July 2012

Who says Microsoft has no taste?

by Volker Weber

Hotmail becomes Outlook.com. Check it out.

Beyond the inbox my a$$

by Volker Weber

For at least a dozen years, I have been reading articles on "it's time to think beyond the inbox". They are all about the fact that people should not manage their business out of the inbox. And then there are people who want to stuff more things into the inbox. Unified communications with voice mail, chat transcripts, RSS feeds, the firehose. The new name for this is activity streams.

Let me add a few observations:

  1. People use email because it works. Create mail, insert address, add file, boom. It's the swiss army knife everybody carries.
  2. IT likes to set up closed systems, that are better than email. People just use email. GOTO 1.
  3. Pollute somebody's inbox and they will filter. It is their inbox. GOTO 1.
  4. Can't find a file you need now? Call a co-worker. "Send me this file". - "Done that already". - "Don't care, send it again". GOTO 1.
  5. Deployed a container on iPad that is so secure, that people can't run a presentation? They'll email the file to themselves, outside of your reign. GOTO 1.
People are ingenious. And they muddle through with a few trusted tools. Don't try to educate them otherwise. They will ignore you or run you over. If you want to think beyond the inbox, build a better mouse trap. A very much better mouse trap.

Why IBM can't fix small things

by Volker Weber

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Artist: Jessica Wu Ramirez

IBM is an army. They can inflict some serious damage. But it becomes next to impossible to do the little things. Things that take a few minutes or hours. Even the smallest of problems (have to) become big problems.

This of course is very frustrating to the individual. Because no longer big is killing small. Fast is killing slow.

Nexus and PureView

by Volker Weber

This is an odd couple I am currently using: a Nexus 7 Tablet and the Nokia 808 PureView. Great fun, but an unlikely pair. Like my other pair, a BlackBerry and an iPad, it covers very different use cases. Where the BlackBerry provides excellent connectivity and the iPad gives me all the multimedia, and content creation, the PureView is simply the best camera, and the Nexus adds all the software the PureView misses.

Well, this works when I am at home and close to home. The PureView cannot push photos into my Photostream, and even if I could move photos from the PureView to the Nexus, that would not work either. Vendor lock-in. And the Nexus, as nice as it is, does not cover all the rest of the use cases. Can't watch TV from the tizi for instance. And the screen is too small to read A4-sized PDFs. It's no match for the Retina display on the iPad.

If I would not be in the area, and started traveling as I will in September, I would miss a lot of things. For instance, I cannot run presentations from either one. Technically, I could use HDMI on the Nokia, but that won't work with VGA projectors. The Nexus 7 has turned out to be autistic. It does not show up as a USB drive, it's very low on storage, the Nokia USB-to-go dongle does not physically fit into the MicroUSB port. So my stuff is either in the Google cloud or not accessible.

The Nexus is very useful around the house. It's a nice Sonos controller, it will let me check on Google Reader, Google+, my mail and calendar. But it does need a WiFi connection. Potentially that could be the PureView, but it only comes with a stripped down third party client, which would not even encrypt the network. Yes, I could buy a full client, but hey, Nokia, this is not 2010. Everything, the Windows phones, the BlackBerrys, the iPhone, other Android phones, they all have a mobile hotspot. You can no longer pretend it's a third party add-on.

Of course it all starts with the Nexus being unable to connect to 3G networks. That already killed the PlayBook. I know we are in Kindle Fire territory and not in iLand. Did you notice how Google plays around this non-connectivity issue in their camping ad? Father and son bonding, in their backyard. In the real world, you would need an iPad. Or another device playing hotspot, and we know how fast that depletes the battery. Not good, when camping out in a tent.

So, when it's time to leave home, I will be back on BlackBerry and iPad, with an iPhone as backup.

So macht man das

by Volker Weber

CUPERTINO, Kalifornien - 30. Juli 2012 - Apple hat heute bekannt gegeben, dass OS X Mountain Lion mehr als drei Millionen Mal innerhalb der ersten vier Tage heruntergeladen worden ist - der erfolgreichste Start eines OS X in der Geschichte von Apple.

16 Euro. Schmerzloser Verkauf, keine Aktivierung, nutzbar auf allen eigenen Rechnern. So geht das.

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Dear Editorial team,

I'd like to place a guest article on vowe.net. I can offer £50 for the article, which will be about 400 words in length and on the subject of broadband or mobile technology. We can also provide an image.

Please let me know if this interests you and I can send the article.

Go away.

vowe's choice: iA Writer

by Volker Weber

I am an author. Not an editor. Authors write original copy, editors take the author's manuscript and improve it. There is no collaborative process. I write the text, I submit it, and the next time I see it, I am looking at a PDF. If I am lucky. Sometimes I get to see the mistakes I didn't make on paper. ;-)

And this is what I see when I write. iA Writer. It's a program stripped of all unnecessary features, with beautiful typography and spell checker. It lets me focus on the text, it even lets me focus on the current sentence.

