September 2007


by Volker Weber

... is worth every penny he earns >

Treo 750/750v Updater 2.18 auf Windows Mobile 6

by Volker Weber

Palm stellt das Windows Mobile 6 Upgrade für Treo 750 und Treo 750v bereit. Man lese das Kleingedruckte:

  1. Je Kunde ist nur ein Download möglich. Speichern Sie den Download auf Ihrem Computer, da Sie keine weitere Version herunterladen können, wenn Sie den Download-Vorgang gestartet haben.
  2. Wenn Sie diesen Download installiert haben, können Sie die Software nicht mehr zu Windows Mobile 5.0 zurückstufen.
  3. Palm-Windows Mobile 6 unterstützt den Blackberry Connect-Service (BBC) nicht. Installieren Sie dieses Update nicht auf dem Treo 750v, wenn Sie den BBC-Service verwenden, da Sie den Service ansonsten nicht mehr nutzen können.
  4. Es ist möglich, dass Tom Tom GPS Lösungen nicht korrekt funktionieren auf Palm Windows Mobile 6.
  5. Dieser spezielle Download ist nur bis 31. Oktober 2008 verfügbar.

Da meine Treos den Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back Award nicht gewonnen haben, kann ich das nicht selbst testen. Es wäre deshalb schön, wenn Ihr Erfolg oder Misserfolg kommentieren würdet.

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Update: Auch wenn überall 750/750v steht, so ist das Update aktuell nur für den 750v verfügbar. Das ist die für Vodafone angepasste Version, die bisher ohne HSDPA auskommen musste. Für den 750 soll das Update demnächst verfügbar sein.

[Danke an Andy, der den ansonsten pfeilschnellen Presse-Support von Palm geschlagen hat. :-)]

Beware of iPhone Firmware 1.1.1

by Volker Weber


Apple has made good on their promise to break enhanced versions of the iPhone. Gizmodo reports:

Breaks 3rd-party Apps, Relocks iPhones and Sends Them to Semi-Brick Activation Limbo

Nice customer jail.

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Nokia E90 and TomTom GO 720 are not getting along

by Volker Weber

The TomTom GO 720 has quite a feature set which require a connection to the mobile phone. It is actually the main differentiator to the ONE series. The GO can serve as a car audio set, it can be used as the link for data connections to the internet, it will read incoming SMS messages or tell you who is calling.

All nice and dandy, but it does not play with my Nokia E90. I fiddle around with it, pairing it at least a dozen time with different settings, but even the simplest things like using the TomTom as an audio device do not work. Simply dialling a number will reboot the E90, that's how bad it is. Next thing to try is if Nokia has a software update.

nokia e90 7.24.03

Well, they don't. I guess, I am stuck.

Here is your market opportunity

by Volker Weber

There is an extreme shortage of people who know how to develop applications on top of Lotus Expeditor. Acquire this skill and make tons of money.

Having said that, it is very well possible that Expeditor dies of developer shortage. Customers might be running scared.

A quick fix indeed

by Volker Weber


The TomTom I started testing this week is different from all other devices I ever tried in one important aspect: within seconds it knows its position. If you ever tried a personal navigation system before, you know that it can last a few frustrating minutes until you get your first GPS fix. The reason is that the device has to fetch the GPS almanach from a known satellite. Since the satellites send this almanach only every 30 seconds, and the transmission must not be interrupted, it can take quite a while until the device can read the full almanach without being interrupted. This of course works better if you do not move in the meantime.

As it turns out, all recent TomTom devices — GO (720/520/910/710/510) und ONE (XL/New Edition) — have a feature called QuickGPSfix. What it basically does is to download the GPS almanach into the device either through your PC/Mac or via your mobile phone. And that means, you can have a fix in seconds instead of minutes. Since the almanach needs to be updated every couple of days, you either have to pair your mobile phone to give your device internet access, or you need to dock the device with an internet connected PC/Mac at least once a week.

Interesting Facebook update of the day

by Volker Weber

marco foellmer is building

A few months ago I asked what happens if your CEO buys an iPhone and you have to support him on Domino. As you can see, your CEO then builds a Notes client. Or assign this task to a poor SOB. :-)

Was ist aus dem Notes 8 Launch Event in Stuttgart geworden?

by Volker Weber

notes 8 launch event

Zur CeBIT verteilte IBM diesen Flyer. Darauf wurde auch ein Notes und Domino 8 Launch Event im Mercedes-Museum in Stuttgart angepriesen. In der aktuellen Liste von Lotus Events taucht er aber nicht mehr auf. Gestrichen, von der Website gefallen, wer weiß mehr?

