July 2010

Sonos Sleeve for iPhone 3G(S) and iPod touch

by Volker Weber

Sonos branded sleeve
Photo: vowe

Want to show your Sonos love right on your Sonos remote, a.k.a. iPhone or iPod touch? I have the case for you. Convince me you need one and it may be yours. Sorry, no international shipments.

Incipio Sleeves
Photo: vowe

These are really cool Incipio sleeves where the bottom slides off to make the device fit in a dock.

The Magic Trackpad has arrived

by Volker Weber

Magic Trackpad with iPhone and packaging
Photo: vowe

This is a surprisingly small package. I added an iPhone for reference. It is not included in the box. :-)

You first need to download and install an update to your Mac, which I also recommend you do if you use a more recent Macbook and did not buy a trackpad (why would you?):

Install

The install requires a reboot. When you try to pair the trackpad, you need to press down on it so that the Mac connects. Once you have successfully paired the device, check out all these gestures:

Preferences

They are the reason you want this. If you have also use a MacBook you will feel right at home. I will reserve judgement on how I like the trackpad until I have at least used it for a week. What I can say immediately though is that the Magic Mouse is more precise, but it's probably going to be used a lot less. Yes, you can have both the mouse and the trackpad attached and alternate using them.

Netgear Powerline

by Volker Weber

XAVB2501

Powerline heißt für mich bisher Devolo. Jetzt hat Netgear auch ein gescheites Produkt mit TÜV-Siegel. Besonders interessant: es leitet den Strom durch, so dass man keine Steckdose verliert. Diese Powerline-Adapter funktionieren nur dann gut, wenn man sie direkt in die Steckdose steckt und das ist oft nicht möglich, weil es nicht genügend Dosen gibt. Mit diesem Design kein Problem.

Außerdem hat Netgear eine Promotion. Kauft man sich ein Pärchen dieser Biester, kriegt man so einen geschenkt.

Apple is having a bit of a problem with the iPhone

by Volker Weber

brokeniphones.jpg

The iPhone 4 is a beautiful device. I don't have one myself, but two of my friends bought one. So I got to play with it for a bit, and I quite like it. Antennagate is less of a problem here, since new iPhone are generally used on the T-Mobile network, which is well developed across Germany. However, Apple is making more mistakes than you would expect:

  1. Breaking the iPhone 3G. iOS 4 just does not run well on this device. Apple recommended an update. People updated. And now the Phone is no longer working as before. Apple won't install iOS4 on the original iPhone, and apart from the 3G radio the specs for this 2G device are basically the same as the 3G. Why would Apple install on the 3G and not the "2G"? This needs to be fixed, if only by a supported downgrade to 3.1.3.
  2. The tale of the white iPhone 4. Apparently it's very hard to make. New rumors on a daily basis, the latest one being that the backlight leaks out. Why not call it off? Would it be such a big deal to only make the "more popular one"?
  3. Not owning up to the antenna problem. The iPhone 4 has an antenna problem? Ah, look over there. No, there is no problem and we are going to fix it with a free case.

#1 is the big issue. Even if the original owner is going to grit his teeth and buy the new iPhone, the old one is not going to go away. It will be passed on, and the new owner will think the iPhone stinks. Up until version 3.1 Apple has done a good job at keeping their ecosystem well greased. With iOS4 and the iPhone 4 things have started to fall apart.

Four generations of the iPhone

by Volker Weber

Which Notes client do you use?

by Volker Weber

Ed comments here:

I'm definitely inclined to abandon the basic configuration in the next major feature release. It would help with all sorts of things to move to a pure standard configuration.

Just to reiterate, Notes 8.x ships in two "configurations":

  1. The "basic configuration" is the native Notes client you have known for years, now version 8.x
  2. The "standard configuration" is the new Java client with the Expeditor, nee Eclipse, framework

Which one do you use? If you use the native client, when do you plan to switch to the Java client?

Somewhat related: one organization that has both an existing Notes infrastructure and a new Exchange infrastructure lets their users make the decision, usually on a department level: keep Notes 6.5 for legacy apps and get Outlook 2010 or upgrade to Notes 8.x "standard configuration" (without getting Outlook).

Pay as you go SIM with data Wiki

by Volker Weber

This wiki aims to collect information about pay as you go mobile phone plans from all over the world. Not just any plans though, they must include decent data rates, perfect for iPhone and Android smart phone travellers.

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Lug und Trug von 1&1

by Volker Weber

ZZ4214A3AB

Diese Website läuft auf einem Server von 1&1, mit dem ich sehr zufrieden bin. Auch an anderer Stelle setze ich Server von 1&1 ein. Aber ich werde nie wieder eine solche Empfehlung aussprechen. Der Grund ist simpel: Lug und Trug.

Diese Mail stammt nicht von Joe Litton. Sie stammt ausweislich der Header von 1&1. Joe Litton will auch nicht, dass ich den 1&1 Multimessenger benutze. Joe Litton weiß nicht einmal, wer 1&1 ist. Joe Litton hat überhaupt nichts mit 1&1 zu tun.

Woher aber hat 1&1 seine Mail-Adresse? Mir fällt nur eine Verbindung ein: ich habe Joe Litton schon E-Mails geschickt. Über den SMTP-Server von 1&1. Ich will für 1&1 sehr hoffen, dass ... ich mag es nicht mal hinschreiben. [Update: Erfreulicherweise hat sich dieser Verdacht nicht erhärtet. Siehe ganz unten.]