And better yet, it lets me switch devices in an instant, from the iMac, to my iPad, to the MacBook Pro. Because it automatically saves all edits in the iCloud. I have never even lost a single sentence.

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Highly recommended. Available in the Mac App Store, and in the iTunes App Store.

Happy little clouds

by Volker Weber

Smashing Mobile: Designing For Android

by Volker Weber

Android is an attractive platform for developers, but not all designers share our enthusiasm. Making an app look and feel great across hundreds of devices with different combinations of screen size, pixel density and aspect ratio is no mean feat. Android’s diversity provides plenty of challenges, but creating apps that run on an entire ecosystem of devices is rewarding too.

More >

The Other Notes

by Volker Weber

It's almost funny. IBM was caught by surprise. Apple released a new operating system. Who would have thought. Anyway, there are some issues.

Nexus 7 First Impressions

by Volker Weber

Jeff sent me a Nexus 7. I had no idea it was coming. The mail guy handed me the padded envelope, I turned it around and found @readystate as the sender. I know he is a generous guy who gives away stuff he does not need, so my heart started pounding. Could this be? Yes, yes, yes. A Nexus 7.

Unpack - yes, this looks easier than it is. Very tight packaging. I did not bother to record an unboxing, so I had two hands free. Rip off the protective plastics, whip out a MicroUSB charger and connect it. Boom, it was on. Go through the wizard, enter Google ID. In three minutes flat, this thing was working.

You probably read a few reviews, so I am not going there. There is one thing you don't get from those reviews, and that is how this thing feels. So let me tell you.

It feels more like a Kindle. Durable, dependable, rugged. It does not feel like you need to put it into a protective case. It's not slippery, it's light, you don't fear you will scratch it. You just toss it around. Put in on the coffee table, pick it up, throw it on the sofa. It's very accessible.

I have a New iPad 3G with 64 GB of storage. The Nexus 7 can't even come near that fire breathing machine. If you compare the displays, it isn't even a fight. It has next to no storage. Although I haven't done anything, I am at 5.5 GB free. One HD movie, one, and that storage is gone. But I don't intend to carry stuff with it. It immediately made all the things available to me that I store in the Google cloud.

So, yes, I am loving it. I'd probably love a Chromebook as well. Wink, wink.

IBM THINK Exhibit App for iPad and Android Tablets

by Volker Weber

ARMONK, NY - 26 Jul 2012: To celebrate centuries of science and technology innovations, IBM (NYSE: IBM) has reinvented its award-winning 2011 THINK exhibit at New York City's Lincoln Center as a free interactive app for iPad and Android tablets. Geared to tech fans and educators, the IBM THINK exhibit app is an "innovation time machine" that shows how early tools have evolved into modern advances that create healthier populations, greener energy and safer, less congested cities.

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23-year road trip, one car

by Volker Weber

Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going.

More >

[Thanks, John]

Notes and iCloud

by Volker Weber

If you go to the iCloud preference panel and want to enable iCloud for Notes*, you will find that it asks you to generate an email address for your Mac ID, if and only if your Mac ID does not end on me.com or mac.com. That's a real bummer, since I already have a me.com address that I don't use any more since Mobile Me was shut down. I really want to merge my me.com and Apple ID, but that's not possible. And I don't want to associate an arbitrary technical address to my Apple ID. Turns out I don't have to.

Notes needs an email address, since it uses IMAP to store your notes inside a folder on the mail server. And since you probably already have an IMAP account, you simply go into "Mail, Contacts & Calendars" in System Preferences, select your mail account and check the Notes app there. There is no need to use the mail server, Apple provides with iCloud.

*) We are talking about OS X Notes, not Lotus Notes. :-)

Tenthousand hours

by Volker Weber

If you want to master something, you have to do it for 10,000 hours. Watch Nora. She has practiced a lot more than 10,000 hours. I never met Nora, but I have known her brother.

OS X Mountain Bayern

by Volker Weber

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Das habe ich schon lange nicht mehr riskiert: eine .0 von Apple installieren, am ersten Tag. Ich gehe das Risiko ein, weil ich auf einem anderen Rechner schon die Beta eingesetzt habe und anders als bei Lion nicht an jeder Ecke über Bugs gestolpert bin.

Und warum OS X Mountain Bayern? Es gibt keine Diktiersoftware, die mein Genuschel versteht. Erstes Diktat:

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Untrainiert auf den Tourmalet

by Volker Weber

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Teil 1 - Teil 2

Schlimme Farbe

by Volker Weber

Mein schwarzes Belkin Essential 016 ist zerbrochen. Habe noch zwei: pink und orange. Mal sehen, welches leichter auszuhalten ist. :-)

1980 called: Kitchen at parties

by Volker Weber

This is 1980. 32 years later it's an IKEA ad.

