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Gadgets

Ubuntu MATE 19.10 Alpha Arrives, But Only for the GPD MicroPC

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Did you know that Ubuntu MATE is besties with the GPD Pocket & Pocket 2?

Well it is; the pair of pocket-sized PCs, which were made possible through various crowdfunding efforts, got their own, customised, and 100% official Ubuntu MATE 18.10 install image last year, and a follow-up with the 19.04 release this year.

I guess making a custom-spun ISO is the distro equivalent of weaving a friendship bracelet!

Accordingly, it’s no major surprise to learn Ubuntu MATE 19.10 will also come tailored for use on China-based GPD’s latest mini-marvel, the GPD MicroPC.

Interestingly, the device is sold with Ubuntu MATE 18.10 pre-loaded.

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GNU/Linux Devices: Raspberry Pi, AAEON and Librem 5

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Raspberry Pi 4 B+ - PCI Express

    Without much exaggeration, the new Raspberry Pi is likely the largest single-step improvement on the Pi family since the early changes of the form factor. Although Pi3 introduced 64bit capability, it's been pretty limited in practice due to lack of memory. Pi4 introduces 4GB RAM, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.

    Most importantly for our purposes, the USB 3.0 (and 2.0) chip is attached via the PCI Express interface - that means, if we were to remove it, we can gain access to the underlying bus. So, without further ado, the sacrificial goat.. uhm, chip.

  • Modder Connects External PCIe To Raspberry Pi 4

    Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer designed for tech enthusiasts, students, and engineers who wish to make extreme use of limited hardware. Just two weeks ago, the Raspberry Pi 4 was unveiled, which caught the attention of technology enthusiasts.

    The latest version of Raspberry Pi is a big improvement over the previous version despite its faulty USB-C port design. It relies on PCI Express for USB chips. However, there isn’t any provision to connect external devices on the Raspberry Pi 4.

  • AAEON Launches BOXER-8150AI Compact Embedded Box PC Features 8 USB 3.0 Ports

    The BOXER-8150AI is able to support up to eight USB connected cameras or devices, each operating independently of one another.

  • Runs on the Librem 5 Smartphone – Week 3

    We’ve been showcasing a different piece of software running on the Librem 5 Smartphone Development Kit every day for the last twenty days.  Twenty.  In a row.

    And we’re not done.  Because, holy smokes, do we have a lot more to show.  And, let’s be honest, these are just plain fun.  Daily videos kick back off tomorrow (July 11th) with video number 21.

    You can enjoy Days 15 through 20 below — and Days 1 through 14 in the Week 1 and 2 posts.

  • Purism and the Linux 5.2 Kernel

    Hello again. Following up on our report for the Linux 5.1 kernel, here’s a list of contributions for the Linux 5.2 kernel cycle, for which our team recently contributed with 14 patches–including a new driver for the Librem 5 devkit’s panel...

Up and Running With Your Librem in Three Minutes

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The right to respect and privacy should be unconditional; within the digital world itself, it shouldn’t be necessary to be an expert in computer science to guarantee you can–and know how to–be entitled to those rights. Making secure and respectful devices is essential, but to be fully ethical, those devices also need to be simple to use, so everyone can use them.

Our mission at Purism is to make technologies that respects people, whoever they are and whichever background they come from. That is why we make sure that everything we develop conforms to the Ethical Design manifesto, The manifesto itself is quite simple in what it states: that everyone should have the right to be respected and to have a delightful user experience.

I am not saying that Purism’s technology is perfect in the sense of simplicity of use–nevertheless, we are constantly working towards it, and we will always keep that goal in mind. Purism is a Social Purpose corporation, it is funded by the people, and we give back all our research and development to the people. This way we make sure that the initial ethical goal of Purism is a free seed that will grow no matter what.

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GameShell is a portable and modular DIY retro game console

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

It’s the “world’s first modular, portable game console” running a GNU/Linux operating system. You can easily play retro games from Atari, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo Entertainment System, and more on the GameShell. Or, create your own game entirely with Preset C, Python, Lua, Javascript, or LISP.

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Also: Google's Fuschia operating system has been in works for years now.

Pine64 Linux PinePhone could get Moto Mod functionality

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

With the focus given to Huawei’s US ban, there has also been some discussion about Android, Google’s hold on the platform, and truly free (as in freedom) alternatives to the world’s biggest mobile OS. There has never been a shortage of alternative mobile platforms, many of them revolving around Linux, but there has been a dearth of companies making devices that run and support such platforms. Pine64 is one of those few and it is now sharing some development in its quest to make a privacy-respecting open source smartphone.

