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Open-SmartWatch - an open source ESP32 powered watch for a bit over $24 that you can assemble and repair yourself


The Open-SmartWatch from [pauls_3d_things]. This ESP32 powered watch packs a gorgeous circular 240×240 TFT display, DS323M RTC, BMA400 three-axis accelerometer, and a 450 mAh battery inside of a 3D printed enclosure that can be produced on your average desktop machine. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity are a given with the ESP32, but there’s also an enhanced edition of the PCB that adds another 4 MB of RAM, a micro SD slot, and a Quectel L96 GPS receiver.

As it’s an open source project you’re free to download the PCB design files and get the board produced on your own, but [pauls_3d_things]has actually partnered with LILYGO to do a run of the Open-SmartWatch electronics which you can pick up on AliExpress right now for just $24 USD. You’ll still need to order the battery separately and 3D print your own case, but it still seems like a pretty sweet deal.

See An Open Source Smart Watch You’d Actually Wear

#... Show more...

 

Digital payment wallets in South Africa (currently Apple, Fitbit, Garmin and Samsung Pay) – how they work and which banks support them


I've so far used both Fitbit Pay and Apple Pay, and they have worked flawlessly. Basically the same as using your contactless bank card.

But no Google Pay yet in SA, and one bank glaringly absent from all services is Capitec.

See Digital payment wallets in South Africa – how they work and which banks support them

#technology #southafrica #banking #pay
South African banking customers now have wide selection of contactless digital payment wallets for smartphones and smartwatches to choose from.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/digital-payment-wallets-south-africa-currently-apple-fitbit-garmin-and-samsung-pay-how-they-work

 

An open source ESP32 Walkie-Talkie project using UDP data packets over 2.4 GHz WiFi


One of the most thrilling childhood toys for the adventurous 1970s or 1980s kid was probably the toy walkie-talkie. It didn’t matter that they were a very simple AM low-end-VHF radio with a range of about 500 m and a Morse key of debatable utility, you could talk clandestinely with your friends, and be a more convincing spy, or commando, or whatever was the game of the moment. It’s a memory conjured up for grown-ups by Chris G with his ESP32 walkie-talkie, which replaces a shaky 49MHz connection with one a bit more robust through the magic of WiFi.

See AN ESP32 Walkie-Talkie, For Those Spy Radio Moments

#technology #opensource #ESP32 #walkietalkie #hardware

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One of the most thrilling childhood toys for the adventurous 1970s or 1980s kid was probably the toy walkie-talkie. It didn’t matter that they were a very simple AM low-end-VHF radio with a r…

https://gadgeteer.co.za/open-source-esp32-walkie-talkie-project-using-udp-data-packets-over-24-ghz-wifi

 

10 Best Linux Laptops of 2021 - For when you don't want to pay for Windows OS that you won't be using


Two good reasons to consider such laptops are:
* There is no included Windows OS that has been paid for as part of the price.
* The pre-installed Linux is already 100% compatible and ready to go so you are assured that all components are fully supported out of the box.

See 10 Best Linux Laptops of 2021

#technology #opensource #linux #hardware

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Today, we bring you a list of the best Linux laptops to purchase in 2021 starting from the best overall and then the rest in no particular order.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/10-best-linux-laptops-2021-when-you-dont-want-pay-windows-os-you-wont-be-using

 

Chipolo Announces New 'ONE Spot' Item Tracker With Find My Integration (Before Apple Has Launched Their Own AirTags)


Well this a surprising turn of events, and shows also what competition laws can achieve, by getting Apple to integrate other brands. It gives us a closer look at how third-party ‌Find My‌ accessories will work and perhaps hints at what we could see from Apple's own AirTags item trackers that are rumored to be in the works.

In Lost Mode, the ‌Find My‌ network, comprised of millions of iPhones, iPads, and Macs, can be used for tracking purposes and will let the item's owner know if it happens to be located (That confirms what I was guessing as a major plus). If the ONE Spot is found by someone other than the owner, that person can use the ‌Find My‌ app on iPhone to identify it and be taken to a website that will offer a message and a phone number for contact purposes.

According to Chipolo, the ONE Spot uses "advanced encryption" to ensure that no one else is able to view the location of the tag, including Apple and Chipolo. Apple is requiring this security of all ‌Find My‌ accessories.

See... Show more...

 

If Apple's 'Find My' app helps locate compatible 3rd party trackers then it will be a massive boost globally to finding lost items


Right now with most Bluetooth tracker devices such as Tile (I've tried a few) they require you, and everyone else, to have the app installed in order to locate the lost device. That severely limits the potential reach and effectiveness.

If Apple's global network of devices are all able to function as locating devices to help find lost items, that will change the picture dramatically as the locating is then no longer dependent on who else has installed the same app. It will be interesting to see what hoops must be jumped through to participate, and also whether Android will go more global with something like this.

