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This is the home-page of Karl Voit.

On this page you can see the latest blog updates. For further articles, please use the search bar or navigate through the blue tags. My recommendations are pim, privacy, or security.

I recommend any decent RSS/Atom aggregator to get notified on blog updates.

Most recent articles or updates:

2018-04-21: OneNote Will Be Discontinued, Evernote Will Follow Some Day - Switch to Something Much Better

Microsoft has announced that OneNote 2016 will be discontinued in the future.

They want to have their users switch to a stripped-down version of OneNote which is called OneNote for Windows 10. Of course, Microsoft emphasizes that Windows 10 will be extended by some features OneNote 2016 offers and OneNote for Windows 10 does not.

However, there will be a migration cost for all users of OneNote 2016.

In 2014, I warned about using OneNote because it has a proprietary file format which results in a classic lock-in situation: German blog article. I personally would never invest time or resources in a tool where I know that I would end up with a loss of data as I mentioned with iPhoto on macOS.

Which is a pity, since I really do love the functions provided by OneNote 2016.

The danger I see is that with OneNote discontinued, people are moving to a different lock-in situation. OneNote for Windows 10 or Evernote are typical candidates. Besides the horrible privacy-implications of using a cloud service for personal knowledge solutions, I do have a proposal.

Read the whole article ...

2018-04-19: Dortmund macht es richtig: Aufschwung durch Open Source

Die Stadt Dortmund stellt Weichen Richtung Open Source.

Das ist aus vielen Gründen die richtige Strategie für die Zukunft. Einerseits fördert man lokale Betriebe anstatt hunderte Millionen Euro in die USA zu exportieren.

Andererseits bleibt man durch Konzentration auf offene Standards Hersteller-unabhängig und verhindert einen Lock-in-Effekt ausgerechnet bei immer dem selben Microsoft.

Das stärkt auch die Verhandlungsposition der Kommune gegenüber Lieferanten und kommt so der Allgemeinheit zu Gute.

Nicht nur Kommunen sollten diesem Beispiel folgen. Ich hoffe auf viele Nachahmer - auch auf Länder- oder gar EU-Ebene.

2018-04-06: Org-Mode Is One of the Most Reasonable Markup Languages to Use for Text

Update 2017-09-25: Simplified the table syntax even more

Update 2018-04-06: Comments on the standardization argument

Disclaimer: this is a very nerdy blog entry. It is about lightweight markup languages and why I think that Org-mode is the best lightweight markup language for many use-cases. And with lightweight markup language, I do mean the syntax, the way you express headings, lists, font variations such as bold face or italic, and such things.

Please do note that this is not about Emacs. This is about Org-mode syntax and its advantages even when used outside of Emacs. You can type Org-mode in vim, notepad.exe, Atom, Notepad++, and all other text editors out there. And in my opinion it does have advantages compared to the other, common lightweight markup standards such as Markdown, AsciiDoc, Wikitext or reStructuredText.

Of course, Org-mode is my favorite syntax. Despite my personal choice you will see that I've got some pretty convincing arguments that underline my statement as well. So this is not just a matter of personal taste.

If you already have a grin on your face because you don't have any clue what this is all about: keep on reading. It makes an excellent example for making fun of nerds at your next dinner party. ;-)

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2018-03-29: Facebook Is the Issue, Not Cambridge Analytica

After being in the media with their latest privacy breach scandal, Facebook is re-doing their privacy settings once more. Of course, this has been in the development pipe-line for some time and is not related to the scandal.

I do feel the urge to explan a few things here.

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2018-03-29: Self-Driving Cars Kill People

Update 2018-03-29: Settlement and deactivated anti-collision mechanism

In Tempe/USA, a self-driving car killed a woman. The police published videos of the accident:

Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is actively investigating
the details of this incident that occurred on March 18th. We will provide updated information regarding the investigation once it is available.

— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) March 21, 2018

This is my opinion on this accident and on self-driving cars killing more people in general.

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-25: The Decline of the Western Culture

I do have a theory. What if the rise of our culture and technology was based on the fact that the brain got more important than the fist?

The fact that engineering got a popular thing, education of the masses allowed for constant innovations instead of following the law of the jungle where brute force rules.

Industrial revolution, science as a major discipline which was respected by the average person, the pursuit of being a well educated human, the Nobel Price as one of the highest awards there is.

Now take a look at our current situation.

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2018-03-22: A Reasonable Secure Environment for Reading Potentially Harmful Emails

Consider following situation: you are responsible for important things within your company. One of those responsibilities is that you are the one that gets job applications or emails from potential business partners. Of course, your company is using the most dangerous IT environment there is: MS Windows, Exchange/Outlook, MS Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader, IE with flash.

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-18: Staying Functional When Dealing With Frequent Interruptions

The awesome Sacha Chua has published a blog article where she describes how she stays productive despite the fact that her toddler causes constant interruptions.

This is not only very intersting for working parents. In my opinion, many managers have to deal with constant interruptions as well. Independent of the source of those interruptions, the effect on productivity is the same.

By adding formal layers, Sacha manages to deal with problems effectively.