Update: Nach einigen Mails und Kommentaren bin ich mittlerweile der Ansicht, dass es zwei Events gibt. Einen am 24.10. im Mercedes-Benz-Museum und einen zweiten am 30.10. im IBM Forum der Autobahnraststätte Pascalstr. 100. Ich bin noch etwas verwirrt, weil ich eine Terminbestätigung für das Forum am 24.10. gesehen habe. Vielleicht sollte IBM zur Sicherheit noch ein weiteres Mailing machen. Es wäre auch geschickt, beide Events auf der Website zu zeigen, auch wenn einer ausgebucht ist.

ars technica: DRM advocates getting nervous about consumer backlash

by Volker Weber

The DRM backlash is indeed coming, and kudos to these industry players for realizing it. Heck, the backlash is already here and has been for years. Now that major players like Apple and even labels like EMI and Universal are starting to realize it, it's only a matter of time before it turns into a full-scale revolt. Whether or not there will be a revival of interoperable DRM cure-all theories remains to be seen, but backers have at least figured one thing out: when DRM does what it is designed to do—namely inconvenience and control end user behavior—users bite back.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

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Not so private key

by Volker Weber

adobe private key

Apparently does not check its parameters for ../

Download Squad: Excel 2007 can't do math (unless 850 * 77.1 = 100,000)

by Volker Weber

While some members of the Download Squad team may be math whizzes, some are lucky if they can find the Windows calculator. But once it's up and running, we're pretty sure that when you multiply 850 by 77.1, the answer should be 65,535. But for some reason when you perform the same calculation using Microsoft Excel 2007, you get 100,000.

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Oktoberfest: a quick walk through the Augustiner tent

by Volker Weber

Just to give you an impression how huge these tents are.

My first 500 km with a TomTom 720

by Volker Weber

tomtom 720

I have been familiar with TomTom's navigation software for many years and still feel very much at home whenever I use one of their devices or software solutions on a smartphone. The all-in-one units that TomTom sells as either the GO or the ONE series have the benefit that you just need to run one wire from the device to the cigarette lighter outlet and you are good to go. With smartphones you have to keep both the phone and the GPS receiver powered.

Last year I took a GO 910 for a spin, and I was not too impressed. Being used to a Navman 530 and a Navman N40, I found the GO 910 too bulky and heavy. A heavy device puts a lot of stress on the screen mount, and since both of our cars don't exactly have a smooth ride, the screen on the GO 910 always looked blurred while the screen mount tried to keep the device in check.

This has now changed with the GO 720. TomTom has designed a very simple screen mount that works, and they also made the new series thinner and lighter. I can only imagine that the 3rd generation ONE works even better in this respect. I consider this problem solved for TomTom.

There were two things I wanted to check on the 720 device today:

  1. Text-to-speech
  2. TMCpro

Text-to-speech turned out to be a nice enhancement. You have to select a computer voice (in contrast to a sampled human voice) for your driving directions, and the software will read street names and highway numbers with the instructions. It does not only say that you turn in 200 meters, but also on which road you turn.

tmc receiverTMCpro was a mixed bag. It did miss one monster traffic jam near Ulm, and by sheer luck I was able to leave the Autobahn when I hit the jam. How often do you get the chance to take an exit when all traffic comes to a stand-still? Then it was able to predict the delay from a construction work between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe very well. The status icons are not obvious, so I did not really know what the yellow and green circle meant, but I found out later.

Unfortunately the TMC receiver adds to the clutter on your dashboard. You run a second wire which contains the receiver and also works as an antenna. I would have preferred TomTom using the power cord as an antenna and including the receiver in the device itself. I understand this is a licensing issue, and that Germany is one of the few countries where it actually make sense to pay for the TMC license, but the extra wire still bothers me.

I also tried entering addresses with voice recognition, but that was a complete failure. I had been told it works very well, but it did not really, at least not for me. I am going to read the instructions for next time, but today I had much more success with the onscreen keyboard.

Impressed by the iPod Nano

by Volker Weber

ipod nano

While I was in Munich, I had the opportunity to play with three of the new iPods:

The iPod shuffle is too diminutive for me. I would be missing the display. The iPod classic is not that much different from my 5G ipod, unless you want the new firmware. But I found the iPod nano very impressive. It is incredibly small and thin. It has all the features of the iPod classic, with a much smaller footprint. And since it does not have a disk drive, it is also much more robust.

There was no iPod touch to play with. My friends who have used one tell me that it has a very strong "I want one" factor. I am not so sure, since you can't control it without looking at it. And I very often skip songs or adjust the volume without taking the device out of my pocket. Without having tried the touch, my money is on the iPod nano.

I also was able to play with an iPhone, and yes, it is a really great device. Would I want one? Yes, I would.

The Platform as a Service

by Bruce Elgort

Zitat des Tages

by Volker Weber

Die Grünen hätten die 'Biometrie' nur deshalb für sinnvoll gehalten, weil darin das Wort 'Bio' vorkommt.
— Heribert Prantl, SZ 24.9.2007, Seite 1

Lotus starts another experiment

by Volker Weber

A couple of years ago Lotus had a great idea. And they created Workplace, which turned out to be a bunch of products nobody really wanted, aside from the people who generally find everything Lotus absolutely wonderful. Anyway, at this year's Lotusphere Mike Rhodin called Workplace an "experiment". I would want to add, an expensive one.

Two years ago Lotus had another great idea: close the Redbook center in Boston and stop sponsoring new Redbooks. Who needs them anyway? Lotus has great documentation as it is, and why let real users of the products create another documentation on how to get things done? Well, IBM told us, it never was the plan. Strangely enough some people from Boston whom I had never met before were very happy to see me at Lotusphere, thanking me for this post.

Two years pass, and Lotus still has this great idea. Now that lots of new products are hitting the streets users, it's an excellent time to close the Redbook center for good. R.I.P.

Maybe it's just another experiment.

