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      Positive Carbon wants to make commercial kitchens sustainable, and claims a 50% reduction in waste

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 9 November, 2023 - 10:52 · 1 minute

    Positive Carbon uses both camera and LiDAR sensors. Perched on the ceiling above food bins, they autonomously track exactly what enters the bin.

    The sensors are connected to the customer’s purchasing software. As a result, the system can monitor what a business buys and connect that information to the waste.

    The data is then aggregated to generate targeted interventions. Purchasing plans can then be adjusted accordingly. That might mean buying less of a specific ingredient, preparing fewer portions of a specific dish, or simply putting less food on plates.

    The use of sensors is quite clever, along with the analysis, but in essence it is nothing that a micromanagement chef can't do. I suppose it makes the chef's job easier in that they can concentrate on making food, and rely on a constant analysis being done around waste. The AI side would help with predictive ordering.

    It's good use of technology and AI, as no human gets replaced, it just extends their functionality and efficiency.

    Yes, I can see it going further eventually too into domestic households as so much waste is also often not necessary. Certainly for recognising too what is recyclable waste versus garbage.

    See https://thenextweb.com/news/positive-ventures-sensors-fight-food-wastage

    #technology #waste #foodwaste

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      Withings Body Scan review: A smart scale that tracks cardio health, body comp and more

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 8 November, 2023 - 08:53 · 1 minute

    Withings Body Scan review: A smart scale that tracks cardio health, body comp and more

    Given all the ongoing issues that Google Fitbit Aria Scale users have been experiencing, I see many had moved to Withings scales. So, it was interesting to read this review as I'm considering a similar move in future.

    The review certainly shows some issues, some of which can be explained through reliability of algorithm reasons, but it does seem that Withings users have generally been happier than Google Fitbit users (many of whom can only now get readings for one person on their scales).

    When a scale reads done to 50g of accuracy though, it is true that you can't get too hung up about the change of measurements throughout the day, and you need to look at the trends over days whilst keeping the measurement conditions as constant as possible.

    Withings relies on sending a tiny electrical charge through the user’s body to measure arterial stiffness, too. It does this by tracking the time it takes for a wave that’s created in the blood as the heart beats to arrive at the foot — a measure called Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV). The app records and tracks a speed value for PWV, to monitor changes over time. It also provides a comparative rating for “Vascular Age” (vs the user’s age) — charting whether it falls in the normal, not normal or optimal range.

    Another flagship feature of Body Scan — one of two that’s been approved by medical device regulators in the US and Europe — is a 6-Lead Electrocardiogram (ECG) which can detect AFib (aka atrial fibrillation), a common cardiac rhythm disturbance that can cause stroke and heart failure.

    See the review at https://techcrunch.com/2023/11/07/withings-body-scan-smart-scale-review/

    #technology #health #Withings

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      Proton finally brings their VPN app for Linux up to par with the Windows version

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 7 November, 2023 - 18:00 · 1 minute

    The Proton VPN GUI app for Linux has not been popular, with many complaints of bugs and missing features, but Proton promises the new version is much improved.

    Their official app for Linux now natively supports all these advanced Proton VPN features, including:

    • NetShield Adblocker
    • Kill Switch
    • VPN Accelerator
    • Moderate NAT
    • Port forwarding
    • Auto-connect at startup
    • Pin servers to tray
    • OpenVPN DCO (which provides similar performance to WireGuard)

    The only snag is that they provide the binary installs for Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora only. This leaves out the Arch distros. There was an AUR package (and a Flatpak) available that wrapped the previous Proton VPN app into an AUR package that an Arch distro could install, but it has not yet been updated.

    I see that Proton says they can really only provide support for limited distros, but it probably also highlights the need for creators to support something more cross-platform like Flatpak or AppImage. Flatpak is probably more preferable as it has a package updater, versus AppImage relying on the app itself to do the updating.

    I hope the AUR package will be updated soon, but it is less than ideal having something like a VPN app being provided by a 3rd party.

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/proton-vpn-linux-app-update-2023/

    #technology #ProtonVPN #Linux

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    • 7 November, 2023 GadgeteerZA

      There is a new AUR package called proton-vpn-gtk-app - but myself and some others are getting build errors which probably have to be sorted out first

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      We need more USB-C cables with bandwidth and USB versions on them

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 6 November, 2023 - 15:03

    Elgato hasn’t just made an excellent teleprompter, it’s also made a great USB-C cable that ships with it. Professional audio engineer Matt “Spike” McWilliams spotted that Elgato’s latest USB-C cable has the bandwidth and USB type imprinted on the connector, and now I wish all manufacturers did this.

    Once you've collected a drawer (or two) full of different USB cables, it is really useful to know which ones are what type. Using inferior spec cables, means that even with an expensive charger, your device may only trickle charge instead of fast charge, may not transfer data, etc. It is not always very obvious what the issue is, but it often comes down to the incorrect USB-C cable.

    When it comes to USB-C cables, a cable is not just a cable.

    See https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/6/23948486/usb-c-cables-marking-speed-power-delivery-elgato

    #technology #USBC

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      My web based OpenWebRx receiver has been upgraded to the Plus version with aircraft location data etc

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Sunday, 5 November, 2023 - 21:16 · 1 minute

    I featured my OpenWebRx receiver about a year or two back, which allows you to use any desktop or mobile browser, to be able to listen to various radio transmissions that are received at my home in Cape Town.

