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How to Give the Pixel 2's Squeeze Gesture to Any Water-Resistant Android Phone

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 22:25 By: admin

How to Give the Pixel 2's Squeeze Gesture to Any Water-Resistant Android Phone

Google’s Pixel 2 came with a pretty cool if somewhat gimmicky feature: the ability to launch Google Assistant by simply squeezing the device. Now, one developer is bringing that same feature to your current Android phone. SideSqueeze is a free new app on Google Play that let’s you squeeze your device to perform a preset action.

The only major drawback is that SideSqueeze only works with Android phones that meet two main requirements. They need to be water-resistant and they need a barometric pressure sensor, both of which are thankfully pretty common in high-end smartphones. Combined, these two hardware features make it possible for your device to measure when it’s being squeezed and how hard.

See http://bit.ly/2HQftgA

bit.ly/2HQftgA

World’s first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car will cost under $10K

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 21:49 By: admin

World’s first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car will cost under $10K

The world’s first mass-producible, 3D-printed electric car is set to revolutionize the auto industry. Italy-based electric car company XEV teamed up with 3D printing material company Polymaker to launch the tiny LSEV at a recent press conference held at the 3D-Printing Cultural Museum in Shanghai. Co-founder and CEO of Polymaker, Dr. Luo Xiaofan, said in a statement, “XEV is the first real mass production project using 3D printing. By saying real, I mean there are also lots of other companies using 3D printing for production. But nothing can really compare with XEV in terms of the size, the scale, and the intensity.”

CNBC reports that the $7,500 car, which weighs just 992 pounds, can be printed in a matter of just three days. But it’s hardly a performance vehicle, reaching a top speed of about 43 miles per hour. With a range of 93 miles on a single charge, it won’t be great for cross-country travel, but it’s perfect for zipping around a crowded city.

XEV has reportedly received 7,000 orders for the car already. They plan to start production in the second quarter of 2019.

See https://inhabitat.com/worlds-first-mass-producible-3d-printed-electric-car-will-cost-under-10k/


World's first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car will cost under $10K
Mass-producible and cheap to make, the tiny LSEV by XEV and Polymaker is set to revolutionize the auto industry.

Apple AirPods: the audiophile review

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 20:03 By: admin

Apple AirPods: the audiophile review

The AirPods convey a full sense of the mood and intent of the music I listen to. By that, I mean that they’re not technically spectacular. They don’t fill my world with a sparkling shimmer when listening to “Rachel’s Song” on the Vangelis Blade Runner soundtrack, but they still put me in that longing, wistful mood. Similarly, the AirPods’ bass doesn’t make my world shake, but it still hits with surprising impact on songs like Woodkid’s “Iron.” There’s enough of everything — bass and treble extension, soundstage, clarity, and detail — in Apple’s tuning to render a convincing reproduction of most genres of music.

I say the AirPods aren’t technically amazing, but that’s only when comparing against existing standards for sound quality. In the category of truly wireless earbuds, the AirPods are the best I’ve yet heard.

Apple’s AirPods design, which I initially ridiculed, is actually the best and most functional one available for truly wireless buds today. Because Apple moved the Bluetooth electronics and batteries to the stem, it was able to use the full cavity of each bud for sound reproduction. That’s how the AirPods reproduce a wider soundstage than most Bluetooth earbuds without being any thicker or protruding from the ear. For a counterexample, you can try listening to the Jaybird X3s, which are very well tuned, but everything inside them sounds condensed like a closed accordion because of how close the sound driver is to the listener’s ear. Apple’s design compromise, extending that stem down toward the face, is simply the most optimal one we have at the present time. Yes, the AirPods are designed for function first, in spite of their stylized appearance.

The AirPods still come with substantial compromises. They don’t isolate external sound at all, and so you can carry on a conversation with someone next to you without ever taking them out. That renders the AirPods difficult to use for noisy urban commutes (where you’re likely crank up the volume to unsafe levels to compensate), and it also leads to people just leaving them in at all times, which is irritating to others.

See https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/19/17138258/apple-airpods-audiophile-review-wireless-headphones

#apple #airpods #music


Apple AirPods: the audiophile review
One reviewer’s belated discovery of Apple’s best first-gen product in years

Prof Tim Noakes: Will Academic ‘Mobsters’ Finally Silence Him?

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 19:40 By: admin

Prof Tim Noakes: Will Academic ‘Mobsters’ Finally Silence Him?

How did a dietitian with a business to protect get the might of a South African state body to prosecute world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? That question is hanging in the ether.

The Health Profession’s Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has appealed its committee’s comprehensive not-guilty verdict for Noakes. The appeal concluded in Pretoria on February 23, 2018. Appeal Committee chair, advocate Justice Mogotsi, will rule before the end of March.

