How intelligent do chatbots need to be?

Chatbots are on everyone’s lips now. In addition to live chat, where you talk to “real” chat agents, you can now increasingly find chatbots on many sites that are placed in front of them. And so, more and more companies want to use chatbots, for very different scenarios. In any case, it should be a chatbot with as much AI as possible. However, many underestimate how much effort is needed. And it does not always make sense to equip the bot with as much artificial intelligence as possible. Basically, chatbots can be divided into three categories: Rule-based chatbots Speech-recognising chatbots Self-Learning chatbots Rule-based chatbots The rule-based chatbot has no intelligence in the actual sense. Instead, a rule tree is set up at the conception stage. This consists of a series of questions with a fixed number of answers. Each answer leads to another question with further answers. […]

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Why Germany needs a Minister of Digitisation


A member of the German parliament had invited to an open discussion round. It was to be about the digitisation of cities, i.e. Smart Cities. I took part in the discussion because I wanted to deal with topics like digital authorities, intelligent traffic concepts or similar things. But it soon turned out that most of the participants were more interested in how to prevent rents from rising due to digitisation. A concrete example was the installation of SmartHome systems in rented flats, which would count as modernisation. On the sidelines, the topic of digitisation was also discussed and I advocated that the Federal Government should focus more on this issue and centralise it. The easiest way to do this would be through a Minister for Digitisation. There was a strong headwind, especially from the mostly older party members present. Digitalisation was already a prioritised topic and a […]

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Problems upgrading an Embedded Jetty

Logo jetty, maven, spring framework

I recently had to update a legacy project. The basis is Java with the Spring framework and an embedded Jetty. This is started via Maven. After updating the Jetty to the current version, I noticed that the server could no longer be accessed after booting. After some testing, it was clear that the Jetty version 9.4.3 (9.4.3.v20170317) worked fine, but the version 9.4.4 (9.4.4.v20170414) did not. To narrow down the problem, I looked at the output in the console: 9.4.3: 9.4.4: As you can see, neither the configurations are loaded nor the beans are initialized. The next step is to have a look at the changelog of version 9.4.4. There you can find this hint: 1467 Change default for WebAppContext.isConfiguredDiscovered to false And in the corresponding discussion on GitHub one finds out that this change is exactly what prevents the automatic scanning of the configuration. So you […]

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Password management and documentation in startups

I would like to come back to the topic of passwords, this time in a professional environment. Over the years I have worked for very different companies. Every time the topic password and password sharing were a more or less big problem. Usually, a process was established that worked reasonably well, but almost always I could still access some services for a long time after leaving the company. Unfortunately, the topic is not easy to solve, but there are a few things you can keep in mind, especially with technology startups. First, let us take a look at how things usually work in a young startup. In the beginning, the developers usually quickly set up a whole series of services, most of which run on their official email address. Sometimes the management even creates the central services itself, but also (and especially) here possibly even with private […]

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Why everybody should use a VPN nowadays


When networks became established in the companies, there was soon a desire to connect to the internal network from outside. The main reason was that you could access its resources in this way. For example, field staff wanted to access files stored on the internal file server. Of course, it would have been a possible way to make the server accessible from outside. It is obvious, however, that this might not be the optimal solution from a safety point of view (not that this has not been done anyway and probably is still being done). It is better to connect to the internal network from the outside and then become a part of it. VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) were introduced for this purpose. The employee then logs on to an externally accessible server with a specific protocol and then can work on it as if he were […]

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Too many passwords spoil the security

The average German internet user has 15 different accounts. Some of them he created because he wanted to, others he was forced to create more or less. And every single one of them is normally protected by a password. Of course, the user is lazy and therefore he is using every time the same password. At least since the major security breaches at Yahoo, LinkedIn and Tumblr you see what are the consequences. The leaked email-password combinations were used to try them at others services on a large scale and with an astonished high hit ratio accounts could be compromised. Obviously, the question is how can this be prevented best. Additionally, there are two basic conditions that do not make this easier. For one thing, more and more services insist that the password of the users has to follow specific rules (special characters, numbers, minimum length, …).  […]

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Programming language – the new Babylon

The German industry information service proclaims the most popular programming language in 2016. The winner is: Java. While this was less surprising for ingrained Java developers, especially younger developers will be skeptical about this result. Programming languages were always the subject of religious discussions (You can see that in the comments of the article). But it seems to me that recently these discussions intensified significantly because of the popularity of new languages. If you look back 15 years, there were basically only two languages (at least in web development): Java and PHP. While PHP was used mainly by frontend developers which tend to put SQL statements in the HTML templates Java developers transformed every little project into a mammoth task. Some audacious Microsoft enthusiasts relied on ASP and JavaScript was only used for smaller snippets within the browser clients. Just with the rise of Rails that […]

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The new Investigatory Powers Bill in Great Britain

I just wrote a summary about the new bill regarding the data retention and surveillance (a.k.a. Snoopers’ Charter) in Great Britain. This is one of the most strict in Europe. Once you delve deeper into the subject you will be glad to live in Germany (or not…). Another Reason for Using a VPN: the Investigatory Powers Bill Disclaimer: At the moment I am working at ZenMate. That is why the article is tailored to that. Of course I stand by this statements.

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