Okular is a versatile open source universal document viewer for Windows, Linux and macOS

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 20:17:17 +0200

Wouldn't it be nice if you had one program to view them all? That's exactly what Okular does. It's an open source universal document viewer for Windows, Linux and macOS. The program is made by KDE, a name Linux users should be familiar with, among other creations they are the ones behind the popular Kubuntu (Ubuntu + KDE Software) distro.

The Tools menu has some extra options such as the magnifier tool, and more importantly the annotation tool, which is called "Review". It allows you to add a note as pop-up, inline, highlight text, add a stamp, or to draw a line (freehand/straight), polygon, ellipse or a cool Typewriter annotation.

Calling Okular a document viewer is an understatement, because it can also be used to view images, though that isn't its primary function. Here are all document and image formats that are supported: G3, CHM, DDS, DJVU, DJV, EPS, EPSI, EPSF, EXR, FB2, GIF, XCF, HDR, PIC, JPEG, JPG, JPE, JP2, JPG2, MNG, MOBI, PRC, ODT, OKULAR, PBM, PCX, PDF, PGM, PNG, PPM, PS, PSD, RGB, TGA, ICB, TPIC, VDA, VST, TIF, TIFF, DVI, WWF, BMP, DIB, ICO, XBM, XPM, OXPS, XPS, CBZ, CB7, CBR, CBT, EPUB, DOC.

See Okular is an open source universal document viewer for Windows, Linux and macOS - gHacks Tech News

#opensource

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Okular is an open source universal document viewer for Windows, Linux and macOS. It can annotate PDFs, view images, extract text and more.

New ultrasonic bracelet can block microphones - It works, but it's too bulky except for NSA agents to wear

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 19:22:44 +0200

Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a bracelet which can be used to jam microphones in a number of mainstream consumer devices. The jammer employs 24 speakers which are pointed in multiple directions and transmit ultrasonic sound to interfere with the audio recordings on microphones.

“Our device is based on a recent exploit that leverages the fact that when exposed to ultrasonic noise, commodity microphones will leak the noise into the audible range,” the researchers said.

If this were a bit smaller it may be a popular item amongst many groups of people. Now all they need is a device like this for cameras for AirBnB guests and you have another winner.

See New ultrasonic bracelet can block microphones

#technology #privacy

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Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a bracelet which can be used to jam microphones in a number of mainstream consumer devices.

Switzerland plans to anchor public services’ contribution to open source in law, and software developers working for the federal government should be able to be part of open source communitie

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:50:29 +0200

Swiss federal government organisations and agencies will soon be free to share the source code of their software solutions as open source. In addition, software developers working for the federal government should be able to be part of open source communities. The government wants to anchor this in federal law, according to new Guidelines on Open Source in the Federal Government.

The new rules will be part of an updated version of the 'Bundesgesetz über die Digitale Verwaltung' (Federal law on digital administration). This law will be circulated for comments soon, the government writes in the ‘Praxis-Leitfaden: 'Open Source Software in der Bundesverwaltung' (practical guidelines for open source in the federal government).

“Open source communities focus on the product and spend little time on marketing,” the guidelines warn. “This can create the false impression that there is no open source solution available.” The text refers to portals such as AlternativeTo, which list and compare similar solutions.

The text also details the ins and outs of open source licensing, describes open source business models, and gives examples of tools and solutions used to assess the quality of open source software.

See Free to share | Joinup

#opensource #government #switzerland

Swiss federal government organisations and agencies will soon be free to share the source code of their software solutions as open source. In addition, software developers working for the federal government should be able to be part of open source communities. The government wants to anchor this in federal law, according to new Guidelines on Open...

Five benefits of playing video games regularly - it’s critical to understand that there are unexpected, scientifically proven benefits associated with regular gaming

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 15:18:55 +0200

At this point in time, with video games fully exposed and in the mainstream, we’ve all heard the same age-old criticisms of the industry ad-nauseam. Whether you’ve heard otherwise, it’s critical to understand that there are unexpected, scientifically proven benefits associated with regular gaming.

Some of the benefits covered here with studies, include:
* Vision improvements
* Social Skills
* Medical treatment
* A mental workout
* Transferable skills

By taking the time to sharpen the mental saw, and hone skills applicable in real life, you’re that much more equipped to deal with the mental deterioration of becoming older, and your future self will be very grateful that you took the time to be prepared.

All in all, the benefits of gaming regularly are clear. Having gaming as a habit gives you a genuine leg up mentally, as well as in your day-to-day routines.

https://businesstech.co.za/news/industry-news/370004/five-benefits-of-playing-video-games-regularly/

#gaming

Vanbon 8-Port USB and Type-C 68W charger to replace the one that burnt out - This one has Overload, Overheat etc protection and LCD display to show charging rates

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:15:08 +0200

My previous charger burnt out some components on its board after connecting an ioniser to it (I suspect though due to the USB extension cable) but this new one not only has protection now for overheat, overcharge, overcurrent, overload, surge, and short circuit protection, but its display will also show what current is being drawn by each port.

