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Gadgets

Devices: NanoPi, Ugoos and ecoPI STARTER

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Linux
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/e/ is selling Google-free Android phones (in Europe)

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OS
Android
Gadgets

It’s hard to develop a new smartphone operating system from scratch. But forking one is another story.

So when developer Gaël Duval wanted to create a smartphone operating system that emphasized privacy, he started with Android… and then stripped all the proprietary Google services he could.

The result is a platform he calls /e/ which is a fork of a fork (it’s based on LineageOS and uses microG as an alternative to Google Mobile Services). While a public beta of the /e/ operating system has been available since last year, at the time you had to install it on a phone yourself.

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First Librem 5 Smartphones are Shipping

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets
  • First Librem 5 Smartphones are Shipping

    The first Librem 5 smartphones roll off the assembly line and ship to customers.

    Earlier this month, Purism announced an iterative, transparent shipping schedule for the highly anticipated Librem 5, security and privacy focused smartphone. Today’s shipment marks the beginning of that process, with more Librem 5s to ship in the coming shipment batches.

    “This is a big moment,” stated Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of Purism. “Not just for us as a company, but for everyone concerned about issues of privacy, security, and user freedom. The Librem 5 represents years of work, building the software and hardware required to make this phone a reality.”

    Everyone who pre-ordered the Librem 5 smartphone will be receiving an email letting them know which shipping batch — and what shipping date window — they are scheduled for, before we prepare each batch for shipment. You can find more details in the batch shipping announcement and the FAQ.

  • Librem 5, the $699 Linux Phone, Has Started Shipping to Backers

    “The Librem 5 represents years of work, building the software and hardware required to make this phone a reality,” Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of Purism, is quoted as saying.

    The Librem 5 was successfully funded back in 2017, raising just over $2.1 million in two months.

    While the device was initially expected to ship in late 2018 the release was later pushed back to April 2019, then “Q3 2019”.

    Today the handset finally begins shipping — though not to everyone…

  • First Librem 5 Linux Phones Start Shipping to Customers Around the World

    Purism, the hardware manufacturer known for their security and privacy focused Linux laptops, announced that the new Librem 5 Linux phone has started shipping to customers around the world.
    Earlier this month, Purism announced their shipping plans for the Librem 5 Linux smartphone, which has been in development since October 2017. Two years later, the Librem 5 phones will finally start ship to customers who pre-ordered them, in batches, until Q4 2020. The first batch, will start shipping from September 24th until October 22nd.

    Librem 5 promises to be the very first smartphone on the market that focuses only on security and privacy by not tracking, nor exploiting your digital life. It features hardware encryption, layered security protection, hardware kill switches, decentralized and IP-native communication, and user controlled source code.

    "This is a big moment," stated Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of Purism. "Not just for us as a company, but for everyone concerned about issues of privacy, security, and user freedom. The Librem 5 represents years of work, building the software and hardware required to make this phone a reality."

  • Purism Starts Shipping The First Librem 5 Smartphones

    In squeezing to shipping in Q3, Purism announced today their first batch of Librem 5 Linux smartphones are beginning to ship. In the process, we see the first actual photos of the Librem 5.

    As announced at the start of September, Purism annouced they would begin shipping the Librem 5 phone in varying batches. This first batch of phones shipping have an individually milled case, loose fit of components, varying alignment, and unfinished switch caps. Or basically, alpha/beta quality. Over the months/quarters ahead, the quality of this privacy-minded Linux smartphone will continue to be revised.

Purism: A Privacy Based Computer Company

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

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.

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Freedom-Respecting Librem 5 and DRM-Free Kindle Alternative

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Gadgets
  • Librem 5 Batch FAQ

    We have been getting a lot of questions related to our announcement of the Librem 5 shipping schedule. Here, we will post the answers to some frequently asked questions, and update this document as new questions come in.

