December 2008

New poll: how do you expect to be a year from now?

by Volker Weber

2008 has brought bad news for many. What is your outlook for 2009? Will you be better off a year from now? About the same? Or worse than today? Please vote in the sidebar.

The results:

pollresultsbetter

Two screens or one?

by Volker Weber

At CeBIT I saw Samsung coming out with a dual screen display. One large TFT, and a small one attached to it. Lenovo is now doing the same with their upcoming W700DS:

w700ds

The reasoning behind this design seems to be that Photoshop artists or CAD designers can put their toolboxes on the auxiliary screen.

But why not have a larger screen in the first place. In the case of the notebook, it would make the machine considerably larger, while this design makes it somewhat thicker. But looking at desktop computers, why would I want two displays instead of one larger, even if the screens are the same size? Why have two 19" screens instead of one 24" screen? Why not go to a 30" one? This reminds me of split windshields.

twoonescreens

What is your preference, and why?

Ich helfe gerne aus der Autokrise

by Volker Weber

Kann mir mal jemand ein Auto bauen, das mir gefällt? Vielleicht im Format des Mini. Schnell, wuselig, sparsam. Und drinnen eben nicht so kaputtgestaltet wie der Mini. Und bitte ohne Piep. Komplett ohne.

Also, wer sowas baut, dem kauf ich eins ab. Macht bisher keiner.

Seeräuber

by Volker Weber

Wie viele Länder haben denn nun schon Fregatten und Zerstörer geschickt, um Piraten davon abzuhalten, Handelsschiffe zu kapern und deren Besatzungen mit dem Tode zu bedrohen? Man braucht doch eigentlich nicht besonders viel Hightech, um diese Banditen unsichtbar zu machen. Ein großes Netz mit vielleicht 1000 Bowling-Kugeln in 1000 Fuß über NN ausleeren sollte einige Löcher in die Boote stanzen und den Rest erledigt dann die Meeres-Fauna. Wenn sich an Land erst mal rumspricht, dass auslaufende Piratenboote niemals zurückkehren, dann könnten alle bald wieder zu Hause sein, oder?

Out of touch?

by Volker Weber

Techcrunch ran a story on Christmas Eve with the unlikely title of

Two free tickets to Lotusphere - is IBM's Lotus Notes Out of Touch With Web 2.0 World?

So it is two things: an interview with Kevin Cavanaugh and Ed Brill, as well as an offer to suck up to two free 'sphere tickets:

IBM is giving two free tickets to TC readers - leave a comment saying why you'd like to go to Lotusphere, and we'll pick the winners by Monday morning. (Note: Passes cover conference registration only, not travel/hotel.)

Now the story has made it to the Digg frontpage. Both have interesting comments, to which Ed has to say:

and what an enlightened bunch the DIGG commenters are.

It begs one question: how do you change the perception of a large user base that thinks Notes is a huge PoS, now that you added enough parts to transform a quaint steam engine into an even more complex Saturn V launch vehicle, while many of your users started using public transportation in their private life?

Quadrupled capacity on my ReadyNAS

by Volker Weber

readynas4tb

Over the holidays I replaced the drives in my ReadyNAS going from 4x250GB to 4x1TB and then consolidating other storage onto the same RAID:

Replace one disk at a time with a larger disk, letting it finish initializing and syncing after each replacement (this process can take several hours depending on disk capacity, but you can continue access to the ReadyNAS), and after the last disk has been replaced, reboot the ReadyNAS. The expansion will occur at boot time. The expansion time will depend on your existing volume size, the ending volume size, and the number of files in your volume. Typically, it'll take anywhere from an hour to several hours. You will be notified by email at each step of the process.

Keep in mind that when your replace your disks, with ReadyNAS that supports drive hot-swapping (NV, 1000S), you do not need to shutdown the box before replacing the disks. Simply pull out the disk, wait at least 10 secs, and then add the replacement disk.

It took 4.5 hours per drive to initialize and re-sync. During that time you can continue to work with your storage. I did however perform a full backup before the operation, just to make sure I have a Plan B.

The smallest drive in the X-RAID determines capacity. After you replaced the last drive with a larger one, storage can be expanded. For that you have to take the ReadyNAS offline and wait for a few hours while it performs this expansion. It took 5.5 hours in my case.

More >

No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in Innovative ‘Passive Houses’

by Volker Weber

DARMSTADT, Germany — From the outside, there is nothing unusual about the stylish new gray and orange row houses in the Kranichstein District, with wreaths on the doors and Christmas lights twinkling through a freezing drizzle. But these houses are part of a revolution in building design: There are no drafts, no cold tile floors, no snuggling under blankets until the furnace kicks in. There is, in fact, no furnace.

