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GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Date Published: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 21:52:43 +0200

GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Older satnavs and such devices won't be able to use America's Global Positioning System properly after April 6 unless they've been suitably updated or designed to handle a looming epoch rollover.

If devices in use today are not designed or patched to handle this latest rollover, they will revert to an earlier year after that 1,024th week in April, causing attempts to calculate position to potentially fail. System and navigation data could even be corrupted, we're warned.

So if you use an older GPS device that suddenly starts showing odd behaviour after this date it may be due to this issue.

More info at https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/12/current_gps_epoch_ends/

#GPS


Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019 • The Register

Why you should seriously consider deleting WhatsApp from your phone - And if not, add Telegram and Signal...

Date Published: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 07:46:24 +0200

Why you should seriously consider deleting WhatsApp from your phone - And if not, add Telegram and Signal to your phone to help others delete Whatsapp

You might want to consider ditching WhatsApp if you want to protect your private data, warns tech expert Toby Shapshak. Shapshak is the author of Stuff magazine and says the messaging app no longer offers enough security.

He says users should be wary of the Facebook-owned messaging app after the string of privacy threats, breaches and scandals facing the social media company.

Shapshak says Facebook has a history of exploiting data without the consent of users and could target the instant messaging service next.

Toby is echoing what many others are warning about. We've seen over many years that Facebook cannot be trusted with personal data (and they know they can do better) and integrating Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook together clearly will result in "it can be done better" yet again. I know many people cannot delete Whatsapp (myself included as I have groups at work still using it) but what we can all do is install Telegram and Signal so that others can find it easier to leave Whatsapp if they wish to. It's often us who are holding other back from leaving as they don't find us on alternative messaging platforms.

"Facebook's real customer is not us the user. Facebook's real customer is the advertiser" — Toby Shapshak, Editor-in-chief - Stuff magazine. Think about that.... who is actually paying.

See http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/337669/why-you-should-seriously-consider-deleting-whatsapp-from-your-phone

#whatsapp #facebook #privacy


Why you should seriously consider deleting WhatsApp from your phone
Tech expert Toby Shapshak has raised some red flags about the risks of Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp.

Shell to launch charging stations for electric vehicles in South Africa - Yes, amidst the electricity...

Date Published: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 23:19:07 +0200

Shell to launch charging stations for electric vehicles in South Africa - Yes, amidst the electricity supply crisis!

South Africa has been criminally slow to adopt EVs and also due to mainly electricity generation issues in the last few years, so this announcement is rather surprising. But it looks like things will pick up in 2019 as Shell and BP want to get in early before someone else takes the initiative.

Shell spokesperson Dineo Pooe said that as the EV market grew, the company would play a key role in making their customers’ journeys better.

“This is part of our roadmap to 2025. We will start small in 2019 and ramp up as demand increases. Shell together with its strategic partners will make this investment,” she said.

GridCars, part of the JSE-listed information and communication technology products and services group Alviva Holdings, is one of several companies driving South Africa’s green e-mobility revolution and anticipates having almost 200 EV charging stations installed in the country by the end of next month.

Pooe added that there are 1 billion cars on the road globally and just 2 million of them are electric, but the International Energy Agency believes that by 2040 there will be 2 billion cars on the road, with 150 million of them electric.

Shell is one of several oil companies in South Africa that have started to adapt to the changing environment.

See https://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/shell-to-launch-charging-stations-for-electric-vehicles-in-sa-19235648

#EV #southafrica


Shell to launch charging stations for electric vehicles in SA | IOL Motoring
South Africa is set to have around 200 charging stations by the end of March, with further expansion to be based on demand.

How to prepare for a total Eskom blackout - Not very likely but good to take basic precautions as it...

Date Published: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 23:03:29 +0200

How to prepare for a total Eskom blackout - Not very likely but good to take basic precautions as it would be a disaster

Driving home tonight through two load shedding areas was a scary experience. I could not spot the darkened intersections with dead traffic lights. Luckily I know more or less where they are but judging from two cars that whizzed past me when I stopped at those intersections, either other drivers did not know or else they were very reckless. When I got home to my suburb my house was the only one with lights on... Imagine now having no power across the whole city or country for 5 or 10 days. That's what the scenario is for a total grid blackout. The grid does not restart suddenly in a day or two.

So the article linked to below does have some really basic practical suggestions to think about. Luckily Cape Town itself has been through a water crisis recently so many of us are already prepared with extra water tanks and stored water. Things we take for granted though are having an analogue radio with proper batteries in, having a walkie talkie also with batteries in. Walkie Talkies are great for local communication within a suburb, and finding out where you amateur radio operators (can spot them by the tall antennas) are in your suburb will ensure messages can get out to surrounding suburbs and emergency response.

It's not worth going overboard on the planning but basic preparedness is never wasted.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/energy/295548-how-to-prepare-for-a-total-eskom-blackout.html

#eskom #loadshedding #blackout


How to prepare for a total Eskom blackout
A total blackout would be a disaster “akin to civil war breaking out”.

The difference between Home and Premium uncapped ADSL and fibre - Nothing is Unlimited on budget accounts...

Date Published: Mon, 11 Feb 2019 21:39:08 +0200

The difference between Home and Premium uncapped ADSL and fibre - Nothing is Unlimited on budget accounts despite the marketing blurb

Besides the various line speeds of the uncapped accounts, users will typically be able to pick from “Home”, “Premium”, and “Business” or “Priority” accounts. The names of these packages indicate what type of experience you will receive as a user, as not all uncapped account are created equally.

