Friday, December 31, 2004

Bob Lefsetz Manifesto

[The] radio industry is hurting the major labels MUCH more than P2P piracy.
Hate to tell you this, but the CD is a DEAD FORMAT! The only people who don't know this are the old line fat cat boomers running the record companies. To copy protect CDs is akin to switching everybody to shorter, more expensive typewriter ribbons.

Sell CDs as long as you can. But why piss people off with copy protection? When the format's lifespan is so limited.

All the lawsuits have done is to scare away the CASUAL music fan. In order for online music to be profitable, EVERYBODY has to partake. The whole COUNTRY must be music crazy. Suing people for file-trading is akin to tobacco companies including a nicotine patch with every pack of cigarettes. The key is to HOOK people, not to WEAN them!!! The higher the price for tracks at online shops, the fewer people who partake. This is the OPPOSITE of coherent business philosophy.
The major labels have succeeded in STIFLING this format, while investing HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars in indie promotion to get their wares on terrestrial radio stations. That's MESSED UP! Go where the LISTENERS ARE! On the Net! Nurture this industry, so some powerhouse stations emerge, and niche stations can SURVIVE! It's all about turning MORE people on to MORE stuff.

Where's the development with U2?

U2's got it all wrong. They're not artists anymore and they don't care about their fans. Fearful of having their album leaked to P2P services... What's the problem here? That people love you SO much that they'll go through hoops to get your product in advance??? It's going to screw up the fourth quarter sales strategy?

When it comes to music Microsoft is like Sony. A has-been

So, despite the Microsoft hype, despite the bluster, despite the past, when it comes to music, Microsoft is like Sony. Get your flat panel from Samsung, not Sony. Buy your hand-held music player from Apple, not Sony. Get your MUSIC in an APPLE-owned/controlled/approved format, not a Microsoft one. ... And its hardware partners can't seem to come up with a hand-held player that works as well and looks as cool as the iPod. For EONS Microsoft has produced lame products and ended up with a monopoly because of pure market share. But those days are done. Apple made a device that is seeming perfection, more than the consumer could CONCEIVE OF, a product from the future, here today, and made it PC-COMPATIBLE!

Apple Rumors

These seem to be the current rumors about the next Apple products:
  • Tablet iBook
  • Flash-based iPod
  • 500$ Mac
  • Mobile Phone
  • Audio I/O Interface

Let's see what happens. I would like to see an Apple audio receiver. Something that is a mix between the Roku Soundbridge and an conventional AV receiver. Maybe with a harddisk for audio storage. But I don't know if they are even thinking about such a thing in Cupertino. They might, they are moving in this direction with the AirTunes. But I don't know if they see their strengh in that market/product space. If I could name one thing, Apple stands for, than it is focus. Focus on essential features, focus on good UI, focus on a improved user experience.

So why should they make a Audio I/O? They will make something, if they can do it better than anybody else. There are good and cheap I/O interfaces available. There are good and expensive ones available. What can Apple bring to the market, that isn't available? No, I don't really see an Apple I/O. But I could be wrong. Maybe there is something that Apple can improve with I/O.

Mobile Phone? Hell yes, that is something where Apple can improve. But only if the first iPhone isn't as big as brick and as heavy as a quarterpounder with chease. They could do a mobile phone with Motorola. Motorola has the hardware, Apple will make the software. This could work. Let's see.

500$ Mac. Hell Yes! Give it an optional 250 $ screen. Anybody that wants a hassle free solution will go for a iMac (or an iBook!). Anybody wanting to save money might go for the iCheap. Apple could increase its reach while it cuts cost by not supplying a monitor. Why not?

Flash? The only reason for flash for Apple would be to make a smaller iPod. Smaller than the iPod mini. They might do it. Look at the mobile phones. They got smaller all the time. There is still room for improvement. A small 2 GB iPod Flash micro for 219 $? Let's see.

Tablet iBook? iNewton? Now we are political. I would like to work with a tablet notebook for some time. See how it is to write and read blogs. Surf the net. Do stuff. Apple has tested tablet PCs, that is for sure. If they are an improvement, Apple will do it. Even if Steve Jobs is allergic to the Newton.

Let's see.

It is a Great Big Hassle!

Then, came the advent of videotape.

Once again, the film companies went BALLISTIC!! The SAME man professing doom as a result of the online world said that VCRs were going to be the end of the business.

Yes, Jack Valenti said:

"the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

He asked for a modest royalty of $25 to $50 a blank tape!!

My Audio Manifest

I want to own music. That is, I want to buy the right to listen to titles anywhere and as long as I want. I want to have the right and technical possibility to copy this music on any medium I deem fit for my listening demands. Owning music implies that I can listen to this music until I die, not until my DRM license expires or the format I bought the music on gets unsupported by the world.

I have several places, where I want to listen to music (that includes albums FM and internet radio):
  • In my living room
  • In my bedroom
  • In my kitchen
  • In my bathroom
  • In my car
  • On my bike
  • At work
I don't think that an iPod or a computer running iTunes 24/7 can satisfy all my demands. My audio focus is not mobile. An iPod could help, but it is not audio nirvana for me.

