December 2015

A New Year's resolution for 2016

by Volker Weber

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2015 was a perfect year. I met my exercise goals every single day. The last seven months I tracked with my Apple Watch. The move streak is currently 216 days. For 2016 I would like to earn the 365 days badge by the end of May and the 500 days badge by the end of October.

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Sonos CR100 :: An ode to the Russian iPod

by Volker Weber

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Younglings, this is the CR100 Sonos Controller. Way before the iPhone you needed this to control your Sonos players. It's waterproof and basically indestructible. It has buttons for everything.

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This controller has not seen an upgrade in years. It is still on version 4.3. And yet, I can use it with the new PLAY:5 and all the new music services.

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Updating the controller was difficult. And my experience with Sonos support was not perfect. At first I was told the controller could not be upgraded beyond version 3.6 it was running. Then I called and spent an hour on the phone with somebody trying to update it using a remote session. We then gave up and agreed that I would send in the controllers so they could fix it in the office. Today I got a call from somebody one tier up. And he fixed it within a quarter of an hour.

Kicking it old school with the #Sonos #CR100. #russianipod

A photo posted by Volker Weber (@volkerweber) on

Now I am a very happy camper. Old controller, working software. And all the music services, including Apple Music.

Set up a Sonos CONNECT:AMP as Surround Rears

by Volker Weber

If you have a CONNECT:AMP and speakers, the release of Sonos software update 4.2 makes it possible to configure the CONNECT:AMP for this purpose.

I was not aware of this configuration, and the setup is somewhat convoluted, but it is indeed possible. However, I would recommend selling CONNECT:AMP and speakers, and then use the proceeds to buy two PLAY:1.

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Schlüsselkind

by Volker Weber

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Gerade wird wieder einmal die Microsoft-Sau durch den Ort getrieben. Um was geht es? Der erdreisten sich die Redmonder doch tatsächlich, den BitLocker-Schlüssel auf OneDrive hoch zu laden. Das machen die doch bestimmt, um den Anwender zu überwachen. Und überhaupt, die NSA.

Ruhig, Brauner! Wer so ein bisschen mehr Ahnung von IT hat, dem fällt noch was besseres ein. Wenn man ein Passwort einführt, dann braucht man sofort auch einen Prozess, um vergessene Passwörter zurückzusetzen. Ich erinnere an Lotus Notes. Das verwendete keine Passwörter, sondern eine mit Passwort geschützte Schlüsseldatei. Und wer dieses Passwort vergaß, kam an diese Schlüsseldatei nicht mehr herein. Was passiert nun? Anwender vergisst Passwort, IT kann nicht helfen, IT ist unfähig. Was lernt IT? Ich lege mir ein Backup an, und zwar mit der Schlüsseldatei und dem passenden Kennwort. Das machten vor 20 Jahren alle IT-Abteilungen, die ein bisschen mehr Ahnung hatten. Das muss man jetzt noch sicher gestalten, damit nicht einfach ein einzelner IT-Admin einen anderen User nachmachen kann. IBM hat später ein sichereres Verfahren implementiert.

Was macht nun Microsoft? Die legen eine Kopie des Schlüssels an einen sicheren Ort, von dem sie ihn später wieder herstellen können, wenn der Benutzer versagt. Passiert nicht? Meine Güte, das passiert andauernd. Ich hatte selbst diesen Fall. Und zwar bei Apple. Dort mussten wir eine verschlüsselte Festplatte wiederherstellen, nachdem mein bester Freund verstorben war. Ohne einen solchen hinterlegten Schlüssel wäre das unmöglich gewesen.

Und warum hinterlegt Microsoft diesen Schlüssel zwangsweise? Weil der nichts wissende Anwender schlechte Ratschläge befolgt. Das hatten ich neulich erst, weil jemand den Rat bekommen hatte, alle Ortungsdienste abzuschalten. Nun funktionierte weder die Navigation noch die Markierung von Fotos mit dem Ort. Oh Wunder! Bei der Enterprise Version von Windows kann man diese Schlüsselhinterlegung abschalten. Dort gibt es ja auch eine IT, die ein bisschen mehr Ahnung hat.

Ich habe eine einfache Grundregel: du wirst alle Daten verlieren, die du heute verschlüsselst.

