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Open Firmware at System76

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  • System76 Oryx Pro Linux laptop gets Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and Open Firmware

    We recently told you that the thin and light Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition has finally started shipping with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. While that is certainly cool, the reality is, Linux-focused companies like System76 were shipping out computers with the newest Ubuntu LTS pre-installed way before that. In fact, System76 even offers the option of its own operating system that is based on Ubuntu 20.04. Called "Pop!_OS," the Linux distribution adds many beneficial tweaks and enhancements to improve the overall user experience.

    Today, System76 refreshes its popular Oryx Pro laptop, and you can choose between Ubuntu 20.04 and Pop!_OS 20.04 (I would recommend the latter). The powerful notebook (with 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch display options) now comes with a cutting-edge 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H CPU which offers an impressive 8 cores and 16 threads. You also get an NVIDIA RTX 20-series GPU which can work in conjunction with the Intel graphics thanks to the smart graphic-switching capabilities baked into Pop!_OS.

  • Oryx Pro is the first System76 laptop with Coreboot, Open Controller Firmware and NVIDIA

    System76 have today revealed a refreshed Oryx Pro laptop. The first to come from System76 that features both their System76 Open Firmware, System76 Embedded Controller Firmware and NVIDIA together. This was hinted at recently, when System76 engineer Jeremy Soller had mentioned they were working on it on Twitter.

    Quite an exciting development, having a top Linux hardware vendor bring open source firmware that's built from coreboot and the EDK boot-loader to more models and with an NVIDIA GPU too so there's plenty of power involved. System76 said it "means that users get lightning fast boot times, enhanced security, and firmware updates accessible through their operating system" plus "open source firmware gives a look inside the
    code, so users can keep track of what’s happening with their data".

System76’s New Oryx Pro Linux Laptop Comes with Open Firmware

  • System76’s New Oryx Pro Linux Laptop Comes with Open Firmware, Hybrid Nvidia Graphics

    System76 unveiled today a new version of its popular Oryx Pro Linux laptop that comes, for the first time, with open source firmware and Nvidia graphics.

    Following the Darter Pro, Galago Pro and Lemur Pro laptops, the powerful Oryx Pro Linux laptop is now available with System76’s Coreboot-based Open Firmware, and it’s the first machine from System76 to also include Nvidia graphics and the System76 Embedded Controller Firmware.

    These days, when buying a Linux laptop, it’s important to take into consideration if the firmware is proprietary or Open Source. The System76 Open Firmware with Coreboot makes the new Oryx Pro faster, more secure and private.

System76 Oryx Pro Linux laptop update brings an 8-core Intel

  • System76 Oryx Pro Linux laptop update brings an 8-core Intel Comet Lake-H processor

    The System76 Oryx Pro is a Linux laptop available with a choice of 15.6 inch or 17.3 inch full HD displays with 144 Hz refresh rates, Pop!_OS or Ubuntu operating systems, and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX Super graphics.

    Now it’s also available with a 10th-gen Intel Comet Lake-H processor.

    System76 is now selling updated Oryx Pro computers packed with Intel Core i7-10875H processors.

Things We Love About the New Oryx Pro

  • Things We Love About the New Oryx Pro

    For the first time ever, we loaded System76 Open Firmware onto a machine with NVIDIA graphics. System76 Open Firmware is open source firmware that’s built from coreboot firmware and EDK2 in conjunction with System76 Firmware Apps. It’s designed to be lightweight on code for better speed and security. Furthermore, coreboot disables the Intel Management Engine by default, which has been tied to recent security vulnerabilities industry-wide.

    What does this mean for you? Lightning fast boot times, enhanced security, and firmware updates accessible through your operating system. Plus, open source firmware gives you a look inside the code, so you can keep track of what’s happening with your data. (We may be a funny business, but we don’t DO funny business.

ZDNet's coverage with Nadella at the top of the article

  • New high-end Linux laptop: System76's Oryx Pro packs latest Intel Core i7 H-series CPU

    Linux laptop maker System76 has refreshed its high-end Oryx Pro machine with new Intel Core CPUs and Nvidia graphics for developers.

    The 2020 Oryx Pro Linux laptop updates System76's 2015 Oryx Pro model and comes with an eight-core Intel Comet Lake 10th generation Core i710875H processor, from Intel's high-power H-series lineup.

