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Canberra businesses and homes trial 'world's largest virtual power plant'

Posted on: Fri, 2017-12-01 - 02:42 By: danie

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Canberra businesses and homes trial 'world's largest virtual power plant'

More than 250 Canberra businesses and homes banded together on Thursday afternoon to create the "world's largest virtual power plant". The trial used new technology developed by Reposit Power to coordinate solar batteries installed across the territory in selling power back to the grid.

It took advantage of an ActewAGL offer to pay a feed-in tariff of $1 per kilowatt hour in times when there is a high demand for electricity - more than eight times the typical rate.

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury described the initiative as "Canberra innovation at its best".

"The great thing about a virtual power plant compared to a centralised battery like the much-spruiked Tesla battery in South Australia, is that in addition to providing grid support, the household batteries also work to directly reduce the owners power bills every day," he said.

See http://bit.ly/2BAIWsg

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Google launches Android app called Datally to help save data

Posted on: Thu, 2017-11-30 - 23:28 By: danie

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Google launches Android app called Datally to help save data

Google has introduced a new app which will help data-conscience users monitor their mobile data usage and see where they can save it, as well as find public Wi-Fi hotspots. Called Datally, the app is available globally today from the Google Play Store for all phones running Android Lollipop or higher.

Inside Datally users can see how much data they used in the last hour, day, week, or month, and they can see exactly which apps used up the most data. After some use, the app will give users personalised recommendations on where they can save. Users will also be able to turn on the Data Saver ‘bubble' which will block background data usage and track real-time data usage while using each other apps. This means a small bubble will pop up when using apps like Instagram or Facebook, and tell the user in real-time how much data they are using.

Datally has been tested in the Philippines for the past few months, and results show that people are saving up to 30% on their data.

Google says they will be looking into creating a version of Datally for Apple smartphones in the future. Upcoming features to the app include data balance checking and expiration reminders, as well as proactive data usage warnings and controls.

See http://bit.ly/2ByjAeP

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Strides - Can this game-like app help students do better in school?

Posted on: Thu, 2017-11-30 - 22:26 By: danie

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Strides - Can this game-like app help students do better in school?

Strides is an experiment in Fresno, based on the personal data-tracking fever inspired by Fitbit and other apps. As schools are using more data to drive decision-making, from the central office to the classroom, giving students a look at their own data is the next frontier. By letting students see trends in their grades and attendance and making that data fun to track, administrators hope students can be nudged toward behaviours that are good for them academically.

Students never lose points. Strides is all about positive reinforcement. The points available are evenly balanced across five “pillars,” with daily and weekly maximums in each category. Besides attendance and grades, students can get points for logging in to the student portal that houses Strides, for participating in after-school activities and for having good behaviour noticed in class. A student who doesn’t get good grades but participates in several after-school activities and has good attendance can keep up, points-wise, with a student who does get good grades but doesn’t participate in any extracurriculars, for example.

“We’re trying to avoid kids opting out because they see these super-smart kids are just going to win and [they] can’t compete,” said Paul Scott, coordinator of Fresno Unified’s software-development team. “That’s not fun at all.”

See https://www.wired.com/story/can-this-game-like-app-help-students-do-better-in-school/

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These are the books Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk think everyone should read

Posted on: Thu, 2017-11-30 - 21:22 By: danie

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These are the books Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk think everyone should read

Books have always been important to billionaire moguls like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk.

Over the years, the trio has sung the praises of several books that influenced the way they see the world, from their approach to technological innovation to how they manage their businesses.

Here are 15 books that Bezos, Gates, and Musk have given glowing reviews — and think everyone should read.

See the list at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/these-are-the-books-bill-gates-jeff-bezos-and-elon-musk-think-everyone-should-read

These are the books Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk think everyone should read
Here are 15 books that Bezos, Gates, and Musk have given glowing reviews.

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Mozilla releases dataset and model to lower voice-recognition barriers

Posted on: Thu, 2017-11-30 - 20:18 By: danie

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Mozilla releases dataset and model to lower voice-recognition barriers

Mozilla has released its Common Voice collection, which contains almost 400,000 recordings from 20,000 people, and is claimed to be the second-largest voice dataset publicly available. The voice samples in the collection were obtained from Mozilla's Common Voice project, which allowed users via an iOS app or website to donate their utterances. It is hoped that creating a large public dataset will allow for better voice-enabled applications.

