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Purism’s Librem 5 Report

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Purism’s Librem 5 Progress in Videos

    Nothing shows the progress we have been making quite as clearly as a demonstration of the Librem 5 status from the devkit itself – so let us take you through a handful of (short) videos showcasing the current possibilities and development of our Librem 5 devkit:

  • The Current State Of Librem 5's Linux Smartphone Functionality On Their Dev Kits

    For those wondering how the Linux smartphone stack is shaping up for Purism's long-awaited Librem 5 smartphone that is currently aiming to ship in Q3, the company has released several video recordings of different operations running on their Librem 5 software on their developer kits.

    Shown in this fresh round of video demos is a 10-second boot-up of the Librem 5 phone start-up on their developer kit, receiving a voice call on the developer kit, the SMS text messaging/chat application, web browsing and video playback, and a devkit to devkit phone call.

Jolla and Purism on Their Platforms (GNU/Linux-based OS)

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets
  • A Message in a Bottle – from the Mer Project

    I am pleased to announce a significant change in Mer and Sailfish OS which will be implemented in phases. As many of you know Mer began many years ago as a way for the community to demonstrate “working in the open” to Nokia. This succeeded well enough that Mer eventually closed down and shifted support to MeeGo. When MeeGo stopped – thanks to its open nature – we, Carsten Munk and I, were able to reincarnate Mer as an open community project and continue to develop a core OS and a suite of open development tools around it. Over time a number of organisations used the Mer core as a base for their work. However, there was one that stood out: Jolla with Sailfish OS which started to use Mer core in its core and they have been by far the most consistent contributors and supporters of Mer.
    Once again, Mer has served it’s purpose and can retire. To clarify that this will be the official ‘working in the open’ core of SailfishOS we’re going to gradually merge merproject.org and sailfishos.org.

    What will this mean in practice?
    I’d like to just say that the colours of the websites will change and we’ll be able to access the existing resources using new sailfishos.org links.
    So whilst that summary is true, actually it’s more complex than that! Yes, the same hardware will run the same services and Jolla’s sailors will continue to push code to the same systems. There will be more time to keep the servers updated and to improve community contribution mechanisms.

  • The Future of Computing and Why You Should Care

    As technology gets closer and closer to our brain, the moral issues of digital rights become clearer and clearer.

    It started with computers, where we would leave them and come back to them. Then phones, that we always have on or near us with millisecond leakage of personal data beyond human comprehension. Then wearables, that are tracking very private details. IOT devices are everywhere— I have to stop to remind everybody: “The S in IOT is for Security” ~ Anonymous—and finally, surgically implanted.

    A question to consider: What Big Tech Company would you purchase your future brain implant from? This is coming.

    However, I believe we can change the future of computing for the better. Let’s stand together and invest, use, and recommend products and services that respect society.

Star LabTop Mk III Open Source Edition: An Interesting Laptop

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Gadgets

Star Labs Systems have been producing Laptops tailored for Linux for some time. Recently, they have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming ‘Open Source Edition’ laptop that incorporates more features as per the requests by the users or reviewers.
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A Psion Palmtop Successor Has Arrived and It Runs Android and Linux

Filed under
Android
Linux
Gadgets

A lot of people probably remember the 1990s palmtop computers made by Psion fondly. The clamshell-design palmtops were pocketable, black and white, but had a working stylus and a fantastic tactile foldout QWERTY keyboard that you could type pretty substantial documents on or even write code with. A different company -- Planet Computers -- has now produced a spiritual successor to the old Psion palmtops called the Gemini PDA that is much like an old Psion but with the latest Android smartphone hardware in it and a virtually identical tactile keyboard. It can also dual boot to Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Sailfish) alongside Android. The technical specs are a MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (plus microSD slot), 4G, 802.11c Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, eSIM support, and 4,220mAh battery. The screen measures in at 5.99-inches with a 2,160 x 1,080 (403ppi) resolution. The only thing missing seems to be the stylus -- but perhaps that would have complicated manufacturing of this niche-device in its first production run.

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A developer is working on turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet

Filed under
Android
Linux
Gadgets

The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s latest console/handheld, and it’s doing really well for itself in terms of sales and appeal. It also marks a change in attitude from Nintendo as well, as the device is not only powered by an Nvidia Tegra system-on-chip, but the company even reportedly wanted to employ the now-defunct Cyanogen Inc. to develop their operating system. Since the discovery of the Fusée Gelée vulnerability, Switch modding has really taken off in the community. Users have theorized for a long time now whether it would be possible to port Android to the Switch. After all, Linux has been ported to it and the device uses the Tegra X1 SoC for which there is documentation to refer to. All that’s left is the blood, sweat, and tears of developers interested enough in porting Android. One developer by the name of ByLaws is taking the challenge of turning a Nintendo Switch into an Android tablet.

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Can the Pinebook Pro Linux deliver where others fail?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

When everything went online, the need to have an all-powerful computer was no longer that urgent. Today, we can do everything online - from writing, to picture editing, to entertainment and much more.

Tablets became the next best thing, but they, in rather dramatic fashion, proved to be a fad.

These days you rarely see them, gone was the time when everyone was dying to be seen with one. This made way for hybrids, though to be fair, tablets opened the path to low-end computers going mainstream.

