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Android

The Promises and Perils of Android TV

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Android

Android TV is more ambitious than its simple interface lets on; the question is whether it can live up to its goals.

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Exclusive: A review of the Blackphone, the Android for the paranoid

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Android
Reviews
Security

Based on some recent experience, I'm of the opinion that smartphones are about as private as a gas station bathroom. They're full of leaks, prone to surveillance, and what security they do have comes from using really awkward keys. While there are tools available to help improve the security and privacy of smartphones, they're generally intended for enterprise customers. No one has had a real one-stop solution: a smartphone pre-configured for privacy that anyone can use without being a cypherpunk.

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Why Android Wear is the new iPad

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Android

But Android Wear watches are the first smartwatches to cross the line from awkward to awesome, because they're the first to completely abandon the smartphone's icons, menus and widgets paradigm and massively leverage subtle contextual cues, images, icons and colors to present tiny nuggets of information in their most essential and quickly graspable form.

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Also:

KDE Connect turns your Android phone into a touchpad for your PC

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Android
KDE

KDE Connect is a very interesting project which got some serious improvement and better integration with Android as Google Summer of Code project. I don’t really know what came first but we did see both Apple and Google were implementing features like KDE Connect to build better integrating between then mobile and desktop platform. KDE Connect allows Android users to ‘connect’ their devices to their Plasma desktop (KDE Desktop is now called Plasma desktop) over wifi.

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Samsung Likely To Launch Galaxy S5 Prime Soon

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Android

There are rumors circulating in the market that Samsung is about to launch an upgrade to Galaxy S5 as the Galaxy S5 Prime is all set to be released soon. Following are some of the key specifications and features of this model that you should be acquainted with.

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A Tiny Chinese Startup Has Made My Favourite New Smartphone Of The Year

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Android

The best smartphones you can buy today don’t come cheap. The iPhone 5S, the HTC One, and the Samsung Galaxy S5 all cost at least $US600 without a contract from your carrier.

But there are a few startups trying to disrupt the model of charging a premium for the best smartphone components and features — big and bright screens, gorgeous designs, and zippy processors.

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Jolla unveils Sailfish Launcher for Android

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Android
Linux

Google L’s ‘HeadsUp’ already (unofficially) available on Google Play

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Android
Google

It’s barely a day later and we are already seeing another release of one of L’s main features. As part of L’s new ‘Material Design’ interface Google had announced the use of a ‘Heads Up’ function. In short this is an update to the way in which notifications are received (and viewed) by a user. With Heads Up installed and once a user receives a notification (email, text, service update etc) the user will be able to see a brief image of the notification’s content.

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Google Gives Developers Early Access to Android L

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Android
Google

Android developers are getting their first look at the future with the new Android L Developer Preview edition of the mobile device operating system, which was unveiled by Google on June 25 at the Google I/O 2014 developers conference. The early preview version provides developers and users with glimpses of the evolution of Android as it approaches its seventh birthday in September 2014. Android L marks the first time that Google has ever provided early access to a development version of the OS to device and application developers, according to a June 25 post by Jamal Eason, an Android product manager, on the Android Developers Blog. The preview version, which is available for use as of today, will allow developers to explore many of the new features and capabilities of the next version of Android while providing tools to allow development and testing on the new platform, wrote Eason.

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Google will NOT discontinue its Nexus devices

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Android
Google

There have been rumours doing rounds suggesting the end of Google’s Nexus line of Android devices. Well, here’s some piece of ‘real’ news for those who are worried about this. Google will be launching a new Nexus device along with the release of its Android L by the end of this year.

It is also a fact that Google is reforming the way it will be rolling out high-end Android devices. Reportedly, the search giant is progressing on a new program dubbed Android Silver, as part of which, Google will be paying big manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Motorola to make Android smartphones according to the specifications it offers. They will then be sold via cellular carriers like AT&T and Verizon. This is expected to materialise by next year.

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More in Tux Machines

Devices: Netbooks, Raspberry Pi and RISC-V

  • Netbooks: The Form Factor Time Forgot

    The first machine to kick off the craze was the Asus EEE PC 701, inspired by the One Laptop Per Child project. Packing a 700Mhz Celeron processor, a small 7″ LCD screen, and a 4 GB SSD, it was available with Linux or Windows XP installed from the factory. With this model, Asus seemed to find a market that Toshiba never quite hit with their Libretto machines a decade earlier. The advent of the wireless network and an ever-more exciting Internet suddenly made a tiny, toteable laptop attractive, whereas previously it would have just been a painful machine to do work on. The name “netbook” was no accident, highlighting the popular use case — a lightweight, portable machine that’s perfect for web browsing and casual tasks. But the netbook was more than the sum of its parts. Battery life was in excess of 3 hours, and the CPU was a full-fat x86 processor. This wasn’t a machine that required users to run special cut-down software or compromise on usage. Anything you could run on an average, low-spec PC, you could run on this, too. USB and VGA out were available, along with WiFi, so presentations were easy and getting files on and off was a cinch. It bears remembering, too, that back in the Windows XP days, it was easy to share files across a network without clicking through 7 different permissions tabs and typing in your password 19 times.

