January 2006

vowe.net is speeding up

by Volker Weber

If your reading habits were to check vowe.net once a day, you are now missing out. Since Cem has joined vowe's magic flying circus as an author, the frequency and quality has improved quite a bit. As has the readership. We used to see around 200 concurrent visitors peak, but this has now moved up to 250.

I'd suggest you check the site twice a day or subscribe to the RSS feed with an update frequency of once every two hours. And thank you for coming back. You have to have readers when you write.

Corporate agony

by Volker Weber

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten writes about the acquisition of Flickr and de.licio.us by Yahoo. His theory:

The truth is, I think, that Yahoo bought 'Entrepreneurial Spirit'. Ok, these small companies also have some technology, a few members, a little revenue and great PR but that wasn't the main reason to buy them. The truth is that big companies don't innovate. They can't.

He goes on with an anecdote that from my own experience with large companies is very true. They need to hire (temp or permanent) fresh blood. After a while they will slow you down and you lose your competitive edge. Then it's time to go, recycle, and start the next gig. Anyway, here is the anecdote:

In 2003 I sold my small company (15 FTE) to a large company (18.000 FTE). They replaced me as the CEO and I worked as an advisor for a few months. One day I was on the phone with the new CEO and he sounded depressed. I ask what the problem was and he told me he needed 4 photo's for a mock-up brochure for a pitch on wednesday. It was thursday when he told me this. He told me he asked for the 4 photo's and was told it would take 10 weeks to produce them. I laughed and offered to get him the pictures by monday evening. 'You could do that?' he asked in disbelief. 'Sure, no problem' I replied. So I called a photographer and asked him if he could take the pictures for me on monday morning and what that would cost. He responded 'For you, I'll do them for free' and I said 'That is very kind but I'll pay you €1000 anyway'. Then I called the best looking girl and guy I know and asked them if they would like to pose for me on monday. I'd give them €100 for their trouble. So on monday we did the photo-shoot, developed the photo's, had them digitalized and I delivered them on monday evening. Then I send them an invoice for €2500 and kept the difference, about €1000.

So, the next week I had a meeting with the CEO of my old company and he kept thanking me for the photo's. He pitched their product to the client and the client was really impressed with the brochure and the pitch and had signed the contract right away. The CEO was so happy I started feeling guilty about the €1000 I made on the deal. But then I asked him 'So why did it took your company 10 weeks to get those photo's'.

More >

When you are done reading this, please also read Kathy Sierra's "Death by risk aversion", mentioned in Ben Poole's comment here:

Memo to Microsoft: you've got people doing some amazing things over there. If you could just get the hell out of the way, the world might change for the better.

Risk-aversion is the single biggest innovation killer, and of course it's not just Microsoft that's been infected. Taking risks is... risky. But if not taking risks is even riskier, then WTF?

More >

This just in

by Volker Weber

From: "xxxxxx xxxxxxx" <xxxxxxxx@euroweb.net.mt>
Date: 31. Januar 2006 22:46:21 MEZ
To: <vowe@vowe.net>
Subject: creating and mounting a netowrk drive

Dear Mr weber, I installed suse linux 10.0 and turned it into a domain controller. I succeeded in creating samba users and successfully logged on from my windows xp professional. Now my next step is to share a folder from my linux server to a specified group only and when users log on from windows xp only the ones within that group shall be able to see that folder which will be visible as a network drive. How can i do that? thanks

The Web 2.0 Innovation Map

by Cem Basman

Watch the worldwide progress of the Web 2.0 epidemy live. Ryan Williams, a web developer and internet entrepreneur in Portland, Oregon, has geocoded a great new Google Maps mashup called The Web 2.0 Innovation Map:

The Web 2.0 Innovation Map grew out of an interest in how Web 2.0 development is distributed geographically. Using the lists of Web 2.0 applications from various sources (see listings) and a bit of elbow grease to locate addresses, the Innovation Map was born.

There is quite a backlog of applications still to be mapped. But you can see also the first red pins on the map in Europe.

Microsoft catches up

by Volker Weber

Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 available for download. Read the fine print:

Evaluation of Internet Explorer 7 should start now, but the software should not be used on production systems in mission-critical environments. Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview will only run on Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) systems, but will ultimately be available for Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows Server 2003.

What about Windows 2000? Didn't Microsoft want to fix that as well?

I took the tour. What's new? New interface, tabbed browsing, integrated search, RSS feeds, more security. You might as well stay with Firefox then.

Watching the web

by Cem Basman

Morgen am 1. Februar erscheint Webwatching online. Trends der Netzkultur. Ein Interviewmagazin geschaffen von zwanzig Studenten der Uni Hamburg im Fachbereich Journalistik und Kommunikationswissenschaft. Aus der Ankündigung:

Interview-Partner sind beispielsweise der Bildblogger Christoph Schultheis, Spiegel-Online-Chefredakteur Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Dotcomtod-Gründer Don Alphonso, Schriftsteller Peter Glaser, Medienphilosoph Norbert Bolz und Journalistikprofessor Siegfried Weischenberg.

Hier schon mal eine Vorveröffentlichung des Interviews mit Peter Praschl: Kiemenatmung auf dem Sofa. Unbedingt lesen.

Everything you need to know

by Volker Weber

IBM has dropped a CD into each Lotusphere bag. "IBM Workplace Services Express - Everything you need to know." Three twentysomethings on the front booklet, background in orange. Let's take a look:


This will only run on Windows. It seems to be kind of hard to wrap a Flash file into an index.html that runs on every browser instead of producing a Windows executable. The CD is labeled "New". I guess that's what you get if you are in a hurry burning the CD master. As for the content: Read the first bullet.

And the nominees are ...

by Cem Basman

Brokeback Mountain winner of four Golden Globe Awards leads Academy Awards field with eight nominations.

Based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx, the movie is listed for best picture, best director (Ang Lee), best actor (Heath Ledger), best supporting actress (Michelle Williams) and best supporting actor (Jake Gyllenhaal). Its screenplay adaptation, also received a nomination.

The German movie Sophie Scholl - The Final Days directed by Marc Rothemund is nominated for best foreign language film. And in the category short film (live action) there is "Ausreisser - The Runaway" from Ulrike Groth (Hamburg Media School, Germany) who had already won the Student Academy Award 2004.

The awards will be held March 5 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. Jon Stewart is the host.

All nominees >

HOWTO: 3-column-layout in CSS

by Volker Weber

I'm sorry. Really. I didn't name it. I don't mean to overstate its importance or trivialize the other and rather weightier Holy Grails.

But the name's out there, and we all know what it means.

Three columns. One fixed-width sidebar for your navigation, another for, say, your Google Ads or your Flickr photos – and, as in a fancy truffle, a liquid center for the real substance. Its wide applicability in this golden age of blogging, along with its considerable difficulty, is what has earned the layout the title of Holy Grail.

More >

So kann man das auch sehen

by Volker Weber

Mario Sixtus hat für heise eine kleine Jubelarie geschrieben: Mabber will SMS den Garaus machen. Ich wäre nicht ganz so optimistisch. Wenn die Falten rausgebügelt sind, wird das bestimmt 'ne schöne Sache, aber "SMS den Garaus machen" scheint mir derzeit doch sehr vermessen.


by Volker Weber

Ich arbeite gerne mit guten Leuten zusammen. Gute Leute sind entspannt, wissen was sie können und tun ihre Arbeit, ohne viel Aufhebens darum zu machen. Gute Leute haben Spaß an ihrer Arbeit und lachen dabei.

Deshalb freue ich mich auf eine Veranstaltung* in zwei Wochen in München: Die edcom Nachlese zur diesjährigen Lotusphere. Die Organisatoren haben eine Reihe von IBM-Sprechern gewinnen können. Jörg Knippschild und Ralph Siepmann sind sicher vielen bekannt. Die Eröffnungs-Keynote hält Ron Sebastian, der schon in Orlando die neuesten Entwicklungen präsentierte. Heute hat noch Christian Holsing zugesagt, der live vorführen kann, wie man Notes mit SAP verbindet. Den Abschluss macht Tony Fricko, einer der Querdenker, die IBM sich leistet. Dazwischen gibt es jede Menge Vorträge von den edcom-Leuten Angela Blasberg, Alex Novak, Alexander Staat, Christian Habermüller, Gabriele Chakir, Jürgen Weisel-Schmidt, Otto Förg und Wolfgang Meixner.** Wie gesagt: Gute Leute.

Ich war letztes Jahr schon mal als Moderator auf dieser Veranstaltung. Dabei ist etwas passiert, was ich noch nie erlebt habe. Einer der Teilnehmer ist in der letzten Session während der "Fragen & Antworten" aufgestanden und hat sich bedankt. Donnernder Applaus der anderen. Und wir hatten fast Tränen in den Augen. Dann ist mir doch noch eine Antwort eingefallen: "Wenn es Ihnen gefallen hat, kommen Sie nächstes Jahr wieder. Und bringen Sie noch einen Freund mit."

