Sunday, December 27, 2009

Extra Folder Columns :: Add-ons for Thunderbird

For the Thunderbird 3 users out there:

You'll probably be missing the Total/Unread/Size columns in your folder pane...
To get it back, install the Extra Folder Columns :: Add-ons for Thunderbird add-on.
It was specifically created for TB3, but did not support the latest betas and RCs... Now with version 0.4 it supports the final 3.0 release and also works with the smart folders...

Easiest way as usual: open the link in Firefox (or any browser), open the add-on dialog in Thunderbird and then drag the "Download Now" button from the browser to the add-on list in Thunderbird. Voila. No need to download and open the file afterwards (unless you want to archive the .xpi on your local disk)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Now that Thunderbird 3 is out...

... maybe the extension/add-on developers could update their extensions...

The beta-phase was long enough and gave ample time to update... (like I did).

btw: here are the release notes of TB3 in case you haven't installed it yet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Austrian eCard vs Citizen Card

The Austrian Federal Government and their e-government guys really want to push the Austrian Citizen Card ("Bürgerkarte") for all online transactions.
One step to - allegedly - make getting your citizen card easier is the online activation for the public healh-card ("e card") almost every citizen owns.
Should be really easy:

  • get your smart card reader (like the one I got, even subsidized for ecard holders)
  • install the drivers
  • install the citizen card SW
  • log in to the one application where you already have a validated/trusted login, namely "finanz online", the online application for your (federal) tax declaration and (more importantly) returns.
  • and from there you can activate your ecard as a citizencard.
    (if you will: extend the already established trust from finanz online to the new card)
Nicely summarized here.

Attempt #1:
My ecard already containt a PIN or some file, which did not allow the activation of the card.
Called the ecard hotline, was sent a replacement card. Very competent, very friendly.

Attempt #2 - with the new card:
Still got an error message...

Die Bürgerkartenumgebung hat bei der letzen Anfrage folgenden Fehler geliefert: Unbekannter Infoboxbezeichner. SESSION ID :

Searched the fora, found some entries, but no solution (other than re-install).

A-trust say, they don't care, because it's not their software... (very supportive, thanks)
However when you call the toll support number (1,09 EUR per minute, !!!) they are willing to help.

I told the call center agent (very friendly, very competent again) the error message, and he immediately went:
Agent: "Do you have a very new ecard?"
me: "yes, like 4 days old"
Agent: "One with the embossed braille printing on it?"
me: "yes, cause my old one did not work".
Agent: "Well the new one won't work either, because they changed the chip on it, and we don't yet support it. You have to wait until January."
me: "Ok. Thanks. But can you please have that info posted to a forum of FAQ?"
Agent: "Oh, good idea. I'll pass that on."

Still major hurdles... I simply cannot imagine my mother [1] going through that process.

So, still way to go for proper e-government in Austria.

--
[1] both my real mother, as well as the proverbial mother that appears in all technology problems.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Facebook app for the E71 - just crap

So I tried the newly released facebook app for the E71. And after the first disappointment, I wanted to post a side-by-side feature-by-feature comparison against the iPhone/iPod facebook app here.

Well, I won't.
Simply because the app is such a crap and lacks every single conceivable feature, that I won't waste the space here with a 50 [1] rows table that only states iPhone "yes", Nokia "no".

Just forget it.

--
[1] roughly, could easily be extended to 120 ;-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

SOAP vs REST

The best explanation or visualization of the main difference between SOAP/WS* and REST

Friday, November 27, 2009

Finally a Facebook app for the E71

Finally, Nokia's Ovi Store has a Facebook app for the E71, not just the bookmark...

Just downloaded and installed it (quite inconvenient, the Ovi store, btw)... Will post results here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Qando learned how to use the keyboard

Finally, just when I was about to give up on Qando, the mobile info service for public transport in and around Vienna, they fixed their major [1] usability problem on the E71.

Like I reported months ago, they purposely emulated a T9 input even on the full querty/quertz E71 keyboard. So you only could use (by guessing mostly) the numeric keys of the full keyboard...

Finally, they removed that piece of code and seem to rely on S60 and JavaME to handle the keyboard by themselves ;-)

Thanks.
Might become more useful now... I'll be trying it.

GPS still does not work, btw...

