Check Out The Raspberry Pi Powered “GameBoy Zero”

Who remembers when the original Game Boy was released? Released by Nintendo back in 1996, the Game Boy was the first handheld gaming device for a lot of people and in recent years, people have looked to emulate the system. While being able to play with your smartphone like it was a GameBoy is nice and all, what about upgrading your Game Boy to play something a little more modern?

The Game Boy Zero may look like a Game Boy with two extra buttons, but in reality, it’s a lot more. Featuring a new colour LCD screen the Zero is actually powered by a Raspberry Pi which runs an emulator, giving you access to all kinds of  games using software called Emulation Station, giving you games all the way from the original platform and the MegaDrive to the GameBoy advance.

By modifying a Game Boy cartridge the creator, Wermy, managed to conceal a micro SD to SD card adapter, meaning you can easily update and change-up the software the Game Boy Zero plays. With two extra buttons (for the X and Y Buttons) and even two (slightly concealed) buttons on the back to act as the L and R buttons, the creation is anything but unimpressive.

Western Digital Release New 314GB PiDrive for $31

When it comes to using the Raspberry Pi, one of the key issues is storage. Micro SD cards are limited in size and become more expensive for the larger capacity cards, and while Western Digital have offered a 1TB PiDrive for some time now, its price tag of almost $80 puts it way above the cost of the Pi itself. Now, in order to accompany the Pi 3, Western Digital have announced a smaller 314GB version of PiDrive that will cost just $31.

The new Raspberry Pi 3 may have the power to be a replacement for a fully-fledged PC, but the form factor of the board limits its hardware options. With no on-board storage, the Pi typically relies on a micro SD card slot in order to hold its operating system and other user files or an external hard drive. Unfortunately, not just any external hard drive is supported by the Pi, but Western Digital have been releasing drives specifically designed to be Pi-supported. These drives have been fine-tuned in order to drastically reduce their power draw compared to other mechanical drives and offer a small form-factor. The new PiDrive supports up to a USB 3.0 interface, which can be connected to one of the Raspberry Pi’s USB 2.0 ports. Western Digital even offer a “BerryBoot” installer that can load software and operating systems onto the Pi’s drive at boot-time.

With the Raspberry Pi becoming more and more advanced, it is good to see companies developing peripherals designed to allow the miniature PCs achieve their full potential, especially when it is provided at a price and form-factor to match the Pi itself.

Create Your Own LCARS System Using A Raspberry Pi

Star Trek has had a lasting impact on everything from science fiction to people’s everyday lives. Everybody who has watched the series has their own generation, and for myself it was the Next Generation. I remember watching the first episode when it aired and gazing at the screens as they pressed buttons without having to type long commands into a keyboard. This was all done thanks to a system known as LCARS and thanks to some clever coder you can now create your LCARS system.

With nothing more than a Raspberry Pi and his wits, Toby Kurien created a home automation system based on the classic science fiction interface. If that wasn’t cool enough, Kurien has also released the code for the interface system on GitHub, meaning you can not only download and tinker to your heart’s content if you prefer something a little different you can change out the assets, giving your system a whole new look.

Created using Python, the software supports touchscreen and means that when combined with the latest Raspberry Pi, you can create your own little LCARS tablet or wall panel to help control your home, car or even just to play games on. How long before someone modifies it to control the starship Enterprise drone we wonder.

Raspberry Pi 3 Includes Wi-fi and Bluetooth

Computers are weird things, they get smaller each year and yet still their power and what each of them can do increases every time we blink. A prime example of this is the recent surge of mini-computers, with some hardware being as small as your phone while also letting you add and customise to your heart contents. From touchscreens to the next generation of robot wars, the small component has inspired a generation but without wireless technology, it seemed to lack something. That could change with an FCC document showing that the next generation of Raspberry Pi may solve that problem

First let’s be clear, you can connect the older Raspberry Pi’s to the wireless network but you needed to buy a wireless dongle, which means another thing you can forget and a USB port that you’ve got to take up in order to use it. The documents show that not only will the next Raspberry Pi include everything you need for wi-fi connections but it will also include Bluetooth.

