January 2015

Number of IBM ConnectED press releases: Zero

by Volker Weber

This is going to be a very weird story. I promise.

If you wonder why there is so little press coverage of IBM ConnectED, there is a simple reason: there were zero press releases.

What happened in years past? In the run-up to the conference, there would be an analyst briefing, under NDA, where IBM would discuss what is coming up. This gives analysts lead time to prepare quotes. Then, after the Opening General Session, there would be a press conference. IBM would hand out press releases in a thin folder, management would summarize the announcements and take questions from press and analysts. For a few years, there was an additional blogger briefing, where IBM could say a few things more, because bloggers don't know the protocol of what constitutes an announcement. IBM would prepare collateral like fact sheets, photos, screenshots. Sometimes only after you asked for it. In the evening there would be a reception with senior management where you could talk background in a less formal way.

What happened this year? No analyst briefing, no press conference, no press releases, no collateral. There was a reception, but management did not show up. Zero. OK, one, but he invited himself and he was from the CIO office. Instead of the press conference, there was a "round table", again with no written material, neither on paper nor online. When I asked about fact sheets, I was told I could hand in whatever I write and it would be fact checked.

Here are a few resources to check:

I did not come up empty handed. Here is a single product announcement. I also got a link to some Verse screenshots that we already used in November. And then finally, I received this (6.9 MB PNG). No source, but I assume it's an internal newsletter.

Did I promise too much? Weird, isn't it? I can only speculate on why this happened.

Visiting ConnectED was not useless, far from it. I had great briefings with Jeff Schick, Kramer Reeves, Luis Benitez, Scott Souder, Ed Brill. So I did learn the things I needed to know.

Best Lotusphere ever

by Volker Weber

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IBM calls it ConnectED, but everybody else calls it Lotusphere. It was a futile attempt in branding to call it anything else. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. With all the weasel words that IBM is using to disguise their cluelessness on whether to morph it again and maybe fold it into the greater good of Vegas mega-conferences, we all knew this could be the last.

Everything was highly emotional. We hugged, we congregated at our waterholes, we went to sessions, we hugged again, there were ninjas cutting onions at every corner.

Staples coupons, uninspired spaces, #pretzelcookiegate, we could not help but notice where the whole event was cheap.

But we had a blast. I propose a new hashtag: #lotusphere2016

Yoga 3 Pro hinge starts coming apart

by Volker Weber

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Color me concerned

A couple of conflicting thoughts on IBM ConnectED

by Volker Weber

I am slow. It always takes time until I wrap up my thoughts well enough, that I can go and publish a story that’s fully cooked and does not need corrections later on. In no particular order, a couple of thoughts about ConnectED. Some of them disagree with each other.


Am I wrong? Do you have anything to add? Sound off below in the comments. Keep it civilized.

Will your device upgrade to Windows 10?

by Volker Weber

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Microsoft does not want to speak unambiguously. So we will need to look in the crystal ball. This is what I think will happen:

Pretty simple, right? Much like Windows Phone 7 that were a dead end although they got "some features of Windows Phone 8", the same will happen all over again.

NotesGoddess :: Heading to Orlando - with a tear in my eye

by Volker Weber

And if you’re thinking that this is the last Lotusphere. It is not. I have most of the staff shirts since 2002, and I know that the last Lotusphere was in 2011 - the black polo-style staff shirts said Lotusphere and IBM - with no other Conference names anywhere on them. That was the last one in my opinion.I also have one of these shirts still in the original packaging. Maybe I should auction it off to help with my pension fund.

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Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard

by Volker Weber

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Dieses Keyboard ist eine totale Überraschung. In jeder Hinsicht. Und zwar "Aaaah" und nicht "Oooh". Der freundliche Microsoft-Mitarbeiter meint aus heiterem Himmel, ob ich mal eine Microsoft-Tastatur probieren will. "Ja, ist aber nicht so wichtig." - "Welche denn?" Der Dialog war zäh, weil ich gerade auswärts essen war. Aber eine hatte ich noch im Kopf, diese Wedge eben.

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Meine wichtigste Frage war: "Wie sieht das denn bei den Umlauten aus." Die Pressebilder sind ja meistens US-amerikanisch. Da sieht manches Keyboard super aus. Und wenn dann die deutsche Version kommt, na ja. Aber dieses hier: "Aaaaah." Das sieht gut aus. Kein Tastaturzwischenraum, muss also präzise bespielt werden. Aber volle Tasten für äöü. Gut. Selbst die Raute passt noch daneben. Noch mal gut.

