• Virtual bank offers virtual safety deposit box

    According to the article Mysterious Paypal Secure Storage on TechCrunch, Paypal is in the process of building a service that allows customers to safely transfer and store files on the payment provider's servers. So far, though, it's unclear to whom the service will be offered -- only to merchants or to all the users.

    What's remarkable is that files will be transferred via SFTP(Secure File Transfer Protocol), a protocol offered by the SSH(Secure Shell) software suite, even though Windows has no default SFTP application (of course there are offers from 3rd party vendors). SSH and SFTP are widely used on Unix systems where they are available as command line applications. As open source software, the SSH suite offers mature tools for secure data transfer.

    It's an interesting move for a payment provider to offer such a service, but maybe it'll be just the basis for future fulfilment services.

  • Laudato Si

    Seit dreißig Jahren begleitet mich "Laudato Si" durch Jugendgottesdienste und Agape-Feiern. Und ja, es ist nett, aber auch seeeeehr abgedroschen. Als ich letztens einen Ausschnitt aus Mickie Krauses Ballermann-Version des Lieds hörte ("Sei gepriesen für zwei- und dreimal Niesen", "Sei gepriesen für Poldi und für Schweini"), war ich hin- und hergerissen zwischen "Oh nee, jetzt verwursten sie schon Kirchenlieder!" und "Interessant, dass sowas offenbar einen Markt hat."

    Ich war umso mehr erstaunt, als ich auf ein Interview mit Mickie Krause stieß, in dem er sich als ehemaliger Jugendleiter outete und Ansichten wiedergab, die sich mit meinen in weiten Zügen decken.

    Wir brauchen Menschen, die Kirche machen, Kirche bewegen und verändern! Deshalb habe ich früher jahrelang Jugendarbeit gemacht und kann behaupten, Kirche bewegt zu haben. Wer Kirche verändern will, muss Mitanpacken und nicht darauf warten, dass andere dieses erledigen. Ich möchte aber zum Schluss auch noch erwähnen, dass es viele tolle Leute in der Kirche gibt. Unser Pastor zum Beispiel ist der absolute Hammer. Er gehört zu den Priestern, die es verstehen, ihre Gemeinde zu begeistern und zu bewegen. Mit ihm werde ich übrigens bei der Taufe meiner dritten Tochter Laudato Si singen, allerdings dann die Originalstrophen.

    Ich hätte nie gedacht, dass ich sowas mal sage: Respekt, Herr Krause! :-)

  • GarageBand is great

    On Tuesday evening, I started working on my first podcast. And I have to say that GarageBand 3 makes podcasting so easy it's making me cry.

    I've worked with different music production software over the years. If I remember correctly, my first steps on that ground were with a Roland D10 and Cakewalk on the Amiga. Let me tell you that no sequencer or audio recording program was as easy to use as GarageBand.All you have to do to start producing a podcast is to type in a project name and click the "Podcast" button on the starting screen. In an instant, you get an audio project with several pre-configured tracks: one each for a male and a female voice and some more for jingles and effects. Every track already has appropriate settings for equalizer, noise reduction and other enhancing and processing features so you can start recording right away.

    Additionally, GarageBand comes with a big set of audio snippets like jingles, sample loops and sound effects. So, if you want to add canned laughter to your podcast, just drag the sample from the loops list to a new or existing track. If you want some background music, choose a music sample. The "ducking" function will automatically lower its volume while you speak.

    Editing tracks is as easy as recording them. To delete a silent part or a goof-up, just mark the region of the track and double-click on it, thus making it a separate part that can be deleted with another click. Then just close the gap by re-recording or just dragging the following parts over it. Even creating my first intro jingle that needed some cutting and adding some bells and whistles only took me about 15 minutes.

    Using GarageBand, you only have to take the effort to plan, research and structure your podcast content. Recording it is a snap. I hope to finish my first episode of "Radio Perl" over the weekend.

  • Hitting a sore spot

    Weird Al Yankovic did it again: White and Nerdy

    Hey, what's so bad about admiring M.C. Escher as a great artist, reading Stephen Hawking and being really good at Pascal? You're all just jealous, that's what you are!

  • Got Mac?

    I couldn't resist any longer. All those hip people around me with their desktop widgets, their drop shadows and reflections -- and I didn't belong to them. But now I do. Yesterday, I received my new and shiny Mac Mini.

    I immediately rearranged my desk so I got a complete workstation consisting of the Mini, TFT display, Logitech S530 keyboard and mouse, CME UF7 MIDI master keyboard and Logitech USB headset for doing programming, music composition and podcasting all from my chair.

    Mac OS X is a really easy to handle operating system and it's fun to use. OS X and the iLife 06 package already contain most of the applications I need, and since I moved many common tasks on to the web, I didn't have to install much software so far.

    Until now, I added Adium for IM, Seashore for picture manipulation, jEdit for editing text files, and of course Firefox and Skype.

    I guess the next few days will be days of adventurous exploration.