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Linux and Devices/Hardware

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  • Websockets + on the ESP8266 w/ Micropython

    I recently learned about the ESP8266 while at Pycon AU. It’s pretty nifty: it’s tiny, it has wifi, a reasonable amount of RAM (for a microcontroller) oh, and it can run Python. Specifically Micropython. Anyway I purchased a couple from Adafruit (specifically this one) and installed the Micropython UNIX port on my computer (be aware with the cheaper ESP8266 boards, they might not be very reflashable, or so I’ve been told, spend the extra money for one with decent flash).

  • EOMA68: The Best Computer for Off Grid Living - Protects Your Privacy and Very Low Energy Use
  • Linux & Whatnot - EOMA68 PCMCIA Modular Computer
  • 3.5-inch SBC features Intel Skylake CPUs, dual GbE, dual mini-PCIe

    Aaeon’s 3.5-inch form-factor “GENE-SKU6” SBC taps Intel’s 6th Gen Skylake-U SoCs, and offers Intel HD Graphics, dual GbE ports, and dual mini-PCIe sockets.

    Aaeon has added a Skylake-powered board to its growing line of 3.5-inch style single board computers: the GENE-SKU6, built around the 6th Gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3 “Skylake-U” processors, clocked at up to 2.4GHz (3.0GHz Turbo) and featuring 15W TDPs. Aaeon’s 3.5-inch SBC family now spans more than a dozen boards, ranging from the GENE-5315 based on the geriatric AMD Geode LX, to models based on multiple generations of Intel processors ranging from Cedarview-based GENE-CV05 to the Braswell-based GENE-BSW5 released in mid-2015.

  • Not using smartphones can improve productivity by 26%, says study

    Smartphones might be helping employees keep in touch with colleagues and do urgent tasks on the move, but using these devices at workplace actually make people less productive, says a new study by the Universities of Würzburg and Nottingham-Trent.

    The study, commissioned by Kaspersky Lab, showed that employees’ performance improved 26 per cent when their smartphones were taken away. The experiment tested the behaviour of 95 persons between 19 and 56 years of age in laboratories at the universities of Würzburg and Nottingham-Trent.

    The experiment unearthed a correlation between productivity levels and the distance between participants and their smartphones. “Instead of expecting permanent access to their smartphones, employee productivity might be boosted if they have dedicated ‘smartphone-free’ time. One way of doing this is to enforce rules such as no phones in the normal work environment,” says Altaf Halde, managing director - South Asia at Kaspersky Lab.

3D printed ukulele comes with open source software

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  • 3D printed ukulele comes with open source software

    A team of designers from Taiwan recently have created an open-source 3D printed electronic ukelele. This could very well to be the first open-source one in the world. With a full-size fretboard, regular strings and tuners, and a custom-made amplifier, pick-up, and speaker, the exotically shaped ukelele was named Lightening Uke and was particularly designed for consumer 3D printers.

    No matter for masters or green-hands, an ukulele would always be a good choice to play because of its portability and user-friendliness. However, few of these players would claim to be able to play “Over the Rainbow” with a 3D printed instrument. Surely we have already seen several 3D printed instruments online, (like the 3D printed violin) but these Taiwanese designers noticed that there weren’t any open-source ukuleles and that’s why they decided to bring this unique instrument to all makers.

  • Have a strum on Lightning Uke, the first open-source 3D printed electric ukulele

Linux-compatible Hardware

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  • EOMA68 modular laptop/desktop raises more than $150 thousand through crowdfunding, here’s what’s next

    The EOMA68 project is an effort to design a system of modular computing devices that use interchangeable PC cards. The processor, memory, storage, and operating system are all on a card that you can pop out of a laptop or desktop and replace with a different card.

    Theoretically any type of processor and operating system can run from an EOMA68 card, but the project is also designed to support free and open source software, which restricts some of the hardware that can be used… so the when founder Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton took to Crowd Supply to raise money to begin production of the first PC cards and laptop and desktop shells, the focus is on first-gen cards with low-power Allwinner A20 processors, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage.

