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Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey 2019, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu/Librem News

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Ubuntu
Gadgets
  • Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey 2019

    It’s clear that a lot of people develop software using Ubuntu. What’s less clear is exactly what sort of software is being built. We see reports of people developing Linux apps, Android apps, web services, self driving cars… the list is huge. We need to get better clarity; to understand how that relates to Ubuntu desktop.

    We can get some reasonable insights from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, but I’m keen to really dig down in to the Ubuntu community specifically.

    When I was chatting with Barton George a few weeks back he expressed the same interest; what are people doing with the Sputnik machines from Dell? We want to learn more about the sorts of software projects that you’re working on so that we can make the Ubuntu developer experience as good as possible.

    To that end we put together the Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey to help us understand more about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. This survey is aimed primarily at people who are using Ubuntu to develop software targeting any platform. It doesn’t matter if you do that at work, at home, at school – if you’re building software then we’re glad to hear from you. To be clear: this doesn’t mean we’re abandoning our mantra of Ubuntu being for human beings, software developers are human beings too. Right now I want to get a better view in to what software developers are doing.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has transitioned to ESM support

    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’ transitioned into the ESM support phase at the end of April 2019, and will no longer be supported for users who do not have access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) through Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure.

    Ubuntu long term support (LTS) releases provide a stable, supported platform for development and production, with five years of guaranteed public maintenance available. Once the public Standard Security Maintenance window comes to a close, Ubuntu LTS releases have an additional three to five years of support (depending upon the release) through ESM.

    Access to ESM extends LTS release coverage, allowing for continued security fixes for high and critical common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) for the most commonly used packages in the Ubuntu main archive. This access permits organisations with workloads running on Ubuntu LTS releases to maintain compliance standards by providing a secure environment before upgrading can occur.

  • Don't Hold Your Breath On UBports' Ubuntu Touch For Purism's Librem 5 Smartphone

    While Ubuntu Touch that continues to be worked on by the UBports community remains one of the most viable and furthest along Linux open-source smartphone operating systems, it doesn't look like there will be any solid support in time for launch-day of the upcoming Purism Librem 5 smartphone. 

    Adding to the growing list of concerns over the Librem 5 smartphone is now finding out there isn't Ubuntu Touch progress being made... Last year Purism announced Ubuntu Touch would be supported on the Librem 5 and that the company would "officially collaborate" with UBports. That was back when they planned to ship the Librem 5 smartphone in January 2019 and offer their own GNOME-based PureOS, PureOS with KDE Plasma Mobile, and Ubuntu Touch as options.

  • What’s In a (User)Name

    Using your email address as the discovery tool across platforms makes it simple and convenient to find and communicate with people. As a remarkable side-benefit, it becomes very simple for people to determine the protocol-specific usernames—be those @todd@librem.one for social, @todd:librem.one for chat, or todd@librem.one for email.

    As an example of how this works in practice, let’s say you have joined a room in Librem Chat—a room about a topic that interests you. You meet other interesting people and make some friends; it’s now easy to find and follow them on Librem Social, since the usernames are the same on both platforms.

    A single login also makes things easy for Librem 5 users: when you first get your phone, if you have a Librem One account you will be able to enter a single login and have all of these services light up, ready to use.

    [...]

    Even though big tech firms offer unified login, their commitment to lock-in, proprietary protocols means you instantly sacrifice convenience once you leave their club. Currently, you may be a member of countless private clubs, designed to exploit and control you, and not even know it. If I ask you what are all the ways I can contact you, you will probably answer with a list containing a username on Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest… and a phone number and email, of course. All of these ways to communicate have their own logins and (mostly proprietary) protocols that don’t work with each other. The last one, the email, stands out as it was created as a standard, to allow interoperability across the world, regardless of what client or service you use; the same design choices of advancing standards made it into Librem One.

    So instead of a laundry list of accounts, you can have one single, simple account that offers you all the same convenience of posting, chatting, messaging and sharing. You will be able to do all those things from different applications, but the only account you have to remember is your Librem One account.

Purism’s Librem One suite of apps offers ad-free, privacy-focused chat, email, social media (for a fee)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Purism sells a line of laptops that ship with GNU/Linux software and which support privacy features including physical kill switches for the cameras, microphones, and wireless cards. The social purpose corporation is also developing the Librem 5 smartphone, which should ship with a Linux-based operating system later this year.

Now Purism is moving beyond hardware and launching a set of apps and services that it says respect your privacy.

The Librem One suite of apps includes a Chat app, a Mail app, a VPN, and a social networking app. They don’t include ads of any sort. They offer end-to-end encryption. And Purism says it doesn’t track user data.

But since Purism isn’t making any money off your data, they’re asking you to pony up — Librem One is a subscription service.

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Review of the LDK Game open source handheld retro-game emulation console

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OSS
Reviews
Gaming
Gadgets

ETA Prime reviewed the LDK Game, an open source handheld retro-game emulation console that can play games from Nintendo, Sega, and other retro-platforms. It costs $60.

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Also: Open source kart racing game, SuperTuxKart, sees 1.0 release after 12 years

The PinePhone Linux Smartphone Dev Kit Can Run Wayland's Weston

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Gadgets

While on one side of the table is the Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone on the high-price/high-end side, the Pine64 folks continue working on the PinePhone as a lower-end Linux smartphone. A new video now shows the PinePhone running on Linux 5.0 with Wayland's Weston.

Earlier this week was Purism showing off the state of their software on the Librem 5 developer kit while coincidentally now is a video showing off the PinePhone running on the Linux 5.0 kernel with Wayland's Weston compositor.

