The great Ars experiment—free and open source software on a smartphone?! | Ars Technica

The great Ars experiment—free and open source software on a smartphone?! | Ars Technica.

With some work, it’s possible to turn a modern Android smartphone into a Google-less, completely open device. FOSS stands for “free and open source software,” and when we say “free” we don’t mean free of cost, but free of restrictions. The SoC in the Nexus 4 is made by Qualcomm, and many of the drivers for it are closed source. The CyanogenMod repository has a list of closed source drivers in each device branch called “proprietary-blobs.txt.” 

CyanogenMod takes AOSP, adds a bunch of handy enhancements, and ports it to tons of devices. There is a project out there called “Replicant,” which is based on CyanogenMod and aims to build a completely open source version of Android. There are only about 1,000 apps in F-Droid.

And in the end, the hunt for diverse apps such as word processor, maps or calendar happens to be a real hazard.

 

Lightweight Linux distro CoreOS gets production-ready | SiliconANGLE

Lightweight Linux distro CoreOS gets production-ready | SiliconANGLE.

CoreOS Linux distro is designed to be extremely lightweight. CoreOS takes up about 40 percent less RAM than other Linux distros.The new production-ready version 367.1.0 is built on the Linux kernel version 3.15.3.

New Android-based camera promises galaxy, nearly delivers

New Android-based camera promises galaxy, nearly delivers.

 A camera running Android is the missing piece of killer hardware.

The problem? Android is a horribly fragmented platform with hundreds of different devices with fluctuating sizes and features.

The Galaxy Camera 2 (MSRP $449.99) is the best option for people who want a dedicated camera that runs Android apps. The real trouble spots are found when you zoom in or try to take photos in low light. amsung has included an option called “MobileLink” that automatically sends any photos right to your phone without the need for a shared WiFi connection. 

“Magic Helmet” for F-35 ready for delivery | Ars Technica

“Magic Helmet” for F-35 ready for delivery | Ars Technica.

The most expensive and complicated piece of headgear ever constructed, the F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) was just released.

The HMDS goes way beyond previous augmented reality. The helmet is equipped with night vision capabilities via an infrared sensor that projects imagery inside the facemask.

The helmet runs for about $600,000.

 

First Steps with the RIoT Board and Android | MCU on Eclipse

First Steps with the RIoT Board and Android | MCU on Eclipse.

RIoT board is:

  • Linux or Android capable 
  • with a Freescale i.MX 6Solo processor (ARM A9 with 1 GHz clock frequency)
  • 1 GB DDR3 RAM and 4 GB on-board FLASH.

This board is mostly a competitor to the Raspberry or the BeagleBone Black.

Tiny module runs Linux and LabView on ARM/FPGA SoC ·  LinuxGizmos.com

Tiny module runs Linux and LabView on ARM/FPGA SoC ·  LinuxGizmos.com.

NI’s  “sbRIO-9651″ system-on-module (SOM) simplifies data acquisition and control systems, by offering full compatibility with the NI LabView. The sbRIO-9651 is supported by the company’s NI Linux Real Time software stack. 

To facilitate custom designs  NI offers an “NI sbRIO-9651 SOM Development Kit.” 

Project Ara dev board ships later this month | Ars Technica

Project Ara dev board ships later this month | Ars Technica.

Google is ready to ship dev kits for Project Ara, the modular smartphone concept from the company’s ATAP division, to hardware developers. Google hopes the concept will allow users to replace and upgrade hardware components. Google plans to ship later this month.

At Google I/O last montha prototype device showed the Android boot screen. The form factor is the size of a small PC motherboard.

There are actually three separate pieces of hardware: the application processor board which runs the TI OMAP 4460, a UniPro switch board, the last board is for “developer-unique functionality” that supports tunneling various I/O protocols over Ara’s UniPro (if you’re interested, the page lists “legacy DSI, I2C, I2S, SDIO, and GPIO”).

 

Mediatek MT6795 Octa Core big.LITTLE ARM Cortex A57/A53 Processor to Launch in Q4 2014

Mediatek MT6795 Octa Core big.LITTLE ARM Cortex A57/A53 Processor to Launch in Q4 2014.

