Blog

Using Plotagraph on Mac, Windows and iOS to create animated photos

Posted on: Mon, 2017-08-07 - 05:33 By: danie

Think of those moving Harry Potter photos… It’s also a new word, so you’re super-excused for not knowing it! It simply means a “looping” photograph. You begin with a SINGLE image (not a movie file), like a JPG, and then you use Plotagraph to “animate” it. The resulting image is a repeating movie file that loops so smoothly, you can’t tell the seam. There’s also some crazy new tech on there, like morphing and more.

See some examples and how it is done at https://www.stuckincustoms.com/plotagraph-review/

A Better, Safer Battery Could Be Coming to a Laptop Near You

Posted on: Sun, 2017-08-06 - 08:38 By: danie

Startup Unveils Revolutionary New Rechargeable Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries can be made far more cheaply and safely than today’s lithium-ion batteries, but they are not rechargeable. That issue, along with the superior power of lithium-ion batteries, has meant that alkaline batteries are not used in personal computers, smartphones or electric vehicles.

Ionic could change that equation with an alkaline battery the company said could be recharged hundreds of times. One additional benefit of the company’s breakthrough: An alkaline battery would not be as prone to the combustion issues that have plagued lithium-ion batteries in a range of products, most notably some Samsung smartphones.

Cheaper and more powerful batteries are also considered by many to be the driver needed to make the cost of renewable energy technologies like wind and solar competitive with the coal, gas and nuclear power that support the national energy grid.

Ionic said it had developed prototypes of a rechargeable alkaline battery that can be made using continuous manufacturing processes similar to the making of plastic wrap. So far, the company, which is backed by William Joy, a pioneering Silicon Valley computer designer, has demonstrated up to 400 recharge cycles for its prototypes. Ionic executives say they believe they will be able to triple that.

The alkaline batteries that Ionic has developed would initially be heavier than today’s lithium-ion batteries, said Mike Zimmerman, a materials scientist who is the founder and chief executive of Ionic. But the new batteries would more than compensate for that handicap with their cost advantage and, in time, their ability to store more energy.

See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/technology/alkaline-batteries-replace-lithium-ion.html

A start-up company in Massachusetts says it has found a way to turbocharge alkaline batteries for a safer, cheaper and rechargeable alternative to lithium ion.

LastPass doubles price of its Premium plan, removes features from its free service tier

Posted on: Sun, 2017-08-06 - 07:07 By: danie

LastPass doubles price of its Premium plan, removes features from its free service tier

As a long standing Premium customer of +LastPass, a doubling of the annual price leaves a pretty sour taste in my mouth. Even when LastPass expanded their free offering I opted to stay paying the premium subscription. Although they are probably the best password manager service out there, I have cancelled my subscription for now, while I have another good look around the market.

What I look for is form filling and password sync across all my devices - Mac, Linux, Windows, and Android - and the sync needs to be secure with end-to-end-encryption. Now that my NextCloud service is running nicely I'm willing to look for something that uses that as a password sync service and can cost between $10 to $15pa.

See https://www.neowin.net/news/lastpass-doubles-price-of-its-premium-plan-removes-features-from-its-free-service-tier

Speeding Up Your Podcasts Won’t Solve Your Problems

Posted on: Sat, 2017-08-05 - 03:31 By: danie

Speeding Up Your Podcasts Won’t Solve Your Problems

To fight the growing wave of podcasts released each day, a group of people have started listening to their favorite shows at hyperspeed. The only problem: They might not be comprehending much. It does depend on the type of podcast as well but it worth reading this before you start cranking the speeds over
1.5x and 2x.

In 2017, the estimated number of Americans who have listened to a podcast has risen 11 percent from 2016 to 112 million, according to Edison Research. Per the same Edison report, an estimated 42 million people listen to podcasts weekly. The total number of podcasts published throughout the internet remains unclear, but the growth in listenership points toward an expanding and open market that doesn’t just have a podcast for everyone, but allows everyone to have their own podcast. “I think podcasts have become the new blog,” said Sophia Boyd, a news assistant and weekend producer at NPR.

