Thursday, June 29

Politics

I don’t often get political here…

I don’t often get political here…

Politics
Jonathan Pie's take on who is to blame for Trump winning. I'll just put this here. It made me think. Strong language, but I think it touches right where it needs to."How do you think, people are going to vote if you talk to them like that?! When has anyone ever been persuaded by being insulted or labeled." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs
Bloggers and podcasters: I say "no thanks" to affiliate marketing

Bloggers and podcasters: I say "no thanks" to affiliate marketing

Politics
Many bloggers, podcasters will happily use affiliate links to make some money. I don't, because it puts 100% of the risk onto your shoulders and none on the advertiser.Here's how affiliate advertising works:You sign up as an affiliate with the advertiser. You post special links to products on the advertiser's site or to the advertisers' store. Every time people follow the link and spend money there, you receive a fraction of that money.Here's a concrete example:You sign up with Amazon partnernet. You post a link to the Amazon blog on your homepage. If someone clicks the link and then shops on Amazon, you receive a percentage of that sale.The height of that percentage depends on a few parameters (type of product, amount of sales, etc). As of writing this,...
In die Zange genommen: die Viewfinder-Villa ist in Gefahr

In die Zange genommen: die Viewfinder-Villa ist in Gefahr

Politics
Der Bundesverkehrswegeplan 2030 sieht vor, eine ICE-Trasse mit nächtlichem Güterzugverkehr quasi durch den Garten der Viewfindervilla zu bauen. Okay, nicht ganz durch den Garten, aber nur ein paar hundert Meter davon entfernt. Der Grund: um auf der Ost-West-Achse ein paar Minuten zu sparen.Dass das hier keiner möchte ist klar. Das bestehende Schienennetz ist leistungsfähig genug. Außerdem hätte das massive Nachteile für die gesamte Region Calenberger Börde.Lärm ist ein Hauptanliegen:im Norden führt die A2 vorbei über uns liegt die Einflugschneise des Flughafens Hannover in wenigen hundert Metern entsteht ein Gewerbegebiet mit LogistikzentrenAber auch eine Zerstörung von Landschaft, FFH-Gebieten, und sozialen Strukturen wäre Folge der neuen Trasse.Und wir wär
It’s a matter of empowerment

It’s a matter of empowerment

Politics
I've been thinking long and hard about what made me so frustrated with the latest Philips decisions. I think I finally got to the root cause. It's a matter of empowerment.Philips Hue is an empowering product. Being able to switch on and off all lights in your house from your smartphone is pretty cool. On an empowerment scale from 1 to 10, I'd rank that at a solid 3. Why not more? Because being able to remote control your lights isn't all that new (remember the Clapper?) and having to pull out your smartphone, unlock it and start an app also adds a level of complication to a task that used to be as simple as flicking a physical switch.But it's empowerment nevertheless. And you can do more than with regular switches.With the October 2015 release of the Hue 2.0 hub, Philips added ...

Philips just announced they will revert their decision

Politics, Tech
6 days ago Philips released firmware 1.11 for their hue wireless lighting system, breaking interoperability with un-certified 3rd-party lights, something they had held up high for years through their membership in the Connected Lighting Alliance and their stated commitment to maximum interoperability. After sneaking up this change on their most enthusiastic users, all hell broke lose between Dec 11 and Dec 16 2015. After a massive public outcry, that involved everywhere from their Facebook profiles to a big hit to their Amazon ratings, Philips has now announced they would revert the update. This is an overview and a quick analysis of what has happened.Listen here:
Disconnected Lighting Alliance – thanks for nothing, Philips

Disconnected Lighting Alliance – thanks for nothing, Philips

Politics
Update: Philips just announced they would revert their decision and go back to the original state. I have also put together a quick "Philips controversy in a nutshell" recording here: http://soapbox.chrismarquardt.com/post/philips-just-announced-they-would-revert-their-decisionUpdate I've just seen the first mention by someone on the Philips Hue Developer Forum if anyone knew a lawyer who could look into this from a class action lawsuit point of view, as Philips did false advertising and a bait and switch here. Things are heating up.Update: Apparently Philips' decision is very emotional for many people. Seems like they really hurt the trust of a lot of their fans. A sample of some of the wordings I read over the last days: "bait and switch", "slap in the face", "stabbed in the back...
[Updated] Amount Due €115,504.27

[Updated] Amount Due €115,504.27

Politics
What a great letter to start the week...I own of a small business in Germany. I sell two ebooks (one of which is a fundraiser for the Nepal earthquake victims) and a couple of wallpaper packs (in effect digital photos). Those are officially called "digital goods".Since the beginning of 2015, small businesses in the EU that sell digital goods are required to collect EU VAT on behalf of every EU country. There are two ways to deal with this. 1) pay tax to each EU country separately (=nightmare) or 2) use what’s called the VAT MOSS system (Mini One Stop Shop, also a bit of a nightmare) - It’s a mess (some say it’s a VATMESS), it’s complicated, it’s inefficient, it's expensive, it creates an enormous amount of bureaucracy and it has already forced many small businesses to stop selling to
Aging TV Audience

Aging TV Audience

Politics
I just came across a tweet by Marc Andreesen (@pmarca):"Median age of Bill O'Reilly viewer: 72 years old. Fox News 68 years old, CNN and MSNBC 62 years old."I knew that the younger generations don't watch tv anymore, but I wasn't aware that it's *that* bad. Time for change.Andreesen links to this article on politico.com