Archive for the 'Gadgets' Category

The Arduino has landed…

I admit it, I am too curious to pass the opportunity to play with another gadget.

Today has a Arduino landed, fast shipped from Watterod. What a nice toy.

Some link for those that ask themselves “what the hell is an Arduino”.

The projects homepage: www.arduino.cc

Good books on Arduino from O´Reilly:

German c´t had an article recently and as a nice page with a hell of links.

Ideas for dozens answers the question “Why the Arduino Matters“, and yes, this could be true.

Jan-Piet Mens has created a monitor for Nagios and Icinga, the Naguino.

An interesting project is TinkerKit, an Arduino-compatible physical computing prototyping toolkit aimed at design professionals. Still under development, but very interesting.

And finally, O´Reilly has also a book on Arduino in german:

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Kindle 2

xkcd.com:

I had the same thought.

Peter Kafka in Media Memo on All Things Digital commenting on Jeff Bezos pitch lately in “The Daily Show” with host Jon Stewart:

That is: For some folks, the ability to download books over the air, store a gazillion titles on a single device and have a “freaky” voice read them aloud to you are compelling reasons to shell out $359 for the gadget. For skeptics like Stewart, it’s hard to see how Amazon (AMZN) has improved upon the ink-and-paper book, which uses technology that has worked pretty well for several hundred years.

And cnet Crave on Designing the Kindle 2:

“One of the great things about Kindle is it doesn’t ever get hot,” Amazon Vice President Ian Freed said in an interview at Amazon’s downtown office here. That’s important, Freed said, given that the company has one main goal with the Kindle–making the product as invisible to users as possible when they are reading.

“The most important thing for the Kindle to do is to disappear,” Freed said. That was the goal with the first device and was also a key factor in deciding what would go in the sequel, which started shipping on Monday. There are the obvious factors, like the thinner, sleeker design. But there are also things like an improved cellular modem. As a result, Kindle users will find themselves out of range in fewer places to get updates or buy a new book.

Well, for us Europeans it is anyway not yet available. I will have a look at it, when it comes over, but for the time being I like my dead tree library.

Cool Tools and more

The more gadgets you carry, the more loose cables fly around your bags. One solution is shown over at Chiefhomeofficer.com: Cables astray no more

Customer satisfaction surveys anyone?
Dilbert.com

Phun is a free game like 2D physics sandbox where you can play with physics like never before. The playful synergy of science and art is novel, and makes Phun as educational as it is entertaining.

(via)

SkypeKiller claims to be able to remotely kill Skype installations in corporate networks. Anyone having experience with this tool?

ThinkGeek with a hacked FlashDrive for the Uber-Geek that has everything.

HomeOfficeVoice with 7 simple steps for a Clutter Free Home Office. How much would I love to get there (at least almost…).

Twitter moves closer to Google Friend Connect instead of going the open way. (via) We´ll see what that means. Maybe on the MBC09 this week – and no, I cannot be there due to some obligations I cannot turn down.

Another free mindmapping tool, yet to be tested: XMind

Ben Casnocha on Caitlin Flanagans writing, especially her piece in the December 2008 Atlantic. I have two girls, so this is at least interesting for me.

10 Inspiring Last Lectures and Commencement Speeches Everyone Should Watch. Quite good ones, actually…

I guess no one has a clue yet how Twitter wants to make money from his service, but they are going to hire a Product Manager. Probably they should have thought earlier about that. Related, it looks like others have figured out how to make money off Twitter. Over at Scoble: “Tumblr’s CEO brainstorms microblog monetization“. Probably now it is more important than ever to have the monetization right early.

Need to understand flowcharts? Here it is:

Lifehacker with the Most Popular Free Windows Downloads of 2008

Cloud Computing Corner:

  1. How to set up Amazon Cloudfrom to work with S3. ´Nuff said.
  2. A Beginners guide to running JumpBox on Amazon´s EC2 service (via)
  3. Cloudfront Management Tools (via)

Seth Godin: How to send a personal email. Priceless:

Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you have the right to email them.

