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Gadgets

Ubuntu MATE 19.10 Alpha Arrives, But Only for the GPD MicroPC

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Did you know that Ubuntu MATE is besties with the GPD Pocket & Pocket 2?

Well it is; the pair of pocket-sized PCs, which were made possible through various crowdfunding efforts, got their own, customised, and 100% official Ubuntu MATE 18.10 install image last year, and a follow-up with the 19.04 release this year.

I guess making a custom-spun ISO is the distro equivalent of weaving a friendship bracelet!

Accordingly, it’s no major surprise to learn Ubuntu MATE 19.10 will also come tailored for use on China-based GPD’s latest mini-marvel, the GPD MicroPC.

Interestingly, the device is sold with Ubuntu MATE 18.10 pre-loaded.

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GNU/Linux Devices: Raspberry Pi, AAEON and Librem 5

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Raspberry Pi 4 B+ - PCI Express

    Without much exaggeration, the new Raspberry Pi is likely the largest single-step improvement on the Pi family since the early changes of the form factor. Although Pi3 introduced 64bit capability, it's been pretty limited in practice due to lack of memory. Pi4 introduces 4GB RAM, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.

    Most importantly for our purposes, the USB 3.0 (and 2.0) chip is attached via the PCI Express interface - that means, if we were to remove it, we can gain access to the underlying bus. So, without further ado, the sacrificial goat.. uhm, chip.

  • Modder Connects External PCIe To Raspberry Pi 4

    Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer designed for tech enthusiasts, students, and engineers who wish to make extreme use of limited hardware. Just two weeks ago, the Raspberry Pi 4 was unveiled, which caught the attention of technology enthusiasts.

    The latest version of Raspberry Pi is a big improvement over the previous version despite its faulty USB-C port design. It relies on PCI Express for USB chips. However, there isn’t any provision to connect external devices on the Raspberry Pi 4.

  • AAEON Launches BOXER-8150AI Compact Embedded Box PC Features 8 USB 3.0 Ports

    The BOXER-8150AI is able to support up to eight USB connected cameras or devices, each operating independently of one another.

  • Runs on the Librem 5 Smartphone – Week 3

    We’ve been showcasing a different piece of software running on the Librem 5 Smartphone Development Kit every day for the last twenty days.  Twenty.  In a row.

    And we’re not done.  Because, holy smokes, do we have a lot more to show.  And, let’s be honest, these are just plain fun.  Daily videos kick back off tomorrow (July 11th) with video number 21.

    You can enjoy Days 15 through 20 below — and Days 1 through 14 in the Week 1 and 2 posts.

  • Purism and the Linux 5.2 Kernel

    Hello again. Following up on our report for the Linux 5.1 kernel, here’s a list of contributions for the Linux 5.2 kernel cycle, for which our team recently contributed with 14 patches–including a new driver for the Librem 5 devkit’s panel...

Up and Running With Your Librem in Three Minutes

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The right to respect and privacy should be unconditional; within the digital world itself, it shouldn’t be necessary to be an expert in computer science to guarantee you can–and know how to–be entitled to those rights. Making secure and respectful devices is essential, but to be fully ethical, those devices also need to be simple to use, so everyone can use them.

Our mission at Purism is to make technologies that respects people, whoever they are and whichever background they come from. That is why we make sure that everything we develop conforms to the Ethical Design manifesto, The manifesto itself is quite simple in what it states: that everyone should have the right to be respected and to have a delightful user experience.

I am not saying that Purism’s technology is perfect in the sense of simplicity of use–nevertheless, we are constantly working towards it, and we will always keep that goal in mind. Purism is a Social Purpose corporation, it is funded by the people, and we give back all our research and development to the people. This way we make sure that the initial ethical goal of Purism is a free seed that will grow no matter what.

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GameShell is a portable and modular DIY retro game console

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

It’s the “world’s first modular, portable game console” running a GNU/Linux operating system. You can easily play retro games from Atari, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo Entertainment System, and more on the GameShell. Or, create your own game entirely with Preset C, Python, Lua, Javascript, or LISP.

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Also: Google's Fuschia operating system has been in works for years now.

