Neural implant lets paralysed person type by imagining writing (vs just cursor control) - A paralysed individual hit 90 characters per minute with 99% accuracy

Date Published: Wed, 12 May 2021 21:26:29 +0200

This week, the academic community provided a rather impressive example of the promise of neural implants. Using an implant, a paralysed individual managed to type out roughly 90 characters per minute simply by imagining that he was writing those characters out by hand.

Previous attempts at providing typing capabilities to paralysed people via implants have involved giving subjects a virtual keyboard and letting them manoeuvre a cursor with their mind. The process is effective but slow, and it requires the user's full attention, as the subject has to track the progress of the cursor and determine when to perform the equivalent of a key press. It also requires the user to spend the time to learn how to control the system.

As the researchers themselves put it, this "is not yet a complete, clinically viable system." To begin with, it has only been used in a single individual, so we have no idea how well it might work for others.

See Neural implant lets paralyzed person type by imagining writing

#technology #neuralimplant #paralysed #physicalimpairment #disability


A paralyzed individual hit 90 characters per minute, 99% accuracy.

South Africa’s largest solar power plant begins construction - 100MW with a 12-hour thermal storage system

Date Published: Tue, 11 May 2021 22:32:40 +0200

ACWA Power said that in addition to providing clean and reliable energy to the national grid, the Redstone CSP will deliver tangible socio-economic benefits.

The construction project will create more than 2,000 jobs at its peak, including about 400 from the local community. It will also result in approximately 100 permanent direct jobs during the operating period.

Furthermore, the project will reach close to 44% local content on procurement during construction.

See South Africa’s largest solar power plant begins construction

#environment #southafrica #solar #renewableenergy

The R11.6 billion Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the Northern Cape will provide continuous electricity to around 200,000 households.

SonoBus is an open source cross-platform application for streaming high-quality, low-latency peer-to-peer audio between devices over the internet or a local network

Date Published: Tue, 11 May 2021 13:11:43 +0200

Connects multiple users together to send and receive audio among all in a group, with fine-grained control over latency, quality and overall mix. Includes optional input compression, noise gate, and EQ effects, along with a master reverb. All settings are dynamic, network statistics are clearly visible.

So this could be for a band or music practice, a meeting, etc without audio passing through any central server or reliant on any Internet service. Works as a standalone application on macOS, Windows, iOS, and GNU/Linux, and as an audio plugin (AU, VST, and AAX) on macOS and Windows. Use it on your desktop or in your DAW, or on your mobile device such as Android or iOS.

See SonoBus

#technology #privacy #music #bandpractice #opensource


Connects multiple users together to send and receive audio among all in a group, with fine-grained control over latency, quality and overall mix. Includes optional input compression, noise gate, and EQ effects, along with a master reverb. All settings are dynamic, network statistics are clearly visible. Works as a standalone application on macOS...


Interesting review of a successful use of a Valve Index VR headset on Linux with Steam Games

Date Published: Mon, 10 May 2021 21:37:46 +0200

I totally get the immersion experience that comes with VR. I've never actually tried a VR headset, but I've hung onto my 3D TV for that similar reason. I was on the point of splashing out on an Oculus Rift as the pandemic lockdowns started, but then the issue with the forced Facebook accounts loomed up and also stock was not available.

What's been holding me back though was, it is a lot of money to lay out and then find you really need to upgrade in 6 months time for better resolution or framerate, and then also to be sure of good Linux compatibility (and freedom from Facebook).

So this review article below is really promising, and maybe I'll restart my homework around VR again. There just needs to be decent games as well, to that give you that immersive feeling within simulations whether it be car racing or real-world simulations.

VR is one of those things that once you get immersed into a virtual world, you may not want to return to the real world...

See VR is absolutely insane, I am officially a convert and it works mostly great on Linux

#technology #VR #steamgames #ValveIndex #linux


It is time! I finally have a Valve Index with thanks to supporter Scaine and it has genuinely blown a few braincells away with just how incredible an experience it actually is.

The Chargie is now available for iOS too, to limit battery charging to 80% or whatever you want to set it too

Date Published: Mon, 10 May 2021 21:03:13 +0200

I've been using a Chargie for the last two years on my Android phone (my wife is now using it) and loved that it is a hardware device that shuts off the charging at a user set percentage. It does this by monitoring the battery and temperature via the app running on the phone.

This type of battery charge limiting was exclusively the reserve of rooted phones before the Chargie came along.
Yes iOS 14.5 has optimised charging, but that still charges the battery up to 100% which is a full charge cycle. So finally the Chargie is now available for iOS devices, and I've just ordered mine.

With the glued in non-replaceable batteries of today this device at $35 plus shipping is just worth it to me. The manufacturing has improved the quality further to prevent corrosion on the PCB inside which just means the device should be a once-only purchase.

See ‎Chargie - phone charge limiter

#technology #ios #batterycharging #chargecycles #chargie


‎Charging your phone every night to 100% and keeping the battery like this for 8 hours is one of the main culprits behind early battery failure. We're here to change that.

Chargie is an app+hardware phone charge limiting solution that makes your battery last for much longer than if you had charged i…

If you’re still using texts for 2FA, it’s time to change to an app - Many banks are ditching the use of verification via texts

Date Published: Mon, 10 May 2021 19:18:02 +0200

Good article explaining the risks today of using texts for second-factor authentication. E-mails are no better as they can be delayed and are usually in plain text.

