January 2010

Beautiful Winter day

by Volker Weber

I will have to revisit this photo six months from now. ;-)

Apple + iPad + Huxley = Orwellian nightmare Technology

by Volker Weber

For the implication of an iPad-crazed world - with its millions of delighted, infatuated users - is that a single US company renowned for control-freakery will have become the gatekeeper to the online world. The iPad - like the iPhone - is a closed, tightly controlled device: nothing gets on to it that has not been expressly approved by Apple. We will have arrived at an Orwellian end by Huxleian means. And be foolish enough to think that we've attained nirvana.
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CollegeHumor: The iPad is a Comedy Gold Mine

by Volker Weber

c't 4/2010 ist da

by Volker Weber


Heft 4 war heute im Briefkasten. Artikel zur Lotusphere ist drin, und auch online.


by Volker Weber

If you thought Google can't do pretty, think again.


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Affordable mobile Internet access in Spain

by Volker Weber

Ken asked me last week:

my folks are traveling to spain later this year and are asking me to recommend a good way of efficiently (read cheap) accessing the web from a portable mobile device... either pda or netbook connected to a wireless carrier. do you have any suggestions?

I could tell you for Germany (30 € for the stick + 25 € for a month), but not for Spain. Since Mobile World Congress is coming up, what would you suggest?

Ovi Maps with free navigation now available for N97

by Volker Weber


Look what showed up in my Update application on the N97 today? It's Ovi Maps 3.3 with free navigation. Make sure you have enough space to install the update. This is what you get:


Ovi Maps has a huge benefit, apart from that is is free. You can preload all maps to your device so you are not incurring outrageous roaming charges when abroad. Nokia has maps for more than 70 countries and now gives away navigation including turn-by-turn instructions with text-to-speech for street names. Very, very cool. The N97 just became a lot more useful.

When the free navigation was initially announced, the N97 was not among the supported devices. Unfortunately Nokia has no plans to port this software from Symbian to Maemo. Here is how you download the maps to your device without using Nokia Map Loader.

LotusLive Labs is now live

by Volker Weber


When I checked at Lotusphere, Labs wasn't yet available. I registered anyway, and just received an email that it has started to be available. What's your experience?

Thoughts on the iPad

by Volker Weber


Shiny. Precious. Want one. Now that we are over that, some thoughts.

1. Screen resolution is old skool

Less than one megapixel. 1024 by 768 or 4:3. Good for photos from consumer cameras. OK for books (2:3). Not so good for movies. HDTV is 16:9 (or 1280 by 720 for HD, and 1920 by 1080 for full HD). The Nokia N900 video cam follows the same pattern: 848 by 480. Nexus One and N900 screen resolution is close: 800 by 480. Too many numbers? Look at this:


2. It's the iPod touch XXL

Follows the same "You have to get everything through the iTunes store". Much bigger screen of course, so you can do more things. Not as easy to lug around. It probably lives mostly at home.

3. It's not the iPhone XXL

In case you want to take it out of your home, get the unlocked 3G, which is how it is supposed to be anyway. You also gain GPS which lives on the 3G chipset. Just had an offer from O2 in the mail. Surf the internet on your phone, and on your notebook for 25€/month. Perfect for your phone and your iPad.

Why is it not the iPhone? No phone calls, no iChat calls, no Skype (at the moment) data only. No camera. This thing could have used an iSight.

4. DRM hell

Books, videos, apps, it's all going to be DRM hell.

5. Up to 10 hours

That is Apple hours. How much is that in real hours? Probably five to six.

6. Not very expensive

Less than a Powerbook, not much more than an iPhone. But be careful. Apple is selling you a lamp. You will have to get the oil from Apple just as well.

7. There is an app for that

You have 60 days to get your app lined up. Minus 14 for the approval process. People will buy this thing like crazy. And if they are your customer, they want your software on it.

Did I mention? Shiny. Precious. Want one.


by Volker Weber


Just cleaned up my server rack and was looking for a small server capable of running VMware. Found one, courtesy of Jörg H. and will pick it up Saturday. It's going to be locked up behind two doors. vowe is a happy camper.

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Hello Volker,

My name is ... and I work with the Marketing Department

Good start.

I wish to confirm if you have received my previous mail dated ...

Hmmh. If I received this one, why wouldn't I have received the other one?

please help me with your shipping details so that I can send across an e-copy of the book

An e-copy of a book sounds like a file. If it's a file, the shipping details is ... an e-mail address? If it's a real book, wrapped in some e-stuff, my shipping details are also quite easy to find.

Best of all, there is an FAQ for this.

Marketing Research Executive

Hmmh. Hmmh.

