Review of the first Matter device by SONOFF – MINI Extreme Wi-Fi Smart Switch (MINIR4M)

SonoffMiniR4M Cover

We have just received the first Matter product from SONOFF for review, which is the Mini Extreme Switch (MINIR4M) model. Its external appearance closely resembles the Mini Extreme Switch Wifi (MINIR4) which we reviewed previously. They have different colors to distinguish between WiFi (Orange) and Matter (Green). In this review, we have experimented with various Smart Home platforms that support Matter, such as Home Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and even their own eWeLink app. Let’s see how their operations and features differ to some extent. Quick intro for Matter. We have heard Matter/Thread together in the news. Matter is a control protocol, while Thread is a communication protocol. Both protocols can work together, or separately. Matter can operate on the top of various communication protocols, including WiFi, Ethernet, BLE, or Thread, with subtle differences such as energy efficiency, network, and resiliency. What’s crucial to note is that Matter acts […]

Linux 6.4 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.4 release

Linux 6.4 has just been released by Linus Torvalds on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML): Hmm. Final week of 6.4 is done, and we’ve mainly got some netfilter fixes, some mm reverts, and a few tracing updates. There’s random small changes elsewhere: the usual architecture noise, a number of selftest updates, some filesystem fixes (btrfs, ksmb), etc. Most of the stuff in my mailbox the last week has been about upcoming things for 6.5, and I already have 15 pull requests pending. I appreciate all you proactive people. But that’s for tomorrow. Today we’re all busy build-testing the newest kernel release, and checking that it’s all good. Right? Released around two months ago, Linux 6.3 brought us AMD’s “automatic IBRS” Spectre defense mechanism, additional progress on the Rust front with User-mode Linux support (on x86-64 systems only), the NFS filesystem (both the client and server sides) gained support for […]

Linux 6.2 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 6.2 release

Linux 6.2 has just been released with Linus Torvalds making the announcement on LKML as usual: So here we are, right on (the extended) schedule, with 6.2 out. Nothing unexpected happened last week, with just a random selection of small fixes spread all over, with nothing really standing out. The shortlog is tiny and appended below, you can scroll through it if you’re bored. Wed have a couple of small things that Thorsten was tracking on the regression side, but I wasn’t going to apply any last-minute patches that weren’t actively pushed by maintainers, so they will have to show up for stable. Nothing seemed even remotely worth trying to delay things for. And this obviously means that the 6.3 merge window will open tomorrow, and I already have 30+ pull requests queued up, which I really appreciate. I like how people have started to take the whole “ready for […]

Linux 5.17 release – Main changes, Arm, RISC-V, and MIPS architectures

Linux 5.17 changelog

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.17: So we had an extra week of at the end of this release cycle, and I’m happy to report that it was very calm indeed. We could probably have skipped it with not a lot of downside, but we did get a few last-minute reverts and fixes in and avoid some brown-paper bugs that would otherwise have been stable fodder, so it’s all good. And that calm last week can very much be seen from the appended shortlog – there really aren’t a lot of commits in here, and it’s all pretty small. Most of it is in drivers (net, usb, drm), with some core networking, and some tooling updates too. It really is small enough that you can just scroll through the details below, and the one-liner summaries will give a good flavor of what happened last week. Of course, this means […]

OpenBSD 7.0 adds 64-bit RISC-V, improves Apple Arm silicon support

OpenBSD 7.0

OpenBSD 7.0, the 51st release of the UNIX-like operating system, was outed on October 14, 2021, with the introduction of 64-bit RISC-V support for HiFive Unmatched and PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit boards, as well as further improvements to ARM64 targets, notably for Apple Silicon Macs, although it’s not quite ready for general use yet. You’ll find the complete list of new features and updates on the OpenBSD website, but here are some of the highlights: New platforms – OpenBSD 7.0 add 64-bit RISC-V support Extended platforms arm64 Improvements to Apple Silicon Macs support USB 3, NVMe storage, GPIO driver, power management, etc… Enabled LEDs for the LAN7800 chip as found on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Added Type-C PHY controller found on the Rockchip RK3399. Implemented multicast support to Marvell ARMADA chips Various other changes to mips64, amd64, armv7, powerpc64 Kernel improvements Enabled dynamic tracker (dt) for GENERIC kernels […]

Linux 5.13 Release – Notable changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V architectures

Linux 5.13 release

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.13: So we had quite the calm week since rc7, and I see no reason to delay 5.13. The shortlog for the week is tiny, with just 88 non-merge commits (and a few of those are just reverts). It’s a fairly random mix of fixes, and being so small I’d just suggest people scan the appended shortlog for what happened. Of course, if the last week was small and calm, 5.13 overall is actually fairly large. In fact, it’s one of the bigger 5.x releases, with over 16k commits (over 17k if you count merges), from over 2k developers. But it’s a “big all over” kind of thing, not something particular that stands out as particularly unusual. Some of the extra size might just be because 5.12 had that extra rc week. And with 5.13 out the door, that obviously means […]

Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) Working Group is Backed by Google, Apple, Amazon, and the Zigbee Alliance

Project Connected Home over IP

Amazon, Apple, Google, and Zigbee Alliance have partnered to create Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP) working group aiming to develop a royalty-free, Smart Home standard to increase compatibility among products, and with security at the forefront. The new standard will be separate from Zigbee 3.0 / Pro, and Zigbee Alliance board member companies such IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Wulian will also join the CHIP working group and contribute to the project. The standard specified by Project Connected Home over IP will rely on existing technology from the networking layer including TCP/UDP transport protocol, IPv6 network and various physical & media standards such as WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth LE, Cellular, 802.15.4 and others. Instead, it will define what happens at the application layer level with the following points of focus: End-to-end data security and privacy among in-home and […]

$99 Mira Prism Augmented Reality Headset Works with your Phone

We’ve seen many virtual reality headsets launched in the last year or so, even through the technology and ecosystem still needs to be improved to offer an acceptable user experience, but so far I have not seen augmented reality headset that combines 3D real and virtual worlds into a single screen. I was pretty enthusiastic about augmented reality technology when I first heard about in 2010,  but fast forward to 2017, I’m not using any such apps myself, with the most popular AR app possibly being Pokemon Go game launched last year, and apps like the upcoming AR Measure look quite useful. Augmented reality normally works by holding your phone into your hands and the camera, but Mira Prism will change that it’s meant to be worn like a virtual reality headset and relies on a phone (iPhone only for now) to mix both worlds right in front of your […]

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