We are not as radical as the houses described here. But we used less than 20 kWh per square-meter in 2008 to heat our home using some of those concepts.

More >

[Thanks, Richard]

Thank you

by Volker Weber

Thank you for all the cards and presents. We are reading and enjoying them all. My apologies, if you did not get a card in return. We are also not going to send any Xmas emails. I have made a habit to not read them, so why should I bother you. ;-)

This is also a good time for thanking you for reading my site. I don’t check my stats very often, but when I do, the numbers are mindboggling. There are thousands of unique visitors a day and millions of page impressions throughout the year. Incredible. I promise I will continue to tell it as it is.

Thank you for coming back and writing comments. I enjoy them tremendously. Thank you also for inspiring me with news and links you are sending via mail or IM. I also started using Twitter, but have not become as attached to it as many others. From time to time you will find smaller blurbs there that did not make it to the site. You can find my updates in the sidebar and here.

I also have to thank all the sponsors who supported this site over the course of the year, and I will have to single out BCC for their exceptional help. If you want to be an exclusive sponsor in 2009 start thinking. It's only a week until January kicks in, maybe the most important month of all.

This is my favorite time of the year. Not because of the presents, or because of Xmas. Everything is slowing down, and I am in a very peaceful mood. We started last weekend with a long party out on the street. It lasted for eight hours, we enjoyed good food and drinks with our neighbors and friends. Quality time. We are now vacationing at home, with only a few working days next week, before the new year starts. In the first week of January we plan a brief trip to Berlin, and then work life has us back.

I will see many of you at Lotusphere in Orlando and at the Edcom Nachlese in Munich.

The Register: Microsoft spits out ODF plans for Office 2007 SP2

by Volker Weber

How could I have overlooked this gem?

Microsoft wants the world to believe that in these enlightened days it operates an open Office policy to all comers... sort of. And that’s why it’s decided to publish documentation that details its implementation of OASIS Open Document Format (ODF) version 1.1 support in MS Office 2007 Service Pack 2.

OpenOffice 3.0 already supports the features of 1.2, which is not yet a standard, as Peter pointed out in an e-mail.

Microsoft’s Office interoperability overlord Doug Mahugh said today, without even so much as a hint of irony, that the company hopes such a move will "encourage other companies to take similar steps to help achieve greater interoperability across the industry."

Yeah, right. :-)

More >

Last.fm is just great

by Volker Weber

Hajo mentions a video. Open Sonos controller. Music services, Last.fm, start new station, Michael McDonald. Instant Yacht Rock. Bliss.

Campaign to OpenSource Domino

by Volker Weber

Over recent years we have seen the decreasing traction of the Domino product line among enterprise customers, lower conquest rates in small enterprises and a lack of penetration in the SMB market. This decline in position of the product has continued despite clear IBM commitment to the ongoing development, marketing and support of the product line.

Two comments:

  1. The usual suspects will debate the issue.
  2. Open sourcing Domino is not going to happen. Nor would it help.

More >

Jingle Waves

by Volker Weber

[via Bill]

Why you don't want to fly to Honduras

by Volker Weber

Free Public WiFi? It's viral, but not a virus!

by Volker Weber

I am always surprised of how many people don't know this story.

OK, Firefox, and now what?

by Volker Weber

firefoxnowwhat

BlackBerry Media Sync for Mac

by Volker Weber

RIM makes a preview version available for the Mac. Read the fineprint though:

After installing the Preview Version of BlackBerry Media Sync, other software previously used to synchronize data with your Mac, such as PocketMac for BlackBerry devices or Missing Sync, will no longer be able to connect to your device and will not work until BlackBerry Media Sync is uninstalled.

While this looks like bad news, it probably isn't. RIM must be cooking up something else to connect Mac and BlackBerry in the future, beyond Media Sync.

More >

Message from RIM

by Volker Weber

We are making every effort to fulfill our commitment in providing you with your new BlackBerry Bold that you chose onsite at the conference. Delivery of your smartphone is being conducted as expeditiously as possible, but at this time we realize we are not going to make our committed timeframe. ... In light of this situation, I wanted to let you know we will now be sending you a BlackBerry Remote Stereo Gateway in addition to your new smartphone.

BBDevCon ended eight weeks ago. Shipment was promised within 30 days. Well, can't complain about a free Bold and a free Bluetooth Gateway.

Virtual = not really

by Volker Weber

Nice spin:

We used the same tried-and-true Redbooks residency method and assembled a team of subject matter experts made up of IBMers, business partners, and customers. However, we used a virtual approach instead of asking everyone to travel to one location.