Joe Litton ist nicht allein. Auch andere mussten schon dafür herhalten, dass 1&1 mir diesen Multimessenger-Spam in ihrem Namen schicken. Und ich habe jetzt den Kaffee auf. Wie einfach ist es doch, die Arbeit guter Techniker kaputt zu machen.

1&1 lügt nicht nur. 1&1 ist auch dämlich. 1&1 weiß, wer ich bin. 1&1 weiß, dass ich den Multimessenger kenne. Ich war nämlich da, als sie ihn vorgestellt haben. 1&1 weiß, dass ich einen Mac verwende, auf dem der Multimessenger nicht läuft. 1&1 weiß, dass ich mich mit meinen Credentials, aber mit einem auf dem Mac laufenden Client (iChat, hint, hint) dort angemeldet habe. Und trotzdem sind sie so dämlich, mir diese Lügengeschichten zu schicken.

Und wer einmal lügt, dem glaubt man nicht.

PS: Bei 1&1 arbeiten nette Menschen, von denen ich einige zu meinen Freunden zählen darf. Das Problem ist eher hier oder dort zu suchen.

Update: Ich verstehe mittlerweile, was da los ist. Ich warte noch auf die Stellungnahme von 1&1, aber technisch passiert meiner Ansicht nach folgendes:

Ein Jabber-Anwender (hier bei GMail, also Google Talk) fügt meine Mailadresse seiner Buddylist hinzu. vowe.net wird aufgelöst auf den Jabber-Server bei 1&1, der die technische Infrastruktur des Multimessenger bildet.

dig +short -t SRV _xmpp-client._tcp.vowe.net
5 0 5222 jabber.1und1.de.

Diese Anfrage wandelt 1&1 in eine Werbebotschaft. Liest man die Mail genau, dann stellt man fest, dass der erste Teil stimmt. In der Tat will Joe Litton mit mir Kontakt aufnehmen. Nur hat das nichts mit dem Client zu tun, den 1&1 mir aufschwätzen will. Und vor allem sollte die Werbebotschaft von 1&1 stammen und nicht von Joe Litton.

Ergo: 1&1 ist ein Spammer. Aber nicht so böse wie gedacht.

More >

Update 28.7.: 1&1 nimmt um 16:39 wie folgt Stellung:

Lieber Herr Weber,

zu Ihrem Blog-Posting bzw der entsprechenden Meldung im heise-Newsticker können wir Ihnen folgende Rückmeldung geben:

Wir sehen dieses Verfahren nicht als problematisch an. Im Gegenteil - dieses Vorgehen stellt sicher, dass alle Nutzer, auch wenn sie mit der Materie Instant Messaging nicht vertraut sind, tatsächlich erfolgreich einen Chat starten können, selbst wenn sich Absender und Empfänger nicht der gleichen Produktwelt bewegen. (Ergänzend hierzu auch folgendes Posting im heise-Forum.

Denn im Gegensatz zu anderen Anbietern verwenden wir ein offenes Verfahren (Jabber), wodurch unsere Nutzer natürlich auch mit anderen Chatclients unseren Service kostenlos nutzen können. Und angesichts der Tatsache, dass wir den Service kostenlos anbieten, finden wir es in keiner Weise anstößig, den Vertrieb unseres eigenen Produktes in den Vordergrund zu stellen.

Ebenfalls möchten wir darauf hinweisen, dass es hier zu keiner Zeit zu einem Sicherheitsrisiko kommt oder Nutzerdaten unbeabsichtigt in falsche Hände gelangen. Wir bedauern jedoch, wenn es dabei zu Missverständnissen gekommen sein sollte und nehmen dies zum Anlass, diesen Teil des Einladungsprozesses zu überprüfen.

Für weitere Fragen stehen wir Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung.

Beste Grüße,

Holger Neumann
Pressesprecher GMX GmbH

Ich finde diese Stellungnahme grundsätzlich nachvollziehbar. Allerdings nur, wenn 1&1 zwei Änderungen vornimmt:

  1. 1&1 verwendet keine fremde Absenderadresse sondern die eigene.
  2. 1&1 fügt in jede dieser Nachrichten einen Link ein, mit dem man für alle Zukunft diese Mails abbestellen kann. (opt out)

Die von Herrn Neumann angekündigte Überprüfung kann dauern. Mir liegt nämlich schon eine gut zwei Monate alte Stellungnahme vom 20.4.2010 17:11 vor:

Sehr geehrter Herr Klein,

über Ihren Kontakt Volker Weber und die Pressestelle in Montabaur kam Ihr Anliegen bzw. Ihr Blog Posting zu mir. Dazu kann ich Ihnen folgende Rückmeldung (in Kurzform) geben. Sie haben damit auf eine im Einladungsmanagement angelegte Logik hingewiesen, die beim Austausch von Einladungen zwischen der 1&1-Welt und anderen Messenger-Diensten zum Einsatz kam.

"Kam" deshalb, weil wir diese auf Ihren Hinweis hin derzeit überprüfen - und sie zumindest dahingehend modifizieren, dass genau nicht der Eindruck entsteht, den Sie beim Lesen dieser 'Werbe-Mail' hatten. Möglicherweise wird diese Logik auch so verändert, dass diese Mails gar nicht generiert werden. Da ist das letzte Wort aber noch nicht gesprochen.

