May 2017

KEYone is the best BlackBerry since the Passport

by Volker Weber


Passport was not the success that BlackBerry had hoped for. But I was obsessed with it. Very solid hardware, a huge screen, fast at everything but Android. Classic, the next BlackBerry, was equally solid but it was just retro with not enough screen resolution.

PRIV was an outstanding device but it did not feel like a BlackBerry. Its hardware keyboard wasn't much better than the soft keyboard. I like DTEK50 for its no-nonsense utility. DTEK60 didn't click with me. BlackBerrys should not have a delicate glass back.

Ebter the KEYone: It feels like a proper BlackBerry much like the Passport. It's different, in a good way. Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. This is now my backup for the iPhone 7 Plus.

Another month #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber

8fb5309a37599fa019f38338e1ab25bc 3a70a4da5f28077ab34f2d312d535f54

More >

A look inside #DNUG44

by Volker Weber


by Volker Weber


Whenever somebody shows up, who has never commented before, then suddently becomes very active and has left no other traces on the Internet, my bullshit detector goes off the scale.

Astroturfing is a career limiting move. Never attempt when your mark owns the platform.

Aus Timetoact XCC wird IBM Connections Engagement Center

by Volker Weber

Armonk/Ehningen - 31. Mai 2017: IBM übernimmt XCC - Web Content & Custom Apps Extension for IBM Connections der deutschen TIMETOACT GROUP. Das Produkt wird als Teil der IBM Connections Cloud Plattform weltweit als IBM Connections Engagement Center verfügbar sein. Dieses neue Angebot bietet Unternehmen jeder Größe ein Social Intranet für die interne Unternehmenskommunikation aller Mitarbeiter inklusive dem Teilen von Neuigkeiten, integrierter Applikationen sowie Peer-to-Peer Collaboration.

Das IBM Connections Engagement Center wird voraussichtlich im dritten Quartal 2017 verfügbar sein.

Glückwunsch an die Beteiligten zum erfolgreichen Vertragsabschluss.

More >

When the US forces you to check your notebook

by Volker Weber

1996 Toshiba commercial

Microsoft macht gerade viel richtig

by Volker Weber


In der Ära Ballmer haben sich viele Leute angewöhnt, alles, was Microsoft unternahm, schlecht zu finden. Seit Nadella das Unternehmen führt, läuft es wieder rund. Das kann man an vielen Stellen sehen, am deutlichsten aber an der Kursentwicklung. Ich denke, da ist noch mehr Potential.

I was overly enthusiastic about Sonos :: My mistake

by Volker Weber

DSC 7768

Last week I was overly enthusiastic about the prospect of bringing new life into my special relationship with Sonos. I should not have posted that. It's a different company now.

In other news: a Playbar that only displays a solid white light when turned on. Does not respond to factory reset, does not appear in the controller. Who has seen that?

Update: Sonos resolved the Playbar issue like a champ. Maybe they can also fix my other issue.


Huawei P10 :: An update

by Volker Weber


There is a Chinese curse that says 'may you live in interesting times', or so I have been told. I would not know since I don't speak the language. The P10 is the exact opposite. It's boring, in a good way. The matte black one which I have is completely non-descriptive. No branding on the front, a very subdued Huawei logo on the back and a LEICA branding in the corner. Safe for that logo, nobody would know what you are using. It might as well be some entry level phone.

Isn't that insanely great?

You have a screaming fast processor, plenty of storage (64 GB + microSD), a great camera, the perfect button layout (volume + on/off on the right), fast charging over USB-C, the fastest finger print reader I have seen, excellent build quality, and nobody knows. Nobody. It's thin and light, no camera bump, so-so battery performance, and did I mention it tops off in minutes not hours?

If it weren't for the Android upgrade situation I would hands down recommend it. We are currently looking at 7.0 with March security patch. If they do an update every three months, we should see one next month. I will keep you posted.

And that LEICA branding? The dual lens camera shoots great photos without much effort. One lens is color, the other higher res black/white. I don't see an improvement over the iPhone 7 plus or the Galaxy S8. But it sure shoots very beautiful monochrome photos. That's where you feel the most LEICAish. I would say it does not really matter. All photos turn out great. The difference between the top smartphone cameras is miniscule.

A 64 GB iPhone 7 does not exist. Since it's not expandable, a 128 GB model sets you back 869 € or less. A Galaxy S8 sells for 719 €, a Huawei P10 is available for as little as 500 €.

There you have it. A solid top smartphone for a reasonable price. Boring. :-)

Surface Pro 4 vs new Surface Pro

by Volker Weber

Did you just buy a Surface Pro 4 and feel left behind after the announcement for the new Surface Pro? Or are you still looking forward to your first Surface Pro? I want to give you a few reasons to consider the old model.

Of course I would swap the old machine against the new one on short notice. We test things so you don't have to. But if you are on a tight budget I would be looking at the "old" Surface Pro 4. The difference between the two isn't that large.

If you are on the road a lot, you may want to wait for the LTE option which is only available on the new model, later this year.