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Was schon auf den Bildern erkennbar war? Den Deckel kann man zusammen knicken und als Halterung für das Tablet nutzen. Wie stabil das wohl ist? Muss man es zwischen den Winkeln einklemmen?

Und dann kommt der Karton. Schwer ist er. Was da wohl noch alles drin ist? Nichts. Eine Tastatur, ein Deckel, zwei AAA-Batterien. Und diese drei Sachen wiegen zusammen 456 Gramm. Also zwischen iPad Air und Air 2. Aber mir kommt es nicht schwer vor, sondern solide. Die Tastatur liegt satt auf dem Tisch, ein wenig aufgebockt durch das Batteriefach. Der Rahmen und die Rückseite aus solidem Metall, ein dezentes Gummiband an der Vorderseite eingelassen, damit sie nicht wegrutscht.

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Flink das Nokia 2520 rausgefischt, Batterien in die Tastatur eingelegt, im Windows gekoppelt und los geht's. Und wie das losgeht. So ziemlich das beste mobile Keyboard, das ich bisher hatte. Und es passt naturgemäß super zu Windows. Dieses Monsterfolio von Nokia hat mich nie so richtig überzeugt. Aber das hier passt zum 2520.

Klappt man den Deckel wieder auseinander, so greift er um die Tastatur. Und schaltet sie zuverlässig aus. Das Material ist weich genug, um in der Tasche auf dem Display des 2520 zu liegen. Das passt super. Und jetzt probier ich mal, was das Lenovo 13" Android Tablet dazu sagt.

Update: So, jetzt habe ich noch Android (Lenovo) und iOS (iPad) probiert. Bei Android ist die Sache etwas komplizierter als bei Windows. Man muss erst mal das Layout einstellen, es sei denn, Android läuft eh schon komplett in deutscher Konfiguration. Bei iOS liegt das Layout genauso daneben wie bei einer PC-Tastatur am Mac. Also beinahe richtig, nur bei Command und @ ist alles etwas anders. Command liegt auf der Windows-Taste, das @ ist Alt-L. Schwierig für den Mac-User: Windows und damit Command liegt zwischen Crtl und Alt. Und eine FN-Taste ist auch noch dazwischen.

Nach den ersten paar Tausend Zeichen finde ich die Tasten immer noch ein wenig kippelig, aber ich lerne die Tastatur schneller als die Keys-To-Go.

DHL Lotterie

by Volker Weber

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Es werden noch Wetten angenommen. Schafft es DHL heute, ein Paket über eine Distanz von 3 km auszuliefern? 8:36, 9:39, 9:52. Ich schätze, der LKW wird immer voller. Ich glaube, ich suche ihn mal.

Update: Ich habe alle Straßen in unserem Viertel zweimal mit der Vespa abgefahren. Hier ist der Paketburschi nicht. Aber der mit dem Twitter-Account weiß mehr.

Update: Der Zusteller lebt! Und er hat uns gefunden. Und ich kenne jetzt seine Route. Das wird mir in Zukunft helfen.

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Dropbox for Windows now a Universal Client

by Volker Weber

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Dropbox was available as a Metro app on Windows RT and 8. Now it's gone universal, which means it also runs on Windows Phone. Camera upload only, so you can download files but not edit them.

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Microsoft Windows 10

by Volker Weber

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That's the Microsoft HoloLens, a pie-in-the-sky project that wants to be the next big thing. No pricing yet, availability with Windows 10. What does it do? It projects holographic images into your field of view and augments what you see. It's the opposite of Google Glass. You don't run around with it all day. Instead you put it on to immerse yourself. Your kids love Minecraft? They will demand this thing for Xmas.

What else was on?

  1. Windows 10. Period. No more Windows RT, Windows Phone, etc. It's all going to be called Windows 10. And of course you still can't run Win32 apps on your smartphone. Simplified branding does not make technical differences go away. It will be a free upgrade from Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1. Preview for PCs next week, for phones in February.
  2. Office Touch will come with phones and small tablets. Finally. There is a lot of catching up with iOS and Android.
  3. Cortana comes to desktops and tablets. The German version is currently alpha (on Windows Phone).
  4. New web browser. Reminds me of Chrome. Web pages can be saved and annotated.
  5. OneDrive will get music support in a month or two. You will be able to upload your library and stream it. I'll eat my hat if Sonos will not take advantage of that. I am also confident that we will see a Windows (10/Phone/whatever) controller before the decade year is out.
  6. One Xbox thing I did not understand or care for ... :-)

HoloLens isn't the only exciting hardware. Microsoft has also shown giant Surface hardware for your wall. 55 or 84 inches. Surface Hub runs on Windows 10, ties into Office 365 and Skype for Business (the artist formerly known as Lync). Coming to a conference room near you.

