Oura Ring arrived today - will be monitoring my temperature, respiration and heartrate variability and comparing to my Fitbit Charge 2

Date Published: Fri, 3 Apr 2020 12:23:19 +0200

An Oura Ring is a biotracker's dream device as it measures so many biological indicators. It does its main readings at night while you are sleeping and during the day is working like a basic Fitbit tracker. There are activities you can trigger in the day for measurement such as meditation. It establishes a baseline for a person and then looks at variations that happen over time.

I remember when I was hospitalised a few years ago with a high fever, that I noticed my Fitbit had detected a rising resting heartrate but that was all Fitbit was detecting. I still think the newest Fibit Charge 4 has missed out on a major opportunity to measure additional indicators such as temperature and respiration. Now was the time...

So I'll establish my baselines and do some comparisons against the Fitbit over the coming week. I have also volunteered to participate in the University of California's project which is looking at improving the algorithms for the Oura Ring to help early detection of COVID-19 illness symptoms so for this I must fill in a daily survey and if I (when?) I get COVID-19 the readings from my ring will assist them with this.

More about the ring at https://ouraring.com and a video review at https://youtu.be/zWzC3ldTmiE

#technology #health #covid19

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The South African Presidency has approached OfferZen to help organise South Africa’s tech community to contribute in the fight against COVID-19

Date Published: Thu, 2 Apr 2020 13:48:10 +0200

This comes after University of Pretoria professor Willem Fourie contacted OfferZen co-founder Malan Joubert to help find developers to build a map identifying the communities in South Africa that are most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

“Based on this conversation, the government realised how critical it will be to collaborate with local tech companies and developers in this time of crisis. They have officially asked OfferZen to mobilise the tech industry to help,” said Joubert.

OfferZen is therefore inviting members of the South African tech community to pitch in and help with projects they have identified.

See Using tech to fight the coronavirus in South Africa

#southafrica #technology #covid19

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The South African Presidency has approached OfferZen to help organise South Africa’s tech community to contribute in the fight against COVID-19.

The Mediahack dashboard for Coronavirus in South Africa is looking really informative now

Date Published: Thu, 2 Apr 2020 12:12:22 +0200

Regrettably the death stats had to also start appearing but there are also stats status on testing, infections per province, infections per 100,000 by province, trends per province, daily infection increases compared to the highest infected countries as well as Africa, and daily increases from first 100 infections.

See Coronavirus in South Africa

#southafrica #technology #covid19

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The Coronavirus tracker visualises the most recent data on Covid 19 infections in South Africa.

LineageOS 17.1 based on Android 10 is now officially available - If your phone no longer gets OEM Updates you may want to consider LineageOS

Date Published: Thu, 2 Apr 2020 10:35:40 +0200

If you call yourself a custom ROM veteran, you definitely have heard about LineageOS. LineageOS traces its roots back to CyanogenMod, the custom ROM that became popular on the HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1, the first Android smartphone available for purchase. CyanogenMod, in turn, went on to become one of the most popular custom ROMs available across a plethora of devices, and several of the key developers and maintainers of the project went on to establish LineageOS when Cyanogen decided to stop supporting CyanogenMod. LineageOS picked up the reins with LineageOS 13.0 and LineageOS 14.1 releases, and the project has continued along over the years. Now, LineageOS is marking its major version bump up to LineageOS 17.1 with Android 10 as the base.

I've always found LineageOS contains a few extra useful bells and whistles too to moving to it is often a step up for most phones. You do just want to check your phone is officially supported and read the support thread for your phone to see what other user's experiences are.

See LineageOS 17.1 based on Android 10 is now officially available

#android #technology

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LineageOS is making the jump to Android 10 as base with LineageOS 17.1, bringing along several key changes across the board. Read on to know more!

Researchers to study if startup’s wrist-worn wearable can detect early COVID-19 respiratory issues - Will Fitbit be left behind?

Date Published: Wed, 1 Apr 2020 18:30:20 +0200

The data to be used for this study has been collected from WHOOP’s 3.0 hardware, which has also recently been validated by a University of Arizona external study conducted specifically to determine the accuracy of its measurement of respiratory rates during sleep, which the device uses to provide quality of sleep scores to its users. That study showed it to be among the most accurate measurement tools for respiratory rate short of invasive procedures, which is what has led researchers behind this new study to hypothesize that it could be valuable as a sort of early-warning system for detecting signs of abnormal respiratory behavior in COVID-19 patients before those symptoms are detectable by other means.

I'm still waiting for my Oura Ring (that is also participating in research like this) so will be watching the outcome of this wrist-worn research. I did comment last week that it's a pity Fitbit did not also build temperature and respiration detection into their new Charge 4 - the COVID-19 outbreak would have been the perfect stimulus for people to upgrade their Fitbits.

See TechCrunch is now a part of Verizon Media

#technology #health #covid19

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No group calling WebRTC based VC is end-to-end encrypted by default - for really secure VC rather self-host free Jitsi Meet

Date Published: Wed, 1 Apr 2020 14:48:44 +0200

Zoom has got very popular very quickly and yes a number of issues are arising highlighting potential privacy concerns. It is popular fore good reason: Works very well, has great features, and invitees don't need to register.

