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Schi 4.0

{feature image (C) “Loop21 Mobile Net GmbH” – gefunden auf futurezone.at}

 

Dieser Tage eine Schlagzeile: “WLAN auf der Schipiste wird zum Standard“. Der Artikel erklärt weiter, dass das WLAN besonders in der Mittagszeit genutzt würde (hoffentlich von jenen abseits der Piste, denk ich mir noch) und dass die Frage nach dem WLAN meist die erste beim Betreten einer Hütte wäre. Ein unmittelbarer Realitycheck bei den Kids bringt hervor: Jaja – das kennen wir schon lang!

Kurz überlege ich mir: Mit dem Handy in der Hand auf zwei Brettern den Berg runtersausen (Anm.: Ich bin kein Schifahrer) – interessant. Könnte cool aussehen und sich schmerzhaft anfühlen – mitunter. Man müsste Helmvisiere mit Dateneinblendung haben (gibt’s ja bereits fürs Motorrad). Da lese ich schon: “Skiwelt amadé lockt mit Datenbrille zum Ausborgen.” – Also auch schon alt.

Trotzdem: Ein paar Probleme – abseits einer gewissen Kollisionsgefahr beim beliebten Downhill Race Livestream – bleiben doch. Die könnte man eliminieren:

  • Strom: Die Hütten und Liftsäulen haben zwar jetzt alle ihre ordentliche WLAN-Abdeckung, haben aber wohl vielfach zum Aufrüsten ihrer Steckdosen vergessen. Wenn etwa 500 ausgehungerte Schifahrer zu Mittag essen, trinken, sich sonnen und mit den Freunden snapchaten wollen, dann brauchen wir Steckdosensäulen bei jedem Tisch. Oder …
  • Das Hochleistungs-Akkupack in der Tasche. Oder noch besser: In die Schijacke verbaut. Am Rücken einer mittelgroßen Jacke gehen sich so 5 – 7 LiPo-Zellen locker aus (auf die feuersichere Verbauung achten).
  • Alternativ wäre die Verbauung von Solarzellen im Schulterbereich des Anoraks denkbar. Ein kleines Zimo-Panel bringt angeblich etwa 5-6V. Bei gutem Schiwetter wohl ausreichend, um ein bisschen Surfen, Route Checken oder Chatten auf der Schipiste zu ermöglichen, bis Zeit für einen Stop und den nächsten Schnelladevorgang ist.
  • Der könnte sich übrigens mit USB-Ladestationen auf längeren Sesselliftfahrten ausgehen.
  • Nachts will dann das ganze Zeug ordentlich für den nächsten Tag vorbereitet werden, weshalb auch die Hotelleriebetriebe gut daran tun, ausreichend Steckdosen in den Zimmern vorzusehen (ich reise ja mittlerweile mit dem persönlichen Dreifach-Stromverteiler auf Grund dieses immer virulenter werdenden Problems)
  • Routenplanung: In kurzer Zeit möglichst viel des auserkorenen Urlaubs-Schigebiets kennen zu lernen hat schon seinen Sinn, finde ich, weshalb die Gebietsbetreuer gut daran täten, entweder in der eigenen App oder auf deren Website optimierte Schischaukel-Tagesrouten anzubieten. Inklusive wählbaren Schwierigkeitsgrades, Starring (“like” – möchte ich nochmal fahren – …) und natürlich der Sharing-Möglichkeit mit Freunden (wozu sonst Online-Sein; “ich bin hier; wo bist du gerade”).
  • Die Routenanweisungen werden dann per Bluetooth-Lautsprecher in den Helm durchgegeben, wenn nicht grade das Lieblingslied läuft (gibt’s schon – ich weiß; “Warte, Schatz, ich muss erst mein Handy rausnehmen und die Musik abschalten, damit ich dich verstehen kann.”)
  • Selbstredend blenden die Hütten- und Attraktionen-Betreiber entlang der Strecke per iBeacons an den Liftsäulen und Bäumen den p.t. Schigästen die besten tagesaktuellen Angebote abhängig von deren Vorlieben ins Helmvisier ein – das nur zum Drüberstreuen.
  • Und wenn ich dann von der Bergstation aus mein Mittagsmenü per Voice-Command bestelle, bekomme ich 10% Rabatt und einen Jagatee extra.

Zugegeben: Mein letztes Mal auf Brettern im Schnee liegt doch wohl schon so etwa 5 Jahre zurück (wenn nicht mehr). Der Test all dieser IoT Errungenschaften macht allerdings schon irgendwie Lust … Vielleicht stell ich mich in den kommenden Wiener Semesterferien wieder mal auf eine Schipiste und schau mir an, was von all dem schon geht. Um dann vielleicht festzustellen, dass die 4G-Abdeckung bereits so breit ist, dass das eingangs noch als Alleinstellungsmerkmal vermutete WLAN bald schon wieder völlig wurscht sein wird.