Can I get some trumpet ...

by Volker Weber


[via Michael Preidel]

Gone fishing

by Volker Weber

[Photo Sophie Saller]

I'll be seeing some of you on Monday. Very much looking forward to it.

iSync simplified

by Volker Weber


I returned a lot of phones this week. The rest won the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award.

Coming clean

by Volker Weber

Daniel Lyons:

The truth, as is often the case, is far less exciting than the conspiracy theorists would like to believe. It is simply this: I got it wrong. The nerds got it right.

I wish more people would be able to do that. "Workplace was a really stupid idea. You don't want it, we now understand." Not going to happen.

Because of greed

by Volker Weber

I have been disturbed by many of Apple's recent actions. But I could not really get my thoughts on paper, ahem, screen. Today I found somebody who was able to put them down: Wil, who writes the software for delicious monster. Here he compares Apple to Sony:

These are EXACTLY the compromises Sony has been making for years -- and because Sony's music and movie arms have been telling the Sony hardware arm to never do anything new or interesting without building in a ton of customer-unfriendly restrictions, Sony is now completely in the toilet. They have gone from an incredibly respected brand to a complete joke. Every time they introduce some new, crippled standard the industry kind of looks away in embarrassment, like Sony is the oafish guy at the party who is parked in front of the meatballs tray eating directly from the dish.

It does not mean that Wil thinks Apple is as lost as Sony is. In fact he goes on to say:

With almost every device or product Steve has unveiled, he's hit it on the head: "Here's a phone that, like, actually doesn't suck." "Here's a computer that's small, beautiful, powerful, AND cheaper than a similar Dell, and, oh, it runs a better OS." "Now you can run all your Windows games but still own a Mac."

The recent anomalies are just that: these missteps that stand out because they do NOT fit in with what has made Apple so incredibly popular over the last several years.

Also worth a read are the comments:

It speaks to my idiocy that I honestly go on rants like this because I'm upset and I have to write down my thoughts, and it never strikes me that twenty thousand or so people will read the post and that it'll be passed around Apple... I woke up this morning shocked to find my inbox stuffed with responses. Durr.


My point, and I'm sorry I didn't make it clearer, is that treating your customers with respect is just plain good business, long-term. People remember being screwed for a long, long time. Hell, I still remember my first girlfriend. Oh, man, her hips. She could do this thing...

Wait, what the hell were we talking about?

I'll have to remember that one. Anyway, read the whole thing >

Kamming neunter November

by Volker Weber


Natürlich bei Tieh Mobail. DreamForce 07 - Global Gathering

by Bruce Elgort

Earlier this week I was in San Francisco attending my second DreamForce conference. DreamForce 07 was Salesforce’s fifth global gathering. This year’s event was again held at the Moscone Center however, the event had to be held in the larger Moscone North and South halls due to the significant increase in attendance. This year there were over 7,000 attendees, from 42 countries. There were over 200 sessions covering all aspects of the Salesforce platform including many on the new features announced during the keynotes.

Marc Benioff kicked off the opening general session and thanked customers and developers for helping Salesforce become the “on demand” powerhouse that it is today. has had 23 major releases in the past 8 years, has over 35,300 customers and 900,000 licensed users. Benioff also noted that while they had 23 major releases – none of them were “disruptive”. If you have never had to upgrade an SAP or Exchange installation and cause some major disruption to your organization consider yourself lucky.

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by Volker Weber


Benno hat etwas interessantes gefunden:

Der neue Web-2.0-Suchdienst oSkope ermöglicht nun, auch online zu stöbern, wie man es einst in der Buchhandlung konnte. die Bücher werden in Stapeln, Reihen oder im Stil eines Wühltisches präsentiert. Das gesamte Sortiment etwa von amazon lädt zum Stöbern ein.

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File already exists

by Volker Weber

If you ever want to know what to do when Notes 8 tells you "File already exists", then read Chris' diary of rebuilding Notes.

Lotus introduces Symphony

by Volker Weber

[via Carl]

Gute Besserung

by Volker Weber

Interessanter Bericht auf SpOn:

plötzlich hat die Zahl der Herzinfarkte in Schottland in einem einzigen Jahr um ganze 17 Prozent abgenommen. Was ist geschehen? Essen die Schotten kein rotes Fleisch mehr? Schlucken sie massenhaft Cholesterinsenker? Trainieren sie alle für den Marathon? Nein: Sie sitzen nur nicht mehr beim Bier, im Zug oder auf der Arbeit im Zigarettenqualm der anderen.

Schottland ist ein kleines Land. In Deutschland käme da eine dramatische Zahl zusammen:

Der Herzinfarkt trifft jedes Jahr 275.000 Deutsche, rund 150.000 sterben daran. Wenn deutsche Herzen auf Zigarettenrauch ebenso reagieren wie schottische, dann müsste das Rauchverbot, sobald es bundesweit im Januar 2008 in Kraft tritt, auf einen Schlag bis zu 47.000 Herzinfarkte vermeiden helfen. Das ist eine schwer vorstellbare Zahl. Selbst erbitterte Nikotingegner sind bislang nicht davon ausgegangen, dass das Passivrauchen in Deutschland so viele Menschen so unmittelbar schädigt.

