January 2017

On Windows 10

by Volker Weber


The Economist has this piece that tries to explain how Micosoft is scaring away potential upgraders.

Microsoft charges top dollar for Windows 10 ($120 or $200, depending on the edition) and now wants to bombard users with sales pitches to boot—without so much as by your leave, let alone the option to turn the nuisance off.

Not my experience. I have been using Surface Pro 4 almost exclusively since last December. I have turned off suggested apps, I have uninstalled all Microsoft crapware and never had any 3rd party crapware. Windows has left me alone and not bothered me at all.

However, I am swimming midstream. I am using Edge and get a ton of ads from Google all over the place, trying to pull me into Chrome. I use OneNote, which is nag-free, instead of Evernote. I am syncing with OneDrive which is completely transparent. All is good, with the occasional WaaH update hickup (Windows as a Hobby).

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by Volker Weber

Ich werde oft gefragt, warum ich diese Website betreibe. Schließlich macht das Arbeit und die wird nicht bezahlt. Nein, es ist nicht das hundertste Smartphone, das ich ausprobieren darf. Es sind Momente wie dieser, als ich Bernds Kommentar las:

Habe heute ebenfalls meinen Monat vollgemacht. Bin immer noch auf 400, komme jedoch oft genug mit 500 bis 600 am Tagesende raus (underpromise/overdeliver). Insgesamt war der Januar für mich fantastisch, vergangenen Freitag war ich beim Kardiologen (bin 65), Im vergleich mit der letzten Routine-Untersuchung von vor ein paar Jahren gab es keinerlei Beanstandungen mehr. Den leichten Betablocker (der mich natürlich auch leistungsmäßig ein wenig bremst) soll ich allerdings beibehalten. Nach dem Duschen habe ich dann heute keine frische Hose gefunden und habe dann einfach mal zu einer gegriffen die ich vor etwa 2 Jahren ausgemustert hatte weil sie nicht mehr passte. Was soll ich sagen: Sitzt, kein Gürtel mehr nötig, man fühlt sich gleich 2 Jahre jünger! In diesem Sinne: Danke, Keep the Ball rolling & #dontbreakthechain

Das macht mir so eine Freude, das kann ich gar nicht beschreiben. Wenn man was in die Mitte tut, dann kommt so viel zurück. Kleine Geschenke (heute ein kleines Teil, das morgen im Bild ist), große Geschenke, und so viel positive Energie. Danke!

Apple results are in

by Volker Weber


We're thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple's highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way. We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch.

That includes the new MacBook Pro that nobody wants.

Lookig at the details, you will see that Mac is stable, Services is growing and iPad is sliding. They are all about the same level, all being dwarfed by the iPhone business. Apple sold 78 million units in the last quarter alone.

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All that we share :: A beautiful exercise

by Volker Weber

This completes the first month #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber


This is just for the few people who have joined the program recently. You completed a full week of the New Year Challenge on all three rings, or you failed but got up and continued anyway. I am really happy that it does make a difference for some of you. I started the chain in May 2015, and I broke it once.


Now that the month is over, you started your own chain. Don't break it. If you do break it, just get up and try again. Find a calorie goal you can exceed every day when you also exercise for at least 30 minutes. If you don't get to those 30 minutes, you are not pushing hard enough. You can chill 23.5 hours a day but you need those 30 minutes. Here is why:

Look at the days where you did 30 minutes or more. How much calories did you burn? Set this as your move goal. In February you will be able to complete the whole month on both of those rings. And the stand goal? Well, you really should get up twelve times a day and walk around for a bit.

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When you pull your monthly overview to the right, you can see the move goal you had set for the week. You only need to complete the move goal for all days of the month to get this award. But when you set your move goal correctly, you will have all three anyway. And you will continue to add month after month. If you don't complete a month the hollow symbol for that month goes away, like it did in June 2016 for me:

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You haven't started your chain yet? Do it tomorrow. The longest journey starts with the first step. And there is a lot to discover about yourself along the way. If you think I am doing something that you can't do, take a look at Detlev who needs just another year to get the 1000 days achievement. Click on the picture to see that he hasn't broken the chain in 635 days. Add 365 and you get to 1000. And he is on 600 Cals as well.

If you started your own chain, then reply to @vowe on Twitter with a screenshot of your red rings only, as seen in the right picture above and I will include you below. Even if there are still some holes in the month. How do you get there? Activities app on your iPhone, then look at your history for January and pull to the right.

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Groovy Messaging Wave

by Volker Weber

Messaging is all the rage and if you believe the usual suspects, it's going to replace email as the dominant tool for internal communications within companies. It creates an open space for sharing information within a team, bringing everybody up to speed about what is going on. Before you buy into this vision, take a look back at two other platforms that tried and failed: Google Wave and (Microsoft) Groove.

Microsoft Teams already used by 30k organizations, says Microsoft

by Volker Weber

As Satya Nadella discussed in last Thursday's quarterly earnings call, Microsoft Teams has picked up momentum since its launch last November. In the last month alone, 30,000 organizations across 145 markets and 19 languages have actively used Microsoft Teams.

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CLIQZ :: Safer browsing made in Germany

by Volker Weber


You may want to check this out. CLIQZ is a very clean browser based on Firefox that tries to protect your privacy and make your browsing safer. Runs on desktop as well as mobile. One feature I stumbled upon: it keeps your guilty pleasures out of your history.


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TechAltar :: How to cure a fanboy

by Volker Weber

Simply explained :: Do VPNs enhance your privacy?

by Volker Weber


Ars Technica has a trending story about a research paper investigating hundreds of VPN apps for Android. This seems to be complicated but it isn't. It's all about a simple question: whom do you trust?

The sketch shows you how a VPN works. You have a network tunnel from point A to point B. This tunnel traverses a network you do not trust, like "The Internet" for instance. The tunnel has two endpoints A and B. They are supposed to be in safe territory. B could be behind your company firewall, A on your trusted device. Do you see the problem? A and B have to be trusted. If you have an app on A you cannot trust, or if you simply don't know where B is, then you are not enhancing your privacy because all of your traffic goes in and comes out at A and B. It is way easier to track you, if you always take the same road.

Final week of the New Year Challenge #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber


We did this before: first week, second, and third. This is now the last week you can get that extra achievement. When you complete your full week, take a photo of the notification and post it on Twitter @vowe. I will embed it below.

Easier together. #dontbreakthechain


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Infinit shutting down its file transfer service

by Volker Weber


Infinit has been my favorite file transfer service between my own machines. It was lightning fast, especially between machines on the same network. While Airdrop sometimes cannot find its targets and does not work with PCs or Android, Infinit always did the job. Sad to see them drop it.

IBM Notes/Domino 9.0.1 finally gets Java 8 with Feature Pack 8

by Volker Weber

Notes/Domino 9.0.1 Feature Pack 8 includes new features that benefit our customers. Some of these features have been in development for years and we are excited to make them available. Please refer to the "New Features" section below for more details.

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From my inbox

by Volker Weber


Neues Buch von Dr. Michael Spreitzenbarth.

Microsoft Cloud Deutschland

by Volker Weber

Mit der Microsoft Cloud Deutschland werden Kundendaten ausschließlich in Deutschland gespeichert. Die Kontrolle und Entscheidungsgewalt über die Daten obliegt den Kunden selbst. Die Tochtergesellschaft der Deutschen Telekom T-Systems - der Datentreuhänder - agiert unter deutschem Recht und überwacht den Zugriff auf die Kundendaten.

Als hätten sie es geahnt. Der neue amerikanische Präsident zerstört das Vertrauen in atemberaubendem Tempo. Da wird sich für manches Unternehmen 25% Aufpreis auf einmal doch rechnen.

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IBM Verse gets a Calendar Inbox

by Volker Weber


Screenshot Andreas Ponte

Das muss ein Softwarefehler sein, oder?

by Volker Weber


iPhone schaltet sich bei minus sieben Grad nach zehn Minuten aus. Hat jemand eine Idee, woran das liegen könnte?

Jeder Ingenieur kennt das. Irgendwann kommen die Kaufleute und meinen, eine kleinere Klimaanlage tut es auch und die ist viel billiger. 35 Grad Außentemperatur kommt ja ohnehin nie vor. Und die Winterreifen können nur 210 km/h? Papperlapapp. Da ist bestimmt Toleranz drin, um noch mal schnell bei 20 Grad und Sonnenschein in den Osterurlaub zu brettern. Hinweise auf Betriebs- und Umgebungstemperaturen? Kann man sowieso ignorieren.

Das iPhone sagt halt konsequent, mir ist kalt und ich zieh jetzt den Akku ab. Das schützt vor Ignoranz.

Wichtiger Hinweis: Ironie wird nicht immer auf Anhieb verstanden.

SOLVED :: Who can get me an Echo Dot from the US?

by Volker Weber


Echo Dot is still in short supply here in Germany. Who is travelling from the US and can sell me one?

Solved in ten minutes flat. Thank you, John.

Von den Socken

by Volker Weber


Die AirPods sind extrem bequem. So wie ein paar gute Socken. Man weiß eigentlich gar nicht, ob man sie an hat, bis man darüber nachdenkt. Das Aufladen geht erfreulich schnell, und mehrfach.