  • Anyone Can Build This Open Source, DRM-Free Kindle Alternative

                           

                             

    It's harder to get an open source e-reader than you might think. Kindles are popular, but they lock you into Amazon's ecosystem. Amazon's books come with digital rights protection and the company can remove them from your device whenever it wants. Those problems exist on tablets from Barnes and Nobles, Google, and Apple, too. When it comes to open source reading, there's just no good options. The Open Book Project wants to change that.  

Play Your Favorite Classic Games, Then Make Your Own

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Gaming
Gadgets

The world’s first modular, portable gaming console with a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system, the GameShell Kit allows you to connect to your TV to play all of your favorite old games from Atair, GB, GBA, NES, NAME, MD, PS1 and other consoles. But it doesn’t end there. GameShell also supports programming languages like preset C, Python, Lua, and LISP, so not only can you modify your childhood favorites, but you can build your own games. TechCrunch calls Gameshell “totally unique” and “entirely refreshing when it comes to gaming on the go.”

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PinePhone Linux phone prototypes to ship to developers this month

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Gadgets

PINE64’s claim to fame was its open source-friendly Allwinner-based single board computers (SBC) that came at the height of the Raspberry Pi’s popularity. It has since then expanded to putting those boards and their experience inside more finished products, like the Pinebook ARM-based laptops. As the team’s Lukasz Erecinski narrates, the decision to add a smartphone to that list wasn’t an easy or quick one but it was the most logical next step (a tablet is in the works now as well).

But not even a year after that decision was made, the team has already started making making prototypes, enough to start pre-orders for them. Not everyone’s invited for now, though. Only experienced Linux developers that could contribute towards actually improving the PinePhone. That said, in October and November, they do plan on having a more open pre-order period, this time for tinkerers and app developers as well.

The design and composition of the boards are all but ready but aren’t set in stone. An Allwinner64 SoC will, of course, be at the heart of it all, with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of expandable storage. Those may sound almost laughable by today’s standards but the phone’s emphasis has always been on providing a private and secure open source Linux phone, not compete with Samsung and Apple. As such, it embraces a multitude of Linux on Phone projects and experiences and isn’t locked down to a single one.

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PinePhone Remains On Track For Shipping In The Months Ahead

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Gadgets

The open-source minded PinePhone is sitll on track for shipping in the months ahead and its software side is coming along nicely with the ability to run UBports Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish OS, postmarketOS, KDE Plasma Mobile, and other options.

The PINE64 crew confirmed today that the PinePhone is still on track for shipping soon with its Allwinner A64 SoC. While the A64 with its four Cortex-A53 cores and Mali 400 graphics isn't impressive by today's standards, the PinePhone does remain an interesting beast in targeting the $150 USD price point compared to the much more expensive pricing on the likes of the Librem 5. The PinePhone's ability already to run multiple Linux distributions makes it an interesting low-end device as well.

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Also: September Update: The PinePhone Is Real & Shipping Soon

Samsung’s DeX Overview At Converting A Smartphone Into A PC

Raspberry Pi Camera v2 Review

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Hardware
Reviews
Gadgets

The versatile single-board computer from the UK, the Raspberry Pi, is a firm favorite among makers and tinkerers and Linux hackers the world over. It’s small, it’s light, it’s easy to use and set up, and with the launch of the new Model B version 4, it’s really quite powerful.

But almost as interesting as the board itself are the kinds of peripheral gizmos you can attach to the main board. Most of these are third-party hats and other add-ons, but one of the most popular ones is the official Raspberry Pi camera.

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Can Fairphone 3 scale ethical consumer electronics?

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OS
Gadgets

Fairphone, the Dutch social enterprise that’s on a mission to rethink the waste and exploitation that underpins the business of consumer electronics, has unboxed its third smartphone.

The handset, which is sold with the promise of longevity rather than cutting edge obsolescence, goes on pre-sale from today in Europe via Fairphone’s website with a suggested retail price of €450 (depending on local taxes and levies). It will ship to buyers on September 3.