Und jetzt wird es wirklich Zeit, den Chef zu belabern. Die Veranstaltung nähert sich langsam dem Zustand "ausgebucht".

*) Disclaimer: edcom wirbt auf vowe.net und hat mich für diese Veranstaltung engagiert. Das heißt: edcom-Geld in meiner Tasche. Das heißt nicht: vowe schreibt Schmus auf vowe.net.

**) Angela, Alex und Otto haben es vor der Lotusphere noch geschafft, uns in Flagler Beach zu besuchen (Slideshow). Schee war's.

Timing ist alles

by Volker Weber

Während ich in Orlando war, bekam ich einen Anruf meines Nachbarn, der auf der Mailbox landete. Ob ich ihn wohl mal zurückrufen könne. Dank Skype-Out kein Problem und dazu noch sehr billig. Sein Anliegen: Er wolle sich neue Fenster einbauen lassen und frage nach, ob denn die Fensterbauer in unserer Einfahrt parken ... - Kein Problem.

Heute morgen sind sie angerückt. Der Nachbar guckt aus seinen leeren Fensterhöhlen. Die Handwerker sind geschäftig.

Ich glaube, ich würde so was im Sommer machen lassen.

Yes, I do. - No, You don't.

by Volker Weber

Apparantly, editors from the range of IP addresses belonging to the United States Congress have been banned (or are about to be banned?) from Wikipedia.

Making up the truth does not seem to work as well as you thought, eh?

IBM makes DB2 available for free

by Volker Weber


DB2 Express-C is provided with an unwarranted license and is available as a free download. Windows or Linux, up to two processors, up to 4 gig of RAM.

Say cheese

by Volker Weber

Photo "Dr Fujitronic"

This is a swiss cheese called "Tête de moine" in a special cheese scraper. We used the girolle I got for christmas for the first time today. Yummy.


by Volker Weber

Mail #1:

Sehr geehrter Herr xxx,

hiermit laden wir Sie zu unserem kostenfreien CRM-Infotag "Kundenbeziehungen pflegen mit GEDYS IntraWare 7" am xxx in xxx nach xxx ein. Wir präsentieren Ihnen eine bahnbrechende, neue CRM-Lösung auf Basis Lotus Notes/Domino.

Mail #2:

Hallo Volker,

was für einen Ruf hat Gedys denn in der Branche? Unser Laden implementiert gerade das CRM Gedys IntraWare7 und die Software scheint mir weniger "bahnbrechend" (Gedys) als schlicht noch im Betastadium.

Wenn ich eine Empfehlung aussprechen darf: Nennen Sie die Software nicht "bahnbrechend". Beim Empfänger der Mail #1 hat sie große Heiterkeit ausgelöst. Bei der Mail #2 steht die Bewertung drin.


by Volker Weber

Nico invited me to try mabber.com. This service wants to be a an XMPP server with a web client and a mobile client. You can also use an XMPP client such as iChat. Summary: It was a disaster.

  1. It would not accept my registration. Fixed.
  2. It would not log me in. Fixed.
  3. Web client stalled when adding aim contacts.
  4. Web client disconnects from the server.
  5. iChat shows different buddies online than web client.
  6. Web client throws "unresponsive script" error message in Firefox.
  7. Cannot login to website anymore.
  8. Cannot remove my account.

Mabber tries to be Web 2.0 with smooth dialogs where you don't need them. That's about it for now. Mabber should feed this baby some more before attempting a beta test.

Sorry, Nico. Please have my account removed. I think I'll stay with Google Talk for all things Jabber.

Lotusphere 2006 Keynote Stream Available

by Ken Porter

Lotusphere 2006 Keynote

A stream of the Lotusphere 2006 keynote is now available here; all 2 hours and 17 minutes of it. Registration is required in order to get to this page that lists the different Windows Media and Real Player streams.

Dual-Booting Windows XP on a Mac/Intel

by Volker Weber

Step by step instructions here. And a rebuttal here why this ain't gonna work.

Have you been speaking at Lotusphere?

by Volker Weber


Then please make your slides available and link to them here.

RIM vs. NTP: The whole story

by Volker Weber

An obscure patent case that could have been settled for a few million bucks has morphed into a billion-dollar dagger hanging over RIM, an enigma for investors and a distraction for legions of hooked BlackBerry users. A U.S. judge has threatened to shut down RIM's BlackBerry network next month for violating a handful of a dead man's patents — patents that U.S. authorities now concede may not be worth the paper they're printed on.

How it all happened is a twisted tale of bold inventions, hubris, pride, backroom lobbying and one colossal legal blunder ...

More >

[via /.]


by Volker Weber

Lotus, hire a journalist to work in media relations. Or better yet, hire a journalist with a pitbull that can turn wishes into commands. A journalist understands what other journalists need. And while you are doing this, let me run down a list of what a journalist needs when reporting about Lotusphere:

  1. Fact sheets, one per product announced at the conference, including pricing and availability. If you announce something in the Opening General Session, make sure the facts are written down.
  2. Screenshots of same products in a format that is neither scaled down nor compressed with a lossy algorithm.
  3. Pictures from the conference, taken by a professional photographer.
  4. Conference artwork such as logos in a format that is neither scaled down nor compressed with a lossy algorithm.

And here is a list of what journalists do not need:

  1. This.

I have been there. I can compensate a lot of what is missing. But there is nothing I can do about missing screenshots. Ed has provided some Hannover screenshots that look fine on the web. Thank you for doing this. However those cannot be used in print. Here is why:

It's not like IBM does not have the necessary skills. This photo is fit for print. It's just that Lotus can't seem to do it.

We have been asking for better graphics for years. Last year I sweet talked someone in a lab to create a screenshot and send it my way via media relations (lab personell is instructed not to work with the press). I saw the mail going out but it ended up in the bermuda triangle. This year I have asked for screenshots three months before Lotusphere and then again three weeks before the conference. Should have been ample time to prepare them.

Next time someone complains that there is not enough buzz around Lotus in the press, come back here.

Update: I just received help from inside Lotus bypassing the PR channel. Thanks! Screenshots do exist after all. They only have a hard time escaping. :-)

Whose Fault Is It When Collaboration Software Sucks?

by Volker Weber

Michael Sampson thoughtful as ever:

A vendor see a market opportunity for collaboration software. It builds a product to enable teams to work together, share information, and coordinate action. It signs up business partners who see the promise of the offering. They start offering services to the market based on the product. Organizations embrace it. Some find great success and rave about it. Others think it is the worst thing ever created and do nothing but complain. In either case ... success or failure ... who is to be praised or blamed?

More >

How to get off my buddylist

by Volker Weber

I want names on my buddylist. Just names. Since Skype allows me to rename someone who has only a "cool" handle, I can live with people who do not have a proper profile.

Since Skype does not let me switch off "mood messages", I am removing everyone from my buddylist who uses them. In the past I have asked friends who did not know what they were doing. After this post I assume you do know. :-)

International Internet-Free Day

by Cem Basman

Have you started tilting your head sideways to smile? When you check your e-mail and it says "No new messages", do you immediately check again? Do you dream in HTML? You could be spending too much time on the Internet. So Sunday January 29th has come along at the right time, as it is International Internet-Free Day.
More >

Special Agent (2)006

by Volker Weber

Special Agent 006

More >

This day

by Cem Basman


These bronce colored paving stones are called Stolpersteine ("stumbling blocks") in German. They are set into the pavement in front of the entrances of buildings. Each stone has an engraving of the name of a person who had lived in that house and who was deported and killed during the years of the National Socialism. In the area were I live in Hamburg nearly every house has these stones. Some have 10-12 stumbling blocks. On the picture above you see one of the stones in front of the house were I live. Stolpersteine is since many years a privately financed project of the artist Gunter Demnig from Cologne.

Today is the Commemoration Day for the Victims of National Socialism. This day is also called the Holocaust Memorial Day. About 7,500 prisoners were liberated in Auschwitz concentration camp by the 322nd Infantry unit of the Red Army on January 27, 1945. The exact number of victims is impossible to fix with certainty.

The United Nations statement of commitment for this day:

We recognise that humanity is still scarred by the belief that race, religion, disability or sexuality make some people's lives worth less than others'. Genocide, antisemitism, racism, xenophobia and discrimination still continue. We have a shared responsibility to fight these evils.

This commitment applies to every human being. This is the true acceptation of this day. One world.


by Volker Weber

We are on our way home, currently in the Delta Crowne Room in Orlando as a guest of Christian Holsing, one of the few people who own this shirt. Very refreshing after standing in line for an hour at check-in. Special thanks to Thomas Lang for taking us to the airport.

