The Indian journalists fighting fake news - Familiar to many countries, but just not the "fighting against" it part

Date Published: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:42:04 +0200

Indian journalist Bharat Nayak knows misinformation can have dangerous consequences. He’s witnessed it too often in his home state of Jharkhand, India. According to Bharat, “Indian society has been gravely affected by ‘fake news’, which has contributed to a rise in hatred and violence, and horrific incidences of lynching.” Concern about misinformation was especially pronounced around last year’s Indian general election—where more than 600 million people voted in the biggest democratic exercise in history.

The spread of misinformation is something the Google News Initiative (GNI) India Training Network—a group of 240 senior Indian reporters and journalism educators—has been working to counteract, in their newsrooms and beyond. But Network trainers wanted to do more than train their fellow journalists - they wanted to spread the message to their communities.

Let's hope this spreads far and wide beyond just India as it is much needed elsewhere. Don't be mistaken, fake news hurts and harms many via social media, and is only "beneficial" to small negatively disposed groups with their own agendas.

See The Indian journalists fighting fake news

#technology #fakenews


The Google News Initiative is stepping up its work to train journalists and strengthen media literacy in India, building on a successful first year.

Kickstarter Project 1000% Funded Already: Glamos is a motion sensor that creates a virtual touchscreen anywhere

Date Published: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:32:37 +0200

Connect it with your device and turn your screens instantly interactive. Project an invisible touchscreen near you and control a device that’s far away from you. 1m distance is not far but is also a good thing as it won't pick up non-gestures from further away.

Whereas most other sensors detect motions within a small range, Glamos automatically scales the size of the virtual touchscreen. Interestingly it does not face towards you, but actually detects vertically above itself. This creates a "virtual touchscreen" just above the device.

Bear in mind this is a Kickstarter project so you may want to wait until it is commercial and reviewed by 3rd parties.

See GLAMOS: Bring Your Touchless Screens To Life

#technology #gesture


Glamos is a tiny yet mighty device that uses LiDAR tech to turn any screen at home or the office into a fully interactive touch screen!

Android Central Has Ranked The Best Cheap (Under $300) Android Phones in 2020

Date Published: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 15:11:51 +0200

It's 2020, and flagship smartphones are all nearly a thousand dollars or more. But as high-end phones get more expensive, cheaper phones are getting better. Phones under $300 are beautifully designed, with great screens, super-long battery life, excellent cameras, and awesome speakers. They've researched and ranked all of the best cheap Android phones you can buy, and with our buyer's guide, you'll find the perfect phone for you.

But don't compromise on your "must haves" - if you want quick OS updates then make sure you can tick that requirement or look wider for a suitable phone.

See The best cheap Android phones you can buy in 2020, ranked

#android #technology


We've done the research to show you which inexpensive phone to buy.

Scotland Is on Track to Hit 100 Percent Renewable Energy This Year, Slàinte Mhath!

Date Published: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:53:34 +0200

Environmental organization Scottish Renewables put together a report tracking the country’s renewable progress. It shows Scotland renewables provided 76 percent of the electricity consumption based on 2018 data in the report, and the percentage is expected to keep rising and will reach 100 percent soon. That’s because unlike many countries, Scotland is actually moving away from fossil fuels rapidly. Scots have completely kicked coal, shutting down the nation’s last coal-fired power plant in 2016. And it only has one working fossil fuel-based energy source left, a gas-fired plant in Aberdeenshire (though two more gas plants are slated to be built).

See Scotland Is on Track to Hit 100 Percent Renewable Energy This Year, Slàinte Mhath!


United Nations scientists have warned that most countries are on track to totally botch the climate goals needed to curb catastrophic global warming. But there’s at least one bright spot.

Distrowatch is NOT a Measure for Distributions Popularity - It is merely a Page Hit Ranking for their Site

Date Published: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 11:47:44 +0200

Distrowatch is one of the most famous websites about Linux distributions (and other Unix-like operating systems) that has been in service since 2001. It covers the new releases of a huge number of Linux distributions in its database, and also has a special “ranking” algorithm for those distributions.

What we unfortunately notice in a lot of discussions online about Linux distributions is that people tend to use that ranking in an attempt to figure out which distribution is more popular than the other. But this is totally wrong, as the Distrowatch’s ranking algorithm does not have any base that links it to the distribution’s users in reality. The website itself doesn’t claim that it is an actual correct ranking of Linux distributions.

There is no reliable way of determining any Linux distro's real usage popularity as they don't require users to register or obtain a license for usage. Many users (myself included) download once and install many times across computers in the house. Many Linux users have an aversion to having their OS "report home" with stats on usage so again this not something distributions want to attempt to do. It's just not a measurement that make sense in a Linux world.