Android permissions and hypocrisy

by Volker Weber

The fact that Android makes it so easy for apps to obtain data that's personally identifiable is of concern, but in the absence of another stable device identifier this is the sort of thing that capitalism is inherently going to end up making use of. Fundamentally, this is Google's problem to fix.

An interesting read. And it does not include the information you are volunteering to Google.

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Setapp has launched

by Volker Weber

I reported on Setapp when it was in beta. About a dozen of you signed up. Now Setapp is live.

Setapp is a flat fee app store for the Mac. You pay 10 € a month and can use any of their apps for as long as you keep paying, on two Macs. Setapp currently has 61 apps but wants to have more. View the apps here. The first month is free so you can try before you buy.

Setapp puts all its apps in a separate folder within /Applications. It provides a preview before you install an app, it automatically updates the catalog as well as installed apps, and allows for a clean uninstall. The company behind Setapp is the respected publisher MacPaw. Their programs CleanMyMac and Gemini are also in the catalog.

I suggest you give it a try, if only to clean your Mac with CleanMyMac for free. You don't have to provide payment information during the trial.

Louis Richardson :: The Story of a Presentation

by Volker Weber

As the Chief Storyteller for IBM Watson Work and IBM Watson Talent, I'm often asked about how I create my presentations. I'd like to offer a quick story of a presentation from concept to delivery.

Now I only need to learn what 'IBM Watson Work and IBM Watson Talent' is.

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Pen support on your notebook

by Volker Weber

Surface Pen and Keyboard

Having used Surface Pro 4 almost exlusively for a month I am now very confused about keybord shortcuts. For those who don't know a Mac, it's Cmd instead of Ctrl for Cut & Paste. But I am not confused about pen support. I want this on my machine. For taking notes or for annotating documents. If I were a student, I would really want this. Google just announced stylus support for Chromebooks, and that type of machine is very successful in education. Add Android apps into the mix, and you are on to something. Google will eventually have to do the homework that Microsoft already did with Windows 10. Pen is integrated well into Windows 10 Anniversary Update and will improve further with the Creators Edition in April. Google plays in a much lower league with their simple stylus support, but it's going to help in Math classes.

The odd one out is Apple. If you want pen support, you can only have it on iPad Pro, in a few select apps. And I don't think that machine is ready to replace notebooks completely. You can get very far, but then you pack your notebook anyway, just to make sure.

Terminabstimmung mit Smartmeeting

by Volker Weber


Bekannterweise mache ich ja keine Meetings. Deshalb habe ich von Terminplanung so viel Ahnung wie die Kuh vom Stricken. Aber was hier aus Darmstadt frisch auf den Tisch kommt, das gefällt mir. Smartmeeting ist von Cosynus und der Geschäftsführer ist mein Nachbar. Deshalb durfte ich Smartmeeting schon sehen, als es noch in der Entwicklung war.

Die Idee ist ähnlich wie Doodle oder Findtime. Der Meeting-Planer schlägt ein paar Termine vor, über welche die Teilnehmer abstimmen. Sobald man sich geeinigt hat, verteilt der Service Einladungen, die man in seinen Kalender einplant. Gemeinsam ist die Idee, das Meeting nicht im Kalender zu planen, sondern erst nachträglich da einzutragen. Ohne so einen Service trägt man das Meeting im eigenen Kalender ein und lädt dann ein. Das endet schnell im Chaos.

Smartmeeting ist mobile first, Android und iOS. Man plant das Meeting in einer App. Wer eingeladen wird, kann selbst die App installieren oder im Browser antworten. Die App will Zugriff auf Kontakte (für Einladungen) und Kalender (für Einträge und freie Zeitblöcke). Erlaubt man der App dazu noch einen Abgleich der Freizeiten, dann bekommt man nur passende Einladungen, weil der Server bessere Vorschläge machen kann. Dazu kann man vorausplanen und Zeiten blockieren oder anbieten.

Die Apps sind sehr hübsch gemacht, alles erscheint einfach, hat aber Tiefe. Das Einzige, was aktuell fehlt, ist Delegierung. Man muss seinen Kalender schon selbst planen. Ist also nicht chef-sicher. Aber daran wird gearbeitet.

Witzig für mich: ich kenne fast alle Menschen, die auf der Website und im Werbevideo auftauchen, persönlich. Smartmeeting ist noch ziemlich unbekannt. Geheimtipp!

[Update:] Habe noch mal ein paar Details nachgefragt. Lizenzierung für Einzelpersonen: 2 Euro pro Monat, sechs Monate kostenlos, zusätzlich einen Monat je geworbenem Kunden, bis maximal 18 Monate. Preise für Unternehmenskunden gestaffelt nach Anzahl der Nutzer, 30 Tage kostenlos.

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Microsoft has laid off Bryan Roper

by Volker Weber

Yes, this Bryan Roper.

Tolle Logistik

by Volker Weber


Ich bin mittlerweile richtig begeistert von der Logistik der Online-Shops. Die Scheffin hatte am Samstag beim Einkauf etwas aus dem Tchibo-Regal mitgebracht, das uns richtig gut gefallen hat. Statt noch einmal loszufahren, auf Verfügbarkeit zu hoffen und sich dann in einer langen Schlange an der Kasse anzustellen, haben wir einfach drei weitere Artikel online geordert.

Den Warenkorb zu füllen ist ja einfach. Aber beim Kaufabschluss lauern dann Formulare, die ausgefüllt werden müssen, Accounts die angelegt werden wollen, mit Passwörtern, die man sich nicht merken kann, usw. usf. Nicht so bei Tchibo. Das ging noch reibungsloser als bei Amazon. Weiter zu Paypal hieß es da. Einloggen, Kauf bestätigen, fertig. Die Lieferadresse hat Paypal gestellt, man musste schlicht gar nichts angeben.

Montag morgen, Nachricht von DHL: "Sie kriegen ein Paket." Automatisch in der App eingetragen, weil ich mich dort einmal registriert habe für die Packstation, Dann gestern abend: "Sie kriegen morgen ein Paket. Passt das?" Heute noch mal zwei Updates, und da ist es. Volle Transparenz und Kontrolle, mit weniger Aufwand als ein Bareinkauf. Super.


Update your Apple devices now

by Volker Weber


Lots of fixes for Apple devices. iPhones, iPads, Mac, TV, Apple Watch, they all got a fix yesterday and it was immediately available to everybody everywhere. Go get it.

How many BlackBerry Android devices have been sold?

by Volker Weber


Help me with Google Play Store statistics. If you look up DTEK, the software that comes with all BlackBerry Android devices, it shows less than half a million downloads. When you activate a PRIV, DTEK50 or DTEK60, it will automatically download all updates to pre-installed sotware from the store. So for each device, there should be at least one download. And I believe that every consecutive download no longer counts against that tally.

If I am correct, then BlackBerry has sold less than half a million of those three devices, combined. If you look for the BlackBerry Hub+ Services, that also runs on other Android phones, the number of downloads passes half a million but not one million.

Bottom line: Apple sells more iPhones in a single day than BlackBerry sold Android phones in more than a year.

Four weeks to IBM Connect 2017

by Volker Weber


In four weeks, the Opening General Session of IBM Connect 2017 will be over. If you want to attend, you can ask an IBM Champion for a $100 discount code. As a customer, you probably just have to wait it out until you can attend as a seat filler. If IBM has planned for 4000 attendees, they will probably have to come and get you. As press, who knows? Haven't heard so much as a whisper from IBM, so I am planning to sit on my sofa and see if IBM can keep a webcast going.

Fritz!Box als Anrufabwimmler

by Volker Weber

Screenshot (12)

Es gibt bei mir vier Klassen von Anrufern:

  1. Nummer steht in meinem Adressbuch, Name wird angezeigt. Da geh' ich dran, auch wenn jemand nur seiner Pressemitteilung hinterher telefoniert.
  2. Keine Nummer angezeigt. Die gehen ohne Ausnahme auf den Anrufbeantworter, sprechen aber eigentlich nie was drauf.
  3. Nummer wird angezeigt, kenne ich aber nicht. Rufe ich zurück, wenn ich rausfinden kann, wer das war. Oder wenn der Anrufer auf den Anrufbeantworter spricht.
  4. Call Center, Nummer bekannt. Kriegen einfach ein Besetzt.

Wie kommt man auf die Call-Center-Liste? Man nimmt einen Telefon-Roboter, der einfach den Nummernkreis durchtelefoniert, bis er auf einen Menschen trifft. Und der ist für mich leicht zu fangen. Ich habe so viele Telefonnummern, dass ich eine für diese Roboter reserviert habe. Diese Nummer kennt niemand. Wenn da ein Anruf eingeht, dann ist es garantiert nicht jemand, der gezielt anruft, sondern jemand, der Rufnummern durchprobiert. Ich gehe also immer wieder mal durch die Liste der Anrufer dieser unbekannten Nummer und nehme die Roboter in dieses Adressbuch auf. Danach bekommen sie kein Freizeichen mehr, sondern ein Besetzt. Auch wenn sie meine richtige Nummer anrufen.