Imagine a virtual Lotusphere. And here is some virtual money for you: $1000. Spend it wisely.

This looks nice: Hercules DJ Console Rmx

by Volker Weber

herculesdjrmx

Not that I would need this often enough, I would still make space for it on my desk. :-)

Winners of the 2009 Lotus Awards

by Volker Weber

Best Industry Solution

  1. Winner: e-On Integration S.A.
  2. Finalist: iEnterprises
  3. Finalist: Ascendant Technology

Best Lotus Energy and Environment (Green) Award

  1. Winner: KLG Systel, Ltd.
  2. Finalist: Alphalogix
  3. Finalist: Enterprise Information Management, Inc.

Best Mid-Market Solution Award

  1. Winner: iEnterprises
  2. Finalist: Pavone AG
  3. Finalist: Nortel

Best Philanthropy Award

  1. Winner: PSC Group, LLC
  2. Finalist: ITM Associates, Inc.
  3. Finalist: TeamCentric Technologies

Best Portal and IBM Mashup Center Solution Award

  1. Winner: Ascendant Technology
  2. Finalist: Alacrinet
  3. Finalist: Edifixio

Best Tool and Utility Solution Award

  1. Winner: Permessa Corporation
  2. Finalist: iEnterprises
  3. Finalist: Sherpa Software

Best TOTAL Lotus Software Solution Award

  1. Winner: Trilog Group
  2. Finalist: Ascendant Technology
  3. Finalist: Brookstone Technologies Pty Limited

Best Unified Communications and Collaboration Solution Award

  1. Winner: Avistar Communications Corp.
  2. Finalist: Permessa Corporation
  3. Finalist: Polymorph

Distinguished Achievement Awards Finalists, winners will be announced on Business Development Day at Lotusphere 2009

North America

Latin America

"Northeast" Europe

"Southwest" Europe

Asia Pacific

Japan

[Source: edbrill.com ]

Taken by Storm

by Volker Weber

Testing a new (and yet unreleased) firmware for the BlackBerry Storm and the overall speed is improving. Eventually it may become usable. :-)

Novell calls off BrainShare

by Volker Weber

This note is to inform you that Novell will not be holding its annual BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Utah that was scheduled for March 2009.

More >

Critical: Security Update for Internet Explorer

by Volker Weber

Fix your Internet Explorer now:

This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Critical for Internet Explorer 5.01, Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1, and Internet Explorer 7.

More >

IBM is not going to send out a press release

by Volker Weber

When IBM canned DoesNotWorkplace, Lotus General Manager Mike Rhodin told the press it "was only an experiment". I would add, an expensive one. I am not sure what they will call NSFDB2, but I would add again, an expensive one.

Take this as an unsubstantiated rambling, but consider what I just said. Might save you money.

Stein Bagger Pleads Guilty to Faking Software Deals; His Ph.D. Was Phony, Too

by Volker Weber

Interesting twist in the Wall Street Journal story:

Mr. Svensson also sent warnings about IT Factory to International Business Machines Corp. A member of IBM's European Business Partner Advisory Board, Mr. Svensson sent a long email to IBM managers in Denmark describing IT Factory as a "house of cards" liable to collapse.

"Something is completely wrong," he wrote, warning that Mr. Bagger posed a risk to IBM's own reputation as IT Factory "in all contexts positions itself very close to IBM." Mr. Bagger, whose company had offices in India and the U.S., often boasted of close ties to IBM and helped sponsor a big IBM software conference in Florida.

An IBM spokesman, citing the current criminal investigation, declined to comment on what, if anything, was done in response to Mr. Svensson's messages.

A few months after Mr. Svensson's warning, IBM Denmark named Mr. Bagger's company as the year's "Best Partner" in a software business line. The head of IBM Denmark this year hailed IT Factory as "creative and visionary." IBM has now filed a claim with IT Factory's liquidator to try to get back the 125 million kroner ($23 million) it says it is owed by Mr. Bagger's now defunct company.

More >

New in Labs: Turn an email into a Google doc

by Volker Weber

This could be useful:

... with one simple click, "Create a document" converts an email into a Google Docs document.

No more copying and pasting the text from your email -- just open the message you wish to convert, click the "Create a document" link on the right side of the page, and voila, you have a brand new document which you can then modify and share!

More >

Do you think they would pay for my Expertise Hekp?

by Volker Weber

expertisehekp

Sock and Awe - Hit him with your shoes

by Volker Weber

sockandawe

No SteveNote at Apple's last Macworld

by Volker Weber

This is a biggie:

CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2008—Apple today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple’s last keynote at the show.

This can mean two things: Apple does not have anything interesting to present, or Steve is not feeling so well. Or both.

