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Throughout our two weeks of testing, the vívofit 4 was so close to delivering accurate results but ultimately fell short more often than we’d like. To its credit, it does offer users a general idea of their performance levels, which is why most people will buy the vívofit 4. It’s an inexpensive fitness tracker that you basically never have to take off, and it keeps track of the basics. We just wish it tracked the basics a little better.
There are plenty of cheap fitness trackers on the market, but often the lower price tag means getting fewer features. That’s still the case with Garmin’s new vívofit 4, but this device aims to bridge the gap between lower end wearables and the other $100-plus devices out there.
The vívofit 3 was one of our favorite fitness trackers in 2023. Is the vívofit 4 a worthy successor? Let’s find out.
Sleep tracking ranges from mostly accurate to wildly inaccurate, depending on what you’re doing before you go to bed. There are times when the vívofit 4 recognized I was reading in the living room before bed, and did not record that I was sleeping. Other times I wasn’t so lucky. Watching Netflix before bed resulted in the vívofit 4 entering sleep mode, which means it looked like I slept 12 hours multiple nights in a row. Even worse, during the time that I was watching Netflix, the device recorded that I was in deep sleep mode — not even light sleep.
You can alter mis-recorded sleep and activity data right from the Garmin Connect app, but we wish the device would record the data correctly in the first place.
Garmin Connect records your sleep levels and movement throughout the night, as well as how much of your sleep was deep, light, and if you were awake. The app also offers weekly sleep trend graphs, though they’re not displayed in a very helpful fashion. We much prefer the line graphs Fitbit’s app offers.
Luckily you can alter mis-recorded sleep and activity data right from the Garmin Connect app, though we wish the device would record the data correctly in the first place.
Fitbit Ionic review
Despite having a screen (albeit a small one), the device has very few smart features. You can set alarms, but there’s still no way for the vívofit 4 to send you smartphone notifications. It’s not like we want to read full emails on that tiny screen, but at least some vibration alerts would be nice. It’d be extremely useful for the device to vibrate and show an email icon when a new email is received or display a phone icon when someone’s calling your phone. It’s a missed opportunity for a device with a display to not offer any type of smart notification, especially when most other wearables on the market offer these features.
Garmin, your app is finally good. Now focus on adding more third-party app support.
If you use any other applications like MyFitnessPal, Strava, or Office 365, you can easily sync your activity data from Garmin Connect. Unfortunately those are the only third-party apps that work with Connect, which is still far behind Fitbit’s extensive list.
The vívofit 4 is an inexpensive fitness tracker that you basically never have to take off, and it keeps track of the basics. We just wish it tracked the basics a little better.
Throughout our two weeks of testing, the vívofit 4 was so close to delivering accurate results but ultimately fell short more often than we’d like. It offers users a more general idea of their performance levels, which is why most people will buy the vívofit 4. It’s an inexpensive fitness tracker that you basically never have to take off, and it keeps track of the basics. We just wish it tracked the basics a little better.
You're reading Garmin Vívofit 4 Review: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Happy New Year to you all!
If 2023 was a year of huge change, then 2023 was more incremental, building on the foundations of 2023. I still tried lots of different things – different gigs, different projects, different tools – but I’ve found creating apps and solving data problems on the Google platform is my sweet spot of skills, experience and enjoyment.2023 highlights: On this site
Investing so much time and effort into this site really started to pay off over the course of 2023.
Over 2,500 of you have subscribed to my email list and enjoyed a free copy of my ebook: Spice Up Your Sheet Life.
Midway through the year, I passed 100k pageviews, then 150k pageviews and am now close to 200k.
These have been the most popular posts of 2023:
In addition, this post about Google’s new data visualization and dashboard tool, Data Studio, was the most “viral” post of 2023, getting a huge (for me) number of shares and views on the day I published it:
In addition to those posts mentioned above, I also really enjoyed creating this animated data visualization of Washington D.C.’s temperatures since the 1980’s, using Google’s Visualization API:Client highlights
Over the past year, I’ve specialized in providing G Suite and Apps Script services to clients, building dashboards, apps and tools to solve problems and save clients time. I’ve really enjoyed these projects and have worked with some great clients. I look forward to continuing into 2023 and focussing even further on custom Apps Script solutions.