See Apple launches an app for testing devices that work with ‘Find My’ – TechCrunch

#technology #... Show more...

 

Fan-Tastic Misuse Of Raspberry Pi GPIO Pins To Include Wireless Ceiling Fans Into Home Automation System


River is a big fan of home automation. After moving into a new house, he wanted to assimilate two wirelessly controlled ceiling fan lights into his home automation system. The problem was this: although the fans were wireless, their frequency and protocol were incompatible with the home automation system.

This is an interesting account of how he firstly used a SDR to find out the fans wireless remote signal frequency, decoding that signal, and then how he went about getting the GPIO pins to be able to transmit the same signals to control the fans.

See Fan-tastic Misuse Of Raspberry Pi GPIO

#technology #hardware #hack #raspberrypi #homeautomation

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[River]is a big fan of home automation. After moving into a new house, he wanted to assimilate two wirelessly controlled fan lights into his home automation system. The problem was this: although …

https://gadgeteer.co.za/fan-tastic-misuse-raspberry-pi-gpio-pins-include-wireless-ceiling-fans-home-automation-system

 

Mark Zuckerberg is using Signal, according to phone number leaked in Facebook hack


Mark Zuckerberg is just like us. Well, only in that he also appears to be using the secure messaging app Signal, despite owning WhatsApp, one of its largest competitors.

Cybersecurity researcher Dave Walker discovered that the Facebook CEO was among the 533 million users whose personal information was leaked online after a Facebook hack in 2019.

In response to Walker's discovery, Signal had a little fun, tweeting a link to a story about Zuckerberg's Signal account, writing, "With the May 15th WhatsApp Terms of Service acceptance deadline fast approaching, Mark leads by example."

See Mark Zuckerberg is using Signal, according to phone number leaked in Facebook hack

#technology #deletewhatsapp #privacy

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Yes, he does own WhatsApp, its main competitor

https://gadgeteer.co.za/mark-zuckerberg-using-signal-according-phone-number-leaked-facebook-hack

 

OpenEVSE provides open source EV charging stations ready to use, in kit form, or just parts


OpenEVSE supplies open source charging station hardware and software solutions to manufactures and individuals. OpenEVSE SAE J1772 compatible charging station controllers are available in quantities of 1 to 10,000+ for requirements big or small. OpenEVSE controllers allows manufactures to bring their products to market sooner at a lower cost than designing from scratch.

OpenEVSE features open standards based protocols, control your station... Automate your home... You control your station and your data:
* Energy Monitoring
* Setup and control over WiFi
* Automate with MQTT
* Real-time Solar Diversion
* Open APIs

Source Code for OpenEVSE hardware and firmware is available on Github.

See OpenEVSE - Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions

#technology #opensource #... Show more...

 

Use This Free Web-Based Teleprompter for Your Next Video


If you’re looking to make a video and don’t like speaking off the cuff, there’s a free Teleprompter utility to help out—all you have to do is pull up their website in your browser and copy and paste whatever script (or notes) you’ll want to scroll on your screen. You can adjust the speed of the scrolling and the text size using sliders—and you’ll definitely want to play with both so you get the perfect combination that works best for your speaking cadence.

As the author pointed out, I also had trouble getting the voice-activated version to work properly.

See Use This Free Web-Based Teleprompter for Your Next Video

#technology #freeware #speech #... Show more...

 

South Africa’s plan to launch state-owned cloud computing mega-network biased towards open standards and open systems, including open source frameworks rather than closed and exclusive system


“The Data and Cloud Policy seeks to strengthen the capacity of the State to deliver services to its citizens, ensure informed policy development based on data analytics, as well as promote South Africa’s data sovereignty and the security thereof,” the draft policy states.

“The envisaged overall policy framework on data and cloud must be biased towards open standards and open systems, including open source frameworks rather than closed and exclusive systems.”

“The HPCDPC will leverage the existing computing capacity and technical capabilities of the CSIR and SITA, and will operate in conformance with international best practice,” the draft policy states.

Looks like South Africa is starting to stand up to Big Tech now and ensure more ownership and competition over solutions. This bodes well for the future if it goes through. Goodbye vendor lock-in!

Those interested in commenting on government’s proposed National Data and Cloud Policy have 30 working days from 1 April to do so.

See... Show more...

 

Over 55,000 'Virtual rangers' worldwide help South African reserve keep poachers away


With reserves across Africa cutting back on anti-poaching patrols amid a coronavirus-induced tourism lull that has hit funding, Balule has teamed up with handset manufacturer Samsung and tech pioneer Africam to supplement staff numbers with eyes and ears online.

“We need more eyes; we need more people helping us,” said Leitah Mkhabela, a member of the park’s all-female anti-poaching unit known as the Black Mambas. “They can become a ranger while staying at home and they can save a rhino every single day.”