Für weitere Fragen stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung.

Einstweilen herzliche Grüße aus Karlsruhe und gute Besserung,

Holger Neumann
Pressesprecher GMX GmbH

Passiert ist in diesen zwei Monaten nichts. Jedenfalls nichts sichtbares.

Update 30.7.: Soeben erhielt ich einen Anruf von Herrn Neumann, der eine Änderung dieser Benachrichtigung in Aussicht stellt. Wir haben auch noch einmal das Missverständnis klargestellt:

Ich hätte überhaupt keine Probleme mit dieser Nachricht gehabt, wenn der Absender erkennbar 1&1 (GMX, Web.de, oder irgendeine 1&1-Marke) gewesen wäre und wenn der Text sinngemäß lauten würde "Joe Litton hat Sie seiner Buddylist hinzugefügt. Wenn Sie mit ihm kommunizieren wollen, bieten wir Ihnen kostenlos unseren tollen MultiMessenger an. Wenn Sie von uns keine weiteren Nachrichten dieser Art bekommen wollen, dann klicken Sie bitte hier." Mein heiliger Zorn war durch die wiederholte missbräuchliche Verwendung des falschen Absenders geweckt. Als ich erst mal den Mechanismus verstand, der in dieser Nachricht so trefflich verdeckt wurde, sah die ganze Geschichte auf einmal nicht mehr so mies aus.

TomTom is so doomed

by Volker Weber

ZZ23E86D91

I love those TomTom PNDs. But I just had another one of those magical TomTom moments that lead me to believe that their business model for consumers is doomed. They depend on selling you map updates or new devices. Since the old devices are fine, you may feel so inclined to buy a map update.

Don't do it. Don't. Do. It. Period.

With the very first update to the TomTom 940, it would no longer fit both maps in the 4GB internal storage. This happens, since maps get more detailed, and thus larger. And they break the design specs for the device. The only thing I could do, was to not install the US map and just leave that on my Mac.

Well, at the end of the week, the device is going to be used in the US, so it was time to install the map. TomTom Home, the desktop software, demanded an upgrade, so did the device. When I asked it to install the map, Home told me there wasn't enough space on the device. It offered to remove the EU map, which was the only obvious choice. So I was OK with it. Then it removed the EU map, and started installing the US map.

And then it failed. Repeat after me: DRM is bad for the customer.

tomtomerrorinstallingnorthamerica.png

After that there was no map on the device. No EU map, no US map. A boat anchor pretending to look like a PND. It would not install the US map, and it would not even offer the EU map, although it can find it in the Manage Device section of Home. I read a lot of postings from disgruntled customers who could not get their maps installed or activated and then went for the last resort: delete all maps from the Mac.

ZZ4633A8B6

Now it's downloading them again from TomTom. It only gives me a part of Europe, because otherwise it could not install both maps, as we heard before. If I ever go to Spain, I will need to download a different EU map. Since this is going to take the better part of three hours (One moment please ...), I shall let the Mac do this overnight. Let's hope nobody removes the device.

What should you do instead of buying a map update? Sell the device on eBay. And then start using a smartphone. Google gives you a current map over the air. It is way smarter finding things. iPhone customers get a free Navigon app in Germany from T-Mobile. Or get a Nokia with the free Nokia Maps. They can be installed on the device so you don't need a data tariff.


I think I want one

by Volker Weber

MagicTrackpad.jpg

Apple announced new stuff. iMacs with i3, i5, i7 CPUs, new Mac Pro, battery charger (a f&cking battery charger, can you believe that?) and a new trackpad. Of course a magical one. I think you already read it somewhere else.

My iMac is still fine. But I think I could use that trackpad? I enjoy using it on the MacBook, so why not on the desktop?

Lotus Notes dumped in AMP cloud email move

by Volker Weber

Financial services giant AMP this afternoon revealed that it would ditch its Lotus Notes/Domino installation as part of a shift to Microsoft’s Outlook/Exchange platform hosted by CSC Australia.

The article contines to list other customers who recently recently dumped Notes (Quantas, Monash University, Department of Human Services) and who stayed with the platform (BoysTown).

More >

[via Duffbert]

4sysops: Migrating to SharePoint 2010

by Volker Weber

Those running SharePoint 2007 already know the major enhancements that this Software can bring to the corporate culture. With SharePoint 2010 the products strengths are developed further. Here, you can find a short summary of the improvements and new features of SharePoint 2010. Due to the vast positive changes SharePoint 2010 brings, most companies want to migrate to the new software as quickly as possible. Basically, Microsoft supports two migration paths: In-place upgrade and database-attach upgrade.

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Google adds places to Maps Mobile 4.4

by Volker Weber

With today’s launch of Google Maps for mobile 4.4, we’re introducing an even easier way to find places around you: a dedicated Places icon that lets you quickly look up nearby places and pick a place to go using updated Place Pages, just like on your computer.

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Our resident squirrel

by Volker Weber

Our Resident Squirrel
Photo: vowe

Our Resident Squirrel
Photo: vowe

What's in Nokia's future?

by Volker Weber

ZZ69192990

Nokia writes:

If you thought Symbian^3 was a short-lived stepping stone in Nokia’s smartphone evolution, then you’d be ... well ... mistaken. Starting with the N8, Nokia aims to ship more than 50 million Symbian^3 devices in the coming years, alongside devices using other versions of the Symbian OS.