Google has released Blog Converters. (via)

Scoble on how you have to socially network in case you are laid off. Ok, from an US perspective, but a lot holds true also in Europe or elsewhere.

I am traveling quite a lot, so always interesting to see how others do when it comes to packing. WebWorkerDaily:  How Travel Veterans Pack For a Trip

Worth to read as well is the list of things that Tim Ferriss has learned and loved in 2008.

The TOP 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors. Yes, that might be the 25 most dangerous, but do we believe they get eliminated?

Stunning: Earth, observed. From the – probably – best picture blog in the world.

This is courage: The Man Who Said No to Wal-Mart

Mobility Packs of german bloggers (in German):

Shocking. Matthew Alexander on irrogation techniques and  torture in Iraq (via)

Interesting. Russ Juskalian in Columbia Journalism Review interviewing Clay Shirky.

How Newspapers tries to invent the Web. But Failed. Jack Shafer in Slate. Recommended.

In case you didn´t know: How to burn a Windows 7 .ISO to DVD

Leo Babauta (ZenHabits, Power of Less) interviews Tim Ferriss (4 hour workweek). Take the time.

From the Personal MBA blog:

Here are the three best resources I’ve found to explain what’s happening in the financial markets – they make great “Friday Reading”:

NY Times (now only for subscribers/registered users): The End of the Financial World as We Know It (via)

Charlie Rose interviewing Malcolm Gladwell. (via)

Balsamiq Mockup helps to create application mockups in minutes. Even more interesting than the tool is the commercial success of the creator, described here. Fan-tas-tic. (via)

Jahresende-Links

So, jetzt zum Jahresabschluss die gesammelten Links der letzten paar Wochen. Sorry, aber wegen zu vielen Reisen vor den Feiertagen und PC-Abstinenz über Weihnachten etwas verzögert:

Nicht ganz neu, aber passend zur aktuellen Eskalation im Nahen Osten: Evolutionary Psychology, Memes and the Origin of War

The present article proposes an evolutionary psychology based model of social prediction, particularly for wars and related social disruption such as riots and suicide bombers.

Frankfurt Story – Danke Robert, gut davon zu lesen, bin ja schliesslich in Frankfurt am Main geboren…

Wo ist das Geld geblieben? – Eine Spurensuche bei der Zeit

The benefits of a monthly recurring revenue model in tough economic times –  Jason Fried von 37signals. So wahr.

Palamida: In a Time of Less, Do More with Open Source: Top 25 Open Source Projects That Will Help Trim Development Budgets (via)

70 Tools Freelancers Rely on Most – auch was für euch dabei?

Und dazu Web Worker Daily: 6 Free, Open Source Resources for Web Workers

Die Jungs und Mädels von EDS sollten´s eigentlich wissen, zumindestens aber eine Meinung haben: How Will Cloud Computing Affect the Information Technology Outsourcing Marketplace? (via)

Endlich mal erklärt 😉 : But What Exactly “Is” Cloud Computing? (via)

Stefan verweist auf ein Paper zum Tema XML Performance. Lesen!

Das Wall Street Journal: Outsourcing: Not Immune to the Downturn, But Holding Up – gibt ja sicherlich noch eine Menge, die Outsourcing primär als Mittel zur Kostensenkung sehen. Der “Do my mess for less”-Ansatz geht aber schnell in die Hose, aber manch lernen eben nur durch Schmerz.

A B2B Recession Survival Kit: Three Not-so-painful Tips for Thriving in a Miserable Economy:

  • Survival Strategy #1: Cut the waste.
  • Survival Strategy #2: Harvest the “best practices” of other companies.
  • Survival Strategy #3: Ask customers what they want.

GMail Blog: SMS messaging for chat – wahrscheinlich (?) bis jetzt nur in USA

Stephen Fry reist mit leichtem Gepäck 🙂 : Gee, One Bold Storm coming up….