An die gesundheitlichen Aspekte habe ich noch gar nicht gedacht. Aber es sind nur noch 11 Tage, bis man hier in Hessen nicht mehr wie ein Aschenbecher stinkt, wenn man aus dem Restaurant kommt. Solange wird natürlich weiter gequalmt.

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It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber


Was macht eigentlich eine Dipl. Oecotrophologin?

by Volker Weber

Ich muss zugeben, ich habe es nicht gewußt.

iTunes 7.4.2 continues the dishonesty tradition

by Volker Weber

itunes 7.4.2

iTunes 7.4.2 addresses an issue with creating ringtones using iTunes Plus song purchases and includes bug fixes to improve stability and performance.

Where "bug fixes" means "closes the loopholes that allow you to create ringtones for free from the music you already own." Yet another hack is enroute.

IBM's Notes hosting and Notes Traveller

by Volker Weber

Interesting announcements on Ed's:

Announcement of IBM's Applications on Demand service for Lotus Notes. This is a pay-as-you-go service offering for Notes messaging, which Mike Rhodin indicated is priced between US$5 - $10 per user per month. I've been working with the AoD team as this offer gets going, and found that they have a lot of flexibility around what services to offer and at what price points.

What is the minimum number of seats I need to buy? I don't see any online offering I could immediately buy, akin to an offering like Mail2Web's Exchange Hosting (or similar offerings other companies).

Here is one offering I would like to hear more about:

Announcement of Notes Traveler, a new feature of Domino 8.0.1 to support push mail to Windows Mobile devices at no additional cost. This announcement was in addition to the existing partnerships with RIM, Nokia, Motorola's Good Technology, CommonTime, iAnywhere, and Visto.

The wording in the press release is a bit different:

Following the shipping of Lotus Notes and Domino 8 that began worldwide in August, IBM is announcing Lotus Notes Traveler, a new client for Lotus Notes and Domino 8.0.1. Currently scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2008, Lotus Notes Traveler will provide out-of-the-box, mobile support for Lotus Notes and Domino Web Access users, enabling access to Lotus Domino mail from Microsoft Windows Mobile devices. As currently planned, Lotus Notes Traveler will provide automatic, real-time replication of email, including attachments, calendar, address book, journal and to-do’s and will work over all wired and wireless connections.

It does not say "pushmail" but "real time replication", which may be he same thing. So what is it? A new WM application with full frontend, or what else? Will it publish the existing PIM applications on the mobile device, or will it be it's own client much like the Good offering? Do I smell a big Expeditor application here?

IBM announces beta of Lotus Symphony

by Volker Weber

IBM announces Lotus Symphony. No, that is not 22 year old news:

Richly-featured productivity tools that are intuitive to use and compatible with your files. Provided at no charge for your home, school or business.

Ed is excited:

I'm excited about this announcement on many levels. First, it shows the strategic nature, based on current and future plans, of IBM's investment in delivering the editors in Notes 8 as well as through other channels. Second, it offers something from the Lotus brand focused on the end-user/consumer. Third, it demonstrates the strength of IBM's commitment behind desktop alternatives (Linux, ODF, etc) to the broader market -- which should help with all distributions of editor tools, today and tomorrow.

All the comments seem to agree that this is "great news". It appears I have to be the one to ask a few questions:

  1. Minimum requirements: 1 GB RAM, 900 MB disk space, four to five times more than for OpenOffice. Is this a move to convince consumers that IBM software is bloated?
  2. Why would you choose Symphony over OpenOffice?
  3. Who creates these last century screenshots and samples?

And before somebody pops an artery because he misses the positive: I like the color. Plus, a tiled window interface is an advantage for users who would be confused by overlapping windows.

How to avoid conflicts with Grizzly Bears

by Volker Weber

Alaska Grizzly Bear Notice



Yahoo! Acquires Zimbra

by Volker Weber

We are excited to announce today that Yahoo! is acquiring Zimbra to extend its email leadership to the University, Business and ISP markets. In order to focus on this effort, the Zimbra team will report to the communications group where we will remain fully committed to the community and to our customers and partners while leveraging opportunities to enhance their current experience.

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Suche einfaches ISDN-Telefon

by Volker Weber


Ich muss demnächst einen ISDN-Mehrgeräteanschluss umziehen und brauche dazu ein stino (stink-normales) ISDN-Telefon, um am neuen Anschluss telefonieren zu können, solange dort noch keine Telefonanlage ist. Hat irgendjemand von Euch so etwas noch in der Grabbelkiste und braucht es nicht mehr?

Einem (analogen) Fax-Gerät würde ich auch Asyl gewähren. Normalerweise habe ich sowas schon seit 10 Jahren nicht mehr benutzt, aber auf einmal bin ich von Leuten umgeben, die nur Fax verstehen.

Social network statistics

by Volker Weber

I would like to take a look at the data of social networks. Unfortunately I don't have much information I can play with, so maybe you are able to help a little bit.

Let's take a look at my network on XING:

I have 883 contacts, who in turn have 83,432 contacts, or 94 each. If each of those would have another 94 contacts, then my third degree contacts should be more than 7.8 million. But there are only about 1 million. As a matter of fact, XING only has 4 million members. Anyway, for each second degree contact there are only 12 third degree contacts.