The HPCSA charged Noakes with unprofessional conduct for a single tweet on February 4, 2014. In it, he said that good first foods for infants are LCHF (low-carb, high-fat). Johannesburg dietitian Claire Julsing Strydom reported Noakes to the HPCSA. She claimed that the tweet claiming was potentially “life-threatening”.

What a fascinating read this article is. Considering no-one was, or potentially, harmed from the Tweet that Prof Tim Noakes made, it is quite interesting to the extent that the HPCSA is going regarding this case!

See http://foodmed.net/2018/03/noakes-will-academic-mobsters-silence-him/

#nutrition #LCHF #timnoakes


NOAKES: WILL ACADEMIC 'MOBSTERS' FINALLY SILENCE HIM? - FOODMED.NET
Just how did a dietitian with a business to protect get the might of a South African state body to prosecute world-renowned scientist Prof Tim Noakes? That question is hanging in the ether in the Health Professions Council of South Africa's ongoing trial of Noakes.

Make sweet music with digital audio workstation Rosegarden

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 19:23 By: admin

Make sweet music with digital audio workstation Rosegarden

Rosegarden packs a robust musical notation editor into a fine audio production environment.

One of the things that makes Rosegarden unique among DAWs is that it also features a notation editor. This is especially useful for composers who need to have their music ready for musicians or for anyone who happens to be more comfortable with traditional notation than a matrix of MIDI signals.

Like the matrix editor, the notation editor is about as intuitive as any basic word processor or paint program. In Draw mode, enter notes into an empty segment by selecting the note duration you want then clicking on the staff. In Move mode (the arrow icon in the top tool bar), click and drag a note to a new position.

To replace a note with a new duration, click the duration you want, then click the existing note you want to change. Rest durations are altered to suit.

This is a powerful feature in Rosegarden, as it lets composers who may not be targeting the computer for their final production, but want to leverage the computer's ability to create an approximate demo of their music. Since the notation editor uses GNU Lilypond, you can always export your work as a Lilypond file or MusicXML file.

See https://opensource.com/article/18/3/make-sweet-music-digital-audio-workstation-rosegarden

#music #notation #rosegarden


Make sweet music with digital audio workstation Rosegarden
Rosegarden packs a robust musical notation editor into a fine audio production environment. Learn more about how to install and use it in this tutorial.

One Angel Investor is putting his money where his mouth is - Offer is $100,000 per team to develop an...

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 17:24 By: admin

One Angel Investor is putting his money where his mouth is - Offer is $100,000 per team to develop an alternative to Facebook

Do you think you can build a better Facebook? Jason (a known angel investor) is funding seven teams for $100,000 each to do that as part of their OpenBook Challenge at https://www.openbookchallenge.com.

The big challenge will still be getting people to move. But nice to see the debate picking up hotly on Mastodon and Twitter. Advertisers are really not going to like this as Mastodon was also a threat to them... they lose their ability to pay to push messages into people's streams, and the sites don't need their money to operate either.

See https://twitter.com/Jason/status/976249105792958465 or go to the challenge website at https://www.openbookchallenge.com/


Electronic Frontier Foundation: How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing...

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 16:06 By: admin

Electronic Frontier Foundation: How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing

You shouldn't have to do this. You shouldn't have to wade through complicated privacy settings in order to ensure that the companies with which you've entrusted your personal information are making reasonable, legal efforts to protect it. But Facebook has allowed third parties to violate user privacy on an unprecedented scale, and, while legislators and regulators scramble to understand the implications and put limits in place, users are left with the responsibility to make sure their profiles are properly configured.

Over the weekend, it became clear that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company, got access to more than 50 million Facebook users' data in 2014. The data was overwhelmingly collected, shared, and stored without user consent. The scale of this violation of user privacy reflects how Facebook's terms of service and API were structured at the time. Make no mistake: this was not a data breach. This was exactly how Facebook's infrastructure was designed to work.

See https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/03/how-change-your-facebook-settings-opt-out-platform-api-sharing


How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing
You shouldn't have to do this. You shouldn't have to wade through complicated privacy settings in order to ensure that the companies with which you've entrusted your personal information are making reasonable, legal efforts to protect it. But Facebook has allowed third parties to violate user...

Feed the dog and close the door with an open source home automation system

Posted on: Wed, 2018-03-21 - 16:01 By: admin

Feed the dog and close the door with an open source home automation system

It may be a bit more effort to set up your own home automation system but the advantages are:
1. You can talk to all compatible devices from one automation system.
2. You can set any combination of rules and conditions that you need.
3. It will still work if the Internet goes off (many cloud based services go dumb if they lose their connection).

