August 2009

Nokia World coming up

by Volker Weber


This week I will be attending Nokia World 09. And I only have to travel to Stuttgart. The device I am most interested in is the already announced N900, which is a descendent of the N770, N800, N810 line of internet tablets. This one runs the latest incarnation of the Maemo Linux platform, but it's very different from prior devices. Much more pocketable, with a 3G modem and a phone application on board, so it's a full featured 3G phone instead of just a companion.


The big question is of course how Nokia is going to be able to maintain developer interest in both Symbian and Maemo when there is already strong competition from iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and webOS.

First 111 days of OpenNTF 2.0

by Volker Weber

The first 111 days are over and things have sorted out a bit. The front page is now more about content than about committees. That is good. But I still find the site very confusing and I hope we can sort things out here. This is what you get if you click on download:


As you can see there are four different areas where you can download stuff: Apache Catalog, GPL Catalog, Projects, Code bin. Projects is mostly OpenNTF 1.0 with all the projects that had thousands of downloads in the past. Projects points to the third navigation tab. It's not obvious that you can download code from the projects because it is missing a catalog, but you can.


Apache Catalog and GPL Catalog are basically the same thing. IBM wanted all software on OpenNTF 2.0 to be published under the Apache Software License. The GPL catalog is for software to be published under the GNU Public License. Apparently it was necessary to have two catalogs to host software with two different licenses. The GPL Catalog is currently empty, the Apache Catalog has three sections which are mostly populated with stuff from the IBM labs which so far has little or no downloads:




Code Bin has its own navigation tab, but that only appears after you went to Download and clicked on Code bin there:


What's needed now is a more straightforward approach to make all downloads available through one interface instead of forcing the user through an arbitrary navigation path that can only be explained with OpenNTF legacy.

Reiseführer Darmstadt

by Volker Weber

Darmstadt zum Sehen, Hören und Staunen - das bietet der neue Tomis Audioguide für die Stadt. Darmstadts Sehenswürdigkeiten warten darauf, von Ihnen entdeckt zu werden. Ganz ohne Stadtführer und ohne Zeitdruck. Stellen Sie sich Ihre individuelle Darmstadt -Tour nach Ihren Interessen zusammen. Das einzige, was Sie dazu brauchen, ist unser Stadtplan und ein Handy oder mp3-Player.

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by Volker Weber

palmpreen    <img src=

[via Benno und Martin]


by Volker Weber



by Volker Weber

Wenn man sich die Auskünfte der T-Mobile-Pressestelle so im Einzelnen durchliest, könnte man das als absurdes Theater abtun. Etwa: die Modem-Option wird bei allen iPhone-Kunden aktiviert, darf aber nur von denen genutzt werden, die auch die Option gebucht haben. Da haben mal wieder die Schlipse nicht mit den Technikern geredet.

Wer die Tarife Complete XS oder Complete 60 bzw. die vergleichbaren Combi-Pakete nutzt, kann bei gebuchter Option Modem-Nutzung statt 200 MB insgesamt 3,2 GB Daten verbrauchen. Kunden, die darüber hinaus surfen, zahlen dafür 49 Cent je weiterem übertragenen Megabyte.

49 ct pro MB, sind 1000 x 49 ct pro GB, also 49.000 ct oder 490 Euro. Die drei zusätzlichen GB lässt sich T-Mobile mit 20 Euro (minus kosmetischer 5 ct bezahlen). Ein stattlicher "Rabatt" von 1450 Euro gegenüber dem "Normalpreis" von 490 Euro pro Gigabyte.

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Update on the TomTom update failure

by Volker Weber

I received one message from TomTom support:

An xml error is normally an error that occurs in the "Downloads" folder from TomTom HOME. The best thing to do in order to resolve this error is to delete the entire downloads folder from TomTom HOME. This folder can be found by going to the configuration settings within TomTom HOME and checking the location of where items are downloaded.

No word on why TomTom Home tells me I disconnected when I did not. No word on why it needs to be connected in the first place. But I found it myself: when the Mac mounts or unmounts a device, TomTom Home believes it was affected. Have to make sure the user does not copy to a different device, right? So shut down Time Machine and do not plug or unplug any devices in the hours it takes TomTom Home to download from its servers.

Well, I had six maps on my computer, three of which were old versions so I removed those. Now I have three current ones. The first two belong on the GO 940 LIVE, the third one on a ONE 31:


Please note the remark on the third map:

This item cannot be installed on this device because of content restrictions.