Worth reading, if you do feel interrupted all the time.

2018-03-14: How to Let Your Colleagues See Your Calendar

Many times, I do see people who want to share their Outlook calendar with their colleagues but don't know how to achieve this.

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-12: Feinstaubsensor-Workshop bei den Grazer Linuxtagen 2018

Du hast vielleicht meinen Blogbeitrag über den Selbstbausatz eines Feinstaubsensors gelesen. Nun wird es bei den Grazer Linuxtagen 2018 (GLT18) einen Selbstbau-Workshop für diese Feinstaubsensoren geben. Den machen mein Bruder Andreas und die Leute von gemeinsam mit mir. Der Workshop findet am Freitag, den 27. April 2018 am Nachmittag an der FH Joanneum statt. Das genaue Programm der Linuxtage inklusive der genauen Zeit und dem Raum wird noch veröffentlicht.

Hier der offizielle Ausschreibungstext vom Workshop:

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-11: The Shape of Water

Last summer, I blogged about a short movie named "The Space Between Us" because it really impressed me a lot. To my astonishment, there is a full feature movie with basically the same story. Yesterday, I watched The Shape of Water, the much awarded movie by Guillermo del Toro. Because of this really great movie, I might think of forgetting the horrible mistake called Pacific Rim which stole two hours of my life.

I can only urge you to watch "The Shape of Water" in the cinema - it rewards you with a great story, beautiful pictures and an awesome cast.

And then watch The Space Between Us again and think about their differences in the plot.

I like both very much.

2018-03-09: Fixing "Everything I Type Is In Times New Roman" in Word 2016

I had a very stupid issue with Word 2016 on my office computer and this my story about the journey to solve it which took me a couple of months.

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2018-03-08: On the Advantages of Getting News Via Paper Only

Farhad Manjoo wrote an article about an interesting experiment: For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

To be precise, he totally quit online media.

I urge you to read his ten-minute article.

Here are some quotes:

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-06: Managing Digital Files (e.g., Photographs) in Files and Folders

Update 2014-05-14: added real world example

Update 2015-03-16: filtering photographs according to their GPS coordinates

Update 2016-08-29: replaced outdated method with new filetags --filter method

Update 2017-08-28: Email comment on geeqie video thumbnails

Update 2018-03-06: Links zum Konzept von Julian Kahnert

I am a passionate photographer when being on vacation or whenever I see something beautiful. This way, I collected many JPEG files over the past years. Here, I describe how I manage my digital photographs while avoiding any vendor lock-in which binds me to a temporary solution and leads to loss of data. Instead, I prefer solutions where I am able to invest my time and effort for a long-term relationship.

This (very long) entry is not about image files only: I am going to explain further things like my folder hierarchy, file name convention, and so forth. Therefore, this information applies to all kind of files I process.

Before I start explaining my method, we should come to an agreement whether or not we do have the same set of requirements I am trying to match with my method. If you are into raw image formats, storing your photographs somewhere in the cloud or anything else very special to you (and not to me), you might not get satisfied with the things described here. Decide yourself.

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2018-03-05: Konzert von Maybebop im Orpheum

Update 2018-03-05: Video von "Platzhalter"

Ich war schon des öfteren beim A capella-Wettbewerb im Dom in Berg in Graz. Es war im Jahr 2007, wo das deutsche Quartett Maybebop in allen drei Kategorien Pop, Jazz und Comedy angetreten ist. Die waren vielleicht gut. Die haben dann auch in allen angetretenen Kategorien ein goldenes Diplom eingeheimst und obendrauf auch noch bei Jazz und Comedy die Publikumsbewertung gewonnen.

Das neue Programm heißt "Sistemfeler"

Meiner Meinung nach funktioniert a capella (leider) nur so richtig, wenn man es live genießen kann. Auf CD oder auf Video kann es nur mangelhaft zur Geltung kommen. Aus diesem Grund sind die Konzerte von Maybebop für mich seit 2007 ein Pflichttermin. Gottseidank haben sie seit 2007 ein tolles Verhältnis zu und ein treues Stammpublikum in Graz. Die Konzerte sind immer ausverkauft, die Stimmung wirklich spitzenmäßig.

Diese Woche waren sie mit ihrem aktuellen Program "Sistemfeler" im Grazer Orpheum und ich wieder mit dabei. Die neuen Nummern beherbegen kritische Betrachtungen auf die digitale Gesellschaft, witzig und nachdenklich zugleich.

Hier ein paar Impressionen vom Konzert.

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-04: Sicherheit heben, EU-Softwareindustrie stärken, Zukunftssicherheit aufbauen

Ich bin eben über einen sehr guten Kommentar zum Thema Sicherheit gestoßen, dessen Ursprung im erneuten Hack vom deutschen Bundesnetz liegt.

Der heise-Redakteur schlägt in diesem Kommentar sieben Punkte vor:

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-03: Die Messgenauigkeit vom Feinstaubsensor SDS011

Ich habe im Dezember über meinen Selbstbau-Feinstaubsensor geschrieben.