Und dann gibt es noch diese Formulare, die man nicht abschicken kann, ohne eine Telefonnummer einzutragen. Da schreibe ich meine Faxnummer rein. Die funktioniert sogar. Leise pfeift die Fritz!Box.

Final week of the New Year Challenge coming up

by Volker Weber

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We have done this tree times. Some of you made it in the first round, some in the second, some in the third. We are going to do this one more time, and at the end of the month we will be looking at your Move goal. You get this by dragging to the right. And maybe, you even get the full month for completing the Move goal every single day.


Good news: if you can complete a full week on all three activity rings, you are able to do it again and again. And it's working, as Markus reports:

Surface Pro 4 :: Screenshots annotieren

by Volker Weber


Screenshots annotieren ist die häufigste Funktion für meinen Surface Pen. Man klickt doppelt auf den 'Radiergummi', Windows kopiert den aktuellen Bildschirm und schon geht es los. Zuschneiden und darauf herumkritzeln, dann entweder speichern und per Share-Menü weitergeben.


Surface Pro 4 :: Love the power brick

by Volker Weber


It's always the small details that delight me. An extra USB port on the Surface Pro 4 power brick for instance. No need to bring an extra charger for your phone. On the Surface side of things you have this connector:


This slots in easily and is held by a magnet. If you trip over your cable you will not yank your Surface from the table. It also goes in both ways. And the cable does not stick out but follows the contour of the device.


On the other end of the brick there is a standard plug that lets me connect a cable that fits the country I am currently traveling in. No need for adapters, just a cheap cable available everywhere.


I also have a few of those but they are harder to get:


Third Week of the New Year Challenge #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber


Ben lives in Australia and he has a head start to close his first week of completing all three activities each day of the week. When you complete yours, take a photo of the notification and post it on Twitter @vowe. I will embed it below.

Easier together. #dontbreakthechain

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From my inbox

by Volker Weber


Danke, Michael. Habe mich sehr gefreut.

Mit Apple Pay in Deutschland zahlen

by Volker Weber

Wirecard führt heute seine mobile Bezahllösung boon in Frankreich ein. Nach der Einführung auf dem britischen Markt im Mai vergangenen Jahres, ist Frankreich nun der erste Markt innerhalb der Eurozone, wo boon mit Apple Pay genutzt werden kann. Die voll digitalisierte mobile Bezahl-App ermöglicht Kunden ab heute mobile Zahlungen, die einfach, sicher und schnell getätigt werden können.

boon basiert auf einer automatischen App-to-Wallet-Integration über einen Prepaid Account mit einer digitalen MasterCard, die von Wirecard Card Solutions herausgegeben wird. So können Nutzer ihr Konto per Banküberweisung, Debit- oder Kreditkarte aufladen. Die mobile Zahlungs-App funktioniert an jedem NFC-fähigem Kassenterminal, das MasterCard Kontaktlos akzeptiert.

Das ist eine praktikable Lösung, um in Deutschland mit der Apple Watch oder dem iPhone zu bezahlen. Wirecard gibt Dir eine virtuelle Prepaid-Karte, die Du in Apple Pay registrieren kannst. Prepaid heißt, die Karte kann nur so viel bezahlen, wie aufgeladen ist. Aufgeladen wird sie kostenlos per Überweisung oder mit 1% Gebühr per Kreditkarte.

Um das einzurichten, stellt man erst iPhone und Apple Watch auf Frankreich um, lädt dann die App aus dem französischen (oder britischen) Store und registriert sich mit deutscher Adresse und Telefonnummer. Sobald die Karte in Apple Pay registriert ist, kann man iPhone und Watch wieder auf Deutschland umstellen.

Ein Jahr lang gibt es diese Prepaid-Karte kostenlos. Danach zahlt man 99ct im Monat. Bis dahin haben sich hoffentlich auch die deutschen Banken bequemt, Apple Pay zu unterstützen.

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[Danke, Jochen]

Story of Life

by Volker Weber



Best app I have seen in a while. Sir David Attenborough's Story of Life.

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The January BlackBerry Android cycle completed

by Volker Weber


Two updates today for PRIV and DTEK50. The DTEK60 already installed on the 4th of January, one day ahead of the Jan 5 release date. Now we have:

The DTEK50 update came faster than expected. It is indeed catching up. The next cycle will start in two weeks.

Please report your BlackBerry Android security updates here >

Your next smartphone

by Volker Weber


I remember a car journalist who told me that he always recommends the car people are determined to buy. He often gets asked what the perfect car would be, and his answer in most cases would be a Mercedes B-Class. But then he would get yelled at, because people want their SUV, sports limousine, convertible, but not a B-Class. So he asks them what they like and then tells them that's a great choice.

As you can imagine, I also get asked this question about smartphones. And my answer is simple: buy an iPhone.

And I am not budging. Look at these 2014 phones in the photo above. Only one of them still gets its updates in 2017, and most likely in 2018 as well. Features and fixes. It gets it on the day the software is released to all the new devices. You can hold on to the other two for dear life, but their software is fading.

The iPhone was the smart buy, and it continues to be.

Google veröffentlicht Riesen-Patch-Paket für Android

by Volker Weber

Google veröffentlicht diese Patch-Pakete monatlich, und mehr als 50 Lücken sind da durchaus üblich. Die aktuellen 94 markieren jedoch einen traurigen Höhepunkt, der etwa Sicherheitsforscher wie Matthew Green zu verzweifeltem Aufstöhnen veranlasst: 'Wie wird ein Betriebssystem, das (größtenteils) in einer 'sicheren' Programmiersprache geschrieben wurde, solch ein brennender Reifenstapel?' klagt er auf Twitter.

Kurzes Update zu BlackBerry:

- PRIV: verfügbar seit 4.1., aber hier noch nicht angekommen
- DTEK50: in Beta, nicht ausgerollt
- DTEK60: verfügbar seit 4.1., an diesem Tag angekommen

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Using your AirPods with Windows

by Volker Weber

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Daniel asks if you can use your AirPods with your iThings and your Windows PC at the same time. Yes, you can. Strictly not at the same time, but they do work. You place them in the carrying case (did I mention you always put them in the carrying case?) and hold the button on the back of the case for seven seconds. Now they are discoverable and you can pair them from Windows. Your iThings will not forget your AirPods and you can pull them over.

However, if you take out an AirPod while connected to Windows, it may not continue to play when you put it back in your ear. I had to put them back in the carrying case (did I mention ...) and then open the case to make them connect again. So, it does kinda work. But I am not sure I like it. Apple would say you should buy more mThings instead of Windows PCs. :-)

Controlling your music from your Apple Watch

by Volker Weber


Mathias said, he cannot control Google Play Music from the Apple Watch. It took me a while to understand he was confusing two ways you can control music from your Apple Watch. There is Music and there is Now Playing, as seen in the Apple Watch app on iPhone:


Now Playing shows the same thing as your lock screen or your control center. It is the app that is currently playing from the iPhone, or your Sonos controller, if you use that.


It will only let you control the volume, play/pause and track forward and backwards. It works with whatever is currently the app controlling your music, whether that is Music itself, Spotify, Google Play Music or the Sonos controller. In that respect it is very versatile.

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Music however is more powerful. It can play tracks you synced to the watch, it lets you select what you want to play and it has access to content in Apple Music. Since I do not subscribe to Apple Music, I never use the Music app on Apple Watch. I just put it into the Dock settings shown in the first screenshot up there for illustration.

Make sure you only have the Now Playing glance in your dock and you will not be confused. You can control whatever your iPhone is playing or controlling from this glance. What is the dock, you say? It shows up when you press the long button on the Apple Watch.

Your questions about the AirPods

by Volker Weber


You had a couple of questions about AirPods control. Let me try to answer them by talking more about them in general.

Your AirPods are three, not two things. Two earbuds, one case. Think of them as one. When you take the earbuds out of the case, they switch on, put them back, they switch off. There is no on/off switch. When you put them in the case, they charge very quickly. As long as there is juice in the battery of the case, it will fill them up. That is what the metal rings at the tip of the earbud are for. The stem also contains the antennas.

Wireless range is pretty good. I can walk around the room and move to the next room without losing connection. It has to be, because it is actually harder to connect when your body is close and might block the direct line of sight between the AirPods and the iPhone.

AirPods use Bluetooth, and as such they can be paired with any device. Just press and hold the button on the back of the case and they become discoverable. However, they only shine when you stay in the Apple universe. If you're signed in to iCloud, your AirPods are set up automatically with any of your supported devices that are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID. If your iThing is on iOS 10 and your mThing is on macOS Sierra, you can select to connect with the AirPods. That is how you transfer between your iPhone and iPad. Open the Control Center by swiping from the bottom, then go to the second page, and there are your AirPods. That functionality is built into iOS 10 and macOS Sierra.

And no, they will not fall out of your ear. Unlike the EarPods that have a wire which will yank them out. You have to appreciate the design. They just want to stay in and unless you grab one by the tip, it won't come out. Having said that, they are very slippery and might as well be coated with Teflon. That is why they are also not easily removed from the case. It just takes a bit of adjustment until your fingers learn how to best grab them.

