November 2016

Martin Shelton :: Signal for Beginners

by Volker Weber

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For some reason, people have gotten pretty interested in mobile security lately. So let’s talk about a secure messaging app called Signal.

Install it, grab my .vcard, send me yours. Let's do this.

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From my inbox

by Volker Weber

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Just in time. I was running very low on inventory. Thank you, Armin!

Surface 3 reset to factory and re-installed

by Volker Weber

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The failure to install Windows 10 Cumulative Update has cost me countless hours. And then I decided to reset the machine to factory and re-install it. Which was a piece of cake since everything lives in the cloud here at vowe's magic flying circus. I could not work with literally dozens of machines if anything was stored locally.

Installation of Windows 10 was a breeze. Very few updates, and everything took care of itself. Surface 3 is back in business. I have only one ugly old Win32 application:

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Mal was ganz anderes

by Volker Weber

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Das ist ein Tupperware SmartSteamer. Und den benutze ich, um gesund zu essen. Unten kommen vierhundert Milliliter Wasser rein, in den großen Topf darüber geputztes Gemüse, auf die Ebene darüber kann man zum Beispiel einen Fisch legen, dann Deckel drauf und in die Mikrowelle. Das dauert bei Kartoffeln oder Kohlrabi 20 Minuten, bei anderen auch weniger. Damit kriege ich ein Mittagessen, das pappsatt macht, mit weniger als 200 kCal hin. Zum Vergleich: Caramel Frappuccino hat je nach Größe 300 bis 500 kCal, ein McDonalds-Menü aus Big Mac, Pommes und Cola hat 900. Mein Grundumsatz am Tag sind etwa 1900 kCal, mein Gesamtumsatz ca 2500. Mehr als 2100 sollte ich nicht essen, damit ich langsam Gewicht abbaue. Das fällt mir leicht, seit ich dieses Gerät habe. Zehn Minuten schnibbeln, zwanzig Minuten warten, etwas Salz und Pfeffer und fertig ist das Mittagessen.

Die oberen Schalen blocken übrigens die Mikrowellen. Nur das Wasser wird direkt erhitzt. Der Dampf gart dann die Lebensmittel.

Eine Mikrowelle gibt es in vielen Büros, ein scharfes Messer sollte ein Mann eh dabei haben. :-)

PRIV has some not so obvious features

by Volker Weber

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If you are buying a PRIV there are a few things to discover that are not so obvious, depending on whether you are coming from a BlackBerry or an Android angle. The most important thing to understand is the keyboard. You can use the hardware keyboard or an onscreen keyboard. You can configure them to support multiple languages. Mine is set to German and American English. It will suggest words in both languages, depending on what you are writing in the current sentence. That prediction is actually pretty good. But there is more: the keyboard is also a trackpad. Double tap it when editing text and a caret will appear that you can drag around by swiping on the keyboard. Or just swipe left to delete the last word. Swipe up on the left, middle or right side to select one of the three suggested words at the bottom of the screen.

This same trackpad also works for scrolling long web pages you are reading, for controlling all the manual parameters within the camera app, and so forth. Just play with it. There is so much to discover. I like opening the keyboard, which puts the camera in the center of the screen, then grab the phone with both hands and use the keyboard to control exposure and the space bar as a shutter release.

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BlackBerry also has an unlock called picture password. You select a number and a position on top of a picture. To unlock you move a grid of numbers to make your secret number match that location. That grid contains your number multiple times. If you don't touch the number it's pretty much impossible to figure out what you are doing. And it is super quick.

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And then there is smart unlock, which means your phone can unlock at home or when your smartwatch is present, it will detect your face and your voice, or whether you are wearing it on your body. In the end, you don't have to unlock it very often. You can use some advanced interactions to put the device to sleep or to silence it.

For those who want to try some of the additional software BlackBerry provides there is BlackBerry Hub+ Services which runs on Android 5.0 and newer. Hub integrates all messaging services that BlackBerry has developed for. That includes Facebook, Twitter, BBM, WhatsApp, or LinkedIn. Since the Hub is an app, it cannot be augmented by 3rd party developers.

