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      Samsung loses second-place smartwatch lead to brand you may never have heard of... the Fire-Boltt

      GadgeteerZA · Sunday, 28 May - 09:59 · 1 minute

    If you don’t live in India, you’ve probably never heard of Fire-Boltt. It is the largest smartwatch brand in India, according to Counterpoint, and the fastest-growing smartwatch brand globally. It offers a bunch of different types of smartwatches (that mostly look like the Apple Watch) at very reasonable prices. It also offers a unique points system that allows users to earn “coins” that can then be redeemed for other products and experiences.

    It’s a true testament to how well Fire-Boltt understands its market that it was able to jump out of the “others” category to usurp the mighty Samsung in just one year. In fact, Counterpoint says Fire-Boltt is growing at an astounding rate of 57%.

    This is based on market share numbers, and obviously India itself makes a big percentage of the global market. They claim one unit is sold every 5 seconds. Its design seems inspired by the Galaxy Watch. It is a budget watch, so not competing at the high end in terms of specs. Certainly, as far as exercise accuracy goes, Apple's Watch is still number one and Huawei also scores very well (accuracy). But for many average users, maybe the Fire-Boltt is actually what they need at a good price.

    See https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/fire-boltt-atom-review-8348449/

    #technology #smartwatch #fireboltt

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      OURphone: A Cape Town innovator develops a truly open-source smartphone (hardware and software)

      GadgeteerZA · Sunday, 28 May - 09:03

    Cape Town-based innovator Evan Robinson claims he has developed the world’s first open source, do-it-yourself (DIY) smartphone that anyone can build from off-the-shelf components.

    Robinson says he came up with the idea after getting frustrated by the limitations and lack of privacy provided by consumer smartphones.

    “I wanted people to have more control and optionality over their most personal smart devices, so I built an Open source, Upgradeable, Repairable Smartphone that is completely big tech free. It’s not theirs – it’s OURS,” he says.

    It may not be that compact yet, but he is looking to collaborate on the Github project around ideas. Like any open-source phone (on the software side) it may face challenges by banks, for example, which test for rooted devices for security authentication, but hopefully ideas can also help solve that challenge. And yes most people may not be able to build it themselves, but the recipe could be used by those who can, and can sell the completed device.

    See https://www.itweb.co.za/content/KBpdg7pm3RDMLEew

    #technology #opensource #capetown #hardware #OURphone

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      I'm using the PowerToYou widget to show battery levels across iOS as well as Android devices

      GadgeteerZA · Saturday, 4 March - 14:36

    I did a post back on 7th March 2022 (nearly exactly a year ago I see...) when I compared this app to Cloud Battery on iOS, and I ended up using the PowerToYou app from then on for the reasons stated then.

    But having moved back to Android for my main phone and tablet again, I was needing an app to show battery levels across my devices. So I looked around on Android, and lo and behold, I was back with the PowerToYou app.

    By signing in (on the Android app) with my Apple ID, it was able to immediately sync with my iPad, and it's Pencil, and show everything across all devices (as per attached image). It will also provide notifications of low battery, or the charge passing above a certain level, across the devices.

    The only downside on the Android app, is there is no notification management to set the minimum and maximum threshold value for battery level notifications (like there is an on the iOS app). The dev says though that they may well be adding that (I hope so) to the Android app in the near future.

    See https://confuseious.github.io/PowerToYou/

    #technology #batterylevel #PowerToYou

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      Proton VPN now has an official browser extension (Chromium and Firefox) without requiring desktop app installation

      GadgeteerZA · Friday, 3 March - 10:34

    Proton has released a Proton VPN browser extension compatible with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, and most other popular browsers except for Safari. The company said in a support document that Safari “doesn’t support the tools needed to create a VPN tunnel.” It works the same as most other VPN extensions — starting it will route your browser’s internet connection through external VPN servers. If you want all your internet activity to go through Proton VPN, such as connections from other desktop applications and games, you still have to use the desktop client.

