Purism’s Librem 5 Phone Starts Shipping. It Can Run Linux Desktop Apps

See the original posting on Slashdot

On Tuesday Purism announced their first Librem 5 smartphones were rolling off the assembly line and heading to customers. “Seeing the amazing effort of the Purism team, and holding the first fully functioning Librem 5, has been the most inspirational moment of Purism’s five year history,” said their founder and CEO Todd Weaver.

On Wednesday they posted a video announcing that the phones were now shipping, and Friday they posted a short walk-through video. “The crowdsourced $700 Linux phone is actually becoming a real product,” reports Ars Technica:

Purism’s demand that everything be open means most of the major component manufacturers were out of the question. Perhaps because of the limited hardware options, the internal construction of the Librem 5 is absolutely wild. While smartphones today are mostly a single mainboard with every component integrated into it, the Librem 5 actually has a pair of M.2 slots that house full-size, off-the-shelf LTE and Wi-Fi cards for connectivity, just like what you would find in an old laptop. The M.2 sockets look massive on top of the tiny phone motherboard, but you could probably replace or upgrade the cards if you wanted…
[Y]ou’re not going to get cutting-edge hardware at a great price with the Librem 5. That’s not the point, though. The point is that you are buying a Linux phone, with privacy and open source at the forefront of the design. There are hardware kill switches for the camera, microphone, WiFi/Bluetooth, and baseband on the side of the phone, ensuring none of the I/O turns on unless you want it to. The OS is the Free Software Foundation-endorsed PureOS, a Linux distribution that, in this case, has been reworked with a mobile UI. Purism says it will provide updates for the “lifetime” of the device, which would be a stark contrast to the two years of updates you get with an Android phone.
PureOS is a Debian-based Linux distro, and on the Librem 5, you’ll get to switch between mobile versions of the Gnome and KDE environments. If you’re at all interested in PureOS, Purism’s YouTube page is worth picking through. Dozens of short videos show that, yes, this phone really runs full desktop-class Linux. Those same videos show the dev kit running things like the APT package manager through a terminal, a desktop version of Solitaire, Emacs, the Gnome disk utility, DOSBox, Apache Web Server, and more. If it runs on your desktop Linux computer, it will probably run on the Librem 5, albeit with a possibly not-touch-friendly UI. The Librem 5 can even be hooked up to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and you can run all these Linux apps with the normal input tools…
Selling a smartphone is a cutthroat business, and we’ve seen dozens of companies try and fail over the years. Purism didn’t just survive long enough to ship a product — it survived in what is probably the hardest way possible, by building a non-Android phone with demands that all the hardware components use open code. Making it this far is an amazing accomplishment.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tranceive a way out of RELAY’s electronic dungeon

See the original posting on Boing Boing

RELAY is a free browser game by Yahia Zakaria, Sameh Khater, and Yassin Zakaria. You control a robot trapped in a series of two-dimensional levels filled with electronic gates, hatches, moving platforms and mirrored surfaces. The bot skittles about and jumps short distances, but you won’t get far. Escape is only possible by aiming a laserbeam, which triggers mechanical elements or transfers control to other ‘bots in unreachable places—so long as you have a line-of-sight. The game thereby poses an increasingly elaborate series of logical challenges as you switch between robots, hook up the circuits that power each level’s portals and pitfalls, and hammer the self-destruct button when traps are sprung and completion becomes impossible.

Relay’s slightly sadistic gameplay is well-suited to its antiseptic corporate vibe, a setting skilfully established but offering no narrative to speak of. The visuals pose glitchy, filtered pixel art at retina-display resolution, an exemplary touch being when doors and platforms become stuck at odd angles around the player’s bot. Both brains and physical precision are required to progress far, and at least one of the twenty levels calls for twitchy clickwork that’ll frustrate casuals. Getting the knack of leaving your beam on a particular spot while moving is a key skill: master it before you need it, as puzzles requiring this trick aren’t exactly obvious.

RELAY [itch.io] Read the rest

Take your creativity anywhere with this handheld 3D printer

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Want to get really hands-on with STEM education? 3D printers may be out of reach for some, but the 3Doodler is a handheld version of the same technology that’s tailor-made for curious kids.

(Who are we kidding? We kind of want one for ourselves.)

Even the basic 3Doodler set unlocks a world of possibilities. The pen itself has a single-click, start-and-stop operation once you choose between speeds. The dual-drive system and temperature control ensure jam-free flow, allowing you to make a range of crafts or tools almost instantly.