  • Raspberry Pi–powered robot farmers
  • Efinix Releases Three RISC-V Software-Defined SoC’s Optimized for Trion FPGA’s

    Efinix has announced three RISC-V Software-defined SoC’s based on Charles Papon’s VexRiscv core and optimized for the company’s Trion T8 to T120 FPGA’s. VexRiscv is a 32-bit RISC-V CPU using RISCV32I ISA with M and C extensions, has five pipeline stages (fetch, decode, execute, memory, and writeback), and a configurable feature set. Each SoC includes a RISC-V core, memory, as well as various I/O and interfaces.

Programming Leftovers

  • Secure Socket API - a simple and powerful approach for TLS support in software

    As a member of the Norwegian Unix User Group, I have the pleasure of receiving the USENIX magazine ;login: several times a year. I rarely have time to read all the articles, but try to at least skim through them all as there is a lot of nice knowledge passed on there. I even carry the latest issue with me most of the time to try to get through all the articles when I have a few spare minutes. The other day I came across a nice article titled "The Secure Socket API: TLS as an Operating System Service" with a marvellous idea I hope can make it all the way into the POSIX standard. The idea is as simple as it is powerful. By introducing a new socket() option IPPROTO_TLS to use TLS, and a system wide service to handle setting up TLS connections, one both make it trivial to add TLS support to any program currently using the POSIX socket API, and gain system wide control over certificates, TLS versions and encryption systems used.

  • Choosing YAML for a Configuration File

    Recently I have been working to clean up the configuration file syntax and parsing in rpminspect. Several months back there were suggestions on fedora-devel to improve things with the configuration files. The ideas were good improvements, so I added them to my to do list and am now at a point where I can work on making those changes.

  • Apps get bit animated: Android Studio 4.0 released with new Motion Editor

    Google has released Android Studio 4.0, a massive update to its IDE for mobile app development, with features like an upgraded Layout Inspector, and the brand new Build Analyzer and motion editor. Android Studio is based on JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA, a popular Java IDE, and version 4.0 uses IDEA 2019.3.3, according to the release notes, which came out in February 2020. The Android Studio incarnation is a little behind IDEA, for which version 2020 is out.

  • Talk Python to Me: #267 15 amazing pytest plugins

    Do you write tests for your code? You probably should. And most of the time, pytest is the industry standard these days. But pytest can be much more than what you get from just installing it as a tool. There are many amazing plugins that improve pytest in many aspects. That's why I invited Brian Okken to the show to tell us about his favorites. Listen in and your Python testing will be faster, stronger, and more beautiful!

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxxi) stackoverflow python report
  • How and why I built ClassUp

    I am an Architect & Developer & I love to code! Lived & worked in many countries I have seen systems evolved from traditional client server to today's modern Cloud based Apps. Now a days I code in Python/Django, Vue.js to develop Web, Android and iOS apps

Nostalgia struck! Aquaris E4.5 & Ubuntu Touch again

I'm happy with my little experiment, even if it serves no higher purpose. Now, on my M10 tablet, I won't repeat the exercise. It's a fairly capable device, and there, Android 6 does a pretty good job - a marked improvement over Android 5 that was on Aquaris E4.5. Indeed, Android has significantly improved over time. But on the phone, OTA-12 works quite well, and offers a fast if limited experience. But for novelty sake, I'm going to take this as far as it goes, either the UBports project or the lifespan of the device. The community-supported continuation of the Ubuntu Phone effort - UBports Ubuntu Touch - is a commendable project. Given its resources, it manages to deliver a fairly robust and fun product, with OTA-12 as its latest incarnation. Solid, usable - to an extent, but also secure, updated and with solid privacy. If you need a basic smartphone, this is a solution that offers a reasonable compromise. I've never really expected to be using Ubuntu Touch again, but now I'm glad I did this, if only to see how far one's passion can stretch. But on a serious, emotionless note, really, if you don't need much, if you're not hooked into social media, and if your hardware supports the OTA-12 image, you might want to give this a try. If anything, it's more mature than it ever was, and in the privacy-focused world, it makes perfect sense. Read more

Sparky 2020.06

The June snapshot of Sparky 2020.06 of the (semi-)rolling line is out. It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”. Changes: • system upgrade from Debian testing repos as of June 5, 2020 • Linux kernel 5.6.14 (5.7.0 in Sparky unstable repos) • Firefox 77.0 • Thunderbird 68.8.1 • LibreOffice 6.4.4.2 • debi-tool’ replaced by ‘gdebi’ • added ‘spterm’ (Sparky Terminal) to be used by Sparky tools • Otter Browser replaced by Epiphany Browser (MinimalGUI) • added RadioStation – a fork of RadioTray-Lite (and Radiotray) • added Openbox Noir to the desktop list to be installed as a choice (via MinimalGUI & MinimalCLI and APTus too) • added disk autopartitioning, encrypting and lvm support to the Advanced Installer DEV (still experimental) • Calamares updated up to 3.2.24; changed password strength to a minimum number of digits as possible in Calamares, as requested a few times by our users (can be used used 1 digit, but I recommend to use strong password); thanks to lami07 • added lxappearance to MinimalGUI iso (Openbox) Read more