Tasker’s latest beta lets you create a custom sleep tracker on Android and process data locally

Date Published: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 11:33:18 +0200

This is one area where Apple seriously falls behind Android. Shortcuts just pales in comparison to the power and depth that Tasker offers Android users. Tasker lets you delve into reading and often modifying all sorts of system and app variables. For example on iOS I still cannot test (read only) for a condition of a WiFi network being lost (only tests for connected to a network - why?).

In the case of this post it is Google that has exposed an API for sleep tracking features which Tasker can make use of locally on your phone. This means instead of subscribing to, or passing sleep data to a cloud service, you could use Tasker locally to achieve a lot of functionality. Even if you cannot "program" or "script" Tasker, Tasker does allow others to save those scripts and share them for others to use or modify.

App developers will likely also be interested in making use of this API as it will greatly simplify what is needed within the app to achieve this.

See Tasker's latest beta lets you create a custom sleep tracker on Android

#technology #android #tasker #sleep

Image/photo

The developer of Tasker has implemented Google's new Sleep API into a new beta, allowing users to create a custom sleep tracker on Android.

The Famous BASIC Computer Games Book Gets A 2021 Update And You Can Help With Porting The Code Too

Date Published: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 10:12:09 +0200

The book, published in 1973 by [David Ahl] was a staple in its day and the first computer book to sell over one million copies. Of course, if you want to run Super Star Trek or Hamurabi, you better fire up an old retrocomputer or a simulator because BASIC in 1973 doesn’t look like what we have today. Or, you can head to GitHub where [coding-horror] is inviting people to help update the programs using modern languages.

Porting the code is actually a very useful way to learn newer languages, and it's a technique I made use of myself many times. Or if you wanted to learn how to play some of the card games, go read the BASIC code, and you'll quickly understand those games better. The link to the GitHub page takes you to the list of games and their current ports.

See The Famous Basic Computer Games Book Gets A 2021 Update

#technology #programming #BASIC #gaming

Image/photo

If you are a certain age, your first programming language was almost certainly BASIC. You probably at least saw the famous book by Ahl, titled BASIC Computer Games or 1010 BASIC Computer Games. The…

The City of Shenzhen has 16,000 Electric Buses & 22,000 Electric Taxis, and its air is much cleaner...

Date Published: Fri, 26 Feb 2021 13:17:19 +0200

With over 1 million km travelled per day this is a good example of a large city operating fully electric buses and taxies at scale. The central management and operational information screens are also quite mind-blowing.

Watch at The City with 16,000 Electric Buses & 22,000 Electric Taxis | 100% Independent, 100% Electric

#environment #EV #electricvehicles #china #publictransport

Image/photo

LIKE & SHARE to show your leaders what's possible! SUBSCRIBE for more great episodes.This episode is overflowing with positivity as Elliot visits a world-lea...

1Password has none, KeyPass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app? LastPass says you can opt out though

Date Published: Fri, 26 Feb 2021 11:17:34 +0200

The Exodus report on LastPass shows seven trackers in the Android app, including four from Google for the purpose of analytics and crash reporting, as well as others from AppsFlyer, MixPanel, and Segment. Segment gathers data for marketing teams and claims to offer a "single view of the customer", profiling users and connecting their activity across different platforms.

LastPass has many free users – is it a problem if the company seeks to monetise them in some way? Kuketz said it is. Typically, the way trackers like this work is that the developer compiles code from the tracking provider into their application. Even the app developers do not know what data is collected and transmitted to the third-party providers, said Kuketz, and the integration of proprietary code could introduce security risks and unexpected behaviour, as well as being a privacy risk. These things do not belong in password managers, which are security-critical, he said.

The article below does give guidance though on how to disable it, although the code remains in the app.

See 1Password has none, KeePass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?

#technology #privacy #lastpass #trackers

Image/photo

Third-party code in security-critical apps is obviously suboptimal, but company says you can opt out

How to Remote Play Steam Games Without a Steam Account using Steam Link

Date Published: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 22:50:00 +0200

Valve is currently testing a new feature on Steam Beta. The “Invite Anyone” upgrade to the existing Remote Play feature allows you, a Steam gamer, to play compatible games with any of your friends. They won’t need to set up an account on Steam to do so; they’ll just be able to hop right in after they click on a hyperlink (and install an app).

Your friend will need to have Steam Link installed on their Windows, Android, or iOS device before they click. Let's hope this expands still to MacOS and Linux.

See how it works at How to Remote Play Steam Games Without a Steam Account

#technology #gaming #steamgames

Image/photo

Jackbox games have become a popular pandemic life pastime, likely because the barrier for entry is absurdly low: One person hosts the game; everyone else pulls out their phones, types a code into a website, and they’re good to go. No need to make an account or download a separate app—just type four digits into a browser prompt and think of a clever username.

THIS Is What AR Glasses Will Be Like In 2021 - Qualcomm XR1 AR Is A Blueprint For Other Manufacturers To Use

Date Published: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 21:57:43 +0200

So this is not for consumers but intended for other manufacturers to use to develop their own products. There are already a number of merging AR glasses on the market, not all ready for prime time use though. Augmented Reality (AR) is different from Virtual Reality (VR) in that it overlays information over what you still see in the real world, so its use case is directed more at productivity, whilst VR is often more directed towards gaming (or removing you from reality).