IBM's Open Collaboration Client Solution :: The future that never was

by Volker Weber

When IBM talks about the future of the workplace, I always like to look at the future that's already behind us. From Lotusphere 2008:

IBM's Open Collaboration Client Solution is a set of software products designed to help customers in all industries increase collaboration among employees, improve their productivity, and lower the total cost of information technology ownership. It is personal computing software that is based on open standards, providing businesses with a cost-effective and security-rich alternative to Microsoft desktops. Moving away from an entirely proprietary approach to computing to a platform based on open standards gives businesses the freedom to select the proper mix of software for their organization, based on user segmentation, in a heterogeneous environment, helping move them toward the desktops of the future.

More >

BlackBerry KEYone :: A short update

by Volker Weber

IMG 20170527 081658

KEYone continues to be my go-to Android phone, against strong competition. The simple reason is convenience. It's so easy to pick up from flat surface with one hand, it does not seem to need a case, and I am never confused which side is up. It does have one design flaw, that it shares with the DTEKs and the PRIV: the on button is on the wrong side. I often press the convenience key on the right side. Since it also turns on with the fingerprint reader, it's not really an issue though.

BlackBerry Mobile has swapped my device and my outstanding issues have been resolved. I think they will skip the May update and go straight to the 05-June Android security patch. Internally they have been testing a new release for a while. I am sure there are lots of other fixes as well. New devices have teething problems and I am looking forward to that release.


by Volker Weber

Seit Ginni Rometty Chefin bei IBM ist, sinken die Umsätze. Das muss nicht ursächlich sein, Aber um einmal Friedrich den Großen zu zitieren: "Er hat keine Fortune; ich kann Offiziers ohne Fortune nicht gebrauchen." Auf sinkende Umsätze reagiert Rometty mit Entlassungen. Kosten sparen, damit wenigstens der Gewinn stimmt. Dummerweise führt das wieder zu sinkenden Umsätzen. Entlässt man Verkäufer, gibt es weniger Abschlüsse. Entlässt man Marketing, gibt es weniger Leads. Entlässt man Ingenieure, leidet das Produkt, das dann keiner mehr haben will.

Diese Woche hat es nun bei ICS ein Blutbad gegeben. Die Mitarbeiter bekommen ein Angebot, das sie nicht ablehnen können: "Du hast 30 Tage, Dir in der IBM einen anderen Job zu suchen." Das ist schwierig bis unmöglich, wenn überall schon gequetscht wird. Mancher Manager bringt rechtzeitig gute Leute in Wachstumsbereichen unter, bevor die Reise nach Jerusalem beginnt.

Bitter für ICS: Die Umsätze sind nicht weg, sondern nun bei einem anderen Marktteilnehmer. Und dort finden sich auch einige der Mitarbeiter.

Type A or Type C

by Volker Weber


This was a bit of a trick question. You can view it as choice between the past and the future. You can also view it as a question about convenience. I have literally hundreds of things that require a USB Type A connector and I have only three things that have a USB Type C connector. And they all came with a Type A to C cable.

IMG 9868

The question became interesting when Microsoft announced two new computers, the Surface Laptop and the new Surface Pro, and did not provide a Type C connector, drawing much criticism from pundits. Much in the same (or opposite) way that Apple received for their "courageous" decision to provide only Type C connectors on MacBook and MacBook Pro. Panos Panay:

“I love the technology in Type-C, I believe in Type-C,” explains Microsoft’s Surface chief, Panos Panay, in an exclusive interview with The Verge. "When Type-C is ready for our customers, to make it easy for them, we’ll be there.” While Panay isn’t ready to add USB-C to Surface devices just yet, he thinks he has the answer: a dongle. “If you love Type-C, it means you love dongles,” jokes Panay. “We’re giving a dongle to people who love dongles.”

I can't count the number of times people have moaned about their need to bring dongles for their Type A devices. Eventually, the dust will clear and we might have Thunderbolt 3 with Type C connectors but for the time being, this area is very confusing. Power supplies that fry electronics through Type C, cables that aren't complying to standards, confusion between Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 protocols. If it fits, it does not sit.


The ubiquitous connector for Surface is the reversible and magnetic Surface Connector. It connects Surface dock to all mobile Surface computers, it connects the Surface Book clipboard to the base or a dock, it connects to the power supply. This one is going to stay. Eventually there will be Type C Thunderbolt connectors on Surface. In the meantime you will be able to bridge from the Surface Connector to Type C via a dongle. And plug a gazillion of Type A connectors into the device without a dongle.

Microsoft Surface Event in Shanghai

by Volker Weber

This wasn't streamed live, but you can now revisit Panos Panay introducing the new Surface Pro. He is such a great presenter.

Twitter-Abstimmungen :: Nicht repräsentativ

by Volker Weber

Diese Frage habe ich gestellt, weil ich nicht glauben will, dass wir uns in Zukunft VR-Brillen vor das Gesicht hängen. Wie viele Frauen laufen halbblind durch's Leben, weil sie es nicht ertragen, mit einer Brille gesehen zu werden. Google hat das mit Glass bitter lernen müssen. Auch Bluetooth-Headsets, so praktisch sie sind, haben ein schlimmes Stigma und sind vor allem bei Kurier- und Taxifahrern anzutreffen. Da sind sie einfach zu nützlich, als dass sich jemand darum schert, was andere denken. Eine Smartwatch tut sich leichter, weil sie einfach einen akzeptablen Platz einnimmt. Und dann gibt es natürlich ganz viele Leute, die wollen gar keinen Technikkrempel tragen. Repräsentativ ist dieser Wert bestimmt viel höher.

