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Alviva’s GridCars completes South African EV charging station rollout with 200 charging stations

Date Published: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 09:16:20 +0200

GridCars, the largest installer of public EV charging stations in South Africa, has completed its national EV highway rollout that connects major cities along some of South Africa’s busiest highways.

By the end of March 2019, GridCars had installed 200 stations in total in urban areas and along highways along the N1 between Gauteng and Cape Town, the N2 between Cape Town and East London and the N3 between Gauteng and Durban. along the N1 between Gauteng and Cape Town, the N2 between Cape Town and East London and the N3 between Gauteng and Durban.

The interesting part is they are reporting revenue of R8.6 million for the year from electric charge point sales in South Africa!

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/motoring/320319-alvivas-gridcars-completes-south-african-ev-charging-station-rollout.html

#southafrica #EV
#^Alviva’s GridCars completes South African EV charging station rollout

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Driving from Pretoria to Cape Town in an electric vehicle should now be an easier undertaking.

You can now stay at Downton Abbey through Airbnb single night only at $159

Date Published: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 09:10:42 +0200

Complete with the pomp and circumstance you'd expect of an evening at Downton — including dinner and drinks with Highclere's own Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and being waited on by their butler — guests will also receive a private tour of the grounds and a one-night stay in one of the private bedrooms.

More details at https://mashable.com/article/downton-abbey-airbnb-castle/

#airbnb #england
#^You can now stay at Downton Abbey through Airbnb

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Hopefully your stay is better than Kemal Pamuk's.

SA Police In South Africa Launch New Crime Fighting App For Android And iOS

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 21:55:09 +0200

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is set to launch a new app which citizens can use to fight crime. MyBroadband found the application – called My SAPS – on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Vodacom is listed as the app’s developer.

The app is set to officially launch on 11 October 2019.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/technology/320335-saps-launches-new-crime-fighting-app.html

#SAPS #southafrica #crime
#^SAPS launches new crime-fighting app

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The SAPS is set to launch a new app which citizens can use to fight crime.

China Is Doing A Lot Better On Climate Action Than Most People Realize - China Produces About Twice As Much CO2e Annually As The US, But About Half As Much Per Person And Falling

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 19:09:21 +0200

Per capita, China produces less CO2e than the US and this is actually important because by comparison is a "larger" country so you can't just make a direct comparison of total emissions. China is also likely on track to achieve its (relatively light) emissions targets a decade early. It’s bending the curve on emissions faster than any country in history, just as it ramped them up faster than any country in history. The US is responsible for twice as much CO2e historically in total as China, with only a quarter of China’s 1.4 billion citizens. While China has been catching up and is the leading country by emissions, let’s ensure that we understand that it’s 18% of the world’s population and the second biggest economy in the world after the US. 15% of the world’s GDP is from China right now.

China has over 400,000 electric buses on its roads which are already displacing 270,000 barrels of oil demand a day, and naturally, that means that all-electric bus manufacturers with any global market share that registers are Chinese. Most countries with ‘big’ electric bus fleets have well under 270, three orders of magnitude fewer. China’s citizens also buy 50% of all-electric cars sold in the world every year, and they have more car companies devoted to electrification than any other country or region in the world.

It's a very interesting perspective and of course, this also means China is incredibly well geared up towards a future low carbon economy and producing products and services that other countries will be needing.

A very interesting read at https://cleantechnica.com/2019/09/16/china-is-doing-a-lot-better-on-climate-action-than-most-people-realize/

#china #environment
#^China Is Doing A Lot Better On Climate Action Than Most People Realize

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While a lot of fingers are being pointed at China by people committed to both inaction and action in North America, the actual climate story in China is much different than most people realize.

Best Cloud Gaming Services in 2019

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 18:10:10 +0200

Cloud gaming is taking the gaming community by storm! No, they are not replacing huge gaming rigs just yet, and local gaming will always be here a long time still, but they are making those who are budget-minded excited! Cloud gaming takes all the heavy work out of the equation, making it possible for ANYONE to get started without plunking down their firstborn’s college fund. As such, picking the right one can be hard.

Of course the workload shifts from the client desktop to the cloud servers (the easy part you pay for monthly) but it does require some bandwidth and good latency to be playable (not easy if you live far away from the servers). So on a service like Vortex you will see they have multi-players like War Thunder but here the graphics needs to transfer from the cloud to your computer, whilst if you install it locally it is just object coordinates transferring which is way quicker on a slower latency link. So whilst I have a 4ms latency within South Africa, the latency to New York is 219ms or to London at 148ms which is not so good for cloud gaming.

That said most of the cloud platforms should adjust bitrate according to available bandwidth but the gaming experience will vary depending on connectivity performance. Also, need to note some games require you to have a license so do some homework before selecting a platform. Some platforms are mobile-only whilst Vortex is Windows, MacOS and Android, but the Chrome browser option will play on any OS including Linux (so some Linux users may find this preferable for Windows only games).

See the options and some useful FAQ at https://www.coolest-gadgets.com/best-cloud-gaming-service/

#gaming #cloudgaming
#^Best Cloud Gaming Service [2019] | Coolest Gadgets

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The best cloud gaming service for the money is Vortex. If you don’t like being limited in your choice of games, you might prefer Shadow.

Pick Up, Drop Off (PUDO) Smart Lockers – A new way to send packages in South Africa by The Courier Guy

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 16:59:34 +0200

The Courier Guy is launching a new smart terminal platform called PUDO (Pick Up Drop Off) to provide South Africans with more convenience and flexibility to send and receive parcels. PUDO makes use of smart lockers and a mobile app to make the delivery of packages easier for consumers.

