Archive for category travelling

in case of emergency: spoof your MAC address

 

 

There have been several occasions in the past years that I had to quickly change the MAC address of my computer in order to get proper network connectivity. May it be a corporate network that does not allow me to use my notebook in a guest wifi because the original MAC address is “known” or any other possible reasons you can come up with…

Now this is relatively easy on Mac OS X – you can do it with just one line on the shell. But now there’s an App for that. It’s called Spoof:

img

“I made this because changing your MAC address in OS X is harder than it should be. The Wi-Fi card needs to be manually disassociated from any connected networks in order for the change to apply correctly – super annoying! Doing this manually each time is tedious and lame.

Instead, just run spoof and change your MAC address in one command. Now for Linux, too!”

Source: https://github.com/feross/spoof

No Comments

Map, Search and Filter flights all around the world

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-27 um 13.09.20

“OpenFlights is a tool that lets you map your flights around the world, search and filter them in all sorts of interesting ways, calculate statistics automatically, and share your flights and trips with friends and the entire world (if you wish). It’s also the name of the open-source project to build the tool.”

Source: http://openflights.org/

No Comments

APN Changer for iOS – when you’re abroad and in need of different mobile provider settings

When traveling you might find yourself in the situation that you get a new SIM card into your iPhone and it’ll start and do it’s automatic magic for you. And eventually you well end up with the right provider settings by default.

But there are some cases when it picks the wrong provider settings. Like in my case. It picked NTT docomo in Japan with the default NTT docomo settings. In my case I was using a reseller for NTT (as described here) and that demanded different provider settings to work.

Unfortunately in all it’s wisdom the iPhone did not allow me to set the carrier settings. It just displayed the “Automatic” choice. So I went to the APN Changer website, entered the settings and installed a custom provider setting to my device. This works without any Jailbreak with iPhones without SIM Lock.

Source: m.apnchanger.org

No Comments

How to use the Tokyo public transportation system as a visitor

Being in Tokyo as a visitor brings a lot of challenges. Since you gotta use the public transport offers to get from A to B. Now we had the same challenge this May and this is how we tried to solve it.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-05-18 um 18.51.12

Problem: How do you know which train lines you take and where they are?

Solution: Use Google Maps (you need mobile internet access!) to find your route

The public transportation feature of Google Maps works like a charm. It’s accurate as it can be and offers even walking instructions to get to the right platform or train station.

Notice the colored lines next to the different stations. That’s the color you’re looking for on the train. They are color coded! To find your right platform just take the information that Google gives you and look out for it. It will be written on signs “Rinkai towards Tokyo Teleport”.

 

Problem: Okay I know which train I have to use. But before I enter the platform I have to pass the ticket gate. How do I buy a ticket? How do I know which one?

Solution: Get a Suica card and charge it! If you’re a group travelling: Look out for cheap group ticket offerings.

A Suica card (aka “Super Urban Intelligent Card”) can be used instead of buying a ticket. You can buy it where you can buy the tickets – most of the time it’s 500 Yen + charge. Charging it with some Yen is crucical since the gates will not let you in when your card is not at least charged with 210 Yen.

You may ask: If I buy a ticket from A to B I have to pay the price upfront. When I use the Suica how does it work then? Easy answer: When you enter the train station through the ticket gate you pass it with your Suica card. It will start a journey for you. When you exit it will end the journey. The card and system is intelligent enough to calculate all steps in between, add them up and substract the fare price from your Suica balance. It always takes the cheapest price for single travellers.

If you’re on your way as a group you might want to use the ticket machines before going through the ticket gates. The Suica is a personal card and only suited for one person to be used. So you cannot pass it through the ticket gate back and enter the ticket gate again without causing panic with the service personell.

To buy tickets for groups I suggest to switch the terminals to english – most of them will offer that option. You then have to specifically know where you want to go. Sometimes it’s the easiest way to just go to the counter and buy them there.

Sometimes when you bought tickets you find out that you made a mistake. Fear not! You can give them back and by doing so get your money back. Service personell is awesome and will help you at any time! DO NOT PANIC!

Another awesome feature you get ‘for free’ by having a Suica card is that you can use it with all the vending machines available everywhere in the train stations. Just pick the beverage you want and swipe the card. Done!

Beware: fill the card up before going out of the ticket gate when you used it all up!

If you happen to have a NFC enabled device (like most Android phones) you can install the Suica Reader app from the Google Store and get information about what happened to your card so far.

No Comments

how to get mobile Internet (3G / LTE) in Japan

If you visit Japan the next time and you want to get perfectly good Internet access while there on your mobile phone I can recommend the b-mobile offer. On my last stay in Japan (May 2014) I tried their service for the first time and I was not let down.

They give you two options: The 1 GB prepaid option gives you 1 GB as fast as possible. The 14days prepaid gives you 14 days of limited speed coverage (300kbps).