That is DRM at work. A perfectly licensed map, crippled by DRM. Why is that an issue? Simple: The first two maps don't fit into the internal storage of the GO 940 LIVE. They did before the update, but they don't after the fact. So I installed the North America map to a memory card in the device:


TomTom Home recognizes both internal and external storage. The GO 940 LIVE does not. So it has two maps but it won't use the map on the SD card. F&cked up again. I could easily fit the first and third map on the internal storage, but TomTom would not let me although I own all three of them.

Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

Final update: It does not matter if TomTom Home discovers the memory card or not. It only matters if the device finds it. Neither the device, nor TomTom home tells you if anything is wrong with the format or the partition scheme.

So I put the MicroSD card into my Belkin universal media reader, moved all maps from the card to my Mac, then erased the card, created a single partition with the MBR scheme, formatted it as FAT and then moved the files back to the card. Bingo: now both TomTom Home and the TomTom GO can recognize the card and the map on it.

That only took four days and a new MicroSD card.

Der bessere Maffay

by Volker Weber

Nachdem Hal heute so schön über die Entjungferung junger Männer durch nicht mehr ganz so junge Damen schrob, fehlt eigentlich nur noch der Herr von der Lippe.

Acht Regeln für den totalen Stillstand in Unternehmen

by Volker Weber

Make a backup of the Lotus Knows IdeaJam

by Volker Weber

Kristen Lauria of IBM writes:

We are keeping the Lotus Knows IdeaJam available until September 12 so you can read the comments from the community.

Just in case you want to remind IBM of your ideas later, I'd suggest to make a backup copy of the site.

Was machen Sie so?

by Volker Weber

Genialer Titel unseres Lieblingsmagazins:


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TomTom Map Update fails big time

by Volker Weber


TomTom has new maps for their devices. You can't miss the adverts in your TomTom Home application. Yesterday they sent me Activation Code so that I can update the maps in my GO 940 LIVE. You actually need two subscriptions, if you want to keep the Europe and North America maps updated. You may have bought both with the device, but when you update, there are two subscriptions.

After you insert the Activation Code into the application, TomTom Home starts downloading the update, and it warns you ! IMPORTANT: Do not disconnect your navigation device. !

Why such a strong warning? Simple. They are going to break your device when you do so. Yesterday TomTom Home told me a number of times that I had cancelled:


The f&ck I have cancelled. Why should I? Let's ask TomTom Home:


Ah, *I* have disconnected the device. Funny. It is sitting in its docking station, the Mac is showing the internal storage as mounted. The Mac did not go to sleep since I am writing a text. But TomTom Home has decided I had disconnected the device. Result (for the Europe map):


I need to activate. No problem. I still have my activation code. Result:


Yes, and that's it. The Europe map is dead. The old one is gone, the new one cannot be activated. The process has turned a perfectly good TomTom device into a well designed paper weight.

Why is it so important I do not disconnect? I can only imagine it is a DRM issue. The software could very well just download the map and then worry about the device when it is actually installing the map. But no, the device has to sit well connected until the download to the Mac is complete.

It was well connected, but TomTom Home has decided I disconnected it. Bummer. All my fault. Repeat after me:

DRM is bad for the customer

And TomTom, I have a secret to share. Go to any torrent site. Your maps are there. Unprotected for anybody to install who does not want to pay you. Your DRM does not hurt those folks in any way. You are only f&cking your customers. Every single time, a free product is better than what you sell, you lose. Your customers loses. The only people who win are not your customers.

Conclusion: stay away from TomTom Home if you need a working map.


This was the situation before I tried to update the North America map:


Europe would no longer work, but I still hat the North America map. Well, you know me. I had to try out if this is an isolated instance. Well, it wasn't. TomTom Home was happy copying the map to the GO, and then it decided again, that *I* had removed the device, when the drive was still mounted:


Result: the device no longer knows it ever had a North America map. You can only select Western Europe, and that fails.


Double fault. Two errors, one useless device.


by Volker Weber

Kleine Zwischenmahlzeit

by Volker Weber

There is an app for that too

by Volker Weber

Why email was invented

by Volker Weber

Have you checked out Connections lately?

by Volker Weber


Just tried to look at some 2.5 features, and frankly, I can't read it. Light grey on white? Somebody wake up the designer. Two logout buttons, one blue, one white. Two different Lotus logos, a heavy black frame that is bitten off at the bottom. This can't be right.