I think the following four componets could bring me closer to audio nirvana:
  • An audio hub. This could be a computer running a rendezvous server like iTunes, but it could be something like my Pioneer receiver. It would could contain a harddisk to store the music library and a WLAN interface to stream music to other parts of the flat. It might or might not have a UI of its own. An important fact is, that I want to be able to control this from other parts of the flat, as if I was sitting directly before it (making playlists, browsing the library, making ratings, etc.)
  • WLAN audio satellites in every room. These can be a "WLAN to Chinch" bridges like AirTunes or a active speaker with a WLAN receiver build in or a classical AV receiver with WLAN. They can have a UI (display and buttons), but don't need one necesarrily because of:
  • WLAN remote. This could look something like a Philips SBC RU 865 or a Philps Pronto.
  • Mobile audio player. Now this could be a iPod. But don't know how well it would do in my car.
On these devices, I have some demands:
  • Easy sync. If I rate a song with five stars at work, I want that rating everywhere. If I import a song at home, I want that song at work as easy as possible.
  • Easy UI. If I listen to music from my bathtub, I don't want to go to the computer to change the song. I might not want to create playlists from the bathtub but it would be nice to rate a song from the bathtub :-)
  • Plug and play. It must be easy to set up a secure WLAN network with all these compontents.
These technologies I would use:
  • MP3 and AAC for audio compression
  • WLAN for networking
  • Shoutcast for push and Rendozvous for pull
  • http for anything that cannot be covered by the above
Voila, there is NOT ONE SINGLE NEW technolgy needed to create my audio nirvana. Just add goodlooking devices with good UI. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive, do you read this? Could you please create a "audio receiver"? I know, it will look unlike anything on the market and it will work differently than anything on the market, but could you please build an audio receiver? I hate my Pioneer AV receiver and I could help. I really would like to help. Please?

Why iTunes is five stars and WMP is not

I was thinking about giving WMP a try. But wait, no need to:
It really annoys me that after a song has been played through completely once in WMP10 that it automatically bumps the song from a 3 star rated song to a 4 star song. I think if it's played enough it automatically bumps it to a 5 star song. I hate this and wish there were an option to disable it. Frequently I'll get sidetracked, leave the house, etc. with my player still running and a bunch of songs that I end up not liking end up in the automatic 4 and 5 star playlist and it's a pain to try to manage this. Give the user an option to turn off this annoying feature.

That is REALLY ANNOYING. This one single point would stop me from using WMP. I don't care what other cool features it has. This make the rating unusable. A nice idea, that goes amok on my music library. IT IS REALLY MUCH WORK TO RATE YOUR MUSIC and I don't want anybody changing the rating I give a song without my consent. Make a automatic list title "underrated" and give the user to opportunity to change the rating by himself. Heck, in iTunes I can created these lists by myself.

Hi Robert Scoble: Why is the iPod cool?

One reason: No FUCKING WMA. Sometimes less is more.

PCWorld: Risk Your PC's Health for a Song?

Ads and adware have a new way to get on your computer--through files that appear to be music and video.,aid,119016,00.asp - A search engine for jobs

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Sometimes you just should press buttons...

I just hit the block quote button.

I can now do this.

The button seemed, like, gray, so I didn't try to press it yet...

Fucking cool.

ps.: could you change the color of this button. Make it like NOT gray?

In the beginning, there was Google

I am a Googlevangelist

Somebody hits the nail on the head.

I wish I could write like that:

Suburban users cannot effectively listen to their music in a simple and seamless manner as they move throughout their day. This class of customers prefers the simplicity of FM radio, but yearns for the depth and personal involvement that comes from listening to their own music. A device that;

1) Makes it easy to listen to an entire CD collection at home, in the car and at the office;
2) untethers people from specific listening devices;
3) has great battery life (10+ hours);
4) has tons of storage (40+gb);
5) is small enough to fit into a purse, glove compartment, briefcase or suitjacket pocket.

...would make it much easier for suburban dwellers to listen to the music they enjoy throughout their entire day.

It basicly comes down to: "Find something that sucks, and make it better." And there is enough potential for this. Maybe not if you try to make a rip-off iPod product. But take a look where and how poeple want to listen to their music and what is currently available. You will find there is room for improvment and that the iPod is NOT the solution to everybodys music listening demands.

Apple Store of the future
(Via Scoble)

MPAAs Arms Race

And, today, the MPAA has blundered into this arms race. This was, as will soon be seen, a Very Bad Idea.
(Via Silent Penguin)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


[Mappr] takes photos you've uploaded into Flickr, looks to see if you've tagged them with place names (like "Omaha" and "Nebraska," or "San Francisco" and "California") and places them on a map of the US.

Yamaha buys Steinberg

Will Steinberg now move to Rellingen?

Monday, December 20, 2004

I think Robert Scoble has this one wrong

Yeah, the blog about the making of King King is cool.

But Microsoft will need a lot more than good marketing to pull of a stunt like finishing in front of the iPod.

Here is what I think the problems are (it comes basically down to "Make a better product"):
  • Windows Media is evil. It is from Microsoft and it has DRM. It might have a better sound quality than MP3. But someday, somebody can take away my music. While this may or may not be true, people still think this. You will need to convince people, that they can hear the music they bought until the earth crumbles. In this area, a blog might help. Letting people know, what really is inside WMA, might help. But it will not help you to win this. You will still come in second. You will need to make the message, that there is no way, that they ever loose their music. Make them a promise, that they can download their music again, if they loose their computer. Make it as easy as possible. Just enter your account, and you re-download your music library. No need for you to keep a backup. We can do this all for you. No problem, no extra charge. People will understand that.
  • Windows Media is insecure. How many exploits are there with WMV? You fix them, right, but people remember not to click on anything ending in .wmv, right?
  • You don't have a one stop solution. I love iTunes. I will buy a an iPod. I love the iPod. I will buy music in the iTMS. I love the iTMS, I will buy an iPod. Simple. I think you don't need to write this down. You already know this.
  • But with Windows Media, I have TOO MUCH CHOICE. Yes, by giving the people to many choices, from junk to high-end, you confuse the people. Just give them one player: The only one you need. The one that does everything you need. Not more, not less.
  • No other player is as cool as the iPod. Sorry. No other music software is as much fun to use as iTunes. Sorry. And iTMS is the best store. Sorry. If you want to beat the iPod, be better. Be better in each point. Thats what Apple did. What they made, was better than what was available. You can do the same. It has only become harder, to be better. But there is still margin to be better.
  • Make a audio only software. Seriously. You make fun of Steve Jobs kids not wanting to watch movies in the car, BUT FOCUS! Make ONE solution for music and ANOTHER for video. Even if it is the same Windows player underneath. But make one software ONLY FOR AUDIO. With the easiest UI for audio. And no gimmick features. Maybe this software is similar to your video software, but still it has only audio features. And get these features right.
  • By trying to please everybody, Microsoft pleases nobody. The DRM scares away customers, yet doesn't satisfy the major labels. DRM will never satisfy them, because it doesn't work. It's a placebo. By trying to get many player manufacturers on board, you dilute the message. "What can I do with this? Oh, everything. Sorry, I only need a iPod." FOCUS. Music on my computer. Music on the go. My music. No gimmicks, just music.
It is not in with a marketing war, that you will win this. It is and always will be a product war.
  • Good software player
  • Good hardware player
  • Good music store
Once you have good products, people will trust you. Once you have these, you can let other gimmicks follow, like Apple does with its AirTunes. Build it one by one. Don't try to reach all goals at once.

