After an Easter terror attack, Sri Lanka cut access to popular social media - Which is why you also want an account to popular federated social media accounts

Date Published: Mon, 22 Apr 2019 10:55:22 +0200

Social media services that are federated such as Maston (alternative to Twitter) and Diaspora, Hubzilla and Friendica (alternatives to Facebook) provide full functionality from any of 100's of separate nodes (the addresses where you sign up). Posting at one node where you subscribed allows the message to be followed form elsewhere. There is no single central address that gets blocked to disable the network.

New nodes pop up all the time (I even created my very own hosted Hubzilla and Friendica nodes).

There are also other types of social networks such as Socialhome, Peertube (Youtube alternative), PixelFed (Instagram alternative) and others and usually belonging to just one is all you need, and you can usually follow/be followed from any other. It's the way social media will probably evolve to in future.

See for a list of federated social networks and lists of nodes where you can join.

NB: Sometimes a government is not trying to censor its population but rather to protect them from misinformation so always be cautious and question what news you receive via social media. Deliberate misinformation is sometimes spread by social media (and unfortunately be traditional media too).

#fediverse #socialmedia #disaster

The very best Hardware Attached on Top (HATS) extensions for your Raspberry Pi

Date Published: Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:42:13 +0200

HATs are incredible add-ons to the Raspberry Pi that increase its functionality in a huge number of ways – from added sensors and inputs for fun projects, to practical applications in business and enterprise.

Top picks covered in this article are:
- Sense HAT: Space-faring sensor
- GFX HAT: Display and inputs
- PoE HAT: Power over Ethernet
- Automation HAT: Automating everything
- Picade X HAT: Totally awesome video games
- PaPiRus HAT: E-ink display
- Unicorn HAT HD: High-def LEDs
- HiFiBerry DAC+ DSP: Powerful audio amplifier
- TV HAT: Must-see TV
- Flick HAT: Gesture control


#raspberrypi #HATS


What Is Bay Rum And Why is it in My Shaving Stuff?

Date Published: Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:36:02 +0200

When it comes to the most traditional scents, one can rarely have a conversation without bringing up the term “Bay Rum.” For those of you who don’t know, Bay Rum has been a popular scent throughout shaving history but lost interest as we made the transition to cartridge and electric razors for more modern scents.

Today there has been a resurgence of Bay Rum scented products because of the popularity of classic wet shaving and the interest of yesterday’s scents.

Bay Rum is a scent that is composed of bay leaves, rum and other local spices. Scents commonly identified with it include cinnamon, clove, allspice (think apple pie), oak, sweet vanilla, eucalyptus, musk, and other spices.

The article below traces the origins of the use of bay rum back to 1500's naval tradition, it covers a few well-known products that use it and even provides a recipe for you to make it at home yourself.


#traditionalshaving #wetshaving #bayrum


Why do governments trust Big Pharma more than their citizens? Should they not insist drug companies reveal the costs of research especially if grants are given?

Date Published: Sun, 21 Apr 2019 13:27:47 +0200

Italy has come up with a plan to slash the cost of medicines by May. But for the strategy to work, they need everyone to get on board.

Drug companies have also used the cost of researching and developing new medicines to justify their high prices. However, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this year found few links between the two.

The research included 99 cancer drugs approved by the United States medicines regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over about 30 years. It revealed that companies coined about R200 for every rand spent on research and development – a ratio the authors say is unfair, even after they considered a reward for innovation.

Besides, companies aren’t always upfront about what costs really go into their products, says James Love, director of the public health law organisation Knowledge Ecology International.

And governments are falling for it. But if pharmaceutical companies want a million dollar grant from the US national health insurance programme MediCare, the government’s not supposed to ask any questions.

In February, Italy’s health minister,Giulia Grillo, sent the WHO a resolution letter for discussion at the World Health Assembly. The World Health Assembly is an annual event which happens in May — during which all WHO member states gather. In the letter, Grillo proposes that drug prices could be reduced if countries forced pharmaceutical companies to be open about what it really costs to produce medicines. The plan is to give governments a way to enforce changes in the way medicine prices are set.


#bigpharma #pharmaceuticals #health


Word is spreading about how low-carb eating can reverse type 2 diabetes

Date Published: Sun, 21 Apr 2019 12:49:01 +0200

Ask the general public about type 2 diabetes and the vast majority won’t know yet that the increasingly-diagnosed disorder can often be put into remission with low-carb, keto eating.

However, word is starting to trickle out now via mainstream media. The popular city magazine, Boston, recently published an article highlighting the work of Virta Health and its research success in helping to reverse patients’ type 2 diabetes.

Now the wider medical community — and mainstream media — is starting to notice that a low-carb lifestyle is a viable, evidence-based option for the treatment and reversal of type 2 diabetes.


#diabetes #type2 #LCHF

French government releases in-house IM app named Tchap to replace WhatsApp and Telegram use - the app is based on Riot a well-known open-source, self-hostable, and secure instant messaging client-server package

Date Published: Sat, 20 Apr 2019 22:52:47 +0200

The French government has developed its own end-to-end encrypted instant messenger (IM) app to replace government employee use of Telegram, WhatsApp, and other third-party IM clients.

