Blog

Chromecast’s wallpaper rotating feature adds a low-bandwidth mode admin Thu, 2018-07-19 - 03:07

Chromecast’s wallpaper rotating feature adds a low-bandwidth mode

Chromecast has many uses and they are connected to thousands of TVs across the world as their sole source of video output. When not in use, they display a carousel of wallpapers in the background. The date and time are superimposed over the backdrop, and it goes away when you start casting. This feature is set to arrive on Chromebooks in the future, but Google isn’t finished improving it first. A low-bandwidth mode has now been added so that you don’t have to worry about it downloading too many high-resolution images. What’s more, “backdrop” has been renamed to “Ambient Mode.”

The low-bandwidth mode is a really long-awaited and welcome feature.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/chromecast-wallpaper-low-bandwidth-mode/

#chromecast


Chromecast's wallpaper rotating feature adds a low-bandwidth mode
The Chromecast's wallpaper rotating feature has added a low-bandwidth mode. It has also been renamed to "Ambient Mode". It cannot be switched off.
Status: The most private and secure messaging platform in the world – and why it is better than WhatsApp... admin Wed, 2018-07-18 - 22:50

Status: The most private and secure messaging platform in the world – and why it is better than WhatsApp

The idea of decentralisation disrupting traditional systems is not exclusive to payment platforms, despite the huge focus on Bitcoin as “digital money”.

Concepts including censorship resistance, decentralisation, and privacy are some of the biggest motivations behind the creation of messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. However, these messaging applications are still controlled by singular entities – which are subject to government regulation and can be forced to divulge user data.

To circumvent this reliance on centralised organisations, developers building blockchain applications are using peer-to-peer messaging and other technologies to give users more control over their data.

One of these applications is Status, a blockchain-based messaging app for smartphones which runs on the Ethereum blockchain and allows for private, secure, and uncensorable messaging.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/software/268265-the-most-private-and-secure-messaging-platform-in-the-world-and-why-it-is-better-than-whatsapp.html or their website at https://status.im

#blockchain #status #messenger


The most private and secure messaging platform in the world – and why it is better than WhatsApp
MyBroadband spoke to Status Technical Evangelist Andy Tudhope about their Ethereum-based app’s communication protocol.
Take control of your home network with Fingbox admin Wed, 2018-07-18 - 22:22

Take control of your home network with Fingbox

The creators of the world’s most downloaded network scanner, Fing, has heard the cries of user concerns around network security and decided to take action.

With over 35 million downloads and exceptional user ratings on the mobile version, Fing has proven to be a working solution for its users, and led to the launch of the first hardware option called Fingbox in November of 2016.

Forward to 2018 and Fingbox have grown to a network must-have digital sidekick that allows users to manage, secure and control any home or office network and all the devices joined to it anytime, anywhere using the Fing app.

Fingbox is a puck-sized device which plugs into your network at home and opens a new realm of control and knowledge about every device that connects to your home network, wired or wireless.

Fingbox is perfect for parents looking to manage childrens’ Internet activity, as it allows them to schedule an Internet outage, block devices, manage device usage, and monitor what the children are doing on the internet.

Another feature called Digital Presence also allows users to see who is home. It reports on the individual’s arrival, when connected to the network, and when they leave the network.

Fingbox helps to improve network performance, so users’ connections are not only faster, but more stable and reliable. Fingbox allows the user to monitor Internet Service Provider outages, speeds and latency, as well as the user’s internal network for poor connectivity and ‘dead zones’.

Pair this with the Fingbox’s ability to identify all the devices on the network and the bandwidth analysis tool, and users will find who is hogging all the bandwidth on their network in no time. Users can even conveniently block them or limit their access with the click of a button.

Another great feature, Digital Fence, was developed to provide visibility of all devices that are Wi-Fi enabled and in close proximity of a user’s home. Cameras and alarms are a great monitoring tool to assist with your home security, but when paired with the Fingbox on a network assist with improved monitoring, and become a versatile application that captures data of unwelcome intruders.

More details and availability in South Africa at https://mybroadband.co.za/news/industrynews/268675-take-control-of-your-home-network-with-fingbox.html

#fingbox #security


Take control of your home network with Fingbox
Plug Fingbox into your home network to open a new realm of control and knowledge about every device that connects to your home network, wired or wireless.
Meet Jonathan Albright, the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News admin Wed, 2018-07-18 - 22:00

Meet Jonathan Albright, the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News

It's a heavy read but gives a glimpse into how deep and wide fake news is, and how quickly it spreads on the Internet. Also interesting to note that one individual has a better understanding of how fake news works than a multi-billion Dollar social media company!