AI/ML gewinnen mit der schieren Menge der Daten. Bei Google Photos kann man geradezu zuschauen, wie das funktioniert. Ich stimme deshalb mit der Einschätzung überein. Interessant natürlich auch der hohe Anteil für "Keiner davon". Wer könnte das sein? Amazon?

Hier musste ich herzlich lachen. Die klaren Verlierer bilden sich nämlich ein, einen Vertrauensvorschuss zu haben, oder sie geben es jedenfalls vor. Und was die eigenen IT-Leute leisten, das kann man schön bei den Wikileaks sehen. Die stammen samt und sonders von innen. Die Cloud-Provider haben viel bessere Prozesse und vor allem auch Know-How.

What you need to know about the new Surface Pro

by Volker Weber

Order today. Ships in three weeks.

Porsche absichtlich zerstört

by Volker Weber

Die Kollegen haben sich ausgetobt:

Aus der Reihe "Nutzloses Wissen", Folge 7816 :: Iris-Erkennung

by Volker Weber

'Hacker' vom CCC haben herausgefunden, dass man mit einigem Aufwand 'ganz einfach' den Iris-Scanner eines Samsung S8 überlisten kann. So wie 'starbug', bürgerlich Jan Krissler, schon vor ein paar Jahren gezeigt hat, dass der Fingerabdruck-Scanner des iPhone auszutricksen ist. Handlungsempfehlung:

"Wem die Daten auf seinem Telefon lieb sind oder wer sogar daran denkt, mit seinem Telefon bezahlen zu wollen,der greift statt auf die eigenen Körpermerkmale besser auf den bewährten PIN-Code-Schutz zurück," so Dirk Engling, Sprecher des CCC

Ich werde dann demnächst mal vorführen, wie man mit einem iPhone und 120 fps Slow Motion eine bewährte PIN-Eingabe ausspäht. Alternativ kann man den Smartphone-Nutzer auch an der Gurgel packen.

KEYone :: An unlikely winner

by Volker Weber

IMG 20170523 085950

When I first touched Mercury, the phone that would become KEYone, I wasn't convinced. Who would want another BlackBerry? Now that I have one it needs to compete with other Android phones for the #2 spot behind the iPhone. And it's winning, hands down. This is not another boring and fragile slab of glass. It handles so well, it's easy to grab and I am never afraid to drop it. The rounded bezel makes it easy to pick up from a table, it is as tall as an iPhone Plus, but narrower. Last but not least it runs the latest Android version, including Google Assistant. BlackBerry adds its own launcher and the Hub Services suite of software but does not mess with the Android design.

Bringing back the old Sonos enthusiasm

by Volker Weber

20170222 203056251

Did you notice I haven't written anything substantial about the Playbase? I have seen it years ago in the lab, but I never actually heard it. I haven't even installed a new beta release this year. I turned into just another happy Sonos customer, enjoying my music every day.

What happened? Sonos has grown into a big company with lots of people handling different things. And I ended up in the reporter bin. Send him a press release a day before we announce, and offer him a two weeks product test. I did not want to be in that bin. I did not want to just test drive a finished product, so I politely declined. I want more, or nothing at all. My frustration with the company grew and last night I tweeted about it.


Sonos got the message and now a very good fried inside the company is about to fix it. I will catch up on the Playbase and then tell you about it. Look at the photo above and see how I hacked the TV with a small board so that Playbar does not obstruct the screen. I am firmly in the target audience for a Playbase.

I also hope to join some of the things in development, so that I can see into future. You know that I don't spill any secrets, but I don't have to if I want to guide you. Example: I have a reason that I nudge you to buy a Play:5 but not a Connect. One is the newest, the other is the oldest product. Knowing about the Playbase let me advise people to offset a living room decision for a few months.

If you watched last year's annoucement in New York, you know about Alexa integration. What I am looking forward to even more is the prospect of a proper API so that anyone can extend Sonos without relying on the clunky UPnP reverse engineering.

With a proper API you could be building a beautiful UWP app for Windows 10. You could be building a simplified controller for small kids, managed by their parents. You could be integrating Sonos into your home grown home automation. You could be streaming from your PC directly to Sonos. And the list goes on.

This is something I have been talking to Sonos for many years and things start coming together right now. I need to bring the enthusiam back. It has created quite a community of happy Sonos users.

Bookeen and Carrefour offer a new Nolim e-reader

by Volker Weber


Bookeen is a French ebook pioneer. I looked at their Cybook Ocean with the brillian Solar Leaf Cover. Now they created a new reader that already contains a cover. No need to buy anything extra. Specs: 6" screen with 1024x758 resolution, 8 GB memory, WiFi, 4 buttons (Next page, Last page, Menu, and FrontLight). The cover turns the device on and off, an accelerometer switches between left and right handed use. Battery is charged over USB and is supposed to last 3 weeks.

Carrefour is selling the Nolim in several colors for 130 €.

