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Gadgets

Phones: Purism, "Jolla Users", De-Googling Android Phones

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Gadgets
  • Last Call for Librem 5 Dev Kit: order yours before June 1st 2018

    Purism has finalized the specifications for the Librem 5 development kit and will be placing all the component parts order and fabrication run the first week of June 2018. If you want to have early access to the hardware that will serve as the platform for the Librem 5 phone, you must place your dev kit order before June 1st, 2018. The price for the development kit is now $399, up from the early-bird pricing that was in effect during the campaign and until today. The dev kit is a small batch, “limited edition” product. After this batch, we are not planning for a second run (as the production of the phone itself will replace the dev kit in 2019).

  • Top 3 mobile phones

    When purchasing a new mobile phone, there are hundreds of models to choose from and, there are dozens of “excellent” or top-rated brands to consider. Therefore, it can be difficult to know what you are getting. Buying the phone upfront, on contract or buying a smartphone on finance are all options that need to be considered too. If you are ready to invest in a new smartphone consider these three models.

    Galaxy S9 Plus. This phone by Samsung is sleek, elegant, has a vibrant screen, resolution and excellent fingerprint scanner. The curved edges give it a distinct look and style. It is the Plus model, so has a huge touchscreen which is extremely intuitive. Quality speakers, outdoor body/casing and internal functionality make it a top-choice for a new smartphone.

  • De-Googling my phone, reloaded

    In this area the situation is now much happier than my first post indicated. As promised I used trainline.eu for booking some tickets (both for Deutsche Bahn and also on Thalys), and indeed this does a fine job. Same price, European rebate cards like BahnCard 50 are supported, and being able to book with a lot of European train services with just one provider is really neat. However, I’m missing a lot of DB navigator’s great features: realtime information and alternatives, seat selection, car position indicator, regional tariffs, or things like “Länderticket”.

    Fortunately it turns out that DB Navigator works just great with a trick: Disable the “Karte anzeigen” option in the menu, and it will immediately stop complaining about missing Play Services after each action. Also, logging in with your DB account never finishes, but after terminating and restarting the app you are logged in and everything works fine. That might be a “regular” bug or just a side effect without Play Services.

Gadgets With Linux or Modding

Filed under
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Open-source WearOS alternative “AsteroidOS” now available for several smartwatches
  • AsteroidOS 1.0 released: Open source smartwatch operating system (for Wear OS devices)
  • AsteroidOS 1.0, an open source smartwatch OS, released for certain Android Wear watches
  • Building a DIY amp kit that's great for vinyl records

    About a week after I wrapped up my last article where I talked about needing another stage of amplification to take advantage of my new 0.4mV phono cartridge, all the remaining bits and pieces I had ordered online to build the Muffsy phono head amplifier kit arrived. I had the amplifier kit, the power supply kit, the back-panel kit (all from Muffsy), the case (from a very efficient supplier in China), the temperature-controlled soldering station, and the wall wart (from a very efficient supplier in California).

    I watched the entertaining "how to solder" videos linked on Muffsy's site and realized I needed a few more things—like the thin solder mentioned on those videos and some solder wick. So, on an unusually bright and sunny Saturday morning, I visited a local electronics supply store, picked up the last items, and started building.

    [...]

    I contacted "the person behind Muffsy," Håvard Skrodahl, with some questions. He responded very quickly, and we ended up having a most delightful conversation. Moreover, it turns out Håvard is a system administrator and does this "kit thing" as a side gig. We discussed (or maybe lamented) that "back in the good old days" it was possible to buy all sorts of electronics kits, from Heathkit, Dynaco, David Hafler, and others. Today, there are still audio kits available, but it seems to be of lesser interest. Too bad! I am very grateful to Håvard for open sourcing so much of his materials.

  • UP Core SBC begins shipments

    Aaeon has begun shipping its community-backed “UP Core” SBC starting at $99, featuring a quad-core Atom x5-Z8350, up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, plus WiFi, BT, HDMI, USB 3.0, and RPi HAT compatibility.

