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Gadgets

'Open-source' Rotary Cellphone

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets

  • You can now own a mobile phone with a rotary dial — if that’s really something you want

    While some would be quite literally lost without theirs, smartphones that give us access to a world of information in our pocket but constantly ask to be pulled out of there and stared at have become so complicated many people now find them annoying.
    This has triggered the rise of “dumbphones”, which look like the mobile phones of the past while still having some modern technologies.
    These devices range from the quite cheap to the weirdly expensive.
    Some customers opt for these phones to disconnect from the always online world – while others merely want to be seen to be doing so.
    But if you’re looking for the ultimate disconnected phone, one tinkerer has the perfect device.
    Justine Haupt is an associate scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.
    She’s also the creator of the open source Rotary Cellphone, a mobile phone with a tactile spinning dial like the kind that was common on house phones until around the 1980s.

  • Rotary Cellphone
  • Open-source rotary cellphone

    Justine Haupt made this handsome and completely functional rotary cellphone. Her design is open-source and you can even buy a case kit from her company, Sky's Edge Robotics. You have to find and carefully modify your own rotary dial, though -- they're apparently no longer made -- as well as a few other components.

Librem 5: Full Screen, Power and New Recruit

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

  • Better Fullscreen App Support on the Librem 5

    The phone’s shell is responsible for how apps are displayed. Even the smallest improvement to how apps render can have a positive impact on all Librem 5 applications – enabling more of the rich application ecosystem in PureOS to work better on mobile.

    [...]

    The UI is still accessible whenever it’s needed, but it’s now smart enough to know when to get out of the way.

    For non-convergent desktop apps you can employ UI scaling, which will allow you to run most FOSS apps on the Librem 5 in non-docked mode.

  • Librem 5 Power Management Improvements up to Jan 2020

    Power-management improvements continue to find their way into PureOS. We still have a ways to go before the battery can make it through a day, but progress is steady. Let’s go over a few of the latest changes.

  • Julian Sparber: Joining Purism

    This announcement is long overdue, but better late than never Smile

    About 6 months ago I joined Purism, where I’m working on the Librem 5 phone. I’m in good company, since there are already a number of other fellow GNOME friends on the Librem 5 team, including Adrien Plazas, Tobias Bernard, and Mohammed Sadiq.

Devices: Librem 5, USB, SB Servo, and Raspberry Pi/OSMC

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Gyro and Ambient Light Sensor Progress

    The software stack around sensors is coming together piece by piece. It will take longer for features like auto-rotate to start working, but the raw data is there and ready to be used by PureOS and software developers.

  • USB armory Mk II: A secure computer on a USB stick featuring open source hardware design

    The hardware security professionals at F-Secure have created a new version of the USB armory – a computer on a USB stick built from the ground up to be secure.

  • SB Servo is a powerful open source digital serial servo motor

    SB Servo motors have been created to offer affordable, powerful and open-source digital servo motors with Torque, Speed, Position Feedback and full 360-degree rotation mode. Early bird pricing starts from £10 and deliveries are expected to start next month during March 2020.

  • OSMC Skin update

    While we usually release a single monthly update, we've made a number of improvements to the OSMC skin and would like to get these changes out as promptly as possible for feedback.

    [...]

    To get the latest and greatest version of OSMC, simply head to My OSMC -> Updater and check for updates manually on your exising OSMC set up. Of course — if you have updates scheduled automatically you should receive an update notification shortly.

    If you enjoy OSMC, please follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and consider making a donation if you would like to support further development.

    You may also wish to check out our Store, which offers a wide variety of high quality products which will help you get the best of OSMC.

Why the $150 PinePhone is not ready to replace my Android device

Filed under
Gadgets

The PinePhone--mention that device to any Linux and open source enthusiast, and you'll see their face light up with possibility. Mention that same device to anyone outside that realm, and you'd be lucky to get a shrug.

For those who don't know, PINE64 has been working on an open source smartphone that can run nearly any flavor of Linux. But this isn't just vaporware or a pipe dream--units have begun to ship. The units are called the BraveHeart edition, and they are something special.

But special isn't always a good thing.

Let me explain.

[...]

In order for the PinePhone to succeed, it'll have to chip away at a very challenging market, which includes the Android OS with nearly 90% global market share. That's a daunting task and to attempt that by selling devices without an operating system is a mistake.

Why? The platform is the thing.

Hardware is nothing without a platform. Android devices would be worthless to the community at large without Android. Apple phones wouldn't be nothing but chips and screens without iOS. The PinePhone is nothing but a pet project without Linux.