Windows 3.1 in a Browser

by Volker Weber


Program Manager. Sigh. :-)

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[via Konstantin]

The first hands-on review of the Apple Tablet!

by Volker Weber

Lotusphere Dropbox folder is shutting down

by Volker Weber


Now that we have all the links to the Lotusphere presentations, the Dropbox folder does not add much value. Thanks to everyone who contributed by uploading and renaming. I never had all presentations lined up, before going to Orlando. You saved all participants a lot of work. That is all but me. :-) I am going to hit "unshare this folder" any minute.

Unfortunately, IBM is going to destroy all this work in less than two week, when Lotusphere Live becomes Lotusphere Dead.

Meanwhile, download the presentations, and add other sources in the comments. I know that Rob has some cool stuff on his site. Others, feel free to link. You know how to write an href="" link, don't you? Some of you have voiced concerns that your presentations show up elsewhere than on your site. I agree with you and am glad to provide you with an opportunity to drive traffic to your site.

Penny Shooter Business Card

by Volker Weber

Aluminum Keyboard Firmware Update 1.1

by Volker Weber


This firmware update improves battery performance of the 2007 aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard when used in combination with other bluetooth devices (eg. Magic Mouse, some bluetooth headsets) and addresses an issue with the 2007 aluminum Apple Keyboard and the 2007 aluminum Apple Wireless Keyboard where a key may repeat unexpectedly while typing.

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On the use of teleprompters at Lotusphere

by Volker Weber


All keynotes were read from teleprompters. Right in the opening session you had it all: excellent performance by Bob P, and horrific performance by David Y. I have seen David speak without a prompter before and he was excellent. The prompter stopped while Bob P was speaking and he did not miss a beat. I suspect Bob did not use it at all. The other low point was the fake business partner panel.

There are three possible problems when using teleprompters:

  1. You are glued to the prompter and it drives you. This appearantly happened to David, who was not well prepared to speak on a topic that was alien to his work.
  2. The script is awful. If you are not a speechwriter and you write your own script, you are doomed from the outset. Your best change is to speak freely, record it, and then transscribe. It is really, really hard to write a speech.
  3. You can't read the prompter. The screens low in front of the stage don't work, because the cameras will show what you are doing on the big screen. Your only chance is the screen over the audience or good memory.

If you need to read word by word from the prompter you might as well just show the prompter behind you on the screen and let the audience read it.

I know one former IBM GM who started reading from the prompter and then veered off, in a (successful) attempt to deliver a speech that comes across as honest to the bone. The poor teleprompter operator was thrown off, and the GM could later blame everything on the operator, who was never punished because everyone knew he had been had.

My Lotusphere set "Tall People" is complete

by Volker Weber


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Remove files from the Lotusphere dropbox and be terminated

by Volker Weber

The grace period is over. If you still do not understand replication and what happens when you move files out of the dropbox folder, you will be terminated. I don't care how it happened and why. Don't bother explaining, don't bother putting the files back. You are history and dropbox.com repairs your damage.


vowe's Gesetz der konstanten Armleuchterquote applies. I am blurring your name here, but all remaining users can see it.

Canon G11 is one great camera

by Volker Weber

canon g11

A couple of weeks ago I asked you about reasons not to buy the G11. There weren't any dealbreakers, so I bought one. Thanks Bruce for handling this for me.

I shot all photos at Lotusphere with the new camera, and apart from the first two dozen shots they all came out very well. I quickly learned how to handle the camera, and I never have to go to the menu after setting up two custom preferences for C1 and C2.

Today Ute and me shot quite a few photos with the Nikon D70 and 18-70mm kit lens, as well as with the Canon G11. And I like the results from the G11 better. Handling of the D70 is way superior. I can shoot a photo from cold start in less than a second if I see an opportunity. The G11 needs at least five seconds to extend the lens and focus and even longer to correctly frame the photo. But when I looked at the final results in iPhoto, I always preferred the G11 photos.

Looks like the G11 will get a lot of mileage.

Is this really Paradise?

by Volker Weber

Paradise, NV

[Click for full Nexus One resolution]

My thoughts on the Nexus One

by Volker Weber

I have been using the Nexus One for almost a week now, and I am comfortable to say that I like it a lot. It's the phone I would buy today if I needed to get a new one. Only you can't buy it in Germany. At least, not yet. Anyway, read on ...

Bold 9700, Nexus One, iPhone 3G, Nokia N900

This photo shows the current top of the line smartphones: BlackBerry Bold 9700, Nexus One, iPhone 3G(S), Nokia N900. As you can see, the BlackBerry and the Nokia are very different, but the Nexus and the iPhone look similar.

I am not going to bother you with details, or technical specs. You can read those elsewhere. The Nexus feels the fastest of all four. Its Teflon-coated body feels solid and expensive. And it's not as wide:

Nexus One on iPhone

Yes, the left side of both phones are aligned. It has a much higher res and brighter screen than the iPhone using AMOLED techonlogy, rivaling the high res screen of the Nokia N900, all the while being so much thinner. Actually thinner than one of the N900 halfs:

Nokia N900 and Nexus One

The photos don't do it any justice. You actually have to hold it in your hand to understand it is the best Android phone to date. That is, if you can live without a physical keyboard.