If you are coming from BlackBerry 10, the hub is an app here, not an operating system service. That means if you have a dual persona setup with Android for Work, then you have two hubs, not one as on BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry PRIV für 320 €

by Volker Weber

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Als BlackBerry den PRIV letztes Jahr auf den Markt brachte, mussten sie einen Preis von 699 US-Dollar vor Steuern, in Deutschland sogar 779 € aufrufen. Das Gerät war mit gebogenem AMOLED-Display von Samsung, Hardware-Tastatur, 18 MP-Kamera und sehr guter Fertigungsqualität einfach zu aufwändig. Ein Preis, der sich am Markt nicht erzielen ließ, wie wir damals vermuteten und heute wissen.

Als dann der DTEK60 vor kurzem erschien, war der Preis des PRIV schon auf 499 € gefallen und damit unterhalb des DTEK60 (579 €) . Aktuell kostet er in dieser Schnäppchenwoche nur 320 €, und das direkt bei BlackBerry.

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Das ist ein guter Kauf. Und das sehen die Kollegen auch so:

Auch der DTEK50-Preis ist gut. Der hat zwar die gleiche Software, aber einen völlig anderen Charakter. DTEK50 ist ohne Bling, PRIV mit maximalem Bling.

BlackBerry patzt erneut bei Android-Sicherheitsupdates :: heise online

by Volker Weber

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Das 'weltweit sicherste Android Smartphone' soll das DTEK50 laut BlackBerry sein und begründet das unter anderem mit prompten Sicherheitsupdates. Und die bleiben im November erneut aus.

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Signal :: Why are my contacts not showing up?

by Volker Weber

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(Chrome desktop app, photo: Open Whisper Systems)

The phone number you used to register your Signal client is your ID. It does not have to be your mobile number. It can be any number where you can receive the confirmation, including VoIP numbers.

How do your friends find you? Signal asks you for access to your address book. This enables the Signal client to match a phone number to a name, and vice versa. If somebody knows your phone number, they can message you, but without an entry of their number in your own address book, you just see the number, not their name.

One caveat: you should store your phone numbers in E.164 format. This is correct: +4917624799915 or +49-176-247-999-15 or +49 176 247 999 15. However, this is not: 017624799915, neither is +49 (0) 176 247 999 15

Storing your phone numbers in E.164 format has another benefit: you don't ever have to worry about dialling rules, especially when traveling internationally.

Apple Watch 2 :: Two months later

by Volker Weber

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I have been wearing the Watch 2 for two months and decided to go back to the original Watch for a bit. The interesting difference is the speed. You do not notice the Watch 2 being faster when you switch to it. But you do notice the old Watch being slower when you go back. How so? You are often ahead of the Watch when you handle it.

Other than that, it feels exactly the same. No pressure to upgrade. watchOS 3 is the real upgrade, and that's on the original Watch as well.

One recommendation: buy cheap. The aluminium case is lighter, and lighter is better. Buy the steel body only when you want more bling. If you can't decide between the new Series 1 and Series 2, get the Series 2 even if you pay more. Waterproofing lets you keep it on when near water. I don't need GPS, but if you do, Series 2 is a must. You can leave your iPhone behind during exercise and still get exact tracking.

Series 2 also has better battery life than the original Watch. In normal use I have about 65% charge left after almost 24 hours.

Signal :: From 23 to over 90

by Volker Weber

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This is going better than I thought. I went from 23 to more than 90 contacts on Signal within two days. Most of my interactions yesterday were on Signal. Just keep going. Install it, add my vcard, send me yours.

The last part is important. I want your number. Most likely I only have your email address. What is a vcard? A simple text file, extension .vcf. It's human readable. Sample for my card:

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:3.0
N:Weber;Volker;;;
FN:Volker Weber
EMAIL:vowe@vowe.net
TEL:+49-176-24799915
END:VCARD

My real vcard has more entries, but that is all you need. Use it as a template for making your own.

Windows Hello :: Hello, Windows

by Volker Weber

None of my Windows PCs has hardware that supports Windows Hello. Fingerprint reader, IR camera or iris detection. Do you? How is it working for you?

Signal :: How do you get on my buddylist?

by Volker Weber

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Signal works with phone numbers as IDs. If I have your phone number in my address book, then I am all set. You just need to add mine to yours.

If I don't have your complete address, why don't you send me a vcard? This is a good opportunity to update my address book. Here is my vcard.

