Archiv für den Monat März 2015

WhatsApp Call: Details zum kostenlosen VoIP-Telefonie-Dienst

WhatsApp Call ist offiziell gestartet. zeigt Ihnen den kostenlosen VoIP-Dienst des Smartphone-Messengers in Bildern:
welche neuen Funktionen und Menüs die Android-Anwendung von WhatsApp ab sofort mit sich bringt

WhatsApp Call: So sieht die Nutzung in der Praxis aus

Nachdem ein WhatsApp Call angenommen wurde, lässt sich das Gespräch wie bei einem herkömmlichen Telefonat über das Mobilfunknetz führen. Die Übertragungsqualität ist abhängig vom verwendeten Smartphone und natürlich auch vom Internet-Zugang, der während der Verbindung am Smartphone zur Verfügung steht.

Während des Anrufs werden Name und Profilbild des Gesprächspartners angezeigt. Mit der virtuellen roten Taste lässt sich das Telefonat beenden. Dazu können die Freisprech-Funktion ein- und ausgeschaltet werden, das eigene Mikrofon lässt sich deaktivieren und wieder abschalten und es besteht auch die Möglichkeit, vorübergehend ins Chat-Fenster zu wechseln, um eine Textnachricht zu übermitteln. Diese bekommt der Gesprächspartner aber nicht sofort angezeigt, sondern erst dann, wenn er ebenfalls den Chat aufruft.

Auf der fünften Seite sehen Sie, was passiert, wenn Sie einen WhatsApp-Kunden anrufen möchten, der bereits einen WhatsApp Call führt.

WhatsApp Call während einer Sprachverbindung

Doing Business the Steve Jobs Way


Steve Jobs started out as an asshole — but, a new book says, he got better.

That, in a nutshell, is the takeaway from Becoming Steve Jobs, a new biography of the late Apple CEO, which tries to provide nuance to the oft-told story of Jobs‘ professional rise at Apple, including the wilderness years that followed after being pushed out and his triumphant return.

The book’s authors, Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzli, suggest that much of Jobs’s professional image as a mercurial manager was shaped by „stereotypes that had been created way back in the 1980s,“ before he and Apple retreated from the press. „Perhaps that’s why the posthumous coverage reflected those stereotypes,“ the authors speculate.

Between that initial wave of press coverage and his return to Apple, Jobs‘ personality and management style shifted in subtle and not so subtle ways as a result of the struggles of NeXT, his follow-up effort, as well as inspiration from the creatives at Pixar, which he acquired and later sold to Disney. Just as importantly, the book claims Jobs was changed by falling in love with his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, and starting a family.

Some elements of Jobs‘ management style stayed consistent, however.

He continued to push for „outrageous goals,“ as the authors put it, and he could still be severe and argumentative with colleagues. Yet the book suggests that his level of discipline, empathy and flexibility increased over the years to help compensate for his negative traits.

The book provides good lessons for all leaders, insofar as Jobs has become a widely observed case study for the archetype of the genius founder. The book highlights the sometimes contradictory leadership traits of a man who is quoted in the book as saying, „I didn’t want to be a businessman,“ and then went on to become arguably the most influential businessman of his generation. Here are the most revealing anecdotes.

Even visionaries need to hear realtalk

While Jobs often acted like someone who thought he knew best, the CEO nonetheless sought out mentors in the tech industry, including the founders of Intel, Hewlett Packard, Polaroid, National Semiconductor and others. Some, like Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel, would remain lifelong advisors, sometimes to the exhaustion of the mentors:

Unable to sleep that night, Steve called his friend and confidant Andy Grove at 2 a.m. Steve told Grove that he was torn about whether or not to return as Apple’s CEO, and wound his way through his tortured deliberations. As the conversation dragged on, Grove, who wanted to get back to sleep, broke in and growled: „Steve, look. I don’t give a shit about Apple. Just make up your mind.“

Steve Jobs, the father figure

At NeXT, the computer company he launched after leaving Apple, Jobs was guilty of micromanaging, making impulsive bad hires and is described as an „equal-opportunity abuser“ who yelled at engineers as well as executives. But he also tried to be more of a „father figure,“ according to one former employee quoted in the book. His paternal instincts coincided with his own first attempt at being a father to the daughter he’d had out of wedlock and publicly rejected.

