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XDA’s Top Android Smartphones of 2018 - Because they really know Android phones

Posted on: Mon, 2018-12-31 - 23:50 By: admin

XDA’s Top Android Smartphones of 2018 - Because they really know Android phones

There are just too many "best of 2018" lists and I've actually ignored all of them, but when it comes to detailed technical knowledge and hacks around Android phones there is no better forum than XDA so when they come out with a list I do read it.

"Here at XDA, we took some time to reflect on the past year and asked all of our writers to choose what their favorite smartphones of the year were. While you may have a rough idea of what you think is the best phone of the year in each category, our writers may surprise you."

So each writer has given their award and reasons for categories such as:
* Best Flagship Device for Value
* Best Flagship Device for Features
* Best Overall Mid-range Device
* Best Overall Low-end Device
* Best Design
* Best New Software Feature
* Best New Hardware Feature
* Most Improved

They don't all agree so it is good to also look at the reasons they give for their awards.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/top-smartphones-of-2018/

#XDA #android #bestof


XDA's Top Smartphones of 2018
If you're looking at getting a new phone going into 2019, you should take a look at our top smartphones of 2018. There's something for everybody!
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What happened with Linux in 2018 - some interesting developments

Posted on: Mon, 2018-12-31 - 12:48 By: admin

What happened with Linux in 2018 - some interesting developments

Yes Linux still dominates on servers and smartphones and is nowhere near starting to take over the desktop (no it won't happen in 2019) but interesting movements have taken place on the landscape, some of which I've experienced myself:
1. Manjaro Linux firmly established at the top of Distrowatch - I'd also migrated from Linux Mint (2nd on the list) to Manjaro KDE a bit over a year back and I'd never heard of Manjaro before that. It is Arch based (not Debian like Ubuntu and Mint) but is a rolling update release which means no big update install every two years, and easy install of the latest Linux kernel.
2. On gaming some of the biggest news was Proton on Steam which allows over 3,000 Windows-only games to run well on Linux.
3. WINE has also advanced a lot as I can now run World of Tanks PC (Windows only) on Linux using WINE, directly from my shared Windows drive.
4. Yes Linus apologised for his behaviour but the important thing is the new code of conduct around kernel development.
5. And yes we expect Linux v5 but it is just a number and will in fact be meaningless.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/software/290422-what-happened-with-linux-in-2018.html

#linux


What happened with Linux in 2018
Linux continued to dominate the realms of servers in 2018, and the pace of development remained relentless.
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Wet Shaving Showdown Parker Adjustable Variant vs Merkur Progress 51C (Video)

Posted on: Sun, 2018-12-30 - 13:54 By: admin

Wet Shaving Showdown Parker Adjustable Variant vs Merkur Progress 51C (Video)

I own both of these razors so can appreciate that they shave very similarly but the subtle differences are what probably makes the choice for many if you want an adjustable safety razor. I prefer the knurled handle of the Parker and it is interesting to note that that the adjustment knob of the Merkur razor should be hardy enough to stand the test of time (I was always worried about that).

See http://www.razoremporium.com/blogwet-shaving-showdown-parker-adjustable-variant-vs-merkur-progress-51c/

#safetyrazors #wetshaving #traditionalshaving


Wet Shaving Showdown Parker Adjustable Variant vs Merkur Progress 51C
We get asked to compare the shave of these two razors daily. In truth, razors are like running shoes, what works great for one man might not for another. We encourage you to watch our shave showdown and hopefully it will make your decision easier! We offer returns as well, so if you're unhappy after giving either a try give us a call and we will find a razor that works for your skin. Be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel, and thank you for ...
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All U.S. Hospitals Will Now Be Required to List Their Prices Online

Posted on: Fri, 2018-12-28 - 21:47 By: admin

All U.S. Hospitals Will Now Be Required to List Their Prices Online

Beginning in 2019, Americans will no longer need to make 30 phone calls to figure out how much it will cost to deliver a baby or get an X-ray. According to Newsweek, a new federal rule will require hospitals across the country to list their prices online beginning on January 1, 2019.

