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      3 reasons to ditch Nvidia for AMD in 2023

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 30 October - 19:54 · 1 minute

    Nvidia's GPUs are considered second to none in the enthusiast PC space, and there are plenty of convincing reasons to go with Team Green for your next build. XDA Developers highlighted a few of those reasons to consider an Nvidia GPU over an AMD one recently, going over things like DLSS and the raw performance of RTX GPUs. AMD graphics cards, however, have also come a long way, and they aren't trailing too far behind in 2023.

    In fact, there are some good reasons to consider them over Nvidia's options, and you certainly can't count them out of the race. If you are in the market to buy a new graphics card and are split between AMD and Nvidia, then here are a few reasons why you should consider an AMD GPU for your build.

    OK, admittedly two of the reasons are related, so this could be more of two good reasons. I did opt to go with an AMD Ryzen 7 for my last CPU I bought (my first non-Intel in decades), and I've been very happy with that choice. I only realised a month later, after I'd bought an Nvidia GPU, that I never really took a serious look at the AMD GPUs.

    I'm certainly going to do so next time I buy a GPU (I don't buy them with every PC upgrade I do). In my case, too, I'm using Linux, so I really don't get to use some of those additional extra Nvidia Windows-only features. I have way less to lose, actually.

    A GPU comparison for Linux users would be quite interesting to see, where it compares head-to-head on open source as well as OEM proprietary drivers.

    See https://www.xda-developers.com/reasons-ditch-nvidia-for-amd/

    #technology #GPU

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      Real-time text on Android and iOS is helpful for those with hearing or speech disabilities to converse in real time with text

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Sunday, 29 October - 08:52 · 1 minute

    While texting is great for asynchronous conversations, calls are still the way to go if you want real-time conversation.

    That's not an option for people who are hard of hearing or have speech difficulties. RTT or Real-time text solves this issue by allowing people to text in real-time. In this guide, Android Police explain the RTT feature, how to activate it on Android smartphones, and how to use it in different situations.

    One benefit of RTT over text messaging is that it allows you to connect to businesses, government agencies, and emergency services. To connect to emergency services using RTT, all you do is dial 911 (in the USA) in RTT mode.

    This feature makes emergency services accessible to people with hearing or speech disabilities and allows everyone to connect to emergency services without speaking. If you are in a situation where speaking out loud can be detrimental to your safety, use the RTT feature to connect to 911.

    To connect to government agencies or businesses, you can use the Relay service. People who are hard of hearing or have speech impediments can connect to the relay service by dialling 711 (probably also USA). An operator picks up their call and connects them to the desired service.

    See https://www.androidpolice.com/what-is-rtt-calling/

    #technology #disabilities #accessibility

    • What is RTT calling?

      Want to activate RTT calling on your Android? Our guide shows you how to turn on this accessibility feature and start real-time text conversations

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      The Best Hardware Security Keys of 2023

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Saturday, 28 October - 09:11 · 1 minute

    A hardware security key makes your online accounts even more secure. When you sign in, you'll have to plug in your key and press a button---or touch it to your phone. They work on websites like Google, Facebook, and many more.

    If you've been on the internet, then you've probably heard of two-factor authentication, usually abbreviated as 2FA. Typically, 2FA involves receiving a code you have to insert after you enter your password correctly. You can receive this code either through an SMS message, an email, or an authenticator app.

    These solutions can have problems though, especially since SMS messages can be intercepted through SIM-swapping attacks, emails can be broken into with social engineering, and authenticator apps lose their value if your phone is stolen or you forget it somewhere.

    This is where security keys come in. Using Multi-Factor Authentication, or MFA for short, means using more than just one authentication vector, so 2FA is part of MFA.

    Where physical security keys shine is that they don't have the issues stated above regarding interception or breaking in. Of course, they can be stolen, but some keys have biometrics in them or require another PIN, making it a true MFA key so that even if it's stolen, people can't hack into your accounts.

    The linked article goes into a bit more detail about what to look for in a hardware key, and it provides some comparisons of what the most popular keys offer. I did not even know about the open source option one.

    Because security is a bit more serious with the hardware key option, you can (hopefully) expect the service not to just issue a new password reset via e-mail if you lose your key. For this reason, it is vitally important you note down any backup codes for that key - preferably also written on a piece of paper and stored in a safe. I do this not only for me to regain access to any accounts, but also in case anything happens to me, that my family can access it in a usable form.