In addition, I really enjoyed teaching two more data analytics courses for General Assembly in Washington, D.C.. The students were great in both groups and it’s a real privilege to teach them, and see such rapid progress in 10 weeks.
For private clients, I taught a number of data visualization workshops, focussing on Excel and Tableau, in Minnesota, Virginia and California.
I learnt a ton this year about running my own consulting business.
One of the biggest lessons was one client disappearing off the face of the earth when it came to settling their invoice. Despite repeated calls and emails, I’ve heard nothing. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it taught me a valuable lesson about trust, respect and how I price my services.
Want to work with me in 2023? Let me know and I’ll be in touch.Goals for 2023
January is an exciting time of the year: a chance to set ambitious goals and a strategy for getting there.
The one big goal for last year that I failed to complete was releasing my digital course on building dashboards with Google Sheets and Data Studio. However, I’ve not stopped working on it, and it’ll be even better when I do release it. I’ve now recorded enough material that I’m confident of a launch in Q1 of 2023. Sign up to my email list for news and an early-bird offer when it launches.
Specifically, my goals for 2023:
Launch my Google Sheets & Data Studio dashboard course
Launch Edition 2 of my free ebook: Spice Up Your Sheet Life, with more interesting tips and tricks for working with Google Sheets
Launch two other digital products
Make a huge push with Apps Script, to deepen my knowledge & experience, and create detailed articles for this site. One quick way to measure this is to see what my GitHub profile looks like by the year-end, hopefully something more like this:
Continue to create in-depth articles and tutorials for this site, aiming for 1 – 2 posts a week
Continue to provide great service and solutions for my clients, in the G Suite & Apps Script ecosystem
It’s going to take hard work, focus and dedication to achieve all of these goals, but it’s as easy as ABC*
*Always Be Coding
By this, I mean being productive and efficient, always moving forwards and minimizing distractions (beware the Shiny Object Syndrome!). It’s crucial as a freelancer to create efficient workflows and systems, and to stay organized.
Well, that should do it. I better get back to work 😉
Happy New Year and all the best for 2023!
Attackers have started distributing a new and improved version of the CryptoWall file-encrypting ransomware program over the past few days, security researchers warn.
The new version, dubbed CryptoWall 3.0, uses localization and passes traffic to a site where users can pay for their decryption keys through two anonymity networks—Tor and I2P (the Invisible Internet Project).
CryptoWall is a sophisticated ransomware program that encrypts the victims’ files with a strong cryptographic algorithm. Users are asked to pay the equivalent of $500 in bitcoin virtual currency in order to receive the decryption key that allows them to recover their files.
The ransomware program provides users with links to several sites that act as Tor gateways. These proxy servers are supposed to automatically connect the user’s browser to the CryptoWall decryptor service hosted on the Tor network. However, it seems that with CryptoWall 3.0, the user’s traffic is also passed through another anonymity network called I2P.From Tor to I2P
A malware researcher who uses the online alias Kafeine discovered this change after infecting his test system with a CryptoWall 3.0 sample. When he tried to visit one of the Tor gateway links as instructed by the malware he received an error in Russian that roughly translates to: “I2P website is unavailable. Perhaps it is disabled, the network is congested or your router is not well integrated with other nodes. You can repeat the operation.”
This suggests that the site where users can pay the ransom and get their decryption keys from is no longer hosted on Tor, but on I2P. The Tor gateway likely passes the user’s traffic to a Tor hidden service first, which then connects to the I2P network to retrieve the real website. The ransom note also instructs users to download the Tor browser and access a Tor hidden service directly if the Tor gateway URLs no longer work.
Like Tor, the I2P network allows users to run hidden services such as websites that are only accessible from within the network itself. With Tor such websites use the .onion pseudo-top-level domain, while with I2P they use .i2p.