--
[1] and we are talking really MAJOR MAJOR here

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So I Updated My E71

... and now?

As you know it was quite a hassle to even get the update to version 300.21.012 for my operator branded E71... but with some pressure from the operator and finally some competent guys in Nokia, they were able to what to me seems like replacing a broken version of the update files on the NSU server with the correct files... and voila it worked.

Thanks and kudos to the guys at mobilkom who helped.

And what for?
Don't really know.

I still can't sync my email every hour... and that should have been an easy fix, right?

Generally the phone doesn't seem more stable then before... but also not worse...

Only the screen saver no longer works properly... the "none/blank" mode just doesn't. Should go black/blank, but actually shows an animation with the current time... only the "current time" is frozen at the time the screen saver got activated... So if that was 15minutes ago at 10:48 it still shows 10:23...
And this problem is already known since one major release. Quite annoying...

One major hurdle with the update was/is, that for the E71 there is no user data protection (UDP) which would keep the personal user data untouched during the update... not for the E71... So you have to backup and restore everything... and reinstall (!!, no kidding) the applications.
So make sure you check what apps you have on the phone and that you have the .sis and .jar files for them ready.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Free QuickOffice 6 software update for E71

The Nokia E71 blog reports that there is a "Free QuickOffice 6 software update for E71 users!"

And indeed there is.
Just installed it via the applications update mechanism, and still works fine.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gadget upgrade day ;-)

So, I got a new battery for my E71, because my previous one could only with greatest efforts be convinced to last more then one day... and occasionally seemed to refuse to recharge....
Battery - check

And then my iPod Touch updated itself to Version 3.1.2.
iPod - check

And then I got information from my mobile operator (mobilkom austria) that the 300.21.012 release of the E71 firmware finally got published to the Nokia Software Updater... see my previous rants on this subject... update soon to follow.
So I upgraded my E71 and I'm still working on getting all the software back on it... stay tuned.
E71 Firmware - in progress

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yet another E71 discovery


... a bit embarrassing, to be honest.

I've been using my Nokia E71 now for about a year now, and only today discovered that I can delete an item in a list, e.g. SMS, eMail, Todos ... simply be pressing the delete button.

Until today, I always went through the menu...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ctrl-K everywhere

Just noticed the other day, that Ctrl-K (i.e. jump to searchbar) not only works in Firefox and Internet Explorer, but also (tata) in Thunderbird...

Now even more handy with the new indexed full search functionality in Thunderbird 3.0 beta 4....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Some E71 shortcuts

Here are some keyboard shortcuts for the E71 I discovered:

General:
  • Press & hold * (star)
    Turn on/off Bluetooth... quite handy
  • Press & hold #(hash)
    Should switch between general and silent profile,
    but does switch between line #1 and line #2 on mine
    I'd have preferred the profile switch...
In text edit / messaging:
  • Fn-Ctrl-C [1]
    Clipboard Copy
  • Fn-Ctrl-V
    Clipboard Paste
  • Fn-Ctrl-X
    Clipboard Cut
Useful... yes, sort of...

But try hitting [Fn] [Ctrl] and [C] (or V or X) at the same time... and still hold the phone in one hand...
Almost impossible... see where those keys are located:



Lucky however, that you don't have to press and hold them at the same time. Fn, then Ctrl, then C/V/X is OK... so you can do it quite easily.
--
[1] Ctrl being Chr/Ctrl or Alt/Strg (on German keyboard) - the key in the very lower right corner

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

E71 usability

Just by accident I noticed that you can select (="mark") elements on a list on the E71 by holding the shift-key while scrolling over the items.... just like on Windows (and others).
Very convenient in the messaging application (SMS, email).

Don't know why I did it... I didn't try on purpose... I guess I just did it, because that's the way it ought to be...
Sad thing is, I noticed only after about a year...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Innovation = unintended use

One excellent example for using a service in a way the creators (of that service) did not have in mind can be found on flickr - the photo community site/service (now owned by Yahoo):

There actually is a group called "Translate Korean -> English" where you can post your picture with any Korean text and some nice flickr members (who speak Korean and English) will add a comment to your picture with the English translation of that text.

A friend of mine needed this service because she owns a Korean (only) washing machine and needed to know how to operate it ...