See https://www.wired.com/story/shadow-politics-meet-the-digital-sleuth-exposing-fake-news/

#fakenews


Shadow Politics: Meet the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News
Buried in media scholar Jonathan Albright's research was proof of a massive political misinformation campaign. Now he's taking on the the world's biggest platforms before it's too late.
Renewables Push California Carbon Emissions Below 1990 Levels. UK Emissions Fall Even Further. admin Wed, 2018-07-18 - 21:45

Renewables Push California Carbon Emissions Below 1990 Levels. UK Emissions Fall Even Further.

We know that cutting carbon emissions alone won’t solve our planet’s overheating problem, but putting fewer carbon emissions into the atmosphere is a good way to begin addressing the issue. (Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is another.) In its latest report, the California Air Resources Board says the state hit its carbon reduction target for 2020 four years ahead of schedule. Linked below is part of that report. The numbers are from 2016, the latest year for which complete data is available.

CARB attributes much of the progress made in lowering carbon emissions to the increase in renewable energy in the state. Renewables now contribute about 13% of the state’s electricity while generation from coal-fired plants has decreased markedly. But the Board also credits a surge in hydroelectric energy during 2015 and 2016 when abundant rainfall swelled the state’s reservoirs.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Carbon Brief reports greenhouse gas emissions are already 38% below 1990 levels (the target California has set for 2030) and are now equal to emissions not seen in that country since Queen Victoria sat on the throne. It says the decrease is attributable to a sharp drop in the amount of coal used to generate electricity, along with an increase in renewables. Its calculations are based on the latest report from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/18/renewables-push-california-carbon-emissions-below-1990-levels-uk-emissions-fall-even-further/

#coal #carbonemissions


Renewables Push California Carbon Emissions Below 1990 Levels. UK Emissions Fall Even Further. | CleanTechnica
California and the UK both report significant drops in their greenhouse gas emissions, due in large part to large decreases in the amount of coal used to generate electricity. That's the good news. Now the hard work begins.
Maybe if we underpaid Politicians and overpaid Teachers, there would be Smarter people and less Shitty... admin Wed, 2018-07-18 - 21:37

Maybe if we underpaid Politicians and overpaid Teachers, there would be Smarter people and less Shitty laws

I'm sure that should read "fewer shitty laws" but that's why we need to pay teachers more ;-)


Tesla Virtual Power Plant (installed in homes) In Australia Passes Initial Testing With Flying Colors... admin Wed, 2018-07-18 - 07:57

Tesla Virtual Power Plant (installed in homes) In Australia Passes Initial Testing With Flying Colors

In February, Tesla and the government of South Australia announced a plan to create the largest virtual power plant in the world — 50,000 5 kilowatt rooftop solar systems, each paired with a 13.5 kilowatt-hour battery for a total system output of 250 megawatts and 625 megawatt-hours of storage. So far, the installation of rooftop solar and storage batteries has been completed on 100 homes and the results are everything Tesla expected them to be.

In a recent statement, the government praised the first virtual power plant (VPP) systems for, “delivering cheaper energy to South Australians who need it most,” and increasing the reliability of the state’s energy network. The results of preliminary testing show that the Tesla Powerwalls installed in homes can deliver the same type of performance when it comes to providing rapid and accurate response to frequency changes as the grid-scale Tesla battery array installed in South Australia at the end of last year.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/17/tesla-virtual-power-plant-in-australia-passes-initial-testing-with-flying-colors/

#gridstorage


Tesla Virtual Power Plant In Australia Passes Initial Testing With Flying Colors | CleanTechnica
Phase 1 of the Tesla 250 MW virtual power plant proposal has been completed, with the results showing the residential storage batteries can do just as good a job as stabilizing the grid and providing power during periods of peak demand as larger grid scale battery installations.
The case for full-fat yogurt admin Tue, 2018-07-17 - 23:10

The case for full-fat yogurt

Not all fats are created equal. There’s the dangerous trans fats, the healthy unsaturated fats, and the middling saturated fats, but even within that final category there are variations. That marbled steak? Bad for you, in non moderate amounts. But that creamy yogurt? It might actually be good for you.

