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Hardware

Hands-On: RaspberryPi NOOBS 1.3.12

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Hardware
Reviews

There's plenty of excitement in the Raspberry Pi world this week: the big news is the announcement of the Raspberry Pi 2 hardware - the long-awaited and much-anticipated successor to the immensely popular original unit, which will now be known as the Raspberry Pi 1.

But that's not the only news: there is also a new release of the Raspbian operating system and the NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) package. I am just back from a week in Amsterdam, and will be leaving in a few days for a short trip to Iceland, so I just have time to download and install the new software on my two Raspberry Pi 1 units (Model B and B+), and I have ordered a RPi 2 so I hope that will be waiting for me when I return. At least, the Swiss Pi-Shop says that it will be available on 3 February so I am keeping my fingers crossed - because almost all of the excitement is about the Raspberry Pi 2.

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CuBox-i4Pro Review

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Android
Linux
Hardware

A bundled microSD card arrives preinserted into the rear of the CuBox-i, and it’s loaded with a version of Google’s Android operating system. Interestingly, SolidRun has gone to the effort of seeking the certifications required to load the Google Apps suite onto the card, meaning users receive Google Mail, YouTube, Google Maps and full access to Google Play straight out of the box. An even newer build, based on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat branch, can be downloaded from SolidRun’s website and provides an entirely useable desktop Android experience.

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AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Hardware

Back in September AMD announced new FX CPUs that included the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E. Back then we reviewed the FX-8370/FX-8370E CPUs under Linux but at the time didn't have our hands on the more affordable FX-8320E processor. In December AMD sent over the FX-8320E and so for the past few weeks I've been happily using this new Vishera CPU.

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Build Your Own Open-Source SmartWatch

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Hardware
OSS
HowTos

If you’re not up for spending your money on one of the less advanced smart watch models, you may want to check out maker Jonathan Cook’s DIY Open-Source SmartWatch, part of which is 3D printed, something the prognosticators of future tech surely didn’t forecast. Cook shared instructions for making his SmartWatch on the webzine “Make:” and also on his own website, DoNothingBox. You can download the STL files on the DNB site, too. For around $125 or less you can make your own smart phone and you can customize it, something that you wouldn’t be able to do with a store-bought version.

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Open Source Haptics Kit Aims to Democratize Force Feedback

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Hardware
OSS

quick terminology dive: a spacial haptic device is a physical manipulator that enables exploration of a virtual space through force feedback. A user grips the “manipulandum” (the handle) and moves it within the work area defined by the physical design of the device. Spacial Haptic Devices have been around for years and serve as excellent tools for telling their users (surgeons) what something (tumor) “feels like.”

In our case, this haptic device is a two-link, two-joint system grounded on a base station and providing force feedback with servo motors and tensioned wire ropes. The manipulator itself supports 3-degree-of-freedom movement of the end-effector (translations, but no rotations) which is tracked with encoders placed on all joints. To enable feedback, joints are engaged with cable-drive transmissions.

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BeagleBone SBC beefs up Lego Mindstorms EV3

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Linux
Hardware

An “EVB” Kickstarter project replaces the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot’s ARM9 brick with a BeagleBone Black, adding performance, expandability, and sensors.

When Lego added a Linux-based “Brick” computer to its modular, open source Lego Mindstorms robot platform, we were psyched, but were also somewhat disappointed it was only a modest ARM9-based device. Now, a startup called Fatcatlab has found Kickstarter success with an EVB computer you can use in place of the Brick that is designed to plug in a BeagleBone Black for a much faster 1GHz Cortex-A8 experience.

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5 favorite Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects

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Linux
Hardware
OSS

It has never been a better time to understand the components that fit together to make the hardware we use work. To do that, lets look at my five favorite open hardware projects.

First, what do I mean by open hardware? I mean that the components that make up a device are available for the user to see. No secret formulas. The ingredients are completely transparent, and if you chose, you can source the raw parts and assemble them yourself. You can also learn from the process of assembly and with a team spirit share any problems encountered, then improving the formula of the device. For example, you could suggest better parts or improve the code to make it run faster.

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Gen-2 SmartThings hub migrates to Linux

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Linux
Hardware

SmartThings debuted a 2nd generation home automation hub that moves to Linux, and adds new sensors, battery backup, optional cellular, and premium services.

Prior to Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThings last August, the company told us its next-generation home automation hub would likely move from an embedded RTOS (real-time operating system) to Linux. A SmartThings rep now tells us the newly announced second-generation SmartThings Hub does indeed run Linux. Not so surprisingly, consider the Samsung acquisition, the rep also said “We will be moving to Tizen over time.”

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Arduino Open Source Robot Educational Development Board (video)

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Hardware
OSS

Ari Alvarez has created a new Arduino open source robot development board which he has designed to be used by managers, developers and hobbyists or to provide an educational platform to teach robotics and electronics.