  • Seeed Studio’s ReSpeaker Speaks All the Voice Recognition Languages

    Seeed Studio recently launched its third Kickstarter campaign: ReSpeaker, an open hardware voice interface. After their previous Kickstarted IoT hardware, such as the RePhone, mostly focused on connectivity, the electronics manufacturer from Shenzhen now tackles another highly contested area of IoT: Voice recognition.

  • Open-source Piton CPU can scale into million-core system
  • Open Source SNES to USB Converter Lets You Emulate Legally

    [Andrew Milkovich] was inspired build his own Super Nintendo cartridge reader based on a device we covered an eternity (in internet years) ago. The device mounts a real cartridge as a USB mass storage device, allowing you to play your games using an emulator directly from the cart.

'Open' Processor

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  • 25-core open source chip could pave way for monster 200,000-core PC

    PRINCETON UNIVERSITY BOFFINS have developed a 25-core open source processor that can be scaled to create a monster 200,000-core PC stuffed with 8,000 64-bit chips.

    The chip is called Piton after the metal spikes driven by rock climbers into mountain sides, and was presented at the Hot Chips symposium on high-performance computing in Cupertino this week.

  • New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design

    Researchers at Princeton University have built a new computer chip that promises to boost performance of data centers that lie at the core of online services from email to social media.


    Other Princeton researchers involved in the project since its 2013 inception are Yaosheng Fu, Tri Nguyen, Yanqi Zhou, Jonathan Balkind, Alexey Lavrov, Matthew Matl, Xiaohua Liang, and Samuel Payne, who is now at NVIDIA. The Princeton team designed the Piton chip, which was manufactured for the research team by IBM. Primary funding for the project has come from the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

  • Manycore ‘Piton’ Climbs Toward 200,000-Core Peak

Open/Hacker Hardware

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Open Hardware

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  • Open Source Hardware Comes of Age

    Most people have at least heard of the term “open source” but the wide popularity of open source has been in software rather than hardware. Open source software is well known. Home computer users recognize it in downloads like Office Libre, GIMP, and the VLC media player. More serious computer users realize that much of the Internet itself was built on open source technologies like Linux and the Apache Web Server. Open source software can quickly be defined as source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.

  • The Opposite of the EOMA-68 Modular Laptop

    In the photos of the laptop that David exposed and is keeping functional, the complexity of the design is clearly apparent. Huge heat sinks and heat pipes, a densely populated and really quite large PCB on both sides (which is costly to manufacture). Chances of repair and ongoing maintenance: absolutely zero. The only reason that David is even considering keeping this machine going is down to years of experience with computers - something that most people simply do not have time to do.

    By contrast, the EOMA68 Laptop Housing is kept to a bare minimum out of pure necessity: it’s a simpler design that’s been made using tools that the average electronics engineer could conceivably imagine owning… so that they can make or repair these devices, for themselves, or for other people.

    The main PCB (PCB1) is only 6” square with a small extension for the USB ports, and is approximately only 30% populated with components, only on one side. PCB2 (for the keyboard and mouse) is very small and has around 30 components on it, and PCB3 likewise. Here are some pictures taken last year: the first shows the 3 PCBs wired together and assembled in the 3D-printed case, whilst the second is a partially-populated PCB (USB2 connectors in the top left corner to give an idea of scale).

  • Earth-friendly EOMA68 Computing Devices

“Teensy” Arduino clone grows, with more I/O, USB, and faster CPU

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PJRC is Kickstartering two new models of its “Teensy” Arduino compatible, featuring a faster 180MHz Cortex-M4, more memory, more pins, and a second USB.

In the world of Arduino compatibles, you can choose from bare-bones clones or value-added innovators that develop new software as well as hardware, and occasionally risk some compatibility in order to advance the capabilities of the entire Arduino platform. In the latter category is Teensy, a DIY breadboard-oriented Arduino project from Portland, Oregon based PJRC, led by Teensy inventor Paul Stoffregen, known for its superior USB-based keyboard/mouse, LED array, and audio support. The eight-year old company has now upgraded the Teensy board with a much faster MCU, more RAM and flash, many more I/O pins, and additional USB and CAN ports, making it one of the fastest Arduino clones around.

