Habits are stronger than goals #dontbreakthechain

by Volker Weber

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As I was looking at my collection of photos in BLACK I could not help noticing the difference a few years make. So I put these two photos together in a collage and posted them to Twitter and Instagram. Lots of encouragement and some funny remarks. And no, there was no Photoshop involved, just BLACK. Ute shot the fat vowe photo with a serious camera while I was in a TV studio and I shot the other one with the iPhone 7 Plus just yesterday.

The difference in appearance is not caused by setting myself a weight loss goal. It has a very simple cause: I changed one habit. Exactly one. I started walking, daily. Over time, these walks got longer as I was getting stronger. There were setbacks, but when I got back on my feet I started walking again.

And with all the walking I became more mindful of my body. I started questioning other habits. What do I drink, what do I eat? How is what I eat and drink helping my body? Eating and drinking are also habits, and sometimes they are really bad habits. Maybe you don't really need a pasta or a pizza for lunch, at least not five times a week. So I started forming new habits, like eating one apple each day, or never eating more than two slices of bread per meal.

Since my knee currently does not respond well to lots of walking, I have reduced my daily calorie burn from 600 to 360. But I am keeping my habits. And my body weight continues to trend towards "normal".

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Don't set yourself a goal. You may fall back to your old habits once you reach it. I would advise you to change one or two key habits. It takes something like two months to form them. Stop smoking, eat less every day, exercise more, quit fizzy drinks, just pick what you like. And then do not break the chain.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" or literally "A journey of a thousand li starts beneath one's feet" is a famous Chinese proverb. A year from now you will wish you started today.

Sonos :: How it started

by Volker Weber

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Hero-entrepreneur dreams up a great idea, finds a sidekick or two to help it come alive, clashes with and defeats the entrenched incumbent, and rides to glory as the credits roll. The story of Sonos might seem like that, from a distance. Its four founders – John MacFarlane, Tom Cullen, Trung Mai, and Craig Shelburne – conjured a daring vision based on technology that didn’t exist at the time. With all of their experience, resources and insight, the four founders naturally turned to music in the home, and ... not so fast.

This is a great story for all Sonos fans. I have been along for the ride almost since the beginning. And there is still stuff in there that I don't know. Fascinating since I met so many of the people mentioned here: John MacFarlane, Tom Cullen, Mieko Cusano, Nick Millington and Andrew Schulert.

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The 1+ reality distortion field

by Volker Weber

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Did your favorite media outlet fall for the 1+5 hype? Hats off for them to create such a perfect social media storm. Not so much for copying the iPhone design wholesale, signing up The Verge for peddling their "we are so special" story, and cheating on the benchmarks. Watch this:

Nokia rebrands Withings

by Volker Weber

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What used to be Withings is now called Nokia. Great products that I use and recommend. They are also announcing a new entry level connected scale and a less bulky blood pressure monitor. Withings Health Mate becomes Nokia Health Mate with a fresh user interface.

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Gelungene Digitalisierung :: Paketversand

by Volker Weber

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Foto Axel Koerv

Ich habe gerade mal wieder zwei Pakete in Auftrag gegeben, eins mit DHL nach Frankreich, eins mit Hermes nach Deutschland. Und ich bin höchst erfreut darüber, wie einfach das mittlerweile geht. App auf's iPhone laden, Absender und Empfänger aus dem Adressbuch auswählen, Paketklasse wählen, fertig. Der Anbieter schickt einen QR-Code und ein Aufklebe-Etikett. Hat man keinen Drucker, geht man in den nächsten Paketshop und zeigt den QR-Code vor. Dort wird das Etikett gedruckt und aufgeklebt, fertig. Bei Hermes zahlt man bar bei Einlieferung, bei DHL kann man mit Paypal zahlen und das Paket auch in eine Packstation stellen oder dem nächsten Zusteller einfach mitgeben. Der hat einen Drucker am Gürtel für die Quittung.

Die analoge Seite ist schwieriger. Nachmittags eingelieferte Pakete übernachten gerne im Paketshop. Die Auslieferung bleibt schwierig, weil die Zusteller überlastet sind und viele Pakete nicht los werden. Hier bei uns kein Problem, weil die Nachbarn helfen, untereinander, und vor allem dem Zusteller. Das sorgt für gute Laune. Das UPS-Problem ist auch gelöst. Der Zusteller nimmt die Pakete nicht mehr mit ins Frachtzentrum sondern deponiert sie in einem Paketshop in der Nähe.

Umstieg von iPad Pro 9.7 auf iPad Pro 10.5

by Volker Weber

Das iPad Pro 9.7 war mit Abstand das beste Tablet auf dem Markt. Nun ist es das zweitbeste. Lohnt sich der Umstieg? Ich weiß es nicht. Wichtig: das alte Zubehör passt nicht. Das Display ist größer und der Rand schmaler, aber trotzdem ist das neue Gerät ein bisschen größer. Also passen Cover, Cases und Tastaturen nicht.

Hat jemand diesen Umstieg gemacht und kann was erzählen?

Die Bahn feiert meine Abo-Falle mit einem neuen Angebot

by Volker Weber

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Genau einen Monat ist es her, dass mir die Bahn hocherfreut mitteilte, wie sehr man sich freue, dass ich mich für eine Bahncard entschieden habe.