Bildschirmfoto 2014-05-18 um 18.04.18

I went for the 14 days prepaid option knowing that I might get some usage depending on where I go. The 300kbps where faster than I thought – at no given time I experienced any speed problems. The coverage was awesome since it just dialed into NTT Docoms 3G/LTE network.

For just under € 30 this is an awesome option for any traveller. Even better: You can pick it up at the Airport or you can have it delivered to your hotel! We tried both and it worked both as expected. Fast delivery, perfect service!

Source: http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/product.html

No Comments

Tokyo Trip ahead

Tokyo

Stay tuned here for at least some coverage of this years Japan trip.

No Comments

MOSH (Mobile Shell) – fixing SSH for everyone

How many times did you experience a connection loss on your terminal window in the last week? Yeah I know – like everytime you close the lid of your notebook and move to a different place. So like a dozen times every day.

And everytime you reconnect to your servers and you use things like screen to keep your terminals open and your programs running while you’re disconnected.

On the other hand – did you ever curse the internet gods while you tried to do a very important check or bugfix to a machine whilst on a train or mobile roaming network? It’s not what I would call fun-times. When there are no constant disconnects the lag is just infuriating. MOSH also solves this since it’s predicting and responding way faster then vanilla SSH. Your terminal becomes useable again!

So there’s now MOSH to the rescue:

Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.
Mosh is a replacement for SSH. It’s more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.
Mosh is free software, available for GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, and Android.

Install it on your servers and your clients and never lose a connection again.

Source 1: http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/
Source 2: http://mosh.mit.edu

No Comments

when in Japan – get free Wifi

On a trip in Japan and feeling disconnected? There’s a lot of Wifi around and some of it is free:
Bildschirmfoto 2014-03-15 um 22.39.03

 

Source 1: http://flets.com/freewifi/service.html

No Comments

second Tokyo Trip 2012 – Rakuten Technology Conference 2012

This October I had the pleasure to fly to Tokyo for the second time in 2012.

The development unit of Rakuten Japan was hosting the 7th Rakuten Technology Conference in Rakuten Tower 1 in Tokyo.

The schedule was packed with up to 6 tracks in parallel. From research to grass-roots-development a lot of interesting topics.

Source 1: http://tech.rakuten.co.jp/rtc2012/
Source 2: Recorded Lectures

No Comments

Entwickler in Hamburg – die Developer Conference 2012 in Hamburg

Der Freitag der vergangenen Woche begann sehr sehr früh. Es ging nach Nürnberg um den Flug nach Hamburg zu erwischen. Erstaunlich wie günstig die heutzutage sind: der Flug nach Hamburg (50 Minuten in der Luft) sollte nur 10 Euro teurer als die Zugfahrt zurück (4 Stunden auf Schienen) sein…

Jedenfalls war es ein schön kurzer Flug und schwupps stand ich vor der Otto Versand Zentrale in Hamburg… Es war Zeit für die…

… Developer Conference Hamburg 2012.

Es war meine erste DevCon-HH und dementsprechend kann ich keine Vergleiche zum letzten Jahr ziehen. Die Räumlichkeiten – direkt bei Otto – waren jedenfalls sehr ordentlich aufgebaut, alles sehr bequem. Kurze Wege zwischen Kaffee und Vortragsstuhl. Die 2 der Vortragssäle waren leider nur über den Hauptsaal zu erreichen. Was ein-zweimal dazu führte dass Vortrage in den kleineren Sälen bereits beendet waren und die Menschenmengen durch den Hauptsaal Richtung Kaffee strömten während die Zuhörer im Hauptsaal noch versuchten zuzuhören. Hier mal im Bild erklärt: Rechts der große Hauptsaal und Links ein kleinerer Vortragssaal. Ich stand beim fotografieren direkt im Türrahmen.

Es ging für mich mit zwei sehr guten und interessanten Vorträgen los. Die Keynote des ersten Tages gibt es mittlerweile auch, wie es sich gehört, auf Slideshare:

Insgesamt war die Qualität der Vorträge sehr hoch. Ich fand die Mischung zwischen harten und soften Themen rund um die Software-Entwicklung mehr als gelungen und sicherlich werde ich versuchen nächstes Jahr wieder zu kommen.

 

Source 1: http://www.developer-conference-hh.de/

No Comments

Adventures in e-Commerce and technology

Oh dear. I just thought about the fact that I never really announced or talked about the fact that I changed my employee and moved to a (old) new place.

Yes that’s right, I am not with sones anymore. I am since January 1st the CTO of Rakuten Germany. When I signed the contract the company was called Tradoria – one of the first big projects I had the opportunity to work on was the so called brandchange.

A humongeous japanese based company called Rakuten bought Tradoria in the middle of 2011 and after half a year it was time to switch the brand.