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The $149 PinePhone Linux smartphone will support modular add-ons

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The upcoming PinePhone is expected to be an inexpensive, but versatile smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux operating systems. Yesterday we took a look at some of the operating systems that are already being ported to run on the PinePhone. But it looks like the software isn’t the only thing that’s actively under development.

Pine64 has posted an update on the state of the smartphone’s hardware with new details about the phone’s battery, hardware kill switches, and a previously announced feature — support for swappable back covers that can add functionality to the $149 smartphone.

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The Finest Linux Tablet You Can Build

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

For the last few years now, we’ve all had access to tiny, affordable Systems on a Module. These wunderchips are complete Linux systems with WiFi, a halfway decent GPU, and enough memory to run a real system. This is the perfect platform to base a tablet build on, the only problem is that someone has to actually do it. The DLT One is the ‘Damn Linux Tablet’ from [Prof. Fartsparkle]. It’s the answer to the question of when someone is going to build a tablet computer around one of these cheap Systems on a Chip that are floating around.

With many modules to choose from, the first task is actually choosing one of these Linux modules. [Fartsparkle] ended up with the Nvidia Jetson Nano, an impressive little board that has one distinct advantage: it’s drop-in compatable with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi-on-an-SODIMM. Given a single chassis, [Prof. Fartsparkle] can simply upgrade his tablet by getting a newer version of the Jetson Nano (or the Compute Module).

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PinePhone $149 Linux smartphone could support Ubuntu, Sailfish, Maemo, LuneOS and more

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OS
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone is a cheap, Linux-ready smartphone that’s expected to ship in limited quantities later this year. It’s not exactly a high-power device by modern smartphone standards, but with an expected starting price of $149, it will be a lot more affordable than some of the other Linux phones on the horizon.

It’s also starting to look like the PinePhone could be a very versatile device.

Pine64 has been sending out development kits for a while, and it looks like developers are porting a number of GNU/Linux-based operating systems to the platform.

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Introduction to catalog of 125 Linux hacker boards

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Hardware
Gadgets

Our 2019 spring edition catalog of hacker-friendly SBCs under $200 that run Linux or Android offers updated descriptions, specs, and pricing for 125 SBCs. Two big questions for 2019: Is it time for AI, and what about those tariffs?

Welcome to our latest catalog of 125 community-backed Linux and Android SBCs. We’re skipping the reader survey this year, although you’re welcome to cast your unofficial vote in the comments section at the end of this introduction. In any case, we have compiled the essential prices, features, and comparisons to help you vote with your wallet. We have updated the blurbs and the comparison spreadsheet with new pricing and in some cases, feature changes, and added descriptions of new boards.

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Ubuntu Powered Autonomous Drones for Hazardous, High Altitude Work

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

With surveys in 2016 indicating that falls accounted for more than 16% of all workplace deaths in the United States Apellix the aerial robotics company took upon itself the challenge of devising ways to prevent people from having to work in dangerous, elevated environments by developing innovative drones that can take over hazardous, high altitude work – for instance measuring paint thickness on U.S.

Navy ships or the wall thickness of a 100m flare stack at an oil and gas refinery. Built on Ubuntu, the drones leverage autonomous flight functionality to manoeuvre with pinpoint accuracy, making it fast, cost-effective, and safe to perform essential tasks at great heights targeting infrastructure, maritime and energy industries.

Each U.S. Navy Destroyer and Aircraft Carrier requires five coats of paint, and each coat must be measured to ensure that it is the correct thickness for which corrosion engineers have to go up using cranes, lifts, or rope work to manually take more than 2,000 measurements across the hull. Even in good weather and without interruptions, measuring each coat of paint on ships needs a 7 person crew employed for six days, and costs more than $100,000.

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Also: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter 581

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Linux 5.5 Kernel Development: Latest

  • Re: [GIT PULL] treewide conversion to sizeof_member() for v5.5-rc1
    On Sat, Dec 7, 2019 at 11:48 AM Kees Cook wrote:
    >
    > Please pull this mostly mechanical treewide conversion to the single and
    > more accurately named sizeof_member() macro for the end of v5.5-rc1.
    
    So this one I'm _still_ not convinced about. It makes yet another name
    for something we've had before, which just annoys me. And maybe it's
    the 13-year old in me, but "sizeof_member()" just makes me go "that's
    puerile".
    
    I _can_ see why we'd want to standardize on one of the tree versions
    we have, but I can't really see the problem with the existing #define
    that we have, and that is used (admittedly not all that much):
    sizeof_field().
    