That means you will not lose the AirPods when wearing or carrying them in the case. Inbetween however you will drop them. Repeat: you will drop them. Make sure that happens when you can reach them. And also remember that you need the case to switch them off. Don't just put them somewhere. They have to go back into the case. Did I mention you should always keep your AirPods in their carrying case?

And no, you don't need an Apple Watch to control them. You want one. If you don't have an Apple Watch, all the same controls are on the iPhone lock screen. And you can adjust the volume with the iPhone volume buttons without ever looking.

This is your AirPod control

by Volker Weber

IMG 8997

AirPods don't have any physical controls. You can double tap them for calling up Siri. Or you can set this double tap to Play/Pause. One way or the other it looks kind of silly to tap on your ear. But how do you control the volume or skip a track? Simple: use your Apple Watch. The Now Playing glance lets you control the iPhone. And with that your AirPods.

Most of the time, you don't need these controls, because the AirPods are pretty smart. They know when they are in your ear. Take one out, when the flight attendant asks you what you like to drink and the music stops. Put it back in and the music continues. How do they sound? Pretty similar to the wired earbuds, with a bit more heft. Outbound noise cancellation during phone calls works very well, inboud there is none. And since they don't seal your ears, they are pretty useless when you need to isolate yourself from crying babies or office noise. During a flight, you have to crank them up all the way, which isn't good for your ears.


The AirPods will not fall out of your ears and I tried them in ears of all sizes. But you may drop them when you take them out of the case. They are safe inside the case and your ear, but not anywhere inbetween. I suggest you use a very strict protocol of moving them swiftly between those two places. The case is a wonderful example of Apple engineering. Everything snaps in place, the AirPods and the lid are held with very gentle magnets. Your iPhone will tell you how much juice there is in the AirPods and the case. They charge faster than they run down the battery. 15 minutes charging equals 3 hours of playing music.

This is a great product. Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award.


by Volker Weber

Yolocaust is a project by Israeli satirist and author Shahak Shapira that explores our commemorative culture by combining selfies from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin with footage from Nazi extermination camps. The selfies were found on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder and Grinder. Comments, hashtags and "Likes" that were posted with the selfies are also included.

More >

How to make Microsoft Word look like iA Writer

by Volker Weber


Sadly there is no iA Writer for Windows. So I have to fake it.

One of the reasons iA Writer is so good for authoring text is great readability. You are able to see your typos because every character is very distinct. But Nitti, the font that iA Writer uses, also make it very easy to read quickly. It's not as rough as something like Courier. I referred to this five your old post to first find the font, and then a free font that looks remarkably similar.

If you set your document in Cousine 11 on A4, 1.5 line spacing and reduce the contrast by setting the font color to 75% black, you have a similar visual experience to iA Writer. It's not as simple to use but I can live with it.

Zahnseide mit tizi Flachmann aufladen

by Volker Weber


Was ich von Frau Brandlinger gelernt habe

by Volker Weber


Ich bin seit 2014 mit Frau Brandlinger unterwegs und muss mal von meinen vielen Begegnungen mit anderen Menschen und Hunden erzählen. Hunde fördern die Kommunikation. Man kommt mit wildfremden Menschen ins Gespräch und man erlebt viele komische Situationen.

Was Hundehalter wissen und andere Menschen nicht: Alle Hunde sind identisch "programmiert". Sie sprechen absolut die selbe Sprache. Leider verstehen viele Menschen diese Sprache nicht. Und das führt zu Missverständissen. Das wichtigste Missverständnis vorne weg: Menschen mögen es, wenn man ihnen direkt in die Augen schaut und wenn man sie umarmt. Beides empfinden Hunde als Bedrohung. Man sagt, der Hund spürt, wenn Du Angst hast. Das ist zwar richtig, trifft aber nicht den Kern. Wenn Menschen Angst vor einem Hund haben, dann starren Sie ihn an und bedrohen ihn damit. Und wenn der Hund zu lächeln scheint, dann hat er Angst. Wie soll man sich verhalten? Wie ein Baum. Den Hund einfach ignorieren und vorbei schauen. Hunde kommunizieren per Körpersprache und erkennen schon allerkleinste Gesten. Wegschauen ist nicht etwa Feigheit, sondern Respekt.

Wenn ich mit Frau Brandlinger an der Leine laufe, dann schaue ich jeden Menschen an, der mir entgegen kommt. Ich sehe sofort, ob der Mensch sich über den Hund freut und nur dann lasse ich ihr genug Leine, dass sie die Privatspähre betreten darf, die jeder Mensch um sich herum hat. Es hilft, wenn man selbst freundlich guckt. Das muss ich bewusst machen. Wenn ich mich entspanne, dann gucke ich böse.

"Wie der Herr, so's Gescherr" trifft ganz besonders auf Hunde und Hundehalter an. Wenn der Mensch entspannt ist, dann ist es auch das Tier. Die allermeisten Halter kleiner Hunde sind sehr um ihr Tier besorgt und zerren es an der Leine weg, um Begegnungen mit anderen Hunden zu vermeiden. Ich kann sie manchmal dazu überreden, mal loszulassen. Und dann sehen sie ganz verwundert, dass sich ihr aggressiv bellendes Tier plötzlich ganz anders verhält. Gibt man den Hunden ihre Freiheit, dann setzt die Programmierung ein und sie können sich begrüßen.

Der Hund findet Dich. Das gilt im Großen wie im Kleinen. Ich habe Frau Brandlinger nicht gesucht. Es hat sich einfach so ergeben, dass sie am besten zu mir passt. Und wenn ich sie draußen aus den Augen verliere, muss ich nur stehen bleiben. Sie findet mich. Ich kann ihr helfen, in dem ich sie rufe. Aber sie kommt, weil sie will. Nicht weil sie muss. Eine Leine braucht ich nur, weil Eichhörnchen wichtiger als Autos sind.


Trivia: Warum heißt Frau Brandlinger Frau Brandlinger? Weil sie nicht auf diesen Namen hört. Ich kann ihn sprechen, ohne dass sie darauf reagiert. Frau Brandlinger heißt nur in dritter Person Frau Brandlinger .

Billboard: New Sonos CEO Patrick Spence Looking Ahead

by Volker Weber

Billboard: What is Sonos focused on for the new year?

Patrick Spence: Really there's three things: There's voice. There's streaming music and that's just exploding, you see that obviously in the U.S. with streaming revenue overtaking everything else and growing the industry again, which is awesome. And then the third thing is the push around the connected home. Meaning there's a lot more products around the home that will emit sound and we think they should be emitting sounds through Sonos.

More >

Surface Pro 4 :: JustWrite

by Volker Weber


On iOS and Mac I use iA Writer when writing copy. It's just plain text, no formatting whatsoever. On Surface I went back to Word Mobile, which is complete overkill and often distracts me with auto-format, smart quotes, auto-link and similar helpers. I really need something that I can take fullscreen and type away. I just found a program that does exactly that. It does not even have a file menu. You can only have one text and that autosaves. The screenshot above shows JustWrite next to Twitter, which defies the purpose. I justed wanted to show the difference between an app that has some chrome and an entirely bare one.

More >

Surface Pro 4 :: Cold start

by Volker Weber


This is how long my Surface Pro 4 takes from releasing the power button until Windows Hello recognizes me. That's pretty quick isn't it? No Enterprise boat anchor attached, of course.

Mateus Asato :: Don't Dream it's Over

by Volker Weber

Simply beautiful.

[Thanks, Phil]

Windows error at shutdown

by Volker Weber


Everytime I shut down Windows, I get this error message. Should I be concerned or just ignore it?

How to customize your Surface Pen

by Volker Weber


Matthias asked me this morning how he can select which of his two OneNote programs he could launch when pressing the button on his Surface Pen. I told him to use the Surface app, which eventually lead him to the correct panel. This setting has moved from the Surface app into Windows 10 Settings/Devices/Pen & Windows Ink.

Desksurfing #DLD17

by Volker Weber


Live stream at http://dld-conference.com/DLD17/?livestream=1

What I learned from Brad Smith at #DLD17

by Volker Weber

My main takeaways from Brad Smith’s interview at DLD17 in Munich might be a bit different from others. The main headline will be that Smith says that the law has to catch up with digital technologies. What I find more interesting is his explanation how that came to be.

It has been 31 years since the law governing IT, privacy and e-commerce was passed in the United States. So what happened in 1986? A Republican President (Ronald Reagan) and a Democratic Speaker of the House (Tip O’Neill) were able to collaborate to pass these laws. This appears to be something that we have forgotten how to do.

Smith fought the US government and won an appeal on a particular case where a US judge tried to subpoena Microsoft to hand over data from a Dublin data center. Smith cautioned however that somebody might take this to the Supreme Court or change the law in Congress. The question is how do you regulate supranational enterprises? Smith thinks that you need to find like-minded countries to collaborate on mutual treaties and develop from there.