And finally: Satya promised a Windows 10 flagship phone.

Missed the webcast? Watch it here.

WhatsApp Web works in Chrome. With everything but an iPhone.

by Volker Weber

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Works in Chrome, with everything but an iPhone.

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Sonos wants to launch an API for third-party apps

by Volker Weber

Sonos is getting ready to open up its speakers and let music services integrate Sonos support into their own mobile apps, according to a job offer posted by the company earlier this month.Up until now, Sonos users have had to use the company’s own mobile or desktop app to access most music services. Sonos executives have talked in the past in general terms about potentially giving services direct access to its speakers.

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Polizei guckt durch die Wand

by Volker Weber

WASHINGTON — At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Das wäre doch auch für Einbrecher ein gutes Werkzeug. Mal gucken, ob jemand zu Hause ist.

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Withings Home

by Volker Weber

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Ich habe schon viele Webcams ausprobiert. Sehr viele. Und das ist die erste, die genau das macht, was ich von ihr erwarte. Und noch ein bisschen mehr. Aber der Reihe nach.

Gesehen habe ich die Withings Home zum ersten Mal auf der IFA in Berlin. Und war ein wenig überrascht, weil ich Withings eigentlich im Gesundheitsbereich verortet habe. Blutdruckmesser, Körperwaage, Aktivitätstracker. Und jetzt eine Webcam? Ein kleiner Hinweis, wo es hingeht, zeigt schon die neuere der beiden Körperwaagen. Die analysiert nämlich nebenbei die CO2-Konzentration. Stellt man sie im Schlafzimmer auf und wiegt sich morgens, dann weiß man gleich, ob man auch genügend frische Luft hatte.

Eine vergleichbare Zusatzfunktion hat auch Home. Hier analysiert das Gerät den Anteil von flüchtigen organischen Verbindungen (VOC = Volatile Organic Compound) in der Luft. Liegt er zu hoch, dann kann das ernsthafte Konsequenzen haben: Kopfschmerzen, Allergien, Asthma. Wie kommen die in die Atemluft? Das sind Lösungsmittel in Reinigungsmitteln, Körperpflegeprodukten, oder stammen aus dem Bau von Häusern und Möbeln.

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Die Webcam hat ein Ultraweitwinkelobjektiv, das 135 Grad des Raumes abbildet. Nachts schaltet sie automatisch auf Infrarot um und beleuchtet den Raum mittels einer kleinen LED oberhalb des Objektivs. Die Holzschale ist drehbar und so kann man die Kamera bei Bedarf schnell blind machen. Withings will auch andere Hüllen anbieten, um das Gerät an den eigenen Einrichtungsstil anpassbar zu machen. Während die meisten Webcams eher technisch aussehen, passt sich Home viel besser in die Wohnung ein.

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Der eigentliche Witz an Home ist die Software und der Cloudservice. Richtet man Home erstmalig ein, wartet sie auf eine Bluetooth-Verbindung vom iPhone; eine Android-Software ist erst in Entwicklung. Dort startet man eine App, legt ein Konto bei Withings an und meldet sich damit an. Dann verbindet man Home mit dem WLAN oder steckt alternativ ein Ethernet-Kabel in die mittlere Buchse. Links ist übrigens ein USB-Port für den Anschluss einer Festplatte, rechts ein weiterer USB-Port für das 2A-Netzteil.

Home beobachtet nun den Raum und reagiert auf Bewegung und Geräusche. Sie zeichnet dabei Fotos und 5-Sekunden-Videos auf, die sie auf den Server von Withings lädt. In der iPhone-App kann man auf einem Zeitstrahl sehen, welche Ereignisse die Kamera aufgezeichnet hat. Wahlweise kann man sich automatisch per Pushnachricht alarmieren lassen und sich jederzeit live auf Home aufschalten. Drei Trigger gibt es: Bewegung, Geräusch, dicke Luft.

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Home hat zwei Mikrofone und einen Lautsprecher. Damit wird sie zur Gegensprechanlage. Und mit der letzten Funktion wird klar, wozu Home am besten taugt: Der Lautsprecher kann ein Schlaflied abspielen, die Basis unterhalb der Holzschale kann in allen Farben und mit einstellbarer Helligkeit leuchten.

Jetzt klar? Home ist der perfekte Baby-Monitor. Schreit das Kind, gibt es eine Benachrichtigung, egal wie weit weg man ist. Dann kann man in den Raum schauen, hören was los ist, ggfls auch etwas sagen. Und gleichzeitig überwacht das Gerät die Atemluft.

