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Gadgets

The Finest Linux Tablet You Can Build

Filed under
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 Fartsparkle] can simply upgrade his tablet by getting a newer version of the Jetson Nano (or the Compute Module).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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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

Filed under
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

10 Places Where You Can Buy Linux Computers

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Gadgets

Looking for a Linux laptop? Here are 10 places you can buy a Linux computer. Some of the shops even sell computers preinstalled with LibreBoot instead of BIOS. Check out the list.
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GNU/Linux Phones: Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Release and Librem 5 Hardware

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Release

    Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-9! OTA-9 is appearing as a staged rollout for all supported Ubuntu Touch devices over the next five days, completing on Sunday, May 12. You can skip to How to get OTA-9 to get it right away if you're impatient, or read on to learn more about this release.

  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Released With Better Stability, OTA-10 To Bring Mir 1.1 + Unity 8

    The UBports community has released Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 as the newest release of Ubuntu for tablets/smartphones.

    Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 development was principally focused on improving the stability of the stack. There's also been some artwork improvements, Nexus 5 camera fixes, and various fixes throughout.

  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Released for Ubuntu Phones with Refreshed Look, Improvements

    The UBports community released today the OTA-9 for their Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for all supported Ubuntu Phone devices, a maintenance release that adds various improvements and a refreshed look.
    Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 comes two months after the OTA-8 update with a refreshed look consisting of new and updated Suru symbols and folder icons to give users a better Ubuntu Phone experience, improvements for the Nexus 5 camera so users can now record videos again, better detection of the system-wide dark theme, as well as a new "Busy" indicator.

    Also included in this release is support for the OpenStore V3 API in the update handler of System Settings, the ability to save images using the previously used compression settings, improvements to the characters counter for messages, support for searching the Web with Lilo, simplified transitions for the Stack View, and a new "Paste and Go" option in the browser.

  • May Progress Update – Librem 5 Hardware

Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey 2019, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu/Librem News

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets
  • Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey 2019

    It’s clear that a lot of people develop software using Ubuntu. What’s less clear is exactly what sort of software is being built. We see reports of people developing Linux apps, Android apps, web services, self driving cars… the list is huge. We need to get better clarity; to understand how that relates to Ubuntu desktop.

    We can get some reasonable insights from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, but I’m keen to really dig down in to the Ubuntu community specifically.

    When I was chatting with Barton George a few weeks back he expressed the same interest; what are people doing with the Sputnik machines from Dell? We want to learn more about the sorts of software projects that you’re working on so that we can make the Ubuntu developer experience as good as possible.

    To that end we put together the Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey to help us understand more about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. This survey is aimed primarily at people who are using Ubuntu to develop software targeting any platform. It doesn’t matter if you do that at work, at home, at school – if you’re building software then we’re glad to hear from you. To be clear: this doesn’t mean we’re abandoning our mantra of Ubuntu being for human beings, software developers are human beings too. Right now I want to get a better view in to what software developers are doing.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has transitioned to ESM support

    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’ transitioned into the ESM support phase at the end of April 2019, and will no longer be supported for users who do not have access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) through Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure.

    Ubuntu long term support (LTS) releases provide a stable, supported platform for development and production, with five years of guaranteed public maintenance available. Once the public Standard Security Maintenance window comes to a close, Ubuntu LTS releases have an additional three to five years of support (depending upon the release) through ESM.

    Access to ESM extends LTS release coverage, allowing for continued security fixes for high and critical common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) for the most commonly used packages in the Ubuntu main archive. This access permits organisations with workloads running on Ubuntu LTS releases to maintain compliance standards by providing a secure environment before upgrading can occur.

  • Don't Hold Your Breath On UBports' Ubuntu Touch For Purism's Librem 5 Smartphone

    While Ubuntu Touch that continues to be worked on by the UBports community remains one of the most viable and furthest along Linux open-source smartphone operating systems, it doesn't look like there will be any solid support in time for launch-day of the upcoming Purism Librem 5 smartphone. 

    Adding to the growing list of concerns over the Librem 5 smartphone is now finding out there isn't Ubuntu Touch progress being made... Last year Purism announced Ubuntu Touch would be supported on the Librem 5 and that the company would "officially collaborate" with UBports. That was back when they planned to ship the Librem 5 smartphone in January 2019 and offer their own GNOME-based PureOS, PureOS with KDE Plasma Mobile, and Ubuntu Touch as options.

  • What’s In a (User)Name

    Using your email address as the discovery tool across platforms makes it simple and convenient to find and communicate with people. As a remarkable side-benefit, it becomes very simple for people to determine the protocol-specific usernames—be those @todd@librem.one for social, @todd:librem.one for chat, or todd@librem.one for email.