This seems to be a variation on a previous service (Pargo) that used some retail shops including pharmacies, and the Aramex service via Pick 'n Pay branches. This service offers more flexibility as you can effectively drop off or collect a parcel at 3am if necessary. Seems you can use a mobile app to book a locker of the correct size, drop your parcel off in the locker, and it will be delivered to a destination locker for someone to collect (not clear if that also offers a to-door delivery.

Yes the challenge with courier services is you are often not at a single designated place for days on end waiting for a parcel to arrive or be collected so this helps fill that niche.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/business/320191-pick-up-drop-off-a-new-way-to-send-packages-in-south-africa.html

#PUDO #courier #southafrica
#^Pick Up, Drop Off – A new way to send packages in South Africa

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New smart terminals are aimed at providing South Africans with convenience and flexibility when sending or receiving packages.

New Snapchat feature will let you take 3D selfies... Because Instagram has not thought of it yet (iPhone X and above for now)

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 16:09:19 +0200

Snapchat launched a nifty new feature Tuesday that will allow its users to send and receive photos taken in "3D Camera Mode." This is a new kind of photo taken with Snapchat that adds depth to the image and lets users superimpose frames, captions, and accessories at different depths within the photos. They also appear differently to viewers depending on how you rotate your camera.

You see the trend here? Instagram and Whatsapp, both now owned by Facebook, have lost their edge with trendy new features. Seems once the independent ownership creator is no longer calling the shots the innovation and competitive edge goes somewhat out of the window.

One caveat though: Anyone will be able to view the photos, but only users who have an iPhone X or above will be able to take them. That makes sense since this was the first model of the iPhone with the "TrueDepth" front-facing camera system, which is what enables Face ID. The Snapchat feature is only available in selfie mode on these iPhones, though Snapchat says it's working on bringing the feature to Android.

See https://mashable.com/article/snapchat-3d-camera-mode/

#snapchat #instagram
#^New Snapchat feature will let you take 3D selfies

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Snapchat gets deep.

My new Cougar Armor One Gaming Chair Arrived Today

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 14:39:34 +0200

My first impressions are it was well worth it as the key improvements I have over a non-gaming chair are thicker seat padding (my last chair was not only quite thin to start with but had compressed over the years to near nothing) and way better lumbar support with the adjustable cushions (the previous chair had an aftermarket fitting that always slipped down and was too long).

So I'm sitting more erect (why would I need the 180-degree recline position that this seat has?) and comfortably and whilst this chair (like all in its price category) has breathable PVC leather, it is supposed to be more breathable than real leather. One known downside of PVC leather is that it cracks after a while due to UV and just drying out so a good tip I've seen is to wipe it down once a month with some 303 UV Protectant Spray (of course not easily available in South Africa where we'd use Nikwax Tent and Gear Solarproof which is more easily available).

Yep, this is lower end Cougar gaming chair but I'm going to see how well this one lasts before I throw any more money on a chair in the future. So what I'm not getting is the high-density moulded foam or the 4D adjustable armrests (these can move forwards/backwards and side to side). I had considered the Redragon as well but the seat padding was a bit thinner.

I got a smoother floor protector (versus the small extra carpet I had before) and used a little tool oil on some of the moving parts when I assembled it. The assembly took about 30 mins and nothing was needed apart from the included tool they provided in the box.

#gamingchair #cougar

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The Blue Yeti X’s real-time LED metering sounds ideal for podcasts and live streaming

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 13:02:32 +0200

Blue’s latest USB microphone, the Yeti X, is aimed directly at streamers, podcast hosts, and other content creators. The most visible upgrade: real-time LED metering on the microphone itself, letting you know when the gain is too quiet (or in the red) during your recording.

The big knob on the face of the new mic is its command center, and you’ll probably use it a lot to adjust levels and switch between its three modes. In addition to displaying the metering, the knob can turn up the gain on the microphone, and as you might expect, it’ll mute if you click it inwards.

Blue Yeti's are quite popular amongst podcasters and gamers doing streaming and this visual feedback could be very useful so that they can keep their eye on the "ball". It fully supports Windows, MacOS and most Android phones with USB-C adaptor, and although most of them work just fine on Linux it will be interesting to see if all this model's features fully work on Linux too. It is expected to launch in October for around $169.99.

See https://www.theverge.com/2019/9/17/20868860/blue-yeti-x-usb-microphone-live-streamers-blend-led-metering

#technology #gadget #blueyeti #audio
#^The Blue Yeti X’s real-time LED metering sounds ideal for podcasts and live streaming

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Its multi-purpose knob can easily blend the mix, among other things

Whatsapp claims their 100MB file transfer is better than e-mail - Telegram reminds users it has 1.5GB file transfer

Date Published: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:40:27 +0200

Whatsapp is becoming a bit like Apple, measuring their improvements and innovation against only themselves. Telegram has long been a step ahead of Whatsapp with newer features (eg. the great group management features and silent/scheduled messages).

Telegram is Whatsapp's greatest rival and unless we want to see only one messenger dominating the market we need to (and can) install multiple other messengers on our phones to allow our friends, family and colleagues to use their choice. It's a real pity there is no enforceable open standard for messengers like we have for SMS and e-mail. I'd still like to see a day where we choose what messenger interface we use but can message anyone else using a different messenger client application. The rapid pace of ongoing innovation around messengers is probably preventing this right now.

See https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/1177923/WhatsApp-update-news-telegram-rival-best-messaging-app-iPhone-Android

#whatsapp #telegram #messengers
#^WhatsApp beaten as rival reveals why it has such a big advantage

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WHATSAPP continues to be the most popular messaging platform on the planet but one of its biggest rivals just made it look massively inferior.

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