Die Schale, auf der Home steht, ist so gestaltet, dass man die Kamera um 15 Grad neigen kann um den richtigen Ausschnitt darzustellen. Während der Live-Übertragung kann man digital in das Bild hineinzoomen. Die Kamera hat 5 Megapixel Auflösung und damit einige Reserven, bevor es zu Qualitätsverlusten kommt. Codiert wird der Stream mit WebRTC.

Aktuell werden alle Aufnahmen nur 2 Tage aufbewahrt. Withings will in der Cloud auch einen Videorecorder-Service anbieten, bei dem man bis zu 30 Tage zurückschauen kann. Über den USB-Anschluss soll man Videos auch lokal speichern können, aber das habe ich noch nicht probiert. Die letzten 12 Stunden lassen sich in einer Art Zeitraffer betrachten, der aus den aufgezeichneten Momenten komponiert ist. Wenn nichts passiert, ist auch nichts zu sehen.

Eine Sache fehlt mir noch: eine Integration in IFTTT. Ich möchte die Kamera gerne als Bewegungsmelder nutzen. Das wäre ein guter Input für WeMo, das sich bereits in IFTTT integriert. Da drei andere Withings-Produkte schon mit IFTTT reden, wird Home das vielleicht auch noch lernen.

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[Update]

Richard Donninger hat gefragt, wieviel Bandbreite die Kamera verbraucht. Antwort: wenn nichts passiert, gar keine. Wenn ein Moment aufgezeichnet wird, ganz wenig (kleiner Hubbel rechts), während einer Live-Übertragung auch nicht so viel (langer Balken links).

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Neue Lumia Camera auf 830

by Volker Weber

Kann das auch mal jemand mit dem 1520 probieren? Habe keins mehr.

Denim: Neue Lumia Camera verbessert die Modelle 830, 930 und 1520 :: heise online

by Volker Weber

Mehr als vier Monate sind vergangen, seit Microsoft zur IFA ein Betriebssystemupdate und eine bessere Kamera-Software ankündigte. Nun erhält das Lumia 930 auch in Deutschland das Denim-Update und die neue Kamera.

Unbedingt das Video angucken!

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Lumia Denim on the 930, at last

by Volker Weber

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This has been the longest wait for an update. Four months and a few days. And the wait isn't over for all of you, especially on the 1520.

While Microsoft listed Denim as available for my phone, it would not install. The phone was feeling just fine and up-to-date. Then both Thomas Cloer and Christian Just had the same hint: make sure Developer Preview is switched off. That did the trick. Denim downloaded, upgraded the phone and then updated lots and lots of applications. And it had the all important Lumia Camera 5. The one that starts in an instant and does all the fancy image processing in the background. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow.

Denim is a very important update for 1520, 930 and 830, because those phones support Lumia Camera 5. It's not as big on the other ones, especially the 1020. That's going to be left behind, because Microsoft deems it too much effort to upgrade a completely different architecture with a monster sensor. It's still going to shoot wonderful photos, but not as quick as the other ones.

A different look at Android vs iOS

by Volker Weber

On Android, the vast majority stole the game and installed it. It does not really matter, if Android is winning market share unit counts.

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How to improve the UE BOOM :: Make it MEGA

by Volker Weber

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I get asked which portable speakers to buy quite a lot. Not that I am the audio expert, but I get to try out many devices. Up until now I always recommended the UE BOOM. Great sound, very practical, delivers a punch. If you have an Android or iDevice, you get a nice little app to maintain it. That's a tough act to follow.

But just as Gillette adds another blade, you can make it bigger. Quite a lot bigger. And you can make it louder. Quite a lot louder. That's what Ultimate Ears did. Enter the MEGABOOM. It follows the same formula as the original, but takes it up a notch.

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The new speaker comes with a new app. And it has a clever new trick: you can wake MEGABOOM up over Bluetooth and you can put it back to sleep. I don't know whether that comes as a software update to the BOOM as well, but I am sure UE will deliver if the hardware supports it. Just for comparison, the new app is a lot less playful than the old one was. And I like it better.

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Which one should you get? That depends on your use case. If you carry it a lot, the smaller one. If you move it around the house from room to room, definitely the bigger one. My use case is taking it outside, around the house. And since MEGABOOM is rated IPX7 waterproof (immersion in water up to 1 m), it does not matter when I forget to bring it in during a rain shower. (BOOM Was declared as "water resistant"). Up to 20 hours of battery life depending on how loud you are playing it.