Update: The flight was a little bumpy but uneventful. Leaving Florida at 28 Celsius and arriving at -5 is quite a difference. But our friendly neighbor has cranked up the heating in our home so we returned into a warm place. Life is good.

Champagne Chair Contest

by Cem Basman

Champagne Chair Contest

... and 42 other absolute fantastic award-winning chairs made of champagne cork and wire. [via Kottke]. I'll try next time something with beer caps ...

Deutsche Blogcharts Erstausgabe

by Cem Basman

Wer hat den längsten? Neugierig? Die wöchentliche Liste der Top 100 Blogs im deutschsprachigen Raum auf Basis von Technorati ist erstmalig erschienen! Vowe dot net ist diese Woche auf Rang #18 - mit aufsteigender Tendenz.

Höchster Neueinsteiger ist diesmal auf #26 jensscholz.com, der in den letzten Tagen deswegen gern zitiert und verlinkt wurde.

Jens Schröder hat alle Blogs mit mehr als 50 Technorati-Links in die automatische Beobachtung aufgenommen. Vorschläge und Anregungen sind ihm willkommen ...

flickr's interactivity

by Ragnar Schierholz

Yesterday I was stunned. After returning from my work/vacation trip, I uploaded a whole bunch of pictures to Flickr. This took a while and while flickr's uploader tool was doing so, I watched my album grow in the browser and started adding descriptions to the pictures.

More >

Collax und Open-Xchange kündigen strategische Partnerschaft an

by Volker Weber

Gesamte Groupware-Funktionalität von Open-Xchange ist ab sofort für den Collax Business Server verfügbar

More >

Crackberry news

by Volker Weber


This is the new Blackberry 8700 with the Intel processor and I so want one. It's a huge improvement over the 7290 in terms of speed and the screen. Incredible. Well, I won't be using it enough, so I won't get one. But I do like it a lot.

In related news, I visited the Blackberry booth at the Lotusphere showcase and they do present Blackberry Connect on a Treo 650. The person said, it is done and ready to go. He also said, you have to ask your mobile provided to have them roll it out. If that is true, I wonder why I cannot get it.

Maybe I can steal a Treo for a few minutes and backup the BBC client to a storage card?

Digitalisierte Analphabeten

by Cem Basman

Marissa Mayer (30), Vice President, Search Products & User Experience, Google, ausgezeichnet für ihr Lebenswerk als "Queen of Ideas" und Preisträgerin des Aenne-Burda-Preises für mutige Geschäftsfrauen bei der diesjährigen DLD06 :

"Millionen Menschen in der dritten Welt können nicht lesen und schreiben. Sie haben aber ein Mobiltelefon."

Tolle Wurst. Mehr Klatsch, Tratsch und CoolSpeak zu den Digital Lifestyle Days bei heise.

Bob like you never have seen him before

by Volker Weber

You would not believe it, but a guy walked up to Bob while we were waiting to be seated and asked whether he was allowed to take a look at the restaurant.

More >


by Volker Weber

Ich sehe nichts, was Du nicht siehst

by Volker Weber

Da flattert mir diese Pressemitteilung eines bekannten Business Partners ins Haus:

GEDYS IntraWare, Hersteller von Software für das Management von Kundenbeziehungen (CRM), präsentiert auf der Lotusphere 2006 vom 23. bis 26. Januar 2006 in Orlando, USA, gemeinsam mit dem amerikanischen Partner Mayflower (Stand 626) und der Group Technologies (Stand 221) erstmals das neue Lösungsportfolio der GEDYS IntraWare 7 und GEDYS Workplace 1.5 rund um CRM.

Eine funktionierende Workplace-Lösung? Das lässt man sich ja nicht entgehen. Dann also mal schnell zum Stand 221 und mal gucken, was es da für tolle Workplace Software gibt. RightSize steht am Stand, CRM machen die auch, aber nicht von Gedys. Dann also mal schnell zum Stand 626 getigert. Ebenfalls Fehlanzeige. Dort steht zwar Mayflower drauf, da ist aber nicht Gedys drin. "Gedys who?". Auf Stand 218 finden wir dann doch noch die Group Technologies. Gedys? Nichts zu sehen, keine Demo, kein Material. Also, wer hat denn nun den Größten?

Blogging Panel @ Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

Photo: Ingo Erdmann


by Volker Weber


Here are some photos I took at the Lotusphere 2006 JAMFest. It was infuckingcredibly loud, but people were having a hell of a time. If you missed it Monday night, then try again tonight at the Swan dining tent between 7pm and 11pm.

Coolest Lotusphere giveaway

by Volker Weber

I can (and will) only tell you after the show. But it is stainless steel and has 28 unique pieces in a nice little aluminum box.

OK, that was too easy. Ben, Stuart and Cem solved it. It is a stainless steel Domino set. And it is quite heavy and therefore not really suited for travel. I got it from Wild Bill Buchan of HADSL, makers of fine Domino administration tools. Visit them at pedestal #226 in the Lotusphere exhibition hall. They won't have any more of the Domino sets, but they still have their tools. ;-)

And the winner is ...

by Volker Weber

As you may recall I was a judge in the "Best in Lotusphere Showcase Award 2006". I don't want to give away too much about the internal process, but there are quite a number of judges for each category, and there were a large two-digit-number of candidates for this "Best in Showcase" award.

I have seen an astonishing number of really good solutions. It's hard to believe how much good and innovative out is out there. And I am happy to say that we ended up giving this award to my favorite: iscoord ephone

Lotus management enjoying the show

by Volker Weber

"My" Windows XP?

by Cem Basman

Venture capitalist and blogger Guy Kawasaki on the art of branding:

7. Strive for humanness. Great brands achieve a high level of humaness. They speak to you as an individual, not as part of a market. It's “my iPod.” “My Macintosh.” “My Harley Davidson.” “My bottle of Coke.” By contrast, you'd never think, “My Windows XP,” or “My Microsoft Office,” so I wouldn't label Microsoft as a great brand although, obviously, it is a great financial success. Ideally, you'd achieve both.

Never thought about it that way. Good point.

The Japanese Tradition: Sushi-ya

by Cem Basman


How to behave properly and with respect in a sushi restaurant in Japan. The excellent video lecture [8:10] with lots of subtle details, customs and practice is in Japanese language with English subtitles. Enjoy your meal! Itadakimasu! And don't take every advice too seriously ...

What is a "Chief Networking Officer"?

by Cem Basman

CEO, CFO, COO, CIO and CNO. CNO? Never heard of a CNO? Nor did I. Until today. Networking is a profession, according to Lars Hinrichs, CEO of openBC. Regarding the increasing importance of business networking for enterprizes openBC extends its team: As "Chief Networking Officer" (CNO) and Head of Community Development Udo Hamm is responsible at openBC for the creation and cultvation of new communities and the acquisition of already existing communities. Udo left his job at the swiss bank giant UBS for his new job. Udo explains why:

To become Chief Networking Officer of a company like openBC seems like a logic conclusion to me: My whole life and all my single career steps have amounted to my current position as a professional full-time networker. Because this is what I have been my whole life and my new position is my first tailor-made job. I have learned that it’s possible to meet every interesting and important person wherever you are, it’s all a matter of networking.

Sounds exciting. openBC has now about 1 million contacts. They are heading for 2 million at the end of this year. Well, you sure probably need a CNO then ... And he will probably be also the first CNO in the world. Good luck, Udo.

Lotusphere Wiki

by Volker Weber

Here are a few links into the Lotusphere Wiki. Gentlemen, update your pages:

Pull the plug

by Cem Basman

Om Malik states today:

Somewhere on some server, in some SAN your life is cached. We are living a cached life. And it is going to get even more cached, as we turn to always-on wireless devices. Our RSS will be cached somewhere. So will be our thoughts that appear on blogs. Our TiVo watching patterns to music listening patterns in iTunes, and other such new conveniences are part of a new cached, convenient albeit less private life.

Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun pinpointed already in 1999:

You have zero privacy anyway… Get over it.

Is privacy possible in the digital age? If you want something to be private, don't store it on a computer. Pull the plug. Bury all your digital devices and gadgets in a junk yard. Chop your credit cards and your other plastic. Move to a computer-free zone. Next question: Are there any left? Let's search for it in Google, oops ...

Addendum: Mmh, 'The Free Zone' ... could be a good theme for a postcyberpunk novel ...

The Google Robot FAQ

by Cem Basman

What are Google Robots?
What are Google Robots good for?
I saw a Google Robot entering a library and reading books in it. Is that legal?
What happened to other robotic devices, such as the Google Keyhole satellite program, or the Google Print project?
How much do I need to pay to access information the Google Robot recorded?
How many Google Robots walk the earth?

