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Gadgets

Librem 5 Updates and Interviews

Filed under
Interviews
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 December 2019 Software Update

    Although we’re well into 2020, the changelog-style software progress reports for the turn of the year have yet to be published. Let’s fix that by giving a brief update of what happened in December.

    Some of the activities below were already mentioned in their own articles in Purism’s news archive; others will be covered in more depth in future articles. This is just a taste of all the work that goes into making the Librem 5 software stack. You can follow development more closely at source.puri.sm.

  • An Interview with fphemeral: Community Member & Librem 5 Early Adopter

    I recently had the pleasure of chatting with fphemeral, a longtime Purism community member, Librem 13 user and Librem 5 early-adopter. What stood out about fphemeral’s story was how big of role community and the the flexibility of our products played on his journey to improved privacy. Like many of our passionate community members, fphemeral is also developing a range of useful apps for his Librem 5 and sharing them with the community. Here’s the full conversation we recently had on Librem Chat.

'Open-source' Rotary Cellphone

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets

  • You can now own a mobile phone with a rotary dial — if that’s really something you want

    While some would be quite literally lost without theirs, smartphones that give us access to a world of information in our pocket but constantly ask to be pulled out of there and stared at have become so complicated many people now find them annoying.
    This has triggered the rise of “dumbphones”, which look like the mobile phones of the past while still having some modern technologies.
    These devices range from the quite cheap to the weirdly expensive.
    Some customers opt for these phones to disconnect from the always online world – while others merely want to be seen to be doing so.
    But if you’re looking for the ultimate disconnected phone, one tinkerer has the perfect device.
    Justine Haupt is an associate scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.
    She’s also the creator of the open source Rotary Cellphone, a mobile phone with a tactile spinning dial like the kind that was common on house phones until around the 1980s.

  • Rotary Cellphone
  • Open-source rotary cellphone

    Justine Haupt made this handsome and completely functional rotary cellphone. Her design is open-source and you can even buy a case kit from her company, Sky's Edge Robotics. You have to find and carefully modify your own rotary dial, though -- they're apparently no longer made -- as well as a few other components.

Librem 5: Full Screen, Power and New Recruit

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

  • Better Fullscreen App Support on the Librem 5

    The phone’s shell is responsible for how apps are displayed. Even the smallest improvement to how apps render can have a positive impact on all Librem 5 applications – enabling more of the rich application ecosystem in PureOS to work better on mobile.

    [...]

    The UI is still accessible whenever it’s needed, but it’s now smart enough to know when to get out of the way.

    For non-convergent desktop apps you can employ UI scaling, which will allow you to run most FOSS apps on the Librem 5 in non-docked mode.

  • Librem 5 Power Management Improvements up to Jan 2020

    Power-management improvements continue to find their way into PureOS. We still have a ways to go before the battery can make it through a day, but progress is steady. Let’s go over a few of the latest changes.

  • Julian Sparber: Joining Purism

    This announcement is long overdue, but better late than never Smile

    About 6 months ago I joined Purism, where I’m working on the Librem 5 phone. I’m in good company, since there are already a number of other fellow GNOME friends on the Librem 5 team, including Adrien Plazas, Tobias Bernard, and Mohammed Sadiq.

Devices: Librem 5, USB, SB Servo, and Raspberry Pi/OSMC

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Gyro and Ambient Light Sensor Progress

    The software stack around sensors is coming together piece by piece. It will take longer for features like auto-rotate to start working, but the raw data is there and ready to be used by PureOS and software developers.

  • USB armory Mk II: A secure computer on a USB stick featuring open source hardware design

    The hardware security professionals at F-Secure have created a new version of the USB armory – a computer on a USB stick built from the ground up to be secure.

  • SB Servo is a powerful open source digital serial servo motor

    SB Servo motors have been created to offer affordable, powerful and open-source digital servo motors with Torque, Speed, Position Feedback and full 360-degree rotation mode. Early bird pricing starts from £10 and deliveries are expected to start next month during March 2020.

  • OSMC Skin update

    While we usually release a single monthly update, we've made a number of improvements to the OSMC skin and would like to get these changes out as promptly as possible for feedback.

    [...]

    To get the latest and greatest version of OSMC, simply head to My OSMC -> Updater and check for updates manually on your exising OSMC set up. Of course — if you have updates scheduled automatically you should receive an update notification shortly.

    If you enjoy OSMC, please follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and consider making a donation if you would like to support further development.

    You may also wish to check out our Store, which offers a wide variety of high quality products which will help you get the best of OSMC.

Why the $150 PinePhone is not ready to replace my Android device

Filed under
Gadgets

The PinePhone--mention that device to any Linux and open source enthusiast, and you'll see their face light up with possibility. Mention that same device to anyone outside that realm, and you'd be lucky to get a shrug.

For those who don't know, PINE64 has been working on an open source smartphone that can run nearly any flavor of Linux. But this isn't just vaporware or a pipe dream--units have begun to ship. The units are called the BraveHeart edition, and they are something special.