The documents don’t really show that much difference, with everything else pointing to the same specification as the Raspberry Pi 2, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change.

Do you use a Raspberry Pi, or maybe something similar and if so what do you use it for?

Xfinity User Creates Bot to Tweet Comcast Whenever His Internet Speed Drops

An industrious Comcast Xfinity customer, disgruntled over poor internet speeds, has created a bot that auto-Tweets Comcast whenever his broadband drops below advertised speeds. Redditer AlekseyP used a Raspberry Pi to monitor his internet speed, checking every hour, which sends a Tweet to the official Comcast Twitter account every time it drops below 50mbps.

“I pay for 150mbps down and 10mbps up,” AleskeyP wrote on reddit. “The raspberry pi runs a series of speedtests every hour and stores the data. Whenever the downspeed is below 50mbps the Pi uses a twitter API to send an automatic tweet to Comcast listing the speeds.”

“I know some people might say I should not be complaining about 50mpbs down,” he added, “but when they advertise 150 and I get 10-30 I am unsatisfied. I am aware that the Pi that I have is limited to ~100mbps on its Ethernet port (but seems to top out at 90) so when I get 90 I assume it is also higher and possibly up to 150.”

After some redditors accused AleskeyP of recording skewed results, he responded: “We do not torrent in our house; we use the network to mainly stream TV services and play PC and Xbone live games. I set the speedtest and graph portion of this up (without the tweeting part) earlier last year when the service was so constatly bad that Netflix wouldn’t go above 480p and I would have >500ms latencies in CSGO. I service was constantly below 10mbps down. I only added the Twitter portion of it recently and yes, admittedly the service has been better.”

While adding that he is no “fancy programmer”, AleskeyP has made his Raspberry Pi speedtest Tweetbot code available on Pastebin.

CEO Wants the Raspberry Pi to Power New Robot Wars Revival

Robot Wars is returning to UK television, and the Chief of the Raspberry Pi Foundation wants his company’s micro-computers to power the next generation of the show’s battle robots. Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Eben Upton is excited by the prospect of the Robot Wars revival, heading back to BBC Two sometime this year, and he hopes the Raspberry Pi will form act as the brains in Roboteers’ new creations.

“I think it’s great news that it’s coming back. Really exciting. I hope that some of the teams will use Raspberry Pis to build their robots. Definitely!” Eben told The Inquirer.

“One of the biggest problems was that sometimes the robots had fearsome potential but couldn’t be controlled well, and often it came down to who had the best controller, not who had the best robot,” he added, proposing: “I’d like to see driverless Robot Wars. Robots that use the addition of compute to be really fierce. Yeah, autonomous Robot Wars would be great.”

Gone are the days of relying on radio frequency controllers, likely to be replaced in Robot Wars by wi-fi-connected tablets, or even smartphones, with live feeds from on-board cameras.

If you were building a battle-bot for the new series of Robot Wars, what new technological advancements would you take advantage of?

Amazon Enters the Semiconductor Market With its First ARM Chip

Amazon’s Annapurna Labs has announced that it is entering the semiconductor market, selling its first ARM-based processors, a “foundation for next-generation digital services for the connected home,” according to a press release.

Annapurna Labs, established in 2011, was snapped up by Amazon last year for $350 million. Before the buyout, Annapurna was heavily rumoured to be working on its own line of ARM chips, VentureBeat reports. The Alpine PoC product line will be sold to OEMs to support “home gateways, Wi-Fi routers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.”

“In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted,” the press release reads. “To stay competitive, OEMs and service providers therefore need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software.”

“Our Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line gives service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform on which they can design hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices.”

While ARM processors are still a niche market compared to the Intel-dominated server market, the architecture has come a long way in the last thirty years, with ARM cores powering single board computers like the Raspberry Pi and Pine A64, as well as Apple iPhones, iPods, Microsoft’s early generation Surface and Surface 2 tablets, and Nintendo’s DS series of handheld consoles.