I realize what PINE64 is trying to do--or at least I think I do. The company is releasing the hardware with the hopes that all distributions will pick them up and start developing for them, such that every Linux distribution will offer a flashable image for the device. Why? So, in the end, it can sell devices to consumers that most Linux distributions will work on.

Read more

Here’s Ubuntu Touch Running on the PinePhone

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

UBports’ Marius Gripsgård has shared today on YouTube a more in depth overview of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the PinePhone Linux phone.

The PinePine is already shipping to customers who pre-ordered the BraveHeart edition, but the new Linux phone doesn’t ship with an operating system pre-installed. Several options are available though, including Ubuntu Touch and Plasma Mobile.

Its makers, PINE64, are currently waiting for a Linux mobile OS vendor to port their operating system to the PinePhone before shipping the second edition in spring 2020, and I really hope that Ubuntu Touch will be the first option they choose.

Read more

Setting the Record Straight: PinePhone Misconceptions

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The misconception concerns the openness of the PinePhone. On numerous occasions I’ve seen the PinePhone being refereed to as closed-source on one level or another. I don’t know the origin of this misconception nor do I understand the reason why it has become propagated throughout the internet. What I do know, however, is that it has been repeatedly quoted in online articles covering the PinePhone or other Linux devices for over a year now.

So let’s set the record straight: the PinePhone is not ‘full of closed-source firmware’ and, moreover, is one of the most open devices out there.

Read more

Also: announcing arduino-copilot

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Flashlight

Filed under
Development
Gadgets
HowTos

In my first post on easy application development on the Librem 5 I discussed how to turn a simple shell script that takes a screenshot into a full graphical app with only a few extra lines of code. In this post I will follow up with an even simpler application that took about twenty minutes to write with much of that time involved in reading documentation.

My Bright Idea

The interesting thing about smart phones is how many other devices they have replaced beyond a regular phone. For instance, there used to be a market for small, pocket-sized digital cameras, but now many people just use the cameras on their smart phones. While some people still do keep a pocket flashlight with them, many people just use the light on their smart phone.

I realized that a flashlight app would be another great way to showcase just how easy it is to develop applications for the Librem 5. As applications go the requirements are pretty simple: you need a button to turn on the light, a button to turn off the light, and a button to close the app.

Read more

MIG and Astra Linux start selling new, secure tablet with Russian operating system

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Gadgets

Russian companies Mobile Inform Group (MIG) and Astra Linux have started selling the new MIG T10 x86 tablet powered by the Astra Linux OS, an operating system of domestic origin, reports Cnews.ru. The device is resistant to a wide range of temperatures.

The device corresponds to all the security standards of the Russian security services and the military. It is powered by the tetra-core Intel Appololake N3450 2.2 GHz processor and has a 11,700 mAh battery. The price of the tablet with the pre-installed Astra Linux OS starts from RUB 105,118.

Read more

Syncthing: Open Source P2P File Syncing Tool

Filed under
Software
Gadgets

Syncthing is an open-source peer-to-peer file synchronization tool that you can use for syncing files between multiple devices (including an Android phone).

Usually, we have a cloud sync solution like MEGA or Dropbox to have a backup of our files on the cloud while making it easier to share it.

But, what do you do if you want to sync your files across multiple devices without storing them on the cloud?

That is where Syncthing comes to the rescue.

Read more

PinePhone ‘Brave Heart’ Starts Shipping, Here’s What to Expect

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

If you were plucky enough to pre-order a PinePhone Brave Heart edition last month you may be interested to know that devices start shipping from January 17, 2020.

Yes, this week!

Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski shares the date in the company’s latest monthly update, explaining: “We’re now ready […] to confirm that PinePhones will begin shipping …on January 17th 2020. The dispatch process will take a couple of days, however, so your unit may ship on the 20th or 25th. At any rate, you’ll have your PinePhone soon”.

The handsets are being shipped through a company called Asendia who, Erecinski says, offer a good balance of shipping times (important to buyers) and cost (important to Pine64, who don’t exactly make huge profits all on this tech).

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

The Future of the Arch Linux Project Leader

Some of you may know me from the days when I was much more involved in Arch, but most of you probably just know me as a name on the website. I’ve been with Arch for some time, taking the leadership of this beast over from Judd back in 2007. But, as these things often go, my involvement has slid down to minimal levels over time. It’s high time that changes. Arch Linux needs involved leadership to make hard decisions and direct the project where it needs to go. And I am not in a position to do this. Read more

today's leftovers (GNU/Linux, Open Access and Openwashing)

  • Why Huawei Without Google Is Not The End, But The Start Of Something New [Ed: Huawei already puts GNU/Linux on some major products]

    Last year, Huawei strapped in for a rough ride when US President Donald Trump called for a trade ban on the Chinese tech giant. Huawei was placed on the US’ Entity List since May 2019, stopping them from doing business with American companies unless granted approval by the US Government. The move essentially cut Huawei off from their US supply of parts, such as the latest chips by Intel and Qualcomm — but the greatest impact felt was definitely losing access to Google’s licensed software, apps and services. The one question boggling fans and users was what would happen when future Huawei phones come without Google’s Android and Google Mobile Services (GMS) like Gmail, Google Chrome and Google Maps?