The app, named Tchap, was launched yesterday, April 18, and is available on the official iOS and Android app stores. A web dashboard is also in the works.

Only official French government employees can sign-up for an account; however, the French government also open-sourced Tchap's source code on GitHub so other organizations can roll out their own versions of Tchap for internal use as well.

The app was officially developed by DINSIC (Interministerial Directorate of Digital and Information System and Communication of the State), under the supervision of ANSSI, France's National Cybersecurity Agency.

The French government plans to enforce Tchap use for any informal communications between government employees, agencies, and some (carefully selected) non-government entities and civilians. The general idea is to keep government communications flowing through internal servers, and away from third-party services, like Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, Wickr, or other encrypted IM clients, which may be vulnerable to attacks or under the surveillance of foreign intelligence agencies.


#tchap #security #messaging


Absolute Beast Of A Wooden Wind Turbine Blade Rolls Off The Assembly Line - A 107m Blade for a 12 MW Wind Turbine

Date Published: Sat, 20 Apr 2019 22:30:59 +0200

Last year GE unleashed a coal-killing monster wind turbine, billed as the largest and most efficient in the world. The only thing missing was the turbine blades. Big ones. Like, bigger than any other turbine blades. Well, miss no more. The new ultra-long turbine blades are taking form at a factory in France, and the first one is almost ready for its closeup.

LM’s wind turbines are made from a base of fiberglass and balsa wood, held together with resin and coating. So, interesting. Who knew that balsa wood is a high performance material? Basically, everyone. Balsa is a perfect material for wind turbine blades due to its low weight and high stiffness relative to density.

The whole point of producing ever-longer wind turbine blades is to improve performance and efficiency, leading to reduced costs.


#windturbines #renewableenergy


Landmark diabetes report says low-carb is a top option

Date Published: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 22:33:38 +0200

A recent Western Australia government inquiry may result in a huge public health breakthrough for treatment of type 2 diabetes. The result of the inquiry, a report titled, “The Food Fix: The role of diet in type 2 diabetes prevention and management,” calls for low-carbohydrate diets to be one of three options formally offered to patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The report, submitted by the Education and Health Standing Committee of Western Australia’s parliament, also says that remission, not just management, should be the goal of type 2 diabetes interventions.

The report notes that Dr. Unwin learned about the value of a low-carbohydrate diet for treating type 2 diabetes by working with patients in his clinic. He found that his patients did not understand that starchy foods, such as potatoes and rice, end up breaking down into sugar in the body. He created a graphic showing that eating a five-ounce serving of rice has a similar effect on blood glucose as consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar.


#diabetes #LCHF

Teens 'not damaged by screen time', study finds - real point is there is little evidence of any link

Date Published: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 20:15:50 +0200

There is little evidence of a link between the amount of time teenagers spend on devices and their general wellbeing, a study has suggested. It counters claims that teenagers' mental and physical health could be damaged by excessive screen time.

Even just before bedtime, being online, gaming or watching TV is not damaging to young people's mental health, study authors said.

They questioned the methodology of previous studies.

"While psychological science can be a powerful tool for understanding the link between screen use and adolescent wellbeing, it still routinely fails to supply stakeholders and the public with high-quality, transparent and objective investigations into growing concerns about digital technologies," said Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and co-author of the study.

The Oxford University study used data from three countries - the UK, US and Ireland - and 17,000 adolescents, and used both self-reporting and time-diary techniques (which ask teens to record what they are doing at specific times of day).

This data was not collected by the authors but culled from previous studies, dated between 2011 and 2016.

I've always suspected this like we have seen before with fears created about eating food higher in fat or cholesterol (both disproven), people dying from dehydration in marathons (it was overhydration), and I'm suspecting the same from 5G radio fears. Humans seem to have this thing about connecting two dots where there is no clear path but it looks like it "could make sense".


#teens #technology #screentime


Build a SatNOGS ground station with a Raspberry Pi 3B+ to track satellites

Date Published: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 19:34:17 +0200

Most of the time a satellite will not be overhead of a single ground station; in fact, it may only pass over a ground station once every few days, massively reducing the amount of information or data we can receive. So we need a network of ground stations. The SatNOGS network solves this by creating a global network of stations that can work together to increase coverage.

SatNOGS is an open-source project that has numerous designs for satellite ground stations, but whichever design you pick, you can join the network that links them all via the web.

A station owner can use the website to browse for future passes of a satellite, and then click a button to schedule for their station to turn on, tune to frequency, and record the pass, sometimes even rotating the antenna on the station to track the satellite. Not only can a station owner schedule an observation on their own station, but they can schedule observations on any station on the global network.

The simplest form of a SatNOGS station is one that doesn’t move or track and is made from a static antenna, a Raspberry Pi, and a cheap software-defined radio (SDR) dongle. The SDR dongle has become ubiquitous in maker circles as it is an affordable entry item into the world of receiving signals via SDR.

See how to build it at…

#SatNOGS #raspberrypi #satellites

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