See #^
^Distrowatch Is NOT A Measure For Distributions Popularity


Distrowatch is one of the most famous websites about Linux distributions (and other Unix-like operating systems) that has been in service since 2001. It co

EU Survey - Sustainable OSS communities in the public sector

Date Published: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:38:23 +0200

Your feedback to this survey will help us to better understand what determines the sustainability of open source projects and collaboration in the public sector. Our objective is to put together practical Guidelines for Building Sustainable OSS Communities in the Public Sector. We will share the developed guidelines with the entire open source community by publishing them in the Open Source Observatory (OSOR).

The survey takes around 15 minutes to complete. We would be grateful if you could submit your feedback by 16 February 2020.

See #^

#opensource #EU

#^Survey - Sustainable OSS communities in the public sector


EUSurvey is an online survey-management system built for the creation and publishing of globally accessible forms, such as user satisfaction surveys and public consultations.

EFF Finds Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers To Facebook And Others

Date Published: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:37:29 +0200

An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.

The danger in sending even small bits of information is that analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form a unique picture of the user’s device. This cohesive whole represents a fingerprint that follows the user as they interact with other apps and use their device, in essence providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it. All this takes place without meaningful user notification or consent and, in most cases, no way to mitigate the damage done. Even when this information is not misused and employed for precisely its stated purpose (in most cases marketing), this can lead to a whole host of social ills.

It seems clear that advertisers, marketers and "others" have moved away from browser ad banners and simple cookie tracking (that user snow largely block) and they've moved silently into the background behind our mobile apps. The question (for me anyway) is where in the chain are they inserted and with whose knowledge? Is this intention by Ring or some other party in the development and publishing chain?

See #^

#^Ring Doorbell App Packed with Third-Party Trackers


Ring isn't just a product that allows users to surveil their neighbors. The company also uses it to surveil its customers.An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable...

Android Central's Best Android Apps in 2020 - Over 35 Categories With Interesting Options

Date Published: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:36:29 +0200

This was quite an interesting list and I see I've 7 apps I want to look further into. There are a good few tried and tested well known options but also quite a few I did not know about (which is why its worth scanning these lists sometimes - things change).

See #^

^These are the best apps for your Android device — period


It can be difficult to find the "right" app when surfing the Play Store simply due to the sheer number of options available. Regardless of what type of app you're looking for, there's an app that can help make your life easier.

Avast anti-virus spies on every click and sells your data – Reports Vice and PCMag - See nothing is truly free

Date Published: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 19:28:51 +0200

Vice and PCMag reported that they obtained documents which show how the Avast anti-virus is used to effectively sell more detailed versions of people’s Internet browsing histories.

The data is monetised through an Avast subsidiary called Jumpshot.

According to the reports, Vice and PCMag obtained Jumpshot data that includes web searches on Google, location searches on Google Maps, visits to LinkedIn pages, specific YouTube videos, and interactions on porn websites.

In some cases it is possible to see what search term someone entered on a porn website and which specific video they watched, Vice reported. This data also includes exact timestamps.

Oh dear this is just not good... you see the trend with "free" services on the Internet? They are clearly coming at a cost that some are not willing to pay in terms of privacy - well then be prepared to pay in dollars. There are many really free (as in cost and freedoms) services on the Internet but you'll notice that most do ask for donations if you can afford it, because services cost real money to operate. So operators either get it from selling the service, selling adverts (which we don't like and block), selling your data behind your back, or funding from their personal funds if they can afford it. Nothing is free.


#technology #privacy

#^Avast anti-virus spies on every click and sells your data – Reports


Free anti-virus program Avast tracks the behaviour of its users and sells people’s private data to other companies, Vice and PCMag reported.

Run your own federated social node within your Nextcloud hosting and connect to the Fediverse via the open ActivityPub protocol

Date Published: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 14:26:36 +0200

Yes it's still in Alpha release but its working quite well - all I'm really missing is the ability to attach an image and to edit my profile info but posting, following, being followed, etc all working OK.

What this means is if you already have a recent version of Nextcloud, instead of creating a social network account at one of the Mastodon, Diaspora, Friendica, Hubzilla, etc nodes, you could just use your own Nextcloud hosting with the only effort being to tick on the social module in Nextcloud. If your Nextcloud hosting carries your own domain name (like mine does) then this would be part of your Fediverse social address.

FYI this social network is similar to Twitter and Mastodon in that it gives you basic status update posts without other fancy features but as you host this one yourself you set the rules and you won't find your user name taken by someone else, nor anyone censoring your posts. Anyone across the whole Diverse can follow you and like or reply, but sorry nothing from Twitter as that is a walled garden.

#technology #nextcloud #socialnetwork


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