Geschenk an mich selbst

by Volker Weber

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Mit zunehmendem Alter braucht man mehr Brillen. Das Auge kann nicht mehr alles ausgleichen. Deshalb habe ich mir zu Weihnachten eine neue Götti geschenkt. Hinten ist die alte, nun mit Gläsern ohne gleitenden Fokus. Damit sehe ich den ganzen Bildschirm scharf.

Die alte Jeeny 5320 war noch von Götti + Niederer. Die neue Punto 5516 trägt nur noch den Namen Götti. Die meisten Menschen werden den Unterschied kaum sehen.

Ich habe tolle Leser

by Volker Weber

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Lieber Manfred, vielen Dank für diese Überraschung. Ich habe mich sehr gefreut. Und Dir, lieber Wolfram, ebenfalls herzlichen Dank für Dein Paket.

Ich freue mich immer wieder, mit so netten Menschen zu tun zu haben. Das Internet hat auch schöne Ecken!

Sieben Wochen mit dem BlackBerry Priv

by Volker Weber

Sieben Wochen ist es her, dass ich zum ersten Mal mit dem neuen BlackBerry Priv herum gespielt habe. Und meine ersten Eindrücke haben sich bestätigt. Im Grunde genommen ist das kein BlackBerry, sondern ein Android-Smartphone. Und anders als die beliebten Samsung-Geräte ist es kaum verbastelt. Anfang Dezember haben die Kanadier wie versprochen das erste Update geliefert. Das hat dem Gerät gut getan. Die Kamera ist schneller, sie liefert noch bessere Bilder, die Tastatur ist mittlerweile mehrsprachig.

Dieses Smartphone ist aktuell mein Android-Favorit. Diese Rolle war eigentlich dem Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro zugedacht. Bei der Vorstellung hat mich der BlackBerry-Pressesprecher gefragt, ob das nun mein bevorzugtes Handy wird. Er hat ein bisschen enttäuscht aus der Wäsche geschaut, als ich das vermeinte. Die Nummer 1 bleibt das iPhone, und das liegt vor allem daran, dass ich mit der Apple Watch meine Fitness kontrolliere. Und die funktioniert eben nur mit dem iPhone. Gäbe es diese Bindung nicht, dann spräche nichts gegen den Priv.

Das einzige, was einem klar sein muss, ist, dass es eben nicht ein klassisches BlackBerry-Smartphone ist. Wer BlackBerry 10 liebt, wird mit dem Priv nicht glücklich. Die Unterschiede sind mehr als oberflächlich. Das muss kein Nachteil sein, ich persönlich komme sehr gut mit Android zurecht.

IBM + room.co

by Volker Weber

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I am not sure what is going on, but IBM Verse is linking to room.co. This is a free four person video conference.

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Eleven

by Volker Weber

We had this before, but Martin reminded me.

The Beatles are now streaming

by Volker Weber

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That is as long tail as it gets.

BlackBerry Priv in numbers

by Volker Weber

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How many Priv has BlackBerry sold? Watch this number.

Der Drache schreibt für mich

by Volker Weber

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Man kann aus jeder Not eine Tugend machen. Nun kann ich also schlecht tippen, da muss ich lernen, zu diktieren. Da passt es sehr gut, dass wir gerade die neue Diktiersoftware von Nuance für den Mac testen. Leute, die sich mit dem Thema besser auskennen als ich, sagen, dass die Version 5.0 von Dragon nun endlich auch auf dem Mac gut nutzbar ist. Ich bin noch gar nicht so sehr in die Tiefe gegangen, sondern nutze im Augenblick nur den Diktiermodus. Und der versteht mich ausgesprochen gut. Ich kann eigentlich im vollem Tempo sprechen, und dabei macht die Software kaum Fehler. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass ich auch in Zukunft lange Texte lieber spreche als sie aufzuschreiben.

Satzzeichen spricht man einfach mit, Zahlen werden automatisch richtig geschrieben, das gleiche gilt für Maße und Versionsnummer. Es wird sicher schwierig, über Fachthemen zu schreiben. Da kommen man doch sehr viele Wörter vor, die das System noch nicht kennt.

