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Raspberry Pi Camera v2 Review

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Hardware
Reviews
Gadgets

The versatile single-board computer from the UK, the Raspberry Pi, is a firm favorite among makers and tinkerers and Linux hackers the world over. It’s small, it’s light, it’s easy to use and set up, and with the launch of the new Model B version 4, it’s really quite powerful.

But almost as interesting as the board itself are the kinds of peripheral gizmos you can attach to the main board. Most of these are third-party hats and other add-ons, but one of the most popular ones is the official Raspberry Pi camera.

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Can Fairphone 3 scale ethical consumer electronics?

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OS
Gadgets

Fairphone, the Dutch social enterprise that’s on a mission to rethink the waste and exploitation that underpins the business of consumer electronics, has unboxed its third smartphone.

The handset, which is sold with the promise of longevity rather than cutting edge obsolescence, goes on pre-sale from today in Europe via Fairphone’s website with a suggested retail price of €450 (depending on local taxes and levies). It will ship to buyers on September 3.

Like its predecessor, the design is modular to allow the user to swap out damaged parts for replacement modules that Fairphone also sells.

Out of the box the phone comes with Android 9 preloaded. A post-launch update will make it easy for buyers to wipe Google services off their slate and install the Android Open Source Project instead.

Commenting in a statement, CEO Eva Gouwens said: “We developed the Fairphone 3 to be a real sustainable alternative on the market, which is a big step towards lasting change. By establishing a market for ethical products, we want to motivate the entire industry to act more responsibly since we cannot achieve this change alone.”

“We envision an economy where consideration for people and the planet is a natural part of doing business and according to this vision, we have created scalable ways to improve our supply chain and product,” she added.

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Devices: PegLeg, ARM and Neousys

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Linux
Hardware
Gadgets
  • PegLeg Biohackers Installed Raspberry Pis in Their Legs

    This was probably just a matter of time, right? We do so many things with the Internet of things ? just about anything can be made into an IoT device, so why not a person? Why not turn a person into an IoT device?

    A group of biohackers have installed Raspberry Pis under the skin in their legs. The PegLeg (you have to appreciate the name here) project is actually so far along it?s already v2.

  • Pi-oT Raspberry Pi Add-on Board Targets Commercial & Industrial IoT Automation (Crowdfunding)

    USA Based Startup Builds RPi Add-on Pi-oT, a Cleveland based startup has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Raspberry Pi add-on for commercial and industrial IoT automation.

  • Arm Talks Up Their BFloat16 / BF16 Support For Upcoming Processors

    With the next revision to ARMv8-A will come Neon and SVE vector instructions for select computations using the BFloat16 floating-point number format. For nearly the past year we have seen Intel prepping the Linux/open-source ecosystem for BFloat16 and its support with their upcoming Cooperlake support for BF16. It's looking now like Arm might beat AMD in to supporting BF16 on their processor designs.

  • Industrial computers feature with 9th or 8th Gen Coffee Lake

    Neousys has launched a “Nuvo-8208GC” edge AI PC and three variants of a “Nuvo-7100VTC” automotive controller with 9th and 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs. It also added 9th Gen support to the 8th Gen ready Nuvo-7000 and Nuvo-7164GC.

    Taiwan-based Neousys Technology announced support for Intel’s 9th Generation Coffee Lake processors on six Nuvo-branded industrial computers, half of which were originally announced with 8th Gen Coffee Lake. The four systems covered here — the Nuvo-8208GC, Nuvo-7100VTC, Nuvo-7200VTC, and Nuvo-7250VTC — were announced in June and July and are still listed as “coming soon.”

Fairphone 3 Pre-Orders Begin For Ethical Smartphone With Better Specs Than The Librem 5

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Gadgets

The Fairphone 3 made its formal announcement this week with pre-orders beginning and plans to begin shipping in mid-October. The Fairphone 3 is the latest iteration for this phone design that is focused on social values / ethical manufacturing, the longevity of the phone, and modular replacement parts.

The Fairphone 3 runs on Android 9, which may not be too interesting, but hopefully won't be long before seeing Ubuntu Touch, KDE Plasma Mobile, and other Linux mobile software offerings for this phone, just as we have with earlier Fairphone models.

