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This is the home-page of Karl Voit.

On this page you can see the latest blog updates. For further articles, please use the search bar or navigate through the blue tags. My recommendations are pim, privacy, or security.

I recommend any decent RSS/Atom aggregator to get notified on blog updates.

Please notice: The software building this site is under constant development. See current status of the blogging software and the next steps.

Most recent articles or updates:

2016-12-08: Personalized Services Killing the Values of Our Society

Alexander sent me his comments on my blog article on the dangers of machine learning and AI via email. Please read it upfront since I assume you know the context.

I'm glad to reply to his thoughts:

Why do you care, that some companies are basing their business decisions on random data? I cannot care less, if some banks (unless it's my bank) or insurances suffer losses because of their reliance on (Big Bad) data purchased from Facebook & Co. This is the way companies compete -- they try different strategies to the best of their abilities. I agree, that any conclusion derived from my likes on facebook cannot be anything but rubbish, but why object it? I see no troubles with that. This (mal-)practice will be corrected by the market in the long run. I don't consider the situation when a customer has no other choice but to register on facebook and build a "likes history" there before applying to a loan. That would be weird indeed. But healthy competition will hopefully prevent that from happening.
All companies cannot be "early" adopters. Just like many "early adopters" in outsourcing made their (negative) experience while moving to far countries.. some made a profit out of it.
Well, as long as they are not "too big to fail", I don't care.
Just my thoughts.

Quite a legitimate opinion and I do think that it is shared by many people as well.

I can perfectly follow your idea although I don't share it. And here is why.

Read the whole article ...

2016-12-08: Machine Learning and AI Considered Harmful

Update 2016-12-08: Comment by Alexander and my (long) reponse

John Naughton from The Guardian wrote an article with his opinion on Machine Learning. It's not that long and worth reading. Please do so.

To my understanding, he notes that due to biased input-data, machine learning does not provide correct results. Therefore, we should not be worried when facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, and others are using Machine Learning techniques.

My conclusion is the absolute opposite.

Read the whole article ...

2016-12-04: Smart Pens

Kevzettler asked me in a Disqus-comment of my article about todo-management on paper:

Have you considered a Smart Pen as a medium? I think they have some hand writing-to-text apps. I've been thinking about hooking up a Livescribe 3 to org-mode output. Check out http://www.livescribe.com/

Good question. Here are my thoughts.

Read the whole article ...

2016-12-03: Geh' wählen!

Bitte geh' wählen.

Nutze dein Stimmrecht, sodass es dir erhalen bleibt.

Du hast drei Möglichkeiten bei jeder Wahl: eine Partei oder einen Kandidaten wählen, ungültig (weiß) wählen oder daheim bleiben. Bevor du aus diversen Gründen daheim bleibst, solltest du dir kurz diesen Blogbeitrag durchlesen.

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2016-11-26: Android Full Disk Encryption Considered Useless

Update 2016-11-26: Blog article by Matthew Green on this issue

Frequent readers of my blog know that I care about security and privacy. I do avoid the cloud, I don't use Facebook or Google+, and try to keep my sensitive data unexposed to malware, theft, or other threads.

Therefore, Android Full Disk Encryption (FDE) seems to be a must-have on my mobile phone currently running CyanogenMod 12.

Reading about this encryption feature did not convince its usefulness for my use-cases at all.

Read the whole article ...

2016-11-26: Edward Snowden Interview by Startpage.com

My favorite search engine startpage.com recently organized an event with Edward Snowden. He was asked questions from users of startpage.com and the auditorium including Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy.

We all have seen interviews and even movies about Edward. Even so, this interview is particularly interesting because Edward talks about the recent election of Trump and its consequences. Most likely, you will be surprised on how he talks about Trump.

So far, I do think that this video with Edward is the most impressing one. Once more, he emphasizes his altruistic mind, his great philosophy about privacy, and his elaborate talent as a speaker.

I really recommend you to invest an hour of your time to watch this video:

2016-11-26: Why I (Still) Recommend Using Signal

Sander Venema has published a cool article on why he won't recommend Signal anymore.

My article on why I won't recommend #Signal anymore: https://t.co/aqYi7otoiM

— Sander Venema (@VenemaSander) November 5, 2016

Very interesting read for anybody with basic tech background and who is interested in having a reliable infrastructure which is prone to mass-surveillance.

For this blog post, I now assume you've read the article.

Sander is absolutely right about the disadvantages of Signal:

Although I totally copy Sander's arguments, I still recommend using Signal. I strongly do.

I also would like to see an alternative that offers the same level of security and usability while being federated, independent of any central instance and is (also) open source to verify those things.

Unfortunately, I don't see such an alternative yet for the average user.

Please, do work on alternative solutions. Please, do think of federated or at least decentralized services.

