June 2015

Microsoft could write off billions on Nokia deal

by Volker Weber

More 'tough choices' for the company as it tightens strategy and admits Ballmer's mistake. ... The Nokia acquisition was one of the last moves made by former CEO Steve Ballmer, who stepped down in February 2014. The deal, revealed the previous September, has been both acknowledged by analysts as necessary to remain a player in mobile, and criticized for its inability to improve Microsoft's fortunes in the smartphone market. Current CEO Satya Nadella was reported to have opposed the acquisition.

I concur with the author that Microsoft has to adjust the books on the Nokia deal. And I don't think that Satya Nadella needs Windows 10 on phones to execute on his strategy. It's very telling that Microsoft misses the mobile boat on the Windows 10 launch in four weeks.

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Apple Watch Sapphire vs Glass Display Shoot-Out

by Volker Weber

The 74 percent higher Reflectance of the Apple Watch with Sapphire means that its screen will reflect almost twice as much surrounding ambient light as the Apple Watch Sport with Glass. And it takes surprisingly little ambient light for that to make a visible difference…

Bottom line: the cheaper Sport model performs better than the more expensive Watch and Edition.

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Withings imports from Fitbit

by Volker Weber

Have you ever used a fitness tracker from another company? Switch-to-Withings makes it easy to retrieve your entire activity history and import it into our Health Mate app. You will have access to all your data, be awarded success badges and take immediate advantage of custom health insights. Grab your data & Go!

I expect them to offer more imports. Fitbit is just the biggest target to hit. Waiting for UP.

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Apple Music on SONOS :: How soon is ASAP?

by Volker Weber

That's Ian Rogers, former Beats Music CEO and now Apple Music Senior Director. Thomas Meyer, Director Global Artist and Industry Relations at SONOS, announces:

That's pretty much as official as it can get. Beats Music had SONOS integration. I expect this to go into beta well before the end of the year.

Earn your breakfast

by Volker Weber

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Don't break the chain. That means reach your goal every single day, without exception. My current count is 243 days, 4673968 steps, 19234 steps per day. The long shot is 7 million steps within a year, 19178 steps per day. 122 days to go.

I know where I want to be. But how do I get there? I found the answer when the weather got too hot to walk at noon. Start early. As easy as that. "The early bird catches the worm" works in German, almost translated verbally: "Früher Vogel fängt den Wurm". I start the day with a 90 minutes brisk walk. That's three bars, 30 minutes each on the Excercise chart to the right. Apple Watch counted 53 of those as exercise. You need 30, that's why the chart on the left shows more than one turn on the green circle. Without this walk it becomes hard to get to the 30 minutes a day.

If you have between 5 and 8 kilometers to get to work, this morning walk would be enough. The rest of my daily calorie burn will accumulate over the rest of the day. Of course you don't get to 19234 steps with a 90 minutes walk. You need a second one. Or two shorter ones at noon and in the evening. But the important one is the morning exercise. This puts you in front.

If you look at the blue chart, you will see 4/12 of the circle. That's four hours: 5, 6, 7, 8. You get the 5 by getting up before 6, if only by two minutes. No snooze. And yes, that's a Sunday. But don't worry. Since I earned my breakfast I get to nap at noon.


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If you look at the achievements, don't mind the first 5 and the 9th. They are easy. The 6th achievement is reaching your calorie burn goal twice in a day. That is very hard. The 7th and 8th achievement probably mean that you cheated by setting the goal way too low. The two bottom rows are interesting. The first four stand for perfect week, 7 days stand up, 7 days calorie burn, and 7 days exercise. It says New Award since I just re-earned them. The last two ones are full month of calorie burn goal and longest move streak. I get the last one every single day (don't break the chain) and I am working on the full month. June will be my first full month having the Apple Watch and I intend to also reach my goals tomorrow and the day after.

Don't break the chain. Start early.

Say Ello

by Volker Weber

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And yes, there is an app. iPhone & iPad now. Android and Windows in development.

You need reasons? Thomas Hawk gives you reasons.

