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    Check Out Ubuntu’s Slick New Promotional Video: More Mainstream Excitement, With Zero Technical Facts

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 11 August - 18:12

I have to say: this video is a fantastic appetiser for the OS. It focuses less on specific features and more on capabilities; showing what’s possible with the Ubuntu platform. It’s especially nice to see a particular emphasis put on gaming (which is an area Ubuntu is directing more energy at of late).

This type of video certainly appeals more to a mainstream user audience, than any long technical explanation about the benefits of Linux does.


#technology #opensource #Ubuntu #Linux

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    A gentle introduction to basic HTML: Learn the markup language of the web

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 11 August - 17:52

This is probably the gentlest introduction I've ever seen on HTML. No fancy features at all, but it gives a good outline, with examples, of how the basic HTML document structure works.


#technology #HTML #tutorial #web #browsers

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    Analysis Suggests Instagram Tracks User Web Activity Through In-App Browser - Your Metadata Is Worth Money

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 10 August - 21:17 · 1 minute

A new analysis of the Instagram app has suggested that every time a user clicks a link within the app, Instagram is capable of monitoring all of their interactions, text selections, and even text input, such as passwords and private credit card details within websites inside the app.

The analysis conducted by Felix Krause found that both Instagram and Facebook on iOS use their own in-app browser, rather than the one offered by Apple for third-party apps. Most apps use Apple's Safari for loading websites, but Instagram and Facebook have been using their own in-app browser to load websites within the app.

With their custom-built browser, still based on WebKit, Instagram and Facebook inject a tracking JavaScript code named "Meta Pixel" into all links and websites shown. This allows Instagram to monitor everything happening on external websites without the consent from the user, nor the website provider.

Fact is Meta/Facebook has really proven over the years that they are not going to stop this behaviour, and they will push all the boundaries to get as much as they can, without telling their users. What their users should understand from using these services for free, is that their metadata is worth really money to Meta/Facebook. Why I left both Instagram and WhatsApp, was because their walked back terms and conditions still allowed the sharing of user metadata back to Meta/Facebook. They are not going to stop doing this...


#technology #Facebook#metadata #Instagram #privacy

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    Harvard Experts build multimodal AI system to predict 14 types of cancer - Many sources become one

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 9 August - 12:52

Multimodal AI models, trained on numerous types of data, could help doctors screen patients at risk of developing multiple different cancers more accurately..

Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital part of Harvard University's medical school developed a deep learning model capable of identifying 14 types of cancer. Most AI algorithms are trained to spot signs of disease from a single source of data, like medical scans, but this one can take inputs from multiple sources.

Predicting whether someone is at risk of developing cancer isn't always as straightforward, doctors often have to consult various types of information like a patient's healthcare history or perform other tests to detect genetic biomarkers.

These results can help doctors figure out the best treatment for a patient as they monitor the progression of the disease, but their interpretation of the data can be subjective, Faisal Mahmood, an assistant professor working at the Division of Computational Pathology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, explained.


#technology #health #medical #cancer #USA

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    Lithium-Ion 1.5V Rechargeable Cells in AA and AAA Are Probably Best Now For Most Use Cases Over Ni-Mh 1.2V Cells, Or Alkaline Cells

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 9 August - 12:11 · 1 minute

I just started using some of these Lithium-Ion 1.5V AA cells, and must say I can see many benefits with them. It's a pity most articles about them date back two or more years with comments such as they only come in odd sizes, produce 3.7V, lower capacity than Ni-Mh, etc. As of 2022 the Lithium-Ion cells should be seriously considered as a first option, as they come in AAA and AA sizes now at 1.5V.

Outright Pros for Li-Ion:

  • Charge way quicker than Ni-Mh
  • More energy density than Ni-Mh
  • Similar voltage to Alkaline cells
  • About double or more lifecycle charges (lasts longer)
  • Very low self-discharge rate (on the shelf) at about 1% per month vs 1% per day for Ni-Mh
  • As environmentally friendly as Ni-Mh with regard to not being single-use only
  • Better performance at varying temperature ranges than Ni-Mh
  • Safer to charge than Ni-Mh as they have built-in protection circuits and plates
  • Often no separate charger required as many come with a USB-C socket built-in

Cons for Li-Ion:

  • Not as safe for delivery / couriers
  • More expensive up front (but not when considering cost per lifetime use)

One thing I'm not sure about is the heavy discharge use. Alkalines for example are not so good in camera flashes as they cannot produce that quick heavy discharge for prolonged periods like Ni-Mh can. I'm thinking though that Li-Ion cells can also handle this if I consider how quickly they charge. This was a particular strength of Ni-Mh over Alkalines.

One thing to note about voltages though, and this was especially true for Ni-Mh. Ni-Mh cells are often reported to be "flat" in consumer devices, but it is because they produce a constant 1.2V, unlike Alkalines which start at 1.5V and constantly show a measurable discharge. I have been using Ni-Mh cells for ages in devices which say the cells are flat, and I've done a post about this before. Li-Ion cells act similarly with a flat discharge curve, so will likely report as being "full" for ages, until they suddenly stop working. Most consumer devices measure for Alkaline discharge curves. A plus is with Li-Ion cells though that you can keep a spare set fully charged, and they'll stay that way with very little self-discharge.


#technology #environment #battery #rechargeable

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    Sennheiser Momentum 4 Headphones Review: Less Cool, More Comfortable, 60-Hour Battery Life

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 9 August - 10:05

LOL I see most users comment about the 'less cool' design but for mew really that is the lowest order of priority for a device (unless it is a garish neon colour in badly fitting plastic). Sound quality, battery life, connectivity options, and comfort are what is important to me.

So what stood out for me here was the battery life (more than double most of the competition, and that is really something), and the improved comfort. The design is not all ugly, just blends in more with the others.

I like, too, that it has both wireless and wired options (one of the reasons I went with the Corsair Virtuoso XT's).


#technology #headphones #headset #Sennheiser

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    The 9 best drawing apps for Android - Choosing the right app for the mobile art studio in your backpack

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Sunday, 7 August - 11:27

As tablets have advanced, many artists are turning to the best Android tablets and best Android phones as their weapon of choice for making digital artworks. The key to that is a great app to express yourself. With so many out there, how do you choose the right one? This round-up will help you narrow down the choices by sharing some of the best drawing apps available for your Android device.

The criteria: These are the important features and factors to look out for when choosing a drawing app:

  • Pressure responsiveness
  • A wide range of brushes and tools
  • Being able to customize brushes or create your own
  • Being able to work with multiple layers
  • Layer blending modes such as multiply, overlay, colour dodge, and burn
  • Touch gestures and keyboard shortcuts
  • Built-in time-lapse recording is a plus

The price of an app will often be a deciding factor, too, especially if you are a beginner and just getting started. Each app here is either free, partially free, or gives you a decent trial period of the full version, so you can test each one and find the one that works best for you.


#technology #android #drawing #sketching