“There is significant growth in the home Wi-Fi segment with most of the demand occurring on high-performance routers. As a leading provider in this segment, we are committed to providing our customers with high performing solutions,” Tenlong Deng, Vice President of ASUS Networking & Wireless Devices Business Unit, said. “The increased demand for new applications and use models requires additional compute and more flexibility. We are collaborating with Annapurna on these technologies and believe that they have one of the most advanced and flexible silicon solutions in the marketplace.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

New $15 Raspberry Pi Rival Can Output 4K Video

The tiny computer market is hotting up, initially ignited by the Raspberry Pi Foundation – which recently released its smallest  and cheapest computer yet, the Raspberry Pi Zero – and spawning rivals like the Orange Pi, Chip, and Kangaroo. The latest entrant, developed by PINE64 Inc., aims to set itself apart, with its 64-bit processor and 4K video output capability.

The PINE A64, which has already surpassed its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter, boasts a quad-core ARM A53 1.2GHz 64-bit processor and a dual-core MALI-400 500MHz MP2 GPU, capable of 1.1Gpixel/s throughput and 4K HDMI output. It relies on a microSD card of up to 256GB for its boot drive, while additional storage can be added via its two USB 2.0 ports. The A64 supports 10/100Mbps Ethernet. PINE are also offering a ‘Plus’ version of its A64, with up to 2GB DDR3 RAM and Gigabit Ethernet.

The PINE A64 is an open source platform, allowing a user to install pretty much any software of operating system they like, but PINE recommends using either Ubuntu, Android 5.1 Lollipop, of OpenHAB IoT. Using Android, the PINE A64 can become a 4K home media centre, and the board supports Miracast.

The basic PINE A64 package is available for pre-order via Kickstarter for $15, while the A64+ can be bought for $19 or $29, depending on whether you want the 1GB or 2GB version.

Raspberry Pi Zero Was Inspired by Google

The Raspberry Pi Zero, the tiny, £4 ($5) microcomputer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation which sold out in less than a day, would not have existed were it not for a timely intervention from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, revealed to the Wall Street Journal that, were it not for Schmidt, the company would have instead released a larger, more powerful $60 model.

“I told him we were thinking of making future Raspberry Pi’s a little bit more expensive, up at about $50 or $60, and a bit more powerful,” Upton told WSJ.

Schmidt, though, discouraged the move, with Upton adding, “He said it was very hard to compete with cheap. He made a very compelling case. It was a life-changing conversation.” That life-changing conversation, which took place about three years ago, led to the creation of both the Raspberry Pi 2 and the Raspberry Pi Zero. “The idea was to make a more powerful thing at the same price, and then make a cheaper thing with the same power,” he said.

“We really don’t think we’ll get any cheaper than this. We’ve gone from say, four lattes, to one latte. We’re not going to go below the cost of one latte,” Upton said.

But has Schmidt seen the microcomputer he helped birth? Not yet, according to Upton: “I don’t want to bother him.”

Raspberry Pi Zero Sold Out in Less Than 24 Hours

The newest member of the Raspberry Pi family, the diminutive Pi Zero, has already sold out, despite having been available for less than 24 hours.

The Raspberry Pi foundation reported that around 20,000 Raspberry Pi Zero units have been sold today alone, along with a further 10,000 that were included with the latest issue of the MagPi magazine. “You’d think we’d be used to it by now, but we’re always amazed by the level of interest in new Raspberry Pi products,” the founder of the foundation, Eben Upton told Wired “Right now it appears that we’ve sold every individual Zero we made… people are scouring the country for the last few Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Smiths branches that haven’t sold out [of the MagPi magazine].” And while the Pi producing factory in Pencoed, Wales is churning out more Pi Zeros as fast as it can, Upton was uncertain as to when the stock would be available.