COBO - you are going to hear this

by Volker Weber

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You may think that BlackBerry is toast. After all, sales of BlackBerry 10 devices are in decline. But not so fast. There are companies out there who push back on BYOD, and especially Android. I have one example, which still has some company owned iPads around. And with some I mean hundreds and thousands. But as far as company issued smartphones are concerned, it's going to be BlackBerry, in full lockdown. No Facebook nonsense, no BlackBerry Balance.

Sounds backwards? Well, once you control the device and can trust it, it opens up new opportunities, for instance encrypted messaging with trusted partners. Messaging with people you know are real and not just some handle. Getting out of the BYOD space also allows you to manage and trust all devices, PCs, tablets, smartphones and allow something like BlackBerry Blend without opening up security holes.

Interesting tidbit: Passport, Classic or Leap? Most BlackBerry users pick the Classic, if they can. Even over a company issued iPhone in full lockdown. Yes, they are different. They wear three piece suits to work.

COBO - Company Owned, Business Only. It's not dead. It's just a secure way of life.

Introducing Atom 1.0

by Volker Weber

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Why Ello?

by Volker Weber

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André asked today:

@vowe couldn’t see any benefits from ello yet. What is the point?

I cannot answer it for you. Much has been written. For me, Ello feels right. No spammers, no abusive data collection, no check-in, no mayors, no games, no "viral". Instead, interesting content. Content I have not seen anywhere else. People who make stuff. All the good features from other networks like comments, likes, real reposts. And last, but certainly not least: really big photos.

Your friends aren't there? Just move in. It's a beautiful place without ads. That's all there is to it. Invite the people you love.

Come with me.

Fly with Svetlana

by Volker Weber

Svetlana has won more world championships than any other pilot. She takes off after 10 minutes. And the action starts at 16:30. Strap yourself in tight.

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BlackBerry smartphone sales continue to slide

by Volker Weber

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BlackBerry just announced their first quarterly results for fiscal year 2016. As they transition ever so slowly into a software business, the smartphones business continues its decline. In the last quarter they recognized revenue from 1.1 million devices sold. That is the least ever reported.

Although I don't have a quotable source, I have heard that 10 million devices within one fiscal year is the bare minimum for a sustainable platform. This goal seems to be elusive. 10 million a quarter, not per year, is what Motorola or Microsoft sell. Apple is in the 75 million range, Samsung even higher.

Decisions, decisions

by Volker Weber

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I don't always make rational decisions. Sometimes I do what feels right. Today for instance it felt right to move from Chrome back to Safari and set the default search engine to DuckDuckGo.

Matte and shiny

by Volker Weber

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Here is another combination that works really well: Apple Watch Sport with Leather Loop. This is the only band (besides the original sport band) that does not have a shiny connector which would not work with the aluminium body of the Watch Sport. Both the watch and the band are matte which makes for a very elegant combination. At 618 € (449 + 169) it is 250 € less than a Watch with Leather Loop (799 €) and a Sport Band (59 €).

Remember: all Apple Watches have exactly the same features.

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Urbanears cuts the cord

by Volker Weber

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With a dozen headphones at vowe's magic flying circus, there is always choice. For traveling I like to use the Plantronics BackBeat Pro. They sound great, they cancel out the ambient noise, and they are comfortable. But they are quite huge. Then there are the Urbanears Kransen, that live in my go bag. But the most used headphones ever since I got them, have been the Plattan ADV (right). They are very light and comfortabe and I recommend them to anyone. Until today.

Now Urbanears cuts the cord. You don't only get the usual 3.5mm cable. You get another one: a USB cable to charge the internal battery of the Plattan ADV Cordless (left). Cordless = two cables. Exactly the same outfit as on the Plantronics gear. Cordless of course means Bluetooth. Playback is spec'ed for 14 hours between charges, but I have not used them long enough to verify. When you run out of power you go back to the cable. Either one, or both. Again, same as always.

I had no difficulties pairing the new headset with iPhone. Charge it, then hit and hold the ON button until the LED flashes blue. Everything happens on the right earpiece. Not only the LED and the switch, but also a microphone for answering the occasional phone call. (If you need a headset for frequent calls, look elsewhere.) The earpiece is also a touchpad. Tap to start/stop or answer calls. Swipe forward and backwards to switch tracks. Swipe up or down to adjust the volume. The headband is washable. And you can use the 3.5 mm plug on the left earpiece to either connect the headset to your player (Bluetooth off) or connect a second headset (Bluetooth on) to share your music.