Become a virtual ranger yourself and do a few shifts at Wildlife-watch.com - Samsung | Africam

#southafrica #technology #poaching #balulenaturereserve #Africa

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We need more eyes on animals, take the watch with Samsung phone live streams at Wildlife-Watch.com #WildlifeWatch

https://gadgeteer.co.za/over-55000-virtual-rangers-worldwide-help-south-african-reserve-keep-poachers-away

 

Video: CryptPad is an open source privacy based cloud collaboration suite


CryptPad is built to enable collaboration. It synchronizes changes to documents in real time. Because all data is encrypted, the service and its administrators have no way of seeing the content being edited and stored.

CryptPad provides a full-fledged office suite with all the tools necessary for productive collaboration. Applications include: Rich Text, Spreadsheets, Code/Markdown, Kanban, Slides, Whiteboard and Polls.

In this video I explain why you'd want to use it, what it's key features are, and I do a tour around its user interface.

Watch at CryptPad is an open source privacy based cloud collaboration suite

#technology #opensource #cryptpad #cloud #collaboration

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CryptPad is built to enable collaboration. It synchronizes changes to documents in real time. Because all data is encrypted, the service and its administrato...

https://gadgeteer.co.za/video-cryptpad-open-source-privacy-based-cloud-collaboration-suite

 

Windows 95 — How Does it Look Today?


Windows 95 was the “next-generation” OS from Microsoft: redesigned UI, long file names support, 32-bit apps and many other changes. Some of Windows 95 components are still in use today. How does it look? This article shows you, complete with a link to hear the sound of a dial-up modem connecting to the Internet. Back then users got so used to listening to how the status of connection was going, just by the sound.

Also, those were the days of DOS until near the mid-1980's when Microsoft release their first Windows OS which basically no-one took notice of. I remember the Commodore Amiga coming out with a way better polished windowed OS from 1987 and even IBM had OS/2 (I used OS/2 Warp for a while).

So with Windows being so crappy why did it end up dominating? My theory was the Amiga was a lot more about gaming (amazing colour, proper sound, and peripherals) and OS/2 had mainly a few business applications. It was Windows that started packing in many applications, and it was compatible with most IBM compatible PCs. Windows 3.1 was the first big one from about 19... Show more...

 

Geekmark benchmark shows identical hardware faster with Linux than Windows 10


I have a Windows 10 SSD drive (for two games that would run some 3rd party add-ons under Linux) and a Manjaro Linux SSD drive for booting Linux (all Linux user data sits on a slower HDD). The Windows 10 side is not use for daily use so is a lot cleaner in terms of what (and how much) is installed.

That said, with the same graphics card and normal boot up with what auto starts, the Linux side shows a distinct edge.

Also, for comparison is the benchmark for my Core i7 CPU. The Big difference is the AMD has double the number of cores.

#technology #geekbench #benchmarking #windows #linux

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https://gadgeteer.co.za/geekmark-benchmark-shows-identical-hardware-faster-linux-windows-10

 

How to Better Use Apple Notes - iPhone Pro User Tips


I understand from a longer time user that the Apple Notes app was very bare bones at one stage, but it certainly seems to have caught up with Google Keep now. It even surpasses Google Keep in the ways that you can have sub-folders and very quickly access it directly from the Control Centre to quickly scan receipts.

But why no alarms and reminders like Google Keep has? iOS does have powerful features for this in the Reminders app but such a pity it can't be in a single Notes app. Less is more, and Apple is usually great at simplifying usage without users wondering which app to use when.

The video is well worth watching though to squeeze out extra functionality from the Notes app.

See How to Use Apple Notes - iPhone Pro User Tips

#technology #apple #tips #ios #organising

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How to get the most out of this insanely powerful app...How to use apple notes. Want to know the best way to organise your notes on your phone? This video go...

https://gadgeteer.co.za/how-better-use-apple-notes-iphone-pro-user-tips

 

Although Google Is Dropping Tracking By Cookies, It Is Testing Its Controversial New Ad Targeting Tech (FLoC) in Millions of Browsers


A few days back, Google launched an “origin trial” of Federated Learning of Cohorts (aka FLoC), its experimental new technology for targeting ads. A switch has silently been flipped in millions of instances of Google Chrome: those browsers will begin sorting their users into groups based on behavior, then sharing group labels with third-party trackers and advertisers around the web. A random set of users have been selected for the trial, and they can currently only opt out by disabling third-party cookies.

Google designed FLoC to help advertisers target ads once third-party cookies go away. During the trial, trackers will be able to collect FLoC IDs in addition to third-party cookies.
That means all the trackers who currently monitor your behavior across a fraction of the web using cookies will now receive your FLoC cohort ID as well. The cohort ID is a direct reflection of your behavior across the web. This could supplement the behavioral profiles that many trackers already maintain.