Mixed Tape 24 is out

by Volker Weber

mixedtape24

Very delicious this time.

Download here >

[Thanks, Alper]

Looking out the kitchen window: Squirrels out in full force

by Volker Weber

Squirrel TV

More >

Fun with Google Trends: cookies vs diet

by Volker Weber

cookiesvsdiet

[via Fefe, thanks Hanno]

T minus 15 days

by Volker Weber

Looking through my roundup of the Lotusphere 2008 opening session for stuff promised to be shipping in 2008 that has not shipped yet. In order of appearance:

Still 15 days to go, but I would be surprised. Next dog & pony show is in a month or so. I will keep this as a reality check in the back of my mind.

Apple releases OS X 10.5.6

by Volker Weber

os1056update

Some interesting fixes:

Ladies and gentlemen, update your engines.

More >

Sunset today

by Volker Weber

SANY1788

How to enable the Safari Web Inspector

by Volker Weber

safariwebinspector

This is a neat tool I stumbled across today at TUAW. Close Safari, open Terminal and type:

defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitDeveloperExtras -bool true

Now you can got to Develop/Show Web Inspector which will show you all files used on the current web page.

Au weia

by Volker Weber

bbforum

Hewlett-Ink

by Volker Weber

Headline donated by Richard S. [via Messe·schnell·weg]

Viral training wheels

by Volker Weber

Remember the "I make viral videos for Lotus" comment? Funny thing is, it obviously did not generate any links to YouTube. Or least not more than 17 (see statistics on the video). The majority of the inbound links seem to be from two Lotus sites: Ed Brill and one guy I had not heard from:

Bilal Jaffery currently leads the worldwide web strategy and marketing for IBM Lotus Foundations and collaboration software group. More >

Both Bilal and Ed stress how many views this video has gotten within a very short period of time. These have completely died off, btw. Very short lived virus stem. One of the first comments on this video is from this agency:

Supercool Creative is an online video advertising and branding agency. We develop entertaining, engaging and unexpected online commercials, webisodes, branded entertainment, advertainment, viral videos, video publicity, integrated video websites, production, distribution and everything else that has to do with online video on your website or spread around the world.

There is a slight chance they have been involved in the making of this masterpiece. Once you have created your video, uploaded it to YouTube, how do you create a false sense of "buzz"? You send in the straw men. Read the comments:

  1. humblejiva loves two Lotus videos. He joined YouTube the day that the video was posted.
  2. dmill00 also loves the Ding Dong song.
  3. stevewiffer just joined YouTube the same day that humblejiva joined.
  4. edzevid watched 13,588 videos in two years. He may not have time to buy Lotus servers.
  5. wuvsss also joined the same day that stevewiffer and humblejiva joined. He has one favorite. Guess which one. He insults people who do not agree. Keeps praising just this one video.
  6. jesse222221 joined the same day that wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined.
  7. kkant53 joined the same day that jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined. kkant53 has not watched any videos so far but he finds this one a "nice, good clip".
  8. cococolasprite joined the same day that kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined.
  9. Brandonmccheese joined the same day that cococolasprite, kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined. Brandonmccheese has watched just this one video on YouTube.
  10. cl0wnparade joined the same day that Brandonmccheese, cococolasprite, kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined. Like kkant53 cl0wnparade has not watched any videos. But he finds this one "awesome".
  11. tttormmm joined the same day that cl0wnparade, Brandonmccheese, cococolasprite, kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined. Like kkant53 and cl0wnparade tttormmm has also not watched any videos on YouTube. About this one he has to say "LOL to the umpteenth degree!! good stuff keep it up, i WUVS it!"
  12. pimpstatus80 joined the same day that tttormmm,cl0wnparade, Brandonmccheese, cococolasprite, kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined. pimpstatus80 like kkant53, cl0wnparade and tttormmm has not watched any videos. He thinks "I liked the video it was funny and I hope we have a good season in cal." and "I like the wideo hope we have a good season in cal this season".
  13. Tommy7L joined the same day that tttormmm,cl0wnparade, Brandonmccheese, cococolasprite, kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined.
  14. bennyboom850 joined the same day that Tommy7L, tttormmm,cl0wnparade, Brandonmccheese, cococolasprite, kkant53, jesse222221, wuvsss, stevewiffer and humblejiva joined.
  15. More people joining later ...

So what is Bilal commenting on his own video?

  1. hahaha, niceee!
  2. lol

On LinkedIn he phrases it differently: Special focus on Online Marketing, SEO, SEM and Web 2.0 Social Media marketing.

