March 2010

Did you mean recursion?

by Volker Weber

didyoumeanrecursion.png

[Thanks, Olav.]

Shutdown has failed because shutdown is running

by Volker Weber

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1 Touch Taxi

by Volker Weber

1touchtaxi.jpg

Das ist eine Idee, die mir gefällt. Fahrgast bestellt Taxi über iPhone-App. iPhone weiß, wo man ist. Kein Anruf nötig. Taxifahrer sieht Bestellungen und nimmt an. Fahrgast kann verfolgen, wo das Taxi ist und wann es ankommt. Die App rechnet aus, was die Fahrt kosten wird. Und schließlich kann der Fahrgast sein Taxi bewerten.

Funktioniert jetzt in Hamburg, soll aber auch in andere Städte kommen.

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[via Malte]

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

by Volker Weber

Exclusive Avatar 2 Trailer

by Volker Weber

Research in Motion acquires Viigo

by Volker Weber

Viigo is excited to announce that our company is now part of Research In Motion (RIM).

Our team has joined RIM’s global organization and will continue to bring our expertise in BlackBerry application development and real-time content delivery to the BlackBerry platform. The Viigo for BlackBerry app will also continue to be available for download through BlackBerry App World.

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39 Sonos products

by Volker Weber

I just went to this page, and was shocked that I have registered 39 Sonos products:

registeredsonosproducts.png

I don't have 10 Macs, but apparently I have installed the controller on 10 different configurations. That should actually be more like 5. And I don't have all the controllers and players (any more). But it's quite an impressive number. Actually, it is short one ZP80. ;-)

20 Lizenzen nur für dicke Fische

by Volker Weber

Interessanter Kommentar:

Angeblich (Quelle RIM) ist die Aktion nur für "größere" IBM-Kunden > 100 Connections oder Quickr-Seats ausgelegt. Schade dass Lotus Germany zu diesen Teilnahmebedingungen nichts sagt

Wäre ja auch zu einfach gewesen.

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Fast

by Volker Weber

panameraturbo

Need an iPhone sleeve?

by Volker Weber

belkiniphonetpu.jpg

So far I have been trying half a dozen different iPhone sleeves, and liked none of them. Now I have a clear sleeve made from TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), and this is it. It provides the grip of a silicone sleeve while being much harder and protective. And you can hardly see it. Recommended.

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Mixed Tape 31 "Green Tones" is out

by Volker Weber

01 EUPHORIA | MADELEINE BLOOM | 4:04
02 WHERE HORSES ROAM | LOOK, STRANGER! | 3:41
03 ILLUSION | ROKOKO | 3:29
04 SEA EXCELENTE | GZAZ | 3:30
05 BORDERLINES IN THE SKY | JOSEPH YIANNA | 4:22
06 KEEP IT ON | K H HERRIG | 2:58
07 CHALEUR | THE INCOGNITO TRAVELLER | 4:24
08 NEVER BE ANOTHER DAY | PEARL TAYLOR'S GRANDBABY | 6:05
09 QUIET PLACE | CHRIS MULLEN | 3:58
10 SO SLEEPY | JOSIE AND THE LOVECATS | 3:44

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Is "social" making you gaga?

by Volker Weber

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Companies becoming fans of themselves and suggesting you follow suit? Like in "I recommend myself and suggest you recommend me too"? Or people wanting to share their location with other people they hardly know? And suggesting those imaginary friends do the same?

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Maybe marketing is driving you crazy, but I really suggest you sit back a little and re-think what you are doing here.

Spring

by Volker Weber

Charlie Foxtrott

by Volker Weber

It happens all the time: when CEOs don’t know what to do, they create a strategic alliance.

Jean-Louis Gassée writes about the alliances announced at Mobile World Congress.