Bloomberg: Microsoft’s Surface Tablet Said to Be Wi-Fi Only

by Volker Weber

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Surface tablet computer, unveiled this week to compete with Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad, will initially go on sale without a connection to mobile-phone networks, according to two people familiar with the matter. Microsoft is equipping the device with a Wi-Fi short-range connection, said the people, who declined to be named because the full specifications of the new product have yet to be made public.

That would be a major bummer. RIM's PlayBook took a huge hit because it did not work on mobile networks. That is a major headache for an always-on device.

More >

Suche altes Nokia-Handy

by Volker Weber

Nokia 6110

Ich suche ein altes Nokia 6110 als Ersatz für eins, das langsam den Geist aufgibt. Warum gerade dieses Gerät? Weil es von jemandem benutzt werden soll, der fast nichts mehr sieht, und dieses Gerät aus dem Effeff kennt. Ein 6210 wäre auch gerade noch so OK, obwohl man die Tasten nicht genauso leicht fühlt. Immerhin sind sie an der selben Stelle.

Schublade auf. Wer hat so ein Ding in brauchbarem Zustand? Ich tausche auch gegen ein Sonim XP1 in signalgelb. Das ist zehn Jahre jünger. :-)

Update: Nach nicht mal einer Stunde hat sich eins gefunden. Mein allerbester Dank an Ingo. Du hast ein großes Problem gelöst. Danke auch an Frank, Ralf und Dirk!

Android 4.1 devices work with NFC-enabled speakers and headsets

by Volker Weber

Several Android devices, starting with the Nexus S, have had NFC hardware all along. But "Android Beam", the software introduced in 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), was unable to pair the Android devices to NFC-enabled speakers or headsets. With 4.1 (Jelly Bean) you can now tap the phone on the speaker to transfer the audio output, and tap again to get it back. The Nokia 360 pictured above can act as a stereo pair. Touch the left channel and both will play your audio.

I can do the same with my BlackBerry 7.1 phones, the Nokia N9 and the PureView. It's actually really simple. The phone reads the tag which says connect/disconnect here over Bluetooth. Welcome to the club, Android.

It's only a beginning

by Volker Weber

Once in a while there is a category defining personal mobile device. The USRobotics Pilot, a.k.a. PalmPilot, was the first device which easily synced your contacts, calendars, notes and to-dos with your PC. The BlackBerry was the first always connected email device, the iPhone became the first always-on internet device.

I believe the PureView defines a new category. It's a video/audio recorder that works everywhere. In daylight, at night, in quiet surroundings, in concerts*. There is no compromise here. It won't have the same success as the other devices, because for Nokia and for Symbian, it's about two years late. But the camera and the audio recorder are way ahead. It won "Best News Mobile Handset" at Mobile World Congress for a reason. There is no competition.

Others will follow the same path. It's only a beginning.

*) Watch this video. It contains footage from a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Elgan: Why the mini-tablet is the children's toy of the year

by Volker Weber

Small touch tablets will utterly dominate holiday gift sales to children this year, and will become as much a part of kids' culture as Barbie and LEGO.

More >

Interesting prospectus

by Volker Weber

This looks very much like trying to catch a falling knife:

We are not selling any shares of the Common Stock covered by this prospectus, and, as a result, will not receive any proceeds from this offering.

Interesting disclosure:

Effective April 1, 2011, the Company acquired 100% of the outstanding common shares of Pavone AG, a German corporation, for $350,000 in cash and 1,000,000 shares of its common stock. The fair value of the common stock was determined to be $4.90 per share, representing the market value at the end of trading on the date of the acquisition.

Those shares lost more than 90% of their value since the acquisition.

More >

Jelly Bean on the Nexus S

by Volker Weber

  

The upgrade to Jelly Bean was smooth, as usual on Android. The Nexus downloaded the new code, rebooted to install, and then went on to "optimize" all my existing applications. Nothing broke. You will notice three things after upgrading: a different splash sequence, a new three-way unlock (Camera, Google Now, Unlock), and the CRT animation (when locking) went missing.

Animations and scrolling are smoother, but other than that, I don't see a big difference. Speech recognition is still not good enough to be usable and I don't benefit from Google Now. If you don't know any better, this is still a good upgrade.

Ridiculous eye candy: Braille on glass.

You call that a knife? This is a Knife!

by Volker Weber

Look at this photo from the Chipworks Nokia 808 teardown:

diesizecomparison.jpg

On your left, the image sensor used in the Nokia 808 PureView, on your right, the sensor from the Samsung Galaxy S3.

This graph compares sensor sizes of popular smartphones and compact cameras: iPhone 4S. Galaxy S3, Canon S100, Lumix LX5, and the 808 PureView:

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Tour de Francis

by Volker Weber

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Gruß an vowe, der mich noch mal das letzte Hemd kostet.

vowe.net zu lesen ist nur vordergründig teuer. Auf lange Sicht spart das viel Geld für Experimente.

