Select a Geiger Counter for your Phone to Survive the next Nuclear Catastrophe

geiger counter smartphone

It’s time to prepare! No, not for that COVID-19 thingie, it’s too late, but since 2020 has not started the best way we should prepare for all eventualities. It all started badly as I fell off my bicycle on New Year’s eve, and it went south from there, from talks of world war three in January, to the thread of a virus pandemic that could kill millions worldwide, to the start of the first global great depression. 2020 will be the “year of doom“, and we should expect massive earthquakes,  once in a hundred-year megatsunami what will wipe entire cities, gigantic locust swarms in southern Europe, climate change induces, and leading famine, a couple of large asteroids hitting the hearth, and so on. But we should not forget the nuclear threat either via nuclear war or damaged nuclear reactors following natural disasters or terrorist attacks. One way to protect yourself and your family is to check the level of variation …

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Astro Slide 5G Transformer Smartphone Comes with a Slide-out Keyboard, MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC (Crowdfunding)

Astro Slide 5G Transformer

Planet Computers has introduced several smartphones with physical keyboards over the last few years including Gemini PDA and Cosmo Communicator with the later recently received its promised Debian Linux images besides just running Android 9.0. The company is now back with the new model. Powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000 processor, Astro Slide 5G Transformer supports 5G connectivity and comes with a slide-out keyboard following on the steps of the company’s previous smartphones. Astro Slide 5G Transformer preliminary hardware specifications: SoC- MediaTek Dimensity 1000 (MT6889)octa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex-A77 cores @ 2.6 GHz, 4x Arm Cortex-A55 CPU efficient cores @ 2.0 GHz, Arm Mali-G77 GPU, 4.5 TOPS APU 3.0 AI accelerator / NPU System Memory – At least 6GB LPDD4x RAM Storage – 128 GB flash, MicroSD card slot Display – 6.53″ touchscreen display with 2340×1080 resolution, scratch-resistant glass Camera – 48MP rear camera with flash, 5.0MP front-facing camera Audio – Stereo speakers,  integrated ambient microphone, 3.5mm audio jack …

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Onyx Boox Nova 2 7.8″ eReader Runs Android 9.0

Onyx Boox Nova 2

We wrote about reMarkable 2 10.3″ e-Paper Tablet running Linux a few days ago, but there’s now another option with Onyx Boox Nova 2 eReader equipped with a 7.8″ display and running an operating system based on Android 9.0. The device comes with an unnamed octa-core processor coupled with 3GB  RAM, 32GB storage, support for Wacom pen and touch input, and a 3,150 mAh battery. Onyx Boox Nova 2 specifications: SoC – Unnamed octa-core processor @ 2.0 GHz, but likely Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 found in the company’s Boox Max 3 eReader. System Memory – 3GB RAM Storage – 32GB flash, MicroSD card reader Display – 7.8″ E Ink Carta Plus inductive Wacom + capacitive touch screen with 1872×1404 resolution, 16 shades of grey, and the SNOW Field function to reduce artifacts during a partial refresh Frontlight – MOON Light 2 to use the device in the dark or under poor lighting conditions Connectivity – Dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFI 5 and Bluetooth …

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FriendlyELEC SOM-RK3399V2 CPU Module Gets 4GB LPDDR4 RAM Upgrade

SOM-RK3399V2 vs SOM-RK3399

Last year, FriendlyELEC launched SOM-RK3399 system-on-module (SoM) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor combined with 2GB DDR3 memory, 16to 64GB flash, and a built-in WiFi 5 module. Contrary to most SoM’s on the market, SOM-RK3399 could work in standalone mode thanks to two USB-C ports, although it could also be integrated into a carrier board to create a complete development board with more ports and interfaces. The company has now introduced an update with SOM-RK3399V2 CPU module with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, as well as a small change in the layout for the LED’s and buttons, but the rest of the features remain the same. The company also appears to have changed the way they handle cooling with SOM-RK3399V2 shipping with a heatsink, while SOM-RK3399 cooling was handled by a heatsink + cooling connected to the carrier board. SOM-RK3399V2 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 big.LITTLE hexa-core processor with 2x Cortex-A72 cores up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 cores up to 1.5GHz, Mali-T864 …

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Android 10 on Xiaomi Mi A2 (Lite) or When Firmware Updates Go Wrong

