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aka-aki: Taking social networking to the streets

June 18, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Technology  Toys 

A few students at the University of Arts in Berlin did their thesis (actually, "Diplomarbeit") on a crazy idea of theirs and went on to actually develop the real thing. Take the concept of social networking and combine it with real-life aspects. They came up with a website and a piece of software you put on your internet enabled mobile phone. It also works without internet connection on your phone, but the functionality will be reduced.

The British TIMES has an article about aka-aki that does a better job of explaining it than I will, but it is also longer ;-)

Download the software, turn on Bluetooth - here is where it gets interesting - and run the program. aka-aki will find other Bluetooth phones in your vicinity and look up their profiles on aka-aki's web server. If the owner is also a member of aka-aki, you can access their picture and profile. If they're not, well, there used to be a feature that allowed you to send a "hey, why don't you sign up? go to www.aka-aki.com" message via Bluetooth. The current version doesn't have it, but it is rumored to return.


You can also grab "stickers" - basically little picture with a name and a meaning - that you can use to let others know a little about you in categories such as: what I am, what I love, , where I am by day/night, what keeps me busy, what I have to offer, what I spend my money on.  When you meet another member, your phone knows how many matching stickers you have. It also tells you how many times your phone has seen the other phone before. And the date of the first encounter with that phone.

It also has a twitter like micro-blogging thingie where you can also "follow your friends' activities" and it has its own "aki-mail" service.built into the software.

So, walk up to that hottie, introduce yourself and say "Our paths have crossed 27 times so far and we both love coffee. How about a Latte?".


After developing the software on zero budget, they found VC investors in December 2007 and at this year's CeBIT fair in Hannover, they won an award for "most innovative idea".  

So go download the software and play with it. They just recently did the english version so it's not perfect, but should allow you to play with the software. Their site it at http://www.aka-aki.com/?lg=en or just http://www.aka-aki.com for the german version.

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Cameras don’t take pictures, people do

June 10, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Life  Toys 


No, these are not my photos. A friend and co-worker sent me a link to the photo album he and his girlfriend have put together from their trip to Thailand.
I looked at the photos and thought that they really show there's more to great pictures than a high end camera. So yes, they were taken with a rather high end camera, but that's not the point here. So go check out Ellen's photo's at http://www.dokumentiert.de.

Quick links: Bangkok | North Thailand | North Thailand 2 | Hua Hin | Toilet Signs, 42 of them ;-)

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The new kid on the block

April 10, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Notes and Domino 

Well, I've finally asked for my blog to be added to Planet Lotus. Motivated in part as a means to force me to become more active in the Lotus Notes & Domino blogging community.

So, as a quick start, here is my How I got started with Lotus Notes post and there is also a much longer version providing a bit more information.

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How to keep NotesDocument.CopyAllItems under control

April 8, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Notes and Domino 

Now that I have your attention, I can tell you that CopyAllItems is innocent. You just need to be aware of how it works.

I recently came across an application that - for reasons I still don't understand - had a database PostOpen script that would grab your calendar profile from your mail file and .copyallitems to your personal profile document in the other application.

Then some users started getting error messages. Turns out that copyallitems copies all items, as you would expect. Even if the other document already contains items with the same names. So there were mutiple copies of all the items in the profile document. When that happens, the problem is that you will only have access to the first item with that name. Which, after a few changes to that item, is not exactly what you want. Notes doesn't have a problem with multiple items of the same name. It's the formula and Lotusscript APIs that can't deal with it. I understand the C(++) API can handle it.

So, to sum this up: There's nothing wrong with using .copyallitems. Just make sure that the destination document doesn't already have items with the same names.

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Einkaufen mit EC-Karte bei LIDL ist sicher!

April 8, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Big Brother 

Es gibt mal wieder ein Statement von der LIDL Geschäftsführung. Wieder sehr aufschlussreich. Ab demnächst soll die PIN-Eingabe bei LIDL also nicht mehr aufgezeichnet werden.