This looks like a contradiction to the Symbian roadmap which states:

Symbian^4 is expected in 2010. It will feature Direct UI - a complete makeover of the touch UI, Qt as the primary runtime and the majority of SHAI in place, making hardware adaptation easier than ever before.

Let's just briefly look at those ^numbers. ^1 is Symbian OS 9.4 with S60 5th edition. It's what runs devices like the N97, N97 mini or the 5800. ^2 is the first open source version of Symbian, and there are only a few DoCoMo devices with this version. ^3 is what the N8 pictured above will run.

And while I expect the N8 to be a great successor to the 5800, I just cannot see the software to be good enough to compete with iPhone or Android devices. Symbian needs to get to ^4 in order to fix the UI. So in contrast to what Nokia just said about ^3, I do think it's a stepping stone when the N8 comes out in September. Funny I should say that, but ^3 is going to be the legacy Symbian version. It will run the old software out there, on ever cheaper devices.

This is not "game over" for Nokia in the smartphone space. But it is going to take until 2011 before Nokia can come back with ^4 and Meego. They will both run applications built to the new UI, and maybe, just maybe ^4 is not going to matter anymore and Meego is the future for Nokia.

Faster dialing with Google Voice on Android and Blackberry devices

by Volker Weber

Today we are launching an enhancement to the Google Voice mobile app on Android and Blackberry phones, which makes placing calls much faster. We call this feature “direct access numbers.” Here’s how it works:

I wish they would get faster to Germany.

More >

My dance card for September starts to fill

by Volker Weber

NokiaWorld2010

Nokia World in London is confirmed. LotusBeer in the evening of the 15th?

BlackBerry Developer Conference 2010

BlackBerry DEVCON in San Francisco looks like an opportunity.

Microsoft Reports Record Fourth-Quarter Result

by Volker Weber

Microsoft Corp. today announced record fourth-quarter revenue of $16.04 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2010, a 22% increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.93 billion, $4.52 billion and $0.51 per share, which represented increases of 49%, 48% and 50%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.

Microsoft says they had double-digit revenue growth in all business segments. But remember: last year's fourth quarter was exceptionally weak.

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Exclusive: IBM to compete with Apple iPad

by Volker Weber

ZZ74ABFF83

This was lost in a beer garden today. A first prototype of the new IBMPad. It will initially be sold through the London Developer Co-op for 499 €. Full release after the break:

More >

Sweet sixteen - with the Sonos time machine

by Volker Weber

ZZ64D13305

Wolfgang's Vault is great for old farts. Going back to 1974 for a live concert with Emerson, Lake & Palmer. What a Lucky Man he is. On the Sonos, no less.

The greatness of kindness

by Volker Weber

Seriously the best half an hour I spent so far this week.

[via Felix]

Looks like Google is finally registering on the Lotus radar

by Volker Weber

ZZ58CD38D7

'Everybody is using Outlook at home' is turning into 'Everybody is using Gmail at home'.

Spaz - a cool Twitter client for webOS

by Volker Weber


Photo: vowe

So far I have been using Tweed, but I have always confused the search field with "new post". That's actually how I learned the cut&paste gestures for webOS. Spaz feels better, but it needs a light theme.

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results

by Volker Weber

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2010 third quarter ended June 26, 2010. The Company posted record revenue of $15.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $9.73 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.83 billion, or $2.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Apple stock used to be down on good news. This time it's up.

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Cool BlackBerry hack

by Volker Weber

Capture19_42_28

Capture19_42_9

Compare the two screenshots above. Can you spot the difference? Courtesy of Bilal, this is the key combination that replaces bars with a dBm readout: ALT-NMLL (hold ALT and then type NMLL). Want the bars back? Just type it again.

NYTimes: Steve Mills promoted

by Volker Weber

Steven A. Mills, a senior vice president, will be in charge of the hardware and software divisions.

Let the Musical Chairs begin.

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Quote of the day

by Volker Weber

Lotus down 6 percent? Despite all those license sales in New Zealand? I blame codestore.net.
Jeff Gilfelt

We don't wear suits. We don't even own suits.

by Volker Weber

When an AT&T representative suggested to one of Jobs’ deputies that the Apple CEO wear a suit to meet with AT&T’s board of directors, he was told, “We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits.”

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IBM Second-Quarter Earnings are out

by Volker Weber

Revenues from the WebSphere family of software products ... increased 17 percent year over year. Revenues from Information Management software... increased 7 percent. Revenues from Tivoli software ... increased 18 percent, and revenues from Lotus software ... decreased 6 percent. Revenues from Rational software ... increased 1 percent.

Follow this chain for the last quarters.

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How Angelina Jolie ended up on my buddylist

by Volker Weber

ZZ295579EB.png

Ben Poole is underneath Angelina Jolie, remember? How did Angelina get there in the first place? Well, she was actually the first contact on that list. In order to get rid of Skype mood messages I simply rename people with a lot of spaces added to the end of their name. Which I also had to do for Angelina. Want to talk to her? Yes, you can.

In theory, Notes can find things. In practice however ...

by Volker Weber

Darren Duke has an interesting post:

The most useful feature of Lotus Notes that most users can’t use - Full Text Indexing

And he is spot on. Every single one of my customers has full text indexing switched off. They have consolidated their servers, put their mailboxes on expensive storage to keep the performance up, and then switched off the full text index and put in a draconian quota to save money on storage. You can only work around that limitation by replicating the mail file to the local disk, and then adding a FT index to that. Only few people know this and it is not being encouraged.