Cool - isn't it.

And I'm sure that the flickr founders did not think about this - back then.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nokia support is getting ridiculous

So last time Nokia support told me to "have some patience. The problem should be solved in the near future."
Wir bitten noch mal um etwas Geduld. Das Problem sollte sich naher Zukunft erledigen.
[1]
When today after a couple of days I inquired what they exactly mean by "near future" I was told they "could not give me more detailed information. In the near future means 3-4 weeks or more. We ask you for patience".

Wir können Ihnen leider keine genauere Auskunft geben. In naher Zukunft bedeutet 3-4 Wochen oder auch mehr.
Wir bitten um Geduld.
Just a reminder that first, they told me I was too stupid, and then that the website and the NSU database were just not in sync. Now the problem requires a couple of weeks (or possibly months) to be solved...

Just a reminder: the problem is to sync the information on the website with the NSU database requires 3-4 weeks or more... preposterous.


Well, this time I asked for the support manager... let's see what (s)he has to say regarding answers like those.
I'm waiting...

--
[1] re-reading this: they actually say (in German) that the problem would (more like) disappear in the near future.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Still no update...

this is getting boring (for you, dear subscribers/readers probably, too).
There is still no E71 update for me, and asking Nokia Care Center if waiting from Wednesday to Monday is ample time for them to synchronize their web-query and their NSU database, they choose not to answer.

One might think, that Nokia is not under pressure from Apple and Android/G1/HTC/...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Does NSU hate me ?

I'm getting the feeling, that the Nokia Software Updater (NSU) hates me.
See what it did on August 16h, 9:34 (a couple of minutes ago):

All I wanted was to update my E71...

Friday, August 14, 2009

(No) Update on Nokia Service

So I created a ticket with Nokia Care Center for the missing E71 update for my version.

First Level just got back to me with dummy "read the web pages" instructions and how I should download the Nokia Update Software.
Duuh.
I told them my exact problem and wishes.

So I told them again, ... and that I was expecting a more specific answer.
To which they replied that it can take some time between a new version being reported as available on the web page and actually being available through the updater.
"Hier kann es vorkommen, dass die Information auf der Webseite aktueller ist, wie [sic] die Information die der Nokia Software Updater bekommt.
Wir bitten Sie daher, den Vorgang des Update zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt erneut zu versuchen."

("It can happen that the information on the web page is more current than the information the Nokia Software Updater is receiving. We ask you to repeat the Update at a later time.")

Are more than 48 hours enough? One should think so... alas, they are not.
Updater still does not find the new version.

And the Nokia guy didn't even bother to check or involve some back-office / 3rd level support ... Again just a standard answer...

Annoying.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nokia service (?) quality (?)

I've been waiting for a v2 or v3 update for my E71 for months now - and still am.
As others have ... and already ranted about it (rightfully so).

Problem is, that I have an operator (A1) branded handset, which come with their own product code. Nokia has to release the update specifically for each product code.
Which is OK... and necessary, since the operators should have their say with what goes onto their branded devices[1]... Fair, fair.

Still, the A1 gave Nokia the OK to release 200.xxx months ago... But Nokia did not release 200.xxx or 300.xxx via the updater.

Only yesterday a version higher than v1 (300.21.12) showed up.


Nokia Software Updater, however, on Windows (v1.7.3... to be sure the latest) does not find the new update:


Still wants to keep me on 100.07.76...

So... I complained about it to Nokia...
Let's wait and see...
(mostly wait I guess)

--
[1] not the non-branded ones

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thunderbird 3 attachment reminder

Today I got scared by Thunderbird 3 (beta), when it brought the following pop up when I was trying to send an email:



Huh?
Well at first I just hit "No, Send Now", because I never intended to attach a file...

Hours later it did it again with a different email, still did not want to attach anything.
Couldn't find any pattern when it would come up with the pop up or not.

Then I tried it out (could've googled it of course):
When the email you send contains the wort attached or attachment (or variations a I guess), but there is no attachment, Thunderbird assumes, you just forgot it... and warns you.

Try it yourself: Send an email that says "Attached you'll find nothing" to yourself, and voila...