How do you send your vcard? Go to your own entry in the address book on your phone and then share that contact via email for instance.

Watson Workspace :: How are you liking it?

by Volker Weber

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It has been almost four weeks since I got invited to Watson Workspace. Then I invited a lot of other people. Time to look back? How are you liking it? Any thoughts?

Time for Signal

by Volker Weber

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The UK has just passed a super-surveillance law. The US is poised to be great again (yes, Germany tried that). Maybe it's time that we change. It's easy, we don't have to do it all at once, but we need to take the first step.

That first step is installing Signal from Open Whisper Systems. It's audit is looking good. Edward Snowden recommends it and it is available on iPhone and Android.

Signal does messaging and calls, both encrypted. It's easy as in it discovers all your friends, just like iMessage or WhatsApp do. So far nobody is using it, because iMessage and WhatsApp are so convenient.

That is why you need to start with step 1: install Signal. Be on that network. And then wait for others to do the same. Be patient. It does not really cost you. Just another app on your phone. iPhone or Android.

Step 2 is actually using it whenever you can. Take that data away from WhatsApp (and Facebook), encrypted or not. Don't let them have it. Governments will want access to WhatsApp data, because it is there. And they will put pressure on Apple as well. Those companies have a business to protect and they will eventually give in.

What is the difference with Signal? They don't keep the data.

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[You are on Telegram or Threema? Great. Now also install Signal.]

Goodbye Surface, hello Lenovo

by Volker Weber

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With the Surface 3 retired, I moved back to the Yoga 3 Pro as my Windows 10 machine. It's not perfect, especially the keyboard. That has an extra column of keys to the right which drive me crazy.

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But it is fairly light and fast enough. 3200x1800 screen res on a 13.3" screen, 12.8 mm thin and below 1.2 kg. That is more than 10 percent thinner and lighter than the latest MacBook Pro, with a much higher screen res than a Retina display. It has three USB-A ports, one MicroHDMI and one for an SD card. And it is installing all Windows 10 fixes, so far. Unfortunately I had to return the Thinkpad X1 Yoga. That was the best 2-in1 I have seen in all of 2016.

Something is going to happen. Maybe I can move up to a Surface Pro 4 or a Yoga 910.

Responsive Design

by Volker Weber

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Die Website skaliert mittlerweile ganz gut lesbar auch auf Mobilgeräten. Nur die Youtube Videos nicht. Kein Problem auf iOS, aber sehr wohl auf Windows Phone.

Man kann den Embed Code in einem DIV verpacken und damit die richtige Skalierung erreichen. Siehe Tutorial. Aber das funktioniert nicht mit den ganzen alten Postings und ich müsste das in Zukunft immer von Hand machen.

Ich probiere das jetzt mal mit Fluidvids.js. Work in progress.

Apple Book :: The complete walkthrough

by Volker Weber

Google retail mini-store at Best Buy

by Volker Weber

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Location: Best Buy Deerfoot Meadows, Calgary
Photo: David Richardson

New hashtag: #WaaH

by Volker Weber

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I propose a new hashtag: #WaaH. We know SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). WaaH stands for Windows as a Hobby.

I have now spent hours on trying to install a Windows 10 cumulative update. I even tried installing a standalone installer, which isn't so easy when you are in a reboot loop of install/rollback. I have waited for a new cumulative update - which also did not install. I have done the System File Check (sfc) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) routine, to no avail. Can't reboot anymore without going through an install/roll back cycle each time.

So I am shutting the Surface 3 down for good. One day I might do a full Windows restore & update cycle. Or update to a new machine. This one is broken, although I never installed anything but fixes and apps from the Windows store.

This is a Microsoft problem that needs to be addressed at scale. I am not alone.

Microsoft Connect();

by Volker Weber

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I watched hours of presentations from Connect(); yesterday. Isn't it wonderful, how you can take all of this in without having to sit in an airplane for hours on end? And I am completely at awe how Microsoft has corrected so many mistakes they made in the past. It has been 15 years since Ballmer called Linux a cancer. And now they joined the Linux foundation, bring the CEO of Github on stage, provide a free layer of Visual Studio and SQL Server to everybody. They might eventually even be able to fix Windows. ;-)

The part of the demo I liked best was the continuous delivery of apps DevOps style. And of course Visual Studio for Mac.

