öff-rechtliche | webseiten

das bild unten zeigt sechs webseiten, unscharf gemacht, um die generelle optik, vor allem das „cluttering“ besser beurteilen zu können. vier davon sind die portale öffentlich-rechtlicher sendeanstalten, zwei von kommerziellen verlagen. ich kläre nicht auf, wer hier was verbrochen hat; vielleicht ist es auch trotz der unschärfe zu erkennen. was man sagen kann, ist, dass alle bis auf die ersten beiden webseiten in der zweiten zeile öffentlich-rechtlich kathastrophen sind. es sind aggressive, anbiedernde, kommerziell wirkende portale.

magisto film | maker

video editing is a matter of privacy. apps like iMovie respect this and allow all video editing procedures offline. that‘s how it should be.

the magisto film maker app is yet another example of an immoral, data hungry app which bluntly disrespects users‘ privacy. it refuses any video editing procedure or effect without being online and seeing what the user is doing. this is a no go, and apos like these should be marked with a big no.

second icon from the left deactivated when offline


nothing works when offline


DJI does not know | umlauts

the drone and gimbal manufacturer DJI in china has a growing international reputation – and international outlets and support agencies. i talked to the german branch yesterday via chat because i (not the first time) had a customer support problem: i had ordered a few accessories for my DJI drone last week and hadn‘t received a shipping notice. since i‘m currently on the azores (portugal) i had entered a portuguese address as the shipping address and was slightly concerned about the delay. i gave the support chap my order number and he immediately replied that there was a shipping problem:

original german chat dialog

his reponse, translated into english:

our system found inappropriate letters/symbols in the address. unfortunately this can only be changed by our collegues who also handle portugal.

the inappropriate letters/symbols were obviously portuguese umlauts, so nothing strange at all, trivial for all international carriers and shipping agencies. but not to DJI.

when i asked the guy what he would recommend, he gave me dutch DJI support phone number and asked me to call them. i said that would cost me time and money and asked him to contact his collegues. he said he can‘t ring external numbers – and recommended me to cancel the order immediately. which i did.

when cancelling an online order, you usually get a receipt of this action via mail a few minutes later. not so with DJI: it took 12 hours when an email came telling me that my order is being checked. whatever that means. certainly not money back within a day or two.

probably due to the intervention of @DJIsupport i got the money back within 1 day (paypal). however, although the company knows the problem and that i am in need for at least one extra battery, they did not come forward with a solution. i‘m not the only one. here a posting from today on twitter:

mavic 2 pro | day 3

for day 1 see → this entry.

drone with master. photo: ms/picture alliance

it’s been my third flight session, with only one battery, so restricted to slightly less than 30 minutes. i was still focussing on flight patterns rather than on the camera. the inflight videos were all of great quality. the shot after having landed safely has a ton of chromatic aberration. see below.

i flew all quickshot modes today, and they all did a great and very precise job. the spiral and boomerang are a bit irritating at first, because you have no control about the extension range of those kind of flight. and i still don’t know how to direct a boomerang ellipse into a special direction. imagine you’re climbing a cliff, you want to make sure the drone does fly away from the rocks rather than into them!

some modes give you extra options when you touch the icon again on the screen, others don’t, or they give you just rudimentary options like flying a pattern clock- or counterclockwise.

it’s nice to see that the drone comes back to it’s starting point once it has finished the quickshot flight. it does not repeat the flight, however. once the circle is finished, it is finished.

the videos are stored internally (on the internal 8 GB flashmemory bank or on the microSD card) in the original resolution, but the more interesting versions (in probably lower resolution) are sitting on your smartphone. example: all quickshots are accelerated in the smartphone version, whereas they playback in realtime when downloaded from the drone itself.

i’ve flown the mavic pro 1 for over a year and sold it to a man who uses it for flight only. he’s been a fan of radio controlled “model” airplanes since he was a kid, and he always wanted to fly a versatile, agile drone. he flew the mavic much more professional than i.

the more i get to know the automated flight modes, the more i know that flying the drone is cool and challenging, but much more interesting for me is taking precise videos and photographs for wikipedia and the german press agency dpa. so, the new automated flight modes plus the 360° obstacle detection come in extremely handy.

hasselblad at f 2.8

as to chromatic aberration: massive. there’s nothing lilac or pink on my bike. this detail is of 100% resolution:

lots of chromatic aberration

mavic 2 pro | first impressions

DJI mavic 2 pro. packshot

for day 3, pls check out → this blog entry.