More >

[Created by Philipp, link stolen from wirres]


by Cem Basman

Innovation is a major driver of economy and human life. Without innovation we would still live in the trees, couldn't have build the pyramids and computers would have not been possible. We know that one of the major key factors to innovation is the "passion" of individuals. But are there also other factors which determine successfully innovation? Is innovative thinking a procedure which can systematically be reproduced? Is there a solid method for innovation? Is there a "group intelligence"? Jason Franklin-Stokes thinks "Yes" and has initiated IGoBeyond:

We are an incubation network of connected creative minds, experts, activists and people with a passion, unleashing groundbreaking new ideas, value add concepts, models, projects and businesses. Our vision: An economy driven by passion where anyone can choose to afford a life of passion, experiencing new learning and personal growth by collaborating with others to create inspiring new businesses whenever they want to - doing what they love most. Our Strategy: To enable everyone in the network to support each other with the collaborative shared infrastructure, processes and resources the network needs so that each individual can profit fairly from the human capital they invest in new ideas.

IGoBeyond is a think tank, a social network, an approach and a method to systematically drive innovative solutions. It has grown within a few weeks into a very productive group of people. The first projects are already in action.

I am very passionate about these ideas. It was very exciting to be part of the team who developed and evaluated the method. I have joined IGoBeyond from the very beginning as a mentor - and a friend of Jason. You may join too. Connect your brain here.

Can you get me this for Lotusphere?

by Volker Weber

rocket blaster

No, this is not a sex toy. :-) It's called a Giottos Rocket Air Blower, and it is used to blow dust of lenses and sensors. I went to a number of stores and could not find it anywhere. Do you have a chance to buy one and bring it to Lotusphere? If you live in Manhattan, you can probably just walk into B&H Photo Video on 420 9th Avenue (212.444.6708) and grab one. It should cost around $12 and of course I will reimburse you.

Since I only need one, please comment if you have one for me. :-)

Update: Mathias Pohl has suggested a store in Orlando that I will hit tomorrow. Thanks!

Post von zu Hause

by Volker Weber

Hallo Ute und Volker,

ich muss Euch mal sagen, wie gut Ihr es habt. Das Wetter ist diese Woche wirklich scheusslich hier.

Montag Morgen: -12 C
Dienstag Morgen: -4 C, 3cm Neuschnee
Mittwoch Morgen: -2 C, glatt
Donnerstag Morgen: um 0 C, schweineglatt

Und Ihr liegt bei 25 C am Pool...

So war der Plan. ;-)

Use "Lotusphere2006" as the standard tag for this year's Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

John Roling suggests that everybody should use the same tag on Flickr and elsewhere for Lotusphere 2006. This is a much better idea than creating groups, albums, pools or other old school collaboration tools. It worked very well last year.

Get the word out. It's Lotusphere2006, baby. ;-)

Only in Germany

by Volker Weber


Magic numbers

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere starts next Monday, and I know I'm biased, but I think this is shaping up to be one of the best shows ever. We're expecting almost 5,000 people to join us in Orlando, which is over 15% more attendees than last year.

That's funny. Because two years ago, there were 5000 people at Lotusphere, and last year there were 500 more than two years ago, and now there will be over 15% more than last year.

Let's assume, there will be 5000 now, divide that by 1.15 and you get 4348 in 2005, minus 500 would be 3848 in 2004. Somebody must have done some serious window dressing.

More >

API Posters to re-appear at Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

If you are going to Lotusphere, be sure to pick up a NEW Domino Object Model poster, updated to version 7, and actually printed out. In addition, there will be a new poster for the Workplace Designer JavaScript Document API.

More >

Lotusphere spammer #1

by Volker Weber

It's so easy to identify companies not to do business with ...

Microsoft competes with IBM on long and windows names

by Volker Weber

Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer Web Update Pack

More >

Google Talk now talks to other Jabber servers

by Volker Weber

I flipped the switch to connect the Google Talk Service to the public XMPP network this morning. Google Talk users can now chat with users on other XMPP services and vice versa.

More >

[via Nico]

Da hype.

by Cem Basman

Posts that contain Web 2.0 per day for the last 360 days.
Technorati Chart

Get your own chart, dude!

Microsoft's (not so) latest tool to switch Domino users to Exchange

by Volker Weber

Update: Amy says it is the 2003 version. The latest has yet to come out. It isn't done yet, but Microsoft had to get the press release out before Lotusphere.


by Volker Weber

Photo: Ute Breitinger

Leaving the mapping niche ...

by Cem Basman

Richard MacManus sez mapping and Google Maps continue to dominate the mashup scene and:

I wonder how long before we begin to see more non-mapping mashups - for example search, shopping, news. I suspect there are many mashup niches waiting to be filled in 2006.

So gentlemen, start your engines, please! There is need for speed.

Schön, stark und mutig

by Volker Weber

Der Papa von dem Seal seiner Frau ist nicht nur schön gegen den Schrank gelaufen und stark abgeprallt, sondern hat es mutig noch mal probiert.


by Volker Weber

I was pulled over yesterday for running a stop sign. Vell, I tried my ferry pest german aksent, err, ehmm, ... ant he lett mee go. ;-)

Having a rental car, a big smile, and a EU driver's license may have helped as well ...

Ute übt iWeb

by Volker Weber

Have you noticed?

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere Online is err ... online as of last week. Look at the URL:


Notice anything? It's a Domino URL! After embarassing themselves with Portal and Workplace for two years Lotus went back to Domino.

Tag abuse!

by Cem Basman

The tagosphere got is own pest:

"Social BookMarking" - It is a NEW Advertising Tool for YOU to jump on!
Please read this very carefully.... Only a handful of experienced marketers are aware of using this powerful method as an advertising method so far. This is called "Social Bookmarking" or "tagging" is a new method of advertising and you can also make ALOT of money with and get alot of permanent free advertising with. You can start immediately.

Holy cow! Alex Bosworth discusses the weakness of del.icio.us, digg.com and other platforms to massive attacks of tag spamming. Idiots never die ...


by Cem Basman

Keeping track of time is an alleged trivial task but it can be a quite annoying procedure. Particularly if your staff is working distributed in different locations. Tiktrac is a brandnew (beta of course) timesheet management software:

Keep track of time within your organisation with a slick Ajax web interface, RSS feeds and CSV data exports. Allow your staff to sign in and log their time efficiently, and never rely on emailing spreadsheets around again. Allow your clients to sign in and view how their time is being used.

Tiktrac are two web developers, working in London and Sydney. Together they form Helicoid.net. A good example of the business in the new web: A simple idea, well implemented according to web standards, state-of-the-art but still a little bit raw. No big money, fancy e-names, boards of directors or advisors. No business networking. Put it just in the web and see what happens.

I like it that way. The web in these days is a huge lab for ideas. Huge. And there is much more to come.

Feucht wie Hakle

by Cem Basman

Habe gerade Horst Tomayer an meiner Haustür vorbeiradln sehen. Alt ist er geworden. Die Haare weiss. Aber der Fahrstil ist der gleiche geblieben.

Bei Tomayer geht es um den ganzen Menschen, wie er lebt, wie er wahr ist. Tomayer liest über Brigitte Seebacher-Brandt, die Kanzlerswitwe, und ihren Bankier Hilmar Kopper: »Und sie ist schon feucht wie Hakle«, er aber »nagelt sie an der Birke« und »hackt sie wie die Zwiebel für das Mett« – das ist Klassenkampf, das ist groß. Keiner sonst kann es, keiner sonst tut es. Tomayer ist einzig, er ist der Beste.


North American International Auto Show

by Ken Porter

While Volker and Ute are having fun in the sun, I was at the Detroit Auto show looking at some fantistic cars I will never own.

Chevrolet Camaro Concept

It is always hard to pick a favourite car, but the Camaro concept attracted alot of attention. It has this strange "Batmobile" feeling about it that no picture I have seen so far captures.

Personally, I feel in love with the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and with a MSRP of only $452,750 USD, I will probably never be this close to one again.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

I've created a Flickr set of my pics from the show which I will be adding to over the next few days.

Sunrise in Flagler Beach

by Volker Weber

Photo: Ute Breitinger

The first 24 hours

by Volker Weber

flagler beach

We finally arrived in Flagler Beach, and the place which Mac Guidera recommended is wonderful. Everything is just spanking new, we have a large living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. On the front porch there are rocking chairs, and we have a new pool that was just built last year. Two blocks to the east there is the beach and the head of the Flagler Beach pier. Thank you, Mac, this was one excellent recommendation.

Our place is a very small hotel and when we arrived here, there was an envelope attached to the front door with instructions how to get into our suite. We needed to punch a few numbers into a small box, but the door would not open. After half a dozen tries we found out that the numbers were not supposed to open the door, but rather the small box, which contained the keys. We failed this rather simple IQ test miserably. ;-)

Our place has a 5-port Netgear switch connected to the backbone of the hotel. I hooked up my Airport Extreme and now have wireless access to the net. There was a small obstacle though. Although the DHCP gave me an IP, I could not connect to the Internet. The setup was very basic, so I connected to the default router at and was prompted for the login to a Linksys BEFSR41. In case you ever meet this device, the default username is blank and the password is admin. Bingo. The person who set up the router did not only not know how to secure the router, but he was also not very good at setting it up. I left the default password but fixed the configuration, and now we are connected.