Was ich noch üben muss, ist Fehler zu korrigieren oder neue Wörter an zu lernen. Ich bin sicher, dass ich noch sehr viel über diese Software zu erzählen haben werde.

Healing

by Volker Weber

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Letzten Sonntag habe ich mir drei Finger gebrochen. Das wird jetzt sechs Wochen dauern, bis die Knochen wieder zusammenwachsen sind. In dieser Zeit wird es hier vielleicht etwas ruhiger werden. Mit der linken Hand zu tippen ist doch etwas mühselig. Erfreulicherweise kann ich an der rechten Hand Daumen und Zeigefinger benutzen, so dass ich nicht ganz behindert bin.

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Diese Software ist gerade mein bester Freund. Die funktioniert wirklich ganz wunderbar. Sonst könnte ich das hier alles gar nicht schreiben.

Ein kleines Update: einige sehr liebe Menschen haben mich gefragt, ob ich Hilfe brauche. Meine Behinderung ist trotz des Gips eigentlich sehr gering. Das einzige, was wirklich schwierig ist, ist einen Computer zu bedienen. Der Gips ist dabei doch sehr im Weg. Was mir sehr hilft: ich bin als Linkshänder auf die Welt gekommen und habe erst später gelernt, die rechte Hand zu benutzen. Ich kann zwar nicht mit links schreiben, aber komme sehr gut damit zurecht.

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Ansonsten kann ich weiterhin gut laufen. Und ich gebe auch nicht auf. Ich bin jetzt in der 30. Woche mit der Apple Watch, ununterbrochen mit mindestens 10.000 Schritten bzw. 600 Kalorien am Tag. Und das geht weiterhin sehr gut. Wie habe ich mir die Finger gebrochen? So genau weiß ich das auch nicht. Wir haben ein Kabel verlegt, dabei habe ich mich irgendwie verstrickt und bin hingefallen. Keine Schürfwunden, aber eben drei kleine Knochen gebrochen. Da muss ich jetzt durch. So richtig schwierig wird das wohl erst, wenn der Gips wieder ab ist.

Wem das zu langweilig ist, der darf sich gerne eine eigene Geschichte ausdenken. Am Anfang habe ich auch immer erzählt, der andere sehe viel schlimmer aus. ;-)

The new SONOS PLAY:5 at vowe's magic flying circus

by Volker Weber

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If you don't have any money to spend, close the browser and leave. Seriously. Because you will want to buy something when this is over.

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Last chance. You have been warned.

We always had these discussions: do I buy two PLAY:3 instead of one PLAY:5? How about two PLAY:1 and a SUB? Or two PLAY:5 and a SUB? This ends now. I just tested one 2nd gen PLAY:5 against a stereo pair of 1st gen PLAY:5. You read that right: one against two. And the single 2nd gen PLAY:5 won, hands down. It sounds just as wide, but way better than the two 1st gen players. And to give the old players a fighting chance I had already applied Trueplay Tuning to both setups.

This is by far the best speaker that Sonos ever built. And it is better than anything I ever had in my house.

Yes, I heard it before. I listened to it at IFA for an hour. I listened to it while I was at Sonos in the listening room. But I never had the chance to compare. Now I did, and the verdict is clear. This speaker goes to eleven.

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Then I went all the way. Add a second player, apply Trueplay. Add a SUB. Apply Trueplay once more. It does get better. Of course. But not as much better as you add money. The law of diminishing returns. You want one PLAY:5. One in every room. For small rooms like a bathroom or kitchen, one PLAY:1 is good. But if you sit down to listen to music, you want one new PLAY:5. A PLAYBAR still needs a SUB, the new PLAY:5 doesn't.

This is what innovation feels like. You start with something really great. And then you relentlessly make it better. It's been five years since the 1st gen PLAY:5 came out. It improved continuously over those five years as Sonos learned. They downsized to the PLAY:3. It wasn't better. But it was more affordable. Then they built the SUB with it's earth shaking bass. PLAYBAR brought great sound to the TV. PLAYBAR and SUB made a decent 3.1 system, adding two PLAY:3 gave you true 5.1 surround. While playing music you could listen to all speakers filling the room with sound. Better than a stereo setup could. And then SONOS hit it out of the park with the wonderful PLAY:1, a speaker that sounded at least twice as large as it was.