Nun bin ich über eine interessante wissenschaftliche Analyse des für die Selbstbau-Kits verwendeten Sensors SDS011 gestoßen. Die Arbeit wurde von der Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg im Jahr 2017 gemacht.

Das PDF mit den Studienergebnissen ist sehr aufschlussreich.

Read the whole article ...

2018-03-03: DIY-Feinstaubsensor

Update 2017-12-17: Hinweis auf hinzugefügt

Update 2018-03-03: Hinweis auf Sensor-Workshop auf den GLT18

Bereits Anfang des Jahres wurde ich auf ein tolles Projekt namens aufmerksam. Die Organisatoren vom OK Lab Stuttgart vertreiben eine Bauanleitung für einen Feinstaubsensor, der auch weitere Sensordaten wie beispielsweise Temperatur und Luftfeuchte aufnimmt. Die Hardware kostet um die 35€ und der Zusammenbau ist auch mit mäßigen Technikkenntnissen innerhalb einer Stunde schnell erledigt.

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2018-02-28: Liebe FPÖ: Gesetze verbieten nun mal

Liebe FPÖ, liebe Wähler!

Wenn die FPÖ in letzter Zeit wiederholt und vermehrt von sich gibt, dass sie gegen Verbote und für die Freiheit des Individuums sind, so kann man daraus ableiten, dass sie ihren Job grundsätzlich nicht verstanden haben. Hier folgt nun meine Argumentation.

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2018-02-25: Atari 2600: Awesome Technology from the 70s

At the 28C3 event of the CCC, Sven Oliver Moll gave an interesting talk about the Atari 2600 Video Computer System, one of the first home video game consoles from the seventies.

The Atari 2600 also was my first and also my last game console - I'm not that much into computer games. Nevertheless, this talk was very interesting to me as well. Given the financial and technological restrictions, the engineers designing this console delivered awesome stuff.

If you're into cleverly designing hard- or software using the weirdest tricks or retro/vintage computer gaming, you should watch this as well:

2018-02-25: The Truth Behind the Story of "Catch Me If You Can"

You might have watched the movie Catch Me If You Can featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. While it was a great movie and the basic story is following the true events, even this movie was a bit off to the truth.

If you enjoyed the movie and/or if you are into fraud detection, security, or you just want to get helpful tipps to protect you from fraud, you should invest the hour to watch the original Frank Abagnale who was working for the FBI for the recent decades:

2018-02-25: Das Microsoft Dilemma - Wie ein US-Konzern die IT in den EU-Staaten beherrscht

Der ORF brachte vorige Woche eine Dokumentation über das Quasi-Monopol von Microsoft in der EU:

Nicht nur, dass wir mit unseren Steuergeldern sehr viel Geld unnötigerweise verschwenden, weil unsere Politiker beim mafiösen Gebahren von Microsoft brav mitspielen ("es gibt keine Alternativen", "das war schon immer so", "der Vertrag muss nicht offengelegt werden wie gesetzlich verlangt", "wir brauchen keine öffentliche Ausschreibung", ...), wir schießen der europäischen IT-Wirtschaft andauernd ins Knie, weil wir die Realitäten und Chancen der freien Software nicht sehen und schon gar nicht nutzen.

Man kann Weltkonzerne ohne Microsoft-Software betreiben aber unsere verantwortlicen Politiker scheinen allesamt von Microsoft-Lobbyisten gekauft zu sein.


2018-02-16: Other People Using lazyblorg for Blogging

I wrote lazyblorg in order to get the blogging software I wanted to use myself. Therefore, I optimized it for minimal effort for a posting and being embedded into my Org-Mode setup.

Of course, I published lazyblorg on GitHub so that other people could use it as well. The second reason for publishing lazyblorg for others was that I was forced not to deliver an ugly works-on-my-machine hack.

Read the whole article ...

2018-02-03: Millennials Are Easy Targets Because They Trust Less Secure Methods

IBM released an interesting study on security.

According to this study, Millennials seem to be easy targets for malicious activity because they do tend to follow insecure practices.

Compared to people at the age of 55 or more, they use less complex passwords, they do share more passwords between services, they trust insecure biometrics such as fingerprint readers and even declare them as "most secure form of authentication".

Millennials seem to rank security top for their bank apps. In contrast to that, they have a rather poor understanding of the importance of security related to social media accounts. This is quite disturbing when you know that social media is the number one cloud service that holds your most detailed personal profile.

On the other hand side, they do use more password managers which is a very good thing. However, when you do share passwords and trust insecure fingerprint technology, a password manager does not help that much any more.

2018-02-02: My Personal Emacs History

Update 2017-06-08: Reddit thread about other Emacs stories

Update 2018-02-02: further reddit thread

This article describes my personal history with Emacs.

Let me be clear right from the start: I happily use vim on a daily basis and choose my tools deliberately. I don't understand the editor war because I do think that Emacs is not just an editor such as vim is for the most parts. Emacs has its domains, vim has its domains. And in my opinion, those domains do not overlap for the most parts in case you got a deeper understanding of both.

Read the whole article ...