Sehr geehrte Kundinnen und Kunden,

Lidl hat beschlossen, bis auf weiteres auf den Einsatz von Videokameras in seinen Filialen zu verzichten.
In allen Filialen in Deutschland bauen wir deshalb unsere Kameraanlagen ab.
Wir können Ihnen versichern, dass bei Lidl zu keinem Zeitpunkt Kameras eingesetzt wurden, um persönliche Daten von Kunden, wie zum Beispiel PIN-Nummern, zu erkennen.

Übersetzung: Wenn in Ihrem LIDL-Markt die Kameras bereits abgebaut wurden, wird Ihre PIN-Eingabe nicht mehr aufgezeichnet. Bisher war dies der Fall. Das war zwar nicht unsere Absicht bei der Installation der Kameras - schliesslich wollten wir unsere Angestellten überwachen, denen wir prinzipiell misstrauen. Dass dabei auch die PIN-Eingabe der Kunden aufgezeichnet wurde, haben wir billigend in Kauf genommen. Schliesslich geht es hier um (unser) Geld.

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How I got started with Lotus Notes

April 8, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Notes and Domino 

Just before I got into Lotus Notes I was working in a job where Notes would have fit in perfectly. Unfortunately, the company rolled over dead before we could ever get a copy of  Notes running. While looking around for a new job, I noticed a company looking for a Notes person to work on customer projects, both admin and development. Well, what used to be called development back in the days of version 3.0something. I can still remember installing 3.0c, 3.1.5a, and 3.3. Those were the days, when the server was running OS/2 on a Pentium 60 with 32 MB. On a Token Ring network!

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T-Mobile und kein Blackberry

March 31, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  Blackberry  T-Mobile 

Heute habe ich bei T-Mobile angerufen. Die Zeit ist gekommen, eine Blackberry-taugliche SIM Karte in der Trickkiste zu haben. Schliesslich möchte man seine MDS-Basteleien auch mal ohne Emulator sehen. So wollte ich also den Blackberry Enterprise Service für meine Karte freischalten lassen. Hätte ich gewusst, wie sinnlos frustrierend dieser Versuch wieder enden wird, hätte ich es gelassen.

Jedenfalls kann T-Mobile den BES Service nicht einschalten, weil ich PK bin. Das ginge nur für GK. Ich konnte mir zwar denken, was PK und GK sind, aber dass die Callcenter-Leute derart Zeit sparen müssen, ist traurig. Nun bin ich zwar selbstständig (und diese Schreibweise schmerzt immer noch) und könnte mit Fug und Recht als GK durchgehen. Aber so einfach ist das natürlich nicht.

Da müsste ich mich einem Rahmenvertrag anschliessen. Zum Beispiel über meinen Arbeitgeber.

Hallo? Ich habe keinen Arbeitgeber!

Ach so, dann eben über die IHK.

Liebe Leute bei T-Mobile: Bevor ich das alles erledigt habe, habe ich viel schneller eine Kündigung an T-Mobile geschrieben und mal bei Vodafone geschaut, was es da Nettes gibt.

Zumal der 8. April mein nächstmöglicher Kündigungstermin ist. Da passt das doch ganz gut.

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ILUG 2008 session list V1 posted

March 29, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  ILUG2008 

The ILUG 2008 now has a preliminary session list. See if you can find the hidden gems in there. You may need to look at another view. I certainly didn't expect to see those names listed there.

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Need a hotel for ILUG2008 in Dublin?

March 6, 2008 by Jörg Michael in  ILUG2008 

If you'll be in Dublin for ILUG2008, you will probably need a hotel. If you haven't made up your mind or haven't even looked for hotels in the vicinity of the conference venue, then you might want to hop over to Sean Burgess' blog, where he is trying to organize a group discount at the Camden Court Hotel.

What do I get out of this? Simple, I have already reserved my room at the Camden Court Hotel and wouldn't mind having more Lotus geeks staying in the same hotel ;-) BTW, I chose the hotel for the same reasons Sean did. Close to the venue, looks decent, overall positive guest reviews, not exactly cheap, but reasonable for Dublin.

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Nice flying, buddy

March 2, 2008 by Jörg Michael in

Over the weekend, we have been hit by pretty rough storms over here in Europe. On Saturday, this Lufthansa Airbus 320 was hit by a gust just as it was going to touch down. The left wingtip touches the ground, and the pilots decide to get the hell out of that situation.

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