The question I cannot answer is which of those four phones you should get. They are all brilliant in their own right. For email, certainly the BlackBerry. For media consumption and overall app variety the iPhone. For being the real owner of your own ship, the N900. And for the rest, the Nexus One.

Word of caution: if you live in the US you will find it does not support 1700 MHz AT&T 3G. It won't tether your laptop, it relies heavily on the cloud. Speech recognition is server based for instance. It will sync your mail and contacts through ActiveSync but not your calendar.

By and large, I find this to be the best Android so far. Don't touch it if you don't have the funds to buy it.

Apple Store Frankfurt is open for business

by Volker Weber


Yours truly :-)

More + more >

Last.fm phishing scam

by Volker Weber


In short, don't fall for it:


Some thoughts on IBM's "Project Vulcan"

by Volker Weber


Lotus charts out a vision for future versions of their existing portfolio. That is a good thing, and may in part be the answer to a question for a five year roadmap. I see three things in that vision:

  1. The desire to make the vast portfolio of products work together. Both the stuff you run in your company and the stuff that IBM runs for you as part of LotusLive.
  2. A new user interface, built on powerful web technology around HTML5.
  3. Automatic aggregation and filtering of data to relieve the user from too much irrelevant information.

#1 is overdue, and it is the hardest part. It's not going to happen overnight, but IBM is already at work defining new APIs to pave the way. Having said that, IBM is playing catch-up. Msft has been hard at work for a couple of years to build the software and the data centers to make it happen. And they are ready to execute on their plan.

#2 is a huge opportunity to rethink the Eclipse strategy and build something small, fast and nimble. The future client could mostly live in a browser window. The current design prototype works along the lines of Facebook, a very popular UI. IBM will have to see how well this works in a business environment, but the demo that was given to me was very, very impressive and easy to use.

#3 is where IBM can shine. They have the expertise and the background to pull this off.

Overall, a very good move. Some caution is called for. IBM is waking up very late.

Back under cover

by Volker Weber

Killer feature: free phone calls from abroad

by Volker Weber


This was the most useful feature of the N900 at Lotusphere. Join the conference network (in a quiet place) and call home. For free. Not only that: show yourself as available and receive free calls or chats. I think I never felt so connected. The picture above shows the dialer. Skype is directly built-in, as is Google Talk. But it's much easier: just place a contact on the homescreen and a green dot will show availability. Tap the icon and you place the call from right there.

Oh, and I miss the weather:


Long live the Domino directory?

by Volker Weber

We have made the business decision to leverage Directory Independence in IBM's hosted offerings, but there are no plans to provide this Directory Independence capability in Domino.

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Things you did not hear at Lotusphere, part 1322

by Volker Weber

Revenues from the WebSphere family of software products, which facilitate customers’ ability to manage a wide variety of business processes using open standards to interconnect applications, data and operating systems, increased 13 percent year over year. Revenues from Information Management software, which enables clients to leverage information on demand, increased 7 percent. Revenues from Tivoli software, infrastructure software that enables clients to centrally manage networks including security and storage capability, increased 7 percent, and revenues from Lotus software, which allows collaborating and messaging by clients in real-time communication and knowledge management, decreased 5 percent.

I don't make this up.

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Lotus knows bloggers

by Volker Weber

At least two people cheated their way in. :-)

Thunderstorms make for a bumpy ride

by Volker Weber


This is huge: Free Navigation on your Nokia. Worldwide in over 70 countries.

by Volker Weber

Ovi Maps takes you where you want to be and shows you what you want see, with navigable maps for over 70 countries worldwide. All this with only one click. And it's all free.

This is huge on many levels:

Ovi Maps works quite well and it's pretty. However, they are going to offer it on ten phones only until they add new devices as they come to market:


The N97 mini, but not the N97? Come on, Nokia. You have to do better. Also, Nokia has no immediate plans to bring navigation to Maemo. With the N900 you are out of luck. Bummer. I think we will have to wait and see what the next moves are.

This is certainly an inflection point. Google providing limited navigation on Android is one thing, but if Nokia goes in there in a big way, that is going to change the market forever.

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Meet The Grumpies

by Volker Weber

The Grumpies

The room monitor is on stage:

Room monitor on stage

Charge Central

by Volker Weber

It's running off a single powerplug and an existing ethernet cable. What do you see and how does it work? ;-)

4:45 pm

by Volker Weber

vowe @ Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

While you were sleeping

Live long and prosper. All is well at Lotusphere, people are generally upbeat. As they are supposed to be. If not now, then when?