Another person I asked has 845 contacts, 82,138 second degree contacts, and also 1 million third degree contacts. So it's again 94 contacts for each first degree contact, and then a similar ceiling for the third degree.

Next up is a person with 1651 contacts, and 185,707 second degree contacts. That is 112 contacts for each first degree contact, but he only has 1.2 million third degree contacts. 6 third degree for each second degree. Double the first, more than double the second degree but only plus 20 percent on the third. It appears we are hitting either a ceiling of connected users, or there are at least two islands within the community.

First question is how does the network count those contacts? If I know two people and they each have 40 connections, but 20 of them overlap, do I then have 60 second degree contacts or 80?

In the light of this question, it appears that XING only counts additional contacts and eliminates the overlap. A person with 185,000 already "knows" 20% of the network. Those all know the rest with a great overlap. (Let's not look at the fact that it is impossible to know whom your 1651 contacts know.)

Second question: how many members of XING's 4 million base have more than a handful of contacts?

Now let's take a look at LinkedIn. There I have 346 first degree contacts and 12,800 second degree. That is only 37 contacts for each on my contacts. But on the third degree things look better than on XING, because I have 841,700 or almost 66 per second degree contacts.

Without any other data points there are only two possible explanations. Either all the other people are better connected than my contacts, or (and I find this more likely) LinkedIn does not eliminate the overlap and the numbers project a much larger network than exists.

Your thoughts?

Update: I started collecting some data points from the comments:

xing linkedin

Escaped: an iPhone on the network

by Volker Weber

iphone dead simple

by Volker Weber


Currently there is no simpler way to set up a new web site.

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Siemens M65 auslesen

by Volker Weber

Ich würde gerne ein Siemens M65 auslesen und die interessanten Daten retten:

  1. Photos
  2. Adressen
  3. SMS Nachrichten

Die SMS-Nachrichten reichen mir als Textdatei, die Photos halt als JPEG und die Adressen am liebsten im vCard-Format. Wer kann das? Was brauche ich, um es selbst zu machen? Ich habe nur das Telefon, aber kein Kabel. Bluetooth kann das Biest anscheinend nicht, aber IRDA. Windows XP Notebook mit IRDA hätte ich.


by Volker Weber


[ via]

Very colorful iPod skins

by Volker Weber


Julien is a "Domino consultant among thousands" as he describes himself. But now he has created a side business for his wife:

Skinizi is the best solution to give your iPod a personal touch and to protect it for every day use. Our artists have created some wonderful, whimsical designs for you. Please take a moment to browse these delightful iPod skins in our photo gallery!

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John Gruber: The Ringtones Racket

by Volker Weber

Instead of the complicated, confusing mess of a ringtone policy that Apple announced last week, what they should have announced is this: "Any song you can play on your iPhone can be used as a ringtone for no additional charge. Want a new ringtone? Just buy it from iTunes or rip it from a CD."

That's how it works with all the other phones.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

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by Volker Weber


Das sieht aus wie ein Rekord. Ist aber keiner. Das ist der Rekord.

11414 kommentare

Update: So, jetzt ist der alte Rekord deutlich geknackt:

12121 kommentare

Judy wants your help

by Volker Weber


This is Judy speaking at an Alliance for Lupus Research event. Regular readers of have met Judy more than four years ago. The old story did not work out so well, but Judy and Thomas are still good friends. But that's not the point here.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, I never heard of before. Judy writes:

I've recently taken a (hopefully only temporary) hiatus from working full time due to this disease, but rather than just sitting around and giving up, I've decided to become very active within the Lupus community, especially within the Alliance for Lupus Research, to raise money for research and development of new drugs. Lupus is just like breast cancer as it mostly affects women. However, Lupus is misunderstood all around the globe, does not have any new drugs in 40+ years, and there is limited scientific research going on worldwide.

There is a lack of fundamental venture capital scientific approaches to sharing information which could possibly help prevent, treat and cure Lupus. The ALR is one organization that's not in it for the money, but to help those with Lupus or those that might get it in the future. 100% of all donations go to research, all overhead expenses are covered internally, since the founder of this organization is wealthy and has friends on the board that pay for all expenses world wide as someone in the Founders own family has this illness.

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So this is the new Treo

by Volker Weber

treo 500v

Yesterday Palm announced that Vodafone will be carrying the new Tre0 500v exclusively until the end of the year when it becomes available to other carriers as well. It's a Windows Mobile 6 Standard device, which means it competes with the Samsung i600 (or the Samsung Blackjack).

I like WM Standard, which does not have touchscreen support and is therefore optimized for one hand operation. There are however a lot of somewhat successful devices in this space and I don't see any particular advantage for Palm. Especially since the 500v neither supports HSDPA nor Wi-Fi.

Recently I said that I don't expect Palm to release another Garnet device before coming out with their new mobile platform. But I have been told that there will be a similar device to the 500v based on Garnet (Palm OS 5.x).

Mobile Opportunity: The war between Nokia and Apple

by Volker Weber

... when you stand back and look at what's happening in the industry worldwide, it's clear that Apple and Nokia both want very badly to be the dominant mobile computing company for young adults. That makes a huge, relentless conflict between them inevitable. They're like two armies trying to take the same hill. One's coming from the west, the other from the east, so there's not a lot of fighting at the moment. But as soon as they reach the hill, there's going to be an explosion.