One of the places we stopped by today was the Apple store at the Millenia (ok, it were two Apple stores, the other one being at the Florida Mall) but they did not have any of the new Macs. The MacBook is not supposed to ship before Febuary — and I am betting on the 59th of Febuary — but the Intel iMac was also not on display. Both stores were packed with customers, and Apple was happily selling iMac G5s and PowerBooks.

The flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta was very long. We were on an old 767-300 and had a strong headwind so it took more than 10 hours to get there. The flight was delayed almost an hour although we pushed back in Frankfurt on time. Atlanta had severe weather and we experienced the roughest landing ever. It was bumpy all the way down to the runway. This is not a nice experience, when the plane is thrown around and you hope the pilot makes it to the airport.

Since we were so late in Atlanta, the airport had only 30 minutes to transfer the luggage to our Orlando flight. We went as quickly as we could from concourse E to T02 which is accross the airport. We boarded the plane and they literally closed the door behind us. The luggage did not make it. Luckily it was on the next flight. We used that time to get our Chrysler Sebring GTC Convertible and picked up some groceries. When we returned 90 minutes later, the carrousel just started and I fetched the bags 10 minutes later while Ute was waiting with the car in front of the baggage claim.

Google Local Mobile on the Blackberry 7290 was of great help. I just entered "Publix near Orlando International Airport" and it gave me directions to a store 8 mls north of the airport. I entered the address into TomTom and the rest was routine.

It currently is sunny but quite cold. Shall be warming up over the next 3 days before the next cold front hits. Today there was not a single cloud out there and I almost got a sunburn in less than two hours. I always like the dry and cool air with bright skies behind the front. Shall be wearing my hat all day long tomorrow.

Conclusion: We are having a great time. Cheers.

Where in the world is Ute?

by Volker Weber

Adobe Lightroom Beta Available

by Ken Porter

Adobe Lightroom Beta

Would you like to play around with Apple's Aperture application, but don't want to lay down the money to purchase it? Well Adobe has developed a similar product called Lightroom and a beta version is available for download here.

You can learn more about Adobe's Lightroom, and how it compares to Apple's Aperture, from this MacWorld News review of Lightroom.

Gone fishing

by Volker Weber


Cem, Esther, Ken, Ragnar and Stefan will take good care of yourself. And I may drop in once in while as well. See you on the other side.


by Volker Weber

Was dem einen sein' FritzBox, ist dem anderen sein' HorstBox.

BlackBerry to Offer Mac Support

by Volker Weber

Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) and Information Appliance Associates (IAA) today announced a licensing agreement whereby RIM will offer 'PocketMac(R) for BlackBerry(R)' to Mac users, free of charge. PocketMac for BlackBerry is a desktop application that enables Mac users to synchronize data between their BlackBerry devices and Macintosh applications including core OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" applications and Microsoft Entourage.

RIM has licensed the complete version of PocketMac for BlackBerry from IAA and the companies plan ongoing product development collaboration. PocketMac for BlackBerry synchronizes the email, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes of Microsoft Entourage, OS X's Address Book and iCal, Now Contact and Now Up-to-Date, DayLite, and Stickies, among other applications. This easy-to-access solution for Macintosh synchronization is expected to be available as a free download at www.blackberry.com beginning in February.

More >

[Thanks, Eric]

Upgrade your brand new Mac

by Volker Weber

So you just got yourself a new iMac last week and you are not amused that your machine is obsolete?

Thank you for your interest in Apple products. Apple has recently announced several enhancements to our product lines and we are offering customers the option to select one of our new products. You may change your order or request a return using this web site.

More >

Notes-Customer: Microsoft wants you

by Volker Weber

As part of its ongoing effort to lure customers off of IBM/Lotus Domino and Novell Inc.'s Groupwise, and onto the Exchange Server messaging platform, Microsoft is refreshing its suite of Exchange migration tools.

The suite, code-named Red Bull, will come out right before the annual IBM/Lotus Lotusphere conference in late January in Orlando. Red Bull is expected to include a comprehensive revamp of Microsoft's mail migration tools, and includes an application and analysis analyzer and a recoded Exchange-Notes Connector, said one IT expert who declined to be identified. Red Bull began its trial run in late October 2005.

People are still under NDA, since Microsoft wants to announce this next week. What a coincidence with Lotusphere. :-)

More >

Intel Macs won't run Windows - for now

by Volker Weber

With the announcement of the first Intel based Macs yesterday, many users have rejoiced in being able to dual-boot both Mac OS X and Windows. Unfortunately, this is not the case; due to Apple's use of the extensible firmware interface (EFI) rather than BIOS, current Windows releases will not run on the systems. On Tuesday at Macworld, Apple senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller said the company would not specifically block the use of Windows on Mac hardware. Instead, limitations in Windows itself will prevent its use on the new MacBook Pro laptop and iMac.

More >

Lucy Reloaded

by Volker Weber


I performed major heart surgery on Lucy today. The disk was dying and I got her a 300 GB replacement for the original 80 GB drive. If you want to change the drive inside an iMac G4, you have to take the whole base apart. This is no small feat. Once I had the base open, I also replaced the internal 256 MB memory chip with a 512 MB one. This brings total memory now to 1 GB.

A fresh install of Tiger with a huge update to X.4.4 now has her screaming like new.

Play Windows Media in Quicktime

by Volker Weber

With Windows Media® Components for QuickTime, by Flip4Mac, you can play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime Player and view Windows Media content on the Internet using a Web browser.

These components are way better than the dreaded Microsoft Windows Media Player. Until now you had to buy them, but now there is a free version available for download from Microsoft. Flip4Mac hopes to sell you upgrades for the full product which lets you edit and export Windows Media files in Quicktime.

More >

Update: After upgrading Quicktime to 7.0.4 you need to also upgrade Flip4Mac to version 2.0.1 to fix crashes when closing the player.

Stevenote aftermath

by Volker Weber

It's been only a few hours since the iMac G5 was still king of the hill. THE new iMac G5, just a few months old, still front page news on Apple.com. The gold standard of PCs, as Walt Mosberg wrote. Next to it the all new PowerBooks G4 with higher resolution screens. Now they are history.

Apple is promising the new machines are between 2 times and 4 times faster than the old ones. Behold, these are processor benchmarks. The rest of the system is hardly 2 to 4 times faster, so it won't feel so much different. And you do need twice the performance to actually feel the difference. Please also keep in mind, that there is a fair number of applications which require the Rosetta emulation layer, amongst them the popular Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop offerings. There is no need to hurry.

Look at the two MacBook Pro machines. You will find that the faster processor, an additional 512 MB of RAM and a 100 GB drive instead of the 80 GB one will set you back $500. Did you check the Yonah prices? That's a measly $53 difference. Looks like Apple has found a neat way to extort some extra money from 1st class travellers. :-)

A lot of people were betting on a new Mac mini as a media center. Has not happened today. Period.

The PowerBook is dead. Long live the MacBook Pro. What do you think? How long will it take, until the iBook is dead, and there will be a MacBook? I'd say 3 months max.

J'accuse! Digg'n with Pligg ...

by Cem Basman

Tim O'Reilly in a soap with Digg, Pligg, spanish clones, Digg, digging, ripping, stealing, Pligg, Pligg, Digg, false accusations, negative, but apparently true articles, Digg, Digg ...

This is a classic Web 2.0 problem: it's hard to aggregate the wisdom of the crowd without aggregating their madness as well.

Bloody hell! Alas! Read it yourself!

Advice: Selling to Big Companies

by Cem Basman

Snapped up in a business blog:

Don't waste their time
Don't try to be their friend
Don't expect them to tell you about their business
Don't give them a product dump
Don't use any self-serving verbiage
Don't expect them to intuit the value of your offering

Well. Yes. True. Somehow. Are there any rules? Or cookbooks to success? Not really. Both sides want to make a deal or not. If they want it with you, they make it with you. If not, no advice will help you. Big deals are always a matter politics. And price. Seldom quality. Yes. Indeed. That's true. That's an advice from an old-timer like me. Would you like a beer?

Keynote coverage

by Volker Weber

It's less than one hour to the Macworld keynote. And there won't be a live webcast. Lots of websites are trying to run specials, but this has always been the worst possible solution. It is much easier to follow an IRC channel. I recommend you download and install the great Colloquy client and tune into these channels:

IRC Server: irc.macrumorslive.com
channel #macrumors - moderated channel for updates only
channel #macrumorschat - open to discussion

There are some pretty good rumors now of what is coming up, but I suggest you just wait for Steve to tell you. You can probably skip the first 20 minutes of chest pounding. :-)

Update: The keynote is now available as a Quicktime stream.