the first mavic was a masterpiece in many respects: the first affordable, reliable, small drone with a better than decent photo quality. i praised the device → a year ago when i had flown it for a couple of months. in the meantime i’ve flown it 22 hours in total before i sold it to a gilder pilot last week.

during the last months DJI released a platinum and an air model which did not really interest me. but the new mavic 2, just released two weeks ago, did. i flew it only once, this morning. here are my first impressions:

the drone is significantly heavier (about 100 grams, which is more than 10%) and feels slightly more bulky, although it’s not really bigger in size. i still have to get used to holding it, because it’s covered with sensors which i don’t want to put my fingerprints on.

connecting everything and calling up the DJI Go 4 app which i had used with my previous mavic, worked, but registration of the new drone failed. i uninstalled and reinstalled the app, then registration worked fine. however, the drone wanted a firmware update, which failed. it would have flown with the current firmware, but it wanted to be updated. many customers have that problem. we never had it with the mavic 1.

my workaround was this: i uninstalled the DJI assistant software from my PC and reinstalled it, in version 2. i connected the drone via USB and could get the new firmware loaded into the device. it took about 15 minutes.

having set up everything for flight again, the controller moaned. it wanted a new firmware, too. after one error message it worked. 5 minutes or so, then the drone was ready to go.

it starts up differently from the predecessor, with much less power, quite sweet actually. when taking off it was obviously more quiet than the mavic 1. i flew it in P-mode and had the impression that if flew somehow more precisely, although i never had a problem with flight precision of the mavic 1. very nice to fly. and very fast.

i tried out two quickshot modes, the “dronie” (which basically is an animated selfie where the drone shoots away and keeps me in focus all the time) and the “circle”. the object recognition is so super precise, the UI of the app is elegant. not comparable to the previous model, excellent.

i did not have much time to check things out and flew the drone home after 20 minutes or so. the battery indicator still was in the middle, so i could have flown quite a bit longer.

the camera? later, folks. no time for that today.

tracking not | available

DJI is a thriving chinese company which manufactures excellent gimbals and drones. however, it is lacking quality in terms of customer treatment. for example DJI offers an affordable total insurance (“care refresh”) for their drones, and by total i mean: they even replace a drone which gets lost, and this twice!

see below for a response from DJI to this issue.

as good as this sounds, many customers complained that the service is a) slow and b) has its drawbacks. for understandable reasons DJI wants to see the flight log, but if the pilot used a different app, like litchi or drone harmony, rather than the genuine DJI app, the warranty fails. since DJI has an interest in other people developing apps for their drones (or gimbals) and holds the right to certify their safety, this is not understandable.

here’s another typical problem. when you order a product from DJI’s website, it’s usually shipped directly from the production facility in shenzhen. as soon as it’s shipped, you get a link with the DHL tracking number. for many customers who recently ordered a new drone, the tracking stalled and stated something like this:

tracking stalled on sept. 7; today is sept. 12

after seeing this page for a day i sent an email to DJI customer support and received an automated reply with a ticket number. a day later still no reply. i rang DHL express international and got quite a detailed info: my parcel is one of “very many” sitting on the “british islands”. the whole bulk is worth “many digits of euros”, but cannot be proceeded further because of missing “receipts”. if DJI does not supply the papers in time, the whole delivery will be returned to china after 30 days.

i sent this information to the DJI customer support with high priority and after two or three hours received a reply stating that up to 5 business days are normal for delivery and that i should keep an eye on the tracking site.

i posted this on twitter and immediately got a reply from @DJIsupport to provide them with my order number – which i did not give them via twitter, just the email address.

the case is interesting because a company which became the no 1 photo drone producer worldwide and grew its business immensely, is lacking transparency in terms of shipping and insurance. there is a high learning curve ahead.

here’s a third example where DJI creates a great product, but does not comply to modern western world data privacy standards: the osmo mobile is a very affordable gimbal which you use in combination with your smartphone. the standard control app is by DJI, urges you to create an account with DJI and asks to accept ridicolous details about you and your phone. (at least on android) if you don’t accept them all, the app and thus the hardware just does not work.

example no 4:

when i ordered the mavic pro 2 last week, i got an email that i was eligable for DJI SELECT. i had never heard of that before. costs 30 € per year. it automatically landed in my online shopping basket. one advantage: 50% off of the DJI CARE cost = ~ 70 € – under the condition that both items were purchased at the same time. fine, i thought.

when the drone arrived this morning i wanted to add DJI CARE to my shopping basket, as soon as possible, because DJI insists on getting the insurance within 48 hours. so i entered the serial number and was led to the checkout counter. however, no way to check out the SELECT item as well. so i paid the full amount for CARE and then SELECT and contacted customer support. the very competent guy told me, i should have purchased SELECT before actually ordering the drone. did he say “i should have”? yes, he did.

i asked him if it would make sense to revoke the CARE insurance? he said, no. his advice was to send the drone back to china, cancel (with money back) the CARE insurance and order both packages new. an amazing procedure. and a steep learning curve in terms of customer support.