    This is actually quite useful as sometimes you just want the browser (or one browser) to go through the VPN, and leave your other streaming, video conferencing, or OS updates running normally).

    That said, it does mean that everything on the computer is not being funnelled through the VPN, it is also not full-featured, and also you do need to have a paid ProtonVPN account.

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/876703/proton-vpn-is-coming-to-your-web-browser/

    #technology #protonvpn #vpn #security

    • Proton VPN Is Coming to Your Web Browser

      Proton VPN is one of the best VPN services around, especially since it has integrations with Proton Mail and the company’s other privacy-focused products. Now there are official browser extensions for the VPN.

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      Google Drive PDF Annotations is Live, and Magic Eraser feature for all Google One Subscribers

      GadgeteerZA · Thursday, 2 March - 19:21 · 1 minute

    The annotations feature for PDFs on Google Drive is available to all users, and is something that was sorely needed, as if you ever needed to sign or fill in a PDF form on Google Drive, it always needed a 3rd party app which was often not available on mobile.

    The image I've attached has been annotated on Google Drive, with some of it just using my finger, and some with the phone's stylus. You can choose between a pen or a highlighter, choose colours, and thickness. The green arrow is pointing down to the icon that appears if this feature is live for you.

    Magic Eraser for Google Photos is a really amazing tool. It is one of the best erasers, and although there are some good paid 3rd party ones, Google's one was free for Pixel phone users up until now. The only caveat is it is only for Google One subscribers (from $2 pm). Having just moved back from iOS I actually subscribed to Google One for the backup storage for my Android devices and photos, so I was able to try it out.

    One plus with Google, and one of the reasons I moved (and was able to) back to Android, was that Google's apps work across iOS, Android, Windows, Linux (mostly) and macOS. I try to stick to services that run across platforms, as I tend to switch a lot. So yes, nice that these services are not Android only, and will work for iOS users too.

    #technology #Google #MagicEraser #PDF #annotate

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      Flipboard Is Now a Mastodon 'App' - Will have Mastodon Feeds like it had Twitter feeds before

      GadgeteerZA · Wednesday, 1 March - 19:10

    Flipboard has been a popular newsreader for years, grabbing data from news sites and social media feeds into a single “social magazine.” The service is now going all in with Mastodon, the rapidly-growing open-source social media service.

    Flipboard has offered integration with Twitter for years, allowing you to see articles or text posts shared by people you follow in the app’s main feed — an especially helpful feature for people interested in specific people or topics, rather than everything from a given news source. However, with Twitter cutting off many third-party services from its API, and Mastodon becoming a Twitter replacement for many people, Flipboard is updating its apps to work equally well with Mastodon.

    I suppose yes, with Twitter restricting their API more and more, and Mastodon being fully open and free, this is quite attractive for Flipboard. Interestingly too, the company has also set up its own Mastodon server at Flipboard(dot)social, so they are really investing in the platform in more ways than one.

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/876330/flipboard-is-now-a-mastodon-app/

    #technology #news #flipboard #Mastodon

    • Flipboard Is Now a Mastodon App

      Flipboard has been a popular news reader for years, grabbing data from news sites and social media feeds into a single “social magazine.” The service is now going all in with Mastodon, the rapidly-growing open-source social media service.

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      Stream live video from webcams with a Raspberry Pi and restream videos to social networks

      GadgeteerZA · Wednesday, 1 March - 15:07

    There are various reasons to stream live video transmissions from webcams. The Raspberry Pi platform is perfect for such applications. It requires little power for continuous applications such as live-streaming servers. Communication with a Raspicam camera module, USB cam, or other network video signals is possible. The system is an RTMP, HLS, and SRT server. This article shows how to set up the Raspberry Pi as a streaming server to use HLS streaming. You need a video source to use it as a streaming server.

    Even without a Raspberry Pi, you can do the steps described here. In addition, there are further installation instructions for Windows, Linux, and macOS available.