Nächste Woche :: DNUG 44 in Berlin

by Volker Weber

Früher hat sich die DNUG vor allem über die Ausrichtung von zwei jährlichen Konferenzen finanziert, inklusive Vollzeitstellen. Seit gut zwei Jahren backt sie nun kleinere Brötchen. Nur noch eine Konferenz, kostenlos für Mitglieder und Studenten. Ja, die schreiben noch Stud-enten und nicht Stud-ierende. Gefällt mir.

Nächste Woche also in Berlin. Ob es wirklich die "Wichtigste Konferenz zum Arbeitsplatz der Zukunft" wird, darf man bezweifeln. IBM ist sich da ja selbst nicht so einig, außer der Tatsache, dass er in Indien oder China wohnt.

More >

Mit der Galaxy Gear S3 25 mal kostenlos auf's Klo

by Volker Weber

Sanifair hat jetzt eine App für die Galaxy Gear S3 Smartwatch. Damit kann man per NFC durch das Drehkreuz bei den Sanifair-Toiletten an Raststätten:

Für die ersten 20.000 Downloads unter Samsung Galaxy Apps gibt es jeweils 25 kostenfreie Durchgänge an SANIFAIR Standorten an deutschen Autobahnen. Einlösbar an allen SANIFAIR Zugangssystemen mit NFC Terminal an deutschen Autobahnen. Die Durchgänge können bis zum 31.12.2017 via NFC genutzt werden. Eine Registrierung durch Kunden ist nicht erforderlich. Anschließend fallen die vom Betreiber festgelegten Gebühren pro Toilettengang an.

Ja, da staunt der Apple Watch-Träger.

More >

Puscheltastatur für alle

by Volker Weber

Morgen hat Microsoft einen Event in Shanghai, wo sie wohl den Nachfolger des Surface Pro 4 vorstellen. Und was mir besonders gefällt: Puscheltastatur in allen Farben. Ich wollte ja unbedingt das Alcantara-Keyboard für mein Surface und habe das nie bereut. Surface Laptop hat es, und demnächst wohl auch Surface Pro.

Microsoft needs to explain this

by Volker Weber

Read the whole thread.

There are no bad smartphones anymore

by Volker Weber


Yesterday I chose to remove a comment from a first timer who waltzed in to attack a different comment and flat out stated that iOS was crap. It rubbed me the wrong way both in style and substance. And I might be stating the obvious when I say that you can't really buy a bad smartphone anymore. It's going to be an iPhone or some variant of Android. And they basically all have the same capabilities. Just look at the devices in the photo. Two of them start adding a second (or third, if you count the front facing) camera.

Three cameras! Hello? It takes this much effort to make even a small difference. Launch events are crazy boring. Vendors ferry hundreds of influencers to synchronized events around the world and then present a smartphone that is only marginally better than their previous one. So the S8 makes the S7 edge look old? What difference does that make? You will be doing exactly the same with either one. What are the big differences between the iPhone 6 and the 7 Plus in this photo aside from the size? Force touch and tele lens.

Don't make assertions about your particular choice being superior to the others. I am amazed by all of them. Choose what you like and what fits your particular taste as well as your budget. When I recommend the iPhone, it's not because of features. I recommend it because I think you will be glad you bought it, for many reasons that I am not going to list here.

Does that mean I think all other choices are crap? You would be a very small mind to believe that.

Huawei P10 :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

IMG 9844

I asked Huawei to send me a P10 and it arrived today. It took a little while because I had to wait for a matte black one to return to the pool. First impressions:

  1. This is an iPhone knock-off. Excellent build quality. Thin and light.
  2. The EMUI Android shell will take some time getting used to, but it is a high quality experience.
  3. Android 7.0 and Security patch level 2017-03-01 are outdated.
  4. The fingerprint reader is a monster. Extremely fast.

The camera may or may not be Leica, but the first quick sample shots are stunning. The first one brings out the colors larger than life. It's my food for the next 7 days, btw. The second one is wide open aperture with small DoF.

IMG 20170519 143209

IMG 20170519 160006

The biggest adjustment for an iPhone user is that the fingerprint reader is not the home button. Maybe I will find a setting that lets it be the home button. Update: found it!

This will be fun!

BlackBerry KEYone :: It just works

by Volker Weber

IMG 9841

Let's cut right to the chase: there is no phone that can replace my iPhone. I am too entangled in the Apple net with the Watch, my #dontbreakthechain program, the AirPods and what not. If all of that wasn't the case, this KEYone is the phone I wanted. I have been using it as my #1 phone for a couple of days and I am oh so pleased. Yes, you read that right. I put my main SIM into the KEYone and left the iPhone at home to sync my activity data from the Watch. The Watch did not have notification but it still tracked my activity level and served as a ... watch.

You will find a ton of reviews with the same tone. The worst one was from Wired, the best one from MKBHD. Go watch it and come back. Great phone, but not really for the reviewer, because he feels it is from the past. And in a way, only from the good past.

e45aff90011b8fc8202c6b428d561479 7101f5135547c7a7e92c462fd45fd480

First of all, I like the design. It has elements of BlackBerry, Porsche Design, and a bit of Apple at the bottom. Remember the Passport Silver Edition that was supposed to be the next Porsche Design before they pulled the plug and went with Huawei? This would have been a $1500 device. To me the KEYone also feels like a ridiculously overpriced VIP phone, only that it's more affordable. It's built like a tank and I don't even cosider putting it in a case.

