My body may be trapped in #lockdown but my mind remains as free as a bird!

Date Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:35:04 +0200

With books, Internet, ham radio, and video conferencing my mind knows no bounds (maybe also because I don't watch TV). We are way better off than two generations back when they had little information and were very reliant on physical presence and analogue communications.

I'm glad to see many challenging themselves now to actually start with things like learning to play the guitar (with YouTube instructors) and to see some jobs migrating comfortably to online presence (such as a psychologist I know).

Let us not forget though there are also many citizens stuck in small habitats where there many sharing that space and it is difficult to get out even to buy food. I really hope they can at least be given free mobile data not just to educational resources but even to download free books etc.

#technology #lockdown


Fox will broadcast NASCAR’s substitute sim racing ‘season’ on television - Bad news is they bought exclusive broadcast rights so no live-streaming to YouTube or TwitchTV!

Date Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 15:11:42 +0200

Fox and its sibling channel, FS1, are going to broadcast a “season” of virtual races that pit current, past, and the rising stars of NASCAR against each other on the sim racing platform iRacing. The races will air on Sundays at 1PM ET, pretty much the same time slot that NASCAR ran its real-world races before the novel coronavirus pandemic hit. They’ll also be available to watch in the Fox Sports app.

This is all happening because the world’s biggest motorsports series are on pause during the pandemic, and so pro drivers have taken to competing in sim racing games like iRacing, rFactor 2, and F1 2019. At the same time, various esports teams, sim racing broadcasters, and real-world crew members helped spin up a handful of special races last week with big NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar stars that drew hundreds of thousands of viewers who suddenly had no real-world racing to watch.

The downside of this new NASCAR Pro Invitational Series is that, since it’s been scooped up by Fox, it won’t be live-streamed on YouTube or Twitch. One of the reasons those first few post-pandemic sim races drew so much attention last week was because they were freely available, and because some of the drivers themselves hosted their own streams as well. There were no broadcast networks to tangle with over TV rights.

But don't despair there is still other open streaming racing that will happen.

See Fox will broadcast NASCAR’s substitute sim racing ‘season’ on television

#technology #esports #motorracing


Featuring current and former real-world NASCAR stars

How open source software is fighting COVID-19 including Hospital Impact Model for Epidemics and City of Tokyo's COVID-19 task force website

Date Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:47:30 +0200

Since the end of January, the community has contributed to thousands of open source repositories that mention coronavirus or COVID-19. These repositories consist of datasets, models, visualizations, web and mobile applications, and more, and the majority are written in JavaScript and Python.

This article just highlights another recent four sites at How open source software is fighting COVID-19

#technology #opensource #covid19


Work is hard right now. COVID-19 makes it a challenge to stay focused and motivated. But it was cathartic for me to do some research into how the open source community is responding to the global pandemic.

Why a government should rather collaborate around open source software vs just paying to use proprietary software

Date Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:15:32 +0200

There is value in collaboration. Open governments open not only their data through APIs but also collaborate with open source communities and share with other governments to the benefit of all citizens.

Watch the TED Talk at How Open-Source Software Can Change Our Lives | Brad Griffith | TEDxNewAlbany

#opensource #government #collaboration


Each of us defines success differently and makes decisions we think will move us in the right direction. Life events and exposure to different people and exp...

History shows us that the Spanish Flu was named because of the highest 'known' number of infections there, not where it originated from - this is why we don't name by countries, cultures or l

Date Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:49:01 +0200

World Health Organisation best practices for naming new human infectious diseases with the aim to minimize unnecessary negative
impact of disease names on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare, and avoid causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.

It lists specific categories that the name may not include. As we are now a global village with people of all races and cultures living in every country there is a real danger that some groups may be targeted within our own country, or even your own citizens be targeted in a foreign country.

It's about fighting a disease outbreak and not the person or country (who we've also seen incorrectly attributed to in the past). It's the civilised thing to do.

Fight the disease not the person.


Turn Your Regular TV into a Smart TV With KDE Plasma Bigscreen and a Raspberry Pi Computer

Date Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 22:39:33 +0200

Smart TVs are the new normal these days. Mostly based on Android, these smart TVs let you play YouTube, Netflix, Spotify and other streaming services. You can even use voice commands to control your smart TV.

