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Gadgets

Ubuntu Linux is now ready to power your appliances and robots

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Linux
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Ubuntu Linux has spread to quite a few platforms in its 10-year history, if not always successfully. Today, though, the open source software is tackling what could be its greatest challenge yet: the internet of things. Canonical has released a version of its stripped-down snappy Ubuntu Core for connected devices like home appliances, robots and anything else where a conventional PC operating system wouldn't fly. It's designed to run on modest hardware (a 600MHz processor will do) and provide easy updates, all the while giving gadget makers the freedom to customize the software for whatever they're building. It promises to be extra-reliable, too -- it only applies updates if the code checks out, so you won't lose control of your smart thermostat due to a buggy upgrade.

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Top 5 Android Smartphones — January 2015

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Android
Gadgets

We brought you our last top 5 Android list back in October and, as it’s already the first quarter of this year, it’s time to revisit that list. There are certainly some new models to discuss, the G Flex 2 was just introduced during CES 2015, for example, but we’re also just a couple of months away from Mobile World Congress, where it’s almost certain that the following phones will be replaced by the next batch of flagships.

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CES 2015: LG and Audi Smartwatch Runs webOS Not Android Wear, Release in 2016 (Video)

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Linux
Gadgets

LG showed off an unannounced smartwatch at CES and a hands-on video revealed the device was running webOS. A new report claims LG is planning to release the device in early 2016.

Most companies making smartwatches are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Pebble uses an e-paper monochrome LCD display, which allows the device to get up to 7 days of battery life, and it's also one of the few smartwatches that supports both iOS and Android.

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LG's WebOS: 3rd Time's the Charm?

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Linux
Gadgets

LG Electronics turned up at last week's CES with a smartwatch that apparently runs webOS.

LG used the watch to unlock an Audi at the show.

"LG has never officially confirmed that we were planning a webOS smartwatch," company spokesperson Ken Hong told TechNewsWorld.

"I think that is speculation based on the watch that Audi announced here at CES, which we developed but have not finalized the OS for," Hong continued.

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Which Android smart watch is right for you?

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Android
Gadgets

In some ways, 2014 might be considered the year of the smart watch. A staggering number of watches – in styles from cool and understated to full on Dick Tracy – hit the market last year.

On the other hand, smart watches generally haven’t been a hit with consumers yet. Many people are waiting to see Apple’s take on the "wearable." The Apple Watch, announced in September, is expected to be released in early 2015.

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Blocks Wearables is building a modular smartwatch that you can customize any way you want

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

Earlier this year, a company called Blocks Wearables announced intentions to build its own modular smartwatch called Blocks. Here at CES, the company is showing off some very early prototypes and mock-ups of what Blocks might eventually look like and how it could work.

Blocks Wearables was exhibiting at Intel's massive booth on the CES show floor as one of the participants in the company's "Make it Wearable" competition — and while we couldn't actually get a sense for what using the Block will be like, we did get a good idea of how the whole modular smartwatch concept could play out.

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Round face Samsung Tizen Smart watch could be heading to MWC 2015? codename Orbis SM-R720

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Linux
Gadgets

Samsung has been spoiling us with their Tizen based Smart watches of late, and all of them have been sporting a square face, well that is upto now, as Sammobile reports that there is a Round face Tizen based Smart watch in the works. The upcoming Smart watch has the codename ‘Orbis’ and a model number SM-R720. Orbis does sound a bit orbital / round to me.

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LG May Be Dropping Google's Android For Its Next Generation Of Smartwatches

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that LG is planning on dropping Android Wear–Google's operating system for smartwatches–in favor of WebOS, its own operating systems found in its smart TVs. According to an anonymous source speaking to the Journal, WebOS will be used in a new line of LG smartwatches released sometime in early 2016. LG already has two smartwatches operating on Android Wear: G Watch and G Watch R.

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GoldKey's Secure Smartwatch Runs Full-Fledged Android

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Android
Gadgets

While some smartwatches give you little more than truncated notifications, and others have just a few apps, GoldKey's new Secure Communicator provides a fully-functional Android device with a speaker, microphone, camera and independent 3G connection for calls and data. Better still, the device comes preloaded with GoldKey's security software for access to encrypted storage, VoIP calls and secure transactions.

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Razer's open-source headset aims to disrupt virtual reality

Filed under
OSS
Gadgets

Do you trust Facebook to do the right thing with Oculus Rift? Would you trust any multi-billion dollar company to so thoroughly dominate a new technology that there's no room for competitors to maneuver?

Probably not.

But that's what Razer hopes to short-circuit with its OSVR, or Open Source Virtual Reality push: a completely open-source approach to both the hardware and software used in VR head mounted displays (HMD) that, if it works, stands to democratize VR.

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Someone is putting lots of work into hacking Github developers [Ed: Dan Goodin doesn't know that everything is under attack and cracking attempts just about all the time?]
    Open-source developers who use Github are in the cross-hairs of advanced malware that has steal passwords, download sensitive files, take screenshots, and self-destruct when necessary.
  • Security Orchestration and Incident Response
    Technology continues to advance, and this is all a changing target. Eventually, computers will become intelligent enough to replace people at real-time incident response. My guess, though, is that computers are not going to get there by collecting enough data to be certain. More likely, they'll develop the ability to exhibit understanding and operate in a world of uncertainty. That's a much harder goal. Yes, today, this is all science fiction. But it's not stupid science fiction, and it might become reality during the lifetimes of our children. Until then, we need people in the loop. Orchestration is a way to achieve that.

Leftover: Development (Linux)

  • Swan: Better Linux on Windows
    If you are a Linux user that has to use Windows — or even a Windows user that needs some Linux support — Cygwin has long been a great tool for getting things done. It provides a nearly complete Linux toolset. It also provides almost the entire Linux API, so that anything it doesn’t supply can probably be built from source. You can even write code on Windows, compile and test it and (usually) port it over to Linux painlessly.
  • Lint for Shell Scripters
    It used to be one of the joys of writing embedded software was never having to deploy shell scripts. But now with platforms like the Raspberry Pi becoming very common, Linux shell scripts can be a big part of a system–even the whole system, in some cases. How do you know your shell script is error-free before you deploy it? Of course, nothing can catch all errors, but you might try ShellCheck.
  • Android: Enabling mainline graphics
    Android uses the HWC API to communicate with graphics hardware. This API is not supported on the mainline Linux graphics stack, but by using drm_hwcomposer as a shim it now is. The HWC (Hardware Composer) API is used by SurfaceFlinger for compositing layers to the screen. The HWC abstracts objects such as overlays and 2D blitters and helps offload some work that would normally be done with OpenGL. SurfaceFlinger on the other hand accepts buffers from multiple sources, composites them, and sends them to the display.
  • Collabora's Devs Make Android's HWC API Work in Mainline Linux Graphics Stack
    Collabora's Mark Filion informs Softpedia today about the latest work done by various Collabora developers in collaboration with Google's ChromeOS team to enable mainline graphics on Android. The latest blog post published by Collabora's Robert Foss reveals the fact that both team managed to develop a shim called drm_hwcomposer, which should enable Android's HWC (Hardware Composer) API to communicate with the graphics hardware, including Android 7.0's version 2 HWC API.

today's howtos

Reports From and About Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)