A new version of Silk Road, an online marketplace for illegal goods and services, was recently launched on I2P. The site was previously hosted on Tor and was shut down two times by the FBI.
Cybercriminals started distributing CryptoWall 3.0 Monday, after around two months of inactivity that made researchers wonder whether the threat was gone.
Like its predecessors, the new version is being distributed through drive-by download attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in outdated browser plug-ins or through other malware already installed on computers, researchers from Microsoft said Tuesday in a blog post.
According to Kafeine, depending on the victim’s location, the malware might also display the ransom note and instructions in a different language. For example, on his test system he received the CryptoWall instructions in French.
Users should back up their files regularly to a storage device that is then disconnected from the computer and network to prevent the backups from also getting encrypted by a CryptoWall infection. In the absence of backups there is usually no option to recover the files aside from paying cybercriminals for the decryption key.
Ubisoft Connect is Ubisoft’s game distribution platform which is similar to Steam or Battle.net.
The client is used to purchasing and installing games, as well as interacting with friends.
This article has shown the most effective methods to move Ubisoft games to another drive or PC. You can do so by reinstalling the client.
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If you want to move Ubisoft games to another drive, this article is for you. Go through it for accurate instructions.
With Uplay or Ubisoft Connect, you can access your favorite games at any time and enjoy a relaxing gaming session on your Windows PC.
But sometimes, if you need additional space on your hard drive, you have to move your games to another drive. Or maybe you bought a new Windows 11 PC or a Windows 10 PC and want to move your games on it.
If you have an SSD, it’s a great idea to move the games there, as it will make them snappier, and the loading times will improve significantly.
But to get any performance gains, you’ll first have to move them. Keep reading to find out how you can easily move your games to another drive or PC.Where does Ubisoft Connect install Games?
By default, Ubisoft Connect will install games in the following location:
C:/Program Files (x86)/Ubisoft/Ubisoft Game Launcher/games/
However, you can change it from the settings and set it to a different folder. Some games are installed via Steam as well. In this case, you can find these games in the Steam game folder. It is usually: C:Program Files (x86)SteamsteamappscommonCan I move my Games from one drive to another?
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The browser has integrations with Twitch, Discord, and other messengers, plus a gaming newsfeed with a new releases calendar, tournaments info and other gaming events. Moreover, to keep your sight focused on gaming elements, Opera GX includes an easy to enable dark theme.
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How do you move game install in Ubisoft Connect?1. Manually move the game files
If you have multiple games, you’ll have to repeat the process for each one. This method works well if you want to move the Ubisoft game location to a different folder or to a different drive.2. Move Ubisoft Connect games to another PC by reinstalling the client
And that’s it. As you can see, it’s not that hard to move your games to a new drive/partition or even on a new Windows 10/11 PC. Just follow the mentioned steps carefully, and you’ll be done in no time.
Remember to always create backups of your files, just in case something goes wrong.
Still experiencing issues?
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For many fans and supporters of Open Source software, LibreOffice is the best alternative to Microsoft Office, and it has definitely seen huge improvements over the last few releases. However, the initial startup experience still leaves a lot to be desired. There are ways to improve launch time and overall performance of LibreOffice.
I will go over some practical steps that you can take to improve the load time and responsiveness of LibreOffice in the paragraphs below.1. Increase Memory Per Object and Image Cache
This will help the program load faster by allocating more memory resources to the image cache and objects.
1. Launch LibreOffice Writer (or Calc)
4. Also increase “Memory per object” to 20Mb.
Note: You can set the numbers higher or lower than the suggested values depending on how powerful your machine is. It is best to experiment and see which value gives you the optimum performance.2. Enable LibreOffice QuickStarter
If you have a generous amount of RAM on your machine, say 4GB and above, you can enable the “Systray Quickstarter” option to keep part of LibreOffice in memory for quicker response with opening new documents.
You will definitely see improved performance in opening new documents after enabling this option.