The Android experience is almost pure Google with the addition of the BlackBerry Hub+ Suite on top of the hardened platform. What impresses me most is the power management. I am unable to run it down in a 24h day of heavy use -- which does not include games or watching Netflix -- and then it recharges in an hour. That's good. I also love the camera with its manual controls. Sée at the top AF 9cm, 1/33s, ISO 640, WB 4660 K.

The KEYone rewards you for your tinkering. You can set a multi-language keyboard which automatically suggests words in your current language without having to switch languages around. You can assign shotcuts to the keys, which will launch programs, dial phone numbers or message people. The more time you invest, the more productive you get.

This is an exeptional device. It defies fashion, it's solid and dependable. And it's not yet another all-glass slate.

Addendum: I have two issues to resolve:

  1. One of the mcrophones appear to be broken. When I record video, I can only hear the right channel. When I attempt video calls, I am not sending audio.
  2. There is a considerable lag between pressing the shutter button and the frame being recorded. I will play with the focus settings.

When Lenovo abandons products

by Volker Weber


1.5 years ago I got one of the first Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro tablets. And I loved it. There were some kinks in the software but those teething problems were resolved with a couple of updates.

And in March 2016 it received its last Android security update. As of today the tablet runs on Android 5.1 with a 2006-03-01 security patch level. This was a $500 "Pro" product.

I want you to keep that in mind before you buy any Android product from Lenovo. I also have a Yoga Tab 3 with Windows. That runs on the very latest Windows Cumulative Update.

Mitarbeiter im Bahncard-Service einfach nach Hause schicken

by Volker Weber

Ich habe es einfach noch mal probiert und darum gebeten, mir keinen Textbaustein zurückzuschicken. Zwei Tage später bekomme ich ... einen noch unpersönlicheren Textbaustein. Die Bahn kann diese Mitarbeiter entlassen und durch einen Auto-Responder ersetzen. Ich denke, für sowas ist IBM Watson bestens geeignet.

Tschüss Bahn.

Ab heute verfügbar ... in USA

by Volker Weber


Google hat die Live-Blogger unter den Journalisten verwirrt. Wenn Google sagt, der Google Assistant ist ab heute auf dem iPhone verfügbar, dann muss man in Gedanken immer hinzufügen "in USA". So findet man den Assistant im US-amerikanischen Store, nicht aber im deutschen. Und damit kann man als Deutscher leicht verwirrt werden, wenn man Google Search für Google Assistant hält. Zur deutschen Verfügbarkeit heißt es nämlich "... coming this summer".

Links Google, rechts Assistant:

f8bbc3e33cfab25b9b03fdf39805b491 3a2797d261b4b4af0ece1c3c66528d31

a445f994fabc1a25d07cbe034d7bcc8c bbf7bf0ca2dc45e5d8f4f6bf6dcf12fc

Assistant kann man am besten über das Dashboard erreichen:


BlackBerry KEYone :: Are you in the target audience?

by Volker Weber

IMG 9829

It's interesting to see how Android reviewers struggle with the KEYone. Most start out with the hardware keyboard and quickly reason that BlackBerry is passé. How uncool! What is the KEYone really? It's an Android Phone with some midrange components (SD 625, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage), an excellent camera chip (same as Pixel), a huge battery (3500 mAh), a small screen (4.5" 1080x1200 pixel), all packaged in a sturdy aluminium frame, but without dust or water protection.

We cannot get far with looking at the hardware specs. So what does it feel like?

  1. It feels right. Kind of heavy for its size. Narrower than a PRIV but the same height when the slider is closed.
  2. The keyboard is a BlackBerry keyboard, much like the Classic, not like the PRIV.
  3. The materials are right. Nothing lies. No fake leather or fake metal.
  4. I can hold it comfortably and use it with one hand. Non-slip back.

Are you faster with a hardware keyboard? I am not. A Windows Phone keyboard or an iPhone keyboard feel more natural to me, and I am faster on them. And I am a BlackBerry user, so I know to press Alt-P for an @. If you have to learn the keyboard, you will be slower. Plus, I use voice-to-text a lot. So I don't type as much as I used to. The benefit is that you don't have to look at the keyboard. You can type away and just look at your text. It won't have emojis or stickers. Just plain old text.

You are in the target audience if you had a BlackBerry once and remember the no nonsense character. If you have old muscle memory for the keyboard. And you get the versatility of the Google store and the protection BlackBerry provides for Android. If that suits you well, you may want one. But be careful. An iPhone is a much safer bet. There is zero probablity that Apple abandons you, there are tons of accessories, and if you break it, you will find help around the corner.

KEYone shipped with Android 7.1.1 and April 05 security patch level. I expected it to download and install May 05, but it does not. BlackBerry Mobile has committed itself to monthly security updates for a minimum 24 months from launch.

Die Bahn antwortet unpersönlich wie erwartet

by Volker Weber

Die Bahn hat geantwortet, mal eben schnell das Datum gefälscht, und ist mit keinem Wort auf mein Anliegen eingegangen, mir eben keine Bahncard zum 11. Juni auszustellen.

