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Spotify's new 'Your Daily Drive' playlist is like FM radio - Starts now in the US and we hope it expands globally soon

Date Published: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:57:43 +0200

FM radio has some new competition. Streaming giant Spotify just launched a new playlist called Your Daily Drive, which combines music and news.

Your Daily Drive is a personalized playlist of your favorite songs and tracks Spotify thinks you'll like interspersed with short-form podcast news updates from The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Public Radio International.

"Escape from toggling between multiple stations to avoid music that isn't quite your speed," Spotify wrote in a Wednesday blog post announcing the new feature, which launched today for all U.S. users.

Expect new content every time you listen. Spotify said the playlist will update throughout the day with fresh music and news.

See #^https://mashable.com/article/spotify-your-daily-drive-playlist-fm-radio/

#spotify
#^Spotify's new 'Your Daily Drive' playlist is like FM radio

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Your Daily Drive is a personalized playlist of your favorite songs interspersed with podcast news updates.

15 Best Open Source Solutions for Your E-commerce Business - Run your online business legally for free

Date Published: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:53:38 +0200

One of the many advantages the Internet age has given us is the ability to launch and manage businesses online using a virtually unending list of resources that are free, paid, open source, and proprietary.

Many people are of the notion that they can only run a successful e-commerce platform with expensive tools, plugins, etc. but that is far from the case because there are loads of awesome open source solutions created for that purpose.

See #^https://www.fossmint.com/best-open-source-ecommerce-business-software/

#ecommerce #FOSS
#^15 Best Open Source Solutions for Your E-commerce Business

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One of the many advantages the Internet age has given us is the ability to launch and manage businesses online using a virtually unending list of resources.

CERN ditches Microsoft to take back control by using open source software - Beware of Microsoft ending your academic institution status

Date Published: Thu, 13 Jun 2019 00:01:33 +0200

"The Microsoft Alternatives project (MAlt) started a year ago to mitigate the anticipated software license fee increases. MAlt’s objective is to put us back in control using open software. It is now time to present more widely this project and to explain how it will shape our computing environment."

Over the years, CERN’s activities and services have increasingly relied on commercial software and solutions to deliver core functionalities, often leveraged by advantageous financial conditions based on the recognition of CERN’s status as an academic, non-profit or research institute. Once installed, well-spread and heavily used, the leverage used to attract CERN service managers to the commercial solutions tends to disappear and be replaced by licensing schemes and business models tuned for the private sector.

Given the collaborative nature of CERN and its wide community, a high number of licenses are required to deliver services to everyone, and when traditional business models on a per-user basis are applied, the costs per product can be huge and become unaffordable in the long term.

I really applaud such an organisation taking a stand to take control of its own destiny. What is becoming obvious to many with proprietary licenses is that the costs don't stop after purchasing, there is annual maintenance and if you want any form of support you often end up paying for that via 3rdparties. You also cannot fix anything yourself and are totally reliant on receiving a patch (if you are paid up for your maintenance). Open source means a worldwide support group, being able to fix the code yourself or apply someone else's patch to your software yourself. Of course, moving into a cloud-based application means you can just do so much less, and if you don't pay annually you also lose access to your application. But whoever lost their job over choosing IBM...

See #^https://home.cern/news/news/computing/microsoft-alternatives-project-malt

#CERN #FOSS #microsoft
#^Microsoft Alternatives project (MAlt)

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The Microsoft Alternatives project (MAlt) started a year ago to mitigate anticipated software license fee increases. MAlt’s objective is to put us back in control using open software. It is now time to present more widely this project and to explain how it will shape our computing environment.

Background

Over the years, CERN’s activities and services have increasingly relied on commercial software and solutions to deliver core functionalities, often leveraged by advantageous financial conditions based on the recognition of CERN’s status as an academic, non-profit or research institute. Once installed, well-spread and heavily used, the leverage used to attract CERN service managers to the commercial solutions tends to disappear and be replaced by licensing schemes and business models tuned for the private sector.

Given the collaborative nature of CERN and its wide community, a high number of licenses are required to deliver services to everyone, and when traditional business models on a per-user basis are applied, the costs per product can be huge and become unaffordable in the long term.

A prime example is that CERN has enjoyed special conditions for the use of Microsoft products for the last 20 years, by virtue of its status as an “academic institution”. However, recently, the company has decided to revoke CERN’s academic status, a measure that took effect at the end of the previous contract in March 2019, replaced by a new contract based on user numbers, increasing the license costs by more than a factor of ten. Although CERN has negotiated a ramp-up profile over ten years to give the necessary time to adapt, such costs are not sustainable.

Anticipating this situation, the IT department created the Microsoft Alternatives project, MAlt, a year ago.

MAlt’s objective

The initial objective was to investigate the migration from commercial software products (Microsoft and others) to open-source solutions, so as to minimise CERN’s exposure to the risks of unsustainable commercial conditions. By doing so, the laboratory is playing a pioneering role among public research institutions, most of whom have recently been faced with the same dilemma. 