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How to grab a YouTube video on a Mac

by Volker Weber

Just two weeks ago I wrote How to grab a YouTube video with Safari on a Mac. Now we can drop the "with Safari", because there is a cool application in town, which does it all for you, including extracting the sound to an MP3 track:


And it does much more. Drop any video file or folder on it, and it will convert it to a suitable format for iTunes, iPod, Apple TV ... ah, just read the screenshot.

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Mobile DJ

by Volker Weber


How come I never heard of this although it's already two years on the market? The Pacemaker is a mobile DJ device. It can mix music from two sources with beat matching, it lets you cue up tracks via headphones and delivers the mix through a line out. It has an internal hard drive for your tracks and it connects via USB to a PC or Mac.


There is also a free desktop app for Windows and Mac which lets you pre-arrange mixes with sound effects and upload the mix to the device. You can also export a mix as .OGG which means it is even useful without a device.

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Lotus knows that yellow is the new aircover

by Volker Weber


The Lotus Knows IdeaJam is over. It had a lot of traffic, ringing up as many hits an hour as IdeaJam usually has in a week. That is two orders of magnitude. A positive and bonding experience. It's over and you can add two phrases to your bingo card: "almost a thousand" and "more than twentythousand". It is going down in Lotus history as a win in itself.

But it's only a means to an end. Lotus said, they wanted ideas. And for those who have been hanging around for a while, many, many of those ideas were somewhat familiar. Actually, Lotus has been told these ideas for years on end. Don't do fluffy brand marketing, show the product, involve students and universities, make Lotus technology available for home users, etc. etc.

I have asked last week why there was so little attendance by the German community. I gave a few reasons, but the biggest ones came back in emails. "Why do I have to tell Lotus again?" - "NATO - No Action Talk Only", etc. etc.

So now it is time for action. There has been plenty of talk. Remember "yellow is the new black" from a past Lotusphere closing session? Ended up as mail footer. Or "air cover" from a more recent? Nothing happened. But, boy, is it going to happen. The ball is in IBM's court.

Der neue IKEA-Katalog ist da ...

by Volker Weber

... und schon einen Fehler gefunden. Wenn ich das nur so gut mit meinen Schreibfehlern könnte. Die Artikel 998.613.59 und 798.613.60 sind jedenfalls nur 85x85 cm und nicht 135x85 cm groß.


Das ist doof rüberkopiert von den Artikeln 798.613.55 und 598.613.56 auf der gegenüberliegenden Seite.

Wer den Katalog noch nicht im Briefkasten hat, kann ihn hier anschauen. IKEA nutzt dazu ein blödes Applet, dem man aber auch ein PDF entlocken kann:


Gut versteckt, aber auffindbar. Die direkte Adresse ist schon etwas schwieriger. ;-)

Sonos networking difficulties

by Volker Weber

The good thing about Sonos networking is that it all works automatically. And the bad thing about Sonos networking is that it all works automatically.

SonosNet is a mesh network. All ZonePlayers and ZoneBridges can talk to each other. What you need to avoid in this mesh of interconnected bridges is to create loops where packets get repeated forever. What they do is, they use the spanning tree protocol to designate a root bridge and then build a tree from there using least cost paths.

I did not know anything about that, and did not need to until I introduced a smart switch into the network, that also worked using STP. Suddenly the network was not working well, since SonosNet had elected one ZonePlayer as the root bridge, and the smart switch started sending all packets to the switch in the ZonePlayer which then relayed them throughout the house wirelessly, instead of using much faster wired connections. I noticed this because streaming clients like the Netgear EVA started complaining about low bandwidth. Looking at the smart switch ports, I could find the EVA behind a ZonePlayer.

I did two things to cure this:

  1. I removed all others devices from the ZonePlayer switches and wired them directly to the smart switch.
  2. I switched off STP in the smart switch.

Everything was working fine, until I found some problems with the new CR200 controller. Sending in the diagnostics, I was alerted that the root bridge was wireless, and that all traffic had to go through that node. When I had the original networking difficulties, the ZonePlayer was still wired, but had been moved after I received a new ZonePlayer. This is the relevant part of my physical network, describing only the Sonos network and the master switch:

There are five wired components: two ZoneBridges, one ZP100 and two ZP120. The wireless components are one ZP100 and two ZP80.

The wireless ZP100, depicted in the middle of the bottom row, was the designated root bridge. And thus the network was completely inverted. I switched on STP in the Netgear switch, and raised its priority all the way up. Now it's the root bridge and all wired components are only one hop away. That should be much better.

