Raspberry Pi Zero gains a mysterious new feature, and improved availability

Pi Zero

It’s no surprise that the Raspberry Pi Zero was such a hit. Priced at just $5, the tiny uncased device sold out immediately, and despite occasional reappearances at retailers like The Pi Hut, it’s remained ever-elusive.

If you haven’t yet managed to get your hands on the Pi Zero, the good news is it will soon be back in stock, and in much greater numbers than before. And that’s not the only welcome news. The restocked device will be packing a much requested new feature.

SEE ALSO: How to find and buy the ever-elusive $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

As to what this new feature is, Raspberry Pi Foundation’s CEO Eben Upton isn’t currently saying, but if you’re hoping for the introduction of Wi-Fi he confirms it’s not that, sorry.

The Pi Zero’s production was temporarily halted at the Welsh manufacturing plant when focus switched to producing the Raspberry Pi 3, but from next Monday work will start on cranking out 250,000 new Pi Zeros, and that’s just the start. The plan is to produce at least 50,000 more Pi Zeros a month for the rest of the year.

Expect to see stock in usual Pi Zero stores, including The Pi Hut, Adafruit, Pimoroni and Micro Center, in the next fortnight or so.

What do you think the new feature will be? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


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Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code for Windows, OS X and Linux hits 1.0

2016-04-14_0833 Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Microsoft’s cross-platform text editor for developers, hit version 1.0 today after about a year in beta. The company says more than 500,000 developers now actively use the application each month. The launch of VS Code came as quite a surprise when the company first announced it at its Build developer conference last year. Microsoft, after all, had never… Read More


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Creating signed GitHub releases



If your software is hosted at GitHub, you may think you don’t need to do anything special to release your work for distribution.

A collection of non-sequential, undifferentiated commit hashes is not a good way to refer to known releases of your software. It is a good idea to explicitly create releases each with a clear, meaningful version string. This makes packaging work much easier and also provides an easy to use mechanism for your users to get a specific version of your software.

It is an even better idea to additionally sign your releases using your GnuPG key. This way, your users can verify whether what they received matches the same tarball you have released.

1. Create a new tag in your Git repository:

git tag mysoftware-0.4
git push --tags

2. Go to your ?GitHub project and click on the “Releases” link

releases.png

3. Click on “Draft a new release”, fill out the tag, title and description field and click on “Publish release”

fillout.png

4. Go back to your “Releases” section and download the tarball mysoftware-0.4.tar.gz automatically generated by ?GitHub.

5. If you do not have a GnuPG key yet, learn how to create one and make sure it is uploaded to a public keyserver.

6. Sign the tarball with your key:

gpg --armor --detach-sign mysoftware-0.4.tar.gz

This should give a file called mysoftware-0.4.tar.gz.asc.

7. Edit your release again and attach the detached signature mysoftware-0.4.tar.gz.asc as binary to the release.

attach.png

You have successfully created a GnuPG-signed release on ?GitHub :)

result.png


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Dell Venue 8 Pro 5855 is an attractive business tablet [Review]

Dell Venue 8 Pro front

The first generation of Dell’s Venue 8 tablet hit the market back in 2013. In January of this year the company launched the updated version that we have here, which comes with a faster Intel Atom X5 processor and 64-bit Windows 10 as standard.

So, how does this latest version measure up, and is it a good option for business users?

In the Box

The Venue 8 Pro is available as Wi-Fi only or you can have a mobile data connection too. It’s powered by a 2.4GHz Intel Atom X5 Z8500 — the old model had the 1.8GHz Z7340. You get 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 64GB solid state hard drive and Wi-Fi as standard. Our review unit came with 4GB of RAM and the mobile data option, if you need more space, storage can be further expanded with a microSD card of up to 128GB. It’s worth noting that Dell uses eMMC storage — which is basically a built-in SD card — rather than a faster SSD disk.

The tablet measures 130 by 216mm and is only 9.45mm thick. At 377 g it gives an impression of solidity without feeling too weighty to carry around. The tablet has an 8-inch 1280 x 800 screen, a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front. The 5855 supports Miracast so you can wirelessly connect to compatible peripherals like screens and keyboards. The battery is a 19.5 WHr single cell unit.

Dell Venue 8 Pro back

You get a USB C cable and a mains adaptor in the package and, an attractive feature for business users, Microsoft Office Mobile is included in the price, and you can upgrade to the full version with an Office 365 subscription. Security is taken care of with the Dell Data Protection software.

Business Features

The Dell has a reassuringly solid feel and it should stand up well to the rigours of everyday business life. It comes with the Bamboo Paper digital notebook software that allows you to write and draw on the screen either with your finger or the optional stylus.

