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Hardware

Android and Devices

Filed under
Android
Linux
Hardware
  • Kernel.org Is Knocking On The Door Of My Odroid-C2

    If this ~$100 CDN tiny box pleases TLW, it’s Good Enough. When a proper video driver gets into Linus’ mainline, say, with Wayland, and distros have all the usual applications working, these things will take over. It surely blows away her old VIA box with 8 core-gHz CPU, gigabit/s networking and 2gB RAM compared to 0.4 core-gHz, 100 mbits/s, and 0.25gB RAM. We’re using files over NFS so TLW will be able to use her old desktop environment on Beast III if she wants. Otherwise, she can use the Odroid-C2 as a thick client well enough. Cost for the old ones was ~$150 CDN delivered a decade ago, with real money, not this inflated stuff. Life is good.

  • ​Google wants you to log in once on Android - with any password manager
  • Google Says Goodbye to Android Wear's 'Together' Watch Face
  • Here's an open source PC that can be a laptop, desktop or even tablet

    Would-be backers of the open-source, modular EOMA68 PC card can now support the crowdfunding campaign by purchasing several new gadgets that work with the system.

    Fund-raising for the 'Easy-on-Mother-Earth' EOMA68 PC began in July and have now reached $66,000, or just under half of the $150,000 targeted by the end of August.

    The concept, from UK firm Rhombus Tech, is designed to demonstrate that computers can be easy and cheap to fix or upgrade with a standardized PC board and 3D printable housing and components. It also hopes the modular design can cut the mountains of e-waste produced by the tech industry.

4-Disk Btrfs RAID Benchmarks On Linux 4.7

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Going along with the recent Linux 4.7 file-system benchmarks, here are some tests of Btrfs' built-in RAID functionality when tested on the Linux 4.7 kernel across four SATA SSDs.

Read more

Open Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • AArch64 desktop hardware?

    Soon there will be four years since I started working on AArch64 architecture. Lot of software things changed during that time. Lot in a hardware too. But machines availability still sucks badly.

    In 2012 all we had was software model. It was slow, terribly slow. Common joke was AArch64 developers standing in a queue for 10GHz x86-64 cpus. So I was generating working binaries by using cross compilation. But many distributions only do native builds. In models. Imagine Qt4 building for 3-4 days…

    In 2013 I got access to first server hardware. With first silicon version of CPU. Highly unstable, we could use just one core etc. GCC was crashing like hell but we managed to get stable build results from it. Qt4 was building in few hours now.

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 1

    Last year I had open source instruction set RISC-V running Linux emulated in qemu. However to really get into the architecture, and restore my very rusty FPGA skills, wouldn’t it be fun to have RISC-V working in real hardware.

    The world of RISC-V is pretty confusing for outsiders. There are a bunch of affiliated companies, researchers who are producing actual silicon (nothing you can buy of course), and the affiliated(?) lowRISC project which is trying to produce a fully open source chip. I’m starting with lowRISC since they have three iterations of a design that you can install on reasonably cheap FPGA development boards like the one above. (I’m going to try to install “Untether 0.2” which is the second iteration of their FPGA design.)

  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 2
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 3
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 4
  • RISC-V on an FPGA, pt. 5

Open Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
  • Open-Source Farming Machine Plants And Waters Seeds

    While it is nice to have access to produce that is not in season, the unseen use of pesticides and other harmful additives is a difficult problem to avoid.

  • California dreaming: DIY, open-source SoCs with RISC-V

    With its customizable, open-source SoCs built on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture, SiFive, a San Francisco start-up, is poised to reverse the industry’s rising licensing, design and implementation costs.

    With on the one hand Moore’s Law ended or approaching the end and on the other, vast investments required for to develop a modern, high-performance chip, it looks impossible for smaller system designers to join the traditional economic model of chip building. However, the body of software and tools available from the open-source community under the guidance of the RISC-V Foundation, can substantially cut the cost of developing custom silicon. System designers can use the SiFive Freedom platforms to focus on their own differentiated processor without having the overhead of developing a modern SoC, fabric or software infrastructur

  • Lawn Da Vinci Open Source RC Lawnmower (video)

    If you find the prices of the current range of robotic lawnmowers just a little too high for your budget, you might be interested in a new open source remote control lawnmower which has been created called the Lawn Da Vinci.