When Kara Swisher asked him about the meeting between the President-elect and leaders of tech companies, he turned the conversation to job creation. Smith said there are two countries with low unemployment and low youth unemployment: Switzerland and Germany. And he motions the US to learn from their example. Smith thinks that education is responsible for this job creation. How young people can find apprenticeships in hundreds of crafts, not only in IT, but also in metal work and such.

So my main takeaways are: collaboration, collaboration and education.

And a new quotation:

Nobody ever died of humility
— Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer

Zweite Woche der New Year Challenge #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber


Letzte Woche haben wir sieben Tage mit drei Ringen gefeiert. Für viele völlig normal, für andere ein Vorsatz für das neue Jahr. Die Scheffin hat keine Apple Uhr, aber ein Misfit Ray und hat ihr tägliches Ziel erreicht.


Das Ray trägt sie seit September und wir haben letzte Woche zum ersten Mal neue Batterien eingelegt, 3x Renata 393. Man muss das Band also nie laden und auch nicht abnehmen, weil es wasserdicht ist. Das Ray hat sich bewährt. Es zeichnet Bewegung und Schlaf auf, es synchronisiert (etwas langsam) mit dem iPhone und es weckt morgens mit leichter Vibration. Die Scheffin hat sämtliche Benachrichtigungen ausgeschaltet, weil sie in ihrer Konzentration nicht unterbrochen werden will. Nur die Erinnerung, sich mal wieder zu bewegen, ist aktiv, schlägt aber nur äußerst selten an.


Heute morgen war es sehr schön draußen. Ein bisschen Schnee, Sonnenschein, nicht zu kalt. Wenn Ihr alle Ringe komplett habt, dann feiern wir wieder, OK? Einfach hier mit Bild antworten.

More >

Marian Hill :: Down

by Volker Weber

Discovered via the new Apple ad. Here on Spotify.

The xx :: I see you

by Volker Weber

I See You, the new album by The xx has been running on heavy rotation via Spotify


by Volker Weber

I refrain from commenting on politics, domestic and foreign. But you have to watch this. All 38 minutes of it. They are free of politics.

I like to say you should aspire to be the person your dog thinks you are. But Barack Obama and Joe Biden go above and beyond. And I have to assume that Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden would simply blow me away.

The lesson you can take away from this is simple: don't talk about yourself.

A new discovery

by Volker Weber


Mathez. A break from the veggies.

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

[Quoted with permission from a Signal chat]

I am not alone with my love for this machine.

Surface Pro 4 is the perfect PC for a student. It covers all use cases. OneNote is very popular as well since you can organize your classes in separate sections and keep adding notes with the pen or the keyboard. Surface Pro 4 also ships with Drawboard PDF, a more advanced solution for annotating PDFs. You can do it all in one device and don't have to switch between a touch tablet and a keyboard notebook. 2-in-1.

Gar nicht so einfach

by Volker Weber


Frau Brandlinger braucht ein Bett. Die perfekte Ecke im Haus hat sie, aber an der Matratze haben wir ein bisschen gearbeitet. Die erste war super, aber leider hat sie die Nähte schnell durchgescheuert. Das ließ sich zwar reparieren, aber das war auf die Dauer lästig. Die zweite Matratze war zwar superweich, aber doch ein bisschen dünn. Und die dritte hat sie doch sehr irritiert, weil sie zwar dick, aber nicht so weich war. Und auch noch raschelte, wenn sich Frau Brandlinger im Kreis drehte. Nun liegt die zweite auf der dritten und Frau Brandlinger hat eine Luxuskonstruktion. Sie grunzt und räkelt sich ausgiebig. Problem gelöst.

Wer sich mal die Augen verderben will, schaut mal auf Amazon nach Hundebett.

BlackBerry does not deliver

by Volker Weber

BlackBerry continues to baffle me with their inability to execute. Ten days ago they released the January Android updates for the DTEK60 and PRIV, one day ahead of time. Like many others I have yet to receive the PRIV update. Let's break it down.

  1. Google shares Android patches with their OEMs in December. Developers integrate those patches into their products. The software gets tested and approved. At the beginning of January, BlackBerry releases their updates and Google publishes the list of vulnerabilities.
  2. BlackBerry starts delivering the updates, using a process that delays these updates for days and weeks. Nobody ever explains the process in a clear and understandable fashion. When you ask BlackBerry what is going on, you are told that the updates are rolling out and that users will be receiving them soon.

And then there is the DTEK50 where engineering is roughly a month behind schedule. This will eventually get fixed and DTEK50 will catch up.

BlackBerry is able to build the update in a timely fashion for DTEK60 and PRIV, but they are unable to execute the delivery time and again, month for month. The issue here is misguided expectations. You cannot claim to build the most secure Android smartphone with timely delivery of security fixes as a primary feature, and then not deliver on that promise.

Please report your BlackBerry Android security updates here >

Moxie Marlinspike: There is no WhatsApp 'backdoor'

by Volker Weber

We believe that it is important to honestly and accurately evaluate the choices that organizations like WhatsApp or Facebook make. There are many things to criticize Facebook for; running a product that deployed end-to-end encryption by default for over a billion people is not one of them.

We believe that WhatsApp remains a great choice for users concerned with the privacy of their message content.

Moxie calls out The Guardian for their reporting. This developing story also demonstrates something that irritates me in the security scene. There are those like Moxie who create secure systems. And then there are those who create strange edge cases to demonstrate their prowess and make sweeping allegations from there.

The issue with Facebook/Whatsapp is not that they snoop in on your conversation. They can do that in your Facebook posts, likes, and such. The real issue is that they mine your social connections to deliver their advertisement product. But you cannot take offense here when you are using customer loyalty programs at the same time.

It is great that the Guardian thinks privacy is something their readers should be concerned about. However, running a story like this without taking the time to carefully evaluate claims of a "backdoor" will ultimately only hurt their readers. It has the potential to drive them away from a well engineered and carefully considered system to much more dangerous products that make truly false claims.

Signal is not one of those dangerous products. It's the original implementation of the secure protocol.

FAZ: Deutsche Bank verbietet Textnachrichten vom Smartphone

by Volker Weber

Mitarbeiter der Deutschen Bank dürfen von den Smartphones ihres Unternehmens künftig keine Texte mehr schreiben oder Whatsapp-Nachrichten empfangen. Auch die Nutzung des privaten Handy soll eingeschränkt werden.

Das klingt zunächst mal komisch. Dabei ist das leicht zu verstehen. SMS und WhatsApp kann man als Unternehmen nicht so einfach überwachen. Also nicht etwa aus Datenschutzgründen, was der Laie vermuten würde, sondern dem exakten Gegenteil.

Das ist jetzt nicht etwa ein Problem dieses Unternehmens. Das liest sich nur so schön in der Schlagzeile. Siehste, die Deutsche Bank wieder. Nein, das ist jetzt die ganz große Nummer. Jede Reinigungskraft kriegt gefühlt alle zwei Tage eine Compliance-Schulung reingedrückt. Seht Ihr, wir tun was!

Das Problem liegt natürlich woanders. Wenn Du die Mitarbeiter zwingst, zu betrügen (VW), oder sie dafür belohnst, dann machen die das. Und zwar nicht die Reinigungskräfte, sondern die, bei denen das mal ein paar Millionen mehr oder weniger am Jahresende ausmacht. In solchen Unternehmen sitzen nicht 100.000 Betrüger, sondern nur ein paar.

Und warum belohnt man Mitarbeiter, zu betrügen? Shareholder Value. Nur der Gewinn zählt. Und der Aktienkurs. Bei der Deutschen ging das à la longue ziemlich schief. Und es hilft rein gar nichts, den 100.000 die Textnachrichten vom Smartphone zu verbieten.

More >

The Guardian: WhatsApp backdoor allows snooping on encrypted messages

by Volker Weber

WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption relies on the generation of unique security keys, using the acclaimed Signal protocol, developed by Open Whisper Systems, that are traded and verified between users to guarantee communications are secure and cannot be intercepted by a middleman. However, WhatsApp has the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users, unbeknown to the sender and recipient of the messages, and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered.

I see this as a potential threat, but not an imminent one. Solution: install Signal.

More >

Update: Statements from WhatsApp (via respected dpa journalist @CDernbach and UC Berkeley researcher Tobias Boelter. Plus a video with Tobias' talk.

[Danke, Stephan]

Signal to Noise

by Volker Weber

Management summary: please install Signal.

I recently had some intelligent conversations in Signal and in one of them I explained that I do not consider my email as confidential, but I do with chat. Email is a store and forward system and while it may be encrypted in transit it is not encrypted at rest. And I cannot be bothered with PGP. While I do not disclose secrets on purpose, I also cannot protect them. Email gets replied to and forwarded and such things. You would not believe the amount of confidential information I gathered by just scrolling down.

Chat = confidential, email not so much.

For chat to stay confidential it has to be encrypted. In transit and at rest. Signal does that for me. Since the last time I asked, my contact list has grown by 100 people. And that is only the people I know of. My phone number is public. Add me to your address book and you can reach me on Signal.

If you want me to be able to reach out to you, or to even recognize you when you contact me, I need your phone number. The best way to tell me your phone number is by emailing me your vcard. What does a good vcard look like? Here is an example. It's just a text file with the extension .vcf.

