Blog

RCS: What it is and why you might want it... It's going to replace SMS in future admin Thu, 2018-12-13 - 22:22

RCS: What it is and why you might want it... It's going to replace SMS in future

RCS is a new online protocol that was chosen for adoption by the GSM Association in 2008 and is meant to replace the current texting standard SMS (Short Message Service), which has been around since the 1990s. The GMSA represents a wide variety of organizations in the mobile industry, including device and software companies, internet companies, etc. Naturally, given all those players, it took a while to come to an agreement, and so it wasn’t until 2016 that the GSMA was able to come up with something resembling a standard. Called the Universal Profile, it is, according to the GMSA, a “single, industry-agreed set of features and technical enablers.”

RCS will add a lot more multimedia capabilities to your messaging. Besides the usual texts (plain and fancy), it will make it simple to send GIFs, high-resolution still photos, and videos. It will let you know if the person you’re texting is available, and can send you a receipt to prove they received your message. It will allow you to create longer messages and attach larger files. It also enables much better group messaging than SMS can handle. In other words, it can make standard text messaging look and work a lot like iMessage.

As of this writing, support for RCS has been promised by 55 carriers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and a slew of secondary companies; 11 hardware manufacturers such as Samsung, Lenovo, and LG (but not Apple), and both Microsoft and Google.

More at https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/12/18137937/rcs-rich-communication-service-messaging-explainer-what-is-google-chat

#RCS #SMS #Chat


RCS: What it is and why you might want it
RCS / Chat, coming to a phone near you, will add multimedia to your texts.
Huawei’s Freebuds 2 Pro wireless earbuds with bone conduction finally launch admin Thu, 2018-12-13 - 22:17

Huawei’s Freebuds 2 Pro wireless earbuds with bone conduction finally launch

Before the launch of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, it was leaked that the phone would be able to wirelessly charge one of its accessories. That specific accessory was called the Huawei Freebuds 2 Pro and they are very obviously designed around Apple’s AirPods.

Specifically, the company is focusing on the bone conductivity which is actually able to match up the bone sound pattern of whoever is speaking into them. Similar to Google’s voice match feature, this enables the Freebuds 2 Pro to accurately identify who is speaking into them. And with integration into Alipay and WeChat Pay, this adds yet another level of convenience to the owner as they can use their voice for biometric authentication. The Freebuds 2 Pro are available to purchase from vmall, tmall, jd.com, and sunning.com.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/huawei-freebuds-2-pro-wireless-earbuds-launch/

#huawei #freebuds


Huawei's Freebuds 2 Pro wireless earbuds with bone conduction finally launch
Huawei officially launched the Freebuds 2 Pro in China for 999 yuan. They feature wireless charging and Bone Voice ID biometric technology.
Google Assistant's Broadcast replies are live - And British and Australian Accents are going Live admin Thu, 2018-12-13 - 22:11

Google Assistant's Broadcast replies are live - And British and Australian Accents are going Live

If you broadcast a message to your speakers (you can't choose one, it has to be sent to all), they will play it back and then offer a little hint: you can reply to the message if you want. Saying, "Ok Google, reply" triggers the answer and you can dictate any message you want. That message is then sent back to the original sender (whether that's your phone or another speaker).

On phones, the message is also transcribed and arrives as a notification, but you can play back the audio clip if you prefer to hear the original recording. A reply option is offered as well, so you can keep going back and forth with answers.

The new accents are available now for the Assistant in the U.S. (as long as you're using it in English) and can be accessed by opening the Google Assistant app and going to Settings -> Assistant -> Assistant voice.

From here, you'll see the new voices are labeled as "Sydney Harbour Blue" and "British Racing Green."

See https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/12/13/tip-google-assistants-broadcast-replies-are-live/

#googleassistant


Tip: Google Assistant's Broadcast replies are live
Every few weeks, Google announces (and sometimes re-announces) a bunch of new Assistant features, so it's getting a little difficult to keep track of all of them. Among those was an option to reply to broadcasts, and now it's live. Well, technically, we're not sure when it became live,
Cement, steel, plastics, shipping, aviation and heavy road transport are responsible for a third of ... admin Thu, 2018-12-13 - 21:28

Cement, steel, plastics, shipping, aviation and heavy road transport are responsible for a third of all carbon emissions

Six major elements of the world economy are responsible for a third of all carbon emissions.

They are cement, steel, plastics, shipping, aviation and heavy road transport. The accepted wisdom is that it is too expensive and difficult to make them reduce the emissions from their smokestacks and exhaust pipes.

But this view has been turned on its head by wide-ranging research by the Energy Transitions Commission, a group of planners, corporations and government advisers who decide where money should be invested to shape the future.

Based in London, the commission was founded by Shell and McKinsey, which courted a great deal of controversy. But what it says carries a great deal of weight and about 200 people contributed to its late-November report, Mission Possible: Reaching Net-zero Carbon Emissions from Harder-to-abate Sectors by Mid-century.