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Chip Online sperrt 1&1

by Volker Weber

Kapier ich nicht:

Im Dezember hatten wir an dieser Stelle darüber berichtet, dass uns das Forum von Chip Online "für immer" ausgeschlossen hat. Seit November beteiligt sich das Social Media Team von 1&1 an der Diskussion in zahlreichen Foren und versucht, Kunden von 1&1, die ein Problem haben, schnell und unbürokratisch zu helfen. Nutzer des Chip Online Forums müssen darauf leider weiterhin verzichten.

Ich weiß nicht, was die Kollegen bei Chip reitet. Eigentlich wäre es doch zu begrüßen, wenn 1&1 sich beteiligt. Würde dazu gerne mal die andere Seite hören.

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Smartphones: vowe's choice

by Volker Weber

smartphones1003

This is of course a moving target, but I just want to answer a question I get asked a lot: "which phone would you recommend?" In short, all of the above. But I arranged them in three rows. Top row are the two phones I used every single day. Second row are the phones I like to use once in a while, but always quickly replace with the ones from the top row. Third row are the phones I'd like to be better than they are.

I can live with any of them. They are good phones, let me check my mail, sync events and contacts, let me connect to Twitter and Facebook. And yet, there are differences. Let's start from the bottom and work to vowe's choice.

  1. Nokia E71, bottom right: this is the best phone Nokia ever made. Very solid, thin, longest battery life in the batch. Symbian S60 v3 is long in the tooth but it gets the job done. Slow compared to the other phones, lowest screen resolution. Works well in direct sunlight though.
  2. Nokia N97, bottom left: this was supposed to be the Nokia flagship, but it fell behind the competition, mostly because of its screen and the awkward Symbian S60 v5 (1.0). Nokia followed up with the N97 mini and then with a software update, but both were too little, too late to beat the competition.
  3. Nokia N900, middle right: a computer with a phone, not a phone with a computer. Excellent integration of Skype and VoIP with the "regular" phone. Fast. Real multitasking. Open everything. Poor battery life, big and heavy. Does not have a real future.
  4. Palm Pre, center: small, but chubby, the least solid hardware of the bunch. Slow, worst battery life. Very good user interaction and multitasking. Not a lot of applications, but excellent when they do exist. I could use this phone a lot more, if I would not wear out the battery before the day is over.
  5. iPhone, middle left: you would think this is the best, but it isn't. It's very solid, works well across the board, there is an app for that, yada yada yada. Why am I not using it? It won't update me on Twitter or Facebook when I'm not in that app.
  6. BlackBerry Bold 9700: this is the parachute I wear when I leave the ground. It's always with me when I travel. Very few people know the phone number since I hardly ever use it to place phone calls. So I can leave it on, even when I present on a stage or when I take a nap. It always works, it runs days on a battery charge. Why is this not vowe's choice? It's too boring and it has an awful browser.
  7. Nexus One: top left. This is it. It does everything the other phones do, with the exception of Skype. It's thin and light, it holds very nicely in your hand. I always survive a day on a full charge. There is an app for that, actually some apps you will not find on an iPhone. The integration into the Google cloud is best in its class. There are still some annoying bugs with a runaway digitizer and difficulties connecting to Wifi, but I have learned to quickly work around those issues.

So the Nexus One is vowe's choice. Not without the BlackBerry Bold as backup though.

Jean-Louis Gassée: Who will buy Palm?

by Volker Weber

If you’re in a hurry: no one.

If you have more time, here is the sad story:

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Sonos aus dem Blick des Kunden

by Volker Weber

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Jan-Piet Mens ist ein Sonos-Kunde. Und er hat einen Erfahrungsbericht mit Anleitung geschrieben. Das PDF hat er Thomas zur Verfügung gestellt, der es auf Ueberall-Musik.de zum Download anbietet.