*a person from DJI responded to the problem with warranty (above) and pointed out this:

macro lens for | smartphone

lots of photos in short time. ms/dpa

this is a series of photos i took within 5 (!) minutes. details of a legacy video editing card for macintosh PCs. i used the → moment macro lens for this, attached to my google pixel 2 XL phone. i initially had problems with the lens because it has an extremely shallow focus distance, and the smartphone camera constantly tries to override this by searching for sharpness and not finding it. so all you can do is put the lens close, actually very close to your object and look around. moment is a startup company which currently ships another amazing lens which would cost 20.000 € on a canon EOS 5D Mk V. it costs about 100 € for my smartphone. haven’t received it yet and will keep you posted. oh, what lens? anamorphic…

the real thing looks exactly as advertised.

smart | phone macro

these images were my first ones with a macro lens on my smartphone. the lens comes from → moment in the US, the → smartphone from google. the lens does a great job but lacks the option to focus properly.

let’s start with an original resolution:

100% resolution of the image below

the word “Zeil” (actually from the town of → zeil in germany) is a detail of the image below:

detail of a german train map of ca. 1900

the next images were taken in the cologne wikipedia “lokal k” with the assistance of raimond.

soldered connection, now in → wiki commons

japanese capacitor 

capacitor from the top

RWE kohlekraftwerke von | oben

… zumindest von schräg oben, denn als anständige drohnenpiloten achten wir natürlich auf die vorgeschriebenen sicherheitsabstände.

kohlekraftwerk neurath, im hintergrund → niederaußem. foto: ms/dpa

das → kraftwerk neurath bezieht seine braunkohle per schiene vom direkt westlich angrenzenden braunkohle-raubbau-gebiet garzweiler. es ist die zweitgrößte CO2-schleuder unter den europäischen kraftwerken.

technisch entstand das foto als eins von acht segmenten eines automatischen drohnenpanoramas. es ist oft so, wenn ich der drohnenkamera sage, sie soll ein panorama aufnehmen, dass dann überraschende einzelbilder zustande kommen. die grüngelb-sättigung produziert die abendsonne. wenig später ging sie als großer ball tiefrot unter.

180° umgedreht im gegenlicht die türme des → kraftwerks frimmersdorf.

türme des kraftwerks frimmersdorf. foto: ms/dpa

die gegend ist regelrecht vollgepflastert mit kraftwerken:

google maps, mit von mir vorgehobenen kraftwerken und garzweiler

thumbs | down

i run a youtube channel, free of charge, about computer animation. since the channel reached a critical amount of subscribers, every new tutorial i upload receives one (and in most cases only one) negative review by a thumb pointing down. since that happens typically only few minutes after publication of the video, i guess it’s a bot at work. but what kind of bot, and to what purpose?

thumbs down within minutes

bio sauerteig | zyklus

diese drei bilder sind von heutemorgen. ich habe gestern spätnachmittags den roggenteig in die erste stufe gesetzt, über nacht in der zweiten stufe gehen lassen, anschließend salzen, kneten, teigruhe, quellen lassen und abbacken. das obere foto zeigt den teig nach etwa 2 stunden aufgehen bei gut 30°C. dann, nach drei dampfstößen im ofen (10 minuten) ausschwaden. das untere bild ist der fertige 1 kg laib. sowohl das mehl (bio-champagnerroggen, eine alte, aber noch mitte 20. jh weit verbreitete roggenart), als auch der holzbackkasten stammen von → ketex.

