Xiaomi Mi Box Android TV TV Box is Sold for $52.99 (Promo)

Xiaomi Mi Box International

Xiaomi recently launched the Mi Box S an update to their popular Xiaomi Mi Box with pretty much the same specifications, but an improved remote control and a lower price of $59 in the US. We also saw promotions as low as $55.99 for the new model. That means there’s very little reason to buy the original Xiaomi Mi box at the normal price now, and it would make sense for companies to offer discounts to get rid off their stock. That’s exactly what GearBest is doing by selling the Xiaomi Mi box TV Box running an official Android TV OS for $52.99 during a flash sale starting now until November 27 23:59 (Beijing Time) with allegedly no limits in quantity for this promotion. Here’s just a quick reminder of the specifications: SoC –  Amlogic S905X-H quad core ARM Cortex-A53 with penta-core Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up …

ODROID-H2 Intel SBC Launched for $111


Hardkernel introduced ODROID-H2 single board computer with an Intel Celeron J4105 processor last month. The first Intel board from the company supports up to 32GB RAM via two SO-DIMM sockets, as well as M.2 NVME SSDs and SATA drives, and exposes various other ports such as HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort video outputs, dual Gigabit Ethernet,  and more. We already knew most details about the board, except for the price and exact launch date. Hardkernel launched the board today for $111 on their online store with shipments scheduled the start on November 27th. Here are ODROID-H2 specifications again with letters in parenthesis referring to the location on the photo below: SoC – Intel Celeron J4105 quad core processor @ up to 2.3 GHz (real frequency) with 12EU Intel UHD Graphics 600 (A) System Memory – Dual-channel Memory DDR4-PC19200 (2400MT/s) supporting up to 32GB RAM in total  (B) Storage – M.2 PCIe 2.0 x4 slot for one NVMe storage (C), 2x SATA …

BitBumper ESP8266 Flash is a Standalone OTA Update Tool

BitBumper ESP8266 Flash

While it’s possible to perform OTA firmware update of ESP8266 with platformIO, Jochen wanted a standalone program to update the firmware of his ESP8266 based devices, and since he could not find any that satisfied his needs, he decided to write his own ESP8266 standalone OTA update tool: BitBumper ESP8266 Flash. The tools work in the local network or over the Internet, and the firmware needs to support PlatformIO OTA update mechanism with the code having the line: If your ESP8266 device is already running such firmware, you just need to load the new firmware in the program, input the IP address and port, and click flash. Jochen programmed BitBumper ESP8266 Flash with Lazarus/Pascal, but as not released the source code at this stage. Instead he shared FlashEsp8266.exe tools for Windows as a freeware program, as well as user and developer documentation here. If somebody needs this tool for Linux, Jochen can build it and release to you as well.

PyGo Wearable Devices Create LoRa Mesh Networks (Crowdfunding)

Pygo Lora Mesh Network

Pycom has made some interesting IoT boards running MicroPython in the past starting with WiFi capable WiPy in 2015, and followed by various others supporting various wireless standard including Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT with LoPy and Fipy. The company launched all their boards via crowdfunding campaigns, and they are now back on Kickstarter for their PyGo plug-n-play wearable devices creating PyMesh networks with up to 12km range between nodes, and managed using Pylife mobile app. Typical use cases include basic connectivity (e.g. messaging) in remote areas without cellular access,  and assets / pets / kids location tracking, There are two version of PyGo: PyGo1 with mesh networking only, and PyGo2 that adds cellular network access. Pygo hardware specifications: SoC – Espressif Systems ESP32 dual core WiFi 4 + BLE SoC System Memory – 64 Mbit (8MB) RAM Storage – 8MB flash Display – 128×36 OLED display Connectivity PyMesh up to 200 devices LoRa including auto-connect to the Things Networks, …

Ubuntu 18.04 To Get 10 Years Long Term Support

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Canonical releases new Ubuntu versions every six months, but most of those are then supported for 9 months only. If you want long term support, you need to install the LTS (Long Term Support) version released every two years such as Ubuntu 16.04 or Ubuntu 18.04 which are supported (for free) for 5 years. If for whatever reasons you cannot  or do not want to update after 5 years, the system will not get any security fixes, unless you purchase a Ubuntu Advantage subscription with Extended Security Maintenance, which allows you for example to run a fully supported Ubuntu 12.04 (Server) until April 2020 (8-year support). But this will change for the better, as ZDNet reports that Mark Shuttleworth told the audience at a keynote at the OpenStack Summit in Berlin that Ubuntu 18.04 support will be extended from 5 years to 10 years “In part because of the very long time horizons in some of industries like financial services …

$69 Orange Pi AI Stick 2801 Features Lightspeeur 2801S Neural Processor

Orange Pi AI Stick 2801

Intel is not the only company selling neural compute sticks to accelerate artificial intelligence workloads at low power, as Gyrfalcon introduced their Laceli AI Compute Stick based on their own Lightspeeur 2801S matrix processor earlier this year, but it was not exactly easy to buy. Even the company’s latest PLAI Plug USB3.0 dongle (new name for Laceli AI Compute Stick?) and PLAI WiFi AI wireless accessory announced just  a few days ago are not that easy to purchase, as they require you to fill a form with your project details before being able to buy anything. But thanks to Shenzhen Xunlong Software, the Orange Pi boards maker, it’s now much easier to experiment with the technology since they launched Orange Pi AI Stick 2801, based on the same Lightspeeur 2801S ASIC found in PLAI Plug, but sold directly on Aliexpress for $69 plus shipping ($73.97 in total here). Orange Pi AI Stick 2801 specifications: ASIC – SPR2801S Lightspeeur series processor …

Allwize K2 IoT Board Supports 169MHz Wize LPWAN Protocol (LoRa alternative)

Allwize K2

LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT are probably the most popular low power long range wireless protocols for the Internet of Things, but there are several others, including one I had never heard of: Wize. The Wize Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) protocol has been created in late 2017, leverages the “old and refurbished” 169 MHz frequency, support up to 20 km range, 20-year battery life, and is managed by the Wize Alliance with members including STMicroelectronics, Suez, Sagecom, Renesas, Analog Devices, Silicon Labs and many others. Despite being a recent protocol, the table below claims 3 millions of deployment for Wize, and showcases some of differences against LoRa, NB-IoT, and Sigfox. You may be confused as how the standard was created in at the end of 2017, but there are so many deployments, and 13 years experience.  It appears Wize is derived from the older EN 13757 standard for gas and electricity meters, and companies such as GRDF and Suez …

Black Friday 2018 – International Deals

Black Friday 2018 GearBest

November 11.11 is now behind us, but that means Black Friday and Cyber Monday are soon approaching and as usual I’ve gathered some deals or events geared towards an International audience, mostly through various China based online shopping websites. GearBest Black Friday activity has already started with the run-up stage on November 14-21 with deposit expansion and lucky draw, followed by the main event taking place on November 21-26 with $100-$200 coupons and 24-hour flash sale, and finally Cyber Monday event from November 26-31 with activity details to be determined. There’s also a Black Friday coupon that works sitewide: BlackFriday-GB. The coupon provides 10% discount on order of $10 or more on items located in the Chinese (CN-099) warehouse, and not yet discounted. The coupon is valid until November 26, 0:00 UTC+8 Beijing Time (unless more than 20,000 units are sold with the coupon) GeekBuying’s promise of up to 80% discount in their Black Friday event should probably be taken …