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Hans-Joachim Belz
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Hans-Joachim Belz

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Feeling out the Surface

Last Sunday (28/10/2012), after reading all the mixed reviews, I still was convinced I needed some personal experience with Redmond's attempt at regaining relevance.

After struggling with the absurd bugs of the online order process on microsoft.com for 30 minutes plus, I finally managed to get to the order confirmation screen. Microsoft, your online shop clearly resists being misused for such profanities as ordering hardware devices.

When the touch cover arrived on Wednesday, I was prepared to wait for another 3 weeks (as stated by the order process)  until the actual tablet would be delivered. But here it is, handed over to me by UPS on Friday morning.

Some personal impressions (from a heavy mac/iPad/Nexus 7 user):
=> Slightly clunky when coming from the iPad but with a nice metallic touch
=> The wide screen format feels awkwardly narrow when held in portrait mode; this seems to be a matter of size (or getting used to?), as I like it on the smaller Nexus 7
=> wide screen tablets are a peculiar form factor definitely requiring custom UI layouts, see  https://twitter.com/lukew/status/264412345781080065 => yey, I get real windows and a pre-installed command shell (kind of retro cool)!
=> Update and reboot - another heavy wave of nostalgia coming your way
=> Updating Office to production version is an optional update, hidden in desktop land? See http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windows8/microsoft-surface-upgrade-final-office-2013-rt-144650 => Tried to watch ZDFMediathek (German TV): Doesn't play quicktime nor the windows media and the flash player is excruciatingly slow for video
=> No Google+, no YouTube, no Twitter, no Dropbox (so no serious work with  this one), no Facebook - but hey, it runs Office!
=> Skinning Office to my personal taste is so important, that I am presented  with a pesky not touch ready dialog for choosing a skin even before getting to see the actual application
=> Yes, Office is a full-fledged, windowed, not really touch-enabled application not an app

And the touch cover? Haven't even taken it from its box. It's a tablet after all, isn't it? That said, typing on the wide on screen keyboard is a breeze. As a heavy tablet user, I do not see how this keyboard will significantly speed up my usage scenarios (which include creating content). But I'll give it a try later.

Microsoft's foray into the tablet space feels half-hearted for many reasons. They may still succeed in the long run (lower price, boost app market, leverage the Windows / Office / XBox eco system). But my guess is, Windows tablets will not have a thoroughly consistent user experience any time soon. So in spite of the bold design language of the user interface, "captivating" might not be a label you will want to attribute to these devices. Please try harder, Microsoft.

#surface   #microsoftsurface  
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Hans-Joachim Belz

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If you are interested in the mobile web and missed last week's Mobilism 2012 have a look at my summary of the conference.
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A GWT implementation for the TodoMVC project. Do not miss the code review on Github (see links in blog article). An interesting clash of pure HTML/JS and GWT/Java mindsets. :-)
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The Difference between Marketing and Product Design

The difference between GETTING the attention and KEEPING the attention. The first one might be achieved by being loud and boasting, the latter one needs to be polite and helpful. Always be aware where the first one ends and the second one starts. ;-)

Based on ideas by Alan Cooper and Tamara Adlin
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The shy boy in the corner will not be noticed - even if he is a perfect gentleman. :-) Being charming means you need to cross borders. But once the girl shows earnest interest, be earnest, too. ;-)
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Alle Inhalte vom GDD 2011 Berlin im Überblick
Mariusz Kaczmarek originally shared:
 
Slides, People and Links from #GDDDE #GDD11 #GTUG #Hackathon

== GDDDE GDD11 ==

Android Track
10:45 – 11:30 Android Market for Developers by +Richard Hyndman
11:45 – 12:30 Excellence in the Android Developers by +Nick Butcher
13:30 – 14:15 GoogleTV Open for Android Developers by +Christian Kurzke
14:30 – 15:15 High-Performance for Android by +Sparky Rhode
15:30 – 16:15 What’s new and important in Android by +Bruno Oliveira
16:30 – 17:15 Android Office Hours with +Sparky Rhode
17:30 – 18:15 Integrating with Google Apps: New APIs, New Features and Best Practices by +Ryan Boyd