Ein paar Takeaways von Nick Carr:

Elliotte Rusty Harold: You cannot trust the cloud (via)

Traditional payware like Oracle, Perforce, and Microsoft Office had lockin issues, but at least you controlled the software. Vendors couldn’t (usually) shut you down just because they decided your app no longer fit their business model. Cloud vendors can, and you have little to no recourse when they do.

Boring meetings? Get a canary…

Dilbert.com

Royal Pingdom: Google Apps SLA loophole allows for major downtime without consequences (via)

Coding Horror: Hardware is Cheap, Programmers are Expensive

Not quite what I had in mind. Oder wie es sich anfühlt, bei Flickr gefeuert zu werden.

Lehman-Chef Richard Fuld: Der Mann, der die Welt in die Knie zwang (via)

The 10 Coolest Open Source Products Of 2008 – inclusive Identi.ca/laconi.ca (via Cem)

InformationWeek mit dem CTO of the Year: Werner Vogels von Amazon. (via Dave). Gratulation!

Drei Posts von Garr:

10 design rules to keep in mind
(1) Communicate — don’t decorate.
(2) Speak with a visual voice.
(3) Use two typeface families maximum. OK, maybe three.
(4) Pick colors on purpose.
(5) If you can do it with less, then do it.
(6) Negative space is magical — create it, don’t just fill it up!
(7) Treat the type as image, as though it’s just as important.
(8) Be universal; remember that it’s not about you.
(9) Be decisive. Do it on purpose — or don’t do it at all.
(10) Symmetry is the ultimate evil.

Robert Scoble polarisiert ja recht häufig, trotzdem (oder gerade deshalb) zwei Posts von ihm:

Alex Payne von Twitter:  How I Use TextMate

Dare kommentiert einen Artikel von Jeff Atwood: The Myth of the Open Source Business Model Sein Ergebnis:

There are basically three business models for companies that make money from Open Source software, they are

  1. Selling support, consulting and related services for the “free” software (aka the professional open source business model ) – RedHat
  2. Dual license the code and then sell traditional software licenses to enterprise customers who are scared of the GPL – MySQL AB
  3. Build a proprietary Web application powered by Open Source software – Google

As you scan this list, it should be clear that none of these business models actually involves making money directly from selling only the software. This is problematic for developers of shrinkwrapped, consumer software such as games because none of the aforementioned business models actually works well for them.

For developers of shrinkwrapped software, Open Source only turns piracy from a problem into a benefit if you’re willing to forego building consumer software and you have software that is either too complicated to use without handholding OR you can scare a large percentage of your customers into buying traditional software licenses by using the GPL instead of the BSDL.

Peter Thomas in der FAZ über Tilt-Shift-Objektive: Wie scharf ist das denn. Dazu den hervorragenden Post von Benedikt Hotze über Architekturfotografie mit Kleinbildkamera und Shiftobjektiv

Brent Simmons über Browser CPU usage:

The thing is, web developers should test their pages for CPU usage the same as app developers do. And anytime a page is idle, CPU usage should be at 0%. Same as with any other app.

eWeek: IBM Virtual Desktop Bundles Lotus, Ubuntu Linux to Freeze Out Microsoft (via)

Phil Fersht: Emerging from the rubble of 2008: BPO has a breakthrough year

Charles Miller: My 2008 end-of-year tech stock tips. (via)

A comment thread on a blog post I can no longer find a link to saw a rosy future for Microsoft because they spend nine times as much on research and development as Apple. There’s the problem. Microsoft pour R&D money into multi-touch interfaces and come up with a table that is relegated to tech demos and gimmicky election coverage. Apple put R&D money into multi-touch and produce the frickin’ iPhone.

Of course, Windows 7 will fix everything. We’ve never heard that before.

