Meeting with Cuba Bloggers

Thursday 4th March, 2010
Well this is new for me, and new for this blog - i will blog something that is entirely not IT or travel related - I will start blogging on politics!

I will explain it in a later post, why.

So here I am, sitting in a chair in a chair in the European Parliament in Brussels, in the Conference on Cuba Bloggers. Cuba Bloggers are on the phone, the organizers from the Green/EPA and Piratpartiet (also in the Green/EPA fraction).

DSC04816

Cuban bloggers Yoani Sánches, Claudia Cadelo, Orlando Luis Lazo, Reinaldo Escobar, Miriam Ceyla, Iván García, Laritza Diversent, Eugenio Leal, Dimas Castellanos.
- all togheter 25 Bloggers sitting all in one room at Yoanis place.

In the European Paliament: Franziska Brantner MEP, Christian Engström MEP, Manuel Desdin, Benoît Hervieu, Susan Dennisson and many others. (Form Amnesty International, Reporters without boundaries)

Also in the room 12 other people (including me) and 27 empty translators boxes for every language that is official in the European union. The people in the room are journalists, European parliament employees and other bloggers.

The Cuban bloggers are, what used to be called "dissidents" - they face oppression in Cuba, their blogs are not really accessible, they often need someone who would post the text for them on the internet. And this is why we are sitting here in this room - because of Internet. Because even that the internet in Cuba is controlled and filtered, they still can access the websites that are hosted outside of Cuba. And even if the American embargo means that the internet bandwidth is limited and very expansive, it is still there. And that allows for the ones who have the urge to speak to be heard.

Since many of my readers are bloggers themselves - try for a second and just imagine living in a world were in order to publish something on your blog you would either need to be someone from the nomenclatures, or know someone, or know some foreigners that would smuggle it out for you. And anytime you can face consequences. (last week Orlando Zapata died in prison after 80 days hunger strike) Yet there is an exponential growth of blogging community in Cuba with over one hundred blogs now. And those who are using twitter are escaping the control of the government even further - given the fact that twitter is so open that there are brazillion ways to get a tweet out - even by sending out a sms.

you can check the Wikipedia article on Yoani Sánchez for reference. But keep in mind that the Cuban bloggosphere is, like everywhere else very diverse. Unfortunately, I can't read Spanish freely, so I am limited to reading translated versions - and the blog of Yoani Sánchez - Generation Y is available in 17 languages  

So what can you do?
- Read Cuban blogs. And write about it, cause getting known will physically protect some bloggers from oppression.
- There is practically no access to internet in Cuba now (only 2% of Cuban citizen have access to it - as compared to 12% in Haiti for example) - and f they go to a hotel to use it and are about to pay for it, there will be questions asked, were did they got the money from. But what You can do, is to bring your old 33.6k modem with you on the next vacation and leave it there (this is obviously not an option for Americans, but I know a lot of Europeans, who went to Cuba for a normal vacations). Do you still remember how it was as the whole internet was that fast? After you upgraded finally from that 2.4k modem?
- get a TOR server up an running, to allow people to circumvent filtering and censorship

From a political point of view - I think that the American embargo should be opened up to allow cheaper internet in Cuba, since limiting it hurts not the government, but limits their human rights even further, than the Cuban regime do. I also would like to see more European evolvement, to especially address the situation with human rights and oppression of freedom.

DSC04820

Comments [3]

Live-Blogging Lotusphere 2010 Opening General Session (restored)

Monday 18th January, 2010
Update:  
I did my first attempt on Live Blogging, and found out that ever now and then if I try to save the document it would warn me, that another version of the same document has been saved, while I was editing it, and a conflict version is being created. I ended up with 4 or 5 replication conflicts, and then in the end i invoked the "update site index" agent, wich somehow mus t have corrupted this documents, because they were all gone :-(

Thanks to Steven Cannon and Vítor Pereira who responded to my call and have send me the last parts i was missing.
The last 10 minutes (with a lot of text actually) is still missing, so i try and recreate it from memory again.  

Good Morning!

This year I am going to live cover the OGS of the Lotussphere 2010 in Orlando.
I'll try to not to blog in the manner of "Someone just said XY. Then he said 25%", but rather try to deliver my observations.

Oh, one more thing: this is Speed-Blogging, not Speed-Proof-Reading ;-)

Enjoy!

[5:55am] The day start was way to early, since I was the only one here who misread the 6:15pm as 6:15am - and headed for the BOF only to find the floor in the Swan being only inhabited by Disney Bots.

[8:00am] The Band begins to Play - Interesting combo of two fiddler and three percusions - since I am sitting at the Bloggers couches right in front of the sub woofer - my whole body shakes

[8:06am] The special Guest is SHATTNER!

DSC04090

[8:14am] William Shattner is a good actor! He is delivering the text from the tele-prompter true to a world, but does not sound at all like it.