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Intel News

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  • Intel “Aero” drone board runs Yocto on Cherry Trail

    Intel has launched a Linux-on-Atom powered “Aero Compute Board” and quadcopter, promising improved obstacle navigation based on Intel RealSense.

    Even more than last year’s Intel Developer Forum, this week’s IDF is focusing relentlessly on Intel RealSense. The 3D depth sensing camera technology is everywhere at IDF, including the new Windows-focused Project Alloy VR helmet and several Linux-infused drone, robotics, and camera kits. In fact, even the new Kaby Lake and Apollo Lake processors expected to be announced today include built-in support for RealSense. Here, we take a look at the Intel Aero Platform drone products: the Atom-based Intel Aero Compute Board and an Aero Ready To Fly quadcopter based on it.

  • Intel unveils its Joule chip module for the Internet of Things

    Joule is the latest product in Intel’s family of all-in-one chip modules for the Internet of Things.

    Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off the new Joule module during a keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. The module is a follow-up to Edison, the prior IoT module introduced in 2014.

  • Intel Launches Project Alloy — An Open-source VR Headset That’s A Full PC [Ed: That’s a lie (even the headline). It’s not “Open Source”, it’s Microsoft rubbish.]

Intel Joule SOM runs Ubuntu Core Linux and makes Raspberry Pi look like garbage

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The original Raspberry Pi sparked the creativity of many developers and students, but it was woefully underpowered. Through several iterations, however, it slowly became more powerful. While the most recent version -- the Raspberry Pi 3 -- has a much more capable processor, some developers will still want even more horsepower.

Today, Intel announces a maker board that puts the Raspberry Pi 3 to shame. The Joule system-on-module mini-computer features RealSense camera support and runs Ubuntu Linux Core. Best of all, its specs are very impressive for what it is.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers

Zorin OS 12 Beta - Flat white, no sugar

I did not do any other testing, no extensive tweaking, no customization. I felt no need or desire to do so. Now, do remember Zorin OS 12 is still in beta, so we can excuse some of the problems we see here. But others are purely Ubuntu, and have been ported over from the parent distro without any discrimination or any improvements and fixes introduced in the last six months. The big offenders include: multimedia and smartphone support, poor software management, and then the somewhat heavy utilization and slow performance. Zorin is quite pretty but weary on the eyes, it tries perhaps too hard to be more than it is, and overall, the value it brings is negatively offset by the myriad papercuts of its design and the implementation of its unique style, plus the failings of the Ubuntu family. It's an okay choice, if you will, but there's nothing too special about it anymore. It's not as fun as it used to be. Gone is the character, gone is the glamor. This aligns well with the overall despair in the Linux desktop world. Maybe the official release will be better, but I doubt it. Why would suddenly one distro excel where 50 others of the same crop had failed with the exact same problems? Final grade, 5/10. Test if you like the looks, other than that, there's no incentive in really using Zorin. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Read more

PlayStation 4 hacked again? Linux shown running on 4.01 firmware

Hackers attending the GeekPwn conference in Shanghai have revealed a new exploit for PlayStation 4 running on the 4.01 firmware. In a live demo you can see below, once again the Webkit browser is utilised in order to inject the exploit, which - after a conspicuous cut in the edit - jumps to a command line prompt, after which Linux is booted. NES emulation hilarity courtesy of Super Mario Bros duly follows. Assuming the hack is authentic - and showcasing it at GeekPwn makes the odds here likely - it's the first time we've seen the PlayStation 4's system software security compromised since previous holes in the older 1.76 firmware came to light, utilised by noted hacker group fail0verflow in the first PS4 Linux demo, shown in January this year. Read more Also: 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided' Coming To Linux In November, Mac Port On Hold