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Sailfish in PDAs

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Gadgets
  • Sailfish for the Gemini PDA lets you ditch Android
  • A slick phone Linux for your pocket PDA? Ooh, don't mind if I do, sir

    Sailfish has become the fourth OS to be officially supported on Planet Computing's pocket computer, the Gemini PDA, and eager beavers can download an image from Planet today.

    Planet has also released an official Debian distro for download. The keyboard-toting device boots into Android, while support for the Ubuntu flavour of Linux is slated.

    Sailfish matters because it's a Linux created primarily with phones and pocket devices in mind – although it will run on static kit like TVs, too. Nokia launched its first Linux tablet in 2005, and the Maemo platform underpinning it morphed into Meego after Intel joined in 2010.

Sailfish for Gemini Community Edition available now

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

As the first step in bringing Sailfish to Gemini, our friends at Planet Computers have today made the community edition of Sailfish OS 2.1 available for the Gemini PDA. This version has been tested and verified by both Jolla and Planet.

As it’s a community initiative, the version is still somewhat limited, but essential features are supported. With this version you won’t yet get software updates or support for Android apps. Also the overall support is limited to our community’s efforts.

Read more

“Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) and Purism's Librem 5

Filed under
GNU
Gadgets
  • Purism's Librem 5 To Rely On Secondary Processor For Binary Blobs

    With not being able to deliver a 100% fully free software / libre system, the Librem 5 smartphone will rely upon a secondary processor for dealing with the necessary binary blobs for hardware initialization to keep them out of touch from the U-Boot boot-loader and Linux kernel.

    The first road-block in their effort to make the Librem 5 smartphone as open as possible is the DDR PHY with firmware blobs needed for the DDR4 memory training process at boot time. With it not being realistic for them to rewrite the firmware blob to do the DDR4 PHY training, they are planning to punt the binary-only blobs out to a secondary processor. In doing so, they can also apply for an exclusion with the Free Software Foundation for still having a device that "Respects Your Freedom" while still having necessary binary blobs at play.

  • Solving the first FSF RYF hurdle for the Librem 5

    While investigating using the i.MX 8 for the Librem 5 phone we found an issue that would have been problematic for us to obtain the Free Software Foundation’s “Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) hardware endorsement...

(GNU)/Linux Phones: Purism and eelo

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • Purism Reaffirms Plans To Bring Librem 5 Smartphone To Market In January

    Linux hardware manufacturer Purism is reaffirming their commitment this morning to shipping the Librem 5 smart-phone in January.

  • Purism’s Security and Privacy Focused Librem 5 Smartphone Makes Major Strides in Manufacturing and Development

    Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces popular privacy conscious hardware and software, has announced that its groundbreaking Librem 5 smartphone is currently on schedule for its planned January 2019 delivery date seven months after its crowdfunding campaign raised nearly $2.5 million for the project.

    The Librem 5 will be the world’s first community-owned smartphone ecosystem that gives users complete control over their mobile device.

  • If I had an eelo co-founder

    BUT our eelo community is growing fast: we have close to 15 developers working full time, a dozen translators/editors… to reach our targets, and I’m currently limiting this number.

    eelo could grow way faster and way bigger!

    The reason of the current limit is that my available time of work is limited, and my TODO list is growing faster than I can execute.

    Therefore, I need to find solutions until we find enough funding to hire some people to structure all projects more.

Phones: Purism, "Jolla Users", De-Googling Android Phones

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Gadgets
  • Last Call for Librem 5 Dev Kit: order yours before June 1st 2018

    Purism has finalized the specifications for the Librem 5 development kit and will be placing all the component parts order and fabrication run the first week of June 2018. If you want to have early access to the hardware that will serve as the platform for the Librem 5 phone, you must place your dev kit order before June 1st, 2018. The price for the development kit is now $399, up from the early-bird pricing that was in effect during the campaign and until today. The dev kit is a small batch, “limited edition” product. After this batch, we are not planning for a second run (as the production of the phone itself will replace the dev kit in 2019).

  • Top 3 mobile phones

    When purchasing a new mobile phone, there are hundreds of models to choose from and, there are dozens of “excellent” or top-rated brands to consider. Therefore, it can be difficult to know what you are getting. Buying the phone upfront, on contract or buying a smartphone on finance are all options that need to be considered too. If you are ready to invest in a new smartphone consider these three models.

    Galaxy S9 Plus. This phone by Samsung is sleek, elegant, has a vibrant screen, resolution and excellent fingerprint scanner. The curved edges give it a distinct look and style. It is the Plus model, so has a huge touchscreen which is extremely intuitive. Quality speakers, outdoor body/casing and internal functionality make it a top-choice for a new smartphone.