„Steve hosted annual ‚family picnics‘ for his employees in Menlo Park. They were kid-oriented Saturday affairs, featuring clowns, volleyball, burgers and hot dogs, and even hokey events like sack races,“ according to the book.

Later, at Pixar, Jobs gave a top filmmaker a small bonus and demanded he use it to buy a better car. „It has to be safe, and I have to approve it,“ Jobs is quoted as saying.

When he returned to Apple, Job is compelled to cut much of the staff and reorganize, but he expresses grief in a way that the brash young Jobs may not have.

„I still do it because that’s my job,“ Jobs is quoted as telling the authors. „But when I look at people when this happens, I also think of them as being five years old, kind of like I look at my kids. And I think that that could be me coming home to tell my wife and kids that I just got laid off. Or that it could be one of my kids in twenty years. I never took it so personally before.“

No reviews, little praise for direct reports

Those who worked for Jobs could expect an earful from the executive when dealing with him on any given day, but they rarely received formal reviews and feedback. „Steve didn’t believe in reviews,“ one former employee says. „He disliked all the formality. His feeling was, ‚I give you feedback all the time, so what do you need a review for?“

Likewise, he was less than generous in doling out praise to employees. Instead, he would show it by taking the best employees on walks. „Those walks mattered,“ recalled another employee. „You’d think to yourself, ‚Steve is a rock star,‘ so getting quaity time felt like an honor in some ways.“

Jobs‘ work/life balance

Early in his career, Jobs burned the midnight oil in the office along with much of his team, but by the time he returned to Apple, he was more focused on trying to balance his work with his new family.

Rather than hover over the shoulders of star engineers and programmers, he could do much of his work via email. So he would make it home for dinner almost every night, spend time with Laurene and the kids, and then work at his computer late into the night…

On many nights, Jobs would work alongside his wife, Laurene, at home. As his wife tells the authors, „Neither of us had much of a social life. It was never that important to us.“

Make time for spirituality and meditation

Some have wondered over the years how a man who famously went off to India and embraced Buddhism could reconcile that with running the largest corporation in the world. As it turns out, he continued to meditate until he and his wife had kids, which cut down what little free time he had left. In fact, according to the book, Jobs „arranged for a Buddhist monk by the name of Kobun Chino Otogawa to meet with him once a week at his office to counsel him on how to balance his spiritual sense with his business goals.“

Embrace life

After his first cancer surgery in 2004, Jobs‘ leadership style changed again. He had more sense of „urgency“ to pursue innovative products, and less time and energy to handle other business issues, ranging from human resources to manufacturing.

„When he came back from that surgery he was on a faster clock,“ Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, tells the authors. „The company is always running on a fast-moving treadmill that doesn’t stop. But when he came back there was an urgency about him. I recognized it immediately.“

Perhaps that’s why he and his team at Apple went on to accomplish so much in the seven years he had left.

Facebook Is Testing A New App Called ‚Phone‘

Further Reading:


Facebook has accidentally leaked information about a new app that it’s testing, called ‘Phone,’ and this news should come as no surprise to anyone who believes Facebook wants to be at the center of how we communicate with the world around us. That includes with all elements of texting (through Messenger and WhatsApp) and increasingly, voice.

The app appears to be some sort of native dialler for Android that shows information about who is calling, and which automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers. A spokesman confirmed to Venture Beat that Facebook was testing the service, after Android Police first posted a screenshots of an install update that should have only been seen by Facebook’s internal network. Thanks to Apple’s closed system it’s unlikely Facebook is even exploring making such an app for iOS.

Why does Facebook want to give its users a native dialler? Facebook has allowed users to make video calls through its desktop client since 2011, and voice calls through Facebook Messenger since early 2013. But both these services require that people on either end of the line are using the same Facebook feature, and the calls can only take place over a mobile carrier data network or WiFi.

A native dialler application would appear to be Facebook’s first service that coordinates with a carrier’s all-important voice network.

(It has yet to be confirmed that ‘Phone’ will filter calls being made to your phone number and not just between Facebook users, but the former seems likely. The video and audio calling features that Facebook already has don’t seem popular enough that users would want a separate app just to block VoIP calls – and most of the calls you want to block are spammers and marketers who managed to get hold of your mobile phone number anyway.)

