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Hardware

Arduino MKRZero shrinks Zero to MKR1000 dimensions

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Hardware

Arduino LLC’s $22 “MKRZero” shrinks the guts of the Arduino Zero board to the 65 x 25mm size of a MKR1000, but without the MKR1000’s WiFi.

Earlier this year when Arduino LLC debuted its $35, IoT focused MKR1000 board, we suggested it was like combining an Arduino Zero with its WiFi Shield. With its new MKRZero, Arduino LLC offers the same tiny 65 x 25mm footprint as the MKR1000, but with the 68 x 30mm Zero’s original Atmel (now Microchip) ATSAMD21 MCU rather than the WiFi-enabled ATSAMW25. It also lacks the MKR1000’s crypto chip, but does add a handy SD slot.

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Also: Maker Movement and FOSS: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Open Source Hardware

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Hardware
  • Is Open Source Hardware Growing Up?

    A few weeks ago, if I had heard of the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), it was only in passing. How things have changed. Kevin Morris has covered the announcement that RISC-V IP is available for a wide range of Microsemi's FPGAs. Around the 5th RISC-V workshop in November, there was a flurry of announcements. At several meetings and conferences I have attended, RISC-V has been discussed in the informal sessions. And now there are rumours in various places on the Internet that Samsung is planning a device using RISC-V.

    So what is it, and why is there a buzz now?

  • MEDIA ALERT: ESD Alliance to Host Discussion on Open Source, RISC-V Processor

Linux Devices

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Linux
Hardware

This might be the first fully open source notebook

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GNU
Linux
Hardware

Open source hardware is still atypical for the technology world. However, you can now enthusiastically opt for a fully open source notebook PC to work on your next projects without looking at a proprietary solution.

Called Libreboot C201, the latest offering is a dream come true for the open source community. It features a 1.8GHz ARM Rockchip RK3288 processor coupled with 4B RAM and 16GB eMMC storage and sports an 11-inch HD display. On the connectivity front, the laptop lacks a built-in Wi-Fi chip but does come with an Atheros Wi-Fi dongle that works with open source drivers.

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Open Hardware/3-D Printing

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Hardware
OSS

Open Hardware

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Hardware
  • Accelerating Innovation: Michigan Tech patent database/app promotes open-source hardware

    Open-source innovation is making the traditional patent system obsolete. Michigan Technological University associate professor Joshua Pearce and his team work with what is called open-source hardware development.

    “What that means is sort of developing technologies that don’t rely on patents,” Pearce said. “We work collaboratively with engineers and scientists all over the world, and (it’s) fairly successful. And the reason it’s successful is because if you have thousands of people working on something, it tends to get pretty good pretty fast.”

    Pearce said the concept began some time ago with open-source software.

  • Non-profit creates open-source drinking water filter for 1/10th of the cost

    The high-tech vision of open-source software meets low-tech design at non-profit organization OHorizons, an international coalition of innovators working to solve persistent global challenges. The team’s most recent invention is the open-source Wood Mold, designed to allow even the least experienced person to create a BioSand Filter that can deliver clean water at 1/10th of the cost of the traditional method. The Wood Mold is designed to be accessible by anyone who has the DIY, open-source construction manual that OHorizons offers for free online.

Pico-ITX SBC runs Ubuntu on Braswell

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Hardware
Ubuntu

DFI announced an Intel Braswell based “BW051” Pico-ITX SBC with up to 8GB DDR3L, mini-PCIe, SATA 3.0, mSATA, and Linux support.

DFI, which earlier this year tapped Intel’s “Braswell” generation of SoCs for its BW968 COM Express Compact Type 6 module, has now chosen Braswell for a Pico-ITX SBC. The 100 x 72mm BW051 ships with 4-6W Braswell processors including dual or quad-core Celeron models, the quad-core 1.6GHz Pentium N3710, and quad-core, 1.04GHz Atom x5-E8000.

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Arduino-Compatible RISC-V and More

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Hardware
  • HiFive1 Is an Open-Source, Arduino-Compatible RISC-V Dev Kit

    Bay Area startup SiFive has announced the Freedom Everywhere 310 (FE310) system-on-chip — the industry’s first commercially-available SoC based on the free, open-source RISC-V architecture, along with the corresponding low-cost, Arduino-compatible HiFive1 development kit.

  • Samsung Defection From ARM to RISC-V.

    It was always thought that, when ARM relinquished its independence, its customers would look around for other alternatives.

    The nice thing about RISC-V is that it’s independent, open source and royalty-free.

    And RISC-V is what Samsung is reported to be using for an IoT CPU in preference to ARM.

  • Neutralize ME firmware on SandyBridge and IvyBridge platforms

    First introduced in Intel’s 965 Express Chipset Family, the Intel Management Engine (ME) is a separate computing environment physically located in the (G)MCH chip (for Core 2 family CPUs which is separate from the northbridge), or PCH chip replacing ICH(for Core i3/i5/i7 which is integrated with northbridge).

Open/Hacker Hardware

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Hardware
OSS

Linux Devices

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Android
Linux
Hardware
  • Jolla Experiments With A Sailfish OS Watch

    Jolla engineers have spent the past few weeks porting Sailfish OS to an Android smartwatch as they feel their Linux-based OS is particularly suited for small screens.

    Jolla isn't announcing a Sailfish Watch product, but rather looking at it as part of their licensing strategy to offer their OS to smartwatch manufacturers. Joona Petrell shared that they had technical and design inspiration help off the Asteroid Smartwatch OS and their libHybris layer allowed them to quickly bring-up Sailfish and their UI on the Android smartwatch.