I want

by Volker Weber


Coldplay in Düsseldorf

by Volker Weber


Am Donnerstagabend muss ich mal schnell nach Düsseldorf.

Am 09.09.09 schon was vor in Köln?

by Volker Weber

ebf veranstaltet am 9. September in Köln eine eintägige Konferenz rund um mobile Anwendungen in der Lotus-Welt. Dabei gibt es ein paar interessante Vorträge:

Und dann hat ebf auch noch mich eingeladen und ich predige etwas über mobile Sicherheit. Und das hat gar nicht mal so schrecklich viel mit Technik zu tun. Außerdem werde ich den ganzen Tag da sein und die Veranstaltung moderieren.

Auch wenn die Veranstaltung nichts kostet und es bestimmt lecker zu essen gibt, sollte man allerdings schon am Thema interessiert sein. Zum Vortrag von Brent Peters unbedingt Fragen mitbringen. Als Moderator werde ich die Kaffeepause gnadenlos kaputt machen, wenn wir eine interessante Diskussion in Gang kriegen. Eigentlich soll das Ganze im IBM Forum stattfinden, aber wenn sich jetzt 100 Leute anmelden, dann muss ebf vielleicht umziehen und das Budget ruinieren. :-)

Anmelden kann man sich hier >

Nokia announces 3G Netbook next week at Nokia World

by Volker Weber


Nokia World in Stuttgart next week will be the stage for an unlikely device: a Netbook from Nokia. There are some specs floating around but we will have to wait for next Wednesday to get the details. Anyway, much prettier than my Samsung NC10, will include GPS and 3G. If it would only run Mac OS X (which it won't).

Why BlackBerry App World is going to fail

by Volker Weber

Administrators don't like users. They are a nuisance, causing trouble all day long. Life is much easier for the admin, if users can only use applications previously approved by the admin. And it isn't even the admins' fault. They are being held responsible if things go wrong. Better be safe than sorry.

That is also why it does not make much sense to build applications for the BlackBerry. Imagine Sonos. They have an iPhone/iPod controller which is loved to bits and pieces by their customers. Next on the agenda would be the BlackBerry platform. But it does not make sense at all to develop a BlackBerry app for Sonos. It would only be a support nightmare. Admins blocking the App World, admins blocking access to Wi-Fi, admins forcing all traffic through the BES. The solution would fail for so many reasons.

Hot on the Lotus Knows IdeaJam

by Volker Weber


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PicPosterous posts your iPhone photo immediately

by Volker Weber

The new Posterous iPhone app removes all the friction with posting photos and video online. PicPosterous is designed to be a replacement for the Camera app on your phone, posting photo sets and video to your Posterous site *live, as you take them*.

If you want to make a fool of yourself by posting all the photos you shoot, your life has just become easier.

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Warum zündet das Lotus Knows IdeaJam hier nicht so richtig?

by Volker Weber

Gestern habe ich geschrieben, dass Elguji der klare Gewinner dieses Jams ist. Die Beteiligung ist wirklich beträchtlich, und die Software kann zeigen, was sie leistet. Weniger beeindruckt bin ich von der deutschen Beteiligung. Mit wenigen Ausnahmen, etwa Thomas Bahn, kommen nur wenige Beiträge aus Deutschland, und noch weniger von außerhalb der gelben Blase. Was meint Ihr, woran das liegt? An der fehlenden Öffentlichkeit jedenfalls nicht. Ein paar Ideen:

  1. Meine erste Vermutung ist die Sprachbarriere. Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass viele Leute keine Lust haben, ihre Ideen auf englisch auszubreiten und in einer Fremdsprache zu diskutieren.
  2. Vielleicht ist es auch eine Kulturbarriere. Amerikaner sind immer wieder verblüfft, dass eine deutsche Zuhörerschaft sich nach einem Vortrag nicht bemüht, den Redner mit Fragen zu bombardieren.
  3. Oder vielleicht eine gewisse Skepsis gegenüber der Kampagne? Als ich "Lotus knows the route to the airport" hörte, musste ich denken, Microsoft hat ein Konkurrenzprodukt zu Google Maps, nicht Lotus. Funktioniert "Lotus Knows" überhaupt hier?

