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Don Watkins' talk on Getting started with Raspberry Pi given to the Western New York Library Resource...

Posted on: Mon, 2017-11-06 - 22:45 By: danie

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Don Watkins' talk on Getting started with Raspberry Pi given to the Western New York Library Resource Council

This was a talk that Don recently gave to the Western New York Library Resource Council, which they recorded and made available. It's a great intro video for others who would like someone to come and introduce their staff or patrons/learners to Raspberry Pi, but have no-one available to give the talk.

Watch it at https://youtu.be/0y0WZuL8Ge0

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Europe pledges support for open source government solutions to help achieve ambitious governmental d...

Posted on: Mon, 2017-11-06 - 21:43 By: danie

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Europe pledges support for open source government solutions to help achieve ambitious governmental digitisation goals

In what must rank as one of its most significant endorsements, open source software (OSS) has been explicitly recognised as a key driver towards achieving ambitious governmental digitisation goals by ministers from 32 countries in the European Union and the European Free Trade Area.

Lovegrove points out that perhaps the most significant development for open source was the explicit endorsement of the role OSS must play in governmental digitisation. The declaration states that the signatory countries will "make more use of open source solutions and/or open standards when (re)building ICT systems and solutions (among else, to avoid vendor lock-ins), including those developed and/or promoted by EU programmes for interoperability and standardisation".

It also calls on the European Commission to consider "strengthening the requirements for use of open source solutions and standards when (the) (re)building of ICT systems and solutions takes place with EU funding, including by an appropriate open licence policy – by 2020".

See http://bit.ly/2AofDbR

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Cat S41 Android smartphone is tough as nails

Posted on: Mon, 2017-11-06 - 04:38 By: danie

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Cat S41 Android smartphone is tough as nails

Boasting of full Android capabilities,the Cat S41 has been specially engineered to target consumers who indulge across a wide range of industries, or are in pursuit of recreational activities which tend to place the smartphone at risk of damage. This includes construction, forestry, agriculture, security and vehicle repair, or active sports like skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, home DIY and cooking.

It has a huge 5,000mAh battery that keeps it powered for up to 38 hours of 3G talk time and as much as 44 days of standby time. There is also a Battery Share functionality that lets the S41 double up as a power bank. In addition to that, it has IP68 water and dust proof credentials, conforming to MIL SPEC 810G. The 5-inch Full HD display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and can be used even though one has wet fingers or is wearing gloves. Other specifications include 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, a microSD memory card slot, a MediaTek octa-core 2.3GHz chipset, a 13MP shooter at the back with an 8MP shooter in front that can work underwater, among others. Expect to fork out $449 for the Cat S41 if you are interested.

See http://bit.ly/2An8ngH

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The Best Western Movies Ever Made

Posted on: Mon, 2017-11-06 - 01:34 By: danie

The Best Western Movies Ever Made

A pretty good collection so although you may identify with many of them, the others you have not seen may be well worth watching.

While the mythologization of the cowboy began all the way back in the late 1800s with dime novels and Wild West shows, it wasn’t until the advent of twentieth century cinema that the cowboy cemented his place as an icon of manliness. In the same may the myths of the Greeks and the legends of the Vikings espoused certain ideals and inspired men of the past, Western films contain lessons in heroism, epic adventure, and meditations on the line between good and evil. They form a fun, ponderous, sometimes contradictory, undeniably indelible, and thoroughly American canon on what it means to live with honor and be a tough, gritty, self-reliant man.

See http://bit.ly/2j4kcnr
 

The Best Western Movies Ever Made | The Art of Manliness

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The Grammarly Keyboard is now available on iOS

Posted on: Sun, 2017-11-05 - 18:21 By: danie

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The Grammarly Keyboard is now available on iOS

Now available for iOS. Grammarly’s AI-powered keyboard ensures your urgent emails, important LinkedIn messages, and essential Facebook posts are clear and mistake-free. With over 400 types of checks and features, Grammarly will help you write with confidence in any app. Millions of users rely on Grammarly every day to communicate effectively.

See https://www.grammarly.com/blog/grammarly-mobile-keyboard/ for news on the iOS version. It is already on Android at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.grammarly.android.keyboard&hl=en.

Introducing the Grammarly Mobile Keyboard
You asked, and today it’s here! The Grammarly Keyboard is now available on iOS. It’s your personal editor for texts, emails, tweets,…

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Here are humanity’s best ideas on how to store energy

Posted on: Sun, 2017-11-05 - 13:03 By: danie

Here are humanity’s best ideas on how to store energy

Historically, the vast majority of the world’s power has been consumed as quickly as it is made, or it's wasted. But climate change has made governments interested in renewable energy, and renewable energy is variable—it can't be dispatched on demand. Or can it? As research into utility-sized batteries receives more attention, the economics of adding storage to a grid or wind farm are starting to make more sense.

