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Hardware

BeagleBone SBC beefs up Lego Mindstorms EV3

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

An “EVB” Kickstarter project replaces the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot’s ARM9 brick with a BeagleBone Black, adding performance, expandability, and sensors.

When Lego added a Linux-based “Brick” computer to its modular, open source Lego Mindstorms robot platform, we were psyched, but were also somewhat disappointed it was only a modest ARM9-based device. Now, a startup called Fatcatlab has found Kickstarter success with an EVB computer you can use in place of the Brick that is designed to plug in a BeagleBone Black for a much faster 1GHz Cortex-A8 experience.

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5 favorite Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
OSS

It has never been a better time to understand the components that fit together to make the hardware we use work. To do that, lets look at my five favorite open hardware projects.

First, what do I mean by open hardware? I mean that the components that make up a device are available for the user to see. No secret formulas. The ingredients are completely transparent, and if you chose, you can source the raw parts and assemble them yourself. You can also learn from the process of assembly and with a team spirit share any problems encountered, then improving the formula of the device. For example, you could suggest better parts or improve the code to make it run faster.

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Gen-2 SmartThings hub migrates to Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

SmartThings debuted a 2nd generation home automation hub that moves to Linux, and adds new sensors, battery backup, optional cellular, and premium services.

Prior to Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThings last August, the company told us its next-generation home automation hub would likely move from an embedded RTOS (real-time operating system) to Linux. A SmartThings rep now tells us the newly announced second-generation SmartThings Hub does indeed run Linux. Not so surprisingly, consider the Samsung acquisition, the rep also said “We will be moving to Tizen over time.”

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Arduino Open Source Robot Educational Development Board (video)

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Hardware
OSS

Ari Alvarez has created a new Arduino open source robot development board which he has designed to be used by managers, developers and hobbyists or to provide an educational platform to teach robotics and electronics.

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This Microsoft Surface lookalike runs a productive version of Android instead

Filed under
Android
Hardware

At first glance on the CES show floor, the Remix Ultra-Tablet seems like a cheap Surface knock-off. It has a two-stage kickstand similar to that of the Surface Pro 2—albeit one that feels flimsier than Microsoft’s model—and a magnetic keyboard cover with traveling keys and a felt material over the trackpad.

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Intel Compute Stick runs Windows and Linux, fits in your pocket

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

A few months back, I got a breathless email from an Intel PR rep due to some confusion over a little Chinese-made HDMI PC. Now we know why: Intel was stealthily getting ready to launch one of their own.

This tiny black stick emblazoned with the “Intel inside” logo is Intel’s Compute Stick. This device isn’t like the Dell Cloud Connect dongle that they took to CES last year, nor is it a copy of Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter. It’s a full PC, capable of running both Linux and Windows, and it’s set to go on sale in the very near future.

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Atom PC – Future PC

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware

It’s got enough computing power, graphics power and memory to be useful for all the kinds of tasks folks use a smartphone or tablet but it’s definitely a desktop-PC form factor. It has the instant supply of Android apps and the usability of a GNU/Linux desktop all in one package.

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Coreboot Ported To Another Lenovo ThinkPad

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Hardware
OSS

While Coreboot is most commonly used by Google Chromebooks, an increasing number of Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are becoming compatible with Coreboot for initializing and booting the system with open-source software.

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The best Android phones of 2014

Filed under
Android
Hardware

This last year has been a big one for Android. Displays have started moving beyond 1080p, devices keep getting bigger, and Android 5.0 brings the most fundamental change the platform has seen in a very long time. Some of the phones that were released in 2014 were huge successes, and other fell short of expectations, but which one was the best? That depends on how you frame the question, so let’s split it up a few different ways and find out.

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[Video] Hands-On Review of the Samsung Gear S wrist strap – Cobalt Blue

Filed under
Linux
Hardware
Reviews

In all respects this is the Samsung quality as the original Gear S strap you are currently using, so you know this product well, but it is currently selling for £40 in the UK, which is about $62USD. This is a good product, but it’s at a premium price and you have to ask yourself, Do I really need it?

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Android Leftovers

User Editorial: A different approach to calculating the popularity of Linux gaming on Steam

Now that the monthly Steam statistics are out again, we can see that the result has increased slightly from last month, we are back up to 0.90% from 0.85%. While that is a positive sign, we are again looking at a number below 1% this month. As has been previously pointed out there are a few flaws with the Steam statistics, such as that users of the Big Picture Mode do not get the survey at all. There are also likely a few flaws we don't know about. Still, we can safely assume that the Steam Hardware Survey isn't completely lying either: Linux usage might be off by a bit, but if it says below 1%, it is rather unlikely that the real numbers are for example above 2%. It is a statistic, and we have to treat it like a statistic, that gives us an indication of the Linux market share on Steam. An increase likely means a larger market share and a decrease a smaller market share. A fair point that has been made, however, that the amount of Steam users has been increasing over time. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume the number of Linux Steam users has increased as well. The question is: How did Steam grow? Read more

A Down and Dirty Look at Xubuntu 16.04

In our look at Xubuntu 16.04, we find it to be stable, quick and intuitive. It’s a distro that makes our short list of recommendations for those wishing to move from Windows to GNU/Linux. For a look at Ubuntu’s new LTS release, 16.04 or Xenial Xerus, I decided to forgo “Ubuntu prime” in favor of one of the officially sanctioned “baby *buntus,” choosing Xubuntu, the distro’s Xfce implementation. We use Xfce on Mint on nearly all of the computers here at FOSS Force’s office, so I figured this would put me in familiar territory, especially since Mint is also a Ubuntu based distro. Read more

With Banks' Help, Startup Chain Rolls Out Open Source Blockchain