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Gadgets

Nest Labs buys Dropcam, gains Linux-based cams

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Linux
Gadgets

Nest Labs is buying Dropcam for $555 million, and will integrate Dropcam’s Linux-based surveillance cameras into its own Linux-based home automation system.

Nest’s deal to acquire Dropcam for $555 million was revealed by Recode and confirmed in a Nest blog post by co-founder Matt Rogers. The acquisition follows Nest’s own acquisition by Google for $3.2 billion, announced back in January.

The home surveillance company’s Linux-based cameras will be integrated within Nest’s own Linux-based product line, including a smart thermostat and smoke detector (see farther below). The Dropcam team will move from San Francisco to Nest’s offices in Palo Alto.

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Samsung to unveil its Android Wear Smart watch at Google I/O next week

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

Samsung has released a Tizen smart watch in the form of the Samsung Gear 2, but now, according to sources in CNET, the korean hardware manufacturer is due to launch their own Android wear offering next week at Google’s developer conference, Google I/O.

So why release Tizen and Android? Being a Tizen site we would prefer dearest Samsung to only release Tizen from now till the end of time, but the fact is that Android and Android ware is an immediate revenue stream that Samsung does not want to miss out on.

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Stroke and gestures now on Raspberry Pi touch screen

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Development
Linux
Gadgets

The PiTFT is one of our favourite little things for the Raspberry Pi, making it much more portable than it naturally is and opening it up to many more cool projects than you could do before. The one thing it did lack was proper, modern touch screen controls such as swiping and gesture but this has now been added thanks to Xstroke.

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Wireless personal drone detector runs Linux

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Linux
Gadgets

APlus Mobile is seeking Kickstarter funding for a Linux-based “Personal Drone Detection System” that detects nearby drones using mesh grid triangulation.

It sounds at first like an April Fool’s joke delayed in development, but it appears to be legit: APlus Mobile and its R&D spinoff Domestic Drone Countermeasures (DDC) have launched a Kickstarter project for a device that will detect when a drone aircraft approaches within 50 feet. The Personal Drone Detection System is available in $499 (alpha testing) and $699 (beta testing) funding packages, shipping in November 2014 and April 2015, respectively.

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Goofy-looking security guard bot runs Linux

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Linux
Gadgets

GS4 unveiled an autonomous, Linux-based robot security guard called Bob, based on a MetraLabs “Scitos A5″ robot programmed by the University of Birmingham.

U.K.-based security firm GS4 Technology has launched a three week trial at its Gloucestershire headquarters of a robot called Bob that was designed by the University of Birmingham School of Computer Science. GS4 will evaluate Bob’s performance as a trainee security officer. Bob is part of a £7.2 million ($12.2 million) project called STRANDS, hosted by the University of Birmingham, with an aim of expanding the role of robots in the workplace.

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Google Fit: Google’s new health service to challenge Apple’s HealthKit

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Android
Google
Gadgets

However, there is a need for more clarity on whether Google Fit will be integrated into the next version of Android, or offered as a standalone app that could be downloaded independently.

It added: “One source with knowledge of Google’s plans said Google Fit would allow a wearable device that measures data like steps or heart rate to interface with Google’s cloud-based services, and become part of the Google Fit ecosystem.”

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What To Expect From The First Ubuntu Smart Devices?

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

After testing the developer’s build of Ubuntu Touch smartphone OS in 2013, the company behind Ubuntu Linux (Canonical) has finally confirmed that it will soon release its first batch of entry-level smartphones running the open-source operating system later this year. The company has teamed up with Meizu and Bq to be its initial Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). As compared to the open source Firefox OS released last year in consortium with Alacatel, the mobile edition of Ubuntu is not an HTML 5 or browser-based ecosystem. Similar to Android, it loads native Ubuntu applications (messaging, phone, and camera) flawlessly, even with the absence of wireless connectivity.

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Turning a smartphone into a PC in a pocket: Q&A with Analogix

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Android
Gadgets

Q: Where and why is SlimPort being implemented?

A: SlimPort was first implemented in the Google Nexus 4 back in 2012 and has continued to be used in a number of high-end tablets and smartphones from Fujitsu, Asustek, LG, and ZTE, as well as finding its way into Chromebooks from brands like Hewlett-Packard (HP), among others. The key is that the technology enables more features and can reduce costs. For example, users want to have the ability to take mobile audio and video and get it up on a big screen. Previously, the ability to get the video off of a tablet/smartphone was typically done by running it through a micro-HDMI port. Using SlimPort allowed the OEMs to drop the micro-HDMI port and simply run everything through the five-pin micro-USB port that is needed for charging. SlimPort simply takes control of the connector when a SlimPort dongle is plugged in, and while the devices are connected, SlimPort enables the display to also charge the mobile device. In 2013, support for Full HD was added but we really expect the technology to take off this year with SlimPort Pro.

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Tizen-powered Samsung Z smartphone with open source mobile OS

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Linux
Gadgets

The Samsung Z looks and feels very much like Samsung's Android smartphones. There's the tiles section at the top of the home screen, with some app icons at the botton, and there's the pull-down notifications and settings tray at the very top. You also get the hardware Back and Menu buttons, in addition to the main Home button. The Settings app looks almost identical to Samsung's Android version.

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World’s first emotional robot runs Linux

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Linux
Gadgets

SoftBank and Aldeberan have teamed up on a Linux-based, $1,930 personal robot named Pepper that can read emotions and respond autonomously.

As we gradually approach the “singularity” when robots overtake human intelligence, we often comfort ourselves in believing robots will never duplicate our often troublesome capacity for emotion. Yet such James Kirkian sentiments may prove suspect as roboticists make robots more sensitive to emotions while using emotional expression to communicate.

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Android Leftovers

Stereoscopic cam board taps Raspberry Pi CM4

StereoPi is going to Crowd Supply to pitch an open-spec “StereoPi v2” stereoscopic camera board that works with the Raspberry Pi CM4. The v2 adds a Type-C port and advances to GbE and 802.11ac. In Dec. 2019, Russia-based Virt2real found Crowd Supply success with a StereoPi stereoscopic camera board that works with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3). Now operating under the StereoPi name, the company has posted a Crowd Supply page for a second-gen model that uses the new Raspberry Pi CM4. Read more

8 Tools to Easily Create a Custom Linux Distro

When there are so many Linux distros out there, you are probably wondering why someone would want to create their own distro instead of getting a readymade one. While in most cases a readymade distro is fine, if you want to have a distro that is 100 percent tailored to your needs (or your mum or dad’s needs), you may have to create your own custom Linux distro. With the right tools, creating your own Linux distro isn’t as hard as it seems, though it takes time for sure. There are many tools for the purpose – some of them are universal, and some of them are distro-specific. Here are eight of them. Read more