Want to see a real pro? :-) http://www.youtube.com/hotforwords

Update: I have now seen comments come and go on this thread. Some people have noticed the fact that a lot of comments are from people who just signed up to comment and insult those who don't find the spot "niceee". Their comments are disappearing though.

FolderShare replaced by Windows Live Sync. And it's working ...

by Volker Weber

foldershare2livesync

I was not looking forward to this change. Three weeks ago I was rather pessimistic. And I was wrong.

When I checked the FolderShare website today, I was being told to upgrade to Live Sync. Good news: not only was the version number for the Windows software pretty similar to that of FolderShare, but there was a new Mac version as well. You can download the clients here:

installlivesync

When you load the software you will see that this is FolderShare, just with a different name. And a different backend. You now need to use your Windows Live ID, and your shared folders are gone and need to be rebuilt, as announced three weeks ago. But you can still setup your personal folders that are only shared peer-to-peer between your machine and do not need online storage.

All is good. FolderShare lives on. Just under a different name.

Fix your inaccurate iPhone/iPod location

by Volker Weber

The iPod touch uses the Skyhook service to pinpoint your location. If your iPhone has turned Wi-Fi on, it will try to do the same. If your access point is not in the Skyhook database, that won't work. But you fix that, by registering the AP with its geo data:

XPS leverages Wi-Fi access point information to accurately determine location information in dense urban areas or indoor environments.

If you are getting incorrect location results (either indoors or in an urban setting) within the Wi-Fi coverage area, the form below may help to resolve the issue. The form enables you to update your Wi-Fi Access Point information in the XPS system.

I don't know how the XPS system works exactly. But you don't have to actually be attached to an access point. If you just monitor the traffic and record MAC addresses in SSID beacons, and then look those up in the XPS database, you can triangulate your location. You can also fill that database by "war driving" the MAC addresses.

More >

Perfectly boring

by Volker Weber

globesurfer3

Last week I told you about the GlobeSurfer III. A week has passed and I will pack it up and send it back. What has happened in between? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The GlobeSurfer maintained a connection to T-Mobile, from EDGE to HSPA depending on the signal quality. Twice the 17" MacBook had difficulties to connect, but the MacBook Air and the Samsung NC10 performed just nicely. So I feel inclined to blame the MacBook.

The Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times" never applied to the GlobeSurfer. It just did its thing. Setup is extremely simple. You insert the SIM, turn it on. You connect to the (still) open WLAN or an Ethernet port and point your browser to 192.168.1.1. A wizard takes you from there. It wants to know a new admin password, the APN to connect to (internet.t-d1.de for T-Mobile), the SIM PIN. Then it configures your WLAN security, and then you are done.

GlobeSurfer Basic

The GlobeSurfer has numerous other capabilities. For instance it can receive SMS messages, connect a plain old telephone, share a printer or a disk, terminate a VPN, wash the dishes. OK, I made the last one up. Never tried any of these. Judging from the other experience I have no doubt it does these things equally well.

GlobeSurfer Advanced

The device earns the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award, but I have a promise to keep. :-)

IME is the distributor, but they can tell you where to buy the device. If you ask what it costs, it is probably too expensive for you. ;-) If you want to know it anyway, list price is 379 Eur.

Apple TV, I have controls

by Volker Weber

Downgrading the Apple TV to 2.1 turned out to be quite easy. Once you have ssh access, you just need to run this script. And then, when you regained ssh access after the downgrade, you make sure it never updates again:

sudo bash -c 'echo "127.0.0.1 mesu.apple.com" >> /etc/hosts'

Now that I have regained control over the device, I can once again tailor it to my needs. An 2.1, Sapphire is my friend:

sapphirebrowser

Reise bewilligt

by Volker Weber

estagenehmigung

Aufgepasst, Lotusphere-Teilnehmer! Nicht vergessen: Wer nach dem 12. Januar unter dem Visa Waiver Program in die USA einreisen will, der muss sich vorher registrieren. Die Amis sind weit "bessere" Bürokraten als wir. Deren Regeln lassen sich auch dann nicht wegdiskutieren, wenn man sich den Mund fusselig redet.

Hier geht's lang >

Apple TV replaced by Netgear EVA

by Volker Weber

Today I wanted to write something nice about the Apple TV. It had been chugging along just nicely, playing all my content without much fuss. Yes, it prove to be too slow to play HD content, and yes, it was drawing a lot of standby power. But it never really failed.

Until today.

Tonight it somehow decided that it wanted to update itself to 2.3. A few weeks ago it had asked nicely, but since I did not want to reinstall all the necessary patches, I declined its update request. Well, today it did update and turned itself into the useless box it was when it came out of the box. Patching it again turned out to be unsuccessful, so it is being turned into a paper weight, until all the patches have been successfully tested with 2.3. Then there will be a short opportunity to use it again to its full potential, until Apple decides to destroy it all again with another software update.