Damit ist die Bahn für mich erledigt.

Ich habe ein simples Prinzip, das mich bisher gut durch's Leben begleitet hat: Wenn Du jemandem vertraust, dann brauchst Du keinen Vertrag. Wenn Du ihm nicht vertraust, dann erübrigt sich der Vertrag. Mit ihrer Abofalle hat sie mich einmal erfolgreich gefangen. Herzlichen Glückwunsch.

Was ist das beste, was man mit einer nicht erwünschten Bahncard machen kann? 100% sparen.

Date: 2017-05-12 21:25 GMT+02:00
Subject: Ihre Nachricht an

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

vielen Dank fuer Ihre Nachricht. Wir werden uns schnellstmoeglich mit Ihnen in Verbindung setzen und Ihre Anfrage gerne beantworten.

Bitte antworten Sie nicht auf diese E-Mail, da dies eine automatisch erstellte Eingangsbestaetigung Ihrer Anfrage ist.
Weitere Kontaktdaten und Informationen finden Sie unter nachstehenden Service-Links.

Mit freundlichen Gruessen

Ihr Serviceteam der Deutschen Bahn

From: BahnCard-Service
Date: 2017-05-16 13:47 GMT+02:00
Subject: Ihre Anfrage an den BahnCard-Service

Ihre Nachricht vom: 15. Mai 2017
Unser Zeichen:

Sehr geehrter Herr Weber,

vielen Dank für Ihre E-Mail vom 15. Mai 2017.

Sie bitten uns, Ihre BahnCard vorzeitig zu kündigen.

Wir können Ihr Anliegen aufgrund Ihrer persönlichen Situation nachvollziehen. Leider ist eine außerordentliche Kündigung Ihrer BahnCard4494 nicht möglich. Nach unseren Nutzungs- und Allgemeinen Beförderungsbedingungen ist die Erstattung einer BahnCard nicht vorgesehen. Dies gilt auch, wenn diese nicht in vollem Umfang genutzt werden konnte.

Wir haben die Kündigung Ihres Abonnements daher zum 10. Juni 2018 vermerkt. Sie erhalten darüber in den nächsten Tagen eine separate Bestätigung für Ihre Unterlagen.

Wenn Sie Fragen zu diesem Schreiben haben oder weitere Informationen wünschen, erreichen Sie uns per E-Mail unter oder telefonisch montags bis freitags von 7:00 Uhr bis 21:00 Uhr und samstags von 9:00 Uhr bis 18:00 Uhr unter der Rufnummer 0180 6 340035*.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Ihr Team vom BahnCard-Service

DB Fernverkehr AG
60643 Frankfurt
Telefon: 0180 6 340035*
Fax: 0180 5 121998**
(*20 ct/Anruf aus dem Festnetz, Tarif bei Mobilfunk max. 60 ct/Anruf
**14 ct/Min. aus dem Festnetz, z.B. von Vodafone. Tarif bei Mobilfunk max. 42 ct/Min.)

P.S.: Möchten Sie jederzeit und mobil auf Ihre BahnCard und Ihre persönlichen Daten zugreifen können? Vor und während einer Zugreise auf dem aktuellen Stand sein? Adressänderungen selbst vornehmen? Dann holen Sie sich den DB Navigator auf Ihr Smartphone! Sie erhalten ihn kostenlos im Android Market oder im iTunes App Store. Mit einer Anmeldung im Bereich Meine BahnCard-Services auf sind Sie anschließend immer bestens informiert!

Internetauftritt der Deutschen Bahn AG >>

Sitz der Gesellschaft: Frankfurt am Main
Registergericht: Frankfurt am Main, HRB 83173
USt-IdNr.: DE 260656754
Vorstand: Birgit Bohle (Vorsitzende), Dr. Kai Brüggemann, Wolfgang Heinrichs, Dr. Michael Peterson, Heinz Siegmund
Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates: Berthold Huber

Please avoid iMessage

by Volker Weber

InkedScreenshot 20170516-125513 LI

I am currently on the BlackBerry KEYone and will not receive your iMessages. WhatsApp and Signal work fine.

IMG 9828

BlackBerry KEYone :: Coming up

by Volker Weber

Merc custom angle

Last week I wrote about BlackBerry Godot, since the KEYone seemed to be stuck somewhere. Well, this seems to have irritated a few people, and after some emails they are now shipping a device to my door. It is taking a little bit longer than normal, because they're shipping from France, through the French Post, which has been sitting on the package since Friday, but eventually it is going to show up here. Hint: FedEx and UPS can get this done overnight.

This does not really matter though, because a lot of time has passed since I first laid my hands on an early production model as early as last year. And I'm not really sure, if this is an end or a new beginning. This particular smartphone is the first device handled by a new entity that I call BlackBerry Mobile. If you go to the BlackBerry store, you will find that everything but DTEK50 and DTEK60 is gone, and both of those are on sale. BlackBerry is now a software company and they do not want to talk about handsets. BlackBerry Mobile only wants to talk about the new device. I have been trying to get to the bottom of the Nougat situation for the old phones, and I'm not going to give up.