2. In the sidebar under “LibreOffice”, select “Memory.”
3. Tick the “Enable Systray Quickstarter” checkbox.
Once this option is enabled, you will see the LibreOffice icon in your system tray with options to open any type of document.3. Disable Java Runtime
Another easy way to speed up the launch time and responsiveness of LibreOffice is to disable Java.
1. Open the Options dialog using “Alt + F12.”
2. In the sidebar, select “LibreOffice,” then “Advanced.”
3. Uncheck the “Use Java runtime environment” option.
If all you use is Writer and Calc, disabling Java will not stop you from working with your files as normal. But to use LibreOffice Base and some other special features, you may need to re-enable it again. In that case, you will get a popup asking if you wish to turn it back on.4. Reduce Number of Undo Steps
By default, LibreOffice allows you to undo up to 100 changes to a document. Most users do not need anywhere near that, so holding that many steps in memory is largely a waste of resources.
I recommend that you reduce this number to 20 to free up memory for other things, but feel free to customise this part to suit your needs.
2. In the sidebar under “LibreOffice,” select “Memory.”
3. Under “Undo” and change the number of steps to your preferred value.
Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.
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This new exoplanet takes us one step closer to finding alien life
A further 18 Earth-sized exoplanets have been spotted, hidden in NASA Kepler data, at least one of which could well support life researchers say. New algorithms were applied to data gathered by the Kepler Space Telescope, unlocking fresh discoveries despite the spacecraft itself being retired in 2023.
Kepler’s mission was deceptively simple. Launched in early 2009, the orbiting space telescope was to look out at the Milky Way and potentially catch sight of so-called exoplanets similar in size to Earth. These planets outside of our Solar System could be the best candidates for supporting the development of life, particularly when they are in the so-called habitable zone in relation to their star.
Though operating for almost three times as long as the mission originally intended, by October 2023 the reaction control system that powered Kepler had run out of fuel. During its lifespan it had monitored the brightness of roughly 150,000 main sequence stars at a time, generating a huge quantity of data. Over the course of nine years and seven months, Kepler watched for exoplanet possibilities around more than half a million stars.
Actually identifying an exoplanet is more difficult than you might expect, though, especially considering the distances involved. The methodology behind the processing of Kepler’s data was to watch out for localized dimming. That’s the result of an exoplanet crossing in front of its star, and thus momentarily reducing the amount of light that the space telescope’s instrumentation would observe.
It’s refinement of the algorithms used to process that data set which has led to this new discovery. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the Georg August University of Göttingen, and the Sonneberg Observatory re-analyzed portions of Kepler data, putting into play a new and more sensitive method they had developed. This 18 new exoplanets, they suggest, could be the first of more than 100 candidates teased out of the existing data.
The refined algorithm takes into account the realities of light dimming when a planet moves in front of a star. Blunter methods look for sudden drops in brightness, but that ignores transitions in light depending on where in relation to the star the potential exoplanet is.
According to Dr René Heller, from MPS, “a stellar disk appears slightly darker at the edge than in the center. When a planet moves in front of a star, it therefore initially blocks less starlight than at the mid-time of the transit. The maximum dimming of the star occurs in the center of the transit just before the star becomes gradually brighter again.”
After applying the new algorithm to a cache of 517 star data from the second phase of Kepler’s mission, the researchers were able to identify typically smaller exoplanets missed by the first pass of processing. Of the eighteen, just one is in the habitable zone. Dubbed EPIC 201497682.03, it’s not only Earth-sized but is just the right distance from its red dwarf star to potentially lead to liquid water being found on the surface.
There are still plenty of “what-ifs” to be addressed, however a follow-up to Kepler is in the pipeline. The PLATO mission is due to launch in 2026, a European Space Agency project that will also go hunting for multi-planet systems around Sun-like stars. The researchers say that their new algorithms could not only be used to continue reassessing existing Kepler data, but turned to new PLATO findings as the hunt for possible alien life – or planets that one day could even support mankind – continues.
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