See https://theringer.com/inefficiency-week-podcasts-speed-comprehension-f0ea43949e42

If you want to comprehend everything you hear, you’re stuck with the normal human cadence

Fitbit for the blind: Echolocation-based smartwatch aids sightless steps

Posted on: Fri, 2017-08-04 - 09:03 By: danie

'Fitbit' for the blind: Echolocation-based smartwatch aids sightless steps

The Sunu band smartwatch, designed for people with visual impairments, uses a sonar sensor to detect objects and people within a 15-foot range. When it does, it gently vibrates to alert the wearer, changing intensity as an object or person gets closer. Wearers can also customize it using an iPhone app via Bluetooth, adjusting for walking speed and to make buzzes stronger or weaker.

Sunu, a company based in Boston and Guadalajara, Mexico, will start shipping the devices for $249 to $299 later this month.

See https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/fitbit-for-the-blind-echolocation-based-smartwatch-aids-sightless-steps/

Sonar sensor and gentle vibrations cue wearer in to surrounding objects, people.

Open Gazettes is the largest freely available online collection of government gazettes in South Africa...

Posted on: Thu, 2017-08-03 - 23:02 By: danie

Open Gazettes is the largest freely available online collection of government gazettes in South Africa

OpenUp, the Southern African Legal Information Institute, Indigo Trust and the African Networks of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), with support from Code for Africa, are building the biggest collection of freely available gazettes in South Africa.

Gazettes are a critical source of information and record of South African history. They should be easy to find and use, and freely available to everyone.

So far there are 28354 gazettes from 1958 to 2017 online and text searchable with an Atom feed available as well as an API for third party developers.

See https://opengazettes.org.za/

Open Gazettes South Africa
Making South African Government Gazettes freely available.

Source: Google Plus Danie Profile

TastyIgniter - Powerful FOSS online ordering, reservation and management system for restaurants

Posted on: Thu, 2017-08-03 - 20:39 By: danie

TastyIgniter - Powerful FOSS online ordering, reservation and management system for restaurants

TastyIgniter is a seamless solution of tools rolled into one, providing: kitchen management, order management, customer and staff management, store management, table reservations and internationalisation.

Simply install TastyIgniter, select your template, add your menu and Hey Pesto you’re ready and raring to accept orders upon the information super highway.

TastyIgniter is a super easy to use platform, even where there are multiple restaurant locations to manage – all intuitively presented within one single, easy to use interface. This streamlines the efforts of managers who are spinning many plates at once across numerous restaurant locations; TastyIgniter truly is the essential solution for chain restaurants.

TastyIgniter comes with a range of payment platform options so that you can take payment upfront for online orders. Choose one, or all, payment types, and look forward to delicious looking profit margins.

The TastyIgniter platform is so much more than an ordering and reservation system – it allows you to run customised e-newsletter campaigns to supercharge your sales, grow what can be an invaluable customer email database and utilised to build strong relationships with your customers.

TastyIgniter can display daily schedules, show which customers are online and generate orders and bookings reports – giving you insightful data for planning the days, weeks and months ahead. An essential feature for any restauranteur with a commitment for growing their business.

Bring to life your very own corner of the web with a customised online-ordering system. Take advantage of easy to use settings that define your delivery and collection services, and finish it all off with a design that reflects your company image.

Take advantage of today’s short-on-time consumer by providing a super-fast online booking system, all whilst saving your staff’s time that they may otherwise spend on the phone. This system even works upon your table set up – guaranteeing no overbooks. TastyIgniter makes table management a breeze and accepts your own settings upon table number, staff, status and seating – all within one singular, easy to use solution. So throw out those confusing order books and forget about lost scraps of paper with customer details on.