This handover of responsibility is not being executed well. The new company has a new agency, and that is why I fell through the cracks. But I'm not going to hold this against them. And there is a reason: the KEYone is the first real BlackBerry that I have seen in a long time. The last one was the Classic, and the one before that was the Passport. All the other smartphones felt alien to me. A BlackBerry needs a keyboard with those metal frets. BlackBerry has not had much luck with with sliders or touchscreen phones. There are two exceptions: both the DTEK50 and the older LEAP were selling well, simply because they were cheap for enterprise use.

KEYone is different. It wants to please people who get shit done. It's not a toy, it's a tool. You can customize the hell out of it, until everything you do is just a keystroke away. It is poised to run all day with the screen on, and you can handle it while walking with a briefcase in your other hand. I'm going to give it a serious workout.

Week 149 #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber


Gestern gab es ein zusätzliches Achievement: Workout mit einer (!) Meile zu Fuß (oder dem Rollstuhl) und die "Mother's Day Challenge" war im Kasten. Ich habe das erst spät mitbekommen und bin noch mal raus.

Muttertag ist wie Vatertag kein welt-einheitliches Datum und so hatte Apple das nur für USA geschaltet. Wenn man die Watch auf die US-Region umschaltete, tauchte die Medaille auf und wurde nach dem Workout zugeteilt.

Das hat natürlich auch einen technischen Grund. Eine Meile Workout mit GPS reichen aus, um die Schrittänge zu kalibrieren. Damit kann die Watch in Zukunft besser aus dem Schrittzähler auf die Strecke schließen. Wer das noch nicht gemacht hat, sollte es nachholen. Outdoor Walk auf freiem Feld mit gutem GPS-Empfang für mindestens 15 Minuten.

07504cc8b1bb992bdeb2ba091a160054 14ad22f3464a9ea3e439d5af9b04031d

Alper, Anton und Jan sind ebenfalls noch mal raus, und André macht jetzt auch mit. :-)

Ich habe einen dummen Fehler gemacht

by Volker Weber

Vor zwei Monaten habe ich eine "Probe BahnCard" für drei Monate gekauft. Das dachte ich zumindest. Tatsächlich bin ich in eine Abofalle gestolpert. Wird die "Probe BahnCard" nicht binnen sechs Wochen gekündigt, dann nimmt die Bahn an, man wolle eine "BahnCard" bestellen, im Jahresabo, zu kündigen sechs Wochen vor dem Ablauf.

Natürlich wollte ich das nicht, aber das ist nun meine Schuld. "/ch" vom Twitter-Team der Bahn weist mich darauf hin: "Ärgerlich, wenn der Hinweis bei der Bestellung nicht beachtet wurde." Auf welcher Schulung lernt man so eine Reaktion?

Damit Euch dieser ärgerliche Fehler nicht auch passiert, könnt Ihr das Einzige tun, was mir bleibt: die "BahnCard" einfach mal kündigen. In drei Jahren hat sich nichts verbessert:

Update: Es scheint, diese Erinnerung wurde fleißig genutzt.

Can IBM possibly learn from Microsoft?

by Volker Weber


As I am watching sessions from Microsoft Build 2017 I cannot help but notice how far behind IBM is when it comes to spreading the message. I'd dare you to just watch the second keynote from IBM Connect, let alone any of the breakouts.

Fluent Design

by Volker Weber


Steve Jobs once said, that Microsoft has no taste. That may have been true, but it no longer is. They are building powerful new products that are both elegant and beautiful.

More >

iPhone keyboard as trackpad

by Volker Weber

If your iPhone has force touch, it also has a trackpad

Mitmachen #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber

Na klar, ich höre nicht auf. Aber was mir noch besser gefällt: wenn sich auch andere mitreissen lassen. Bewegung ist gut und tut gut. Muss gar nicht heftig sein. "Wer rastet, der rostet."

Crowdfunding für Journalismus

by Volker Weber

Die Republik ist eine kleine Rebellion. Für den Journalismus. Und gegen die Medienkonzerne. Denn die grossen Verlage verlassen die Publizistik: Sie bauen sich in hohem Tempo in Internet-Handelshäuser um. Das ist eine schlechte Nachricht für den Journalismus. Aber auch für die Demokratie. Denn ohne vernünftige Informationen fällt man schlechte Entscheidungen.

Beeindruckend und ermutigend.

More >

Let me speculate about Nougat updates for BlackBerry

by Volker Weber


Let me speculate about the Nougat update for older BlackBerry Android devices. So far BlackBerry has not announced that they are going to upgrade any of the existing devices to Nougat. So the question is, will they, and if they do which ones. Before TCL took over I would have said that it is very likely that all devices are carried forward. Since TCL is focusing on the KEYone, I have changed my mind. There is not enough incentive for BlackBerry to upgrade all versions.

By and large, the PRIV has been a failure. There just aren't that many in the market. Things changed with the DTEK50, which was well received due to its much lower price. By the time DTEK60 was announced, and very quietly so, interest had faded. No carrier in Germany attempted to sell it. Without access to hard data, I would think it was an even bigger flop than PRIV.