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[Thanks, Hanno]

Chandler releases a preview

by Volker Weber

I’m pleased to announce that the Chandler project has hit our Preview milestone! We now have public-beta quality releases of our products; we believe them to be full featured enough and stable enough for daily use.

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Girls of IAA 2007

by Volker Weber


I heard they also have cars at the show. . ;-)

Some remarkable talking points from Ed's keynote at CU

by Volker Weber

John types what Ed is saying:

17 Years, 130 million users, 46,000 organizations

Those are cumulative numbers. IBM does not say how many users they have on active maintenance. I have heard numbers, but I am not going to put them out there. Let's just assume it is much lower.

Mac Beta in 8.0.1 ... Eclipse 3.4 required and not ready yet
Notes 8.0.1 planned for "around Lotusphere"

Eclipse RCP 3.4 is currently at M1 (milestone 1). Once it is released, Expeditor needs to be upgraded, yada yada. Early 2008 we will then see a beta of Notes 8 on the Mac. IBM does not have to sync the release with 8.0.2 (or any other release) as they have shown with 7.0.2/Mac. Let's assume it will be released sometime in 2008.

8.0.1 "around Lotusphere" also means that those who voted "next year" where the smart ones. ;-)

Ed also mentions in his own comments:

One thing I forgot to mention on the Mac point is that in 7.0.3, we'll be adding Java agent support to the Notes / Mac client. (Java applets are still not supported)

Java agents are a lot more important than applets. So that is a good decision.

Lotus Domino "Next" plans: allow names to be managed in AD/LDAP

I think this has first been promised for Domino 8. And it will be a good thing when it finally ships. The Domino Directory is a mixed bag of things that don't really belong together. Separate people from configurations and life becomes easier for any customer who has to sync multiple directories.

Remember, all of this is "subject to change" of course when new stuff is talked about.

As if we did not know.

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iPod touch crippled deliberately

by Volker Weber

Engadget reports on one missing feature on the iPod touch:

In other words, no, you can't make new calendar entries on the fly. Why Apple would want to remove this simple feature that's already built into the mobile OS X calendar experience is really beyond us, but we guess they're doing their damnedest to draw the line in the sand between iPod and iPhone. Still, makes you wonder what other minor, useful features Apple pulled from the touch.

That is pretty simple:

What you will retain is a locked up operating system, and Apple needs to come up with a better excuse than protecting the AT&T network.

On the hardware front there is no speaker and no camera. That's OK, because it lets Apple make a little more profit. Removing perfectly working software from the device is at best "driven by marketing".

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BBspot - Jobs Offers Apple Lisa Early Adopters Store Credit

by Volker Weber

Cupertino, CA – Early adopters of the iPhone weren't the only ones receiving in-store credit from Steve Jobs. In an overlooked announcement, Jobs said that early adopters of the Apple Lisa would be receiving a $7000 in-store credit. ... Sales figures from that year show that if all people who bought the computer claim the refund, Apple could be liable for almost $70,000.Apple representatives said that consumers shouldn't expect a refund every time a product bombs or prices drop. These two cases were the "exception rather than the rule."

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Smartphone market shares across the world

by Volker Weber

market share

This graph probably explains to American readers why Nokia smartphones like the E61i or E90 are so important to me, although they are almost unseen in the US. The North-American market is very different from the rest of the world, with strong segments for Microsoft, Palm (Access), and RIM. In Europe (EMEA) the market is dominated by Symbian (read: Nokia), with a small Microsoft pocket and an even smaller RIM market share. It's also interesting to see the large Linux share in Japan and China (PRC).

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RTFAQ: Read the FAQ

by Volker Weber

I don't do tech support for readers of my site, who have never contributed anything. I make exceptions, but not for accidental readers who came in through Google and expect free advice. It says so in the FAQ.

Once in a while somebody does not understand. As today. It does not help calling me. It does not help calling me a dozen times. I do not deal with people who have no idea what they are doing and call themselves "Advance Data Technologies".

Today's case just reinforced the rule:

ronald tay singapore

IBM finally joins community

by Volker Weber

So far IBM has only taken from the community without contributing anything back. This is about to change:

10 September 2007 -- The community today announced that IBM will be joining the community to collaborate on the development of software. IBM will be making initial code contributions that it has been developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including accessibility enhancements, and will be making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of Besides working with the community on the free productivity suite's software, IBM will also leverage technology in its products.

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Calcium - Fast free calculator for S60

by Volker Weber


Calcium is a fast, easy to use calculator for your S60 phone

This must be one of the coolest and most simple applications ever ...

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Still want an iPhone?

by Volker Weber

This week Apple introduced iTunes 7.4 which contains a ringtone editor. What is a ringtone? A piece of music or a sound which plays when you receive a call. How does iTunes create a ringtone? You first need to buy a track for a dollar, then you select up to 30 seconds of the track you just bought, and you buy it a again for another dollar. You cannot use any tracks you already imported from your CDs, since you cannot pay for them again.

What iTunes 7.4 does is so downright simple that you can do it yourself with Audacity or GarageBand. Crop a piece of music and create a simple fadeout.

iTunes puts the tracks into the folder iTunes Music/Ringtones. If you placed an AAC file there and renamed it to m4r, then iTunes would sync it to your iPhone. Problem: you did not pay again for something you already bought.