So, das solls mal gewesen sein. Bleibt nur die Frage, welches Netbook kleine 10″-Laptop ich mir zum rumspielen gönnen soll. Muss ist eine große Platte (160+GB), Aufrüstbarkeit auf 2GB RAM und eine gewisse Robustheit. Los, wer kann was empfehlen?

Das Wetter – und mehr

  • empfehlenswert zu verfolgen, wenn mal wieder schlechtes Wetter im Anzug ist: Die Warnkarte des DWD
  • Warum Büros unverzichtbar bleiben
  • Das Meetingmonster
  • Klare Worte: “Wissensdurst wird durch Klugscheißerei verdorben”

    Kinder unter Daueraufsicht, die immer nur an der Hand von Erwachsenen umhergeführt werden, gleichen Haustieren, Stalleseln, die das Leben in der Freiheit nicht mehr kennen. Aus der Hirnforschung wissen wir, dass unter diesen Bedingungen die Ausreifung des Gehirns nicht optimal gelingt. Das Gehirn bleibt eine Kümmerversion dessen, was daraus hätte werden können.

  • heise.de: Das Darmstädter Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie testiert Blackberry-Sicherheit. Testat und Untersuchungsbericht hier

Catch of the day

Some good picks from the last days in english, a post with german picks will follow right away:

  • ZDNet: 5 reasons to kill IT projects – seen them all, but why get companies trapped over and over and over again?
  • Seth Godin: How to make money using the Internet – simple: Connect.
  • Connect the disconnected to each other and you create value.

    * Connect advertisers to people who want to be advertised to.
    * Connect job hunters with jobs.
    * Connect information seekers with information.
    * Connect teams to each other.
    * Connect those seeking similar.
    * Connect to partners and those that can leverage your work.
    * Connect people who are proximate geographically.
    * Connect organizations spending money with ways to save money.
    * Connect like-minded people into a movement.
    * Connect people buying with people who are selling.

  • Dave Winer: It’s about the users, dummy! – true, so true:

    Listening is hard. But all people who create products for users must listen if they want to do well at making products. That includes doctors, bus drivers, mailmen, entrepreneurs, programmers, and yes, reporters and editors too. Because if you don’t listen you might miss a corner-turn and end up going off a cliff, just like the news industry is doing. They see the cliff, they know they’re headed for it, but they don’t ask how to turn the car. They don’t really want to know. I think sometimes what they want is to be missed when they lie dead in a crumpled car at the bottom of the cliff. But we don’t want that to happen. Not because we love them, but because life without them is pretty hard to imagine. They should turn the corner, no matter how painful it is. But in order to do it, they’re going to have to look out the front window and the mirrors and listen to the person in the passenger seat.

  • related, Garr Reynolds: Design means putting yourself in the user’s shoes

    Design is about many things. Above all, it’s about clarity, and intentions and about putting yourself in the position of the end users (or the customers, students, audience, etc.). When designs are not well thought out, even though it may all look good from our point of view, users get frustrated, confused, or even angry.

    The example of the hotel keycards is just brilliant.

  • Ed Brill reporting from his recent business trip to New Zealand and why good relationships are so important:

    People sometimes ask me why I think Twitter is so valuable. While we’re not directly conducting business on there very often, I do learn a lot through what others are talking about, and it helps me get a clearer picture of names in the industry. One fine example took place at the customer luncheon in Sydney last week. Someone stood up to ask me a question, and he started by telling me that he was @hollingsworth on Twitter, who had been giving me restaurant recommendations for the last few days in Sydney. Knowing who he was and that he was a Twitter user was helpful in answering his question, because it gave me an opportunity to mention TwitNotes, the Twitter plug-in for Lotus Notes 8. Our connection was immediately stronger despite having never met in-person nor even so much as heard Tony’s name before.

  • David Pogue giving a deastrous verdict on the Blackberry Storm: No Keyboard? And You Call This a BlackBerry?
  • John Maynard Keynes: The Great Slump of 1930 – interesting to read in this trouble some times. (via)

Another day, another city

and another Blogpost, today from Lucé, France, close to Chartres.