But grid-tied energy storage is not new; it has just always been limited to whatever resources a local power producer had at the time. Much like electricity production itself, storage schemes differ regionally. Power companies will invest in batteries that make sense on a local level, whether it is pumped storage, compressed air, or lithium-ion cells.

Looking at the kinds of storage that already exist is instructive in helping us see where storage is going to go, too. Lots of the latest battery projects merely build on engineering that has been in service for decades. To better see our way forward, here are a number of images and diagrams of the world’s biggest energy storage schemes.

See the list at http://bit.ly/2AlQtuv

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Unofficial LineageOS Fork with Built-in microG Lets You Avoid Google Services

Posted on: Sun, 2017-11-05 - 08:52 By: danie

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Unofficial LineageOS Fork with Built-in microG Lets You Avoid Google Services

MicroG is an alternative to the Google Play Services found on nearly every Android device. It allows you to circumvent the need for Google’s proprietary software on your device while retaining nearly full functionality through open source software.

Previously, it was somewhat complicated to set up microG as it required ROM support in the form of signature spoofing and a lot of other preparations on the user's end. A Magisk module was released to help ease the process, but it still required ROM-side support and some preparation, which stock LineageOS did not accommodate.

Now, XDA Member Simon94 has streamlined the process for a wide range of devices by creating an unofficial fork which has built-in MicroG along with F-Droid, the Play Store alternative for FOSS applications.

The benefits of microG include being able to enable or disable the Google services according to your needs and preferences. For example, you can disable SafetyNet or GSM and leave device registration enabled if you wish. Location services are also replaced with two open source alternatives (one by Mozilla and one by Nominatim) with the option to install others. What’s more, you will also receive OTA updates!

See http://bit.ly/2AlSHu4

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Given Up on my Google Nexus 6P Phone Due to Battery Issues

Posted on: Sun, 2017-11-05 - 00:18 By: danie

Given Up on my Google Nexus 6P Phone Due to Battery Issues

I'm calling it a day on the Nexus 6P because after I updated to Oreo 8.1.0 Developer Preview on 26th October my battery issues started again. It started with random reboots whilst the battery still showed 80% plus. Sometimes it would work an hour or two fine and other times it was a few minutes. The phone had been working 100% for a good month or two on its replacement battery.

I tried downgrading to version 8.0.0 stable release instead but not sure if the battery was already just severely strained, but after a few hours of running fine, it started its random reboots again. Numerous people have had problems with specifically the Nexus 6P made by Huawei. Of course, Google and Huawei blame each other and whilst some devices were RMA's by Google I live outside the USA so that's not an easy option.

So I've ordered a new Pixel 2 XL made by LG and will give it one more shot. Once the new one arrives I'll put another battery in the Nexus 6P and run it on older software and just see if it runs stable again, but I can't use it like this for a daily carry phone.

I still love the concept of an AOSP version of Android and if this does not work with Google I'll look at another manufacturer (of the limited few) who give this option.

So right now I'm back on a Galaxy S3 phone running its latest version of LineageOS.


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Nedbank launches new Money banking app

Posted on: Fri, 2017-11-03 - 22:25 By: danie

Nedbank launches new Money banking app

A long overdue app update for Nedbank. One nice new feature is the instant payments to non-Nedbank recipients:

Nedbank Money also allows customers to make instant payments to anyone on their smartphone’s contact list, regardless of whether the recipient is a Nedbank customer.

From the Money app, customers select the “Pay” option and tap the recipient’s number in their contact list to send an instant payment. The recipient will then receive an SMS with an authorisation code, allowing them to withdraw the money from an ATM or branch.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/banking/235820-nedbank-launches-new-money-banking-app.html
 

Nedbank launches new Money banking app
Nedbank has launched a new banking app with a number of new features.

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The Razer Phone is official — 120Hz 'Ultramotion' display, Snapdragon 835, 8GB RAM, $699

Posted on: Fri, 2017-11-03 - 04:37 By: danie

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The Razer Phone is official — 120Hz 'Ultramotion' display, Snapdragon 835, 8GB RAM, $699

Razer has announced its new Android device: the aptly named Razer Phone. It has the world's first 120Hz "Ultramotion" display, the first use of Qualcomm's QuickCharge 4+, and a great set of specs like 8GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (further expandable via microSD), and a 4,000 mAh battery. It will cost $699 and pre-orders will be live as soon as today, with general availability for North America and Europe on November 17th.

On paper, the Razer Phone sounds like most 2017 flagships, but there's definitely more to it. Most of this device's unique appeal is a result of the screen. The 120Hz 1440x2560 IGZO display takes advantage of Qualcomm's QSync — similar to Nvidia's G-SYNC or AMD's FreeSync — so if performance ever does start to become a problem, you shouldn't see much stutter when it does drop below 120fps. If the framerate drops below the refresh rate, the display will adjust to match, without having to worry about tearing or stuttering.

So yes one has to wonder what the battery life will be like on this device...

See http://bit.ly/2iUQUrz

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