For those still wanting to get their mitts on the £4 computer, not many options are available right now. Either subscribe to the MagPi magazine for 6 months, at a cost of £30, or give in to the eBay users that are reselling the device, generally at a large markup. The people at MagPi Magazine are doing their bit to help provide Pi to the masses, with a page dedicated to locations still stocking the 40th issue of the magazine.

Raspberry Pi Releases £48 7-Inch Touchscreen

After two years of development, the official Raspberry Pi touch display has been released today. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has commissioned Inelco Hunter to produce the screen, which boasts an RGB 800×480 display at 60fps, 24-bit colour, FT5406 10 point capacitive touchscreen, and a 70 degree viewing angle, and is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Raspberry Pi Model B+ and Raspberry PI Model A+.

The touch display connects via a 15-way FPC connector, while the rear of the screen has mounting holes to attach the Pi. The screen and the Pi can be powered through the board’s GPIO port, or though the microUSB port, with the display connected though a DSI port.

The Official Raspberry Pi Touch Display is available from the official Swag Store, as well as from RS Components/Allied Electronics or Premier Farnell/Newark – with shipments available from other sellers later this week – for £48/$60, not including shipping and tax. For an extra £10/$15, customers can buy a coloured frame for the touchscreen, available in tangerine, coupe, royale, noir, flotilla, and jade (or orange, red, blue, black, light blue, and green to you and me).

Full technical specs and a history of the touchscreen’s development are available on the Raspberry Pi blog.

New Raspberry Pi Rival Costs Just $15

The Raspberry Pi has revolutionised the budget micro PC market, packing in some impressive computing power for a $35/£25 board. While the Raspberry Pi has already spawned some imitators, like the similarly priced Banana Pi, there’s a new kid on the block, boasting bags of processing capacity for nearly half the price.

The Orange Pi (noticing a theme yet?), priced just $15 (less than £10), measuring 3.3″ x 2.2″ and weighing only 1.3oz, runs on an Allwinner H3 ARM Cortex A7 Quad Core 1.6GHz processor, an ARM Mali-400 GPU, with 1GB DDR RAM. Squeezed on to the tiny board are two USB 2.0 ports, a USB OTG, 100M Ethernet, HDMI and AV ports, camera interface, 40 PIN headers, integrated microphone, IR sensor and even a power switch, which is a feature noticeably absent from the Raspberry Pi.

That’s not the only thing the Orange Pi has over its rival, though, as the micro PC offers 4K video playback, making the new upstart a very appealing proposition when compared to the Raspberry Pi.

The computer has no on-board storage, so relies on a microSD card of up to 64GB, and can run Ubuntu, Raspbian, Debian, and Android operating systems.

The Orange Pi is available from AliExpress and ships from China.

Thank you Liliputing for providing us with this information.

Beautiful Handheld Wooden Emulator Re imagines a Classic

The Raspberry Pi series has opened up a new frontier in the evolution of tech which has enabled a whole new generation of developers the option to efficiently and cost effectively power their creations. This device however, is quite simply a fabulous reimagining of the Game Boy Advance SP handheld console which was originally released in 2003.

The design has arrived courtesy of creative mind Love Hulten, who has designed his own take on Nintendo’s handheld and has coined the machine the PE358. Below is a selection of screenshots which conveys the vision.  As you can see, the console is very lightweight with dimensions being 8x8x4cm.  The material used is American solid walnut and the console also folds in half which mirrors the Game Boy Advance SP

The emulator device is powered by the familiar Raspberry Pi A+- and it is more than capable of playing the same GBA SP games.  But there is a slight problem with that, as you can see, there is no cartridge slot which means you will need to track down the ROMs for your favourite GBA SP games.

The detail within the below image are fantastic, the screen design reminds me of an old Black and White TV, it has that class which certainly beats the Game Boy Advance SP flimsy plastic design which I personally did not like when it was released.  It may have been ahead of its time, but I found the design to be horrible at the time, it certainly had its fans considering the SP sold 43.52 million units as of June 30th 2009.