Both BOOM and MEGABOOM can be paired and work either in mono or as a stereo pair. And there is a software update coming this year that will let you combine up to 10 MEGABOOMs for a party. Yes, UE really wants to sell you more of these things. ;-)

Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. Big time!

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IBM Event Connect

by Volker Weber

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Received an invitation to the ConnectED site and was ready to look at yet another social network where you can build your profile only to have it deleted six weeks later. But something was different this time:

If you have already created a profile for a previous IBM conference that used Event Connect (Insight 2014, IBM Digital Experience 2014), use that user id and password - it is still active! If you have forgotten your password, please use the "Forgot your Password?" link below the login link the website.

The instructions were pretty clear.

Point your desktop or mobile browser to http://ibmeventconnect.com/ConnectED and create your profile using your registration email id as the user id and your Event registration confirmation code as your password. ... If you're logging in from an iOS or Android device, and don't already have the mobile app installed, you'll see a link to download and install IBM Event Connect Center, the mobile companion app.

Installed on iPhone, logged in, boom. Oh, this was built for old iPhones and scales horribly on iPhone 6 Plus. Time to get it on the BlackBerry Passport. How does one do that, if IBM does not bother to submit it to BlackBerry World? Get the .apk from Google. Just hop over to apps.evozi.com and generate a download link. Works a treat, as you can see in the screenshot above.

You can also use your Connections client and point it to https://connections.ibmeventconnect.com and use your credentials as stated above.

BlackBerry stock jumps 26% on report of Samsung approach

by Volker Weber

Reuters story:

Smartphone company Samsung has recently approached BlackBerry to buy the company for as much as $7.5 billion, looking to gain access to its patent portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.

BlackBerry responds:

Waterloo, ON – BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.

Microsoft introduces Lumia 435

by Volker Weber

Continuing the Lumia design legacy, the Lumia 435 will be available in bright green, bright orange, white and black and will begin rolling out in select countries in Europe, APAC and IMEA in February.

2 MP fix focus camera, VGA front facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB storage. 69 € before taxes and subsidiaries. Microsoft is determined to drive up unit sales and thus market share.

There is also a new 532 with a slightly better camera for 10 € more. 1 GB of RAM is the main differentiator to former entry level devices. Looks like that is what you need for Windows 10.

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A better App Store Pricing Matrix

by Volker Weber

Ever lost your position in the App Store price tier matrix? This table makes it easier to compare a currency with the dollar price.

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Lenovo dual-use power supply

by Volker Weber

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The Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 has a very clever 40 W power supply. When you use this particular power cable it will deliver 20V at 2A to recharge the internal battery. When not in use, you can connect a regular USB cable to the power brick and it will charge any device with 5V at 2A. And while you don't need to charge your Yoga, you can plug in a USB 2.0 device here. Next to it is a USB 3.0 port and another one on the other side of the notebook. That one will charge your phone even if the Yoga is off. Sounds complicated but isn't. Let me run this again by you:

  1. Power supply charges Yoga or a USB device.
  2. Charging port on Yoga can host a USB 2.0 device when not in use.
  3. Two more USB ports, both 3.0, one of them provides charging when Yoga is off.

The only thing that won't work is charging the Yoga from a regular USB power supply.

Microsoft Azure :: Virtuelle Konferenz 2015

by Volker Weber

Aufgrund des großen Interesses an den Webinaren und Online-Events rund um Microsoft Azure veranstalten wir vom 5. bis 6. Februar die erste virtuelle Konferenz zur Cloud-Plattform von Microsoft. Wir freuen uns darauf, Ihnen Microsoft Azure und die Vielzahl an Möglichkeiten an zwei Tagen in verschiedenen einstündigen Sessions von Microsoft-Experten praxisorientiert und anschaulich näherzubringen - und wenn Sie mögen, auch schon am 4. Februar zum Business-Pre-Day.

Sieht man einmal von der Möglichkeit ab, Fragen zu stellen, dann sehe ich nicht so recht, warum man eine "Konferenz" auf bestimmte Tage festlegen sollte. Das könnte man auch später anschauen und wird es vielleicht auch können.

Die Anmeldung ist kostenlos.

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All set for IBM ConnectED 2015

by Volker Weber

It's less than eleven days before I shall be leaving for Orlando and I finally have all ducks in a row. Now I am looking forward to re-Connect with all the people who will be attending. And those who are just visiting. My Saturday night watering hole used to be the Dolphin bar at the escalator. And although the conference moved to the Swan, I hope we can keep that tradition.

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And here is a tradition that is coming to an end. Mark Helton, a.k.a. The Camera Guy, is not going to be there. He has covered Lotusphere for 20 years.

