How to Control Your Raspberry Pi from Any Computer Using VNC

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At $35, the Raspberry Pi is a fantastic little computer, but when you add in the cost of a display, mouse, and keyboard, things get a little more expensive. Good thing you don’t really need them. With VNC, you can access your Pi from a laptop or desktop computer using the same mouse, keyboard, and display that you always do, no rewiring required.

Step One: Download VNC Viewer on Your Windows or Mac Computer

You have a lot of different options for VNC software, but we’ve found that VNC Viewer is the easiest to use that works well with the Raspberry Pi. From your PC or Mac (and iPhone or Android, for that matter), head to RealVNC’s VNC Viewer, click the Download button for your operating system, then download the free application.

Step Two: Start VNC Server Using SSH or Terminal



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VNC Server is included with the newest version of Raspbian, PIXEL, so all we need to do here is start up a server. If you’re using an older version of Raspbian or a different operating system altogether, this guide by the Raspberry Pi Foundation shows you how to download and install it.

We’re assuming that you want to set up VNC because you don’t have access to an extra display, mouse, and keyboard. So, the best way to do so is to use Secure Shell (SSH). SSH allows you to control your Raspberry Pi using the command line from any computer. You’ll need to do this to start the VNC Server for the first time.

  1. Power up your Raspberry Pi and plug it into your router with an ethernet cable.
  2. Download and install Adafruit’s Pi Finder for your operating system. When it’s done downloading, launch the app and click the “Find My Pi” button.
  3. Pi Finder will search for the Raspberry Pi on your network. Let it do its thing. Eventually, it’ll show your Raspberry Pi’s IP address. Make sure the user is set to pi and the password is set to raspberry (assuming you haven’t changed these from the default, that is, otherwise enter your own credentials), then click the Terminal button.
  4. This logs you into the Raspberry Pi’s command line, where you can start up the VNC Server that comes packed with your Pi. In the command line prompt, type in: vncserver and press Enter. This runs a command and starts the VNC server on the Raspberry Pi. At the end of the command you’ll see a note similar to the one in the image above that says, “New desktop is raspberrypi:1” followed by a number that includes the Pi’s IP address, like (192.168.0.19:1). Make a note of this number, you’ll need it to log into the VNC server from your PC.

Now that the VNC server is running, you can log into it from your other computer.

Step Three: Log Into VNC Server from Your PC



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Now it’s time to log into that VNC Server:

  1. From your PC or Mac, double-click the VNC Viewer application you downloaded in the first step.
  2. In the VNC Server box, type in the number you made a note of in the previous step, like 192.168.0.19:1, then click Connect.
  3. Enter pi for username and raspberry for password and click OK.

Within a few seconds, VNC Viewer should display your Raspberry Pi’s desktop environment. You can now control your Raspberry Pi just as if you were sitting right in front of it and using a keyboard, mouse, and monitor connected to the actual Pi.

Step Four: Set VNC to Start Automatically



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Unless you want to go through the process outlined in step two every time you want to use your Raspberry Pi, you’ll want to set the VNC Server to run automatically at boot. This is very easy to do:

  1. In the Raspberry Pi’s desktop environment, click the Terminal icon to open up your command line.
  2. Type in sudo raspi-config and press Enter.
  3. Use the arrow keys to scroll down to Advanced Options and press Enter.
  4. Scroll down to VNC Server and press Enter.
  5. Select Yes and press Enter.

That’s it, now the VNC Server should start automatically on boot. Once VNC is set up, you can use your Raspberry Pi just like a second computer no matter where it’s plugged in. VNC is incredibly useful when you only own a laptop and don’t want to buy a whole set of accessories just to use your $35 Raspberry Pi, or if you only need access to the user interface for brief moments for a project and don’t feel like going through the rigamarole of setting everything up all the time. 

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Why You Should Charge Interest If You Lend Money to Friends or Family

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A lot of people will agree that it’s a terrible idea to loan money to friends or family—it can lead to some ugly issues. However, if a loved one is in a bind and you’re thinking of doing it anyway, here’s the case for charging them interest.

It might feel wrong to charge interest, but as Business Insider explains, not charging them could get you in trouble with the IRS. For example, the IRS may charge you taxes for interest you could’ve collected on the loan. Business Insider explains:

The annual limit for tax-free gifts to individual family members is $14,000, so especially in situations where your loan is going to tip you beyond that point, the minimum interest you’ll want to charge is the IRS Applicable Federal Rate. Those rates currently amount to 0.68% for “short-term” loans of up to three years, 1.33% for “mid-term” loans from three to nine years, and 2.07% for “long-term” loans over nine years.

The IRS lists these rates on their website and they change frequently. In general, the IRS puts the burden on lenders, not borrowers, when it comes to personal loans. Before you fork over the cash, it pays to learn the rules. For more detail, head to the full post at the link below.

Yes, you should charge family members interest when you loan them money — here’s how much | Business Insider

Photo by schuldnerhilfe

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John Oliver explains how companies like Mary Kay are pyramid schemes

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You probably have that one friend who tries to sell you beauty and hygiene products from the comfort of their own home, and then tries to convince you to quit your job and become an entrepreneur and sell the products yourself.

John Oliver‘s advice? Watch out.

On last night’s Last Week Tonight, Oliver explained that companies like Herbalife Nutrition and Mary Kay work on a multilevel marketing basis – which means their business model is basically a barely-legal pyramid scheme.