This last image below conveys the look when it is folded in half, and there is a chance that you might be able to buy this creation, considering it might not be a one-off design like most of Love Hulten’s works. Either way, it’s a fantastic and imaginative design which will no doubt have its fans within many avenues.

Thank you gizmodo, lovehulten and wikipedia for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Releases Slimline Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi

Microsoft has unveiled a developer-focused, Windows 10 edition designed for the Rapsberry Pi. Windows 10 IoT Core is targeted towards small form-factor devices and doesn’t utilize the default Windows shell. This means you create your own Universal Windows App and construct a visual frontend. To access these creation tools, you need a development machine running Windows 10 (Build 10240) and Visual Studio 2015.

The operating system is built around software development and encourages new and existing developers to make Windows Apps. The software supports the standard UWP languages such as C++, C#, JavaScript and Visual Basic. There is also a wide array of tools to help with debugging and ensure systems like Node.js and Python are integrated into the toolset without feeling too different.

The Microsoft blog post shows the company’s intentions to create an open-source community of developers who can share and discuss projects on Github. The Raspberry PI is a fantastic learning tool for coders and can create an assortment of unique, yet cheap devices. I’m not convinced if this software package is enough to deter people from a Unix-based environment. Possibly, the focus on is commercial usage and marketing hardware as being invented on a Microsoft development platform.

Clearly, Microsoft is trying to push their own struggling App Store and compete with the Apple Store and Android’s Play Store. Giving developers the tools to create interesting projects is an important step but is it already too late?

You Can Install Windows 10 to a Raspberry Pi

Microsoft has launched Windows 10 now and everyone is talking about it. A lot of people have already upgraded while just as many wait for their downloads to finish. There are of course also those who don’t want to upgrade or aren’t eligible for the free upgrade and then there is them that own a Raspberry Pi.

Yes, you read that right, you can also get Windows 10 for that tiny $35 pocket PC as well as other mini-systems such as the MinnowBoard Max and Intel Galileo. Okay granted, this isn’t the full desktop version, but rather the IoT (Internet of Things) version and you’ll need an already upgraded PC with the normal Windows 10 to get started. But from there on it is an easy task.

The Windows 10 IoT Core tools are available to download directly from Microsoft. Flash it onto an SD card and boot up your Raspberry Pi and get coding and controlling. Windows 10 IoT Core will boot automatically after connecting the power supply. This will take a few minutes. Once the device has booted, the DefaultApp will launch and display the IP address of RPi2. You can now connect through PowerShell or SSH to your freshly installed Windows 10 Pi.

Files and guides can all be found on Microsofts site and it is truly as easy as following a checklist.

Raspberry Pi Releases First Official Case

One of the most curious aspects about affordable mini-computer the Raspberry Pi was that it came sans case, inspiring a generation of computer-philes to develop their own homebrew cases – often out of LEGO – if they didn’t settle for a third-party case. Now, the creators of the microcomputer have announced that they have developed their own official case, and it’s looking very sleek.

Gordon Hollingworth, Director of Software for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, spoke about the process on the official Raspberry Pi blog:

Two and a half years ago, I found myself sitting in a car with Eben Upton about three days into my new job at Raspberry Pi. We discussed – among other things – everything we wanted to do with the Raspberry Pi hardware and with the products around the Pi.

One of the things we discussed was an official Raspberry Pi case. We thought that it would be great to create something affordable, but with the kind of real beauty and design that our products try to encompass.

So to this end we began the search for a design company who were capable of understanding our requirements and had their eyes firmly fixated on creating a product that achieved those aims.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation hired award-winning design firm Kinneir Dufort to create the case, honing ideas from the following three prototypes:

The final design, with its gentle curve and simple colour scheme, fits the Raspberry Pi, in both form and as a representation of its functionality, perfectly.

The Raspberry Pi blog does a marvellous job of outlining the design and build process for the case, so be sure to check it out. The official case is priced £6 ($9), and is available from the Raspberry Pi Swag Store website.