Like its predecessor, the design is modular to allow the user to swap out damaged parts for replacement modules that Fairphone also sells.

Out of the box the phone comes with Android 9 preloaded. A post-launch update will make it easy for buyers to wipe Google services off their slate and install the Android Open Source Project instead.

Commenting in a statement, CEO Eva Gouwens said: “We developed the Fairphone 3 to be a real sustainable alternative on the market, which is a big step towards lasting change. By establishing a market for ethical products, we want to motivate the entire industry to act more responsibly since we cannot achieve this change alone.”

“We envision an economy where consideration for people and the planet is a natural part of doing business and according to this vision, we have created scalable ways to improve our supply chain and product,” she added.

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More in Tux Machines

Calamares Plans for Debian 11

Before Debian 9 was released, I was preparing a release for a derivative of Debian that was a bit different than other Debian systems I’ve prepared for redistribution before. This was targeted at end-users, some of whom might have used Ubuntu before, but otherwise had no Debian related experience. I needed to find a way to make Debian really easy for them to install. Several options were explored, and I found that Calamares did a great job of making it easy for typical users to get up and running fast. After Debian 9 was released, I learned that other Debian derivatives were also using Calamares or planning to do so. It started to make sense to package Calamares in Debian so that we don’t do duplicate work in all these projects. On its own, Calamares isn’t very useful, if you ran the pure upstream version in Debian it would crash before it starts to install anything. This is because Calamares needs some configuration and helpers depending on the distribution. Most notably in Debian’s case, this means setting the location of the squashfs image we want to copy over, and some scripts to either install grub-pc or grub-efi depending on how we boot. Since I already did most of the work to figure all of this out, I created a package called calamares-settings-debian, which contains enough configuration to install Debian using Calamares so that derivatives can easily copy and adapt it to their own calamares-settings-* packages for use in their systems. Read more

Android Leftovers

Microsoft admits Android is the best operating system for mobile devices

At an event at Microsoft’s flagship store in London, Panos Panay, the chief product officer for the Microsoft Devices group, admitted that the company is using Android in its upcoming Surface Duo phone because, quite simply, the “best OS for this product is Android”. It’s a noteworthy admission, as Google’s Android mobile operating system is one of Microsoft’s biggest rivals. In the past, the company has tried – and failed – to take on Android with its own operating system for mobile devices: Windows Mobile. We’ve picked all the best 2-in-1 laptops of 2019 Black Friday laptop deals 2019: how to find the best laptop deals How to buy a laptop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday While Windows 10 Mobile is no more, it must have been tempting for Microsoft to revive the OS for its upcoming dual-screen handset, so it’s commendable that it has gone for the much more popular Android operating system – while being so frank about its reasons. On one hand, it seems like Microsoft has acknowledged just how hard it is to compete with Android – which is currently the most-used operating system on the planet – a title Microsoft’s own Windows OS used to have. The failure of Windows 10 Mobile, and the Windows phones that ran the software, was likely a humbling experience that the company is in no rush to repeat. Read more

Canonical releases Ubuntu Linux 19.10 Eoan Ermine with GNOME 3.34, light theme, and Raspberry Pi 4 support

Thank God for Linux. No, seriously, regardless of your beliefs, you should be thankful that we have the Linux kernel to provide us with a free alternative to Windows 10. Lately, Microsoft's operating system has been plagued by buggy updates, causing some Windows users to lose faith in it. Hell, even Dona Sarkar -- the now-former leader of the Windows Insider program -- has been relieved of her duties and transitioned to a new role within the company (read into that what you will). While these are indeed dark times for Windows, Linux remains that shining beacon of light. When Windows becomes unbearable, you can simply use Chrome OS, Android, Fedora, Manjaro, or some other Linux distribution. Today, following the beta period, one of the best and most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems reaches a major milestone -- you can now download Ubuntu 19.10! Code-named "Eoan Ermine" (yes, I know, it's a terrible name), the distro is better and faster then ever. Read more