In Argentina, cheap government-issued Linux netbooks sparked a musical renaissance and helped close the digital divide - Working-class teens turned junked machines into musical instruments

Date Published: Fri, 18 Jun 2021 14:16:55 +0200

When he first opened his Conectar Igualdad netbook in 2014, the 10-inch black screen reflected Mateo Palacios Corazzina’s face back at him: a 12-year-old-boy from La Boca, one of Buenos Aires’ historic slums, about to turn on his first computer. What neither he — nor those who had handed out the device — knew, was that a new era of Argentine music was about to be launched by that 1GB RAM machine. Using his netbook as a makeshift studio, Mateo became the star that millions today know as Trueno, one of the fastest rising stars in Latin American rap.

In the mid-2010s, dozens of kids discovered that by getting these very basic devices, they were suddenly able to harness the power of the internet, music, and their own freestyle skills. Present-day stars like Neo Pistea (Sebastián Chinellato) and L-Gante (Elian Valenzuela) also had their netbooks to thank as their key to the door out of marginalization and into Latin American stardom.

Looking at the specs of the Classmate PC on their Wikipedia page the 1 GB RAM model was specced only for Mandriva Linux. In Argentina, they developed their own local Linux distro called Rxart. But it goes to show what can be done with really affordable hardware, open source software and the ingenuity and creativity of the youth. It's an effective way of spreading limited government funding as widely as possible to tackle the digital divide and give the youth a leg up on launching careers and giving them better access to free education.

See In Argentina, cheap government-issued netbooks sparked a musical renaissance

#technology #linux #opensource #argentina #digitaldivide

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Working-class teens turned junked machines into musical instruments.

Openserve Connect fibre provider self-service app for South Africans to check and report Internet status issues and receive service notification alerts

Date Published: Thu, 17 Jun 2021 16:25:49 +0200

The Openserve Connect App puts self-service capabilities in your hands, allowing you to engage with Openserve directly and get your home connected to the Openserve Broadband network, to check status of connectivity, receive network notifications, or report faults.

Registering was quite easy and it scanned the serial number barcode on my ONC to link to my account.

See Openserve - news and campaigns

#technology #southafrica #openserve #fibre

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Openserve - news and campaigns

U.S. Energy Department Releases Request for Information on Electric Vehicle Grid Integration

Date Published: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:12:45 +0200

Through this RFI, DOE is soliciting input in five categories:
* An evaluation of the use of EVs to maintain the reliability of the electric grid.
* The impact of grid integration on EVs.
* The impacts to the electric grid of increased penetration by EVs.
* Research on the standards needed to integrate EVs with the grid, including communications systems, protocols, and charging stations.
* The cybersecurity challenges and needs associated with electrifying the transportation sector.

A request for information is always the best way to go to first determine what needs to be considered before designing any specifications for later tenders, versus having your specifications shaped by a single dominant player already in the market. Another positive here is that they are clearly also looking to see how EVs can be used as broader grid-storage and grid frequency stabilisation (first and fourth categories point towards this).

See U.S. Energy Department Releases Request for Information on Electric Vehicle Grid Integration

#environment #EV #USA #energy #gridstorage

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and DOE’s Office of Electricity (OE), have announced a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to integrating electric vehicles (EVs) with the grid. Electrification is a key part […]

End-to-end encrypted RCS Chat messaging is now available for more users in Google Messages

Date Published: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:00:10 +0200

Google began rolling out end-to-end encryption at the end of last year for select Google Messages beta users who have enabled Chat, Google’s implementation of RCS. End-to-end encryption ensures that conversations stay encrypted from when they leave your smartphone, to when they arrive at the other end. There is no server-side decryption, meaning that data can’t be collected in the middle from the servers that pass your messages along. This is a selling point of many texting applications like Signal as it’s a major step towards ensuring the privacy of a user, and now it’s finally rolling out to more users who use Google Messages.

Of course, until either RCS (Rich Communications Services) or iMessage is available across both Android and iOS, neither will be a solution to universal messaging or replacing SMS. Ironically, as I understand it, both depend on Tim Apple! RCS needs to be a standard independent of just Google alone as we've seen how many times Google changes its mind over messaging apps, and having iMessage controlled by a single company is also not a universal solution.

See Encrypted messaging is now available for more users in Google Messages

#technology #RCS #E2EE #instantmessaging

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End-to-end encrypted messaging is now rolling out to more users in Google Messages, giving RCS another advantage over SMS.

Telegram Beta 7.8 adds video and screen sharing in groups (that's with up to 200,000 people)

Date Published: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 19:01:03 +0200

Telegram is getting better all the time thanks in part to a beta program that allows users to test new features and provide feedback. Version 7.8 of the app has just reached beta, bringing with it new options for video calls and customization.

Anyone engaging in a group voice chat can now start a video broadcast or share their screen. If you want to try this out, the name of the chat needs to have #vid in it.