For now, I just plugged in the EVA8000, which can perform all those things out of the box.

New corporate logos

by Volker Weber

fail

More >

Create mockups for your applications in minutes not hours

by Volker Weber

wikimockup

Named after Balsamico, a very tasty vinegar, Balsamiq Mockups lets you craft user interface mockups in minutes. Written my Giacomo Guilizzoni, a Micro-ISV (read: one man and his computer) from San Francisco, who is proud not to own a car and work from home, Balsamiq Mockups "intentionally uses hand-drawn UI elements, so that people don't get attached to that pretty color gradient or think that your mockup has actual code behind it and is practically done".

Steffen told me about this amazing application yesterday. It runs on top of Adobe AIR, so you can use it right away on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, as well as within Confluence, JIRA and XWiki. There is a video on Youtube showing it in action. And you can try it out right here.

More >

Hello, I'm a PC. And I'm a Mac.

by Volker Weber

And I make viral videos for Lotus. Oh dear.

This is Phun

by Volker Weber

Remember this? Now you can have it yourself.

Phun is a free game like 2D physics sandbox where you can play with physics like never before. The playful synergy of science and art is novel, and makes Phun as educational as it is entertaining.

Available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

More >

[Thanks, Gregory]

The mother of all demos

by Volker Weber

engelbart1968

Installed Office 12. And quite like it.

by Volker Weber

Word 12 without ribbon

I had to make up my mind which Office to use on the Samsung Netbook. I briefly tried OpenOffice 3 and Symphony and liked neither. Today I finally installed Office 12 (Microsoft Office 2007 as they call it), and surprisingly I quite like it. I can hide the ribbon in Word, which gives me a clean interface with one click access to the functions I need. Even with the ribbon, the interface works very well for me:

Word 12 with ribbon

Much better than the long menus in Office 2003 or OpenOffice. And the ribbon works better than the sidebar in Symphony. This is a keeper.

I am also going to use OneNote, but that has still the old interface and looks as crowded as Outlook. Meh.

IBM Lotusphere 2008 IT FACTORY press release

by Volker Weber

IT FACTORY is a trusted IBM SaaS business partner and a knowledge sponsor at IBM Lotusphere 2008.

I guess somebody at IBM wishes this would never have been published.

More >

Wer-kennt-wen startet durch

by Volker Weber

ivw200811

An StudiVZ ist wer-kennt-wen vorbei und SchülerVZ wird auch nicht mehr lange halten. Ausweisung hier >

IT Factory CEO Stein Bagger arrested

by Volker Weber

Politiken.dk reports he wants to come home:

Politi: Bagger vil gerne hjem

More >

TomTom Routes will make navigation technology available online

by Volker Weber

TomTom seeks to make their technology available online, as a showcase of what their devices can do. Currenty in beta, TomTom Routes contains HD Traffic (where available), IQRoutes and MapSpare. You can sign up for the beta, but don't hold your breath. I needed VIP treatment to get in. Click through to Flickr for the full screenshot.

Are you liking the Storm?

by Volker Weber

When I dumped the Storm last week, I was running my third firmware version 0.76. This was an internal build and Vodafone released 0.78 a few days later. Since I want to like the Storm, I updated to this version and switched back from the Bold. Since I don't see any real progress, I am asking you how you are liking your device. Does it meet your expectations? What do you like, what do you hate?

Nokia press release does not mention Lotus

by Volker Weber

Nokia Messaging comes to Nokia devices with support for Mail on Ovi and the world's most popular email and IM solutions

It covers Nokia Messaging, Mail on Ovi, Live Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and - I quote - "corporate mobile email (Microsoft Exchange Activesync)". At the iPhone 3G launch, IBM did not have anything to show. Now they do and their partner still does not communicate it.

More >

Designing against the user

by Volker Weber

wifi_netgear_wpn824_1

From a Netgear support document:

The dome LEDs turn on when each of the seven antennas transmits. The antennas adapt to the interference in the users operating environment. Because RangeMax is surveying the environment for interference, adapting to give the fastest connection, the lights are constantly changing. The lights are useful to monitor performance, and so cannot be turned off.

I am sorry, you stupid designer. Of course they can be turned off. Duct tape is the answer, you dimwit. Or putting the device into an enclosure, which is not really "maxing the range".

Tame your Time Machine

by Volker Weber

Don't want Time Machine to fill up your whole Drobo? This application for OS X based upon an Automator action provides a simple way when you're setting up Time Machine to force it to only use up 2x the size of your internal hard drive for backup on your external hard drive.