FN:Volker Weber

My real vcard has more entries, but that is all I need from you. Name, email, phone number. If you cannot be bothered to write a vcard file, that is not a problem. Just send me an email with only your phone number as text.

Want to read more about Signal? This is currently the top story on The Verge.

I will make it easy for you: please install Signal, even if you don't know anybody else who uses it. They will come.

Aus Freude am Laden

by Volker Weber


Man muss wohl in der Nähe von BMW wohnen, um auf diesen Spruch zu kommen. Tizi schickt einen neuen 3-fach USB-Lader für's Auto. Weniger Plastik, mehr Alu, und vor allem kürzer als der "TURBO4xMEGA" ist der "TURBO3xBLACK". Damit passt er nun auch wieder unter die Klappe, hoffe ich. Wie man sieht, ist der Massepol etwas dicker und laut tizi gibt's neue Stoßdämpfer - ja echt! Ich habe das rechte Fahrzeug, das auch auszuprobieren.


Meine VIP-Mitgliedschaft im exklusiven tizi Club ist auch auf Jahre gesichert. Aber ich löse die nicht ein, sondern spare sie. Die sind bestimmt mal viel wert. Nein, im Ernst: Ich mag diese Ladegeräte von tizi und setze sie überall ein. Und wer jetzt glaubt, dass bei 4 USB-Ports aber wirklich Schluss ist, der hat sich getäuscht.

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter :: First impressions

by Volker Weber


How do you get your Windows screen onto the big screen, whether it's a TV or a projector? The obvious choice is an HDMI cable. If you can't plug that in, you may need an adapter. Surface would require a DisplayPort to HDMI dongle, which happens to be the same adapter I would need with my MacBook Pro. However, I only use this solution when I need to run a presentation from my own machine. I don't carry a long HDMI cable nor the adapter at all times. And I don't want to run a cable to my living room TV.

If you are a Mac or iOS user, the obvious wireless choice would be to use an Apple TV. Use Airplay with screen mirroring to the Apple TV and you are done. But that requires a working network that connects both your device and the Apple TV, over Wifi or Ethernet. Your device and Apple TV don't talk directly to each other over Wifi. I was mistaken here. Your device and your Apple TV talk to each other by using peer-to-peer Wifi. (Thank you, Peter, for the correction)


The Windows technology to mirror a display is called Miracast. I have had several such devices in the past. Some worked well (Netgear Push2TV), some not so well (Nokia HD-10). Both share the same problem with Apple TV. You need cables, one for power, one for HDMI out.


And that is the genius of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. It is the cable. If you get this thing you need to work from a checklist when leaving the venue. Otherwise you are going to leave it behind often. because it hides so well. And yes, the adapter is all you need. It provides connectivity to your Windows machine. And no, you are not losing Intenet connectivity. It's just another network interface.


Not everything is going as smooth as it should. There is a Windows 10 companion app that fails to see the connected display adapter. It is connected and at the same time it isn't. I think I need to fight with Windows for a bit before it gives up.


[Update:] And ... resolved. I needed to nail the Wifi Band to 2.4 GHz, because otherwise it would not see connected adapter. Well, I do not want to see this code.

Why I am using Microsoft Surface

by Volker Weber


Surface has a sense of elegance to it. It is almost completely free of any decoration, with the exception of the Windows logo on the kickstand and the Microsoft word mark on the back of the type cover. Both of those are subdued and don't draw too much attention. Apple has gone down that same path with dropping the backlight from the newer MacBooks. It no longer screams "look here, I am an Apple". The Alcantara clad Signature Type Cover completes this elegant design.


Martin asked me the other day whether I stopped using my MacBook Pro and my iPad Pro. Not entirely — there are some things I can do faster on the MacBook than on Surface, but that is mostly due to the fact that I own more Mac software than Windows software. For the most part I have been relying on Surface for the last couple of weeks. It combines two use cases into one machine: the leaning forward mode of sitting at a desk, typing into the notebook or drawing on the flat tablet, just slightly raised with the kickstand folded backwards all the way, and the leaning back mode of reading and watching video. When leaning forward I use the keyboard and trackpad, sometimes augmented by touching things on the screen. Leaning back I am only using touch, typing the odd login with the on screen keyboard.

I am running Windows 10 in tablet mode at all times with the exception of managing files, which I hardly ever do. So even in notebook mode, all Windows are full screen and don't show window borders. I prefer the lightweight Word Mobile over the Office 16 version, mostly because I am only typing plain text anyway. I am using Edge as my browser in the same way that I am using Safari on the Mac. As a tablet, Surface is way heavier than an iPad Pro, but it is also larger and more capable. On the iPad I would often have to go through hoops just to qickly move a file which is very natural on Windows. I can also do more things with the Surface Pen than I can do with Apple Pencil. The ability to quickly grab something off the screen and annotate it is very valuable to me.

Windows 10 is this odd mixture of old and new. The legacy software is what I am struggling with. If it were for me, I would be perfectly happy with Windows RT. Simpler, no clutter, again: elegant. I am staying mostly on the UWP side of things. Universal Windows Platform, apps which could potentially adjust to any size of device from phone to wall mount monster. I have some favorites like NextGen Reader UWP for instance or the Windows version of Instagram which displays photos larger than a phone. On the iPad in contrast, you would be looking at a scaled up iPhone app.


I am not giving up on Apple. Not on Mac nor on iPad. Using both the MacBook and Surface at the same time has its challenges, keyboard shortcuts for instance. I often touch things on the Mac screen wondering why they don't react. And I struggle with Windows once in a while. But I am persistent. When Windows strikes me down, I get up and continue the fight. And I will win. Microsoft is on to something with Surface and Windows 10. I want to be a part of it.

More >

Impressive performance by @SlackHQ

by Volker Weber


Yesterday I installed the Slack application from the Windows Store and it wasn't working for me. So I tweeted about it and received a reply from the mothership in a matter of minutes. About half an hour later the issue was resolved. Color me impressed.

I am getting better at this #WaaH

by Volker Weber


Windows Update was stuck at 95 percent. But I am getting better at this. This time it only took two hours to solve. Next time I will be down to 30 minutes. #WaaH #WindowsAsAHobby

Note to self about what happened:

  1. Automatic installation fails and is stuck at 95%.
  2. Download update and try manual install. Also fails.
  3. Reboot, net stop wuauserv, delete everything from c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  4. DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  5. Sfc /ScanNow
  6. Reboot, manual install from download in step 2 succeeds.
  7. Reboot, automatic install launches and finds the update complete.

Patrick Spence is the new Sonos CEO

by Volker Weber


As the founder and CEO of Sonos, I am always trying to find leaders who are capable of taking Sonos to the next level. Part of that means assessing my own role. With Sonos now poised for a new phase of growth, I am excited to pass the role of Chief Executive Officer to a well-prepared Patrick Spence. Patrick demonstrated his leadership most recently with Sonos’ success during the holiday period, but more importantly, there isn’t a person who better embodies Sonos’ values and culture.

I met Patrick a year ago in Santa Barbara, and he is a great person. Sonos is in good hands and actually has already been for a while. But now it's official.

While I was visiting Sonos I shot a lot of photos. And I gave a few of them to Sonos as a small token of appreciation. The header shot of the blog post is one of them. It shows life at Sonos. Patrick and John, at a long table with others. The CEO does not have an office. He is playing in the same band as everybody else.

More >

MediathekView im Web

by Volker Weber


MediathekView kennt wohl jeder, der unterwegs Videos schauen will, wenn er nicht direkt streamen kann oder will. Und jetzt gibt es das auch ohne Installation eines Programms. Sehr cool.

More >

[Danke, Alex]

Samsung Gear S3 #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber

#dontbreakthechain @vowe #samsunggear

A photo posted by Christopher Schmidt (@chris87de) on

Das gleiche Prinzip. Jeden Tag gewinnen. #dontbreakthechain

Detlev ist mein Held

by Volker Weber

ZZ1DB7934B ZZ487B56B6

Detlev Pöttgen läuft etwa drei Wochen vor mir und ich kann ihn nicht einholen.

udoq Kabelführung mit tizi Tankstelle

by Volker Weber


Felix hat vor ein paar Tagen gefragt, wie man die Kabel aus dem udoq führen kann. Es gibt vier Möglichkeiten und da ich heute ein udoq 400 auf den Originalzustand zurückgebaut habe, ein paar Bilder, wie man das lösen kann.


Ich führe alle vier Kabel seitlich aus dem Dock und lege den Überschuss in Schleifen. Mit zwei weißen Klettbändern lässt sich das gut befestigen. Mit einer großen Büroklammer halte ich die Schleife unter dem Tisch fest. Ich hätte sie auch um die Tischsteckdose (allocacoc PowerCube) legen können.


Die gleiche Kabelausführung gibt es natürlich auch rechts, dazu mittig hinter dem Dock eine nach oben und eine nach unten.