Cool...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Qando being really really stupid

Qando is an excellent service for quering up to date (and realtime) information about the (mainly) Viennese public transport.
I used to know it from the iPhone - or rather from my iPod touch only, where it was not THAT useful, because it only worked when I had a WiFi connection ... it does an excellent job on a fully GPRS/3G connected iPhone, though.

Found out that it is also available as a JavaME version for more or less or other handsets, including my E71.

Installs OK, starts fine, however, it could NOT access my GPS device (a common problem for JavaME apps).

But I wouldn't even let me enter station/address data by hand.
There is a search input field, but I failed miserably to enter anything there...

...except for numbers, I found out after a while.

And then I played with it a little more, and noticed that - get this! - emulate a T9 input, even when the phone has a full QWERTY keyboard!
So if I hit e.g. the 4-key 3 times it will walk through g-h-i... like it would on a 12 key phone[1].

Aaaaaa... how stupid can one be as a programmer. Who in this century (or the last 20-30 years for that mattters) codes keyboard input and key-stroke-decoding by hand! Let the opsys do that! That's what it is here for. Even on a phone.

So please, Qando programmers, you can do better! And it's a lot easier for you!
--
[1] or whatever the correct number of keys on a numeric-pad-only phone is.

No wait ...


via xkcd - A Webcomic - Estimation

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

XP/centrino crashes under Vbox 3.02

Just installed the newly released VirtualBox 3.02 today, and my (guest) XP started to crash after I de-installed the "old" (2.2.x) guest additions and installed the 3.02 additions.
Turned out that this is a known windows virtualization problem on Centrinos [1] like documented here.

So I rebooted (for the umpteenth time), F8-ed and selected the last known working settings, regedited the

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Intelppm

to the value 4.

Rebooted, and voila... works again.


---
[1] yes, this was on my beloved laptop.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

OpenOffice.org Calc shortcuts

I just learned that Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- add (or remove, respectively) a cell/line in Calc.

Haven't noticed that before, and I only learned it, because I wanted to zoom in/out (like in Firefox)...
Boy, I'm glad there was a popup, and I did not ruin my spreadsheet without knowing it...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Firefox 3.5 - finally

So, on Tuesday I upgraded all my machines to FireFox 3.5...
without any problems.

It really is a lot faster (still in the final, not only in the betas).
And finally also my twitter performance (as ranted about here) works smoothly again...

Go and upgrade.

Monday, June 01, 2009

OpenOffice 3.1 finally working

So after a debug and (re-)install marathon yesterday, I finally got OOo 3.1 to properly run on my laptop – it did run fine on my desktop and in my virtualboxes. Only on my laptop Calc (scalc.exe) would refuse to work.

Turns out that when trying to fix the Java-UNO-bootstrap problem under OOo 3.0 I manually copied a couple of .DLLs to different locations, which were now interfering with with the 3.1 installation.

I only noticed after completely removing 3.1 for the 2 nd or 3 rd time that there still were .DLL files in the OpenOffice directory. So I manually removed that, re-installed (must have been the 5 th time) 3.1 and – voila – it finally worked. Calc now runs fine, even controlled from Java through UNO.

Should have thought of looking into the installation directory earlier... grrrrr...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

ORF vs BBC

BBC - the public broadcasting corporation - is widely regarded as the one broadcaster who managed to "get" new media [1] ... e.g. by opening up their archives, streaming their program (or should I say programme) , ...

Compare that to ORF - the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, public as well, mainly funded by public license fee as well: not even close: hardly any streaming (except for FM4 alternative radio afaik) , some podcasts, no public archive...

One nice indicator of this difference is that on a BBC podcast like the Friday Night Comedy on Radio 4 they start with thanking you for downloading the podcast... whereas on ORF e.g. OE1 Digital Leben ("living digital") at the end of the podcast they tell you that "this show is also available as a podcast"... duh...

Just shows they don't even care to slightly change / cut a program in post-production for podcast... they just "copy" the radio show... instead of using the place/time on the podcast to refer to other podcasts or "real" radio program or in any other way directly address the podcast-only listeners (like myself).

Yet another chance missed.