User satisfaction is king. And right now, due in some large part to this restriction, the majority of user are anything but satisfied when it comes to searching. And the shocker here is not that lack of functionality but being able to enable said functionality.

User satisfaction should be king. But it isn't. And that's what is driving Notes out.

More >

How Apple lied to you about the BlackBerry

by Volker Weber

blackberrybold9700signal.png

Apple has an antenna problem with the iPhone 4. And it's most likely blown out of proportion. I don't know about you, but the press conference last Friday made things much worse for me. They could have come clean and said: "yes, we have a problem, and we are going to fix it". What Apple did instead was mocking the press with a stupid video, praising themselves, and then started pointing their fingers at the competition. That wasn't only bad taste, that was also mostly a lie.

As the German saying goes "Lügen haben kurze Beine" (lies have short legs), you can prove them wrong if you have a BlackBerry. See the screenshot above. RIM does not give you "bars" and then finds out later that they lied to you for years. No, they give you an exact reading of the signal. -70 dBm. And then you can hold your phone in many different ways, wait a few seconds until you get the next reading. And then you can see how the signal changes.

In my case: I can hold the BlackBerry pretty much any way I want. And it will still show -70 dBm. And when I wrap both hands around the lower end of the device in a way that would not let me make a phone call, I can drive it down to -81 and then -89. As soon as I hold it like I would when actually using it, with one hand, with both hands, it will show -70 dBm.

Apple, why don't you include this feature in your iOS? You can hide it deep down in the settings and call it "Status". Just like RIM has done for many years.

Today was a busy day at vowe's magic flying circus

by Volker Weber

Just looked at my LogFiler and found this:

34862 Zugriffe vom 16.07.10 - 16.07.10 -- 177 User online (letzte 5 Min.)

Zugriffe means page impressions. There were roughly 10,000 referrers coming in from fark.com today, so that explains the spike. I am now sending them on. This is "dumb traffic" that never turns into readers.

While I was looking at my Apache logs, I found another traffic source (not counting as page impressions): somebody was reading both my feeds for posts and comments 10 times each minute. The user agent string said "JDK/1.0.2 Java/1.5.0". If your Notes sidebar plugin stopped working, you know why. Your company's name probably starts with P.

Apple: there is no problem, and we are going to fix it with a free case

by Volker Weber

ZZ5FC16554

The much anticipated press event is over, and if you strip away the reality distortion field, it's pretty simple:

  1. Antennas don't want to be touched. The iPhone 4 has two antennas around the phone, so you will touch them. And if you bridge the two antennas by touching them with a conductor (a moist hand), the signal will go down.
  2. Other students have bad grades as well. [This did not work for my father, it does not work for me.]
  3. Lesson 1: Current phones (not the iPhone 4) have their antennas in the lower part. Hold them by the upper part for best reception.
  4. Lesson 2: Avoid touching the metal band. Or use a case to wrap it.
  5. Apple will give you a free case if you ask for it, starting next week on their website. Much better than paying them $29 for a rubber band.
  6. Apple can have millions of phones made, but not millions of rubber bands bumpers. Therefore they will source other cases as well and give you a choice.
  7. Apple embellished their reception. For years. They can no longer figure out, how that happened. In German: Lügen haben kurze Beine (lies have short legs).
  8. 1.7% of 3 million iPhones returned. That's about 50,000 or 2,500 a day, right? Only 0.55% called with reception issues. 16,500 people, that is one every two minutes. Some may have been unable to place a call. ;-)

In any case: there goes the design.

[Recommendation for Belkin VUE Case removed.]

Can your dog do this?

by Volker Weber


Photo: nyominx

More dogs like this>

Ladies and Gentlemen, update your Apple iP*

by Volker Weber

ipadios321

Apple has issued iOS 3.21 for the iPad, fixing Wi-Fi issues and other assorted bugs, as well as iOS 4.01 for the iPhone, which gives you a more accurate reading of the iPhone's reception, resulting in fewer, but taller bars.

The iPad update is a 456.9 MB file which is going to take two hours half an hour to download at my end of the Intertubes. The 305.5 MB download for the iPhone took only a minute!

Update: Apple definitely applied more fixes to 4.01 than the reception bars. The 3G is usable now. I found it unbearably slow with 4.0 but that is no longer the case.

Sonos iPhone controller needs ratings

by Volker Weber

Sonos has made a really nice iPhone controller and gives it away for free, saving you from buying their own gear. What I think is a but unfair, are the high number of bad ratings in the iTunes store. Here is a picture for the German store:

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If you like your Sonos, why don't you make a short trip to iTunes and give them a five star rating and maybe some friendly words in the review.

Somewhat related: the iPad controller is coming ... :-)

How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made

by Volker Weber

Over on ReadWriteWeb:

A team of creatives, tech geeks, marketers and writers gathered in an undisclosed location in Portland, Oregon yesterday and produced 87 short comedic YouTube videos about Old Spice. In real time. They leveraged Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and blogs. They dared to touch the wild beasts of 4chan and they lived to tell the tale. Even 4chan loved it. Everybody loved it; those videos and 74 more made so far today have now been viewed more than 4 million times and counting. The team worked for 11 hours yesterday to make 87 short videos, that's just over 7 minutes per video, not accounting for any breaks taken. Then they woke up this morning and they are still making more videos right now. Here's how it's going down.

