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Librem 5: Full Screen, Power and New Recruit

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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

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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

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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.

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Here’s Ubuntu Touch Running on the PinePhone

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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.

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Setting the Record Straight: PinePhone Misconceptions

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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.

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Also: announcing arduino-copilot

Easy Librem 5 App Development: Flashlight

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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.

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

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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.

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Syncthing: Open Source P2P File Syncing Tool

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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.

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PinePhone ‘Brave Heart’ Starts Shipping, Here’s What to Expect

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

If you were plucky enough to pre-order a PinePhone Brave Heart edition last month you may be interested to know that devices start shipping from January 17, 2020.

Yes, this week!

Pine64’s Lukasz Erecinski shares the date in the company’s latest monthly update, explaining: “We’re now ready […] to confirm that PinePhones will begin shipping …on January 17th 2020. The dispatch process will take a couple of days, however, so your unit may ship on the 20th or 25th. At any rate, you’ll have your PinePhone soon”.

The handsets are being shipped through a company called Asendia who, Erecinski says, offer a good balance of shipping times (important to buyers) and cost (important to Pine64, who don’t exactly make huge profits all on this tech).

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Devices: Gaël Duval (Eelo or /e/), Wind River Claims "Linux Leadership", More on "Reachy" From Pollen Robotics

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Gadgets
  • Gaël Duval: A video interview at CoderStories

    I forgot to publish this quite comprehensive video interview I had with Sylvain Zimmer at CoderStories!

  • Wind River Extends Embedded Security and Linux Leadership with Acquisition of Star Lab

    Wind River®, a leader in delivering software for the intelligent edge, today announced its acquisition of Star Lab, a leader in cybersecurity for embedded systems. The acquisition broadens the comprehensive Wind River software portfolio with a system protection and anti-tamper toolset for Linux, an open source–based hypervisor, and a secure boot solution. Star Lab is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Wind River. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

    Historically, embedded devices have functioned in isolation, deployed to environments minimally connected to the outside world. However, with the emergence of ubiquitous connectivity paradigms such as IoT and remotely monitored/autonomously controlled industrial and transportation systems, today’s cyber threat landscape is rapidly evolving. Central to this evolution is the ease with which a focused and resourced adversary can acquire and reverse engineer deployed embedded systems. In addition to modification or subversion of a single specific device, hands-on physical access also aids an attacker in discovery of remotely-triggerable software vulnerabilities.

  • Meet Reachy, an expressive, open-source humanoid system

    This is Reachy, a very expressive and open-source robot developed by the French company Pollen Robotics. The robot was presented during CES this year.

    Obviously, among the pros of the robot, the fact that it is based on an open-source platform capable of learning more and more. At the moment, the robot has already shown its ability with simple games, but developers can use Python to create countless applications for the system. The modular nature of the robot allows an unlimited number of applications: use within the restaurant, customer service, demonstrations is possible, and it can also be dedicated to research and development sectors.

    [...]

    Reachy’s arms have 7 degrees of freedom of movement and can be equipped with various manipulators to simulate a five-fingered hand grip. It can manipulate up to 500-gram object.

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