Sehr cool übrigens: ein Sonos Pause-Schalter:


20 Lizenzen für lau: Blackberry Clients für Quickr & Connections

by Volker Weber

blackberry-ibm-lotus-quickr-connections

Wenn ich mir die Quartalsergebnisse von Research in Motion und die darin ausgewiesenen mickrigen Softwareanteile ansehe, dann komme ich zu einem Ergebnis: macht den Weg frei. Handhelds verkaufen und Software verschenken.

In der Praxis wird das eh so gemacht. Die Lizenzpreise für BES & Konsorten zahlen nur die Dummen. Folgerichtig hat RIM den BES Express für Exchange rausgebracht. 75 User auf dem Exchange Server oder 2.000 auf einem Extraserver. Soweit die Theorie. In der Praxis ist das eine kostenlose Lizenz für 10.000 User.

Lotus guckt ein bisschen doof aus der Wäsche, weil es das offiziell nur für Microsoft Exchange gibt, und versucht den Eindruck zu erwecken, das gäbe es später auch für Lotus Domino. Warum nicht gleich?

Auf der Lotusphere habe ich eine längere, sehr interessante Diskussion mit einer RIM-Managerin um die BlackBerry-Clents für Connections und Quickr geführt. Die kosten nämlich nun (richtig) Geld. RIM findet das gut, nicht so sehr wegen des Umsatzes, sondern weil sie so auch aktiv vom IBM-Vertrieb und den Partner angeboten werden, anstatt nur auf irgendeiner Site als Download angeboten zu werden. 'Kost nix, ist nix', so die Devise.

Ich bin anderer Ansicht. Aber das zählt nicht. :-) Irgendwie habe ich aber anscheinend wenigstens ein bisschen Recht. Nun bietet RIM nämlich — befristet — 20 kostenlose Lizenzen pro interessierten Kunden an, sagt jedenfalls Stefan Krüger:

Interessierte Endkunden senden bitte ein Mail mit folgenden Informationen an Axel Conrad, Global Alliances, RIM, aconrad@rim.com:

Name:
Email:
Telefon:
Firmen Name:
Straße:
PLZ:
Stadt:

Bagel to go

by Volker Weber

What a great way to start the day

by Volker Weber

Good Day,

I am Shung Hin Hui, I have a business of $15.5 million for you contact me for details.

I hope none of the other undisclosed recipients picks up the offer.

The Specs Effect

by Volker Weber

Amy sings

by Volker Weber

I was fascinated by Footballer's Wife and now I like this one from her latest album.

Snacks

by Volker Weber

Five days, three countries, three taxis

by Volker Weber

Asia taxi 1

Asia taxi 2

Asia taxi 3

Yield thought: 5 Stages of Programmer Incompetence

by Volker Weber

Every now and again I see glimpses of myself in ‘younger’ programmers as they struggle with the same concepts I did, fall into the same mental traps and generally make similar mistakes. Writing the 4 wrong ways post made me wonder how common these phases really are and whether we could categorize them.

You too? Well wonder no longer, for I have completed this herculean task! I’ve found myself in each of these traps at least once - some of them several times - and have seen them in others too. Are there more out there?

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Google Buzz widget for Android 1.6 and later

by Volker Weber

Today, we're excited to release a Google Buzz widget for Android phones that lets you post text and photos with a single tap.

Wouldn't it be cool, if you could also look at your buzz or feedback to your buzz on Android 1.6?

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The Future of Publishing

by Volker Weber

Bathtub with a view

by Volker Weber

bathtubwithview.jpg

Or as I like to say: 'if you can see the enemy, the enemy can see you'.

Relocating your business? You'll keep only the dead wood.

by Volker Weber

Garmin relocates the Garmin Connect product management and development from San Francisco to Olathe, Kansas. Most of the team - if not all - chooses to stay in San Francisco.

Read the full story on the website they created: We built Garmin Connect. We're for hire.

Update: The site returns a 503 now. Either they can build, but not run a site. Or Garmin pays some lawyers.

[via @henningp and @diedrich ]

Soothe your pain

by Volker Weber

[via Oliver]

I just want to

by Volker Weber

This should wake you up.