    Aaeon has achieved volume production for its UP Core SBC, a smaller (66 x 56.5mm) version of the UP board. The UP Core supports the same OSes as the UP — Android 6.0, Ubuntu, Ubilinux, and Yocto based Linux, as well as Windows 10 and Windows IoT Core — running on the same quad-core, up to 1.84GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family.

Nearly 15 million Nintendo Switches are now hackable (other NVIDIA Tegra X1 devices too)

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GNU
Linux
Security
Gaming
Gadgets

Earlier this year hackers started to show evidence of an exploit that allowed you to load custom software on a Nintendo Switch game console. Theoretically that opens the door for homebrew applications, modified games, or even running an alternate operating system such as a GNU/Linux distribution on Nintendo’s latest game system. It could also make it possible to run pirated games, which is why console makers usually don’t encourage this sort of thing.

But now a team of hackers called ReSwitched have described a bootrom vulnerability called Fusée Gelée that makes it possible for anyone to hack a Nintendo Switch… assuming you’re willing to do a little hardware hacking too.

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Unofficial LineageOS 14.1 now available for the Gemini PDA

Filed under
Android
Hardware
Gadgets

It’s not often that we see successful crowd-funding campaigns for smartphones. Planet Computers’ Gemini PDA is one example of a successful Indiegogo campaign, although it’s technically not a smartphone but rather a clamshell mobile device with a fully integrated hardware keyboard. The device has garnered a lot of attention from enthusiasts because it aims to revive the PDA concept but with the ability to dual boot modern operating systems such as Android and a GNU/Linux distribution. We have already seen an unofficial TWRP port for the device, and now an unofficial port of LineageOS 14.1 is now available.

This unofficial build was made by XDA Recognized Contributor deadman96385 and it is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Most hardware is functional except for the GPS, FM radio, and cellular radio. The built-in camera doesn’t work, but the developer reports that any third party camera app should work just fine.

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Devices: Purism Phones, Taicenn for Cars, Linux for Devices, and Samsung TVs

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets
  • Purism to Bring Hardware Encryption to Its Librem 5 Privacy-Focused Linux Phone

    Purism announced today that it partnered with leading cryptography pioneer Werner Koch to integrate hardware encryption into its upcoming Librem 5 Linux phone and future laptops products.

    Purism is a computer manufacturer known for its security-focused and privacy-oriented laptops powered by the PureOS Open Source Linux-based operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux. The company recently announced that it now has the most secure Linux laptops thanks to the implementation of Heads integrated TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chips in the coreboot firmware in its Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops.

    Now, the company says that it wants to push the industry forward and set unparalleled protection for end-user devices by planning to include hardware cryptography by default in its forthcoming Librem 5 Linux smartphone and all future revisions of the Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops, as well as the yet-to-be-announced Librem 11 model. Purism will be able to achieve this goal by manufacturing hardware with its own software and services.

  • In-vehicle panel PC has up to 10.4-inch touchscreen

    Taicenn's Linux-ready, IP65 protected “TPC-DCXXXC1E” in-vehicle panel PC runs on a Bay Trail Celeron J1900, and has an 8- to 10.4-inch capacitive touchscreen, 2x GbE ports, SATA, mSATA, and wide-range power.

  • The Shift to Linux Operating Systems for IoT

    As IoT devices become more full-featured, the Operating System that drives them is shifting from Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS) to Linux.

    [...]

    By this time (circa 2005), Linux was widely used in certain computing environments such as servers and was enjoying a steadily increasing footprint for some embedded environments such as TVs. It was quickly seen as a good building block for smartphones, as it brought out of the box a modern full-featured Operating System with very good device driver support, and that was considered both scalable for the new generation of devices and had the added benefit of being royalty free.

  • Samsung announces its 2018 Tizen TV lineup

    Samsung is hitting us with its best shot as the tech company unveils its 2018 Smart TV lineup. The line up which was unveiled at an event in New York has Samsung offering us details of its new QLED model which includes the Q9F, Q8F, Q7C and Q6F. The new QLED line with enhanced picture quality, design element and also integrated with Bixby. Samsung also gave details of its expanded lineup of Ultra HD certified, Premium UHD and Super Big Screen TVs.

