Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bugzilla RSS vs Google Reader

I've been monitoring the Mozilla Lightning bugs in bugzilla for a while now using an RSS feed of bugzilla into my Google Reader.
I frequently noticed that the information on some bugs was not complete, but did not really care.
Today's view however, was the best so far and comes with quite some aesthetic touch:

You can really watch as Google Reader tries to retrieve the feed and fails, tries again 3 hours later, gets some more date, and fails ... etc etc ... ad inf.

But it looks great.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Le Web 3 Videos online

The videos of the Le Web 3 conference from Paris are online here:

New Flickr Uploadr

Flickr released their new version (3.0) of the upload tool, aptly called uploadr.
2 technical details worth mentioning:
  1. It is open source.
  2. It is based on XULRunner, the mozilla runtime.
    (and therefore Windows and Mac OS-X)
Actually it is the first XUL application (except for Mozilla and all the direct spin offs like Flock) I came across "in the wild".

As for the features:
  • you can now manage a lot more attributes offline, i.e. still on the PC
  • the user interface and layout are a lot more clear than in previous version
  • since it is XUL it has - like Firefox and friends - an easy online update feature.
Sadly, though, the most important "Upload Photos" button vanishes unpredictably from time to time (for me). Hope this gets fixed...

Or no, it's open source, so I'll just check out the source myself, wont I.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home PC power consumption

I'm doing some math around the power consumption advantages of thin clients, namely the Sun Ray, versus regular PCs (spell: green IT).
So I borrowed a power meter from a colleague and just checked my own PC, a fairly regular, non-game, non-graphics PC:
2 GHz Athlon, 1GB RAM, 2 HDs, Radeon 9000 on-board graphics, and the usual peripherals like Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers... nothing fancy.

Without the monitor the PC uses the following power (measured right at the power plug):
  • 0W when totally switched off at the back-side
  • 2,7W (!!!) when switched off only with the front side switch (or shut-down menu),
    as well as in hibernate mode
  • 7W (!!!) in stand-by mode
  • 115-130W when in use
I could not find a clear correlation between the power consumption and CPU or disk usage. It would just oscillate between 115 and 130W...

So - again without the Monitor - over a whole year, with my regular PC usage at home this amounts for 328kWh or about 6% of my electricity bill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Import, Export, Up, Down ?

On a web page (in this case a calendar service on the web) would you really use the DOWN-arrow for import (i.e.UPload to the web page) and the UP-arrow for export (i.e. DOWNload from the web page).

Rather confusing, I thought.
Why not use an arrow that goes INTO a box for import and an arrow that goes OUT OF a box for export...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Facebook - Should I? Do I have to?

For a couple of weeks now I am quite successful in NOT opening a facebook account/page/whatever they call it.

I first thought that Steve Gillmor (of the former Gillmor Gang, now just The Gang) might force me to, but I found the podcast outside facebook.

So it is still open again: Should I join facebook ?
(I'm not really interested in one more social network, but I'd be interested in the applicatoins/service platform it constitutes).

Flickr now has statistics

Flickr now comes with quite improved statistics. When I say improved, I mean improved over the pure "this photo has been viewed x times" statistics - if you can call it "statistics".

Anyway, now there are proper statistics, like this:

You get web access statistics like the view count for photos, your photo stream, the sets and the collections (yesterday, this week, last week, and all-time).
Your most viewed photos (yesterday and all-time only)
The top referrers (yesterday and all-time only) (not surprisingly flickr itself is on top)

You also have "content" statistics like how many pictures are public/private/..., tagget/non-tagged, fav'd, ...

Here's the help for it.

Share Google Reader Items with Google Talk Friends

Google is going more and more social network; you can now share items in your Google reader with your "friends"... as defined in your google talk profile...

More details in the Official Google Reader Blog: Reader and Talk are Friends!

StarOffice 8 Update 9

... is finally here.

Get it from SunSolve as 120187-12 (for Winodws).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who is writing those press releases?