Now the new PLAY:5. This looks like the pinnacle. The very top. But it isn't. Sonos is investing big time. And this speaker will get better. With each update, year after year. The speaker has two microphones that aren't even used yet. You can only imagine what Sonos will be able to do. Discover changes in the room and adjust the speaker profile? Sense the presence of people?

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The attention to detail in the design of the new PLAY:5 matches Apple. The designers wanted the logo front and center, exactly where the audio people placed one of the tweeters. So they drilled hundreds of tiny holes into it until you could no longer hear the difference. Even the packaging design is outstanding. Keep the box. It opens and locks with two sliders and you can always use it to safely ship the speaker.

There is only one question left: black or white? I like white better, because it brings out the form. Only if you want to hide it, you should go for black.

Sonos does not want you to replace 1st gen PLAY:5 with the new one. After all, those are really good speakers. If you ask me, go for it.

Stefan Reichert :: Industrial designer at Sonos

by Volker Weber

Stefan Reichert published this concept, when he was a student at the University of Wuppertal. It caught the attention of Mieko Kusano, lead industrial designer at Sonos. Mieko eventually hired Stefan and his first product is the new PLAY:5.

BlackBerry Smartphone sales still declining

by Volker Weber

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For the first time, BlackBerry did not report the number of smartphones it sold in the last quarter. It was only mentioned in the earnings call: 700k. That is the lowest ever. With the Priv only being available in select markets we will have to see the next quarter to see a turnaround. Or not.

2.6 million in three quarters of fiscal 2016 makes the target of 5 million per year unachievable.

Microsoft has a plan. Or two.

by Volker Weber

Microsoft wants its Lumia 950XL to win. If you buy one you get your dock for free. It lets you connect a screen, keyboard, mouse and other peripherals to your phone, effectively turning it into a PC with a big desktop. There is only one problem: the only software that runs on this screen has to be purposefully written to not only support the Continuum feature that renders a PC app touch friendly, but it also has to be provided for Windows 10 Mobile and its ARM architecture. Microsoft Office Mobile is a software written to these specs.

Now there is another problem: while you may run this software for free on your shiny new 950XL, you need an Office 365 subscription to run in on your 950XL when it pretends to be a PC, starting next year on April 1st.

Looks like the office guys just threw a big rock on the drowning mobile business.

IBM Connect 2016

by Volker Weber

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With Xmas approaching and no word from IBM I expected to be skipping Lotusphere for the first time in 20 years. But today, there was something in my inbox. Lotusphere is not in the Swolphin this year, but at the Hilton next to the Orange County Convention Center. Easier to get to places from there but it looks like a place where you can't open windows.

I love it that Lotusphere.com still works. Maybe IBM can do another rebranding and go full circle: Lotusphere > Connect > ConnectED > Connect > Lotusphere. They still own the trademark, right?

Looks like I am coming. And yourself?

BlackBerry CEO on being a little bit pregnant

by Volker Weber

We reject the notion that tech companies should refuse reasonable, lawful access requests. Just as individual citizens bear responsibility to help thwart crime when they can safely do so, so do corporations have a responsibility to do what they can, within legal and ethical boundaries, to help law enforcement in its mission to protect us.

However, it is also true that corporations must reject attempts by federal agencies to overstep. BlackBerry has refused to place backdoors in its devices and software.

If BlackBerry has no backdoors into devices and software, how do they want to provide lawful access to encrypted communication? It's either secure or it isn't. I have to call b/s on this post.

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Pebble Health

by Volker Weber

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Pebble Health is an all new built-in health tracking application available to the Pebble Time family of smartwatches.  Developed by Pebble in collaboration with researchers at Stanford University, Pebble Health will track your daily activity, including steps, distance, and active minutes. Sleep is automatically tracked when you go to bed, displaying sleep, deep sleep, and the times when you fall asleep and wake up. Pebble Health requires firmware 3.8 or above and either the Android Pebble app version 3.8 or iOS Pebble app version 3.5 or above.