Note too that although there is often mention of the Google Authenticator app, you can actually use any authenticator app, even to authenticate into Google services. I prefer to use Authy as it has consistently been ahead of Google's own app, having search capability, easily replication between multiple devices (or to new devices) including my desktop.

Some password managers like LastPass, 1Password and Bitwarden have built-in support for 6-digit authentication already that not many folks are aware of.

Most popular services on the Internet today offer authenticator app support, so you want to spend a minute on each just setting it up - you won't have to thank yourself later as you're probably unlikely to have those accounts hacked in future.

See There’s a better way to protect yourself from hackers and identity thieves

#technology #security #2FA #authentication #Authy


If you’re using texts for two-factor authentication, it’s time to change to an app. Here’s what you need to know.

The Top 5 Open-Source Microsoft 365 (Cloud Based) Alternatives for Linux

Date Published: Sun, 9 May 2021 23:19:59 +0200

It’s a well-known fact that Microsoft 365 is the default productivity solution for many companies and its range of features is truly impressive. It includes such functionalities as document editing, real-time collaboration, file sharing, project management, email, calendaring, and video conferencing. In other words, Microsoft 365 provides both personal and corporate users with all the essential applications that allow them to get their work done effortlessly and quickly.

However, the subscription model and cost of this software as well as its security standards and policies are not appropriate for everyone, and some companies start looking for more affordable solutions.

Personally I used Zimbra for a number of years in a corporate environment and must say it had a few features on the e-mail side that I did not see on Outlook mail (popups over dates to show appointments, click to make Skype calls, etc), and it's search through my 9 GB mailbox was way faster than Outlook. So don't think that open source is necessarily worse at everything.

See The Top 5 Open-Source Microsoft 365 Alternatives for Linux

#technology #opensource #alternativeto #collaboration


We have put together some best open-source Microsoft 365 alternatives that offer a vast array of productivity features and can be deployed on a Linux machine.

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Optometry Software Solutions

Date Published: Sun, 9 May 2021 11:37:45 +0200

It is no secret that the latest technologies and practice trends are transforming the optometry industry recently. The traditional optometry management is no more in practice. Prevention, detection, and management are getting better day-by-day with advanced technologies and new software solutions. Automation is the new change.

With the help of the optometry software, the opticians and ophthalmologists can efficiently manage your precious eyes.

The following applications are covered along with a comparison sheet:
* Filopto
* OpenEyes
* Wink
* Apex EDI
* Iris Mini
* DrChrono (trial only)
* OD Link (trial only)
* RevolutionEHR

See The Best 7 Free and Open Source Optometry Software Solutions

#technology #health #vision #opensource #optometry


Free & open source optometry software can update patient health records automatically, protects the medical data, & makes the documentation process speedy.

Itchy Boots: One woman riding her 250cc motorcycle solo around South Africa's most beautiful and rugged dirt roads and mountain passes

Date Published: Sat, 8 May 2021 14:41:33 +0200

I enjoyed watching some of the Long Way Round, Long Way Down, etc videos with a pair of guys and their support and planning crew tackling travelling on dirt roads through the wilderness.

Noraly, from The Netherlands, though is tackling similar terrain but completely on her own on a  relatively small 250cc bike, and doing all her own video and editing as she moves around. The notorious Sani Pass on the South Africa/Lesotho border is not a pass most of us riders would tackle, yet she goes and does it all on her own.

For the South African leg of the trip she has started amassing a number of followers who are just in sheer awe of her gutsy approach to riding through the wilderness of South Africa, and how she is showing off the amazing scenery and sights along the way. With good reason her YouTube channel has just passed 100 million views, and fans are suggesting she should become an ambassador for her country.

She has previously covered some other continents, so who knows, maybe your own country has featured as well.

Watch I AM BACK!! [S5 - Eps. 1]

#motorcycling #advetureriding #itchyboots #soloriding #southafrica


It's been almost one full year since I had to leave Peru because of the pandemic. The past 2,5 months I haven't been able to create videos because of the loc...

Linux for Starters – How to Choose a Distro

Date Published: Sat, 8 May 2021 13:52:42 +0200

You’ve decided that you want to try Linux but are unsure how to proceed. You are confused by the many hundreds of Linux distributions (distros) available. Which distro should you try?

There is no ‘perfect distribution’ and there isn’t a magical answer to the question. It’s a decision which will depend on your requirements and personal preferences. The best way to help is to focus on a few key considerations.

One thing to remember with Linux is that it is all running the same kernel under the hood so usually any Linux app will run on any Linux distro, and the differences come in with how the package managers work. So whichever distro you choose to start on, chances are you can install any app and can still customise that distro to do what you need.

This article discusses hardware considerations, beginner friendliness, point release vs rolling release distros. Their following article will discuss how to install a distro.

See Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Choose a Distro - Part 2 - LinuxLinks

#technology #linux #opensource #distros #startinglinux


Which distro should you try? We offer advice for beginners to Linux examining what makes a 'beginner friendly' distro.

Subscribe to GadgeteerZA Blog Posts