More >

BTW, you can make your own Old Spice voicemail greeting like so:

I think she said yes:

Kiwis read Planet Lotus only for the interviews

by Volker Weber

Lotus knows bloggers
Photo: vowe

It's really simple to have one bad idea after the other. Don't worry about them. Humans are very good at skimming though topics and picking the ones they like. After a while you will find authors you like, and then simply follow them. Chris Toohey is a good example of somebody focussing on Xpages development. I always liked Jake Howlett for exploring new things. His site was the first good looking Domino website, way before people called it "blogging". If you want to know what the world looks like through the eyes of somebody who has to sell Notes, of course you read Ed Brill. And if you want to know about the daily life of a Domino guy who reads five books a day, you read Duffbert. Life is great if you actually met all these people. They generally like each other, in a way that is hard to understand from behind a glass screen thousands of miles away.

If you have some crazy ass ideas on how to sell a product on behalf of IBM, I suggest you read how it's done.

Ben Poole is underneath Angelina Jolie

by Volker Weber

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Looks like I am protected

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry Protect

If you have access to the Beta Zone, you may be able to enter the BlackBerry Protect managed beta. Unfortunately, you cannot register for the Beta Zone from Germany, but there are ways around that limitation.

First you need to update your device software to the latest build. Once you have entered the beta, you need to download the client software, register for a BlackBerry ID and then you are good to go.

Looks like I am protected

Locating a device in Germany currently seems to require a GPS fix. I think it would be advisable to also use other means.

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iX 8 kaufen - ab morgen am Kiosk

by Volker Weber

iX Titelgeschichte

So oft schreibe ich so eine Titelgeschichte nicht. Jetzt geht mal an den Kiosk und kauft ein Heft, damit wir die Auflage auch loswerden. :-)

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36 Grad im Schatten

by Volker Weber

Im Schatten

Heute musste ich mal kurz raus, mein altes Auto abholen. Kleine Wartung, TÜV. Lecker warm war das.

Hier drinnen kriege ich davon nicht so viel mit. Außenjalousie, ordentliche Dämmung, Wärmepumpe. Wenn man eine Erdsonde hat, muss man nicht mal komprimieren - umwälzen reicht.

Finally a clear case

by Volker Weber

Belkin Vue Clear Case
Photo: vowe

This is the TPU case I have been waiting for. It's basically the same Belkin Grip Vue case I have used for almost three weeks nows, only clear instead of grey. The iPad now looks more like an iPad, with a few millimeters of solid protection around it. Although I have been waiting for this one, I am a little bit undecided on which one I should recommend. I found out that the clear cases turn a little bit greenish over time, while the grey ones should not exhibit much of a color change. Technically they are both excellent.

Belkin Vue Clear Case
Photo: vowe

In Germany they are both currently available from Gravis:

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CodeStore to be de-listed from Planet Lotus?

by Volker Weber

Jake Howlett, a messenger previously shot, a LotusUserGroup.org Blogger Award winner, and a Lotus Legend writes:

The owner of Planet Lotus, Yancy Lent, asked me yesterday if he should move this site to "Planet Sharepoint" instead. ... I said no, don't move it, ... However, he seems quite insistent and hinted that he'd have to "de-list" me in the interim ...

I cannot believe that Yancy Lent is behind this stupid idea.

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Update: The conversation between Yancy and Jake.

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Manchmal kriegt man lustige Leserpost:

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"Wolfgang's Tresor" wäre ein Deppenapostroph zweiter Klasse. "Wolfgang's DVD's" wäre eins zweiter und eins erster Klasse. "Wolfgang's Vault" ist ein Firmenname und zudem nach amerikanischer Grammatik korrekt. Aber "Deppen Apostroph" enthält ein Deppenleerzeichen, lieber Klaus M. (oder Reinhard M.).

Sonos adds Wolfgang's Vault - streaming from a large catalog of live concerts

by Volker Weber

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Wolfgang's Vault owns a catalog of thousands of live recordings, going all the way back to the sixties. There is a ten hour a month free service, and a MVIP package that sets you back $4 a month. You will have to play them a year in advance, but they give you a $50 credit towards their store, on top of the unlimited streaming. If you want to listen to Wolfgang's Vault concerts on your Sonos, you need this MVIP package.

If you would like to access Wolfgang's Vault from your Sonos, you don't need to update the software. Just check for new software, so it updates the list of available services and then go to Set Up Music Services on your controller.

BlackBerry Protect will let you remote control your own smartphone

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry_Protect%20Portal

These are basically BES features for BIS customers. Currently in managed beta. Open beta in the fall. The service will be free of charge.

Find and share parking

by Volker Weber

Open Spot works by letting people who are leaving parking spots share their spots with people who are searching for parking.

That is going to need a lot of users to become useful.

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It's lonely in the modern world

by Volker Weber

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Here is another site I follow. And like the last one it has funny captions. But what's even funnier: all of these places look pretty much like I could live there.

We love this website - if only for the captions

by Volker Weber

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Groundhog day

by Volker Weber

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At first I thought this might be a once-off error. But apparently it isn't:

the - meanwhile part of my morning routine - recurring installation and deinstallation of lotus traveler makes my cry

So here is an E71 user who does not need or want Lotus Traveler. He removes it. And when he switches on his phone the next morning, it comes back. Every. Single. Day.

