• The emperor's new clothes

    It's one thing to create hype about some secret new product that "will revolutionize internet communications". It's another thing to actually have something on his hand when cards are called. And a third one to know how to behave in online space.

    COMBOTS, the new project of my former employer WEB.DE AG (before selling the WEB.DE portal to United Internet) uncovered their secret product at this year's stockholders' meeting in mid July. Well, lo and behold -- it's an... instant messaging application. Wow. But wait, it's got funny avatars instead of simple buddy names! And you have to pay if you want a new one. Or a new bodily expression for your current one. Now, that's just great.

    Stockholders thought so, too. Their stock value instantly dropped by more than 10%. Screwing the stock options I got when I was hired.

    But what concerns me quite a bit more is that, for a company that wants to revolutionize the internet, COMBOTS doesn't seem to know how to behave in that space. Some of their reactions to the dismissal iof their product were as stupid as can be: critical parts in the COMBOTS Wikipedia article were removed several times. The origins of these alterations, as well as these of abating forum and blog comments could be traced back to the COMBOTS company gateway. How boneheaded do you have to be to believe that you can get away with such a threadbare behaviour?

    I'm curious how that story will go on. But I don't think I'll ever make some money selling those stock options.

    For some more comments (in german), see praegnanz.de, Werbeblogger%e2%80%93-wenig-drunter-3/, or Netzhure

  • Lotus Notes client for Linux

    It's unbelievable: from Monday on, you will be able to use a real Lotus Notes client on Linux!

    Think about it: Lotus Notes hasn't been available for more than a few years (Notes 3.0 was released 1993) and the Domino server has just been made available for Linux (in 2003) -- and already, there's a native client for Linux!

    IBM certainly is an early adopter. :-)

    PS: If you'd like to take a look at the history of a software that has been there forever, see The History of Notes and Domino

  • Save whales

    No, not the small country in Great Britain. I'm talking about the dirty game Japan is playing to dominate the IWC(International Whaling Commission). It's easier than you think: just bribe enough small countries normally not interested in whales (how many people in Togo may have seen one in their entire life?) and presto -- enough votes in favour of the japanese whale killing lobby.

    That's outrageous. And sad. Will we still be able to hear whale songs in the ocean in a few years?

  • Skype goes WiFi

    Skype gets ready to throw several brands of WiFi phones at their users (after they throw some money at Skype, of course). There are four models in the wings:

    • the F1PP000GN-SK from Belkin
    • Edge-Core's WM4201
    • SMC's WSKP100, coming in August,
    • and of course Netgear's SPH101, due this month.

    Handset prices will range from about $300 down to (more acceptable) $189.

    You should keep in mind that some public hotspots require a web-based login first, which quite rules out the SPH101 for travel usage.

    (via Engadget)

  • Working on tasks in the right context

    Lars Trieloff ponders upon a context-aware to-do-list system Actually, dividing tasks into contexts so that each task can be dealt with when you're at the best time and place for it is a basic principle in David Allens Getting Things Done

    I've been practising the GTD approach for some time now and it helps me in a great way to keep focus on what has to be done, when it has to be done and where I can do it.

    I use Backpack!.html to manage my task lists. Every context (at home, at work, places i can use a phone, etc.) has its own page with a to-do-list there. Every task finished gets ticked off, and the next day, I delete (with great pleasure) all these old tasks.

    With Tracks, there's even a special software to practise GTD online. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks promising.