Segway done right

This weekend I had the great opportunity to test-drive a prototype of a new scooter, the Steereon; I’ve been watching it closely ever since I saw the first prototype during a startup event at Stadtgarten a year ago.

The Steereon will come in two versions (for regulatory reasons) and sports a unique, all-wheel steering which makes driving an enormous amount of fun; the founders call it “Carving on the Street” and that’s pretty much exactly how it feels.

As a modern device for urban mobility on the last mile it’s basically what the Segway should have been – light weight, fun and extremely agile.

The scooter will become available during early 2020 (planned) – I can highly recommend it and plan to pre-order one

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(Test-drive in Cologne, e-Scooter configuration)

High School Exchange Year

Today our youngest son left with EF for a high school exchange year in Ireland.

It’s pretty difficult to let your kids go, but I am totally happy and excited for him, for the experiences he will make, the friendships he’ll forge, the adventures that await him and the difficulties he’ll have to learn to master himself.

And I’m insanely proud of him!

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(EI 0693, DUS-DUB)

Encryption

There’s been a lot of discussion lately (again) on the need for encrypted Email or Messaging, and the pros and cons of various services, from WhatsApp to Telegram, from RCS to SMS.

I am not fully on the post-privacy bandwagon, but for sure people are aware that by using a third party service for Email or Messaging their messages can be read, aren’t they? We don’t call root super-user for no reason.

In the last century the Network Working Group wrote in RFC 1855 “Netiquette Guidelines”

2.1.1 For mail:

Unless you are using an encryption device (hardware or software), you should assume that mail on the Internet is not secure.  Never put in a mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.

That’s today as true as it was then – unless you own both sides of the encryption, don’t send anything through the Aether that you don’t want other people to see!

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:13th_Annual_Wichita_Postcard_Club_Show,_Wichita_Postcard_Club_(NBY_17466).jpg)

Climate Pledge

Here are my five pledges to support climate action in 2019:

  • I will not renew the contract for our family car
  • I will stop flying for vacation, and minimize air travel for business
  • I will avoid using single-use plastic items
  • I will buy fair-trade and carbon-neutral wherever possible
  • I will go back to a vegetarian life once I have reached my target weight

What do you plan to do?

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(#SoKoFuture)

Fridays For Future Summer Congress

Over the last five days I had the honor and pleasure to be able to support the Fridays for Future summer congress #SoKoFuture in Dortmund as a volunteer.

And was I in for a treat!

I have never seen so many people being so kind to each other, working all day diligently and earnestly on the most pressing issues of our time, and coming up with ideas on how to save our planet – people, especially politicians, who belittle these efforts should be ashamed.

The center-right paper “Die Welt” called the congress the Political Woodstock – I think that’s quite a fitting description.

After spending this time with all these young people I know for sure that a different world will be possible.

The Fridays deserve our full support!

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(Closing ceremony)

Freelance Rancher

After a brief stint at a small consultancy in Cologne I decided to go back to working as a freelance IT architect and consultant, with my favorite open source cloud projects, Rancher and Kubernetes, and everything else cloud native. I have also submitted a couple of papers to regional conferences.

From August onwards I’ll then have two more years at University, and during that time I’ll need to figure out whether I should be starting my own business, continue going solo, or try to find full-time employment again. Main goal: Get my kids through college. And enjoy my work.

On that note: I’ve passed all exams so far and am happy with the results!

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Android Pie Backup Now grayed out

This week I migrated my phone from a Nokia 8 to a Nokia 9 PureView, for the impressive built-in camera.

After completing the migration I found that I was unable to perform a backup – the Backup Now button was grayed out and all items were in “Waiting to backup” (except for Contacts and Photos, which operate independently).  Google to the rescue!

I found many good posts, some recommending to temporarily disable Screen Lock. That worked – I then had a valid backup in Google Drive.

After I re-enabled the screen lock, though, the button became grayed out again – back to Google.

Several people recommended setting up Smart Lock, so that the phone unlocks itself, for example when you’re at home.

Enabled Smart Lock, no change, button still grayed out. Bummer.

This time though I decided to give it a couple of days – a good idea, since there seems to be a timer involved, too.

Issue is now solved, the phone performs automatic backups, if

  • it’s at home and automatically unlocked, and
  • the last backup is more than a day old

Good enough for me. But I will regularly check in Drive from now on …

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Server housekeeping

From time to time it does make sense to clean your computer systems, literally speaking.

Especially if you run them in a domestic or office setting, any system with a fan will collect dust. A lot of dust.

Nothing a can of pressurized air, a hoover and a set of baby wipes can’t fix though .

Did anyone say weekend?

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Spiderman: Far From Home

What a ride – first, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, probably the best animated movie this year with a lot of fresh ideas, then, Avengers: Endgame where Peter took the mantle from Tony Stark. And now, Spiderman: Far from Home

Far from Home is a great reboot of the Spiderman universe, portraying a cool super hero fit for the 21st century; at the same time it also showed a lot of continuity and references to past Marvel movies for fans, old and new alike

Highly recommended – go watch it, but stay until after the credits!

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(Movie poster outside of Metropolis)