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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Intel: HEVC, ANV Vulkan Driver, Linux 5.7 and New Security Hole

  • Intel Adds VA-API Acceleration For HEVC REXT To FFmpeg

    Intel open-source developers have contributed support for VA-API acceleration of HEVC REXT "Range Extensions" content with the widely-used FFmpeg library. HEVC Range Extensions are extensions to H.265 geared for areas of content distribution, medical imaging, still imaging, and more. Among the changes with HEVC REXT are supporting 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma sampling formats. HEVC Range Extensions are laid out in much more detail in this IEEE.org paper.

  • Intel Boosts Gen7 GPU Vulkan Compute Performance By ~330% For Geekbench

    Intel's open-source "ANV" Vulkan driver for Linux doesn't see much attention for pre-Broadwell hardware but today it saw a big improvement for Vulkan compute on aging Gen7 Ivybridge/Haswell era hardware. Jason Ekstrand, the lead developer of the Intel ANV Vulkan driver, discovered that in their driver's pipeline code the data cache functionality would end up being disabled when a shader was pulled out of the pipeline cache. For Broadwell/Gen8+ the data cache bit was being ignored but this oversight ended up having huge implications for Gen7 Intel graphics hardware (Ivybridge/Haswell) as the oldest supported by Intel's Vulkan driver.

  • Intel Has Accumulated 400+ Graphics Driver Patches So Far For Linux 5.7

    Intel just sent out their initial pull request of new feature changes/improvements to DRM-Next that in turn is for landing in about one month's time when the Linux 5.7 merge window kicks off. With taking longer than usual to send in their first round of feature updates, this first of several pull requests already amounts to over 400 patches. While it is a big pull request given the extra time for patches to accumulate, there aren't too many user-facing changes. Though there is a lot of enablement work for Tiger Lake as well as continuing Gen11 Ice Lake and Elkhart Lake work. For Ice Lake / Elkhart Lake there are a number of driver workarounds added. For Gen12 / Tiger Lake there are workarounds, display fixes, RPS is re-enabled, and other work.

  • Intel KVM Virtualization Hit By Vulnerability Over Unfinished Code

    At least not another hardware vulnerability, but CVE-2020-2732 appears to stem from unfinished code within the Intel VMX code for the Linux kernel's Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) support. CVE-2020-2732 as of writing isn't yet public but we've been closely monitoring it since seeing a peculiar patch series earlier today and not finding much information on it.

Hardware and Devices for GNU/Linux

Screenshots/Audiocasts/Shows: Netrunner 20.01, Linux Headlines, This Week in Linux and Pandas

  • Netrunner 20.01 – Twenty Run Through

    In this video, we are looking at Netrunner 20.01 – Twenty.

  • 2020-02-25 | Linux Headlines

    Manjaro hits version 19, Firefox starts rolling out DNS over HTTPS by default in the US, Puppet releases version 2 of Bolt, and Mirantis commits to the future of Docker Swarm.

  • This Week in Linux 94: Mesa 20, PipeWire, Linux Be Scary, MyPaint, GTK, Microsoft Defender

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we got some new releases from core projects like Mesa & PipeWire and we also got some App News from MyPaint, GTK and a new convergent apps project called Maui. Then we’ll check out some distro news regarding the Untangle Firewall and some Red Hat news about CoreOS Container Linux. Later in the show, we’ll cover some really interesting news from Nvidia about Ray Tracing to Vulkan. Someone in the UK Police thought it was a good idea to warn parents their kids may become hackers and Microsoft announced their Microsoft Defender is coming to Linux. Then we’ll round out the show with some great deals for Games, Books and Comics from Humble Bundle. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • Data School: How to merge DataFrames in pandas (video)

    In my new pandas video, you're going to learn how to use the "merge" function so that you can combine multiple datasets into a single DataFrame. Merging (also known as "joining") can be tricky to do correctly, which is why I'll walk you through the process in great detail. By the end of the video, you'll be fully prepared to merge your own DataFrames!

Events: LibOCon, CHAOSScon, SUSE in Paris, Open Networking & Edge Summit North America 2020

  • LibreOffice Conference 2021 Call for Locations

    Once a year, the LibreOffice Community gathers for a global community event: the LibreOffice Conference, or LibOCon. After a series of successful events – Paris, October 2011; Berlin, October 2012; Milan, September 2013; Bern, September 2014; Aarhus, September 2015; Brno, September 2016; Rome, October 2017; Tirana, September 2018 and Almeria, September 2019 – the venue for 2020 is Nuremberg, Germany. To ease the organization, TDF Board of Directors has decided to open the call for location for 2021 earlier this year, to give the 2021 event organizers the opportunity of attending the conference in Nurembers in October 2020. The LibreOffice Conference takes place between September and November, with a preference for September. The deadline for sending in proposals is June 30, 2019. After receiving the applications, we will evaluate if all pre-conditions have been met and the overall content of the proposal, and give all applicants a chance to answer questions and clarify details if needed.

  • CHAOSScon EU 2020: play by play

    This is my second time attending CHAOSScon. I attended on behalf of RIT LibreCorps to represent our engagement with the UNICEF Office of Innovation and the Innovation Fund. For CHAOSScon EU 2020, I arrived hoping to learn more about effective metric collection strategies for open source communities and also get a deeper understanding of the technology behind GrimoireLab.

  • When in Paris, learn how SUSE empowers DevOps teams with HPE

    We will be there (Booth #21) to meet with Presales Consultants and Solution Architects from both HPE and Partners and chat about how we are working with HPE to deliver software-defined infrastructure with an open approach.

  • Keynote Speakers Announced For Open Networking & Edge Summit North America 2020

    The open networking event has now been expanded to cover Edge Computing, Edge Cloud and IoT. The event focuses on collaborative development and innovation across enterprises, service providers/telcos and cloud providers to shape the future of networking and edge computing with a deep focus on technical, architectural and business discussions in the areas of Open Networking & AI/ML-enabled use cases.