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Huawei can't use Google Services so it's paying developers $1 billion to build for its own app store - Huawei is big enough to sway the ecosystem if they pull it off

Date Published: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:34:40 +0200

Huawei, and China, are big producers and consumers respectively. Any smaller player with a small market segment would be insignificant. There's no doubt Huawei produces great phones and if users get the apps they want to use, we may well see Android splitting down the middle if Huawei produces a new OS of their own. But it seems Huawei may be opting for their EMUI OS which is based on Android 10 and 100% compatible with all Android apps. All they will then be doing is establishing their own app store for developers to publish directly to and users would install most of their usual apps from this new store, just as they normally would have done in the past from the Google Play Store, or like Samsung users do from the Samsung store already. There are already alternative app stores that anyone can use such as F-Droid and Aptoide on existing phones.

This does not solve the problem of installing Google apps such as Google Maps, Google Drive, etc and it will be interesting to see how Huawei solves this hurdle. Custom ROM providers have also never been able to distribute the Google apps with their installations but most users wanting them flash GApps and have their use in that way (as I've done numerous times myself). Without this sideloading users would lose the Google apps altogether.

Seeing that the base Android is open source software it will be good to see the Android base still used for compatibility but we have seen smartwatches breakaway before from Wear OS and they never went out of business as long as users got the functionality they were looking for.

See https://www.androidcentral.com/huawei-cant-use-google-services-so-its-paying-developers-build-its-own-app-store

#huawei #android
#^Here's how Huawei plans to replace Google services on its new phones

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Huawei is outlining its plans to launch the Mate 30 series, and other upcoming devices, without Google services.

U.S. Citizens remain most sceptical about climate change according to a 28-nation study published by You Gov

Date Published: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 13:49:34 +0200

Americans are less likely to believe that climate change is real or that humans have anything to do with it, according to a 28-nation online study published by British polling company You Gov.

Only Saudi Arabians and Australians came near sharing a consensus with U.S. citizens when it comes to believing the Earth’s climate is not changing. In the U.S., 6% of those surveyed believe there is simply no such thing as climate change, compared to 5% of Aussies and Saudis who concurred.

In places including India, Spain, Italy, Singapore, China and Denmark, just 1% of the population doubted the existence of climate change, The doubters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Qatar, Taiwan and the Philippines registered at 0%.

It's not about the reasons why those opinions are believed (for or against) or whether climate change is happening or whether humans are to blame or can prevent it, it is a snapshot of opinions as people believe it to be across 28 different countries. So these are the facts as far as opinions go but it interests me to see how they differ considering we all live under the same sky and on the same planet. The only wish I have is, I wished that we could all live or die by our own consequences of our opinion (whether right or wrong) but the sad fact of it is that much of what any of us do, does affect other countries too as we all live on the same planet. I've got another post coming soon that will show there is a difference between younger vs older people too - the youth seem to have more vested in their concern about climate change.

See https://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ny-america-climate-change-skeptical-study-20190918-cx7r5hgvybbzph34w24nsgorae-story.html

#environment #climatechange
#^NY Daily News - We are currently unavailable in your region

German ministry hellbent on taking back control of 'digital sovereignty', cutting dependency on Microsoft - Not about costs but cutting dependencies

Date Published: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:41:11 +0200

BMI commissioned a strategic market analysis from consultants PwC, resulting in a paper that was published last month. The paper examines the risks inherent in IT dependency on commercial software vendors, with a particular focus on Microsoft because of the heavy use of its products and the way they are interconnected, especially Microsoft Office, Windows, Windows Server and Office 365.

The current trend towards integrated cloud-based offerings such as Office 365, Dynamics 365 and AI-driven applications on Azure gives the customer enhanced value but also increases lock-in because the added value comes from using them together, the analysis found. In addition, dependence on cloud services raises the risk of outages or remote deactivation of software licenses, PwC said.

The report has pointed out a number of options including negotiation of collection of telemetry data, diversifying proprietary software, or going open-source (but also highlighting pro's and con's of open-source approach). Nothing new specifically here but a lot comes on the heels of what happened with Huawei and the risks associated with that happening. But from a US company perspective, this is not good news as sleeping giants have been awakened to their dependency issue and how things can change. If Huawei was a small phone company it would not matter much, but they are one of the biggest and would they come back into the fold in a year or two if the situation reverses? Likely not and they could well create a 3rd big mobile OS in the market. Germany has SUSE Linux and SAP in their country which could be boosted dramatically if the EU were to lean that way with Germany.

This is going to be interesting to watch being played out from a macro perspective.