Pine64 Linux PinePhone could get Moto Mod functionality

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

With the focus given to Huawei’s US ban, there has also been some discussion about Android, Google’s hold on the platform, and truly free (as in freedom) alternatives to the world’s biggest mobile OS. There has never been a shortage of alternative mobile platforms, many of them revolving around Linux, but there has been a dearth of companies making devices that run and support such platforms. Pine64 is one of those few and it is now sharing some development in its quest to make a privacy-respecting open source smartphone.

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The $149 PinePhone Linux smartphone will support modular add-ons

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The upcoming PinePhone is expected to be an inexpensive, but versatile smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux operating systems. Yesterday we took a look at some of the operating systems that are already being ported to run on the PinePhone. But it looks like the software isn’t the only thing that’s actively under development.

Pine64 has posted an update on the state of the smartphone’s hardware with new details about the phone’s battery, hardware kill switches, and a previously announced feature — support for swappable back covers that can add functionality to the $149 smartphone.

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The Finest Linux Tablet You Can Build

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

For the last few years now, we’ve all had access to tiny, affordable Systems on a Module. These wunderchips are complete Linux systems with WiFi, a halfway decent GPU, and enough memory to run a real system. This is the perfect platform to base a tablet build on, the only problem is that someone has to actually do it. The DLT One is the ‘Damn Linux Tablet’ from [Prof. Fartsparkle]. It’s the answer to the question of when someone is going to build a tablet computer around one of these cheap Systems on a Chip that are floating around.

With many modules to choose from, the first task is actually choosing one of these Linux modules. [Fartsparkle] ended up with the Nvidia Jetson Nano, an impressive little board that has one distinct advantage: it’s drop-in compatable with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi-on-an-SODIMM. Given a single chassis, [Prof. Fartsparkle] can simply upgrade his tablet by getting a newer version of the Jetson Nano (or the Compute Module).

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PinePhone $149 Linux smartphone could support Ubuntu, Sailfish, Maemo, LuneOS and more

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OS
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone is a cheap, Linux-ready smartphone that’s expected to ship in limited quantities later this year. It’s not exactly a high-power device by modern smartphone standards, but with an expected starting price of $149, it will be a lot more affordable than some of the other Linux phones on the horizon.

It’s also starting to look like the PinePhone could be a very versatile device.

Pine64 has been sending out development kits for a while, and it looks like developers are porting a number of GNU/Linux-based operating systems to the platform.

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Introduction to catalog of 125 Linux hacker boards

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Hardware
Gadgets

Our 2019 spring edition catalog of hacker-friendly SBCs under $200 that run Linux or Android offers updated descriptions, specs, and pricing for 125 SBCs. Two big questions for 2019: Is it time for AI, and what about those tariffs?

Welcome to our latest catalog of 125 community-backed Linux and Android SBCs. We’re skipping the reader survey this year, although you’re welcome to cast your unofficial vote in the comments section at the end of this introduction. In any case, we have compiled the essential prices, features, and comparisons to help you vote with your wallet. We have updated the blurbs and the comparison spreadsheet with new pricing and in some cases, feature changes, and added descriptions of new boards.

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Ubuntu Powered Autonomous Drones for Hazardous, High Altitude Work

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

With surveys in 2016 indicating that falls accounted for more than 16% of all workplace deaths in the United States Apellix the aerial robotics company took upon itself the challenge of devising ways to prevent people from having to work in dangerous, elevated environments by developing innovative drones that can take over hazardous, high altitude work – for instance measuring paint thickness on U.S.

Navy ships or the wall thickness of a 100m flare stack at an oil and gas refinery. Built on Ubuntu, the drones leverage autonomous flight functionality to manoeuvre with pinpoint accuracy, making it fast, cost-effective, and safe to perform essential tasks at great heights targeting infrastructure, maritime and energy industries.

Each U.S. Navy Destroyer and Aircraft Carrier requires five coats of paint, and each coat must be measured to ensure that it is the correct thickness for which corrosion engineers have to go up using cranes, lifts, or rope work to manually take more than 2,000 measurements across the hull. Even in good weather and without interruptions, measuring each coat of paint on ships needs a 7 person crew employed for six days, and costs more than $100,000.

