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10 best plant apps and flower identification apps for Android

Posted by admin on 2017-10-17 in Site |



10 best plant apps and flower identification apps for Android

They're not all automated apps and one even has humans doing the identification at a $1 per ID, but nonetheless some interesting options to try out.

See https://www.androidauthority.com/best-plant-apps-flower-identification-apps-android-806167/

10 best plant apps and flower identification apps for Android
Nature fans don’t have a ton of uses for smartphones. However, some apps can help! Here are the best plant apps and flower identification apps for Android!



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City of Rome is getting ready for open source

Posted by admin on 2017-10-16 in Site |



City of Rome is getting ready for open source

The city of Rome (Italy) is taking well-orchestrated steps to increase its use of free and open source software, aiming to reduce lock-in to IT vendors. A key change is an overhaul of the way IT solutions and support services are contracted; in all future contracts, Rome will require IT service providers to help the city switch to alternatives to proprietary software.

This means change is coming soon. Many of the current IT contracts will need to be renewed next year, and by 2020 all current contracts will have been renewed, says Cecilia Colasanti, who works for Rome’s city councillor for Digital Innovation.

Rome is already installing the LibreOffice on all of its 14,000 PC workstations across the city. Each night, the open source office productivity suite is installed on 100 workstations.

See http://bit.ly/2zmo0V9



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Replika is an AI friend that's always there for you, learns from you, gets to know you, and keeps your…

Posted by admin on 2017-10-15 in Site |



Replika is an AI friend that's always there for you, learns from you, gets to know you, and keeps your memories

In “Be Right Back,” a 2013 episode of the eerie, near-future drama Black Mirror, a young woman named Martha is devastated when her fiancée, Ash, dies in a car accident. Martha subscribes to a service that uses his previous online communications to create a digital avatar that mimics his personality with spooky accuracy. First, it sends her text messages; later it re-creates his speaking voice and talks with her on the phone. Eventually, she pays for an upgraded version of the service that implants Ash’s personality into an android that looks identical to him. But ultimately Martha becomes frustrated with all the subtle but important ways that the android is unlike Ash — cold, emotionless, passive — and locks it away in an attic. Not quite Ash, but too much like him for her to let go, the bot leads to a grief that spans decades.

Someday you will die, leaving behind a lifetime of text messages, posts, and other digital ephemera. For a while, your friends and family may put these digital traces out of their minds. But new services will arrive offering to transform them — possibly into something resembling Roman Mazurenko’s bot.

Your loved ones may find that these services ease their pain. But it is possible that digital avatars will lengthen the grieving process. “If used wrong, it enables people to hide from their grief,” said Dima Ustinov.

My comment: It's still early days for these types of AI and deep learning services so reviews are a bit mixed. Some may certainly want to try it out, but for those that feel a bit creeped out by this I suggest you just move straight on. Ths type of app/service is different from Google Home and Amazon's Alexa where with those services you are asking questions about other things and it has very basic information about yourself. This service is all about you. Some, of course, will just love this type of app/service and this post is for you. Google released TensorFlow for free under an open-source license a while back, and this app/service was originally started out by building on that software.

Read the story behind the bot at http://bit.ly/2zaYa5x or if you're courageous enough you can dive right in and try it out at the web version at https://replika.ai/ (web version but also has links to download for iOS and Android)



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19 Recipes Full of Flavor and Fat but Low in Carbs

Posted by admin on 2017-10-15 in Site |



19 Recipes Full of Flavor and Fat but Low in Carbs

If you eschew every other diet out there because you have to literally give all up the yummy stuff, the keto concept (short for ketogenic) will be much more your speed. This low-carb, high-fat plan — with moderate protein portions — works by helping your body to produce ketones in the liver to use as energy in lieu of carbohydrates. What does that mean for your eating habits? You have to take the bun off your burger, but mayo, bacon, and cheese? Still good to go. Behold a variety of deliciously inspiring ways to try it out.

See http://bit.ly/2zbjx6r



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Stella Vie – The most efficient family car that has ever been built

Posted by admin on 2017-10-15 in Site |



Stella Vie – The most efficient family car that has ever been built

The Stella Vie carried five people at an average speed of 69kmh a week ago on the bi-annual solar race with 41 vehicles setting off on a 3,000km (1,860-mile) trip through the heart of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide. The race included a new cruiser class, introduced to bridge the gap between high-end technology and everyday driving practicality.

The Stella Vie achieves a range of 1,000 kilometers on a sunny summer day in the Netherlands. The surplus energy generated by Vie can be supplied back to the house or electric grid. The smart charging and discharging system keeps track of energy prices and the user’s agenda in order to find the optimal time to charge or discharge. Stella Vie’s charging status can also easily be checked through its connection with a smart thermostat.

Through it’s updated solar navigator, which now takes height profile maps into account, Stella Vie finds the most efficient route and shows how much energy you will save compared to a standard, fossil fuel powered, car. When approaching the destination, Vie will offer parking assistance. If enabled, Vie’s built-in solar parking system will use height maps, weather data and a parking probability map to guide you to a free parking spot. The chosen parking spot is the one within range of the destination which yields the most solar energy. It also encourages the user to drive as efficiently as possible by giving subtle feedback through a built-in lighting system, this system warns the driver by turning red when either braking or accelerating too fiercely.