It works on 110-240V and has 7 USB-A ports up to 2.4A each and one Type-C PD 3A port for fast charging my Pixel phone. The LCD display is useful to see exactly what current each port is delivering, and will show when the device is charged. The display will also show an alarm for any of the error statuses detected.

It cost me $39.99 from Amazon and was delivered in 4 days to my front door in Cape Town (can't argue with that delivery time as it included a weekend).

#technology #charger

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WhatsApp reveals some surprising details about the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature - It often won't succeed and you won't be informed - unlike with other networks

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:29:14 +0200

Many times we have ended up sending the wrong message to someone. It’s funny in some cases but embarrassing in most others. However, thanks to WhatsApp’s ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature, you have the chance to delete a message both for yourself and the person you have sent it to. WhatsApp lets you delete a message immediately if you want, you also have a one-hour time limit to delete messages. Messages sent more than an hour back cannot be deleted for everyone, you can just delete it for yourself to strike it off just your record.

Yet another reason why many users are just starting to use other networks who have long since implemented user-friendly features for deleting and managing groups.

Telegram is not the best example, but is a popular alternative where if you delete a message even a day or two later, it instantly and silently deletes everywhere else leaving no "deleted message" notification. It's just gone. If a spam message is noticed two days later in a Telegram group, the admin can immediately delete it, not so with Whatsapp as even the creator cannot delete the message.

We must stop feeling trapped by Facebook as there are many other better options such as Signal, Telegram, Wire, BCM Messenger, Threema, and others. I have all of them installed (costs nothing to do so) so that others can leave Whatsapp and reach me. I see one to two contacts every week joining Telegram so its clear many people are not happy with Whatsapp.

See more about what happens with Whatsapp message deletion at WhatsApp reveals some surprising details about the ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature

#technology #instantmessaging #whatsapp

DID YOU KNOW? If you were trying to delete a message for everyone and for some reason it does not happen, WhatsApp won’t notify you.

We Need to Talk About ‘Cloud Neutrality’ - This infrastructure is solely owned by a handful of companies with hardly any oversight - The potential for abuse is huge

Date Published: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 09:14:38 +0200

We spent a lot of years talking about net neutrality—the idea that the companies that provide access to the internet shouldn’t unfairly block, slow down, or otherwise interfere with traffic even if that traffic competes with their services. But there’s an even bigger issue brewing, and it’s time to start talking about it: cloud neutrality.

“While its name sounds soft and fluffy,” Microsoft president and general counsel Brad Smith and coauthor Carol Ann Browne write in their recent book, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age, “in truth the cloud is a fortress.” Their introduction describes the modern marvel of the data center: a 2 million-square-foot, climate-controlled facility made up of colossal electrical generators, diesel fuel tanks, battery arrays, and bulletproof doors. At its center is what they call a “temple to the information age and cornerstone of our digital lives”: thousands of machines connected to the fastest possible internet connections, providing offsite storage and computing power to businesses that otherwise couldn’t possibly afford the hardware for all that storage and computing power.

The book means to portray this might and power as both a source of wonder and an enabling feature of the modern economy. To me, it reads like a threat. The cloud economy exists at the pleasure, and continued profit, of a handful of companies.

The threat is not an immediate one as these companies are gobbling up as many services as they can right now, but we could be in the phase similar to when Facebook was in its initial growth spurts. Look at the problem we face with Facebook now, and look how excellent competing networks struggle to lure anyone away from Facebook today. Up to now corporates have hosted servers themselves and physically controlled their own data and destinies. But of the flags is with the lure of cloud services many corporates are felling they no longer need their internal IT people (this offsets the cost of going to cloud) but then who really understands IT well enough to make good decisions. "Just buy it from us as a service, and you won't need internal IT" goes one of the mantras. When you loom later there is often no easy path to back out again. It is just something we need to keep aware of and hopefully corporates have good Devil's Advocates within their own ranks to retain some sanity.

See We Need to Talk About ‘Cloud Neutrality’

#technology #cloud

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A multibillion-dollar, privately-owned infrastructure is now essential to the modern internet economy. That should freak you out.

Watch my video overview of the free and open source Wallabag 'read it later' service as an alternative to Pocket or Instapaper

Date Published: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 22:12:51 +0200

I've been enjoying using the premium Pocket service for the last few years but recently heard about Wallabag as an open source alternative. I pay $30 per annum for Pocket mainly so I have permanent access to archived content (unless Pocket shuts down of course), I can do full text search, and Pocket suggests tags I can use.