    The previous version would allow you to tune into ham radio bulletins, repeaters, and simplex chats, including SSB on VHF and UHF, and even DMR repeaters. It also had decoding for APRS location beaconing for vehicles, weather stations, etc.

    By upgrading to the Plus version, my station is now also able to receive and decode the ADS-B locator beacons sent out by planes on 1.09 GHz. Not new to the Plus version, but I also added a profile for Cape Town International Airport's Tower and Approach frequencies.

    To view APRS or plane ADS-B beacons on a map, first open the correct profile (see red circle on attached image) and choose RTL-SDR Air ADS-B for the planes, or RTL-SDR 2m VHF Digital for the APRS beacons. Then, once they start to show data, click on the Map button at the far top right of the screen to view the map with those locations updated. In both cases, those profiles open on the correct frequencies ready to use.

    Be aware though that up to 15 users can use this service, but everyone controls the same view. So, if you are listening to the plane beacons, someone else may switch it to APRS beacons and everyone sees the APRS view. And of course, if tow or three people try to control it, it could become chaotic. I may have to think about limiting it to one person at a time if the experience is not a good one.

    You can click on the very top bar where it says ZS1OSS Cape Town, South, and the bar will expand to reveal more information.

    See https://openwebrx.gadgeteerza.co.za/

    #technology #hamradio #planespotting #capetown

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      Fnirsi FNB58 USB Fast Charge Tester Review

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Saturday, 4 November, 2023 - 18:03

    Recalling my recent post about USB sticks not delivering the stated storage sizes, this tester looks pretty interesting for testing USB fast chargers. There are supposedly similar issues around USB fast chargers that chronically overheat and are not up to spec.

    Most USB charger testers are just voltage and current measurers, but this device goes way beyond that. Not only does it test for the various USB-C charging modes, ripple and noise testing, eMarker detection, and lots more.

    The device claims the ability to monitor 4-28V, 0-7A, 0-120W and can integrate capacity/consumption. Resolution is claimed to be 10uV/uA/uW. It supports USB-A, micro-B and type-C connections.

    It also has PC and Android apps to obtain more advanced views.

    I see many people complaining they don't get full speed charges, or a device is not starting properly, and it is mostly due to the USB-C power output not being sufficient. With a device like this it is a lot easier to diagnose whether it is the charger or the cable at fault (an incorrect USB-C cable will negate advanced USB-C charging or power delivery).

    See https://goughlui.com/2023/04/29/review-tested-fnirsi-fnb58-usb-fast-charge-tester/

    #technology #USBchargers #testing

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      Bitwarden begins adding passkey support to its password manager

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 2 November, 2023 - 14:06

    Although Bitwarden now supports storing and logging in using passkeys from its browser extensions, it’s not currently possible to store passkeys in the company’s mobile app. According to Bitwarden’s FAQ, this feature is “planned for a future release.”

    Finally, it arrived for me today on Bitwarden. Seems to work seamlessly enough, as the extension pops up automatically when you choose to add a passkey on a website. For sites with multiple logins, it prompts you to select which one to use.

    The theory, for me at least, is that I can use these passkeys across all my OS's and devices (when mobile support is finally added). In the meantime, for mobile, the normal ID and password still work as before.

    See https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/2/23943173/bitwarden-passkey-support-released-browser-extension

    #technology #passkeys #Bitwarden

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      With Russia blocking 167 VPN services: How to make your VPN undetectable and bypass geo blocks

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 1 November, 2023 - 08:33 · 1 minute

    The head of the Russian department responsible for identifying threats to the "stability, security and integrity" of the internet, has revealed the extent of the Kremlin's VPN crackdown. Former FSO officer Sergei Khutortsev, a central figure in Russia's 'sovereign internet' project, confirmed that 167 VPN services are now blocked along with over 200 email services. Russia is also reported as stepping up measures against protocols such as OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard.

    But it is not just Russia, as there is also the Great Wall of China, and to a lesser extent many other governments practice similar blocking or interceptions. Even the supposedly "free" governments also practice some forms of censorship (e.g. Australia), so actually the issue of privacy and access to information does really affect everyone.

    The main article I've linked to below has some good guidance on how to overcome some common issues with VPNs being blocked. I realise it is still focused on China, but the suggestions would work as well anywhere else. I've also added a link to the EFF's article about the use of Snowflake, as that was primarily intended to hide VPN activity where VPNs may be blocked.

    Anyone thinking they may need such solutions in future, really should prepare today for such an event. It becomes far more difficult once the restrictions are already imposed.

    See https://privacy.net/undetectable-vpn-bypass-blocks/ and also about Snowflake at https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/10/snowflake-makes-it-easy-anyone-fight-censorship

    #technology #VPN #privacy #censorship

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      Comparison of some hardware devices used for Ham Radio Digital Modes

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 31 October, 2023 - 12:39

    As I'm often having to choose how to use what digital mode on different radios that I have, it has meant also trying to understand which device works with which radio, and what modes it will support (not to mention radio functionality).

    It has taken me a while to try to understand some of the differences, as there is no one device that just does everything. So this linked webpage is my attempt to clarify this for myself. I'd be happy to also get input from others so that I can improve or correct it.

    For anyone else trying to decide which device they should buy first (or do they even need one?), this webpage will hopefully help to quickly clarify things a bit.

    For now, I have just added details for the SignaLink USB, Mobilinkd TNC, and the DigiRig, as these were the options I'd been actively looking at.

    See https://gadgeteer.co.za/hamradio/hardware-devices-for-digital-ham-radio-modes/

    #technology #hamradio #amateurradio