May 2012

BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1.0 Beta for Developers Launches

by Volker Weber

Today we are releasing a beta of BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.1.0 for developers to test their applications with. - There are three major enhancements to the Android Runtime in 2.1.0:

  1. Each Android app will now run in its own window. This greatly improves the user experience and consistency among the other application runtimes.
  2. Access to the Camera hardware is now supported for Android apps, allowing many more application types to work on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
  3. In-App Payment is now supported through the BlackBerry Payment SDK, so Android applications can include virtual items for sale in their applications.
For those of you wandering around the rest of the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 beta, you’ll notice a few extra enhancements geared towards end users such as:

  • Portrait support for Email, Calendar and Contacts
  • Improved folder support including IMAP folder support

There is more, like the latest webkit browser, full device encryption, screenshots in lossless PNG, etc. Whitelist your device here to get the beta OTA.

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Cleaning up

by Volker Weber

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This week I am returning a ton of stuff, or at least start preparing to return it. A PlayBook keyboard, an iPad, a few Nokia devices, some Belkin stuff. Time to reflect on things that didn't win the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award.

I had really high hopes for the Nokia Booklet 3G. I even wiped it a few times and reinstalled it, but we never made friends. The keyboard wasn't good enough, it was almost unusable due to all the maintenance tasks it had to perform. Windows updates, Security Essentials updates, catching up with Dropbox. I was constantly looking at the hour glass, for the most mundane tasks. The whole netbook concept wasn't working, and on top of that, the Booklet had only 1 GB of RAM and a lowly 1.8" 120 GB drive. I am wiping it and off it goes with my next transport to Nokia. Everything I ever wanted to do with a 3G connected netbook, I have done with an iPad 3G.

Since I am waiting for the 808 PureView, most likely the last Symbian flagship, I won't be needing the N8 anymore. This has been my third all-time favorite from Nokia. Starting with the 6210, then the E71, and now finally the N8. It's still the best camera phone out there, until the 808 replaces it. But there is a downside: it's really slow by today's standards. On one hand it really needed the Belle update to make it nice, but on the other hand it has proven too weak to handle it. The 808 will run on Belle FP1, a.k.a. Carla. And it's powerful enough to be a joy to use.

The next thing going back after only a few weeks is the Belkin ScreenCast AV. High hopes here as well, but not as practical as I thought it would be. It just adds a layer of complexity to the TV setup. A week ago it started acting up, adding artifacts to the picture. Then, while I was traveling, it failed at home. The boxes would no longer connect. Terrible WAF. I attempted to fix the setup, and then gave up. It may be a defect, it may be fighting with my Airport base station. I am just going back to HDMI cables.

Update your Fritz!Box

by Volker Weber

Berlin. Die neue Firmware FRITZ!OS ist ab sofort als kostenloses Upgrade für 10 FRITZ!Box-Modelle erhältlich. Mit gleich 10 neuen Leistungsmerkmalen rund um WLAN, Telefonie und NAS wird die FRITZ!Box vielseitiger denn je. FRITZ!OS kann mit folgenden FRITZ!Box-Modellen eingesetzt werden: FRITZ!Box 7390, 7360, 7330, 7320, 7312, 7270, 7240, 6360 Cable, 3370 und 3270. Eine aktuelle Serie auf avm.de stellt detailliert die neuen Funktionen vor. Tipps zu FRITZ!OS befinden sich auch in den Service-Portalen der jeweiligen FRITZ!Box-Modelle (avm.de/serviceportale).

Ich habe eine 7390 und eine 3270 mit dieser Firmware laufen. Null Probleme.

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Inside a Formula 1 race car

by Volker Weber

Richard Branson on Office Ties and the Company Dress Code

by Volker Weber

So on behalf of the oppressed tie-wearers of the world, here is my appeal to those corporate despots who still force their male employees to put nooses around their necks every day: Please think again.

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Photosynth finally coming to Windows Phone

by Volker Weber

My favorite Microsoft iPhone app finally on Windows Phone. Highly recommended.

Photosynth for Windows Phone is the panorama app that makes it easy and fun to capture and share interactive panoramas of the places, people, and events that are important to you. Using the latest in computer vision techniques, Photosynth is the acknowledged leader in mobile panorama creation. It is the only app available on any mobile platform that allows you to capture 360 degrees horizontally and vertically, making a perfect “sphere."

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Präzise

by Volker Weber

TNT will organize collection between 09.00 - 17.00

Ich bin sicher, die wissen das auf 15 Mnuten genau. Jetzt müssen sie die Information nur noch vefügbar machen.