Some interesting ideas. Pebble Health integrates into the timeline and lets you see your sleep pattern first thing in the morning and your step regime when you go to sleep. You don't set an arbitrary goal. Instead, Pebble Health shows your progress towards your average performance. If you do a 100 percent every day, you are bound to raise the average. ;-) Pebble Health is available for the new generation of smartwatches and works with both Google Fit and Apple HealthKit.

Users of the original Pebble and Pebble Steel also benefit from an upgrade. When you press the up or down button, you will see a timeline just like on the newer models. You also get support for more apps, which are kept on your smartphone and downloaded as needed. You start the upgrade on those models by installing the Pebble Time app on your phone and removing the old Pebble app. Delete Bluetooth pairing on both the watch and your phone and start your new Pebble Time app, which takes you from there. You will get the timeline, but you will not get Pebble Health. Misfit and UP will continue to work for you.

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Apple Music on Sonos :: It's here

by Volker Weber

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And just like that, even your oldest Sonos speaker plays Apple Music. Hit it.

Armchair product management for Sonos

by Volker Weber

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Let me sit back in my armchair* and throw some ideas out.

I am sure I will think of other stuff.

*) For those who do not understand the reference, an armchair quarterback pretends he knows better than the actual quarterback on the field. Ideas are cheap. Execution is hard.

Update: I'm sometimes hard to understand. In case you did not get the message: I am not spilling any Sonos secrets. These are my thoughts. I did not even speak with any of the Sonos product managers. I did let senior management know my thoughts, but of course they could not comment on them.

BlackBerry adds multi-language keyboard to PRIV

by Volker Weber

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Since the PRIV is running Android, it is missing a few features from BlackBerry 10. Today BlackBerry added multiple languages to the keyboard. You can now set a primary layout and add up to two supporting languages. In my case, I use the German layout and added in English (Simplified). :-)

You can keep your OneDrive bonus storage

by Volker Weber

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Microsoft is reacting to angry OneDrive users and lets them keep their 15 + 15 GB of free storage. That's not done automatically. Just go to this website and claim your storage.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in while I was away.

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What Sonos is working on

by Volker Weber

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Within the first hour of arriving in Santa Barbara, I set the ground rules for how I would like to handle my visit: everything that I learn and that is not announced simply does not exist. This enabled Sonos to do something that is usually unheard of. I was able to walk through all of their labs without them having to cover up prototypes. When you are allowed to do this, you will see new products that may come out in the future, and you also see products that never shipped.

Now I set the ground rules for how we will handle these secrets here at vowe.net: I will not tell you anything. I will not tell you about ideas, or products, or technology in development. I will also not tell you which products Sonos is not working on. With that out of the way I can tell you what is happening.

Look at the photo above. This is but one of the giant anechoic chambers Sonos is building. It only shows the top part of one of it. The chamber continues down unter the net I am standing on. An anechoic chamber does not reflect sound. It's quieter than anywhere in the real world. Why is it so big? The larger it is, the lower the frequencies are that it can absorb. These chambers will help Sonos better understand what they are building. And it will not only affect future products but also existing ones. A Sonos speaker is the worst it will ever be right when you unbox it after getting it. After that it will receive a stream of updates, each time that Sonos discovers how to make it better.

Sound quality is one of the areas that Sonos is investing heavily in. The 2nd generation PLAY:5 is testimony of that goal. Imagine what can happen when Sonos has better measuring testbeds. The audio people have fought hard to get the money for this investment. And they know exactly what to do with it.

Trueplay Tuning may be the best thing that ever came out of Sonos software development. The ability to tune your speakers to the position in the room raises the bar for everyone. Currently this works on PLAY:1, PLAY:3 and the two PLAY:5, both single and in stereo pairs, with or without sub. And this is ongoing work. It's not impossible for PLAYBAR, but more difficult since you don't only want to correct frequency response but also timing. Even CONNECT:AMP is not out of the picture, even though Sonos does not know about the speakers you are using.

This week you will be able to use Apple Music on your existing Sonos speakers. If you think about it, even the oldest ZonePlayers are able to use a technology that nobody could foresee when they were developed. Sonos may be slow, but they don't ship shit.

Visiting Sonos

by Volker Weber

Last Wednesday I set out on a journey that was long overdue. And this has been, by a very wide margin, the best trip ever. I was really emotional when I had to leave on Friday for LA. Eric, Errin, Jenisse, Fred. You are stars. And no, Thomas did not ruin it in LA. Not at all. This was also a long overdue meet-up.