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Canaries in the IT department

by Volker Weber

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I used to check MDM policies for very simple signs of things going wrong. Chief among those policies was the camera policy. If you switched that off for "security reasons" just because you could, you were downgrading your user experience without providing security. Well, things have moved on since then, but I have new canaries in the coal mine. For BlackBerry that is Picture Password, for iOS it's TouchID. If you disabled those, please reconsider. Your users hate you. Which means you will lose, eventually.

Day #10 :: BlackBerry DTEK50 is still lying

by Volker Weber

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DTEK60 got its November Security Patch on day #1. PRIV followed on day #5. Now it's day #10 and DTEK50 still says its up to date.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry is completely tone deaf:

DTEK60 and DTEK50 have the baked-in security to satisfy the strictest security sticklers. Both have the security features, including a hardened Linux kernel, a secure boot process, government-grade encryption by default, first-to-arrive, ongoing Android updates, and the integrated DTEK privacy-protection app

This is madness. BlackBerry scrambles to fix Android on day #1 and then they fumble the ball in distribution. Adding insult to injury, the company cannot even explain what is happening. Absolute radio silence.

No, these are not carrier devices. They come directly from BlackBerry. Incredible.

Marshall Mid Bluetooth

by Volker Weber

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Marshall kombiniert die Technik des Major II Bluetooth mit dem Bügel des Studio und verkauft das Headset als Mid Bluetooth. Für stolze 200 Euro. Auch wenn der Klang nicht perfekt ist, habe ich den Major II gerne benutzt. Am Ende ging er dann doch zurück.

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Intercom for Sonos

by Volker Weber

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Intercom for Sonos lets you broadcast your voice to any Sonos speaker on your network. Just select your speakers from the list of available audio zones. Then hold down the Talk button and speak your message. When you let go of the talk button, your message is broadcasted to the selected speaker.

I have no use for this. But I don't have kids I need to get out of bed.

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PhotoScan by Google Photos

by Volker Weber

Photos from the past, meet scanner from the future.

That is a very useful tool.

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Designed by Apple in California

by Volker Weber

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This is a nice present for the Apple fan. Jony Ive writes:

While this is a design book, it is not about the design team, the creative process or product development. It is an objective representation of our work that, ironically, describes who we are. It describes how we work, our values, our preoccupations and our goals. We have always hoped to be defined by what we do rather than by what we say.

We strive, with varying degrees of success, to define objects that appear effortless. Objects that appear so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative.

450 photographs of past and current Apple products, from 1998’s iMac to 2015’s Apple Pencil. Available in two sizes starting tomorrow on Apple.com and in very few select Apple Stores.

25.9 x 32.8 cm 199 € (incl. VAT) or $ (plus tax)
33.0 x 41.3 cm 299 € (incl. VAT) or $ (plus tax)

Stuff that works :: iPhone 7 Plus, Logitech K780, PLT BackBeat Pro 2

by Volker Weber

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There is a lot of hardware coming and going at vowe's magic flying circus. There is stuff that works, there is stuff that doesn't. And then there is stuff that gets used. Every. Single. Day.

  • It's kind of boring to even mention it. But Apple iPhone 7 Plus just kills it. Like the previous three models: 5S, 6 Plus, 6S Plus. When you have one of those, you may be tempted by other phones. Like I was by the Samsung S6 edge. In the end, you just keep using the iPhone. The 7 Plus gave me the telephoto lens that I needed the Olloclip ActiveLens for. Never missed the headphone jack. Still need the Silicone Case in Midnight Blue or Cocoa. Or Product(RED).
  • The iPad Pro sits on a Logitech Base where it is being charged and displays the Fliqlo clock. Which I also use as a "screensaver" on Mac. When I type longer texts, I drop it on the K780 keyboard. Ever since I had it, it never left my table. It's both pretty and functional. I use the same keyboard for iPhone and BlackBerry. For traveling, I use another Logitech product: Create is an excellent folio keyboard that protects the iPad Pro and also stores the pen.
  • I have only had the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 for two weeks, but I have used it every single day. I find it very comfortable and I love the sound. Battery life is outstanding. As is the range. So far I have not discovered anything that would bother me. It's an overall improvement over the previous BackBeat Pro.