[via Franziska]

Unintended Acceleration

by Volker Weber

Toyota is currently learning something Audi has learned a long time ago. The phenomenon "unintended acceleration" is a technical problem that only manifests itself within the jurisdiction of the United States. The solution is simple and has been implemented by several car makers. In a vehicle where both pedals are pressed, the brake pedal overrules the other one. A third pedal does not complicate things as it only helps to avoid the problem.

No snow

by Volker Weber

nosnow

Dafür liebe ich die Fritz!Box

by Volker Weber

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Ich betreibe eine Fritz!Box 7270 "hinter" einem W920V Router der Telekom. Der wird zwar ebenfalls von AVM hergestellt, ist aber auf Telekom-Niveau verdummt. Ich brauche ihn nur wegen des VDSL-Modems.

Alle Anrufe gehen durch die Fritz!Box und die erlaubt so wunderbare Umleitungen wie oben abgebildet. Die Nummer 03092702890 gehört einem Berliner Unternehmen, dessen Callcenter wildfremde Menschen mit Umfragen belästigt. Die rufen durchschnittlich dreimal täglich an, hören sich brav den Anrufbeantworter an und hinterlassen keine Nachricht. Ich bin sicher, die Fritz!Box hat mehr Geduld. Man kann einen eigenen Anrufbeantworter definieren, der nur ansagt, man bitte um Löschung der angerufenen Nummer. So fair bin ich nicht. *

Irgendwann habe ich dann hoffentlich eine 7390, die den W920V überflüssig macht.

*) Eine Abnutzungsstrategie erscheint Erfolg versprechender als die Bitte um Löschung. Einen Anbieter habe ich von weiteren Anrufen abgehalten, indem ich seine Interviewer in lange Gespräche verwickelt habe, in denen sie niemals zum Ziel kamen. Mit der Fritz!Box ist dieser Vorgang nun automatisiert. Die verschärfte Version ist übrigens, das Unternehmen mit sich selbst zu verbinden. Man wählt dazu einfach die Zielrufnummer 03092702810. Mit der Endziffer 1 wäre es statt der Telefonzentrale das Faxgerät.

Formula One Race Times and Dates for Google Calendar, iCal & Outlook

by Volker Weber

Add the 2010 F1 race calendar to Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, or any other calendar application.

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Hootsuite for Android is really pretty

by Volker Weber

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Paris in 26 Gigapixels

by Volker Weber

Paris 26 Gigapixels is a stitching of 2346 single photos showing a very high-resolution panoramic view of the French capital (354159x75570 px). Dive into the image and visit Paris like never before!

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How to Setup Your Own Web Proxy Server For Free with Google App Engine

by Volker Weber

This might come in handy if you are working at a site where the admin tries to babysit his users:

If you don’t own a domain or server space, you can still create a personal proxy server for free and that too without requiring any technical knowledge.

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The Single Sign On

by Volker Weber

A must-read for systems architects:

"It's impossible," Gerald said in a matter-of-fact tone, "simply impossible."

"Now just so we're clear," Craig responded, "by 'impossible', you actually mean 'a big pain in the ass', but you're a smart guy who can make it happen, right?"

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[via Mariano]

Steve Jobs at the 2010 Oscars

by Volker Weber


Photo: Zadi Diaz

At the Pearly Gates

by Volker Weber

A cowboy appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

'Have you ever done anything of particular merit?' St. Peter asked.

'Well, I can think of one thing,' the cowboy offered.

'On a trip to the Black Hills out in South Dakota , I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen. So, I approached the largest and most tattooed biker and smacked him in the face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground. I yelled, 'Now, back off or I'll kick the crap out of all of you!'

St. Peter was impressed, 'When did this happen?'

'Couple of minutes ago.'