A blog might change which player Robert Scoble wants. It might change which player most Microsoft employees want. It might change which player some other people want. But it will be impossible to change what most people want, only with a blog and a worse product.

Make good products and the customers will come.

God and his brother now have a blog

Yeah. Seriously. And God's brother currently blogs from a internetcafe in Tijuana.

But that is not what I wanted to tell you.

Peter Jackson has "Production Diary" for King Kong, but it f**king looks like a blog to me. Well, Peter uses Video (well, its his medium of choice, and he is good with it), but it is still a blog to me. Does he offer a podcast? Don't know.

But it's a f**king live "making of". I love the internet and what it makes possible. And I like people who now how to use it.

Rock on, Peter!

And Kay, on Day 62 there is a feature with some ARRIs in it.

XML HTTP Request

The technology behind Google Suggest. With examples.

The Mouse

Pictures of the very first mouse.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

By the way: My OPML file

I hearby surrender my soul

I hearby surrender my soul for all eternity to the clerks at I Luv Video and will become part of their legion of zombies.

Please sign below..............................................

Organizing my blogs ...

... that is, the blogs I write.

My blogs serve a lot of functions:
  • I post links, thus the blogs I have serve as a sort of bookmark collection.
  • I want to practice English in this blog.
  • I want to see what I can do with the technology, that is available, like blogs and feeds.
  • I don't know, if I want to attract readers, but I wouldn't mind. I do this mainly for me. I don't even know any statistics from this blog. I got three comments from people not known to me personally, so some people stopped by. But I don't know if there are any regulars already :-)
I already made some observations so far.
  • You shouldn't mix languages in a blog. If you post once every while in the wrong language, its okay. But choose a language and stick with it. It might be no problem for you, but you will fail to attract any readers, if you mix languages constantly in one blog. The blog will become unreadable, even if you speak all the languages.
  • I think you should have one blog with content, and one blog with links, if you post a lot of links.
I am starting to read more German blogs and I want to post in German as well. This will leave me with at least four blogs... But wait I have three more:

I have one blog, which is quite clearly cut: The topic is cars and the language is German. The intended reader is only myself and maybe one or two friends. If it is any useful to anybody else, I would be glad. But I'm not counting on it. But still I hope, that anybody searching for a self-service car repair shops in Hamburg might be helped by me (As google is very thin on this topic). But google knows nothing about that blog and I don't have time to change this. If it should be indexed by google by accident, I would be glad, but I am not holding my breath. (I managed to get partially into google with this blog, but it wasn't a coordinated effort)

I am currently trying to find out, if I can use a blog to communicate with a friend in Brazil. Lets see how well this goes. It will be something that MSN Spaces is intended for. But I don't want to manage more accounts. I could go .NET passport and get everything from MSN, but I don't want a MSN Mail account. It would be nice to have something like .NET passport from google (wink, wink!) to manage blogger and GMail.

And than I have one private blog, which I haven't used lately, which is more like a scratch book.

So, you don't need to be Robert Scoble, to have several blogs.

p.s.: I even have some feeds from none blog sources. From flickr com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?id=95589137@N00&format=atom_03 and I could give you a feed from my newsgator account...

Ein Photoshop Tutorial

Mal wieder was auf Deutsch :-)

Hack a Bike

The German Rail (Deutsche Bahn) offers rental bikes in major German cities. These bikes are placed anywhere in the city and you can leave them anywhere in the city. You only pay for the time you use it. This is organized by phone and with a electronic lock. This lock has an microprocessor and runs software. Apparently a wonderful target for hacking... (English Version)

(German Version)

I especially like the "To ensure that nobody could discover our tampering by reading out the firmware again, we set the lockbit" part. :-)

The Voltaic Li-Ion Backpack - A must have

And Jalopnik, get yourself a decent RSS feed

I hate partial RSS feeds. Honestly.

RSS feed offenders - Part Two

Daring Fireball, Core77 and MoCoLoCo, I hate you for forcing me to go to your website. I will not let myself be forced. No way.


Current Terror Alert Level

Terror Alert Level

I hate RSS feeds with partial or no text

I hate it that has a link only feed.
I hate it that has only a partial feed.
I hate it that has only a partial feed.
I hate it that has a link only feed.
I hate it that is unreadable as a feed.

They are simply unuseful when I try to read them in

And by the way: WASHPOST, YOUR ONLINE SERVICE SUCKS BIG TIME. LOSERS! If you don't understand the internet, go hire a 17 year old or stay on paper.

I will stop reading those bullshit RSS feeds (except for one). Sorry. And don't come back. I hate you.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Geek Consultants

From the maker of Silent Pinguin

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy as Podcast

Brought to you by the BBC.

