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Hardware

Best of open hardware in 2014

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Open hardware is the physical foundation of the open movement. It is through understanding, designing, manufacturing, commercializing, and adopting open hardware, that we built the basis for a healthy and self-reliant community of open. And the year of 2014 had plenty of activities in the open hardware front.

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Fedora 21 Released For POWER & AArch64 Hardware

Filed under
Red Hat
Hardware

While Fedora 21 was officially released last week, coming out today is the release of Fedora 21 for the PowerPC and ARM AArch64 architectures.

Fedora 21 and its packages are now officially available for IBM POWER servers as the only PowerPC systems being officially supported by the PPC release. Support for Apple's older PowerPC systems is mentioned as a PPC platform that's most likely broken and will not be working out-of-the-box. Fedora for POWER in the 21 release offers an installer for the Fedora Server product, support for 32-bit Power has been dropped in favor of 64-bit, and there's numerous enhancements to Fedora on POWER compared to older releases.

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Also: Red Hat and IBM Ratchet-Up Linux Partnership

Generic TrustZone Driver Proposed For Linux Kernel

Filed under
Hardware

ARM's security extensions are in the process of being bettered on Linux.

TrustZone is the marketing name for ARM's security extensions. TrustZone exposes two virtual processors with hardware access controls to let the application core switch between the two virtual states to avoid potentially leaking any information from one state/world to the other. TrustZone has been around going back to the ARMv6 days and there's been Linux support but it's largely been platform specific. Now, however, a generic TrustZone driver might finally come to the Linux kernel.

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Open source and Made in Italy: Arduino are circuit boards with a sense of style

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

One of the more surprising applications has been the natural marriage between the Arduino board and Lego. Once seen only as a child's building block toy, Lego is finding startling utility as an instant mechanical prototype maker for Arduino ideas.

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Expensive "Free/Libre Software Laptop" Uses A NVIDIA GPU

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Hardware

While there's been an ongoing discussion this week about delivering a $500 "open to the core" laptop that runs Ubuntu Linux and would be comprised of open-source software down to the firmware and Coreboot, announced last week was a high-end laptop that also aims to promote free/libre software. Though don't get out your wallets quite yet.

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Is the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX Intel Motherboard a Good ARM SBC Alternative?

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

In the recent series on ARM single board computers I have covered the BeagleBone Black, MaRS, TI's OMAP5432 Board, the Radxa, a few of the ODroid ARM machines, and many more. On the Intel desktop side I've covered the NUC and MinnowBoard. I've learned that outright performance is faster on the Intel NUC than any ARM machine reviewed so far -- the tradeoff, of course, is cost. This time around we'll see whether the ASRock Q1900DC-ITX motherboard retains the high performance characteristic of an Intel board but also dips down to the low cost and lower power draw of the ARM world.

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Imp mini PC is a tiny, ARM-based Ubuntu computer

Filed under
Hardware
Ubuntu

Want a small, low-power desktop computer that runs Ubuntu Linux, but don’t want to go through the hassle of installing and configuring the operating system yourself?

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Eben Upton: Google’s Eric Schmidt helped inspire Raspberry Pi Model A+ price cut

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

While the Raspberry Pi has always been cheap, the Foundation didn’t rest on their laurels with the Model A+ price. In fact, Google’s Eric Schmidt had a hand in making it cheaper…
While it would have been the easiest thing in the world to continue selling the Raspberry Pi at the same price, the charitable foundation behind the credit card-sized PC made it even cheaper with the recent release of the Model A+. Why did they abandon their already impressive $25 price? Eben Upton explains:

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AMD's HSA Run-Time Library Is Now Open-Source

Filed under
Hardware
OSS

Last week we reported on AMD's plans for a complete user-space open-source HSA stack. Today they have finally delivered!

The last remaining component,. the HSA run-time library was open-sourced this afternoon on GitHub. This HSA library goes with the AMD GPU LLVM back-end to form a complete user-space open-source driver stack for HSA applications using kernels written using OpenCL C99. This code goes along with AMD's new "AMDKFD" kernel HSA driver that's still in the process of being mainlined. The AMDKFD driver could potentially appear in the Linux 3.19 kernel but probably won't be merged before Linux 3.20 if going through the DRM subsystem pull.

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Gizmosphere focuses on graphics in open-source computer

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Open-source computers have so far lacked good graphics, but Gizmosphere’s new Gizmo 2 is an exception.

The Gizmo 2 is an uncased single-board computer that will sell for US$199. The computer can be used to build robots, electronics with large screens, or interactive computer systems that can recognize gestures or images.

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More in Tux Machines

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.0 Test 3 Out Now with GNOME 3.16.3 and Linux Kernel 4.1.6 LTS

The Parsix GNU/Linux Project has just announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of the third development milestone towards the Parsix GNU/Linux 8.0 (Mumble) operating system. Read more

$15 Orange Pi PC hacker SBC packs 1.6GHz quad-core SoC

Shenzhen Xunlong tipped a $15 “Orange Pi PC” SBC with a 1.6GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, Pi-compatible expansion, HDMI, 100Mbit Ethernet, quad USB, and more. Late last year and early this year, Shenzhen Xunlong Software introduced a family of open-spec, Linux- and Android-ready “Orange Pi” single board computers. The first two, the $49 Orange Pi and $40 Orange Pi Mini, were built with the Allwinner A20 SoC, featuring a dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU. They were soon followed by the $59 Orange Pi Plus, based on a new, low cost quad-core, 1.6GHz Cortex-A7 Allwinner H3 SoC, featuring a Mali-400 MP2 GPU. Read more

Mozilla and Add-ons

  • Firefox 40.0.3 Brings Bug-Fixes Only
  • Reactions to Mozilla’s announcement about upcoming Firefox add-on changes
  • Mixed Feelings Greet Mozilla's Add-ons Overhaul
    Also new is a requirement for add-ons to be reviewed and signed by Mozilla before their deployment. Back in April, Mozilla's security lead Daniel Veditz published The Case for Extension Signing, addressing the volume of feedback their announcement had generated from the developer community. Veditz said the internet browsing experience for tens of thousands of people was being shaped by "third party add-ons in ways they did not choose and that benefit third parties, not the user."
  • Please, God, Don't Let Mozilla Ruin Firefox
    A week ago, Mozilla shed some light on its future, laying out a plan on how the browser is going to dramatically change in the upcoming months. While most of us understood "Chrome extensions were coming to Firefox," it is not as simple as we all thought.
  • The future of Firefox Add-ons - Nope
    Once in a while, I must give my sermons, to help you figure out how things work. Why this is not going to be good for us, the users, and why we must duly prepare, in advance. As it happens, Mozilla does not fully understand the market. It truly does not. When you make decisions based on incorrect data, you are bound to make a disastrous choice. Let's try to amend this, if possible.

Leftovers: Ubuntu