IBM Connections on BlackBerry 10

by Volker Weber

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IBM has published a Connections Client on BlackBerry World. That's good, since they only supported iOS and Android so far. When you look at the screenshot, you will notice a bar at the bottom with a back icon. That's a dead giveaway for an Android app on BlackBerry. Those run fine on BlackBerry 10.3, but there is a catch: you cannot run Android apps in the work perimeter, since they are considered unsafe. There is no Android player in the BlackBerry work perimeter. That means you can only run the Connections client in the private perimeter, where it won't be managed by your company. And it won't have secure access to on premises Connections servers through the BlackBerry infrastructure.

So close, but yet so far.

To be fair, having a BlackBerry Android app in BlackBerry World is way better than any other option besides having a native client. And building a native client is expensive. Which reminds me, wasn't BlackBerry going to enable Android apps in the work perimeter? Haven't heard anything about that in a while.

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David Geffin :: Gotham From Above

by Volker Weber

See the incredible photos here >

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 mit Windows

by Volker Weber

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Die Yoga Tablets haben es mir angetan. Seit der Vorstellung Ende 2013 hat Lenovo das Produkt beständig verbessert. Vor zwei Monaten folgte dann noch eine neue Variante mit Windows, jeweils in 8" und 10". Heute hatte ich endlich Gelegenheit, mich ausgiebig mit dem deutschen 10"-Gerät zu beschäftigen.

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Der Deckel im ersten Bild ist eine Tastatur, die sich per Magnet am Tablet festhält und per Bluetooth mit ihm redet. Das Gehäuse des Tablets ist mattschwarz und unterscheidet sich damit von den silbernen Androids. 32 GB Speicher hat das Gerät und entspricht damit der größeren der beiden 10"-Android-Tablets. Der Aufpreis für Windows und die Tastatur fällt mit 50 Euro moderat aus.

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Die Tastatur halte ich für erforderlich, wenn man Windows 8.1 richtig benutzen will. Auf dem Desktop braucht man einfach Trackpad und Tastatur. Die magnetische Verbindung hält gut, wenn man das Gerät auf einem Tisch aufbaut. Klappt man den Deckel zu und verstaut beides zusammen, dann verschiebt sich die Tastatur sehr leicht auf dem Bildschirm. Sie taugt deshalb nur sehr eingeschränkt als Schutz. Das ist schon viel besser als bei dem Original von 2013 aber noch nicht wirklich überzeugend.

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Das Trackpad ist ziemlich klein und wird damit fummelig. Da die Tastatur vier Gummifüßchen hat, kann man sie auch problemlos lose auf dem Tisch auflegen, ohne sie zu verbinden. Auf dem Schoß balancieren lässt sich die Konstruktion gar nicht. Auf der rechten Seite des Tablets sieht man einen HDMI-Anschluss, der den Android-Tablets fehlt. Wer unterwegs mal eine Powerpoint-Präsi zeigen will, braucht diesen Anschluss. Dickes Plus für dieses Tablet.

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Das Layout der Tastatur geht in Ordnung. Nur beim Ä und den Tasten rechts davon erkennt man den Kompromiss für das deutsche Layout. Bei den Cursortasten ist alles vorbildlich und bedarf keiner Umstellung von einer großen Tastatur. Man möchte nicht ausschließlich mit so einer Tastatur schreiben, aber sie ist in jedem Fall der auf dem Glas überlegen.

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Das 10"-Android-Tablet kostet (jeweils Listenpreis) 299 Euro mit 16 GB und 349 € mit 32 GB. Das Windows-Tablet für 399 € gibt es nur mit 32 GB, weil Windows einfach mehr Speicher belegt. Bei meinem Gerät sind aktuell 19 GB frei. Der Speicher lässt sich über eine MicroSD-Karte erweitern. Aktuell verwende ich eine Samsung-Speicherkarte mit 64 GB, die mit exFAT formatiert ist. Dieses Dateisystem wird von den Android-Tablets leider bisher nicht unterstützt. Vorteil gegenüber FAT32: man kann auch Dateien größer 4 GB abspeichern.

LenovoTab10Win

Mein Tablet hat einen weiteren Slot für eine MicroSIM und ein LTE-Modem. Aufpreis: weitere 50 € und damit kostet das Tablet mit 32 GB und Tastatur dann 449 €. Wer kauft so etwas? Das ist eine gute PC-Ergänzung für unterwegs, wenn man im Microsoft-Umfeld zu Hause ist. So wie bei Apple iOS und OS X gut miteinander harmonieren, so hat man hier eine einheitliche Plattform, auf der alle Daten über OneDrive abgeglichen werden können und von den identischen Programmen bearbeitet werden.