In the last few minutes of the video, Jane the Virgin‘s Jaime Camil is welcomed to the show – watch the Spanish language version of the episode for even more Camil content. Read more…

More about Jane The Virgin, Jaime Camil, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, and Videos

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Survey: 84% of Americans around the world say ‘I’m With Her’

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Survey: 84% of Americans around the world say ‘I’m With Her’

Face painted with the U.S. flag, Brittany Boutilier, of Halifax, N.S., outside the still under construction Trump International Hotel and Tower, during demonstrations to encourage U.S. expats to register and vote, in Vancouver, B.C. in October.
Face painted with the U.S. flag, Brittany Boutilier, of Halifax, N.S., outside the still under construction Trump International Hotel and Tower, during demonstrations to encourage U.S. expats to register and vote, in Vancouver, B.C. in October.

Image: Darryl Dyck The Canadian Press via AP

One thing often forgotten in the run-up to a tense Election Day: There are an estimated 8 million non-military Americans living and working around the world. Their vote never gets included on FiveThirtyEight.com and other polling aggregators, because it’s incredibly hard to poll them.

But if a new survey of expats conducted by money transfer company TransferWise is any guide, expats are unusually engaged with this election. Some 95% of them plan on mailing their vote in — and nearly 85% of them are voting for Hillary Clinton. Less than 5% plan on voting for Donald Trump.

If that’s an accurate reflection of the expat population at large, it means Americans abroad could provide enough votes to tip close states such as Florida, Ohio and North Carolina in Clinton’s direction. (In the survey, Trump has his best chance with expats from Florida, nearly 15% of whom plan to vote for him.)  

That’s a big if, of course. TransferWise polled its customers, and some 508 opted in — a statistically significant number for a poll, but drawn from a pool of people who send money back to the U.S. Still, the company has verified the U.S. citizenship and foreign addresses of all respondents.

Outside the U.S., every poll of global sentiment has suggested that most countries would vote for Clinton in large numbers. Just last week respondents in one poll of 3,500 people in Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico and the UK went for Clinton by 60% to 40%. Only Russian voters preferred Trump, 48% to 15%. 

Some 55% of the new survey’s respondents said that living abroad had swayed their vote. 

In the 2012 election, a mere 15% of Americans living abroad actually mailed their votes in, a typically disengaged number. Nevertheless, mail-in ballots from expats have been credited with tipping tight Congressional elections before — such as the 2008 Minnesota Senate race that went to Democrat Al Franken by 312 votes. 

Another survey of 1,800 Americans living abroad, back in June, also saw engagement levels rising. An expat tax services company called Greenback teamed up with various expat support groups, and found 73% of respondents intended to vote in the 2016 election — up from 57% who said the same in 2015. 

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MyHeritage launches DNA testing service to help you uncover your family’s history

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The popular online genealogy service MyHeritage today announced the launch of its MyHeritage DNA service for helping its users uncover more about their family’s history and ethnicity. Users who take the test, which currently costs $79 (plus shipping), will get a detailed ethnicity report that will map their families’ ethnic and geographic origins and, if available, the report will also show potential DNA matches for finding relatives on the service as well.

As MyHeritage CEO and founder Gilad Japhet told me, he believes that DNA testing is the future of family history. The test itself, he said, is based on a simple cheek scrape test that shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Getting results takes a bit longer, though. The company’s U.S.-based lab takes about three to four weeks to return results to the users. At that point, the company will be able to give you a detailed breakdown of your family’s origins.

For now, the company’s reports include 25 ethnicities, but the plan is to quickly grow this number to more than 100 ethnicities (and as MyHeritage gathers more data, it will also update older DNA reports with this new and more detailed information). To seed its DNA database, MyHeritage is currently running what it calls the “Founder Population project.” As part of this, it has sent out 5,000 free DNA kits to existing members around the world.

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With its massive database of 2.1 billion profiles from 85 million registered users and 7 billion historical records, MyHeritage already has a lot of the data that will allow it to make this new DNA information even more valuable. Thanks to this mix of data, Japhet hopes that these tests will soon not just be able to tell you that you are heritage is part Greek and part Italian, but also what exact island in Greece your family may have lived on in the past. “Do you enjoy cold nights and snowy days and nobody understood why?,” Japhet said. “We found you have 15% Finnish roots — maybe that explains it! People always want to learn more about themselves and DNA is awesome for that.”

MyHeritage expects that its DNA study will be able to provide a higher resolution than its competitors’ tests (think Ancestry and 23andMe), but for users who have already taken a competing test, the company will allow them to import their data into MyHeritage’s database and get a free report.

As Japhet stressed, MyHeritage sees itself as a tech company. MyHeritage has raised a combined $49 million in venture capital so far and Japhet tells me that the company is currently seeing revenues in the range of $50 to $100 million per year. As Japhet told me, the company is able to offer its DNA kit at a lower price than its competitors because it expects to be able to convert so of these customers to paying MyHeritage users over time — and with a database of millions of existing users, it already has a massive number of potential customers for its DNA tests, too, so it won’t need to invest into a lot of marketing either.

“DNA is attractive to our current users who want to learn more about their family history,” he said. “But it’s also appealing to a whole new demographic: younger people who are curious about what they can learn from their DNA. It gives them effortless answers about their ethnicity and family history. We think it will attract new customers to family history in large numbers. The synergy between DNA and our existing business is substantial giving us upsell capabilities and an edge over many competitors.”

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