South Africans don't only have Facebook and Twitter for online discussions, but also a good subreddit on Reddit social network

Date Published: Wed, 2 Sep 2020 11:25:21 +0200

Just took a quick scan of this subreddit called r/southafrica and was actually amazed at the quality of the discussion. Not the usual rants and ugly comments often seen when the "emotional" topics come up. Right now there is a debate on whether South Africa should have presidential candidate debates.

It is an actively moderated subreddit so hopefully that gives everyone an equal opportunity to provide quality inputs. It really is time we break away more from the one or two social networks most people know about. Reddit is not about your friends or family photos, it's very much about discussion on specific common topics of interest or hobbies. Topics and comments get voted up or down according to popularity by readers. In the USA it rivals Facebook in terms of active participation.

See r/southafrica

#technology #socialnetworking #southafrica

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r/southafrica: Everything related to South Africa

COVID-tracing without an app? There’s an iOS and Android update for that

Date Published: Wed, 2 Sep 2020 11:02:50 +0200

The new Exposure Notifications Express spec is baked into iOS 13.7 which emerged this week and will appear in an Android update due later this month.
This is not, repeat not, pervasive Bluetooth surveillance. The tool requires users to opt in, although public health authorities can use the tool to send notifications suggesting that residents do so.

Those who choose to participate agree to have their device use Bluetooth to search for other nearby opted-in devices, with an exchange of anonymised identifiers used to track encounters. If a user tests positive, and agrees to notify authorities, other users will be told that they are at risk and should act accordingly.

Oh the joys of large centralised tech companies... Just not so easy to implement on decentralised and peer-to-peer systems and networks.

See COVID-tracing without an app? There’s an iOS and Android update for that

#technology #covid19

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Google and Apple’s new ‘Exposure Notifications Express’ gives health authorities a shortcut

/e/ is a fully open sourced Android OS based on LineageOS but with the Google bits fully removed

Date Published: Wed, 2 Sep 2020 10:53:12 +0200

So like Chromium is the fully open source version of Chrome browser (like LineageOS is to commercial Android), we have 3rd party browsers like Brave and others that strip out some, and enhance other, features of Chromium itself. Many users today do not seek to have an integrated Google functionality or have information going back to Google, so there are OSs then like /e/ which try to provide this.

Breaking free from Google of course means the world is a lot of easy choices as you are not tied to that dependency of needing the functionality. This is often a desire that technical and privacy folks have so hopefully it also starts to lead to more popular independent app stores emerging which can help make this process easier so that a dependence on the Google Play Store is also not a requirement.

See Home

#technology #opensource #android #privacy

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Your data is YOUR data!
We build desirable, open source,
privacy-enabled smartphone operating systems.
We are /e/ Download and TRY! Buy an /e/ Smartphone!

Your smartphone is harvesting your data all day long, capturing with great detail where you

How to Set Up Facial Recognition to Sign into Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions using Howdy

Date Published: Tue, 1 Sep 2020 20:27:04 +0200

Despite all the concern, facial recognition is getting popular among consumers. Most recent Android and iOS devices have the feature to unlock the device with facial authentication. Once you get used to the face unlock or fingerprint unlock, typing password feels like a tedious, boring task.

Howdy is an open source software that gives you the ability to login to your Linux system with face recognition. Consider it an open source Windows Hello alternative for Linux. Here, your data is stored locally on your computer. Howdy uses the built-in IR emitters and webcam combination to recognize your face. It is built using OpenCV and Python.

See a tutorial at ^How to Set Up Facial Recognition to Sign into Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

#technology #opensource #linux #facialrecognition #Security

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Missing the Windows Hello kind of unlocking of your system on Linux? Learn how to set up face unlock on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

Solar Taxi Ghana Launches The Cherry Tiggo 3xe 480 EV SUV For Ghanaian Market - Can be leased for just one month but costs only $23,000 in China!

Date Published: Tue, 1 Sep 2020 20:16:01 +0200

Solar Taxi is a Ghanaian startup that we covered recently about its announcement that it is scaling up its electric bike business. The company quickly followed that up by launching an EV leasing business where consumers in Ghana can lease a brand new all-electric sedan for just $160 per month.

That sedan was the Chinese-built JAC iEV7L pure electric vehicle. This JAC sedan has a decent 35.2 kWh battery that is good for about 302 km (189 miles) NEDC.
Solar Taxi is banking on this cheap cost to “fuel” the car as well as the savings from the low maintenance costs associated with driving an EV to get Ghanaians driving EVs. SolarTaxi’s minimum lease contract is for just one month!

With a price tag of around $23,000 in China, it is certainly one of the more affordable SUVs that come with a 53 kWh battery pack. It’s a pretty smart move by Solar Taxi to start with these Chinese models.

See Solar Taxi Ghana Launches The Cherry Tiggo 3xe 480 EV SUV For Ghanaian Market

#environment #ghana #africa #EV

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The first batch of Solar Taxi's 10 Cherry Tiggo 3xe 480 EV SUVs have arrived in Ghana, and customers who had pre-ordered, as well as those who have signed expressions of interest, are now enjoying the first round of test drives before deliveries start in September.