Found on the Sun website:
"Sun Accelerates Growth of UltraSPARC CMT Eco System; Releases OpenSPARC T2 Processor RTL to Open Source Community and Joins Five Major Universities in Launch of OpenSPARC Technology Centers of Excellence"
Boy... are they trying to mock us? Or do those writers really mean that?

Yes, I do work for them, but not in PR

NetBeans 6.0 is out

and I installed it a couple of days ago.
Migration from 5.5 is pretty smooth (I only had to add the JAX-RPC WS plugin), and all projects compiled again.
I even noticed tons of nonsense in my code... Just in a couple of hours.

More on NB6 in the upcoming days, weeks, months.
Download NetBeans

Glassfish book

I just noticed that Glassfish (the Sun lead open-source JavaEE Application Server) has its first book.

Java EE Development Using Glassfish Application Server

There is a review by Arun Gupta (one of my favorite Java bloggers).

More on Glassfish here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dopplr and Lightning

I just noticed that Dopplr (the social travel site) lets me subscribe to my trips in iCal.
I did so from Lightning, the Thunderbird calendar plugin, and it works fine.

So I know have my office calendar, my Google Calendar and my Dopplr trips all in Lightning.
Cool (if somewhat redundant, though).

Nice FF extension - I think

A couple of months ago Gernot recommended a Firefox extension to me: Speed Dial

Basically it allows you to go one step beyond bookmarking and assign a speed dial (as on the phone) to your favorite pages - or the ones you most frequently have to visit (in case they are not your favorites ;-) )

It's really cool and neat... and I have it installed and running for about 4 months now, but I still don't "need" it...

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thunderbird - Display mailer icon

Cool Thunderbird extension to display an icon according to the senders mailer agent: DispMUA.

So those Outlook users can now be easily spotted.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bad webpages

While trying to get some answers from the electronic timetable for the mass transit in and around Vienna, I had to cope with a site that makes about every web-mistake in the book (at least in my book).
  1. They give you those ancient redirect warnings / helps ("If your browser does not support ...") in 2007 !! A web page that is full of frames assumes that frames do work, but redirects don't.
    Very likely ... and annoying.

  2. They are totally up-to-date with their list of supported browsers:
    • MS Internet Explorer 6
    • Netscape 7
    • Opera 7
    Ever heard of Firefox ? Safari, anyone ?

  3. In their search form they use bureaucratic terms like "Anfordern" (sorry for the German) etc. I just want to search and not "apply" for an answer...

  4. They don't know when to use drop-downs or radio buttons. Take a look at this search form

    The radio buttons are supposed to change the meaning of the second entry field. In the first field you enter your city, in the second one either the name of a station/stop (if you know it), or a street address or any point of interest.
    Would you have guessed that from the layout ?
    Why not do it with a drop-down like this:

  5. And please get rid of the "Start" label... this is not a multi-page wizard that guides me through a complex query, it's just one simple page...

Anyway, you can guess that I don't like this page.

Sun Presentation Minimizer for StarOffice and OpenOffice

The Sun Presentation Minimizer is a great extension to reduce the file size of an Impress presentation. It does so by

  • cropping images according to their visibility

  • reducing image quality (e.g. 50% JPEG at 150 dpi)

  • removing hidden slides

  • removing notes


And – quite important – it gives you a summary of what it is about to remove or modify and also an estimate on the gain (new vs. old filesize). The default setting is for a copy of the file to be created, which is good, since this is the safe path...

I have tried it on one of my recent presentations, and could reduce it from 7MB to 2.3MB... quite impressive for the default options. And (on screen) the presentation looked exactly the same... which should not be too surprising, since you really do not need 300dpi for some supporting images and graphics.

Great tool. Get it here at the extensions repository.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Dopplr speaks Flickr

Dopplr - the travel social network - now integrates with flickr.
As usual with flickr meshups, you provide the "link" to flickr within Dopplr, and then ...

Dopplr will show photos that were taken during the trips registered in Dopplr ... clever, eh ?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gmail inbox is just a label ??

Just noticed that tiny little "icon" next to a mail in my inbox in Gmail... and the hover help for it.

So "Inbox" is just a "label" ? Wow...
Then again, it makes sense.

