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Hardware

Open-source Hardware and 3D-Printing

Filed under
Hardware
  • Efabless launches open-source hardware design portal

    Efabless Corp. (San Jose, Calif.) has opened a website called Chiplicity that offers an online design framework for the design, verification, prototyping and prototyping of mixed-signal ASICs.

    Chiplicity supports community-developed intellectual property cores (IP cores) and ICs and allows community members to create, share, make derivatives of and commercialize their mixed-signal ICs. Chiplicity includes all the tools needed for a full design cycle from idea to completed manufacturable GDSII files. Community members can manufacture their designs as prototypes through Efabless on shuttles at German foundry X-Fab.

  • FlyPi: an open source 3D printed microscope that can be made for €100

    Those of us who were fortunate enough to attend well funded schools might take for granted that laboratory equipment, such as microscopes, are actually quite expensive. This, of course, means that most schools around the globe do not have access to scientific equipment which can be used to teach, train, and research.

  • Better Call Saul needed 3D printing and an Arduino to arm Mike Ehrmantraut

Jolla Tablet Setback, Linux on Devices, and End of Windows Phone

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Microsoft
  • Jolla Tablet refund update

    Dear Jolla Tablet contributor, As promised, we are beginning to process the refunds further on cash flow positive months by randomly selecting a number of backers and providing them with a few of options in order to handle their refund situation. As of end of July is now at hand, we can confirm the financial situation is allowing us to start the process with 100 random backers. While admittedly that is not a huge number, it is what the situation permits us to do so far. We are determined to continue with the process each month we have a positive cash flow.

  • Rugged Skylake box PC offers up to 8x USB and 5x HDMI ports

    Advantech’s Linux-ready “UNO-2484G” Box PC offers dual-core 6th Gen U-series CPUs, 4x GbE ports, and either HDMI/USB or “iDoor” expansion units.

    Like Advantech’s Linux-on-Quark based UNO-1252G IoT gateway and Intel Apollo Lake based ARK-1124C embedded computer, the new Skylake based UNO-2484G embedded PC offers up to four of the company’s homegrown “iDoor” expansion modules. The mini-PCIe based iDoor modules, which include varying mixes of wired and/or wireless features, are protected in an enclosure extension located on the bottom of the unit.

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  • Microsoft culture led to Windows Phone failure: ex-Apple chief

     

    "Microsoft’s smartphone troubles started well before the birth of Android," he said. "In a reversal of the famous dictum Victory Has Many Fathers But Defeat Is An Orphan, Windows Phone’s collapse seems to have had many progenitors deeply embedded in the company’s decades-old culture."

AMD With Linux: AMDGPU, AMDGPU-PRO, and RadeonSI

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Linux Laptop: Buying New vs. Used Laptop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

There are few things in a Linux enthusiast's life more fun than buying a new Linux laptop. One could even argue that the mere act of "spec'ing out" a new unit is more exciting than the actual use of the laptop itself.

In this article, I'm going to walk you through the decision making progress of buying a new Linux laptop vs. procuring a good second hand one instead. I'll share the advantages and disadvantages to each option.

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Also: The PC business: Decline continues in Q2

OpenMoko: 10 Years After (Mickey’s Story)

Filed under
Hardware
OSS
Gadgets

For the 10th anniversary since the legendary OpenMoko announcement at the „Open Source in Mobile“ (7th of November 2006 in Amsterdam), I’ve been meaning to write an anthology or – as Paul Fertser suggested on #openmoko-cdevel – an obituary. I’ve been thinking about objectively describing the motivation, the momentum, how it all began and – sadly – ended. I did even plan to include interviews with Sean, Harald, Werner, and some of the other veterans. But as with oh so many projects of (too) wide scope this would probably never be completed.

As November 2016 passed without any progress, I decided to do something different instead. Something way more limited in scope, but something I can actually finish. My subjective view of the project, my participation, and what I think is left behind: My story, as OpenMoko employee #2. On top of that you will see a bunch of previously unreleased photos (bear with me, I’m not a good photographer and the camera sucked as well).

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Hardware: HealthyPi and 3-D Printing

Filed under
Hardware

Devices: Purism Phone, Sailfish OS, and SparkFun

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Is Purism About to Announce a Linux Phone?

    Hardware company Purism is best known for being the driving force behind the goal of creating a truly free software laptop — but are they about to launch a Linux phone? Fuelling speculation that, yes, they are, the company accidentally published a blog post earlier today titled: “Phone Campaign Temporary Page“.

  • Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia X single SIM, model F5121

    Interview on the collaboration between Jolla and Sony Open Devices program

    The official version is on its way, targeting to support for example MS Exchange Active Sync, Android apps and 20 MPx resolution for the camera. But an unofficial Sailfish OS for Xperia X might become available even sooner via the porters community.

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  • A hands-on look at SparkFun's new Spectacle kit

    Spectacle is based entirely around the idea that artists shouldn't need to spend years studying electronics in order to use them in their art. To aid me in my review, I enlisted the help of Sophia, one of the coolest pre-teens I know. Sophia is a young artist who makes her own costumes and works in a wide variety of other physical mediums.

GNU/Linux Hardware: Purism Phone, Raptor Engineering Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
  • It Looks Like Purism Might Be Soon Launching Their Libre Linux Phone

    Purism, the company that started out with the Librem laptops that are Linux-friendly and now pre-loaded with Coreboot, has long had ambitions for expanding into tablets, smartphones, and other devices. It looks like the first Purism Phone might soon be announced.