This script should also work on other storage devices.

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[Thanks, Dirk]

Interview goes bad. Or just honest.

by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Horia]

Aqua Alta Surfing - quite a PR stunt for Red Bull

by Volker Weber

Everything happened at the speed of light on Tuesday: just a few minutes after 11 a.m., the high-water mark had reached 1.35 metres, equivalent to a good half metre of water covering St. Mark's Square.

Duncan Zuur's team pulled a compact, 20 horsepower motor winch from its hiding place and placed it under the square's arches. One team member, clad in rubber boots, pulled the winchs cable about 120 metres across the square and pressed one end firmly into the hand of Duncan Zuur, who had taken the opportunity to get into his wakeboarding gear. Four elegant turns later, the event was over prompting by a standing ovation from an astounding crowd of tourists.

And luckily for Duncan, the police didn't even notice.

New hardware coming up at vowe's magic flying circus

by Volker Weber

There is a bunch of hardware heading my way, most of which I can't talk about since it is yet unreleased. There will be a dual band router, a 3.5g router, and as of today the OPTION GlobeSurfer III:

optionglobesurfer3

I have received their press release today and asked for a test sample that should arrive by the end of the week. I will be connecting one LAN to the internet with this device for a week and let you know how it goes.

The GlobeSurfer combines a Qualcomm UMTS/HSPA chipset with a small router, that has two Ethernet and one USB port. It can serve as the hub for a mobile office, connecting PCs through Ethernet or Wi-Fi to a 3.5G wireless network. The chipset provides not only HSDPA with up to 7.2 MBit downlink but also HSUPA with up to 5.76 MBit uplink. Everything is contained within the device, including the SIM card. You just need power to set up your office. The screen will also display incoming SMS message. Imagine a mobile phone combined with an Internet access router.

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Sorry Storm, I failed you

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry Bold and Storm

I just removed my SIM from the Storm and put it back into the Bold. I promised to try out the Storm for a week, but I just could not. It's so great to have a real keyboard back, and that I no longer have to fight the accelerometer. Bliss.

The screen on the Storm is great. It lets you look at pictures, read long mails, show more program icons, etc. Things the iPhone does even better. A lot better. There are very few things the Storm does better than the iPhone, for instance swiping left and right to get to the next or previous message. In theory you have cut&paste, but I never used that. In theory, I could use A2DP to listen to music, but I never do that anyway.

The annoyances however where overwhelming. So the Storm goes back into the box until I have figured out whether we will run an in-depth review. For now, we broke up. Sorry, Storm.

Sonos gear at 50% off

by Volker Weber

This is probably US only, but BestBuy.com has some sweet Sonos deals at 50% off SRP for first generation gear:

All of this works in Europe on 230V/50Hz. You just need to (a) get it here and (b) replace the standard power cords.

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Reconsidering Physical Key Secrecy: Teleduplication via Optical Decoding

by Volker Weber

Our SNEAKEY system correctly decoded the keys shown in the above image that was taken from the rooftop of a four floor building. The inlay shows the image that was used for decoding while the background provides a context for the extreme distances that our system can operate from. In this case the image was taken from 195 feet. This demonstration shows that a motivated attacker can covertly steal a victim's keys without fear of detection. The SNEAKEY system provides a compelling example of how digital computing techniques can breach the security of even physical analog systems in the real-world.

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[Thanks, Frank]

TubeStick kleiner

by Volker Weber

tubestickkleiner

Letzte Woche hat mir Equinux einen neuen TubeStick geschickt. Funktioniert genau wie das Original, hat aber dank neuem Innenleben ein kleineres Außenmaß. Mir egal. :-) Die Antenne ist jetzt weiß statt schwarz, aber immer noch genau so blitzgefährlich durch den Magneten im Fuß.

Die Software hat jetzt auch Sozialklimbim, so dass man mit anderen Tube-Nutzern chatten kann. Arme Welt. Kauft man zwei Sticks im Paket, gibt es 20% Rabatt. Das sollte man organisiert bekommen, wenn man auch noch Leute im richtigen Leben kennt.

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Kostenlos Werbung machen

by Volker Weber

Düsseldorf, 02. Dezember 2008 Vodafone live! Kunden werden in diesem Jahr zur Weih nachtszeit besonders beschenkt: Erstmals können sie sich kostenlos im Vodafone live! Portal den original Coca-Cola Weihnachtssong "Holidays are coming" aus der TV-Werbung als Freizeichenton auf ihr Handy laden. Statt nur mit einem "Tuut-Tuut" können Vodafone-Kunden ihre Anrufer auf Wunsch dann mit dem Coke Weihnachtssong begrüßen. Dieses Angebot startet heute und läuft bis zum 28. Dezember 2008.