MAlt is a multi-year effort and it will now enter a new phase with the first migrations.

The project’s principles of engagement are to:

    Deliver the same service to every category of CERN personnel
    Avoid vendor lock-in to decrease risk and dependency
    Keep hands on the data
    Address the common use-cases

Coming in 2019

The first major change coming is a pilot mail Service for the IT department and volunteers this summer, followed by the start of CERN-wide migration. In parallel, some Skype for Business clients and analogue phones will migrate to a softphone telephony pilot.

Many other products and services are being worked on: evaluations of alternative solutions for various software packages used for IT core services, prototypes and pilots will emerge along the course of the next few years.

How will MAlt impact you and how to contribute?

You will find all the details and progress on the project site and more particularly the list of products addressed in the project. 

The new computing newsletter blog will communicate on general items, and in addition, a general presentation will be provided in the Main Auditorium on 10 September at 2.30 p.m.

Needless to say, isolated initiatives will waste effort and resources. Instead, if you or your team are willing to participate, if you have ideas, the best way is to join the coordinated Microsoft Alternatives effort by checking the project site and contributing to the discussion channel. 

Interesting times ahead! While the Microsoft Alternatives project is ambitious, it’s also a unique opportunity for CERN to demonstrate that building core services can be done without vendor and data lock-in, that the next generation of services can be tailored to the community’s needs and finally that CERN can inspire its partners by collaborating around a new range of products. 

Follow the project, get details, join: cern.ch/malt

Facebook refused to remove the fake video of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, will they now remove the fake video of Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram?

Date Published: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 20:57:17 +0200

In late May, when a fake viral video in which congresswoman Nancy Pelosi appeared to be drunk was posted on Facebook, the company said it would not remove it. And Facebook Public Policy Director Neil Potts later said that the company would not remove such a video even if it featured the company's co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Well, that claim has just been put to the test.

See #^https://mashable.com/article/mark-zuckerberg-deepfake-instagram/

#facebook #censorship
#^There's a frightening deepfake of Zuckerberg on Instagram. Your move, Facebook

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Well, that didn't take long.

Huawei is sending developers requests to publish on its app store - Would it not have been better to tie in with Aptoide as a widely supported generic store?

Date Published: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 20:05:57 +0200

Late last month, news that Google had revoked Huawei’s Android license shook the tech community. Since then, we’ve seen hardware suppliers, chip designers, standards organizations, and other companies pull out of deals with Huawei. Huawei’s growing pains have forced the company to speed up development on its Android OS and Play Store alternative. If the company wants to survive without Google, then they need to ensure that their smartphones have access to a flourishing app ecosystem. To that end, the company is continuing to send out requests to developers of popular Play Store applications to get them to publish their apps on EMUI‘s pre-installed AppGallery app store.

Huawei does already have its own app store but it has a few hundred apps in it whilst Aptoide is generic across brands with over 900,000 popular apps. Google of course has been trying to flag Aptoide as "unsafe" and Aptoide has started a campaign to highlight Google's bullying of these smaller players. Aptoide is open source and claims "Recent studies prove that Aptoide is the safest Android app store".  I'm just not really in favour of brand based app stores and prefer more generic coverage as I change brands every now an again.

See #^https://www.xda-developers.com/huawei-request-developers-publish-appgallery/

#huawei #aptoide
#^Huawei is sending developers requests to publish on its app store

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Huawei is reaching out to developers of popular Play Store apps to get them to publish their apps on EMUI's AppGallery app store.

Virtually Visit Anne Frank’s childhood home on Google Arts and Culture

Date Published: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 19:58:33 +0200

“I hope I can entrust you with everything that I haven't been able to share with anyone, and I hope you will be a great support to me." These are the first words Anne Frank wrote in the diary she received on her thirteenth birthday. Three weeks later, the Frank family went into hiding. Since then, the story of Anne has moved people across the globe who want to learn more about her life.

Google Arts & Culture has worked with the Anne Frank House to shed a light on Anne’s life at Merwedeplein 37-2 in Amsterdam, where her family lived before they went into hiding. In honor of what would have been her 90th birthday, you can explore an online exhibit and indoor Street View imagery of Anne’s childhood home. For the first time it will be possible to view all rooms of the flat to get a unique insight into Anne Frank's home that has been restored to its original 1930s style, including the bedroom that she shared with her sister Margot.

The virtual visit is a great lasting tribute to Anne especially if anything were to happen to the original house. I'd hope this "visit" would inspire those to go physically visit the actual place as it gives an idea of what to expect. Another lesson of course in this temperamental digital age is that a paper diary may last many decades and than goodness Anne did not keep her diary on her cellphone as it would be lost today...

See #^https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/arts-culture/visit-anne-franks-childhood-home-google-arts-culture/

#annefrank #history
#^Visit Anne Frank’s childhood home on Google Arts & Culture

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Learn more about Anne Frank's history by browsing through a new online exhibition which let’s you visit her former family home in indoor Street--View

Photos of travellers who entered and exited the U.S. were stolen in a data breach - If it were a private company who'd be held liable?