P.S.: Am Realitätscheck passionierter Schifahrer wäre ich übrigens brennend interessiert … bitte hinterlasst mir doch einen Kommentar hier. Danke!

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Happy New Year

Between the years: From Dec 31st, 11:00 CET, to Jan 1st, 13:00 CET, I decided to publish a collection of facebook posts once going full circle around our globe – each saying hello to a few countries – each at the time where these countries enter the New Year.

As – obviously – I didn’t want to spend any more time on the computer than necessary, I used a free account of Buffer (https://buffer.com/) to schedule the posts. Limitations (learnings) of this is:

  • It wasn’t possible to create a schedule for all necessary times throughout those 26 hours
  • Post queueing was only allowed for up to 10 posts in advance
  • After 24 posts, Buffer said, that my account had reached its post limit per day – this was especially annoying as it said it not while preparing the post, but when the post was due, thereby making it impossible for me to react in time.

Anyway – the whole exercise was fun, revealed a few interesting insights into how world time zones are structured and brought some nice feedback.

Data for “countries entering the new year at …” came from http://www.timeanddate.com. They use an html “title=” attribute of a <span> to list all the countries on hovering over the respective table column. If you’re interested – here’s the full table of countries exported from the source.

Have fun!

11:00

Samoa and Christmas Island/Kiribati

11:15

Chatham Islands/New Zealand

12:00

New Zealand with exceptions, Fiji, some regions of Antarctica, Tonga, Phoenix Islands/Kiribati and Tokelau

13:00

small region of Russia, regions of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Nauru, regions of US Minor Outlying Islands and Tuvalu

14:00

much of Australia, Sakha (Yakutia)/Russia, Pohnpei/Micronesia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Bougainville/Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Norfolk Island

14:30

Small region of Australia: Adelaide, Broken Hill, Ceduna

15:00

Queensland/Australia, some regions of Russia, much of Papua New Guinea, regions of Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, small region of Antarctica and Guam

15:30

Northern Territory/Australia: Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek

16:00

Japan, South Korea, Sakha (Yakutia)/Russia, small region of Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Palau

16:15

Western Australia/Australia: Eucla

16:30

North Korea: Hamhung, Pyongyang

17:00

China, Philippines, regions of Indonesia, Western Australia/Australia, Malaysia, most of Mongolia, Taiwan, small region of Russia, Brunei, some regions of Antarctica, Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau

18:00

much of Indonesia, Thailand, Krasnoyarsk/Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Christmas Island and some regions of Mongolia

18:30

Myanmar and Cocos Islands

19:00

Bangladesh, much of Kazakhstan, small region of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory and small region of Antarctica

19:15

Nepal

19:30

India and Sri Lanka

20:00

Pakistan, some regions of Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, regions of Kazakhstan, Maldives, Tajikistan, French Southern Territories and some regions of Antarctica

20:30

Afghanistan

21:00

Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Oman, small region of Russia, much of Georgia, Reunion (French), Mauritius and Seychelles

21:30

Iran

22:00

Moscow/Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Belarus, Somalia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Eritrea, Uganda, regions of Ukraine, Djibouti, Sudan, Yemen, Kenya, South Sudan, Qatar, Comoros, Bahrain, regions of Georgia, small region of South Africa, Kuwait and Mayotte

23:00

Greece, South Africa with exceptions, Finland, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Kyiv/Ukraine, Botswana, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Palestinian Territories, Syria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Latvia, much of Dem. Rep. Congo, Libya, Jordan, Burundi, Cyprus, Rwanda, Malawi, Namibia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mozambique, Lesotho, Moldova, Swaziland and small region of Russia

00:00

Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, France, Poland, Italy, Barcelona/Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Nigeria, Denmark, Belgium, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Algeria, Tunisia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Angola, Chad, Central African Republic, Hungary, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Albania, Serbia, regions of Dem. Rep. Congo, Slovenia, Niger, Congo, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Republic of, Kosovo, Montenegro, Gabon, San Marino, Malta, Liechtenstein, Vatican City State, Gibraltar, Monaco and Andorra

01:00

United Kingdom, Portugal with exceptions, Ireland, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Morocco, Iceland, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Guinea, Mali, some regions of Spain, Guinea-Bissau, Saint Helena, Gambia, Ghana, Guernsey, some regions of Antarctica, Isle of Man, small region of Greenland, Faroe Islands, Sao Tome and Principe and Jersey

02:00

Cabo Verde, Azores/Portugal and small region of Greenland

03:00

regions of Brazil and South Georgia/Sandwich Is.

