August 2013

Entry level

by Volker Weber

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I have heard so much about the entry level Lumia 520 that it is finally time to dogfood it. I have had a lot of fun with the cute Lumia 620, but the 520 is even cheaper. I am going to set it up tonight and use it for a few days before switching back to the 925 next week.

Update: I only needed a few hours to come to a conclusion. The 520 is really good. But I could not live with it, as I could with a Lumia 620.

The good news is, that I did not run into any issues. All of my apps just ran fine, and they did so without speed issues. This smartphone is less powerful than the 925 I am used to, but I never felt the performance was subpar.

The bad news is that I don't like the phone. While the 620 is cute and I love to hold it, the 520 feels alien to me. The top is completely flat and there is a harsh edge where the tapered sides meet the front. The tapered sides also mean that it's not as easy to press the buttons, since the phone tries to move towards you as you hit the button. The 620 on the other hand is round and quite comfortable to hold.

Not having a front camera is very limiting as well. You can't do a selfie, you won't be able to Skype video call somebody. The main camera works OK-ish but it does not have a flash for low light environments and not enough power to work with available light. No problem in bright daylight, but not so good indoors.

I also did not like the LCD screen. I understand that Nokia needs to cut a lot of cost to make a device this inexpensive, but it's just not good enough for me to like it.

My verdict would be that this is the best smartphone you can get for 129€. But you should spend a little bit more. The 620 is a much better choice for me. It has a clear black display. The camera is also quite simple, but it does have a flash. You get Here Drive+ with world wide navigation instead of the more limited Drive. The front facing camera is only 640x480 pixels, which isn't really good enough for selfies, but will let you do video calls. There is only one downside: no FM radio. Spend an extra 60€ and get the 620. And if you have 300€, by all means buy a 920.

iX :: BlackBerrys Q10 findet angeblich kaum Käufer

by Volker Weber

Das Wall Street Journal (WSJ) will erfahren haben, dass das mit dem neuen Betriebssystem BB10 ausgestattete Smartphone Q10 wie Blei in den Regalen liegenbleibe. Die Verkäufe in den USA und Kanada seien "trostlos" (dismal), schreibt die Zeitung. Details nennt sie jedoch nicht, auch BlackBerry äußert sich nicht zu den Verkaufszahlen einzelner Geräte.

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Napster by Rhapsody Tracks Error on Sonos

by Volker Weber

When using Napster by Rhapsody on Sonos version 4.1 you may receive an error message stating "Unable to play (track name) - the track is not available for streaming from Rhapsody". This can affect both trial and full accounts.

If you have updated to version 4.1, you can quickly resolve the issue and prevent it from reoccurring by removing your Napster by Rhapsody account and re-adding it into your Sonos system.

I have also run into this issue. Resolved now.

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Spotify Gutscheinkarten

by Volker Weber

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Die neuen Spotify Gutscheinkarten werden ab Ende August in über 4.000 deutschen Shops erhältlich sein. Das Angebot ist wahlweise für einen, drei oder sechs Monate Spotify Premium verfügbar. Die Inhaber der Gutscheine müssen nichts weiter tun, als ihren Wert auf www.spotify.com/de/redeem/ zu aktivieren. Die Geschenkgutscheine können sowohl Spotify Free, Spotify Unlimited als auch bestehende Spotify Premium-Abonnenten nutzen.

Die Spotify Gutscheinkarten werden in Filialen der folgenden deutschen Unternehmen erhältlich sein: Conrad Electronic, COOP eG (Kiel), dm-drogerie markt, Electronic Partner, Expert, famila, Gravis, Lekkerland (große Mineralölgesellschaften), MEDIMAX und real.

Mein Spoticy-Account läuft komplett über Gutscheinkarten, aktuell noch bis zum 10. Oktober. Bisher konnte man die Codes aber nur online kaufen. Zahlreiche vowe.net-Leser haben mir schon welche geschickt und ich will mich hier noch einmal ausdrücklich bedanken!

Arthur Paul Heisler :: What drives you?

by Volker Weber

Beam your photos to the big screen

by Volker Weber

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If you have a Lumia and never tried PhotoBeamer, you really should. It's a service and an app that lets you display photos on a big screen. How does that work? You need a javascript-enabled browser on the big screen. The browser in my Samstung SmartTV is just fine. You go to photobeamer.com in that browser and the screen will show a QR code. On your Lumia, you load the application, point to a photo in your library and the app will start the camera to read the QR code from the screen. The next thing you see is that photo in the browser window on the big screen. From there, you can swipe back and forth on your phone, and the big screen follows.

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How does that work? Your phone sends the picture to photobeamer.com where the browser picks it up from. Phone and browser don't need to be on the same network, they just need to be able to see the photobeamer.com reflector. Yes, you are uploading photos to an internet site, and yes, photobeamer.com has a privacy policy.

