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      Chrome Beta is showing off new Topics-based privacy settings for Google's solution to replace cookies

      GadgeteerZA · Monday, 27 February, 2023 - 19:41 · 1 minute

    After long last, the company is firmly in the testing phase of its Privacy Sandbox suite of tools and that includes its new replacement for cookies. Now, Chrome users on the Canary and Dev channels are seeing a new API roll out and they've got a bunch of new settings to toggle.

    Those opening up the app on Android will see a splash screen telling them about the slate of new privacy settings while also giving a short overview of how the API, called Topics, works.

    The linked article below goes into a bit more detail about the three different elements involved, and how it works.

    These new settings are being made available, it seems, regardless of if the user previously signed up to participate in the Privacy Sandbox developer preview or beta, so if you happen to use Chrome Canary or Chrome Beta, perhaps take a look and consider whether you're comfortable using the Topics API. And for those on the stable channel on Google Chrome, you may expect to receive these options in the near future.

    It's not sure yet how this will affect other Chromium based browsers.

    See https://www.androidpolice.com/topics-api-ad-privacy-settings-chrome-beta-rollout/

    #technology #privacy #chromebrowser #cookies #topics

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      FOSSDA: Preserving the history of open-source and free software

      GadgeteerZA · Sunday, 26 February, 2023 - 18:57

    FOSSDA is a not-for-profit foundation that aims to engage with the pioneers of open-source software and share their legacies with the world. The FOSSDA Project will create digital recordings and archives of the history of the open-source software movement, documenting the stories of the developers, visionaries, and strategists who challenged the establishment and changed how we interact with the world.

    In particular, the FOSSDA Project hopes to uncover and record the stories of the first generation of free and open-source software developers. In the beginning, the movement was started by a group of technical visionaries, such as Richard M. Stallman, who believed that access to information is fundamental to human rights in our digital age. These ideas have since transformed software development, business, and modern society.

    To ensure these records don't fall prey to bitrot, FOSSDA has partnered with Permanent(dot)org to make certain the raw oral histories remain in the public domain and are permanently available.

    See https://opensourcewatch.beehiiv.com/p/fossda-preserving-history-opensource-free-software

    #technology #opensource #FOSSDA

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      Motorola brings $5-a-month satellite two-way text messaging to any phone with new hotspot

      GadgeteerZA · Saturday, 25 February, 2023 - 09:51 · 1 minute

    Bullitt—a British phone manufacturer best known for licensing the heavy machinery "Caterpillar" brand for ruggedized smartphones—is launching what sounds like a full end-to-end solution that will bring satellite messaging to non-iPhone users. It's launching the "Bullitt Satellite Connect" service, an app to connect to it called the "Bullitt Satellite Messenger," and a "Cat S75" smartphone with satellite connectivity. It's teaming up with Motorola to introduce a second satellite messaging phone, the "Motorola Defy 2," and a satellite messaging hotspot called the "Motorola Defy Satellite Link."

    But there are some caveats: You'll need to use the special Bullitt Satellite Messenger app to send a message over satellite, and the message is not SMS. Like some other proprietary messaging services, Bullitt will forward your message over SMS to your recipient's phone number, so they'll receive it, but to respond, the person you text will need to download the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app.

    The bigger news really is, that real competition is now starting for consumers around satellite communications, so we can expect to see more options and also probably better pricing and services (following the economic logic around the increase in demand as well as volumes of use).

    There are already actually similar offerings from Somewear Global Hotspot, Zoleo Satellite Communicator, and others, but the plans and the functions all vary.

    See https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/02/motorola-brings-5-a-month-satellite-messaging-to-any-phone-with-new-hotspot/

    #technology #satellite #Bullitt #emergencies

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      The Verge's list of the best free (or low-cost) tools for video editors (mostly cross-platform)

      GadgeteerZA · Friday, 24 February, 2023 - 12:40


    Some of these are really well-known favourites for many people already, but there were also some I'm looking into a bit further that look really useful, and which I was not aware of.

    It is good to see that most of them are also cross-platform, so they can be used by most people, and many are also open source software.

    See https://www.theverge.com/23602829/best-free-video-editing-software-open-source-tools-free-shareware-encoding

    #technology #video #videoediting #crossplatform

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      Apple's Noninvasive Blood Glucose Technology for Future Apple Watch Reaches 'Proof-of Concept' Stage

      GadgeteerZA · Thursday, 23 February, 2023 - 15:00

    Apple has made notable progress on noninvasive blood glucose monitoring technology, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Planned as a future Apple Watch feature, Apple wants to use the function to allow diabetics and others to test their blood glucose levels without needing to prick the skin for blood testing.

    To test glucose levels without blood, Apple is developing a silicon photonics chip that uses optical absorption spectroscopy to shine light from a laser under the skin to determine the concentration of glucose in the body. The technology is in a "proof-of-concept" stage that is viable, but needs to be condensed to a size that can fit into a wearable. At the current time, the prototype device is sized similarly to an iPhone and can be attached to a person's arm.