Don't Buy an Apple Watch Series 3... Apple is planning to introduce a new, more affordable Apple Watch to replace the Series 3

Date Published: Tue, 1 Sep 2020 20:03:32 +0200

So far, we don’t know much about this lower-cost Apple Watch — an “Apple Watch SE,” if you wil l— other than it’s aimed at competing with wearable makers like Fitbit in the budget smartwatch category. AppleInsider speculates that it might feature a plastic chassis. Meanwhile, 9to5 Mac theorizes the cheaper watch is likely to have a faster chip and some more advanced features, like fall detection, while forgoing the upgraded displays you see on the Series 4 and Series 5.

Regardless, it’s likely that the new budget watch will feature upgraded guts compared to the Series 3.

See Don't Buy an Apple Watch Series 3

#technology #smartwatch #apple

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If you were wondering whether you should save yourself a couple hundred dollars and opt for an Apple Watch Series 3: Don’t. A Bloomberg report says alongside the forthcoming Series 6, Apple is planning to introduce a new, more affordable Apple Watch to replace the Series 3.

How Long It Would Take A Hacker To Guess Your Password, Visualized - It's quality and not quantity of changing it monthly!

Date Published: Tue, 1 Sep 2020 19:57:37 +0200

We all know our passwords probably aren't as safe as they should be (looking at you, people who have used their pet's name plus their birthdate for the last 10 years) — but would it take a hacker nine months to guess yours, or 25 seconds?

This chart, created by Reddit user hivesystems with data sourced from HowSecureIsMyPassword, shows how long it would take a hacker to "brute force" their way into your account, depending on how long your password is and what kinds of characters it includes. What they would do is run a program that systematically attempts every possible permutation of the letters, numbers and symbols involved in the password until it hits the right one.

See How Long It Would Take A Hacker To Guess Your Password, Visualized - Digg

#technology #Security

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We all know our passwords probably aren't as safe as they should be — but would it take a hacker nine months to guess yours, or 25 seconds?

Official COVID-19 tracing app launched in South Africa for Android and iOS - Based on Apple and Google’s exposure notification framework - No name, surname, or other identifying details excha

Date Published: Tue, 1 Sep 2020 19:51:08 +0200

This was a framework that both Google and Apple were working on globally to ensure privacy was protected. All that was left was for each country to put their own top level app in place to use it. So the privacy was built in by Apple and Google at the base layers to ensure no-one else will know who they were actually in contact with, but the app will be able to alert affected people.

There was a lot of panic about this framework initially but privacy experts had subsequently picked it apart to understand its inner workings and had declared it to be as privacy respecting as possible.

See Official COVID-19 tracing app launched in South Africa

#technology #southafrica #covid19

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The COVID-19 Alert SA app lets people know when they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and is available to anyone in South Africa who has a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.

Eyüpsultan Municipality in Turkey gained flexibility, cost savings, performance, and independence by transitioning its entire workforce to GNU Linux and other open source software

Date Published: Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:47:47 +0200

In 2015, the Eyüpsultan Municipality in Istanbul, Turkey, began a bold migration to adopting open source software. This involved several major changes: Linux on the desktop and major changes to the IT infrastructure, including a transition to the Zimbra email server and the PostgreSQL database.

Pardus was developed by the Turkish government as a desktop Linux distribution focused on graphical users in office settings. We wanted a solution that gave us an independent developer and increased sustainability, flexibility, and fiscal savings.

Open source software has many advantages, including flexibility, high performance, major savings on licensing fees, independence from any particular company, and compliance with open standards. The benefits of open source software are recognized all over the world, especially in the European Union member countries, and similar action plans and studies are being used all over for transitioning to open source software.

"Take what lessons you can from our experience, which is ongoing. Introduce open source as a viable option for your workplace."

See How a local government migrated to open source

#technology #opensource #FOSS #government #municipality #Turkey

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In 2015, the Eyüpsultan Municipality in Istanbul, Turkey, began a bold migration to adopting open source software. This involved several major changes: Linux on the desktop and major changes to the IT infrastructure, including a transition to the Zimbra email server and the PostgreSQL database.

What is an algorithm, anyway? Simply explained - They are rules that humans define which can influence social media streams, spacecraft or even Machine Learning

Date Published: Mon, 31 Aug 2020 13:28:42 +0200

Algorithms are not magic - Humans define them as sets of rules which can be simple or very complex (obscured). They can be used for good or bad (like most things). Machine learning is still based on algorithms but the computer is able to very quickly test the existing algorithms (assumptions) and compare them and make guesses at what are likely new algorithms. The computer will either test and get validation (success and save that new algorithm) or a human may tell it to discard that algorithm as bad/failure/etc (like a parent tells a child).

Computers don't yet have any real intelligence or feelings - they can just compare vast amounts of data and algorithms very quickly without mistakes. Humans also compare what they know mentally (which is sometimes incorrectly based on bias, incomplete comparisons, or opinion) and will come up with a new theory or guess. Humans do have an intuition as an advantage but to be honest it's not always correct as a scientist may be more accurate than others around science, whilst a musician or artist may be better for other things. If we feed computers with incorrect algorithms we can be sure they'll give biased or incorrect results. We teach them, and they compute for us.

Fear the programmer, not the Computer!

See What is an algorithm, anyway?

#technology #programming #software

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What you need to know about the simple concept that powers the modern world.

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