Video Call

by Volker Weber

What else can your mouse do?

by Esther Schindler

Jim Louderback found an interesting mouse variation at CES.

This new $30 mouse from YapperNut works with Skype, and doubles as a phone. When someone calls you via Skype, the mouse vibrates. Pick it up, and it turns into a USB speaker and microphone, so you can talk and listen through it. It also doubles as a speakerphone."

Would you use it? (Personally, I still haven't gotten around to downloading Skype. Too little time, too many ways to communicate... and too little to say.)

More >

Le calendrier 2006 d'Aubade est arrivé

by Volker Weber


Télécharger le calendrier annuel >

[Thanks, Boudewijn]

Mighty Mouse Intensivreinigung

by Volker Weber

Michael Preidel hat seine Mighty Mouse gereinigt. Fazit:

Ich habe die Mighty Mouse wieder zum Laufen gebracht, aber die gesamte Prozedur hat über eine Stunde gedauert ... Alles in allem muss ich sagen, dass die Mighty Mouse in der derzeitigen Version für einen professionellen Einsatz absolut ungeeignet ist. Ich bleibe daher bei der Intellimouse Explorer.

Schade. Ich habe meine auch mit einem Nylonfaden von außen reinigen können - der Dreck kam raus. Und ich mag diese Maus sehr. Die aktuelle Konstruktion scheint wirklich so sinnvoll wie Kleidung, die man weder reinigen noch waschen kann.

Hot babe

by Volker Weber

Here is a system utility built by and for nerds who only know girls with a last name of Jpeg. :-) Available for Linux and Windows:

Hot-babe is a small graphical utility which displays the system activity in a very special way. When the CPU is idle, it displays a dressed girl, and when the activity goes up, as the temperature increases, the girl begins to undress, to finish totally naked when the system activity reaches 100%. Of course, if you can be shocked by nudity, don't use it!

More >

[Thanks, Andrew]

A Cool New iPod Accessory

by Ken Porter

Cool iPod Accessory

Apple and the Chrysler Group announced Sunday that Chrysler will provide full iPod integration as an option in most of its 2006 models. This is true integration meaning that the radio and steering wheel controls will control the iPod, and that information from the iPod will display on the car's radio display.

This is a significant announcement for a couple of reasons. First off, Chrysler sells over 3 million cars a year in the US which makes it one of the largest automotive companies to provide true iPod integration. Second, with this announcement “Over 40 percent of all cars sold in the US in 2006 will offer iPod connectivity.”

Are there any car manufacturers that provide integration with products like Dell's DJ?

Browse your CD collection on screen

by Volker Weber

CoverFlow let's you browse your music collection on screen, as if it were a collection of CDs. This is an interesting concept, but I am much quicker in iTunes. Great coolness factor however.

Microsoft CES Keynote Stream Available

by Ken Porter

Microsoft has made available a Windows Media stream of their January 4th keynote presentation which took place the evening before CES started. There are some interesting previews of Windows Vista in this keynote which is due to be released later this year.

Weird. Wrist. Watches.

by Cem Basman

Super Cool Weird Wrist Watches

More >

Platte Sache

by Volker Weber

Der TecChannel verkauft Werbung, die sehr peinlich ist, als redaktionellen Inhalt:

In Zusammenarbeit mit Thomas Krenn präsentieren wir Ihnen die Server-Babes des Jahres 2006. Alle zwölf Bilder dieses erotischen EDV-Kalenders können Sie sich bei uns in hoher Auflösung downloaden.

Aber es kommt noch besser:

Den freien Download des Bildes im Format 1024 x 1693 Pixel finden Sie hier. Für Premium-Abonnenten steht dieses Bild im Format 3613 x 5975 Pixel hier bereit. Wenn Sie jetzt Premium-Mitglied werden, haben Sie in kürzester Zeit Zugang zu den 21 Megapixel-Bildern. Mehr zu tecCHANNEL-Premium und zur Anmeldung erfahren Sie hier.

Kann man aber immer noch steigern:

Mai: Bereit sein, wenn’s darauf ankommt... (Quelle: Thomas Krenn)

Na, das ist dann die richtige Hardware für Ihre XXX-Seite.

More >

Frightens young children

by Volker Weber

Full size image of the new frames, still adjusting to the progressive lenses.

10/20/30 revisited

by Volker Weber

While checking some inbound links I found a gem that I overlooked for a whole week. Garret is a presentations pro, and he has some very, very interesting points. I recommend you read his post and his links thoroughly. Having said that, it also leaves me somewhat helpless. What do I do, when I cannot ask for professional help with a presentation? I tell you what I do: I use Apple Keynote with one of the two highest contrast templates (White and Gradient). I don't pretend I can do better than Apple and leaves them as is. Then I start concentrating on the message I want to deliver.

Anyway, here is Garret:

10/20/30 got me laughing at first, then very concerned that people might take it seriously. Presentation is an art and science, distinct from print or web production, and should be respected as such. Should I squeeze Guy Kawasaki%u2019s immense evangelical and sales skills down to a three point rule? I blame this all on the stultifying effect of Powerpoint on the presentation industry. There were more complex, better solutions than Powerpoint for presentation. A three point rule is all it deserves. To be honest, drawing on a cocktail napkin can be more communicative. Nevertheless, I feel I must correct Guy%u2019s points, as cast against various links and my direct experience after 13 years in the business of presentations:

More >

Notes sucks

by Volker Weber

Says Stowe Boyd, who has run a weblog for about half as long as vowe.net, has about the same traffic as vowe.net (we shared the same geo locator for a few days), is much higher on the Technorati food chain, has a Lotusphere PC bag, and since he is wearing a hat he probably has a similar haircut as I have. Oh, his openBC picture proves the point. What else have we got in common? He likes Basecamp, uses Plazes and a Mac.

But we don't agree on the Notes thing. I mean, yes, Notes sucks. But for different reasons. ;-) And so far nobody has invented anything that sucks less and does the same thing.

More >

T - 5 days

by Volker Weber

And in case you ever wondered, why rich guys buy boats. ;-)

BBC wins the "It's make your own caption time" contest

by Volker Weber

Here's Ken

by Volker Weber

Yup, the Ken. ;-)

Choose your advertisers wisely

by Volker Weber

Linux Today sells front page advertising to Microsoft which uses it to slam Linux with a "Reference Center".

Gestern auf der Heckscheibe eines neuen Renaults gesehen

by Volker Weber


Explaining the WMF Vulnerability

by Ken Porter

This past week I have been asked to explain the WMF Vulnerability several times, and in most cases the question has been asked in a way that is similar to Joe's question in a previous vowe.net thread.

How exactly would one explain this vulnerability in this graphics rendering engine to a non computer literate person?

Here is how I have been explaining the WMF vulnerability in non-techie language.

More >

There she moves

by Volker Weber

After all IBM can be bothered: www.lotusphere.com

Gesinnungsfragebogen nach massiven Protesten zurückgezogen

by Cem Basman

Die politische Klimakatastrophe ist vorerst abgewendet. Die FAZ berichtet heute unter der Online-Schlagzeile Bundesländer lehnen „Gesinnungstest” für Muslime ab:

Nach massivem Protest gegen diese Praxis sagte Baden-Württembergs Justizminister Ulrich Goll (FDP) im Deutschlandfunk, der Ansatz, bei einbürgerungswilligen Muslimen nach ihrer Einstellung zur deutschen Verfassung zu fragen, sei zwar richtig, „aber wie - da ist der Fragebogen nicht ganz geglückt”. Goll forderte, den Fragebogen zu überarbeiten. Besonders die Fragen zur Homosexualität seien problematisch.

und ferner

Die Türkische Gemeinde in Deutschland will den Spieß nun umdrehen und Baden-Württembergs Innenminister Rech in zehn Fragen auf seine Einstellung zu Muslimen testen. Falls der Minister eine dieser Fragen nicht korrekt beantworten könne, sollte er über seinen Rücktritt nachdenken, hieß es.

Das weitere Medienecho >

Tag clouds in the Newsroom

by Cem Basman

Tag clouds are everywhere in these days. They look cool. Hip. And very web 2.0. Now, Newzingo is a brand new cloud in the sky. It is constantly watching Google News for new stories, extracts related "tags" and displays them in a cloud. It's fast. It adopts even the supercool Fisher Price look ("BIG is beautiful"). But somehow it looks cluttered to me. The logo is a bit cheap too. But it works.

Compare Newzingo to the award winning Newsmap from 2004 which still appeals much more to me. Even if it has not incorporated tags which it couldn't have known at that time of course:

Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator.

