The European Commission is switching away its instant messaging to encrypted open source messaging app Signal - Notice a trend in governments moving away from Whatsapp?

Date Published: Mon, 24 Feb 2020 19:28:56 +0200

"The instruction appeared on internal messaging boards in early February, notifying employees that "Signal has been selected as the recommended application for public instant messaging."

The app is favored by privacy activists because of its end-to-end encryption and open-source technology.

"It's like Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage but it's based on an encryption protocol that's very innovative," said Bart Preneel, cryptography expert at the University of Leuven. "Because it's open-source, you can check what's happening under the hood," he added.

Itt's not to say that Signal is the most secure messenger out there but it is probably the most well known secure one. It's infrastructure is under US jurisdiction but they have never been implicated in handing data over to authorities and cannot read the data (although the servers could be shut off). Better options such as Wire, Threema, and Wickr do start getting a little more technical, and if you want to go deeper still you head into peer-to-peer encrypted messaging without central servers (such as Tox, Briar, and Jami) but that may be a bit heavy for public officials to use... I suppose Signal is the simplest and easiest change to make.

See The EU makes the switch to Signal as its messaging app of choice

#technology #security #instantmessaging

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Signal is now the messaging app of choice for the European Commission. The messaging app has been praised for its security prioritization, as well as the simplicity and ease of use. For similar reasons, the UK Conservative Party made the switch in December.

VokoscreenNG: Open Source Screencasting Tool for Windows and Linux

Date Published: Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:38:43 +0200

I've been very happy with SijmpleScreenRecorder but I must say VokoscreenNG looks very good and seems to cover everything with a nice new interface. I was missing shortcut keys for pausing recordings but found them in the help screen (not sure if you can customise them). Another nice touch is the magnification function you can enable.

I love the visual way it does the rectangular area selection. Only quirk is you can't move it between screens (but move the app to the correct screen and then select area, seems to do the trick).

Although AUR shows this in the repo's as "vokoscreen" it is in fact VokoscreenNG as is seen by version number and when it starts up.

See Meet VokoscreenNG: An Open Source Screencast Tool

#opensource

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vokoscreenNG is a free and open source screencast software. It is created from scratch using Qt and GStreamer. Check out how to install it on Ubuntu and other Linux.

Yes Minister: the political comedy that MPs have voted the greatest of all time - about to celebrate its 40th anniversary

Date Published: Mon, 24 Feb 2020 10:06:54 +0200

The consummate political satire might be about to celebrate its 40th anniversary but, in many ways, it has barely aged at all. With its bungling ministers, obfuscatory civil servants and insider ring of truth (one of its major sources was Richard Crossman’s Diaries of a Cabinet Minister), it feels as fresh and timely as ever.

I've been watching some episodes myself in the last week and am always amazed at how every line of dialogue is as witty as it is timeless in the political context. The series really amplifies the stereotypes and the comedy makes us stand a bit "outside the box" and realise how the games are played out.

See Yes Minister: the political comedy that MPs have voted the greatest of all time

#comedy #yesminister #politics

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Michael Hogan picks the TV classics that you can now rediscover

10 top reasons to switch to Manjaro Linux - For me no 1 is NEVER needing to do an upgrade, it just keeps itself up to date year after year

Date Published: Sun, 23 Feb 2020 21:01:52 +0200

I have been using Manjaro KDE for a few years now and must says I really do love it. I don't miss those broken PPAs I used to get with Ubuntu/Linux Mint every now and again (I always had to have the bleeding edge versions of app). Manjaro keeps "rolling" along and all I do once or twice a year is to use its great kernel app to switch to a newer version of the Linux kernel (I can easily move down a kernel version too if I need to).

Because I've never had to re-install or do any major upgrades my setup is well tweaked and remains stable the way I want it - it's driving three monitors, plays the Steam games I want to, and manages my amateur radio hardware. From my main desktop I manage all the other computers and Raspberry Pis from it using VNC Viewer.

I know every Linux user loves his/her own Linux setup so I get it that I'll get a good many broadsides fired at me, as well as the usual one or two FreeBSD commentators about Linux ;-)

But there you have it, I'm happy with my current setup.

See the other 9 reasons at 10 Top Reasons to Switch to Manjaro Linux | FOSS Linux

#technology #linux #opensource

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If you're a Linux user wondering whether to switch to Manjaro or stick to your current distro, there are 10 main reasons why you should switch to Manjaro Linux.

Stop wasting your life – Buy a Solid State Drive (SSD) - they even plug straight into PICe expansion slots

Date Published: Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:21:54 +0200

Yes they are still more expensive but with cloud storage (at least your videos saved to YouTube, Libry.tv or BitChute), faster speeds and lower power consumption do you still need large spinning drives? For a laptop, a drop-in replacement SSD is also going to score you extra battery life. Hard drives are still great for storing long term data on and putting away (SSDs like being powered to keep the data fresh).

A standard SATA SSD is already going to give you about 3.5x the throughput speed at about 2.7x the cost (same size drives). What I have done on my desktop computer is to make the two boot drives 128GB SSD drives, whilst the two data drives are 2TB hard drives (one backs up to the other nightly). This is getting me great boot up times.

More interesting (but more costly unless you do intensive graphics etc and need the speed) is SSDs that plug straight into a PCIe slot on the motherboard - achieving around 23x to 33x the throughput speed of spinning hard drives (about 5x the cost of an equivalent size hard drive).

Always check your motherboard's capabilities though before buying but also consider you may be upgrading the motherboard in a year or two so don't buy something slower that will hold you back later.