Monday, December 03, 2007

XING becomes more dynamic

Xing - the "European Linkedin" or former OpenBC - just got more dynamic.

The "What's new in my network" feature automatically "pushes" information about changes of your contacts to your start page (and you can subscribe via RSS to it). From the help text:
In the "What's new in my network" infobox, you can see the latest updates and changes to the profiles of your direct contacts. You can choose which information you wish to allow your direct contacts to see in your privacy settings.
Helpful. And more linkedin / plaxo-pulse like.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Google Reader: recommendations and drag-and-drop

Two cool new features, reported by the Google Reader Blog and tested by your's truly:
  1. Recommendations
    you'll see quite a few feeds that we think you may find interesting. "Interesting" here is determined by what other feeds you subscribe to, as well as your Web History data, all taken into account in an automated, anonymized fashion. (To learn more about how our recommendations work, see our help article about them).

  2. drag & drop interface in the "folder pane"...
    (not sure Google calls it folder pane, but in all other programs with the same kind of UI it is called that)

Friday, November 30, 2007

My reading habits

This is what Google Reader trends says about my reading habits and thereby about my daily routines ...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Enterprise Identity Trends

I have been working with/in/for enterprise (!) identity management (IdM) for the past 4 years or so. What I noticed from recent developments and discussions with partners and customers is:
  1. The market is now moving from a vendors to consultants and integrators. They finally got it. And the enterprises as well. We are no longer discussing whether Sun or Novell or Oracle are better, and which to deploy, but customers now first try to identify what their organizational needs are and pick a tool afterwards.
  2. The focus is moving (right now) from pure user provisioning to a more full identity management including role management. See the recent acquisitions from Sun (Vaau) and Oracle (Bridgestream)
  3. This means that the tool market will become “ commoditized”:
    Customers can now (see bullet 1.) focus on the higher layers first, while having the confidence that later they will be able to implement that on any on the top tools (Sun, Novell, Oracle, ...).

Well, my 0.02€ at least.

(For the sake of full disclosure: I work for Sun Microsystems)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Announcing 2008 TED Prize winners

From TEDBlog the 2008 TED prize winners are:

Flickr introduces Places

Flickr now does more with geotagged photos.

Flickr: Places:
"The Places project is our way of saying thank you to all our members who’ve taken the time to put their gorgeous photos on a map. Browse the whole globe, from your hometown to your favorite place, or places you’ve never even heard of..."

I think of it as a place's portal into flickr, check Vienna for example... here's the full URL which says a lot about the concept of places as well:

ze frank on "privacy"

Ze Frank is back (not the full show, though, but still...), and I love it.

Here's what he has to say on privacy...
ze's page :: "privacy"

thank you, ze

Saturday, November 17, 2007

5 Gmail features

They guys at the Official Gmail Blog were so nice to post 5 little-known Gmail features you may not yet know about:

5. "Archive and next" shortcut
4. Share mail searches with friends
3. Browser navigation and history
2. Bookmark emails
1. "Filter messages like this"

And for the last week or two I have the impression it is significantly faster now... (but maybe it's just an impression).

So, thank you, Official Gmail Blog, for the tips...

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Service provider" starts with "Service"

What does a "service provider" actually think, when they have a planned (!) mail outage for about 12 hours without prior announcement?

And then, why can't they configure the IMAP servers properly for that period of time, so that the do not complain about my password but just say that the service is down (which they can)?

And - while we are at it - what can they possibly mean with "Web 2.0 user interface" ?

So clueless...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sun to acquire Vaau

So, Sun decided to broaden their Identity portfolio by acquriring Vaau... finally we will see some decent role management capabilities in the Sun portfolio.
Actually, this is a must, after Oracle bought Bridgestream this summer...

If you are into corporate press-releases then you might want to endure this: Sun Microsystems Strengthens Market-Leading Identity Management Portfolio with Intent to Acquire Vaau

(In the interest of full disclosure: I am a Sun Microsystems employee)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Flickr Love

Flickr now lets me export my flickr group subscriptions as OPML.

How cool is that ?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Is it Christmas?