Critical access hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities will soon be required to list the prices of the procedures, surgeries, and medical supplies they offer, including drugs and anaesthesia. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 stipulated that medical costs be made public, but the new federal rule goes a step further and requires that this information to be posted online, allowing easy access to would-be patients.

Publicity and awareness will likely lead to better competition and better pricing one would hope, and it will be interesting to see if this spreads to other countries as health costs are very expensive and the lack of transparency works against potential patients who are usually clueless about the details and implications.

See https://mentalfloss.com/article/568662/us-hospitals-must-list-prices-online-per-new-federal-law

#healthcosts


All U.S. Hospitals Will Now Be Required to List Their Prices Online
No more surprises when you get your medical bill.
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9 Wi-Fi Home Automation Apps That Turn Your Phone into a Remote Control for Your Home

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-27 - 21:59 By: admin

9 Wi-Fi Home Automation Apps That Turn Your Phone into a Remote Control for Your Home

Your home is your castle, and a castle must be protected at all times. Of course, you’re not always at home. You’ve got to go to work and you need vacations to get away from work!

So how can you keep a watchful eye over your home and make sure your precious belongings are safe when you’re away? Two words: home automation. Home automation has been around for a long time, but the emergence of smartphones and Wi-Fi has made the technology more convenient and affordable. It might sound like science fiction, but you can now control all of the appliances in your home right from your smartphone.

There are many more devices than just these 9 to choose from but these give some idea of what is possible. If you look at something like Home Assistant (that runs on a Raspberry Pi) you'll get an idea of the scope of IoT devices that are supported from garage doors to sprinklers to everything else. You only have to start out with one device and you may be surprised to find out you already have one or two devices that are capable.

See https://blog.nationwide.com/9-wifi-home-automation-apps/

#homeautomation #IOT


9 WiFi Home Automation Apps to Control Your Entire Home
It may sound like science fiction, but you can lock your doors, water your plants, and feed your fish from anywhere with your smartphone.
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China’s Great Wall Motor unveils $8,680 all-electric ORA R1 urban car with nearly 194-mile range - The...

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-27 - 21:15 By: admin

China’s Great Wall Motor unveils $8,680 all-electric ORA R1 urban car with nearly 194-mile range - The EV revolution is starting

Great Wall Motor (Chinese Wall and not US Wall) is launching its new flagship vehicle under its new ‘ORA’ electric car brand: the ORA R1.

The vehicle is equipped with only a 35 kW electric motor, which is small even for a vehicle of that size. For instance, Zero Motorcycles range from 25kW to 52kW. It is expected to limit the top speed of the ORA R1 to about 100 km/h (~62 mph) which should be fine for its stated urban purpose and the occasional highway entrance.

The vehicle is going for sale right now (in China) and it comes with a three-year or 120,000 km guarantee for the whole vehicle, and an eight-year or 150,000 km guarantee for core components.

It's the sort of price-point that makes people take notice. For urban use, this would be perfect. The only issue at this price-point may be whether the minimum safety features are included for foreign markets, but I'd also expect at this price it will be targeting Developing World countries.

See https://electrek.co/2018/12/27/great-wall-motor-ora-r1-all-electric-urban-car/

#EV


China’s Great Wall Motor unveils $8,680 all-electric ORA R1 urban car with nearly 200-mile range
Great Wall Motor is launching its new flagship vehicle under its new ‘ORA’ electric car brand: the ORA R1. The small urban car will cost only $8,680 after incentives and it will have al…
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Solar Power for Ring Video Doorbell - Even Gadget Fanatics Still Need Accessories

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-27 - 20:52 By: admin

Solar Power for Ring Video Doorbell - Even Gadget Fanatics Still Need Accessories

Solar Charger is a secure mounting bracket with built-in solar panels designed for the original Ring Video Doorbell. With just a few hours of direct sunlight everyday, your Doorbell will stay charged around the clock.

Just shows that even if you think you have all the devices, there are often useful accessories that appear on the market.

