The truth about (Gen)AI

(✅ clickbait title)
Recently I attended a GenAI event organized by <big company>. All professional, interesting, insightful. Really good. (Really! I mean it! No sarcasm.)

Until it hit me like a blow during a discussion:

I DO KNOW the whole plot already!

The discussions, the argumentation, the problems, the hopes, the promises of the consulting companies. Startups that make good (ok or bad) products and raise the hopes of the rest of the industry.

We’ve seen it all before with big data and data science – EVERYTHING!

<Technology> is a game changer.
<Technology> brings x millions.
If you don't do <Technology>, you won't survive in the market.
<Technology> brings billions of €€€€.
You need a <Technology> competence center, and a <Technology> strategy!

And the problems are the same – not similar, but the same!
When I look at the LinkedIn stream, I really have Groundhog Day.

We really are chasing the Gartner hype cycle. 🙈

Am I against (Gen)AI? Quite clearly: No
But the hype, the exaggerated expectations … do we REALLY need to do this, AGAIN?
Yes, apparently that’s just how we humans / companies tick.

Well .. then: let’s go into the valley of tears as quickly as possible, burn as little money as possible there pointlessly and off to meaningful use.

It’s sad, but there doesn’t seem a way around.

How to: Migrate from Outlook.com to GMail

Microsoft / Outlook.com have silently removed connected accounts from outlook.com on July 1st, 2024.

I only got aware of it as some people told me that my eMails were marked as “unverified sender” on their side. And indeed, eMails were suddenly sent via the outlook email server. Before I sent the mails through the SMTP server of my hosting provider.

Searching the reason was a bit cumbersome as I didn’t even know which search term to use. Then suddenly I stumbled across some posts & news confirming that the feature was just .. gone (like here, here, here and here). Well. Goodbye Outlook.com then. I simply don’t want to send from @outlook.com but want to use my own domain name(s).

Step 1: Alternatives

I literally had just two requirements:

  • be as convenient as GMail
  • VERY low maintenance (if self-hosted). I mean: like WordPress that auto-updates itself and that’s it.

The webmail interface of my hosting provider was just a bit too inconvenient.
For self-hosting, I didn’t find a solution that met my requirements.
The winner is: GMail!

Step 2: Migrate

About 13.000 eMails in a couple of (nested) folders waited to be migrated. But don’t worry, it was rather easy. (I’m writing this now from my memories – I hope I didn’t miss a step)

  • Gmail: delete all eMails (well not necessary, I just wanted to start clean)
  • Gmail: make sure IMAP is activated (Settings > redirect, POP & IMAP)
  • my Provider: change the eMail forward to my gmail address
  • Outlook.com: set auto-forward emails to your Gmail account.
  • Gmail: using the gmail-outlook import (didn’t work for me)
  • download & install MailstoreHome (free for personal usage)
  • MailstoreHome: create an archive (= download mails, that’s also a nice backup)
  • [Mailstore: TRY using the gMail upload – I had the impression that the folders weren’t created]
  • MailstoreHome: create the upload connection to imap.gmail.com. Make sure to increase the timeout (I just set 3000s) and start uploading.
  • Wait … Wait .. Wait
  • Gmail: mails are now imported under the Label
    Mailstore > ...@outlook.com > all folders
  • Gmail: change all labels to be on the root level:
    Click on the 3 dots besides the label > edit > uncheck the box for being a nested label
    That should work for all except “sent”. I renamed it to sent_import.
  • Download & install Thunderbird.
  • Thunderbird: connect to your GMail-account
  • Thunderbird: open the sent_import folder
  • Thunderbird: move all mails from sent_import to Gmail’s sent-folder.
  • Gmail: delete all labels you don’t need any more
  • Gmail: add the SMTP of your domain: Settings > Accounts & Import > Send as
  • Optional: uninstall Thunderbird and MailstoreHome

And that should have been the whole task. I hope it helped.

Your Company Blog needs RSS! Really

In the last couple of weeks it happened repeatedly that I wanted to follow a company’s blog – just to see that they have a blog but no RSS feed!

It’s surprising and a bit disheartening to see companies investing time in writing / maintaining a blog without providing an RSS feed – even though any proper content management system would provide the functionality.

Continue reading Your Company Blog needs RSS! Really

Mastodon is how the Web should be: OPEN

TL;DR: just add “.rss” to a mastodon profile or tags or user-tags to get an RSS stream! My photography profile @hikingdude@mastodon.social for example can easily be followed by an RSS Reader by following https://mastodon.social/@hikingdude.rss.

No account required! And that’s not even the end! 🤯

Continue reading Mastodon is how the Web should be: OPEN

How to get rid of Cookie-AdTracking – easily

TL;DR: Delete cookies when closing the browser, allow-list only the sites you want to stay logged in. It’s really that easy.

I recently checked my browser settings and was “surprised” to find more than 3.000 cookies. Most of them from sites I didn’t recognize, many from obvious ad-tracking companies. These companies, with whom I have no business, were all able to track my online activity. Seriously? 3.000 companies being able to track me? Okay maybe some of them were not valid anymore – but still – that’s just ways too much.

Continue reading How to get rid of Cookie-AdTracking – easily

Making the Best of a Bad Presentation Experience

Recently, I attended a conference and sat through a particularly bad presentation. I was tempted to leave, but my colleague insisted we stay until the end. So I somehow had to make the best out of it. This gave me the opportunity to analyze what made the presentation so ineffective and “bad” for me (maybe it was interesting for other people, I just didn’t like it.

So I regarded it as a case study to probably improve my own presentations.

Continue reading Making the Best of a Bad Presentation Experience

Good Conference Talks aren’t just Success Stories

Recently, my colleagues and I attended the World of Data conference. (The conference is an event in the data and analytics industry, where latest trends, technologies etc are presented in workshops and talks/presentations. It’s pretty nice to be honest!)

Continue reading Good Conference Talks aren’t just Success Stories

Good bye posting on LinkedIn?

“Why am I posting on LinkedIn?”

That question recently just came to my mind.

My inital idea was to change from LinkIn posting to posting on another, work/IT related Mastodon-account – just for the sake of getting off a commercial platform. But then I started asking myself the “whys”

Continue reading Good bye posting on LinkedIn?

How to filter / hide / ignore News in an RSS feed

Recently I realized that there are certain topics in my news / RSS feed that I ALWAYS scroll over. I’m just not interested in them. Like news about certain brands, manufacturer or products. I wondered, if there is no easy way to simply NOT see them in my feed. I mean I filter by only looking at keywords in the title. Really super simple.

Continue reading How to filter / hide / ignore News in an RSS feed