Mittwoch, 26. Juli 2017

Cool Messaging Functions That WhatsApp Is Still Missing

Instant Messaging has become a central part of our modern communication.
SMS, WhatsApp, Threema, Facebook Messenger - more and more of our everyday communication uses these few messengers.
It's nearly self-evident that, in many situations, this is extremely practical.
Nevertheless, some things don't go as well and easy as we want them to when writing instant messages.
I believe that some of the communicative problems we face when using Instant Messages could be solved by some cool, innovative features (that WhatsApp, Threema and Facebook mainly do not support yet).

In the following, I will list some features I would find extremely practical. If you have any other great idea in mind simply leave a comment!

VIP-contacts:
When receiving messages (let's just take WhatsApp as an example for now), all of them are displayed on your lockscreen in the order in which you received them.
Usually, many of these messages will be unimportant and some, few, of them will be very important to you.

Wouldn't it be nice to have the important messages ALWAYS at the top of you lockscreen?
Let's take your mum for example.

You get 150 lacking-in-substance-messages from the group "Chillers" and 1 message from your mum asking you to water the flowers.
Even if your mum send the message 2h ago and the other messages came in a few seconds ago, your mum's message would be displayed at the top, because you told WhatsApp that you mum is a VIP and her messages are very important to you.

Additionally, in groups where you actually set notifications to "off", you could, if you want, still receive notifications if one of your VIP's writes a message to that group.

surveys:
Organizing meetings, partys, appointments etc. with several people isn't always easy. Usually, when trying to do this via Whatsapp, it just get's more and more complicated. Surveys would make this process a lot easier.
Threema messenger already does this quite nice:




completely delete messages  (also from your chat-partners device):
Accidentally sending messages to the wrong people, or sending messages too early, or only recognizing that auto-correct did again ruin you message happens to nearly everyone at some time.
Currently, Whatsapp only allows to delete those messages from your own device, but your chat partner(s) will still receive and read it.
To avoid unnecessary and stressful situations, it would be lovely to have a "self-destruction-mode" for messages that completely deletes them from all devices they've been sent to.




I believe this functions would make messaging a bit easier and avoid some stressful situations.

Feel free to comment if you agree/disagree or have any other great ideas for further messaging-functions!


Dienstag, 1. November 2016

America: Every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenpapers say!

In the context of the debate about an immigration reform, President Georg W. Bush once said that "We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenpapers say."
To put it in a nutshell, Bush reminds us, reminds you, of equality and human rights.

Even tho this always was and always will be important, the current presidential election sheds a different light on those words, on those values.

Till now, presidential elections where mainly just like
candidate A vs canditate B or
republicans vs democrats or
a rich, financially strong America vs a fair America with equal rights.

This year, it's
frigid, self-centered, "If I want to knock a story of the front page, I just change my hairstyle" Hillary Clinton
vs
antithetic, racist, rich "I could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters" Donald Trump.

We cannot change how you think. But we can try to wake you up.
America! Please, when giving your voice to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump on Nov. 8th, remember what Bush said. Remember equality and human rights. Remember that real lives will be affected by YOUR decisions!

Donnerstag, 3. September 2015

Rezension: Swift im Detail

"Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, OS X, and watchOS. Writing Swift code is interactive and fun, the syntax is concise yet expressive, and apps run lightning-fast. Swift is ready for your next project — or addition into your current app — because Swift code works side-by-side with Objective-C.“          https://developer.apple.com/swift 

 

Apples Ankündigung und Beschreibung von Swift klingt durchaus vielversprechend und interessant für IOS, OS-X und Watch-OS Entwickler. Aufgrund der Einfachheit der Sprache eignet sich Swift auch gut für Programmieranfänger. 

Apple bietet als Einstieg das eher trockene  Handbuch „The Swift Programming Language"  an (iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/swift-programming-language/id881256329?mt=11 ). 

Darüber hinaus  gibt es aber glücklicherweise noch einige andere Bücher über Swift.

Eins der empfehlenswerten davon ist „Swift im Detail“ von Thomas Sillmann beim Hanser Fachbuch Verlag.

 

Die vielversprechende, bucheigene Beschreibung „unentbehrlich, fundiert und praxisnah“ hat mich neugierig gemacht und die damit zusammenhängenden Versprechen und Erwartungen werden tatsächlich vollständig erfüllt.

Vom Stil und Aufbau ist „Swift im Detail“ ein relativ normales Fachbuch. Allerdings im positiven Sinne.