BBC “Make it Digital” Scheme to Give 1 Million Micro-Computers to Kids

 

Back in the 1980s, the BBC, as part of a new computer literacy initiative, launched its own computer, the BBC Micro (a modified Acorn), in an effort to educate children about emerging information technology. Now, over thirty years later, the BBC are repeating the enterprise with the Make it Digital scheme.

Make it Digital aims to provide a new micro-computer to over 1 million 11-year-olds in the UK, starting this Autumn. The computer, the Micro Bit, is a tiny board, smaller than a Raspberry Pi. Though the final specifications may change between now and its launch in September, the Micro Bit is known to run on an ARM processor, have an on-board Bluetooth controller, and be compatible with C++, Python, and Touch Develop.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall described the Make it Digital project: “This is exactly what the BBC is all about – bringing the industry together on an unprecedented scale and making a difference to millions.”

“Just as we did with the BBC Micro in the 1980s, we want to inspire the digital visionaries of the future. Only the BBC can bring partners together to attempt something this ambitious, this important to Britain’s future on the world stage.”

Gareth Stockdale, developer of the Micro Bit, added, “The BBC’s role is to bring focus to the issue, and then we will withdraw from the market.”

The Make it Digital scheme will also include a documentary on Bletchley Park – the famous code-breaking site during World War II – and, bizarrely, a drama based on Grand Theft Auto.

Source: BBC

5 Million-Selling Raspberry Pi Becomes Best-Selling UK Computer Ever

Since its launch in 2012, the Raspberry Pi microcomputer has sold over 5 million units, making it the biggest selling British computer of all time, according to a tweet from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

The Raspberry Pi has evolved beyond appealing just to hobbyists, with schools and universities adopting them as teaching tools, and home users adapting the system to become home media servers, gaming machines and storage hubs.

The Raspberry Pi’s nearest rival, in terms of top-selling UK computers, is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer, which sold 5 million units during the Eighties.

Source: The Guardian

Raspberry Pi 2 Reboots When Exposed to Camera Flashes

The recently released Raspberry Pi 2 is susceptible to reboots when exposed to camera flashes, according to user reports. The resets are caused by the ‘photoelectric effect’, first discovered by Albert Einstein, for which he won the Nobel Prize. The Raspberry Pi’s creator, Eben Upton, isn’t fazed by the glitch, instead calling it an “unintentional educational bonus”.

“It’s an interesting demonstration of the photoelectric effect,” Upton said. “If I had to pick a bug in the Raspberry Pi, excessive sensitivity to paparazzi is the one I would pick. If this was destroying devices I would be less cheerful about it.”

Upton says, “We have no real plans to fix it,” but adds, “We might use a component with more optical screening in the future.”

Finally, he suggests, “If you are intent on taking flash photos of your Pi, you can stick Blu-Tack on it.”

Source: BBC

Miguel the Electric Eel Uses Raspberry Pi to Tweet

An electric eel at Tennessee Aquarium has been tweeting from his tank, thanks to a modified Raspberry Pi. The eel, named Miguel Wattson, triggers tweets whenever he expels an electrical discharge. The charge is detected by sensors hooked up to a Raspberry Pi, which triggers a tweet – purporting to be from Miguel, but written by the aquarium’s team – to the eel’s Twitter account, @EelectricMiguel.

“In the wild, Electric Eels use their voltage to navigate, stun prey and as a defense mechanism,” said Brad Thompson from the Tennessee Aquarium. “They have complete control of their discharges varying the amount of energy released to meet their needs.”

The project was set up in conjunction with the Tennessee Tech University’s Business Media Center.  “This was a really fun project for our multi-disciplinary team,” Kevin Liska, director of the Business Media Center, said. “They combined electrical engineering and emerging business communication to give the eel a voice.”

Source: PRWeb

Creator CI20 From Imagination – the New Raspberry Pi Rival

 

The Creator CI20, developed by UK chip designer Imagination, is a microcomputer set to rival the Raspberry Pi. Although slightly bigger in size, Imagination’s project packs more processing power, more RAM, and its own onboard flash storage.