Hidden in that list are two more products that works for me every single day: iPad Pro 9.7 and Apple Pencil. :-)

No Airpods for Xmas?

by Volker Weber

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My expectations was that Airpods would be the hottest Xmas item. However, Apple has delayed the launch and everything that is not available at Black Friday misses the holiday season. It's a hard decision, but also one that Sonos has made time and again. Don't ship shit!

Wer kann, der kann

by Volker Weber

A photo posted by Stefan von Gagern (@stefanvongagern) on

Not your father's Lotusphere

by Volker Weber

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IBM Connect 2017 promises to be a complete departure from the Lotusphere/Connect format we have known for 20+ years. That's why it is moving to San Francisco. Listen to this video in which Inho Cho Suh explains the thinking. If that frightens you, then you should also listen to Steve Mills in this video. Nothing ever goes away.

There is a lot going on at IBM in the collaboration space. The ship is finally turning, which takes a bit of time. I recently crashed a party where IBM talked to select business partners and customers. I am not going to spill the beans here when I tell you that a major refactoring is under way for Connections which will finally make the platform more extensible. You have seen IBM partner with Cisco for RTC (Real Time Communication) and Box for EFS (Enterprise File Sharing) instead of always reinventing everything. You can still roll it IBM style with Sametime and Connections Files, but there is a whole new layer being developed on top of that. As Mills says, nothing ever goes away. But you have to catch the next wave unless you want to end up in the washing machine.

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BlackBerry has a friend

by Volker Weber

And that friend may make an appearance in the next US administration.

The last BlackBerry

by Volker Weber

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BlackBerry developed three Android phones to follow up on PRIV: Neon, Argon and Mercury. Neon came out as DTEK50 and Argon as DTEK60, both were TCL designs. But there is a third one still in the pipeline: Mercury may be DTEK70, and if it looks anything like the photo above, it's as BlackBerry as it gets.

In the future, BlackBerry plans to license its Android distribution and brand to other manufacturers.

Es ist nur ein Hobby

by Volker Weber

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'Windows as a Service' ist ja eine nette Idee. Immer alles aktuell, ganz von selbst. Soweit die Theorie. Die Praxis sieht anders aus. Nachts möchte das Surface gerne neu starten. Installiert sich das neueste kumulative Update, startet noch mal neu. Und schmeisst es wieder runter, weil irgendwas nur in der Theorie funktioniert. Manchmal höre ich es, manchmal schalte ich die Kiste auch einfach aus.

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Es ist nur ein Hobby. Ich habe ein paar Macs zum Arbeiten. Wenn ich von diesem Mist abhängig wäre, hätte ich schon mit einem Hammer drauf geschlagen. Und nein, ich habe nicht daran rumgebastelt. Vielleicht schickt ja Microsoft irgendwann mal ein Update, das sich auch installiert.

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War ich nicht

by Volker Weber

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Heute einen Anhörungsbogen bekommen. Ich soll zu schnell gefahren sein. Nur: ich fahre weder einen Joghurtbecher, noch habe ich so scheußliche Klamotten. Sehr cool: man kann den Anhörungsbogen online ausfüllen.

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Le calendrier 2017 d'Aubade est arrivé

by Volker Weber

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[Thanks, Boudewijn.]

BlackBerry updates continue to disappoint

by Volker Weber

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BlackBerry applied the November security fixes to their secure version of Android and released them on Monday. So far, excellent. But they fail time and again to get these updates out to their phones in the field. DTEK60 got the update on Monday, but both DTEK50 and PRIV are still telling me they are up to date with their October fix. These are not carrier devices, they come directly from BlackBerry.

When you activate a BlackBerry Android device, it will connect to the Google Play Store and update it's applications, amongst them the BlackBerry Keyboard. And there are less than 500,000 installs.

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If BlackBerry has sold less than half a million Android phones, why does it take them weeks to update them?

Update 11. Nov 2016, 15:00: PRIV now installing November security patch. DTEK50 still insists on October update being the latest.

How to turn off Microsoft's newest Office 365 pop-up ad

by Volker Weber

Microsoft is targeting Office 365 users who aren't using locally installed Office 2016 apps with a new pop-up ad. Here's how to turn off that notification.