See Stop wasting your life – Buy an SSD

#technology #hardware #storage

It’s 2020, and if your PC is running its operating system, applications, and games on a hard drive, it is time to take a long, hard look in the mirror.

What a full Linux Desktop OS looks like running on a rooted Android phone

Date Published: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 23:00:24 +0200

The Linux Deploy app will help you configure and then set up a variety of Linux distros to run on your rooted Android phone. This is a short video just showing what the Linux Deploy app looks like, how it starts up and what the VNC Viewer of the Linux Desktop looks like from the mobile device. I end the video with a larger view of the same desktop, but using VNC Viewer on my desktop computer.

Watch at What a full Linux Desktop OS looks like running on a rooted Android phone

#technology #android #linux

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The Linux Deploy app will help you configure and then set up a variety of Linux distros to run on your rooted Android phone. This is a short video just showi...

FBI recommends passphrases over password complexity - Longer passwords, even consisting of simpler words or constructs, are better than short passwords with special characters

Date Published: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 19:17:32 +0200

This is not new as we heard last year how the person who came up with the original password formatting recommendations had apologised for them. Then the case was made also that changing a difficult to remember password every 30 days will usually result in humans either writing it down or changing just one character every month.

Now the case is being made that a longer phrase that a human can remember will likely be better than a short password with non-alphabetic characters in.

Sooner or later sense will prevail like it did for cholesterol and healthy fat in diets... Just funny how an idea form 30 or 40 years ago just sticks and won't come unstuck.

See FBI recommends passphrases over password complexity | ZDNet

#technology #Security

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Longer passwords, even consisting of simpler words or constructs, are better than short passwords with special characters.

Enjoy The Extra Day Off! More Bosses Give 4-Day Workweek A Try - Slashing meeting hours and doing away with open-plan offices all helped

Date Published: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 18:34:28 +0200

Companies around the world are embracing what might seem like a radical idea: a four-day workweek. The concept is gaining ground in places as varied as New Zealand and Russia, and it's making inroads among some American companies. Employers are seeing surprising benefits, including higher sales and profits.

"Core to this is that people are not productive for every hour, every minute of the day that they're in the office," Barnes says, which means there was lots of distraction and wasted time that could be cut.

Simply slashing the number and duration of meetings saved huge amounts of time. Also, he did away with open-floor office plans and saw workers spending far less time on social media. All this, he says, made it easier to focus more deeply on the work.

The company didn't police how workers spent their time. But if performance slipped, the firm could revert back to the full-week schedule. Barnes says that alone motivated workers.

Yep it may not work for all forms of jobs such as restaurants, call centres, etc as employing extra staff for extra shifts could raise costs? Fact is the "modern" office accounts for hours present but that tends to become the metric (no matter what the balanced scorecard says). When we think 4IR I realise that it is not just education that needs a complete overhaul...

See NPR Choice page

#productivity

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How to install open source Tiny Tiny RSS on a Raspberry Pi - Read your news feeds while keeping your privacy intact

Date Published: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 18:06:13 +0200

Tiny Tiny RSS (TT-RSS) is a free and open source web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator. It's ideally suited to those who are privacy-focused and still rely on RSS for their daily news. Tiny Tiny RSS is self-hosted software, so you have 100% control of the server, your data, and your overall privacy. It also supports a wide range of plugins, add-ons, and themes, Want a dark mode interface? No problem. Want to filter your incoming news based on keywords? TT-RSS has you covered there, as well.

This is on my bucket list later in 2020 to migrate away from Feedly / InoReader to TT-RSS. I use RSS extensively for reading through 400-500 news posts a day and there is no way I can do that by visiting every site. Without RSS feeds I'd be lost.

So the installation instructions here will work for free on a Raspberry Pi at home as there is no need to host this service. TT-RSS is included free often with cPanel hosting and Softaculous, and is a lot easier to install, but if you don't have that hosting already then the Raspberry Pi method is as good and there is no hosting costs.

See How to install TT-RSS on a Raspberry Pi

#technology #opensource #RSS

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Tiny Tiny RSS (TT-RSS) is a free and open source web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator. It's ideally suited to those who are privacy-focused and still rely on RSS for their daily news. Tiny Tiny RSS is self-hosted software, so you have 100% control of the server, your data, and your overall privacy. It also supports a wide range of plugins, add-ons, and themes, Want a dark mode interface? No problem. Want to filter your incoming news based on keywords? TT-RSS has you covered there, as well.

Google warns Huawei users not to sideload Gmail and YouTube - but it's the source that you get the app from that counts and if Huawei does the checks it should be fine

Date Published: Sat, 22 Feb 2020 10:57:01 +0200

Hundreds of thousands of LineageOS users (myself included) have used the sideloaded Gapps for many years without any issues at all. It all depends on where you source the apps from. If Huawei is now getting the apps and testing them out themselves, the apps should be fine as long as you get them from Huawei (ie. through Huawei's app store) and not via an known 3rd party site.

It is true that Google cannot vouch for the security of apps in Huawei's app store as they don't test them, but let's not confuse users. They could add that if the apps were thoroughly tested by Huawei and it is ensured the apps are obtained from that verified source, they should be fine to use, but again Google is not part of the process so it must be Huawei who vouches for that. Anyway Google's "checks" don't hold a lot of water judging by the amount of malware in their apps that keep getting taken down after the fact... maybe Huawei does an even better job!

See Google warns Huawei users not to sideload Gmail and YouTube

#technology #android #huawei

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Google has released a statement detailing what Huawei’s US Entity listing means for the smartphone manufacturer’s upcoming devices.

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