Samsung Galaxy capabilities expanded with Linux with the DeX Pad

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

Samsung Dex is a platform that is designed to make your Android smartphone perform like a mobile computer – you just plug in a monitor and keyboard in and your away. The original Samsung Dex station was launched with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and is said to be now compatible with other Samsung devices such as the Galaxy Note 8, and the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.

Now, Samsung have launched a new version of the DeX, named Samsung DeX Pad, that supports the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, and also older devices such as the Samsung S8, S8+, and Note 8. Once you have plugged in the required peripherals you are presented with a desktop user interface that you can use your existing Android Apps on your smartphone. But is that enough? Well, not for some of us, including Developers there is something more that we would like to do with.

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AsteroidOS Is an Open-Source and Privacy-Focused OS for Android Smartwatches

Filed under
OS
Gadgets

We'd like to introduce you today to AsteroidOS, an open-source and privacy-focused operating system for Android-powered smartwatches, designed as an alternative to Google's Android Wear.

Developed by Florent Revest, AsteroidOS was first introduced three years ago as an embedded Linux distribution built using the OpenEmbedded build automation framework and cross-compile environment on top of the Linux kernel and the systemd init system.

The operating system is using various mobile Linux middleware technologies like machine check exception (MCE) and lipstick, which were originally developed for Nemo Mobile or Mer. Its graphical user interface is entirely written with the Qt5 application framework.

Apps are written in QML using the cross-platform Qt Creator IDE and the current release of AsteroidOS comes with a set of default apps including an agenda, an alarm clock, a timer, a stopwatch, a calculator, a music controller, a weather forecast app, as well as a settings app.

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See ‘Full Linux’ Running on a Samsung Galaxy Phone [Video]

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Itching to see more of Samsung’s promising ‘Linux on Galaxy’ initiative? Then you have to watch the following video.

The smartphone giant has uploaded a short clip to YouTube in which it demos ‘Linux on Galaxy’ to a group of Android developers.

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Also: The Samsung Galaxy S9 Official Wallpapers are Perfect for Ubuntu

You Can Now Turn Your Old Moto G2 "Titan" Phone Into an Ubuntu Phone, Here's How

Filed under
Ubuntu
Gadgets

Walid Hammami managed to port UBports' Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the Moto G2 2014 smartphone, which features a Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 chip, 1GB RAM, and 8GB internal storage.

As such, Moto G2 has been accepted by the UBports project as the first community supported device, and it's a well-done port with everything working just fine, including Wi-Fi, GSM, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, SMS, Camera, Ubuntu Store, etc.

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Sailfish X – what’s next?

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Gadgets

Sailfish OS reached a major milestone last year as we launched for the first time a downloadable, fully supported Sailfish OS – Sailfish X for the Sony Xperia™ X device.

Sailfish X has been a fun program for us and we can see that our customers are feeling the same way. We have received a lot of positive feedback and seen the OS spread far and wide. The amount of downloads has been a positive surprise for us and we’ve seen downloads in many places we didn’t expect. All in all, 2017 was a great start for Sailfish X. This year we want to continue on this exciting path and want Sailfish X to reach even more people.

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More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Debian XU4 images updated
    I've updated my Debian images for the ODROID XU4; the newest build was done before stretch release, and a lot of minor adjustments have happened since then.
  • Parrot 4.0 Ethical Hacking Linux Distro Released
  • FBI says Russians hacked [sic] hundreds of thousands of home and office routers

    The warning followed a court order Wednesday that allowed the FBI to seize a website that the hackers [sic] planned to use to give instructions to the routers. Though that cut off malicious communications, it still left the routers infected, and Friday’s warning was aimed at cleaning up those machines.

  • FBI tells router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500k devices

    Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware on Wednesday. The detailed report said the malware infected more than 500,000 devices made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command. The report said the malware was developed by hackers [sic] working for an advanced nation, possibly Russia, and advised users of affected router models to perform a factory reset, or at a minimum to reboot.