  • Linus Rejects "Size Of Member" Change From Linux 5.5 Kernel

    This weekend was the last-minute pull request by Google's Kees Cook to introduce the new sizeof_member() macro that had been previously rejected from Linux 5.4. Well, it was again rejected by Linus Torvalds prior to tagging the Linux 5.5-rc1 kernel. The sizeof_member() macro has been aimed to unify 2~3 other macros within the kernel tree currently and using the size-of-field moniker, but Cook argued that for measuring the size of a member of a C struct, the new macro is more appropriate and converted usage of the old macros to this new single macro.

  • WireGuard Sends Out Latest Patch Revision In Preparing For Linux 5.6

    While there are some pretty great features for Linux 5.5, one that didn't make it quite in time was the long-awaited introduction of WireGuard as the in-kernel secure VPN tunnel. While it was a bummer it didn't make 5.5, all indications are at this point is that it will be in Linux 5.6. With Linux 5.5 the crypto subsystem adopted some elements of WireGuard's "Zinc" crypto code and that in turn opened the door for merging WireGuard now that the cryptography side was sorted out. But WireGuard was too late for introduction in net-next even with a last minute attempt trying to get it into 5.5, but instead it's aiming early for merging to net-next to ensure it's timely introduction with Linux 5.6.

Android Leftovers

Breathe Life Back Into Your Late 2013 Or Older Apple Mac With Linux

I receive a ton of great questions about using Linux, but it’s challenging to answer them all personally. Going forward, I’ve decided to write answers to some of these questions so a wider audience can benefit from them. One recurring theme that’s constantly hitting my inbox centers around installing Linux on an older MacBook. Read more

today's leftovers

  • $100M open source fund via Codefresh launches

    From the deck of the HMS Surprise pirate ship at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, on the eve of Kubecon, Codefresh announced the establishment of a $100 Million Open Source Fund offering grants up to $1 Million. This “heave-ho” is designed to foster the growth and expediency of open source projects from development and deployment to ongoing maintenance. “Open source is part of every project and drives change in the modern world at an incredible pace,” said Dan Garfield, Chief Technology Evangelist of Codefresh. “Codefresh has contributed to open source projects related to Kubernetes such as Helm and Chart Museum, and many open-source projects have used Codefresh to power their CI/CD and software delivery supply chain. The Codefresh $100 Million Open Source Fund is a way to give even more back to the community that has embraced and empowered Codefresh from the beginning.”

  • WhiteSource and Codefresh Combine Forces to Offer Built-in Open Source Management in CI/CD Pipelines [Ed: Codefresh now liaising with anti-FOSS Microsoft 'proxy', WhiteSource. This makes one wonder what or who Codefresh will help with money...]
  • EU backs open source tool to help investors reach Paris climate target [Ed: Article stranded. Paywall.]

    The 2° Investing Initiative (2dii) and Beyond Ratings have launched an EU-backed open source tool which they say can help investors become Paris-aligned and assess their risk of stranded assets.

  • Ransomware at Colorado IT Provider Affects 100+ Dental Offices [iophk: Windows TCO]

    Multiple sources affected say their IT provider, Englewood, Colo. based Complete Technology Solutions (CTS), was hacked, allowing a potent strain of ransomware known as “Sodinokibi” or “rEvil” to be installed on computers at more than 100 dentistry businesses that rely on the company for a range of services — including network security, data backup and voice-over-IP phone service.

    Reached via phone Friday evening, CTS President Herb Miner declined to answer questions about the incident. When asked about reports of a ransomware attack on his company, Miner simply said it was not a good time and hung up.

  • Big Tech Should Stay Out of Healthcare

    Big Tech is moving into health care. Google has announced an intention to buy Fitbit and is also poised to collect health data on tens of millions of patients through a deal with the St. Louis-based hospital chain Ascension. In March, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan announced their health venture, Haven. Apple is using its devices to help academics run studies with millions of participants. And Microsoft and IBM are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help researchers develop better cancer treatments. The use of digital technology in health care has enormous promise, to be sure. But, as the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Google’s Project Nightingale revealed, there is also a potential dark side to these projects. Ascension, it noted, “also hopes to mine data to identify additional tests that could be necessary or other ways in which the system could generate more revenue from patients, documents show.” That detail raises a key question that’s largely overlooked in our health care debates: should the drive to maximize corporate revenues determine how health information technology develops and becomes integrated into medical practice, or should that be determined by medical science and the public?