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OpenMoko: 10 Years After (Mickey’s Story)

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
Gadgets

For the 10th anniversary since the legendary OpenMoko announcement at the „Open Source in Mobile“ (7th of November 2006 in Amsterdam), I’ve been meaning to write an anthology or – as Paul Fertser suggested on #openmoko-cdevel – an obituary. I’ve been thinking about objectively describing the motivation, the momentum, how it all began and – sadly – ended. I did even plan to include interviews with Sean, Harald, Werner, and some of the other veterans. But as with oh so many projects of (too) wide scope this would probably never be completed.

As November 2016 passed without any progress, I decided to do something different instead. Something way more limited in scope, but something I can actually finish. My subjective view of the project, my participation, and what I think is left behind: My story, as OpenMoko employee #2. On top of that you will see a bunch of previously unreleased photos (bear with me, I’m not a good photographer and the camera sucked as well).

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Financial news: Jolla reaches 70M USD of funding

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Surviving against the big players in the mobile industry is a lot about funding, at least until a start-up gets all their sails up. Jolla, a Finnish company developing Sailfish OS mobile operating system, has struggled for six years against the real big players like Google's Android and that hasn't always been easy. One of the former Nokia directors told them in the beginning that they will need at least 100M USD to break into the business they aim at. Reaching the end of 5th financing round, Jolla has now received 70% of that, but they are still far away of their goal.

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Jolla to Begin Testing Sailfish OS on the Sony Xperia X this Month

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

During Mobile World Congress 2017, Jolla announced a new collaboration with the Sony Open Devices program to bring Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia smartphones. Now, the company has just released a new post to inform us that Sailfish OS would be available for the first Xperia devices starting in this month.

The first Sony device to officially support Sailfish OS will be the Sony Xperia X. Initially, only a small number of users will get Sailfish OS 2.1.2. Jolla plans to use its Cbeta, a small community development group, for alpha and beta testing. The team consists of developers, translators, and attendees of various community events. The first few members of the Cbeta group are expected to get resources from Jolla sometime this month.

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Ubuntu Phone security updates end in June, app store closing

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

When Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical (the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution), announced his company would not only be abandoning their custom desktop environment (Unity), but also halting development on their phone/tablet operating system, many questions were left unanswered.

One of those questions: What happens to the existing phones and tablets running Ubuntu Touch that have already been sold?

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UBports Recommends Buying Fairphone 2, OnePlus One or Nexus 5 as Ubuntu Phones

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Continuing our coverage on the UBports' Unity 8 and Ubuntu Touch plans, we've got word from Marius Quabeck, who's now the new community manager for UBports, about some of the aspects that remained unclear since the last Q&A.

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Next Tizen powered smartphone Samsung Z4 makes appearance at FCC

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Gadgets

Samsung’s next Tizen Smartphone, the Samsung Z4 SM-Z400F, has made its appearance at the FCC. Looking through the details of the filing we can see that there will be dual-SIM variant of the device with model number SM-Z400DS. The Samsung Z4 will now be the fourth smartphone powered by Tizen that the Korean tech giant will release. Previous models were the Samsung Z1, Z2 and Z3.

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Also: Smartphone App: Astroscope: a new horoscope app added to Tizen Store

Devices/Mobile

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets
  • AsteroidOS is an Open Source OS for Smartwatches

    Florent Revest is a French computer science student who has been working on an open source operating system for smartwatches for the last two years. Yesterday, he officially launched version 1 of the alpha for AsteroidOS.

    The goal for the platform was to create something that gave smartwatch owners more control over their privacy, as well as the hardware they purchased.

    Florent feels that the current proprietary platforms do not guarantee this, and this was the basis for AsteroidOS. He wanted his open source smartwatch operating system to provide freedom with free software, more privacy than other wearable platforms offer, interoperability so it could communicate with other devices, modularity that enabled the user to tweak and change the OS as they see fit, the ability to port the software to as many devices as possible, and gathering a community who is passionate about the platform.

  • AsteroidOS Brings Open Source Functionality To Smartwatches

    Smartwatches may not have taken off like companies were hoping, but they have come quite far in terms of what they can offer and what sorts of features are available for the many different models of smartwatches that are out there. Even with the updated functionality of options like Samsung’s Gear S lineup and Android Wear platforms, though, smartwatches can still feel a little bit limiting, and part of this undoubtedly includes the reason that the operating systems aren’t as open as platforms like Android. That is now changing thanks to a platform called AsteroidOS which is an open source operating system for smartwatches.

  • Mini Apollo Lake module takes the heat — and the cold

    Congatec’s “Conga-MA5” is a Linux-ready COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini module with Apollo Lake SoCs, up to 128GB eMMC 5.1, and -40 to 85°C support.

    Congatec was one of the first embedded vendors to announce computer-on-modules based on Intel’s Atom E3900 and other Apollo Lake Pentium and Celeron SoCs. The offerings included a Qseven module, a SMARC 2.0 module, and a COM Express Compact Type 6 Conga-TCA5. The company has now followed up with a COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini Conga-MA5 module.

  • Top 20 Best Tizen Apps for November 2016, Tizen Smartphone
  • Smartphone game: Indian Football League game comes to the Tizen Store

Eight great Linux gifts for the holiday season

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Do you want to give your techie friend a very Linux holiday season? Sure you do! Here are some suggestion to brighten your favorite Tux fan's day.

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Also: More Random Gift Ideas For Linux Enthusiasts & Others Into Tech

Which open source gift is at the top of your holiday wish list?