As you can imagine these were busy weeks since January 1st. I had to digest a lot of existing technology and products. I met and got to know a lot of interesting people – first and foremost a great team of developers that went through almost all imagineable pains and parties to come up with a marketplace and shop system that is a perfect base for take-off.

A short word on the business-model of Rakuten – If you’re a merchant you gotta love it: Think of Rakuten as a full service provider for a merchant and customer. You as a Rakuten merchant get all the frontend and backend bliss to present and manage your products and orders. Rakuten takes care of all the nasty bits and pieces like hosting, development, telephone orders, invoicing, payment. The only thing that you as a Rakuten merchant need to do is to put in great products, gather orders and send out packages. Since Rakuten isn’t selling products on it’s own it won’t be competing with the merchants like other marketplace providers do these days.

On top of that Rakuten cares for the merchant and the customer. Just a week after that successful brandchange I attended (and spoke) at the Tradoria Live! 2012. That’s basically the merchant get-together. This year over 500 people attended this one-day conference. Think of it as a hands-on conference with features, plans, summaries of the last year and the upcoming one – every merchant is invited to come and talk to the people in person that work hard everyday to make the marketplace and shop system better.

click on it to see it big

Just 24 hours later standing on that stage I found myself here:

東京

Yep. That’s Tokyo (東京). After a very long flight we had the chance to attend a all-embracing tokyo tour before the meetings and talks would start for our team. It was an awesome and exhausting week – just about 120 hours later I was back in Germany – I must have slept for two days 🙂

Back in germany I had a lot of stuff to learn and work through. We had already moved to a wonderful house near Bamberg – it was pretty much big luck to find it. It’s actually ridiculously huge for a couple and two cats but we love it. Imagine the contrast: moving from an apartment next to a four-lane city street to the countryside just a 15 minute drive away from work with philosophical quietness all around.

Now after about half a year I am well into the process. I met a lot of high profile techies and things seem to take up speed in regards of teamplay in germany and with all the other countries. It’s a bliss to work for a group of companies that actually go through a lot of transitions while transforming from start-ups to an enterprise.

Ready for a family picture? Ready. Steady. Go!

That’s all Rakuten – that’s all on one mission: Shopping is entertainment! Empower the merchants!

Beside all that I even started to learn japanese. ただいま  🙂

No Comments

first conference for about a year: Berlin Buzzwords 2012

It’s been a while since I attended a technology conference. But it’s going to change. This week I attended the Berlin Buzzword 2012 conference in Berlin.

Search.Store.Scale is the headline under which this awesome conference takes place and after a very slow start there were a lot of great talks about current technologies regarding databases, data processing and storage. From great overviews to some very in-depth talks… like the one called “Searching Japanese with Lucene and Solr”. Since I am currently in the process of getting to know the japanese language better this talk in particular had interesting insights into how to handle the japanese language. Very impressive and a bit frightening how complicated language processing can be.

And out gets something like this:

No Comments

Photosynth now mobile…

It’s been some months years since the once Microsoft Research Project got public and Microsoft started offering it’s great Photosynth service to the public.

I’ve been using the Microsoft panoramic and Photosynth tools for years now and I tend to say that they are the best tools one can get to create fast, easy and high-quality panoramic images.

There is photosynth.net to store all those panoramic pictures like this one from 2008:

The photosynth technology itself contains several other interesting technologies like SeaDragon which allows high quality image zooming on current internet connection speeds.

This awesome technology is as of now available on the iPhone (3GS and upwards) and it’s better than all the other panoramic tools I’ve used on a phone.

the process of taking the images

after the pictures are taken additional stitching is needed

after the stitching completed a fairly impressive panoramic images is the result

Source 1: Photosynth articles from the past
Source 2: Photosynth in Wikipedia
Source 3: Photosynth on iPhone App Store

No Comments

Achievement Unlocked: Scaring the hell out of people

Oh boy, it seems that Apple just screwed up big time when it comes to data privacy. Obviously everytime someone attaches an iOS device like the iPhone to a PC or Mac and it does a backup run this backup includes the location data of that iPhone of the last several months. Impressive logging on the one hand and a shame that they did not talk about that in public upfront on the other hand.

There’s a great tool available on GitHub which uses OpenStreetMap to visualize the logged data – it creates a quite impressive graphical representation of where I was the last 6 months…

Source 1: http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/

No Comments

TechEd Europe 2010–if you’re there we could meet!

After 5 years of TechEd abstinence it’s time to visit the conference again. This years TechEd will be held in Berlin which is quite nice since traveling will be reduced to a minimum. Since the session schedule is already available I’ve already filled my calendar for TechEd week.

techedcalendar

Okay it’s impressive to see that so many interesting sessions can be held in one week’ – the bad thing is that I need do decide which to go and which to watch on video later.

On later notice: Since I will be there it would be a great opportunity to meet. Let me know if you are there and want to meet.