I have used this service on really big screens in conference venues, and it takes people a while to grasp how this magic happens. You just tell the presenter to call up the website and then take it from there using your phone. Of course you are not limited to photos. You can also export your PowerPoint slides as jpegs and run your presentation through PhotoBeamer. Put the browser in presentation mode, which removes all chrome and you are running your presentation from the palm of your hand without any connection to the presenting PC. Plus, you are not giving anybody your presentation file. Magic.

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An open letter to Duffbert

by Volker Weber

Geek dinner

Duffbert, Thomas, Mr. Duff, Sir,

It's not often that I lie awake in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep, mincing words in a foreign language. Yesterday, or today depending on where you are, Warren announced that he would not be running another conference for but not on behalf of IBM. With my comment I took you on a little time travel back to 2006 in Dublin, and you took it upon yourself to explain the meaning of Lotusphere for you and your personal career. How you made friends and how you are going to miss them in the future.

And still, you are completely missing a very important point.

Let's go back to 2006 once more. A small group of friends set out to do the impossible. Run a tech conference, with the best speakers the market has to offer, in a remote place, in a market, that IBM does not consider important enough, and do it all for free. No conference fees for attendees, all financed through sponsors. How was that possible? Well, you can't really say no to Paul, when he asks nicely, and he always does that. And then you need somebody like Eileen, who keeps it all together with her checklist. And you need friends like Warren and Kitty. And a mad scotsman. And Duffbert. You see the pattern? Short people.

But something does not belong. It does make business sense to run this conference for Paul, and Eileen, and Warren, and Kitty, and Bill. What's Duffbert doing here? He is the fifth element. He runs on friendship, and compassion, and love. Duffbert takes a leave from work, travels on his budget, works for free, and helps putting it all together.

You often consider yourself short, and shy, and insignificant. Nothing could be further from the truth. You sir are a star. You stand above many who consider themselves important and influential. You have no idea how important you are to others.

I can't speak for others. I can only speak for myself. In all those years that I have known you, you have been a voice of reason. Somebody who understood matters much faster than anybody else. You were the first to grasp and embrace the true meaning of your community. That it was not about technology, but about people. You put up that website to match people and jobs in a shrinking market. You made sure it survived you. You moved on to other technologies and set out to master them, just as you did before.

Life does not seem to reward people like you with career and money and fame. In the end however, few people will regret not having spent more time in the office. But they will regret not having spent more time with you.

I am very honored that you consider me your friend, Duffbert. You may be 5000 miles away, but I hope you feel the love.

IBM is fully committed. Oh, wait.

by Volker Weber

For the last two years, IBM UK have sponsored at Silver level. That's £1250 - or enough to support 12.5 people at the event (less than IBM actually have at the event!).

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Inside the monster

by Volker Weber

How to write a press release

by Volker Weber

I don't know how often I get asked for advice because people don't know how to write a "proper" press release. The answer is: DON'T. Write something interesting instead. Like this amazing piece:

Independent testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Tesla Model S a 5-star safety rating, not just overall, but in every subcategory without exception.

What makes it amazing? It breaks every single rule of "How To Write A Boring Press Release". And it's full of interesting facts. No fluff, no quotes from somebody people never heard of, no bullshit.

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I forgot my phone

by Volker Weber

High resolution photos, all the features, tech specs for the new iPhone

by Volker Weber

Next month. On Apple.com.

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

Hallo Volker,

habe seit letzter Woche ein Lumia 920 und bin vollkommen begeistert. Alles was ich auf vowe.net gelesen habe hat mir sehr gut bei der Kaufentscheidung geholfen.

Danke!

Das freut mich. Positive Rückmeldungen sind sehr selten. Meisten kriege ich Mails im Tenor 'st kaputt, hab nix gemacht, wie reparier ich' und dann keine weitere Antwort mehr.

Editorial in iX :: Girl on Fire

by Volker Weber

Alle Vorstandsressorts neu besetzt, die Musikerin Alicia Keys als Global Creative Director berufen, und doch gehen BlackBerry die Ideen aus.

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BlackBerry Crap World

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry App World has 120000+ apps, claims BlackBerry. But it's not easy to find good apps. One of the reasons might be there are lots of bad Android ports. And then there are developers who seem to own this place. BBRYverum on Crackberry.com has pointed out, that there are factories that fill App World with lots of crap. S4BB Limited for instance lists a staggering 48238 apps as of today. That's one developer claiming more than one third of all apps.

Waterloo, you have a problem.

