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Gadgets

Goofy-looking security guard bot runs Linux

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Linux
Gadgets

GS4 unveiled an autonomous, Linux-based robot security guard called Bob, based on a MetraLabs “Scitos A5″ robot programmed by the University of Birmingham.

U.K.-based security firm GS4 Technology has launched a three week trial at its Gloucestershire headquarters of a robot called Bob that was designed by the University of Birmingham School of Computer Science. GS4 will evaluate Bob’s performance as a trainee security officer. Bob is part of a £7.2 million ($12.2 million) project called STRANDS, hosted by the University of Birmingham, with an aim of expanding the role of robots in the workplace.

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Google Fit: Google’s new health service to challenge Apple’s HealthKit

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Android
Google
Gadgets

However, there is a need for more clarity on whether Google Fit will be integrated into the next version of Android, or offered as a standalone app that could be downloaded independently.

It added: “One source with knowledge of Google’s plans said Google Fit would allow a wearable device that measures data like steps or heart rate to interface with Google’s cloud-based services, and become part of the Google Fit ecosystem.”

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What To Expect From The First Ubuntu Smart Devices?

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

After testing the developer’s build of Ubuntu Touch smartphone OS in 2013, the company behind Ubuntu Linux (Canonical) has finally confirmed that it will soon release its first batch of entry-level smartphones running the open-source operating system later this year. The company has teamed up with Meizu and Bq to be its initial Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). As compared to the open source Firefox OS released last year in consortium with Alacatel, the mobile edition of Ubuntu is not an HTML 5 or browser-based ecosystem. Similar to Android, it loads native Ubuntu applications (messaging, phone, and camera) flawlessly, even with the absence of wireless connectivity.

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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

Linux and *BSD have completely changed the storage market. They are the core of so many storage products, allowing startups and established vendors alike to bring new products to the market more rapidly than previously possible. Almost every vendor I talk to these days has built their system on top of these and then there are the number of vendors who are using Samba implementations for their NAS functionality. Sometimes they move on from Samba but almost all version 1 NAS boxen are built on top of it. Read more

Black Lab SDK 1.8 released

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Did Red Hat’s CTO Walk – Or Was He Pushed?

He went on to say that some within Red Hat speculate that tensions between Stevens and Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, might be responsible, although there doesn’t appear to have been any current argument between the two. Cormier will take over Stevens’ duties until a replacement is found. Vaughan-Nichols also said that others at Red Hat had opined that Stevens might’ve left because he’d risen as high as he could within the company and with no new advancement opportunities open to him, he’d decided to move on. If this was the case, why did he leave so abruptly? Stevens had been at Red Hat for nearly ten years. If he was leaving merely because “I’ve done all I can here and it’s time to seek my fortune elsewhere,” we’d expect him to work out some kind of notice and stay on the job long enough for Red Hat to find a suitable replacement. Turning in a resignation that’s effective immediately is not the ideal way to walk out the door for the last time. It smells of burning bridges. Read more

Firefox OS Smartphones Change The Mobile Landscape Across India

The launch of two Firefox OS phones in India in the same week marks an exciting moment in Mozilla’s mission to promote openness and innovation on the Web, and an opportunity to empower millions of Indians wanting to buy their first smartphones. Firefox OS will enable users to obtain lower-cost devices that offer telephony, messaging and camera and rich capabilities like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, the Firefox browser, FM radio and popular apps. Read more