Like the Raspberry Pi, the CI20 can support various Linux operating systems, but, unlike its competitor, can run the Android 4.4 KitKat OS, too. It features on-board WiFi and Bluetooth functionality, compared to the Pi’s single Ethernet port. The Ci20 will cost slightly more than the Raspberry Pi, priced at £50 ($65). It is available for pre-order now, with the first models shipped in January 2015.

Source: BBC

Pi Top, the 3D Printed Raspberry Pi Laptop Hits IndieGoGo

A new project has recently hit crowd funding website IndieGoGo. Their idea is to make 3D printed DIY laptops that are based around the Rasberry Pi computer.

The Pi-Top laptop is actually just a case for a Raspberry Pi. For your money you will get a Pi-Top DIY laptop kit, which is mostly 3D printed components. You will get a laptop chassis of your choice, as well as the STL files needed to modify and print your own chassis should you want to create something more unique.

You will also get the Raspberry Pi with three expansion modules; power management PCB, HDMI to LVDS bridge PCB and a keyboard/trackpad controller PCB. There’s a 13.3-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 1280 x 720, a battery, a USB 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 WLAN controller, a keyboard and trackpad, DC wall plug and an online video tutorial to put it all together!

Of course, the system will be operated by Linux, but there are many free ARM compatible distros you can download and install. I’m not sure I’d be ready to replace my ultra-book with one of these, but it sounds like a really fun project for those who love to tinker with hardware.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IndieGoGo.

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Details Leaked

The Raspberry Pi foundation released the B+ model this summer and since then we’ve expected a new A+ model to appear as well. We got the first teaser during this years TechCrunch Disrupt in London where Upton confirmed that the A+ would be arriving to replace the current A model that didn’t sell too good.

We finally got some details about the upcoming model-refresh when the website Element14 briefly listed the A+ model over the weekend before quickly taking the link down again. But not before a couple of people got the images and relevant facts from the site.

The new Raspberry Pi A+ is basically a shrunk down version of the old B model but with the improvements made on the B+ model. The old 26-pin GPIO connector will be replaced by a 40-pin connector instead, the SD card slot will be replaced by a micro SD slot instead while the overall power consumption has been optimized and reduced. The new A+ model will also support power-hungry USB devices better than the current A model.

Thanks to CNXsoftware for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of CNXsoftware

Awesome Dad Builds Advanced NASA Simulator For His Kids

I thought I was doing quite well this year by building my son his first gaming PC… and I am, but this guy is making other dads look bad with his incredibly NASA simulator which he built for his children.

As you can see in the video below the project includes a shuttle, mission control and even a satellite deployment system with authentic controls, sounds, the thing even shakes when more intensive systems are running. The whole thing is operated by over a hundred switches through multiple control panels, hundreds of LED lights, an Arduino controller and a Raspberry Pi computer. There is even a space to mount a smartphone to play back real NASA footage and expand the rig with extra features, a payload deployment arm and a whole lot more.

The whole thing is impressive and I don’t doubt for a minute that he’s not had a lot of fun playing with this setup himself when the kids aren’t around… actually wouldn’t mind a go myself. A great idea with flawless execution.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/hfY-SlC2XHc[/youtube]

Thank you Slate for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Slate.

Microsoft and Intel Release ‘Sharks Cove’, a Windows-based Microcomputer

Arduino and Raspberry Pi have apparently inspired everyone, including big name companies such as Microsoft. The corporate giant along with Intel and CircuitCo are said to have been working on their own little development board.

The outcome of their work is said to be a $300 / £176 board dubbed “Sharks Cove”, which is now available for pre-order. It is said to boast Intel’s Quad-Core Atom Z3735G clocked at 1.33 GHz and having a turbo speed of 1.83 GHz, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage space and a MicroSD card slot.

The board is said to be dedicated towards development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run on the Windows operating system. Devices such as smartphones, tablets and similar SoC might now have a small microcomputer building their new apps.