    See https://www.macrumors.com/2023/02/22/apple-blood-glucose-monitoring-technology/

    #technology #health #diabetes #bloodglucose #Apple

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      Samsung says users will be able to clone their voice to respond to phone calls

      GadgeteerZA · Thursday, 23 February, 2023 - 14:36 · 1 minute

    Actually, this is an extension of the Bixsby Text Call service, which is an interesting way of screening suspected spammer calls. It deliberately answers your phone using a robot voice and asks the caller to state their business etc. The responses are converted to text for you to read, and you can type responses in, which are read out aloud by the "robot voice" to the caller. The idea being this will cause many spam callers to abandon the call, and shields you from having to actually engage with spam callers on a personal level.

    Of course, this Text Call service can also be used in situations for any call where you can't speak yourself (very loud surroundings, or possibly when in a theatre, etc).

    This new development extends that functionality to now using AI to clone your own voice. How well, or fast, this actually works has not been tested outside of South Korea yet. But for suspected spam calls, I'd prefer actually that they speak to a robot voice.

    Some caveats here: this feature is only currently available in Korean as the Bixby Custom Voice Creator app for a small number of Samsung handsets (the new Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra).

    See https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/22/23609915/samsung-ai-voice-clone-bixby-text-call-service-korean

    #technology #robocallers #spamcallers #Samsung

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      Raspberry Pi Foundation launches $12 USB Debug Probe for Pi Pico (and possibly other devices)

      GadgeteerZA · Thursday, 23 February, 2023 - 14:15

    The Raspberry Pi Foundation has a new gadget: a cheap, easy USB probe for debugging bare-metal code on a Pi Pico… but it should work with several other devices too.

    The Debug Probe is a device to help debug bare-metal software on the Raspberry Pi Pico. The Pico is the Foundation's $4 single-board computer for microcontroller type roles. In embedded computers like this, there's often no display output, and in typical use, no operating system – both of which make it tricky to monitor what it's doing, or more to the point, work out why it's not doing it.

    You plug one end into your Pi Pico, and the other end into a free USB port, and you're ready to go. It's a very low-end offering, but it should do the job – and it's $12. For comparison, a professional tool such as a Segger J-Link comes in at $60 a pop in the States and €576 for a 12-pack (€48 per unit) in the EU. Even an open-source hardware device such as an ORBtrace Mini – for instance from this store – is around 10 times the price.

    See https://www.theregister.com/2023/02/22/raspberry_pi_foundations_launches_12/

    #technology #raspberrypi #debugging

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      Please Stop Making New Smartphones Every Year: New devices would be Better, and Older Models wouldn't be Forgotten so Fast

      GadgeteerZA · Wednesday, 22 February, 2023 - 21:02

    With the small year-over-year changes to smartphones, maybe it's time to ditch the yearly upgrade cycle. It would be better for consumers, the environment, and more.

    While software updates and device support are a bigger problem in the Android ecosystem than on the iPhone, both could be better. If Samsung didn’t release dozens of different phone models every year, maybe it wouldn’t be spread so thin regarding product support.

    And certainly too given the really hefty prices now, as well as the sheer number of different models that each brand produces (well OK that Samsung produces), it is just creating too much wastage.

    Instead, we get Android or iOS updates that often do more harm than good and are rushed to devices, all while trying to keep up with the next big device, OS release, etc. And while Samsung is one of the best, offering four years of OS updates, maybe releasing new phones less frequently would help extend that further.

    See https://www.reviewgeek.com/145957/please-stop-making-new-smartphones-every-year/

    #technology #smartphones #ewaste

    • Please Stop Making New Smartphones Every Year

      Every year all the big players release new smartphones. Sure, they’re shiny and have big spec lists, but the $1,200 Galaxy S23 Ultra, expensive iPhone 14 Pro, and others aren’t the huge upgrade we want them to be. Maybe it’s time to stop releasing phones every year.

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      Using Your Real Email to Sign In? Your Privacy Is at Risk, but websites should stop using E-mail as a Login ID anyway

      GadgeteerZA · Wednesday, 22 February, 2023 - 20:46 · 1 minute

    Many people use their primary email to sign in to practically everything. That’s a privacy nightmare, and you might be shocked to see how easily someone can use it to effectively stalk you and violate your privacy, and also track you right across the Internet.

    Even with the new passkeys logins, it seems like we'll still have an ID to be identified by. There are still some sites (generally older ones) where you can choose any ID or username to have as a login. That makes it much more difficult for anyone to hack your credentials, as they must guess both the correct ID and matching password.

    I think the reason that e-mails became the default user ID is because website designers as well as users just got lazy. It's probably the same reason why so many people use the same password too across all their sites, and which is why passkeys are coming out as the only way to actually break that habit. We don't want to be tracked or hacked, but we don't want any extra effort either...

    The end of the linked article does give some suggestions though around using e-mail aliases. But a word of caution, be careful of using say just the Apple service as then you are tied into the Apple service. Either ways you may get tied into the alias service, so give that choice some thought (unless you are aiming for just disposal e-mail addresses, as then that is not a problem).

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/872828/using-your-real-email-to-sign-in-your-privacy-is-at-risk/

    #technology #privacy #logins #email

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