No Comments

Kürbisfest Altendorf 2009

Wir sind dieses Jahr nicht direkt auf dem Kürbisfest, das ja heute stattfindet, sondern bei der Kürbisnacht gewesen. Da kann man entspannter Kürbisse kaufen und kommt mit den “Kürbisbauern” auch leichter ins Gespräch um nach Rezepten oder dem Verwendungszweck der einzelnen Kürbisse zu fragen.

Es gab wieder unzählige Kürbisse in zahlreichen Farben und Formen:

IMG_9462

IMG_9466

IMG_9470

IMG_9471

IMG_9493

IMG_9495
Das ist doch mal eine Idee für den nächsten Weihnachtsbaum
IMG_9499

IMG_9500

IMG_9503

IMG_9505

IMG_9509

IMG_9512

IMG_9515

IMG_9514

IMG_9523

IMG_9527

IMG_9535

IMG_9549

IMG_9560

Da kann ich nur zustimmen !!!

IMG_9590

kürbisfest-panorama

Source: dreikiel.de

No Comments

the first 3000 km with the beemer

After more than 53 hours inside of our BMW are enjoying the car as much as we thought we would. Well I think we enjoy it even more than we would have thought.

In this nearly 54 hours we travelled 3252 km which translates to 2020 miles. With about 8,7 l of gas per 100 km (which translates to about 34 mpg) it’s less than I expected.

At around 2100 we had the first full-throttle run getting us up to about 230 km/h followed by the first car wash session and the first replacement windshield…(narf!)

beemer

Two weeks ago we had the chance to take the car out for a great drive through the “Franconian Switzerland” (I still like “Fränkische Schweiz” better). The only thing I write about this weekend is: great fun!

IMG_4276

2 Comments

Need a new windshield? Check.

After around 2500 km my Beemer needs a new Windshield. It happened while washing the car – don’t leave the windshield wipers up while opening the bonnet… a cracking noise is what you will hear next.

IMG_4751

The replacement will be installed next wednesday…

1 Comment

der bi-em-double-you !

Ich fahre ja seit 2000 privat diesen wunderschönen SEAT Arosa. Nun ist das Auto Ende 1999 gebaut und damit auch nichtmehr das jüngste – eine kleine Excel Tabelle hat aufgezeigt dass das Auto de-facto durch die verschiedenen Durchsichten und Reparaturen mehr als zweimal komplett bezahlt wurde. Auch machte sich ein verstärkter Öl-Durst in den letzten Monaten eher unangenehm bemerkbar – unter anderem bekam ich erstmals die “nicht genug Öl”-Lampe zu sehen.

IMG_0973

Das Auto meiner Frau ist da noch viel schlimmer dran gewesen – als Baujahr 1997 und mit dem Geburtsfehler “Opel” ist es ein Wunder dass es überhaupt bis ins Jahr 2008 durchgehalten hat. Nicht ohne Blessuren: die gesamte Elektrik tut mehr oder weniger das was sie will, die Rad lager hören sich an als wären ein paar Stahlkugeln in einer Waschmaschine unterwegs und die Lenkung an sich zieht so böse nach rechts dass man sozusagen die ganze Zeit nach Links lenken muss um geradeaus zu fahren. Und da ist dieser Geburtsfehler: Die Hütte rostet dass man glaubt das wäre ein Hochseeschiff ohne Lackierung. Nun ja.

IMG_3770

Den Opel haben wir schon frühzeitig in 2008 dem Gebrauchtwagenmarkt zugeführt und auch – wie ich finde (meine Frau ist da etwas anderer Meinung) – reichlich Geld dafür bekommen. Für den SEAT Arosa haben wir uns ein anderes, endgültigeres Schicksal ausgedacht:

Im November 2008 klapperten wir die verschiedenen Autohändler in der Umgebung ab – all die üblichen Verdächtigen mussten befragt, begutachtet, bewertet und letztlich ausgewählt werden. Prinzipiell stellte sich die Frage: Ein Japaner oder ein deutsches Fabrikat?

Wir hatten einen Honda Civic im Auge – aber aufgrund glanzvoller Ignoranz der Händler und dem doch extrem schlechten Preis-Leistungsverhältnis haben wir uns schon frühzeitig entschieden: ein deutsches Auto soll es sein. Genauer gesagt ein BMW.

Die ersten Erfahrungen mit dem ortsansässigen BMW Händler haben dann auch recht schnell Herz und Brieftasche geöffnet. Schon nach dem ersten Besuch war die Probefahrt klar gemacht – wir hatten uns nämlich recht schnell auf einen “Einser” eingeschossen. Den gab es in der richtigen Größe und viel wichtiger: Mit der gewünschten Gadget-Dichte.