Chrome & HTML5 Track
10:45 – 11:30 Making Your Web Apps Accesible Using HTML5 and ChromeVox by +Mike West > http://goo.gl/GaE5d
11:45 – 12:30 Working Off the Grid: HTML5 Offline by +Ido Green > http://bit.ly/offline-11
13:30 – 14:15 Bleeding Edge HTML5 by +Paul Kinlan > http://goo.gl/QOqfN
14:30 – 15:15 These Aren’t the Sites You’re Looking For: Modern HTML5 Web Apps by +Mike West > http://goo.gl/BzFAM
15:30 – 16:15 Privacy Related APIs for Google Chrome Extensions by +Dominic Battre > http://goo.gl/54pIl
16:30 – 17:15 V8 Performance Tuning Tricks by +Daniel Clifford
17:30 – 18:15 DevTools Tipps and Tricks by +Ido Green > http://goo.gl/EyKj5

Cloud Track
10:45 – 11:30 Finding your Place in the World: Google Places API by +Mano Marks
11:45 – 12:30 Google App Enginge Overview & Update by +wesley chun
13:30 – 14:15 Building Integrated Applications on Google’s Cloud Technologies by +Michael Manoochehri > http://goo.gl/GGJe7
14:30 – 15:15 Go on AppEnginge by +Andrew Gerrand
15:30 – 16:15 Accelerated Beginner App Enginge Workshop by +wesley chun
16:30 – 17:15 Monetizing Web Apps by +Mihai Ionescu > http://goo.gl/tYUxP
17:30 – 18:15 HTML5, Flash and the Battle for Faster Youtube Cat Videos by +Greg Schechter > http://goo.gl/Oewmu

Google+ Track
10:45 – 11:30 Google+ and the +1 Button by +Ade Oshineye
11:45 – 12:30 Using the Google+ API by +Chris Chabot
13:30 – 14:15 Building Google+ Hangout Apps by +Jonathan Beri
14:30 – 15:15 OAuth und OpenID for Data Access and Identity in web apps by +Ryan Boyd > http://goo.gl/MBbbT
15:30 – 16:15 Dart: a new programming language for structed web programming by +Anders Thorhauge Sandholm
17:30 – 18:15 Ignite, a Series of Lightning Talks from and for developer community
Crease: Tiling Window Manager for Android Tablets by +Philipp Comans > http://goo.gl/Ob6de
OpenSocial 2.0 - Viva la Open App Revolution by +Bastian Hofmann > http://goo.gl/uFFpa

Universities of Berlin
10:45 – 11:30 Internet architecture trends by Prof. Feldmann > http://goo.gl/GUuAK
11:45 – 12:30 Information Management in the Cloud - Parallel Dataflow Programming Beyond Map/Reduce by Prof. Markl > http://goo.gl/Nsjz6
13:30 – 14:15 Machines that learn by Prof. Mueller > http://doc.ml.tu-berlin.de/publications/
14:30 – 15:15 Service oriented computing automatically generated adapters for heterogeneous services by Prof. Reisig > http://goo.gl/Tm9m4
15:30 – 16:15 Location Privacy – a blessing or a curse? by Prof. Freytag > http://goo.gl/wec8X
16:30 – 17:15 Android in disaster management by +Ingmar Eveslage
17:30 – 18:15 EMEA Talent and Outreach Programs by +Veronika Striessnig

== BOOTCAMP ==

Automated Software Testing at Google by +James Whittaker > http://googletesting.blogspot.com/
HTML5 InApp Payment by +Mihai Ionescu > https://checkout.google.com/inapppayments/
Browser As A Broadcast Medium by +Kasper Jordaens > http://goo.gl/Vel7K
GWT Phonegap by +Daniel Kurka > http://www.m-gwt.com/
HTML5 Audio by Tomas Senart from SoundCloud > www.areweplayingyet.org
Android Tablet Use Cases by +Nils Domrose > http://goo.gl/oOeBA
WebGL Profileroom by +Gerwin Sturm > http://goo.gl/vqfu3

== DEV AREA ==

The ADK Paper Piano by +Mario Böhmer > http://goo.gl/pMDzf
Cycling The Alps by +Dennis Wegewijs > http://www.cyclingthealps.com/
Roidizer by +Tobias Fiebiger and +Marie Schweiz > http://roidizer.com/
expressFlow by +Martin Vasko > http://expressflow.com
BackupGoo by +dominic jansen & +Nico Güttler > http://www.backupgoo.com