Via HeikoHebig

I like this guy already :-)

&($%^!@ Spamming &&)_#hole &#$wads
Look, to whoever's magical spam-bot is posting comments on every thread saying "Great Thread!!! Now come to my web site where hot midgets are personally anxious to make your naked acquaintance!!!" - This forum is M-O-D-E-R-A-T-E-D. I mean seriously, all I do is delete them but it takes me about 14 precious seconds of my life every day that I'm never going to get back. I mean, I was going to add Mac products and a free lifetime Xbox live membership for all MSDN Subscribers, but noooooooo, now I don't have time because I'm deleting your posts. So too bad, you just ruined it for everyone.

Go there, download his songs, and buy his stuff - THE POWER OF MICROSOFT COMPELS YOU!!! THE POWER OF MICROSOFT COMPELS YOU!!! - errr, sorry - I forgot for a moment that I'm only allowed to use my Microsoft powers for good.

And oh yeah, if I ever catch the guy who is spamming my feedback, I am going to kill you. Seriously, my laptop is heavy and I know how to use it. Loser.

These are nice as well:

Driving down Memory Lane - Sunrise over Gare de l'Est just dug up those pictures, taken in April 1999 during my Interrail trip together with Vera. I have to apoligize for the quality of the pictures, they where taken with a (now vintage) Panasonic DC-1000 Panasonic DCF-2 :-) Most of the pictures were taken by Vera.

This was a vacation I surely won't forget. I have prepared by buying proper boots a few month before the trip. To make sure the boots won't cause me blisters on the feets, I wore them every day before the trip. The result was, that the boots fell apart the day before the trip... I tried to glue them together and took them with me, but the glue I had was not good enough for boots. So after taking the night train from Munich to Paris, I arrived in Paris Gare de l'Est with boots that where falling apart. Thank god the weather was nice and Vera could lend me her sandals.

We walked all the way from the Gare de l'Est to the Seine. Rue Saint-Martin was very interesting. You could see how every quater in Paris had its "own function". In the Rue Saint-Martin you could find one cloth shop beside the other. Some children cloth shops, but none of the big chains like C&A :-).

Vera has read the "Le pendule de Foucault" by Umberto Eco and wanted to go to the Musee National des Techniques. I wanted to see it too, but more because I am a geek. As we passed near the Musee anyway, we went to visit it. No luck, the Musee was closed...

We got a hotel room in the Rue de Charonne in probably the cheapest hotel in Paris. It was a bit filthy and the bed was awful. But the 11th arrondissement in Paris west of the Bastile was nice. Again this quarter had its "own function". Here we found a lot little wood shops selling hand made furniture. But most of these little shops were closing and made way for little bars.

We toured Paris in the following days. Eiffel tower, Centre Pompidou, St-Michel-Notre-Dame, Parc Montsouris, Les Halles, Montmartre, Catacombes, the Tower of Montparnasse, Institut Du Monde Arabe, Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise with the grave of Jim Morrison.

What I found really cool, was that we went to lunch to Paris universities. We had cards from the German-French student services which allowed us to use the universities canteens.

After a week of Paris, we went to Holland. We stayed in Amsterdam for one day. One day in a hotel in Amsterdam costed about as much as a week in Paris. After Amsterdam, we went to Nijmengen. Vera wanted to go to Nijmegen University for a semester and she wanted to check out the city and the university. In the city of Nijmegen, I finally bought new shoes. It was a pair of Nijmegen shoes from Reebok :-) So we walked through Nijmegen, when my feet started to swell. I finally had proper shoes and my feet started to grow to big for the shoes! We didn't know if the shoes were causing the problems, so I put the sandales from Vera back on. In the evening we took the train back to Amsterdam to catch the night train to Paris and then go to Bordeaux. Unfortunately we had left our backpacks in Amsterdam Central Station in a locker, otherwise we might have stayed for the night in Nijmegen.

But the train to Amsterdam stopped in the next city and we somehow figured out that we had to take the bus to get to the next city. Someone told us, that two people comitted suicide and that the train way was closed. So we managed to catch the bus and we were on our way again. After getting onboard a train again and changing trains in Utrecht, we managed to get Amsterdam somehow. But the night train to Paris was already gone... We didn't want to take another expensive hotel in Amsterdam, we were totally tiered and we didn't want to go to some pub. So we decided to sleep a bit in the locker area and take the first train to Paris :-) The police threw us out, in the middle of the night, but we went back and could stay there until the first train went to Paris.

In the morning, we boarded the first train and we were on our way again. A couple of hours later, we arrived in Brussels. There we wanted to take the next train to Paris. But only TGVs seem to go from Brussels to Paris. We needed a expensive reservation for the TGV and the first reservation we could get, would have been for a train in the afternoon. We were considering taking the TGV to London, but I was a bit of a tightwad, we had Interail tickets for France and I wanted to see France. I persuaded Vera to go to France again. So I went to the information and asked if there was any non-TGV train going to Paris. The answer: "No." So I went to study the timetable. Indeed, only TGVs go to Paris. But wait, I found "normal" trains going to Luxenbourg. So I went back to the information and asked I they could print out a connection to Paris over Luxenbourg. And, behold, I had a connection to Paris! I went back to Vera, told her the good news. I looked at the paper: The train would leave at 10:42. I looked at the clock: 10:42. We started to run. I still had swollen feet and it was horrible. We finally got to the stairs to the plattform. We hurried up the escalator until our way was blocked by a guy. We finally reached the plattform. The train was still here. We tried to open the doors: No luck. The guy who blocked us, tried the same. He went to the train operator and managed to get the doors open. As it turns out, he was the conductor. So finally we are off to Paris via Luxenbourg and Metz. Hurray! The train from Brussels to Luxenbourg is one of the most beautiful I had taken. Really nice landscape.