IBM Faces the Perils of "Bring Your Own Device"

by Volker Weber

When IBM loosened its restrictions on the smart phones and tablets its employees could use for work, the company got a lesson in IT management of the kind it usually sells to clients.

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Kurt makes his way to Forbes

by Volker Weber

How this CIO Helped Bayer Become Social

And IBM needs to find a second customer. ;-)

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Ways to solve a problem

by Volker Weber

Sonos 3.8: New support for Mac OS X 10.8 and Android 4.0

by Volker Weber

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Today we’ve released a free software update - Sonos Version 3.8 - which features support for Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Android tablet experience is still under development.

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Research In Motion Pre-Announces Q1 Operating Loss

by Volker Weber

RIM is going through a significant transformation as we move towards the BlackBerry 10 launch, and our financial performance will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters. The on-going competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our Q1 results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter.

Apple and Samsung make a profit. All other players are selling mobile devices as a hobby. Reuters reports:

RIM shares, already down nearly 80 percent over the past 12 months, slumped nearly 13 percent in after-market trading, slithering to around $9.77 a share.

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It smelled funny for a reason

by Volker Weber

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About a year ago I posted "This starts to smell funny". My bullshit detector was off the scale. So I put the stock on my watch list. I am now taking it off. My bullshit detector was right.

My only advice is: if you sell your company, don't exchange it for funny money.

As time goes by

by Volker Weber

Photo: Hajo

Und schon ist das Apple TV viel nützlicher

by Volker Weber

Gestern habe ich ein Apple TV 2 wieder hervorgekramt. Dafür gibt es nämlich einen aktuellen Jailbreak, der mich XBMC installieren lässt. Und das wiederum hat Plugins für die Mediatheken der Öffis. Nun kann ich Konserven schauen von ARTE, ARD, ZDF etc. Warum bietet Apple die eigentlich nicht direkt in Apple TV an? Weil sie damit nichts verdienen können.

The A-List

by Volker Weber

Just finished six weeks of traveling. This is the gear that keeps me afloat. Plus an iPad for work. I am doing all my presentations from the iPad, and in combination with a Belkin keyboard, all of my writing on the go.

This is the stuff I use when not working:

  1. Nokia BH-905i is the essential tool to keep me isolated on the train. Noise canceling, great sound, connects to any of the other three devices.
  2. BlackBerry P'9981 is a rock solid BlackBerry. You can save a ton of money with the wonderful BlackBerry 9900. It's the same thing, minus the flashy body.
  3. AppleiPhone 4S. All around the best internet access device. Unless your network coverage sucks.
  4. Nokia Lumia 800. I believe that is going to be the best designed phone for a while. The 900 is bigger, adds LTE and a front facing camera. But it lacks the curved screen and it's just to big for my liking.

Both the BlackBerry and the Lumia lack a lot of software I use: G+, Path, Flipboard, Sonos Controller. An Android would provide the same, but why carry an Android when you have an iPhone? Both the BlackBerry and the Lumia have inferior cameras to the iPhone. The BlackBerry adds rock solid messaging that works in even the worst network conditions. The Lumia adds offline navigation and seems to be giving me the best results for phone calls.

On my next trip, the 808 PureView is going to replace the Lumia.

Ars Technica: No-cost desktop software development is dead on Windows 8

by Volker Weber

Microsoft wants Windows developers to write Windows 8-specific, Metro-style, touch-friendly applications, and to make sure that they crank these apps out, the company has decided that Visual Studio 11 Express, the free-to-use version of its integrated development environment, can produce nothing else.

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Nokia continues to tease me with the 808 Pureview

by Volker Weber

Went to Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen today, to get another preview of the amazing 808 PureView. This time we were allowed to take our own pictures, but still no video. The phone hasn't shipped yet, and Nokia appears to still be ramping up for production. There were plenty of phones around to test, but everybody was very nervous not to lose one of them.

I believe the initial plan was to have test samples ready by today, but that did not happen. You should be seeing sample images from today's photo shoot springing up everywhere, so I won't bore you to tears. Things will get interesting once Nokia actually ships.

Sonos unveils the SUB

by Volker Weber

After six months I can finally tell you about a secret, that was very difficult to keep. Sonos has been developing a subwoofer that augments the amplified zoneplayers CONNECT:AMP, PLAY:3 and PLAY:5. I cannot post any reviews that would pretend to be a test, and strictly speaking, I am still on beta software.