Mediatek announced two 64-bit ARM socs with MT6732 and MT6752 with respectively four and eight Cortex A53  for smartphones. There are now reports that the company will launch an eight core 64-bit LTE soc with HMP architecture. We assume  four Cortex A53 little core and four Cortex A57 big cores. The technical specifications are very impressive: GPU- Imagination Technology G6200 @ 700 mhz, Video: Decoding and encoding – 4K2K @ 30 fps (H.264),Modem – LTE FDD/TDD R9 Cat4, DC-HSPA+ 42/11Mpbs, TD-SCDMA/EDGE.

The direct competitor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810

MT6795 mass production is scheduled for December 2014.

Mediatek is a compagny which is ramping up on soc at an impressive speed. They’re reaching out to the high end market.

 

cPulse : World’s First Smart LED Lighting Case for Android by CODLIGHT Inc. — Kickstarter

cPulse : World’s First Smart LED Lighting Case for Android by CODLIGHT Inc. — Kickstarter.

This is a great project we love it. They’re offering light based smart phone cases which can be synchronized with music.

Back them up !

 

PSFK Future Of Wearable Tech – Summary Presentation

PSFK Future Of Wearable Tech – Summary Presentation.

This is an interesting market analysis for the wearable market. They segment this market into 5:

  1. Wristbands
  2. Jewelry
  3. Glasses
  4. Clothing
  5. Embedded

They give examples and trends for each one of the 5 segments. Now, some parts of it are quite worrying: the hugging clothes to replace parental hugging…. This is a tough one.

Update: Google posts DRM workaround for paid Android Wear apps | Ars Technica

Update: Google posts DRM workaround for paid Android Wear apps | Ars Technica.

Paid apps don’t work on smartwatches running Android WearCurrently, there’s no such thing as a “standalone Wear app.” Apps must be installed through a phone on the wearable device. 

Paid Android apps are encrypted, with the encryption key obtained from the Play Store and passed to the phone but not passed over to the watch.

Google says, “We’re working to make this easier for you in the future, and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Panicking over Android’s factory reset is mostly unwarranted | Ars Technica

Panicking over Android’s factory reset is mostly unwarranted | Ars Technica.

Avast claims that selling an old Android phone exposes all your personal data—even after a factory reset.  By using forensics techniques Avast recovered the previous owner’s data from 20 wiped out used phones. Descriptions of the leftover data includes “family photos of children,” “photos of women in various stages of undress,” and “selfies of what appear to be the previous owner’s manhood” 🙂 🙂

There is a big difference between “deletion” and “secure erase.” “Secure erase,” means removing or obfuscating data past the point of practical recovery. Android has a built-in disk encryption feature.The real end game for data protection now is to physically destroy your storage.  In the enterprise, that’s done via a drive crusher.

So if you want to sell your Android phone and be relatively secure, encrypting it before you wipe it or crush it :-). What about organizing old Android phones crushing parties 🙂 ?

Raspberry Pi gets more Arduino-y with new open source modular hardware | Ars Technica

Raspberry Pi gets more Arduino-y with new open source modular hardware | Ars Technica.

The new version of the Raspberry is called the Raspberry Pi Compute Module and is the size of a laptop memory module.
The board is entirely open source. The Raspberry Pi itself is not open source hardware because based on Broadcom ARM processor (the BCM2835) for its computing, graphics processing, and memory.
But Broadcom did recently publish an open source version of its graphics driver code (under BSD license). This is the first semiconductor manufacturer to publish GPU drivers in an open source format. Imagination, any intention of doing so :-)?

“HummingBoard” looks like a Raspberry Pi but packs in more power | Ars Technica

SolidRun sells HummingBoard from $45 to $100. It is based on a 1GHz ARMv7 processor single- and dual-core i.MX 6 chips using the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture, and they range from 512MB to 1GB of memory.
Is it going to replace the #Raspberry-PI as it aims to? 

“HummingBoard” looks like a Raspberry Pi but packs in more power | Ars Technica.