How does the NFC-Hunt App from Google works?

Das Android-Maskottchen: ein grüner Roboter

Google organized a kind of scavenger hunt for the developers conference IO 2013 to demonstrate the practical use of NFC. Participants needed an NFC-enabled Android and then installed an app called “NFC Hunt”. The app gives clues where to find specific NFC tags in the real world. The user has to find and scan these tags, and then the app give clues for the next station.

Google has published the source code of NFC Hunt app. So we developers have a fine example of a complete NFC application. But when I tried to understand the source code I noticed gaps in the documentation. Just the interesting parts are not explicitly explained: how can I make my app listen to NFC tags and how do I respond to the detected tags. Here now is the result of my research:

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Reversed sound volume controls

Sometimes when I want to adjust the volume on my electronic devices, I push the loud button instead of on the quiet button. Why do I get confused? Let’s look at the assignment of the volume buttons to the volume control for a Android tablet nexus 7, second version:

volume controls of a tablets

Assignment of the volume buttons for the Nexus 7

When I press the left button, the sound becomes louder and the slider on the screen moves to the right. When I want to move the slider to the left, I must press right. What you see is the opposite of what you get. (WYSITOOWYG). It reminds me of German dadaism poetry.

Why does somebody assign the keys like this? Continue Reading →


Counter with pie chart

Just created a new video and uploaded it to YouTube, it shows the Android port of Handylearn Counter. I especially like how the pie chart dynamically changes with presses of the buttons.

The original J2ME version has now six-digit download numbers and is particularly popular in India, Mexico and Argentina.

The android version let you swipe between the counting screen, a bar chart screen and a pie chat screen


New features for enterprise users of Android

Das Android-Maskottchen: ein grüner Roboter

Google announced new features for Android specifically aimed at improving the usage in companies. The next version of Android-L Android 5 will contain these improvements.

When employees access corporate data with the smartphone, you want a strict separation of corporate data from private data and a foreclosure of privately used services. Even if you trust your employees, you don’t want to risk that privately installed apps access your corporate data secretly

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Android in the Enterprise

Two lectures at Droidcon

Companies with mobile workers can optimize their business processes with mobile devices. At the conference droidcon 2014 in Berlin, I was able to listen to a practice report and a manufacturer lecture.

Android devices have been designed by Google as personal devices. So they offer a wide range of entertainment and social networking options. But we have very different requirements to support mobile workers. Continue Reading →


CoObeya is a network of experts for innovations. I am a member, and now our website is online. The Co stands for Co-Operation, Co-Laboration, Co-Creation, Obeya is a culture of innovation used in the Japanese high-tech industry, where the development of new products happens in a large room and intersects departments and even company borders. CoObeya Banner



Risk, Security and Human Decision Making

Warum ist der Mensch oft das schwächste Glied beim Absichern von IT? Der Forscher Ryan West hat einen Artikel veröffentlicht, in dem Muster in der menschlichen Entscheidungsfindung untersucht werden. Diese Muster führen oft dazu, das Menschen sich entweder unbewusst oder sogar gegen besseres Wissen für unsichere Lösungen entscheiden. Seine Erkenntnisse habe ich zu einem Vortrag verdichtet, den ich am 12.2.2014 bei der Hamburger Ruby Usergroup gehalten habe.

Der Originalartikel ist unter dem Titel „The Psychology of Security“ in den Communications of the ACM erschienen.

Zunächst werden fünf psychologische Beobachtungen der menschlichen Entscheidungsfindung vorgestellt:

  1. Nutzer glauben persönlich kein Risiko zu tragen.
  2. Nutzer sind nicht dumm, sondern oft nur unmotiviert
  3. Sicherheit ist nur abstrakt. Konkretes haftet besser im Gehirn.
  4. Lernen funktioniert gut mit Rückkopplung.
  5. Risikobewusstsein ist asymmetrisch. Wenn Menschen etwas weggenommen wird, nehmen Sie oft ein höheres Risiko in Kauf, um es wieder zu bekommen.

Folgende Prinzipien können helfen, um Menschen zum sicheren Umgang mit IT-Systemen zu bewegen:

  1.  Unmittelbare Rückmeldungen und sicheres Verhalten belohnen.
  2.  Bewusstsein für Risiko erhöhen.
  3.  Riskantes Verhalten ächten
  4.  Kosten für sicheres Verhalten reduzieren.
  5.  Sozial Komponente nutzen.