Es kann natürlich auch sein, dass wir Deutschen ein bisschen länger brauchen. Es ist ja nicht so, als hätte ich nicht schon eine ganze Reihe von Klagen gehört, IBM tue zu wenig für die Lotus-Produkte. Also ran an die Buletten. Vielleicht auch einfach auf deutsch. :-)

Google Listen not on the Newton, drat!

by Volker Weber

Google Labs has a new app:

Listen from Google Labs brings podcasts and web audio to your Android-powered device. It lets you search, subscribe, download and stream.

Funny quote from the FAQ:

Will Listen work on my iPhone, Palm Pre, or Newton?
At this time Listen from Google Labs is only available for Android-powered phones.

But when I wanted to download it ...


I found it was not available for Android either:


Not that you wanted to listen to the G1 without a 3.5 mm audio jack.

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And the winner is ... Elguji Software, LLC

by Volker Weber


I know that the intent of the "Lotus Knows IdeaJam" is to generate new ideas for the marketing of the Lotus brand and products. But the immediate winner is Elguji Software, LLC. We are nearing half time of the three day event, and there are now 717 ideas, which have been voted on 10439 times and commented 1438 times. And IdeaJam has clearly demonstrated that it works.

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Sie lebe hoch, die Wärmedämmung

by Volker Weber


37,2 Celsius im Schatten und der Tag ist noch jung. Das kann noch wärmer werden.

RFC 5550 (Lemonade)

by Volker Weber

This document describes a profile (a set of required extensions, restrictions, and usage modes), dubbed Lemonade, of the IMAP, mail submission, and Sieve protocols. This profile allows clients (especially those that are constrained in memory, bandwidth, processing power, or other areas) to efficiently use IMAP and Submission to access and submit mail. This includes the ability to forward received mail without needing to download and upload the mail, to optimize submission, and to efficiently resynchronize in case of loss of connectivity with the server.

The Lemonade Profile relies upon several extensions to IMAP, Sieve, and Mail Submission protocols. The document also defines a new IMAP extension and registers several new IMAP keywords.

This looks like an interesting RFC.

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"Gefühlte" Sicherheit

by Volker Weber

Vodafone-Pressemitteilungen geben immer was her:

Studie: Handys sorgen für mehr Sicherheitsgefühl auf dem Schulweg

Man beachte, dass es um das Gefühl geht, nicht um die Sicherheit. Gestern erst eine radelnde und gleichzeitig textende Schülerin gesehen.

Canon gets it

by Volker Weber

This is very encouraging. Canon's new flashship compact G11 is going to have less megapixels than its predecessor G10. Sensitivity goes up, low light performance as well. It will even cut down from 10 to 2.5 megapixel to further boost sensitivity. After years of driving up the resolution Canon is finally solving the real issue. I hope the competition will follow suit.

For now, this is the camera to get.

Skinny dipping

by Volker Weber

An elderly man in Pierre Part had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back. It was properly shaped for swimming, so He fixed it up nice with picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some fig, and pecan trees.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while to look it over. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit.

As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.

He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, 'We're not coming out until you leave!'

The old man frowned, 'I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked.'

Holding the bucket up he said, 'I'm here to feed the alligator.'

[via Jan-Piet Mens]

BlackBerry App World hits the web

by Volker Weber


And it's much better than the on-device experience.

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Microsoft's new smart phone

by Volker Weber

Hat das was mit Varieté zu tun?

by Volker Weber


heise online: IBM sucht Hilfe beim Lotus-Marketing

by Volker Weber

"Lotus kann kein Marketing", so die einhellige Meinung einer verschworenen Gemeinschaft von Lotus-Anwendern und -Partnern, und das bereits seit Jahren. IBM schickt sich nun an, das zu ändern, und baut dabei auf die Hilfe der Kritiker.

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Wenn Unternehmen twittern

by Volker Weber

Im Übrigen wäre es zu begrüßen, wenn ihr einen Kommunikationsplan für die tweets der kommenden 14 Tage erstellen könntet. Dann haben wir mehr Planungssicherheit.

Unbedingt lesen. Aber vorher Freigabe einholen.

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heise online: Abofallen-Betreiber zu Haftstrafen verurteilt

by Volker Weber

Erstmalig hat ein deutsches Gericht Abofallen-Betreiber strafrechtlich belangt. Am heutigen Montag Nachmittag verurteilte das Landgericht Göttingen eine Gruppe von Abzockern wegen vollendeten gewerbsmäßigen Betrugs zu Freiheitsstrafen auf Bewährung.