I know you are waiting for my take on the event, but please bear with me for a few days. I'm not a microphone stand that takes the message and amplifies it. There is a lot going on, the news is spread out over a few days, and it's a little bit harder to find the beef than in previous years.

My reaction to "Planet Vulcan" is a bit like the one I had to Al's "The future of Lotus is J2EE". I need time to let it sink in. Or I need a bigger brain.

Meanwhile, German readers should be checking "readings". There are small bits and pieces on heise online. The big picture will be in both the next c't and iX, from different angles of course.

Speaking of pictures, the photo above was taken after I finished my work at 6:30 am. Now into the shower and on to a new day.


by Volker Weber

[to be continued ... ]

Paul & Bill

by Volker Weber

Habemus Nexus

by Volker Weber

Thank you, Marco

Clueless. Not always. But sometimes.

by Volker Weber

I have been using Dropbox and similar tools for quite some time in two scenarios:

The experience has been nothing but a joy. Everything else pales. File servers, Quickr, Sharepoint, they are all too clumsy.

The picture changes when you add a hundred people. People don't follow instructions. Plus, Dilbert's law applies: we are all idiots, just not all of the times. There are different kinds of idiots:

Neither is a bad person. Just clueless. Not always, but at this very moment. What can you do? Not much really. Clean up after them, reduce the number of people in the shared folder. Hope for the best.

Want to remove yourself? Go to sharing, enter the folder you want to leave, hit "Leave this folder". Now the files are all yours to move, delete, whatever.

The ultimate Lotusphere session database

by Volker Weber

Ben has outdone IBM once again:

As you start on your journeys to Orlando, here is the latest, most complete Lotusphere 2010 Sessions db. It has sessions not listed on Lotusphere On-line, meetings that have been reported, etc. etc. Members of the Penumbra Group have volunteered to keep track of changes, repeats that are added, new meetings/parties scheduled, so be sure to replicate every day while at Lotusphere to have the latest information at your fingertips.

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How to get rid of Skype mood messages

by Volker Weber

skypemood2 skypemood1

Skype mood messages are mostly junk, and just make it a little bit harder to find a person in your buddylist. You can't switch them off. But you can rename your buddies so that the mood message gets pushed out the right side of the window. They are still there but you can no longer see them.

Sonos Controller for Android

by Volker Weber


There is a new project on Google Code: Andronos. You can download it to your device from the Android Market.


This is the first shot at a Sonos controller running on Android. It's still very rough compared to the other Sonos controllers, but hey, it works. The strange part is that you don't have to register it with your Sonos system. And the players still talk to it.

Sonos, please be gentle when you tell the developer he can't use your icon. :-)

[Thanks, Axel]

How does IBM count?

by Volker Weber


There will be numbers coming up, and I want to understand them. For instance this one from last year. 12,236 customers. Since when? I believe since Notes 8 shipped. It's actually not net new customers, just new customers. Now let's pull a number out of thin air for this year. It has to be higher, right? So it's unlikely IBM is going to come up with the number since last year. It's probably coming from the same starting point, so that it accumulates like the millions of Notes users. If that number would be 17,236, it would actually mean 5,000 from last year.

Or LotusLive. How do you count that? A user who uses LotusLive iNotes and LotusLive Connections is that one user or two? And when you buy a package with a hundred LotusLive Engage licenses, does that count as 100 users, even if you register only 53? Then IBM acquired the messaging business from Outblaze, and that runs LotusLive iNotes. But it also runs Ovi Mail. Same platform, different branding. Do the other Outblaze mailboxes count as iNotes users? Technically they are, but from a marketing perspective?

I will have lots of questions. :-)

[Photo John Roling]

Synaptris Launches "FewClix" Beta for Lotus Notes Email Users

by Volker Weber

New York, NY - January 14, 2010 - Synaptris (http://www.synaptris.com), the market leading Lotus Notes information management company, today announced the public Beta availability of FewClix (http://www.fewclix.com), an email productivity add-on for Lotus Notes that completely changes the corporate email paradigm.

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How To Upgrade Your BlackBerry OS Software 2010 Version

by Volker Weber

Great summary on BlackBerry Cool:

Since Simon first published How To Upgrade Your BlackBerry OS, there have been a ton of updates and questions from BlackBerry Cool readers, so I thought it would be good to republish with new tips and put everything on a single page.

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Alfresco Content Services for IBM Lotus

by Volker Weber

At Lotusphere (Jan 17-21, 2010), Alfresco Software is demonstrating the technical preview of Alfresco Content Services for IBM Lotus®. The integration between Alfresco’s open source enterprise content management (ECM) system and IBM Lotus social collaboration products extends to Lotus Quickr, Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections and WebSphere Portal.

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by Volker Weber


I will have to refer to this picture when it is too hot in the summer.

