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Gadgets

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?

Filed under
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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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 now links up with Windows and Mac PCs via supercharged DeX app

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Android
Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

And there’s a big bonus here in the form of being able to drag-and-drop files directly from your phone to your PC, and vice versa. So you could take a photo from your Note 10 and whip it onto the PC to tweak it up in a proper heavyweight image editor, for example.

Furthermore, as XDA Developers observes, Linux on DeX is available via the DeX app, allowing you to create a container and run an Ubuntu Linux image, giving you even more flexibility and options here.

It’s not clear what Samsung intends to do in terms of giving users with older Galaxy handsets backwards compatibility, but at the moment, this is strictly a Galaxy Note 10-only affair, as mentioned.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the app does warn that your phone might get hot running the DeX application, although exactly how hot likely depends on what you’ve got the hardware doing, of course.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Ciel Fledge, Slender Threads, XO and More

  • Ciel Fledge, an intriguing post-apocalypse daughter raising sim releases next year

    It's 3716 and most of humanity lives on the floating city, ARK-3, to get away from a colossal alien threat that almost caused our extinction. Amongst all the chaos, a mysterious young girl is found and that's where you come in. Ciel Fledge is a game about raising an adopted daughter in a future world that still has hope. One we took a look at some time ago and it finally has a release date. Studio Namaapa and PQube Limited have announced it's releasing on February 21, 2020.

  • Slender Threads, a new point & click adventure thriller announced

    From the developer behind the rather amusing Nobodies and Kelvin and the Infamous Machine, Blyts just announced their new adventure thriller Slender Threads. In Slender Threads you will guide the protagonist, Harvey Green, an unremarkable travelling salesman through the scenic yet empty community of Villa Ventana. While nefarious, unseen forces exert increasingly more sway over him and the town's residents.

  • Retro styled strategic fleet defence game XO has entered Early Access

    In the space strategy game XO, you take command of the last remaining Battleship as you attempt to gather a fleet in a desperate bid to save humanity. Sound a bit like Battlestar Galactica? Well, it should. The team said they were actually inspired by Battlestar Galactica, The Lost Fleet series, and games like FTL. Jumpdrive Studios ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for it back in 2015, so it's been a while in the making.

  • Add jumping to your Python platformer game

    In the previous article in this series, you simulated gravity, but now you need to give your player a way to fight against gravity by jumping. A jump is a temporary reprieve from gravity. For a few moments, you jump up instead of falling down, the way gravity is pulling you. But once you hit the peak of your jump, gravity kicks in again and pulls you back down to earth. In code, this translates to variables. First, you must establish variables for the player sprite so that Python can track whether or not the sprite is jumping. Once the player sprite is jumping, then gravity is applied to the player sprite again, pulling it back down to the nearest object.

  • Trip the Ark Fantastic, a colourful story-driven adventure set in the Animal Kingdom announced

    An adventure through the Animal Kingdom in Trip the Ark Fantastic, announced today from Croatian developer Gamechuck. It's a story-driven adventure game set in the Animal Kingdom on the verge of both industrial and social revolution. It seems to put a new spin on the story of Noah's Ark, except this time the ancient myth here is that the ark was built by lions millennia ago to save all animals from a great flood. The story follows Charles, a hedgehog scholar on a mission by the lion king to save the monarchy, but his decisions could end up helping reformists or even to bring about anarchy.

Devices: Raspberry Pi, EEPD and More

  • The Nest Box: DIY Springwatch with Raspberry Pi

    Last week, lots and lots of you shared your Raspberry Pi builds with us on social media using the hashtag #IUseMyRaspberryPiFor. Jay Wainwright from Liverpool noticed the conversation and got in touch to tell us about The Nest Box, which uses Raspberry Pi to bring impressively high-quality images and video from British bird boxes to your Facebook feed.

  • SBCs and compact embedded PCs run Linux on Ryzen Embedded

    EEPD’s Linux-ready “ProFive NUCR” SBC and “Box-NUCR” embedded PC based on it are built around AMD’s Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC. The products follow the similar, but V1000-based ready “ProFive NUCV” and “Box-NUCV” released earlier this year. In mid-November, EEPD (or E.E.P.D.) announced an AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 based Box-NUCR embedded computer built in Germany that runs Ubuntu. The Box-NUCR, which is based on a separately available ProFive NUCR SBC, was promoted this week by AMD as part of an Ryzen Embedded open ecosystem of R1000 and V1000-based mini-PCs and compact embedded computers that also includes new OnLogic and ASRock systems. AMD’s ecosystem encompasses a similar Ryzen Embedded V1000 based Box-NUCV and ProFive NUCV SBC that were announced in February (see farther below.)

  • Grove Sensors For Raspberry Pi

    Raspberry Pi is a great invention that ever happened. The little $35 computer can be used to build from a cam kit to the future of kids in rural India. To learn more about what this little device can do or has done, read this article I wrote a while back. You can also visit Raspberry Pi’s official page and see how Raspberry Pi is being used for research and education. In this article, I will also use Raspberry Pi to create something very interesting and useful. I am going to use Grove Sensors with Raspberry Pi and monitor the environment around the device, for example, temperature, air pollution, and water, etc.

Android Leftovers

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (389-ds-base, ghostscript, kernel, and tcpdump), Debian (libonig), Fedora (clamav, firefox, and oniguruma), openSUSE (calamares, cloud-init, haproxy, libarchive, libidn2, libxml2, and ucode-intel), Scientific Linux (SDL and tcpdump), Slackware (mozilla), and Ubuntu (haproxy, intel-microcode, and postgresql-common).

  • Samba Patch Caps Busy Year for IBM i Security

    IBM last week patched a moderately severe security flaw in IBM i’s Samba implementation that could enable hackers to access data they really shouldn’t be able to access. The disclosure caps a rather busy second half of the year for security patches on IBM i that saw 26 emergency PTFs and Yum updates for Node.js, Python, the Apache HTTP Server, OpenSSL, ISC Bind, IBM Navigator, and even Db2 Mirror for IBM i. On November 26, IBM issued this security bulletin to let people know about the new flaw in the Samba client. The flaw could allow a hacker to not only access files and folders on the affected server that are outside of the SMB network pathnames, but to also create files outside of the working directory, according to IBM’s description. The flaw, which carries a CVSS Base Score of 5.3, was fixed with a series of PTFs for IBM i 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. It was the second patch that month, with the first coming on November 4, when IBM issued a security bulletin that discussed four separate vulnerabilities in Python that impact IBM i versions 7.2 through 7.4. All of the Python vulnerabilities are in the open source programing language, which runs on IBM i via the PASE Unix runtime, and not in any code that’s unique to IBM i.

  • RSA-240 Factored

    We are pleased to announce the factorization of RSA-240, from RSA's challenge list, and the computation of a discrete logarithm of the same size (795 bits): [...]

  • Authentication vulnerabilities in OpenBSD

    We discovered an authentication-bypass vulnerability in OpenBSD's authentication system: this vulnerability is remotely exploitable in smtpd, ldapd, and radiusd, but its real-world impact should be studied on a case-by-case basis. For example, sshd is not exploitable thanks to its defense-in-depth mechanisms.

  • Senators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), another member of the Cybersecurity Caucus and the top Democrat on the chamber's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told reporters that while he was not at the briefing on Wednesday, he would support holding a public hearing on ransomware threats.