See https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/09/19/german_government_report_digital_sovereignty/

#privacy #security #germany
#^German ministry hellbent on taking back control of 'digital sovereignty', cutting dependency on Microsoft

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'Pain points' include data collection, lock-in and uncontrollable costs

The Huawei Watch GT 2 has 2-week battery life but has LiteOS instead of Android Wear OS

Date Published: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 23:37:17 +0200

Just like the original, Huawei is saying the Huawei Watch GT 2 can give you 2-weeks of battery while using features such as GPS and heart rate monitoring every 10 minutes. A new feature for the second generation watch is Bluetooth calling, which allows you to takes calls from up to 150m away from your phone. You can get 10 hours of battery life with Bluetooth calling. The Huawei Watch GT 2 can also monitor the wearer’s heart rate, daily sleep cycles, and various other attributes.

The battery life is seriously usable (for me anything over 1 week is good) but the caution from my perspective is the non-Wear OS which means you lose out on a big known ecosystem of watch apps. LiteOS does now allow custom watch faces but the question is what is available if Watchmaker does not support it (WAtchmaker supports Wear OS, iOS, Tizen). It could mean you are dependent on how many people are designing for LiteOS faces. In addition to that, I would consider what app notifications I need to interact with on my watch.

I love the round face but for any new watch purchase anyone wants to make, I'd suggest drawing up a list of specific features the watch is expected to have and eliminate for them there. We are not yet where we need to be for expensive smartwatches and most of the shortcomings lie around the battery life in terms of charge capacity but also longevity. These smartwatches do not seem to be designed for drop-in battery replacement like the mechanical watches were.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/the-huawei-watch-gt-2-has-2-week-battery-life-and-comes-in-2-sizes/

#huawei #smartwatch
#^The Huawei Watch GT 2 has 2-week battery life and comes in 2 sizes

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The Huawei Watch GT 2 builds upon the original and offers more design options to choose from. It still brings 2 weeks of battery life to your wrist.

How to easily install Chrome OS on a Raspberry Pi 3 with FydeOS and turn it into a cheap Chromebook computer

Date Published: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:19:50 +0200

Fancy a look at Chrome OS without spending money on a new computer? Wondering if a cloud operating system might improve the Raspberry Pi’s performance as a productivity tool? Wonder no more — it’s possible to install Chrome OS on the $50 computer and find out how well it runs. Chrome OS offers something different: cloud computing. The relatively low specification of the Raspberry Pi makes it ideal for Chrome OS. The operating system is designed to run most of its software as web apps, relying on servers for the processing. Almost all Chrome OS apps will run on the Raspberry Pi.

See https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/use-chrome-os-raspberry-pi/

#chromeos #raspberrypi #fydeos
#^How to Use Chrome OS on a Raspberry Pi

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Can't afford a Chromebook? Looking for an alternative to Raspbian? Here's how to install a version of Chrome OS on your Raspberry Pi.

Wire, Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook, Google, INRIA, and Twitter are collaborating towards an enterprise open standards secure messaging protocol called MLS

Date Published: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:10:19 +0200

As the world moves toward end-to-end encryption for personal messaging platforms, businesses are challenged to integrate the same level of security in corporate messaging apps.

Even encryption protocols for person-to-person messaging are still undergoing development. Services want to reduce the amount of sensitive data they store; however, only a few encryption protocols – Signal, for one – have been scrutinized for security.

"In the consumer space there are a few services with end-to-end encryption but in the business space it's very rare," says Raphael Robert, head of security at Wire, which launched in 2014 as a secure messenger primarily built for consumers. Since then, it has repositioned itself to build a secure business collaboration system. Wire is currently in the midst of working to develop Messaging Layer Security (MLS), a new protocol designed to facilitate more secure enterprise messaging platforms.

End-to-end encryption is supposed to exclude any man-in-the-middle attacks or interception at the servers (if implemented properly) but has only been implemented within the walled gardens of individual services, and sometimes not very well when it comes to groups of users. Between different services the encryption cannot work if both/all the services don't support it fully. This is why up to today e-mails are in open text when traversing between services. If a Whatsapp user wants to securely message two other users each on say Signal and Telegram, then all three services must support that same protocol. Many service providers will want to retain full control over their own walled garden and may resist efforts to allow us to exchange messages between services (that would mean too that you could migrate to a different service provider with client software that is more appealing to you). For those who do not want to put their users first, we as consumers should not be supporting.

Right now I can be on email system A and send a message to someone on email system B. I should be able to do the same with instant messaging, in a secure manner. MLS is addressing this (including encryption of the metadata) as an open standard that any messaging service can support.