But: until there is a viable alternative, I will continue recommending Signal to people. In my opinion, it's the best of the very few solutions we have so far. Switch to Signal now, in case you are still using insecure messengers such as simple text messaging, WhatsApp, SnapChat, iMessage, AIM, facebook, or most others.

2016-11-18: Easier Setup and Update for Lazyblorg

Today I published a set of improvements for my blog software lazyblorg so that basic setup and software updates are smoothly done.

Read the whole article ...

2016-11-13: Tag Pages for Lazyblorg

Today I added support for tag pages in my blog system lazyblorg.

From now on, you can click on any usertag beneath a heading. It opens a page which has optional content about the tag (why I am using it and how) and a list of all pages using this tag.

With this feature, you are able to browse through the blog by keywords.

Still missing for now is the support for tag pages of auto-tags such as the language of the article. I have to come up with a decent concept for this as well in the future.

2016-11-12: You Can't Control Your Data in the Cloud

There is this well cited argument that cloud companies like Google are able to protect your data much better than you are able to. They have military grade security restrictions, better backup methods, and are able to do this much cheaper.

While this argument is absolutely true, people seem to forget that giving away your data to any third party is the root of the problem in the first place. Not relevant to whom you are giving your data.

Let me explain.

Read the whole article ...

2016-10-23: macOS ist nicht billiger als die Alternativen

Update 2016-10-23: Hinweise auf Antworten im heise-Thread

Mac&i von heise hat diese Woche wieder mal einen aufsehenerregenden Artikel veröffentlicht: IBM: Umstieg auf Macs hat sich gelohnt.

Darin beschreibt der Autor Ben Schwan, wie IBM durch die Einführung von Apple-Geräten statt Lenovo Notebooks »bis zu 543 US-Dollar pro Gerät« spart. Mit einer Behaltedauer von vier Jahren ergibt das immerhin noch fast 136 Dollar pro Jahr. »Reduziert seien insbesondere die Kosten für die Help-Desk-Betreuung, die Arbeitskosten und die Device-Management-Software.« Google geht auch in diese Richtung.

Das machte dann gleich in diversen Kreisen die Runde. Macs sind billiger als Windows! Macs sind billiger als Linux! Macs sind billiger als Lenovo! Und so weiter.

Ich will ja nichts sagen, aber ich sag's ja immer: https://t.co/KIKUzo6Oh6 #Mac #Apple #IBM #macOS

— Hendrik Erz (@sahiralsaid) October 21, 2016

macOS & Enterprise News: Debate over: IBM confirms that Macs are $535 less expensive than PCs https://t.co/aYYAWkiaPE #Mac #Windows #Apple

— Thomas Mitchell (@tmcstweets) October 23, 2016

Nun gut, sowas finde ich spannend. Wenn macOS auf Dauer wirklich billiger sein soll, möchte ich wissen, warum das so ist. Ich sehe keinen offensichtlichen Einsparungsfaktor bei Hardware oder Betriebssystem.

Read the whole article ...

2016-10-22: Unsichere Cloud-Geräte töten unser Internet

Kaufst du mit dem Internet verbundene Geräte wie beispielsweise Überwachungskameras, Gesundheitsgadgets wie Internet-Waagen, unglücklicherweise jeden beliebigen WLAN-Router mit unsicherem Auslieferungszustand oder grundsätzlich vernetzte Geräte, die nicht automatisch mit Sicherheitsaktualisierungen versorgt werden, bist du mitverantwortlich für die Zerstörung unserers Internets. Schlechte Nachrichten, leider kein Witz.

Read the whole article ...

2016-10-22: Don't Buy and Run Cloud-Connected Devices That Are Un-Patchable

If you buy cloud connected devices like surveillance cameras, health-equipment like scales, unfornately any wifi routers with insecure default firmware, basically all internet-connected device which are not going to patched automatically, you are destroying our Internet. Bad news. No joke.

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2016-10-06: Outlook: Adding Preparation/Postprocessing/Travel Time to an Appointment

When you're in a business environment, you most likely have to use Outlook for managing meetings. A common problem is that you've got a meeting scheduled with a couple of peers and you need some time extra. For example, you have to walk to a different building or you just want some preparation time, you need a time slot upfront and/or directly after the meeting.

In order to avoid beeing booked for a different meeting which adjoins the other one, you need to manually create appointments before and/or after the meeting. The other option is that your calendar shows a free time where there isn't one. Unfortunately, people avoid this tedious task and therefore, this situation is common practice.

I do have an elegant solution for this issue: an easy-to-reach button which adds appointment before and/or after a selected appointment.

Read the whole article ...

2016-10-02: Weinwandern: Ehrenhausen 1

Letztes Wochenende waren wir zur Abwechslung mal Wandern, nachdem mir ein Arbeitskollege die Weinwandern-Touren der südsteirischen Weinstrasse ans Herz gelegt hat. Wandern in Mitten der Weinberge, gesäumt von zahlreichen Buschenschänken, was will man mehr?

So die Theorie.

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