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Gadgets

Six Linux home automation clicks

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Linux
Gadgets

Long before people were talking about the Internet of Things, Linux-based home automation systems were available. Here are some of today's most interesting Linux-powered home gadgets.

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Chumby back from the dead with 1,000 apps

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Linux
Gadgets

Chumby, which sold Linux-based tabletop devices that ran Flash-based apps, is back in business under Blue Octy, with an overhauled website and 1,000 apps.

Chumby Industries went out of business a year ago, leaving Chumby owners and subscribers in the lurch. Blue Octy LLC, quickly snatched up the assets and revamped the website. As reported first by Engadget, the company has now reopened the Chumby service.

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BrickPi Bookreader 2 interview

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Linux
Interviews
Gadgets

A robotic, mechanical reader of printed books that melds together the Raspberry Pi and Lego Mindstorms.

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Android Wear review: the everything inbox

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Android
Gadgets

It's not just email either, though it tends to take the brunt of everybody's anger. There are dozens of apps sending us hundreds of notifications; managing all that incoming information is a genuine hassle. Looking at the notification center on our phones, it's hard not to imagine some harried, 1930s office worker. His tie is loosened, sleeves rolled up, sweat beading on his forehead underneath a green visor as he looks at the metal tray marked "INBOX" on his desk. It's piled high with a stack of paper, sent to him from people he doesn't know and doesn't love.

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The Samsung Galaxy Z: Tizen OS a big Risk? Specifications and Comparison

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Linux
Gadgets

The Samsung Galaxy Z is the wave of the future. It’s Tizen OS is cutting edge and will be the standard for smartphones in the future. It is a quality phone that is worth every penny.

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Smartwatch Battle: Pebble Steel vs. Galaxy Gear 2

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Android
Gadgets

Before Google comes in with its own smartwatches, consumers have two mainstream devices to choose from. On one hand, there is the Galaxy Gear 2, coming from a reputed brand like Samsung and there's Pebble Steel by Pebble Technology Corporation that gained popularity after a successful Kickstarter funding campaign for their first watch.

When we consider the turf of wearable devices, there's nothing much to boast of, except, of course, Google Glass. Apart from Pebble and Gear, the tech industry is impatiently waiting for the Motorola smartwatch, which will be made in collaboration with Google. The wait, however, doesn't have to be this hard. If you are someone who wants to get their hands on a smartwatch right now, both the Pebble and the Gear 2 are excellent choices. Both have their own merits, and also their own demerits. But then, which to choose between the two? Well, that's why we are here. In this article, we'll be doing a quick comparison between the Pebble Steel smartwatch and the Galaxy Gear 2. Let's see who wins.

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Rugged, shape-shifting handheld runs Android

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Android
Gadgets

Motorola Solutions unveiled a rugged, enterprise handheld that runs Android 4.1, 1D or 2D scanning, and offers a choice of brick, gun, or turret styles.

When Motorola split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions back in 2011, Motorola Mobility was supposed to be the Android company and Motorola Solutions the Windows company. Yet, the latter, which produces a range of enterprise solutions including 4G wireless equipment, has done quite well with its Android-ready enterprise handhelds.

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This is the Gear Live, Samsung's $199 Android Wear Smartwatch

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Android
Gadgets

Wearables were everywhere today at Google I/O, but there was only one truly new product announced: the Galaxy Live, Samsung's Android Wear-running smartwatch. And we've had a chance to spend a few minutes playing with a demo unit — it's only able to do a few things right now, but we have our best sense yet of what Android Wear hardware and software will look like. This is one of the key devices for Android Wear, one of the watches being given to all attendees of the conference, and at first glance it's quite nice.

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Nest Labs buys Dropcam, gains Linux-based cams

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Linux
Gadgets

Nest Labs is buying Dropcam for $555 million, and will integrate Dropcam’s Linux-based surveillance cameras into its own Linux-based home automation system.

Nest’s deal to acquire Dropcam for $555 million was revealed by Recode and confirmed in a Nest blog post by co-founder Matt Rogers. The acquisition follows Nest’s own acquisition by Google for $3.2 billion, announced back in January.

The home surveillance company’s Linux-based cameras will be integrated within Nest’s own Linux-based product line, including a smart thermostat and smoke detector (see farther below). The Dropcam team will move from San Francisco to Nest’s offices in Palo Alto.

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Samsung to unveil its Android Wear Smart watch at Google I/O next week

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

Samsung has released a Tizen smart watch in the form of the Samsung Gear 2, but now, according to sources in CNET, the korean hardware manufacturer is due to launch their own Android wear offering next week at Google’s developer conference, Google I/O.

So why release Tizen and Android? Being a Tizen site we would prefer dearest Samsung to only release Tizen from now till the end of time, but the fact is that Android and Android ware is an immediate revenue stream that Samsung does not want to miss out on.

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Quadcopter drone packs first all-Linux APM autopilot

Erle Robotics launched a ROS-enabled, open source “Erle-brain” autopilot that runs APM directly on Linux. The device also powers an “Erle-copter” drone. Over the last year, Spanish firm Erle Robotics S.L. has been working with 3DRobotics to develop an open source BeaglePilot autopilot for drones that can run Linux on 3DR’s popular, Arduino-based APM (ArduPilot Mega) platform. The APM Linux port was developed by both companies, as well as several academic institutions. The BeagleBone-based “Erle-brain” autopilot is built into the $490-and-up Erle-copter quadcopter. Read more

Seven Tips To Get The Most From Your New Android Smartphone

With applications able to run in the background and sync as they see fit, Android can rapidly eat through your cellular data allowance if you are not careful. While it’s fine to let the data run free on wi-fi, you’ll want to restrict your data usage when out and about. Short of switching off mobile data (which defeats the purpose of a smartphone), look under the options in the Data Usage part of the settings. Here you’ll find my wallet’s favourite Android setting of ‘restrict background data’. Now when using cellular data, apps will only pull down data when they are in the foreground and you can see them doing so. If a smartphone is all about being in control, this is the option that gives you confidence. Read more

today's leftovers

Hands-on with PCLinuxOS: A terrific release

I had been thinking that a new PCLinuxOS release was due any time now, based on their quarterly release schedule. Sure enough, it has now arrived, just in time for Christmas - PCLinuxOS 2014.12. Read more Also: Santa Claus has Linux in his sack -- PCLinuxOS 2014.12 is here PCLinuxOS 2014.12 released