With Newsmap you can toggle your views between different countries, categories, layouts, and freshness. Very neat. But slower ... Decide which one of these two aggregators works best for you. Different concepts. Different solutions.

HOWTO: Create video podcasts

by Volker Weber

Need instructions? Watch the French Maids.

Ils sont fous, ces Américains

by Volker Weber

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Take a few leggy California blondes, throw in a passion for luxury cars, plenty of parties, and a distaste for parking your own car.

What have you got? A multimillion-dollar, female valet parking business, where struggling models and actresses dressed in bikinis, miniskirts or lingerie and Santa hats park the cars of the rich and famous in the Los Angeles area.

More >

The beauty and the blog

by Volker Weber

Sara Radicati is no longer the only one able to shoot her foot off with the help of a friendly blogger. Now it's Heidi Klum's father holding his foot at gun point and feverishly pulling the trigger. German readers know this story already (translated here). It currently ranks #3 for Heidi Klum on Google.de

But now this craze has jumped over the pond and caught the attention of no other than Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion fame (Technorati #82) and Buzzmachine Jeff Jarvis (Technorati #71). The story made it into the german trade press, and Heidi's father, arrogant as ever, keeps firing at the press.

Everybody, throw some links and weave the net to catch this fish. :-)

Developing story >

Ladies and gentlemen, start your Windows Update

by Volker Weber

Important Information for Thursday 5 January 2006

Microsoft announced that it would release a security update to help protect customers from exploitations of a vulnerability in the Windows Meta File (WMF) area of code in the Windows operating system on Tuesday, January 2, 2006, in response to malicious and criminal attacks on computer users that were discovered last week.

Microsoft will release the update today on Thursday, January 5, 2006, earlier than planned.

Microsoft originally planned to release the update on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 as part of its regular monthly release of security bulletins, once testing for quality and application compatibility was complete.

However, testing has been completed earlier than anticipated and the update is ready for release.

In addition, Microsoft is releasing the update early in response to strong customer sentiment that the release should be made available as soon as possible.

Microsoft's monitoring of attack data continues to indicate that the attacks are limited and are being mitigated both by Microsoft's efforts to shut down malicious Web sites and with up-to-date signatures form anti-virus companies.

The security update will be available at 2:00 pm PT as MS06-001.

More >

After you have installed the update, you can remove the temporary fix.

The 68 minute hug

by Volker Weber

Echo delay

by Volker Weber


02.12.2005 | Neu: Integration von Skype auf den Kontaktseiten

Werfen Sie doch mal einen Blick auf Ihre Kontaktseite und testen Sie die neuen Skype-Funktionen!


openBC integriert Skype-Funktionen
05.01.2006 um 14:48 Uhr

Aus der Business-Networking-Plattform openBC heraus können Nutzer jetzt direkt Funktionen der Instant-Messaging- und VoIP-Software Skype aufrufen.

Guten Morgen. ;-)

Awful interface design

by Volker Weber


I don't get it. Microsoft hires great talent, and then comes up with confusing and crappy interfaces like this. This screenshot is taken out of a Windows Vista December pre-beta 2 review. Whatever a pre-beta 2 is.

Farked 2005

by Volker Weber


More >

Gates unveils his Urge

by Volker Weber

Bill Gates aims to take over your living room and late Wednesday he unveiled a new music service and new software to do it. Using an appearance with Justin Timberlake, the Microsoft chairman ...

Was there any wardrobe malfunction?

More >

CNN Pipeline is live today

by Cem Basman

News junkies! CNN's broadband video service Pipeline is a subscription based, commercial free and constant connection to live streaming and simultaneous video feeds. Watch uncut press conferences, breaking news, and more. With Pipeline services CNN is broadening its already existing video services with short snippets from its regular programs. Get a two-week free trial. Do not to forget to cancel your trial-subscription in case. Day pass is 99 US-cents, a month for 2.95 USD.

The Book Of Cool

by Cem Basman

In the beginning there were fun things that only others could do. We decided to seek enlightenment. From around the world we found some of the best there will ever be. Now it's your turn.

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IBM can't be bothered

by Volker Weber

Bruce finds out that www.lotusphere.com redirects to IBM.com instead of the Lotusphere home page and then goes on:

You end up at the default IBM web site - right? Ok so you did. Now on IBM.com search for "Lotuphere" and the first search results are from Lotusphere 2003. Somebody needs to fix this.

Ed comments:

With all the products, brands, offerings, and events that IBM runs, it would be impossible to manage every single domain name related to IBM on an ongoing basis. So the decision was made to redirect a bunch of auxiliary domains to ibm.com rather than manage them. I know it's not great but it is what it is.

That is a very awkward way to say "nobody really cares". You can make www.lotus.com redirect to the Lotus home page on IBM.com, but you can't redirect www.lotusphere.com to the proper URL? Although it is already being redirected? How hard is it to say "I know this is stupid, I have known it for a long time (which is true, BTW), I tried to fix it, but nobody cares"? instead of driving the final nail into the coffin:

Somehow thousands of people manage to register for Lotusphere every year without this domain name.

You are going to care, if they no longer do? Or shut the whole thing down, because "with all the products, brands, offerings, and events that IBM runs, it would be impossible to manage every single conference related to IBM on an ongoing basis" ?

This calls for some fun. What are the leading brands in the IBM software group, and how are they being managed? db2.com, lotus.com, rational.com, tivoli.com, websphere.com. Uh, oh. Now for some products? domino.com, ok, that was unfair. quickplace.com, sametime.com ... Loads of fun.

I wonder how Stevie Wonder reads this

by Volker Weber


Linksys Travel Router WTR54GS

by Volker Weber

linksys travel routerThe Linksys Wireless-G Travel Router with SpeedBooster lets you carry a wireless network wherever you go. There's a built-in access point, which lets you connect SpeedBooster-enhanced and regular Wireless-G and Wireless-B devices to the network. There's also an Ethernet port to connect your wired PC. The Router function ties it together and lets your PCs share a wired or wireless Internet connection.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? But there is an interesting twist. This router also lets you route from WLAN to WLAN:

You can also create a shared-access bubble attached to a wireless Internet connection to use multiple devices on a single hotspot account in a coffee shop or airport lounge.

If your hotel overcharges you on their wireless access, here is your chance to share one account amongst several guests. One person foots the bill and passes around the tip jar.

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Politische Klimakatastrophe

by Cem Basman

Um als Ausländer eingebürgert zu werden, reicht es nicht mehr, kurz vor der WM gut Fussball zu spielen oder bei VIVA als Moderator fliessend deutsche Jugendsprache zu sprechen. Nein, man muss nun zumindestens im Südwesten der Nation auch ein Quiz mit 30 Fragen fehlerfrei überstehen.

Das Ganze heisst Gesprächsleitfaden für die Einbürgerungsbehörden zur Prüfung des Bekenntnisses zur freiheitlichen demokratischen Grundordnung nach dem Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (StAG) und ist in der taz dokumentiert.

Die taz berichtet dazu: "Seit Jahresbeginn müssen sich in Baden-Württemberg Muslime, die sich um einen deutschen Pass bewerben, einem Gesinnungstest unterziehen - eine bundesweit bislang einmalige Prozedur. Das Stuttgarter Innenministerium hat zu diesem Zweck einen Gesprächsleitfaden entwickelt und an die 44 Einbürgerungsbehörden im Land verschickt."

Beispiele aus den 30 Fragen:

23. Sie haben von den Anschlägen am 11. September 2001 in New York und am 11. März 2004 in Madrid gehört. Waren die Täter in Ihren Augen Terroristen oder Freiheitskämpfer? Erläutern Sie Ihre Aussage.

24. In der Zeitung wird manchmal über Fälle berichtet, in denen Töchter oder Ehefrauen von männlichen Familienangehörigen wegen "unsittlichen Lebenswandels" getötet wurden, um die Familienehre wieder herzustellen. Wie stehen Sie zu einer solchen Tat?

29. Stellen Sie sich vor, Ihr volljähriger Sohn kommt zu Ihnen und erklärt, er sei homosexuell und möchte gerne mit einem anderen Mann zusammenleben. Wie reagieren Sie?

Was soll nun der halbwegs intelligente Antragsteller darauf antworten? Was soll hier eigentlich geprüft werden? Wie werden denn bei einbürgerungswilligen Buddhisten, Wolgadeutschen, Pygmäen, Süd-Dänen und talentierten südamerikanischen Fussballprofis die Einstellung zur freiheitlichen demokratischen Grundordnung geprüft? Der Zentralrat der Muslime in Deutschland kritisiert den Gesprächsleitfaden nicht zu unrecht als „Fangfragen und Stigmatisierung“.

Ich halte den Leitfaden für eine politische Klimakatastrophe.