  • 27th Time The Charm? Intel SGX Enclaves Support For Linux Revved Again

    For four years we have been seeing Intel Secure Guard Extensions (SGX) bring-up for the Linux kernel and that work continues with the Intel SGX Enclaves support now having been sent out for review twenty-seven times as it tries to work its way towards the mainline Linux kernel.

  • X.Org Server Lands Fixes For XWayland Full-Screen Support
  • Ksnip is a cross-platform, open source screenshot tool with many annotation options

    The program supports five modes for capturing screenshots. Rectangular Area is the default one which was mentioned in the above paragraph. The second option is Last Rectangular Area, selecting this option directly captures the content inside the previous area that you chose. This is a rather unusual option, and quite a useful one as it allows you to retake a screenshot or take another one in case something changed inside the rectangle. The Full Screen mode can be used to save a snapshot of the entire screen. What's special here is that, Ksnip can capture the screen from all connected monitors. So, you can use it to take wide screenshots from videos, games and maybe even set the captured image as your desktop background wallpaper.

  • Open Source textbooks saving Beaufort County Community College students money
  • Open-source textbooks save Beaufort students over $50,000 per semester

    Open source textbooks are helping students at Beaufort County Community College save money, making the cost of their education less expensive and helping stretch financial aid or scholarship money they may be receiving. The average student will spend over $1,200 on textbooks per year. Since initial adoption by Ashleigh Howard, Lead Professor for the Social & Behavioral Sciences Department, the books have been adopted by other professors across campus, cumulatively saving students over $50,000 per semester. Currently, cultural geography, history, criminal justice, sociology and Spanish classes are using the books.

  • UBank puts open source accessibility kit on GitHub [Ed: This feeds a proprietary software trap of Microsoft for openwashing purposes and to make matters worse, it is not accessible]
  • Precious Plastic open source recycling project takes a new perspective toward waste

    “Plastic is a precious and valuable material. It’s just been kind of designed, used and marketed in the wrong way, in our view,” explained Precious Plastic business guy (yes, that’s his real title) Joseph Klatt. The company’s business guy is originally from Ohio but moved to the Netherlands where the project is headquartered.

  • The open source platform empowering creatives to turn recycling into craft [Ed: This use of the term "open source" may be misleading]

    In response to this, Hakkens looked to the large-scale recycling plants that operate across the world. Their huge industrial machines then formed the base of the Precious Plastic operation. “He began recreating these machines on a small scale, putting the blueprints and assembly instructions online for others to use,” continues Elleke. Once built, users can create with the waste plastic however they need, making anything from furniture and household goods, to bricks and other modular structures. The possibilities, she says, are endless: “Anything made with plastic, can be made with recycled plastic.” According to Elleke, the whole idea was to “take a global problem, and find a community solution.” In giving a second, third or infinite number of lives to waste plastic, Hakkens and his team provide local designers, craftspeople and creatives with a new material and profit stream.

OSS Leftovers

  • Dell EMC Streaming Data Platform integrates open source technology

    Dell combines several open source streaming data technologies, including Apache Kafka, Apache Flink and Pravega, to create a new streaming data platform.

  • Instaclustr Achieves PCI-DSS Certification for its Managed Apache Cassandra and Kafka Offerings on AWS
  • Democratizing space exploration with new technologies

    Democratization means nothing without the support of and collaboration with public consumers and talent. Open source software, whose source code anyone can peruse, modify and contribute to, allows NewSpace industries to engage directly with the public through hands-on, widely accessible opportunities that help develop and improve technology. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a big proponent of these open access projects, finding that they build online and in-real-life communities and help shape the future of NewSpace tech. These open access resources solicit submissions from all over the world, inviting users to send their personal research concept to space. Participants, for example, can rent time on a cubesat constellation (similar to buying time on a cloud computing system). Here they can interact in open science communities with access to libraries and maker studios where users can utilize MIT’s already vast research portfolio. On top of it all, the initiative offers other integrated support systems like a STEAM outreach program with educational resources, curriculum and DIY hacker guidelines for climate-smart cubesats.

  • Should I Use Open Source Instead Of Demand Planning Software For Forecasting?

