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Gadgets

Pine64 Linux PinePhone could get Moto Mod functionality

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

With the focus given to Huawei’s US ban, there has also been some discussion about Android, Google’s hold on the platform, and truly free (as in freedom) alternatives to the world’s biggest mobile OS. There has never been a shortage of alternative mobile platforms, many of them revolving around Linux, but there has been a dearth of companies making devices that run and support such platforms. Pine64 is one of those few and it is now sharing some development in its quest to make a privacy-respecting open source smartphone.

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The $149 PinePhone Linux smartphone will support modular add-ons

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The upcoming PinePhone is expected to be an inexpensive, but versatile smartphone designed to run GNU/Linux operating systems. Yesterday we took a look at some of the operating systems that are already being ported to run on the PinePhone. But it looks like the software isn’t the only thing that’s actively under development.

Pine64 has posted an update on the state of the smartphone’s hardware with new details about the phone’s battery, hardware kill switches, and a previously announced feature — support for swappable back covers that can add functionality to the $149 smartphone.

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The Finest Linux Tablet You Can Build

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

For the last few years now, we’ve all had access to tiny, affordable Systems on a Module. These wunderchips are complete Linux systems with WiFi, a halfway decent GPU, and enough memory to run a real system. This is the perfect platform to base a tablet build on, the only problem is that someone has to actually do it. The DLT One is the ‘Damn Linux Tablet’ from [Prof. Fartsparkle]. It’s the answer to the question of when someone is going to build a tablet computer around one of these cheap Systems on a Chip that are floating around.

With many modules to choose from, the first task is actually choosing one of these Linux modules. [Fartsparkle] ended up with the Nvidia Jetson Nano, an impressive little board that has one distinct advantage: it’s drop-in compatable with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the Raspberry Pi-on-an-SODIMM. Given a single chassis, [Prof. Fartsparkle] can simply upgrade his tablet by getting a newer version of the Jetson Nano (or the Compute Module).

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PinePhone $149 Linux smartphone could support Ubuntu, Sailfish, Maemo, LuneOS and more

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OS
GNU
Linux
Gadgets

The PinePhone is a cheap, Linux-ready smartphone that’s expected to ship in limited quantities later this year. It’s not exactly a high-power device by modern smartphone standards, but with an expected starting price of $149, it will be a lot more affordable than some of the other Linux phones on the horizon.

It’s also starting to look like the PinePhone could be a very versatile device.

Pine64 has been sending out development kits for a while, and it looks like developers are porting a number of GNU/Linux-based operating systems to the platform.

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Introduction to catalog of 125 Linux hacker boards

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Hardware
Gadgets

Our 2019 spring edition catalog of hacker-friendly SBCs under $200 that run Linux or Android offers updated descriptions, specs, and pricing for 125 SBCs. Two big questions for 2019: Is it time for AI, and what about those tariffs?

Welcome to our latest catalog of 125 community-backed Linux and Android SBCs. We’re skipping the reader survey this year, although you’re welcome to cast your unofficial vote in the comments section at the end of this introduction. In any case, we have compiled the essential prices, features, and comparisons to help you vote with your wallet. We have updated the blurbs and the comparison spreadsheet with new pricing and in some cases, feature changes, and added descriptions of new boards.

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Ubuntu Powered Autonomous Drones for Hazardous, High Altitude Work

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Ubuntu
Gadgets

With surveys in 2016 indicating that falls accounted for more than 16% of all workplace deaths in the United States Apellix the aerial robotics company took upon itself the challenge of devising ways to prevent people from having to work in dangerous, elevated environments by developing innovative drones that can take over hazardous, high altitude work – for instance measuring paint thickness on U.S.

Navy ships or the wall thickness of a 100m flare stack at an oil and gas refinery. Built on Ubuntu, the drones leverage autonomous flight functionality to manoeuvre with pinpoint accuracy, making it fast, cost-effective, and safe to perform essential tasks at great heights targeting infrastructure, maritime and energy industries.

Each U.S. Navy Destroyer and Aircraft Carrier requires five coats of paint, and each coat must be measured to ensure that it is the correct thickness for which corrosion engineers have to go up using cranes, lifts, or rope work to manually take more than 2,000 measurements across the hull. Even in good weather and without interruptions, measuring each coat of paint on ships needs a 7 person crew employed for six days, and costs more than $100,000.

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Also: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter 581

10 Places Where You Can Buy Linux Computers

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Gadgets

Looking for a Linux laptop? Here are 10 places you can buy a Linux computer. Some of the shops even sell computers preinstalled with LibreBoot instead of BIOS. Check out the list.
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GNU/Linux Phones: Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Release and Librem 5 Hardware

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Gadgets
  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Release

    Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-9! OTA-9 is appearing as a staged rollout for all supported Ubuntu Touch devices over the next five days, completing on Sunday, May 12. You can skip to How to get OTA-9 to get it right away if you're impatient, or read on to learn more about this release.

  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Released With Better Stability, OTA-10 To Bring Mir 1.1 + Unity 8

    The UBports community has released Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 as the newest release of Ubuntu for tablets/smartphones.

    Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 development was principally focused on improving the stability of the stack. There's also been some artwork improvements, Nexus 5 camera fixes, and various fixes throughout.

