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Gadgets

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

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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

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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?

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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.

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

PinePhone Linux smartphone to sell for $149, dev kits coming soon

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Linux
Gadgets

The smartphone world is basically a duopoly at the moment. Android is the dominant operating system and iOS comes in a distant second place, while competing platforms such as Windows, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, FireFox OS have largely been abandoned.

There are still a few holdouts — Jolla continues to develop its Sailfish OS, but its market share is virtually nil.

[...]

Niche hardware and software isn’t cheap… but maybe it can be. Pine64 has announced that its developing a cheap Linux phone called the PinePhone that could sell for as little as $149.

[...]

The goal is to also provide physical switches that can disable or enable the wireless components, cameras, and speaker for privacy.

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Sailfish X Beta now available for Sony Xperia XA2 device range

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Linux
Gadgets

Today we started offering the Sailfish X Beta software package including the much awaited Android application support. You can get it now for your Sony Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Plus, and Xperia XA2 Ultra devices from the Jolla Shop!

The awaited Android application support includes major architectural changes, and upgrades the support from Android 4.4.4 to Android 8.1, significantly improving the Android app compatibility. This is a major upgrade in the Android Runtime in Sailfish OS as it will open up a wide range of additional apps to enjoy in your beloved Sailfish device and, even though still in beta, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy using it to take full advantage of the latest apps – if you prefer to use Android apps on your device of course.

As already stated in our earlier blog post, the now released version of the Android app support is a public beta. At this stage it still has many known issues but we still wanted to make it available, and thus we had to make the call to offer the Android app support part of the package free of charge for the time being until the beta label is removed.

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PinePhone Linux Smartphone Priced At $149 To Arrive This Year

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Smartphone users are usually torn between the two choices — Android or iOS. Their dominance is such that other competing OS like Windows, BlackBerry OS, or Symbian have almost been abandoned.

Those who don’t want either of them can opt for Pine64’s Linux phone dubbed the PinePhone, which offers good hardware and software at an affordable rate of $149.

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Librem 5 Hardware Update

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Development
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Hardware Update

    The Librem 5 Developer Kit started arriving in the hands of developers, and focus was shifted towards supporting the growing number of developer requests – we want to make sure that shared advancements are truly shared across the developer community, it exciting to see the rapid progress being made. Much of the work being done aims at making the kit work as well as possible for all kinds of developers. And even those working on non-critical issues at the moment are busy enjoying the discovery of all the capabilities of the dev kits.

    We are keeping track of issues by tagging them with the devkit tag in GitLab – a summary of which can be found at this overview.

  • The Current Hardware Specifications For Purism's Librem 5 Phone

    Just before Christmas, Purism began shipping the Librem 5 developer kits and with that increasing questions about the Librem 5 Linux smartphone, the company has published some new FAQs about the security-minded smartphone as well as publishing a concise list of the currently planned specifications.

    The specifications are much the same as when they were last covered, albeit now in a convenient list. The i.MX8M SoC is still at the heart of the phone though it's still yet to be determined whether the 8M Quad or 8M Quad Mini will be utilized. With either of those SoCs is the Vivante graphics, tentatively planning to ship with 3GB of RAM, and a 5.7-inch 720x1440 display, 802.11g/n WiFi, and one SIM card.

Samsung confirms Linux on DeX support for Galaxy S9

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Android
Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

In the above context, it can be safely assumed that S9 support is internally under testing. Adding S9+ compatibility on the LoD app is just the beginning of broader rollout.

There is no word on bringing Linux of DeX support for Galaxy S8/S8+/Note 8 for now.

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GameShell Review: Hackable Game Boy Clone That Has No Limits

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Linux
Gaming
Gadgets

Before I start, you should know that GameBoy is only one part of the story. With the help of Clockwork OS, one can install hundreds of emulators (aka “Cores”) on GameShell. So if you were into Tekken 3 of PlayStation One, or you liked playing FIFA on your PlayStation (PSP)portable, then Gameshell won’t disappoint you at all.

[...]

It’s actually pretty simple — Gameshell is powered by Clockwork OS, which by the way, is a GNU/Linux-based embedded operating system. So, GameShell, naturally, comes ready to be hacked or mess around with.

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Also: Talking point: What are you playing this weekend?

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More in Tux Machines

HP Linux Imaging & Printing Drivers Are Now Supported on Debian GNU/Linux 10.2

HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) software, an open-source and free print, scan and fax driver solution for HP printers and scanners, has been updated today to version 3.19.12 for Linux-based operating systems. HPLIP 3.19.12 is here to add support for several new printers, including HP Color LaserJet Pro M256dn, HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dn, HP Color LaserJet Pro M256nw, HP Color LaserJet Pro M255nw, HP Color LaserJet Pro M256dw, HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw, HP Color LaserJet Pro M155a, HP Color LaserJet Pro M156a, HP Color LaserJet Pro M155nw, HP Color LaserJet Pro M156nw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M282nw, and HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M284nw. Additionally, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdn, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M285fdn, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M285fdw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283cdw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M285cdw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M182n, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M184n, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M182nw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M184nw, HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M183fw, and HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M185fw are also supported by the new version. Read more Also: HPLIP 3.19.12 Released with New Printers Support

