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Lenovo Smart Display UK review: The premium smart home hub - its not cheap at £199 but you can physically...

Posted on: Sat, 2018-12-08 - 12:30 By: admin

Lenovo Smart Display UK review: The premium smart home hub - its not cheap at £199 but you can physically block its camera

The Lenovo Smart Display is among the first in a new class of device that wants to sit at the heart of your digital home, tying together a wealth of functionality through the Google Assistant. Like the Google Home Hub, it's a natural evolution of early Assistant-enabled gadgets like the original Google Home. But unlike Google's cheaper, own-branded offering, you get an expanded feature set, a larger display, and a superior audio experience. It's part tablet, part smart TV, part digital photo frame, part video-calling box.

Like most of Google's own hardware, you'll get the most out of this device the more of Google's features you use in everyday life. Assistant "routines" for certain times of day let you quickly get up to speed with the news and appointments in the morning, or dim the lights and unwind with your favorite music in the evening. In between, it can tap into your favorite shots in Google Photos, essentially turning it into a super-advanced digital photo frame. And, of course, Google Assistant is always listening for your commands -- until you flip the switch to tell it not to.

The display itself is a 10-inch 1920x1080 LCD touchscreen with ample brightness, appealing colors and good viewing angles. It's not going to replace your TV for extended movie marathons, but it's good enough for the occasional BBC iPlayer binge or YouTube session. Perhaps the smartest feature of the Smart Display is its camera -- specifically the tiny switch letting you physically block the lens when you're not using it.

See https://www.androidcentral.com/lenovo-smart-display-uk-review

#googleassistant #lenovo


Lenovo Smart Display UK review: The premium smart home hub
Lenovo's smart home device is a worthy upgrade over the Google Home Hub.

Ubuntu Touch OTA-6 Now Rolling Out to Ubuntu Phone Users, Here's What's New

Posted on: Sat, 2018-12-08 - 08:48 By: admin

Ubuntu Touch OTA-6 Now Rolling Out to Ubuntu Phone Users, Here's What's New

The UBports community released today the sixth OTA (Over-the-Air) update of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for all supported Ubuntu Phone devices.

Ubuntu Touch OTA-6 is now rolling out to Fairphone 2, Nexus 5, OnePlus One, BQ Aquaris M10 FHD, Nexus 4, Meizu PRO 5, Meizu MX 4, BQ Aquaris E4.5, and BQ Aquaris E5 HD devices as an incremental update to the OTA-5 version released two months ago, which rebased Ubuntu Touch on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series.

"Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Our newest update, OTA-6, is rolling out over the next five days (completing on Wednesday, December 12). You can skip to "How to get OTA-6" to get it now if you're impatient, or read on to learn more about this release," said UBports in today's announcement.

See https://news.softpedia.com/news/ubuntu-touch-ota-6-now-rolling-out-to-ubuntu-phone-users-here-s-what-s-new-524169.shtml

#ubuntuphone #ubuntu


Ubuntu Touch OTA-6 Now Rolling Out to Ubuntu Phone Users, Here's What's New
The update will rollout over the next few days

Australia passes new law to thwart strong encryption

Posted on: Fri, 2018-12-07 - 18:28 By: admin

Australia passes new law to thwart strong encryption

On Thursday, the Australian parliament approved a measure that critics say will weaken encryption in favor of law enforcement and the demands of government.

The new law, which has been pushed for since at least 2017, requires that companies provide a way to get at encrypted communications and data via a warrant process. It also imposes fines of up to A$10 million for companies that do not comply and A$50,000 for individuals who do not comply. In short, the law thwarts (or at least tries to thwart) strong encryption.

Companies who receive one of these warrants have the option of either complying with the government or waiting for a court order. However, by default, the orders are secret, so companies would not be able to tell the public that they had received one.

However, the law as currently written seems to contain what some view as a loophole. The statute says that companies cannot be compelled to introduce a "systemic weakness" or a "systemic vulnerability" into their software or hardware to satisfy government demands.

"Some suggest that exceptions can be made, and access to encrypted data could be created just for only those sworn to uphold the public good," Apple continued. "That is a false premise. Encryption is simply math. Any process that weakens the mathematical models that protect user data for anyone will, by extension, weaken the protections for everyone. It would be wrong to weaken security for millions of law-abiding customers in order to investigate the very few who pose a threat."

Even Riana Pfefferkorn—a cryptography expert and attorney at Stanford Law School who submitted formal October 2018 testimony to the Australian parliament arguing against the law—doesn't know what is meant exactly by "systemic weakness."