Jelly Bean rolling out to the Nexus S

by Volker Weber

If it's not being pushed to your phone yet, do this:

  1. Go to Settings/Apps, select the All tab, find Google Services Framework, Force Stop, Clear Data.
  2. Then go to Settings/About/System Updates, Check Now.
If unsuccessful, repeat.

Nokia Drive becomes useful for commuters

by Volker Weber

Most sat navs are good for finding places you have never been to. But if you want to use it on your regular commute they don't work how you want them to. You know the way, but you don't know the traffic. TomTom will alert you of the traffic, but only if you tell it to navigate. And this becomes tiresome. You can set your home and work destinations, but it never figures out that you are traveling to work in the morning and home in the evening. It asks you every single time, where you want to go.

Nokia is about to change that. Drive learns from you. The routes you drive, and when you drive them. And then it alerts you of a better alternative. First available in the US. This should be quite useful.

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I wonder why Nokia uses the SIM card to throttle the feature. This smells of an operator limitation. And you don't want your operator to cut you off features.

Google acquires Sparrow

by Volker Weber

And this is the end of the line for the Sparrow apps for Mac and iOS.

We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users. However, as we’ll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps.

More >

Call buttons - an endangered species

by Volker Weber

Call buttons have become an endangered species. And they are one of the things I love about the Nokia 808 PureView. You can always take or reject a call without looking at the phone. The menu button is in the middle, the right side of the phone has the only other buttons: volume rocker, shutter release, lock/unlock screen. Almost perfect. Would only like to have a rotation lock.

TomTom aktualisiert Karte für London Olympics

by Volker Weber

London/München, 20 Juli 2012 - TomTom erweitert zeitweise seinen Map Share Service, um Autofahrern im Großraum London dabei zu helfen, Verkehrsbehinderungen während des Sommers zu umgehen. TomTom hat zu diesem Zweck eine Karten-Task-Force gebildet, die Änderungen im Kartenmaterial wie z.B. vorübergehende Straßensperrungen, Änderungen der Verkehrsrichtung und veränderte Abbiegevorschriften in der englischen Hauptstadt erfasst und verarbeitet. TomTom wird diese dynamischen Änderungen im Kartenmaterial seinen Kunden mithilfe der täglich kostenlosen Kartenaktualisierungen über Map Share zugänglich machen.

Kling gut. Funktioniert aber nur über den PC. TomTom aktualisiert nichts über Wifi oder gar das Mobilfunknetz.

Rishi Kaneria: While The World Sleeps

by Volker Weber

Denglische Bahn

by Volker Weber

Google knows

by Volker Weber

Whatever you want to know, just ask Google. Try this: 99 $ +19% in €

GeNUG

by Volker Weber

Die DNUG hat ein Problem: die Anwender bleiben weg. Hersteller und Partner können sich nur schlecht gegenseitig bespaßen. Nun soll ein neuer Name etabliert werden. Damit hat die DNUG dann zwei Probleme.

So könnte das aussehen:

CommunKnowlo-G, @ed - ecollaboration in deutschland, ECK[Punkt, @3C, go/collaborate, ISOLDE, INTUS, b.col, ISSUG, e.g.o.connect, PECC, EULUC, CUGEV - Collaboration User Group e.V., SUTOL, ECCoG, EC3, GREP, CSC - Collaboration Software Community, DNUG - die Enterprise Collaboration Professionals, GECKO, ECCPros

Fehlt noch DEPP = Deutsche Enterprise Produktivitätsprofis. 16 Stimmen gibt es bisher, bei 21 Alternativen.

Ich würde am Problem 1 arbeiten. Wenn das gelöst ist, kann man ein neues machen.

IBM Second-Quarter Earnings are out

by Volker Weber

Revenues from the WebSphere family of software products increased 3 percent year over year. Information Management software revenues decreased 1 percent. Revenues from Tivoli software increased 2 percent. Revenues from Lotus software decreased 8 percent, and Rational software decreased 7 percent.

More >

I like that

by Volker Weber

Apple Inc. (AAPL) was ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K. website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. didn’t copy designs for the iPad.

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Sonos Controller for iOS learns from Android

by Volker Weber

You can finally use the volume buttons to control the volume of your Sonos player from the iPhone. That feature was only available on the Android controller so far.

Nokia 808 screens

by Volker Weber

This is what I have been looking at for the last five weeks. And I like what I see.

  

  

  

Sonos releases new controllers with Retina Display and Android Tablet support

by Volker Weber

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My Android controller just updated itself. And the iOS controllers should be available from the iTunes store.

Philips macht alles richtig

by Volker Weber

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Gestern hatte ich noch mal Gelegenheit an den miesen TechniSat-Service zu denken. Und heute dann zum zweiten Mal an den wunderbaren Philips-Service. Wir hatten den zweiten Defekt an einem Sonicare-Produkt. Erst auf der Website durchgeklickt. Dort einen Hinweis auf eine 0800-Nummer. Sehr freundlicher Kontakt, der sofort unsere Historie gefunden hat. Wie bei dem anderen Produkt wird sofort ein Ersatz rausgeschickt, mit einem frankierten Aufkleber für den Rückversand des defekten Produktes.

