Linux 4.12 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 4.12: Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn’t have any real reason to delay the 4.12 release. As mentioned over the various rc announcements, 4.12 is one of the bigger releases historically, and I think only 4.9 ends up having had more commits. And 4.9 was big at least partly because Greg announced it was an LTS kernel. But 4.12 is just plain big. There’s also nothing particularly odd going on in the tree – it’s all just normal development, just more of it that usual. The shortlog below is obviously just the minor changes since rc7 – the whole 4.12 shortlog is much too large to post. In the diff department, 4.12 is also very big, although the reason there isn’t just that there’s a lot of development, we have the added bulk of a lot of new  header files for the AMD Vega support. That’s almost exactly half the …

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Google Unveils Android 5.0 Lollipop, Nexus 6 Smartphone, Nexus 9 Tablet, and Nexus Player

Android L is now formally known as Android Lollipop. Since Google already released Android L preview a few month ago, we already know what’s new in Android 5.0 Lollipop with key changes including material design user interface, ART replacing Dalvik, better battery management, 64-bit support, etc… Google also announced three hardware platforms running Android 5.0: Nexus 6 Smartphone, Nexus 9 Tablet, and Nexus Player (Android TV) Motorola Nexus 6 Smartphone Hardware specifications: SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad core Krait 450 processor @ 2.7 GHz with Adreno 420 GPU System Memory – 3GB RAM Storage – 32 or 64 GB eMMC – No micro SD slot Display – 5.96” 1440×2560 AMOLED display (493 ppi). 16:9 Aspect ratio. Connectivity – 802.11 ac 2×2 (MIMO), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC Cellular Network (nano SIM): North America: GSM – 850/900/1800/1900MHz CDMA Band Class – 0/1/10 WCDMA Bands – 1/2/4/5/8 LTE Bands – 2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/41 CA DL Bands – B2-B13, B2-B17, B2-29, B4-B5, B4-B13, B4-B17, B4-B29 Rest of …

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Motorola’s Project Ara Open Source Hardware Plaform for Modular Smartphones

A few months ago, I posted a video about “The Smarter Phone“, a concept smartphone that was supposed to be serviceable and upgradeable just like PCs used to be, in order to reduce e-waste among other things. Based on comments here and on Reddit, most people did not really believe the concept was feasible, practical or cost effective, myself included. Fast forward to September, a video about another concept modular smartphone called Phonebloks went viral with over 17 million views. The overall idea is basically the same, but this time there seems to be at least a mockup. Phonebloks features a base where you can attach blocks such as the display, a wifi module, processor module, bluetooth module and so on. It turns out Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group has been working on something similar for a year with Project Ara, and they recently partnered with Phonebloks’ guys, since they were successful in bringing together lots of people around …

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Motorola Announces ATRIX HD Smartphone Developer Edition

After 5 months after Motorola ATRIX HD hit the market, Motorola announced it would make a developer edition of the core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon based smartphone that comes with unlockable bootloader so that developers can play around and install their own firmware. Apparently the ability to unlock the bootloader is the only extra “feature” you get with this phone. You’ll then need to use a tool to unlock the device, lose your warranty, and start creating and flashing custom ROM to your phone. There is no plan to allow this on the “standard” edition of the phone  however, and efforts by the XDA developer community to unlock the bootloader do not appear to have been successful to date, except for some some Atrix HD bought from Ebay which already came unlocked.  Motorola ATRIX HD developer edition will be available soon for an undisclosed price, and only in the US. If you live in another part of the world, other Motorola …

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Make Your Own Raspberry Pi Laptop With a Motorola Lapdock

There is a very interested thread over the Raspberry Pi forums started by user veryevil where he explains how he built a Raspberry Pi laptop based on Motorola Lapdock (normally used with Motorola Atrix smartphone). This is actually a real hack, because the Raspberry Pi still have to sit outside and you need to make custom cables. But the result still looks great, and veryevil claims the system runs Linux smoothly with a resolution of 1366×768 and the battery can last for hours. Some other users have joined the party, and improved on the design with shorter cables. You can check that forum post for detailed pictures of each cables. Motorola Lapdock used to be an expensive piece of equipment, but Raspberry Pi users indicated it’s currently discounted to 69.98 GBP on Amazon UK and I found it for 81 USD on Amazon US (AT&T Version) which makes it somewhat affordable. You can probably find it cheaper, especially if you …

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CyanogenMod 7.1 Android Released

CyanogenMod Team has just released CyanogenMod 7.1 based on Android 2.3.7. The previous version (7.0.3) was released on the 6th of May 2011. CyanogenMod 7.1 Changelog Common: Android 2.3.7 (Google) Common: Bluetooth mouse support – Scott Brady Common: Improve notification swipe-to-clear – Evan Charlton Common: Improve album-artist support in media scanner – Paul Crovella Common: Profile improvements and bugfixes – Martin Long, Danny Baumann, Robert Burns Common: RTL text improvements – Eyad Aboulouz, Eran Mizrahi Common: Wake on volume key option – Sven Dawitz Common: Support for revoking application permissions – Plamen K. Kosseff Common: Latest Superuser app – ChainsDD Common: Control brightness by sliding on statusbar – Danesh M Common: Add “copy all” to context menu – Danesh M Common: Lockscreen haptic and statusbar indicators toggle – Danesh M Common: Nicer timepicker/datepicker – Jiri Tyr Common: Configuration 0/90/180/270 rotation – Jonas Larsson, Scott Brady Common: DSP Manager bugfixes and improvements – Antti S Lankila Common: Support for launching apps …

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Android Open Conference 2011 Schedule

O’reilly’s Android Open Conference 2011 will take place on 9-11 October 2011 in San Francisco. This is the first time this conference takes place. According to the organizers this conference will “cover the entire Android ecosystem. Whether you’re a developer, IT pro, business decision-maker, or marketer, you’ll find the latest and best information for maximizing the power of the Android platform”. There will be keynotes, practical workshops, and expert-led sessions dealing with: Building Android apps: best practices Android internals—under the hood Development tools New frameworks Alternative languages Gaming and game development Enterprise solutions and considerations Performance and security Analytics and revenue models Multiple Android markets Promotion and consumer needs and much more Please find below the schedule for the workshops (Sunday 9th October 2011) and conferences (10-11 October 2011) related to application development and platform development during the 3-day conference. Schedule on the 9th of October 2011 for Application Development and Platform Development Application Development 9:00 – 12: 30 – …

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Android 2.3.3 Firmware for HTC, Motorola, ZTE, Samsung smartphones

CyanogenMod is an aftermarket firmware for a number of cell phones and tablets based on the open-source Android operating system. It offers features not found in the official Android based firmwares of vendors of these cell phones.  People often use it because the official firmware of their phone may not get an update or because they do not like the custom Android UI of the manufacturer. The latest version is CyanogenMod 7 (11th of April 2011) with the following: Android version: 2.3.3 Kernel 2.6.37.4 with CFS (Completely Fair Scheduler) Root access BusyBox tools Apps2SD Reboot menu – options to perform a reboot, reboot into recovery, or reboot into bootloader Input settings – Haptic feedback adjustments, trackball wake, menu unlock, music controls on lock screen Performance settings – surface dithering, JIT, VM heap size, and lock messaging in memory CyanogenMod 7 also offers user interface improvement, some pre-install apps, networking support (OpenVPN, tethering, etc..), audio improvements, camera and camcorder enhancements and international support. See http://www.cyanogenmod.com/about …

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