I think that only the DTEK50 stands a chance to receive a Nougat update. The PRIV already had a major upgrade and for DTEK60 there aren't that many customers who would be disappointed. It's just not worth the effort.

Advice: if you want Nougat, sell PRIV or DTEK60, but keep DTEK50.

Coming up at vowe's magic flying circus :: Huawei

by Volker Weber


Huawei is a company I have been ignoring for too long. They are cranking out new devices at an astonishing pace, both under the Huawei and the Honor brands. I want to know how they can keep up on the software side of things and I will put them on an extended watch. I should have one of their phones soon.

BlackBerry Godot

by Volker Weber


Some of you have asked me when I will publish a KEYone review. Honestly, I have no idea when or even if. It has been half a year since I first played with one. And safe for a press conference invitation at MWC there has been zero communication from BlackBerry Mobile. I am pretty sure they don't even know me.

Fifty Nine

by Volker Weber

InkedIMG 9039 LI

My best headset :: Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC

by Volker Weber


I have a very simple test for headsets: I use them for dictation. The better the results are, the better the headset works. And the results for this particular headset are outstanding. I understand that many people would prefer a smaller headset like the Voyager Edge, I also understand that people would want the Apple AirPods. But if voice clarity is paramount, you have to get this one.

Since I'm currently somewhat handicapped by my shoulder, I speak most of the text I "write", both on Surface (with Dragon) and iPhone (with Siri).

The I in IBM stands for irony

by Volker Weber

IBM, the company that just weeks ago said it was doing away with its work-from-home policy, is now preaching the benefits of telecommuting to customers.

Big Blue's Smarter Workforce Group says a recent panel it hosted at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference concluded that customers who work remotely are "more engaged, have stronger trust in leadership and much stronger intention to stay."

"These findings mirror what an IBM Smarter Workforce Institute study found," the group wrote.

More >

Eins zu Null im Kampf Vogel gegen Arlo

by Volker Weber


Time well spent :: A poetic short film by Max Stossel & Sander van Dijk

by Volker Weber

I have removed Facebook and Instagram from my phone. It's getting better.

More >

[Thanks Ben]

European companies plan registration, e-identity and data services platform

by Volker Weber

How personal data is obtained and shared online is an extremely sensitive issue, with data privacy an absolute imperative for businesses and consumers alike. Now, an initiative that currently includes Allianz, Axel Springer, Daimler and Deutsche Bank with Postbank as well as the technology think-tank CORE and HERE, will be working closely to develop a platform that improves the security of personal data online.

The companies involved will cooperate to create a common cross-industry registration, identity and data platform that will make online registration simpler and more secure for clients.

More >

Casey Remixed

by Volker Weber

Windows 10 S on Surface Laptop :: Does not compute

by Volker Weber

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.59

This event yesterday was two events. Short intro from Satya, then Terry Myerson's Windows 10 S show, then Panos Panay's Surface Laptop unveiling. Panos is the best presenter in the industry, Terry is not. But he is Panos' boss. And I am pretty sure he forced Panos to ship Windows 10 S (Terry's child) with Surface (Panos' child). It just does not make any sense, as much as I like a Windows Store only machine.

As far as the important US K12 education market (Kindergarden to 12th grade) is concerned Google is wiping the floor with both Apple and Microsoft. Chromebooks are cheap and they are dead simple. Apple made some adjustments with iOS 9.3, but more than every second device sold in 2016 (in the US, to K12) was a Chromebook. As much as Microsoft impresses me with their new software, Windows 10 S isn't easy. It's easier, but it's not Chromebook easy. However, it's the only weapon Microsoft has. And they are bringing in partners to build cheap and robust hardware that schools will like.

Surface Laptop in contrast is a premium offering. Panos was addressing college kids (orientation to graduation), which might otherwise buy a Macbook. Those machines are not going to be setup by school administrators and controlled via Intune. They are very personal and they will need software not in the store. You can't lock them down into Edge and Bing. They can be upgraded to Pro and frankly they should ship with Pro.

Here is what really happened: Terry used Panos to deliver a message to developers. Get in the store, or else. And I am pretty sure that developers will not react. This needs to be fixed. Free Pro upgrades until the end of 2017 is just a band-aid.

And for the next Surface unveiling: let Panos run the whole show, Terry. It's OK, we know you are the boss.

My kind of Windows

by Volker Weber


From the Windows 10 S FAQ :

It’s also a great choice for any Windows customer looking for consistent performance and advanced security. By limiting apps to those in the Windows Store, Windows 10 S is ideal for people who have everything they need in the Windows Store and prefer the peace of mind that comes with removing the risk of downloading apps from other places.

This is what I want. Windows as easy as iOS, without all the old junk that has accumulated over the years, but as powerful as Windows 10. I did not get it with Windows RT, I may not get it with Windows 10 S. But this is the future.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

by Volker Weber

14 Stunden Akkulaufzeit. Und Puscheltastatur!

Hundreds of Apps Can Listen for Marketing Beacons You Can't Hear

by Volker Weber

But plenty of apps deploy it without so clear a use case, at least as far as direct benefits for the person who downloads them. In fact, research presented last week at the IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy found 234 current Android applications that incorporate a particular type of ultrasonic listening technology.

More >

Old archive pages

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


Paypal vowe