One major problem with these so-called smart TVs are that they probably are spying on you. Your data is being collected with or without your knowledge.

This is the problem KDE’s Plasma Bigscreen project is aiming to solve.

I may well try this out as I already use Manjaro KDE on an Intel NUC computer through HDMI to my large screen TV.

See Turn Your Regular TV into a Smart TV With KDE Plasma Bigscreen - It's FOSS

#opensource #technology #Linux


KDE's upcoming Plasma Bigscreen project lets you use open source technologies to turn your regular TV into a smart one.

9 Classic Board Games You Can Play Online Via Mobile Apps

Date Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 22:20:49 +0200

An energetic round of Monopoly, Catan, or another classic board game is a great way to bond with friends and family. Crowding around a coffee table, on the other hand, isn’t a great way to practice social distancing. Luckily, many of the best board games have been adapted for smartphones and other devices, so you can still indulge in all the thrills of a family game night during isolation.

Games listed include Catan Universe, Boggle with Friends, Clue (Cluedo), Battleship, Monopoly, Scattergories, Risk: Global Domination, Scrabble Go, and The Game of Life.

See 9 Classic Board Games You Can Play Online

#technology #gaming


You can still play Monopoly, Catan, and many other classic board games while staying at least 6 feet away from your opponents.

New rules for all websites and ISPs during coronavirus outbreak

Date Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 21:50:50 +0200

The directions include a section which deals solely with the dissemination of information. The new rules include:

  • Broadcasting Licensees are required to receive and disseminate public information related to the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • All Licensees with access to radio frequency spectrum are required to make available their platforms for the streaming of public announcements to their subscribers.
  • Electronic Communications Services Licensees, OTTs and ISPs must remove fake news related to COVID-19 from their platforms immediately after it is identified as such.
  • All Internet sites operating within .zaDNA top level domain name must have a landing page with a visible link to
  • Licensees must provide zero-rated access to local educational content websites.
  • Audio visual services, especially the broadcasting services licensees, must increase their educational programmes to support awareness of COVID-19.
  • Licensees with access to high-demand spectrum must make available connectivity to 104 district virtual classroom platforms with minimum speeds of 10Mbps to support virtual teaching during the COVID-19 national disaster.

These regulations may catch many .za website owners off guard, as many domains do not have a website hosted on the domain.

See New rules for all websites and ISPs during coronavirus outbreak


Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has approved new requirements for South African ISPs and website owners as part of the government’s plan to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

NOW is the time activity trackers should all have had temperature and respiratory sensors in

Date Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 20:31:29 +0200

I always wondered what would get Fitbit to agitate its saturated market and with the advent of Covid-19 now was the time to have had masses of activity trackers everywhere measuring temperature differentials and respiration for early alerts of illness. I remember when I was hospitalised about 3 years back my Fitbit did show a rise in resting heart rate but I only saw that after I recovered.

If activity trackers were now to incorporate temperature, respiratory, and other sensors I reckon they are looking at massive sales.

I've just ordered an Oura Ring that I'm planning to use to monitor my various bio-hackable stats. More on that later in next week.

#technology #health #covid19


An open-source ventilator design by MIT researchers has been submitted for fast-track approval - automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks

Date Published: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 09:10:02 +0200

The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates.

The team recently launched a website unveiling the MIT Emergency Ventilator Project, or E-Vent, which states they’ve submitted the device to the Food and Drug Administration for rapid review under an “Emergency Use Authorization.” Last week, MIT Technology Review was informed the team intended to test the devices on pigs in recent days, though it’s unclear what the results were at this stage.

There are actually numerous different open source designs for ventilators being released and the challenge really is choosing which could be most suitable and what testing it has actually undergone. Only a few days back we saw another one being tested and applying for approval in Ireland.

See An open-source ventilator design has been submitted for fast-track approval

#technology #opensource #covid19


The MIT team hopes the device could help save COVID-19 patients, as the escalating pandemic strains supplies of the machines.

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