Driving Performance Studies Complete

Pictures of the team at the Colmar-Berg Test Track in Luxembourg

Pictures of the team at the Colmar-Berg Test Track in Luxembourg

We recently completed our driving performance studies which form part of the IGEAR project and an MSc thesis being undertaken by Korok Sengupta. The studies focussed on comparing device interaction under simulated and real world conditions. With the real world conditions being the Colmar-Berg test track here in Luxembourg. We measured a number of aspects including car telemetry, BCI and device interactions. We hope to publish the results from the study over the coming months.

We are very grateful to Garage M Losch of Berledange for supplying the Skoda Yeti lead car for the duration of the studies and also the staff at the Colmar-Berg driver training track for letting us use their facilities. Also to our colleagues in VehicularLab for letting us use the Renault Twizzy.

The IGEAR project is funded by FNR, Luxembourg. 

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Teufel Raumfeld Connector 2 and Qobuz

Stream any audio to your Connector 2. This advice should also work with Spotify, Simfy and other services.

While the Connector 2 offers decent sound quality for the money many features are geo-locked, for example in Luxembourg nothing except TuneIn radio works, which is kind of annoying when you thought that you could get Spotify or even Simfy. Fortunately though you can get even better quality sound than either of these two services if you use  Jamcast and Qobuz. Jamcast lets you stream music files and any audio from your PC directly to DLNA devices, the one draw back is you must have your PC on and it’s not the easiest thing to set up. Also when you first see it you may think you can stream services such as Spotify from your Android tablet but sadly this is not the case.

What is Jamcast?

It is basically a server which runs your PC and handles streaming media to DLNA devices. It supports your music files as well as any audio that is currently playing on your PC via a “virtual sound card”. You can try out the free version for a while but it is limited while the paid version costs less than €12.

What is Qobuz?

Unlike many other services such as Spotify, Qobuz offers unlimited CD quality streaming for about €20 per month, which is about twice what rivals such as Spotify charge but they only offer lower quality MP3 streams. You can get an MP3 option but there is little point in that as it is the CD quality streaming which is the big plus, indeed on a reasonably decent hifi you really can tell the difference there are simply more aspects of the music present and I don’t have an expensive audio system! Qobuz also offers (for more cash, discounts for subscribers) the option to download music at CD and higher quality.

Is Jamcast easy to use with the connector 2?

I found it a bit tricky but not impossible, at first the two simply would not talk. Once it was working the sound quality was also poor but the this was overcome by setting the sound devices audio quality on the PC to DVD quality and not running the PC audio through the HDMI output anymore. One issue I have noticed also is that the Connector 2 appears twice in the device list.

If you can’t get the two working (even if they see each other) try the following tips below:

  1.  Uninstall the Jamcaster application, then logout of your PC and back in again.
  2. Reset and re-install the Connector 2, do this my re-initiating the setup and giving the device a new name. Follow the normal Teufel instructions.
  3. While the setup is going on re-install the Jamcaster server software.
  4. Once the Teufel Connector App has got to the setup for music sources, select Jamcaster as one of them. Then complete the set up procedure.
  5. Next on the Jamcaster server app select The Connector 2 device Name from “Play to:” menu in the Windows dock.
  6. Open up the  Windows audio mixer and you should see your range of outputs, one being “Jamcast”.
  7. Now open up Qobuz or indeed any other audio program and play the tune of your choice. Qobuz shows up in the Windows audio mixer. If it does not show up restart it.
  8. You need to check your volume is on for Qobuz and the Jamcaster mixer.
  9. Now check the Teufel Connector App on your mobile device if all is well it should show up as some content from “Jamcaster” being played.
  10. If you experience poor audio quality one tip I have read online suggests plugging in headphones (also make sure output audio devices are set to DVD quality).
  11. If you can see everything but it is still now working trying logging back out and in again. Also always check the Jamcast server is playing to the Connector 2. This setting can disappear sometimes.

This is not an ideal solution as it require sa PC to be running but it does have one advantage in that you can use any streaming provider. Jamcaster seems to send the audio in WAV format and with Qobuz this was at 1500Kbps which is CD quality.  The only issue is that you cannot select the music to play from your tablet or phone you must do it from the PC where the Jamcast server is installed. I will try to write a better guide soon but the tips above worked for me after many hours /days of frustration.

 

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Driving Performance Studies

We are currently looking for participants to take part in a driving study at the Colmar test track here in Luxembourg. The study takes place in the evening and you are required to drive  Renault Twizzy round the track while following another car. If you are interested please contact me using the form on this site. The studies are taking place until 29th July usually from around 5-8pm.

We would like to thank the SnT based VehicularLab for letting us use their Renault Twizzy and also Garage M. Losch of Bereldange in Luxembourg for supplying us with a Skoda Yeti.

 

 

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LOCALE Project Starts

The FNR funded LOCALE (local legacies) project has now started. The project looks at location-aware digital storytelling from the perspective of tools and techniques to support the connection of different stories. Among the key parts of the project are data mining of the stories from the perspective of sense of place. The project itself will involve older IT users in Luxembourg who wish to share their stories of Luxembourg since the end of World War 2. As part of this we will explore how to use such technologies to bridge the digital divide between users of different ages.

The project will run until 2017 and is in partnership with CRP-Gabriel Lippmann.

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Real World Review: Panda Cloud Antivirus Pro 3

If you are using a netbook the chances are that you are looking for a reasonably resource light virus scanner. On the face of it Panda Cloud offers this as it uses cloud technology to scan for viruses on your computer – which should reduce the burden on your computer. In essence it sends information about the files to Panda’s servers then either you get the all clear or an alert. That is the theory at least and until now I had been pretty happy with it. Until that was I actually downloaded a free PDF to Word conversion tool from download.com. There is no doubt that I probably clicked one too many agrees; the net result was that Panda totally failed to detect anything until it was too late. Too late in fact to even prevent the newly installed viruses/malwares from switching off Panda so as to allow themselves to install yet more rubbish on my netbook.  I would have thought that a scanner should detect when viruses actually arrive on your computer but Panda Cloud totally failed to do so, with the result that when I was briefly able to run a scan 235 warnings appeared on the computer. What’s more these viruses could not have been there before as I had regularly run scans and until then had never installed anything from a download site. Indeed as I have Linux on the same netbook I rarely used Windows. However, even before this I had some reservations about Panda Cloud since the update. Also I did another check with the EICAR test virus and when this is double compressed it also failed to detect it.  In the end I had to dump it and used a dedicated malware removal tool then installed Bitdefender instead, which I will now try for 30 days.

Advantages

  • Small footprint so in theory faster (old versions were slick and fast)
  • USB key scanning
  • Wifi hotspot monitor to see if others are doing nasty things on your connection
  • Very simple so you rarely struggle with settings
  • Firewall settings easy to use

Disadvantages

  • The new Windows 8 look and feel seems really slow on netbooks
  • Poor real-time protection especially during software downloads/installs
  • Very slow full scans
  • Firewall is apparently not that good
  • Uses community driven data to detect viruses but this means it is really “known” threats only and probably not good at predicting likely threats.
  • Not good at removing pre-existing problems
  • Failed to detect EICAR test virus under certain conditions

If you would like more information on the effectiveness of various virus scanners then check out the related articles link below.

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