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Push notifications for Google Mail on the iPhone

by Volker Weber

GPush is now in the Appstore. You get a popup which tells you about new mail in your account. Then you have to grab it. Not exactly the same that you get with Android or BlackBerry. David says the app looks looks like an early beta, only handles one account and the servers behind it are not up to snuff.

They are going to make a killing with this $1 app anyway. Until Google supports push notifications directly.

Mashup charts

by Volker Weber


I had no idea how huge this mashup scene is. Been listening to MaDonna Summer all morning. :-)

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[Thanks, Thomas]

o2 Germany öffnet Mobilfunknetz für Voice-over-IP Dienste

by Volker Weber

Telefónica O2 Germany macht den Weg frei für Voice-over-IP (VoIP) auf dem Handy. Alle O2 Kunden können Internet-Telefonie Dienste wie zum Beispiel Skype jetzt mobil mit den aktuellen Internet Packs von O2 nutzen.

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It's not a bug

by Volker Weber


[via Peter Glaser]

Vodafone bügelt die Flat noch schneller flach

by Volker Weber

Aus einer Pressemitteilung:

Jetzt beschleunigt Vodafone das Netz für seine Kunden erneut und unter streicht damit seinen Anspruch, der Generation Upload die besten Produkte und Services für die Kommunikation zu bieten. In zahlreichen deutschen Städten und Gemeinden stehen ab sofort Geschwindigkeiten von bis zu 7,2 Megabit pro Se kun de bei Downloads und bis zu 3,0 Mbit/s bei Uploads zur Verfügung. An stark fre quen tierten HotSpots wie Flughäfen und großen Bahnhöfen sind darüber hinaus Geschwindigkeiten von bis zu 14,4 Mbit/s bei Downloads möglich. Die theoretischen Werte sorgen auch in der Praxis für sehr schnelle Downloads. Tests unter realistischen Bedingungen mit dem neuen Nokia 6730 zeigen, dass Geschwindigkeiten von knapp 10 Megabit pro Sekunde erreicht werden. So können beispielsweise Filme in hoher Qualität herunter geladen oder gestreamt werden.

Dann gucken wir mal Filme. 5 GByte erlaubt der "Mobile Flat" Tarif von Vodafone pro Monat, also 40 GBit. Macht bei 10 MBit/s 4.000 Sekunden, etwas mehr als eine Stunde. Bei dreissig Tagen pro Monat sind das also gut zwei Minuten pro Tag. Und damit ist der Upload der Generation Upload noch nicht mal mitgezählt.

Danach geht das mit 64 kBit weiter. Das ist so wie ISDN vor gut zwanzig Jahren.

TomTom for iPhone 3G(S) on the Appstore

by Volker Weber


This offering does not contain the hardware.


by Volker Weber

I Gotta Feeling in the Apple store

by Volker Weber


by Volker Weber

[via Peter Glaser]

Outlook for Mac to Ship With Next Version of Office

by Volker Weber

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 13, 2009 — Microsoft Corp.’s Macintosh Business Unit (MacBU) today shared details about the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac, announcing that a new application, Outlook for Mac, will replace Entourage for Mac. ... Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition will launch on Sept. 15, 2009

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Was ist das?

by Volker Weber


Ich warte ja auf einige supergeheime Pakete. Aber was schickt Ingo da? Sieht gefährlich aus.

3.5 mm or bust

by Volker Weber


By now, I consider a 3.5 mm headphone jack a must have for any smartphone. Good: BlackBerry Bold, Storm, 8900, iPhone 3G(S), Nokia 86 8MP. Not good: Android G1, Nokia Eseries before E75, original iPhone (recessed).

I have not seen any recent phone without this feature. It is catching on, much like charging over USB.

BlackBerry DevCon moves to San Francisco

by Volker Weber


Last year's BBDevCon was held in San Jose across from the Yahoo building, in an area where you needed a car to get to interesting places. This year, they moved to the San Francisco Marriott on Mission and 4th. This is a much better location.

That place has some fond memories attached to it. I remember when Lotus had a DevCon there and I got my all time favorite conference bag, that I loved to bits and pieces. And we went to a Dinner with Nick. Here is a picture of Karen at this dinner, when she was still with Lotus. Seems like ages ago.

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Palm Pre privacy

by Volker Weber

Joey Hess reports:

I've been taking a closer look at the WebOS side of my Palm Pre tonight, and I noticed that it periodically uploads information to Palm, Inc.

I don't have a Pre to verify, but it sounds credible. What are they smoking at Palm, Inc.?