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Also: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter 581

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OSS Leftovers

  • 10 Best WordPress Popup Plugins of 2019

    Do you often come across websites that have annoying pop-ups? What do you generally do? Well, oftentimes, an annoying pop-up makes us not only close the pop-up but even the website! As a website owner, you must consider what kind of pop-up will attract a website visitor and make him/her subscribe to your email list. You might have invested a lot on your website but a basic pop-up can turn off your visitor’s interest in your service. On the other hand, even a dull website with an interesting email subscription popup plugins can successfully increase your conversion rate. In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 WordPress Popup Plugin in 2019 which can help you grow your email list exponentially!

  • Apache Software Foundation cofounder Jim Jagielski on the evolution of open source

    Jagielski attended and spoke at the first Mid-Atlantic Developer Conference last year, and said he was impressed by the diversity of the crowd across both demographics as well as tech interests. He saw a reflection of the values of the open source community, which encourages everyone to get involved and views all contributions as useful.

  • Ubisoft joins Blender Development Fund

    Today Ubisoft announced that they will join the Blender Foundation’s Development Fund as a corporate Gold member. Not only will Ubisoft help funding online support for Blender developers, Ubisoft Animation Studio – a department of Ubisoft Film and Television – will also use Blender for their productions and assign developers to contribute to Blender’s open source projects. Pierrot Jacquet, Head of Production at Ubisoft Animation Studio says “Blender was for us an obvious choice: Its strong and engaged community paired up with the vision carried by the Blender Foundation makes it one of the most creative DCC of the market.”

  • ProFTPD Vulnerability Lets Users Copy Files Without Permission [Ed: Troll site BleepingComputer changed headline from "ProFTPD Remote Code Execution Bug Exposes Over 1 Million Servers" to "ProFTPD Vulnerability Lets Users Copy Files Without Permission" (under rare conditions) because that's too much FUD even by its own standards?]

    Under certain conditions, ProFTPD servers are vulnerable to remote code execution and information disclosure attacks after successful exploitation of an arbitrary file copy vulnerability in the mod_copy module. ProFTPd is an open-source and cross-platform FTP server with support for most UNIX-like systems and Windows, and one of the most popular ones targeting the UNIX-based platforms along with Pure-FTPd and vsftpd.

  • Lyft releases open source data set for autonomous vehicle development

    In an effort to bolster the development of cars capable of driving themselves around without human supervision, Lyft today released an autonomous vehicle data set that the company is calling the largest of its kind. It’s freely available in the existing nuScenes format, which was initially developed by Aptiv. “Autonomous vehicles are expected to dramatically redefine the future of transportation. When fully realized, this technology promises to unlock a myriad of societal, environmental, and economic benefits,” said Lyft. “With this, we aim to empower the community, stimulate further development, and share our insights into future opportunities from the perspective of an advanced industrial autonomous vehicles program.”

GIMP review

GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is our top pick for the best free photo editor, and comes with a huge array of professional-quality functions for fine-tuning snaps and creating your own artwork from scratch. It includes layers, highly customizable brushes, filters and automatic image-enhancement tools, and support for a huge number of plugins (some pre-installed, and others available to download separately). Its active community of contributors means it’s in constant development, and any bugs are squished in short order. It all adds up to make a truly remarkable free photo editor that’s superior to many commercial programs. Read more

Proprietary Software on GNU/Linux: BricsCAD Shape, WPS Office, Dropbox, and "Mac" Binaries (Through Darling)

  • BricsCAD Shape is a Free SketchUp Alternative for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

    BricsCAD Shape is a free product from CAD software company Bricsys, who offer a range of full-featured (and pricey) CAD software for Windows, macOS and Linux desktops.

  • WPS Office on Linux is a Free Alternative to Microsoft Office

    If you are looking for a free alternative of Microsoft Office on Linux, WPS Office is one of the best choice. It’s free to use and offers compatibility with MS Office document formats. WPS Office is a cross-platform office productivity suite. It is light and fully compatible with Microsoft Office, Google Docs/Sheets/Slide and Adobe PDF. For many users, WPS Office feels intuitive and capable enough to meet their needs. It has gained popularity because of its closeness to Microsoft Office, both in terms of looks and compatibility.

