Lineage OS and the importance of free software

Almost all of us carry phones with us, often smart phones that contain a lot of sensitive data. It can be very difficult to keep that data secure because phones often give up a lot of our information without our knowledge or, sometimes, consent. Your phone can be sending data every two seconds. So what can you do about it?

Lineage OS

PIC1Several years ago, I was struggling with an old phone and, as a way to prolong its life, installed CyanogenMod. That was an alternative operating system to Android which solved some of my performance issues, although it did cause some of its own issues. But it introduced me to the world of custom ROMs and all of my current devices are running the successor project, Lineage OS. Since I just recently re-installed Lineage OS on my phone, I thought I should briefly talk about it. Continue reading

Mobile phones and the future of medicine

Samsung Galaxy Note (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

When I attended the first UCT Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Research Day, last year, one of the talks concerned using cell phones to empower community healthcare workers. As I recall, this was primarily focussed on rural health-care, where funds and equipment are especially tight. Cellphones, however, are quite common. More than 75% of South Africans use cellphones, making them more popular than radio, television or computers. Some side-effects of this have been a photo series of disguised towers and Mxit, a local chat application, going international. All these phones also have the potential to help improve medical care. Continue reading