    [...]

    "System76 Open Firmware is open-source firmware that's built from coreboot firmware and EDK2 in conjunction with System76 Firmware Apps. It's designed to be lightweight on code for better speed and security. Furthermore, coreboot disables the Intel Management Engine by default, which has been tied to recent security vulnerabilities industry-wide."

    Additionally, its embedded controller firmware code is licensed under GPLv3, so users can access and control hardware, such as the keyboard, fans, and battery.

    Also, it lets users switch off the discrete Nvidia graphics and use the integrated Intel graphics to save battery when needed.

System76's Oryx Pro is a portable Linux powerhouse

  • System76's Oryx Pro is a portable Linux powerhouse

    In brief: The OEM Linux club recently saw the addition of Lenovo's ThinkPads. If you're not a fan of those, System76 has a different beast packed with Nvidia RTX graphics and open-source embedded controller firmware. A first for this kind of laptop.
    System76 has refreshed its high-end Oryx Pro laptop for developers and Linux enthusiasts, and it now packs Intel's 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs. Specifically, you can get this with a Core i7-10875H that offers eight cores and 16 threads - essentially a more refined, 14nm version of the Skylake architecture that's able to push 5 GHz on a single core under certain conditions.

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Gadgets and Devices: MemGlove/Arduino, Starburst and Axiomtek

  • The MemGlove detects hand poses and recognizes objects

    Hand movements have long been used as a computer interface method, but as reported here, the MemGlove from a team of MIT CSAIL researchers takes things several steps further. This augmented glove can sense hand poses and how it’s applying pressure to an object. The wearable uses a novel arrangement of 16 electrodes to detect hand position based on resistance, and six fluid filled tubes that transmit pressure depending on how an item is gripped. An Arduino Due is used to sense these interactions, which pass information on to a computer for processing. Pose verification is accomplished with a Leap Motion sensor. By training neural networks with TensorFlow, the glove is able to identify various hand poses, as well as distinguish between 30 different household things that are grasped.

  • Startups Push Aerospace Innovation

    Entrepreneurs developing lightweight propulsion systems for satellites, cybersecurity for Linux, wireless power and a blockchain application for secure part procurement, among other emerging technologies, presented their technologies to investors, the military and industry. In 10-minute intervals, the company representatives pitched their early stage, aerospace-related technologies at Starburst Accelerator’s third U.S. Virtual Selection Committee meeting on July 9th, which was held virtually. Headquartered in Paris, Starburst's U.S. team brought in the eight hopeful companies, all vying for partnership agreements, venture capitalist funding and a chance to join Starburst's Accelerator Program. The startups’ prospective products range in level of technical readiness and prototyping stages. As an aerospace technology incubator, Starburst has been operating for almost 7 years. Initially, the accelerator held specific events targeted at specific stakeholder groups, such as Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Air Force or certain investor groups, explained Van Espahbodi, co-founder and managing partner at Starburst. Today, Espahbodi said, they are constantly scouting emerging technology solutions for 50 clients in eight countries across 21 aerospace markets, from quantum sensors, to cybersecurity, to new energy sources and propulsion, he said.

  • Quad-GbE Apollo Lake appliance has dual mini-PCIe slots

    Axiomtek’s Linux-ready “NA346” networking appliance is equipped with a Celeron N3350, 4x GbE ports with optional bypass, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, and 2x mini-PCIe slots with mSATA and wireless support. Axiomtek has launched an entry-level “SD-WAN, VPN and security gateway for industrial IoT security applications.” The 146 x 118.2 x 33.5mm NA346 runs Yocto-based Linux or Win 10 on a dual-core, up to 2.4GHz Celeron N3350 with a 6W TDP from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation. The quad-GbE port networking appliance follows Axiomtek’s earlier, Apollo Lake based, 6-port NA345 and other Apollo Lake based networking gateways such as Acrosser’s 6-port AND-APL1N1FL.