I am still full of love for you, but I just stepped through my door, and our dog went bananas when she saw me. So now I am home. From here, my best wishes for the holidays. And Jenisse, it is chilly here.

Follow me on Instagram for travel updates

by Volker Weber

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The next few days will be intense. There will be lots of new things I have never seen before. So I expect to shoot lots of photos, some of which I will post in Instagram. Much like I did while in New York. Want to follow along and engage? Please follow me on Instagram. Some of the better photos will show up on Ello.

I will not be posting much if anything here. I expect to hear quite a few things I will not be allowed to share.

BlackBerry PRIV: Erstes Update zum Marktstart des Android-Smartphones

by Volker Weber

Monatliche Sicherheitsupdates versprachen die Kanadier für ihr erstes Android-Gerät. Das Dezember-Update aber fällt noch viel größer aus.

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Apple USB Camera Adapter now works with iPhone

by Volker Weber

New in iOS 9.2:

iPhone support for the USB Camera Adapter to import photos and videos

I have solved this already with the EyeFi Mobi card, but it's good to know there is a fallback. And it works, just like that. Finally.

Jetzt aber: BlackBerry Priv in Frankfurt

by Volker Weber

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Fotos Jens Nullmeyer

Zweimal war er da, aber BlackBerry war noch nicht soweit. Gestern war der Laden leer, ohne Kunden, ohne Verkäufer. Heute waren Verkäufer da, durften aber vor 16 Uhr nichts zeigen. Es bleibt schwierig.

CleanMyDrive 2

by Volker Weber

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I could bore you to tears with all that's new with this program. Instead, take my word for this: if you have a Mac, you want this app. It removes all the junk that OS X leaves behind on your thumbdrives. It empties the trashbin on those drives for you, reclaiming the space. It will auto-eject drives when the Mac goes to sleep so you can remove them without OS X complaining.

I just give you one new feature: CleanMyDrive 2 sits in your menu bar and will now let you drag and drop files directly on your thumbdrives without hunting for their icons.

You can even set custom disk icons for your thumbdrives. And that's where MacPaw, the awesome Ukrainian developer studio, wants to make money with in-app purchases. The program itself is completely free.

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Microsoft's Glorious Attempt To Defeat Apple's iPad Air

by Volker Weber

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With the Surface Pro 4 now available, and the Surface Book making its way to retail, is there a need to look back to a device launched in May 2015 as a competitive Windows 10 tablet? I think there is. Microsoft has finally come up with a decent alternative to Apple’s main iPad line in the Surface 3. It might not be suitable for everyone, but there enough high points that mean this device is going to be the perfect fit for some of you.

Surface 3 is indeed an almost perfect match for my usage profile. I only have keyboard envy. The new keyboard for Surface Pro 3 and 4 is so much better.

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Lumia 550 bei Aldi Süd für 119 €

by Volker Weber

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Foto Microsoft

Ohne Sperre, 20 Euro unter Liste, dazu ein Starterpaket Aldi-Talk mit 10 Euro Guthaben. Ab 19. Dezember. Das 550 hat nur 8 GB Speicher, braucht also unbedingt eine Speichererweiterung. In weiß finde ich das sehr chic. Und kommt ohne Android-Malware. ;-)

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[Danke, Ingo]

OneDrive on a small Windows 10 tablet

by Volker Weber

Help me figure this out. Small Windows 10 tablet with 32 GB of storage, half of that is free. Added 64 GB external storage via microSD, NTFS format. 20 GB of files on OneDrive.

When I log into OneDrive, it wants to put my files on drive C. Not enough space. So I tell it to put its files on drive D which is the SD card. It tells me it cannot store its files there.

Go into Disk Manager, remove the D designation and instead mount the partition into c:/users/Volker/SD which is empty. Go into file manager and see that this directory shows 64 GB of free space.

Go back to OneDrive and tell it to use this directory and it tells me there are only 16 GB of free storage on drive C. So it won't let me sync all folders into this directory.

What do you suggest? The only workaround I know is to create a 64 GB virtual hard disk (VHD) inside drive D and then use a startup script to attach this virtual drive as drive E. This involves writing a batch file and scheduling it with Task Manager.