Microsoft is building great new hardware, they champion new cloud services, they support many platforms. But annoying users with ads is destroying so much good will. Short term thinking.

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IBMers are pre-registered for Watson Workspace

by Volker Weber

Got this email today:

"Ironically enough, I work directly for IBM Watson Health, and I still can’t seem to get an invite. Any chance you have an extra invite you can float me?"

As it turns out, you don't need an invite as an IBMer. Ralph Siepmann explains:

For Watson Workspace you have to use your http://ibm.com (not w3 Intranet) ID.

Just login at workspace.ibm.com. Once you are inside, you can invite other people via email to their IBMid.

The Surface Pro 4 keyboard cover makes all the difference

by Volker Weber

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I like my Surface 3. But a few days ago I briefly played with a Surface Pro 4. I don't care much for the additional power. But the keyboard cover plays in a completely different league from the old Surface 3 keyboard. This alone would be worth the upgrade.

The trackpad has also improved tremendously, but it cannot touch a MacBook trackpad. They are worlds apart. Rule of thumb: if you see somebody unpack a mouse, the trackpad sucks.

BlackBerry DTEK50 vs DTEK60

by Volker Weber

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Horia asked me a question this morning, that I did not know the answer to: does the DTEK60 have an FM radio like the DTEK50 has? Frankly, I had not even noticed that the DTEK50 had a radio. And no, the DTEK60 does not have one.

This got me thinking about how I feel about these two devices. I mean, if you look at the specs, the DTEK60 wins hands down. It is superior in every aspect. More memory, faster chipset, better screen, better camera, larger battery. But somehow, I like the DTEK50 better.

DTEK50 is what I would call a non-bling phone. It feels rugged, it is very thin and light, and it provides a great grip when holding it. It's a secure Android phone that is very practical without winning any pissing contests. If you don't play 3D games, it provides all the power you need. It's likely to survive a drop, but you will never drop it, because you are holding it so well.

DTEK60 is different. It's larger, less comfortable to hold, and with its glass back it is more slippery. There is however one thing that makes the DTEK60 more practical: the fingerprint sensor. For some reason, the DTEK50 is the only BlackBerry that does not support Picture Password. I have asked BlackBerry about it for months and this is as far as I have gotten with an answer:

We’ve discussed with Product Management and they’ve informed us that it is still on the roadmap but cannot provide a specific timeline. Picture Password is a complex feature embedded in the OS and will be part of a major software update.

What is Picture Password? When setting this up, you select a photo, a number, and a location on the photo where that number belongs. When it's time to unlock your phone, it will display a grid of numbers on top of your photo. Your selected number appears multiple times on that grid. Now you move the grid across the photo until one of them is in the correct location. This is a very fast way to unlock, and if you do this correctly, nobody can see what you are doing. If you don't touch your selected number, it's impossible to figure out which number belongs where. PRIV has a hardware keyboard, DTEK60 has a fingerprint sensor, both support Picture Password. Just not the DTEK50 which would benefit the most.

While the DTEK60 has a larger battery than DTEK50, I don't get more battery life out of it. First of all, it draws more power. The really interesting observation is that both phones sleep extremely well and can last for days. But when you turn the screen on, they burn through the battery rather quickly. This plays out for the DTEK50 again. You have a smartphone that can do everything you need. You just don't look at it all day.

Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2 :: The weight confusion

by Volker Weber

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If you look at the specs for the BackBeat Pro 2 and the BackBeat Pro 2 Special Edition, you get misleading specs about the weight. The Pro 2 is supposed to weigh 544 g (1.2 lbs) and the Pro 2 SE is listed as 1011 g (2.23 lbs). Both of those measurements include everything inside the box. The headset itself is much lighter as you can see above.

I don't have the Pro 2 SE, but I am quite sure it weighs about the same as the Pro 2. The hard travel case makes the difference.

Android Auto directly on your phone screen

by Volker Weber

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We launched Android Auto two years ago with the goal to better integrate phones and cars, and give drivers an easier way to access the information they need. There are now over 200 new car models supporting Android Auto offered from more than 50 brands, and many more launching every day.

But we know there are millions of older cars on the road that are not compatible with Android Auto, and many don't have a screen at all. We wanted to bring the same connected experience to these drivers too.