Several hours later, we arrive in Paris. Getting across the city to get to Gare d'Austerlitz. Finally on board the night train to Bordeaux. We find an empty compartment. But not entirly empty. In the luggage rack is very big gym back. We get afraid. It was 1999, 2 1/2 years before 9/11. But still back then there were terror attacks. We left the train again, went to the first uniformed persons we could find. I think they were actually police officers. We told them about the gym back. No reaction whatsoever. I think today, they would have evacuated the whole trainstation. But back then: nothing. No way, I didn't want to get on this train. Fortunatly there was a train two hours later. So at around 10 o'clock in the evening we are on board a train again and arrive in Bordeaux in the next morning. And thank god, the gym back on the other train didn't seem to have exploded.

Two days in Bordeaux, but I regred not seeing the Atlantic. So close. Anyway, we have spend enough money and we just wanted to get back to our home. We took the TGV from Bordeaux to Paris (which was a lot cheaper than the TGV from Brussels to Paris). The TGV is about five times faster than the night train. But in both you see nothing of the landscape... Then from Paris to Munich the night train again. Another train ride, and we are back at home again.

Here are some pictures:

In 2000, I made the second (and last) Interail trip, and I took no TGVs and no night trains, but that is a different story :-)

Christmas Present for my Mother

I have no idea whatsoever, what present I should buy my mother. I think I had it. I wanted to get her a computer. I have a older Pentium III 550 MHz system with a good Sony monitor, which should be enough for web and mail for my mother. But wait! Problems!
  1. I live seven hours away from my mother, so I can only give limited support.
  2. She doesn't have broadband and keeping a Windows PC up to date is not a option with 56k.
  3. I don't have time&knowledge to set up a simple Linux system for her.
  4. I don't have the money to buy her a used Macintosh.
So, I think, I will get her a used Macintosh for her 60th birthday in 2005, but that leaves me short of a present for this christmas.

I addition, I gave my mother two nice presents last year. I gave her a mobile phone and a self made calender with 12 of the best pictures I made in the last 10 years. So I set the bar pretty high.

Creepy iTunes Bug

I still have this iTunes bug, that iTunes creeps under the Windows taskbar. Can not acuratly reproduce it. But it happens with iTunes on my home system with Windows XP SP2.

It does not happen everytime I start iTunes. I guess it only happens the first time after I startup the computer.

Let see when Apple will fix it.

By the way: I love iTunes, it is really cool.

Kommandobrücke I want to try out

But I have a problem: 2000 analog slides. I want to make them digital, but I don't have the 800 Euro for an automatic slide scanner.

Wait, I have some digital photos. They have been taken 1999 with a digital camera. I think we (Vera and I) had a Panasonic DCF-2 camera, 800 x 600 640 x 480 pixel (That is less than half a MegaPixel!). It was the smallest camera available at that time. We had a 2 MB and a 10 MB CompactFlash card. I think that qualifies for being an early adopter.

If I wouldn't boycott the major labels...

... then I would go out and buy the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You"

Friday, December 17, 2004

What’s Next for Google

Just corrected the timezone for this blog...

I had put the timezone to New Zealand for this blog, just for fun (and to hide if I should ever blog from work). Sorry if I confused people. I put it back to CET/Berlin.

Its nice to find out about the dynamics of this medium. It seems like I learn a thing everyday.

I'm not sure if I should blog with my full name. I made a conscious decision not to blog with my full name, for several reasons:
  1. If I am pissed off, I want to say that I am pissed off, even if it involves brand names.
  2. I live in Germany, where it is easy for a company to send you a "Abmahnung". This is a piece of paper which states: "You did something wrong, you will sign here that you will never do it again, and if you don't sign it, we will sue you big time. By the way: You owe our lawyer the expenses for this document." So its easy for me to get into trouble if I say something bad.
  3. Our company has no blogging policy, but even the mail-list policy is quite strict. I try not to blog about my current employer or the products we make, but sometimes I can't help to complain. I don't want to get into trouble for this... (Interestingly, I don't have a problem with staying quiet when I have something nice to say)
  4. Quite frankly, I like it that google finds very little about me :-)
But right now, I am thinking, I should come "out of the closet".

Have to think more about this.

A funny thing, as a side note: It seems easier to communicate with people in Redmond, than with the heads of R&D at our company.

Why does my iTunes move up everytime I start it

Or the difference between SetWindowPos() and SetWindowPlacement()

[Update] Just tried to reproduce this with iTunes, and I couldn't. I'm a bit puzzled. I thought this would happen everytime with iTunes...

David Wheeler died

David Wheeler, the inventor of the subroutine and BZ2, died.

He's gone sub without return.

Periodic Table of Cheeses

With a little Flash applet.


FQA: Frequently Questioned Answers

Or as I would put it: Answers nobody wants to hear to questions nobody asked.

DRM with Ogg Vorbis?

Now that ain't right.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

This is not right

Sorry, I just have a blog flash. Some people Important people are linking to my blog.

Need to get outside, get some fresh air and wait until my endorphin is droping to a healthy
level again.

Newsgator - I'm pleased but not excited

I finally set up an newsgator account. Now I don't have to mark articles twice as read (at home and at work). So far, so good.