One recent study brought the issue of full-fat dairy to the headlines this week, but this is far from the first study to question the assumed unhealthiness of dairy fat. Researchers have been zeroing in on the health consequences of t dairy fat for a long time. On the whole, studies show that people who eat full-fat dairy tend to be just as healthy or even healthier than those who choose the low-fat options.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why dairy fats are better for you than animal fats. Various theories suggest that it might be how filling they are (maybe you eat fewer calories overall when you have fatty yogurt), or perhaps that there’s some impact on insulin regulation. Cultured dairy, like yogurt and cheese, also have microbes that may contribute to a healthy microbiome—maybe that works in your favor weight-wise as well. Manufacturers also tend to add sugar when they remove fat from dairy products, so some scientists think low-fat versions may be a bit worse for your metabolism in that way. And any low-fat yogurt with added flavor tends to come along with a much higher sugar load.

See https://www.popsci.com/full-fat-dairy-good


The case for full-fat yogurt
Not all fats are created equal. There’s the dangerous trans fats, the healthy unsaturated fats, and the middling saturated fats, but even within that final category there are variations. That marbled steak? Bad for you, in non moderate amounts. But that creamy yogurt? It might actually be good for you.
10 reasons why South Africa must develop an electric vehicle sooner admin Sun, 2018-07-15 - 21:04

10 reasons why South Africa must develop an electric vehicle sooner

South Africa no longer has reasons to delay embarking aggressively on a mission to manufacture an Electric Vehicle (EV) for the domestic and export markets.

The initiative will contribute significantly as a catalyst to advancing the country’s economic growth, create jobs and open up entrepreneurial opportunities. The time is right, stakeholders are ready, opportunities abound, while the market climate is favourable.

This is an opportune time to retrieve from the shelves projects such as the “Joule” (or another) the brainchild of Optimal Energy – an offshoot of the University of Stellenbosch, exhibited at the Paris motor show in 2008 but abandoned in 2012. Some said because it was born too early – some said it did not make “business cents” at the time.

As the economic powerhouse and leader on the continent, SA can no longer afford to address its woes with timid, half-hearted measures and reactive approach. President Cyril Ramaphosa, Trudy Makhaya and the “four lions” must go for the juggernaut - unleash the country’s fullest potential, and refrain from looking up to other nations for approval. SA must avoid staying trapped in the conventional methods of addressing unconventional problems.

The country must take calculated risks, go for the total onslaught for economic development – embark on an aggressive self-propulsion forward, upward and unapologetically. A toothpick prick can never put down a raging bull elephant, symbolized by the constant negative economic growth, poverty and unemployment – one needs a powerful, high calibre weapon to execute such a tasking.

This weapon is constituted by aggressive research and development – thorough feasibility studies, marketing and advertising, domestic and international investment soliciting of unprecedented proportions. This includes adopting a proactive attitude and ridding SA of this risk-averse attitude and replace by embracing its inbred pioneering spirit.

See the list of reasons at https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/opinion/opinion-10-reasons-why-sa-must-develop-an-electric-vehicle-sooner-15980908

#southafrica #EV


OPINION: 10 reasons why SA must develop an electric vehicle sooner | IOL Business Report
South Africa no longer has reasons to delay embarking aggressively on a mission to manufacture an Electric Vehicle writes Martin Matlebyane.
DStv – Your time is up after 30 years of monopoly admin Sun, 2018-07-15 - 18:02

DStv – Your time is up after 30 years of monopoly

Sasfin Securities deputy chairman David Shapiro has dismissed calls from MultiChoice to impose stricter regulations on Netflix in South Africa.

Speaking on Business Day TV, Shapiro said Netflix is “simply progress”, and that after you have used Netflix, there is “no way that you are ever going to go back to DStv”. “DStv, your time is up,” said Shapiro.

Business Day TV’s The Week That Was host Giulietta Talevi added that MultiChoice had a 30-year monopoly in South Africa, and that companies need to “innovate or die”.

These comments follow calls from MultiChoice SA CEO Calvo Mawela for stricter regulations on video-streaming services like Netflix.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/business/268305-dstv-your-time-is-up.html

#DSTV #Netflix


DStv – Your time is up
Analyst David Shapiro said MultiChoice’s call for Netflix to be regulated is misguided.
Subscribe to GadgeteerZA Blog Posts