Future versions of Chrome will add dedicated controls for Google... Show more...

 

You may get eyestrain from looking at screens all day BUT blue light from screens isn’t ruining your eyes!


Looking at screens for too long can cause eyestrain, but eyestrain existed long before screens. (Driving long distances is another cause, the Mayo Clinic notes.) Eyestrain may involve fatigue of the tiny muscles in and around our eyes, and people who get eyestrain may experience discomfort that includes headaches, blurry vision, watering of the eyes, and sensitivity to light.

There’s a rumor that the blue light from smartphones (or other screens) can ruin your vision, perhaps even leading to blindness, but it’s not backed up by evidence. “The amount of light coming from a computer has never been demonstrated to cause any eye disease,” the American Academy of Opththalmology states in an article on their website recommending against blue-light-blocking glasses. There is research that finds blue light can damage cells in certain lab conditions, but those conditions are very different from what happens in the actual cells of our retina.

Unfortunately, there are companies citing research like this to sell their blue-light-blocking glasses or screen ov... Show more...

 

Python v3.10 will support switch statements


Rejoice! Gone are the long chains of if…else statements, because switch statements will soon be here — sort of. What the Python gods are actually giving us are match statements. match statements are awfully similar to switch statements, but have a few really cool and unique features, which are explained in the linked article.

The big new feature seems to be pattern matching with comparisons versus just integral values. This probably adds no advantages in speed but may make human reading of long statements a bit easier.

See Python Will Soon Support Switch Statements

#technology #coding #programming #python

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Rejoice! Gone are the long chains of if…else statements, because switch statements will soon be here — sort of. What the Python gods are actually giving us are match statements. match s…

https://gadgeteer.co.za/python-v310-will-support-switch-statements

 

PeerTube Is A Federated Decentralised Free YouTube Alternative, Released v.3.1


After releasing PeerTube v3 in early January, a new main version on popular free YouTube alternative is now available. PeerTube 3.1 comes with plenty of improvements and new features.

PeerTube is a piece of software that enables anyone to run their own tube site (like YouTube) very easily. All of the sites everyone runs can talk to each other, and people with accounts on one can interact with people on others. To put it short, it is a network of tube sites.

Probably the most important to note in the new version are the improved transcoding features.

See PeerTube Is A Free YouTube Alternative, Released v.3.1

#technology #alternativeto #peertube #youtube #Videos

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A new main version on popular free YouTube alternative is now available. PeerTube 3.1 comes with plenty of improvements and new features.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/peertube-federated-decentralised-free-youtube-alternative-released-v31

 

Photos of the process for the computer I assembled for my daughter today


My daughter needed to save money on a desktop computer for College so I specced the parts, she bought them, and I built it. I thought it may be interesting to show a few photos of the typical process as it is much the same for all desktop based computers. The biggest difference is the case layout really. This particular case, although specs looked right, had an odd issue with the front fan being placed flush behind the hard drive which would restrict airflow. So in the end I moved the hard drive to sit at the bottom of the case. This case did not have the normal traditional location for the drives. Typically, you want an input fan at the bottom front, and an exhaust fan at the top rear (and even now at the top of cases too, but it is not necessary with this Celeron CPU and no gaming video card).

Key things to match are first decide on the CPU, then choose a motherboard that has a matching socket, and if the CPU does not come with a CPU fan cooler you need to choose a cooler. Note fans with three wires are usually DC controlled and 4 wires are PCM, but it is just for the type o... Show more...

 

Scientists Just Killed the EmDrive


#science #news #technology

 

Scientists Just Killed the EmDrive


#science #news #technology

 

LineageOS 18.1 based on Android 11 is here for 70 devices including LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi phones


There is no dearth of custom ROM choices in the aftermarket development scene, but if there’s one that we could consider to be “the biggest” of them all, then that would be LineageOS. There are so many reasons why the LineageOS project is loved by the community, and it’s not just for all the features that the custom ROM offers on top of vanilla AOSP. Thanks to the Device Support Requirements Charter, if you choose to flash an official build of LineageOS on a supported device, you can be rest assured that your device will be running stable software that is also kept up to date against serious security vulnerabilities — often well beyond the end of official manufacturer support.

Just because your device isn’t listed here does not mean that you can’t get to enjoy LineageOS 18.1 by now. Because of its open source nature, there are a number of unofficial builds for many devices on our forums, many of which will eventually end up becoming official builds as development progresses. What’s more: most of them are, by now, perfectly stable... Show more...

 

Classic Solitaire Klondik‪e‬ by Aliaksandr Tsitkou - The only Solitaire game for iOS without adverts, subscriptions or purchase?