What an ingenious way to remind people why they don't want Lotus software. Cast in iron the firmware of a popular business phone.

Not everyone likes a rick-roll

by Volker Weber

As I was trying to make a point today, 852* people got rick-rolled following the first link in this screenshot from Planet Lotus at 16:25 CEST:

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My apologies to each and everyone of them. I promise to listen to Rick Astley for an hour for the remainder of the afternoon. And I am relinking here to stop that nonsense.

The point that I was trying to make is, that it is pretty easy to make a catchy headline. But you do need to follow up with something truthful, honest and interesting. I probably spent quite something from my credit for deceiving you. I hope it was worth it.

Ed Brill expressed his frustration here and there:

Over on PlanetLotus, a blog entry about IBM being #1 in social software gets 20 hits, while hundreds get rickrolled.
yes, it was press released over the weekend as well, almost zero pickup. Not sure why

And Nathan Freeman joked:

I really just think it's a reflection of how many people want to punch Vaughan Rivett in the face.

It is really hard to understand what is interesting to whom. As a publisher you have to constantly think about that. Magazines are made for readers, not for vendors. There are exceptions as in "magazines made for vendors", and they are all not interesting to readers. If somebody declares you #1 in social software, then this is terribly interesting to you as a vendor, but not so much to readers. If somebody declares Msft to be the leader in operating systems, that story will get zero pickup. It's just not interesting. Actually, there is no story.

So, if I make up a headline, you could earn $1000 by punching somebody else in the face, that story would be even more interesting than earning $1000 by blogging about the greatness of IBM software. Which is, see paragraph above, a very silly idea. And IBM gets that for free anyway.

And no, I don't like anybody to punch anybody else in the face. That's an even dumber idea. And I have one related remark: if you call somebody else a whore, that says a lot about yourself.

*) Planet Lotus does not count all of the inbound connections that hit vowe.net.

Zu heiss

by Volker Weber

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[Danke, Eckhard]

"Ken sent me" - a trip down memory lane

by Volker Weber

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Remember when Lotus 1-2-3 was king, and each program had its own printer drivers? And you spent hours and hours in front of this game? It's back.

Updating one Nokia phone

by Volker Weber

Neue Software für das E71

Yesterday it came to my attention that there is a new firmware version for The-Best-Phone-Nokia-Ever-Built. I don't use it much these days, and as you can see above, I skipped the 4.00 version already. Time to get the new firmware going. Before the saga starts, let's remind ourselves how that works on several other phones:

With that in mind, let's start updating the E71.

  1. Find out you can't do it on a Mac and go find your Windows 7 computer. Fire it up. It tells you the computer may be unprotected. May be.
  2. Install Windows fixes. Upgrade MS Security Essentials to version 1.1. During the upgrade process endure dozens of warnings that you are not running security software. Update the malware database. Meanwhile Adobe wants to apply a security update to Reader. Download Nokia Software Updater. Find out you cannot click the Download button in Google Chrome. Download Nokia Software Updater with Internet Explorer. Click on a few security dialogs while it's installing. Watch a dozen driver update popups and warnings about drivers being installed or not being installed. Reboot three times in the process. Then, about one hour later, continue to the next step.
  3. Fire up Nokia Software Updater. Look at the warnings about all your software being wiped, all data being lost, and decide you want to make a backup first. Disconnect phone.
  4. Find the Memory application in Tools. Because you know it's there and what it does. Find the menu function that backs up your phone to the memory card.
  5. Reconnect the phone to PC, forfeit all your rights to your data and programs, and click next.
  6. Nokia Software Updater downloads the software, warning you not to disconnect the phone or bad things will happen to the phone, yourself and your offspring.
  7. Nokia Software Updater installs the update in 15 minutes, during which you better not look at the device screen.
  8. E71 comes back up and asks you which country you live in, what the date and time is. It then congratulates you for buying this excellent kit.
  9. You terminate this nonsense, go to the Tools folder and call the Memory application. You find the menu option that restores your backup.
  10. The application tells you it could not restore one file. The file that contains your backup.
  11. The Lotus Traveler assistant starts and asks you to configure the software.
  12. You go to Installations and ask the phone to remove the Traveler software.
  13. You configure your Wi-Fi access.
  14. You open the brand new Ovi Store app that has just been installed.
  15. It connects to the internet via your mobile connection, ignoring your Wi-Fi access, and tells you so.
  16. It asks you to upgrade the Ovi Store app from 1.6 to 1.7, downloading 5 MB over the mobile connection instead of your Wi-Fi access.
  17. It then asks you to reboot.
  18. The Lotus Traveler assistant starts and asks you to configure the software.*
  19. You terminate the assistant.
  20. You start the Ovi Store app and it connects to the internet via your mobile connection, ignoring your Wi-Fi access, and tells you so.
  21. Ovi Store recommends some trashy games for your business phone.
  22. You try to find SmartConnect to teach your brand new operating system that you prefer Wi-Fi over mobile. Every. Single. Time.
  23. Ovi Store does not know SmartConnect.
  24. You remove the back cover, remove the battery, take out the SIM. You put the SIM back into the Nexus One.
  25. You fetch a mallet and upgrade the E71 once again.