In essence, Facebook appears to be trying to wedge itself a little further into the relationship between its users and carriers, when users are carrying out one of the most fundamental acts that telcos rely on to make money – making voice calls. That’s a crucial step both symbolically and practically, and the fact that the service is called ‘Phone’ suggests Facebook eventually wants to be part of the phone-calling experience that carriers still dominate.

International carriers like Vodafone and BT Group are still stinging from the huge bite of SMS revenues that WhatsApp, the globally popular messaging service with 700 million active users, took out over the last five years with its free texting service.

The messaging service, which Facebook bought last year, is now rolling out a free voice-calling service. While that won’t involve a native dialler, it looks set to take yet another chunk out of carrier revenues, this time in voice.

Should carriers be worried about Phone? It’s easy to dismiss a new, forthcoming app from Facebook as yet another failed experiment that will get tossed on the same heap where Slingshot, Poke and the Android launcher Facebook Home reside.

Yet even if Facebook’s users don’t fall in love with Phone, and the service doesn’t go much further beyond the testing phase, there’s no question the social network wants to become a more integral hub for our everyday communications. That could eventually mean weaning consumers off their reliance on carriers’ voice and texting services, and driving the role of carriers further down into the ground as “dumb pipes” that transport our data and not too much more.

Wie sicher ist die eSIM (Universal SIM)?

Der Vertrags- und Netzwechsel soll mit der eSIM einfacher werden. Wird es damit auch einfacher, eine Telefonnummer gegen den Willen des Nutzers zu entführen?
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Ende letzten Jahres führte Apple mit dem iPad Air 2 in den USA und Großbritannien die „Universal SIM“ ein. Mit dieser kann man den Datenvertrag wechseln, ohne die SIM-Karte tauschen zu müssen. Vielmehr werden bei einem Vertragswechsel einfach die neuen Zugangsdaten auf die SIM-Karte programmiert.

Wenn man sie richtig macht, hat eine eSIM für den Kunden einige Vorteile: Der Vertragswechsel geht schneller. So ist denkbar, mal eben online einen Prepaid-Vertrag für ein lokales Netz abzuschließen, wenn man sich im Ausland aufhält, um den teuren Roaming-Entgelten zu entgehen. Für Mobilfunkhändler, insbesondere solche, die Verträge von mehreren Netzbetreibern und/oder Resellern im Angebot haben, vereinfacht sich mit der eSIM auch die Logistik.

Entsprechend verwundert es nicht, dass sich auch die Netzbetreiber hierzulande mit der programmierbaren SIM-Karte, der eSIM, beschäftigen. Während Vodafone dieser derzeit ablehnend gegenübersteht, plant die Deutsche Telekom bereits die Einführung. Der dritte Netzbetreiber, Telefònica, will hingegen erstmal den finalen Standard abwarten, bevor eine Entscheidung getroffen wird.

Wie sicher?

Wie jüngst geschrieben, ist das Prinzip, geheime Schlüssel auf SIM-Karten zu verteilen, so etwas wie das Herz der Kommunikation in den Mobilfunknetzen. Wird die Sicherheit dieser geheimen Schlüssel kompromittiert, ist die Sicherheit der mobilen Kommunikation insgesamt verloren. Dann hört künftig möglicherweise nicht nur die NSA massenhaft Handy-Telefonate mit, sondern auch der neugierige Nachbar oder bei Firmen die Konkurrenz. Ebenso ist zu fürchten, dass es dann vermehrt zu Identitätsdiebstahl kommt, dass beispielsweise Handy-Nummern vorübergehend oder dauerhaft entführt werden, um sich als jemand anderes auszugeben.

Die Erfahrung mit den zahlreichen Sicherheitslücken in Computer-Betriebssystemen lehrt: Wenn die „Guten“, also die tatsächlich mit dem Vertragswechsel beauftragen neuen Netzbetreiber, ein Update der eSIM auf einen neuen Vertrag anstoßen können, dann brauchen die „Bösen“ nur einen Fehler im Protokoll zu finden, um ebenfalls Vollzugriff auf die eSIM zu erlangen. Und solche Lücken im Protokoll kommen durchaus häufiger vor. Aktuell diskutiert wird beispielsweise die Möglichkeit, über eine Lücke in SS7 fremde Handys zu orten.