[via fupps]

Zitat des Tages

by Volker Weber

Dies gelte jedenfalls solange, wie die Warnung, die Erde könne zerstört werden, nicht empirisch widerlegt sei.

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655 is a magic number for the Lotus Domino POP server

by Volker Weber

If you use a 3rd party mail client (like Thunderbird) to download a multi-part HTML email from a mail file on a Domino server using POP3 then the POP3 server will remove the 655th character and put a line break in its place.

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Who wants a free Sonos? Better: who wants four?

by Volker Weber

sonos4s5cr200

Win four Sonos S5s + one Sonos Controller 200 and wirelessly fill your whole house with millions of songs and stations.

US residents only > :-(

OK, I want one. With a top, please.

by Volker Weber

On my Sonos wishlist: pause instead of mute

by Volker Weber

sonoscontrols.jpg

These are the controls on a Sonos S5. Every Sonos player has the same ones. Mute, volume up and down. If you press mute, the music continues to play, but you can no longer hear it. What I wish for is the ability to re-program this button as pause.

I have a Sonos S5 in my bathroom. It would be nice if I were able to set the player to a certain radio station and then wake it up with a press of a button. There are complicated ways around this limitation, for instance setting a silent alarm to play this radio station and then crank up the volume on demand. But I'd rather set the whole behavior to pause instead of mute. The CR200 has a pause all option for a reason.

Sonos, just give me an option: pause instead of mute. It can look the same, it just has to stop the music instead of setting the volume to zero.

This. Is it.

by Volker Weber

The new Facebook app for the Palm Pre is rather nice

by Volker Weber

The new Facebook app for the Palm Pre is rather nice

A day in the life of New York City

by Volker Weber

Great tilt-shift video by Sam O'Hare

CeBIT briefing

by Volker Weber

Director SMB, confusing SaaS and PaaS while he goes through the cloud buzzword routine.

Director: "We define SMB as 50 to 1000 employees".

Journalist: "Can you please explain why you think that SMB customers will embrace your cloud offerings".

Director SMB: "My wife has a webspace in the cloud ..."

As if Palm needed more problems

by Volker Weber

Somebody has found a way to give German Pre users more apps. This seems like a good thing, since German Pre users have only 267 apps to choose from. But it isn't. Let me explain.

The issue is that developers need to flag their apps to make them available in certain territories. The App Catalog filters apps by those flags and makes only the designated apps available. For some territories that means zero apps. Some apps certainly have not been flagged by negligence, while others have been deliberately not been made available since they are trial apps. It does not make very much sense since Palm has not been able to launch the e-commerce system for Germany yet.

This is problem #1. You can't buy apps that would be available otherwise. What happens is that smart users found a way to download and install them without paying for them. That's a huge problem. Some would call it "piracy", others would say "you don't let me pay for them".

Problem #2 is that somebody has now published a way to sideload apps. That means you get to any app, but the Catalog won't count them as downloads.

This is what I would call really big failure for the Palm App Catalog. Not only have they denied users access to apps that are badly needed, they have also left a loophole for users to "steal" from the Catalog.

Read the comments. Developers are not happy.

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Fritz app for Android

by Volker Weber

fritzappandroid.png

If you have both a Fritz!Box router and an Android phone, here is a little app for you. While you are connected to your home WLAN, the app connects your phone to a SIP proxy inside the Fritz!Box so that you can receive landline or VoIP calls to your home on your mobile phone. It also lets you place calls through both VoIP and landline via the Fritz!Box. Download here:

fritzapp.apk.png

You will have to allow software installs from other locations than the Market. The app is available from Fritz!Labs and it is still kind of shaky. The process terminates once in a while and voice quality has not always been sufficient in my early tests. But it's a good start, and it should become really useful if you can connect through 3G when not at home. That should be possible through dynamic DNS.