So macht man das. Und Philips ist jetzt positiv besetzt. Das hilft bei zukünftigen Kaufentscheidungen. TechniSat hat auch sehr geholfen. Nur eben andersrum. Es ist vollkommen ausgeschlossen, dass ich je wieder ein Produkt von denen kaufe. Egal zu welchem Preis.

Fictionalization

by Volker Weber

The fun is in the tiny captions, especially the second one.

Objects in the rear view mirror are behind you.

Yahoo! Appoints Marissa Mayer Chief Executive Officer

by Volker Weber

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) today announced that it has appointed Marissa Mayer as President and Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors effective July 17, 2012.

That's probably the lamest, well-paid job she could take.

More >

Outlook 2013. Oh dear.

by Volker Weber

Look at this screenshot. Spot the area that contains the body text.

Mobile Device Management - what are you doing?

by Volker Weber

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I am writing a report about MDM this week, and I am interested in what you are doing out there. Which product are you using, and what are you doing with it. Send me an email please. Natürlich auch auf Deutsch. :-)

Update: Excellent feedback so far. Thank you, guys.

Talk to me

by Volker Weber

"Jambox is ready. Waiting for device to connect."

The Jambox turns out to be even better than I expected. One of the things I like is that it talks to me. I don't need to learn any codes or blinking LEDs. It just tells me what's up. Today it gave me a warning when the battery was below 25% charge.

And with the 2.2 software update, it now supports the Android companion. Hear alerts for upcoming meetings while listening to music, and dial in — passcode and all — with a single touch of a button. Loving it.

I added the big one to my wishlist.

Nokia Situations

by Volker Weber

Nokia Situations helps your device tie more into your life. You can manually define situations, like “In a meeting”, “Sleeping”, “Watching TV”, or “Playing with kids” and define how you want the device to act. With the application running in the background, your device automatically senses the situation you are in and adapts to it according to your preferences.

Using this now to automatically switch off ringtones at night and back on in the morning. I missed a few calls when I failed to change the profile manually. This is just the beginning, I am only scratching on the surface of what Situations can do.

More >

Racing In Slow Motion

by Volker Weber

Noisy Typer

by Volker Weber

Noisy Typer is a free piece of software which plays typewriter sounds as you type. It runs in the background and works with all applications ( email, web, word etc ). Key sounds include: letter keys, spacebar, backspace, carriage return and scroll up and down.

OS X only

More >

Path’s Consistency Of Tone

by Volker Weber

There are few better examples over the past few years of overhyped startups than Path.

So I’m choosing a very public place to admit the following: after using the new version of Path since November, I believe it is one of the best mobile products I’ve ever used and possibly the best true social network I’ve ever been a part of.

Very consistent with my experience.

More >

RIM loses patent case brought by Mformation: $147.2 million

by Volker Weber

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2012) - Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM), a world leader in the mobile communications market, yesterday learned that a jury returned a verdict against RIM in the amount of $147.2 million (USD) in an action brought by Mformation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. RIM is disappointed by the outcome and is evaluating all legal options. Additionally, the trial judge has yet to decide certain legal issues that might impact the verdict. RIM will await those rulings before deciding whether to pursue an appeal.

RIM has worked hard for many years to independently develop its leading-edge BlackBerry technology and industry-leading intellectual property portfolio, and RIM does not believe that the Mformation patent in question is valid.

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Jelly Bean vs. Siri

by Volker Weber

Apple: A letter from Bob Mansfield

by Volker Weber

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

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USB on-the-go

by Volker Weber

USB on-the-go is a life saver, if somebody hands you a press kit on a USB key, and you are not carrying a notebook. I can mostly live with my iPad, but I am stuck when this happens. The camera connection kit does not help, because it does not give you file system level access.

The Nokia N8 came with a dongle that lets you mount a USB drive to the phone. It's not in the 808 box, but it can be purchased separately. I still have one, although I did return all N8, E7 etc. Sometimes, things are left behind.

Anyway, the same dongle is working with the 808, and this is what you see, when you plug it in.

One more tap, and you see the files on the USB drive. Then you can take it from there.

Extra fuel

by Volker Weber

The moment I saw this, I wanted one. You charge it on one end, and then you charge your phone from the other end. With exactly the same cable. And if your charger has a USB port, you don't need to carry anything else. I have a few other external batteries, but none is quite as elegant.

It's only 2200 mAh but it weighs only 75g and will deliver at least one full charge. Not that I ever ran out of power on the 808. It looks a bit like a stick of explosives, if you hold it in your hand and have the short cable hanging from one end. :-)

I can find the press release, but I cannot find the product on Nokia.com. If you search Amazon with Nokia DC-16, you will find it for about 25 EUR.