[8:20am] Bob Picciano: You should jump the collaborative cloud. ( I am smiling by vividly imaging doing that)

[8:23am] Yepp. Volker is right. 18.378 new customers (and they had like 50k customers before - so are we now at what? a 75k customers?)
DSC04107

[8:27am] Bob Picciano explains, Lotus will focus on industry specific solutions, namely starting with insurance, banking, and health care. This is called the "Collaboration Agenda" and partners are invited to join. (of whom by the way he announced are now 20% more since 2009). I think it is good that some people inside the software group turn heir focus toward products and specific solutions, but also somewhat skeptical that this will play out somehow positive and not just the big opportunity to get very confused. (and than, out of my customers I only have two insurance and one bank, and none in health care)

DSC04117

[8:38am] RIM is deploying Lotus Conection enterprise-wide and is speaking as a customer, not a partner. Besides, that IBM is now allowed to resell RIM through its channel. (So IBM is now a partner for RIM. I sense, there is an m&a on the horizon)

[8:46am] Sylvia Steinmann from Zurich: "Why is it still being called 'Out of the Box'? when was it the last time you have had enterprise software shipped to you in a box? It is just one of that examples where legacy sticks" (Oh, and they cancelled Exchange/Sharepoint migration because Lotus Notes had more value)

[9:00am] Demo time. Ron Sebastian is on the phone with the lawyers. of cause.
[9:00am] Quickr can now store emails as .eml files and can drag and drop them from the sidebar. That's cool. It also can handle iCalendar feeds now and integrate team and personal calendars within quickr places.

[9:10am] Quickr introduce a layer called CMIS = Content Management Integration System. It allows to speak to whatever backends - Filenet, IBM Content Manager, Documentum, Sharepoint and the open source Alfresco CMS. (This last one would become very interesting to a lot of my customers)

[9:15am] New partnership with GIST - As it seems it let you aggregate contacts and other information from multiple sources. I just signed up, but there is no Lotus Plugin yet. But it is immediately seems very useful even now. (Update: you need to sign up for the Lotus Plugin Beta as well: http://www.gist.com/lotus )
 
[9:32am] Rons demos Sametime 8.5 connected with the Radvision Server and showing a web-conference with multiple HD-Video streams. Looks neat, but how many truck-loads of Hardware and server do I need for that? I'll investigate and keep you posted.

[9:35am] now for LotusLive.
Announcing Connections for LotusLive being delivered in Q2. Cool thing. Also a new "ACME" company in the screenshots - "ZETA Hospital" (I guess it is a spin-off from Zeta-Bank, or perhaps they just switched industries :-)

[9:40am] Anouncing Lotus Live Labs available to partners in Q2. It allows slide library, event maps, and recorded meetings.  

[9:40am] Allistair invite a panel of Business Partners on stage - Interesting is, that Xerox provides a sollution that integrates neatly with Lotus Foundation (called OfficeNow! Solution). I am asking myself - if it is for Foundation, it is for the normal Domino as well, right?
Group is seeing a lot of deployment opportunities for the cloud.
iEnterprise: Lotus knows we need to work where we are.
Xerox: Lotus knows how to do integration.

[10:03am] Now for something new: What is the vision for the future? Innovation taken to the next level. Announcing "Project Vulcan" What is it about? we soon will know, as Ron is again on the stage.
So -it is looking stikingly similar to Google Wave ;-) So it is about a real-time editing and collaboration. It also looks a lot like Portal. Espetially since a browser version of it exist.

DSC04187

Project Vulcan is targeted on Google not Microsoft. I think Microsoft is not having anything even remotely similar in the oven to compete with it. Allistair said - "it is for people who does not use tools for their business that were made for advertisemnt". It is also looked pretty much like the next version of Notes, even if IBM has not announced it as such. It looked like it will be delivered sometimes pretty soon - later on Ed Brill admited, that it is targeted to release a beta to partners in 2H 2010 - so I would expect a product release of it just before Lotusphere 2012.

Comments [4]

Please help: I somehow deleted my previous blog post

Monday 18th January, 2010
If you have the text of my Live-Blogging post from today morning (for example still sitting in your Browser cache or Feed-Reader), please send it back to me. I was only able to save the text till [9:35am].

I had some conflict documents, than executed the "refresh site indexes" agent, and all those documents got deleted. :-(

Comments [0]

Lotusphere Day ½

Sunday 17th January, 2010
So, the Lotusphere has began. I already have walked two times from Swan over to Dolphin and back again. At least there are no sessions in Y&B today.
Some random observations from until now:
Positive:
  • No RFID scanners (on the down side no more RFID-Tags swapping anymore)
  • The Badge is printed on a paper instead of an plastic card (more environmental friendly)
  • No BDD-Stickers anymore (instead easier to spot 3 cm wide colored bar on top of name tag)
  • Nice "Lotus Knows" plastic bottles for BDD-Keynote attendees (it is pretty solid material and is not oversized, also the lid closes nicely)
  • Less logos on the Backpack

Negative:
  • The backpack is even worse than last year's (while pretty much similar, it feels cheap, and the laptop compartment is to shallow for 15"-wide laptop like my Macbook Pro)
  • No luggage tag for the backpack (there thousands of look-alike backpacks to be confused with no identification marks)
  • Stupid lengthy announcements over the loud-speakers before session starts. This make Americans look really stupid. As for the rest of us it is entertaining opportunity to thank that we still have some common sense in our European countries left. But only one time. Then it gets annoying as hell.