See Telegram Beta 7.8 adds video and screen sharing in groups

#technology #instantmessaging #telegram #telegram

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Telegram is getting better all the time thanks in part to a beta program that allows users to test new features and provide feedback. Version 7.8 of the

Cube.js is an open source analytical platform that acts as a layer between data sources and applications

Date Published: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:47:04 +0200

Cube.js supports serverless data warehouses and most modern relational database management systems (RDBMS). You can work with any JavaScript front-end library for data visualization, and Cube.js will take care of the rest, including access control, performance, concurrency, and more.

See Try this new open source tool for data analytics

#technology #opensource #dataanalytics

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Data analytics is a trendy field with many solutions available. One of them is Cube.js, an open source analytical platform. You can think of Cube.js as a layer between your data sources and applications. As the diagram below shows, Cube.js supports serverless data warehouses and most modern relational database management systems (RDBMS). You can work with any JavaScript front-end library for data visualization, and Cube.js will take care of the rest, including access control, performance, concurrency, and more.

IRL (In Real Life) is a new social network taking on Facebook groups - The SoftBank-backed social network already has 12 million users

Date Published: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:37:15 +0200

Do people want an app specifically for discovering events and messaging as a group? That’s the bet behind IRL, a young social network that has been quietly growing over the past year and just attracted an eye-popping amount of money to take on Facebook.

The two-year-old startup is betting that a post-pandemic world will fuel its mission to help people “do more together,” usually by meeting up in real life — you know, IRL. The idea has attracted the deep pockets of the Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank, which is the biggest investor in a new $170 million round of funding that values IRL at roughly $1 billion.

It is a much simpler interface without all the clutter that Facebook has. It seems to revolve around posting to Events and Groups (not Profile walls), with Groups just have a simplistic chronological chat stream with text, photos, polls and emojis (a bit like a modern IRC). But I get that most people will want to focus on the actual chat with their friends, so really a hundred 3rd party add-ons is not what most people are after.

So a lot will depend on what their monetisation vs privacy there finally is. We actually don't lack options for alternatives to Facebook but it's more about what ends up going really viral with traction as all the existing alternatives are actually going well in their own rights already.

See IRL is a new social network taking on Facebook groups

#technology #socialnetwork #alternativeto #IRL #deletefacebook

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"We’re building Facebook groups and events for the generation that doesn’t use Facebook."

With Deskreen, You Can Mirror or Stream Your Linux, Windows of MacOS Computer Screen to Any Device

Date Published: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 16:24:12 +0200

Screen sharing or screen mirroring apps available out there aren’t that good. Even though most of the dedicated options are only available for Windows/Mac, you may have a tough time finding an open-source solution for Linux.

With such an app, you can share your screen with any device connected to your network. If you have a multi-monitor setup, you realise the advantages of having multiple screens. And, with Deskreen, you can turn any device into your secondary screen, how exciting!

Only pity is no audio streaming yet, but it is planned to be included.

See With Deskreen, You Can Mirror or Stream Your Linux Computer Screen to Any Device - It's FOSS

#technology #opensource #linux #deskreen #utility

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Deskreen is a free and open-source application that lets you use any device with a web browser to use as a secondary screen for your computer.

Turtle Beach is making dedicated flight sim hardware for PC and Xbox consoles for $350

Date Published: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 23:11:23 +0200

Gaming peripheral company Turtle Beach announced at E3 2021 that it’s getting into a new product category: flight sim hardware. The company is launching the VelocityOne Flight system for $350, and it’s compatible with PC and Xbox consoles via USB. And, for a first effort in this competitive space, it seems like a very comprehensive offering and a decent value if you’re into playing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.

The VelocityOne Flight was made in collaboration with aeronautical engineers and pilots to provide a realistic flight experience. It has a 180-degree yoke handle with rear rudder controls for easy access. To its right, there’s a modular throttle quadrant with an integrated trim wheel, as well as both vernier-style and lever controls (with swappable tops for prop and jet planes). All in all, Turtle Beach says the VelocityOne Flight features 12 analogue axes, two POV switches, two four-way HAT switches, and 18 extra buttons that can be mapped to your liking.

See Turtle Beach is making dedicated flight sim hardware for PC and Xbox consoles

#technology #gaming #flightsim #hardware

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It’s also releasing a new audio-focused controller for Xbox.

Windows 11 may be unveiled next week - Windows 10 support ends 14 October 2025

Date Published: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 17:08:08 +0200

The article below covers some of the rumoured new features for Windows 11, most of which could have anyway been rolled into Windows 10 updates. So what most people will be wondering is, what happens to their Windows 10 installations? Will it be pay again to upgrade, or will it be a free upgrade?

Which is why I like rolling Linux distros as they just keep updating free month after month with no major disruption.

See Windows 11 may be unveiled next week — Here's what we know

#technology #windows10 #windows11 #microsoft

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Microsoft will soon reveal their next generation of Windows at an upcoming press event later this month. Here is what we know so far about Microsoft's new version of Windows.

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