The 3Doodler Mega 3D set ups the ante with an 8-pack of non-toxic eco-plastic printing material and an activity guide with some great stencils to jump-start the imagination. When you’re really ready to open the workshop, there’s a Create+ Master Creator set that includes a six-piece nozzle kit, 3D canvas, 144-page project guide and a complete set of shaping tools – everything your mad scientist needs to make everything from a chess set to a tiny robot army. Read the rest

Attending Disrupt? Get feedback on your pitchdeck, marketing and immigration questions directly from the experts

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The right advice at the right time can make all the difference for your company. So this year at Disrupt SF (Oct. 2-4), we’re going to try to help startup founders get an extra level of insight. We’re hosting a set of workshops with experts in fundraising, growth and hiring, where attendees can submit questions […]

How to become a VC, Amazon’s voice play, Peloton stock, Facebook’s new VR environment and more

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EC Editorial Announcements TechCrunch Disrupt SF is this week: join us on the Extra Crunch stage TechCrunch’s biggest event of the year is happening this coming week at the brand-new Moscone North convention center in SF. We have wall-to-wall programming on our inaugural Extra Crunch stage, where audience members can ask questions to our panelists […]

Get your pitchdeck analyzed by top investors and experts at Disrupt SF next week

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…And see other pitchdecks get the teardown treatment from top early-stage investors Charles Hudson (Precursor Ventures), Anu Duggal (Female Founders Fund) and Russ Heddleston (CEO of DocSend). If you’re attending Disrupt, you’ll get an email with instructions on how you can submit your deck and if you are selected, you can get feedback directly from […]

Get your immigration questions answered by expert lawyer Sophie Alcorn at Disrupt SF

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If you’re a founder facing a tough immigration question, we have a special workshop session for you next week at Disrupt SF. One of our resident legal experts, Sophie Alcorn, is going to be hosting a special workshop where you can ask any immigration question you may have. She’s the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law, […]

How to become a VC, Amazon’s voice play, Peloton stock, Facebook’s new VR environment and more

See the original posting on TechCrunch

EC Editorial Announcements TechCrunch Disrupt SF is this week: join us on the Extra Crunch stage TechCrunch’s biggest event of the year is happening this coming week at the brand-new Moscone North convention center in SF. We have wall-to-wall programming on our inaugural Extra Crunch stage, where audience members can ask questions to our panelists […]

Corporate Monster: a short, contemporary take on “They Live”

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Ruairi Robinson’s short sf/horror film Corporate Monster is a contemporary take on the classic (and still trenchant) 1988 John Carpenter movie “They Live”: in Robinson’s take, a recently fired corporate drone gets an experimental drug that lets him see the truth of his corporate overlords and their enforcer class. It’s beautifully shot and acted, though the whole story arc comes off as a little sleight, not sure whether it’s serious or silly (a line that They Live walked beautifully). Worth 16 minutes of your time, to be sure. (via JWZ)

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New trailers: Frozen 2, El Camino, and more

See the original posting on The Verge

I’m filling in for Jake this week, and this is usually where he writes some pithy thoughts about a movie or show that he watched recently. I was really hoping that there would be a new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer out so I could write about that, but, sadly, there wasn’t. Although, if history is anything to go by, we’ll probably get one sometime over the next few weeks, so hopefully there won’t be too long to wait.

I did watch Once last week. It was very cute, and the music was fantastic. It was also nice to see a movie that didn’t just go straight for a boy-meets-girl love story. Once’s relationship between Guy and Girl was more complex, bittersweet, and honest than that.

Check out nine trailers from this week below.


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Save over 90% on this streamlined Photoshop alternative

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Need graphics? Before you resign yourself to a Photoshop subscription, listen up: There are other apps out there. You owe it to yourself to check out Youzign 2.0 – especially with the reviews it’s getting on tech sites like Capterra.

With the app, you’ll instantly get access to a library of more than 1.7 million images, all fully customizable vectors that you can stretch and scale as needed. And best of all for web marketers, there’s no complex interface to navigate. You’ll be able to choose instantly from templates that optimize your image for Facebook profiles, Twitter covers, ad banners of any kind – you name it.

The features run just as deep as any imaging software out there, with tons of filters that you can tweak and instant previews that make it easy to see the end result. It’s a product that will be instantly familiar and intuitive to professional designers and first-time users alike.

Right now, you can pick up a lifetime subscription to the Youzign Design App for $39 today. Read the rest

This Castle Dracula snowglobe is filled with bats

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Bran Castle in Romania (commonly referred to as Dracula’s castle) is leaving a lot of money on the table by not making its gift shop available online.  Check out this bat-filled snowglobe:

(Via Ewa.) Read the rest

Void Golf, an unexpectedly atmospheric physics game

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Void Golf is a free browser game by Cactusmancer. You fire rocks into black holes on a 2D starfield—think Asteroids meets Desert Golf— contending with (and exploiting) the gravitational attraction of celestial bodies in the way. It’s simple, habitforming fun, imparted a relaxing vibe by its muted pixel art, spacey music and careful attention to detail. There’s even a custom font by Eeve Somepx.

The billiard-ball physics are the point, and it offers an abundance of the merciless satisfaction that such games offer. Pocketing a tough one after a dozen hapless attempts is incredibly rewarding. That said, it’s always too hard to precisely power shots and sometimes too easy to avoid the “puzzle” of each level. It doesn’t save your progress, either, so familiarity comes quickly.

Void Golf [itch.io] Read the rest

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