It charts how the six sectors could reduce their carbon emissions to zero and calculates how much this will cost.

In the cement industry, for example, this could be done at the cost of 6% extra per house. But the return on this cost will be houses that use less electricity and are nicer to live in. Think winters without blankets and summers without air conditioning.

South Africa’s carbon tax is an example of how this could work. Starting in mid-2019, companies will have to pay up to R120 a tonne of carbon they produce. The tax will make it more expensive for companies that do not lower their emissions but it also gives tax breaks to companies that change.

Point is changes can be made that will have benefits not only to the environment but also to our own health.

See https://mg.co.za/article/2018-12-07-00-mission-possible-polluters-can-change

#climatechange #pollution


Mission possible: Polluters can change
A new report shows that the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide could stop — and cheaply too
My new Yaesu FT-991A HF/VHF/UHF All Mode Transceiver arrived today admin Tue, 2018-12-11 - 22:49

My new Yaesu FT-991A HF/VHF/UHF All Mode Transceiver arrived today

I've really struggled to get the bits and pieces together but finally today I got the UHF connectors for the coax and the radio itself arrived too. Took a good hour plus to get the connectors all soldered on and connect the wires to the 30Amp DC power supply and finally I got to switch it on. It all powered up OK but I was initially not receiving anything with the balun connected between the radio and the HF antenna (a G5RV Junior antenna for my roof). So I removed the balun and it seems to be receiving fine now (I can't transmit until I get my license in May 2019 so it's not too serious right now and I can spend time diagnosing the antenna - may be a bad solder joint).

For now it's going to be listening and getting used to tuning the radio. I need to mount the antenna in the roof this coming weekend, and still get a VHF/UHF antenna. The aim is to next year start DX'ing far afield. The radio will output 100W on HF but I can see why so much time gets spent discussing and diagnosing antennas... the radio itself is the easy part but the antenna type, position, height, tuning, etc is the real science.

See photos at https://photos.gadgeteer.co.za/index.php?/category/219

#hamradio #yaesu #yaesuft991a #amateurradio


My Technology and Gadgets / Ham Radio | Danie's Photo Site
My Technology and Gadgets / Ham Radio
Nextcloud introduces social features, joins the fediverse using ActivityPub which will link to Mastodon... admin Mon, 2018-12-10 - 21:46

Nextcloud introduces social features, joins the fediverse using ActivityPub which will link to Mastodon, Peertube, Diaspora abnd many other social networks

Nextcloud (hosted at your company or privately by yourself) helps you stay in control over your data and communication. Social networks are the tool people use to stay up to date with what others are doing, be it in a private or business setting. But most social networks are centralized platforms under control of a single entity. Nextcloud Social provides a decentralized, federated solution that lets users remain in control while sharing status updates with and subscribing to feeds of others across Nextcloud servers.

For business users, this provides the first steps towards internal enterprise social networking, tightly connected with the productivity capabilities teams already use. It empowers employees to collaborate and share tips and ideas about how to improve the workplace.

For private users, by using the popular ActivityPub standard, Nextcloud users can subscribe to and share status updates with users in the so-called ‘fediverse’, an interconnected and decentralized network of independently operated servers! This allows federation of Nextcloud servers with the popular decentralized Mastodon network, where tens of millions of users already ‘tooth’ with one another, potentially growing the fediverse by an order of magnitude. According to wikipedia, Peertube and soon Diaspora are part of this same network, as are almost a dozen more communities. As every one of the hundreds of thousands of Nextcloud servers turns into a potential hub in the fediverse, this has very exciting possibilities for Nextcloud users to communicate with others!

This is a really important step to expanding the decentralised social networking fediverse! I see many smaller 'hubs' being hosted with local rules and conversations but enabled to connect to many others. You can choose where your 'home' is and interconnect with your friends anywhere else.

I'll certainly be trying this out on my Nextcloud hosting.

See https://nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-introduces-social-features-joins-the-fediverse/

#nextcloud #fediverse #mastodon #diaspora #peertube


Nextcloud introduces social features, joins the fediverse – Nextcloud
Nextcloud is an open source, self-hosted file share and communication platform. Access & sync your files, contacts, calendars & communicate and collaborate across your devices. You decide what happens with your data, where it is and who can access it!

97% of Auto Mechanics Can’t Work on Electric Cars, New UK Report Concludes - A possible Resistance to...

Posted on: Mon, 2018-12-10 - 21:30 By: admin

97% of Auto Mechanics Can’t Work on Electric Cars, New UK Report Concludes - A possible Resistance to Adoption of EVs in the Industry?

Recently published studies from the UK’s Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) revealed that as many as 97% of active auto mechanics aren’t qualified to work on electric cars. Worse, of that 3% of auto mechanics who are qualified, the vast majority of them are employed at manufacturer dealerships, presenting prospective EV buyers with very limited service options.