  • De-Googling my phone, reloaded

    In this area the situation is now much happier than my first post indicated. As promised I used trainline.eu for booking some tickets (both for Deutsche Bahn and also on Thalys), and indeed this does a fine job. Same price, European rebate cards like BahnCard 50 are supported, and being able to book with a lot of European train services with just one provider is really neat. However, I’m missing a lot of DB navigator’s great features: realtime information and alternatives, seat selection, car position indicator, regional tariffs, or things like “Länderticket”.

    Fortunately it turns out that DB Navigator works just great with a trick: Disable the “Karte anzeigen” option in the menu, and it will immediately stop complaining about missing Play Services after each action. Also, logging in with your DB account never finishes, but after terminating and restarting the app you are logged in and everything works fine. That might be a “regular” bug or just a side effect without Play Services.

Gadgets With Linux or Modding

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Open-source WearOS alternative “AsteroidOS” now available for several smartwatches
  • AsteroidOS 1.0 released: Open source smartwatch operating system (for Wear OS devices)
  • AsteroidOS 1.0, an open source smartwatch OS, released for certain Android Wear watches
  • Building a DIY amp kit that's great for vinyl records

    About a week after I wrapped up my last article where I talked about needing another stage of amplification to take advantage of my new 0.4mV phono cartridge, all the remaining bits and pieces I had ordered online to build the Muffsy phono head amplifier kit arrived. I had the amplifier kit, the power supply kit, the back-panel kit (all from Muffsy), the case (from a very efficient supplier in China), the temperature-controlled soldering station, and the wall wart (from a very efficient supplier in California).

    I watched the entertaining "how to solder" videos linked on Muffsy's site and realized I needed a few more things—like the thin solder mentioned on those videos and some solder wick. So, on an unusually bright and sunny Saturday morning, I visited a local electronics supply store, picked up the last items, and started building.

    [...]

    I contacted "the person behind Muffsy," Håvard Skrodahl, with some questions. He responded very quickly, and we ended up having a most delightful conversation. Moreover, it turns out Håvard is a system administrator and does this "kit thing" as a side gig. We discussed (or maybe lamented) that "back in the good old days" it was possible to buy all sorts of electronics kits, from Heathkit, Dynaco, David Hafler, and others. Today, there are still audio kits available, but it seems to be of lesser interest. Too bad! I am very grateful to Håvard for open sourcing so much of his materials.

  • UP Core SBC begins shipments

    Aaeon has begun shipping its community-backed “UP Core” SBC starting at $99, featuring a quad-core Atom x5-Z8350, up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, plus WiFi, BT, HDMI, USB 3.0, and RPi HAT compatibility.

    Aaeon has achieved volume production for its UP Core SBC, a smaller (66 x 56.5mm) version of the UP board. The UP Core supports the same OSes as the UP — Android 6.0, Ubuntu, Ubilinux, and Yocto based Linux, as well as Windows 10 and Windows IoT Core — running on the same quad-core, up to 1.84GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family.

Nearly 15 million Nintendo Switches are now hackable (other NVIDIA Tegra X1 devices too)

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GNU
Linux
Security
Gaming
Gadgets

Earlier this year hackers started to show evidence of an exploit that allowed you to load custom software on a Nintendo Switch game console. Theoretically that opens the door for homebrew applications, modified games, or even running an alternate operating system such as a GNU/Linux distribution on Nintendo’s latest game system. It could also make it possible to run pirated games, which is why console makers usually don’t encourage this sort of thing.

But now a team of hackers called ReSwitched have described a bootrom vulnerability called Fusée Gelée that makes it possible for anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch… assuming you’re willing to do a little hardware hacking too.

Read more

Unofficial LineageOS 14.1 now available for the Gemini PDA

Filed under
Android
Hardware
Gadgets

It’s not often that we see successful crowd-funding campaigns for smartphones. Planet Computers’ Gemini PDA is one example of a successful Indiegogo campaign, although it’s technically not a smartphone but rather a clamshell mobile device with a fully integrated hardware keyboard. The device has garnered a lot of attention from enthusiasts because it aims to revive the PDA concept but with the ability to dual boot modern operating systems such as Android and a GNU/Linux distribution. We have already seen an unofficial TWRP port for the device, and now an unofficial port of LineageOS 14.1 is now available.

This unofficial build was made by XDA Recognized Contributor deadman96385 and it is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Most hardware is functional except for the GPS, FM radio, and cellular radio. The built-in camera doesn’t work, but the developer reports that any third party camera app should work just fine.

Read more

Devices: Purism Phones, Taicenn for Cars, Linux for Devices, and Samsung TVs

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets
  • Purism to Bring Hardware Encryption to Its Librem 5 Privacy-Focused Linux Phone

    Purism announced today that it partnered with leading cryptography pioneer Werner Koch to integrate hardware encryption into its upcoming Librem 5 Linux phone and future laptops products.