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Also: CrickitSnek — snek on the Adafruit Crickit

Purism’s Librem 5 Report

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Purism’s Librem 5 Progress in Videos

    Nothing shows the progress we have been making quite as clearly as a demonstration of the Librem 5 status from the devkit itself – so let us take you through a handful of (short) videos showcasing the current possibilities and development of our Librem 5 devkit:

  • The Current State Of Librem 5's Linux Smartphone Functionality On Their Dev Kits

    For those wondering how the Linux smartphone stack is shaping up for Purism's long-awaited Librem 5 smartphone that is currently aiming to ship in Q3, the company has released several video recordings of different operations running on their Librem 5 software on their developer kits.

    Shown in this fresh round of video demos is a 10-second boot-up of the Librem 5 phone start-up on their developer kit, receiving a voice call on the developer kit, the SMS text messaging/chat application, web browsing and video playback, and a devkit to devkit phone call.

Jolla and Purism on Their Platforms (GNU/Linux-based OS)

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets
  • A Message in a Bottle – from the Mer Project

    I am pleased to announce a significant change in Mer and Sailfish OS which will be implemented in phases. As many of you know Mer began many years ago as a way for the community to demonstrate “working in the open” to Nokia. This succeeded well enough that Mer eventually closed down and shifted support to MeeGo. When MeeGo stopped – thanks to its open nature – we, Carsten Munk and I, were able to reincarnate Mer as an open community project and continue to develop a core OS and a suite of open development tools around it. Over time a number of organisations used the Mer core as a base for their work. However, there was one that stood out: Jolla with Sailfish OS which started to use Mer core in its core and they have been by far the most consistent contributors and supporters of Mer.
    Once again, Mer has served it’s purpose and can retire. To clarify that this will be the official ‘working in the open’ core of SailfishOS we’re going to gradually merge merproject.org and sailfishos.org.

    What will this mean in practice?
    I’d like to just say that the colours of the websites will change and we’ll be able to access the existing resources using new sailfishos.org links.
    So whilst that summary is true, actually it’s more complex than that! Yes, the same hardware will run the same services and Jolla’s sailors will continue to push code to the same systems. There will be more time to keep the servers updated and to improve community contribution mechanisms.

  • The Future of Computing and Why You Should Care

    As technology gets closer and closer to our brain, the moral issues of digital rights become clearer and clearer.

    It started with computers, where we would leave them and come back to them. Then phones, that we always have on or near us with millisecond leakage of personal data beyond human comprehension. Then wearables, that are tracking very private details. IOT devices are everywhere— I have to stop to remind everybody: “The S in IOT is for Security” ~ Anonymous—and finally, surgically implanted.

    A question to consider: What Big Tech Company would you purchase your future brain implant from? This is coming.

    However, I believe we can change the future of computing for the better. Let’s stand together and invest, use, and recommend products and services that respect society.

Star LabTop Mk III Open Source Edition: An Interesting Laptop

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Gadgets

Star Labs Systems have been producing Laptops tailored for Linux for some time. Recently, they have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming ‘Open Source Edition’ laptop that incorporates more features as per the requests by the users or reviewers.
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A Psion Palmtop Successor Has Arrived and It Runs Android and Linux

Filed under
Android
Linux
Gadgets

A lot of people probably remember the 1990s palmtop computers made by Psion fondly. The clamshell-design palmtops were pocketable, black and white, but had a working stylus and a fantastic tactile foldout QWERTY keyboard that you could type pretty substantial documents on or even write code with. A different company -- Planet Computers -- has now produced a spiritual successor to the old Psion palmtops called the Gemini PDA that is much like an old Psion but with the latest Android smartphone hardware in it and a virtually identical tactile keyboard. It can also dual boot to Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Sailfish) alongside Android. The technical specs are a MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (plus microSD slot), 4G, 802.11c Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, eSIM support, and 4,220mAh battery. The screen measures in at 5.99-inches with a 2,160 x 1,080 (403ppi) resolution. The only thing missing seems to be the stylus -- but perhaps that would have complicated manufacturing of this niche-device in its first production run.

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A developer is working on turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet

Filed under
Android
Linux
Gadgets

The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s latest console/handheld, and it’s doing really well for itself in terms of sales and appeal. It also marks a change in attitude from Nintendo as well, as the device is not only powered by an Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip, but the company even reportedly wanted to employ the now-defunct Cyanogen Inc. to develop their operating system. Since the discovery of the Fusée Gelée vulnerability, Switch modding has really taken off in the community. Users have theorized for a long time now whether it would be possible to port Android to the Switch. After all, Linux has been ported to it and the device uses the Tegra X1 SoC for which there is documentation to refer to. All that’s left is the blood, sweat, and tears of developers interested enough in porting Android. One developer by the name of ByLaws is taking the challenge of turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet.

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Can the Pinebook Pro Linux deliver where others fail?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

When everything went online, the need to have an all-powerful computer was no longer that urgent. Today, we can do everything online - from writing, to picture editing, to entertainment and much more.

Tablets became the next best thing, but they, in rather dramatic fashion, proved to be a fad.

These days you rarely see them, gone was the time when everyone was dying to be seen with one. This made way for hybrids, though to be fair, tablets opened the path to low-end computers going mainstream.

This is where the Pinebook comes into existence. Sure, they market it as a tinkerer’s laptop, but, it is, in every sense, a fully working laptop, and by the looks of it, the best contender available to Chromebooks.

Read more

Also: Raspberry Pi Opens Its First Offline Retail Store In UK

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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.