What I can say though is that SUB is the best Sonos product I have ever used, both in terms of design as well as build quality. You just have to trust me on that. If you ever get the chance to listen to one, you want it right away. At least my guests wanted. And one of them has two floor standing Klipsch horns.

What does SUB do? It reproduces a very deep bass, down to 25 Hz. When you associate SUB with a PLAY:3 or PLAY:5, or a pair of them, it automatically configures itself. When working with a CONNECT:AMP, nee ZP120, you have to tell it what kind of speakers you have, so it knows which frequency band goes where. There are also manual controls, that I won't get into now, just in order to not make it a test report.

I can confidently state two things:

  1. You want one.
  2. Your neighbors will hate hate hate you.

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Sander Vandenbroucke: Brussels Express

by Volker Weber

[Watch in full screen]

Älterer Werbeoffizier sucht

by Volker Weber

Mehrfacher Netz-Entwickler (Rubin, PHP, Java oder Pythonschlange, Perl unser Klient eine erfolgreiche Software-Beratung sucht nach Erfahrung Rubin auf Schiene Java Netz-Entwickler

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[via Hanno]

Creating the Windows 8 user experience

by Volker Weber

This blog often focuses on the bits and features and less on the “philosophy” or “context” of the product. Given the level of brand new innovations in Windows 8, however, we think it is worth putting Windows 8 in the context in which we approached the design.

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Das ästhetische Versprechen ist weg

by Volker Weber

Niklas Maak beschreibt auf FAZ.NET sehr schön, warum ich innerdeutsch nur Bahn fahre.

Gleichzeitig wird das Fliegen immer unattraktiver: Wer eine Stunde zum neuen Berliner Großflughafen fahren, dann eine Stunde lang einchecken, Schlange stehen, Koffer aufgeben, Schuhe ausziehen, von einem lustlosen Sicherheitsbeamten abgetastet werden und durch endlose Einkaufsalleen zum Gate wandern muss, um dann eine Stunde lang nach München zu fliegen, wo er wiederum auf den Koffer warten und eine Stunde in die Stadt pendeln muss: Der ist schneller mit der Bahn oder dem Auto. Die neuen Flughäfen schaffen die Idee des Fliegens ab: Das ästhetische Versprechen ist weg, das reale Tempo auch. Bauverzögerungen sind da das kleinste Problem.

Das gilt auch für lange Autobahnfahrten. Es geht schon lange nicht mehr darum, sicher ein Automobil zu führen. Vielmehr hat man Dutzende von Gesslerhüten mit wechselnden Geschwindigkeitsbeschränkungen zu grüßen.

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britishcouncil.org: How a bicycle is made

by Volker Weber

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heise open: OpenOffice in Freiburg möglicherweise vor dem Aus

by Volker Weber

OpenOffice könnte in der Stadtverwaltung Freiburg demnächst durch MS-Office ersetzt werden.

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Nächste Woche: Stuttgart, Oberkochen und Köln

by Volker Weber

Sehr netter Kommentar zu unserer Heise Security Tour, letzte Woche in München. Nächste Woche singen wir noch mal in Stuttgart und Köln. Und dazwischen schaue ich mir bei Zeiss noch mal in Ruhe das Nokia 808 Pureview an. Leider kann ich noch keins mitnehmen. Aber lange kann das nicht mehr dauern.

Windows 8: Does Metro actually work?

by Volker Weber

Introduced by Microsoft as a key element of Microsoft Windows Phone strategy, Metro is now being positioned as the aesthetic standard just shy of an absolute requirement for Windows Phone and tablet-optimized apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

What no one’s asking, though, is this: “does Metro actually work?”

In my opinion: No.

I don't agree. It works for me. Well, read on ...

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Sonos Soundalier

by Volker Weber

We asked Lindsey Adelman to create a custom speaker for a unique audio experience during NYC Design Week

"Advertorial Content" - that's a good markup.

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Endless roads #4

by Volker Weber

The hardest job in the world

by Volker Weber

Ask Siri "what is the best smartphone ever"

by Volker Weber

Research in Mothers

by Volker Weber

Aus einer Pressemitteilung:

"Der Muttertag ist den Deutschen nach wie vor wichtig: für etwa 70 Prozent der Teilnehmer einer aktuellen Studie zum Muttertag, die der BlackBerry-Hersteller Research In Motion durchgeführt hat, ist dieser Tag eine wichtige Gelegenheit, um Müttern die Zuneigung auszusprechen."

Mir scheint, RIM könnte dringendere Fragen klären.

[Titelidee: Bodo Menke]

Kompliment

by Volker Weber

"... ich dachte mir, wenn ich mal 54 bin, dann will auch auch noch so technisch flexibel, interessiert und am Ball sein wie Du."