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/785677/best-hardware-security-keys/

    #technology #2FA #security

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      OpenFan – A DIY Open-Source PC Fan Controller for up to 10 Individually Controlled Fans

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Saturday, 28 October - 08:54

    This is quite a nice project, but is not an off the shelf solution. Most folks may get by quite well with the 4 or so fans that a PC can already control, but if you need this level of granular control for up to 10 fans, this project may be for you.

    It is also open-source hardware, and a lot of thought went into how it can easily connect inside the case. The video he published does explain it very well.

    I see the board has place for external temperature sensors to be added, which he does not seem to be using yet, and of course, the other big thing is the automation by 3rd party software to manage it.

    That all said, the project appears to have been published only about 4 days back, so there may be a lot more contributions that will still be made to this project.

    See https://sasakaranovic.com/projects/openfan-controller/

    #technology #fans #cooling #opensource

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      How To Protect SSH login with Fail2Ban: A Beginner’s Guide

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 26 October - 20:40

    If you have not set your Linux server/VPS (or workstation if you have the SSH service running) for public key authentication only (way quicker and more secure for later use), then this guide may be really useful. It is one of the easier-to-follow ones that I have seen.

    It will help put in place a really basic and essential protection that any Linux server should have. Fail2Ban is a vigilant sentry for your servers. It is one of the most effective shields against unauthorized access attempts, especially brute force.

    One of its most valuable things is it acts proactive. In other words, instead of waiting for an attack, Fail2Ban offers an approach by identifying and blocking potential threats in real time. The beauty of Fail2Ban lies in its simplicity and adaptability. Moreover, it is light on resources, so it doesn’t burden your server’s performance.

    For any of my servers, straight after changing the admin password, the Fail2Ban service is the immediate next step on my list to activate.

    See https://linuxiac.com/how-to-protect-ssh-with-fail2ban/

    #technology #hosting #security

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      WordPress.com owner buys all-in-one messaging app Texts.com for $50M

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 26 October - 20:06 · 2 minutes

    The app brings all your messaging apps together in a single dashboard, including iMessage, Slack, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, Messenger, LinkedIn, Signal, Discord and X, with plans for more in the future, a company blog post announced.

    Though other companies have tried to do something similar — like Beeper — Texts.com offers end-to-end encryption of your chats and other features users have always wanted, like the ability to schedule messages at a time that’s convenient for the recipient, not just for you. In addition, you can mark messages as unread even on services that don’t offer that feature, allowing you to remember to check that message again when you return, as well as get summaries of long group chats you’ve missed.

    It is certainly a similar approach to Beeper, but different. Beeper dropped their charge per month whilst this service is still $15 pm. The service has iMessage but only on macOS - whilst Beeper offers iMessage across all platforms. However, that is another difference in that Beeper does break the E2EE for iMessage, with that virtual Mac in the middle, which you have the password to.

    Beeper also includes full iMessage use on Windows, Linux, and Android phones, and also has Google Chat and Google Messages (SMS/RCS). The other services are the same minus IRC.

    Right now they support iMessage (only on macOS), SMS (with iMessage), WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, IRC (IRC is really interesting!), Slack and Discord DMs. Texts app runs on macOS, Windows and Linux. Texts for iOS is under development and Android is on the roadmap.

    I'm not sure how they're doing Signal and WhatsApp still with the E2EE intact. They mention an in-house Texts Platform SDK for the integration, but unless they are independently audited, or their code is open, we can only take their word for the full E2EE. Their privacy policy does state, however: "The App also preserves end-to-end encryption of your messages if supported by your Messaging Service". Maybe WhatsApp and Signal don't support this? I do think that Beeper was a lot more forthcoming about exactly how they manage each service. They also say your messages don't touch their servers - that implies everything is in the client app i.e. a 3rd party WhatsApp inside the Texts app. But it also means no iMessage at all then for Android or non-macOS platforms.

    Whilst we have no real approved global open messaging standard (no, not SMS as no encryption at all), and whilst the likes of Tim Cook insist on their own walled garden for iMessage (they could have just included Android iMessage apps) we're going to have lots of disconnected messaging services. So, it is still good to see more options like this appearing, as clearly users do want to integrate their messaging more. The fact is, the whole world is just not going to be on one messaging service.