[1] or rather "the 21st century" ;-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Facebook, Friendfeed, Xing and Twitter

Since Facebook became more stream-oriented there is an ongoing discussion (or rather a fight, it sometimes seems) on whether Facebook is better then Twitter or the other way round? If geeks are present then FriendFeed also comes into the discussion. So I'd like to share my thoughts on those tools, and I'll include Xing for completeness and to have a rather different platform here as well. [1]

1. Noise
One way to differentiate those platforms is noise or the concept of the signal-to-noise-ratio (for the engineers amongst us), short SNR.
As Wikipedia puts it quite well:
"In less technical terms, signal-to-noise ratio compares the level of a
desired signal (such as music) to the level of background noise. The
higher the ratio, the less obtrusive the background noise is."
In yet other terms for social network streams: "How much crap is there on a stream/feed in relation to the interesting stuff."

It of course depends on you and the platform (Facebook, Twitter, ...) what to consider noise and what to consider the signal.
Lets take the "status updates".
  • On Twitter the status updates *are* the signal... so the signal-to-noise is 1:1 or 0 dB :-)
  • On Facebook the status update are part of the whole point of Facebook, but not the only one... they are not strictly noise, but also not the only signal... SNR > 0 dB, but not too high either.
  • Xing does have status updates, but - fortunately - they are rarely used. The stream on Xing that I'm interested in is "Who changed job?" "Who got connected to whom?"... Compared to this signal, the status-update-noise is fairly low... excellent SNR there.
  • Friendfeed to me is somewhere between Twitter and Facebook.

2. Persistance
  • Twitter is only a stream. What you don't see when it floats by, you'll miss. Yes, you can search (thanks to the acquisition and integration of summize into twitter), but that's it. And as far as I saw, only a couple of weeks of history.
    So Twitter only consists of triggers, and does not really have a state.
  • Facebook has both, the stream of status updates and more static content like Group memberships, Fan-ness, etc.
  • Xing is totally static and is actually designed to keep historical data (if you wish so). On Xing I can look up which companies a person worked for in the past years. I don't have to search through status updates to find that out, it's just there on one neat little page.
  • Friendfeed like Twitter, does not really have a state, but is more browseable, again somewhere between Twitter and Facebook.

3. Relationships
  • Twitter and Friendfeed are insofar unique as they support (and are actually designed for) unidirectional relationships. I can follow you, but you still don't have to follow me. Neither technically, nor is it socially mandated. If I follow you on Friendfeed, and you still choose not to follow me there, I hold no grudge against you.
    This also means I can unfollow you anytime.
    Also, this relationship does not have a quality associated with it ("Business", "Family", "Friend").
  • Facebook and Xing require confirmation from both parties to start a relationship. Ignoring or even denying a friend-request or link there is visible to the requester and thus considered rather impolite. It is therefore also rare to unfollow ("unfriend", "unlink") someone, once the connection is established.

So those 4 social platforms have quite different qualities, and that's totally OK with me.
I use them for separate purposes.
I use them at different times.
I think I do have a different style on those.

However, I'm still not quite sure what to do with FriendFeed - a service that I really love... but whatever I do with it, I could also do with Twitter or Facebook. Currently, it's just the better and more complete userinterface into Twitter for me. I guess the main reason is, that more people/friends are on Facebook and Twitter than on FriendFeed.
So sign-up ... and follow me there.


[1] yes, I know there are others like LinkedIn, Plaxo, ... but I rarely use them, or not at all (like myspace)

Wolfram|Alpha only half-intelligent

There are numerous posts about the failure of the "computational knowledge engine" Wolfram|Alpha, just launched.

I don't consider it a failure - at least not yet.

However, one thing that I noticed: they tend to be very intelligent around your input and interpret it in the most meaningful way...

Still - they failed on an easy one.

Try to enter an ambiguous date like "4.5.1980" to find everything for May 4th, 1980... at least that's what you'd expect when you are in central europe (or more generally speaking: outside the U.S.)
Wolfram|Alpha's interpretation, however, is April 5th. ... well, that's not to uncommon for U.S.-centric sites.

What strikes me as odd, is that on the very same page, they show me the weather for Vienna, Austria for that day... nice feature... Yet, they are telling me, that they exactly know that I'm not from the U.S. and the date should be interpreted as a European date, i.e. day.month.year and not the other way round.

Guys, how could you miss that one???

Saturday, May 09, 2009

OpenOffice 3.1 is available - really ?

and ready for download.