Not so Mighty Mouse

by Volker Weber

A few months ago, Apple released the Mighty Mouse. Very cleanly designed, it looks like a zero button mouse, where in fact it has four: Left, right, squeeze, scroll ball. I was instantly hooked, and it worked very, very well for me.

Until today. I can no longer scroll down with the scroll ball. I assume, it is just dirty inside, but there is no way I could fix it. Bad mouse, just like that.

Is there any way to open the mouse so that I could remove the dirt?

Update: I was able to squeeze a .35mm PS thread in there and remove some of the dirt. It is now working again. But how do I apply a good flossing from inside? :-)

Protect your PC

by Volker Weber

We all know there is hole the size of Texas in Windows. We know that there are exploits out in the wild, on web pages, in emails. We also know that Microsoft will not release a fix before this month' patch day.

So what can you do? Protect your PC in three easy steps.

Do you miss the <irony> tags?


by Volker Weber

Wer oder was ist jetzt am bescheuertesten?

  1. Der Kläger?
  2. Die Tatsache, dass sich ein Gericht mit so was befassen muss?
  3. Die DPA, weil sie das als Agenturmeldung rausgibt?
  4. Die FR, weil sie diese Nachricht bringt?
  5. Michael, weil er sich darüber aufregt?
  6. vowe, weil er das aufgreift?
  7. Der Leser, der die beiden Links kontrolliert hat?
  8. Der Kommentarschreiber, der diese Frage beantwortet?

Mein Favorit: Die Nummer 1.


by Volker Weber

A link from this site renders around ten referrers a day. In contrast, this link generates a four digit number of referrers an hour. And suddenly Safari commands a 50% share. :-)

This just in

by Volker Weber

From: jackking@aaahawk.com
Subject: Frohe Weihnachten von der Familie
Date: 4. Januar 2006 01:39:02 MEZ
To: vowe@vowe.net

I came across your page while trying to find a translation of the phrase "Frohe Weihnachten von der Familie ".
I just received a card from a friend in Germany with the phrase on it and wanted to act like I knew what it meant. I would appreciate it if you would translate it for me. I promise I won't bother you again.

A Dumb American that only speaks southern American English,

Looks like I am outrunning this site as an expert in this field.

New chips, new notebooks

by Volker Weber

Intel Core Duo 2.0GHz processor (Intel Yonah processor)
2GB RAM 533/677
15.4" WXGA screen
Seagate 120GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
ATI Radeon X1600 512MB
DVD-DL Burner
Built-in 1.3 Mega pixel camera, with 225-degree swivel ability
New Intel Pro wireless 3945 a/b/g
Approximately 6 hours of batterylife (87W 7800mAH)

Apple, that is what you have to beat with a new Powerbook, if you don't want to be outdone by Acer.

Consider yourself warned

by Volker Weber

Whatever you do, do not watch this video. It's total crap.

Nach Weihnachten ist vor Weihnachten

by Volker Weber

... bei allen Kunden des Apple-Webshop. Irgendwo ist da jemand vom Schlauch getreten.

Don't make me think

by Volker Weber

Man merkt, es ist nicht viel los in Deutschland. Deshalb haben die deutschen Blogger gerade recht viel Spaß mit dem Sozialgericht Bremen. Die Geschichte hat Thomas Wiegold sehr schön für den Focus erzählt. Man lese sie dort.

Während sich die versammelte Mannschaft über eine Juristin schlapp lacht, weine ich eigentlich mehr über das miserable Webdesign eines ansonsten lesenswerten Blogs*. Die von der Juristin inkriminierte Seite sieht nämlich so aus, während die eigentliche Startseite des Shopblogs durchaus richtig gestaltet ist. Dort steht, wie bei beinahe allen anderen Blogs, im Banner als <h1> markiert, der Titel "Der Shopblogger" und als <h2> "Verrücktes und Bemerkenswertes aus dem Supermarkt...". Die einzelnen Beiträge tragen dann <h4>-Überschiften. So weit so gut.

Auf den individuellen Artikelseiten aber ersetzt die Webseite das Banner durch die Artikelüberschrift — ganz oben in der <h1>-Überschrift — und wiederholt sie weiter unten noch mal als <h4>-Überschift. Das ist nicht nur gestalterisch sondern auch semantisch falsch. Der Designer hat aber gemerkt, dass jetzt der Titel der Webseite fehlt und hat deshalb geschwind die <h2>-Überschift durch "Der Shopblogger" ersetzt. Im Header passiert ähnliches. Statt etwa "Der Shopblogger: Sozialgericht Bremen" zu verwenden, steht dort "Sozialgericht Bremen - Der Shopblogger". Hier wedelt der Schweif mit dem Hund. Und das ist dämlich.


Steve Krug hat ein schönes Buch über Webdesign geschrieben: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Das Buch liest man an einem Nachmittag und vermeidet in Zukunft solche Fehler.

*) Björn Harste beschreibt einen Supermarkt aus der Sicht des Kaufmanns. Eine Sicht, die mir bisher völlig abging, da ich einen Supermarkt nicht mal annähernd so wichtig nehme wie der Kaufmann, dem er gehört.

Let's Rock & Post

by Cem Basman

Minutes after I closed my blog yesterday and made myself voluntarily homeless I got an spontaneous invitation from Volker Weber to join him as a guest blogger at vowe.net. With great pleasure I accepted his generous gesture of friendship. I thank you for your trust and confidence in me. I'll do my very best, Volker. But for now, let's rock & post! Blogging about Business and technology, culture and entertainment is what you can expect from me. In this order. In English and German. Regularly irregular. Enjoy it as much as I do!

Intel releases Yonah prices

by Volker Weber

Source: The Register

If these prices are correct then they pretty much rule out "cheap" iBooks. Let's hope that Apple goes for an all "dual core" line.

T minus 10 days

by Volker Weber

flagler beach

HOWTO: be more productive

by Volker Weber

Last week I read Aaron Swartz' HOWTO and forgot to post it here. Read the whole thing, after you saw his conclusion:

There are a lot of myths about productivity -- that time is fungible, that focusing is good, that bribing yourself is effective, that hard work is unpleasant, that procrastinating is unnatural -- but they all have a common theme: a conception of real work as something that goes against your natural inclinations.

And for most people, in most jobs, this may be the case. There's no reason you should be inclined to write boring essays or file pointless memos. And if society is going to force you to do so anyway, then you need to learn to shut out the voices in your head telling you to stop.

But if you're trying to do something worthwhile and creative, then shutting down your brain is entirely the wrong way to go. The real secret to productivity is the reverse: to listen to your body. To eat when you're hungry, to sleep when you're tired, to take a break when you're bored, to work on projects that seem fun and interesting.

It seems all too simple. It doesn't involve any fancy acronyms or self-determination or personal testimonials from successful businessmen. It almost seems like common sense. But society's conception of work has pushed us in the opposite direction. If we want to be more productive, all we need to do is turn around.

I turned around. 14 years ago. And I can put it in even simpler words: You have to love what you do. If you don't love what you do, you may have the wrong job.


by Volker Weber

Feeling hammered, wasted or screwed?

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by Volker Weber

url(x) is a web service for managing long, cumbersome URLs. Just like TinyURL or SnipURL except it displays the domain name in the link.

Does not seem to work with Domino URLs yet. At least not for me.

Update: Reported the bug to Dan Phiffer, and he fixed it in one hour. Impressive.


now becomes http://urlx.org/ibm.com/d6c7

Update: He almost fixed it. The interface now understands the URL but does not activate it yet. So, the URL isn't yet working. I am sure, that Dan will fix it as soon as he gets up in the morning. :-)

Update: Again, much quicker than expected:

Fixed! This time for real ;) I had a helpful little link checker function that was getting just a bit too uppity. It now gives a more friendly notification that something might be wrong with the link, but activates it anyway. My guess is that this particular web server doesn't fully support the HTTP HEAD command I was using to do link checking...

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

by Volker Weber

I am trying to evangelize the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

As a special service to Lotus Marketing: It's not too late to get this right for Lotusphere. Since you only have 30 minutes briefings, you have to use the 5/10/30 rule.

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[Thanks, Oliver]

Kontorverse, Kontoverse, dingens, negative Kritik

by Volker Weber



Preaching to the choir

by Volker Weber

Small change: I have removed the Get Firefox button from the sidebar. The button was only shown to IE users so I actually forgot it was there until I recently saw it on an IBM employee's notebook.

On vowe.net Firefox has won. There are substantially more visits from Firefox than from Internet Explorer. I am delighted to have so many smart readers. :-)

Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

Natürlich drücken wir unserer Mannschaft die Daumen, und ich glaube, die Chancen sind gar nicht schlecht. Die Frauenfußball-Nationalmannschaft ist ja schon Fußballweltmeister, und ich sehe keinen Grund, warum Männer nicht das Gleiche leisten können wie Frauen.
Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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