Kein SchnickSchnack, keine Abschweifungen/Ablenkungen und ein sinnvoller, fundierter und praxisnaher Aufbau. Von der Einleitung „Willkommen bei Swift“, Warum Swift?“ und Vorraussetzungen für Swift über die üblichen Grundlagen wie Variablen, Schleifen, Abfragen, Fundamental Types und Funktionen bis hin zu detaillierten Beschreibungen aller Bereiche der objektorientierten Programmierung, d.h sowohl Klassen und Objekte als auch Vererbung, Initialisierung Speicherverwaltung und Type Casting erklärt der Autor verständlich und interessant. 

Praxisbeispiele und der Abschluss des Buches über die Zusammenarbeit von Swift, Cocoa und Objective-C sowie Tipps für tägliches Arbeiten mit Swift ergänzen dies sehr gut und bieten ein passendes, zur Weiterarbeit mit Swift einladendes, ausführliches Schlusswort.

 

Was das Buch neben dem interessanten Inhalt positiv von anderen absetzt ist der verständliche, flüssige und gleichzeitig informative Schreibstil von Sillmann. 

 

Einen Fachbegriff, die Erklärung dazu und ein passendes Beispiel (o.ä.) in einem verständlichen Satz oder Abschnitt zu erklären ist nicht einfach, aber hier beinahe ideal umgesetzt. Unverständliche oder komplizierte Sätze bleiben auch bei den anspruchsvolleren Themen bei Sillmann Ausnahmen. Ergänzend verdeutlicht der Autor Beispiele und Erklärungen des öfteren mit unterstützenden Diagrammen.

 

"unentbehrlich, fundiert und praxisnah sowie simpel erklärt, dennoch informativ, stringent und für alle Leser geeignet!"

 

Einziger Kritikpunkt, der jedoch in einer hoffentlich bald folgenden Neuauflage verbessert werden kann, sind, in Relation zu deren Relevanz häufig vorkommende, Fehler in den Beispielprogrammen, beispielsweise Rechtschreibfehler in Befehlen, vergessene Anführungszeichen bei Strings, vergessene Klammern oder falsch zugeordente/unpassende Kommentare. Hier hätte ich mir als Leser gründlichere Kontrolle gewünscht! Nichtsdestotrotz lohnt sich dieses Buch für alle Programmierer und werdenden Programmierer. 

 

Eins der besten Bücher für Programmiersprachen, die ich bisher gelesen habe! 

Viel Spass und viel Erfolg beim Swift-programmieren!

 

 

 

„Swift im Detail“ von Thomas Sillmann, Hanser-Fachbuch-Verlag, gibt es

beim Verlag selber und

bei Amazon

 

Dienstag, 28. Juli 2015

Regress through progress

Regress through progress

Technology gives, and steals, many opportunities. The current situation shows how badly we need to find a middle ground between humanity, humans and technology in companies.

 

Technology proceeds faster and faster on it’s triumphal procession towards the future.

Many companies are planning to soon do up to 60% of their mechanical work with robots, which are getting smarter every day. Due to new invented technology, they can deal with work procedures, think, conclude improve and react to daily or even critical situations.

Averagely, 15% of the things humans produce include minor or major mistakes.

Modern robots can lower this mistake rate to 0.018%, and nevertheless work more than three times as fast as humans do, while not charging any money for their work.

 

The nearly 0% mistake rate and the incredible fast work speed of the robots, while working for free, can make everything they produce way cheaper, however the companies still double their profit.

 

At the same time, more and more people in the world don’t get a job and become homeless. In the past ten years, the worldwide jobless rate increased by nearly 1%, that means that about 100.000.000 (one-hundred million) people became homeless in that time frame.

 

Technology, or more specified, robots, take more and more jobs that were done by humans earlier and accomplish them better, faster and cheaper.

However, they need to be built, programmed, checked and serviced, which is still done by humans.

But the jobs they produce with this are not as many as they take by half

It really is, in parts, technological progresses fault that the homeless rate is increasing so incredible fast.

But are robots, nevertheless, good for the humankind? 

Or is what is currently happening really  ‘regress through progress’?

 

The summarized facts:

  • Robots/technology take many jobs.
  • They produce only a few jobs.
    • As a whole, they ‘steal’ jobs from humans
  • They make everything they work on cheaper to produce and -> buy
    • The companies make more money, while clients still pay less

 

At one side, robots steal our jobs and, as a whole, make more people homeless,

At the other side, they make things cheaper to produce and buy.

 

If that is good or bad for the humankind, if it is regress or progress, is not a question of technology and statistics. It is a question of social values and society.

Montag, 29. Dezember 2014

Review: Andronescu's Paradox

Tom DeMarco’s newest book "Andronescu’s Paradox“ is a fascinating science-thriller. But it’s way more. It's about Decisions that change your whole life. That change everything.