However, after installing OOo 3.1 I could not longer work with Calc. Neither thru starting scalc.exe or opening a .ods document, or creating a new spreadsheet from within a running openoffice instance.

Through the UNO/Java API I saw that there is a problem in loading the SCMI.DLL library, but no further indication on what exactly fails there.
Removing and re-installing did not help.
Using the US English version instead of German didn't help either (could've been a build problem with the German build). No hint on google either.

Had to revert back to 3.0.1 - calc now works again.

I'm quite angry - mostly at myself, because I usually test new versions in my virtualbox... This time I did not,.... argh!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 is out

Mozilla Firefox 3.5 Beta 4
has been released April 27th, 2009.
"This is the sixth development milestone and fourth beta release of Firefox 3.5, the upcoming version of the Firefox web browser."

Coward that I am, I only installed it in my virtual box... quite some extensions still not ready for it, e.g. Cooliris, Context-Search and Delicious, so keeping it contained in the vbox is OK for now.

Rejoice: Ancient Greek Spell Checker for OpenOffice

So the last reason that kept you guys from using OpenOffice.org is finally gone:

Ancient Greek Spell Checker | OpenOffice.org repository for Extensions:
Spell Checker for Ancient Greek based on Morpheus word list (provided by the Perseus Project).
This is an alpha version.
Known issues:
1. Hyphenation is not yet supported.
2. Apostrophe is considered an 'ignored character'.
3. Retrieval of long words is quite slow.
At least it proves that OpenOffice.org DOES have proper language support...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

OpenOffice Reader for S60 smartphones

officereader - Google Code:
"For the first time ever, it is now possible to read your OpenDocument files from OpenOffice.org, KOffice, AbiWord and Lotus Symphony on your Symbian Smartphone using Open Source software"
So there ... I've downloaded it to my Nokia E71 and managed to open various OpenOffice documents (presentation, spreadsheet & text) and it works quite well so far, especially on text and spreadsheets (presentations don't really make a lot of sense on the small display).

So, if you are an OpenOffice.org user (or you work with OpenDocument documents) and have an S60 phone, go an get it here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

24 bit RDP under Windows XP

Just recently during (probably my last) Sunray/VDI demo installation I ran into the problem that we could not get 24bit color depth on the virtualized Windows XPs.

The SunRay part of the installation (i.e. the Desktop Unit (DTU, aka. ThinClient) itself could not be the problem, because they always are 24bit (incl their respective X session on the SunRay Server),
we also ran the RDP client (uttsc) with the -A 24 option to force it to 24bit (which it would default to anyway) ... but to no avail.

Of course as always google is your friend; several people have posted and blogged this already: under Windows XP you have to explicitely enable 24bit for RDP. So in the Windows XP image (or template) open the registry and change

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\ColorDepth

to the value 4.
Not sure if you have to reboot the virtual machine (VM) then, but since rebooting a virtualized XP is quite fast anyway, just reboot it...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Did Nokia learn from Palm after all ?

Just found this tip for my beloved Nokia E71 (via twitter):

A Few E71 Tips For Sending Texts, Music Player, Contacts, And More:
"Type To Start A Calendar Or Alarm Entry
Lastly, when you launch the Calendar or Clock application don’t fiddle with options to start what you need to add. If you’re adding a calendar entry start typing the subject and it will begin your entry. When setting your alarm just start typing the time you want and push OK. Done!"

Sounds remarkably like the unmatched ease-of-use of Palm to me...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New tupalo search plugin

Since the guys at tupalo.com seem to have changed their search URL/syntax, I had to update the mycroft/opensearch plugin for Firefox accordingly.

The plugin is still limited to Vienna, because the search URL/syntax at tupalo.com is... once they change that, I'll follow suit.

Btw: the Tupalo Tools & Widgets page links to the search plugin, too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Search is not about wisdom, ...

... it's about mankind's stupidity.

Or how else can you explain that a Google search for the term "indiduell" yields 20 million results, about 14 million only in German.
Results 1 - 10 of about 13,700,000 German pages for indiduell. (0.18 seconds)
The word does not exist.
Its a misspelling and mispronunciation of "individuell" (=individual [leo]) - which interestingly only has "...13,800,000 German pages for individuell. (0.11 seconds) " on Google...