Btw, has anybody found the OneDrive sync settings in tablet mode? I need to go out of tablet mode, hunt for the small tray icon, right click and go in there. Cortana does not know about these settings.

Anybody wondering why people don't love Windows, even if it's Windows 10?

Leider kompliziert

by Volker Weber

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Ein Surface mit Windows (RT) ist ein wunderbarer digitaler Bilderrahmen. Man stellt das so ein: Nicht ausschalten, nach einer Minute sperren, Slideshow anzeigen, Ordner mit Bildern auswählen. Dafür nimmt man Eigene Aufnahmen aus dem OneDrive. Auf diese Weise hat man immer die neuesten Fotos auf dem Display, in einer sehr schön gestalteten Slideshow, die mehrere Bilder kombinieren kann und das Layout regelmäßig variiert. Meines Wissens gibt es keine andere Lösung, die das so elegant macht.

Aber dann wird es kompliziert. Nach meiner Erfahrung muss man sich nach einem Reboot einmal an Windows anmelden. Dann wartet man, bis sich der Bildschirm sperrt (und ausgeht). Danach zieht man einmal den Bildschirm hoch, ohne sich anzumelden. Das ist wichtig. Und danach läuft beim nächsten Trigger die Slideshow los.

So richtig kompliziert wird es, wenn das Surface nicht ausreichend Speicher für die Bilder hat. Dann muss man nämlich OneDrive auf eine SD-Karte legen und das ist ein ganz eigenes Problem, das man mit NTFS, virtuellen Platten und Startup-Skripten lösen muss.

Und dazu kommt dann noch ein weiteres Problem: die Slideshow versteht nicht immer, was OneDrive da mit den Bildern anstellt. Sind sie jetzt offline verfügbar oder nicht? Das merkt man, wenn die Slideshow starten will, aber sofort abschmiert. In der Fehlermeldung steht dann, man brauche mehr als ein Bild. Schaut man in OneDrive, dann sieht man Tausende.

Es ist leider kompliziert.

Hey @Sonos, can I make a wish?

by Volker Weber

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Before I come visit you next week, let me make a wish.

I want every sound in my home to come out of a Sonos speaker.

And I want it to be simple. Whatever I am playing on my PC, on my Mac, on my phone, I want it to come out of a Sonos speaker. I don't want to touch your controller. You have to make it so that other apps can tell my speaker what to do.

There are many things you need to do to make that happen. Open up the platform so that others can build apps that control the speaker. And that does not even touch the audio path yet.

Anyway, this is my wish. Let's talk about that.

Stuff that does not work :: Eve Weather

by Volker Weber

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A couple of days ago I wrote that I hardly ever publish a bad review. This product however deserves one. It just does not work for me.

Eve is a family of product that is based on Apple Homekit. Homekit uses Bluetooth to connect devices with iOS. Eve Weather is a weather station you place outside. There are more products in that family, for instance sensors to monitor the state of windows and doors, an indoor weather station that monitors room temperature and air quality. All of those are supposed to connect with your iPhone or iPad.

My number one problem is "unreachable". I often cannot read the data from Eve Weather even if I can see it right in front of me, four to five meters away. If I want to check the outside temperature, I look at the watch face of my Apple Watch. That talks to the iPhone, which collects weather information over the Internet. And that's more accurate than the weather info from outside in the garden.

My number two problem is that the data is not stale, but it's also wrong. Humidity is not 100 percent. This is a very rare condition called fog. Yes, humidity is high, but it is not 100 percent, not for days on end. And Air pressure? Well, the unit is hPa not mbar, which already tells you that there are laymen at work. And it's off by 20, because it is not corrected for the height above sea level. 8 hPa per meter need to be added. Since I am at 165m above see level, I would need to add 20.

Update:

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Lutz Lesener commented below that his Eve Weather is working well. And he mentioned Apple TV. I don't have the latest one but a 3rd generation Apple TV. This is supposed to work with Eve and serve as a hub. Mine obviously did not work at all, so I investigated.