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Alex warning on iPods

by Volker Weber


This is just a gentle Alex warning that Apple traditionally releases new iPods in the first half of September. That would be in less than four weeks. So, if you intend to buy an iPod, I suggest you just wait a little. :-)

How to grab a YouTube video with Safari on a Mac

by Volker Weber

I lost count of how often I got asked how to download a video from the Mac to be consumed with an iPod or iTunes. And it's very very simple.

First step is to actually download the file. The simplest way is to hit cmd-alt-A which does the same thing as the menu Window/Activity. Look for the largest file and double click. Safari will download the video to your downloads folder.


What you get most of the times is a Flash video named video.flv. Flash videos don't play in iTunes or on the iPod (but they do in VLC). What you want is the mp4 format that is available for most videos so you don't have to convert anything. This page explains how you get the MP4 file instead. I suggest you drag the "Get YouTube video" link to your bookmarks bar instead. Once you clicked the bookmark, the YouTube will have a link that lets you download the video.


What do you do if you need just the audio file because you want to just listen to the music? The easiest way to do this is to drop the file in MPEG Streamclip and then select File/Export Audio. I suggest you use MP3 as the format and a bitrate of 160 kbps or more.


Nokia + Microsoft aims at more than Office Mobile

by Volker Weber


This is a looooong timeline. Nokia and Microsoft have only committed to Office Communicator Mobile on Symbian for 2010. They also want to do Office Mobile on E-Series and then other Nokia Smartphones, but have not committed to a timeframe here. Exchange support is here today, but Sharepoint and System Center have not been sketched out in the call.

From the press release:

Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services in the future. These will include:

Suitcase washed ashore

by Volker Weber

Paul is missing his luggage. Turns out his suitcase has been washed ashore near Francie's home. What a coincidence.

Want to know what's inside?

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Air conditioner

by Volker Weber

Analoger Umweg, Folge 2

by Volker Weber


Egal ob man sich für ein Passbild fotografieren lässt, oder nur ein paar Abzüge braucht, stets kostet das mehr als ein "normaler" Abzug. Dabei kann man sich seine eigenen Passbilder sehr einfach herstellen, wenn man ein geeignetes Foto und Photoshop Elements oder Photoshop CS hat.

Dazu schneidet man zunächst das Foto auf das Seitenverhältnis 3,5 x 4,5. Das sind die Kantenlängen des fertigen Passbildes in cm. Dann nutzt man die Automatisierung Picture Package (Bildpaket), die das Foto im Raster neun mal montiert, so dass sich das entstandene Bild an jedem Automaten auf 13x18cm belichten lässt. Das kostet im dm-Markt zum Beispiel 39ct an den Kodak-Automaten. So hat man in ein paar Minuten fertige Passbilder für kleines Geld.

Photoshop sucht die Layouts in Presets/Layouts als einfache .txt-Dateien. Hier sind zwei Vorlagen: mit Zugabe und passgenau.

PS: Ich weiß, dass das Bild oben etwas seitlich belichtet ist, aber es wurde kommentarlos akzeptiert.

OpenNTF announces five new alliance members

by Volker Weber

OpenNTF are pleased to announce new members that have been accepted into the Alliance at todays "special" Yellow Day Steering Committee meeting:

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Analoger Umweg, Folge 1

by Volker Weber

Heute habe ich meinen Perso verlängert neu beantragt. Dazu braucht man natürlich ein Passfoto. Das habe ich hier als 1.5 Megapixel-Datei. Das muss man nun in der richtigen Größe ausbelichten und zum Amt tragen. Dort wird das Bild dann ausgestanzt und auf einen Antrag geklebt. Dieser Antrag wird dann auf einem Flachbettscanner eingelesen und bildet die Grundlage für den zu erstellenden Ausweis.

In der nächsten Folge lernen wir dann, wie man neun Passbilder für ein paar Cent herstellt.

Formula Student photos now online

by Volker Weber



Fixing a Mac, Ghetto Style

by Volker Weber

Can you spot vowe?

by Volker Weber

Sonos controller 3.0 finally available in the App Store

by Volker Weber

Knapp zwei Wochen später ...

This took a while ... Two weeks passed until Apple finally admitted the Sonos 3.0 controller to the App Store. The only difference to 2.8.2 is the info panel. When playing music from an online service like, you can now get additional information about the artist:

iSonos 3.0

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Geared up for tomorrow

by Volker Weber


But where are my glasses?