A lot will depend though on useful and affordable software applications, and whether there will be open standards across AR devices. Open standards lower the cost of development of applications (cheaper to buy and quicker to develop), and will make it easier for buyers knowing they won't be locked into just one manufacturer's products (or be forced to log into Facebook to use a device).

AR glasses may seem expensive but if they can replace three very large desktop monitors in a small space, it starts making a lot of sense. But we're probably not quite there yet in terms of resolution... so watch this space over the next year or two.

Watch the video at THIS Is What AR Glasses Will Be Like In 2021 (Qualcomm XR1 AR)

#technology #AR #augmentedreality #productivity

Image/photo

The Qualcomm XR1 AR Glasses will give us a glimpse of what future AR glasses will be like, not in a few years but THIS year. In 2021. So let’s talk about tha...

How to change an app icon and description on the iPhone home screen

Date Published: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:35:45 +0200

Yes another thing taken for granted on an Android phone by just long pressing on the app icon (at least with Nova Launcher) but there is an effective trick using Shortcuts on an iPhone to do the same. It may be a bit long-winded, but you only have to do it once.

Why? Well because some third party apps for services like XMPP and Mastodon have really cryptic names and icons and I really can never remember what services they are for. This solves that problem once and for all!

See Make your iPhone 'aesthetic' in iOS 14.3: Here's how to customize your home screen

#technology #ios #tip #apple

Image/photo

Customize the look and size of your iPhone app icons using an app and iOS 14.3.

A solar panel in space is collecting energy that could one day be beamed to anywhere on Earth... For Good or Bad?

Date Published: Thu, 25 Feb 2021 11:04:50 +0200

Scientists working for the Pentagon have successfully tested a solar panel the size of a pizza box in space, designed as a prototype for a future system to send electricity from space back to any point on Earth.

A very interesting project and maybe the key to it is better collection and the conversion to microwave to better penetrate the atmosphere (where sunlight loses some of its effective energy).

Beyond that, scientists will have to test sending the energy back to Earth. The panels would know precisely where to send the microwaves -- and not accidentally fire it at the wrong target -- using a technique called "retro-directive beam control." Now seeing this is being funded by the US Pentagon... I was just wondering what happened if that energy goes to the "wrong target".

But that said, we have to also remember that many of our scientific advances and inventions have been borne out of military and space travel needs. In fact the Internet was borne out of one such project.

See more details at CNN exclusive: A solar panel in space is collecting energy that could one day be beamed to anywhere on Earth

#technology #energy #USA #space #renewableenergy

Image/photo

Scientists working for the Pentagon have successfully tested a solar panel the size of a pizza box in space, designed as a prototype for a future system to send electricity from space back to any point on Earth.

Confuse Google Ads With The AdNauseum Firefox/Opera/Chrome/Chromium Derivatives Extension To Obfuscate Browsing Advertising Data

Date Published: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:56:06 +0200

As online advertising becomes ever more ubiquitous and unsanctioned, AdNauseam works to complete the cycle by automating ad clicks universally and blindly on behalf of its users. Built atop uBlock Origin, AdNauseam quietly clicks on every blocked ad, registering a visit on ad networks' databases. As the collected data gathered shows an omnivorous click-stream, user tracking, targeting and surveillance become futile (that's the theory anyway).

So this works similarly to the Firefox extension TrackMeNot, and the AdNauseum website also links to a paper that explains further how the obfuscating should be effective.

Note though this extension is not in the Google Chrome store, so you need to install it separately along with whatever risks that can entail. I see the extension is open source on Github so it is possible to examine the code if you wish.

See Confuse Google Ads With This Chrome Extension

#technology #browsers #trackers #privacy #adnauseum

Image/photo

In an online world in which countless systems are trying to figure out what exactly you enjoy so they can serve you up advertising about it, it really fucks up their profiling mechanisms when they think you like everything. And to help you out with this approach, I recommend checking out the Chrome/Firefox extension AdNauseum. You won’t find it on the Chrome Web Store, however, as Google frowns at extensions that screw up Google’s efforts to show you advertising for some totally inexplicable reason. You’ll have to install it manually, but it’s worth it.

Dozens of Huawei and Honor devices with Kirin processors can now be bootloader unlocked which can allow custom ROMs and kernels to be installed

Date Published: Wed, 24 Feb 2021 15:50:31 +0200

Defeating Huawei’s draconian security measures wasn’t an easy task, but a developer named Andrey Smirnoff actually managed to decipher the bootloader unlock code generation algorithm for devices that are based on HiSilicon Kirin 960/659/655 chipsets. Apart from that, what makes PotatoNV possible is a low-level bootloader flashing method discovered by XDA Senior Member hackintosh5. The tool, which makes use of the VCOM_DOWNLOAD mode, requires users to open up the target device and access the test points on the motherboard.

With the release of PotatoNV, owners of the aforementioned Huawei and Honor devices are finally able to flash all the custom ROMs and kernels they desire. So this can mean being able to replace the Huawei software with a custom ROM like LineageOS or others, where you can optionally install the Google apps if you wanted to. Point is Huawei still gets to sell their hardware device so there is no loss to them, it just opens up additional options for users.

See Bootloader unlock method for Huawei and Honor devices with Kirin SoCs

#technology #mobile #huawei #rooting

Image/photo

Using this open-source tool, you can now unlock the bootloader of several HiSilicon Kirin-powered Huawei and Honor devices. Check it out!

Subscribe to GadgeteerZA Blog Posts