    Slipping (presumably, mistakenly) on their RSS feed a few minutes ago was "Protected: Phone Campaign Temporary Page" and linked here. Albeit it's a password-protected page and thus no information besides the title.

  • Raptor Is Going To Launch A New POWER9 Linux System

    Raptor Engineering who does Coreboot development work and is known for their previous Talos Secure Workstation system to provide a fast and fully libre workstation is going to be launching a new POWER-based workstation.

    Meet the Talos II. Raptor Engineering is teasing the Talos II workstation, which they say will not rely upon crowdfunding unlike the earlier effort and will also cost "far less" than the original Talos. Pre-orders are to open next month while they say this POWER9 system should be shipping in Q4. Details shared so far are dual IBM POWER9 CPUs, five PCI-E slots, fully owner controllable, and workstation performance at competitive pricing.

Devices: Portwell, Palo Alto Innovation, and Tizen

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
  • Linux-ready COM supports up to 16-core Xeon-D

    Portwell’s “PCOM-B700G” is a COM Express Type 7 Basic module with Intel’s 5th Gen Xeon or Pentium CPUs, plus dual 10GbE ports and up to 32x PCIe links.

  • Alexa-ready digital alarm clock radio runs Linux on hackable Chip Pro

    PAI’s “Sandman Doppler” is an Alexa-enabled smart alarm clock and music streamer that runs Linux on the Chip Pro COM, and offers 6x USB charging ports.

    Palo Alto Innovation (PAI) had a troubled first-time Kickstarter launch with its original Sandman Clock, but the company fulfilled all its orders and moved on to a next generation model, the Sandman Doppler. This larger, more capable digital alarm clock and smart speaker adds Amazon Alexa voice controls, dual speakers, and two more USB charging ports, among other features. The Linux-driven device is built on the Next Thing’s open spec Chip Pro module, and lets you hack the COM via its micro-USB port (see farther below).

  • All Free Movies App Added to Tizen Store

Android signage computer taps new quad Cortex-A17 SoC

Filed under
Android
Hardware

The “VIA ALTA DS 4K” signage computer runs Android 5.1.1 on a Zhaoxin ZX-2000 SoC, and offers dual Ethernet ports and support for simultaneous 4K and HD.

VIA Technologies has been active in the Android digital signage market for years, with products such as its VAB-630 SBC. While that product tapped a homegrown dual-core, Cortex-A9 SoC, the new VIA ALTA DS 4K signage computer instead runs a customized Android 5.1.1 image on a quad-core, 1.4GHz Cortex-A17 ZX-2000 (translated) from Zhaoxin.

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Also: Ataribox retro mini-console plays current and classic games

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Android Leftovers

Mozilla: Code of Conduct, Kelly Davis, Celebrate Firefox Internet Champions

  • ow We’re Making Code of Conduct Enforcement Real — and Scaling it
    This is the first line of our Community Participation Guidelines — and an nudge to keep empathy at center when designing response processes. Who are you designing for? Who is impacted? What are their needs, expectations, dependencies, potential bias and limitations?
  • Role Models in AI: Kelly Davis
    Meet Kelly Davis, the Manager/Technical Lead of the machine learning group at Mozilla. His work at Mozilla includes developing an open speech recognition system with projects like Common Voice and Deep Speech (which you can help contribute to). Beyond his passion for physics and machine learning, read on to learn about how he envisions the future of AI, and advice he offers to young people looking to enter the field.
  • Celebrate Firefox Internet Champions
    While the world celebrates athletic excellence, we’re taking a moment to share some of the amazing Internet champions that help build, support and share Firefox.

Canonical Ubuntu 2017 milestones, a year in the rulebook

So has Canonical been breaking rules with Ubuntu is 2017, or has it in been writing its own rulebook? Back in April we saw an AWS-tuned kernel of Ubuntu launched, the move to cloud is unstoppable, clearly. We also saw Ubuntu version 17.04 released, with Unity 7 as the default desktop environment. This release included optimisations for environments with low powered graphics hardware. Read more Also: Ubuntu will let upgraders ‘opt-in’ to data collection in 18.04

The npm Bug

  • ​Show-stopping bug appears in npm Node.js package manager
    Are you a developer who uses npm as the package manager for your JavaScript or Node.js code? If so, do not -- I repeat do not -- upgrade to npm 5.7.0. Nothing good can come of it. As one user reported, "This destroyed 3 production servers after a single deploy!" So, what happened here? According to the npm GitHub bug report, "By running sudo npm under a non-root user (root users do not have the same effect), filesystem permissions are being heavily modified. For example, if I run sudo npm --help or sudo npm update -g, both commands cause my filesystem to change ownership of directories such as /etc, /usr, /boot, and other directories needed for running the system. It appears that the ownership is recursively changed to the user currently running npm."
  • Botched npm Update Crashes Linux Systems, Forces Users to Reinstall
    A bug in npm (Node Package Manager), the most widely used JavaScript package manager, will change ownership of crucial Linux system folders, such as /etc, /usr, /boot. Changing ownership of these files either crashes the system, various local apps, or prevents the system from booting, according to reports from users who installed npm v5.7.0. —the buggy npm update.