Play it loud

by Volker Weber

Jozef Scuric to Steve Litchfield:

This was recorded last Saturday night on HobNob Pop festival 2012. I took it with my new 808, there was a hell of noise and light on the stage!

If you want to experience this you have to put on a good pair of headphones and crank the video up to 1080p. It's absolutely amazing that you can record this kind of video and audio with a smartphone. Try to do that with your phone, next time you are in a club. It's probably going to be distorted. I believe the 808 is the only one which can record at these sound levels.

I will have to talk more about all the things the 808 does besides shooting great photos. Play to DLNA, Play to FM radio, DLNA server, Dolby Surround, HDMI to big screen, USB on the go. NFC pairing to audio equipment, new in Android 4.1, already on the 808.

It's a very long list.

Nokia 808 PureView going strong after a month

by Volker Weber

It's been exactly a month since I got my Nokia 808 PureView. Initially I ran it with a secondary SIM, but soon I switched to it as my main phone. I tried to switch away to the Nexus, the iPhone, the Lumia, but I always came back after a few hours. How does that work with all the obvious downsides like an operating system without great third party software, a lousy web browser? The answer is two-fold: first, I also have an iPad which gives me everything I am missing from the 808, and second, this is both a really great phone and an exceptional camera. It will hold a network connection where the iPhone goes to "no connection to the Internet", it sounds great, it shows me the time when it's locked (!) and it's all around pretty and nice to hold.

Eventually, I am going to be unfaithful, but for now, this is it. I shall give it a name. How about EVE?

Thoughts on the Lotusphere bag sponsors

by Volker Weber

There is a running gag: having your logo on the Lotusphere bag seems to be asking for trouble. Some of the sponsors no longer exist. But it's the nature of the business, that over the years companies go from great strength to deep trouble. Sometimes they come back, sometimes not. IBM has seen bad times, so has Apple. Now it's Nokia and BlackBerry. HTC is starting to smell funny.

However, if you look at the logos over the last ten years, you see only seven companies: BlackBerry, GBS (Group), HP, HTC, IT Factory, Nokia, Sun Microsystems. Five of them are worth multiple billions, but two of them stand out: IT Factory and GBS. The big five operate as usual. They will throw some marketing money at IBM and show off their hardware that works with Lotus software.

IT Factory and GBS however are different. They want to appear big.

IT Factory is history. They failed once under Lars Munch Johansen, and then failed again. From 1997 to 2001 Johansen acquried seven companies worldwide, raised $50 million in venture capital and flipped the company from a Danish entity to a Delaware corporation. After IT Factory failed they came back under Stein Bagger who inflated revenues through fake purchases. It's criminal history. Read it.

When people compare GBS to IT Factory, you have to ask which one: IT Factory 1 (Johansen) or IT Factory 2 (Bagger). When you look at the Lotusphere backpacks you are looking at IT Factory 2, and that company bears no resemblance to GBS whatsoever, if only for the criminal who ran it.

However, there are quite a few similarities between IT Factory 1 and GBS. When these rockets come down, they leave a lot of bodies, sometimes your friends. I have no idea where GBS is heading. If it does come down, you don't want to be near it. If it flies high, you definitely want to ride along. It's your call.

Do you have an old Lotusphere backpack?

by Volker Weber

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I am giving away my conference bags every year. Do you still have yours? I am trying to compile a list of sponsor logos for the last 10 years:

2012 GBS - HTC
2011 BlackBerry - GBS - Nokia
2010 BlackBerry - Group
2009 Lotus* - SAP - Group - Blackberry
2008 IT Factory - BlackBerry - Nokia - HP
2007 IT Factory - BlackBerry - Nokia - Sun Microsystems
2006 Sun Microsystems - HP
2005 Sun Microsystems - HP
2004 Sun Microsystems - HP
2003 Sun Microsystems - HP

This list is to be completed. Btw, I believe the 2006 backpack was the best ever. And the Lotus Devcon 99 messenger bag.

*) There was a Lotus patch over the IT Factory space. After this incident, IBM did not want to show the IT Factory logo.

Google Lat Long: Biking directions expands into Europe and Australia

by Volker Weber

Back in 2010 we added biking directions for users of Google Maps in the US and Canada. Helping cyclists navigate the bike trails throughout those countries proved hugely popular, so we’re wheelie excited to announce that starting today, we've also added extensive biking data to Google Maps for Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In many of these countries we are also enabling biking directions in beta mode.

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Adieu, Windows gadgets

by Volker Weber

Microsoft so:

Da unser Schwerpunkt auf den aufregenden Möglichkeiten der neuesten Version von Windows liegt, hostet die Windows-Website nicht länger die Gadgetgalerie.

Da wäre noch ein klitzekleines Problem.