Sounds incredible if you're used to Android, and you'd think Solitaire was a reasonably basic game, but I've been through about 5 so far and some are loaded with really irritating averts (the ones you must wait 30 seconds to pass) or else they have subscriptions per month to eliminate the ads. There are only one or two that I see had a once-off purchase option (which is what I would usually consider).

So finally I find this one... no ads, no purchases, no frills. You have some basic options and an interesting stats screen when you finish a game. I did not spot it originally on my searches through the Apple app store as searching does not have filters like 'no ads' or 'no subscriptions', so I thought it worth posting about. Glad to see it has 433 ratings with average 4.5. There is good reason why Solitaire is so long-lasting in its popularity.

See ‎Classic Solitaire Klondike

#technology... Show more...

 

Watchpoints is a simple but powerful tool to help you with monitoring variables while debugging Python


When debugging code, you're often faced with figuring out when a variable changes. Without any advanced tools, you have the option of using print statements to announce the variables when you expect them to change. However, this is a very ineffective way because the variables could change in many places, and constantly printing them to a terminal is noisy, while printing them to a log file becomes unwieldy.

When I was still programming I remember variable watching was essential for debugging as you are often trimming strings, changing data types, and doing other manipulations that make it difficult to find out what actually went wrong where.

I'm just wondering if IDEs for Python don't already do this in a pane whilst testing?

See Use this open source tool to monitor variables in Python

#technology #python... Show more...

 

The Louvre Just Launched a New Online Database With Its Entire Collection — More Than 480,000 Artworks


The database, which experts will update on a continual basis, offers access to artworks on display, in storage, and on loan to other institutions. You can look for something specific in the search bar, or you can explore by category: paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, jewellery and finery, writing and inscriptions, and objects. Several themed albums (e.g. “The Art of Portraiture” and “Major Events in History”) can help guide you along your virtual journey, and there’s even an interactive map of the Louvre, so you can see what’s being showcased at the moment.

Any visit to the Louvre is never going to get you through all 20+ km of passages, and then not all the artwork is even on display at any one time, this is a useful resource for those who cannot get there, or for those who can, so that they can plan their visit better. One forgets some of these paintings are up to 7 m and even 10 m in length. It would have been nice and complete if they had also included the story behind the works, but that is probably easily found elsewhere for... Show more...

 

'Improve YouTube' - This Might Be the Only YouTube Browser Extension You'll Ever Need With Over 80 Features


The author installed Improve YouTube after reading gHacks’ praise for the extension’s bevy of features — there are well over 80 at this point, and more are added regularly. It does everything from outfitting YouTube’s website (or web app) with better controls and layout options, to blocking ads, comments, and unwanted channel recommendations, and way more.

Improve YouTube is available for FireFox and Chrome derivatives.

See This Might Be the Only YouTube Browser Extension You'll Ever Need

#technology #youtube #browsers

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YouTube is a real mixed bag. It’s home to so much of our favorite stuff on the internet, but the experience of using website itself isn’t great—filled with distracting recommendations, poor personalization, and ads, ads, ads—unless you take advantage of desktop browser extensions that can make it better.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/improve-youtube-might-be-only-youtube-browser-extension-youll-ever-need-over-80-features

 

Apple to launch Independent Repair Provider program in more than 200 countries including South Africa


The program, which gives third-party repair providers access to genuine Apple parts, tools, repair manuals and diagnostics, was initially lunched in the U.S. in 2019, and expanded to Europe and Canada in 2020. This year, it will be available in more than 200 countries — "nearly" every country where Apple products are sold, Apple announced on Tuesday.

The repair providers that want to join the program can get free training from Apple, but they do have to commit to having an Apple-certified technician on duty (certification is also free). According to Apple, there are currently more than 1,500 Independent Repair Provider locations in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

I'll bet this is because of the heat around right-to-repair groups and accusations of monopolistic practices. But either ways it is a good thing for competition and boosting local economic development.

See Apple to launch Independent Repair Provider program in more than 200 countries

#... Show more...

 

Apple Pay now available in South Africa according to several Absa, Discovery Bank, and Nedbank customers


This follows the go live last year by Fitbit, and I notice by the same banks, so probably NFC Tap-to-Go cards are a requirement.

Apple Pay allows users to load a supported banking card and use their Apple device – such as an iPhone or cellular Apple Watch – to make a contactless payment at supported NFC-based terminals.

A number of users indicated that attempts to load any FNB, Investec, and Standard Bank cards were unsuccessful.