--
I know, those figures are not accurate, but still...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flickr GreaseMonkey script

For the flickr users amongst you:
if you are/were using the GreaseMonkey script for icon replies (the one where you place an icon of the person you reply to next to your text) has been updated to v3.5; the old version did not work anymore.
For details see here.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

VirtualBox networking on Windows

I guess this was the third time I fell into this trap, so I document it here (mainly for myself):

As long as you have any kind of LAN type interface/adapter active under Windows VirtualBox will try to use this[1] to do its networking (NAT in my case). This is true for LAN/Ethernet as well as WLAN/Wifi.
This also happens quietly, so you don't get an error message (from VBox), just the errors from the guest OS, usually DNS errors, because thats likely the first thing to fail.

In my case I frequently run on 3G/HSPDA only, but still have an active (yet disconnected) LAN and WiFi interface. In order for VirtualBox to work properly, those two have to be disabled.

Annoying...
Hope I remember it next time.

-----
[1] or so it seems.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Will the money scam emails ever stop??

Now even in German... (although I received it on a .net address).
Will this ever stop ?
Will people ever stop falling for this ?

Anyway, I consider this great fun...

Whenever you receive such a nigerian/african/russian/whatever money scam, please, please, please listen to Ze Franks rendering of those scams at TED.
You cant help but laugh at this, then.


Guten Tag,

Ich habe Ihre Kontaktadresse nach eigenen Nachforschungen erhalten.
Ich mochte Ihnen ein, fur Sie profitables geschaftliches Angebot
unterbreiten. Es handelt sich hierbei um den Transfer von 20.5
Millionen US Dollar . Wie Sie sicher verstehen werden, mochte
ich Sie hier um ausserste Diskretion bitten.

Meine Name ist Mrs.Diana Meier Vandrift. Ich bin die Witwe von Herr.
Peter Vandrift.Ich wurde in Sudafrika geboren, meine Grosseltern sind
jedoch Deutscher Herkunft.

Mein verstorbener Mann hat das Familien Unternehmen seiner Eltern
geerbt, darunter mehrere Hotels in Sudafrika, Warenhauser und einige
Landwirtschaftliche Betriebe. Ich habe diese zusammen mit meinem
Mann,bis zu seinem Tod, am 25. April 2002, gefuhrt und verwaltet.
Die Vandrift Familie (Familie meines Mannes ) war beteiligt an der
Politik in Sud Afrika, zu Zeiten der Apartheid. Mein Schwiegervater
war Mitglied und ranghoher Offizier der Apartheidsregierung unter
Premierminister Hendrik Verwoerd.

mein schwiegervater war nicht verantwortlich fur menschenrechtsver-
letzungen.Jedoch ist es schlimm genug, das er fur das damalige
innenministerium gearbeitet hat.

Er beendete seine Laufbahn als Offizier mit dem Ende der Apartheid
und begann sein Kariere als Geschaftsmann. Er investierte und
erwirtschaftete in kurzester Zeit ein betrachtliches Vermogen.
Nach unserer Hochzeit, ubernahm mein Mann die Geschafte seines
Vaters. Sein grosser Traum war es jedoch, Politiker zu werden. Er
wurde Mitglied der Oppositionspartei, Demokratic Alliance ( DA ) und
unterstutzte diese auch finanziell.

Die regierende Partei ANC ( Nelson Mandela ) war nicht glucklich uber
diese Situation,trat an meinen Mann heran und forderte ihn auf,
jede finanzielle Unterstutzung einzustellen. Er gab jedoch nicht nach.
Im Marz 2002 , erschien ein Artikel in der Guardian Newspaper, in dem
die Familie meines Mannes, der Zusammenarbeit mit der
Apartheidsregierung beschuldigt wurde. Offenbar eine Aktion des ANC,
gegen meinen Mann.

Am 25. April 2002, um 4 Uhr Morgens , versammelte sich eine Gruppe
von Schwarzen vor unserem Haus und versuchte auf das Grundstuck zu
gelangen. Wir riefen die Polizei, die jedoch sehr lange auf sich
warten liess. Als mein Mann am Fenster stand wurde er von funf
Gewehrkugeln todlich getroffen.

Er starb noch in meinen Armen,bevor die Polizei und der Krankenwagen
unser Haus erreicht hatten.