GBS CEO steps down

by Volker Weber

Mr. Ott said, "The Company has entered into a new phase of growth with robust trans-Atlantic operations which require full time attention. Personal reasons are preventing me from devoting this full time attention to the Company's operations. Therefore, I have decided to step down as the CEO of GBS Enterprises."

Mr. Ott remains Chairman of the Board.

Mr. MacDonald commented, "On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Joerg for his contribution as CEO. I look forward to working together closely as we further develop and establish the strategic direction of the Company."

This is the stock for GBS Enterprises Incorporated and GBS Business Software over the course of the last twelve months.

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Who's leading whom?

by Volker Weber

Microsoft is commenting a lot on Apple these days. Which defines who is first and who is second. The leader never speaks of the second one, and the second one will always compare itself to the first.

Market cap as of today: MSFT 246.15B, AAPL 565.18B.

LibreOffice 3.5.5 released

by Volker Weber

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LibreOffice 3.5.5 provides stability enhancements and bugfixes thanks to a large, diverse and rapidly growing developer community

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Jawbone Jambox updated to 2.2

by Volker Weber

Connect your Jambox to mytalk.jawbone.com. There is an update walking to support the Android companion app. Jambox also gets a silent mode with muted prompts. Volume up and down prompts are more subtle now.

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It's all about Wouter

by Volker Weber

Marzena & Wouter
Marzena and Wouter Aukema, photo Volker Weber

The big Lotus news today is about IBM and Trust Factory. Sounds like companies, doesn't it? But it's about people, actually about one person. Wouter Aukema. Trust Factory is Wouter Aukema. Let me tell you about Wouter.

Wouter is the ultimate Notes geek. There are lots of people out there claiming they know a thing or two about Notes. None of them can touch Wouter. Why is that? Wouter has been around forever. He has shown IBM how easy it was to break the Notes ID. You never heard about that? Well, Wouter only told IBM and not you.

He sits on the largest body of data about Notes. He knows how Notes gets used. How much is email routing or database replication, how much time is invested in backup or agents running on the server. He knows where the data flows, if there is a data leak where somebody suddenly replicates a database he really should not have.

How does Wouter know? He has written software, that smart companies run on their servers. It collects data, and then it visualizes that data so that lesser people than Wouter can see what's going on.

Wouter's software has been available for a long time. And it's the ultimate weapon if you need to defend a Notes infrastructure. It takes the guessing out of the equation, because you know how you are using Notes. There is no "ah, we can move that to Exchange easily". Wouter will know whether that's true or false. He won't guess, he won't have an opinion, he knows.

Trust Factory has been around for a long time. IBM has known about it for a long time. And Trust Factory has offered their services for a long time. But it's always been difficult for IBM to pay Trust Factory. And that's not because Trust Factory does not know how to write an invoice.

And that is what has changed. IBM is finally able to deploy the ultimate weapon. All they needed was a piece of paper and some signatures. Which is the hardest thing to make. Now that IBM has that, you will have to find out how to call an air strike.

Congratulations, Wouter.

Apple wants you to only use DOS names

by Volker Weber

Oh, the irony. If you want iPhoto to recognize your photos, you have to use DOS names. Look at the screenshot. I duplicated the last photo and renamed it. It's the only one iPhoto sees. iPhone and iPad with camera connection kit have the same problem. How hard could it be to look for *.JPG instead of ????????.JPG?

Not a problem for Picasa:

Funkioniert bei mir nicht

by Volker Weber

Ich mag Sonos-Geräte. Aber diese Werbung zieht bei mir nicht. Der DJ mit den großen Ohren ist nur auf Achse, und der Vinyl-Liebhaber, nun ja, Sonos ist digital. Abgesehen davon, dass ich beide über Sonos kennengelernt habe und nicht umgekehrt.

Tripod Mount for Nokia 808

by Volker Weber

A camera needs a tripod mount. At least if you want so shoot video. I now have this generic tripod HH-23, which grabs the phone from both sides. This is the only place it can do that without touching any of the buttons, right between the shutter release and the hold switch.

It's not perfect, but it shall do the job.

tizi+ Digital Video Recorder

by Volker Weber

  

Seit Jahren ergänze ich meine Computer um TV-Lösungen. Ich habe zwar einen großen Fernseher, aber ich mag nicht in jedem Raum so ein Monster stehen haben. Viele machen das mit Elgato, ich war eigentlich von Anfang an mit equinux-Lösungen unterwegs. Erst ein TubeStick, dann ein tizi, ein tizi go, und nun ein tizi+. Das Plus steht für einen digitalen Video-Recorder, der autonom Sendungen aufzeichnet.