Tonight Apple released a new update to iTunes:

itunes 7.4.1

As you can see, Apple does not report what changed from 7.4 to 7.4.1. Not even in the usual weasel words about "improving" the user experience. What it actually does is to break the workaround. 7.4.1 will now report:

"... was not copied to the iPhone ..., because it cannot be played on this iPhone"

The workaround for this block is simple: change the file extension of the ringtone back to .m4a. Now wait for Apple to come out with 7.4.2 and kick their customers in the nuts again.

Any other phone will just play an mp3 track that you may sync yourself without asking iTunes for permission.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

Installing what?

by Volker Weber

installing uninstaller

IBM people can't get Notes either :-)

by Volker Weber

IBM people can't get Notes 8 either

Looks like it's not only journalists and analysts who can't get Notes 8. Even IBM people seem to have a hard time finding it. :-)

Cupertino, we have a problem

by Volker Weber

I think Apple has a problem with the iPhone. Here are some indications:

  1. Apple just dropped the 4 GB iPhone, selling off existing stock.
  2. Apple lowered the price of the 8 GB iPhone after only eight weeks by a third.
  3. Early iPhone buyers got angry and Apple has promised a $100 gift certificate.

No matter how Jobs spins it, a price cut by one third after only eight weeks is not a deliberate decision. It clearly indicates that the market research prior to launch was overly optimistic. You cannot fleece your most devoted customers and then cut the price to sell to more people. The gift certificate clearly shows how this is not working.

On the same token, dropping one of the two available models — especially in the light of the rest of your portfolio having always at least two models — shows again that the research was poorly done. Not enough people wanted the smaller device, not even for less money. Which is unusual because the smaller model usually outsells the larger one. And that is why you create three products with the middle one as the best selling.

Why didn't they want the smaller device? It's underpowered. Even the 8 GB iPhone is underpowered. Watch Jobs demoing how you listen to your music, watch movies and TV shows, look at your pictures, etc. Here is a brief overview of what is on my iPod:

ipod capacity

"Other" is a backup, so let's not even look at that. Both my audio and photos would overload the iPhone. And that's just 2000 songs, and I don't carry the full resolution photos. There is also very little video on the machine. I would need at least 30 GB to use the iPhone as Steve demos it.

So Apple had an underpowered phone, with a very high price, hitting a price sensitive market. They had to make a decision. And they did. And I think they are in better shape now.

I'd also not be surprised to see a 16 GB iPhone real soon now.

Arrivederci Luciano

by Volker Weber

Luciano Pavarotti (Modena, 12 ottobre 1935 – Modena, 6 settembre 2007)

Notes 8 error message in toto

by Volker Weber

Hubertus was able to catch the full error message. What we learned is:

  1. IBM developers have larger screens than their customers.
  2. The launcher passes a lot of parameters to the JVM.
  3. The dialog contains an OK button and it is the default. So you can hit Enter to close the message.
  4. The dialog does not contain any interesting information for the user.
  5. It does not contain any information which would explain the fatal error.

Also worth noting: development has not decided whether it wants to use slashes or backslashes to describe a path. It even changes within one path. Without breaking.

Hier wohn kein dumm kopf

by Volker Weber

We beachtete vor kurzem mehr Versuche, zu deinem PayPal account anzumelden von einem fremden IP address.

If, das du dein Konto beim Reisen, die ungewöhnlichen LOGON-Versuche zugänglich machtest, kann von dir eingeleitet worden sein. Wenn du der rightfull Inhaber des Kontos bist, Paypal jedoch bitte so bald wie möglich besuchen, um deine Identität zu überprüfen:

Ja, kannst you bitte so bald wie möglich f!cken in own knie.

New poll: which iPod is for you?

by Volker Weber

ipod lineup

After Apple has refreshed the iPod lineup, it's time for a new poll. Which of those devices is right for you? They are all very different.

  1. iPod shuffle 1 GB
  2. iPod nano 4/8 GB
  3. iPod classic 80/160 GB
  4. iPod touch 8/16 GB
  5. iPhone 8 GB
  6. None


I am closing the comments on this post. Please discuss on the previous.

Apple refreshes the iPod lineup and adds new iPhone-alike model

by Volker Weber

ipod lineup

The iPhone went from 499/599 to (299)/399. For around 400 you now either get an iPhone with 8 GB or an iPod touch with 16 GB. I'd take the phone.

iTunes adds a ringtone maker which only works with tracks bought from the iTunes store. You get to pay another 99 cents for your ringtone. And the iPod touch lets you buy new tracks over Wi-Fi.

All prices in US$ or EUR. Nice rip off again.

Update: Early iPhone buyers were not amused seeing the price shlashed by one third within eight weeks. Apple CEO has now published an open letter announcing a $100 gift certificate to buyers which are not eligible for other rebates.

OpenNTF Advisory Council

by Bruce Elgort

OpenNTF the Open Source Community for IBM Lotus Notes and Domino is forming an Advisory Council to help provide future direction for the site and OpenNTF efforts. Nominations are being accepted through Friday September 21st, 2007. An OpenNTF login is required in order to fill out the nomination form.