Lotusphere presentations download - let's spread the work out

by Volker Weber


Downloading all the individual Lotusphere presentations is a lot of tedious work. Let's spread it out. I have set up a shared folder on Dropbox. If you want to participate, send me a mail with your Dropbox ID and I will add you to the list.* All the presentations dropped into this folder will be shared among all participants. Keep it simple, stupid. Just download the pdf and drop it in there.

If you do not have a Dropbox account, register here.

*) Sorry, we are closed. There are already too many people in there. If you like the idea, start your own dropbox folder.

Google: A new approach to China

by Volker Weber

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn ... We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

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Picture frame with remote update via e-mail

by Volker Weber


Rochester, NY, Jan. 6 -- Eastman Kodak Company today announced its new KODAK PULSE Digital Frame. This touchscreen-enabled frame is equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and a personal e-mail address so consumers can easily send pictures wirelessly to the frame from a computer, from Facebook and KODAK Gallery sites, or from any device that has email capability.

This is the pefect present for grandparents. You just send them new photos of your kids once a week. That never gets old. They only need wireless Internet access, you do the rest.

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Share files with Dropbox - with your own laptop or your iPhone

by Volker Weber


Dropbox is one of those great tools you install and forget, while it does its magic.

You get 2 GB free storage, when you sign up with this link you get an additional 250 MB*. You install a little piece of software on your computer, Windows, Linux or Mac, or on your iPhone. And then you designate folders you wish to share. All of your devices sync with the online storage.

And that's not all. You can share any of your folders with designated friends who also get the same files. I think I don't have to explain the power of replication or do I?

And if 2 GB is not enough, you can upgrade to 50 or 100 GB paid storage.

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Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

middleware (n.) The expensive kludge you have to buy because the various expensive stuff you already bought doesn't work together well.

This Palm Pre update was worth the wait

by Volker Weber


Shortly before Xmas US customers received an update to their Palm Pre. It was 1.3.5. No update for EU customers, to lots of bitching.

Well, today was the day that Palm pushed out to us. And it contains something very valuable: the Bluetooth PAN profile. This allows you to join a Personal Area Network, the Bluetooth equivalent of a WLAN. You can now share your existing Internet Connection from your Pre with any other paired BT device. Like your laptop for instance. This is better than tethering, where you have to tell your laptop how to connect to the Internet, which AP to use and so forth. It does not matter whether your Pre switches from mobile network to WLAN and back. You just stay connected.

Setup is a piece of cake. Pair Pre and laptop. Join PAN from laptop.

IBM Software re-groups

by Volker Weber

Steve Mills adds another layer of management and forms two new groups within IBM Software: Software Solutions Group, headed by SVP Mike Rhodin, and Software Middleware Group, headed by SVP Bob LeBlanc.

Bob Picciano will be General Manager WW Software Sales under Mike Rhodin and Bob LeBlanc. Lotus is in Software Solutions Group and will be headed by GM Alistair Rennie.

Congratulations to everyone around for their promotions.

I'm in. What now?

by Volker Weber

In addition to the pretty useless Lotusphere Live site, that disappears just weeks after the event, Lotusphere attendants get access to LotusLive this year.


I had an account last year that was terminated without notice when the very short trial period ran out. Actually I was still in the directory but could not login. It was a true "enterprise" experience where an admin locks you out after you have been terminated. Some of that mindset shows when you register:


Well, I managed to create a password that passes those requirements and then I wrote it down. Now I am in. I can start sharing. A full 25 Megabytes of files. That should be good for ten photos.


I know this is going to piss off some people, but have you checked all the other offerings out there that let me share stuff? Been on Google Sites, or Google Documents, or Picasa? Facebook anyone?

Michael Sampson on the Lotus Roadmap

by Volker Weber

Michael Sampson is an independent analyst living literally on the other end of the world, in New Zealand. His car has twelve seats, and there is only one empty when he has loaded his wife and his kids. In short: he is an amazing guy.

Now he has written a 16 page analysis of the Lotus roadmap that he wants to sell you. Michael isn't new to this business. He has been working in the collaboration space for quite a few years, and he has published two books on Microsoft Sharepoint. He takes on the five myths about Lotus Notes:

- Lotus Notes is 20 Years Old, So Get Rid of It
- IBM is Not Committed to Lotus Notes
- IBM Lacks a Roadmap for Lotus Notes
- SharePoint Will "Solve All Your Problems"
- Notes Sucks, and It's All IBM's Fault

Michael let me have a free copy of his analysis and I did not find anything surprising. But he does make it pretty clear how to deal with these myths. And that is a situation many Lotus customers find themselves in. If you don't want to buy the full report, read his summary.

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Keine Zeit für Lotusphere?

by Volker Weber

Achtung, Werbung in eigener Sache.

Heute fliegt ein Team von edcom nach USA, um an der Lotusphere in Orlando teilzunehmen. Ich komme am Wochenende nach. Sonntag geht es los, am Donnerstag ist alles schon wieder vorbei. Ich weiß, dass viele Leute gerne mitkommen würden, aber nicht können, nicht dürfen, kein Budget haben, etc.