What a great design.

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Umgekehrte Alex-Warnung

by Volker Weber

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Vor vielen Jahren habe ich ab und an mal eine Alex-Warnung ausgesprochen. Das war eine Aufforderung, etwas vorübergehend nicht zu kaufen. Weil etwas Besseres oder Günstigeres in Kürze angekündigt wird. Da ärgert man sich als Käufer.

Heute will ich das Gegenteil machen: wer seine Sonos-Installation erweitern will, etwa um einen SUB, der sollte das bald tun. Und mit bald meine ich: in den nächsten vier Wochen. Ihr könnt Euch später bedanken.

Wo man Sonos kauft ist klar, oder? ;-)

Windows 10 Preview :: Learn from my mistakes

by Volker Weber

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I love the Surface 3. I just do. And now I have a fresh Windows install. Squeaky clean. And it's my fault.

I was contemplating an upgrade to Windows 10 Preview. After all, this is a Microsoft device, right? Well, that was a bad mistake. Although I had installed all previous updates and drivers, things did not work out so well. And I was finally stuck. Lots of things would no longer work. Things as easy as Windows Update or screen rotation for instance. Or pressing the button on Surface Pen to take notes in OneNote.

Everything I like about Surface was gone. So Windows 10 Preview had to go. I test stuff so you don't have to. Learn from my mistakes. Stay away, until Microsoft goes into beta. This isn't beta. This is a marketing stunt.

I understand Microsoft wants to ship in five weeks. I'm not sure I want to sail this boat.


Ello is different

by Volker Weber

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The most compelling reason to be on Ello is original content. At the same time it is the biggest challenge for those used to re-sharing "viral" media.

Ello is no Facebook. If you like Facebook, you would be disappointed. But if you don't, this is your place. Beautiful, ad-free. Now with iOS app. Tomorrow with Android and Windows (!). You think there is nothing going on? I will gladly compare my streams (below) with your postings. You may be bored. But maybe, you are boring. ;-)

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Blocking spam on Twitter

by Volker Weber

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Twitter has an interesting business model that I believe will not work in the long term. The service is free, but you get carpet bombed with spam, "Sponsored Tweets" in Twitter terms. Some people use third party clients, but those are dead men walking because they undermine the business model.

A while ago I made a simple rule: a single spam message buys you a spot on my blocked list. I block a couple of spammers every day and they go away. When they are on my blocked list, they can no longer read my tweets or retweet them. That's a bummer for brands who want to retweet positive messages about their product. It has happened many times, Microsoft, Nokia, Lenovo, they all hurt themselves this way.

I am making it easier for you by providing my current blocked list. You can import it into Twitter, with "Advanced Options" on your Blocked Accounts page. You will see it's rather long. It's not going to interfere with your list, since Twitter keeps your own blocks and imported ones separate. And remember, this is no judgement. You only get on this list, if you force yourself into my Twitter stream uninvited.

How can Twitter improve its business model? Make me a customer.

Elly by Ello

by Volker Weber

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Ello finally has an app, for iPhone and iPad. Android and Windows in development.

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Another hairy arm with an Apple Watch

by Volker Weber

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I have said a few things about activity tracking on Apple Watch, I told you about my personal preferences. The bigger question is: is it worth having? Will you wear it after the novelty wears off?

I believe the answer is a solid yes.

Watch goes on the charger as I go to bed. It sits next to my toothbrush. If I get up in the night, I put it back on my wrist. If not, it's the first thing in the morning. I never ran out of battery during the day, not even on the first day, where I played a lot. I have about 30 to 40% charge left when I go to bed.

I am using Apple Watch exactly like I used Pebble: notifications and activity tracking. With the Pebble I could see the step tracking from iPhone right on the watchface. With Apple Watch I swipe up to get to the Activity glance. As much as I am doing the same things, they work better on Apple Watch. I can read the whole email, I can archive it right from the watch. Tap Engine is better than vibrate, the sounds are really subtle.

