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Gadgets

“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

Filed under
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)

Filed under
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

AsteroidOS Is an Open-Source and Privacy-Focused OS for Android Smartwatches

Filed under
OS
Gadgets

We'd like to introduce you today to AsteroidOS, an open-source and privacy-focused operating system for Android-powered smartwatches, designed as an alternative to Google's Android Wear.

Developed by Florent Revest, AsteroidOS was first introduced three years ago as an embedded Linux distribution built using the OpenEmbedded build automation framework and cross-compile environment on top of the Linux kernel and the systemd init system.

The operating system is using various mobile Linux middleware technologies like machine check exception (MCE) and lipstick, which were originally developed for Nemo Mobile or Mer. Its graphical user interface is entirely written with the Qt5 application framework.

Apps are written in QML using the cross-platform Qt Creator IDE and the current release of AsteroidOS comes with a set of default apps including an agenda, an alarm clock, a timer, a stopwatch, a calculator, a music controller, a weather forecast app, as well as a settings app.

Read more

See ‘Full Linux’ Running on a Samsung Galaxy Phone [Video]

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Itching to see more of Samsung’s promising ‘Linux on Galaxy’ initiative? Then you have to watch the following video.

The smartphone giant has uploaded a short clip to YouTube in which it demos ‘Linux on Galaxy’ to a group of Android developers.

Read more

Also: The Samsung Galaxy S9 Official Wallpapers are Perfect for Ubuntu

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