Auch ohne dass sie über das Netz programmierbar sind, gehören die geheimen Codes der SIM-Karten bereits zu den bevorzugten Angriffszielen der NSA. Zwar könnte die Möglichkeit zum Fernupdate die Sicherheit der SIM-Karten sogar erhöhen, insbesondere, wenn für dieses Update zusätzliche, nicht von der NSA überwachte Kommunikationskanäle genutzt werden. Zu fürchten ist aber, dass sich die Situation verschlechtert. In vielen Fällen sind die Ziele „mehr Sicherheit“ und „mehr Komfort“ nicht gleichzeitig zu haben. Beim Thema „SIM-Karte“ ist mein persönlicher Favorit „mehr Sicherheit“. Von daher bevorzuge ich es, auch künftig mit dem Vertrag die SIM-Karte zu wechseln.

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Chinesischer Chemiekonzern ChemChina kauft italienischen Reifenhersteller Pirelli

Mit der Übernahme erhält ChemChina Zugang zur Technologie für die Herstellung von Premium-Reifen.

Der staatliche chinesische Chemiekonzern ChemChina will den italienischen Reifenhersteller Pirelli komplett übernehmen. In einem ersten Schritt haben sich die Chinesen für knapp 1,9 Milliarden Euro 26,2 Prozent der Anteile gesichert. Das Paket wurde dem Mehrheitseigner Camfin abgekauft. Der Preis je Aktie beträgt 15 Euro.

So viel wird auch den anderen Aktionären geboten. Gelingt die Komplettübernahme, müssten die Chinesen 7,1 Milliarden Euro auf den Tisch legen.

Die Italiener erhoffen sich von dem neuen Großaktionär einen besseren Zugang zum asiatischen Markt. So soll das Geschäft mit Lastwagen-Reifen mit Teilen von ChemChina zusammengelegt und so das Volumen in dem Bereich von 6 auf 12 Millionen verdoppelt werden.

Pirelli hostesses take pictures as drivers compete
Pirelli ist mit seinen Reifen auch in der Formel 1 vertreten

Pirelli erzielte im Vorjahr in 160 Ländern mehr als sechs Mrd. Euro Umsatz und ist damit der weltweit fünftgrößte Reifenproduzent. Der Firmensitz soll in Mailand bleiben. Auch die Produktion soll in Italien weitergeführt werden. Die Übernahme soll bis zum Sommer abgeschlossen sein.Die Pirelli-Aktie legte am Montag mehr als vier Prozent zu.

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Could Wearable Computers Be as Harmful as Cigarettes?

The Health Concerns in Wearable Tech

This article is from NyTimes and is published on the Idea due to exigent health concerns:


Credit Tim Robinson

In a similar vein, some researchers and consumers are now asking whether wearable computers will be considered harmful in several decades’ time.

We have long suspected that cellphones, which give off low levels of radiation, could lead to brain tumors, cancer, disturbed blood rhythms and other health problems if held too close to the body for extended periods.

Yet here we are in 2015, with companies like Apple and Samsung encouraging us to buy gadgets that we should attach to our bodies all day long.

While there is no definitive research on the health effects of wearable computers (the Apple Watch isn’t even on store shelves yet), we can hypothesize a bit from existing research on cellphone radiation.

The most definitive and arguably unbiased results in this area come from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a panel within the World Health Organization that consisted of 31 scientists from 14 countries.

After dissecting dozens of peer-reviewed studies on cellphone safety, the panel concluded in 2011 that cellphones were “possibly carcinogenic” and that the devices could be as harmful as certain dry-cleaning chemicals and pesticides. (Note that the group hedged its findings with the word “possibly.”)

The W.H.O. panel concluded that the farther away a device is from one’s head, the less harmful — so texting or surfing the Web will not be as dangerous as making calls, with a cellphone inches from the brain. (This is why there were serious concerns about Google Glass when it was first announced and why we’ve been told to use hands-free devices when talking on cellphones.)

A longitudinal study conducted by a group of European researchers and led by Dr. Lennart Hardell, a professor of oncology and cancer epidemiology at Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, concluded that talking on a mobile or cordless phone for extended periods could triple the risk of a certain kind of brain cancer.

There is, of course, antithetical research. But some of this was partly funded by cellphone companies or trade groups.

One example is the international Interphone study, which was published in 2010 and did not find strong links between mobile phones and an increased risk of brain tumors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 2014 that “more research is needed before we know if using cell phones causes health effects.”