Aber es gibt eine weitere Möglichkeit, sich direkt zu informieren. IBM nennt das Lotusphere Comes To You. Eine Reihe engagierter Business Partner tragen das in Orlando gehörte zu ihren Kunden. Und aus den vielen guten Veranstaltungen will ich eine hervorheben, an der ich selbst mitarbeite: die edcom Nachlese in München.

IBM schickt drei Amerikaner, die wesentlich zur Lotusphere beitragen: Ron Sebastian ist der Demo-Meister von Lotus, der die großen Live-Demos in der Lotusphere-Keynote beisteuert. Er ist ein unglaublich netter Mensch, der nicht nur ein ganzes Rechenzentrum auf zwei Thinkpads mit sich rumträgt, sondern auch komplizierte Sachverhalte einfach erklären kann. Dann kommt Brent Peters, der die Entwicklung von Notes und Domino leitet. Von Brent habe ich schon ziemlich gute Vorträge gehört, die weit über das hinausgingen, was man sich von IBM erwartet. ;-) Und dann kommt, last but not least, auch Ed Brill, den man kaum extra vorstellen muss. Die Veranstaltung ist eine gute Gelegenheit, diese Leute mal selbst anzusprechen. Eine viel bessere übrigens als in Orlando, wo sich Tausende von Leuten tummeln und nicht so viel Zeit für ein Gespräch ist. Wer sich nicht so richtig traut, weil er meint, sein Englisch sei nicht so gut, der soll mich bitte ansprechen. Gemeinsam kriegen wir das hin.

Der Hauptteil der Veranstaltung sind aber die vielen Vorträge der edcom-Mitarbeiter, die das in Orlando gehörte aufarbeiten und in einen etwas realistischeren Kontext bringen. Da hört man auch mal, was vielleicht nicht ganz so toll ist, wie es auf Anhieb klingt. Deutsche und Amerikaner haben oft recht unterschiedliche Sichtweisen.

Wer also nicht nach Orlando kann, der sollte mal schauen, ob München nicht vielleicht eine Reise wert ist.

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Booting WindowsPro

by Volker Weber

Kollege Wolfgang Sommergut macht eine neue Baustelle auf:

Willkommen bei WindowsPro! Pünktlich zum neuen Jahr starten wir eine Online-Publikation zu Themen rund um Desktop-Management und Systemverwaltung. WindowsPro soll IT-Professionals und Entscheidern dabei helfen, die tiefgreifenden Veränderungen zu bewältigen, denen der digitale Arbeitsplatz in den nächsten Jahren unterworfen sein wird.


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If I were a cat

by Volker Weber


RPN calculator for N900

by Volker Weber

Bullshit and Brilliance

by Volker Weber

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, 'Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!' Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap the old poodle exclaims loudly, 'Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?'

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. 'Whew!' says the leopard, 'That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!'

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, 'Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!'

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, 'What am I going to do now?', but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says.

'Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard'

Moral of this story:

Don't mess with old farts. Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience.

A Bloodbath for 2010: the Smartphone market preview

by Volker Weber


Do not put any credibility to any "Admob" stats or pay too much attention to Nokia 'failing' in the US domestic market for smartphones. If the choice is to be the desired smartphone brand in the 93% of the world's phone market that is not the USA, or the 7% that is the USA, Nokia has certainly made the right call to its strategy.


Then they have the Blackberry instant messenger, which appeals to the youth in particular as it offers free messages between Blackberry users. That in turn brings in a contagion effect, you want to have the Blackberry specifically, because your friends use it. And then there is the cool factor, suddenly the Blackberry is the phone all older teenagers and young adults want to have. RIM is right now in a sweet spot, all things going for them. It is no surprise, that in the shadow of the world's most spectacular high tech launch ever, the iPhone - RIM has consistently outsold the iPhone and grown its own market share.

Touch vs. QWERTY:

Both RIM and Nokia know that the biggest single segment of the smartphone battlefield will not be touch screens, it will be QWERTY phones.


... now most new rivals are all targeting this Apple area - not the enterprise space where RIM is, and not the low price angle where Nokia is. The new competition will almost all hit Apple square center. Like the Google Nexus One right now.


HTC CEO said in 2009 that 80% of all WinMo phones ever made, were manufactured by HTC. So now that HTC is shifting most of their smartphones away from the Microsoft operating system to Google's Android, is coming as a very hard hit to Microsoft.


Motorola is doing its best, but their global handset market share has been in total freefall for years - they have gone from 22% to 5% in three years! - and they now are feeling the breath of RIM in their neck, a pure smartphone maker who may overtake Motorola in total phones shipped some quarter this year.


Palm sells only about 800,000 smartphones so apart from being a curiosity in the US market, they are irrelevant in the big picture.

