Yes, I just registered to attend LIFT 06 in Geneva. I'm looking forward to hear Cory Doctorow and Robert Scoble (amongst many others). Maybe a the Group Fondue will become the first Geek Dinner in Switzerland?
Bad Company of the Year Award!:The company that I am putting at the top of my list is a 4 letter word so foul, that it has been banned from my home. I have asked my wife who is Japanese to refrain from buying any of their products for the next 5 years. The Bad company of the year is no other than SONY… Sony is just a big no-buy company. My girlfriend knows why Sony is evil and we both will rather buy a more expensive or less appealing product from a competitor. "Sony is evil" has only 726 hits on Google, but this will increase.
I had the luck to be able to test a Toshiba Tecra M4 Tablet PC for a few days. You can find summaries of features on the Toshiba and other sites, so I'll just concentrate on the two things I was concentrating on: Screen and mechanical stability of the swivel hinge.
I found the Tecra M4 to be a fast, feature complete machine. However, to use as a tablet, the 14.1-inch screen is just a little bit too big. The screen has a glare problem, especially when used on batteries. I can't imagine the tablet can be used outdoors (in sunlight). Even inside, under a direct light source, the screen mirrors the surrounding in a disturbing way.
The swivel hinge to rotate the screen from notebook to tablet mode made a solid impression to me.
To summarize: I won't buy a Tecra M4 anytime soon due to the screen issue described above.
During my military service, I've tested a Swisscom Mobile Unlimited (UMTS/GPRS/WLAN) Card. Installation from the included CD was easy enough; however, it seems that there is a special installer program for the device driver that circumvents unsigned drivers warnings. I would guess that Swisscom could afford cards with drivers that are signed by Microsoft. After installation, a firmware update of the card was done. However, when starting the Unlimited Data Manager, the "Connect" button did not appear. Even an upgrade to the newest Software (and again even newer firmware) did not help. I called the Helpdesk and after much fiddling around, the ENE CB-1410 Cardbus Controller in my HP Compaq nx7010 notebook was identified as the culprit. It seems to be known to Swisscom that the Mobile Unlimited Card does not work properly with these PC Card controller. I was offered a refund and the promise that a new (read: better) card (also integrating EDGE and UMTS into one offering) wil…
In Switzerland, a new flat rail link through the alps is being built. This includes a total of 157 km (97 miles) of tunnels, where the new tunnel through the Gotthard with 57 km (35 miles) will be the longest tunnel in the world (to be finished in 2015). To build this tunnel, one subsection below Sedrun is accessed via a vertical drift. The original plan foresaw an emergency stop at the site. However, the Swiss assembly has just approved pre-investment to create a permanent mid-tunnel train station with an 900 m (2953 feet) elevator to the heart of the alps. This would create the deepest train station with the longest elevator in the longest tunnel in the world. (Movie, QuickTime, German)
This is something to watch for the Microsoft IE Team. Amanda Congdon of Rocketboom fame interviews people on the street if they prefer IE or Firefox. Not only a majority answers firefox, but the main reasons have been given as: More secure, tabbed browsing and faster than IE. Note: It does not matter if this is really the case, but the fact that people just presume that Firefox is safer makes the case.