But it is built on WebRTC (as are many other video conferencing platforms now) which was designed for secure one-on-one (peer-to-peer) conferencing. So no-one can snoop on the traffic passing over the Internet but your client side app and the enterprise hosting the service instance for group calling potentially could.

To this end Zoom has been addressing the client issues (passing data back to Facebook), have amended their privacy policy making it more acceptable, and you can also set a number of default security options for meeting rooms. For example allowing telephone calls to bridge to your video chat does require the service to decode/encode to the phone otherwise that won't work, so disabling this option is probably good.

There are some services such at Riot Matrix and Cisco Webex that can optionally enable full E2EE but it usually either costs in terms of price, network ovberhead, or limited numbers which can group conference.

However, if your organisation is a government or needs to be more sure around the security it is probably best to self-host something like Jitsi which you can fully control (or at least control access to it). Your organisation is the "man in the middle".

See Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f... as well as an article about WebRTC and group calls at https://trueconf.com/webrtc.html and also https://wire.com/en/blog/is-your-video-conference-solution-secure/.

#technology #security #videoconferencing

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Super-crypto actually normal TLS, lawsuit launched over Facebook API usage, privacy policy rewritten

Classic MG TC in Assetto Corsa racing simulator

Date Published: Wed, 1 Apr 2020 10:04:05 +0200

After watching a lot of sim motor racing recently I decided to buy Assetto Corsa mainly because it has lots of mods (like this old MG TC as well as South Africa's Kyalami race track) and it does run on Linux with a few tweaks. The MG has the typical drift characteristics of its thin tyres but it may be a while before I get to doing proper online competitive racing... but I have a while now ;-)

#technology #gaming #motorracing

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Microsoft's Skype struggles have created Zoom and Houseparty moments - Interest overview on Skype's involvement since Microsoft bought it

Date Published: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:17:07 +0200

To be honest I can't remember when I last used Skype, and also up to last month I knew nothing or little about Zoom. Yet a bunch of us got going with Zoom and have been enjoying using it.

This article reminded me of the peer-to-peer days of Skype and looking at where Microsoft is now focussing on Teams I'm just recalling a few short years ago when Yammer was the flavour of the day (I think Yammer is still alive on life support somewhere).

Even Whatsapp today (bought out by Facebook) is nowhere near the innovator that it was years ago. It really seems that when someone founds a product, and that's all they do, it really develops well and takes off. Then it gets bought out... and it stagnates.

Which is why my own opinion is 'be wary of the all-in-one service' because it's not easy to back out of at all. Combining a few best-of-breed products can mean mitigating your risk if one disappears (like the excellent Wunderlist todo manager). You can more easily replace a single product. Of course if you are the vendor an all-in-one service is what you want to try sell...

See Microsoft’s Skype struggles have created a Zoom moment

#technology #collaboration #videoconferencing

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Zoom, Houseparty, and others are capitalizing on Skype’s failures

Raspberry Pi Network Monitor Tracks Your Internet Performance (DNS, Speed, Bandwidth, Latency, Local LAN)

Date Published: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:09:44 +0200

Troubleshooting network issues can be tricky. That's why we appreciate creators like Mr Canoehead — as he's known on Reddit — who has come forward with a new solution. Better yet, this network performance monitor project has maker written all over it, as it's based on a Raspberry Pi.

Built on top of a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, the project is designed to monitor network activity and performance. It uses the data to create a report with critical information, like network speeds and bandwidth measurements, making it much easier to track issues and when they arise.

The system is designed to use five network interfaces. Two are reserved as a transparent Ethernet bridge for monitoring the bandwidth between the modem and router.

This project is interesting in that it plots various parameters over a period before anything goes wrong. It is also looking though at local performance as well as DNS because Internet issues are not just related to your connection being up or down.

See Raspberry Pi Network Monitor Tracks Your Internet Speed

#technology #network #diagnostics

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Troubleshoot internet issues with Raspberry Pi.

Professional Ventilator Design Open Sourced Today By Medtronic and Virgin Orbit Will Start To Manufacture A New Bridge Ventilator

Date Published: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:37:36 +0200

Medical device company Medtronic released designs for one of their ventilators to open source for use in the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a laudable action, and there is plenty to glean from the specs (notable is that the planned release is incomplete as of this writing, so more info is on the way). Some initial reactions: medical devices are complicated, requirements specifications are enormous, the bill of materials (BOM) is gigantic, and component sourcing, supply chain, assembly, and testing are just as vital as the design itself.

Virgin Orbit has developed a new bridge ventilator that can be mass produced to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Pending clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Virgin Orbit aims to start production at its Long Beach manufacturing facility in early April, sprinting to deliver units into the hands of first responders and healthcare professionals as soon as possible.

See Professional Ventilator Design Open Sourced Today By Medtronic and https://www.virgin.com/news/virgin-orbit-develop-and-design-mass-producible-ventilators-covid-19-patients

#technology #opensource #covid19

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Medical device company Medtronic released designs for one of their ventilators to open source for use in the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a laudable action, and there is plenty to glean from the spec…

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