  • Dropbox restores Linux support in new client beta

    That decision saw the sync ‘n’ share giant decide not to support “uncommon” filesystems, leaving it happy to work with just NTFS for Windows, HFS+ or APFS for Mac and Ext4 for Linux. Developers and Linux users were not happy. But their frowns can now turn upside-down, as a support note for the forthcoming Dropbox version 77 client update published today says it will “add support for ZFS (on 64-bit systems only), eCryptFS, XFS(on 64-bit systems only), and Btrfs filesystems in Linux.” The post doesn’t explain Dropbox’s reasons for the change, but it’s not hard to guess its reasons.

  • Darling Progress Report Q2 2019

    James Urquhart's pull requests gave us more stubs for many frameworks including DrawSprocket, AGL, Carbon, CoreServices, and ApplicationServices. Wow, what a list, thank you James! James also fixed a very low level bug where system calls with large numbers of arguments wouldn't work properly for 32-bit applications. Finally, he fixed a problem where Darling was using clock_sleep instead of clock_nanosleep and a bug with the stat system call.

  • Darling Picks Up New Contributors For Its macOS Compatibility Layer On Linux

    Darling is the long-standing (albeit for some years idling) effort to allow macOS binaries to run on Linux that is akin to Wine but focused on an Apple macOS layer rather than Windows. This summer it's been moving along and seeing some new developer contributions. The Darling project just published their Q2 highlights with having new contributors onboard and making progress at varying levels of the stack. They have begun stubbing out more frameworks including AGL, Carbon, AddressBook, CoreServices, and ApplicationServices.

(GNU/)Linux on Devices: Librem/Purism, Congatec, Aaeon, Axiomtek

  • Librem One Design Principles: Simple, Secure Applications

    The primary appeal of Librem One is that you get privacy without sacrificing convenience. There is already a wealth of free software available, both applications and services, with numerous security and privacy options. However, learning what they are and keeping up-to-date is generally neither simple nor convenient.

  • Type 6 module adds support for 10 new Intel 9th Gen CPUs

    Congatec’s Linux-friendly “Conga-TS370” COM Express Type 6 module now supports 10 new 9th Gen Coffee Lake-H Refresh chips including a 4.1GHz hexa-core, dual-threaded i7-9850HL with a 25W TDP. There’s also a new Conga-TEVAL/COMe 3.0 carrier. Last month, Kontron announced that its Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake based COMe-bCL6 COM Express Basic Type 6 module had been updated to support Intel’s 9th Gen Coffee Lake Refresh chips. Now, rival German embedded vendor Congatec has stepped up with its own 9th Gen refresh of its 8th Gen Conga-TS370 Basic Type 6 module. You can now order the Conga-TS370 with 14 Intel Core, Xeon, Pentium, and Celeron models, including 10 new 9th Gen chips.

  • Aaeon unveils first Kaby Lake based SDM-S display module

    Aaeon announced a Linux-ready Intel SDM-Small module with a 7th Gen Intel Core CPU. The credit card sized “ASDM-S-KBU” is designed for kiosks, vending machines, and signage applications. Earlier this month we started seeing the first products to support Intel’s 175 x 100 x 20mm Smart Display Module-Large form factor for easily serviceable and upgradable signage control boards. Nexcom’s NDiS S538 module runs on an Intel 6th Gen Core CPU and Axiomtek’s SDM500L taps the newer 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U. Now Aaeon has announced a board that adopts the smaller, 100 x 60 x 20mm Intel SDM-Small (SDM-S) spec. The ASDM-S-KBU is billed as the first SDM-S module based on a 7th Gen Kaby Lake chip.

  • Apollo Lake Pico-ITX SBC supplies mini-PCIe and M.2 expansion

    Axiomtek’s “PICO319” SBC is built around a quad-core Atom x5-E3940 SoC and offers 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, DP and LVDS, mini-PCIe and M.2, and -40 to 70°C support. The PICO319 is the latest of several Axiomtek Pico-ITX boards with an Intel Apollo Lake processor, including last year’s PICO316. The PICO319 incorporates the quad-core, up to 1.8GHz Atom x5-E3940 instead of the PICO316’s choice of a Pentium N4200 or Celeron N3350. The Atom x5-E3940 enables the PICO319 to support a wider temperature range of -40 to 70°C. No OS support was listed, but the earlier PICO316 supports Linux (Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu) and Windows.