Zitat des Tages

by Volker Weber

Faulheit ist die Kunst sich auszuruhen, bevor man müde ist.

Never mind the baby, I am going to make you another one ...

by Volker Weber

Every time I see parents who struggle to have one or two kids, I have to think of Michael and his family. I remember when we discussed cars a few years back, and I learned he had a car with eight seats so he could take his family to church on Sundays.

Six kids - holy moly. I jokingly said, his car should be large enough since he had enough children now, and he was very serious about having more. We shared some fun moments, like myself on one end of a video call, and him surrounded by more faces than the camera was able to show. Now it's a few years later, and his wife is expecting another child, their ninth, four days overdue.

If all goes well, that makes a soccer team. One captain, one goalie, and nine more players. Good luck, Katrina and Michael. Go Sampsons go.

Search the Domino Directory from an iPhone

by Volker Weber

Need to look up some person details from the Domino Directory and don't want to go through the web interface? If you have http(s) access to your server, Ziad has a tool for you: NAB Search. There is a free lite version to test it out before you shell out some money for the real thing. Available in english and german.

Does this UI innovation look strangely familiar?

by Volker Weber


Google Wave on premise

by Volker Weber

Making Wave open source means you can run your own server instance, if you need to do that. Engadget writes:

One of Google's initiatives to attract business / enterprise customers is the ability to create your own Wave server that doesn't live in the cloud, and as it was explained, any part of a wave that's privy only to people on the enterprise server, including private in-line replies to public threads, will exist only on the local server, while portions shared publicly or with a member outside of the server will co-exist in the cloud.

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Dual charger and two mice

by Volker Weber


New Belkin gear in the mail today. First item is a dual car charger. Very handy, since you can connect two devices at the same time via USB cable. It comes with two cables, one for an iPod or iPhone, the other for any device with a MiniUSB port. Of course you can plug in any other USB cable and connect your device. In its standard configuration it lets me connect both the TomTom Go 940 and the iPhone. Great stuff.


The Bluetooth Comfort Mouse is going to replace the Apple Not-So-Mighty Mouse which clogs up the scroll ball much too easily. Tracking works very well, even on my glass table. Which means I probably need to clean the table. :-)

belkincomfort1 belkincomfort2 belkincomfort3

The other mouse is a really cool enhancement for my Samsung NC10 which does not come with Bluetooth but three USB ports, one of them conveniently located at the right side. The wireless connector for the Comfort Mouse seems rather large at first, but it can hold the mouse when not in use. There is a groove underneath the mouse which attaches the mouse to the connector and holds it in place with a small magnet. There is no white version of this device, but black fits much nicer than the other two available colors blue and aubergine.

Lots of photo shooting coming up

by Volker Weber


Today and tomorrow I will need to do a lot of test shots with equipment I borrowed from Thomas. Formula Student starts in Hockenheim today and I will need to shoot some photos on Saturday. If you see me in Hockenheim, say hello.

Yes, I want one

by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Torben]


by Volker Weber

Ihr könnt Euch vielleicht erinnern. Vor drei Wochen schrieb ich "Wer ein Herz und eine Website hat schaltet bitte diese Banner". Und das hat funktioniert. Gereon hat nun einen Spender, der in zehn von zehn Merkmalen übereinstimmt. Damit darf er hoffen, die Krankheit zu besiegen. Es ist noch ein weiter Weg ...


[Update:] Artikel im Kölner Stadtanzeiger [Danke, Thomas]

Chris Reckling: More on Lotus Knows

by Volker Weber

As announced at IAMLotus User Group today by Kevin Cavanaugh and blogged by Ed Brill, Lotus is embarking on a marketing campaign to capture the imagination of the end user of our products. Like this, "I didn't know you could do THAT! COOL!!" What we need from you is to get the word out to your enthusiastic business users and have them participate in the upcoming jam (week of August 17).

That should be interesting.

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How to filter Twitter spam

by Volker Weber


So your friends have just been turned into spammers? And you don't want to dump them completely? Tweetdeck lets you filter the stream.

Heise auf dem iPhone

by Volker Weber

Jetzt kostenlos im App Store:


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BlackBerry App World fails big time

by Volker Weber


Installing via the device does not work either.

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Not an obvious feature of the Sonos CR200

by Volker Weber

Press and hold the Zones button to lock or unlock the controller.

Jeremy Clarkson Beatbox

by Volker Weber

Old archive pages

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


Paypal vowe