But special isn't always a good thing.

Let me explain.

[...]

In order for the PinePhone to succeed, it'll have to chip away at a very challenging market, which includes the Android OS with nearly 90% global market share. That's a daunting task and to attempt that by selling devices without an operating system is a mistake.

Why? The platform is the thing.

Hardware is nothing without a platform. Android devices would be worthless to the community at large without Android. Apple phones wouldn't be nothing but chips and screens without iOS. The PinePhone is nothing but a pet project without Linux.

I realize what PINE64 is trying to do--or at least I think I do. The company is releasing the hardware with the hopes that all distributions will pick them up and start developing for them, such that every Linux distribution will offer a flashable image for the device. Why? So, in the end, it can sell devices to consumers that most Linux distributions will work on.

Read more

Here’s Ubuntu Touch Running on the PinePhone

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

UBports’ Marius Gripsgård has shared today on YouTube a more in depth overview of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the PinePhone Linux phone.

The PinePine is already shipping to customers who pre-ordered the BraveHeart edition, but the new Linux phone doesn’t ship with an operating system pre-installed. Several options are available though, including Ubuntu Touch and Plasma Mobile.

Its makers, PINE64, are currently waiting for a Linux mobile OS vendor to port their operating system to the PinePhone before shipping the second edition in spring 2020, and I really hope that Ubuntu Touch will be the first option they choose.

Read more

Setting the Record Straight: PinePhone Misconceptions

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The misconception concerns the openness of the PinePhone. On numerous occasions I’ve seen the PinePhone being refereed to as closed-source on one level or another. I don’t know the origin of this misconception nor do I understand the reason why it has become propagated throughout the internet. What I do know, however, is that it has been repeatedly quoted in online articles covering the PinePhone or other Linux devices for over a year now.

So let’s set the record straight: the PinePhone is not ‘full of closed-source firmware’ and, moreover, is one of the most open devices out there.

Read more

Also: announcing arduino-copilot

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Flashlight

Filed under
Development
Gadgets
HowTos

In my first post on easy application development on the Librem 5 I discussed how to turn a simple shell script that takes a screenshot into a full graphical app with only a few extra lines of code. In this post I will follow up with an even simpler application that took about twenty minutes to write with much of that time involved in reading documentation.

My Bright Idea

The interesting thing about smart phones is how many other devices they have replaced beyond a regular phone. For instance, there used to be a market for small, pocket-sized digital cameras, but now many people just use the cameras on their smart phones. While some people still do keep a pocket flashlight with them, many people just use the light on their smart phone.

I realized that a flashlight app would be another great way to showcase just how easy it is to develop applications for the Librem 5. As applications go the requirements are pretty simple: you need a button to turn on the light, a button to turn off the light, and a button to close the app.

Read more

MIG and Astra Linux start selling new, secure tablet with Russian operating system

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
Gadgets

Russian companies Mobile Inform Group (MIG) and Astra Linux have started selling the new MIG T10 x86 tablet powered by the Astra Linux OS, an operating system of domestic origin, reports Cnews.ru. The device is resistant to a wide range of temperatures.

The device corresponds to all the security standards of the Russian security services and the military. It is powered by the tetra-core Intel Appololake N3450 2.2 GHz processor and has a 11,700 mAh battery. The price of the tablet with the pre-installed Astra Linux OS starts from RUB 105,118.

Read more

Syncthing: Open Source P2P File Syncing Tool

Filed under
Software
Gadgets

Syncthing is an open-source peer-to-peer file synchronization tool that you can use for syncing files between multiple devices (including an Android phone).

Usually, we have a cloud sync solution like MEGA or Dropbox to have a backup of our files on the cloud while making it easier to share it.

But, what do you do if you want to sync your files across multiple devices without storing them on the cloud?

That is where Syncthing comes to the rescue.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Security and FUD: Updates, Keeper, WireGuard and Concerns About 2038

  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by CentOS (java-1.7.0-openjdk and ppp), Debian (libimobiledevice, libusbmuxd, and pure-ftpd), Fedora (caddy, firejail, golang-github-gorilla-websocket, golang-vitess, hugo, mingw-libpng, php, and proftpd), openSUSE (chromium, enigmail, ipmitool, libsolv, libzypp, zypper, weechat, and yast2-rmt), Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk and ppp), Red Hat (java-1.7.0-openjdk and ppp), Scientific Linux (java-1.7.0-openjdk and ppp), and SUSE (java-1_8_0-ibm, kernel, mariadb, mariadb-100, openssl, php5, python, rsyslog, and texlive-filesystem). 

  • Keeper – A Robust, Security-Centric Password Manager [Ed: This 'article' from FOSSmint (not FOSS) is referral SPAM. Proprietary software promoted for a fee. This -- yes, this -- is what kills journalism.]