    You’re not going to get advanced modeling like machine learning in Excel. Excel can’t handle large data sets either, making it clunky and problematic.

  • Collaboration Over Competition: How Companies Benefit from Open Innovation

    More and more technology companies are adopting open innovation initiatives. This is largely due to the realization of the benefits of working with outside experts to gain external perspectives and insights. This situation wherein an organization thinks beyond its internal resources for innovation and collaborates with external resources is known as open innovation. Open innovation is an opportunity for the company to utilize those external ideas and use them to develop innovative products and services. It may seem simple, but there is more to the collaboration process than just brainstorming.

  • An Open Source Ebike

    In the ebike world, there are two paths. The first is a homemade kit bike with motors and controllers from China. The second is a prebuilt bike from a manufacturer like Giant, with motors and controllers from China, which will be half as fast and cost three times as much. The choice is obvious, and there are other benefits to taking the first path as well, such as using this equipment which now has an open source firmware option. [...] This new open source firmware for the TSDZ2 further improves on the ride by improving the motor responsiveness, improving battery efficiency, and opening up the ability to use any of a number of color displays. (More information is available on a separate Wiki.)

  • RedNotebook 2.17

    RedNotebook is a modern desktop journal. It lets you format, tag and search your entries. You can also add pictures, links and customizable templates, spell check your notes, and export to plain text, HTML, Latex or PDF. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.

  • Monitoring Your Network with Time Series: How Open Source Can Help

    Network monitoring is critical to all IoT Operations and for security and Time Series can be a secret cheat code to keeping that network all shipshape. Learn how, in an upcoming webinar from InfluxData.

  • Open in Browser is a Firefox extension that opens PDFs, images directly instead of downloading them

    I installed the add-on and tried accessing the same URLs. A new prompt appeared and Open in Browser detected them as "server sent MIME". It had an option to open it with Firefox. This saves you the trouble of downloading and opening it. Another advantage is that your downloads folder doesn't get cluttered.

Programming Leftovers

  • What developers need to know about domain-specific languages

    A domain-specific language (DSL) is a language meant for use in the context of a particular domain. A domain could be a business context (e.g., banking, insurance, etc.) or an application context (e.g., a web application, database, etc.) In contrast, a general-purpose language (GPL) can be used for a wide range of business problems and applications. A DSL does not attempt to please all. Instead, it is created for a limited sphere of applicability and use, but it's powerful enough to represent and address the problems and solutions in that sphere. A good example of a DSL is HTML. It is a language for the web application domain. It can't be used for, say, number crunching, but it is clear how widely used HTML is on the web. A GPL creator does not know where the language might be used or the problems the user intends to solve with it. So, a GPL is created with generic constructs that potentially are usable for any problem, solution, business, or need. Java is a GPL, as it's used on desktops and mobile devices, embedded in the web across banking, finance, insurance, manufacturing, etc., and more.

  • Raspberry Pi 4 Rev 1.2 Fixes USB-C Power Issues, Improves SD Card Resilience

    The first Raspberry Pi 4 boards suffered from a poor USB-C power supply compatibility due to issues for the power circuitry. That means if you bought the official USB-C power supply you had no issues, but if you wanted to re-use a spare USB-C power supply or incompatible cable, you may be out of luck.

  • OpenVPN setup

    For historical reasons, I run a bunch of IT infrastructure at home. Mindful of sayings like the cloud is just other people's computers I’ve installed jails on my home FreeBSD NAS / server / router to deliver a bunch of services. Mail, for instance, and an LDAP server to experiment with, and something for package building.

  • Using C and C++ for data science

    While languages like Python and R are increasingly popular for data science, C and C++ can be a strong choice for efficient and effective data science. In this article, we will use C99 and C++11 to write a program that uses the Anscombe’s quartet dataset, which I'll explain about next. I wrote about my motivation for continually learning languages in an article covering Python and GNU Octave, which is worth reviewing. All of the programs are meant to be run on the command line, not with a graphical user interface (GUI). The full examples are available in the polyglot_fit repository.

  • PyDev of the Week: Hameer Abbasi

    This week we welcome Hameer Abbasi as our PyDev of the Week! Hameer works on the PyData Sparse project. [...] I was doing a Hilfswissenschaftler job (sort of like a Research Assistant in the USA), and there I was presented the problem of scaling a sparse system to a larger space. I discovered the PyData/Sparse project back then (it was in Matthew Rocklin’s personal repository at the time), and was immediately fascinated by the idea of computational gains to be had if one moved to a sparse representation. I’m now the maintainer for that project, and I’m grateful I chose that path, as it landed me a talk at SciPy 2018 and a client in the form of Quansight.