Ketex - Der Hobbybrotbäcker -

ich wurde vor etwa drei jahren auf ketex, als es noch vom ehepaar kellner in paderborn geführt wurde, aufmerksam, weil ich eine unterlage suchte, auf der der teig beim kneten nicht stark klebt. roggen klebt anders als weizen, kamut, emmer, einfach enorm. das → blaue knet-tuch ist seitdem eins meiner brot-standard-werkzeuge. eigentlich braucht ein sauerteigbrot nur wenig “werkzeuge”.

ich backe normalerweise roggensauerteigbrote mit direkt im bio-supermarkt gemahlenem roggenkorn. der kostet um die 2 € das kilo. der champagnerroggen ist etwas besonderes und kostet etwa 3 € pro kilo brot, wobei ich natürlich bei 1 kg brot ein beträchtlicher teil wasser dabei ist. gefühlt würde ich sagen, meine brote kosten in der herstellung incl. ofen-energie und den paar gewürzen (kümmel, koriander) 2 € bzw. 3 €.

weil die roggen-sauerteigbrote typischerweise ab tag 3 prima schmecken und dann locker 2 wochen halten, ohne stumpf und trocken zu werden, dachte ich mal darüber nach, welche für einen mir vertrauten biomarkt in london zu backen. daraus ein geschäftsmodell zu machen, ginge, vorausgesetzt, mein ofen wäre groß genug. und die gewinnmarge ist gering. man kann selbst am biomarkt in england niemandem vermitteln, warum man einen laib für £ 7 verkauft.

mobilität mit | kajak

ich kenne mich mit booten gar nicht aus. unser freund armin wies mich vor zwei jahren ins kajak-fahren (“wasserwandern”) auf dem seengeflecht in brandenburg ein. gestern lernte ich eine erstaunliche alternative zu armins schnittigem kunststoff-kajak kennen: aufblasbare kajaks von der österreichischen firma grabner. ich fuhr vier verschiedene modell test. das erstaunliche ist, dass sich die boote ähnlich schnittig wie die aus kunstoff verhalten, aber naturgemäß leicht transportabel sind. die packmaße eines standard-kajaks kommen dann auf ca. doppelte rucksackgröße.

mäßig besucht, aber gut ausgestattet: der grabner bootstag in neuss. foto: DR

mich erinnert das an eine andere form der kompakten mobilität, nämlich mit dem → brompton faltrad. bromptons werden seit ähnlich langer zeit wie grabner-boote hergestellt, gelten als robust und werden quasi nie verkauft, weil sie ewig halten.

mein brompton im ICE

auf dem bild unten ist ein wasserwanderer zu sehen, der sich steve flusswanderer nennt. das bild stammt aus steves → video, wo er zu zweit venedig erkundet – mit grabner gummibooten. auf dem foto sind im hintergrund die beiden kajaks zu sehen. venedig ist allerdings prädestiniert für handliche boote, nicht für handliche fahrräder…

steve flusswanderer in venedig; die roten kajaks im hintergrund. screenshot/steve

zwei | blaus

zwei tweets von heute

heute standen in meinem twitter-feed zwei bilder übereinander, oben ein von @oldpicsarchive* gepostetes foto von nick deWolf, san francisco 1971, darunter ein von @dpa gepostetes, von martin moravec (@moravecma). der screenshot macht mit einem blick deutlich, was man unter den warmen film-farben von früher und dem kalten look von heute versteht. in manchen apps auf smartphones gibt es fotofilter, die in neue fotos das wärmere blau der celluloid-tage zaubern. polariod ist nochmal was anderes.

nick deWolf – → hier der wikipediaartikel über ihn – war primär computerpionier, fotografierte aber auch wie besessen.

*oldpicsarchive ist ein dubioses unternehmen. es steckt dahinter vermutlich kenga rex, ein vermeintliches kunstportal, dem anschein nach aber eine reine werbeplattform. der weg geht so: unter dem handle @oldpicsarchive sind auf twitter interessante, meist ältere fotos zu sehen. folgt man dem link unter den fotos, kommt man auf kengarex.com, wo man in der regel ein anderes bild sieht, umrahmt von ziemlich schriller werbung. den fotos fehlen oft die quellenangaben, und ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass die betreiber der werbeseite sich die veröffentlichungsrechte ordentlich eingeholt haben. es sind darunter fotos von gut verdienenden zeitgenössischen fotografen, aber auch historisches material, das zum beispiel über getty vertrieben wird.

