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Hardware

System76 Galago UltraPro: Powerful Linux laptop but not quite an ultrabook

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

When I set out to find a new laptop, I was looking for an ultrabook --a 13-inch powerhouse with plenty of battery life and a gorgeous screen. On top of everything, it had to run Linux.

That search led me to the System76 Galago UltraPro. Although not technically an ultrabook (it's too big, doesn't have ultrabook-level battery life, and doesn't contain a solid state drive). What it does have is elegance and power to spare...to the tune of besting most currently available ultrabooks. And, like all System76 devices, it runs Ubuntu Linux.

Let's take a look at what's good and bad with the Galago UltraPro.

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No Steam Machines For You (Until 2015)

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Hardware
Gaming

The ultimate Linux gaming machine - aka Valve's Steam Machine won't be available until 2015. That's not good news.

The Steam Machines effort is a Linux powered gaming machine that could revolutionize console gaming and take on Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox, if it ever gets out the door. Valve will have multiple hardware vendors partners building Steam Machines, but that's not the problem behind the latest delay.

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Valve Steam Machines: Now Look Forward To 2015

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Hardware
Gaming

Valve has just posted an update to the Steam Universe community. Long story short, they're back to experimenting with wireless controllers and are conducting live play tests with these new controllers. These play tests are generating a lot of useful feedback, but now with the time to incorporate these improvements, "we're now looking at a release window of 2015, not 2014." Though it's a bit unclear whether this will hold back a majority (all?) of the Steam Machines or whether just the top-tier, best units are now a year away.

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Radxa: The $100 Quad-Core ARM Raspberry Pi Alternative

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Development
Hardware

Many will think of the Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black when considering a DIY project running Linux. But if you want to do some CPU-heavy work in your DIY project, like running some opencv code to give your project some vision, the Radxa Rock might be the right choice. Even if you're not looking at a DIY project, this machine makes for a nice little Linux server.

The Radxa offers 80 pins to interface with other electronics and offers a much faster quad core CPU, up to 2 Gigabytes (GB) of RAM, 8 GB of on-board flash storage and bluetooth for $100. The Radxa also has on-board wifi with an antenna to provide a good wireless link, and comes with a clear, friction fit case.

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AMD runs out of steam

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gaming

The success of the SteamOS Linux distribution is revealing that AMD is going to get a kicking in the future and it just cannot see it.

For a decade it would have been fair enough for a consumer chipmaker to ignore Linux. All those who said will be the year of Linux on the desktop were usually greeted with much mockery.

While 2014 is not the year that Linux will take control of the desktop either, the writing is appearing on the wall and it is silly for AMD to ignore it.

SteamOS users are suffering from a lack of proper AMD driver support and it is taking ages for anyone to get games on the OS running.

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Novena open laptop project exceeds 280 percent of crowd-funding target

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Hardware
OSS

Novena, an open laptop platform designed for hackers, has surpassed 280 percent of its crowd-funding target, and the open-hardware computing devices will start shipping in November.

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The inside story of the open source PC, and how it could stop you being a slave to your hardware

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Hardware
OSS

Huang's diligence paid off and at a time when other kids were focused on getting a high score on Asteroids, he was reading DIY electronics guides in Byte magazine and building add-on cards for the Apple II.

Today Huang, who goes by the nickname 'bunnie', has just drummed up more than $700,000 through the website Crowd Supply for his project to build an open source computer called Novena.

Huang is setting out to create a machine whose inner workings are as transparent as the computer that three decades ago sparked his lifelong interest in creating hardware.

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MIPS Open-Source Group Takes Aim at ARM, Intel

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Hardware
OSS

AMD “Bald Eagle” APUs target high-end embedded Linux

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Linux
Server
Hardware

AMD’s “Bald Eagle” R-Series processors offer four 3.6GHz “Steamroller” cores with Heterogeneous System Architecture support, plus Mentor Embedded Linux.

AMD has a dual-platform strategy for embedded: G-Series on the low end and R-Series on the high end. Now, the chipmaker has launched a second generation of AMD Embedded R-series processors in both CPU and APU (accelerated processing unit) variants, with the latter offering integrated, rather than optional discrete AMD Radeon graphics. AMD tipped its Bald Eagle R-Series processors last September, and has launched sales for five new variants. The new R-Series CPUs are designed for gaming machines, digital signage, medical imaging, industrial control and automation, and communications and networking infrastructure, says AMD.

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Arduino gets bigger—and smaller—at Maker Faire

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Hardware
OSS

There’s a rash of open source hardware announcements today in advance of this weekend’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, California—and two are related to the popular Arduino microcontroller. While Arduino and its manufacturing partner Amtel are announcing Arduino Zero—a new high-end 32-bit version of the open-source microcontroller board—another Arduino partner is releasing a simplified version of the controller intended to make it easier for beginners to start prototyping devices with little or no knowledge of electronics.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

KDE and Akademy

  • KDE Has Created Shashlik, A Way To Install Android Apps On Linux
    As you may know, KDE has created Shashlik, an emulator that permits the installation of Android apps on Linux systems. While Android is still Linux because they share the Linux kernel, Google’s OS has its own libraries and services while Linux uses the libraries and services brought by GNU.
  • Passing the Torch
    I hereby want to announce an open call to find a new maintainer for KDE’s speech recognition efforts.
  • Kubuntu Paddleboard Club
  • Akademy 2015 & Kate
    I didn’t do that much work on Kate, I mostly did small bugfixes for the applications bundled with the KDE Applications releases regarding their HiDPI support, finally no Konsole that can’t redraw correctly on scrolling on a HiDPI screen with scaling activated!
  • It’s the final countdown
  • Akademy 2015 coming to an end
    During the BoF days from Monday to Thursday, a great many tiny videos were shot of many of the attendees by Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen. These have been edited and cut up and turned into a video explaining, very shortly, what KDE really is. Being a community of people contributing to the development of software, the conclusion is straight forward. See the unsurprising conclusion in the video entitled What is KDE? (webm, mp4, vimeo), created as a tribute to the KDE community and all the amazing people in it.

Fedora: The Latest

Android Leftovers

  • Google offers revamped Glass headset to the enterprise: report
    Google is reportedly distributing a new version of Glass for use in specialist sectors.
  • Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 to support Android for Work
    Earlier this year, Google made it quite clear to help enterprise-segment with its Android for Work initiative for its mobile operating system. Now, the company has finally announced its expansion plans that now includes 40 companies including device manufacturers, application makers and management providers.
  • Android for Work Gets Support from Major U.S. Carriers
    Earlier this year, we were reporting on one of the biggest security holes ever affecting Android. In fact, PaloAlto networks had found that that security breach affected almost 50 percent of Android devices, making them vulnerable to an attack that can swap out a user's pre-installed app with malware that can round up sensitive data. The fact is, concerns about security and other issues have made some enterprises wary of letting users standardize on Android devices.
  • Android Studio 1.3 (Android IDE Developed By Google) Has Been Released
  • OnePlus 2 Review Roundup: Solid Android Smartphone And Fantastic Tag Price
    The OnePlus 2 will not become available in the U.S. and Europe until Aug. 11, but the first reviews of the Chinese startup's second flagship smartphone are already in, and the verdict is a resounding thumbs up from most people who were lucky enough to be given a preview build. When it comes to the OnePlus 2's design, reviewers agree that the device has a solid, comfortable build thanks to the textured sandstone panel on the back and the slight convex shape that curves right into the hands, while still evoking that premium feel with the aluminum frame holding up the device.