04:00

Argentina, regions of Brazil, Chile with exceptions, Uruguay, most of Greenland, regions of Antarctica, Paraguay, French Guiana, Suriname, Falkland Islands and Saint Pierre and Miquelon

04:30

Newfoundland and Labrador/Canada

05:00

some regions of Canada, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Amazonas/Brazil, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Guyana, Caribbean Netherlands, Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, British Virgin Islands, small region of Greenland, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Bermuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Montserrat, Sint Maarten, Barbados, Saint Martin, Grenada, Saint Barthélemy, Curaçao, Aruba and Martinique

05:30

Venezuela

06:00

USA (New York, Washington D.C., Detroit), regions of Canada, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador with exceptions, Cuba, Panama, small region of Brazil, small region of Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, small region of Chile and Cayman Islands

07:00

USA (Chicago, Dallas), Federal District/Mexico, some regions of Canada, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and small region of Ecuador

08:00

USA (Denver, Phoenix), some regions of Canada (Calgary) and some regions of Mexico

09:00

USA (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas), some regions of Canada, Baja California/Mexico and Pitcairn Islands

10:00

USA (Alaska) and regions of French Polynesia

10:30

Marquesas Islands/French Polynesia: Taiohae/Nuku Hiva Island

11:00

Hawaii, some USA Outlying Islands, Tahiti/French Polynesia and Cook Islands: Honolulu, Rarotonga, Adak, Papeete, Hilo

12:00

American Samoa, regions of US Minor Outlying Islands and Niue

13:00

Baker Island and Howland Island (US Minor Outlying Islands)

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Fruits aren’t necessarily healthy

I converted. Religiously – so to say.

In the 90ies I was into Sinix (anyone still knowing that?); essentially it was Unix anyway – no worries. In 1993 I commenced on Windows. V3.1 I think. C. C++. Basic. Visual Basic – stuff like that. Later MFC, STL, ATL and the ike. Always Windows; nearly solely. For more than 20 years. Attempts to religiously brainwash me away from Unix – however – failed more or less; though I developed a really strong and happy relationship with all Microsoft. Heartily. And not by religion.

I never really had a problem to discuss other personal computing options – especially the fruity ones. The only thing was that the “discusees” in these conversations always tended to claim the predomination of geniusness of their fruit – which always left me a bit suspicious.

And then – finally – at the end of August this year, curiosity beat suspiciousness. And I bought an Apple – not for eating (I’m more the meaty guy ;))

So, here I am – one month later! With reality proving the claims — or not. Here’s my 4 predominant awkward working experiences with a MacBook Pro after the first few weeks of usage:

1. Keyboard

The Mac comes with 4(!) different keyboard overlays; i.e.: one key could theoretically have 4 different effects (keys, shortcuts, functions – you name it). Fine. There is no Pos1/End keys. Still fine (though there would be enough room for adding those left and right form the cursor-up key). Anyway – things become blurring when you try to learn the shortcuts for

  • Start of line, end of line
  • Start of document, end of document
  • Back/forward one word, paragraph, …
  • All that including “selecting text”

Plus: Try those in an editor, then in mail, then in some of the Microsoft Office programs?

Disclaimer: I totally and full heartedly admit that arguing based on third-party apps developed for the Mac is inapplicable here! Hence, please no arguing that it’d be Microsoft’s fault not to adhere to MacBooks’ logic for shortcuts!

However: What IS the logic? And IF there is any: Why is it so fck.gly complicated? Some friends told me prior to converting to the fruit religion that it just takes 2 weeks to accomodate. Sorry folks: I failed that timeline miserably. I just don’t get it. I am open to continued learning: If you can provide a logic for me in this respect, you are tremendously welcome to post your comment here!

Disclaimer 2: In comparison to Apple, those shortcuts are well introduced and generally accepted in Microsoft’s OS and apps world. Pos1/End, selecting text, find, quit, close window, … etc. – all the same shortcut. I didn’t stumble by a single program recently doing it differently.

2. Finder

Did I mention that I love Unix, Linux, … . I always did. I never was an expert really, but I loved the straight-forwardness of that OS and its logic – even though some things just did not work (and some things in the past may have been utterly complicated to get to work). With regards to unix’ logic, Finder presents itself really perfectly in line. Directory structures do remind you to how unix always did it. The sidebar feels as if the important things have been mounted for you already. The user’s working directories all there (is that structuring with “Documents”, “Music”, “Pictures”, etc. actually stolen from Microsoft or the other way round?).

However, Finder starts failing its purpose when it comes to presenting the files contained. I got 4 really smart views (icons, list, a convenient column view and the cover view). But how (the hell) is all this sorted. Alphabetically? Then there’s no way of getting directories to the top. By date? Same problem made worse. Is there a way of setting a preference for the view for all Finder locations? No. Not without tweaking the guts of OS X. Is there a way of quickly resetting the view within one location? Well – after some search I found the awkward CMD+ALT+CTRL+<number> shortcut. Weird. And – to me – a totally ill logic of dealing with files.