Don’t lose money delivering small orders, define minimum order totals and customise any delivery charges by easily setting up delivery zones. All of which can be set up quickly, hassle free and with only minimal technical knowledge.

And because it’s Open Source you benefit from a buzzing community of coders whose mission in life is to contribute to TastyIgniter’s advancement. If you use it to run your business uou should considering donating though to keep the software evolving and improving.

See https://tastyigniter.com/features

Features of TastyIgniter | Restaurant Management Software
TastyIgniter provides a platform for restaurants wanting to offer online ordering & reservations to their customers. View available Features of TastyIgniter

Source: Google Plus Danie Profile

Turn on Your Phone's Kill Switch So It's Useless If Stolen

Posted on: Tue, 2017-08-01 - 22:00 By: danie

Turn on Your Phone's Kill Switch So It's Useless If Stolen

Plain and simple advice for iOS and Android users to locate or lock their devices after being lost or stolen (nothing new but worth reposting as a few people I know have recently lost their phones).

True that such apps survive factory wipes too. I gave a phone away a while back, after factory wiping it, and it still reports its location every time they swap SIM cards.... I had installed the free Cerberus app on it.

See http://lifehacker.com/turn-on-your-phones-kill-switch-to-deter-dumb-thieves-1797410151

 

 

Turn on Your Phone's Kill Switch So It's Useless If Stolen
A stolen smartphone can ruin anyone’s day, though our smartphones’ built-in anti-theft software seems to be working, according to San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who cited a 50% drop in phone-related robberies from 2013 to 2016 after the passage of the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act.

Source: Google Plus Danie Profile

 

 

Bluetooth Battery Level Indicators are Finally Coming to Android AOSP

Posted on: Mon, 2017-07-31 - 22:55 By: danie

Bluetooth Battery Level Indicators are Finally Coming to Android AOSP

A really useful feature for those of us with Bluetooth headsets and other devices is finally making its way to AOSP: Bluetooth battery level indicators. This means that users of Google, Motorola, Sony, and other devices with near-stock Android software should be able to tell the battery level of their Bluetooth connected devices without the need of a third-party application. There’s no telling exactly how this Bluetooth battery level indicator will appear in its final state, but the existence of this new API in AOSP means that developers can implement Bluetooth battery indicators however they like.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/bluetooth-battery-level-indicators-android/

Bluetooth Battery Level Indicators are Finally Coming to Android
Bluetooth battery level indicators may finally come to stock Android so Google, Motorola, and Sony devices can get the battery level of connected devices.

Source: Google Plus Danie Profile

LineageOS 14.1 (Android Nougat) for the Huawei P9 Lite

Posted on: Mon, 2017-07-31 - 03:30 By: danie

LineageOS 14.1 (Android Nougat) for the Huawei P9 Lite
 
The Huawei P9 Lite is a mid-range smartphone released in 2016 that features the HiSilicon Kirin 650 SoC, and as such has not seen as much development effort as some other comparable devices using Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs. This disparity is mostly attributed to a delay by Huawei in releasing their kernel sources, but nevertheless since the Nougat kernel source has been available developers have been hard at work bringing AOSP-based ROMs to the Huawei P9 Lite. Thus, thanks to the efforts of Team OpenKirin, LineageOS 14.1 based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat is now available for the device.
 
The ROM is by no means perfect at this point in time. The developers note that there are issues with the camera and dual SIM, for starters. Still, most features work, so if you’re looking for something new to spice up your P9 Lite experience, then check out LineageOS 14.1 at the link below.
 
See http://bit.ly/2tPAQIe

 

 

Huawei P9 Lite gets AOSP 7.1.2 Nougat thanks to LineageOS 14.1
LineageOS 14.1 based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat is now available for the Huawei P9 Lite. The ROM currently has some camera and dual SIM issues, though!

Source: Google Plus Danie Profile

 

 

Subscribe to GadgeteerZA Blog Posts