    Okay so it’s not completely autonomous but you can still add a little extra fun to those lawn mowing days, with the addition of a little remote control to the humble petrol powered lawnmower.

  • A open source toolkit for building your own home

    The evidence is overwhelming that large scale collaboration leads to superior technology. FOSS showed us the way and now free and open source hardware is rapidly gaining traction. There is a growing list of open source hardware projects, which are bringing millions (billion?) of dollars of value to the world. Now a new initiative from the Open Building Institute (OBI) is adding "house" to the list of killer open hardware apps.

  • Open Source Hardware: What It Means and Why It Matters

    You've heard of open source software. But what about open source hardware? Here's an overview of what open source hardware is, what the challenges are and why open hardware is poised to grow in importance as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to boom.

Linux Devices

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Smaller & Faster than Raspberry Pi Zero: Meet NanoPi NEO ARM Linux Development Board

    Raspberry Pi Zero has two noticeable attributes compared to other Raspberry Pi boards: it’s smaller and it’s cheaper. FriendlyARM has now designed another model for their NanoPi family, that about 12% smaller, although not quite as thin at all due to its Ethernet jack and USB connector, and much faster than Raspberry Pi Zero, with NanoPi NEO board powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor.

  • Notes from the fourth RISC-V workshop

    Many of the lowRISC team (Robert Mullins, Wei Song, and Alex Bradbury) have been in Boston this week for the fourth RISC-V workshop. By any measure, this has been a massive success with over 250 attendees representing 63 companies and 42 Universities. Wei presented our most recent work on integrating trace debug, which you’ll soon be able to read much more about here (it’s worth signing up to our announcement list if you want to be informed of each of our releases).

  • Arduino-powered Lock Automatically Locks The Door When You Open Incognito Mode

    Mike, the CEO of the Useless Duck Company, has created an Arduino-powered door lock which locks the door automatically when you open an incognito window in your web browser. In a YouTube video, Mike shows how this awesome tech works.

Devices and Hardware (Linux and Hacker-Friendly)

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
OSS
  • 8 open source point of sale systems

    Running a small business isn't easy, and especially so for retailers, restaurant owners, and others who have a brick-and-mortar storefront. Managing purchases and cash flow, keeping inventory stocked, making sure your employees are happy, and above all else serving your customers needs requires dedication, a solid business plan, and a bit of luck to be successful.

  • ELC video explains the mystery of modern caches

    In his recent ELC talk, ARM kernel developer Mark Rutland traced the evolution of caches over the last decade or so, and explained how to manage them.

    “If you’re a bit tired, this is a presentation on cache maintenance, so there will be plenty of opportunity to sleep,” began Rutland. Despite this warning, Rutland’s presentation, titled Embedded Linux Conference presentation titled Stale Data, or How We (Mis-)manage Modern Caches, was actually kind of an eye opener — at least as far as cache management presentations go.

  • This open source CNC system integrates high-tech automation into backyard farming

    This story might more properly belong on RobotHugger, but with its open source DIY approach to small-scale food production, FarmBot is worth a look.

    The old-school gardener in me is battling my high-tech early adopter side over whether or not this robotic farming device is a step toward greater food sovereignty or toward a dystopian future where robot overlords rule backyard farms. Sure, it's easy enough to learn to garden the old fashioned way, on your hands and knees with your hands in the soil, but considering that one of the excuses for not growing some our own food is lack of time and lack of skills and knowledge, perhaps this automated and optimized small-scale farming approach could be a feasible solution for the techie foodies who would like homegrown food without having to have a green thumb.

  • Tropical Labs Offers a Powerful Open Source Servo for Makers

    Joe Church from Tropical Labs wanted low cost, accurate servo motors for a project but was unable to find the right parts for his need. The team began to develop motors and recording their progress on hackaday.io. The motor project eventually turned into Mechaduino, and Tropical Labs is running a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the first run of production motors.

  • SiFive – the open-source hardware company

    Customisation periods end with ICs becoming complex and expensive and, at that point, standardisation comes in and returns ICs to affordability.

