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Gadgets

Upgrade your PinePhone: 3GB/32GB mainboards coming in November

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

When the PinePhone began shipping earlier this year, it was only available in one configuration: with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. But this summer Pine64 began selling a 3GB/32GB model as part of PinePhone Convergence Packs, which also come with a USB-C dock that lets you connect a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to use the company’s Linux smartphone like a tiny Linux desktop.

Now Pine64 says customers who already have a 2GB PinePhone and want to upgrade without buying a new device will be able to purchase a new mainboard starting in November.

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Sailfish OS Pallas-Yllästunturi is now available

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OS
Linux
Gadgets

Finnish Lapland has the cleanest air in the world and Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park in Lapland is Finland’s most popular national park. The landscape of Pallastunturi Fells has been chosen as one of Finland’s national landscapes. The park’s location north of the Arctic Circle means that it experiences the typical weather and natural phenomena associated with seasonal changes. On clear evenings and nights, planets, stars and the northern lights may be visible in the sky.

The 3.4 Pallas-Yllästunturi release includes several updates that enhance the experience on-device, enable new possibilities for developers, and incorporate new features for our corporate customers. Several improvements in this release were developed in collaboration with Open Mobile Platform for Aurora OS. Jolla appreciates the collaborative efforts of its partners and community in making Sailfish OS even better.

[...]

We’ve included experimental support for the Rust programming language in this release. This addition is related to the upcoming browser upgrades, but we will experiment with using Rust in other areas as well. We welcome and appreciate all comments from the community about the behaviour and use of this addition and encourage you to share your experiences on the forum.
In preparation for future needs we are also releasing experimental support for 64-bit hardware (aarch64). This experiment is aimed at potential upcoming devices and is not currently used by any existing hardware. It should be noted by our development community that we do not consider the aarch64 ABI stable yet. Recompiling applications might be needed later when the 64-bit architecture becomes officially supported.
We invite our partners and community to take this into use where devices support it (e.g. HW ports) and to share your feedback via our forum (https://forum.sailfishos.org/).
We’ve also updated our Notification API so that the interface now includes progress information that can be displayed on the Events view.

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There's another smartphone boasting a physical keyboard

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OS
Android
Ubuntu
Gadgets

The F(x)tec Pro1-X is certainly not your typical Android smartphone, as it offers the choice of LineageOS or Ubuntu Touch operating systems out of the box.

The LineageOS is essentially a refined Android that has advanced controls and privacy permissions, whereas the Ubuntu Touch offers users capabilities of a fully-fledged Linux PC. The smartphone has a landscape-optimized launcher and supports customizable shortcut, but since far not all Google Android applications are optimized for hardware keyboards, not all programs will be able to take full advantage of the device.

The F(x)tec Pro1-X can be connected to a display using a USB Type-C cable and be used like a regular Linux personal computer. The touchscreen display can act like a trackpad, whereas the keyboard can be used to input text.

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Pine64’s PineCom will be like a smaller, cheaper PinePhone (but not a phone)

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The $150 PinePhone is already the most affordable, accessible smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux software. But software is still very much a work in progress, which makes it an interesting development platform at the moment, but not a great… you know… phone.

Now the makers of the PinePhone want to make a new handheld communication device called the PineCom.

In some ways, it’ll be like a smaller, cheaper PinePhone that could sell for as little as $100. But it’ll be different in at least one key way: the PineCom is not a phone and it cannot make phone calls over cellular networks.

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PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition: Unboxing and first look (video)

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Reviews
Gadgets

The PinePhone is an inexpensive smartphone designed to run free and open source operating systems including postmarketOS, Ubuntu Touch, Mobian, Sailfish, and Manjaro.

Pine64 began shipping the first version of the phone at the start of this year, and since then the company has offered several additional batches of phones, often involving “Community Edition” versions that come pre-loaded with a specific operating system and with the logo for that OS on the back of the device. Some of the purchase price of the phone also goes to the developers of that OS.

The latest batch to ship is the PinePhone postmarketOS Community Edition phone, and after placing an order for one of these phones about a month ago, I received my device today.

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Fedora Mobility wants to bring the Linux distro to smartphones

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Red Hat
Gadgets

Earlier this year one Fedora user released an unofficial script for building a version of the popular desktop Linux distribution that could run on the PinePhone.

Now things are starting to look a little more official.

Fedora Infrastructure Lead Kevin Fenzi made an announcement in the Fedora mailing list recently that the team is reviving the Fedora Mobility SIG, a group of developers interesting in bringing Fedora to phones.

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"Fund Your App" by Purism

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Gadgets
  • Fund Your App: Purism Now Lets You Vote Apps For Librem 5 Linux Phone

    Purism is a Social Purpose Company (SPC) that focuses on security and privacy with its hardware and software. It is especially known for its Linux-based privacy-respecting Librem 5 smartphone and Librem 14 laptop.

    Last week, Purism announced Librem AweSIM, a prepaid, unlimited cellular service for its Librem 5 Linux phone. Today, it has now launched a Fund Your App campaign to let you vote for mobile phone apps you want on Librem 5 phones.