See Apple Pay now available in South Africa

#technology #applepay #southafrica #banking
Apple Pay is now available in South Africa, but not all banks support the digital mobile payment platform

https://gadgeteer.co.za/apple-pay-now-available-south-africa-according-several-absa-discovery-bank-and-nedbank-customers

 

Sleeping Octopuses May Have Dreams, But They're Probably Brief


#science #news #technology

 

Sleeping Octopuses May Have Dreams, But They're Probably Brief


#science #news #technology

 

Dissimilar Developing Trends Of Global Thin Film Solar Panels Module Market Outlook: Ken Research


Thin film solar panels are precise panels that are made by employing one or more layers of photovoltaic material on the surface, for illustration glass, plastic, or metal. The width of these solar panels is fluctuating from limited nano metres ...

Read more Dissimilar Developing Trends Of Global Thin Film Solar Panels Module Market Outlook: Ken Research

#technology

 

Here are Some Interesting Facts About Website Hacking - 3 Common Vulnerabilities Which Don't Take Rocket Science To Fix


Threat actors generally use 3 methods to hack the website: Access control, Software vulnerabilities, and Third-party integrations.

Just regularly patching and updating software already makes a massive difference, and assess carefully what 3rd party libraries or plugins you make use of. Read reviews and check how recently it was updated. For passwords, it is NOT about changing them regularly, but it is about unique and more complex passwords being used. It's these simple things that make the biggest difference.

See E Hacking News - Latest Hacker News and IT Security News: Here's A Quick Look Into Some Interesting Facts About Website Hacking

#technology #security #websites #hacking #vulnerabilities

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Threat actors generally rely on 3 common techniques to exploit the vulnerabilities.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/here-are-some-interesting-facts-about-website-hacking-3-common-vulnerabilities-which-dont-take

 

Clash of the Giants: Google and Microsoft trade accusations of responsibility for recurring technology crises


California-based search engine giant Google and Washington-based software company Microsoft are grappling with each other, under pressure from lawmakers and regulators over the extraordinary power the two tech companies wield in life. American. Tensions between Microsoft and Google, which is ...

Read more Clash of the Giants: Google and Microsoft trade accusations of responsibility for recurring technology crises

#technology

 

Chris Pinkham - The South African who helped build Amazon Web Services with a team of Cape Town engineers


Pinkham was well-known in South Africa’s tech circles for having founded the country’s the first commercial ISP in 1993 – The Internetworking Company of Southern Africa (Ticsa).

In late 2003, Pinkham and his colleague Benjamin Black presented a paper internally which shared a vision for Amazon’s retail computing infrastructure. The catalyst for this paper was Pinkham’s decision to move back to Cape Town from Seattle. Bezos wanted to keep Pinkham, which led to the discussion about the compute service.

“The project was un-staffed and undefined, so with some of the folks that I worked with in Seattle, we put together a proposal which described in very rudimentary terms the first compute service – the elastic compute cloud.”

See The South African who helped build Amazon Web Services with a team of Cape Town engineers

#... Show more...

 

This new app helps the venerable Pebble watch continue working with new Android phones


Pebble was one of the first modern smartwatches when it launched on Kickstarter in 2012 (I still have mine). It became popular for its long battery life, massive library of applications, and open software, and was later followed up by several more models. Pebble shut down in 2016 after running out of funds, but not before the company updated its watches to continue functioning without a central server. The community-run ‘Rebble’ project has continued to keep the watches alive with updated software, and now Rebble has released a new app to keep Pebble watches functional on newer devices.

See This app helps Pebble watches work with new Android phones

#technology #pebble #android #retro

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The new Sideload Helper app from the Rebble project makes it much easier to install apps on Pebble watches from newer Android phones.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/new-app-helps-venerable-pebble-watch-continue-working-new-android-phones

 

ExposeIt app – The safe way to report corruption to South African companies


Complete anonymity is achieved by never asking any personally identifiable information from users. Instead, a random ID is used to communicate with whistleblowers. Using this ID, employees and outsiders can report unethical behaviour to companies through texts messages, images, videos, and other files.

No personally identifiable information, like IP addresses, IMEI numbers, or mobile numbers are recorded or reported by the app.

Noteworthy companies using the app are Liquid Telecom, EOH, KPMG, Weylands, Arcelor Mittal, Liquid Telecom, Grindrod, Rubicon, and Distell. They have had numerous successes in uncovering fraud and corruption which saved companies’ millions.

See ExposeIt – The safe way to report corruption to South African companies

#southafrica #corruption #whistleblowing #ExposeIt #technology
ExposeIt provides a completely anonymous way for employees and outsiders to report corruption and unethical behaviour to companies.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/exposeit-app-safe-way-report-corruption-south-african-companies

 

Apple Watch Can Accurately Assess Frailty (6MWT test), Finds Stanford University Study


Frailty can be determined using a six-minute walking test (6MWT), and the metric is a general standard used to evaluate the functional mobility and exercise capacity of a patient. Higher scores indicate "healthier cardiac, respiratory, circulatory, and neuromuscular function," according to Apple.