Disclaimer: I hear the arguing, folks, that this is all a matter of getting used to it. Well, if it’s all about accomodation, who’s to claim advancement then?

3. iTunes

My NAS offers an iTunes Server which transforms the NAS’ MP3 library into an iTunes home sharing participant. Theoretically. However, iTunes never manages to discover the home server. iTunes in fact isn’t capable of dealing with my lovely music library by any other means than by adding it to its own library (which obviously is a redundancy overkill AND a lock-in, by the way).

The annoying fact here is, that even though everything is – or: should be – Apple-made, it doesn’t collaborate properly. This isn’t particularly desastrous; it just doesn’t give me the feeling of advancement before any Windows machine.

4. Finally – the BSOD comparison

I had 3 crashes. Already. Within the first month of use. 3 crashes that were more or less as significant as a BSOD on Windows. Mind(!): None of those 3 crahses where related to any non-Apple apps. I do have regular crashes of the Microsoft Office suite – for whatever reason. Office-on-Mac doesn’t seem to be really stable (need it anyway, so what can I do :)). At least re-starting it from an SSD is sufficiently fast.

Anyway – the 3 total crashes where as follows:

  1. Finder became unresponsive. As unresponsive as to prohibit itself from starting and force-quitting. Seemingly due to this, OS X refrained from shutting down, claiming that a program was hanging. Ultimately the only way of getting it to work again was to go for the 4-sec-power-key option. Well known from my old Windows computer. So: No difference here (and I never found out what made it so unresponsive; this one happened twice so far, btw)
  2. Network switching: It  seems OS X is pretty weak on TCP/IP (wired LAN or WiFI – whatsoever). I have a NAS connected when on private LAN (via SMB; AFP didn’t work for whatever reason). When leaving the private LAN without properly ejecting mounted drives, sometimes – unpredictably – the whole system hangs and remains as unresponsive as above. It may be that I am just too impatient to wait for it to respond again, but – well: I consider that a crash. Less desastrous ones happen ever and ever again when switching between networks, hotspots, … (e.g. when on travel). I already got used to that. Obviously network is the weak point in OS X.
  3. Printer Driver: I added an HP LaserJet to the list of printers, allowed OS X to download the appropriate driver from the AppStore, later disconnected from Ethernet and switched to WiFi-only mode becaue of a meeting and – booom – no more mouse/pad/keyboard interaction possible. Apps kept running. They even reacted to events. But I could by no means interact with them. Again: 4-sec-power-key-force-shutdown (little sidenote: the behaviour was reproducable until I deleted the printer completely).

Conclusion

And the learnings of all this – fortunately, for me:

  • Religion is a dangerous thing
  • Reality could proove religion wrong
  • Fruits aren’t necessarily healthy

Seriously spoken: The MacBook Pro on OS X Yosemite (recently upgraded to El Capitan) isn’t that much of an advancement to any properly setup and maintained Microsoft machine. And eventually I can now discuss the matter based on real-world experiences. This is particularly disturbing as one claim of the fruit guys always was and is, that because of the homogenity of hardware, OS and software that would be the case. Well, it isn’t.

That’s by no means particularly bad. I got a Windows tablet, an Android mobile and a Mac working horse now. Where there’s software, there’s errors. On any of the devices. That was and will remain true for all time. One just shouldn’t claim tremendous advance just because of a brand — though, to be honest, there’s one thing that I do like with my new toy: It shuts down and boots so brilliantly fast that work interruptions due to whatever error aren’t really hurting that much anymore – at least after the first 4 weeks.

Let’s see whether it remains like that.

 

 

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So sollte Werbung sein

Ausnahmsweise Werbung am Blog:

A1 hat sich ein Quäntchen Hochachtung für Werbekreativität erwirkt – mit dem Titelblatt (eigentlich: dem Titel-Überblatt) zur Samstagsausgabe der Zeitung unseres Vertrauens. Das sah nämlich gestern so aus:

A1 Zeitungsseite - Informationen schein-verschlüsselt

A1 Zeitungsseite – Informationen schein-verschlüsselt

Und nach kurzem Erstaunen und kopfschüttelndem Umblättern fand sich auf der Innenseite das:

A1 Werbung "Datenverschlüsselung" - Die Innenseite

A1 Werbung “Datenverschlüsselung” – Die Innenseite

Gut gemacht, A1. So muss Werbung … sein. Gscheit und Aufmerksamkeit erregend.

 

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Skype-for-Business (Lync) on 1und1

Some time ago I promised to add a post about how to configure all the Lync DNS records on 1und1 (if in case you are hosting your domain there – might however be, that the information applies to other DNS providers as well).