    [...]

    If you’re interested in buying a $749 Librem 5 Linux smartphone, Purism also gives you the option to purchase it along with the application donation. Going further, you can even add Purism’s new Librem AweSIM unlimited cellular service at a cost of $99/month.

    However, you can also hold your order back and wait for notification until your selected apps or features are ready for Librem 5.

  • Purism’s Fund Your App’ Campaign Lets You Vote for Apps You Want on the Librem 5

    Is there a mobile app or service you really want to use on the upcoming Librem 5? If so, you now have the chance to make it a reality!

    Purism today launches its new “Fund Your App” campaign. This lets people vote for the apps they most want to see up and running on the Librem 5 phone, and pledge money to help make it happen.

  • Purism Launches Fund Your App Page

    Purism, a Social Purpose Company (SPC) focusing on security and privacy with its hardware and software, has launched a Fund Your App campaign to allow people to vote for the mobile phone apps they desire to see working on the Librem 5 phone.

    With an ever increasing number of people realizing that their mobile phones are exploiting their personal digital lives the demand to have a convenient alternative that protects people is growing daily. The Librem 5 phone is the foundation in which society can see that alternative become reality.

    Fund Your App allows people to select the applications they most use, and explains ways in which those applications can run on the Librem 5, natively or externally, allowing for even popular proprietary applications to run in protected isolation.

MagicMirror: a versatile home information hub

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Back in 2014, a Raspberry Pi enthusiast by the name of Michael Teeuw shared his build of a "magic mirror" with the world in a six-part series. The system consisted of a Raspberry Pi and monitor running a web browser in kiosk mode, with a web server that provided a dashboard interface — all stored in a custom-built case with a one-way mirror. Since his post, others around the world have built these devices for their home (including myself), forming both a community and an interesting open-source project. The recent release of MagicMirror2 (MM2) version 2.12.0 gives us an opportunity to learn more about where the project started and where it is today.

The MM2 project provides the software to convert what would otherwise be a normal household mirror into a valuable source of information. This information could take the form of drive times, train schedules, daily news, server loads, sports scores, or even the feed from the doorbell when someone is at the door. With the right know-how, the surface can even become interactive through the use of hand gestures or as a touchscreen.

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Adventures of porting postmarketOS to the Librem 5

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OS
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

I’ve been longing to drop the shackles of Android ever since I made the decision to stop using my Nokia N900. Nokia had given up on Linux phones, and it was clear that there would be no further security patches for my favorite smartphone of all time. Shaking Google out of Android had been my mission for years, and I had resorted to running my own builds of “de-Googled” LineageOS. I was longing for something better. I was out of the country when I first read about postmarketOS (“pmOS”) in May 2017. postmarketOS is a Linux distribution based on Alpine Linux, that strives to provide a Linux distribution running the mainline Linux kernel, as a means to revive old smartphones long forgotten by their manufacturers. My beloved N900 was one device with (rough) support! I quickly jumped on eBay to order a second N900 to meet me at home when I arrived back, because obviously two are needed. Obviously… Thus began my relationship with postmarketOS, one that continues to this day.

Things were not all rosy though… After some time it became clear that the older N900 CPU wasn’t going to get any faster for running “modern” applications and that there would never be a free userspace graphics driver for its GPU, so I was quite excited when I first learned about the Librem 5. Sure, it didn’t have a physical slide-out keyboard, but the promise of a device from a company that would treat Linux support as a first-class citizen was too good to pass up. I promptly pre-ordered a developer kit (“devkit”) and phone, with the full intention of porting postmarketOS to the device and eventually using it full time to replace the heaping pile of Android in my pocket.

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Librem 5 on Privacy

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Gadgets

  • Tourists on Tech’s Toll Roads

    I had assumed the toll would be $1 or so–everything else up to that point had been relatively affordable in Cancun–but was shocked when I slowed down and discovered the toll was $10! This was about three times what the Golden Gate Bridge charged back then! I felt taken advantage of, yet once we got to the toll booth, there was no easy way to turn around or avoid it, so we just paid the fee and I blamed myself for being a dumb tourist who should have researched things better.

    We spent the day in Chichen Itza and on the way back I vowed I would not be taken advantage of again. This time we would take the indirect, free route through the jungle. I was so glad I made that choice as I passed through one village after another and saw local people living their lives. While it wasn’t as fast or smooth a road as the toll road, I felt like less of a tourist on a curated tour of someone else’s property and more like I was seeing what “real” Cancun was like.

  • GPS Tuning the Librem 5 Hardware

    Society is getting pretty used to the idea that the data and applications on phones are completely controlled by large corporations.

    Purism is working hard to change that with the Librem 5.

    Because of the market capitalization and duopoly control of the phone OS vendors, the hardware tool vendors use are trapped into one of those two OSes (Android or iOS).

    [...]

    The available GPS antenna tuning procedure is a GPS simulator, but the simulator requires feedback from the phone OS to help tune the antenna. If you are on Android the simulator vendor provides an apk that converts the NMEA to a format that the tools can use to do the tuning.

    So now we have a tool to do the tuning but no way to use it.

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