Raspberry Pi changed the world for everyone that loves to do all things homebrew. The Raspberry Pi made so simple to come up with all kinds of DYI projects. That said everyone knows that these little darlings don’t have the power needed to handle any real intensive tasks. ASUS hopes to change that. They are hoping that their new Tinker Board can do better. There was not much fan fare or press as the company quietly released its own board. The Tinker Board is almost the same size as the Pi but packs in a quad-core Rockchip processor that has the power needed to play 4K video and 24-bit audio. The goodness does not stop there. The board also has twice as much RAM as the Pi. It has 2GB of RAM, a gigabit Ethernet and the latest generation of SDIO for add-on boards.
ASUS won’t have as much help getting started since Raspberry Pi has such a following of loyal DYI fans behind it. The Tinker Board is also more expensive so that is not going to help out. The hardware is not that much more expensive but nevertheless $68 is more than the $30 you can get a Pi. The Tinker Board runs on a variant of Debian Linux which means that it supports Kodi right out of the box. It will be interesting to see will ASUS be able to overcome the Pi’s years of developer support.
The Tinker Board features a fast on-board processor to increase its operational speed.
I’ve moved many times in my life, but none of those experiences could hold a candle to how stressful it is to buy a house. This isn’t my first time buying, so why is this time more stressful? Because I’m selling too. Isn’t house hunting supposed to be fun? I often watch real estate shows on TV, and it seems much easier than I’m experiencing. Don’t get me wrong, my real estate agent is awesome. But the market isn’t quite as awesome. Right now, the winners are the sellers. So on one hand, I’m in a good position. But on the other hand, I’m also looking to buy, and for us buyers, the market is drab. There are more people looking for houses, than available stock. If my budget was unlimited, or even considerably higher, I might be singing a different tune.
This is not to say that I can’t find a decent house in my price range, but the issue is that the houses are flying off the market faster than you can say “House Hunter”. So where does that leave me? In a bit of a holding pattern at the moment. I can’t go and look for houses, until mine is conditionally sold. But I can’t wait too long to start looking, or I’ll be in a situation where I potentially could be homeless.
I went and looked at a house on the weekend, and I fell in love with it. … Read the rest
This is what is inside the 12 million Declassified CIA files now Available Online
There are so many interesting things about the CIA that were put online for the whole world to read about. The nearly 12 million declassified CIA pages files covers a wide range of information from Nazi war crimes, telepathy (“Project Stargate”), the Cuban Missile Crisis to even UFO sightings. Bill Clinton first ordered all documents at least 25 years old with “historical value” to be declassified in 1995. To say it took a while would be an understatement. However this is the CIA we are talking about. Central Intelligence Agency. The files had to probably go through some “washing” to make sure it was safe to release to public online. You use to have to come visit the US National Archives in Washington DC to take a look at the files. In 2000 the CIA did release an electronic database called CREST (the CIA Records Search Tool) in 2000, but still had to visit the archives to read each document. A nonprofit journalism organization called MuckRock filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in 2014 requesting the CIA to put the files online. The agency said it would take up to six years to accomplish this goal due to the amount of files that had to be scan. However, they agreed to post the entire database online last year. It didn’t take six years to happen either.
CIA Director of Information Management Joseph Lambert said the agency did one last check through the collection before releasing it, and did not reclassify any more documents.
I personally find voice controlled systems to be extremely frustrating, but for some it can mean freedom. Ok, maybe not freedom, but at least the ability to participate. The last article I wrote was about how assistive technology can enhance the lives of people with disabilities, and this one will be similar. I geek out over the fact that technology can have such an impact on someone’s life. Technology enhances all of our lives. I am swimming in it right now. I’m typing this on a laptop as I lay in my bed and stream a television show. I’m also iMessaging friends and tracking my calories and activity through my Apple watch. I don’t know where I would be without technology, but for some its more important.
Adobe is in the process of demonstrating a voice-controlled option for photo editing. So I mentioned earlier that I find voice controlled systems to be frustrating, but did I mention my struggle with Photoshop? Let me preface this with, I love Photoshop, but I find it to be very cumbersome and time consuming. I’m not what you would call a “creative”, in my opinion, so that might be where my frustrations come into it. I love being able to take a photo and enhance it. I’ve done this with some extremely old family photos. You know the kind – the black and white pictures where everyone has a scowl on their face. Cleaning them up to make them look “new” is a passion project of mine. … Read the rest
What Will the World Look Like With Self Driving Cars?
This is one of my favorite lines from the movie Back to the Future. Especially when you think about that movie in its futuristic context. We are just over a year past the day when Marty arrived in 2015. We don’t have flying cars, yet, but we are well on our way to driver-less cars. No, this post isn’t going to be another review of 2015 from the Back to the Future perspective, but it is going to be an homage to Doc Brown. Today’s world is rapidly changing. Technology is giving us things that only Doc Brown could imagine. Back to the Future had us flying cars in the year 2015. While that didn’t come to fruition, we started to see the emergence of driver-less cars.
Technology that lets a car drive by itself without a human physically navigating the car. This concept is a bit mind-blowing if you think about it. What makes the car run? How does it know where to stop? Will this prevent car accidents? How will this change infrastructure? Too many questions – I know. But I think there are more questions than answers when it comes to self driving cars. At least at this stage of the game. In late 2016, the Province of Ontario set out to begin testing driver less cars. This pilot project will allow the folks in the automotive industry to fine tune the technology that makes this a reality. … Read the rest
Google Impact Challenge: Technology to Help People with Disabilities.
In the United States, people with disabilities represent about 20% of the population. In Canada, our rate is slightly lower coming in around 14%. When it comes to technology, people with disabilities are often overlooked or not even considered. As able-bodied people, we take for granted the ability to pick up our phone and quickly use an app. Or find a way to get around a city. But Google is changing all of that through the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. The aim of the program is to fund solutions that would increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities. This amazing initiative kicked off by asking the question “what if”? Asking participants to pose questions around ways to improve technology for people with disabilities.
One participant asked the question, “what if blind people could read movies using Braille?”. Another asked “what if captioning was the norm and not an after thought in higher education?”. And “what if mobile phones could read and translate sign language?” Asking these questions help developers understand what challenges people with disabilities face. As able-bodied people we take these types of activities for granted. We don’t need assistance watching TV, or going to see a movie. We don’t need a translation service to be able to talk to friends and family. That’s why Google’s initiative is so important. It helps to level the playing field. Giving people with disabilities equal opportunity to be able to enjoy their daily lives.… Read the rest
Canadians Watch More TV than Americans – True or False?
I read an article recently that indicated Canadians stream more content online than Americans do. At first, this startled me a bit, and then I realized why. Canadian’s can’t access the same content that American’s can. The CRTC regulates all content related to TV and radio. I have mentioned them in a previous post, so I won’t get into it too much, however, I will say that they set the rules.
In Canada, 50% of the content aired in prime time must be Canadian. What exactly does that mean? There are many factors that go into this determination, so I won’t get into it too much. However, content needs to originate in Canada in some way. While there are some really good shows out there that originate in Canada, a lot of what I like to watch doesn’t. The only way to access this non-Canadian content is online. I believe this is one reason why Canadians stream more content online.
Canadian cable companies are seeing an increase in cutting the cord, or cord shaving, as was described recently. They know people are leaving, and they’re trying to bring them back through their own online streaming options. And this is a good way to compete, but originally you needed to purchase a subscription from that provider. This seems to have changed to allow for greater competition. There are still many shows that Canadian’s can’t access through these traditional means. Which means, they’re willing to find their way into a grey area in order to access content. … Read the rest