“At $299, this is a board that we believe will find a home with Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) and hardware enthusiasts alike. That price not only covers the cost of the hardware but also includes a Windows 8.1 image and the utilities necessary to apply it to the Sharks Cove. When you additionally consider that the Windows Driver Kit 8.1 can pair with Visual Studio Express and are both free with a valid MSDN account, the initial outlay for Windows driver developers is a lot less cost prohibitive than it once was.”

With all the excitement, did Microsoft and Intel ever consider the price? Coming in at $300, it is significantly more expensive than Raspberry Pi’s $35 / £20 board or BeagleBone Black’s $55 / £32 board. Even Intel-based MinnowBoard, compatible with both Linux and Android, is available on the market for just $99 / £58.

“The primary target usage of the Sharks Cove board is for development of subsystems for Intel Atom based Tablets and Mobile devices, but this development board can be used for any Windows or Android based system which uses the Atom processor,” cited on the Sharks Cove website.

While Microsoft, Intel and CircuitCo await for that audience, Raspberry Pi and Arduino will still be the primary choice for developers. The microcomputer might be a nice addition for Windows Phone developers, however a $300 price tag does tend to change your mind sometimes.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Wired

RickMote Controller App Lets You Rickroll Your Chromecast Neighbors

The Raspberry Pi has proven to be a useful tool for security researchers once again. This time, the Chromecast has been exploited, having found an interesting bug that lets you take control of any TV using the device.

From a techy point of view, the Chromecast uses a ‘deauth’ command that disconnects it from the Wi-Fi network. However, the command has been proven to have a bug. Once the command is initialized, it is said to kick the device off the network and enters a config mode that lets it become a Wi-Fi hotspot. When the Chromecast is in this state, anyone connecting to it can then send any video they like to the TV hosting the Chromecast device.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7nqP8AvXUg[/youtube]

In short, the Chromecast can become a hijackable device that lest anyone connecting to it stream any video they like to it. The bug is said to have been discovered by Dan Petro, a whitehat at security consultancy Bishop Fox. He is said to have used a Raspberry Pi, a couple of Wi-Fi cards and a touchscreen, along with Aircrack to take advantage of the bug. The device is said to take about 30 seconds to connect and take over the network. Once inside, people can then Rickroll their Chromecast friends or neighbors.

Petro has apparently made a blog about his invention as well, helping people build their own and set them on a ‘rolling’ spree. More information about the RickMote and can be found here. Also, below is a video of Petro’s presentation regarding his findings.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZUYYgyUyh8[/youtube]

Thank you Raspberry Pi for providing us with this information

Raspberry Pi ‘B+’ To Come with More USB Ports and Improved Power Management

The miniaturized computer known as Raspberry Pi, a device for developers and users wanting to create cool stuff as a hobby, has not changed in the past two years. This means that the computer has, more or less, had the same specs and features as it first launched a little over two years ago.

However, the newest addition tends to bring some change to all of the mainstream models so far. It is said that the Raspberry Pi “B+”, the new addition to the family, may still have the same BCM2835 processor and the same amount of RAM, namely 512 MB, as the original version, but it uses less power. In addition, the new version has more connectivity options and other upgrades compared to the previous Raspberry Pi Model B. Below are the key upgrades made to the B+ version as stated by Eben Upton, the creator of the Raspberry Pi computer, as well as a list of model comparison between all Raspberry Pi versions:

  • More GPIO: The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
  • More USB: We now have 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
  • Micro SD: The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
  • Lower power consumption: By replacing linear regulators with switching ones we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W.
  • Better audio: The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
  • Neater form factor: We’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes.

It is said that the new Raspberry Pi Model still uses a 5V Micro-USB power supply, but is able to manage more devices thanks to the improved power management. Though the Model B+ is out and available for everyone out there, the Raspberry Pi Foundation are said to still keep the original Model B in production as long as demand still exist for it. The new version is said to be sold through the Element 14 and RS Components stores.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Arstechnica