Well … as time flies, 1und1 obviously has improved their domain management portal, hence all that “fancy stuff”, we originally did in order to make it work, is void now, and the best and pretty straight forward explanation on how to do it rightly can be found in the Office365 support pages.

Be happy and enjoy (I am and did – and it works perfect for us)

 

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3 Gründe, warum es egal ist, was in den facebook AGBs steht

Da war er wieder – der 2-3 mal jährliche Aufschrei der Online-Gemeinde über die AGBs eines Sozialen Netzwerks. Nicht irgendeines Sozialen Netzwerks: DES Sozialen Netzwerks.

Facebook hatte seine “Allgemeinen Nutzungsbedingungen” wieder einmal überarbeitet und ich stolperte unvermeidbar über den diesbezüglichen Artikel der ORF futurezone (es gab bestimmt noch weitere).

Kurz darauf überschlugen sich Kritiker und Kalmierer und warfen sich gegenseitig vor, den falschen Umgang mit der nackten Tatsache der Änderung zu pflegen (erfrischend dabei lediglich jene facebook (sic!) Posts, die dazu aufforderten, irgendetwas auf das persönliche Profil zu stellen, um dadurch den neuen AGBs zu widersprechen; mein unerreichter Favorit dabei: das Einhorn – ich bin sicher, auch dazu gibt’s ein paar “Gläubige”).

Letztendlich bleibt jedoch ohnehin von solchem Aufruhr nichts übrig – und das ist auch gut so. Weil es nämlich vollkommen wurscht ist, was in den facebook AGBs steht. Und zwar aus folgenden simplen Gründen:

1. Die Welt ist Werbung!

So ist das nun mal. Was immer wir tun (falsch: was immer wir schon immer taten) wurde und wird dazu benutzt, dass Unternehmen versuchen, uns zu sagen, was wir in Zukunft tun, kaufen, benutzen, buchen, … leben sollen. Schauen Sie sich einfach nur die Evolution von Werbung (vom Plakat, über die Radio-Information, zum Fernsehspot, zwei-, drei-, viermal pro Tag, vor und nach Sendungen, inmitten des Films, nun vor dem youtube-Video, … usw.) an: Unternehmen und Medien versuchen, in gegenseitigem Kreativwettlauf an immer noch mehr Möglichkeiten zu kommen, uns mit ihrer “Information” zu überschütten. Neuerdings bekomme ich vor jedem youtube-Video den Spot eines SharePoint Migrationstools zu sehen (womit habe ich mich wohl in letzter Zeit online beschäftigt).

Und ehrlich gestanden frage ich mich: Was ist so falsch daran? Wenn ich ein Hotelzimmer in Madrid buchen möchte, besuche ich mal kurz booking.com, suche ausgiebig danach und warte dann, bis mir booking.com was günstiges vorschlägt. War ich dann dort und es war gut, schreib ich mir die eMail-Adresse auf und booking.com sieht mich für diese Stadt nie wieder. Werbung kann so einfach ausgeblendet und gleichzeitig zielführend genutzt werden. Daher ist allein dieser Grund genug, die facebook AGB Änderung zu ignorieren, wenn es – wie die futurezone einleitend feststellt – doch nur darum geht, zielgerichtetere Werbung zu ermöglichen.

2. Welches Recht zählt wirklich?

Schon mal genauer in die AGBs reingeschaut? Hier nochmal der Link dazu. Wenn man nach dem Gerichtsstand sucht, findet man da:

“You will resolve any claim, cause of action or dispute (claim) you have with us arising out of or relating to this Statement or Facebook exclusively in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California or a state court located in San Mateo County, and you agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purpose of litigating all such claims. The laws of the State of California will govern this Statement, as well as any claim that might arise between you and us, without regard to conflict of law provisions.”

Na dann! Auf in die Staaten. Gehen wir uns beschweren, was uns facebook da antut.

Verstehen Sie mich richtig, bitte: Die Sammelklage des österr. Jusstudenten, Max Schrems, beispielsweise finde ich im Grunde richtig und sogar notwendig. Leider gerät der ursprünglich auslösende Moment für dieses Vorgehen ein wenig in Vergessenheit: Begonnen hatte dieser Fall ja mit dem Versuch, alle gesammelten Daten von facebook zu erhalten; ich halte es für ein Grundrecht jedes Menschen auf dieser Welt, detailliert erfahren zu können, was wo über einen selbst gespeichert ist (vgl. auch meine Transparenz-Forderung im “Citizenfour”-Artikel).