Star Lite Mk III and Purism GNU/Linux Laptops

  • Star Lite Mk III Linux Laptop Is Now Available for Pre-Order from Star Labs

    Star Labs just informed me today that they’ve launched the pre-orders for the lightweight Star Lite Mk III Linux laptop from only $428 USD. Featuring a lightweight design with a redesigned chassis, the Star Lite MK III Linux laptop features an 11.6-inch LED-backlit Arc IPS matte display with Full HD (1920×1080) resolution and 16:9 aspect ration, which users offers glare-free viewing thanks to the a hard coat that also boasts durability. Under the hood, the Linux laptop is powered by a 1.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor that can go as high as 2.7GHz when boosted and promises up to 29% performance increase. It also features 8GB 2400MHz LPDDR4 RAM for up to 33% faster memory. It also features Intel UHD 605 graphics, a fanless design, a smoother glass trackpad, improved audio system, backlit keyboard, as well as an ultra-fast 240GB over-provisioned Star Drive SSD with up to 560MB/s read speeds and up to 540MB/s write speeds.

  • The next generation of the Purism Linux laptop is on its way

    For most Linux desktop users who want a ready-to-run Linux laptop, I recommend the latest high-end Dell XPS 13. I can also suggest System76 or ZaReason PCs or laptops for those who want top-of-the-line Linux hardware. But if privacy, security, and free software are at the top of your "Want" list, then you should check out Purism, maker of free software and Linux-powered laptops, and its next-generation Librem 14 laptop.

Mozilla: Firefox Startup Cache, Security of Passwords, and Servo

  • Improving Firefox Startup Time With The about:home Startup Cache

    We’re working on a thing to make Firefox start faster! It appears to work! Here’s a video showing off a before (left) and after (right): Improving Firefox Startup Time With The about:home Startup Cache For the past year or so, the Firefox Desktop Front-End Performance team has been concentrating on making improvements to browser startup performance. The launching of an application like Firefox is quite complex. Meticulous profiling of Firefox startup in various conditions has, thankfully, helped reveal a number of opportunities where we can make improvements. We’ve been evaluating and addressing these opportunities, and several have made it into the past few Firefox releases. This blog post is about one of those improvements that is currently in the later stages of development. I’m going to describe the improvement, and how we went about integrating it. In a default installation of Firefox, the first (and only) tab that loads is about:home.

  • A look at password security, Part II: Web Sites

    In part I, we took a look at the design of password authentication systems for old-school multiuser systems. While timesharing is mostly gone, most of us continue to use multiuser systems; we just call them Web sites. In this post, I’ll be covering some of the problems of Web authentication using passwords. As I discussed previously, the strength of passwords depends to a great extent on how fast the attacker can try candidate passwords. The nature of a Web application inherently limits the velocity at which you can try passwords quite a bit. Even ignoring limits on the rate which you can transmit stuff over the network, real systems — at least well managed ones — have all kinds of monitoring software which is designed to detect large numbers of login attempts, so just trying millions of candidate passwords is not very effective. This doesn’t mean that remote attacks aren’t possible: you can of course try to log in with some of the obvious passwords and hope you get lucky, and if you have a good idea of a candidate password, you can try that (see below), but this kind of attack is inherently somewhat limited. [...] Leaked passwords aren’t the only threat to password authentication on Web sites. The other big issue is what’s called phishing. In the basic phishing attack, the attacker sends you an e-mail inviting you to log into your account. Often this will be phrased in some scary way like telling you your account will be deleted if you don’t log in immediately. The e-mail will helpfully contain a link to use to log in, but of course this link will go not to the real site but to the attacker’s site, which will usually look just like the real site and may even have a similar domain name (e.g., mozi11a.com instead of mozilla.com). When the user clicks on the link and logs in, the attacker captures their username and password and can then log into the real site. Note that having users use good passwords totally doesn’t help here because the user gives the site their whole password. Preventing phishing has proven to be a really stubborn challenge because, well, people are not as suspicious as they should be and it’s actually fairly hard on casual examination to determine whether you are on the right site. Most modern browsers try to warn users if they are going to known phishing sites (Firefox uses the Google Safe Browsing service for this). In addition, if you use a password manager, then it shouldn’t automatically fill in your password on a phishing site because password managers key off of the domain name and just looking similar isn’t good enough. Of course, both of these defenses are imperfect: the lists of phishing sites can be incomplete and if users don’t use password managers or are willing to manually cut and paste their passwords, then phishing attacks are still possible

  • This Week In Servo 132

    In the past week, we merged 64 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories. The latest nightly builds for common platforms are available at download.servo.org.

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