But there are some things I don't like that much.
  • Adding a feed could be a lot easier. I have to click 'Add feeds', then 'Add a feed', type the URL and then 'Quick Add' (har har). It could be worse, but it could be better. Why isn't the 'Quick Add' button and box always available, when I read my feeds?
  • While I'm adding my feeds, I see three different tabs on my screen. 1st Level (Home, etc.), 2nd Level (My Feeds, etc.) and third level ('Browse feeds' etc.) which look completely different and the 3rd level feels like it is somewhere else on my screen.
  • Ok, I subscribed to Raymond Chen's Weblog, which is called "The Old New Thing", but I would like to rename it to "Raymond Chen's Weblog". Doesn't seem to be possible.
  • I've been idle over lunch time and I have been logged out. Why?
  • If I find a nice post on someone's blog and want to post something about this on my blog, can I do this directly from newsgator?
Ok, I know they don't charge for this service, and it is nice so far, but I wouldn't spend 6 $ a month for this. Sorry.

[Update] Corrected the awful spelling error in the title (and several others in the text). I should not post while under the influence of alcohol... :-) I apologize to

Joel on setting a price for your product

In the world of software, you can just make a version of your product called "Professional" and another version called "Home" with some inconsequential differences, and hope that the corporate purchasers (again, the people who are not spending their own money) will be too embarassed at the thought of using "Windows XP Home Edition" at work and they'll buy the Pro edition. Home Edition at work? Somehow that feels like coming to work in your pyjamas! Ick!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Disruptive Innovation

And cool SawStop Videos.

If pets could blog

How F**cking American Are You?

From the creators of South Park.

Now this is sub-zero

An Australian Sniper in Iraq

Safe Personal Computing

A dozen things you can do to improve your security.

Windows XP Embedded Evaluation

Start Rewarding Failure

Reserve punishment only for inaction.

Bambi - Another Great IP Moment for Disney?

Robert Scoble's Corporate Weblog Manifesto

Damn it, google knows better than I what I write about

I was still thinking/hoping that I write about music stuff, but google figured out, that I write mainly about creating software...

Site Flavored Search for my Blog (Programming)


Site Flavored Search by Google

Another beta by google :-)

Guy Kawasaki On Apple

"I believe in God because there is no other explanation for Apple’s continued existence.’’

I want a Toshiba M200

Thank you very much, Robert Scoble. Do you want to lend give me the $2k?

I don't use IE at the moment

But there are some tools available for it.

What are Blogs?

Well, a blog is something. If you start reading it, you start to live in your own world (blogosphere or echo chamber) and you start to like Microsoft. Funny. It happend to me and it doesn't hurt.

Browser War?

The real war is between RSS and HTML

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I remember when email came along and all my friends said "so?"

Excellent post by Robert Scoble. Most people don't understand blogs or RSS. But they will.

I don't understand technorati...

Honestly. I don't.

I understand blogs. I understand RSS. I partially understand feedster and pubsub. But technorati? Is it google for blogs? Have to check back in a month.

NASA's World Wind

Robert Scoble is gaining on Steve Ballmer

Just did a quick search on the five six Microsoft employees that I can remeber the name and the number of results google claims to know.
  1. Bill Gates: 4.460.000
  2. Don Box: 410.000 (Added)
  3. Steve Ballmer: 304.000
  4. Robert Scoble: 172.000
  5. Raymond Chen: 64.000
  6. Larry Osterman: 27.300
So, Robert is trailling Steve Ballmer :-)

If anybody knows a Microsoft employee with more results from google than Robert Scoble, please let me know.

[Update] And two out of these five I know NOT from their blogs. Go figure.

[Update] Mea Culpa, I forgot Don Box (Godfather of COM, isn't he?). And as someone points out, I could include Chris Anderson and Chris Sells. Asking google about Don, Chris and Chris. Then I take a look who wrote the comment. Chris Sells. Google tells me that Chris is the "Content Strategist for the Longhorn Developer Center web site on MSDN". Good god. The third comment on my blog. And he gets 221.000 results from google.

Ok, here is the updated list:
  1. Bill Gates: 4.460.000
  2. Don Box: 410.000 (Added)
  3. Steve Ballmer: 304.000
  4. Chris Anderson: 289.000
  5. Chris Sells: 221.000
  6. Robert Scoble: 172.000
  7. Raymond Chen: 64.000
  8. Larry Osterman: 27.300
Hope this doesn't turn into Tony's unofficial Microsoft Google-Ranking :-)

Got to check what Chris Anderson and Chris Sells do. They haven't been on my radar until today...

The Rebel Sell

If we all hate consumerism, how come we can’t stop shopping?

Besonic is down

The technical problems regarding the damaged BeSonic hard disk, which led to huge data losses, have remained. Unfortunately we were unable to isolate and copy the data onto a new hard disk. This means Besonic can not be restarted, because we no longer have access to the databases.

And google ads has four links to data salvage companies...

iPod My Photo

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Problems Wikis have with Search Engines...

Rollback mystery solved: The search engines did it! 6. June, 2004
Apparently random rollbacks have been occurring for some time now, but with the IP logging in place, it was easy to assign the blame. Search engines have traversed the site and have been “clicking” all the rollback links. So now the rollback link is done in javascript to keep those pesky engines at bay. This fix will be part of 0.9.2 and is already in effect on instiki dot org.

RSS: why it's important

MSN Spaces reacts

Robert Scoble informs us, that MSN Spaces clarified their legal documents. Now that is something you wouldn't see at apple. But at apple, they would get it right the first time (most of the times anyway).

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hack Yourself

A question to I always want spellcheck before posting

Yes, I know, I can press this little button and an excellent spellchecker comes up. But what I want is that when I press "Publish Post", that before posting the spellchecker runs.

Ok, just a little wish.

43 Folders

Blue Sky On Mars points out that 43 Folders is a interesting blog.

Five Mistakes Band & Label Sites Make

Really nice to read.

One thing I don't understand about HTML lists

Ok, I make a list like this:
  1. First
  2. Second
  3. Third
Now I try to copy this from the browser to insert it somewhere else. Result: The numbers are missing (1. 2. 3.) only the text is present (First Second Third).

This isn't right, right?