Ich halte es natürlich auch für ein Grundrecht, selbst entscheiden zu können, welche persönlichen Daten verwendet werden – und genau deshalb sind die AGBs von facebook genau genommen Makulatur, denn (last not least):

3. Ich entscheide selbst, was ich wie nutze!

facebook zwingt mich in keiner Weise, facebook zu nutzen. facebook zwingt mich nicht einmal, facebook auf eine bestimmte Art und Weise zu nutzen. facebook bietet mir Möglichkeiten. Möglichkeiten zur Kommunikation, zur Information, … ja: zu Eigenwerbung. Ich kann das Medium ja auch selbst dazu nutzen, für etwas, das mir ein Anliegen ist, Werbung zu machen. Das geht so weit, dass ich gegen Einwurf kleiner Münzen die Datenmaschine “facebook” selbst für meine Zwecke gebrauchen kann: Zielgerichtet wird facebook dann meine Statusmeldungen und Seiten-Aktualisierungen in den “Newsfeed” meiner Freunde platzieren, um sie auf mein Anliegen aufmerksam zu machen. Perfekt. Genau so wünsche ich mir das.

Wenn ich bestimmte Informationen sehen möchte, werde ich bestimmte Dinge, Themen, Inhalte, Schlüsselwörter im Netz publizieren. Wenn ich für ein bestimmtes Thema nicht gefunden oder damit identifiziert werden möchte, werde ich zu diesem Thema einfach die Klappe halten.

Der Punkt ist doch der:

Unser unbändiges Mitteilungsbedürfnis und unsere unbändige Neugierde spielen uns bei der Nutzung von Online-Medien einen bösen Streich: Denn heutige Technologien ermöglichen halt einfach ein Mehr an Zielgenauigkeit, als es der guten alten Fernsehwerbung im spannendsten Moment des Hauptabendfilms möglich war – sie erlauben es dem Informationsanbieter einfach, seine Information exakter passend zu platzieren.

Das Argument einiger lautstarker Kritiker der neuen facebook-AGBs, man könne sich der Nutzung von facebook ja heutzutage gar nicht mehr entziehen, ist schlichter, wenig differenzierender Blödsinn. Es mag stimmen, dass Schulen, Vereine und andere menschliche “Netzwerke” das Medium “facebook” als einzige Kommunikations-Plattform nutzen und man daher zur Teilnahme an dieser Kommunikation an einem facebook-Benutzerprofil nicht vorbei kommt. Die Inhalte dieses Profils – allerdings – bestimme ich dann selbst. Und ich kann die Inhalte durchaus auf den Zweck meines Dabei-Seins beschränken.

Und abgesehen davon: Suchen Sie auch machmal im Internet nach Dingen, Themen, Inhalten oder bestimmten Schlüsselwörtern? Und was zeigt die Suchmaschine ihrer Wahl dann gleich zu oberst an?

Es ist halt einfach zu einfach, die Verantwortung für meine eigenen Handlungen (Mitteilungen, Suchanfragen, Bilder oder Videos, …) den AGBs eines Unternehmens zu übertragen, das sich die hochgradig effektive Nutzung dieser meiner “Handlungen” zum eigenen Geschäftszweck gemacht hat.

 

{feature image “Digital Footprint” via Flickr/Creative Commons}

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Autodiscover!

OR: How to successfully migrate from POP to an Office365 mailbox, when your hoster doesn’t support you!

Yes, @katharinakanns was right, when she recently said, I’d bother with Office365 to get all our IT stuff migrated onto it. Sounds ridiculous, maybe, but it’s 2 domains, 2 mailboxes, a bunch of subdomains, aliases used all around the net, etc. etc. etc. … and we’d like to merge that all into one place.

Before you read on, this one here is – since long – something more down to earth again, so get ready for some bits and bytes 🙂

What’s this about?

These days I started to setup our Office365 tenant to serve both our single-person businesses as well as become the place for joint collaboration (and maybe more lateron). One thing in this that bothered me indeed a bit beyond normal was OneDrive – but that’s a different story to come … Another pretty interesting process was the domain migration. And even though umpteenth blogposts already tell the way to take from different angles, we ran into one bit that wasn’t just to solve by a click. I’ll share a few straight forward steps with domain migration here; but I’ll also share some hints beyond.

1. Know your hoster/provider

The domain you want to migrate into Office365 will most probably be managed by some ISP (like e.g. “1und1.de” or any other hoster; one whom you trust, maybe). Out of our experience, I’d suggest you get in touch with the support hotline of your hoster first and make sure

  • (a) whether editing DNS records for your domain is possible for you yourself (e.g. by some web interface) and (!) to which extent
  • (b) how accurately the hotline reacts in case of problems
  • (c) whether they can help in case of any failure over the weekend (one would want to have a business mailbox up and running on Monday morning, I guess)

I had to migrate 2 domains, one of which was with a hoster not allowing editing DNS myself but reacting swiftly to support requests and executing them just perfectly. The other one allowed editing the DNS by me but only let me enter TXT and MX records (no CNAME records – at least not for the primary domain). Or to be precise: The self-service web interface would let me do that but clearly stated that any existing records for this domain would become invalid by this step – and I wasn’t too sure whether this might run us into troubles with our business website …

1und1-CNAME-warning-screenshot

The 1und1.de warning about deactivating existing records

 

Note: The second was "1und1.de" and they do not offer any possibility of doing anything else in terms of DNS than what is provided for self service. I tried really hard with their support guys. No(!) way(!).