Das ist nicht schwer. Keine Routine einreissen lassen. Neugierig bleiben. Staunen. Also, das Kind am Leben erhalten.

Die Suche nach der besten iPad-Hülle ist beendet

by Volker Weber

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Seit gestern meins. :-)

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Fifty Four

by Volker Weber

Linus
Model: Linus
Photo: Derek H. Pokorny

BlackBerry und TomTom kooperieren

by Volker Weber

Gestern kam das als Pressemitteilung:

CTIA Wireless, New Orleans, 8. Mai 2012 - TomTom hat heute angekündigt, dass Research In Motion (RIM) künftig den vielfach ausgezeichneten Echtzeit-Verkehrsinformationsservice TomTom HD Traffic für BlackBerry (R) Anwendungen einsetzt. BlackBerry Traffic ist ab sofort "powered by TomTom HD Traffic" und ermöglicht seinen Nutzern den Zugang zu den genauesten, umfangreichsten und aktuellsten Verkehrsinformationen auf dem Markt. Darüber hinaus kommen TomTom Karten und ortsbezogene Daten in BlackBerry Maps und BlackBerry Locate Services zum Einsatz. Drittanbieter und Entwickler können so Karteninhalte und Verkehrsinformationen in die eigenen Apps integrieren.

Das klingt schon mal gut. Problem: BlackBerry Traffic gibt es nur in Nordamerica. Bisher jedenfalls. TomTom HD Traffic aber ist in Europa gut ausgebaut. Wann wird es also BlackBerry Traffic auf der Basis von TomTom HD Traffic in Deutschland geben? Keine Ahnung. Ich kann das nicht rausfinden, auch wenn ich eigentlich ganz gute Kontakte haben.

Wer TomTom HD Traffic nutzen will, muss dafür bisher bezahlen. Entweder als Live Services für ein TomTom Gerät (die ersten zwei Jahre sind bei den Spitzengeräten dabei), oder als In-App-Verkauf bei der iOS-App. Mal gespannt, wie das bei BlackBerry geht.

Hiding all those video components

by Volker Weber

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My TV was living inside a nest of cables and AV components. Up until this weekend. Now it's all hidden away. And it works brilliantly. Here's the story.

I solved my TV sound problem a long time ago. Run a cable from TV audio-out to Sonos line-in, program the ZonePlayer to switch to line-in as soon as there is a signal, and presto, great sound coming out of my stereo.

Video was a different story. My TV does digital terrestrial but not satellite. I am running three separate boxes to augment the TV:

  1. A dual antenna digital sat receiver with hard disk recording from a company I no longer recommend.
  2. An Apple TV, which serves as the target for Airplay video, Photostream and movie trailers. We stream live video from iPads to this box.
  3. A Netgear NeoTV 550, which plays all the media files from my NAS that the Apple TV refuses to acknowledge that they are there.

So I was running three HDMI wires into the TV, and all of these boxes had so sit on a shelf in the vicinity of the TV, so that they could be controlled via IR remote controls. To resolve this mess Belkin last week sent me a big box with two components (and another small remote): the ScreenCast AV 4 Wireless AV-to-HDTV Adapter.

ScreenCast AV has a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter connects up to four HDMI sources and sends the data stream over 5 GHz wirelessly to the receiver. The receiver connects to one HDMI port of the TV. The receiver also picks up IR signals from your remotes and send them back to the transmitter who emits the same IR signals through a four-headed IR blaster back to your components.

Now you can hide away your AV components, plus the transmitter and the IR blaster inside a closet, and only keep the receiver at the TV. I have mounted the receiver to the back of my TV where it picks up the IR signals as they bounce off the wall. The messy cables and the three AV components are now hidden away.

I have not dealt with any of the technical details. Belkin says that the ScreenCast can achieve full 1080 video, 3D video and 5.1-channel surround sound over a distance of up to 30 feet. I am just transmitting the signal over a short distance through an IKEA BESTA shelf. And it all just works.

Next step is to move all AV components into the basement. That's would be only 10 feet away from the TV, but going through a serious concrete floor.

Gerald hat die Nase voll. Ich auch.

by Volker Weber

Liebes Google, liebe GEMA,

lange genug haben wir uns Eure fadenscheinigen Argumente angehört, warum deutsche Besucher auf YouTube seit zwei Jahren dauernd traurige Smileys serviert bekommen statt Shakiras kreisende Hüften.

Super Editorial in c't.