Vielleicht sollte man aber auch das sehr schnuckelige 8"-Gerät ins Auge fassen. Das kostet nur 249 €, hat die selbe Bildschirmauflösung und Speicherausstattung, aber keine Tastatur und auch kein LTE. Vorsicht: da kommt jetzt sehr schnell eine Ablösung, da Lenovo auf der CES in Las Vegas eine neue Version vorgestellt hat, bei der man mit jedem beliebigen Stift auf dem Glas schreiben kann. Dazu liefert Lenovo eine Windows-Software zur Handschriftenerkennung. Ich kann mir vorstellen, dass Windows 8.1 damit auch ohne Trackpad nutzbar wird.

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How to get rid of Microsoft Band spam

by Volker Weber

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There is no unsubscribe option. So I checked the fine print:

As part of your usage of Microsoft Band, we will be sending periodic communications to you via email. You are receiving this product service communication as part of the Microsoft Band Terms of Use. This email is provided for informational purposes only. Microsoft® makes no warranties, express or implied, in this email.

It's pretty easy to ruin a customer experience. Time for a bigger FU.

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Solved.

Sibylle Berg über das Attentat von Paris

by Volker Weber

Ich habe keine Antwort. Oder jeden Tag eine andere. Ich versuche, kein Arschloch zu werden. Nicht an einfache Lösungen zu glauben. Nicht feige zu werden. Mehr ist nicht drin.

Mir geht's genauso.

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Microsoft, you lost me

by Volker Weber

I have been using Windows since version 1. I was around when you introduced Windows for Workgroups. I know a thing or two about networking. But I cannot figure out how to log into my ReadyNAS from Windows 8.1. I am pretty sure Google knows, but how the hell did you mess everything up with each new release?

IBM shows the product

by Volker Weber

Robert F. Kennedy :: The Mindless Menace of Violence

by Volker Weber

Thinking aloud

by Volker Weber

Rule of thumb: whenever something bad happens, it is caused by men. Watch the current news, try to remember what happened in the past. All you see is men. Yes, there are a few women, but this is how rules of thumb work. They generalize.

Now stay with me. You walk a dark alley at night and there is a group of people coming your way. First thing you check is: all male? That's potentially dangerous, right? If you are a woman, a single man could be dangerous. One woman? A group of women? I sense no danger.

Who is the expert in incarceration? The USA. 1 in 100 adults in the United States were in prison or jail (2008). 92.9 percent of prisoners are male. In Germany there were 60000 inmates, 3300 of them women (2011). Either women are way smarter than men and don't get caught. Or they are doing something right.

Societies where women have no say seem to be the dumbest, by far. Maybe it's time we put more women in control. Germany did. Almost ten years ago.

A Teenager’s View on Social Media

by Volker Weber

I read technology articles quite often and see plenty of authors attempt to dissect or describe the teenage audience, especially in regards to social media. However, I have yet to see a teenager contribute their voice to this discussion. This is where I would like to provide my own humble opinion.

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An update on Microsoft Band

by Volker Weber

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I have been using Band now for a week. Performance has been solid and Band is more comfortable than I expected. I am now wearing it with the display facing outward, which is a bit awkward when checking messages. I find it more comfortable and it's easier to check the time.

The software on iOS still needs a lot of tweaks to make it work internationally. My iPhone uses English (US) as its language with a German locale. The app is confused about decimal point (US) and thousands separator (German). In some places it reports the time correctly as 13:56 in 24h format, in other places it will say 1:56 nachm. for 1:56pm. It no longer fits the total steps for a week since it went above 100k steps. Kilometers travelled will always report three digits, so it rolls over at 9.99 to 10.0 and from 99.9 to 100. I guess I am walking more than the developer. ;-)

Sleep counts as an event. The app only show you the last sleep event. If you sleep for 6.5 hours during the night and for one hour at noon, it will report either 6.5 or 1 hours of total sleep, depending on whether you look in the morning or the afternoon. There is no accumulated view for sleep during the week. I also find that the sleep report is way off the actual sleep. It will report deep sleep at times when I was awake, and light sleep when I am completely spaced out. Overall, sleep tracking looks like an afterthought. But I'm fine with that, since I no longer need sleep tracking.