This is great news. Some auto manufacturers make you buy their most expensive entertainment system before you can connect your Android phone. Which then provides more smarts than what you just bought. Google Maps is incredibly accurate with traffic information in this country for instance. They have enough probes on the road.

All you need is a car mount and a power wire and you are good to go.

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BlackBerry starts rolling out November security patch for Android

by Volker Weber

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DTEK60 was the first device here at vowe's magic flying circus to receive the update. Now waiting for DTEK50 and PRIV.

From Evernote to Notes

by Volker Weber

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I migrated from Evernote to OneNote a while ago, and I have not looked back. I have a few hundred notes that I can arrange in OneNote just as I please and it also lets me take handwritten notes on iPad Pro and Surface.

OneNote isn't for everyone though. People who only keep a few dozen notes, on iOS and macOS devices only, may be better off with the Notes application available on both. It's all synced through iCloud so you don't need another user id. Migrating from Evernote to Notes is extremely easy. This is how I migrated Ute on my own Mac.

  1. Create new user. Login. Log into iCloud.
  2. Install Evernote. Log into Evernote. Wait for all notes to sync.
  3. Mark all notes. Export to an .enex file.
  4. Import the .enex file into Notes. Wait for all notes to sync.
  5. Remove Evernote. Logout of new user account. Delete user account.

Steps 1 and 5 are only necessary if you migrate somebody else. If you migrate your own data, you only need to export to .enex and import into Notes.

No more nagging from Evernote about upgrading to Premium, for a user who clearly does not need Premium.

Microsoft Teams

by Volker Weber

Today, at an event in New York City, we announced Microsoft Teams—the new chat-based workspace in Office 365. Microsoft Teams is an entirely new experience that brings together people, conversations and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. It’s naturally integrated with the familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on the Office 365 global, secure cloud. Starting today, Microsoft Teams is available in preview in 181 countries and in 18 languages to commercial customers with Office 365 Enterprise or Business plans, with general availability expected in the first quarter of 2017.

And this is how Microsoft kills. They are just adding it to their existing plans Business Essentials, Business Premium, and Enterprise E1, E3, (E4) and E5.

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Slack is afraid

by Volker Weber

Dear Microsoft,

Wow. Big news! Congratulations on today’s announcements. We’re genuinely excited to have some competition.

Not of IBM, though.

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Two things that are not obvious about Spotify Connect & Sonos

by Volker Weber

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There are two things that are not obvious about Spotify Connect when working with Sonos:

  • When friends are visiting and connect to your home Wifi, their Spotify app will discover your Sonos players. They can play their own playlists and tracks on your speakers, without having to download and install the Sonos app.
  • Spotify Connect knows your speakers, even when you are not on your home Wifi. That means you can play something when you are not yet connected. Transfer the music from your car to your home, maybe?

When your friends don't need a Sonos app, neither do your kids. They never have to touch the Sonos controller, once the system is set up.

Ab mit der Kirche, ins Dorf!

by Volker Weber

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Nachdem uns letzte Woche kollektiv der Nucki rausgefallen ist, weil Apple nicht einfach so weiter gemacht hat, ist es jetzt mal an der Zeit, mit dem Gebrüll aufzuhören und den Nucki wieder reinzustecken. Ich kenne meine Pappenheimer. Wenn Gadget Blogger Apple bescheinigen, endgültig verblödet zu sein, dann sehe ich Clickbait und nicht etwa Nachdenken. Zeit also selbst mal zu reflektieren, ob nur das Knie gezittert hat oder die Erde bebt.

Was ist passiert? Apple hat aus den neuen MacBook Pro alles an Ports rausgeschmissen, was bislang hoch und heilig war und durch Thunderbolt 3 ersetzt. Da passen USB-C Stecker rein, aber Thunderbolt kann noch viel mehr. Davon soll jetzt keine Rede sein und auch nicht davon, dass die auf der linken Seite wohl noch etwas schöner sind als die rechts. Jedenfalls gibt es vier Anschlüsse, die was können. Unter anderem auch das MacBook Pro laden oder mit diesem andere Geräte. Kreuz und quer.