== PICTURES ==

+Ade Oshineye > http://goo.gl/zAZx0
+Gerwin Sturm > http://goo.gl/M2dNc
+Christian Gierds > http://goo.gl/z2trL
+Stefan Zwierlein > http://goo.gl/xXju6 http://goo.gl/nXSux http://goo.gl/9dsxw

== SPONSORS ==

First and foremost +Google
Platin +Adobe +VZ Netzwerke Ltd +ImmobilienScout24
Gold +Sony Ericsson
Community CAT Sound 10Gen SeeedStudio Rutronik
MediaPartners +Android360 & +Mobile360

Hack and Tell 'ish shout out to +Deborah Causton with +9flats.com for pizzas!

Kudos to +Van Riper +Nils Hitze +Stefan Hoth +Stefan Zwierlein +Benjamin Weiss +Sebastian Mauer +Marie Schweiz +Aygul Zagidullina +Misha M.-Kupriyanov +Friedger Müffke +Matthias Kluth +Sebastian Roming +Jerome Mouton +Stefan Keuchel +Thaisa Yamamura +Richard Meinsen +Yan Minagawa +Markus Knittig +Benny Reimold +Wieland Holfelder +c-base spacestation You know why! :)

There is so much more i forgot. Feel free to add or nominate people that are missing here. No ego, make it awesome by commenting and sharing.
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The last session of the Google Developer Day 2011 Berlin just ended. As a brief summary these are the key impressions I took from today:

Judging from the keynote, Android and Google+ are the two focus products most strongly promoted by Google at the moment. Of course, the web (with Chrome Browser and HTML5) ist still an important topic, too. The now released in earnest Google AppEngine got its fair share of promotion, too.

Google, the geeky technology company, has finally discovered the importance of good User Experience (remember stuff like the UI of AdWords?). Many of the speakers kept reiterating how crucial UX is. A nice insight by +Mike West: The time of the functionality behemoths (like MS Word) seems to be finally coming to an end with the shift to smaller applications (aka “Apps”) on mobile devices and in the web that focus on solving a small problem space really well. Providing in some cases gorgeous UIs, that are a selling point of their own. - And that users might come to expect after decades of suffering. :-)

Dart is to be watched. If this project takes flight, it will almost certainly replace GWT (see below). And things like CoffeeScript might quickly lose traction, with a neat language that effectively compiles to Javascript and has native implementations on popular browsers.

In the long run, GWT is dead: No single mention in the sessions I visited, apart from (anxious) questions by visitors of the Dart session. Google’s Dart advocate asked about Dart’s relation to GWT underlining that many former GWT developers are now working on Dart is telling, I guess.

Google (like other companies) is working hard on enabling small companies or even individuals to launch and monetize new cloud services and applications with a minimum effort (and risk). And earning their share in doing so (Google App Engine, BigQuery, Chrome Web Store, In App purchases, Google AdSense for games, etc.). In part, this is somewhat backporting the experience of the mobile app economy into the web space.

Whether it’s app or web, nowadays it has become extremely difficult to bypass Google (in contrast thinking back just 3 years, when there was no Chrome and no Android to mention).
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Bonjour, pour ceux qui souhaitent un résumé en français, nous avons écrit un résumé des avantages de DART ainsi que des éléments sur le questionnement DART/GWT sur notre blog:
http://blog.mistra.fr/dart-le-javascript-killer-made-in-google
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Reasons why users refrain from installing apps

Straight from today's uselab sessions: 3 reasons why users hesitate to install an app:
1.) It might cost money (now or later)
2.) It's probably unsafe to use an app for that - and I put more trust in the web.
3.) I already have too many apps and won't bother to install another one.

While the first two clearly are trust issues that might be overcome by a carefully phrased introduction to the app (depending on the strength of the user's believes) or just the user becoming more accustomed to the new plattform, the last one is a device management problem to which no mobile OS has come up with even a noteworthy solution yet (folders definitely only postpone the problem).

#mobileweb   #userexperience   #nativevsweb  
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Love at first sight. :-) #nexus7
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Finally, Android 4! I so like you again my snug little Nexus S. Thanks, Google. About time.
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Self-motivational miniposter. Complete with amateurishly crafted product logo. :-)
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