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This Microsoft Surface lookalike runs a productive version of Android instead

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Android
Hardware

At first glance on the CES show floor, the Remix Ultra-Tablet seems like a cheap Surface knock-off. It has a two-stage kickstand similar to that of the Surface Pro 2—albeit one that feels flimsier than Microsoft’s model—and a magnetic keyboard cover with traveling keys and a felt material over the trackpad.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Derivatives

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS

  • Rise of Open Cloud Architecture and Over-the-Top (OTT) Network Services
  • Amazon’s Giving Away the AI Behind Its Product Recommendations
    Amazon has become the latest tech giant that’s giving away some of its most sophisticated technology. Today the company unveiled DSSTNE (pronounced “destiny”), an open source artificial intelligence framework that the company developed to power its product recommendation system. Now any company, researcher, or curious tinkerer can use it for their own AI applications.
  • Genode OS Framework release 16.05
    The current release marks the most profound API revision in the project's history. The new API is designed to reinforce the best practices for implementing Genode components. It is the result of countless experiments and the practical experiences made while developing over hundred genuine components during the past ten years.
  • Old projects and the free-software community
    The Community Leadership Summit (CLS) is an annual event for community managers, developer evangelists, people who work on public-facing forums, and those with a general interest in engagement or community development for free-software projects. The 2016 edition was held in Austin, Texas the weekend before OSCON. Several sessions at CLS 2016 dealt with the differences exhibited between old and new free-software projects where community management is concerned. One of those tackled the problem of how to foster community around an older software project, which poses a distinct set of challenges.
  • Thunderbird powered by SoftMaker
    Thunderbird, powered by SoftMaker, is a custom version of the popular email client featuring enhancements that come all in the form of extensions. [...] SoftMaker, a company best known for its SoftMaker Office suite, announced recently that it plans to include the Thunderbird email client into the 2016 version of the office suite.
  • The Document Liberation Project: What we do
    The Document Liberation Project: empowering creators to free their data from proprietary formats.
  • EMC Releases UniK Software for Cloud and IoT App Deployments
  • Microsoft Research Awards Demonstrate Commitment to Open Source [Ed: Microsoft openwashing and claims to be about research rather than cheating, bribery, witch-hunting etc.]
  • The open-source generation gap
    OSI General Manager Patrick Masson was one of the session's attendees, and he pushed back on that last point. There is too much "open-washing" these days, he said, but it does not come from the OSI. There is still only one Open Source Definition; the dilution of the term comes from others who use "open" to describe organizations, workflows, processes, and other things unrelated to software licensing. "We have open hardware and open data, but also 'open cola' and 'open beer.' That blurs over an important distinction. Not everything fits." [...] Among the other points raised during the session, attendees noted that it was important that the community distinguish between minting new project contributors and minting new free-software activists, and that it was important for projects to put a check on flamewar-style debates—particularly those that focus on dismissing certain technologies. It is easy for experienced developers to become attached to a language or framework, but there will always be new languages and projects popping up that are the entry points for new coders. Project members deriding language Y because it is not language X may only serve to tell newcomers that they are not welcome.
  • A discussion on combining CDDL and GPL code
    Within the context of an event dedicated to discussing free and open-source software (FOSS) legalities, such as the Free Software Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), the topic of conflicting licenses was bound to come up. The decision by Canonical to start shipping the ZFS filesystem with its Ubuntu server distribution back in February led to a discussion at LLW about distributing the kernel combined with ZFS. Discussions at LLW are held under the Chatham House Rule, which means that names and affiliations of participants are only available for those who have agreed to be identified. This year's LLW was held in Barcelona, April 13-15.
  • Mobile Age: using mobility and open data to include senior citizens in open government
    Helping older European people to be part of the open government process and encouraging their access to civic participation through mobility are the main goals of the Mobile Age project, launched last February.
  • All European scientific articles to be freely accessible by 2020
    And, according to the new Innovation Principle, new European legislation must take account of its impact on innovation. These are the main outcomes of the meeting of the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 27 May.
  • Council of the European Union calls for full open access to scientific research by 2020
    A few weeks ago we wrote about how the European Union is pushing ahead its support for open access to EU-funded scientific research and data. Today at the meeting of the Council of the European Union, the Council reinforced the commitment to making all scientific articles and data openly accessible and reusable by 2020.
  • Hackaday Prize Entry: An Interface For The Headless Linux System
    Connecting a headless Raspberry Pi to a wireless network can be quite a paradoxical situation. To connect it to the network, you need to open an SSH connection to configure the wireless port. But to do so, you need a network connection in the first place. Of course, you can still get command-line access using a USB-to-UART adapter or the Pi’s ethernet port – if present – but [Arsenijs] worked out a much more convenient solution for his Hackaday Prize entry: The pyLCI Linux Control Interface.
  • RepRap, Open Source and 3DPrinting
    The RepRap project started in 2005 by Adrian Bowyer – “Mister RepRap”, when the patent about this technology expired. 3DPrintings isn’t a new technology, history dates that the first model of stereolithography printing emerged in 1984. The main idea around RepRap projects is to produce 3DPrinters that can auto-replicate most of the parts itself. And in 2006, the RepRap 0.2 successfully printed the first part of itself and in 2008, the first 3d model was printed by an end-user. Currently, the printer more replicated and customized of the 67 printers that are listed on RepRap website, is the Prusa Mendel, the model created by Josef Průša, that was disponibility to the public in 2011 and had a lot of development since.
  • Here is a web interface for switching on your light
    Like I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to try out a more hackable wifi plug. I got a Kankun “smart” plug. Like the other one I have the software is horrible. The good news is that they left SSH enabled on it.
  • LeMaker Guitar review
    Anyone who has worked with the Compute Module will find the LeMaker Guitar immediately familiar. The system-on-chip processor, an Actions S500, sits alongside 1GB of memory, a combined audio and power management unit, and 8GB of NAND flash storage on an over-sized small-outline DIMM (SODIMM) form factor circuit board. This board then connects to a baseboard, supplied with the Guitar, which provides more accessible connectivity than the SODIMM’s 204 electrical contacts.
  • Open Source Vs Personal Life — Should GitHub Remove Contribution Graph?
    Should GitHub remove contribution graph from the personal profile of the contributors or the developers? This step might be taken for the personal well-being of the developers. Open source is good but personal life cannot be ignored either.

Leftovers: BSD