April 2012

Two girls on longboards

by Volker Weber

Skype Reveals Remote and Local IP Address Of All Online Users

by Volker Weber

If you are a user of the messaging software Skype, you know that you can see the location of your contacts in the Skype interface. What you probably do not know is that there is currently a way to display a Skype user’s remote and local IP address as well.

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Dropped Skype

by Volker Weber


There was a time when I had Skype open while at my desk. It was my preferred chat and video call client. And then it got bigger and more obnoxious. Nowadays I am on Google Talk, simply through GMail and Google+. But those only worked while I was on either site.


Now there is an extension for Chrome which keeps you logged into Google Talk, no matter which site you are on. Recommended.

Anybody out there want to buy a Vertu?

by Volker Weber

No, not the phone, the company.

Is RIM behind the embarrassing Wake Up stunt?

by Volker Weber

So it appears* it’s Poor Old RIM who put together this embarrassing campaign. It’s heartbreaking that even when RIM try something cool, they end up screwing it up so badly that no-one even imagines it could be them.

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BlackBerry von Vodafone

by Volker Weber

Vodafone hat offiziell die Version freigegeben. Die Downloads findet man hier:

Für den BlackBerry Bold 9790 gibt es das Update bei der Telekom. Ältere BlackBerrys werden nur bis Version 6.x unterstützt.

7.1 bringt Support für NFC und den Mobile Hotspot.

Joerg Niggli: Venice in a Day

by Volker Weber

[Thanks, Hajo]

BlackBerry 7.1 for the P'9981 is finally here

by Volker Weber


Download here and install. Find both Vendor.xml files, delete them and launch loader.exe. Connect your P'9981 and Loader will prompt you for the upgrade. Don't use Desktop Manager, because that is a mess.

Matt Blum: Casual Friday

by Volker Weber

That's a lot of databases

by Volker Weber


Screenshot Stevan Bajic

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You want this.

by Volker Weber

"Power on. Talk time six hours. Phone one connected."

Says the Plantronics Voyager Pro. A long press on the button lets you talk to Siri. No need to fetch the phone out of your pocket.


I love this thing. After only six weeks ...


by Volker Weber

Deutschlands beste Agentur sucht Mitarbeiter in München. Total subjektive Bewertung, aber die gehe ich freiwillig besuchen, wenn ich vor Ort bin. :-)

Guxtu hier >

I, Cringely: By 2015 IBM will look like Oracle

by Volker Weber

So after five parts and hundreds of reader comments, what will IBM look like by the end of 2015?  It will look like Oracle.

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  1. Not your father’s IBM
  2. Something’s rotten in IBM Dubuque
  3. Magical thinking at IBM
  4. How to fix IBM in a week
  5. We’re all just lab rats to IBM

Notes and Domino is going the way of Quickr and Smartsuite

by Volker Weber

Image: Felipe Menegaz

There comes a time for every IBM product where development gets transferred to BRIC. Domino Workflow, SmartSuite, Quickr. As folks in Littleton have been told, Notes and Domino will be making this transition as well. As it is nearly impossible to weed out Notes applications, there is work for years. Bugs have to be fixed, the lights have to be kept on. Notes is still making good maintenance money, and you can only charge for maintenance if you are actually delivering. Traveler is one of these pieces that made customers pay for maintenance, as they needed to get Notes data onto mobile devices.

Some of the better (known) Notes developers moved to the Watson team to work under Bill Hume who was responsible for the Domino server. Jeff Eisen became the chief architect. This is one of the coolest jobs at IBM right now.

Lotus' new hope is Connections. Many folks who have been developing XPages are now working on Connections. Connections is an expensive product and it is complicated. That is good for consulting, so brush up on your WebSphere and Connections skills. Be ready to compete with IBM Global Services though.

Connections has proven that it works well in Microsoft environments. When Connections 4 comes out, it will work with Domino and Exchange. IBM's future success in this space depends less on Notes.

Make your plans accordingly.

Mixed Tape 45 "Vision Diamond" is out

by Volker Weber


01 | ESCAPE | FORLOVE | 4:53
03 | CBTE | IAN LATE | 3:42
09 | MAUD | FIORDMOSS . | 3:44

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Practical jokes

by Volker Weber

Skype ships on Windows Phone

by Volker Weber

Microsoft acquired Skype, and Windows Phone is still the worst Skype platform. The client just came out of beta, and it still does not run in the background. You can receive Skype calls on all devices while doing something else, but not on Windows Phone.

And I don't think that is going to change until Apollo ships later this year. Apollo as in "next major version on Windows Phone". Microsoft has not committed on making Apollo available for currently shipping phones.