 

It’s a novel about surviving in nowadays world without electricity and technology. 

 

It’s about psychological reaction to the things you do, and it’s about decisions, betrayal and love.

 

 

A team of IT’lers around Homer Layton uses an animation/calculation to find out how war will proceed if the entered values would be true, to help the Government with their warfare. 

 

Besides, they find out a value for the time, called „t“. In special situations, in a masers beam, this value can change about approx. 0.02%. With this new value, "T-Prime“, time runs slower, and therewith some physical things happen and most electricity and weapons don’t work where the time value is T-prime (DeMarco described this way better, but his explanation is 4 din-a-4 pages long…)

 

At the same time, their war-animation tells them that Kuba will be destroyed by poisonous gas and nuclear rockets will be sent to America.

 

To prevent this, they find out how to make the t-prime effect work everywhere, using a machine called the „permanent effector“

 

When the rockets are about to reach America, Homer and his team have to decide - will they let over 2 million people be killed by a nuclear stroke or will they catapult the whole civilization back to the dark middle ages?

 

 

 

As Tom DeMarco is a long time software engineer and IT'ler, his descriptions of technical things are fantastic. He makes things sound complicate and difficult, but then explains them so everyone can understand what he is talking about.

 

Just for those descriptions it's definitely worth reading his books, especially "Andronescu's Paradox".

 

But DeMarco's love for (explaining) technical things also leads to maybe more of those explanations than the book need's. Causing that people who are not interested in technology may have to skip a few pages, this is one negative item on a list of many positive.

 

Because the book touches upon almost every interesting Topic and ways of writing and Tom DeMarco's style of writing just feels nice while reading, reading the book is definitely my recommendation!

 

 

Thank you, Tom deMarco and Hanser Verlag, for the awesome experience I had with reading this book! 


Carl Hanser Verlag

Andronescu's Paradox on Amazon

Hanser Literatur on Twitter

Hanser Update on Twitter

Mittwoch, 28. Mai 2014

Why I love outdoors

There is definitely nothing more beautiful than nature - and nature can only be explored, only be felt outside. In the mountains, the forest, the national parks, the lakes, the oceans… This is where relaxing is guaranteed, where gathering strength you need for life is done without thinking about it.
Pictures can’t make you feel the nature outside, but maybe they can make you want to feel it!

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Dienstag, 13. Mai 2014

Books vs e-books

Books and e-books are an up to date topic! The number of printed books is decreasing, the number of sold e-book readers and e-books is increasing incredible fast

Nevertheless, books can’t be replaced by e-books completely. Not yet. That’s not because e-book readers are too expensive. The point is, there are some undeniable advantages of books over e-books. That’s not different the other way round, e-books do also have advantages over normal books. It’s a question of which kind of book you want to read.


disadvantages of e-books:

Definitely missing for e-books are clear bookmarks. If you want to mark a page, you have to create a folder with bookmarks, and go to this folder to view it - easier with books: you just put a post-it label wherever you want, and that’s it.
Improving this (img. 1) would definitely make e-books even better for eg. reference books!
Kindle bookmarks img. 1, touch-bookmarks


The next point are the pictures (also important basically for reference books).
There is no / no good way to show pictures on an e-book. But it isn’t THAT difficult - a transverse-view-picture-page (img. 2) would solve many problems, if the screen would be to small (next point!). And smaller pictures can just be displayed - but they aren’t.
Kindle with pictureimg. 2, pictures on e-books

A different (consequent) idea for improvement would be more sizes (img. 3) to choose the perfect e-book-reader for you

Kindle more scales
img. 3, more sizes for e-books to choose / personalize your perfect one.


The last big problem for (some) e-books has nothing to do with the soft/-hardware. It’s about the content, the book. There are good quality assurances for EVERY printed book - but not for every e-book.
The content of the most of the e-books is the same as the one of a printed book. There is a printed edition and an e-edition.
But not always - everyone can publish an e-book without quality assurances, and that can, not must, be a problem. Simple solution: Write „Quality assurance“ on the cover / header of the e-book.



advantages of e-books:


There are some advantages of e-books. The biggest is indeed the comfort:
You can use one hand to read,
automatically jump to the last page of every book you read (at the same time, if you want) and
buy new books in a few minutes + at once start reading



Conclusion:


Dependent on which kind of book you read, e-books and printed books can be the better choice.
If you want to read a crime story or a novel or fantasy/sciFi etc. an e-book is much more comfortable!
But if you read a reference book, the printed edition would definitely be the better choice.
And sometimes it’s just a matter of feeling the paper in your hand - some people like that better, some don’t - you decide!
For the not-sure’s, a look at the prize (and the return value of printed books) may help you decide which possibility is better for you.