In case you wonder... check here at

The best part: comes with a cosy RSS feed, so you can stay up-to-date.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bye bye "Thinkpad"

Lenovo ditches ThinkPad early | The Register: "Lenovo ditches ThinkPad early"

Book: Core Memory

A computer coffee table book ? Yes, in a way.

"Core Memory" is an illustrated book full of great photos of vintage computers, like the french minitel, the Apple II, Cray I (with all the cabling), Zuse Z3, good old IBMs, etc, etc.

IMAP for Gmail is finally really here.

Yes, now it does work. As the gmail blog pointed out it would take a couple of days for everyone to have it.

Since this night I have IMAP, too. And against my belief, I discovered it through configuring a Gmail account with IMAP in Thunderbird and wait for the error message to vanish.

So here's the proof:

And I also found the confirmation on the gmail blog here.

You actually get each Gmail tag as an IMAP folder, and the default/system and a special folder/view called "Gmail" with the
  • All Mail
  • Drafts
  • Sent Mail
  • Spam
  • Starred
views in it. Looks like this in thunderbird.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sun wins over IBM

At least in James Governor's Dopplr challenge.

James Governor’s Monkchips: Sun wins the Dopplr 2 By A Nose:
"Sun wins the Dopplr 2 By A Nose Well the results are in folks. During the course of last week both IBM and Sun pretty much doubled their dopplr user populations, but Sun came out just ahead by close of play on Friday."

Well, I'm always glad to help.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

About choice

Slightly - but not entirely - off-topic here...
but only slightly: currently IT and the surrounding industries are all about choice...
  • Linux vs Solaris vs Windows
  • Intel vs AMD vs Sparc vs Power
  • Java vs .net vs Python vs Ruby vs ..
  • Nokia vs Sony vs iPhone vs ...
to name just a few.

There are 2 great talks from TED about choice and our (=mankind's) inability to cope with decisions vis-a-vis choice:
  1. Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy?

  2. Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

I recommend you stick to this order...

See my other TED recommendations here.


Recently I stumbled upon this great service: FlightAware.

It is a free flight tracker that comes with all available (I think) information on flights (US only, right now) and Airports.

Want to know where the plane from JKF to Austin is right now ? - look here:

Comes with up-to-date location and arrival information and a nice history of the same flight in the past days/months.

You can also see what is going on around a certain airport:

Really good and cool stuff.
Just utterly, utterly useless here in Europe...

Friday, October 26, 2007

IMAP for Gmail - here's how to wait...

Although my gmail account is still not enabled for IMAP, I added an IMAP/Gmail account to my Thunderbird.
Now Thunderbird will check, if I'm already enabled.

I'll get the following error message until my account is enabled:

Easy. And says it all.

IMAP for Gmail ! ... please hold

So the IMAP support in Gmail is not just a rumor but actually there, as the official gmail blog reports.

However, not everyone has is right now as they admit in the fine print:
(Psst. If you don't see the "IMAP" in the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab, then check back soon. We are giving it to users as fast as we can).
So, I'll be checking back soon, i.e. daily...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mozilla Lightning 0.7 has been released

Major steps for the Mozilla Calendar project:

Lightning 0.7 & Sunbird 0.7 have been released

Lightning in the plugin (or add-on as they are now called) for Thunderbird.
(There's a standalone version, too, called SunBird).

I've been using betas and nightly builds for (almost) the last year now, and it is really quite stable.
Can't live without it anymore.

Great job, guys.

Now would you please fix the bugs I reported ;-)

IMAP for Gmail ?

TechCrunch reports that Gmail [is] Apparently Enabling IMAP Support.

That'd be cool...

It's true, they talk about it in their help on how to enable IMAP, but it is not yet there in the application.

I wonder if and how the map tags to folders ??
Or just a "plain"
  • Inbox
  • Sent
  • Draft
  • Spam

Then I'd finally have my local copy of Gmail in Thunderbird really in sync with the Gmail service, something POP3 simply cant do.