2. How migration works when your ISP cooperates

To begin with, it would of course be possible to simply move DNS management from the ISP to Office365. In that case, all the ISP would have to do is changing the addresses of the name servers managing the respective domain. We didn’t want that for several reasons, hence went for the domain migration option, which is actually pretty straight forward.

The Office365 domain management admin console is totally self-explanatory in this, and there’s umpteenth educational how-to-posts. The keyword is – surprise(!) – “Domains” and you just follow step 1-2-3 as suggested.

Office365 admin console - the place to start off into domain migration

Where you start: Office365 admin console

One can either start at the “Email address” section here (if there’s not yet any custom domain managed within the tenant) or by “Domains” further below:

  1. Office365 wants to know whether the domain is yours. Therefore Office365 shows you a TXT DNS record in the first step, which you have to forward to your hoster to be entered as part of “your” DNS. If you’re able to enter that yourself this step is accomplished in no time. Otherwise it depends simply on the response time of the support line. BTW: DNS propagation in general may take up to 72 hours as we know – however, in reality I didn’t experience any delay after having received the confirmation that the TXT has been entered. I could forward to step 2 instantly.
  2. With step (2) Office365 changes any user’s name that you want to make part of the then migrated domain. Essentially that’s a no-brainer, but an Office365 user currently can only send eMails being identified with exactly this username. Receiving goes by multiple aliases which can be configured separately in the user management console; but sending always binds to the username (there’s ways around this as well – but that’s again a different story). Hence, it is worth some consideration which users you click in this step.
  3. Proceeding to the next step equals stepping into the crucial part; after this change is completed your eMail, Lync and – if chosen – website URL will be redirected to Office365. Admittedly, in both cases I only chose “eMail and Lync” for migration, which means that the website remained with the ISP – for now … As the penultimate step after having chosen the services that you want to switch over, Office365 gives you a list of records that need to be entered as DNS records with your domain.

Let’s have a brief look into those DNS records as they are the ones that eventually bring your migration to life:

  • MX records: This is, normally, one record that identifies where the eMails with the domain in question shall be routed to (to: name@yourdomain.tld). No rocket science here and getting that into your DNS shouldn’t be a bummer, really.
  • CNAME records: The most important of these is the “autodiscover” record. I’d argue this to be the “most compulsory” one. Not having “autodiscover” set into the DNS of your domain means that any eMail client will not be able to discover the server for the respective user automatically, i.e. users will “pull their hair out” over trying to configure their mail clients for their Office365 Exchange account. In all honesty, I actually was not able to find a possibility to figure out the correct mail server string for outlook for our users as it contains the mailboxID (being a GUID@domainname.tld; if anyone of you out there knows one, can you please drop your solution as a comment). So, without the “autodiscover” record, you’ll be pretty lost, I think – at least with mobiles and stuff … The other CNAME records are for Lync and Office365 authentication services. Here‘s a pretty good technet article listing them all.
  • The SPF TXT record helps preventing your domain being used for spam mailing
  • And finally, 2 SRV records are for the Lync information flow and enabling SIP federation

[update] Here’s some hints on how we got Lync to work for our accounts, but for eMail, of all the records above the MX would be fully sufficient; I’d just once more emphasize “autodiscover”, as this caused us some headache, because …

3. What do you do, if your ISP does not add “autodiscover”?

As explained above, one’s in bad shape, if an ISP refuses to add the “autodiscover” CNAME record demanded by Office365 for a custom domain. In the case of “1und1” this was exactly what ran us into troubles. However, there’s a pretty simple solution to it, but to begin with – here’s some things that don’t work (i.e.: you don’t need to dig for them):

  • Enter CNAME records into the respective PCs hosts file: Normally a hosts file can be used locally to replicate a DNS – but only for resolving names to IPs, not for CNAMEs.
  • Install a local DNS server: Might work, but seemed like some more work. I didn’t want to dive into this for one little DNS record.
  • Find out the mailbox server for manual configuration: Well – as said above: I didn’t succeed in due course.