Am 08.11.2008 ging es also mit einem blauen 3 türigem 1er in den Thüringer Wald – gerade noch rechtzeitig vorm ersten großen Schnee. Wir haben natürlich die Gelegenheit für ein paar Fotos genutzt:

BMW_1er_Panorama_Steinbruch_2IMG_3556 IMG_3551 IMG_3552

Die Kaufentscheidung war getroffen – nun ging es an die Planung. Der BMW Konfigurator ist da ein ganz nettes Spielzeug, wenngleich ich mir da noch die ein oder andere Verbesserung gewünscht hätte. Über Weihnachten und im Januar wurde das Wunschauto konfiguriert und dann am 13. Januar mit der Hoffnung dass der Winter ein Herz mit uns haben möge gleich mit Sommerreifen auf den baldmöglichsten Termin bestellt. Abholen wollten wir das Auto nicht beim Händler sondern direkt in München in der BMW Welt.

Den Termin bekamen wir ein paar Tage später vom immer noch sehr zuvorkommenden, engagierten und überaus netten Händler – ja das ist nicht übertrieben, der Mann ist auf jede unserer Fragen eingegangen und hat sich speziell beim Rätsel-Thema “iPod-Integration” extra nochmal kundig gemacht.

Nun ging die wirklich anstrengende Phase des Projekts “BMW kaufen” los: das Warten.

IMG_3815

Da trudelten dann im Wochen-Rhythmus die Bestätigungen, die finalen Rechnungen und so wichtige Dinge wie Kennzeichen-Tragetaschen und Informationsmaterial zur Abholung ein. Alles in allem hat das die Vorfreude natürlich enorm gesteigert.

Am 12. März war es dann soweit. Unser BMW war gebaut, poliert und fertig zur Abholung. Wir sind an dem Tag extra früh aus dem Bett da die Abholung selbst auf 14:20 Uhr angesetzt war. Das ist natürlich reichlich spät wenn man hinterher noch eine BMW Stammwerksführung machen will. Deshalb haben wir die Werksführung vor die Auslieferung gezogen und mussten so recht früh (4 Uhr, urks!) raus und nach München. Wir waren rechtzeitig da und natürlich war wie erwartet ein wirklich schöner Tag für uns vorbereitet worden. Der Empfang, die Werksführung, die BMW Welt selbst, die Präsentation unseres Autos – da fällt einem nur ein “WOW!” ein.

IMG_4261_stitch
die Abholer-Premium-Lounge

IMG_4226_stitch

die “BMW Welt”

IMG_4246_stitch

die Treppe für die Abholenden – da geht man
gaaaaaanz langsam runter

Auf den Bildern ist ja auch diese Treppe zu sehen – da geht man nach dem Fahrzeug-Briefing – also dem Teil wo dem Abholer sein neues Auto in Theorie und Simulations-Praxis erklärt wird – gaaaanz gaaaanz langsam hinunter. Um dann direkt vor seinem Neuwagen zu stehen. Und ganz ehrlich, bei der ganzen Show ist das schon ein erinnerungswürdiger Moment wenn das Auto dann endlich vor einem auftaucht.

IMG_4338

Außen weiß und innen ganz in schwarz.

Endlich war das Warten vorbei! Wir haben uns dann direkt auf die Sommer-Socken gemacht. Die Fahrt versprach nämlich spannend, oder doch zumindest interessant zu werden: Schneeregen und Nebel war angesagt. Das kam dann auch, war aber nicht die Spur eines Problems – schön langsam und sicher sind wir nach einem ewig langen Tag wieder zuhause angekommen. Die Nacht war dann aber auch nicht besonders lang – denn nur zwei Tage später sind wir umgezogen. Ja da ist sozusagen die “Coole Sache Nummer 2”. Den Bericht gibts dann aber in einem anderen Artikel.

4 Comments

Clue #1 @ gone fishing

We just arrived in Munich.

2 Comments

gone fishing 3

 

IMG_1716_stitch

No Comments

gone fishing 2

IMG_1558_stitch_75_prozent

“In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes.”

1 Comment

gone fishing

Frohe Weihnachten

Happy Holidays!

Source: www.dreikiel.de

No Comments

We got us an iPod Touch…

After the last update and the fact that I am locked into iTunes (using it for more than 5 years…having rated almost 70% of my huge library…) I decided to buy an iPod at the beginning of this year. Sadly there was only the big and heavy iPod classic that looked promising since the touch was way to expensive.

I thought about things like: Would I need my whole library or would it suffice to have 8/16/32 GB of it? Do I want to have additional applications or just a music player?