I found Wallabag could do all this for me for free though as well as a few extras that I explain in the video such as advanced filtering, annotations, and of course it is available to me as long as I keep my own hosting service going. Wallabag lets you save articles from various desktop browsers as well as Android and iOS devices.

There is a paid Wallbag hosting service at $10 per annum for anyone who does not want to self-host but remember that with self-hosting you can run Wallabag, Nextcloud, a website, a photo album site and more all at the same monthly hosting cost.

Watch at My Overview of the Wallabag Read It Later Service Which You Can Self-Host For Free

#wallabag #technology #opensource

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Wallabag is a free and open source alternative to Pocket or Instapaper and will save web articles for later offline reading later. The saved articles are ava...

Five Open-Source Projects AI Enthusiasts Might Want to Know About - Google's TensorFlow, Microsoft's Cognitive Toolkit, Acumos AI, Apache SystemML, and OpenNN - But AI can also be weaponised

Date Published: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 17:01:39 +0200

As AI becomes more and more ingrained in our daily lives through consumer products, we can’t help but be concerned that proprietary software will comprise the market. Many industries and end-users would thus benefit from more open-source AI projects and tools for developers’ use. That would save tons of individuals and companies money to build their own AI-powered apps.

In this post, we explore five open-source AI projects or tools that are compatible with Linux and delve into the pros and cons of open-source AI and AI in general.

AI-powered tools and systems have the potential to change processes for the better—healthcare becomes more factual than intuitive, increases in revenue can be seen more clearly in marketing efforts, and food security becomes a reality rather than a dream.

However, we should not discount the fact that AI can also be weaponized, empowering the wrong people. Cybersecurity systems must also be upgraded to counter AI-powered cyberattacks. And when developing AI-powered machines, it is critical to ensure that they are not vulnerable to attacks.

AI responds and learns from stimuli and this can be used against them too if they are not made aware (think of the self-driving car where someone faked the centre line turning off the road).

See Five Open-Source Projects AI Enthusiasts Might Want to Know About.

#technology #opensource #AI

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five open source projects ai enthusiasts might want to know about Linux is arguably software developers’ favorite OS. Over 14,000 contributors have invested cou

Instagram Influencer Marketing Is Already A Nightmare - Political Ads Will Make It A Shitshow - It’s already impossible for users to tell what’s #sponsored or not on Instagram

Date Published: Sun, 16 Feb 2020 12:58:37 +0200

Influencer marketing relies on confusing the average user — that’s what makes it effective. The clearest version is when an influencer puts #ad or #sponsored in the caption, which is very easy to miss, but there are a billion less obvious variations.

Sometimes an influencer will simply tag a brand in the photo (does this mean they were paid to post? Or given a free gift? Or just like the brand?). Sometimes they’ll write flowery language about “partnering” with a brand or give out a discount code with their name on it. Or maybe they’ll just say “thanks @BRAND.” Or maybe nothing at all!!!

In theory, there ARE rules. The Federal Trade Commission, the government agency that regulates advertising, has guidelines for disclosing social media ads. The rules say that any material relationship to a brand must be disclosed. This means an influencer needs to say if they have been given a big wad of cash to do a post, but also if a makeup company sent them a free lipstick and they posted about it — even if the gift was unsolicited. It also needs to be disclosed if an influencer has a financial stake in a brand (DJ Khaled and Cîroc, for example), or even if they have a spouse or family member who does.

And there are very specific rules for how to disclose that relationship in an ad. It must say #ad or #sponsored (#sp doesn’t cut it), and that disclosure must appear in the first three lines of an Instagram caption, before the caption text gets cut off in the feed.

What a mess and Facebook running it, makes it messier... The fact is these big networks influence a lot of people and their opinions. And where there is paid advertising that can be inserted directly into people's feeds, these advertisers uses all sorts of psychology and tricks to get their message across. This is probably the reason why so many alternative networks are taking off without paid advertising at all. But of course there is still the way to get this done through influencers (where the lines blur between what is an opinion vs paid advertising) - but then you have the choice to follow that influencer or not. At least the choice lies with yourself.

The question is whether we as users can change the situation? It just seems to me that many have decided not, and put their "vote" elsewhere and gone to other networks. Yes there are many other social networks and most are doing quite well. They tend to focus more on their users and their interests vs commercial interests. Most are free with small payment for additional offerings such as extra storage, sticker packs, temse4s, etc.

See Instagram Influencer Marketing Is Already A Nightmare. Political Ads Will Make It A Shitshow.

#technology #socialnetworks #marketing

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It’s already impossible for users to tell what’s #sponsored or not on Instagram.

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