Alongside its dataset, Mozilla also released its open-source Project DeepSpeech voice-recognition model based on work done by Chinese internet giant Baidu. It is claimed that with its 6.5 percent error rate on the LibriSpeech dataset, DeepSpeech is approaching human levels of recognition.

In August, Microsoft said it had reached a voice-recognition error rate of 5.1 percent on the Switchboard corpus, the same level as professional human transcribers. Earlier in the year, Google said it had a 4.9 percent error rate in its speech-recognition software.

See http://zd.net/2k8wX0S

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Leather Made from Mushrooms!

Posted on: Thu, 2017-11-30 - 19:15 By: danie

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Leather Made from Mushrooms!

- 1 inch grows within 1 week
- 2x3 feet within 1 month
- Full cow hide size within 2 months
- Extracted from mushroom caps
- Tanning process is natural and doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals like the ones used in processing leather
- Muskin is natural and non-toxic so it’s safe for contact with your face and skin
- Softer than leather, is water repellant and breathable
- 100% biodegradable
- Stops the proliferation of bacteria
- Strong absorbent capacity
- Any exotic animal skin can be emulated like elephant or snake and comes with a soft shammy backing

Watch the short video at http://bit.ly/2Bz1HN3

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Waze Is the First GPS App to Support Carpool Lanes and Motorcycle-specific Directions

Posted on: Thu, 2017-11-30 - 07:23 By: danie

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Waze Is the First GPS App to Support Carpool Lanes and Motorcycle-specific Directions

Waze started rolling out three new features to its iOS and Android app Wednesday, the most noticeable of which is new support for high occupancy vehicles or carpool lanes. Now, if you’re carpooling or have a vehicle with a special permit, Waze will offer travel times and directions for the HOV lanes as well, making it the first navigation tool to offer the opportunity.

In addition to the new HOV navigation, Waze also added a hands-free feature that allows you to interact with Waze by saying “OK Waze”

The third and final new feature is the addition of motorcycles as a vehicle type, allowing riders to get new motorcycle-specific directions.

See http://for.tn/2BzGZN5

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Sugar Was Linked to Heart Disease 50 Years Ago, but the Industry Covered It Up

Posted on: Wed, 2017-11-29 - 23:49 By: danie

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Sugar Was Linked to Heart Disease 50 Years Ago, but the Industry Covered It Up

Sugar has detrimental effects on our health, and not just because sweet foods tend to have a lot of calories. Plenty of research has shown that the same calories of sugar versus other foods do very different things to our bodies. And new research shows how the sugar industry has tried to hide those findings.

We’re also seeing new information about how the “wisdom” linking fat to heart disease ever became conventional at all. In the 1960s, scientists researching the causes of heart disease were eyeing sugar as a culprit, and according to a new paper (http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2003460), sugar industry-funded research obscured and buried that connection.

See http://bit.ly/2kb30gQ

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Major Security Flaw Discovered In macOS High Sierra

Posted on: Wed, 2017-11-29 - 22:45 By: danie

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Major Security Flaw Discovered In macOS High Sierra

A major security flaw has been discovered in Apple’s macoS High Sierra. The flaw gives anyone access to your system without a password. The security flaw was discovered by developer Lemi Ergin who posted about the flaw on Twitter.

The security flaw will let anyone log into an admin account on your Mac without the need for a password. This is done by simply setting the username to ‘root’ and then logging in with a blank password field.

Once this feature has been enabled on a Mac, the ‘root’ username can then be used to login to the login screen without the need for a password. A way to stop this on your Mac is to enable the root account on your Mac and then setup a password for it. This will ensure that no-one can login without needing to put in a password.

The exploit is triggered by multiple attempts as described above. There are also reports it also occurs with remote logins as well.

See https://www.geeky-gadgets.com/major-security-flaw-discovered-in-macos-high-sierra-29-11-2017/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=gplus

Major Security Flaw Discovered In macOS High Sierra - Geeky Gadgets

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