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Gadgets

Librem 5 on Privacy

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Gadgets

  • Tourists on Tech’s Toll Roads

    I had assumed the toll would be $1 or so–everything else up to that point had been relatively affordable in Cancun–but was shocked when I slowed down and discovered the toll was $10! This was about three times what the Golden Gate Bridge charged back then! I felt taken advantage of, yet once we got to the toll booth, there was no easy way to turn around or avoid it, so we just paid the fee and I blamed myself for being a dumb tourist who should have researched things better.

    We spent the day in Chichen Itza and on the way back I vowed I would not be taken advantage of again. This time we would take the indirect, free route through the jungle. I was so glad I made that choice as I passed through one village after another and saw local people living their lives. While it wasn’t as fast or smooth a road as the toll road, I felt like less of a tourist on a curated tour of someone else’s property and more like I was seeing what “real” Cancun was like.

  • GPS Tuning the Librem 5 Hardware

    Society is getting pretty used to the idea that the data and applications on phones are completely controlled by large corporations.

    Purism is working hard to change that with the Librem 5.

    Because of the market capitalization and duopoly control of the phone OS vendors, the hardware tool vendors use are trapped into one of those two OSes (Android or iOS).

    [...]

    The available GPS antenna tuning procedure is a GPS simulator, but the simulator requires feedback from the phone OS to help tune the antenna. If you are on Android the simulator vendor provides an apk that converts the NMEA to a format that the tools can use to do the tuning.

    So now we have a tool to do the tuning but no way to use it.

Huawei to shift phones to its own Harmony operating system from 2021

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OS
Gadgets

Huawei has announced plans to pre-install its own Harmony operating system on its smartphones from next year.

The Chinese company said it would also offer the software to other manufacturers to use as an alternative to Android.

Huawei is currently the world's second bestselling handset-maker, after a brief time in the top spot.

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The Linux-Powered YARH.IO MKI Device

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

  • Hackable Raspberry Pi handheld computer

    Yarh-io is a handheld Linux-based computer with keyboard, trackpad and 800×480-pixel display made with a Raspberry Pi 3B+, a custom 3D-printed case and many hours of love. 

    [...]

    The 3D printed case is in fact the most expensive component, by far, csoting more than $300. It can be reassembled in various modular ways for a fully industrial personal computing experience.

  • Meet YARH.IO MKI: A Hackable Raspberry Pi And Linux Powered Device

    Now, if you ever dream of having a fully-fledged working Raspberry Pi device, here comes the YARH.IO MKI project that aims to offer a fully hackable and customizable Raspberry Pi-based handheld device.

    [...]

    The 5-inch model has a 800×480 HDMI TFT LCD display with a lightweight mini wireless Bluetooth keyboard controller. As YARH.IO is a battery-powered device, it also comes with a single removable 5000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery.

    Under the hood, the handheld device follows a unique modular design, where the main module includes a Raspberry Pi board, screen, power supply, battery, RTC, and GPIO connector with cables.

Serge Hallyn: sxmo on pinephone

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Gadgets

If you are looking for a new phone that either respects your privacy, leaves you in control, or just has a different form factor from the now ubiquitous 6″ slab, there are quite a few projects in various states of readiness...

[...]

So I’m back to running what I’ve had on it for a month or two – sxmo, the suckless mobile operating system. It’s an interesting, different take on> interacting with the phone, and I quite like it.

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A Free Software OS For The ReMarkable E-Paper Tablet

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

[Davis Remmel] has been hard at work porting Parabola, a completely free and open source GNU/Linux distribution, to the reMarkable. Developers will appreciate the opportunity to audit and modify the OS, but even from an end-user perspective, Parabola greatly opens up what you can do on the device. Before you were limited to a tablet UI and a select number of applications, but with this replacement OS installed, you’ll have a full-blown Linux desktop to play with.

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PocketBook Color is a More Affordable 6-inch Color eReader

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Linux
Hardware
Gadgets

As we noted earlier this month the first color eReaders are coming to market, but the $299 price tag of Onyx Boox Poke2 Color eReader may have some people thinking twice before purchasing this type of device. The good news is there’s now a cheap alternative with PocketBook Color available on Newegg for $229 with the exact same E-ink Kaleido 4096-color display.

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Also: Testing Hercules OTT Realtek RTD1395 4K Android STB Development Board

Ubuntu Touch Working On Better PinePhone, PineTab Support

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

The UBports' Ubuntu Touch crew has been focusing a lot lately on improving their support for the popular, budget-friendly PineTab tablet and PinePhone smartphone. The next OTA release will bring more improvements for fans of these PINE Allwinner-powered devices.

The UBports team relayed a number of PINE improvements they have been working on including:

- Ubuntu Touch OTA-13 will bring working OpenGL rendering support on the PinePhone. At the moment Ubuntu Touch on this Allwinner budget smartphone is using software acceleration, which is brutal, but now will have a working OpenGL renderer with the next release.

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Direct: Ubuntu Touch Q&A 82

This smartphone has physical kill switches for its cameras, microphone, data, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

A common complaint with modern smartphones is that they are black boxes. Android and iOS are complicated pieces of software, each with hundreds (if not thousands) of independent functions running in the background. Even when we explicitly turn off certain functions, our phones don't always do as they're told. That's part of what makes the PinePhone so alluring — it's one of the few mobile devices with hardware switches for common features, giving you full control over your smartphone.

The PinePhone is a smartphone developed by Pine64, a company that has been selling ARM-based products since 2015. The first fully-functional versions went on sale earlier this year after years of development, but Pine64 has also started selling Community Editions with various Linux distributions pre-installed. That's right, the PinePhone is built to run Linux.

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The Linux-based PinePhone is the most interesting smartphone I've tried in years

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Gadgets

Android's potential for customization was seemingly endless when it was first introduced, thanks to its Linux kernel and open-source nature. However, Google has introduced more restrictions over the past few years in the name of privacy and security, making root and other deep modifications difficult or impossible. While I agree that most of the security changes in Android are needed (I really don't need the Facebook app digging through my local files), they do mean you are not in full control of your own device.

There's still the option of using custom ROMs like LineageOS and Paranoid Android, but they're still limited by the restrictions of Android. Porting ROMs to new phones is a time-consuming and difficult process, they sometimes lack features compared to the stock software (like full camera quality), and some devices don't allow unlocking the bootloader at all.

Thankfully, there's now an alternative to Android for enthusiasts who want full control over their phone: the PinePhone, a budget device developed by Pine64 and supported by the Linux community. Despite its many (many, many) limitations, the PinePhone is still the most interesting phone I've used in years.

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Zero Terminal 3 Is A Linux PC With $5 Raspberry Pi & Touchscreen

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

NODE, a hardware hacker, has developed a modular Linux PC dubbed “Zero Terminal 3” with a touchscreen, a full-size USB 2.0 port, a micro SD socket, and in-built battery running on $5 Raspberry Pi Zero single-board computer.

Aimed at DIY enthusiasts, Zero Terminal 3 is a very versatile device that brings tonnes of options when it comes to adding add-ons to reach its true potential. The developer calls these addons ‘backpacks’ and offers users several options to extend the functionality of the device.

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Also: ClusterCTRL Stack Helps You Power and Cool up to 5 Raspberry Pi SBC’s

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