Lets (wait and) see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

James Gosling: JavaME is NOT dead

Boy, I thought I misread all the recent posts about James Gosling (godfather of Java , i.e. God and father of Java) declaring Java ME dead.
He rightfully points out that it is NOT. James Gosling: on the Java Road

Monday, October 22, 2007


Ok, so James Governor challenged us ("us" being Sun and IBM), and since my veins carry Sun and IBM blood (whatever colour that might yield) I had to accept.
James Governor’s Monkchips � Now its a game, an IBM vs Sun game. dopplr meets cagefightr

I now have dopplr account... I just don't travel that much these days... but I checked in my "trip" (within Vienna) to the World-of-Health-IT WHIT 2007 conference.

Ok, I'll most probably go there by underground, but it still counts as a trip, doesn't it... (please say yes).

Know what's great: dopplr accepts openID...

So finally know what I can do with my Sun openid...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sun and Samsung developing 'Java phone'

A late edition of an April Joke ???

"McNealy said Tuesday in Seoul that the companies were working on a 'Java phone' that would surpass Apple's iPhone in functionality and cost less, the mass-circulation JoongAng Ilbo reported."

Oracle and BEA

The news about Oracle to buy (or bid for) BEA Systems is... well not really news, and wont really change a lot in the industry.

The funniest and news-worthiest (??) part is, that BEA thinks they are worth more... IMHO, they are lucky to be bought at all... now.

Several companies have fought over BEA years ago, but now ?
What do they stand for ?
What is their position in the market ?
And which market by the way ?
The Appserver market ? - nope, lost to IBM, JBoss (and more and more Sun/Glassfish)
The Integration/SOA market ? - too small a share.

I think, Oracle is just buying some remaining customers for their application server / integration story... to kick it off.

Wont really rock the industry... And (as usual with such acquisitions) the combined Oracle/BEA market share will shrink, they'll lose to JBoss/Sun... (I hope).

Turing Test Extra Credit

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Finally, I got

Not the account, I have had that for quite some time now.

But last week - for the first time ever - I sent out a link to a tag instead of a list of links.

Now, whenever I add something to (with this tag), people (if they are smart) get the update via RSS... or (if they are less smart) when they retrieve my email with the link to they will still get the "new" link list there...

Finally, I got
Pretty cool.

Comic: Little Bobby Tables

This is just fantastic:

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

flickr loves me

Seems to be a new feature, or maybe I just didn't look carefully enough in the last year...
On the start page the now also tell me the group/discussion updates.

That's nice.

Friday, October 05, 2007

OpenOffice as a Java Update

This just popped up on my computer...

would be even cooler if it detected my (running) StarOffice ...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Nokia 6233 update fixes my bluetooth problem

I used to have problems with the bluetooth connectivity of my Nokia 6233 in my car.
Bluetooth connection would drop every 2 minutes or so, and then reconnect...
Unless (get this) I had the mobile "hidden" e.g. in the pocket of my jeans, ... then it would work.

With the new SW update this problem has now vanished.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nokia vs open

Just listened to the most entertaining podcast from the O'Reilly Emerging Telephony Conference (from IT conversations): Tero Ojanperä (CTO of Nokia) made my day with the following line:

We [Nokia] have been long time advocate of the openness.

Bruhaha. And to prove my point:

Porting between S[eries] 60 and open source will be really easy...

Porting between open-source and anything... just shows their mind set

Apart from that it just shows a totally uninspired Nokia when it comes to internet and mobile.

Ballmer Peak


Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Extension Repository

There is a new repository for OOo extentions.

What I like - from the first look only - is, that it is not only categorized, but also tagged.

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Software update for Nokia 6233

Yet another software update for the Nokia 6233, v 5.43 to replace my 5.11
Get it here.
Not only does Google Maps continue to work, but now one can link (Java) applications directly into the GoTo Menu...

Thanks Nokia.
And yes, thanks, for having me re-configure the active standby yet again...

3365 unconfirmed Thunderbird bugs

Yesterday I opened a Thunderbird bug/enhancement. While I was in bugzilla I ran quick query and found that
3365 bugs against Thunderbird are currently still unconfirmed
. (btw: FireFox has 5406 which is - relatively speaking - less)

Ahem... about time someone started to work on them...