    See https://techcrunch.com/2023/10/24/wordpress-com-owner-buys-all-in-one-messaging-app-texts-com-for-50m/

    #technology #interoperability #messaging

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      Do VPNs Hide Data Usage from ISPs or Cellular Carriers? Yes, but they're no Magic Bullet

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Thursday, 26 October - 14:10 · 2 minutes

    Too many people think just running a VPN will solve all privacy, security, malware, etc problems. A VPN only really does two or three things:

    • Gets you an IP address that is somewhere else and not associated with your ISP or carrier provided address.
    • It cuts out any snooping by your carrier or ISP, as well as any person-in-the-middle attacks, e.g. at a public Wi-Fi area.
    • Can bypass any traffic throttling an ISP may have for specific protocols, for example on torrent traffic, or a specific website such as Netflix. But this also means losing any potential data-free allocations, such as for some gov or educational websites.

    But it is probably important to note all the things it is not protecting you against:

    • Visiting suspect sites that maybe install a key logger or other malware - both ends of a VPN are open.
    • Clicking on links in e-mail that install malware, Trojans, etc that sniff your passwords or infect your device.
    • The information you provide to every website you visit. Your browser fingerprint still ties that browser to where you use it across different sites.
    • Most free/basic VPNs will also not unlock geographic blocks for many entertainment streaming services, nor may they be doing aggressive ad blocking.
    • They can be overall slower than not using a VPN as there is an overhead to encrypting all traffic.
    • You can't bypass your ISP or carrier's data cap restrictions as all traffic still counts as data usage.
    • It may not be usable from inside some organisations where VPN traffic is being blocked, and it can be a give away in some countries such as China or Russia where the use of VPNs may be banned.
    • Many VPN providers do not log activity, but a lot of the free ones may be recording and logging what you do (or inserting ads into your traffic).

    So, it really depends on why you'd want to use a VPN e.g. bypass geo-blocking for media streaming, bypass country censorship, be more secure on a public Wi-Fi network, etc. For example, for country censorship, Tor browser and Signal messenger have toggles you can activate which use special servers and can make the traffic look more like normal web traffic.

    So, whilst VPNs may help hide activity from your carrier and ISP, it is only one part of a privacy and security solution as you need to secure your device itself, as well as your browser and extensions, your DNS provider, and be careful of what information you provide to websites. Unique passwords and proper 2FA (not via mobile phone number) are also essential.

    Privacy and security are not really protecting you from your own government as they should already know who you are, where you work, what health conditions you have, how much you get paid, where you live, and much more. It is more about those who want to sell your behaviour analytics to advertisers and data brokers, and even worse, those who want the information for identity theft purposes.

    The human is still the weakest link in most cybersecurity threat chains, and it is not always about your personal finances, but often a way to leverage into an organisation which is way more attractive to threat actors.

    See https://www.howtogeek.com/do-vpns-hide-data-usage-from-isps-or-cellular-carriers/

    #technology #VPN #privacy

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      12 best casual games on Android in 2023 - Unwind with these creative casual games

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Monday, 23 October - 20:38

    Casual Android games are the perfect way to kick back after a long day at work. From atmospheric puzzle games like Monument Valley to creative sandboxes like Townscaper, these games offer relaxing and satisfying experiences. There's a considerable amount of variety, too, so you don't need to worry about playing the same game repeatedly.

    Sometimes you just want something to while away some time, without having to tax your brain or think too deeply about the game (a bit like why I play Snowrunner). I'd rather do this than doom-scroll through TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

    See https://www.androidpolice.com/best-casual-games-android/

    #technology #Android #gaming #relaxing

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      Exercise bike inspired by Ukraine war provides backup power during emergencies but why not anytime

      GadgeteerZA · news.movim.eu / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Friday, 20 October - 13:31

    The exercise bike, dubbed HR Bank, was designed to provide urban dwellers with a reliable source of clean energy, but, perhaps more importantly, also for those in need of power during emergencies like natural disasters or wars.

    “Our idea was that a person who bought an HR bank could not only use it as an external battery, charged from the sun or the grid, but in the absence of an external power source, could generate energy by pedalling,” said CEO Jonas Navickas.

    A lot of thought has gone into this design with it not only being portable, but also storing a very useful 2kWh of power. Pedalling is not its only source of energy as it can also charge from the grid, car batteries, solar or wind power.

    It is not only a clean source of power, but pedalling daily on it will help keep its owner fitter and healthier too.

    The downside probably is the price of around €3,000 but I suppose you have to factor in it is a very useful battery storage, an exercise bike, and an emergency generator all rolled into one (saving some space too).

    See https://thenextweb.com/news/exercise-bike-inspired-by-ukraine-war-provides-backup-power-during-emergencies

    #technology #emergencypower #batteries