Und ja, heute ist Vintage Day. ;-)

Whitelist vowe.net, maybe?

by Volker Weber


Ghostery is a wonderful browser extension, but it does break things. If you run it, consider whitelisting vowe.net. I try to not track people as good as I can. I even use the no-cookie YouTube site. But if you run Ghostery full-on you will not see the impressive list of Twitter photos here. Whitelisting vowe.net solves that issue.

iPhones auf dem Bärenfell

by Volker Weber


Alles Gute zum zehnten Geburtstag.

Links in Kommentaren

by Volker Weber


Ich habe versuchsweise mal die Autolinks eingeschaltet. Wenn man etwa http://vowe.net schreibt dann macht das CMS daraus http://vowe.net. Das ging aber leider nicht mit https:. Stefan hat zwei Zeichen im Quellcode geändert und nun geht auch https://vowe.net.

Versuchsweise, weil dieses Feature in der Vergangenheit üble Spammer angelockt hat. Sobald sie wieder auftauchen, schalte ich das wieder ab.

Ring in the New Year Challenge #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber



While you were sleeping we took out the dog for a two hour walk. I have completed Exercise for this week, almost completed Move and need to wait for Stand to complete. Ute is using a Misfit Ray and has already reached her goal.

When you completed all three rings for every day of this week, you will get an alert on your Apple Watch. Take a photo. I will publish it below. And if you did complete all three rings for a full week, there is no good reason why you shouldn't do it again next week. And the week after that. You just jumpstarted a new habit. #dontbreakthechain


Do not miss the list below the fold:

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Samsung releases iOS app for Gear S2 and S3

by Volker Weber


The Gear S app comes out of beta and is now available in the App Store. This makes the Gear S3 an even stronger recommendation. You can keep your watch when you switch devices between iOS and Android, either way.

I have not personally tested the app since I returned the Gear S3 to Samsung last week.

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Suche Kamera-Empfehlung

by Volker Weber

A photo posted by @karlasabineweber on

Ich kenne mich mit Kameras nicht aus und kann Sabine deshalb nicht raten, was man am besten kauft. Diese Bilder sind überwiegend mit einer Lumix LX-5 geschossen, die Videos und wenige Bilder mit einem iPhone. Die Ergebnisse sind ziemlich gut, wie ich finde. Aber es gibt zwei Limits:

  1. Die LX-5 ist zu langsam und zu kurz, um Vögel zu fotografieren. Die sind zu weit weg und bewegen sich zu schnell.
  2. Die Auflösung der Bilder reicht nur für Abzüge bis etwa DIN A4.

Also neue Kamera. Nebenbedingungen: kleines Budget, wenn möglich Bildstabilisierung. Meine Idee wäre eine Bridge-Kamera mit 1"-Sensor wie Lumix FZ1000 (700 €), Sony RX10 (750 € Mk I) oder Canon PowerShot G3 X (700 €). Die RX10 Mk II und RX10 Mk III scheinen mir zu teuer.

Habt Ihr eine bessere Idee? Oder will jemand gar seine tolle Kamera verkaufen, weil er sich zu Weihnachten noch was besseres gekauft hat?

Schaut Euch in jedem Fall die Bilder an. Und folgt Sabine. :-)

From my inbox

by Volker Weber

IMG 8857

First time this has happened. I got the same item twice. One as a present from Jan and a second one paid for by myself. Thank you, Jan.

I did not think this could happen, but obviously there is a race condition. If you put something in your cart it's not immediately removed from the wish list, but only when you check out. Not a problem though. I have two bikes and the bell is really loud. Recommended.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 :: Hello. I think I am in love.

by Volker Weber


I had a bit of a rough first date. But after setting the machine up exactly like I want it -- Simplified English (US) with German locale and German as an input language -- we have been coming along nicely. The thing that delights me the most is Windows Hello. This IR camera is better than a keyboard bound fingerprint reader. I use this machine as a tablet a lot.


The keyboard and the trackpad are way better than what I was used to before. So I wrote all of my articles this week on the Surface and in Word Mobile, storing them on OneDrive shared with my editor. That is a perfect fit for me.


No network issues at all. The machine always connected to Wifi immediately and for some large multi-GB transfers I hooked it up to my Gigabit ethernet. With a USB-A port I could reuse a dongle I already had.


My Apple VGA and Belkin HDMI adapter have been collecting dust for a while and I have not tested them yet but I am pretty sure they will work with the DisplayPort.


Connectivity has been great. This is the PhotoFast Memory Cable which lets you charge the iPhone and also transfer files from both ends into memory that is built into the USB-A plug. This is how you quickly transfer a video from Surface to the iPhone or back.


You can achieve the same quick transfers via the built-in MicroSD port that is hiding behind the kickstand. If your camera does not support MicroSD you may want to use the SD/MicroSD adapter that comes with your MicroSD card.


The kickstand folds almost all the way back, unlike the Surface 3 which has three distinct angles that don't go as flat as this kickstand. Great for drawing on a desk.


Surface Pen comes with the machine and is no longer an extra. During Windows setup it is paired with Surface and it has been a great user experience so far. You can attach it to the left side of Surface but I would not put it away in a bag this way or carry the device around outside of my office or home. It's just too easy to brush it off the side and then lose it.


My biggest concern with the i7 (or i5) model was fan noise. And I am happy to report there isn't any. At least not when I am using it. If you render video the fan will come on. I have heard it during large ftp transfers, but it has not bothered me. It's a really quiet fan.

Thumbs up. This machine will get a lot of use and abuse. Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. I am sure Microsoft will eventually go to USB Type C, but for now this is my preferred setup.

Classic Mac charging dock for Apple Watch

by Volker Weber


Elago W3. Cannot find a source in Germany so far. Alternative: Who can print this (in white)?

[Update:] Anton Seissl has found the EU Store.

[Update:] Thorse Bosk has found it in Germany. 20 € incl. shipping.

Weiß: https://www.arktis.de/elago-w3-night-stand-weiss/
Schwarz: https://www.arktis.de/elago-w3-night-stand-schwarz/

Big AWS endorsement from IBM

by Volker Weber


Watson Workspace is an important new initiative for IBM. Given that the company has their own large cloud operation, this looks like a major endorsement for Amazon Web Services.


IBM Connect 2017

by Volker Weber


In 2014 we were all convinced that this would be the last Connect nee Lotusphere. There were some tearful goodbyes from people who didn't know wether they would meet again. But then IBM announced another conference, on a much smaller scale, held almost entirely in the Swan. So in 2015 many of us convened again, and while the exhibition space was too crammed, the sense of community was actually up from 2014. 2015 was the year I took a ton of photos all over the Swan & Dolphin area. IBM had fulfilled their contract and again, we were sure this would be the end of it. And in a way it was. It was the only show I ever got on the stage. Try to find me in the picture above.

IBM wasn't going to give up. In 2016 the conference moved to the Hilton next to the Orange County Convention Center. No balconies, no windows to open, just a big box. I hated the place when I arrived. But then, within a few hours everything changed. Q (you know who you are) made me feel at home by preparing my room with some cold beverages, many familiar people arrived and the event was off to a good start. The next day I had a strange briefing with the GM who basically told me everything he was going to announce the next day, avoiding any questions.

On Monday the show kicked in full gear and by Wednesday, a day shorter than previous conferences, I thought that was both a good conference and great location. The hotel complex had felt cold when getting there, but during the conference it created a good atmosphere with the open courtyard in between sessions and the pool area in the late afternoon or evening. Was this the last one? We didn't know. In the last hours of the conference the news broke that Inhi Cho Suh was to replace Jeff Schick as the GM.

Inhi made the decision that the conference needed a fresh start. It was going to leave Orlando behind and move to the West Coast. Connect 2017 will be held in the Moscone Center in San Francisco to celebrate the new. It will showcase IBM partnering with other big players. This is not a hotel complex with a convention center. It's a whole city. That is bound to change the atmosphere completely. IBM needs to prove they are still relevant in the collaboration space. And this time, there is news. Verse on Premises shipped. Watson Workspace will hopefully reveal itself. And then there is Project Pink. Who knows, maybe something about app modernisation on Domino?

How about you? Are you excited? Are you going to follow Inhi to San Francisco? IBM apparently shoots for 4000 attendees. Six weeks to go.

TCL teases the next keyboard BlackBerry

by Volker Weber

That is a nice video, but there are a few things I don't like. The keys are not sculpted, the keyboard is tiny, and the edges of the phone don't match. Rounded at the bottom, but cut off at the top. On the plus side, it is taking some design cues from the "silver" Passport and the back is grippy again. The space bar doubles as a finger print reader and the whole keyboard once again is a touchpad.

Now TCL needs to find a common design language for their BlackBerry devices.

Let the next Android security update cycle begin

by Volker Weber


BlackBerry has made their next security update available a day early. My DTEK60 is updating as we speak. I now have three different levels:

  1. DTEK60 BBA100-2 is on 5 Jan 2017 Build AAI470 Kernel 3.18.20
  2. PRIV STV100-4 is on 5 Dec 2016 Build AAH995 Kernel 3.10.84
  3. DTEK50 STH100-2 is on 6 Nov 2016 Build AAH990 Kernet 3.10.84

I have one report of the PRIV STV100-4 on 5 Jan 2017 Build AAI459.

Please report your updates as they occur. The results are public.

