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Danie van der Merwe
Gadget and Open Source Software fanatic!
Gadget and Open Source Software fanatic!


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Why you would want to follow my Collections instead of my Profile

Instead of receiving a stream of mixed news and information from my profile on G+, I am able to post to the specific Collections below. By following one or more of these Collections you will just receive focussed news and info on that Collection or topic in your stream. So for those interested in my Green Tech news that is all you will see from my posts, if you follow just that Collection. You can still follow my personal Profile where you will see the whole range of posts if you wish (one way to turn this down a bit is to put someone in one of your Circles, and then to change the "volume" setting for that Circle). I am also pushing all my public posts to Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn (and I do respond on those networks to comments posted there).

You can also see my short guide on how to follow Collections and cut down on unnecessary posts in your stream at

A full list of my G+ Collections can be found at

The specific topics that I am passionate about and have created Collections for are:

- Free and open source software (FOSS) at
- Open data standards / Security / Rights / Privacy / Open Government at
- Technology & Gadgets in general at
- Green Environment and related tech at
- Traditional Wet Shaving at
- Apple Mac OS X and iOS at
- Education related tech at
- Motorcycling rides and tours at
- Gaming tech news at
- Cape Town specific news at
- South African specific tech and news at
- LCHF & Health related tech and news at
- Traditional Wet Shaving
- Android mobile phones and tablets at
- Music at
- Steal locomotives at

I encourage lots of active debate (for or against the points made) but keep it respectful, and back up any counterpoints with some reference or facts. I'm seeing lots of nonsensical comments (random characters) and often just "Hi" or "Good Morning". I'm sorry but I'm going to start deleting these as they clutter the thread up and are not contributing to focussed discussions. People that make statements intended to be inflammatory or controversial (without backing them up) will be regarded as trolls. These comment threads are not for people to promote their own businesses or to have personal discussions - I want the comments to stay on topic, and personal messages can rather be sent directly to other G+ users. I want these posts to be informative and easy for everyone to follow.

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Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore - No fingers or Voice Required to Type

"The text on the screen is being generated not by his fingertips, but rather by the signals his brain is sending to his fingers. The armband is intercepting those signals, interpreting them correctly, and relaying the output to the computer, just as a keyboard would have. Whether or not Reardon’s digits actually drum the table is irrelevant — whether he has a hand is irrelevant — it’s a loop of his brain to machine. What’s more, Reardon and his colleagues have found that the machine can pick up more subtle signals—like the twitches of a finger—rather than mimicking actual typing."

I do find voice a bit slow and it really does not work while I'm listening to podcasts or there is other loud ambient noise. So this tech has tremendous potential but all that is proven so far is that it can actually work. As they say, who would use a mouse that works 90% of the time? It still needs some perfecting.

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Why diesel vehicles are such a health issue in Europe

What caught my eye here was not about the "potential deaths" from diesel cars in Europe, but the stats with regards to the far higher usage of diesel vehicles in Europe, and although CO2 emissions are way lower than petrol vehicles, the real-world NOx emissions are way higher.... multiply that by 100 million diesel vehicles in Europe and it is not a pretty picture. Just because there is no smoke, does not mean there is no fire....

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Make a 3D model of your face from a single photo with this AI tool

It actually works but you may want o try switching off the background image as well. Read more about it at or you can jump straight to the online demo and try it yourself at
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How one software engineer is using an app to fight hunger in Nigeria

Chowberry uses cloud-based software to provide retail merchants with data on any soon-to-expire food in stock. This allows food nearing the end of its shelf life to be discounted, acquired, and distributed by charities, orphanages, and non-profit organizations rather than simply tossed out.

"On one hand we help reduce food waste at the retail and consumption site, and other hand we facilitate the redistribution of those products that would have otherwise gone to waste to underserved communities and people who are facing food poverty."

By democratizing these resources, Ekponimo explained how Chowberry is able to empower low-income earners and households that are underserved. With the app's deep discounts users can spend as low as $50.00 to feed 50 people.

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Linux Foundation Head Calls 2017 ‘Year of the Linux Desktop’… While Running Apple’s macOS Himself

Then again I was personally witness to a group from Oracle giving us a presentation and using Microsoft Windows... when Oracle Linux is their own OS.

But still, if you want to be taken seriously then use what you are preaching about.

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South African renewable energy myths “peddled by former Eskom executives” dispelled

An engineering study has dispelled the myths “peddled by former Eskom executives” about the limits and costs of renewable energy capacity in South Africa.

The study was prepared for the South African Department of Energy and Eskom, and was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – under the department’s South African-German Energy Programme. It was conducted by engineering consultants Markus Pöller and Marko Obert, of Moeller & Poeller Engineering GmbH.

The study confirmed that the South African power system will be sufficiently flexible to handle large amounts of variable wind and solar PV generation. The study confirms that large penetration levels of wind and solar PV can be handled by the South African power system from an active power balancing point of view, at moderate additional costs.

More detail at
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An electric car for Africa - Because Africa is not for Sissies!

Africa is a tough place and it's requirements differ vastly from 1st world urbanised countries. Not only must the vehicle be tough but it must be easily and cheaply serviced.

An electric car to “serve the needs of the African population” was unveiled at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The Technical University of Munich designed the car, aimed at rural transportation. Called the aCar, it was designed for passenger and cargo transportation.

“The aCar is an offroad-capable vehicle that is affordable for people there and is capable of transporting heavy loads.”

The aCar is powered by 2 x 8kW motors and has an electric range of 80km. It has a battery capacity of 20kWh, a top speed of 60km/h, seating for 2 people, and can carry a load of 1 ton.

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The best AA battery in South Africa – MyBroadband Test

Of course, the "best" battery all depends on the type of usage you intend for the battery. Some usage scenarios, like for camera flashes, are short deep discharges which are completely different from a longer steady discharge. But be that as it may, this is still an interesting test conducted on AA batteries commonly available in South Africa.

See the results at
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How many South Africans are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

World Wide Worx has revealed the results of its latest research into South Africa’s social media landscape. Managing director Arthur Goldstuck said the number of people on Facebook in South Africa has grown to 16 million – with 14 million accessing the service from a mobile device.

“The data shows that mobile is driving social in South Africa, and particularly that mobile is driving Facebook,” said Goldstuck. He said we are heading toward a third of South Africa’s population being on Facebook.

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