  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 Released for Ubuntu Phones with Refreshed Look, Improvements

    The UBports community released today the OTA-9 for their Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for all supported Ubuntu Phone devices, a maintenance release that adds various improvements and a refreshed look.
    Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 comes two months after the OTA-8 update with a refreshed look consisting of new and updated Suru symbols and folder icons to give users a better Ubuntu Phone experience, improvements for the Nexus 5 camera so users can now record videos again, better detection of the system-wide dark theme, as well as a new "Busy" indicator.

    Also included in this release is support for the OpenStore V3 API in the update handler of System Settings, the ability to save images using the previously used compression settings, improvements to the characters counter for messages, support for searching the Web with Lilo, simplified transitions for the Stack View, and a new "Paste and Go" option in the browser.

  • May Progress Update – Librem 5 Hardware

Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey 2019, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu/Librem News

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Ubuntu
Gadgets
  • Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey 2019

    It’s clear that a lot of people develop software using Ubuntu. What’s less clear is exactly what sort of software is being built. We see reports of people developing Linux apps, Android apps, web services, self driving cars… the list is huge. We need to get better clarity; to understand how that relates to Ubuntu desktop.

    We can get some reasonable insights from the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, but I’m keen to really dig down in to the Ubuntu community specifically.

    When I was chatting with Barton George a few weeks back he expressed the same interest; what are people doing with the Sputnik machines from Dell? We want to learn more about the sorts of software projects that you’re working on so that we can make the Ubuntu developer experience as good as possible.

    To that end we put together the Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey to help us understand more about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. This survey is aimed primarily at people who are using Ubuntu to develop software targeting any platform. It doesn’t matter if you do that at work, at home, at school – if you’re building software then we’re glad to hear from you. To be clear: this doesn’t mean we’re abandoning our mantra of Ubuntu being for human beings, software developers are human beings too. Right now I want to get a better view in to what software developers are doing.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has transitioned to ESM support

    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ‘Trusty Tahr’ transitioned into the ESM support phase at the end of April 2019, and will no longer be supported for users who do not have access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) through Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure.

    Ubuntu long term support (LTS) releases provide a stable, supported platform for development and production, with five years of guaranteed public maintenance available. Once the public Standard Security Maintenance window comes to a close, Ubuntu LTS releases have an additional three to five years of support (depending upon the release) through ESM.

    Access to ESM extends LTS release coverage, allowing for continued security fixes for high and critical common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) for the most commonly used packages in the Ubuntu main archive. This access permits organisations with workloads running on Ubuntu LTS releases to maintain compliance standards by providing a secure environment before upgrading can occur.

  • Don't Hold Your Breath On UBports' Ubuntu Touch For Purism's Librem 5 Smartphone

    While Ubuntu Touch that continues to be worked on by the UBports community remains one of the most viable and furthest along Linux open-source smartphone operating systems, it doesn't look like there will be any solid support in time for launch-day of the upcoming Purism Librem 5 smartphone. 

    Adding to the growing list of concerns over the Librem 5 smartphone is now finding out there isn't Ubuntu Touch progress being made... Last year Purism announced Ubuntu Touch would be supported on the Librem 5 and that the company would "officially collaborate" with UBports. That was back when they planned to ship the Librem 5 smartphone in January 2019 and offer their own GNOME-based PureOS, PureOS with KDE Plasma Mobile, and Ubuntu Touch as options.

  • What’s In a (User)Name

    Using your email address as the discovery tool across platforms makes it simple and convenient to find and communicate with people. As a remarkable side-benefit, it becomes very simple for people to determine the protocol-specific usernames—be those @todd@librem.one for social, @todd:librem.one for chat, or todd@librem.one for email.

    As an example of how this works in practice, let’s say you have joined a room in Librem Chat—a room about a topic that interests you. You meet other interesting people and make some friends; it’s now easy to find and follow them on Librem Social, since the usernames are the same on both platforms.

    A single login also makes things easy for Librem 5 users: when you first get your phone, if you have a Librem One account you will be able to enter a single login and have all of these services light up, ready to use.

    [...]

    Even though big tech firms offer unified login, their commitment to lock-in, proprietary protocols means you instantly sacrifice convenience once you leave their club. Currently, you may be a member of countless private clubs, designed to exploit and control you, and not even know it. If I ask you what are all the ways I can contact you, you will probably answer with a list containing a username on Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest… and a phone number and email, of course. All of these ways to communicate have their own logins and (mostly proprietary) protocols that don’t work with each other. The last one, the email, stands out as it was created as a standard, to allow interoperability across the world, regardless of what client or service you use; the same design choices of advancing standards made it into Librem One.

    So instead of a laundry list of accounts, you can have one single, simple account that offers you all the same convenience of posting, chatting, messaging and sharing. You will be able to do all those things from different applications, but the only account you have to remember is your Librem One account.

Purism’s Librem One suite of apps offers ad-free, privacy-focused chat, email, social media (for a fee)

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GNU
Linux
Gadgets

Purism sells a line of laptops that ship with GNU/Linux software and which support privacy features including physical kill switches for the cameras, microphones, and wireless cards. The social purpose corporation is also developing the Librem 5 smartphone, which should ship with a Linux-based operating system later this year.

Now Purism is moving beyond hardware and launching a set of apps and services that it says respect your privacy.

The Librem One suite of apps includes a Chat app, a Mail app, a VPN, and a social networking app. They don’t include ads of any sort. They offer end-to-end encryption. And Purism says it doesn’t track user data.

But since Purism isn’t making any money off your data, they’re asking you to pony up — Librem One is a subscription service.

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