e.Foundation to Sell Refurbished Phones Running Google-Free /e/ Android OS

Google Free Android Smartphone

Most Android phones come with Google services, which is both a boon and a curse, as those services are often convenient, but they come at the loss of your privacy.  For example, most people get all upset and lost if a firmware image for an SBC is shipped without Google Play Store, but yet at the same time they worry about their privacy providing all their data to a single company like Google. There must be a better way, and that’s what the e.foundation is attempting with /e/ operating system based on Android, but without any of the Google Services, and targetting your typical end-users, as opposed to geek. /e/ operating system aims to provide privacy both inside the phone, and via cloud services unrelated to Google. It is a fork of LineageOS 14.1 itself a fork of AOSP, and replaces Google services and apps with programs such as MicroG open source implementation of Google’s proprietary Android user space apps …

Linux 5.1 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.1 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.1: So it’s a bit later in the day than I usually do this, just because I was waffling about the release. Partly because I got some small pull requests today, but mostly just because I wasn’t looking forward to the timing of this upcoming 5.2 merge window. But the last-minute pull requests really weren’t big enough to justify delaying things over, and hopefully the merge window timing won’t be all that painful either. I just happen to have the college graduation of my oldest happen right smack dab in the middle of the upcoming merge window, so I might be effectively offline for a few days there. If worst comes to worst, I’ll extend it to make it all work, but I don’t think it will be needed. Anyway, on to 5.1 itself. The past week has been pretty calm, and the final patch from rc6 is not all that …

Batocera.Linux OS Combines Kodi & Retro Gaming for Raspberry Pi & ODROID Boards

batocera.linux

There are already several ways to run retro games on development boards, with for example RetroPie, and derivatives like RetrOrangePi, Lakka and Recalbox. Batocera.Linux is another option that I had never heard about so far, and works on PCs, as well as Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards, with ODROID-N2 support having been added very recently. batocera.linux operating system can easily be run from a USB flash drive on your computer without altering your existing OS, while it will boot from a standard microSD card on Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards. Beside retro-gaming support, the OS also includes Kodi media center for playing videos, or listening to music. You may even play games in it since retro-gaming support was added in Kodi 18. The partial compatibility table above shows all platforms have a different level of support, and for Intel hardware support more emulators than Arm based boards. The Orange arrow means it works but performance is poor, and the yellow …

Linux 5.0 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.0 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.0: Ok, so the last week of the 5.0 release wasn’t entirely quiet, but it’s a lot smaller than rc8 was, and on the whole I’m happy that I delayed a week and did an rc8. It turns out that the actual patch that I talked about in the rc8 release wasn’t the worrisome bug I had thought: yes, we had an uninitialized variable, but the reason we hadn’t immediately noticed it due to a warning was that the way gcc works, the compiler had basically initialized it for us to the right value. So the same thing that caused not the lack of warning, also effectively meant that the fix was a no-op in practice. But hey, we had other bug fixes come in that actually did matter, and the uninitialized variable _could_ have been a problem with another compiler. Regardless – all is well that ends well. We have more than a …

Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G Launched with Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 SoC

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung officially launched the long awaited Galaxy S10 smartphone yesterday sporting either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 or Samsung Exynos 9820 processor coupled with 8GB RAM, 128 to 512GB storage, and a 6.1″ display. There are actually four variants of Galaxy S10, with S10+ model coming with up to 12GB RAM, 1TB flash storage, and a 6.4″ display, S10e phone with a smaller 5.8″ display, as low as 6GB RAM, and 128 to 256GB flash storage, and S10 5G with a 5G modem, a larger 6.7″ display, 6 cameras, and a larger 4,500 mAh battery. Many consider Samsung Galaxy phones to be the reference when it comes to Android phones, so let’s have a look at the technical specifications and features to see if there’s anything really new beside more processing power, and memory. Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, and S10 5G phones share many of the same specifications: SoC (one or the other depending on market) Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 7nm 64-bit …

Samsung Exynos 7904 Processor Enables Triple Camera Photography on Mid-Range Smartphones

Exynos 7904

Samsung has just introduced Exynos 7 Series 7904 (aka Exynos 7904) processor designed to bring better photography to mid-range smartphones thanks to an image signal processor supports single-camera resolution of up to 32-megapixels and a triple-camera setup. Samsung Exynos 7904 specifications: CPU – Dual-core Cortex-A73 up to 1.8 GHz, and hexa-core Cortex-A53 up to 1.6 GHz GPU – Mali-G71 MP2 Storage – eMMC 5.1 flash Memory – LPDDR4x Display –  Up to Full HD+ (2400×1080) Camera – Rear 32MP, Front 32MP, Dual Camera 16MP+16MP Video – Up to 4K 30fps encoding and decoding with HEVC/H.265), H.264 and VP8, and decoding with VP9 LTE Modem – LTE Cat. 12 3CA 600Mbps (DL) / Cat.13 2CA 150Mbps (UL) Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, FM Radio GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo Process – 14nm FinFET Process Some of the key photography features made possible by the processor are explained in the product page: With a multi-camera solution, user can take panoramic …

Samsung Exynos Auto V9 Octa-core Cortex A76 Processor Targets Automotive Infotainment Systems

Samsung Exynos Auto V9

Samsung Exynos processors are well known for their use in mobile processor, but the company has now announced their first automotive grade processor with Exynos Auto V9 SoC featuring eight Cortex A76 cores clocked at up to 2.1 GHz, a Mali G76 GPU, a HiFi 4 audio digital signal processor (DSP), an intelligent neural processing unit (NPU), and a safety island core that supports Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)-B standards. Exynos Auto V9 does not come with the latest Cortex-A76AE cores for autonomous driving, as instead the processor is specifically designed for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, and will be found in Audi cars starting in 2021. The processor also supports LPDDR4 and LPDDR5 DRAM, can control up to six independent displays and twelve cameras. Three separate sets of Mali G76 GPU cores will enable simultaneous support for the cluster display, central information display (CID) and rear-seat entertainment (RSE). The NPU will be used for features as a speech, gesture or …

Linux 4.20 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linux 4.20 Changelog

After Greg K-H handling Linux 4.19 release, Linus Torvalds is back at the helm, and released Linux 4.20 just before Christmas: Let’s face it, last week wasn’t quite as quiet as I would have hoped for, but there really doesn’t seem to be any point to delay 4.20 because everybody is already taking a break. And it’s not like there are any known issues, it’s just that the shortlog below is a bit longer than I would have wished for. Nothing screams “oh, that’s scary”, though. And as part of the “everybody is already taking a break”, I can happily report that I already have quite a few early pull requests in my inbox. I encouraged people to get it over and done with, so that people can just relax over the year-end holidays. In fact, I probably won’t start pulling for a couple of days, but otherwise let’s just try to keep to the normal merge window schedule, even …