    Or that’s the theory.

    Over the years there have been many ways to bring the cost of custom silicon down – MPW, ASIC, P-SOC, FPGAs and, latterly, ARM’s offer of free access to Cortex-M0 processor IP through DesignStart which aims to deliver test chips for $16,000.

Anki Cozmo: AI toy robot gets open-source SDK for programming, hacking

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

ARM Lead

Filed under
Hardware
  • Inside Japan’s Future Exascale ARM Supercomputer

    The rumors that supercomputer maker Fujitsu would be dropping the Sparc architecture and moving to ARM cores for its next generation of supercomputers have been going around since last fall, and at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany this week, officials at the server maker and RIKEN, the research and development arm of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) that currently houses the mighty K supercomputer, confirmed that this is indeed true.

  • Fujitsu turns to ARM for Post-K supercomputer

    Alternative chip architectures are taking some thunder away from Intel's x86 at this week's International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt.

    China's TaihuLight, which was ranked the world's fastest supercomputer, has a homegrown chip. And the ARM architecture, which dominates mobile-device chips, will appear in Fujitsu's next flagship supercomputer.

  • Intel: ARM Servers To Renew Their Attack

    Up until now, server chips based on ARM Holdings' (NASDAQ:ARMH) architecture have had little impact on the data center market, and Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) Data Center Group has continued to grow. ARM server vendors are preparing the next wave of server chips based on 14-16 nm FinFET technology. These will be much more competitive and energy efficient and could start to erode Intel's share of the data center by 2017.

[Windows/Intel demise]

Open Hardware

Filed under
Hardware
  • Denver Mini Maker Faire Roundup

    We told you about NixCore in a links post last fall. This is a small Linux-based router board with a dev board add-on option. [Drew] himself was on hand giving live demos and selling boards. $30 is a pretty good price for this small SBC that’s not quite a Pi or an Arduino nor an ESP8266.

  • Mechaduino Powerful Open Source Servo Motor (video)

    Tropical Labs has this week unveiled a new open source industrial servo motor it has created in the form of the Mechaduino which takes the form of an affordable solo that is Arduino compatible.

    Check out the video below to learn more about this new Mechaduino servomotor which is taken to Kickstarter to raise $7500 over the next 20 days to go into production.

  • Will Open-Source Work For Chips?

    The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (EDA) industry was coming into existence. EDA software is used to take high-level logical descriptions of circuits and map them into silicon for manufacturing. EDA software starts in the five digits, even for the simplest of tools, tacking on two or three zeros for a suite of tools necessary to fully process a design. On top of this, manufacturing costs start at several million dollars.

  • DIY Off the Grid: Open Building Institute to Change Face of Home Construction & Home Ownership
  • Building Your Own Home From Open Source Blocks

    What if your next house were to cost 1/10th of the average home while sporting a long list of high-tech hyper-ecological features? With the help of the Open Building Institute (OBI), which is designing affordable, ecological housing accessible to everyone - you may be able to do just that.

    [...]

    OBI is following the same open source methodology that has made the Internet so successful --- sharing the source code with a free license. Google and Facebook and many other Internet companies use open source software on the backend because large scale collaboration generally leads to superior technology. Open source hardware follows the same approach from electronics to 3-D printers.

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Avidemux 2.6.13 Open-Source Video Editor Gets AAC/ADTS Import and Export

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5 Best Linux Distros for Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy. Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users. Read more

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine
    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both. Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.
  • ​Linus Torvalds' love-hate relationship with the GPL
    Linux's founder appreciates what the GNU General Public License has given Linux, but he doesn't appreciate how some open-source lawyers are trying to enforce it in court.
  • Linus Torvalds reflects on 25 years of Linux
    LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
  • 6 things you should know from Linux's first 25 years
    Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.
  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development
    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.

Security News

  • New FairWare Ransomware targeting Linux Computers [Ed: probably just a side effect of keeping servers unpatched]
    A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.
  • How do we explain email to an "expert"?
    This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on? There are three primary groups of people. 1) People who know they know nothing 2) People who think they're experts 3) People who are actually experts
  • Why the term “zero day” needs to be in your brand’s cybersecurity vocabulary
    Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.