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Step counting is on the conservative side. The iPhone records more steps than Band and it can vary step length depending on your cadence while Band seems to derive step length from your body height. It records your pulse around the clock if you set it to. It's not on permanently, but it works in intervals to save on battery power. When it starts acquiring the pulse, it always seems to start with higher values than realistically could be true and then settles in on the correct pulse. That is the case when you wear the display to the inside and the outside of the wrist. The values it logs seem to be reasonable. Calories burnt, as reported through the app is about 20% lower than Withings. I have no idea who is right. Smoke and mirrors. I get a "battery low" warning after about 36 hours if I keep the clock display and pulse tracking on. Therefore I need to recharge every single day.

Microsoft keeps sending me promotional mails on how to work better with Band and those mails do not contain an unsubscribe link. Need to find out how to stop this spam. On the upside there is no "Clippy" in the app. It just gives you the data and does not try to coach you. (This is an area where Jawbone fails so miserably. "It looks like you log more steps when you sleep longer". No, dummy. When I sleep longer, I am on vacation and have more time to walk.)

After almost a week, I am comfortable to keep Band. I would not return it if I had bought it. Having said that, Microsoft still needs to invest a lot of work into the software. I have a feeling that this product was rushed to the market, well before the software was ready. While they are collecting data from existing customers, they can continue to make better software. The other players are currently years ahead.

'Gold'

by Volker Weber

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While we are waiting for the Denim Update and Lumia Camera 5, you can now buy a 'gold' edition of the 830 and the 930. And with 'gold' Microsoft means anodized aluminium.

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Saved by BlackBerry?

by Volker Weber

While BlackBerry fans around the world rejoice, let's take a look at the original NYT reporting:

Sony shut down all computer systems shortly thereafter, including those in overseas offices, leaving the company in the digital dark ages: no voice mail, no corporate email, no production systems.

A handful of old BlackBerrys, located in a storage room in the Thalberg basement, were given to executives. Staff members began to trade text messages using hastily arranged phone trees.

What happened here is that Sony Picture's IT infrastructure was destroyed. BlackBerry was not the safe castle that survived. It was just old technology burried deep down in the basement and therefore survived the fire.

Sony's failure was insecure procedures. They would have lost their BlackBerry infrastructure just the same, if only it had still been running. Repeat after me: security is not a product you can buy. It's a discipline.

Microsoft Band :: First Impressions

by Volker Weber

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"This is big. Really big." That is the first impression when you open the Microsoft Band box and put the device on your arm. "Do I really want to wear this?" Spoiler alert: yes, you want.

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Looking from the side, you can see it's not only wide but also very beefy. And yet, it feels comfortable to me.

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You wear the display on the inside of your arm. When you turn your wrist, the display has the correct orientation. And you can see the potential problem right there. I expect the glass to scratch really quickly.

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The band is adjustable and it comes in three sizes. Since it is very stiff, you have to get the correct size. Microsoft provides a sizing chart for reference. I am wearing the L size on the second tightest notch. I suspect that the M and S bands will look even more beefy, since they have to incorporate the same amount of tech.

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On top of my wrist sits the heart rate sensor, opposite of the charging contacts underneath the display side. The plates around these two components complete a galvanic circuit. This tells the band whether you are wearing it.

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The band has two buttons: power and action. The power button turns the display on and off. You need the action button to complete actions that don't want to use the touch display. If you go into sleep tracking mode, you need to press the action button for instance.

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Microsoft Band works with Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It requires Bluetooth 4.0 to sync, so it only works with more recent Lumias, Android starting from 4.3 and iPhone 4S and newer. Microsoft needs to change the Springboard name of the app on iOS, otherwise you would never know it's "Microsoft Health". The app is currently only available in the US store since Band is not sold outside of the USA. Band syncs the time from your phone but not the clock preferences. You can however set the clock to 24h format inside the device settings.

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I am going to tell you a lot more about my experience. Band is currently the most versatile fitness tracker on the market. It cannot only track your steps and your heart rate. It also has GPS so it can provide a precise track. You will not keep this on since it burns through your battery rather quickly but I will certainly try it out.

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One thing I will keep on at all times is the clock display that you see in the first picture. If I wear a band like this it has to replace Pebble. Band needs to be recharged every second day when not using GPS. And unfortunately it has its own charging cable, and it isn't even waterproof!

It's been four months

by Volker Weber

vowe 9.0

by Volker Weber

I don't do New Year's resolutions. Neither does Calvin. But I have a theory that one changes every seven years. You are born as 1.0 and when you turn seven, you go to school (2.0). At fourteen you start growing up (3.0). A process you will have mostly completed by version 4.0. There are more milestones, and sometimes you miss them by a few years.

This year saw another change. From being a couch potato to somebody who enjoys exercise. Almost to the day when I turned into 9.0.

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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