Comments [0]

How much would you pay for a service that only exists out of your fault?

Monday 2nd November, 2009
I went with my wife for a two nights trip to Milan (Italy) to celebrate my Birthday. We booked the Westin Palace, which we liked very much.

Unfortunately I have forgot my glasses that I put on in the evening when i get out of the contact lenses, in the bathroom. They are in a hard-shelled case, so it should be no problem for a hotel to send it after me, I thought.
Today my wife has called up the hotel, and they told her, that they would charge 60 Euro for sending my glasses after me. (= 88USD)

I need my glasses, and buying a new one would be more expensive, since i need a very expensive glass (-9 diopters)

Now the question - what would you do? pay the lesson and pay the charge? Complain? (to whom?)  stop whining and be happy that they do not want to charge me 1000 euro? Have you been in such situation, that you had to ask a hotel to send something after you, and how much where you charged? I am kinda confused.

Comments [7]

IBM Announce Price Rise for Domino Server and Clients up to 32%

Wednesday 7th October, 2009
Hi Folks,

Yesterday news regarding the new straitened out IBM Lotus Licenses looked really great at the first sight, I mean, free Designer, how cool is this?! (We'll speak in a minute, what free is really mean in a context)
No more all this dazzling license options: inotes or notes client, for or with collaboration, limited or full use, no one really understood them anyway. Thanks for straitening this out. Really!

But now for the sad part: this new easiness comes with its price. Or better, with a price rise.
See for yourself:
Price in EUR
Price from 01.01.2010
change
Designer
816
154
-81,13%
Notes Client
150
154
2,67%
Inotes
117
154
31,62%
Notes Messaging
105
95,63
-8,92%
Inotes Messaging
73,66
95,63
29,83%
Enterprise Server Value Unit
38,88
44,68
14,92%
Messaging Server
Value Unit
14,97
17,24
15,16%





As you see, free Designer is not really free, but just 81% cheaper, but fair enough. But nearly everything else will get more expensive. Sure, you will be able to do more with it. But if you are just a web browser user, than you are facing a 32% rise for a questionable advantage that now you are allowed to use the Notes Client.

The price adjustments are effective as of 01.01.2010, so there is still time to act, if you are up to stock up on Domino Servers. Call your local Lotus Business Parter (yep, even me), to get a quote.

Comments [12]

WDW Swan for Lotusphere for 171USD per Night

Tuesday 1st September, 2009
wdw swan and dolphin
I blogged this last year, but it's time to repeat it for this year:
You can save money on your hotel stay during Lotusphere by booking an AAA rate. (one night deposit, fully refundable)
I just have booked 8 nights Swan for a mere 171USD (203,22 after taxes) - http://tinyurl.com/lejdtr
The AAA rate for Dolphin is 183USD (216,10 after taxes) - http://tinyurl.com/klvuvm
(you can fill in different dates if you like)

If you think now that this not for you, because you don't have the AAA membership (or your local equivalent, that is accepted by Starwoods), its still plenty of time to get yourself a membership,it will cost you much less than the saving will be.

Comments [7]

Quiz: What is special in this picture?

Friday 7th August, 2009
Screenshot from my Mac Book Pro (early 2008 model)
This is a today's screen shot from my MacBookPro (Early 2008)

Comments [3]

Once in a lifetime the time is 123456789

Friday 7th August, 2009
123456789 on a clock Hi today is the day when the clock strikes 12:34:56 07-08-09, that is if you are writing the date the right way, as compared to our friends over the pond, who had the clock stroke this numerologically significant date 32 days ago on 8th of July.

At first, I was about to set an agent to publish this entry on extact 12:34:56 7-8-9, but then I realized, that i still had to decide on what time zone! so, I just go and publish it now, since a lot of time zones had already had this event passed.

And in case you missed it, and also the 1234567890 seconds since Unix-Epoch (that was earlier this year on 13.February.2009 23:31:30 UTC), you still can look forward to celebration of the coming 09:09:09 09-09-09 in just a month time, or if you are up for a big carnival party 11:11:11 11-11-11 next year (I would suggest to travel to Cologne if you have no plans yet, the hell will be loose)

Comments [0]

Security Exploit for Domino - Disable Word Perfect Attchments

Tuesday 17th March, 2009
This just came in:
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=463&uid=swg21377573

In a short - there is a possible exploite to execute code using a crafted .wpd attachmend (WordPerfect).
You should block .wpd attachments on the gateway, or with a server mail rule, or with a keyviw.ini setting on the client. Or you go and delete the wp6sr.dll file.

Comments [0]