    Purism is a computer manufacturer known for its security-focused and privacy-oriented laptops powered by the PureOS Open Source Linux-based operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux. The company recently announced that it now has the most secure Linux laptops thanks to the implementation of Heads integrated TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chips in the coreboot firmware in its Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops.

    Now, the company says that it wants to push the industry forward and set unparalleled protection for end-user devices by planning to include hardware cryptography by default in its forthcoming Librem 5 Linux smartphone and all future revisions of the Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops, as well as the yet-to-be-announced Librem 11 model. Purism will be able to achieve this goal by manufacturing hardware with its own software and services.

  • In-vehicle panel PC has up to 10.4-inch touchscreen

    Taicenn's Linux-ready, IP65 protected “TPC-DCXXXC1E” in-vehicle panel PC runs on a Bay Trail Celeron J1900, and has an 8- to 10.4-inch capacitive touchscreen, 2x GbE ports, SATA, mSATA, and wide-range power.

  • The Shift to Linux Operating Systems for IoT

    As IoT devices become more full-featured, the Operating System that drives them is shifting from Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) to Linux.

    [...]

    By this time (circa 2005), Linux was widely used in certain computing environments such as servers and was enjoying a steadily increasing footprint for some embedded environments such as TVs. It was quickly seen as a good building block for smartphones, as it brought out of the box a modern full-featured Operating System with very good device driver support, and that was considered both scalable for the new generation of devices and had the added benefit of being royalty free.

  • Samsung announces its 2018 Tizen TV lineup

    Samsung is hitting us with its best shot as the tech company unveils its 2018 Smart TV lineup. The line up which was unveiled at an event in New York has Samsung offering us details of its new QLED model which includes the Q9F, Q8F, Q7C and Q6F. The new QLED line with enhanced picture quality, design element and also integrated with Bixby. Samsung also gave details of its expanded lineup of Ultra HD certified, Premium UHD and Super Big Screen TVs.

Samsung Galaxy capabilities expanded with Linux with the DeX Pad

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Samsung Dex is a platform that is designed to make your Android smartphone perform like a mobile computer – you just plug in a monitor and keyboard in and your away. The original Samsung Dex station was launched with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and is said to be now compatible with other Samsung devices such as the Galaxy Note 8, and the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.

Now, Samsung have launched a new version of the DeX, named Samsung DeX Pad, that supports the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, and also older devices such as the Samsung S8, S8+, and Note 8. Once you have plugged in the required peripherals you are presented with a desktop user interface that you can use your existing Android Apps on your smartphone. But is that enough? Well, not for some of us, including Developers there is something more that we would like to do with.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Purism: A Privacy Based Computer Company

It all started when Todd Weaver, Founder and CEO of Purism, realized Big Tech could not be trusted as moral guardians of his and his children’s data. The current paradigm of corporations data hoarding is, as Todd describes it, built on “a tech-stack of exploitation”–and not by accident, but by design. Companies such as Google and Microsoft–and especially Facebook–intentionally collect, store and share user data to whomever they see fit. In recent events, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which becomes effective on January 1, 2020, will make residents of California able to know what personal data is being collected about them, know whether their personal data is sold or disclosed and to whom, say no to the sale of personal data, access their personal data, request a business delete any personal data information about a consumer collected from that consumer and not be discriminated against for exercising their privacy rights. This sounds good, and it is, but not according to Big Tech. Big Tech such as Facebook hired a firm to run ads that said things like “Your next click could cost you $5! Say no to the California Consumer Privacy Act”. Big Tech does not care about privacy, they care about their bottom line. This is where Purism comes in. Purism is a privacy focused company. Their devices, the Librem5, Librem13 and Librem15 run PureOS–a GNU/Linux distribution that puts privacy, security and freedom first, by design. It includes popular privacy-respecting software such as PureBrowser. The OS helps you “Surf the web safely without being tracked by advertisers or marketers” and allows you to easily encrypt your entire OS and data with your own encryption keys. This is huge, especially if you understand how much of your “private” data is actually being shared. Read more

Benchmarks: Linux Boot Times, 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation and New PTS Release

  • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

    Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware. The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space. The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.

SDR dev kit builds on Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

Avnet has launched an “RFSoC Development Kit” that extends Xilinx’s eval kit for its Linux-powered, Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC. The kit adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF front-end for SDR prototyping and integrates MATLAB and Simulink. Xilinx launched its 5G-focused Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC variant of its Arm/FPGA hybrid Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoc last year and then announced a Gen3 update in early February. Avnet has now launched an extended version of the Linux-driven Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit that adds a Qorvo 2×2 Small Cell RF Front-end 1.8GHz Card and MATLAB support for software-defined radio (SDR) prototyping, Read more Also: SMARC 2.0 module runs Linux on i.MX8M Mini

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