    As an example of how this works in practice, let’s say you have joined a room in Librem Chat—a room about a topic that interests you. You meet other interesting people and make some friends; it’s now easy to find and follow them on Librem Social, since the usernames are the same on both platforms.

    A single login also makes things easy for Librem 5 users: when you first get your phone, if you have a Librem One account you will be able to enter a single login and have all of these services light up, ready to use.

    [...]

    Even though big tech firms offer unified login, their commitment to lock-in, proprietary protocols means you instantly sacrifice convenience once you leave their club. Currently, you may be a member of countless private clubs, designed to exploit and control you, and not even know it. If I ask you what are all the ways I can contact you, you will probably answer with a list containing a username on Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest… and a phone number and email, of course. All of these ways to communicate have their own logins and (mostly proprietary) protocols that don’t work with each other. The last one, the email, stands out as it was created as a standard, to allow interoperability across the world, regardless of what client or service you use; the same design choices of advancing standards made it into Librem One.

    So instead of a laundry list of accounts, you can have one single, simple account that offers you all the same convenience of posting, chatting, messaging and sharing. You will be able to do all those things from different applications, but the only account you have to remember is your Librem One account.

Purism’s Librem One suite of apps offers ad-free, privacy-focused chat, email, social media (for a fee)

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Purism sells a line of laptops that ship with GNU/Linux software and which support privacy features including physical kill switches for the cameras, microphones, and wireless cards. The social purpose corporation is also developing the Librem 5 smartphone, which should ship with a Linux-based operating system later this year.

Now Purism is moving beyond hardware and launching a set of apps and services that it says respect your privacy.

The Librem One suite of apps includes a Chat app, a Mail app, a VPN, and a social networking app. They don’t include ads of any sort. They offer end-to-end encryption. And Purism says it doesn’t track user data.

But since Purism isn’t making any money off your data, they’re asking you to pony up — Librem One is a subscription service.

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Review of the LDK Game open source handheld retro-game emulation console

Filed under
OSS
Reviews
Gaming
Gadgets

ETA Prime reviewed the LDK Game, an open source handheld retro-game emulation console that can play games from Nintendo, Sega, and other retro-platforms. It costs $60.

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Also: Open source kart racing game, SuperTuxKart, sees 1.0 release after 12 years

The PinePhone Linux Smartphone Dev Kit Can Run Wayland's Weston

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Gadgets

While on one side of the table is the Purism Librem 5 Linux smartphone on the high-price/high-end side, the Pine64 folks continue working on the PinePhone as a lower-end Linux smartphone. A new video now shows the PinePhone running on Linux 5.0 with Wayland's Weston.

Earlier this week was Purism showing off the state of their software on the Librem 5 developer kit while coincidentally now is a video showing off the PinePhone running on the Linux 5.0 kernel with Wayland's Weston compositor.

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Also: CrickitSnek — snek on the Adafruit Crickit

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PCLinuxOS 2019.09 updated installation media release

The KDE versions both full and the minimalistic Darkstar contain kernel 5.2.15 plus a fully updated KDE Plasma desktop. Plasma desktop 5.16.5, Plasma Applications 19.08.1 and Plasma Frameworks 5.62. The Mate Desktop was refreshed with kernel 5.2.15 and the applications and libraries were updated to their most recent stable versions from the previous release. The Xfce Desktop was tweaked and now uses the Whisker menu by default. A login sound was added and the applications were updated along with some minor bug fixes. In addition all ISOs now include the Nvidia 430.50 driver and will be used instead of the nouveau driver if your video card supports it. Hardware detection scripts were updated to provide better support for video cards that can use the Nvidia 430.50 driver. Pulseaudio has been updated to the stable 13.0 release. The Simple Update Notifier was reworked and now works for keeping you notified of system updates and the ability to update from the applet using apt-get. Small improvements were made to the Live media boot scripts. Vbox test media is also included on the installation media. This program allows you to quickly test an ISO on the fly or usbstick with various options without having to create a permanent VM in Virtualbox. Requires a valid Virtualbox installation. Thanks to the people involved for their contributions to this program. Read more

Android Leftovers

OSGeoLive 13.0 Released, which Brings Some New Applications

Astrid Emde has announced the new release of OSGeoLive 13.0 on Sep 12, 2019. This release has improved the Python experience a lot by adding an additional Python modules like Fiona, rasterio, cartopy, pandas, geopandas, mappyfile. Also, added the following new applications MapCache, GeoExt, t-rex, actinia. Many packages have been updated to the latest version. [...] It is featuring a large collection of open-source geospatial software and free world maps. It provides bootable ISO-Images and Virtual Machines which allow users to try out fully-operational versions of popular Free Geospatial Software without the need to install a thing. Read more