    We’ve covered several password managers over the years with popular names like RememBear, Buttercup, Pass, and Enpass, and I am happy about the positive feedback from readers over the years. Today, I would like to introduce you to a strong password generator and security-centric manager application and it goes by the convenient name of Keeper. Keeper is a top-rated freemium password manager designed to provide personal users, families, students, and businesses with a reliable application for generating strong passwords as well as storing them while ensuring protection from cyberthreats and password-related data breaches.

  • WireGuard – A Fast, Modern and Secure VPN Tunnel for Linux

    WireGuard is a modern, secure, cross-platform and general-purpose VPN implementation that uses state-of-the-art cryptography. It aims to be speedy, simpler, leaner and more functional than IPsec and it intends to be more performant than OpenVPN. It is designed for use in various circumstances and can be deployed on embedded interfaces, fully loaded backbone routers, and supercomputers alike; and runs on Linux, Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS, and Android operating systems. It presents an extremely basic yet powerful interface that aims to be simple, as easy to configure and deploy as SSH. Its key features include a simple network interface, crypto key routing, built-in roaming and container support. Note that at the time of writing, it is under heavy development: some of its parts are working toward a stable 1.0 release, while others are already there (working fine).

  • Modern Computers Might Stop Working on January 19, 2038

    Nearly every computer in the history of computers keep time using a 32-bit integer, counting forward from 00:00:00 UTC on the 1st of January 1970, referred to as the epoch. This instant of time was set as the standard for modern computing systems, but there's a major problem. Seven seconds after 3:14 am UTC on the 19th of January 2038, the 32-bit integer storing this time data will run out of positions. The problem is similar to the Y2K issue where a 2-digit value could no longer be used to encode the years 2000 or later, but different in that this 32-bit bug is related to Unix-like systems and the Unix time format. These similarities to the Y2K bug have widely lead to the 2038 problem being known as the Unix Millennium Bug. [...] Embedded systems like those in cars and appliances are designed to last the lifecycle of the device without a software update. Connected electronics can be quickly fixed with a software update when the time comes, but these embedded systems will likely wreak the most havoc in 2038 since most won't be updated. One option is to change the data storage system of the 32-bit integer to an unsigned 32-bit integer. This would theoretically allow for date storage all the way to 2106, but any system that used a date prior to 1970 would run into issues accessing this data. If we increased the data storage to 64-bit, we would run into compatibility storage issues between older systems that only use 32-bit data storage. There's no current universal solution to the problem and even the most widely accepted fixes still have bugs in certain usage areas. There is positive news at the end of this.

The Chrome Cast 50: Linux on Chromebooks and the future of Chrome OS tablets

This week on The Chrome Cast, we’re exploring a couple seemingly-unconnected ideas that actually tie into one another quite well. First up is the heightened interest in Linux apps on Chrome OS. While we’ve been tracking along with the development of Crostini since before it was actually a thing, it’s been a while since we’ve really dug into what Chromebooks are capable of with Linux. As part of that renewed effort, we’ve launched Command Line, where we are focusing more on what users can do and get done with Linux apps on their Chromebook. Read more Another new show:

  • 2020-02-28 | Linux Headlines

    The Open Source Initiative kicks a co-founder from its mailing lists, OBS faces backlash for receiving support from Facebook Gaming, and Collabora launches its version of LibreOffice for mobile.

Linux-powered module charges up the RISC-V PolarFire SoC

Aries’ “M100PFS” module runs Linux on Microchip’s RISC-V based PolarFire SoC with FPGAs up to 265K LE. Features include up to 8GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC, and support for up to 16x SERDES lanes. Aries Embedded announced one of the first compute modules equipped with the PolarFire SoC, a Linux-powered, FPGA-enabled RISC-V SoC from Microchip’s Microsemi unit (see farther below). The M100PFS has the same 74 x 42mm footprint as Aries’ similar M100PF module, which is equipped with the PolarFire FPGA without the Linux-ready RISC-V cores. Read more

Android as a Desktop

  • Android-x86 project lets you run Android 9 Pie on a desktop, laptop, or table

    The team at the Android-x86 project Abba released their latest version of an Android based desktop operating system, offering an open source platform that can run Android 9 Pie on a desktop, laptop, or tablet with an Intel or AMD processor. Today the team announced the public release of Android-x86 9.0, the first stable release for Android-x86 9.0 (pie-x86). The prebuilt images are now available to download from Foss Hub and OSDN, check out the links below. The latest release includes support for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors, hardware-accelerated graphics with support for OpenGL ES 3.x on Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA GPUs, as well as experimental Vulkan graphics support, together with an optional Taskbar launcher, although you can also use the default Android-style launcher if you prefer. Other supported areas within the Android desktop operating system include WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, camera, audio, and multitouch input.

  • Android-x86 9.0 Offering Android Pie Experience on Computer Released
  • Android is NOT Linux

    Android is NOT Linux Let's go over why Android is nothing like Linux. While it may use a Linux Kernel it is a completely different beast altogether.