That fear isn’t just training-related. The independent business model is threatened. According to the same Tribune article, “Independent auto shops — of which there are more than 160,000 in the United States — have always relied on minor repairs, such as oil changes and new tires, to get customers in the front door. To many a car owner’s surprise, one minor repair often leads to a series of others, giving auto shops a chance to make more money and establish a rapport with customers that can serve them for years.” Without those frequent oil changes, well … you can already kind of see the problem, right?

And the situation in smaller 3rd World Countries is even worse... the technology is moving along but not just the oil companies are feeling threatened by the change. Fear creates resistance to change. Change is already coming but it is certain parts of the industry that will have to adjust like standard servicing (much less of it), tyres and alignment should be fine for now, brakes (used way less), transmissions (only on legacy vehicles), countries which still have people filling petrol for drivers (can't see this continuing), etc. New niches will appear around battery swap outs, mobile charging, battery re-purposing for static use, and other ideas.

Whilst many may fear the coming of EVs just wind the clock forward another 30 or 40 years and I wonder if there will even be personal vehicles any more. It's a changing world...

See https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/10/97-of-auto-mechanics-cant-work-on-electric-cars-new-report-concludes/

#EV


97% of Auto Mechanics Can’t Work on Electric Cars, New Report Concludes | CleanTechnica
Recently published studies from the UK’s Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) revealed that as many as 97% of active auto mechanics aren’t qualified to work on electric cars. Worse, of that 3% of auto mechanics who are qualified, the vast majority of them are employed at manufacturer dealerships, presenting prospective EV buyers with very limited service options

Google+ now to shut down in April instead of August 2019 - Talk about rubbing salt in the wound!

Posted on: Mon, 2018-12-10 - 20:42 By: admin

Google+ now to shut down in April instead of August 2019 - Talk about rubbing salt in the wound!

So most Google+ users have not yet found a suitable alternative judging by constant information exchanges I'm seeing (and I gained another 15,000 followers on G+ in the last two months). This is probably just going to upset users even more now and I've also seen quite a few now rather disillusioned about testing any new Google products out where it means building up data and having to abandon it (not the same say for switching Android keyboards where there may not be so much investment). Most users already left Facebook and have been quite vocal about not moving to Facebook. Seems MeWe and Pluspora have both grown tremendously from the G+ announcement already.

In the light of additional API issues that Google has had, and it throwing the towel in on consumer G+ versus sticking it out like Facebook does, it won't bode well in future for any new social network Google wants to establish. As it is I did not move my photos from Flickr to Google Photos and decided to go for my own hosted service that I fully control.

So there you have it - we have a bit over 4 months of Google+ left... My evenings are probably going to be a lot quieter as I don't have nearly as much interaction across MeWe, my anonymous Facebook Page, Diaspora, Minds, Friendica, Huubzilla, Mastodon, and my own blog all rolled together. Yes G+ has produced the most interesting and challenging interactions every single day with numerous followers.

Well, the sunset is now in sight... much sooner than we expected... One has to wonder how long enterprise Google+ will continue?

See Google's announcement at https://www.blog.google/technology/safety-security/expediting-changes-google-plus/

#google+ #socialnetworks


Expediting changes to Google+

Unreal Engine 4 - (2018) - Ridiculous Realistic Looking Charactersjust hinting at what more the Future...

Posted on: Sun, 2018-12-09 - 23:35 By: admin

Unreal Engine 4 - (2018) - Ridiculous Realistic Looking Charactersjust hinting at what more the Future Holds!

2018, so a new year for Unreal Engine 4 technology to shine! A few days ago, GDC 2018 showed us how great the future of Unreal Engine 4 can look. Especially characters can look better then ever!

At around 7 mins the video goes into extreme closeup on some of the characters and it is really breathtaking to where graphics are at. We've already seen video of the detailed walk through the Titanic and this just hints now at what is possible for more than even just gaming.

See https://youtu.be/Vh9msqaoJZw

#unrealengine4


Invoice Ninja - Leading Open-Source Platform to Invoice Clients, Track-Time, and Get Paid!

Posted on: Sun, 2018-12-09 - 18:41 By: admin

Invoice Ninja - Leading Open-Source Platform to Invoice Clients, Track-Time, and Get Paid!

Free for up to 100 Clients & Unlimited Invoices & Quotes (hosted version), or paid plans for higher usage, or if you install and host it yourself it is completely free including all premium features. There are also Android and iOS apps.

See https://www.invoiceninja.com or listen to the FLOSS Weekly interview about the product at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbXXUHABGRU (which is where I heard about it).

#invoiceninja #flossweekly


Free Open-Source Invoices, Expenses & Time-Tracking | Invoice Ninja
The leading free open-source online invoicing app for freelancers & businesses. Invoice, accept payments, track expenses, create proposals, & time-tasks
Subscribe to GadgeteerZA Blog Posts