Huawei Linux Devices

Filed under
Gadgets
  • Huawei Mate 9 leaked in flat and curved-screen variants

    Evan Blass has leaked renders of two variants of the upcoming Huawei Mate 9: a flat-screened and dual curved screen version that looks an awful lot like the Galaxy Note 7. While the wrapping will come off the new phone/s on November 3 in Munich, these renders are apparently the real deal and Blass’ sources have confirmed that the previously leaked Mate 9 specs are legit.

  • Huawei launches Honor 8 in India, along with Honor 8 Smart
  • Huawei Teases Honor S1 smartwatch, No mention of Android Wear

    Huawei is currently teasing their new smartwatch which is to be released under the Honor brand named as the Honor S1. The Chinese manufacturer has an event scheduled for October 18 at which we expect the S1 to be unveiled. But could it be running Tizen ? Huawei are already known as stating they will not release anymore Android wear smartwatches for the remainder of this year, so this leaves either Tizen or some other proprietary OS. According to a report in the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper Huawei are currently working with Samsung to deploy the Tizen operating system in its next smartwatches.

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Oracle: New VirtualBox 5.2 Beta, SPARC M8 Processors Launched

  • VirtualBox 5.2 to Let Users Enable or Disable Audio Input and Output On-the-Fly
    Oracle announced new updates for its popular, cross-platform and open-source virtualization software, the third Beta of the upcoming VirtualBox 5.2 major release and VirtualBox 5.1.28 stable maintenance update. We'll start with the stable update, VirtualBox 5.1.28, as it's more important for our readers using Oracle VM VirtualBox for all of their virtualization needs. The VirtualBox 5.1 maintenance release 28 is here to improve audio support by fixing various issues with both the ALSA and OSS backends, as well as an accidental crash with AC'97.
  • SPARC M8 Processors Launched
    While Oracle recently let go of some of their SPARC team, today marks the launch of the SPARC M8. The initial SPARC M8 line-up includes the T8-1, T8-2, T8-4. M8-8, and SuperCluster M8-8 servers.

Wikileaks Releases Spy Files Russia, CCleaner Infected, Equifax Has a Dirty Little Secret

  • Spy Files Russia
    This publication continues WikiLeaks' Spy Files series with releases about surveillance contractors in Russia. While the surveillance of communication traffic is a global phenomena, the legal and technological framework of its operation is different for each country. Russia's laws - especially the new Yarovaya Law - make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.
  • Malware-Infected CCleaner Installer Distributed to Users Via Official Servers for a Month
    Hackers have managed to embed malware into the installer of CCleaner, a popular Windows system optimization tool with over 2 billion downloads to date. The rogue package was distributed through official channels for almost a month. CCleaner is a utilities program that is used to delete temporary internet files such as cookies, empty the Recycling Bin, correct problems with the Windows Registry, among other tasks. First released in 2003, it has become hugely popular; up to 20 million people download it per month. Users who downloaded and installed CCleaner or CCleaner Cloud between Aug. 15 and Sept. 12 should scan their computers for malware and update their apps. The 32-bit versions of CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 were affected.
  • Equifax Suffered a Hack [sic] Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed
  • This is why you shouldn’t use texts for two-factor authentication

    For a long time, security experts have warned that text messages are vulnerable to hijacking — and this morning, they showed what it looks like in practice.

Amazon Changes Rental ('Cloud') Model on GNU/Linux

Devices/Hardware: Embedded/Boards, CODESYS, and EPYC Linux Performance

  • Linux friendly IoT gateway runs on 3.5-inch Bay Trail SBC
    While the MB-80580 SBC lists SATA II, the gateway indicates SATA III. Also, the gateway datasheet notes that the RS232 ports can all be redirected to RS232/422/485. Software includes Windows IoT Core and Server, as well as Yocto, Ubuntu Snappy Core, and CentOS Linux distributions.
  • Rugged panel PC scales up to a 19-inch touchscreen
    The fanless, IP65-rated WinSystems “PPC65B-1x” panel PC runs Linux or Win 10 on a quad-core Atom E3845, and offers 10.4 to 19-inch resistive touchscreens.
  • CODESYS announces CODESYS-compatible SoftPLC for open Linux device platforms
  • EPYC Linux performance from AMD
    Phoronix have been hard at work testing out AMD's new server chip, specifically the 2.2/2.7/3.2GHz EPYC 7601 with 32 physical cores.  The frequency numbers now have a third member which is the top frequency all 32 cores can hit simultaneously, for this processor that would be 2.7GHz.  Benchmarking server processors is somewhat different from testing consumer CPUs, gaming performance is not as important as dealing with specific productivity applications.   Phoronix started their testing of EPYC, in both NUMA and non-NUMA configurations, comparing against several Xeon models and the performance delta is quite impressive, sometimes leaving even a system with dual Xeon Gold 6138's in the dust.  They also followed up with a look at how EPYC compares to Opteron, AMD's last server offerings.  The evolution is something to behold.
  • Opteron vs. EPYC Benchmarks & Performance-Per-Watt: How AMD Server Performance Evolved Over 10 Years
    By now you have likely seen our initial AMD EPYC 7601 Linux benchmarks. If you haven't, check them out, EPYC does really deliver on being competitive with current Intel hardware in the highly threaded space. If you have been curious to see some power numbers on EPYC, here they are from the Tyan Transport SX TN70A-B8026 2U server. Making things more interesting are some comparison benchmarks showing how the AMD EPYC performance compares to AMD Opteron processors from about ten years ago.