Ed Brill: First beta of Notes/Domino Social Edition now out to design partners

by Volker Weber

I did not have to think much about Notes in the last two weeks while I was busy with our roadshow. So I missed the announcement that IBM has shipped the first beta drop of 8.5.4 to design partners.

Note, starting with this build, we have simplified the name of that plug-in --  we had been calling it something like a "Notes Application Player Plug-In for Windows" and now we are just saying "Notes browser plug-in". Also we are building that for Internet Explorer and Firefox; I know my Lotusphere slides showed we hadn't decided which two browsers to focus on first.

"Internet Explorer and Firefox" reads "Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows". What does the plug-in do? It runs Notes apps in a browser, client-side. It's the basic client, minus email, minus Java, packaged as a browser plugin. Since there is no basic client for other platforms, I don't see IBM ever delivering this on other platforms. Oh yes, IBM now calls it what we called it all along.

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by Volker Weber

Zwei sind vorbei, zwei kommen noch

by Volker Weber

Sehr schöne Bewertung aus Hamburg. Zwei Veranstaltungen haben wir hinter uns, zwei kommen noch.


by Volker Weber

Update your Mac. Now.

by Volker Weber


Make sure you install this software update.

How IT kills their best mobile platform. And what to do about it.

by Volker Weber

blackberry sucks
Photo: blindscape

I am often involved in decisions about future mobile platforms and I have spotted a pattern:

  1. Company has Exchange or Domino.
  2. Top users have a BlackBerry.
  3. BlackBerrys are managed with tight security.
  4. Users compare an unmanaged iPhone with a managed BlackBerry.
  5. Top users demand an iPhone.
  6. Users hate IT for "ruining" the iPhone.

The elephant in the room is item #3. The BlackBerry policies in place are outdated. They were certified years ago, when there was no such thing as BlackBerry Balance. Users can't install apps, can't use the USB port, can't use the memory card, etc.

What is Balance? It lets you deliberately manage only a fraction of the device. The stuff that matters. You define which applications are in a Work Perimeter. Those are locked down. All the other apps can't get into the Work Perimeter. Facebook can't steal your addresses. Users can't copy company internals to their private mail, etc.

With Balance, you have two devices in one. A managed, highly secure BlackBerry, and an unmanaged device that you customize and accessorize as you please. Without compromising the security of your business. No other platform can do this out of the box today. If you want to build something similar on iPhone, the device top users are craving for, you have to use a container like Good provides. That is a very expensive proposition and users generally hate it because "IT does not get it".

So what should IT do? What should RIM do? Go into the big accounts and offer to re-certify their security policies. It makes users happier and it preserves the one solution that can bridge both requirements today: a secure work environment and an enjoyable user experience.


by Volker Weber

Manche Sachen kommen genau, wenn man sie braucht. In dem Fall zwei Belkin-Griffel für das iPad. Oder PlayBook, oder Galaxy Tab. Ich hatte schon mal einen AmazonBasics Stylus, courtesy of Duffbert, aber den habe ich leider verloren, trotz des klappernden Bändels an der Spitze.

Nun also zwei neue Stifte von Belkin. Der längere von beiden kombiniert einen Kuli mit einer weichen Gummispitze am oberen Ende, der kürzere ist ein einfacher Stylus mit der weichen Spitze. Und er hat eine kleine Stiftaufnahme, die man in die 30-polige Buchse am unteren Ende des iPads stecken kann. Das sieht dann so aus:

Und dort kann man den Stift dann parken. Dieser Lösung traue ich nicht wirklich. Erstens fasse ich das iPad an genau dieser Stelle häufig an und ich habe Angst, an der Buchse was kaputt zu machen, wenn ich die Halterung mal rausbiege. Aber, gute Nachricht: beide Stifte haben einen Clip, mit dem man sie an der Kleidung befestigen kann. Genau das fehlte meinem ersten Stift.

Welchen würde ich vorziehen? Ganz klar den Kuli. Der ist vielseitiger und fühlt sich mehr wie ein normaler Stift an. Der Clip stört auch nicht, wenn den Stift rumdreht. Und wie schreibt sich damit? Besser als mit dem Zeigefinger, aber doch ziemlich schlecht verglichen mit einem Bleistift oder Kuli. Für Programme wie Adobe Ideas oder Paper brauche ich einen solchen Stift, aber längere Notizen will ich damit nicht machen.

Am Ende entscheidet wohl vor allem der Preis. Und der liegt unter 20 Euro. Bisher habe ich nur den kurzen gefunden.

Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) press announcement

by Volker Weber

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 11, 2012) - A series of updates of popular BlackBerry(R) apps will be released over the coming days to make it even easier for users to stay connected with their BBM(TM) (BlackBerry(R) Messenger) community. Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced that Facebook(R) for BlackBerry smartphones, Twitter(R) for BlackBerry smartphones, BlackBerry(R) Travel(TM), BlackBerry App World(TM) and BBM Music will now include BBM connectivity, making it even easier for users to stay in touch with their contacts, share experiences and content, and discover new things from their BBM community.

What do you think, how many journalists understand what Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) is going on about?

Nokia Belle FP1 firmware update for Nokia 701, 700 and 603

by Volker Weber

The Nokia 808 PureView will ship with Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 when it ships in May. Currently, Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 is not scheduled to be made available for the first generation of Symbian^3 devices (N8, C7, E7, C6-01, X7, E6). However, some portions of the update may be made available in a separate firmware update for these devices. The difficulty is that the first generation of devices have lower specifications, both in terms of processor and RAM and thus require additional optimisations.

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Mobile Opportunity: Rebuilding RIM

by Volker Weber

I think many observers are now watching Research in Motion like a disaster movie: It's too big to ignore, too sick to survive, every quarter is a new plot twist of devastation. … But the reality is that RIM's future is not yet decided.  Definitely the odds are against it.  But well-known brands have an amazing ability to come back; people are almost always willing to give them another chance. 

Great thoughts.

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Get Microsoft Office for Symbian

by Volker Weber

Until now you could only get the full Microsoft Office Mobile app on Windows Phone, but not anymore. We are happy to announce that from today, the Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia E7, Nokia X7, Nokia C7, Nokia Oro, and Nokia C6-01 will also get this much sought after collection of productivity apps. You can get them using the Nokia Software Update tool on your smartphone, or connecting your phone to the Nokia Suite on your PC.

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by Volker Weber

FlashbackChecker runs the tests described in the F-Secure Bulletin as of April 6th, 2012.

Note: This utility checks and reports the presence of Flashback malware, it does not remove it!

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Facebook to Acquire Instagram for $1 Billion

by Volker Weber

Facebook has just announced that it will acquire Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service for $1 billion in cash and shares.

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Pricing your app

by Volker Weber


The Cult of Mac has a giveaway. You can register your email and they will give away one bundle of Omni Group applications. A $580 value as they say.

The question is, would you ever have spent $580 on these apps? Mind you, they are pretty good. But go to the Apple App Store and see how much the best selling apps cost. OS X Lion, iPhoto, Pages, Numbers, Keynote. They are all cheaper than what Omni Group is asking for their apps.

Software does not have a unit cost. You develop the software and sell it through a channel that takes a fixed cost. Sell 1000 copies for $1 or one copy for $1000, your revenue is the same.

There are a few expensive programs on the App Store that are doing relatively well. Final Cut Pro, Aperture come to mind. But I suspect that Omni Group would have much better revenue, if they sold OmniGraffle for $20 than at its current price of $200.

Juan Pablo Zaramella's Luminaris

by Volker Weber

Android-Updates kommen zu langsam

by Volker Weber

Wenn Google eine neue Version seines mobilen Betriebssystem Android herausbringt, dauert es im Schnitt ein Dreivierteljahr, bis es auf den Smartphones ankommt. Das ist das Resultat einer Erhebung, über die c't in der aktuellen Ausgabe 9/2012 berichtet.

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Three D

by Volker Weber

Nokia sent me a pair of 3D glasses. It's kind of weird wearing two pairs of glasses on top of each other. Anyway, this looks impressive: http://maps.nokia.com/webgl/ But so does this: http://three-dd.com/

Sonos CONTROL is a goner

by Volker Weber

Photo: vowe

Still my favorite controller, but Sonos is going to discontinue selling it at the end of May. The writing has been on the wall since Sonos starting giving away for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices. More recently Sonos also opened their SonosNet for Android devices so the hardware controller loses one advantage, to be able to talk directly to ZonePlayers.

Due to economies of scale the hardware controller always was more expensive than an iPod touch, which can serve a lot more functions in a smaller form factor. The controller was also plagued by failing touch screens which Sonos always replaced free of charge.

Sonos will service existing controllers for two years after registration and software updates are going to be provided for the foreseeable future.


by Volker Weber

Nokia Maps Suite 2.0 comes out of beta

by Volker Weber

Ladies and gentlemen, update your engines.

25 Years of IBM’s OS/2: The Strange Days and Surprising Afterlife of a Legendary Operating System

by Volker Weber

Big Blue's next-generation operating system was supposed to change everything. It didn't. But it's also never quite gone away.

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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.


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