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How switching my parents over to Linux saved me a lot of headache and support calls

Posted on: Mon, 2019-01-21 - 07:49 By: admin

How switching my parents over to Linux saved me a lot of headache and support calls

Interesting read as I did the same with my Mom. She had some Starter (?) edition of Windows 7 that came with her computer which could not even change the desktop wallpaper. I switched her 6 months back to Manjaro KDE with Chrome browser (gets to her GMail) and LibreOffice. IT just keeps updating itself and all is quiet. She does not replace her computer every few years for a new Windows upgrade so as long as Majaro keeps supporting 64-bit this should just keep going.

See https://blog.simon-frey.eu/how-switching-my-parents-over-to-linux-saved-me-a-lot-of-headache-and-support


How switching my parents over to Linux saved me a lot of headache and support calls
During me being at my parents over the holidays (Christmas 2017) I had the usual IT-support stuff to do, that always happens to tech sa...
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SharkRF openSPOT is a standalone digital radio IP gateway designed mainly for amateur radio to reach...

Posted on: Sun, 2019-01-20 - 23:07 By: admin

SharkRF openSPOT is a standalone digital radio IP gateway designed mainly for amateur radio to reach DMR, D-STAR and C4FM/System Fusion networks

As digital radio is becoming more popular with amateur radio enthusiasts there is one limitation that is becoming more obvious. Radios, Repeaters and digital radio standards do not talk to each other.

Radios such as Icom and Kenwood support the D-STAR digital standard whilst Yaesu only supports System Fusion (C4FM) and then there is also DMR itself which leans more towards commercial radio use. To make matters worse I may have say a Yaesu radio but my local repeater tower only supports D-STAR or no digital at all.

So what the openSPOT does is it acts as a local compatible repeater. So my Yaesu radio would see it as a System Fusion (C4FM) compatible repeater connected via local UHF signal, and the openSPOT is in turn connected to the Internet and will connect to supported digital networks all around the world. It has built-in WiFi so will get its Internet connection via home WFi, your mobile phone or an Internet cafe.

My radio -> UHF -> openSPOT -> 2.4 GHz WiFi -> Internet -> Remote Repeater -> Remote Radio

The openSPOT2 uses very little internet traffic. Depending on the active connector, the data rate estimates are as follows:
* Quiet channel is 36-180 kB / hour
* Active channel is 3-6 MB / hour

See https://www.sharkrf.com/products/openspot2/learn-more/

#openspot #amateurradio #hamradio


Learn more about the openSPOT2 – SharkRF
DMR (BrandMeister, DMRplus, DMR-MARC, Phoenix, XLX); D-STAR (DCS, REF/DPlus, XRF/DExtra, XLX); System Fusion/C4FM (FCS, YSFReflector); NXDN (NXDNReflector); P25 (P25Reflector); POCSAG (DAPNET). Supports cross modem modes (example: talk with your C4FM radio on DMR, and ...
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Why “digital detoxes” are nonsense - Most studies rely on self-reported estimates of technology use,...

Posted on: Sun, 2019-01-20 - 19:31 By: admin

Why “digital detoxes” are nonsense - Most studies rely on self-reported estimates of technology use, which often don’t reflect reality

People have always been concerned about almost every mass-adopted technology invented, and social media and smartphones are no different. But the idea that screen-based technologies are harming society continues to be a source of considerable debate surrounded by questionable evidence and media hype. As more research is completed, it’s important that findings are presented carefully to prevent further misinterpretation and fear-mongering.

Giving up technology also means giving up the good things about it. For example, smartphones and social media help people communicate and socialise, which is known to increase happiness. So it’s not surprising that some studies have found complete withdrawal from social media can have adverse consequences such as lower satisfaction, boredom, feelings of social pressure, and fear.

When it comes to digital detoxes, there is unlikely to be anything seriously wrong with stepping away from technology for the majority of people. But the notion that they’re a “good idea”, or that they have any lasting effects, is yet to be supported by science. In fact, seeing as there’s little evidence to suggest that technology is inherently bad, it might be that digital detoxes have no problem to solve in the first place.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/gadgets/292818-why-digital-detoxes-are-nonsense.html

#detox #technology


Why “digital detoxes” are nonsense
Frequent use of technology and social media isn’t a problem in itself, despite reported claims.
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Get started with HomeBank, an open source personal finance app for GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac...