See https://shop.ring.com/collections/accessories/products/solar-charger-for-original-ring-video-doorbell?variant=56549502731

#solar #rigdoorbell


Solar Charger (for Ring Video Doorbell)
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World of Tanks Ruinfield Battlefield in my Tier 8 Lowe Tank (video)

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-27 - 18:12 By: admin

World of Tanks Ruinfield Battlefield in my Tier 8 Lowe Tank (video)

Don't expect any dramatic action from me in this video but it does show off the graphics and gameplay a bit of World of Tanks PC (played in Linux using WINE so don't let the PC version put anyone off). Looking carefully you will also spot the heat wavering out of the exhausts of the tank.

The Lowe is a German Heavy Tank with a very accurate gun but reasonably light front armour so the idea is to position this tank 70-90 degrees side on to better deflect anything coming towards you. The video shows a few shots glancing off including a notorious Skorpion G shot (more luck than anything else as I did not see it coming).

Watch it at https://youtu.be/Kc_3AJtZ-Q8

#wot #lowe #tanks #gaming


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How to cancel your Telkom account - A Notoriously difficult process!

Posted on: Thu, 2018-12-27 - 12:49 By: admin

How to cancel your Telkom account - A Notoriously difficult process!

I see I went through this painful process in November 2011 when cancelling my ADSL with them. I spent 95 minutes holding on the phone and then trying to get back the overbilled amount from them. I must have dementia as I was back with them a few years later with Telkom LTE! OK I'm not going to do it again but am now trying to follow the proposed process at the link below. I have got my acknowledgement that I requested to cancel it by 31st Dec 2018 (so that we did not complicate it with credits) and I will have to pay a large cancellation fee (which they have not yet confirmed). I just get this feeling the cancellation fee is going to complicate things...

But hopefully, the info at https://mybroadband.co.za/news/telecoms/284254-how-to-cancel-your-telkom-account.html will help others who may have wondered how to go about this process.

@telkomza


How to cancel your Telkom account
Many Telkom customers have complained about issues trying to cancel their accounts, with some being unable to process their cancellations for months on end.
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Migrated from WOTB to World of Tanks PC - Here is my German Löwe Heavy Tank

Posted on: Wed, 2018-12-26 - 23:24 By: admin

Migrated from WOTB to World of Tanks PC - Here is my German Löwe Heavy Tank

The Blitz version of the game plays very well under Steam on Linux but I recently found that the PC version would actually run reasonably well under WINE on Linux so I have started getting into this version of the game. There are a lot more players in a battle, the battlefield is far larger, the game is more complex, but the graphics are stunning. It's just a pity the replay (which works very well) has to be accessed out of the game and you need to do a separate screens capture if you want to convert it to video (but the reason is you can also zoom and pan around in the replay so you would miss this if it was a plain save to MP4).

I've cheated a bit as I should have worked my way up the tiers again from Tier 1 after finishing Bootcamp. By buying this premium tank I am jumping straight into Tier 8 on the PC version which you certainly would utterly fail on if you had not got familiar with the WOT controls and gameplay. As it is, I will probably be returning to Tier 1 still to get a better feel for the PC version.

Regarding the tank itself: Development of this 70-ton super-heavy tank started on November 1, 1941. In February 1942, the Krupp company suggested the VK 70.01 avant project, later designated the Löwe ("Lion"). Several designs varying in configuration, armament, and armor, were drafted. However, the project was canceled after the Führer made the decision to develop even heavier tanks. No prototypes were ever built.

Designed for sniping, the Löwe is armed with the very accurate 10.5 cm KwK L/70, and is paired with a rather decent hull. While not quite as heavily armored as the Pz.Kpfw. Tiger II, it's sufficient to protect it from tier 7 guns. The turret however is heavily sloped allowing it to bounce even high tier guns . The performance of this tank is quite good for its tier, provided that it does not engage in close quarter combat, which is almost certain death for this tank. It has poor acceleration, so any reversal in direction will take some time.

So whilst the tank has a good gun its reload is a little sluggish and I need to be particularly careful not to face front on with this armour as that is its weak spot. This tank has particularly tough tracks and we, therefore, try to sidescrape with it (presenting the side at an angle to deflect enemy shots, and to keep the front armour angled away from a straight-on shot).

See https://photos.gadgeteer.co.za/picture.php?/12510/category/235

#WOT


World of Tanks - My new German Tier 8 Löwe Premium Heavy Tank | Danie's Photo Site
In the heat of battle - shot_010.jpg
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