From my perspective as the retired OpenNTF ombudsman I think that it is important if not imperative that the Advisory Council membership be diverse and consist of some new voices from around the world.

The selection process will be overseen by myself, Vince Shuurman and Ed Brill. We anticipate completing it by mid-October

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It's "Make your own caption" time

by Volker Weber

In need for a caption

Ed Colligan cancels the Palm Foleo

by Volker Weber


I have decided to cancel the Foleo mobile companion product in its current configuration and focus all of our energies on delivering out next generation platform and the first smartphones that will bring this platform to market.

Too bad I don't get to play with one. This last minute cancellation leaves me more worried than ever.

Another interesting quote:

We will, of course, continue to develop products in partnership with Microsoft on the Windows Mobile platform, but from our internal platform development perspective, we will focus on only one.

Palm is going to announce a new smartphone a week from now. I don't think it will be based on the new platform, so it can only be a Windows Mobile phone. After this announcement I don't expect Palm to come out with any new devices on the old Palm OS platform. Unless they cannot deliver the new platform this year.

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by Volker Weber

Peon: I think she's Indian.
Boss: American Indian? We don't have a lot of those!
Peon: No, Asian Indian.
Boss: They have Indians in Asia?!

5th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Unique: SATA II drive with Ultra320 SCSI interfac

by Volker Weber

sata2 with scsi interface

The SCSI interface might explain why the drive is so expensive. :-)

What were they thinking?

by Volker Weber

Lotus Notes Fatal Error Message

When Lotus Notes 8 (Eclipse version, New Coke) dies, it throws this error message. As you can see, it does not fit on the screen, so you can neither see the OK button nor the real message. What you see instead are the parameters passed to the Java Virtual Machine when Notes was loaded.

This message is utterly useless, confuses the user and may cause quite a few support calls which will leave both the user and the support person shrugging their shoulders, putting all the blame on the vendor, in this case IBM.

If I can provoke this error message, so can IBM. It makes me wonder what they were thinking before shipping the product.

Was es nicht alles gibt ...

by Volker Weber

gebrauchtes klopapier

[Danke, Axel]


by Volker Weber

Mashable: Are You Getting Quechup Spammed?

by Volker Weber

The issue lies with their "check for friends" form: during signup you're asked to enter your email address and password to see whether any of your friends are already on the service. Enter the password, however, and it will proceed to mail all your contacts without asking permission. This has led to many users issuing apologies to their friends for "spamming" them inadvertently. Hopefully the bad PR on this one will force them to change the system.

Just blacklist and they are history.

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Upgrading a Samsung SGH-i600 to Windows Mobile 6

by Volker Weber

I was getting a bit wary of Samsung for not releasing the WM6 update as promised and removing some countries from the download site. Time to cook up a procedure to get it done anyway. This works only for the i600 (not the Blackjack). You will lose all data on the device. If you break your device, you own all the parts.

  1. Install ActiveSync 4.5 and the Samsung modem drivers.
  2. Check your version information. If you have i600XXGD1 on all three components, then jump to step 6. Otherwise get the update to firmware i600XXGD1 from the Internets. You will find it.
  3. Disable USB access in ActiveSync and install the i600XXGD1 update.
  4. To get this done you need to put the device in a special mode by holding the right soft key and the cancel key on the right hand side when switching on. Too complicated? See this image.
  5. Be patient. This takes a long time. Phone will reboot and then reboot again.
  6. Go to the WM6 update site and grab any language version you like. Read: a language you understand.
  7. Go to the service menu on your device: *#1546792*#
  8. Select Preconfiguration. Password: *#81230*#
  9. Select country and operator matching your download from update site.
  10. Phone will reboot and then reboot again.
  11. Enable USB access in ActiveSync and install the i600UXXGG2 update
  12. Be patient. This takes a long time. Phone will reboot and then reboot again.
  13. Go to the service menu on your device: *#1546792*#
  14. Select Preconfiguration. Password: *#81230*#
  15. Select your own country and operator.
  16. Phone will reboot and then reboot again.

That was easy, eh? Et voila:

home screen


A peaceful moment

by Volker Weber

Congratulations to Matt & Jess — and of course Zoë!


by Volker Weber

JAP #1: Well, whatever, I'm over him.
JAP #2: I was never under him.
JAP #3: I was.

--Times Square

[JAP = Jewish American Princess]

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Best headline of the day

by Volker Weber

No. 1 Supplier of Digital Video to iTunes Soon to Be No. 1 Supplier of Digital Video to Torrent Networks [Digital Daily]

John Paczkowski on NBC's decision to not renew their contract to sell TV episodes in iTunes, because Apple would not hike the price from $1.99 to $4.99.

Samsung loses two countries

by Volker Weber

About a month ago I reported that Samsung started rolling out the WM6 upgrade for the i600. Since then I have checked their website every other day. Slowly more and more languages became available.

Today I noticed that both Germany and the UK have disappeared before the software would become available. Those would not exactly be two of the smaller markets.

Does anybody know what is going on there?

Sic transit gloria mundi

by Volker Weber

barebones astroturf

These guys used to have the best editor for the Mac. Now it looks like they need to resort to comment spam. Sad. Has everybody switched to Textmate?

Old archive pages

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


Paypal vowe