More >

More Palm news

by Volker Weber


Apparently Palm is going to sell the new Pre Plus and Pixi Plus through Verizon. Pre Plus loses the navigation button I never used, doubles RAM and storage, and comes with the charging back cover you need for Touchstone. Pixi Plus gets Wi-Fi. No word on when the GSM version gets the same upgrades.

One of the interesting additions is "Palm Mobile Hotspot", an app that creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that you can use to access the Internet from up to five devices, like your laptop for instance. If your carrier allows it. Let's hope that O2 is cool with that.

Palm also talks about a webOS update next month that gives you video recording, hardware accelerated 3D games, Flash 10 and other improvements. This comes to all existing devices, again, when the carrier allows it. This could become tired, since we haven't even got the small update from before Xmas.

Not sure, if existing Pre devices get the Mobile Hotspot as well. The original Pixi does not have Wi-Fi so that is ruled out.

Yes, this is gold

by Volker Weber

Palm Developer Program Now Open

by Volker Weber

Today we’re proud to announce the official opening of Palm’s worldwide developer program, giving developers around the globe the opportunity to develop and distribute applications on Palm webOS devices.

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New TSA Logo

by Volker Weber

Bruce Schneier has a logo contest and this is the first entry. This should be good.

Skype turns out to be THE killer app on the N900

by Volker Weber

Skype is the killer app on the N900

I could spend a long time discussing the pro and cons of several smart phones, but I have grown completely attached to the N900, for one simple reason: Skype. At last year's Mobile World Congress Nokia and Skype promised Skype for the N97, and that never materialized. Bummer. Well, we know the reason: carriers hate Skype. With Skype you no longer need text messages, you can even skip most of your phone calls. All you need is a data plan.

The N900 is a different story. It's not sold through carriers. It is completely open. You are root. And Nokia is not holding back, so you get Skype, even if the carriers hate it.

Skype on the N900 means I am never "away". All inbound messages appear on the phone. At all times. The keyboard allows me to answer them. I can call the person at the other end if that is too tedious. And it just works. Last year I tried Skype on the Android G1 and unfortunately it was unreliable. There is also Skype on the iPhone, but that cannot run in the background which makes it almost useless.

Anyway, Skype is the reason I can't get away from the N900. Skype, and Google Talk. Some people can't run Skype in their corporate network. But when they log into GMail they also have Google Talk. And it does all the same things on the N900. Presence, instant messages, voice calls. All integrated into the experience.

There you have it: the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award for the N900.

[Check out the full res version of that screenshot]

3G network at Lotusphere - may need to step down to 2G

by Volker Weber

Ed Brill tweets:

For #ls10 Lotusphere, AT&T is putting a "COLT" mobile cell tower on-site to enhance 2G and 3G coverage. Very good news!

I had tremendous difficulties with that network last year, so here is some info lifted from the Nexus ONE support.

The Nexus One's antenna supports four GSM radio frequencies (850/900/1800/1900) and three 3G/UMTS Bands - 1/4/8 (2100/AWS/900). These cover most major GSM mobile providers worldwide; however, the 3G band used by AT&T and Rogers is not supported.

Unlike T-Mobile USA which runs 2100 MHz 3G HSPA, AT&T is on 1900 MHz. Check the specs of your mobile whether it supports that frequency. BlackBerry Bold 9700 for instance is safe, as is the Bold 9000. And the iPhone of course, since that is sold via AT&T. The Nokia N900 unfortunately is not.

Check your phone specs. You may need to step down to 2.5G (EDGE).

Nexus One logo evolution

by Volker Weber

Stand by

by Volker Weber


Quick reality check from last year's Lotusphere Opening General Session

by Volker Weber

This guy was on the stage last year at Lotusphere and promised those things:

Let's check off the items that were delivered:

  1. Connections client? Not really.
  2. Sametime client? Check.
  3. Symphony? Nope.
  4. Quickr? Nope.
  5. BlackBerry development in Domino Designer? Not that I know of.

Here is the press release.

[All photos John Roling]

Mixed Tape 30 is out

by Volker Weber


More >

Blackberry Presenter: bye bye laptop

by Volker Weber


Leave your laptop behind and use BlackBerry Presenter to deliver Microsoft PowerPoint presentations - directly from your BlackBerry smartphone. Simply plug BlackBerry Presenter into a projector or monitor and select "Present" from the wizard on your BlackBerry smartphone.

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A Few Thoughts on the Nexus One

by Volker Weber

Tim O'Reilly:

There will be many posts focusing on the look, feel, and features of the Nexus One, so I'm going to focus on what Android's latest incarnation says about the competitive landscape - what I've elsewhere called the war for the web.