Software and Games: KStars, Opera, OpenStack, MariaDB and More

  • KStars 2.9.6 is Released!
    I'm glad to announce the release of KStars 2.9.6 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. This is a minor bugfix release.
  • Opera 54 Browser Enters Beta with News on the Speed Dial, Update & Recovery Menu
    Opera has promoted its upcoming Opera 54 web browser to the beta channel, giving us a glimpse of what to expect from the final version, due for release sometime next month. Based on the open-source Chromium 67.0.3396.18 web browser, Opera 54 recently entered beta stages of development with a plethora of new features and improvements, among which we can mention a new Update & Recovery Opera menu page that makes it easier for users to update the web browser and reset it to its default state, including the ability to clear temporary data, such as cookies.
  • OpenStack at a Crossroads
    The OpenStack of a few years ago is dead, however. What has emerged from the hype cycle is a materially different foundation, mission and software stack, with a great deal of change still ahead of it.
  • The OpenStack Foundation grows beyond OpenStack
    The OpenStack Foundation has made a considerable change to its development process and governance structure by introducing two open source projects that are not part of the OpenStack cloud platform. This week, the organization launched version 1.0 of Kata Containers - a runtime system with an emphasis on speed and security, enabling users to boot a VM in as little as five seconds - and introduced a brand new project called Zuul, spinning out the software development and integration platform that has been used by the OpenStack community internally since 2012.
  • Oracle nemesis MariaDB tries to lure enterprise folk with TX 3.0
    Open-source database biz MariaDB has upped the ante in its war against Oracle, promising enterprise customers better compatibility with – and easier migration from – Big Red. The Finnish firm's latest offering, MariaDB TX 3.0, released for GA today, extends the number of use cases to include temporal processing and advanced data protection for sensitive and personally identifiable information, as well as Oracle compatibility. The broad aim is to tap into customers' grumbles over legacy vendor lock-in, while convincing the bigger customers that they can move to an open-source database without compromising performance.
  • The Humble Monthly Bundle just added two great Linux games
    For those that are interested, you can secure a copy of two great Linux games in the current Humble Monthly Bundle. Just added today are: Get Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
  • SC-Controller 0.4.3 Released, Support Steam Controller & Sony DS4 Over Bluetooth
    For those looking to manage your Steam Controller and other supported Linux gaming peripheral input devices outside of Steam, there is a new release of the independently-developed SC-Controller Linux user-space software. While Linux 4.18 is bringing the Steam Controller kernel driver, for those looking for a Steam Controller solution right now to enjoy this excellent gaming controller for now outside of Steam, SC-Controller fills that void.

Huawei, Fuchsia and More

  • Huawei will no longer allow bootloader unlocking (Update: Explanation from Huawei)

    "In order to deliver the best user experience and prevent users from experiencing possible issues that could arise from ROM flashing, including system failure, stuttering, worsened battery performance, and risk of data being compromised, Huawei will cease providing bootloader unlock codes for devices launched after May 25, 2018. [...]"

  • Fuchsia Friday: How ad targeting might be a hidden cost of Fuchsia’s structure
     

    Fuchsia, by its nature, comes with the potential for a handful of new opportunities for ad targeting. Let’s peer into the dark side of Fuchsia’s innovative features.

  • iPhone Quarter, ZTE Troubles, Facebook Troubles, Nokia Come-back
     

    So the past month or two? The Quarterly results cycle came in. The item often of great interest is the Apple iPhone performance. 52.2 million iPhones shipped and that gives roughly a flat market share compared to the year before, so about 14%-15%. I'll come and do the full math later of the quarterly data. That race is no longer in any way interesting.

    But two Top 10 smartphone brands ARE in the news. One who is facing imminent death and the other who is making a miraculous return-from-dead. So imminent death and current Top 10 brand first. ZTE. The Trump administration has put a massive squeeze on ZTE and the company is in serious trouble of imminent collapse. Then bizarrely, Trump reversed course and felt he needed to protect CHINESE employment (???) and after yet another typical Trump-mess, we now are at a Never-Neverland where Trump's own party Republicans are revolting against their President and well, ZTE may end up a casualty of this mess. We'll keep an eye on it.

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