Finally @katharinakanns found the – utterly simple – solution by just asking the world for “autodiscover 1und1“. So here’s what probably works with any petulant ISP:

  • create a subdomain named “autodiscover.yourdomain.tld” with your ISP (normally, every ISP allows creation of unlimited subdomains)
  • create a CNAME record for this new subdomain and enter “autodiscover.outlook.com” as its value/address portion
1und1 CNAME for subdomain setting

The CNAME config screen again – and now we’re fine with checking the box at the bottom

Done. This is it. Mailclients discovered the correct mailserver automatically and configuration instantly became a matter of seconds 🙂

[update] 1und1 has updated there domain dashboard, hence config is easier now – find hints here!

 

{feature image from Ken Stone’s site http://masterstrack.com/ – I hope, he don’t mind me using it here}

 

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Sunday afternoon fun: The Web and the Net

A friend of mine posted that pic on facebook – together with the post from the Status-Q blog archive, saying:

This has been circulating on Twitter, courtesy of Jeremy Geelan – taken at W3C20. Tim Berners-Lee is on the left, Vint Cerf on the right, and the joke is on those who don’t know the difference between the web and the ‘net.

In 2014, that joke still seems to work – and why shouldn’t it? At least amongst folks not captured all day with technology stuff. But there’s an easy metaphor to know the difference:

  • You write a letter on a piece of paper – in your own words, your language – which (hopefully) the recipient – say: your friend – will understand. Letters get written to-and-fro between you and your friends, relatives, others; a whole lot of pages written fly across the earth. Pages in different languages and hopefully all the writers and recipients understand each other. To ensure exactly this – for electronic letters – Berners-Lee invented an ubiquitous language and called it HTML – so that everyone could understand those written pages, when displayed by something capable of reading HTML – a browser for instance 😉
  • And the letters? Well, they need transportation. The post offices, horse carriages, trains, ships, plains, … And busy postmen (and women, for sure) to deliver them to the recipients. All kinds of different transportation methods have to constantly join efforts and bridge gaps to get all those letters flying across the earth. To make that a little easier – for the electronic letters – Cerf thought of a unified method for transportation and called it Transmission Control Protocol (TCP); he even considered efficient addressing of recipients and called this the Internet Protocol (IP).

So, actually letters could exist electronically as pages, independently; everyone could understand them as they were all written in HTML, and recipients could decode them as they had browsers – here’s with the WEB.

Independently of this, writers and recipients could identify each other by addresses and could transport stuff between them – here’s with the INTERNET.

Needless to say – however – that the real breakthrough success eventually came with the joining of both (a little bit as in the pic, maybe ;))

 

 

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Technology adoption curve from a different angle

We all know that old, famous Gauss distribution curve representing the lifecycle of how new technology and innovation is adopted by the industry:

Technology Adoption Life-Cycle

Technology Adoption Life-Cycle (found at http://infrae.com/)

 

Later, a guy – Geoffrey Moore – adapted it introducing the chasm, arguably a very strong gap between the visionaries and the pragmatists (I found an interesting interview with the author on Forbes):

http://whiteafrican.com/2008/05/12/crossing-the-mapping-chasm/

Crossing the Chasm – Moore, 1991 (found at http://whiteafrican.com/)

In a recent twitter chat with my friend from old Canopy times, Ricky El-Qasem, he shared his representation of that Gauss curve – which, i believe, should be used as of now as a substitution to the trillion others (just for the sheep in it ;)):

Ricky El'Qasem Technology Adoption Lifecycle

Ricky El’Qasem Technology Adoption Lifecycle (shared by @rickyelqasem)

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Paris Business Adventure

Yes, of course, we’re doing a lot of integration work, these days (you might have noticed that those “Automagicians” – which I’m one of – are merging themselves with those “Orsypians”, whereof a new market leader in the Automation space will subsequently emerge; read the Automic blog, if interested in details).

Integration work is a challenge in itself and an interesting one indeed. There’s so many good souls and technicians, so many similarities and yet still enough differences to work on – technically, technologically, financially, from a legal, sales or IT perspective and much more … However: The true challenge in Paris – where one of our new offices is located – is: TRAFFIC!

Main goal: get your flight back home in time!

  • You could of course do it by car. Call a taxi to the La Defense office. Question No. 1: Does the driver know how to find the address (few do). Question No. 2: Is the Périphérique empty enough for the driver to pass through in time (it most certainly is not).
  • You could also pick the RER – can be pure contingency when personal is on strike.

What’s left?

I found an alternative (in case you really – really! I mean it: REALLY – have extremly steady nerves): It is called “moto taxi” and rushes you to the airport in 30 mins at an average speed of 120 between the jammed car rows.

Was it fun? OH YES! And once I had repeated the mantra often enough (“he knows what he does” – “he knows what he does” – “he knows what he does” – …), I even managed to do my checkin on the back seat (as I had forgotten that before)

Paris Moto Taxi - Périphérique

Paris Moto Taxi – Périphérique

Paris Moto Taxi - Périphérique

Paris Moto Taxi – Périphérique

 

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