After the last update several things came together to a conclusion:

  • There’s not a 160 GB iPod anymore. Since my library is almost that I wouldn’t be able to put my library on a 120 GB classic.
  • The touch is cheaper now
  • mostly I am listening to podcasts, which I do need to by in sync all the time, that means: remaining playtime sync and syncing without manual work

Since my wife doesn’t like the look of the new nano we decided to get the 16 GB Touch.

ipodtouch

It was delivered today and I am hugely impressed with it so far. It’s what I wanted and the way I wanted it. The feature of having my podcasts and audiobooks start/stop positions synced is just fantastic (listening to the first 20 minutes on the go and the rest at home is now possible because the position where I stopped listening on the iPod is synced to the iTunes).

Did I mention that we took the engraving option?

ipodtouchback
Yo Ho!

2 Comments

On my way to Cambridge…

Since two of my colleagues wrote about their work at Microsoft Research I wanted to write at least something about it…just like Andreas said:

“One reason I recently don’t blog too much is the fact that I am a bit restricted in what I can tell. Being involved in some exciting projects, the confidentiality of these projects does not allow much publicity.”

So really the only thing I can write about is that I am honored to work with these great people and being part of the process of creating great software.

So – for now I am on my way back to Cambridge – the next article will be written from there…

a320

Of course I will write about all the things when I am allowed to do so…

Source 1: Martin Calsyn
Source 2: Andreas Heil
Source 3: http://research.microsoft.com/ero/

No Comments

ready.for.takeoff – the Microsoft Launch 2008

Unfortunately I only had the time to get into the last day of the ready.for.takeoff Launch Conference for Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008. It took place in Frankfurt/Main in Germany from the 19th to 21st February 2008 and it surely was a great event.

IMG_0212

Besides the real great tracks there’s this little thing every participant got:

IMG_0229

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/germany/aktionen/ready-for-take-off/default.aspx

1 Comment

24h trip to England…

While writing this I am still in Cambridge, England and packing my stuff to take the next plane back home…

Sadly I will only see the night-sky for this trip because I started at 0600 AM GMT+1 this morning in Nürnberg and I will start again in London Stansted at 1945 GMT…

IMG_0161

3 Comments

on the road…erm…in the air again…

In the next hours I will be on the plane to UK for my one week stay in Cambridge… what I am doing there and everything else when I’m there…

737800

No Comments

Movie Events

Ever been on a film festival? Maybe, but ever been on a film festival with one of your movies getting its “world premiere” there?

So happened this thursday in Kassel on the “24. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest”.

kassel

In the section “A38 – Produktionsstipendium Kassel-Halle”, one of 4 competitions, the film “Die Auschwitz-Dialoge” was screened at 3 p.m. in the Filmladen, a small downtown cinema. After the screening a discussion with the audience followed.

Back in 2004 I was a member of a film crew in Poland, where we made a documentation about the town Oscwiecim and its struggle in the shadow of the KZ.

Additional information about the movie.

The old article about the filming in Poland on Schrankmonster.

The competition is still running until sunday, so stay tuned for the results.

Jens Heymann

No Comments

Ze Germans are on the road….

…on their journey to Mongolia…

“Ze Germans …are coming! We’re taking on the Mongol Rally 2007. 13.000 kilometers, 5 mountain ranges, 2 deserts, some of the worst roads in the world and all this in car most people wouldn’t trust to get them to the local shops.”

And as of today they are on the road doing the rally:

“If you read this after about 8am, then we are on the road and on our way to London. Thanks to Mirko, all our SMS Updates will also be posted here, so stay tuned! And for God’s sake, wish us luck!”

Source 1: http://www.mongolrally.de/
Source 2: http://mongolrally.theadventurists.com/

No Comments

Student Technology Conference 2007

We spent the last two days in Duisburg attending the Student Technology Conference 2007.

“From Software Architecture, User Interface and Robotics to Games Development with the XNA framework: in use and brand new technologies of the IT – industry will be presented and demonstrated at technologically advanced level. Microsofts Student Technology Conference is the perfect opportunity to engage with potential employers and to get in touch with Microsofts .NET technology. Additionally the German Finals in Microsofts premiere technology competition, the Imagine Cup 2007, will have its final in the Software Design invitational right here!”


the keynote


view from our hotel room…nice, eh?

Source: http://www.studentconference.de

No Comments

about the 23c3 recording and streaming teamwork

The planning process started way earlier than last year but as usual some things remain until the very last minute before everything starts. But since this year the teamwork and enthusiasm was extraordinary we finally made it almost as planned. We surely did not reach our goal of releasing the recordings hours after the talk ended. Mainly because we underestimated the amount of knowledge and pain it took to actually get the recordings running on the iPod. It was one of the guidelines for this years official recordings: they had to run on current generation video iPods and they had to have all the metatags. So the team did it and we ended up releasing the first half (nearly) of the 23c3 recordings into the public only 2 weeks instead of the 4-6 months of last year. Even better: we managed to improve the video quality and even got smaller files. That wouldn’t been possible without the encoding-pipeline knowledge that Michael Feiri brought into the team. With that knowledge it also took several days to actually build the working pipeline.(yes the iPod is one special piece of hardware) The complete encoding-pipeline we used will be documented and released soon.