I see many people comparing uncapped packages on price and everyone assures me that their package is really unlimited uncapped... well it is not, as you get what you pay for. So yes as you move to Uncapped Pro that may be the case but most home users cannot afford that. So forget claiming that your budget Home Internet package is unlimited uncapped data. Most providers implement two or three tiers of service at differing prices and conditions. These conditions are usually not clearly stated anywhere making it difficult to compare especially when it involves traffic shaping.

So try to find out what these policies are and check for cancellation conditions, package switching options, installation costs, etc which also play a role.

See more detail on typical South African uncapped rules at https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/295364-the-difference-between-home-and-premium-uncapped-adsl-and-fibre.html

#uncapped #ISP


The difference between Home and Premium uncapped ADSL and fibre
When selecting an uncapped ADSL or fibre package, you will notice an array of options on offer.

An Hour Into Our Scheduled 2 Hour Load Shedding And My Solar Setup Is Powering All Lights, TV, 2 Computers...

Date Published: Mon, 11 Feb 2019 21:14:38 +0200

An Hour Into Our Scheduled 2 Hour Load Shedding And My Solar Setup Is Powering All Lights, TV, 2 Computers, Internet and The Fish Pond Pump

The system is finally paying for itself as I installed it just as the regular load shedding in 2016 came to an end. Then suddenly no more load shedding for nearly two years. The system has saved me money though as it runs the connected circuits purely from solar PV power during the day, thereby also r4educing my grid usage slightly. The inverter also acts as a giant UPS which filters the power to the computer devices.

See https://youtu.be/TaseLU9j7x0

#loadshedding #southafrica #victron


The Gillette Psycho Safety Razor was used in US Mental Hospitals or Prisons but it needs a special key...

Date Published: Mon, 11 Feb 2019 20:09:56 +0200

The Gillette Psycho Safety Razor was used in US Mental Hospitals or Prisons but it needs a special key to access the blade

This razor was made especially for Mental Hospitals or Prisons where the inmate would not be granted access to a razor blade. They needed a way to control access to the blade, so the Psycho Tech was born. Nurses or guards would change out the blades for the inmates, lock the cap down, and keep the key.

As these razors were provided in boxes of ten and each inmate would not keep their own key, there was usually fewer keys than razors. This is a challenge for people collecting these razors today as extra keys are needed. Razor Emporium shows in this video how they go about making quality replicas of these keys complete with boxes that resemble the original.

Watch at https://youtu.be/nQyByfxzfik

#gillette #safetyrazor #wetshaving


Interesting project to use a Raspberry Pi to sniff weather data from your Acurite Weather Station and...

Date Published: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 22:11:30 +0200

Interesting project to use a Raspberry Pi to sniff weather data from your Acurite Weather Station and send to Weather Underground or APRS

This will be of interest to Acurite users who are under threat of Acurite disabling the weather upload functionality (mine still seems to be working). This is a project that will use your Pi to sniff the traffic from the Aculink Internet Bridge and then be able to upload it to APRS or Weather Underground or even other services.

See http://nincehelser.com/ipwx/

There is also an alternative that works on a Windows PC at https://kevin-key.blogspot.com/2013/11/app-that-reads-data-from-acu-link.html and a commercial alternative (software or hardware) called Meteobridge at https://www.meteobridge.com.

#acurite #raspberrypi #APRS


Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is an amateur radio-based system for real-time digital communications...

Date Published: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 20:54:08 +0200

Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) is an amateur radio-based system for real-time digital communications of information of immediate value in the local area

Data can include object Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, weather station telemetry, text messages, announcements, queries, and other telemetry. APRS data can be displayed on a map, which can show stations, objects, tracks of moving objects, weather stations, search and rescue data, and direction finding data. APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System), is a digital communications protocol for exchanging information among a large number of stations covering a large (local) area, often referred to as "IP-ers". As a multi-user data network, it is quite different from conventional packet radio. Rather than using connected data streams where stations connect to each other and packets are acknowledged and retransmitted if lost, APRS operates entirely in an unconnected broadcast fashion, using unnumbered AX.25 frames.

APRS packets are transmitted for all other stations to hear and use. Packet repeaters, called digipeaters, form the backbone of the APRS system, and use store and forward technology to retransmit packets. All stations operate on the same radio channel, and packets move through the network from digipeater to digipeater, propagating outward from their point of origin.

So these types of devices are often used during events so that radio amateurs who are moving around and reporting accidents or other problems can have their exact location pin-pointed for quick dispatch of emergency response personnel to the right place without having to waste time describing the exact location where there are no street addresses or where the event stretches over a long distance.

These APRS trackers can be built from parts and will often be used using radio where the digipeaters cover the area being covered. But cellular phones can also be used with an app that also reports the location to the same server.

More on:
* APRS itself at at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_Packet_Reporting_System.
* How to build a typical tracker at https://www.hotarc.org/about/trackers2.php
* Google Maps view of various real-time trackers from around the world at https://aprs.fi/

#APRS #amateurradio #hamnet


Automatic Packet Reporting System - Wikipedia

What Is Network Jitter – Best Tools to Measure and Prevent It?

Date Published: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 19:41:40 +0200

What Is Network Jitter – Best Tools to Measure and Prevent It?

Most of us are familiar with latency (similar to delay) and packet loss (error correction with resends) but jitter relates to a fluctuation in a network’s latency where some packets may arrive out of sequence and the recipient would be able to reorder the packets and make sense of them.

Some protocols, however, don’t deal too well with jitter. It is, for instance, the case of any real-time protocol such as streaming video or Voice over IP, the technology behind many modern business telephone systems.

Some of the tools in the article require installing but many online network speed testers will show jitter measurements too.

See https://www.addictivetips.com/net-admin/network-jitter-tools/. Can also try an online test at https://www.megapath.com/speedtestplus/ or at https://sourceforge.net/speedtest/.

#jitter #network



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