I have mixed results from answering the phone from Apple Watch. Sometimes I am simply too far away from the phone for a stable connection. If the phone is on me, results are pretty impressive. It works very well in the car for instance. When a call comes in, simply tap the screen to accept and leave the hands on the steering wheel. Sound from the watch is quite impressive and it has no trouble picking up my voice.

So far I have not been using any apps. By the time an app starts I have already picked up the phone and used it there. I am sure this will change when developers go from Watch Kit to Watch SDK.

Most of the complaints are b/s. Apple Watch is easy to use, easy to understand, does not run out of power. The display isn't always on but it does come on exactly when I need it. The only environment it does not work in is very bright light. If the sun shines directly on the display, you won't see a thing.

Caveat emptor: if you buy an Apple Watch, you are never going to use anything but an iPhone. At least not in the foreseeable future.

Stephen Elop and Jo Harlow have left the (Microsoft) building

by Volker Weber

There are quite a lot of people who despised Stephen Elop. I was not one of them. I met him on several occasions, even for a long chat in Berlin, which I wasn't allowed to put on video. Stephen was a good leader. As was Jo, his right hand. They are both leaving Microsoft and the hardware business is folded into the Windows business under Terry Myerson.

This is going to be one difficult business. Windows has to work for all OEMs, and Microsoft is building its own premium Windows devices. (Almost) nobody is making Windows Phones; Lumia rules this small segment. Surface shows how lean Windows can be. And then there is Xbox, HoloLens, Surface Hub, Microsoft Band. A zoo ...

Jim Dalrymple on the Apple Watch :: My most personal review ever

by Volker Weber

I have been reporting on Apple for more than 20 years now, and in all that time no product has had such an impact on my life as this little piece of hardware and software. I don’t say that for dramatic effect, it has had a profound effect on the way I live. As you will read later, this is the most personal review I have ever written.

It is very personal. But if you read carefully, you will see he changed his life before getting the watch.

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[Thanks, David]

Disable Twitter's autoplay feature now

by Volker Weber

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Twitter has added a Video autoplay and the default is "Use mobile data and Wi-Fi". This serves but one purpose: let spammers run their "Sponsored tweets" in your face. I suggest you set this to Never play videos automatically. And block each and every account that spams you.

Stanford study finds walking improves creativity

by Volker Weber

Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.

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[Thanks, Martin]

How Many Steps a Day Should You Really Walk?

by Volker Weber

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New York Magazine debunks the number:

...is there any medical reason to embrace this number? Not really. That’s because the 10,000-steps-a-day recommendation has nothing to do with sedentary, fast-food-drenched circa-2015 America. Rather, the recommendation first popped up in a very different food and environment: 1960s Japan.

In essence, it was a marketing ploy. That does not mean, that exercise is not good for you. In contrary, but you don't have to shoot for the moon:

Her work focuses on the most sedentary slice of the population (a rather big slice slice in the U.S.), and there, it can be a challenge to get people to take 5,000 steps, let alone 10,000. But moving from 2,500 steps a day, say, to 5,000, is a small but important victory for people who don’t get any exercise, and can have important health ramifications. "We know that you get the biggest bang for your buck by just moving from a sedentary state up a little bit," she said. "Your biggest bang comes from rolling off the couch and being active."

This is where Apple Watch gets it better than any step counter I have tried. It makes you get up at least 12 times a day. It makes you exercise for at least 30 minutes (remember 23.5 hours?) and it helps you burn more calories than before.

I have tracked my progress from April of last year, where I averaged 4449 steps a day, to today's 19256, averaged over the last 230 days. As you can imagine, it's been a huge change.

My next step is to ease up on the exercise a bit and focus more on the food I eat. As I read the other day, it takes 66 days on average to form a new habit. I am not going to give up on the 10k a day and 100k a week, but that's not a challenge anymore. I just need to make sure I don't break the chain you see in the picture.

[Thanks Ingo for the heads up]

Aging in Dogs - Companions Teach Us to Age Better

by Volker Weber

This is sound medical advice, as neuroscientist Head says: "Everything you do for a dog to help them age well, you should do with them." So eat the best food you can afford. Go for a walk, even if it's raining. Take a lot of naps. Keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh, so that the people you lick will not flinch. And when someone you love walks in through the door, even if it happens five times a day, go totally insane with joy.