Ahead of his talk at BlackHat 2019, Raphael Robert was interviewed by Dark Reading on the direction of MLS and why it is important to the industry – providing good reading for understanding why MLS is fundamental to the change the corporate work environment is undergoing. Read that interview at https://www.darkreading.com/perimeter/inside-mls-the-new-protocol-for-secure-enterprise-messaging/d/d-id/1335075. The draft protocol can be found at https://protocol.messaginglayersecurity.rocks/.

#encryption #securemessaging #MLS
#^Inside MLS, the New Protocol for Secure Enterprise Messaging

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As personal messaging platforms see the rise of end-to-end encryption, businesses struggle to provide strong levels of security.

Land Cruiser conversion by Electric GT disguises electric motor as a drop-in “V8 engine”

Date Published: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:23:28 +0200

The idea is that by creating a modular kit that can be altered to fit engine bays of just about any classic car by 3D scanning the bay and making a motor kit that mimics the size and shape of the original engine. End result: a 4×4 electric motor that can be dropped into the engine bay in exactly the same place as the original, and even looks to a certain extent like the original. This means that the conversion doesn’t have to replace other components, such as the original 4WD drivetrain and transmission.

Seee https://thedriven.io/2019/09/17/land-cruiser-conversion-disguises-electric-motor-as-v8-engine/

#EV #environment
#^Land Cruiser conversion disguises electric motor as "V8 engine" | The Driven

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California-based electric vehicle conversion outfit Electric GT is on a mission to make EV conversion kits for owners of classic vehicles easier.

MTN fixed-LTE crushes Telkom in South Africa - 100GB Anytime Data for R599pm vs Telkom R759pm

Date Published: Thu, 19 Sep 2019 10:37:47 +0200

Fixed LTE is ideal for users living in areas without fibre and where ADSL is either being phased out or who need faster speeds than ADSL reliably provides. Fixed LTE will get you about 20-40 Mbps speed. If you have coverage it is quick and easy to get going (be wary of signing 24-month contracts though as you could get fibre at any time).

Not only is MTN cheaper than Telkom but sorry to say, their service when anything goes wrong can only be better than Telkom's. From my past experience with Telkom's inflexibility with changes to contracts (they wanted to charge me to upgrade) I'd be interested to see if MTN is also not a bit more flexible.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/broadband/320199-mtn-fixed-lte-crushes-telkom.html

#southafrica #fixedlte
#^MTN fixed-LTE crushes Telkom

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MTN’s new fixed-LTE products available through Supersonic crush competing packages from Telkom.

DxOMark expands already extensive camera image quality tests with new tests focused on evaluating the latest gadgets’ night modes and ultra-wide-angle lenses

Date Published: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 21:34:22 +0200

Sure, you could take Apple’s word for it that the new iPhone’s cameras are amazing — or you could let some obsessive pixel-peepers perform some (mostly) objective tests and really get into the nitty-gritty. Pixel peepers in extraordinary DxOMark are here to help, with new tests focused on evaluating the latest gadgets’ night modes and ultra-wide-angle lenses.

Night shots are graded on detail, noise, color reproduction — the kinds of things that tend to be lost in low light. Wide-angle shots are graded on distortion, detail throughout the frame and chromatic aberration — all difficult to correct for.

If a smartphone's camera is a key deciding point for you when choosing a new smartphone then you want to have a look at the scoring and ratings for objective comparisons and comments before deciding.

See https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/18/dxomarks-night-and-wide-angle-camera-tests-push-todays-smartphones-to-their-limits/

#cameras #dxomark #technology
#^DxOMark’s night and wide-angle camera tests push today’s smartphones to their limits – TechCrunch

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Sure, you could take Apple’s word for it that the new iPhone’s cameras are amazing — or you could let some obsessive pixel-peepers perform some (mostly) objective tests and really get into the nitty-gritty. Pixel peepers in extraordinary DxOMark are here to help, with new tests focused …

The London Underground's secret stations have been revealed in this map - Amazing to see the bits of the Underground that are no longer in use

Date Published: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 19:35:14 +0200

The Underground is an ever-evolving system with many stations being demolished, abandoned and relocated. These are known as ‘Ghost stations’ and there are a lot of them. Thankfully for us, Us Versus Them used Dylan Maryk’s work to plot all these ex-stations on a map and it has a beautiful but eerie quality to it.

I'm wondering when the number of ghost stations (just under 50 currently) will outnumber working stations as it looks like the number is growing.

See https://www.mylondon.news/news/news-opinion/london-underground-map-secret-stations-16273480

#london #tube #ghoststations
#^The London Underground's secret stations have been revealed in this map

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Amazing to see the bits of the Underground that are not longer in use

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