This is where the Pinebook comes into existence. Sure, they market it as a tinkerer’s laptop, but, it is, in every sense, a fully working laptop, and by the looks of it, the best contender available to Chromebooks.

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Also: Raspberry Pi Opens Its First Offline Retail Store In UK

PinePhone Linux smartphone to sell for $149, dev kits coming soon

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

The smartphone world is basically a duopoly at the moment. Android is the dominant operating system and iOS comes in a distant second place, while competing platforms such as Windows, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, FireFox OS have largely been abandoned.

There are still a few holdouts — Jolla continues to develop its Sailfish OS, but its market share is virtually nil.

[...]

Niche hardware and software isn’t cheap… but maybe it can be. Pine64 has announced that its developing a cheap Linux phone called the PinePhone that could sell for as little as $149.

[...]

The goal is to also provide physical switches that can disable or enable the wireless components, cameras, and speaker for privacy.

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Sailfish X Beta now available for Sony Xperia XA2 device range

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Linux
Gadgets

Today we started offering the Sailfish X Beta software package including the much awaited Android application support. You can get it now for your Sony Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Plus, and Xperia XA2 Ultra devices from the Jolla Shop!

The awaited Android application support includes major architectural changes, and upgrades the support from Android 4.4.4 to Android 8.1, significantly improving the Android app compatibility. This is a major upgrade in the Android Runtime in Sailfish OS as it will open up a wide range of additional apps to enjoy in your beloved Sailfish device and, even though still in beta, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy using it to take full advantage of the latest apps – if you prefer to use Android apps on your device of course.

As already stated in our earlier blog post, the now released version of the Android app support is a public beta. At this stage it still has many known issues but we still wanted to make it available, and thus we had to make the call to offer the Android app support part of the package free of charge for the time being until the beta label is removed.

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PinePhone Linux Smartphone Priced At $149 To Arrive This Year

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Smartphone users are usually torn between the two choices — Android or iOS. Their dominance is such that other competing OS like Windows, BlackBerry OS, or Symbian have almost been abandoned.

Those who don’t want either of them can opt for Pine64’s Linux phone dubbed the PinePhone, which offers good hardware and software at an affordable rate of $149.

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Librem 5 Hardware Update

Filed under
Development
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Hardware Update

    The Librem 5 Developer Kit started arriving in the hands of developers, and focus was shifted towards supporting the growing number of developer requests – we want to make sure that shared advancements are truly shared across the developer community, it exciting to see the rapid progress being made. Much of the work being done aims at making the kit work as well as possible for all kinds of developers. And even those working on non-critical issues at the moment are busy enjoying the discovery of all the capabilities of the dev kits.

    We are keeping track of issues by tagging them with the devkit tag in GitLab – a summary of which can be found at this overview.

  • The Current Hardware Specifications For Purism's Librem 5 Phone

    Just before Christmas, Purism began shipping the Librem 5 developer kits and with that increasing questions about the Librem 5 Linux smartphone, the company has published some new FAQs about the security-minded smartphone as well as publishing a concise list of the currently planned specifications.

    The specifications are much the same as when they were last covered, albeit now in a convenient list. The i.MX8M SoC is still at the heart of the phone though it's still yet to be determined whether the 8M Quad or 8M Quad Mini will be utilized. With either of those SoCs is the Vivante graphics, tentatively planning to ship with 3GB of RAM, and a 5.7-inch 720x1440 display, 802.11g/n WiFi, and one SIM card.

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Back in the Day: UNIX, Minix and Linux

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Python Programming Leftovers

GNU/Linux Leftovers

  • USB Support In Chrome OS 75 Will Make Linux Incredibly Versatile
    Chrome OS Linux instances are on the cusp of becoming immensely more useful and versatile based on a recent change spotted by Keith I Myers in the beta-specific Developer Channel following an update to version 75.0.3759.4. That's because while the update inevitably introduced some new bugs that will need to be squashed before a final release, it also included full support for USB devices on the Crostini side of the equation.
  • Old computer? Linux can give it a new lease on life
    The operating system is called Linux and was created in 1991 by Finnish student Linus Torvalds. He released Linux as open source which meant that any good programmer could tinker with it and improve upon the original. Today Linux is a popular free alternative for Windows and Mac computers and used by millions of people. The beauty is that Linux requires much less processing power and memory than Windows and is perfect for older computers.
  • At Least 27% Of Gentoo's Portage Can Be Easily LTO Optimized For Better Performance
    entooLTO is a configuration overlay for Gentoo's overlay to make it easy to enable Link Time Optimizations (LTO) and other compiler optimizations for enabling better performance out of the Gentoo packages. GentooLTO appears to be inspired in part by the likes of Clear Linux who employ LTO and other compiler optimization techniques like AutoFDO for yielding better performance than what is conventionally shipped by Linux distributions. The GentooLTO developers and users have wrapped up their survey looking at how practical this overlay configuration is on the massive Portage collection.  The initial GentooLTO survey has been going on since last October and they have collected data from more than 30 users. The survey found that of the Gentoo Portage 18,765 packages as of writing, at least 5,146 of them are working with the GentooLTO configuration.