The key difference here between "standard" EVs and the Stella Vie, is that the Stella Vie is primarily powered by solar and not relying on a regular charge from the grid. I guess this means skipping underground parking if possible and parking in the sunlight instead. It probably also addresses the range anxiety issue with current EVs (but not at night of course).

See http://bit.ly/2zaOCHJ



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Radio Garden – Explore live radio by rotating the globe

Posted by admin on 2017-10-15 in Site |



Radio Garden – Explore live radio by rotating the globe

This is a Chrome browser experiment that lets you spin a globe view of the earth to tune to different locations radio stations. Some nice extras are an old-fashioned radio static sound between stations and some dedicated sections such as:

In the section on History you can tune into clips from throughout radio history that show how radio has tried to cross borders. How have people tried to translate their nations into the airwaves? What did they say to the world? How do they engage in conversation across linguistic and geographical barriers?

Click over to Jingles for a world-wide crash course in station identification. How do stations signal within a fraction of a second what kind of programmes you are likely to hear? How do they project being joyful, trustworthy, or up to the minute?

Then stop and listen to radio Stories where listeners past and present tell how they listen beyond their walls. How do they imagine the voices and sounds from around the globe? How do they use radio to make themselves at home in the world?

See http://bit.ly/2z9sCgg



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How to use IFTTT with Google Home to say any message you want

Posted by admin on 2017-10-14 in Site |



How to use IFTTT with Google Home to say any message you want

The challenge I had was to have my Google Home set up so that I could give it a predetermined phrase to which it would respond. So, for example, I wanted to say to it "Say hello to my daughter" and wanted it to respond by greeting her with a personalised message. There is no built-in function to do this though.

So I followed the guide in the link below. I created a new IFTTT Applet using the Google Assistant service, chose the "Say a simple phrase" trigger. The two things that are key here is to fill in a naturally sounding phrase to use as the trigger, and then use the response field for the Google Assistant's response which will be said by Google Home. You need to complete the applet though with a "then" action and I chose to use it sending me an e-mail to confirm it had done the action.

So using this I was able to let Google Home give each person a personal greeting when they arrived at my house today.

See http://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-to/digital-home/how-use-ifttt-with-google-home-3661254/

Use IFTTT to unlock new functionality on Google Home
Google Home is capable of a great many more things than it is out of the box when used with IFTTT. We explain how to use the free and simple app to get Google Home to do exactly what you want.



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Umarex Colt Peacemaker – a very high-quality realistic airgun replica

Posted by admin on 2017-10-13 in Site |



Umarex Colt Peacemaker – a very high-quality realistic airgun replica

This short video has zero technical details or long explanations…. but it shows off the detail and the operation of this beautiful faithfully rendered replica of a real iconic weapon. It shoots BB pellets all the parts operate like they should and the touch of using realistic looking shells to load it just completes the picture.

I actually held one of these replicas a week back and can testify it has all the weight and solid feel of the real thing. The attention to detail and design really impressed me.

You can watch the 3 minute video at http://bit.ly/2z5orC3



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Why you need to stop giving money to the homeless in South Africa

Posted by admin on 2017-10-13 in Site |



Why you need to stop giving money to the homeless in South Africa

“We are constantly reminding residents about the harm in giving money directly to street people. While they may think they’re doing a good deed, in reality, it only discourages street people from accepting social services,” Smith said.

“Often the donations obtained on the street will actively prevent reintegration.”

“While members of the public will complain about the structures erected and activities undertaken by street people, they will often also continue to incentivise such behaviour through donations directly to the street person while forgetting about the person who leaves the street to return home or moves to a shelter.”

Smith indicated that the city still encourages people to donate directly to the NGOs working with street persons.

My comment: I support the Night Haven Shelter and Cart Horse Society in Cape Town. Not only does the money get used for legitimate care, it is also deductible from my personal income tax. It's a win-win!

See http://bit.ly/2z51vD1



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Utilities Scramble To Catch Up With Stunning Fall In Renewable Energy Costs

Posted by admin on 2017-10-13 in Site |



Utilities Scramble To Catch Up With Stunning Fall In Renewable Energy Costs

Renewable energy is disrupting electricity markets worldwide. The pace of this change has surprised almost everyone, and indeed would have been difficult to imagine just a few years ago.

From Europe to Asia, from the Americas to Africa, wholesale electricity prices are being pushed down by the rise of renewable generation, which has no fuel costs, a disruptive zero marginal cost of production and whose developers can now consistently outbid fossil fuel-based generation.

IEEFA has released a new report (at http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IEEFA-Global-Utilities-in-Transition-11-Case-Studies-October-2017.pdf) that documents the gathering momentum of this trend, and how the impact of renewables on electricity prices is a key driver of this change.

Crucially, renewables need only capture a relatively small market share for disruption to occur, and to accelerate.

While it may take decades yet for renewables to become the dominant form of generation globally, their presence today is permanent, economically rational and their advance inevitable. The combined loss in market capitalization of the underperforming utilities covered in the report from 2007-2016 ttotalledUS$185 billion.

See http://bit.ly/2z4DpbJ



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