Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

In early 2005, Computerworld featured an introduction to this model in its QuickStudies.

To find out more about CMMI, click on the image below.

Image of CMMI's five levels of maturity


To keep tabs on the uptime / availability of your website

If you would like to keep an eye on the quality of service provided by your web hosting company, particularly if your website is up / available or down, consider using the services of a web monitoring company.

One such company, offering its services for free for a single URL (e. g. your home page), is Monitis.

If you are satisfied with their product, they also offer paid subscriptions which enable you monitor multiple pages and/or points of interest of your site.


Challenge and nurture your brain to keep it healthy

In a Health & Medicine article in the March 13, 2005 issue of the St. Petersburg Times, Stephen Nohlgren points out that “if you are reading this story right side up, you may be missing the boat.”

Read the rest of this entry »


IT Security in Germany

The German Federal Office for Information Security last year published its report “The IT Security Situation in Germany in 2007”:

Cover thumbnail of BSI report


Google Online Security Blog

To keep an eye on Google’s online security efforts, read their blog at

Link to Google Online Security Blog image


Earth’s 6th Great Mass Extinction is happening right now

Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Harvard, considered by some as a world-leading authority on Biodiversity, estimates that approx. 30,000 species per year (in other words: three species per hour) are disappearing from our planet Earth.

A recent article at DailyGalaxy provides a more detailed analysis.

In his book “The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth” his common sense discourse urges for unity between science and religion to save living nature.


iPhone books

Maybe the following books will help in better understanding what an iPhone can and cannot do:

With good reviews:

David Pogue: “iPhone: The Missing Manual”

Andy Ihnatko: “iPhone Fully Loaded”

Scott Kelby, Terry White: “The iPhone Book: How to Do the Things You Want to Do with Your iPhone”

Christopher Breen: “The iPhone Pocket Guide”

Rough Guides: “The Rough Guide to the iPhone”

Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus: “iPhone for Dummies”

Without reviews:

Jason Chen, Adam Pash: “How to do Everything with your iPhone”

Erica Sadun: “Taking your iPhone to the Max”

Kate Shoup: “iPhone Visual Quick Tips”

With bad reviews:

Damon Brown: “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the iPhone”

Brad Miser: “My iPhone”

Not yet published:

Adam Stolarz, David Jurick, Damien Stolarz: “iPhone and iPod Touch Hacks: Tips and Tools for Pushing the Smartest Mobile Devices to their Limits”


The iPhone … it’s so cool.

[Translated version of a reader’s letter to a German computer magazine.]

At first I was crazy about my new iPhone – elegant, stylish, cool, amazing functions!

Once the first euphoria settled, a brief hesitation: Hhhmmmmm, battery drains pretty fast — oh well, I have played around with it a lot, and also proudly demonstrated my super phone to all friends and colleagues at work.

When doing that, I always was in control of which sites would be surfed to – didn’t want to make a fool of myself, given that neither Flash nor Java are working.

Also, the fact that all photos I have ever made are stored in a hard-coded folder which by now is filled with 200 pictures ranging from a computer trade fair via a Christmas walk to a cozy evening with wine and pasta are nicely blended with each other in there, didn’t bother me all that much. I am sure I’ll be able to split them up once I transfer them to my PC — the iPhone … it’s sooo cool!

MMS? No, the iPhone can send pictures by mail. That’s why MMS doesn’t work, not even receiving them — the iPhone … it’s so cool!

However, I wasn’t quite as enthused anymore when I had to delete my emails one by one individually. When I was on vacation I had received way more than 150 emails. Each and every one of them had to be deleted manually. Functions such as “delete all” or “select” are missing. As a result, I endured cramps in my finger, having to move them to the recycle bin — oops, this mail should have gone to the recycle bin, but rather to the inbox; there it is, but how to get it back into the inbox? — No such feature — the iPhone … its’ so cool.

Little by little I am starting to worry. I had to install iTunes on my PC to get the iPhone to work. A music program to manage my phone? Apple did have to have my credit card, too? Sure, given that MP3-rings aren’t available.

Now it’s defective, the volume button does not work anymore, call to t-mobile [iPhone cellular provider for Germany] — sure, send it in, takes about 1 to 2 weeks. Temporary iPhone — sure, none. “Please make a backup of your data before shipping it” — sure, will do. T-mobile was kind enough to provide the phone number of the Apple call center; they themselves didn’t have any clue as to how to do that.

I briefly fumbled around with iTunes — the software shipping with it for my PC. What do “party jukebox”, “TV shows” and “iTunes Shop” have to do with backups? So I called the Apple call center to get professional help in backup up the data. In short: a disaster. Following exact written instructions by the call center pro, first all my contacts were completely deleted from my iPhone (this can also be reproduced time and again after the fact, since the stupid iTunes at first syncs the empty Windows address book to the iPhone!). They are gone for good. Then he quickly hung up and could not be found anymore.

His colleague informed me that I cannot backup the contacts, schedules, emails and pictures, nor SMS — only synchronize them, but only with Office 2003 and above and Photoshop, and only to the iPhone, so that upon the first syncing all iPhone addresses are lost! Say what?

For the photos, however, he had an idea: I could mail them to myself — one by one, naturally, since you cannot select multiple pictures — 200 pictures!

iPhone for sale, full of teething troubles, slightly defective — the iPhone … it’s not cool anymore …

Dietrich v. Witzleben, Munich, Germany
(reader’s letter to “iX magazine for professional information technology”, published on page 6 of the February 2008 issue)


There might be six giraffe species, rather than just one

A recent BBC News item referred to a report in BMC Biology featuring genetic evidence indicating that there may be at least six species of giraffe in Africa, rather than a single species classified into multiple subspecies.


Ancient Merchant Ship raised from South China Sea

BBC News recently reported that Chinese archaeologists have raised a merchant ship, the Nanhai 1, which sank in the South China Sea 800 years ago, transporting a cargo of precious porcelain.

The ship will be stored underwater in a massive tank, in which the water temperature, pressure and other conditions will be identical to where it lay on the seabed, allowing visitors to watch as archaeologists uncover its secrets.