The Fairphone 3 is priced at €450.00 ($500 USD), which actually is quite a fair price for the hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, 3000 mAH battery, 5.6-inch full HD+ display, dual nano SIM, USB Type-C, and all modern connectivity features like Bluetooth 5.

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Meet the startup making ethical electronics mainstream

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Gadgets

With ethical consumers increasingly concerned with the origin of their purchases, almost every industry, from fashion to food to diamonds, has been held to account over the ethics of its supply chain.

Bar a small number in the tech community, the ethical implications of the electronics industry has gone largely unnoticed by many consumers. However, the smartphone many have in their pocket may have a questionable past.

The average smartphone contains over 60 different metals, so tracking the supply chain of each component is complex. The mining and processing of many of these metals contributes to environmental damage and poor working conditions for those involved.

For example, cobalt, found in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, is commonly sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is frequently mined by child labourers. Last year, Bloomberg reported that factory workers making the casing for iPhones were working long hours in hazardous conditions. According to a study from 2014, 97% of the 39 electronics companies studied did not pay factory workers a living wage.

[...]

The concept of ethical electronics is not a new one. Although a fairtrade certification does not yet exist for electronics, some people within the tech community have been aware of the ethical implications of the electronics industry for a number of years with software movement activist Richard Stallman, for example, only running Linux software on fairtrade laptops.

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SailfishOS on Sony Xperia XA2 Plus

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Not too much noise has been made about it, but fairly recently SailfishOS for Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and XA2 Plus (finally) came out of beta stage after the initial release last autumn. I went and got myself an XA2 Plus and have been using it for a week now and am very pleased with it. Compared to former SailfishOS devices the Android runtime for the XA2 models is at version 8.x (compared to 4.x for previous devices), meaning a lot more Android apps will run on it.

So if you’re looking for a proper GNU/Linux phone and/or an alternative to the Google/Apple duopoly now is your chance to run SailfishOS on very decent and affordable midrange hardware. Below is a video of the XA2 Plus running SailfishOS (not mine).

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A mobile phone that respects your freedom

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Gadgets

Motivation and challenges building a mobile phone that respects your freedom, privacy and digital rights - and is hackable. This talk will present a summary of a two year journey, which is still ongoing.

Today mobile phones are _the_ computing device of the decade, maybe even of this century. Almost everyone carries one, every day to every place. They are pretty much always connected and we entrust almost our entire digital life to them - any form of communication (voice, text, video), all kinds of entertainment (reading, web surfing, video/movies), personal information (address books, social media), location (navigation, location sharing) etc. Pretty much our entire digital life is mirrored by these devices and to a growing extent happening right on them.
What is often not fully recognized is that this huge ecosystem of mobile hard- and software is controlled by only a very few globe spanning companies. Our digital life is to a large part controlled by these companies and currently there is little way around them.

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Also: Purism Shows Off First Shots Of The Librem 5 Smartphone's PCB

Samsung DeX is darn close to the “Chrome Phone” I'd like to see - About Chromebooks

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OS
Android
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

One of the touted features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (as well as other Galaxy S and Note phones since 2017) is Samsung Dex. If you’re not familiar with it, DeX stands for “Desktop Experience”. Essentially, when connecting your DeX supported phone to an external monitor, the DeX environment appears. It’s essentially a custom Android desktop experience with resizable windows.

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The GPD MicroPC in 3 Minutes [Video Review]

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

In it I tackle the GPD MicroPC with Ubuntu MATE 19.10. I touch on the same points made in my full text review, but with the added bonus of moving images to illustrate my points, rather than words.

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Also: WiringPi - Deprecated

GPD Micro PC: Can a 6-inch Ubuntu Laptop Really Be Usable?

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

It’s not that GPD, a China-based hardware outfit, aren’t skilled at creating diminutive devices that appeal to gadget heads like myself as, clearly they are: both the GPD Win 2 and the GPD Pocket 2 were warmly reviewed by many.

It’s just that I thought that a laptop this small simply wouldn’t be usable.