Conducted by Stanford University researchers and funded by Apple, the study provided 110 Veterans Affairs patients with cardiovascular disease with an iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 3. Patients conducted regular at-home six-minute walking tests, which were then compared to their standard in-clinic 6MWT performance.

OK the study was funded by Apple which is why it is also limited to researching only Apple devices, so it does not mean that other devices may not be able to do this, but whether they have the included the metrics or not is the issue. Looks like Apple has now included these metrics in their watchOS 7. Let's hope all wearables add more and more such metrics.

See Ap... Show more...

 

A good video overview of how LiDAR works as well as a demo of the 3D Scanner App for iOS


This is a nice practical explanation of how LiDAR sensors are used for land surveying and mapping, and so far the only demo I've seen of how the completely free 3D Scanner App actually works (I was looking for some tips on it for quite a while). Other apps all have features locked behind subscriptions and payments.

Currently, the LiDAR sensor is available in iPhone 2 Pro and Max models, but I'm sure they'll start appearing in other phones soon.

Watch at Survey Scanning with the iPhone 12 Pro LiDAR Sensor

#technology #LiDAR #3D #scanning #iphone

Image/photo
If you have any questions, email me at rami@tamimi.bizFor more information about me, visit my website at http://tamimi.biz/Downlaod Autodesk Meshmixer - http...

https://gadgeteer.co.za/good-video-overview-how-lidar-works-well-demo-3d-scanner-app-ios

 

Anyone with an iPhone can now make deepfakes with the Avatarify app. We aren’t ready for what happens next...


Now with a single source photo and zero technical expertise, an iPhone app called Avatarify lets you actually control the face of another person like a puppet. Using your phone’s selfie camera, whatever you do with your own face happens on theirs. Avatarify doesn’t make videos as sophisticated as pro fakes of Tom Cruise that have been flying on social network TikTok — but it has been downloaded more than 6 million times since February alone.

We always knew this was going to get easier and easier, and whilst this app is really not perfect, it is incredibly easy and quick to do. I did one in less than one minute using the demo mode.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/25/deepfake-video-apps/

#technology #deepfakes #video #avatarify
https://gadgeteer.co.za/anyone-iphone-can-now-make-deepfakes-avatarify-app-we-arent-ready-what-happens-next

 

Feedback on the Reolink NVR and security camera setup I bought


I bought a Reolink RLN8-410 NVR and six RLC-810A 4k cameras. I bought the cameras from Amazon (they're basically solid-state devices) and got the NVR in South Africa from Instacam. Instacam gave me a lot of good advice on the product matching and both they and Reolink gave excellent after sales support in terms of the technical questions I had. I felt more comfortable buying the NVR within South Africa because it has mechanical parts (2TB hard drive) and it will be easier to handle any warranty issues. Luckily too Instacam actually had the NVR available at a price slightly lower than the Amazon price (total cost with shipping, duty, and VAT).

I spend quite a few days watching lost and lots of video reviews about different home security camera setups and reviews. It helped me settle that I did want wired IP cameras (no battery changes or reception issues over time), I wanted 4K quality, I wanted to be able to fall back to accessing the cameras from a plain browser (hence RTSP protocol support for cameras), and I wanted the system to run independently of requiring an online clou... Show more...

 

Airbag technology for motorcyclists do exist and this video demonstrates the two main types


Yes the last 3 minutes do summarise why the one type (and brand) is better, but it is interesting to see how both types operate. Airbags are not cheap at all, but it is true that heavily padded jackets and neck braces do considerably restrict normal riding. My Sena intercom catches on my neck brace, restricting neck movement in one direction, which does not help me in urban traffic conditions.

Watch at Motorcycle Airbags Exist – But No One Uses Them?

#technology #motocycling #safety #airbags

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Airbags are a no-brainer in cars. But the case is not so cut-and-dry on motorcycles. Here’s why airbags haven’t reached mainstream adoption on motorcycles.GE...

https://gadgeteer.co.za/airbag-technology-motorcyclists-do-exist-and-video-demonstrates-two-main-types

 

Retroshare Peer-To-Peer Social Network has finally updated to v 0.6.6


The changelog below explains why this release took quite a long time, as many core features were changed and updated. The previous version 0.6.5 was difficult to connect with other users, so this release is truly a big step forward, and if you were planning to test this network out, this is the best version to get going with.

See thumbnail

Release notes for v0.6.6
by Cyril on RetroShare Team

#technology #socialnetwork #P2P #retroshare #opensource
https://gadgeteer.co.za/retroshare-peer-peer-social-network-has-finally-updated-v-066

 

Fairphone—the sustainable, modular smartphone company—suggests Qualcomm is the biggest barrier to long-term Android support


A recap of how Android upgrades make it to your phone: First, Google releases builds of AOSP (the Android Open Source Project) to everyone. This doesn't run on a phone yet, though. First, your SoC (System on a Chip) manufacturer (usually Qualcomm) has to get hold of it and customize Android for a particular SoC, adding drivers and other hardware support. Then, that build goes to your phone manufacturer (Fairphone, in this case) which adds support for the rest of the hardware—things like cameras, the display, and any other accessories—along with built-in apps and any custom Android skin work that the company wants to do.