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*) It currently looks like you cannot disable Lotus Traveler. If you uninstall from the applications manager, it comes back. And you cannot remove the account from Mail.

Google won't search for Chuck Norris

by Volker Weber

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Enter "find chuck norris" in the Google search field and hit "I feel lucky".

Real-time telemetry data from the Tour de France

by Volker Weber

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Track all nine riders from Team HTC - Columbia and see their exact locations and real-time telemetry data.

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c't guckt Fußball

by Volker Weber

20:30 Uhr. Abends in der c’t-Redaktion. Auf dem Büroflur herrscht Stille. Verhalten öffnen sich einige Türen und vereinzelte Redakteure trotten auf den Korridor: "Ist bei dir auch der Livestream zusammengebrochen?" Die Kollegen rotten sich zusammen und versammeln sich spontan im Ressort Audio/Video, um das jüngste WM-Spiel mit deutscher Beteiligung zu verfolgen.

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"Geben Sie mir bitte einen Kotzbrocken"

by Volker Weber

Wenn man eine Hotline anruft, dann spricht man mit wohlerzogenen, freundlichen und hilfsbereiten Menschen, die stets bemüht sind, das Problem zu lösen. Und absolut machtlos sind, irgendetwas zu bewegen, weil sie keine Ahnung haben und nur ein Skript abarbeiten. Das einzige Ziel eines solchen Anrufes ist, den wohlerzogenen, freundlichen und hilfsbereiten Menschen so lange zu bequatschen bis er aufgibt. Und der einen dann mit einem unfreundlichen Kotzbrocken verbindet. Dieser miese Typ arbeitet immer noch dort, wenn die wohlerzogenen, freundlichen und hilfsbereiten Menschen woanders jobben.

Weil er das Problem lösen kann.

Ich bleib heute drinnen

by Volker Weber


Photo: vowe

Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4 (with translation)

by Volker Weber

we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.

Let me put this through the bullshit detection process:

we tried to show you better reception than we actually had, but somehow this has backfired.

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The Old Spice man is back

by Volker Weber

In case you missed the original:

Trying a different access point

by Volker Weber

BelkinPlayMaxRouter.jpg

vowe's magic flying circus is Wi-Fi hell. Tons of steel and concrete, aluminum shades, covering multiple floors. I can't do that with a single access point. The hub is a VDSL-capable Fritz!Box 7390, but there are multiple wireless access points all over the place. I used to recommend Netgear, especially the blue steel boxes, but the ones I have are now outdated with 54 MBit 802.11g. They have been replaced with newer black plastic 802.11n Netgears, but I am having some difficulties with them. Devices that don't connect, lose their connection and similar issues. One of the boxes an WNR3500 needs a cold boot once in a while. This neverever happened with the blue gear!

Anyway, Belkin was so smart to send me a sample of their Play Max router. (Hint hint: send me good stuff, and I write about it). They don't make access points. You just dumb down a router to be an access point, just like I did with the aforementioned WNR3500. The Belkin router actually has a setting for that so you don't have to disable the firewall, the router and the DHCP server. Just a checkbox and entry fields for the IP details:

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Can you spot what's missing? The default router. You can see that the "router became access point" can't find its own way to the Internet, because it's unable to set its own time from the NTP servers it can't find:

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Not a big deal since you never ask the AP for the time. And it does bridge the traffic in the LAN just fine, so all attached devices have no difficulties fetching their configuration data from the DHCP server. There is just one feature where you have to carefully adjust the time. Belkin calls it "Self Healing". You can schedule times when the router will automatically reboot, avoiding the issues that requires me to unplug the WNR3500.

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In my case it is set to restart Tuesday night at 3:30 am. Not my time, but its time in 1970. This would be somewhat easier, if the router would actually knows its time better.

On to the good news: the Belkin router serves 802.11n in both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz band at the same time, the latter one being a lot less crowded. The signal readout is -35 dBm, where the WNR3500 never was better than -50 dBm. That should give me some extra range.

There is a ton of features in the router, that I won't be using. Hooking up a print server would require software on the client which I won't install. There is also a media server for attached storage, again something I don't need since Sonos takes care of all my music needs.

Lotus launches new version of Solutions Catalog

by Volker Weber

Lotus Solutions Catalog

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Another day, another Froyo build for the Nexus One (FRF91)

by Volker Weber

frf91

http://android.clients.google.com/packages/passion/signed-passion-FRF91-from-FRF85B.db99fdf1.zip

Kindle Night Light

by Volker Weber

Kindle Night Light
Photo: vowe

The Kindle does not have a backlight. It does not really need one, since it works well with ambient light, or with bright sunlight. It almost works like a newspaper. If there isn't any ambient light, and you don't want to turn on a bright lamp, then this eBook light works quite well. There are two brightness settings and I prefer the lower one. It runs on three AAA batteries and I still have to run down the first set.

If you take the light off the Kindle, the lamp stores neatly in the slot that held on to the device. I wonder how much mileage it will get in the summer with a sunrise of 5:30 and sunset at 9:30. ;-)

The real story on the Apple's iPhone 4 antenna

by Volker Weber

The fact of the matter is that either the most sensitive region of the antenna should have an insulative coating, or everyone should use a case. For a company that uses style heavily as a selling point, the latter isn't an option. And the former would require an unprecedented admission of fault on Apple's part.

That's not all there is to the story, however.

Excellent analysis. Read the whole thing.

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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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