So after all that planning we finally packed our stuff and hit the road:

After some hours and the unpacking the video studio looked like this:

here’s a close up of the Windows Media Encoders, the h.264 encoding machine and the storage (all from behind):

So we surely brought enough processing power to berlin. And this is what did take the picture:


BTW: the black machine in the background just
died during the keynote speech…

Want to see what it’s like watching “out of the window” of the video studio? No problem:

or how about another view of the studio:

So. So you had some pictures of the video studio and the setup. But I bet you want to know some more details about the setup itself. I created an overview for you:

Since last years setup was completely digital (planned) and we ended up using the DV-tape backup since all the recordings were screwed up we thought it might be a good idea to go back one step and use analog video as in FBAS to transport and record the talks. We also had the DV-tape backup this year and to be honest in some cases we have to fall back to that. Less than 10 out of 130 recordings are screwed up so we have to use the DV backup. That means 120 of them worked out as planned. Great! We are currently cutting and encoding them and as you read this more than half of them should be up on the official servers and the mirrors.

Now in the aftermath of the congress we learned a new lesson: there’s maybe one or another speaker that would not allow us releasing their talk recording. In the future we think of having something like a “don’t record me”-list to avoid misunderstandings.

2 Comments

on the road to 23c3

FeM e.V. is officially taking the last steps of the “journey to 23c3”. Expect us to arrive in Berlin about 1300.

Stay tuned for more pictures and text about the 23c3 streaming and recording setup/team/…

1 Comment

Speed Camera Database

“At locations that are particularly subject to accidents, speed cameras are erected specifically to catch speed offenders, to call them to account, and thereby to teach them a lesson. This should also reduce the number of accidents.

We are of the opinion that there is also another way to reduce the number of accidents.

With the help of our database, we hope to achieve the following for our users:

  • to warn them in good time about high accident area
  • that they check their speed and adjust it if necessary
  • that they can fully focus their concentration on what is happening in the traffic

The goal of our project is not to promote “racing”! “

Source: http://www.scdb.info/en/

No Comments

the 23c3 live streaming and recording plannings *ATTENTION: DRAFT!*

ATTENTION: The information in this article are not final and are subject to be changed during the plannings.

In less than 2 months the 23c3 takes place in Berlin/Germany (December 27.-30th 2006). And the plannings are in full progress. We had several brainstorm sessions and I think that we finally do have a plan. First of all: We learned a lot from the 22c3 live streaming and recording work. And to give you an overview of the things we want to achieve this time:

  1. permanent working live streams of all 4 lecture halls
  2. high quality recordings without using our DV-Tape fallback
  3. making low/mid/high quality recordings in different codecs available for download within 24 hours

To achieve these goals we’re going to need considerably more hardware than last year, which means:

  • 4 WMV Live Encoding machines
  • 1 MPEG-2 encoding machine with 4 MPEG-2 encoder cards
  • 4 video editing machines
  • 6 19″ TFTs + 1 4
  • at least 1 monitoring machine
  • more than 1 Tbyte of storage space
  • 5 cameras + 1 video mixer
  • a lot of helping hands (yes, we need help chaos angels!!)

So. The camera setup is almost identical to the last one. But this time we want to use a better FBAS signal instead of the in-house HF-cable-TV. The WMV encoding stays as it was last year. We plan to install an additional MPEG-2 hardware encoding machine which produces high-quality MPEG-2 data (which gets edited and compressed for download distribution as fast as possible).

Since we’re sill in planning stage we cannot speak about bitrates, live streams and such. Everything is subject to change, it’s just a draft. But stay tuned and read frequently. Oh… and comments are welcome.

Source 1: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Home
Source 2: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Angel_FAQ

6 Comments

why driving is not always fun and what is wrong about a Volkswagen

The adventure started with the the fact that I had to phone SIXT to get the car reservation done…obviously my travel office wasn’t able to get this done within 5 business days… But I finally got the reservation done and arrived at 0700 in Erfurt to grab the car. And … the worst case: a Volkswagen Golf (2.0 TDI)

The trip to Munich normally takes me 3,5 hours – this day it took me more than 7 hours. Congestion is the word of choice here. Damn was that a bad trip. And back home it took nearly as long. I got into almost every congestion that was reported by the radio/TMC.

The fact that I was on the road for more than 13 hours and that the meeting took 1,5 hours… the next time I’ll be flying… Take-Off at 0700, Meeting at 0900, Take-Off at 1100 and back home for dinner.