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John Gruber interviews Phil Schiller

by Volker Weber

This is such a great interview. It shows mutual respect between Phil and John. You also experience how superior Phil is to John, without showing it. And John does a really great job at touching on some points that aren't quite as perfect as Apple wants them to be. The interview starts about 12 minutes into the video and it's worth every minute. Take your time to watch it.

Fettig oder staubig

by Volker Weber

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Ich muss mal ein ganz altes Konzept erklären. Wenn ich jemand losschicke, der vor Ort unterstützt, oder wenn ich selbst irgendwo hingehe, dann schaue ich als erstes (oder frage später danach), ob das Gerät fettig oder staubig ist. Staubig heisst, wird nicht angefasst. Fettig heißt, wird viel angefasst. Der Unterschied sagt ganz viel aus.

Zu fettig gibt es noch eine Steigerung: verkratzt. Siehe oben, Surface 3.

Denali

by Volker Weber

Gut gemacht :: Microsofts Antwort an den Postillon

by Volker Weber

Microsofts Antwort auf "Aus Mitleid: Dieb gibt gestohlenes Windows Phone wieder zurück"

Cyber-Attacke auf den Bundestag - Totalschaden IT-Sicherheit

by Volker Weber

Der Bundestag wird Opfer eines Cyber-Angriffs und zur gleichen Zeit verabschieden die Abgeordneten ein völlig unzureichendes IT-Sicherheitsgesetz. Das ist ein politischer Totalschaden, meint Peter Welchering.

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Why I enjoy Ello

by Volker Weber

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Abhörchips in Samsung-Handys

by Volker Weber

Unbedingt mal den Akku ins Feuer werden. Das ist eine Bombe!

OneNote How-To :: Grid Lines & Annotating a PDF

by Volker Weber

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My take on BlackBerry Android

by Volker Weber

Horia asked me to write something about the Reuters piece on "BlackBerry may put Android on new smartphone". The thing is that I don't speculate (much) and that I have no additional insights. But let's look at a few facts:

If you connect these dots, you may be wondering why they are not already doing it. Imagine a BlackBerry hardware (with keyboard) running a secure Android platform. They could easily sell 10 million of those.

Notes on Surface

by Volker Weber

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This isn't staged. This is real. As I was attending TEDxFrankfurt yesterday I decided to take notes on Microsoft Surface with OneNote and Surface Pen. Handwritten notes. Usually I type everything because I am lazy. Why write something down twice ...

Writing on Surface with the pen felt very natural. And very helpful: as you press a button, you can erase stuff from your notes. After just a few minutes this works automatically. I now find myself trying to erase stuff on paper with the same pen I wrote it with. ;-)

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As you can see my handwriting is terrible. But I can read it. That's the only thing that counts.

These are handwritten notes on plain paper. OneNote can add lines or a grid if that helps you. Of course you can also annotate PDF files. If you are following a lecture this will help you to add your notes to a script. Writing with Pen on Surface is not the same as a stylus on an iPad. It feels way more natural.

Editor-so-refuses-to-give-it-back. Until I get the call. You KNOW you want to buy one. :-)

Maybe they are working on Lotusphere 2016

by Volker Weber

Exciting times, yesterday. IBM asked us to save the date for Connect 2016. Now it's gone. Me thinks, whoever jumped the gun, did not have all necessary sign offs from Legal a.k.a. Big Blue Boat Anchor.

Or they haven't figured out the name. ConnectED, Connect, Lotusphere? I'd go with Lotusphere.

SONOS Control from Pebble (Time)

by Volker Weber

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Ralph just sent me this. He is controlling his SONOS from his new Pebble Time. And he is doing it with his hands tied behind his back, err, with his BlackBerry.

Xcode 7 allows anyone to download, build and ‘sideload’ iOS apps for free

by Volker Weber

Apple has changed its policy regarding permissions required to build and run apps on devices. Until now, Apple required users to pay $99/year to become a member of Apple’s Developer Program in order to run code on physical iPhone and iPads. As part of the new Developer Program, this is no longer required. Apps can be tested on devices, no purchase necessary.