Fast Sieben Jahre nach dem schrecklichen Ereignis, bin ich immer noch
depressiv, mein Herz ist gebrochen und mein Leben schein zerstort.
Ich habe sehr viel Angst. Aus diesem Grund habe ich mich entschlossen,
das Land, das mir so viel Kummer und Leid gebracht hat zu verlassen.
Ich werde gehen und nie wieder zuruckkehren. Ich habe das gesamte Erbe
meines Mannes veraussert und verfuge nun uber eine betrachtliche
Summe von 20.5 Millionen US Dollar. Diese Geld mochte ich nach Europa
senden.

Hierfur bitte ich um Ihre freundliche Unterstutzung. Ich mochte das
Geld investieren und wurde auch hierfur um Ihre Hilfe bitten. Fur
diese freundliche Unterstutzung mochte ich Ihnen 10% des Geldes
zukommen lassen.

Bitte senden Sie etwaige Antworten auf meine unten angegebene Email
Adresse.

Ich hoffe auf Ihre baldige Antwort und verbleibe hoflichst

Mrs.Diana Meier Vandrift

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Function Follows Platform

With a bit of hands on experience with the most recent generation of mobile phones (or smartphones, I guess I should say; iPhone/iPod touch, E71/S60, X1/Windows mobile), I noticed that it is more and more the platform that dictates what and how the phone does things.

E.g. my rant about the X1/Windows not being able to handle an alarm like every other phone on this planet.
Or that with some functions I feel that the E71/S60 is - as a phone - way behind my previous Nokia 6233/S40: Can't schedule a call on the S60, I could on the S40 (which is supposed to be inferior).

I haven't had any experience with the G1/Android so far, but from what I saw with those other phones, it will most probably be the same:

Function Follows Platform.

The (downward) stack now dictates the (upward) user experience.

As much as I like open platforms with easy and open developer access and app distribution, I hate what it sometimes does to user experience.

Sad, somehow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Johnny Lee: Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote

Wonderful TED presentation that demos the power of open systems, open minds and innovative people who want to achieve something

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

RTFM 2.0

Just learned of a cool web service that totally replaces the good old RTFM [1].

It's called "Let me Google that for you" ... and does exactly that.

You enter a term in letmegooglethatforyou, get a link in return and send this link to your RTFMee [2].
Who, will get animated instructions on how he/she should have used Google in the first place.

I guess those RTFMees will get the message, then!

And no, in the spirit of this tool, I wont post the URL of this service.

Enjoy.
--
[1] RTFM = "Read the f*cking manual"... something you tell people who ask stupid questions that could be answered by simply looking it up in the manual. A bit outdated... Kind of nineties...
[2] I like that term ... even though I just made it up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Media mess up

Odd how "old" media drives behavious in/with new media.
  1. when there is nothing on TV, I usually watch The Daily Show online - or The Colbert Report (same same).
    - or -
  2. I get inspired by the TV program - like yesterday with P.T. Anderson's wonderful Boogie Nights - and watch exactly the same movie, just on DVD, because I get the original version then, not the crappy German translation.

  3. I totally give up on movies and watch some TED talks on my iPod.
Either way, the TV is more and more becoming just the trigger, not the media itself.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Skype for S60


Finally there is a (beta) Skype for Symbian/S60 (or more importantly: my E71).
It is a JavaMobile app, and can be found here.
Looks promising and - from the first glimpse - a bit easier to use than Fring. [1]

Let us all rejoice...

--
[1] not sure if it will really make my life easier...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

SMS delivery report problem confirmed

Finally got confirmation that the broken delivery reports are indeed a problem on mobilkom's SMSC and they are working on a fix.
And I already blamed my poor little innocent E71... how could I?

Hope they won't charge for those broken message ...
(I know they will charge, but I never give up hope).

Monday, January 05, 2009

More on the SMS report problem

Seems that the SMS delivery report problem (by hint of Max) that this is not a E71/S60 problem, because it happens with other handsets (SE K580i in his case), too. The problem started to surface for him at exactly the same time as it did here.
The only commonality is the operator, hence the SMSC...

So, dear mobilkom austria, kindly look into this.
Looks like you are loosing the DLR flag or whatever it is...(software change 2-3 weeks ago ??)