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Gadgets

Turning a smartphone into a PC in a pocket: Q&A with Analogix

Filed under
Android
Gadgets

Q: Where and why is SlimPort being implemented?

A: SlimPort was first implemented in the Google Nexus 4 back in 2012 and has continued to be used in a number of high-end tablets and smartphones from Fujitsu, Asustek, LG, and ZTE, as well as finding its way into Chromebooks from brands like Hewlett-Packard (HP), among others. The key is that the technology enables more features and can reduce costs. For example, users want to have the ability to take mobile audio and video and get it up on a big screen. Previously, the ability to get the video off of a tablet/smartphone was typically done by running it through a micro-HDMI port. Using SlimPort allowed the OEMs to drop the micro-HDMI port and simply run everything through the five-pin micro-USB port that is needed for charging. SlimPort simply takes control of the connector when a SlimPort dongle is plugged in, and while the devices are connected, SlimPort enables the display to also charge the mobile device. In 2013, support for Full HD was added but we really expect the technology to take off this year with SlimPort Pro.

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Tizen-powered Samsung Z smartphone with open source mobile OS

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Linux
Gadgets

The Samsung Z looks and feels very much like Samsung's Android smartphones. There's the tiles section at the top of the home screen, with some app icons at the botton, and there's the pull-down notifications and settings tray at the very top. You also get the hardware Back and Menu buttons, in addition to the main Home button. The Settings app looks almost identical to Samsung's Android version.

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World’s first emotional robot runs Linux

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

SoftBank and Aldeberan have teamed up on a Linux-based, $1,930 personal robot named Pepper that can read emotions and respond autonomously.

As we gradually approach the “singularity” when robots overtake human intelligence, we often comfort ourselves in believing robots will never duplicate our often troublesome capacity for emotion. Yet such James Kirkian sentiments may prove suspect as roboticists make robots more sensitive to emotions while using emotional expression to communicate.

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Pi-based private cloud storage device runs Linux

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

A $149 “Sherlybox” NAS debuted on Kickstarter today, based on a Raspberry Pi core, and offering a secure VPN that creates an invite-only cloud service.

After Polish startup called “Sher.ly” developed a VPN and file-sharing software product of the same name, the developers felt it needed a little kick with the help of a Kickstarter-funded hardware device called “Sherlybox.” The device is somewhat similar to another Linux-based Kickstarter project called Lima, which has yet to enter commercial pre-sales more than 10 months after being funded. While the Lima was built from scratch, the current Sherlybox prototype is based on a Raspberry Pi Model B single-board computer.

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A Crock-Pot slow cooker with Wi-Fi smarts (hands-on)

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

The $130 Linux-based Crock-Pot WeMo Smart Slow Cooker was unveiled at CES earlier this year, and will be available in stores soon. I got to spend some time with one this week and thought I'd share some early impressions ahead of the full review. Belkin and Jarden Home Brands' app-controlled slow cooker struck me as an unlikely smart home contender at first. Slow cookers are about as low maintenance as possible, so how much value could WeMo integration add to something already so straightforward?

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Samsung to Try Out Tizen Smartphone in Russia

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Samsung appears to be edging away from Google with the announcement of a new smartphone that runs on the Tizen OS rather than on Android. The System Z has a long and difficult path ahead if its developers want to set it up as an independent smartphone system.

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10 Things We Want From A Perfect Android Smartwatch

Filed under
Android
Gadgets

While Samsung is trying to create an early-bird monopoly in the smartwatch market, Apple and Google are busy working on a smartwatch of their own. Though both the smartphone giants haven't announced anything yet, it's only natural to assume that they're not going to overlook such a huge market. Samsung, with their Galaxy Gear smart watches was the first big company to make a foray into wearables. Serving as a mere companion to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones, these smart watches haven't been met with glowing reviews. Many find the Gear smartwatch clunky, lacking features, and overall, an unbaked product. Though Samsung made the first Gear watch based on Android, it has quickly realized its mistake and switched to Tizen instead. Thus, we don't have any major Android-based smartwatch available yet. Given that the smartwatch competition has just commenced, we, as tech fans, have some seriously high expectations from Google. If Android were to make its face shown on a watch, it better be good. That's why we've listed some of the things we want from an ideal Android smartwatch.

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Samsung Launches Industry’s First Tizen Smartphone – the Samsung Z

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Samsung Electronics today introduced the Samsung Z, the first commercially available smartphone powered by the Tizen platform. The Samsung Z will be on show at the Tizen Developer Conference, San Francisco from June 3rd.

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Immediate-Future Plans Regarding Jolla And Sailfish OS

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

For now, the Jolla phone is available only in shops from Finland and Estonia, but it can also be ordered from the Jolla Store, in a lot of European countries.

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Linux-based eyewear tracks eye movements

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Tobii announced a Linux-based eyewear device with advanced eye-tracking software that lets market researchers see what’s capturing the viewer’s attention.