Du has | t

ausschnitt aus einer spam-mail von heute: um die spam-filter zu umgehen, enthält dieser text absichtlich falsch geschriebenes (rot markiert):  leerzeichen innerhalb von worten und fehlendes leerzeichen nach punkt. übersetzungsprogramme aus anderen sprachen erzeugen solche fehler nicht, wohl aber grammatikfehler wie den grün markierten.

der spam-filter hat diese mail dennoch als spam identifiziert, vermutlich wegen des headers, also des email-kopfs und wegen des ziel-links, der zu einer abzocke-webseite führt.

facebook | container

es gibt ein neues plug-in für den firefox browser, welchem man offenbar vertrauen kann und was genau eine sache tut: es schirmt die facebook-webseite, auf der man seine sachen guckt oder postet, gegen die anderen browserfenster ab. WAS? höre ich manchen fragen. WAS haben andere browserfenster mit dem facebook-fenster zu tun? sehr viel: der browser schreibt für mehr oder weniger alle offenen fenster dateien als cookies auf die festplatte (was per se nichts böses ist), sodass zum beispiel die facebookseite nachgucken kann, was wir gerade auf guardian.co.uk lesen oder bei puma shoppen. entsprechend schaltet facebook dann werbung. konkreter: wenn ich auf facebook eine nachricht von einem bekannten anklicke, die auf einen artikel über linseneintopf in der ZEIT verweist, kann es sein, dass ich beim nächsten besuch von amazon.de kochgeschirr angeboten bekomme.

das facebook-container plug-in ist → hier zu finden, es installiert sich mit einem klick, und es packt quasi die facebook-webseite in quarantäne.

brompton bike hire with | hiccups

this posting is from january 2018. brompton bike hire immediately contacted me about this issue and in a very friendly way informed me that that rental bike box was slightly outdated and that within the next couple of months the whole rental system would be updated to suit modern standards.

brompton bike hire dock, turnham green, london

brompton is undoubtedly the best folding bike available these days. it folds wonderfully into a tiny packet, and it unfolds within seconds into a versatile, speedy city bike. the london based company intruduced a service a couple of years ago called → brompton bike hire. i have a brompton at home which i use every day, mostly in combination with tube or tram travel. but because the bike is slightly too large and quite a bit too heavy for taking it on board of a plane as handluggage, i’ve been an early adapter of the rental system in the UK. in 2016, when staying with my friend alison in pimlico, i had to travel quite far to get to the next rental dock. peckham rye that was, in the south of london. in the meantime we have rental hubs at king’s cross and several other locations around town. and not only around london: when arriving in oxford last year, i had googled for bike rental and made a reservation with → donkey bikes – but i was unable to find the bike in the bike parking lot in front of the railway station. instead i saw a brompton dock, canceled the donkey bike reservation, used the brompton rental app, opened box #9 and drove off to the university campus, quite far away, all across the old town. lovely ride with a bike i was very much used to anyway.

this time, when visiting friends near kew gardens, i chose the turnham green brompton hub depicted above. the app provides you with a long number which you punch into the keyboard on the left – and press enter. in most cases the UI did not show a green light after that procedure, so i had to repeat the process a few times. i think it has to do with the keys on the keyboard which react differently to pressure, and there’s no display which gives you feedback. nevertheless, the rental process is easy, i took the bike out of box #1, and off i rode.

what creates tension is when returning the bike. for only 3.50 pounds you can rent it for a whole day. i returned to the turnham green station a couple of hours later, folded the bike, punched in my reservation code, and nothing happened. then i remembered i had to do something in the app. the app, however, only showed me options to rent a bike, not for returing a bike. i phoned the service hotline. an automated reply stated: no avail, nobody to talk to. next i read the instructions on hub again. they are slightly confusing (rental, returning) and don’t tell anything about the usage of the app on the smartphone. in the meantime the app offered the option to return the bike and asked where i wanted to return it? i happily selected “turnham green” from the menu, and was thrown back to a page where i could make a new reservation or cancel a reservation. both did not make sense to me.

10 minutes had passed. so i followed the instructions on the box and sent a text message (xxxx now yyyy, where xxxx is the number engraved on/in the hub and yyyy is my personal pin; gee, where did i store my personal brompton bike rental pin?) to the given number. according to the instructions on the dock we should allow 5 minutes for the text message with the opening code to appear. nothing appeared on my phone. i rang the hotline again – with no help whatsoever. noone to talk to.

then i opened the app again, which, to my surprise, now presented me an opening code – which worked after the second time of punching the numbers in. box #1 opened, i lifted the bike in, saddle facing away from me, closed the box, and off i went. neither the app nor a text on the phone or an email informed me that the process was successfully finished. this is problematic indeed because you need to be sure that you actually checked out. when i rent a car2go smart car, i always wait until a green light shows in the window shield, which means, it is available for the next customer and done with me.

brompton certainly has to work on this. i’ll post their reply here once they’ve read this blog entry.

brompton bike hire oxford, screenshot

here’s my own tempest blue, → at 280 km/h. ;-)