Hatte ich allerdings nicht. Ich war nur in die Abofalle gelaufen: aus drei Monaten "Probebahncard" wurden geschwind 18 Monate, ohne jeden Pardon. Einzig mögliche Reaktion: kündigen, kündigen, kündigen. Das haben offenbar viele gemacht, denn nun bietet die Bahn etwas neues an, pünktlich zu meinem Jubiläumstag, dem 11.6. - der Tag an dem mein Jahresabo beginnt:

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Mir nützt das "natürlich" nichts. Ich bin ja noch in die alte Falle gelaufen. Ich habe jetzt eine Bahncard ohne Flex, die ich nie haben wollte, gekündigt zum 10.6.2018. Meine Empfehlung lautet deshalb weiter: kündigen, kündigen, kündigen.

iPad size matters for Office

by Volker Weber

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Screenshot from the Microsoft Office Mobile site. A regular iPad (and the old Pro) have a 9.7 inch display. Without an Office 365 license those apps will turn into viewers on the iPad Pro 10.5.

The new iPad Pro

by Volker Weber

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iPad Pro 9.7, AirPods, Logitech K780, Apple Pencil

Since I moved most of my workloads to the Surface Pro 4 I haven't used the iPad Pro as much as I used to. But the WWDC keynote got me fired up again. Apple is about to take a big leap with iOS 11 and that is going to benefit the iPad Pro.

This machine is so much more expensive than a regular iPad that it only makes sense if you are either well-heeled or determined to use this as your main computer. And the hardware certainly wasn't holding you up. Microsoft validated the incredible speed of the iPad Pro when announcing the new Surface Pro by comparing it to the Apple offering. IOS 11 will make this machine much more usable for general use, by adding better multitasking, drag&drop and file management. And Pencil is finally catching up with some of the features in Windows 10.

Beyond the software that will only refresh "in the fall" which I read as "shortly before the next iPhone", Apple is doing something they did with the iPods: killing an excellent product with an even better one. The iPad Pro 9.7 has such a gorgeous screen that it is hard to image how a 10.5 screen beats that. But there is an important difference: 120 Hz refresh rate. What does that mean? The new machine will be able to redraw the screen 120 times a second. How is that important? When you scroll in documents, they will appear paper-like, because they don't get blurred when you move them. Once you have seen that, you can't go back. Of everything that is new about the new iPad Pro - iPhone 7 camera with OIS, new CPU and GPU - that is what is going to make the most lasting impression. A little side effect: the Pencil, which is already the best on the market, gets even faster. And faster means again, more like paper.

There was no other tablet that could beat the iPad Pro 9.7 hardware. And Apple is taking it up another notch.

Helping somebody to buy his first Sonos

by Volker Weber

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As I was talking to my neighbor yesterday he asked me about some advice. "You are familiar with Sonos, aren't you? I plan to ..." Here we go again. I am going to invite him over and we will be going from room to room and I will be showing him what his options are. I have every single speaker and component Sonos ever made, with the exception of PlayBase, and he can make an informed decisision of what he wants.

But something has changed two years ago.

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BlackBerry KEYone :: Needs some glue

by Volker Weber

This is very painful to watch but it points to a weakness in the KEYone build. There is no adhesive holding the screen in place. It also looks like it would be easy to add wireless charging.

Unlocking Sonos

by Volker Weber

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I had a very interesting face-to-face meeting (over Facetime) with a Sonos manager yesterday, and that helped clear up some of the misunderstandings. I can't tell you what we talked about in detail, but I can help you understand what happened recently and you may also be able to help Sonos understand. This is going to be a bit longer than usual.

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Ist das BlackBerry KEYone ein Verkaufsschlager?

by Volker Weber

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Die Ära der BlackBerry-Smartphones schien endgültig vorbei. Doch nun landet TCL mit dem KEYone ein überraschendes Comeback. Es mag an kleinen Liefermengen liegen, aber das Gerät ist schnell ausverkauft.

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Why the HomePod is coming to the US, UK and Australia first

by Volker Weber

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This is my own speculation, but I think the delay in shipping the HomePod is not a production ramp-up problem.

I believe Siri just isn't there yet. While Apple compared their HomePod to the Amazon Echo, they only did so for sound quality. Nobody pitted Siri against Alexa.

A few thoughts on the Apple WWDC 2017 keynote

by Volker Weber

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Photo Apple

In reverse chronological order:

iOS 11 on iPad - that was the most interesting part for me. Homepod will be interesting next year, but it won't have the breadth and depth of Sonos. No TV surround, limited to Apple Music, no Android support. But hey, if you live in Apple land, you will want this for sure.

Apple Pay? Sigh. N26, are you listening?

A missed opportunity, was it?

by Volker Weber

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If you let so many people go, who would previously be rowing, you will not be able to keep all your ships. No news coming out of DNUG44 means that it will take some more time for the dust to clear. Keep asking IBM.

Streamlining Kubernetes development with Draft

by Volker Weber

Application containers have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. In recent months, Kubernetes has emerged as a popular solution for orchestrating these containers. While many turn to Kubernetes for its extensible architecture and vibrant open-source community, some still view Kubernetes as too difficult to use.

Today, my team is proud to announce Draft, a tool that streamlines application development and deployment into any Kubernetes cluster. Using two simple commands, developers can now begin hacking on container-based applications without requiring Docker or even installing Kubernetes themselves.

Open source. It's the new Microsoft.

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KEYone is the best BlackBerry since the Passport

by Volker Weber

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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

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A look inside #DNUG44

by Volker Weber

Astroturfing

by Volker Weber

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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.

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When the US forces you to check your notebook

by Volker Weber

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Microsoft macht gerade viel richtig

by Volker Weber

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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

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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.

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Huawei P10 :: An update

by Volker Weber

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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.

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BlackBerry KEYone :: A short update

by Volker Weber

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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.

Abwärts

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.

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Ceci n'est pas un blog

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

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