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Linux Performance

AMD today is shipping the Radeon RX 5500 XT as the new sub-$200 Navi graphics card. This 7nm graphics card offers 22 compute units, 1408 stream processors, up to 5.6 TFLOPS of compute power, 4GB or 8GB GDDR6 video memory options, and built atop their modern RDNA architecture and supporting features in common with the RX 5700 series like PCIe 4.0 support. Here is a look at the initial Linux gaming performance of the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT with various gaming benchmarks and Steam Play tests as well. The Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB version is launching at $169 USD while the Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB version will command $199 USD. These price points put them comparable to the current Radeon RX 580 / 590 retail cards. AMD markets the RX 5500 XT as offering 1.6x the performance-per-Watt of the original Polaris Radeon RX 480 and designed for 1080p gaming to go up against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER graphics card. Read more

KDE's December 2019 Apps Update

The release of new versions for KDE applications is part of KDE’s continued effort to bring you a complete and up-to-date catalog of fully-featured, beautiful and useful programs for your system. Available now are new versions of KDE’s file browser Dolphin; Kdenlive, one of the most complete open source video editors; the document viewer Okular; KDE’s image viewer, Gwenview; and all of your other favorite KDE apps and utilities. All of these applications have been improved, making them faster and more stable and they boast exciting new features. The new versions of KDE applications let you be productive and creative, while at the same time making use of KDE software easy and fun. We hope you enjoy all the novel features and improvements worked into all of KDE’s apps! Read more Also: KDE Applications 19.12 Open-Source Software Suite Released, Here's What's New KDE Applications 19.12 Released With Big Improvements To Kdenlive + Other KDE Programs

Games: Feral Interactive, Fantasy Strike, GNU/Linux as Gaming Platform

  • Seems like Feral Interactive may have a few surprises for Linux in 2020

    Porting studio Feral Interactive [Official Site] have already given Linux a lot of games and it sounds like more are coming. While this year they've already released Shadow of the Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, a Vulkan beta for Shadow of Mordor, Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and DiRT 4 plus plus big updates/expansions to Company of Heroes 2 and Total War: WARHAMMER II. Still to come is Life is Strange 2, which Feral previously teased to arrive sometime soon.

  • Fighting game Fantasy Strike adds full cross-platform online play with PC and Consoles

    The very pretty fighting game Fantasy Strike from Sirlin Games just got a great update, enabling cross-platform online play between Linux/macOS/Windows and the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 consoles. Apply to all online modes including Casual and Ranked, find a match should be a lot easier now. You can also challenge or spectate others from your in-game friends list, which also works across all platforms too as you can add people from any platform based on tags.

  • Looking towards other operating systems

    Learning a new operating system from scratch is a daunting experience for many people. Fortunately, there are a few Linux distributions that come with a Windows-like desktop environment such as a form of a star bar at the bottom. However, Windows and Linux operating on vastly different philosophies, to the way that they are organized to the way that the files are handled. Linux employs the traditional monolithic kernel and it provides a hierarchical view of the files. Because it is modular, most of the necessary drivers can be loaded and unloaded dynamically. One of the major appeals of Linux is that it is open-source, compared to Microsoft which is a closed and inaccessible environment. Windows is made for simple and out of the box use and directed toward inexperienced users, a reason why the OS has been adopted by so many people. Linux puts more emphasis on the user, who has the possibility of customizing the desktop environment to suit their needs. Windows also offer a few, but fairly limited customization options. The main reason why people avoid switching to Linux is their gaming habits. Linux is known for not playing well with most PC games. Most PC games are being developed with Windows as the main platforms with some companies providing Linux support sometime after the original release. Games that do not have a Linux release require third party compatibility applications to run Windows games. The major application that is used to play Windows games on Linux is Wine. The developers of Wine have specified that the software is not an emulator but more of a compatibility layer for Linux to run Windows programs, not just games. In the world of programming, Wine is considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest feats of open source development that allows most Windows binaries to run on Linux without relying on any of Microsoft’s dependencies. Most of the Wine resources are dedicated to running the complicated frameworks of various DirectX components. [...] Many people prefer to enjoy online gaming, especially casino games. The beauty of these games is that most are available and can be played directly in the browser. The default browser that Linux uses is Mozilla Firefox, which itself, is a powerful browser. Because online casinos are played directly in the browser, there is almost no difference between playing them on Linux and playing them in Windows. There are also casino games that can be downloaded with most of them being made to run only on Windows due to a large number of people using the OS. As mentioned before, to run most Windows software, players have the option to use WINE. However, since because playing the casinos using the browser, most people are better off sticking with that version. Many games from online roulette to poker, and other table games are available online. Almost all online casinos found online have the option to play instantly with no download required, which is why any OS that can run a browser is perfectly capable to run casino games. Linux has been around for a long time, but it was only in the last 10 years that people have started noticing the operating system becoming more friendlier and easy to learn. Besides the many desktop environments, customizability, community and growing compatibility of games, as well as more security, many have started the transition from Windows to Linux.