Xiaomi Mi A2 Android 10

I’ve been using Xiaomi Mi A2 smartphone since December 2018. At the time, it shipped with Android 8.0, but I soon got an update to Android 8.1, and later to Android 9.0. I’m quite satisfied with the phone as it receives (almost) monthly security updates, works reasonably faster, features a decent camera, and overall does the job. The biggest complaint I have so far is about storage. It comes with 32GB eMMC flash and no MicroSD card slot, and it’s constantly full, so I have to clear the cache often, and sometimes I need to uninstall an app and reinstall it in order to install an update. Sometimes in January, I got a notification about Android 10 updates, but since I was out of space, I only installed it late February after some serious storage cleaning… The update went smoothly, and after some adjustment to the settings I was back to a usable phone, but I soon noticed a warming …

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Thundercomm Announces Qualcomm based Modules for Smart Speakers, LTE IoT, Smart Retail, and 5G Applications

TurboX C865 Snapdragon 865 SoM

Based in California in the US, Thundercomm Technology Co., Ltd. (aka Thundercomm) is a provider of IoT products & technologies for OEM/ODMs, enterprises and developers. The company introduced several Qualcomm based “TurboX Systems-on-Module” for smart speakers, LPWAN IoT devices with NB-IoT and LTE Cat M1 connectivity, smart retail applications, and 5G powered devices. TurboX C404 and C405 SOMs for Smart Speakers and Soundbars Key features and specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon C404 / C405 with CPU – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 @, 1.4 GHz GPU (C405 Only) – Qualcomm Adreno 306 GPU @ 600 MHz DSP -2x Hexagon QDSP6 v66 – Low Power Audio Subsystem & Audio Compute DSP System Memory & Storage – 1GB LPDDR3 + 8GB eMMC flash in eMCP package; SD card signals Connectivity 2×2 MIMO WiFI 5 802.11 a/b/g/ac + Bluetooth 5.0 + FM via WCN3999 Gigabit Ethernet (RGMII) Display Interfaces (C405 Only) 4-lane MIPI DSI port up to 720p HDMI up to 1080p30 Audio – SLIMBus, …

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What’s the Cheapest Android Phone with NFC Support?

Cheap Android Phone NFC

I have an Octopus payment card from Hong Kong using NFC technology, and I’d like to check its status, and if needed top it up to keep it valid. One way to do so is to install the Android app on an NFC enabled smartphone. However, none of my phones, including my current Xiaomi Mi A2 smartphone, support NFC. So I’d decided to look for the cheapest Android phone with NFC support that I could find since that’s the only feature I need, and the app is compatible with Android 4.0 or greater for now. Wileyfox Swift 2X – $75.90 I first went to GearBest to check out for NFC phones, as the cheapest one of the lot is Wileyfox Swift 2X going for $75.90 shipped. The phone runs Android 8.1 on a Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. It is equipped with a 5.2″ Full HD display, supports 4G LTE Dual SIM, and comes with …

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Congatec conga-SMC1 3.5″ Carrier Board is Designed for NXP i.MX8 SMARC Modules

3.5-inch carrier board with NXP i.MX8 SMARC Module

Last year, Congatec introduced SMARC 2.0 compliant systems-on-modules based on NXP i.MX 8, i.MX 8M Mini and i.MX 8M Nano processors, together with Conga-SEVAL carrier board designed for evaluation and early software development, but is not suitable for deployment in the field. The company has now unveiled a standard 3.5″ carrier board – conga-SMC1 – that takes any of the company’s i.MX8 SMAC modules, in order to help their customers bring products faster to market thanks to a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) board. Congatec conga-SMC1/SMARC-ARM carrier board features and specifications: Supported SoM – conga-SMX8 (i.MX8), conga-SMX8-Mini (i.MX 8M Mini), or conga-SMX8-Nano (i.MX 8M Nano). Future SMARC 2.0 Arm-based modules should also be supported Storage –  1x SATA III (support of SATADOM VCC PIN 7 and PIN 8), 1x SATA power (+5V, +12V), MicroSD card socket, M.2 NVMe SSD support Display Interface 1x LVDS 18/24bit single/dual channel LVDS 2x optional eDP/DSI (dependent on processor platform) 1x LCD backlight (5V and 12V) 1x HDMI …

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