Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for September 5th, 2017

Excellent new project book: Creative Projects with Raspberry Pi

Posted by kenmay on September - 5 - 2017

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized Linux computer that costs about $30 (some versions are only $10). Because they are cheap, tiny, and versatile, they are an excellent basis for lots of different projects. Creative Projects with Raspberry Pi (out today!) by Kirsten Kearney and Will Freeman is loaded with build instructions, resources, and pointers to a bunch of cool projects: coffee roasters, weather stations, mobile phones, handheld gaming consoles — 35 in all. The photos are big and clear, and the introduction at the beginning will get Raspberry newbies up to speed.

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Linux Kernel 4.13 Officially Released

Posted by kenmay on September - 5 - 2017

prisoninmate writes: As expected, the Linux 4.13 kernel series was made official this past weekend by none other than its creator, Linus Torvalds, which urges all Linux users to start migrating to this version as soon as possible. Work on Linux kernel 4.13 started in mid-July with the first Release Candidate (RC) milestone, which already gave us a glimpse of the new features coming to this major kernel branch. There are, of course, numerous improvements and support for new hardware through updated drivers and core components. Highlights of Linux kernel 4.13 include Intel’s Cannon Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs, support for non-blocking buffered I/O operations to improve asynchronous I/O support, support for “lifetime hints” in the block layers and the virtual filesystem, AppArmor enhancements, and better power management. There’s also AMD Raven Ridge support implemented in the AMDGPU graphics driver, which received numerous improvements, support for five-level page tables was added in the s390 architecture, and the structure randomization plugin was added as part of the build system. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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YouTube improves stream performance and simplifies live chats

Posted by kenmay on September - 5 - 2017

YouTube announced a handful of new features available now for its livestream function. The changes, including reduced latency and simpler chat moderation, are aimed at making YouTube Live a more functional and efficient feature for users. First up, streamers now have the option to enable ultra-low latency, which will bring down streaming video latency to just a couple of seconds. That will make functions like answering questions during a livestream easier and more timely. YouTube has also made moderating chats easier and more efficient. You can now pause a chat feed by pressing “alt/option” and then hover over messages to take them out or approve them. Streamers can also opt in to a feature that will hold possibly inappropriate messages for review. The system, which can learn users’ preferences with greater use, will keep identified messages from posting before users can decide whether to approve them, hide them or report them. YouTube is also introducing hidden users lists that can be shared between moderators and across both comments and live chat as well as the ability to stream directly to the main YouTube app with your iPhone or iPad from any app that supports Apple’s ReplayKit. All of the new features are launching today.

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800,000 low-income UK homes to benefit from free solar panels

Posted by kenmay on September - 5 - 2017

One of the biggest ever green energy schemes in the UK is set to provide clean energy for as many as 800, 000 low-income homes over the next five years, renewable energy provider Solarplicity has revealed. As part of a £160 million investment from Netherlands-based Maas Capital (part of the ABN AMRO Bank), the company will provide 100, 000 households with free solar panels over the next 18 months and hopes to reach its target within five years. The aim of the £1 billion project is to help individuals and families living in social housing by saving them an average of £240 a year. The harvested energy won’t be free, but offered at a significantly reduced rate. If it meets its potential, the scheme could save tenants up to £192 million in total. Already, 40 “social landlords” — including many local authorities — are on board, with the majority of them located in the North West. Over 290, 000 homes in towns like Oldham and Bradford will benefit from the project, followed by the North East and the Midlands. The deal is set to create over 1, 000 new jobs for people who will be tasked with installing and maintaining the panels. Solarplicity says that many of the positions will be offered to military veterans, who will be retrained for new maintenance careers. The companies involved will profit from the scheme by way of the government’s feed-in tariff , which pays households that generate their own electricity via renewable methods. Tenants will also contribute towards the cost, but they’ll also be given low-energy LED bulbs and smart meter in order to better manage their energy consumption. Via: HuffPo UK Source: Solarplicity

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Plex for Kodi is now free for everyone

Posted by kenmay on September - 5 - 2017

If you’re all about a customized media center then you’ll be familiar with Plex or Kodi , but getting the best of both services meant having a Plex Plus subscription . Until now, that is, as Plex has quietly made its Kodi add-on free to everyone. Now you can run both media centers simultaneously without losing any customizations, enjoying what Plex calls “settings nirvana”, without paying for the privilege. Some settings remain unavailable, though, such as audio fingerprinting, multiple users and parental controls, but these features are unlikely to be especially important to anyone who just wants an easier way to bring their content together. Interestingly, the add-on has been launched less than a week after it emerged Plex had taken legal action against unofficial versions, so this is the company recognizing demand and getting ahead of a potential issue down the line. A smart move with happy consequences for its users. Via: Windows Central Source: Plex

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