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A great start in the morning

by Volker Weber

New Belkin keyboard

by Volker Weber

I love my Belkin Bluetooth keyboard and have used it on numerous travels. Whenever I need to write a longer text for a report, I just whip it out of my bag, prop up the iPad and start typing. The battery seems to last forever and charges from my BlackBerry power supply.

Now there is a new one. It has all the same features, it's smaller and thinner, but it uses exactly the same technology and has the same physical dimensions for they keys themselves. So there is no training going from one to the other. Belkin moved the with to the front, the led to the left side where it wraps around the edge so you can see it from the top. And it know has a little thumb rest, which makes typing even more convenient.

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Keyboard for BlackBerry PlayBook: the verdict

by Volker Weber

I have good and bad news for RIM. The good news is, you can have the keyboard back, after just two days. The bad news is hidden in my FAQ: it's completely useless to me. I am absolutely sure it would only collect dust and never be used again.

In theory this is a great concept. Pop in a PlayBook when you need to connect to a remote PC. With Citrix Receiver you have a physical keyboard, you have cursor keys, you even have a trackpad. Genius.

The bad news is, that this does not work at all, for a number of reasons:

What you get is a netbook without a lot of software, with broken hinges, and an unusable keyboard. The PlayBook is much nicer without it. Of course you can ditch the folio and use some other means to prop up the PlayBook, as I do it with my Belkin keyboard. In that case the keyboard would not have to be constricted to the small PlayBook size.

Not recommended. Misses the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award my a mile and a half.

Super Moto

by Volker Weber

Sonata Lite, a basic Sonos controller for Windows Phone

by Volker Weber

Sonata Lite is a quick Sonos controller for Windows Phone. Does only the basics, but a good secondary controller. And it's free.

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LinkedIn to acquire SlideShare

by Volker Weber

Mountain View, Calif. - May 3, 2012 - LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members worldwide, today announced it agreed to acquire SlideShare, a leading professional content sharing community.

Make sense to me. Death by PowerPoint, for a business network.

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RIM is in a dry spell

by Volker Weber

Captain Obvious at the mike:

  1. BlackBerry 10 looks really neat. So did Nokia N9.
  2. BlackBerry 7 was the king of the hill. So was Symbian (in Europe at least).
  3. Unlike Nokia, RIM is sticking to their guns.
  4. Unlike Nokia, RIM has a strong infrastructure play.
RIM is doing all the right things. For the first time ever, they are not announcing new devices in Orlando. Their development is going both cool and standards/open source.

The big elephant in the room is this: will RIM be able to drive volume for BlackBerry 10 from the installed base?

BlackBerry 10 sneak preview

by Volker Weber

Keyboard for BlackBerry PlayBook: first impressions

by Volker Weber

If there is one complaint I have about the PlayBook, then it's the keyboard. I can't get up to speed as much as on my iPad. So when RIM offered to send one of their PlayBook keyboards, I was all ears. Got it this morning, and I am not very thrilled yet.

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Nokia startet Mix Radio für Lumia Smartphones in Deutschland

by Volker Weber

Ratingen, 2. Mai 2012 - Mix Radio, der kostenlose Musik-Streaming-Dienst von Nokia, steht ab sofort auch allen Kunden in Deutschland und der Schweiz zur Verfügung. Wer bereits ein Nokia Lumia 800 oder Lumia 710 hat, kann mit Mix Radio aus verschiedenen Musik-Kanälen über 15 Millionen Titel für seinen persönlichen Hörgenuss streamen. Mix Radio erweitert somit das Angebot exklusiver Anwendungen für das Nokia Windows Phone-Portfolio und wird auch für die kommenden Produkte Nokia Lumia 900 sowie Lumia 610 bereitgestellt.

Und der David sagt uns jetzt, wie das geht. Achtet auf die Merkel-Gestik und sein Headset. Ohne Kabel spielt das nämlich nichts. ;-)

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scrambls

by Volker Weber

Wherever you go on the web scrambls gives you a private language to make your posts forever yours. Share with everybody, a circle of friends, or not until noon.

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Benjamin Villeda: DIVE

by Volker Weber

Jambox, the original

by Volker Weber

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Everybody is talking up the new Big Jambox today, and I don't get it. That's a bit like a "Monster Bonsai". The original Jambox is a small Bluetooth speaker that delivers exceptional sound and can also be used in a speakerphone setup. It's one of the few toys that I don't have, wink wink.

So what does the big Jambox do? Well, six times larger means you won't take it with you that often, no matter what the sound quality is.

Watch the BlackBerry World keynote live

by Volker Weber

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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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