Posted on: Sun, 2019-01-20 - 19:10 By: admin

Get started with HomeBank, an open source personal finance app for GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X

HomeBank is a personal finance desktop application that makes it fairly easy to keep track of your finances. It has some nice reports to help you figure out where you're spending your money, allows you to set up rules for importing transactions, and supports most modern formats.

Some highlights:
* Free and Open Source Software
* Cross-platform, supports GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
* Import easily from Intuit Quicken, Microsoft Money or other software
* Import bank account statements (OFX/QFX, QIF, CSV)
* Duplicate transaction detection at import
* Multiple currencies, with online update
* Automatic cheque numbering
* Automatic category/payee assignment
* Various account types : Bank, Cash, Asset, Credit card, Liability
* Scheduled transaction, with post in advance option
* Transaction template
* Category split
* Internal transfer
* Simple Month/Annual budget
* Dynamic powerful reports with charts
* Vehicle cost
* Translated in around 56 languages

See a guide on how to get going at https://opensource.com/article/19/1/productivity-tools-homebank

#homebank #finance


Get started with HomeBank, an open source personal finance app
Keep track of where your money is going with HomeBank, the eighth in our series on open source tools that will make you more productive in 2019.
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Ducati CEO confirms ‘The future is electric’, says electric Ducati is coming

Posted on: Sun, 2019-01-20 - 18:51 By: admin

Ducati CEO confirms ‘The future is electric’, says electric Ducati is coming

As major motorcycle manufacturers around the world grapple with a new era of EVs, Ducati could be the next to roll out an electric motorcycle. That’s according to the company’s CEO who just confirmed Ducati’s commitment to developing a production electric motorcycle.

Motorcycles don't exist in isolation from motor cars but it is quite a big thing when the traditional manufacturers like Harley and Ducati are getting on board with electric propulsion (Another Italian company Energica has been producing electric sports bikes for years, with a number of high performance 150+ mph models) as motorcycles are often more known for their thrill and experience.... of course the speed and torque is only better with electric anyway... but no vroom vroom sound accompanies yet although it sounds like Harley may be adding something.

See https://electrek.co/2019/01/19/electric-ducati-motorcycle/

#ducati #EV


Ducati CEO confirms ‘The future is electric’, says electric Ducati is coming
As major motorcycle manufacturers around the world grapple with a new era of EVs, Ducati could be the next to roll out an electric motorcycle. That’s according to the company’s CEO who …
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Merkur Futur Review & Buying Guide (2019) – The Best Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor?

Posted on: Sat, 2019-01-19 - 21:10 By: admin

Merkur Futur Review & Buying Guide (2019) – The Best Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor?

As noted in the article this razor seems to be featuring on most of the Top 10 lists. The only thing for me which is a bit of a con is the smooth handle as I like good knurling - I even replaced the handle of my Edwin Jagger DE89 with an iKon knurled handle.

This razor (also called MK-70) is considered an industry leader featuring innovative design, a wide range of adjustment provided and superior craftsmanship of production.

The range of adjustment is divided into six increments of blade angle; 1 being the mildest with the least exposure of the blade and up to 6 providing a shave that is considered by most as certainly aggressive enough for all but the nastiest growth.

The flexibility to adjust the razor settings means that you can find YOUR perfect setting based on your preferences and skin type.

See https://luxuryshavingrazors.com/safety-razor/merkur-futur-review/

#wetshaving #merkeur #razor


Luxury Shaving Razors
LuxuryShavingRazors.com's goal is to give you information for the best shaving experience possible. We test and review the best products in this niche.
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Bought two Zartek ZA-758 2-way radios today

Posted on: Sat, 2019-01-19 - 20:45 By: admin

Bought two Zartek ZA-758 2-way radios today

The radios have 16 channels in the license-free bands of 446 MHz (8 frequencies) and 464 MHz (5 frequencies) but still get a range of 2-6 km outdoors or 600 m to 1.2 km indoors. Battery life is around 30 hours.