Aber von vorne: was ist ein tizi? Es ist ein kleiner, handlicher TV-Empfänger, der mit seinem Akku ca. 3.5 Stunden autark das Fernsehprogramm des terrestrischen digitalen Rundfunks empfängt und per WLAN auf ein iPhone (ab 3GS), ein iPad, ein iPod (ab 3. Generation 32GB) oder einen Mac überträgt. Geladen, oder dauerhaft betrieben, wird das tizi über ein MiniUSB-Netzteil. Das WLAN des tizi kennt zwei Betriebsarten: es kann als Access Point auftreten, mit dem man sich verbindet, oder es kann sich als Client in das heimische WLAN einklinken. Der erste Modus ist vor allem unterwegs interessant, der zweite in einer festen Installation. Das ist narrensicher. Findet das tizi kein WLAN, das es kennt, dann wird es automatisch zum Access Point. Mittlerweile gibt es einen Antennenadapter, so dass ich über meine Hausantenne einen ausreichend starken Pegel einspeisen kann.

Wenn man zum Beispiel mit dem iPad ein Fernsehprogramm anschaut, dann speichert die App automatisch die Sendung, so dass man jederzeit anhalten oder zurückspringen kann. Wenn man die Sendung nicht zu Ende schauen kann, dann zeichnet die App mit einem "Knopfdruck" auch den Rest auf. Die Software kennt das Fernsehprogramm aller empfangenen Sender und man kann sich Sendungen herauspicken oder sie zur Aufnahme programmieren. Alle diese Funktionen basieren auf einer Arbeitsteilung zwischen tizi und iPad.

Und jetzt kommen wir zum Pudels Kern, dem kleinen + hinter dem Namen. Das tizi+ hat einen Slot für eine MicroSD-Speicherkarte und kann unabhängig Sendungen aufzeichnen. Das funktioniert ganz wunderbar. Die Größe der Speicherkarte bestimmt dabei die Aufzeichnungsdauer. Wie man sehen kann, belegen die MPEG2-Dateien ganz ordentlich Platz.

Was jetzt noch fehlt, ist eine Dateiverwaltung. Von der tizi-App aus kann man Sendungen nämlich nur löschen. Will man sie übertragen, dann muss man die Speicherkarte herausnehmen und an einem Desktop mounten. Alle 2 GB schließt tizi+ die MPEG2-Datei und beginnt eine neu. Für den Mac gibt es eine kleine App, die beim Kopieren die Sendung wieder zusammenklebt.

Ich wünsche mir zwei Dinge:

  1. Die tizi-App sollte Sendungen vom Speicher des tizi+ auf das iPad übertragen können, so dass man sie unterwegs auch ohne das tizi+ anschauen kann.
  2. Das tizi+ selbst sollte irgendeinen Dateiserver haben, so dass ich die Dateien direkt vom Mac aus abtanken kann.

Aber auch ohne diesen Komfort ist es nun einfach für mich, Fernsehsendungen aufzuzeichnen und zu archivieren. VLC spielt die Dateien problemlos ab, einer Konvertierung in effizientere Formate steht nichts im Wege.

UPS lügt. Systematisch.

by Volker Weber

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Freitag hat mir jemand was geschickt. Mit DHL wäre es am Samstag morgen dagewesen. UPS dagegen behauptet, mich nicht angetroffen zu haben. Dummerweise kann ich von meinem Schreibtisch aus die Straße sehen. Eine Straße mit sehr wenig Verkehr. UPS war gestern nicht hier. UPS war heute nicht hier. Selbstredend gibt es auch keine Benachrichtigungskarten. Meine Adresse ist bekannt. Und damit auch der Fahrer, der lügt.

Meine Empfehlung: wer mir etwas schicken möchte, nehme bitte FedEx oder DHL. Die funktionieren. UPS verschleppt nicht nur die Lieferung, sondern schiebt das Problem auch noch auf den Empfänger.

Update: Nun habe ich kurz nacheinander zwei Anrufe bekommen. Einmal von UPS und einmal vom Chef des Fahrers. Der fährt heute Abend noch mal von Frankfurt los und soll das Paket bis 20:00 Uhr bringen.

Update: 20:30, das Paket ist da. Das war der Reinigungsmann mit kleinem Wagen. Mein Paket war das zweite auf der Liste.

Tägliche TomTom-Updates

by Volker Weber

TomTom stellt nun die Map Share Updates für alle Geräte zur Verfügung. Und das geht so:

Täglich kostenlose Kartenaktualisierungen über die TomTom Map Share-Community; Du musst dafür Dein TomTom nur regelmäßig mit MyTomTom verbinden

Für die billigen Einstiegsmodell geht das OK. Die Live-Geräte aber, die eine eigene Internet-Verbindung unterhalten, die müssen endlich autark werden. Sämtliche Softwareupdates, Kartenupdates, etc. müssen OTA (over the air) abgefackelt werden, wenn diese Premiumgeräte mit monatlichen Kosten nur den Hauch einer Chance gegen Smartphones behalten sollen.

Und MyTomTom will wirklich niemand auf seinem PC haben.

The History of Rock 'n' Roll in 100 Riffs

by Volker Weber

Treffer. Versenkt.

by Volker Weber

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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