understanding Snapchat, Beme is a tough nut to crack. I tried it last year, and it sucked big time. Now the team releases a new app for Android and iOS. The idea is simple. You broadcast what is happening around you. No filter, no fancy fonts, nothing. Just cover the proximity sensor and it starts recording.

Casey Neistat, YouTuber of the Year has this idea, that we should stop posing and instead of looking at a screen to just share what we see. What we really see. And I like that. I like it more than Snapchat.

I know two people who play with Beme: Teymur and me. And we are both not convinced that Beme will fly. But we both like what Casey is doing.

BlackBerry DTEK finally has teeth

by Volker Weber


So far DTEK could only bark when it saw intruders into your privacy. After the Marshmallow update it can finally restrict access. The dog has teeth now.

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Finch is an awesome Twitter client
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iPad Pro 9.7 :: My favorite keyboard
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iPad Pro 9.7" :: GoodNotes
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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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