See https://opensource.com/article/18/3/smart-home-assistant


Feed the dog and close the door with an open source home automation system
Home Assistant, a versatile and lightweight open source tool, makes it easy to automate everyday household tasks.

South African Post Office – Website down, emails bouncing, domain fees not paid

Posted on: Tue, 2018-03-20 - 23:10 By: admin

South African Post Office – Website down, emails bouncing, domain fees not paid

Accessing the SA Post Office website is impossible, and navigating to www.postoffice.co.za results in a “server IP address could not be found” error. Emails to addresses on the postoffice.co.za domain are also bouncing, and producing a “mail delivery failed” error.

I have been noticing too the last few months that the online Track & Trace service had also seemed to be broken.

Let's hope this gets fixed pretty quickly as they are also readying to take over the SASSA grant payments.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/government/252995-sa-post-office-website-down-emails-bouncing-domain-fees-not-paid.html


SA Post Office – Website down, emails bouncing, domain fees not paid
The South African Post Office’s online presence appears to be in tatters.

What are the best alternatives to Facebook?

Posted on: Tue, 2018-03-20 - 21:50 By: admin

What are the best alternatives to Facebook?

With Facebook yet again in the news about breaches of privacy (it's free for users to use because the data is sold to advertisers so what do you expect?) many may be yet again looking for alternatives to use.

Two reality checks are worth noting:
1. Most people's friends and family are on Facebook (willingly or unwillingly) and you're going to find it near to impossible to convince all 150+ of them to migrate to anything else because their 150+ friends are also stuck on Facebook. It's the same reason WhatsApp and Twitter are still going strong despite there being better alternatives.
2. An exact replication of Facebook is not easy to find. WhatsApp and Twitter both have easier and better alternatives to use. You need to take stock of what is actually being used in Facebook, and whilst basic message posting with GIFs, attached photos, polls, etc are quite easy to find, what you don't find bundled elsewhere is included photo albums, check-ins, and events for example. It's often this clutter on Facebook that seems to keep some people there ;-)

I have tried (and still belong to) many different social networking sites from back in the day of FriendFeed, MySpace, etc and the closest I can think of right now possibly are the following (this list could be broadened if you put your photos and videos on a site like Flickr and just share in your posts):

* Diaspora at https://diasp.org - no adverts, decentralised pods with contacts (friends), photos (no album groupings though), posts. It has aspects similar to G+ Collections that you can post to or follow separately (do not have to follow all posts from someone).

* Google+ at https://plus.google.com/ - yes it is going strong still and is especially good for interests / hobbies based posts. Also has contacts in the form of Circles that you create to post / follow, and also Collections where you can post on a specific theme and also just follow a person's Collection instead of all posts. It also allows polls and posting photos. It has some links to Events / Hangouts but the photos tab has been obscured for the G+ profile so effectively no photo browsing.

* Ello at https://ello.co/ - punting itself more as a creators network now and also without any ads. It allows posts with photos and links but also no actual photo album functionality.

* GnuSocial at https://social.consumium.org - no ads, 1,000 character post that can include links, photos, events and polls. Also a decentralised federation of servers, and RSS feeds to replicate your posts elsewhere. They claim to be adding better photo and video posting in future.

I have really only considered pure social networks so have excluded these groups which have numerous alternatives already:
* Microblogging like Twitter, Mastodon, Tumblr, etc.
* Photoblogging like Instagram, SnapChat, Flickr, etc.
* Team chat like Slack, Riot, Zulip, etc.
* Online collaboration like Elgg, Alfresco, etc.
* Specialised like LinkedIn, Second Life, dating sites, FourSquare, Yelp, etc.

In summary social network alternatives to Facebook often have advantages like increased freedom of expression with less censorship, better security and privacy options, often can be self-hosted and federated to other instances (each instance having its own flavour), improved data export and connectivity. On the downside, your provider could also disappear as they do not have a corporate financial model selling your data to keep funding the service.

The final point though is, based on momentum to date, nothing ha syet come along that has been appealing enough for the billion or so Facebook users to all migrate away from Facebook.

So as much as many hate Facebook, most are "stuck" there.

What would it take for 100 million people to move? What other worthwhile alternatives do you think there are to Facebook that have posts, photo albums, events, check-ins, messaging, etc as part of the single platform?

See https://www.1and1.com/digitalguide/online-marketing/social-media/the-best-facebook-alternatives/


The best Facebook alternatives
If you like to network with your friends online, the chances are you’ve got Facebook. But there are conservative alternatives that offer better data protection.
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