Der Nachteil liegt auf der Hand: erstmal passt nix, was gestern noch passte. Also auch nicht der sehr praktische Magsafe-Anschluss. Aber nun muss ich daran denken, dass ich oft mein MacBook nicht mit genommen habe, weil es eben ein weiteres Netzteil braucht und nicht etwa wie das Surface 3 einfach am USB-Netzteil ladbar ist. Und nun greift Apple zu einem Standard, der sich überall von Smartphones bis zu Rechnern durchsetzt und auf einmal ist das nicht recht. Vielleicht sollten wir da noch mal drüber nachdenken.

Mein aktuelles MacBook Pro hat acht Anschlüsse. Links Magsafe, 2x Thunderbolt (mit Displayport), USB-A, 3.5mm. Rechts USB-A, HDMI, SD. Die neuen also nun fünf: 4x Thunderbolt und 3.5 mm. Wer mit dem Gerät zu Hause auf dem Schreibtisch arbeitet, kauft sich vorübergehend vielleicht mal sowas. Und unterwegs?

Solche Adapter braucht man nicht nur für das MacBook Pro sondern eben auch für das Smartphone. Demnächst vielleicht als Schlüsselanhänger oder Werbegeschenk.

Also mit etwas Abstand nochmal: USB-C ist der Stecker der Zukunft. Und in das neue MacBook Pro passen vier rein. Wollen wir Apple für diese Innovation wirklich schlagen?

Einen habe ich noch für das Pauschalurteil, dass Apple jetzt aber wirklich gegen Microsoft sowas von verloren hat. Das Update-Protokoll meines Microsoft Surface:

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Previewing Watson Workspace was a major disappointment

by Volker Weber

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When IBM announced Watson Workspace last week, it took me a while to understand that this was Project Toscana, first previewed in January at IBM Connect. At the time I warned everyone that this was a canned demo, where presenters where just faking using the product. I had learned this a year earlier when IBM presented a new Connections version that did not exist yet. So here we were, looking at a new messaging product that IBM supposedly had been working on for quite some time.

Project Toscana was supposed to ship by the end of the year. Fast forward to last week, when Inhi Cho Suh announced the product as Watson Workspace, a new platform powered by "Cognitive" and invited everybody who was at the conference to take a look at the preview. That invitation was transitive because whoever is in there can invite more people.

Got my invitation, logged in, and boy oh boy was I disappointed. What had they been working on all year? A very basic text chat with a few Markdown markups for bold and italic, no unfurling of anything you put in there, no mentions, no @-replies, no search. Yes, no search! Further digging around found that an annotator (Watson technology) was adding information to all posts and that there was a Moments feature designed to bubble up interesting stuff that happened while you were not looking. For now it's only but a promise because Watson showed no sign of intelligence, and it would only understand English. Further digging around revealed an API for extending the platform and some very rudimentary integration with IFTTT and Slack.

I see good genes, but this platform has yet to graduate from Kindergarden. IBM went public too early. Way too early. I would be surprised if IBM was able to ship in 2016.

And that screenshot above? This is Edge, the standard browser for 400 Million Windows devices. It's very well behaved. If IBM cannot develop against all browsers in 2016, what can they do?

Control Sonos from Spotify

by Volker Weber

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Sonos integrates dozens of music services into their own controller. Search for a track and it will search across all services at the same time, as long as you are using the Android or iOS controller. That's not going away.

But honestly, how many streaming music services do you pay for? Chances are it is Spotify. Or Apple Music, maybe something else. Most likely you have one, and one only. And in that case, your want to use their app. Because it probably suits you way better than a Sonos controller.

And that is happening for Spotify, as announced two months ago. Come Sonos 7, which is currently in beta, you can live in your Spotify app. And when you want to play through Sonos, you go to that little indicator at the bottom, and instead of using your Bluetooth headset or speaker, or Airplay, you select one of your Sonos rooms, and boom, that's going to blast your music out loud. You can control the volume, you can even group and ungroup rooms.

Instead of the tail wagging the dog, now the dog is wagging the tail. This is a wonderful addition to the Sonos system. The only question is, what took them so long? Spotify Connect has been around for years. And finally, that is coming to Sonos. Listen up, Apple Music, maybe you can strike a similar deal?

Spotify Connect for Sonos 7 is in open beta now. Apply here.

Anderson .Paak is fire

by Volker Weber

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Want to test how your cans sound? How about some Anderson .Paak? I love these NPR Tiny Desk Concerts.

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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