They 'll be used when we are both (or one of us) is out on our evening walks, when hiking, etc and being standard PMR frequencies you can also connect to other radios. My Yaesu FT-60R can also talk to these frequencies at 500mW so can operate as a 3rd handset whilst my Yaesu FT991A will receive the frequencies but it's min 5W output is too strong to use on these frequencies.

I got two hand-free earphones with them so we can work hands-free, as well as a programming cable so that I could set one channel to scrambled and also set the 2nd custom button to scan mode (it will scan but keep that scrambled channel as the priority channel).

In field tests, this particular model has faired quite well in terms of real-world range. During our test this evening we only strayed about 500 m apart but the audio was crystal clear.

#zartek #walkietalkie #2wayradio

19/01/2019


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Untold Stories Of Everyday Innovators Inside Organizations - If you are a leader, I challenge you to...

Posted on: Fri, 2019-01-18 - 23:31 By: admin

Untold Stories Of Everyday Innovators Inside Organizations - If you are a leader, I challenge you to democratize innovation and give everyone a platform for innovation

The actual linked article is quite interesting to read and reminded me of two occasions that I have taken up the offer by CEOs of two large IT companies where they challenged the audience to come up with creative and innovative ideas.

I took both up on their offers (neither responded) but the one was a very public Tier 1 ISP in South Africa and my suggestion back then was to zero-rate data for educational and certain government sites - something which an ISP can do. No response, so I sent a reminder and then did a follow-up via a contact I knew in the organisation. Nothing. And ironically a few years later this type of zero-rating actually did happen.

CEOs: Don't challenge the public or your staff to come up with ideas and then ignore them. It is incredibly cheap and shallow. Organisations have such a wealth of untapped innovation as well as experience outside the actual job being done, but most organisations are completely blind to it. I have lots of funny stories of how organisations have missed the boat big time because they're so busy doing their strategic plans and focussing somewhere up in the sky. Sometimes you need to look down at your feet too!

See https://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2019/01/18/untold-stories-of-everyday-innovators-inside-organizations/

#innovation


Untold Stories Of Everyday Innovators Inside Organizations
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World’s Largest Wind Turbine Prototype, GE’s 12 Megawatt Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam - Can...

Posted on: Fri, 2019-01-18 - 23:11 By: admin

World’s Largest Wind Turbine Prototype, GE’s 12 Megawatt Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam - Can Power 16,000 Households on its Own

A prototype of the world’s largest announced wind turbine, GE Renewable Energy’s 12 megawatt (MW) Haliade-X, will be installed in Rotterdam during the middle of 2019 for five years of testing.

Announced in March 2018, GE Renewable Energy’s 12 MW Haliade-X will measure in at 260 meters in height and boast a 220-meter rotor, capable of generating enough clean electricity for 16,000 households all on its own.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2019/01/16/worlds-largest-wind-turbine-prototype-ges-12-megawatt-haliade-x-to-be-installed-in-rotterdam/

#windturbine #renewableenergy


World's Largest Wind Turbine Prototype, GE's 12 Megawatt Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam | CleanTechnica
A prototype of the world's largest announced wind turbine, GE Renewable Energy's 12 megawatt (MW) Haliade-X, will be installed in Rotterdam during the middle of 2019 for five years of testing
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Apple's New Smart Battery Case: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: Fri, 2019-01-18 - 22:34 By: admin

Apple's New Smart Battery Case: Everything You Need to Know

The Smart Battery Cases are similar in design to a silicone case but with an extra bump on the back that houses the battery pack. While attached to the iPhone, the Smart Battery Case functions like an external battery pack, providing additional power to the iPhone.

Each of the Smart Battery Cases features two 1,369mAh battery cells inside. Because there are two battery cells wired together, the cases run at a higher voltage that offers 10.1Wh of energy, making them higher capacity than previous battery cases introduced for iPhone 6s and 7.

Yep they're not pretty (by Apple standards) but I like that they offer the option as battery life is often the one thing that frustrates many smartphone users. Give me a thicker phone any day!

More details at https://www.macrumors.com/guide/smart-battery-case/

#battery


Apple's New Smart Battery Case: Everything You Need to Know
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