  • Amazon extends AWS IoT with offline processing
  • The Great Raspberry PiTop Giveaway
  • Using a fully free OS for devices in the home

    There are more and more devices around the home (and in many small offices) running a GNU/Linux-based firmware. Consider routers, entry-level NAS appliances, smart phones and home entertainment boxes.

  • Samsung have Invested $10 Million in Svace, Security Solution to Analyze Tizen Apps

    As part of its security measures, Samsung are using the SVACE technology (Security Vulnerabilities and Critical Errors Detector) to detect potential vulnerabilities and errors that might exist in source code of applications created for the Tizen Operating System (OS). This technology was developed by ISP RAS (Institute for System Programming of the Russian Academy of Sciences), who are based in Moscow, Russia.

  • Trouble at Cyanogen [Ed: it chose to be a Microsoft proxy and look what happened; the usual!]
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More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.9.13

I'm announcing the release of the 4.9.13 kernel. All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more Also: Linux 4.4.52 Linux 4.10.1

OSS Leftovers

  • What motivates the open-source community?
    Many of us will have been involved in a free-software community that ran out of steam, and either ended up moribund or just plain died. Some of us will have gone through such cycles more than once; it's never nice to watch something that used to be a vibrant community in its death throes. Knowing what motivates the sort of people who get heavily involved in free software projects is really useful when trying to keep them motivated, and a systematic approach to understanding this is what Rina Jensen, Strategist at Mozilla, talked about at FOSDEM 2017. Mozilla talks a lot about promoting innovation and opportunity on the web, and the organization does care a lot about those objectives, but the realities of day-to-day life can interfere and make working toward them tedious. The thinking was that if Mozilla could help make the experience for contributors better, then the contributors could make Mozilla better — but doing that required understanding how things could be better for contributors.
  • Shuttle Music Player is now Open Source
    Music is a major part of everyone’s life, and our smartphones allow us to truly enjoy our music anywhere. Over the years, Android has received a fair share of excellent music player apps, and Shuttle Music Player has managed to stand out. Shuttle is a music player following Google’s Material Design guidelines, and its listing is nearing 4 Million downloads. Currently, the app offers two versions: free and paid. The paid version is priced at $0.99 and has received over 50 thousand downloads on the Play Store already.
  • OpenStack isn’t dead. It’s boring. That’s a good thing.
    The first OpenStack Project Teams Gathering (PTG) event was held this week in Atlanta. The week was broken into two parts: cross-project work on Monday and Tuesday, and individual projects Wednesday through Friday. I was there for the first two days and heard a few discussions that started the same way.
  • NetBSD 7.1_RC2 available
  • NetBSD 7.1 RC2 Released
    The second release candidate to the upcoming NetBSD 7.1 is now available for testing. NetBSD 7.1 RC2 is primarily comprised of fixes since 7.1 RC1, and in particular, security fixes. The raw list of NetBSD 7.1 changes can be found here.
  • Pentagon Launches Open-Source Experiment
    With a new website showcasing federal software code, the Pentagon is the latest government entity to join the open-source movement. The Defense Department this week launched Code.mil, a public site that will eventually showcase unclassified code written by federal employees. Citizens will be able to use that code for personal and public projects. Code written by government employees can be shared with the public because that material usually isn't covered by copyright protections in the U.S., according to the Pentagon.
  • Coder Dojo: Kids Teaching Themselves Programming
    Despite not much advertising, word has gotten around and we typically have 5-7 kids on Dojo nights, enough that all the makerspace's Raspberry Pi workstations are filled and we sometimes have to scrounge for more machines for the kids who don't bring their own laptops. A fun moment early on came when we had a mentor meeting, and Neil, our head organizer (who deserves most of the credit for making this program work so well), looked around and said "One thing that might be good at some point is to get more men involved." Sure enough -- he was the only man in the room! For whatever reason, most of the programmers who have gotten involved have been women. A refreshing change from the usual programming group. (Come to think of it, the PEEC web development team is three women. A girl could get a skewed idea of gender demographics, living here.) The kids who come to program are about 40% girls.
  • Microsoft hasn't turned a phone into a PC just yet [Ed: copying GNU/Linux again]
    Using the Lapdock wired to the X3 charges the phone and provides the most reliable connection for Continuum. I found the wireless connection made things a little unreliable and choppy on some more graphically intense things like full-screen video playback. Connecting the phone is as simple as just plugging it in and watching a Windows 10 desktop burst to life on the Lapdock. While the Windows 10 desktop looks familiar, this is exactly when I realized just how limited Continuum really is. There’s a Start Menu that’s basically the home screen of a Windows phone, and access to Cortana, but there’s a lot missing. Things like putting apps side by side simply don’t exist in this Continuum world, nor do a lot of the typical places you’d right-click on apps or use keyboard shortcuts to get to the desktop. If you’re a Windows power user like me, or even if you’re just used to a standard window management system, it’s immediately frustrating.

today's howtos

UKSM Is Still Around For Data Deduplication Of The Linux Kernel

Several years back we wrote about Ultra Kernel Samepage Merging (UKSM) for data de-duplication within the Linux kernel for transparently scanning all application memory and de-duping it where possible. While the original developer is no longer active, a new developer has been maintaining the work and continues to support it on the latest Linux kernel releases. Read more