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iX kaufen

by Volker Weber

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Stehen ein paar Kilometer von mir drin. ;-)

Ohne Filter

by Volker Weber

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BlackBerry slashes BES licensing cost

by Volker Weber

Today we’re pleased to announce some exciting news for our enterprise customers: effective August 19, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 EMM Corporate Annual Client Access Licenses (CALs) will now be $19 MSRP a year, or less than $1.60 per month per device.

Time to update those business case spreadsheets.

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This is not a rumor

by Volker Weber

I posted a question "will Apple make a gold iPhone" on Facebook and posted it again this morning with instructions how to answer. There are more "no" votes than "yes", and I believe that people are right.

It's pretty easy to anodize aluminum in gold, and it has been done and photographed. Now look at the black and the white iPhone 5. The black one chips badly at the chamfer. Can you imagine how a gold anodized iPhone will look after a few weeks? It does not make sense to me that Apple would build anything that ages so badly.

I do believe however that Apple will make a polycarbonate iPhone. Leaks can show you any color. As soon as you have the tooling, you can make it any color by mixing the substrate. That does not necessarily show you the colors the iPhone will be made available in.

Why do I believe that Apple will make both a black & white aluminum and polycarbonate iPhones? I think they will be dropping the old form factor of the iPhone 4(S). The iPhone 4(S) is too fragile with its glass backplate. Apple needs a kid phone, and Nokia has demonstrated the viability of this design.

Making two different bodies will let Apple differentiate on more than memory. They could have two different screen technologies for instance. And Apple would no longer need to offer old designs as entry level phones.

Dear Sylvia, love Steph

by Volker Weber

Frankencable

by Volker Weber

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Platte mit USB-A - dass ich das noch mal sehe. Die müsste man glatt mal ans Handy hängen und gucken, ob die erkannt wird.

Was geht mit Nokia Amber auf welchem Lumia

by Volker Weber

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* Die Hardware unterstützt nicht alle Funktionen

Pappnase der Woche

by Volker Weber

Bitte senden Sie an das Prüfungsamt und Herrn Köhnken keine Mails über amerikanische Mailserver (z.B. Hotmail, Outlook.Com, Googlemail, Yahoo). Angesichts der aktuellen Diskussionen über die Ausspionierung durch NSA u.ä. wurde veranlasst, dass eingehende Mails von diesen Servern sofort ungelesen gelöscht werden.

Die NSA kann die Mail nicht lesen, weil sie ja gelöscht wurde.

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Google blocking

by Volker Weber

You may be wondering what happened to the YouTube app for Windows Phone. Last May, after we launched a much improved app on our platform, Google objected on a number of grounds. We took our app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. This week, after we addressed each of Google’s points, we re-launched the app, only to have Google technically block it.

It's going downhill at Google. A company which once embraced all platforms has become The Bully.

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Pro Cam available for Lumia 9xx with Nokia Amber

by Volker Weber

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As soon as your device is upgraded to Lumia Amber, a couple of apps become available in the Windows Store: Pro Cam, Smart Cam, Video Trimmer and Video Uploader. All of these apps launched on the Lumia 1020 in the US a few weeks ago. They have been updated since, but as you can see in the latest change in the store, they have been held back for the official Amber launch for other devices.

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Green light for Lumia Amber

by Volker Weber

The rollout starts now first for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 in selected countries as well as the Lumia 521, Lumia 810, and Lumia 928 in the US. Exact delivery timings will vary by region, phone and operator, but we expect the update to reach your Lumia 520, Lumia 620, Lumia 720, Lumia 820 or Lumia 920 by the end of September.

Für Deutschland lautet meine Information "Ab nächster Woche wird das Software Update 'Amber' für alle Lumia Smartphones mit Windows Phone 8 beginnend mit dem Lumia 920 stufenweise verfügbar sein."

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Nokia Video Trimmer

by Volker Weber

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The Nokia Video Trimmer launched on the Lumia 1020, but now it is also available for the 925. It will be available on all GDR2 (10328) devices once they are updated.

This is a very useful program as it lets you shoot video without worrying about the start and the end. You just start shooting and trim it later before uploading.

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whois microsoft.com

by Volker Weber

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Solving Vertical Video Syndrome

by Volker Weber

Every app should do this:

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Night Vision

by Volker Weber

IBM Notes & Domino fixes for multiple vulnerabilities in IBM JRE

by Volker Weber

IBM Notes and Domino are vulnerable to multiple attacks listed in the Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update Advisories (February, April and June 2013) as well as miscellaneous client-side attacks listed below. The repaired IBM JRE is available in Notes and Domino 8.5.3 Fix Pack 5 and is also planned for Notes and Domino 9.0.1.

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BlackBerry lost at sea

by Volker Weber

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 12, 2013) - BlackBerry Limited ... today announced that the Company's Board of Directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.