"Nobody knows!" she said, while laughing for a brief moment. "Whenever you open up a vulnerability in a piece of software or a piece of hardware, it's going to have consequences that are unforeseeable."

See https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/12/australia-passes-new-law-to-thwart-strong-encryption/

#encryption #australia


Australia passes new law to thwart strong encryption
Apple previously decried Australian efforts: "Encryption is simply math."

Canada's Directive on Management of IT Dec 2018 update requires open standards and open source software...

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-06 - 22:42 By: admin

Canada's Directive on Management of IT Dec 2018 update requires open standards and open source software to be used as a first option where possible

Many governments around the world have already adopted open standards and open source software as their first option. The really sad thing though is that it struggles to get any foothold within administrations because no-one lobbies externally to government. Many vendors want to just drop boxes with a markup, or else resell their same solution to multiple departments. Yes its citizens' tax money but no-one is lobbying on behalf of citizens (most politicians do not understand open standards or open source software and again no-one is lobbying them on its behalf either).

Extract from C.2.3.8:

Application Architecture
C.2.3.8 Use Open Standards and Solutions by Default
C.2.3.8.1 Where possible, use open standards and open source software first
C.2.3.8.2 If an open source option is not available or does not meet user needs, favour platform-agnostic COTS over proprietary COTS, avoiding technology dependency, allowing for substitutability and interoperability
C.2.3.8.3 If a custom-built application is the appropriate option, by default any source code written by the government must be released in an open format via Government of Canada websites and services designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
C.2.3.8.4 All source code must be released under an appropriate open source software license
C.2.3.8.5 Expose public data to implement Open Data and Open Information initiatives

See https://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=15249

#opensource #openstandards #canada


Flutter builds native iOS and Android apps with widgets, and is free and open source

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-06 - 21:57 By: admin

Flutter builds native iOS and Android apps with widgets, and is free and open source

Version 1.0 was just released and I'm hearing positive things about Flutter.

Some apps made with Flutter include:
- Alibaba
- Google Ads
- AppTree platform for McDonalds and others
- Invoice Ninja
- Abbey Roads Studios Topline
- Hamilton Musical
- Google Greentea
- Tencent
- JD Finance
- And many more

Flutter will install and run on Windows, MacOS and Linux. I see ver 1.0.0.1 is available as an easy install in Manjaro's repos.

See https://flutter.io

#flutter #appdev #mobile



Flutter - Beautiful native apps in record time
Flutter is Google’s mobile UI framework for crafting high-quality native experiences on iOS and Android in record time. Flutter works with existing code, is used by developers and organizations around the world, and is free and open source.

How to play World Of Warcraft on Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Arch and Fedora)

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-06 - 21:32 By: admin

How to play World Of Warcraft on Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Arch and Fedora)

World of Warcraft is a wildly popular MMORPG developed by Activision-Blizzard. It came out in 2005 and has been around for over ten years. The central concept of the game is to create a character and work your way up in the interactive fantasy world, complete quests, adventure with friends, and fight monsters.

Due to how popular WoW is, it’s effortless to get running on alternative operating systems like Linux. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can play World of Warcraft on Linux with the help of Wine, Lutris and DXvK.

See https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/play-world-of-warcraft-on-linux/

#wow


How to play World Of Warcraft on Linux
How to play World Of Warcraft on Linux

AndroidCentral's Best Android Wear OS Smartwatch in 2018: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro for $249

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-06 - 21:26 By: admin

AndroidCentral's Best Android Wear OS Smartwatch in 2018: Mobvoi TicWatch Pro for $249

My LG Watch Sport from Google cost around $500 and whilst it is a nice watch (the strap has started to break and the antennas are all in the strap so a replacement strap is not cheap and the SIM does not work in my country) I mainly use it for round watch face, tracking my steps, Authenticator app, and my shopping app.

My LG gets a max of one day's battery life (7am to midnight = 17 hours) with say15-20% battery left. The TicWatch gets two days with another 5 days in Essential Mode.

It has a dual AMOLED and LCD screen so the LCD helps with battery life but also is visible in bright sunshine.

Does not have a SIM but can make/receive calls when connected via Bluetooth to an Android phone.

Similar heart rate monitor, GPS, NFC, Wear OS apps and watch faces.

So if I had to choose between the LG Watch Sport and the TicWatch Pro today? Knowing what I know now I'd probably buy the TicWatch Pro!

See https://www.androidcentral.com/android-wear

#ticwatchpro #androidwear


Best Android Wear OS Smartwatch in 2018
There are many, many Wear OS / Android Wear watches on the market, but the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro is the one you should buy.

Fortnite Officially Becomes Full-Fledged Virtual World With Private Islands & Content Creation Tools...