Qualcomm is the only company with full access to Qualcomm's proprietary code blobs and hardware documentation, so an unofficial, hacked-together build usually won't reach the level of polish you get from an official release with every hardware company's support. Lineage normally lives in the realm of aftermarket phone tinkerers, so that's fine.

So Qualcom decides to stop sending updates for a 3 year old OS then creates a ripple effect down th... Show more...

 

Five-year-old Fairphone 2 getting updated to almost three-year-old Android 9... But the OS is officially supported by Google still for patches


I had mixed emotions when I first read this, like how can you take so long to update a phone? But then I did realise that most Android manufacturers supports a phone only 2 or 3 years for security patches and updates (Apple of course sets the example here for 7+ years).

So yes actually it is something to boast about, being able to use an Android phone for 5+ years and still be assured of security patches and updates from Google. It makes the investment more worthwhile.

Now if only batteries lasted longer or could be replaced!!!

See Five-year-old Fairphone 2 getting updated to almost three-year-old Android 9

#technology #fairphone #android #securitypatches #updates

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Getting Google’s certification meant passing 477,000 tests.

https://gadgeteer.co.za/five-year-old-fairphone-2-getting-updated-almost-three-year-old-android-9-os-officially-supported

 

To kill a Blockchain, add naughty stuff to it?


This reminds me very much of the early Internet where we were mainly concerned about integrity of the data, with social networks about spreading good deeds and messages, motor vehicles with early Bluetooth connectivity, etc.

Then as things went more mainstream we suddenly realised there were many people with seriously bad intentions who wanted to actually shut down hospitals for ransom, accelerate a motor vehicle remotely, turn off a pacemaker, and much more.

So yes I'm also wondering how vulnerable blockchain (used in logistics tracking for example) is going to be against legal as well as illegal threats? How will it be effected if forked, or if it has blocks legally suppressed? As we've seen in the past, these types of unintended situations become reality.

See To Kill A Blockchain, Add Naughty Stuff To It?

#technology #... Show more...

 

Here is a full breakdown of WhatsApp's conditions of service changes with comparisons to the old original conditions with explanations


First time I have seen this detailed breakdown.

See [WRITEUP]Dissecting MASSIVE WhatsApp privacy policy change w.e.f February 8, 2021, explanations and solutions for using WhatsApp : privatelife

#technology #privacy #deletewhatsapp

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submitted 3 months ago byTheAnonymouseJoker Hello! It is time to discuss this big banner that WhatsApp threw at us a month ahead of their drastic privacy policy changes. I am sure we all saw it. Facebook has updated the policy in advance, which has not yet been enforced. So, what I am going to do is analyse the "key changes" Facebook has made that...

https://gadgeteer.co.za/here-full-breakdown-whatsapps-conditions-service-changes-comparisons-old-original-conditions

 

6 open source alternatives for Google Calendar - Calendars are the easiest service to migrate elsewhere


Much like e-mail, calendaring has long established open protocols (like we DON'T have for social media) across services such as WebDAV, ics, etc. So it is usually quite easy to export/import a calendar elsewhere, or even to link to one or more remote calendars.

An app such as Thunderbird for example, can install on Windows, MacOS or Linux, and then connect to Google Calendar service online or many other external calendars. It's just one way of extracting what you have in Google Calendar (or even GMail), and then either copying that to a local calendar, or to a calendar elsewhere that Thunderbird can also connect to.

If you want a cloud server version of e-mail (vs just on your desktop) you can host a NextCloud instance at home or online in a cheap VPS. The article also mentions the possibility of AgenDAV. If you have a Hubzilla social media account, you already have a calendar service in there too with WebDAV capability which you can use to sync through. Other online options are Zoho Apps or Trello too.

See... Show more...

 

How to protect documents with a digital signature in open source ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors v.6.2


ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors is a free open-source office suite (much like LibreOffice) that contains viewers and editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Along with offline work, it’s possible to connect the app to the cloud (ONLYOFFICE, Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile) and collaborate on docs online. The code repository is available on GitHub under AGPL v.3.0 license.

LibreOffice has similar functionality and interesting to note by them that whilst ODF format is fully signed including the metadata, this is not the case for OOXML (docx) as they have to disable the signing for metadata as Microsoft does not sign the metadata (I wonder why?).

See short tutorial at How to protect documents with a digital signature in ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors v.6.2

#technology #... Show more...

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