You form a committee when you run out of options. BlackBerry 10 is great, but sales are not. I mean, this is it. The Z10 and the Q10 are the best that BlackBerry can make. If you can't get people excited about those, what can you do?

Cross-platform BBM is two years late. WhatsApp owns this space and has one-upped the competition with push-to-talk. Cross-platform device management is also late. Once people have deployed MDM for iOS and Android, you are not getting them back. It would mean collecting all devices and rolling them out from scratch.

The game isn't over. Announcing this committee is not a good sign though.

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Lifeproof nüüd :: iPad unkaputtbar

by Volker Weber

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Jeder kennt einen, der einen kennt, der schon mal ein iPhone kaputt gemacht hat. Dabei ist das noch relativ robust gegenüber einem iPad. Das geht nicht so oft kaputt, weil man es nicht so viel ohne Hülle rumträgt. Wenn man aber ein iPad im Garten, am Pool, am Strand, in der Fabrik oder unter ähnlich unkrontrollierbaren Bedingungen einsetzen will, dann braucht man einen Panzer.

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Pause/stop streaming when a zone or group is muted

by Volker Weber

This topic is now marked as Planned. This change in mute button functionality will be included in a future Sonos software update.

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Sound of Honda :: Ayrton Senna 1989

by Volker Weber

Anrufe und SMS blockieren

by Volker Weber

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Nokia hat soeben ein Update auf meine Lumias geschoben, mit dem man Anrufe und SMS blockieren kann. Dabei kann man Nummern aus der Anrufliste auswählen, selbst eingeben oder wie oben, anonyme Anrufe blockieren.

Bing Apps für Windows Phone 8

by Volker Weber

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Bing Finance - Bing News - Bing Sports - Bing Weather

PTT - Voice Messages in WhatsApp

by Volker Weber

Glance

by Volker Weber

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Nokia phones with AMOLED displays have been able to show the time and other notifications while the screen was off. The 808 Pureview and the Lumia 925 for instance had this feature. With Lumia Amber, other phones with LCD get this feature as well. Always on, off, peek, and timed (15 minutes) are the options. The Peek setting turns on Glance with a gesture over the proximity sensor.

The photo shows a Lumia 925 and a 920 with Glance on.

IBM legt drei Veranstaltungen zusammen

by Volker Weber

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Amber is near

by Volker Weber

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Lumia Amber, which includes Windows Phone 8 GDR2, is now available on Nokia servers for Nokia Service Points. OTA updates should be available soon.

Good news: the 920 camera is now as good as the 925 camera. Sample photos here >

Obama’s Photographer Joins Instagram

by Volker Weber

Do you have a favorite Instagram filter?
My favorite filter is no filter.

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Knapp daneben ist auch vorbei

by Volker Weber

Rafe Blandford berichtet für All About Windows Phone unter dem Thema 'GDR2 brings improved .wav codec support (for voicemail)', dass das diesen Monat auszuliefernde Windows Phone 8 GDR2 (Amber) nun mehr Formate abspielen kann. Bisher kann das Lumia nämlich keine Nachrichten des Anrufbeantworters der Fritzbox abspielen. "Sorry, we can't play this file on your phone." Sieht immer komisch aus, wenn ausgerechnet ein Microsoft-Produkt kein .wav abspielen kann. Das liegt aber daran, das .wav kein Encoding ist, sondern ein Container. Da steckt AVM einfach das rein, was aus der Leitung kommt. So sieht das Update laut Rafe aus:

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Nicht schlecht, was? Welches Format steckt denn nun in dem .wav, das die Fritz!Box verschickt?

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Dumm. Das einzige Format, das fehlt, ist also genau das, was man braucht. Und besonders peinlich: das uralte Windows Mobile kann es, und Windows Phone 7 auch. Nur eben Windows Phone 8 nicht.

Dafür gibt es bestimmt eine schlüssige Erklärung. Ich komme nur gerade nicht drauf.

Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac

by Volker Weber

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Nokia Photo Transfer for Mac is a free app that connects your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 with your Mac OS computer, and helps you transfer photos and videos between the two. The app is only available in English.

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Mixed Tape 52 is out

by Volker Weber

mixedtape52

01 VARSITY JACKET | BAYOU | 3:40
02 GROWING PAINS | VERVEX | 3:40
03 CROSS MY MIND | A L L I E | 2:55
04 MY CREW | MEDICI | 3:42
05 PHANTOMS | KHUSHI | 3:55
06 RUNAWAY | BOYS IN LILIES | 4:18
07 SONG TO JOHN AND JEFF | LAVOISIER | 3:45
08 SPIRIT YOU ARE MY CHERRY BLOSSOM | BAKER | 4:56
09 SPAN | NEWMAN WOLF | 3:48
10 SUMMER STREAM | N-QIA | 3:05

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[Thanks, Hansjürgen]

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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