There are a couple of prerequisites:

  1. iOS device and Apple TV have to be connected to the Internet. Check.
  2. iOS device and Apple TV software updated. Check.
  3. Apple TV within about 25 feet of your Bluetooth HomeKit accessories. Check.
  4. iOS device has iCloud Drive turned on. Check.
  5. iOS device and Apple TV signed in to iCloud with same Apple ID. Check.
  6. HomeKit accessories can be controlled using Bluetooth. Check.
  7. Restart iOS device and Apple TV. Check.
  8. Turn Airplane Mode on and off. Check.

All checked. Still not working. And then I tried something new: Sign out of iCloud on the Apple TV and sign back in. That did the trick.

I cannot see anywhere, that Eve is now working through Apple TV. What I can see is that I can update over long distances. Certainly out of Bluetooth range. Looks like it indeed is working.

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One problem remains: air pressure is way off (because it is not calibrated) and humidity is wrong. Temperature is spot on. Which now leaves me with a working thermometer that keeps track of data.

Data quality is a common problem. Compare the values recorded by weather stations around you.


BlackBerry Priv nächste Woche in Deutschland

by Volker Weber

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Der neue BlackBerry Priv ist mittlerweile bei Ingram angekommen und wird auf Shops und Partner verteilt. Nächste Woche sollte er dann auch im Popup-Store im zweiten Stock der Frankfurter myZeil angekommen sein. Anders als zunächst angekündigt ist der Laden immer noch auf. Dort kann man das Gerät dann auch mal anfassen.

Auch das erste große Security Update kommt nächste Woche. Wäre schön, wenn BlackBerry das nächsten Monat weltweit auf einen Rutsch hinkriegt.

What to do in Los Angeles

by Volker Weber

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Photo: Carol Highsmith

While I am in Southern California, I am completely booked until Friday night. But I have the full Saturday and Sunday morning to explore Los Angeles. I am staying here and I liked that when I was in the city in, ahem, 2002. This is on my plan, but I have seen enough of that.

Any suggestions?

Big change: Karen will be my "tour guide". She lives at Griffith Park. Now I don't need any more suggestions. Thank you all! We will be doing some of the things you suggested.

Connect with EyeFi

by Volker Weber

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I am traveling to Southern California next week. And I am trying to pack a very small bag. And this is it. iPhone 6s Plus, OlloClip Active Lens, Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard, and for the first time in a while, a serious camera. I am leaving the Yoga 3 Pro behind because it is too unreliable.

I only had one problem: how do I get the photos from the camera to the iPhone? Thomas has the answer:

And he sent me one. Works like a charm. You install EyeFi Mobi on the iPhone, register the EyeFi SD card, and install a profile with the credentials for the card. Place the card in the camera, shoot a few photos to power the SD card and then connect to the Wifi network it creates. Photos transfer to the iPhone while you shoot, or later in a batch.

These photos reside inside the EyeFi Mobi app but can be exported to the Camera Roll, either individually or automatically.

Problem solved. And Thomas marks the day in his calendar:

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is crashtastic

by Volker Weber

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I love this thing to bits and pieces. How do I know? I am still using it every day for several hours although I have never seen anything that is as crashtastic as apps on this Lenovo device. It already received one software update, but apps continue to break at an astonishing rate.

One more week and I have to decide whether I can really trust it as a travel companion. Let's check for updates. And there is the upgrade:

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Good news: Android now on security patch level December 2015.
Bad news: Still crashtastic

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Lenovo believes there is no problem. I think I need to shoot a few videos.

The PRIV’s First Software Update Is Live

by Volker Weber

... starting today (Dec. 1), our first maintenance release is available to all PRIVs purchased through ShopBlackBerry (and to carrier-purchased PRIVs starting on December 7).

And it is quite an impressive update. Make sure you read the whole post. Maybe most importantly, BlackBerry makes good on their promise:

... the release includes December’s security patches – rest easy knowing your device is protected against the latest Android security threats.

More >

Suche einen Notes-Entwickler

by Volker Weber

Ich bekomme gerade eine Anfrage für ein kleines Notes-Projekt. Raum Steinhuder Meer, 50 km westlich von Hannover. Ich weiß nichts über das Projekt, vermittle aber gerne. Einfach Email schicken.

Update: Das ging schnell. Vielen Dank für die Zuschriften. Gesucht, gefunden.

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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