The fact that MS Office Mobile is included means you can start work almost as soon as you take it out of the box. You also get Dell’s Data Protection software which offers encryption and anti-malware features to keep your tablet and data secure. The Venue 8 Pro is also compatible with the Dell Client Command Suite, allowing IT departments to centrally manage BIOS and hardware configurations.

Dell Venue 8 Pro keyboard

In addition you get access to Dell ProSupport Plus as an option, which helps identify and resolve problems and keep your hardware running smoothly. There’s the option of Protected Workspace too, this opens applications likely to be targeted by malware in a sandbox environment to guard against attacks.

There are a number of accessories that will be attractive to business users too, including a docking, station that supports keyboard, mouse and dual displays, a case called “Folio” that converts into a hands free stand, plus an active pen stylus for writing and drawing on the screen. You can also get an adaptor that gives access to HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and USB 3.0 via the USB-C port. Software options include Adobe Create Cloud, Photoshop Elements and Acrobat.

In Use

There’s a power switch on the top along with a headphone socket. The bottom edge has a USB C socket and speaker grille. On the right are the volume control and a hard Windows button plus a slot for SIM and memory cards. Because it’s USB C it’s less fiddly to connect as you don’t have to get the plug the right way around, but you’ll need to get an adaptor if you want to attach a flash drive or other standard USB peripheral.

Dell Venue 8 Pro side

The back has a ridged finish which makes it pleasant to grip, though it does tend to show finger marks. While the Venue 8 is nicely weighty it isn’t too heavy to hold one-handed. The rear camera is in a slightly raised panel in the centre of the back towards the top. You do tend to place your fingers over this if you’re holding the tablet landscape, so you’ll need to wipe it clean before taking photos. The back of the machine does get warm in use, but not uncomfortably so. The performance of this tablet isn’t going to set the world on fire. but it’s perfectly adequate for everyday tasks.

The screen has quite a wide bezel — especially on the short edges — but the viewing area itself is a good size. The screen itself offer 283 ppi pixel density (an improvement on the 189 ppi of the previous generation). What this means in practice is that it has crisp colors, good contrast and delivers smooth video playback. Viewing angles are good too so its possible for two people to watch the screen at the same time. It isn’t quite bright enough to cope with outdoor use on sunny days but that’s a minor quibble. There’s only a single speaker but it delivers decent sound quality.

The number of megapixels doesn’t tell the whole story with the rear camera, as although it’s “only” 5MP it actually delivers pretty impressive results. There’s no flash, but it takes good pictures in both daylight and artificial light. It uses the standard Windows 10 Camera app which is basic but functional. The 2MP front camera is good enough for VoIP calling.

The most disappointing aspect of the Venue 8 Pro is its battery life. Even in relatively light use, like visiting websites or viewing documents you’ll struggle to get more than five or six hours on a charge. Watch videos or play games and you’ll eat through the power reserves much faster.

Conclusion

At £366 for the 64GB version with mobile data as tested — you can get the 2GB Wi-Fi only version for £259 — the Venue 8 Pro may seem a little pricey. As a business machine though it looks like an attractive package. It’s solidly constructed, has a good range of practical hardware and software options, and it looks smart in an understated way.

If you can live with the rather disappointing battery life and you value reliability over performance, it’s well worth considering.

Pros

  • Impressive display
  • USB C
  • Good range of business friendly features

Cons

  • Disappointing battery life
  • Non-SSD storage
  • Pricey

ITProPortal Review: 7/10

Published under license from ITProPortal.com, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.


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A Scheme to Encrypt the Entire Web Is Actually Working

A Scheme to Encrypt the Entire Web Is Actually Working

The non-profit certificate authority Let’s Encrypt is enabling a sea change toward HTTPS encryption online. The post A Scheme to Encrypt the Entire Web Is Actually Working appeared first on WIRED.



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Bots may be cool, but DigitalGenius thinks it found a better way

Call center in action. Bots seem to be all the rage this week, thanks to the release of Facebook’s Messenger Bot program at F8, but not everyone sees bots as the way to keep up with the customer service glut. DigitalGenius, a former TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield finalist, thinks there’s a better way using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company released an entirely new product this… Read More


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Here is how the Apple TV transforms education

It started with an app, TV Maps from indie developer Arno Appenzeller. His app (a Maps client for Apple TV—take a look) made me realize Apple TV could transform education by making it part of daily life.

Education anywhere

Traditionally, TV is a one-way entertainment vehicle, a “sit-down” medium. Watching TV and playing games are its two killer apps, but you don’t necessarily want to interact with your TV set. That’s fine because until very recent developments in gaming consoles you couldn’t interact much.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


Original URL: http://www.computerworld.com/article/3056399/apple-ios/here-is-how-the-apple-tv-transforms-education.html#tk.rss_all

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