The Technology behing Google Sugest

Joel on Google Suggest

The latency of web UIs, in which everything you do is a slow round-trip that requires completely refetching and rebuilding the web page, is one of the reason web UIs feel so clunky compared to native GUIs. Google is very publicly raising the bar on the quality of interfaces that people will expect from web pages.

Google Suggest

If you haven't seen this, than you need to check it out.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

If you don't know if your pants match you jacket...

... then don't go to this site for help.

him name is hopkin green frog


War, what is it good for?

Absolutly nothing.

Stop the Content Mafia

I just have enough. This content mafia has to be stopped.
  1. They are seriously screwing with the legal system. They let their lawyers fuck you over and YOU pay for it. They take away the freedom of speech and say its good for everybody. They take away creative expresion from artists and say they are protecting them. They hinder the access for universities to information.
  2. The quality of their product gets worse and the prices go up. They fuck the customers over with DRM. And at the same time, the artist gets less and less.
  3. The say they protect "IP" but they have build their empires on IP theft themselves. Disney is a good example. Take a disney film and try to make a parody on it like Steamboat Willie. Go ahead and hear the mighty lion roar. Or find out how US publishing stole books.
  4. They whine how bad P2P is for them (while their revenues go up!) instead of going to where the customers are.
I will no longer finance this.

I bought my first CD in 1991 and my first DVD in 1998. I currently own over 100 DVDs and over 200 CDs. I go to the cinema about once a month. So I spend 400 Euro a year to be fucked over by the content mafia and help them fuck other people over.

But I will stop doing that. I will no longer buy anything from a major label. I will (try) not (to) watch movies in cinemas. I will stop buying DVDs. Until one of the following happens:
  1. The kneel over and hear the sound of inevitability.
  2. They realize that treating artists and customers like shit is not a good buisiness model.
Go ahead, sue me for not buying.

Don't buy at BMG, Edel, EMI, Sony, Universal or Warner

Just don't. They take your money and try to finish people off. And stop the freedom of speech.

Just like that.

Information in German language:,1

RSS has hit the Mainstream

One thing that many people agree on is that government bureaucracies are usually very slow to adopt new innovations.

So when the little-known National Agricultural Statistics Service last week began offering RSS feeds of some of its news, it was the latest sign that the technology, which allows anyone to subscribe and automatically receive dynamic content on their computers, has hit the mainstream.,1282,65702,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_8

iPod and Apple

Map your Blindspot

From the book 'Mind Hacks'

Why Apple should not will not make an cheap iPod Flash

The idea that Apple can just slap the iPod brand on a low-capacity, low-cost player and “make it work” is backwards. The iPod isn’t popular because it’s cool — it’s cool because it’s so well-designed.
Demand for lower-cost iPods exists. But, duh, demand for lower-cost everything exists. Perhaps you’d like to see a $15,000 BMW 3-series model, but you’re not going to get one.

[UPDATE] I insterted cheap in the title. I think this matches it closer.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Just found a title for my boss

Product Assassin & People Demotivator

Of "rosh katan" and "rosh gadol"

"Methodologies encourage rock stars to become compliance monkeys, and I need everyone on my team to be a rock star."

Once it’s out of the box

”P2P doesn’t need a case made in its favour—it’s just technology.
Once it’s out of the box you can’t put it back in the box, and that’s
the end of that.”

Monday, December 06, 2004

15 Megs of Fame

Another "free MP3 directly from the artist" service. Really should check it out.

Monty Python Online

Have to try CopyToDVD

I have to get the the OST from The Shawshank Redemption

Really must.

From the Floor

Writing about looking at art. From the floor of the gallery, the museum, and the private collection.

LUXO - A blog featuring Pixar animation studios

Core 77 - A blog about industrial design

Google: new-zealand audio software hardware development dsp


New Zealand Information Technology Industry Overview

Got to get "Nommo" by "Slovo"

What a crappy present

Get yourself to the mall and return the CD. Even if you don't have the receipt, some places will give you store credit (especially if you act real sad).

Find the biggest pack of CD-Rs you can get for the price of the CD (usually 25 or 50). Now you're back in charge of your music. Rock on!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Find your Spot

Finds the place you want to live in - As long as its in the US (and as long as you register)

So, here is my personal list, as recommended by Find Your Spot:
  1. Norfolk, Virgina
  2. Providence, Rhode Island
  3. Richmond, Virginia
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  6. Charlotte, North Carolina
  7. New Haven, Connecticut
  8. Hartford, Connecticut
  9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  11. Worcester, Massachusetts
  12. Chesapeake-Virginia Beach, Virginia
  13. Long Island, New York
  14. Louisville, Kentucky
  15. Boston, Massachusetts
  16. Bergen-Passaic, New Jersey
  17. Manhattan, New York
  18. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  19. New York City, New York
  20. Little Rock, Arkansas
  21. Hampton, Virginia
  22. Nashville, Tennessee
  23. Lynchburg, Virginia
  24. Knoxville, Tennessee

Job Today - Jobs from newspapers in the UK

Why is the iPod so successful?

Here are some thoughts I had why the iPod is so successful
  • Beautiful simplistic design
  • Kick-ass simple and good user interface
  • Appeals to men and women (Not a boys gadget, not a girls accessory)
  • Integrates with iTunes and the iTunes Music Store (which are kick-ass simple and good on their own)
  • Not feature bloated, only the features that people need, and the included features are kick-ass good (Want a FM tuner? Go buy one on the iPod after-market)
With this this in mind, we can look at the shortcomings of the iPod (which real don't matter that much)
  • Battery life could be better (its enough to hear music a whole day through)
  • No replaceable battery (which only would make sense, if you had a standard battery; Besides, a replaceable battery would make the iPod only heavier and bigger, if it should offer the same battery life)
  • No standard replaceable battery (but AA batteries wouldn't give the battery life you want on such a device and there is no standard LiIon battery)
  • Its hard to get the music-files back from your iPod, but I guess that is not Apples fault, but the fault of the music industry (there are ways around this)
  • iPods Fairplay doesn't play well with others (WMA and the like, but who needs them anyway)
  • Some iPods had some problems with the headphone jack and noise being audible (but you should be able to get the iPod replaces by Apple; Nevertheless, Apple should get their shit together)

Spam in der U-Bahn

What's with Slashdot?