Another study, in The BMJ, which measured cellphone subscription data rather than actual use, said there was no proof of increased cancer. Yet even here, the Danish team behind the report acknowledged that a “small to moderate increase” in cancer risk among heavy cellphone users could not be ruled out.

But what does all this research tell the Apple faithful who want to rush out and buy an Apple Watch, or the Google and Windows fanatics who are eager to own an alternative smartwatch?

Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician who focuses on alternative medicine and has written extensively about the potential harmful effects of cellphones on the human body, said that as long as a wearable does not have a 3G connection built into it, the harmful effects are minimal, if any.

“The radiation really comes from the 3G connection on a cellphone, so devices like the Jawbone Up and Apple Watch should be O.K.,” Dr. Mercola said in a phone interview. “But if you’re buying a watch with a cellular chip built in, then you’ve got a cellphone attached to your wrist.” And that, he said, is a bad idea.

(The Apple Watch uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to receive data, and researchers say there is no proven harm from those frequencies on the human body. Wearables with 3G or 4G connections built in, including the Samsung Gear S, could be more harmful, though that has not been proved. Apple declined to comment for this article, and Samsung could not be reached for comment.)

Researchers have also raised concerns about having powerful batteries so close to the body for extended periods of time. Some reports over the last several decades have questioned whether being too close to power lines could cause leukemia (though other research has also negated this).

So what should consumers do? Perhaps we can look at how researchers themselves handle their smartphones.

While Dr. Mercola is a vocal proponent of cellphone safety, he told me to call him on his cell when I emailed about an interview. When I asked him whether he was being hypocritical, he replied that technology is a fact of life, and that he uses it with caution. As an example, he said he was using a Bluetooth headset during our call.

In the same respect, people who are concerned about the possible side effects of a smartwatch should avoid placing it close to their brain (besides, it looks a little strange). But there are some people who may be more vulnerable to the dangers of these devices: children.

While researchers debate about how harmful cellphones and wearable computers actually are, most agree that children should exercise caution.

In an email, Dr. Hardell sent me research illustrating that a child’s skull is thinner and smaller than an adult’s, which means that children’s brain tissues are more exposed to certain types of radiation, specifically the kind that emanates from a cellphone.

Children should limit how much time they spend talking on a cellphone, doctors say. And if they have a wearable device, they should take it off at night so it does not end up under their pillow, near their brain. Doctors also warn that women who are pregnant should be extra careful with all of these technologies.

But what about adults? After researching this column, talking to experts and poring over dozens of scientific papers, I have realized the dangers of cellphones when used for extended periods, and as a result I have stopped holding my phone next to my head and instead use a headset.

That being said, when it comes to wearable computers, I’ll still buy the Apple Watch, but I won’t let it go anywhere near my head. And I definitely won’t let any children I know play with it for extended periods of time.

Addendum: March 21, 2015 Editors’ Note on
The Disruptions column in the Styles section on Thursday, discussing possible health concerns related to wearable technology, gave an inadequate account of the status of research about cellphone radiation and cancer risk.

Neither epidemiological nor laboratory studies have found reliable evidence of such risks, and there is no widely accepted theory as to how they might arise. According to the World Health Organization, “To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all said there is no convincing evidence for a causal relationship. While researchers are continuing to study possible risks, the column should have included more of this background for balance.

In addition, one source quoted in the article, Dr. Joseph Mercola, has been widely criticized by experts for his claims about disease risks and treatments. More of that background should have been included, or he should not have been cited as a source.

An early version of the headline for the article online — “Could Wearable Computers Be as Harmful as Cigarettes?” — also went too far in suggesting any such comparison.

You’re Never Too Old To Start A New Venture, Look At These Famous Entrepreneurs

Mark Zuckerberg and the current lot of 20-something CEOs are ruining it for people like us who’re facing a mid-life crisis. This infographic gets back at those young pricks and proves why it’s never to late to start your own venture.


Did you know?
McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc sold paper cups and milkshake mixers till he was 52
Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling was a single mom on welfare till she was 31
Harrison Ford was a carpenter till his 30s
Zara founder Amancio Ortega was a shirt shop helper till he was 30
Evan Williams co-founded Twitter at the age of 35
Niklas Zennstromm was 37 when he created Skype
Arianna Huffington started Huffington Post at the age of 54
Still not convinced? Here’s more:

So if you haven’t come up with that billion dollar idea yet, don’t worry, there’s still time.