If you want to submit apps to the App Store, you still need to pay up.

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The Untold Story of Microsoft's Surface Hub

by Volker Weber

A man with a dream. A company in flux. A secret factory outside Portland. And a hyper-ambitious gambit to reimagine how meetings happen.

Interesting long read at Fastcompany.

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Connect 2016

by Volker Weber

Remember this tweet? Looks like IBM has heard you:

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Mark your calendars for Connect 2016 in Orlando! Get ready to explore the future of Enterprise Social Software and Digital Experience solutions and innovations, driven by IBM's unparalleled expertise in cloud, analytics, mobile and social. Mark your calendar now for this exciting event! Check back in early August to find out about registration and details on how you can become a speaker.

Not at the Swolphin, so you get to experience new stomping grounds.

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Music streaming still leaves a lot to be desired

by Volker Weber

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Yesterday was a big day for music streaming. Apple is going in big time. But what happens, when you have that music on your iPhone?

  1. You play it through your iPhone speakers. That's what most kids do.
  2. You plug in your earbuds. Now only you can listen. If you care enough, and most people do not, you get a decent pair of headphones. No, they don't come with a Beats logo.
  3. You connect to a Bluetooth speaker. There are decent ones out there. And even more decent ones. The problem is Bluetooth.
  4. If Bluetooth does not cut it, you use AirPlay. That runs over Wifi.

With all of these options, the stream goes over the Internet, through your router, over WiFi to your phone. And then it goes via Bluetooth to your speaker. Or in the case of AirPlay, it goes through WiFi to your router, and from there, again over WiFi to your speaker. That's three trips, if you are counting. That's a kludge. An ugly one. And there are better solutions:

The only company that has figured this out is Google. You can use their app, and you can cast to Googlecast devices. Or you can cast to Sonos. Although you are using Google Play Music on your Android, you can still play directly through any of your Sonos speakers. Without doing three hops through your network.

That only works on Android. Because, on iPhone you have AirPlay. Which Apple sells you as the only game in town.

Microsoft-Facebook connection is broken as of today

by Volker Weber

Microsoft writes:

Last year, Facebook announced an update to their Graph API that will impact Microsoft apps and services. Facebook's Graph API is the tool that we use to connect your Microsoft account to Facebook. It brings contact information from your Facebook friends into Outlook.com and the Windows People app, keeps those contacts up-to-date, and provides options in apps and services like Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and OneDrive.com to share to Facebook. We collectively refer to these features as "Facebook Connect." Due to these changes, Facebook Connect features will no longer be supported. If you’ve connected Facebook to your Microsoft account, your Facebook contacts will stop syncing to Outlook.com or the People app on your Windows devices, and the sharing options to Facebook will stop working as early as June 9th.

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Wearables at work: the new frontier of employee surveillance

by Volker Weber

He only had himself to blame, Mike Weston thought ruefully as he strapped a Fitbit to his wrist one cold February morning. His company was about to start tracking him 24 hours a day, gathering data on everything from his sleep quality and heart rate to his location and web browsing habits.

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Apple WWDC Keynote

by Volker Weber

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Reality distortion field collapses. Time for some remarks.

Tim, I have one question: how many Apple Watches did you sell?

Now let me play some Alabama Shakes ... on Sonos, but not over Apple Music, yet.

DNUG in Dortmund

by Volker Weber

Diese Woche veranstaltet die DNUG in Dortmund ihre 42. Konferenz. Und Olaf Boerner, einer der Schwergewichte im Notes-Geschäft, reist ans andere Ende der Welt. Das ist mal eine Ansage.

Schreck in der Nacht

by Volker Weber

Wildes Klingeln nachts an der Haustür. Hund flippt aus. Aufgeschreckt an die Gegensprechanlage: "Ja bitte, wer ist da?" Junger Mann nennt Namen. "Ich will den Volker Weber sprechen." - "Das tut mir leid, aber nicht um diese Zeit. Gehen Sie wieder". Scheffin war die Treppe herunter gegangen und schaut vom Treppenabsatz durch das Fenster an der Tür. "Der ist nackt!"