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How Bullshit Detection works

by Volker Weber


I am sure you noticed that all graphs you see in presentations point from the lower left to the upper right. They have to, as proof how well you are doing. You can play this game in Google Finance for instance. What you see above is Yahoo, year over year. It's looking good, isn't it? Only, it contradicts what you are thinking of Yahoo. You get to that if you step back a little and look at five years instead of one:


You also have to pay attention to the y axis. In the top most graph it starts at 11, not at zero, in an effort to show change instead of raw numbers. As you can see, this works both ways. Up or down.

If you choose to look at one year, and then add the direct competition, you are also not as impressed as you were initially:


Now we step back again to look at five years:


Or how about ten?


In all of those, Yahoo looks quite bad compared to the first chart that shows continued success. The trick is simple. Pick a good time frame. The bigger trick is to choose the right indicator. If most of your numbers don't look good, pick the one that does.

Looking forward to some great numbers in the weeks to come. :-)

Are you going to Lotusphere this year?

by Volker Weber


As posted on Facebook >

About to get a Canon G11. Stop me while you can.

by Volker Weber

canon g11

I need to buy a camera that is smaller and easier to carry than a DSLR and allows me to adjust shooting parameters quickly enough to not get in the way of a good photo. It does not need to live in a shirt pocket. It's ok, if I can just put it in a coat pocket or throw it in a bag. Picture quality needs to be way above what phones will provide in the near future, or it becomes pointless.

I checked a couple of candidates including the excellent Lumix LX3 and the much smaller Canon S90, but I keep going back to the G11 for a couple of reasons:

canon g11

Now is your time to speak up. Is this a good choice or should I step away from this camera?

Your mind, the wild monkey

by Volker Weber

Ommwriter brings back the most essential element of writing: concentration.

[via Peter]

Nokia’s New Mobile Chief: We’ll Match Apple, RIM By 2011

by Volker Weber

Nokia's Rick Simonson is quoted with this gem:

By 2011, our efforts will start producing results, as we will be at par with Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) in smartphones. Not only we draw level with them, we will also win the war ...

That is an interesting way of finally admitting that Nokia currently has no match for BlackBerry or iPhone. Does that mean you should be counting out Nokia? Well, maybe not.

Install Maps on your Nokia phone without using a Windows application

by Volker Weber

Ovi Maps (was Nokia Maps) lets you download maps to your device when connected at home, so you don't have to pay outrageous roaming fees when abroad. So far so good. The PC app that Nokia uses to transfer the maps to the phone is pretty dreadful. Here is a solution to download the maps directly from Nokia and to transfer them to the device storage. Be careful on a Mac though. The Finder does not merge directories but replaces them. Use Terminal and the mv command to move the files.

More >

Didn't expect the Mac to know this icon

by Volker Weber


The device has only been out a few weeks now ...

jndcalx makes Notes calendar available as iCal

by Volker Weber

jndcalx runs on a computer with installed Lotus Notes (Mac OS X, Windows or Linux) and a Web server, and it creates iCalendar output (.ics) on the fly, without having to manually export and import your calendar.

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Zwei Miezen

by Volker Weber


Lotusphere Online goes live

by Volker Weber

Good news: IBM is making a reasonable effort to provide mobile access to the site. Go to www.lsonline.info/m and log in. You need your mail address as username and your confirmation number as password. I have not yet found a way to change the password.

There is also a session database for the BlackBerry at connect.lsonline.info/agenda.jad and an exhibitor reference. Both can be installed without any artificial obstacles. Well done. Unfortunately the app uses its own fonts instead of just defaulting to what the user has preset for his device:



More >

How to Tether Nokia N900 To Mac OS X Snow Leopard Via Bluetooth

by Volker Weber

Thanks to Philip Langdale, we can now tether our Nokia N900 with other devices over bluetooth. He has released the Bluetooth Dial-Up-Networking (DUN) package that many people have been waiting for. Since I use a Mac, I’ll share my guide on using the Nokia N900’s internet connection with Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

It. Just. Works.

More >

Firefox for Maemo RC1

by Volker Weber

Mozilla has released the first release candidate of Firefox for Maemo. If you’ve already got beta 5 installed on your N900 or N810, you will be receiving a software update shortly. Otherwise, if you’re viewing this on your device, you can install it from here.

More >

Palm App Catalog starts to get some traction

by Volker Weber


The numbers don't look so good. 100,000 apps for iPhone/iPod, 20,000 for Android, and the Palm Catalog is just hitting 1,000. But honestly, I am not missing much. And, if you look at the number above, you will see that German customers only get a hundred odd apps. This is an area where Palm f&cks up. Why does the published have to flag his app to be available here? Make it the default and let me worry if I can make use of it.

The latest app is from Engadget, and yes, it is available in the German catalog.


Can I please have my updates now in sync with the rest of the world?

Is aviation security mostly for show?

by Volker Weber

Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage. The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses, the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies, the more we're doing the terrorists' job for them.

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


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