Na, das ist ja ne tolle Sache. Darf man wirklich kostenlos seine Anrufer mit Coca-Cola-Werbung berieseln? Wow.

Symbian-Unterstützung für 1&1 MailXchange

by Volker Weber

Montabaur, 2. Dezember 2008. Die 1&1 Internet AG baut ihre professionelle E-Mail-Lösung 1&1 MailXchange weiter aus. Ab sofort ist für Symbian-Handys eine Client-Software kostenlos erhältlich, mit der sich E-Mails, Termine, Kontakte und Aufgaben in Echtzeit synchronisieren lassen. Symbian ist das am weitesten verbreitete Betriebssystem für so genannte Smartphones. Damit ist 1&1 MailXchange jetzt auf über 60 Prozent aller Internet-fähigen Handys verfügbar.

Nutzer von 1&1 MailXchange können sich im 1&1 Control Center per SMS einen Downloadlink für die kostenlose Client-Software zuschicken lassen. Alternativ können Anwender die Software auf ihren PC herunterladen und per Kabel oder Bluetooth auf das Symbian-Handy überspielen. Die Software kann mit jedem Internet-fähigen Handytarif genutzt werden.

Nokia advertises Lotus Notes Traveler

by Volker Weber

nokiaexchangetraveller

Nokia announces N97

by Volker Weber

nokian97datasheet

Es gibt Sachen, die verkaufen sich von selbst

by Volker Weber

kurisonos

Der Darmstädter Notebook-Händler

by Volker Weber

Sehr witzig: In den Kommentaren zum Samsung NC10 wurde mehrfach ein "Darmstädter Notebook-Händler" erwähnt. Das ist nicht ganz zufällig unser Sponsor für Dezember.

Es freut mich ganz besonders, einen solchen Shop hier in der Nähe zu haben. Der hält nämlich nicht nur dem Preisvergleich mit reinen Internet-Händlern stand, sondern er hat auch Hunderte (!) von Notebooks vorrätig. Als ich den Samsung ausgesucht habe, konnte ich mir das gesamte derzeit verfügbare Sortiment anschauen. Dort gibt es tatsächlich alles von EEE über Samsung bis Wind fertig aufgebaut.

notebook.de

Ich habe übrigens neben Tastatur, Bildschirm und Akku ein Kriterium angelegt, auf das ein anderer gleichzeitig anwesender Kunde nicht kam: Wie steif ist das Scharnier. Wenn man im Zug arbeiten will, dann ist ein wackelnder Bildschirm sehr nervig. Und der Samsung hat den Deckelschwingtest locker gewonnen.

Das war jetzt keine Schleichwerbung sondern eine direkte Empfehlung für notebook.de.

Windows blues

by Volker Weber

Today was Windows day. Tomorrow will be another one. If Apple would only make a NetBook that would run for five hours on battery.

Windows XP needed 33 updates on top of SP3. I installed iTunes and MobileMe, so I could sync my calendars and contacts to ... Outlook 2007. What a PoS. I pity everyone who has to live with that. Decided to uninstall it and am now syncing contacts to the Windows address book. I can look at my calendar on any of my mobile phones, but I need email addresses to be filled in automatically. I hacked Thunderbird to use the Windows contacts and now everything is nice and dandy with Firefox, Thunderbird and Skype.

nc10beoriginal

Very hard to read, but Windows estimates I get another 4 hours out of the remaining three quarters of battery. Judging from today's experience that is pretty accurate. Have not yet made up my mind about which Office to install. Maybe it's time to get going with Office 2007. Has been sitting around for more than a year now. I have dressed down Windows to the "classic" 2000 look. Needs less space on the smallish screen.

How does the Samsung NC10 feel? Very good so far. It's one of the larger netbooks, so I can actually use the keyboard to get some work done. It's miles away from a MacBook, but I should be able to use it as an ultraportable. Battery life, screen, keyboard. That's what you need.

Update: Balloon tips in the tray area where driving me nuts. Registry hack to the rescue: disableall.reg.

IT Factory goes bankrupt. Again.

by Volker Weber

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - The Danish cycling team led by former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis lost one of its main sponsors Monday after software firm IT Factory declared bankruptcy and said its chief executive had embezzled 500 million kroner ($85 million).

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[Thanks, Finn]

BlackBerry Storm too nervous

by Volker Weber

I cannot put it down without rotating the screen.

In other news: hell freezes over

by Volker Weber

nc10serie_right

Samsung Netbook coming up here at vowe's magic flying circus ...

Ceci n'est pas un blog

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

vowe

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