Der junge Mann randaliert weiter, wirft erfolglos Gegenstände gegen die (einbruchhemmenden) Scheiben, trollt sich schließlich. Ich mache mir Sorgen. Nachts nackt herumlaufen, randalieren. Was will der? Hat er Probleme und sucht Hilfe? Ich rufe 110 an und alarmiere die Polizei. "Ja, wir kümmern uns darum."

Heute morgen rufe ich beim zweiten Revier an, das für uns zuständig ist. Ich erfahre, dass die Streife den jungen Mann aufgegriffen hat, dass er über zwanzig ist und bei seiner Mutter lebt, wo die Streife ihn abgeliefert hat. "Machen Sie sich mal keine Sorgen. Heute hat es sie getroffen."

Meine Güte, was da passiert wäre, wenn die Scheibe zu Bruch gegangen wäre und keine Barriere mehr zwischen ihm und dem Hund gewesen wäre. Ein unbekleideter Eindringling und ein bis oben mit Adrenalin (?) aufgeladener ängstlich-aggressiver Hund, in der Dunkelheit. Nicht auszudenken.

Update: Die Sache hat sich aufgeklärt. Ich weiß, wer der junge Mann ist. Die Angelegenheit ist ihm außerordentlich peinlich, und so ein Kontrollverlust wird garantiert nicht wieder vorkommen. Ich bin sehr froh, dass er diese Lektion ohne bleibenden Schaden gelernt hat.

Addicted to Activities

by Volker Weber

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Here is something nobody tells you before you get your Apple Watch: Activities are addictive. Once you closed all rings for a couple of days, you can't stop. And when the week is completed, and you completed an activity (move, exercise, stand) all seven days, you get a medal. And if you completed all of them, you get another medal. And then, as the streak gets longer and longer, you get another medal for longest streak, every single day. And then you think about cheating: if I set the calorie goal really low, I might win the 200%, 300%, 400% move goal medal. Which is impossible to achieve, if you set realistic goals.

There is no stopping. And that is actually very good for you. Because it keeps you moving. Well played, Apple. #dontbreakthechain

Pebble noch mal preiswerter

by Volker Weber

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89 € für das Original in Schwarz, Weiß oder Rot, 149 € für die Steel. Das ist das alte Modell, nicht die Pebble Time. Für mich immer noch eine dicke Empfehlung, vor allem, wenn man ein Android-Gerät hat. Gebürsteter Edelstahl mit Lederband sieht sehr "stark" aus, auch im Vergleich mit einer Apple Watch, das "samtschwarze" Original ist zurückhaltend, das rote Original sagt "hey, hier gucken, Smartwatch". Von der Funktion her sind alle identisch. Wer lange keine Uhr mehr getragen hat, sollte vielleicht mal 89 € in die Hand nehmen.

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Pebble sagt, sie werden die Timeline der Pebble Time auf das alte Modell portieren. Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie das gehen soll angesichts enger Ressourcen. Ich würde mal darauf bauen, dass alles bleibt, wie es ist. Und das ist gut so.

Das Display ist perfekt ablesbar, auch bei voller Sonne und danke Backlight in der Dunkelheit. Wasserdicht, always on, bis zu einer Woche mit einer Ladung. Da kann man für 89 € nicht viel falsch machen.

Streaming Music Is Fundamentally Changing The Way We Listen

by Volker Weber

John MacFarlane, Co-Founder and CEO, Sonos:

The future belongs to those who can create the most seamless connection between the listener, the artist and their work. When the dust clears, it will be the artists who will define what the future of streaming is going to look — and more importantly sound — like, making music lovers the real winners.

More >

Narita Terminal 3

by Volker Weber

A terminal for low cost airlines, built with little cost. Clean design, not a shopping mall. I love it.

Apple Watch :: Personal Preferences and a word of caution

by Volker Weber

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There are two models of the Apple Watch that I particularly like:

  1. Stainless Steel, Milanese Loop
  2. Aluminium, White Sports Band

A 42 mm model 1 buys two 38 mm model 2. The stainless steel watch weighs 50 g, the smaller aluminium watch weighs 27 g. That's a bit of voodoo mathematics, since we are comparing different sizes and different bands. My preferred 42 mm stainless steel weighs 91 g including the loop, and the 42 mm aluminium is only 10 g less since the sports band is heavier than the loop.

