Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Technology (page 1 of 11)

Life After Navdy

Navdy was a brilliant piece of hardware. Unfortunately, the company has gone belly up, and now my Navdy is just a very expensive paper weight. Or is it?

Back in 2014, I pre-ordered a Navdy unit, an automotive head-up-display (HUD). We owned a Škoda Superb at the time1, and while it was a great car overall, it lacked a lot in the user interface and navigation department.

As with most cars, you had to take your eyes off the road to get any information about the car. The Navdy HUD solved this by projecting everything you needed to know in your line-of-sight. The brilliant device connected to the car via the OBD II port, and used that information to show about how the vehicle was doing. With Navdy, there was no need to move your attention from the road to know how fast you were driving, or how much fuel was in the tank.

Navdy also connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This opened up a wide range of features compared to what Škoda, and most other car manufacturers, provided at the time. Navdy provided turn-by-turn navigation using Google Maps, a smooth Spotify integration, phone notifications and more.

With support for both hand gestures and voice commands, operating Navdy was a breeze. Skipping to the next Spotify song was done by simply swiping your hand to the right.

Navdy was a genius piece of high quality hardware and software. Unfortunately, Navdy didn’t manage to bring in enough money to keep the company afloat, and in December 2017 it was bankrupt.

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Fairphone 3

The Fairphone is an ethical mobile phone that’s making a positive impact across the value chain in mining, design, manufacturing and life cycle.

I’d never heard of Fairphone until I accidentally stumbled across the company on the Fediverse. Initially, I thought they were a bunch of hippies with a grand plan on their merry way to certain failure. My experience with the likes of Navdy (bankrupt), SuperBook (vaporware), and the Jolla Tablet (cancelled) has made me a bit weary of new hardware projects.

But as it turns out, Fairphone is a well-established company that was funded back in 2013. And this isn’t their first phone, either. The company shipped just south of 200,000 units of their first two phones, and just recently revealed their third model, Fairphone 3.

The Fairphone 3 is made from recycled and fair materials, and has a modular and repairable design. But what does this actually mean?

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Gaming Rig Form Factor – Laptop or Desktop?

My gaming rig is 10 years old, and I’m in dire need of a replacement. But what is the best gaming rig form factor? Laptop or desktop?

Every time I buy a new computer, I have to learn everything about hardware and the state of various operating systems all over again. In a series of posts, I’ll got through some of the important things to consider when buying a gaming rig:

  1. Operating system: Windows or Linux?
  2. CPU: Intel or AMD?
  3. Graphics Card: Nvidia or AMD?
  4. Form factor: Laptop or desktop?
  5. Tinkering factor: Parts or pre-assembled?
  6. Sustainability: New or second-hand?
  7. Conclusion: So what’s the ultimate gaming rig setup, then!?

I’ve decided on this specific order of things because decisions taken on the top of the list might limit the available choices later.

This fourth post is about finding the right gaming rig form factor. Should I get a laptop or a desktop computer?

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Why Deepfake Technology Must Be Banned

On Friday, Samsung revealed that they are now able to create deepfake videos from a single photo. With that came another good reason why the technology must be banned.

Imagining seeing a politician in a viral video saying something absolutely outrageous. In today’s political landscape that shouldn’t be too hard. But in this case, it’s totally out of character for this particular opposition politician. What they are saying is incriminating, morally reprehensible, and an obvious political suicide. What the hell!? You can’t vote for this person now!

The problem with the viral video is that it isn’t real. Even though it looks authentic, it’s a fake video. It’s created by the current political leader’s campaign office, doctored to quickly spread false rumors about the opposition. And it works. They fall like a rock in the polls. Even if the video is later debunked as fake, the damage is irreversible. The video continues to spread like wildfire across the internet. It’s not only popular on niche political sites, but on main stream social media sites as well. And even if they know the video is fake, the main stream sites refuse to remove it.

If you think that this is a thing of a dystopian alternate future, I’m sorry to report that this is the present.

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WTF Happened To The Superbook?

The Superbook promised to be a technological masterpiece that would turn your smartphone into a laptop. But WTF happened to it?

The Superbook was revealed back in 2016. In a very successful Kickstarter campaign, creator Andromium Inc. showed a device that could turn your Android smartphone into a laptop for as low as $85. The idea was simple: Install Andromium’s custom launcher on your smartphone, connect it to the physical Superbook shell via USB and voila! Your phone is now a fully working laptop.

Despite renowned tech manufacturer ASUS’ repeated failed attempts to achieve the same1, people obviously have bad short-term memory. When the campaign ended on August 20, 2016, 16,732 backers had pledged $2,952,508 to Andromium Inc.

Then, in classic Kickstarter fashion, the waiting started.

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