    The application is datarhei Restreamer, a graphical user interface for the datarhei Core.

    See https://opensource.com/article/23/3/raspberry-pi-streaming-server

    #technology #RaspberryPi #streaming #opensource

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      Google adds client-side encryption to Gmail and Calendar. Should you care? Spoiler: Probably Not

      GadgeteerZA · Wednesday, 1 March - 14:05 · 1 minute

    On Tuesday, Google made client-side encryption available to a limited set of Gmail and Calendar users in a move designed to give them more control over who sees sensitive communications and schedules.

    Client-side encryption is a generic term for any sort of encryption that’s applied to data before it’s sent from a user device to a server. With server-side encryption, by contrast, the client device sends the data to a central server, which then uses keys in its possession to encrypt it while it’s stored. This is what Google does today. (To be clear, the data is sent encrypted through HTTPS, but it's decrypted as soon as Google receives it.)

    Google’s client-side encryption occupies a middle ground between the two. Data is encrypted on the client device before being sent (by HTTPS) to Google. The data can only be decrypted on an endpoint machine with the same key used by the sender. This provides an incremental benefit since the data will remain unreadable to any malicious Google insiders or hackers who manage to compromise Google servers.

    The point is really, this is not client to client E2EE like ProtonMail, Tutanota, OpenPGP, etc provide. This is more like Cloudflare where it is encrypted between your client and the server.

    Most of us can in fact use OpenPGP to secure our mail fully encrypted from one user to the other, but it is mostly "too complicated" for average end users to enable it (otherwise we'd all be able to use it already). ProtonMail and Tutanota however have made this E2EE a lot easier to adopt and use, but again, the average user is not bothered enough to have to sign up with a new mail provider (even if there is a perfectly usable free tier).

    Also if GMail implemented a fully E2EE that would be the end of any easy searching to find e-mails you had sent as Google's search engines could not then index the comments of the e-mails.

    So where do we stand with "private" or encrypted e-mail in 2023? Well good news is most users (and I include companies) seem to have achieved a level of comfort with universally sending and reading encrypted PDF attachments...

    See https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/02/google-adds-client-side-encryption-to-gmail-and-calendar-should-you-care/

    #technology #privacy #Gmail #encryption #email

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      Twitter’s decentralised alternative Bluesky arrives as an invite-only iOS app, but does it connect to other networks?

      GadgeteerZA · Wednesday, 1 March - 13:49 · 1 minute

    Bluesky describes it as a “federated social network” where separate networks exist within a single hub.

    According to Bluesky, AT Protocol is built based on four main ideals: account portability; algorithmic; performance; and interoperability. This framework is supposed to allow you to easily transfer your account data to another Bluesky provider as well as give you more control over what you see on a network, among other things.

    The website doesn’t offer any details about when the app could become available to the general public or how many testers are allowed to use the app, but it lets users join a waitlist for access.

    The big question from my side is where does it exist? Is it going to be its own federated network (ie. you must create a new identity and you only interact with others in the decentralised Bluesky network), or will it interconnect with the Fediverse, Friendica, Hubzilla, etc as well?

    If the latter then it would slot in nicely (Friendica and Hubzilla are both on their own decentralised networks, but they have plugin modules that interconnect with the Fediverse as well as Diaspora. This allows new users to join on Bluesky and interact "everywhere" and existing users in the Fediverse could follow and interact with Bluesky accounts.

    But if it is its own network and not inter-operating with others, then all I can say is "more duplication and fragmentation". Users will struggle to then get their friends to also sign up on the new network. Many using Mastodon (and the Fediverse) are quite happily settled there already, and don't need yet another massive exodus a year later to a different network, but one which is all on it's own.

    I'm really hoping it will be the former case of interoperability would allow for quicker adoption and integration with existing users.

    See https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/28/23619270/decentralized-twitter-alternative-bluesky-ios-invite-only

    #technology #socialnetworks #decentralisation #Bluesky