Most people will want the bigger model, only petite women with thin wrists will want the smaller one. I recommend to either spend 449 € on the sports watch or 799 € on the steel watch. (Yes, US prices look much better but do not contain 19% tax we have to pay). In both cases you get exactly the same experience. Choosing either one is just a matter of personal taste. I understand there are many more models, but I happen to like exactly those two. The sports band is very comfortable, soft and elastic, the loop is perfect in every respect.

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And here is a word of caution. I have not found a single third party app that I would like to use on the watch. The hardware is brilliant and so is the included software. But currently there is no native SDK, so all third party apps suck. They have to. There will be an SDK, and there will be great apps, just like the ones that Apple ships. But just not today.

In contrast to popular opinion, I would not want to wait for a new hardware. I told you about activity tracking, and it simply blows everything else away.

Whole Genome Sequencing: Revolutionäre Medizin oder Datenschutz-Albtraum? | heise online

by Volker Weber

Die DNA-Sequenzierung schickt sich an, die Medizin zu revolutionieren. Für den langfristigen Schutz der anfallenden Daten müssen neue kryptografische Verfahren entwickelt werden, erklärt Professor Hubaux vom EPFL in Lausanne.

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BlackBerry 10.3.2 and BlackBerry Blend 1.2 Coming to All BlackBerry 10 Devices

by Volker Weber

Over the coming weeks, BlackBerry 10.3.2 and BlackBerry Blend 1.2will roll out for the entire line of BlackBerry 10 devices. With these updates, your device will be more secure and more private, keeping you even more productive.

When you update to BlackBerry 10.3.2, you’ll gain access to great new enhancements across your whole device. Let’s take a closer look.

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Apple Health :: Opting out

by Volker Weber

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On yesterday's post I had two particularly interesting comments. Dirk said:

It is fascinating how modern society is solving problems that, without modern society, would not exist.

And Johannes said:

Can you turn off all the health data collecting stuff?

While Dirk's comment was probably meant to be snarky, I believe this is very true. Apple Watch is so far the best attempt I have seen to fix this one particular problem: we don't exercise enough. And with we I don't mean those people who are active. I mean Joe Public who rides his car to work, parks near the entrance, and then takes the elevator up to his desk.

And to Johannes' question: yes, you can turn it off. You are not forced to get an assessment of how you are doing. I understand the privacy concern. For me, and that's just my personal opinion, the benefits outweigh my concerns by a huge margin.

Discuss. ;-)

Apple Watch :: Get motivated

by Volker Weber

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I am trying to find things that the Apple Watch does better than Pebble. And this is one of the things it does very well.

Watch tracks three goals: move, exercise, stand. With stand you have to be standing up at least a minute every hour. You close the ring by reaching this goal 12 times in a day. Be careful to not read this as "get into the kitchen and fix yourself a sandwich" though. Exercise is a 30 minute goal. Doctors say you should exercise 30 minutes each and every day to stay healthy. This is the easiest ring to close. Just get off your bottom and take the stairs instead of the elevator. These two goals are fixed. Move counts active calories and is adjustable. I set 750 calories which I can reach by walking 15000 steps a day. I could do 1000 calories but that would put me into too much stress.

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When you complete a ring it just keeps going and paints on top of the completed ring. A couple of hours later I have reached the move goal, completed the exercise goal three times, and have yet to reach the stand goal. A brisk one hour walk at noon plus a morning run easily get you to 90 minutes but you can't speed up 12 hours.

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You can put the activity tracking into a corner of your watchface. Now you try to complete those rings before the battery ring disappears. But, seriously, battery performance is great. Yes, you should recharge at night, but I never ran out of power, even in a long and busy day.

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This works very well for me. Very very well. Especially since it keeps those rings in a calendar and you can see with one glance how you have done over time. While there is an urge to raise the exercise bar, I think it is very smart that Apple fixed this at 30 minutes. You can do more, but you really don't have to. 30 minutes a day is good. Two hours every single day without a rest probably is not.

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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