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Outlook Social Connector

by Volker Weber

OutlookSocialConnector.png

The Outlook Social Connector allows you to synchronize your contact data right into Outlook and obtain information about your friends and colleagues. See status updates from various networks and recently posted files. Easily track your communication history. Use the Outlook Social Connector to display a quick view of related Outlook content when you click on an email from a contact, such as recent e-mail conversations, meetings, and shared attachments. Developers can connect and feed social streams from line-of-business applications or integrate their solutions directly into Outlook.

The connector is supported by Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 beta. There is a LinkedIn plugin available today. At CeBIT Microsoft and XING announced a plugin to be available by June when 2010 ships. Plugins for other networks like Facebook, Myspace and Windows Live have been previously announced but are not yet available.

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Einfach telefonieren

by Volker Weber

cp10

Moderne Handys mit immer kleineren Tasten und immer mehr Funktionen sind die Hölle für ältere Menschen. Sie sind nicht nur kompliziert, sondern oft nicht einmal mehr zu erkennen. Als Kurzsichtiger habe ich den Vorteil, ohne Brille auch ganz nah noch kleine Details sehen zu können für die Gleichaltrige längst eine Lesebrille brauchen. Mit zunehmendem Alter aber leiden Menschen an schweren Augenerkrankungen wie dem grauen Star oder AMD. Wie sollen die mit solchen Geräten noch klar kommen? Die Uralt-Handys fallen langsam auseinander, so dass sich hier ein echter Bedarf auftut.

Zwei verwandte Dinge sind mir deshalb auf der CeBIT aufgefallen:

  1. Das oben abgebildete in China designte (!) Handy wurde mit einem iF Gold Award ausgezeichnet.
  2. Die Deutsche Seniorenliga und der österreichische Anbieter emporia haben einen Ideenwettbewerb "Einfach Telefonieren" gestartet.

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New headset

by Volker Weber

audio476

One of the things I brought home from CeBIT is a Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP headset. One word: amazing. It's pretty comfortable, has all the bells and whistles like a noise-canceling microphone and echo cancellation. It plugs right into USB, there is no software to install and it works right away both with my Macs and the Windows netbook. It makes all the difference for Skype calls, and since there are no batteries to charge it is going to be right there when I need it. Highly recommended.

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Would 2010 Steve Jobs Sue 1996 (Or 1984) Steve Jobs Over Patents?

by Volker Weber

Interesting observation:

One of the things you discover in studying the history of patent use among many companies is that when they're young, they innovate. When they're old, they litigate.

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Nokia C5

by Volker Weber

nokia

The new Nokia C5 was one of the more silent product announces of this year's CeBIT. It does look a bit like a former Palm product, doesn't it? It's an S60 smartphone and what's significant is that it lists for only 169 Euro including tax without any operator subsidiaries. That is well below the usual smartphone price range. And still it contains free worldwide navigation with Ovi maps as well as messaging and social networks. I played with it briefly and it looks really promising.

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Ich fahre gerne zur CeBIT

by Volker Weber

Drei Tage CeBIT sind für mich rum, ein Pressetag und zwei Publikumstage. Ich fahre gerne dort hin, weil man alle Ansprechpartner an einem Ort antrifft. Manche langjährige Wegbegleiter treffe ich nur auf der CeBIT, und deshalb freue ich mich darauf. Auch dieses Mal gab es wieder gute Gespräche, interessante Briefings und auch nicht so interessante.

Was hat mich beschäftigt? Ein paar Beiträge schreibe ich dazu heute noch.

Bisherige Geschäftsführer übernehmen CRM-Anbieter GEDYS IntraWare

by Volker Weber

Petersberg, 01.03.2010 - Heute wurde die im Dezember letzten Jahres angekündigte Übernahme der GEDYS IntraWare GmbH durch die bisherigen Geschäftsführer Ralf Geishauser und Joachim Weber abgeschlossen.

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Top medal winners of the 2010 Winter Olympics - according to Canada and the USA

by Volker Weber

2010canadawins.png 2010usawins.png

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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