Oh…to say something good about the Volkswagen: It wasn’t too heavy and the 2 liter 4 cylinder TDI was quite lively. The rest of the car is just extremly bad. The whole thing is badly build. Everything queeks and rattles all the time whilst driving. The gearbox is okay, but the clutch…. The suspension was the worst I’ve seen on a car since the plate spring. Every once in a while a bump showed up the car instantly started to nod. … Oh I could talk for hours. This car needs a better build quality and it surely needs more personality. The Golf is just a pricey bad car, period. Here’s some math:

VW Golf 2.0 TDI: € 21.873,00
Honda Civic 2,2i-TDCi: € 21.430,00
Ford Focus 2.0-TDCi: € 22.290,00

I would rather drive the Civic than the Golf…

2 Comments

on my way to…

munich.

See you after the jump…this’ll be a rainy ride.

No Comments

Night Windows: Japan at night…

Some of the most beautiful pictures of Japan at night…


Source: http://tokyoyakei.cool.ne.jp/

1 Comment

mediaeval times fire spectacle…

Oh that one was fun 🙂 … Despite the fact that it rained this whole day it was serious fun watching the knights fight…

Source: http://www.schloss-thurn.de/

No Comments

寿司

Finally a Sushi restaurant opened near my place…it looks kinda shaken, but it was really good:

No Comments

live sign… and visiting the zoo…

Yes I am alive… I took some days off so here we are back in business. There will be some articles about the things I did the last days…and of course as usual: many pictures.

I start the series with the visit to the Zoo of Erfurt:







Of course I made some panoramic views:



this and the next one show the enclosure where the turtles and the cows live 🙂




the monkeys live here…(no island)

Here are the three movies I made:

No Comments

23C3: Who can you trust?

It starts fairly early this year: even FeM is already preparing and planning for this years live streaming and recording. The public wiki of 23c3 is online and even the Call for Participation screams: visit me!

So, remember: beside the official wiki pages, you can always come and check here for information about FeM activities on 23c3…(streaming, recording,…)

Source: http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/cfp/

Source: FeM 23c3 recording and streaming project (no website, no link)

No Comments

on my way…

…to Hamburg.

See you there.

No Comments

shift! SHIFT NOW!… a screaming 1.6l Ford Focus

A 1.6l Ford Focus is quite fast indeed. It screams at you: SHIFT! SHIFT NOW!… I would have shifted if there was another gear left…

4 Comments

off to…

Munich.

I am on the road now 🙂

No Comments

Imagine Cup Beachparty 2006

As this is a germany-only-offer I’ll do it in german:




“Die Entscheidung ist gefallen! Die überwältigende Anzahl von 6477 Teilnehmern hat es der Jury sehr schwer gemacht. Dennoch stehen die deutschen Vertreter für das Weltfinale in Indien jetzt fest. Die vielen tollen Ideen und Euer super Engagement möchten wir mit Euch gebührend feiern – denn eine Party unter Palmen bei 25° Lufttemperatur und 31° Wassertemperatur geht auch in Deutschland. Wir laden Dich hiermit herzlich zur Imagine Cup Beach Party am 30. Mai 2006 in das Tropical Island Resort nach Brandenburg ein.



360 m lang, 210 m breit und 107 m hoch, eine Grundfläche von 6,6 Hektar mit 7000 Kubikmetern Wasser und über 20.000 tropischen Pflanzen, dies ist genau der richtige Ort für einen würdigen Abschluss des Imagine Cup 2006 in Deutschland.



Deck-Chair-Coding, karibischer Flair, Beachparty in der größten freitragenden Halle der Welt, und das alles kostenlos, … lass Dich überraschen!


Es sind noch ca. 50 Plätze für Studenten frei. Also los und anmelden! Die Vergabe findet nach dem First-Come-First-Serve Prinzip statt.




Hier geht es zur Anmeldung.

Hier auch ein kurzer Blick auf die Agenda:



Source 1: Imagine Cup Beachparty 2006
Source 2: Microsoft Imagine Cup 2006

No Comments

on my way to dortmund…

I am on the road now. So watch out. See you after the jump…

No Comments

Promise and QLogic event tomorrow


I am about to attend an event by Promise Germany and QLogic. The two partners are going to present their current products and focus on the technical side of storage area networks and current solutions (VTrak… remember? We have several of them…)



I just got the car from the rental so expect some pictures of the journey and the event tomorrow.


Source: http://de.promise.com

No Comments

Cisco Expo 2006 in Germany



Technology-ninja correspondent ahzf is attending the Cisco Expo 2006 at the moment. He sent us the first impressions from the expo floors – more details to show up soon:




Source: https://www.ciscoeventreg.com/ciscoexpo2006/germany/index.lasso

No Comments

the gumball 3000 ’06

Every year again the “race” begins. Well it’s not a race per se – but a rally. This year the gumballers will start at sunday morning in London and arrive 8 days later in LA.

The difference this year: All of them are guided by a Windows Mobile powered device with ALKs CoPilot software. (ALK is one of the sponsors)


dreammodesomeday/dreammode

Source: http://www.gumball3000.com/

No Comments