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-06 - 21:08 By: admin

Fortnite Officially Becomes Full-Fledged Virtual World With Private Islands & Content Creation Tools

Fortnite! It's the most popular multi-user game in the world, and while it has always had some virtual world-esque aspects, the new Fortnite Creative mode makes it very much a persistent virtual world:

It’s a brand new way to experience the world of Fortnite, available on December 6. Design games, race around the island, battle your friends in new ways and build your dream Fortnite. It’s all happening on your own private island where everything you make is saved.

Also notable that the video emphasizes Fortnite's potential as a machinima platform. And while a private island in Second Life costs you some $250 a month, the cost of your own private island in Fortnite is only 10 dollars!

See https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2018/12/fornite-private-island-creativity-machinima-sl.html

#fortnite #virtualworld


Fortnite Officially Becomes Full-Fledged Virtual World With Private Islands & Content Creation Tools
Fortnite! It's the most popular multi-user game in the world, and while it has always had some virtual world-esque aspects, the new Fortnite Creative mode makes it very much a persistent virtual world: It’s a brand new way to experience...

How The US EPA Rates An Electric Car with Monroney stickers

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-06 - 07:42 By: admin

How The US EPA Rates An Electric Car with Monroney stickers

Range is just one of the pieces of information that appears on the Monroney sticker of every new car. That sticker is named for Senator Monroney of Oklahoma, who sponsored legislation in 1958 that required manufacturers to disclose the price of their cars. Since then, the sticker has added lots of other information considered important to shoppers.

So how does the EPA come up with those range numbers for EVs anyway? According to MyEV.com, each car is fully charged then left indoors overnight. The next day, it is placed on a dynamometer, which is sort of a treadmill for cars. Then it is run through a standard set of driving duties that simulate city or highway driving.

The city cycle models a typical rush hour commute with lots of stop and go driving and periods of idling. The highway protocol simulates driving on rural roads and interstate highways without any stops along the way. When the battery in the test car is depleted, it is brought back to a 100% state of charge and the amount of electricity required is carefully measured. Using a formula that equates the energy in one gallon of gasoline to 33,705 kilowatt hours of electricity, the EPA than calculates the MPGe — a measure of how efficient a car is.

At this moment in time, the Hyundai Ioniq battery electric car is the efficiency champion with a rating of 150 MPGe in city driving and 122 MPGe on the highway. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range is next at 136 MPGe city, 123 MPGe highway. For comparison purposes, the Chevy Bolt is rated 128 MPGe city and 11o MPGe highway. The combined city/highway ratings are a weighted average in which the city number counts for 55% and the highway number counts for 45%.

The Monroney sticker for electric cars also lists how many kilowatt-hours of electricity it takes to drive 100 miles. The EPA says that number is actually a more accurate way of comparing electric vehicles one to the other.

More info at https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/05/how-the-epa-rates-an-electric-car/

#EV


How The EPA Rates An Electric Car | CleanTechnica
Ever wonder what that sticker on the rear window of a new car is and where the information on it comes from? Here's everything you ever wanted to know, and more.

Kickstarter: Zanco S-Pen does more than just write - Probably the Geekiest pen I've seen - From $49

Posted on: Wed, 2018-12-05 - 22:50 By: admin

Kickstarter: Zanco S-Pen does more than just write - Probably the Geekiest pen I've seen - From $49

While smartphones continue to get larger in size as well as more complicated in their functionality, here is the Zanco S-Pen that might help streamline the busy executive’s life. This is an all-in-one pen phone and presentation tool that is jam-packed with features, making it suitable for both work and travel. Your presentations will never be the same again with the built-in laser pointer, letting you showcase the points that you would like to get across to your audience in clarity. Need to jot down that important piece of information but do not have a piece of paper? Fret not, there is always the built-in voice recorder that gets the job done, and even then you can always fall back on the front- and rear-facing 5MP cameras to snap a quick photo.

Since it connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth, it can also be used to monitor and decline calls in order to prevent any disruptions in important meetings. The S-Pen will also double up as a universally compatible stylus pen for easy and accurate writing, where it can alternatively be used as a drawing tool for graphic design. It can take a non-SIM as well and even make calls without your phone!

I gave in after 60 seconds and ordered one seeing the cheapest tier at $49 still had orders left. The Kickstarter project (yes there is a risk) has passed its funding goal by over 200% percent already.

When they say "all-in-one" this device certainly exceeds the expectations I had. All it lacks is a kitchen scale maybe...

See https://coolestgadgets.com/20181205/zanco-s-pen-does-more-than-just-write/

#zanco #pen #kickstarter


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