6-inch screen? What a squint fest! Blackberry phone-style keyboard? Typo city! Intel Celeron processor? What is this, a Chromebook?!

And yet…

After a week of using the GPD MicroPC (with Ubuntu MATE) as a companion device alongside my regular, full-sized computers, I have to say that I totally get it.

This thing is nuts.

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Games: We Happy Few, Helvetii, Starcom: Nexus and More

  • We Happy Few for Linux and Mac being refunded, to get an "unofficial" beta

    After a long road, the waiting on We Happy Few for both Linux and Mac is about to come to an end. Not the happiest of endings either. Originally funded on Kickstarter back in 2015 for $334,754 CA, Linux and Mac support was then announced for We Happy Few after the campaign had started. In 2017, it was announced that Compulsion Games teamed up with Gearbox Publishing to complete it.

  • Tremendous looking 2D action game Helvetii confirmed to be coming to Linux

    After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the supremely stylish 2D action game Helvetii has now been confirmed to be launching with Linux support next year. While their crowdfunding campaign didn't initially confirm Linux support, after it finished they announced that after evaluating it they've decided to do it and they "had actually quite a lot of demand" for it too. They said supporting Linux is "actually little work on our end (and we do have the ability to test it), we thought that we might as well do it".

  • Wx3 Labs looking into Linux support for Starcom: Nexus

    Starcom: Nexus from Wx3 Labs is a striking looking open-world space action adventure and they've been looking into getting it running on Linux. In a post on Steam, one of the team noted they're using Unity making it possible but "some testing and fixes are expected". They went over attempting to test with a live Linux USB stick which has enabled them to see it running, and they mentioned to reply to post if you have the game and want to test the Linux version.

  • Linux Gaming News Punch - Episode 21

    Prepare for a fistful of news, as the Linux Gaming News Punch - Episode 21 has arrived to go over some recent interesting topics to allow you to keep up with all the news. For those just joining, this is a quick take roundup on recent Linux gaming news. Meant for those who struggle to keep up or just want a little Linux gaming news on the go. Audio-only files and feed links below the video.

  • Interrogation: You will be deceived to arrive on Linux on December 5

    Critique Gaming and Mixtvision have announced that their immersive noir-styled psychological detective-thiller with conversational puzzles, Interrogation: You will be deceived, is going to release on December 5. Previously covered here on GamingOnLinux back in August, after it caught my eye with the incredible rotoscoped almost-monochrome art. You are tasked with saving the city from a terrorist plot by interrogating suspects as the clock ticks down. To do so, you have to mix between interrogations and managing your team's reputation with time running out.

Growing the Linux app Ecosystem at LAS 2019

The third Linux Application Summit (LAS) kicks off this week in Barcelona, Spain. Formerly organised under the GNOME project, known as Libre Application Summit, the new LAS is a joint effort between the KDE and GNOME projects. The aim of the conference is to encourage the growth of a vibrant Linux application ecosystem. Canonical are proud sponsors of LAS 2019, and are sending along a team to represent Ubuntu and Snapcraft. The volunteers on the organising committee each have a long history in the Linux application community. They’ve all worked on platforms and infrastructure to enable new software development for Linux. I took some time to chat with some of the team, and what LAS means for them. Aleix Pol, representing KDE, has worked on Linux applications for a while, and is hopeful for increased collaboration between application developers and platform maintainers. Aleix told me; “While we [GNOME and KDE] are sizeable organisations, we have massive tasks at hand. We need to create an environment where people can come and create their solutions for all of us.” This applies both for application developers and those who work primarily on the platforms themselves. He continued; “With GNOME, we share pieces of software, we share users and we even share some of our dreams. Meeting, talking and collaborating can only be beneficial”. Aleix also highlighted the benefits of meeting in person at events like LAS, “There’s a very different kinds of visitor. The ones who have been around will be putting faces to nicknames and having these discussions that IRC and mailing lists can’t sustain”. Read more

Kdenlive 19.08.3 is out

The last minor release of the 19.08 series is out with a fair amount of usability fixes while preparations are underway for the next major version. The highlights include an audio mixer, improved effects UI and some performance optimizations. Grab the nightly AppImage builds, give it a spin and report any issues. Read more

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