Date Published: Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:46:28 +0200

Photos of travelers collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been compromised in a data breach, the agency revealed on Monday. "The subcontractor’s network was subsequently compromised by a malicious cyber-attack. No CBP systems were compromised."

Irrespective of who was finally at fault, citizens trust an agency (or do not trust, but are forced to trust) to collect private data and they expect that agency to take all measures to safeguard it. Here in South Africa, we have the POPI Act which can hold CEO's of companies privately liable and could result in jail terms. All these laws though are not worth the paper they are written on until someone really does go to jail. So what happens with government agencies? Does someone really get ultimately held liable and get sent to jail? If so, we can expect serious changes to the protection of data with "trust no-one" policies in place.

It's also yet another wakeup call why backdoors cannot be trusted. They always get found out and the humans in the chain are the weak links - then all your backdoors are out there and exposed...

You either have security or you don't have security.... there is no half security.

See #^https://mashable.com/article/cbp-photos-data-breach/?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=webfeeds

#security #privacy #POPI
#^Photos of travelers who entered and exited the U.S. were stolen in a data breach

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It comes after CBP said it'd look to expand facial recognition at airports.

South Africa Government sued over Eskom, Sasol air pollution by groundWork and the Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action

Date Published: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 23:30:23 +0200

Government is being sued for failing to crack down on some of the world’s worst air pollution emitted by power plants operated by Eskom and refineries owned by Sasol.

The case was filed in the high court in Pretoria by groundWork, an environmental rights organisation, and the Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action, according to a statement sent by their lawyers, the Centre for Environmental Rights.

The so-called Highveld Priority Area, which includes much of Mpumalanga province and part of Gauteng, is the site of 12 coal-fired Eskom power plants, a Sasol oil refinery and coal-to-fuel plant owned by the company.

A Greenpeace study for the third quarter of 2018 showed that Mpumalanga had the worst nitrogen dioxide emissions from power plants of any area in the world. In 2016, the air pollution caused between 305 and 650 early deaths in the region, according to a study commissioned by the Centre for Environmental Rights and carried out by Andy Gray, an American atmospheric scientist.

That is pretty scary and unfortunately its the residents of the area who suffer, not even knowing what is causing asthma, respiratory diseases and deaths.

See #^https://techcentral.co.za/south-africa-sued-over-eskom-sasol-air-pollution/90152/

#southafrica #nvironment #pollution
#^South Africa sued over Eskom, Sasol air pollution - TechCentral

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Government is being sued for failing to crack down on some of the world’s worst air pollution emitted by power plants operated by Eskom and refineries owned by Sasol.

6 Benefits of Reading Every Day - Even if it is printed on paper

Date Published: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 19:00:04 +0200

Reading is good for more than just entertainment. Committing part of everyday to reading printed books can make you a smarter, kinder, more relaxed individual. And the positive effects can be felt at any age: Even before they’ve fully developed their reading skills, kids can benefit from having access to printed materials and being read to on a regular basis. Exposing kids to books, magazines, and more at an early age is a great way to encourage them to be life-long readers, which means they’ll reap these benefits for years to come.

Personally, I prefer ebooks because I don't have to stress about losing my place, the pages blowing in the wind, reading at night without waking my wife with the light on, and running out of something to read next... But if I can only give one single piece of advice in life.. it will always be to read a lot.

See #^http://mentalfloss.com/article/585137/6-benefits-reading-every-day

#reading
#^6 Benefits of Reading Every Day

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Committing part of everyday to reading printed books can make you a smarter, kinder, more relaxed individual—and the positive effects can be felt at any age.

The Google Assistant is now available in Waze

Date Published: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:14:51 +0200

Think about the last time you were stuck in traffic—the minutes you spent staring at a long line of red taillights probably didn't feel productive. The Assistant can already help with navigation in Google Maps, so it’s easier to search for places along your route or add a new stop while you’re on the go. And starting to roll out today in the U.S., you can get help from the Assistant in Waze on Android phones in English.

Thanks to its community of millions of drivers contributing real-time data every second, Waze helps you beat traffic, while the Assistant lets you play music and podcasts, message your friends and call your family hands-free—without ever leaving the navigation screen. Many of your favorite Waze features, like reporting traffic, pinpointing a pothole or checking for alternate routes, can also be accessed simply by using your voice. Just say “Hey Google, report traffic” or “Hey Google, avoid tolls” when navigating with Waze and your Google Assistant will help keep you connected, informed and minimize distractions while you’re on the go, so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

It is not just Google Assistant working in the background as it seems to be interacting with Waze, although there was the Waze voice interaction too so I wonder what happened to that? The big takeaway though is this means Google is not shutting down Waze in the short term!

See #^https://www.blog.google/products/assistant/google-assistant-now-available-waze/

#waze #google #navigation
#^The Google Assistant is now available in Waze

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You can now access the helpfulness of the Assistant directly within Waze.

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