I found this in the usenet:

Well, for several months, my firewall's been getting strange probes from Slashdot itself:

Who is OSTG?

I took this From one online publication:

About OSTG

OSTG (Open Source Technology Group), formerly known as OSDN, is the cornerstone of the Open Source movement and the leading online network for IT managers and development professionals. OSTG's technology-focused sites include,,,, and OSTG also owns, the leading retailer for innovative technology products, and the MediaBuilder network, featuring, a leading online- image content provider. The network serves more than 238 million page views and 16 million unique visitors a month. OSTG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of VA Software Corp. Find out more about OSTG at

About VA Software Corp.

VA Software Corporation (Nasdaq: LNUX), OSTG's parent company, is at the center of today's technology revolution, inciting innovation by empowering the IT and development communities with information, community support and software. VA Software is the creator of SourceForge. is the global nexus for the Open Source community with over 88,000 Open Source projects and more than 921,000 registered users. SourceForge Enterprise Edition is used to manage and optimize distributed development across the enterprise. For company information, visit

Progressive Deutschland - Personalvermittlung im ICT-Sektor

Broadcast Equipment - Manufacture

IT jobs in the UK and Europe - OSTG

Hi-performance re-engineering of classic toys and gadgets

Found at Slashdot

Flashblock for Mozilla and Firefox

If you use Mozilla or Firefox, you have to try out this little thingy. It blocks all flash content, but enables you to click to view the flash content. EXTREMLY helpful with dreaded websites like washpost. Really nice, because you can still enjoy ZeFrank.

And if it is still blinking everywhere, type about:config in the address bar, go to image.animation_mode and change it once or to none.

BTW: If you still don't use Firefox, get it today.

No Microsoft for Tony

I applied at Microsoft and was considering moving to Redmond to work for MS.

But I no longer think, that is what I want to do. First of all I have been considering the economic situation and I think it is going downstream for the US. It is not all Sunshine and Roses in the Rest of the world, but I think I will be better of in a different country.

But second of all, MS is only hiring people from abroad, who can apply for the TN Visa (I think that is people from Canada, Mexico) or the H1B Visa (Typically, this means that you have a 4 year degree in computer science or equivalent for the technical positions MS offers). Neither one can be applied for me...

In related news:

I was trying to get a job within the group I currently work in a company in Scotland, but that doesn't seem to be a possibility. But I have been told, that I could apply for work at a group company in Canada, I think I will try that.

If this company in Canada doesn't want me, then I'm back to square one. I don't know what I want to do. I might want to start a company, I might want to work for Microsoft or Harman, I might want to move New Zealand.

But I don't know.

Wenn die Deutsche Bahn ein Schranke ersetzen muss..

Titanic VR

A nice flash applet on the National Geographic site makes it possible for you to take a look at the bow of the Titanic.

Mikehall - Featured embedded blog of the week

Thursday, December 02, 2004

CreateDigitalMusic - Featured music blog of the week

Bill Gates doesn't know who made 'Finding Nemo'?

"Q: Steve Jobs has said consumers aren't going to watch video on tiny screens. Is he wrong?
A:Yes. Ask kids in the back of a car on a two-hour trip, "Hey, would you like to have your videos there?" My kids would. I guess Steve's kids just listen to Bach and Mozart. But mine, they want to watch Finding Nemo. I don't know who made that, but it's really a neat movie."

Ok, 'Finding Nemo' has been made by Pixar, and I think the CEO is a guy called Steve Jobs...

Ihre Eingabe enth&a uml;ltung&u uml;ltige Zeichen

Tschuess Deutschland?

Go Limited?

The Core Essence of Information

The Core Essence of Information is for me, knowing where the information I get is coming from. If Robert Scoble writes, that MSN Spaces isn't the Blog system he want's to use, than it is something different than, say, Linus Torvald saying he doesn't want to use MSN Spaces (Ok, Linus might be a bad example, but you get the drift)

Now here I find the this (in many points) very stupid policy on blogs by a unnamed newspaper. What really trips me of is the "Such publication of personal opinion casts doubt on their impartiality, ultimately calling into question the newspaper's commitment to fairness." part. If I know, where the staff at the newspaper stands, I know if it's really impartial what they write.

[Update] I would like to point out, that I don't agree with most of the views expressed in Doug Harpers blog other postings. But hey, now I now where he stands.


"I don't know, Donna, just wail something… 'I feel love'? Anything, really, I'm just trying to get this bassline right. No, listen, it's harder than it sounds."

Why Do I Blog

Well, Doc Searls knows the reason:

[...] I blogged because doing cc: world was cooler and more leveraged than doing cc: (some finite group of people). it's still like that. I literally see blogging as emailing to everybody.

Why Do We Blog

Chris Locke

Before I was a blogger, I was a zinester. I started Entropy Gradient Reversals while I was working for IBM because their stupid fucking PR fascists wouldn't let me write. I thought they were way too clueless to discover my zine on the net -- it was, after all, the IBM Internet Division -- but I was wrong about that. Fortunately, I resigned for different reasons (recurring homicidal fantasies) 30 seconds before their lawyers were about to come down on my ass. I'll skip the part where the security dogs sniffed out my office for C4. Good thing all that was before 9/11, or I'd be writing this from a federal pen.