[Thanks, Christian]

[Update 6 Jan 2017:] DTEK50 is now receiving the 05 Dec 2016 update. Build AAI482 Kernel 3.10.84. This appears to be the latest build and BlackBerry is still a month behind with Android security patches on DTEK50. This is a not a distribution issue.

Let's Encrypt

by Volker Weber


As part of the move, vowe.net also goes https. All web traffic should be encrypted.

The plumbing is already perfect, but there were kinks in the code. Mostly in the code that I have written a long time ago. Let me know if you see things that are broken.


vowe dot net has moved

by Volker Weber

If you read this, you are on the new site at

Thanks to Stefan for making the switch to charset=utf-8 and to Mischa for hosting my site in the past.

Schaltbare Außensteckdose FRITZ!DECT 210

by Volker Weber


Ich zitiere mal direkt die Pressemitteilung. Diese Steckdose war für AVM eine schwere Geburt. Zum ersten Mal habe ich ein Modell August/September 2015 gesehen und dann einen fertigen Prototyp ein Jahr später. Aber jetzt ist sie da. Man beachte, dass der Spritzwasserschutz besteht, wenn kein Kabel eingesteckt ist und auch wenn ein für den Außenbereich geeignetes Kabel die Steckverbindung abdichtet.

Mit FRITZ!DECT 210 bietet AVM nun eine Outdoor-Variante der beliebten intelligenten Steckdose FRITZ!DECT 200 an. Dank Spritzwasserschutz (IP44) und einem erweiterten Temperaturbereich von -20°C bis +40° ist FRITZ!DECT 210 äußerst robust und speziell für den Einsatz im Freien geeignet. So lässt sich neben dem Einsatz im Haus auch im Garten die Stromzufuhr angeschlossener Geräte wie Springbrunnen, Rasensprenger oder Außenbeleuchtung intelligent mit einer FRITZ!Box steuern. Die smarte Steckdose misst zudem den Energieverbrauch, zeichnet diesen auf und hilft so beim Kostensparen. FRITZ!DECT 210 beherrscht das zweipolige-Schalten: anders als üblich schaltet FRITZ!DECT 210 beide Leitungen der 230-V-Verbindung ab und macht den Einsatz somit besonders sicher. FRITZ!DECT 210 verwendet die weitverbreitete und störungsfreie DECT-ULE-Technologie. In Verbindung mit einer DECT-fähigen FRITZ!Box lässt sich FRITZ!DECT 210 beispielsweise über einen PC, ein Tablet oder auch über angeschlossene DECT-Telefone und Smartphones steuern. Eine zusätzliche Zentrale wie bei anderen Smart-Home-Lösungen ist nicht notwendig

Unbedingt auch den Rest der Pressemitteilung lesen:

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Nicht meins und doch meins

by Volker Weber

ZZ310B835D ZZ67359822

Ich habe gestern mal rumgefragt, wie es denn so läuft im neuen Jahr und zwei schöne Rückmeldungen bekommen. Danke, Alper und Jan. Ich liebe es, wenn ein Plan aufgeht.

The totally inofficial guide to Verse on Premises

by Volker Weber

Stephan Wissel:

Verse on premises was a long (out)standing promise to the IBM customer base. Not everybody is ready to embrace the cloud, but interested in the new way to work. In SmartCloud Notes, the backend for Verse in the Cloud, all search is powered by Apache SOLR. If Verse got delivered as is, that would have required substantial hardware and skill investments for the on-premises customers.

So I made a bet with Michael Alexander, whom I worked with on TPTSNBN, that we could use standard Domino capabilities, not requiring Solr. Based on prototypes with vert.x and Java8 we gained confidence and got the go ahead to build the search component as OSGi plug-in (in Java6). So the search part (not the UI or other functionality) is on me.

Grab your pocket protector and read on.

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Lenovo Clones

by Volker Weber

Photo Lenovo

This is surprising. Lenovo clones the Amazon Echo and offers their own Assistant, powered by the same Alexa software. I think it looks much nicer, and there is a basic model and one with a better speaker.

Photo Lenovo

They will also offer the Miix 720, a newer version of their Surface clone, with an improved pen. And then Lenovo will clone their own products and offer better versions of their Thinkpad X1 line, not surprisingly. Those are already the best laptops available but will now get the latest Intel CPUs, edge-to-edge displays, precision trackpads and Thunderbolt/USB Type C ports, without ditching the USB A port.

Photo Lenovo

And quite revolutionary, Lenovo also offers a silver version of their ThinkPad X1 line:

Photo Lenovo

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: Return to sender

by Volker Weber


Both the Gear S3 and S2 are on their way back to Samsung. No editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. But a simple recommendation:

If you have an iPhone, get an Apple Watch. If you don't have an iPhone, get the Gear S3. It's really good. And don't bother with the S2. The S3 is much better. More battery, more memory, better hardware. And a final plus: standard 22mm bands. Customize with any 3rd party watch band.

None of the Android Wear watches can hold a candle to the Gear S3. Terrible UX and terrible battery life. On top of that I find them ugly. And they are failing. Moto is getting out of the market.


Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: First impressions
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: Tizen & Software
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: Fitness Tracking mit S Health
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: Dinge, die beinahe funktionieren
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: Auto Workout
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: The Verdict
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier :: Spotify arrives

Altert besser als gedacht

by Volker Weber


Manchmal muss man einfach ein bisschen Geduld haben. Am Anfang gefiel mir diese Lederhülle nicht so gut, weil sie sehr schnell am Rand schmutzig wurde. Jetzt ist der Rest auch nachgedunkelt, und ich finde sie wieder viel besser. Geheimrezept: jeden Tag einmal mit Nivea eincremen.

Dieses iPhone ist übrigens mein Lieblingsgerät. Ich würde es gegen nichts tauschen.

Planet Earth II :: Jetzt im ZDF

by Volker Weber

Die sensationelle sechsteilige Doku-Reihe 'Planet Earth II' der BBC wird jetzt vom ZDF als 'Eine Erde - viele Welten' ausgestrahlt.

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[Danke, Oliver]

Make it count

by Volker Weber


If you work out, then this post is not for you. Move on. But if you don't, listen up.

This is a trick you can play on yourself. You don't need to spend any money. Actually, money won't help you at all. Yes, you can buy a gym membership like everybody else does in January. And then feel the guilt that you are paying for something that you really should be using, but today, right now, you are too busy, tired, ... You know what I am talking about, right?

Here is the trick. Decide on something you want to do for yourself. And then, when you did it, cross if off on your calendar. Once you got one row of crosses, it becomes addictive. If you have ten, you have formed a habit. Do not cheat, otherwise the calendar becomes worthless. Do your thing, and then cross it off. Day by day. The mind trick is that you don't want to see a gap in your calendar. Once you crossed off a few days, you want to cross off today as well.


If you have an Apple Watch, start tomorrow. Close all three rings in a day. Do it for seven days and you get a special award. And when you succeeded, then do it again. If you didn't succeed, keep trying until you do. And then do it again. And again. I have now done it 84 times. I spare you the calculator: it's 588 days.

It's that easy. Don't break the chain.

Surface Pro 4 :: Sie pustet nicht

by Volker Weber


Das Neue ist ab. Jetzt bewährt sich Surface Pro 4 im Alltag. Letzte Woche habe ich sie einmal platt gemacht, weil sie partout nicht ins WLAN wollte. Alles sah richtig aus, aber dennoch meinte sie konsequent: kein Internet. Da meine Daten nicht auf dem Rechner wohnen, habe ich ihr kurzerhand den Scheitel gezogen. Ich habe damit eine gewisse Routine. Das geht schneller als den Fehler zu finden.

Nachdem mich einige Leute gefragt haben, warum ich mich damit rumschlage: Weil ich will. Microsoft macht gerade so ziemlich alles richtig. Und ich will nicht aus Bequemlichkeit dagegen wetten. Die Surface-Hardware ist schlicht genial, Windows 10 ist eine Dauerbaustelle. Unter jedem Deckel findet man alte Rohre und Ventile. Diese Komplexität ist schwierig zu bewältigen.

Die Alternativen zu Windows 10 sind dabei nicht unbedingt überzeugende Entwürfe für die Zukunft. Apple kriegt macOS und iOS nicht unter einen Hut, und versucht es auch gar nicht erst. macOS kann kein Touch, iOS kann nur schlecht multitasken. Es ist einfacher, manchmal auch zu einfach. Das bei iOS erfolgreiche Appstore-Konzept funktioniert bisher weder bei macOS noch bei Windows 10.

macOS und iOS sind mir vertrauter als Windows, auch wenn ich das schon viel länger kenne. Und damit sich das besser ausgleicht, bin ich jetzt viel mit Surface unterwegs. Und das heißt eben auch: nur ein Gerät. Es kombiniert die Fähigkeiten von iPad Pro und MacBook Pro.

Meine Sorge, dass mich Surface Pro mit dem Lüfter nervt, waren unbegründet. Wenn sie doch mal pustet, dann stimmt was nicht. Unter normalen Bedingungen kommt sie mit Ruhepuls aus, so kräftig ist das Herz.

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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