At first glance, Tobii Glasses 2 may look like another Google Glass competitor, but there’s more — and less — here than meets the eye. First, this is not a casual date: the glasses cost a whopping $14,900, and the Premium Analytics package goes for $29,900. Second, the eyewear is not designed for snapping photos of checking the Internet on the move. Instead, it lets researchers see what is captivating a test subject’s interest. The device can be used to watch what you’re looking at on a website, a TV screen, or signage, or when walking into a store or restaurant. They can analyze how you drive a car, train on equipment, or even play sports.

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More in Tux Machines

KDE: Qt, Plasma, QML, Usability & Productivity

  • Qt 5.11.1 and Plasma 5.13.1 in ktown ‘testing’ repository
    A couple of days ago I recompiled ‘poppler’ and the packages in ‘ktown’ that depend on it, and uploaded them into the repository as promised in my previous post. I did that because Slackware-current updated its own poppler package and mine needs to be kept in sync to prevent breakage in other parts of your Slackware computer. I hear you wonder, what is the difference between the Slackware poppler package and this ‘ktown’ package? Simple: my ‘poppler’ package contains support for Qt5 (in addition to the QT4 support in the original package) and that is required by other packages in the ‘ktown’ repository.
  • Sixth week of coding phase, GSoC'18
    The Menus API enables the QML Plugin to add an action, separator or menu to the WebView context menu. This API is not similar to the WebExtensions Menus API but is rather Falkonish!
  • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 24
    See all the names of people who worked hard to make the computing world a better place? That could be you next week! Getting involved isn’t all that tough, and there’s lots of support available.

Programming: Python Maths Tools and Java SE

  • Essential Free Python Maths Tools
    Python is a very popular general purpose programming language — with good reason. It’s object oriented, semantically structured, extremely versatile, and well supported. Scientists favour Python because it’s easy to use and learn, offers a good set of built-in features, and is highly extensible. Python’s readability makes it an excellent first programming language. The Python Standard Library (PSL) is the the standard library that’s distributed with Python. The library comes with, among other things, modules that carry out many mathematical operations. The math module is one of the core modules in PSL which performs mathematical operations. The module gives access to the underlying C library functions for floating point math.
  • Oracle's new Java SE subs: Code and support for $25/processor/month
    Oracle’s put a price on Java SE and support: $25 per processor per month, and $2.50 per user per month on the desktop, or less if you buy lots for a long time. Big Red’s called this a Java SE Subscription and pitched it as “a commonly used model, popular with Linux distributions”. The company also reckons the new deal is better than a perpetual licence, because they involve “an up-front cost plus additional annual support and maintenance fees.”

Linux 4.18 RC2 Released From China

  • Linux 4.18-rc2
    Another week, another -rc. I'm still traveling - now in China - but at least I'm doing this rc Sunday _evening_ local time rather than _morning_. And next rc I'll be back home and over rmy jetlag (knock wood) so everything should be back to the traditional schedule. Anyway, it's early in the rc series yet, but things look fairly normal. About a third of the patch is drivers (drm and s390 stand out, but here's networking and block updates too, and misc noise all over). We also had some of the core dma files move from drivers/base/dma-* (and lib/dma-*) to kernel/dma/*. We sometimes do code movement (and other "renaming" things) after the merge window simply because it tends to be less disruptive that way. Another 20% is under "tools" - mainly due to some selftest updates for rseq, but there's some turbostat and perf tooling work too. We also had some noticeable filesystem updates, particularly to cifs. I'm going to point those out, because some of them probably shouldn't have been in rc2. They were "fixes" not in the "regressions" sense, but in the "missing features" sense. So please, people, the "fixes" during the rc series really should be things that are _regressions_. If it used to work, and it no longer does, then fixing that is a good and proper fix. Or if something oopses or has a security implication, then the fix for that is a real fix. But if it's something that has never worked, even if it "fixes" some behavior, then it's new development, and that should come in during the merge window. Just because you think it's a "fix" doesn't mean that it really is one, at least in the "during the rc series" sense. Anyway, with that small rant out of the way, the rest is mostly arch updates (x86, powerpc, arm64, mips), and core networking. Go forth and test. Things look fairly sane, it's not really all that scary. Shortlog appended for people who want to scan through what changed. Linus
  • Linux 4.18-rc2 Released With A Normal Week's Worth Of Changes
    Due to traveling in China, Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 4.18-rc2 kernel a half-day ahead of schedule, but overall things are looking good for Linux 4.18.

A GTK+ 3 update

  • A GTK+ 3 update
    When we started development towards GTK+ 4, we laid out a plan that said GTK+ 3.22 would be the final, stable branch of GTK+ 3. And we’ve stuck to this for a while. I has served us reasonably well — GTK+ 3 stopped changing in drastic ways, which was well-received, and we are finally seeing applications moving from GTK+ 2.
  • GTK+ 3.24 To Deliver Some New Features While Waiting For GTK4
    While the GNOME tool-kit developers have been hard at work on GTK4 roughly the past two years and have kept GTK3 frozen at GTK+ 3.22, a GTK+ 3.24 release is now being worked on to deliver some new features until GTK+ 4.0 is ready to be released. While GTK+ 4.0 is shaping up well and GTK+ 3.22 was planned to be the last GTK3 stable release, the developers have had second thoughts due to GTK+ 4 taking time to mature. Some limited new features are being offered up in the GTK+ 3.24 release to debut this September.