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Vivaldi and Razer decide to hook together web site and keyboard colours

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Who asked for this feature?

In case anyone ever wanted to allow random web sites to control the colour of their peripherals, browser maker Vivaldi has now made this possible.

The browser maker’s latest update, version 2.5, uses Razer’s Chroma software to match the dominant colours of the site being browsed with the lights underneath the keys on Razer hardware, which it said was a “thrilling and immersive” experience.

“It sounds wild, but trust us – it’s fun. And adds another dimension to your browsing altogether,” Vivaldi claimed.

The colour-changing gimmick works across Razer’s keyboard, mice, and mouse mats, and follows on from the browser maker teaming up with Philips in 2016 to control the colour of Hue lights.

Users who wish to use the Razer Chrome integration should head to the Themes part of the browser’s settings.

Must read: Why is my keyboard connected to the cloud?

At the start of the year, Razer teamed up with Amazon to allow Alexa to control peripheral settings.

In December 2018, Razer faced blowback when it launched a cryptocurrency mining application called Cortex, where users would be rewarded with its Silver funny money.

Enter Tavis Ormandy, security research for Google Project Zero and scourge of buggy software makers, who took a look at software, and was stunned.

“Holy moly, I just installed this. WHY IS CEF (chromium embedded) REMOTE DEBUGGING ENABLED AND LISTENING BY DEFAULT (!?!?!?!),” Ormandy tweeted at the time.

“I don’t have any razer hardware to test, but they probably (like, *right now*) need to fix that.”

Razer fixed the remote command execution issue within 24 hours.

Related Coverage

Vivaldi 1.14, First Take: A feature-rich, touch-friendly web browser

Since its launch in 2016, Vivaldi has developed into a functional and configurable browser that’s well suited to use on a touch-screen device.

How to create a custom search engine in Vivaldi (TechRepublic)

Searching your favorite website just got easier with Vivaldi, where you can create a custom search engine specifically for a site.

Vivaldi vs. Firefox: A user’s perspective (TechRepublic)

What does Vivaldi need to usurp Firefox as the default browser for one particular user? Find out below.

Vivaldi’s email client, sync: How its browser team is working on key new features

Jon von Tetzchner’s Vivaldi project is aimed at delivering an advanced browser, but its innovation process isn’t just about big new features.

This browser controls your lights, makes your room the colour of the internet

Prepare for a world where you get notified about a new email… by your lightbulbs.



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Cars

How To Easily Find Electric Car Charging Points Near You

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Electric cars are the future of the automobile industry, with virtually every manufacturer already building electric vehicles (EVs). Many manufacturers have even gone a step further, committing to an all-EV lineup in the near future.

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Despite how quickly the industry is pivoting to EVs, range anxiety is still the biggest issue slowing down faster adoption. For example, one study showed that 1 in 5 California plug-in EV owners end up going back to gasoline-powered vehicles over range anxiety and the difficulty involved in quickly charging an EV.

If you’re a current EV owner or considering becoming one, knowing how to easily find all available EV charging points near you is an important step in easing range anxiety and enjoying your EV. Fortunately, there’s a couple of easy ways to do it.

Use Google Maps In Your Vehicle

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One of the easiest ways to find nearby EV charging stations is by using Google Maps.

Google’s in-vehicle version of Google Maps offers a number of features designed to reduce range anxiety. For longer trips, the software can help plan your route according to available charging stations, and even make recommendations on when and where you should stop for a charge.

“Now when you enter a destination that requires two or more recharge stops, algorithms in Maps will search and filter through tens to thousands of public charging stations to find the most efficient route — all in less than 10 seconds,” writes Alex Donaldson, Product Manager, Google Maps. “You can see how long each charge will take and your updated total trip time, so your final ETA will never again be a mystery.”

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the list of EVs with Google’s software built-in is still relatively short but includes the Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge.

Use Google Maps On Your Phone

Google Maps on Android phone

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If you don’t own one of the vehicles that have Google’s mapping software built-in, you can still use Maps on your phone to access many of the same features.

Beginning in 2019, Google started adding EV charging information into Maps, and users can now find charging locations, as well as important information about each location. For example, you can find out what kind of charging ports are supported, what charging speeds are offered, and how many stations are currently available.

“Simply search for ‘ev charging stations’ to see up to date information from networks like Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect and soon, Chargepoint,” writes Donaldson. “You’ll then see how many ports are currently available, along with other helpful details, like the business where the station is located, port types and charging speeds. You’ll also see information about the station from other drivers, including photos, ratings, reviews and questions.”

Use Apple Maps

Apple Maps on an iPhone

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Similarly, Apple Maps provides an easy way to find nearby charging stations. Beginning with iOS 14, Apple added the ability to plan your route according to your vehicle and compatible charging locations.

“Electric vehicle routing adds charging stops along a planned route based on current vehicle charge and charger types,” notes Apple in the iOS 14 press release.

Thanks to Google and Apple, overcoming range anxiety has never been easier. All the information you need to plan your trip or go about your day’s activity is right at your fingertips.

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2022 Ford Ranger Splash Limited Edition returns with nature-themed color variants

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American legacy automaker Ford started rolling out the Splash Package and Splash Limited Edition for its Ford Ranger midsize pickup truck last year. Both offer a “splash” of unique, one-time-only color themes and bespoke equipment, and Ford promises to drop new Splash themes every few months.

Images: Ford Motor Co.
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Apple CarPlay on a Tesla made possible with this hack

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Tesla might be most controversial for its misunderstood and misused self-driving features, but for a certain number of car owners, its biggest is simpler. Tesla still refuses to play ball with Apple and add support for CarPlay or even Apple Music, no matter how loud its customers clamor for it. It doesn’t seem that things will be changing soon, so a developer tried to take matters into his own hands with relative success.

Image: Tesla

Pi Power

Although initially intended to be more of an educational tool, the Raspberry Pi has become the darling of makers, hackers, and developers who need an affordable yet almost complete computer that’s the size of a credit card (but way, way thicker). It can run a variety of operating systems, including even Windows, and with some add-ons, it can do almost everything that a regular PC can and more.

Image Credit: Michał Gapiński/Twitter

That’s what Polish developer Michał Gapiński did when he set out to solve one of the biggest pain points about Tesla: its lack of support for Apple CarPlay or Music.

Image Credit: Michał Gapiński/Twitter

He installed an Android-based ROM on the single-board computer (SBC) and turned it into a Wi-Fi access point. Connecting the Tesla’s browser to the Raspberry Pi gives access to CarPlay and all its features, making it look like Apple’s in-vehicle infotainment system is actually running on Tesla’s dash. It even works with steering wheel controls

Tesla and Apple

For reasons still unknown, Tesla refuses to support even Apple Music on its cars. Both companies want full control of the software running inside vehicles, so it’s not surprising that their ideologies clash. That said, almost all carmakers today support Apple CarPlay or even just streaming from Apple Music, leaving Tesla as the odd one out.

Image Credit: Michał Gapiński/Twitter

Gapiński’s workaround is hardly ideal, but the lack of any official solution leaves people with very few options. The developer is working on refining the system, but it will always be a hack in many other ways. Gapiński promises to make it available to the public once it reaches a more decent state.

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